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Από τον Τσίπρα ως τον Κόρμπιν και τον Σάντερς: δεν είναι αυτή η Αριστερά που θέλουμε / Already confirmed: Civil liberties under attack! / The EFD-IMF sociopaths(?) continue to play their games over the Greek ruins / How the global financial mafia sucked Greece's blood / ECB's economic hitmen / The German Thatcher confirms bureaufascists' plans! / Η Μέρκελ επιβεβαιώνει τα σχέδια των γραφειοφασιστών! / Explaining the Greek paradox / Proxy wars everywhere, the planet already in flames ... / "Proxy" πόλεμοι παντού, ο πλανήτης είναι ήδη στις φλόγες ... / Ένας παγκόσμιος "proxy" πόλεμος κατά της ελευθερίας έχει ξεκινήσει! / 'Fixing' Latin America for Hillary? / Ο επικεφαλής του "σκιώδους συμβουλίου" της ΕΚΤ επιβεβαιώνει ότι η ευρωζώνη είναι μια χρηματοπιστωτική δικτατορία! / It has started: A global proxy war against freedom! / Βαρουφάκης: Το ΤΧΣ δεν ελέγχεται από το δημόσιο! / Η Ευρώπη συνθλίβεται από τους φασίστες, τους ισλαμοφασίστες, τους γραφειοφασίστες και τα αφεντικά τους / Europe crushed by the fascists, islamofascists, bureaufascists and their masters / Δεν γίνεται έτσι "σύντροφοι" ... / Panama Papers: When mainstream information wears the anti-establishment mask / The Secret Bank Bailout / The head of the ECB “shadow council” confirms that eurozone is a financial dictatorship! / A documentary by Paul Mason about the financial coup in Greece / Lagarde completely covers the IMF economic hitmen / First cracks to the establishment by the American people / From Tsipras to Corbyn and Sanders: This is not the Left we want / Clinton emails - The race of the Western neo-colonialist vultures over the Libyan corpse / Επιχείρηση Panama Papers: Το κατεστημένο θέλει το μονοπώλιο και στις διαρροές; / Operation "looting of Greece" reaches final stage / IMF says ... "neoliberalism"! / France officialy enters the neo-Feudal era! / A call to independent media for a 'counter-debate' with the US third parties

01 October, 2016

The German sado-monetarists are ready to abandon the euro-ship

failed evolution

The German banking mega-monster Deutsche Bank, starts to experience serious turbulence, ups and downs. From more and more frequent reports around the media, it seems that everyone waits in the corner to watch the monster falling down, as well as the consequences of the collapse. Considering the degree that the bank is exposed to financial junk, in reality, no one could predict the consequences of the collapse, of course.

It seems unbelievable, but the German sado-monetarists appear to be stuck with the "rules", inside this chaos. Yet, their position now is more difficult. They managed to impose the new rule of bail-in in Cyprus and now demand to be adopted by all member states. They don't seem to realize that all sizes of the economies are not equal, neither all cases.

What they did to small Cyprus demanded to be respected by the systemic-crucial Italy. They refused Renzi a "traditional" bail-out to deal with the Italian banking crisis and now, they are standing in front of their own big nightmare called Deutsche Bank.

Despite that Merkel refuses to support the bail-out of the bank in front of the cameras, the technocrats are trying to find a way to deal with the mess, without provoking further anger of millions of EU and German taxpayers who are experiencing the consequences of economic stagnation and austerity.

However, it is obvious that the euro-circus is out of control. The Berlin directorate and the Brussels have been proved totally inadequate to deal with the refugee issue and the economic crisis. Some analysts supported since 2010 already, that Germany could be the first that would abandon the common currency, in case of a systemic crash.

Inside this growing chaos, it appears that the German sado-monetarists have been left with one option: escape the sinking euro-ship. It's not going to be beautiful, but at least they have a plan for a national currency that could restrict the catastrophic consequences.

But what happens to the economically devastated Greece because of their policies?

The Greek banking system currently depends totally on Draghi's liquidity through the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) mechanism and the Greek government doesn't seem to have any plan B for Greece to return to national currency, yet.

It was pointed back in February:

      It is almost certain that the Germans and others have ready plans to return to the national currency. In case that the German monster fall to the ground, everyone will run for their lives. Greece will be left in the worst position, as it is now totally dependent on Draghi's liquidity injections, after five years of a systematic economic destruction by the EFD-IMF axis. Unfortunately, Tsipras administration has been proved unreliable to design a viable Grexit option. But now, Greece has the last chance to design such an option, in order to limit the terrifying, unpredictable consequences of the ugly collapse. There is a little time left for Grexit, which could be proved the lifeboat that would help Greece survive from the sinking of the Titanic.

Unless Tsipras pull a rabbit out of hat, it seems now that Greece is doomed.

Και ξαφνικά, η Deutsche Bank ανακάλυψε τα γεράκια των αγορών...

Χρειάστηκε να κληθεί να πληρώσει ζεστό ρευστό 14 δις δολαρίων στο αμερικανικό δημόσιο για «παιχνίδια» στην αγορά ομολόγων, χρειάστηκε να πληρώσει άλλα 2 δις ευρώ για χεραγώγηη του Libor, και χρειάστηκε επίσης να φρενάρουν οι εποπτικές αρχές τις υπερκερδοφόρες πρακτικές του τραπεζικού τζόγου για να... ανακαλύψει η Deutsche Bank τα «γεράκια» των αγορών.

«Μας υπονομεύουν δυνάμεις των αγορών»

Για την ακρίβεια, για να ανακαλύψει «κάποιες δυνάμεις των αγορών» που «προσπαθούν να υπονομεύσουν την εμπιστοσύνη» προς την γερμανική τράπεζα: Με αυτό το μήνυμα – διαπίστωση ο διευθύνων σύμβουλος της Deutsche Bank Τζον Κράιαν επιχείρησε να κατευνάσει σήμερα τους φόβους των εργαζομένων και, κυρίως,των πελατών της τράπεζας κατόπιν της νέας κατάρρευσης της μετοχής της και τις αποκαλύψεις του Bloomberg και των Financial Times ότι τα πανίσχυρα hedge funds αρχίζουν να αποσύρουν τα κεφάλαιά τους από τον γερμανικό χρηματοπιστωτικό κολοσσό.

Είναι ένα μήνυμα που πυροδοτεί ενδιαφέροντες συνειρμούς – από την έναρξη της ελληνικής κρίσης έως την κατάρρευση της Lehman Brothers πριν από ακριβώς οκτώ χρόνια. Κι εάν τότε οι αναλυτές της Deutsche Bank ήταν ανάμεσα τους πρώτους που κατακεραύνωναν την επίκληση των κερδοσκοπικών επιθέσεων ως «άλλοθι» της κρίσης, σήμερα η διοίκησή της σπεύδει να υιοθετήσει τις ίδιες καταγγελίες εμφανίζοντας ως θύμα αυτή τη φορά την ίδια τη γερμανική τράπεζα.

Αποσύρρονται τα hedge funds

Οι θύτες είναι, βεβαίως, και πάλι τα περίφημα hedge funds. Τα οποία, ανεξαρτήτως συνειρμών, ομοιοτήτων και διαφορών, φαίνεται πως αρχίζουν να αποσύρουν κεφάλαιά τους από την Deutsche Bank υπό το βάρος των ζημιών της τράπεζας και των ανησυχιών για την κεφαλαιακή της επάρκεια.

Συγκεκριμένα, σύμφωνα με το Bloomberg που επικαλείται εσωτερικό έγγραφο της τράπεζας, τουλάχιστον 10 hedge funds έχουν μειώσει την έκθεση τους στη γερμανική τράπεζα. Τα hedge funds τα οποία εκκαθαρίζουν συναλλαγές παραγώγων μέσω της Deutsche Bank έχουν αποσύρει πλεονάζοντα ρευστά διαθέσιμα, ενώ ορισμένα εξ αυτών φέρονται να μετέφεραν αυτή την εβδομάδα μέρος των δραστηριοτήτων τους σε άλλες εταιρείες.

Κατά την ίδια πηγή, ανάμεσα στα 10 hedge funds που αποσύρουν κεφάλαια είναι τα Millenium Partners, Capula Investement Management και Rokos Capital Management.

Σύμφωνα επίσης με το Reuters, και ένα μεγάλο ασιατικό hedge fund έχει αποσύρει τις τελευταίες δυο μέρες εγγυήσεις του ύψους 50 εκατομμυρίων δολαρίων από την Deutsche Bank, ενώ «ένα ακόμα fund με μικρό ποσό στην τράπεζα παρακολουθεί στενά την κατάσταση».

Σε ανακοίνωσή της σήμερα η Deutsche Bank επανέλαβε πως οι εμπορικοί της πελάτες εξακολουθούν να την υποστηρίζουν «σε μεγάλο βαθμό», ωστόσο στέλεχος της τράπεζας παραδέχθηκε πως υπάρχει «θέμα εικόνας».

Οι αγορές παίζουν με τις αντοχές της Μέρκελ

Οι πληροφορίες και οι φόβοι για εκκροές κεφαλαίων έρχονται να επιτείνουν τους κλυδωνισμούς που προκαλεί σταθερά τις τελευταίες ημέρες στις αγορές η μετοχή της Deutsche Bank, με μείζον πολιτικό διακύβευμα πλέον το εάν θα υπάρξει ή όχι κρατική στήριξη της μεγαλύτερης γερμανικής τράπεζας από την κυβέρνηση του Βερολίνου.

Καγκελαρία και υπουργείο Οικονομικών επιμένουν κατηγορηματικά ότι δεν υπάρχει κανένα ενδεχόμενο κρατικής ενίσχυσης της Deutsche Bank, ενώ το δικό του μήνμυμα έστειλε σήμερα και ο επικεφαλής του Eurogroup Γερούν Ντάισεμπλουμ δηλώνοντας ότι «η Deutsche Bank πρέπει να επιβιώσει χωρίς κρατική βοήθεια».

«Εάν η Deutsche Bank χρειαστεί κρατική βοήθεια μπορεί να τεθεί υπό ευθεία αμφισβήτιση η ηγεσία της Μέρκελ» επισημαίνει από την πλευρά του και το Reuters υπενθυμίζοντας την άτεγκτη στάση της καγκελαρίου κατά των κρατικών διασώσεων τραπεζών και την κατακόρυφη πτώση της δημοφιλίας της.

Ωστόσο, το παιχνίδι στις αγορές δείχνει να έχει ανοίξει και η ιστορία δείχνει πως όταν τα hedge funds επιτίθενται δεν κάνουν εύκολα πίσω.

«Οι επενδυτές που στοιχηματίζουν ότι το Βερολίνο δεν θα διασώσει την Deutsche Bank, μπορεί ναγράψουν μεγάλες ζημιές», είναι το χαρακτηριστικό σχόλιο του διαχειριστή κεφαλαίων Τζέφρι Γκάντλακ στο Reuters, ο οποίος προσθέτει: «Η αγορά θα πιέζει όλο και περισσότερο τη Deutsche Bank μέχρι να υπάρξει κάποια ομολογία στήριξης. Θα πάρουν βοήθεια αν χρειαστεί»...


Διαβάστε ακόμα:

30 September, 2016

CETA: the forerunner of the corporate neo-feudalism

This collection of short reports describes and analyses many of the most contentious aspects of the proposed Canada–EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Dozens of trade and investment experts in Canada and the EU have collaborated to provide a diversity of perspectives on the proposed agreement, but all agree that CETA, as it is written, threatens the public good on both sides of the Atlantic. In a wide variety of policy areas only loosely related to trade, CETA elevates the rights of corporations and foreign investors above the welfare of citizens and the broader public interest.



The latest CETA text pays lip service to public concerns about investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) by replacing it with what the EU and Canada are calling an Investment Court System. While it improves some procedural aspects of ISDS—for example, by making arbitrators less prone to conflicts of interest—the protections afforded to investors in this new ‘court’ system are largely unchanged. Under CETA, foreign investors still receive extraordinary legal rights to sue governments for measures that may negatively affect their investments. These protections, which are not available to domestic investors or ordinary citizens, would expose taxpayers to huge financial liabilities and threaten to chill public policy. Although the text mentions a so-called right to regulate, the clause is a guideline and does not adequately protect public interest regulation.


By allowing more cross-border financial services and facilitating greater direct investment in the financial sector, CETA would encourage the financial industry to take greater risks—for example, by engaging in speculative investment—in order to survive in a more competitive international market. CETA would also limit the regulatory options available to governments to address financial instability by, among other measures, giving the financial industry an institutionalised voice in the regulatory process. Ignoring the lessons of the financial crisis, CETA would open the financial services sectors in the EU and Canada to greater competition and put downward pressure on prudential regulation in ways that make both Parties more vulnerable to financial shocks and contagion. Furthermore, key financial services provisions in CETA are enforceable through the ISDS mechanism, so governments could effectively be forced to pay banks for the privilege of regulating them.


CETA would restrict governments’ capacity to regulate the entry and activity of foreign service suppliers in the domestic market, even when such regulations do not discriminate based on the country of origin of firms. By ensuring market access and preferential treatment for foreign service suppliers, CETA threatens the viability of public services and local service suppliers. CETA includes exceptions to the services rules, but its ‘negative list’ approach means that all services are covered by default unless specifically excluded by negotiators. Moreover, through its ‘standstill’ and ‘ratchet’ mechanisms, CETA forces governments to make any future regulatory decisions in the direction of even greater liberalisation, including for many of the services that are on the list of exceptions.


While a limited number of public services are excluded from some of CETA’s liberalising provisions, key reservations are vaguely worded or flawed. The agreement’s investment protections would restrict the capacity of governments to expand public services or to create new ones in the future. CETA conflicts with the freedom of elected governments to bring privatised services back into the public sector. Once foreign investors are established in a privatised sector, efforts to restore public services can trigger claims for compensation, effectively locking in privatisation.


CETA would constrain policy flexibility in areas only loosely related to trade by mandating that licensing and qualification requirements—as well as any measure relating to those regulations—be ‘as simple as possible’. CETA interprets even non-discriminatory regulations as potential trade barriers. The scope of the domestic regulation provisions is broader than in other agreements and even trumps other areas in CETA. Regulations concerning not just services but also ‘all other economic activities’ are covered with only a narrow set of reservations.


CETA would create a set of institutions and processes for foreign governments (and their corporate lobbyists) to have a say in the creation of new domestic regulations, which could delay or halt the introduction of public interest legislation and undermine the precautionary principle. The range of regulatory areas covered by these rules is extensive, including not just goods and services, but also investment and other areas only loosely connected to trade. Any attempt to ‘harmonise’ regulations between the EU and Canada threatens to push standards down to the lowest common denominator. Moreover, business lobbyists could use this process to push for regulatory changes that are too controversial to be included in the text of CETA itself.


CETA would strengthen the position of patent holders relative to innovators and consumers, which would encourage the already destructive practice of patent trolling in software and other industries. Because intellectual property is covered by the investor–state dispute mechanism in CETA, patent holders may be able to sue governments for future regulations designed to reduce the power of patent trolls. CETA does not directly threaten Internet freedom, but by locking in the current system of industry-friendly intellectual property rules in Canada and the EU, CETA would prevent governments from returning to a more user-friendly intellectual property regime in the future.


The ratification of CETA would be a severe setback for efforts to encourage non-industrial farming practices and sustainable agriculture on both sides of the Atlantic. For example, by expanding duty-free import quotas (e.g. for milk and meat), CETA would expose Canadian and European farmers to considerable competitive pressure, which could encourage more profitable (for some) but less sustainable farming practices. Furthermore, CETA raises concerns around processing and production standards, particularly in Europe. Practices that are considered safe in Canada, such as the surface treatment of meat with acetic acid, the use of hormones in beef production, and the use of genetically modified organisms, are restricted in the EU on the basis of the precautionary principle. Under CETA, those precautions could be attacked on the basis of the ‘aftercare principle’ employed in Canada’s ‘science-based’ regulatory approach. CETA also undercuts the current system of geographical indications for European products. Of the 1,308 food items, 2,883 wines and 332 liquors protected in the EU, only 173 are protected in the CETA text.


CETA’s provisions for investment protection coupled with its weak protections for environmental and resource measures will undermine sustainable climate and energy policy in the future. Efforts to stop fossil fuel–based energy production and promote renewable energy will be threatened by CETA, which poses a grave danger to any measures put in place to reach the goals that the EU and Canada agreed to in the 2015 Paris Agreement. CETA lacks any provisions that clearly protect regulations and measures aimed at curbing climate change or promoting renewable energy from investor attacks. The agreement’s Trade and Sustainable Development chapter is thin and does not contain any concrete obligations for the Parties to develop future-oriented and climate-friendly policies.


Despite its positive rhetoric regarding the rights of workers, CETA fails to introduce the kind of binding and enforceable labour provisions that would protect and improve labour standards in the EU and Canada. Several EU member states as well as Canada have not ratified some of the International Labour Organisation’s core labour standards or priority governance conventions. The CETA text encourages but does not obligate them to do so. Tellingly, the labour chapter in CETA is exempt from the general dispute settlement provisions of the agreement. In the event of a dispute over a labour standards violation, CETA merely requires the Parties to engage in non-binding consultations.


Most concerns about CETA are shared by Europeans and Canadians, but a handful of CETA’s impacts would be felt more negatively in Canada. Under CETA, Canada would be forced to make unilateral changes to its intellectual property regime for pharmaceuticals that would increase drug costs. For the first time in a Canadian trade agreement, CETA would apply restrictive procurement rules to municipal and provincial governments, which could undermine local and regional development initiatives. CETA could also come into conflict with the rights of Indigenous peoples, whose traditional lands are often the target of foreign resource companies. Other areas of Canadian concern include the impact of CETA on supply-managed agricultural sectors, and how the chapter on the temporary entry of business persons will affect the domestic labour market.


For the purposes of ratification in the EU, CETA has been presented as a ‘mixed’ agreement. This means that, following the decision of the Council of Ministers (expected autumn 2016) and the vote in the European Parliament (expected late 2016/early 2017), all 28 EU member states must ratify the treaty. Hower, the European Commission and many member states are pushing for ‘provisional implementation’ of CETA even before the national ratification processes. At all stages of the ratification process, CETA’s critics in Europe will have opportunities to organise against CETA’s implementation. Legal actions against the agreement have already started: CETA is being challenged before the European Court of Justice and, at the member state level, before the German Federal Constitutional Court. In Canada, CETA must be passed into law nationally before it comes into force, which will require the approval of both the elected federal Parliament and the appointed Senate. The current government is strongly in favour of CETA and will push for its ratification as early as autumn 2016, despite opposition from a variety of municipalities and public interest organisations.

Full analysis:

Journey to Aleppo: exposing the truth buried under NATO propaganda

The Syrian people are suffering under the ‘moderate rebels’ and ‘opposition forces’ backed by the US, NATO member states and their allies in the Gulf states and Israel. Yet their suffering is largely ignored in the mainstream media unless it furthers the agenda dictated by the State Department.

This article is the first in a two-part series of one Western journalist’s journey to Aleppo, a city ravaged by an insurgency supported by the United States, NATO member states, and their allies in the Gulf states and Israel. In Part I, Vanessa Beeley lays out the mainstream narrative on Syria, revealing a neoconservative agenda promoted by NATO-funded NGOs. These NGOs paint the destruction of the historic city as being caused by the Syrian government under Bashar Assad, not the violent armed insurgents which receive arms, funding and training from Western governments and their allies.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Aleppo has become synonymous with destruction and “Syrian state-generated” violence among those whose perception of the situation in the war-torn nation is contained within the prism of mainstream media narratives.

The NATO-aligned media maintains a tight grip on information coming out of this beleaguered city, ensuring that whatever comes out is tailored to meet State Department requirements and advocacy for regime change. The propaganda mill churns out familiar tales of chemical weapons, siege, starvation and bombs targeting civilians–all of which are attributed to the Syrian government and military, with little variation on this theme.

The purpose of this photo essay and my journey to Aleppo on Aug. 14 was to discover for myself as a Western journalist the truth behind the major storylines in the U.S. and NATO narrative on Syria.

Traveling from Homs to Aleppo

Travelling with a fellow independent journalist, Eva Bartlett, a translator and a taxi driver, I entered Aleppo on Aug. 14 via Castello Road, which some mainstream media have taken to calling “Death Road.” To get there, we were given a security clearance which enabled us to travel via roads that, from the western city of Homs onward, snake through areas where various terrorist groups, including Daesh, are never far from the route or where the threat of kidnapping is to be taken into account. Entry into military areas once inside Aleppo could not be approved without SAA protection and accompaniment.

In Homs I witnessed what is a familiar sight throughout Syria: buildings scarred and battered by years of terrorist attacks. I was told that we were passing what was once known as 60th Street, but has since taken a new name, Street of Death (Shara al-Moot), as it came under terrorist attack from north, south, east and west. These attacks employed snipers, mortars and suicide bombers; it seems there were no restrictions on ways for terrorists to kill the Syrian people in Homs.

Traveling north on the road from Homs to Hama, we came to a major SAA checkpoint at a crossroads teeming with life. Waiting for the inevitable security check, I had the opportunity to lean out of the taxi window and observe. Photography, however, is forbidden at checkpoints.

These SAA checkpoints are common throughout Syria. Their main purpose is to check cars for explosives and weapons or extremist militants such as Daesh or the Nusra Front, who might be attempting to pass undetected from one governorate to another. Cars and other vehicles are used as suicide bombs in many areas, particularly in Homs’ al-Zahra’a neighborhood, which has been targeted many times, resulting in multiple deaths and injuries.

A steady stream of buses and livestock wagons came into this checkpoint from the directions of Hama and Homs. Many of the buses were carrying families clutching their belongings, possibly refugees, and vans were topped with assorted boxes and bags.

We got a wave from passing SAA soldiers, who, despite the severity of the fighting in Aleppo and the surrounding countryside, never displayed anything except courtesy and respect–something I found to be true throughout my four-week journey around Syria. One soldier sat cross-legged on top of a tank that was on a transporter parked at the crossroads, and he smiled in the already sweltering morning heat as he waited for his comrades to join him.

The SAA equipment was noticeably battle-weary. Their weapons bore the marks of war and had not been replaced for some time. And while public images of Daesh fighters usually feature weapons and other supplies that look like they’ve just been taken out of the box, many SAA soldiers were wearing boots and uniforms with heavy wear and tear.

The SAA is affected by the sanctions enforced by the United States and European Union, but the various terrorist brigades backed by the United States, NATO, their allies in the Gulf states and Israel are not. The latter’s supply chain is unbroken and unaffected, thanks to the Turkish gun and equipment running services via its porous borders with Syria.

U.S. and EU sanctions effectively prevent any supplies from entering Syria via legal channels, and we frequently saw the detrimental effects this has had on essential civilian infrastructure as well as military personnel and equipment.

However, illegal supply channels have not been affected, ensuring perpetual conflict by arming and equipping the many brigades of “moderate rebels” and “opposition forces.” Whether it’s Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates sustaining Daesh with arms flowing in through the Balkans, or the United States supplying its rotating cast of “moderate rebels” with weapons via Turkey, there is no turning off the logistics and armament tap to the “armed opposition.”

In April, for example, an IHS Jane’s report featured a packing list for a December 2015 U.S. arms shipment to “Syrian rebels” via the Syria-Turkey border. The report stated:

      “The cargo listed in the document included AK-47 rifles, PKM general-purpose machine guns, DShK heavy machine guns, RPG-7 rocket launchers, and 9K111M Faktoria anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) systems. The Faktoria is an improved version of the 9K111 Fagot ATGW, the primary difference being that its missile has a tandem warhead for defeating explosive reactive armour (ERA) fitted to some tanks.

It should be noted that this particular arms shipment to the “moderate rebels” was made during a ceasefire agreement that had been implemented across many Syrian governorates.

This 2014 video report from Deutsche Welle further explains the gun-running process from Turkey to Syria, a process that continues to this day. DW explains in the introduction to the video:

      “Every day, trucks laden with food, clothing, and other supplies cross the border from Turkey to Syria. It is unclear who is picking up the goods. The hauliers believe most of the cargo is going to the ‘Islamic State’ militia. Oil, weapons, and soldiers are also being smuggled over the border, and Kurdish volunteers are now patrolling the area in a bid to stem the supplies.

It is hard to disassemble the various factions of armed militants. Many times I asked for clarification on which armed group had carried out a specific attack and was told that most Syrians made no such differentiation. According to civilians, these groups are made up of criminals, mercenaries and terrorists, and their titles are irrelevant.

The United States has played this fact to its own advantage, using the “intermingling” of “rebel” groups as an excuse to impede Russian and Syrian efforts to target officially designated terrorist groups, such as Daesh and the Nusra Front, in case U.S. operatives are among them. As such, U.S. operatives in groups they are supporting effectively become “human shields” for the terrorist groups that the U.S. is ostensibly waging war against, like Daesh.

In an April 28 press briefing, John Kirby, a spokesperson for the State Department, noted:

      “We know it’s a very fluid, dynamic environment, that there are – that there is intermingling between the groups. Some of that is by design because they want to be near one another and some of it is by happenstance. And it is why strikes in and around Aleppo become a more problematic issue, because it’s very difficult to separate some of these groups from one another geographically in order to – and then to be precise enough that only the group that you’re trying to go after is going to be hit.

Along our route into Aleppo, assorted vehicles were being used to transport SAA soldiers–ramshackle livestock trucks with open backs, old buses, brightly colored supply wagons–but the level of respect and admiration with which the soldiers were viewed by Syrian civilians was palpable.

After the checkpoint between Homs and Hama, there is a stretch of road which is notorious for vehicles of bandits forcing cars and buses off the road before kidnapping passengers. Despite the risks it held, the stretch of road was picturesque, lined with maize, olive groves, and sunflowers. The first signs of livestock–chicken, sheep, and cows–dotted the greening landscape.

Passing through the city of al-Salamiyah, we were told that Daesh was encamped about 10 kilometers east of the road. Looking out across the seemingly interminable desert stretching into the horizon, it was hard to imagine that we were visible to these terrorist entities.

As the road continued toward Aleppo, we reached an area where Daesh had drawn closer and we were told they were only 2 kilometers away. Trucks were passing us on their way from Homs to Aleppo carrying supplies for SAA soldiers, I presumed as reinforcements for the campaign against the terrorist enclaves in al-Ramouseh, a suburb in southeast Aleppo.

Eerie reminders of the war being imposed upon Syria rose up out of the desert, like the burned-out trucks and cars overturned and disintegrating slowly in the blazing heat. An apocalyptic vision of a country being torn apart by another NATO intervention, a dirty war being inflicted upon a sovereign nation, with the objective of “regime change” regardless of the bloodshed and devastating costs incurred by the Syrian people.

As we drew closer to the outskirts of Aleppo, it became apparent that the SAA had closed the usual western route for security reasons. We were diverted to the east of the city via Khanaser, a town in the al-Safira district, and finally the industrial city of Sheikh Najjar before the road doubled back in toward the northern entrance into western Aleppo via the Kurdish-held Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood.

We skirted some of Aleppo’s most densely terrorist-occupied areas in eastern Aleppo. Again, these terrorists might be Daesh, the Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, or Harakat al-Nour al-Zenki, among many others. This map clearly shows the areas held by various factions of armed insurgents. Black represents areas held by Daesh; green: “moderate rebel forces;” yellow: Kurds; red: the SAA; and olive: contested areas. This map is constantly changing as the SAA advances, particularly in al-Ramouseh.

At this point, the “sniper banks” became more noticeable, sand and rubble piled high on either side of the road, sometimes topped by car remnants and scrap metal or barrels used as a screen to protect travellers from sniper sights and fire.

Prior to reaching Castello Road we arrived at a T-junction, and our confused taxi driver hesitated before turning right.

Another vehicle tore after us within seconds, with SAA soldiers on board who yelled at us to turn left. Turning right would take us directly into a Daesh-held area, they warned.

Nearing the entrance to Aleppo, not far from the city’s northwestern industrial area of al-Layramoun, we passed a checkpoint where the soldiers urged us to maintain our distance from other vehicles. There was a high risk of terrorist mortar fire, they explained, and putting distance between vehicles meant reducing casualties if one vehicle was hit.

Following fierce clashes, SAA forces had recaptured al-Layramoun from the Nusra Front and the 16th Division of the Free Syrian Army in July. The area is strategically important, as it borders Castello Road, which had been a major artery for supplies and arms for the terrorists streaming in directly from Turkey. Once the SAA retook the area, however, it effectively cut terrorist entities off from the Turkish supply chain.

In the fields along the route were dozens of unexploded gas canisters, the “hell cannon”-fired bombs usually packed with explosives, glass, shrapnel, nails, and even chemicals. Those which had not hit their targets littered the countryside. These are the improvised missiles fired on a daily basis into the Syrian government-held areas of western Aleppo by the various armed insurgents occupying the eastern parts of Aleppo.

Current figures from the Aleppo Medical Association put the population of government-held western Aleppo at 1.5 million civilians. Another 200,000 to 220,000 people–a quarter of whom are terrorists and their families–are living in the eastern parts of the city controlled by various factions of armed insurgents backed by the United States, NATO and their allies, including Saudi Arabia and Israel.

However, according to On the Ground News, a media outlet known for harboring sympathies for the “rebel” forces, there are no civilians left in eastern Aleppo.


ΤτΕ: Δεν ελέγξαμε τα δάνεια της Attica Bank σε ΝΔ και ΠΑΣΟΚ

Στην ομολογία ότι τα δάνεια - ύψους 13 εκ. ευρώ - που δόθηκαν σε ΝΔ και ΠΑΣΟΚ από την Attica Bank το 2010 και το 2011 δεν ελέγχθηκαν προχώρησε ο Διευθυντής της Διεύθυνσης Επιθεώρησης Εποπτευόμενων Εταιρειών Τράπεζας της Ελλάδος, Γιώργος Πάσχας. Μιλώντας στην εξεταστική επιτροπή της Βουλής για τα δάνεια των κομμάτων αποκάλυψε επίσης ότι τα δυο κόμματα χρωστούν πάνω από 295 εκατομμύρια ευρώ αλλά και ότι η Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος δεν εξέδωσε πόρισμα για τα δάνεια σε ΜΜΕ και πολιτικά κόμματα την περίοδο 2011 – 2014.

Ο Γιώργος Πάσχας μιλώντας στην εξεταστική επιτροπή είπε ότι η Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος δεν συμπεριέλαβε στους ελέγχους που έκανε στην Attica Bank, την περίοδο 2011-2014, τα δάνεια της ΝΔ και του ΠΑΣΟΚ. Υποστήριξε δε, ότι δεν έστειλε στην Εξεταστική το πόρισμα της Attica Bank για την περίοδο αυτή διότι δεν περιλάμβανε δάνεια μέσων ενημέρωσης και κομμάτων.

Ο εισηγητής του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ Σπύρος Λάππας του επεσήμανε ότι η ΝΔ και το ΠΑΣΟΚ πήραν 13 εκατ. ευρώ δάνειο εκείνη την περίοδο κι ενώ είχαν σχηματιστεί προβλέψεις ζημίας. «Δεν ελέγχουμε όλους τους πελάτες. Ελέγξαμε την πιστοδοτική τακτική παίρνοντας ένα δείγμα από τους μεγάλους πιστούχους. Μέσα στο πόρισμα και στο δείγμα που κάναμε δεν υπάρχει κόμμα» απάντησε ο Γιώργος Πάσχας.

Όσον αφορά τα δάνεια των κομμάτων ο Γιώργος Πάσχας είπε ότι στον τακτικό έλεγχο που έγινε το 2010 στην Αγροτική υπήρχαν δάνεια 205.620.006 ευρώ στη ΝΔ και το ΠΑΣΟΚ. «Το λογιστικό υπόλοιπο όλων των δανείων σήμερα είναι 295.227.000. Τα τελευταία δάνεια δόθηκαν το 2011, έκτοτε δεν δόθηκαν δάνεια. Τα υπόλοιπα είναι μη καταλογισμένοι τόκοι. Έχουν ληφθεί προβλέψεις για 263 εκατ. από το 2010 και το 2011», κατέθεσε και πρόσθεσε ότι σήμερα για το 90% των δανείων της ΝΔ και του ΠΑΣΟΚ έχει σχηματιστεί πρόβλεψη ζημίας». Ερωτηθείς για τα δάνεια του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ και του ΚΚΕ υποστήριξε ότι είναι ομαλής είσπραξης και γι’ αυτά δεν έχουν σχηματιστεί προβλέψεις ζημίας.

Εντύπωση προκάλεσε ο ισχυρισμός του Γιώργου Πάσχα ότι, από το 1991 και μετά, δεν υπάρχει κανονιστικό πλαίσιο για τα δάνεια των κομμάτων, όπως και για κανένα δάνειο που χορηγείται από τις τράπεζες. Οι περιορισμοί που υπήρχαν, παλιότερα, άρθηκαν σταδιακά, από το 1991 και μετά. Στην ουσία, τον πρώτο λόγο για την τακτική των τραπεζών, όσο η οικονομία έμπαινε στη φάση του ενιαίου νομίσματος, είχε ο εκάστοτε διοικητής της Ευρωπαϊκής Τράπεζας.