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General News    H2'ed 9/8/13

The Covergence: War And Economic Collapse

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The Convergence

By Danny Schechter

Financial Crisis and Impending War Are Converging as failed policies become self-fulfilling prophecies, argues News Dissector Danny Schechter

New York, New York: It looks like two great events may be converging.

First, the announced, then put off, and, now, increasingly back on US punitive bombing of Syria which seems to be timed around the anniversary of 9/11, just so we don't lose our anger at the terrorist "bad guys" who, so it seems, are on our side for this great military salute to international law by breaking it.

And, then, there's the anniversary of the financial crisis which all the military bang-bang is sure to drive off the front pages even as NY Times economist Paul Krugman noted Friday: "In a few days, we'll reach the fifth anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers -- the moment when a recession, which was bad enough, turned into something much scarier. Suddenly, we were looking at the real possibility of economic catastrophe.

And the catastrophe came."

President Obama has demanded TV airtime for Tuesday, the day after the Congress is supposed to vote on Syria (although he earlier said he would not be required to respect any vote.) For two weekends now, pro-war arguments have dominated all five Sunday morning TV interview programs.

Currently calls to Congressional offices are reportedly running 540-1 against this war, but what the American people want does not seem to register with teeny alliance between the US, France and Israel--and not the rest of the world--determined to teach Assad a lesson no matter who likes it.  The latest number I saw showed a majority of Americans still oppose a military strike.

Here's the only positive news I found in the NY Times: "Each morning for the last week, at 7:45, more than a dozen White House aides have mustered in the corner office of President Obama's chief of staff, Denis R. McDonough, to get their marching orders for what has become the most intense, uphill lobbying campaign of the Obama presidency.

The White House's goal is to persuade Congress to authorize a limited military strike against Syria to punish it for a deadly chemical weapons attack. But after a frenetic week of wall-to-wall intelligence briefings, dozens of phone calls and hours of hearings with senior members of Mr. Obama's war council, more and more lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, are lining up to vote against the president."

You can be sure that Obama does not intend to speak about the economic crisis next Tuesday, because he has no real answer to Krugman's indictment of failed economic policies. One of the architects of that policy, Larry Summers is apparently about to be appointed to head the Federal Reserve Bank for TEN years, despite his pathetic record, with Obama's support.

Of the financial situation, Krugman wrote: "Reasonable measures of the "output gap" over the past five years -- the difference between the value of goods and services America could and should have produced and what it actually produced -- run well over $2 trillion. That's trillions of dollars of pure waste, which we will never get back.

Behind that financial waste lays an even more tragic waste of human potential. Before the financial crisis, 63 percent of adult Americans were employed; that number quickly plunged to less than 59 percent , and there it remains."

But since most people don't understand economics any more that the people in power who are supposed to, we will ignore that crisis so that we can create another one by pulverizing Syria--despite appeals from the UN Secretary General, the Pope, The Arab League, NATO, The British Parliament and anybody with any common sense who can see that no good can, or will, come of this adventure.

President Obama's "credibility," if those words can any longer be spoken of in the same breath, is hardly going to be bolstered by snubbing the wishes of millions of Americans and people throughout the world, who are scratching their heads and asking why would he do that? What will we/he gain?

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at See
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