Archive for July 2008

MANILA’S HUNGER PANGS

July 30, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

In a previous article about obesity, I already touched on the hunger issue. It is particularly interesting to study nutrition issues in Manila today, nutrition patterns render the Philippines among the ‘transitional populations’ that characterize emerging markets.

Needless to say, in a transitional population as defined in demographic theory, both problems of hunger and overweight co-exist, with obesity rising at faster paces than hunger. Depending on current circumstance, hunger could fluctuate from low to high. The difference between the two problems is that while hunger fluctuates or varies in occurrence, obesity steadily rises.

When I did an intensive study on fair trade & food security in 2005 for a national center entrusted with addressing fair trade & food matters, I did stumble upon the reports of the Social Weather Stations or SWS about hunger. I also got updated about under-nutrition problems reported by experts of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute or FNRI, which indicated very serious nutrition gaps among children and women, and those for fisherfolks too.

What surprises me till now is that food producers themselves, fisherfolks most especially, suffer from under-nutrition problems. Food producers are abundant with food resources, and so expectedly they should show the least signs of under-nutrition. But this isn’t the case, and in a very informative manner, our nutrition experts led by Dr. Cecilio Florencio have used satisfactory factor analysis to unlock the causes and correlates of the problem.

From the late 1990s till 2004, the hunger incidence fluctuated from 8% to 12%, going up and down as data indicated. However, from 2005 through mid-2008, the pattern shifted to the 12% to 16% range, which surely makes the problem alarming.

As early as 2005, I already raised the alarm bell for hunger, recommended policy measures and the launching of a Hunger Fund as executor of the hunger mission. Unfortunately, state officials were not in the mood to listen to such problems then, and it seems that the FNRI’s own alarm bells to the Office of the President and to the Legislative fell on deft ears. Only when economist Dr. Mahar Mangahas and the SWS experts began raising the alarm bells over media did government respond.

To my own dismay, government response has been re-active. Nary can one find a new, fresh solution to the problem. It’s the same old fogey ‘give-the-poor-porridge’ solution, the same solution that one offers to folks during wars and calamities when people have to line up for scarce food preparations. Porridge & food stumps remain, till these days, as the intervention tool of state.

How to solve hunger in the long run, which our very own nutrition experts are adept at but which continue to fall on deft ears among top state officials and our own people who refuse to change lifestyles, isn’t anywhere in the Presidents’ nor Congress’ list of strategic solutions to the problem.

Let our state officials be reminded of the last years of the monarchy in Old France. When asked for a solution to hunger, Marie Antonette replied “offer the poor cake.” Whether the cake or porridge solution leads to food security is no longer an issue in fact. One need not be reminded that the French monarchy then, too immersed in its own vanity as to be so out of touch with reality, was decapitated.

[Writ 28 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]   

MANILA’S EMERGING OBESITY: IGNORE OR ADDRESS IT?

July 30, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Nutrition-related issues and problems in the Philippines constitute a long list. Among all the related issues and problems, hunger stands out as the most highlighted today. While there is no question about highlighting hunger and addressing it with determination, over-focusing on this single issue tends to mask the other issues involved.

Among the emerging issues and problems in nutrition, I would handily pinpoint obesity as the most focal. Needless to say, it challenges development stakeholders to highlight the issue as well, and address it on the same level as hunger is being addressed today. Addressing it would mean resorting to public policy tools, strategies and programs at a national level, and creating necessary institutional frames to accelerate the problem’s solution.

While doing the study on fair trade & food security for the KAISAMPALAD in 2005 (this NGO is a national center for fair trade & food security), I stumbled upon both problems of hunger and obesity. At that time, the latest data from the Social Weather Stations regarding hunger indicated a 12% incidence, a figure that I found alarming as anything past the 8.5% index is considered significant. So I included the hunger issue among those food insecurity ailments that must be salved pronto, recommended policy measures, and even recommended the formation of a Hunger Fund as the multi-stakeholder executor of the anti-hunger mission.

The same study made me stumble upon the findings of nutritionists of the state’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute, which indicated a 25% obesity at the turn of the millennium. That average had its expressed distribution among age groups, with varying indices per age bracket. What was alarming at that time was the 25% Phliippine obesity rate was already 5% above the global average of 20% (the USA’s was 66%).

While I was aghast at the obesity incidence, admittedly I wasn’t prepared to tackle it then, and so I remained silent about the matter in the final research report, save for citing indices of over-weight across age brackets. Today the obesity incidence had risen well above the previous 25%, and certain popular media estimates indicate well pass the 30% mark already (we still need some more update nutrition research on the subject).

Obesity is markedly higher than hunger in the Philippines, surpassing the latter by over double the incidence. The problem with hunger studies is that the methodology is often subjective, since they employ surveys (e.g. asking the informant if s/he has been eating sufficiently or not. In contrast, obesity measures are objective and very exact, as calibration entails the use of weighing scales administered by licensed nutritionists.

I admit that I still am relatively unprepared to tackle the issue as of this day, that is as a development issue. I can only think now of the typical lifestyle intervention to address it, such as combining physical regimen with diet program and a total lifestyle change. Being athletic and a health buff (I was formerly Silver Medalist in national powerlifting –middleweight division), I often offer myself as a prototype of an optimally balanced physical-nutritional wellness person, even as I can easily lecture on lifestyle change and personal intervention to address obesity.

I would end this piece by tossing the query to my fellow Filipinos in the country and to friends overseas: will Manila continue to ignore obesity altogether?

[Writ 28 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

POST-PINOCHET CHILE MARCHES ON IN S & T FUNDING

July 28, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Let us continue our reflections about wonderful news that brighten up our day.

Going back to Chile, as it continues to celebrate the air of freedom beyond the Dark Age of the Pinochet regime, we have another news item concerning the boosting of S&T funding in the said emerging market.

Chile is proving itself as a model of development that is worth watching. See what’s going on in this exemplar country through its S&T prioritization as indicated by funds boosting.

Happy reading!

[23 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to the SciDev database news.]

 

Chile crea un fondo para becas en ciencia y tecnología

Paula Leighton

25 may 2008 | ES

La presidenta Michelle Bachelet durante su cuenta anual al país

Presidencia de la República de Chile

[SANTIAGO] Aumento en las becas para estudios de posgrado, fondos para equipamiento científico e incentivos para atraer a investigadores extranjeros son algunos de los anuncios que hizo la presidenta de Chile, Michelle Bachelet, en su cuenta pública anual (21 de mayo).

La mandataria destacó que su gobierno creará un fondo con US$6 mil millones para financiar un ambicioso programa de becas de posgrado y de formación en oficios tecnológicos de alta especialización, tanto en Chile como en el extranjero.

Dicho fondo permitirá que las mil becas de formación en universidades extranjeras destinadas para 2008 aumenten a 2.500 en 2009 y a 6.500 en 2012, anunció Bachelet.

Además, el próximo año 150 técnicos que se desempeñen en áreas prioritarias para el país accederán por primera vez a becas de perfeccionamiento en el extranjero, las que en 2010 aumentarán a 2.000.

Bachelet dijo que en 2009 también aumentarán las becas para maestrías y doctorados que se dictan en Chile y se entregarán 35 mil becas para estudios técnicos superiores. 

Otro anuncio fue un programa para atraer en dos años a al menos 100 científicos extranjeros, los que se desempeñarán en universidades regionales “en áreas donde aún no contamos con suficientes expertos nacionales”, señaló.

“Todos estos anuncios que contribuyen a que en Chile haya personas con mayor formación son muy bienvenidos, porque le dan valor agregado al país. Al mismo tiempo, es muy positivo que científicos extranjeros vengan y contribuyan a formar estudiantes y nuevos investigadores”, dijo a SciDev.Net Servet Martínez, presidente de la Academia Chilena de Ciencias.    

Para fortalecer los centros de investigación científica, Bachelet anunció también que  “durante los próximos dos años estableceremos un programa de equipamiento científico al que destinaremos US$30 millones”.

Finalmente, la mandataria se comprometió a entregar en 2009 treinta mil computadores de uso personal a escolares pobres académicamente destacados, implementar laboratorios móviles de computación para niños de educación primaria y apoyar la conectividad digital en 35 comunas del país.

Texto completo del mensaje presidencial de Michelle Bachelet

CLIMATE CHANGE: PLANETARY OR GALACTIC?… ROCKET SCIENTIST BACKTRACKS GLOBAL WARMING

July 28, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

We cannot deny, as shown by evidences, that Earth changes are taking place today. There are no fixed interpretations of the changes though, and the scientific community is the least unified about such interpretations.

Whether the fixed idea of ‘global warming is carbon-based monstrosity’ is fully accepted across the sciences and civic groups remains as a hot issue. It is, for one thing, too contentious, and in my opinion as a social scientist, too reductionist with pugnacious eco-fascist underpinnings.  

Astronomers have recently reported updates about all planets of the solar system undergoing changes in their polar areas. Even the sun does not escape its own equivalent changes that have repercussions on the electromagnetic belt of our very own planet. Unfortunately, global Establishment media and information niches have released the news in separate, isolated packets so that they won’t be noticed by the public, thus sustaining the rather erroneous and suspicious fixed idea of a carbon-based or human intervention-induced Earth changes.

Below is a news item about an Australian rocket scientist who was previously among the most vocal interpellators of a carbon-based global warming problematic. The same scientist has now backtracked on his previous statement, indicating as such the disagreements within the scientific community about the subject.

[27 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to the Executive Intelligence Review database news.]

Former Global Warming Rocket Scientist Cools to Reality

July 18, 2008 (EIRNS)—An Australian Greenhouse Office consultant from 1999 to 2005, David Evans, now slams the global warming theory he once supported. In an opinion piece in Rupert Murdoch’s national newspaper, The Australian, Evans stated that: I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.

“We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.”

Evans said he initially thought the evidence seemed “pretty good,” but had admitted it was not conclusive. Now he says straight out: “There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant global warming. None. The Labor Government is about to deliberately wreck the economy in order to reduce carbon emissions. [They are] going to be regarded as criminally negligent or ideologically stupid for not having seen through it. And if the Liberals support the general thrust of their actions, they will be seen likewise.”

RE-ECHOING ROOSEVELT’S ‘PHYSICAL ECONOMY’ SOLUTIONS TO GLOBAL FINANCIAL COLLAPSE

July 27, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

My beloved country remembers the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt very well. It was his presidency that paved the way for preparing the Philippines as an independent state, by first granting the country the status of a commonwealth with its own constitution (1935 Constitution), and by permitting such domestic government to prepare the legislative measures and policy environment for a future independent state (granted independence in 1946).

Roosevelt’s regime also paved the way for the developmental paradigm that would propel the Philippines along the road to industrialization (we now term this as Import-Substitution Industrialization). The paradigm, based on the works of previous thinkers Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich von List, and the exemplar development policies of Abraham Lincoln, puts great stress on the ‘physical economy’ as the foundation for a prosperous and mighty economy in the long run.

Roosevelt further went on to cogitate that colonialism should fold up after the war, and that all former colonies must follow the road to development and prosperity, this being the road to genuine international peace and cooperation. The international doctrine of Roosevelt became the foundation for post-war cooperation, and buttressed the founding of the Bretton Woods agencies whose mandates were propelled precisely by the physical economy framework, the need for undertaking development in the former colonies, and the need to regulate national currencies via fixed exchange rate backed by the gold standard.

The current circumstance is now too remote from the ‘physical economy’ policy regime of the post-war era. Economic liberalization policies led to globalization and the galvanization of the ‘virtual economy’ based on predatory finance. The ‘virtual economy’ had led to de-industrialization, agricultural decay, decline of S&T, and deteriorating infrastructures in the most affected economies, and had fragmented developing states into ‘failed states’.

The global financial system created by the relentless liberalization of financial, fiscal and monetary policies across borders, had already collapsed and is beyond salvation using the present intervention tools that now seem to be burnt out tools altogether. A global conference must be convened most urgently to carve out a new financial architecture based on a ‘physical economy’ framework, and to decisively criminalize predatory finance.

Below is a press release of relevant notes on the global financial collapse, by the economist Lyndon LaRouche.

[27 July 2008, Quezon City, Metromanila. Thanks to the Executive Intelligence Review database news.]

 

LaRouche: Financial System Is Dead, Cannot Be Saved

July 13, 2008 (EIRNS)—This release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC).

With the U.S. and British financial press full of wild speculation about how the Bush Administration is going to intervene Monday morning, to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lyndon LaRouche today issued a sharp, preemptive warning: “The financial system is already dead. It cannot be saved.”

LaRouche expanded: “If any of the reports of a planned bailout of the two big mortgage lenders, by the Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve are true, I say, ‘Forget it.’ Any such efforts to delay the funeral of the present global financial and monetary system will only make matters worse. A bailout will cause an accelerated hyperinflationary explosion, far worse than the hyperinflation that hit Weimar Germany in the autumn of 1923. Back then,” LaRouche continued, “Germany had a gun pointed to its head. The gun was called the Versailles Treaty, and Germany had no choice. Today, the United States has a choice. I spelled out the choice in numerous recent locations.”

LaRouche cited his recent call for the Federal Reserve to immediately raise interest rates to 4 percent, as a stop-gap measure to prevent a massive flight of institutional capital from the banking system. He demanded that this move be accompanied by clear statements from the Fed that there will be no more Bear Stearns-style bailouts of the speculative bubble. Instead, the Fed will protect the chartered Federal and state banks, through bankruptcy reorganization, on the model of what Franklin Roosevelt did, when he first took office in March 1933, and faced the same kind of collapse of the banking system that we face now. “Only, today’s crisis is orders of magnitude worse,” LaRouche added, “due to the massive leveraging by the banks and other financial institutions.”

LaRouche warned that Bush Administration and Fed officials, like Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke, may be on an “ego trip—unwilling to admit that they have failed miserably. But the reality is that they, like the George W. Bush Administration, have failed, with wretched incompetence. For one thing, they failed to reverse the Alan Greenspan monster bubble, which is now blowing.”

LaRouche added that there is no way to even estimate the magnitude of the financial bubble, that has now blown. “The collapse of Fannie and Freddie means the end of the system. And that has already happened, and nothing can be done, within the rules of the current system, to solve that problem. We can keep Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac alive, but only through actions reforming the system, in terms echoing the precedents of President Franklin Roosevelt, that in ways appropiate for the actual conditions of today.

“The only alternative is to implement my three-step solution to the crisis,” LaRouche concluded. “If the so-called leadership in Washington is unwilling to do that, then this financial system, and, by extension, these United States, are finished. It may be a tough reality to swallow, but it is the only reality that there is.”

Lyndon LaRouche will be delivering an international webcast on Tuesday, July 22, 2008, at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). The webcast takes place on the first anniversary of LaRouche’s July 25, 2007 Washington, D.C. webcast address, in which he announced that the financial system had already crashed. Days later, the collapse of Countrywide, and other major mortgage lenders, and the blowout of Bear Stearns, illustrated that LaRouche was 100% correct.

ICC: IMPERIAL CRIMINAL COURT?

July 26, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good morning!

The decision of the International Criminal Court, which now seems to be a thin disguise for the Imperial Criminal Court of the European oligarchy, still rings loudly across the globe today. The decision had unlocked grave repercussions on the African continent as a whole, as it further threatens sovereign nation-states and turn them into hovels of failed states, as exemplified by Sudan.

Below is a an article culled from the Executive Intelligence Review that perceives the ICC decision as a handiwork of the Anglo-Dutch oligarchy.

Enjoy your read!

[26 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

`Imperial Criminal Court’
Opens Gates of Hell in Africa

by Lawrence K. Freeman

British imperialists escalated their ongoing destabilization of Africa on July 14, with the decision by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), to file charges of “genocide and crimes against humanity” against Sudanese President Gen. Omar al-Bashir. The British and their collaborators want to eliminate the sovereignty of African nations, so that Africa’s population can be greatly reduced, thus ensuring that Africa does not “use up” its vast resource wealth for its own development, and for trade with Asia, China in particular. There is no mistake of the timing, the intent, and the forces behind this unprecedented action, which is premised on completely false charges. It is intended to blow apart Sudan’s North-South peace settlement, plunging the country even deeper into civil war. The consequences of the ICC’s decision, if not reversed, not only would be devastating to Sudan, and the stability of the Horn of Africa, but because of Sudan’s strategic importance, the entire continent would bleed.

The hand of the British and the hypocrisy of the ICC’s claims are revealed by the fact that one of the major funders and creators of the ICC is British agent, billionaire speculator, and former Nazi collaborator George Soros. Upon hearing of Soros’s role in the formation of the ICC, through his Open Society Initiative and Justice Initiative networks, Lyndon LaRouche said: “If the International Criminal Court is to have any claim on credibility, let them take up the case of a real Nazi collaborator.” If anyone should be put on trial before the ICC, on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, it is George Soros (see Documentation, below).

The immediate danger to Sudan and Africa is that if the ICC is successful in de-legitimizing Bashir’s Presidency, then negotiations between the government and opposition groups become impossible. As one African from the Washington diplomatic corps told me following the release of the ICC charges: “We have two options for Sudan. One is to maintain a positive peace process. The other is for chaos and the collapse into a failed state.”

International opposition to the ICC move came swiftly. On July 14, in talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Paris, according to the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned that the ICC escalation threatens to foil negotiation efforts between the Sudan government and rebels in Darfur. Egypt has promised to do all it can to avert any measure against the Sudanese leader that could further destabilize the country.

The Africa Union (AU) also denounced the ICC move. “We would like ICC to suspend its decision to seek al-Bashir’s arrest for a moment until we sort out the primary problems in Darfur and southern Sudan,” Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Membe said, speaking on behalf of Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who chairs the African Union. “If you arrest al-Bashir,” he continued, “you will create a leadership vacuum in Sudan. The outcome could be equal to that of Iraq. There would be an increase in anarchy, there would be an increase in civil war. Fighting between Chad and Sudan would increase.”

The 22-member Arab League called for a July 19 emergency meeting of its foreign ministers, at the request of the Sudan government, to discuss how to diplomatically foil the ICC provocation. Arab League chief Amr Moussa was to travel to Sudan July 20, to report to President al-Bashir.

According to the Middle East Times on July 15, China, which is one of Sudan’s major investors and buyers of its oil, expressed deep “concern and worry.” The ICC “should be conducive to maintaining the stability of the Sudanese situation, and to the proper resolution of the problems of Darfur, not the contrary,” a Chinese government statement said.

Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, called on the UN to “exercise restraint and find solutions that will help the people of Sudan and resolve the crisis in Darfur.”

The Times added that Sudan’s main opposition parties and critics of the Bashir regime have united with the government in rejecting the ICC decision, and vowed to prevent the President from being prosecuted in the international court, calling this a violation of the country’s sovereignty and independence.

Blowing Up the Peace Process

Andrew Natsios, former U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan (2005-07), responded immediately to the indictment by the ICC with a statement entitled “A Disaster in the Making.” After cautioning human rights groups focussed on Darfur against applauding the ICC’s decision, he warned them “to think again about their enthusiasm.” Natsios went on to say: “The question all of us must ask who care about what happens to the long-suffering Sudanese people is this: what are the peaceful options for a way out of the crisis facing the country and what measures are likely to move the country closer to that way out rather than further away? Without a political settlement Sudan may go the way of Somalia, pre-genocide Rwanda, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” He concludes: “This indictment may well shut off the last remaining hope for a political settlement for the country.”

Over recent months, saner forces in the Untied States, including Natsios, have been working with leaders in Sudan to prevent the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) from failing. The CPA ended 20 years of bloodshed between the North and the South, and led to the formation of a Unity Government composed of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement representing the South, and the National Congress Party for the North. Despite difficult moments, the CPA has prevented the country from returning to North-South war, and it is hoped that it will serve as a model to solve other conflicts in Sudan, including that in Darfur.

After fighting broke out between soldiers from both sides in Abyei (an oil-producing region whose boundaries are in dispute) earlier this year, concerned people recognized that if the CPA were allowed to go down, all of Sudan would go down with it. After the signing of the CPA in January 2005, international attention and money were diverted from the full implementation of the agreement, into the Darfur crisis, which has only become more intractable. Allegations of genocide against the Bashir government, promoted by the media, Hollywood celebrities, and former and current British, U.S., and European government officials, has been part of the dangerous and failed policy of “regime change.” The claim that the Bashir government is pursuing a so-called Arab cleansing of the so-called Africans in the Darfur region is simplistically untrue, meant for simpletons who are willing victims of “group think” propaganda. In Darfur, almost all the people doing the killing and being killed are Muslims, in a complex, multi-nation war that involves Chad, Libya, the Central African Republic, and other countries not in the immediate conflict zone.

Sudan’s Strategic Value

To understand the strategic importance of Sudan, start with the mighty Nile River, which flows north from Sudan through Egypt before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. Think about what would happen to the 80 million Egyptians, 25% of whom inhabit Cairo, and who depend on the Nile for their very existence, if Sudan implodes through internecine warfare. Who will honor the 1959 water agreement between Egypt and Sudan? What will the Egyptian government do if the flow of water from the Nile is interrupted? Will they not be forced to act, militarily if necessary? Now, think about the countries that border Sudan, all of which are suffering from severe political and economic troubles: Chad, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. Who benefits, and who will suffer from the decision made by Soros’s ICC, acting as a “world court” over and above the interest of the nation-state?

Now think about what Sudan could be for Africa. It is the largest nation on the continent, with the proven potential to feed all of Africa, if it were assisted in managing its water systems, mechanizing its agriculture, and providing irrigation. Instead of sliding into chaos, Sudan could become the “breadbasket” of Africa. The completion of the Merowe Dam, in collaboration with China, provides a glimpse of the potential for food production that is possible with basic infrastructure. (See “Defying Britain’s Genocide System: Sudan’s Great Project in Agriculture,” EIR, July 18, 2008). What is the true potential of Sudan and Africa, if credits for long-term investments in water systems, high-speed rail transportation, and nuclear power were extended by the West, instead of formenting wars and destabilizing poor nations? Sudan with its size, location, and agricultural potential can play a central role in the development of Africa, if we are wise enough to assist it for that purpose.

Why Africa Is Targeted

Look at a map of Africa. Start in Nigeria and let your eyes move east across Sudan to Ethiopia and Somalia. Then look south from Sudan through Kenya, to Tanzania, across Zambia, to Zimbabwe, and finally to South Africa, which represents a portion of Britain’s old colonial empire. Now look at the destabilization of these former colonies, including the recent elections: Nigeria’s flawed Presidential election in April 2007, the organized mayhem that followed Kenya’s December 2007 Presidential election, and the crisis organized from outside following Zimbabwe’s March 2008 Presidential election. And what do you think is being planned for South Africa’s Presidential election in 2009? Will there even be a Sudan in which to have national elections that are presently scheduled for the Spring of 2009?

The British imperialists have never given up their desire to eliminate even the semblance of an independent nation in Africa, that could offer resistance to their policy of controlling the abundant, rich land, and vast resource wealth. To this very day, British Labour Party leader and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, like his predecessor, Tony Blair, cannot accept the fact that Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and millions of courageous Zimbabweans will not submit to British control of their nation, and will not return the land that rightfully belongs to them. The people of Zimbabwe have fought longer and harder than any other African nation against the heirs of Cecil Rhodes, the founder of British imperialism in Africa; and Zimbabwe still today represents a bulwark against British re-colonialization. Many otherwise thoughtful people refuse to understand that the British oligarchy still functions as an empire, but an empire whose power comes from an international financial syndicate, known as the Anglo-Dutch oligarchy.

This British policy of treating Africans as chattel, wiping out their people, and looting their resources became the official, although not public policy of the United States, under President Richard Nixon, with Henry Kissinger’s 1974 National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200). This report targeted the fastest-growing populations in the “Third World” for population reduction—i.e., genocide. It also sought to prevent those nations from expending their natural resources for their own benefit, when these resources were deemed vital to the Western financial cartels. NSSM 200 was a Malthusian tirade against population growth, especially that of non-Caucasian people, but also included the importance of the “advanced sector” having a continuous flow of “mineral supplies” from developing countries which had high rates of population growth.

In its Executive Summary, under the subhead, “Minerals and Fuels,” Kissinger’s report states: “Rapid population growth is not in itself a major factor in pressure in depletable resources (fossil fuels and other minerals), since demand for them depends more on levels of industrial output than on numbers of people. On the other hand, the world is increasingly dependent on mineral supplies from developing countries, and if rapid population growth frustrates their prospects for economic development and social progress, the resulting instability may undermine conditions for expanded output and sustained flows of such resources” (emphasis added).

If one truly desires to understand why people are suffering in such horrible conditions today, and why countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and South Africa are under attack, one need only refer to NSSM 200.

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

       

 

OIL PRICES GOING DOWN FOR GOOD? TOO EARLY TO SAY!

July 25, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago

Good evening from Manila!

We Manilans were met this morning with the seemingly good news that oil price nose dived to $125 per barrel. As this news was released, we have just three (3) days before Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo or GMA, will deliver her State-of-the-Nation Address or SONA.

With due respect to a fellow economist, the eminent world woman leader GM Arroyo should better not say lies comes Monday SONA that her actions on oil tax in Manila are responsible for bringing down global oil. Rather, her regime’s actions on state imports of rice immensely led to more speculation on the global commodities markets that indeed contributed in no small measure to raising the price of rice world-wide, actions that added pressures on oil prices to go up too.

Fellow Earthans, please look at the backyard of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the honorable King pledged before the UN Secretary General last month that the oil wells will pump out more stocks of the commodity so as to shore up the supplies by the month of July. It is now the tail end of July, and so it seems that the Midas touch of the KSA King has been creating sure-fire effects on gas prices.

The question worth asking is, will the latest decline in the price of oil be for good? Remember that the soaring prices of oil were largely caused by massive speculations in the spot markets, conducted by diverse financier groups. To a certain extent, the inflationary patterns in the grains prices also contributed to inflationary patterns in the oil sector.

There was the demand side that was cited as possible cause of the oil price decrease. The observed decline in the usage of oil by American consumers had accordingly factored into the equation, thus reducing oil price in global spot markets.

A simple multivariate analysis would show us that a combination of (a) supply side actions (KSA King’s ‘pump more oil’ policy) and (b) demand side behavior (Americans consume less oil) have (c) dampened speculative pressures and eased oil prices a bit. In other words, the predatory financiers were caught flat-footed by the double-whammy, even as some losing speculators are now hurting badly over the latest developments.

But do mark this: the financiers will strike back. The cyclone season is around, one can muse safely that cyclone devastations will induce short-term shocks on food, oil, and some non-durable commodities. Such eventualities could then induce pressures on cyclone-related or force majeure-coverage insurance, possibly impelling prices of the said commodities to go up from this month till November.

There also is the US federal campaign period coming, which will see inflationary spending from both parties as well as from the federal government as part of pump-priming measures. Such eventualities will altogether lead to new rounds of oil consumption in America, which will continue till the winter months.

No, definitely not, we are not at the tail end yet of oil hyper-inflation. This is the least that I can forecast for the moment.

[Writ 25 July 2008, Manila, Quezon City]