.
P  R  E  S  S,   I  N  C  .

GLOBAL DEPRESSION
AND REGIONAL WARS
James Petras

ISBN: 0-932863-68-X  ISBN13: 978-0-932863-68-3
$16.95 / 234 pp. / 2009








see below for
SYNOPSIS    CONTENTS    AUTHOR  

    SYNOPSIS

    These extraordinary times--unprecedented in modern history--are marked by
    a worldwide depression and regional wars involving all the major imperial
    powers.
    This book exposes the roots of the crisis in the unsustainability of the United
    States' military-driven empire building based on a volatile speculative
    economy, and influenced by Zionist policy makers committed to the
    colonialist state of Israel. It offers a critical study of the collapse of the empire
    and a profound indictment of the respectable and prestigious personalities
    either responsible for the debacle, or for its continuance.

    Petras provides clear insight into how the ramifications of the world
    depression and regional wars that originated in Washington and on Wall
    Street are extending throughout the world, provoking popular challenges
    especially in Latin America, while reinforcing the belligerency and
    increasingly fascistic nature of the state of Israel. He demonstrates how
    unending wars and a deepening capitalist depression have demolished the
    ideology of free market neo-liberalism and forced to the forefront the need for
    structural changes. He points out how the collapse of the capitalist free
    market and the need for large-scale, long-term interventions by the state have
    once again raised the question of whose interests states are presently
    promoting, and whose interests in actuality they should serve.

    Both in the United States and Latin America, center-left regimes are
    proposing economic reforms to try to save the capitalist system. However the
    deepening crisis is raising the prospect of mass support for 21st Century
    socialism, which focuses on public investment, ownership and control.

    AUTHOR

    James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton
    University, New York. He is the author of 64 books published in 29 languages,
    and over 560 articles in professional journals, including the American
    Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, Journal of
    Contemporary Asia, and Journal of Peasant Studies.  He has published over
    2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the
    Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left
    Review, Partisan Review, Temps Moderne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his
    commentary is widely carried on the internet.   His publishers have included
    Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed
    Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Life Time Career Award, Marxist
    Section, of the American Sociology Association, the Robert Kenny Award for
    Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science
    Association in 1968. Some recent titles include  Unmasking Globalization:
    Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of
    Social Change in Latin America (2000), Unmasking Globalisation (2001),
    System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003),
    co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author) Multinationals on Trial
    (2006).  His most recent titles, The Power of Israel in the United States and
    Rulers and Ruled in the United States (Clarity Press, Inc. 2006), have been
    acquired for Japanese, German, Italian, Indonesian and Arabic editions. He has
    a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the
    Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a
    member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He
    writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, Le Jornada, and
    previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo.  He received his B.A. from Boston
    University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    PART I:  GLOBAL DEPRESSION

    1. FINANCIAL DEPRESSION AND WORLD CRISIS
    The Demise of the Economic Expert
    World Depression:  A Class Analysis
    From Over-Accumulation to the Dominance of Finance Capital
    Indicators of the Onset of Depression / 24
    Regional Impact of the Global Crisis / 26
    Latin America / 27
    Eastern Europe and the Ex-Communist Countries / 29
    Asia: The End of the Illusion of De-coupling and
    Autonomous Growth / 30
    The Middle East: Depression and Regional Wars / 31
    An Unprecedented Crisis / 32
    The Failure to Address the Structural Basis of the Crisis / 33
    What Is Needed for Recovery / 36
    The Basic Priority of Public Policy: A Better Life for All / 37
    Twentieth Century Lessons for 21st Century Socialists / 38

    2: BERNARD MADOFF: WALL STREET SWINDLER STRIKES
    POWERFUL BLOWS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE / 41
    An Introduction to the Mega-Swindle / 41
    The Big Swindle / 42
    The Positive Side of the Big Swindle (The Inadvertent Hand of
    Justice) / 43
    Conclusion / 46
    Postscript / 48

    3: THE ELECTION OF THE GREATEST CON-MAN IN RECENT
    HISTORY / 49
    The Self-Opiated Progressive Camp Followers / 51
    Obama’s Economic Con Game / 52
    The Two Faces of Obama / 53
    Obama, the Militarist, Outdoes His Predecessor / 54
    Conclusion / 56

    4: LESSONS FROM THE COLLAPSE OF WALL STREET / 58

    5: LATIN AMERICA: PERSPECTIVES FOR SOCIALISM IN A
    TIME OF WORLD CAPITALIST RECESSION/DEPRESSION / 63
    Specificities of the Current Recession/Depression / 63
    The Uniqueness of the ‘New Capitalism’ in the
    Contemporary World / 64
    US Recession/Depression: The Domestic Consequences / 66
    The World Recession Hits Latin America / 69
    The New Statism / 71
    No Reprieve in Sight
    The Recession’s Potential for the Left: Big Gains
    or Big Losses? / 73
    US-Latin American Relations: 1998-2008 / 74
    The Demise of US Dominance: The Popular Uprisings
    of 2000-2003 / 75
    The Period of Relative Autonomy: 2005-2008 / 76
    From Economic Boom to Bust: 2008 / 78
    Taking Stock of Present Conditions / 80
    Perspectives on Latin American Relations to the US Empire / 83
    The Impact of the Capitalist Crisis 2009 on US/Latin
    American Relations / 86
    Latin America: What Is To Be Done / 88

    6: OBAMA’S LATIN AMERICAN POLICY / 90
    The Export-Driven Model Breaks Down / 93
    G-20 Adopts Protectionism, Promotes Return of the IMF / 97
    Facing Up to De-Globalization—or Not / 98

    7: ADDRESSING ECONOMIC NEEDS VIA ELECTORAL PROCESSES:
    THE CASE OF VENEZUELA / 100
    Electoral Systems and Democracy:
    Substance and Structure / 100
    The Role of the Mass Media in Influencing Mass Politics / 101
    Navigating the Barriers to Change Through Democratic Process / 107
    The Transition to Democracy / 108
    Vital Steps Towards Deepening Venezuelan
    Democracy / 109
    Victories for Venezuelan Socialists in Crucial Elections:
    November 2008 / 110
    Democratic Socialism and the February 2009
    Vote on the Re-election Amendment / 111
    Continuing Obstacles to Democratization / 113
    Conclusion / 114

    PART II: REGIONAL WARS

    8: MASTERS OF DEFEAT:
    RETREATING EMPIRE AND BELLICOSE BLUSTER / 119
    The Geography of Imperial Failures / 121
    Iraq and Iran / 121
    Africa / 122
    South Asia / 123
    Caucasus / 124
    Israel and the Arabs / 125
    The Western Hemisphere
    Overseas Consequences of Failed Military Strategies 126
    Domestic Consequences of Failed Military Empire Building / 126
    Conclusion / 127

    9: THE OBAMA REGIME, THE ZIONIST POWER CONFIGURATION
    AND REGIONAL WARS / 129
    Obama Acquiesces to Major Israeli Positions / 130
    The Israeli Invasion of Gaza / 130
    Illegal Israeli Activities in Occupied Palestine / 131
    Israeli Condemnation of the World Conference
    Against Racism / 131
    The Appointment of Key Advisers and Policy
    Makers in the Middle East / 131
    The Charles Freeman Appointment / 132
    The Break-Up of the Syria/Iran Alliance / 135
    The Weakening and Destruction of Iran / 136
    Ignoring Iranian Concessions and Assistance / 136
    Punishing and Prohibiting Iranian Development of
    Nuclear Energy / 137
    A Wider Campaign Against Arabs, Muslims and Islam / 137
    Implementing an Illegal Claim to Jerusalem / 138
    Zionist Control of US Foreign Policy: Some Consequences / 139
    Now They’re Obama’s Israel-Firsters / 139

    10: ISRAEL SUPREMACY FROM GAZA TO TEHRAN:
    IMPERIAL OVERSTRETCH? / 144
    Gaza Blitz: Dress Rehearsal for an Assault on Iran? / 145
    Invisible Threats and Visible Impunity / 146
    Gaza: Testing the Subservience of the US Congress and
    the White House / 147
    Promoting Israel’s Big Lie / 148
    Israel’s Military Threat to Iran / 149
    Zionist Penetration of the Obama Administration / 151
    The Dennis Ross Roadmap for War on Iran / 156
    Possible External Constraints on Zionist-Israeli-US
    War on Iran / 158
    Conclusion / 162
    Addendum / 162

    11: THE POLITICS OF AN ISRAELI EXTERMINATION CAMPAIGN:
    BACKERS, APOLOGISTS AND ARMS SUPPLIERS / 165
    Overseas Allies: The Presidents of the Major American Jewish
    Organizations (PMAJO) / 176
    The ZPC and the Israeli War of Extermination in Gaza / 177
    Defending Israel’s War of Extermination / 178
    Favored Themes of the Israeli Big Lie / 179
    The Propaganda Role of Jewish Religious Organizations / 182
    Where is the Outcry? / 183
    What is to be Done / 185
    Appendix: The 51 Member Organizations of the Conference
    of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations / 188

    12: IRANIAN ELECTIONS: THE STOLEN ELECTION HOAX / 190
    The Electoral Fraud Hoax / 191

    13: THE NEW AGRO-INDUSTRIAL NEO-COLONIALISM:
    TWO, THREE, MANY MASS REVOLTS / 196
    Old and New Style Agro-Imperial Exploitation / 197
    Neo-Liberalism and the Rise of New Agro-Imperialism / 198
    Target Countries / 200
    Present and Future Consequences of Agro-Imperialism / 201

    14: REGIONAL WARS AND WESTERN PROGRESSIVE OPINION:
    COMMISSERATE WITH THE VICTIMS, CONDEMN THOSE
    WHO RESIST! / 205
    US Progressives and Third World Resistance Movements / 206

    15: OBAMA’S ANIMAL FARM:
    BIGGER, BLOODIER WARS EQUAL PEACE AND JUSTICE / 210

    16: OBAMA’S FOREIGN POLICY FAILURES / 215
    Failures of Stimulus Proposals at the April 2009
    G-20 Summit / 216
    Summit of the Americas: US Faces Isolation
    and Divergences / 217
    NATO Conference: Obama’s Military Escalation in Search
    of Allies / 220
    Iran: The Zionist Presence and Lost Opportunities / 221
    North Korea: The Unmasking of a Policy / 224
    Afghanistan-Pakistan: Extending Warfare and Destabilizing
    a Client / 225
    Israel-Palestine Policy / 226
    Consequences of Obama’s Failed Policies / 228

    INDEX / 231

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The UK Daily Telegraph listed Jim
Petras as
#59 most influential liberal
in the United States, ahead of
Noam Chomsky and Stephen Colbert.
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    Professor Petras talks about the
    disastrous effects of neoliberalism
    on Latin America, the forces
    which constrain it, and how the
    people and governments of that
    region are fighting back.

    On December 8 2010 The Club of Mexican Journalists awarded James
    Petras  its prestigious International Journalism Prize for Investigation and
    Analysis of the News within the global context.

    "Dr. James Petras is one of the greatest personalities of critical intellect of our time. His
    numerous books, which have been translated into many languages, and his opinion articles
    which are invariably defined by their rigor and decisive data, widely documented and
    placed within their social context, have turned this thinker into one of the most lucid and
    coherent minds of recent times. Naturally, this has earned Dr. Petras the resentment of
    those who feel affected by his tireless efforts. Nevertheless, countless readers all over the
    world seek the words of this thinker to defend themselves from propaganda that intends to
    make us sympathize with the single-minded thinking of neoliberalism."