Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #407 Pecunia Nervus Belli

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Introduction: The title translates: “Money is the sinew of war.” The program further develops the topic of the geopolitical and macroeconomic struggle between the dollar and the euro and relates it to the events of 9/11, the Iraq war and the Asian economies. Particular emphasis is on the airline travel industry, the aircraft manufacturing industry, the SARS epidemic and the contest between Boeing and the European aerospace manufacturer EADS—the manufacturer of the Airbus. EADS has been pressuring Boeing to price its product in euros, mirroring the contest between the dollar and the euro evidenced in Iraq’s pricing of its oil in euros. The 9/11 attacks and SARS have depressed the airline and aircraft manufacturing businesses: Mr. Emory asks whether both events may be an outgrowth of the Underground Reich’s application of the concept of total war developed by Karl Von Clausewitz. Von Clausewitz understood that war is waged in its totally—against all aspects of the enemy’s society—its economy, its morale and its social fabric, as well as against the military forces of the opponent. At the core of the discussion is the concept of both the euro and the US current accounts deficit as weapons of war which will, in time (if the situation is not corrected,) destroy the United States as effectively as terrorists or armies.

Program Highlights Include: the role of Asian central banks in propping up Bush’s Iraq war by investing in dollar-denominated issues; the possible effect of SARS on the global economy and (consequently) the US current accounts deficit; the effect of SARS on the airlines business; the effect of SARS on the aircraft manufacturing business; the coincident effects on the dollar and on Asian economies of SARS; the unsuccessful attempt by veterans of Project Coast to transfer their residual BW weapons to the United States; the role of GOP heavyweight Grover Norquist as the point man for the Republican tax-cutting plan and as the Islamist point man in the GOP; the projected effects of Norquist’s tax cuts and the effects of the 9/11 attacks by his Islamist buddies on the US current accounts deficit; Bush’s use of counter-terror funding to further his socio-economic and political goals.
1. Beginning with review of an article that was featured in FTR 405, the program introduces the economic context in which the events analyzed here must be considered. The assault against the US by the Underground Reich and its Islamofascist allies that Mr. Emory believes to be under way is—in its primary manifestation—economic in nature. It can be argued persuasively that the goal of the gambit of the 9/11 attacks is the destruction and/or subjugation of the United States. In FTR#405, Mr. Emory suggests that the attack, from a conceptual point of view, could be viewed as a combination of the German invasion of France in World War II, the battle of Verdun in World War I, and Operation Bernhard in World War II. (For discussion of the comparison of the German invasion of France in World War II to 9/11, see FTR#’s 366, 372, 395, 401.) The goal of the German high command in the battle of Verdun was to attack a position (the steel-making city of Verdun) that the French would not be willing to lose. In so doing, the Germans hoped to bleed the French army dry—to inflict so many casualties that they would have to sue for peace. Operation Bernhard (see RFA#17—available from Spitfire) was a German gambit intended to destroy the British economy by forging pound notes and destroying the UK’s ability to finance its war effort. The following article discusses the economic aspects of the war with Iraq. Asian central banks’ support of the dollar has—to date—made this an easier enterprise to undertake than it might have been under different circumstances. This situation might change should the economic landscape be altered in a significant fashion. Note the US current accounts deficit. “The 19th century British political economist Walter Bagehot had a pithy quote from Louis XIV on war finance. The last guinea, said the Sun King, will always win. In the case of Iraq it will be the last US dollar. And one of the more remarkable things about the US-led invasion of Iraq is just how easily and cheaply the venture will be financed. On the face of it, war has rarely been waged in such inauspicious financial circumstances. At a time of extreme geopolitical uncertainty the payments balances of the world’s biggest economies are badly out of kilter. US household savings are seriously depleted and the deficit on the current account of the American balance of payments is close to an unprecedented 5 per cent gross domestic product.”
(“The Sinews of War are Asian” by John Plender; Financial Times; 3/21/2003; p. 17.)
2. The relatively strong position of the dollar (in turn resulting from investment in dollar-denominated IOU’s) stems from the relative strength of Asian economies and their central banks’ investments in the dollar.

“The US has, since the bursting of the stock market bubble, become a relatively unattractive destination for foreign private capital. Interest rates are low, the dollar is weak and the US economy will advance this year at less than its underlying trend growth rate. Yet as private capital has fought increasingly shy of the world’s largest economy, the central bankers have come to George W. Bush’s rescue. Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore alone have accumulated official reserves worth more than $1,100bn, of which the great majority is invested in dollar-denominated IOU’s such as US Treasuries. For many central banks these reserves are earning much less in interest than they could earn back at home.”

3. If the US should become enmeshed in a costly post-war, or if the Bush administration’s plans to drastically increase military spending while dramatically slashing taxes on the wealthy should come to fruition, the effect on the dollar and the US current accounts deficit could be disastrous and decisive.

“This is not, of course, a philanthropic gesture. For Japan, with a stagnant economy, it is a matter of resisting an appreciation of the yen that would hit the export sector. The others maintain a dollar peg, largely for reasons of competitiveness . . . Yet it remains the case that global finance has been exceptionally kind to Mr. Bush. And Louis XIV was indeed expressing an age-old verity. The Tacitus version was pecunia nervus belli: money is the sinew of war. We should not forget that unlimited money, however helpful, cannot guarantee the peace.”

4. Against the background of Bush’s fiscally-insane tax cut proposals, the US budgetary situation is not to be ignored. The only reason the US got away with the suicidal fiscal policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations is the fact that the US was able to borrow against the dollars held as reserve currency. A significantly weakened dollar and exacerbated current accounts deficit for the US will drastically weaken the country.

“The US government’s finances are set to head sharply into deficit and stay there ‘for the foreseeable future,’ the White House budget director said yesterday. Mitchell Daniels, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), said he expected federal deficits equivalent to 2-3 per cent of gross domestic product for this fiscal year and next, and could not say when the budget would return to surplus.”

(“US Finances Set to Head ‘Sharply into Deficit’” by Alan Beattie; Financial Times; January 16, 2003; p. 2.)

5. The program reviews Grover Norquist’s role as primary tax-slasher. In this context, it is important to remember that he is also the point man for the Islamists in the Republican Party. Note that these Islamists’ attacks on the United States precipitated the national security build-up which, when combined with the Bush tax cuts, has led to a return to record budget deficits. Whether Norquist is fully conscious of the effects of his actions is not particularly relevant. In FTR#327, the collapse of the commodities market effected by the Underground Reich is worth noting. When coupled with the assassination of JFK, it led to a huge profit for the Underground Reich perpetrators of these events. Tino De Angelis was (apparently) under mind control and not aware of the implications of his actions. The same may be true of Norquist.

“Reaction from advocates and critics was swift and strong. ‘It’s a tax shelter for the wealthy. This is really an attempt to help the president’s friends,’ said Rep. Robert t. Matsui, D-Sacramento. ‘It’s unbelievable.’ ‘These are the building blocks of a new tax system,’ said Grover Norquist, president of the conservative Americans for Tax Reform.”

(“Bush Proposes New Tax-Free Savings Plans” by Peter G. Gosselin; The Los Angeles Times; 2/1/2003; p. A20.)

6. One should note the reaction of some Islamists to the Iraq war. Some have called for Muslims to embrace the euro as opposed to the dollar. The issue of the dollar vs. the euro is at the core of the thesis Mr. Emory has been developing about the 9/11 attacks and their macroeconomic effect on the US. The reaction expressed by the Muslim cleric in this article goes to the heart of the discussion from past broadcasts about the Earth Island and the Underground Reich’s attempts at gaining political control of that area’s population and effecting economic advantage as a result.

“In this sandswept Nigerian town on the edge of the Sahara Desert, a Muslim cleric, displaying anger about the U.S. war in Iraq, recently exhorted his followers to take action to inflict pain on the U.S. namely, ditch the dollar and embrace the euro. ‘European Countries,’ preached Sheik Ibrahim Umar Kabo, the head of Nigeria’s Council of Muslim Scholars, ‘have refused to be fooled by America’ and support the war. ‘We should therefore encourage transactions with the euro and stop patronizing the American dollar.’ The sheik’s advice was met with cries of ‘Down with America.’ The enthusiasm spilled out into the streets with the faithful shouting, ‘Euro yes! Dollar no!’”

(“Some Muslims Advocate Dumping the Dollar for the Euro” by Robert Block; The Wall Street Journal; 4/15/2003; p. C1.)

7. An article not included in the original program notes the effect of the euro on the geopolitics surrounding the Franco/German opposition to the war.

“It was the euro—not the Security Council veto—that enabled France to oppose U.S. policy on Iraq so boldly. Indeed, the success of the European currency has turned it into a political anti-missile shield that works, and that has changed the international balance of power. Absent the euro, it would have been relatively easy for the U.S. to quietly bring the French back into line. A stealth U.S. attack on the French franc, and on French financial markets—more likely just the hint of it—would do the job . . . With the Cold War behind us, the key question of international politics, as seen by the French political and administrative elite, is this: Now that there is no military threat to Europe from the Soviet Union, or anyone else, how to contain the US? In this logic, the euro must become an alternative, or co-reserve currency alongside the dollar.”

(“Euro Shield” by Stephen S. Cohen; The Wall Street Journal; 4/29/2003; p. A16.)

8. One of the major points of discussion in this broadcast is SARS. Is it a naturally-occurring disease or is it the product of biological warfare? If the latter is the case, is it possible that SARS may be an application of the Von Clausewitz concept of total war? Much of the program considers the effect of SARS on the airline industry, the aircraft manufacturing business, and on the strength of the dollar.

“It has all the appearance of a perfect storm. A virulent confluence of factors has shaken the global economy in recent weeks and caused companies to put international business on hold. The most disruptive have been the flulike severe acute respiratory syndrome from Asia and the war in Iraq with its associated fear of terrorism . . . Complicating the possible long-term effects of the war is its timing: The war is being fought while the U.S. economy is still struggling. The dollar has fallen by 17 percent against the euro since early 2002, making imports from countries such as Germany and France costly for Americans [Emphasis added.”

(“Economic Tsunami” by David Armstrong; San Francisco Chronicle; 4/6/2003; p. B1.)

9. Considering the possible economic impact of the disease, a WHO official notes the potentially severe implications of SARS.

“The SARS disease poses one of the most serious global health threats since Aids because of its infectiousness and potential to spread through air travel, the World Health Organization warned yesterday. It said other diseases that have emerged in recent decades, such as Ebola, had higher fatality rates but tended to be focused on limited geographic areas and were not as easily passed on. ‘SARS could become the first severe new disease of the 21st century with global epidemic potential,’ said Dr. David Heymann, executive director of WHO’s communicable disease programs.”

(“SARS Could Spread Worldwide, Warns WHO” by Joe Leahy; Financial Times; 4/12/13/2003; p. 1.)

10.

“The disease has affected hotel and airline bookings across Asia and led economists to revise down their forecasts for regional growth. Dr. Heymann said global economic consequences were already estimated at about US$30bn. He said the disease’s incubation period of up to 10 days meant it could be transported in symptomless air travelers all over the world.”

11. Mirroring the fears of the WHO official discussed above, an analyst with Morgan Stanley fears the economic impact of the disease.

“With the Chinese now reluctant to travel—not just overseas but also at home—and with Asian countries restricting the entry of visitors from affected areas, the SARS effect could easily escalate. Morgan Stanley has pared its 2003 estimate of growth in Asia (ex Japan) from 5 per cent to 4.5 per cent. This assumes a 60 per cent fall in tourism over the next three months and then a return to normal. Unfortunately the SARS effect is concentrated on Asia—the region of the world that we had counted on to keep the global economy afloat. With this source of global resilience now being undermined, the global economy has little left to support it. Had economic growth been more vigorous before the outbreak of SARS, this probably would not have made such a difference. Sadly, that is not the case. There is far more to the story of emerging global weakness than a SARS-related downturn in Asia. War, and the related uncertainties are equally important factors. But SARS may be the tipping point.”

(“Asia Sneezes and the World Catches a Cold” by Stephen Roach; Financial Times; 4/14/2003; p. 15.)

12. Economic columnist Paul Krugman also notes the potential impact of SARS on the global and US economies.

“Serious people know that germs pose a far greater threat to mankind than terrorism, and readers of books like William McNeill’s ‘Plagues and Peoples’ and Jared Diamond’s ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ know microbes have been the downfall of many a civilization. SARS—severe acute respiratory syndrome, a new virus from Guangdong Province in China—doesn’t look like a civilization-killer, and probably isn’t nearly as bad as the 1918-19 influenza virus. But experts fear it may be too late to prevent a global SARS pandemic—that is, it may be too late to stop the virus from spreading throughout the world. And the bug is already having major economic consequences; fear of the disease has paralyzed much business in Hong Kong and has led to a drop in air travel worldwide.”

(“Guns, Germs and Stall?” by Paul Krugman; The New York Times; 4/4/2003; p. A19.)

13.

“Even if SARS doesn’t become wide-spread here—and that’s not a safe bet—it can do a lot of damage to our own economy because the world has grown so interdependent. Consider this: the most likely engine of a vigorous U.S. recovery would be a renewed surge in technology spending, and Guangdong is now the workshop of the information technology world, the place where a lot of the equipment that we would expect businesses to buy if there was an investment boom—for example, components for wireless computer networks—is assembled. The virus is already hampering production, not so much because workers have become sick as because Taiwan-based managers and engineers are afraid to visit their plants. The result may be to stall an investment recovery before it starts. The war has monopolized everyone’s attention, including mine. But other things are happening, and you shouldn’t be shocked if the economic news turns awful.”

14. In addition to the above lines of analysis, the potential effect of SARS on the US current accounts deficit is at the core of economist Martin Wolf’s analysis.

“The unbalanced pattern of demand has generated the patently unsustainable current accounts deficits and surpluses noted by [IMF economist Kenneth] Rogoff. The world economy cannot build a strong and durable recovery on the profligacy of the English-speaking countries alone. Sooner or later such a globally unbalanced recovery will blow up, probably with currency collapses. [Italics are Mr. Emory’s].”

(“A World Economy Trapped by Complacency and Panic” by Martin Wolf; Financial Times; 4/16/2003; p. 15.)

15.

“The world is suffused with a mixture of complacency and panic—complacency over the world economy and panic over security and now a new (and so far minor) disease. The end of the war is an opportunity to redress the balance. It must be seized.”

16. The Underground Reich’s contribution of software for the mass production of nuclear weapons was discussed at length. John Loftus discussed intelligence information maintaining that Iraq and North Korea had shared information about nuclear technology. With the international weapons trade cutting across ideological lines, is it possible that North Korea’s nuclear capability may have come from the Underground Reich (perhaps via Iraq?) In that context, consider the possible effect of the North Korean nuclear situation on the Asian economies. Like SARS, the crisis may have a very disturbing outcome for the US. One should bear in mind that the Japanese hold roughly 15% of America’s foreign debt. A dramatic worsening of the situation vis-a-vis North Korea could produce a serious downturn in the Japanese stock market and a resulting liquidity crisis for Japanese banks. Should they sell off American T-bills, it could collapse the US economy, by generating a rush to dump the T-bills by other investors. Pecunia nervus belli. (* Note that this article was not in the original broadcast.)

“A difficult negotiation will be all the more perilous because, unlike Iraq, North Korea is adjacent to advanced industrial economies with complex and powerful financial markets. Those economies now account for most of the world’s output growth. North Korea has taken hostage the prosperity of the Asia Pacific region. There is less premonitory bluster and less fervor in Washington, but the North Korea crisis could do far more damage to the global economy than war in Iraq.”

(“A Korean Peace may Hurt More than an Iraqi War” by John Edwards; Financial Times; 4/23/2003; p. 13.)

17.

“It is true that the North Korea crisis is unlikely to develop like the conflict over Iraq. The US will not invade North Korea. North Korea cannot make any claim to regional leadership. It has no strategic resource such as oil, and it is almost completely isolated in global politics. And far from wanting to go it alone, the US is insisting on multilateral rather than bilateral talks. The dispute will probably be peacefully resolved, but not without alarming brinksmanship. For the economies of the Asia Pacific region, this is the real problem. Through the impact of threat and counter-threat on financial markets and capital flows the region could suffer another economic calamity without a shot being fired.”

18. The pivotal conflict between the euro and the dollar—a central behind-the-scenes aspect of the Iraq war—is at the core of the fiscal contest between Boeing and the EU-manufactured Airbus. (For more about Airbus and its connections to the CDU funding scandal and Karl-Heinz Schreiber, see FTR#194.) It is important to note that the 9/11 attacks had a huge, negative impact on the airline industry and (consequently) on Boeing’s aircraft manufacturing business. Bear in mind the German associates of Mohammed Atta.

“The owners of Airbus, the pan-European aircraft maker, are seeking to persuade their main US aerospace rival Boeing to adopt the euro as the benchmark currency for the traditionally dollar-based commercial aircraft market. The call from Philippe Camus, co-chief executive of the Franco-German European Aeronautic Defense and Space company (EADS), reflects the cost disadvantage that Airbus currently suffers following the sustained depreciation of the dollar against the euro. ‘Currencies are a factor of competition and we want to force Boeing to adopt our currency structure,’ said Mr. Camus in his first interview since the death earlier this month of Jean-Luc Lagardere, the EADS co-chairman.”

(“Europeans Try to Pull Boeing into Euro” by Paul Betts and Martin Arnold; Financial Times; 3/25/2003; p. 20.)

19.
“However, Mr. Camus’ call also has a symbolic edge, reflecting the recent change in the balance of power in the civil aircraft market. Airbus—of which EADS owns 80 percent—last year claimed 54 per cent of new orders for large aircraft by units and dollar value, with Boeing taking the rest. . . . A similar shift in base currencies was proposed a year and a half ago by some oil producing countries including Iran, Libya and Russia, which suggested that oil prices should be expressed in euros. Before the outbreak of war, Iraq was already pricing its oil in euros. . . . A US oil industry analyst yesterday suggested that there would only be a case for the euro to become the reference currency for oil if it unseated the US dollar to become the strongest currency on a lasting basis.”
20. Again, the pressures of 9/11 have had a serious and negative effect on Boeing’s fortunes. In some of Mr. Emory’s conversations with Professor Wilhelm Stauffer in the early 1990s, Professor Stauffer detailed Lufthansa’s attempts at gaining control of the airline industry. Subsidized by the German government, Lufthansa may be in a position to gain from 9/11 and SARS. Airbus may be in a similar position. There is substantive information connecting 9/11 with the Underground Reich. Is it possible that SARS may be an application of Von Clausewitz’s concept of Total War to biological warfare and economics? Pecunia nervus belli.
“Boeing faces a critical choice between spending boldly to develop a new jet and hunkering down to play defense during the airline industry’s worst downturn ever. Two of the most powerful members of the company’s 11-person board are said to be raising cost concerns about the 7E7, as they press Boeing to improve its earnings and stock price—even if that means sacrificing cutting-edge engineering . . .”
(“Boeing, Losing Ground to Airbus, Faces Key Choice” by J. Lynn Lunsford; The Wall Street Journal; 4/21/2003; p. A1.)

21.

“ . . . The case for Boeing hedging its bets has appeal during a historic commercial-aviation slump. But it implies a willingness to cede market share to the industry’s only other titan, Europe’s Airbus. And the strategy strongly resembles the one McDonnell Douglas employed as it sank to also-ran status in the 1990’s.”

22. As one observes the maneuvering on the international and economic stages, bear in mind the complex CDU funding scandal that linked the French Elf oil company with a complex series of transactions involving the Thyssen firm, Saudi Arabia, the Leuna refinery in East Germany. Airbus and the mysterious Karl-Heinz Schreiber are at the core of this scandal. The German domination of corporate France is another factor to consider in the context of the maneuvering around the Iraq war.

“This could yet throw light on kickbacks paid by Elf over a deal between Mr. Mitterand and German ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl to invest in the Leuna refinery in East Germany—an affair which helped bring Mr. Kohl down.”

(“French Trial Paints a Picture of Graft on a Grandiose Scale” by Robert Graham; Financial Times; 4/22/2003; p. 14.)

23. Next, the program discusses the impact of SARS on the air travel business. Will this portend well for Airbus and poorly for Boeing?

“Two of Asia’s biggest air carriers, Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines, announced deep cutbacks on Friday because passengers have been scared off by a virulent respiratory disease in the region. Cathay Pacific said that it would operate 37 percent fewer flights than it had previously planned. Singapore Airlines said it would cut 19.7 percent of its flights. Both airlines said their reductions in service would last through the end of May. The figures include the more modest reductions in service announced in the past two weeks.”

(“Two Asian Airlines Cut Back Because of SARS Impact” by Keith Bradsher [New York Times]; San Jose Mercury News; 4/12/2003; p. 2C.)

24. SARS appears to be caused by an entirely new corona virus. Is it possible that this disease was deliberately produced?

“ . . . Canadian researchers said the genome appears to be that of a ‘completely new’ coronavirus unrelated to any known human or animal virus.”

(“Team Decodes SARS Virus” by Donald G. McNeil Jr. [New York Times]; 4/14/2003; p. A3.)

25. In the context of the advent of SARS, it is interesting (and possibly significant) that veterans of Project Coast were recently turned down in their attempts at transferring their inventory to the US. (For more about Project Coast and its connections to American personnel, see FTR#’s 225, 317, 324, 386.) Could the Project Coast alumni have had anything to do with SARS?

“Daan Goosen’s calling card to the FBI was a vial of bacteria he had freeze-dried and hidden inside a toothpaste tube for secret passage to the United States. From among hundreds of flasks in his Pretoria lab, the South African scientist picked a man-made strain that was sure to impress: a microbial Frankenstein that fused the genes of a common intestinal bug with DNA from the pathogen that causes the deadly illness gas gangrene. ‘This will show the Americans what we are capable of,’ Goosen said at the time.”

(“Vile Vials Live on in South Africa” by Joby Warrick and John Mintz [Washington Post]; San Francisco Chronicle; 4/20/2003; p. A16.)

26.
“On May 6, 2002, Goosen slipped the parcel to a retired CIA officer who couriered the microbes 8,000 miles for a drop-off with the FBI. If U.S. officials liked what they saw, Goosen said he was prepared to offer much more: an entire collection of pathogens developed by a secret South African bio-weapons research program Goosen once headed. Goosen’s extraordinary offer to the FBI, outlined in obtained documents and interviews with key participants, promised scores of additional vials containing the bacteria that cause anthrax, plague, salmonella and botulism, as well as antidotes for many of the diseases. Several strains had been genetically altered, a technique used by weapons scientists to make diseases harder to detect and defeat. All were to be delivered to the U.S. government for safekeeping and to help strengthen U.S. defenses against future terrorism attacks . . . ”
27.

“ . . . Participants in the failed deal differ on what happened and why. But they agree that the bacterial strains remain in private hands in South Africa, where they have continued to attract attention from individuals interested in acquiring them . . .”

28. In describing the efforts at moving the South African BW samples, Goosen makes reference to Project Coast veterans who had been using the inventory for private industrial projects. Dr. Larry Ford’s “Inner Confidence” suppository was one such project.

“ . . . South African officials claimed to have destroyed all of Project Coast’s biological materials in 1993. But Goosen says many scientists kept copies of organisms and documents to continue work on ‘dual-use’ projects with commercial as well as military applications. Goosen’s vaccine production lab ended up with hundreds of strains, at least half of which were from Project Coast . . .”

(Ibid.; p. A17.)

29. Note that a German and an apparent Arab were among those who sought access to Project Coast’s inventory.

“ . . . In the past nine months, the scientist has been offered money by a German treasure-hunter and a man claiming to be an Arab Sheikh. Goosen says he turned the offers down, but worries about future bioterrorism. ‘A small container of pathogens could kill a million people,’ he said.”

(Ibid.; p. A17.)

30. The broadcast concludes with discussion of the disturbing use of counter-terrorism to provide a disproportionately large amount of funding to the people of states that voted for George Bush. Mr. Emory notes that the “blue states” are basically the areas that are destroyed in the Nazi tract Serpent’s Walk. This subject will be taken up at greater length in FTR#409.

“ . . . What Mr. Chait doesn’t point out is the extent to which already inadequate antiterrorism spending has been focused on the parts of the country that need it least. I’ve written before about the myth of the heartland—roughly speaking, the ‘red states,’ which voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election, as opposed to the ‘blue states,’ which voted for Al Gore. The nation’s interior is supposedly a place of rugged individualists, unlike the spongers and whiners along the coasts. In reality, of course, rural states are heavily subsidized by urban states. New Jersey pays about $1.50 in federal taxes for every dollar it gets in return; Montana receives about $1.75 in federal spending for every dollar it pays in taxes.”

(“A Red-Blue Terror Alert” by Paul Krugman; The New York Times; 4/1/2003; p. 1;.)

31.

“Any sensible program of spending on homeland security would at least partly redress this balance. The most natural targets for terrorism lie in or near great metropolitan areas; surely protecting those areas is the highest priority, right? Apparently not. Even in the first months after Sept. 11, Republican lawmakers made it clear that they would not support any major effort to rebuild or even secure New York. And now that anti-urban prejudice has taken statistical form; under the formula the Department of Homeland Security has adopted for handing out money, it spends 7 times as much protecting each resident of Wyoming as it does protecting each resident of New York.”

(Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #407 Pecunia Nervus Belli”

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vela_Incident

    The Vela Incident (sometimes referred to as the South Atlantic Flash) was an unidentified “double flash” of light that was detected by an American Vela Hotel satellite on September 22, 1979.
    Some specialists who examined the data speculated that the double flash, characteristic of a nuclear explosion, may have been the result of a nuclear weapons test: “The conclusions of the Presidential panel (the Ad Hoc Panel) were reassuring, as they suggested that the most likely explanation of the Vela detection was a meteoroid hitting the satellite — in part because of the discrepancy in bhangmeter readings. Others who examined the data, including Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the national laboratories, and defense contractors reached a very different conclusion — that the data supported the conclusion that on 22 September 1979, Vela 6911 had detected a nuclear detonation.”[1][2]

    [ … ]

    The “double flash” was detected on September 22, 1979, at 00:53 GMT, by the American Vela Hotel satellite 6911, which carried various sensors that had been designed specifically to detect nuclear explosions. In addition to being able to detect gamma rays, x-rays, and neutrons, the satellite also contained two silicon solid-state bhangmeter sensors that would be able to detect the dual light flashes associated with a nuclear explosion—to be specific the initial brief, intense flash, followed by the second longer flash.[2]
    The satellite reported the characteristic double flash of an atmospheric nuclear explosion of two to three kilotons, in the Indian Ocean between The Crozet Islands (a very small, sparsely inhabited French possession) and the Prince Edward Islands which belong to South Africa at 47°S 40°ECoordinates: 47°S 40°E.

    [ … ]

    In February 1994, Commodore Dieter Gerhardt, a convicted Soviet spy and the commander of South Africa’s Simon’s Town naval base at the time, talked about the incident upon his release from prison. He said:
    Although I was not directly involved in planning or carrying out the operation, I learned unofficially that the flash was produced by an Israeli-South African test, code-named Operation Phoenix. The explosion was clean and was not supposed to be detected. But they were not as smart as they thought, and the weather changed – so the Americans were able to pick it up.[29]

    April 20, 1997, the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz quoted the South African Deputy Foreign Minister, Aziz Pahad, as supposedly confirming that the “double flash” from over the Indian Ocean was indeed from a South African nuclear test. Haaretz also cited past reports that Israel had purchased 550 tons of uranium from South Africa for its own nuclear plant in Dimona. In exchange, Israel allegedly supplied South Africa with nuclear weapons design information and nuclear materials to increase the power of nuclear warheads.[30] This statement was confirmed by the United States Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa,[16][31] but Pahad’s press secretary stated that Pahad had said only that “there was a strong rumor that a test had taken place, and that it should be investigated”. In other words – he was merely repeating rumors that had been circulating for years.[32][33]

    In October 1999, a white paper that was published by the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee in opposition to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty stated:
    There remains uncertainty about whether the South Atlantic flash in September 1979 recorded by optical sensors on the U.S. Vela satellite was a nuclear detonation and, if so, to whom it belonged.[34]
    In his 2006 book On the Brink, the retired C.I.A. clandestine service officer, Tyler Drumheller, wrote of his 1983–88 tour-of-duty in South Africa:
    We had operational successes, most importantly regarding Pretoria’s nuclear capability. My sources collectively provided incontrovertible evidence that the apartheid government had in fact tested a nuclear bomb in the South Atlantic in 1979, and that they had developed a delivery system with assistance from the Israelis.

    Posted by R. Wilson | November 26, 2011, 7:16 pm
  2. @R. Wilson: I’ve heard of this as well. Why was this so heavily concealed, and if South Africa managed to build more nukes, where have they gone since the end of 1994? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

    Posted by Steven l. | November 27, 2011, 6:18 pm

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