Video, 57 minutes
February 10th 2012 • 7:01PM
Sen. Peterlini Presents Glass-Steagall Bill in Italy
February 10th, 2012 • 7:02 AM
Italian Sen. Oskar Peterlini has presented a draft bill for the reintroduction of a banking separation system following the Glass-Steagall model in Italy, with the stated goal of both helping the Italian economy immediately and serving as an example for the rest of the world.
Peterlini's bill, No. 3112 in the Italian Senate, has 11 co-signers so far, from both his group, which includes various small parties in Italy's autonomous regions, and also from other major parties, such as the Democratic Party (PD), the Northern League (Lega Nord) and Italy of Values (Italia dei Valori). Of these only the Lega Nord consistently opposes the current technocratic government led by market darling Mario Monti.
Peterlini has a long history of introducing resolutions calling for serious reform of the global financial system, with campaigns for a New Bretton Woods starting in the early 2000s and a resolution on Glass-Steagall in 2010. The introduction of a bill is an important step forward, which will jump-start a public campaign in favor of the proposal, and comes at a time when the issue of saving the productive economy from financial speculation is taking center stage in Italy, due to both the ongoing financial crisis and the recent interventions of former Economics Minister Giulio Tremonti.
The bill, which was written in concert with Movisol, the LaRouche movement in Italy, is short and simple, calling for the complete separation of banks that accept deposits from those that participate in the financial markets in any manner.
Peterlini issued a press release in Italian and German (for his South Tyrol constituency), and reads as follows:
"Sen. Peterlini: 'Ensure Credit for Enterprises'
"Bill by the Senator from Bolzano on separating commercial banks from investment banks in order to support local economies.
"'Firms are suffering from liquidity problems because of a credit crunch. Above all, small and medium enterprises can no longer make investments. We therefore call on the Italian government to reform the banking system, by separating commercial banks from investment banks, restoring the system that existed until the 1990s thanks to the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.' This is the main request put forward by Bolzano Senator Oskar Peterlini in his bill. 'Since the 2007 global economic crisis we have been discussing how to avoid new economic-banking crises. Unfortunately, we must note that in the numerous international summits that have been held, the opportunity to adopt strong measures that could represent a clear and effective break with past policies has not been seized: Such measures would certainly include a return to a separation of banking activities, the Bolzano Senator stresses. According to Peterlini, we can no longer wait: the system must be changed as soon as possible. 'Italy can pave the way for other countries: let us go back to a separated banking system in order to make sure that common people no longer have to pay for global speculative bubbles. Let us establish clear rules for separation between chartered (commercial) banks and banks trading on speculative markets (investment banks), that become a model at international level.' Peterlini's bill is a concrete step forward in the campaign carried out by the MOVISOL movement, which fights globally for bank separation. So far the bill has been signed by eleven members of the Senate.
"Specifically, Peterlini's bill commits the government to adopt, within 12 months, one or more legislative decrees to establish rules for separating commercial banks from investment banks, including a ban on chartered banks performing any activities related to trading of securities in general. 'Italy has the chance to both help its citizens directly and to encourage progress in other nations, by establishing a principle of the highest importance at the international level, Peterlini states. 'We need to save the real economy from speculative finance, through a separation between commercial banks and investment banks. It will be an essential first step to regaining control over the economy and building the basis for a future of stability and progress.'"
French Bankers Horror Over Growing Cheminade Glass-Steagall Factor
February 9th, 2012 • 8:57 AM
Ever since Socialist Presidential candidate François Hollande, currently considered the frontrunner in the April 22 election, tackled the French banking establishment in his campaign speech on Jan. 22, referencing the urgent need to separate banking activities between regular banking and market trading, the French banking establishment seems haunted by a nightmarish question: will the idea of a full-fledged separation of the banks, a new "Glass-Steagall Act" as promoted by Lyndon LaRouche in the United States and French Presidential candidate Jacques Cheminade, who is increasingly gaining visibility in the campaign in France, become a reality, or can it still be talked down with lies, threats, and sophistry?
On Feb. 6, Les Echos reported that "Silent so far, French banking leaders have started reacting over the last days to the proposals of the Socialist candidate, in particular on the need to separate, within one bank, the activities of investment banking and retail banking."
In a miraculous conversion, Frédéric Oudéa, CEO of Société Générale and president of the French Banking Federation (FBF), speaking on RTL, changed his earlier convictions, and suddenly stated that bankers are "ready to discuss" the issue. "It is perfectly legitimate to say: we don't want the deposits of Frenchmen and taxpayers to be used by speculative activities who have no interest in the economy." However, Oudéa said, one should realize that since the crisis began, much has been changed already. For him, separating banks would be "a bad law," since "in market trading" one has "to distinguish, within market activities, those that are speculative and those that are necessary for corporate financing."
In an interview with the new French version of Huffington Post, the CEO of the Banque Populaire et Caisse d'Epargne said that "in principle, one has the right to demand that bankers take care of their clients and not speculate with their money," arguing for a Volcker-rule style of regulation. (The editor of Huffingtonpost.fr is Anne Sinclair, whose husband is former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.)
In Le Monde on Feb. 7, Jean-Michel Naulot, a "former" banker who made his entire career at Indosuez, clearly speaks for the bankers' mob. After demonstrating that ring-fencing banking activities "under a single roof," promoted by "Trojan Horse" Sir John Vickers, would utterly fail, Naulot worries: "Over the last weeks, several [presidential] candidates have called attention to the advantages of returning to the Glass-Steagall Act by separating deposit from investment banks. Some even proposed to adopt the [Vickers Commission] reform debated in the United Kingdom, or a much stricter version of it. ... Some economists propose to go further and to cut any link between deposit banks and investment banks and to return to a pure and rigorous Glass-Steagall Act. That would be a mistake."
Then, in an apparently desperate effort at an "alternative," Naulot lies, "In reality, the modern version of the Glass-Steagall Act, is the Volcker Rule, adopted in July 2010 in the framework of the Frank-Dodd Act and courageously defended by Obama against all sorts of lobbies. This reform has two merits: it is simple and of immediate application."
Clearly, now that Cheminade has a foot in the door, the war is totalyl and increasingly dirty. High-level sources close to the Socialist contender confirmed that "unimaginable" pressure has been put on Hollande since his Jan. 22 Le Bourget speech.
McFaul Goes Nuts
February 10, 2012 • 7:06AM
Oxford University regime-change operative Michael McFaul, currently masquerading as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, has been performing a circus geek act on Twitter since the publication of EIR's exposes of his National Endowment for Democracy (NED) platform and his Oxford roots, in a dossier on the destabilization of Russia published in the Jan. 20 and Feb. 3 issues. Our January 20 article, focusing on the role of the NED in cultivating Internet celebrity Alexei Navalny, was paraphrased (without being mentioned) in a commentary by Prof. Igor Panarin of Russia's Diplomatic Academy, posted on the site of the official Russia Today (RT) TV channel earlier this week.
McFaul tweeted to RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan on Feb. 7: "@M_Simonyan when we met at White House you asked me tell you when RT ran something untrue. On RT today, @McFaul sent @Navalny to Yale. Lie." Simonyan replied, essentially: What on Earth are you talking about? She told McFaul her staff had searched every broadcast on RT's five channels, finding nothing of the kind. "Got a link?" she asked. The apparently hysterical McFaul replied, "I have to prove that I did NOT send Navalny to Yale? Wierd [sic] idea of reporting. Isnt [sic] it your job to show link that I did?" Russian Twitterers had to intervene to explain to McFaul that by "link," Simonyan meant a URL. She later pointed out that Professor Panarin's guest commentary had appeared with a disclaimer, saying that his views were not necessarily shared by the RT editors.
In the meantime, Professor Panarin discussed the matter on his website: "Of course M. McFaul did not personally finance the training of A. Navalny. M. McFaul is a theoretician, the author of the concept of 'democracy promotion' using specially trained talented individuals. Furthermore, M. McFaul sincerely believes that this needs to be done for Russia." Panarin went on to elaborate his view of McFaul, noting the latter's role in the NED [actually its subsidiary, the National Democratic Institute] in the 1990s, from which time his acquaintance with Russian liberal recipients of NED money dates. Panarin wrote about McFaul's own enthusiasm for Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution, and identified the NED funding of Navalny and Maria Gaidar, in 2006, as part of an NED search for potential "Orange" leaders in Russia.
He concluded, "Personally I have great respect for M. McFaul, and his knowledge and professionalism. I believe that we should have a dialogue with him and convince him that his chosen strategy in Russia of supporting the liberal opposition and promoting the 'Alexei Navalny' project is WRONG. ... Russian-American relations should be relations of partnership and friendship; after all, Russia has saved America's nationhood twice. This talented Russia expert, M. McFaul, might apply his encyclopedic knowledge not in support of the liberal opposition, but to build a bridge of friendship and neighborly relations between our two great countries."
Mossad Caught Running MEK Assassinations of Iranian Scientists
February 9, 2012 • 3:10PM
by Jeff Steinberg
NBC News has broken the story that the Israeli Mossad has been recruiting and training members of the terrorist Mujahideen e-Khalq (MEK) to carry out assassinations and bombings inside Iran. The report was corroborated by several Obama Administration officials, and was based on an interview with Mohamad Javad Larijani, the brother of Speaker of the Majlis Ali Larijani and a close personal friend of the Supreme Leader Khamenei. Larijani was interviewed by NBC’s Brian Williams, and he reported that Iranian officials had caught an MEK member, attempting to assassinate an Iranian physicist. Under interrogation, the would-be assassin confessed that he had been recruited by the Mossad in Ankara, Turkey and had been sent to Israel for one month of training, to prepare him for the targeted assassination. According to Larijani, the Israelis specifically trained the MEK recruit on how to plant a “sticky bomb” onto a car, while passing on a motorcycle—the modus operandi for several recent assassinations of Iranian scientists involved with their nuclear program.
The U.S. officials (unnamed) who corroborated the allegations emphasized that the United States has no part in these attacks, which also include a recent bombing of an Iranian missile production facility, in which a top General in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, in charge of the ballistic missile program, was killed.
Larijani told NBC’s Brian Williams that, in line with the U.S. global war on terrorism, the United States should bring Israel before the United Nations Security Council for their state sponsored terrorist activities.
A senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the Larijani charges confirmed that the report was credible, although the U.S. does not have full independent corroboration of the charges of Mossad backing for the MEK terrorist attacks. He did further indicate that the timing of the NBC News report was significant, because a major effort is now underway again to have the MEK removed from the U.S. State Department’s list of international terrorist organizations. The source further noted that it would be important to determine whether the Mossad has worked out a top-down deal with the leaders of the MEK to deploy the group in a broader terrorist campaign in Iran, or whether Mossad was recruiting individual MEK operatives. He added that the U.S. State Department is adamantly opposed to the removal of MEK from the terror list, despite a well-financed campaign by neoconservatives to accomplish it and then deploy the MEK to conduct even more covert warfare inside Iran.
NBC News reported that they obtained a copy of a 40-page dossier on the MEK, written by Wendy Sherman in 1997, when she was a top aide to then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Sherman is back at the State Department again now. The U.S. intelligence official reported that there are updates on that 1997 document, prepared by the State Department and by Iranian-American activists, updating the evidence of the MEK terrorist activities. There are still 3,500 MEK members living in Camp Ashraf, a refuge camp inside Iraq. The group came to Iraq in the 1980s, when they lost influence in the Iranian Islamic Republic once Khomeini consolidated power. They fought for Saddam Hussein in the eight-year Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), but are now hated by the current Iraqi government.
The NBC story buttresses a report published by Mark Perry in Foreign Policy last month, exposing the fact that the Mossad was conducting “false flag” recruitment of members of another anti-Iranian terrorist group, Jundallah, based in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan along the Iranian border. Mossad agents, posing as CIA officers, were recruiting Jundallah members in London to carry out terror operations inside Iran.
Gen. (Ret.) Wesley Clark Opposes Military Involvement in Syria
February 10, 2012 • 7:13AM
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, whose last assignment before retirement was to run NATO's 1999 war against Serbia, gave CNN's Soledad O'Brien a lecture on the difficulties of war regarding Syria, on Feb. 8. When asked about the efficacy of supplying arms to the Syrian opposition, Clark said, "When you add more weapons to it, you create more conflict, but you don't necessarily resolve it." Clark also argued that Syria is a tougher nut to crack than was Libya. "Syria is a much tougher target, we believe; it's got much stronger military," he said. "It's got nine intelligence agencies. They're armed. They're competing against each other. They're entrenched. They're relatively hardened, and they're re-enforced by Iran, and they're also supported on the Lebanese side by Hezbollah. So it's a much less assailable position than Libya was."
Anyone who's sober about war and cake walks, realizes that, in war, the easy becomes difficult and the difficult almost impossible, and the consequences can become uncontrollable. That reality has usually been missing from discussions about whether or not the U.S. should go to war, as the warmongers argue that the particular war they're calling for, will be a "cakewalk" and will solve our problems in that particular locale. (Perhaps they ran a computer simulation?)
The Washington Post's Walter Pincus has a sober article in that regard, posted Feb. 8. Pincus notes, using the arguments of the Bipartisan Center's recent report on "stopping the clock" on Iran's nuclear program, that when the Administration says "no options are off the table" with regard to Iran, what it really means is that full-scale war is what's on the table. Israel's strikes against nuclear targets in Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007 were both against single, ground-level structures, making them relatively simple. Iran's nuclear infrastructure is located in numerous facilities all over the country, and some, like the Fordow enrichment plant outside the city of Qom, are deeply buried inside mountains. "No telling how many aircraft the Israelis would need to carry out a meaningful mission," writes Pincus.
And then, there's the matter of dealing with Iranian retaliation. A U.S. campaign, Pincus makes clear, if it were to actually destroy the Iranian program, would need to target much more than just nuclear-related facilities, to include communications systems; air defense and missile sites; Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities; munitions storage facilities, including those for sea mines (remember the Strait of Hormuz); airfields and aircraft facilities; and ship and port facilities, including midget submarines, missile boats, and minelayers—a full-scale war. The issues of the difficulties of militarily targeting Iran's nuclear program that Pincus raises came up during a previous round of war hype against Iran back in the 2007-2008 time period, and perhaps have something to do with why cooler heads prevailed at that time to prevent such action, but it's necessary to raise them again.