Saturday, 15 December 2007

gen ivashov about hillary

Strategic Culture Foundation

online magazine



What We Should Expect From Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton, the wife of the former US President Bill Clinton and a 2008 presidential race favorite recently unveiled her international politics agenda in a paper in Foreign Affairs. (Hillary Rodham Clinton. Security and Opportunity for the Twenty-first Century. Foreign Affairs, November/December, 2007). The publication provides a fairly critical account of a number of aspects of G. Bush’s presidency.
A wind of change in the US foreign politics? Hardly so. The analysis of the criticism directed at the Republican Administration by H. Clinton and of the plans drawn in her paper shows that no radical changes in Washington’s global strategy can be expected in the foreseeable future.
What H. Clinton criticizes G. Bush and his administration for is by no means their tendency towards global dominance or the underlying strategy formulated by the US Congress in 2005 as «gaining an unobstructed access to the world’s key regions, strategic communications, and global resources» (in other words, gaining control over all of the above).
The US quest for global hegemony has persisted for over a century. Only methods do evolve. Whereas Rear Admiral A. Mahan, a prominent late XIX-century US geostrategist, emphasized the importance of the sea power, military activity, and the strategy of strangling Eurasian continental powers in the «anaconda coils», US President W. Wilson espoused the idea of a «peaceful» partition of rival countries and their subsequent occupation. US President W. Taft suggested using the US dollar as the instrument of subduing other nations. The common elements of those strategies were both the idea of the US global dominance and the notion that Russia had to be chosen as the prime target of such efforts.
H. Clinton’s approaches to international issues are not essentially new. This is no surprise – her foreign politics advisors – M. Albright and S. Talbott – are the authors of the US aggression against Serbs.
Continuity is an indispensable trait of the US foreign politics. B. Clinton’s presidency was marked by a powerful NATO and US attack on Yugoslavia. The course taken by his successor G. Bush envisions «a peaceful resolution» of the Balkan crisis. The partition of the former Yugoslavia continues in the form of the separation of first the Montenegro, and, as the next step, Kosovo from Serbia.
If elected, H. Clinton intends to do the same in Iraq. Currently, she is leveling criticism at G. Bush for the US military involvement in the country, but this should not be taken too seriously. Similarly, G. Bush criticized B. Clinton for Yugoslavia while being the presidential contender. This political ping-pong is a game routinely played by the US Republicans and Democrats. No doubt, in case H. Clinton makes it to the White House in 2008, she will bring to the completion the ongoing process of partitioning Iraq into three minor pseudo-independent states. Such is the general logic of the US global strategy implemented regardless of who is the current President.
H. Clinton stresses that leadership is «based on respect more than fear», while also explaining that «there is a time for force and a time for diplomacy». In other words, initially the US interests must be promoted with the help of civilian means (as it was in the case of S. Milosevic), and later comes the time to resort to force (as in the cases of Serbs, Iraqis, etc).
H. Clinton’s loud phrases concerning the peace plan for Iraq and the withdrawal of the US troops from the country are immediately offset by the statement that «...we will have to replenish American power by getting out of Iraq, rebuilding our military, and developing a much broader arsenal of tools in the fight against terrorism». The reasoning is the same as that of G. Bush. Consequently, we should expect to see point strikes against Al-Qaeda (a truly universal pretext) and some other terrorist groups, whose names are not hard to invent no matter what country is being dealt with. Consequently, US military bases will remain in the Iraqi Kurdistan even after their withdrawal from the southern and central parts of Iraq. By the way, G. Bush is already creating the infrastructure for deploying the US troops in Kurdistan, perhaps as a gift to give his successor.
One can discern only minor divergences in H. Clinton’s and G. Bush’s approaches to building up the US military might.
For example: «... I will work to expand and modernize the military ... the Bush Administration has undermined this goal by focusing obsessively on expensive and unproven missile defense technology... ». Seeking any kind of international balance is not even considered – the plan is to pursue the absolute US military and technological superiority. The problem with G. Bush as seen by H. Clinton is solely that he has not done a sufficiently good job to that end. By the way, just recently, the predominantly Democratic US Congress allocated some extra $100 mln to create a space shuttle with a strike capability, which is going to hit targets from the space orbit at distances over 16,500 km.
H. Clinton also pledges to raise the efficiency of the US intelligence community, to turn it into «a clandestine service that is out on the street, not sitting behind desks». Obviously, this refers to a focus on the operations abroad. H. Clinton clearly intends to use stick and carrot in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. Should Tehran refuse to accept the US terms, then no type of response will be ruled out. In this respect, there are no differences with the policy of the current Administration whatsoever.
Finally, what’s new in H. Clinton’s approach to the Russian-US relations? Her opinion is that Russia is among the countries which «... are not adversaries but that are challenging the United States on many fronts». The contentious issues include Kosovo, the alleged use of fuel supplies as the political leverage against Russia’s CIS neighbors, and Russia’s trying the patience of the US and Europe in what concerns nonproliferation and arms control (the latter is a clear reference to Russia’s freezing its participation in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), which was defunct anyhow).
And, of course, Mrs. Clinton criticizes V. Putin who has «suppressed many of the freedoms won after the fall of communism». She finds it inconceivable that Russia and the US might adhere to different interpretations of democracy and that Russia will never opt for the «US-style» democracy. Nevertheless, she is convinced that Russia should be engaged in resolving the international problems important to the US. Thus, the role reserved for Russia is that of an assistant (Moscow’s having a strategy of its own must be something impossible to imagine).
Speaking of H. Clinton’s foreign relations agenda, one concludes that the US goals in international politics have not changed over decades. Therefore, it does not make a great difference who exactly moves into the White House.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

food vs. energy

Food vs. Fuel

By Robert J. Samuelson

Wednesday, December 12, 2007; A29

If people can’t eat, they can’t do much else. One of the great achievements of the past century has been the enormous expansion of food production, which has virtually eliminated starvation in advanced countries and has made huge gains against it in poor countries. Since 1961, world population has increased 112 percent; meanwhile, global production is up 164 percent for grains and almost 700 percent for meats. We owe this mainly to better seed varieties, more fertilizer, more mechanization and better farm practices. Food in most developed countries is so plentiful and inexpensive that obesity—partly caused by overeating—is a major social problem.
But the world food system may now be undergoing a radical break with this past. « The end of cheap food » is how the Economist magazine recently described it. During the past year, prices of basic grains (wheat, corn) and oilseeds (soybeans) have soared. Corn that had been selling at about $2 a bushel is now more than $3; wheat that had been averaging $3 to $4 a bushel has recently hovered around $9. Because feed grains are a major cost in meat, dairy and poultry production, retail prices have also risen. In the United States, dairy prices are up 13 percent in 2007; egg prices have risen 42 percent in the past year. Other countries are also experiencing increases.
Higher grocery prices obviously make it harder to achieve economic growth and low inflation simultaneously. But if higher food prices encouraged better eating habits, they might actually have some benefits in richer societies. The truly grave consequences involve poor countries, where higher prices threaten more hunger and malnutrition.
To be sure, some farmers in these countries benefit from higher prices. But many poor countries— including most in sub-Saharan Africa—are net grain importers, says the International Food Policy Research Institute, a Washington-based think tank. In some of these countries, the poorest of the poor spend 70 percent or more of their budgets on food. About a third of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. That proportion has barely changed since the early 1990s. High food prices make gains harder.
What’s disturbing is that the present run-up doesn’t seem to be temporary. Of course, farming is always hostage to Mother Nature, and drought in Australia has cut the wheat harvest and contributed to higher worldwide prices. But the larger causes lie elsewhere. One is growing prosperity in China, India, other Asian countries and Latin America. As people become richer, they improve their diets by eating more protein in the form of meat and dairy products. The demand for animal feed grains rises. This has been going on for years and, until recently, was met by the steady gains in agricultural output from improved technology and management.
It’s the extra demand for grains to make biofuels, spurred heavily in the United States by government tax subsidies and fuel mandates, that has pushed prices dramatically higher. The Economist rightly calls these U.S. government subsidies « reckless. » Since 2000, the share of the U.S. corn crop devoted to ethanol production has increased from about 6 percent to about 25 percent—and is still headed up.
Farmers benefit from higher prices. Up to a point, investors in ethanol refineries also gain from the mandated use of their output (though high corn prices have eroded or eliminated their profits). But who else wins is unclear. Although global biofuel production has tripled since 2000, it still accounts for less than 3 percent of worldwide transportation fuel, reports the U.S. Agriculture Department. Even if all U.S. corn were diverted into ethanol, it would replace only about 12 percent of U.S. transportation fuel (and less of total oil use), according to one study.
Biofuels became politically fashionable because they combined benefits for farmers with popular causes: increasing energy « security »; curbing global warming. Unfortunately, the marriage is contrived. Not only are fuel savings meager, so are the environmental benefits. Substituting corn-based ethanol for gasoline results in little reduction in greenhouse gases. Indeed, the demand for biofuels encourages deforestation in developing countries; the New York Times recently reported the clearing of Indonesian forests to increase palm oil production for biofuel. Forests absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.
This is not a case of unintended consequences. A new generation of « cellulosic » fuels (made from grasses, crop residue or wood chips) might deliver benefits, but the adverse effects of corn-based ethanol were widely anticipated. Government subsidies reflect the careless and cynical manipulation of worthy public goals for selfish ends. That the new farm bill may expand the ethanol mandates confirms an old lesson:
Having embraced a giveaway, politicians cannot stop it, no matter how dubious.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

cossiga 911: opera della cia e del mossad


Osama-Berlusconi? «Trappola giornalistica»

«È un videomontaggio di Mediaset e fatto giungere ad
Al Jazira per rilanciare il Cavaliere in difficoltà»

ROMA - «A quanto mi è stato detto domani o dopo domani la più potente catena quotidiani-periodici del nostro Paese dovrebbe dare le prove, con uno scoop eccezionale, che il video (in realtà un audio, ndr) nel quale riappare Osama Bin Laden, leader del ‘Grande e potente movimento di Rinvicita Islamica Al Qaeda’, che Allah lo benedica!, nel quale sono formulate minacce anche all’ex premier Silvio Berlusconi, sarebbe nient’altro che un videomontaggio realizzato negli studi di Mediaset a Milano e fatto giungere alla rete televisiva islamista Al Jazira che lo ha ampiamente diffuso». Lo afferma il presidente emerito della Repubblica Francesco Cossiga in un comunicato.
«TRAPPOLA» - «La ‘trappola’ sarebbe stata montata, secondo la sopra citata catena di stampa, per sollevare una ondata di solidarietà verso Berlusconi, nel momento nel quale si trova in difficoltà anche a causa di un altro scoop della stessa catena giornalistica sugli intrecci tra la Rai e Mediaset», continua il senatore a vita. «Da ambienti vicini a Palazzo Chigi, centro nevralgico di direzione dell’intelligence italiana, si fa notare che la non autenticità del video è testimoniata dal fatto che Osama Bin Laden in esso ‘confessa’ che Al Qaeda sarebbe stato l’autore dell’attentato dell’11 settembre alle due torri in New York, mentre tutti gli ambienti democratici d’America e d’Europa, con in prima linea quelli del centrosinistra italiano, sanno ormai bene che il disastroso attentato è stato pianificato e realizzato dalla Cia americana e dal Mossad con l’aiuto del mondo sionista per mettere sotto accusa i Paesi arabi e per indurre le potenze occidentali ad intervenire sia in Iraq sia in Afghanistan. Per questo - conclude Cossiga - nessuna parola di solidarietà è giunta a Silvio Berlusconi, che sarebbe l’ideatore della geniale falsificazione, né dal Quirinale, né da Palazzo Chigi né da esponenti del centrosinistra!».
SOLIDARIETÀ - In realtà è giunta a Berlusconi la solidarietà per il governo di Vannino Chiti, ministro per i Rapporti con il Parlamento: «Esprimo la mia solidarietà a Silvio Berlusconi chiamato in causa, assieme ad altri leader europei, dal terrorista Osama Bin Laden nel suo messaggio di propaganda. Contro il terrorismo e contro queste farneticazioni deve essere forte l’unità delle forze politiche in Italia e l’impegno comune e la solidarietà dei popoli europei».

30 novembre 2007

Monday, 3 December 2007

l'amerique modere ses pretentions

Tigre de papier

Washington décrète un an de trêve globale
par Thierry Meyssan*

3 décembre 2007


À l’issue de deux ans de bras de fer à Washington, l’administration Bush-Cheney a fini par céder. Elle a accepté une suspension des grandes opérations militaires, à défaut de renoncer définitivement à sa politique de prédation tous azimuts. Thierry Meyssan décrit ce changement provisoire de cap et analyse ses conséquences internationales.

Le 29 novembre 2007, le président Bush annonce son nouveau budget militaire et refuse de le lier à un retrait d'Irak. Malgré la rhétorique martiale, il s'agit bien d'un pas en arrière. Le 29 novembre 2007, le président Bush annonce son nouveau budget militaire et refuse de le lier à un retrait d’Irak. Malgré la rhétorique martiale, il s’agit bien d’un pas en arrière.

Après plusieurs mois d’indécision, Washington a tranché. Depuis le début de l’été, plus aucune directive n’était émise en direction du « Grand Moyen-Orient », hormis pour la gestion de la crise pakistanaise. Les conflits pourrissaient en Palestine, au Liban, en Irak ; les signes les plus contradictoires se multipliaient en direction de l’Iran. Chacun attendait une prise de position claire de la Maison-Blanche, mais rien ne venait.

L’Empire, malade de sa puissance

Cette vacance de l’autorité illustrait une crise profonde des États-Unis.
Le bilan de sept ans d’administration Bush-Cheney, d’un point de vue des intérêts économiques transnationaux qui la contrôlent, est calamiteux. Certes, des sociétés comme Halliburton ou Lockheed-Martin ont réalisé d’extraordinaires profits, mais le système atteint un point de déséquilibre —sinon de rupture— qui se traduit à la fois par la crise du crédit immobilier (subprime) et par la plongée du dollar. C’est désormais la domination monétaire des États-Unis sur le reste du monde qui est en péril [1] au point que la Réserve fédérale a été contrainte de suspendre la publication de l’indice M3, en mars 2006, de sorte que la quantité de billets verts en circulation est désormais un secret d’État. De nombreuses institutions en ont conclu que Washington faisait fonctionner sa planche à billets et que le dollar n’étant plus adossé à une réalité économique sombrerait à moyen terme [2]. Le président du Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, a appelé les États non-alignés à quitter le Fonds monétaire international et la Banque mondiale et à co-fonder une nouvelle institution, la Banque du Sud [3]. Puis, il a invité les États membres de l’OPEP à ne plus commercer le pétrole en dollars [4]. Indépendamment de son rôle de monnaie d’échange, le dollar a déjà perdu partiellement sa fonction de monnaie de réserve : seules 65 % des réserves des banques centrales restent en dollars. Même les journaux fétiches de la City de Londres, le quotidien Financial Times [5] et l’hebdomadaire The Economist [6] ont sonné l’alerte. Pour les golden boys britanniques, mieux vaut s’accrocher aux monarchies pétrolières du Golfe qu’au dollar US.

La crédibilité militaire du Pentagone est entamée par ses déboires en Afghanistan et en Irak, et les plus hauts gradés de l’Armée de terre mettent en garde l’administration civile face au surdéploiement des troupes et à l’épuisement des GI’s. Sans attendre, la Russie et la Chine défient ouvertement l’hégémonie états-unienne en s’opposant au déploiement de missiles en Europe centrale, en fermant leurs ports à des bâtiments de guerre US en détresse, en multipliant les incursions aériennes de bombardiers dans la zone OTAN, en constituant une alliance militaire à peine déguisée (l’Organisation de coopération de Shangaï) à la fois pour bouter la CIA hors d’Asie centrale, pour entraîner conjointement et coordonner leurs forces, et pour soutenir l’Iran.

Le projet de la Maison-Blanche d’utiliser l’arme nucléaire tactique contre l’Iran à la suite d’une provocation qui aurait coûté à la Navy l’une de ses flottes a mis la classe dirigeante US en émoi [7]. L’amiral William Fallon, commandant en chef du CentCom (c’est-à-dire des forces US au « Grand Moyen-Orient »), et son état-major ont fait savoir qu’ils refuseraient d’exécuter un tel ordre et démissionneraient collectivement [8]. Des cercles militaires ont évoqué la responsabilité des officiers supérieurs d’éviter une guerre qui conduirait le pays à la catastrophe en organisant un coup d’État [9]. L’affaire du B-52 de la base de Minot [10] et de la mort des principaux témoins de cette opération, comme l’auto-destruction d’un satellite espion [11] laissent à penser que les tension internes sont extrêmes. Le sénateur et candidat démocrate Joe Biden a évoqué une procédure de destitution du président s’il donnait l’ordre d’attaquer l’Iran [12]. Tandis que le secrétariat à la Justice bruisse de rumeurs sur l’organisation d’un nouveau Watergate qui permettrait une fois de plus à la « gorge profonde » du FBI de faire tomber le président [13].

Le remède : le « pouvoir intelligent »

En décembre 2006, l’Iraq Study Group, une commission bipartisane de l’United States Institute of Peace médiatisée sous le nom de « Commission Baker-Hamilton », préconisait une remise en cause complète de la politique de l’administration Bush : retrait massif des troupes stationnées en Irak, et dialogue avec la Syrie et l’Iran. En d’autres termes, suspension —voire abandon— du projet de remodelage du « Grand-Moyen Orient ».
Résistant aux pressions conjuguées de ses amis républicains et de ses rivaux démocrates, l’équipe Bush-Cheney s’était contentée de sacrifier Donald Rumsfeld et de le remplcer au secrétariat à la Défense par un membre de la Commission, Robert Gates. Celui-ci a limité son action à l’arrêt du processus de privatisation des armées et à la mise en cause du principal sous-traitant, Blackwater.
Ce replatrage gouvernemental fut utilisé pour gagner du temps et élaborer un projet politique alternatif, basé sur autre chose que sur la force brute. Le Center for Strategic and international Studies (CSIS) [14], qui avait financé les travaux de l’Iraq Study Group, organisa une nouvelle concertation —cette fois loin des caméras— : la Commission bipartisane Armitage-Nye sur le « pouvoir intelligent ».

Outre que l’expression « pouvoir intelligent » (Smart Power) à de quoi faire sourire lorsque l’on pense qu’elle qualifie le contraire de la politique bushienne actuelle, elle doit être interprétée comme une synthèse entre le Hard Power classique (c’est-à-dire « la carotte et le bâton ») et le Soft Power (c’est-à-dire l’attractivité du modèle US), cher au professeur Nye.

Cette démarche répond à trois objectifs principaux :
- Accorder une pause aux personnels militaires épuisés par la guerre itinérante au « Grand Moyen-Orient » ;
- Garantir les revenus des grandes industries autres que le triptyque armement-énergie-pharmacie (logiciels, médias, entertainment, etc.) qui, loin de profiter de la guerre, perdent des parts de marché au fur et à mesure que se développe « l’anti-américanisme » ;
- Limiter les dépenses publiques alors que le budget du Pentagone se transforme en tonneau des Danaïdes et sape l’économie US.

La prescription : un an de convalescence

Trois axes ressortent de cette concertation :

- Washington renonce à passer en force sur tous les dossiers et à inspirer la crainte. Symboliquement, le camp de Guantanmo doit être fermé. L’administration abandonne à la fois l’unilatéralisme et la création de coalitions ad hoc pour revenir à la diplomatie classique. D’une manière générale, pour obtenir des soutiens à long terme, il convient d’associer le plus grand nombre d’États à la prise de décision et à son exécution. Les Nations unies sont le cadre le plus adapté en ce qui concerne le maintien de la paix, la reconstruction, la santé publique et la lutte contre le réchauffement climatique. Washington doit aussi donner l’impression de ne plus mépriser le droit international en signant l’une ou l’autre des conventions qu’il a rejetées.

- Washington renonce au principe actuel de la globalisation selon lequel la modernisation d’un pays y renforce les inégalités sociales. L’aide au développement doit être coordonnée, sinon centralisée, sur le modèle du Plan Marshall, de sorte que les populations acceptent le remodelage des sociétés car il s’accompagnera alors d’une amélioration de leurs conditions de vie. Une priorité sera donnée aux actions dans le domaine de l’hygiène (construction notamment d’infrastructures pour l’eau potable) et de la santé parce que ses conséquences positives sont visibles par tous. Elle passe par la création d’une agence US spécialisée et une réforme de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé. Les règles du commerce international doivent être amendées, via une relance du cycle de Doha, pour prévenir une généralisation de la pauvreté, source de conflits. Ce volontarisme doit s’accompagner au plan intérieur de réformes de sorte qu’au prochain ouragan Katrina, Washington manifeste sa capacité d’être un protecteur efficace.

- Ce réajustement politique passe par une suspension de toute action militaire d’envergure jusqu’à la prochaine élection présidentielle (ce qui n’interdit pas d’éventuelles manœuvres dans le désert du Darfour).

GIF - 62.6 ko
En marge de la conférence d’Annapolis, la Maison-Blanche donne son feu vert à la répression en Palestine.

Alors qu’il ne souhaite pas communiquer sur ce sujet en direction des opinions publiques, le département d’État a convoqué à Annapolis une conférence internationale sur la paix au Proche-Orient pour présenter la trêve aux grandes puissances [15]. L’ordre du jour n’y a pas été réellement débattu. Il s’est agi uniquement d’informer les participants d’une pause dans la colonisation de la région et de leur présenter un calendrier [16]. Le conflit israélo-palestinien est gelé pour un an. La proclamation des réserves palestiniennes de Gaza et de Cisjordanie en deux bantoustans est remise à plus tard, libre aux Israéliens de faire procéder par leur collaborateur Mahmoud Abbas aux actions de police qu’ils souhaitent.

La participation de la Syrie à cette conférence marque le désserrement de l’étau visant à isoler l’axe Damas-Beyrouth-Téhéran, tel que l’avait préconisé la commission Baker-Hamilton. Immédiatement, Serge Brammertz, chef de la mission d’assistance de l’ONU auprès de la justice libanaise, a été autorisé à confirmer que la Syrie n’est aucunement responsable de l’assassinat de Rafik Hariri. Le sous-secrétaire d’État David Welch a ordonné au délégué du gouvernement de facto libanais présent à Annapolis, Tarek Mitri, d’élire le général Michel Sleimane à la présidence de la République du Liban. Ce dernier, qui était qualifié de pro-Syrien il y a quinze jours encore, est aujourd’hui présenté comme « un candidat neutre et de consensus ». Il est pourtant le seul militaire au monde à avoir jamais vaincu les mercenaires islamistes de la CIA : sous son commandement l’armée libanaise —équipée pour l’occasion par la Syrie— a écrasé Fatah al-islam au camp de Nahr el-Bared.

De son côté, Mohamed el-Baradei, directeur de l’Agence internationale de l’énergie atomique (AIEA), a été autorisé à confirmer que le programme nucléaire iranien ne présentait aucun danger militaire à court ou moyen terme [17]. En outre, une quatrième réunion états-uno-iranienne a été convoquée à propos de l’Irak (où la résistance pro-iranienne tient en otage plus de 300 000 GI’s et sous-traitants). Surtout, le vice-amiral John Michael McConnell, directeur national du renseignement, a contraint les seize principales agences de renseignement US a rédiger une note de synthèse contredisant tous leurs rapports antérieurs : l’Iran aurait cessé tout programme militaire nucléaire depuis 2003 et ne serait pas en mesure de produire suffisamment de plutonium pour une bombe avant environ 2015 (voir document joint). L’attaque US contre l’Iran est donc reportée sine die. De même, le projet de démantèlement de l’Irak en trois États est renvoyé aux calendes grecques —ce qui a pour conséquence d’autoriser la Turquie à conduire des incursions au Kurdistan irakien. Le secrétaire d’État adjoint John Negroponte s’est immédiatement rendu au Kurdistan irakien pour annoncer le report du référendum sur le statut de Kirkouk.

L’infirmière : Condoleezza Rice

Le secrétaire à la Défense Robert Gates, dans son discours du 22 novembre à l’université d’État du Kansas, s’est efforcé d’habiller ce revirement politique dans la toge de la sagesse : les États-Unis doivent tirer les leçons de l’expérience, la force militaire ne suffit pas à gagner la paix, il est temps de renforcer le budget… du département d’État et de lui confier une partie du travail (voir document joint). Ce que confirme implicitement le président Bush, le 29 novembre au Pentagone, lorsqu’il présente son budget de guerre en retrait de 50 milliards de dollars par rapport aux estimations initiales.

Pour autant, les choses ne seront pas simples pour Condoleezza Rice : la suspension de la pression militaire est d’ores et déjà vécue comme un lâchage par certains alliés de Washington qui sont allés trop loin dans leur collaboration et se trouvent à découvert.
Cette suspension laisse aussi le temps aux adversaires des États-unis pour reconstituer leurs forces et à leurs rivaux pour étendre leur influence. La Russie l’a compris, qui vient d’obtenir d’accueillir la prochaine réunion sur l’avenir du Liban, en janvier à Moscou.
D’une manière générale tous ceux qui ont refusé de baisser la tête devant l’aigle américain sont aujourd’hui en position avantageuse. Ils doivent cependant rester prudents. D’une part parce que la Nationale Endowment for Democracy (NED) et la CIA ne manqueront pas de s’engouffrer dans l’espace laissé libre par le Pentagone et, d’autre part, parce que la trêve peut être une accalmie précédant une tempête.

Plusieurs questions restent en suspens : à défaut d’opération militaire d’envergure, le Pentagone frappera-t-il des objectifs périphériques (au Darfour par exemple) ? Combien d’hommes pourront être retirés raisonnablement d’Irak en un an sans perdre le pays ? Les diverses mesures de réorganisation administrative à l’étude (création d’un secrétaire d’État adjoint chargé du pouvoir intelligent, mise en place de nouvelles agences, et surtout limitation du département de la Sécurité de la patrie et rationalisation du Pentagone) porteront-elles assez rapidement leurs fruits ? Et enfin, l’arrêt de l’hémorragie budgétaire provoquée par la guerre d’Irak suffira-t-il à stopper la récession économique US ?

Selon les réponses à ces questions, les intérêts économiques qui contrôlent le gouvernement fédéral décideront de maintenir les républicains à la Maison-Blanche (avec Rudy Giuliani si possible) ou d’y faire entrer les démocrates. Quoi qu’il en soit, le véritable enjeu de cette trêve globale est de savoir si, dans un an, les États-Unis pourront encore prétendre à la suprématie mondiale.

[1] « Le talon d’Achille des USA », par L.C. Trudeau, Réseau Voltaire, 4 avril 2003.

[2] « Au revoir dollar, bonjour euro », par Emad Meka ; « La Banque asiatique de développement émet un avis de tempête monétaire », « Incertitudes sur l’économie mondiale », par la Banque des règlements internationaux (BIR), Réseau Voltaire, 9 février 2005, 10 avril 2006, 29 juin 2007.

[3] « Hugo Chávez propone a los No Alineados crear Comisión del Sur », Agence de presse cubaine/Réseau Voltaire, 16 septembre 2006.

[4] « Hugo Chavez demande à l’OPEP d’abandonner le dollar et de laisser plonger l’économie US », Réseau Voltaire, 18 novembre 2007.

[5] Lire notamment « Wake up to the dangers of a deepening crisis », par le professeur Lawrence Summers, Financial Times, 26 novembre 2007.

[6] Dossier : « The Panic about Dollar » , article « The falling dollar. Losing faith in the greenback », The Economist, 29 novembre 2007.

[7] « La Maison-Blanche sacrifiera-t-elle la Ve flotte pour justifier la destruction nucléaire de l’Iran ? », par Michael Salla, Réseau Voltaire, 18 novembre 2007.

[8] Entretien de l’auteur avec un témoin.

[9] Ce débat déborde dans la presse civile grand public. Voir par exemple : « Live discussion with Post staff writer Dana Priest », Washington Post, 27 septembre 2007. « The U.S. military’s role in preventing the bombing of Iran », par Glenn Greenwald,, 28 novembre 2007.

[10] « L’affaire du B52 de la base de Minot La mise en place de bombes nucléaires états-uniennes contre l’Iran ? », par Larry Johnson, Horizons et débats, 17 septembre 2007.

[11] « El « meteorito » que se estrelló en Perú sería más bien un satélite militar de observación de EEUU con plutonio-238 », Agencia IPI/Réseau Voltaire, 4 novembre 2007. « Est-ce qu’une attaque nucléaire des Etats-Unis contre l’Iran a été déjouée par la destruction d’un satellite ? », Horizons et débats, 1er octobre 2007.

[12] « Biden makes impeachment en campaign theme », The Nation, 30 novembre 2007.

[13] On sait aujourd’hui que c’est le directeur intérimaire du FBI qui avait distillé les fuites du Watergate et contraint le président Nixon à la démission.

[14] « CSIS, les croisés du pétrole », Réseau Voltaire, 6 juillet 2004.

[15] « Liste des délégations à la conférence d’Annapolis sur la paix au Proche-Orient », Réseau Voltaire, 27 novembre 2007.

[16] « Discours de George W. Bush à l’ouverture de la conférence d’Annapolis sur le Proche-Orient », Réseau Voltaire, 27 novembre 2007.

[17] « IAEA Head Briefs Board of Governors on Nuclear Issues », IAEA, 22 novembre 2007.

Documents joints

Discours de Robert Gates à l’université du Kansas, 26 novembre 2007 (original anglais)

(PDF - 144.2 ko)

« National Intelligence Estimate : Iran : Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities », 3 décembre 2007 (original anglais)

(PDF - 134.2 ko)

Thursday, 29 November 2007

hicups with ethanol and biofuels

Ethanol Craze Cools As Doubts Multiply

Claims for Environment, Energy Use Draw Fire; Fighting on the Farm

Little over a year ago, ethanol was winning the hearts and wallets of both Main Street and Wall Street, with promises of greater U.S. energy independence, fewer greenhouse gases and help for the farm economy. Today, the corn-based biofuel is under siege.

In the span of one growing season, ethanol has gone from panacea to pariah in the eyes of some. The critics, which include industries hurt when the price of corn rises, blame ethanol for pushing up food prices, question its environmental bona fides and dispute how much it really helps reduce the need for oil.


A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development concluded that biofuels "offer a cure [for oil dependence] that is worse than the disease." A National Academy of Sciences study said corn-based ethanol could strain water supplies. The American Lung Association expressed concern about a form of air pollution from burning ethanol in gasoline. Political cartoonists have taken to skewering the fuel for raising the price of food to the world's poor.

Last month, an outside expert advising the United Nations on the "right to food" labeled the use of food crops to make biofuels "a crime against humanity," although the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization later disowned the remark as "regrettable."

The fortunes of many U.S. farmers, farm towns and ethanol companies are tied to corn-based ethanol, of which America is the largest producer. Ethanol is also a cornerstone of President Bush's push to reduce dependence on foreign oil. But the once-booming business has gone in the dumps, with profits squeezed, plans for new plants shelved in certain cases, and stock prices hovering near 52-week lows.

Now the fuel's lobby is pleading with Congress to drastically boost the amount of ethanol that oil refiners must blend into gasoline. But formidable opponents such as the livestock, packaged-food and oil industries also have lawmakers' ears. What once looked like a slam-dunk could now languish in pending energy legislation that might not pass for weeks, if ever.

Ethanol's problems have much to do with its past success. As profits and production soared in 2005 and 2006, so did the price of corn, gradually angering livestock farmers who need it for feed. They allied with food companies also stung by higher grain prices, and with oil companies that have long loathed subsidies for ethanol production.

The U.S. gives oil refiners an excise-tax credit of 51 cents for every gallon of ethanol they blend into gasoline. And even though it's the oil industry that gets this subsidy, the industry dislikes being forced to use a nonpetroleum product. The U.S. ethanol industry is further protected by a 54-cent tariff on every gallon of imported ethanol.

Ethanol prices peaked at about $5 a gallon in some markets in June 2006, according to Oil Price Information Service. The price soon began to slide as the limited market for gasoline containing 10% ethanol grew saturated. New plants kept coming online, increasing supply and dropping prices further. Today, the oil refiners that purchase ethanol to blend in need pay only about $1.85 a gallon for it.

The low ethanol prices help some oil refiners. "I'd pay a hell of a lot more for ethanol than I am right now.... I'm getting a windfall because it's priced so much less than its value to me," Lynn Westfall, chief economist for refiner Tesoro Corp., told investors recently. The ethanol tax credit will bring refiners an estimated $3.5 billion this year. Some oil companies use ethanol to stretch gasoline supplies or meet state requirements to make gasoline burn more cleanly. Ethanol that's voluntarily blended into gasoline reached a high this month, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The low prices reflect soaring output. Global ethanol production has grown to a projected 13.4 billion gallons this year, from 10.9 billion gallons in 2006, according to the International Energy Agency. The U.S. production is more than half of that total, or about seven billion gallons this year, up 80% in two years. It equals less than 4% of U.S. gasoline consumption.

Analysts expect U.S. production capacity to keep growing, encouraged both by high oil prices and by the hope that Congress will stiffen the mandate for refiners to use ethanol. Some observers regard the profit squeeze as part of an ordinary industry shakeout that will ultimately leave the best producers in a position to thrive. As ethanol prices were pushed lower and corn prices stayed high, ethanol profit margins dropped from $2.30 per gallon last year to less than 25 cents a gallon.

Turning Up the Heat

This year, even as the production glut was driving down ethanol's price, critics and opposing lobbyists were turning up the heat. Environmentalists complained about increased use of water and fertilizer to grow corn for ethanol, and said even ethanol from other plants such as switchgrass could be problematic because it could mean turning protected land to crop use. Suddenly, environmentalists, energy experts, economists and foreign countries were challenging the warm-and-fuzzy selling points on which ethanol rose to prominence.

"Our love affair with ethanol has finally ended because we've taken off the makeup and realized that, lo and behold, it's actually a fuel," with environmental and various other drawbacks, says Kevin Book, an analyst at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc.

[Bob Dinneen]

Against all the criticism and lobbying, "we're David in this fight," says Bob Dinneen, the ethanol industry's top lobbyist. Mr. Dinneen says the industry has been made a scapegoat for food price increases that are due to many factors, including higher oil prices and growing overseas demand for grain. He also faults the lack of a mature U.S. distribution network that would make it easier for consumers to get ethanol. His group, called the Renewable Fuels Association, and the National Corn Growers Association have formed a coalition to "unify the voices" in the ethanol community, he says.

Back in early 2005, President Bush gave ethanol a boost in his State of the Union speech by calling for "strong funding" of renewable energy. Energy legislation that summer required oil companies to blend a total of 7.5 billion gallons of "renewable" fuels into the nation's fuel supply by 2012. The legislation also effectively extinguished ethanol's chief competitor as a clean-burning additive, methyl tertiary-butyl ether, which had groundwater-pollution issues. The bill anointed ethanol as the default additive and instantly created demand nearly double what was produced that year.

"That was when the floodgates started coming open," says attorney Dan Rogers of the Atlanta law firm King & Spalding LLP, which arranges financing for ethanol plants. Hedge funds, private-equity investors and East Coast bankers started pouring money into ethanol. Producers such as VeraSun Energy Corp. and Pacific Ethanol Inc. went public. Mr. Dinneen, the lobbyist, hopscotched the country attending ribbon-cuttings at new plants that popped up in corn-growing states.

Local farmers who'd invested soon were cashing handsome dividend checks, even as new demand pushed up the price of corn. After languishing roughly in the $2-a-bushel range for three decades, corn jumped to above $4 early in 2007. So far this year, it's averaging $3.35.

In the past, livestock farmers supported ethanol because it was good for the overall farm economy. But now they began to complain that the higher corn price cut sharply into their profits. A meat-producer trade group called the American Meat Institute took a stand against federal support for biofuels last December, joined soon after by the National Turkey Federation and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

The farm fissure widened when livestock, meat and poultry groups started coordinating their lobbying with the oil industry, in discussions helped along by former Texas Congressman Charles Stenholm, who now lobbies for both industries.

Packaged-food companies, too, began pushing back, as one after another blamed biofuels' effect on grain costs for hurting earnings. In June, Dean Foods Co., H.J. Heinz Co., Kellogg Co., Nestle USA, PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. sent a letter to senators saying that requiring greater use of ethanol would affect their "ability to produce competitively available, affordable food."

Ethanol's opponents also began to highlight reasons why ethanol might not be such a boon to the environment, citing some recent research studies.

Strain on Water Supplies

One by the National Research Council said additional ethanol production could strain water supplies and impair water quality. A spring 2007 report by the Environmental Protection Agency said that "ozone levels generally increase with increased ethanol use."

A study coauthored by Nobel-prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen said corn ethanol might exacerbate climate change as the added fertilizer used to grow corn raised emissions of a very potent greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide. The ethanol industry replies to that one with an Energy Department study concluding that use of ethanol reduces greenhouse-gas emissions by 18% to 28% on a per-gallon basis, provided that coal isn't used to run ethanol plants.

Opponents of ethanol also have hammered on an Agriculture Department projection that by 2010, less than 8% of the U.S. gasoline supply will come from corn-based ethanol -- and 30% of the corn crop will be used to make it. That suggests to some that the tradeoff between food and fuel is unbalanced.

At the same time, some foreign countries have been increasingly questioning ethanol. Mexico blamed it in part for contributing to rising prices of corn-based tortillas. China barred new biofuel plants from using corn, and Malaysia trimmed its biofuels production mandates. Cuban President Fidel Castro has called using food crops for fuel a "sinister idea." President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela ordered troops to secure his oil-producing nation's grain supplies, saying corn was to be used for food, not fuel.

The government of Quebec, which has offered loan guarantees for corn ethanol plants, recently decided not to initiate any new ones. Instead it will turn its attention to so-called cellulosic ethanol, which would be made from switchgrass, wood chips or other plant matter. It concluded that "the environmental costs of corn ethanol are higher than expected," says a spokesman for the province's minister of natural resources.

In recent months, U.S. lawmakers appear to have become more receptive to the anti-ethanol arguments. "People never thought they would have to make a trade between energy security and food security," says Jesse Sevcik, a lobbyist for the ethanol-opposing American Meat Institute.

The ethanol industry, accustomed to getting its way in Washington, hadn't faced such opposition before. It may not have helped that Mr. Dinneen, in a close echo of former Vice President Spiro Agnew's famous line, for months brushed off his foes as "nattering nabobs of negativity."

Mr. Dinneen says arguments about ethanol driving up food costs are overblown, in part because corn farmers will produce so much grain that corn prices will ease. But even though U.S. farmers this year planted their biggest crop since World War II, prices have stayed well above $3 a bushel, thanks to rising demand in developing countries and poor weather in some grain-growing nations. The price is expected to stay well above $3 next year as farmers shift some land from corn to two other crops whose prices have risen sharply, wheat and soybeans.

Bigger Plants

New and bigger ethanol plants, spurred by money from investors far from the Corn Belt, have contributed to production capacity that's expected to approach 12 billion gallons next year. But annual U.S. demand stands at just under 7 billion gallons.

So it's easy to see why the industry supports the Senate version of pending energy legislation, which includes a requirement that gasoline blenders use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022. Up to 15 billion gallons of this would come from corn-based ethanol. The rest would come from cellulosic ethanol -- an industry that now barely exists -- or other fuels. A similar bill passed in the House has no such provision.

Mr. Dinneen, who has been lobbying on ethanol so long he's known as the "reverend of renewable fuels," says he's "reasonably confident" Congress will raise the ethanol mandate. He says he's talking with the military, labor groups, Southern black churches and others about how ethanol can help them. "We've got to build the biggest, baddest coalition we can."


Write to Lauren Etter at

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Copyright 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007


Best of Campus Press Stories

Earth’s Eighth Continent

North Pacific Gyre traps flotsam.
It swirls. It grows. It’s a massive, floating ‘garbage patch.’

By David Reid

November 21, 2007

The Phoenix

Located in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii and measuring in at roughly twice the size of Texas, this elusive mass is home to hundreds of species of marine life and is constantly expanding. It has tripled in size since the middle of the 1990s and could grow tenfold in the next decade.
Although no official title has been given to the mass yet, a popular label thus far has been « The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. »
As suggested by the name, the island is almost entirely comprises human-made trash. It currently weighs approximately 3.5 million tons with a concentration of 3.34 million pieces of garbage per square kilometer, 80 per cent of which is plastic.
Due to the Patch’s location in the North Pacific Gyre, its growth is guaranteed to continue as this Africa-sized section of ocean spins in a vortex that effectively traps flotsam.
Few visitors
The cause for the Patch’s relative lack of acknowledgment is that the portion of the Pacific it occupies is almost entirely unvisited. It lacks the wind to attract sailing vessels, the biology to encourage fishing, and is not in the path of major shipping lanes.
What little air movement there is blows inwards, further trapping the garbage.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Marcus Eriksen, a director at the Algatita Marine Research Foundation, said that « with the winds blowing in and the currents in the gyre going circular, it’s the perfect environment for trapping. »
While the trash is in the ocean, it is doing what could be irreparable harm to sea life, the water it’s in, and eventually humans.
Plastic resists biodegrading. Instead, a plastic shopping bag or pop bottle will photo-degrade over time, meaning that it will break down into smaller and smaller pieces but retain its original molecular composition.
The result is a great amount of fine plastic sand that resembles food to many creatures.
Unfortunately, the plastic cannot be digested, so sea birds or fish can eventually starve to death with a stomach full of plastic.
Even if the amount of plastic in a creature’s body is not enough to block the passage of food, the small pellets act as sponges for several toxins, concentrating chemicals such as DDT to 1 million times the normal level.
This concentration then works its way up the food chain until a fish is served at our dinner table.
A deadly shining
Some birds, attracted to the shining in the ocean, approach the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in search of food. Marine researchers have commented that pelicans dissected in that area have stomachs so full of lighters that they resemble convenience stores. Sea turtles are also prone to mistaking plastic bags for jelly fish, which then cause their deaths or sit in their guts for the decades it takes the bags to break down.
In total, 267 species have been reported to have eaten from, or become entangled in, the Patch.
According to Chris Parry of the California Coastal Commission, regrettably little can be done to clean up the Patch, although many urge that a decreased reliance on plastic is the first step.
« At this point, » said Parry, « cleaning it up isn’t an option . . . it’s just going to get bigger as our reliance on plastics continues. »
« The long-term solution is to stop producing as much plastic products at home and change our consumption habits. »
Cleaning up the Patch will likely cost billions of dollars and, as an approximation, be more difficult than vacuuming every inch of the United States. The plastic and garbage reach more than 30 metres down into the ocean and a great number of organisms would be destroyed in the process.
So far, no country has so much as proposed a solution, presumably because no nation wishes to claim responsibility.
Even if all plastic usage were to stop immediately, future geologists would be able to clearly mark the stratum designating the 20th and 21st century by an indelible layer of plastic coating the world’s oceans.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

scot cop predicts terrorist nuke

source: sunday herald

Top police officer warns that nuclear attack is inevitable

By Rob Edwards, Environment Editor

Scotland must prepare for ‘absolute terror’

A NUCLEAR attack by terrorists causing widespread panic, chaos and death is inevitable and will happen soon, a senior Scottish police officer has warned.
Ian Dickinson, who leads the police response to chemical, biological and nuclear threats in Scotland, has painted the bleakest picture yet of the dangers the world now faces.
Efforts to prevent terrorist groups from obtaining
materials that could be made into radioactive dirty
bombs - or even crude nuclear explosives - are bound
to fail, he said. And the result will be horror on an
unprecedented scale.

« These materials are undoubtedly out there, and undoubtedly will end up in terrorists’ hands, and undoubtedly will be used by terrorists some time soon, » he declared. « We must plan for failure and prepare for absolute terror. »
Dickinson is assistant chief constable with Lothian and Borders Police, and has responsibility through the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland for protecting Scotland from chemical and nuclear attacks. He has been closely involved in co-ordinating the country’s counter-terrorism response.
He said: « An incident will continue for days and all the public will see is people dying without reason. What will we do when our children come home from school with blisters on their skin and their parents don’t know what to do?
« What happens if 10 deaths, 50 deaths, 100 deaths start occurring in an unconnected and random way all over the country? The public will be rightly and understandably terrified. »
Casualties caused by radiation, which most people don’t understand, would trigger widespread « panic and fear », said Dickinson. And the response of the emergency services « would be chaotic » because of a shortage of resources.
The police capability for dealing with the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threat - known as CBRN - needs to be increased, he argued. « I haven’t got as many officers with protective equipment as I would like, » he added. « We must prepare for the worst. »
Dickinson delivered his dire warnings to an international conference in Edinburgh last week. More than 300 experts from 70 countries were taking part in a high-level meeting organised by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency on the risks of nuclear terrorism.
The police response to a CBRN incident when it happened would have a « profound effect on our communities which should not be underestimated », he said. The protective clothing that officers would have to wear would look « terrifying ».
As Dickinson made the point in his speech on Wednesday, one of his fellow police officers appeared dramatically on the stage dressed head to toe in a regulation black protection suit. With his face completely obscured by a gas mask, the officer then walked slowly through the delegates seated in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
Decontamination after a radiation attack would be an « enormous cost », Dickinson contended. It would far exceed the multi-million pound bill for cleaning up the 50 premises contaminated with polonium-210 after the poisoning of the former KGB agent, Alexander Litvinenko, in London last year.
There would also be a huge drain on resources from having to reassure many people who were unharmed but worried. The additional monitoring and clean-up work would be « a major problem », he said.
Worldwide efforts to stem the spread of radioactive materials by the governments represented at the conference were vital, Dickinson concluded. « But the sad fact is that your work will fail. »
Dickinson’s nightmare analysis was backed up by Dr Frank Barnaby, a nuclear consultant who used to work at the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire. « The amazing thing is that this hasn’t happened already, » he told the Sunday Herald.
« We should expect it any minute. It’s an obvious thing for a terrorist to do. A primitive nuclear explosion would simply eliminate the centre of a city like Glasgow or Edinburgh. »
The Edinburgh conference heard a series of other warnings about the risks of radioactive materials being stolen and used to cause devastation.
« As the terrorists look for the next spectacular attack, we know that al-Qaeda in Iraq is calling on nuclear scientists to join in the jihad, » said William Nye, director of counter-terrorism and intelligence at the Home Office in London.
Richard Hoskins, from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Office of Nuclear Security in Vienna, revealed that there had been 1266 confirmed incidents in which radioactive materials had been stolen or lost around the world since 1993.
Most involved radiation sources that could be made into dirty bombs, although in 18 instances small amounts of bombs-grade uranium or plutonium had been seized.

chemtrails: the plot thickens

Toxic Barium In Chemtrails -
What It Means

By Dick Eastman


If a mass of barium is vaporized in space, within seconds much of the barium becomes ionized by the suns rays, producing a highly reflective ionic cloud which deflects newly arriving solar energy back into space, thereby preventing the ground from warming to the temperature it otherwise would have attained.
Cooler-than-otherwise surface temperature means the air immediately above the ground will not heat as much as it would have, not expand and rise (evacuate upwards) as it would have, and not create the lower air pressure (relative vacuum) in that location that would have obtained otherwise. In short, laying cloud causes air pressure to be higher in regions where the sun has been prevented from reaching the ground. Oversimplifying somewhat, it means that there will be less « pull » and more « push » affecting movement of air in neighboring regions of near-surface air than otherwise; and that, of course, means control of the weather.
By using this push-pull
(« high-pressure-block/low-pressure-suck ») technique, the movement of neighboring parcels of air—the parcels may be wet, dry, hot or cold, or rotating (cyclonic) -- can be redirected from the course that a super-high-speed computer pre-determined they would have taken to new courses calculated during the process. The calculations take into account (plug into the set of simultaneous equations that comprise the model) all of the variables (interacting factors) fed in real time from sensors collecting data from thousands of points in land, sea air and space. The planes laying reflective cloud change their course seveal times in the middle of a run as new computations dictate the latest requirements in the weather intervention to effect the desired result.
It is impossible to predict weather more than two or so weeks in advance, because of the errors that creep in each time you multiply a number shortened in the decimal places (man is limited in his data measurements to only so many decimal places and each time different measures are multiplied accuracy is lost, the prediction becomes accurate to fewer and fewer « significant figures. » But the fact that no one computation can predict weather too far ahead ( because of the just-mentioned rounding of data numbers that takes place both in the initial gathering data and in subsequent multiplication of these numbers in « running the model ») does not rule out effective weather modification, as mathematician John von Neumann pointed out. The problem of prediction is solved by continuous computing and building the desired weather effect through successive short-run approximations.
Clandestine weather modification is done by continuous high-speed computing generating tolerably accurate short range-predictions of ,1) what will happen without intervention and 2) what will happen towards the desired event given a « fitted » a trial intervention. When an intervention is found that moves the weather system closer to producing the desired effect, the CWM planes are instructed to execute that intervention. And even as the planes are heading to their assigned targets a new intervention is being computed for achieving the next approximation to what is needed to get what is wanted. In this way short-range interventions following one after another so that the final goal—a drought in one place, a flood in another, a hurricane landing on a particular point on a coast -- is attained. This is clandestine weather modification—also called weaponized weather modification—or perhaps more dramatically but no less accurately, playing God with peoples lives.

The new weather modification leglislation passed by Congress has been crafted to conceal, not to regulate this activity. The legislation does not recognize the technology and so these interventions are exempted. (It’s like a company continuing to sell a cancer-causing product simply because the Food and Drug Administration has not officially recognized this effect.)
Also, there are those who argue that the laying of ionized cloud is part of a benevolent plan to save the earth from global warming due to greenhouse-effect-producing gases in the atmosphere. While it is true that physicist Edward Teller did make such a proposal, the last thing you should think is that weaponized weather modification has anything to do with the government secretly saving us from global warming. Global warming a deception, the result of selecting the research, suppressing research, and differentially rewarding researchers for the conclusions they reach. Global warming is a cover for the use of weather technology by the most powerful people in the world for their own economic and geopolitical benefit. Global warming is more real than space aliens at Roswell or ray guns bringing down the twin towers of the WTC. Increased carbon dioxide is not a threat, but a potential boon to mankind. The global warming deception both conceals weather crimes (unlegislated crimes against humanity) for profit and it is used as an excuse for international agencies (copntrolled by the weather atrocity perpetrators themselves) to take over more of the economic activity of the human race.

Dick Eastman
Yakima, Washington

Clandestine Weather Modification

I spent several years on the « chemtrail issue », eventurally calling the activity « clandestine weather modification » and determining that it works like this:

The cloud cover that is generated causes the surface of the earth (land or sea) to be cooler than otherwise.
Cooler surface means the air directly above the ground or ocean will be less warmed than otherwise, which means less air will rise than would have risen otherwise, which means the pressure in that area will be higher than it would have been otherwise, which means that air flows will be redirected.
Note: Whenever a high pressure area is to your right you will have wind at your back. This is called the Buys-Ballot rule. Thus, to create wind at your back create high pressure at your right—or more specfically, have an aircraft lay cloud so that to your right the ground will be cooler with less thermal energy from the sun, with the near-surface air therefore less heated, and the pressure therefore higher. Explanation: Air does not just pour straight into a low pressure area. This is because of the spinning of the earth producing the Coriolis Effect. Try tossing a ball back and forth with someone while standing on a gigantic rotating platter. The air molecules are like the ball moving in straight lines over the rotating earth.

With this simple ability to create higher than otherwise pressure by laying cloud, if you have an amazingly high powered/fast computer (the National Science Foundation computer was the fastest known in the world the last time I looked) and a powerful enough weather model (systems of simultaneous equations with thousands of real data coefficients all continuously updated) then you can control major weather events with this proviso:
Even with the most complete data, the best model and the fastest computer, mankind’s continuing inability to gather data and compute data out to enough decimal places will yield eventual big-time error as approximation/estimate computations are multiplied too many times in the computation (fancifully called the « chaos » effect.) This limits the ability to predict weather in a single computation to perhaps a week or two.
However, this is enough to modify weather because all
that is needed is a succession of fresh short-term
interventions. Continuous inverventions and continuous
re-computing affording successive approximations to
the desired effect to enable clandestine weather modification; and so parcels of air that are hot or cold, wet or dry, spinning or not spinning, can be redirected.
If hot air is contained in one area, its movement slowed by high pressure areas blocking its usual movement, that air will become hotter, i.e. as when Yugoslavia was fried in 124 degree heat to bring down Slobodan Milosovic. The Sahara heat from the south was kept in the Mediterrainian area by chemtrailing—I call it « cloudtrailing »—creating high pressure in Central Europe where it would ordinarily have circulated. The air parcel hung in the Mediterrainain getting hotter and hotter.
Also when you put « chemtrailed » cloud cover over the central Pacific south of the equator, the higher-than-normal air pressure—remember the sea surface gets cooler than normal so the air above the sea does not get warmed as much -- the air does not rise as it would have; it does not create the relative vaccum (low pressure) to maintain the wind.
So in this way you stop the prevailing winds (the air moving west) and this in turn stops the South Equatorial Current normally pushed by those winds, which in turn stops the Peru Current behind it (replacing the water that went west) that normally brings cold arctic surface waters (and fish) up the west coast of South America. And you have created the El Niño effect which devestates the economies of many countries (including our own).
The conspiracy is that El Niño and other high-impact weather events really are under control of powerful private interests.
Of course there are other aspects to it: Using the spin of one system to accelerate another of smaller scale; changing the radius of a cyclonic system to speed it up; altering the intensity of hurricanes by seeding near the wall of the eye etc. My goal here is merely to convince you of the validity of one aspect of current CWM technology. I have merely presented the simple model of redirecting weather movements by the creation of high pressure zones. I do not deny that the weather is complex. Remember, the economy is not complex either, but the supply and demand model nevertheless provides players with power to predict and control economic events.
No critic on usenet weather and physics newsgroups has ever touched this argument. The science is rock solid and the computation, modelling, monitoring and cloud-laying systems all exist. Billions have been spent—and the elite does not spend money like that merely to know when to put their cars in their garages. No meterologist or earth scientist has agrued against what I am saying and many meterologists have said they are open to the possibility. An Israeli meterologist who read my articles on CWM on the Usenet in the late 1990’s informed me that Israel gets 21 percent of its rain from weather modification.
Also, National Science Foundation has given its weather models and global weather monitoring feedback to Red China, while it does not share this super data with the National Weather Service. The Chinese are the world’s experts in medium-term weather modification. Yet in the United States weather modification is a taboo subject. Americans still think of it in terms of cloud seeding or carboning the sky to warm and dissipate cloud (the van Stratton effect). We are left to guess what methods the Chinese use. My guess is that they use CWM.
I suppose I would have gotten further in getting the word out if I didn’t put so many ideas in one sentence all the time. Editing my own writing is impossible because when I try I only think of more qualifying and elaborating phrases to include, etc. I invite anyone to break down the above and put it out on their own. It never has recieved a clear statment for the general public.
The existence and criminal use of CWM is something that everyone in the world should be made to understand. Forget the « Global Warming » myth—which I believe is mere cover for what is really being done. The people who brought you 9-11 are capable of doing a lot worse with CWM—in fact they already have.
One more thing: The people who are controlling the weather are more interested in destroying crops for geopolitical purposes (weaponized weather modification) and for economic purposes than for « benefiting farmers. » If you buy agricultural commodities futures (rights to buy farm products in the future at a given price) and then destroy this crop around the world using CWM to raise the price (supply and demand) you really « make a killing » in every sense of the word.
Did I mention that hurricane systems can also be steered by this process? A hurricane is simply a spinning parcel of air. The rotating parcel moves along like any other parcel of air, pushed and pulled by differences in air pressure in neighboring regions. There is as much money to be made following a hurricane as there is following the invasion of a Muslim country. Katrina? And remember, the ruling minority are Malthusians—they think it is doing God a favor to kill off surplus population. In this way they justify their depradations.

And were tornadoes in Washington D.C. on recent year meant to send the same message as the anthrax scare?

Google Dick + Eastman + Clandestine Weather Modification in google groups from about 1998 to 2002 and you will see about a hundred messages with documentation, first hand observation, an inventory of the technology at the service of clandestine weather modification, debate, and forwarded letters sent to me from individuals around the world—including a letter from a man who layed chemtrails over the Indian Ocean but didn’t know what the mission was about.
Unfortunately I left all this behind me following 9-11 and especially after the Pentagon security camera video was released in March 2002.
One more thing: When you tell people about this they just reply by dropping the name HARP as if that magic word makes everything I have uncovered about the true purpose of « chemtrailing » irrelevant and so is forgotten. HARP is a system that can heat parcels of air (whatever else it does) and so can create low pressure areas, instead of high ones, -- or so I speculate—but that does not change the fact that creation of high pressure areas by laying cloud is being done with disastrous effects on agriculture, water needs, farm communities, all regions hit by steered cyclonic weather and the general economy.
Bottom line: Chemtrails—cloudtrails -- although less conspicuous than in the late 90’s (perhaps because some of us are on to them) is still being done and it is still mass-murder and a crime against humanity if there ever was one.

My thanks to Jackie Patru for her helpful editing of this text.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

saudi fm defends dollar at opec meeting


Oil leaders’ private debate televised by mistake

Tim Webb in Riyadh

Sunday November 18, 2007

The Observer

‘Kill the cable, kill the cable,’ shouted the security guard as he burst through the double doors into the media room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh, followed by Saudi police. It was too late.
A private meeting of Opec leaders, gathered this weekend in Riyadh for the cartel’s third meeting in its 47-year history, had just been broadcast to the world’s media for more than half an hour after a technician had mistakenly plugged the TV feed into the wrong socket. The facade of unity that the cartel so carefully cultivates to a world spooked by soaring oil prices was shattered.

Sometimes, such innocent mistakes can have far-reaching economic and political consequences. Commodity and currency traders said this weekend that oil prices would surge again tomorrow - possibly breaking the $101 per barrel record set in the late 1970s - while the already battered dollar would fall further on the back of the unintentional broadcast.
On Friday night, during what the participants thought were private talks, Venezuela’s oil minister Venezuela Rafael Ramirez and his Iranian counterpart Gholamhossein Nozari, argued that pricing - and selling - oil using the crippled dollar was damaging the cartel.
They said Opec should formally express its concern about the weakness of the dollar when the cartel makes its official declaration at the close of the summit today. But the Saudis, the world’s largest oil producers and de facto head of Opec, vetoed the proposal. Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, warned that even the mere mention to journalists of the fact that leaders were discussing the weak dollar would cause the US currency to plummet.
Unfortunately his words and those of everyone at the meeting were being broadcast via a live television feed to a group of astonished reporters. ‘I couldn’t believe it,’ said one who was there. ‘When I realised they didn’t know they were being broadcast live, I frantically started taking notes.’
Opec only realised that the leaders’ row was being broadcast to the world when the Reuters news agency put out a report of the argument.
The weakness of the dollar is one reason why oil prices are so high, as cartel members seek to
compensate for their lower earnings. This means a further drop in the dollar is likely to be accompanied by a rise in oil prices.

chavez leads opec against drowning dollar


Chavez Uses OPEC Summit To Blast U.S.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 17, 2007(CBS/AP) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned the Unites States on Saturday that oil prices could more than double if Washington attacked his country or Iran - part of a provocative opening address here to a rare OPEC summit.
The Venezuelan leader also appealed to fellow members of the Organization of Petroleum Countries to join his crusade for social justice, saying the group should be « at the vanguard in the fight against poverty. »
After Chavez’s speech, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, the conservative head of the world’s largest oil exporter, appeared to rebuke the leftist president by insisting « OPEC has always acted moderately and wisely. »
« Oil is an energy for development, it should not become a tool for conflict and emotions, » said Abdullah, a strong U.S. ally.
The king also sought to head off Chavez’s attempt to reshape OPEC in his socialist image, saying the organization « has not overlooked its responsibilities to developing countries and poverty alleviation. » He highlighted that the OPEC Fund for International Development has made donations to over 120 developing countries.
The OPEC summit opened Saturday in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh with heads of states and delegates from 13 of the world’s biggest oil-producing nations. It was the third OPEC summit since the organization was created in 1960.
But Chavez’s comments overshadowed another controversial discussion, whether to drop the dollar as the standard for pricing petroleum, reports CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston.
In part, the move was political—to embarrass the United States, but there are also basic economics involved. The value of the dollar against foreign currencies is dropping, which in turn is one of the reasons oil prices are rising.
Some OPEC members, including Saudi Arabia and Algeria opposed the idea, which was put forth by Venezuela and Iran, fearing the move could trigger a recession in the U.S. and damage America’s ability to keep buying huge quantities of crude.
« We would like to see the dollar, you know, stabilized, » said Algeria’s minister of energy and mines, Chakib Khelil.
Some economists say this talk signals global concern about the strength of the U.S. economy and foreign investor confidence in the dollar, reports Pinkston.
« If foreigners decide we don’t want to hold dollars anymore, and they start to sell dollars for other assets like euros, that means that our dollars buy a lot less in the world, » said Benn Steil, director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Some analysts say OPEC’s threat to ditch the dollar is a bluff, reports Pinkston. OPEC nations have billions of dollars in their reserves, and a sell off would hurt them, as well as the U.S., which buys more oil than any other nation in the world.
Chavez used his position as the summit’s opening speaker to further his faceoff against the U.S. « We are witnessing constant threats against Iran, » Chavez said. « If the United States attempts the madness of invading Iran or attacking Venezuela again, the price of oil is probably going to reach $200, not just $100, » Chavez said.
The Venezuelan president has accused Washington of backing a short-lived 2002 coup against him—a claim U.S. officials strongly deny.
The U.S. is at odds with Iran over its nuclear program, which Washington claims is cover for weapons development and Tehran insists is peaceful.
Chavez’s calls to OPEC to increase its efforts to redistribute wealth to the world’s poorest countries were equally strident, proposing the group « put itself at the forefront in the design of a new international economic structure. »
Prior to the summit, the Venezuelan president had suggested OPEC sell oil to poor countries at much lower prices than those paid by wealthy nations. During Saturday’s speech, he also suggested the group set up a bank to fund increased international development.
During his address to a hall full of heads of state, ministers and journalists, King Abdullah sought to redirect the focus back toward one of the summit’s key agenda items, which was OPEC’s efforts to mitigate the impact of the oil industry on the environment.
He announced that Saudi Arabia would donate US$300 million to a program for environmental research, and urged fellow member countries to do the same.
He also countered Chavez’s views of OPEC with a more traditional representation, saying the group has had « two essential objectives » since its creation: « First to defend the interest of its members, and second to protect the international economy from sudden shake-ups in oil prices and supplies. »
The run-up to the meeting was dominated by speculation over whether OPEC would raise production following recent oil price increases that have closed in on US$100.
U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman called on OPEC to increase production earlier this week, but cartel officials have said they will hold off any decision until the group meets next month in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Both Chavez and Abdullah potrayed the current price of oil as fair, saying it was close to the levels in the seventies and eighties when adjusted for inflation.
Also, OPEC officials have cast doubt on the effect any output hike would have on oil prices, saying the recent rise has been driven by the falling dollar and financial speculation by investment funds,rather than any supply shortage.

© MMVII, CBS Interactive Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Friday, 16 November 2007

imf: bric account for 50% of world's growth

How China is eating the world

China’s remarkable economic growth is powering the
global economy, but can the world afford to keep on
supplying its ever-growing demands for food and raw

By Sean O’Grady

09 November 2007

Economists are notorious for being unable to reach an easy consensus on many issues, but talk to any of them about the outlook for the global economy and before long the word « China » always starts to dominate the conversation. And it is true that the robustness of Chinese economic growth – around 10 per cent forecast for 2008, barely changed on recent trends – is picking up the pace being lost by faltering Western economies. Trouble is, they’re also eating the world – literally, in the case of food supplies.
According to the IMF, about half of the world’s economic growth this year will be accounted for by Brazil, Russia, India and China – the BRICs. India, staggeringly, is contributing more growth to the world economy than the United States, but China is by far the most powerful engine of growth – more so than the US, the eurozone and Japan combined. So, « China saves the world » – or at least helps to maintain global economic growth around the 5 per cent mark. Were it not for China and these other emerging economies, the world might well be staring a recession in the face.
Yet this phenomenon is not an unalloyed economic good. As yesterday’s news about Rio Tinto and BHP demonstrates, the commodities price boom has led to huge valuations for companies in this field; great for their shareholders, but another signal that the insatiable Chinese demand for oil, copper, zinc, nickel and all the other raw materials of industrialisation is pushing the prices of those commodities to ever-higher peaks. The International Energy Agency warned yesterday that Chinese and Indian crude oil imports will almost quadruple by 2030, creating a supply « crunch » as soon as 2015. Research from ING suggests that marginal Chinese demand for oil, as a percentage of the growth in total consumption, rose to around 72 per cent in 2006, from 10 per cent in the 1980s. This marginal demand could grow to close to 100 per cent of total consumption growth in 2007.
Such an appetite brings with it its own dangers, both to China and the rest of the world. As China pushes the price of oil higher, for example, we in the UK are threatened with « slowflation » – where a slowing economy coexists with higher prices of fuel – and food. Were the British economy to slow to a stop –just possible in say a year – we would see the return of stagnant output plus inflation – the « stagflation » last experienced in the UK in the early 1980s. This is all developing because commodity inflation is spreading into a second phase covering the so-called « soft commodities », as China’s burgeoning middle classes develop a taste for a more Western style of eating, enjoying foods such as milk, pork and beef that were once scarce. Like other peoples suddenly able to expunge the memories of socialist starvation, the Chinese are overcompensating for their malnourished past. Thus they have become a net food importer, probably for the first time in their very long history (socialist-inspired famines apart). There’s also an aspect of culture; as China embraces the West so its young people are more given to hanging around the branches of Starbucks, McDonald’s and KFC that have popped up all over the prosperous east of the nation. The rice bowl is giving way to the burger and shake. The world is seeing some dairy prices up 200 per cent, the cost of wheat doubling and pork up 50 per cent.
In the past decade alone, meat consumption in China has been rising at an average of 2kg per capita per year, a pattern mirrored elsewhere. Over the past few decades, consumption of meat in developing countries has grown at a rate of 5 to 6 per cent a year; consumption of dairy products at 4 per cent. Meat consumption is growing 10 times faster in newly industrialised countries than in, say, bacon-loving Britain. Poultry is the fastest growing sector worldwide; it represented 13 per cent of meat production in the 1960s, compared with 28 per cent now. Poultry is the most efficient means of converting grain into animal protein; the less palatable truth is that it is more effective to eat the grain directly.
Agricultural inflation – « agflation » in another of these modish phrases – is not entirely down to the Chinese. There are other factors. Freakish weather conditions across the world haven’t helped: hurricanes in Florida and floods in England affect the cost of the orange juice and brussels sprouts on your dining table. (Then again, China’s breakneck rush for coal-powered growth, and our own profligacy, have caused the global warming that may have intensified these storms.)
Then there’s the switch to biofuels which has pushed grain prices higher. So called « phase one » biofuels –bioethanol (a petrol substitute or additive) from grain and biodiesel from palm oil – have met with opposition from environmentalists. Palm oil production has encroached on the remaining rainforest in Indonesia. We are only at the start of the process. Credit Suisse’s economist Andrew Garthwaite points out that biofuels make up 3.5 per cent of US gasoline consumption. In January, President George Bush pledged a biofuel target of 20 per cent of US fuel consumption within 10 years. This means more of America’s corn harvest being put into the tanks of cars rather than the bellies of Mexicans, with upward effects on the price of grain: « The 35 billion gallons of ethanol required to meet the 20 per cent target will account for 40 per cent of the US corn crop by 2017, » Mr Garthwaite says. Worldwide, « the combined impact of these targets commits 238 million acres or 12 per cent of global arable and permanent cropland to biofuel production ». Crucially, though, « second generation » biofuels will use waste material and be a more unequivocally green and economical option; the stalks of grain crops rather than their seeds; surplus cellulose from paper mills; grass cuttings from your lawn.
The big picture, according to Credit Suisse, is that, globally, demand for food and biofuels will grow at about 3.3 per cent per annum – compared with the historic average of 2.3 per cent. Can supply – of food and other commodities – keep pace with a step change in demand?
It was Thomas Malthus who predicted, way back in 1798 as the West was undergoing the transformation China and India are now, that the tendency for populations to rise at a geometric rate while agricultural production rises at an arithmetic rate would constrain population growth through periodic famines. Malthus was wrong, because he failed to foresee the rapid growth in agricultural productivity – crop rotation, selective breeding and mechanisation. Agronomists are scarcely less imaginative today, yet there are political, environmental and physical obstacles which make the business of extracting more crops for fuel and food tricky. Genetic modification, for example, is viewed with deep suspicion by some shoppers, and politicians have shown themselves unwilling to take on the voters’ prejudices. Ditto the supermarkets, at least in the UK.
Apart from China, Brazil, Indonesia and Argentina have the greatest potential for increased acreage and urbanisation, but the environmental cost – itself an economic burden that will have to be shouldered –ought to restrict incursion on pristine environments. When it comes to productivity – the factor that saved the world from a Malthusian nightmare 200 years ago –things are looking a little grim. In the case of cereals, productivity has grown at only 1.3 per cent in the past 20 years.
So the outlook is for agricultural, commodity and oil prices to carry on rising. The $100 barrel of oil could be just the start. Bad news for Britain and the West – but worse for poorer peoples. Countries such as Bangladesh with large and growing populations but who are net importers of food will feel the effects badly (on top of dealing with rising sea levels in the Ganges delta). The less developed the economy, the greater the share of food prices in the shopping basket, and thus the bigger the impact on standards of living. In the West, food accounted for about 18 per cent of headline inflation in 2007; in eastern Europe it was 33 per cent, and in the Middle East 52 per cent. Everywhere, and especially in the least-developed regions, there will be a regressive redistribution of income, from the very poorest to the relatively well off, as food accounts for such an overwhelming proportion of the living costs of those at the bottom of the heap. In China that means the rural poor, already a source of anxiety of Beijing as it seeks « balanced » growth. Everywhere, pressure on water supplies and migration will inevitably follow.
We may grumble about another few pence on the price of a loaf and the £1 litre of petrol, but we should also be aware that those nations emerging from poverty –
China, India, Brazil – are exacting a heavy price on those left behind.