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US and Hu Rights Violations - Russia Confronts US

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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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Iran

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سرافرازی یا سرافکندگی ملی Image

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سرافرازی یا سرافکندگی ملی

سرافرازی یا سرافکندگی ملی

سخنی سنجیده و سگالنده با ایرانیان

درست است که سیطره سبُعانه و سفاکانهٔ ستون پنجمی از سوسماران سمی ـ صحرائی تازیان، مُهر و سمبول متعفن و مستعجن فرهنگ مکاری ـ ملائی خود را بر پیکر ستبر و ستین ایرانیان، تبهکارانه و تازیانه، تاتو کرده است. واین هم درست است که سالهاست که غرور ملی جایش را به غروب ملی داده است تا جائیکه صلابت و صلاحیت دیرینهٔ پارسایانه اش بطور جدی و جلادانه لکه دار و لگد مال شده است ولی تجربهٔ تاریخی به کرات و مرات نشان داده است که اکر ملت ایرن مبداء و محرک مقصدش را وارستگی و وارهانندگی ملی بر پایه پلاتفرم استقلال به همراه استقامت و ایستادنی اُستادانه انتخاب کند، بدون هیچ گونه تردید و توهمی خواهد توانست یکبار برای همیشه به این مذلت و مسکنت مزدوری یعنی تمکین و تملق فرهنگی به مثابه طاعت و اطاعت در مقابل مناره متعفن و مظهر مناسک منحوس تازیان، چه در ضمیر و چه در زمین آریائیان خط قرمز بُطلان بکشد.

تاریخ اسپانیا در زدودن و زباله انداختن زبان و زیان فرهنگ مکاری ـ مسلمانی تازیان بهترین و بهین ترین گواه خدشه ناپذیر این مدعاست!

مطیح محض مشتی ملا و مفتی مخُلا و مرتج تازی التبار شدن در هیچ برهه ای از زمان در هیچ جائی از جهان نه تنها افتخار و احترامی به ارمغان نیآورده است بلکه مقام و مرتبهٔ آن ملت را رذیلانه توسط روضه خوانان و رجم گران یعنی رجاله گان دین به رهزنگاه و نیرنگاه رهسپار ساخته است.

بیائید دردخفاء و خلوت خود خردمندانه و خلاقانه نه خائنانه و خاسرانه یعنی مردانه و مزدیسانه، بجای کُرنش گری و کمر خم کنی، کُنش گر و کنکاش گری کمانگیر و کلنجار گر باشیم تا قلب این قبیلهٔ نوکران و نوچه های نعلین پوش تازیان را نشانه رویم تا بساط و بنیاد این تفکر بادیه نشینان و بربر زادگان را از بیق و بُن برآندازیم!

باردیگر چشم به انتظار مُنجی و مُعجزه گر یا میرغضبی همچون هلاکو خان مغول  نشستن تا ما ایرانیان را از شّر این شرطه های شرعی ـ عربی المعتصم بالله ئی یا المعتصم ملائی، نجات بدهد، سزنده و سزاوار سرزمین ستُرگ آریائیان نمی باشد.

سرانجام در واپسین واگویه فرجام شناسانه، البته با مدد و متد اسکاتا لوجیک منطقی یعنی به پشتوانهٔ پیشنه تاریخی و به پرتو پیمایش در پراتیک و تجربه، می توان اینچینین ادعا و استدلال کرد، تازمانیکه پوران و پورمندان،پهلوانان و پارتیزانان، فرهیختگان و فرزانگان ایرانی ـ آریائی، پارسایانه پوشنه و پوشش این پاشیدگی و پوسیدگی، پراگندگی و پریشان حالی فرهنگ تخدیر و تحقیر، گدائی و گمراهی، کرخت و گژهی، کلب و گور پرستی، گوسفندی و گردن خم کنی،نزر و نیاز، نماز و نوکری به دُژگاه یا دفن گاه های کعبه و کربلا، نهاوند و نجف را به همراه طواف طوطی وار طوایف طُلاب، عمامه و عراب را با رجعت به رنسانس و رستاخیزی رهاننده یعنی با بازگشت یا فراشکردی فرازمندانه به فرهنگ دیرینهٔ آریائی ـ آهورائی، این عاملان اصلی رذالت و رخوت ملی ـ میهنی را به کرانه و کناره زباله زمان، پرتاب نکنند یا بقول ولتر: مذهب خود را به بسان پول رایج کشورشان تحویل نگیرند تا ابدالدهر در چنبره وابستگی و واماندگی، اسارت و ایستائی با اتیکت عفریت عبودیت در زیر سلطهٔ سفاکانه و تسلط تبهکارنهٔ این ختنه شدگان خبیث تناسل و تفکر، تازی الاتبار باقی خواهند ماند.

 

پروندهٔ دو امام تازی Image

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پروندهٔ دو امام تازی

پروندهٔ دو امام تازی. حسن و حسین

براینکه درک و داوری درستی از دژُنام گویان و دژُآگاهان، دغلکاران و دلقکان، دعانویسان و دروغ پردازان دین، یعنی پیروان پژوین و پشماگند تاریک بین و تازیک اندیش داشته باشیم. باید با سویج یا سُنبه و سُوندی سُنباننده به سودن و سُفتن در ترازوی تاریخ، بمثابهٔ ساینتیفیک هیستوری البته با مدد و متد سافیس تیکیت و فیلوسوفیک آنرا مورد کنُش و کنکاش قرار دهیم تا در غرقاب غبار غسل و غساله های غداره بند توضیح المسائل نویس ها و دعانویس های دیوان تفتیش عقاید شرطه های شرعی ـ عربی، غرق نشویم.

وقتی که ترکان قشری قزلباش به سرکردکی شاه اسماعیل صفوی یک شبه با دروغ و دغلکاری و با داخل کردن یا وارد کردن کاروانی از آخوند و انگل، اهریمن و اجنه، رجاله و روضه خوان، راهزن و رمه بان، رند و رمال، جاهل و جمل سوار، جادوگر و جنبل باف از جبل عامل لبنان تا عراق از شام تا یمن و بحرین، توانست یکبار دیگر همچون سلف خود سعدوقاص، مردم ایران را با زور و ذوالفقار قاریان قبح و قمه کشان قزلباس، مجبور و محکوم به پذیرش و گردن نهادن قلادهٔ غلامی قصابان جدیدی از تبار وحشیان تبهکار تازی، بنام شیعه اثناعشری ـ عربی را بجای تسنن ترکی ـ تازی وادار سازد. تا بدین وسیله شبهٔ شوم بساط سیطره تحجر و تعزیه گری، زنجیر زنی و قمه زنی، سینه زنی و سیه روزی،آشوبگری و آشوراسالاری،شیخ شنیع و شام غریبانی را به همراه کارخانهٔ مسخ و مهدیه گری را با جهولت و جلادی، تمام وکمال در سراسر آسمان ایران زمین بگستراند 

ـ برعکس ادعای آستان بوس ها و اختابوس های رجزخوان و رجاله های رذالت پیشهٔ روضه خوان و رجم گر آثناعشری ـ عربی حاکم بر ایران، بیائید دمی ، کمی هم به افادهٔ افاضات یا آراجیف ابتذال گونه، پژوین و پلشت ابا عبدالله یعنی امام الحسین علیه العرب تازی را از زبان ضریس بن عبدالملک بشنوید که می گوید: از ابا عبدالله امام الحسین علیه السلام بشنیدم که فریش و فرمایش می کرد که " ما همه از تبار قمه کشان قریشیم و پیروان عرب تازی و دُشمنان قسم خورده عجم هستیم، واضع و واعظ است که هر عرب تازی بهتر و بهین تر و بالاتر و برتر از هر عجم می باشد و هر عجم فرومایه تر و فرودست تر از هر عرب تازی می باشد. باز همو مرتکب فضیلت فخارانه می شود و در ادامه می فرماید که باید ایرانیان را به مدینه آورد و زنانشان را برای زفاف و ذکاة فروخت و مردانشان را به بردگی و بندگی عرب ها مجبور کرد" (1 ) نقل و قول این مطالب: سقیته البحار و مدینه الاحکام و آثار. تالیف حاج شیخ عباس قمی در کتاب شیعه گری نوشته مسعود انصاری صفحه 54

"حتی اسناد تاریخی تصدیق شده و تائید شده بسیاری گواه بر این مدعای مستند و موثق می باشد که برای ترور و تصرف طبرستان در زمان خلافت خاسر و خبیث، خناس و خدعه عثمان عرب، جنگ سختی به سرداری و سر جلادی سعیدبن عاص در آن منطقه درگرفت که در نتیجهٔ شهامت و رشادت مردم ناکام ماند، از جمله سرکردگان و سرگردن زنان این ساطور بدست عرب، حسن و حسین، فرزندان علی ابی طالب، قمه کش و قاتل قوم و قبیله بنی قریظه بودند "

(2) برای صحت و صحیح بودن صرافانه این ادعای گوینده مراجعه شود به تاریخ طبری جلد پنجم، صفحه 2116 ، فتوح البلدان صفحه 183 ، مختصرالبلدان صفحه 152

البته در بسیاری از کتب تاریخی عرب و اروپائی به وفور و  وثوق آمده است که از بدو تجاوز و تصرف ایران توسط تازیان تبهکار، همیشه تبعیض نژادی به همراه تعرض و  تعقیب، تهدید و تعزیر، یکی از شگردهای شقی و شیادانه، شیطان صفتانه و شعبده بازانهٔ شمشیرکشان شرعی بوده است که چه بطور مستقیم و چه غیر مستقیم توسط ستون پنجمی بنام شیاطین الفقها یا فقیه الشیاطین تازی تبار علیه ایرانیان اعمال می شد.

تا جائیکه تازیان مسلمان بری تحقیر و تمسخر، توهین و تکفیر ایرانیان، می گفتند که سه چیز در اسلام تازیان وجود دارد که نماز یعنی این نماد نوکری و نوچه گری به دُژگاه یا درگاه سوسمارزادگان سمی - صحرائی  قمه کشان قریشی را باطل می کند: یکی سگ و دومی اُلاغ و سومی ایرانی میباشد.

1 ـ نقل و قول این مطالب: سقیته البحار و مدینه الاحکام و آثار. تالیف حاج شیخ عباس قمی در کتاب شیعه گری نوشته مسعود انصاری صفحه

2ـ برای صحت و صحیح بودن صرافانه این ادعای گوینده مراجعه شود به تاریخ طبری جلد پنجم، صفحه 2116 ، فتوح البلدان صفحه 183 ، مختصرالبلدان صفحه 152

نوشتهٔ دکتر شجاع الدین شفا

تازیان مسلمان و فرهنگ کتاب سوزانی Image

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تازیان مسلمان و فرهنگ کتاب سوزانی

تازیان مسلمان و فرهنگ کتاب سوزانی
سخنی سگالنده و سُنبانده در حاشیهٔ سوزاندن اسناد تاریخی دوران پهلوی.
در واقع آنچه را که امروز ولایت واپسگرا و ویرانگر فقیه بطور وُستاخانه و وحشیانه در سرزمین آریائیان، تحت عنوان تاریخ سوزانی یا کتاب سوزانی مرتکب می شود، در اصل و اساس خویش، چیزی بجز تکرار همان تازش و ترور یا توهین و تخریب تازیان صدر اسلامی در راستای فروپاشی و فراموش سازی فرهنگ فروزنندهٔ پارسیان نمی باشد.
اهداف شرارت گونه و شقاوت گونهٔ این شیاطین و شرطه های شرعی اسلامی این است که با تقلب و تخلف تاریخی به همراه تکنیک و تکنولوژی تنفر و آتش تنور علیه تجدد ایرانی، تتمه یا، ته مانده، و تفالهٔ تعفن بار در حال تباهی و تلاشی تمدن یا تحجر تهبکارانهٔ تازیان را تبرئه و تبرک نمایند چراکه یکی از صفات ددمنشان و دیوسارانهٔ تازیان دخمه و دالان یا دهلیز غار حرائی بجز غارتگری و غنیمت گیری، ویرانگری و وحشی گری به همراه تحقیر و تعقیب ایرانیان، کتاب سوزانی بوده است تا سطح فرازمندانهٔ فرهنگ پارسیان را به سطح نازل و نحس و نعش نجس رطیل زادگان، راهزنان، رمامالان، رجم گران رذل، کاهش دهند. تا جائیکه ابوریحان بیرونی در " آثارالباقیه " نوشته است: وقتی که قتیبهَ بن مسلم به خوارزم مشرف شد و در دروازه آن شهر با شمشیر بگشود، هرکس که توانایی خواندن و خط نوشتن داشت یا می توانست از تاریخ و تمدن و تجدد نیاکان خود اطلاع و آگاهی داشته باشد، آن مردم را به همراه کتاب هایشان یا از دم تیغ گذرانید یا در آتش تنور بسوزانید تا مردم باقی مانده، مردمی باشند بی سواد تا آنها بتوانند به آسانی یا با زور و ذوالفقار یا قهر و قمهٔ قریشی آنها را به پذیرش عبودیت و بندگی برای اعراب اُم القرائی ـ قرآنی، وادار سازند

Europe

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One Hour Compilation of how Islam is Ruining Europe and America Image

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One Hour Compilation of how Islam is Ruining Europe and America

One Hour Compilation of how Islam is Ruining Europe and America

Published on Feb 18, 2013
Countless footage and evidence of how Islamic immigration to Western society will inevitably destroy it. No one can deny that Islam is a dangerous religion after watching this video. I AM NOT A RACIST. I AM NOT A NAZI. I simply believe Islam as a religion is dangerous and does not belong in any western or civilized society and my evidence in this video proves that statement. How can Islam be a religion of peace but

France: beheading suspect alleged to have taken

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France: beheading suspect alleged to have taken 'selfie'

France: beheading suspect alleged to have taken 'selfie'

Published on Jun 28, 2015
A local community in France has gathered to pay their respects to the victim of a beheading attack.
They joined together in Fontaines sur Saone, close to the city of Lyon. Herve Conara was described as a "generous" and "very friendly" man.

Will the Greek Referendum Bring the Troika Back to the Bargaining Table? (1/2) Image

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Will the Greek Referendum Bring the Troika Back to the Bargaining Table? (1/2)

Will the Greek Referendum Bring the Troika Back to the Bargaining Table? (1/2)
Dimitri Lascaris and Leo Panitch discuss the possible consequences of a 'no' vote in the July 5th referendum on the bailout conditions offered by international creditors - June 29, 2015

Bio
Dimitri Lascaris is a partner with the Canadian law firm of Siskinds, where he heads the firm's securities class actions practice. Before joining Siskinds, he practiced securities law in the New York and Paris offices of a major Wall Street law firm. Last year, he was named by Canadian Business magazine as one of the 50 most influential business people in Canada, and was described by the magazine as "the fiercest advocate for shareholder rights" in Canada. He is currently prosecuting numerous securities class actions in Canada, including the Sino-Forest class action, in which his clients just negotiated the largest auditor settlement in Canadian history: a $117 million settlement with the accounting firm Ernst & Young.
Leo Panitch is the Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy and a distinguished research professor of political science at York University in Toronto. He is the author of many books, the most recent of which include UK Deutscher Memorial Prize winner The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire and In and Out of Crisis: The Global Financial Meltdown and Left Alternatives. He is also a co-editor of the Socialist Register, whose 2013 volume is entitled The Question of Strategy.
Transcript
Will the Greek Referendum Bring the Troika Back to the Bargaining Table? (1/2)JESSICA DESVARIEUX, PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
Big news coming out of Greece over the weekend. The Greek prime minister announced that the country will be holding a referendum vote on whether to accept the bailout measures offered by international creditors. If the majority of Greeks vote no, that could mean that Greece would potentially leave the Euro and go back to its previous currency, the drachma. The referendum vote is scheduled for July 5, and in light of all this news Greek banks are closed for a week.
Now joining us to give us their take on the issue are our two guests. Joining us from London, Ontario is Dimitri Lascaris. Dimitri is a partner with the Canadian law firm of Siskinds where he heads the firm's securities class actions practice. He's also a board member for The Real News.
Also joining us is Leo Panitch. Leo is a research professor of political science at York University in Toronto, and he's the author of the book The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire.
Thank you both for joining us.
LEO PANITCH, PROF. OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, YORK UNIVERSITY: Morning, Jessica.
DIMITRI LASCARIS, SECURITIES CLASS ACTIONS LAWYER, CANADA: Thank you.
DESVARIEUX: So Dimitri, I'll start off with you. Can you just lay out for us specific conditions of this bailout, and who is really being bailed out?
LASCARIS: Well the moneys that would be advanced under this bailout would be used primarily if not exclusively to pay Greece's creditors, which are the IMF, primarily the IMF, the ECB, the European Central Bank, and the other member states of the Eurozone. So this would constitute in effect, if the Greek government accepted it, a continuation of the game of extend and pretend, which is what the Eurozone and the Greek government have been playing for several years, now.
In terms of the main points of the deal that was put on the table by the Troika and the last offer that was put on the table by Greece, they surprisingly are in agreement on what is probably the most fundamental issue, and that is the primary surplus. That's the budgetary result before interest payments on the debt. And the Greek government was prepared to agree to a 1 percent primary budget surplus this year, 2 percent next year, 3 percent in 2017, and 3.5 percent from 2018-2022. those would require very harsh forms of austerity to be imposed on the populace.
But they couldn't come to an agreement because the method by which the Greek government proposed to get to those primary surpluses was not deemed to be credible by the IMF, the ECB and the EC. Specifically some of the things the Greek government wanted to do to which they objected was the Greek government wanted to raise the corporate tax rate from 26 percent to 29 percent. They wanted it only to go up to 28 percent. The Greek government wanted to impose a one-time tax on corporations, I believe it was about 12 percent of net income. The Troika objected to that. And the Greek government wanted not to decrease pension expenditure as much as the Troika wanted, and also did not want to raise VAT, consumption taxes to the degree the Troika wanted.
And the interesting part of all this is that the justification given by the Troika for rejecting the Greek government's approach is that it would hurt the economy. And they wanted to shift the burden from corporations onto consumers and pensioners, because they thought too much burden on corporations would hurt the economy. Which is kind of, to be completely blunt about it, laughable. Because the austerity program has destroyed the economy. If they were so concerned about the preservation of the economy they wouldn't have imposed that program on Greece to begin with.
DESVARIEUX: Well, let's talk about some of the reaction of this referendum vote. We have Chancellor Angela Merkel from Germany coming out saying if the Greek people decide to vote no on this bailout deal that essentially that could mean that Greece will no longer be in the Eurozone.
Leo, can you talk about some real consequences for the majority of Greek people? If they decide to vote no on this referendum, what is that going to mean for them?
PANITCH: Well, first thing you have to understand is that the premise of Syriza, the Syriza government all along, and Varoufakis said this in his speech on the weekend to the European leaders, was that there is no basis under European treaties and European law for Merkel to actually do what she says she would do if the outcome of the referendum went the way that the Syriza government wants it to go, that is, a no vote. There is no basis in law, or under European treaties to exclude somebody from the Euro peremptorily. There is a procedure for kicking people out of the European Union or exiting the European Union, but that's different from the Eurozone.
So in that sense, they are not putting this forward as leaving the Euro. And were they to win this, and I think they will win it with the no vote, I'm almost sure they will, they will expect this to lead to further bargaining.
That said, of course, people will see this as, you know, it wouldn't be the first time that governments didn't adhere to the international treaties they signed. When especially, as Dimitri just said, when who they're defending are the interests of capitalists inside Greece and outside Greece. And if it comes to it they'll break treaties. Nevertheless, that is not what the government's proposing, and it may not--it won't be easy to happen. I think that's important to understand.
I think that the greater concern is not in our out. One poll done last week showed that 40 percent of Greeks now want to be out of the Euro. Others have a lower figure than that. I don't think that's it. I think it's just that the banking system will seize up. And if it were me or you, and nothing to do with whether you support the government or not support the government, you need to be able to survive this week. You would have been trying to take some money out of the ATM this weekend.
DESVARIEUX: Well, I'm going to actually pose that question to you guys. How would you vote, Dimitri? Would you vote no for this referendum?
LASCARIS: I would vote no, and I would vote no with the hope, not the expectation, that the Troika would come back to the table and come to their senses, and that would mean substantially relaxing the austerity demands that they've put to the Greek government. And primarily offering real debt relief, because it's widely acknowledge that Greece's debt is unsustainable, and it's eventually going to default. And in the interim the Greek people are going to suffer greatly the more they try to service this debt. So that would be my hope.
I think the reality is that those concessions will not be forthcoming, and they're going to cut Greece adrift, hopefully offer it some humanitarian aid so that it can get through the banking crisis, and leave it to its own devices. I think that's most likely to be the outcome. But if the choice is between that and continuing the suffocating austerity program, I would unhesitatingly vote no.
DESVARIEUX: Leo, just really quickly, your take. Would you vote no?
PANITCH: Of course. And it's a matter of solidarity with people who are in this chaos of contemporary capitalism trying to offer an alternative way out.
That said, I think beyond this, I think even a arrangement whereby some of the debt would be forgiven or postponed is not enough to get Greece out of the depression that it's in, that it's been thrown into through this European crisis. There has to be some means of kickstarting investment. And with the struggle around, this is partly about whether they're going to be bribing capitalists to invest in Greece, which they're not keen to do, or whether you're going to find some means of doing that through democratic economic planning.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Let's pause the conversation here. In part two we'll talk about if they were to vote no what is that going to look like, what are some real consequences for the Greek people. But Leo and Dimitri, thank you both for joining us.
LASCARIS: Thank you.
PANITCH: [Inaud.] Jessica.
DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

Middle east

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Unseen Visuals of deadly ISIS bomb blast in Kuwait mosque by ISIS | RAW FOOTAGE Image

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Unseen Visuals of deadly ISIS bomb blast in Kuwait mosque by ISIS | RAW FOOTAGE

Unseen Visuals of deadly ISIS bomb blast in Kuwait mosque by ISIS | RAW FOOTAGE

Published on Jun 27, 2015
Deadly bomb blast in Kuwait mosque claimed over 27 lives. ISIS claimed the bomb blast as their doing.

ISIS releases horrifying new execution video Fox News Video Image

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ISIS releases horrifying new execution video Fox News Video

ISIS releases horrifying new execution video Fox News Video

Published on Jun 27, 2015
An account associated with the Islamic State released gruesome footage on Tuesday showing the execution of several men. The video was allegedly taken in ...

On Al Jazeera: Kuwaitis denounce sectarianism after bombing Image

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On Al Jazeera: Kuwaitis denounce sectarianism after bombing

On Al Jazeera: Kuwaitis denounce sectarianism after bombing

Published on Jun 28, 2015
We've launched a daily segment for our viewers: On Al Jazeera. Some of today's stories from our correspondents around the globe:- A suicide bombing targeting a Shia mosque in Kuwait brings two communities closer in a rejection of sectarianism.- Hondurans call on their president to step down- Should India rethink its trade relations with Iran?All this and more at http://www.aljazeera.com/

United state

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Gay Marriage Victory Is Not About Equality Image

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Gay Marriage Victory Is Not About Equality

Gay Marriage Victory Is Not About Equality
Queer activist Yasmin Nair says that the fight for gay marriage was driven by an elitist, conservative movement - June 26, 2015

Bio
Dr. Yasmin Nair is a freelance writer, activist, academic, and commentator based in Chicago. She is the co-founder of the editorial collective Against Equality and a member of Gender JUST, a radical queer grassroots organization based in Chicago. The bastard child of queer theory and deconstruction, Nair has numerous critical essays, book reviews, investigative journalism, op-eds, and photography to her credit. She has appeared in publications like In These Times, Monthly Review, The Awl, The Chicago Reader, GLQ, The Progressive, make/shift, Time Out Chicago, The Bilerico Project, Windy City Times, Bitch, Maximum Rock'n'Roll, and No More Potlucks.
Transcript
Gay Marriage Victory Is Not About EqualityDHARNA NOOR, PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Dharna Noor joining you from Baltimore.
In breaking news, the Supreme Court has made the historic ruling that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. Just hours after the decision came down, same-sex couples across the country began joining together in wedlock.
In 2013 the Supreme Court ruled that all spouses, same-sex or otherwise, must be granted the same federal benefits. Today the court went even further, ruling gay marriage a Constitutional right. This comes just in time for the weekend's festivities. Gay pride parades will take place this weekend in cities like San Francisco and New York.
But is it all rainbows from here for the queer community in America? Now joining us from Chicago to unpack this is Yasmin Nair. Yasmin's a writer, an academic, and an activist. She's a member of Gender Just, a radical queer grassroots organization, and a co-founder of the editorial collective Against Equality.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Yasmin.
YASMIN NAIR, CO-FOUNDER, AGAINST EQUALITY: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.
NOOR: So Against Equality, huh. Do you think that it's right for institutions like marriage to be exclusionary?
NAIR: No. I mean, what we're saying is that the equality movement [exactly] the way it's configured has nothing at all to do with any kind of social justice, any kind of equality under any law. It has everything to do with excluding people from life saving benefits such as--even now such as healthcare, immigration status, any number of benefits you could name.
The word equality has been vastly misused by the gay marriage movement. And what we wanted to do by naming ourselves as Against Equality was to first of course get people interested in our group, and also for us to be able to say, you know, you need to really question what the word equality means. For whom equality, for whom, who [disperses] equality, under what conditions, most importantly.
NOOR: So today gay marriage passed by a margin of one vote. There were five yeas and four nays. And among those who voted in favor was a Republican appointee, Justice Anthony Kennedy. Is it shocking that somebody who's sided with conservatives on things like affirmative action and campaign finance reform would support this?
NAIR: It's not shocking at all. It's actually inevitable, because in fact that is gay marriage, as I have argued elsewhere, is a fundamentally conservative movement. I'm actually surprised that it took, you know, it only squeaked by by such a narrow majority. But gay marriage is a fundamentally conservative institution, and conservatives love it.
Conservatives, liberals, even leftists love it, because what it does it to shore up a system whereby, a neoliberal system whereby benefits accrue to those with the most private resources. And that's what conservatism is all about, right, it's all about everyone for himself or herself. The state takes absolutely no responsibility for one's welfare. Every man and woman for himself or herself. That's, that, you know, fundamentally is one of the tenets of conservatism.
It's an economically--marriage, not just gay marriage, but marriage is, is an economically sound institution for many conservatives. They have wanted it. You know, they always propound its benefits. So it makes perfect sense that this would be, this is how it all goes down.
NOOR: So you've also noted in your writing that pro-gay marriage organizations have used all these images of black civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King in their branding. So why is it that when people think of the gay rights movement they so often think of the faces of moneyed white men like Dan Savage, the creator of the It Gets Better project?
NAIR: Right, right. And Dan Savage isn't even--to be clear, you know, Dan Savage is not even one of the wealthiest gay men who are behind the movement. The gay marriage movement is actually fundamentally--yeah, someone has, people have always accused me and Against Equality of acting like the gay marriage movement is run by a cabal of white men. What we're finding out is that that is in fact quite true.
The gay marriage movement has been funded by millionaires and multi-millionaires. If you look at someone, something like Jo Becker's book Forcing the Spring about the gay marriage movement, we find out--when you look at that book you find out that a lot of the funding actually came from extremely wealthy people. It's not a grassroots movement at all. It has been funded fundamentally from the start by wealthy white gay men and women.
What the gay marriage movement has done to counteract that particular appearance which keeps coming to the surface is to exploit and use the faces and actions of civil rights leaders and heroes like Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. At the same time, the gay rights movement has also been fundamentally--and it is fundamentally at its core, it's a racist movement. It is all so often said, they use slogans like gay is the new black. Gays are very fond of saying that gay people are the last oppressed minority in the country.
Anyone who's been following the news in the last few months, including about events like Charleston, anywhere in this country. I live in Chicago, I live in Hyde Park, I live in the South Side. Anyone who actually knows what reality is about knows that is simply not true. But the gay rights movement has always enjoyed using the metaphors and lives of black civil rights leaders in a sense really not--in order to do nothing but just appropriate, and to cover up the fact that it is fundamentally at heart a movement led and financed by wealthy gay white men.
NOOR: And you know, even some that would agree with you on some of the problematic ideals that are within the current gay rights movement, would say that now that we've checked gay rights off the--or gay marriage off the list, we can move on to further radicalizing the movement. What's your response to that?
NAIR: My response is that this isn't--gay rights is an economic movement. It is a movement by and about--it is fundamentally about the economic--it's about accruing economic benefits for the privileged few. It is fundamentally neoliberal. It is about creating a system whereby people can only access resources through privatized means like marriage, right. So that--economic systems don't work in any other way but to dismantle current systems and then to move on and create even more oppressive systems.
Gay marriage is not a social function, it's an economic function. Right? So what you already see--this is, it's never going to happen. What's never going to happen is that gay marriage will now lead to some further radicalizing of causes, or that we can now take a breather and say well, now let's get to queer youth homelessness or HIV/AIDS. Because what's happened in the last 20 or 30 years is that gay marriage has sucked away a lot of resources from both straight and gay people. Is that organizations that deal with HIV/AIDS, organizations that deal with queer youth homelessness and so on, have actually shut down.
Again, there is no moving beyond gay marriage simply because gay marriage has already ravaged the economic landscape of queer organizing. There is no more money to be had, and it's very unlikely that the wealthy gay white people in particular for whom gay marriage was such a big issue are going to turn around and say yes, now let's work on all the other things that actually matter. They don't have to care about it. Remember again that wealthy gay white men in particular never had to care about HIV/AIDS really, because they could always afford the medications. So it's all, it, it's just--that's just not how economic structures work.
And we have to think about gay marriage not as a social [problem], not as a social issue, but as an economic problem. And neoliberalism does not work to stop and look back to see whom it has left behind. It just plows on.
NOOR: Sure. And we've seen a steady rise in support for gay marriage in the U.S. in recent years. So I guess you're saying this isn't just because people are becoming more accepting, more accepting of people, more accepting of love.
NAIR: I'm sorry, I have to laugh at that. But no. No, love has nothing to do with it. I do think that a lot of the sort of liberal left support--the delusional, frankly, liberal left support for gay marriage has been because it has been, it has perceived the movement as being one about love. So all it sees are these sweet gay couples and their children and so on and so forth. The subterfuge has worked really well. I think the more and more people learn about gay marriage's economic ramifications and also who's really behind gay marriage, I think there's going to be much less support for the cause. Of course, now it's, it doesn't really matter because we're in it now.
But no, I think the support has been because again, because of the failure to recognize gay marriage as an economic matter.
NOOR: So what kind of policy solutions do you see as being effective, to truly support the American queer community, the gay population, trans population, et cetera?
NAIR: I think what we have to do is first of all--I do think that there is a, there's an enormous ideological and psychological component to all of this. The first thing we have to realize is that we're in a terrible spot, right. So as long as we keep thinking that gay marriage is one point in a long history of achievements, we are, we--we are, I'm trying to think of a word that's polite enough and that's not a four-letter word. We're just screwed.
As long as we think that we can move on, there is no--there is no healthy alternative for us. What we have to do moving here onward, here forwards, is to stop and first reevaluate how we think about what communities need. We also need to think about, I think the really big issue for the queer community is to start thinking about it as part of a larger community. As part of a larger fabric, as it were.
So as long as the queer community only thinks selfishly about itself as gay marriage is being the guiding, the guiding force, for instance, everybody is doomed. And I think moving forward we have to start realizing that matters like the intense racism, right, that exists in this country which is worse than--as bad or worse than plantation racism. That's what we are in right now. And 21st century America is suffused with plantation racism. We have to think about that. We have to think about the devastating economic and environmental policies that we have set in place. All of that is connected to people. It's not just about gay people and their particular gay issues.
So moving forward we have to think in those kinds of dare I say collaborative ways. But we also have to start thinking about how to get support to matters like, for instance, queer homelessness. Or an issue that I'm very concerned about with, I see it in a lot of my older friends, the questions around geriatric AIDS, for instance. For the first time in many generations we actually have a couple of generations of men and women who are actually living older, who are aging with AIDS, right. And [inaud.] gay men who are actually living to very, to quite a ripe old age, and we don't know what to do about them because we can't simply put them in the usual kinds of senior housing services, for instance.
Those are the issues we have to think about, and we also have to think about how do we fund and support those matters. How do we sustain those kinds of struggles without being focused only on the funding given to us by a few wealthy gay people. And that has been the fundamental problem with queer organizing for far too many years. And that, a lot of that is because nobody would fund us before. Nobody was funding AIDS research until we forced the government to do it.
So we're in a different time and place. And we have to start thinking, stop thinking about the gay patriarchy as being the only source of revenue or the only source of support. We also have to think collaboratively. What all of this means is actually in many ways it's going to be really difficult, is to dismantle and to sort of, and to kind of interrogate a gay nonprofit-industrial complex that has sprung up in the meantime. That's really hard work. I'm tempted to say it's impossible. I'm just going to say that it's hard work, simply because I know so many of my friends who are actually working within the bowels of that machine, right.
So it's a long and hard struggle, and I think it is delusional of any of us to say that now that we have finished with gay marriage we can move on. The work is much harder because there's much less money, there's much less political energy, and times are hard. Neoliberalism is flexing its--not just flexing its muscles, it's, it's taken over and ti's strangling us.
NOOR: Thank you so much for this very sobering conversation, and we look forward to hearing from you in the future.
NAIR: Thank you, it was a pleasure. Thank you for having me on.
NOOR: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

USA: Activist removes Confederate flag from South Carolina State House, gets arrested Image

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USA: Activist removes Confederate flag from South Carolina State House, gets arrested

USA: Activist removes Confederate flag from South Carolina State House, gets arrested

Published on Jun 27, 2015
Footage courtesy of Andrea Densky
Activist Bree Newsome was arrested after removing the Confederate flag from outside the South Carolina State House in Columbia, South

Why Is the Health Care Industry Celebrating Obamacare

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Why Is the Health Care Industry Celebrating Obamacare's Supreme Court Victory?

Why Is the Health Care Industry Celebrating Obamacare's Supreme Court Victory?
Six million people remain insured, but as many as 58 percent of federal exchanges provide one or two healthcare plans, meaning the profit-driven healthcare industry limits coverage, says Dr. Margaret Flowers - June 25, 2015

Bio
Dr. Margaret Flowers is a pediatrician in the Baltimore area and a co-chair of the Maryland chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). She is also a Co-Director of PopularResistance.org and It's Our Economy.
Transcript
Why Is the Health Care Industry Celebrating Obamacare's Supreme Court Victory?JESSICA DESVARIEUX, PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
In a 6-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Obamacare on Thursday. The justices said consumers qualify for a subsidy that lowers the cost of premiums whether they buy their coverage through federal or state exchanges. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, stating: "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the act in a way that is consistent with the former and avoids the latter."
Now joining us to get into all of this is our guest Dr. Margaret Flowers. Margaret is a pediatrician in the Baltimore area and co-chair of the Maryland chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program.
Thanks for joining us, Margaret.
DR. MARGARET FLOWERS, PHYSICIANS FOR A NATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAM: Thank you for having me, Jessica.
DESVARIEUX: So Margaret, do you see this court decision as a real victory for working people?
FLOWERS: I see it as a victory for those more than 6 million people in 34 states who would have lost the subsidies to their coverage and would have seen their premiums rise by 300 to more than 600 percent without it, that the fact that they won't lose their healthcare is a [plus.]
DESVARIEUX: But Margaret, I know that you and your organization, you are in favor of a single-payer system and your major critiques is that there are skyrocketing costs for everyday folks in terms of premiums, deductibles, co-pays. Can you just explain how the system that Obamacare has set up has accelerated those expenditures for everyday working folks?
FLOWERS: Thank you. Well, it continues to be a market-based, private insurance-driven system, and private insurers in the United States really have profit as their bottom line. So they do whatever they can in order to enhance that profit. Raising premiums, co-pays, deductibles, restricting access to health professionals or to medications.
The competition that was hoped would emerge from the Affordable Care Act has not happened. And in fact in the federal health exchanges almost 60 percent of them only have a choice of one or two health insurers. So when they can dominate the market like that they're able to charge higher prices.
DESVARIEUX: But of course you know President Obama came out defending Obamacare once again, and he pointed out to some specific examples of how the program is working. Let's take a look.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If you're a parent, you can keep your kids on your plan till they turn 26, something that has covered millions of young people so far. That's because of this law. If you're a senior or an American with a disability, this law gives you discounts on your prescriptions, something that has saved 9 million Americans an average of $1600 so far. If you're a woman, you can't be charged more than anybody else. Even if you've had cancer, or your husband had heart disease, or just because you're a woman.
DESVARIEUX: So Margaret, we just heard the President lay out his examples of how Obamacare is really working for working families. Isn't there something to be said about those achievements?
FLOWERS: Again, those are aspirations and not actually [inaud.] So while young people can stay on their parents' health insurance, that in fact has not reduced the number of young people who are uninsured significantly because it still depends upon whether their parents can afford to carry them on their health insurance plan.
When it comes to pre-existing conditions, while insurance companies are not able to exclude patients or policy holders on the basis of pre-existing conditions, what they've done on the flip side is to restrict access to providers by creating narrow and ultra-narrow networks that don't cover many of the major health centers or the specialty types of doctors that patients would need when they actually have a serious health problem. That drives patients to have to go outside of their network, where they bear 100 percent of the cost of their care.
So we continue to see these healthcare barriers. And of course it's great that women, that we reduce the disparity between healthcare costs for men and women. But we could do that as well under a single-payer system, and under single-payer we wouldn't be leaving 35 million people in America completely out of the system, and another 30 or 40 million people who continue to face financial barriers to care.
So the reason that we oppose the Affordable Care Act, while we don't support taking anything away from people, is because it just is not a solution that will ever be universal or affordable for everyone.
DESVARIEUX: Let's talk about another group that is opposing the Affordable Care Act. That's Republicans, of course. And they were not happy with the court's decision. Sen. Lindsey Graham, he took the Senate floor today saying that healthcare would be the number one issue in the elections in 2016.
Margaret, do you see that we need to reform the system that we currently have under Obamacare, or do we need to completely overturn it like Republicans want? And would your organization be in support of sort of working together with conservatives to get this repealed?
FLOWERS: When it comes to the Republican approach to healthcare we just completely differ. They don't have a real, viable solution other than just completely opening it up to the market, which is where we're headed. And we ought to remind ourselves that the basis of the Affordable Care Act came out of a conservative think tank and was first passed by a Republican governor in Massachusetts. So what we're seeing is politicking instead of really talking about the policy issues.
What we want to see, and the fastest way we can do this, is just to completely expand Medicare to the entire population. A publicly financed Medicare for all, and then work to improve that system so it has more comprehensive benefits. That's the fastest way to solve this problem. We'll cover everybody and we'll control healthcare costs, and people won't face out-of-pocket financial barriers to getting the care that they need.
DESVARIEUX: But Margaret, could there be a way that we can sort of work with this idea that private health insurance companies, they're not going anywhere in America. They're sort of a staple, a huge Goliath in our world right now. Is there a way that we could work with a different type of model? Let's take for example Switzerland. 99.5 percent of all Swiss citizens are covered. The government subsidizes healthcare for poor people on sort of a graduated basis with the goal being that individuals would not spend more than 10 percent of their income. And according to them they only spent about 2.7 percent of their GDP on healthcare, and here in the United States we're spending about 7.4 percent of GDP. So this could eventually save us money. Would you be in favor of eventually moving towards a system like that?
FLOWERS: Yeah, I would not be in favor of that. I think that what we're talking about between the United States and Switzerland are completely different situations. Switzerland, private health insurance is actually designed and has been for a long time to provide coverage for actual healthcare. The citizens of Switzerland have a much higher income, they have much better social support for their citizens. So it's completely different than here in the United States, where our private health insurers have as their bottom line profit, and they don't in fact care about the health of their policy holders. And so we've tried for decades now to regulate this industry, and what we see is every time we try they do an [en rund] around it, and healthcare costs continue to go up, and people continue to go without the healthcare that they need.
So again, the fastest way we can do this is to join the many other industrialized nations in the world who have gone to some form of a publicly financed, universal, single-payer type of healthcare system.
DESVARIEUX: All right. Dr. Margaret Flowers, always a pleasure having you on.
FLOWERS: Thank you for having me, Jessica.
DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

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  • The New Great Game Round-Up: June 30, 2015
    By Christoph Germann | June 30, 2015 "http://www.boilingfrogspost.com" Kyrgyzstan- Color Revolution Expert Richard Miles Caught Red-Handed, WUC- Turkey Highlighting "China's Brutality in East Turkestan" & More!*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players. When the Armenian authorities reluctantly approved a request by the country's energy monopoly, Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA), to increase electricity tariffs from the beginning of August by 7 Armenian dram (1.5 U.S. cent), President Serzh Sargsyan and his government didn't expect that this could turn into a huge problem. They knew full well that ENA was trying to compensate for its losses, which had been caused by graft, but figured that the people would put up with yet another rate increase - the third one over the past two years. However, this time many Armenians decided that enough was enough. What started with a small sit-in in the center of Yerevan on June 19 soon evolved into huge protests on Baghramyan Avenue. As more and more people joined "Electric Yerevan," the government began to understand the gravity of the situation and tried to nip the protests in the bud:Armenian Police Forcefully Disperse Yerevan Protesters, 18 Injured Armenian police used force and water cannons to clear a demonstration in central Yerevan overnight after a standoff with activists protesting against rising electricity prices. In the early hours of June 23, special police forces moved to disperse hundreds of protesters who spent more than nine hours seated in the street not far from the presidential compound. The protesters insisted that their actions were peaceful and demanded that President Serzh Sarkisian revoke the decision made by state regulators to raise electricity prices by 16 percent beginning August 1.…"Electric Yerevan" Sends Shockwaves through Armenia & Russia Yerevan police arrested 237 people but released all of them shortly thereafter. Much to the dismay of the Armenian authorities, the crackdown didn't have the desired effect. The protests continued and more people joined in. To make matters worse, Russian, Ukrainian and Western media tried to use "Electric Yerevan" to push their own agendas, thereby inflaming tensions in Armenia and abroad. The fact that ENA is fully owned by Russian energy company Inter RAO was neither lost on the protesters nor on Western media, which pointed out that the protests were not only directed against the Armenian government but, by default, also against Russia. Although many Armenians went out of their way to stress that they don't want to turn "Electric Yerevan" into a Maidan-style color revolution, Russian officials and media were not easily convinced and kept insisting that this is another Western plot:Russian Officials See 'Color Revolution' in Armenia Russian lawmakers said Wednesday that rolling protests on the streets of the Armenian capital of Yerevan could be the first stage of a "color revolution" similar to those that have toppled governments in post-Soviet countries including Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. "It's no use deluding yourself, all 'color revolutions' developed along these lines," said Konstantin Kosachev, head of the International Committee in Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday. Other lawmakers compared the demonstrations to the collapse of a pro-Russia government in Ukraine last year, a process the Kremlin characterizes as a foreign-backed coup.…Armenia has long been tipped as a Western 'regime change' target. Given that the country is Russia's only ally in the South Caucasus, it is hard to overstate the importance of keeping Armenia in Russia's sphere of influence. When Maidan mastermind Victoria Nuland and a high-level USAID official visited Armenia during their South Caucasus tour a few months ago, many people were already expecting the worst. So it came as no real surprise that Russian lawmakers believed "Electric Yerevan" to be the color revolution that everyone had been waiting for. It didn't help that the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia denied any U.S. involvement in the protests. Armenia's close relationship with Russia has been put to the test time and again in recent months. Russian arms deliveries to Azerbaijan and the murder of an Armenian family by a Russian soldier are still a hot topic in Armenia. Therefore, the Kremlin deemed it best to appease the protesters by making some concessions:As Protests Continue In Yerevan, Russia Concedes To Armenia On Soldier Murder Case Russia has agreed to let Armenian courts try a Russian soldier accused of murdering seven members of an Armenian family after deserting Russia's major military base in the country. The move is a major concession by Moscow, and comes as large-scale street protests in Yerevan against Armenia's Russian-owned electricity company have been gathering strength. On June 26, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met with a Russian government delegation to discuss energy fees, the issue that sparked the Yerevan protests. But the scope of the discussions was apparently wider than that, and Sargsyan's office issued a surprise announcement after the meeting: On top of that, Russia also apparently agreed to give Armenia $200 million in credit for arms purchases.…President Sargsyan thanked the Kremlin for helping him out but Moscow's concessions didn't stop "Electric Yerevan" and only whet the appetite of the protesters. Although the movement brought together many different people with different objectives and claimed to be leaderless, the protesters had agreed on three demands - the cancellation of the electricity price hike being the most important one. After initially refusing to listen to the demands, the government eventually offered to pay the additional costs until an independent audit determines whether the planned price hike is justified. Predictably, the protesters lost no time in rejecting the offer and vowed to continue the fight. However, ten days of protest have taken their toll on the people and a split within the movement has also played a part in contributing to the decline of "Electric Yerevan." So it remains to be seen in which form the protests will continue:“No to Plunder”: Struggle at Baghramyan Avenue is politicized The struggle at Baghramyan Avenue is already politicized, this is the reason “No to Plunder” initiative decided to continue their actions at Liberty Square, member of the initiative group Vaghinak Shushanyan told reporters. “We are apolitical structure and we are dealing with the social problems, and our task is to cancel the decision to increase hike in electricity prices. This is the reason we continue our struggle at the square,” he added. Vaghinak Shushanyan previously urged the protesters to leave Baghramyan Avenue for Liberty Square and turn it into a tent city, because the logic of the struggle requires it. He also said that there are provocateurs at Baghramian Avenue who are trying to transform their civil claims into political one.…Kyrgyzstan: Color Revolution Expert Richard Miles Caught Red-Handed Fears that the protests could be hijacked have been dismissed as "Russian paranoia" but it is noteworthy that Western propaganda outlets, such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Hromadske.TV, are showing great interest in "Electric Yerevan" and have been embraced by leading figures of the movement. The Russian Defense Ministry is probably keeping a close eye on "Electric Yerevan." They are developing a manual on countering color revolutions. Depending on how the situation in Yerevan develops, they might be able to add a few pages to the manual. But Armenia is not the only post-Soviet state in Russia's sphere of influence which deserves closer attention. Since last year, Kyrgyzstan has seen a number of suspicious developments suggesting that the U.S. is trying to start a Kyrgyz Maidan. Only a few weeks after the controversy surrounding the delivery of 150 tons of "diplomatic mail" to the U.S. Embassy Bishkek, the U.S. is now again making headlines in Kyrgyzstan:Scandal in Kyrgyzstan After Protest Organizer Seen With US Diplomat A media scandal has broken out in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan following the posting of a YouTube video showing a protest organizer meeting with the American ambassador. On Wednesday, a few dozen people organized by civil society and rights groups gathered in front of the presidential building in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, protesting a government initiative to hold a referendum which would make changes to the country's constitution. Protesters attached portraits of government officials with their faces crossed out to the presidential building's gates, and carried banners saying "Do Not Sell the Country!" and "Do Not Rape the Constitution." But the scandal, which broke out on Wednesday evening, was over an anonymous YouTube video which showed protest organizer Nurbek Toktakunov, leader of local NGO 'Precedent', meeting with US Charge d'Affaires Richard Miles shortly after the protest.…Toktakunov tried to downplay the meeting by claiming it had been planned for a long time and had no relation to the protest. Regardless of whether or not that is true, meetings between local NGO leaders and American diplomats should always raise red flags - and even more when the American diplomat in question is Richard Miles. They don't call him a "genius of color revolutions" for nothing. Although Miles serves only "temporarily" as U.S. charge d'affairs in Bishkek until a new ambassador is found, his arrival in Kyrgyzstan was met with a lot of suspicion. Judging by the revealing video, which was presumably recorded by Kyrgyz and/or Russian intelligence, the fears were justified. Moreover, this scandal will reinforce Bishkek's decision to monitor the NGOs in the country. Despite strong opposition from the usual suspects, Kyrgyzstan's parliament recently gave the go-ahead for a 'foreign agents' bill:Kyrgyzstan Passes 'Foreign Agents' Bill in Preliminary Vote After stalling for almost two years, Kyrgyzstan’s parliament has overwhelmingly passed a bill that will have a chilling effect on the Central Asian country’s vibrant civil society, if it becomes law. Local media reported that legislators voted 83 to 23 on June 4 in favor of the “foreign agents” bill. The bill – which must go through two more votes in parliament before landing on the president’s desk – is modeled on a similar law passed in Russia in 2012 that has been used to crack down on independent groups there. Kyrgyzstani rights activists fear that with Russia tightening its grip on the region, and lawmakers seemingly eager to please Moscow, the walls are fast closing in on free speech and other civil liberties.…Kyrgyzstan has indeed a "vibrant civil society." There are so many NGOs operating in the country that is difficult to keep track of all of them. The Ministry of Justice has already announced that it won't be able to carry out audits of the NGOs' financial activities, as proposed in the bill, unless its staff is being increased. Richard Miles was certainly relieved to hear that. Western opposition to the 'foreign agents' bill is not exactly grounded in a passion for democracy. In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk about possible attempts by the West to destabilize the country. Last month, Kyrgyz police detained as many foreigners in the city of Osh as they could find after mysterious text messages and rumors about an imminent revolution and interethnic conflict created a stir in the south of the country in the run-up to the fifth anniversary of the 2010 South Kyrgyzstan riots. One of the messages said that the U.S. is distributing weapons to Hizb ut-Tahrir members, which is even more curious given the fact that Hizb ut-Tahrir members usually refrain from using violence and focus on radicalizing others:Hizb ut-Tahrir printing house found in south Kyrgyzstan A clandestine press has been found at a house in Kara-Suu district, Osh Region, in southern Kyrgyzstan, which printed literature of the banned international religious and extremist organization, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Osh regional police spokesman Zhenish Ashirbayev told Interfax on Friday. The discovery was made during searches of the houses of eight local residents who were involved in propagating the ideas of the banned organization, he said. For his part, a regional police source said that whereas a few years ago Hizb ut-Tahrir supporters received literature from abroad, now they can print all necessary material locally, having all the necessary equipment.…WUC, Turkey Highlight "China's Brutality in East Turkestan"While the Kyrgyz authorities are trying to prevent Hizb ut-Tahrir and others from radicalizing the population in Kyrgyzstan, the Chinese authorities are trying to do the same in neighboring Xinjiang. And just as the Kyrgyz authorities don't care if they send a few innocent people to jail, the Chinese authorities don't care if they violate a few religious traditions. Every year, as Ramadan approaches, China's so-called "Ramadan ban" is hitting the headlines in Western media and the NED-funded World Uyghur Congress (WUC) comes out of the woodwork to remind everyone that "this will only lead to instability and conflict." Never mind that only few people are affected by the ban and that thousands upon thousands of Muslims in Xinjiang are still openly celebrating Ramadan. As regular readers of the New Great Game Round-Up may recall, Western media and the WUC like to exaggerate when it comes to China's Ramadan ban but the Chinese authorities do their bit as well:'Many Uygurs like to drink': Chinese academic defends beer festival in Muslim region A Communist Party academic defended a government-organised beer festival in a mainly Muslim county ahead of Ramadan by saying that locals enjoyed alcohol, a state-run newspaper reported on Tuesday. Islam prohibits alcohol but authorities in Niya county, in the troubled Xinjiang region, held a beer drinking contest last Monday, three days before the start of Islam's holiest month, with cash prizes of up to US$160 for winners, the Global Times reported. Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for exiled group the World Uygur Congress, slammed the festival as an "open provocation" to faithful Muslims. As usual, our old friend Dilxat Raxit, the WUC's Sweden-based spokesman, used the opportunity to slam the Chinese goverment. Just a few days earlier, Raxit had already criticized that China is stepping up controls on religious activities in Xinjiang ahead of Ramadan. Predictably, Beijing didn't listen to Raxit's warnings that "this will only lead to instability and conflict." Shortly thereafter, at the beginning of Ramadan, Uyghur insurgents attacked police with knives and bombs at a traffic checkpoint in the city of Kashgar. The ensuing clashes left between 18 and 28 people dead. Considering that these kind of attacks happen on a regular basis in Xinjiang, it was not surprising that Raxit's "prediction" came true within a matter of days but even some of China's allies wondered after the attack whether the WUC might have a point. The latest outbreak of violence in Xinjiang was also noticed in Turkey, where many Uyghurs have found a new home after leaving China:Actors, academics and politicians decry treatment of UyghursAfter 28 people were killed in East Turkestan during the holy month of Ramadan, actors, academics and politicians in Turkey have raised their voices criticizing the Chinese government and calling for the freedom of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. In Ankara, the Ülkü Ocakları, a youth organization affiliated with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), prayed at a funeral procession for those killed in East Turkestan, at the Mustafa Asım Köksal Mosque in Keçiören. Speaking after the prayer, Olcay Kılavuz, the head of the youth movement, gave a press statement where he declared that the red flag of Turkey and the blue flag of East Turkestan were equal. Kılavuz also said that members of Ülkü Ocakları would resume their struggle in favor of their brothers in East Turkestan, until their last breath. He added that the government was keeping silent about the killings and ongoing oppression in East Turkestan.…MHP leader Devlet Bahceli echoed the remarks of Kilavuz and lamented on Twitter that "everbody is concerned about the fight between two terrorist groups in Kobane" but "nobody is speaking about China's brutality in East Turkestan." This didn't go down well with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who took the criticism personally and responded in the usual manner. While Bahceli and Erdogan were arguing about who has done more to help "their brothers in East Turkestan," Turkish ultra-nationalists launched a campaign on social media promoting the "liberation of East Turkestan." As previously discussed, Turkey plays a decisive role in Washington's East Turkestan project. This has led to several disputes with China in recent months. The Chinese authorities tried to put pressure on Ankara by shedding some light on Turkey's role in Uyghur smuggling and terrorism operations. And last but not least, they stepped up their efforts to prevent Uyghurs from fleeing to Turkey:After Attempting to Join Her Husband in Turkey, Uyghur Woman Dies in Custody in Xinjiang A young ethnic Uyghur woman detained by Chinese police in February while attempting to flee the country to join her husband in Turkey has died in police custody in her native Xinjiang, according to sources in the region and in exile. Tursungul, 32 and described as healthy before she was taken into custody, died shortly after being taken to the Shaptol Township police station in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture’s Peyziwat (Jiashi) county, a Uyghur living in Turkey told RFA’s Uyghur Service, citing sources in Xinjiang. “She died within a week and was buried somewhere by the police,” said the man, who had successfully escaped to Turkey with Tursungul’s husband some time before.…# # # #Christoph Germann- BFP Contributing Author & AnalystChristoph Germann is an independent analyst and researcher based in Germany, where he is currently studying political science. His work focuses on the New Great Game in Central Asia and the Caucasus region. You can visit his website here
  • DisInfoWars with Tom Secker- The Politics of Fear
    By Tom Secker | June 30, 2015 "http://www.boilingfrogspost.com" Today, almost all politics are a politics of fear, and almost all policies are defended and excused through some notion of 'security'. Fear-therefore-security is the dominant political dynamic of our time. This week I take a look at these concepts, exploring whether all politics is a politics of fear, and offering examples of when this can work well and when it can work very badly. I focus in on the recent general election in the UK, showing how every candidate, even those offering some degree of real opposition, are all engaged in a politics of fear and security.Listen to the Preview Clip Here  
  • Europe Suffocating Under Pressure of Refugee Flows: Is There a Way Out?
    By Vladimir NESTEROV | 30.06.2015 | 08:00"http://www.strategic-culture.org" Europe is hit by waves of refugee flows coming from the Middle East and North Africa, especially Libya. Italy is hardest hit. The aggravation of problem was prompted by the UK-France aggression. Italy did not take part in the operation against Libya though Paris and London called on Italians to demonstrate “European solidarity” and join the combat.Now Italy is facing the problem of immigrants but the calls for solidarity are forgotten. The EU is forcing all member states to accept quotas that will depend on each country’s GDP, unemployment, population and the number of requests for asylum. It evokes discontent. British Prime Minister David Cameron warned Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, that the United Kingdom would impose limits on the number of refugees coming to the country. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said France would continue to turn back the migrants. He said Italy must follow the EU's Dublin regulations, which assign most asylum seekers to the first EU country they enter until their application has been processed. The French Interior Ministry says it tightened border controls due to the influx of migrants. Switzerland did the same.The EU launched a naval operation against human traffickers in the Mediterranean on 22 June. Dubbed "EUNAVFOR Med" its mission is to identify, capture and dispose of vessels used to smuggle refugees to Europe. A UN mandate has yet to be adopted.Speaking at the special meeting of EU Council,Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said countries from throughout the EU will provide military assets for the operation. Mogherini reiterated that less than two months ago, EU leaders tasked the Commission with preparing an operation in the Mediterranean to save lives and disrupt human trafficking.The operation is launched today, she said, insisting that its target is not immigrants, but those who make money with their lives and “too often with their deaths”. According to her, "With this operation, we are targeting the business model of those who benefit from the misery of migrants. But it's only a part of a broader strategy including the cooperation with our partners in Africa, particularly in the Sahel region, and the work with the International Organization for Migration and the UNHCR. As (the) EU, we are determined to contribute to save lives, dismantle the networks of the smugglers of human beings and address the root causes of migration." Does the fact of launching such an operation without an appropriate resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council dovetail with the international law? That’s something to ponder.The number of refugees sent to each country would be decided according to a “redistribution key” based on GDP, population size, unemployment rate and past numbers of asylum seekers. Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden together receive around 75 per cent of migrants who reach the EU. Under EU law the UK, Ireland and Denmark are exempt from the quota plan. Ronald Zonca of Boulevard Voltairewrites that the EU decisions are taken not by politicians but by kamikaze suicide bombers ready to destroy themselves.Many experts believe that the “migration mine” is more dangerous than the Greek debt. The EU June 26 summit failed to take a decision on mandatory quotas for each country."Leaders agreed that 40,000 persons in need will be relocated from Greece and Italy to other states over the next two years," summit chairman Donald Tusk told reporters. "Interior ministers will finalize the scheme by the end of July." Leaders also agreed to resettle another 20,000 refugees who are currently outside the EU. The summit did not say what to do with others. There are 2 million refugees in Turkey alone and they all want to go to Europe. Each state has to tackle the problem on its own.Hungary announced plans on June 17 to build a four-meter-high fence along its border with Serbia to stem the flow of illegal migrants. "We are talking about a stretch of border 175 km (110 miles) long, whose physical closure can happen with a four-meter high fence," said Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto. In January 2015 Victor Orban told Hungarian state TV in the margins of the rally, held in support of free speech and tolerance in Europe, that the Charlie Hebdo murders should make the EU restrict access to migrants with “different cultural characteristics”. Referring to the flow of African and Arab migrants to the EU, he said, “Economic immigration is a bad thing in Europe, it should not be seen as having any benefits, because it only brings trouble and danger to the peoples of Europe". According to his remarks, “While I am Prime Minister, Hungary will definitely not become an immigration destination. We don't want to see significantly sized minorities with different cultural characteristics and backgrounds among us. We want to keep Hungary as Hungary". In 2014 43 thousand refugees came to Hungary. 54 thousand have already entered the country this year. 95% of immigrants cross the Serbia border. Hungary is a small country. Its population is around 10 million. Adding 100 thousand Muslims from different countries every year will inevitably produce the undesired result.Some 275,000 foreign citizens asked Russia for asylum last year to hide on its territory from war and persecution, the UN refugee agency said in its annual Global Trends Report: World at War released on June 18. "With a total of 274,700 registered individual asylum requests, the Russian Federation became the largest single recipient of new individual asylum claims worldwide in 2014," the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said. This figure includes about 7,000 applications for refugee status and some 267,800 applications for temporary asylum in Russia. "In previous years, the combined figure had never exceeded the 5,000 mark," the report reads. The outbreak of conflict in eastern Ukraine had a major impact on the 2014 figures. A total of 271,200 or around 99% of claims in Russia were lodged by Ukrainians, it says. "Of the 1.47 million initial individual asylum applications registered with either UNHCR or States worldwide during 2014, Ukrainians lodged 288,600 claims - on average, every fifth claim," according to the report.Zarina Kornilova of the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) told on June 17 at a press-conference that there were around 2, 6 million Ukrainian citizens on the territory of Russia. Over one million of them had to leave the south-east of the country due to ongoing military conflict. 364 thousand people have asked for temporary asylum or the status of refugee since the beginning of 2014. 117 thousand applied for governmental assistance program to help compatriotsliving outside. If Russia followed the example of EU, it would erect a wall along the border with Ukraine.There is a difference between the immigrants coming to the European Union and the Russian Federation. Unlike Muslims entering the European Union, ethnic Russians come to Russia from the territory of Ukraine. But what strikes an eye – in Russia refugees are treated in quite a different way. Like Belarus, Russia approves 90% of applications for asylum. For comparison, only in around 10% of cases positive decisions on asylum applications are taken in Belgium, Finland, France, Poland and the United Kingdom each. In the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy positive decisions are taken only in 35% - 65 % of cases. According to UN refugee office, there were 1, 47 individual asylum applications in 2014. Every fifth applicant (totally 288 600 refugees) came from Ukraine. For comparison, Ukraine leaves Syria behind with only 171 200 Syrians applying for asylum that year.
  • Should NATO Collapse, Western Countries Will Be at Each Other's Throat
    By http://sputniknews.com The North Atlantic Alliance has long outlived the obvious reason for its existence, yet the bloc will be around for a long time regardless of any external threat and due to a major internal factor, namely Europe's own violent history, the National Interest reported.It has worked for nearly seven decades."By embedding almost all of Europe in a unified security architecture, powers that warred for centuries like France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom have no incentive to fight one another," Evan Gottesman said, recalling the famous formula that gave birth to NATO: "keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down." Nevertheless, the alliance faces challenges to its existence and the main ones are overstretching through enlargement and inner discord.The US journal calls for a balanced approach to post-Soviet states in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus, who want to join the bloc. The strategy entails embracing them as partners but not taking them in, for they will be what Gottesman referred to as "a liability for the alliance.""The United States should be equally clear that while it supports international norms on territorial integrity and national sovereignty, full alliance membership for these countries is not currently conducive to regional stability. This message is critical to NATO's long-term viability," the analyst said. The main concern is the following: should the North Atlantic Alliance fail to protect one of its numerous members under the collective defense clause, the bloc would be discredited. If this happens, countries might start leaving and form new alliances."Within a generation or two, Europe could be home to an array of hostile alliances, as exist in other regions like the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, and in Europe itself at other points in history," the National Interest observed.Greater level of hostility, mounting tensions might well result in a conflict which could shake the whole world.
  • سرافرازی یا سرافکندگی ملی
      سرافرازی یا سرافکندگی ملی سخنی سنجیده و سگالنده با ایرانیان نویسنده و گوینده:نیک پاکپور درست است که سیطره سبُعانه و سفاکانهٔ ستون پنجمی از سوسماران سمی ـ صحرائی تازیان، مُهر و سمبول متعفن و مستعجن فرهنگ مکاری ـ ملائی خود را بر پیکر ستبر و ستین ایرانیان، تبهکارانه و تازیانه، تاتو کرده است. واین هم درست است که سالهاست که غرور ملی جایش را به غروب ملی داده است تا جائیکه صلابت و صلاحیت دیرینهٔ پارسایانه اش بطور جدی و جلادانه لکه دار و لگد مال شده است ولی تجربهٔ تاریخی به کرات و مرات نشان داده است که اکر ملت ایرن مبداء و محرک مقصدش را وارستگی و وارهانندگی ملی بر پایه پلاتفرم استقلال به همراه استقامت و ایستادنی اُستادانه انتخاب کند، بدون هیچ گونه تردید و توهمی خواهد توانست یکبار برای همیشه به این مذلت و مسکنت مزدوری یعنی تمکین و تملق فرهنگی به مثابه طاعت و اطاعت در مقابل مناره متعفن و مظهر مناسک منحوس تازیان، چه در ضمیر و چه در زمین آریائیان خط قرمز بُطلان بکشد. تاریخ اسپانیا در زدودن و زباله انداختن زبان و زیان فرهنگ مکاری ـ مسلمانی تازیان بهترین و بهین ترین گواه خدشه ناپذیر این مدعاست! مطیح محض مشتی ملا و مفتی مخُلا و مرتج تازی التبار شدن در هیچ برهه ای از زمان در هیچ جائی از جهان نه تنها افتخار و احترامی به ارمغان نیآورده است بلکه مقام و مرتبهٔ آن ملت را رذیلانه توسط روضه خوانان و رجم گران یعنی رجاله گان دین به رهزنگاه و نیرنگاه رهسپار ساخته است. بیائید دردخفاء و خلوت خود خردمندانه و خلاقانه نه خائنانه و خاسرانه یعنی مردانه و مزدیسانه، بجای کُرنش گری و کمر خم کنی، کُنش گر و کنکاش گری کمانگیر و کلنجار گر باشیم تا قلب این قبیلهٔ نوکران و نوچه های نعلین پوش تازیان را نشانه رویم تا بساط و بنیاد این تفکر بادیه نشینان و بربر زادگان را از بیق و بُن برآندازیم! باردیگر چشم به انتظار مُنجی و مُعجزه گر یا میرغضبی همچون هلاکو خان مغول  نشستن تا ما ایرانیان را از شّر این شرطه های شرعی ـ عربی المعتصم بالله ئی یا المعتصم ملائی، نجات بدهد، سزنده و سزاوار سرزمین ستُرگ آریائیان نمی باشد . سرانجام در واپسین واگویه فرجام شناسانه، البته با مدد و متد اسکاتا لوجیک منطقی یعنی به پشتوانهٔ پیشنه تاریخی و به پرتو پیمایش در پراتیک و تجربه، می توان اینچینین ادعا و استدلال کرد، تازمانیکه پوران و پورمندان،پهلوانان و پارتیزانان، فرهیختگان و فرزانگان ایرانی ـ آریائی، پارسایانه پوشنه و پوشش این پاشیدگی و پوسیدگی، پراگندگی و پریشان حالی فرهنگ تخدیر و تحقیر، گدائی و گمراهی، کرخت و گژهی، کلب و گور پرستی، گوسفندی و گردن خم کنی،نزر و نیاز، نماز و نوکری به دُژگاه یا دفن گاه های کعبه و کربلا، نهاوند و نجف را به همراه طواف طوطی وار طوایف طُلاب، عمامه و عراب را با رجعت به رنسانس و رستاخیزی رهاننده یعنی با بازگشت یا فراشکردی فرازمندانه به فرهنگ دیرینهٔ آریائی ـ آهورائی، این عاملان اصلی رذالت و رخوت ملی ـ میهنی را به کرانه و کناره زباله زمان، پرتاب نکنند یا بقول ولتر: مذهب خود را به بسان پول رایج کشورشان تحویل نگیرند تا ابدالدهر در چنبره وابستگی و واماندگی، اسارت و ایستائی با اتیکت عفریت عبودیت در زیر سلطهٔ سفاکانه و تسلط تبهکارنهٔ این ختنه شدگان خبیث تناسل و تفکر، تازی الاتبار باقی خواهند ماند.
  • China - US relations: main risks and contradictions
    By Augusto SOTO | 30.06.2015 | 00:48 "http://www.strategic-culture.org" Washington's strategic pressure over Beijing assertiveness in the South China Sea, including measures such as US military reconnaissance activities and political and military coordination with China’s neighbours, adds additional threats in Asia Pacific in the broader context of bilateral ties discussed last week in Washington during the annual U.S.-China strategic and economic dialogue.Conflict risksWashington has bolstered its Asia Pacific monitoring systems, including closer political and military cooperation with Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Australia. Beijing, meanwhile, declared by mid-June that it had concluded dredging enormous amounts of sand from around the Mischief Reef to build up land mass in South China Sea’s Spratly Islands during six months, according to the Pentagon. This in principle is the reason for US sabre rattling concerning China’s assertiveness in an energy rich region through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.It is not unlikely that China may resume work in that area in case it deemed necessary. Actually, anticipating maritime conflict, on June 17 Beijing approved measures requiring civilian shipbuilders to ensure that new ships can be used by the military during an emergency. Piling sand in the South China Sea is a matter of contention although its best definition so far is “sand wall”, a concept recently used by US strategists. In other words, defensive structures.One can understand Vietnam and the Philippines disagreeing with Beijing. Actually backed by US lawyers, the Philippines will present the South China Sea case at The Hague next month. Malaysia and Brunei’s territorial claims overlap in the South China Sea as well. But it is unreasonable for a power like the United States, whose main territory is thousands of miles away resort to military pressure as judge and jury in the area.The Pentagon has systematically highlighted the increasing budget of its strategic competitor, but China clearly lies behind. In 2014 China’s military expenditure reached $ 216 billion, 2.1% of its GDP, compared to America’s $ 610 billion, 3.5 % of its GDP, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). And while it is true that over the last decade China’s has added significant numbers of submarines to its fleet plus one aircraft carrier - and two under construction - compared to America’s 11 aircraft carriers, Beijing’s ability to project naval power is clearly limited far from its shores.As for cyber capacities (the newest defence tool), China certainly has its own developing capabilities, very highly assessed by the US military, in any case behind America’s clear lead over the rest of the world, as Edward Snowden has revealed. The prospects of open conflict here are blurry and potentially more devastating than the prospects of naval clashes.As for threats in Asia, actually radical islamist separatist movements in China’s Western territories are among Beijing’s highest security threats. Several inspired or organized attacks at local and national level have been concocted there as well as in neighbouring Central Asia, including one suicide attack in Tiananmen Square in November 2013. One wonder why Washington exerts pressure in the South China Sea neglecting potential US-China plus Russia dialoge and cooperation on common security concerns in Central Asia.Contradictory tiesPsychologically speaking one may assume that Washington is not happy with the latest IMF figures disclosed last October showing that measured at purchasing power parity (PPP) Chinese economy is worth $ 17.6 trillion, compared to America’s $ 17.4 trillion. Notwithstanding the fact that China’s per capita income is far behind dozens of countries, it is sour statistics for a country that likes to call itself “indispensable” and “number one”. For the first time the US is overpassed by another power since 1872 and the gap is widening.Furthermore, China is somehow altering international relations dynamics by rapidly reinforcing economic ties around the world. The US has signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with 20 countries compared to China’s over 13 FTAs and growing, the last ones being signed by Beijing precisely this month with Australia and South Korea, two important US allies.George W. Bush had defined China as a "strategic competitor" and Obama had continued the strategy. In March 2001, soon after Bush took office, a US EP-3 spy plane visibly showed around the South China Sea space provoking a diplomatic row. Then came September 11 and Washington deviated its attention to Irak and Afghanistan. The results are well known, including gross human catastrophe and mismanagement strategically reverberating in large parts of Eurasia. Actually that deviation from the East significantly went to China’s advantage. Not precisely a brilliant balance, paraphrasing Joseph Nye’s “smart power” concept.In 2015 observers and analysts are back to the South China Sea. But now the panorama looks more uncertain than a decade ago and more actors are willing to play assertive roles. In the last week of June, Japan announced that it may join the US in regular South China Sea patrols, following an invitation made by the American navy earlier last month.On February 2009 President Xi Jinping, then Vice President, delivered a famous speech in Mexico in which he indirectly replied to US cyclical criticism by declaring that: "China does not export revolution, hunger, poverty, nor does China cause you any headaches. Just what else do you want?" All the evidence shows that Beijing does not to want to replace US role in the world. It does not feel comfortable with it, neither in military nor in cultural, political or economic terms. At most Beijing feels able to exert some kind of regional predominance, but even that is difficult for a superpower as China, at the same time a Third World country in full development and huge internal challenges.Shared interests and leadershipUS-China relations are profound in all fields now – the world's two largest economies have $590 billion in two-way trade- and in principle the prospects of open conflict seem remote if we see the strategies of economic actors from both sides. On June 18, one week ahead of the US-China Summit, American technology company Cisco signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Development and Reform Commission, announcing investment for more than $10 billion in China in the coming years to support innovation and globalization. In both countries young people admire each other’s Internet technology leaders such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Alibaba’s Jack Ma. In spite of that, contradictions are also there, as shown in the 2010 Google affair, when the American company was displaced from China accused of espionage (Google arguing the opposite plus unfair competition). This mutual mistrust is also visible at commercial levels as well, including pending barriers to each other’s investment, still not solved during the last annual U.S.-China strategic and economic dialogue last week.At the level of perceptions, few days ago China’s official News Agency Xinhua disclosed the results of an online poll among Chinese Facebook users showing that 43% of more than 150.000 respondents believed that China is a friend of the US against 23% disagreeing. In view of China’s size and diversity the results are certainly not concluding at all, they rather show how the Chinese government feels at the US at the moment.Unthinkable but theoretically possibleIn a broader scope, coincidental US decisions this month to reinforce its naval presence by patrolling together with Japanese ships in the South China Sea plus to bring heavy weapons to Eastern Europe, are typical containment strategy measures dating back to George Kennan’s time. In other words, a Cold War Eurasia strategist’s ideas for the wrong time. An open conflict, including massive cyberattacks, between China and the US is unthinkable but theoretically possible. This contradiction stays potentially stemming from South China Sea territorial disputes as well as from other broader security issues in the Asia Pacific.(1) IMF’s figures disclosed last October and confirmed in January 2015(2) Yin Bogu, “China is friend rather than foe to U.S.: poll”, Xinhua, June 24, 2015
  • ISIL Kicks Out Taliban, Captures Vast Territory in Afghanistan
    By http://sputniknews.com As part of its rapid land grab, the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group has, for the first time, made significant inroads into Afghanistan, wresting control of a sizeable chunk of Nangarhar province away from the Taliban.Earlier this month, a band of mysterious fighters pushed through Taliban-controlled territory in eastern Afghanistan. According to witnesses speaking to Reuters, hundreds of insurgents rode through Nangarhar province, burning Taliban opium fields as they went.This new band of insurgents fought under the banner of the self-proclaimed Islamic State terror group. Angry Afghans Rally in Protest Against Continuing US Military Raids "They (IS loyalists) came in on many white pickup trucks mounted with big machine guns and fought the Taliban," said Haji Abdul Jan, a tribal leader from Achin district. "The Taliban could not resist and fled."The IS fighters have acted quickly, already seizing territory in at least six districts in Nangarhar province, with fighting still ongoing in Khogyani and Pachir Agam districts. Witnesses describe the group’s black flag being flown across the province. Foreign fighters expound a strict Islamic code in mosques."They tell them about Islam and what people should do and should not do," Abdul Wali, a refugee from the region, told Reuters."They (ISIL) burned poppy fields in Shadal village and banned shops from selling cigarettes," a tribal elder from Spinghar added.Other witnesses describe the IS fighters beheading captured Taliban commanders.The strategies appear to be working. By destroying the Taliban’s opium production, IS cuts their rival off financially, and many villagers reportedly prefer living under the new rule."Unlike the Taliban, they don’t force villagers to feed and house them," Jan said. "Instead, they have lots of cash in their pockets and spend it on food and luring young villagers to join them." An Afghan farmer works on a poppy field collecting the green bulbs swollen with raw opium, the main ingredient in heroin.The source of that money is a cause for international concern. While both the United States and Afghan officials have downplayed the suggestion that these fighters represent a true extension of the Islamic State, the fighters’ vast stockpiles of cash seem to suggest otherwise. Officials cite a lack of evidence to suggest that the new militant group is taking orders directly from the Middle East, but many witnesses report that the insurgents have been relying on gold to fund their operations, which is not a common sight in the region.In December, NATO officially withdrew from combat operations in Afghanistan, entrusting the nation’s stability to the government in Kabul. While Afghan security forces maintain security in most of the country, the Taliban insurgency had remained strong in the eastern province of Nangarhar.Still, despite the government’s goal of weeding out insurgency pockets, the Afghan army has not yet taken action against IS, preferring instead instead to let them battle the Taliban."They haven’t attacked us, and we haven’t engaged them either," Achin district chief, Malek Islam, told Reuters. While playing both sides against each other may seem like a tempting solution in the short term, the quick spread of IS fighters through Iraq and Syria could prove indicative of the long-term threats the group poses to Afghanistan.The Islamic State has already showed frightening signs of spreading beyond the borders of war-torn Syria and Iraq. The group has also taken advantage of the chaos in Libya to secure a footing in North Africa, and also has loyal factions in Egypt and Algeria, and Nigeria. Growing support in Afghanistan is the latest indicator of the group’s far-reaching intentions.A letter reportedly written by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaimed by followers as the group’s caliph, was distributed through Nangarhar. In a blatant effort at recruitment, it reads: "All Mujahideen fighters are invited to carry out this holy war under one flag, which is the Islamic State."
  • Tragic History of XX Century and Crisis Faced by Greece
    By Valentin KATASONOV | 29.06.2015 | 00:00 "http://www.strategic-culture.org" The whole world is closely watching the situation unfolding in Greece. This country may become a trigger to start a chain reaction leading to the collapse of united Europe. A default on public debt (exceeding 320 billion euros) will be followed by a default of Greek bonds holders. Nobody can make a forecast to predict the economic and political consequences.There is one more aspect of the problem to take into account as it may entail long-term ramifications. Greece put the issue of reparations into the fore. Before that media reported that that Germany owes Greece nine billion euros as a compensation for the damage inflicted during the First World War.It was widely believed that all discussions related to reparations are a thing of the past as 70 years have passed since the hostilities ended and the only reason the war could be remembered is to draw lessons from history. But Western creditors drove Greece against the wall. For Athens the memories of the tragedy are still vivid enough to make it put forward demands for financial indemnity. Witty journalists called it the monetarization of history. Far-sighted experts believe that Greece can set a bad example to be followed by those who face financial woes. (1)The idea of putting forward demands for financial reparations is not new. The trials and tribulations the Greek people went through during the war have never been completely forgotten. Fascist Italy led by Mussolini tried to conquer Greece. Then Nazi Germany invaded the country. Greece was occupied in 1941-1944. Crete and the Aegean islands were under German yoke till the very end of WWII. The occupation years were the time of hunger and cold. The country lost 250-400 thousand people. 40 thousand more were executed. 210 thousand Greeks were transported to Germany to be subjected to forced labor. The country’s economy was in ruins with houses and infrastructure destroyed. According to official data, 1170 urban areas and 401 thousand buildings were destroyed, 906 ships sunk and 129 bridges demolished. The country was plundered. Under the Germany’s pressure the Bank of Greece had to grant a large credit that was never paid off. Greece lost thousands of tons of precious metals taken from the country by Nazis.In 2012 the debt was restructured and situation got better. Then the clouds gathered to make the issue rise again. The government of New Democracy Party in coalition with PASOK (the Panhellenic Socialist Movement) led by Antonis Samaras did not put forward the demands for reparations to be paid by Germany. But the issue was in the focus of discussions held by parliament and government to send a message to Berlin. Back then the sum of reparations was mentioned for the first time. According to estimations, the amount was 162 billion euros to include 108 billion euros as the reparations for the damage inflicted during the years of occupation and 54 billion euros to repay the credit granted by the Bank of Greece. According to Greek experts, the sums were much lower than the initial assessments «discounted» by cautious politicians.In January 2015 the Coalition of the Radical Left, mostly known by its acronym Syriza, came to power and the demand for reparations hit the agenda once again to become a burning issue. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ordered the government to prepare documents for filing lawsuits in international courts. The government made its own calculations. In early April it said Germany owed Greece 279 billion euros, or 1, 7 times more than previously stated. The sum is equal to 88% of Greece’s sovereign debt. The redemption would make Greece the most well-to-do country in eurozone and the European Union as a whole. Greece has an axe to grind.During the recent two years Germany has been saying it had no intent to pay. According to German government, the reparations have already been paid (115 million German marks). Berlin believes there is no legal ground to claim reparations anymore.The issue of WWII reparations is very complicated. It was much easier after the First World War. Back then the total amount was defined as well as the quotas for each country to be compensated. There were mechanisms in place to collect, count and distribute the money. It was different after the Second World War. The issue was on the agenda of Yalta (February 1945) and Potsdam (July-August 1945) conferences.There was no agreement reached on precise sums.The percentage of reparations which each country was to receive was decided at an 18-nation conference held in Paris in November and December, 1945. The conference established the Inter-Allied Reparations Agency, composed of a representative of each of the nations, to allocate German reparations payments. The reparations plan was based on the assumption that Germany would have a unified economic system despite its division into four zones of occupation. Unification, however, never occurred. It made impossible to implement the decisions of Paris conference. The emergence of two German states dotted the "i's" and crossed the "t's". The issue was off the agenda since then.The Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany (or the Two Plus Four Agreement) was negotiated in 1990 between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic (the eponymous "Two"), and the Four Powers which occupied Germany at the end of World War II in Europe: the Soviet Union, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. In the treaty the Four Powers renounced all rights they held in Germany, allowing a united Germany to become fully sovereign the following year. The issue of reparations was not mentioned. That’s what Berlin uses as an argument. There are many legal and political nuances here to be studied by Greece and the Russian Federation. Even according to Western estimates, the reparations received by the USSR accounted for no more than 3-4% of real damage inflicted during the war. The 2+4 agreement was necessary but it did not cover all the issues.Only a comprehensive multilateral treaty could finally solve all the problems related to the Second World War. In a way, the Helsinki 1975 Act was a treaty addressing these problems. But today its provisions are violated (especially the clauses on inviolability of national borders) by the West. For instance, a war was unleashed in Yugoslavia followed by the partition of the country. The current Greek government says Greece was not part of the 2+4 treaty and the document is not an obstacle on the way of putting forward claims for reparations to be paid by Germany.Athens remembers the both world wars. After the First World War Germany was to pay off credits and loans that had been granted to it before 1914. Besides, in 1919 the Paris conference resulted in theTreaty of Versailles which had a provision setting the stage for very high reparations Germany was supposed to pay. The West was soft enough. It displayed «understanding» on many occasions and agreed to put off payments and write off some of the debt. In 1933 Hitler came to power to stop all payments. The «tolerant’ West had to put up with the fact. This dubious policy continued after the Second World War. The last debt that had to be paid in the XX century was finally redeemed only in 2010.Today Athens remembers the London 1953 Agreement on German External Debts, also known as the London Debt Agreement, which actually was a debt relief treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and creditor nations. The London Debt Agreement covered a number of different types of German debt from before and after the Second World War. Some of them arose directly out of the efforts to finance the reparations system, while others reflect extensive lending, mostly by U.S. investors to German firms and governments. Under the London Debts Agreement of 1953, the repayable amount was reduced by 50% to about 15 billion marks and stretched out over 30 years, and compared to the fast-growing German economy were of minor impact. The Germany’s yearly debt burden after 1953 never exceeded 5% of the income the country received from exports. (2)Today experts have no doubts there would have been no German economic miracle, if it were not for the London 1953 agreement. Germany would be in the same plight as Greece. Athens sends a message that Germany could be magnanimous enough to offer Greece the conditions comparable to the ones offered to Germany in 1953.Greek and the experts of other countries realize that the Western creditors change their policy on case to case basis. They tacitly pursue political aims. In the 1920s-1930s the Entente was tough on Germany to bring Hitler to power. Back then they stuck to «the worse, the better» policy. The London 1953 agreement was reached under the conditions of Cold War to create a counterbalance to the Soviet Union in Europe.Looks like some circles under the certain are purposefully provoking the default of Greece to shake Europe. But Greece remembers the First World War for other purposes than making Germany recall its own history and be generous and reasonable. Athens continues its offensive on the reparations front. Last week the Greek State General Accounting Office came up with a report stating that Germany owes Greece 9 billion euros in reparations from the First World War. The report states that Greece was due to receive 0.4 percent of the total reparations due to be paid after the First World War. Berlin was due to pay in 37 installments but Greece only received 1.5 percent of the total (47 million marks according to the prices of 1952) by the time the Lausanne Conference was held in the summer of 1932, when Great Britain and France decided to suspend demands for reparations payments from Germany (90%) due to the onset of the Great Depression. However, Greece was not a signatory to the agreement so the claims still stand and are now the equivalent of 9 billion euros, the report stated. The decisions were taken by «great powers» to pave the way for Hitler (the would-be messiah) rising to the top. (3) Nobody took into account the opinion of small countries like Greece.Today Greece does its best to avoid default. The issue of reparations for the damage inflicted in the First and Second World Wars is very problematic. But the possibility exists that the sovereign debt may be restructured taking into account the reparation demands. Berlin is ready for a fierce fight. It is afraid of setting a precedent to be used by other states, including Russia.At all events, the reparation initiatives launched by Athens are not useless. They make remember the tragic events of the XX century and the lessons to be drawn.(1) V. Katasonov. Russia in the World of Reparations. Kislorod publishing house, 2015.(2) Jürgen Kaiser. One Made it Out of the Debt Trap. Lessons from the London Debt Agreement of 1953 for Current Debt Crises, 2013.(3) V. Katasonov. Genoa Conference in the context of World and Russian History. Kislorod publishing house, 2015.
  • ‘Spaceflight isn’t easy’: Rocket scientists despondent after latest ISS mission failure
    An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, June 28, 2015. (Reuters/Mike Brown) By http://rt.com/news Following two failed supply missions to the ISS in recent months, space engineers have been left searching for answers and solutions, after the generally reliable SpaceX Falcon 9 disintegrated in a fountain of fireworks just seconds after launch.“There is no negligence here, there is no problem here, this just shows the challenges we face,” said NASA’s space operations head William Gerstenmaier at a downbeat press briefing. “Spaceflight isn’t easy.”   Falcon 9, which had successfully delivered six payloads to the International Space Station over the past three years, was fired off into a clear sky over Cape Canaveral at 10:21 am on Sunday, before exploding and breaking into thousands of fragments that fell into the Atlantic Ocean.Elon Musk, owner of SpaceX, which is carrying out the flights as part of a $1.6 billion NASA contract, blamed an “overpressure event in a liquid oxygen tank” located in the upper stage of the 500-ton rocket. SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell said the definitive answer would only be known after studying the telemetric data, which could take months.“We'll get back to flight as soon as we safely and reliably can,” said Shotwell, promising that the SpaceX fleet would return to the skies in less than a year Gerstenmeier said the 2,400 kg cargo constituted an “important loss,” particularly lamenting the destruction of a “docking adapter, a space suit, and lot of research,” but promised that the ISS crew was “in no danger,” despite the failure of three supply missions in nine months.
  • Media Coverage of Europe’s Migrant Crisis Ignores Root Cause: NATO
    By http://www.globalresearch.ca Media seems determined not to point out the major cause of migrant crisis facing the EU is the chaos and misery United States helped introduce to Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Somaliaby Danielle RyanThe scale of the migrant crisis Europe is facing today cannot be understated. It is truly unprecedented. What is habitually understated, however — and in fact almost completely ignored by mainstream media — are the real roots of the crisis.The debate around migration into the EU is happening nearly entirely without reference to the causes of the recent influx of migrants from North Africa and the Middle East. The elephant in the room is NATO and nobody really wants to talk about it.Hundreds of articles, laden down with numbers and proposals and predictions fail to make any direct link between cause and effect. News anchors sit seemingly baffled, mouths agape, at the apocalyptic-like pictures they are seeing land on their desks, and yet few are willing to draw the appropriate conclusions. But it is such a basic and logical connection that it’s hard to believe it is not being made very loudly and very persistently.Maybe it’s just that these journalists are so conditioned to framing U.S. and NATO policy in a positive light that the links don’t even really occur to them. Or maybe they’re simply embarrassed and trying to shift focus from their long-recorded support for various military interventions in these countries.Either way, the result is that the story is framed in such a way that it makes the timing of the crisis sound almost random. We’re witnessing a conversation about how to ‘deal’ with boats full of Libyans making their way across the Mediterranean — as if Libya was a country that had just self-imploded yesterday, and for no discernible reason.A fierce debate is raging over ‘what to do’ about these migrants — and in a way that’s understandable because that is the more immediate problem — but the debate we really need to be having is about the policies, NATO’s policies, which were the catalyst.Even if Europe unites in formulating a ‘solution’ to the problem, it will be nothing more than a bandaid fix because it will only deal with symptom. After all, what’s the point in covering your open wound with a bandaid when the guy who cut you is still wielding a knife in the same room? It doesn’t take a genius to work out how that story ends.Whenever the cause is grudgingly mentioned by the media, it is mentioned briefly and abstractly where the author or anchor might refer to “conflict” or make mention of how violence has “reignited” in these countries in recent years and months.The editors at the New York Times in particular, are big fans of loading all the blame squarely onto Europe’s shoulders. Here a Times piece argues that the migrant crisis “puts Europe’s policy missteps into focus”. Another piece, from the editorial board, lectures Europe on how to handle the situation.In April, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg called for a “comprehensive response” to the crisis and promised that NATO would help to stabilize the situation. The alliance’s role in “stabilizing” Afghanistan was part of its broader approach to the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, he said.That is rich coming from the head of a ‘security’ and ‘defensive’ alliance which for years has pursued a policy of offensive destabilization in the very regions which people are fleeing from in their hundreds of thousands. But Stoltenberg’s comments and NATO’s actions are easily decoded by the employment of some basic common sense.The NATO modus operandi is clear. The pattern, repeated over and over, involves the complete destabilization of a region, to be swiftly followed up with another NATO-led ‘solution’ to the problem. When you couple that with the use of spokespeople who are unashamed to feign ignorance and lie blatantly (Jen Psaki, Marie Harf etc.), and a compliant media that will regurgitate the line without question, this is what you get.The 2011 NATO intervention in Libya was authorized by the United Nations on “humanitarian” grounds and resulted in the deaths of between 50,000 and 100,000 people and the displacement of 2 million. Very humanitarian.Similarly, after the U.S.-led campaign to destabilize Syria in an effort to topple Bashar al-Assad, facilitating (and even supporting) the rise of ISIS in the region, a staggering 10 million have been displaced (according to Amnesty International) and European countries are left to help pick up the pieces. Germany, for example, has pledged to resettle 30,000 Syrian refugees. Sweden, a non-NATO nation, has taken in similar numbers.It should be made clear however, that the numbers European countries have taken or pledged to take pale in comparison to the numbers being hosted in other Middle Eastern countries. Lebanon, for example, is hosting 1.1 million Syrian refugees. Jordan is hosting more than 600,000. Iraq hosts nearly a quarter of a million. Turkey hosts 1.6 million.There is one country that’s getting off scot-free in all of this — at least on the Syrian front. That country is the United States. The U.S. has taken in less than 900 Syrian refugees after four years of war. American officials have cited “national security” in their explanations for not yet taking more, although they have said they would like to see the number increase. Maybe this has something to do with it?Debate not allowedThere is a second media crime flying under the radar here and it is this: In European countries where the massive influx of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa have caused serious societal divisions, where migrants have failed to assimilate (for a variety of reasons, including both government policies and often radical religious beliefs), Western media will allow no one to talk about it honestly — and woe betide the person who tries.Take Sweden, where the disease of political correctness is at an even more advanced stage than it is in the rest of Europe. There, any attempt to debate the coherence of a ‘doors wide open’ immigration policy is branded as “racist”. A further irony in the Swedish context, is that the country is facing a housing crisis and has nowhere to put most of the people they are pledging to resettle. There’s some real forward-thinking, common sense policy for you.This is a dangerous combination for Europe: An unsustainable influx of migrants, foreign policy which ensures its continuation, a docile media, and an epidemic of political correctness which has infected the entire continent.Media 101 on the migrant crisis: Talk a lot about migrants, don’t mention why they fled and then call anyone who has a problem with it a “racist” — success! Oh, and you get an added bonus if you can somehow link it all to ‘Russian aggression’, Vladimir Putin and NATO as a ‘defensive’ alliance.Some European countries are taking a more hardline approach and are getting slammed for it. Hungary, for example, is looking at building a barrier wall along its border with Serbia, similar to barriers along the Greek-Turkish and Bulgarian-Turkish borders. Again, this has sparked accusations of xenophobia and racism from media and political quarters.But that’s part of the game, isn’t it? If NATO’s war supporters can focus the debate around the idea that anyone who wants to address or critically assess immigration policy is “racist” then we won’t have to talk about why the migrants are here in the first place or why they are facing such dire circumstances at home.Russia Today’s Oksana Boyko tried recently, to broach this topic with Peter Sutherland, the UN’s special representative on international migration and development, but she got nowhere. She argued that the debate around migration into the EU can’t really be had without addressing the essence and heart of the problem, but found that NATO policy is apparently a topic not up for discussion.Debating Europe’s migrant crisis without acknowledging the context in which it has been created it useless. It would be like asking Americans to debate police brutality without talking about race. The two are inescapably interlinked and any ‘solutions’ that come from an incomplete debate will ultimately fail.For now though, it seems Europe will continue to debate this humanitarian crisis in terms of ‘what to do’ without addressing the ‘how to stop’ and we’ll keep running around in a vicious circle.An easier solution, of course, would be for NATO to put an end to its campaign of destabilization in the Middle East and North Africa, but that would require the acceptance and acknowledgement of some very hard truths.