US and Hu Rights Violations - Russia Confronts US

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Published by Administrator in Russia United state


by grtv

The United States and Russia have achieved many milestones when it comes to relieving tensions between the two superpowers after the Cold War, but it seems that lately those strains have been on the rise.

Russia has been more than vocal over its opposition of the US missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, and now Russia plans on implementing a visa ban on American officials to counter the US banning Russian officials for alleged human rights violations.

David Swanson, campaigner for Roots Action, joins us with more on the matter.

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داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه Image


داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه

 داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه
ژرفشی پیرامون ژاژخایی بارک الحسین آل اوباما در مبارزه علیه ددمنشان داعش.
نویسنده وگوینده: نیک پاکپور
به باور گوینده، آنچه را که ما امروز در میین استریم مه دییا ” Mainstream media” غربی، به عنوان جنجال جنگی غرب علیه جهادیزم جانی، وحشی ـ وهابی، اسلامی ـ ارتجاعی، در منطقه خاورمیانه شاهد هستیم، در اصل و اساسش چیزی به جز یک رجز خوانی ره توریک گونه یا تبلیغات تعفن بار و تهوع آور، آغشته و آمیخته به انواع ترفندها، تزویرها، تحریک ها و توطئه های تموچین گونه برای تسخیر، تقسیم و تصرف و سپس تهی کردن و تخلیه کردن خاورمیانه از منابع، معادن و مینرال سرشار نفتی و گازی اش نمی باشد که از سالها پیش توست استراتژیست های ”Anglo-American” آلبته با سروری و سردمداری سبعانه و ساویج گونه زایونیزم جهاتی بطور مکارانه و مزورانه و میرغضبانه، مهندسی و معماری شده است

گوینده: نیک پاکپور - بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب Image


گوینده: نیک پاکپور - بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب

بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب
گوینده: نیک پاکپور
1-Putin and BRICS form Seed Crystal of a New International Monetary Pole
William Engdahl | July 25, 2014
2-BRICS establish $100bn bank and currency pool to cut out Western dominance
By RT: Published time: July 15, 2014 18:14
3-BRICS against Washington consensus
BY By Pepe Escobar “Asia Times: Jul 15, '14”
4-Dollar dying; multi-polar world in offing
By F.William engdahl
4-US Dollar Suffers Serious Setback
By By Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
5-Throwing BRICS at Israel
By Johnny Punish

نیک پاکپور - دیو داعش و نقش غرب Image


نیک پاکپور - دیو داعش و نقش غرب

دیو داعش و نقش غرب

گوینده: نیک پاکپور

گوینده آنچه را که مربوط به ریشه سعودی،سلفی،سیاه ایی، زهش یا زایش، پیدایش یا پالایش تاول یا تکاثر،ترسناک،تروریسم تکفیری میشود را در یک ویدئویی،بتاریخ 24 فوریه 2014 میلادی،با نوضیح و نفسیر، و بر پایه پویش پروسه تیک پژوهشی،تکوینی،تاریخی،در جهت آژیرنده و آگاه کننده، مورد ارزیابی و آنالیز منطقی قرار داده ام

ولی بعد و بنیاد پحث امروز گوینده بطور اختصار و در حد اختیار،اختصاص دارد به حوادث دهشتناک و دردناکی که بطور فزاینده و فژاگن در کشور همسایگی،ما ایرانیان یعنی کشور عراق جریان دارد.






'Control': Cameron outlines plans to cut EU migration to UK

David Cameron has announced new government measures to curb levels of UK immigration. In a speech on Friday, the prime minister said all new EU migrants must work for a minimum of four years in the country before being able to claim state benefits.RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTListen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttvRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

CrossTalk: Warmongers Victorious Image


CrossTalk: Warmongers Victorious

With the GOP soon to control both houses of Congress and the firing of Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon, it appears Washington’s neocons will face little opposition when demanding more foreign interventions. The hawks again will have their day – who will be their victims? CrossTalking with Jim Lobe, Bruce Fein, and Alex Newman. Listen to CrossTalk+ here: https://soundcloud.com/rttv/sets/crosstalk_plusWatch all CrossTalk shows here:http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL75A81D67D2955F81 (Sep 2009 - Feb 2011)http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPszygYHA9K12YqkZDcnaHfDd5cptKhs9 (Mar 2011 - Jul 2012)http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPszygYHA9K1wI7Kcpxfq6NviCKYKjXAn (Jul 2012 - current)RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airRT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTListen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttvRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Ukraine and the Right a Year After Maiden Image


Ukraine and the Right a Year After Maiden

Sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko says another upheaval will come if the government does not address socioeconomic conditions of ordinary people

Volodymyr Ishchenko is a sociologist studying social protests in Ukraine. He is Deputy Director of the Center for Social and Labor Research in Kiev, an editor of Commons: Journal for Social Criticism, and a lecturer in the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

Middle east

Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate Image


Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate

Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate- Connect with Anonymous -Subscribe ● http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=anonymousworldvoceGoogle+ ● https://www.google.com/+AnonymousWorldvoceFacebook ● http://Facebook.com/AnonymousOfclAnonymous T-Shirts ● http://anonymousofficial.spreadshirt.comTwitter ● http://Twitter.com/anonymousOfclWebsite ● http://anonofficial.comAs ISIS continue to make territorial gains in the Middle East, they are also becoming a dynamic presence online. This report looks at one recent campaign video, designed to disseminate their radical manifesto."These are your passports, O Tyrants all over the world", one anonymous jihadist declares to a baying crowd as he spears a pile of the documents with a machete. Within the organisation's mission to establish a unitary caliphate across the region, such credentials are obsolete: mere vestiges of a by-gone age of national boundaries and rival political identities. "I swear by Allah, we will cleanse the Arabian peninsula of you, you defiled ones." Films such as this, depicting the brutal imposition of a supposedly utopian Islamic supra-state - often by means of summary executions and banning opposing sects from public life - are a sign of the increasing sophistication of ISIS' propaganda strategy. They depict well-armed, organised militants, and are cause for concern for Iraqi ex-pats struggling to reach relatives back home. "ISIS have forgotten the real religion, and now they are full of hate and revenge", says Salahaddin al-Beati, who has lived in Switzerland since 1996. With voices from all sides of the conflict, this report offers a chilling insight into a markedly 21st century insurgency.SRF - Ref 6166We are Anonymous.We are legion.We do not forgive.We do not forget.Expect us.Video originally by Journeyman Pictureshttp://www.youtube.com/journeymanpictures----ISISISISISISAnonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq CaliphateAnonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq CaliphateAnonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate"Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate""Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate""Anonymous - Inside ISIS and the Iraq Caliphate"

ISIS refugee smuggling to Turkey makes money for locals Image


ISIS refugee smuggling to Turkey makes money for locals

Refugees fleeing ISIS from Syria to Turkey give locals new way of making money. RT's Paula Slier reports.RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

English translation of clip showing ISIS fighters discussing


English translation of clip showing ISIS fighters discussing ''buying and selling Yezidi slaves''

Today is the slave market dayToday is the day where this verse applies: “Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess,- for (then) they are not to be blamed”Today is distribution day God willingEach one takes his shareI swear man I am searching for a girl I hope I find oneToday is the day of (female) slaves and we should have our shareWhere is my Yezidi girl?Where is my Yezidi girl?Whoever wants to sell his slave, whoever wants to give his slave as a present... Everyone is free to do what he wants with his share.Where is my Yezidi girl?Whoever wants to sell, I can buy my brothers.Whoever wants to sell his slave, I buy.Whoever wants to sell his own slave, I buy her.And if you want to give her as a gift, also I take her.Who wants to sell?I want to sell.Why?I pay 3 banknotes (1 banknote is most probably 100 dollars)I buy her for a pistol.The price differs if she has blue eyes.I buy her for a glock (pistol brand)I pay 5 banknotes. (1 banknote is most probably 100 dollars)If she is 15 years oldI have to check hercheck her teeth.If she has green eyesIf she doesn’t have teeth, why would I want her?Put dentures for her.I don’t want.On the YezidisCan one take 2 slave girls? Does that work?(Voice behind camera asks) You have a share. What about it?I got a share of Yezidis but I don’t want one.Why? Wait why don’t you want yours?I will give my share away.AL Farouk and I, we do not want any.(Voice asks the boy) Do you want a Yezidi slave?He nods yesCan you handle her?Boy gigglesAbu Khalid, do you want a slave?I don’t want to take one.Why?Abu Fahd: “Your Yezidi is dead”She’s deadSomeone giggles

United state

Workers vs. Undocumented Immigrants: The Politics of Divide & Conquer Image


Workers vs. Undocumented Immigrants: The Politics of Divide & Conquer

Former labor organizer Bill Barry discusses the tenuous relationship between the working class and undocumented workers, and the forces that keep these groups at odds

Bill Barry is retired director of labor studies at The Community College of Baltimore County in Dundalk, and was a union organizer for 20 years before that. He has written three books on unionism: I Just Got Elected, Now What: The New Union Officer\'s Handbook ; Union Strategies for Hard Times ; From First Contact to First Contract: An Organizer\'s Handbook and will have a new book running--appropriately on May 1--off the press, The 1877 Railroad Strike in Baltimore , which grew from the historical marker erected last year at Camden Yards. Bill has also been a 3-time candidate for Baltimore City Council as Green Party member in northeast Baltimore.

Almost Impossible to Indict a Cop Image


Almost Impossible to Indict a Cop

Chase Madar tells Paul Jay that it's not just an institutional problem, the law itself protects police abuse

Chase Madar is an attorney and author in New York. He writes for The Nation, Le Monde diplomatique, the London Review of Books, The American Conservative, Al Jazeera and Jacobin. He is the author of The Passion of Chelsea Manning: The Story of the Wikileaks Whistleblower, published by Verso.
Almost Impossible to Indict a CopPAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.
As we've been saying on The Real News Network in relation to Ferguson and in general, the role of police is rather obvious: police are there to enforce the law. Well, what are those laws? Well, essentially those laws protect people that own stuff, and the more you own, the more protection to get. And if you don't happen to own any stuff and you're poor and you're desperate, you're likely to have to try to get stuff to live, and sometimes that means breaking those laws. So we ask police to enforce that, and that often means we want the police to be a hammer, because if you're living in desperate conditions and you're poor, you often act out desperately.
And as a society, we've told cops, you can wear a gun. In fact, we've said the state, through the police, have a monopoly on violence--legal violence, that is. And there's supposed to be some check on that. And the check is: cops have to be reasonable in the use of force. And if they're unreasonable and they use excessive force, they should be charged, we say, criminally. It's not enough just to have some internal disciplinary process.
But how often do cops get charged criminally for police brutality, and even more importantly, when police kill people? Well, how often across the country does that actually happen? How easy is it, or how difficult, to indict a cop?
Now joining us from New York is Chase Mader. Chase is an attorney, an author in New York. He writes for The Nation, Le Monde diplomatique, The London Review of Books, The American Conservative, Al Jazeera. Most recently he wrote the article in The Nation "Why It's Impossible to Indict a Cop".
Thanks very much for joining us, Jason.
JAY: So give us some of the numbers. First of all, how many police killings are there? Let's put the Ferguson thing in context. How many times a year, normally, do cops kill somebody?
MADAR: Well, last year, according to FBI statistics, there were 461 justifiable homicides committed by police around the country. That's probably a lowball figure and undercount, because our federal government does not think this is significant enough a problem, an issue, that they should keep a real detailed tally of this. And so this was the highest tally of police shootings, fatal shootings of people for very long, for about 10, 20 years. And this is also coming at a time when the murder rate in general, the homicide rate, has been steadily sinking since the early '90s.
JAY: So how many of these 400-some-odd cops that killed people justifiably? That means none of them were charged. How many cops were charged?
MADAR: Well, we don't even have a good statistic on that. I mean, probably none. Police get charged very, very infrequently criminally for any kind of infraction. And the more serious the infraction, like homicide, the even less likely they are to get charged, even to get indicted first, and certainly to be convicted later.
JAY: So why is it so difficult to indict police? It's hard to imagine that there isn't some evidence in some of these cases, at least, that at least should go to a trial if not a conviction.
MADAR: Yeah, absolutely. Well, the reason is quite simply both the institutions and even the laws themselves heavily favor the police whenever a police commits an act of violence against any citizen, any civilian. Start with the simple fact that it is prosecutors who of course do the prosecuting, and prosecutors depend on a close relationship with the police. They see themselves as part of the same team as the police. And they are reluctant to rock that boat, to poison their relationships with the police, which is what will surely happen if they come down hard on an individual police officer.
JAY: Yeah. Chase, I had a friend who was a prosecutor in Chicago, and they used to--whenever they won a case, convicted someone, they would actually cut the person's tie and pin it on the wall behind the desk, and they would compare how many ties they had up. It was all a conviction numbers game, which implies you have to collaborate with the cops to get your conviction. It's not that you're necessarily after the truth of the situation.
MADAR: That's right. And we have a huge exception in that numbers game. You want as few cops convicted, or even prosecuted or charged, when you're prosecutor.
And you see this--I mean, it's almost obscenely personified in the St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, whose father was a police officer, who in the past has really acted more like a defense attorney for police officers rather than a prosecutor. And what he did by forcing a grand jury to study all of the evidence and hear witness statement after witness statement, including very long testimony from the police officer, a potential defendant, Darren Wilson, is virtually unprecedented. And all of this to a large degree was so that the DA could insulate himself from the politics of this case, so he wouldn't have to be the unpopular guy in the DA's office in St. Louis County who came down as a cop. This allowed him to just say, okay, well, it was the grand jury that did it, not me.
JAY: And even The New York Times--and to some extent The Washington Post--have commented on the extent to which the process was manipulated. We haven't had time to read the whole transcripts, but they've got lots of money. They can get people to do it. And they've written that the interrogation of the cop in front of the grand jury was extremely sympathetic, without any challenge of significance, whereas anyone who was a witness that disagreed with the cop's narrative was grilled and discredited by the state's attorney, by the prosecutor. And it should actually be the other way around. He's supposed to be trying to get a conviction. That's why he calls these. If he didn't think there was grounds to convict at all, he shouldn't even have called the grand jury.
MADAR: Yeah, absolutely. And, sadly, this is pretty much what one would predict if you know about how prosecutors work, if you know how our criminal justice system works.
And even the rare event had this gone to trial, had there been criminal charges filed against Darren Wilson, I think sad truth is he probably would have gotten off, even though his story, his own testimony is very hard to believe--I'm not saying 100 percent that it's wrong, but it's really hard to believe his version that Mike Brown came at him, quote, like a demon, like some kind of pro-wrestler. It just--a real prosecutor should have had a chance to pick at that, to challenge it, to question it.
JAY: Yeah. Even the incident at the car, this was a big piece of it, because I think it's because they say that Brown attacked the cop in the car that laid the grounds for him thinking that he would be attacked again on the street, but that you could argue the evidence a completely opposite way, that Brown could have been leaning in the window, and he could of been grabbed and pulled into the car. Of course, we don't know because there's no trial and there's no chance to impeach any of these witnesses.
MADAR: Yeah, absolutely, and that's exactly why there should have been a trial in this casee, even though I think the laws themselves that we have in our country are very much designed to protect police, to shield them from liability. We all like to think that the law is fair, that the law might even be on our side. But when it comes to a police officer versus civilians, the law bends over backwards to grant police an incredible amount of leeway, flexibility, and discretion as to when they use force, even deadly force.
So I just want people to know that this isn't just a matter of institutions and institutional relationships, though it is that. It is also baked into the laws themselves, and not just in Missouri, but really nationwide. Supreme Court jurisprudence on this issue is really lousy from the point of view of people who aren't cops, from the point of view of citizens, civilians.
JAY: Well, it goes back, I think, [to] what I was saying in the beginning, that the real fact of this is or the essence of this is is people that own stuff, the elites in the country, they far more want the cops to be feeling free to wield force than they're concerned about the abuse of that force, so that they need to protect the cops unless it's completely egregious. There's just such obvious number of witnesses that it's impossible. Okay, then maybe even the Department of Justice will step in and say, okay, you, this police force, you're risking another Rodney King across the country, and you're going to have to get reform, because we don't want you triggering some mass rebellion. So, yeah, we'll pull you back from your worst excesses. But in day-to-day policing, Congress, the president, the state in general, they want the police to be a--feel free and not hesitate.
MADAR: Yeah. It's disturbing how--well, how uncontroversial this decision is and this whole problem is in a lot of parts of the United States.
I mean, let's talk about the federal government, too, a little bit. There was a lot of hope that the Department of Justice in Washington might swoop in and file civil rights violation charges against Darren Wilson. But they've backed off from that just because, again, the laws are heavily in favor of the police officer, and the DOJ really only likes to take cases that they think they're going to win. They didn't think they were going to win this one, a criminal conviction, so they've backed off.
What I'm a little more optimistic about is when the Department of Justice sweeps in and goes into an entire Police Department--say, Albuquerque, which has had a rash of fatal police shootings, often of unarmed civilians, over the past few years, and tries to do root-and-branch reform, restructure it, force new training policies, new regulations about when officers should be touching their weapons, much less taking the safety off and using them. These don't involve any punishment for individual officers, even ones who have behaved really badly.
JAY: Even in this case, why didn't this guy have a taser? He says it was big and complicated or too difficult, so he didn't carry one. I mean, how can that not be in itself actually a violation of law, not just some code of practice? I mean, he could have tasered Brown in the street. He didn't have to shoot him, even assuming Brown even was threatening, 'cause that's clearly in dispute.
MADAR: Yeah, even assuming that. I mean, it's no excuse to say that it's big and complicated. If a taser is too complicated for you, then obviously you should not be a patrol officer. I mean, it's really that simple.
JAY: There's simply no consequence. We have the same thing in Baltimore. We just had a town hall here a few days ago at The Real News about should the community control the police. And the idea of a community police review board, that it only makes sense, first of all, if you have the right to hire and fire the police chief and hire and fire policemen, so at least there's some real-world consequences even if the state's attorney almost never lays a charge--they occasionally do, but it's very, very rare. But even that doesn't work unless you have an aroused population that demands that the review committee or the police services board actually does his job.
MADAR: Yeah. I mean, these civilian review boards, they sound like a great idea, and I would like to see one that actually works someday, that does keep close control, real control, and real authority over the police. But as you said, that's only going to work if there is a certain degree of mobilization and people taking responsibility and taking charge over their Police Departments.
And I'm encouraged by the demonstrations that we've seen all over the United States in the past couple of days. I hope that continues. But it should not really be a radical idea that police exist to serve the community rather than the other way around. I mean, these are public servants. Their job is to work for us. They should be under firm civilian control, without a doubt.
JAY: Well, the thing is: you have to define us. They do work for the community. They work for the community of people that own stuff.
MADAR: Yeah. I mean, I want to question that a little bit. To a degree, that's certainly right. I don't see how the capitalist rate, the corporate rate of profit is really well served by riots in Ferguson, by police shootings that are going up even as violent crime goes down. And in this sense I'm a little more optimistic, because even if our whole economic system is with us to stay for the time being, for the seeable future, I do think that real changes in policing and in police departments can at least bring down the level of gratuitous police violence and police brutality.
JAY: Yeah, I agree with you. I think some of the worst excesses could be mitigated under today's conditions. But I'm not suggesting that riots are good for the rate of corporate profit. What's good for the rate of corporate profit is high unemployment, which keeps wages down, and people willing to work for minimum wage and sometimes below minimum wage if they're undocumented. Having big subsections of impoverished people willing to work for almost anything, that is good for certain kinds of corporate profits. I mean, frankly, in the long run, if people are really rational, that's not even good for corporate profits. Everyone--there's actually--the whole economy would do better if people were paid better. But still that is the mentality. So, yeah, it's keeping the lid on the poor is their role in these types of areas. I mean, you don't see Baltimore police beating the hell out of people in--. And, like, we have an area in Baltimore called Roland Park, which is fairly wealthy, white, and it wasn't that long ago black cops weren't allowed to arrest people in Roland Park. They actually had to call a white cop to come and do the arrest.
MADAR: Well, but let me tell you a little bit what I think might work in the short- to medium-term to get the police back under control. (When I say back, that assumes they were under control earlier, which is really debatable.)
JAY: Yeah, that's a stretch.
MADAR: One thing that's come to light is the kind of petty constant over-policing for fines, minor infractions, traffic violations, and other things that get punished with a constant stream of fines. And this is a huge way that the city of Ferguson and many other municipalities in St. Louis County get revenue. It's often the second-largest revenue stream.
JAY: And wasn't there something like 20 percent of the municipal revenue in Ferguson?
MADAR: Twenty percent in Ferguson, and even higher in some of the neighboring towns that are similar, that we need to look at this and think, is this really the best way? Because it does seem to a lot of people in Ferguson and elsewhere that the police are treating them as exploitable cash cows that are just there to be milked for their money. And so it's a constant feeling that many people have in Ferguson and many other places in the United States of just being preyed on.
JAY: Add to that the incarceration industry.
MADAR: Yeah, sure. And the whole incarceration business of mass incarceration, this is a factor of the over-policing that I just talked about. We do have higher violent crime than in many comparable countries, but our sentences for people who are convicted are much, much, much higher. A lot of this--but really just about 20 to 25 percent of this is nonviolent drug offenses from our war on drugs that is been a clear failure. But it's also how we come down so hard on even young people, charging them as adults. And when we charge adults, it's--the sentence is often much, much higher than in other nations.
JAY: Alright. Thanks very much for joining us, Jason.
MADAR: Thank you.
JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

We Dehumanize Those We Exploit - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (9/10) Image


We Dehumanize Those We Exploit - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (9/10)

Mr. Conway says police are asked by society to control the poor as if they are fighting a war, so anything goeswatch full episode 

Marshall "Eddie" Conway was a Leader of the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party. Conway was released from prison on March 4, 2014 after having served 43 years and 11 months. He is currently a producer at the Real News Network.
We Dehumanize Those We Want to Exploit - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (9/10)PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay. And welcome to Reality Asserts Itself.
It's just a day after the Ferguson grand jury declined to indict the officer that shot Michael Brown. The jury process itself, as many people have commented on, was extremely secretive--it was a choice of the prosecutor to do this. But the decision-making of the grand jury is not really known. We don't know the process they went through.
We do know from the press conference that every possible stereotype of a black man was portrayed in the delivery of the prosecutor. We're told Michael Brown moved towards the officer. We're not given any detail--in that press conference, at least--what that movement towards the officer was. It just evokes a black man moving towards you is threatening. If there'd been a trial, even a legitimate preliminary hearing, where this information could have come out, people at least could have had some transparency. Right now it just plays on rather evocative and essentially racist imagery.
This has nothing to do with the actual innocence or guilt of this officer. I don't know. I haven't seen all the evidence. I don't know all the process and what happened that day. And isn't that the point? We don't really know. And an extraordinary use of the grand jury covered all of this up.
So why? Well, we're not going to get into the detail of all this. What we really going to do is pick up on our Reality Asserts Itself series with Eddie Conway and try to talk about some of the underlying issues here.
So joining us now in the studio is Eddie Conway. He is a former Black Panther. He is the author of Marshall Law: The Life & Times of a Baltimore Black Panther. He's now a producer at The Real News Network.
Thanks for joining us.
JAY: I mean, one of the main themes in your book was your decision early on to defend your humanity, that the prison system, part of what it does is try to grind down your humanity, kind of turn you into an animal that will then be herded by guards. But that's true outside of prison, too, is it not, this link of racist ideology and dehumanization, and we as a society or those who benefit from it, we dehumanize those who we want to super exploit.
CONWAY: Yes. And just to step back a minute, to look at the prison experience, what we found was that in order for the guards to have authority, they have to continue to make efforts to dehumanize every person they see in the population. And toward that end, in the prison system they took away all of our personal clothes and they put us in uniform. They took away the ability for us to put on [oils (?)] to smell nice, to be able to walk around with an individual identity. And in the mess hall in particular is one of the places where they constantly reinforce the authority of the correctional officers.
Say a guy's 18 years old. He just finished high school. He gets hired by the state. It's a good job. It's job security. And he comes into the prison system, and the prison system has thousands of guys in there, some 70, some 60, some 50, but a lot of seasoned kind of people, and then he's got to have the authority to say, go over there, do this, do that. And the way they do it is they reinforce that authority by having him challenge your humanity.
And so that same process takes place out in the community and is--it's just strange. Last night, I rode past several young men setting on the side of the street with their handcuffs, with their hands cuffed behind her back, and a police standing over them and another police talking. And it is stuff like that that constantly reinforce the authority. And it also dehumanizes the population, because at some point you become so dehumanized, you find ways in which to make the authorities happy, like hands up, say, or I'm slowly reaching for my wallet, and other kind of indications that makes you assert yourself to help them abuse you.
JAY: This goes right back to slavery, the elimination of individual identity. If I understand it correctly, it was illegal to read, to learn how to read; it was illegal to teach a slave to read. The idea of having a conscious--being a fully conscious human, it seems to me the dehumanization is on two sides. One, you need society to dehumanize people that you want to super exploit, whether it's slavery or something akin to slavery--certainly mass incarceration is pretty close to straightforward slavery--and then low-wage, massive low-wage section of the population, mostly black and people of color, another form of super-exploitation.
But also, in terms of the exploiter, in terms of their own head [incompr.] somehow you can rationalize this, because these are really subhuman people. So I can do this and still feel good about who I am, and I'm still going to believe in God and go to Heaven. The underpinnings of it is the society still wants a super-exploited section of the population.
CONWAY: Yes. Obviously, the people that are benefiting from that kind of arrangement, whether you're talking about slavery or the multinational corporations today, their bottom line is profit and their secondary concern is security--they want to be secure in their particular domains, they want to have their stuff secured, so that the people that are at the bottom of the rim that's unemployed or underemployed or that's hungry, that live in dilapidated housing, those people always have a certain amount of frustration in them anyway. They grew up in an environment, and they grow up in an environment where they see people fighting over crumbs. And all too often, they look toward where there is money, where there's power, and they might strike out. And even when they don't strike out at the money or the power, they might strike out at other ethnic ethnic groups because of the association of that--the /dəˈsɪməlɪzm/ they recognize, right?
It's then one of the tasks of the guardians of society to find out who in that particular community might represent a threat, who might organize, who might be emboldened and stand up or speak out against somebody. So there's a constant level of across-the-board harassment to see who will respond. And then, once that person respond, that person has a resisting arrest or a failure to obey an order, that person goes into the prison system, that person is labeled. Then, from then on in, that person loses his right to vote. But also that person is identified the next time there's an encounter. But it's those encounters that are primarily for the community to see, okay, see what happens to the outspoken person? See what happens if you stand up? Now look at what happened to this person, and you shouldn't stand up.
JAY: It seems to me it's like what you're saying in the prison. Like, the guard needs to establish the authority. Well, the authority's based on fear. You need to fear. And part of that dehumanization is to abject fear of the authority figure. Well, it seems to me that's what the cops are doing on the beat. Like, they're harassing, they're pushing, they're prodding, it's stop-and-frisk, it's beatings, because you need to accept our authority even if we're not going to charge you, if we're not going to arrest you. You just have to be afraid of us, because society wants, through the police--and I say the elites who run it, but not only; there's a lot of people who kind of want this outside of just the elites--they want people to internalize this fear so they don't act out. And then, if you want your police force to be the hammer, you've got to back them up, which means you go to extraordinary means, like this grand jury, because you don't want the cops second-guessing the use of force. You want them to be the hammer and not to be afraid of being the hammer, and you go to extraordinary means to protect them when they are the hammer.
CONWAY: Yes. One of the things that you see that constantly happens in the community is that the level of harassment is on a very petty level. A lot of people think, because of the violence in the community, that most people are locked up associated with violence. I think nationally that's, like, only 10 percent of people that get arrested. The other 90 percent are actually locked up for either small amounts of marijuana or either resisting arrest or either loitering in the area. And that's--it is nonviolent offenses that make up maybe 90 percent of the prison populations in America. And that's directly related to harassment. And take into consideration that 13 percent of the population is black, maybe 25 percent of the population is people of color, but over to 75 percent of the people in the prison system are people of color. So it is this constant petty harassment.
But it's also something else. It dehumanizes or desensitizes the police that's reinforcing that, because they tend to look at the situation as if they're in enemy territory. And so anything goes in enemy territory. We've seen that in Vietnam. You see that in all similar war type situations. They look at the poor communities, both white and black, as a hostile war zone, and they act accordingly, and they're constantly trying to weed out who might be a potential problem later on, because their mandate is to protect the property and the wealth of the elite.
JAY: Yeah. I think the economic piece is the piece that never gets talked about in mainstream media. You can hear talk about racism and racist ideology and white supremacy, but it's--and at least in mainstream media--very rarely linked to this system wants a massive pool of unemployed people because they put pressure on wages. But within the pool of unemployed people, you have a segment that are super-exploited, either unemployed or willing to take jobs at the lowest end of the pay scale. And those are mostly people of color, whether they're African-American or Latino. It's an enormous--I hate to put it this way, but it's like a competitive advantage for the United States. And they use this. And this racism, the police oppression, you know, when people are living in poverty, they act out, as you said. So either you have to transform those conditions or you put the hammer to put the lid on it. And the racist ideology supports the strategy to put a lid on it.
CONWAY: Yes. And one of the things is the American population is only 5 percent of the world's population, but you have 25 percent of the people held in prisons and in captivity in the world here in America. And so it's always the arrangement that they have in terms of economics. Not only is the profit motive the bottom line, but the fact is that they need to keep as many unemployed people in a different environment.
One of the things that happened as they deindustrialized was they then--there was an expansion and a boom in the prison-industrial complex. Ten years before that happened, communities were like, not in my neighborhood, don't put a prison here, don't to this, don't do that. But then the factories left, and all of a sudden the communities were saying, well, we'll give you a tax incentive, we'll do this, we'll make sure that there's 80 percent of capacity in the prisons, etc.
And so all of that kind of, like, works together to continue the elites' profit-making, because now what they do is--or what they have done is they have used certain segments of the population to incarcerate, prison, and hold people in captivity, and they use other parts of the population to fill up those prisons and to fill up those cells at the same time they continue to make enormous profits.
But they've created something else: divide and conquer. You know, white people can't work with black people or the urban youth is in hostile territory when he's in Hagerstown. So then he ends up with a certain mindset. The guards in Hagerstown or Cumberland or other rural areas has a certain mindset because they're constantly in clashes with the population that's black. And so it distracts everybody from what's really going on. Both groups of people are being exploited and are being super-exploited. But we can't organize and we can't get together and look at the common cause of our problem, because we're right there in each other's face.
JAY: Which is why the defense of the police by the state apparatus, by the whole media complex, by the elites, they have to defend the police and not allow, for example, civilian review of the police that would have real authority to hire and fire the chief, hire and fire cops, simply make force used beyond reasonable force illegal and charge cops and send them to jail. If you start doing that, you start undermining this coercive authority you have that enforces these social conditions. And racism kind of underlies it all, oh, because the black man's a threat, so we're all going to turn the other way, when we know this mass incarceration and such is taking place.
CONWAY: Yeah. And another thing that should be pointed out is that sometimes you have black officers, sometimes you have Latino officers that are just as aggressive and just as committed to suppressing people in the poor communities as the white officers are. And it's a mindset that's created by what I would call white supremacy. And it's also a mindset that's--it's covered by institutional racism. Even black guards look into the community or black officers look into the community and see the community as a threat, because in most cases they have arrived, they have moved out in suburbia, and they see the community decay.
JAY: But even if there even is some truth to it in the sense that of course in impoverished areas there's higher crime than in areas where people are not impoverished--. But the cops are certainly not encouraged to ask why, and they take it as a given. And I guess it's--you know, cops need to start thinking about what the heck they're doing here and the why of why they're facing this kind of violence in the streets, 'cause for sure they are facing--you know, going to port areas of Baltimore, anywhere in the world, you're going to find higher levels of violence than in areas that aren't poor.
CONWAY: You know what the problem is? Socialization. I mean, until you can figure a way to control the education in the community--I mean, obviously the problem's economic, but early on, young people are socialized to see society in a certain light. In my generation, we were socialized to see the military as a very good thing and a possibility of advancing for us as black people and poor people, right? So we were constantly given little military toys, soldiers. The cartoons were, like, military--G.I. Joe, etc. That's reinforced. And then it's reinforced in the school by what you don't learn about yourself or what you don't learn about America. And so you get the impression that you're doing a good deed in the name of something that's really good. And so then you have that mentality there. And so it's impossible for you to look into the community and see 15 or 20 people hovering around the neighborhood and not think that they're [dehumans (?)] or they're diminished in some capacity or they're not using all of their God-given resources to change their conditions.
JAY: Essentially, it's their fault they're living in these conditions. And so--
CONWAY: Blaming the victim.
JAY: --so now that it's their fault, we can use the force to control them, because if they did better, they'd be out of it. It's got nothing to do [with] the way society's organized.
Join us for the next segment of our series of interviews on Reality Asserts Itself with Eddie Conway. As I mentioned early on, Eddie is now a producer at The Real News Network. And in the next segment of the series, I'm going to ask him why is he at The Real News Network. So please join us for that.

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  • NEO – Egypt and Russia – “Historical Realities” between Old Friends
    NEO – Egypt and Russia – “Historical Realities” between Old Friends By Seth Ferris, … with New Eastern Outlook, Moscow [ Editor's note: Seth Ferris takes us back into the maze of Egyptian geopolitics with the 19th century framing needed to have any chance of understanding it all.What he presents below is General Sisi’s attempt to legitimize his own coup by cloaking it in Nasserian robes.The topic was triggered by the recent Russian arms deal. Where the $3.5 billion is coming from to pay for it all should require a magic trick but I suspect the Gulf folks would have to be picking up much of that tab.But it is a stick in the eye to the US, for Egypt to be re-establishing its old Russian connections when they are also close allies of Iran, the arch enemies of Egypt’s financial lifeboat with the Saudis and Qatar. “Oh, what a web they weave,” comes to mind here.Who would be a military threat to Egypt when they are so cozy to the Israelis and the US is beyond me. But generals like to have a lot whether they need them or not. Destitute people can at least be proud of their powerful military, so their status is protected…that of being exploited by their own... Jim W. Dean ] First published … November 22, 2014 - There has been much commentary on the recent arms sale agreement between Russia and Egypt, announced on 12th August. Analysts have spent pages taking about “strategic balance”, and how Egypt buying $3.5 billion of Russian arms will affect its relations with its neighbors and the West. The point everyone seems to have missed, however, is that this action has nothing to do with military matters or international diplomacy. Egypt is not being friendly to Russia, or vice versa.Egypt is fighting to get out of a hole that has dug for itself with the help of the Americans, which has nothing to do with the international community. Russia is prepared to take its money, but nothing really more, and as part of that process it effectively re-establishing friendly-relations, dating back to the heyday of the Soviet Union.There has been much commentary on the recent arms sale agreement between Russia and Egypt, announced on 12th August. Analysts have spent pages taking about “strategic balance”, and how Egypt buying $3.5 billion of Russian arms will affect its relations with its neighbors and the West. The succession of US-sponsored Arab Springs we have seen in various Middle Eastern and Gulf states bore the usual hallmarks of US government/ CIA/NED efforts at regime change.We have seen overnight changes in the political evaluations of leaders; genuine popular protest being willfully misreported as having some other cause or intention; people previously regarded as enemies of the West suddenly being provided with Western arms and money, etcetera.Many in the region, who may otherwise welcome the regime changes, have been reminded of what happened after Saddam was toppled in Iraq.All of a sudden, everything exile groups of different persuasions had been saying about him for years was declared to be true, after the West had spent decades refusing to listen to or act on it.Within weeks however the US liberation was being seen as the U.S. “occupation”. The West failed to identify or address the needs of Iraqis and pursued their own, more “enlightened” agendas. The result: A dysfunctional government with no popular legitimacy, and a country devastated even before ISIL was added to the mix to pursue further Western objectives. Did any Iraqi want such an outcome?Egypt’s revolt against former darling of the West Hosni Mubarak succeeded. Its indigenous Christian communities will tell you what happened next. They were an oppressed minority under Moslem Arab rule, despite being there first. But they were not subject to the wholesale slaughter and destruction of their homes and churches, since this was ordered by outsiders as part of a greater destabilization effort.It was natural that Egyptians would see a Moslem Brotherhood government as the antidote to the secularist Mubarak regime, simply because that is the alternative most people understand. It was also predictable that the first post-independence government would be removed, as it is common practice for the bringers of change, people who mean what they say, to be removed by the rest of the political class, or their foreign sponsors, when the change threatens their own positions.But Egypt’s problem is something else. The new government has to continue to be perceived as persecuting Christians to legitimise the overthrow of Morsi – trying to say that his basic principles were right, because they were legitimised by election, but the leader was wrong.It also has to get arms from Russia now, despite the Western assistance in putting it there, because it is obliged to invoke another past to prove it has any right to govern at all – and this may ultimately prove its undoing.______________________________Worm in an apple Egypt is a republic because a group of army officers overthrew its monarch, King Farouk, in 1952. Though he technically abdicated in favour of his six month-old son, it was no surprise that the monarchy was abolished a year later and what was effectively a military dictatorship under different colours ran the country until the West got tired of Mubarak.Farouk had made himself unpopular with his Western backers and a lot of his subjects, accused of being a playboy who wanted the lifestyle of a king, but not the responsibility.He was also under the protection of the British, but sympathized with the Axis Powers, and refused to declare war on them until almost the very end, and then with great reluctance. The CIA has since publicly admitted, in various memoirs, that it set out to overthrow him and assisted the military coup, and the government it installed, in various ways.Whenever such undemocratic regime changes occur, one simple thing happens. A new government which has no right to be there sets out to justify its existence by pretending to be the opposite of the previous one. Even if it does exactly the same things as the one before, it is alright this time, because they are being done by completely different people for a completely different purpose — whereas everything the previous government had done must automatically have been wrong, hence its removal.Farouk was either too close to the British, the effective colonial power, or not close enough to them, depending on whom you spoke to. He was also close to the Germans and Italians when they were the enemies of the political West, then represented by the League of Nations, but eventually declared war on them. So both pro-Western and anti-Western options are out for any Egyptian government which descends from the 1952 revolution, unless it wants to abolish itself and restore Farouk’s still-living son.If any Egyptian government of today is close to either the bastions of the West or the West’s latest bogeymen, it automatically has no legitimacy. It can’t rely on US arms and assistance, nor can it be too Islamist, as the West is actually attacking Moslem countries rather than just condemning them politically, as it does the new Eastern Bloc represented by the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation nations.So to show it has an ideological right to be there, the Egyptian government has to go running to Russia or China. This is the beginning of the process of chasing its own tail, which will lead it to take a variety of other steps, such as waves of nationalisation and de-nationalisation and periodic changes to the constitution, until it can’t explain its own purpose to itself any more.This is what one might call the Soviet Syndrome. It is this threat to Egypt that the arms purchases are trying to address, but it is a self-inflicted threat that no one else’s guns will take away.__________________________Clutching at fool’s gold As Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge found, you can’t simply atomise people. If you want to break with the past, you can’t just pretend it never existed. Unless you can produce a vivid picture of the new future overnight, which you do by invoking some other country’s present, people will always look back to a golden age when things were supposedly better, even if it never existed, because everyone has a past they gained their present from. Egypt finally stood up to the British and French during Suez Crisis in the late 1950s. It also expanded its territory, joining with Syria to form the United Arab Republic and retaining that name after Syria walked away. All this was done under the rule of General Nasser, who remains very popular in Egypt. Any government promising a sanitised and updated version of the legacy of Nasser is onto a good thing domestically. Nasser was one of the founders of the non-aligned movement, rather than being specifically pro-Soviet. However, he gained his popularity by taking an anti-Western stance. Compared to being pro-Western or Islamist, forging arms deals with Russia is the nearest thing there is to invoking the good old days, without making direct reference to the negative aspects of the Nasser period – the repression, human rights abuses and enforced socialisation now discredited. Of course, there is considerable Western resistance to anyone doing deals with Russia, despite the far more extensive links the West itself has with The Kremlin. For the US, dealing with the “authoritarian” Vladimir Putin raises question marks about the true nature of the current Egyptian government, which sees itself as “Islam with a human face”. It is all about money; and the US and its NATO partner countries want to sell the military hardware, and not play “second fiddle” to the Russians. But that again puts new president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi firmly in line with Nasser. No one really wants to provoke Russia, as we have seen every time Western governments complain about it. As long as this aspect of Nasser’s era is made uppermost in the public imagination, al-Sisi can claim to be reintroducing a positive era to Egypt, during which the country prospered in spite of Western disapproval of its independent course. No one will actually do anything to stop this deal, making Egypt triumphant against the infidel once again. “Does the home team always have the advantage?”Phantom enemies – and the game of chessThere are suggestions that the deal will create a dependency which will give Russia a toehold in the region – much as every other country in the Middle East and North Africa is also dependent on some other country, usually a Western one.Time and again such dependencies have indeed forced governments to take one side or another in a conflict, despite their better judgment, as their economies would be ruined if they went against their patrons. But in this particular case, the reverse is probably true.The US has created every Egyptian regime since 1952. By looking elsewhere for support, Egypt can expect further US involvement to protect it from the evils of Russia – “democracy promotion” measures backed by hard cash and infrastructure investments which can’t be pinned on Russia. The guns won’t provide security, but buying them may well have.Similarly, Israel and any other enemy of Egypt have nothing to fear from these purchases. Al-Sisi may well want to outdo the revered Nasser by regaining the territory it lost to Israel in 1967, but is he going to create a situation where Russia and its guns fights the US and its guns in a war neither side can win, and take the blame?Israel has its own problems in Gaza and elsewhere, but it is not a sitting duck, given all the international support it still has. Once again, these purchases are more likely to improve than harm regional security. Conclusion The Egyptian government needs to buy arms from Russia to prove its own legitimacy to its public, and ultimately to itself. For reasons Egypt did not create, Russia has become the most acceptable arms supplier for both political and sentimental terms, which enables Egypt to make a statement without doing anything that would endanger it.Egypt is actually fighting against the propaganda it needs to survive. The whole Egyptian state is built on not being the Egypt of pre-1952, for the sake of it.Everything it has done since then had to be based not only on practicality or idealism, but justification of the coup, even though the change of government itself may have been a good thing.This process does not occur in circumstances of democratic and constitutional regime change because it is not necessary. Governments in democratic countries may think everything their predecessor did was bad, but they don’t rebuild the whole country as the opposite of what it was before. When you behave unconstitutionally, even your descendants have no other option available unless they acknowledge the inherent immorality of that situation.In the long term, if America gets its way, it is Egypt that will suffer the most from this arms deal. For now, Egypt as a fledgling reborn democracy has bought time. It hopes to put off what the Americans think is inevitable, having to choose one side or the other, as it has done so many times in the past.We know what can happen when faced with few alternatives. The building of the Aswan High Dam, was a project promoted by Colonel Nasser, the soldier turned politician, who helped to oust King Farouk in a military coup in 1952, becoming Prime Minister of Egypt in 1954. Because he accepted military support from Communist Bloc nations, including what is now the Russian Federation, the US refuse to help with economic development.Now if Russia wants to give technical and military assistance to Egypt, the world should be reminded of what happened in the past and the [arrogance] of the US State Department, when the US refused to provide assistance. The US administration thought that the Russians [Soviets] would never be able to take on such massive development projects, such as the Aswan High Dam project.The result was in 1956 the USA and Great Britain withdrew offers made the previous year to build the dam; the French and British paratroopers, working with the Israelis, tried to seize the Suez Canal under a false pretext — and the rest is history.
  • Egypt’s Al-Sisi Openly Blames West for Libya’s Tragic Predicament
    Egypt’s Al-Sisi Openly Blames West for Libya’s Tragic Predicament By Sputnik The recent visit of the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to Paris was little reported in the Western press, even though the main subject of discussions between al-Sisi and the French president Francois Hollande was sensational. MOSCOW, November 28 (Sputnik) – The two men, as officially reported in the French media, discussed the jihadist danger coming from the new Libya – a recent product of the ‘colored revolution’ supported by an alliance of Western powers. Those who have a habit of reading old papers may remember that this alliance was headed by Mr. Hollande’s predecessor in the Elysee palace, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the still serving British Prime Minister David Cameron.Readers should be reminded that under Libya’s previous ruler, Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, the country was far from being a democratic paradise, but was at least free of Islamist radicals. Mr. Qaddafi did not tolerate al-Qaeda operatives and other religious fanatics on his territory. After the start of the ‘revolution’ in Libya and especially Qaddafi’s murder by the Western-supported insurgents in 2011, the situation changed drastically. Islamists became a prominent force in Libya, and the country’s top leaders (described as ‘secular’ or ‘liberal’ by the American media) even pondered making sharia law the basis of the country’s new constitution.“Egypt fears that the Islamist contagion may come to it from the town of Derna, a bastion of Libyan jihadists, which is located at 300 kilometers from the Egyptian border,” reports Le Figaro, a leading French daily newspaper. “There are about 3,000 radicals there who made a pledge of allegiance to the terrorist organization Islamic State in Iraq and Levant. Cairo fears transfers of arms and combatants from Libya to the Egyptian territory, and especially to the Sinai peninsula, a center of jihadist activity,” Le Figaro writes.In an interview to Le Figaro, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi blamed the Western powers for the state Libya is in and the ensuing dangers. “France, Britain and America had the responsibility to manage the transition of Libya [from Qaddafi’s regime]”, Sisi is quoted as saying. “But these Western countries never did it. By losing interest in the territory, where they themselves created a vacuum, the Western powers contributed to the creation of a chaotic situation there. Libya has 1,500 kilometers of sea coast. How could it be that the European countries with Mediterranean coasts tolerated all kinds of traffic from this territory? Human traffic, arms traffic drug traffic? How could they allow the creation of safe havens for terrorists?”The Egyptian president knows what he is talking about – Egypt is not just Libya’s neighbor, but the foreign country that suffered most from the Western-supported revolution in Libya. Al-Sisi knows that the revolution in Libya was pretty much a result of a Western intervention in that country (NATO’s bombing raids saved the anti-Qaddafi jihadists from defeat by Qaddafi’s motorized columns in spring 2011). This intervention, in its turn, was facilitated by the toppling (again, with political and propagandistic support from the US and the EU) of the longtime Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. “Until Mubarak’s fall in 2011, Egypt was the main player in the Arab League,” explains Mikhail Delyagin, a specialist in globalization studies and the editor-in-chief of the Moscow-based magazine Svobodnaya Mysl. “After Mubarak was ousted, Saudi Arabia and Qatar started to call the shots in the League, presenting their opinions as the ‘consolidated voice’ of the Arab world. Egypt was sidelined, and for a time, Obama and the EU’s leaders claimed to have all of the Arab world behind them.”Later the same scenario repeated itself in Syria – the only difference being President Assad’s ability to stay in power. What began as ‘peaceful’ demonstrations against his rule, just as in Libya, quickly turned violent with support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. They were followed by a civil war and a rise in jihadist activity. So, in his talks with Hollande and subsequent interviews to the French media al-Sisi revealed a secret which many people (in France and elsewhere) already knew: the rise of jihadist activities in Libya destabilized territories far beyond its borders. The jihadists from Libya fought against President Assad in Syria, they were behind numerous terrorist attacks in Egypt’s Sinai and they contributed to terrorist activities in Sahel (especially in Mali, recently invaded by the Washington-supported French ‘peacekeepers’).So much for “heroes of freedom struggle, Libya’s analogues of the [Afghan war hero] Massoud,” as the French ‘philosopher’ Bernard-Henri Levy called the Libyan insurgents against Qaddafi’s rule. Mr. Levy boasted of ‘talking’ Sarkozy into attacking Libya, since it was after his phone call that Sarkozy received ‘the new Massouds’ in his office and ordered bombing raids a few days later. In two years, Bernard-Henri Levy was raising the Maidan crowds in Kiev against Yanukovich – again with support from the Western government and with a similarly tragic result.The share of the EU’s guilt in what has happened, as well as the share of the guilt of the US, is enormous. But will Sarkozy or any other Western leaders ever bear responsibility? Hardly. The brainwashed Western public barely even remembers the Libyan war, and it is even less capable of bringing the people behind the Libyan tragedy to account.The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Sputnik.
  • Russian battleships in the English Channel, say they’re training
    Russian battleships in the English Channel, say they’re training By RT Russia’s Northern Fleet has been conducting naval training near Dover. Two battleships and two supply vessels worked on operations and communications in conditions of adverse weather and heavy marine traffic.“Today a squadron of warships and support vessels of the Northern Fleet headed by a large anti-submarine ship, the Severomorsk, crossed the narrowest part of the English Channel and passed into the Bay of the Seine,” said Russia’s defense ministry.The crews held a series of survival exercises in case of flooding or fire, as well as anti-submarine training.After the training, in one of the world’s most crowded waterways, where the squadron was constantly shadowed by the British Navy’s HMS Tyne offshore patrol vessel, the task force went further and anchored in the international waters of the Seine Bay to wait out a storm. British Navy’s HMS Tyne (Image from wikimedia.org)Both Britain’s and France’s navies confirmed the location of the Russian ships, but denied that the Russians were doing any training.“They are not holding exercises. They're just waiting in a zone where they are allowed to be several times a year," the French Navy's information service said as cited by Reuters. "Our information indicates that the ships are transiting and have been delayed by weather conditions. They are not exercising in the Channel, as some Russian headlines would have us believe,” said NATO's military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jay Janzen.Russia’s Navy reported that the crews are not going to sit out the storm in an idle manner. Instead, the crews will train in repelling underwater warfare attacks and practice radio-electronic warfare. Large landing craft Aleksandr Otrakovsky (Photo by Dmitriy Kachur/picasaweb.google.com)The captains of the task force use every opportunity to test their crews should a situation arise.While sailing in high latitudes, Russian sailors trained by providing assistance to a vessel in distress. They also did electronic communication training and cargo transfers from ship to ship.When NATO patrol aircrafts approached the task force in North Sea waters, air raid alerts were sounded and crews trained air defense maneuvers.Combat duty assignments of the large anti-submarine ship, the Severomorsk, specifically practiced the detection and elimination of waterborne targets. The task group left its homeport of Severomorsk above the Arctic Circle on November 20 and has already covered 1,700 nautical miles, crossing successively the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea before entering the Strait of Dover.Northern Fleet warships will steam for the Gulf of Aden to protect vessels there from Somalia pirate attacks.
  • Swiss, French call to bring home gold reserves as Dutch move 122 tons out of US
    Swiss, French call to bring home gold reserves as Dutch move 122 tons out of US By RT The financial crisis in Europe is prompting some nations to repatriate their gold reserves to national vaults. The Netherlands has moved $5 billion worth of gold from New York, and some are calling for similar action from France, Switzerland, and Germany.An unmatched pace of money printing by major central banks has boosted concerns in European countries over the safety of their gold reserves abroad.The Dutch central bank – De Nederlandsche Bank – was one of the latest to make the move. The bank announced last Friday that it moved a fifth of its total 612.5-metric-ton gold reserve from New York to Amsterdam earlier in November.It was done in an effort to redistribute the gold stock in “a more balanced way,” and to boost public confidence, the bank explained.“With this adjustment the Dutch Central Bank joins other banks that are keeping a larger share of their gold supply in their own country,” the bank said in a statement. “In addition to a more balanced division of the gold reserves...this may also contribute to a positive confidence effect with the public.”Dutch gold reserves are now divided as follows: 31 percent in Amsterdam, 31 percent in New York, 20 percent in Ottawa, Canada and 18 percent in London.Meanwhile, Switzerland has organized the ‘Save Our Swiss Gold’ referendum, which is taking place on November 30. If passed, it would force the Swiss National Bank to convert a fifth of its assets into gold and repatriate all of its reserves from vaults in the UK and Canada.“The Swiss initiative is merely part of an increasing global scramble towards gold and away from the endless printing of money. Huge movements of gold are going on right now,” Koos Jansen, an Amsterdam-based gold analyst for the Singaporean precious metal dealer BullionStar, told the Guardian.France has also recently joined in on the trend, with the leader of the far-right National Front party Marine Le Pen calling on the central bank to repatriate the country’s gold reserves.In an open letter to the governor of the Banque de France, Christian Noyer, Le Pen also demanded an audit of 2,435 tons of physical gold inventory.Germany tried and failed to adopt a similar path in early 2013 by announcing a plan to repatriate some of its gold reserves back from the US and France.READ MORE: No ‘gold rush’: Germany keeps reserves in the USThe efforts fizzled out this summer, when it was announced that Germany decided to leave $635 billion worth of gold in US vaults.Germany only keeps about a third of its gold at home. Forty-five percent is held in New York, 13 percent in London, 11 percent in Paris, and only 31 percent in the Bundesbank in Frankfurt.
  • U.S. seeks to build lean Iraqi force to fight the Islamic State
    U.S. seeks to build lean Iraqi force to fight the Islamic State By Washington Post November 28, 2014 After learning hard lessons rebuilding foreign militaries over the past dozen years, the U.S. military is shifting its strategy against the Islamic State, choosing to train a smaller number of Iraqi soldiers rather than trying to stand up an entire army anew.At their peak, Iraqi combat forces, painstakingly built and paid for by the United States during the last Iraq war, numbered about 400,000 troops. By the time the Islamist militant group launched its advance across northern Iraq in June, the Iraqi forces had shrunk by as much as half, depleted by years of corruption, absenteeism and decay.When the Islamic State completed its seizure of the city of Mosul, four Iraqi army divisions and another from the federal police had disappeared, shrinking the original combat force to as few as 85,000 active troops, according to expert estimates.As the Obama administration scrambles to counter the Islamic State, commanders have decided against trying to rebuild entire vanished divisions or introduce new personnel in underperforming, undermanned units across the country, according to U.S. officials. Rather, the officials said, the hope is to build nine new Iraqi army brigades — up to 45,000 light-infantry soldiers — into a vanguard force that, together with Kurdish and Shiite fighters, can shatter the Islamic State’s grip on a third of the country.“The idea is, at least in the first instance, to try and build a kind of leaner, meaner Iraqi army,” said a senior U.S. official, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss planning. The development of a spearhead force is unlikely to address the larger decay across Iraq’s security forces and institutions, a more complex, deeply rooted phenomenon that undermines the country’s stability. The force is also insufficient on its own to retake strategic cities such as Mosul.But U.S. officials and others said the training of a smaller number of high-quality units could enable Iraqi security forces to make significant headway against the Islamic State — supplemented eventually, U.S. officials hope, by a new “national guard” that could bring an array of armed groups operating across Iraq under provincial government control.
  • David Cameron to tell EU: cut all tax credits to migrants
    David Cameron to tell EU: cut all tax credits to migrants Prime minister to announce that EU membership is dependent on measure affecting more than 300,000 EU migrants in UK By Patrick Wintour and Alan Travis "The Guardian, Friday 28 November 2014" Migrants from the European Union will have to work in Britain for a minimum of four years before they can claim benefits, David Cameron will propose on Friday in a major speech setting out a vision of how the EU can control the free movement of workers – and how he is willing to leave the union if he does not get his way.In an attempt to restore his shattered credibility on immigration, the prime minister will say that Britain’s EU membership is now dependent on nation states being able to withhold almost all benefits from EU migrants.The proposal – which would affect more than 300,000 EU migrants working in Britain and claiming tax credits – is designed to reduce the disparities in takehome pay between that earned by EU migrants working in Britain and in their birthplace, and is aimed squarely at the low-skilled end of the labour market.The plan to make Britain a less attractive place is an implicit acknowledgement that cutting back on EU migrants’ access to out-of-work benefits – the main thrust of coalition policy so far – is ineffective, since migrants come to work rather than as “benefit tourists”. The proposal, which would require a rewriting of the EU’s social security rules, and possibly treaties, is to be delivered in an address in the West Midlands and will in effect set out Cameron’s terms for recommending Britain continue its 41-year-old membership of the EU in a referendum scheduled for 2017.Insisting his proposals are not outlandish and deserve to be heard, Cameron will promise: “I will negotiate a cut to EU migration and make welfare reform an absolute requirement in renegotiation.”Significantly, Cameron has held back from calling for an emergency brake to give nation states power to block EU migrants if there is an unexpectedly large surge of migrants.His proposals are therefore predicated on a cut in potential income for EU migrants being sufficient to slow the numbers of poorer EU migrants coming to the UK.But the prime minister will make it clear he is willing to leave the EU if his points are not addressed, though that is not his purpose.He will say: “We have real concerns. Our concerns are not outlandish or unreasonable. We deserve to be heard, and we must be heard. Here is an issue which matters to the British people, and to our future in the European Union. The British people will not understand – frankly I will not understand – if a sensible way through cannot be found, which will help settle this country’s place in the EU once and for all.”He will add: “If I succeed, I will, as I have said, campaign to keep this country in a reformed EU. If our concerns fall on deaf ears and we cannot put our relationship with the EU on a better footing, then of course I rule nothing out. But I am confident that, with goodwill and understanding, we can and will succeed.”Seeking to reflect the growth of popular support for Ukip, he will say: “People have understandably become frustrated. It boils down to one word: control.“People want government to have control over the numbers of people coming here and the circumstances in which they come, both from around the world and from within the European Union …And yet in recent years, it has become clear that successive governments have lacked control. People want grip. I get that … They don’t want limitless immigration and they don’t want no immigration. They want controlled immigration. And they are right”.The Conservatives claim Cameron’s package will deliver the toughest system on welfare for EU migrants anywhere in Europe. The key reforms will mean that in future EU workers will:• not get in work benefits until they have been in the UK for four years;• not get social housing until they have been here for four years; and• not get child benefits and tax credits for children living elsewhere in Europe no matter how long they have paid taxes in the UK.EU jobseekers will not be supported by UK taxpayers, and be removed if they are not in a job within six months.The proposals also include measures previously announced, including abolishing the system in which EU migrants can bring family members from outside the EU without any restrictions. There will also be tougher and longer re-entry bans for rough sleepers, beggars and fraudsters, and stronger arrangements for deporting EU criminals and stopping them coming back. There will also be no access to the labour market for nationals of new member states joining the EU until their economies have converged more closely with current members.The prime minister will say that these changes should apply to the whole of the EU, but should that not prove possible, he would negotiate them in a UK-only settlement.In his speech, Cameron will insist he is not seeking to challenge a central premise of the EU – the free movement of workers within the EU.He will say: “Britain supports the principle of freedom of movement of workers. Accepting the principle of free movement of workers is a key to being part of the single market. So we do not want to destroy that principle or turn it on its head. But freedom of movement has never been an unqualified right, and we now need to allow it to operate on a more sustainable basis in the light of the experience of recent years.“My objective is simple: to make our immigration system fairer and reduce the current exceptionally high level of migration from within the EU into the UK.“We intend to cut migration from within Europe by dealing with abuse; restricting the ability of migrants to stay here without a job; and reducing the incentives for lower paid, lower skilled workers to come here in the first place.“We want to create the toughest system in the EU for dealing with abuse of free movement. We want EU jobseekers to have a job offer before they come here and to stop UK taxpayers having to support them if they don’t … EU jobseekers who don’t pay in will no longer get anything out. And those who do come will no longer be able to stay if they can’t find work.”Senior figures including the new EU president, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, have said the principle of the free movement of workers is non-negotiable, but are likely to support a fundamental review of the right of EU migrants to be able to access other countries’ social security systems.British diplomats and ministers have been touring European capitals trying to rally support for the proposals, and it has been notable that Cameron, in a belated effort to build alliances, has in recent weeks been loth to criticise his long-term opponent Juncker.The prime minister’s defining speech comes as immigration figures show net migration to Britain is now 16,000 a year higher than when the Tories came to power.Net migration rose to 260,000 in the year to June – an increase of 78,000 on the previous year, making a mockery of Cameron’s critical 2010 election “no ifs, no buts” pledge to bring net migration down below 100,000 before the 2015 election.The level of net immigration to Britain has been above 200,000 every year for a decade now and is an indication of rising labour mobility within Europe.Cameron’s coalition partner Nick Clegg said: “This was a Conservative preoccupation. They made that promise. They have now broken that promise and they will have to suffer the embarrassment of having done so. I think that it does damage public confidence in the immigration system by over-promising and under-delivering in this way.”The numbers show that putting aside the EU net migration figures, net migration from outside the EU to Britain has risen to 168,000. The government in theory has control over migration from outside the EU, but the figures suggest it has not been able to put bold enough measures in place to counter the lure of the UK’s buoyant economy.Cameron is likely in his speech almost to make a virtue of the failure of his policy to argue that extraordinary counter measures are now required to give a clear right for EU nation states to decide whether and when EU migrants should be allowed to be paid in-work tax credits.In advance of the Cameron speech both the Liberal Democrats and Labour have called for the right of EU migrants to claim tax credits to be curtailed.A snapshot of the tax credit caseload in March 2014 found 318,000 families had a non UK EU national in receipt of tax credits, alongside a further 421,000 non EU nationals. About 16% of the total tax credit caseload comes from outside the UK.The figures also show EU migrants are slightly more likely to claim in-work benefits than UK nationals. EU migrants make up 5.56% of the UK workforce, but families with at least one EU migrant make up 7.7% of in-work tax credit claims.It is argued that withdrawal of tax credits, principally working tax credit and child tax credit, will dramatically cut the amount of income unskilled EU migrants receive, leaving them closer to the salary they would be paid in their native country.The thinktank Open Europe has calculated that if tax credits were withdrawn a single earner on the minimum wage with no dependent children would see their income drop by £100 a week from £290.28 to £196, taking their pay close to the Spanish minimum wage.The disincentive effect of withdrawing tax credits for an EU worker on the minimum wage in the UK but capable of earning the average wage in their home country would force Polish workers to take a 22% pay cut, while a Bulgarian would only earn a little more.Open Europe has argued that in-work benefits should not be available until an EU migrant has worked in Britain and contributed to social security for between two to five years. It is argued continental welfare systems, unlike the UK are still dependent on the contributory principle.
  • Hagel’s Resignation is Obama’s Defeat
    Hagel’s Resignation is Obama’s Defeat By Nikolai BOBKIN | 28.11.2014 | 00:00 "Strategic Culture Foundation" US President Obama and US Defense Secretary Hagel agreed that the time is right for another person to head the Defense Department. Chuck Hagel believed the moment was propitious for submitting the resignation. Some doubt whether the story is true. For instance, the New York Times cited aides saying Mr. Obama made the decision to remove his Defense Secretary after weeks of rising tension over a variety of foreign policy issues, especially the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Some US politicians believe it’s a start of shake-up in the White House. Hagel is the second high ranking US official to resign recently. In September Attorney General Eric Holder stepped down. The both officials will remain in office until their successors are confirmed. Obama is not in a hurry to name the candidates. Hagel did not see himself as a «hawkish adviser» as his task was to end the wars and ease the burden on the military and he seemed to be doing his best to carry it out.A former Senator from Nebraska, the Secretary was the only Republican in the administration. As a Vietnam War veteran he was respected by the military. Chuck Hagel took his office in February overcoming serious opposition in Senate. Some said he was too soft on Iran. He has refused to sign a letter asking to include Hezbollah on the list of the terrorist organizations. Hagel called the war in Iraq one of the five biggest blunders in U.S. history. He was critical of George W. Bush's foreign policy, calling it «reckless».The Secretary supported the idea of Israel and HAMAS holding talks and made public remarks about the considerable influence of the Jewish lobby on Congress. «The Israeli people must be free to live in peace and security,» Hagel wrote in his 2008 book America; Our Next Chapter. He went on, «Similarly, the Palestinian people must also have the same right to live in peace in Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and with the same hope for a prosperous future».The confirmation process dragged on for four months due to filibustering, many senators and leaders of influential Jewish groups opposed the nomination. Experts warned about the possibility of conflict between Obama, as he was elected for the second term and Israeli government and predicted that a clash between the US Defense Secretary and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was inevitable.Hagel was put through the grinder to survive a brutal hearing with Senators. Obama helped him ride through the confirmation process. Back then the President reminded his listeners: «Chuck knows that war is not an abstraction. He understands that sending young Americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud, that's something we only do when it's absolutely necessary». Just recently Obama was happy about the excellent relationship that his Defense Secretary had with the military. What has changed?Obama and Chuck Hagel had met a number of times before the resignation to discuss military planning for the following two years. According to Obama, that’s when the Secretary informed him of his plans. Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said the resignation could have been better prepared. According to him, the unexpected news does not forebode well. The ongoing shake-ups signal the need to tackle new problems. Probably the foreign policy is going to get tougher.Speaker in the House of Representatives John Boehner said the selection of a replacement must be accompanied by a new look at US military policies. «This personnel change must be part of a larger re-thinking of our strategy to confront the threats we face abroad, especially the threat posed by the rise of ISIL», the Republican said in a statement.True, the Hagel’s views on Ukraine and Syria were different from the rest of the administration. He criticized the US reckless policy in Iraq and Afghanistan but resignation was not on the agenda. Now Obama decided to sacrifice his Defense Secretary so that he could please those who did not like Hagel. The resignation started to loom in spring as senators blamed Hagel for his failure to predict the Russia’s actions in Crimea.He neither supported the idea of supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons, nor did he approve the decision to deliver Humvee armored vehicles to this country. And he was right saying the action could trigger retaliation on the part of Russia. Hagel did not support the air strikes against the Islamic State as he expressed concern over the implications (meaning the tragedy of 9/11 in New York). The Defense Secretary believed that the expenditure equal to $2, 4 – 3, 8 billion yearly for fighting the Islamic State was too much. Gradually Hagel grew disillusioned with the foreign policy of the incumbent administration.The November intermediate election was a Republicans’ big win. For the first time since 2006 the GOP gained control of both chambers. Obama said there was no shellacking, «It doesn’t make me mopey. It energizes me, because it means that this democracy’s working», he said of his party’s defeat. Whatever he says cannot hide the fact that Americans are frustrated with their President. The presidential job approval rating has plummeted to less than 50%. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said American people were up in arms. It may be an exaggeration but the November 4 vote was viewed as a referendum that Obama lost. This is an undisputed fact. Chuck Hagel has joined the ranks of those who have lost faith in Obama. His resignation is another defeat of Obama in Congress. Today the President’s team faces serious opposition within the Democratic Party. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) blasted President Barack Obama in the wake of a devastating Democratic defeat in the midterm elections. «It doesn´t make sense that we have to fight so hard against our own government and our own administration and our President to try to find a balance», he said.The Democrats called the election results «a personal defeat of Obama». The Hillary Clinton’s aides told her to keep away from the incumbent President. It means other officials may follow Hagel and resign soon. The number of Obama supporters in the administration may dwindle to unusually low numbers.
  • US responsible for two-thirds of all military conflicts – Russia’s top brass
    US responsible for two-thirds of all military conflicts – Russia’s top brass By RT US interference in the internal affairs of countries around the world has brought neither peace, nor democracy, said Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister. America’s double standard experiments in supporting terrorists are provoking further destabilization.“Think of it, over the last decades the US initiated two-thirds of all military conflicts (worldwide). Call to memory, how it all turned out in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria,” Russia’s deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said, addressing colleagues from the Southern and Southeast Asian states in Colombo, Sri Lanka.“Using social and economic difficulties, various ethnical and religious conflicts and under the pretext of spreading democracy, Western political spin masters add populist slogans to the fire of public discontent, provoking mass disturbances,” he said. “As a result, a lawful government is taken down, chaos, abuse of power and lawlessness spread, people die, and in some cases a regime favorable to the West is brought into power. Of course, terrorists feel comfortable in such conditions.”Antonov called on the US authorities to “give up double standards in the implementation of counter-terrorist measures” and stop dividing terrorists into good and bad ones.“No matter what slogans terrorists use – they should remain outlaws,” Antonov said, speaking about the current disastrous situations in Syria and Iraq as a vivid example of consequences of such “ineffectual experiments.” An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)'s al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIL fighters at an undisclosed location in the Anbar province.(AFP Photo/HO/Al-Furquan Media)Russian top brass stressed their concern over the creation of terrorist organizations for serving the specific needs of certain states. A classic example is the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, created to combat the Soviet Union, but which ended as the Al-Qaeda terrorist network that bit back hard at the US.Russia is always ready to cooperate in fighting terrorism and to coordinate activities to defeat the new challenge presented by the Islamic State, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister said, pointing out that Moscow has never stopped supplying legitimate governments with weapons and military hardware to ease their fight against religious extremism. A Dostum mujahideen fighter runs as he fires his AK-47 machine gun against advancing Hezb-i-Islami rebels at the Bala Hishar palace in Kabul on April 26, 1992. (Reuters/Richard Ellis)Initially created to eliminate President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, it became a terror threat for the whole Middle East region, Antonov said.Another global threat to world security and stability is the so-called global trend in “color revolutions” Antonov said, comparing the ongoing protests in Hong-Kong with the Maidan protests in Ukraine, which ended in chaos, mass murder, economic downturn, split of the country and eventually – a civil war.The deputy defense minister blamed the US for “pushing Ukraine to the abyss” in an internal conflict, which has already killed thousands through the support of an unconstitutional power takeover.” U.S. servicemen take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, September 19, 2014. (Reuters/Roman Baluk)For those who doubt that “color revolutions” are not typical for the Southeast Asian states, Antonov highlighted the fact that “10 percent of Islamic State militants now fighting in Syria and Iraq come from the Southeast Asia.”“What will happen in the countries of the region when those highly trained militants with battlefield experience come back to their home countries?” Antonov questioned.It is a primary task of the national armed forces of Southern and Southeast Asian states to maintain regional security and neutralize the potential threat of color revolutions internally, Antonov stressed, proposing to develop closer ties between national defense forces.The US foreign is now bringing instability to the Asia-Pacific (A/P) region, developing its global missile defense network under the pretext of a North Korean nuclear threat.“In reality, American global missile defense is aimed at undermining regional and international security and poses a serious threat to the Asia-Pacific region,” Antonov said. U.S. troops and Afghan policemen inspect the site of a suicide attack on the outskirts of Jalalabad, November 13, 2014.(Reuters / Parwiz)The US is beefing up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region with nuclear air carriers and strategic bombers “under a vain pretext” in order to master other countries policies, Antonov said, noting that the region’s governments suffered unprecedented pressure recently when Washington forced them to “join illegal anti-Russian (economic) sanctions.”The military potential being readied by Washington “considerably exceeds the level required to neutralize any existing or potential missile threat,” Antonov said.Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister recalled President Vladimir Putin saying some time ago that America’s attempts to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs usually end up in a catastrophe.Addressing a gathering on Lake Seliger in Russia’s Tver regionin in August, President Vladimir Putin said that he had an impression that “whatever Americans touch they always end up with Libya or Iraq.”
  • Extremists Terrorizing Civilians in Eastern Libya: Human Rights Watch
    Extremists Terrorizing Civilians in Eastern Libya: Human Rights Watch By Sputnik In the absence of any state authorities in the city of Derna, eastern Libya, extremist militias controlling the area have commited three apparent summary executions and at least 10 public floggings, Human Rights Watch reports. MOSCOW, November 27 (Sputnik) — Insurgents controlling the eastern Libyan city of Derna are terrorizing local residents with summary executions, public flogging and other abuses, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Thursday.“Extremist militias controlling Derna in the absence of any state authorities have unleashed a reign of terror against its inhabitants,” HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director Sarah Leah Whitson was quoted as saying by the organization.HRW said it had documented three apparent summary executions and at least 10 public floggings carried out by the Islamic Youth Shura Council extremist group, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.According to Derna residents interviewed by the organization, the city is “fully under the control of fundamentalists.”The extremist group emerged in April and gradually took control over the city, creating its own public administration, the organization said.The militants have also reportedly established their own judicial institutions and are implementing a radical version of sharia law. Some of the judges at the new Islamic Court in the city are foreign nationals, HRW reported, citing local residents. “The sessions at the Islamic Court where people are interrogated and sentenced by a panel of three judges are not public. Usually, the court announces if it will carry out a death sentence beforehand,” a resident was quoted as saying by HRW.Another Derna local told the organization that he had witnessed three public floggings in the city on November 18. “Masked men from the Shura Council lined up eight young men at Al-Sahaba Square and punished each with 40 whips after they were caught drinking alcoholic beverages at a ‘bachelor party’ together with the groom,” he said.“If an individual is caught drinking alcohol, they [Shura Council] will implement the ‘whipping punishment’ on the spot,” the witness added.HRW lashed out at Libyan authorities, stating that they have “shown themselves powerless or unwilling” to investigate and prosecute extremists, while the UN Security Council “is still to deliver on this threat of sanctions.”Libya is currently facing its worst wave of violence since the 2011 overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi and the subsequent civil war that saw violent clashes involving numerous militias.
  • Oil slumps 4% as OPEC leaves output unchanged
    Oil slumps 4% as OPEC leaves output unchanged By RT A ‘unilateral decision’ was taken by OPEC not to cut production and to leave the daily output ceiling unchanged at 30 million barrels, despite a major oversupply that has caused oil prices to fall more than 30%.“We are not sending any signal to anyone, we are just trying to have a fair price,” OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri told reporters in Vienna on Thursday.World oil demand is expected to increase in 2015, Salem El-Badri said."I've been in this business for a long time. When I was a minister, oil was $15 per barrel. So the current price can be called good," the Secretary said.Brent Crude plunged on the news, falling more than $3 to below $75 per barrel after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided not to cut production.Kuwaiti oil minister Ali Saleh al-Omair, said that he was “happy” with the decision not to restrict output.“I speak on behalf of the ministers, we have no target price, we have a fair price,”El-Badri said.Oil prices have fallen more than $40 per barrel since mid-June when oil peaked at $115 a barrel. Low prices have been triggered by oversupply created by increased US production and waning demand from China and Europe.il ministers from the 12 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met in Vienna Thursday. The next OPEC meeting will be held in June 2015.Who wins?The decision to cut production wasn't shared by all. The cut won't negatively affect Gulf producers - Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE- since they can sustain lower prices, as they have trillions saved up in buffer funds.READ MORE: Cut or no cut? No OPEC consensus as oil hits 4yr lowVenezuela, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, and Ecuador were fighting to cut production to boost prices, as their economies lack the financial buffers of the Gulf States to weather low oil prices. Low oil prices help big importers like China and India because petroleum products become cheaper, but hurt exporting countries because billions in revenue are lost.READ MORE: Higher oil prices could drag OPEC’s ‘best customers’ into recession, expert warnsOil prices also affect currencies, such as the Russian ruble, which, in tandem with oil, has lost more than 30 percent since June.Consumers benefit from low oil prices, because it means cheaper petrol in their automobiles. Airlines make bigger margin profits as jet fuel is cheaper, and transport companies, such as a courier service or bus company, save money on petrol.Non-alignedTogether, OPEC accounts for 40 percent of world oil output. Saudi Arabia is the largest of the 12 exporters with 16 percent of global production. The US which is not a member of OPEC pumps nearly the same amount, and Russia, also not a member, produces 14 percent.A Russian oil tycoon waned that OPEC's decision was a strike against the American market, which becomes unprofitable at $70-80 per barrel.“In 2016, when OPEC completes this objective of cleaning up the American marginal market, the oil price will start growing again,” Leonid Fedun, a board member of Lukoil, Russia's largest private oil company, told Bloomberg News.The shale boom has increased US production by 60 percent since 2008, and is on par to soon overpass Saudi output.“The shale boom is on a par with the dot-com boom. The strong players will remain, the weak ones will vanish," Fedun said.Earlier this week non-OPEC members Russia and Mexico held meetings with members of the energy cartel, but no agreement to cut production was reached.“OPEC’s decision means the problem of excess oil on the market will not be solved quickly,” Russia’s Ministry of Finance said.Other major non-OPEC energy producers are China, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Norway.