Showing posts from November, 2009

Is the Chinese economy overheating?

The overproduction in China is partly a result of the global recession that has caused demand for exports to be very much reduced. However, China will attempt to compensate to some degree for this by increasing domestic demand. The domestic market itself could be huge and no doubt there could be much greater demand within that market if credit is made available to Chinese consumers. However, Cowen could be correct that there still may be a bubble that will burst. However, I think that it is the US that needs to worry more about its economy than China at this stage and it is the US not China that needs to worry about debt!

The New York Times / November 29, 2009

Economic View
Dangers of an Overheated China


PRESIDENT OBAMA’S recent trip to China reflects a symbiotic
relationship at the heart of the global economy: China uses American
spending power to enlarge its private sector, while America uses
Chinese lending power to expand its public sector. Yet this
arrangement may unravel i…

The Lobo victory in Honduras

Another wealthy rancher is president of Honduras but presumably this one has enough sense not to alienate fellow members of the elite by raising the minimum wage etc. While as the article mentions many countries will still shun Honduras they can rest easy in that the US and its allies do recognise the elections and will soon declare that everything is on the up and up and the aid pipeline will be turned back on and also the military co-operation. The US never did withdraw troops or even its ambassador. The entire negotiations were a complete fraud. The negotiations were supposed to negotiate the return of Zelaya to the presidency but instead they negotiated the Micheletti plan of never allowing him to return and of legitimizing the presidential elections. This is the new smart diplomacy.

Victory declared in Honduras poll
November 30, 2009
By Rory Carroll

• Rancher Porfirio Lobo takes presidential election
• While some party, others vow to fight on for Zelaya

Within hours of the polls closin…

Obama Smart Power strategy legitmized Honduran coup

It is interesting that Costa Rica will recognise the elections a sure sign that Arias immediately gave in to US pressure after having been rebuffed and made to look like a fool by Micheletti and company. Micheletti has managed to outsmart the OAS. In the case of the US it appears the idea was that it should be outsmarted all along since its avowed policy of rejection of the coup was a facade for an actual policy of accomodating the coup government.

Sunday, November 29, 2009
Obama's "Smart Power" Helps Legitimize "Smart Coup" In Honduras?

Henry Kissinger said in the seventies, "if we can't control Latin America, how can we dominate the world?" This imperial vision is more evident today than ever before. Obama's presence in the White House was erroneously viewed by many in the region as a sign of an end to US aggression in the world, and especially here, in Latin America. At least, many believed, Obama would downscale the growing tensions with its …

The predictable US response to Honduran vote.

There will be inflated reports about turnout and no mention of the withdrawal of the independent candidate. No doubt the Honduran Congress will now be emboldened to not ratify the agreement that would return Zelaya to power. The agreement has long been dead anyway since the Zelaya side interpreted it as involving the Congress voting before the election to restore him and then a unity government would be formed. Micheletti delayed the vote until after the election and had no intention ever of reinstating Zelaya. The US went along with this circus. The US will be able to dragoon a few allies in Latin America to join in recognising the results and over time no doubt others will cave in as well but there will be a lasting rancorous relationship between the US and many Latin American countries at this diplomatic farce on the part of the US. This is from hondurascoup.

Monday, November 30, 2009
State's Rich Fantasy Life
The US State Department has weighed in on the election results in Hond…

US Air Force Document altered to Disguise Intentions of Colombian military accord

This analysis is quite revealing in that an analysis of the relevant Air Force documents provided by the US government itself shows clearly that the US intends to use the Colombian bases to project US military power throughout Latin America. It is not surprising that countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and others are concerned about the situation. Historically the US has attempted to control South America and considers it an important US sphere of influence but some Latin American countries are asserting more independence from the US than the US can countenance. There is no new policy change by the Obama administration just a change in rhetoric. The most that has happened are minor changes in the relationship with Cuba. This is from Venezuelanalysis.

Washington Alters U.S. Air Force Document to Hide Intentions Behind Military Accord with Colombia

November 27th 2009, by Eva Golinger
In an explicit attempt to hide Washington’s military objectives in South America, a U.S. Air Forc…

Mike Whitney: Blame Larry Summers for Double-Dip Recession

Whitney believes that there should be another stimulus package to create jobs but that since this is politically unsaleable as well as other reasons economic advisors such as Summers have changed their own positions and opted for the typical more conservative tactic of helping small business with loans and also tax cuts. Whitney should have noted that the AFL-CIO also wants more money devoted to loans for small business. This policy is more saleable than another stimulus. The earlier stimulus did not produce that many jobs and also did not keep unemployment from rising above 8 per cent. Indeed it is over ten per cent so it is not surprising that Summers changed gears. Personally I think that although there may not be a double dip recession that there will be a stock market correction and that recovery will be very slow in the US. It is countries such as India and China that are already doing reasonably well that will lead the way out of recession. The US will be drowning in debt and a…

Pakistan PM fears Afghan escalation will destabilize Balochistan

The U.S. does not really care about the difficulties the surge may cause for Pakistan. They will insist that Pakistan battle the many militants who will simply cross the border into Pakistan. However, Pakistan already is facing a separatist threat in Balochistan. If the separatists team up with militants from Afghanistan there could be real trouble for Pakistan. Pakistan already worries about having sufficient troops for offenses against the Taliban in the tribal regions and also to guard the border with India. No doubt the cozy relationships the US is developing with India will not go down well in Pakistan and will create an even stronger anti-American sentiment in the country.

News From -
Pakistan PM: US Escalation in Afghanistan Will Destabilize Balochistan

Posted By Jason Ditz

Speaking just days before President Obama unveils a massive new escalation in neighboring Afghanistan, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani warned that he is increasingly concerned that the es…

Governor's son charged in Philippine Massacre

The slaughter seems to have been quite indiscriminate. If the article is correct that 29 journalists were killed this would be a record of sorts I am sure. One wonders why 29 journalists would be covering this event even if the election convoy was of considerable interest locally. That the perpetrators thought they could get away with this unscathed is remarkable. Even Arroyo probably cannot protect her loyalists when they engage in actions such as this.

Governor’s Son Charged With Leading Philippines Massacre

Posted By Jason Ditz

Andel Ampatuan Jr, the mayor of a town in the Maguindanao Province and son of the province’s governor, has turned himself in today and will face murder charges for his alleged role in this week’s massacre of 57 people in an election convoy.

The Ampatuan family is politically powerful in Maguindanao and Andel Ampatuan Sr. held the governorship unopposed for three consecutive terms. Andel Jr. reportedly led local police and militia members to stop the convoy car…

US Left not protesting Obama's Afghan war.

Raimondo has a point. Of course one could also ask what the left was doing supporting Obama in the first place given his position on the Af-Pak war. He was gung-ho from the get go. But the imagination of the majority of the US left is bounded by the two party system a sign that the US left like the two party system and the great divide between liberal and conservative is all part of the framing of a system designed to keep the capitalist ruling class firmly in power. While there are differences between liberals and conservatives Democrats and Republicans they all work within the system and challenge only at the periphery but offer no alternative to the system itself. That system as it is now is a type of developing oligopolistic capitalism with the US playing a hegemonic role and making the world safe for global capitalism. Raimondo sees the libertarian movement as mounting an antiwar campaign but the numbers of libertarians who might be involved would be small and some libertarian o…

Honduran sham election.

This article is interesting in that it not only gives a history of the coup negotiations recently but also notes some of the splits within those who support the coup. The parts about the military are particularly frightening. It remains to be seen if anything such as descrribed really happens. In the US there is virtually no discussion of the issues and the whole Honduran farce is off the radar of mainstream media. The article should have mentioned that the US brokered agreement was quite vague and had no timetable for a decision to be made by congress on Zelaya's re-instatement but of course it was understood that it would be before the formation of a unity government and the the Honduran Congress would simplify ratify the agreement. If it did not do this then the agreement would be null and void. But Micheletti stalled and now the congress will not meet until after the elections and also an opinion has been received from the Supreme Court that Zelaya cannot be legally re-instate…

Approval of Obama going down in the dumps.

These polls are not all that surprising. I thought that even more would be for withdrawal from Afghanistan. On most of his domestic policies there seems to be a concerted and successful opposition led by conservative groups. On Afghanistan Obama will probably find the toughest opposition will come from his own party although many on the left in the Democratic party are not that enamoured of his health care bill either. On Afghanistan it seems as if Obama will basically follow a middle road that will hardly please anyone. No doubt he hopes to get more troops from other NATO allies but they are not likely able to muster too many because the war is unpopular in every NATO country!

Approval of Obama on Afghan war dives
By Susan Page, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Public approval of President Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan has plummeted, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, amid rising pessimism about the course of the conflict.
The nation is divided over what to do next: Nearly half of tho…

Blackwater's secret war in Pakistan

This is from thenation. An entry on the JSOC can be found in Wikipedia. Officials continue to deny that Blackwater--now renamed Xe--is involved in Pakistan at all although numerous sources have provided evidence that they are. This is just typical denial. The US does not even officially own up to drone attacks in Pakistan and of course Israel officially refuses to admit they have nuclear weapons.

Blackwater's Secret War in Pakistan By Jeremy Scah
At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, "snatch and grabs" of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigation by The Nation has found. The Blackwater operatives also assist in gathering intelligence and help run a secret US military …

Honduras election sets return to business as usual.

The article mentions little about the conditions under which the elections are taking place. It is a criminal offence to recommend boycotting the elections among other things and rallies can only be had with permission of the coup government. The US will no doubt recognise the elections no matter what. It seems that Senator Demint's agreement to allow the nomination of the ambassador to Brazil and of Arturo Valenzuela to go through was conditional upon the US recognising the Honduran presidential elections. This will put the US at odds with the Rio group. There is going to be more and more conflict between the US and many Latin American countries but with some such as Panama and Colombia seeking to ally themselves with the US. No doubt Honduras will also do so. Honduras was a springboard for anti-Sandinista operations funded by the US.
This article seems to think that there might be some accommodation between the new president and Zelaya but that seems unlikely although perhaps t…