December 15, 2014

Is Obama ready for an about-face to recognize Assad? Will Syria provide the strike force against ISIS?

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DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 14, 2014, 7:46 PM (IDT)

Bashar Assad gets a new lease of life
High expectations based on unconfirmed reports swirled around Arab capitals Sunday, Dec. 14, that US President Barack Obama, in league with Moscow and Tehran, had turned his longstanding anti-Assad policy on its head. He was said to be willing to accept Bashar Assad’s rule and deem the Syrian army the backbone of the coalition force battling the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
If these expectations are borne out by the Obama administration, the Middle East would face another strategic upheaval: The US and Russia would be on the same side, a step toward mending the fences between them after the profound rupture over Ukraine, and the Washington-Tehran rapprochement would be expanded.

The Lebanese Hizballah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah would be vindicated in the key role they played in buttressing President Assad in power.
But for Saudi Arabia and Israel, an Obama turnaround on Assad would be a smack in the face.

November 29, 2014

UN´s “Internet of Everything” and EU Chair´s Proposal to Stifle Free Internet Now: Censorship, Control of Everything and Everybody.





Abstract: The free internet is already dead, in principle; the active censorship comes in the very near future.

The Italian Presidency of the EU has brought out a bill, acc. to which there would be  2 classes of internet, a  fast lane and a crawler lane. In addition, it will be left to the corporate Internet service providers to decide what to censor away – probably after diffuse EU instructions. A conditional licence for internet publishers – bloggers – is expected.


In addition, the “Internet in Everything” now takes over the Internet – which is monitoring us, using surveillance cameras everywhere – and readable live images from them anywhere on smartphones.

The UN prepares to introduce early governmental control of all that appears in the Internet. The NSA is, inter alia, is even tapping metadata of all e-mails, phone calls, etc. via submarine fibre cables worldwide in cooperation with our governments.
Since 1995,  a back-door key for the NSA is built into Microsoft’s software so that our Internet traffic can be read at any  time – before Microsoft releases information on the “error”.

November 5, 2014

The Growing Ambitions of the Ideology of Universalism and Their Destructive Consequences


Many thanks for the invitation, many thanks for giving me such a prestigious role at this important gathering. I still have to figure out whether and why I eventually deserve it.
 
One possible explanation for it could be the specific, in many respects unique perspective from which I look at the current world and at the topic of this conference, which I hope can be summarized and simplified as “Communication Problems between the East and the West”. This perspective of mine offers three potential comparative advantages:

- I spent all my life not very far from here, in Prague, which is located in the heart of Europe, in its geographical midpoint. People usually don´t know that Vienna is located east of Prague. And the proud “Viennese” (die echten Wiener) don´t like to hear this. In spite of the special position of the place where I was born and where I live, I have always been experiencing a lack of communication between Western and Eastern Europe and even more a lack of understanding of my part of Europe on the side of – in Donald Rumsfeld´s fallacious terminology – the “old” Europe. This contributed to my increased sensitivity in this respect and to my almost automatic inclination to be on the side of those who feel similarly misunderstood;

November 3, 2014

The German Path to an EU Army (1)



2014/10/31 BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is accelerating the creation of an EU army by means of bilateral military cooperation. The German-Polish "declaration of intent" on military cooperation of the two countries' armed forces, signed in the middle of the week, is the most recent example. The agreement includes the exchange and joint training of officers as well as "placing combat battalions under the other's command." Poland's military already has more than 130 German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks with another 120 due to be added by 2015. A sales contract to this effect was signed last year, only a few months after an agreement "reinforcing" cooperation between the Navies of the two countries was signed. At the time, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) spoke of a "totally new quality" in the military cooperation between Germany and Poland. His successor, Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), has gone a step further and had her ministry declare that the intended German-Polish military cooperation is a "trendsetting milestone for the development of European integrated military structures." 
A Milestone
On the occasion of the "Bundeswehr Conference" that ended yesterday in Berlin, a high-level conference of the German military, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) and her Polish counterpart Tomasz Siemoniak signed a "declaration of intent on German-Polish military cooperation." The agreement includes both the creation of a "mutual military liaison organization" as well as the "reinforcement of cooperation" between their respective cavalry troops, military reconnaissance, mountain troops and artillery units. The exchange of officers and the joint officer cadet training is also planned. The agreement's declared objective is to reinforce the "interoperability" of both armies - coordinate their synergy in battle. Consequently, the "declaration of intent" is not limited to training sessions and maneuvers, but explicitly provides for "placing combat battalions under the other's command." Following the signing, von der Leyen had her ministry declare that the intended German-Polish military cooperation is a "trendsetting milestone for the development of European integrated military structures." This label is synonymous with an EU army under German command.[1]


October 31, 2014

Putin To Western Elites: Play-Time Is Over


Via Club Orlov blog,

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946.

In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. Previously, the game of international politics was played as follows: politicians made public pronouncements, for the sake of maintaining a pleasant fiction of national sovereignty, but they were strictly for show and had nothing to do with the substance of international politics; in the meantime, they engaged in secret back-room negotiations, in which the actual deals were hammered out. Previously, Putin tried to play this game, expecting only that Russia be treated as an equal. But these hopes have been dashed, and at this conference he declared the game to be over, explicitly violating Western taboo by speaking directly to the people over the heads of elite clans and political leaders.

The Russian blogger chipstone summarized the most salient points from Putin speech as follows:

October 28, 2014

7 Things The Middle-Class Can't Afford Anymore


Though there is some debate over the exact income a middle class household brings in, we do have an idea of who the middle class are — most working class people. Today's bourgeoisie is composed of laborers and skilled workers, white collar and blue collar workers, many of whom face financial challenges. Bill Maher reminded us a few months back that 50 years ago, the largest employer was General Motors, where workers earned an equivalent of $50 per hour (in today's money). Today, the largest employer — Wal-Mart — pays around $8 per hour.

The middle class has certainly changed. We've ranked a list of things the middle class can no longer really afford. We're not talking about lavish luxuries, like private jets and yachts. The items on this list are a bit more basic, and some of them are even necessities. The ranking of this list is based on affordability and necessity. Therefore, items that are necessity ranked higher, as did items that a larger percentage of people have trouble paying for.

Vacations


A vacation is an extra expense that many middle-earners cannot afford without sacrificing something else. A Statista survey found that this year 54% of people gave up purchasing big ticket items like TVs or electronics so they can go on a vacation. Others made sacrifices like reducing or eliminating their trips to the movies (47%), reducing or eliminating trips out to restaurants (43%), or avoiding purchasing small ticket items like new clothing (43%).

New vehicles


October 18, 2014

ATTACK OF THE NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS - NGOs

by Tom DeWeese
September 23, 2014
NewsWithViews.com

Who are these None governmental Organizations (NGOs) shock troops and how do they operate? It’s a vast matrix composed of both the private NGO groups and representatives of the UN and representatives of a large number of US federal agencies – all working together behind the scenes, quietly making policy for the rest of us. And when I attempt to expose them, they vehemently deny there is any collusion – “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” Sorry, the truth is – this is how it works. No vote. No public input. Just the enforcement of an agenda through the willing participation of private groups and government officials who forgot their purpose was to represent, not dictate to us. The NGOs are the storm troopers necessary to make it all happen. The article below was first published in 2008, has been included in the American Policy Center’s “Stop Agenda 21 Action Kit,” and most currently the subject of one of APC’s Free monthly stop Agenda 21 instructional webinars – available in the webinar archives on the APC website, www.americanpolicy.org. Tom DeWeese

One rarely hears of it. Few elected officials raise an eyebrow. The media makes no mention of it. But power is slowly slipping away from our elected representatives. In much the same way Mao Tse tung had his Red Guards, so the UN has its NGOs. They may well be your masters of tomorrow, and you don’t even know who or what they are.

October 13, 2014

Statement by I. B. Ivanov, Chairman of the Russian General Military Union


Statement of I. B. Ivanov, Chairman of the Russian General Military Union, the former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the of Donetsk People’s Republic
8 Sep 2014

The audience, for days on end, has been asking questions: where did the popular Donetsk People’s Republic TV program “Journal of the Militia”—publicly declared in Kiev a dangerous “informational weapon of terrorists”—vanish to; and why does its presenter no longer appear on TV? I have no doubts that esteemed viewers have noticed much more serious changes in the internal life of the DPR, and, perhaps, have already been able to connect these events…

It is unlikely to have been a secret to anybody that, as early as mid-August, events which could be qualified as a coup occurred in Novorossiya, which dramatically changed the political face of the Militia and of the Republic itself. The TV program “Journal of the Militia” was shut down shortly thereafter on the insistence of the new Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the DPR and newly appointed Commander-in-Chief, Aleksandr Zakharchenko. On his personal order the author of these lines was forbidden from appearing on TV or speaking publicly on the subject of what is happening at the front and in the internal life of Novorossiya.

let me bore you rigid with the new great game

Niqnaq

The New Great Game Round-Up #70
Christoph Germann, Oct 12 2014


After nearly four years of negotiations, Euia und Kazakhstan finally agreed on a new enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) during this week’s visit to Brussels by Kazakh Pres Nazarbayev. The agreement, which is expected to be signed next year, “aims to boost cooperation in around 30 policy areas including trade and foreign and security policy.” Given that the PCA is a far weaker deal than the infamous Euian Association Agreement and that the Kazakh negotiators had been “very careful that the agreement respects their country’s commitments to the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union,” the Kremlin won’t get worked up over the agreement. With the PCA negotiations concluded, Nazarbayev travelled to Minsk to attend summits of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Community and, most importantly, the Eurasian Economic Union, which welcomed a new member:
Armenia Joins Eurasian Union
After months of delay, Armenia formally joined the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on Friday, drawing praise from Putin. Pres Sarkisian signed a corresponding accession treaty with Putin, Pres Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and Pres Lukashenko of Belarus at a summit of the Russian-led bloc held in Minsk. Speaking at the gathering, both Putin and Sarkisian expressed hope that the treaty will be ratified by the parliaments of the EEU’s three member states by the end of this year. The Armenian president said his country should be able to “start working from Jan 1” as a full-fledged member of an alliance which critics fear will restore Russian hegemony over much of the former Soviet Union.

October 7, 2014

NATO: From Defense to Offense


All America and much of the world had already heard President Barrack Obama’s pledge to not send U.S. combat units back into Iraq where up to 160,000 U.S. troops were engaged in combat during the Iraq War of 2003-2011. But to be sure we got the message, he said it again in his September 10 address to the nation on how he plans to deal with the jihadists known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. While announcing the dispatch of an additional 475 U.S. military personnel to Iraq — bringing the total to about 1,600, the president emphasized his pledge.

“As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission — we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq,” he said. “But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment.”

But during the debate that followed over whether the effort to, in the president’s words, “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State can succeed without U.S. ground forces, what went largely overlooked was Obama’s plan to commit American “boots on the ground” elsewhere. American troops will soon be in Estonia. And Latvia. And Lithuania. In a speech that received considerably less attention, Obama, in the Estonian capital Tallinn on September 3, spoke of plans for a new NATO readiness force to facilitate potential military interventions in the Baltic nations.