Author: Jeff Gates

The U.S.-Israeli Train Wreck

President Obama hopes to head off a train wreck in September at the U.N. General Assembly. That’s when member nations plan to press for an independent Palestine. The Israel lobby is furious. Critics doubt that the General Assembly has the authority to recognize Palestine. Yet protection of member sovereignty has been a goal of the U.N. since its founding. Thus the priority that Israel placed on U.N. recognition after President Harry Truman acknowledged Israel on May 14, 1948, eleven minutes after the Zionist enclave declared itself a state. Truman refused to recognize this enclave as “the Jewish state.” Despite...

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Is Pakistan Being Cast as the Next Plausible Evil Doer?

Conspiracy theorists assure us that Osama bin Laden was killed in December 2001 and his body put on ice in—of course—an undisclosed location. If the recent killing of bin Laden was a lie, who were the liars? All 79 members of SEAL Team 6, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. State Department, the White House and 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. All conspired to have us believe that he was killed in Pakistan. “Who you gonna believe,” the theorists ask, “me or your lyin’ eyes?” The killing or capture of Osama bin Laden was a strategic imperative of the Obama presidency. His death on Pakistani soil now presents a challenge to the strategic depth required for security and stability in the region. How, under these circumstances, does the U.S. collaborate with a nation given $20 billion since 9/11? To date, the clash between the U.S. and Pakistan has been the focus of mainstream news. Little has been said about the loss of 30,000 Pakistani lives to the war on terrorism. That human toll includes a sharp upswing in deadly attacks since the November 2008 assault in India where Islamic extremists, trained in Pakistan, left 174 dead in Mumbai. Pakistan was portrayed as guilty—by association. Savvy national security analysts are monitoring who uses bin Laden’s death to tout The Clash of Civilizations. The continued plausibility of this narrative requires a...

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The Seduction of the Knowledge-Based Society

The most promising trend in geopolitics is the transition from hydrocarbon-based economies to knowledge-based societies. Leadership for that change is emerging from Arab nations. The appeal of the Knowledge Society is apparent. Who could object to nations preparing their citizens for the 21st century? Yet unless knowledge is changed, the result could worsen an already dangerous situation. The sharing of values and knowledge has long been the best way to bridge cultures and promote peace. That strategy is now essential to counter the success of those promoting The Clash of Civilizations. Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are breaking new ground with education models that build on state-of-the-art information and communication technologies. This is the inevitable path for the Middle East and North Africa. Yet despite the best of intentions, if knowledge itself is not changed, the impact on Arab societies could aggravate trends that undermine progress. Just consider the costs when knowledge is corrupted…. How Zionists Corrupt Knowledge Those who induced the U.S. to war in the Middle East deployed knowledge like a weapon. With lengthy pre-staging, a narrative emerged that made it appear plausible—even desirable—to invade Iraq in response to the provocation of 911. In retrospect, we now know that the knowledge on which the U.S. relied was false. All of it. Iraqi WMD. Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda. Iraqi meetings in Prague...

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A Commonsense Solar Defense

Three days before Christmas, the U.S. Congress authorized $725 billion in defense spending for 2011. Adjusted for inflation, that’s the most since 1945, the last year of World War II. With numbers that large, making comparisons is difficult. Yet consider this. The United Nations reports that 1.5 billion people still live without electricity. For less than $100, a solar panel can power a cell phone charger and four high-efficiency LED lights. At that price, 1.5 billion people could become partially electrified for $150 billion. Defense-wise, which taxpayer outlay offers better long-term security? With the U.S. humbled in Iraq, mired in Afghanistan and in danger of being drawn into Iran, is it time to replace aggression with development and firepower with solar power? With extremism the new enemy, what’s our best defense? What if the U.S. projected its power by defending against the indignities of energy poverty and illiteracy? Absent a strategy for addressing the roots of human indignity, it’s not clear that the war on terrorism can be won. Energy poverty is a war we know how to win. Parents of children using solar-powered LED lights report how their grades improve when they have light for studying. While that’s not enough, it’s a good start. Can the U.S. afford not to embrace a solar defense? If not literacy, what is the best long-term defense against extremism? For $12, a...

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Deflation, Inflation – Take Your Pick

U.S. stock markets rallied to recent highs on news that the U.S. Federal Reserve planned to pump up to $900 billion more cash into the economy. Financial markets reflect today’s appraisal of tomorrow’s cash flows. More cash means more flows. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke conceded early on in 2008 that the Fed was “printing money.” That candor proved unsettling. This latest cash infusion instead is “quantitative easing” or “QE2.” “QE1” stabilized financial firms that cross-collateralized massive layers of debt and derivatives in a creative scheme that was destined to collapse without…more cash flow. Insurance giant AIG booked profits by selling more than $440 billion in credit default swaps, a form of insurance, without setting aside reserves. That’s when the Fed stepped in with QE1. Voicing his admiration for “financial creativity,” former Fed chair Alan Greenspan enabled this pyramiding of debt-on-debt with low interest rates and lax oversight during his 19-year tenure. Greenspan concedes his high regard for Russian philosopher Ayn Rand (né Alisa Rosenbaum) who famously wore an oversized dollar mark as a broach. Her philosophy: grant money the freedom to work its will worldwide and everything will work out just fine. Reflecting on the debt-induced financial carnage he helped create, Greenspan recently marveled that financial markets were not, as he and Rand believed, “self correcting.” How could this True Believer have been so mistaken? Why does his successor...

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Dissolving the Union

For those who think the U.S. is broke, think again. It’s far more serious than that. To renew Bush-era tax cuts for our most well-to-do 2% would reduce U.S. government revenues by $700 billion over the decade. That shortfall will need to be borrowed. Or we could provide college scholarships to 14 million U.S. high school students. Or tuition, room and board for about half of today’s college students. $700 billion is also the interest expense on the $3 trillion that the U.S. is projected to borrow to fund the long-term costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of that interest paid to individuals, care to guess what portion finds its way to the topmost 2%? $700 billion is also the amount authorized in October 2008 to stabilize the financial sector as part of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. To boost liquidity, the Federal Reserve just announced $600 billion in “quantitative easing” over the next six months. That sum could be increased by another $300 billion. A December 1st report brought news that, from March 2008 to May 2009, the Fed extended nearly $9 trillion in short-term loans to 18 financial institutions. That’s our full faith and credit at work making the world safe for financial markets. And for the elite of Wall Street. To show their gratitude to the American public, the financial sector just paid themselves $144...

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Was Israel Ever Legitimate?

Israel is right to worry. It was never legitimate. As both an enabler and a target of this fraud, the U.S. has an obligation to concede its source—and to secure the weapons of mass destruction now under the control of this enclave.

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At What Cost the Israel Lobby?

More than 46 years ago, President John F. Kennedy sought to preclude a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. In June 1963, he wrote the last in a series of insistent letters to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Those letters sought what Israel now demands of Iran: international inspections of its nuclear facilities.

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