The European and the US government officials have been using propaganda to make the people believe that the economy is getting better. But all the indicators now show that the economy in Europe and America is in a decline. The FED is moving forward to taper which will they never will do because it will put the markets in a downward spiral. Instead they will cover this up with an event, and from past history the event is war. There is new propaganda linking cyber attacks to Iran and there was another false flag where the rebels are accusing Syria for using chemical weapons again.
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- Official figures show that the unemployment rate in Australia climbed to about six percent last month for the first time since August 2009.
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday that the jobless rate had increased to 5.8 percent in August, up from 5.7 percent in July, due to losses in full-time and part-time employment.
- This is the first time that the sluggish Australian economy experiences such a level over the course of the global financial crisis.
- Australia cut 10,800 jobs in August as its mining investment boom slowed down.
- Economic analysts warned the weak jobs report was a sign of worse things to come in the labor market.
- “Amongst many sectors we are seeing hiring restraint or shedding including in construction, retail and manufacturing and there is no signal this is improving,” said Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s chief economist Greg Evans.
- “We are concerned the mainstream economy may not be growing sufficiently to keep a lid on an unemployment rate which is trending higher.”
- The weak jobs report sent the Australian dollar plunging from three-month highs against the US dollar.
- The report came days after Australians voted in favor of the opposition in the country’s parliamentary elections.
- Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott has vowed to restore the economy by axing mining profits and corporate pollution taxes unpopular with businesses, as well as lowering the overall company tax rate.
- Greece’s jobless rate rose to 27.9 percent in June from 27.6 percent in May, reflecting the impact of a six-year, austerity-fuelled recession, the country’s statistics service ELSTAT said on Thursday.
- The reading was more than twice the euro zone’s average of 12.1 percent in July, and the highest since ELSTAT began publishing jobless data in 2006.
- As many as 25 million more people in Europe are at risk of falling into poverty trap by the next 12 years if European states push on with austerity measures, international aid agency Oxfam says.
- “Europe’s handling of the economic crisis threatens to roll back decades of social rights,” Natalia Alonso, the head of Oxfam’s EU office, said in Brussels on Wednesday.
- “Aggressive cuts to social security, health and education, fewer rights for workers and unfair taxation are trapping millions of Europeans in a circle of poverty that could last for generations. It is moral and economic nonsense.
- “The only people benefiting from austerity are the richest 10 percent of Europeans who alone have seen their wealth rise.
- “Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK — countries that are most aggressively pursuing austerity measures — will soon rank amongst the most unequal in the world if their leaders don’t change course.
- “For example, the gap between rich and poor in the UK and Spain could become the same as in South Sudan or Paraguay,” stated Alonso.
- He added that the austerity measures could push up to 25 million more Europeans into poverty by 2025.
- “This would bring the number of people at risk of poverty in Europe up to 146 million, over a quarter of the population,” the Oxfam warned.
- The long-drawn-out eurozone debt crisis, which began in Greece in late 2009 and later on reached Italy, Spain, France , Portugal, Britain and Ireland, is viewed as a threat not only to Europe but also to many of the world’s other developed economies.
The government officials wants everyone to believe that the European economy is getting better, but with high unemployment in the double digits throughout Europe, France’s housing crisis and now Italy’s housing crisis it is hard to believe that its getting better. They will only be able to keep the illusion up for so long before it all collapses. But don’t worry the central bankers have a plan, the plan is to start a war to cover up the collapse.
- While Spain is the European nation making all the headlines with regard its housing market collapse, Italy has quietly been experiencing its own decline. As Bloomberg notes, however, Italy shows no sign of stopping as falling prices may not be enough to stem a decline in Italian home purchases as the country’s biggest group of buyers – those aged 30 to 40 – is set to shrink until the end of the decade. As the chart below indicates, housing transactions have followed the growth and contraction of this important ‘buyers group’ as it has plunged by more than 1 million people since 2005 (and is set to drop to only 8.3 million by 2020) and prices are set to follow. Of course, officials proclaim that prices have dropped enough to trigger a rise in purchases (for the first time since 2006); but, this runs counter to the more-than-decade-long demographic trend. But apart from that, Europe is recovering…
- U.S. export prices fell for the sixth straight month in August while prices for non-petroleum imports fell, signs of slack in global demand and in the domestic economy.
- Export prices fell 0.5 percent during the month, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
- Much of the drop was due to a sharp decline in prices for exports from the volatile farm sector, but non-agricultural exports declined as well and have fallen in every month since March.
- The decline comes despite some recent signs that the European economy is getting back into gear following a recent recession.
- Economists polled by Reuters had expected export prices to rise 0.1 percent last month.
- Import prices also confounded analysts during the month, remaining flat. Economists in the Reuters poll had expected a 0.4 percent gain.
- Import prices have trended lower over the last year, with the decline driven largely by the non-oil component. This pattern was also evident in August, with fuel import prices up 0.5 percent and non-petroleum prices down 0.2 percent.
- Non-petroleum import prices have now declined every month since February, a sign that foreign producers have little leverage to raise prices for consumers.
- This has helped keep the pace of inflation very low over the last year – so low that some U.S. Federal Reserve officials have expressed concern. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has warned that extremely low inflation raises the risk that the economy could fall into a vicious spiral of falling prices and wages known as deflation.
Computer malfunction that is why the DOL didn’t receive the results until now.
- A few days ago we showed what happens when the Bureau of Labor Statistics is caught in a blatant lie. And while we exposed the difference between the NFP and the JOLTS data series, which in some ways are the “stock” effect of labor, it meant that the BLS also had to adjust its “flow” component: the initial weekly claims. Lo and behold, moments ago the DOL just reported last week’s initial claims, which printed at a ridiculous 292K, 38K below expectations and the lowest level since April 2006, down from last week’s 323K. On the surface great news. The problem once again is that this was a bold-faced lie. Only this time even the BLS admitted as much:
- LABOR SAYS CLAIMS DROP DUE TO COMPUTER UPGRADES IN TWO STATES
- LABOR SAYS FAULTY REPORTING BY STATES RESPONSIBLE FOR DROP
- Specifically, a larger state and a smaller one that retooled their computer networks still provided the Labor Department with applications counts. Furthermore, the BLS also said that the decrease in filings probably didn’t signal a change in labor-market conditions. In other words, the number is garbage, and the BLS knows the reporting is faulty, but let’s go ahead and report it anyway.
- Next we await for the unemployment rate to hit -100% as the BLS upgrades from Windows 3.11 to Vista.
- We would normally show the chart of Claims but what’s the point: it’s a bullshit number, it is made up, and now even the BLS admits it. And frankly why not: in a world in which the only thing that matters is how much liquidity Chairman Bernanke will inject, why even bother to care about news and fundamentals, something we said first in the summer of 2009, when we said the only “financial statement” that will matter is the H.4.1
Mortgage rates are rising, more and more people are unemployed and underemployed, home builders are reporting traffic has slowed, mortgage companies are laying off people or shutting down, most of the homes that were purchased during the summer of 2013 were purchased by investment companies and for cash. Mortgage applications are plummeting and the American people are broke. Sales always lag behind and they are starting to show signs of a decline in housing
- If you have a job that involves building homes, buying homes, selling homes or that is in any way related to the mortgage industry, you might want to start searching for alternate employment. Seriously.
- Interest rates are starting to rise dramatically, and mortgage lenders such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are all cutting thousands of mortgage-related jobs.
- Last week, mortgage refinance activity plunged to the lowest level that we have seen since June 2009 and total mortgage activity dropped to the lowest level since October 2008. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning.
- Mortgage rates closely mirror the yield on 10 year US Treasuries, the yield on 10 year US Treasuries has nearly doubled since early May. But it is still only sitting at about 3 percent right now.
- As I have written about previously, it has a ton of room to go up before it hits “normal” historical levels, and so do mortgage rates. As I noted the other day, some analysts believe that the yield on 10 year US Treasuries is going to hit 7 percent eventually. If that happens, mortgage rates will be more than double what they are today. And we have already seen the average rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage go from 3.35 percent in May to 4.57 percent last week.
- If interest rates continue to rise we could be heading for a “housing Armageddon” that will make the last housing crash look like a Sunday picnic.
- The mini-housing bubble that we have been enjoying for the last couple of years is coming to an abrupt end. It doesn’t matter what the mainstream media is telling you about a “sustainable” housing recovery. Just look at how the big mortgage lenders are behaving. They know the gig is up. According to Bloomberg, Bank of America has just announced that they will be eliminating 2,100 mortgage-related jobs…
- “Bank of America Corp., the second-largest U.S. lender, will eliminate about 2,100 jobs and shutter 16 mortgage offices as rising interest rates weaken loan demand, said two people with direct knowledge of the plans.”
- Would they be doing that if we were really heading into a “sustainable housing recovery”?
- And Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are also both eliminatingthousands of mortgage-related jobs…
- “Mortgage lenders are paring staff as higher interest rates discourage refinancing and cast doubt on how long the housing market rebound will last. Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest U.S. home lender, plans more than 2,300 job cuts, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. may dismiss 15,000.”
- Would they be doing this if they thought that brighter days were ahead? Of course not.
- In fact, Well Fargo just announced that it expects to make 30 percent fewer home loans this quarter because of rapidly rising interest rates.
- It’s over folks. The mini-housing bubble that the mainstream media has been hyping so much is over.
- If your job has anything to do with real estate or mortgages, it is time to start thinking about a career change.
- This is especially true if your job is related to refinancing mortgages. All of the smart people have already refinanced. As rates continue to rise rapidly, the only ones that will be refinancing are really stupid people. According to Zero Hedge, mortgage refinance activity has already dropped by a whopping 70 percent since early May…
- “For the 16th of the last 18 weeks, mortgage refinance activity plunged (dropping 20% this week alone).Since early May, when the dreaded word “Taper” was first uttered, refis have collapsed over 70%. With mortgage servicers and providers large and small laying people off, it seems hard for even the most egregiously biased bull to still suggest that the housing recovery is sustainable.”
- And this rise in interest rates is just getting started. The Federal Reserve has not even begun to “taper” yet. Once that starts happening, the consequences could be quite dramatic…
- “In early 1994, when the U.S. recovery gained strength, the Fed started a tightening cycle and bond markets crashed not only in the U.S. but also around the world,” European Central Bank Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen said on Tuesday.”
- “If spillovers were large in 1994, we can expect them to be even larger today in an even more deeply interconnected world,” he added in the text of a speech for delivery in Brussels.”
- Of course when the Federal Reserve “tapers” their quantitative easing it won’t really be “tightening” as much as it will be slowing down the pace at which they are recklessly creating tens of billions of dollars out of thin air. But the effect will be similar to what we saw back in 1994.
- As interest rates rise, it will become much more expensive to buy a home and much more difficult to sell a home. To give you an idea of how dramatically interest rates can affect housing affordability, I wanted to share some numbers from one of my previous articles…
- “A year ago, the 30 year rate was sitting at 3.66 percent. The monthly payment on a 30 year, $300,000 mortgage at that rate would be $1374.07. If the 30 year rate rises to 8 percent, the monthly payment on a 30 year, $300,000 mortgage at that rate would be $2201.29.”
- Does 8 percent sound crazy to you? It shouldn’t. 8 percent was considered to be normal back in the year 2000. Are you starting to get the picture?
- As interest rates go up, home prices will have to fall. Otherwise, nobody will be able to afford them. In the end, we could end up with tens of millions more homeowners that are substantially “underwater” on their mortgages.
- So who is to blame? The Federal Reserve of course. They created this bubble by forcing interest rates down to record low levels.
- At some point it was inevitable that interest rates would start reverting back to more “normal” levels, and that “adjustment” is going to be immensely painful for the U.S. economy.
- As we saw back in 2008 and 2009, when the housing industry suffers the entire economy suffers.
- And the higher that interest rates go, the more suffering there will be.
- So let us hope and pray that interest rates do not go any higher, but let us also start preparing for the very worst.
The central bankers/US government will continue to slam down gold to keep everyone away from gold. Countries, central banks, bankers are all purchasing gold. Goldman Sachs in April during the smack down purchased the GLD ETF as fast as they were sold. Don’t be fooled, when the central bankers lose control of gold it will rise very quickly.
- There was a time when, if selling a sizable amount of a security, one tried to get the best execution price and not alert the buyers comprising the bid stack that there is (substantial) volume for sale. Of course, there was and always has been a time when one tried to manipulate prices by slamming the bid until it was fully taken out, usually just before close of trading, an illegal practice known as “banging the close.” It appears that when it comes to gold, the former is long gone history, and the latter is perfectly legal. As the two charts below from Nanex demonstrate, overnight just before 3 am Eastern, a block of just 2000 GC gold futures contracts slammed the price of gold, on no news as usual, sending it lower by $10/oz. However, that is not new: such slamdowns happen every day in the gold market, and the CFTC constantly turns a blind eye. What was different about last night’s slam however, is that this time whoever was doing the forced, manipulation selling, just happened to also break the market. Indeed: following the hit, the entire gold market was NASDARKed for 20 seconds after a circuit breaker halted trading!
- To summarize: a humble block of 2000 gold futs (GC) taking out the bid stack, and slamming the price of gold, managed to halt the gold market: one of the largest “asset” markets in the world in terms of total notional, for 20 seconds.
We need to remember that the debt ceiling show is coming up this fall. They will let the American people know how hard it will be on them if they don’t increase the debt ceiling. They have increased the debt ceiling 14 times and they have no choice but to increase it once again. The debt at this point is not sustainable and as it grows they government will lose control and finally collapse. The government at this point has two options, let the economy collapse or start a war to cover it up.
- The budget cuts brought on by sequestration could end up costing another 100,000 US federal jobs in the next few quarters, according to a new study from Goldman Sachs.
- The study, which was produced by a team of economists at the bank, found that the effects of the $85 billion in budget cuts are becoming more acute. Personal income, for example, has been largely stagnant across the board due in large part to a 0.5 percent decline in government wages and salaries in July.
- The problem, essentially, has been that federal agencies have been forced to furlough their employees in order to make up for a 5 percent cut in their budgets. When they stop the furloughs (which Goldman expects to happen at the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30), this trend of stagnant income will be reversed.
- But the loss of federal jobs because of sequestration will continue. The authors of the report note that federal government employment has been declining for several months because of sequestration, “and now stands 71k lower than a year ago.” Should Congress not reverse or cancel sequestration — and Goldman assumes it won’t — the projected federal spending level will be “consistent with year-on-year declines in federal employment of around 100k over the next few quarters, with smaller declines thereafter.”
- The loss of federal jobs over the next year will likely be steady on a month-to-month basis, Alex Phillips, one of the authors of the Goldman report, told The Huffington Post. While the direct impact will fall on people in the public sector, the economic effect won’t be confined to them.
- Those employed by companies that rely on government contracts will be hurt as well, as will those whose businesses cater or tend to government workers. Goldman noted in its report that “employment in states with a high ratio of federal spending affected by sequestration to state GDP has grown slightly more slowly than states with less reliance on federal spending.” But it cautioned that the correlation between the two is not necessarily strong.
- The biggest unknown is what happens if sequestration does not get replaced — which appears to be the most logical outcome of upcoming budget negotiations in Congress. Federal jobs will be lost as the sequestration cuts deepen over the next years. But Phillips suggested that the economic damage would lesson over time as private companies and public agencies adjusted to lower spending levels.
- Still, there are a number of variables at play. And Goldman’s report suggested that the impact could be severe if the cuts aren’t reversed:
- “[M]any federal agencies have employed temporary strategies to adjust to sequestration this year, such as employee furloughs and deferral of maintenance and training, with the hope that sequestration would ultimately be reversed … If sequestration continues, more permanent adjustments will become necessary and agencies may be more willing to undertake them if Congress declines once again to reverse the cuts.” The Huffington Post
- The U.S. Federal Reserve’s plans to rein in its unconventional monetary stimulus is necessary even if it is weighing on some emerging markets, ECB policymaker Christian Noyer said in a newspaper interview released on Thursday.
- Emerging markets have suffered steep losses since the U.S. central bank indicated in May it would slow the pace of its bond purchases, hitting capital flows that have lifted such markets in recent years.
- “The normalization of American monetary policy in the timeframe indicated by the Fed is necessary even if it is deflating certain over-valued emerging markets,” Noyer, who is also governor of the Bank of France, told L’Opinion newspaper.
- “Those (emerging economies) with big structural imbalances will have to make efforts (to reform), but for the others the situation will rebalance quite quickly,” he added.
- While the Fed is expected to start stepping back from its exceptional monetary stimulus possibly as soon as its next meeting, Noyer said the European Central Bank (ECB) was not about to follow in its footsteps for now, even though the region’s economic outlook was improving.
- “The ECB’s actions are independent of the Fed and our accommodative policy is totally appropriate for the euro zone’s economic situation,” he said.
- Turning to France, Noyer said the government of President Francois Hollande needed to tackle public spending, cut red-tape for companies and trim staffing in the public sector.
- Noyer also voiced regret that the government had not sought to extend the legal retirement age as part of a reform presented this month aimed at getting the pension system’s accounts back in the black.
- What does it mean to be a journalist? Don’t go crazy trying to find the right words — the United States Senate Judiciary Committee decided on the definition for the rest of America on Thursday through approving new language included in a media shield law.
- The Senate committee voted 13-to-5 early Thursday to approve S.987, a bill meant to protect members of the press from government intrusion and “maintain the free flow of information to the public” in the wake of recent government scandals that involved federal investigations into reporters with the Associated Press and Fox News.
- If approved by Congress and authorized by President Barack Obama, the bill will provide protections to covered persons in the event of a federal probe. The bill would make it more difficult for investigators to compel reporters to reveal their sources, and a judge would directly oversee and approve of subpoenas and court orders aimed at collecting private information used in newsgathering.
- Under the bill, requests for a journalist’s source information would be limited, if possible, “in purpose, subject matter and period of time covered so as to avoid compelling disclosure of peripheral, nonessential or speculative information.”
- Exactly who benefits from the bill isn’t too broadly defined, however. In advancing the potential legislation, lawmakers in Washington were forced to figure out who should be covered and who shouldn’t.
- Under the wording of the “Free Flow of Information Act,” the committee considers a protected journalist to be an employee, contractor or agent of a group that disseminates news or information, who also must have held that position for at least one year within the last 20, or for three consecutive months during the previous five years.
- Additionally, safeguards are included so that a covered person could be a student journalist or a prolific freelancer. In instances of confusion, a federal judge would be in a position to use his or her best discretion to determine who’d be protected.
- The exact wording of the bill was reached through a recent compromise brokered by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-New York), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who agreed to nix earlier language which could have defined a journalist as someone who receives paid salary from an employer.
- Under the compromise, covered persons now include bloggers and freelancers both paid and unpaid who work with the “primary intent to investigate events and procure material in order to disseminate to the public news or information.”
- During a debate on the Senate floor before Thursday’s vote, Feinstein said she feared that the language could let “someone filled with hate or the occasional blogger” receive federal protection. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), argued the language “doesn’t come close to being restrictive enough” and later tried unsuccessfully to tack on an amendment which would have eradicated any protection for reporters who reveal classified information.
- “This legislation, in effect, says we are going to create legal mechanism to protect anyone who is going to call himself a newsperson. And the leaker, basically, is the one being protected,” Sessions insisted. “This legislation would encourage more leakers. It gives some sort of advantage to them in significant ways. It makes it harder to stop and prosecute those cases.”
- An exemption already included in the text applying to journalists who disclose intelligence “reasonably likely to cause significant and articulable harm to national security” was cited by the Senate, and Session’s amendment was defeated 11-to-6. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) also introduced an amendment to ensure “rogue federal employees” couldn’t use special clearance to access and leak information, but saw his efforts defeated as well.
- As the debate carried on, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Florida) told his colleagues, “[W]e are on dangerous territory if we are drawing distinctions that are treating some that are engaged in the process of reporting and journalism better than others.”
- Paul Boyle, senior vice president of public policy at the Newspaper Association of America, told Huffington Post that his group was satisfied with that compromise reached by the Democratic senators since it provided coverage to a large group of independent journalists who otherwise risked being excluded from protection.
- Thursday’s debate came two months to the day after US Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice was releasing new rules to govern investigations involving journalists. Under that reform, the DOJ is required to notify a news agency or journalist as soon as a subpoena is sought unless doing so would “pose a clear and substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation.”
- Reform from the Justice Department and Senate comes following two high-profile scandals in which the DOJ secretively investigated AP reporters and a Fox journalist over unrelated stories that involved leaked national security information.
- “We don’t question their right to conduct these sorts of investigations, we just think they went about it the wrong way,” AP President Gary Pruitt told CBS News in May after it was revealed that the phones used by roughly 100 journalists had been monitored by the government. “So sweeping, so secretively, so abusively and harassingly and overbroad that it is an unconstitutional act.”
- Jefferson City, Mo (September 11, 2013) – Today, the Missouri State House of Representatives sent more than just a message, they passed would could arguably be the strongest state-level protection of the right to keep and bear arms in modern times. The vote was 109-49
- By overriding Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of House Bill 436 (HB436), the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act, the Missouri state legislature gave a resounding “No!” to all federal gun laws, rules, regulations and orders – past, present and future.
- In presenting the bill to the house, bill sponsor Douglas Funderburk (R-St. Charles) noted, as both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison did, that it’s not just a good idea to resist such federal acts, but it’s duty. He cited the Missouri Constitution when he said, “The principle office of government is to secure the citizens’ rights.” He continued, “This bill is saying we want to protect the protections and freedoms not just in the Missouri Constitution but also in the US Constitution, and that is one of the roles of this body.”
- He concluded, “It’s time for the State of Missouri to do our duty to protect the right to keep and bear arms, and to push back the tyranny of an out-of-control and incompetent and federal government.”
- After some opposition from Representative Jill Schupp in which she attempted to scare people into believing that passing HB436 would “protect pedophiles…and rapists,” another State Rep chimed in to acknowledge that your right to keep and bear arms exists with or without government, and that the legislature is doing their duty to protect those rights. He said, “Whether you agree with who they are, where they live or how they carry, it’s still their right. We’re not giving people the right to carry, they already have the right to open carry.”
The central bankers/US government will stop pushing this war, this is a minor setup back and they will not give up. The fiscal budget year end Sept 30 to arms the rebels and we see now that the rebels are receiving arms. When everyone least expects it some type of an event will occur and the war will start.
- In the past two weeks the US has reportedly begun delivering arms to militants fighting the Syrian government. Washington expects the CIA to monitor the delivery so that the aid does not end up in the hands of Al-Qaeda associates.
- According to the Washington Post report, after months of promises to provide aid to Syrian rebels in an ‘official’ manner, Washington has finally sanctioned open delivery of arms and munitions to anti-Assad forces – despite fears that some of the weapons could end up in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists.
- Already back in April the US Secretary of State John Kerry promised that official ‘nonlethal’ aid would start flowing “in a matter of weeks.”
- In May the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations had passed a bill that would allow, if signed, the Obama administration to supply arms to Syrian opposition. However, in reality it took months before the Obama administration made up its mind.
- The biggest hindrance for Washington to aid Syrian rebels has always been the ever growing presence of Al-Qaeda jihadists among rebel ranks.
- In the end the decision was made at a time when President Barack Obama was considering missile strikes on sovereign Syrian state pursuing the aim of ousting President Bashar Assad.
- So far there has been no official comment from the CIA.
- The lethal aid is primarily being channeled to fighters subordinate to General Salim Idriss, the commander of the Supreme Military Council of the rebel forces who defected from the Syrian Army last year. This faction of dissociated armed opposition groups is considered to be smaller evil if compared to other jihadist militant units with proven links to internationally recognized terrorist organizations, such as Al-Nusra Front, which is associated with the Iraqi branch of Al-Qaeda.
- The CIA controls and tracks the delivery of reportedly light weapons and other munitions via countries bordering Syria, such as Turkey and Jordan. The US State Department has its own separate program of delivering vehicles and other non-lethal gear, such as communication equipment, advanced combat medical kits and high-calorie food packets to the Syrian opposition forces using the same supply channels.
- “The Supreme Military Council is receiving so little support that any support we receive is a relief,” Khaled Saleh, a spokesman for the Syrian Opposition Coalition, is reported as saying.
- Two-and-a-half years of ongoing bloodshed in Syria has not given a decisive advantage to either side of the conflict. In this situation American aid could give the Syrian armed rebel forces an upper hand over the government troops on the battlefield. Also, the US officials admit, the weapons supply should cheer up the rebel troops that have been suffering massive losses lately.
- “They see their leadership is having some impact,” told the Washington Post the State Department’s senior adviser on assistance to Syria Mark S. Ward, responsible for coordination of nonlethal aid delivery to the Syrian rebels from Turkey.
- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is rejecting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s suggestion Thursday that he begin submitting data on his chemical weapons arsenal one month after signing an international chemical weapons ban.
- Speaking at a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Kerry noted that Assad said a 30-day lead time would be standard.
- “There is nothing standard about this process,” Kerry said, because Assad has used his chemical weapons.
- “The words of the Syrian regime in our judgment are simply not enough.”
- Kerry cautioned that a U.S. military strike could occur if Assad doesn’t agree to dismantle his chemical arsenal properly.
- He said, “There ought to be consequences if it doesn’t take place.”
- Lavrov said the dismantling “will make unnecessary any strike against the Syrian Arab Republic.”
- After the UN accepted documents from Damascus concerning Syria joining the Chemical Weapons Convention, Syria has “legally” become a full member of the treaty, Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said.
- “Legally speaking Syria has become, starting today, a full member of the convention,” Ambassador Bashar Jaafari told reporters in New York.
The central bankers/US government have been funding and employing the paid mercenaries in Syria. Their mission to overthrow Assad so the central bankers/US government can setup a private western central bank and sell the oil in US dollars. The fiscal year ends Sept 30 to fund the paid mercenaries (rebels). The US wants Assad to admit to using chemical weapons, and Assad wants the US to stop funding the paid mercenaries. Remember the grand prize is Iran and to capture these countries natural resource before the economy collapses.
- It was only a matter of time before Syria’s Assad, emboldened by Obama’s recent backtracking and confident he has all the leverage and momentum, started laying down his own conditions. And here they are, as per RIA and Interfax citing an interview with Assad to air in its entirety later today on Rossia 24 TV:
- ASSAD CALLS FOR ISRAEL TO DISPOSE OF WMD (!)
- ASSAD: ‘REBELS MAY USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST ISRAEL AS PROVOCATION’
- ASSAD SAYS CHEMCIAL ARMS DEAL DEPENDS ON US STOPPING AID TO TERRORISTS
- ASSAD SAYS WILL COMPLETE DEAL ONLY IF US STOPS “POLICY OF THREATS”
- ASSAD ACCUSES TURKEY, SAUDI ARABIA, QATAR OF SUPPORTING TERRORISTS IN SYRIA
- ASSAD EXPECTS TO START HANDING OVER INFO ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS ONE MONTH AFTER JOINING OPCW
- ASSAD: ‘ANY WAR AGAINST SYRIA WILL BECOME A WAR THAT WILL DESTROY THE WHOLE REGION’
- ASSAD: ‘NO COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST, PRIMARILY ISRAEL, SHOULD HAVE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION’
- SYRIA TO SEND DOCUMENTS TO UN, CHEMICAL WEAPONS GROUP SOON
- ASSAD SAYS IMPLEMENTATION OF DEAL MAY TAKE A MONTH OR MORE
- If at all. And now, his bluff called, we go back to Barack Obama penning his Pravda Op-Ed.
- The British and French ships headed through the Suez Canal for the Red Sea Wednesday, Sept. 11, and the American vessels pulled back from Syrian shores to waters between Crete and Cyprus.
- Obama has therefore caved in on his original intention of keeping the war armada in place – as heat for Assad to comply with the Russian plan for the elimination of his chemical weapons.
- Periodically, Stratfor publishes guidance produced for its analysis team and shares it with readers. This guidance sets the parameters used in our own ongoing examination and assessment of events surrounding Syria’s use of chemical weapons as the crisis evolves into a confrontation between the United States and Russia. Given the importance we ascribe to this fast-evolving standoff, we believe it important that readers have access to this additional insight.
- In the wake of President Barack Obama’s change of tack from a strike on Syria, the threat of war has not dissolved.
- The president’s minimalist claims are in place, but they are under serious debate.There is no chance of an attack on chemical weapons stockpiles. Therefore, the attack, if any, will be on command and control and political targets. Obama has options on the table and there will be force in place for any contingency he selects. Nothing is locked in despite public statements and rhetoric in Washington, London, Paris or Moscow.
- Remember that all public statements now are meant to obscure real plans and intentions. They are intended to shape the environment. Read them, but do not look at them as anything more than tactics.
- The issue has morphed into a U.S.-Russian confrontation. Russia’s goal is to be seen as an equal of the United States. It wins if it can be seen as a protagonist of the United States. If it can appear that Washington has refrained from an attack because of Russian maneuvers, Moscow’s weight increases dramatically. This is particularly the case along Russia’s periphery, where doubts of American power abound and concern over Russian power abides.
- This is not merely appearance. After all that has been said, if the United States buys into some Russian framework, it will not be seen as a triumph of diplomacy; it will be seen as the United States lacking the will to act and being pushed away out of concern for the Russians.
- The Russian ploy on weapons controls was followed by the brilliant move of abandoning strike options. Obama’s speech the night of Sept. 10 was addressed to the U.S. public and Obama’s highly fractured base; some of his support base opposes and some — a particular audience — demands action.
- He cannot let Syria become the focus of his presidency, and he must be careful that the Russians do not lay a trap for him. He is not sure what that trap might look like, and that’s what is unnerving him as it would any president. Consequently, he has bought time, using the current American distaste for military action in the Middle East. But he is aware that this week’s dislike of war can turn into next week’s contempt on charges of weakness. Obama is an outstanding politician and he knows he is in quicksand.
- The Russians have now launched a diplomatic offensive that emphasizes to both the Arabs in the Persian Gulf opposing Bashar al Assad and the Iranians supporting him that a solution is available through them. It requires only that they ask the Americans to abandon plans for action. The message is that Russia will solve the chemical weapons problem, and implicitly, collaborate with them to negotiate a settlement.
- Obama’s speech on Sept. 10, constrained by domestic opinion, came across as unwilling to confront the Russians or al Assad. The Russians are hoping this has unnerved al Assad’s opponents sufficiently to cause them to use the Russians as their interlocutors. If this fails the Russians have lost nothing. They can say they were statesmen. If it succeeds, they can actually nudge the regional balance of power.
- The weakness of the Russian position is that it has no real weight. The limit on American military action is purely domestic politics. If the United States chooses to hit Syria, Russia can do nothing about it and will be made to look weak, the tables thus turned on them.
- At this point, all signs indicate that the domestic considerations dominate U.S. decision-making. If the Russian initiative begins to work, however, Obama will be forced to consider the consequences and will likely act. The Arabs suspect this and therefore will encourage the Russians, hoping to force the U.S. into action.
- The idea that this imbroglio will somehow disappear is certainly one that Obama is considering. But the Russians will not want that to happen. They do not want to let Obama off the hook and their view is that he will not act. Against this backdrop, they can appear to be the nemesis of the United States, its equal in power and its superior in cunning and diplomacy.
- This is the game to watch. It is not ending but still very much evolving.
- Two powerful US lawmakers said Washington must maintain the threat of force as leverage against Russia and Syria, and warned Iran is hitting America’s financial system with cyber strikes.
- House and Senate leaders have accepted President Barack Obama’s request to delay votes on measures that would authorize him to launch limited strikes on Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal and military. But the top Republican and Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence want lawmakers to continue crafting and refining those measures.
- Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Ranking Member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., told a conference here that an ongoing congressional process toward votes on a use-of-force measure would give the Obama administration leverage. The idea would be to keep the possibility of attack on the table, forcing Moscow and Assad to follow through on plans to transfer Syria’s chemical arms to the international community.
- Ruppersberger called maintaining the possibility of a US strike “the only leverage we have with the players involved,” meaning Russian President Vladimir Putin and Assad.
- Rogers was critical of the White House, saying Russia and Assad “got exactly what they wanted … which is time.”
- “Time to dig in. Time to engage in denial and deception, time to provide arms, financing and other things” to Assad’s military, Rogers said.
- Putting off US strikes and allowing Russian involvement “sends a dangerous message to the opposition that [Assad’s] going to be there for a while,” Rogers said.
- Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida, a senior House Democrat, said during a Thursday morning MSNBC interview that Democratic leaders will continue trying to convince members of the caucus to vote for a force resolution, if one is needed.
- As Democratic leaders and Intel Committee leaders want the House to keep alive the threat of a force resolution, senior senators told Defense News on Wednesday they doubt either chamber will ever vote on such a measure.
- Obama has said he could launch strikes should the Russia plan fail even without congressional approval. And he has stressed he will not insert US combat troops into Syria.
- To that end, Rogers called speculation of inserting up to 70,000 troops into the Middle East nation to secure Assad’s chemical weapons “nuts.”
- Meantime, Rogers and Ruppersberger issued dire warnings about America’s ability to defend its financial and other infrastructures against cyber attacks. And, in blunt comments, they accused Tehran of regularly mounting such strikes.
- Ruppersberger said Washington and the US private sector, which US officials long have said owns much of the infrastructure other nations and groups have targeted, “have a long way to go on cyber.”
- Rogers warned of the threat of a debilitating cyber strike on US financial or other systems: “We’re not doing anything about it.” The panel’s top Democrat said of that kind of threat: “I wouldn’t be surprised if a sophisticated nation like Iran is plotting [a cyber attack] on Wall Street.”
- Rogers said he and Ruppersberger have had talks with their Senate counterparts, and remain hopeful that Congress can send a cyber security bill to the president by the end of the year.
Many government officials have been saying the al-Qaida has morphed into a “lone-wolf” type of radical and they cannot keep track of these individuals. They are gearing up for another false flag.
- Former New York Gov. George Pataki, who led his state through the 9/11 terrorist attacks that transformed the nation a dozen years ago, tells Newsmax TV on the anniversary of the tragedy that President Barack Obama continues to “lead from behind” while al-Qaida has “morphed into a dangerous organization” that is no longer on the run.
- “Sadly, al-Qaida is not on the run, despite the rhetoric of last year’s election. Al-Qaida has morphed into a dangerous organization. We see its attacks globally in Benghazi and Mali and Yemen, and al-Qaida is very active in the opposition in Syria,” observed Pataki in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
- “Whether or not we’re at greater danger, I can’t say that. But I can say that we always will be [in] danger because of our love of freedom and our support for those who believe in freedom,” he said. “I’m sure they would try to do it again.”
- “It’s not a question of targeting a religious group,” he asserted. “It’s a question of going after those and having adequate intelligence against those who engage in radical behavior and threaten our safety.”
- Rebel sources say Thursday strike occurred in Jobar neighborhood; ‘UN report to indicate Assad behind Aug. 21 chemical attacks’
- Syrian rebels claim that the army of President Bashar Assad again used poison gas in an attack on rebel
- The report was based on rebel sources, who said the attack took place in the Jobar neighborhood of the capital. The rebel sources said they could not tell what kind of chemical weaponry had been used, but that it was a poison gas of some kind, and was causing injuries, including breathing difficulties.
- Footage posted to YouTube, and broadcast on Al Arabiya TV, showed a young man having trouble breathing, and receiving medical treatment. There were no immediate reports of fatalities.
- The news broke amid word that a United Nations investigative team has amassed a “wealth” of evidence indicating that Syrian President Bashar Assad was responsible for the chemical attack that took place on August 21, killing as many 1,400 people.
- Foreign Policy magazine reported that the investigators will present their findings on Monday to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and will offer strong circumstantial evidence that government forces were responsible for the deadly attack. The report, quoting an unnamed senior Western official, is based on the team’s examination of spent rocket casings, ammunition, and soil, blood, and urine samples. It will stop short of directly accusing Assad of perpetrating the attack on his own people.
- The investigators have “gotten very rich samples — biomedical and environmental — and they have interviewed victims, doctors and nurses,” the official was quoted as saying, adding that “they are very happy with the wealth of evidence they got.”
- US officials expected the report to confirm US allegations that sarin gas was used in the attack.
- The UN delegation consisted of 20 members and was led by Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom. They arrived in Syria on August 18 to investigate allegations that Syrian President Bashar Assad had employed chemical weapons in earlier attacks.
- In June, US President Barack Obama said he had “conclusive evidence” that Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons used in those earlier attacks.
- Three days after the delegation arrived in Damascus, the large chemical attack was launched, allegedly by government forces. Several days later, on August 26, the investigative team came under sniper fire when it arrived at the scene of the attack to conduct an examination.
- One of the UN vehicles was damaged, but nobody was injured by the gunfire.
- The team left Syria on August 31.
- Assad has all along denied responsibility for the alleged chemical weapons attacks, claiming that opposition forces were behind them all.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin, Assad’s key ally, wrote in an op-ed piece published Wednesday that “no one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons.”
- Earlier this week, US Secretary of State John Kerry, in an apparent offhand remark, suggested that direct US military intervention could be averted if Syria agreed to place all of its chemical weapons under international control. Russia, which has long been an ally of the Assad regime, pitched the idea to Syria, whose foreign minister, Walid Moallem, welcomed the proposal.
- The initiative prompted Obama to announce that he would be putting on the back burner plans to appeal to US lawmakers for approval for a military strike.