Archive | March 5th, 2017

British Foreign Policy and the UK Weapons Trade

NOVANEWS

or-38678

By Matthew JAMISON 

Back in the halcyon days of the election of the first Labour Government in Britain in over 18 years, the New Labour Foreign Secretary Robin Cook expounded a radical shift in British foreign policy making, declaring that the Labour Government of Tony Blair would put human rights at the heart of it’s foreign policy with an «ethical dimension». This was quickly christened by the British media as New Labour’s «ethical foreign policy». Questions were raised at the time how a country with such a large weapons export industry could conduct an ethical foreign policy and that question is as pertinent today as it was back in 1997. In his party conference speech, the first as British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, paid ritual homage as many British Foreign Secretaries have before him, to his belief in human rights and reflected that: «After a long post-war period in which the world was broadly getting more peaceful the number of deaths in conflict has risen from 49,000 in 2010 to 167,000 last year».

Sadly, Britain has contributed to many of these deaths. According to a study carried out with official UK Government figures by the Independent newspaper, Britain is now the second largest exporter of arms around the world, and according to Freedom House since 2010 has sold weapons to 39 of the 51 countries ranked by Freedom House as «not free». What is even more disturbing is that out of the 30 countries ranked on the British Government’s own human rights watch list, the British Government authorizes the sale of weapons to 22 of those. Indeed, according to statistics from the UK Government’s own Trade and Investment body the UK has sold more weapons on average over the last ten years than Russia, China and France combined. All exports of British manufactured bombs, bullets, weapons and other munitions must be signed off and approved by UK Government Ministers with licenses granted.

Most of these arms are sold to Middle Eastern regimes, which have serious human rights issues, if one were to apply the standards the UK Government sets on human rights. In 2016 alone Britain sold over 3 billion pounds worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia. It is odd how the British Government which constantly lectures other countries on their human rights records can sell weapons of mass destruction to regimes like the Saudis who carry out routine be-headings and lashings of their own citizens as part of their penal code; subject women to severe restrictions such as forbidding them to drive; provide funding to Madrassas that indoctrinate and radicalise young Muslims in the ways of jihad etc. The list of human rights violations could go on. But the British Government, despite wrapping itself in the language of human rights, feels very comfortable within its own «ethical conscience» in allowing shipments of British manufactured BL-755 cluster munitions to be used by the Saudi Government in its war in Yemen. Unexploded remnants of cluster munitions have proved deadly for Yemenis, killing or injuring at least 85 civilians, including children.

Since March 2015, the UK Government has approved £3.3 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia, yet in November, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office concluded, despite considerable evidence to the contrary, that there was no «clear risk» of serious Saudi breaches of international humanitarian law in Yemen. The British Government has continued to sell arms to Saudi Arabia despite the Saudi Government’s vastly different approach and record regarding human rights which is incompatible with the British Government’s professed commitment to «universal human rights» and the problems that emanate from Saudi Arabia regarding Islamist extremist terrorism and radicalisation such as the fact that fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers where from Saudi Arabia and the emerging information that certain sections of the Saudi Government may have been complicit in the funding and training of the 9/11 hijackers. Saudi Arabia is not the only regime that does not conform to the UK’s own professed beliefs and standards in human rights that the British supply dangerous and destructive weapons of death to.

The UK Government sells arms to Bahrain which has used British arms to quell internal dissent; Burundi, which is being investigated by the UN for human rights violations and The Maldives, which in 2015 jailed its former President, Mohamed Nasheed, for 13 years following what critics said was a politically motivated show trial. The UK Government has also authorised the sale of massive amounts of arms to Egypt despite the coup against the democratically elected President Mohammad Morsi and the violent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood that followed. The British Government approved licences for the sale of £7.7bn of arms in 2015 alone. Then there have been weapons scandals in the past involving the British Government and the UK arms industry. There was the shocking Arms-to-Iraq affair of the 1990s when it came to light that the British Government had endorsed and advised on the sale of arms by British companies to Iraq, then under the rule of Saddam Hussein. Ironically, some of these British made and exported weapons to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had been used by the Iraqi regime during the first Gulf War of 1991.

All of this raises serious questions regarding how the British Government can profess to on the one hand be a force for human rights and run a foreign policy based on «universal human values», upholding democracy, human rights and the rule of law and yet on the other hand maintain a massive arms trade of deadly weapons around the world, arming regimes that are the exact opposite of what the British Government professes to believe in and defend when it comes to human rights. At the heart of the British Government’s position on «human rights» is hypocrisy when examined within context of UK arms sales.

The British Government maintains a saintly image of itself and believes its own rhetoric that it is a great force for «universal human rights» around the world despite the contradictions in its policies and behaviour and that the British have higher standards and more noble beliefs than other cultures and countries when in reality this is not the truth. What the British Government hates above all else is to have its self-image shattered and exposed for the two-faced hypocrisy that it is. They are unable to effectively answer the inconsistencies and contradictions of their rhetorical image on the one hand and the reality of their behaviour, policies and practices on the other when confronted with reality. It is high time for the British Government, if is serious about its rhetoric on human rights, to scale back its domestic weapons export industry.

Posted in UKComments Off on British Foreign Policy and the UK Weapons Trade

Facebook begins ‘fake news’ crackdown with ‘disputed’ story tag roll out

NOVANEWS

Image result for facebook and twitter logos

Facebook has begun rolling out its much hyped ‘fake news’ crackdown initiative, launching its ‘disputed’ news tag on stories deemed false by fact checking organisations working with the social media giant.

The tool appears to have been unveiled without fanfare in the US, but some users have shared screenshots of it in action on Twitter.

Facebook has added a question to its help center page entitled “How is news marked as disputed on Facebook?.” The section notes, however, that this feature is not yet available to everyone. It is unclear how many people currently have access to the ‘fake news’ debunking feature.

Facebook introduced their solution to false stories last December amid outcries that so-called fake news influenced the outcome of the US presidential election. These unproven claims have been disputed by a Stanford University/NYU study.

As part of the plan, the tech giant partnered with fact checkers that are signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles. These include ABC News, FactCheck.org, the Associated Press, Snopes and Politifact.

Stories flagged by Facebook users as ‘fake news’ are passed on to these fact checkers for verification. If the fact-checkers agree that the story is misleading, it will appear in News Feeds with a “disputed” tag, along with a link to a corresponding article explaining why it might be false.

These posts then appear lower in the news feed and users will receive a warning before sharing the story.

Similar efforts are planned in Europe amid threats from the EU to clamp down on the spread of misinformation. Facebook recently revealed fact checking partnerships in Germany and France ahead of respective elections in each country.

Concerns have been raised, however, over the implications of such practices on freedom of speech.

Project Censored, a non-profit that aims to fight censorship through promoting media literacy, views Facebook’s fake news crackdown as “problematic.”

“What Facebook, and the Washington Post’s ill advised list of fake news sites, has attempted to do is make lists of news outlets that are “fake,” Nolan Higdon, faculty advisor at Project Censored told RT.

“However, this is problematic because some news sites have both journalists doing credible work and those disseminating propaganda. While some consumers may be swayed by the digestible notion of “these sites good, these sites bad” lists; it does not solve the problem of people consuming propaganda, “ he added.

The key is education, Higdon insisted, explaining the importance of teaching individuals to examine a media outlet critically.

“Simply creating an arbitrary list of whose websites can and cannot be viewed on Facebook or considered ‘news’ is normalizing censorship instead of informing individuals.”

READ MORE:

Fake news did not influence 2016 election, study finds

 Facebook’s ‘anti-fake news’ plan looks like effort to curb alternative media

Posted in MediaComments Off on Facebook begins ‘fake news’ crackdown with ‘disputed’ story tag roll out

Palestinians face intense online hate from Israelis, say campaigners

NOVANEWS

Palestinian lawyers call for investigation of police minister as survey shows soaring levels of anti-Arab speech on Hebrew social media

no-arabs-483

By Jonathan Cook • Middle Eastern Eye

Israel’s 1.7 million Palestinian citizens are facing a tidal wave of incitement and hate speech on social media, including from government ministers, community leaders have warned.

They say the increasingly hostile political climate in Israel is stoking violence from the police and street gangs, and has laid the ground for a recent raft of racist legislative proposals.

The alert comes as a group of Palestinian lawyers demand that Israel’s attorney general investigates Gilad Erdan, the internal security minister, for incitement to racism.

Adalah, a legal group for Israel’s Palestinian minority, highlighted statements from Erdan blaming Palestinian citizens for “arson terrorism” last November after forest fires swept the country, despite their having been no prosecutions.

“Israel has experienced arson terrorism and I won’t let anyone sweep this fact under the rug,” he wrote on Facebook in December. “Why does it seem unrealistic that Arabs would attempt to harm Jews?”

Adalah argued Erdan’s comments were part of a wider government strategy to portray Palestinian citizens, about 20 per cent of Israel’s population, as a “fifth column”.

Although other government ministers had incited, the group said, Erdan’s statements were especially harmful because of his role overseeing the police. Adalah said he was bolstering a police culture that already treated Palestinian citizens as an “enemy within”.

“Incitement from Erdan is dangerous because it reinforces and sanctions existing prejudices in the police,” Nadim Shehadeh, a lawyer with Adalah, told Middle East Eye. “As a result, the police are likely to have an even lighter finger on the trigger.”

Concern about the effects of incitement from leading politicians has been underscored by a survey published this month that found rocketing levels of online abuse from Israeli Jews against Palestinians.

7amleh, an organisation promoting social media rights for Palestinians, identified 675,000 posts in Hebrew last year expressing racism or hatred towards Palestinians – one every 46 seconds, and more than double the previous year’s figure.

“There are terrifying levels of hate speech online from Israeli Jews,” Nadim Nashef, 7amleh’s director, told MEE. “No one in Israel – politicians, the police, the courts and the social media companies – has shown any interest in doing something about it.

“But it’s worse than that. The politicians are fuelling the problem. It has become completely normal in Israel to incite against Palestinians. You find it everywhere. It is entirely mainstream.”

The research identified more than 50,000 Hebrew speakers as persistent offenders on social media, especially Facebook, said Nashef. Spikes in online abuse correlated with incitement from Israeli politicians and the media, he added.

Popular terms of abuse included threats to kill, rape, burn, expel, and assault Palestinians.

Both Adalah and 7amleh said incitement from Israeli Jews was rarely investigated or prosecuted. Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories, on the other hand, had their accounts closed or were arrested and jailed over less serious online activity.

7amleh said its research showed that the brunt of online abuse was directed at leading Palestinian politicians in Israel.

The most common targets were Haneen Zoabi, one of only two Palestinian women in the parliament, and Ahmed Tibi, a former adviser to the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, 7amleh said. Both Zoabi and Tibi have reported regular death threats.

According to the survey, they received more online abuse than the leader of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas.

“When we are targeted rather than the Palestinian leadership in the occupied territories, a clear message is sent to the [Jewish] public that we have no place in the parliament and those we represent have no right to be citizens,” Zoabi told MEE.

The climate of incitement had very concrete effects, said Zoabi: “It gives a green light to police violence. It is converted into shootings and deaths.”

She said dozens of Palestinian citizens had died in unexplained circumstances at the hands of the police in the last 15 years.

Zoabi also pointed to the increasing reports of gangs chanting “Death to the Arabs!” in Israeli cities and Jerusalem, as well as a growing incidence of street assaults.

Polls have shown high levels of racial prejudice among Israeli Jews. A survey last year found 49 per cent would not live in the same building as a Palestinian citizen.

Another showed a similar number of 16 and 17-year-olds would deny Palestinian citizens the right to vote.

Adalah said constant incitement from government politicians had made possible the drafting of ever-more discriminatory and anti-democratic legislation.

Shehadeh noted that recent laws allowed the parliament to expel the minority’s legislators over their views, and hampered the work of human rights groups assisting Palestinians.

Zoabi agreed. “Every week we see bills being introduced, such as a ban on the mosque call to prayer, or moves to step up home demolitions in Palestinian communities. The political culture sanctions ever more violence through legislation.”

Nashef said a turning point in the levels of incitement could be traced to comments by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the last general election, in early 2015. Netanyahu posted a video on Facebook telling the Jewish public it was vital they voted because “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls”.

“When the prime minister talks like this, then everyone else understands that it is okay to do it too,” Nashef said.

7amleh’s survey showed a significant peak of online incitement and hate speech last November, as hundreds of fires broke out across Israel and the occupied territories, triggered by a prolonged drought and high winds.

Despite the exceptional weather conditions, Erdan led government ministers in accusing Palestinians, especially those in Israel, of being behind the fires.

Adalah cited Erdan’s Facebook post from early December. Dozens of Palestinian citizens were arrested by police, but none have been charged with “nationalist crimes” over the fires.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu has continued to make similar accusations, stating last month: “That fact that we can’t prove it [that the fires were terrorism] doesn’t mean it’s not what happened.”

Nashef said: “These inciteful statements garner a lot of media attention and our research shows they have a powerful impact in shaping public attitudes. But few notice when they turn out to be based on lies or misinformation.”

Adalah also cited comments by Erdan justifying the fatal shooting of Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan by police last month during a demolition operation in Umm al-Hiran, a Bedouin community in Israel’s south.

A police video and post-mortem examination report indicated that Abu al-Qiyan lost control of his car after he was shot, and careered into a group of policemen, killing one of them.

According to Israeli media, a justice ministry report – due to published next month – has found no evidence that Abu al-Qiyan carried out an attack or belonged to an extremist organisation.

Nonetheless, said Shehadeh, Erdan and other government ministers repeatedly accused Abu al-Qiyan, without evidence, of being an Islamic State terrorist.

Erdan tweeted hours after the two deaths: “The terrorist sharply turned his wheel and quickly accelerated in order to run over a group of police officers.”

Netanyahu’s office similarly described the incident as a “car-ramming attack”. Implying that Abu al-Qiyan was part of global trend of Islamic terrorism, Netanyahu said Israel and the world were “fighting this murderous phenomenon”.

Adalah’s letter to the attorney general also pointed out that Erdan had repeatedly blamed the deaths in Umm al-Hiran on Palestinian legislators there to protest against the demolitions. Erdan singled out Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List, the Palestinian coalition in the parliament.

In comments to the media, he said: “Ayman Odeh and the rest of the MKs from the Arab [sic] List who have come to enflame sentiments this morning: This blood is also on your hands. … You are a disgrace to the State of Israel.”

In Umm al-Hiran, Odeh was himself injured twice, including to the head, by sponge-tipped bullets fired at him by police.

Problem with Facebook

Nashef criticised Facebook, where most of the online hate speech was found, for contributing to the problem.

Last summer Facebook agreed to crack down on what Israel defines as incitement by Palestinians. Paradoxically, Erdan was the minister who met the tech companies.

According to reports, in the first half of 2016, a tenth of all content restrictions imposed by Facebook globally were at the Israeli government’s behest.

But Nashef said nothing was being done to deal with incitement and hate speech from the Jewish public.

“It is not reasonable that large numbers of Palestinians have their accounts shut down or are arrested and jailed for online hate speech, while Israeli Jews can engage in the same or worse activity and there are no consequences,” he said.

Neither the justice or police ministries were available for comment.

7amleh said the biggest peak in online abuse followed the arrest last March of army medic Elor Azaria. He was filmed executing a badly wounded Palestinian, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif. This week he was sentenced to 18 months’ jail for manslaughter.

Several government ministers, including Netanyahu, expressed strong support for Azaria.

The survey showed another outburst of online abuse followed attacks last September by the culture minister, Miri Regev, against two Palestinian cultural icons.

She described the late national poet Mahmoud Darwish as the “leader of the Palestinian industry of lies”, and accused a popular rapper, Tamer Nafar, of giving “legitimacy to terrorism”.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Palestinians face intense online hate from Israelis, say campaigners

US Confirms It Used Depleted Uranium in Syria

NOVANEWS

or-38660

By Peter KORZUN 

The US and its allies have many times attacked Russia for alleged «indiscriminate bombing» in support of the Syrian government, including cluster bombs. The accusations have been denied and never proven. Now the US military has confirmed it misinformed the public about its use of munitions in Syria which cause harm to civilians.

The US military has admitted using depleted uranium (DU) anti-tank rounds on two occasions in 2015 during devastating air strikes against convoys of Islamic State (IS) tanker trucks. Investigative reporter Samuel Oakford first brought up the use of DU ammunition by the coalition in October 2016. There have been questions raised ever since.

According to US Central Command spokesman Major Josh Jacques, a total of 5,265 depleted uranium rounds were fired in combination with other incendiary rounds in 2015. The US may use the munitions again. As the official put it, «We will continue to look at all options during operational planning to defeat ISIS, this includes DU rounds».

Earlier statements maintained that the coalition would not do so. In 2015, the US military Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman John Moore said that US and coalition aircraft have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve. Now one can see the statements were not true.

Depleted uranium is the byproduct of the enriched uranium needed to power nuclear reactors. It is roughly 0.7 times as radioactive as natural uranium, and its high density makes it ideal for armor-piercing rounds such as the PGU-14 and certain tank shells.

The depleted uranium munitions are known for their enhanced armor-piercing capabilities. They have been criticized for posing health risks to soldiers who fire them and to civilian populations. Some scientists and Iraqi physicians blame depleted uranium weapons used by US forces for a major increase in cancer cases and birth defects in Iraq. The munitions have been suspected to be a possible cause of «Gulf War syndrome», the name given to a collection of debilitating maladies suffered by veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War and the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Numerous studies affirm the use of the munitions in Iraq negatively affected the health of civilian population causing cancer and birth defects. When it was used during the 1999 NATO bombing campaign in Kosovo, the United Nations advised that children stay away from the impact zones. Recently published data from the 2003 Iraq War showed that A-10 attack aircraft used more DU against targets that were not tanks or armoured vehicles, questioning the current US justification that DU was needed in Syria. Historic data from the Gulf War also demonstrated that most armoured targets destroyed by A-10s were targeted by Maverick missiles, not DU munitions.

The UN Environment Program has conducted studies and clean-ups of areas affected by use of the munitions in conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq. It has described them as «chemically and radiologically toxic heavy metal». In 2014, a United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency report on depleted-uranium munitions said that direct contact with larger amounts of depleted uranium through the handling of scrap metal, for instance, could «result in exposures of radiological significance».

A University of Southern Maine study discovered that depleted uranium causes widespread damage to DNA, which could lead to lung cancer, according to a study of the metal’s effects on human lung cells. «Given the international opprobrium associated with the use of depleted uranium, we had been pretty astonished to hear that it had been used in operations in Syria», Doug Weir, the International Coordinator for the Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, told the Washington Post on February 16.

There is no international treaty or rule that explicitly bans the munitions’ use. Internationally, DU exists in a legal gray area. In 2012, 155 states have supported a resolution calling for a precautionary approach to depleted uranium weapons during voting at the UN General Assembly. Just four countries – the US, UK, France and Israel – voted against and 27 abstained. The resolution was informed by the UN Environment’s Program’s (UNEP) repeated calls for a precautionary approach to the use and post-conflict management of the controversial weapons. The passage of this fourth General Assembly resolution is a further challenge to the use of radioactive and chemically toxic conventional weapons that can lead to environmental contamination and humanitarian harm.

It is worth mentioning that the US has a long history of using the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) banned by international law. In 2013, Amnesty International said US drone strikes could be classified as war crimes. It is broadly believed the global use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in such countries as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia and Libya, constitutes a violation of international law.

Obviously, the US UAV warfare violates Article 51 of the UN Charter that defines the rules of self-defense because America is not attacked. International law limits self-defense against prospective threats to ones which are «imminent». The employed signature tactics are inherently in violation of the principle of distinction because it fails to identify civilian or militant. Drone attacks run against the principle of proportionality concerning unintentional civilian casualties in war. They violate Article 2 of the Geneva Convention (IV) Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War by disregarding the human rights of the innocent civilians killed in the strikes. Furthermore, the US UAV tactics conflict with International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which prohibits «arbitrary» killing even during an armed conflict. The US is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or many other international legal forums where legal action might be started. It is, however, part of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) where cases can be initiated by one state against another. Conducting drone strikes in a country against its will, like in Syria, for instance, could be seen as an act of war.

So, it’s double standards again while the acts of war continue. Their justice, legality and necessity are questioned but somehow their issues don’t hit headlines of US media, while Russia does. The US blaming Russia for «indiscriminate bombing», the use of cluster bombs and other misdeeds in Syria is like the pot calling the kettle black.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on US Confirms It Used Depleted Uranium in Syria

US Ambassador to UN Zionist Nikki Haley: We Must Sanction Assad Over Chemical Weapons!

NOVANEWS

Image result for Nikki Haley CARTOON

US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley: We Must Sanction Assad Over Chemical Weapons!

By Daniel McAdams

Recently, we had a look at the ways President Trump’s Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, is making her predecessor, “humanitarian bomber” Samantha Power, look like a model diplomat by comparison. It turns out Haley’s ghastly performance at the UN thus far is no fluke. Each time she opens her mouth she spews not the kind of foreign policy that President Trump campaigned on, but rather the boot-in-the-face know-nothingness that we have grown accustomed to in recent years.

In the latest “Haley Alert,” the Ambassador is furious over a Russia-threatened veto of a UN Security Council resolution offered by the US, UK, and France to impose new sanctions on the Syrian government over unproven allegations that Syria used chemical weapons against its own population.

Yes, under Ambassador Haley we have entered a time machine back to 2013, where the US is ready to deploy its entire diplomatic (and perhaps military) arsenal against the one government in the Middle East actually fighting President Trump’s sworn enemies: ISIS and al-Qaeda.

President Trump, in one of his first interviews after the November election, starkly contrasted his position with those both of the outgoing Obama Administration and his defeated opponent, Hillary Clinton:

I’ve had an opposite view of many people regarding Syria. … My attitude was you’re fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS. Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria… Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are.

His employee, the US Ambassador to the UN, clearly does not share her boss’s “opposite view” on Syria. And she is not afraid to contradict her boss’s position on a regular basis. Today the US Mission to the UN released Ambassador Haley’s remarks condemning the threatened Russian veto of new sanctions against Syria, and her comments do not in any way suggest a diplomat remotely well-informed about the complex matters at hand:

I think what we saw in there was pretty amazing, because you had unity in the fact that we needed to be concerned about chemical weapons being used in Syria. You had an overwhelming vote to say we need an investigative mechanism that would prove that these chemical weapons were being done by the Syrian regime. Now you’ve got the results that have come out, and people don’t like what the results are. It is ridiculous. How much longer is Russia going to continue to babysit and make excuses for the Syrian regime? People have died by being suffocated to death. That’s barbaric.

So what we’re going to do is – we were given all these reasons on why we shouldn’t propose the resolution. We were given all these reasons on why the timing was wrong. That is exactly why the timing is right. That is exactly why this resolution needs to happen. Whether people are going to veto it or not, you are either for chemical weapons or you’re against it. People died because of this, and the United States isn’t going to be quiet. Thank you.

Let’s unpack this head-scratcher of a statement. First off, “we need an investigative mechanism that would prove that these chemical weapons were being done by the Syrian regime.” So she is stating that there must be an investigation to prove what she has pre-determined to be true before the investigation took place? Does that sound like “innocent until proven guilty”? Or does it sound like Hoxha-era revolutionary justice? “We must have a trial to prove comrade X guilty so we can execute him!”

And this from Haley: “How much longer is Russia going to continue to babysit and make excuses for the Syrian regime?”

Ms. Ambassador: Do you mean the regime that just liberated Aleppo from its murderous occupation by al-Qaeda? You know, those guys who attacked the US on 9/11?

If Assad is using chemical weapons against his own people (Why? Presumably for fun?) then why once Aleppo was cleansed of the al-Qaeda occupiers have former residents flocked to return to an Aleppo under Assad’s control? Do they enjoy being gassed?

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is an absolute train wreck. She embodies the worst traits of her predecessors with a much lower level of understanding of foreign affairs or diplomacy. Will President Trump recognize his mistake in appointing her to represent the US at the UN and replace her with someone who will actually carry out his foreign policy? Or was he simply lying when he said he had an “opposite view” from the conventional Washington wisdom on Syria (and Russia as well)?

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on US Ambassador to UN Zionist Nikki Haley: We Must Sanction Assad Over Chemical Weapons!

Hollywood Honors Terrorism

NOVANEWS

Image result for ZIONIST Hollywood CARTOON

By Stephen Lendman 

Hollywood Academy Awards are all about film promotion for profits, unrelated to the industry’s best, way too little of it around.

They also reflect longstanding Tinseltown ties to Washington. Scripts feature pro-Western propaganda.

Studio bosses are well compensated for colluding in glorifying America’s wars and demonizing its enemies – including “Islamic terrorists” and Russia.

Washington has final say on content and characters in propaganda films. It wants its agenda promoted, most people none the wiser.

History is reinvented. The state-sponsored 9/11 event is exploited. Rogue CIA agents are portrayed as heroes. Supporting America’s imperial agenda is more important than truth.

In 2013, Argo was chosen Hollywood’s top film. It should have been denounced instead of honored – reinventing a 1979/1980 Iranian hostage crisis episode.

The film was malicious, unjust and one-sided, Hollywood propaganda at its worst, ignoring what should have been featured, stereotypically portraying Iran according to Western misinformation.

At Hollywood’s 89th Academy Awards on Sunday, the White Helmets propaganda film was honored as the past year’s best documentary short – portraying terrorists as heroes.

The group has nothing to do with civil defense as claimed, everything to do with supporting terrorism against sovereign independent Syria.

Its personnel operate in al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) controlled areas. Calling themselves volunteer rescue workers responsible for saving tens of thousands of lives is rubbish.

America and Britain support the group. So does the Soros Open Society Foundation and like-minded pro-Western interests.

White Helmets have been photographed and videotaped together with al-Nusra terrorists during beheadings and other atrocities. They support creation of a no-fly zone to prevent Syrian aerial self-defense.

The Syria Solidarity Movement calls them al Qaeda “with a facelift,” fostering terrorism and imperial ravaging on the pretext of humanitarianism.

People associated with the group are enemies of fundamental freedoms – warriors, not peacemakers, foreign-supported dark forces wanting tyranny replacing Syrian sovereign independence.

They were nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Instead it went to narco-state terrorist Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s president. As Alvaro Uribe’s defense minister, he was notorious for massacring “entire population centers,” James Petras explained.

Nobel committee members honored state terrorism. So did Hollywood last night in naming The White Helmets last year’s best documentary short.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Hollywood Honors Terrorism

Human Rights Watch Cites Al Qaeda and Collaborators in Latest Syria Report

NOVANEWS
Image result for Human Rights Watch AND MOSSAD LOGO
By Tony Cartalucci 

On the heels of Amnesty International’s admittedly and entirely fabricated report regarding Syria’s Saydnaya prison, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has published its own baseless report on Syria – this one regarding alleged chlorine bomb attacks in Aleppo during the city’s liberation late last year.

In a post on HRW’s website titled, Syria: Coordinated Chemical Attacks on Aleppo,” it claims:

Syrian government forces conducted coordinated chemical attacks in opposition-controlled parts of Aleppo during the final month of the battle for the city, Human Rights Watch said today.

However, when qualifying HRW’s accusations, it admits:

Through phone and in-person interviews with witnesses and analysis of video footage, photographs, and posts on social media, Human Rights Watch documented government helicopters dropping chlorine in residential areas on at least eight occasions between November 17 and December 13, 2016. The attacks, some of which included multiple munitions, killed at least nine civilians, including four children, and injured around 200.

Watching the videos and viewing the photographs reveals that none of them actually link any of the alleged “chlorine attacks” to Syrian forces, or even to chlorine itself.

The body of evidence presented by HRW also reveals that the interviews they conducted with alleged “witnesses” included almost exclusively opposition forces. Among them were the US-UK funded White Helmets – referred to disingenuously as “Syria Civil Defense” in HRW’s report – who served as designated terrorist organization Jabhat Al Nusra auxiliaries, often found on the battlefield shoulder-to-shoulder with armed militants.

Not only are these clearly compromised sources of information based on their admitted political alignments, but also because of their respective, systematic fabrications throughout the Syrian conflict. It is telling of HRW’s systematic bias that it would base an entire report on compromised sources drawn from the opposition, but not even a single report based on government claims. United Arab Emirate-based Al Nusra propaganda platform Orient News was also cited, as were other notorious anti-government propaganda networks including the Aleppo Media Center. In reality, a true rights advocacy organization would only report what is physical evidence verified. Human Rights Watch has deliberately avoided doing so not only in Syria, but amid virtually every conflict it involves itself in.

From conflating the number of civilians “trapped” in eastern Aleppo, to attempts to downplay or dismiss the role designated terrorist organizations played in the occupation of Aleppo, the groups and individuals cited by Human Rights Watch have practiced deliberate deceit throughout the battle for Aleppo, and the Syrian conflict at large.

For Human Rights Watch – an allegedly world-renowned rights advocacy organization – to cite such sources indicates that this latest report, like Amnesty International’s recently fabricated report, constitutes a politically-motivated attack hiding behind rights advocacy, not upholding it.

Considering the timing of Amnesty International, Human Rights, and also the Atlantic Council’s reports, rolled out in a multi-organizational campaign attacking the Syrian government, the individual deceit of each organization transforms into collective and coordinated impropriety.

A final consideration in the wake of Human Rights Watch’s latest, politically-motivated report is the fact that all actual evidence points to the opposition itself for being behind both the production and deployment of chlorine-based weapons.

TIME Magazine in an article titled, Syria’s Civil War: The Mystery Behind a Deadly Chemical Attack,” would admit:

In August rebel forces took Sabbagh’s factory by force, as part of a sweep that also netted them an electricity station and a military airport about 30 km from Aleppo. Sabbagh, who has since fled Aleppo for Beirut, says his factory is now occupied by Jabhat al-Nusra, a militant group with strong ties to al-Qaeda that has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. He knows this because his site manager has struck a deal with the rebels — they supply 200 L of fuel a day to keep the generator running so that the valves of his $25 million factory don’t freeze up. The factory isn’t operational anymore, but this way at least, says Sabbagh, it might be one day in the future. In the meantime, he has no idea what has happened, if anything, to the 400 or so steel barrels of chlorine gas he had stored in the compound. The yellow tanks, which hold one ton of gas each, are used for purifying municipal water supplies. “No one can know for certain, but if it turns out chlorine gas was used in the attack, then the first possibility is that it was mine. There is no other factory in Syria that can make this gas, and now it is under opposition control,” he says.

Military experts since the advent of modern chemical warfare have noted its limited utility during combat. It has very temporary tactical advantages when used on a very large scale – a scale much larger than any of the alleged attacks cited by Human Rights Watch. Strategically, a military force with superior conventional means would have no logical use for chemical weapons.

Likewise, chemical weapons would not turn the tide in the battle of Aleppo for the occupying terrorists. However, the use of chemical weapons in Aleppo and the use of the West’s powerful propaganda arms to assign blame to the Syrian government did promise a very significant political and possibly strategic advantage. It was accusations of “weapons of mass destruction” that served as a pretext for war with Iraq in 2003 – a pretext the US attempted to recreate versus Syria in 2013.

With these latest, weak, and baseless accusations presented by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Atlantic Council, we are witnessing a redux of 2013 propaganda aimed at undermining the Syrian government and expanding the West’s pretext for more direct involvement in the Syrian conflict.

Posted in Human Rights, SyriaComments Off on Human Rights Watch Cites Al Qaeda and Collaborators in Latest Syria Report

No Amount of Propaganda Qualifies as Humanitarian Aid

NOVANEWS
Image result for ZIONIST Propaganda CARTOON
By Jean Perier – New Eastern Outlook 

Last month, Helsinki hosted an international conference on the humanitarian situation in Syria, resulting in the launch of a regional refugee plan for the next two years, focused on assisting Syria’s neighboring states in dealing with the refuge crisis. In accordance with this plan, UN officials seek 4.6 billion dollars worth of humanitarian aid to provide relief both to the Syrian refugees and the communities that provide them shelter. A spokesman for UN Secretary General Stefan Dyuzharrik emphasized the fact that the funds are going to help some 4.7 million refugees from Syria and 4.4 million people who assist them in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. At the same time, as it’s been noted by Dyuzharrik, these funds are not meant to provide assistance to 13.5 million people in Syria itself.

So who is going provide those peaceful Syrians, who neither have the capacity nor the money to leave the country, with humanitarian aid?

According to UN estimates, out of more than 13.5 million Syrians that have found themselves in dire need of humanitarian assistance, some 6.3 million people are internally displaced persons, while another 5 million live in remote areas and destroyed cities with no infrastructure to support them.

Unfortunately, one is forced to admit that the absolute majority of Western countries are reluctant to provide any form of assistance to the Syrian population, who have witnessed their everyday life consumed by the the war. In particular, a full month has passed after the complete liberation of Aleppo, but no international humanitarian organization has made a single step to provide real assistance to the civilian population of the city.

The recent joint delivery of humanitarian aid organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations failed when the convoy was ambushed in the rural areas of the Aleppo province. As a result, militants took a part of the humanitarian aid destined for the Syrian inhabitants of the city of Homs.

Against this background, the sole real supplier of humanitarian aid to Syria at this moment is Russia, since the aid provided by other countries is often too insignificant to make a difference, if there is any.

However, a number of European and American media sources are still trying to push the blame for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria on Russia. By rehearsing the mantras repeated by organizations funded by George Soros and various Western governments, they choose to completely ignore that it was the United States and its NATO allies that have been trying to destroy the Middle East as a whole, by destabilizing regional players, destroying their infrastructure, and thus subjecting the population of the Middle East to unbearable hardship and starvation. It’s hardly a secret these days that Washington has been sponsoring ISIS and its affiliates from day one.

At the same time, some official UN staff choose to ignore the United Nations Charter that binds them to remain impartial observers, and have started repeating the delusional stories that Western media sources publish. A specific example of this deeply disturbing situation is the string of accusations against Russia that was made during the final stages of the liberation of the city of Aleppo. Allegedly, the assistance Russia provided to pro-government forces aggravated the humanitarian situation that inhabitants of this city found themselves in.

Yet, those same UN staff members chose to ignore the fact that Syrian forces discovered warehouses full of medicine and food in eastern Aleppo after the liberation of the city. This fact has been completely omitted in the report presented by the UN Secretary General about the humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic. Meanwhile, those warehouses had enough goods to support the entire civil population of the city for several months, but militants kept the supplies for themselves and only allowed locals to take food when they agreed to join militant groups.

Against this background, the hysteria that some senior members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and the UN staff indulged in, by announcing that a humanitarian catastrophe was taking place in Aleppo, while urging Russia to immediately ensure the delivery of food and medicine to areas of the city occupied by militants can only be qualified as propaganda, since they were deliberately deceiving the international community.

It appears that these actions of UN staff should become the subject of a thorough investigation in and of itself. This investigation should also clarify why the UN Secretary General’s advisers chose not to feature the facts about militant warehouses in Aleppo in the above mentioned report.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on No Amount of Propaganda Qualifies as Humanitarian Aid

Five reasons Turkish forces must leave Syria

NOVANEWS
Image result for ERDOGAN CARTOON
By Adam Garrie | The Duran 

Turkey’s presence in Syria is not welcome, not legal and not moral.

Ali Haidar, Syria’s Minister for National Reconciliation, recently talked to Sputnik where he condemned Turkey’s continued illegal presence in Syria.

With some many world-powers complicit in looking the other way at Turkey’s illegal war on Syria.

Here are five reasons that Turkey must leave.

  1. International Law

The first and foremost reason that Turkey should not be in Syria is that legally, Turkey cannot be in Syria. The Syrian Arab Republic is a sovereign state and Turkish presence is not welcomed by the Syrian government nor does Turkey have any sanction for their invasion by the United Nations.

Ali Haidar said quite clearly,

“Our stance on the presence of Turkish military forces has not changed. This is the violation of the sovereignty and occupation of Syria”.

As allies, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah forces have been welcomed to coordinate their war on terror with Damascus. This is not true of Turkey and their fellow NATO member states.

  1. Bad Intentions

Where Syria’s actual allies are helping to bring stability to a country besieged by a plethora of terrorist groups, whose names and local allegiances constant shift, Turkey has had two goals in Syria, neither of which are productive, let alone moral.

Turkey first of all wanted to push for illegal regime change in Damascus, something which the Turks now quietly concede is an impossibility.

The second reason Turkey is involved is to weaken the position of Kurdish YPG forces in Syria. Turkey wants to create an effective buffer zone in both Iraq and Syria between Kurdish positions in the two Arab states and Kurdish regions of Turkey. This is why both the Syrian government and Syrian Kurds are uniquely united in condemning Turkey’s presence in the country.

  1. Working With Jihadists

Because there isn’t political will among ordinary Turkish citizens for a mass invasion, Turkey is in great part relying on rag-tag jihadists who when fighting for Turkey call themselves the Free Syrian Army, a name first assigned to a group of mainly US funded marauders in 2011. The original group disappeared shortly after its creation.

But the current FSA is more or less a byword for jihadists loyal to and funded by Turkey. Whether standing under an Al-Sura, ISIS or FSA flag, there is little difference in the intention, ideology or methods of these vile groups.

  1. Undermining Arab Independence

President Erdogan is well known to have Ottoman ambitions. This has led him to threaten not only Greece and Cyprus but also the Arab world which the Ottoman Sultan once ruled. Arabs fought long and hard to establishment their independence in the 20thcentury. The long fight was more recently against European powers, but prior to that it was a struggle against Ottoman rule.

To add insult to injury, Turkey is now accusing Iran of what Turkey is doing, namely trying to gain a foothold in the Arab world. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Iran of trying to spread Shi’a Islam to Syria and Iraq, echoing the lie about a ‘Shi’a Crescent’.

Meanwhile President Erdogan accused Iran of trying to spread Persian Nationalism in the Arab world.

Although I have been critical of Iran’s role in Iraq, a role made possible only through the illegal US-UK invasion, in Syria, Iran has exercised restraint. Iran respects for Syria’s government and Syria’s secular way of life. The same cannot be said of Ankara.

By contrast, it is Turkey who is arming radical Sunni groups who put the lives of Shi’a Muslims, moderate Sunni Muslims and Christians in peril. It is Turkey’s President who shouts about restoring Ottoman provinces. No such words nor indications of direct actions come out of Tehran.

  1. Turkey’s Domestic Problems

With Erdogan facing problems on the home front, he really cannot afford his foreign adventures in Syria, not least because ISIS has been doing a strangely good job at keeping Turkish forces and their unreliable terrorist FSA at bay, although Turkey’s current (if not temporary) victory in Al-Bab may give Erdogan some buoyancy.

Between Gulenists, ISIS and Al-Qaeda sympathisers in Turkey, resurgent Kurdish PKK forces and Kemalists distraught by Erdogan’s increasing disregard for the traditions of modern Turkey, he simply cannot afford the giant distraction that his Syrian adventure has become. He ought to quit. Better late than never.

Posted in Syria, TurkeyComments Off on Five reasons Turkish forces must leave Syria

Hristo Ivanov: The Cooperation and Verification Mechanism Must Be Upgraded!

NOVANEWS
Adelina Marini
Image result for EU LOGO

Some will say “Finally!”, others – “They are late”, and yet third ones will watch in disbelief, but ten years after its accession to the European Union Bulgaria finally has its first party, whose main task is fighting corruption. The party was founded at the beginning of the year, it is named “Da, Bulgaria” (“Yes, Bulgaria”) and has the ambition to draw solid boundaries of corrupt behaviour, especially high-level corruption. The establishment of the party happened shortly before the publication of the regular report of the European Commission under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), under which Bulgaria and Romania slipped into the EU unprepared, as they had not completed the reforms to create an independent judiciary, which would ensure long-term and irreversible fight against corruption and in the case of Bulgaria organised crime as well.

For those 10 years Bulgaria and Romania have drifted away from each other significantly. While findings about Bulgaria have hardly changed at all, and reports constantly mark the emergence of more and more problems in various areas, in Romania a culture of intolerance to corruption emerged, due to the successful development, despite political resistance, of independent institutions which tirelessly prosecute corruption in the high-levels of power. Therefore, the moment the political class decided to take a step back, hundreds of thousands of Romanians took to the streets of Bucharest in protest. Meanwhile on the other side of the Danube Bulgarians watched with envy, while their politicians are preparing for the next snap elections in a row in which the words “reform” and “corruption” are not on the agenda of the current political players.

“Da, Bulgaria” is somewhat a party of the protest, similar to Romania. Many people, who enrolled for participation in the young formation, were among the most popular and active participants in the massive and prolonged protests in 2013, which were provoked by the attempt of the government in power at the time to appoint as head of one of the most powerful institutions in the country – State Agency for National Security (DANS) – an extremely controversial figure, considered deeply connected with political corruption and legalised organised crime. Besides, Delyan Peevski at the time was the indirect owner of a powerful media empire, which dealt with alternative facts long before Donald Trump showed up.

DaBG emerges in a time of mass distrust by Bulgarian citizens towards political elites because of repeated lies and unfulfilled promises, making the task of the new party very difficult. I spoke with the leader of the formation in Vienna, where he met with Bulgarians hungry for a new hope of having someone to vote for, and even verify whether it makes sense to return to the homeland, which in recent decades has suffered a significant brain drain. Hristo Ivanov is a former justice minister, famous for being the first one to resign because of disagreement with the political line and mostly because of the refusal of the government to carry out the promised judicial reform. In Vienna, he was in the company of one of the most prominent activists in the 2013 protests, Georgi Iliev, and the first Bulgarian tennis star Manuela Maleeva, who devoted her career outside tennis to a foundation for helping children with orthopaedic problems and to politics.

After meeting Bulgarians in Vienna Hristo Ivanov spared 30 minutes for euinside, during which he tried to explain how he intends to fight corruption, what he expects in terms of assistance from the EU, and also what sort of EU he imagines. He has some very strong messages for the European political elite. From my conversation with him I get the impression that he is a realist. DaBG has no intention of making a moral revolution, he said in response to my question of how will they deal with a problem that many say is even rooted in the mentality. He relies on his party entering parliament, where it can exercise constant and high pressure on the Prosecutor’s Office and the Interior Ministry to deal with specific issues related to corruption.

Intolerance in society towards corruption will appear only after it is evident that the reaction of the public has any meaning for someone. “When people have been expressing their intolerance for years, when for years they have shown frustration and dissatisfaction, they are scandalised, and this remains a shot into empty space because none of the political class, none of the institutions ever react, it limits terribly the ability of people to invest emotion in being scandalised”. Hristo Ivanov believes it is possible for Bulgaria to catch up with the level of Romania in 4-5 years.

The CVM will not only not be removed, but should be upgraded and deepened!

Hristo Ivanov believes that in their current form Cooperation and Verification Mechanism reports have lost their meaning. “Without a political partner in Sofia who can actually partner the EC, and not play a game of lies with it, behaving like a bad student lying to the teacher, these reports could not continue to have effect.” He expects the Commission to seriously and publicly announce its future intentions through a conversation. “The closing of this debate between Juncker and his boy Borissov, between the EPP and PES, this matter can not be closed there. We, as a society, must participate in a renegotiation of how Bulgaria within the EU can receive support and impetus for reforms”.

Former justice minister does not believe the words of the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker (Luxembourg, EPP) that the CVM will be cancelled by the end of his term (2019). According to him, Juncker’s words were misinterpreted, and ultimately it’s not what he would say, but what member states will. He urged to put an end to the expectations that the mechanism will be abolished. A big drawback of the mechanism as it stands is that the missions are only four times a year, last for a week, and cover too wide a range of issues. Furthermore, the reports are the subject of political negotiations and lobbying.

According to him, the CVM should start doing much more detailed reporting as was drafted by European experts on the work of the prosecution. Moreover, he insists on a closer link between these reports and the European semester, because the semester can bring sanctions for non-compliance with the recommendations which has, however, never happened so far. Currently one of four country-specific recommendations to Bulgaria on the semester is targeted precisely at the judiciary and the fight against corruption. There is a very wide range of issues that require more specialised and much more detailed inspection, said Hristo Ivanov. He also proposes a widening of the range of the CVM to include other topics, which is also hinted at in this year’s report itself. Among these topics could be the work of the Interior Ministry. “This is a topic, which hitherto the CVM has treated for years only very superficially. Without this issue, a much more serious attention to it, a much more serious analysis, much more serious recommendations, we will remain stuck. The same applies to our security agencies.”

It is time for European political parties to assume their responsibility

The former justice minister sharply criticised European political families and German political endowments for the support they offer to their failed partners in Bulgaria. He believes they need to make a much more sober analysis of their interaction with their partners in Sofia. “How much longer will there be no political price to pay for the fact that the main partner of ALDE and the corresponding endowment in Germany is DPS (Movement for Rights and Freedoms) and this being recognised as a mainstream liberal, imagine, political formation? The same also applies for GERB by the way. The same is true in some senses of BSP. This omnivorousness of European political parties and foundations, which are willing to turn a blind eye to the fact that their partners in Sofia are suspected and stained by corruption concerns and political inaction regarding corruption must be stopped if we we want to have an honest dialogue with the European political families”.

At this stage, DaBG is in no hurry to be associated with any European political family as the number one priority at the moment is building a name and trust among Bulgarian citizens. From my interview with him I am left with the impression that he relies more on Bulgaria’s internal forces to tackle corruption, rather than outside help.

For a strong and comprehensive European Prosecutor’s Office

The issue of the creation of an European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) seems to be very close to heart for Hristo Ivanov. He spoke in detail about it during his meeting with Bulgarians in Vienna as well, and his answers to questions by euinside also show that he takes it to heart, the more so as at the time he was a minister he was involved in the negotiations on its creation. This is one of the most difficult legislative dossiers at present in the EU. Negotiations on it have been going on for four years, and just when it seemed that agreement was reached, Sweden and The Netherlands withdrew from participation, while Poland and Hungary also expressed reservations. It was decided to move towards an enhanced cooperation procedure, which allows a certain number of member states (not less than 9) to continue alone. This will slow down the creation of this body, whose task is to fight the abuse of EU funds and cross-border VAT fraud.

During the negotiations on the new body some member states, led by Italy, insisted on a strong supranational institution which covers even the fight against organised crime. Bulgaria, too, demanded this at the time of Hristo Ivanov. In fact, Bulgaria has always supported a strong European Prosecutor’s Office. Ivanov agrees that the move towards enhanced cooperation procedure will trim the wings of the prosecution. According to him, however, integration in this area is inevitable.

“I expect, including after the completion of certain domestic political democratic cycles in France and Germany, that the European political elite will look a little more seriously on the need to build solid institutions for its security, law enforcement, and intelligence services. It is inevitable, so in some sense I look at things that are currently happening more as an inbetween time, rather than something that is a clear indication of where things are going. We really are entering a new stage of development of these institutions, of the EU, of the entire European model as such. And this stage, will take time before it is formed, before its main story lines surface, it will take a long time. A new era is beginning and this never takes just a month or two”. He did sharply criticise the lack of specific priorities for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council, which begins next year. As a number one priority he marked namely the creation of a European prosecutor’s office. Bulgaria must unconditionally participate in the enhanced cooperation procedure, and not only to participate, but also to do everything necessary to convince countries like Germany and The Netherlands that common security issues cannot be solved without such a tool. As a second priority, he pointed to a more proactive position on what the new migration policy should look like. The third priority, which he said Bulgaria must have during the presidency, is the exchange of information between intelligence agencies and security institutions. Cyber security is a huge challenge and should be placed as such.

A great problem currently is that only five member states trust each other enough to exchange intelligence information. “We boast, beat our chests, that we have access to these systems [for information sharing], but there is no real intelligence information related to security shared there”, he said and added: “That is, it is a problem of trust, because trust between the parties has one criterion and there is just one way to measure it and it is the sharing of intelligence information. If some countries are members of a club and do not share intelligence, they do not trust each other”.

The history, stupid!

The biggest problem the EU has at the moment is the lack of leaders with vision in both the EU institutions and at national level. Most leaders have a more “economic” political thinking and a little “historicality” of consciousness. “It will take years to reload a generation of leaders with, I would say, a little clearer historicality of mind, because we are now with a generation of leaders who have much more economic political thinking, much less historicality of consciousness, including historic responsibility. Awareness of history, awareness that not everything is as was written on Clinton’s wall, not everything is economics. So, the history, stupid!”, were his words.

You can see the entire interview [in Bulgarian language] with the leader of DaBG Hristo Ivanov in the attached video. 

* Some quotes from Hristo Ivanov are edited for clarity and brevity

Translated by Stanimir Stoev

Posted in BulgariaComments Off on Hristo Ivanov: The Cooperation and Verification Mechanism Must Be Upgraded!

Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk

KEEP SHOAH UP AND RUNNING