Tuesday 28th of May 2024

the Irish apple power of the devious empire....

IRELAND has sadly evolved into a Tax Haven for U.S. Corporations while aligning itself more and more with a failing empire

“‘I’m at home,’ [Biden] told the Irish Parliament to thunderous applause. ‘I only wish I could stay longer.’”[1]

The U.S. President, Joe Biden, visited Ireland at the start of April. In the midst of great power competition, why did he visit such a powerless place? When existential questions are being asked of the U.S. empire, why waste time in Ireland? In the context of war in Europe and possible war in Asia, what’s the purpose of Ireland for U.S. hegemony?

 

BY Aidan O’Brien

 

[GUSNOTE: OF ALL THE COUNTRIES ON PLANET EARTH, IRELAND SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE PLIGHT OF THE DONBASS REGION WANTING TO QUIT THE KIEV NAZIS AND BECOME EITHER INDEPENDENT OR JOIN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION FOR PROTECTION... BUT NO... THE IRISH HAVE BECOME THE FIERCE SUPPORTERS OF THEIR NEMESIS: THE ANGLO/SAXON FASCISTS THAT MADE THE IRISH LIFE A MISERY FOR CENTURY — TO THE POINT OF INDUCING THE "POTATO FAMINE" ACCORDING TO SOME HISTORIANS...]

 

Ireland is an ambiguous place, a contradiction, maybe even schizophrenic. Its a divided country; the north is an old fashioned British colony, whereas the south is nominally independent. Its home to about 7 million people.

Ireland is a European island but its traumatic history cuts it off from Europe. Historically it has more in common with west Africa than with west Europe. The Irish experience matches the Native American experience rather than the European experience. In short, Britain depopulated the place and gutted its culture. So much so that it is surprising that Ireland still exists.

However in a time of proxy wars Ireland’s ambiguity can be useful to a global hegemon; it has a place on the grand chessboard. Being partly a colony and partly a sovereign state means that Ireland, in the hands of a world power, is ripe for manipulation and subterfuge. It is ready made for cover stories, fig leaves, coalitions of the willing, canon fodder and corporate shells. Ireland is ready made for America’s global system.

 

Ireland as Tax Haven 

Joe Biden’s former boss, Barack Obama, pinpointed Ireland’s place within the American system when, in 2013, he openly called it a tax haven.[2] If making money for corporate America is the raison d’etre of the U.S. Empire, then the Irish ruling class is a bespoke part of this global racket. 

The proof is in the words that have been used to describe Irish economics in recent years: “Leprechaun economics,” “double Irish,” “wild west” and “green jersey.” The fantastical and sinister sides of the Irish economy are well known to economic commentators. 

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman came up with the phrase “leprechaun economics” in 2016, after noting the unbelievable quality of Ireland’s statistics: In that year Ireland’s economy apparently grew by 26%, thanks to the financial shenanigans of corporate America in Dublin.[3]

In 2005, in a report on fraud in the global insurance industry, The New York Times labeled Dublin “the Wild West of European finance.”[4] Little regulation and little tax, to suit the needs of corporate America and its allies, summed up the meaning of Irish independence. And the infamous collapse of the Irish banking system in 2008 did not alter the crass nature of this economic structure.[5]

The pro-American purpose of this “independent” Irish structure was captured by The Guardian in 2015:

Ireland has benefited from $277bn (£182bn) of U.S. direct foreign investment in the past two decades—gaining more from American firms than Brazil, Russia, India and China combined.

In 2023, according to the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland, there are 950 U.S. companies in “independent” Ireland—employing, directly and indirectly, 376,000 of the workforce (well over 10% of the local labor force).

However, the real power of American business in Dublin is reflected in the names of the U.S. companies that have substantial interests there: Apple, Intel, Google, Meta, Amazon, Boston Scientific, Pfizer, Dell, Johnson and Johnson—in short, the cutting edge of corporate America has cut deep into Irish “independence.”[6] 

Dublin’s dependence on these U.S. giants is at the point where “In 2022, just ten [American companies] accounted for three fifths of all corporation tax receipts.”[7]

This concentration of U.S. wealth and power in Dublin is the hidden hand ruling the Irish elite. This relationship is not just the familiar story of comprador capitalism; it is the familiar story of Ireland itself: For centuries, it has been a land cursed by middlemen acting on behalf of a foreign power.[8]

Dublin’s 12.5% corporate tax rate (by far the lowest within the European Union) is the latest manifestation of “middleman economics” or “gombeen man economics”—that uniquely crude Irish way of doing business—a byproduct of the colonized Irish mind.

With zero regard for national and international justice, the Irish elite stubbornly serve their own grubby interests and the interests of foreign capital, in particular U.S. capital.[9]

The best example of this shamelessly immoral way of doing things in “independent Ireland” is the deal Dublin made with Apple, America’s technology leader and one of the biggest companies in the world. As Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek economist, explains:

“In 1980, a young Steve Jobs visited an Ireland eager to escape underdevelopment. Apple eventually created 6,000 jobs in the country, in exchange for a sweetheart tax deal allowing it to shield its European revenues from taxation by recording them there. To this day, the proceeds of every iPhone sold in Paris or in Stockholm (net of its Chinese assemblers’ production costs) go to Apple’s Irish subsidiary Apple Sales International. As a result of the original Apple-Ireland deal, ASI pays a miniscule tax on these earnings, effectively exempt from the ultra-low 12.5% corporate-tax rate.”[10]

Dublin’s obsequiousness toward Apple was exposed, for all to see, in 2016, after the European Commission (the executive branch of the European Union) judged that the Apple-Ireland deal was an illegal form of “state aid.” And in an attempt to reverse this gigantic tax dodge, the Commission ordered Apple to give €13 billion to the Irish government. 

In response, Dublin brazenly defied Europe and defended Apple. It openly mocked the idea of taxing Corporate America. It rejected the €13 billion and by doing so rejected the public services and public property €13 billion could buy. In Irish eyes, it was a case of Corporate America über alles.[11]

Ireland as Emotional Touchstone 

The U.S. President’s visit to Ireland wasn’t just an endorsement of Apple’s favorite tax haven and a plug for an imperialist peace process. It was also pressing emotional buttons back in Washington DC. When American hegemony is declining rapidly around the world – Ireland is a safe bet for “America worship.”

The familial links between America and Ireland are legendary. Tens of millions of Americans claim Irish ancestry and so “the Irish” are a fundamental part of the American body politic. Indeed, Irish Americans have penetrated every part of the U.S. establishment; they embrace not just the police but the Pentagon, not just the White House but white supremacy.[12]

The exemplary Irish American zealot today is Samantha Power, the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, a devious part of the U.S. Empire, which has traditionally functioned as a cover for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 

Power became famous for writing a book that argued that America needed to intervene more militarily in Third World countries to stop genocide; and she was a central figure promoting the war in Libya in the Obama administration which devastated Libya and was based on lies just like the Iraq War.

For Power, Ireland is an emotional homeland, a safe haven, especially in a time of existential crisis.[13]

When a U.S. president visits Dublin, he is not just looking for votes in America, he is also in search of imperial solace. On the global stage Ireland is a refuge for America’s hard-core imperialists; for these, Irish blood is different to the blood of Asians, Africans and Latin Americans. 

It is no coincidence then that U.S. presidents have clung to Ireland, as if it were a lifebelt, since the 1960s: the decade that witnessed the beginning of the end of the U.S. Empire. When Cuba and Vietnam started to drain the credibility and vitality of America, U.S. presidents started to run to Ireland for emotional cover. 

JFK initiated the trend. His iconic trip to Ireland in 1963 set the stage for subsequent presidential visits. He returned “home” in between the Cuban Missile Crisis and his own assassination.

After Kennedy, Richard Nixon came “home” to Ireland in 1970, then Ronald Reagan in 1984 (Vice President Bush visited in 1983), then Bill Clinton in 1995, 1998 and 2000, then George W. Bush in 2003 and 2004, then Barack Obama in 2011, then Donald Trump in 2019 and now Joe Biden in 2023. These are the leaders of an imperialism the world has never witnessed before.[14]

Since the 1960s, for the sake of empire, these U.S. presidents have initiated bloodbaths throughout the world.

A list of the countries these “Irish Americans” have mercilessly destroyed include: Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. Another list of countries that have been systematically starved by “Irish America” include: Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Iran.

And yet another list of countries that have suffered the genocidal free-market economic policies of “Irish America” (the Washington Consensus) would have to include all of the Third World or Global South.[15]

Such is the international mayhem caused by the above mentioned U.S. presidents. However, Ireland has unreservedly embraced each one of them on Irish soil. It has supplied invaluable solace to these “emperors.” Indeed Ireland’s hero worship of U.S. presidents is on show every year in Washington, D.C., itself during the Saint Patrick’s Day festival when, without fail, Irish leaders flock to the U.S. capital in order to kowtow to the U.S. leader.  

 Supporting the U.S. Empire and Even Glorifying Nazis

The paradox is that independent Ireland is officially neutral – Dublin is not a member of America’s favorite battering ram: the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). But like everything else about Ireland this neutrality is a sham – a trick the US Empire has up its sleeve.

The Irish Times explained the trick in a 2010 article titled “Nice and neutral: why Irish passports are a spook’s best friend.” The author of the article wrote:

“It is widely acknowledged in intelligence and security circles that fake Irish passports have been used by both CIA and Mossad agents traveling throughout the Middle East and Africa.

Exploiting Ireland’s reputation as a neutral state with little or no colonial baggage, it is believed that [NATO has] on numerous occasions employed false Irish passports as cover for spies and agents transiting through territories otherwise hostile to powerful nations such as the United States or Britain.”[16]

For U.S. covert action, Irish “neutrality” is a geopolitical tool. Ireland’s exceptional story, the fact that it was and still is a victim of British imperialism, gives Ireland credibility on the world stage. It is the only Western nation to have experienced what Africa and Asia experienced in modern times. And this matters in the Global South. 

Indeed, Ireland’s strongest political party (Sinn Féin), before it was Americanized, had more in common with South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) than with any other European political party. But this is exactly the ambiguity America’s spooks, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), are looking for: Dublin punches above its weight diplomatically. Not just the passports but the opinion of “neutral” Ireland is an asset. 

And in the existential crisis currently facing the U.S. Empire in Ukraine, every asset America has is being mobilized. So Ireland has been called up to support the American side in this war. And Ireland’s comprador capitalists play the game of Empire without a second thought. 

This time around, however, the American game is nakedly nefarious and all-consuming. And Dublin must embrace it; otherwise, Corporate America and Irish America will exit the city.

After decades of worshiping America, Dublin now finds itself worshiping Nazis. For a fistful of U.S. dollars and a mouthful of U.S. emotions, “independent Ireland” is now openly supporting the politics of hatred in Europe. And it does not blink an eye.

On November 4, 2022, in the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York – Dublin defended the “glorification of Nazism.”[17]

As the US Empire comes to an end in a sea of barbarism – Joe Biden’s visit to “the homeland” was the kiss of death for Ireland. There’s nothing ambiguous about the place anymore. Its cover story has been blown – it’s not independent, peaceful nor neutral. Ireland is now a shameless American pawn on the grand chessboard.

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2023/09/22/ireland-has-been-swallowed-whole-by-american-economics/

 

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pasta from china....

BY Eric Zuesse (blogs at https://theduran.com/author/eric-zuesse/)

The U.S. regime has always opposed Italy’s participation in China’s international trade-and-infrastructure “New Silk Road” construction project, which was supposed to be boosting EurAsian trade like had happened until “the Silk Road abruptly lost its importance with the rise of the Ottoman Empire in 1453, which almost immediately severed trade between East and West.” The New Silk Road, or China’s “Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” was intended for this same purpose: to enable EurAsians to enjoy the great benefits of living on, and trading in, by-far this planet’s largest land-mass: the EurAsian Continent. America isn’t on that Continent, and thus can’t even possibly enjoy that same benefit; and, therefore, after WW II, the Rhodesists (commonly called “neoconservatives”) who have controlled America ever since 25 July 1945, won’t allow this Chinese initiative to succeed, but instead insist upon the U.S. military alliance against Russia, NATO, taking over the entire world — first, with their “Iron Curtain” against the Soviet Union; but, now, with their more overt war against all the rest of the world, and especially against both Russia and China. Thus:

On 9 May 2023, Bloomberg News headlined “Italy Intends to Exit China Belt and Road Pact as Relations Sour”, and obtusely reported that, “The US has actively pressured Rome to take a public stance on the issue, and ditch the pact, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.” (No mention of what those “pressures” consist of.) And, then, on September 21st, Russia’s RT News bannered “Italy to quit China’s Belt and Road – foreign minister”, and reported the announcement that Italy’s recently elected leader Georgia Meloni, definitely had committed her nation to withdrawing from the project before the end of this year.

Regardless of the fact that what America is doing is targeted actuallyagainst the European countries that are in EU and NATO, and so both Russia and China are mere boogeymen to scare stupid European masses (who still think that Russia is communist and controls the Warsaw Pact) into acceptance of Uncle Sam’s ‘kindly’ concerns for their protection and welfare, the U.S. agents who peddle and impose the U.S. plan to wall-off Europe from their own much larger adjoining Asian sub-continent (and from its natural and human resources and products), aren’t being overthrown and replaced by patriots who serve their countrymen instead of America’s billionaires.

If this evil on the part of America’s billionaires, and stupidity on the part of the western-European masses, is carried to its limit, the result will inevitably be WW III, because that’s what the U.S. regime is building toward. The alternative to that would be no re-election of any sittingfederal official in the subject European countries of the U.S. empire. Those officials don’t need to be eliminated, but only entirely disempowered, so that America’s stooges will no longer be ruling over Europeans. That fictitious American ‘democracy’ will then discontinue being a curse to Europeans. And, then, what now is costly trade with America across the Atlantic, will instead become far less-costly trade with their own, natural, EurAsian — and African — compatriots.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s new book, AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.

 

https://theduran.com/uncle-sams-boot-kicks-his-italian-colony-out-of-chinas-new-silk-road-project/

 

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