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The Federal Reserve's Explicit Goal:
Devalue The Dollar 33%
By Charles Kadlec, Contributor - Forbes.com
The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) has made it official: After its latest two day meeting, it announced its goal to devalue the dollar by 33% over the next 20 years. The debauch of the dollar will be even greater if the Fed exceeds its goal of a 2 percent per year increase in the price level.
An increase in the price level of 2% in any one year is barely noticeable. Under a gold standard, such an increase was uncommon, but not unknown. The difference is that when the dollar was as good as gold, the years of modest inflation would be followed, in time, by declining prices. As a consequence, over longer periods of time, the price level was unchanged. A dollar 20 years hence was still worth a dollar.
Ron Paul Warns Of Federal Reserve Power Grab
By Kurt Nimmo - Infowars.com
Not only was Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray to the misnamed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unconstitutional, but the newly minted federal leviathan itself is in direct violation of Constitution, specifically the Tenth Amendment.
In January, Obama thumbed his nose at Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution. It states that the president "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint" officers to the government.
Barclays on gold:
We are bullish and looking for break above $1763
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): Barclays is bullish onGold and awaiting for a break above $1763, the investment bank said in a recent report. However, gold still has hurdles to overcome such as potential bouts of dollar strength, technical resistance levels and profit-taking, the report adds.
Although gold prices have surrendered most of their weekly gains, they remain in positive territory as real interest rates are expected to remain negative for longer while concerns over currency debasement and inflationary pressures have resurfaced, the backdrop remains gold fertile.
Gold to average $1,850/oz in 2012: HSBC
LONDON (Commdity Online): HSBC is maintaining its forecast for an average Gold price of $1,850 for 2012 and the anxieties about large and unsustainable government debt, easy monetary policies and mounting geopolitical risks.
"A shift in focus from eurozone sovereign debt to the U.S. and its fiscal problems in an election year may stimulate investor demand for gold," HSBC added.
According to HSBC, the rising mine output, sluggish jewelry demand and a large scrap supply should curb but not reverse the Gold rally.
The Gold Standard Debate Rages On
BY PATER TENEBRARUM - FinancialSense.com
The fact that Newt Gingrich has picked up the gold standard issue in his quest for the nomination has provoked a bit of a reaction. You can safely ignore the 'unelectable' guy after all, but Gingrich is apparently still (wrongly, we believe) thought of as a contender.
Floyd Norris has written an article at the NYT discussing the subject. It has its share of unintentionally funny moments. To be sure, Norris starts out with an observation with which we agree:
Gold prices may correct this week, but trend remains up
By Debbie Carlson - CommodityOnline.com
Gold prices could retreat a bit this week following five weeks of gains, but overall market watchers said any correction by the yellow metal next week should be light and short-lived, as the overall trend for Gold remains higher.
Prices fell on Friday and were mixed on the week. The most-active April gold contract on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled at $1,740.30 an ounce, up 0.28% on the week. March Silver settled at $33.749 an ounce, down 0.12% on the week.
Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts -
The Usual 3 AM NY Time Bear Raid
JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN
Gold was hit hard by a selling flurry around 3 AM Eastern Time, with most of the selling timed to events in London.
Check out the plunge in gold lease rates on 2 February in the last chart.
Silver proved to be more resilient.
If and when the metals brokers and their pyramid of leverage breaks, be careful about any holdings you may have that are mingled with theirs, otherwise your victory may be marred by a loss of funds related to the collateral damage of a default and a financial reorganization.
Gold: How much is China really importing?
By Bob Kirtley, SK Options Trading - CommodityOnline.com
"Who is supplying the additional, yet unrecorded, quantities ofGold to the Chinese market? Is it a covert operation with Russia, South America, an African state or indeed any number of the illustrious banks domiciled in the West?"
The chart above gives us a clear picture of just how China has changed from being an exporter of gold to an importer of considerable amounts of gold in a few short years. However, is this the full story?
A Short History of American Money, From Fur to Fiat
What do animal pelts, tobacco, fake wampum, gold, and cotton-paper bank notes have in common? At one point or another, they've all stood for the same thing: U.S. currency.
By David Wolman - TheAtlantic.com
Before independence, America's disparate colonial economies struggled with a very material financial hang-up: there just wasn't enough money to go around. Colonial governments attempted to solve this problem by using tobacco, nails, and animal pelts for currency, assigning them a set amount of shillings or pennies so that they could intermix with the existing system.
The most successful ad hoc currency was wampum, a particular kind of bead made from the shells of ocean critters. But eventually the value of this currency, like that of other alternative currencies of the day, was undermined by oversupply and counterfeiting. (That's right: counterfeit wampum. They were produced by dyeing like-shaped shells with berry juice, mimicking the purple color of the real thing.)
How to Prolong an Inevitable Market Correction
By Bill Bonner - DailyReckoning.com
02/06/12 Baltimore, Maryland – Last week came and went. As near as we could tell, nothing was settled. The trends in motion stayed in motion… No end in sight.
On Friday, Americans were still convinced that they were never going broke. The Europeans were still squabbling about how they were going to keep from going broke And the Japanese were telling each other that going broke wouldn’t be so bad.
For the United States of America, the road to hell has never been so smooth. The country has been borrowing its way to ruin for many years. But now, the skids are greased. The wheels are oiled. Strap on your seat belt. Whee!
Yes, It Is Halftime In America –
So Now Is The Time To Get Your Financial Priorities In Order
Did you see the Chrysler commercial featuring Clint Eastwood that aired during the Super Bowl the other night? It was entitled "It's Halftime In America", and it was truly a great ad. To me, it was the most memorable Super Bowl ad this year by far. It conjured up images of the America that so many of us remember so fondly. It reminded us of how life in this country used to be. Unfortunately, America is currently headed down a road that is taking us in the opposite direction. Yes, it is halftime in America, but there is no guarantee that what is ahead is going to be great. In fact, if we continue to make the same choices that we have been making, a national nightmare is inevitable. Let us hope and pray for a fundamental change of direction for America, but let us also prepare for what is going to happen if that does not take place. There is a "pause in the action" at the moment, so now is the time to get your financial priorities in order. Now is the time to prepare for the storm that is coming. If you wait until the storm is right on top of you it will probably be too late.
Chrysler Commercial - It's Halftime in America
Clint Eastwood Gives America a Pep Talk
He says America is about to stand up.
Is that a big win for Obama?
By John Dickerson - Slate.com
Did the first Obama re-election ad run during theSuper Bowl? You might have missed it since the president wasn't even mentioned. It was a Chryslerad, although even that wasn’t obvious. Instead, more than 111 million viewers were greeted by that tough-talking American icon Clint Eastwood as he delivered what amounted to a locker room speech to the country. “It's halftime in America,” he intoned, as the New York Giants and New England Patriots went in for their midgame break. He heralded the auto industry’s revival and said it is a model for a nation poised for a comeback. By the end of the stirring message, pollsters could probably have found a majority of the country ready to elect the city of Detroit president.
Pelosi, Soros Support
Most Dangerous Threat to America: UN Taxation
By Daniel J. Mitchell - Townhall.com
What’s the worst policy idea that would cause the most damage to society?
I’m tempted to say the value-added tax since our hopes of restraining the federal government will be greatly undermined if we give the buffoons in Washington a new source of revenue. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why Mitt Romney may be an ever greater long-term threat to American exceptionalism than Barack Obama.
But even though the VAT is fiscal poison, it’s not the most dangerous policy proposal.
At the top of my list is global taxation.
Is the U.S. “Decoupling” from the European Crisis?
BY CLIF DROKE - FinancialSense.com
Selling pressure earlier in the week gave way to strong demand for equities as concerns over the European debt crisis have been moved to the backburner. Investors have instead been focusing on the improved U.S. economic and employment picture.
In an article by Reuters reporter Edward Krudy earlier this week there was a significant quote worth mentioning. The quote is from Ryan Larson, head of equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management. Larson said, "The U.S. appears to be slowly, slowly in the early stages of a decoupling from the euro zone."
Stalemate in talks on Greek austerity measures
Greek politicians refused to yield to the austerity demands of their "troika" paymasters despite a stark warning from German chancellor Angela Merkel that the stand-off threatened the "entire eurozone".
By Louise Armitstead - Telegraph.co.uk
The three main political parties in Greece's national unity government were reportedly given until 11am to respond to international demands on tougher spending cuts. But the deadline passed with no response - except for politicians claiming there was no deadline.
Sources in Athens said the talks between Greece and its creditor banks were on hold while Lucas Papademos, the Greek prime minister, vacillated between negotiations with his own politicians and the "troika" officials from the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB).
Greece to Eliminate 15,000 Government Jobs
By NIKI KITSANTONIS and DAVID JOLLY - NYTimes.com
ATHENS — Despite new evidence of a deteriorating economy, Greece said on Monday that it would cut 15,000 state jobs this year as part of new austerity measures it intends to adopt to secure new debt agreements from international lenders.
Athens is racing to push through economic changes that it hopes will persuade its private sector creditors to grant easier debt repayment terms and will prompt Europe to release 130 billion euros, or $171 billion, in the next round of bailout money it needs to avoid defaulting on bond payments due in March.
Shanghai shipping slump as IMF warns China on euro slump
Shanghai shipping volumes contracted sharply in January as Europe's debt crisis curbed demand for Asian goods, stoking fresh doubts about the strength of the Chinese economy.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The shipping specialist Lloyd's List said container traffic through the Port of Shanghai - the world's largest - fell by 100,000 boxes in January from a year earlier, or 4pc. Volumes fell by over one million tonnes.
The figures may have been distorted by China's Lunar Year but there has been a relentless slide in the Shanghai transport data for months.
"China's shipping markets face grievous challenges," said the Shanghai International Shipping Institute. It acknowledged that the industry in the grip of downturn and likely to face a "worsening situation" in early 2012.
Tom Woods Interviews Walter Williams -
Peter Schiff Radio 02-03-12
MF Global trustee has traced most missing funds
Trustee hopes to distribute more funds ‘as soon as possible’
By Ronald D. Orol, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A trustee seeking to distribute customer securities overseen by bankrupt MF Global Inc. said Monday that a majority of the cash that disappeared from the commodities broker has been found.
"The trustee’s investigators have now traced a majority of the cash transactions, totaling more than $105 billion, made in and out of MF Global Inc. in the last week before bankruptcy and are completing the process of tracing the remaining transactions," the trustee said. "These included liquidation of customer securities, proprietary positions and other items. The securities included complex instruments, such as off-balance sheet repurchase transactions involving sovereign-debt securities and derivative structures."
Karl Denninger - Warren Pollock Open Discussion
Paul Could Force Fed Changes on GOP
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Joshua Zumbrun - Bloomberg.com
Ron Paul, trailing in delegates needed for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, could be positioning himself to force his party to accept changes in the way the Federal Reserve operates.
The Texas congressman is attracting an expanding base of supporters passionate about his plainspoken message of sapping government power in favor of individual freedom. It’s not enough to make him his party’s standard bearer, say Republican strategists, yet if he follows through on a promise to remain in the race and collect delegates until the party’s convention in August, he could gain the clout needed to highlight his signature goal of curtailing the power of the central bank.
Ben Bernanke Sees His Shadow
BY GRANT WILLIAMS - FinancialSense.com
.... February 2012 finds the world in its own time loop as we remain trapped in our very own Groundhog Day watching politicians try endless new and inventive ways to ‘fix’ a simple problem of way, WAY too much debt. It isn’t complicated. The world grew fat and happy on the sugar rush provided by a decades-long injection of cheap and easy credit and now it’s time for the crash diet. Trying to avoid the ‘crash’ seems to be uppermost in everybody’s mind.
Interesingly enough, the Fed’s very own Groundhog Bailabankout Ben testified before the House Committee on the Budget on February 2nd and, having been dragged from his burrow into the day-light, Ben saw all kinds of shadows:
Will Big Banks Get Free Pass
in Robo-Signing Mortgage Mess?
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
The State AG’s are supposed to settle the enormous mortgage mess for a mere $25 billion. The alleged fraud has been reported to be in the neighborhood of $13.5 trillion. Will the crooked big banks who perpetrated this scam on America get a free pass in the so-called "robo-signing" mess? There have been multiple lawsuits over the rip-offs, and there are at least a few states that are holding up the settlement for a better deal and the right to proceed with possible criminal investigations. NASDAQ.com is reporting some of the negotiations going on with a story filed yesterday that said, "New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman expressed confidence Friday that his main concern with a pending settlement of alleged foreclosure abuses by U.S. banks would be resolved, but he didn’t commit to participating in an agreement. Schneiderman also said the settlement is being structured so as to not interfere with a separate probe into the packaging of shaky loans into mortgage- backed securities, a practice that preceded the financial crisis."
Ohio, Ky. mum on robo-signing
By Lisa Bernard-Kuhn - News.Cincinnati.com
Tens of thousands of local families who lost their homes, or who are at risk of losing them now to foreclosure, could be helped by a mega-settlement over careless foreclosure practices by major U.S. lenders during the nation's housing meltdown.
Attorneys general in all 50 states faced a late Monday deadline to sign off on a proposal that would deal out $25 billion in damages from Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Ally Financial.
Deal Is Closer for a U.S. Plan on Mortgage Relief
By SHAILA DEWAN and NELSON D. SCHWARTZ - NYTimes.com
With a deadline looming on Monday for state officials to sign onto a landmark multibillion-dollar settlement to address foreclosure abuses, the Obama administration is close to winning support from a crucial state that would significantly expand the breadth of the deal.
The biggest remaining holdout, California, has returned to the negotiating table after a four-month absence, a change of heart that could increase the pot for mortgage relief nationwide to $25 billion from $19 billion.
Bank of America Refuses Cash for Mortgage Payment
In another example that we appear to be rapidly moving into a cashless society, Bank of America in California refused to accept cash for a mortgage payment. The manager of the bank said it was against their policy to accept legal tender physical currency (aka U.S. dollars) as payment for BoA mortgages.
The customer attempting to pay his mortgage, firefighter Robert Somerton, recorded the ordeal in Lakeport branch which made the bank manager so upset that he called the police. The police detained Somerton for a half hour before releasing him with a warning that he may never return to that BoA branch or he'll be arrested.
What The Mortgage Relief Plan Would Do For Homeowners
By Deborah L. Jacobs, Forbes Staff - Forbes.com
After more than a year of wrangling over various mortgage relief proposals, influential state leaders seem close to adopting a plan that Pres. Obama announced Feb. 1. Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York and California’s attorney general, KamalaHarris have indicated they are closer to agreement than in the past.
There are two important elements of the plan and details of both have been a subject of fierce disagreement. One, which could be worth about $25 billion, relates to how much money would be allocated to benefit homeowners and the specific relief they would receive. The other involves the power states would have to investigate past practices by banks, oversee future ones and monitor compliance with the plan.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is getting hit from all sides as he struggles to keep his office.
By MATT NAUGLE - Spectator.org
Wisconsin, the birthplace of the American socialist movement and the first state to allow public employees to unionize, has a blunt conservative governor named Scott Walker who has become a familiar face in the national spotlight.
Walker, who signed Republican-backed legislation last year to eliminate most public sector unions' abilities to collectively bargain while requiring employees to start contributing to their pensions (5.8% of their salaries, on average) and double their health care premium (12.4% of premiums), has balanced a budget that started with a $3.6 billion deficit.
US states near $25bn foreclosure settlement
California close to sharing in a multi-state deal with banks to obtain mortgage relief and reforms; deal would come today
By Dominic Rushe - Guardian.co.uk
The US states hardest hit by the housing collapse will decide today whether to sign off on a potential $25bn settlement with America's biggest lenders, the largest industry fine since 1998's massive multi-state agreement with the tobacco industry.
Government officials have been trying for over a year to negotiate a settlement with states to agree to a package of loan write-downs, refinancings and other homeowner assistance, as well as cash penalties for some of the US's largest lenders.
Foreclosure deal doesn’t go far enough, some groups say
By Brady Dennis - WashingtonPost.com
As state and federal officials near completion of a settlement with banks over shoddy foreclosure practices, a question that has loomed over the talks for months remains: Is it a good enough deal?
After nearly 500 days of drawn-out negotiations, public infighting and private cajoling, the emerging settlement would force banks to overhaul their mortgage-servicing practices. It could also require the banks to pay as much as $25 billion in penalties that would be put toward helping struggling homeowners and borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure in recent years.
Low-skilled workers hit hard by recession
Unemployment drop still leaves low skill workers behind
By Michael A. Fletcher - WashingtonPost.com
ROCKLEDGE, Fla. — The nation’s jobless rate has declined to its lowest level in three years, a fact that has left Jamie Bean, an unemployed air-conditioner repairman, feeling more left out than ever.
Bean, 36, lost his job in December. Now he is scrambling to keep up with child-support payments to his wife, who is also unemployed. "As it stands now, I can’t afford to get divorced," he said, managing a wry smile.
FBI warns of threat from anti-government extremists
By Patrick Temple-West
(Reuters) - Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned on Monday.
These extremists, sometimes known as "sovereign citizens," believe they can live outside any type of government authority, FBI agents said at a news conference.
The extremists may refuse to pay taxes, defy government environmental regulations and believe the United States went bankrupt by going off the gold standard.
Cloudy With a Chance of Weapons and Gold
A report from a semi-annual machine gun festival,
held just this side of Fort Knox.
By DAN PETERSON - Spectator.org
The machine guns roared, pouring tens of thousands of bullets into the night's blackness. Suddenly: Ka-WHOOOMP! WAAHHHMP! WHA-OOOOMP!! Enormous fireballs flashed into yellow-white existence, mutating into billows of orange flame 100 feet high. The pulse of shock and heat hit my skin. As the explosions faded, the night air was lit by an endless fusillade of red and green tracer rounds, the incandescent muzzle blast of automatic weapons, and flames from burning vehicles…
Just a typical evening in the green autumn hills of north-central Kentucky.
Typical twice a year, I should say. Every April and October, the Knob Creek Gun Range, fittingly located in Bullitt County, Kentucky, hosts "The World's Largest Machine Gun Shoot and Military Gun Show." Knob Creek Range lies just a few miles north of Fort Knox, home to the United States Bullion Depository and the 147 million ounces of gold in its vaults. As the names suggest, the range is only a short hop from the distillery where Knob Creek Whiskey is made (more about that superb nine-year-old bourbon later).
Amazon to launch first brick-and-mortar store
By Sarah Halzack - WashingtonPost.com
Amazon may be venturing beyond the world of online retail to set up its first brick-and-mortar shop, according to a report from Bloomberg News.
The store will be in Seattle and its focus will be pricier merchandise such as tablet computers, the report says. And its footprint won’t be nearly as large as that of big box retailers such as Barnes & Noble.
Temperature of Reactor Rises at Fukushima Plant
By Tsuyoshi Inajima - Bloomberg.com
Tokyo Electric Power Co. injected boric acid into a reactor at its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to prevent an accidental chain reaction known as re- criticality after temperatures rose in the past week.
The temperature of the No. 2 reactor was 70.1 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit) as of 6 a.m. today, according to preliminary data, Akitsuka Kobayashi, a spokesman for the utility, said by phone. The reading fell from 72.2 degrees at 5 a.m. this morning, and is below the 93 degrees that’s used to define a cold shutdown, or safe state, of the reactor.
Egypt to put foreign NGO workers
on trial over 'banned activity' claims
Egyptian move is latest in long-running row over crackdown on US-funded groups promoting democracy and human rights
AP - Guardian.co.uk
Egyptian officials say 43 NGO workers, including 19 Americans, have been referred for trial for alleged involvement in banned activity and illegally receiving foreign funds.
The decision on Sunday by investigating judges is likely to further sour relations between Egypt's military rulers and the US, the Arab nation's chief western backer for more than 30 years.
Russia raps West, sends mission to Syria
By Will Englund - WashingtonPost.com
MOSCOW – A meeting scheduled for Tuesday between top Russian officials and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is being portrayed by the Russian government as an attempt to bring about “the swiftest stabilization of the situation in Syria” in response to the growing conflict.
The move is an effort to seize the initiative on Syria from the Western powers – and from the United States, in particular – and to prevent an international intervention.
24 Signs That We Are Getting Dangerously Close
To A Major War In The Middle East
Michael - EndOfTheAmericanDream.com
Is 2012 the year when we will see a major war in the Middle East? For years we have heard about rising tensions in the Middle East, and for years we have heard politicians express concerns about Iran's nuclear program, but now things really do seem to be reaching a boiling point. In just the past few days, the U.S. government has imposed tough new sanctions on Iran and has totally shut down the U.S. embassy in Syria. The truth is that we are getting dangerously close to a major war in the Middle East. So will Israel strike Iran at some point in the next few months? Will the U.S. military intervene in the rapidly escalating conflict inside of Syria? If a major war does erupt, it could send the price of oil skyrocketing and there is the potential that the war could broaden very quickly. Hezbollah has already indicated that it will side with Syria, and there is always the potential that Hamas could as well. Russia and China have both stated that they are completely opposed to military action by the United States against Iran and Syria, and they have even hinted that they would possibly even help defend those countries. As the nations of the world take sides, there is even the potential that we could see World War III develop. Let us hope that it never comes to that, but with the world as unstable as it is right now, you never know what may happen.
US shutters embassy in Syria
as calls continue for Assad to step aside
Obama maintains opposition to military intervention following Russia and China veto of UN security council resolution
By Chris McGreal in Washington - Guardian.co.uk
The US has closed its embassy in Damascus in a move which increased diplomatic pressure on the Syrian regime as President Barack Obama declared he opposed military intervention.
The withdrawal on Monday of the ambassador Robert Ford and the 17 remaining staff comes amid increasingly brutal attempts by Syrian security forces to put down uprisings in Homs and other cities.
U.S. shuts embassy as Obama tells Assad to go
By Ashish Kumar Sen-The Washington Times
An international standoff on Syria intensified Monday as the U.S. shuttered its embassy in Damascus and Britain recalled its ambassador amid an increase in violence that many now believe is headed for full-blown civil war.
President Obama asserted that a peaceful resolution to the 11-month-old conflict should and could be negotiated without foreign military intervention.
U.S. closes embassy,
pulls diplomats from Syria as violence intensifies
By Alice Fordham and Karen DeYoung - WashingtonPost.com
DAMASCUS, SYRIA — The United States closed its embassy in Damascus on Monday amid escalating violence in Syria and an increasingly urgent effort by the Obama administration and like-minded governments to raise pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to leave power.
After the failure of an anti-Assad resolution at the U.N. Security Council on Saturday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed a U.S. call to form an international political coalition, similar to the one that preceded military intervention in Libya, to coordinate anti-Assad actions.
US undercuts message to Israel
By Gareth Porter - ATimes.com
WASHINGTON - When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Washington Post columnist David Ignatius last week that he believed Israel was likely to attack Iran between April and June, it was ostensibly yet another expression of alarm at the Israeli government's threats of military action.
But even though the administration is undoubtedly concerned about that Israeli threat, the Panetta leak had a different objective. The White House was taking advantage of the current crisis atmosphere over that Israeli threat and even seeking to make it more urgent in order to put pressure on Iran to make diplomatic concessions to the United States and its allies on its nuclear program in the coming months.
America’s red lines in the sand on Iran
U.S. startlingly naive on Iran
By Richard Cohen - WashingtonPost.com
There are three red lines when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program. The first is the moment when Iran tunnels so deeply underground that Israeli bombs will be incapable of doing real damage. The second is when the tunneling goes even deeper, and the United States’ "bunker buster" bombs will be insufficient. And the third — well, that has already passed. It is the conviction that the current Iranian regime will never let Israel live in peace.
Iran Crisis Heats Up
BY JR NYQUIST - FinancialSense.com
The U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that Iran is probably one year away from having a nuclear device, indicating “a red line for us, and … for the Israelis.” Then Panetta said, “If we have to do it, we will do it.” This is one of the strongest statements from a U.S. official to date. In recent days Israeli officials have talked openly of striking Iran’s nuclear facilities. It seems there is something of an American-Israeli chorus in this regard. Can we take it seriously?
The Los Angeles Times ran a piece titled “Israel’s intentions toward Iran remain unclear.”According to this article, recent Israeli threats may be “a bluff to spur tougher sanctions.” Observing the statements of U.S. and Israeli officials, this seems probable. If you are planning a preemptive attack there is no point discussing it publicly. But if your strategy is to compel other nations to carry out sanctions, trusting they are frightened by the prospect of war, then you will talk openly about the possibility of war.
Obama orders Iranian Central Bank freeze
in new wave of sanctions
Executive order halts transactions by Iranian bank in US, despite concerns that it may drive up petroleum costs
By Chris McGreal in Washington - Guardian.co.uk
Barack Obama has ordered the freezing of Iranian government assets in the US, including transactions by the Iranian Central Bank, in tightened sanctions over Tehran's nuclear programme.
The White House said the executive order by the president "re-emphasises this administration's message to the government of Iran – it will face ever-increasing economic and diplomatic pressure until it addresses the international community's well-founded and well-documented concerns regarding the nature of its nuclear programme".
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