Globalization/U.S. Decline Right on Schedule Courtesy Obama Backdown…Summer 2010 Projected Completion of Integration of NAFTA with EU to Counter BRIC/ASEAN Bloc

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

A couple of days ago I posted some thoughts on “Globalization in Pictures: Courtesy AT & T”.

Then I stumbled across an update of a something far more “under the radar” that I had found back in March of 2009. See below for the link to that post, specifically the section titled “Canada-EU Free Trade?”

The gist of that tidbit from March follows:

Friday I received the daily newsletter from Radio Canada International and once again there were squibs included that I couldn’t find at either the RCI site or when I searched around the CBC’s news area.

Read these with an eye to several posts that will be starting tomorrow, with American Lassies’s post entitled “THE PROPOSED NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY/NORTH AMERICAN UNION: 2010 Is Just Around the Corner.”

OTTAWA: CANADA, EU AGREE ON FREE-TRADE AGENDA

Canada and the European Union have agreed on a framework for negotiation of a free-trade accord after six months of discussions. Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day says the two parties will discuss goods and services, investment rules, intellectual property and free circulation of workers. The minister says Canada’s provinces will take part in the negotiations. Bilateral trade last year was worth $90 billion, an increase of seven per cent over 2007.

***

Well, guess what? Things have been moving along…and  include MORE than Canada and the EU.

From Fortune at money.cnn.com:

Plotting the biggest trade deal of the 21st century

Tax-free Champagne, anyone?

European and North American politicians are plotting the biggest trade deal of the 21st century: a $35 trillion, duty-free region encompassing the E.U., the U.S., Canada, and Mexico

by Erik Heinrich, contributor
Last Updated: October 29, 2009: 2:17 PM ET

TORONTO (Fortune) — Not even Franz Kafka could have dreamed this one up.

This past spring, prime ministers Stephen Harper of Canada and Mirek Topolanek of the Czech Republic met with European Union mandarins from Brussels. The setting was Prague’s medieval castle — made famous by Kafka in what is perhaps the darkest novel in his moody oeuvre — where they hatched a plan for the biggest free-trade deal of the 21st century.

How could a development of this magnitude result from a fairly routine conference between Canada and the EU? (At the time, the Czech Republic was responsible for the trading bloc’s presidency, which rotates between member states every six months.) The short answer is that after decades of spinning their wheels, Canada and the EU finally agreed to begin negotiating a free-trade agreement (FTA).

Immediately after declaring these talks as “hatching” the plans for “the biggest free-trade deal of the 21st century,” the reporter immediately shifts gears:

That’s far from a Bond-villain plot for world domination. But fast forward to last week in Ottawa, Canada, where the first round of Canada-EU negotiations reached a successful conclusion, with both sides optimistic that a deal can be signed as early as the summer of 2010.

Wow, I’m so relieved! No “plot for world domination” here!

But it all boils down to trying to save the neck of the U.S. apparently (my bolding):

When that happens, a push will begin for the ultimate goal behind the Prague agreement: a NAFTA-EU trade zone to counterbalance the growing economic power of Fortress Asia, and the ascendancy of the so-call BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) group of countries.

“The U.S. will lose its leadership position in trade unless it comes up with a new strategy,” says Steven Schrage, a specialist in international business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. “It makes sense to integrate NAFTA with the EU.”

Annual two-way trade between Canada and EU is about $100 billion, less than 20% of the total between Canada and the U.S. under NAFTA. But a trans-Atlantic NAFTA-EU trade zone would encompass nearly 1 billion people and account for $35.2 trillion in annual GDP, more than half the world’s total.

The article continues by noting that  China, India, and the 10 ASEAN nations (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) are “not standing still.” Our buddies at Goldman Sachs opine that “by 2050 the world’s three biggest economies will be China, the U.S. and India in that order, compared to the U.S., Japan and Germany today. That represents a clear shift away from the G7.”

A NAFTA-EU trade deal may get stiff opposition here in the U.S.  Why?

However with protectionist sentiment in the U.S. gaining momentum, helped in part by President Obama’s controversial Buy-American position, getting the world’s biggest economy to expand its free-trade frontier could be an uphill battle. At least for the near term.

But wait a minute…

Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic provided a transcript of Obama’s musings in his piece of February 3, 2009 titled  Obama Wants “Buy American” Out Of Stimulus Bill and you can find more stories on the “back down” below!

So, the Fortune report seems to have “forgotten” what went on in February.  Which begs the question–how “uphill” will be this “battle” to integrate NAFTA with the EU in the “near term”?

In my last post I listeda series of posts related to globalization and here’s the link to the post by American Lassie titled  THE PROPOSED NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY/NORTH AMERICAN UNION: 2010 Is Just Around the Corner (March 9, 2009) that was mentioned above.

So, do you think all this NAFTA-EU “conflict” will be settled sometime next year?

Well, silly me!  The Fortune article actually informs us that “both sides optimistic that a deal can be signed as early as the summer of 2010.”

DUH!

Everything right on schedule!!!

***

Related Post on Canada-EU Free Trade from March 2009:

The Past Week: March 1-7, 2009 (More on Sinclair Lewis; Canada-EU Free Trade?; China Eyeing the Big Three Automakers’ “Juicy Bits”?; Palin’s “Troopergate” Foe Winds Up In Obama Administration)

Related Posts from February 2009 on Obama’s backdown on “Buy America”:

President Obama to water down ‘Buy American’ plan after EU trade war threat (The Times, UK)

Obama backs down over ‘Buy America’ after EU warns him not to start a global trade war (Daily Mail, UK)

Don’t worry about ‘Buy American’: Obama (Rediff India Abroad)

Flattering Parade Magazine Spread on Hillary Clinton Let’s a Few Tidbits Drop About Her Situation

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Yesterday morning (Sunday, October 25) I opened the paper to find Parade magazine’s cover graced with a photo of a smiling Hillary Clinton. Reason? A 2-plus page spread entitled “A Day with Madam Secretary.”

Hillary Clinton on the cover of Parade magazine 10/25/09

Hillary Clinton on the cover of Parade magazine 10/25/09

The timing piqued my interest because just on Friday I had caught a discussion of Clinton on The McLaughlin Group.  Host John McLaughlin had outlined several successful Clinton initiatives that had been completed during the past week and wanted to discuss how important it all was…with a twist.  There have been rumors flying around about how Hillary is planning a 2012 run and how both Clintons are seething over what happened in 2008. While Pat Buchanan, Mort Zuckerman, and Eleanor Clift poo-pooed the idea, Monica Crowley held firm.

Zuckerman and Buchanan basically said that Hillary’s work wasn’t really “big” enough to get all that excited over and Clift brought up how, no matter how popular Teddy Kennedy was, he couldn’t derail the renomination of Jimmy Carter.  But Crowley, was sticking to chatter that she’s been hearing for awhile…that Hillary will resign over a foreign policy issue and launch another Presidential bid.  She won’t wait for 2016, either, when Crowley says she would be too old. No, the bid will come in 2012.

Take a look at the Parade piece. The piece is the work of Les Gelb, described this way:

Leslie H. Gelb is president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served in senior positions in the Departments of State and Defense. He is the author of the book “Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy.”

What’s omitted from this bio is the fact was a long-time foreign policy writer for the New York Times. Just for the record…

The article is positively glowing, but there a few tidbits which raise one’s “suspicions”…


September 16
8:30 a.m. Daily Small Staff Meeting

The Secretary and six of her closest aides, including Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Deputy Chief Huma Abedin, both of whom worked on her Presidential campaign, review the day’s schedule, looking for trouble and opportunities. They meet in Clinton’s small, personal office just behind her larger, formal quarters. Practically every day begins this way. They touch on various explosive international hot spots: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, North Korea. Though they don’t talk about it, they seem ever aware of President Barack Obama’s iron-handed control of decisions. One worry today: the President’s decision to cancel the U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe—a move bound to displease Poles, Czechs, and Republicans.

8:45 a.m. Daily Senior Staff Meeting

snip

Whatever subject comes up, Clinton calls on her practical instinct: “ We’ve got to do a better job explaining to people around the world what we’re doing.”

She manages to get to the White House to meet with Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada at 11:05; no report on the meeting which is off-limits to Gelb, then is back at State by 12:10 PM for ceremony for Senegalese diplomats.

During their lunch break, Gelb brings up the topic of a resignation directly:

1 p.m. Lunch With Leslie Gelb
We eat in the courtyard adjoining the State Department’s first-floor employee cafeteria. Diners gape as Clinton goes through the line, although she does this—most unusually for the nation’s top diplomat—nearly once a month. Many burst into applause.

We sit at a table away from the crowd. Clinton has a hard edge to her foreign-policy views and generally positions herself to the right of her colleagues in national security. Yet she staunchly defends President Obama and his prerogatives. While she’s “not satisfied that we’re executing as we should” in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere, she nonetheless argues for continuing “present directions” in most areas. When I question whether the U.S. really has vital interests in Afghanistan, she shoots back that if we simply leave and allow the Taliban to return, al-Qaeda “would come right back, and we’d be worse off in Pakistan.” She continues: “Despite how hard Afghanistan is, we have to make progress. And what we do and what happens in Afghanistan will affect Pakistan.” Regarding Iran, she says, “We can’t choose negotiating partners in countries like Iran. So we’ve got to look for ways to change the perceptions of those we have to negotiate with.”

And what of the rumors, I venture, that she’s unhappy and may step down to run for governor of New York or her old Senate seat? She guffaws. “What nonsense! I love this job and working for President Obama and trying to do something about the critical problems we face in the world—and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Odd though, that Gelb should ostensibly limit the discussion to being governor of NY or running for the Senate again.  Why even bring these rumors up if they’re just rumors that most people don’t even care about?

Right after lunch, there’s this brief report:

2:15 p.m. U.S.-India Strategy Dialogue
Some 60 Executive Branch officials assemble to discuss strategy toward India—one of the new major powers in the world. Clinton stays briefly to bless the effort.

Seems like there’s really no need for Clinton to “bless” any effort when there are 60 EXECUTIVE BRANCH officials all gathered together, right?  Doesn’t Hillary have a role in this at all?

Winding up the day with a 7:30 PM policy dinner on Iran with some 30 experts from inside and outside the government, Gelb makes these final comments:

I scurry to catch the last flight back to New York. The Secretary, with her unfailing smile, repairs to her office for more calls and reading. It’s hard to read the mind of someone frozen in the public spotlight like Hillary Clinton. She has to be perpetually onstage. But what I think I glimpse beneath the unflagging smile and constant concentration is a very tired person—tense, frustrated, but absolutely determined to make her tenure as Secretary of State a success and to accomplish important things.

While this spread in Parade is flattering, one gets the sense of  how tightly Hillary is controlled by the White House and how she may be getting squelched on larger issues.

Frankly, I view Hillary Clinton as being the “finger in the dike” for U.S. foreign policy at this point.  Obama’s bowed to the Saudi leader. He’s squandered our prestige over a failed Olympic bid for Chicago, and he’s dithering on Afghanistan. (Note: France announced on October 15, 2009 it won’t be sending any more troops to Afghanistan). China may be drilling for oil in U.S. waters.  And let’s not forget to mention Obama’s prior rebuffed peace offerings toward Iran.   Hillary talks tougher than Obama does, but, unfortunately, she’s not the one in charge.

Meanwhile, some of our allies are less than pleased about Obama. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, for example, thinks Obama is “incredibly naive and grossly egotistical.”  After Obama’s speech to the U.N. Security Council in late September (spun nicely here by the New York Times), Jack Kelly appeared on Greta Van Susteren’s show, but here’s link to the full piece he wrote on the subject entitled “Sarkozy’s Contempt for Obama”  (anonymous sources, unfortunately).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

While most world leaders dutifully praised the Nobel Prize awarded to Obama, the many were unimpressed. And there is some fraying around the edges lately, from both the right and the left. See and Obama the Impotent in the Guardian and Analysis: Why Everyone Is Saying No to Obama in the Jerusalem Post.  Obama is viewed as weak, no doubt about it.

I can’t imagine how Hillary Clinton keeps chugging along in this Administration and can fully understand her “frustration.” As for her desire to accomplish important things, she’s pushing against some forces that really don’t want her to get credit for anything “important.”  Heck, when you are up against 60 Executive Branch officials at a meeting on India and you don’t stay very long, what does that say about your position??

Whether Hillary Clinton is planning to take on Obama in the primaries for 2012 or not, there may just come a point where she really DOES decide to resign rather than to have her reputation ruined if Obama does something really stupid.  We’ll have to see, won’t we?

***

Earlier Related Posts:

The Complicated Diplomatic Life of Hillary Clinton (UPDATE 1X: Clinton on the Defensive in Congo over Bill’s “Presence”; UPDATE 2X: Bill Off the Leash?; UPDATE 3X: Video of Clinton Congo Outburst, Glenn Beck Comments) (August 10, 2009)

Hillary Clinton At It Again in Africa…This Time, Talking about Elections…(August 13, 2009)

As China (And Other Countries, Too) Makes Non-dollar Trade Deals Around the World, Maybe Americans Should Seek Safety in the Reincarnation Bank

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Over at Investment Watch, a fine blog about the economy, this recent piece summarizes very nicely the forces working against the value of the U.S. dollar, notably the recent actions by China and other countries. The list of countries doing non-dollar deals is growing.

China is making non-dollar trade deals around the world. Other nations too..

Argentina and Brazil have reached a non-dollar deal and 4 other S.A. nations will join in non-dollar trade.

China has reached a non-dollar deal with both of those nations, 4 or 5 other nations and is working on one with Malaysia. Other Asian nations are reaching their own non-dollar trade deals.

All of this reduces the number of dollars they need to get rid of. They are also buying with dollars, copper, iron, oil mines, lending dollars to help nations develop new resource finds on the condition that China gets the resource at market prices.

At the same time, IMF bonds are being bought instead of U.S. bonds.  China, Russia, Brazil and India are involved:

China, Russia, Brazil, and India are buying IMF bonds instead of U.S. bonds in small quantities with China making the largest purchase of about 50 billion but, that is still $50 billion they can’t lend us then.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates is contemplating a new oil currency.

The author comments that:

The biggest problem China has is that there isn’t enough money in the world to lend the U.S for what it wants to spend. That means the dollar will go down whether China wants it to or not and they know it. That is why they are trying to spend as much as they can without dropping the dollar faster.

Also, recall that Iran has already given up the dollar for its oil deals. Iran’s international news network, PressTV, reported in December 2007 that Iran had dropped the dollar:

Iran has halted all its oil deals in dollars following the recent OPEC proposal to trade crude in non-dollar currencies.

“The dollar is no longer a reliable currency, considering its devaluation and the resulting loss suffered by oil exporters,” said Iranian Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari.

The post at Investment Watch goes on to discuss the the ramifications of devaluation and possible collapse of the dollar.

So, what’s the average American supposed to do?

Well, since the current financial system is a mess, maybe we should look to the future. Ever hear of the ReincarnationBank?

According to the bank’s website, ReincarnationBank offers “a safe and secure management system for its clients – a place they can leave behind their assets and commodities for their return into the next life.”

How will they know it’s YOU when you come back and want your money?

As in this life, in the next you will have memories of previous lives. One of these recollections will be of your arrangement with Reincarnation Bank. Whatever version of the internet or data retrieval mechanisms in use at the time of your return, you will renew your contact with Reincarnation Bank and through regression you will recall the details/instructions that you left at the time of making your deposit. A custodian of Reincarnation Bank will open your letter privately in your presence and will ask you to repeat the details contained therein (whilst in regression). Once this has been satisfactorily achieved, funds/property will be handed back to you and the account closed.

Of course, in some ways the bank is similar to banks operating in the present:

An indication of interest rates cannot be given at this stage because we cannot forecast how long we will be away. But $1000 or $10,000 invested now will have an added value upon our return.

MMM…

Heck,I have enough trouble remembering my PIN now…I don’t know if I’ll remember it if I’ve been spending some time as a gerbil…

What if my memory fails me during regression and I forget my former name?? I lose all my cash?

Well, with the way the present-day financial system is operating, maybe I should take a closer look anyway…and learn some tricks to improve my memory!

***

RELATED POSTS

HEADS UP! It’s HERE! The New World Currency Design, Presented to the G-8 Delegations (With Pics)

Money Matters: “Banker to the Poor” In Impoverished Countries Now Lending in U.S.; “Money Goddess” Advises Obama Administration; IMF Bonds Update

Russia-China Proposals; “Rebalancing” Global Currency Reserves: Why the U.S. Can’t Take Anything for Granted Re: the Dollar

The Scanner–International Edition, March 24, 2009: Say Goodbye to the Dollar? China, Russia Proposing a New World Currency for “Non-Credit” Based Economies, Echo G-20 Agenda of Expanding IMF; China Will “Consider” Buying IMF Bonds; 10th China Develpment Forum Underway (UPDATE 1X–Geithner Supports China Proposal??)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the North American Union: A Layman’s Overview of the Coming New World Order

~~By Grail Guardian

As a follow-up to American Lassie’s excellent article last week I have expanded on a comment I made. As I stated then, I had just listened to a Blog Talk Radio show that had our good friend Diamond Tiger (from Logistics Monster) as the featured guest; use the link to the archive in the post. It’s well worth the listen! I also strongly recommend you check out this piece linking to clips from the movie Zeitgeist for an overview of the ties between today’s political climate and the events of the past. (Wikipedia notes that the term “Zeitgeist” refers to the ethos of an identified group of people that expresses a prevalent world view at a particular period of socio-cultural progression.) But one of the most important points Diamond brought out in the interview is that Barack Obama was chosen (and one could even argue created) by TPTB (The Powers That Be) as a distraction. We spend so much time focusing on his being a usurper and his buffoonery that we don’t watch what’s happening “over here”. She is 100% right, and I applaud her along with everyone at InsightAnalytical for not falling for the distraction. This excellent research is exactly what TPTB are hoping no one does.

I am convinced that Citibank is a huge player in this, and I was struck by their volte face last week (going from being nationalized to turning a profit in just about 2 weeks). Following the money will show just how much fiat currency is mixing and mingling between the 3 members of the proposed North American Union, and I predict that you will continue to see Citi mentioned in small bits buried in obscure places. Of course, Citibank (aka Citigroup, or just plain Citi) is the current rendition of National City Bank of New York (one of the early players in the Federal Reserve System originally run by protégés of John Jacob Astor), so we’re back to the same group of bankers doing the same thing they always do: pushing for global domination in an indirect way.

The plan is to take everything over quietly while they distract us with the Obama show, and by the time we realize what’s happened,  it will be too late. Our banks will be owned by Canada; our real estate will be owned by China; our jobs will be owned by Mexico, India, and Indonesia; and our souls will be owned by the central banks. We will have glass tracking chips implanted under our skin in the name of “National Security”; we will have video cameras recording every moment of every day in public and in private (think about the more than 10,000 public cameras located throughout London;  not to mention the way that webcams are now being built into every new laptop PC and will soon be standard equipment);  each mouse click or keystroke on our computers will be tracked by software that’s been perfected over the past few years disguised as viruses and spyware,;  our mileage will be monitored and regulated electronically via GPS systems built into our vehicles (why else would the government buy the automakers?);  our guns and ammunition will be monitored and eventually the attempt will be made to take them away (although I am convinced that this will fail and likely be their downfall–America will not give up her firearms or Second Amendment rights); and how many Americans will be caught playing with their Obama “Yes, we can” messages on cell phones and Ipods when the civilian police force comes knocking at our doors?

The real message to remember here is one I must again attribute to Diamond Tiger (and of course the late, great Douglas Adams):

Don’t Panic. clip_image001

[For those of you unfamiliar with this classic, I highly recommend listening to the original BBC radio version in a darkened room with surround sound!] at:

http://www.sadena.com/BBC-Radio/H2G2/

That’s what will set us apart from the masses, and if we spread the word far and well enough, it might be what averts the pending disaster TPTB have planned for us. So in the style of H2H2, just remember a few basic points:

1. Nothing is what it appears to be. If something draws your attention left, look to the right for the real story.

2. “Zaphod Beeblebrox” Obama is just the dancing hot dog that’s there to entertain and divert you until the real show starts.

3. Don’t believe the media about how bad things are. They’ve been lying to us for years; why would they stop now?

4. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Be sure you and your family are prepared for whatever might happen. And don’t forget to bring a towel.*

5. You are not alone. No matter how much the Oborg tries to convince us otherwise, there are way more than a dozen PUMAs that are worried about America’s future. Hell, there are way more than a dozen countries that are worried about America’s future!

6. We are Americans. We will come through this, one way or another. That’s what we do.

***

*From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”