Author: Vaska

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The NeoNazis Protesting Trump

by George H. Eliason An Open Letter to Those Who Voted for Clinton and may not realise the company they are keeping when they take to the streets There isn’t an easy, kind, or right way to open this conversation with people that have stood up for the rights of people worldwide as well as on the home front for decades. Any and every starting point seems wrong. Since there is no good starting point, let’s go to the honest one. The current political climate be damned. How are 25% of American voters, the percentage that voted for Hillary, now a protesting majority?  What’s the makeup of that 25%?  Do all of them care about women’s, human or civil rights? These questions aren’t as difficult to answer as the truth will be to hear, especially for progressives.  I’m going to show why the best qualified candidate Bernie Sanders never stood a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected to the US presidency.  To get there, look at the simple math which shows that if Sanders …

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EU imports 15 times more from illegal Israeli settlements than from Palestinians

by Defend Democracy Press, Dec. 31, 2016 “The gap between Europe’s rhetoric on illegal settlement growth and our actions is widening. We have reached a nonsensical situation where we are economically and financially sustaining the very obstacles to peace we so often condemn. This new report brings together powerful and pragmatic suggestions for a change in policy to truly advance peace,” said Chris Doyle, Director of Caabu. A broad coalition calls on Europe to move decisively beyond rhetoric on settlements. The European Union imports fifteen times more from Israel’s illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory than from Palestinians themselves, a new report [1] from a coalition of 22 non-governmental organisations including Caabu, Christian Aid UK and Ireland, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Diakonia revealed today. The report, entitled “Trading Away Peace: How Europe helps sustain illegal Israeli settlements”, is the first to compare available export data from Israeli settlements and Palestinians, highlighting the inconsistency at the heart of EU policy. The EU states, “settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle …

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Zuroff: Someone in EU should wake up and explain what is going on in Croatia

by InSerbia, Dec. 31, 2016 Director of the Jerusalem-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, Efraim Zuroff, says the current situation regarding neo-fascism in Croatia is very bad. Zuroff has repeatedly warned about the rise of neo-fascism in Croatia, and now say he is not optimistic that the situation could change, except with “a real leadership” in that country. He, however, noted that Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic had her photograph taken while visiting Canada recently wrapped up in the Ustasha flag – and wondered, “what can one expect.” The Ustasha regime was in power in the Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia (NDH), that existed from 1941 until 1945 and ran death camps for Serbs, Jews, and Roma, including in Jasenovac. “That is the message that is being sent to the Croatian people. One can conclude either that she is nostalgic towards the Ustasha, or the wrong person for the job. Unfortunately,” Zuroff has told Radio Free Europe. Referring to the fact Croatia is a member of the EU, Zuroff added that he thought “someone in the European Union …

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Social-Democracy and the Centre-Left: Decline and Fall?

Viewed retrospectively, the significance of the Reagan-Thatcher counter-revolutionary offensive of the 1980s has been seen primarily as a political project aimed at the overturning of the post-WW2 political and social settlement; an undertaking in which it has largely succeeded. However, perhaps of equal importance was the political assimilation of centre-left, liberal class, into this emerging neo-liberal, neo-conservative movement.

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Chile: Anger After Pinochet-Era Human Rights Violators Ask For Pardon

by Tihomir Gligorevic for InSerbia Anger has been stoked in Chile after ten people convicted of grave human rights abuses during the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990) asked for ‘pardon’ through an ecumenical act at the prison in which they are being held. The group of men, held at the military prison of Punta Peuco on the northern edge of Santiago, said their pleas for forgiveness are out of the goodness (and guilt) of their hearts. The family members of victims, however, suspect that the actions of the prisoners are simply maneuvers for special benefits in prison with an eye on eventual parole, complete pardons and releases. They point out that the action for forgiveness was only planned after several prominent convicted human rights abusers saw their pleas for release on grounds of old age or poor health denied. Among those that participated in the ‘pardon’ gesture include Raúl Iturriaga Neumann, the former second-in-command of the dictatorship-era secret police known as the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA). The notorious organization is thought to have ordered at least …

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Tu-154 crashed as a result of NATO’s covert operation?

by Lyuba Lulko for Pravda Russia’s Ministry for Transportation does not consider a terrorist attack to be one of the versions that led to the crash of the Tu-154 passenger airliner of the Russian Defence Ministry in the Black Sea on December 25. For the time being, we know that the weather was fine, the pilots were experienced, and the aircraft was technically sound. The crash of the Tu-154 over the Black Sea looks very much like the explosion of the Russian passenger jetliner over Sinai Peninsula, when the Federal Security Bureau made an official announcement about the terrorist attack only two weeks after the crash. There is another version – of radio-electronic attack. Black boxes may not give an answer to the question of whether there was a terrorist attack on board the Tu-154. This has already been the case in the investigation of the Sinai plane crash, before specialists found traces of two-component explosives in a can of Coke, hidden in a seat pocket. The explosion caused the plane to collapse in midair. …

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America’s Secret Planned Conquest of Russia

by Eric Zuesse The U.S. government’s plan to conquer Russia is based upon a belief in, and the fundamental plan to establish, “Nuclear Primacy” against Russia — an American ability to win a nuclear war against, and so conquer, Russia. This concept became respectable in U.S. academic and governmental policymaking circles when virtually simultaneously in 2006 a short-form and a long-form version of an article endorsing the concept, which the article’s two co-authors there named “nuclear primacy,” were published respectively in the world’s two most influential journals of international affairs, Foreign Affairs from the Council on Foreign Relations, and International Security from Harvard.  (CFR got the more popular short version, titled “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy”, and Harvard got the more scholarly long version, which was titled “The End of MAD?”.) This article claimed that the central geostrategic concept during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Mutually Assured Destruction or “MAD” — in which there is no such thing as the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. conquering the other, because the first of the two to attack will itself …

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Obama’s Sanctions against Moscow “Intended to Box In Donald Trump”: Evidence that Hacking of DNC Accusations are Fake

by Prof. Michael Chossudovsky at Global Research, Dec. 30 2016 President Obama in the course of his last few weeks in the White House has ordered several retaliatory actions against Russia, on the grounds that Moscow was in involved in the hacking of the Democratic Party National Committee (DNC) with a view to influencing the outcome of the US presidential elections in favor of Donald Trump. The sweeping measures taken by Obama on December 29 consist in imposing sanctions on Russia’s intelligence services as well as requiring the departure of 35 Russian diplomats “suspected of being spies” from the US as well the shut down of two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York. According to NBC, the December 29 sanctions on Russia constitute “an assertive act by President Obama to punish Russia before he leaves office.” The unspoken truth, however, is that the punishment was intended for Trump. Whereas the sanctions were directed against Russia, the ultimate intent was to undermine the legitimacy of president-elect Donald Trump and his foreign policy stance in relation to Moscow.  According …

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2016: The year of Russia’s triumph

by The Saker, via Unz Review Just like European maps place Europe in the center of the planet, so do most western commentators look at the past year from a US/Europe-centered perspective. Which is fair enough. Furthermore, the AngloZionist Empire has just suffered two major disasters, the Brexit and the election of Trump, so there is truly much interesting to focus on. Still, what I want to do today is to look at the year which is ending from a Russian perspective. The following were the major challenges Russia faced in 2016: 1. The Nazi regime in Kiev 2. The civil war in the Donbass 3. Ukrainian attempts to blockade Crimea 4. The rabid hostility of the US Administration 5. NATO’s policy of military confrontation in Europe 6. The united European front against Russia 7. Western sanctions, the subsequent drop in investments and credit and the low oil prices 8. The growing dissatisfaction of the Russian people with the economic polices of the government 9. The struggle against the “liberal” 5th column inside Russia 10. …

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Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’ love letter to Barack Obama

by Niles Niemuth and David Walsh, via WSWS Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for the Atlantic, recently wrote a lengthy piece for that publication, “My President Was Black.” It is a love letter to Barack Obama. Coates is the author of Between the World and Me, which gained him the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Last year he received a “genius” grant, worth $625,000, from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. “My President Was Black” is a piece that takes sycophancy and prostration before authority to extraordinary new heights. The Atlantic—for many years the Atlantic Monthly—was founded in Boston in 1857 as a journal of cultural commentary. It was initially an organ of leading New England literary circles (James Russell Lowell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, etc.), which at the time had some substance to them, including opposition to slavery. Presumably, even in its present state, the publication views itself as a commentator on and critic of the American cultural and political scene. But the Atlantic’s “national correspondent” openly expresses admiration and …

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Liberation of Aleppo is the most serious setback for the US in 15 years

by Tim Anderson, via Khamenei In late 2016, at the cost of many young lives, Syrian forces took back the eastern part of the city of Aleppo, occupied by NATO and Saudi backed terrorists for more than four years. The liberation of Aleppo, Syria’s second city and an ancient marvel, represents the most serious setback for the 15-year long Washington-led aggression on the entire region. An effective re-colonization of the region has stretched from Afghanistan to Libya, under a range of false pretexts. Invasions and proxy wars have been backed by economic sanctions and wild propaganda. But this great war of aggression – called the creation of ‘New Middle East’ by former US President George W. Bush – has hit a rock in Syria.  The massive proxy armies bought and equipped by Washington and its regional allies the Saudis, Turkey, Qatar and Israel, have been beaten back by a powerful regional alliance which supports the Syrian nation. The endgame in Aleppo involves a handful of foreign agents – US, Saudi, Israeli and others – said …

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Urgent to [US] Progressives: Stop Fueling the Anti-Russia Frenzy

by Norman Solomon, via Antiwar.org This week began with a mass email from the head of the Democratic National Committee, who declared: “By now, Americans know beyond any reasonable doubt that the Russian government orchestrated a series of cyberattacks on political campaigns and organizations over the past two years and used stolen information to influence the presidential campaign and congressional races.” DNC chair Donna Brazile went on: “The integrity of our elections is too important for Congress to refuse to take these attacks seriously.” The importance of election integrity had eluded Brazile when she was a regular on CNN, posing as neutral in the Clinton-Sanders battle.  “Brazile is not apologizing for leaking CNN debate questions and topics to the Hillary Clinton campaign during the Democratic primary,” the Washington Post reported last month.  “Her only regret, it seems, is that she got caught.” Many big factors affect any presidential race, and the Russian government may have tried to be one of them for the 2016 election – though it’s hardly the slam dunk that agencies like …

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British Govt-Funded Outlet Offered Journalist $17,000 a Month to Produce Propaganda for Syrian Rebels

by Rania Khalek, via AlterNet Emails reveal that a popular source for mainstream Western media is a U.K.-backed propaganda outlet. The Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RFS) media office, a major Syrian opposition media outfit and frequent source of information for Western media, is funded by the British government and is managed by Westerners operating out of Turkey, according to emails provided to AlterNet by a Middle East reporter RFS tried to recruit. The outlet stirred controversy this November when it released a video at the height of the Mannequin Challenge, a pop culture craze in which people compete for how long they can freeze in place on video.  The RFS video depicted a staged rescue by the White Helmets, the Western-funded rescue group that operates exclusively in rebel-held territory.  RFS quickly removed the video and issued an apology out of apparent concern that the staged rescue could raise questions about the authenticity of other videos by the White Helmets. Over the summer, the Middle East reporter, who asked not to be named, was contacted by an American acquaintance …

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Eva Bartlett on Syria: Responding to Buzzfeed

by Eva Bartlett Last Friday, December 9, just as the liberation of East Aleppo was taking place on the ground, the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations held a press conference at which Eva Bartlett, Canadian journalist well known for her first-hand reporting about the proxy war in Syria, presented an outstanding analysis of the deliberate disinformation and propaganda campaign the Western mainstream media have carried out since 2011, part of their countries’ regime-change agenda in Syria.  Following her appearance at the UN, widely publicized across social media, Bartlett was contacted for an email interview by Buzzfeed’s Ishmael N. Daro.  We are posting here the full text of Eva Bartlett’s response, followed by the full text of Daro’s email to her. Hello.  You have a number of facts wrong.  I will spell them out. — [The] Press Conference was only meant to be a report back by myself and the others on the panel.  Yes, Ambassador al-Ja’afari was originally going to be present but solely to introduce me.  Due to …

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The CIA’s Absence of Conviction

by Craig Murray I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton’s corruption. Yes this rubbish has been the lead today in the Washington Post in the US and the Guardian here, and was the lead item on the BBC main news. I suspect it is leading the American broadcasts also. A little simple logic demolishes the CIA’s claims. The CIA claim they “know the individuals” involved. Yet under Obama the USA has been absolutely ruthless in its persecution of whistleblowers, and its pursuit of foreign hackers through extradition. We are supposed to believe that in the most vital instance imaginable, an attempt by a foreign power to destabilise a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions …

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If they don’t want more austerity, racists & non-racists should vote Le Pen

by Ramin Mazaheri The fundamental problem in France today is that racists aren’t polling for Jean-Luc Melenchon. Who? He ran 4th in France’s presidential election in 2012. Same as Jill Stein and you’ve heard of her. He has created the superbly-named Disobedient France Party. You don’t hear about him for the same reason that what you likely read about the recent Austrian election were exhales over the “far-right loss”, when you should have heard “a Green Party wins for 2nd time ever in Europe” (after Latvia). The reason for this is that Western mainstream media is fundamentally capitalist when private and fundamentally status quo when public – that they have no interest in promoting leftist victories, ever. Not even a left-center one like in Austria. For them, history is over – there is no alternative to right-wing economics like austerity as well as the continental domination of Brussels. This rightward fundamentalism is why most of the world knows who ran third in France’s 2012 election – Marine Le Pen of the National Front. Le Pen …

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Report on the Referendum in Italy

by Massimo D´Antoni, via Defend Democracy Press December 4th was a great day in Italy.  We hoped for such an outcome, but did not expect it.  When we saw so much turnout by voters we were not sure how to interpret it, because the media and the government had claimed that more voters would result in a higher percentage of “yes” to the constitutional reform.  Well, it was the other way round.  An unprecedented (for a referendum) participation rate brought to a clear rejection of the reform proposal, and of the government. Let me remind you of the line-ups: against the reform were the populist Five Stars movement, the xenophobic North League, Berlusconi’s right and the Left, plus the minority of the Democratic Party lead by former leaders Bersani and D’Alema. In favour of the reform was the government, i.e. Renzi’s Democratic Party (except the former leaders Bersani and D’Alema, who campaigned for the No) with its center-right allied party NCD. However, the actual support for the reform was expected to be a bit larger than …

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A Tale of Two Aleppos

by Bill Purkayastha Going on CNN and other free and truth-telling Western media, you discover a horrifying Aleppo apocalypse, where the evil tyrant Assad is massacring untold thousands of civilians, with the help of even more evil Russian air strikes, which invariably hit hospitals, schools, and bakeries. You discover a city where people would rather die than give themselves up to the tender mercies of this regime, with its torture camps and jails, and where a tiny handful of brave rebels and White Helmets stand between them and annihilation. Going on the Russian paid fake news sites, like for example 21st Century Wire, The Duran, Al Masdar News or Moon of Alabama, strangely enough, you discover a different Aleppo altogether – one in which the “White Helmets” are fake propaganda, the rebels are actually headhunting jihadi terrorists who have been holding tens of thousands of civilians hostage, and where the legitimate government of Syria is liberating them with Russian military aid. You find an Aleppo where the people are grateful to the government forces for …

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Détente Now: A New Call for Peace, Security, and Cooperation

by Gilbert Doctorow, Ute Finckh-Krämer, Ludger Volmer, Rolf Ekéus and Noam Chomsky Civic and religious leaders in Germany are spearheading a new initiative to avoid war between Russia and the West. A transatlantic appeal for a new policy of détente with Russia has been launched. The declaration’s authors invite the general public to join leading political figures and social activists who have publicly rallied to support the call. The initiative was born in Berlin several months ago in the days of deepest gloom engendered by confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, the Baltic countries, and Syria, with major war exercises held around Russia’s borders and bellicose language from both sides that suggested imminent hot war. As German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank Walter Steinmeier (SPD) said in an interview with Bild newspaper on October 8, present times are more dangerous even than during the Cold War that ended in 1990: Previously, the world was divided, but Moscow and Washington knew each other’s red lines and respected them. In a world with many regional conflicts and dwindling influence of the great powers, the world becomes more …

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British and French forces decide to intervene to save besieged city

by Terje M London, December 5,1864 Yesterday, an obviously emotional British foreign minister declared that a coalition of concerned world powers have decided to intervene in the American Civil War.  The intervention is a dramatic new development in this war, which has lasted almost four years. It was the regime’s considerable progress in the siege of Richmond, Virginia, that made the international coalition decide to act. ‘The coalition of the willing’, created by prime minister Lord Palmerston, intends to establish a no-gunboat-zone along the seaboard and on the major rivers of the ‘Confederation’.  These plans have long been on the drawing board, but the final decision was not made until now due to its unpopularity in British public opinion. In addition, the regime in Washington received assistance from Russia, the only great power that showed any support for it.  Tsar Alexander II of Russia sent a fleet last year to New York Harbor to show his solidarity with his fellow leader.  It was obviously also intended as a warning to his geopolitical rival, Queen Victoria. …