Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
HOW DID ABORTION RIGHTS COME TO THIS?  — Carol Hanisch charts how the right to an abortion began to erode shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision; Uber vs. the Cabbies: Ben Terrall reports on the threats posed by private car services; Remembering August 1914: Binoy Kampmark on the enduring legacy of World War I; Medical Marijuana: a Personal Odyssey: Doug Valentine goes in search of medicinal pot and a good vaporizer; Nostalgia for Socialism: Lee Ballinger surveys the longing in eastern Europe for the material guarantees of socialism. PLUS: Paul Krassner on his Six Dumbest Decisions; Kristin Kolb on the Cancer Ward; Jeffrey St. Clair on the Making of the First Un-War; Chris Floyd on the Children of Lies and Mike Whitney on why the war on ISIS is really a war on Syria.
Standing Up to Tyranny

The Roads To War And Economic Collapse

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

November 23, 2011: The day before the Thanksgiving holiday brought three extraordinary news items.  One was the report on the Republican presidential campaign debate. One was the Russian President’s statement about his country’s response to Washington’s missile bases surrounding his country. And one was the failure of a German government bond auction.

As the presstitute media will not inform us of what any of this means, let me try.

With the exception of Ron Paul, the only candidate in either party qualified to be the president of the US, the rest of the Republican candidates are even worst than Obama, a president who had the country behind him but sold out the American people to the special interests.

No newly elected president in memory, neither John F. Kennedy nor Ronald Reagan, had the extraordinary response to his election as Barak Obama. A record-breaking number of people braved the cold to witness his swearing in ceremony. The mall was filled with Americans who could not see the ceremony except as televised on giant screens.

Obama had convinced the electorate that he would end the wars, stop the violation of law by the US government, end the regime of illegal torture, close the torture prison of Guantanamo, and attend to the real needs of the American people rather than stuff the pockets of the military/security complex with taxpayers’ money.

Once in office, Obama renewed and extended the Bush/Cheney/neoconservative wars.

He validated the Bush regime’s assaults on the US Constitution. He left Wall Street in charge of US economic policy, he absolved the Bush regime of its crimes, and he assigned to the American people the financial cost necessary to preserve the economic welfare of the mega-rich.

One would think such a totally failed president would be easy to defeat.  Given an historic opportunity, the Republican Party has put before the electorate the most amazingly stupid and vile collection of prospects, with the exception of Ron Paul who does not have the party’s support, that Americans have ever seen.

In the November 22 presidential “debate,” the candidates, with the exception of Ron Paul, revealed themselves as a collection of ignorant warmongers who support the police state. Gingrich and Cain said that Muslims “want to kill us all” and that “all of us will be in danger for the rest of out lives.”

Bachmann said that the American puppet state, Pakistan, is “more than an existential threat.”  The moron Bachmann has no idea what is “more than an existential threat.”

However, it sounded heavy, like an intellectual thing to say for the candidate who previously declared the long-defunct Soviet Union to be today’s threat to the US.

Any sentient American who watched or read about the Republican presidential debate must wonder what there is to be thankful for as the national holiday approaches.

The Russian government, which prefers to use its resources for the economy rather than for the military, has decided that it has been taking too many risks in the name of peace. The day before Thanksgiving, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said, in a televised address to the Russian people, that if Washington goes ahead with its planned missile bases surrounding Russia, Russia will respond with new nuclear missiles of its own, which will target the American bases and European capital cities.

The President of Russia said that the Russian government has asked Washington for legally binding guarantees that the American missile bases are not intended as a threat to Russia, but that Washington has refused to give such guarantees.

Medvedev’s statement is perplexing. What does he mean “if Washington goes ahead?”  The American missile and radar bases are already in place. Russia is already surrounded.  Is Medvedev just now aware of what is already in place?

Russia’s and China’s slow response to Washington’s aggression can only be understood in the context of the two countries’ experience with communism. The sufferings of Russians and Chinese under communism was extreme, and the thinking part of those populations saw America as the ideal of political life. This delusion still controls the mentality of progressive thinkers in Russia and China.  It might prove to be a disaster for Russia and China that the countries have citizens who are aligned with the US.

Belief in Washington’s trustworthiness even pervades the Russian government, which apparently, according to Medvedev’s statement, would be reassured by a “legally binding guarantee” from Washington.  After the massive lies told by Washington in the 21st century–”weapons of mass destruction,” “al Qaeda connections,” “Iranian nukes”–why would anyone put any credence in “a legally binding guarantee” from Washington? The guarantee would mean nothing. How could it be enforced?  Such a guarantee would simply be another deceit in Washington’s pursuit of world hegemony.

The day prior to Thanksgiving also brought another extraordinary development–the failure of a German government bond auction, an unparalleled event.

Why would Germany, the only member of the EU with financial rectitude, not be able to sell 35 per cent of its offerings of 10-year bonds?  Germany has no debt problems, and its economy is expected by EU and US authorities to bear the lion’s share of the bailout of the EU member countries that do lack financial rectitude.

I suspect that the answer to this question is that the failure of the German government’s bond auction was orchestrated by the US, by EU authorities, especially the European Central Bank, and private banks in order to punish Germany for obstructing the purchase of EU member countries’ sovereign debt by the European Central Bank.

The German government has been trying to defend the terms on which Germany gave up control over its own currency and joined the EU. By insisting on the legality of the agreements, Germany has been standing in the way of the ECB behaving like the US Federal Reserve and monetizing the debt of member governments.

From the beginning the EU was a conspiracy against Germany. If Germany remains in the EU, Germany will be destroyed. It will lose its political and economic sovereignty, and its economy will be bled in behalf of the fiscally irresponsible members of the EU.

If Greeks will not submit to the tyranny, why should Germans?

Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.  His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com