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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! / McCarthyism 2.0 against the independent information / 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

23 October, 2017

Italy's 2 richest regions vote for greater autonomy from Rome

Image result for Veneto LombardyVeneto and Lombardy, the two wealthiest regions of Italy, have overwhelmingly voted in favor of greater autonomy from the central government in Rome, Reuters reported, citing early results of the two referendums. 

  Over 90 percent of voters are estimated to have cast their ballot in favor of autonomy in both regions.

Due to alleged hacker attacks on polling stations, the final counting of results is expected to take additional time. Although legally non-binding, the referendums could give the two regions, governed by the Eurosceptic, anti-immigrant and right-wing Northern League, more leverage in negotiations with Rome.


Clinton, Assange and the war on truth

Australia’s public broadcasting network gave Hillary Clinton an open mike to defame WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange as “a tool of Russian intelligence” without giving him a chance to respond.

by John Pilger

Part 1

On Oct. 16, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an interview with Hillary Clinton: one of many to promote her score-settling book about why she was not elected President of the United States.

In The New York Times, there was a striking photograph of a female reporter consoling Clinton, having just interviewed her. The lost leader was, above all, “absolutely a feminist.” The thousands of women’s lives this “feminist” destroyed while in government — Libya, Syria, Honduras — were of no interest. Wading through the Clinton book, What Happened, is an unpleasant experience, like a stomach upset. Smears and tears. Threats and enemies. “They” (voters) were brainwashed and herded against her by the odious Donald Trump in cahoots with sinister Slavs sent from the great darkness known as Russia, assisted by an Australian “nihilist,” Julian Assange.

In New York magazine, Rebecca Trainster wrote that Clinton was finally “expressing some righteous anger.” It was even hard for her to smile: “so hard that the muscles in her face ache.” Surely, she concluded, “if we allowed women’s resentments the same bearing we allow men’s grudges, America would be forced to reckon with the fact that all these angry women might just have a point.

Drivel such as this, trivializing women’s struggles, marks the media hagiographies of Hillary Clinton. Her political extremism and warmongering are of no consequence. Her problem, wrote Trainster, was a “damaging infatuation with the email story.” The truth, in other words.

The leaked emails of Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, revealed a direct connection between Clinton and the foundation and funding of organized jihadism in the Middle East and Islamic State (known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh). The ultimate source of most Islamic terrorism, Saudi Arabia, was central to her career.

One email, in 2014, sent by Clinton to Podesta soon after she stepped down as U.S. Secretary of State, discloses that Islamic State is funded by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Clinton accepted huge donations from both governments for the Clinton Foundation.

As Secretary of State, she approved the world’s biggest ever arms sale to her benefactors in Saudi Arabia, worth more than $80 billion. Thanks to her, U.S. arms sales to the world – for use in stricken countries like Yemen – doubled.

This was revealed by WikiLeaks and published by The New York Times. No one doubts the emails are authentic. The subsequent campaign to smear WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, as “agents of Russia,” has grown into a spectacular fantasy known as “Russiagate.” The “plot” is said to have been signed off on by Vladimir Putin himself. There is not a shred of public evidence.

Source:

Poll says 67% of US citizens don’t want to pull out of Iran deal

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he wants to “decertify” the agreement.

A CNN poll has found that 67 percent of U.S. citizens don’t want Washington to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he wants to “decertify” the agreement, which would allow Congress to make changes to the multi-nation accord and potentially pull the country out of the historic deal.

"It would be a waste of time to respond to such blatherings and nonsensical remarks by the foul-mouthed U.S. president," Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in response to Trump's threat.

Only three out of 10 polled said they felt Iran posed a “very serious" threat to the United States, the lowest rate since 2000.

Of the over 1,000 people polled, 62 percent said they feel a “very serious” threat from North Korea, or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK.

Yet, an even larger number, 63 percent overall and 88 percent of Democrats, feel Trump has been “more reckless than responsible” in his rhetoric against the DPRK. An overall 57 percent of those asked “disapprove” of how Trump handles relations with the Asian country.

The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS via telephone.

Source:

21 October, 2017

Why Donald Trump is the perfect tool in the hands of neocons right now


Ten years passed from the shockingly revealing interview of the US retired General Wesley Clark to Democracy Now!, where he revealed that the US deep state was planning to go far beyond Iraq war, targeting six more countries. The US objective was to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran.

Apart from Iran, it appears that the ruthless neocons, more or less, achieved goals within the time schedule. Remember that they had to recruit the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama, to destroy Libya and Syria. Under Obama administration, the warmongering syndicate was forced to conduct proxy wars against both of these countries, apparently because the political and military cost of a direct invasion would be unbearable, even for the size of the US empire.

Yet, consider how difficult is now for the neocons to justify another devastating war. Apart from Iraq, they have to face more chaos in Libya and Syria, plus the Russian intervention, which, originally, was not within the schedule. It is doubtful whether they will achieve ultimate goals in the Middle East, and if they do, probably no one has an idea of how long will it take.

Today, thanks to continuous leaked information through WikiLeaks, various Whistleblowers and other insiders, the myths staged by the US empire collapse right at their beginning. As the Americans are turning their back to the mainstream media propaganda, once a key tool of the US war machine, the neocons will find almost impossible to push for another bloody war, even if it would have been conducted through proxies on behalf of the US.

Puppets like Obama won't work twice and things with Hillary in power would be even worse because, as she is definitely a pure product of the establishment, no one would believe any cheap excuses that would come out of her mouth in order to persuade the US public opinion for the necessity of another war.

But now, the ruthless neocon/neoliberal establishment has the right man in the right position to put the blame for that: Donald Trump.

Image result for trump iran

Despite that Trump was promoted as an 'anti-establishment' candidate, using intensively anti-interventionist rhetoric, he has already done the exact opposite. He has already bombed Syria, constantly provokes China and North Korea and, lately, does everything he can to destroy the Iran nuclear deal. It's more than obvious that he seeks to go after Iran, as the seventh target of the US empire, revealed by Wesley Clark.

The hypocritical clowns of the neoliberal apparatus were playing a good game. They were constantly attacking Trump, while at the same time, they couldn't wait to see him in power in order to promote their pro-war agenda through the back door.

So now, the neocons will hide behind him and watch their original plans fulfilled. Yet, it is still very difficult. With so many fronts opened and the chaos dominating in the Middle East, no one knows what forces would be unleashed in case of another direct or indirect conflict, this time against Iran.

Περισσότερες αριστερές ιστοσελίδες και δημοσιογράφοι στη «μαύρη λίστα» της Google

Συνεχίζοντας την προσπάθειά της να λογοκρίνει το Internet, η Google αφαιρεί κορυφαίες αριστερές ιστοσελίδες και δημοσιογράφους από την πλατφόρμα αναμετάδοσης ειδήσεων Google News.

Ανάμεσα σε αυτές, η ιδιαίτερα δημοφιλής ιστοσελίδα wsws.org, που επανειλημμένα έχει καταγγείλει τις αλλαγές στους αλγόριθμους της Google. Η ιστοσελίδα υποστηρίζει ότι το πρωί της Παρασκευής η αναζήτηση των όρων “World Socialist Web Site” στο news.google.com δεν έβγαζε ούτε ένα αποτέλεσμα με άρθρο δημοσιευμένο σε αυτήν.

Το ίδιο ισχύει και για την αναζήτηση οποιουδήποτε τίτλου από τα άρθρα που έχουν δημοσιευθεί εκεί το τελευταίο διάστημα. Ως αποτέλεσμα, την τελευταία εβδομάδα το news.google.com έχει παραπέμψει 92% λιγότερους επισκέπτες στο wsws.org σε σχέση με το παρελθόν.

Ο βραβευμένος με βραβείο Πούλιτζερ δημοσιογράφος και συγγραφέας Chris Hedges δηλώνει ότι τα άρθρα του έχουν πλέον σταματήσει να εμφανίζονται στο Google News. Ο Hedges υποστηρίζει ότι αυτή η αλλαγή προέκυψε μετά από τη δημοσίευση της συνέντευξής του με το wsws.org, όπου μίλησε ανοιχτά εναντίον των πρακτικών λογοκρισίας που εφαρμόζει η Google σε αριστερές ιστοσελίδες.

Λίγο μετά τη συνέντευξη, με έβαλαν στη μαύρη λίστα”, περιγράφει. “Αν γράψεις το όνομά μου στο Google News, θα βγουν έξι αποτελέσματα, από τα οποία κανένα δεν σχετίζεται με το πρόσωπό μου.

Παλιότερα, τα αποτελέσματα του Google News για τον Hedges περιελάμβαναν τα άρθρα και τις στήλες που διατηρεί, καθώς και αναφορές στα βιβλία του. “Τώρα έχουν εξαφανιστεί όλα. Και είμαι σίγουρος ότι είναι επειδή μίλησα για τη λογοκρισία που επιβάλλει η Google”, δηλώνει ο δημοσιογράφος.

Πρόσφατα η Google είχε απασχολήσει ξανά ακόμη και κυρίαρχα μέσα όπως οι New York Times, λόγω των αλλαγών που πραγματοποίησε στον αλγόριθμο της με πρόσχημα την αντιμετώπιση των λεγόμενων fake news και με αποτέλεσμα τη ραγδαία πτώση της επισκεψιμότητας πολλών ιστοσελίδων που ασκούν κριτική στο κυρίαρχο οικονομικό σύστημα ή στην πολιτική των ΗΠΑ.

Πηγή, σύνδεσμοι:

20 October, 2017

Guess who is the first man for whom Donald Trump achieved a major tax break


If you still wonder how the hell the 'anti-establishment' Donald Trump actually hired Goldman Sachs to run the economy and why he is trying so hard to pass more tax-cuts in favor of the US plutocracy and at the expense of the poor working class, just look at his past.

The Donald took advantage of the rising neoliberalism and financial capitalism back in the 70s, to achieve a major tax break for ... himself!

As Adam Curtis describes in HyperNormalisation, in 1975, New York City was on the verge of collapse. For 30 years, the politicians who ran the city had borrowed more and more money from the banks to pay for its growing services and welfare. But in the early ’70s, the middle classes fled from the city and the taxes they paid disappeared with them. So, the banks lent the city even more. But then, they began to get worried about the size of the growing debt and whether the city would ever be able to pay it back. And then, one day in 1975, the banks just stopped. The city held its regular meeting to issue bonds in return for the loans overseen by the city’s financial controller.

What happened that day in New York marked a radical shift in power. The banks insisted that in order to protect their loans they should be allowed to take control of the city. The city appealed to the President, but he refused to help, so a new committee was set up to manage the city’s finances. Out of nine members, eight of them were bankers.

It was the start of an extraordinary experiment where the financial institutions took power away from the politicians and started to run society themselves. The city had no other option. The bankers enforced what was called “austerity” on the city, insisting that thousands of teachers, policemen and firemen were sacked. This was a new kind of politics. The old politicians believed that crises were solved through negotiation and deals. The bankers had a completely different view. They were just the representatives of something that couldn’t be negotiated with – the logic of the market.

One of the people who did understand how to use this new power was Donald Trump. Trump realized that there was now no future in building housing for ordinary people because all the government grants have gone. But he saw that there were other ways to get vast amounts of money out of the state.Trump started to buy up derelict buildings in New York and he announced that he was going to transform them into luxury hotels and apartments. But in return, he negotiated the biggest tax break in New York’s history, worth 160 million. The city had to agree because they were desperate, and the banks, seeing a new opportunity, also started to lend him money.

Donald Trump began to transform New York into a city for the rich, while he paid practically nothing.

Image result for trump

The Donald comes back as US president to do the same for his billionaire buddies using his 'expertise'. Anger has increased in the American society for the growing inequality and immunity that the bankers enjoy. He played the 'anti-establishment' patriot to get elected and now he is doing everything to secure status quo in favor of his class.

It's now very clear that Donald Trump tricked the voters with his great theatrical performance. Donald was very good in playing the 'anti-establishment' candidate by staging shows with the media and the GOP, to appear as the 'annoying guy' who is a 'big headache' for the establishment. Well, guess what: plutocracy, media, GOP, corporate Dems, neocons and Trump, are all on the same side.

Documents reveal US role in Indonesia’s anti-Communist massacre

Newly declassified files from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta confirm the extent to which American officials supported the killings of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians in the 1960s, as the U.S. worked to keep Southeast Asia from falling into Communist control.

The U.S. supported a narrative pushed by the Indonesian military that blamed Communists for a failed coup in 1965, targeting the anti-American President Sukarno.

This narrative emboldened the Indonesian military, paramilitaries and others to oversee the killings of 500,000 Indonesians who were suspected Communists, including students and union members.

The U.S. was following what was happening very closely, and if it weren’t for its support, you could argue that the army would never have felt the confidence to take power,” said John Roosa, author of the book Pretext for Mass Murder, about the events, in an interview with the New York Times.

In a secret cable sent from the Embassy to Washington, D.C. in November 1965, an official detailed the efforts of provinces to repress suspected members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and its executions of prisoners as a means of controlling prison populations.

More:

In escalation of anti-leak campaign, Trump cracks down on Whistleblowers

The Trump administration has declared a war on media leaks and called for the U.S. federal workforce and contractors to receive “anti-leak” training. The centerpiece of Trump’s anti-leak campaign, aside from early morning tweet-storms railing against leakers and media, is the National Insider Threat Taskforce.

The Insider Threat Program is not Trump-era creation. In then-secret testimony to Congress in 2012, Directorate of National Intelligence official Robert Litt touted the original Insider Threat Program as a highlight in administrative efforts to “sanction and deter” leaks. In the past, Insider Threat Program training has improperly included “WANTED”-style images of whistleblowers pictured alongside actual spies and mass murderers.

As recently as last month, DOD has developed training courses, toolkits, templates, posters, and videos, all aimed toward silencing and deterring anyone who would disclose to the press or the public information the government wants kept secret for no legitimate reason and that the public has an interest in knowing. It is not only federal employees who receive these trainings, but tens of thousands of government contractors as well. Companies with any classified access are required to implement an “Insider Threat Program,” an insidious presumption that employees cannot be trusted.

Full report:


Related:

Saudi airstrike kills entire family in Yemen, including children

The latest in a long line of disastrous airstrikes by Saudi warplanes across Yemen, officials reported an airstrike on Tuesday night in the northern Jawf Province, destroying a single civilian home, killing six civilians and critically wounded another.

The civilians killed were an entire family. The slain included the parents and four of their daughters. The lone survivor, who was injured, was their only son. Saudi officials gave no indication why the house was destroyed.

Locals in the district, however, reported that the house was directly targeted twice, initially hit with airstrikes that destroyed the building, and then minutes later as rescue workers got close to the site. Officials say no rescue workers were injured, as they had yet to reach the wreckage.

Saudi Arabia has faced growing criticism for its massive civilian death toll in Yemen, and the US is under growing pressure to stop selling the Saudis arms, and to stop participating in the Yemen War. The House of Representatives has a War Powers Act challenge, which would compel the end of US involvement in the conflict, scheduled for November 2.

Source, links:

19 October, 2017

Pythia-1: The assassination operation of former Greek PM for approaching Russia

The Russian state news channel Russia-24 came with an updated report that sheds more light in a peculiar case that shaken Greece right before the financial crisis hit the country. Connecting the dots through additional information allegedly coming from the Russian intelligence, the report supports a scenario that could have been taken from CIA textbooks. According to this, there was a well-organized operation against former Greek PM, Kostas Karamanlis, aiming his political extermination and even assassination, once he had 'dangerously' approached Russia. While assassination plans didn't succeed, Karamanlis lost the elections of 2009 midst social, political and financial instability allegedly reinforced by this operation.


The story begins in 2008, or even before this year. The then Greek PM, Kostas Karamanlis starts facing difficulties with the Greek economy. In his foreign policy he tries to get closer to Russia in several key directions, from increasing trade volumes to purchasing arms.

Karamanlis called Vladimir Putin his friend and Moscow was his strategic partner. He supported Greece's participation in the Burgas–Alexandroupoli pipeline and the South Stream. This was a gas pipeline to deliver Russian oil and gas to South and Central Europe. Agreements between the governments were signed.

Kostas Karamanlis couldn't have known that because of these meetings and negotiations, not deals, certain forces in Greece and beyond would start an intricate plan to disrupt the projects. From the standard destabilization of the country to the change of the political course. This became famous from numerous Greek press articles.

If we are to believe what has been published, the plan was called Pythia-1. This plan was to be executed by foreign agents deployed in Greece. Nobody knows which countries are behind them, but it's a known fact that they had allies among the Greeks. These include the Army, authorities and deputies. This was a well-prepared, well-organized group, which has been following the Greek leader. It seems that they were preparing his assassination.

The Greek National Intelligence Service received a tip from the Russian FSB. Based on this data, a secret document was created. The media material state that the Russian special services got interest in this story after certain foreign agents' attempts to tap the phones of Kostas Karamanlis, Georgi Parvanov - the former Bulgarian president - and Vladimir Putin.

In these conversations they spoke about gas pipelines, oil and gas supplies. In the West, some really didn't want to see project like Burgas–Alexandroupoli and South Stream become a reality. It's hard to believe, but putting an entire country into chaos is still a great option.

Eventually, the intruders didn't manage to assassinate Karamanlis, but they kept a close eye on him. In that top-secret document an episode is described where Russian spies met with the conspirators face-to-face. It supposedly happened in April 2008, around Nea Makri, Attica. The attention of PM guards and Russian spies was caught by a strange minivan. People inside it left after the incident on a moped without licence plates. Inside the minivan they found an arsenal, including explosives, Kalashnikov rifles, communication tools, night vision equipment, detailed maps with the PM's itinerary, and detailed information of his bodyguards.

Weapons and maps were taken as evidence. The Attorney General's office began an investigation and after several years the case made it to court. All conspiracy members' names are kept in secret. All in the investigation's interests.

We only know a few names:

William Basil, a former CIA agent. He lived and worked in Greece since the mid 90s. He is considered the best in monitoring and phone-tapping. A warrant for his arrest was issued in 2015, but Basil had time to run. It's a known fact that tapping Karamanlis was done from the phones he personally bought. He also used SIM cards registered in Athens under US Embassy.

Former Greek parliamentary, Michalis Karhimakis is accused of treason and divulging of state secrets. He was in PASOK party and ally of George Papandreou.

Among other accused parties are two former Greek special services agents. They are also accused of treason and divulging of state secrets.

Considering the leaked data from the intel. services to the press, which mentioned about 20 political figures, we know that these four people are just the tip of the iceberg.

Karamanlis is alive, but he had to retire. He lost the snap elections in October 2009. Eventually, Greece slowly exited the Burgas–Alexandroupoli pipeline and the South Stream. Also, Greece decided not to buy Russian military equipment.


Note that Kostas Karamanlis was defeated by George Papandreou in 2009 elections, right before the eruption of the financial crisis. Papandreou is considered responsible for bringing IMF in Greece with the subsequent devastating effects in the Greek economy due to its brutal neoliberal policies.

Facespook! Social media giant becomes arm of US intel

Facebook, the world’s top social media platform, is reportedly seeking to hire hundreds of employees with US national security clearance licenses.

Purportedly with the aim of weeding out “fake news” and “foreign meddling” in elections.

If that plan, reported by Bloomberg, sounds sinister, that’s because it is. For what it means is that people who share the same worldview as US intelligence agencies, the agencies who formulate classified information, will have a direct bearing on what millions of consumers on Facebook are permitted to access.

It’s as close to outright US government censorship on the internet as one can dare to imagine, and this on a nominally independent global communication network. Your fun-loving place “where friends meet.”

Full report:

France approves restrictive anti-terrorism law to replace 2-year state of emergency

The French parliament has approved a new controversial anti-terrorism law, replacing the soon-to-expire two-year state of emergency. The new legislation has prompted fears it will severely limit civil liberties.

The French senate approved the new anti-terrorism law on its second reading on Wednesday. The new law, set to increase law enforcement powers in the fight against terrorism, was supported by 244 senators, with only 22 voting against it. The bill was overwhelmingly approved by the lower chamber of parliament earlier in October.

The state of emergency was imposed in France to combat terrorism in the wake of the deadly 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, and has been extended six times since. It is set to finally expire on November 1.

Its key points include allowing the authorities to search homes of those suspected of terrorist links, while holding them for up to four hours and seizing data, items and documents. It also allows the authorities to confine suspects to their town or city for up to a year and have them report to police every day. Any movement beyond that requires them to wear a tracking bracelet.

Top regional officials will be allowed to shut down places of worship for up to six months, if they deem preachers have incited attacks or glorified terrorism. This can be done without any hard proof obtained by police, but simply on the basis of "ideas and theories" shared by the preachers’ devotees.

Police are also granted the authority to stop and search people at vulnerable areas such as borders, train stations and airports.

Ahead of the parliamentary vote, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted 500 law enforcement officers including police, gendarmes, prefects, and other officials at the Elysees Palace. Macron defended the new law and mulled a new nationwide anti-radicalization plan. “The first mission of the state is to protect our fellow citizens and ensure the security of the territory... We have to adapt our organization, our action,” he said.

The plan includes hiring 10,000 more police officers and gendarmes, as well as supplying them with technology suitable for the “smartphone era.” He also promised to implement stricter measures to more efficiently deport migrants with “no legal right” to stay in France.

We don’t welcome people well, our procedures are too long, we don’t integrate people properly and neither do we send enough people back,” Macron told the law enforcement officers.

The new anti-terrorism law has repeatedly drawn concern over human rights issues. UN human rights experts urged France to comply with "its international human rights obligations," worrying the bill would "incorporate into ordinary law several restrictions on civil liberties currently in place under France’s state of emergency."

Source:


Related:

American liberals and neocons unite to push war in Ukraine

In the U.S. Russia-hating liberals are joining the neocons in seeking more war in Ukraine, as the prospects for a rational and peaceful resolution to the crisis continue to fade.

by James W. Carden

Part 3 - Less Dangerous Options

One reasonable alternative to NATO membership would be a treaty along the lines of the 1955 Austrian State Treaty, which was an agreement reached between the four post-World War II occupying powers (U.S., USSR, Great Britain and France) that granted Austria its independence “with the understanding,” according to the U.S. State Department, “that the newly independent state of Austria would declare its neutrality, creating a buffer zone between the East and the West,” meaning it would join neither NATO nor the Soviet-run Warsaw Pact.

Charles Bohlen, the legendary American diplomat who served as ambassador to Moscow from 1953-57, recalled in his memoir Witness To History that, with regard to the Austrian State Treaty, he believed “that the Kremlin leaders, and probably the Soviet military chiefs, decided that a genuinely neutral Austria was of more value to Soviet Russia than the maintenance of a divided country where the Red Army would occupy only the poorer half.

The situation in postwar Austria – occupied by East and West – is not perfectly analogous to the situation that obtains in Ukraine today, but there seem to be lessons from what Bohlen intuited were the Kremlin’s motives that might be drawn upon to inform Western diplomacy.

But instead of trying to implement the Minsk peace agreement (which calls for the Donbas to remain as part of Ukraine but with more autonomy from Kiev) or search for a reasonable alternative to what are indeed perplexing and pressing matters of national security, Poroshenko has continued to ring the alarm over the another, this time illusory, Russian invasion.

In a recent speech before the Ukrainian parliament, Poroshenko claimed “there is more and more evidence for [Russia’s] preparations for an offensive war of continental proportions.

Yet perhaps the danger isn’t as clear and present as Poroshenko portrayed it. As Mary Dejevesky of the U.K.’s Independent has observed: “Nato itself had held exercises in the Black Sea and before that in and around the western borderlands of Ukraine. Who, it has to be asked here, is threatening whom?

Indeed, if Russia was on the precipice of launching a land war in Eastern Europe, would it have cut its defense budget by 25 percent to $48 billion a year, as was recently announced by the Kremlin?

As difficult as it might be for our hearty band on new cold warriors to believe (some of whom have scant knowledge about the topic of U.S.-Russia relations on which they so frequently choose to declaim), the push for a peaceable settlement in Ukraine is coming not from Washington, but from Moscow and Berlin.

Nevertheless, the stalemate continues: a resolution to the Ukrainian conflict – through the implementation of the Minsk agreements, as well as a settlement of the outstanding security concerns of all parties to the conflict – seems to remain tragically out of reach.

***

Source, links:


[1] [2]

18 October, 2017

Russia seeks complete economic independence through blockchain CryptoCurrency, BRICS may follow!

The CryptoRouble is coming!


Russia is about to become the first state that will issue its own CryptoCurrency. While Vladimir Putin implied that CryptoRouble comes as a natural attempt by Russia to participate in rapid developments in the sector of monetary and commercial transactions, it is quite probable that there are other reasons too. At the time where Russia struggles to overcome continuous sanctions by the West and BRICS seek complete independence from the Western monetary monopoly, the move could contribute significantly towards the achievement of both of these goals.


As Mintpressnews reported:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made history today, when he endorsed the creation of a soon to be unveiled CryptoRouble, the world’s first cryptocurrency endorsed by a state. [...] The CryptoRouble is being worked on at the moment and should be available soon, although a precise timeline is not yet available.

[...]

While advocates of autonomous cryptocurrency exchange will almost certainly adopt the traditional ultra-libertarian line that any government regulation into cryptocurrencies makes them scarcely different from using traditional currencies in the online domain (Paypal for example), long time advocates of cryptocurrency in the retail and wholesale sector will almost certainly look with interest to this new development. [...] if in the eyes of the Russian government, a CryptoRouble is as legitimate a currency as the Rouble, it will allow wholesalers, retailers and possibly even independent financial traders to use the CryptoRouble to avoid the sanctions against Russian banks which their own anti-libertarian western governments have imposed. Additionally, if the CryptoRouble becomes easily convertible to popular western originated cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, it would solve the problem of Bitcoin users being ‘shut out’ of the Russian market. All one would need to do in order to engage in transactions with Russian businesses using a cryptowallet, would be to digitally exchange one’s Bitcoins (or any other existing cryptocurrency) for a desired amount of CryptoRoubles. The aforementioned process would generally take the same amount of time or even less than a traditional online bank transfer.

[...]

During September’s BRICS Summit in Xiamen, there was a great deal of discussion regarding the establishment of a cryptocurrency for the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China South Africa) and their partners. Such a coin would have all of the advantages of the CryptoRouble with the added benefit of instant legitimacy and even desirability across some of the world’s most dynamic and growing economies. It could also facilitate easier money transfers between BRICS members. This would be particularly helpful for Chinese businessmen who often have trouble getting large sums of Yuan out of the country in single transactions. A BRICSCoin, if based on the Russian security net could plausibly alleviate similar existing Chinese concerns about cryptocurrencies. As China has begun trading oil futures contracts in Yuan which can be converted to gold at the Shanghai and Hong Kong gold exchanges, one could foreseeably be looking at a BRICScoin that would effectively be backed by gold, in certain instances.

The move may help Russia avoid the hard sanctions imposed by the West through the 'back door' of the CryptoCurrency market. Russia may access Western markets in the future through the rapidly increasing number of individuals who will use Bitcoin and other CryptoCurrencies.

Previously, we had the first serious attack against Bitcoin by the Western banking cartel through JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, which was a serious indication that Bitcoin and other CryptoCurrencies could become a real threat against cartel's monetary monopoly, which gives significant power to the mega-banks of the West, even up to the point to 'design' major financial crises.

As has been described, Dimon's attack could be related to a recent statement made by the Head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, that the BRICS are considering to create their own CryptoCurrency for the purposes of global commerce.

Such a move could help BRICS to decouple economies from the Western neoliberal monetary monopoly, even faster. With the technology of more powerful computers in close future that could 'mine' CryptoCurrencies at much faster rate, the number of people who will choose to abandon traditional currencies may rise rapidly. Those who will set-up such a de-centralized financial system, will gain a great advantage against the obsolete system of traditional currencies controlled by central banks.

Even entire countries may choose to jump into the new system, in order to escape from the monopoly of the Western hard currencies. The most characteristic example is Greece. Many in Greece are considering Bitcoin and other alternative currencies as a solution against the monetary dictatorship of the ECB.

Indeed, Russia seems that is moving fast towards the implementation of such plans.

However, there are currently some political barriers against the prospect of a BRICS CryptoCurrency in the close future. These are related mainly to Brazil and the constitutional coup against former president Dilma Rousseff. Right-wing, Pro-Washington Michel Temer is expected to sabotage from inside such efforts by the BRICS and this will prove further that the US is terrified with the prospect of a BRICS CryptoCurrency.

Petrodollar already struggles to maintain its dominance as many countries have chosen to 'revolt' against it and proceed in major transactions with domestic currencies, or suggest such an alternative. Latest example, Venezuela.

As the BRICS bloc grows economically quite fast, the prospect of a BRICS CryptoCurrency will contribute to the quicker demolition of dollar domination. There is a deeper reason for which the US empire is terrified in such a case. Since the early 70s with the abolition of the gold standard, dollar became the dominant currency in global scale. This fact permitted the US financial-military-industrial complex, expressed by the neocon/neoliberal ideology, to design economic and military wars in every corner of the planet to maximize its power and profits. All it needed was just machines printing dollars. The rest was the easy part.

Therefore, the prospect of a global economy flooded with decentralized CryptoCurrencies and other CryptoCurrencies issued by a major rival bloc, will become the worst nightmare for the US empire and its Western allies.

As one can understand, the CryptoMarket anarchists have nothing to fear. A CryptoCurrency issued by BRICS, or some member-states, or even other countries separately, will not be a threat for the decentralized nature of the rest of CryptoCurrencies. On the contrary, it will give them a significantly wider field and greater opportunities for all kinds of transactions inside a dynamically growing economic bloc which, if nothing else, does not rely on wars and destruction to maintain its dominance.

The same neocon syndicate that pushed for Iraq invasion is now pushing Trump against Iran

President Donald Trump has disavowed the Iran nuclear deal, but won’t pull out of it – yet. The same neocons who pushed for the 2003 invasion of Iraq are now arguing that the US needs to abandon the multi-party international agreement. Investigative reporter Max Blumenthal says that the end goal for decertifying the Iran deal is the same as the Iraq invasion, even though members of the Trump administration say pulling out would empower Iranian hardliners.

Διάδρομοι Βρυξελλών: Γιατί τόσο μίσος με τον εργατικό κώδικα της Γαλλίας;

Γιώργος Βασσάλος

Από το 2015, όταν ο Μακρόν ως υπουργός του Ολλάντ ξεκινούσε την πρώτη του νομοθετική επίθεση στο γαλλικό εργατικό κώδικα, η επικεφαλής του ΔΝΤ Κριστίν Λαγκάρντ επευφημούσε τονίζοντας όμως ότι θα χρειαστεί «ένας νόμος Μακρόν 2 κι ένας νόμος Μακρόν 3».

Ο «Νόμος Μακρόν 2» ονομάστηκε τελικά «Νόμος Ελ Κομρί» και πέρασε σε μορφή διατάγματος το 2016. Προκάλεσε τη μεγαλύτερη κοινωνική αναταραχή στη Γαλλία όχι μόνο από το 2010, αλλά στην πραγματικότητα από το 2006. Το πολιτικό του αποτέλεσμα ήταν η ουσιαστική διάλυση του μόλις πριν λίγα χρόνια κραταιού γαλλικού Σοσιαλιστικού Κόμματος, το οποίο έπεσε από τις 284 στις 30 έδρες. Τον περασμένο μήνα ολοκλήρωσε την πώληση των ιστορικών κεντρικών γραφείων του στην οδό Σολφερινό του Παρισιού.

Ως Πρόεδρος σήμερα, ο Εμμανουέλ Μακρόν επιχειρεί την τελική κατεδάφιση καθιερώνοντας συμβάσεις σε επίπεδο επιχείρησης που θα μπορούν να προβλέπουν κατώτερες προδιαγραφές από αυτές που προβλέπονται στις κλαδικές συλλογικές συμβάσεις ή τον εθνικό κώδικα εργασίας με βάση το «νόμο Μακρόν 3» ή «νόμο εργασίας ΧΧL» που πέρασε με διάταγμα.

Σε πρόσφατο άρθρο του ο Λ. Βατικιώτης έγραψε για τη νέα εργατική αναταραχή που προκαλεί αυτή του η πρωτοβουλία, ενώ στην πραγματικότητα εκλέχτηκε μόνο και μόνο για να μη φτάσει στην εξουσία η Μαρίν Λεπέν. Η εργατική αυτή αναταραχή υποχρεώνει ήδη τους εργοδότες σε κλάδους όπως οι οδικές μεταφορές και τα λιμάνια να αρχίζουν να υπογράφουν με τα συνδικάτα συμφωνίες εξαίρεσης από το νόμο.

Τί είναι αυτό όμως, που ωθεί ολόκληρα κόμματα στην πολιτική αυτοκτονία ή ένα νέο πρόεδρο όπως ο Μακρόν στο να γίνεται ο πιο πρόωρα μη δημοφιλής πρόεδρος της 5ης γαλλικής δημοκρατίας και στο να εκτοξεύει προσβολές σε τακτά πλέον διαστήματα εναντίον των εργαζομένων («άνθρωποι που δεν είναι τίποτα», «τεμπέληδες» που τα κάνουν «μπουρδέλο»); Ποιου στόχου η επίτευξη μπορεί να αξίζει τέτοιες «θυσίες» από τους αστούς πολιτικούς;

Ο στόχος αυτός είναι ότι πρέπει άμεσα να πέσει το ποσοστό κάλυψης από συλλογικές συμβάσεις στη Γαλλία που είναι πρώτη στην Ευρώπη με 98% στον ιδιωτικό τομέα. Τέτοια… «σοβιετικά» ποσοστά δε χωρούν στη σημερινή ΕΕ. Από την αρχή της κρίσης του 2008, η διάλυση της οργανωμένης εργασίας και το σπάσιμο της υποχρέωσης να διαπραγματεύονται μαζί της ήταν ο κύριος στόχος των καπιταλιστών και των πολιτικών τους εκπροσώπων.

Το μεγαλύτερο μέρος αυτού του 98% οφείλεται σε κλαδικές συμβάσεις που ισχύουν ακόμα και σε επιχειρήσεις οπού δεν υπάρχουν συνδικάτα.

Καταργώντας τη σχεδόν αυτόματη ανανέωση των συμβάσεων και την ιεραρχία που έλεγε ότι οι επιχειρησιακές συμβάσεις μπορούν να προβλέπουν μόνο ανώτερες προδιαγραφές από τις κλαδικές συμβάσεις, που μπορούσαν με τη σειρά τους να προβλέπουν μόνο ανώτερες προδιαγραφές από τον Κώδικα Εργασίας, ο νόμος «Μακρόν 3» θα αντικαταστήσει τη σημερινή πιο ρυθμισμένη αγορά εργασίας στην ΕΕ, με μια ζούγκλα επιχειρηματικών «συμφωνιών» με ανίσχυρα σωματεία και ψευτοσωματεία στα χέρια των εργοδοτών. Στην πράξη αυτό θα σημαίνει χειρότερες αμοιβές, λιγότερες άδειες και διαλείμματα, χαμηλότερες αποζημιώσεις απόλυσης και λιγότερες προαγωγές.

Η διάλυση των συλλογικών συμβάσεων στη Γαλλία είναι στρατηγική προτεραιότητα της ΕΕ. Από το 2011, χρησιμοποιεί μεθοδικά τις εξουσίες που τις δόθηκαν από τα νομοθετήματα για την οικονομική διακυβέρνηση για να πιέσει προς την κατεύθυνση αυτή. O Μακρόν επιχειρεί τώρα να υπερκεράσει τις παραινέσεις της ΕΕ, ώστε μια «μεταρρυθμισμένη πλέον Γαλλία» να διαπραγματευτεί με τη Γερμανία που προς το παρόν λέει όχι στις ουσιαστικότερες προτάσεις της για μοίρασμα της πίτας.

Με διαλυμένες τις συλλογικές συμβάσεις στη Γαλλία, το σημείο αναφοράς για όλη την Ευρώπη θα χαθεί. Στο Βέλγιο πέρασε αρχές του 2017, νόμος που αδυνάτισε τη συλλογική διαπραγμάτευση, ενώ ο εκλογικός συνασπισμός σκληρής δεξιάς και φασιστικού FPÖ που διαφαίνεται μετά τις εκλογές στην Αυστρία σε συνδυασμό με τα χειρότερα αποτελέσματα της ιστορίας των παραδοσιακά συνδεδεμένων με τα συνδικάτα σοσιαλδημοκρατών, μάλλον πρέπει να προετοιμάζουν για δραστική χειροτέρευση και εκεί.

Πάνω στις στάχτες της συλλογικής διαπραγμάτευσης επιδιώκει ο Γιουνκέρ να προχωρήσει η «Ένωση Κοινωνικών Προτύπων» που έβαλε ως στόχο στην ομιλία του για την «κατάσταση της Ένωσης» στις αρχές Σεπτέμβρη. Χωρίς αμφιβολία θα πρόκειται για πρότυπα τριτοκοσμικά. Η μόνη περίπτωση να συμφωνήσουν οι εθνικές αστικές τάξεις «για το τι είναι κοινωνικά δίκαιο στην ενιαία αγορά μας» είναι να έχουν εγγυήσεις ότι οποιαδήποτε ομογενοποίηση θα είναι προς τα κάτω.

Περισσότερα:

Ρωσική Κρατική Τηλεόραση: «Υπήρχε σχέδιο δολοφονίας του Καραμανλή και αυτοί ήταν οι εκτελεστές του»

Η Ρωσική κρατική τηλεόραση πραγματοποίησε έρευνα για το «σχέδιο δολοφονίας» του Κώστα Καραμανλή, υποστηρίζοντας, επικαλούμενη νέες πληροφορίες, πως το 2009 η ρωσική FSB αποκάλυψε συνομιλία πρακτόρων της CIA για την «εξουδετέρωση» του πρώην πρωθυπουργού από το αξίωμα του, καθώς και τον επικείμενο θάνατο του.

Η εν λόγω έρευνα μεταδόθηκε μέσω του κεντρικού δελτιόυ ειδήσεων του ρωσικού κρατικού καναλιού και σύμφωνα με όσα αναφέρονται στο σχέδιο συμμετείχαν τουλάχιστον επτά τρομοκρατικές ομάδες, εκ των οποίων οι τρεις ειδικεύονται σε κλοπές και απαγωγές εύπορων επιχειρηματιών, ενώ τέσσερις ομάδες ήταν υπεύθυνες για να οργανωθεί χάος στους δρόμους.

Σύμφωνα με το ρωσικό κρατικό κανάλι αιτία για τη στοχοποίηση του Καραμανλή ήταν η εξωτερική του πολιτική καθώς «προσπαθούσε να έρθει πιο κοντά στη Ρωσία σε πολλές καίριες κατευθύνσεις, από την αύξηση του όγκου των συναλλαγών μέχρι την αγορά όπλων». Υπενθυμίζει μάλιστα πως «ο τότε πρωθυπουργός είχε αποκαλέσει φίλο του τον Βλαντιμίρ Πούτιν και είχε παρουσιάσει τη Μόσχα ως τον πλέον στρατηγικό συνεργάτη του».

Όμως όπως σημείωνει το «κύριο θέμα» ήταν ο τομέας της ενέργειας. «Ο Καραμανλής υποστήριξε τη συμμετοχή της Ελλάδας στον αγωγό Μπουργκάς-Αλεξανδρούπολη και στον αγωγό South Stream. Αυτός ήταν ένας αγωγός φυσικού αερίου για τη μεταφορά ρωσικού πετρελαίου και φυσικού αερίου στη Νότια και Κεντρική Ευρώπη».

Πηγή, βίντεο:

Nearly 300 Rohingya villages destroyed in Myanmar's Rakhine

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says nearly 300 villages of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority have been burned in Myanmar since the outbreak of the latest military offensive in restive Rakhine state.

At least 288 villages in Rakhine have been partially or totally destroyed by fire since August 25, the HRW reported, according to information gathered on satellite images.

According to the HRW, the greatest damage occurred in Maungdaw township, which accounted for some 90 percent of the areas where destruction happened between August 25 and September 25.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for the HRW, said in a statement that the army had committed numerous crimes during the crackdown across the violence-hit region. "The Burmese military destroyed hundreds of Rohingya villages while committing killings, rapes, and other crimes against humanity that forced Rohingya to flee for their lives," said Robertson. "These latest satellite images show why over half a million Rohingya fled to Bangladesh in just four weeks."

The United Nations said on Tuesday some 582,000 Rohingya refugees had fled their homes in Myanmar and arrived in Bangladesh since late August. The world body also warned that thousands more were stranded at the border.

Many of those who have managed to take refuge in Bangladesh say Myanmar's soldiers and Buddhist mobs have been attacking civilians and burning down their homes.

The unprecedented influx of refugees has put immense pressure on Bangladeshi authorities and charities. They have described the crisis as one of the world's most pressing humanitarian emergencies.

Myanmar has long faced international criticism for its treatment of Rohingya Muslims, who are denied citizenship and live in conditions rights groups have compared to those of the Blacks under the former apartheid regime in South Africa.

Source:

American liberals and neocons unite to push war in Ukraine

In the U.S. Russia-hating liberals are joining the neocons in seeking more war in Ukraine, as the prospects for a rational and peaceful resolution to the crisis continue to fade.

by James W. Carden

Part 2 - Ukraine’s Human Rights Abuses

There are a number of objections to yet another round of NATO expansion. As I reported in February 2015: “The current [Ukrainian] government has, according to organizations that could hardly be described as Kremlin friendly (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), committed war crimes in its attempt to defeat the Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas. … NATO’s principal consideration should not be whether NATO will make Ukraine more secure, but whether Ukraine will make NATO more secure. The answer is self-evident.

It is true that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, as recently as this month, insisted to Russian state media that NATO is not contemplating Ukrainian membership, telling Sputnik that “There is no MAP [membership action plan] on the agenda.” Yet Stoltenberg has also said, as he did in a speech to the Ukrainian parliament in July, that he believes Ukraine “has the right to choose its own security arrangements” further noting that “last month, NATO welcomed Montenegro as the 29th member of our Alliance. This shows that NATO’s door remains open.

So the issue doesn’t seem to be going away.

Poroshenko’s push to join NATO, which is being made against the backdrop of ever-worsening relations between the U.S. and Russia, ignores, perhaps purposefully, one of the principal causes of the morass in which Kiev and Moscow find themselves. It was Moscow’s not unfounded fear that Ukraine might join NATO that helped spark the Ukrainian crisis in early 2014.

In the weeks prior to Russia’s annexation of Crimea (and just over a month before the outbreak of full hostilities in the Donbas), three former presidents of Ukraine (Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko) called on the post-Maidan regime to renounce the 2010 Kharkiv agreement which allowed for Russia to base its Black Sea naval fleet in Crimea (in return for discounted prices on Russian natural gas).

It is perhaps not unreasonable that this last move, in addition to the foreign policy and security protocols embedded within the European Union Association agreement (which Poroshenko signed in June 2014), would cause the Russian government to at the very least suspect that NATO was setting the stage for Ukraine’s eventual absorption into the alliance.

Indeed, Kiev’s launch of its violent and indiscriminate “Anti-Terrorist Operation” against the Donbas – with the effect of intimidating and alienating otherwise loyal Russian-speaking citizens in the eastern part of the country – surely played a role in the Kremlin’s decision to come to the aid of the rebels later in the summer of 2014 and again at Debaltseve early the following year.

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