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Ukraine: NATO in the Constitution

Manlio Dinucci The day after the signature of NATO’s membership protocol with North Macedonia as its 30th member, Ukraine did something without precedent: it included in its Constitution the engagement to enter officially into NATO and the European Union at the same time. On 7 February, on a proposition by President Petro Poroshenko – the oligarch who made himself rich by plundering public properties, and who is once again a candidate for the presidency – the Kiev parliament, by 34 votes to 35 with 16 abstentions, approved these amendments to the Constitution. The Introduction pronounces “the irreversible movement of Ukraine towards Euro-Atlantic integration”; articles 85 and 116 state that it is a fundamental duty of the parliament and the government to “obtain Ukraine’s full membership of NATO and the EU”; article 102 stipulates that “the President of Ukraine is the guarantor of the strategic decisions of the State aimed at obtaining full membership of NATO and the EU”. The inclusion in the Ukrainian Constitution of the engagement to enter officially into NATO bears with it …

More than Cognitive Dissonance

James O’Neill The dilemmas in Canberra go beyond the respective roles of the American alliance and the China trade. They point to a failure to grasp historical reality and an equal failure to perceive the future. In a recent article in the influential Australian website Pearls and the Irritations (www.johnmenadue.com 8 January 2019) Richard Broinowski set out several reasons why the Canberra establishment (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Defence and Prime Minister and Cabinet) in what he described as cognitive dissonance, have adhered to a pro-American set of foreign policies. This has been the case ever since then Prime Minister John Curtin’s announcement in 1941 that Australia was essentially switching its reliance on the United Kingdom to an equally dependent relationship with the United States. Mr Broinowski then set out a series of factors why this has been the case at least up until the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, although he now detects some faint glimmerings of a possible policy shift. Such optimism in my view lacks a solid evidential foundation. …

Trump buys Lithuania, EU cannot stop it

Adomas Abromaitis The US President Donald Trump is no doubt a successful businessman who rules his country as if it is a huge enterprise. And this kind of management, to his mind, should lead to success. And very often it really works. As a wise leader he uses different tools to reach his goals. Thus, the most cunning one, which the US exploits in Europe – is indirect influence on the EU countries to gain the desired aim. The EU just becomes a tool in “capable hands” of the US. Let us give the simple example. Last week the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania announced that the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Šiauliai would get de-icing equipment for the aircraft. It would be acquired according to an agreement signed by the Ministry of National Defence and the AF Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate (AFSACD) on behalf of the Government of the United States of America. It is known that the new equipment is capable of removing ice from aircraft at the necessary height which …

10 reasons the Gilets Jaunes are the real deal

Ontological security, everybody needs it, but right now it’s in short supply especially in big metropolitan cities. No wonder people are confused and afraid, walking backwards into the future, stuck knee-deep in mud dreaming that somehow, through some miracle, everything will, “Please!”, return to normal.

So amidst of this Tower of Babble, let’s resolve one conundrum for you.

Here are ten reason the Gilets Jaunes (unlike US sponsored colour revolutions) are the real deal, by which I mean the direct expression of the people of France.

The Peaceful Revolution

Eddison Flame How can we fight back against people who control a vast military, financial, information, and surveillance machine? Fiona Jenkins, via Off-Guardian The problem is even worse than you suggest. Not only do they control a vast military, the whole financial apparatus, a massive and invasive system for information indoctrination and narrative control, and a sprawling inescapable system of surveillance, but, in addition to all this, we the people are entirely dependent on their system for our very survival. As it stands right now, there is no safe place in the world for anyone to escape this system. You are absolutely right to wonder, what can we do? I disagree however with your proposal that a potentially viable solution is the one expressed by Moti Nissani in his article The Al-Sabbah Brigade. Anyway, his solution is not my solution. I will say, however, that his formulation of the problem we are facing is excellent. His analysis of the situation we find ourselves in is very good, and I encourage anyone who doubts the claims …

“Pride of Britain” Nominee Under Suspicion of Fraud

Samara Levy is a British woman who runs a charity called “Samara’s Aid Appeal”. She has a very active website as well as a Facebook page. She is a registered UK Charity, which claims to send supplies and medical units to Syria. She has an extensive network of donor-volunteers across UK, and is networking with many churches of all denominations. However, the claims she makes are seemingly not verifiable, and in direct contradiction with the facts on the ground in Syria.

Reasons to be Cautious About US ‘Withdrawal’ from Afghanistan

James O’Neill The weeks before and since Christmas have seen and acceleration of efforts to achieve a peace settlement in Afghanistan. What is interesting is that the countries that have an important stake in there being a peaceful Afghanistan are driving this process: Russia, China, Pakistan and the Central Asian republics adjoining or proximate to Afghanistan. Officials from these countries have met in Moscow and Astana and are due to meet again in Moscow on 5th February 2019. They are meeting with Taliban officials, Afghanistan Government representatives (although not in an official capacity) and in the case of the Moscow talks, a representative from the United States embassy. The United States has had separate talks with Taliban officials in Qatar, and on 25 January announced an agreement in principle on two crucial and linked elements: that foreign forces would be withdrawn within 18 months from the signing of a ceasefire agreement; and a pledge by the Taliban that Afghanistan would not be used as a basis for attacks by Islamic extremists on the United States. …

Geopolitics of Europe and the Iron Law of Evolutionary Biology

Europe after the Brexit, NATO 70 summit and Turkish geopolitical vertigo Professor Anis H. Bajrektarević A freshly released IMF’s World Economic Outlook brings no comforting picture to anyone within the G-7, especially in the US and EU: The WTO Round is dead, trade wars are alive, GCC is rapidly Pakistanising while the Asia’s core and its Far East slows down. No comfort either comes from the newest Oxfam Report – Are 26 billionaires worth more than half the planet?, which the ongoing Davos Vanity Fair known as the WEF tries to ignore (as much as this gathering of capital sustains in ignoring labor). The Brexit after-shock is still to reverberate around. In one other EXIT, Sartre’s Garcin famously says: ‘Hell is other people’. Indeed, the business of othering remains lucrative: The NATO 70 summit will desperately look for enemies. Escalation, the best way to preserve eroded unity, requires the confrontational nostalgia dictatum. Will the passionately US-pushed cross-Atlantic Free Trade Area (substituting the abandoned TIPP and compensating for the Sino-US trade war) save the day? Or, …

Goodbye ‘Freedom and Democracy’ – Hello ‘Rules-based International Order’

Paul Carline The banner and the clarion call of western countries, and their own asserted legitimation – especially when they are engaging in illegal wars and coups – used to be “freedom and democracy”: the precious gift they were generously and selflessly offering to a backward world – or one allegedly in the ‘chains’ of Socialism/Communism. There was “Radio Free Europe”, for example, pushing out western liberal propaganda, primarily against the countries of the former Soviet Union. The Washington-based “Freedom House” organisation, which claims to be independent, has around 150 staff members in Washington and in ‘field offices’ around the world. Its President is Michael J. Abramowitz, who before joining Freedom House in 2017, was director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education. Before that, he was National Editor and then White House correspondent for the Washington Post. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former fellow at the German Marshall Fund and the Hoover Institution. He is also a board member of the National Security …

Conflict is Inevitable

Eddison Flame If you’re anything like me, you’ve been absolutely apoplectic this past week watching the United States orchestrate a coup in Venezuela. It has been truly horrifying to watch these things play out in real time. How bold and brazen these thugs have become! They are doing this right out in the open, they hardly even try to hide it. Sure, they try to whitewash it with their typical propaganda. They obfuscate key facts. They paint Maduro as a criminal. They pass around cheap slogans. Where once we heard, “You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists”, now it’s, “either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem”. It’s disgusting. It’s disgusting and horrifying and saddening, but if there is one thing we gain by watching this tragedy unfold, it is a certain clarity about the state of affairs in the world. It makes it clear that conflict is inevitable. I’m not talking about conflict in Venezuela, although conflict is likely to unfold there too, …

Marie Colvin, Homs and Media Falsehoods about Syria

Rick Sterling Introduction In April 2014 I was part of an international delegation which visited Syria for five days. The delegates came from many different countries. Among the notables were the Irish Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire, a Syrian-British heart surgeon and Julian Assange’s father. We spent time in Damascus, then traveled by bus to Latakia and then Homs. In each city we had meetings with political, religious and social leaders but also had time to wander about and talk with people on the streets. In Latakia, I met Lilly Martin, an American woman who married a Syrian and has lived there, raising a family for the past twenty-five years. She told me how wrong the western media coverage was. Contrary to media claims, she said protests in Latakia were violent from the start. After the first outbreak of violence, Syrian police and military were ordered to not carry weapons. Protesters continued to burn and destroy government offices with incidents of knifing and shooting unarmed police. When we visited Homs I was struck by how normal …

The Gilet Jaune and ‘France Profonde’

On the 12th December The Guardian published an article entitled ‘If you want to understand the Gilets Jaunes you have to leave Paris’. The article had little by way of analysis, devoting itself to a standard ‘look at me I live in France’ one up man-ship. The ostensible topic, the Gilets Jaunes and questions concerning why now, who and where – surely the key questions – were largely ignored or under-developed.

The real enemy of the people

We are all familiar with the terms ‘conspiracy theorist’ and ‘apologist’ used by the establishment and media to smear independent journalists, experts and other commentators. For some time this has been particularly evident in the debates we see over the Middle East wars and Russia. It’s common knowledge that people who use these terms can’t argue rationally so resort to smears.

Fighting Poverty with a Hate Map?

Eve Mykytyn The name, ‘The Southern Poverty Law Center’ (SPLC) is misleading. The SPLC does little to alleviate poverty, its own stated goals are: fighting hate, teaching tolerance and seeking justice. At the moment, the SPLC lists its top activity as attempting to remove confederate statues and symbols. This is consistent with the activity for which the SPLC is best known, its annual hate map in which it locates so-called ‘hate’ groups on a map of the United States. How is it that one of the best funded poverty law centers acts as an arbitrar of hate instead of as an advocate for the poor? The term ‘Poverty Law’ usually refers to the more mundane practice of representing poor people who are often un or under represented. But the SPLC’s goals are more lofty, here’s how Mark Potok, a Senior Fellow at SPLC described his mission. It’s not what most in the media think. Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate crimes…Our criteria for a ‘hate group’… have nothing to do with criminality …

WATCH: Truth At Last: The Assassination of Martin Luther King

Released last year, to mark the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination, James Corbett’s documentary examines King’s attempt to reconcile the civil rights and anti-war movements of the late 1960s, and dispels the many myths that have grown up around both King and his alleged assassin. On April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered a passionate speech at Riverside Church in New York staking out his opposition to the war in Vietnam. One year later to the day, he was assassinated. Now, 50 years after that fateful day, the truth about the assassination of Dr. King can finally be told. A full transcript, along with links and sources, can be found here.

Demands (to Save the World)

Eddison Flame Any good movement needs a list of demands, so I resolved to come up with one. Of course, for now anyway, these are just my demands, but I hope they will inspire others to either share them, reorder them, or come up with other demands of their own. Really, it would be ideal if we could have a public vote about these things. I don’t mean a local governmental vote, but a global public vote. We need to get on the same page globally so we can prioritize what needs to be done. Sure, it may be that we don’t all agree about all the same things, but maybe we all do agree on some things. If we could just determine exactly what these things are, then we could work on a plan to fix them. So, and this is really an aside from the main point of this article, what we need is a system with a few particular features. First, accounts should be verifiable (such that each account is verifiable as …

“Conspiracy theories” believed by “significant minority” hamper govt’s foreign policy plans

A revealing observation is contained in a recent UK government report UK FOREIGN POLICY IN A SHIFTING WORLD ORDER (published December 2018) and brought to our attention on Twitter. Apparently the regrettable tendency for a “significant minority” to believe in “conspiracy theories about their own government” is seriously hampering said government in getting support for its imperialist wars and mass murder! We just hope all those who have helped promote such insane ideas are feeling suitably repentant. senior official expressed concern a significant minority of Western citizens… increasingly believing in conspiracy theories about their own governments… affected Administration’s ability to achieve broad public support for aspects of foreign policy. https://t.co/o2qLNKHzqI pic.twitter.com/fjQafNeF4a — Read A Lie Too Big To Fail,JFK and the Unspeakable (@_jrvansant) January 17, 2019   The report can be found in full HERE. See section 107 for quote above.

Main Street, Brexitland

Tony Sutton People in England’s northern towns and cities are scared. Their fears stoked by xenophobic right-wing media, they hate Europe, and they hate migrants. But, most of all, they hate the way they are being squeezed into poverty by a post-industrial society that has turned dreams into nightmares and replaced hope with despair. Tony Sutton returns to South Shields, a place he once called home. British Prime Minister Theresa May has committed herself to a scheme to arrest the economic decline of the north of England. However, the plan, originally proposed by George Osborne, who was axed as Chancellor of the Exchequer after the exit of David Cameron as PM following June 2016’s Brexit vote, is still in a state of incoherence, doubletalk and indecision. Nothing has yet been agreed, other than the setting up of a think tank – the Northern Powerhouse Partnership – by Osborne, who raised few hopes for speedy action when he said at its mid-September launch: “Trying to turn around 100 years of relative economic decline is not going …

Disbelief, Magic Realism and Doublethink Alive and Well in 2018

James O’Neill In the Lyrical Ballads, a collection of essays and poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the latter coined the phrase “the willing suspension of disbelief.” It enabled the reader to overlook the logical improbabilities or fanciful concoctions to achieve “poetic faith”. A modern equivalent might be “magical realism,” a term conceived by the German writer Franz Roh in 1925. Magical realism was a style of fiction that painted a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements. Both terms are appropriate when one considers modern journalism, especially as applied to some of the major stories of 2018. Four events during that year illustrate the point. Crimea Although not strictly speaking a 2018 story, it nonetheless ran strongly through 2018, blending a number of sub stories, all with the common element of Russia bashing. Following the United States inspired and financed Maidan coup in February 2014, the Crimeans decided to hold a referendum as to whether or not they would remain part of Ukraine (to whom they were ‘gifted’ …

British think-tanks call for “US leadership” in Europe

“Rebuilding US leading role is the key for European security” say British experts, but the new political realities inspire doubts Jeremy McCoy January 4, Anonymous hackers released the new batch of documents from the Integrity Initiative – a government-funded program run by the London based Institute for Statecraft. The Institute for Statecraft describes itself as “an independent body dedicated to refreshing the practice of statecraft, to improving governance and to enhancing national security”. The Integrity Initiative: Defending Democracy against Disinformation is one of the Institute’s projects aimed at countering Russian propaganda as well as all kinds of “attempts to influence the policies and undermine the societies of the West”. The released batch inter alia contains the files on the Integrity Initiative efforts in the USA. These documents worth being examined more carefully because they show a questionable approach to European security shared by some British think tankers. The experts believe a reassertion of the US political and military domination in Europe is the only way for the West to counter Russia, China and Daesh/IS. “The …