Frontrunning: March 2

02-03-18 02:03:00,

  • ‘Trade wars are good, and easy to win’: Trump (Reuters)
  • U.S. Allies Bristle at Trump Tariff Plan (WSJ)
  • The Biggest Problem With Trump’s Tariffs (BBG)
  • Trump’s Tariff Folly (WSJ)
  • Kushner’s Influence in West Wing Wanes After Key Allies Depart (BBG)
  • China’s latest conglomerate crackdown casts dealmaking shadow (Reuters)
  • Bitcoin’s Plunge in Volume Stirs Questions About Its Popularity (BBG)
  • Israeli police question Netanyahu over telecom case (AP)
  • News Corp. CEO Slams Facebook, Google for Not Sharing Enough Ad Revenue (BBG)
  • Jimmy Kimmel’s mission impossible – Oscar host in midst of #MeToo (Reuters)
  • J.C. Penney profit forecast, same-store sales disappoint, shares dive (Reuters)
  • Italy’s center-right leaders fret over 5-Star strength (Reuters)
  • Delta subjected to retribution in Georgia for crossing NRA (AP)
  • GM plants to cut 5,000 South Korean jobs, keep production at current level (Reuters)
  • Venezuelans Are Paying a 100% Premium for Cash (BBG)
  • Scaramucci Says He Fears John Kelly Will Thwart SkyBridge Sale (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

– An investing group said it reached a last-minute deal to acquire the assets of Weinstein Co on Thursday, potentially allowing the embattled movie studio to avoid a planned bankruptcy and laying the groundwork to settle government lawsuits stemming from allegations that former co-chairman Harvey Weinstein had engaged in sexual misconduct. on.wsj.com/2F8lR1F

– President Donald Trump is likely to nominate Columbia University economist Richard Clarida to become vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. on.wsj.com/2F7rIUM

– In a meeting Tuesday, members of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., debated whether the panel has the right to weigh in on Singapore-based Broadcom Ltd bid of $117 billion for Qualcomm Inc before a deal is struck. on.wsj.com/2F4zxL3

– The Justice Department in late 2017 told Wells Fargo &

 » Lees verder

Six Years Ago: The US-NATO-Israel Sponsored Al Qaeda Insurgency in Syria. Who Was Behind the 2011 “Protest Movement”? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Six Years Ago: The US-NATO-Israel Sponsored Al Qaeda Insurgency in Syria. Who Was Behind the 2011 “Protest Movement”? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

01-03-18 08:52:00,

Author’s note

The war on Syria started seven years ago in Daraa  on the 17th of March 2011.

The following article first published in May 2011 examines the inception of the jihadist terrorist insurgency.

It recounts the events of March 17-18, 2011 in Daraa, a small border town with Jordan. 

Media reports have finally acknowledged that the so-called “protest movement” in Syria was instigated by Washington. This was known and documented from the very inception of the Syrian crisis in March 2011.

It was not a protest movement, it was an armed insurgency integrated by US-Israeli and allied supported “jihadist” death squads? 

From Day One, the Islamist “freedom fighters” were supported, trained and equipped by NATO and Turkey’s High Command. According to Israeli intelligence sources (Debka, August14, 2011): 

NATO headquarters in Brussels and the Turkish high command are meanwhile drawing up plans for their first military step in Syria, which is to arm the rebels with weapons for combating the tanks and helicopters spearheading the Assad regime’s crackdown on dissent. … NATO strategists are thinking more in terms of pouring large quantities of anti-tank and anti-air rockets, mortars and heavy machine guns into the protest centers for beating back the government armored forces. (DEBKAfile, NATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011) 

This initiative, which was also supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, involved a process of organized recruitment of thousands of jihadist “freedom fighters”, reminiscent of  the enlistment of  Mujahideen to wage the CIA’s jihad (holy war) in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war: 

Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (Ibid, emphasis added)

These mercenaries were subsequently integrated into US and allied sponsored terrorist organizations including Al Nusrah and ISIS. 

The Daraa “protest movement” on March 17-18 had all the appearances of a staged event involving covert support to Islamic terrorists by Mossad and/or Western intelligence.

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“How Dare you Say Peace is the Answer.” … Fear is a Much Better Alternative | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

“How Dare you Say Peace is the Answer.” … Fear is a Much Better Alternative | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

28-02-18 03:22:00,

obama soldiers globalresearch.ca

Relevant article selected from the GR archive, first published by Global Research on February 28, 2015

The following email was sent to me by a Global Research reader, widow of an American serviceman, an unspoken victim of  America’s wars.

Her response shows how effective war propaganda has become, in turning concepts up side down.

Western civilization is threatened, the ISIS bogeyman seeks World domination. Our American way of life is threatened. 

She blames the enemy for the death of her husband, rather than the US government. 

I offered to send her my book regarding the impacts of nuclear war. I signed my email with the words “For Peace”.

She responded by saying:  “How dare you think peace is the answer.”

War is the solution, she says. “total annihilation is the answer. .. What we have to do is to teach nations to fear us”:  

Have we become so complacent of fear that we will not use mass destruction against the Middle East. We did it against Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end all threats from  those who have no regard for other humans?  [first email]

 In response  to your email, I am a military brat  and have good experience with war.

Have you ever been to a little place called Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iran, or Iraq.  I had 6 very good friends, drafted  to Vietnam, who never returned.

I am a war widow and raised an 18 month old son, alone!!

How dare you think peace is the answer.

For countries, that threaten our way of life, war is not good enough to slap hands, total annihilation is the answer.

If we had done that,  ISIS would not be beheading people.

They are encouraging our own people to join ISIS to retaliate against America.

Are you ready to live under ISIS world domination? Remincent of a little man named Adolf Hitler, who annihilated 6 million  Jews.

If we can teach nations to fear us, then we wouldn’t  need war, then our precious military would not die on foreign soil,

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Who Are the US, UK and France Trying to Protect in Syria’s Ghouta?

Who Are the US, UK and France Trying to Protect in Syria’s Ghouta?

28-02-18 03:20:00,

Probably not the Syrians civilians they slaughtered by the hundreds in Raqqa but their old moderate terrorist tools against the Syrian nation and state

Concern for civilians is just another charade in the Western powers’ effort to prolong the existence of terrorist groups as much as possible. We must ask the question which has been avoided and neglected by the corporate media: Who the US, UK and France trying to protect in Eastern Ghouta?

JAISH AL-ISLAM

Notorious Jaish al-Islam is the biggest terrorist group in Eastern Ghouta where they hold their headquarters. They are considered as “moderate rebels” by the West. Just by looking at their name we must ask ourselves how “moderate” such group could be? They are following a Salafist ideology and they are extremely hated by the people of Damascus who see them as the primary cause of their suffering. Jaish al-Islam is a genocidal terrorist organization devoted to the extermination and enslavement of Syrian religious minorities.

Founded on September 29, 2013 as a product of merger of dozens of terrorist groups, the basic core was Liwa al-Islam, which existed two years prior. The founder of that faction was the infamous Zahran Alloush, son of the notorious Saudi backed Salafist scholar Abdullah Muhammad Alloush.

Jaish al-Islam committed horrific terror attacks across Damascus and are responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians. One of the worst crimes they committed was what is known as the Adra massacre, where dozens of civilians were brutally slaughtered, beheaded, and some of them even burned alive. Many civilians abducted from Adra were later paraded in cages in Eastern Ghouta on November 1, 2015. That act drew the utmost outrage of the people of Damascus.

Zahran Alloush was killed in an air strike on December 25, 2015, which was the best Christmas present the citizens of Damascus could receive.

For many years Jaish al-Islam was allied with the Syrian al-Qaeda branch, al-Nusra Front. But the alliance was broken due to their own petty reasons, like the distribution of the money they received from Gulf countries, or fighting over what they plundered and looted during their criminal activities.

Jaish al-Islam is recognized by the West as part of Syrian “moderate opposition”.

HAYAT TARIR AL-SHAM (FORMER AL-NUSRA FRONT,  » Lees verder

Frontrunning: February 28

28-02-18 03:15:00,

  • Dick’s Raises Age for Gun Buyers, Won’t Sell Assault Weapons (WSJ)
  • How Defective Guns Became the Only Product That Can’t Be Recalled (BBG)
  • The First Day of School After Florida Shooting (WSJ)
  • NFL Partners With Pizza Hut After Split With Papa John’s (WSJ)
  • Manafort Joined Trump as Ukraine Work Dried Up (BBG)
  • Summers Warns Next U.S. Recession Could Outlast Previous One (BBG)
  • GM Is Raking In the Cash (BBG)
  • Goldman Sachs, Adviser to the Elite, Wants to Be Your Local Bank (WSJ)
  • U.S. regulators examine Wall Street’s Volcker rule wish list (Reuters)
  • State Health Policies Show Stark Divide Along Party Lines (WSJ)
  • In Syria, Foreign Powers’ Scramble for Influence Intensifies (WSJ)
  • Mogul Is $13 Billion Richer After Leaving NYC for China (BBG)
  • China’s military flexes muscles for domestic objective: more funding (Reuters)
  • Lowe’s Punished by Investors for Not Growing Like Home Depot (BBG)
  • Cyprus’s Anastasiades says no peace talks as natgas standoff persists (Reuters)
  • Big Short’s Eisman Says U.S. Bank Outlook Is Best Since 1990s (BBG)
  • Forecasts for Oil Prices Rise for Fifth-Straight Month (WSJ)
  • Musk’s Dream of Space-Based Internet Sent Others Crashing to Earth (BBG)
  • Bayer to win EU approval for $62.5 billion Monsanto deal (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

– Amazon.com Inc acquired Ring, maker of video doorbells, in a deal valued at more than $1 billion, giving the online giant a bigger foothold in the burgeoning internet business of home security. on.wsj.com/2HQ7KzX

– The White House downgraded the security clearance of senior adviser Jared Kushner last week as part of White House chief of staff John Kelly’s push to tighten control of classified information inside the Trump administration.

 » Lees verder

Did The Fed Save Wall Street With A Temporary QE4?

Did The Fed Save Wall Street With A Temporary QE4?

28-02-18 09:00:00,

Authored by Alex Deluce via GoldTelegraph.com,

The stock market suffered one of its most drastic falls on February 5, 2018. The price of gold rose but as equities started rebounding after the selloff, gold trended lower.

Gold has enacted a portfolio hedge when markets rapidly swing and the recent pullback was no different. However, something was quite bizarre with regards to the Fed’s balance sheet a week after the market meltdown. Recently published data shows that the Fed’s balance sheet increased by 14.1 billion during the week ending February 14th, 2018.

By the looks of it, the Fed had reverted back to “quantitative easing” by printing money out of thin air by injecting $14 billion into the banking system by purchasing mortgage-backed securities.

It’s important to realize, that the cash injected can be leveraged 10x. In other words, the $14 billion injected is $141 billion of leverage for the banks to use for activities such as propping up the stock market.

However, most recently, the Fed’s balance sheet was reduced by $23.2 billion.

By the looks of things, the Federal Reserve is serving Wall Street by providing a safety net around volatility.  Which, of course, is driven by this ridiculous “wealth effect” policy that it has tried to achieve and preserve the last decade. It’s no surprise though, central banks are going to be central banks and continue to compound on disastrous and failed policy errors by repeating their old ones.

So, the question is – what happens this week, following this plunge in the Fed b/s?

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Ole Dammegard | False Flag Origins, Body Scanners, Mandalay Bay Shooting, The Terror Pie & more… | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

Ole Dammegard | False Flag Origins, Body Scanners, Mandalay Bay Shooting, The Terror Pie & more… | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

28-02-18 08:53:00,

On this Episode of THE GOD HOUR we had a rad, in depth conversation with long time false flag researcher, activist and author Ole Dammegard. Diving into the overall agendas of those orchestrating terror events, the tactics used, the potential groups taking part in there execution and what our future could look like. This was definitely one of our favorite episodes to date. Expanding some theories we’ve been pondering and cracking a few new doors open. Wondering why there’s been so many mass media “tragedies” involving vehicles lately? Could body scanners be coming to all public venues? Are we being programmed to accept micro chip installations? If any of those questions interest you, give it a spin.

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About Author

Ole Dammegard was born in Denmark and raised in Sweden, grew up believing he lived in a free and democratic society. As he started to investigate the political assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, he noticed there were some very strange and glaring similarities in these two cases. Since that time, Ole has investigated many other political assassinations, deaths of musicians and false flag events, and has shown the common thread behind them all: the New World Order Agenda. Ole’s aim is to spread this information and to promote a stance of “no-fear”, of peace and recovery from the atrocities and trauma that we have been subjected to for so many years. We are many, they are SO few. Shine the light on these conspiracies, get involved and transcend this evil agenda so we can get on with this amazing and beautiful life.

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Geoengineering, Climate Collapse, Dead Leaves, And Defoliants

Geoengineering, Climate Collapse, Dead Leaves, And Defoliants

27-02-18 10:11:00,

Dane Wigington
GeoengineeringWatch.org

Visible signs of biosphere collapse can be seen everywhere, but how many seem to notice? What would our world be like without trees? We would never know, because without trees, we would not be here. In recent years ever larger numbers of deciduous trees can be found fully foliated with stone dead leaves, even in the middle of winter. Why?

The term DECIDUOUS means that trees that are categorized as deciduous lose their leaves, usually in the autumn. This is a natural process. The term deciduous means “the dropping of a part that is no longer needed” and the “falling away (of a part) after its purpose is finished”. Why are leaves now shriveling up and dying on various species of DECIDUOUS trees (and remaining on the tree) after specific rains in the fall season? Even without the present cold temperatures? Why are leaves (which normally fall off trees) hanging on with many species of deciduous trees all winter long? There is no historical precedent for such a completely unnatural and alarming phenomenon now occurring with many deciduous trees.

This phenomenon is taking place both in urban and wilderness settings alike. While some are claiming that trees fully foliated with dead leaves is normal or natural, such a claim does not hold up to objective investigation of the leaf abscission process. Abscission means that a plant will cut away, various parts of its organism. A tree will abscise a part of itself either to discard a member that is no longer necessary, such as a leaf during autumn, or a flower following fertilization, or for the purposes of reproduction. Most deciduous plants / trees drop their leaves by abscission before winter, whereas evergreen plants / trees continuously abscise their leaves. If a leaf is damaged, a plant may also abscise it to conserve water or photosynthetic efficiency, depending on the “costs” to the plant as a whole. 

Again, living trees that are covered in dead hanging leaves are a recently recognized phenomenon. Are the dead leaf foliated trees any more “normal”

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How Central Banks Stoke Stock Prices | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

How Central Banks Stoke Stock Prices | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

27-02-18 05:50:00,

By Thorsten Polleit

Reading through Security Analysis, the roadmap for investing first published in 1934 by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd, I learned something quite interesting: The basis of stock valuation had changed quite drastically in the period between 1927 and 1929. The stock buying public “departed more and more from the factual approach and technique of security analysis and concerned itself increasingly with the elements of potentiality and prophecy”, write Graham and Dodd.1

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What they mean is that in the pre-WWI world, stocks were typically valued on the basis of a three-part concept: (i) a decent track record of firms’ dividend returns, (ii) a stable and satisfactory earnings record, and (iii) a strong balance sheet, with sufficient backing by tangible assets. The “New-Era” theory of stock valuation reads, summarized in one sentence, as follows: “The value of a common stock depends entirely upon what it will earn in the future.”

Current dividends should only have a slight impact upon a stock’s valuation, and as firms’ asset values did not have an apparent relationship with their earning power, asset values were said to be devoid of importance when it comes to calculating a stock’s “fair price.” A firm’s earnings record was only relevant to the extent that it might indicate what changes in a firm’s future earnings were likely to be expected. In other words, the New-Era theory of stock valuation was quite a break compared to the valuation technique employed in the past.

A Sea Change in Pricing Stocks

According to Graham and Dodd, there were two significant causes why such a change in the approach to stock valuation occurred. First, accounting data of a firm’s past proved to be increasingly unreliable as a guide for making wise investment decisions. The reason for this was rapid changes in demand structures and product and process technologies. Second, the expectation of future rewards became increasingly attractive to many investors, in fact, “irresistibly alluring.”

The New-Era theory of stock valuation, which people followed in the hot phase of the 1927-1929 stock market rally, turned out to suffer from two weaknesses, according to Graham and Dodd.

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UK ready to provide Al Qaeda with airstrikes to support another Assad “chemical weapons” false flag

UK ready to provide Al Qaeda with airstrikes to support another Assad “chemical weapons” false flag

27-02-18 04:20:00,

US President Donald Trump has just lectured NATO on it member’s commitment performance and held a controversial meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and is next week to receive EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with trade matters being high up on the agenda.

Juncker is expected to present Trump with a package of proposals to help smooth relations and potentially heal areas of division, particularly those surrounding Europe’s trade relationship with America. Those proposals are precisely what is cropping up as another area of divergence between some members of the EU, specifically France and Germany, just after a major contention on migration has been driving discord within the Union.

This gets down to whether Europe should offer concessions to Trump on trade while Trump is admittedly describing the Union as a ‘foe’ and has initiated a trade spat with the Union by assessing trade tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, spurring retaliatory tariff measures from the EU Commission.

France, specifically, is opposed to any sort of compromise with Trump on the matter, where Trump is perceived as an opponent to the Union and its unity, whereas Germany is economically motivated to seek an end to the trade dispute under the threat of a new round of tariffs emanating from the Trump administration, and is therefore seeking to find some sort of proposal that Trump will accept and therefore back down on his protectionism against the EU, and Germany in particular.

Politico reports:

Only a week before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker flies to Washington, France and Germany are divided over how much he should offer to U.S. President Donald Trump to end a deepening trade war, say European diplomats and officials.

But, they add, Germany has the upper hand. Berlin is shaping Juncker’s agenda, suggesting three offers that he could take to Trump on July 25 to resolve the dispute, according to people familiar with the plans.

The French are uneasy about the wisdom of such a conciliatory approach, however, and publicly accuse Trump of seeking to splinter and weaken the 28-member bloc, which he has called his “foe.”

Despite Paris’ reservations about giving away too much to the increasingly hostile U.S.

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Terrorists in Eastern Ghouta Breach Ceasefire, Syria Falsely Blamed | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Terrorists in Eastern Ghouta Breach Ceasefire, Syria Falsely Blamed | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

27-02-18 03:30:00,

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: 

stephenlendman.org 

(Home – Stephen Lendman). 

Contact at [email protected].

Security Council Resolution 2401 terms, calling for a 30-day ceasefire, exclude combat operations against ISIS, al-Nusra and al-Qaeda.

All so-called “rebels” in Eastern Ghouta are US-supported terrorists.

They’re holding countless thousands of Syrian civilians hostage as human shields, unexplained by Western media, waging daily anti-Syria, anti-Russia propaganda war.

Security Council Res. 2401 was adopted on Saturday. As expected, US-supported terrorists breached it straightaway.

Using foreign-supplied weapons and munitions, al-Nusra, Jaysh al-Islam, and Failak al-Rahman have been shelling Damascus before and after the ceasefire took effect.

Russian center for Syrian reconciliation General Yuri Yevtushenko said the following:

“The humanitarian, social and economic situation in Eastern Ghouta is deliberately exacerbated by the leaders of the al-Islam, Failak Ar-Rahman and Jabhat al-Nusra illegal armed groups.”

“All attempts by the government of the Syrian Arab Republic to provide assistance to civilians in the Eastern Ghouta region are blocked by militants.”

On Sunday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said

“(t)he situation in East Ghouta is worsening.”

“In the enclave, (five terrorist) groups (including) Jayish al Islam, Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, Failak Ar-Rahman and Fajr al-Umma have created a joint center for coordinating the actions of the groups,” adding:

Despite adoption of SC Res. 2401 on Saturday, their hostilities continue unabated.

Russia’s reconciliation center issued a warning, saying “data at our disposal indicates the leaders of militant units are preparing a provocation that will involve the utilization of chemical weapons in order to accuse the government forces of deploying chemical weapons against peaceful civilians.”

On the same day, US-led terror-bombing continued in northern Syria – on the phony pretext of combating the ISIS which Washington created and supports.

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), Deir Ezzor province al-Shaafa and Dharat Allouni villages were struck, killing at least 29 civilians, injuring others.

Eastern Ghouta is a 60-square mile enclave in the Damascus countryside,

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Here’s How Syrian “Rebels” Manipulate Information From East Ghouta | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Here’s How Syrian “Rebels” Manipulate Information From East Ghouta | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

27-02-18 03:30:00,

In the Eastern Ghouta in Syria, a war is fought every day without the exclusion of blows: it is the war of information and propaganda, which is consumed by tweets and photographic material on social networks. Objective: to bring public opinion to its own side, at any cost and by any means. The sources that much of the Western information has used to describe what has been happening in recent weeks are the same as those of the 2016 Battle of Aleppo: the Syrian Human Rights Observatory guided by the dissident Rami Abdel Rahman based in London, the controversial White Helmets, the notorious humanitarian NGO founded by James Le Mesurier and, above all, a dense network of “activists” and “reporter” who declare themselves independent. 

What we have undertaken is a journey into this conflict, where children become an extraordinary propaganda tool, able to leverage the emotional side: after all, with the advent of the internet and the new social media, indignation has become a formidable tool and to be effective it must be channeled in a precise and well-determined direction – in this case aimed at demonstrating that “Assad bombards and kills his own people” and to discredit the allies Russia and Iran.

That the war is terrible and brutal there is no doubt but the truth that we want to tell you is another thing, and it is much more complex and sophisticated. To tell you about it, we wore the role of a “rebel” activist, entering the wide and widespread social network that fights against the Syrian government of Assad with photos, movies and hashtags.

Among the first we spoke with is Alaa Al-Ahmad, quoted by the Guardian on 7 February. In his biography on Twitter he describes himself as “a Syrian journalist” of the Eastern Ghouta and contributor to the Damascus Media Center, “an information platform that covers social, military and political events in Syria fairly”. To our precise question, however, he himself confirms the presence of three Islamist groups widely financed from abroad in Eastern Ghouta: al-Rahman Corps, Army of Islam (or Jaysh al-Islam) and Ahrar al-Sham, three organizations Salafis who aim to create a Caliphate in Syria in which to apply the Islamic Shari’a law.

We are talking about the same Islamist organizations that,

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The Status of Kosovo and Metohija: Brussels Unites the Albanians and Divides the Serbs | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

The Status of Kosovo and Metohija: Brussels Unites the Albanians and Divides the Serbs | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

27-02-18 03:25:00,

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) guaranteeing sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia and the autonomy of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia, is the highest binding legal document that obliges all UN members, including the member states of the EU, NATO, the OSCE, the OIC, the African Union.

Resolution 1244 is the only reliable basis and the framework for any negotiations concerning status. Owing to grave mistakes made by the former Serbian authorities, the UN system has produced certain damaging documents of advisory and non-binding character. It is vital that no similar or even greater mistakes are made either presently or in the future, which would make Serbia’s future position and prospects more difficult.

The single most important parameter is the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia. It is expected to be observed by all, and the relevant responsibility grows with the rising position of each of us in the society. Respect towards the country’s Constitution is the measure of the seriousness of the state, statesmen and citizens.

Trading’ Kosovo and Metohija for gaining EU membership is unacceptable, because the values concerned are not comparable. Membership is welcome, provided it is offered devoid of blackmails and ‘an exclusive membership fee’.

Having regard to all the experiences so far it is clear that any guarantees of the EU for any future agreements or solutions concerning Serbia could not be trustworthy.

The EU has been initiating agreements in which the rights of Serbia are but a bait, luring Serbia to consent and sign, whereas the true goal is to establish Serbia’s obligations in favour of the other side and, thus, gain foothold for endless blackmails using unique “argument”: ‘If you want EU membership!’ The only implemented provisions of the UNSC Resolution 1244 are those in the interest of the Kosovo Albanians, and none of those which guarantee the rights of the Serbs and of Serbia.

Serbia has fulfilled all of her obligations stemming from the EU sponsored Brussels Agreement of 2013, whereas the Albanians failed to observe the only one they pledged to – the establishment of the Community of the Serbian Municipalities. The EULEX was accepted as being ‘status-neutral’, but in reality this Mission was and remains the key instrument for the establishment of an illegitimate quasi-state on a part of the territory of Serbia.

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Confirmed US Meddling in Thailand’s Upcoming Elections

Confirmed US Meddling in Thailand’s Upcoming Elections

27-02-18 07:03:00,

Originally appeared at the New Eastern Outlook

As the United States intensifies its accusations against Russia for alleged interference in the 2016 US Presidential Elections, the United States itself is found engaged in confirmed political interference worldwide.

This includes in Southeast Asia where Washington is attempting to rush elections in Thailand in hopes of returning their proxy Thaksin Shinawatra and his Pheu Thai Party (PTP) to power.

US efforts to rush elections have included a concerted effort to dismiss those pointing out Shinawatra’s continued influence in Thai politics, his continued leadership role over PTP and his intentions to use PTP to return to power.

However, Reuters in an article titled, “Thai ex-PM Thaksin calls for party unity ahead of promised election,” would openly admit Shinawatra, a convicted criminal and fugitive, still controlled PTP whose leadership met with him recently in Hong Kong.

The article reported:

Fugitive former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra met lawmakers from his Puea Thai Party in Hong Kong where he called for party unity ahead of an approaching general election, party members said on Monday.

Many are watching to see how Puea Thai Party performs in a vote which the military government has promised to hold in November but which could be delayed.

The necessity of repeated delays of Thai elections is very straightforward.

Thaksin Shinawatra, a convicted criminal and fugitive still seeks to contest them through PTP. Allowing a fugitive to contest elections would be illegal and any election outcome influenced by a convicted criminal and fugitive would be illegitimate. By delaying elections, the current Thai government hopes to continue diminishing Shinawatra’s unwarranted influence and wealth as well as that of his political network inside Thailand until both are no longer an obstruction to legal elections.

Yet despite this straightforward necessity to delay elections, the United States and its European partners have repeatedly demanded rushed elections. Additionally, the US and its European partners are funding myriad opposition fronts ranging from media platforms to street protests to place pressure on the current Thai government to rush elections while it is believed Shinawatra and PTP still have a chance of winning.

US Meddling

The US accuses Russia of political interference based on activities of the Internet Research Agency a recent FBI indictment insinuated was linked to the Russian government.

 » Lees verder

Netanyahu Besieged. Regime Change in Israel? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Netanyahu Besieged. Regime Change in Israel? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

26-02-18 08:29:00,

The best Prime Minister the country has ever had. This is how Benjamin Netanyahu is referred to by his numerous supporters. He is the longest-serving one, since the founder of the Jewish state, David Ben Gurion; he served longer than Vladimir Putin. But now apparently he is on the way to follow his predecessor Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to jail. Olmert had been released only half a year ago after a stint for corruption and obstruction of justice. Now it is Netanyahu’s turn to taste prison gruel, instead of pink champagne he is so fond of. Or isn’t it?

The ring of the Israeli PM story sounds familiar to the American ears. Israeli police chief Ronny Alsheich has fought Bibi as hard as Robert Mueller has fought Trump, while Israeli media stood with police against the Prime Minister as the New York Times stood with the FBI. Every accusation had been leaked to the press well in advance of hearing. The public had been bombarded by accusations day and night. Not only the PM, but his wife, the woman of harsh and ungenerous manners, has been relentlessly attacked, too.

The modus operandi of Israeli Police had been very similar to that of the FBI. They found a weaker man, jailed him for some invented (or true) reason and forced him to denounce the boss. What was done to Manafort and Gates, had been done to Shlomo Filber and Ari Harow.

In the end, the police succeeded in forcing the PM’s inner circle to betray their benefactor. Shlomo Filber, the suspended Communications Ministry director general had spent “two nights in a cold, stinking cell in the police lockup”, says Haaretz newspaper, and he agreed to incriminate Netanyahu.

It is very, very difficult to plead for the Israeli Prime Minister. He is the man who killed the peace process, who enslaved the Palestinians, tortured Gaza, bombed Syria and Lebanon, did his damnedest to ignite war with Iran. However, there is a Jewish tradition of apologia, of finding positive points of villains.

A Rabbi had been asked to eulogise Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, the man greatly hated by observant Jews of his day. He said, Herzl had never walked into a WC while wearing phylacteries;

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NATO Prepares for War With Russia

NATO Prepares for War With Russia

26-02-18 08:21:00,

Endgame Russia: NATO Sprawl Invades Eastern Europe, No More Illusions
ROBERT BRIDGE | 26.02.2018 | FEATURED STORY
Endgame Russia: NATO Sprawl Invades Eastern Europe, No More Illusions

In the past, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) justified its militarization of large swaths of Eastern Europe by pointing to the omnipresent threat of terrorism, or some ‘rogue’ foreign state, inherently understood to be Iran. Today the mask has slipped and it is no longer denied that NATO’s primary target is Russia.
But first, a trip down nightmare lane. The road to ruin – at least as far as US-Russia relations were concerned – began immediately following the 9/11 terror attacks. Three months after that fateful day, in December 2001, George W. Bush informed Vladimir Putin that the US was withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a strange move considering that the treaty had kept the peace between the nuclear superpowers since 1972. This geopolitical “mistake,” as Putin rightly defined it, allowed the US to begin the process of deploying a missile defense system, smack on the border with Russia, allegedly to shield the continent against an attack by Iran. Never mind the fact that Tehran had absolutely no reason, not to mention the wherewithal, to carry out such a suicidal mission. But Washington has never been one to let facts get in the way of a forced move on the global chess board.
Thus, the Bush administration advocated on behalf of a land-based missile defense system with interceptors based in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic. However, due to serious objections from Russia, not to mention the apprehensive citizens of the host countries, the plan had reached an impasse in 2008 – just as Obama was replacing Bush in the White House. Some would call that impeccable timing. What happened next can only be described as a devious sleight of hand on the part of Washington.
In September 2009, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama, announced to great fanfare that the US would “shelve” the Bush plan. This announcement was received in Moscow and beyond as a sign that America’s first black president was truly the real deal when it came to working on behalf of global peace. Suddenly, it appeared that the Bush reign of error had been an ugly anomaly, a bad eight-year dream.  » Lees verder

Who are the US, UK and France trying to protect in Eastern Ghouta?

Who are the US, UK and France trying to protect in Eastern Ghouta?

26-02-18 08:17:00,

This is an extract from Eastern Ghouta in the shoes of Aleppo: the media propaganda again on BalkansPost.com

Eastern Gouta in the shoes of Aleppo: the media propaganda again | Jordi Bernabeu Farrús

Concern for civilians is just another charade in the Western powers’ effort to prolong the existence of terrorist groups as much as possible. We must ask the question which has been avoided and neglected by the corporate media: Who the US, UK and France trying to protect in Eastern Ghouta?

Jaish al-Islam

Notorious Jaish al-Islam is the biggest terrorist group in Eastern Ghouta where they hold their headquarters. They are considered as “moderate rebels” by the West. Just by looking at their name we must ask ourselves how “moderate” such group could be? They are following a Salafist ideology and they are extremely hated by the people of Damascus who see them as the primary cause of their suffering. Jaish al-Islam is a genocidal terrorist organization devoted to the extermination and enslavement of Syrian religious minorities.

Founded on September 29, 2013 as a product of merger of dozens of terrorist groups, the basic core was Liwa al-Islam, which existed two years prior. The founder of that faction was the infamous Zahran Alloush, son of the notorious Saudi backed Salafist scholar Abdullah Muhammad Alloush.

Jaish al-Islam committed horrific terror attacks across Damascus and are responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians. One of the worst crimes they committed was what is known as the Adra massacre, where dozens of civilians were brutally slaughtered, beheaded, and some of them even burned alive. Many civilians abducted from Adra were later paraded in cages in Eastern Ghouta on November 1, 2015. That act drew the utmost outrage of the people of Damascus.

Zahran Alloush was killed in an air strike on December 25, 2015, which was the best Christmas present the citizens of Damascus could receive.

For many years Jaish al-Islam was allied with the Syrian al-Qaeda branch, al-Nusra Front. But the alliance was broken due to their own petty reasons, like the distribution of the money they received from Gulf countries, or fighting over what they plundered and looted during their criminal activities.

Jaish al-Islam is recognized by the West as part of Syrian “moderate opposition”.

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US Empire Goals? Only 22 Countries Have Never Been Invaded By Britain

US Empire Goals? Only 22 Countries Have Never Been Invaded By Britain

26-02-18 12:28:00,

Oh, no, no, no, America is not a colonizer.

Before WWII, we were isolationists, hesitant to enter WWI until pressured into it by the bickering aristocrats of Europe and, again, hesitant to enter WWII until invaded by Imperial Japan, the country that bombed Pearl Harbor, causing the US to enter the war. After WWII, the US did not colonize the conquered territories. We pulled out of Europe and Japan, quickly, leaving them to govern themselves. 

Due to fears of communist expansion, after WWII, the US spent boatloads of taxpayer money and lost countless men, fighting in foreign civil wars to prevent one side of a far-flung, foreign nation from being taken over by the communist-infested other side. This was a mistake, humbly admitted by many American leaders. But we pulled out of those countries; we did not colonize them.

In recent decades, we acted in alliance [with other countries] to prevent one Arab country from overtaking another Arab country in the Gulf War. We defended our nation when it was attacked by radical Islamic terrorists, a group of student visa holders treated very well in America that committed a mass murder of 3,000 American civilians on September 11, 2001. Did America’s leaders take it too far, extending a necessary, defensive military attack on Afghanistan, the country that harbored the mass-murdering terrorists, to other countries? Yes.

Nation building was a mistake. It does not work. It was not extensive enough or long enough in duration to be labeled colonization, however, AND, unlike the colonization pursued by other countries, the US did not seize the natural resources of the countries where it tried nation-building projects. A few US companies did made bank on the war clean-up, but the oil was left intact for the native populations.

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And now for some “Dammegarding” | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

And now for some “Dammegarding” | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

26-02-18 12:25:00,

Please be aware of hidden clues in the latest Florida shooting pointing towards Dallas, Texas, March 18, the Majestic Theater on ELM STREET, same street where JFK was assassinated. That or, Houston on March 4th. Both locations are preparing for drills, In Dallas, even the Parkland Hospital will be involved (where JFK was brought after the shooting).

Liked it? Take a second to support Ole on Patreon!

About Author

Ole Dammegard was born in Denmark and raised in Sweden, grew up believing he lived in a free and democratic society. As he started to investigate the political assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, he noticed there were some very strange and glaring similarities in these two cases. Since that time, Ole has investigated many other political assassinations, deaths of musicians and false flag events, and has shown the common thread behind them all: the New World Order Agenda. Ole’s aim is to spread this information and to promote a stance of “no-fear”, of peace and recovery from the atrocities and trauma that we have been subjected to for so many years. We are many, they are SO few. Shine the light on these conspiracies, get involved and transcend this evil agenda so we can get on with this amazing and beautiful life.

 » Lees verder

Next Stage of Net Neutrality Conflict Begins | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Next Stage of Net Neutrality Conflict Begins | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

25-02-18 11:01:00,

On Thursday, the FCC’s net neutrality rule was published in the Federal Register. This was the official start of the next phase of the campaign to protect the open Internet as a common carrier with equal access for all and without prejudice based on content (net neutrality).

There are multiple fronts of struggle to make net neutrality a reality: Congress, the courts, states and communities. This is part of a campaign to create an Internet for the 21st Century that is fast, reliable and available in all communities.

Polls show widespread support for net neutrality. Last year, polling found 77% of people in the UniteS States “support keeping the net neutrality rules, which are already in place” and 87% agree that “people should be able to access any websites they want on the internet, without any blocking, slowing down, or throttling by their internet service providers.” The FCC’s net neutrality rule does the opposite of the national consensus, and if members of Congress want support from Internet users, they need to reverse the FCC’s rule.

Tech Policy Poll conducted by Civis Analytics, 2,475 adults, June 22-23, 2017.

Open Internet Survey conducted by Republican consulting firm IMGE andcommissioned by INCOMPAS, 1,502 registered voters between June 26-29, 2017.Net Neutrality Survey conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by Mozilla, 1,008 adults, May 24-25, 2017.

Repeal the FCC Anti-Net Neutrality Order In Congress

Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congress can reject a federal agency’s decision. The net neutrality movement has 60 legislative days to push Congress to reverse the FCC’s order and return net neutrality rules that reclassified the Internet under Title II of the Federal Communications Act. Title II classification ensured the Internet was a common carrier with equal access for all. The movement is working in both bodies of Congress to put elected officials on record for their positions so they can be held accountable.

Net neutrality proponents have been organizing for a Resolution of Disapproval under the CRA since the FCC announced its decision last December. There are already enough co-sponsors to ensure a vote in the Senate,

 » Lees verder

Canada’s Freeland Has Been Telling the Same Russia Lie Dutch FM Was Forced to Resign Over

Canada’s Freeland Has Been Telling the Same Russia Lie Dutch FM Was Forced to Resign Over

25-02-18 10:30:00,

Freeland has been lying about meeting President Putin when she did not

The Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra (lead image, left) resigned his post this week after admitting he had publicly and repeatedly lied that he had met with President Vladimir Putin when he had not done so.  

The Dutch press, which initiated the investigation exposing the lie, reports that in his resignation speech to the Dutch parliament  Zijlstra confessed “the biggest mistake of my political life…The Netherlands deserves a minister who is above any doubt.”

In Canada, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland (right) – appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in January 2017 — has been lying about meeting President Putin when she did not.

No Canadian newspaper has investigated Freeland’s lying, and she has expanded the lie to meetings with other Russian officials, which also did not happen.  The Toronto Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen and the state-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) have also failed to report Zijlstra’s resignation for his Putin lie; their editors blocked the Reuters  and Bloomberg  wire reports, which have been running on Canadian newsroom screens,  from appearing in print.   

The lie, which Zijlstra started during election campaigning in 2006 in The Netherlands and repeated over the decade following,  was compounded because Zijlstra also claimed he had heard Putin say Russia was making territorial claims on Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Baltic states as part of a “Greater Russia”.

Putin said nothing of the sort. Neither had the Shell oil company executive, who told Zijlstra what he had heard Putin remark at a meeting with Dutch executives. 

Zijlstra had fabricated what his source told him in order to exaggerate his importance to Dutch voters, and make the Russian threat he had conjured  a vote-winner for himself. In 2006 Zijlstra was elected to the Dutch House of Representatives for the first time. He was re-elected in 2012, and appointed foreign minister in October 2017.   

The Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, whose reporting forced the removal of Zijlstra,  

concluded

 that  Zijlstra’s lie  “ha[s] exploded in his face… His attempt to reinvent himself as a senior diplomat stranded by a lie [makes him] an ambitious politician who told one story too much.”

In Canada,

 » Lees verder

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, February 24, 2018, #133

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, February 24, 2018, #133

24-02-18 07:47:00,

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, February 24, 2018, #133

Dane Wigington
GeoengineeringWatch.org

Record weather whiplash, record heat, record flooding, record species die-off, record low polar ice, record high military budgets, record quantities of bomb manufacturing, record ammunition purchases by “Homeland Security”, and even now the epidemic of public denial and apathy continues with converging catastrophes closing in from every direction. Is there any chance of waking the masses in time to make a difference? The latest installment of Global Alert News is below.

Many have managed to convince themselves that the current industrialized militarized society will somehow magically continue into the future, such a notion is not grounded in reality. The window of time to potentially make a difference is rapidly running out. If the human race is to have any chance of changing course, the masses must be awakened to all that is unfolding. All of those who are already aware are needed to help sound the alarm, sharing and circulating credible data is key.
DW

This week’s GeoengineeringWatch.org outreach booth is at the OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa, California, and is shown below. My most sincere and continuing gratitude to the Gem Faire exhibition organizers for facilitating and setting up this very effective booth in every week’s Gem Faire location. The schedule for upcoming Gem Faire events is HERE. A geoengineeringwatch.org booth will be at all events, thanks to the steadfast support of Gem Faire.

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“Shocked And Outraged”: Four Broward Deputies Waited Outside School As Children Were Massacred

“Shocked And Outraged”: Four Broward Deputies Waited Outside School As Children Were Massacred

24-02-18 03:14:00,

Coral Springs police officers were “stunned and upset” to learn that four Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies were stationed outside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and had not entered to face an active shooter, sources with the Coral Springs, FL police department told CNN.

Coral Springs Police Chief Tony Pustizzi

As the details behind the Police response to the Valentines Day massacre emerge, it appears that the Coral Springs Police department – which sent 130 officers to the scene – put their lives on the line while Broward County officers simply waited for backup as the scene unfolded, in what some Coral Springs officials perceived to be a derilection of duty. 

Some Coral Springs police were stunned and upset that the four original Broward County Sheriff’s deputies who were first on the scene did not appear to join them as they entered the school, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. It’s unclear whether the shooter was still in the building when they arrived.

The four Broward Sheriff’s deputies, including fired High School Resource Officer Scot Peterson, had their pistols drawn from behind the safety of their vehicles, and “not one of them had gone into the school,” according to shocked Coral Springs police. 

The Coral Springs officers, meanwhile, entered the building soon after they arrived on scene to confront the shooter, while the four Broward County Sheriff’s deputies remained outside until two more officers arrived on scene along with an officer from neighboring Sunrise city.  

What these Coral Springs officers observed — though not their feelings about it — will be released in a report, likely next week. Sources cautioned that tapes are currently being reviewed and official accounts could ultimately differ from recollections of officers on the scene.

According to the Coral Springs Chief of Police, Anthony Pustizzi, roughly 40 of the 130 officers rushed into the building after the initial officers responded, where they carried 23 victims were carried out to medics, 20 of whom survived. 

I can’t believe that @DLoesch and the @NRA refused to let those four @browardsheriff deputies stop the school shooting. https://t.co/11fsmhjxSS

— jon gabriel (@exjon) February 23,

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The Power of Western Propaganda | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

The Power of Western Propaganda | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

24-02-18 01:56:00,

Guardian columnist and leader writer Natalie Nougayrede wrote an op-ed last month examining propaganda in our supposed age of “lies and distortion.”

Focusing on “Russian propaganda” and “Russian meddling” in the West’s political systems, Nougayrede argued

“citizens who live in an authoritarian, disinformation-filled environment deal daily with the reality of propaganda in ways we can’t fully experience, because we live outside of it.”

The former executive editor of Le Monde newspaper in France couldn’t be clearer. Propaganda is what “they” — Russia and other official enemies — do, not something the West dirties its hands with.

In actual fact, as academics David Miller and William Dinan argue in their 2007 book A Century of Spin, sophisticated propaganda has played a central role in Western societies, particularly the United States, since the early 20th century. US dissident Noam Chomsky calls this “thought control in a democratic society.”

As the “father of public relations” Edward Bernays explained in his 1928 PR manual,

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society … it is the intelligent minorities which need to make use of propaganda continuously and systematically.”

This echoes the thoughts of another influential intellectual of the period, Walter Lippmann, who believed the elite needed to be protected from the “bewildered herd” — the general public. How? By “the manufacture of consent.”

Indeed the term “public relations” is itself a brilliant bit of spin, with Bernays noting:

“Propaganda got to be a bad word because of the Germans … using it [in 1914-18]. So what I did was to try to find some other words. So we found the words Council of Public Relations.”

As the quotes from Bernays and Lippmann highlight, Dinan and Miller say:

“Public relations was created to thwart and subvert democratic decision making” — to “take the risk of out of democracy,” to paraphrase the title of the seminal 1995 book written by Australian academic Alex Carey.

With the US and UK at the heart of the global advertising and marketing industries and corporations funding think tanks and huge lobbying efforts, today the general public faces hundreds of thousands of talented professionals spending billions trying to influence their thoughts and actions.

 » Lees verder

Michael Savage says Trump should arrest George Soros for meddling in elections (Video)

Michael Savage says Trump should arrest George Soros for meddling in elections (Video)

24-02-18 11:40:00,

US President Donald Trump has just lectured NATO on it member’s commitment performance and held a controversial meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and is next week to receive EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with trade matters being high up on the agenda.

Juncker is expected to present Trump with a package of proposals to help smooth relations and potentially heal areas of division, particularly those surrounding Europe’s trade relationship with America. Those proposals are precisely what is cropping up as another area of divergence between some members of the EU, specifically France and Germany, just after a major contention on migration has been driving discord within the Union.

This gets down to whether Europe should offer concessions to Trump on trade while Trump is admittedly describing the Union as a ‘foe’ and has initiated a trade spat with the Union by assessing trade tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, spurring retaliatory tariff measures from the EU Commission.

France, specifically, is opposed to any sort of compromise with Trump on the matter, where Trump is perceived as an opponent to the Union and its unity, whereas Germany is economically motivated to seek an end to the trade dispute under the threat of a new round of tariffs emanating from the Trump administration, and is therefore seeking to find some sort of proposal that Trump will accept and therefore back down on his protectionism against the EU, and Germany in particular.

Politico reports:

Only a week before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker flies to Washington, France and Germany are divided over how much he should offer to U.S. President Donald Trump to end a deepening trade war, say European diplomats and officials.

But, they add, Germany has the upper hand. Berlin is shaping Juncker’s agenda, suggesting three offers that he could take to Trump on July 25 to resolve the dispute, according to people familiar with the plans.

The French are uneasy about the wisdom of such a conciliatory approach, however, and publicly accuse Trump of seeking to splinter and weaken the 28-member bloc, which he has called his “foe.”

Despite Paris’ reservations about giving away too much to the increasingly hostile U.S.

 » Lees verder

On The Nature of Independent Journalism: Conversation with Andre Vltchek | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

On The Nature of Independent Journalism: Conversation with Andre Vltchek | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

24-02-18 09:50:00,

“Those who claim to be objective, like the BBC or The New York Times, are actually the most professional propagandists for the Western Empire.”

This week I spoke with philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist Andre Vltchek. Vltchek has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are his tribute to “The Great October Socialist Revolution” a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire .” His other books can be viewed here . Also be sure to watch Rwanda Gambit , his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism” . Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter .

I spoke with him about his work and his thoughts on the current imperialist attack on independent media.

Danny Haiphong: Could you give readers a background of who you are and what influenced you to take the path of independent journalism and analysis?

Andre Vltchek: First of all, lately I do not define myself as a journalist. These days, journalism is synonymous with ‘the oldest profession.’ I document the world, I inform people, and I propagate my political ideas. I don’t believe in “objective reporting” – it simply does not exist, and those who claim to be objective, like the BBC or The New York Times, are actually the most professional propagandists for the Western Empire. I may be a propagandist, too, but for the left, for internationalism. And I never hide who I am and where I am standing, politically.

Who am I? To simplify it: a Cuban-style unapologetic ‘Commie’ and internationalist. Russian-born, quarter Chinese, novelist, filmmaker, philosopher and revolutionary.

DH: In the years I’ve followed your media work,

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The Coming of “First Northern War” in Syria | New Eastern Outlook

The Coming of “First Northern War” in Syria | New Eastern Outlook

24-02-18 09:43:00,

13974160957_e7ec9a51f0_b

With war into its sixth year, it is by far clear to all the actors involved in the Syrian conflict that Syria’s Assad is not “going home” now. But then this war was never about one person only; it was more about changing fundamentally the Middle East’s geo-political landscape in favour of the Wahabbi centre of power and rid the region of a common enemy of the US, Israel and Wahabbism: Iran. And the way the war in Syria progressed throughout these years and the way this has changed the geo-political landscape to the orchestrators’ disadvantage means that this war in not going to end any time soon. A mere restoration of Syrian territory and sovereignty wouldn’t do that either, for the real target of the US-Saudi nexus, Iran, remains strong, in fact much stronger than it was before the beginning of this war. Therefore, now that Russia and its allies have succeeded in voiding imperial agenda of ‘regime change’ in Syria, the US still has no intention of withdrawing. Instead, it is now demanding from Russia to ‘distance’ itself (its interests) from that of Iran in Syria, and thus allow some space for the US and its regional allies, Saudia and Israel, to push back Iran from Syria and limit its influence. This is hardly any doubt that this is a sure-short recipe of new conflict in the region.

The US, on its part, has already started to build up pressure. This is evident from the video the Pentagon released in the second week of February, showing its fighter jets destroying a Russian tank, giving a message to Russia about the imperative of staying clear of the next fight-in-the-making in Syria in which Israel is taking the lead, evident from its last week’s air attacks and the consequent downing of one its jets. There is no doubt that Israel has the US backing against Iran. And there is hardly any doubt that the momentum for an armed conflict isn’t being built. Its most recent manifestation came from James Mattis on February 12 when he defended Israel’s ‘right to self-defence.’ He said:

“Israel has an absolute right to defend itself, and I think that’s what happened yesterday.”….“They don’t have to wait until their citizens are dying under attack before they actually address that issue.

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With America’s help, Saudi Arabia is moving to become a nuclear power

With America’s help, Saudi Arabia is moving to become a nuclear power

23-02-18 03:08:00,

US President Donald Trump has just lectured NATO on it member’s commitment performance and held a controversial meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and is next week to receive EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with trade matters being high up on the agenda.

Juncker is expected to present Trump with a package of proposals to help smooth relations and potentially heal areas of division, particularly those surrounding Europe’s trade relationship with America. Those proposals are precisely what is cropping up as another area of divergence between some members of the EU, specifically France and Germany, just after a major contention on migration has been driving discord within the Union.

This gets down to whether Europe should offer concessions to Trump on trade while Trump is admittedly describing the Union as a ‘foe’ and has initiated a trade spat with the Union by assessing trade tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, spurring retaliatory tariff measures from the EU Commission.

France, specifically, is opposed to any sort of compromise with Trump on the matter, where Trump is perceived as an opponent to the Union and its unity, whereas Germany is economically motivated to seek an end to the trade dispute under the threat of a new round of tariffs emanating from the Trump administration, and is therefore seeking to find some sort of proposal that Trump will accept and therefore back down on his protectionism against the EU, and Germany in particular.

Politico reports:

Only a week before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker flies to Washington, France and Germany are divided over how much he should offer to U.S. President Donald Trump to end a deepening trade war, say European diplomats and officials.

But, they add, Germany has the upper hand. Berlin is shaping Juncker’s agenda, suggesting three offers that he could take to Trump on July 25 to resolve the dispute, according to people familiar with the plans.

The French are uneasy about the wisdom of such a conciliatory approach, however, and publicly accuse Trump of seeking to splinter and weaken the 28-member bloc, which he has called his “foe.”

Despite Paris’ reservations about giving away too much to the increasingly hostile U.S.

 » Lees verder

$21 Trillion Missing From US Federal Budget | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

$21 Trillion Missing From US Federal Budget | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

23-02-18 01:54:00,

A whopping $21 trillion was found to be missing from the US federal budget as of this past year. Michigan State University professor Mark Skidmore and a group of graduate students made the discovery after overhearing a government official say that the 2016 report by the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General (DoDIG) indicated $6.5 trillion in adjustments had not been adequately documented. Attempting to uncover the reasoning behind these adjustments, Skidmore began to dig deeper. He says,

“I tried to call and talk to the office of the Inspector General to talk to the people who helped generate these reports. I haven’t been successful, and I stopped trying when they disabled the links.”

Despite disabled links and neglect from officials, the verification of over $6T inspired Skidmore and his students to comb through thousands of Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports for 1998-2015. Regarding his findings Skidmore stated,

“This is incomplete, but we have found $21 trillion in adjustments over that period. The biggest chunk is for the Army. We were able to find 13 of the 17 years and we found about $11.5 trillion just for the Army.”

While it is known that the US government engages in unauthorized spending and black budgets, quantities this large abuse basic Constitutional and legislative requirements on spending.

Shortly after Skidmore’s findings went public, the Pentagon announced the first ever audit of the Department of Defense (DoD). Despite having $2.2 trillion in assets and billions of dollars flowing through each year, the DoD has famously never been audited. The audits are set to begin in 2018 and occur annually. Defense Department’s Comptroller David L. Norquist is confident that the audits will benefit DoD’s management of tax dollars and establish confidence in Congress as well as the American people.

In addition to depriving the public of access to US financial accounting reports by disabling links, the Department of Defense’s clever implementation of an audit bent this twisted act into a positive endeavor for DoD in the eyes of the public. Apart from Forbes’ brief report on the adjustments and NPR’s recognition of the first audit, US corporate media has failed to recount any of the details concerning the shocking findings of Mark Skidmore’s research.

 » Lees verder

Frontrunning: February 23

23-02-18 01:51:00,

  • China seizes control of Anbang Insurance as chairman prosecuted (Reuters)
  • How Deal-Hungry Anbang Went From Waldorf to Woe (BBG)
  • Anbang and the Financialization of China’s Economy (WSJ)
  • Trump’s Stance on Gun Laws Raises Pressure on Congress (WSJ)
  • Chance of halting Brexit now close to 50:50, says leading campaigner (Reuters)
  • May’s Cabinet Backs the Brexit Plan the EU Is Poised to Reject (BBG)
  • VIX Funds Face Fresh Scrutiny From U.S. Regulators (BBG)
  • ‘There was a mistake made’: No. 2 FBI official addresses criticism over fumbled tip on Nikolas Cruz (WaPo)
  • How Tesla and Google Jets Could Enrich a Money-Losing Gold Miner (BBG)
  • Trump to announce new sanctions against North Korea as South prepares for talks (Reuters)
  • Walmart’s Big Bet on Home Delivery Hasn’t Paid Off Yet (BBG)
  • Wall Street May Be Rethinking Its Relationship With Guns (BBG)
  • Numbers starting to add up for Tesla trucks (Reuters)
  • When ‘Married, Filing Separately’ Lowers Your Tax Bill (WSJ)
  • Turkish forces shell convoy headed to Syria’s Afrin region (Reuters)
  • Watch Wall Street Analysts Lose Their Mind Over Free Candy (BBG)
  • Global watchdog to put Pakistan back on terrorist financing watchlist (Reuters)
  • Trump calls meeting on biofuels policy after refiner bankruptcy (Reuters)
  • General Mills to buy pet food maker Blue Buffalo for $8 billion (BBG)
  • Figure skating: Zagitova gives OAR first Pyeongchang gold (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

– China’s insurance regulatory agency Friday took control of hard-charging, acquisitive Anbang Insurance Group, saying the action is needed to avoid a collapse of the firm following suspected illegal activity and the downfall of its once-highflying chairman.

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The Crisis of Social Democracy: From Norway to Europe | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

The Crisis of Social Democracy: From Norway to Europe | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

23-02-18 11:42:00,

The crisis of social democracy is being debated throughout Europe. Several of the historically strong labour parties have almost been wiped out in elections while others seem unable to recover from defeat. In the last few years, a number of social democratic parties have ended up with only one-digit election results (Greece, Ireland, Iceland, The Netherlands, France), while others have experienced major setbacks. The Norwegian Labour Party, for example, has experienced two of its worst elections – 2001 and 2017 – since the 1920s. Significant parts of the trade union movement believe that the party made serious blunders in what should have been an easy victory during last year’s parliamentary elections.

There is no doubt that social democracy is in a deep international crisis, although conditions vary widely between different countries. In Norway, this is neither about the deputy leader Trond Giske’s sexual abuse case, nor about the party leader Jonas Gahr Støre’s class background, nor about the army of party bureaucrats that has increasingly taken on roles as political actors in the party. These cases may be understood as symptoms of the crisis facing the party, but nothing more. If we really want to understand the crisis of the Labour Party, or more generally, of social democracy, we will have to go a little deeper into the current historical juncture.

Class Compromise at the Root of the Crisis

The dominant role of social democracy in much of 20th century Europe can hardly be understood without an analysis of how the economy and class relations developed during this period. Most important in this connection is the shift from confrontation to compromise in the relationship between the trade union and labour movement on one side and the employers/right-wing forces on the other. This historic compromise between labour and capital was the result of comprehensive class struggles that shifted the balance of power in favour of labour. [Ed.: see “The Rise and Fall of the Welfare State.”] Employers viewed such a compromise as a tactical step in order to dampen and counteract the radicalism of a strong and growing trade union movement. The compromise developed over time, but in Norway it was formalized through the first Collective Basic Agreement between the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO in Norwegian) and the Norwegian Employers’ Association in 1935.

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