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Εγχειρίδιο χειρισμού κρίσεων λόγω πολιτικών ΔΝΤ από τη CIA! / Already confirmed: Civil liberties under attack! / Greece's creditors gone completely insane! / How the global financial mafia sucked Greece's blood / ECB's economic hitmen / The German Thatcher confirms bureaufascists' plans! / Η Μέρκελ επιβεβαιώνει τα σχέδια των γραφειοφασιστών! /Greece: the low-noise collapse of an entire country/ How the neoliberal establishment tricked the masses again, this time in France / Ενώ η Γερμανία προετοιμάζεται για τα χειρότερα, η Ελλάδα επιμένει στο ευρώ! / Ένας παγκόσμιος "proxy" πόλεμος κατά της ελευθερίας έχει ξεκινήσει! / McCarthyism 2.0 against the independent information / Ο επικεφαλής του "σκιώδους συμβουλίου" της ΕΚΤ επιβεβαιώνει ότι η ευρωζώνη είναι μια χρηματοπιστωτική δικτατορία! / 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 / The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century / First cracks to the establishment by the American people / Clinton emails - The race of the Western neo-colonialist vultures over the Libyan corpse / Επιχείρηση Panama Papers: Το κατεστημένο θέλει το μονοπώλιο και στις διαρροές; / Operation "looting of Greece" reaches final stage / Varoufakis describes how Merkel sacrificed Greece to save the Franco-German banks / France officialy enters the neo-Feudal era! / The US establishment just gave its greatest performance so far ... / A significant revelation by WikiLeaks that the media almost ignored / It's official: the US is funding Middle-East jihadists! / Οι αδίστακτοι νεο-αποικιοκράτες του 21ου αιώνα / How to handle political unrest caused by IMF policies! / Πώς το νεοφιλελεύθερο κατεστημένο ξεγέλασε τις μάζες, αυτή τη φορά στη Γαλλία

25 May, 2017

Trump slaughters welfare state, drives US back to the 19th century

As The Real News reported, the White House has unveiled a budget proposal that slashes the safety net for tens of millions of people. It's called A New Foundation for American Greatness. Its main targets are programs for low-income Americans including well over $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and welfare and tens of billions for disability benefits and student loans. Meanwhile, the budget proposes what it calls the biggest ever tax cut and a 10% increase in military spending.


As Richard Wolff told to RT :

This is the most kind of horrific, classic right-wing, Republican, conservative notion of what their hero would do. And Mr. Trump is trying to become their hero, and doing a pretty good job it seems to me.

This budget should put to rest any notion, that Mr. Trump is something different, something beyond the conventional right-wing, left-wing split of the Republicans and Democrats. This is good, old 'cut the taxes for the rich and take it out in everybody's back'. It goes against what he promised, but even more than that: this is going to make the gap between the rich and the poor worse, it's going to make supports for the middle class even weaker than they've been before.

It's sort of the sign of the society rushing headlong into the self-destruction of a gap between rich and poor that is not sustainable in most countries, and certainly not in one that used to pride itself on giving everybody a chance, giving everybody a leg-up, putting everyone in the middle class. This is the end of all of that, even if Trump doesn't get it all.

The overall thrust is, unmistakably, we are going backwards historically, into the 19th century.

The very programs Trump is cutting, are programs that in many different ways put money into this economy, help public services. And we are going to see the effects, even if it's not bad as this budget proposal wants it. Those effects are going to be felt by everyone, and above all, by the middle and lower income people who don't need another blow in the face, who will not get the benefits of the tax-cuts, but will face a massive downsizing of what it is they've come to count on.

I follow closely the statements of large bankers, of large hedge funds operators. They like Trump, they are happy with Trump. They see the tax-cuts he's pushing, they see the deregulation he's pushing. He is delivering to that part of the Republican party what he promised them. And he is deciding to do that in classic fashion, by kind of reneging the promises he made to the average people.

The rich would have voted for Mr. Trump so that they can be richer at the end of his presidency, than they were, going in. That seems to be as far as those folks can see and we're going to live with the consequences of that mentality.


On Capitol Hill, Senator Bernie Sanders denounced Trump's proposal:

           This is a budget which will make it harder for our children to get a decent education, harder for working families to get the healthcare they desperately need, harder for families to put food on the table, harder to protect our environment, and harder for the elderly to live out their retirement years in dignity. This is a budget that is immoral, and that will cause an enormous amount of pain for the most vulnerable people in our nation.

Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research also spoke to The Real News about the huge cuts that Trump administration is about to bring for what has remained from the US welfare state:

My guess is it's probably bigger than the cuts the Ronald Reagan had for low-income programs. It's important to keep in mind, not all this is targeting low income. He does disproportionately hit low-income, but the better or worse, there's not that much money that we give to low-income people now. So a lot of the cuts here aren't really directed at low-income people. I'm not trivializing the impact on low-income people, it is bad.

Roughly a quarter of Medicaid spending is for seniors, many of whom aren't low income or at least weren't low-income during their working lifetime. Many of these are seniors that are in nursing home facilities, and they spent through their assets, and they now qualify for Medicaid. So that's a very, very big hit.

Also in here, there is huge cuts to the domestic discretionary portion of the budget. This is most of what we think of as the Federal Government: the National Parks, the National Endowment for the Arts, humanities, NIH, the National Institutes of Health. He's projecting cuts over the course of a decade of about 50% for those programs. That's an enormous cutback on the size of those programs.

Also, very big hits for federal employees. He's proposing large cuts to their pay, to their retirement benefits, and I'll have to double-check this, but I believe he's even proposing to cut pensions for people who are already retired. This is money that they worked for, and he's going to take it away from them.


Unfortunately, it happens exactly as described by the blog, right after Trump's election: “Trump purely represents the ruthless and direct cynicism of the elites: Yes, we are the one percent who have exploited you and impoverished you, and we want to govern so that to make sure that you will never rise up. Neoliberalism officially passes the torch to a ruthless, modern Feudalism ...

The 'anti-establishment Trump' joke is over for good and the American people will pay for it.

Theresa May wants a ‘new’ Internet monitored by the government

The British politician wants the government to censor what people can post, share and publish online.

by Amanda Froelich

British politician Theresa May – yes, the same one that wants to revive fox hunting – intends to introduce new, controversial regulations on the way the internet works.

To ensure Britain becomes “the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet,” she and fellow Conservatives wants to allow the government to decide what is online and available for citizens to view.

A manifesto outlining the controversial move states, “Some people say that it is not for [the] government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree.

As The Independent reports, Senior Tories confirmed the phrasing to BuzzFeed News and reiterated that the government intends to censor what people can post, share and publish online.

The manifesto explains that preventing terrorism is a top priority and that censoring content will ensure there is no “safe space for terrorists to be able to communicate online.

Much of the internet is presently controlled by private businesses, including Google and Facebook. May wants the government to hold as much – if not more – power, especially on social media.

The manifesto suggests that new rules would include laws that make it incredibly difficult to access pornographic and similar websites. The government would be granted permissions to place restrictions on seeing adult content and any exceptions would have to be justified to ministers. Officials even might stop search engines, such as Bing and Google, from directing people to pornographic websites. New rules would also require technology companies to delete anything a person posted when they were under 18-year-sold.

While a loss of pornography wouldn’t be the end of the world, freedom of speech would be greatly limited by the new rules. “In harnessing the digital revolution, we must take steps to protect the vulnerable and give people confidence to use the internet without fear of abuse, criminality or exposure to horrific content,” explains the manifesto.

Another goal listed in the document is the reduction of online bullying. However admirable, freedoms people presently enjoy would be greatly reduced if the government began monitoring chat rooms and the like.

Following in the footsteps of America’s war on “fake news,” the Conservatives also aim to regulate any and all news posted online to ensure only the truth is available to readers – which, one might argue, is subjective.

We will introduce a sanctions regime to ensure compliance, giving regulators the ability to fine or prosecute those companies that fail in their legal duties, and to order the removal of content where it clearly breaches UK law,” the manifesto reads.

Later in the document, it continues: “While we cannot create this framework alone, it is for government, not private companies, to protect the security of people and ensure the fairness of the rules by which people and businesses abide. Nor do we agree that the risks of such an approach outweigh the potential benefits.

Source, links:

NYPD faces suit over surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists

The New York chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and activists with Millions March NYC sued the New York Police Department after the department refused to confirm or deny the existence of records on Black Lives Matter activists.

Mariko Hirose, a senior staff attorney for the New York chapter, said, “New York City should be doing what it can to protect people’s right to engage in political protests. The last thing the police department should be doing is finding new loopholes to conceal from activists whether or not they are interfering with protests and organizing.

Millions March NYC and organizers Vienna Rye, Arminta Jeffryes and Nabil Hassein filed a routine record request under the state’s freedom of information law. They sought records that might reveal why multiple activists had “strange problems” with their cell phones at Black Lives Matter protests.

A request asked for any records the NYPD might have on “the use of technology to interfere with the use of cell phones by protestors,” according to the lawsuit. It also asked for records on monitoring of social media accounts of protestors, the “acquisition of contents” of any of the organizers’ cell phones, and any documents the NYPD might have on the protest or organizing activities of Millions March NYC.

The NYPD replied with a Glomar response, stating it refused to confirm or deny the records existed. The NYCLU describes Glomar as a “federally judicially crafted doctrine that is inconsistent with the structure and purpose” of New York’s freedom of information law.

This type of response is clearly unwarranted and unlawful,” the lawsuit states.

More:

H Καταλονία την ώρα της αλήθειας της

Μπορεί τα ΜΜΕ και οι καγκελαρίες της Ευρώπης να αποσιωπούν και να αγνοούν πεισματικά τη διαδικασία ανεξαρτοποίησης της Καταλονίας αλλά αυτό δεν σημαίνει και ότι το καταλανικό ζήτημα δεν πρόκειται να τις ταλανίσει αγρίως στο αμέσως προσεχές μέλλον. Πότε; Μα, το πολύ σε 4 μόλις μήνες αν όχι και ακόμα πιο πριν! Δηλαδή, τον επόμενο Σεπτέμβρη όταν είναι προγραμματισμένο (από την κυβέρνηση της Καταλωνίας) να διεξαχθεί το -ιστορικής σημασίας και κρισιμότητας- δημοψήφισμα για τη δημιουργία της ανεξάρτητης Καταλανικής Δημοκρατίας…

Εκτός βέβαια και αν η σύγκρουση της Βαρκελώνης με τη Μαδρίτη επιταχύνει τη διεξαγωγή αυτού του δημοψηφίσματος. Ή ακόμα καλύτερα, εκτός και αν συμβεί αυτό που προβλέπει το “μυστικό σχέδιο” της καταλανικής κυβέρνησης, που αποκάλυψε με πηχιαίους πρωτοσέλιδους τίτλους η El Pais τη Δευτέρα 22 Μαίου: Δηλαδή, η ακαριαία μονομερής κήρυξη της ανεξαρτησίας της Καταλονίας στην περίπτωση που οι αρχές της Μαδρίτης εμποδίσουν τους Καταλανούς πολίτες να ψηφίσουν ασκώντας το δημοκρατικότατο δικαίωμά τους στην αυτοδιάθεση!

Νάμαστε λοιπόν μια ανάσα πριν από μιαν εξέλιξη που δεν μπορεί παρά να προκαλέσει αλυσιδωτές αντιδράσεις ολκής μέσα αλλά και έξω από τα όρια του Ισπανικού κράτους.

Μια πρώτη (μικρή) γεύση αυτών των αντιδράσεων προσέφεραν μάλιστα τα γεγονότα που διάνθισαν τη συνέντευξη τύπου που έδωσε στις 22 Μαίου στο δημαρχείο της Μαδρίτης, ο πρωθυπουργός της Καταλονίας Κάρλες Πουτσντεμόντ. Έξω από την αίθουσα, μερικές εκατοντάδες φασίστες της Φάλαγγας και άλλων ακροδεξιών οργανώσεων, αποδοκίμαζαν -με συνθήματα υπέρ του δικτάτορα Φράνκο και κατά των Καταλανών “προδοτών” και “τρομοκρατών- όχι μόνο τους Καταλανούς πολιτικούς ηγέτες που συνόδευαν τον κ. Πουτσντεμόντ, αλλά ακόμα και τους αρκετούς (μια ντουζίνα!) πρεσβευτές ξένων χωρών που θα παρακολουθούσαν τη συνέντευξη τύπου.

Σημαδιακή λεπτομέρεια: Αν και η Ενωμένη Ευρώπη, με επικεφαλής την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή των Βρυξελλών, δεν σταματά να διαδηλώνει την κατηγορηματική της αντίθεση στην ανεξαρτησία της Καταλονίας, ανάμεσά τους βρισκόταν ο πρεσβευτής της...Γερμανίας.

Την ίδια ώρα μαινόταν ο πόλεμος νεύρων ανάμεσα στις αρχές της Μαδρίτης και της Βαρκελόνης, ενώ τα ισπανικά και καταλανικά ΜΜΕ διαπιστώνουν -με έκδηλο δέος- ότι οδεύουμε πια ολοταχώς προς την περίφημη “σύγκρουση των δυο τρένων”, που απειλεί να τινάξει στον αέρα όχι μόνο τις ισπανικές αλλά και τις ευρωπαϊκές μεταπολεμικές γεωπολιτικές ισορροπίες.

Από τη μια, οι ελάχιστα καλυμμένες απειλές της Μαδρίτης για τη χρήση ακόμα και της βίας ενάντια στις ανεξαρτησιακές βλέψεις των Καταλανών, και από την άλλη οι καταγγελίες των “αντιδημοκρατικών” μεθοδεύσεων της κυβέρνησης Ραχόϊ και οι λίγο ή πολύ δημόσιες προετοιμασίες για την “αποσύνδεση” της Καταλονίας από το Ισπανικό κράτος. Με λίγα λόγια, ο μεν κ. Ραχόϊ οχυρώνεται πίσω από το Σύνταγμα του Ισπανικού κράτους και χαρακτηρίζει “πραξικόπημα” κάθε ιδέα καταλανικού δημοψηφίσματος, ενώ δέχεται μόνο τη διεξαγωγή πανισπανικού δημοψηφίσματος για την ανεξαρτησία της...Καταλονίας, ενώ αντίθετα οι καταλανικές αρχές και το 75% των Καταλανών πολιτών δηλώνουν ρητά ότι μόνοι αρμόδιοι να αποφασίσουν για το μέλλον τους είναι οι άμεσα ενδιαφερόμενοι, δηλαδή οι ίδιοι οι Καταλανοί!

Φυσικά, όλα αυτά θα μπορούσαν να φανούν μόνο...ανώδυνα λόγια των μεν και των δε, αν δεν είχαν ένα πολύ συγκεκριμένο και κρίσιμο περιεχόμενο όπως π.χ. τον έλεγχο της καταλανικής αστυνομίας (οι γνωστοί Mossos) και των λοιπών ένοπλων δυνάμεων της χώρας, που θα μπορούσε ανά πάσα στιγμή να προκαλέσει ακόμα και τη βίαιη αντιπαράθεση των δυο στρατοπέδων.

Έτσι, δεν είναι τυχαίο ότι στο στόχαστρο της Μαδρίτης και των επικοινωνιακών της μέσων, που φτάνουν να απειλούν τη ζωή του (!), δεν είναι τόσο ο πρωθυπουργός της Καταλονίας όσο ο... συνταγματολόγος που έχει επιφορτιστεί να δώσει περιεχόμενο στην περίφημη “αποσύνδεση”, “εφευρίσκοντας” τις δομές του νέου ανεξάρτητου κράτους σε μέτωπα καθοριστικής σημασίας όπως η κοινωνική ασφάλιση, το φορολογικό ή η δικαιοσύνη. Το γεγονός μάλιστα ότι αυτός ο συνταγματολόγος Κάρλες Βιβέρ, που αποκαλείται και “εγκέφαλος” της καταλανικής ανεξαρτησίας, ήταν παλιότερα αντιπροέδρος του πανίσχυρου Συνταγματικού Δικαστηρίου της...Μαδρίτης, κάνει τους πολλούς εχθρούς του να τον χαρακτηρίζουν “προδότη” και φυσικά, να ζητούν το κεφάλι του.

Μικρή διδακτική λεπτομέρεια που ίσως ένδιαφέρει τον Έλληνα αναγνώστη: Η σύζυγος του κ. Βιβέρ, που είναι και αυτή πολύ σημαντικό θεσμικό πρόσωπο της Καταλονίας, βρισκόταν πρόσφατα -όπως και κάθε χρόνο- στην Αθήνα εργαζόμενη επί βδομάδες σε αυτοδιαχειριζόμενη οργάνωση που προσφέρει τροφή και βοήθεια σε μετανάστες, άστεγους και λοιπούς κατατρεγμένους των νεοφιλελεύθερων καιρών μας…

Με δεδομένο λοιπόν το γεγονός ότι η απόσχιση της Καταλονίας από το Ισπανικό κράτος και η δημιουργία της “ανεξάρτητης Καταλανικής Δημοκρατίας” δεν είναι πια κάποιο μακρινό ενδεχόμενο αλλά μια σχεδόν βεβαιότητα του αμέσως προσεχούς μέλλοντός μας, καλό θα ήταν να αρχίσουν οι πάντες, ακόμα και εδώ στη Ελλάδα, να παίρνουν τα μέτρα τους και να ετοιμάζονται να αντιμετωπίσουν τις συνέπειές του.

Έχοντας μάλιστα κατά νου ότι η καταλανική απόσχιση και ανεξαρτησία θα μπορούσε να δημιουργήσει σχολή τόσο μέσα στο Ισπανικό κράτος (Χώρα των Βάσκων, Γαλικία,…) όσο και έξω από αυτό (Σκωτία, Βόρεια Ιρλανδία,…), ενώ παράλληλα θα κατάφερε δεινό πλήγμα στη δεξιά νεοφιλελεύθερη κυβέρνηση της Μαδρίτης και στους Ευρωπαίους συμμάχους και υποστηρικτές της.

Και αυτό σε μια στιγμή που στο ένα από τα δυο κόμματα του ισπανικού δικομματισμού, στη σοσιαλδημοκρατία του PSOE, κατατροπώνεται η αντιδραστικότατη γερουσία των διαφόρων Φελίπε Γκονσάλες, Θαπατέρο και λοιπών “βαρόνων” που λυμαίνονταν το κόμμα στα τελευταία 40 χρόνια και επιστρέφει στην ηγεσία του ο Πέδρο Σάντσες που η ίδια αυτή “γερουσία” είχε ανατρέψει μόλις πρις από οκτώ μήνες. Αν και ο κ. Σάντσες απέχει πολύ από το να χαρακτηριστεί ριζοσπάστης, πάντως η θριαμβευτική του (50,2%) εκλογή από τη βάση του κόμματος δεν είναι αμελητέας σημασίας την ώρα μάλιστα που σχεδόν παντού στην Ευρώπη (Γαλλία, Γερμανία, Ιταλία, Βρετανία…) τα σοσιαλδημοκρατικά κόμματα παρακμάζουν όταν βέβαια δεν πνέουν τα λοίσθια.

Σταματάμε εδώ επειδή δεν υπάρχει αμφιβολία ότι η επικαιρότητα των προσεχών μηνών και εβδομάδων θα μας υποχρεώσει να επανέλθουμε αναλυτικότερα στις όλο και πιο κρίσιμες αλλά και συναρπαστικές περιπέτειες του καταλανικού ζητήματος. Η ώρα της αλήθειας έχει φτάσει και, όπως και στο μακρινό 1936, η Ευρώπη κρατάει την ανάσα της...

Πηγή:

The strategy behind Washington’s destabilization of Venezuela

Venezuela represents everything that the U.S. opposes in the region: socialism, anti-imperialism, economic independence via energy exports and a viable ally for China, Russia, Iran and other countries that oppose the hegemonic designs of Washington.

by Eric Draitser

Part 5 - The future of the revolution?

Now, with Trump and Tillerson at the helm of the imperial warship, it seems that the target on Venezuela’s back has grown larger still. And with the right-wing resurgence throughout Latin America, strategic planners might feel that it’s only a matter of time before they achieve their objective: the destruction of the Bolivarian Revolution and a return to Venezuelan dependence on the U.S.

But while it seems that the U.S. is in control, there’s just one small issue – chavismo, the political ideology associated with the ideas and governing style of Hugo Chavez.

While Washington won’t officially admit it, there is a fear that any direct intervention in Venezuela could trigger a mass outpouring of anti-U.S., pro-Chavez sentiment. The U.S. government hopes that Venezuela will collapse from within, thanks in large part to the millions of dollars spent by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy to fund the right-wing opposition and other anti-government interests.

The trouble is that, despite the economic instability and destabilization, tens of millions of Venezuelans have made it clear that they’ll never accept being put in colonial chains again. And as the right wing demonstrates and demonizes, defenestrates and destabilizes, the revolution continues.

The question in the coming months will be whether China and, to a lesser extent Russia and Iran, will recognize that relations with Venezuela are not simply about money and profit, but about gaining leverage against the U.S. Will Venezuela be seen in its proper context as the frontline in the fight against the U.S. empire? Or will it be left to fend for itself as the imperial dogs of war howl for the blood of the Bolivarian Republic?

***

Source, links:


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

24 May, 2017

Establishment's favorite 'band' in the UK: Theresa May and the Conservatives!

Another terror attack in Europe coincidentally(?) occurs right before crucial national elections, this time in the UK - The British media start the war against Jeremy Corbyn just like the US media did with Bernie Sanders


Who is the establishment's reserve in the UK this time? No doubt: Theresa May and the Conservatives.

In fact, the establishment doesn't seem to have too many options now that sees with terror that the Labour party starts 'derailing' dangerously from the neoliberal agenda, under Jeremy Corbyn. Brexit was not Theresa May's idea, after all. She is definitely establishment's favourite, a kind of reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher, the holy mother of neoliberals all over the world.

So, the British media sharpen their knives against Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, because he brings back forgotten pro-people policies against the agenda of the plutocracy. Which shows that for the elites, Brexit is not that important right now. The important thing is to keep Britain under the flag of cruel neoliberalism that serves their interests against the benefit of the majority.

The Labour party rhetoric and policies that is promising under Corbyn is shifting to the opposite side. For example, some of these policies include:

  • University tuition fees would be scrapped and student living grants would be brought back. This could well explain why voter registration has soared among students with a predicted 55% backing the Labour party.

  • Sixty pc of UK's energy will come from renewable sources by 2030.

  • Railways would be brought back to public ownership, reversing Margaret Thatcher's 1993 privatization, which almost all travelers agree, has led to absurd prices with an abysmal train service.


  • And, of course, the Labour party promises to reinforce Britain's National Health Service (NHS) under public control, instead of undermining it, like the conservatives do, in order to sell it off to private companies.

In another very important national election in Europe, a terrible event comes conveniently close. The Manchester Arena bombing will assist the establishment to maintain power through more repression and fear. These are the last 'solutions' left when the classic narratives and methods start becoming dysfunctional.

So, terror will force the British to vote the conservatives who are presenting themselves as being more tough against migrants, resembling the far right narratives and ideology. But the truth is that they don't care about security. Their job is to pave the way for the complete appliance of the neoliberal policies which include more privatizations, more tax-reliefs for the super-rich, complete destruction of the welfare state against the poorest and most vulnerable.

Terror in all kinds of forms, is the most useful tool for the elites in order to keep the masses subservient and paralyzed, unable to revolt and counterattack against the neo-Feudal conditions that are about to come. We saw it already in France and elsewhere.

The attack on Corbyn by Britain's right-wing media has been ferocious. Overcoming this level of hostility would take a political earthquake. That is, a lot of courage by the British people to defy again the sirens of the establishment, as happened with Brexit.

British intelligence warned Tony Blair of Manchester-like terrorism if the West invaded Iraq

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has yet to say anything about Monday’s heinous, nihilistic suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. According to current reporting, the attack has been claimed by ISIS and was carried out by a 22-year-old man born in Manchester to Libyan refugees.

But when Blair does speak, we can be certain he won’t mention one key fact: Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the U.S. and U.K., he was forcefully and repeatedly warned by Britain’s intelligence services that it would lead to exactly this type of terrorist attack — and he concealed these warnings from the British people, instead claiming the war would reduce the risk of terrorism.

We know this because of the Chilcot Report, the seven-year-long British investigation of the Iraq War released in 2016. The report declassifies numerous internal government documents that illustrate the yawning chasm between what Blair was being told in private and his claims in public as he pushed for war.

On February 10, 2003, one month before the war began, the U.K.’s Joint Intelligence Committee — the key advisory body for the British Prime Minister on intelligence matters — issued a white paper titled “International Terrorism: War With Iraq.”

It began:

           The threat from Al Qaida will increase at the onset of any military action against Iraq. They will target Coalition forces and other Western interests in the Middle East. Attacks against Western interests elsewhere are also likely, especially in the US and UK, for maximum impact. The worldwide threat from other Islamist terrorist groups and individuals will increase significantly.

And it concluded much the same way:

           Al Qaida and associated groups will continue to represent by far the greatest terrorist threat to Western interests, and that threat will be heightened by military action against Iraq. The broader threat from Islamist terrorists will also increase in the event of war, reflecting intensified anti-US/anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world, including among Muslim communities in the West.

The same report concluded that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq “would aspire to conduct terrorist attacks against Coalition interests” only in the event of an invasion. Moreover, “authoritative reporting suggests that Iraqi Intelligence (DGI) has little reach or [terrorism] capability outside Iraq.

Specifically regarding WMD terrorism, the JIC elsewhere judged that Iraq “would be unlikely to undertake or sponsor such terrorist attacks,” that the threat of it if Iraq were not invaded was “slight,” and that there was no “credible evidence of covert transfers of WMD-related technology and expertise to terrorist groups.

More:

Tory plan to privatise the NHS

Leaked phonecall reveals all

The Tory-run Government has done nothing but dig the NHS deeper and deeper into the ground over the course of the last seven years, and a recently leaked meeting between two conservative MP’s confirms the final nail in the coffin for the Nation’s beloved health service.

Budget cut upon budget cut has resulted in an almost unrecognizable National Health Service and, through no fault of the fantastic, dedicated Nurses and Doctors who work hundreds of unpaid hours just to keep the doors open, the NHS has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently. Staff across the country are under constant pressure to cope with both the increase of patients and the decrease of available beds, which has left them in an impossible predicament.

Back in 2015 the Conservatives were forced to admit that their pledge to secure the NHS’s budget was nothing more than a lie, and that funding had in fact been cut by a whopping 8% (A number which has increased even more since then). As a regular visitor to my local hospital (To collect medication), I’ve seen first-hand how these budget cuts have impacted the system and it makes me disgusted to see the neglect that the government has had on the issue.

A source close to one of the major conservative MP’s has confirmed that Conservatives are planning to increase privatisation to the point where the NHS is run as a private business. “It’s time to stop those that are undeserving from taking advantage of our country’s health services,” the MP said adamantly over a phone call to an advisor. He blames the “freeloaders” who are taking advantage of the system and claims that making it a private entity is the only way to resolve the issue:

We know there are people who have no intention of ever seeking gainful employment, and make plans to reap the benefits our country offers them for their entire lives. Our new changes will weed these people out and expose them for the parasites they are.

When asked about the innocents who may suffer inadvertently due to these new changes (children especially), he said; “Every war has casualties. It’s not our fault. They’re not what they used to be, and we need to put an end to the chaos. Privatising the NHS is our only option.

With the Red Cross declaring a humanitarian crisis here in Britain, it’s utterly shocking certain Conservative politicians think that it’s acceptable to blame the issues with the NHS on the general public, instead of admitting that the issues are down to their handling of the situation. The below graphic perfectly sums up how ridiculous the current regeime have let it get:


While it’s still early days for the 2017 election and there is plenty of time for things to change, current polls have shown Labour narrow the gap by two points. It’s unlikely that they will overcome the massive 46%-27% gap between them and the Tories, but every slight increase makes a coalition government more likely.

As I’m sure you are aware, Labour has a completely different viewpoint on the matter than the Conservatives do, and they’re making it one of their main campaign points. They’ve pledged to increase pay and cut tuition fees for trainee nurses, which is a massive step in the right direction and should hopefully see the NHS restored to its former glory.

Labour’s new guarantees for NHS staff will help keep services running at the standards which England’s patients expect.

Full report, charts:

Cable industry lobbyists write Republican talking points on net neutrality

Following the vote last week by the Federal Communication Commission to unwind the net neutrality rules enacted during the Obama administration, House Republican lawmakers received an email from GOP leadership on how to defend the decision. The email was shared with The Intercept and the Center for Media and Democracy.

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers must treat all web traffic in the same way. If the FCC eventually undoes the Obama-era regulations in their entirety, an ISP like Comcast could demand that websites pay it fees in order not to slow or block them. Large companies like Facebook would easily be able to afford such charges, but smaller companies might not, creating an uneven playing field.

Want more information on the net neutrality discussion?” wrote Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House Republican Conference. “Here is a nifty toolkit with news resources, myth vs reality information, what others are saying, and free market comments.

The attached packet of talking points came directly from the cable industry.

Full report, links, updates:


Related:

Syria: 225 civilians killed by US coalition airstrikes in one month

The number of civilians killed in air strikes by the US-led coalition in Syria over the past month was the highest monthly toll since it began its campaign against the Islamic State (IS) group in 2014, a monitoring organization said on Tuesday.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 225 civilians including 44 children and 36 women had been killed in the month between 23 April and 23 May.

At least 122 IS militants and fighters loyal to the Syrian government were also killed, the Observatory said.

The past month of operations is the highest civilian toll since the coalition began bombing Syria,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told the AFP news agency. “There has been a very big escalation.

The figure appears to suggest that coalition air strikes in Syria are now causing more casualties than air attacks on rebel-held territory by Syrian government forces.

The Observatory said on Saturday that 146 civilians had been killed in the previous month in attacks carried out by Syrian government warplanes and helicopters.

Full report:

Η "σούπερ γιαγιά" αριστερή δήμαρχος Μαδρίτης τρομοκρατεί το κατεστημένο υιοθετώντας την Κοινωνική Οικονομία

του Ανδρέα Ρουμελιώτη

Μέρος 3ο - Η νίκη της Συλλογικής Βαρκελώνης και το παράλληλο Τοπικό Εναλλακτικό Νόμισμα

Την κυκλοφορία τοπικού νομίσματος, παράλληλα με το ευρώ, για την ανάπτυξη του τοπικού εναλλακτικού εμπορίου και της κοινωνικής οικονομίας, ανακοίνωσε η δήμαρχος της Βαρκελώνης η 42 χρονη ακτιβίστρια Άντα Κολάου (εκπρόσωπος της PAH - ένα κίνημα σε όλη τη χώρα που βοηθά τα θύματα των εξώσεων από τις τράπεζες).

Αρχικά το project, που ήταν μια από τις προεκλογικές υποσχέσεις της νέας δημάρχου, θα αφορά στις συνοικίες του ποταμού Besos που έχουν υποβαθμιστεί αρκετά, και ενδεχομένως μετά το 2018 να επεκταθεί και στην υπόλοιπη πόλη.

Την ίδια ώρα η Κεντρική Τράπεζα της Ισπανίας προειδοποιεί την δήμαρχο και ακτιβίστρια να μην προχωρήσει το συγκεκριμένο πρόγραμμα, χαρακτηρίζοντάς το "ανεπιθύμητο" και "αδύνατο".

Ωστόσο, αξίζει να θυμίσουμε πως ανάλογες ενέργειες έχουν πραγματοποιηθεί με επιτυχία στη Χιρόνα, στο Μπιλμπάο, στη Σεβίλλη, στο Μπρίστολ, στην Τουλούζη, στην Σαρδηνία και σε πολλές ακόμα περιοχές της Ευρώπης.

Στη Βαρκελώνη ο αριστερός συνασπισμός "Barcelona en Común" (Συλλογική Βαρκελώνη) με επικεφαλής την 42χρονη ακτιβίστρια Άντα Κολάου (εκπροσώπου της PAH - ένα κίνημα σε όλη τη χώρα που βοηθά τα θύματα των εξώσεων από τις τράπεζες) υποστηριζόμενος από το Podemos και τα περισσότερα κόμματα, ομάδες και συλλογικότητες της εναλλακτικής και εξωκοινοβουλευτικής Αριστεράς, κέρδισε στις δημοτικές εκλογές τα κόμματα Convergencia i Unio (CiU) και Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), τα οποία τάσσονται υπέρ της ανεξαρτησίας, κάτι που συνιστά πλήγμα για το καταλανικό αποσχιστικό κίνημα.

Σημαντικό ρόλο για αυτή την νίκη είχε η "Πλατφόρμα για την υπεράσπιση των μικροϊδιοκτητών και των ενοικιαστών" που απειλούνται με έξωση από τις τράπεζες και τα ισπανικά ΜΑΤ.

Όπως και η υπόσχεση της Αντα Κολάου για άμεση αντιμετώπιση της "επείγουσας κοινωνικής κρίσης" που πλήττει την Βαρκελώνη, η οποία έχει 107.000 ανέργους και το ένα τρίτο των κατοίκων της βρίσκεται στα όρια της φτώχειας.

"Ζούμε σε μια εξαιρετική εποχή που απαιτεί γενναίες, δημιουργικές πρωτοβουλίες. Αν είμαστε ικανοί να φανταστούμε μια άλλη πόλη, τότε έχουμε τη δύναμη να την μεταμορφώσουμε..."

Η πρωτοβουλία για τη διεκδίκηση του δήμου Βαρκελώνης έκανε την εμφάνιση της μέσω μιας πλατφόρμας που ονομάζεται GuanyemBarcelona (Ας νικήσει η Βαρκελώνη), η οποία ξεκίνησε από μια ομάδα ανθρώπων της πόλης αποτελούμενη από διανοούμενους, εργαζόμενους και ακτιβιστές στα τοπικά κινήματα.

***

Πηγή, βίντεο:


[1] [2]

The strategy behind Washington’s destabilization of Venezuela

Venezuela represents everything that the U.S. opposes in the region: socialism, anti-imperialism, economic independence via energy exports and a viable ally for China, Russia, Iran and other countries that oppose the hegemonic designs of Washington.

by Eric Draitser

Part 4 - The Sino-Venezuelan partnership

For decades, corporations in the U.S. saw Venezuela as little more than an American possession, an oil colony whose dependence on U.S. exports made it little different from a true colony in the traditional sense of the word. However, with the ascendance of Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution, Venezuela ceased to be a dependent client of the U.S., and instead became a political adversary.

One key aspect of Venezuelan economic relations with other countries that has undoubtedly rubbed strategic planners the wrong way has been its ongoing partnership with China. Under Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela has signed countless deals with Beijing, many of which are based on an oil-for-credit framework wherein Venezuelan oil underwrites Venezuelan borrowing from Chinese banks. The Chinese cash has been used to stave off default and pay the financial obligations of the Venezuelan government.

Beyond that, Venezuela and China have inked agreements in the areas of energy, mining, finance, infrastructure and agriculture. There is also the Joint Chinese-Venezuela Fund, which finances infrastructure projects and economic development in the Bolivarian Republic.

In February 2017, China and Venezuela signed a raft of agreements, including the construction of a refinery in China that will process 400,000 barrels of crude per day, 70 percent of which will come from Venezuela. The deals totaled $2.7 billion.

China has also become one of the leading manufacturers of transportation in Venezuela, with taxis and buses being purchased or manufactured by the Chinese for the Venezuelan market. This tangible example of the Venezuela-China relationship illustrates the importance of Beijing to the daily life of Venezuela.

Unlike China, Russia has little need for Venezuelan oil. However, the one other area of Russian economic might is critical for the Bolivarian Republic: weapons.

According to Rostec, a Russian state corporation involved in the sale of military hardware to Venezuela, the estimated value of Russia-Venezuela arms contracts is roughly $12 billion. From 2005 to 2013, Venezuela was the largest buyer of Russian weapons in Latin America, with roughly $11 billion in purchase contracts.

But Russia’s ties to Venezuela are not simply about mutual enrichment, there is also a somewhat predatory aspect to the relationship, one that is likely making observers in both Washington and Caracas wary. Russia’s $1.5 billion loan to Venezuela in November 2016 came with the condition that the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA pledge a 49.9-percent stake in Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of PDVSA, as collateral for the loan.

This means that Russia’s state oil company Rosneft, run by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s close friend Igor Sechin, could control much of Venezuela’s economic clout. Translation: Russia wants Venezuelan oil to use as leverage against the U.S.

Venezuela has become a geopolitical flashpoint in recent years. As the country has moved forward on the path of socialism and anti-imperialism, it has increasingly been targeted by a wide range of destabilization tactics, as well as the collapse of global oil prices in 2014 and 2015 that crippled the Venezuelan economy.

Source, links:


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

23 May, 2017

Take the red pill, escape the Matrix!


As we grow up and learn more things, we understand that reality in various issues is different of what we thought. The more we explore, gain experience, the more we understand that we live in a type of Matrix. Many facts considered random eventually turn out to be there because of specific actions by certain people, groups, governments, etc.

G. Edward Griffin, editor of NeedToKnow.news and author of the seminal book on the Federal Reserve, The Creature From Jekyll Island, had a quite interesting idea called RED PILL Expo.

Griffin borrowed the idea from the famous sci-fi movie The Matrix, in which the central hero is choosing to take the red pill in order to discover the reality rather than take the blue pill and continue to live in a false world.

As he told to James Corbett:

Wouldn't be a great idea if we could just bring all of these red pill takers together and we could swap stories and say 'well, let me tell you about what I learned that turned out to be different from what I thought'.


From the RED PILL Expo website we read:

Taking the RED PILL is a contemporary meme from the sci-fi movie, The Matrix, in which humans are living in a world of illusion that prevents them from knowing they are enslaved by unseen masters. The only way to see things as they really are is to reject the blue pill, which perpetuates the illusion, and take the red pill, which makes it possible to see reality.

So:

Attend the RED PILL Expo.
See through the illusion.
Reject the fake news.
Escape the matrix.
Take the red pill.

The event will take place at the Commons, Bozeman, Montana on 23-24 June, 2017.

Σχέδιο για υποχρεωτική ένταξη στο ευρώ

Η χούντα του ευρώ σφίγγει τον κλοιό γύρω από την Ευρώπη

Στις Βρυξέλλες καταστρώνονται σχέδια για υιοθέτηση του ευρώ από όλες τις χώρες της Ε.Ε. μέχρι το 2025, σύμφωνα με έγγραφα που έχει στην κατοχή της Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, που περιγράφουν συζητήσεις μεταξύ αξιωματούχων της Ένωσης που συναντήθηκαν για να προετοιμάσουν σχετική συνεδρίαση της Κομισιόν, η οποία αναμένεται να γίνει στις 31 Μαΐου.

Η ιδέα είναι να «απλωθεί» στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο ο δημοσιονομικός έλεγχος της δημοσιονομικής πολιτικής της ευρωζώνης σε αντίθεση με αυτό που γίνεται σήμερα, το γεγονός δηλαδή ότι οι υπουργοί Οικονομικών λαμβάνουν αποφάσεις πίσω από κλειστές πόρτες.

Μόλις η διαρροή είδε το φως της δημοσιότητας, ο Βάλντις Ντομπρόβσκις αντέδρασε υποστηρίζοντας ότι ο αληθινός σκοπός του σχεδίου είναι να ολοκληρωθεί η συνεργασία στη ζώνη του ευρώ και όχι να υποχρεωθούν να υιοθετήσουν το ευρώ όσες χώρες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης έχουν δικό τους νόμισμα.

«Φυσικά και ενθαρρύνουμε όλες τις χώρες να υιοθετήσουν το ευρώ, όταν ολοκληρωθούν οι προϋποθέσεις που πρέπει να τηρήσουν, αλλά δεν υπάρχει συγκεκριμένο χρονικό όριο» δήλωσε ο αντιπρόεδρος της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής.

Σύμφωνα με την ευρωπαϊκή συνθήκη, η Δανία είναι μία χώρα που έχει το δικαίωμα να εξαιρεθεί από μία τέτοιου είδους δεσμευτική απόφαση. Άλλες χώρες που αφορά ένα τέτοιο σενάριο είναι μεταξύ άλλων η Τσεχία, η Πολωνία, η Βουλγαρία, η Ρουμανία και η Ουγγαρία.

Donald of Arabia: a disgusting spectacle

This is the worst yet

Has there been a more disgusting spectacle during the four months of this presidency than the sight of Donald Trump slobbering all over the barbarous Saudi monarch and his murderous family of petty princelings? It’s enough to make any normal American retch, especially when one remembers what Trump said about them during the election:

Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!

And then there was this tweet:

Tell Saudi Arabia and others that we want (demand!) free oil for the next ten years or we will not protect their private Boeing 747s. Pay up!

Now Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, is calling up Lockheed-Martin to get a discount for the Saudis, personally brokering the biggest arms deal in US history. What a difference a presidency makes!

The old Trump told us that the Saudis were “mouth pieces, bullies, cowards,” who were “paying ISIS,” but now they’re our partners in the “war on terrorism.” Why it seems like only yesterday that he was calling out Saudi princes like Alwaleed bin Talal for thinking they can “control our US politicians” – today he’s kowtowing to them.

Most tellingly, it was Trump who made a campaign issue out of the missing 28 pages redacted from the Joint congressional report on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In calling for their release, he painted a scenario in which the Saudi royals assisted the hijackers and said:

You know, it’s sort of nice to know who your friends are, and perhaps who your enemies are.

Does Trump know who are our friends and who are our enemies?

While the US government, under both Trump and Obama, has routinely maintained that Iran is the biggest exporter of terrorism, that is utter nonsense: the Saudis easily outdo the mullahs of Tehran. Riyadh funds radical madrassas throughout the world that preach pure hatred of the West: they are incubators of terrorism, and have been wreaking havoc from one end of the globe to the other for decades. The terrorist groups that have destroyed Syria are the progeny of the Saudis, and their allies among the Gulf states.

Most shameful of all, the Saudis have invaded nearby Yemen, slaughtering children and women with impunity, bombing funeral processions, and causing a famine that will kill hundreds of thousands of noncombatants: the very young, the sick, and the old. And they’re doing it with US assistance, a pact signed in blood under the Obama administration, now continued and beefed up under Trump.

Full article:

Η "σούπερ γιαγιά" αριστερή δήμαρχος Μαδρίτης τρομοκρατεί το κατεστημένο υιοθετώντας την Κοινωνική Οικονομία

του Ανδρέα Ρουμελιώτη

Μέρος 2ο - Ποιά είναι η φοβερή γιαγιά των αγανακτισμένων της πλατείας που έγινε δήμαρχος Μαδρίτης

Κομμουνίστρια επί Φράνκο, γλίτωσε το 1977 από τρομοκρατική επίθεση ακροδεξιών παραστρατιωτικών, εισηγήτρια των Ηνωμένων Εθνών για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, ιέρεια κατά της διαφθοράς στο δικαστικό σώμα και ακτιβίστρια των Indignados.

Η φοβερή γιαγιά των αγανακτισμένων της πλατείας, η 73χρονη πρώην δικαστικός Μανουέλα Καρμένα, υποψήφια του σχηματισμού Ahora Madrid ("Ποδέμος", "Πλατφόρμα εναντίον των εξώσεων", οι κινηματικοί "Νέοι χωρίς Μέλλον" - γέννημα θρέμμα των "Αγανακτισμένων" της Πλάθα ντελ Σολ, Equo - οικολόγοι, οργάνωση πολιτών Ganemos Madrid και πολλά μεμονωμένα στελέχη της Ενωμένης Αριστεράς - Izquierda Unida) έκανε την έκπληξη κερδίζοντας το δήμο της Μαδρίτης που ήταν κατεξοχήν φρούριο της δεξιάς και εκλέχτηκε δήμαρχος Μαδρίτης και με την στήριξη των σοσιαλιστών του PSOE.

Παρόλο που στις δημοτικές εκλογές η Μανουέλα Καρμένα ήρθε οριακά δεύτερη σε ψήφους, την στήριξαν 29 εκλεγμένοι δημοτικοί σύμβουλοι - 9 του Σοσιαλιστικού Κόμματος και 20 του σχηματισμού της Μανουέλα Καρμένα Ahora Madrid- ψήφισαν υπέρ της, δίνοντάς της την απόλυτη πλειοψηφία των 57 δημοτικών συμβούλων της πόλης.

Με την ανάληψη των καθηκόντων της, υποσχέθηκε να κάνει χρήση όλων των μέσων και των πόρων που διαθέτει ο δήμος για να σταματήσουν οι εξώσεις οικογενειών που δεν μπορούν να πληρώσουν τις δόσεις για το στεγαστικό δάνειο. Δέσμευση την οποία κάνει πράξη.

Είπε ακόμη ότι θα τερματίσει τις διαδικασίες ιδιωτικοποίησης των δημοτικών επιχειρήσεων και την ανάθεση κοινωφελών υπηρεσιών σε εργολάβους κι ότι ο δήμος θα παρέχει βασικές υπηρεσίες κοινής ωφελείας δηλαδή ρεύμα και νερό σε νοικοκυριά που δεν μπορούν να αντεπεξέλθουν οικονομικά.

H αριστερή δήμαρχος της Μαδρίτης, "ξαναχτύπησε" για να γλιτώσει 70 οικογένειες που ζουν σε εργατικές κατοικίες, σε βάρος των οποίων υπήρχαν διαταγές έξωσης.

Η πρώην δικαστικός, Μανουέλα Καρμένα ακύρωσε τις διαταγές έξωσης και εξασφάλισε τη διαμονή άλλων 2.000 οικογενειών σε τέτοιες εστίες, που είχαν τεθεί σε κίνδυνο.

Στα 72 της χρόνια η Μανουέλα Καρμένα θεωρείται "Πασιονάρια των Αγανακτισμένων" και "σούπερ γιαγιά" , όπως την αποκαλούν τα περισσότερα ΜΜΕ.

"Θα είμαι δήμαρχος όλων των Μαδριλένων. Θα κυβερνήσω ακούγοντας τη φωνή σας. Θέλω να με φωνάζετε με το μικρό μου όνομα," λέει.

Πηγή, βίντεο:


[1] [3]

The strategy behind Washington’s destabilization of Venezuela

Venezuela represents everything that the U.S. opposes in the region: socialism, anti-imperialism, economic independence via energy exports and a viable ally for China, Russia, Iran and other countries that oppose the hegemonic designs of Washington.

by Eric Draitser

Part 3 - Oil as a geopolitical weapon

However, it would be a mistake to assume that U.S. policy toward Venezuela revolves exclusively around the profits to be made by ExxonMobil and other oil companies. While that is undoubtedly a factor, ultimately it is about political leverage and strategy vis-à-vis rival powers and power blocs.

Consider the fact that Venezuela’s oil reserves alone account for roughly one-quarter (24.8 percent) of all proven crude oil reserves within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). This makes Venezuela hugely influential when it comes to decisions about oil production and, consequently, global oil prices. And when you couple Venezuela with Iran, a key ally of the Bolivarian Republic, both countries together account for nearly 40 percent of OPEC crude. Add to that non-OPEC member Russia, which accounts for 12.4 percent of global crude production, just behind Saudi Arabia and the U.S., and you begin to see just how significant these three countries are to global oil prices and production.

One must also consider Saudi Arabia, which closely trails Venezuela in terms of proven crude reserves (22 percent of OPEC reserves). The centrality of Venezuela should be immediately apparent. Installing a right-wing, pro-U.S. government in Venezuela would mean that the U.S. would effectively control, or at least have significant influence over, nearly 85 percent of OPEC production (Venezuela and the Gulf monarchies), thereby isolating Iran within the grouping. Put differently, Venezuela is the only thing keeping OPEC from being a plaything of Washington and Wall Street.

Russia and China also figure centrally in this calculation. With Venezuela under Washington’s boot, Moscow and Beijing would be significantly weaker, as they would have no influence over OPEC. Nor would they be able to satisfy each other’s needs alone – Russia needs consumer goods and imports far beyond what China can provide, and China needs energy and other raw materials far beyond what Russia can offer.

In effect, regime change in Venezuela would cut the legs out from under Moscow and Beijing.

An instructive example can be found in Venezuela’s neighbor, Brazil. An oil exporter almost as large as Venezuela in terms of production – Brazil accounts for 3 percent of global crude production, while Venezuela accounts for 3.1 percent – Brazil saw a quick political transformation in the form of a coup against the democratically-elected government of Dilma Rousseff, a coup that was orchestrated by right-wing elements in the country and their backers in the U.S.

And with the takeover of the government by the right wing and Goldman Sachs, Brazil’s oil exporting potential flipped overnight from a liability to an asset for Washington and Wall Street. Trump and Tillerson seem to have a similar vision for Venezuela.

Source, links:


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

22 May, 2017

Could banksters' worst nightmare eventually help Greece to escape the euro-prison?


The banking elite sees a phenomenon that doesn't like at all, flourish all around Europe: local currencies. Regions that reside inside the eurozone and out of it, have already made the step towards a local currency, which gives them a lot of degrees of independence. Local currencies could be used by local communities to direct policies towards the benefit of the community as a whole in contrast with the big scale, where hard currencies, like euro, have become the tools of the elites to impose austerity and brutal neoliberal policies.

Barcelona is one significant European center that is about to try the solution of local currency. As ElPais reported last year:

Barcelona City Hall has announced it is to press ahead with a pilot scheme to roll out a cashless local currency over the course of 2017 and 2018 in the working class Besòs district in the northeast of the city. The idea is for the currency to become legal tender in 2019.

The Bank of Spain has warned against the initiative, which was first mooted by Mayor Ada Colau after she won local elections in May 2015, describing it as “informal, with no legal framework, or regulator or adequate supervision.

Colau, who made her name campaigning against mortgage foreclosures and home seizures, heads a left-leaning coalition. The idea is for local stores and residents to be able to exchange euros for this new currency, and use it to purchase products and services at a discount or with other kinds of advantages. Municipal workers may also receive part of their salary in the new money. The exchange rate would be one-to-one.

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There are numerous precedents, both in Spain and elsewhere: the Bristol pound in Britain, the Chiemgauer in the German region of Bavaria, the sol-violette in the French city of Toulouse, the ekhi in Bilbao, the res in Girona, and the puma in Seville.

As also reported by ThinkSpain, “Barcelona will have its own 'virtual currency' by next year, despite the Bank of Spain warning the move is 'ill-advised'. From January 1, 2017, the town of Santa Coloma de Gramenet will accept its own local currency in 108 shops, restaurants and other business premises. And the so-called 'social currency' will be in operation in the Eix Besòs cluster – the Nou Barris, Sant Andreu and Sant Martí neighbourhoods of Barcelona city – from the same date. By the year 2019, the whole of the metropolitan area will accept the local money.

Indeed, “On January 13th, the first 6.000 Gramas (the name of the social currency in Santa Coloma), started circulating throughout the city. [...] The Grama is not the first social currency of Catalonia, but it is the first currency to be established in a city with more than 117,000 inhabitants. In addition, Santa Coloma is the first city council that channels public spending through a social currency. The Grama, which has a 1 to 1 value to the euro, is not a physical currency. It is managed with an application that allows transfers from one user’s account to another user’s account using Internet and mobile phones.

The reaction of the Bank of Spain tells a lot of how much the banking cartels afraid that may lose control of their debt colonies in Europe, through a local currency 'epidemic'.

As Michael Krieger reported almost two years ago: “TEM—a sophisticated form of barter whose name is the Greek acronym for Local Alternative Unit—was founded in 2010 in the early months of Greece’s debt crisis with less than a dozen members. Now it includes dozens of participating local businesses that use the system to sell goods and services, including prepared food, haircuts, doctor visits, or even for renting an apartment.”, concluding: “You’ve gotta love the Greek spirit. You can knock them down, you can embarrass them, but you can’t kill their spirit. Everyone else on the planet must recognize that what is being done to Greece will be done to us all in turn. We must show totally solidarity with them against the euro-fascists.

Recall that, while Greece was the major victim of an economic war, Germany used its economic power and control of the European Central Bank to impose unprecedented austerity, sado-monetarism and neoliberal destruction through silent financial coups in Ireland, Italy and Cyprus. The Greek political establishment collapsed with the rise of SYRIZA in power, and the ECB was forced to proceed in an open financial coup against Greece when the current PM, Alexis Tsipras, decided to conduct a referendum on the catastrophic measures imposed by the ECB, IMF and the European Commission, through which the Greek people clearly rejected these measures, despite the propaganda of terror inside and outside Greece. Due to the direct threat from Mario Draghi and the ECB, who actually threatened to cut liquidity sinking Greece into a financial chaos, Tsipras finally forced to retreat, signing another catastrophic memorandum.

So, the next big question is: could local currencies inside the Greek territory become the solution for Greece to escape the euro-prison? Local communities could build their own currencies and start gaining independence from the Bank of Greece, which of course is completely controlled by the Frankfurt headquarters.