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A View From South Africa; Greek Center Wins But Left Grows, G8 Meets in Mexico, Many Problems, No Answers

June 17th, 2012 - by:

*Today is the anniversary of the Watergate Break-in.

Listen Up: Podcast of Latest News Dissector Radio Hour On PRN.fm

Some personal reflections and readings from my recent books. Lots of intensity and passionate conviction.

•••PalTalk News Network: Interview on My Two New Books

Just Out From Cosimo Books: Occupy, Dissecting Occupy Wall Street

New Book: OCCUPY: Dissecting Occupy Wall Street

The Other New Book From Your News Dissector Now From Cosimo Books

Commentaries, Analysis, Rants, Dissections

Both books can be ordered on Cosimo.com or from Amazon.com.

Rodney King RIP

Just two weeks ago, I was, believe it or not, I talking with Rodney King on Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Keep Hope Alive Radio show.

And now, just as he published a book and was turning his life around, this headline:

RODNEY KING DEAD AT 47:

LBN: Rodney King the man who was at the center of the infamous Los Angeles riots was found dead this morning in Rialito, CA. He was 47. According to our sources, Kings fiancé found him dead at the bottom of a pool. Law enforcement sources say they responded to a call at 5:25 AM PT. Were told they physically removed King from the pool and attempted CPR. Our sources say he was pronounced dead at 6:11 AM. Law enforcement sources say Rialto PD will open a drowning investigation.

Can’t We Just Get Along?

I am in Africa

I arrived in Cape Town yesterday on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, drove from the Cape Flats near the expanded airport—one of many that were supersized with monies earmarked for infrastructure upgrades for the World Cup. Passed by the hospital known for the world’s first heart transplants, passed the old District 6 where thousands of Coloured people were relocated under apartheid and to a hotel right by the sea.

Sadly, I am here in the off season which means that its cold outside, baby, cold in what should be Sunny South African.

In my room, a big book for opulent consumers not far from teeming townships and conspicuous displays of poverty held over the old regime and still here in this era of democracy.

More seems to be done for the tourists than the residents.

There are vast mall on the waterfront, and even a booth selling helicopter rides. The brochure advertises the thrill of “combat swoops” over the region in helicopters actually used to terrorize and bomb Vietnam. There are even photos in the pamphlet of the choppers with their old US markings, right out of the movie Apocalypse Now. The irony: I was wearing a shirt that I bought from the Apocalypse Now disco years back in the capital of a our former Enemy but new military Ally, Vietnam. On the back of the T Shirt, are the words, in big caps, HANOI, VIET NAM.

There’s a huge new stadium to see, built by demands from FIFA, the lords of th e World Cup who made more money in South Africa than any other country that hosted the games. Now the taxpayers will have to pay off the enormous debt run up for that two week show. The perfectly functional old Green Point Stadium where I watched a concert for Mandela’s AIDS charity some years back was torn down to make room for this white elephant.

Whatever its tragic history and current problems, this is one beautiful town, known as the Mother City.

While I am here, I hope to join the London Recruits who are in the country to promote the new book on the Secret War Against Apartheid that I was part of:

The Big News

The Greek Center Right narrowly beat the Greek Left party in the election last night and it looks like a coalition will now be built.

The Left is seeing the election as a victory given the 28% vote they got against the bailout and austerity. They are saying they will be in power soon.

Part of the reason for the victory of New Democracy seems to be that the majority of voters felt that Greece has to honor its commitment to the European lenders so their bailout will continue. But as economies collapse in Italy and Spain, Europe is still in deep trouble and, increasingly it looks like a replay of the 1930’s.
Many commentators say the New Democracy voters held their noses before voting.

No one I heard on SKY News was optimistic.

No one sees a way out of the Austerity driven polices that have been ushered in so much pain,

I kept hearing the word “Catastrophic”

Commentators referred to the assessments of experts as “brutal.”

Mandelman: Rich Greeks have long been moving billions to countries such as Italy or Switzerland, or buying luxury properties in London. But overall, according to estimates by the Greek central bank, only about one-fifth of the total money withdrawn has gone abroad. Many customers have left their money in the bank itself, Christiana says — but in a safe deposit box rather than in their accounts. “It’s currently impossible to find a free safe deposit box in a Greek bank,” she says.”

ML-Implode: Euro-wide Banking Panic Beginning

“From friend David M., word from a European contact of his, on 6/16:

I have friends everywhere between London and Paris, and they are panicking, savings accounts have been getting emptied at a dramatic rate, we should see panic next week because they are being told what they can have and what they can;t have,

Its not that long ago that they changed the ATM machines, so instead of having a choice of withdrawal from 20-500 on the screen, you can now on [sic] have from 10-50.

Meanwhile, world leaders converged on Mexico for an Emergency meeting of the G8 which has no real answers,

Huffington Post: For many Swiss bankers, taking vacation out of the country is just too risky.

As the U.S. cracks down on Swiss bank accounts and U.S. tax dodgers, even mid-level Swiss bankers fear arrest and extradition on charges of aiding tax evaders.

FYI: Chart from Forbes on Family Wealth in America Thanks To Mandelman;s blog

Robert Reich: (RSN) The American right is moving further right, and pulling the Republican Party with it. It’s fueled by economic fears combined with racism, anti-immigrant nativism, and southern racism

From The Corporate Media Exposed Site

In 2010 a set of declassified documents from a sealed Senate Investigation revealed widespread Israeli manipulation of the United States corporate media.

The documents showed that Israel was attempting to quell any coverage of one of their nuclear weapons facilities as well as paying the Atlantic to spread disinformation to disrupt a U.S. peace proposal which would have allowed Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel

US Attempting to Trigger Full Proxy War in Syria With Help From Corporate Media

Over the last week, the US has been outright caught lying – admittedly by Pentagon officials, regarding Russian gunships being shipped to Syria.In New York Times’ “Copters in Syria May Not Be New, U.S. Officials Say,” a senior defense department official admitted when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her fraudulent claim regarding Russian weapon shipments, she “put a little spin on it to put the Russians in a difficult position.”The New York Times continued by stating, “Mrs. Clinton’s claim about the helicopters, administration officials said, is part of a calculated effort to raise the pressure on Russia to abandon President Bashir al-Assad, its main ally in the Middle East,” indicative of the campaign of propaganda and lies orchestrated by the US State Department, the British Foreign Office, and Western and Gulf State news outlets around the world to demonize both the Syrian government and its extensive allies around the world, contrary to the facts on the ground.

Esam Al-Amin
The True Face of Egypt’s Military

The emerging Islamic and revolutionary parties have now been totally stripped of their political ascendency, less than five months after their rise to power. Further, a Mubarak-era military man is now on the verge of being “elected” president using the assorted tools of the democratic process.

George Monbiat on the IMF

…Despite its trumpeted reforms, the International Monetary Fund remains under the control of the United States and the former colonial powers. All constitutional matters still require an 85% share of the vote(4). By an inexplicable oversight, the United States retains 16.7%, ensuring that it possesses a veto over subsequent reforms(5). Belgium still has eight times the votes of Bangladesh(, Italy a bigger share than India and the United Kingdom and France between them more voting power than the 49 African members. The managing director remains, as imperial tradition insists, a European, her deputy an American.

The IMF, as a result, is still the means by which western financial markets project their power into the rest of the world. At the end of last year, for example, it published a paper pressing emerging economies to increase their “financial depth”, which it defines as “the total financial claims and counterclaims of an economy”. This, it claimed, would insulate them from crisis.

As the Bretton Woods Project points out, emerging nations with large real economies and small financial sectors were the countries which best weathered the economic crisis, which was caused by advanced economies with large financial sectors. Like the modern opium war it waged in the 1980s and 1990s – when it forced Asian countries to liberalize their currencies, permitting western financial speculators to attack them – the IMF’s prescriptions are incomprehensible until they are understood as instruments of financial power.

Decolonisation did not take place until the former colonial powers and the empires of capital on whose behalf they operated had established other means of retaining control. Some, like the IMF and World Bank, have remained almost unchanged. Others, like the programme of extraordinary rendition, evolved in response to new challenges to global hegemony.

As the kidnapping of Abdul Hakim Belhaj and his wife suggests, the UK’s foreign and intelligence services see themselves as a global police force, minding the affairs of other nations. In 2004, after Tony Blair, with one eye on possible contracts for British oil companies, decided that Gaddafi was a useful asset, the alliance was sealed with the capture, packaging and delivery of the regime’s dissenters

Even as I am writing, fighting jet lag to stay awake, a new earthquake is being reported in Japan.

OMG

That’s all I can share right now. I am too exhausted. even as it seems clear that the world is at a tipping point….

Which way will it tip?

Your comments welcome. Send me stories you want me to share. Share your comments at dissector@mediachannel.org.org