Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What Syria and the Financial Crisis Have in Common

(Syria/Wikimedia CIA)
At the eve of President's Obama televised speech to the American people, developments on the "ground" about Syria appear to be changing dramatically. Russia has made a proposal today to avoid a U.S. military strike on Syria by having international monitors take control of the Syrian government’s chemical weapons, while Syria's foreign minister Walid al-Moallem welcomed this proposal. This may turn out to be just a ploy to play for time or it might offer the Obama administration an unexpected way out of this political and diplomatic mess. Whichever it is, it's causing confusion in Washington: the U.S. Senate postponed a vote authorizing an attack, and President Obama's speechwriters will be having a hard time coming up with a speech that will be truthful, up-to-date, and effective. One can also wonder what effective would mean in this increasingly complicated war game.

Against the backdrop of the developments in Syria crisis, Danny Schechter, filmmaker, author, media critic, aka the News Dissector  wrote an article on the disinformation website (published before Russia's proposal became public), titled: Financial Crisis and Impending War Are Converging As Failed Policies Become Self-Fulfilling Prophecies. In this article, Schechter is making an interesting connection about the convergence of two events, the Syria crisis and the upcoming anniversary of 9/11 on the one hand, and on the other hand the anniversary of the financial crisis. Schechter says:

"And, then, there’s the anniversary of the financial crisis which all the military bang-bang is sure to drive off the front pages even as New York Times economist Paul Krugman noted Friday:
“In a few days, we’ll reach the fifth anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers — the moment when a recession, which was bad enough, turned into something much scarier. Suddenly, we were looking at the real possibility of economic catastrophe.
And the catastrophe came.”....
.....You can be sure that Obama does not intend to speak about the economic crisis next Tuesday, because he has no real answer to Krugman’s indictment of failed economic policies. One of the architects of that policy, Larry Summers is apparently about to be appointed to head the Federal Reserve Bank for TEN years, despite his pathetic record, with Obama’s support."

Schechter continues:

"But since most people don’t understand economics any more than the people in power who are supposed to, we will ignore that crisis so that we can create another one by pulverizing Syria—despite appeals from the UN Secretary General, the Pope, The Arab League, NATO, The British Parliament and anybody with any common sense who can see that no good can, or will, come of this adventure.......(blogger's comment: sic!)
....12 former US military intelligence professionals from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have written to the President:
“We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this.”
Clearly the proof of Assad’s responsibility has yet to be proven but that hasn’t stopped the lobbies that are out in force: political operatives from the White House, AIPAC, think-tank “scholars who are defacto soldiers and media alarmists all doing their thing to pump up the fear."

Schechter then shows that deception is not only used in the Syria crisis, but also in the ongoing economic crisis:

"On the economic front, the deception is also well advanced as well with reports that the job figures out today were positive but not according to Global Economic Intersect: "The August 2013 BLS jobs report was below expectations, and even our analysis of the unadjusted data was disappointing. The trend lines are flat to mildly declining. The unadjusted growth this month is the worst in 3 years.”

So, the questions in the coming days will be: What is really going on in Syria? What was the purpose of the Obama's administration first plan to strike Syria without any diplomatic consultation, then to try to get Congressional authorization and now to figure out how to respond to Russia's proposal? Will Obama come up with a deal with his one-time adversary and sudden possible savior Putin? And how is the economy really doing? Is the stock market up, or are real people getting real jobs?  The question should also be, can we trust the information we receive from the government or even from the various mainstream media? Clearly, Danny Schechter has his doubts.

For further background on Syria, watch this interview by Charlie Rose with Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, which is sometimes informative and sometimes funny and clumsy at the same time.

For further background on the financial crisis, see the following books by or with Danny Schechter:

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