United States will increase support for Syrian Terrorists

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 28, 2013

Hillary Clinton was very blunt when she appeared before Congress to talk about the Benghazi affair. She said the U.S. would continue causing war and conflict all over the world. Days after, during his confirmation, John Kerry, the current State Department Secretary seconded Clinton’s words and reaffirmed the American interest to maintain political and military control of the world as it stood up until that point.

Now, as a sworn U.S. secretary of state, John Kerry, confessed in Paris his desire to accelerate the “political transition” in Syria after two years of a conflict that has claimed more than 70,000 victims and hundreds of thousands of refugees. All indications are that the Obama administration plans to paint brush its policy toward Syria in a way that resembles a change in the way it has so far approached the civil war in the country. The new plan will be presented at a conference to be held in Rome with the Syrian opposition, who the U.S. and its European cohorts recognize as the governing body in Syria.

Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney, backed up Kerry’s announcement during his press conference yesterday at the White House by saying that Washington will increase assistance to the Syrian terrorists in an effort to achieve a society that leaves behind the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

On Sunday, John Kerry began his first official trip as Secretary of State in a tour that focuses on the Syrian conflict. He visited London, Berlin and Paris. Today he will be in Rome and then travel to Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar before returning to Washington.

Since the start of his journey, the head of U.S. diplomacy has made indirect references to a change of direction from the White House and announced that “we’re not going to Rome just to talk,” Kerry said in London on Monday.

In Berlin, the Secretary of State said the White House desires “a peaceful solution” in Syria, adding that that outcome is something that Assad refused to negotiate and that such refusal resulted in the killing of more civilians. Kerry does not say, though, that it is the aid provided by the U.S. and the rest of its partners in the region and Europe, which enables the Syrian terrorists to kill innocent civilians. Men, women and children are either murdered in cold blood, or get caught in the fight between the Assad regime and the revolutionaries.

The one-day meeting with the Syrian opposition occurred after the leader of the National Coalition opposition, Moaz Ahmed al-Khatib, accepted to attend the discussions which he had labeled as “the international silence before the crimes”. John Kerry has been very clear with the Assad regime about its future. The failed Democratic presidential candidate said that the Syrian president will not remain in office by firing “shots”.

“He needs to understand that there won’t be a solution if he continues to use force, so you have to convince him of that, and I think the opposition needs more help to be able to do it,” Kerry pointed out in a joint press conference with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

The Obama administration is planning to provide the rebels with armored vehicles and combat equipment –such as body armor–. For a while, Washington provided what it called “nonlethal” aid to the Syrian rebels. Last summer, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the former director of the CIA today David Petraeus and former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta proposed a plan to arm the rebels, which was rejected by the House White saying he preferred to continue building a strong political opposition. Later, the weapons made its way to the Syrian terrorists anyways.

In Syria, the so-called opposition has attacked the refusal of the U.S. and other Western countries to provide even more resources to attack the Assad government. This of course is a ploy, since the rebels have been properly armed directly by the U.S. and indirectly by American allies in the region.

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Brazil is getting hot. Too hot, too fast

If there is one thing proven beyond doubt during this crisis is that government interventionism in the free market is nefarious.  Developing countries are again and again the victims of globalist inspired management.  Argentina was one notorious case, Iceland and Greece have followed; and now Brazil, a fairly prosperous country in the last decade, is on the way to becoming another victim of artificial implosion.

Financial Times

Brazil’s central bank raised its policy interest rate by three quarters of a percentage point on Wednesday evening in another sign thatBrazil getting too hot the country’s breakneck pace of growth is causing concern over rising prices.

Brazil’s economy expanded by 2.7 per cent in the first quarter over the previous quarter and by 9 per cent over the first quarter of 2009, the national statistics office said on Tuesday. That is much faster than what many economists consider to be the potential, or non-inflationary, rate of about 4.5 to 5 per cent.

“This shows there has been no change in the bank’s position since its previous increase in April,” said Silvio Campos Neto of Banco Schahin in São Paulo. “It is clear from all the indicators that the economy is heating up and inflation is still above target. This is worrying and demands further increases in rates.”

The bank raised its target overnight Selic rate to 10.25 per cent a year, the second three-quarter-point increase at the last two six-weekly meetings of its monetary policy committee.

Consumer price inflation ballooned from a low of 4.17 per cent a year last October to 5.22 per cent in the 12 months to May. Many economists expect inflation to reach 6 per cent by the end of this year, well above the government’s target of 4.5 per cent. Economic growth is expected to be about 6.6 per cent this year.

Mr Campos said he expected the bank to raise the Selic rate to 11.75 per cent by the end of this year.

He said successive interest rate increases would help bring growth back to sustainable levels and predicted the economy would grow by about 4.3 per cent in 2011.

Brazil’s domestic market has recovered quickly from a brief recession during the global crisis, spurred on by a rising consumer class that has benefited from more than a decade of economic stability and low inflation, and from low-cost but effective income transfer programmes.

But the fast pace of growth has exposed bottlenecks such as the poor quality of Brazil’s infrastructure and its heavy tax burden. The rate of investment has risen in recent years but is still short of what is needed to deliver fast, sustainable growth.

Background: Fears of overheating

Brazil’s economy was among the fastest growing in the world during the first quarter, according to figures released on Tuesday that add to fears the economy is overheating and to expectations that the central bank will raise rates again on Wednesday.

The economy grew at a faster-than-expected annual rate of 9 per cent in the three months to March and by 2.7 per cent compared with the previous quarter, according to the IBGE, the national statistics office.

Part of the reason for the growth was an increase in investment, with the rate of investment rising to 18 per cent from 16.3 per cent a year earlier, spurred by gross fixed capital formation, which leapt by 26 per cent year on year, the fastest rate since the IBGE’s current series began in 1995.

“This confirms that the economy is very heated,” said Rafael Bacciotti, economist at Tendências, a consultancy in São Paulo. “The stand-out sectors were industry and services. Employment and wages are also growing strongly and we expect this to continue throughout the year.”

The manufacturing industry grew by 17.2 per cent year on year and the retail sector by 15.2 per cent. Imports also set a record, surging by 39.5 per cent year on year.

The central bank’s most recent weekly survey of market economists showed expectations of overall growth this year rising to 6.6 per cent, the 12th consecutive week of climbing expectations.

But many believe the economy cannot grow at more than 4.5 or 5 per cent a year without provoking an increase in inflation.

The central bank has been forced to act by steadily rising inflation expectations over recent months. Since October, Brazil’s consumer inflation rate has surged from an annual rate of 4.17 per cent to 5.26 per cent in April. However, the central bank’s most recent survey showed a slight drop in forecasts for inflation during 2010, with the average falling to 5.64 per cent from 5.67 per cent a week earlier.

Most economists expect the central bank to announce a second consecutive three-quarter percentage point rise in its policy interest rate, the Selic, at the end of its monetary policy committee’s regular two-day meeting tomorrow.

The committee meets every six weeks to decide whether to change the Selic rate in pursuit of the government’s annual consumer price inflation target, currently 4.5 per cent a year.

If expectations are confirmed, the Selic will rise to 10.25 per cent a year, up from 8.75 per cent when the current tightening cycle began in April.