Secret Project Created Weaponized Ebola in South Africa in the 1980s

Old Thinker News
by DAN TAYLOR

“No records are available to confirm that the biological agents were destroyed.”

Operating out of South Africa during the Apartheid era in the early 1980’s, Dr. Wouter Basson launched a secret bioweapons project called Project Coast.

The goal of the project was to develop biological and chemical agents that would either kill or sterilize the black population and assassinate political enemies. Among the agents developed were Marburg and Ebola viruses. 

Basson is surrounded by cloak and dagger intrigue, as he told Pretoria High court in South Africa that “The local CIA agent in Pretoria threatened me with death on the sidewalk of the American Embassy in Schoeman Street.” According to a 2001 article in The New Yorker magazine, the American Embassy in Pretoria was “terribly concerned” that Basson would reveal deep connections between Project Coast and the United States.

In 2013, Basson was found guilty of “unprofessional conduct” by the South African health council.

Bioweapons expert Jeanne Guillemin writes in her book Biological Weapons: From the Invention of State-Sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism, “The project‘s growth years were from 1982 to 1987, when it developed a range of biological agents (such as those for anthrax, cholera, and the Marburg and Ebola viruses and for botulinum toxin)…

Basson’s bioweapons program officially ended in 1994, but there has been no independent verification that the pathogens created were ever destroyed. The order to destroy them went directly to Dr. Basson. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The integrity of the process rested solely on Dr. Basson’s honesty.”

Basson claims to have had contact with western agencies that provided “ideological assistance” to Project Coast. Basson stated in an interview shot for the documentary Anthrax War that he met several times with Dr. David Kelly, the infamous UN weapons inspector in Iraq. Kelly was a top bioweapons expert in the United Kingdom. He was found dead near his home in Oxfordshire in 2003. While the official story claims he committed suicide, medical experts highly doubt this story.

In a 2007 article from the Mail Online, it was reported that a week prior to his death, Dr. Kelly was to be interviewed by MI5 about his ties to Dr. Basson.

Dr. Timothy Stamps, Minister of Health of Zimbabwe, suspected that his country was under biological attack during the time that Basson was operating. Stamps told PBS Frontline in 1998 that “The evidence is very clear that these were not natural events. Whether they were caused by some direct or deliberate inoculation or not, is the question we have to answer.”

Stamps specifically named the Ebola and Marburg viruses as suspect. Stamps thinks that his country was being used as a testing ground for weaponized Ebola.

“I’m talking about anthrax and cholera in particular, but also a couple of viruses that are not endemic to Zimbabwe [such as] the Ebola type virus and, we think also, the Marburg virus. We wonder whether in fact these are not associated with biological warfare against this country during the hostilities… Ebola was along the line of the Zambezi [River], and I suspect that this may have been an experiment to see if a new virus could be used to directly infect people.”

The Ghanaian Times reported in early September on the recent Ebola outbreak, noting connections between Basson and bioweapons research. The article points out that, “…there are two types of scientists in the world: those who are so concerned about the pain and death caused to humans by illness that they will even sacrifice their own lives to try and cure deadly diseases, and those who will use their scientific skill to kill humans on the orders of… government…”

Indeed, these ideas are not new. Plato wrote over 2,000 years ago in his workThe Republic that a ruling elite should guide society, “…whose aim will be to preserve the average of population.” He further stated, “There are many other things which they will have to consider, such as the effects of wars and diseases and any similar agencies, in order as far as this is possible to prevent the State from becoming either too large or too small.”

As revealed by The Age, Nobel prize winning Australian microbiologist Sir Macfarlane Burnet secretly urged the Australian government in 1947 to develop bio weapons for use against the “overpopulated countries of South-East Asia.” In a 1947 meeting with the New Weapons and Equipment Development Committee, the group recommended that “the possibilities of an attack on the food supplies of S-E Asia and Indonesia using B.W. agents should be considered by a small study group.”

This information gives us an interesting perspective on the recent unprecedented Ebola outbreak. Is it an organic natural phenomenon? Did this strain of Ebola accidentally escape from a bioweapons lab? Or, was it deliberately released?

Old Thinker News

Ebola? How Do You Know, WHO and CDC?

New Eastern Outlook
by F. William Engdahl

4234234There is something perversely strange about the entire hoopla around the so-called Ebola outbreaks. An African man is admitted to a Dallas hospital with symptoms, treated, released and re-admitted, the “first” case of Ebola in the USA. What the guardians of truth in the mainstream media never ask is how reliable is the test that determines if someone has Ebola.

Researchers have determined that, for example, the test that is supposed to determine if someone has AIDS, the HIV blood test that was invented in the 1980s by former cancer researcher Robert Gallo, does not test if someone has that virus. It only determines if the blood has a certain level of so-called “HIV antibodies.” The Gallo test was patented by Gallo and his team before his sensational announcement in the 1980s that he had “identified” the specific virus causing what Gallo called, “the most frightening epidemic illness of the 20th Century, which we today call AIDS.”

Gallo deliberately calibrated his HIV test. When he first tested it on the blood serum of healthy donors, it showed 10% of the healthy, according to Gallo’s test, tested HIV-positive. Because he could not market such a test to the medical profession credibly, Gallo altered the sensitivity of the measuring reaction arbitrarily.

The pharmaceutical industry was delighted to market their very costly AZT chemotherapy drugs. Millions of human beings were condemned to a living hell, HIV-stigmatized, as a result of the Gallo test. The world was told of a “lethal virus” that could infect the global population. Infections such as Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Pneumocistis carinii Pneumonia had morphed into vicious killers. Few honest scientists around the world critically examined the test foundations that Gallo had protected by his patent.

One courageous scientist who did question the Gallo HIV-AIDS hypothesis was Kary Mullis, who in 1996 wrote, “The HIV/AIDS hypothesis is one hell of a mistake.” Mullis won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1993. His devastating comments were ignored by the ever-vigilant mainstream media and medical profession.

In 1983 Gallo arbitrarily transformed correlation into causality and said he had discovered the “virus” causing acquired immunodeficiency or AID, which was then named a “syndrome,” or AIDS. Gallo had just before that announcement won a patent for the only known test to determine of someone had AIDS. An habitual user of certain drugs like amyl nitrite or poppers, or even a pregnant woman would show HIV-positive with the Gallo test. Fears of a new global plague were stoked in the media by irresponsible scientists. Gallo sold his AIDS test to five pharmaceutical companies and sat back to reap the royalties.

The Ebola Test

Now we are again reading similar terrorizing stories in the mass media, this time about Ebola–fears stoked by the pharma-industry-controlled WHO in Geneva under Director General Margaret Chan’s Scientific Advisory Group of Experts and their ties to Big Pharma giants, and the US Government Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

What exactly is the Ebola test that is being used by doctors or health workers in Sierre Leone or Liberia to “prove” Ebola in a sick person? When the African man was re-hospitalized in Dallas, the head of the CDC, Tom Frieden, declared the patient was diagnosed with Ebola based on a test that is “highly accurate. It’s a PCR test of blood.”

But that PCR test of blood is not highly accurate. Rather it is highly flawed. As Jon Rappoport points out, “Among the problems of the PCR test is that it is open to errors. Is the sample taken from the patient actually a virus or a piece of a virus? Or is just an irrelevant piece of debris? Another problem is inherent in the method of the PCR itself. The test is based on the amplification of a tiny, tiny speck of genetic material taken from a patient—blowing it up millions of times until it can be observed and analyzed. Researchers who employ the test claim that, as a result of the procedure, they can also infer the quantity of virus that is present in the patient. This is crucial, because unless a patient has millions and millions of Ebola virus in his body, there is absolutely no reason to think he is sick or will become sick.”

Can the PCR blood test tell how much Ebola virus is in a person’s body? The same Kary Mullis cited above regarding the HIV/AIDS hypothesis invented the PCR test in 1983, the basis on which his Nobel Prize was awarded. He told journalist John Lauritsen years back of his test and warned against its misuse. Lauritsen reported:

With regard to the viral-load tests, which attempt to use PCR for counting viruses, Mullis has stated: “Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron.” PCR is intended to identify substances qualitatively, but by its very nature is unsuited for estimating numbers. Although there is a common misimpression that the viral-load tests actually count the number of viruses in the blood, these tests cannot detect free, infectious viruses at all; they can only detect proteins that are believed, in some cases wrongly, to be unique to HIV. The tests can detect genetic sequences of viruses, but not viruses themselves.

54534534Nor can the Mullis PCR test count the number of Ebola viruses in a person’s blood. Yet the CDC claims, wrongly according to Mullis, that it can. Can it be that the entire Ebola fear campaign launched by Chan’s WHO and the CDC is based on fiction and a pharmaceutical industry ready to jab millions with their untested “Ebola vaccines”? A few years ago, in 2009, Margaret Chan, head of WHO, declared, without scientific basis, a global Swine Flu or H1N1 Pandemic alert, forcing governments around the world to stockpile millions of doses of untested influenza vaccines. In a speech at the time, Chan solemnly declared:

In late April, WHO announced the emergence of a novel influenza A virus. This particular H1N1 strain has not circulated previously in humans. The virus is entirely new. The virus is contagious, spreading easily from one person to another, and from one country to another. As of today, nearly 30,000 confirmed cases have been reported in 74 countries… On the basis of available evidence, and these expert assessments of the evidence, the scientific criteria for an influenza pandemic have been met. I have therefore decided to raise the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 5 to phase 6

She did not state that the WHO had changed their definition of pandemic alert in that same month, April, 2009 to a purely geographic one from the earlier geographic plus severity definition. Chan and her SAGE advisers as well as the folks at CDC must think we are all imbeciles without memory as they try to stoke similar fears about the alarming dangers of Ebola. There was no pandemic in 2009 of H1N1. The number of deaths attributable even to ordinary flu, were embarrassingly (for her at least) low.

Fruit bats in the WHO and CDC?

It is useful to restate what the WHO itself defines as symptoms of Ebola.

WHO’s official fact sheet on Ebola, which now they renamed EVD for Ebola Virus Disease, claims, “The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in west Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas…It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.”

Then the official WHO Ebola Fact Sheet dated September, 2014, states, “It can be difficult to distinguish EVD from other infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever and meningitis.” WHO then lists symptoms of possible Ebola: “Ebola symptoms include sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.”

Those symptoms, fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, can occur in many people in the poorest region of west Africa, ravaged by wars over blood diamonds and oil, with catastrophic public health and clean water infrastructure. And the “highly accurate PCR test of blood” cited by the CDC is not at all accurate to identify Ebola virus concentration.

We should put the recent horror stories about Ebola into rational sober perspective, including the accuracy of the tests CDC uses, before we submit to mandatory vaccinations and quarantines or let us be overwhelmed by fear.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

New Eastern Outlook

America’s Jihad

Foreign Policy Journal
by Dr. K R Bolton

US President Ronald Reagan meeting with Afghan Mujahedeen, who he called "freedom fighters", in the Oval Office on February 2, 1983. (Ronald Reagan Library)

US President Ronald Reagan meeting with Afghan Mujahedeen, who he called “freedom fighters”, in the Oval Office on February 2, 1983. (Ronald Reagan Library)

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The Islamic State organization seems to have arisen overnight, well-armed, and swiftly moving through Iraq and Syria, seemingly unstoppable. One might wonder as to how plausible it is to believe the CIA, U.S. National Security Council, and Mossad supposedly hitherto knew little or nothing of the Islamic State jihadists. We are apparently expected to believe that they appeared from nowhere as if by magic.

It is apt to recall the present Jihad bogeyman arose from the Mujahideen, which was formed by the CIA as a guerrilla force against the Russians in Afghanistan. The “clash of civilizations,” as neocon historians refer to the “war on terrorism,” was a contrivance; not the result of an inexorable historical law. By the end of the First World War much goodwill existed between the Entente and the Arabs who had fought together against the Ottoman Empire, with the expectation that the Arab states would achieve independence, thanks to the heroic efforts of T. E. Lawrence and the Arabic fighters. Their guerrilla war against the Turks had been crucial to the war effort, although subsequently besmirched by Zionist propagandists.[1] Thanks to Zionist machinations, the Entente had spoken with a forked tongue to the Arabs while making a contrary promise to the Zionists to back a Jewish state in Palestine in return for Jewish influence supporting the Entente cause, by then in a predicament, in the USA. The result was the Balfour Declaration and the needless prolongation of the war[2] so that the Zionists and the messianists could get their nose poked into Palestine until such time as being able to dump themselves en masse after the Second World War.

It is also opportune at this point to recall those who introduced terrorism into Palestine. The Irgun, Stern and Palmach underground regarded the British as the “new Nazis,” and for that matter anyone who stood in the way of their messianic dreams. Hence, United Nations envoy Count Folke Bernadotte, who had negotiated for thousands of Jews to leave German occupied territory, was gunned down by the Sternists because his suggestions for the boundaries of Israel were regarded as an affront to Jewry.[3] Ultimately, the Zionist dream for Israel extends the boundaries from the rivers Nile to Euphrates (Genesis 15: 18) and any compromise of captured territory would mean the surrendering of the deeds of promise from God Himself,[4] unless there is a longer-term motive involved. There cannot be peace in the Middle East until that dream is forgotten, which is not going to happen, any more than the aim of rebuilding the Temple of Solomon upon the ruins of the Al Aqsa Mosque as the prerequisite for the coming of the Jewish Messiah;[5] the declaration of Jerusalem as the capitol of the world, and the elimination of “idolatrous” religions, to be replaced by the Seven Noahide Laws, already promulgated by U.S. Congress.[6] As the Israeli scholar Dr. Israel Shahak documented, such notions are alive and kicking in Israel.[7] Yet we are constantly told of “Muslim fanaticism.” We are also told of the hatred Islam possesses for Christianity, despite the recognition of Jesus as a great prophet, and his mother. Meanwhile, Talmudic Judaism teaches that Jesus was the son of a whore and a Roman soldier, Pandira, and is in hell boiling in semen. The hatred of Talmudic Jews for Christianity is frequently manifested by the Orthodox custom of spitting on monks and priests, and in many other ways, again documented by Shahak.[8]

In short, the origins of the present Middle East terrorism stem from Franco-British duplicity and Zionist machinations during the First World War, and rampant religious lunacy from Judaism rather than Islam. As the political and judicial theorist Dr. Carl Schmitt pointed out, an outer enemy is often the prerequisite for the formation or maintenance of unity among disparate elements. Hence, Zionism requires “anti-Semitism” to exist. Israel requires the myth of belligerent Arab neighbors ever ready to run them into the Dead Sea. The USA requires a new global bogeyman after the demise of the USSR, to maintain its role as the world’s “big brother,” albeit one of a particularly vulgar and bullying type. While Putin’s Russia has somewhat served the role once occupied by the USSR, it is difficult to imbed the notion into the world’s consciousness that Putinism, like Sovietism, supposedly aims at world conquest, and only the USA can stop this. An added factor is required. Jihadism serves these purposes for both the USA and Israel. Where would the USA have been since the implosion of the Soviet bloc, had it not been for Jihadism? Largely obliged to mind its own business for the first time since before Woodrow Wilson.

Mujahideen a U.S. Creation

The ground for Jihadism was sown by the U.S. arming of the Mujahideen against the USSR in Afghanistan. The CIA describes its role in founding Jihadism:

After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, President Carter directed CIA to assist the Afghan mujahidin. CIA came to see that the indigenous Afghan opposition to the Soviets was less an organized movement than widespread opposition by villages and tribes. Through Pakistan, CIA provided the mujahidin with money, weapons, medical supplies, and communications equipment. Initially the goal was to drain Soviet resources by keeping their forces bogged down. In 1985, CIA shifted from a plan of attrition to one that would help the rebels win. One of the pivotal moments came in September 1986, when the mujahidin used CIA-provided Stinger missiles to shoot down three Soviet Mi-24D helicopter gunships. As part of this escalation of financial and materiel support, President Reagan issued new guidance that put CIA into more direct contact with rebel commanders, beginning an era of CIA interaction with tribal and local leaders that continues through the post-9/11 era. [9]

The CIA then supported the Northern Alliance against the Taliban government. The CIA also claims that it supported the Northern Alliance against Al Qaeda and bin Laden when they moved into Afghanistan from the Sudan. However, an NBC report states of CIA support for bin Laden:

As his unclassified CIA biography states, bin Laden left Saudi Arabia to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan after Moscow’s invasion in 1979. By 1984, he was running a front organization known as Maktab al-Khidamar – the MAK – which funneled money, arms and fighters from the outside world into the Afghan war.

What the CIA bio conveniently fails to specify (in its unclassified form, at least) is that the MAK was nurtured by Pakistan’s state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA’s primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow’s occupation.

The CIA, concerned about the factionalism of Afghanistan … found that Arab zealots who flocked to aid the Afghans were easier to “read” than the rivalry-ridden natives. While the Arab volunteers might well prove troublesome later, the agency reasoned, they at least were one-dimensionally anti-Soviet for now. So bin Laden, along with a small group of Islamic militants from Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestinian refugee camps all over the Middle East, became the “reliable” partners of the CIA in its war against Moscow.[10]

These Afghan veterans became the nucleus for Jihadists further afield.[11]

Serbia Targeted

When the U.S. globalists wanted to dismember Yugoslavia and globalize the wealth of Kosovo, again we find the Mujahideen. The USA claims to be fighting Islamic terrorism worldwide. Milosevic’s Serbia was on the frontline fighting Islamist terrorism. Rather than U.S. support for the Serbs, the support went to Islamist terrorists and gangsters. Serbs had been the target of Islamists for decades. They aimed to carve out a Greater Albania by annexing Kosovo. The U.S./NATO interest was that of privatizing the globalizing the vast mineral wealth and other resources of the region run by the State.

In 1998 the Kosovo Liberation Army was described by U.S. special envoy to Bosnia, Robert Gelbard, as “terrorists.” The U.S. State Department had previously prepared a report detailing the methods of the KLA to intimidate Kosovan-Albanian ethnics into supporting them. Prior to Milosevic’s intervention to restore order, U.S. official sources were reporting that Albanian ethnics were fleeing their villages in their entirety to escape the KLA. Also well-known by American and European police agencies were the drug-trafficking connections the KLA had with organized crime in Europe and Turkey.[12]

The KLA aim was for a Greater Albania including parts of Serbia, Greece, Macedonia, and Montenegro. Chris Hedges, when New York Times Balkans Bureau Chief (1995-1998), wrote in Foreign Affairs of a map of the Greater Albania found at a KLA compound. Hedges reported: “Between 1966 and 1989 an estimated 130,000 Serbs left the province because of frequent harassment and discrimination by the Kosovar Albanian majority.” Hedges mentioned the funding that the KLA was receiving from Islamic states and the presence of Mujahideen in the KLA staging area in northern Albania. In 1981, the Associated Press reported that 4000 Serbs fled Kosovo due to anti-Serb riots, and the desecration of Orthodox churches and graves. [13]

When Serb forces attacked Srebrenica, it was to end the armed attacks mounted from the Islamist base on nearby villages. A news report of the time cites “intelligence sources” as stating that it was “harassment which precipitated the Serb attack on the 1,500 Muslim defenders inside the enclave.”[14] General Philippe Morillon, commander of the U.N. troops in Bosnia (1992-1993), testified before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia that Muslim forces based in Srebrenica had “engaged in attacks during Orthodox holidays and destroyed villages, massacring all the inhabitants. This created a degree of hatred that was quite extraordinary in the region.” Between May and December 1992, Muslim forces repeatedly attacked Serb villages around Srebrenica, killing and torturing civilians; some were mutilated and burned alive. Muslim forces in Srebrenica murdered over 1,300 Serbs and had “ethnically cleansed” a vast area.[15]

The London Spectator reported that during 1992-1995 the Pentagon helped Islamists from Central Asia to reach Bosnia and join the Bosnian Muslims, stating:

As part of the Dutch government’s inquiry into the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, Professor Cees Wiebes of Amsterdam University compiled a report entitled “Intelligence and the War in Bosnia”, published in April 2002. In it he details the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamic groups from the Middle East, and their efforts to assist Bosnia’s Muslims. By 1993, there was a vast amount of weapons-smuggling through Croatia to the Muslims, organised by ‘clandestine agencies’ of the USA, Turkey and Iran, in association with a range of Islamic groups that included Afghan Mujahideen and the pro-Iranian Hezbollah. Arms bought by Iran and Turkey with the financial backing of Saudi Arabia were airlifted from the Middle East to Bosnia – airlifts with which, Wiebes points out, the USA was “very closely involved.”[16]

One of the stated war aims of NATO was that the Yugoslav Federation would become a “free market” economy. The fight for a “free market” economy was not an aim that seems to have been widely publicized by the spokesmen for the U.S. State Department and British Foreign Office at the time. The prize was the Trepca mining complex, which had operated 24 hours a day, having the richest lead, lignite and zinc deposits in Europe, and one of the richest world-wide. Once the moral pontifications of the Rambouillet diktat were dispensed with, chapter four makes the aim clear enough: Article I (1): “The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles.”[17] A Privatization agency of Kosovo was established, but the economy, including Trepca, remains in a shambles.

Russia, Libya, Syria…

Islamists have likewise proven useful within the Russian Federation. The primary pro-Chechnya lobby in the USA was the Freedom House-founded American Committee for Peace in Chechnya. This included some of the most notable neocons and Zionists: Richard Perle; Elliott Abrams; former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Kenneth Adelman; Midge Decter of the Heritage Foundation; Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy; Bruce Jackson of the U.S. Committee on NATO; Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, and former CIA director R. James Woolsey.[18] It is strange that of these enthusiasts for the rights of Muslims in Russia, all but Abrams and Ledeen were members of the arch-Zionist Project for a New American Century, founded in 1997. A sub-branch was the Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000 headed by Perle, which prepared a blueprint for the reorganization of the Middle East, that calls in particular for “regime change” in Syria and Iran, This seems to be the plan that is be is being followed.[19]

While the ACPC changed its name to American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus, it seems to have become largely defunct since 2013. That is the year of the Chechan bombing in Boston. Wayne Madsen, writing for the Strategic Culture Foundation, commented:

After revelations that an entity called the Caucasus Fund was used by the CIA-linked Jamestown Foundation of Washington, DC to sponsor seminars on the North Caucasus in Tbilisi from January to July 2012, Georgian authorities moved to shut down the fund. The reason given by Georgia was that the organization had “fulfilled its stated mission”. Caucasus Fund and Jamestown Foundation events were attended by accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a citizen of Kyrgyzstan born to parents from Dagestan. Jamestown had previously held a seminar in Tbilisi on “Hidden Nations” in the Caucasus, which, among other issues, promoted a “Greater Circassia” in the Caucasus. [20]

Madsen remarks of the general strategy:

U.S. “humanitarian” and “civil society” assistance to radical Islamist groups has, for the past three decades, filtered into the coffers of terrorist groups celebrated as “freedom fighters” in Washington. This was the case with U.S. support for the Afghan Mujaheddin through such groups as the Committee for a Free Afghanistan during the Islamist insurgency against the People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in the 1980s and the Bosnia Defense Fund in the 1990s. In the case of Afghanistan, U.S. and Saudi money ended up in the hands of insurgents who would later form “Al Qaeda” and in Bosnia U.S. funds were used by Al Qaeda elements fighting against Yugoslavia and the Bosnian Serb Republic and, later, Al Qaeda elements supporting the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in its war against Serbia.[21]

Terrorists supported by the USA to oust Qaddafi were then sent to Syria to continue the American Jihad against stable states. The CIA had been funding a Libyan rebel army since 1988, Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army. Haftar had been living for twenty years in Virginia, prior to returning to Libya with CIA and Saudi backing. Patrick Cockburn commented in The Independent:

Even shadier is the background of Abdul Hakeen al-Hassadi, a Libyan who fought against the US in Afghanistan, was arrested in Pakistan, imprisoned probably at Bagram, Afghanistan, and then mysteriously released. The US Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg, told Congressmen he would speak of Mr Hassadi’s career only in a closed session.[22]

Mossad Destablization

Israel has sought to keep the entire region in a state of destabilization. This serves several factors. A constant state of conflict portrays Israel as the only stable entity in a volatile region. Destabilization ensures that there can be no united front against Israeli’s aspirations, which are never-ending. The notion of Jews being surrounded by mad Arabs keeps the Israelis in a state of preparedness and unity. Israel went to the extent of backing the Red Brigades in Italy during the 1970s as part of a destabilization strategy, indicating the extent of the strategy. According to Magistrate Ferdinando Imposimato, who led the investigations into the 1978 kidnapping and murder of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro, “‘at least until 1978 Israeli secret services had infiltrated Italian subversive groups. He said that based on confessions of jailed guerrillas who turned police informers there had been an Israeli plan to destabilize Italy. The plan aimed at reducing Italy to a country convulsed by civil war so that the United States would be forced to count more on Israeli for the security of the Mediterranean,’ the judge said.” [23]

The extent of this destabilization strategy has included Mossad backing of Islamists at an early stage. According to a UPI news report on a 2002 Hamas bombing of a Jersualem city bus,

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon immediately vowed to fight “Palestinian terror” and summoned his cabinet to decide on a military response to the organization that Sharon had once described as “the deadliest terrorist group that we have ever had to face.” Active in Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas wants to liberate all of Palestine and establish a radical Islamic state in place of Israel. It has gained notoriety with its assassinations, car bombs and other acts of terrorism. But Sharon left something out.

Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years. Israel “aided Hamas directly – the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),” said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic [and International] Studies [CSIS]. Israel’s support for Hamas “was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,” said a former senior CIA official. … According to U.S. administration officials, funds for the movement came from the oil-producing states and directly and indirectly from Israel. The PLO was secular and leftist and promoted Palestinian nationalism. Hamas wanted to set up a transnational state under the rule of Islam, much like Khomeini’s Iran.[24]

Even when the support for Hamas seemed to be backfiring there were those who continued to see a dialectical advantage:

But even then, some in Israel saw some benefits to be had in trying to continue to give Hamas support: “The thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the others, if they gained control, would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place,” said a U.S. government official who asked not to be named. “Israel would still be the only democracy in the region for the United States to deal with,” he said. All of which disgusts some former U.S. intelligence officials.[25]

The strategy was confirmed by Mossad defector Victor Ostrovsky, who was told by a prominent Mossad officer that a decision was made to “destabilize Jordan to the point of civil anarchy.” The officer explained to Ostrovsky that this would be done by circulating counterfeit money and “arming religious fundamentalist elements, similar to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood,” assassinating leading figures who are symbols of stability, causing riots in the university to prompt government repression. The plan was also to destabilize Egypt in the same manner, with Mossad running guns to “Egyptian fundamentalists” through Afghanistan.[26]

Ostrovsky further relates that “Mossad had to come up with a new threat to the region, a threat of such magnitude that it would justify whatever action the Mossad might see fit to take.” The attitude of many in Mossad and elsewhere in Israeli ruling circles is that in order to maintain “fortress Israel” the “constant threat of war” needs to be maintained.[27]

Supporting the radical elements of Muslim fundamentalism sat well with the Mossad’s general plan for the region. An Arab world run by fundamentalists would not be a party to any negotiations in the West, thus leaving Israel once again as the only democratic, rational country in the region.  And if the Mossad could arrange for the Hamas to take over the Palestinian streets from the PLO, then the picture would be complete.[28]

This destabilization dialectic is the same as that being enacted on a global scale by the USA to maintain its global ambitions. Since the Soviet bogeyman no longer exists as justification for U.S. global ambitions, the bogeyman of the “global war on Islamic terrorism” was quickly created as a substitute. While Putin has been demonized to at least keep the semblance of a Russian bogeyman intact, it cannot convincingly be said that Putin aims at “world conquest.” However, “Islamism” is a new threat to world peace, with a world Jihad and the aim of imposing Sharia law over the world. This new global threat must be met under U.S. leadership, which generally means U.S. domination, politically, economically and even morally and culturally, or what has been described as the “new world order.”

The Study Group for a New Israeli Strategy stated that Israel’s aims must be to

Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, “comprehensive peace” to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power. Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society. [29]

Both aims have been fulfilled. As we have seen the backing of Jiahists involves the use of Jordan and Turkey, and the primary target is Syria, now that Saddam has been eliminated from Iraq. While the blueprint was addressed to Israel, one can see the role being played out by the USA in its fulfilment:

Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions. [30]

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (a.k.a The Caliphate)

Suddenly ISIL (or ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) snaps onto the scene to pose the biggest threat to world peace, whose path of terror also happens to be a march through the states that have been marked for destruction by the Zio-neocons; Syria particularly. Like Hafta in Libya, and later Syria, the head of the Islamic State organization, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has links with the USA. He was a “civilian internee” at an U.S. internment center in Umm Qasr, Iraq. He was “unconditionally released” in 2009.

What can be said is that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s declaration of himself as Caliph of all Muslims world-wide has spread further factionalism among Muslims. Despite the universal repudiation among even radical Muslims, U.S. foreign policy strategists are building up ISIL as the most potent Islamic force. Assem Barqawi, the spokesperson for the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front – an erstwhile ally of ISIL in the Syrian war – spurned al-Baghdadi’s claim to a universal Caliphate, countering: “In short, al-Baghdadi and ISIL have no support whatsoever among Muslims. They are loathed even by their fellow ultra-Salafis, Wahhabis and Takfiris.” On the other hand terrorism expert William McCants of the Brookings Institution, said to the New York Times: “ISIS is now officially the biggest and baddest global jihadi group on the planet… Nothing says ‘hard-core’ like being cast out by Al Qaeda.” Dr. Kevin Barrett, an Arabist scholar, regards it likely that al-Baghdadi is a mind-control asset from his time at Umm Qasr camp:

The secrecy surrounding al-Baghdadi’s five years in US custody strongly suggests that the self-proclaimed “caliph of Islam” is actually a Muslim version of Jim Jones. His “Islamic State” is a Muslim Jonestown. It is designed to mass-suicide Islam by turning Muslims against each other.[31]

William Engdahl, a foreign policy specialist, opines:

Key members of ISIS it now emerges were trained by US CIA and Special Forces command at a secret camp in Jordan in 2012, according to informed Jordanian officials. The US, Turkish and Jordanian intelligence were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region, conveniently near the borders to both Syria and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the two Gulf monarchies most involved in funding the war against Syria’s Assad, financed the Jordan ISIS training. Advertised publicly as training of “non-extremist” Muslim jihadists to wage war against the Syrian Bashar Assad regime, the secret US training camps in Jordan and elsewhere have trained perhaps several thousand Muslim fighters in techniques of irregular warfare, sabotage and general terror. The claims by Washington that they took special care not to train ‘Salafist’ or jihadist extremists, is a joke. How do you test if a recruit is not a jihadist? Is there a special jihad DNA that the CIA doctors have discovered?[32]

In 2012, Aaron Klein reported that Egyptian officials had talked of training being given to terrorist forces to be deployed to Syria by the USA, Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The training camp was at the Jordanian town of Safawi.[33]

Among the tangled intricacies of the Middle East imbroglio a course was established to bring chaos to the region, formulated by think tanks where American and Jewish messianists converge. Their recommendations appear as the ones being enacted, but these strategists themselves are the heirs to aims of long duration and a politicized religious fanaticism that is obscured by a worldwide barrage of propaganda about a new Muslim threat.

References

  1. T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (2013), http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seven-pillars-of-wisdom-t-e-lawrence/1103272301?ean=9781908476562
  2. Samuel Landman, Great Britain, the Jews and Palestine (London: New Zionist Press, 1936), 2-3. Landman was Honorary Secretary of the Joint Zionist Council of the United Kingdom, 1912; Joint Editor of The Zionist 1913-1914; Solicitor and Secretary for the Zionist Organisation 1917-1922; and adviser to the New Zionist Organisation, ca. 1930s.
  3. Bernadotte called on Israel to relinquish the Negev and Jerusalem in return for western Galilee. Since the Zionist messianists think they are entitled by no less than God to a vast region, this was nothing sort of blasphemy.
  4. http://www.globalresearch.ca/greater-israel-the-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east/5324815
  5. See the plans at: https://www.templeinstitute.org/
  6. Promulgation of “U. S. Education Day” honoring Rebbe Schneerson, the Lubavitch Messiah, and the Seven Noahide Laws, Proclamation 5463, April 19, 1986; Public Law 102—14 (H.J. Res. 104) March 20, 1991; Day of International Tribute, June 28, promulgated 2002.
  7. Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion (London: Pluto Press, 1994).
  8. Shahak, Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (Pluto Press, 1999).
  9. “Afghanistan,” Central Intelligence Agency, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/additional-publications/devotion-to-duty/afghanistan.html
  10. Michael Moran, “Bin Laden Comes Home to Roost,” NBCNews.com, August 24, 1998, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3340101/#.VD9w2TY5QqR
  11. Michael Moran, ibid.
  12. See: Frank Viviano, “Drugs Paying for Conflict in Europe,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 1994.
  13. 13.“Minorities Leaving Yugoslav Province Dominated by Albanians,” Associated Press, October 17, 1981.
  14. Michael Evans, “Muslim soldiers ‘failed to defend town from Serbs,’” Times London, July 14, 1995.
  15. Jan Willem Honig and Norbert Both, Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime, (Penguin Books, 1997), p. 79.
  16. Brendan O’Neill, “How We Trained al-Qa’eda,” Spectator, London, September 13, 2003.
  17. Rambouillet Agreement: Interim Agreement for Peace and Self-Government in Kosovo.
  18. “American Committee for Peace in Chechnya,” Right Web, http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/American_Committee_for_Peace_in_Chechnya
  19. Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, 1996.
  20. Wayne Madsen, “Washington’s ‘Civil Society’: CIA Financing of Chechen and Caucasus Regional Terrorists,” Global Research, May 6, 2013, http://www.globalresearch.ca/washingtons-civil-society-and-cia-financing-of-chechen-and-other-caucasus-regional-terrorists/5333359
  21. Wayne Madsen, ibid.
  22. Patrick Cockburn, “The Shady Men Backed by the West to Replace Gaddafi,” The Independent, April 3, 2011, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/patrick-cockburn-the-shady-men-backed-bythe-west-to-displace-gaddafi-2260826.html
  23. “Arrest Wrecked Brigades’ Plan for Massacre,” The Evening Post, Wellington, New Zealand, January 18, 1982, p. 1.
  24. Richard Sale, “Hamas History Tide to Israel,” UPI, June 18, 2002; Information Clearing House, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10456.htm
  25. Richard Sale, ibid.
  26. Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side of Deception (New York: Harper, 1995), p. 182.
  27. Victor Ostrovsky, ibid., p. 251.
  28. Victor Ostrovsky, ibid., p. 252.
  29. Study Group for a New Israeli Strategy, A Clean Break, op. cit.
  30. Study Group, ibid.
  31. Kevin Barrett, “Who is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?”, PressTV, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/07/14/371210/who-is-abu-bakr-albaghdadi/
  32. “ISIS in Iraq: A CIA-NATO Dirty war Op?”, June 26, 2014, http://www.infowars.com/isis-in-iraq-a-cia-nato-dirty-war-op/
  33. Aaron Klein, “Mideast War in March?”, February 24, 2012, WND, http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/mideast-war-in-march/

Foreign Policy Journal

Libya: From Africa’s Richest State Under Gaddafi, to Failed State After NATO Intervention

Global Research
By Garikai Chengu

The Butchering of Gaddafi Is America’s Crime

This week marks the three-year anniversary of the Western-backed assassination of Libya’s former president, Muammar Gaddafi, and the fall of one of Africa’s greatest nations.

In 1967 Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; however, by the time he was assassinated, Gaddafi had turned Libya into Africa’s wealthiest nation. Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy on the continent. Less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.

After NATO’s intervention in 2011, Libya is now a failed state and its economy is in shambles. As the government’s control slips through their fingers and into to the militia fighters’ hands, oil production has all but stopped.

The militias variously local, tribal, regional, Islamist or criminal, that have plagued Libya since NATO’s intervention, have recently lined up into two warring factions. Libya now has two governments, both with their own Prime Minister, parliament and army.

On one side, in the West of the country, Islamist-allied militias took over control of the capital Tripoli and other cities and set up their own government, chasing away a parliament that was elected over the summer.

On the other side, in the East of the Country, the “legitimate” government dominated by anti-Islamist politicians, exiled 1,200 kilometers away in Tobruk, no longer governs anything.

The fall of Gaddafi’s administration has created all of the country’s worst-case scenarios: Western embassies have all left, the South of the country has become a haven for terrorists, and the Northern coast a center of migrant trafficking. Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have all closed their borders with Libya. This all occurs amidst a backdrop of widespread rape, assassinations and torture that complete the picture of a state that is failed to the bone.

America is clearly fed up with the two inept governments in Libya and is now backing a third force: long-time CIA asset, General Khalifa Hifter, who aims to set himself up as Libya’s new dictator. Hifter, who broke with Gaddafi in the 1980s and lived for years in Langley, Virginia, close to the CIA’s headquarters, where he was trained by the CIA, has taken part in numerous American regime change efforts, including the aborted attempt to overthrow Gaddafi in 1996.

In 1991 the New York Times reported that Hifter may have been one of “600 Libyan soldiers trained by American intelligence officials in sabotage and other guerrilla skills…to fit in neatly into the Reagan Administration’s eagerness to topple Colonel Qaddafi”.

Hifter’s forces are currently vying with the Al Qaeda group Ansar al-Sharia for control of Libya’s second largest city, Benghazi. Ansar al-Sharia was armed by America during the NATO campaign against Colonel Gaddafi. In yet another example of the U.S. backing terrorists backfiring, Ansar al-Sharia has recently been blamed by America for the brutal assassination of U.S. Ambassador Stevens.

Hifter is currently receiving logistical and air support from the U.S. because his faction envision a mostly secular Libya open to Western financiers, speculators, and capital.

Perhaps, Gaddafi’s greatest crime, in the eyes of NATO, was his desire to put the interests of local labour above foreign capital and his quest for a strong and truly United States of Africa. In fact, in August 2011, President Obama confiscated $30 billion from Libya’s Central Bank, which Gaddafi had earmarked for the establishment of the African IMF and African Central Bank.

In 2011, the West’s objective was clearly not to help the Libyan people, who already had the highest standard of living in Africa, but to oust Gaddafi, install a puppet regime, and gain control of Libya’s natural resources.

For over 40 years, Gaddafi promoted economic democracy and used the nationalized oil wealth to sustain progressive social welfare programs for all Libyans. Under Gaddafi’s rule, Libyans enjoyed not only free health-care and free education, but also free electricity and interest-free loans. Now thanks to NATO’s intervention the health-care sector is on the verge of collapse as thousands of Filipino health workers flee the country, institutions of higher education across the East of the country are shut down, and black outs are a common occurrence in once thriving Tripoli.

One group that has suffered immensely from NATO’s bombing campaign is the nation’s women. Unlike many other Arab nations, women in Gaddafi’s Libya had the right to education, hold jobs, divorce, hold property and have an income. The United Nations Human Rights Council praised Gaddafi for his promotion of women’s rights.

When the colonel seized power in 1969, few women went to university. Today, more than half of Libya’s university students are women. One of the first laws Gaddafi passed in 1970 was an equal pay for equal work law.

Nowadays, the new “democratic” Libyan regime is clamping down on women’s rights. The new ruling tribes are tied to traditions that are strongly patriarchal. Also, the chaotic nature of post-intervention Libyan politics has allowed free reign to extremist Islamic forces that see gender equality as a Western perversion.

Three years ago, NATO declared that the mission in Libya had been “one of the most successful in NATO history.” Truth is, Western interventions have produced nothing but colossal failures in Libya, Iraq, and Syria. Lest we forget, prior to western military involvement in these three nations, they were the most modern and secular states in the Middle East and North Africa with the highest regional women’s rights and standards of living.

A decade of failed military expeditions in the Middle East has left the American people in trillions of dollars of debt. However, one group has benefited immensely from the costly and deadly wars: America’s Military-Industrial-Complex.

Building new military bases means billions of dollars for America’s military elite. As Will Blum has pointed out, following the bombing of Iraq, the United States built new bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Following the bombing of Afghanistan, the United States is now building military bases in Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Following the recent bombing of Libya, the United States has built new military bases in the Seychelles, Kenya, South Sudan, Niger and Burkina Faso.

Given that Libya sits atop the strategic intersection of the African, Middle Eastern and European worlds, Western control of the nation, has always been a remarkably effective way to project power into these three regions and beyond.

NATO’s military intervention may have been a resounding success for America’s military elite and oil companies but for the ordinary Libyan, the military campaign may indeed go down in history as one of the greatest failures of the 21st century.

Garikai Chengu is a research scholar at Harvard University. Contact him at garikai.chengu@gmail.com

Global Research

New World Order: Labor, Capital, and Ideas in the Power Law Economy

Foreign Affairs
By Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, and Michael Spence

robots
Robots at the “Hannover Messe” trade fair in Hanover, Germany, April 2014. (Morris Mac Matzen / Courtesy Reuters)

Recent advances in technology have created an increasingly unified global marketplace for labor and capital. The ability of both to flow to their highest-value uses, regardless of their location, is equalizing their prices across the globe. In recent years, this broad factor-price equalization has benefited nations with abundant low-cost labor and those with access to cheap capital. Some have argued that the current era of rapid technological progress serves labor, and some have argued that it serves capital. What both camps have slighted is the fact that technology is not only integrating existing sources of labor and capital but also creating new ones.

Machines are substituting for more types of human labor than ever before. As they replicate themselves, they are also creating more capital. This means that the real winners of the future will not be the providers of cheap labor or the owners of ordinary capital, both of whom will be increasingly squeezed by automation. Fortune will instead favor a third group: those who can innovate and create new products, services, and business models.

The distribution of income for this creative class typically takes the form of a power law, with a small number of winners capturing most of the rewards and a long tail consisting of the rest of the participants. So in the future, ideas will be the real scarce inputs in the world — scarcer than both labor and capital — and the few who provide good ideas will reap huge rewards. Assuring an acceptable standard of living for the rest and building inclusive economies and societies will become increasingly important challenges in the years to come.

LABOR PAINS

In the future, ideas will be the real scarce inputs — scarcer than both labor and capital.

Turn over your iPhone and you can read an eight-word business plan that has served Apple well: “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.” With a market capitalization of over $500 billion, Apple has become the most valuable company in the world. Variants of this strategy have worked not only for Apple and other large global enterprises but also for medium-sized firms and even “micro-multinationals.” More and more companies have been riding the two great forces of our era — technology and globalization — to profits.

Technology has sped globalization forward, dramatically lowering communication and transaction costs and moving the world much closer to a single, large global market for labor, capital, and other inputs to production. Even though labor is not fully mobile, the other factors increasingly are. As a result, the various components of global supply chains can move to labor’s location with little friction or cost. About one-third of the goods and services in advanced economies are tradable, and the figure is rising. And the effect of global competition spills over to the nontradable part of the economy, in both advanced and developing economies.

All of this creates opportunities for not only greater efficiencies and profits but also enormous dislocations. If a worker in China or India can do the same work as one in the United States, then the laws of economics dictate that they will end up earning similar wages (adjusted for some other differences in national productivity). That’s good news for overall economic efficiency, for consumers, and for workers in developing countries — but not for workers in developed countries who now face low-cost competition. Research indicates that the tradable sectors of advanced industrial countries have not been net employment generators for two decades. That means job creation now takes place almost exclusively within the large nontradable sector, whose wages are held down by increasing competition from workers displaced from the tradable sector.

Even as the globalization story continues, however, an even bigger one is starting to unfold: the story of automation, including artificial intelligence, robotics, 3-D printing, and so on. And this second story is surpassing the first, with some of its greatest effects destined to hit relatively unskilled workers in developing nations.

Visit a factory in China’s Guangdong Province, for example, and you will see thousands of young people working day in and day out on routine, repetitive tasks, such as connecting two parts of a keyboard. Such jobs are rarely, if ever, seen anymore in the United States or the rest of the rich world. But they may not exist for long in China and the rest of the developing world either, for they involve exactly the type of tasks that are easy for robots to do. As intelligent machines become cheaper and more capable, they will increasingly replace human labor, especially in relatively structured environments such as factories and especially for the most routine and repetitive tasks. To put it another way, offshoring is often only a way station on the road to automation.

This will happen even where labor costs are low. Indeed, Foxconn, the Chinese company that assembles iPhones and iPads, employs more than a million low-income workers — but now, it is supplementing and replacing them with a growing army of robots. So after many manufacturing jobs moved from the United States to China, they appear to be vanishing from China as well. (Reliable data on this transition are hard to come by. Official Chinese figures report a decline of 30 million manufacturing jobs since 1996, or 25 percent of the total, even as manufacturing output has soared by over 70 percent, but part of that drop may reflect revisions in the methods of gathering data.) As work stops chasing cheap labor, moreover, it will gravitate toward wherever the final market is, since that will add value by shortening delivery times, reducing inventory costs, and the like.

The growing capabilities of automation threaten one of the most reliable strategies that poor countries have used to attract outside investment: offering low wages to compensate for low productivity and skill levels. And the trend will extend beyond manufacturing. Interactive voice response systems, for example, are reducing the requirement for direct person-to-person interaction, spelling trouble for call centers in the developing world. Similarly, increasingly reliable computer programs will cut into transcription work now often done in the developing world. In more and more domains, the most cost-effective source of “labor” is becoming intelligent and flexible machines as opposed to low-wage humans in other countries.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

If cheap, abundant labor is no longer a clear path to economic progress, then what is? One school of thought points to the growing contributions of capital: the physical and intangible assets that combine with labor to produce the goods and services in an economy (think of equipment, buildings, patents, brands, and so on). As the economist Thomas Piketty argues in his best-selling book Capital in the Twenty-first Century, capital’s share of the economy tends to grow when the rate of return on it is greater than the general rate of economic growth, a condition he predicts for the future. The “capital deepening” of economies that Piketty forecasts will be accelerated further as robots, computers, and software (all of which are forms of capital) increasingly substitute for human workers. Evidence indicates that just such a form of capital-based technological change is taking place in the United States and around the world.

In the past decade, the historically consistent division in the United States between the share of total national income going to labor and that going to physical capital seems to have changed significantly. As the economists Susan Fleck, John Glaser, and Shawn Sprague noted in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Monthly Labor Review in 2011, “Labor share averaged 64.3 percent from 1947 to 2000. Labor share has declined over the past decade, falling to its lowest point in the third quarter of 2010, 57.8 percent.” Recent moves to “re-shore” production from overseas, including Apple’s decision to produce its new Mac Pro computer in Texas, will do little to reverse this trend. For in order to be economically viable, these new domestic manufacturing facilities will need to be highly automated.

The United States has one of the world’s highest levels of real GDP per capita — even as its median income has stagnated.

Other countries are witnessing similar trends. The economists Loukas Karabarbounis and Brent Neiman have documented significant declines in labor’s share of GDP in 42 of the 59 countries they studied, including China, India, and Mexico. In describing their findings, Karabarbounis and Neiman are explicit that progress in digital technologies is an important driver of this phenomenon: “The decrease in the relative price of investment goods, often attributed to advances in information technology and the computer age, induced firms to shift away from labor and toward capital. The lower price of investment goods explains roughly half of the observed decline in the labor share.”

But if capital’s share of national income has been growing, the continuation of such a trend into the future may be in jeopardy as a new challenge to capital emerges — not from a revived labor sector but from an increasingly important unit within its own ranks: digital capital.

In a free market, the biggest premiums go to the scarcest inputs needed for production. In a world where capital such as software and robots can be replicated cheaply, its marginal value will tend to fall, even if more of it is used in the aggregate. And as more capital is added cheaply at the margin, the value of existing capital will actually be driven down. Unlike, say, traditional factories, many types of digital capital can be added extremely cheaply. Software can be duplicated and distributed at almost zero incremental cost. And many elements of computer hardware, governed by variants of Moore’s law, get quickly and consistently cheaper over time. Digital capital, in short, is abundant, has low marginal costs, and is increasingly important in almost every industry.

Even as production becomes more capital-intensive, therefore, the rewards earned by capitalists as a group may not necessarily continue to grow relative to labor. The shares will depend on the exact details of the production, distribution, and governance systems. 

Most of all, the payoff will depend on which inputs to production are scarcest. If digital technologies create cheap substitutes for a growing set of jobs, then it is not a good time to be a laborer. But if digital technologies also increasingly substitute for capital, then all owners of capital should not expect to earn outsized returns, either.

TECHCRUNCH DISRUPT

What will be the scarcest, and hence the most valuable, resource in what two of us (Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee) have called “the second machine age,” an era driven by digital technologies and their associated economic characteristics? It will be neither ordinary labor nor ordinary capital but people who can create new ideas and innovations.

Such people have always been economically valuable, of course, and have often profited handsomely from their innovations as a result. But they had to share the returns on their ideas with the labor and capital that were necessary for bringing them into the marketplace. Digital technologies increasingly make both ordinary labor and ordinary capital commodities, and so a greater share of the rewards from ideas will go to the creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. People with ideas, not workers or investors, will be the scarcest resource.

The most basic model economists use to explain technology’s impact treats it as a simple multiplier for everything else, increasing overall productivity evenly for everyone. This model is used in most introductory economics classes and provides the foundation for the common — and, until recently, very sensible — intuition that a rising tide of technological progress will lift all boats equally, making all workers more productive and hence more valuable.

A slightly more complex and realistic model, however, allows for the possibility that technology may not affect all inputs equally but instead favor some more than others. Skill-based technical change, for example, plays to the advantage of more skilled workers relative to less skilled ones, and capital-based technical change favors capital relative to labor. Both of those types of technical change have been important in the past, but increasingly, a third type — what we call superstar-based technical change — is upending the global economy.

Today, it is possible to take many important goods, services, and processes and codify them. Once codified, they can be digitized, and once digitized, they can be replicated. Digital copies can be made at virtually zero cost and transmitted anywhere in the world almost instantaneously, each an exact replica of the original. The combination of these three characteristics — extremely low cost, rapid ubiquity, and perfect fidelity — leads to some weird and wonderful economics. It can create abundance where there had been scarcity, not only for consumer goods, such as music videos, but also for economic inputs, such as certain types of labor and capital.

The returns in such markets typically follow a distinct pattern — a power law, or Pareto curve, in which a small number of players reap a disproportionate share of the rewards. Network effects, whereby a product becomes more valuable the more users it has, can also generate these kinds of winner-take-all or winner-take-most markets. Consider Instagram, the photo-sharing platform, as an example of the economics of the digital, networked economy. The 14 people who created the company didn’t need a lot of unskilled human helpers to do so, nor did they need much physical capital. They built a digital product that benefited from network effects, and when it caught on quickly, they were able to sell it after only a year and a half for nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars — ironically, months after the bankruptcy of another photography company, Kodak, that at its peak had employed some 145,000 people and held billions of dollars in capital assets.

Instagram is an extreme example of a more general rule. More often than not, when improvements in digital technologies make it more attractive to digitize a product or process, superstars see a boost in their incomes, whereas second bests, second movers, and latecomers have a harder time competing. The top performers in music, sports, and other areas have also seen their reach and incomes grow since the 1980s, directly or indirectly riding the same trends upward.

But it is not only software and media that are being transformed. Digitization and networks are becoming more pervasive in every industry and function across the economy, from retail and financial services to manufacturing and marketing. That means superstar economics are affecting more goods, services, and people than ever before.

Even top executives have started earning rock-star compensation. In 1990, CEO pay in the United States was, on average, 70 times as large as the salaries of other workers; in 2005, it was 300 times as large. Executive compensation more generally has been going in the same direction globally, albeit with considerable variation from country to country. Many forces are at work here, including tax and policy changes, evolving cultural and organizational norms, and plain luck. But as research by one of us (Brynjolfsson) and Heekyung Kim has shown, a portion of the growth is linked to the greater use of information technology. Technology expands the potential reach, scale, and monitoring capacity of a decision-maker, increasing the value of a good decision-maker by magnifying the potential consequences of his or her choices. Direct management via digital technologies makes a good manager more valuable than in earlier times, when executives had to share control with long chains of subordinates and could affect only a smaller range of activities. Today, the larger the market value of a company, the more compelling the argument for trying to get the very best executives to lead it.

When income is distributed according to a power law, most people will be below the average, and as national economies writ large are increasingly subject to such dynamics, that pattern will play itself out on the national level. And sure enough, the United States today features one of the world’s highest levels of real GDP per capita — even as its median income has essentially stagnated for two decades.

PREPARING FOR THE PERMANENT REVOLUTION

The forces at work in the second machine age are powerful, interactive, and complex. It is impossible to look far into the future and predict with any precision what their ultimate impact will be. If individuals, businesses, and governments understand what is going on, however, they can at least try to adjust and adapt.

The United States, for example, stands to win back some business as the second sentence of Apple’s eight-word business plan is overturned because its technology and manufacturing operations are once again performed inside U.S. borders. But the first sentence of the plan will become more important than ever, and here, concern, rather than complacency, is in order. For unfortunately, the dynamism and creativity that have made the United States the most innovative nation in the world may be faltering.

Thanks to the ever-onrushing digital revolution, design and innovation have now become part of the tradable sector of the global economy and will face the same sort of competition that has already transformed manufacturing. Leadership in design depends on an educated work force and an entrepreneurial culture, and the traditional American advantage in these areas is declining. Although the United States once led the world in the share of graduates in the work force with at least an associate’s degree, it has now fallen to 12th place. And despite the buzz about entrepreneurship in places such as Silicon Valley, data show that since 1996, the number of U.S. start-ups employing more than one person has declined by over 20 percent.

If the trends under discussion are global, their local effects will be shaped, in part, by the social policies and investments that countries choose to make, both in the education sector specifically and in fostering innovation and economic dynamism more generally. For over a century, the U.S. educational system was the envy of the world, with universal K–12 schooling and world-class universities propelling sustained economic growth. But in recent decades, U.S. primary and secondary schooling have become increasingly uneven, with their quality based on neighborhood income levels and often a continued emphasis on rote learning. 

Fortunately, the same digital revolution that is transforming product and labor markets can help transform education as well. Online learning can provide students with access to the best teachers, content, and methods regardless of their location, and new data-driven approaches to the field can make it easier to measure students’ strengths, weaknesses, and progress. This should create opportunities for personalized learning programs and continuous improvement, using some of the feedback techniques that have already transformed scientific discovery, retail, and manufacturing.

Globalization and technological change may increase the wealth and economic efficiency of nations and the world at large, but they will not work to everybody’s advantage, at least in the short to medium term. Ordinary workers, in particular, will continue to bear the brunt of the changes, benefiting as consumers but not necessarily as producers. This means that without further intervention, economic inequality is likely to continue to increase, posing a variety of problems. Unequal incomes can lead to unequal opportunities, depriving nations of access to talent and undermining the social contract. Political power, meanwhile, often follows economic power, in this case undermining democracy.

These challenges can and need to be addressed through the public provision of high-quality basic services, including education, health care, and retirement security. Such services will be crucial for creating genuine equality of opportunity in a rapidly changing economic environment and increasing intergenerational mobility in income, wealth, and future prospects.

As for spurring economic growth in general, there is a near consensus among serious economists about many of the policies that are necessary. The basic strategy is intellectually simple, if politically difficult: boost public-sector investment over the short and medium term while making such investment more efficient and putting in place a fiscal consolidation plan over the longer term. Public investments are known to yield high returns in basic research in health, science, and technology; in education; and in infrastructure spending on roads, airports, public water and sanitation systems, and energy and communications grids. Increased government spending in these areas would boost economic growth now even as it created real wealth for subsequent generations later.

Should the digital revolution continue to be as powerful in the future as it has been in recent years, the structure of the modern economy and the role of work itself may need to be rethought. As a group, our descendants may work fewer hours and live better — but both the work and the rewards could be spread even more unequally, with a variety of unpleasant consequences. Creating sustainable, equitable, and inclusive growth will require more than business as usual. The place to start is with a proper understanding of just how fast and far things are evolving.

Foreign Affairs

Top Scientist: This Version Of Ebola Looks Like ‘A Very Different Bug’

The Economic Collapse
by Michael Snyder

Ebola Virus Particles - Photo by NIAIDBarack Obama and the head of the CDC need to quit saying that we know exactly how Ebola spreads.  Because the truth is that there is much about this virus that we simply do not know.  For example, a top Ebola scientist that is working in the heart of the outbreak in Liberia says that this version of Ebola looks like it could be “a very different bug” from past versions.  Other leading scientists are echoing his concerns.  And yet Barack Obama and Thomas Frieden continue to publicly proclaim that we know precisely how this virus behaves.  Not only is that bad science, but it could also potentially result in the unnecessary deaths of a very large number of people.  For example, Obama has refused to implement an Ebola travel ban because he is greatly underestimating the seriousness of this virus.  This decision could turn out to be incredibly costly.  If what you will read about below is true, we could be dealing with some sort of “super Ebola” that nobody has ever seen before.

Peter Jahrling of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease is on the front lines fighting this disease in Liberia.  He is one of the top authorities in the world on Ebola, and what his team has been seeing under the microscope is incredibly sobering

Now U.S. scientist Peter Jahrling of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease believes the current Ebola outbreak may be caused by an infection that spreads more easily than it did before.

Dr Jahrling explained that his team, who are working in the epicentre of the crisis in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, are seeing that the viral loads in Ebola patients are much higher than they are used to seeing.

He told Vox.com: ‘We are using tests now that weren’t using in the past, but there seems to be a belief that the virus load is higher in these patients [today] than what we have seen before. If true, that’s a very different bug.

‘I have a field team in Monrovia. They are running [tests]. They are telling me that viral loads are coming up very quickly and really high, higher than they are used to seeing.

It may be that the virus burns hotter and quicker.’

Other top scientists are making similar observations.

The following comes from a recent article posted on Washington’s Blog

The head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota – Dr. Michael Osterholm – is a prominent public health scientist and a nationally recognized biosecurity expert.

Dr. Osterholm just gave a talk shown on C-Span explaining that a top Ebola virologist – the Head of Special Pathogens at Canada’s health agency, Gary Kobinger – has found that the current strain of Ebola appears to be much worse than any strain seen before … and that the current virus may be more likely to spread through aerosols than strains which scientists have previously encountered.

I have posted video of that talk on C-Span below…

But even if we were dealing with the exact same strain of Ebola, that does not mean that our leaders are telling us the truth when they say that it is not an airborne virus.

Just check out the following quotes from top scientists about the spread of Ebola from a recent Los Angeles Times article

Dr. C.J. Peters, who battled a 1989 outbreak of the virus among research monkeys housed in Virginia and who later led the CDC’s most far-reaching study of Ebola’s transmissibility in humans, said he would not rule out the possibility that it spreads through the air in tight quarters.

“We just don’t have the data to exclude it,” said Peters, who continues to research viral diseases at the University of Texas in Galveston.

Dr. Philip K. Russell, a virologist who oversaw Ebola research while heading the U.S. Army’s Medical Research and Development Command, and who later led the government’s massive stockpiling of smallpox vaccine after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, also said much was still to be learned. “Being dogmatic is, I think, ill-advised, because there are too many unknowns here.

And I have written about this before, but so many people don’t know about this that it bears repeating.  The following is an excerpt from a news story about a study that was conducted back in 2012 that demonstrated that the Ebola virus can be transferred from one animal to another animal without any physical contact whatsoever…

When news broke that the Ebola virus had resurfaced in Uganda, investigators in Canada were making headlines of their own with research indicating the deadly virus may spread between species, through the air.

The team, comprised of researchers from the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, the University of Manitoba, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, observed transmission of Ebola from pigs to monkeys. They first inoculated a number of piglets with the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus. Ebola-Zaire is the deadliest strain, with mortality rates up to 90 percent. The piglets were then placed in a room with four cynomolgus macaques, a species of monkey commonly used in laboratories. The animals were separated by wire cages to prevent direct contact between the species.

Within a few days, the inoculated piglets showed clinical signs of infection indicative of Ebola infection. In pigs, Ebola generally causes respiratory illness and increased temperature. Nine days after infection, all piglets appeared to have recovered from the disease.

Within eight days of exposure, two of the four monkeys showed signs of Ebola infection. Four days later, the remaining two monkeys were sick too. It is possible that the first two monkeys infected the other two, but transmission between non-human primates has never before been observed in a lab setting.

So when Barack Obama and Thomas Frieden get up and tell us that they know with 100% certainty that Ebola is not airborne, they are lying to you.

There is so much about this outbreak that we simply do not know.

Our public officials should be honest about that.

Instead, it seems like they are flying by the seats of their pants and just saying whatever they think will keep everyone calm.

We are potentially facing the greatest health crisis of this generation, and bad science and false assurances are not going to help anyone.

Sadly, Barack Obama just continues to make bad decision after bad decision.  This includes his very foolish decision to send thousands of U.S. troops right into the heart of the Ebola death zone.

It is being reported that these troops are only going to get just four hours of Ebola training, and the Pentagon is saying that they “will only need gloves and masks” to protect themselves…

Troops from the 101st Airborne Division leading the military response to Ebola in West Africa will only need gloves and masks to protect themselves from the deadly virus, so said Gen. David Rodriguez at a Pentagon briefing Wednesday.

“They don’t need the whole suit – as such – because they’re not going to be in contact with any of the people,” the commander of U.S. troops in Africa said.

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne will primarily be building hospitals, ultimately leading what could be a contingent of 4,000 American service members. They’ll be housed either in tent cities at military airfields or in Liberian Ministry of Defense facilities, Rodriguez said.

Soldiers’ health will be monitored through surveys and taking their temperature on their way in and out of camps. If a service member does get sick, Rodriguez said they will be flown home immediately for treatment.

Who is going to be held accountable when these young men and women start coming home sick?

So far the federal response to this Ebola crisis has been a parade of incompetence.

And yet we continue to be told that “everything is under control”.

I don’t know about you, but I have a bad feeling about all of this.

The Economic Collapse

US Economy Safety Margin Tested as Oil Prices Go Down

Strategic Culture
by Alexander DONETSKY

Oil prices fluctuations is a routine matter for world economy. After the abrupt fall in 2009 sparked by global financial crisis, the «black gold» spiked to over 100 dollars a barrel to stay stable in February 2011 to September 2014. 

The current 20% price fall with the volume of sales remaining the same results in only 5,8-5,9% profit fall for Russia because in 2013 the oil accounted for only 29, 1% of all its national exports. A large part of oil income does not go straight to the budget but to the National Reserve Fund and the National Wealth Fund. The export duties make up 18-36% of the price. The resource rent from extraction also goes to the funds. As a result, the 20% price results in 2-3 % of the total volume of exports. 

The funds mentioned above are not parts of the state budget. The Reserve Fund (3 544, 83 billion rubles) and the Wealth Fund with 3 276, 79 billion rubles – the both figures as of October 2014 – are fed from the same sources as the budget but the income is nominated in foreign bonds and currencies. In fact, the funds provide Russian investments into other countries’ economies. The fall of prices does not affect the economy of Russia but rather the economies of the countries the funds invest into by buying the bonds. 

The situation has changed a bit recently. President Putin has taken a decision to redirect the income flows from the funds to the Russian state budget to spur the national economy. 

* * *

Normally the fall of oil prices is explained by great powers economic slowdowns, the increase of production by exporters or the forecasts predicting an emergence of a powerful actor able to dump the prices. 

Stock exchange rates immediately react to US economic indexes, but it’s not the case. According to Federal Reserve System’s report issued just a few days ago, the US economy goes through moderate, though not bright, economic growth against the background of much more vibrant rise in other countries. 

The European Union is going through rather hard times sparked by the US-imposed sanctions against Russia. There is no significant economic growth in Europe. The further pressure exerted by the United States and possible retaliatory measures taken by Russia may deteriorate the situation to make another European economic crisis a reality. 

Some time ago China was reported to overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy in accordance with the International Monetary Fund estimates (the analysis is based on one data point that recasts GDP based on consumer purchasing power adjusted for local prices and wages).  It means that one of the largest oil consuming economies continues to make progress, so the exporters of «black gold» have nothing to worry about. 

The increase of Russian oil production could not affect the world prices much because the extraction grew by only 1, 2% during the recent 9 months. In September, when the oil prices fell to the lowest level, the OPEC production increased by only 1, 3%. 

There is one more factor to influence the price – an alleged emergence of a competitor using dumping tactics. In theory there is one – the US companies involved in shale oil extraction. The US oil producers say the reserves are enough to last for 200 years (58 billion tons). The Russian reserves are estimated to be 75 billion tons. In the near future neither Russia, nor the United States with its shale energy boom can increase the volume of sold oil to produce a significant price fall. 

Then there is only one cause left – politics. We saw it in the 1970s. Arab states brought down the oil prices as a result of US pressure inflicting huge losses on the Soviet budget. Almost each and everything became a deficit for Soviet citizens. I wouldn’t like to accuse the United States it is doing the same thing without a substantiated reason, but this situation is pretty similar to what happened then. The Cold War against Russia appears to return, there are attempts made to suffocate it economically by delivering a strike to affect the people’s well-being. 

* * *

Speaking at the ASEM forum in Milan, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the world economy will not sustain oil prices at around 80 dollars per barrel. He is confident that in a short time the price of oil settles, adjusts, because «none of the market participants are interested in the price drops below $ 80». Putin also reminded that the Russian budget is planned on the basis of $96 per barrel. «In any case, I want to stress that Russia, the Russian Government, will undoubtedly fulfil all its social obligations. We have enough of a safety margin. Maybe we will need to adjust something in the budget. Maybe. Maybe we will even reduce some of our spending. But this will certainly not involve cuts in social spending. The Government of the Russian Federation will fulfil all its social obligations, and it is capable of doing this without any particular losses», said the President. 

80 dollars a barrel is not only a psychological index. For many OPEC members the further fall of prices may entail significant budget cuts and the following deterioration of living standards. Social instability is a direct threat to a state. 

Of course, China will benefit in case the energy prices go down but it does not serve the United States and Europe’s interests as they have become the consumers of China-produced commodities since a long time ago. It will hinder the plans to re-industrialize the United States and the European Union. 

US shale oil producers will suffer most. According to experts’ estimates, the cost of production is around 80-90 dollars a barrel, 4-5 times more than the traditional oil. It means that the current price – 85 dollars a barrel as of October 17 – makes the companies operate in the red. Some producers will have to suspend operations facing mass bankruptcy in case the oil price falls lower than 80 dollars as shareholders start getting rid of zero profit bonds. The shale oil «soap bubble» will blow like the housing construction industry «bubble» blew in 2008. Of course, as time goes by oil prices will go up but it’ll be a different world with some US oil producers non-existent anymore… 

* * *

The oil has more negative surprises for the US, or the oil dollar to make it more precise. Prominent US trader Jim Sinclair called it the only valuable thing in the world. He believes that Russia can retaliate to badly damage the dollar, «Russia could retaliate in a way that would have a phenomenal impact on the U.S. dollar… Russia has the upper hand. They have it in their ability to turn the U.S. economy upside down and into collapse».  Actually that’s what is happening: the fall of oil price calculated in dollars took place simultaneously with the rise of the dollar rate to ruble benefiting Russian exporters who spend rubles not dollars. They win big. Russia has made the first tentative deals to sell energy in rubles to China. China has concluded a number of agreements switching from dollar to national currencies. The recent BRICS summit decided to switch to national currencies in mutual payments.

Nobody is interested in the impetuous collapse of US economy as a result of the dollar being pushed aside from the position of world reserve currency because the world financial system may go down crumbling. That’s why Russia and China are implementing the plan to create a new world reserve currency without haste and unneeded excitement responding to the US attempts to destabilize international situation by unleashing the full-scale war in Ukraine, making fall the oil prices critically important for Russian budget and staging the unrest in Hong Kong. As the sanctions were introduced, some Russian banks have already switched to Chinese banks granting credits in yuan and supporting the Chinese national UnionPay system as an alternative to US Visa and MasterCard. 

Strategic Culture

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