Friday, April 06, 2007

Spin and Lies

EUR/USD 1.3417 Hi 1.3435 Low 1.3410
USD/JPY 117.75 Hi 118.93 Low 118.65
AUD/USD 0.8185 Hi 0.8205 Low 0.8181
EUR/JPY 159.33 Hi 159.55 Low 159.24

One of Tony Blair's great talents for which, no doubt, he will be remembered is: lying. Tony lies with passionate conviction. And he's at it again. Today the line is:

"our forces are there specifically at the request of the Iraqi government and with the full authority of the United Nations"

Notice he does not mention the "Iraqi people", who are merely incidental. And only Lancet is counting the Iraqi casualties anyway: current estimate of Iraqi WAR DEAD: 650,000. How many maimed? No-one knows.

No, Tony Blair prefers to suggest that the puppet regime installed by the Anglo-Americans has given its authority for the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of IRAQ. Which is an interesting way to put it. Of course this puppet regime wasn't even "in Government" (if you wish to call it that) prior to the invasion. Makes sense really. How could they have been? I mean FIRST you invade THEN you install the puppet regime and then you retroactively LEGITIMIZE the whole charade by telling everyone that THE Government, your Government, gives you the authority to be there. INDEFINITELY. See. It's easy. It's called SPIN. But it's a misrepresentation of the truth just the same. So let's call it what it really is: lying.

He's been a bit "clever" with the"specifically at the request" rubbish. But the next bit, the bit about the "full authority of the United Nations" is a bald-faced lie. An open bald-faced lie. The United Nations NEVER authorised the attack on Iraq by the laughably named "Coalition of the Willing", also sometimes referred to as the Coalition of the Billing, which was comprised mostly of Failed States, Hangers-On, Political Opportunists and those hoping to GAIN something. This sorry Coalition keeps losing members as country after country heads for the exits. George W. though has NO intention of withdrawing troops. EVER. Not that his children or JEB's children or any of the Bush children will ever see active duty, of course. So what's the risk for these guys? Their legacy. Which means they have NOTHING at stake.

Of course if the Anglo-American invasion was illegal , which is was, that makes Tony Blair, George Bush and Dick Cheney WAR CRIMINALS.

Tony Blair is a lawyer. He knows all this. So Tony doesn't want to go there. And he certainly doesn't want the British media or anyone else to go there. So he's sticking with the lies and SPIN. Which, as noted, he is rather good at.

And today he's suggesting that the current mayhem in IRAQ is really the work of (guess who?) the Iranians. But of course. Yes those untrustworthy, lying Iranians have been creeping across the Iraqi-Iranian border and killing, oh, 650,000 IRAQIS with their BOMBS. They like to call it: "Shock and Awe". I mean please.

Yesterday FOUR British soldiers were killed in Iraq. No-one knows how many IRAQIS were killed. We know only that it was more than FOUR. No matter. Lying Tony has this to say about the recent British deaths:

"Now it is far too early to say the particular terrorist act that killed our forces was an act committed by terrorists who were backed by any elements of the Iranian regime, so I make no allegation in respect of that particular incident.

But the general picture, as I said before, is that there are elements, at least, of the Iranian regime that are backing, financing, arming, supporting terrorism in Iraq"

Those sneaky IRANIANS. First they bombed IRAQ, causing catastrophic damage to the infrastructure, power lines, water supply. Then they invaded, dismissed the Iraqi Army and Police Force, allowed and perhaps encouraged chaos and civil war and are now occupying the country with 150,000 or so Troops and another 150,000 MERCENARIES. 650,000 Iraqis have died and millions are now refugees. And so devious are they that they are passing all this off as the work of the Anglo-American forces. Clever. Too clever. And now they have released British sailors so we can't go ahead with the bombing campaign which we had planned. Or maybe we can. Isn't there some semi-plausible excuse we can use? Well I mean if you sift around and are prepared to lie and exaggerate and SPIN it can't be that hard. Can it?

Tony, of course, is looking for a new excuse to attack Iran before the British Public gets truly fed up and attacks him. He has a timeline to work with. He's supposed to be stepping down some time in the next two months. An attack on Iran was supposedly pencilled in for April. And if his rhetoric is anything to go by then the attack on Iran has merely been postponed by the recent release of the British sailors.

No sign of concerns on financial markets. In fact, global Stock Markets continue to rise despite tighter monetary policy conditions and concerns about slowing growth. The assumption seems to be that Mergers and Acquisitions will keep stocks risings in the face of some fairly fearsome headwinds. GEOPOLITICS is not even on the radar.

OIL 64.11
GOLD 679.40

The only market which seems to have factored in GEOPOLITICAL risk is GOLD. And if the war mongering rhetoric of Tony Blair is anything to go by then something is afoot.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Tony Says Thanks

EUR/USD 1.3374 Hi 1.3387 Low 1.3353
USD/JPY 118.88 Hi 118.93 Low 118.48
AUD/USD 0.8183 Hi 0.8214 Low 0.8163
EUR/JPY 158.98 Hi 159.04 Low 158.38

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power": Benito Mussolini. And, in case you're wondering, he would know because Mussolini was the father of modern Fascism.

When Kermit Roosevelt published his book "Countercoup" in 1979, which detailed the role of the CIA in the 1953 Iranian Coup, British Petroleum went out and bought every copy. The guys at British Petroleum were concerned that their role in the 1953 overthrow of the legitimately elected and sovereign Government of Iran would make them look bad. Well yes this sort of thing does tend to leave a stench. Kermit's little CIA coup helped install a brutal regime in Iran, allowed the Western Oil Corporations a free hand in the country and ultimately lay the ground for the Iranian Revolution of 1979 which removed the Shah and saw foreign OIL corporations ejected from the country. In 1979 Iran was returned to the Iranians. Western Corporate Oil executives were not happy.

Not that the British and the Americans have ever really given up hope of running the country for their own profit. The Americans and the British sponsored Saddam Hussein and his war on Iran. The Iran-Iraq War lasted years and cost millions of lives and still the British and the Americans got no closer to taking over the country, with or without a convenient Fascist Dictator in situ. Nope.

The U.S.A. has had an embargo against Iran since 1979 and that embargo became total in 1995. Now, with a little help from the Iranian nuclear programme, that embargo has been extended and strengthened. These guys, our guys, just don't give up. And their ultimate aim is clear: the British and the Americans want to get their CORPORATIONS back in charge of Iranian Oil production. And if WAR is the price to pay, then so be it.

Reportedly at the behest of "Western Governments", Iranians officials have recently been kidnapped and/or killed both abroad and in Iran itself. There are whispers of U.S. covert operations within Iran aimed at undermining the Government. The details are tediously similar to all the other CIA run covert operations and the aim is the same: to install a puppet regime favourable to the "West" or at least to Western Corporations. After all if they can do that in Nicaragua to protect the interests of an American Banana Plantation owner they can do it in Iran to promote the interests of Western Oil Corporations.

But enough of history. Yesterday the Iranian Prime Minister released 15 British sailors who may or may not have violated Iranian waters. Of course no one questions the right of the British Navy to be in those waters. After all when you attack a sovereign nation in order to disarm it, remove a dictator who you previously armed and funded, and bring freedom to the people, then obviously you need to make sure that your achievements are protected. The British are in Iranian/Iraqi waters to make sure that nobody steals that newly conferred Iraqi democracy. Ha. Ha.

And so we have the British a long way from home and very close to Iranian territorial waters checking for terrorists. Of course. And then they get taken into custody by the Iranians. Iran asks for an apology. None is given. The Saudis reportedly warn the Iranians that the Anglo-Americans really are as crazy as everyone suspects, the Russians warn that the Anglo-Americans are planning an attack on Iran for Friday the 6th of April. And the Iranians only need to look across their border to Iraq to know that all the Anglo-Americans need is a tiny little pretext.

So they release the sailors.

Everyone, except Tony Blair and George Bush, is happy.

But there are still problems. Right now the world is not happy with George and Tony's foreign policy. And, increasingly, neither are the U.S. and British public. Questions about the Iraqi War won't go away. Questions about who was really behind 9/11 won't go away. And, despite a concerted attempt by the Democrats to STALL, the grass-roots movement to IMPEACH President Bush is not going away. In fact the voices get louder. Yesterday Karl Rove got stoned. As in: attacked by people throwing stones. How bad can this get? Well George W. and Cheney aren't going to start winning any popularity contests any time soon. McCain might be able to walk around Baghdad but George W. and Dick Cheney should never go out anywhere in the U.S. without their huge security contingent. Of course, they don't.

Tony and George need help. They need another big conflict, another war, or even just another really big terror attack on either U.S. or British soil. They need to prove that FORCE is necessary. They need to prove that the THREAT is real and that it is FOREIGN. Right now no-one believes any of that. Except maybe at Fox News. Without another "event" there is a chance that Tony and George will end up at "The Hague". Which makes both of them pretty desperate right now. It also makes them pretty dangerous. And they weren't exactly "safe" before.

So the much publicised arrest of the British sailors was a bonus. For Tony and George's WAR PLANS. But then the Iranian released the British. Tony is not happy. Hence no gracious thank-yous to the Iranian Government. Back to the drawing board Tony.

But back to the markets. U.S. Stocks rallied a little after the release of the British sailors. The idea that another WAR could kick off was depressing market sentiment. But the rally wasn't much to get excited about. Tomorrow we have Non-Farm Payroll data and now Bloomberg is touting the idea that the U.S. economic expansion is being "sustained" by U.S. Jobs Growth. Well it certainly isn't WAGES growth. And there is no room for an expansion in Household Debt. So I guess Jobs Growth will have to do. The market is expecting a rise of 135,000 in Payrolls and an unemployment rate steady at 4.6%. The number is statistically insignificant, it tells us very little about the state of the U.S. economy and should properly be ignored. It won't be.

U.S. Treasuries are still in the dog box. And yields are expected to rise further. Foreign buying of U.S. debt is likely to be limited as long as the "crazies" run policy. And the USD/JPY has gained a little. Some pundits suggest that the CARRY TRADE is back. Well it might be. But I wouldn't bet on it. The AUD/USD is going through the roof, with or without an RBA rate hike. And the AUSSIE is always a good leading indicator for the USD: when the AUD rallies the USD comes under pressure.

OIL 64.07
GOLD 678.50

The end of the Iranian stand-off has seen OIL soften a little but GOLD bulls are roaring. Which is bizarre unless the Russians are right and a U.S. attack on Iran will be launched on schedule on April 6th 2007.

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