Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Missing Billions

Reportedly, billions of dollars was lost in Iraq, between April 2003 and June 2004.  A tractor-trailer truck pulled up to the East Rutherford operation center of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and though accustomed to receiving and shipping large quantities of cash, the vault had never before processed a single order of this magnitude: $2.4 billion in $100 bills.  Twelve billion in US currency was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad, where it was dispensed by Paul Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority.  At least $9 billion has gone unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed.  

Alan Greenspan, who was head of the Federal Reserve claimed that he had no knowledge of the missing billions.

In “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” author Naomi Klein asked Greenspan whether the wars over resources in other countries are illegal.  Greenspan claims that it has not been publicly discussed, because it’s not politically expedient at this moment.

Apparently, Greenspan wasn’t aware that, according to the Hague Regulations and the Geneva Conventions, it is illegal for one country to invade another over its natural resources.  Greenspan pointed out the obvious, that the war was initiated because of our concern about weapons of mass destruction.

Naomi Klein reminded Greenspan: “I realize that, but Saddam was not simply deposed.  The US invaded Iraq, occupied it and took control over its resources.  And under international law, that it is illegal to wage wars to gain access to other sovereign countries’ natural resources....You have also advocated economic shock therapy and supported International Monetary Fund programs that have transformed economies very quickly.  And then, you say that you are in support of the rule of law.”

Absolute power corrupts, because the very powerful consider the rule of law irrelevant.


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