UNITED FRONT AGAINST AUSTERITY / TAX WALL STREET PARTY
MORNING BRIEFING FOR TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2015
COUP D’ETAT IN WASHINGTON: WHILE OBAMA VISITS AFRICA, ISIS CZAR ALLEN RAMS THROUGH NO FLY BUFFER ZONE IN NORTHERN SYRIA, PROTECTING ISIS SUPPLY LINE FROM KURDS; OBAMA MUST FIRE ALLEN NOW! #FireAllen4ISIS
At the present time, ISIS supplies can pass through Turkey into rebel held-Syria only on border areas West of Jarabulus on the Euphrates approximately to Dabiq. If the Kurds were able to seize this area, as they have already seized the area around Kobane, ISIS forces would collapse.
While the cat’s away, the rats will play-- and this time the rats are the clique around General John Allen who have been for months demanding a wider US war in Syria for the purpose of overthrowing the Assad government. Now, with Obama in Kenya and Ethiopia, as far out of the loop as it is possible to be, the Allen clique has decided to confront the President with a fait accompli in the form of the buffer zone/ safe zone/ no fly zone which the deranged Moslem Brotherhood fanatics and neo-Ottoman megalomaniacs have been seeking. This treacherous maneuver is being accomplished as a series of subterfuges-- last Friday, the Turkish government was supposedly bombing ISIS; on Saturday, the world learned that the main target was the Kurdish PKK in northern Iraq. On Monday, the headline of the Washington Post announced: “Turkey, US plan safe zone in Syria.” This Turkish farce must stop. Obama must stop this monstrosity now!
This current coup comes in the following form. Obama is in Africa addressing the African Union on the problem posed by ISIS, and is thus isolated from his usual cluster of White House advisors and other inputs. Turkey has begun its deceptive bombing attacks against the Kurds, weakening the most effective opponents of ISIS. On Monday, the front page of The Washington Post declared the air campaign will be expanded into a “safe-zone” along the Turkish-Syrian border that “could become a haven for civilians” -- meaning ISIS and Nusra butchers disguised as the “Free Syrian Army”.
Obama had been reluctant to follow Erdogan’s demand for a no-fly zone in Syria. Obama’s answer was always NO. Now, with Obama out of the country, the opportunist clique of military officers led by General John Allen have seized on the opportunity to preserve a supply line for more ISIS fighters to infiltrate Syria through an alleged refugee sanctuary. Allen, representing the axis of NATO, Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia and Turks ostensibly fighting ISIS, has claimed that his recent visits to Turkey contained no talk of creating a buffer zone. As our Daily Briefing reported over the weekend:
“ISIS czar General John Allen met with Turkish delegates earlier this month, resulting in contradictory reports over the status of establishing a no-fly zone over Syria; Allen claims that, ‘No. It was not part of the discussion,’ but Turkish publications claim that Ankara, ‘got what it received in the negotiations, which is a no-fly zone.’”
Pushing ISIS away from the Turkish border, regardless of the semantic argument over whether it will be a buffer zone/safe zone/no-fly zone or “civilian haven” are all methods for achieving the same end. Any place along the Turkish-Syrian border put under the control of the NATO-Turkey-Saudi-Qatar Axis represented by Gen. Allen would act as a smuggling route transporting ISIS fighters, money and equipment into the country and oil or other resources out of the country.
The alleged “civilian haven” would represent the only part of the Turkish-Syrian border not interdicted by Kurdish forces who will not let ISIS logistics cross into Syria. In recent weeks, the Kurds had almost completely seized the Turkish-Syria border crossings, threatening to completely sever the ISIS supply line running from Turkey into northern Syria. The Erdogan-Allen civilian haven would represent an open door for foreign fighters to cross into northern Syria. If the Kurds had in fact succeeded in interdicting the entire border, ISIS would have been severely weakened and possibly doomed. Therefore, Erdogan and Allen had to spring into action to save their ISIS asset from destruction.
The foreign fighters passing through this open door, would not only be unleashed on Assad, who has consolidated his forces in western Syria, but also be directed against the weakened Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. Assad recently said the consolidation of the Syrian Army is a result of the prolonged war of attrition NATO is waging against him, using fanatical foreign jihadis. With Assad’s offensive attacks temporarily slowed, the Kurds are an indispensable force against ISIS. As Time Magazine of July 23, 2015 argued:
“The recent run of victories in Syria illustrates the Kurds’ battlefield capabilities. Six months after winning in Kobani, the Turkish border town where as many as 1,000 ISIS fighters died, Syrian Kurd fighters on June 15 took another border town, Tel Abyad, creating a corridor on Syria’s northern border and—far more important—cutting off the main supply line to Raqqah, ISIS’s capital 60 miles due south. On Tuesday, the Kurd forces—a Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK—seized a military base known as Brigade 93, as well as the town adjoining it, Ain Issa. The victories put them within 30 miles of Raqqah.”
This analysis shows how close ISIS has been coming to collapse and rout, in sharp contrast to the myth of invincibility trumpeted by the rotten US media. Pushing the Frankenstein monster of ISIS away from Turkey and towards the Kurds is Erdogan’s goal. Pushing ISIS towards Iraq and Iran is the goal of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Destroying Assad and partitioning Syria is the goal of General Allen, NATO and their supporters like General Petraeus and the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Wall Street faction behind Petraeus and Allen. Obama’s absence from the White House allowed the perfect opportunity for this clique to enact a shift in U.S. policy that has matured over time.
The Obama Administration now is left with two choices: Either accept the coup d’etat or fire General Allen and pursue further cooperation with Iran to rebuild the Middle East with a new Marshall Plan.
Note: A coup d’etat does not necessarily mean that government leaders are overtly removed from power by force. In fact, the idea of a coup is that the policy of government is dramatically shifted, often with those in power simply following along to maintain appearances and their position of power. One example of this was the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Another example is currently in progress.
FRENCH FARMERS REVOLT AS PRICE GUARANTEES ARE SLASHED: ALTERNATIVE TO MARKET TYRANNY AND FARMER SUICIDES IS THE DE GAULLE PARITY PRICE.
This past week several years of misery in France’s farm sector came to a head as Farmers blocked roadways, supermarkets and tourist sites
in revolt over falling prices for milk, meat and other produce.
As the overfed swine of the neoliberal press demand France’s farms “adapt or disappear
” under the pressures of low prices and farm consolidation, French farmers correctly blame both falling price supports and the effects of sanctions on Russia – a key export market for France’s high quality produce. As France24 reported last year, farmers call the sanctions (and retaliatory bans of food imports by Russia) “a nightmare
” as their grains, fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat, milk and other products rot for lack of buyers.
France’s agricultural employment has plummeted under the recent neoliberal reforms of the EU common market. Agricultural sector employment
(including forestry and fisheries) has dropped from 8% of the labor force in the 1980s to 3% today, a steeper drop than the US, which has gone from 4% to 2% in that same time period. A French farmer commits suicide every other day
, making suicide the 3rd leading cause of death among farmers. The last several years have been marked by regular mass protests, including public dumping of rotten food, as prices drop and input costs (like fertilizer and seed) rise under the pressures of globalization and the Russian sanctions.
In France and the United States, the reasons for this farm price squeeze are essentially the same. The process now playing out in France began to hit the United States in the 1960s and 70s (when Nixon’s agriculture secretary Earl Butz told farmers to “get big or get out”). The roots of modern French agriculture policy go back to the reforms of Charles de Gaulle in 1960 and 1962. De Gaulle simultaneously achieved integration of European markets, modernization of farms and sustainable farm prices by implementing “compensation payments
” to farmers selling into the common market. Essentially, farms were guaranteed a minimum price based on the cost of production, and the shortfall between that price and the market price was paid to the farmer in the form of a subsidy. While this represented a taxpayer-funded subsidy payment not needed under the superior Parity standard of FDR’s New Deal, it allowed French farms to maintain high employment and export at lower market prices. Part of the subsidy was delivered through the common agricultural policy (cap) of the old European Economic Community.
De Gaulle’s price guarantees were accompanied by land reform, the establishment of technical research centers, and retirement incentives for aging farmers to sell their farms to young farmers.
Today, as the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU has shifted more control away from member-nations and toward the neoliberal Eurogarchs of the European Commission, Germany in particular has fought to reduce France’s subsidies, and to reduce the high import tariffs (18-28%) that have protected small European farms from cheap imports. German farms have consolidated more quickly than France’s, and seek to hamstring the French by disallowing the level playing field created by French price supports.
WAR ON FARMERS IS PROXY WAR ON RUSSIA; UKRAINE IS THE BATTLEGROUND
To understand the forces at play, one need look no further than the members of the US-Ukraine business council, which just months before the Maidan coup of Feb 2014 hosted a “working luncheon” keynoted by up-and-coming politician Arseniy Yatseniuk on the subject of “Our Plan for the Economic & Business Development of Ukraine
In attendance and support
were representatives of agricultural giants such as AGCO, Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, CHS, CNH, Deere & Company, DuPont, Louis Dreyfus and Monsanto. These charter members of the US/EU agriculture cartel were salivating at the prospect of capitalizing on Ukraine’s rich “black earth” region, at that time protected by Ukraine’s own version of price supports and land reform, and enjoying high profits from trade with Russia
. With cheap labor and acquisition of land through theft, the cartel intends to order to undercut the prices of French, German, Russian, and even American farmers, dominate the trade of cereals throughout the EU, and establish a new “grain colony” with convenient warm/deep water ports in the European heartland.
In the neoliberal “New World Order,” there is no room for price supports and other protections on agriculture, such as the ones currently enjoyed by the booming farm sector in China
. As China’s farms modernize and rural incomes slowly rise, the price supports put in place in 2008 keep Chinese prices higher and far more stable than those in the US and other cartel-controlled markets.
PARITY, NOT AUSTERITY
While the particular mechanisms may vary from one country to the next, the foundation of any sane national agricultural policy is Parity; fair prices for produce based on the cost of production.
The goal of Wall Street and the grain cartel is to drive prices downward, and to have regular and extreme price fluctuations. This is the arrangement undergirding the $1 quadrillion / year Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where proxy agents of grain giant Cargill and US megabanks speculate in commodity futures and force the dwindling numbers of American farmers into Wall Street casinos for their economic survival.
In the 1940s, the United States successfully achieved full Parity prices without spending one dime of taxpayer money, simply through a government price guarantee that set a benchmark for all grain buyers. This standard also mercifully shut the doors of the mercantile exchanges for nearly a decade. America enjoys a sufficiently large population to soak up excess production, and the remainder can be purchased with national bank credit and stored for years of short supply (in the case of storable grains), to reduce the cost of food assistance, or for international food aid like a Food For Peace program.
French, German, American and indeed Russian farmers would do well to force their governments to pursue international cooperation and solidarity. The price of food is among Wall Street’s biggest stealth weapons, and nothing short of an international force with the focused demand of fair prices will be enough to wrest control from the forces of 21st century feudalism.