Stephen Lendman is a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues. Here’s an example of what he’s trying to bring to our attention.
“A Historic Analog – Current policies assure the rich get richer. The rest suffer. In Western societies, where more deeply than in Greece. It’s banker occupied. Ordinary people have no say. They’re burdened by multiple austerity rounds similar to crushing German Treaty of Versailles reparations …
“Versailles terms were outrageous. In May 1921, Germany got an ultimatum – accept terms in six days or face industrial Ruhr Valley military occupation. With no choice, it accepted.
“Moreover, colonial possessions and raw materials were seized. In the end, both sides lost out. Unmanageable debt overwhelmed world finance and monetary policy by 1929. Wall Street crash followed.
“An unsustainable pyramid was built on punitive war debts. Wall Street and other major banks enforced payments. They exceeded America’s annual 1920s foreign trade. Rebuilding and modernizing war-torn Europe was sacrificed to pay bankers.
“Germany got the worst of it. Its Reichsbank had to print enormous amounts of money to survive. Catastrophic hyperinflation followed. In January 1923, the mark dropped to 18,000 to the dollar. By July, it was 353,000, in August 4,620,000, and by November an astonishing 4,200,000,000,000.
“It became worthless. German savings were destroyed, and calamitous events became inevitable.
“Lost assets compounded economic misery. Germany’s colonies became League of Nations Mandates. Alsace-Lorraine, West Prussia, Upper Silesia and other territories were ceded to Britain, France, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.
“Gone were agricultural resources, 75% of Germany’s iron ore, 68% of zinc ore, 26% of coal, as well as Alsatian textile industries and potash mines. In addition, Germany’s entire merchant fleet was taken, a portion of its transport and fishing fleet, plus locomotives, railroad cars and trucks to pay war debts.
“Impossible terms demanded 132 billion gold marks at 6% annual interest. As a result, inflation soared. German industrial activity plunged. Reichsbank and other German bank assets were seized. Marks became worthless. Public anger grew. Communism and fascism vied for power.
“In 1923, a so-called Dawes Plan (named for US banker Charles Dawes) was adopted. Paying bankers was prioritized. Looting was enforced. It continued until 1929 when the debt pyramid collapsed.
“A banking crisis followed. So did capital flight. Germany’s economy crashed. Depression emerged. Hard times empowered radical political elements. The rest is history. WWII left 40 million dead and Europe in ruins. In other words, when public pain exceeds thresholds of no return, all bets are off. Often the unthinkable happens.
“Europe in Crisis – Today, angry millions across Europe face destitution, neo-serfdom, despair, and no futures. Greece is its epicenter. Multiple bailouts enforce banker pillage. Austerity assures they’re paid at the expense of economic solvency and public need.
“Even the neo-liberal New York Times noted a ‘Greek Tragedy’, saying: It’s ‘choking on Europe’s conditions. The approach will not work.’ Greece can’t possibly pay the debt. The more added, the greater the burden, the less ability to service and repay. By forcing all Greeks to suffer with no real prospects of relief, Europe is uniting the country, now beset by strikes, against further reforms. Politicians face political suicide in this spring’s elections if, in fact, they’re held or unless populist candidates are excluded.
“A Final Comment – Zombie Greece awaits burial. The latest bailout deal may be the last. Greece’s debt burden already is double the reported amount. Eventual default is certain. So is exiting the Eurozone. Expect it perhaps later this year. Markets already discounted it. Perhaps other countries will follow.
“Progressive Radio News Hour regular Bob Chapman suggested even Germany may exit, saying: ‘Germans are fed up with subsidizing others and want to go ahead on their own. They never wanted Eurozone membership in the first place. Moreover, by boycotting Iranian oil, EU nations are shooting themselves in the foot. Long-term disruptions may follow, intensifying economic disaster and public anger.’
“Already it’s raging on and off in Greece, Spain, Italy, Britain, and elsewhere across Europe. Chapman thinks a military coup may follow. EU solidarity and confidence are gone. Bureaucrats and politicians have let fraud go on far, far too long.'” –
“Long-term disruptions … economic disaster … public anger.” The combined populations of Greece, Spain, Italy and Britain are much less than the more than 300 million that populate the U.S. Can you imagine what it will be like when we get our bellyfull of empty bellies? Even now Americans are beginning to rage against events far more important than what Europeans are griping about because most of our money is being wasted on killing innocent folks ‘way beyond our borders.
“What God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai were not ten suggestions; they are The Ten Commandments,” were the words of Ted Koppel back in 1987, and he was especially referring to the Fifth Commandment: “Thou Shall Not Kill”.
And wasn’t it St. Thomas Aquinas who first said: “A legislature must not obstruct our obedience to God from whose punishment they can not protect us”?
It wouldn’t hurt to distribute these two admonitions to our armed forces personnel.