Archive | October 25, 2016

America’s Biggest Banks are Closing Hundreds of Branches*

America’s Biggest Banks are Closing Hundreds of Branches*

Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan shut 389 branches since the third quarter of last year.

moneyblackholeBank of America, which had over 6,000 branches before the financial crisis has now shrank to 4,629, according to third quarter accounts.  The bank has cut 112 financial centres from last year.

Paul Donofrio, CFO of Bank of America, said the closing of branches was part of a “shift to self-served digital channels, mobile, online, and ATM” in a 3Q earnings call transcript.

According to the 3Q earnings report, the bank has 21 million mobile banking active users and 18% of deposit transactions are completed through mobile devices.

 “That’s better for customers, it’s also better for our shareholders,” said Donofrio.

“It’s one-tenth the cost of walking into a branch.”

“So it’s a quality versus quantity and making sure we understand,” said CEO Brian Monihyan on the earnings call. “I’d say we went from seven million visits probably four to five years ago to six to five. But those five are of a higher quality, and we think that’s important.”

There are less bank branches, but the ones that stand reflect changing customers’ behaviors. As consumers opt to go online for transactional services like check deposits, bank branches now emphasize more value added services that “you just have to do face to face” and are adding more mortgage and investment specialists.  They are becoming a place to come for advice according to life events – mortgages, investments, saving for college.

And the cuts aren’t just in terms of bank branches but also in headcount. Bank of America indicated back in June that it planned to cut over 8,000 jobs from its consumer banking division. According to retail banking head and consumer banking co-head Thong Nguyen at a June conference, this is part of a broader cost-cutting and resource reallocation program to meet with consumers’ changing banking habits.

Bank of America isn’t the only bank to restructure its branches. When Citigroup announced its third-quarter earnings last Friday, October 14, it revealed its branch count has shrunk 7% in North America from the third quarter of last year and is down 116 banks globally to 2,679.

“We have spent the last several years reshaping our branch network, upgrading technology and deepening our focus on our core six markets, enabling us to grow revenues while reducing expenses and significantly improving the profitability of our retail bank,” Citigroup CFO John Gerspach said on the 3Q earnings call.

Earlier this year, Citi Global Perspectives and Solutions (GPS) produced a report that found that banks are quickly approaching their “automation tipping point,” and they could soon reduce headcount by as much as 30%.

“Banks’ Uber moment will mean a disintermediation of bank branches rather than the banks themselves,” the report said.

“Specifically, it will mean the shift to mobile distribution being the main channel of interaction between customers and the bank,” the report reads.

That means that there will be less need for bank branches, and the people who work inside them.


Related Topics:

Iceland Jail Top Bankers For 46 Years, Europe ‘Outraged’*

Brexit: 2 Minute Pound Crash ‘Suspicious’ Says Bank of England*

Deutsche Bank Keeping Customers from Accessing Their Money*

Central Banks now Asking Governments for Help*

Germans “Lose Faith in Banks”, Rush To Buy Safes*

A New Digital Cash System was Just Unveiled at a Secret Meeting for Bankers In New York*

The Global ‘War on Cash’: A Country by Country Guide*

Ban Cash to Help Central Banks stinks of Total Control – NWO’s Cashless Society*

India trying to ‘implode’ Pakistan*

India trying to ‘implode’ Pakistan*

Imran Khan claimed that India was trying to

Imran Khan claimed that India was trying to “implode” Pakistan.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan on Tuesday claimed that India was trying to “implode” Pakistan and sabotage moves against corruption.

The 64-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman also accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of being a “security risk” to the country.

“A new doctrine has originated in India which aims to implode Pakistan because they have failed to defeat us militarily,” Imran told reporters outside his residence here before leaving for Quetta, where ISIS militants attacked a police training centre.

“…to make Pakistan descend into chaos without any reforms,” he said, adding that India did not want an inside political reform movement to succeed.

Noting that corruption and militancy funding in Pakistan “run side by side”, Imran also called Sharif a “security risk” for the country as the Prime Minister was only interested in saving himself from the accountability in the wake of the Panama Papers leaks .

“His only aim is to save himself from the repercussions of the revelations regarding his corruption in Panama leaks,” he said.

The PTI leader also demanded the government highlight the names of those government officials who were involved in leaking crucial information regarding a high-level security meeting in Islamabad.

Two days ago, the PTI leader had warned that Nawaz Sharif would be responsible if a “third-force” stepped in as a result of his party’s lockdown of the Pakistani capital next week to press the demand for Sharif’s resignation on corruption charges after the publication of ‘Panama Papers’.

Though the cricketer-turned-politician did not name the “third force”, his statement seemed to refer to the powerful military establishment, a key player in Pakistani politics.

Imran Khan accused the government of defaming the Pakistan Army on the pretext of PTI’s protest.

‘Panama Papers’ are not accusations but evidence of the Prime Minister’s corruption, Imran claimed

According to the Panama Papers, three of Sharif’s four children – Maryam, Hasan and Hussain — were owners of offshore companies and “were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies.”

Sharif and his family have dismissed the allegations of money laundering and denied any wrongdoing but the opposition is demanding an independent probe.


Related Topics:

Pakistan: 25,000 March to PM’s Office*

CIA Vaccine Program in Pakistan*

Britain’s Seven Covert Wars*

Whoever Controls Eurasia Controls the World*

What the Grenadian Revolution Can Teach Us About People’s Power*

What the Grenadian Revolution Can Teach Us About People’s Power*

By Ajamu Nangwaya

The collapse of the Grenadian Revolution on 19 October 1983 should be carefully examined for the lessons that it might offer to organizers in the Caribbean who are currently organizing with the labouring classes. If the working-class shall be the architect of its liberation, the process of revolution-making should enable them to fulfill that role. Fundamental change should not be the outcome of a vanguard force that usurps the initiative of the people. Self-emancipation of the people, as advocated by Walter Rodney and C. L. R. James, is the prudent and humanistic approach to struggle, if “all power to the people” is not simply an exercise in empty sloganeering.

The Grenadian Revolution of 1979-1983 was the most significant revolutionary political development or experimentation in the post-independence Anglophone Caribbean. This Caribbean revolution broke away from the inherited Westminster political governance of British imperialism and embraced the ideological path of revolutionary state socialism. The latter path was a rejection of capitalism that is associated with genocide, slavery, indentureship and continued neocolonialism in the Caribbean.

Ken Boodhoo makes this assessment of the legacy of the Grenadian Revolution: “The 1979-1983 experiment in Grenada will undoubtedly be regarded by historians as one of the major progressive mile-stones in the region’s history.”2 This revolution was the result of centuries of resistance to capitalist exploitation, anti-African racism, oppression of women and European domination in the Caribbean.3 This Grenadian Revolution was greeted with enthusiasm and solidarity within the ranks of progressive forces across the Americas.

Unfortunately, internal conflicts over political direction and organisational leadership structures and practices within the New Jewel Movement (NJM) between its two major leaders, Prime Minister Maurice and Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, led to a palace coup and the disarming of the revolution and the people. On 19 October 1983, the army fired on the people, executed Bishop and other leaders (Jacqueline Creft, Norris Bain, Fitzroy Bain, Unison Whiteman and Vincent Noel) and imposed a four-day round-the-clock curfew on the country. The leaders and civilians were murdered after the people released Bishop from house arrest and stormed Fort Rupert, the army’s headquarters.

The Revolutionary Military Council was declared the new sheriff in town on 20 October 1983 and the people were effectively chased away from the staging of history as its principal actors.5 This repressive development officially communicated to the people that power was never located in their mass organizations and workers, zonal, and parish councils, the erstwhile grassroots democratic organs of the Grenadian Revolution. The men and women at the top of the NJM’s organisational food chain, a distinct minority, were and have always been the effective rulers of revolutionary Grenada, notwithstanding the leadership’s claim that it was constructing a system wherein the people are the decision-makers.

The means that we use to pursue or achieve revolutionary outcomes will unavoidably shape the processes, relations, programmes and political, economic and social institutions in the emancipated society. When some revolutionaries dismiss the general operationalising of the notion “the end justifies the means” or “by any means necessary,” their concerns or critiques extend beyond an action that might not be guided by a moral code of action.

These revolutionaries are preoccupied with the real fear that the means unguided by strict moral or ethical guidelines could undermine the goals and practices that are the foundation of the very society being pursued by the forces of human emancipation. With respect to the Grenadian Revolution, authoritarian means could not have given birth to the following end – the self-emancipation of the people. Effective control, initiative and power must be in the hands of the working-class in order for it to carry out the tasks associated with the development of a socialist society.

The NJM mimicked the organizational processes, structures and beliefs and spirit of the Leninist model of organising the people for revolution. It went in this direction after the failure of the series of mass protest actions of 1974 and January 1975 to overthrow the entrenched, authoritarian and repressive Eric Gairy regime, even with one mass protest that attracted 20,000 participants. The expected spontaneous uprising of the masses did not materialize and the NJM looked for other models of fomenting a successful insurrection.

After 1974, the NJM embraced the idea and practice of the Leninist vanguard party with its restrictive and exacting membership criteria, a hierarchical, commandist organisational structure and a conspiratorial, secretive ethos.7 This approach to the exercise of power was maintained during the tenure of the People’s Revolutionary Government of 1979-1983.

During the present period of struggle, it is critically important for organisers to centre self-emancipation or the people taking centre stage in the theorizing and practical actions that are executed in the movements for peace, dignity, justice, respect and socialism. The Grenadian Revolution has taught us that power-from-above as expressed through a vanguard party and an all-powerful state coupled with community-based consultative structures is not a substitute for the direct exercise of power by the working-class and other oppressed groups.

Based on the accumulated experience of the working-class with revolutionary or radical parties that have captured state power, it should be clear that the power to make the final economic, social and political decisions are usually sequestered in the hands of the politicians, party bosses and the bureaucracy. Today’s organisers cannot ignore the fact that top-down decision-making structures are a fundamental character of the state. The preceding state of affairs is hostile to the possibility of the people shaping the decisions that impact their lives.

The revolutionary socialist or communist society will be a stateless one. If means are ends in a state of becoming that which is self-consciously desired or planned, the state with its hierarchy, centralist nature and power-from-above tendencies cannot serve as the instrument for engendering socialism. Since 1917 to today, we have almost one hundred years of revolutionary history to examine the capacity of the state to engender the self-organisation of the masses. The venerable Caribbean Marxist C. L. R. James was also skeptical of the ability of the state to promote socialism with the self-management of the people over the workplace and the rest of society’s critical institutions.

The programmes, projects and institutions that emerge from the organising work of the revolutionary organizers in the Caribbean should reflect the participatory democratic or self-emancipatory principles and practices that will be found in the future socialist or communist society. The organisations and institutions of the labouring classes should be laboratories that prepare the people for the communist or anarchist society that will be classless, stateless and self-organised by the people.

Therefore, as we organise against the exploitative and alienating nature of the capitalist workplace, the revolutionary organisers and the people must embrace labour self-management as a way to get the working-class ready for a society in which capital is under the control of the workers. This self-organization or self-emancipatory philosophy, attitude and beliefs should be extended to all areas of activities in the organising that is done in the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas.

The Grenadian Revolution has made it clear that the hierarchically organized and centralist vanguard party and the overwhelming power imbalance between the state and civil society will not give birth to a socialist society that is defined by the self-emancipation of the labouring classes. Imperialism’s acts of aggression and destabilization cannot serve as an excuse to not actualize the self-organization of the masses.


Related Topics:

Britain’s Secret Plan for the Invasion of Grenada*

Britain Expert Facilitators in Sectarian Violence*

Yellow Journalism, and the Truth Behind the Jonestown Massacre*

Whistle Blowing from the Caribbean Sea Can Be Heard from Space*

The U.S. Coup against Venezuela has Served to Strengthen Caribbean Unity

U.S. Prolonging Dutch Neo-Colonialism in the Caribbean*

A Star Child Speaks, Calls for Humanity to Wake Up*

A Star Child Speaks, Calls for Humanity to Wake Up*

By Mary Rodwell

The idea that a 9-year-old girl can heal water is astounding enough! Find out what else she can do and the message she has for humanity. An Excerpt from the forthcoming book The New Human by Mary Rodwell. I received the following email about a nine-year-old from Northern Europe who speaks about her ability to ‘heal’ water through star languages. She also gives her perspective on God and her Mission:

“Poor us. poor kids who come to volunteer; we have such a difficult time ahead of us, a real fight. I am here to help my family ‘wake up,’ EVERYONE is sleeping.”

Cathy’s Mother:

“My nine-year-old daughter speaks ‘star languages’ to heal water. I live in Northern Europe and have four children. At the time of my first pregnancy, a ‘voice’ told me my children were not mine.

They would only come through me. These children belong to no one. It wasn’t until recently that I was aware there were such things as extra-terrestrials.

My nine-year-old daughter is a special girl who finds the conventional world and rules difficult. She asks me why isn’t she allowed to do things her own way. Cathy has healing abilities and dictated some healing words in an ET language to purify water.

I noticed the water actually tasted different afterward. She says that star languages are from a place outside of the Universe.

Cathy receives messages in ET languages and understands what they are saying to her. She says that they are important.

I showed her your presentation, where a woman does healing and writes several ET languages. My daughter responded with joy and excitement, ‘She knows what I have written’.”

Astounding as Cathy’s claim may be, a scientist from Northern Europe is researching ways to energize water and explains how this could be possible.

Dr. Ohlson (Ph.D.) is a Swedish scientist referred to previously as coining the term letter people.. She is also studying water and its properties.

Dr. Ohlson States:

“As a scientist, the spiral formations I’ve been working with in my water research, such as loading energy back in water, helps healing recharges and strengthens the energy field, the aura. Healing works on a cellular level, whether you believe it or not.

“The healing from my hands affected the protein binding to a gene P53, which plays a role in turning genes on and off. Rightly used, it could be bliss for humanity in rebuilding our earth.”

Masaru Emoto, the former Japanese scientist, demonstrated in numerous scientific tests, the crystalline nature of water and how it can be programmed, purified and changed by frequencies through certain types of music, prayer, and human intent.

Note: For studies that have demonstrated how frequency and intent can alter the crystalline nature of water see: Masaru Emoto and The Hidden Messages in Water.

God: A Different Perspective

Cathy’s mother continues:

“Cathy doesn’t use the word God as she says it’s misused. She calls It a ‘BEING’ who resides in the ‘DAY LIGHT.’ It is an ‘OVER TERRESTRIAL’. Day Light is where we all originate.

“God is not a man or woman. It has no gender. This Being sowed the seed of Light and Love, and it’s where the light and angels live.

Cathy has ‘helpers’ who guide and teach her. One of the beings is called ‘Emenoke’, a female and is blue, has no hair or ears; her eyes are like human eyes, only bigger.

The green guide is male. She has a helper from Day Land (dimensions), who helps her understand what her guides tell her. She says ‘my friends are here all the time.’

The Knowledge:

“Cathy’s spirit ET friends have given her information in seven books (not real books, but this is the best way she can describe them).

  • The red book is about creation and our origins.
  • The brown one is about different planets and the life there.
  • The light green one is about nature, and how we can make contact with plants and animals and understand nature.
  • The dark green one is about the body, how it really works and how we get it to evolve.
  • The blue book is about light and truth.
  • The red-brown book she can’t open yet, because ‘a dragon took the key’ from her sometime in the 1700s.
  • The black book explains about darkness and evil and is dangerous.

All the books contain important information.”

Schools, Educational Systems – What is Wrong

Cathy spoke via an interpreter on Skype:

“What they teach in schools is inaccurate. They program you like computers and shut out your light. There is nothing good about this system.

The children are programmed, the teachers just push the keys. The children already contain the learning we need, but they don’t allow the children to expand on it and finish because we have to stop and do something else.

The information is set and rigid at school. The school programs are like a virus, it destroys what we have inside us and when we are like the computer, which is old, and we grow up, we will be finished. We lose access to information we had at the beginning.

But education is only one of the ways this happens. Our inner core can be destroyed by too much stress, facing multiple tasks, less sleep and more anxiety. We are deliberately destroyed.”

The Potential of Humanity, Imagination and Making Something a Reality:

“Everything is possible.”

“People need to know we can do anything we desire. When children play by using their imagination, it’s not just imagination. When we stop them by saying they can’t do this or that, it stops them making it a reality.

“What they are imagining can be a reality. What at this time we call imagination can be reality. We say it’s not possible, but everything is possible. We need to believe it, then we will have this capacity. When we rediscover what we can do, we can achieve our full potential.”

Humanity Has to Believe in Itself:

“It is difficult, because first of all, we don’t believe it, then if we believe but still have doubts, this prevents us from reaching this potential. We have to be at a point within ourselves to get in touch with our REAL truth in order to achieve this.

“There is a certain time we will achieve it, and if one person does, it will spread to other people, and this is the way it will start. But at what time I can’t tell you.”

Cathy shares why the star kids have come to this planet at this time:

“The star kids have come to show us the way. They are the ones to start the process, helping the rest of humanity to wake up.”

Cathy says she is from Evening Land, to help us evolve. When her purpose is accomplished, she will go to the Day Light. We have already been in Day Land, but because we wanted to have more experiences, we came to this planet.

The beings in Contact with her, like Emenoke, do not live on another planet. They are located at the ‘edge of the universe’ in the White Light.

“The ‘light orb’ is sent to protect us. My little brother has a blue orb that protects him.”

Mary: “You said he will also be a teacher ˗ in what way?”

Cathy: “He will be my teacher, as I will be, and he will be home schooled so he will retain true knowledge.”

M: “What do your guides teach you?”

C: “They are teaching me different knowledge so I can teach adults. The danger is that it can be changed and then the true information is lost. Then people get confused and lost by making fun of the star children, or not believing them. Many Star Kids are destroyed by education.”

M: “How many star kids are there?”

C: “Forty or fifty percent of people of a hundred, but many get lost and only twenty percent will remember who they are.”
“We Have to Wake Up!”

“The beings want us to wake up and see reality as it is, to understand how powerful we really are. Some individuals from Day Land and Evening Land have come here to help humanity with the Awakening.

“It’s very dangerous to come here to help because our past life memories can be deleted at birth and some of this is destroyed by society and education, drink and drugs. Those who come here are aware of the dangers and still want to come and help. We are not awake yet.”

M: “How can we wake up?”

C: “We have to increase our energy as we don’t have the energy required; it’s stolen from us.”

M: “How can we protect our energy?”

C: “At present, we only have point five percent (.05%) of our energy. We need to have one point five percent (1.5%).

How might we begin to increase our energy? Cathy says:

  • Don’t get angry about small things.
  • Don’t speak on mobile phones for a long time.
  • Don’t eat white sugar.
  • Don’t watch TV.
  • Don’t use microwaves.
  • Don’t have wireless internet.”

“Something important will happen in the next five years on this planet. The parents have to listen to us. We need to educate the parents.”

Cathy told me that her purpose here on earth is to get her family to wake up and to protect her little brother because he is important for humanity. By this, she means he will become her teacher when he grows up, as he will, in turn, help humanity wake up.

Cathy then says:

“Mary has BIG ears. She listens. Most adults don’t.”


Related Topics:

Top Secret Water

Emoto: The Passing away of a Legend

Millions Of American Men Exposed To Feminizing Chemical In Drinking Water*

U.K. to Put Fluoride in Milk for School Children*

Social Engineering and an Inconvenient Tooth

Healing with Water: An Indigenous Approach*

Eight Ways to Safely Take Charge of Your Health While Avoiding Toxic Vaccines*

WiFi — an Invisible Threat to all Life*

Evolution: God’s Game

Schooled in Nature: There’s a way to Teach Children Without Colonizing Their Minds*

PhD Teacher Quits: “The Disorder is in the System, not the Children”*

Indigo Children!? Will Smith’s Kids Showing the Other side of being Young Today*

US-led Coalition Airstrikes Kill 60+ Civilians in Mosul*

US-led Coalition Airstrikes Kill 60+ Civilians in Mosul’s Residential Area*

Over 60 civilians have been killed and at least 200 injured during three days of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes on residential areas in Mosul, the Russian military reported.

There were numerous attacks of the U.S.-led coalition targeting residential areas, schools, and other civilian objects both in Mosul and in other parts of the Iraqi Nineveh Governorate,” Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, head of Operations in the Russian General Staff, told journalists on Tuesday.

We are closely monitoring the situation around Mosul. So far we see no substantial progress in liberating this city from the terrorists of ISIS,” he added, referring to the terrorist organization Islamic State by its former name.

According to the Russian military, among the civilian objects hit by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes was a school for girls in southern Mosul, which was attacked last Friday.

The general described the situation around the Iraqi city on the sidelines of a report about Russia’s action in Syria, where Moscow and Damascus continue a pause in the offensive in Aleppo, which is divided between the Syrian Army and various armed groups, including the terrorist organization Al-Nusra Front.

Rudskoy said that Russia has not conducted sorties over and around Aleppo since last Tuesday and intends to continue holding off the warplanes. Fighting on the ground in the city resumed on Sunday, after a three-day unilateral ceasefire was derailed by insurgents, who prevented civilians from fleeing the battered city.

Iraq’s Mosul is being besieged by a ragtag coalition of uneasy allies, which includes Iraqi government forces, Shiite militias, Kurdish troops, and the Turkish Army. The US-led coalition is providing air support for the operation, which was launched a week ago.

IS fighters have since launched a number of raids on their opponents’ communications, distracting the attacking forces from Mosul. No fighting inside the city has been reported yet, although several neighbourhoods were seized during the offensive.


Related Topics:

What You Aren’t Being Told About The Iraqi ISIS Offensive*

Iraqi Army Drops Leaflets over Mosul ahead of Battle*

The Collapse of Iraq’s Mosul Dam*

The Oil-Gas War Over Syria*

Syrian Catholics Denounce Western Media Biased Reporting on Aleppo*

‘I would Rather be in Aleppo’ than in the U.K.*

U.S. Suffers Massive Defeat as Terrorists Crushed in Northern Aleppo*


The Oil-Gas War Over Syria*

The Oil-Gas War Over Syria*


By Eric Zuesse

Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency, though government-run, is providing remarkably clear and reliable diagrammatic descriptions of the current status of the U.S – and – fundamentalist – Sunni, versus Russia – and – Shia – and – NON – fundamentalist – Sunni, sides, in the current oil-and-gas war in the Middle East, for control over territory in Syria, for construction of oil-and-gas pipelines through Syria supplying fuel into the world’s largest energy-market: Europe. Russia is now the dominant supplier of both oil and gas, but its ally Iran is a Shiite gas-powerhouse that wants to share the market there, and Russia has no objection.

Qatar is a Sunni gas-powerhouse and wants to become the main supplier of gas there, and Saudi Arabia is a Sunni oil-powerhouse, which wants to become the major supplier of oil, but Saudi oil and Qatari gas would be pipelined through secular-controlled (Assad’s) Syria, and this is why the U.S. and its fundamentalist-Sunni allies, the Sauds, and Qataris, are using Al Qaeda and other jihadists to conquer enough of a strip through Syria so that U.S. companies such as Halliburton will be able safely to place pipelines there, to be marketed in Europe by U.S. firms such as Exxon. Iran also wants to pipeline its gas through Syria, and this is one reason why Iran is defending Syria’s government, against the U.S.-Saudi-Qatari-jihadist invasion, which is trying to overthrow and replace Assad.

Here are the most-informative of Anadolu’s war-maps:

The first presents the effort by many countries to eliminate ISIS control over the large Iraqi city of Mosul. A remarkably frank remark made in this map is “An escape corridor into Syria will be left for Daesh [ISIS] so they can vacate Mosul” – an admission that the U.S. – Saudi – Qatari team want the ISIS jihadists who are in Mosul to relocate into Syria to assist the U.S. – Saudi – Qatari effort there to overthrow and replace the Assad government:

The second is about the Egyptian government’s trying to assist the Syrian government’s defense against the Saudi – U.S. – Qatari invasion of Syria, at Aleppo, where Syria’s Al Qaeda branch is trying to retain its current control over part of that large city. The Saud family are punishing the Egyptian government for that:

Here is Russia’s proposed gas-pipeline, which would enable Russia to reduce its dependence upon Ukraine (through which Russia currently pipelines its gas into Europe). Obama conquered and took over Ukraine in February 2014 via his coup that overthrew the democratically elected neutralist Ukrainian President there:

In addition, there is the following map from


That map shows the competing Shiia (Russia-backed) and Sunni (U.S.-backed) gas-pipelines into Europe — the central issue in the invasion and defense of Syria.

On 21 September 2016, Gareth Porter headlined «The War Against the Assad Regime Is Not a ‘Pipeline War’», and he pointed out some errors in Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s account that had been published under the headline «Syria: Another Pipeline War». Porter argued: «It’s easy to understand why that explanation would be accepted by many anti-war activists: it is in line with the widely accepted theory that all the US wars in the Middle East have been ‘oil wars’ — about getting control of the petroleum resources of the region and denying them to America’s enemies.

But the ‘pipeline war’ theory is based on false history and it represents a distraction from the real problem of U.S. policy in the Middle East — the U.S. war state’s determination to hold onto its military posture in the region». Porter ignored the key question there, as to why «the US war state» has a «determination to hold onto its military posture in the region». Opening and protecting potential oil-gas-pipeline routes are important reasons why. Clearly, Kennedy’s documentation that the CIA was trying as early as 1949 to overthrow Syria’s secular government so as to allow to the Sauds a means of cheaply transporting their oil through Syria into Europe, remains unaffected by any of the objections that Porter raised to Kennedy’s article. The recent portion of Kennedy’s timeline is affected, but not his basic argument.

Furthermore, any military strategist knows that «the U.S. war state» is intimately connected to the U.S. oil-and-gas industries, including pipelines («oilfield services») as well as marketing (Exxon etc.). And Porter got entirely wrong what that connection (which he ignored) actually consists of: it consists of U.S. government taxpayer-funded killers for those U.S. international corporations. Here is how Barack Obama put it, when addressing graduating cadets at West Point, America’s premier military-training institution:

Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. And even as developing nations embrace democracy and market economies, 24-hour news and social media makes it impossible to ignore the continuation of sectarian conflicts and failing states and popular uprisings that might have received only passing notice a generation ago.

It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world. The question we face, the question each of you will face, is not whether America will lead, but how we will lead – not just to secure our peace and prosperity, but also extend peace and prosperity around the globe.

He was saying there that America’s military is in service to U.S.-based international corporations in their competition against those of Russia, Brazil, China, India, and anywhere else in which «rising middle classes compete with us». Those places are what Gareth Porter referred to as «America’s enemies».

Economic competitors are «enemies». Obama thinks that way, and even a progressive journalist such as Porter doesn’t place into a skeptical single – quotation – mark – surround, the phrase ‘America’s enemies’ when that phrase is used in this equational context. On both the right (Obama) and the left (Porter), the equation of a government and of the international corporations that headquarter in its nation — the treatment of the military as being an enforcement-arm for the nation’s international corporations — is simply taken for granted, not questioned, not challenged.

RFK Jr. was correct, notwithstanding some recent timeline-errors. Syria is «Another Pipeline War», and Obama is merely intensifying it. (On 9 November 2015, I offered a different account than RFK Jr. provided of the recent history — the Obama portion — of the longstanding U.S. aggression against Syria; and it links back to Jonathan Marshall’s excellent articles on that, and to other well-sourced articles, in addition to primary sources, none of which contradict RFK Jr.’s basic view, «Syria: Another Pipeline War».).

Another portion of Porter’s commentary is, however, quite accurate: America’s ‘Defense’ (or mass-killing-abroad) industries (such as Lockheed Martin) are not merely servants of the U.S. government, but are also served by the U.S. government: «the US war state’s determination to hold onto its military posture in the region» is protection of the major market — the Middle Eastern market — for U.S. ‘Defense’ products and services. It’s not only America’s firms in the oil, gas, and pipelines, industries, which benefit from America’s military; it is also America’s firms in the mass-killing industries, that do.

To the extent that the public (here including Barack Obama and Gareth Porter) do not condemn the presumption that «the business of America is business», or that a valid function of U.S. – taxpayer – funded military and other foreign-affairs operations is to serve the stockholders of U.S. international corporations, the hell (such as in Syria) will continue. Gareth Porter got lost among the trees because he failed to see (and to point to) that forest.


Related Topics:

Corporate Media Silent on M.E. on Israel and Turkey Strike on Syrian Oil Deal*

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Syrian Catholics Denounce Western Media Biased Reporting on Aleppo*

Syrian Catholics Denounce Western Media Biased Reporting on Aleppo*

By Alexandra Nucci

A nunnery in West Aleppo that has been targeted by terrorists

A nunnery in West Aleppo that has been targeted by terrorists

Earlier this month Carmelite nuns in Aleppo wrote to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need to denounce skewed reporting in the international media, citing only the most recent examples of unreported tragedies in the western part of Aleppo that is under fire, not from the Syrian government, but from rebel-held East Aleppo:

“As you already know from the reports that have reached the West, the air strikes on Aleppo are frequent. But the situation in West Aleppo is no better, even though the media won’t report it. This bias in the news is very painful to us, because of the things we witness each and every day, directly or indirectly, through the information we get from priests or from trustworthy people close by, of the plight of many of the neighbourhoods in the West of the city, where more and more people are being killed by grenades, by missiles, and by ever-more sophisticated weapons, or are succumbing to the total lack of water and electricity, which have been cut off by the enemy; the West too counts dozens of dead and injured, daily. […]”

Bishop Antoine Audo, SJ, head of Caritas Syria and Chaldean bishop of Aleppo, corroborated the Carmelites’ words in an interview with Vatican Radio:

“The testimony of the Carmelite nuns is reliable,” said the bishop.

“To us it’s important to let people know that in the Western part of Aleppo, where there are two million inhabitants, many Christians have left because of the bombs that are being dropped everywhere and every day, with no one saying a thing. For example, yesterday morning they bombed a school in the Christian quarter, killing four or five children, and injuring some 50 people. A school!”

“I think,” Bishop Audo added, “that those who control the information in the West have a political agenda. We must, as Christians, as honest people, ask who is behind this manipulation, this exploitation of the media. And I think that if the war goes on like this not only will there will be soon be no one left in Aleppo. Whoever can, leaves. Only those who can’t leave are staying on, which means the poor and the elderly. Little by little it will be the end of this wonderful Christian community of Aleppo. This is our drama and our pain. We try to do everything we can. We say: ‘Peace! Peace! Peace!’ but on the side of the rebels there is no peace but ‘War! War! War!’ which will they continue all the way to destruction.” […]


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