Friday, October 31, 2008
The World Tires of Dollar Hegemony By Paul Craig Roberts What explains the paradox of the dollar's sharp rise in value against other currencies (except the Japanese yen) despite disproportionate US exposure to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21122.htm
Paulson's Swindle Revealed By William Greider The swindle of American taxpayers is proceeding more or less in broad daylight, as the unwitting voters are preoccupied with the national election. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson agreed to invest $125 billion in the nine largest banks, including $10 billion for Goldman Sachs, his old firm. But, if you look more closely at Paulson's transaction, the taxpayers were taken for a ride--a very expensive ride. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21125.htm
TODAY'S REPORTS: Personal income Consumer spending Core inflation Employment cost index Chicago PMI Consumer sentiment Note: The "ass pumpkin" was sent to me by my neighbor, a long distance trucker, who gets lots of crazy stuff from his buddies. Quite creative. But who would take the time to actually DO this, and what fat ass would let someone paint it? (Sat 11/1) More likely TRICK than TREAT today as gold has been falling overnight. But like all the horror stories, gold may climb out of its grave soon and come back to life, much to the horror of all the paper holders. Dollar has moved back up, Euro is falling, etc, etc. Same crap as every morning, but this morning and yesterday have felt like long ago when gold barely moved at all. I feeling like somebody ought to check for a pulse in gold to see if it's worth hoping for a successful resuscitation. But all you have to do is read Bob Chapman's articles and you will understand the plan Stan. Time to go put razor blades in some apples...hahaha!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
DID YOU GOOGLE "PROJECT TURQUOISE?" WHY NOT? I CAN'T DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU. Slaves To The Orgy Of Money Investors on the outside slammed while insiders getting rich, Market conditions indicate you need to protect yourself with gold and silver, Paulson monetary voodoo reanimates zombie fraudster banks, Market crashes set the stage for bank acquisitions, predicting a financial super entity, http://www.theinternationalforecaster.com/International_Forecaster_Weekly/Slaves_To_The_Orgy_Of_Money YOU ALL DAMN WELL BETTER BE READING ELAINE MEINEL SUPKIS AT CULTUREOFLIFENEWS.COM TOO DO YOU PEOPLE GET THAT YOU ARE ALL ABOUT TO BE SLAUGHTERED LIKE PIGS? GET SOME BALLS AND FIGHT BACK. OBAMA ISN'T GOING TO DO A DAMN THING BUT MAKE THINGS WORSE. AND McCAIN IS EVEN WORSE THAN BUSH, IF YOU CAN EVEN CONTEMPLATE SOMETHING WORSE THAN BUSH...LIKE MAYBE SATAN.
http://www.plata.com.mx/mplata/articulos/articlesFilt.asp?fiidarticulo=87 Banco Azteca: New policy on purchase and sale of silver ‘Libertad’ coins Hugo Salinas Price Banco Azteca, with over 800 branches in Mexico, informs us that it will apply a new policy to the purchase and sale of silver “Libertad” ounces at all its branches. In response to the restriction on supply of silver “Libertad” coins applied last week by the Bank of Mexico, Banco Azteca will proceed as follows: Banco Azteca will seek to attract the re-sale of silver ounces in order to satisfy, as much as possible, the strong demand forecast for the year-end. Therefore, Banco Azteca will raise the re-purchase price of silver from the public to where the re-purchased quantities equal the quantities sold to the public, always maintaining the necessary margin to cover costs. If the price of re-purchased silver is too high, the supply from the selling public will surpass the demand of the silver-purchasing public. If the price of the re-purchased silver is too low, the supply from the selling public will not be sufficient to cover the demand from the purchasing public. Banco Azteca will seek to discover the intermediate point, which will balance the supply from the selling public with the demand from the purchasing public. Banco Azteca had been looking forward to selling 250,000 silver ounces during the Holiday season. With the cutback in supply, current policy would cause Banco Azteca's inventory to fall to zero in the course of next week. Sales will be much reduced, from here on, but at least the program adopted will have the virtue of demonstrating what the actual market price of silver ounces is in Mexico , independent of any relation to Comex silver prices. Banco Azteca was informed by a source at Banco de Mexico, that the restriction of supply was due to a “very large foreign order for silver ounces”. *** The Mexican Civic Association Pro Silver does not accept this excuse, even if it were true, because in any case providing the Mexican people with silver ounces would have to be its Number One priority, and not supplying a foreign buyer while depriving Mexicans of silver ounces. Furthermore, this Association was told years ago by an officer of Banco de Mexico that the Mexican Mint was capable of minting up to 10 million ounces of silver coins a year. We believe the restriction of supply in silver ounces is meant to deprive the Mexican population of the possibility of seeking refuge in silver as a protection against financial and economic carnage, and to force Mexicans into depositing their savings in the Banking System, with its risks.
SUBSCRIBE TO, AND READ, THIS EMAIL EVERY DAY: http://caseyresearch.com/displayDrp.php?e=true And then there's this... From Ed Steer: On Wednesday, gold vacillated between $740 and $750 all through the Far East and early European trading. Gold struggled to tack on about $20 within two hours of the Comex open in New York, but then it was lights out for the rest of the regular trading session. Silver's peak occurred an hour or so later. The boyz weren't going to allow a runaway gold price after the Fed's interest rate decision. To give you an idea of how hard they've been sitting on the gold market, consider this...in the last 36 hours (as of midnight last night)...the US dollar was down almost four full cents, the US Fed Funds rate was cut by a third...and gold was only up $30-40. Check your own charts if you doubt me. The gold price should have been up several multiples of that. Trading was heavier in silver than in gold...and in actual fact, if you remove the effect of switches...gold trading was extremely quiet. However, the precious metals stocks have been on fire for the last couple of days...and I'd like to think that the smart money and the insiders know that gold and silver prices are going much higher. The Commitment of Traders report for both precious metals (and every other commodity for that matter) hasn't been this bullish in at least five years...and the one due out tomorrow will be even more so. If there ever was a time for a moon shot...this is it...as the set up is perfect for it. But like I said, we still have to get past JPMorgan, HSBC USA...and a US election.
Weekly jobless claims hold steady in latest week Economists have no doubt claims are heading higher By Greg Robb, MarketWatch Last update: 8:31 a.m. EDT Oct. 30, 2008 WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Jobless claims held steady in the latest week after a large jump in the previous period, the government reported Thursday. New applications for state unemployment benefits remained unchanged at 479,000 in the week ended Oct. 25. About 7,500 new claims stemmed from Hurricane Ike, but the effect on the data is starting to diminish, a Labor Department official said. Economists had expected claims to fall to 473,000 after the large jump in the previous period. Claims rose a revised 16,000 in the week ended October 18, up slightly from the initial estimate of a 15,000 gain. But overall, economists have no doubt that claim are heading higher as the economy weakens and the credit crunch lingers. Claims hit a peak of 499,000 in late September. Claims are already much higher than one year ago levels. In the week ended October 27, 2007, there were 332,000 initial jobless claims reported. The four-week average of seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims fell 5,000 to 475,500. The four-week average is considered a better indicator of trends because it is not impacted by holidays or weather. This is the second straight weekly decline after the average hit a seven-year high of 484,750. Meanwhile, the number of people collecting regular state unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.72 million in the week ended Oct. 18, while the four-week average of continuing claims rose by 28,000 to 3.71 million, the highest in more than five years. Typically, unemployment benefits run out after 26 weeks for those who are eligible. The new law extends unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks under the separate federal program. Initial claims represent job destruction, while the level of continuing claims indicates how hard or easy it is for displaced workers to find new jobs. The U.S. economy has lost jobs for nine consecutive months, and more losses are expected in October. So far in 2008, nonfarm payrolls have fallen by 760,000 to stand at 137.3 million. Benefits are generally available for those who lose their full-time job through no fault of their own. Those who exhaust their benefits are still counted as unemployed if they are actively looking for work. In a separate report, the government reported that growth contracted slightly in the third quarter, falling 0.3%. End of Story
ECONOMIC REPORT GDP falls 0.3% in third quarter on dive in spending Domestic sales fall 1.8% as impact of rebates wanes By MarketWatch Last update: 8:32 a.m. EDT Oct. 30, 2008 Comments: 1 WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. economy contracted at a 0.3% annualized rate in the third quarter, as consumer spending declined at the fastest rate in 28 years, the Commerce Department estimated Thursday. The 0.3% decline in real gross domestic product was the largest since the end of the last recession in late 2001. The economy grew at a 2.8% pace in the second quarter. The drop was close to economists' expectations that the economy would shrink at a 0.5% annual rate. Final sales to domestic purchasers fell 1.8%, the largest decline in 17 years. Consumer spending dropped 3.1%, the first decline in 17 years and the biggest drop in 28 years, while business investment fell 1%. Investments in homes fell for the 11th straight quarter. After getting a big boost from the tax rebates in the second quarter, inflation-adjusted after-tax incomes fell 8.7%, the largest quarterly decline since the record-keeping began in 1947. Incomes fell much more in the Great Depression, when annual records were kept. The growth figures would have been much worse without sizable positive contributions from government spending, net exports and inventories. GDP has risen 0.8% in the past year. Economists expect the economy to contract in the final three months of this year and the first three months of next year, with unemployment rising to near 8%. It would be the longest contraction since World War II. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve cut its interest rate target to 1%, matching a 50-year low. Fed policymakers said the economy had weakened markedly, and warned that the continuing credit crunch could keep consumer spending and business investment weak for some time. The Fed said inflation should recede as growth slows. In the third quarter, however, consumer prices rose at a 5.4% annual rate, the biggest increase since 1990. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, rose at a 2.9% annual rate, the most in two years. Core inflation has risen 2.5% in the past year, the largest year-over-year gain in two years. The Fed would like to keep core inflation below 2%. Details In nominal dollars (not adjusted for inflation), GDP increased at a 3.8% rate to $14.43 trillion. The increase was due entirely to higher prices. Personal after-tax incomes taxes fell 3.7% after the tax rebates from the federal government led to a hefty 16.7% gain in the second quarter. Final sales - to domestic and foreign buyers - fell 0.8%, the biggest drop in 17 years. Real consumer spending (adjusted for inflation) fell 3.1%. Spending on durable goods fell 14.1%, the largest decline in 21 years. Spending on nondurable goods fell 6.4%, the largest decline in 58 years. Spending on services rose 0.6%. Consumer spending subtracted 2.3 percentage points from growth. Business investment fell 1%. Investments in equipment and software dropped 5.5%, the largest decline in six years. Investments in structures rose 7.9%. Business investment subtracted 0.1 percentage points from growth. Investments in housing dropped 19.1%, the 11th consecutive quarterly decline. Housing subtracted 0.7 percentage points from growth. The change in inventories added 0.6 percentage points to growth. Imports fell 1.9%, while exports rose 5.9%. Net exports added 1.1 percentage points to growth. Government spending increased 5.8%, adding 1.2 percentage points to growth. Federal spending jumped 13.8%, including an 18.1% rise in defense spending, the biggest growth in five years. Spending by state and local governments rose 1.4%.
TODAY'S REPORTS: Jobless claims GDP At the moment gold is falling with the Euro which is backing off a bit during its recent big rally off its low of 1.2326, currently 1.3061 The Dollar is up from its low of .8375, currently .84675 Today's GDP number may move stocks, but I don't know about gold. Gold is completely manipulated, so it's not really going to move in either direction for long without being hit by the other side. We just have to suffer through this battle as the forces of NORMAL economics takes over from the manipulators who can't really move anything in any direction for very long, and only create opportunities for those who understand FUNDAMENTALS. Right now gold is getting beat down on light volume 15 minutes before the day open and I have to lift my short leg at the bottom.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The Rothschilds and their 200 years of political influence By Andy McSmith Thursday, 23 October 2008 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-rothschilds-and-their-200-years-of-political-influence-969772.html
Hatred of America unites the world By Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 25/02/2007 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/02/25/do2501.xml MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE WE ARE A BUNCH OF STOOPID ASSHOLES WHO LET TREASONOUS WAR CRIMINALS CONDUCT OUR FOREIGN POLICIES OF WORLD DOMINATION.
http://market-ticker.org/ I will believe we will see a sustainable recovery in the stock market when I see Ben Bernanke hung by his toenails outside the Federal Reserve, Henry Paulson in the stocks being pelted with rotten tomatoes served by angry citizens, and the bankers and other institutions who have lied about their solvency either out of business or behind bars - all of them. Absent that I believe we are at best headed for a Japan-style scenario, and at worst, a Greater Depression. Oh, and if the government wanted to "stimulate lending", it could have set up a Federal Bank of The United States with that $700 billion (or a bunch of banks to provide competition) and created $7 trillion in new credit, while allowing all the existing banks who made bad bets to twist on their own rope until dead. They didn't, which tells you immediately that actually improving lending conditions into the real economy was not their intention - the EESA was in fact designed by Paulson and Bernanke to rip you off and by doing so has and will materially prolong the economic misery we are in today.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21114.htm Tough times: Congress Grew 13 Percent Richer In 2007 By Rob Hotakainen October 27, 2008 "McClatchy Newspapers" -- - WASHINGTON — Times are tough, but don't worry about most members of Congress making ends meet. Their collective wealth grew by 13 percent last year, leaving them in better shape than most Americans to make it through an economic downturn, according to a new analysis of personal financial reports. Overall, nearly two of every three senators are millionaires. That includes presidential candidates Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. In the House, 39 percent of all members belong to the exclusive club. Only 1 percent of all Americans are considered millionaires.
DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE AT YOUR OWN FINANCIAL PERIL! http://www.leap2020.eu/GEAB-N-28-is-available!-Global-systemic-crisis-Alert-Summer-2009-The-US-government-defaults-on-its-debt_a2250.html "In this 28th edition of the GEAB, LEAP/E2020 has decided to launch a new global systemic crisis alert. Indeed our researchers anticipate that, before next summer 2009, the US government will default and be prevented to pay back its creditors (holders of US Treasury Bonds, of Fanny May and Freddy Mac shares, etc.). Of course such a bankruptcy will provoke some very negative outcome for all USD-denominated asset holders. According to our team, the period that will then begin should be conducive to the setting up of a « new Dollar » (GT sez: THINK AMERO!) to remedy the problem of default and of induced massive capital drain from the US. The process will result from the following five factors studied in detail further in this GEAB: • The recent upward trend of the US Dollar is a direct and temporary consequence of the collapse of stock markets • Thanks to its recent « political baptism », the Euro becomes a credible « safe haven » value and therefore provides a « crisis » alternative to the US dollar • The US public debt is now swelling uncontrollably • The ongoing collapse of US real economy prevents from finding an alternative solution to the country's defaulting • « Strong inflation or hyper-inflation in the US in 2009? », that is the only question."
New York Demands Bonus Pay Data From JPMorgan, Citi (Update2) By Karen Freifeld Oct. 29 "In this new era of corporate responsibility we are entering, boards of directors must step up to the plate and prevent wasteful expenditures of corporate funds on outsized executive bonuses and other unjustified compensation,'' Cuomo wrote." http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=afJ12wUsIQ3A&refer=home
"Taiwan's financial regulators reportedly have ordered that nation's insurance companies to pare their holdings of the debt and mortgage-backed securities of Fannie Mae (ticker: FNM), Freddie Mac (FRE) and Ginnie Mae securities, according to a report on the Internet site of Asian Investor magazine." http://online.barrons.com/article_email/SB122482470725666021-lMyQjAxMDI4MjI0NDgyMjQ0Wj.html
Current Volatility Hints At Next Crash Stresses on the market all planned, Dumbing down of information has led to lack of understanding about the markets, Get ready to throw out all those incumbents,Recent increases in volatility all manipulated behind the scenes, billions in losses to appear soon on year end financial statements, Currency scene about to change drastically http://theinternationalforecaster.com/International_Forecaster_Weekly/Current_Volatility_Hints_At_Next_Crash
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1d44428c-a4e2-11dd-b4f5-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1 IMF ‘has six days to save Pakistan’ By Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad and Chris Bryant in Berlin Published: October 28 2008 11:52 | Last updated: October 28 2008 11:52 The International Monetary Fund has less than a week to prevent a full-blown financial crisis in Pakistan, Germany’s foreign minister warned on Tuesday, as Islamabad said it was nearing agreement with the fund over a bail-out package... ...Pakistan needs $4bn-$5bn for the financial year to June 2009 to meet debt payments and other liabilities, according to finance ministry officials in Islamabad. An official at the central bank said the country’s foreign currency reserves stood at $4bn and were likely to run out by the end of November. “We have a very narrow space to put the country back on the rails,” he said.
Shots Heard Round the World By David Glenn Cox October 28, 2008 "Information Clearinghouse" - -When 90-year-old Addie Polk put the gun to her chest and pulled the trigger she was seeking an escape from foreclosure. The first shot failed to do the job so the elderly widow pulled the trigger a second time as Sheriff’s deputies waited on the porch to serve her with an eviction notice. She was rescued by her neighbor, Robert Dillion, who grabbed a ladder and climbed in a back window. Sheriff’s deputies were kind enough to radio for paramedics. Mrs. Addie Polk and her husband Robert had moved into the home in 1970. Mr. Polk had a union job with Goodrich Tire Company and they lived within their means in their small home. In 1995 her husband passed away, leaving 77-year-old Addie all alone. In 2004 Mrs. Polk took out a mortgage from Country Wide for $45,620 on a home with an appraised value of $32,230. No one knows what the money was used for or where it all went, but considering her age, fast cars, gambling or stock speculation are not the likely answers. The most common reason seniors get into financial trouble is medical bills. Mrs. Polk’s solution to her social insecurity was to attempt to take her own life. We, as Americans, should hear the sound of that gunshot resonating in all of our ears. It should wake us up from a dead sleep because Mrs. Polk's situation is all of our situations. Yesterday it was announced that under the terms of the bankruptcy agreement Lehman Brothers was discontinuing the severance payments that management had promised to its employees for the next three months. Too bad, so sad! Conservatives proclaim this as freedom; we must let the free market work. Mrs. Polk should have married a richer man and she shouldn’t have gotten so old; it was her own fault really. The Lehman employees should have saved more and invested wisely and after being paid annual bonuses in Lehman Brothers stock they should have sold it and bought gold and buried it in the back yard. Radio talk show host and mental midget Neil Boortz was discussing price gouging going on here in Atlanta during our gas shortage and announced that he’s all for it! The Governor’s office had begun an investigation but Boortz feels they should do the opposite. Let them charge all that the market will bear, and then all these people doing unnecessary driving will stay home and the fuel shortage will take care of itself. It must be wonderful to live in such a simplistic world, a world where others don’t matter. Where the elderly don’t need to get to doctors appointments. Where people don’t need to get to work, where the health and well being of your neighbors just doesn’t matter when compared to the greater good of the free market! Not to even give a thought that what you say might affect the sponsors of your own radio show. I seriously doubt that Lincoln Mercury dealers are in favor of fuel price gouging. But it gets even worse than an ersatz Rush Limbaugh bellowing to the non-critical thinkers of the world. Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn who voted against the Wall Street bailout package twice for philosophical reasons said, "If the American people have to foot the bill for Wall Street greed and the Administration feels this is the most prudent way forward, then every Federal agency should be compelled to do their part and reduce what they are spending." It’s Blackburn’s assertion that the VA, Medicare and Medicaid, the elderly, and children with disabilities should help pay for this bailout. Representing an Army base in her district, she is in lockstep with John McCain that we should remain in Iraq as long as necessary, even if it takes 100 years. She's proud of the additional $159.8 million she brought to Fort Campbell in 2007 and I wonder how she would feel about that funding being cut. Like Boortz she looks at the world through the keyhole of a privileged lifestyle, out into reality. Those poor people should just take responsibility for themselves and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. In Los Angeles a man, despondent over his financial dealings, shot and killed his wife, then his three children and then his mother-in-law before turning the gun on himself. The man, once a financial planner for Price Waterhouse, had lost everything in the stock market collapse. "This is a perfect American family behind me that has absolutely been destroyed, apparently because of a man who just got stuck in a rabbit hole, if you will, of absolute despair, somehow working his way into believing this to be an acceptable exit," said LAPD Deputy Chief Michel Moore. "It is critical to step up and recognize we are in some pretty troubled times." The chief just doesn’t understand freedom like Boortz and Blackburn do; he was exercising his freedom and his God-given second amendment rights. These little people just don’t matter to the Blackburns and the Boortzes of the world. They are just losers in their eyes, and as long as they personally keep winning then the system is just perfect. Blackburn would rather see millions of senior citizens wiped out than to betray her own personal philosophy. To Boortz the robbers are the heroes and the cops are the bad guys because he wants the freedom to let markets work protected and to the Addie Polks of the world he says, too bad for you, Granny! These anecdotal stories of murder and suicide are being repeated on a daily basis across the nation and the number of incidences is increasing. But the Boortzes and Blackburns of the world don’t care because it’s not happening in their circles, but they should. Freedom is a two-way street; after denial comes anger. Soon, very soon, sheriff’s deputies will walk up onto a porch to serve an eviction notice and the next Addie Polk will point the gun at them and pull the trigger. That’s freedom for ya! John McCain, in last night's debate, told America that future retirees shouldn’t expect the same benefits current retirees receive. No different from Boortz or Blackburn, we need to cut the budget and the elderly and the infirm look like a good target. After all, with all the baby boomers retiring soon we must either raise taxes or cut benefits and John’s made it clear that he has chosen his side. Not a hard choice for a man with a 100 million dollar fortune to fall back on. He explains, raising taxes hurts growth in the free market. Obama then accuses McCain of wanting to give tax cuts to the wealthy. McCain shrugs and answers, "I don’t want raise taxes on anyone, I want to let the free market work." Addie Polk knows what kind of freedom John’s talking about, the freedom to be chewed up and spit out. To spend your life working and struggling, and then when you get old or sick, to become a prime target for the budget cutters. That’s freedom, children, that’s the freedom that they are proclaiming to us! A eugenics of age and of situation while they see themselves as Gregor Mendel picking and choosing which bean sprouts survive. Too bad for the Addie Polks, plucked and tossed away so that the healthy can thrive, but they forget the other kind of freedom. The freedom to get angry when a government that is supposed to protect us ignores our suffering. When the pompous and bellicose tell us that we deserve it and that it's our own fault. That irrespective of any personal loss we should respect the hand of fate and the whim of the market. On September 18 John McCain was way ahead in God’s waiting room, Florida, by 51% to 41%. By October 5 the lead had changed to 52% to 45%, now in Obama’s favor. Apparently Floridians' philosophical beliefs in the free market aren’t as strong as Blackburn's; they don’t want to be wiped out so that the stock market can purge itself. They don’t want to finish their days cowering alone in a dark house, clutching a revolver, fearing the next knock at the door.
American Hegemony Bites The Dust The Defanging of America: Reality-Based Community Overthrows History’s Actors By Paul Craig Roberts October 28, 2008 "Information Clearinghouse" -- "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." Bush White House aide explaining the New Reality The New American Century lasted a decade. Financial crisis and defeated objectives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Georgia brought the neoconservative project for American world hegemony crashing to a close in the autumn of 2008. The American neoconservatives are the heirs of Leon Trotsky. Their dream of American “Full Spectrum Dominance”--US military and economic superiority over any possible combination of states--is matched in ambition only by the early 20th century Trotskyite dream of world Communist revolution. The neocons used September 11, 2001, as a “new Pearl Harbor” to give power precedence over law domestically and internationally. The executive branch no longer had to obey federal statutes, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or honor international treaties, such as the Geneva Conventions. An asserted “terrorist threat” to national security became the cloak which hid US imperial interests as the Bush Regime set about dismantling US civil liberties and the existing order of international law constructed by previous governments during the post-war era. Perhaps the neoconservative project for world hegemony would have lasted a bit longer had the neocons possessed intellectual competence. On the war front, the incompetent neocons predicted that the Iraq war would be a six-week cakewalk, whose $70 billion cost would be paid out of Iraqi oil revenues. President Bush fired White House economist Larry Lindsey for estimating that the war would cost $200 billion. The current estimate by experts is that the Iraq war has cost American taxpayers between two and three trillion dollars. And the six-week war is now the six-year war. On the economic front, the incompetent neocons overlooked the fact that a country that relocates its industry and best jobs abroad in order to maximize short-run profits becomes progressively economically weaker. Propagandistic talk about a “New Economy” built around financial dominance covered up the fact that the US was the world’s greatest debtor country, dependent on foreigners to finance the daily operation of its government, the home mortgages of its citizens, and its military operations abroad. In Iraq the neocons gave up their hegemonic military pretensions when they put 80,000 Sunni insurgents on the US Army’s payroll in order to scale down the fighting and reduce US casualties. In Afghanistan the neocons gave up more military pretensions when they had to rely on NATO troops to fight the Taliban. US military pretensions came to an end in Georgia when the Bush Regime sent Georgian troops to ethnically cleanse South Ossetia of Russian residents in order to end the secessionist movement in the province, thereby clearing the path for Georgia’s NATO membership. It took Russian soldiers only a few hours to destroy the US and Israeli trained and equipped Georgian Army. The ongoing financial crisis has put an end to the pretensions of American financial hegemony and free-market illusions that deregulation and offshoring had brought prosperity to America. In a long article, “The End of Arrogance,” on September 30, the German news magazine Der Spiegel observed: This is no longer the muscular and arrogant United States the world knows, the superpower that sets the rules for everyone else and that considers its way of thinking and doing business to be the only road to success. Also on display is the end of arrogance. The Americans are now paying the price for their pride. Gone are the days when the US could go into debt with abandon, without considering who would end up footing the bill. And gone are the days when it could impose its economic rules of engagement on the rest of the world, rules that emphasized profit above all else -- without ever considering that such returns cannot be achieved by doing business in a respectable way. A new chapter in economic history has begun, one in which the United States will no longer play its former dominant role. A process of redistributing money and power around the world -- away from America and toward the resource-rich countries and rising industrialized nations in Asia -- has been underway for years. The financial crisis will only accelerate the process. Looking at his defeated adversary, George W. Bush, brought down by military and economic failure, Iranian President Ahmadinejad observed: “The American empire in the world is reaching the end of its road, and its next rulers must limit their interference to their own borders.” Truer words were never spoken.
October 29, 2008 As Economy Slows, Lenders Begin to Curb Credit Cards By ERIC DASH First came the mortgage crisis. Now comes the credit card crisis. After years of flooding Americans with credit card offers and sky-high credit lines, lenders are sharply curtailing both, just as an eroding economy squeezes consumers. The pullback is affecting even creditworthy consumers and threatens an already beleaguered banking industry with another wave of heavy losses after an era in which it reaped near record gains from the business of easy credit that it helped create. Lenders wrote off an estimated $21 billion in bad credit card loans in the first half of 2008 as more borrowers defaulted on their payments. With companies laying off tens of thousands of workers, the industry stands to lose at least another $55 billion over the next year and a half, analysts say. Currently, the total losses amount to 5.5 percent of credit card debt outstanding, and could surpass the 7.9 percent level reached after the technology bubble burst in 2001. “If unemployment continues to increase, credit card net charge-offs could exceed historical norms,” Gary L. Crittenden, Citigroup’s chief financial officer, said. FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/29/business/29credit.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
YOU TUBE VIDEO 7:39 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rqe40-REclU CREDIT FOR LINK TO CSPANJUNKIE ALSO, WATCH RELATED VIDEOS LISTED SUCH AS THIS ONE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rqe40-REclU
Monday, October 27, 2008
"October Surprise": Preparing for "Something Unexpected”? By Dr. Judith H. Young October 27, 2008 -- Global Research, October 26, 2008 -- At a news conference on October 22, 2008, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama was asked about a comment by his Vice Presidential running mate Joe Biden that Obama could expect to be tested within six months of the new presidential term by a “generated” international crisis that will force him to make unpopular decisions. Obama said the Delaware senator has occasionally engaged in "rhetorical flourishes," but the essential point was that the new President could expect to be challenged no matter who wins. Obama held the news conference following a meeting with his national security advisers, who include long standing globalist asset Zbignew Brezezinski. He denied the meeting with his advisors had been called because of political damage stemming from Biden's remarks, in my view a classic ploy for calling more attention to it.  Colin Powell, former Secretary of State (2001-2005), echoed Biden’s warning by referring to an unknown crisis that will come a day or two after the inauguration: I would start with talking to the American people and talking to the world and conveying a new image of American leadership, a new image of America’s role in the world. The problems will always be there and there's going to be a crisis which will come along on the 21st, 22nd of January that we don't even know about right now. So I think what the President has to start to do is to start using the power of the Oval Office and the power of his personality to convince the American people and convince the world that America is solid, that America is going to move forward, we are going to fix our economic problems, we're going to meet our overseas obligations.  John McCain and Madeleine Albright added to the furor. Albright called Biden’s statement “a statement of fact,” in that one always has to be prepared “for something unexpected.”  McCain raised the specter of nuclear war as he resumed his attack against Obama’s judgment by warning that the next president "won't have time to get used to the office."  Alternative news analysts speculated on the import of these simultaneous warnings by public figures, including their possible relation to a new false flag: Albright, like Biden and Powell, is an insider minion, so she may know something is up. It is rather suspect that all these voices are saying basically the same thing: Obama will be “tested,” either by an [al-Qaeda] attack, a war or confrontation in the Middle East – read Iran, or Russia….Hopefully, the ACLU’s [Freedom of Information Act request regarding the combat unit deployed domestically as of 10/1/2008] will turn up more information on the emerging police state control grid going online. Unfortunately, we are but one “terrorist event” away from this system being used to identify, track, trace, and round up the opposition. If we are to believe Joe Biden, Colin Powell, and Madeleine Albright, this event may happen as soon as the end of January, 2009.  There has also been wide speculation about an imminent false flag, to be blamed on al-Qaeda, as an “October surprise” designed to influence the outcome of the election. The two scenarios, a staged event before the voting and another manufactured crisis following inauguration, are not mutually exclusive. In this article I argue for both occurring, as part of a multi-phased shock and awe campaign designed to move us into full scale martial law with the help of Barak Obama as the new national savior in a time of peril. In my view, an October surprise consisting of a staged event in Obama’s home state, such as a dirty nuke detonated in Chicago, is a hypothesis worth exploring. Such an attack would be designed in part to focus attention on Obama as the global elite’s U.S. President of choice. In a crisis such as urban “terrorism,” the propaganda machine could spring into action to spin Obama’s popular appeal in a time of crisis as well as his argument that the Republicans have failed miserably in not apprehending bin Laden seven years after 9/11. I believe an urban attack would in fact be but step one in a broader psyop by the globalists to condition the public to accept Obama as a new protective father figure to replace George Bush as part of their final push for a full blown police state on a global scale. This possibility brings into bold relief Colin Powell’s reference (in answering fellow Council of Foreign Relations spin-meister Tom Brokaw’s query about how to respond to the post-inaugural crisis Powell had warned about) to the “power of the President’s personality to convince the American people that America is solid.” As Naomi Klein has revealed in her work on the shock doctrine of disaster capitalism, in the CIA’s basic interrogation manual declassified in 1963, a window of opportunity is highlighted in which torture reduces its victim to a state of traumatized disorientation and childlike regression, creating an opening for the interrogator to be transformed into a protective father figure. This is one of the classic tactics of tyrants across the planet. In the view of Klein and others, it was used after the shock of 9/11 to permit George Bush and others to offer a narrative on the shocking events allowing the profoundly disoriented victims to make sense of the trauma. Hence the extraordinary power of the mind control matrix known as the War on Terror. (See also my discussion of psychological control techniques in my two-part article “Deconstructing the Power of the Global Elite”).  My core argument is that the globalists’ final battle plan for world dominance is as follows: the current economic implosion that they themselves engineered, its ongoing exploitation to advance their agenda for worldwide financial and economic control, and finally, additional engineered crises designed to enable full-blown martial law as part of an international police state under their power. I do not believe the globalists want to see riots or other forms of protest on any major scale in the U.S. because of the huge number of guns still in the hands of the populace and because of their uncertainty about the ability (and willingness) of their forces to prevail in armed conflict with Americans. They worry, in my view, that things could become similarly messy in other parts of the globe. Another mass trauma on the scale of 9/11 – or several back-to-back mass traumas involving large numbers across the globe - would be far more efficient for implementing and justifying worldwide full scale martial law, with its attendant confiscation of guns and detention of dissidents. There is growing recognition of the commonplace use of false flag operations as a cold-blooded tool, even in so-called democracies, for promoting agendas that serve the interests of the power elite at the price of massive suffering for the common man. The most recent evidence of this criminal culture of death was a revelation by renowned investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in July 2008 that Bush administration officials had recently held a meeting in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran. The discussion addressed the idea of disguising Navy seals to look like Iranians, put them on specially built boats that look like Iranian PT boats, and start a fake attack on them in the Straits of Hormuz. Look, is it high school? Yeah. Are we playing high school with, you know, 5,000 nuclear warheads in our arsenal? Yeah, we are. We’re playing, you know, who’s the first guy to run off the highway with us and Iran.  The prospect of an October surprise has already factored into the 2008 campaign, including warnings of another al-Qaeda terrorist attack both from U.S. intelligence sources and allegedly from al Qaeda itself.  An alternative press article on October 24 expresses its alarm as follows: The chatter surrounding the probable entrance of Bin laden or Al-Qaeda to impact the election is widespread…. The fact that the media is hyping the inevitability of an “October surprise” should be a cause for concern, especially when allied to reports of police departments across the country ‘preparing for possible civil unrest and riots’ [during the election].  The term “October surprise” stems from the 1980 election campaign between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter to refer to last-minute sensations with the potential to reshape a Presidential race. Such a sensation occurred in the last Presidential campaign in 2004. Going into the final weekend of the campaign, Democratic candidate John Kerry had a good chance of winning. Then an alleged Osama bin Laden videotape was issued: Bush went on to beat Kerry and both men attributed the result to the influence of the tape. In adding my voice to the widespread speculation about the spate of warnings of coming crises, I again proffer the hypothesis of a staged terrorist attack as an imminent October surprise going into the final weekend of the current campaign. In Part II of this work, forthcoming shortly at my blogs and YouTube channel, I will offer specific arguments for my choice of Chicago as a likely location for this new 9/11. NOTES 1. Jennifer Loven, “Obama brushes aside GOP criticism of his tax plans,” Yahoo! News, October 21, 2008: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081022/ap_on_el_pr/obama 2. Alex Johnson, “Powell endorses Obama for President, “ msnbc.com, October 19, 20008 3. CNN, October 22, 2008. Cf. “Albright Agrees with Biden: Terrorists Will Test Obama,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD_EAe1N9-M 4. Staff Writers, “McCain raises specter of nuclear war,” Moon Township, Pennsylvania (AFP), Oct 22, 2008 5. Kurt Nimmo, “ACLU Files FOIA On Brigade Deployed in U.S.,” Infowars, October 22, 2008 www.infowars.com 6. Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt & Company, New York, 2007; Judith H. Young, Ph.D., “Deconstructing the Power of the Global Elite: Brute Force, the Power to Hurt, and Psychological Control,” Global Research, October 9, 2008 http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10493 7. Faiz Shakir, “EXCLUSIVE: To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal To Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians And Shoot At Them,” Think Progress, July 31, 2008 http://thinkprogress.org/2008/07/31/cheney-proposal-for-iran-war/ 8. Eli Lake, “Spies Warn That Al Qaeda Aims for October Surprise,” The New York Sun, September 22, 2008; “Al-Qaida Threatens 'October Surprise' Attack,” Newsmax.com, September 22, 2008; “In video, al-Qaeda vows more US attacks,” 9/19/08, CNN.com/world; “Terrorist advocate endorses McCain: An al-Qaeda supporter has called for a pre-election attack in the US to help Republican candidate John McCain win the presidency,” Press TV, October 22, 2008; William Bratton & R.P. Eddy, “Osama Bin Laden wants a vote, so beware a late October surprise,” New York Daily News, Opinions, 10/21/08 9. Paul Joseph Watson, “Clarke: Bin Laden to Influence U.S. Election,” Prison Planet, October 24, 2008. infowars.com Judith H. Young, holds a Ph.D from Brandeis University. In the 1960s she was a published think tank researcher with a Top Secret security clearance in the areas of arms control, strategic studies and international aerospace activities. In 1973-74 she taught International Politics at Mount Holyoke University in Massachusetts. In the 1990s Judy became a practitioner and teacher in several venerable healing arts, including animal-assisted therapy and traditional Reiki. She founded a nonprofit animal and nature center dedicated to promoting the healthy development of children and youth, which she directed from 1994-2004, and she published widely in the field of equine-assisted activities and ecotherapy. After the shocking events of 9/11/2001, Judy returned to her earlier vocation as a writer and educator in the field of International Politics, while also maintaining a professional practice in complementary and alternative healing. Web site: http://freefalltofascism.homestead.com/ Blogs: http://freefalltofascism.wordpress.com/ http://earthrising.typepad.com/ YouTube: http://crisiscenterinfo.youtube.com/ © Copyright Judith H. Young, Global Research, 2008
Hornberger’s Blog RSS Feed Information about RSS Hornberger’s Blog Archives http://www.fff.org/blog/index.asp Monday, October 27, 2008 Interventionism, Not Muslims, Is the Problem by Jacob G. Hornberger One of the popular post-9/11 sentiments has been the one that holds that Muslims are bent on conquering the world. The notion is that Muslims hate Christianity and Western freedom and values and that such hatred is rooted in the Koran and stretches back centuries. Thus, the United States has been drawn, reluctantly, into a war against Muslims. That’s why U.S. forces are in Iraq and Afghanistan, the argument goes — to defend our freedoms by killing Muslims over there before they get over here and kill us. I sometimes wonder whether the people who have this mindset have reflected on the ramifications of their belief. For example, if Muslims in general are at war with the United States, then why shouldn’t Americans be out killing Muslims here in the United States? After all, when a nation is at war, isn’t it permissible to kill the enemy? Isn’t that what war is all about? The reason that proponents of this view don’t start killing Muslims here in the United States is very simple: Deep down, they know that the killers will be indicted by their very own government for murder. They will then be prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to serve time in a federal penitentiary for murder. Let’s carry the ramifications overseas. If the United States is at war against Muslims, then why not start with ousting the Muslim regime in Iraq and installing a Christian or Jewish regime in its place? Yes, I said Iraq. Believe it or not, the U.S. invasion of that country succeeded in installing an Islamic regime, a regime which, by the way, has closely aligned itself with the radical Islamic regime in Iran. A second-choice candidate for invasion, occupation, and regime change would be Kuwait, another country run by an Islamic regime. Since Saddam Hussein’s forces were easily able to conquer the country, it should be a piece of cake for U.S. forces. A problem arises however. Once the United States effects regime change in Iraq and Kuwait, installing Christian or Jewish regimes, what about the millions of Muslims in those two countries? Sure, their governments would no longer be Islamic but what about the millions of people living there? Wouldn’t they still be the enemy to Christians and the West? Wouldn’t they still be bent on world conquest? What should be done with them? Perpetual incarceration in concentration camps? Mass executions of all Muslims? And what about Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and all the other countries in which people are predominantly Muslim. You know — the Islamic countries that are the recipients of billions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid. Does the U.S. government invade those countries too, effect regime change, and incarcerate or execute the millions of Muslims living there? During the Cold War, people used to say the same thing about the communists that we’re now hearing about the Muslims. The communists were coming to get us, and some Americans were even looking under their beds for communists. In fact, 58,000 American men were sacrificed in Southeast Asia because U.S. officials claimed that Vietnam was the central front in the war on communism. With a military loss in Vietnam, the dominoes would start falling, they told us, with the final domino being the United States. Yet, the U.S. did lose in Vietnam, and yet the dominoes didn’t fall. It turned out that those 58,000 American men died for nothing. Today, U.S. officials even travel to Vietnam as tourists. Americans are freely trading with the people who were supposedly going to invade the United States and take over the IRS and the public schools. Ironically, throughout the Cold War there was nary a mention of the Islamic threat to the West, even though proponents of that view today claim that the Muslim threat stretches back many centuries. In fact, the irony of ironies is that during the Cold War the U.S. government even entered into partnerships with Muslims, including Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and various Islamic regimes in the Middle East. No one accused U.S. officials of treason for entering into agreements with the enemy. It’s true that Muslims have fundamental differences with Christians and the West, and vice versa. But those types of differences ordinarily do not cause people to kill people who have different values. Most Muslims are no different from Americans in the sense that they simply wish to live their lives in peace, practice their faith, raise their families, and be left alone. They don’t like it when some foreign government tries to interfere with their way of life, just as Americans don’t like it when some foreign government does that to them. What all too many Americans, unfortunately, will not permit themselves to see is that that is precisely what the U.S. government did in the Middle East, especially when the Soviet communist bugaboo evaporated in 1989. As a result of U.S. interventionism in the Middle East, especially the interventionism that resulted in large number of deaths (e.g., the sanctions and the no-fly zones), what began as differences in values rose to the level of anger and rage that induced some people to seek vengeance through violence. Thus, rather than ceasing its policy of interventionism after 9/11, which is what the U.S. government should have done even while pursuing the perpetrators through criminal-justice means, it did the very worst thing possible — it continued and even expanded its policy of interventionism in the hope of killing those whose differences with America’s values had risen to the level of rage as a result of U.S. interventionism. Not surprisingly, that only fueled more anger and rage. So, what should the U.S. government do now? It should do what it should have done after 9/11: Exit Afghanistan and Iraq and the entire Middle East. Bring all the troops home. Would this quell the anger and rage against the United States? Not all of it but certainly much of it. As I said above, most people simply want to live their lives in peace. After all, look at Vietnam, where the U.S. government killed more than a million people. Once U.S. forces exited the country, the Vietnamese left the United States alone. While there is the ever-present risk that there will still be some people who will still want vengeance, their numbers will be relatively small. While they will constitute an ever-present threat of terrorism, that’s the price that must be paid for past interventions. What’s important to note is that continued interventionism can never solve that problem — it can only make it worse. When governments go awry, it is up to the citizenry to straighten out their course. The problem is not Muslims or Islam. The problem is the U.S. government and, specifically, its foreign policy of interventionism. Bringing an end to that policy will restore a sense of peace and harmony not only to the American people but also the people of the world. Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
10/23/2008 PRESIDENT OBAMA: SHUT DOWN THIS CAMP! http://www.uexpress.com/tedrall/ Next President Should Shut Gitmo on January 20 * Camp has become its own raison d'être * Hundreds locked in legal limbo * Jerking around detainees and their families * Gesture would resonate around the globe
October 11th at 2:00PM From the Writers of The Daily Show: The Stupid Vote POSTED BY: TheInDecider Overheard in the writers room: With John McCain's recent string of seemingly poor campaign decisions, spectators can only conclude that he's targeting "the stupid vote," a demographic which includes subgroups such as: * Toaster-fork-stickers * The real housewives of any city * People who put butter on their cereal * Anyone with a personalized license plate * A majority of Baldwin brothers * People who Tivo "Deal or No Deal" * Former Hawaiian Tropic models * Current Hawaiian Tropic models * Aspiring Hawaiian Tropic models * Harold and/or Kumar * Gay Republicans * People who look both ways before crossing their "T"s * People who honestly don't know if they're a redneck, and rely on Jeff Foxworthy to tell them
G7 Statement October 26, 2008 HP-1235 Statement of the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors We reaffirm our shared interest in a strong and stable international financial system. We are concerned about the recent excessive volatility in the exchange rate of the yen and its possible adverse implications for economic and financial stability. We continue to monitor markets closely, and cooperate as appropriate. -30- GT sez: WOW! YOU GUYS REALLY GIVE ME CONFIDENCE THAT YOU HAVE MATTERS UNDER CONTROL! I'VE HAD CREAM OF WHEAT WITH MORE FLAVOR!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Meet the World's New Reserve Currency The Chinese Yuan By Mike Whitney Things are getting worse. On Friday morning, futures trading was halted for the first time ever after futures plunged more than 5 percent. The sell-off came after another 500-plus down day on the Dow followed by steep declines in equities markets across Europe and Asia. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21090.htm
Down For The Count "The whole system is contracting" By Mike Whitney The US Treasury and Federal Reserve are now underwriting the entire financial system. The free market has been abandoned altogether. Everything from commercial paper to money markets is now backed by the "full faith and credit of the United States". http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21087.htm
CREDIT TO FLARPH FOR THIS ARTICLE NEW BRETTON WOODS II FARCE Last weekend in Brussels, G8 Finance Ministers met. Among other things, they discussed a reform to the global banking structures. For the many challenged on geography, that city is in Belgium, headquarters for many European Union functions, in Western Europe. Creditors were not present, which means the finance ministers were talking to themselves. Credit masters were not invited. The nations whose banking systems are in the process of implosion are essentially attempting to revise the global currency system. Those in attendance constitute the losers! However, the Arabs and Chinese were not present. This seems entirely backwards. The bankrupt nations do not dictate to the creditors terms of a revised agreement. Imagine a large business saying the following. “We are bankrupt. We want a meeting. We are going to dictate to you bankers anyway. We are broke. Our economies are shattered. Our banking systems are in ruins. But we going to tell you how we are to restructure our debt and rework a new system. We realize our debts to you are bigger than we can ever repay. We realize we cannot continue in commerce without your continued extended credit. But we will force upon you a new system. It does not matter what your opinion is. You do not have a seat on this elite committee, sorry!” THIS FLOW IS NOT FROM THE WORLD OF REALITY! No! Bankruptcy receivership is next, where creditors will be left with few options. They will be compelled to run management committees, and dissolve many functions of government. Creditors will probably await the G8 initiative, then summarily reject it. They will next propose their own new global financial structure. The teenager’s credit card is about to be taken away, when the irresponsible kid proposes a new repayment system, new promises, new chores done even. The kid has burned down half the neighborhood, yet thinks he can call the shots! Sadly, the parents will probably ground him and force a tutor to direct his studies, and force a strict drill sergeant to direct his work activities. His friends will not be permitted to form new teams that include him. A ‘Post-US World’ is being planned, and Americans are the last to know. Entire new barter systems between a key pair of nations is about to be launched. Regional bond and commodity organizations are being formed, with exclusion of the US. The US press reports nothing on these important developments. Foreign creditors will form new committees, which will be recognized in time as the Receivership Committee. Foreigners are watching in horror. Decisions have already been made, with Americans the last to know. In order to arrest the cancer they so clearly see, they are ready to force a complete upheaval. The USDollar will lose its global currency status, a thoroughly abused privilege. The above lack of disclosure only reinforces their motive to take action. They will move when they must, upon a system failure, or when they are challenged, or when flimsy attempts by debtors are made to dictate reform. Without any changes forthcoming soon, the foreign banking systems and economies face huge threats to failure. To friends, family, and contacts, my approach has been to attempt to explain the underlying forces behind revolutionary financial change. Foreigners must cut off a cancerous body part, the one attached to the United States. Foreigners must cut off flow from a toxic systemic organ, the one attached to the United States. CUT IT OFF OR RISK DEATH. They must disconnect of USDollar from the global currency system attached intimately to their own financial and economic systems. They must to survive. http://www.kitco.com/ind/willie/oct242008.html
BBC NEWS Page last updated at 20:47 GMT, Sunday, 26 October 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7692153.stm "Four American helicopters violated Syrian airspace around 16:45 local time (1345 GMT) on Sunday," Sana news agency said. It said that "American soldiers" who had emerged from helicopters "attacked a civilian building under construction and opened fire on workers inside - including the wife of the building guard - leading to [the deaths] of eight civilians". The dead included a man and his four children and a married couple. "The helicopters then left Syrian territory towards Iraqi territory," Sana said.