Understanding international relations (2/2), by Thierry Meyssan

understanding-international-relations-(2/2),-by-thierry-meyssan

25-08-20 08:59:00,

After dealing with the equality of men and the difference of cultures, and then reminding us that we distrust people we do not know, the author discusses four aspects of the Middle East: the colonial creation of states; the need for people to hide their leaders; the sense of time; and the political use of religion.

This article is a follow-up to :
Understanding International Relations (1/2)“, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, August 18, 2020.

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The Great Mosque of Damascus is the only place of worship in the world where every day for centuries Jews, Christians and Muslims have prayed to the same one God.

A historical region, artificially divided

Contrary to popular belief, no one really knows what the Levant, the Near East or the Middle East is. These terms have different meanings depending on the times and political situations.

However, today’s Egypt, Israel, the State of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Gulf principalities have several millennia of common history. Yet their political division dates back to the First World War. It is due to the secret agreements negotiated in 1916 between Sir Mark Sykes (British Empire), François Georges-Picot (French Empire) and Sergei Sazonov (Russian Empire). This draft treaty had fixed the division of the world between the three great powers of the time for the post-war period. However, as the Tsar had been overthrown and the war did not go as hoped, the draft treaty was only applied in the Middle East by the British and French alone under the name of the “Sykes-Picot agreements”. They were revealed by the Bolsheviks, who opposed the Tsarists, notably by challenging the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) and helping their Turkish ally (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk).

From all this, it emerges that the inhabitants of this region form a single population, composed of a multitude of different peoples, present everywhere and closely intermingled. Each current conflict is a continuation of past battles. It is impossible to understand current events without knowing the previous episodes.

For example, the Lebanese and the Syrians of the coast are Phoenicians. They commercially dominated the ancient Mediterranean and were overtaken by the people of Tyre (Lebanon) who created the greatest power of the time,

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Understanding international relations (1/2), by Thierry Meyssan

understanding-international-relations-(1/2),-by-thierry-meyssan

24-08-20 08:58:00,

When it comes to international relations, many things are obvious and need not be said. However, they get better when they are made explicit. In this first part, the author deals with the feeling of superiority that we all have and our unconscious prejudices about the meanness of our interlocutors. In the next episode, he will deal with the specificities of the Middle East.

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In this representation of the Battle of Poitiers (8th century), painted in the 19th century by Charles de Steuben, the Muslims are barbarians, both violent and lascivious.

In the course of the many e-mail exchanges, it has become clear that many things I take for granted are not for all my readers. So I would like to return to some ideas, some of which you will find generalities, but others of which will surprise you.

We are all human, but different

It is possible to travel to a faraway country and visit only hotels and sunny beaches. It is good for tanning, but it is humanly a missed opportunity. This country is inhabited by people like us, maybe different in appearance, maybe not, with whom we could have exchanged. Surely we would have befriended some of them.

Generally speaking, the traveller will always make sure that he or she has more resources than the locals he or she is visiting so that he or she can deal with any problems. Perhaps, in this comfortable situation, the traveller will then embark on a journey into the unknown and approach a few people. But who is going to speak freely and entrust his joys and anxieties to a rich traveller?

It is the same in international relations: it is always very difficult to really know what is happening abroad and to understand it.

International relations involve several actors who are foreign to us. That is to say, men who have traumas and ambitions that we don’t know and that we have to share before we can understand them. What is important to them is not necessarily what concerns us. There are good reasons for this that we need to find out if we want to move forward with them.

Each of us considers our values to be qualitatively superior to those of others until we understand why they think differently.

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The Dark Past Of The Bank For International Settlements – Activist Post

the-dark-past-of-the-bank-for-international-settlements-–-activist-post

21-07-20 06:09:00,

By Patrick Wood

Although written by Patrick Wood in 2005, nothing has changed to the historical fact of the Bank for International Settlements. It has nefarious roots and is the tap-root of modern globalization.

Today, the BIS is getting headlines again because of its direction of central banks to go cashless. It is readily apparent that it has not lost its power and influence over the decades. For anyone wanting to understand how the world really works, this is a must-read paper. ⁃ TN Editor

Created at Bretton Woods in 1944, the World Bank has been dominated by international bankers, members of the Council on Foreign Relations and later by the  Trilateral Commission. Corruption and self-interest run amok as public funds are converted into private hands by the billions.

Introduction

According to The World Bank, it is,

“a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. We are not a bank in the common sense. We are made up of two unique development institutions owned by 184 member countries—the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Each institution plays a different but supportive role in our mission of global poverty reduction and the improvement of living standards. The IBRD focuses on middle income and creditworthy poor countries, while IDA focuses on the poorest countries in the world. Together we provide low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, communications and many other purposes.” 1

High-minded words like “our mission of global poverty reduction and the improvement of living standards” would lead the reader to believe that the World Bank is some benevolent and global welfare organization. Why is it then, that The World Bank joins the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization as organizations that people around the world just love to hate?

In reality, the World Bank carries its weight, along with the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements, to forcibly integrate minor countries of the world into its own brand of capitalistic democracy.

World Bank Beginnings

A sibling of the IMF,

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International Proposals for Warrantless Location Surveillance To Fight COVID-19 – Activist Post

international-proposals-for-warrantless-location-surveillance-to-fight-covid-19-–-activist-post

21-05-20 10:14:00,

By Katitza Rodriguez and Seth Schoen

Time and again, governments have used crises to expand their power, and often their intrusion into citizens’ lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen this pattern play out on a huge scale. From deploying drones or ankle monitors to enforce quarantine orders to proposals to use face recognition or thermal imaging cameras for monitoring public spaces, governments around the world have been adopting intrusive measures in their quest to contain the pandemic.

EFF has fought for years against the often secretive governmental use of cell phone location data. Governments have repeatedly sought to obtain this data without a court order, dodged oversight of how they used and accessed it, misleadingly downplayed its sensitivity, and forced mobile operators to retain it. In the past, these uses were most often justified with arguments of law enforcement or national security necessity. Now, some of the same location surveillance powers are being demanded—or sometimes simply seized—without making a significant contribution to containing COVID-19. Despite the lack of evidence to show the effectiveness of location data to stop the spread of the virus, a number of countries’ governments have used the crisis to introduce completely new surveillance powers or extend old ones to new COVID-related purposes. For example, data retention laws compel telecom companies to continuously collect and store metadata of a whole population for a certain period of time. In Europe, the Court of Justice of the European Union declared such mandates illegal under EU law.

Like other emergency measures, it may be an uphill battle to roll back new location surveillance once the epidemic subsides. And because governments have not shown its effectiveness, there’s no justification for this intrusion on people’s fundamental freedoms in the first place.

Individualized Location Tracking

Mobile carriers happen to know their subscribers’ phone’s locations (usually the same as the locations of the subscribers themselves) from moment to moment because of the way cellular networks work. That knowledge has turned into one of the most extensive data sources for governments—and not infrequently advertisers, stalkers, or spies—interested in tracking people’s movements. But while phone location data is sufficient to show whether someone went to church or the movies,

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International Finance’s Anti-China Crusade

international-finance’s-anti-china-crusade

06-04-20 12:30:00,

There is a strong anti-China current being promoted in right-wing circles and some neo-liberal ones in light of the coronavirus epidemic.

These forces are seeking to redirect real criticisms of globalization – deindustrialization, stolen intellectual property, and trade deficits – and utilize them for support for regime change operations and possibly even war against China for the financial self-interest of a few American oligarchs. It’s similar to how anti-immigration sentiment was swerved into concerns about Islam’s illiberalism in hopes of advancing Israeli interests in Europe and promoting neo-conservative wars in America.

While the Trump government’s tariffs are a welcome policy in the national interest, it also refuses to fix any of the domestic problems that allow for China to always win due to the plutocratic stranglehold American capitalists have on the US government.

The US elite is divided on China. On the one hand, there is a steadily weakening wing that seeks to continue America’s relationship with the Asian superpower in hopes of keeping a foot in the door and gradually liberalizing it.

On the other side of the debate, there are figures like George Soros, Peter Thiel, and disgraced and exiled billionaire criminal Guo Wengui who see the Chinese pseudo-National Socialist system as antifragile in the face of the passive liberal subversion that helped take down the Soviet Union.

Neither Soros, Thiel, Trump or Wengui are interested in combating globalization, but only in destroying what they perceive to be a barrier to it. For Soros, he shrouds his personal financial interest thwarted by the Chinese state in the language of “human rights” familiar to the liberal-left. Thiel has tapped a number of “alt” right-wing personalities and phony populists to try and construct a civilizational and even implicitly racial clash narrative to support his business interests in India and America. Wengui’s weapon has been Steve Bannon, who has been making his appeal to whoever will have him as a neo-con jingo, reviving silly language about “liberating” the Chinese people even though we Americans have no freedom ourselves.

Anti-China? Yes. Pro-America? No.

It’s easy to mistake the discourse of China hawks for sincere patriotism. While Donald Trump ran on a platform of bringing American industry home, the Trump administration’s actual policies in recent years have not achieved this.

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