Archive | March 14th, 2015

Zio-Wahhabi (ISIS) threatens to burn down the U.S. Capitol and bomb Big Ben in London

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These pictures show the disturbing fantasy world imagined by Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists. It might well be a fantasy, but ISIS has a $2+ billion bank account that can buy a lot of technology.

In one image, Zio_Wahhabi terrorist overrun the Capitol building in Washington, and fly an ISIS flag from the top of the iconic building, which is engulfed in flames, and the American flag is falling.

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A second image created and circulated by Russian-speaking Zio-Wahhabi terrorists is of smiling Abu Omar al-Shishani, one of the most feared military commanders of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, with Big Ben burning in the background. The caption reads: ‘Soon!! In all cities of the world’, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

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Another fantasy depicts a white horse carrying the Isis flag escaping from the mouths of hungry wolves. It could have a number of different meanings, but it seems to depict a pure Isis overpowering those standing in its way.

But it seems these Zio-Wahhabi terrorists dream of an air force as the group’s logo is painted on a black fighter-jet and another shows a ‘pilot of the Islamic State’.

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In September, it was reported that Zio-Wahhabi ISIS jihadists were changing tactics in the face of U.S.-led air strikes in Iraq by ditch 
Slickly produced ISIS recruitment video:

In the meantime, Zio-Wahhabi ISIS is busy training its next generation of junior jihadis:

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Jewish newspaper calls on I$raHell to nuke Iran and Germany

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By: Lasha Darkmoon

democracy

An Israeli publication has suggested that nuclear bombs should be launched at Iran and Germany—wiping out Tehran, Isfahan, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Dresden, and Dortmund. “Twenty to thirty bombs,” Jewish writer Ben-Eliyahu raves, “will get the job done.”

Times of Israel. — Right-wing media outlet Israel National News published an opinion piece Tuesday calling on Israel to launch nuclear bombs at Iran and Germany, only days after the outlet came under fire for publishing a piece accusing a war widow of killing her husband over her pro-peace views.

In the opinion article published Tuesday, the author claims that only through nuclear annihilation of Iran and Germany, with 20 or 30 nuclear bombs each, can Israelis prevent the state’s destruction.

“If Israel does not walk in the ways of God’s Bible,” author Chen Ben-Eliyahu wrote in Hebrew, “it will receive a heavy punishment of near complete destruction and doom and only a few will be saved.”

One of Israel’s missions is to remember the crimes of Amalek, a tribe representative of pure evil in the Bible, whom Jews are commanded to obliterate. Among those descended from the band, the author writes, are Iranian leaders Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and current President Hassan Rouhani.

“They don’t miss an opportunity to discuss the need for the annihilation of Israel,” he wrote.

To combat this Israel must respond in kind, Ben-Eliyahu declared.

“To an existential threat we must respond with an existential threat,” he wrote, “not with speeches in Congress. We must make it clear to the Iranians that Israel will wipe out their nuclear program and Tehran and Isfahan as well.”

“If an enemy rises up to destroy you, rise earlier to destroy him: twenty, thirty nuclear bombs will do to assure the job gets done,” he continued.

He also called on Israel to remember its near destruction at the hands of the Nazis and exact revenge on Germany, now a staunch ally of Israel.

When the Messiah comes, Ben-Eliyahu wrote, Israel will reverse the Final Solution.

“Twenty to thirty atomic bombs on Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Dresden, Dortmund and so on will assure the job gets done.” he said.  “And the land will then be quiet for a thousand years.”

Israel National News refused to comment on the website’s decision to run the op-ed.

Lasha Darkmoon comments

Don’t let them deceive you into believing that these sort of extremist sentiments do not represent the sentiments of the Israeli public at large. Bombing German cities and reducing them to rubble is, I am told, is a very common Jewish revenge fantasy. If and when the Samson Option comes to be implemented, the first European city to be obliterated by Israel will probably be Berlin, followed by Hamburg and Frankfurt. Dresden will have to go also, if only to fulfil Winston Churchill’s homicidal wet dream of destroying all that was noblest and best in Germany.

Remember, too, in case some politically correct idiot tries to persuade you that most Israelis are paragons of moderation who would throw up their hands in horror at the mere idea of reducing Germany and Iran to rubble, that public support among Israeli Jews for the 2014 military bloodbath in Gaza had been overwhelming throughout its 24-day duration, with an opinion poll showing that 95% of respondents believed the war was justified.

The more Palestinians who could be killed, like fish in a barrel, the more the Israelis loved it.

Atrocity tourists from Tel Aviv and elsewhere flocked to the Gaza district in huge numbers—with picnic lunches, binoculars and armchairs—so that they could enjoy the carnage at leisure. Take a look at this controversial cartoon pic, showing you the typical Israeli atrocity tourist reclining on a sofa and enjoying the spectacle of death.

One Israeli woman, an IDF soldier, even admitted that the thought of Palestinian children being butchered and burned alive almost gave her an orgasm. Here she is, stuffing her mouth with food:

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People like this would have no problem voting for the total destruction of every single city in Germany and Iran.

If you have time, watch this 2-minute video of an Israeli settler. It shows you, again, the true face of Israel and its brutal occupation of Palestine. You have probably seen the video before, but see it again. It is six years old, but it never ceases to amaze me that such mentally deranged individuals as featured in this video are actually the norm in Israel.

You will meet them on every street corner, cursing and swearing and foaming at the mouth with psychotic rage.

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Obama declares Venezuela ‘extraordinary threat’ to U.S. national security

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By Gloria La Riva
Obama declares Venezuela ‘extraordinary threat’ to U.S. national security

President Nicolás Maduro

In an ominous escalation against Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order on March 9 outlandishly declaring the Venezuelan government “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

Venezuelan leaders immediately denounced Obama’s Executive Order. After all, it is Washington that has plotted against the Bolivarian government for 16 years.

In a national TV address, President Nicolás Maduro charged Obama with “committing the gravest aggression against Venezuela in all its history,” calling his order, “a monster created with the backing of the State Department and the CIA.”

The leaders of Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and other progressive Latin American governments vehemently condemned this latest aggressive move by the U.S. as blatant intervention in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa called the March 9 order “a bad joke,” and “an unacceptable attack on the sovereignty” of Venezuela.

The Cuban government issued a statement reading in part: “The revolutionary government of the Republic of Cuba reiterates anew its unconditional support and that of our people to the Bolivarian Revolution, to the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro and to the heroic fraternal people of Venezuela.”

Even the outgoing secretary-general of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza—no friend of the Bolivarian Revolution—called Obama’s order “very harsh.”

In his March 9 declaration, Obama ordered the seizure of property and assets in the United States of seven Venezuelan individuals—military and civilian—whom Washington accuses of “human rights violations and abuses,” for detaining or restricting anti-government protesters.

The colonial ‘logic’ of Obama’s action

According to the colonial “logic” of Obama’s order, the arrest of extreme right-wing counterrevolutionaries in Venezuela poses an “extraordinary threat” to U.S. national security.

The ultra-right protesters launched terrorist attacks starting in February 2014, to try to destabilize the Venezuelan government and create a climate of chaos.

Some 43 people were killed in the attacks.

To put an end to the violence, the National Guard, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and the National Police were mobilized to rescue people in neighborhoods who were trapped by massive barricades set up by the right-wing, and to arrest the attackers and restore peace.

On Feb. 12 this year, the Venezuelan government defeated a new coup plot that would have included plane bombings of multiple sites in Caracas.

Surviving the U.S.-backed plots is why Venezuela’s revolutionary government has been declared an “extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy” to Washington.

Obama’s order sanctions the commanders who defended the population over the past year, as well as the prosecutor of the plotters of the recent coup attempt.

The U.S. government portrays the opposition as peaceful protesters abused by the Venezuelan police forces, but many officers and National Guard have been brutally attacked by the gangs.

Prosecutor Katherine Nayarith Haringhton Padrón is banned from the United States by the order. She is the national prosecutor who charged María Corina Machado and Antonio Ledezma Díaz for conspiring to overthrow the government on Feb. 12, 2015, and calling for violence in the streets.

They are currently awaiting trial, along with Leopoldo López, another coup plotter.

Obama’s Executive Order also broadly defines any current or former leaders and supporters of the Bolivarian government as subject to possible sanctions.

It threatens U.S. individuals and entities that have “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of” pro-government Venezuelans currently targeted or to be named in the future.

Counter-measures

Venezuela’s government has launched counter-measures in recent days, and more are sure to come. In early March, Maduro ordered the reduction of U.S. Embassy personnel from 100 to 17, the same number of Venezuelan embassy/consulate officials in the United States.

Visas will now be required for U.S. citizens wanting to visit Venezuela. And a detailed description of the war crimes committed by U.S. officials who are now banned from entering Venezuela is available on the Internet. These include George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Maduro announced that he will seek a special “Enabling Law” from the National Assembly on March 10 to give Maduro the power to enact emergency laws, to take swift and effective action to defeat the counter-revolution.

It will be “an anti-imperialist law to prepare us for all scenarios, in order to win,” Maduro said.

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New book from PSL Publications – Imperialism in the 21st Century

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Updating Lenin’s Theory a Century Later

By Party for Socialism and Liberation

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The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) is proud to announce the release of a new book: Imperialism in the 21st Century: Updating Lenin’s Theory a Century Later. The book is comprised of chapters from the PSL on imperialism and includes Lenin’s original pamphlet, Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism.

This new publication makes a significant contribution to the ideological development of revolutionaries today, and is a contribution to the Marxist movement and struggle. It is the first in a series of books aimed at covering a range of key historical, tactical and strategic issues of Marxism and Leninism on an in-depth basis.

The book is 210 pages, paperback and is available at $14.95 with free ground shipping for a limited time.

About Imperialism in the 21st Century

Over 1,000 military bases in foreign lands. Armed personnel in 130 countries. A military budget larger than the next 10 governments combined. The U.S. rulers maintain an empire, and one that is constantly at war—so much so that the White House and Pentagon now declare “endless war” to be the country’s standing military doctrine. What is the cause of this massive empire and these constant wars. How can they be stopped?

Imperialism in the 21st Century revisits and updates the analysis of Russian revolutionary Vladmir Ilyich Lenin, who showed how the monopoly stage of capitalism had produced imperialist wars, and only social revolution could bring them to an end. Two world wars of unimaginable destruction confirmed Lenin’s basic thesis and also led to a complete reorganization of world politics.

The rising tide of anti-colonial national liberation movements and the emergence of a powerful socialist bloc of countries after World War ll re-shaped some of the characteristic features of modern imperialism but not the organically expansionist tendency of monopoly capitalism. The dynamic of inter-imperialist rivalry for control of colonies and spheres of influence which led to World War l and World War II was replaced with a new war drive against their common enemy: socialism. The post-Cold War world order delivered unrivaled hegemony to the U.S. ruling class, who became drunk with success, but there are growing contradictions that may explode the world order once again.

This publication reflects the views of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

“As the world has changed, Lenin’s core conclusion remains entirely valid that war is intrinsic to the imperialist stage of capitalism. … It underscores the bedrock necessity of anti-imperialist struggle in creating a new world based on human cooperation. A world without war!”

—From Imperialism in the 21st Century

Paperback, 210 pages, illustrated. $14.95
ISBN: 978-0-9910303-2-3, Library of Congress: 2015933785
February, 2015, Liberation Media

Order today for just $14.95, and get free ground shipping!

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Cultural genocide: ISIS and the Spanish conquest

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By Fernando Andrés Torres

Storming of the Teocalli by Cortez and His Troops, 1848 painting by Emanuel Leutze

ISIS destroying antiquities.

ISIS destroying antiquities.

It was repugnant to watch the destruction of statues and archaeological relics by fanatics of the insurgent group ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant); as impressive as listening to the media reports lacking as usual, a proper context. Amnesiacs all.

I have not felt such repugnance since the 2001′s Taliban destruction of the Buddha statue at Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan, nor when I accidentally saw that movie where the “archaeologist” Indiana Jones destroys much of the ancient Peruvian cultures.

Most of the destroyed objects in the museum of the city of Mosul, Iraq, came from northern Mesopotamia’s Assyrian culture, a paramount area for humanity; cradle of “civilization” where the first human settlements date from the Paleolithic and early Neolithic epochs. The area is located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now Iran and Iraq.

But this anti-history assault is not the first. Iraq was bombed and invaded by the United States in 2003, a move that resulted in widespread looting and destruction of archaeological sites. Although very few media dared to report it, the ancient city of Babylon “paid an extremely high price after the U.S. used the site as military headquarters for five months.” The construction of a military base, according to John Curtis of the British Museum, is a product of “ignorance and stupidity.” Trenches 170 meters long and two meters deep “have caused irreversible damage”. (Global Policy Forum/Agence France-Presse. Dec. 8, 2008). Examples like this abound.

The grotesque acts of ISIS and the sketchy reports in the media reveal how close we are from the past, and how far from memory.

And I’m not talking about Hollywood nor the looting of Egyptian relics by the occupation troops of Napoleon Bonaparte at the end of 1700s (now proudly displayed in the Louvre). I’m talking about deliberate “official” plans of governments, of kingdoms to delete cultures that are not theirs.

One of the most ominous examples of these culture annihilations – very conveniently forgotten by the media, was the Spanish conquest and the introduction of Christianity in the Americas. Along the genocide there was a premeditated attack — through the destruction of temples and codices — to obliterate indigenous cultural heritage from the face of the earth.

“Spain’s unbridled intentions to expand its cultural reasoning included the devastation and repression of indigenous documental culture,” wrote the Mexican bibliographer Felipe Meneses Tello (August 2008).

The ancient indigenous heritage “is then lost forever. There was burnings of picto-hieroglyphic books, destruction of temples, statues of gods, and other monuments. Following the conquest it was risky to talk about books and monuments with inscriptions and statues of gods. To mention and possess them meant to appear as idolatrous and attract punishment and destruction of these testimonials remains.” (Miguel Leon-Portilla. Mexican historian. 1992). As grotesque war trophies, churches and cathedrals were built on top of temples and monuments of all the continent’s primary cultures.

The conqueror kills, religion deletes.

Lucien X. Polastron in his book “Books on Fire: history of the endless destruction of libraries,” does not talk about book-burning during the military coup backed by the U.S. in 1973 (Chile’s own 9/11), but narrates in details how Mexico’s Bishop Juan de Zumarraga completed the unfinished work of Hernán Cortés and in 1529 moved the library of the ‘enlightened capital of Anahuac and the large reservoir of the national archives’ to the market square of Tlatelolco and set them on fire. “The Bishop fulfills its mission satisfying his conscious desire to destroy the memory and pride of the natives” (Polastron. 2007).

The deliberated destruction of history is undoubtedly a human tragedy. But the intentional or unintentional omission; lack of context (media’s great disease), indifference to history, are equally objectionable.

Media outlets are like a conveyor belt for the geopolitical interests of Washington. If the Pentagon says that is the devil; that is the devil, if those states are the enemy; those are the enemy, if the Pentagon consigns to oblivion the fact that allied governments and cultures have also committed such war against culture… we will all fail to remember then.

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Serbia – between Geopolitics and the European System of Values

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Adelina Marini

Had the EU-Russia relations not deteriorated because of the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea and the proxy war Russia is leading in eastern Ukraine, hardly the relations of any EU member state or a candidate for EU membership would have been raised as an issue. The situation now, however, raises the question with a growing weight and in the context of a civilisational choice – if you are with Russia you cannot be with the EU and vice versa. That it is a matter of civilisational choice was hinted by the member states which inserted in the negotiations with Serbia the condition that it “aligns” as fast as possible its foreign and security policy with that of the Union. This means, for starters, to impose sanctions against Russia. As euinside wrote, this has proved the greatest stumbling block for the starting of real accession negotiations by opening the first chapters, which was expected in the end of last year but, according to negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn, the first chapters can be opened in the end of this year. EU does not commit to a specific date.

This week the European Parliament has voted a resolution on Serbia’s progress in which it calls on the country to invest stronger efforts in aligning its foreign and security policy with that of the EU, including toward Russia. The Parliament expresses regret that this had not happened so far despite the invitations by the Council. The text on Russia in the European Parliament resolution, voted with great majority of the MEPs on Wednesday (11 March), reflects the controversial views expressed during the debate before the voting (10 March), as, apart from the sharp tone mentioned above, it also recognises that Serbia has traditionally strong “economic, social and cultural ties” with Russia and expresses confidence that Serbia could play a key role in the relations between EU and Russia.

The question what should Serbia’s approach toward Russia be caused heated disputes among the MEPs. British member James Carver from the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group, a member of the UK Independence Party of Nigel Farage, attacked the EU saying that its “imperialistic expansion toward former Yugoslavia” forgets to take into account the very close relations between Serbia and Russia, based on many common grounds, including cultural and orthodox Christian. This evoked a sharp reaction by Romanian MEP Emilian Pavel (Socialists & Democrats), who asked if Romania too, which is an orthodox Christian country, should accept everything coming from Russia. Polish MEP Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski from the European Conservatives and Reformists group said that if the EU does not open its doors to Serbia, if it does not speak to it, the country will pass into the

influence zone of Russia. He regretted that Nigel Farage’s party again spoke with Russia’s voice. “We should speak with the voice of European unity and solidarity”, he reminded.

That it is about a civilisational choice spoke Lithuanian MEP Gabrielius Landsbergis (EPP). “Whenever we are talking about EU partner states we cannot avoid mentioning that countries have to choose between liberal democracy or authoritarian anti-liberal regime. There’s a clear divide between the values system of Europe, that is based on international law, obligations based on democratic values, and the other system that is currently ruining the European post-war peace order. I, personally, don’t believe that it is possible to choose more than one system, to follow more than one road. Serbia still raises lots of questions which path it chooses to be on. Decision not to support EU sanctions to Russia is more than just a pragmatic choice. It is a statement. At this moment, countries from the Eastern Partnership, like Ukraine, show more political will and eagerness to get closer to the EU than those countries who consider themselves at the EU doorstep. Therefore, I urge the Serbian government to clearly decide which road it wants to take since it’s not possible to have it both ways”, the 33-year old Lithuanian MEP said.

He received an answer to his question from Zagreb, where on an official visit on 11 March was Serbia’s first Deputy Prime Minster and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic. Asked by euinsideto answer this question, Mr Dacic reiterated the traditional Serbian position that Serbia has no need to excuse itself for its relations with Russia. Moreover, Serbia has much less economic cooperation with the Russian Federation than many EU member states. While responding to the question, he heated up even more underscoring that those who talk about this have no idea neither of Serbia nor of the Balkans or the former Yugoslavia. Former Yugoslavia was the only country from the eastern block which said “No” to the Russians and Stalin in 1948, Ivica Dacic continued. Neither Serbia nor Bosnia and Herzegovina or Croatia could be like Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia or even Poland who were at the centre of the Warsaw pact. “We have no dilemma whether we are going to the EU or not. This is to us a strategic definition”, Dacic concluded.

During the debate in the European Parliament, as every year, was raised another very important issue related to Serbia’s past. It is about the opening of the archives of the former Yugoslav security services UDBA and KOS. The issue is always raised by Bulgarian MEP Andrey Kovatchev (EPP) who said during the debate on Tuesday evening that Serbia must begin a reconciliation process with its own history, to open the dossiers and to provide them to the other ex-Yugoslav republics. He also said that Serbia should share “in solidarity” the common European foreign and security policy and to resist pressure from third countries. This appeal can be found under point number 15 in the voted on 11 March resolution about Serbia’s progress but still does not ring a bell in official Belgrade.

Asked by this website about this, Deputy Prime Minster Dacic said: “I really don’t know about these archives. This should probably be part of the talks that take place around the succession [the break-up of Yugoslavia] and then we agreed together and found out together that these things should be resolved quickly, because we ourselves take economic damages from the stalemate on this issue”. Dacic added that there was a large number of buildings which are de iure unusable but money is spent to maintain them. However, he did not answer the question when will Serbia open the archives nor did he commit to work on that. “Serbia does not oppose these issues, too, to be put on the agenda”, was his response.

The issue of Serbia’s past and its relations with Russia, raised by the European Parliament this week, coincided with two key anniversaries – from the death of former Yugoslav dictator Slobodan Milosevic in his cell in the specialised tribunal on the war crimes in former Yugoslavia in the Hague in 2006 and the assassination of the reformist prime minister Zoran Djindjic, shot dead in Belgrade in 2003. This year too the European Parliament did not include in the final text of the resolution an explicit call Serbia to do its utmost to reveal the real killers of the former Serbian premier so that they can face justice. Such calls were made by MEPs in previous years. And in the same time, in Belgrade, members of Alexander Vucic’s government and specifically Alexander Vulin, minister of labour, laid flowers to the memorial of Slobodan Milosevic in Pozarevac. He said after that the Serbia should never forget “its first democratically elected president”. According to him, in a democracy the people cannot be wrong. “Whatever the decision of the people is, this is a God’s decision”.

He went on saying that Milosevic’s enemies were also enemies of Serbia. Apart from him, flowers laid the Serbian radical Vojislav Seselj, whose unexpected release from the tribunal in the Hague for humanitarian reasons caused strong tension in the region. Despite this tension, however, and despite the insisting of neighbouring countries, like Croatia, neither Prime Minister Vucic nor Foreign Minister Dacic or President Nikolic, who once worked with Seselj, distanced themselves from his xenophobic and militaristic statements. All this shows how important it is Serbia to really start a process of reconciliation with its past, to admit its sins and make its civilisational choice – the European system of values or the Russian world view. EU, for its part, should not allow doubles standards on such a crucial issue.

During his visit in Zagreb, in his desire to emphasise how important precisely reconciliation in the region is, Ivica Dacic gave the example of Germany and France, which only several years after the end of World War II laid the foundations of today’s European Union by signing the coal and steel treaty. He missed to mention, however, that even today, decades later, Germany still feels guilty for what the then German authorities did, elected, by the way, also in a democratic way, and it never misses to mention its own role in the second world war. Something Serbia does not do and with certain actions or inactions it even raises doubts whether it really has chosen the European path.

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Brian Becker, PSL leader, analyzes US strategy in Iran, Iraq and Syria

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Image result for US STATE DEPARTMENT LOGO

Brian Becker speaks at a meeting of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

 

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The Structural Reforms Bark but the Deficit Moves On

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Adelina Marini

There is no doubt that the eurozone crisis is now in the past since the Commission and the Council have approved, without objections, the violations of fiscal rules to begin again. This happened in the end of February when the European Commission confirmed what we expected in the autumn, which is that France will again get away and the EU ministers of finance adopted this decision during their regular March meeting. All this in the context of the newly infected relations with Greece, which has created an odd paradox – the Commission plays it soft with France whereas the Eurogroup plays a hard ball with Greece. It is true that the problems with Greece are rather ideological, but, generally, the essence is precisely in sticking to the rules. This decision practically dashes out the three-year long efforts of the institutions, the member states and the European Parliament to update, upgrade and enhance the economic governance of the European Union and the eurozone and could send a very bad signal to the investors, especially at a time when the Commission is investing its entire energy in promoting its most important product – the investment plan.

France – high above the rules with low growth

The first signal that it is possible France to again get away was given in the end of last year when the previous European Commission refused to make a decision on the two-pack – the legislation for closer coordination of the budgetary plans in the euro area – and passed the ball to the new Commission of Jean-Claude Juncker, where on the key position of economic and financial affairs commissioner stood the former French finance minister Pierre Moscovici. Despite the assurances that no member state will receive special treatment, the Commission has denounced its own self last year when it gave two months extension to France, Italy and Belgium to “complete” their budgetary plans because, according to the Commission, they were not sufficiently clear so as to apply the entire severity of the law.

Two months later the Commission decided not to trigger an excessive deficit procedure against Belgium, Italy and Finland because it takes into account the specific environment in which these countries are finding themselves in. And France is getting another two years extension – until 2017 – to correct its excessive deficit. How did France deserve more than the others? With promises. “France has committed in April to come forward with further 4 billion euros cuts. In May, more detailed plans to reform the economy”, explained Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who supported the softer approach toward France. “The Commission will be extremely diligent because this is a question of the credibility of the Stability and Growth Pact. It’s a credibility matter”, added Pierre Moscovici.

According to his predecessor Ollie Rehn, however, this decision is eroding the confidence in the euro area rules and means that the Commission does not have “the guts and sense” to say “no effective action” to France even though it is obvious “to any even slightly informed observer”. However, it was Olli Rehn who first “softened” to France two years ago when Paris received its first extension. This happened mainly because of the newly broken conflict between EU and IMF regarding the methods to calculate the effect of austerity. In addition, two years ago it was still not certain whether the end of the crisis was near.

But although they are loosening the grip around France’s neck, the Commission and the Council do not leave this without some conditionality. The Commission raised for France the level under the macroeconomic imbalances procedure to 5. At the same level the Commission raised the procedure for Bulgaria as well. In a macroeconomic imbalances procedure the member state has to present a corrections plan and the Commission enhances the surveillance through regular reports. In cases of non-compliance for the first time the member state is imposed an interest-bearing deposit and for a second failure this deposit could be transformed into a fine of up to 0.1% of the guilty country’s GDP.

The in-depth review of the European Commission of the French economy reveals, again, the same problems – the growth is too slow, the unemployment is not expected to decline and stands at a high level of 10.2%, no matter the compromises made for Paris by far, the budget deficit remains high and this has in no way contributed to the growth of the gross domestic product. The deficit was last year 4.3% and the public debt reached 95.2% of GDP. The Commission expectations are the debt to continue to grow. Despite some partial improvement, France has lost 13% of its export markets share in the past five years. And, again, the provision of extensions had not helped this to change. The hampers in the services market are not removed, the administrative burden is high, the tax burden is huge despite some alleviation recently. The state in 2014 was huge – 57% of GDP.

There is almost no progress also in the reform of the labour market which is quite restrictive, the system of unemployment benefits is not reformed, neither are improved the opportunities for work of older workers. The Commission greatest concern is that the bad development of the French economy could have a significant impact on other euro area members. A concern that has been expressed many times by far by neighbouring Germany. “The French economy has strong trade, financial and banking linkages with other Member States. Failure to effectively address the French structural challenges may thus affect adversely euro area partners. Conversely, a recovery of consumer confidence in France would benefit the euro area as a whole”, the report on France says.

The situation around France has confirmed also the expected tension between Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia, EPP), who is a supporter of strict fiscal discipline and fast but deep structural reforms, and Pierre Moscovici (France, S&D). The differences between them emerged for the first time during the Greek 2.0 crisis but when the reports of the Commission under the European Semester were presented, the discords between them were completely confirmed. The former Latvian prime minister openly said that the decisions related to the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact and the macroeconomic imbalances have to be made generally by them both. “Nevertheless, given the importance of the subject we felt it’s important to also discuss it in the College”. “As regards the situation in France, it was obviously the most complicated case to be discussed today”, he added. In the end, all the 28 commissioners voted on the decision on France which reveals that there were serious discords in the Commission and ultimately the loosening of the rules prevailed.

Moscovici defended the decision pointing out that France announced several reforms in the past few days. It is then logical to ask why the last few days, since it was given a last chance two months ago? And although the Council is not inclined to apply indulgence to Greece, the attitude to France is definitely different. In the voted by the 28 finance ministers recommendation it is explained that granting just one additional year to France could be too demanding against the backdrop of the current weak economic environment and would require further correction of the structural balance of more than 1.0% of GDP, which is above the average. Given the promised by France plans for structural reforms and its national reforms programme, the Council believes it adequate to grant France two more years to correct its budget deficit. This means that France should reduce its deficit to 4% this year, to 3.4% in 2016 and in 2017 to reduce it to 2.8%. This means that the annual structural effort will be 0.5% of GDP this year, 0.8% next year and 0.9% in 2017.

The Council sets also deadlines for the implementation of specific tasks by France. By 10 June 2015 the second largest economy in the eurozone has to undertake effective actions and to report in detail on a fiscal consolidation strategy. This includes also an additional structural effort of 0.2% this year, which is the4 billion euros of additional savings promised by the French government and President Francois Hollande. These 0.2% at the epicentre of the dispute between the Commission and Paris last year. In addition, France has to report to the Commission and the economic and monetary affairs committee of the European Parliament. Its report for this year has to be presented for the first time on 10 December 2015 and then it has to be made every six months. Reporting to the European Parliament is a very strong “punishment” for France because, during the hearing of Pierre Moscovici in the economic committee, many MEPs criticised him that in his capacity of a finance minister he never showed for a regular monetary dialogue, which is also part of the changes of the economic governance.

The rules are dead, long live the rules!

It is a fact that both the Commission and the Council have changed the approach and the compromise is accompanied by a conditionality never required so far. Nevertheless, a sufficiently convincing economic argumentation of this decision is missing, bearing in mind that France never took advantage of previous extensions either to do structural reforms or to increase its competitiveness. Two years later, its economic growth is due rather to inertia than to real economic drivers. The last year the French gross domestic product grew by just 0.4%. It remains unclear why the Commission refused to apply to France the new guidelines for the flexibility of the fiscal rules. It is possible that it is because France announced that it will take part in the future investment fund with 8 billion euros.

This participation was one of the conditions to apply more flexibility to the fiscal rules. In its interpretation of the Stability and Growth Pact the Commission points out that no excessive deficit procedure will be triggered for countries that participate with additional money into the investment fund if that has a negative effect on their deficit. France, however, already is in a procedure. This means that it

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is possible the Commission to have decided, in exchange for the 8 billion euros, to not impose sanctions for missing the deadlines for correction.

Last but not least, the decision to give another extension makes pointless the debates that are currently taking place in EU on whether there is a need of reform of the economic governance of the EU and the euro area in particular and what should they be. It also questions the need the four presidents to write another report on the future of the euro area since it is already clear that there will always be special treatment for some countries. This is something Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite warned of last year when she recalled that France and Germany violated the Stability and Growth Pact several times in the past and that under the pressure of these two countries the rules were weakened. According to her, this contributed to the crisis.

The main conclusion from all this is that the EU is united and strict to its own self only when it is under pressure (a crisis). When there is no pressure, there is business as usual. When could we expect a return of the crisis then? Soon. Sooner than we would like because Europe continues not to be an attractive place for investments, it is in a hard geopolitical situation and the euroscepticism is knocking at the door. Alas, this time only the crisis will return not the economic boom that preceded it because there are no conditions for such a boom.

Posted in EuropeComments Off on The Structural Reforms Bark but the Deficit Moves On

SYRIAN ARMY SPECIAL FORCES BLOODY ALQAEDA IN SALMAA

NOVANEWS

SAA SET TO CONQUER ALL HOMS GAS FIELDS

image: http://albaathmedia.sy/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Untitled-14.jpg

ميدانيLATAKIA:

Salmaa Area:  A crack special operations unit of the Syrian Army initiated a sudden raid on a group of Al-Qaeda/Nusra rodents in the area of northern Salmaa and destroyed 3 pickups with 23mm cannons, 3 vans loaded with ammunition and several launchers and mortars with rockets.  All terrorists were killed:

Faalih Al-Ghamzaawi (PALESTEEZIAN ROACH)

Iqbaal Shareef Mas’ood (PAKISTANI APE EXCREMENT)

Mus’ab Al-Zayyaat (LIBYAN RAT RUNT. A/k/a Al-Hajjaaj Al-Leebi)

‘Ammaar Al-Zinti (JORDANTEEZIAN GREEN MONKEY VIRUS)    

‘Uthmaan Fukayhi (EGYPTIAN ASP MUCOUS)

Fareed Mustafaa

Marwaan Al-Shahm

‘Aarif Badawi

Another 12 could not be identified.

image: http://www.jpnews-sy.com/ar/images/news/big/84884.jpg

مقتل عدد من الإرهابيين بعملية مباغتة للجيش في بلدة سلمى بريف اللاذقية Hazeereen Village: Abandoned village was pummeled by SAA artillery killing a reported 6 rodents and wounding over 10.  The rats could be seen evacuating their injured toward the Turk border under withering, unrelenting fire from our army. A pickup with 23mm cannon was disabled and left behind by the cowardly rats.

Kafr Dilba:  Another SF operation netted 8 rats all of whom had foreign documents.  I have not received the names yet.  Don’t believe anything you hear from the lying British press about any gains by the rats in this area.

HOMS:  SYRIAN ARMY LAUNCHES NEW OFFENSIVE TO TAKE BACK ALL REMAINING OIL AND GAS FIELDS IN HOMS.  HUGE OIL WELL 105 IN THE CROSS HAIRS.

image: http://media.farsnews.com/media/Uploaded/Files/Images/1393/12/15/13931215000268_PhotoI.jpg

Syria: Army Preparing to Take Control of Strategic Oil Wells in Homs ProvinceI have received assurances from both Wael and Monzer that a massive campaign to delouse all Eastern Homs has begun in earnest.  The target is now the largest gas field and oil well in Syria at Number 105.  With 106 nearby, it is expected that all ISIS cannibals will be out of Homs in the next few days. ISIS has not been able to make use of these wells and fields for months and it is expected they will withdraw without much protestation in order to reinforce at either Al-Raqqa or Mosul.  That’s the expectation.  It might not go that way and the army is taking no chances.  A report 69 rodents killed so far during Friday.

Al-Rastan:  At the Shalhoob Roundabout, the SAA killed 4 Nusra/Alqaeda rodents.  No names.

Al-Sultaaniyya Hills:  The SAA is very active here trying to dislodge tenacious cockroaches.  We predict the area will be uninfested in 3 days.

Ruhoom: This is ISIS’s main base in Eastern Homs.  It is critical to its foothold in the area. The SAAF is now shellacking it with every kind of missile and bomb available.  Expect a statement on Ruhoom in the next few days.  ISIS cannot withstand the beating it’s getting here.

Fighting reported in Al-Mushayrifa, Talbeesa and Al-Wa’er.

image: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B_2AaeDVEAAh6M-.jpg:medium

SYRIAN ARMY SPECIAL FORCES BLOODY ALQAEDA IN SALMAA; SAA SET TO CONQUER ALL HOMS GAS FIELDS by Ziad Fadel

Posted in SyriaComments Off on SYRIAN ARMY SPECIAL FORCES BLOODY ALQAEDA IN SALMAA

Did you hear the one about how the U.S. doesn’t support coups?

NOVANEWS
Did you hear the one about how the U.S. doesn’t support coups?

Jen Psaki, State Dept. spokesperson, at March 13 press conference.

History was made at the U.S. State Department on Feb. 13. Asked about U.S. efforts to topple the Venezuelan government the day after Venezuela had thwarted the plot and revealed the evidence to the world, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki responded: “As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by nonconstitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful and legal.”

But it wasn’t Psaki who made history with that absurd remark. After all, if there’s anything “longstanding,” it’s the practice of U.S. officials standing before the world and telling bald-faced lies. Whether it’s Adlai Stevenson telling the United Nations that the planes which bombed Cuba the day before the Bay of Pigs invasion were not American planes, or Colin Powell making claims about Iraqi WMD [weapons of mass destruction] that he knew in advance were “bulls—,” or George Bush insisting that “the U.S. government does not torture people,” lies like the one Psaki told are all too common.

No, it was AP correspondent Matt Lee who made history, when, in a rare show of courage and honesty, he sputtered in reply, “How longstanding is that?”

Lee could have been a lot more specific in his reply, though. Because the policy Psaki announced wasn’t even in place as she spoke; at that very moment, the U.S. was busy training and arming rebels in Syria aiming to topple the Syrian government. Indeed, since December 2012, the U.S. government has recognized a group known as the Syrian National Coalition as the “sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” despite its having not the slightest legal or constitutional claim on such a status.

The Feb. 12 coup wasn’t even the first U.S.-supported coup in Venezuela; in 2002, one briefly toppled the previous President, Hugo Chávez. Not only was that coup supported by the U.S., but it was immediately hailed by The New York Times as a victory for “democracy”!

But we don’t have to go back to 2002 to jog Psaki’s memory, after all, she was only 24 and just barely out of college. How about last year, then, when the U.S. supported an armed coup (led by fascists, no less!) in Ukraine? Or perhaps Psaki can remember the events of 2011, when she was already working in the White House, when a U.S.-led bombing campaign was the decisive factor in overthrowing the government of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. Not exactly a “peaceful” transition by anyone’s definition.

The list is almost endless. In 2009, it was Latin America again, where a coup ousted elected President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras. Evidence of U.S. support for that coup isn’t strong, but the U.S. was quick (and nearly alone in the Western Hemisphere) to recognize the results of the fraudulent election that followed, thereby legitimizing the coup post-facto at the very least.

And then there were the ultimate “undemocratic, unconstitutional (theirs and ours), unpeaceful and illegal” political transitions which occurred in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, both as the result of massive assaults by the U.S. armed forces. Psaki may not have been part of those wars, but thousands of American men and women who were her age at the time died as a result, as did hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans. Hundreds of thousands of Americans (and millions of Iraqis and Afghans) are still suffering the effects of those wars, both of which are still ongoing. Could Psaki possibly have forgotten those as well?

On the most recent episode of “Madam Secretary” (in which a fictional secretary of state manages to solve international crises every week, proving that it is indeed fiction), the secretary of state’s press spokesperson resigned rather than stand up in front of reporters and tell a bald-faced lie. It’s too bad Psaki doesn’t have the same scruples although, as in the TV show, no doubt some junior spokesperson would have been eager to take her place. U.S. imperialism depends on it, because without the constant stream of lies it would be impossible to maintain the support of the American people for its policy of endless war. As one of he greatest revolutionaries of the last 100 years, Fidel Castro, has said, “The truth must not only be the truth, it must be told.” It is up to us to do just that.

Posted in USAComments Off on Did you hear the one about how the U.S. doesn’t support coups?

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