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Εγχειρίδιο χειρισμού κρίσεων λόγω πολιτικών ΔΝΤ από τη CIA! / Already confirmed: Civil liberties under attack! / Greece's creditors gone completely insane! / How the global financial mafia sucked Greece's blood / ECB's economic hitmen / Η Μέρκελ επιβεβαιώνει τα σχέδια των γραφειοφασιστών! /Greece: the low-noise collapse of an entire country/ How the neoliberal establishment tricked the masses again, this time in France / Ενώ η Γερμανία προετοιμάζεται για τα χειρότερα, η Ελλάδα επιμένει στο ευρώ! / Ένας παγκόσμιος "proxy" πόλεμος κατά της ελευθερίας έχει ξεκινήσει! / In reality, McCarthyism never ended in America / Ο επικεφαλής του "σκιώδους συμβουλίου" της ΕΚΤ επιβεβαιώνει ότι η ευρωζώνη είναι μια χρηματοπιστωτική δικτατορία! /With a rising Jeremy Corbyn and a declining Angela Merkel, Brexit has been upgraded to play a much more critical role / Δημοψήφισμα για Grexit: η τελευταία ευκαιρία να σωθεί η Ελλάδα και η τιμή της Αριστεράς / Populism as the new cliche of the elites to stigmatize anyone not aligned with the establishment / Δεν γίνεται έτσι "σύντροφοι" ... / Panama Papers: When mainstream information wears the anti-establishment mask / The Secret Bank Bailout / The head of the ECB “shadow council” confirms that eurozone is a financial dictatorship! / A documentary by Paul Mason about the financial coup in Greece / The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century / First cracks to the establishment by the American people / Clinton emails - The race of the Western neo-colonialist vultures over the Libyan corpse / Επιχείρηση Panama Papers: Το κατεστημένο θέλει το μονοπώλιο και στις διαρροές; / Operation "looting of Greece" reaches final stage / Varoufakis describes how Merkel sacrificed Greece to save the Franco-German banks / France officialy enters the neo-Feudal era! / The US establishment just gave its greatest performance so far ... / A significant revelation by WikiLeaks that the media almost ignored / It's official: the US is funding Middle-East jihadists! / Οι αδίστακτοι νεο-αποικιοκράτες του 21ου αιώνα / How to handle political unrest caused by IMF policies! / Πώς το νεοφιλελεύθερο κατεστημένο ξεγέλασε τις μάζες, αυτή τη φορά στη Γαλλία / Οι Γάλλοι νεοαποικιοκράτες επιστρέφουν στην Ελλάδα υπό 'ιδανικές' συνθήκες

31 August, 2017

Western hypocrisy hits red: mainstream media constantly attack Venezuela, completely silent about Colombia


Abby Martin spoke to human rights attorney Dan Kovalik, who has recently returned from both countries.

As he said:

These two countries are side by side: Colombia, which is the top ally of the US in the region, and Venezuela, which , since 1999, been trying to go on its own independent course.

In regard to Colombia, which, on numerous factors has the worst human rights in the hemisphere. When you look at the number of disappearances, greater than any country. Greatest internally displaced population. Greatest number of human rights leaders killed. Greatest number of trade unionists killed. Greatest number of priests killed. And yet, there is almost a total media blackout on Colombia.

Meanwhile, in next-door, Venezuela, anything bad that happens is at the top of the news cycle. To the extent trade unionists are being killed they're generally Chavista trade union leaders that are being killed by opposition forces. They're not being killed by government forces. And yet, this is all obscured in the mass media in this country.

Paramilitaries in Colombia have gone into Venezuela, have killed people in Venezuela, have actually targeted Chavistas in Venezuela. All by design, and of course, very much with a wink and a nod, both from the Colombian and the US governments who are happy to sow chaos in Venezuela.

30 August, 2017

Ο Μικης Θεοδωράκης απαντά στον αντικομμουνισμό των Νέων

Επιστολή του Μικη Θεοδωράκη για τα φαινόμενα ακραίου αντικομμουνισμού στην εφημερίδα Τα Νέα και άλλες εφημερίδες

Με τρομάζει η αντικομμουνιστική υστερία που κατακλύζει την εφημερίδα σας. Ως νέος κομμουνιστής είχα την τιμή να παλέψω μέσα απ’ τις γραμμές του ΕΑΜ για την κατάκτηση της Ελευθερίας. Αργότερα, την εποχή της Χούντας, μέσα από το Πατριωτικό Μέτωπο για την αποκατάσταση της Δημοκρατίας.

Όμως για την πάντοτε ενιαία εθνικοφροσύνη και για σας που την εκπροσωπείτε μαζί με τα υπόλοιπα ΜΜΕ δεν έχουν καμιά σημασία οι όποιες πράξεις με αριστερό πρόσημο, ακόμα και οι πιο σημαντικές, όσο και αν αυτές βοηθούν και τιμούν την πατρίδα και το λαό μας. Ακόμα και την αναγνωρισμένη από εχθρούς και φίλους, ντόπιους και ξένους προσφορά μας στην ανάδειξη του νεοελληνικού πολιτισμού, την αγνοείτε επιδεικτικά.

Το μόνο που μετράει για σας είναι η ήττα μας στον Εμφύλιο και η ενόχλησή σας γιατί η ιδεολογία της Αριστεράς εξακολουθεί να υπάρχει, να δρα και να επιδρά ύστερα από τόσους και τόσους διωγμούς.

Εντάξει λοιπόν! Νικηθήκαμε και μπήκαμε στην γωνία! Τι άλλο θέλετε από εμάς εσείς οι νικητές και ξύνετε τις πληγές μας; Με το αίμα το δικό μας που συνέβαλε αποφασιστικά στην κατάκτηση της Ελευθερίας και της Δημοκρατίας τα πήρατε όλα! Κράτος, Κυβέρνηση, Παιδεία, Πολιτισμό, Στρατό, Αστυνομία, Τράπεζες, Τύπο, Τηλεοράσεις. Εμείς μείναμε στην γωνία, ουσιαστικά και πάλι (όπως στον Εμφύλιο) πολίτες β’ κατηγορίας.

Και από τον Στάλιν δεν θυμάστε παρά μόνο τα εγκλήματά του… Το μόνο που δεν άκουσα γι’ αυτόν είναι ότι με το πρωινό του έτρωγε τηγανητό ανθρώπινο κρέας. Για κείνον τον Στάλιν, τον Αρχιστράτηγο του Κόκκινου Στρατού με τις νίκες στο Στάλινγκραντ, στη Μόσχα, στο Λένινγκραντ και στο Βερολίνο, δεν έχετε τίποτα να πείτε;

Αν έλειπε ο Κόκκινος Στρατός και ο Στάλιν, τι θα είχαμε σήμερα; Αραγε το σκεφτήκατε; Ποιος θα εμπόδιζε τον Χίτλερ να γεμίσει την υφήλιο με χιλιάδες Αουσβιτς; Φαντάζεστε την Ελλάδα γεμάτη με στρατόπεδα εξόντωσης; Εκεί πάνω στην Ευρώπη και ειδικά στα ρατσιστικά κράτη, ξέρω γιατί πονάνε και τα βάζουνε με τον Στάλιν και τον κομμουνισμό. Γιατί νίκησε κατά κράτος τον πολυαγαπημένο τους Φύρερ. Τον Αδόλφο Χίτλερ!

Όμως εσείς εδώ, τι λόγο έχετε; Εσείς τους κομμουνιστές τους σκοτώνατε σαν μύγες. Με τις συμμορίες τύπου Σούρλα και Βρεττάκου. Με τα στρατοδικεία και τις εκτελέσεις 16.000, νέων κυρίως κομμουνιστών. Αγοριών και κοριτσιών. Με τα Μακρονήσια όπου μαρτύρησαν 100.000 Έλληνες κομμουνιστές. Με τα σφαγεία της Ασφάλειας, όπου βασανίστηκαν με τις πιο φρικαλέες μεθόδους χιλιάδες κομμουνιστές και κομμουνίστριες.

Τι είμαστε λοιπόν όλοι εμείς, εγκληματίες ή θύματα; Και γιατί παλεύαμε; Δεν αγωνιζόμασταν τάχα για την Ελλάδα και τον Ελληνικό Λαό; Μήπως μέσα από τις γραμμές μας ξεπήδησαν ο θρόνος, οι παρακρατικές οργανώσεις που σκότωσαν τον Λαμπράκη και η Χούντα; Για να μην αναφερθώ στους συνεργάτες των ξένων κατακτητών που πάνω τους στηρίχτηκε η Αμερικανοκρατία που ζει και βασιλεύει μεταμφιεσμένη σε Μνημόνια και Τρόικες που μας έχουν οδηγήσει στο χείλος της εθνικής καταστροφής.

Πιστεύω ότι εύκολα μπορείτε να κατανοήσετε το θυμό μου, γιατί για μένα όπως και για χιλιάδες άλλους, η στράτευση και οι αγώνες μας κάτω από την Κόκκινη Σημαία αποτελεί την ιερότερη περίοδο της ζωής μας, που είχε ένα και μόνο στόχο, να κάνει τον Λαό μας ελεύθερο, ανεξάρτητο και ευτυχισμένο

Πηγή:

After Neoliberalism, what next?

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. (Antonio Gramsci)

by Jayati Ghosh

Part 5 - Restructuring Economic Relations

The boom was not stable or inclusive, either across or within countries. The subsequent slump (or ‘secular stagnation’) has been only too inclusive, forcing those who did not gain earlier to pay for the sins of irresponsible and unregulated finance.

As economies slow down, more jobs are lost or become more fragile, insecure and vulnerable; and people, especially those in the developing world who did not gain from the boom, face loss of livelihood and deteriorating conditions of living. This is why it is so important that we restructure economic relations in a more democratic and sustainable way.

There are several necessary elements of this. Globally, most now recognise the need to reform the international financial system, which has failed to meet two obvious requirements: preventing instability and crises, and transferring resources from richer to poorer economies. Not only have we experienced much greater volatility and propensity to financial meltdown across emerging markets and now even industrial countries, but even the periods of economic expansion were based on the global poor subsidising the rich.

Within national economies, this system has encouraged pro-cyclicality: it has encouraged bubbles and speculative fervour rather than real productive investment for future growth. It has rendered national financial systems opaque and impossible to regulate. It has allowed for the proliferation of parallel transactions through tax havens and loose domestic controls. It has reduced the crucial developmental role of directed credit.

Given these problems, there is no alternative but systematic state regulation and control of finance. Since private players will inevitably attempt to circumvent regulation, the core of the financial system – banking – must be protected, and that is only possible through social ownership. Therefore, some degree of socialisation of banking (and not just the risks inherent in finance) is inevitable. In developing countries this is also important because it enables public control over the direction of credit, without which no country has industrialised.

Source, links:


[1] [2] [3] [4] [6] [7] [8] [9]

27 August, 2017

Iran 1953, Venezuela today: same old story repeated ...

It's all about ... oil


Spot the differences:

Iran 1953
Venezuela today
Mohammad Mosaddegh nationalized the Iranian oil and kicked out the British. An act which was heralded by the people. He promised to fight poverty and let the country benefit from their huge potential wealth in black gold.
Although oil was nationalized back in 1976 in Venezuela, the country has to this day the largest proven oil reserves in the world. Under the democratically elected government of Hugo Chavez, huge strides were taken to use the nationalization of its oil to fund social programs and alleviate poverty.
Britain responded to Mosaddegh by imposing economic sanctions and worldwide boycott of Iranian oil. As a result of the extreme economic embargo, the people began to question his leadership and started blaming him for the economic crisis that was beginning to plague the country.
President Trump's new administration has slapped sanctions on Maduro and other members of his government. Western media propaganda reinforced by the US and its allies, has stirred, discontent and channeled anti-government sentiment within the country, together with a fierce economic war, including an organized plan around the shortage on basic goods.
With paid agents infiltrating his parliament and an attempted assassination, Mosaddegh took to dissolving parliament in an effort to take back control of the political turmoil that had taken grip. The move led to calls of "dictatorship" by his opponents, which was amplified by the CIA's sponsored propaganda.
After months of anti-government protesters, which has seen people burned alive, grenade attacks on government buildings and mass street blockades, the Venezuelan government called a vote to re-write the constitution in order to stem the violence and try to restore peace. "Maduro is a dictator" motto has been amplified across Western media.
On August 19th, a mercenary mob, paid for in US dollars, took down the democratically elected government of Iran, an event which changed the course of Iran's history and left the first ever democratically elected prime minister to be confined to house arrest where he later died.

 

The US empire ready to stage another coup against Venezuela



26 August, 2017

Al Jazeera had been pushed to 'discredit or offset' 9/11 documentary which was out of the US official line

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD) holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.


A cable back in 2008, intended to point out the US intense dissatisfaction about a 9/11 documentary aired by Al Jazeera, as well as secure some assurances that the channel would broadcast "appropriate documentaries" about 9/11 in the future.
Related image

It also shows that there was a kind of mistrust between US officials and Al Jazeera top executives, with the later appear unwilling to obey to US specific 'instructions' on the issue. As written characteristically, "Contrary to the assurances of Al Jazeera Director General Wadah Khanfar (reftel), the voice-over did not discredit or offset in any way the conspiracy theories presented in the film." Furthermore, “Khanfar indicated that he had directed his staff to identify another 9/11 documentary to "balance" the first, since the first presented conspiracy theories as fact. Khanfar said he welcomed U.S. government help in identifying an appropriate documentary. However, Al Jazeera's chief of acquisitions separately told us he had received no such directive from Khanfar. And he indicated that he thought another 9/11 documentary showing was unnecessary.

Key points:

  • Al Jazeera aired on its main channel the Italian-produced documentary "Zero 9/11" in two parts on September 3 and 10, with an Arabic voice-over produced by Al Jazeera.

  • Contrary to the assurances of Al Jazeera Director General Wadah Khanfar (reftel), the voice-over did not discredit or offset in any way the conspiracy theories presented in the film. The voice-over simply translated into Arabic the English-language narration.

  • Contacted by PAO [Public Affairs Office] about this, Khanfar said, "I actually agree with you. That is why I have decided to broadcast another documentary to balance it." Apparently, Khanfar did not actually see the film before it was broadcast, despite Embassy's protests about Al Jazeera's plans to broadcast the "documentary."

  • Khanfar indicated that he had directed his staff to identify another 9/11 documentary to "balance" the first, since the first presented conspiracy theories as fact. Khanfar said he welcomed U.S. government help in identifying an appropriate documentary.

  • However, Al Jazeera's chief of acquisitions separately told us he had received no such directive from Khanfar. And he indicated that he thought another 9/11 documentary showing was unnecessary. Al Jazeera, he said, had a long history of presenting the official views on 9/11. That was "enough balance."

Further interesting parts of the cable:

  • Embassy intends to hold Khanfar to his word.

  • Action Request: Post requests Department's help in expeditiously identifying appropriate documentaries that accurately depict the events of 9/11
     
  • In his introductory meeting with Al Jazeera Chairman Hamed bin Thamer al-Thani, Ambassador will also raise the airing of this documentary as an example of Al Jazeera's unacceptable practice of presenting two points of view completely separate from one another in context and time, and claiming this as journalistic balance
     
  • The film casts doubt on the official U.S. Government version of the 9/11 events
     
  • Throughout the program, screen captions, often unattributed, cast doubt on certain aspects of the official 9/11 story. The documentary refers occasionally to official statements or commonly held versions of events, but provides them largely for purposes of immediate refutation.

  • As advertized, the film offers a constant attack on the results of both government and private investigations into the 9/11 attacks.

  • Khanfar continued, "I have asked my acquisitions people to look around for a documentary that we will air to balance the views in this one." Asked if Khanfar would be willing to consider films suggested by the Embassy, he replied that such assistance would be "most welcome."

  • Every year since 2001, Al-Badri [Al Jazeera Documentary channel's chief of acquisitions] claimed, Al Jazeera has run documentaries that capture the official version of events, including from victims' families, eyewitnesses and government officials. "Zero 9/11" was the first documentary that Al Jazeera has run presenting only conspiracy theories, he asserted. Al-Badri noted that his office had "excellent relationships with American film distributors" and that if "something new comes out, we would be willing to consider it." In that vein, like Khanfar, he welcomed Embassy's suggestions of other 9/11-centered films.

It appears that this was the first time that Al Jazeera didn't follow the US official position on 9/11 and immediately received a lot of pressure from US officials. Under such pressure, the channel was forced to reassure that it would stay in the US official line in the future, through 'appropriate' documentaries 'suggested' by the US embassy on the issue.

City of corpses: 100s of bodies under rubble in Mosul, many women & children

A large number of bodies, many of them women and children, are still buried under the rubble in Mosul after the months-long operation to retake the city. RT’s Murad Gazdiev saw the gruesome aftermath of the battle declared a major success by the US-led coalition.

Multiple corpses of suspected Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants – but also civilians – are still lying under the rubble in the sweltering August heat.

Rescuers are working to retrieve corpses buried under collapsed houses, with many buildings literally reduced to ashes – possibly in the aftermath of bombings or artillery strikes. Parts of Mosul that were once residential areas are now ruins.

While the scenes of devastated streets still leave a grim impression, there is another harrowing feature that cannot be seen on television – the sickly odor of decomposing bodies, Gazdiev said.

You’ve probably heard of thousands killed, the civilian suffering,” he says, standing among the Mosul ruins. “What you likely haven’t heard of is the smell. It’s nauseating, repulsive, and it’s everywhere – the smell of rotting bodies.

As the RT team walks through the Old City, the camera captures the picture of destruction in what was once Iraq’s second-largest city. Burnt-out vehicles littered along the roadside, damaged walls and empty windows depict the heavy price that civilians paid for the Iraqi and US-led coalition’s Mosul victory.

Under the rubble there are hundreds and hundreds of corpses – jihadists as well as civilians and families,” Gazdiev reported. Two women and two children have been pulled out just this morning, he said, adding that there’s no end in sight for those whose work is to recover the bodies.

More:

New 25,000-strong Syrian terrorist force unites 70 gangs

A new terrorist formation, Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham, consists of 25,000 militants, with Jabhat al-Nusra jihadists at its core, the intelligence chief of Russia’s General Staff said. He also spoke of the terrorists’ favorite tactics, state-of-the-art equipment and ways of getting profit.

Currently, more than 70 gangs, including those from the ranks of the opposition, which used to consider themselves ‘moderate,’ have banded together. The total strength of the Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham group exceeds 25,000 militants,” Col. Gen. Igor Korobov, the head of the Main Directorate of the Russian General Staff (the foreign military intelligence agency), said during a roundtable on Friday as part of the Army-2017 international military-technical forum, held in the Moscow Region.

The key role in the formation belongs to Jabhat al-Nura (Nusra Front), which is “engaged in active hostilities against the Syrian government forces and moderate opposition in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib and Hama,” he added.

Jabhat al-Nura currently “includes more than 15,000 militants, most of whom are Syrians," the military intelligence chief said.

As for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the group’s numbers exceed 9,000 militants, according to the General Staff estimates.

Full report:

Migrant traffickers brag about bribing British-backed Libyan coastguard

Smugglers making millions of dollars from death and misery in the Mediterranean have been colluding with the British-backed Libyan coastguard, RT UK can reveal.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson vowed on Thursday to help solve the myriad crises blighting the north African state, unveiling a £9mn ($11.6 million) package of aid on a visit to Tripoli. Johnson also visited the Libyan coastguard to inspect their work after Britain, along with the EU, initiated a £78 million training and funding program.

The EU wants to pay the Libyan coastguard to prevent migrant crossings, trapping tens of thousands of victims of horrendous abuse in the country. Despite the generous cash injections, thousands of people have made the crossing every day this summer. Thousands are desperate to escape the lawless North African country, where black migrants and refugees are sold, beaten to death and imprisoned in squalid camps.

In messages seen by RT UK, a source involved with smuggling rings in the Sabratha area of Libya bragged about how they “pay” the coastguard to look the other way – which explains why the EU project has failed.

Full report, videos:

After Neoliberalism, what next?

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. (Antonio Gramsci)

by Jayati Ghosh

Part 4 - Profit-Led Costs

The collapse in Northern export markets that followed the recession brought that process to a halt, and recent moves towards more protectionist strategies in the US and elsewhere, as well as the persistent mercantilist approach of surplus-producing countries like Germany, have made it more difficult since then. In any case, such a strategy is unsustainable beyond a point, especially when a number of relatively large economies use it at the same time.

In this boom, domestic demand tended to be profit-led, based on high and growing profit shares in the economy and significant increases in the income and consumption of newly-globalised middle classes, which led to bullish investment in non-tradeable sectors such as financial assets and real estate as well as in luxury goods and services.

The patterns of production and consumption that emerged meant that growth also involved rapacious and ultimately destructive exploitation of nature and the environment. The costs – in terms of excessive congestion, environmental pollution and ecological degradation – are already being felt, quite apart from the implications such expansion has on climate change.

There have been other negative impacts. Within developing Asia, for example, it led to an internal ‘brain drain’ with adverse implications for the future. The skewed structure of incentives generated by the explosive growth of finance directed the best young minds towards careers that promised quick rewards and large material gains rather than painstaking but socially necessary research and basic science.

The impact of relocation of certain industries and the associated requirement for skilled and semi-skilled labour led to increased opportunities for educated employment, but it also led bright young people to enter work that is typically mechanical and does not require much originality or creativity, with little opportunity to develop their intellectual capacities.

At the same time, crucial activities were inadequately rewarded. Farming in particular became increasingly fraught with risk and subject to growing volatility and declining financial viability, while non-farm work did not increase rapidly enough to absorb the labour force even in the fastest growing economies of the region.

Source, links:


[1] [2] [3] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

ExpressLane

WikiLeaks

Today [August 24th 2017] WikiLeaks publishes secret documents from the ExpressLane project of the CIA. These documents show one of the cyber operations the CIA conducts against liaison services -- which includes among many others the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The OTS (Office of Technical Services), a branch within the CIA, has a biometric collection system that is provided to liaison services around the world -- with the expectation for sharing of the biometric takes collected on the systems. But this 'voluntary sharing' obviously does not work or is considered insufficient by the CIA, because ExpressLane is a covert information collection tool that is used by the CIA to secretly exfiltrate data collections from such systems provided to liaison services.

ExpressLane is installed and run with the cover of upgrading the biometric software by OTS agents that visit the liaison sites. Liaison officers overseeing this procedure will remain unsuspicious, as the data exfiltration disguises behind a Windows installation splash screen.

The core components of the OTS system are based on products from Cross Match, a US company specializing in biometric software for law enforcement and the Intelligence Community. The company hit the headlines in 2011 when it was reported that the US military used a Cross Match product to identify Osama bin Laden during the assassination operation in Pakistan.

Documents:

25 August, 2017

US imperialists' next potential target: Pakistan


Speaking to Paul Jay and The Real News, Junaid Ahmad explained the geopolitics behind the potential new target of the US imperialists: Pakistan.

Junaid Ahmad is the Director of Center for Global Dialogue and Professor of Middle Eastern Politics at the University of Lahore, Pakistan. He is also the Secretary-General of the International Movement for a Just World based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and a Visiting Fellow at the Berkeley Center for Islamophobia and Ethnic Studies Graduate Center.

It appears that the ultimate target is always a major opponent in the global geopolitical arena: China.

Ahmad explained:

There are a couple of significant developments which are marking various shifts in local geopolitics. A very important point was in March 2015, when the Pakistani military, for the first time ever, had the courage to say no to the Saudis in being willing to participate in their war against Yemen, which is an excellent decision they made to not participate in this murderous war.

The Pakistani military has in the past almost served as a mercenary army for many of these Gulf regimes and has been part of this axis of kind of the US, Saudi and before that the Cold War framework of non-Arab regimes in the region trying to maintain that architecture of control. Turkey, Pakistan, Iran before of course the Iranian revolution.

Now, Pakistan is not longer the same Pakistan of the Cold War. And what we have seen post-9/11 is a strengthening of an old relationship that is with China. And now, we're at a point where the Pakistani military literally is getting the type of basically money that it has been getting from Washington. It's no longer beholden to Washington in the way that it has been in the past.

These are interesting developments and I think that the Pentagon and the CIA realize this. This is why they're kind of going all out in making India their frontline state. We have been now witnessing border skirmishes between India and China, which are also reaching some dangerous levels, over the past few months.

I'm half my time based in Malaysia and if you see it from there, where you have US naval ships and military bases encircling China, you understand fully well why the relationship with India right now is so crucial in the geopolitics of the region and why they want India to play that role in Afghanistan. It's the only kind of trusted ally. From China's part, one thing people fail to realize, the most powerful ally that China probably has in the world, closest ally, is Pakistan. It's a mutually dependent relationship.

The billions being invested to build this port in Gwadar, in Pakistan would be a major accomplishment for the Chinese, especially in the case of a major conflict where they're choked in the South China Sea and elsewhere. These are all the geopolitics of the region that do explain why I think that Washington is becoming more bellicose, is more willing to kind of once again call out the Pakistanis but they're doing it now almost because the Pakistanis really at this point don't really care as much because they're getting the full backing of Beijing.


Apart from recent Trump's statements about Pakistan, other agents of the US military-industrial complex have nearly verified the fact that Pakistan is the next potential target after Afghanistan. We saw retired Colonel Jack Jacobs destroying all pretexts and cynically admitting to Rachel Maddow that the real goal behind the extension of US military presence in Afghanistan is the rich mineral deposits.

In the end, he revealed that Afghanistan will be used also as a major US military base towards the next target, which is Pakistan:

           The real problem is actually inside Pakistan and it includes a corrupt government, no control over local areas, a poorly trained army, and so on. None of the things that the president mentioned are going to change that very much, except a commitment to stay in Afganistan for several decades (!!!)

So, briefly, a potential invasion of the US military in Pakistan, will serve at least four key objectives:

  • Block further Chinese economic expansion in the broader region on behalf of the US corporations

  • Deprive from China a reliable ally and the opportunity for naval exodus to the Arabian Sea, therefore

  • Suffocate China even more, by expanding the ground encirclement arc around it

  • Boycott the relationship between the two major powers in the region, China and India, as being both members of the BRICS

The US army, as the military branch of the US corporate neocolonialism, will not tolerate the Chinese economic expansion in the US backyard, or elsewhere. The US military reinforcement in Afganistan and potential invasion in Pakistan, is an act of aggressive retaliation against this expansion, among other things. Well, there is a big difference that we should always point against those who morally equalize US and Chinese expansionism. Because China didn't invade, bombed, or even entirely destroyed any country, unlike the US.

The Taliban tried to surrender and the US rebuffed them

Did you know that shortly after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, the Taliban tried to surrender?

For centuries in Afghanistan, when a rival force had come to power, the defeated one would put down their weapons and be integrated into the new power structure — obviously with much less power, or none at all. That’s how you do with neighbors you have to continue to live with. This isn’t a football game, where the teams go to different cities when it’s over. That may be hard for us to remember, because the U.S. hasn’t fought a protracted war on its own soil since the Civil War.

So when the Taliban came to surrender, the U.S. turned them down repeatedly, in a series of arrogant blunders spelled out in Anand Gopal’s investigative treatment of the Afghanistan war, “No Good Men Among the Living.”

Only full annihilation was enough for the Bush administration. They wanted more terrorists in body bags. The problem was that the Taliban had stopped fighting, having either fled to Pakistan or melted back into civilian life. Al Qaeda, for its part, was down to a handful of members.

So how do you kill terrorists if there aren’t any?

Simple: Afghans that the U.S. worked with understood the predicament their military sponsors were in, so they fabricated bad guys. Demand has a way of creating supply, and the U.S. was paying for information that led to the death or capture of Taliban fighters. Suddenly there were Taliban everywhere. Score-settling ran amok; all you had to do to get your neighbor killed or sent to Guantánamo was tell the U.S. they were members of the Taliban.

Doors would be kicked in, no questions asked. The men left standing became warlords, built massive fortunes, and shipped their wealth abroad. “We are not nation-building again,” President Donald Trump declared Monday night. Well, we never were, unless building high-rises with looted cash in Dubai counts.

After a few years of this charade, after their surrender efforts were repeatedly rebuffed, the old Taliban started picking up guns again. When they were driven from power, the population was happy to see them go. The U.S. managed to make them popular again.

Liberals then spent the 2008 presidential campaign complaining that the U.S. had “ignored” Afghanistan — when, in reality, the parts of the country without troop presence were the only parts at peace, facing no insurgency against the Afghan government, such as it was. Then President Barack Obama came in and launched a surge in troop levels while simultaneously announcing a withdrawal — coupled with a heightened focus on night raids, relying on the same system of unreliable intelligence that had netted so many uninvolved people already.

And now Trump says he has a new and better strategy. He says the U.S. needs to get Pakistan more involved — except, of course, Pakistan’s intelligence service has been propping up the Taliban for decades.

Gopal’s book is the definitive account of how the war went off the rails. It reads like a novel, but is an all-too-real portrait of three Afghans as they lived through the war — a pro-U.S. warlord, a Taliban commander, and a housewife. I’d suggest Trump read it — the book provides a dire warning against the sort of war effort the president is about to double down on — but it’s longer than a page, which his advisers say is the max he’ll digest. And besides, the only thing he seems interested in is the fact that Afghanistan has a bunch of minerals he thinks the U.S. is owed.

Before Trump spends the windfall he hopes to reap from mining Afghanistan, he should consider one starting reality: We are now losing a war to an enemy that already surrendered. That’s not easy to do.

Source, links:

Temer government opens Brazilian Amazon rainforest reserve to mineral mining

Opposition Senator Randolfe Rodrigues called the decision the “biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years,” according to O Globo newspaper.

A Wednesday decree from Brazil's right-wing president Michel Temer abolished a sprawling nature reserve in the Amazon rainforest covering 4.6 million hectares (17,800 square miles), an area larger than Denmark, opening it up to commercial activity.

The ecologically rich and delicate area, known as the National Reserve of Copper and Associates, or Renca, is believed by prospectors to contain enormous reserves of gold, iron, manganese, and other minerals.

The Renca reserve has existed since 1984 with the intention of protection the area from mining activities which would harm ecological diversity, wildlife, as well as indigenous communities.

Full report:

Teachers, workers, students strike across South America

Neoliberal governments in the region are being hit with a strike wave

Social organizations and trade unions in South America are protesting in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru, mainly to demand more investment from their governments in education, but also against neoliberal policies.

In Argentina, the Union of Education Workers and the Association of Middle and Higher Education called a 24-hour strike to demand a higher increase in salaries in the capital city of Buenos Aires. The unions reject the proposal of an increase of 21.5 percent by the local government and will march to congress to present their demands to the government of President Mauricio Macri. "It is one of the lowest increases in the country and is happening in the richest district," Eduardo Lopez, general secretary of the UTE, said to reporters.

Argentina's inflation was running at an annual rate of 21.6 percent in July. The teachers are demanding an increase of 35 percent, including 25 percent for this year and 10 percent for what they say they lost last year. The marchers are also demanding that the disappeared activist, Santiago Maldonado, be returned alive.

In Chile, the National Coordinator of Secondary Students called for a march in the capital city of Santiago to reject the country's new Public Education Act and demand the municipalities pay the debts they owe the workers. "We will not allow a pact to rob from public education with this law of de-municipalization, which is going to remain in the hands of the next government and a commission of experts," Francisca Flores spokeswoman of Cones said.

As for Colombia, the student community at the Industrial University of Santander organized a large mobilization to reject cutbacks that the government of President Juan Manuel Santos plans to carry out in 2018. The march to protest against cuts in science, technology, and innovation starts at the main entrance of the university campus, located in the northeast city of Bucaramanga.

Meanwhile, in Peru, the General Confederation of Workers and the Workers Union are organizing a march through Lima to the congress, although Peruvian law prohibits any protests close to the legislative branch. The country's teachers, who have been protesting against lack of funds for the past two months have been attacked and repressed by the government of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. "The aim of the mobilization is to express solidarity with the unions that have been carrying out protests and strikes, against the anti-popular measures that come from the PPK neoliberal government, which greatly affect the working class and the people," said the unions in a statement.

In Paraguay, the teacher's union confirmed a strike until Friday to demand wage increases, with a march to the headquarters of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Finance. They will request "compliance with the law and the implementation of basic professional salary," Silvio Piris from the Teachers Federation of Paraguay, said. The teachers rejected the proposal of the government of Horacio Cartes of a gradual increase of 8 percent for teachers who have been working for more than 20 years. Those who have less seniority will only get 5 percent. The teachers want an increase of 32 percent.

Source, links:

After Neoliberalism, what next?

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. (Antonio Gramsci)

by Jayati Ghosh

Part 3 - Global Transfers

The financial bubble in the US attracted savings from across the world, including from the poorest developing countries, so that for at least five years the global South transferred financial resources to the North.

Developing country governments opened their markets to trade and finance, gave up on monetary policy and pursued fiscally ‘correct’ deflationary policies that reduced public spending. Development projects remained incomplete and citizens were deprived of the most essential socio-economic rights.

A net transfer of jobs from North to South did not take place. In fact, industrial employment in the South barely increased in the past decade, even in the ‘factory of the world’, China.

Instead, technological change in manufacturing and new services meant that fewer workers could generate more output. Old jobs in the South were lost or became precarious and the majority of new jobs were fragile, insecure and low-paying, even in fast-growing China and India.

The persistent agrarian crisis in the developing world hurt peasant livelihoods and generated global food problems. Rising inequality meant that the much-hyped growth in emerging markets did not benefit most people, as profits soared but wage shares of national income declined sharply.

Almost all developing countries adopted an export-led growth model, which in turn suppressed wage costs and domestic consumption in order to remain internationally competitive and achieve growing shares of world markets. This led to the peculiar situation of rising savings rates and falling investment rates (especially in several Asian countries) and to the holding of international reserves that were then placed in ‘safe’ assets abroad.

This is why the boom that ended in 2007/8 was associated with the South (especially in developing Asia) subsidising the North: through cheaper exports of goods and services, through net capital flows from developing countries to the US in particular, through flows of cheap labour in the form of short-term migration.

Source, links:


[1] [2] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Frustrated in Syria, US turns to Ukraine (again) for its next Russian proxy war gambit

With Ukraine rolling out a murderous ethnic cleansing campaign in its Donbass region on the Russian border, the Russian government has responded with restraint. The new provision of arms to Ukraine by the U.S. will likely change that — and start a proxy war more dangerous than Syria’.

by Whitney Webb

Part 3 - Syria to Ukraine: trading a botched proxy war for a “better” one

The Pentagon’s decision to arm the Ukrainian government is well-timed, given that it coincides with the Trump administration’s decision to stop arming the radical Wahhabists that comprise the “moderate opposition” in Syria seeking to oust its democratically-elected president, Bashar al-Assad.

Given the Syrian government’s ability to make major gains against these “rebels” and Daesh (ISIS), as well as the West’s repeated failures to justify a foreign military intervention, the U.S. has been all but forced to give up its dreams of provoking Russia via the six-year-long proxy war fought in Syria over regional oil and gas interests. High-ranking officials in the Syrian government have recently declared the war in Syria “effectively over.”

With the curtain closing in Syria, Washington needs a new proxy war. Given that containing Russia is the ultimate goal – as it is with China – what better way to step up the pressure than by sending lethal arms to a rabidly anti-Russian, U.S.-backed government in Kiev that is determined to ethnically cleanse Russians? Ukraine, after all, is right on Russia’s border; and the Crimea region, which Poroshenko is determined to return to his control, is now a part of Russia.

However, choosing Ukraine for a new proxy war is more than just convenient. The Washington establishment knows exactly what they are getting into as this has nearly happened once before. In 2015, several U.S. senators — led by John McCain — along with then-Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, pushed to arm the Ukrainian government with lethal weapons.

Russia’s response at the time paints a very clear picture of what could be expected if the U.S. plan to give Ukraine lethal weapons comes to pass. Following the push for sending weapons to Ukraine, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, told Interfax news agency that U.S. arms supplies to Ukraine would result in a “dramatic outcome” that Russia “will not ignore.” He also stated that Russia would not be able to “stay aside” in the conflict if the U.S. followed through with its promise of providing lethal aid to Kiev.

In terms of what this “dramatic outcome” could entail, the events of 2015 offered two possibilities. Western analysts asserted that the U.S.’ arming of the Ukrainian government would be ”matched by Russian arms to rebels,” creating the pretext for another long-running proxy war with opposing sides armed by either the U.S. or Russia.

However, Russian legislators struck a different tone, with one MP arguing that a move to arm Kiev by the U.S. should be met with Russia sending troops or “using military force” to keep the situation from becoming “too dangerous” to Russia. In addition, The Moscow Times cited Russian defense analysts, including current members of the Ministry of Defense, who asserted that Washington’s attempts to arm Ukraine would be seen as a “declaration of war.”

Having failed in Syria, the elements of the U.S. political establishment hell-bent on provoking Russia by any means necessary have decided to take their proxy war straight to Russia’s doorstep. Unfortunately, a proxy-war conflict in Ukraine will likely garner greater support for U.S. intervention than Syria ever did. Years of fear-mongering by NATO and the Western media about a “Russia invasion” of Ukraine, the “annexation” of Crimea, and the current Russiagate election-meddling “scandal” have certainly greased the wheels for a new proxy war theater — one significantly easier to sell to the U.S. public than was the effort to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

***

Source, links:


[1] [2]

24 August, 2017

As Western propaganda rapidly collapses, Washington's hawks start to retire from searching for pretexts

Now, there is no doubt that the US army is the military branch of the US corporate neocolonialism.


While in some cases, like Colombia, the US imperialists still search vainly for something to justify endless intervention through paramilitaries, civil wars, orchestrated coups, etc., they have completely retired from this business concerning, for example, Afghanistan.

The following cynical, warmongering hawk, completely demolished every pretext and ethics, concerning Afghanistan, through mainstream media. Speaking on MSNBC and Rachel Maddow, retired Colonel Jack Jacobs said:

           I'm gonna be facetious(!), but the first conclusion that came to my mind, is that we're going now harvest poppies and we're going to sell them(!), and that's how we're going to fund it(!), which is exactly what the Taliban is doing.

           But no, it sounds like we are going to be involved in extricating, releasing(!!!) mineral wealth, and there is substantial mineral wealth, and we are going to take that out of Afghanistan.

And the routine (lately) cheap justification follows:

          The Chinese are already there, doing that, and I think the United States is concerned that we are not getting our share(!!!)

Then Maddow asks:

          Under US military ethics(!?), can the US government go in with the protection of US soldiers and extract the wealth of another country?

The response:

          Well, we can, we've done it before, there is no reason why we can't do it again (!!!!!!)

Watch the video and very spot-on commending by the hosts of the Jimmy Dore show:


And, of course, the warmongering corporate media can't wait, as described by Jimmy Dore:


Earlier, Donald Trump not only admitted cynically the real reason behind the US invasion in Afghanistan, but proved that he is willing to expand the establishment agenda, through the mainstream media.

Now, there is no doubt that the US army is the military branch of the US corporate neocolonialism. By the way, China didn't invade or bombed any country ... dear bloody US hawks.

Μόνο 8 από τις 27 χώρες - μέλη της ΕΕ στο συνέδριο της Εσθονίας

Μόνο οκτώ από τις 27 χώρες - μέλη της Ε.Ε. συμμετείχαν σήμερα στο συνέδριο που διοργάνωσε η Εσθονική Προεδρία αφιερωμένο στη μνήμη των θυμάτων των ολοκληρωτικών και αυταρχικών καθεστώτων.

Το Συνέδριο με θέμα «η κληρονομιά στον 21ο αιώνα των εγκλημάτων που διαπράχθηκαν από τα κομμουνιστικά καθεστώτα», έγινε το θέμα των ημερών αφού ο Έλληνας υπουργός Δικαιοσύνης Σταύρος Κοντονής αποφάσισε να μην συμμετάσχει, καθώς επιχειρείτο η εξίσωση του κομμουνισμού με τον ναζισμό.

Στην Ελλάδα η αντιπολίτευση αντέδρασε οργισμένα κατηγορώντας την κυβέρνηση για «ιδεοληψίες» που θέτουν τη χώρα σε απομόνωση.

Ωστόσο, κάτι τέτοιο δεν συνέβη. Αντίθετα, όπως μεταδίδει το Αθηναϊκό Πρακτορείο, το Συνέδριο ολοκληρώθηκε με την έκδοση διακήρυξης την οποία υπογράφουν οι εκπρόσωποι των εξής χωρών: Εσθονίας, Λετονίας, Λιθουανίας, Πολωνίας, Κροατίας, Ουγγαρίας, Τσεχίας και Σλοβακίας.

Δηλαδή των οκτώ χωρών που συμμετείχαν. Και αυτές οι χώρες εκπροσωπήθηκαν, όχι από τους υπουργούς αλλά από εκροσώπους. Η σχετική ανακοίνωση έγινε από το αρμόδιο υπουργείο της Εσθονίας χωρίς περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες. Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι το κείμενο δεν αναφέρεται σχεδόν καθόλου στα εγκλήματα του ναζισμού. Αντίθετα, μιλά σχεδόν αποκλειστικά για τα «εγκλήματα του κομμουνισμού».

Νωρίτερα, η κυβερνητική Εσθονή βουλευτής Oudekki Loone, μέλος του κεντρώου κόμματος της Εσθονίας - του μεγαλύτερου από τον τρικομματικό κυβερνητικό συνασπισμό - στο οποίο ανήκει και ο Εσθονός πρωθυπουργός, έστειλε επιστολή στήριξης στον Σταύρο Κοντονή. Σε αυτή εξέφρασε «την αληθινή ευγνωμοσύνη και τον σεβασμό της» για την απόφασή του και την απόφαση της Ελληνικής κυβέρνησης «να μη συμμετάσχει στο αποτρόπαιο συνέδριο».

Πηγή:

Εύσημα σε Κοντονή από κυβερνητική Εσθονή βουλευτή

Αλυσιδωτές αντιδράσεις εντός και εκτός των συνόρων προκαλεί η απόφαση του υπουργού Δικαιοσύνης Σταύρου Κοντονή, να μην παραστεί στο αντικομουνιστικό συνέδριο που διοργανώνεται στο Ταλίν με θέμα: «Η κληρονομιά στον 21ο αιώνα των εγκλημάτων που διαπράχθηκαν από τα κομμουνιστικά καθεστώτα».

H Εσθονή βουλευτής Oudekki Loone, μέλος του κεντρώου κόμματος της Εσθονίας -του μεγαλύτερου από τον τρικομματικό κυβερνητικό συνασπισμό- στο οποίο ανήκει και ο Εσθονός πρωθυπουργός, έστειλε επιστολή στον Έλληνα υπουργό Δικαιοσύνης, εκφράζοντας «την αληθινή ευγνωμοσύνη και τον σεβασμό της» για την απόφασή του και την απόφαση της Ελληνικής κυβέρνησης «να μη συμμετάσχει στο αποτρόπαιο συνέδριο».

Ολόκληρη η επιστολή:

Αξιότιμε Υπουργέ Σταύρο Κοντονή,

Θέλω να εκφράσω την αληθινή ευγνωμοσύνη και τον σεβασμό μου για την απόφασή σας και την απόφαση της Ελληνικής Κυβέρνησης να μη συμμετάσχει στο αποτρόπαιο συνέδριο με θέμα «Η κληρονομιά στον 21ο αιώνα των εγκλημάτων που διαπράχθηκαν από τα κομμουνιστικά καθεστώτα». Η αιτιολόγηση της απόφασής σας ήταν απλά τέλεια!

Δυστυχώς, τέτοιου είδους προσπάθειες σιωπηρής δικαιολόγησης του ναζιστικού καθεστώτος και της ναζιστικής ιδεολογίας είναι έντονα παρούσες στη σημερινή πολιτική ζωή της Εσθονίας. Η δική μου απόφαση να γιορτάσω την 9η Μαΐου ως ημέρα νίκης για τις συμμαχικές δυνάμεις στον Β’ Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο προκάλεσε οργή σε πολλούς δημοσιογράφους και πολιτικούς. Προκάλεσε όμως και ένα κύμα υποστήριξης. Επομένως, επιτρέψτε μου να σας διαβεβαιώσω ότι η Εσθονία δεν είναι μία χώρα ναζί και ότι εδώ, όπως και οπουδήποτε αλλού, οι ναζί και οι συμπαθούντες αυτούς είναι μια μειοψηφία.

Η απόφασή σας υπενθύμισε τις αληθινές ευρωπαϊκές αξίες και έδωσε δύναμη σε όλους όσους ανησυχούν για την αύξηση του κλίματος ψυχρού πολέμου, σε όλους όσους δεν ξεχνούν την ιστορία και που γνωρίζουν ότι ο σοσιαλισμός και η ελευθερία μπορούν όχι μόνο να συνδυαστούν, αλλά ότι ο σοσιαλισμός είναι απαραίτητος για την ελευθερία.

Το συνέδριο αυτό είναι μία ντροπή, αλλά είμαι σίγουρη ότι θα υπάρξει μέλλον όταν δεν θα οργανώνονται πλέον εκδηλώσεις σαν και αυτήν. Εσείς απλώς βοηθήσατε αυτό το μέλλον να έρθει λίγο νωρίτερα.

Την ίδια ώρα στη χώρα μας, η αξιωματική αντιπολίτευση φαίνεται ότι στρέφεται δεξιότερα επιστρατεύοντας ως αντιπολιτευτική τακτική προς την κυβέρνηση, το αντικομμουνιστικό παραλήρημα.

Με το πρόσχημα πως η κυβέρνηση προσβάλλει τους Έλληνες και Ευρωπαίους πολίτες, το κόμμα της Πειραιώς κατηγορεί το Μαξίμου για την επιλογή του να μη συμμετάσχει στο συνέδριο που διοργανώνει η Εσθονία και το οποίο ουσιαστικά θέτει τον ναζισμό και τον κομμουνισμό στο ίδιο τσουβάλι.

Πηγή:


Σχετικά:

After Neoliberalism, what next?

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. (Antonio Gramsci)

by Jayati Ghosh

Part 2 - A Familiar Question

The question ‘what is your alternative?’ is a familiar one for most progressives, and too often we are overly defensive or self-critical about our supposed lack of alternatives. In truth, there are many economically-viable, socially-desirable alternative proposals in different contexts. The problem is not their lack of existence but their lack of political feasibility, and perhaps their lack of wider dissemination.

But it is certainly true that the alternative does not consist of one over-arching theory (or even framework) that can subsume all others, since there are many good reasons for being sceptical of the days of the ‘grand theory’ that supposedly could take care of everything.

While rejecting the totalising theory, it is possible to think of a broad framework around which there could be much agreement, even among people who do not necessarily identify themselves as of the ‘left’, but are nevertheless dissatisfied with current economic arrangements at both national and international levels.

Much current discussion on economic strategies for global capitalism is framed around the financial crisis of 2007/8 and its continuing repercussions. But it does not really need a crisis to show us that the past strategy for growth and development has been flawed in most countries.

Even during the previous boom, the pattern of growth had too many limitations, paradoxes and inherent fragilities. Everyone now knows that the economic boom was unsustainable, based on speculative practices that were enabled and encouraged by financial deregulation. It also drew rapaciously and fecklessly on natural resources, and it was deeply unequal. Contrary to general perception, most people in the developing world, even within the most successful region of Asia, did not gain.

Source, links:


[1] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]