Summary: The news media usually report accurately, more or less. Often they prefer to act as stenographers for governments and corporations. Sometimes the logical thread linking events — the narrative — is obscure, hidden in the noise. Today we look at three examples of hidden history.
The world is not always as we’re told it is. Here are three of today’s major stories, where the true narrative remains hidden — and we attempt to guess at the truth.
- The recovery in America
- The war against Iran
- Germany fighting to preserve the eurozone
(1) The recovery in America
- Public debt outstanding as of 31 December 2010: $ 9,390,476,088,043
- Public debt outstanding as of 31 December 2012: $10,447,662,851,807
- Cost of the recovery: $1,057 billion.
- The increase in GDP bought by that fiscal stimulus: $561.2 billion
That does not mean the stimulus was wasted. Imagine the recession that a balanced budget would have produced. It does mean that cheering about a recovery is delusional; describing this as a “sustainable recovery” is doubly so.
Note: the public debt does not include treasury bonds bought by the social security trust funds, which are loans from the US government to the US government.
For more about this see About the January jobs report – mildly good news, but bought at great cost.
(2) The war against Iran
We can only guess at the plans of government leaders. That’s understandable operational secrecy, not a conspiracy. So what plan drives the intense propaganda drive demonizing Iran? If Israel plans to attack, they’ve forfeited any hope of surprise. Logic and history are our only guides.
One explanation: if Iran does not abandon its atomic program, Israel plans to attack. They lack the ability to inflict crippling damage, but hope that Iran will retaliate — and that this provides a pretext for a devastating US attack on Iran. We’ve destroyed Iraq’s military. Destroying Iran’s military infrastructure leaves Israel and the US as the dominant military powers in the Middle East. Israel could continue to expand into the
East West Bank without fear.
Update: “US officials believe Iran sanctions will fail, making military action likely“, The Guardian, 17 February 2012:
- Growing view that strike, by Israel or US, will happen
- ‘Sweet spot’ for Israeli action identified as September-October
For more about these events see the FM Reference Page Iran – will the US or Israel attack Iran? Of special relevance is yesterday’s post Israel leads America on a march to war. A march to folly.
(3) Germany fighting to preserve the eurozone
Germany has benefited greatly from the eurozone. The eurozone boosted German exports not just to southern europe but the world — avoiding the strong currency which hobbles Switzerland and Japan. So it’s commonly assumed that German’s leaders’ sincerely wish to stabilize Greece so that it remains in the Eurozone, and that their erratic demands and insults to Greece reflect mistrust and the need to conciliate skeptics among the German public.
There is an another explanation. They may believe the many experts whose analysis show that Greece cannot be saved within the confines of the eurozone. Too much debt, austerity depressing its economy, depression destabilizing its political and social structures. Only default and currency depreciation can allow economic depression to restore a new equilibrium.
Why then the playacting? It’s not enough for a politician to have the right answer. Western audiences demand a morality play. Greece must leave the eurozone, so that the consequences are their fault. Hence the every increasingly demands, the Greek economy put on the rack.
Update: “Germany drawing up plans for Greece to leave the euro“, The Telegraph, 18 February 2012 — “Plans for Greece to default, potentially leaving the euro, have been drafted in Germany as the European Union begins to face up to the fact that Greek debt is spiralling out of control – with or without a second bailout.”
For more about this great saga see the posts tagged Europe.