All posts tagged: EU

Open Source Investigation: The War on Cash

Following last nights shutdown of Visa’s payment system across large parts of Europe, we thought this would be good time to revisit the topic of money. Cold hard cash is on the way out, following a sustained global effort to undermine its usage. Is that a good thing? Does the Visa crash exemplify just how little power the consumer wields in a world of universally digital payments? James Corbett has been running his Open Source Investigation into the “War on Cash” since 2016, here we post some of the more concerning findings. Feel free to contribute BTL if there are any further developments, or get in touch with The Corbett Report directly here. The Cashless Society List ARGENTINA – Argentina’s currency crisis has been known for some time. In short, Argentinians don’t trust the peso and are willing to pay premium for any currency they perceive as “more stable,” especially US dollars which are traded on the black market as “blue dollars” at prices far exceeding the official exchange rate. That’s why Argentina has been …

Globalization the EU and the Road to Serfdom

It might be a good idea to start with some theoretical clarifications. Firstly, nationalism should not be confused with national sovereignty. Nations which are effectively ruled by outside agents – from Greece to Honduras – are not sovereign; they are colonies or vassals of some larger agency. And since they are not sovereign, the cannot be democratic, since decision making, and policies have been abrogated to an external ruling power. Secondly, nationalism: the term which in general is generally regarded as the all-weather bête noire by the orthodox left, can be and often is aggressive, racist, imperialistic, and so forth.

Western Media Shorthand on Venezuela Conveys and Conceals So Much

by Joe Emersberger, for FAIR, April 23, 2018 A Reuters article (4/18/18) reports that the European Union “could impose further sanctions on Venezuela if it believes democracy is being undermined there.” The line nicely illustrates the kind of journalistic shorthand Western media have developed, over years of repetition, for conveying distortions and whitewashing gross imperial hypocrisy about Venezuela.  A passing remark can convey and conceal so much. Reuters (4/19/18) reports on EU officials “accusing [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro’s government of breaches of human rights and undermining democracy.” The EU’s sincerity in acting on what it “believes” about Venezuelan democracy is unquestioned by the London-based Reuters.  Meanwhile Spain, an EU member, is pursuing the democratically elected president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, for the crime of organizing an illegal independence referendum last year. Weeks ago, he was arrested in Germany at Spain’s request, and other elected representatives have been arrested in Catalonia, where Spain’s federal government deposed the elected regional government after the referendum. In July 2017, a few months before the referendum in Catalonia, Venezuela’s opposition …

Skripal Poisoning – The UK’s Case for Russian Involvement

Earlier this week, over 130 Russian diplomats were expelled from over 20 separate countries. It was billed as a “massive show of unity”, and claimed as further evidence of Russian guilt. The familiar chorus repeated, that there is “no plausible alternative explanation”. So what was the strong evidence that the UK government shared with their allies? It must have been compelling in order to move the EU, US et al. to make moves of solidarity. It’s a slide show. Now, that might not sound like much. But a slide show can be very persuasive. It could have witness testimony, scientific test results, photographic evidence. It could explain motive, provide alibis for other suspects. It could be hundreds of pages of hard evidence laying out a perfect, bulletproof case. It could be all of those things…but in this case it’s not. We have it here, in PDF form. And here is another version. It’s five slides. That’s all, just five. Slide 1: Timeline An incredibly rough timeline of all the important events, skipping over the crime …

The Baltic Holocaust and Russophobia

by Frank Lee On 23 June 2017 in the Parliament Square of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, an official celebration of the uprising of 23 June 1943 against Soviet rule took place. The event was orchestrated mainly by veterans of the Lithuanian Freedom Fighters Association, a far-right militia group. During these celebrations an exhibit of more than 12 posters were hung which presented the anti-Soviet insurrection one that “drove terror into the Bolshevik occupying army and the lackeys of the occupation forces.” Some historical context is needed here. In June 1941, Hitler had launched a surprise attack on the Soviet Union, overrunning the Baltics in a few weeks. As documented by eyewitness testimony, photographs, and Nazi records, the Christian majority welcomed the Germans as liberators and right-wing paramilitary groups began massacring their Jewish neighbours before German rule had even been firmly established. Over the next three years of German occupation, around 200,000 Jews, more than 95 percent of Lithuania’s Jewish population, were murdered—a more complete destruction than befell any other European country. In an of inversion …

Baltic States Sacrifice Economy on Altar of Politics

by Adomas Abromaitis Making negative statements concerning Russia, the Baltic States set Moscow against themselves and force it to respond. Especially they irritate it making unproven warlike statements for the sake of “common line” of the EU or NATO on the issue. But as John Steinbeck said “all war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.” After major information campaign in the Baltic States aimed to discredit Zapad 2017 military exercise, Russia tries to find the most vulnerable places to hurt the Baltic States. It is absolutely evident, that such sphere is economy. For a long time Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have been tightened to Russia and even remain to be dependent on it. Instead of finding points of contact (as Germany does) the Baltic leaders make their best to worsen the situation. The trouble is Russia responds not only with words but with real actions. The last example is the Moscow’s decision to develop the capacity and infrastructure at own ports in order to re-direct export cargos away from the ports …

NO LEAVE to REMAIN

by W Stephen Gilbert Last Christmas, as you do, we received the usual batch of greetings cards from people we’re only in touch with at that time of year. Almost without exception, these cards included a message to the effect: “isn’t it terrible about Trump and Brexit?” As we are perceived as (ex-)metropolitan, enlightened, middle class professionals, we obviously must subscribe to all the views prescribed for that demographic. My partner can speak for himself. But I voted to leave. This is an outrage that many of my friends cannot understand and find difficult to forgive. They tolerate my intolerance of that ugly, specious, coined term that Theresa May likes to use twice in one mantra. But by my vote they think I’ve taken leave of my senses or become a class traitor or revealed myself as a closet fascist. Bracketing Trump and the 2016 referendum result is thought a legitimate summary of a year that was in many ways the most ghastly anyone can recall. It’s almost as though the leave campaign was implicated …

Hungary: Paradise for liberals

by István Lovas Do you wonder what you are going to read in the mainstream press on Hungary tomorrow? I will tell you. The same as yesterday, and the same as in the past almost seven years since Hungary’s right-of-center Fidesz government, led by the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, was elected. You will learn that Mr. Orbán is a populist, an autocratic ruler, a menace to Europe, and a politician not hesitating to use anti-Semitic language in order to win over voters of the far-right Jobbik, and cover up uncomfortable truths about whatever is on the agenda in Hungary on that day. He, of course, has muzzled the media, made the court system a handmaiden of the ruling elite, abolished checks and balances, while he is suffocating the voice of dissenters, creates inordinate fear, chases away half of the country beyond Hungary’s borders, and the rest of the stuff. Lately, Hungary has been called the safe haven of the European ultra-right. At the time when Hungary’s authorities have arrested and expelled two such figures, such …

Brexit Never Just Meant Brexit

by Dan Mallon “Brexit means Brexit” is one of the many cryptic slogans that constantly emanated from Theresa May’s shambolic – soon to be defunct – Tory Government. What it means is anybody’s guess. Many have speculated it is Theresa May opting for a hard Brexit over a soft Brexit, however these are not tangible constructs, they are mental constructs. The idea of a hard/soft Brexit are nothing more than negotiating positions and seeing as no one has sat around a table yet, nobody can say for sure what the consistency of Brexit will be once it’s finally baked. Considering the European Union (EU) wants to make an example of Britain so as to dissuade other countries from following suit means heading into a negotiation taking a soft approach, will only end in tears. The idea that EU super-state ideologues like Guy Verhofstadt, will simply roll over and allow Britain have an amicable divorce from their pet project, is naivety to the extreme. One thing is for certain though: May’s Tories sure as hell don’t …

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.

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. …

What is the European Union For?

by Frank After all the initial eu(ro)phoria and hopes placed upon the original concept of a non-aligned, social-democratic Euro-bloc, the reality has turned out somewhat differently. In a pamphlet written in 2011 – Europe: The Unfinished Project – I wrote: At the present time the EU project seems to be stuck in no-man’s land, unable to press ahead with full political integration, or retreat back into a northern European protectionist Deutschmark zone, and leaving the peripheral member states to the tender mercies of unfettered, globalized capitalism. However there seems to be a sufficient residue of the original EU idealism in the present stage of development to persevere further with the political struggle taking place.” Ibid, page 19 I believe that this view, which seemed justifiable and plausible enough at the time of writing, has now become difficult to sustain. And the reason for this came in the next sentence, viz. One only has to consider the Anglo-American alternatives (to the Euro model) and globalization more generally to make this choice.” This statement was, however, based …

Why are these oligarchs so concerned about African “corruption”?

Anton Du Plessis, of the ISS in South Africa, writes that “we” should no longer tolerate corruption in Africa undermining human rights.

Of course, when he says “we”, he doesn’t mean us. You and I – We don’t “tolerate” African corruption, for it is not in our power to do anything about such things. You know who does tolerate African corruption? Billionaires, oligarchs and corporate monopolies.

Reforming the EU – Waiting for Godot

by Frank There is a human tendency to cling on to cherished beliefs even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. There was a time, during the heady days of Jacques Delors and the Social Chapter, when the EU appeared to represent a social-democratic and neutral geopolitical bloc; a third force between the USSR as it then was and the US/NATO – this, however, is no longer the case. The EU has long since transmuted into part of an aggressive neo-liberal and neo-conservative imperial alliance under US command. The liberal, centre-left remainers such as Yanis Varoufakis seem to think that it is possible reverse this development and get the EU back to its original prototype, presumably by dint of political will. In view of historical developments this view seems increasingly difficult to sustain. In particular since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty of 2005 the EU Defence and Security Policy has been aligned with NATO. Indeed, EU membership has become a stalking horse for NATO membership and vice versa. NATO’s geopolitical drive to …

Turkey Between Two Fascisms

by Jooneed Khan, via Global Research, July 19, 2016 [ President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, elected in 2014 and whose AKP party swept back to power with 52% of the votes last November, repeated through the crisis that he and his government represented democratic legitimacy and blamed the putschist “treason” on “a handful of military people” close to his Islamist rival Fethullah Gülen, living in self-exile in the US. In a country where the military sees itself as the guardian of Kemalist legitimacy and has often seized power by coups d’État in the past, the putsch leaders this time accused Erdogan and his team of violating the constitution, perverting democracy, expanding and deepening corruption, putting “internal and regional peace” at risk, and rushing towards authoritarianism. Restoring the Death Penalty Back in power in Ankara yesterday from his base in Istanbul, where he was mayor once and where he stayed throughout the crisis, Erdogan quickly told the coup participants, 2800 of whom were behind bars, that he would “make them pay dearly for their treason” – a …

NATO, Back in Business at the Old Stand

by Patrick Armstrong, via Sic Semper Tyrannis Spare a thought for the travails of NATO drones over the past couple of decades.  About 25 years ago I was in competition for a job on the International Staff at NATO.  I’ve forgotten most of the details but it would have paid about US$100,000.  Tax free.  Plus benefits.  What would have been the equivalent salary, in the real world, to that, do you suppose?  In return, NATO started work sometime Monday afternoon and knocked off early on Friday and essentially took meetings the rest of the time.  And Brussels is a convenient base for travelling around Europe.  But I didn’t get the job. The Warsaw Pact imploded, followed by the USSR and NATO’s raison d’être disappeared.  A colleague who finally got a position on the Canadian delegation (no big IS salaries for them!) seriously wondered whether NATO would last through his time there. Well, it did.  Expansion (soon officially changed to the more anodyne “enlargement”) gave employment.  NATO, it piously said, cannot stop people from freely applying …

Obama and the Ukrainian Nazis – The reality no one wants to speak of

by Clarity of Signal, via JackPineRadicals The US government is currently financing the training and supply of the Ukrainian military which is comprised of fascist, ring wing, pro Nazi battalions that worship WW2 Nazi collaborator Stephen Bandera who murderer of over 100,000 Poles and Jews during WW2. These battalions receive US funding and support and have done so for the past two years while the US media has covered it up and run with a false narrative about Russia and their president.  These videos below are from their own “Azov Battalion” You Tube channel.  In the first, they are indoctrinating children into fascist, right wing nationalism.  This is incredibly sad to watch and to know that the US is keeping it afloat and allowing it to be conducted.  Russia is not the enemy this time around.  The enemy is domestic.  The US government is intentionally lying to the American citizenry, who they are supposed to represent.  This intentional top down lying is taking place on a massive scale and the mainstream media in the United …

Threatened Forests: a new look at “green energy”

Threatened forests’ explores some hidden realities behind “green energy” in the EU. Filmmaker Benoit Grimont made this documentary as a response to the development of a large scale biomass electricity installation in Gardanne, southern France. His film discovers that renewable energy – heavily supported by EU countries – may not be anything like as ‘green’ as we are led to believe.

Graun finally admits the sad truth about the ” 2nd referendum petition”

Well, the Guardian has – finally – acknowledged the reality of the hapless and discredited “2nd referendum petition”, but only after an indecent interval, and when the Telegraph, HuffPo and other mainstream outlets already picked up the story. And regrettably, they are still doing their best to sell us the flagging narrative of a “grassroots” response. “Overall, close to 2.5m signatures had been garnered from within the UK by Sunday lunchtime, making up an overwhelming proportion of the whole,” reads their last para… ……although it’s difficult to tell how many of these were genuine…..” Hmmm. Sort of makes the first part of that sentence a bit redundant doesn’t it. Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, the entire media and establishment have united to try and remove Corbyn before an early election is called and there is even a remote chance of a genuine anti-austerity pro-humanity prime minister in No 10. More on that soon.

Guardian Watch: Insults fly in post-Brexit hysteria

The world is still reeling from the referendum results – there is uncertainty in the air, real uncertainty, a rare creature in the modern era of controlled media consensus and carefully directed narrative. Again and again the thoughts are echoed: nobody expected this to happen. David Cameron was positive his side had won. Oliver Imhof wrote an article threatening to leave “Brexit Britain”, comfortable in the knowledge that “at no point did I think it could really happen.” You get the impression even Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage never expected to win.