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Sat

22

Sep

2007

Recession Too Mild a Word
Saturday, 22 September 2007 11:13
by Pablo Ouziel

Except for a select group of corrupt politicians, powerful businessmen, media barons and pundits of the law, the rest of the world was fooled into the Iraq war. Granted not everybody believed it¹s declared motives and a few tried to stop it, but in the end we are all paying the price, notwithstanding the Iraqi people. Donald Rumsfeld said at the beginning of the war, "I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will last five days, five weeks or five months, but it won't last any longer than that." We are now in the fifth year of what I dare term Œgenocide¹.

The same group of people who lied to the world about the war in Iraq are doing the same about the state of the global economy, and again the public is sleepwalking listening to their lullabies. We could be witnessing the collapse of capitalist model of society as we know it. According to President Bush, however, we are seeing a "thriving" U.S. economy.

The lesson we should all learn from Iraq is that this group of 'Elites', the ones Bush refers to as his 'base', have no respect for human life, all they care about is financial profitability and personal power. They will lie to all of us and use any excuse to justify their objectives, but as they fall from grace they themselves will describe their own actions. Alan Greenspan just said it; "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."


But the public will keep digging into the realities of Iraq and we will not rest until the truth comes out from all these pundits, who undoubtedly should be facing trial for crimes against humanity. The problem is that while we dig into Iraq they will be playing the same game in other areas of social interest. The lies they fabricated to unleash that war, they are fabricating right now to make us feel our economies are solid and we should be consuming, having fun, keeping calm, as Bush put it in a press conference on December 20th, 2006; " I encourage you all to go shopping more."

Yet yesterday in Crain's New York business this could be read; "Only weeks after financial-sector employment in the city hit levels not seen since the technology-stock bubble, investment banks have switched into firing mode and halted most job searchesŠ As a result, at least 10,000 Wall Streeters of all stripes could lose their jobs by year's end, according to estimates from Manhattan recruiting and consulting firm Options Group."

The same story is apparent in England, where yesterday the UK prime minister and chancellor met with US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to discuss the growing turmoil in world financial markets and after the meeting the chancellor insisted that the UK economy remained strong and that it would weather the current storm. Yet as the government promised depositors of Northern Rock they would not loose a penny as the bank's share price plunged, thousands queued to withdraw their savings.

In this chaotic world of war and recession, which has Iraqis running for cover and Westerners heading to the bank, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. According to the Telegraph a couple of weeks ago, just in Britain "the wealth gap is at its widest for more than 40 years, creating ghettoes of the richest and the poorest that have virtually nothing to do with each other."

But as Westerners we don't seem to react too vividly, the poor according to Professor Ruth Lister, a social-policy researcher at Loughborough University, because "people at the very bottom tend not to have the energy for rioting because they are too busy trying to survive," the middle-classes because the credit market has not yet fully collapsed and is still sustaining their unsustainable lifestyles and the rich because this is the perfect atmosphere for their wealth build up and accumulation.

However other countries are being warned and are moving away, a week ago a United Nations agency report said that China, India and other developing countries needed to take steps to protect themselves against a possible recession in the United States by lifting domestic demand.

Then the China Daily ran a piece by Lau Nai-keung a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which advised the following; "There are growing concerns that the US financial meltdown will lead to a global recession, and this in turn will hit China badlyŠ It is therefore not too early to kick-start internal consumption."

Finally Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez warned this Sunday in his program "Aló Presidente", of the danger of a world financial crisis due to the problems presented by the high-risk mortgage business in the United States, saying that the authorities are studying a combination of measures "to protect us from a large financial earthquake" that would affect the entire world.

So while as westerners we remain hoping that this time our leaders will not be lying to us as the recession term lingers and is masterfully pushed away and hidden under the carpet, all I can do is wonder whether this silenced recession is a lot more than that, just like Iraq's 'little' war is rapidly becoming the biggest genocide since the Nazi concentration camps.

Maybe Chavez was right in his interview with John Pilger, for the documentary film The War on Democracy, when he said; "The American Empire has reached its end, the world must now be governed by the rule of law, of equality, of justice and of fraternity." If Chavez is right, maybe we should all buckle up for a global economic collapse and begin to plan for a new world order.

-Pablo Ouziel is an activist and a free lance writer based in Spain. His work has appeared in many progressive media including Znet, Palestine Chronicle, Thomas Paine¹s Corner and Atlantic Free Press.
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