Tag Archives: Richard Nixon

Inferno and the “Fourth Circle”. The American Empire and the 2020 Pandemic, by Dr. T. P. Wilkinson

Are oil, armaments, drugs, and the dollars the cornerstones of the American empire? From Dr. T. P. Wilkinson at globalresearch.ca:

In 1973, the world economy was brought almost to a halt by a supposed shortage of oil. The ostensible trigger for this alleged shortage was the so-called Yom Kippur War in which the armed forces of the Anglo-American Empire’s settler-colonial offshore enterprise in Palestine, also known as the State of Israel, repelled the forces of Egypt and Syria, which had moved to reoccupy the territory stolen from them by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. One response to the Anglo-American Empire’s support of its client state against those states Israel wished to conquer was an oil embargo proclaimed by OPEC, with the largest producer– the autocratic Anglo-American protectorate Saudi Arabia at the lead.

Portrayed in the mainstream Western media as a sign of Arab economic strength– also as anti-Semitism in some quarters– the embargo led to massive economic disruption in all the countries that had to import oil, mainly Europe and its former colonies.

This embargo created the impression of a global oil shortage—which although there was none, could not be overcome without violating the power of the oil cartel. While the OPEC embargo formally restricted the sale of crude oil to Israel’s sponsors, there was no real oil shortage since oil supplies to Europe and the US have always been in the hands of the majors (now super-majors), then known as the “seven sisters”.[1] OPEC’s announcement of an embargo at the well had no impact on the enormous upstream reserves held by the mainly American majors. However it did provide the pretext for massive price increases at the pump– presented as shortage-induced.[2]

Unnoticed except in the aftermath and ignored generally in popular debate or historical literature was the far more insidious deal made secretly while everyone from Bonn to Boston and Lyon to Los Angeles was queuing for petrol or the dole. In 1971 Richard Nixon had announced that the US dollar would no longer be redeemable for gold– at any price. This decision had been largely induced by the enormous debt incurred funding the US war against Vietnam. In the course of this fateful decision, secret negotiations were undertaken with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which led to an agreement that Saudi Arabia and OPEC would not sell oil in any currency except US dollars. The oil crisis pushed the price of oil to such heights that many countries in Europe and especially the newly independent countries, soon exhausted their foreign exchange reserves and were compelled to borrow US dollars to pay for oil imports. The result was a boom for the US regime, e.g. oil and banking– not its ordinary citizens– as the demand for US currency led to an inflow of foreign exchange and an overall improvement in its current accounts. Meanwhile the US Treasury could literally print dollars to buy oil– when the time was right.

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Paul Volcker: The Man Who Vanquished Gold, by Joseph T. Salerno

Paul Volker helped free the US dollar from its last tether to gold. A few years later, he had to tame the inflation his move had helped ignite. From Joseph T. Salerno at mises.org:

The flood of obituaries that noted the passing of Paul Volcker (1927–2019) last week have almost all lauded his achievement as Fed chair (1979–1987) in reining in the double-digit inflation that ravaged the US economy during the 1970s.

Volcker was referred to as the “former Fed chairman who fought inflation” (here);  “inflation tamer” and “a full-fledged inflation warrior” (here); and the “Fed chairman who waged war on inflation” and led “the Federal Reserve’s brute-force campaign to subdue inflation” (here).  Mr. Volcker certainly deserves credit for curbing the Great Inflation of the 1970s.  However, he also merits a lion’s share of the blame for unleashing the Great Inflation on the US and the world economy in the first place.  For it was Mr. Volcker who masterminded the program that President Nixon announced on August 15, 1971, which  unilaterally suspended gold convertibility of US dollars held by foreign governments and central banks, imposed a fascist wage-price freeze on the US economy, and slapped a 10 percent surcharge on foreign imports.1

Tragically, by severing the last link between the dollar and gold, Volcker’s program scuttled the last chance of restoring a genuine gold standard.

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50 Years Ago: The Day Nixon Routed the Establishment, by Patrick J. Buchanan

Well into the Nixon presidency, a substantial majority of the American people supported the Vietnam war. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

What are the roots of our present disorder, of the hostilities and hatreds that so divide us? When did we become this us vs. them nation?

Who started the fire?

Many trace the roots of our uncivil social conflict to the 1960s and the Johnson years when LBJ, victorious in a 61% landslide in 1964, could not, by 1968, visit a college campus without triggering a violent protest.

The morning after his narrow presidential victory in 1968, Richard Nixon said his goal would be to “bring us together.” And in early 1969, he seemed to be succeeding.

His inaugural address extended a hand of friendship to old enemies. He withdrew 60,000 troops from Vietnam. He left the Great Society largely untouched and proposed a Family Assistance Plan for the poor and working class. He created a Western White House in San Clemente, California.

In July, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.

America approved. Yet the elites seethed. For no political figure of his time was so reviled and hated by the establishment as was Richard Nixon.

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John Lennon vs. the Deep State: One Man Against the ‘Monster’, by John W. Whitehead

The US government was afraid of John Lennon, the power he had through his music and platform. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“You gotta remember, establishment, it’s just a name for evil. The monster doesn’t care whether it kills all the students or whether there’s a revolution. It’s not thinking logically, it’s out of control.”—John Lennon (1969)

John Lennon, born 79 years ago on October 9, 1940, was a musical genius and pop cultural icon.

He was also a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the Deep State will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.

Long before Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning were being castigated for blowing the whistle on the government’s war crimes and the National Security Agency’s abuse of its surveillance powers, it was Lennon who was being singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files illegally collected on his activities and associations.

For a while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.

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Democracy Is Now a Hindrance to the Imperial State, by Charles Hugh Smith

Our real rulers have no problem with democracy as long as we elect nominal rulers they’ve approved. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Democracy is the coat of paint applied for PR purposes to the Imperial State.

If we step back from the histrionics of impeachment and indeed, the past four years of political circus, we have to wonder if America’s democracy is little more than an elaborate simulation, a counterfeit democracy that matches our counterfeit capitalism (Matt Stoller’s term).

If we review the mechanics of our “democracy,” we find that swapping which party controls Congress doesn’t really change the policies of The Imperial State, the central state that oversees America’s global commercial and geopolitical empire.

Next, consider the high return rate of incumbents. Once in power, politicos can skim the millions of dollars in campaign contributions needed to win re-election.

Then there’s the some are more equal than others nature of the judicial system that serves the interests of financial and political elites: Bernie Madoff was free to continue his Ponzi scheme for years despite whistleblower attempts to instigate a federal investigation, and pedophile /schmoozer / “intelligence agency asset” Jeffrey Epstein was free to exploit underage teens and pile up $200 million after a wrist-slap conviction.

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The Degrading Facts of a Fake Money Hole in the Head, by MN Gordon

Fake money devalues hard work, saving, and taking care on one’s self. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

Today we begin with the facts.  But not just the facts; the facts of the facts.  We want to better understand just what it is that’s provoking today’s ludicrous world.

To clarify, we’re not after the cold hard facts; those with no opinions, like the commutative property of addition.  Rather, we’re after the warm squishy facts; the type of facts that depend on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.

The facts, as far as we can tell, are that we’re presently living in a land of extreme confusion.  The genesis of this extreme confusion is today’s fake money system.  And the destructive effects of this fake money system have spread out like a virus into nearly all aspects of daily life.

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McCain and the POW Cover-Up, by Sydney Schanberg

An article SLL posted last night by Ron Unz, “John McCain: When “Tokyo Rose” Ran for President,” mentioned this article. It is long, but it reveals the supposed “war hero” in action, preventing inquiries about or efforts to bring him the forgotten POWs and MIAs left behind in Southeast Asia. From Sydney Schanberg at theamericanconservative.com:

Eighteen months ago, TAC publisher Ron Unz discovered an astonishing account of the role the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, had played in suppressing information about what happened to American soldiers missing in action in Vietnam. Below, we present in full Sydney Schanberg’s explosive story.

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that “men were left behind.” This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the U.S. prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.

To continue reading: McCain and the POW Cover-Up

Politicizing The FBI: How James Comey Succeeded Where Richard Nixon Failed, by John D. O’Connor

John D. O’Connor makes J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI out to be a congress of saints, which is horseshit, but he makes important points about James Comey’s tenure as head of the FBI. From O’Connor at dailycaller.com:

A little over 40 years ago, Richard Nixon went from a landslide re-election winner to a president forced to resign in disgrace. Nixon’s downfall was the direct result of his unsuccessful attempts to politicize through patronage of an independent, straight-arrow FBI. The commonsense, ethical lesson from this for all government officials would be to avoid attempts to use our nation’s independent fact-finder as a partisan force.

There is as well, of course, a more perverse lesson to be learned from Nixon’s downfall at the hands of an independent FBI, to wit: there is much power to gain by politicizing the Bureau, but only if its upper-leadership team is all on partisan board. Emerging evidence increasingly suggests, sadly, that this was former FBI Director James Comey’s leadership strategy in our country’s most sensitive investigations.

In the years running up to the 1972 election, Deputy Associate FBI Director Mark Felt, serving under feisty bulldog J. Edgar Hoover, staunchly refused the entreaties of Nixon lieutenants to act politically, e.g., to whitewash an ITT/Republican bribery scheme and to lock up innocent war protestors. Felt, the natural successor to Hoover, fell out of White House favor as a result.

Following the death of Hoover in May 1972, Nixon appointed in place of Felt the decent but politically malleable L. Patrick Gray. When six weeks later five burglars were arrested in the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, Nixon’s Justice Department tried to limit, through Gray, the scope of the FBI’s investigation. Unfortunately for Nixon, regular Bureau agents, led quietly but spectacularly by Felt, fought these attempts, with a far worse result for Nixon than if the Bureau had been left alone to do its job.

Trade Tariffs Will Not Make America Great Again, by Bill Bonner

Here’s Bill Bonner’s take on the recently announced tariffs. From Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – The big news last week was Trump’s hasty decision to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel.

We were happy to see it.

We were looking for an example – undeniable, indisputable, and in-your-face, jackass – to illustrate how government actually works.

“The Donald” has just provided it.

Undisguised Dumbkins

It can be hard work digging in the rocky, ungrateful soil of public policy… scraping off the honey-dirt of wishful thinking, delusion, and fraud… to uncover the corruption and stupidity of what lies beneath them.

So we would like to thank Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the president’s trade advisor, Peter Navarro, for their contributions.

They have put the claptrap right on the surface. Rarely do we get to see public officials who are such undisguised dumbkins with so little guile… and such unvarnished crackpot theories.

They have made it easy for us. Thanks again.

Here in Argentina, trade barriers have been a fact of life for a long time. A couple of years ago, we were unable to get tires for our tractor.

Argentina’s tire-making cronies were protected by tariffs. If you wanted to buy a tire, you had to pay for the locally made, inferior tire.

Unless, of course, they didn’t make the model you needed. Then, you were just out of luck.

Same thing for electronics.

Apparently, ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner had some business buddies down in the south who made electronic components.

So imports of laptops, computers, smartphones, and other paraphernalia were restricted, ostensibly to give the nascent native manufacturers a chance to grow up and compete with Apple, Samsung, and Panasonic.

When you came into the country, you had to show exactly what iPhones, iPads, and portable computers you were carrying. Woe to you if you didn’t still have them when you left.

Diminishing Wealth

But that’s the sort of thing you expect in a “sh*thole” country – the naked use of government to transfer money from the ordinary person to the well-connected elite.

A modern, civilized country is usually more sophisticated about it.

Its economists realize that trade barriers lower output, ultimately diminishing the wealth available to a predatory elite.

Better to allow free trade to fatten the pig, they reason, before carving the ham.

In the event before us, Mr. Ross brought a group of steel and aluminum industry executives to the White House at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

These cronies bitched and moaned, no doubt, about how the Canadians were playing unfair… or how the Mexicans had lower costs… or how the Europeans made better metals.

Donald J. Trump, a fighter, grabbed a microphone. The sun had scarcely reached its zenith before he had set off a trade war, claiming it was easy to win one. Then he added, comically, on Twitter:

We must protect our country and our workers. Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY!

Never addressed was the real issue: How come Americans buy more things from overseas than they sell?

If he had bothered to look more carefully, Trump would have noticed that it has nothing to do with trade deals or the lack of trade barriers.

To continue reading: Trade Tariffs Will Not Make America Great Again

He Said That? 1/4/18

From Richard Nixon (1913–1994), 37th President of the United States:

The man of thought who will not act is ineffective; the man of action who will not think is dangerous.