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Is NATO for Security or Aggression? – Wilkerson & Engler
The NATO summit is meeting in Brussels and claims to be dealing with threats from Russia and China. But who is really threatening whom? And why does NATO still exist? Col. Lawrence Wilkerson and Yves Engler join Paul Jay on theAnalysis.news
Hi, I'm Paul Jay. Welcome to theAnalysis.news, please don't forget the donate button, subscribe button, the share button, all the buttons, and we'll be back pretty soon with Yves Engler and Larry Wilkerson to talk about the upcoming NATO conference, NATO summit.
The NATO summit is a meeting June 14th in Brussels where leaders from all the member countries are expected to attend, including President Biden, who will try to, quote, "assert America's leadership at the head of the table", as he has described it. By the set on June 7th at a meeting with the NATO secretary-general in Washington, that he considers Article 5 of the NATO treaty to be, quote, "a sacred commitment. Article 5 commits each member state to consider an armed attack against one member state in Europe or North America, to be an armed attack against them all".
The NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, said that, quote, "We face a wide range of different security challenges and no ally can face them alone, including Russia, China, and terrorism". NATO has 30 members. In 1949 there were 12 founding members of the alliance: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, and the United States. The other member countries are Greece and Turkey that joined in 1952. Germany in 55', Spain in 82'. Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland in 1999. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia 2004. Albania and Croatia 2009. Montenegro 2017, and North Macedonia in 2020.
NATO is primarily a military alliance, which was founded in 49' to support, supposedly counter a threat from the Soviet Union. There's little to no evidence that there ever really was a threat of Soviet troops marching West, and there's a great deal of evidence that the Soviets were mostly in a defensive posture. It's all moot now anyway, since there's no longer a Soviet Union.
Is there a credible threat of Russia marching West or even into some of its neighboring countries? Even Henry Kissinger said the Crimea annexation does not point to a larger strategy of using military means to grab territory. Well, if so, then what's the point of NATO at all?
Now, joining me to discuss the bigger question of why a NATO? And some of the specific issues facing this summit in Belgium is Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. He's the former chief of staff to Colin Powell, Joint Chiefs, and the State Department, and Yves Engler. He's a Montreal-based author and activist. He's published 11 books, including his latest 'House of Mirrors: Justin Trudeau's Foreign Policy'. Thank you both for joining me.
Larry, let's start with the bigger question, and then we'll get into some of the more specific issues, but is there a point to NATO? What's its rationale for existence now?
Let me correct one thing you said because it violates all the policy I learned for 40 some odd years. It's not just a military alliance, it's a political alliance, too. I think that's one reason why it has endured so long.
That's why I used the word primarily.
I left myself some wiggle room there, but go on.
The Best Way to Rob a Bank is To Own One – Bill Black Part 4
The weakness of regulations and resources to enforce accountability on the finance sector is by design. Regulators’ budgets have been gutted, and even weak laws made unenforceable. Unless individual bankers go to jail when they commit fraud, nothing will change. Bill Black on theAnalysis.news with Paul Jay.
Hi, I'm Paul Jay. Welcome to theAnalysis.news. One more time, please don't forget the donate button at the top of the webpage. If you're watching on YouTube, come on over and donate at theAnalysis.news. Hit the subscribe button. Share it, the number one comment on YouTube is why aren't more people watching? A lot of people are watching, but we'd like a lot more, and if you share it, people will.
This is part four of my series of interviews with Bill Black on what he calls control fraud. So please watch the earlier parts because again, we're just going to pick up where we left off and it will make more sense if you watch the previous ones first on theAnalysis, it's all on one page and on YouTube. Come to the YouTube, theAnalysis channel, and there'll be a playlist where all of this will be easy to find.
So again, the docuseries titled 'The Con' breaks down a lot of what happened during the financial crisis of 07/08, and here's another trailer from the film.
"So what we discovered in the saving and loans crisis, was that fish rot from the head. When the CEO is the crook, of a seemingly legitimate organization they can cause vastly greater losses and damage. Precisely because of that seeming legitimacy. In finance the weapon of choice is accounting. What we discovered in the savings and loans crisis was that there was a recipe - and the recipe has four ingredients. One grow like crazy, two by making really crappy loans, three while employing extreme leverage (and that means a whole lot of debt compared to equity), and four while setting aside only trivial reserves for the inevitable losses that you are going to have.
If you follow this recipe it produces three sure things. One the bank, the lender, will report record profits. They'll be fictional, but they'll report record profits. Two under modern executive compensation, the CEO and the other senior folks, will promptly be made wealthy. Three, down the road you will have catastrophic losses from all of this. Because as you think about it, that same recipe is a fabulous way of producing massive losses. If a bunch of lenders do the same strategy, it is also the optimal way to hyper-inflate a bubble. Because after all, what do you do as the bubble gets worse and worse? [SMACK]. First ingredient, grow like crazy. And that makes the bubble get bigger and bigger and bigger. But it does something else, and in the trade we call this, this is not something we invented as regulators, this is what the industry says 'a rolling loan gathers no loss' and to role a loan is to refinance it. So as long as there is a bubble, and housing prices are inflating ... if I make a loan to someone who can't repay it. I just make them a bigger loan. They can use the proceeds of that loan to pay off the last one. As long as the bubble is hyper-inflating, this works. Which is why once the bubble stops inflating, you get this massive collapse, in these circumstances.
So, it's really easy. In fact, Jamie Dimon of all people, the head of JP Morgan, has put in a letter to his shareholders the fraud recipe. Now, he phrases it very slightly differently. He says that 'its easy to create low-quality profits today, and disastrous losses tomorrow- by having lousy underwriting'.
So this is the couple of key things, that are really not obvious to big parts of the world.
The Left Wins Peru’s Presidential Election
For the first time in Peru's history has a leftist and working-class candidate won the presidency. While Pedro Castillo's election has generated big expectations, his ability to govern faces many challenges. Peruvian journalist and analyst Francesca Emanuele analyzes the election result.
The 2021 Corporate Bamboozle On World Food Systems
Mega-corporations are all set to walk away with the keys to global governance of food and agriculture at the UN Food Systems Summit later this year. Pat Mooney talks about what is at stake and The Long Food Movement counter strategy.
LYNN FRIES: Hello & welcome I’m Lynn Fries producer of Global Political Economy or GPEnewsdocs. Today’s guest is Pat Mooney. At the end of this year 2021 a meeting is being held to rubber stamp a corporate strategic maneuver to takeover global governance of the entire world food system; effectively food production, research and finance.
Pat Mooney will be talking about all this in the context of The Long Food Movement and its report Transforming Food Systems by 2045. The report shows the stakes are high because food systems are being rapidly transformed as food and agriculture go digital. This is the last chance to change course. Pat Mooney is lead author of that report produced by IPES-Food in collaboration with ETC Group.
Pat Mooney is leading IPES-Food's 'Long Food Movement' project. He is the co-founder and executive director of ETC Group that has monitored corporate power in commercial food, farming and health for over four decades. He is an expert on agricultural diversity, biotechnology, corporate concentration and global governance. Pat Mooney was awarded the Pearson Peace Prize in Canada and received the Alternative Nobel Prize, The Right Livelihood Award.
Welcome Pat. Thank you for joining us.
PAT MOONEY: Thank you for having me.
FRIES: Pat, from farmers and fishers groups, to cooperatives and unions, the Long Food Movement calls on civil society and social movements to unite and collaborate. This as a forceful counter position to an agribusiness-led transformation of the food systems. Your report Transforming Food Systems by 2045 maps out what this kind of ground up collaboration could achieve. So, as the title suggests you are looking decades ahead. What was the impetus behind that?
MOONEY: Well we back in 2016, in fact, we began to talk about the need for a strategy that was not so short-term as it has always been. That it can't just be are two or three years of thinking. We need to be thinking further down the road. And we were expressing our general frustration, many of us in civil society, that we're always trapped into these cycles of funding which is so short that we really can't do the horizon scanning that's important. So we talked about, well, let's build something different.
Let's try to see if we can imagine not just what we would like to have down the road but how we would get to it. We all have the same kind of dreams of the way we'd like to see the world be. But can we really get there? Can we politically practically do it? So the exercise of the Long Food Movement was to not just dream of what we want but really do the politics of it. You know, what's really viable in terms of moving institutions, moving money around to get where we want to be.
FRIES: The Long Food Movement is for decentralizing control and democratizing food systems as the key to feeding the world as well as (re)generating ecological and other systems vital to people and planet. You say achieving that will require policy frameworks at every level of governance – from local law to international agreements –that support and empower small holder and peasant farmers all over the world. Talk about policy frameworks that have moved in the opposite direction by supporting and empowering agribusiness. And the role of agribusiness in getting governments to make those policy choices. For example, what did agribusiness want and get from government say back in the days when biotechnology was the then new technology?
Matt Taibbi on Reality Asserts Itself (pt2)
Matt Taibbi talks about the rise of Putin, Russia-gate, and Rachel Maddow and Russophobia in the U.S. He joins Paul Jay for part two of Reality Asserts Itself on theAnalysis.news
Hi, I'm Paul Jay. Welcome to theAnalysis.news. I'll be back in a second with part two of my Reality Asserts Itself with Matt Taibbi, and please don't forget the donate button.
Hi, welcome to Part two of Reality Asserts Itself with Matt Taibbi. Matt's the author of four New York Times bestsellers, an award-winning columnist for Rolling Stone, his reporting and commentary on TK News is among the top five for numbers of subscribers on Substack, and sometimes I think he's at the top of Substack. His podcasts, Useful Idiots, cohosted with Katie Halper, is wildly popular. Thanks for joining us, Matt.
Let's keep the history going for a bit. What year do you leave?
I left in 2002.
Oh, you're there all through the rise of Putin.
Oh, yeah. And I was close friends with well, I was friends with a lot of the reporters who were really initially quite negative about Putin. The Russians, we had no illusions about what he was early. Interestingly, a lot of the Western reporters did. If you look back, you'll see that there were a lot of stories about how being in the KGB wasn't necessarily a bad thing, that it was just a profession that upper-middle-class people went into in the 70s in the Soviet Union. He was a refined, cultured, educated person, a man with whom we could do business, but we knew right away that he was going to be a step in a different direction and we did a lot of reporting on that.
Hmm. Well, that's interesting because the interviews I've done with people in today's Russia who are very critical of Putin but also see his rise as something that was frankly necessary. That the chaos of the 90s, there had to be somebody that can construct a viable state.
Oh, absolutely, yeah, and he was absolutely a reaction against what was happening. So, Yeltsin was essentially a puppet of Western-backed interests. He posed as a Russian populist and a man of the people. He had this sort of everyman quality that some Russians thought was very attractive. He drank a lot, but really, he was there to be sort of a typical front person for neoliberal politics. That wasn't working for Russia. The country was really going downhill and Putin, I think in many respects he wasn't better, but he at least kept the stolen money in the country, and Russians viewed him as something, they would say like, yeah, he's corrupt, but he's 'nash' right, in Russian that means 'he's ours'. So there was a sense that the Russians were getting their own autonomy, even if it was becoming more repressive. So, yeah, I totally understand that point of view, and there was a little bit more prosperity too when he came along.
So, you know, in the course of this, we'll jump back and forth from the present to back then. What do you make of this demonization of Putin now? He's as close to the foreign devil as you can get in American politics.
It's so funny because he's gone back and forth between being the symbol of absolute evil and somebody we...
Matt Taibbi on Reality Asserts Itself pt1
In a biographical interview, Matt tells the story of how he became a left-fielder for the Uzbek and Russian baseball teams and wound up as a journalist for Rolling Stone and a best selling author. Matt Taibbi on Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay.
Hi, I'm Paul Jay. Welcome to theAnalysis.news, and this is a segment I call Reality Asserts Itself. That's where the focus is more on why our guest thinks what they think and how their world-views are formed, and we'll be back in a few seconds with Matt Taibbi.
Bernie Sanders said that Matt Taibbi is "one of the few journalists in America who speaks truth to power". Matt's the author of four New York Times bestsellers, an award-winning columnist for Rolling Stone, and his reporting and commentary on TK News is among the top five for numbers of subscribers on Substack, sometimes I think it's at the top. His podcast, Useful Idiots, cohosted by Katie Halper, is widely popular. His YouTube videos often recieve hundreds of thousands of views.
So what is Matt's backstory and what shaped the thinking of this former left fielder for the Uzbek national baseball team? Now joining us is Matt Taibbi.
You are, at least for Reality Asserts Itself, the first professional athlete.
That's pretty funny.
I used to do sports in the past. I used to interview all kinds of athletes. It was a great challenge, actually, to get past the media training they've had. They've all been taught how to say nothing.
Yeah, one day at a time, just got to go out there and do the best you can, and hopefully things will work out.
Get more aggressive.
That's right. Yeah. Gotta be more aggressive.
And what's your strategy? Oh, I'm going to get more aggressive. The only ones that don't do that are those guys on the basketball show. Shaq and Charles Barkley.
Shaq and Barkley are a little different. Just trying to help my team out in any way I can, and do the best we can and hopefully things work out.
All right. So like I said, this is more biographical, although in the course of things we'll get into some of the contemporary stuff, but to begin with, your story is rather unique, and right from the beginning, your lineage is kind of unique. So you're born in Boston. Talk a little bit about your parents and so on.
I was actually born in New Jersey and then I moved to Boston when I was little. My father was a student at Rutgers and my parents were 20 years old when I was born. He was a reporter while he was a student for the Home News in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and he started when he was 18 years old. So my father was in the news business even a couple of years before I was born. So I grew up around the industry. He's adopted. He was born in Hawaii. He's of Filipino and Hawaiian descent. He grew up in an Italian family that has a Sicilian name of Arabic descent. That's why I have the name Taibbi. My mother is Irish. So it's very odd, the ethnic portion of it.
Well, did you grow up thinking of yourself as what? In terms of ethnic identity, Italian or Filipino, Hawaiian? What was your sense of that?
So glad to have stumbled upon this podcast. Can't wait to listen to all the Bill Black episodes. Was wondering what happened to Paul Jay. Happy he's still doing thoughtful interviews. Highly recommend this podcast.
Thanks for the real news
Very good discussions of current events
This is a wonderful channel. Whoever they have on the discussions are always intelligent, fact-based and humanistic. One of my favorites.