Top Ten Reasons to Oppose the IMF

Top Ten Reasons to Oppose the IMF

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were created in 1944 at a conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, and are now based in Washington, DC. The IMF was originally designed to promote international economic cooperation and provide its member countries with short term loans so they could trade with other countries (achieve balance of payments). Since the debt crisis of the 1980's, the IMF has assumed the role of bailing out countries during financial crises (caused in large part by currency speculation in the global casino economy) with emergency loan packages tied to certain conditions, often referred to as structural adjustment policies (SAPs). The IMF now acts like a global loan shark, exerting enormous leverage over the economies of more than 60 countries. These countries have to follow the IMF's policies to get loans, international assistance, and even debt relief. Thus, the IMF decides how much debtor countries can spend on education, health care, and environmental protection. The IMF is one of the most powerful institutions on Earth -- yet few know how it works.Collapse )

Why are some Americans so bad at geography?

Arie Anna Farnam in reply to the question "Why are some Americans so bad at geography?
When I say I am from Uzbekistan, they have no idea about that country at all." at

Most Americans don't know basic geography beyond the United States because there is a systematic exclusion of international geography and history from public schools in the US and roughly ninety percent of media coverage in the US is domestic. Where I grew up in rural Oregon we were expected to memorize the geography and history of the United States in minute detail and were never taught international geography or history. We were never even taught US history before 1492 or after 1870. Each year we covered the period between 1492 and 1870 again and again in increasing detail and including large doses of myth. Some schools are slightly better, including a little international geography or history to older students and a better myth to fact ratio.

Collapse )

Ukraine’s President Poroshenko Says Overthrow of Yanukovych Was a Coup (by Eric Zuesse)

June 23, 2015

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko requests the supreme court of Ukraine to declare that his predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych, was overthrown by an illegal operation; in other words, that the post-Yanukovych government, including Poroshenko’s own Presidency, came into power from a coup, not from something democratic, not from any authentic constitutional process at all.

In a remarkable document, which is not posted at the English version of the website of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, but which is widely reported outside the United States, including Russia, Poroshenko, in Ukrainian (not in English), has petitioned the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (as it is being widely quoted in English):

“I ask the court to acknowledge that the law ‘on the removal of the presidential title from Viktor Yanukovych’ as unconstitutional.”

Collapse )

Issa Hayatou: FBI’s Fifa arrests should have taken place on US soil

2 June 2015

The Fifa vice president Issa Hayatou said the arrest of officials from world soccer’s governing body in Zurich last week at the behest of the US justice department should have been carried out on American soil.

He questioned the timing of the arrest of seven officials in dramatic dawn raids last Wednesday, on the eve of the contentious Fifa Congress where his close ally Sepp Blatter was re-elected.

“When people come at 6am to arrest 10 of yours, who are sleeping in their rooms, and with all the resultant hype, you cannot say Fifa is not shaken,” he said.

Collapse )

Et tu, Britain? United Kingdom to join China in the anti-dollar alliance by Simon Black

March 13, 2015

In another awkward blow to the rapidly waning US-dollar hegemony, America and Britain just had their “It’s not you, it’s me” moment.

Late yesterday, the government of the United Kingdom announced that they would be applying to join the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank… as a founding member.

This is huge.

Collapse )

US Aggression Against Venezuela: Fact, Not Fiction by Eva Golinger

Published 25 February 2015

The U.S. has a substantial history of aggression toward Venezuela. Recently, several different spokespersons for the Obama administration have firmly claimed the United States government is not intervening in Venezuelan affairs. Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki went so far as to declare, “The allegations made by the Venezuelan government that the United States is involved in coup plotting and destabilization are baseless and false.” Psaki then reiterated a bizarrely erroneous statement she had made during a daily press briefing just a day before: “The United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means.” Anyone with minimal knowlege of Latin America and world history knows Psaki’s claim is false, and calls into question the veracity of any of her prior statements. The U.S. government has backed, encouraged and supported coup d’etats in Latin America and around the world for over a century. Collapse )

Obama Declares Venezuela a Threat to National Security (9 March 2015)

U.S. President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order regarding Venezuela on Monday aimed at threatening the government of President Nicolas Maduro and as an act of aggression against the country’s sovereignty by declaring a national emergency based on arguments claiming that the South American nation is a threat to national security because of alleged human rights violations and widespread corruption.
“I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the situation in Venezuela, including the Government of Venezuela's erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to anti-government protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention of antigovernment protestors, as well as the exacerbating presence of significant public corruption, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat,” the order reads. ​ ​Immediately after, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry announced the government of President Nicolas Maduro would “soon” respond to Obama's executive action against the Latin American country. "We will soon make Venezuela's response to the extent and reach of these statements,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said in a news conference.
Obama also ordered sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials, saying that they all would be banned from traveling to the United States and any and all assets and properties belonging to them would be frozen. The officials affected by Obama’s sanctions are Antonio Jose Benavides Torres, Commander of the Strategic Region for the Integral Defense (REDI) of the Central Region of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB); Gustavo Enrique Gonzalez Lopez, Director General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) and President of Venezuela’s Strategic Center of Security and Protection of the Homeland (CESPPA). Also, Justo Jose Noguera Pietri, President of the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana (CVG), a state-owned entity, and Katherine Nayarith Haringhton Padron, a national level prosecutor of the 20th District Office of Venezuela’s Public Ministry, as well as Manuel Eduardo Perez Urdaneta, Director of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Police; Manuel Gregorio Bernal Martinez, Chief of the 31st Armored Brigade of Caracas of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Army; Bernal Martínez, who was the head of SEBIN on February 12, 2014, and against Miguel Alcides Vivas Landino, Inspector General of the FANB. ​"We now have the tools to block their assets and their use of U.S. financial systems," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement. "We are deeply concerned by the Venezuelan government’s efforts to escalate intimidation of its political opponents. Venezuela’s problems cannot be solved by criminalizing dissent," Earnest added.


The Digital Arms Race: NSA Preps America for Future Battle (by Jacob Appelbaum et al.)

By Jacob Appelbaum, Aaron Gibson, Claudio Guarnieri, Andy Müller-Maguhn, Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach, Leif Ryge, Hilmar Schmundt and Michael Sontheimer (Spiegel Online International)

January 17, 2015

The NSA's mass surveillance is just the beginning. Documents from Edward Snowden show that the intelligence agency is arming America for future digital wars -- a struggle for control of the Internet that is already well underway.

Normally, internship applicants need to have polished resumes, with volunteer work on social projects considered a plus. But at Politerain, the job posting calls for candidates with significantly different skill sets. We are, the ad says, "looking for interns who want to break things."

Collapse )

CIA 'Black Sites': The Secret Prisons Where The US Held Its Terror Suspects (by Conrad Sheets)

December 10 2014, International Business Times

Cuba's Guantanamo Bay is the most well-known facility where the CIA committed ghastly acts of torture in recent years, but foreign terror suspects were also subjected to beatings, waterboarding and rectal feeding, among other brutal acts of violence, in secret sites across the globe. In some cases, the facilities in Cuba, Iraq, Lithuania, Thailand, Romania, Afghanistan and Poland are still in operation, more than six years after the Obama administration banned the enhanced interrogation tactics detailed in a lengthy report on the CIA's surveillance program released Tuesday.

Established in January 2002 within the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "Gitmo" famously houses dozens of prisoners whom U.S. authorities cannot bring to the U.S. to stand trial due to congressional action and whom have also been deemed unsuited for extradition or release. President Barack Obama promised before he was elected to make closing the prison a top priority, but many detainees at Guantanamo have still not been charged and will never stand trial. Activists have tried for a decade to get the U.S. government to shut down Guantanamo Bay, citing prisoner abuses. A number of its inmates have gone on hunger strikes in protest, prompting medical staff there to institute force-feeding measures widely seen as unconstitutional.

Collapse )