viernes, 31 de julio de 2015

Cuando el gato no está

Leemos estas tres notas seguidas de Webster Tarpley en su sitio web ( El tema: ¿Trastada a Obama (aprovechando que estaba de viaje en Kenia) en favor de la invasión final a Siria? El papel de Turquía. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 — UFAA/TWSP Morning Briefing

Título: Coup d’Etat in Washington: While Obama Visits Africa, ISIS Czar Allen Rams Through No Fly Buffer Zone in Northern Syria, Protecting ISIS Supply Line from Kurds; Obama Must Fire Allen Now! #FireAllen4ISIS

Texto: At the present time, ISIS supplies can pass through Turkey into rebel held-Syria only on border areas West of Jarabulus on the Euphrates approximately to Dabiq. If the Kurds were able to seize this area, as they have already seized the area around Kobane, ISIS forces would collapse.

While the cat’s away, the rats will play– and this time the rats are the clique around General John Allen who have been for months demanding a wider US war in Syria for the purpose of overthrowing the Assad government. Now, with Obama in Kenya and Ethiopia, as far out of the loop as it is possible to be, the Allen clique has decided to confront the President with a fait accompli in the form of the buffer zone / safe zone/ no fly zone which the deranged Moslem Brotherhood fanatics and neo-Ottoman megalomaniacs have been seeking. This treacherous maneuver is being accomplished as a series of subterfuges– last Friday, the Turkish government was supposedly bombing ISIS; on Saturday, the world learned that the main target was the Kurdish PKK in northern Iraq. On Monday, the headline of the Washington Post announced: “Turkey, US plan safe zone in Syria.” This Turkish farce must stop. Obama must stop this monstrosity now!

This current coup comes in the following form. Obama is in Africa addressing the African Union on the problem posed by ISIS, and is thus isolated from his usual cluster of White House advisors and other inputs. Turkey has begun its deceptive bombing attacks against the Kurds, weakening the most effective opponents of ISIS. On Monday, the front page of The Washington Post declared the air campaign will be expanded into a “safe-zone” along the Turkish-Syrian border that “could become a haven for civilians” — meaning ISIS and Nusra butchers disguised as the “Free Syrian Army”.

Obama had been reluctant to follow Erdogan’s demand for a no-fly zone in Syria. Obama’s answer was always NO. Now, with Obama out of the country, the opportunist clique of military officers led by General John Allen have seized on the opportunity to preserve a supply line for more ISIS fighters to infiltrate Syria through an alleged refugee sanctuary. Allen, representing the axis of NATO, Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia and Turks ostensibly fighting ISIS, has claimed that his recent visits to Turkey contained no talk of creating a buffer zone. As our Daily Briefing reported over the weekend:

ISIS czar General John Allen met with Turkish delegates earlier this month, resulting in contradictory reports over the status of establishing a no-fly zone over Syria; Allen claims that, ‘No. It was not part of the discussion,’ but Turkish publications claim that Ankara, ‘got what it received in the negotiations, which is a no-fly zone.’”

Pushing ISIS away from the Turkish border, regardless of the semantic argument over whether it will be a buffer zone/safe zone/no-fly zone or “civilian haven” are all methods for achieving the same end. Any place along the Turkish-Syrian border put under the control of the NATO-Turkey-Saudi-Qatar Axis represented by Gen. Allen would act as a smuggling route transporting ISIS fighters, money and equipment into the country and oil or other resources out of the country.

The alleged “civilian haven” would represent the only part of the Turkish-Syrian border not interdicted by Kurdish forces who will not let ISIS logistics cross into Syria. In recent weeks, the Kurds had almost completely seized the Turkish-Syria border crossings, threatening to completely sever the ISIS supply line running from Turkey into northern Syria. The Erdogan-Allen civilian haven would represent an open door for foreign fighters to cross into northern Syria. If the Kurds had in fact succeeded in interdicting the entire border, ISIS would have been severely weakened and possibly doomed. Therefore, Erdogan and Allen had to spring into action to save their ISIS asset from destruction.

The foreign fighters passing through this open door, would not only be unleashed on Assad, who has consolidated his forces in western Syria, but also be directed against the weakened Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. Assad recently said the consolidation of the Syrian Army is a result of the prolonged war of attrition NATO is waging against him, using fanatical foreign jihadis. With Assad’s offensive attacks temporarily slowed, the Kurds are an indispensable force against ISIS. As Time Magazine of July 23, 2015 argued:

The recent run of victories in Syria illustrates the Kurds’ battlefield capabilities. Six months after winning in Kobani, the Turkish border town where as many as 1,000 ISIS fighters died, Syrian Kurd fighters on June 15 took another border town, Tel Abyad, creating a corridor on Syria’s northern border and—far more important—cutting off the main supply line to Raqqah, ISIS’s capital 60 miles due south. On Tuesday, the Kurd forces—a Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK—seized a military base known as Brigade 93, as well as the town adjoining it, Ain Issa. The victories put them within 30 miles of Raqqah.

This analysis shows how close ISIS has been coming to collapse and rout, in sharp contrast to the myth of invincibility trumpeted by the rotten US media. Pushing the Frankenstein monster of ISIS away from Turkey and towards the Kurds is Erdogan’s goal. Pushing ISIS towards Iraq and Iran is the goal of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Destroying Assad and partitioning Syria is the goal of General Allen, NATO and their supporters like General Petraeus and the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Wall Street faction behind Petraeus and Allen. Obama’s absence from the White House allowed the perfect opportunity for this clique to enact a shift in U.S. policy that has matured over time.

The Obama Administration now is left with two choices: Either accept the coup d’etat or fire General Allen and pursue further cooperation with Iran to rebuild the Middle East with a new Marshall Plan.

Note: A coup d’etat does not necessarily mean that government leaders are overtly removed from power by force. In fact, the idea of a coup is that the policy of government is dramatically shifted, often with those in power simply following along to maintain appearances and their position of power. One example of this was the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Another example is currently in progress.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015 — UFAA/TWSP Morning Briefing

Título: Allen-Erdogan Safe Zone / No Fly Coup Confirmed as ISIS Czar’s Treachery During Obama’s Absence in Africa; White House Fights Back with Appointment of Ratney, Slated to Function as Obama’s Anti-Allen; Erdogan Steers Towards Dictatorship and Civil War with Kurds; Robin Wright Plan Cited as Putschist Program; Megalomania Rampant in Ankara

Texto: Yesterday we argued that ISIS Czar Gen. John Allen had taken advantage of President Obama’s absence in Kenya and Ethiopia in order to mount a coup d’état in cahoots with Turkish President Erdogan, committing the United States to support a Turkish-controlled free zone or buffer zone, complete with no-fly air protection, in northern Syria. The purpose of this piece of treachery is twofold: first, to make sure that the vital supply lines running from Turkey into northern Syria – which are essential if ISIS is to continue in its role as a classic CIA secret army — are not cut, and secondly, that ISIS be pushed away from the Turkish-Syrian border and made to channel its genocidal energy toward the Kurdish zone of northern Iraq, since Erdogan hates and fears the PKK in northern Iraq as the possible point of crystallization for a pan-Kurdish state emerging in the near future.

In response to the widespread diffusion of this analysis overnight, we have received the following confirmation from a well-informed and highly reliable Middle East source:

Your information fits together with what I have learned. On Friday, Obama called Erdogan and threatened to kick Turkey out of NATO if the Turkish president were to refuse to (1) immediately abandon his natural gas pipeline contract with Russia (South Stream or Turkish Stream) and (2) immediately stop supporting ISIS. Obama then embarked on his visit to Africa.

Allen then conspired with Erdogan to create the no-fly zones and to carry out the bombing operation against the PKK [Turkish Workers Party armed militants in northern Iraq]. These two objectives aim at implementing the Robin Wright plan (a Kurdistan state in Iraq and in Syria, but not in Turkey, plus a Sunnistan with Daesh (ISIS, Caliphate) in Iraq and Syria, while also sabotaging the US-Iran nuclear accord.

Obama responded by repudiating Allen and by appointing Michael Ratney as his special envoy for Syria.

In the afternoon of Monday, July 27, the State Department did indeed announce the Ratney appointment, which was soon reported by the wire services:

Washington (AFP) – The United States named a new special envoy to Syria on Monday, the third since the war began four years ago, as Washington seeks a political solution to the conflict.

Michael Ratney, an Arabic speaker who served as US consul general in Jerusalem, and as a diplomat in Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco and Qatar, replaces Daniel Rubinstein.

Ratney will have to run a very energetic and no holds barred campaign if he wants to stop the subversive intrigues of Isis Czar Allen, a leading member of the Petraeus cabal of disgruntled and insubordinate officers, with Petraeus enjoying the support of Wall Street mogul Henry Kravis and his multibillion-dollar fortune. Obama would be very well advised to fire Allen on the spot for acting as an agent of foreign powers – in this case, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the Moslem Brotherhood.

As for Erdogan, he is now in the manic phase of a berserk rampage. He has announced that a peace process with the PKK Kurds will henceforth be impossible. Erdogan is also demanding that his regime acquire the capability of jailing members of the parliamentary opposition, despite the fact that the Turkish Constitution expressly provides ironclad immunity for these elected officials. Erdogan is of course reacting to the landmark success of the ethnic Kurdish party HDP in the elections last spring. The HDP got 13% of the votes and 80 of 550 seats in the Turkish parliament. The overall result of this election deprived the Erdogan-Davutoglu party of the seats needed to unilaterally dictate changes in the Constitution, a process which Erdogan wanted to use to concentrate virtually total power in his own hands.

What will become of the pro-democracy demagogy which is the hallmark of NATO if Turkey, one of the leading members of the Atlantic Alliance, starts jailing members of the opposition on orders from the dictator Erdogan, who may be hoping one day to reign as caliph himself?

Knowledgeable observers have pointed out that Kurds make up between 18% and 20%, and perhaps even more, of the Turkish population of about 74 million. The Kurds are heavily concentrated in the southeast of the country. It is no exaggeration to say that Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman chimera is generating the very real threat of civil war. Civil war in Turkey would have the most devastating regional and global consequences. Erdogan must either be neutralized or ousted.

The Robin Wright Plan referred to by the source quoted above amounts to a variation on the general theme of the BERNARD LEWIS PLAN for the further Balkanization of the Middle East, with rump states, failed states, mini-states, micro-states, warlords, and terrorist states. The veteran journalist Robin Wright had two years ago circulated a version of this Anglo-American anti-nation-state policy for the Middle East and beyond, writing:

Over time, Iraq’s Sunni minority — notably in western Anbar Province, site of anti-government protests — may feel more commonality with eastern Syria’s Sunni majority. Tribal ties and smuggling span the border. Together, they could form a de facto or formal Sunnistan. Iraq’s south would effectively become Shiitestan [sic], although separation is not likely to be that neat. The dominant political parties in the two Kurdish regions of Syria and Iraq have longstanding differences, but when the border opened in August, more than 50,000 Syrian Kurds fled to Iraqi Kurdistan, creating new cross-border communities. (Robin Wright, “Imagining a Remapped Middle East,” New York Times, Sepember 28, 2013)

At Tuesday’s emergency NATO meeting, Erdogan’s top sidekick Davutoglu pontificated that Turkey considers ISIS and the Kurds as the same thing – a manifest absurdity. He then demanded that all the NATO allies provide enthusiastic support for his government’s policy, which amounts to building ISIS up and attempting to push these crazies, like a cloud of locusts, towards Iran and the Russian Caucasus.

The impudence, arrogance, and megalomania of the Turkish ruling clique know no limits. It is time for the rug to be pulled out from under these turbulent and demented figures.


Thursday, July 30, 2015 — UFAA/TWSP Morning Briefing

Título: Putschist Clique Sends Out NATO Commander Gen. Breedlove to Deny Obvious Fact of a Safe Haven for ISIS Terrorists Being Carved Out of Northern Syria; Erdogan’s Children Deeply Implicated in Caliphate; Short History of Cabal’s Relentless Attempts to Embroil US vs Assad

Texto: Thanks to the cowardly failure of the US mainstream media to pay attention to a pro-war putsch occurring in Washington during Obama’s African trip as first reported in this publication on Monday, July 28, the Petraeus-Allen faction was able today to send out one of its acolytes, NATO’s supreme commander, General Philip Breedlove to be interviewed on the PBS News Hour. Questioned by Gwen Ifill about reports of a US-Turkish agreement to create a safe haven under no-fly protection in northern Syria, Breedlove simply stonewalled, totally denying the existence of any such safe zone. And, thanks to Gwen Ifill’s softball style when dealing with illustrious warmongers, this impudent mendacity was allowed to pass totally unchallenged. Breedlove, having done his best to hide the reality, then retreated into a cloud of threats and hysteria about Putin’s Russia.

In the meantime, Thierry Meyssan of the Voltaire Network (Réseau Voltaire) is providing new revelations about the role of Turkish President Erdogan as one of the top terrorist controllers running ISIS and parallel groups like al Qaeda. Voltaire writes: “in order to care for the wounded ISIS jihadis, Erdogan has created a secret hospital, outside of the combat zones, in the Turkish town of Sanliurfa, not far north of the Turkish-Syrian border. This town was already the site of a secret Al Qaeda training camp. The wounded ISIS fighters are taken to this hospital in Turkish military vehicles by the MIT (Milli Istihbarat Teskilati or national intelligence organization). This hospital is under the personal supervision of Sümeyye Erdogan, the daughter of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. She is also the director of international relations for the Erdogan-Davutoglu AKP Islamist party.

In addition, according to Gürsel Tekin, the spokesman of the CHP party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi or “Republican People’s Party”), the crude oil stolen by ISIS is now being exported by BMZ Ltd., the shipping company controlled by Bilal Erdogan, the son of President Erdogan, in flagrant violation of Resolution 2170 of the United Nations Security Council. (See « Le rôle de la famille Erdogan au sein de Daesh, » Réseau Voltaire, 26 juillet 2015)

The immediate roots of the present situation go back to the spring of 2014, when US Secretary of State John “Skull and Bones” Kerry and his humanitarian bomber sidekick Samantha Power, became frustrated at their inability to get Obama to commit to a full scale air war against the Assad government of Syria. At that point, Kerry and Power turned to the Petraeus clique of disgruntled, dishonored, and defeated flag officers. As the Wall Street Journal wrote at that time:

“Frustrated by the stalemate in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry has been pushing for the U.S. military to be more aggressive in supporting the country’s rebel forces. Opposition has come from the institution that would spearhead any such effort: the Pentagon. Mr. Kerry and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power have advocated options that range from an American military intervention to weaken the regime of President Bashar al-Assad to using U.S. special operations forces to train and equip a large number of rebel fighters. Such moves would go far beyond the U.S.’s current engagement. In recent White House meetings, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have pushed back against military intervention, said senior officials….Searching for new options, Mr. Kerry has been huddling with retired generals David Petraeus and Jack Keane, architects of the 2007 troop surge in Iraq. The two generals have told Mr. Kerry they believe a military program to train and equip the Syrian rebels, and limited strikes to weaken Mr. Assad, could be effective, according to U.S. officials.” (Julian Barnes, “John Kerry, U.S. Military Clash on Approach to Syria’s Rebels: Pentagon Opposes Direct Military Intervention Against Assad,” Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2014, at

Gen. Keane is notoriously a satellite of the neocon-warmonger Kagan clan, who featured prominently in the Bush 2007 surge in Iraq, which helped prepare the coming of ISIS. This illegal and seditious activity did not escape the attention of; we discussed this operation at length in a broadcast headlined: “Warmonger Clique Exposed: Kerry, Samantha Power, Gen. Keane, Petraeus Press Obama and Dempsey to Attack Syria for Benefit of Erdogan, Saudis.” (April 12, 2014)

A few months later, just after the November 2014 election, the warmonger network began showing its preference for bureaucratic ends, resulting in a wider war, but conducted while Obama was out of the country. In this case, the broadcast denouncing and attempted pro-war putsch was headlined: “Post-Election War Coup: GOP Chairman Ed Royce of House Foreign Affairs Committee Touts “Policy Review” on Syria, in Reality a Cover for the Latest Kerry-Allen-McCain Effort to Bomb Assad, Save ISIS and Al Qaeda; Bid Comes with Obama Overseas….” (November 14, 2014)

Mid-November 2014 was also the time of Obama’s celebrated “Brisbane No,” when he repudiated before the world press any intention of launching an attack on the Assad government. But the secret government intrigue continued. Secretary of Defense Hagel had joined with uniformed flag officers to try to block the putschists from driving this country into a wider war. ISIS Czar Allen, evidently mobilizing the full power of subversive networks across the US federal government, was able to secure Hagel’s ouster. Petraeus wanted Hagel’s successor to be Michele Flournoy of his favorite think tank, the Center for a New American Security, but here he was unsuccessful. The nod went to Ashton Carter, a Utopian “defense intellectual” of the Strangelove school. As we commented at that time: “ISIS Czar Allen Ousts Hagel from Pentagon; Defense Secretary Had Opposed McCain Demand to Spare ISIS and Al Qaeda, Shift to Bombing Assad Only; Petraeus’ Candidate Michele Flournoy Forced to Drop Out.” (November 29, 2014)

The Petraeus-Allen faction is consumed by ambition and the lust for power. Never forget that on August 7, 2012, the reactionary Drudge Report asserted that, “Obama has told a top fundraiser he thinks Romney wants to name CIA boss Gen. David Petraeus as his running mate.” Of course, Petraeus is now deeply tarnished by his illicit affair with adoring puff piece biographer Paula Broadwell, and his subsequent felony conviction for mishandling top-secret documents. But, with the backing of Kravis, the General is determined to forge ahead.

We should also recall that many top generals and admirals regard ISIS Czar Allen with loathing and resentment. As Mark Perry wrote soon after Allen was named to the State Department by Kerry:

“…not everyone was pleased, especially at the Pentagon, where top generals had deep misgivings ….

Among the dissenters was the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Lloyd Austin…. Austin complained to aides that Allen would report directly to the president — bypassing both himself and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Austin believed that Allen’s appointment would lead to confusion about who was really leading the effort, a senior U.S. officer who serves with Austin told me several days after the appointment. “Why the hell do we need a special envoy — isn’t that what [Secretary of State] John Kerry’s for?” this senior officer asked.

Austin’s private doubts echoed the deep skepticism among a host of serving and retired officers…Included in this group was former U.S. Central Command (Centcom) chief Anthony Zinni, who issued a harsh public condemnation of the appointment…. “John Allen is a great guy,” Zinni told a reporter on Sept. 12, “but does it take a retired general to coordinate a coalition? What is Centcom, chopped liver? … Who is really leading here — that is my question…

The Allen appointment also sparked grumbling among a cadre of Marine Corps officers who had served in Iraq’s restive western province of Anbar during the Sunni Awakening of 2006 and 2007. In that period, the Marines serving under Gen. James Conway and Gen. James Mattis successfully kick-started the Anbar Awakening during a series of meetings with Sunni tribal heads in Amman, Jordan. While Allen served as deputy commanding general of the international forces in Anbar from 2006 to 2008, several senior officers and Defense Department officials involved in the Awakening say that Allen did not play a lead role in their effort….

“John Allen is taking a lot of credit for the work done by others,” said one of the officers who served in a senior position under Conway. “I was in those meetings, and I don’t remember seeing him.” (See Mark Perry, “Is Gen. John Allen in Over His Head? –President Obama’s point man in the fight against the Islamic State faces a ruthless foe. But his detractors at home — even in the Pentagon — may be his biggest enemy,” Foreign Policy, October 30, 2014, at

If this account is correct, Alan must be seen as something less than the consummate counterinsurgency and countergang expert he pretends to be. Maybe his lack of expertise will end up damaging the entire ISIS project. And maybe some of his many enemies, including those officers who perhaps do not share Allen’s determination to make Turkish-Saudi controlled ISIS the centerpiece of US Middle East policy, will help him down the road to failure and oblivion.


No, no hablamos ni del motonauta ni de Mauri. De Massita tampoco. Hablamos de una encuesta que acaba de realizar un medio nacionalista ucraniano a los ciudadanos ucranianos. ¿A qué político elegiría como presidente de Ucrania? Repetimos: un medio nacionalista ucraniano le pregunta a ciudadanos ucranianos. Contestaron más de cuarenta mil chabones. La respuesta aparece en esta nota de Fort Russ de hoy:

Título: 84% of Ukrainians would entrust Putin with Ukraine

Texto: A new information tragedy in Ukraine. It started so innocently: the nationally conscious patriotic website organized a survey. The question was: which politician would you entrust with governing your country? 41.664 votes were cast. The results were a knock-out blow for the organizers--a full and crushing victory for Vladimir Putin. Treason!

Let's look at the results:

Putin: 84% (34,905 votes)
Lukashenko: 5% (2032)
Xi Jinping 2% (820) 
Zhirinovskiy 2% (708)
Poroshenko 1% (538 votes)
Merkel 1% (430 votes)
Marie Le Pen 1% (426 votes)
Nazarbayev 1% (318 votes)
Obama 1% (244 votes)
Timoshenko 0% (176)
Lyashko 0% (170)
Yatsenyuk 0% (158)
Kolomoysky 0% (150)
Simonenko 0% (130)
Kuchma 0% (86)
Yanukovych 0% (116)
Tigipko 0% (76)
Kravchuk 0% (32)
Yushchenko 0% (32)

Even Zhirinovskiy doubled Poroshenko's score! In spite of the common wisdom which says that if Vladimir Volfovich takes up the Ukrainian question, the nationally conscious will be left in charge of Lvov, and even that will be a lease...All in all, pretty bad news for the embroidered shirt crowd...

One could of course argue that Kremlin trolls attacked the poll en masse, pushing the Putin button in order to play mind games with the patriotic citizens of Ukraine and to establish the "bloody dictatorship of the Moscow tyrant." One could, but who will believe it. The site is well known in a very narrow circle, and is rather not frequented by "trolls and bots": this landfill of an internet resource is visited mainly by the nationally conscious warriors.

Now about Putin. It's no wonder: he is considered to be the world's number 1 politician according to the global media community. That's the result of the 2013 world survey of 175 news agencies and media outlets around the world. Naturally, did not participate in that survey but confirmed its results nevertheless: even in Ukraine where the population is being thoroughly zombified and threatened with the image of the Russian president 24 hours a day, his rating is off the scale. Therefore Ukraine's national idea, defined in terms of "Ending Putin" is suffering a defeat on all fronts.

J.Hawk's Comment: 

I'd add that even it was "bots and trolls" voting for Putin, where is the pro-Poroshenko/Yatsenyuk/Lyashko/Timoshenko enthusiasm? Right? That, in my view, is what speaks in favor of its authenticity, the fact that none (NONE, KARL!) of Ukraine's leaders elicit respect, admiration, emulation, gratitude, love, or even mere tolerance. No, they are all hated or, worse, despised. Putin, on the other hand, commands respect, grudging or otherwise, even in the US.

This poll, incidentally, is indicative of a crucial difference between Ukraine and Russia. Russia has a strong tradition of statehood and, with it, a strong tradition of an exacting system of cadre selection and training which fails only rarely. Ukraine has neither. Therefore the sort of incompetent mediocrity that is virtually every mid-level and senior Ukrainian official (can anyone name anyone who doesn't fit that characterization) would never make anywhere close to the top in Russia which is generally run by people who actually know what they are doing (what a concept!), and where the incompetent mediocrities have been largely relegated to the ranks of the "liberal" "opposition" which pines for a Maidan because that's the only way they could come to power.

And, as Comrade Stalin once said, "cadres decide everything." The fate of countries and empires turns on their ability to discharge the functions of office they occupy. Ukrainian elites' inability to do so means Ukraine, as a state, is doomed. If it had "someone like Putin" (and Putin's cadre which actually runs the country in his name), it just might pull it off. But it doesn't so it won't.

Supporting freedom

Evidentemente hay países que no entienden lo que es la libertad y la democracia. Sin ir más lejos, los rusos; qué tipos. Les molesta que el NED les financie golpes blandos contra el presidente Putin y diversas instituciones rusas, como la Duma o las Fuerzas Armadas. Y hoy es el NED, pero mañana va a ser la Open Society de ese filántropo, George Soros, y pasado va a ser la Freedom House. Estos últimos, los Chiqui-fridoms, vienen a ser una de las caripelas visibles del Council on Foreign Relations, institución ultrareaccionaria encargada de difuminar la idea de que país que no agache el lomo ante el Imperio, que reviente. En fin, ya no se puede vivir, chicos. Leemos en la versión castellana de Al Manar:

Título: Rusia expulsa a organización norteamericana por actividades subversivas

Texto: El Fiscal General de la Federación Rusa ha declarado a la organización estadounidense Fundación Nacional por la Democracia (National Endowment for Democracy, NED) "indeseable", según un representante de la Fiscalía.

Todas las actividades de esta fundación son calificadas de "amenazadoras" para los fundamentos del sistema constitucional de Rusia y para su defensa y su seguridad, según un documento firmado por altos representantes de la Fiscalía General.

Esta declaración sigue a una investigación sobre las actividades de la NED. Tras la misma, la fundación fue acusada de haber financiado a ONGs en Rusia que han tomado parte en "la contestation de los resultados electorales y la organización de actos políticos que tenían como fin influir en la toma de decisiones de las autoridades y desacreditar el servicio militar en el seno de las Fuerzas Armadas rusas".

Para lograr tales fines, la fundación suministró a las ONGs rusas una ayuda financiera de casi 5,2 millones de dólares en 2012-2013.

El pasado mayo fue aplicado el decreto que permite designar a las organizaciones extranjeras presentes en Rusia como "indeseables" y prohibir sus actividades en el territorio de la Federación.

A principios de junio, el Consejo de la Federación (Cámara Alta del Parlamento ruso) pidió oficialmente a los ministerios de Exteriores y Justicia y al Fiscal General que controlaran a 12 organizaciones sospechosas de llevar a cabo actividades anti-rusas. La NED estaban el primer lugar de esta lista donde también figuran la Fundación Open Society de George Soros y la Freedom House.

La NED es jurídicamente una fundación privada estadounidense. Sin embargo, la gran mayoría de sus fondos proceden del Departamento de Estado de EEUU y su presupuesto es validado por el Congreso.

Fundación de Soros investigada

Rusia va a investigar también las actividades de la Fundación Open Society de George Soros para determinar si ella debe ser incluida también en el registro de organizaciones "indeseables".

Soros, un millonario filantrópico cercano al Partido Demócrata de EEUU, ha sido acusado de injerencia en los asuntos de varios países y de patrocinar las "revoluciones de colores" en algunos países ex soviéticos, como Ucrania o Georgia.

Soros es visto en Rusia como un submarino de los intereses de la CIA y el Departamento de Estado y es posible que la Fundación Open Society sea, de este modo, incluida en el mencionado registro.

La Fiscalía rusa considera que organizaciones como la NED o la Open Society buscan efectuar un cambio de régimen en Rusia.

jueves, 30 de julio de 2015

Hablan los muchachos

Los pedías a gritos. Golpeabas las puertas de Astroboy exigiendo sus declaraciones. Acá van: los economistas Carlos Melconian (izquierda), José Luis Espert (centro) y Miguel Angel Broda (derecha) analizan la realidad económico-financiera del país de cara a las elecciones del octubre próximo.  Como dijera el inolvidable Joe, el Mago de Hoz: son nuestros mejores muchachos. Leelos y llorá tranquilo. El logró tomar notas de sus brillantes disertaciones. Vení, emocionate.

Título: Economía 2016: las frases más picantes de Espert, Broda y Melconian

Epígrafe: Los economistas hablaron de cepo, inflación, la necesidad de ajuste y hasta paritarias en un encuentro del Cicyc.

Texto: Los economistas Miguel Angel Broda, José Luis Espert y Carlos Melconian analizaron la realidad económica financiera del país de cara a las elecciones del octubre próximo, en el marco del Consejo Interamericano de Comercio y Producción (Cicyp). Las siguientes son las frases más picantes de un debate que incluyó temas como inflación, ajuste, cepo, y hasta paritarias.

Los muchachos se preparan para su presentación en el CICYP

José Luis Espert

-Acá hay populismo industrial y restricciones para exportar. Cerrar la economía a la presencia exportadora no alcanza porque ahí aparece el gasto público y el déficit fiscal.

-Argentina tiene que vivir del libre comercio, sin restricciones y con un Estado pequeño.

- El cepo hay que eliminarlo del golpe. Es de perdedor decir que se van a tomar un año. Pero ojo, hay que tener un plan fuerte detrás.

- No tiene que haber retenciones porque es mentira que las retenciones sean claves para la recaudación.

- Devaluar, ajustar ¿para qué? No puede haber retenciones porque vos tenes que vivir del comercio.

- Es fascista que el Estado se meta en las paritarias. El Estado no tiene nada que hacer llamando a los sindicatos a negociar. Pero es el populismo que tenemos. No nos quejemos.

- Al que no le gusten las paritarias que pida a gritos el libre comercio.

Espert es regañado por sus colegas. "No seas tan duro, José Luis!"

Miguel Angel Broda

-El programa económico de Kicillof es ‘AA’, es decir es analgésico y antinflamatorio. Tuvo éxito porque la inflación se desaceleró, el nivel de actividad dejó de caer, bajaron la brecha. Sin embargo es un programa económico astuto y perverso. Hay beneficios de corto plazo.

- Este programa dificulta que gane la oposición. Están dejando un desequilibrio fiscal.

- Es inexorable hacer un ajuste.

- Las crisis son el paraíso para el próximo ministro de Economía. Es más fácil reconstruir una casa cuando más destruida está que cuando simplemente está agujereada.

- Es una situación agónica. Mi visión es que el plan ‘AA’ va a hacer difícil que no sume votos el oficialismo.

- El plan ‘AA’ hipoteca el 2016. Va a ser muy difícil bajar la inflación. Veo muy difícil un programa de shock inicial.

- Hay que armar un equipo de asesores económicos de 200 personas como supo tener (el ex ministro de Economía Domingo) Cavallo.

- Estamos subestimando la demanda de 2015.

- Con esta presión tributaria no se puede mantener este gasto.

- Si vamos a negociar con Venezuela y Rusia vamos a seguir aislados del mundo cuando el mundo se está integrando.

- El Mercosur ya fue, o lo perfeccionamos o lo dejamos de lado.

- El Gobierno va a intentar mantener una devaluación del 1% mensual, pero en el último trimestre puede haber algunas turbulencias.

Melconián, al centro. Durísima prognosis.

Carlos Melconian

- Se aproxima un cambio.

- Por ahora las ofertas están en la cancha, falta la demanda.

- Este programa termina con la mayor presión fiscal de la Argentina.

- Es dramática la crisis importadora.

- No hay ninguna posibilidad de que no exista el libre comercio.

- No estamos en negociaciones ni dialogando con los holdouts.

- Macri no tiene doble discurso con el tema cambiario. Nos ordenó eliminar el cepo y derrumbar la inflación.

Los muchachos se despiden. Vuelvan, chicos!!!

La mirada de China

Nota de Augusto Soto para Strategic Culture Foundation. Lo más interesante es lo que no se dice taxativamente: América Latina es, en realidad, dos regiones: (1) una de ellas, México, Caribe y América Central, mucho más ligada a, y dependiente de, los Estados Unidos; (2) la otra, América del sur, en donde la incluencia china es cada día más notoria. Los subrayados, en las conclusiones, son nuestros.

Título: China – Latin America Ties Go Ahead in New Multipolar World

Epígrafe: China-Latin America ties are often seen as Beijing-Washington-strategic-chess related. Nevertheless that perception is wrong as Beijing and the subcontinent are truly developing stronger and direct ties unrelated to any triangular consideration.


A non-geostrategic pragmatic relationship with political consequences

China and Latin America (also called the subcontinent) are developing a new bilateral approach based on extraordinary trade and investment, both increasing and certainly paving the way to upgrading political ties in the non-distant future, a process which is a change of historic dimensions, in spite of the Latin America chapter within the frame of China-US ties. 

On July 13, 2015, Director-General of the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zhu Qingqiao and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco (Paco) Palmieri of the US Department of State co-chaired the seventh bilateral consultation round on Latin American affairs between the two foreign ministries in Washington D.C. It is merely a consultative level talk, thanks to the extreme courtesy of Beijing following the extreme curiosity of Washington.

Indeed in the post-Cold War order the subcontinent highly appreciates principles proclaimed by Beijing, such as non-interference, collaboration, pragmatism, persuasion, strategic patience, multilateralism and multipolarism, most of them not embraced by Washington (1).

China has become indispensable as a source of growth for Latin America. The value of bilateral trade grew 22 times between 2000 and 2014. Last year, two-way trade hit 263.6 billion U.S. dollars and China's investment in the region also went up to more than 80 billion dollars. Six months ago in Beijing, leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC in Spanish), a 33-country bloc, gathered for the first time for a two-day forum. In a magnificent context, Chinese president Xi Jinping pledged that Chinese direct investment in Latin America would reach $250 billion over the next decade while predicting that annual bilateral trade could hit $500 billion.

Could, thus, Beijing’s approach to the subcontinent be considered as a pivot strategic move of the kind of US pivot to Asia? Clearly not. First, there is no unilateralism from Beijing’s side. For example, there are no Chinese armed forces periodically exercising, let’s say in Panama or Mexico, as conversely US does by signing political and security agreements with some of China’s neighbours and by deploying and redeploying forces in front of her coasts.
Second, at multilateral level there are no political and security arrangements in the subcontinent like the ones China has with her Eurasian partners in the frame of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). There are neither border defence cooperation agreements nor joint military exercises, and not a common response to drug trafficking either, a dimension which Washington deals with together with some of its continental neighbours.

Nevertheless, meaningful political change in China-Latin America ties stemming from material interaction is ad portas. By combined population Brazil, Chile and Peru - countries for which China is already a first commercial partner -, represent most of South America, and consequently in that subregion China is already its first commercial partner, surpassing the US and Europe. As for Latin America as a whole China is its second commercial partner (slightly behind the US). Even Central America and the Caribbean, just decades ago within the space of US uncontested hegemonic influence, are showing patterns of change. In 2008 Costa Rica recognized Beijing out of pragmatic considerations, thus displacing Taipei, one of Washington’s closest allies in Asia.

Also, like SCO member partners do, several South American countries are replacing the US dollar in bilateral trade and soon significantly at multilateral level by using both, local currencies and the Chinese yuan. The most recent agreement with China, signed in May, establishes that Chile's central bank and the People's Bank of China are clearing a path for the use of the Chinese yuan in South America, including a swap agreement about to facilitate exchanges of a maximum of 2.2 trillion pesos ($3.6 billion) for three years.

Some bilateral and multilateral tasks ahead (including BRICS)

In 2008 Chinese government launched its first ever policy paper on Latin America and the Caribbean region. Ever since, Beijing has increased its first-hand knowledge of the subcontinent, enabling China a permanent updated strategy. Conversely, the subcontinent still has not come up with the implementation of any document similar to a common policy paper.

Nevertheless, there are signs that Latin America’s little progress in key long-term strategic areas might be about to change. First, CELAC Cooperation Plan 2015-2019, launched last January in Beijing, provides in principle an appropriate and more sophisticated institutional framework to advance bilateral ties.

Second, it remains to be seen the impact of BRICS as a new synergy factor for China-Latin America ties. Here the initiative will be on the Brazilian side and the attention will focus on its still pending continental leadership. Indeed the challenge ahead for Itamaraty’s diplomacy will be balancing its global new role with a potential renewed presence in South America. Actually Brazil has spent most of the last decade playing global, rather than regional, relatively neglecting MERCOSUR and particularly South America’s Asia Pacific neighbours (including Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia).

Chinese president Xi Jinping has proposed increase connectivity between BRICS and South America. Ufa’s BRICS declaration in July 2015 asserted that its New Development Bank (NDB) “shall serve as a powerful instrument for financing infrastructure investment and sustainable development projects in the BRICS and other developing countries and emerging market economies” (2). Xi also proposed NDB’s close cooperation with financing mechanisms such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). In both banks coincide Brazil, China, Russia, and India.

There is wide space for action, indeed. Latin America still should address several gaps to reinforce its China connection, including diversity exports, apply high-tech into manufacturing and develop infrastructure and communications. The infrastructure projects are key to allow the great connectivity needed for a large scale interaction with the East.

And while it is true that there is a truly “maritime Silk Road” going ahead as exchanges with China go by sea where no infrastructure other than ships is necessary, East-West transport within Latin America has become a key factor to make the difference. First of all, raw materials from South America’s hinterland are difficult to channel to its main ports, and secondly, Atlantic nations such as Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina could dramatically lower costs through both planned and in-the making “bioceanic corridors” crossing the Amazonas jungle and the Andean mountains to reach the Pacific Ocean (3).


Latin America is not a single political entity, its strategic raw materials are various and unevenly distributed throughout its geography, thus China’s impact varies from country to country and group of countries. In any case, its impact will contribute to Latin America’s integration being BRICS New Development Bank a powerful tool for connectivity as long as Brazil plays intercontinental at continental level first.

Has Beijing the intention to compete with Washington for a greater sphere of influence in the region? Although perhaps unavoidable in this very decade, it will not necessarily replace - although significantly weaken - US influence in the subcontinent.

Most likely during some years several Central American and Caribbean countries will continue more US-tied oriented by trade, politics, migration flows and culture than the rest of Latin America. Meanwhile, while the US will continue reaffirming its condition as second Spanish-speaking country in the world after Mexico as well as receiving further cultural influence from the South, the direct economic and political impact from China at both bilateral as well as multilateral level via Beijing’s interaction with the subcontinent, will have an influence in China-US ties.


(1) Augusto Soto, “How far are China and Latin America”, The Global Experts, March 2, 2011

(2) TBP, “BRICS adopts Ufa Declaration”, The BRICS Post, July 9, 2015

(3) ECLAC, “Latin America and the Caribbean and China: towards a new era in economic cooperation”, Santiago, May 2015

miércoles, 29 de julio de 2015


José Luis Espert lo había anticipado: “El peso argentino se derrumba ante el horrendo corte de pelo de Kristina. Deberían bombardearnos, fumigarnos…” . Broda fue más lejos: ”El planeta entero nos odia; somos una porquería y lo vamos a pagar”. Melconián, pensativo, señala: “El peso se va a la m… por los subsidios… Nunca fuimos serios… Ahorquémonos todos, por dio…”

Dale que va.  En los últimos 12 meses la Argentina devaluó un 11%, México un 19%, Brasil un 33%, Colombia un 35%.  Por suerte el diario español El País tiene la posta: no es que haya depresión global, chicos. Es por la volatilidad china. Pero un poco también por la Fed. Aunque el corte de pelo de Kristina no le hace nada bien a la divisa. Y el de Dilma ni te cuento. Pero si leen la nota de más abajo, concordarán conmigo que las palmas se las lleva Adam Slater, analista de Oxford Economics. Según el maestro Slater, habría varias razones que explican el abaratamiento de las monedas latinoamericanas. Uno de esos factores sería... "el fuerte encarecimiento del dólar”. Genial, ¿no? Vayamos a la nota de El País:

Título: Las divisas latinoamericanas sufren por la volatilidad china y por la Fed

Subtítulos: El real brasileño y el peso colombiano, en mínimos de más de una década / Las dudas sobre China hunden las cotizaciones de las divisas emergentes

Texto: Las monedas de las principales economías emergentes han profundizado en los últimos días su particular devaluación frente al dólar y las divisas latinoamericanas no son una excepción. La volatilidad de las Bolsas chinas, que ayer recuperaron parte del terreno perdido el lunes, ha abierto una nueva vía de agua en su cotización, ya mermada por la expectativa de subida de tipos en EE UU y el abaratamiento de las materias primas. En el último año, el real brasileño cede un 33% frente a la moneda de referencia mundial, el peso mexicano cae un 19%, el peso argentino se deja un 10% y el peso colombiano cede un 35%.

 Cambio de las divisas de Brasil, México, Argentina y Colombia con el dólar estadounidense
El segundo traspié serio de los parqués chinos en menos de dos meses y la proximidad, cada vez mayor, de la subida de tipos de la Reserva Federal (Fed) estadounidense, se cobran una víctima a miles de kilómetros de distancia: las divisas latinoamericanas. En una pauta común a todas las economías emergentes, las monedas de las cinco economías líderes de la región —Brasil, México, Argentina y Colombia—, han ahondado esta semana en mínimos de las últimas décadas. Y el sol peruano y el peso chileno, dos países igualmente significativos por su exposición a los vaivenes de las materias primas y, muy especialmente, a las industrias extractivas, acumulan sendas caídas anuales del 13% y del 15%.

Aunque la debilidad de la divisa de un país no es una noticia necesariamente mala para su sector productivo —actúa como catalizador de las exportaciones, al hacerlas más competitivas—, también pone en peligro la entrada de capitales, vital para el sostenimiento de la mayoría de economías latinoamericanas, encarece las deudas contraídas en moneda extranjera y, en definitiva, puede entrañar un importante riesgo para su crecimiento a medio y largo plazo.

Adam Slater, analista de Oxford Economics, achaca la caída más reciente de las divisas a la inestabilidad de las Bolsas del gigante asiático —que en la sesión de ayer recuperaron parte del terreno perdido tras subir cerca de un 4% gracias al continuo bombeo de liquidez y el mantenimiento del plan de compras impulsado por las autoridades chinas, informa Xavier Fontdeglòria—, pero incide en la importancia de otras causas de fondo que ya venían cotizando los mercados. “Hay varios factores entrelazados explican el descenso: el abaratamiento de las materias primas que produce la región, entre ellas el petróleo, el hierro y el cobre; el desplome en las entradas de capitales y el fuerte encarecimiento del dólar”, explica por correo electrónico.

Stephen Jen, antiguo economista del FMI experto en divisas, pone el acento sobre una más que probable normalización de los tipos de interés en EE UU a partir de septiembre, que marcaría la pauta para otros bancos centrales. “En la última década, Latinoamérica, como el resto del mundo, se ha endeudado en dólares pensando que iba a seguir cayendo. Por eso una subida de tipos sería tan peligrosa para la zona”, subraya.

Por divisas, tanto Slater como Jen sitúan en el ojo del huracán al peso mexicano y, sobre todo, al real brasileño, las dos mayores monedas de América Latina. Las causas de este creciente temor de los analistas: sus respectivos déficits por cuenta corriente, del 3,2% y del 4,4%. “De elegir, creo que Brasil puede ser el gran problema”, concluye Jen.

Gente linda

Todo es bueno para hacer plata, chicos. De paso, “concienciamos” a la gente sobre “las duras vivencias de los refugiados sirios”.  Lindos tipos los australianos, eh?

Título: Un ‘reality’ lleva a australianos a la guerra contra el Estado Islámico

Subtítulo: El programa pretende concienciar sobre las duras vivencias de los refugiados sirios

Texto: Un programa de televisión australiano permite a sus participantes experimentar de primera mano la guerra de Siria y la lucha armada entre el Estado Islámico y las milicias kurdas. El 'reality' Go back to where you came from (vuelve allí de donde viniste, en su traducción en español) pretende concienciar a los espectadores de las duras vivencias por las que han pasado las miles de personas que huyen del conflicto sirio y que solicitan asilo en Australia.

Para conseguirlo, la cadena de televisión pública SBS introdujo a los participantes y al equipo de grabación en la población de Al Rauiya, al norte de Siria. El vídeo promocional del programa que se emite durante esta semana muestra como los australianos se adentran en el pueblo bajo la protección de las milicias kurdas. Al llegar a la escuela, comienzan a oír fuego de mortero y se retiran asustados. "Están viniendo hacia nosotros", dice su guía que, como el resto de los participantes, va equipado con un chaleco antibalas, pero no lleva casco. "Mantened la cabeza baja", ordena mientras avanza agachado. "No queremos que sepan que estamos aquí", acaba.

En un comunicado, SBS ha confirmado que los participantes se encontraban a menos de un kilómetro de un puesto controlado por el Estado Islámico, pero ha subrayado que la seguridad del personal de la cadena y de la productora CJZ fue "primordial en todo momento". "La situación capturada por la cámara en la que disparan al grupo no estaba planeada, pero no era inesperada en una zona de guerra. El equipo de seguridad armada estaba preparado para un evento así y se apresuró a trasladar a los participantes a un lugar seguro", continúa.

La cadena reveló que al menos un miembro del equipo de grabación rechazó participar en el rodaje por razones de seguridad. "Los participantes y el equipo tuvieron la elección de continuar o no sin que esto comprometiera su papel en el programa o su empleo, respectivamente", explicó SBS. Pese a que "los productores siguieron todas las instrucciones del equipo de seguridad", este "no ordenó a los participantes y al equipo que llevaran casco".

El programa, que grabó en octubre de 2014, se emite en un momento especialmente tenso para Australia. El gobierno ha confirmado que decenas de jóvenes se han unido al Estado Islámico y estudia aprobar leyes que permitirían retirar la nacionalidad a ciudadanos que hayan luchado junto a grupos terroristas.

Por otro lado, aumenta la presión de la comunidad internacional a las autoridades australianas para que suavicen su política de tolerancia cero a los solicitantes de asilo. Australia es el único país del mundo que detiene a quienes llegan a sus costas en barco y los encierra en campos de refugiados fuera de su territorio, en las remotas islas del Pacífico de Manus, Nauru y Christmas.

El programa de la cadena SBS pretende concienciar a los telespectadores de las razones que empujan a miles de personas a abandonar sus países de origen y emprender el peligroso viaje en barco hasta Australia. Pero esta polémica incursión en territorio sirio ha desviado la atención de la opinión pública hacia el debate sobre los límites de este tipo de programas.

martes, 28 de julio de 2015

Nueva doctrina naval rusa

Hace algunos días Rusia dio a conocer un documento en el que se actualizan conceptos sobre la doctrina naval de ese país. Fuimos entonces a conocer la opinión de un analista militar ruso sobre el mismo: el Peregrino, del blog The Vineyard of the Saker ( Hoy posteó una breve nota al respecto; acá va. 

Título: The new Russian Naval Doctrine – one very important sentence

Texto: Russia has recently published her new official Naval Doctrine.  The full document can be downloaded from the Presidency’s website here (in Russian):

To be honest, there is nothing earth shattering in this document.  The document explains the purpose of this doctrine, the missions of the Russian Navy and includes a region by region review of the challenges and opportunities for Russia on the world’s oceans, including the Arctic and Antarctic regions. But there is one sentence which, I think, deserves a lot of attention.  On page 20, in the section 54 it says:

 A defining factor in (our) relations with NATO remains that for Russia the following is unacceptable: the alliance’s plan to move its infrastructure  to the borders of Russia and the attempts to give the alliance a global role“.

As somebody who has translated Russian official documents for a living for many years I can tell you that the Russians are extremely precise in their use of words and that they choice of this or that word or expression is considered very carefully, often with a maniacal attention to detail.  So when this official, President-approved, document says that it is unacceptable for Russia that NATO is trying to grant itself a global role – this is at least as official a statement as any public declaration by Foreign Minister Lavrov.  Except for Lavrov was not tasked to deliver this message.  Take a look at who was:

From left to right: Victor Chirkov, Dmitri Rogozin, 
Vladimir Putin, Sergei Shoigu and Anatolii Sidorov.

This photo was taken on board the frigate “Admiral Gorshkov” and includes Victor Chirkov, C-in-C of the Russian Navy, Dmitri Rogozin, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in charge of military matters, Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Shoigu and the C-in-C of the Western Military District General Anatolii Sidorov.  In other words, these are the men who would be in charge of fighting NATO should a war break-up.

There is clearly a ‘message’ sent here, and it is not sent to Obama, Merkel or any other western politician, nor is it sent to the public opinion of any country, but it is a message sent to those who will carefully analyze this document and this event: US and NATO defense analysts and their bosses and, for them, the message is very clear: we will not let you prevail.

I have often written here that in the Russian culture making threats is seen as a sign of weakness.  So none of the above should be seen as the Russians threatening anybody.  The recent British and US hysteria about Putin threatening the West with nuclear war is utter nonsense.  In fact, the Russian warning is clearly tied to current hostile actions by NATO, namely placing NATO forces on the Russian border and trying to become a global, planetary, police force or, better, colonial pacification and authority enforcement force.  So all the Russians are really doing is going on the record and declaring that they will oppose and resist the AngloZionist attempts to subdue Russia or achieve planetary hegemony.

Putin recently gave an interview to a Swiss TV channel.  To the question “do you believe that a war in Europe is possible?” Putin replied “I hope not. But I really wish that Europe would show more independence and sovereignty and was capable of defending her own national interests, the interests of her people and her countries“.

I don’t know about you – but I find that “I hope not” very disturbing, to say the least.  Do you think that the people of Europe will ever wake up?

Oro, valor y precio

Necesaria nota de Paul Craig Roberts y Dave Kranzler sobre la manipulación del precio del oro por parte del Imperio. La nota apareció en el sitio web y no tiene desperdicio. Acá va: 

Título: Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets

 Texto: This article establishes that the price of gold and silver in the futures markets in which cash is the predominant means of settlement is inconsistent with the conditions of supply and demand in the actual physical or current market where physical bullion is bought and sold as opposed to transactions in uncovered paper claims to bullion in the futures markets. The supply of bullion in the futures markets is increased by printing uncovered contracts representing claims to gold. This artificial, indeed fraudulent, increase in the supply of paper bullion contracts drives down the price in the futures market despite high demand for bullion in the physical market and constrained supply. We will demonstrate with economic analysis and empirical evidence that the bear market in bullion is an artificial creation.

The law of supply and demand is the basis of economics. Yet the price of gold and silver in the Comex futures market, where paper contracts representing 100 troy ounces of gold or 5,000 ounces of silver are traded, is inconsistent with the actual supply and demand conditions in the physical market for bullion. For four years the price of bullion has been falling in the futures market despite rising demand for possession of the physical metal and supply constraints.

We begin with a review of basics. The vertical axis measures price. The horizontal axis measures quantity. Demand curves slope down to the right, the quantity demanded increasing as price falls. Supply curves slope upward to the right, the quantity supplied rising with price. The intersection of supply with demand determines price. (Graph 1)

A change in quantity demanded or in the quantity supplied refers to a movement along a given curve. A change in demand or a change in supply refers to a shift in the curves. For example, an increase in demand (a shift to the right of the demand curve) causes a movement along the supply curve (an increase in the quantity supplied).

Changes in income and changes in tastes or preferences toward an item can cause the demand curve to shift. For example, if people expect that their fiat currency is going to lose value, the demand for gold and silver would increase (a shift to the right).

Changes in technology and resources can cause the supply curve to shift. New gold discoveries and improvements in gold mining technology would cause the supply curve to shift to the right. Exhaustion of existing mines would cause a reduction in supply (a shift to the left).

What can cause the price of gold to fall? Two things: The demand for gold can fall, that is, the demand curve could shift to the left, intersecting the supply curve at a lower price. The fall in demand results in a reduction in the quantity supplied. A fall in demand means that people want less gold at every price. (Graph 2)

Alternatively, supply could increase, that is, the supply curve could shift to the right, intersecting the demand curve at a lower price. The increase in supply results in an increase in the quantity demanded. An increase in supply means that more gold is available at every price. (Graph 3)

To summarize: a decline in the price of gold can be caused by a decline in the demand for gold or by an increase in the supply of gold.

A decline in demand or an increase in supply is not what we are observing in the gold and silver physical markets. The price of bullion in the futures market has been falling as demand for physical bullion increases and supply experiences constraints What we are seeing in the physical market indicates a rising price. Yet in the futures market in which almost all contracts are settled in cash and not with bullion deliveries, the price is falling.

For example, on July 7, 2015, the U.S. Mint said that due to a “significant” increase in demand, it had sold out of Silver Eagles (one ounce silver coin) and was suspending sales until some time in August. The premiums on the coins (the price of the coin above the price of the silver) rose, but the spot price of silver fell 7 percent to its lowest level of the year (as of July 7).

This is the second time in 9 months that the U.S. Mint could not keep up with market demand and had to suspend sales. During the first 5 months of 2015, the U.S. Mint had to ration sales of Silver Eagles. According to Reuters, since 2013 the U.S. Mint has had to ration silver coin sales for 18 months. In 2013 the Royal Canadian Mint announced the rationing of its Silver Maple Leaf coins: “We are carefully managing supply in the face of very high demand... Coming off strong sales volumes in December 2012, demand to date remains very strong for our Silver Maple Leaf and Gold Maple Leaf bullion coins.” During this entire period when mints could not keep up with demand for coins, the price of silver consistently fell on the Comex futures market. On July 24, 2015 the price of gold in the futures market fell to its lowest level in 5 years despite an increase in the demand for gold in the physical market. On that day U.S. Mint sales of Gold Eagles (one ounce gold coin) were the highest in more than two years, yet the price of gold fell in the futures market.

How can this be explained? The financial press says that the drop in precious metals prices unleashed a surge in global demand for coins. This explanation is nonsensical to an economist. Price is not a determinant of demand but of quantity demanded. A lower price does not shift the demand curve. Moreover, if demand increases, price goes up, not down.

Perhaps what the financial press means is that the lower price resulted in an increase in the quantity demanded. If so, what caused the lower price? In economic analysis, the answer would have to be an increase in supply, either new supplies from new discoveries and new mines or mining technology advances that lower the cost of producing bullion.

There are no reports of any such supply increasing developments. To the contrary, the lower prices of bullion have been causing reductions in mining output as falling prices make existing operations unprofitable.

There are abundant other signs of high demand for bullion, yet the prices continue their four-year decline on the Comex. Even as massive uncovered shorts (sales of gold contracts that are not covered by physical bullion) on the bullion futures market are driving down price, strong demand for physical bullion has been depleting the holdings of GLD, the largest exchange traded gold fund. Since February 27, 2015, the authorized bullion banks (principally JPMorganChase, HSBC, and Scotia) have removed 10 percent of GLD’s gold holdings. Similarly, strong demand in China and India has resulted in a 19% increase of purchases from the Shanghai Gold Exchange, a physical bullion market, during the first quarter of 2015. Through the week ending July 10, 2015, purchases from the Shanghai Gold Exchange alone are occurring at an annualized rate approximately equal to the annual supply of global mining output.

India’s silver imports for the first four months of 2015 are 30% higher than 2014. In the first quarter of 2015 Canadian Silver Maple Leaf sales increased 8.5% compared to sales for the same period of 2014. Sales of Gold Eagles in June, 2015, were more than triple the sales for May. During the first 10 days of July, Gold Eagles sales were 2.5 times greater than during the first 10 days of June.

Clearly the demand for physical metal is very high, and the ability to meet this demand is constrained. Yet, the prices of bullion in the futures market have consistently fallen during this entire period. The only possible explanation is manipulation.

Precious metal prices are determined in the futures market, where paper contracts representing bullion are settled in cash, not in markets where the actual metals are bought and sold. As the Comex is predominantly a cash settlement market, there is little risk in uncovered contracts (an uncovered contract is a promise to deliver gold that the seller of the contract does not possess). This means that it is easy to increase the supply of gold in the futures market where price is established simply by printing uncovered (naked) contracts. Selling naked shorts is a way to artificially increase the supply of bullion in the futures market where price is determined. The supply of paper contracts representing gold increases, but not the supply of physical bullion.

As we have documented on a number of occasions (see, for example), the prices of bullion are being systematically driven down by the sudden appearance and sale during thinly traded times of day and night of uncovered future contracts representing massive amounts of bullion. In the space of a few minutes or less massive amounts of gold and silver shorts are dumped into the Comex market, dramatically increasing the supply of paper claims to bullion. If purchasers of these shorts stood for delivery, the Comex would fail. Comex bullion futures are used for speculation and by hedge funds to manage the risk/return characteristics of metrics like the Sharpe Ratio. The hedge funds are concerned with indexing the price of gold and silver and not with the rate of return performance of their bullion contracts.

A rational speculator faced with strong demand for bullion and constrained supply would not short the market. Moreover, no rational actor who wished to unwind a large gold position would dump the entirety of his position on the market all at once. What then explains the massive naked shorts that are hurled into the market during thinly traded times?

The bullion banks are the primary market-makers in bullion futures. they are also clearing members of the Comex, which gives them access to data such as the positions of the hedge funds and the prices at which stop-loss orders are triggered. They time their sales of uncovered shorts to trigger stop-loss sales and then cover their short sales by purchasing contracts at the price that they have forced down, pocketing the profits from the manipulation.

The manipulation is obvious. The question is why do the authorities tolerate it?

Perhaps the answer is that a free gold market serves both to protect against the loss of a fiat currency’s purchasing power from exchange rate decline and inflation and as a warning that destabilizing systemic events are on the horizon. The current round of on-going massive short sales compressed into a few minutes during thinly traded periods began after gold hit $1,900 per ounce in response to the build-up of troubled debt and the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing. Washington’s power is heavily dependent on the role of the dollar as world reserve currency. The rising dollar price of gold indicated rising discomfort with the dollar. Whereas the dollar’s exchange value is carefully managed with help from the Japanese and European central banks, the supply of such help is not unlimited. If gold kept moving up, exchange rate weakness was likely to show up in the dollar, thus forcing the Fed off its policy of using QE to rescue the “banks too big to fail.”

The bullion banks’ attack on gold is being augmented with a spate of stories in the financial media denying any usefulness of gold. On July 17 the Wall Street Journal declared that honesty about gold requires recognition that gold is nothing but a pet rock. Other commentators declare gold to be in a bear market despite the strong demand for physical metal and supply constraints, and some influential party is determined that gold not be regarded as money.

Why a sudden spate of claims that gold is not money? Gold is considered a part of the United States’ official monetary reserves, which is also the case for central banks and the IMF. The IMF accepts gold as repayment for credit extended. The US Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency classifies gold as a currency, as can be seen in the OCC’s latest quarterly report on bank derivatives activities in which the OCC places gold futures in the foreign exchange derivatives classification.

The manipulation of the gold price by injecting large quantities of freshly printed uncovered contracts into the Comex market is an empirical fact. The sudden debunking of gold in the financial press is circumstantial evidence that a full-scale attack on gold’s function as a systemic warning signal is underway.

It is unlikely that regulatory authorities are unaware of the fraudulent manipulation of bullion prices. The fact that nothing is done about it is an indication of the lawlessness that prevails in US financial markets.