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Pt.2- Kurd/ ISIS Symbiosis- The impending destruction of Turkey

pennyforyourthoughts2 - 2 hours 59 min ago
Double Cross -to betray or swindle, esp. by an action contrary to an agreed upon course.

I suspect Turkey is in the process of being double crossed- And, I believe Erdogan is aware of this.
We have seen this type of double cross on more then one occasion. Libya had attempted to cooperate with the US only to be betrayed and Gaddafi brutally killed. Syria had also attempted to appease the US, again, only to find itself caught in the crosshairs of the NATO global tyranny nexus dominated by US/Israeli/UK interests.

Turkey is being prepped for that same treatment. It's been a plan in the making for at least 12 plus years, but, likely much longer. So let's step back in time.............

 It's been 12 years since Paul Wolfowitz (NEOCON- Dual National) went to Turkey looking to form an earlier coalition of the killing.  Yes, that is the Paul Wolfowitz author of the notorious Wolfowitz doctrine. A doctrine we can see very much at play presently. 1992 Wolfowitz US strategy for a One Superpower World

Wolfowitz's visit to Turkey

 So influential, or threatening, was his visit, it altered the course of the Turkish election!
One clue (to the invasion of Iraq) is that Turkey’s crumbling government coalition partners ­ Ecevit, and Deputy Prime Ministers Devlet Bahcheli and Mesut Yilmaz ­ decided to hold early elections by November. Their meeting followed the Ecevit-Wolfowitz meeting that had taken place only an hour earlier. Ecevit had no intention of holding elections at that date and his rejection of which had been announced once again only a few hours before his meeting with Wolfowitz and Yilmaz.  Just one hour after the Wolfowitz meeting early elections are to be held. Influence? Threats?

The conditions for Turkey's involvement in the immoral destruction of Iraq
The Turkish position toward the United States was listed under four main headings to Wolfowitz: First, meet our economic losses from such an operation; second, any new Iraqi regime should be accepted by the Iraqi people; third, Turkey opposes any independent Kurdish entity in northern Iraq; fourth, the rights of Turcomans should be guaranteed, and Kirkuk and Mosul cannot be left to the hands of the Kurds. Wolfowitz had earlier predicted Turkish officials to make these demands, clearly disclosing the aim of his visit to Turkey and trying to demonstrate to the Turks the incentives of removing Saddam regime in Baghdad. “During my meetings with Turkish officials, I look forward to hearing what they have to say concerning the future of Iraq. We value Turkey’s views highly, and my colleagues in Washington will be interested in what I have to report,” he said. “Turkey has large and legitimate interests in Iraq, and it has suffered economically from Iraq’s international isolation since the Gulf War. “Turkey is interested in the fate of Iraq’s Turkoman minority which, like the rest of the Iraqi population, has suffered under tyrannical rule. “And Turkey wants assurances that events in Iraq won’t have a negative impact on its own unity.  
If we look at the situation in Iraq present day, we see Paul Wolfowitz is as big a liar as he is a war criminal.  He reassured the Turkish leadership on all their concerns. He claimed the Kurd brand of Sunni Muslim understood this also
“A separate Kurdish state in the north would be destabilizing to Turkey and unacceptable to the United States. Fortunately, the Kurds of north Iraq increasingly seem to understand this fact and understand the importance of thinking themselves as Iraqis who will participate fully in the political life of a future democratic Iraq. Wolfowitz and the US/Israel/UK Zionists knew full well a Kurdish state would be destabilizing for Turkey. We see today that Kirkuk  (allegedly taken as troops fled ISIS, so taken from ISIS)
 and Mosul (taken from ISIS) are in the hands of the Kurd brand Sunni Muslim. Kirkuk and Mosul "won" from the alleged omnipotent ISIS brand Sunni Muslim. As was Sinjar. As is Kobane/i
As mentioned yesterday, it's a pattern!

Kurdistan, like Israel and Kosovo, is being created for purely political, geopolitical and resource advantages. In Iraq an independent Kurdish state is present in all but official recognition.
Yes, Turkey has assisted the Kurds in nothern Iraq. Worked with them. Transports their oil. Has been a good neighbour etc., Likely because Turkey is keeping it's enemies closer.

Keep your friends close but your enemies closer

But there is a world of difference for Turkey between the Kurds in Iraq and an entire, internationally recognized, nation of Kurdistan. Suddenly the Turkish dream of being a power player in the Middle East is just wishful thinking. Usurped by a Greater Israel and  it's more favoured Sunni Muslims in Kurdistan.

The Fall of the Would be Emperor-
 Written by:  Alon Ben- Meir: Connected? I would say so
"Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a Senior Fellow of International Relations and Middle Eastern studies at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. Dr. Ben Meir has taught courses in International Negotiation, Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution, Terrorism and Ethnic Conflict, International Relations in the Post-World War II Era, American Hegemony in the Balance, Ethic in International Affairs, and Middle Eastern studies. Additionally, until 2007, Dr. Ben-Meir taught courses at New School University in International Negotiations, Conflict Resolution, History of the Middle East, History and the Struggle of the Middle East from Early 1900 to the Present, Forces Shaping the New World Order, the Middle East in the 21st Century, and American Hegemony in the Balance"Mr Meir writes:President Erdogan has recently come under intense criticism for his unwillingness to come to the aid of the beleaguered Syrian Kurds in the city of Kobani just across the Turkish border. Sadly, Erdogan’s behavior is not surprising as he has always pursued policies consistent with the image of himself as a great leader and his country as a regional hegemon and a global power.
Yes, Erdogan has pursued policies more consistent with a regional hegemon and big player on the global stage. Because he was allowed to do so by others of greater global influence then himself. He believed he was a team player..... But, not anymore.

Since coming to power in 2002, however, his achievements have been eclipsed by three themes which have dominated his political career: a) his distorted account of the Ottoman Empire and his vision of Turkey’s future “greatness’, b) his religious fervor and support of Islamists, and c) his insatiable hunger for power domestically, regionally, and globally.Erdogan never missed an opportunity to show off how much the ‘new’ Turkish Republic, as the successor of the Ottoman Empire, has achieved and how its importance has grown because of its geostrategic location, economic development, status as an energy hub, and unrivaled military prowess in the region. Erdogan’s domestic policy has diminished Turkey’s prospect of becoming a member of the EU because many in the EU do not want to integrate an Islamic state with a large population, which would give it a leading role in a “Christian club.”That statement "an Islamic state with a large population into the "Christian club" is very suggestive of an ulterior agenda. Very telling, indeed. Coming from one of the followers of Judaism. A cheerleader for Israel. The one nation that benefits, always, by fomenting the division between Christians and Muslims.

The EU has raised concerns about the Turkish government’s interference with the judiciary, the restrictions it has imposed on the press, and the “excessive use of force [which] continues to be a matter of concern.” That's a load of bullbiscuits from the EU. Concerned with justice and a free press? I laugh.
Concerned about excessive force? Again, I laugh.
Window dressing. Mere window dressing.

Erdogan’s follies have severely strained Turkey’s relations with the United States, going back to the Iraq war in 2003.- Read above regarding the Kurd brand Sunni Muslim Presently, there is intense discussion in the Obama administration about Turkey’s worthiness as an ally, its importance as a NATO member, and the extent to which the US should cooperate strategically and share intelligence with Turkey. The Obama administration doesn't need Turkey as an ally, or important NATO member. As I suggested to my readers last week
Kurdistan. NATO’s new Southern Flank In the post from yesterday, that I hope you read, it was made abundantly clear that the US has been sharing intelligence with their Kurdish terror group the PKK in the north of Syria & Iraq. The Kurds are so tight with Israel, why the hell does the US/Israel/UK/ NATO alliance need Turkey as it's Southern flank, it strategic partner or it's energy hub? It doesn't.
Many suspect that he in fact supports the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which could explain why he refused to join the American coalition against ISIS, albeit under the pretense that the PKK and the Syrian Kurds are one and the same.Many suspect that Erdogan supports ISIS? But does he? I mean, yes, support of ISIS could explain why he refused to join the coalition against ISIS? But, I don't think it does.  With all the new information I have come across lately it seems vastly more plausible that Erdogan would not join the fight against ISIS because he knows, as I have written, that the fight against ISIS is a fight to create Kurdistan. And that ISIS is a pretext created by the West specifically for that reason. In other words Turkey is not going to participate in it's own downfall.
Kurd/ ISIS Symbiosis- The impending destruction of Turkey.
Sadly, Erdogan does not understand that times have changed. He squandered a historic opportunity to make Turkey a model of Islamic democracy with impressive economic and political acheivments.Turkey has the potential of becoming a significant global power, but to realize that, Erdogan must change course or leave. Or be overthrown? 
 "The siege of Kobani is far from being just an ordinary siege," Öcalan said in a message relayed by supporters from his prison on the island of Imrali. "It does not only target the democratic gains of the Kurdish people, but would lead Turkey to a new era of coups" In January of this year I put up a post titled- Turkey, IHH, Terror and Tables being Turned
It appears the suspicions I had almost a year ago were correct. Quoting from the end of that post
Now let's finish this twisted tale up!
The most recent raid on the IHH offices? The removal of documents and computers. It would seem to me that we are looking at house cleaning and/ or evidence planting.
Certain incriminating info will be removed and other incriminating info will be left behind or planted, who knows?
If Erdogan is being turned on? And that does appear to be the case. Information will remain that can enable  those under the sway of the preacher in self exile to build a doozy of a corruption, or worse, case against PM Erdogan.

A last word/thought,  I had, from a previous post concerning Erdogan and Turkey.
I am going to use it yet again. Still seems fitting.
"And just think for a moment about all those bought and paid for killers sitting right at Turkey's border. It does not seem that  Erdogan saw this one coming"Perhaps a little too late Erdogan came to understand the times have changed. Perhaps he still believes he can turn the tide on Turkey's destabilization? It seems, for Turkey, the die is cast.
None of this will change a thing for Syria.


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Jason Erb- Canada's Indentity Crisis

pennyforyourthoughts2 - 6 hours 16 min ago
Jason's Exposing Faux Capitalism blog has found a permanent 'home' in the sidebar to the left

Worth a listen!



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Kurd/ ISIS Symbiosis- The impending destruction of Turkey.

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 17:09
What about this relationship between ISIS and the Kurds? (not brand Yazidi specific) It's seems to be a real working relationship. I have remarked on that symbiosis, more then once here at the blog. And elsewhere too! FWIW: I believe the Kurdish Pashmerga and ISIS to be joined at the hip to the American/Israeli evil twins. It seems much more likely that there is cooperation and coordination between the Kurds and ISIS. It’s a thought that has been in the back of my mind for sometime now. When one takes a look at the land grabbed by ISIS and the desired Kurdistan one can’t help but see something taking shape. Something like a new nation.
Back in August 2014- ISIS took Mosul and then the Kurds took it back. 

The Kurds also kicked ISIS to the curb in Sinjar. Allegedly.

I wrote about the whole Sinjar situation at the time it occurred ---The Yazidi genocide narrative strains credulity- No fly zone by stealth
 I’m going to be straight up- The Yazidi narrative? I don’t find it credible. I find it convenient. But, not credible. *Why on earth would the Yazidi’s who are Kurds, however that is defined, head up to some mountain top on the border of Syria, when Kurdish territory is heavily guarded and virtually untouched?And prior to that post- "Refugee camps" in Kurdish/Iraq- Kurds request No-fly Buffer Zone & Armed US Assist

"The camp will be ready in one week’s time and will be operated by Iraqi Turkmens, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. Turkey had earlier set up another camp for Iraqi Turkmen in Sinjar."Sinjar where "ISIS" chased Kurds into a mountain.

It was the whole Yazidi saga that really solidified in my mind the collusion between the two largely SUNNI Muslim groups (we will get to that!) ISIS and the Kurds. I actually hold the opinion that the covert NATO army, that is labelled ISIS,  has Kurds within it’s ranks.
Thinking of the entire Sinjar narrative. On the Iraq side of the mountain you have Kurds and ISIS going in and on the Syrian side you have lots of Kurdish fighters and ISIS, coming out?

“To the east of Kobani, just across the Syrian border with Iraq, is the town of Sinjar. “
Writes Scott Ritter for Huffington Post. That can’t be a coincidence.

The desired state of Kurdistan-

Kurdistan and the borders as they exist today
We can see that ISIS is allegedly holding desired Kurdish territory. As it has on more then one occasion. Mosul. Sinjar. Kobane.  But the Kurds always emerge victorious. How can ISIS be portrayed as so threatening when the Kurds can beat them so handily?  By the way Kobane/Kobani is looking  about to be taken by the Kurds. As the Kurds make new gains, supposedly. As if there was any doubt this territory was going to be end up being held by the Kurds. Syria's Kurds advance in the heart of Kobane/i

Israel, Kurds and that special relationship....

Notice how the Kurds rely on the Israeli creation myth to justify  their own nation?
Though historically.... same as Israel. Their claim to the land is questionable.

America Must Recognize Kurdistan
Just as they recognized Israel?
“Thus, just as Israel was re-established as a Jewish state in 1948, the Kurds have yearned for self-rule”Israel was re-established? I had no idea there ever was a nation of Israel prior to it’s creation in 1948.
I thought Israel was a man, originally named Jacob? How is it Israel was "re-established"
“Perhaps a parallel history explains the longstanding friendship between Kurds and Jews, for the Kurdish experience (citing Sèvres) recapitulates Israel"s (citing Balfour)”Related: September 24/2014 The Kurds: Israel's not so improbable ally

It’s interesting, that nation destruction/re-creation precedent that was set when Israel was created. The fact that the two groups bolster one anothers narrative is obviously self serving for both groups and their interests. Both groups can choose to bolster the other, but that circular reasoning/begging the question doesn’t make Kurdish or Israeli claims true, correct or factual. It just makes them their claims.
So a parallel history? Perhaps? But of what type?
Who are the Kurds?“Kurds are now largely Sunni Muslims” (From CNNKurd)
Say, what? "Kurds are now largely Sunni Muslims"

(Which means they can very easily live amongst their Sunni Muslim brethren in any nation)
Kurds are now largely Sunni Muslims?  So is ISIS. Wow!!!
Synchronicity?

How about another sync?
We know Israel is very chummy with many a Sunni Muslim-  We know Israel is chummy with NATO mercs, who are Sunni Muslim. We know that Israel is chummy with the Kurds who are mostly Sunni Muslim.  Six of one/half a dozen of the other?
Last week there was an article in WSJ One of many in the WSJ, but this one really caught my attention.   Headline: Kurds Fight Islamic State to Claim a Piece of Syria  Sub-heading: A Kurdish paramilitary group will help the U.S. expel Islamic militants in exchange for a stretch of northern Syria to build its vision of utopia
All the way to the MediterraneanThat Kurdish paramilitary group is the YPG /PKK group. I am going to call them the PKK from here on in.The PKK have been mentioned here on more then one ocassion-
Pretty sure the last time was in this post?
Written before the no fly zone expanded from Iraq to Syria- you know the no fly by stealth zone? Boots on the ground pour into Syria- PKK appeals to Kurds to fight with ISIS

Oh, does anyone find it odd that the US can just give another nations territory away?  
Anyone think that strange? Of course Israel sees this as perfectly acceptable because they were given land inhabited by other people. Northern Syria is not just occupied by Sunni Muslim Kurds. There are others resident in those areas. Do they want to live in this Utopia? Is anyone considering them?
The answer to that would seem to be NO, particularly when one thinks of Palestine.
That all said, it seems this is going to be an easy land grab for the sunni muslim brand kurds. Because it is a repeating pattern. Mosul, Sinjar and Kobane/i. And all that US/Israeli/NATO assistance.

So let's read that WSJ article
RAS AL-AIN, Syria—A billboard of a 19-year-old Kurdish fighter brandishing a machine gun covers part of a bullet-marked building that once housed Syrian government offices. The building is abandoned and its officials long gone.



Hussein Kocher, the 40-year-old local commander of the People's Protection Units, or YPG, in his makeshift command center in Ras al-Ain, Syria. His group wants to assist the U.S. in battling Islamic State in exchange for recognition of their control of towns and village in largely Kurdish areas of northern Syria. Control of this town now belongs to a Kurdish paramilitary force that boasts of having more than 30,000 fighters ready to help the U.S. and its allies drive Islamic State and other militants from a broad stretch of northern Syria. The force belongs to the same Kurdish group defending embattled Kobani with the assistance of U.S. airstrikes.This is the PKK and it's 30,000 fighters. Ras al Ain seems to be the district that either houses Kobani or is near by? Seems to be some contradictory information around, just for clarification

One of the many political complications facing the U.S. in the arrangement is that these Kurdish fighters—an offshoot of a group designated by the U.S. and Turkey as a terror organization—want to keep control of the territory they have seized to create their own vision of a utopian society.So the Kurd brand of Sunni Muslim seized territory and is protected but the ISIS brand of Sunni Muslim seizes territory and must be thwarted?? Am I the only one who sees this as perception management or hiding in plain sight?
“We are ready to cooperate with anyone who respects the will of our people and accepts us as we are,” said Hussein Kocher, a 40-year-old local commander of the People’s Protection Units, or YPG. The Syrian Kurd has spent nearly half his life fighting for Kurdish independence, mostly against Turkey”The YPG/PKK have committed acts of terrorism on many occasion in Turkey. Hence the designation.
In reality the PKK appears to have always functioned as a left behind army. 
A NATO left behind army.  Always at the ready to keep Turkey in check.

 PKK as Left Behind Army Checklist

1-Keeping Turkish leadership in check- Yup

2-Involved in bombings etc., to terrorize the population and leadership into compliance- Yup
The PKK continued to demonstrate its nationwide reach with typical tactics and techniques that included ambushes of military patrols in the countryside, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) along known military or police routes and bombings of both security and civilian targets in urban areas.It seems terrorism does have it's rewards. At least for the PKK. So, what does that suggest to us about the backers of the PKK?

3- The leader of the PKK stinks to high heaven of a CIA/NATO asset. The man at the forefront of the PKK stay behind has always been Ocalan- He has been ensconced safely in the embrace of the Turkish deep state and the CIA- Imprisoned but influential still.

WSJ-
The PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was captured by the Central Intelligence Agency and Turkish security forces in 1999. He remains in prison but his influence over followers, including YPG fighters, is unbroken.The slogan of YPG fighters translates to “there’s no life without the leader,” referring to Mr. Ocalan. A large poster of him hangs at the command center here, next to a photo of Kurdish fighters at a military parade” So influential that he actually threatened Turkish leaders regarding Kobane/i

Link and quote-   Ocalan- "Should this massacre attempt succeed (in Kobane), it will both bring an end to the ongoing process of resolution and lay the foundations for a new coup that will last long,” 
How is it that Ocalan can threaten an overthrow of the Turkish government while being held allegedly  like a criminal, and get away with it? Clearly he is protected as he visits with influential Kurdish politicians from his 'prison cell" So, connected to 'all the right people'? YUP!
Like I said PKK/YPG = Stay behind army or Gladio if you please?

“YPG/PKK commanders and senior political leaders affiliated with the group said they were eager to join the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State in return for recognition and support from Washington and its allies for the Kurdish-dominated self-rule administrations they have established in northern Syria. The ruling groups have already set up courts, passed laws and tapped oil revenues in the region, which is also populated by Syrian Arabs and Christians.Mr. Kocher and other YPG/PKK commanders said in interviews during a recent visit that U.S. operatives inside Syria are exchanging intelligence and helping coordinate airstrikes against Islamic State—in northeast Syria near the Iraq border, as well as in nearby towns and villages by the Syria-Turkey border”US operatives inside Syria- Exchanging intelligence and coordinating airstrikes-
Since we KNOW that the US is not sharing intelligence or coordinating airstrikes with the elected Syrian government, we can be dam sure that the US is colluding with a designated terror group.

“A senior State Department official praised the Kurdish force and said Wednesday it was in the best interests of the U.S. to expand its joint effort with the YPG against Islamic State. The official said cooperation wouldn’t, however, be tied to political recognition of the self-rule areas now run by the YPG and its political affiliates. “We hope that everyone in Syria works together on a national unified project,” he said”That’s just another  lie! We know that a ‘unified project’ means a weak, destabilized Syria. Same as a 'unified Iraq' means a destroyed Iraq

“Forging closer ties with the YPG and its affiliates would spare the U.S. and its coalition partners from deploying troops against Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL. But the arrangement brings challenges and risk”Did I not mention this exact scenario to you some months ago? Yes, I did! Have you forgotten? Did you miss it? August 28/14( linked above also) The US forging ties with a designated terror group aka left behind NATO army will spare the US and it’s coalition partners from deploying troops

Kurdistan being created right under our noses
“After similar battles, the YPG and its political affiliates this year declared three self-rule administrations, or cantons as they call them, in northern Syria: Afreen, in the northwest, near the city of Aleppo; Kobani; and Jazeera in the northeast, which encompasses Ras al-Ain and the city of Qamishli. Their goal is to connect all three.To unify Kurdistan
Recall that latest attack on Khorasan? Where did it take place? Were you paying attention?
See where Afrin is? Right at the border with Turkey. That is roughly where the US struck
US strikes Khorosan in Syria near the town of Samarda. Samarda appears to be very near Afrin, going in a southern direction Is the US softening targets in advance of a PKK onslaught?Sarmada. Location, Location, Location? In fact look at the airstrikes along the Northern border of Syria?The fight against ISIS looks very much like assistance for a terror groups land grab.
Kosovo?  The KLA?  Hashim Thaci? Ringing any bells? Noting any similarities?

Not everyone is impressed
Some residents worry about YPG control. “Their goal is to hold the ground at any cost and by any means,” said Asem Hasan, a 39-year-old schoolteacher from Qamishli.Well, lets face it- the YPG/PKK is at it's heart a terrorist organization created as a destabilizing force/Stay Behind style.  So they are not going to be nice fellows.

Interestingly the Kurds have been meeting with US officials in Berlin and Baghdad.  Yes, you read correctly- BERLIN and BAGHDAD "Mr. Omar said he and other YPG officials carried that message to U.S. diplomats during meetings in Berlin this summer and in Baghdad in September. Mr. Omar said he pressed U.S. officials during these meetings to support the Kurds’ self-rule administrations, which employ executive, legislative and judiciary councils that include seats for Arabs, local minorities and women.“We basically told them ‘We are ready to work with you if you want to root out ISIS in Syria and you must coordinate with someone on the ground,’ ” Mr. Omar said.U.S. officials declined to comment on the meetings in Baghdad and Berlin. The State Department confirmed an Oct. 12 meeting between the special envoy to Syria, Daniel Rubinstein, and Saleh Muslim, leader of the main political party affiliated with the YPG.Meetings in September and October- That tells us all that there has been planning or conspiring!!

And of course, there is oil

YPG military bases dot the oil fields around Rumailan, about 60 miles east of Qamishli, where about 40,000 barrels a day are produced—the group’s chief source of revenue. Some of the output goes to traders affiliated with the Syrian regime, said Suleiman Khalaf, who holds a post equivalent to that of oil minister in the local administration.Oil Wells in Northern Syria controlled by the Kurdish paramilitary Oil wells dot a stretch of northern Syria under the control of a Kurdish paramilitary force that says it is ready to help the U.S. and its allies defeat Islamic State and other Islamic militants in exchange for U.S. support of a plan to keep control of towns and villages. Sam Dagher/The Wall Street Journal
Ah yes, oil. Kurdistan will be oil rich and very strategically located

Stay tuned for more. Next up! The impending destruction destabilization of Turkey
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When the Rustlers Wear Badges

freedominourtime - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:50





Sweeney Gillette, a very successful cattle trader from Ontario, Oregon, had barely finished a pleasant chat with his ex-wife when his phone rang. In an agitated voice, Gillette's attorney reported that he had just been contacted by a Malheur County deputy District Attorney who accused the rancher of “unlawfully interfering with a witness” – namely, his ex-wife.
Since the attorney called literally seconds after Gillette had hung up, the call from the deputy DA must have come in the middle of the conversation with his ex-wife, who later insisted that she hadn't told anyone about the phone call.
Both Sweeney and his former wife were under surveillance by the Malheur County Sheriff's Office, most likely through a “trap and trace” system. This form of electronic eavesdropping records what the NSA calls “metadata” – the telephone numbers and Internet addresses of people who communicate with the subject of a warrant.

Sweeney's ex-wife was not the focus of an investigation, nor was she a witness. Her ex-husband, however, had been targeted by the Malheur County Sheriff's Office for a campaign of harassment and defamation that would eventually destroy his business and drive his family out of the state. 
Although he was never charged with a crime, Gillette suffered millions of dollars in losses – and the lawsuit he has filed against Malheur County may eventually require tax victims residing therein to pay millions of dollars to indemnify the department's misconduct.
Multi-state campaign of harassment
In April 2011, Gillette owned 3,500 cattle, 130 acres of land, and a feedlot. The business Gillette had built from the ground up after dropping out of school at age 14 was thriving: In the previous year, he had traded more than seven million dollars' worth of cattle. He had loyal customers throughout the Intermountain West, and a $2 million line of credit. The family was well-regarded in their community, and the business was well-respected within a cliquish and gossip-prone industry.
This happy state of affairs changed abruptly after Sweeney Gillette was contacted by a federal investigator named Kirk Miller, who claimed that there were paperwork irregularities regarding a herd of 600 cattle the family was running on leased ranch in Nevada called Soldier Meadows. Sweeney was given notice that his BLM grazing permit had been canceled, and that he had thirty days to assemble the necessary paperwork, and have the cattle inspected and identified by the appropriate authorities.

Sweeney’s wife Kendra, who took care of bookkeeping for the cattle company, was able to document that the paperwork was in order. Sweeney and Kendra flew to Reno, and drove out to the ranch to show Miller their cattle and the necessary documents. The permit was reinstated – at the cost of $6,000 and the diversion of four days from their very busy schedule.
Within a few weeks, the couple began to hear rumors that their business remained under investigation by the Malheur County Sheriff's Office. Sweeney and Kendra and their youngest children. “At first, we just kind of laughed about it,” Kendra later recalled. “We even joked that the deputies wouldn't have much fun following us around. We are pretty boring.”
Like too many people in similar circumstances, the Gillettes severely underestimated the perverse ingenuity that police and prosecutors display in finding ways to turn innocent people into criminal suspects. They also made the mistake of believing that the MCSO would be content merely to investigate their business, rather than setting out to destroy it by ruining their reputation and intimidating their customers.
“That summer we started getting phone calls from our customers telling us that an Idaho brand inspector and a Malheur County deputy were asking about Sweeney, wanting to look at cows we sold them and our paperwork,” Kendra relates. “Our regular customers were not returning to buy our cows.” One of the lost accounts was worth $500,000.
Within a few weeks, MCSO deputies began following trucks carrying Gillette's cattle, often stopping and inspecting them for hours in the sweltering heat. Not surprisingly, this led to the death of some of the livestock. Other deputies – including Robert Speelman, who headed the “investigation” – fanned out to harass customers and business partners in Washington, California, Nevada, Wyoming, and Arizona. Without cause or explanation, deputies would trail cattle trucks to kill plants, where they insisted that it would be necessary to shave and “re-inspect” the stock purchased from Gillette.
Although the family was able to find new customers for their cattle, the damage inflicted to their reputation was quickly killing their business.
“We started losing money,” Kendra points out. “The kill plants started quoting us lower prices so they didn't have the hassle of the Sheriff and Brand Department.”
Covert surveillance, overt intimidation
Operating on the pretense that the Sheriff's Office was dealing with a multi-state “racketeering” operation, Sgt. Speelman obtained a warrant in June 2011 to conduct secret video surveillance of Gillette's feedlot in Ontario. A few months later he obtained a warrant to conduct “trash pulls” at the homes of the Gillettes and Ric Hoyt – Kendra's father, who operates a cattle shipping business -- in search of incriminating documents. This involved recruiting personnel from the Idaho Power Company and the Ontario Sanitation Service to help spy on their customers.
Through the use of such Gestapo-style tactics the deputies were able to produce irrefutable evidence that Gillette and his father-in-law Ric Hoyt were lawfully engaged in the practice of selling and transporting cattle to willing buyers on terms agreeable to both parties. But the musk of insinuation emitted by the deputies clung tenaciously to the family, poisoning their business relationships and destroying their standing among neighbors and friends.
In the absence of evidence that Gillette and Hoyt had done anything illegal, the MCSO escalated from defamation to undisguised intimidation. Investigators hired by the family would later discover that Sgt. Speelman and his comrades systematically contacted the Gillette family's friends, relatives, and business associates, telling them that criminal charges against Sweeney were pending. Dr. Robert Derby, a veterinarian from nearby Nyssa, Oregon who had worked with the Gillette family, was confronted by deputies who demanded that he “cooperate” with the investigation, or face charges as a “co-conspirator.”
According to a lawsuit subsequently filed by the family, the MCSO “witch hunt” did not spare suspected heretics within the department. Among them, allegedly, was former MSCO deputy and livestock investigator Chance Stringer.
“At every meeting with law enforcement [Stringer] would hear [Sgt.] Speelman and others focus on Sweeney Gillette and how they were going to `nail him,'” asserts the lawsuit. “When Deputy Stringer spoke up on behalf of Gillette, attempting to explain why they were wrong, and that Sweeney Gillette was running a legitimate operation, he was threatened with criminal prosecution and accusations that he was part of Gillette's criminal conspiracy.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, Stringer quit the Malheur County Sheriff's Office and started a business on the Idaho side of the Snake River. Stringer, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit, declined to comment about the matter beyond saying that the whole affair was “behind him” and that he wants “nothing to do” with the continuing controversy.

By the winter of 2011, “rumors and gossip were running wild and our `friends' in the community started avoiding us,” Kendra laments. “We heard the words `cattle thief' constantly.”
Frantic to save their business and recover from the unwarranted attack on their character, Sweeney and Kendra reached out to the local media, their congressional representatives, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Oregon Cattlemen's Association (in a spasm of misplaced confidence, they eventually contacted the FBI) -- only to be ignored by public officials and shunned by their peers.
During the December 2011 Oregon Cattlemen's Convention, Sweeney and Kendra – who were puzzled by the cold, hostile reception that greeted them -- received a phone call from a customer in Wyoming informing them of a visit from MCSO Deputy Travis Johnson (who is now undersheriff) and an Idaho brand inspector named Lynn Gibson, who shaved and inspected cattle that had been purchased from the Gillettes two years earlier. No irregularities were discovered but the visit had the intended effect: The customer, who had bought more than $200,000 worth of cattle, never did business with the couple again.
Undersheriff (former deputy) Travis Johnson.In February of the following year, the Gillettes shipped cattle to a JBS kill plant in Arizona. The shipment was trailed by two MCSO deputies, who “re-inspected” the shipment and informed the plant owners that Gillette was a suspected “cattle thief.” As a result, the JBS accounting department contacted their bank and stopped payment on a $126,000 check. 
The Gillettes did eventually receive their payment – but by this point it had become clear that they would have to leave Malheur County in order to make a living. They hired an attorney and a private investigator, made arrangements to sell their home and feedlot, and prepared to file a lawsuit against the MCSO.
Although Sweeney's reputation had been unjustly destroyed in the Intermountain West, he was able to find a job buying butcher cows in Northeast Oklahoma. He and Kendra flew to Tusla in June 2012 to look for a house. Returning to Oregon, they set about wrapping up their business and family affairs, which meant selling their home and feedlot, working with an attorney to compose a tort claim against the MCSO, and preparing for the wedding of Kendra's daughter, Blair.
Retaliatory strike
The Gillettes filed their notice of tort claim against Malheur County on August 1, 2012. On September 26, while Sweeney was in Oklahoma buying cattle, the MCSO dispatched 17 deputies to raid the Gillette family's home. A separate raid was carried out against Ric Hoyt's home.
Speelman's affidavit in support of the search warrant is morbidly obese, yet severely malnourished in terms of actual evidence. In addition to being littered with errors of spelling and grammar, the 79-page document is suffused with speculation, clotted with conjecture, rancid with rumor, and larded with leaps of logic. At one point in the bloated harangue, Speelman relies on paraphrased double hearsayin accusing Sweeney of fraud and claiming that he had made self-incriminating statements.
Any conscientious judge would have examined Speelman's affidavit carefully, and rejected it quickly. It was Speelman's tremendous good fortune that his affidavit was presented to District Judge Patricia Sullivan, a jurist who has never been inhibited by principle. Sullivan signed the document on the day of the raid, most likely without bothering to read it.
“I went to the door and was greeted by two sheriff's deputies,” Kendra relates. “The next thing I knew 17 deputies were in my home. I asked my son Casey and his wife to leave. He reluctantly did, but only after they searched my car.”
Frightened to the depths of her being, Kendra called her husband and her attorney. While she was on the phone, Kendra was informed that she would have to submit to a pat-down search “for your safety and ours.”
“Something inside me just snapped,” she recounts. Not in the mood to be treated like a criminal, she informed the intruders in no uncertain terms that “Nobody is going to lay a hand on me – period!”
Composing herself, she walked out her front door “and looked at all the law enforcement in my home. Not one person would look me in the eye.”
She collected her three-year-old son and went to pick up her daughter from school. In the car, Kendra says, she offered a prayer “asking my Heavenly Father to protect my family and forgive my enemies.”

A few hours later, she “went home to devastation. They had gone through every room, drawer, and closet, and left a huge mess. My office was gone – all my drawers from my desk, my computer, fax machine, back-up discs, message books, file cabinets, cork boards, etc. were gone. My cellphone was gone; my laptop was gone.”
The pillagers had indiscriminately confiscated her business and personal financial records, as well as her checkbooks, leaving Kendra without the means to pay bills or meet the company payroll. For all of this, the malice of the MCSO was not exhausted.
Investigators contacted the local bank where the family maintained its business account “and alleged that [Sweeney Gillette and Ric Hoyt] were being investigated for cattle theft and that the bank should protect itself because [they] would soon be arrested,” summarizes the lawsuit. This led the bank to foreclose on the Gillette family's business loan – which was not in default – and seize their cattle.
The seized property and records – which included legally protected personal medical information -- were never returned. No evidence was ever found of any criminal wrongdoing by Sweeney Gillette or his father-in-law. Ironically, almost exactly one year prior to the raid, Kendra Gillette had published a letter in the local newspaper, the Argus Observer, urging the use of modernized cattle tracing technology for the purpose of preventing cattle theft– a peculiar, if not inexplicable, gesture for someone who supposedly profited from that criminal practice. As a result of the concerted campaign of official harassment, the Gillette family's estimated financial losses amounted to more than $6 million; the damages inflicted on Ric Hoyt account for another $300,000.
Sweeney had practically no money to his name when he began his business as a teenager. He was in similar straits after relocating his family to Vinita, Oklahoma, where he rebuilt his business just as the price of beef headed skyward. Hoyt's trucking company, however, was put into stasis for two years because of the merit-less “racketeering” investigation.
Ric Hoyt and granddaughter (Facebook photo).“People have been asking me, `What are you doing now? Are you keeping busy?'” Hoyt remarked when I contacted him in early November. “I tell them that for the last year or more all I've been able to do is write checks to lawyers.”
Sgt. Speelman and his colleagues didn't uncover a cattle theft ring, but they succeeded in shutting down a business that provided jobs in an economically depressed county at a time when unemployment was spiking. They also managed to rack up untold thousands of dollars overtime and travel expenses through road trips to destinations throughout the western U.S.
How and why did Sweeney Gillette and Ric Hoyt come under the MCSO's scrutiny? Matthew Mankee, a Portland-based inspector with the US Department of Agriculturewho participated in the investigation, told me that some MCSO deputies were involved in a “task force” to investigate cattle theft. When I asked if the task force had received federal funds, Mankee declined to discuss the matter in detail, insisting that he couldn't “comment on ongoing cases.”
Although the source of funding for the task force remains elusive, it appears to have been provided through a shell company called the Oregon Livestock and Rural Crime Investigators Association. The now-defunct company, which identified Sgt. Speelman as “president,” had reported annual revenues of $86,000, and listed its business address as 151 B St. in Vale, Oregon – the location of the Malheur County Sheriff's Office. Apart from Speelman, the company had one other employee, Deputy Robert Wroten, who is also a member of the Malheur County Rodeo Board (about which more will be said anon).
An organization of the same name appears to have been founded more than a quarter-century ago, and spent most of its time educating sheriffs about livestock law and related issues. However, the company involved in the Sweeney Gillette investigation wasn't created until 2010 – and it was quietly disbanded just a couple of years later, at about the same time the Gillettes started discussing a lawsuit against the county.

Cattle rustling remains a problem in Oregon, albeit one that is difficult to quantify. As is the case with all varieties of property crime, law enforcement's chief contribution where cattle theft is concerned is to offer an expensive demonstration of its uselessness. Seeking some way to justify its subsidized existence but lacking the skills to identify actual cattle thieves, the task force devoted its attention on Gillette's very successful cattle business, and his father-in-law's cattle-shipping company – neither of which was proven to have committed an offense more serious than the occasional, quickly-corrected paperwork error.
What role was played by Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe as his deputies committed what Sweeney's lawsuit reasonably describes as “a litany of conspiratorial activities” at the expense of the Gillette and Hoyt families? According to the suit, on November 29, 2011 – nearly a year before the armed raid on the Gillette and Hoyt homes – Sheriff Wolfe called Sweeney Gillette to “apologize” for the methods used in the investigation, “claiming a sergeant and another deputy `made him do it.'”
It's not clear how subordinates who serve at the pleasure of an elected sheriff could “make” him violate the rights of innocent constituents and drive their business into oblivion – then prolong the pretense of an impending prosecution for years in order to exhaust the financial resources the victims would need in order to pursue redress.
“Malheur County has a history of condoning and ratifying police misconduct,” contends Sweeney Gillette's lawsuit, which provides abundant evidence in support of that claim.
Litigation “time bomb”
Earlier this year, Malheur County settled a civil rights lawsuit filed by Steve Hindi, founder of an animal rights organization called Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK). Hindi was subjected to an illegal traffic stop by Malheur County deputies during the 2013 Big Loop Rodeo in Jordan Valley – an event in which the Sheriff's Office had a financial interest. This happened after SHARK volunteer Adam Fahnestock was assaulted and arrested by MCSO deputies while he was attempting to video-record evidence of “horse tripping” – a practice that has subsequently been made illegal.
Hindi was able to obtain the dashcam recordings of the stop, in which the one of the deputies candidly admitted that the unwarranted stop was made because of pressure from the “Rodeo Board” and expressed concern that “we're going to get sued” – before exclaiming: “Dammit, I was still recording!”

It cost Malheur County $12,500 to settle Hindi's lawsuit. That figure is not even a tithe of what the county would have to pay in order to make Sweeney Gillette's lawsuit disappear: Sweeney, his wife, and Ric Hoyt are seeking a total of no less than $7.3 million in damages.
Malheur County DA Dan Norris appeared to allude to the Sweeney lawsuit during a county budgetmeeting last February 12. Norris requested additional funding to pay the salary of deputy DA Michael Dugan, who prosecuted the 45th Parallel medical marijuana case (which was also fraught with official misconduct, and is pregnant with potential lawsuits as well).
At one point late in the discussion Norris enigmatically commented that “in the meantime you have some issues where attorneys in the drug case are seeking sanctions against the Sheriff's Office and I don't have anyone working on dealing with that issue. And it's a time bomb ticking for the Sheriff's Office.”
Neither Susan Gerber nor Larry Kiyuna, the defense attorneys involved in the 45thParallel case, sought sanctions against the Sheriff's Office, and Hindi had nothing to do with a “drug case” of any kind. However, the Gillette lawsuit has been a “time bomb” for the county since he filed the notice of tort claim in August 2012.
The MSCO's misconduct has been so abundant that it's unfair to blame Norris for losing track of some important details. Neither he, nor Sheriff Wolfe, nor any of their underlings will suffer personal injury when the litigation “time bomb” goes off – unless that detonation is of sufficient magnitude to wake up the somnolent tax victims of Malheur County. 
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Dum spiro, pugno!
 




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Before hitting the road :-)

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 10:32
Dear friends,

I am about to hit the road and do what I like most: jump in the car with my wife, leave everything behind, and spend a couple of days in the Florida wilderness.  God willing, we will be back on Friday.

In the meantime, I want to leave you with a few short notes:

1) Podcast: there definitely was some kind of glitch in the 2nd part of the podcast and I had no time to detect it.  Lesson learned: it was a mistake to leave the post with questions open until Friday 18000 GMT and hope to get the podcast ready my Monday.  The next time around, I will leave three days to post questions (Monday-Wednesday) and then I will use the remaining time (Wednesday-Sunday) to prepare the podcast for release on Monday.  From now on and until the new blog is up, I will release on Soundcloud, Mediafire and Youtube.

2) My "homophobic video": from a comment posted today I realized that some of you had not realized that the person sitting next to the cop is not a a woman at all but, to quote the official dogma, a person manifesting a "normal and natural variation in human sexuality and is not in and of itself a source of negative psychological effects".

3) These past couple of weeks I have been bombarded with people accusing me of endorsing Šešelj or of "discrediting" or even "abandoning" Strelkov.  What these critics apparently fail to understand is that I can discuss somebody's views or situation without necessarily endorsing or betraying that person.  As it happens, I have no personal opinion whatsoever about Šešelj and I have the utmost respect for Strelkov.  My view of the world and of people is not binary, black or white, and I like to freely analyze and discuss ideas, situations and personalities.  If you are too stupid to cope with that kind of diversity of approaches, then I suggest you avoid my blog like the plague because I sure intend to continue to do that.

4) The "Putin is weak and beaten" chorus is not letting up.  I personally explain that by too much exposure to the corporate media which is constantly presenting Putin as beat, isolated, humiliated and otherwise broken.  Since these comments never come with fact based and logically presented arguments, I don't see the point if trying to refute them.

5) Novorussia: today Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke during a Q&A at the Duma and he also mentioned the possibility that the economic blockade of Novorussia by the Nazi regime in Kiev (which basically stole the money of the people of Novorussia) could be a prelude to a Ukrainian attack.  I am personally convinced that the recent statements of Putin and Lavrov about this possibility are designed to prepare the public opinion of Russia and, to some degree, the EU to situation in which Russia might have to intervene to stop such an attack.  The situation right now is extremely dangerous, but not hopeless as I am sure that there is a lot of pressure put upon the junta and its US bosses by Russia and other countries not to attack.

6) US elections: I am not a US citizen, so I don't get to vote anyway.  If I did, I still would not vote.  The choice of a lesser evil is still a choice for evil.  It is also a de-facto endorsement of the legitimacy of the system.  Can I recommend to those interested in this issue to read an old post of mine entitled "USSR 1974 - USA 2007: back to the future"? 

Okay, that's it for today.  I am off to my beloved wilderness with wifey.  See you all in a couple of days!

The Saker
Categories: Blogroll feed

The Trial Of Radovan Karadžić Enters The Final Phase

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 09:48
Note from the Saker: I have recently posted an excellent analysis by Stephen Karganovic of the legal farce or "judicial persecution" of Vojislav Šešelj by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the Hague. I was so impressed by this article, that I asked Karganovic if he would agree to update me, and my readers, about the situation of Radovan Karadžić. Karganovic kindly agreed and he sent me the article I am posting today. Considering some of the comments elicited by the previous article I sadly have to remind you all of two things which I consider self-evident:

1) To describe the gross violation of basic legal norms and civil rights of an accused person does not necessarily imply an endorsement of that person's views, actions or character.  For example, do denounce the murder by a lynchmob of Muammar Gaddafi does not imply an endorsement of his policies or character.

2) In today's world, it appears that *nobody* has the intellectual honesty or courage to give the accused Serbians at the ICTFY a fair hearing or even to express concern about the total lack of respect of even basic legal norms in their trials. I refuse to "forget" or "not notice". I shall not be a bystander and I shall not give in to the social pressure to conform.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to Stephen Karganovic for is superb analysis of these two trials.

The Saker

*******
The Trial Of Radovan Karadžić Enters The Final Phase

by Stephen Karganovic

The Prosecution and the Defence have filed their final submissions in the trial of Radovan Karadžić, former president of the Republic of Srpska, which was concluded on 2 May 2014. The trial was conducted before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the Hague. A total of 195 Prosecution and 238 Defence witnesses were heard. The prosecutor, Alan Tieger, has asked for life imprisonment, the maximum sentence, for Dr. Karadžić who stands accused of genocide, crimes against humanity (persecution, extermination, murder, deportation, etc.), and violation of the laws and customs of war. Dr Karadžić was the political head of the Bosnian Serb state during the 1992-1995 ethnic conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina and, as President, he was commander-in-chief of its armed forces.

While during the lengthy trial the prosecution focused on a variety of imputed crimes, the main charges against Dr. Karadžić concerned “ethnic cleansing” of the Muslim and to a lesser extent Croatian population, the siege and bombardment of Sarajevo by Serbian forces, and events in Srebrenica following its capture by Serbian forces in July of 1995.

In his three-day summary of the evidence which began on 1 October, Karadžić reiterated his innocence of the charges outlined in the indictment. “I am not guilty,” he proclaimed. “This court has put on trial not me, but the Serbian people.”

Although not a lawyer but psychiatrist by training and representing himself in the proceedings, as the trial advanced Dr. Karadžić’s proficiency increased noticeably. While in his 876 page final submission he addressed meticulously every item presented in the prosecution’s case, in the concluding remarks he focused mainly on refuting the three charges which were at the heart of the prosecutor’s indictment.
  1. There was never a policy or “joint criminal enterprise” to expel Muslims from Serb areas of Bosnia;
  2. The shelling and sniping in Sarajevo was in response and proportional to outgoing fire and attacks by the Bosnian Muslim forces from the militarized city, and the most dramatic of these events, like Markale, were staged by the Muslims to obtain international intervention for their side; and
  3. He had no knowledge that prisoners from Srebrenica would be, were being, or had been executed and the number of such executions has been exaggerated.
The defendant argued forcefully that while large-scale movement of each of the three ethnic populations (Muslim, Croats, and Serbs) to areas where their co-nationals constituted the majority or were under the control of their armed forces is undeniable, that is an inherent characteristic of most ethnic conflicts. The prosecution, Karadžić claimed, failed to present any evidence of a plan or policy on the Bosnian Serb side to expel members of the other ethnicities from territory under its control. Quite the opposite, numerous orders were issued to troops and authorities under Karadžić’s command prohibiting ill-treatment of Muslim and Croat non-combatants.

Radovan KaradžićThe siege of Sarajevo, as expected, was a very contentious issue during the trial. Karadžić reiterated the position of the Serbian side that while Muslims had a strong presence in the city, the surrounding countryside was mainly populated by Serbs. As a result, there was no “siege” in proper military terms but merely holding the line of demarcation between the respective territories of the two communities. Karadžić was largely successful in demonstrating that, contrary to agreements reached at the beginning of the war concerning its demilitarisation, Sarajevo contained significant and well-equipped Muslim military formations which conducted offensive operations against Serbian forces throughout the conflict.

One of the highlights of the defence case was undoubtedly the meticulous and competent dismantling of the story line constructed around Markale market bombings, with considerable civilian casualties, allegedly carried out by Bosnian Serb forces in February 1994 and August 1995. These bombings were significant in psychologically turning world public opinion against the Serb side and, additionally, served as pretexts for the military involvement of NATO forces on the Muslim side, thus helping to tip the military balance in the war.

Karadžić’s defence reinforced doubts that virtually from the start were circulating widely that the Markale massacres were a classical “false flag” operation conceived and carried out by the Muslims, perhaps with Western intelligence assistance. It was, he argued, designed to incriminate the other side, and not a war crime deliberately committed by Serbian forces. Forensic and eyewitness evidence produced by the defence left intact very little of the prosecution’s case with regard to Markale.

Turning to Srebrenica, while asserting that the prosecution offered no evidence to link him to the planning, execution, or knowledge of any crimes committed there in the aftermath of the Serbian takeover in July 1995, Dr. Karadžić vigorously disputed the standard narrative. His position was that the prosecution claim of 7,000 to 8,000 executed prisoners was an impossibility because the prosecution failed to produce evidence that more than about 3,500 Muslim POWs were ever taken captive in that military operation. Furthermore, according to evidence presented by the defence, a large number of Muslim losses were in fact combat deaths sustained during Muslim army 28th Division’s breakout from Srebrenica to Tuzla and were therefore legitimate casualties which cannot be imputed as war crimes.

Dr. Karadžić’s position is that up to 1,000 Muslim prisoners of war were probably executed after the fall of Srebrenica on 11 July 1995, but that – setting aside revenge killings – the executions had neither an official nor premeditated character and were carried out by rogue structures outside of the Bosnian Serb military chain of command. Karadžić did not deny that a massacre of prisoners took place, though on a far smaller scale than alleged in the indictment, but asserted that neither the military nor the political authorities of the Republic of Srpska were involved in it.

On the issue of “genocide,” which is particularly complex from the legal standpoint and sensitive morally, Karadžić maintained that the evidence does not demonstrate any intent, prior to the 11 July 1995 takeover of Srebrenica, to exterminate Muslims as a group protected under the Genocide Convention. Moreover, he referred to much contrary evidence produced at the trial indicating that captured prisoners were being treated regularly into 13 July, thus again refuting the existence of prior genocidal specific intent. Subsequently, groups of prisoners were shot at various locations, but the prosecution failed to link those events to state or military policy. According to Karadžić, it would be just as reasonable to view these murders as revenge by local Serbs for the atrocities previously committed by Muslim army forces using the UN-protected Srebrenica enclave as a launching pad for military operations against Serbian civilians in the surrounding areas.

In any event, Karadžić argued, the object of a genocide – even if there was the intention to commit it – could only have been Bosnian Muslims as a whole, not a comparatively negligible percentage of Muslim residents and refugees in a small town. However, no evidence was presented that a crime of such scope or nature was planned or committed either on the national or the municipal level.

The Karadžić trial (and the mostly parallel trial of Bosnian Serb army commander, General Ratko Mladic) is the last in the series of Hague show trials since the Tribunal was established and began its work in the mid-1990s. In an important sense it encapsulates the spirit and methodology of ICTY. Inequality of resources between the huge Prosecution staff and the tiny Defence team is blatant. The Chamber regularly granted Prosecution requests and blocked those of the Defence. The Prosecution deprived the Defence of thousands of pages of potentially exculpatory evidence during the trial without provoking the slightest effort on the part of the judicial Chamber to correct that outrageous procedural and substantive injustice. Defence request for access to important evidence for independent forensic verification, such as DNA data that allegedly supports the prosecution’s version of the number of Srebrenica victims, was flatly denied by the Chamber. And the list goes on and on…

The unequal conditions in which the trial was conducted leave little doubt that the judges will go to great lengths to look at the evidence and its significance from the Prosecution’s point of view. With respect to the formal outcome of the Karadžić trial, it is practically certain that the judges are highly unlikely to take the politically risky step of disregarding the prosecution’s recommendation of life in prison for Radovan Karadžić.

That being settled, the larger issue is how the verdict will be framed and what reverberations it will have on the Bosnian political scene.

Karadžić’s close collaborator, Bosnian Serb National Assembly President Momčilo Krajišnik, was initially accused of genocide, but in the verdict that charge was dropped by the court for lack of evidence. In Dr. Karadžić’s case, whether or not he is found guilty of genocide (it being understood that in light of Tribunal’s jurisprudence, there are in any event plenty of crimes in the indictment that the court could use to rationalize life imprisonment, if it so chooses) is bound to have considerable impact on local Bosnian politics. It would add considerable impetus and an apparent legal justification to the persistent Muslim demand for the dissolution of the Republic of Srpska as a “genocidal entity.” It would also provide a quasi-judicial basis for collecting from Republic of Srpska’s taxpayers huge civil indemnity judgments that individual Muslim “victims” have obtained in various courts for abuses suffered at the hands of Serbian forces during the Bosnian civil war.

There is also another important potential effect of the Karadžić judgment that is certain to have an impact on the Serbian Democratic Party (SDP) in the Republic of Srpska, which he founded. While Karadžić was in hiding and later at the Hague, his party, once considered a bastion of Serbian nationalism, was taken over by a new cadre of pragmatic politicians eager to avoid confrontations with Western powers and ready to make political accommodations in return for Western support to replace current pro-Russian Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik. SDP’s candidate lost the 12 October election to Dodik, but the party still has considerable influence with the support of about one-fourth of the electorate. It is rumored in Banja Luka, the Bosnian Serb capital, that the new SDP leadership has agreed to redesign party ideology to make it more acceptable to Euro-Atlanticist mentors, similarly to the way that operation was performed a few years ago in neighbouring Serbia by former nationalist Radicals Aleksandar Vučić and Tomislav Nikolić.

According to well-informed sources, again, current SDP leadership were warned by Western interests that by the time the Karadžić trial is over they would be well advised to fully transform their traditional image. Otherwise, their “extremist nationalist” and, after the Karadžić verdict, quite possibly also “genocidal” party might simply be banned by the High representative in Sarajevo who, after all, is the real ruler of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Categories: Blogroll feed

Japan's smartphone zombies wreak havoc on the streets? Not unique to Japan

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 09:08
It isn't just in Japan. I see this here in a medium size Canadian city, almost daily.
I have had these dullards almost walk into me on the sidewalk- have witnessed as these fools walk into things (tree and post) and had one texting idiot riding her bicycle straight towards my vehicle, while I was driving, in a parking lot!!!
Recently in BC a young gal lost her life, walking on the train tracks, texting and listening to music
Who the hell even does that??!! It's tragic. Completely preventable. Her parents are heartbroken.
Darrell Phillips, Tiffany's father, had a message for other kids, according to CBC News."Take your headphones out of your ears. Don't walk the tracks. Put [only] one headphone in," he said. "My daughter died because of this. So please... you do not want to do this to your parents."What I have to say on the subject may be unkind. But, here it is.  Straight up!
If you are so foolish, so stupid, to actually be unaware of your surroundings..... anything that happens to you it is completely your own fault.  
* You will be predator for prey.  
*Victims for criminals. 
*You won't even have provided yourself the second or two utterly necessary for survival
* In the survival of the fittest category...... You're a fail
*You are the ultimate in idiocracy. 

Put your phone away. Stop texting.  Get those buds out of your ears. Pay Attention. The life you save can be your own. If you can't make that choice for yourself, one that is actually in your own best interest- Seek help. Help, that is desperately needed.

The growing ranks of these cellphone addicts are turning cities like Tokyo, London, New York and Hong Kong into increasingly hazardous hotspots, where zombified shoppers appear to be part of vast games of human pinball."Hey, watch it!" barks a middle-aged salaryman as a hipster typing on his smartphone slams into him during one recent Friday evening crush hour."Incidents involving people walking or on bicycles account for 41 percent of phone-related accidents," Tetsuya Yamamoto, a senior official at Tokyo Fire Department's disaster prevention and safety section, told AFP. "If people continue walking around looking at their phones, I think we could see more accidents happening."
A pedestrian using his smartphone on a street in Tokyo, November 3, 2014.

It goes beyond being an innocuous inconvenience where both people apologise before continuing on their merry way.
Tokyo Fire Department, which runs the ambulance service in the megalopolis, says that in the four years to 2013, 122 people had to be rushed to hospital after accidents caused by pedestrians using cellphones.
As well as the vaguely comedic incidents of businessmen smacking into lamp-posts or tripping over dogs, this total also included a middle-aged man who died after straying onto a railway crossing while looking at his phone. - Tunnel vision -
More than half of Japanese now own a smartphone and the proportion is rising fast, including children who customarily walk to and from school.
Pedestrians use their smartphones on a street in Tokyo, November 3, 2014.

Research by Japanese mobile giant NTT Docomo estimates a pedestrian's average field of vision while staring down at a smartphone is just five percent of what our eyes take in normally.95 percent of your field of vision- reduced. Does that make sense to you? 
"Children wouldn't be safe in that situation," said Hiroshi Suzuki, manager of corporate social responsibility at the company. "It's dangerous and it's our job to make sure it doesn't actually happen." The company ran a computer simulation of what could occur in Shibuya if everyone crossing the intersection was looking at their smartphones. The results, based on a fairly average 1,500 people swarming over the road at any one time, were alarming: 446 collisions, 103 knockdowns and 21 dropped phones. Only around a third get to the other side without incident.Japanese media reported that around half of the 56 bodies recovered from the peak of a volcano after a recent eruption were found clutching mobile phones with photos of the deadly lava and ash on them. Apparently, they had thought it important to be able to show their social media friends what was happening than to try to save themselves.Hey cool, look it's lava and ash- Let's get an image and post it on facebook- Duh! Unbelievable!
Phone fidgeters dawdling along at snail's pace, forcing cyclists and pram-pushing mums to swerve out of the way have become such an irritant in Tokyo that public notices have started to appear warning offenders to expect "icy stares", appealing to the Japanese sense of social harmony -- assuming people look up from their phones in the first place. In China, an amusement park in the southwestern megacity of Chongqing has divided a pavement within its grounds into two lanes -- one signposted "No mobile phones" and the other "Mobile phone use permitted but all consequences are your responsibility."Recorded announcements on Hong Kong's subway network warn passengers in Cantonese, Mandarin and English that they are about to step onto an escalator. WTF? Shouldn't you know your about to step onto an escalator?



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The Resistance in France - suppressed, but not broken

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 17:48
It has been a very long while since I have written about the popular resistance movement in France embodied by the philosopher Alain Soral and the humorist Dieudonne.  
[Sidebar: for those who have missed these articles, they can be found here:
These are just a few examples, use the search option for more]My purpose today is to update you on what has been happening to the only meaningful anti-system Resistance movement in France.

Soral and DieudonneThe first thing to say is that the state repression against Dieudonne got much more vicious: both of them are now being sued for huge amounts of money. The list of lawsuits filed against Alain Soral now takes a full page on his website and the total sum for which he is being used is a stunning 489 292 Euros.  I don't know the exact figures for Dieudonne, but I do know that attempts are being made at seizing both his home and his theater in Paris.

Next to that financial repression, the "minutes of hate" against Dieudonne and Soral have now become a quasi-permanent fixture in the French media and the doubleplusgoodthing blogosphere: they are accused of Nazis, anti-Semites, homophobes and, of course, the inspiration of various terrorist movements.  Dieudo is also accused of being a crook.  Some individuals do not shy away from overtly racist slurs like the Rabbi Rav Dymovisz who said that Dieudonne proves that Darwin was right and he is the living proof that some humans are descendants from monkeys "most probably a gorilla".

There have been even numerous attempts to censor both Soral's books and Dieudo's shows, including efforts in the French State Court, but these have run into that pesky problem that French law does not foresee political censorship.  Hence the two tricks most used have been the standard accusation of anti-Semitism and "risk of trouble to the public order".  In reality, of course, both Soral and Dieudo are completely non-violent and their ideology is one of reconciliation and equality, not hatred.  They, however, have been attacked physically many times, but the police has always denied them any protection and their aggressors have walked away with, at most, a gentle little slap on the wrist.  Since Soral and Dieudo are, of course, losing most of their lawsuits, it appears inevitable that prison sentences will inevitably replace fines because they will be tried as "repeat offenders".

And yet, for all these efforts by the French 1%ers to crush them, the popularity of both men has continued to steadily grow, but mostly in the disenfranchised classes and the immigrant communities.  Diedo only plays to full theaters while Soral's books are best-sellers.  As for their websites, they have more viewers than the national TV channels.  The French elites, however, including the putatively freedom-loving intelligentsia, prefer to look away as if not noticing what is taking place or, worse, then join into the chorus of the 'official' ideological lynchmob.

Still, Diedo and Soral are not giving up the struggle.  They have even decided to form a Equality and Reconciliation (E&R) party.  These men are smart and they know that they cannot win, but what they can do is get two things which the state desperately tires to deny them: a platform and money.  Becoming a party can get them both.

In the past Soral and Dieudo have supported the short-lived Anti-Zionist Party which did remarkably well considering the political reality in France, but make no mistake, in this case "remarkably well" means single digit figures or less.  There is absolutely no reason to believe that their new party will do any better, at least visibly.  This is why:

There are really two "Frances" today: one, the official, visible one, appears to be one of consensus, of democracy, of relative well-being.  The other, the "invisible one", is one of deep alienation, of rage, of despair and of revolt.  And these two Frances are not always were one would expect them to be found.  For example, in the very same French police which is used by the state to persecute Dieudonne and Soral the popularity of both men is very high.  The same goes for the military, the fire departments, and a host of other government agencies.  Likewise, even though neither Dieudo or Soral are Muslim (both are Christian Latins, though in the case of Soral this is more of a cultural affinity), they get a great deal of support from the Muslim immigres in France who understand and respect their message.

As for the French "Far Right", it mostly dislikes them, often with no less intensity then the rest of the Establishment.  The problem here is a generational one.  If Dieudo and Soral both respect Jean-Marie LePen and if both of them are still close to him both ideologically, they both have accused the National Front of having basically joined the Establishment, of having been co-opted and corrupted, and they have strongly criticized the anti-Muslim stance of Marine LePen.

The second ideological struggle which is taking place is that Dieudo and Soral are also on the offensive against a French author named Eric Zemmour whom they accuse of being a fake dissident.  Zemmour recently wrote a book entitled "The French Suicide" in which is strongly criticizes almost all French policies and politicians since 1968 and in which he, a French Jew, openly criticized the use for petty political purpose of the Nazi persecutions of Jews.  He even went as far as to declare on national prime time TV that Petain had saved French Jewry.  Among his many theories, Zemmour is also known for declaring that Islam is not compatible with the French republic and that immigrants should be assimilated.  This is were he enters into a direct conflict with Dieudo and Soral.

They accuse him of being the new "Bernard Henri Levi", the new "official ideologue" who is now in charge of Islam-bashing in the name of French patriotism. Their proof? That Zemmour is constantly invited to all the major talkshows on French radio and TV whereas they are quasi officially blacklisted.

Eric ZemmourFrankly, I think that in this case they are simply wrong.  First, I do not agree with Zemmour's view of Islam at all, but to say that he is simply wrong or mistaken does not imply that he is being used.  There is a very simple explanation of why he is being invited everywhere: he is not Soral or Dieudo.  Really, his views are very similar to the ones of Soral on many topics, you can think of him as a "Soral light", and that is precisely why to invite him to the official media makes sense for the Establishment: it is a safe(r) way to "prove" that there still is freedom of speech in France and that even a "quasi-Soral" gets airtime.

Zemmour is a brilliant man and speaker, he is also a formidable debater who, unless he is shouted down, usually makes minced meat of his opponents while keeping a smile all along.  Zemmour is also very direct and, in my opinion, intellectually honest man, and I don't see him at all as the next "BHL" or somebody who is corrupted by the system.  However, I also think that Zemmour is completely wrong about Islam and, even more importantly, wrong about France.  The France which is would like to see is one which is gone forever and though he does not really deny that, he also does not want to accept it.  In a way, he reminds me of Strelkov, many of whose views I share, but who appears to me to lack the realism needed to get things done in the modern world and the reality of today's Russia.  Whatever may be the case, Zemmour, who is usually associated with the French far Right, is also a target of Dieudo and Soral.

Thus it is completely wrong to classify them with the "Right".  In fact, both of them admire Jean Marine LePen and Georges Marchais, the charismatic leader of the French Communist Party until 1994.  The issue for them is not one of "Right vs Left" but one of real opposition versus selling out to the system.

Neither Soral or Dieudo have ever endorsed the political program of the National Front or the Communist Party.  What they did do is praise these two forces for being truly revolutionary (in the literal meaning of the word - wanting change) and not a fake opposition.  But if under Marchais and Jean-Marie LePen the Communist Party and the National Front were truly speaking "for the masses", then after their retirement both parties turned into tools for the elites.  I fully agree with that analysis.  This is why I say that today the only real opposition in France is E&R.

As for Zemmour, he is a nostalgic of the past and therefore neither a revolutionary nor a supporter of the current system which his views can only mildly annoy, but not threaten.

Can Dieudo and Soral, unlike Zemmour, threaten the system?

I strongly believe so.  But in the long run only.

For one thing, they are appealing to the disenfranchised masses which are, by definition, the majority.  The rest of the political scene in France only appeals to the elites.  Second, while the Establishment tries as hard as it can to create fake non-issues (homosexual marriages) while obfuscating the vital ones (poverty and exploitation), E&R brings the real problems to the forefront of its discourse.  Furthermore, while the official (Masonic) French ideology is both anti-Christian and anti-Muslim E&R is pro-Islam and pro-Christian.  This is why the key slogan of E&R is "la gauche du travail la droite des valeurs" (the Left of Labor and the Right of Values) meaning that its economics are very similar to those of traditional Socialist parties whereas its ethics and morals are more typical of the ones of religious conservatives (Zemmour, by the way, would disagree with both, even though he likes to quote Marx and defends Christian ethics).  In fact, I would argue that the ideas of Soral, Dieudo and E&R appeal to moral categories taken straight out of Christian, Islamic and Marxist traditions and that they recombine and adapt them to modern realities.  This is, I think, very, very interesting stuff, especially for me since this is also what I see happening in Russia.

Solzhenitsyn and PutinResistance to Empire can take many forms. Sometimes, this resistance is armed, as in the case of Hezbollah.  Sometimes this resistance is purely ideological, as was the case with Gandhi.  But sometimes, it begins on the purely ideological level and eventually becomes incarnate in a very material way.  For example, I would argue that today's continuator of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's ideas is Vladimir Putin.  And yet, Solzhenitsyn will be remembered as possibly the biggest foe of the KGB whereas Putin was an officer in that organization.  These are the amazing paradoxes of history which show over and over again that the power of ideas is far stronger than the power of the state and its institutions.

Today, Soral and Dieudo are in a position very similar to the one of opponents in the former Soviet Union.  Sure, the methods have changed, and there is no GULag in France (for the time being), but the French courts are now clearly used to silence dissent.  How long until they begin being used to sent thought-criminals to jail?

Soral, Dieudo are typically French phenomena and so is their resistance.  But they are also part of a much larger planetary Resistance to Empire.  They are part of the same struggle as Evo Morales, Ali Khamenei, Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping.  Just like these men, they are not always right, and we don't have to endorse all of their views.  But I think that is is vital to recognize them as fellow resistants and, therefore, comrades.

The Saker 
Categories: Blogroll feed

Saker Podcast #2 on YouTube

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 15:26
Dear friends,

Since some of you have requested it, here is the YouTube upload of the 2nd Saker Podcast.  By the way, there are a couple of instances (4 I think?) of a kind of echo in the latter part of the podcast.  This is already the case in the original audio track and I am not sure whether my microphone (Zoom H2n) or my software (Audacity) is to blame.  Sorry about that and I will try to fix this problem before the next podcast.

Kind regards,

The Saker

Categories: Blogroll feed

Hillary, Jeb, Rand or does it make a difference anyway?

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 13:52
In my post this morning I failed to realize how many new readers there are on this blog, so I did not repeat things which I had sad many times in the early years of this blog.  Your comments and questions made me realize that I needed to clarify my view of the US political system.

First - I see the USA as run by a tiny elite which is good at "pretend democracy" but which makes darn sure that the people vote the "correct" way.  I consider the primaries, conventions, caucuses,and elections themselves as a mix between a farce, a form of entertainment, a re-legitimization of a system and a secular liturgical act (a form of public self-worship).  There is no "democracy" in the US and there probably never was.  However, if the regime does not change, the specific clans within the 1% do fight each other and struggle for control of the regime.

Second, there are different clans, interest groups, factions who fight *within* the top 1% and they can, and do, make use of the electoral process not as a means of popular expression, but as a way to impose their agenda and interests.  I often speak of the "old Anglo guard" (best represented by the Bush clan before Dubya) and the "Neocons", but there are many more interest group (oil, banking, military, drug warriors, big pharma, etc.) who all participate in the internal struggle for power.

Thus, there is no real difference between the Republicrats and the Demoblicans, they are all part of the same elite, but there are differences between different political figures who are more, or less, aligned with any specific interest group.  Thus Greenwald is correct when he identifies the various groups who would support a Hillary Presidency.  This has nothing to do with democracy, the political parties or even her own views and everything to do with which interest groups she sold out to.

Even in the course of a single presidency, these groups can struggle with each other and trigger a change in policies.  Initially, the election of Obama was a victory of the old Anglo guard and a defeat of the Neocons who then came right back in through the back door and ended up re-taking control.

[sidebar: I got two college degrees in the USA between 1986 and 1991 and at the time I was pretty close to several conservative think tanks in Washington DC.  I saw with my own eyes how the agents of the Israel lobby, which before that had been aligned with the supposedly "liberal" Democratic party, suddenly realized that the Republicans were a much better host, and how they then began to take control of the previously paleo-conservative think tanks and turned them into Neocon mouthpieces.  It was quite amazing.  First, they funded them.  Then, they influenced the nominations of senior officers and finally, they took them under complete ideological control.  The case study of that kind of "subversion and acquisition" of an Anglo paleo-conservative think tank by Zionist interest groups is what happened to the Ethics & Public Policy Center, but there are many many more].

The US elites agree on most goals (world domination, wealth, economic feudalism, etc.) but they can, and do, disagree on methods and priorities.  The Israel lobby wanted a war with Iran.  The old Anglo guard did not.  The latter prevailed.  As long as their interests coincide, they act as one.  But as soon as there is a real danger or a real threat - they begin to "pull" the agenda over to their own interests.

Whether it will (Hillary) Clinton vs (Jeb) Bush again or not, whoever wins the presidency will have to continue to preside over the gradual erosion of the US imperial power and thus will have to decide whether the use of force (or threat of use, which is, in many ways, almost the same thing) against Russia can, if not reverse, then at least slow down that process.  At this point whether the US goes to war or not will depend on both the of correlation of the various interest groups inside the 1%ers and on the collective personality (President + advisors) who will be sitting in the White House.

This is the moment when having a generally mentally sane Jeb Bush (and his staff)  might be better than a clearly rabid Hillary (and her staff).  This has nothing to do with being "better" or "liberal or conservative" because on all these levels there are not meaningful differences between the Left/Liberal/Democratic side and the Right/Conservative/Republican side: they are all equally for sale, they all represent a pseudo-democracy of "one dollar one vote", they all are a government "by the billionaires for the billionaires" and none of them gives a damn the 99% of the planet or even the 99% of the American people.

As for Rand Paul, his function is the same as of Dennis Kucinich: get more votes into their respective parties.  Besides, unlike Kucinich, and even very much unlike his father Ron, Rand Paul is a puppet in the hands of the Israel Lobby.

Right now, there is nobody out there representing the interests of the vast majority of the people of the USA.  No "American Putin".  This is both scary and very sad.

Anyway, these are my 2cts on this depressing issue.

Cheers,

The Saker

PS: as always, David Rovics put it best:'


Categories: Blogroll feed

Paul Craig Roberts and Glenn Greenwald are right: Hillary is truly dangerous

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:25
I have just read Paul Craig Roberts' article "The Next Presidential Election Will Move The World Closer To War".  In the article, PCR refers to an article by Glenn Greenwald entitled "Cynics, Step Aside: There is Genuine Excitement Over a Hillary Clinton Candidacy".  Both authors agree that the possibility of Clinton becoming President is very bad news, PCR even mentions the risk of war.

Sadly, I have to agree with both of them.  Hillary is the quintessential expression of everything that is wrong with the USA, and on the heals of an absolutely disastrous presidency by Barak Obama, Hillary will have a lot to prove to herself and to her power base (which Greenwald describes in his piece).  I won't repeat all the arguments of PCR and Greenwald, but I will just add that I am absolutely convinced that Hillary is both delusional enough and arrogant enough to believe that she can bully Russia, including with the use of military force.  And at the risk of sounding a little naive, I would also add that I think that she is also simply an evil person. 

The problem is, of course, that Russia will not back down.  Not for issues which are clearly of strategic, existential, importance to her.  That very much includes the Ukraine's future.  I am afraid that the US will think of a military confrontation with Russia as a game of chicken when for Russia it will be a matter of survival.  We all know how that can end.

Two forces might, maybe, prevent this descent into war: a hypothetical part of the ruling 1%ers who might realize how much the US would risk in such a war, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  That, or an internal crisis which would draw enough energy from the Federal government to make it unable to pursue foreign imperial policies.

Either way, I have to say that I look at the future with a great deal of anxiety.

The Saker

PS: this begs the question of whether a Republicrat candidate would be any better than a Demoblican one.  All I can say is that Jeb Bush is an intelligent man (at least he knows a foreign language) and that he does not appear delusional.  Is that better?  Maybe.
Categories: Blogroll feed

Transcarpathia, Transnistria and Gagauzia SitRep 10 Nov - 16 Nov

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 22:24
(Note: some urls in the links are prefixed with 'z5h64q92x9.net/tr-url/ru-en.en/'. This form provides the reader with a Yandex translated version of the source. The original article can be reached by removing this prefix.)

Transcarpathia

ATO

Only two individuals from Transcarpathia have been reported as killed at the front. The first served volunteered in AUgust and received two weeks training. He joined the 128 Mechanised Infantry Brigade and was killed by a sniper near Debaltsevo. The second was described as a Major, killed in an unreported location. A third solder, a resident of Mukachevo, who died of burns in a hospital in Dnepropetrovsk was commemorated this week.

The latest reports from the regime indicate that a total of 1654 individuals from Transcarpathia have served at the front. This presumably excludes the members of the militias who come and go as they wish. Of these, 24 are reported dead, 54 wounded and 15 have been released after being held prisoner in the east. Currently there are about 200 official combatants at the front from bases in Transcarpathia. The overall official loss figures are 1052 Ukraine military killed, more than 4000 injured and more than 400 are held prisoner. These figures contrast dramatically with those estimated by the Novorossian forces. They calculate the death toll at 20904. This includes 11590 regular Ukrainian military soldiers and 3382 from the various militias and special battalions.

The trickle of police officers rotating to and from the front continues. They seem to have been been based near Debaltsevo. One group of 50 returned after one month at the front whilst another group of 10 returned after 40 days. The Crimean Tatar spokesperson, Dzhemilev is reported claiming that 450 Crimean Tatars are serving in various battalions. He also claims that the relatives of these individuals in Crimea are at risk and are held hostage to local authorities. He seems to be doing a good job as a propaganda agent for the regime.

One recent development ids the appearance of videos in the local press of Transcarpathians serving at the front. As an example, this one shows a substantial camp located near residential buildings. The soldiers are filmed using these abandoned houses for shelter and cooking facilities. They also decorate the places with their symbolism. The local Hungarian press still refer to the Novorossians as pro-Russian dissidents rather than the term 'terrorist' ubiquitous in Ukrainian media.

The lustration process is still under way. This process of removing 'tainted' individuals has a couple of loopholes, allowing those who served under Yanukovich to continue in their posts. One loophole relates to those who have served in the ATO forces. A popular cam involves an affected person finding a quiet spot near the front to serve for a short while, gaining them exception to the process.

The Pravy Sektor (PS) forces have established a training camp in Transcarpathia. This allows those PS fighters who have seen enough of the reality of war to train other gungho individuals to take their place. A small number of individuals have been trained and form part of a so-called '1st battalion DYK'. Reports claim the PS fighters at Donetsk airport have left because their work is done there. The close combat work is being left to the Ukraine military. It appears that these PS 'cyborgs' have left without notifying the military authorities and have gone to parts unknown.

Economy

The Ukraine national bank has ceased trying to hold the Hryvnia exchange rate at about 13 UAH/$. This support was provided during the election period to mask the true state of the economy from the voters. Following the election, the central bank abandoned a fixed exchange rate policy and expected the rate to rise to 15-16. It did this almost immediately, running at 15.4 to 16.1 by mid week. To put this in context, the exchange rate was 6.99 UAH/$ at the beginning of the year and some analysts expect it to reach 20, certainly before the end of the year. In February this year, the Ukraine reserves included ~21 tons of gold, now there is only about 0.2 tons. It is not known publicly where this gold went. Possibly some of it was sold recently to support the UAH exchange rate stabilisation.

In parallel, the bank base rate has risen from 6.5% in April this year to 14%. The public are reported to have withdrawn 110 billion UAH of savings from banks since the beginning of the year. Local media report that banks are 'unwilling' to return depositors funds, and queues of 500 have been mentioned forming outside banks in Mukachevo. The central bank has refinanced several such banks, not specifically identified, to prevent a run.

The dominant local economic statistics for the regions produce including grain, wheat, barley, potatoes, fruit, berries, timber, milk, cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry typically show yields a few percent down on last year. Hungary is still the dominant local trading partner. Incomes are stead or falling. Prices are rising locally; the price of heating gas has increased 63% since Dec 2013. Similarly electricity is 11% higher, medical costs are 24% higher, fuels and oils for transport 55% higher. The costs of burials have increased 18%. The official local inflation figure is 2.3% for October, effectively around 19% for year to date.

A local helicopter production company is on the verge of bankruptcy. It owes about 1.3 million UAH in unpaid wages. It had a contract to supply some equipment to India, but India cancelled the deal, reasons unspecified.

Russia holds about $3.1 billion of bonds from Ukraine. The terms of the deal allow for immediate repayment should government debt exceed 60% of GDP. Putin has said that Russia will not make a call on the bonds as that would destroy the Ukraine economy. No doubt Putin bashers will see this as weakness. This is not the case. It is a strong hint to those in power who clamour to own Ukraine that the whole pack of cards could be demolished at a stroke. By not doing so, Putin also precludes explicit blame for the collapse on Russia. The Ukraine economy will collapse on its own anyway, unless things change rapidly and dramatically for the better.

Election

The results of the election have more or less been determined. Of the 421 MPs, 225 are members of party lists and 196 are from the majority districts. The party "Bloc Petro Poroshenko" has won 132 seats, the "Popular Front" (Yatsenyuk) has won 82, the "Self-Help" (Semenchenko) party 33, the "Opposition Bloc" - 29, Lyashko's "Radical Party" - 22, "Batkivshchyna" (Tymoshenko) - 19, and Svoboda (Tyahnybok) - 6 seats. In addition, one deputy was elected for each of the "Strong Ukraine", "Spade", Svoboda and Pravy Sektor parties in the majority districts. Election results are still pending from two districts. The Central Election Commission has given District 38 (Novomoskovsk, Dnipropetrovsk oblast) and District 63 (Berdychiv, Zhytomyr oblast) 15 days to comply with court decisions regarding recounts.

Energy

Slovakia continues to supply gas via reverse feed. It claims to have supplied 20% of the needed volume and to have saved Ukraine $500 million.

Mobilisation

In spite of speculation of a fourth wave of mobilisation after the election, the regime says this is currently not necessary.

Politics

One of the local clan of politicians, Viktor Baloha, is in favour of a referendum in the east. The question would be for them to stay or go. This would avoid a long drawn out drain on Ukraine's resources. I suspect Ukraine's resources are close to zero anyway so this is a moot point.

Propaganda

The current invocation of the Carpathian Sich, an organisation aimed at fostering nationalist spirit and protecting the interests of the Ukraine nation, was founded in 2010. The organisation aims to educate new Ukrainians - to be "strong, fair, people of Faith and Honour. We must break the stereotypes of patriotism in Transcarpathia. People will understand that the nationalists are not 'thugs'". The organisation was founded in reaction to Hungarian aggression in 1938 and no responds to Russian aggression [for some obscure meaning of the word 'aggression']. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the original organisation, a torchlight march was held in Uzhgorod. The poor lighting makes it difficult to tell how many participated, but judging from the evidence of attendance at other meetings, it is probably only 20 or so members, including some from Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk. The leader of the Carpathian Sich favours a unification of all nationalist movements, which possibly reflects the low support for individual groups. The Carpathian Sich trains for military action with members of the Aidar battalion. The local head of the executive committee, Thomas Deak, has left supposedly to serve in the east.

Sanctions

Hungarian ministers report that Hungary now supports EU sanctions, providing everyone else does. It also is still committed to a balanced relationship with Russia. I guess the Hungarian government hope this will be sufficient to keep the Nuland regime changers off it's back. We will see.

Separatism

On 11th November, the Transcarpathian SBU arrested the chief editor of a local newspaper, "Workers' and Peasants' Truth". The editor is said to oppose the central government and support the calls for separatism in the east. The paper contained images representing Communist ideology and an article said to create a negative image of Ukraine, humiliate its national dignity and denigrate the honour of the Ukrainian and individual representatives of national minorities. ALl copies of the newspaper were confiscated. The editor faced two charges i) violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and ii) violation of citizen's equality based on their race, ethnicity, religious beliefs. The prosecutors sought preventative detention. The judge allowed the editor to go free on bail. The offences carry a 5 year prison sentence for anyone found guilty.

Transnistria (aka PMR) and Gagauzia

Economy


As a result of the financial blockade, PMR foreign exchange reserves have dropped by about ~ $5 million to ~$37 million.

A survey of business in PMR shows that about 70% have been affected by Ukraine sanctions, with 17.5% having their supply chain broken. Exports to Ukraine have declined between 40 and 90%. This may reflect the dramatic collapse of the Ukraine economy itself as much as the direct effects of the sanctions.

Currently, about 40 trucks destined for the PMR are held up at Ukraine border crossing points over alleged paperwork problems.

The Moldovan Minister of Agriculture sees the possibility of more sanctions from Russia relating to Moldovan agricultural produce.

Elections

A pre-election survey in Moldova asked 1005 respondents from 75 settlements how they would vote in the election to be held on 30 November. The sample size gives a survey error of around 3%. About 60% had decided how they would vote. The results were 'Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova' - 21.2%, 'Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova' (Liberal Conservative) - 17.8%, 'Democratic Party of Moldova' (Social Democrat) - 12.9%, for the 'Rodina Party' - 9.6% and 'Liberal Party' (Conservative liberalism) is 7.3%. The 'Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova', supposedly favoured by Russia, would not pass the electoral threshold, gaining only 3.9% and the electoral bloc 'Select Moldova Customs Union' would gain only 1.1% of the votes. A summary of the position claims that the main protoges of the US/EU position are the Democrats and the Liberal Democrats. Given the likely outcome will be a coalition, some suggest this may allow third parties to create instability, whilst others suggest this would make it difficult to run a Euromaidan or run a scenario as seen in Ukraine.

Energy

The negotiations between Gazprom and Moldova over the supply of gas were conducted quickly and without the apparent histrionics observed in Ukraine. The gas price was set at $380 per thousand cubic metres by the end of 2013. The new deal resulted in a price of $332, $45 less than current price. this is based on the purchase of 3 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year by Moldova and allows for the transit fees for 19 bcm for gas supplied to Turkey, Bulgaria and Albania.

Politics

On 10 November, the PMR Prime Minister Yevgeny Shevchuk travelled to Moscow for a meeting. On arriving at Chisinau airport in Moldova, he was held up by a group of 20 or so aggressive men who tried to prevent him travelling. The group were identified as current and past members of the Moldovan police, associated with the 1992 war against PMR. The leader is associated with the far right national Liberal party. The trouble makers were blocked by Shevchuk's unarmed bodyguard. The PMR government regarded the act as a pre-planned provocation aimed at prevent free movement of PMR politicians. The severity of the act is described as unprecedented. The PMR government demanded the Moldovan authorities take action against the provocateurs. The provocateurs in turn claimed they were the victims. This sort of action supports PMR claims for its own airport at Tiraspol.

Whilst in Moscow, Shevchuk signed five Memoranda of Cooperation with Russia, covering the financial sector, health, communications, consumer rights, and human welfare.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has expressed concern about corruption in Moldova, especially the influence of oligarchs. In a recent visit to assess electoral procedures, members of the committee formed the view that the process did not meet EU standards. There was a lack of transparency, the presence of 'dirty money', much of the media is under control of oligarchs, who have close ties with political parties. A member on the committee noted that the report was not disclosed publicly to avoid complicating elections.

The Moldovan Democrat Party is controlled by the oligarch Vladimir Plahotniucom. This party at one time had a two-track approach advocating the development of relations with both Russia and the West. Its representative in Gagauzia argued the party was the most pro-Russian party. However, 10,000 participants of the war against the PMR have recently joined, probably including those involved in the provocation against SHevchuk. A member of the Moldovan government considers this action as a show of force directed against those who disagree with him (Plahotniucom) According to the MP, "This scumbag [Plahotniucom] imagines himself Moldovan "Kolomoisky" and he is "ready to go on provoking a new war with Transnistria. This "plan B" to remain in power by imposing a state of emergency and postpone the elections".

Ukraine wants to open a consulate in Tiraspol for the benefit of Ukrainians living in PMR. This is at odds with the recent closure of nine consulates elsewhere. Russia has also sought to open a consulate in Tiraspol, but unsurprisingly, this has been blocked by Moldova.

The EU parliament ratified the Association Agreement with Moldova. The vote was 535 in favour, 94 opposed and 44 abstained. The pro vote amounted to about 80% of the full vote.

Serbia and Russia have quietly signed an agreement on military cooperation. They will hold their first joint military exercise named SREM 2014. This may lead to the presence of Russian forces west of Romania.

Propaganda

The young Gagauzian male, a supposed terrorist caught with clothing bearing a label 'G. E. Army' was released without charge 72 hours after being detained. He is being kept under watch by the Moldovan security services.

The NGO 'Youth of Moldova' has been displaying banners promoting the supposed benefits of reunification with Romania.

Sanctions


There is ongoing decline of trade from Moldova to Russia as a result of reverse sanctions. The trade is down 30% to about $345 million. The sanctions have al;so resulted in a negative trade balance for Moldova (imports > exports) of $140 million in the first nine months of 2014. Romania is now the leading export trade partner for Moldova. The Moldovan government petulantly insists that Russia's sanctions are unnecessary.

Separatism

The Government of PMR is ready to hold a rerun of the 2006 referendum on independence, subject to international acceptance of the results. In the earlier referendum,97% supported independence. This may be a precursor to Russian recognition of PMR as an independent state. Russia has reiterated its support for PMR and is keeping course towards formal recognition of PMR.

The Moldovan government continues to block the formal 5+2 JCC process for a negotiated settlement. It even ignores supposedly mandatory emergency meetings. A formal statement of the PMR position is listed in the resources section below. The PMR government insists on continued bilateral progress. The Russian and Transnistrian governments struggle to find ways to unblock the process. The PMR member of the JCC group holds the view that Moldova is preparing to withdraw from the 1997 agreement on how to resolve the dispute. This view is strengthened by Moldova's insistence that RUssian troops withdraw from the peacekeeping mission. Moldovan security service has searched the home of Paul Grigorchuk, who is publicly critical of the regime. A search warrant was issued, and his computer and phone were sized during the search. He is a forceful critic of the oligarch running the country and the far right supporters. The Moldovan government claim they suspect him of planning to destabilize the election and of illegal participation in the election campaign.

Resources


The site Regnum Ru provides a wealth of articles, either commissioned or syntheses with additional commentary clarifying or correcting the main text. It has filtering options allowing fairly specific topics to be monitored.

"Dialogue" EU - TMR: a hot meal in exchange for the surrender a view by a former PMR finance minister of the implications of the Moldova - EU Association Agreement for PMR.

Statement of position by the PMR government regarding the status of the JCC 5+2 negotiations.
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The Nazi plan for Novorussia: children bombed into basements and total war

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 18:40
You probably have not heard about that, but the Junta in Kiev has officially declared that it plans to suspend the European Convention on Human Rights in Novorussia.  Of course, considering that Poroshenko has also declared that he is ready for 'total war' with Russia, this is hardly surprising, and it's not like the Ukrainian death squads have ever let any kind of human rights stand in the way of their atrocities against the civilian population of the Donbass.  As for Poroshenko, he appears to be practicing for the upcoming 'total war' against Russia by waging a 'total war' against his own people.  Here is, in his own words, how he plans to win the war against "these people":


So the plan is clear: total ethnic cleansing of Novorussia, if needed by means of a total economic blockade and/or a new military offensive. 

In the meantime, Human Rights Watch is seriously publishing reports about human rights violations in Crimea, I kid you not.  You got to love these noble humanitarians...

The Ukrainian slogan was "Ukraine is Europe".  I think that it is time to reverse that slogan.  In terms of hypocrisy, corruption, immorality, cowardice and sheer stupidity it is Europe which has become like the Ukraine, not the other way around.

The Saker
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Obama "Would Order" US troops into Combat if ISIS Got Nuclear Weapons

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 17:38
Considering all the spin regarding ISIS goading the NATO nations into attacking them... this headline just screams -FALSE FLAG - to me.

Why on earth would Obama make such an absurd statement unless the masses are being set up for some sort of perception managed psychological operation, that has yet to be unleashed?
When one reads what Obama says.... he set the bar low. I mean quite low.
ISIS won't have to use a weapon. 
It just has to be alleged that ISIS possesses some sort of nuclear weapon

If that doesn't shriek, any excuse for Obama to expand this war, I don't know what else would?
Here's the news-
President Obama has been unwavering and definitive in declaring he will not deploy U.S. ground troops into combat to fight ISIS militants. Period. (We know that's bogus and that troops are covertly on the ground,but, let's go with the lies for the moment)But for the first time since the start of then anti-ISIS offensive dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve, the president volunteered a scenario which he said would change his mind. “If we discovered that [ISIS] had gotten possession of a nuclear weapon, and we had to run an operation to get it out of their hands, then, yes,” the president told reporters at a news conference in Brisbane, Australia, on Sunday. “I would order it.” There is no indication that ISIS currently possesses or could easily obtain a nuclear weapon, officials say. Still, Obama’s declaration of a nuclear weapon in the hands of ISIS is a noteworthy new “red line” and a very high bar for a U.S. offensive role on the ground. It's not a high bar at all. All Obama has to do is claim ISIS possesses a nuclear weapon and he'll order troops in. It's a fuzzy red line. I mean, how would Obama KNOW that ISIS possessed a nuclear weapon? Is he psychic? Or would ISIS announce it to the entire world?
Doesn't make sense

Obama and red lines- he sets them and then, like magic, they get crossed. 
Like that oh so convenient Syrian false flag.................

I wonder, would, could Israel provide the "intelligence' (reprising their role in the Syrian false flag)  that this nuclear material came from Iran and scupper the P5+1?  Demonizing Iran in a big way. Oh and Russia at the same time. Definitely a win/win for Israel/US/NATO. But who would buy that?
It's too absurd? Or is it? Recall the smoking gun in a mushroom cloud from GWB? Far too many people believed that bullbiscuits.

image borrowed from here2nd post-
Ukraine has ignored the far right for too long. As have the US/NATO/Israeli thugs 1st post Syria wants details on proposed truce
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Second Saker Podcast available for download and streaming

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 16:59
  Dear friends,

I just finished recording the 2nd podast.  You can grab it here:

https://sites.google.com/site/sakerpodcast/home/saker-podcast-2-1

As always, I look forward to hearing your comments, suggestions and criticisms.  Please let me know how I can do better.

As I might have mentioned it in the past, the long term solution I have chosen is to have the future podcasts embedded in the new website (which is still being worked on by volunteers).  For the time being, the best repository will be this Soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/vineyard-saker/

I hope that you will enjoy this podcast, kindest regards to all,

The Saker
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Ukraine has ignored the far right for too long. As have the US/NATO/Israeli thugs

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 12:30
One can only conclude that the 'far right' or fascists as I like to call them perform a job that needs doing. So, when it all goes south and it will, don't call it blowback! Not when it is easily predictable and avoidable. Call it what it is. .....Planned.

The Ukrainian authorities and mainstream opinion in Ukraine continue to show unacceptable ignorance of the danger from the far right and even openly neo-Nazi forces, cooperating with them in elections and allowing them to take positions within law enforcement.
It is not ignorance. Nor blowback. "Blowback"  is a logical fallacy.

The major Ukrainian far-right party Svoboda did not get into parliament in recent elections, falling only 0.3 per cent short of the required minimum of 5 per cent. It was not able to repeat its success of 2012 when it got more than 10 per cent, exploiting the image of the most radical party against the former prime minister Viktor Yanukovych in contrast to discredited moderate opposition.The party’s support might have been boosted by anti-Yanukovych feelings but it shouldn’t be wholly dismissed as a protest vote; the 4.7 per cent gain is much higher than the 0.8 per cent in 2007 during the last parliamentary elections before his rule. Besides, the Right Sector, made up of fringe ultra-nationalist groups before the mass street violence began in Kiev in January, was able to form a party and get 1.8 per cent, obviously taking some votes from Svoboda.
It is short-sighted and formalistic to conclude that the Ukrainian far right is insignificant based on the lack of electoral success. The rhetoric of many politicians which could be called centrist or even liberal has moved significantly to the right, competing for the increasingly patriotic and even nationalist voters. There were a number of incidents of hate speech used even by top Ukrainian politicians such as the minister of interior, Arsen Avakov, referring to Donetsk separatists as “colorados”, a pejorative, dehumanising label which compares them with the Colorado beetle due to their orange and black St George’s ribbons.In an increasingly nationalist political competition, the far-right parties failed to propose anything outstanding. But it does not mean they cannot do it later.Outside parliament, Svoboda (as well as the Right Sector) might well criticise the new government not only on nationalist grounds, but also by highlighting a deteriorating economic situation.Despite the failures of far-right parties, 13 far-right MPs have been elected to parliament in the single-member districts or in the lists of formally “non-far-right” parties, including the Radical party of political clown Oleg Lyashko and even the pro-presidential Petro Poroshenko Bloc. Moreover, some of the new MPs are not just far right but actual neo-Nazis. Take Andriy Biletsky, elected in a single-member district in Kiev with support from the People’s Front party led by Arseniy Yatseniuk. Biletsky was the head of an openly racist Patriot of Ukraine group which was involved in hate crimes against minorities, and later formed the core of the infamous Azov volunteer battalion, which uses neo-Nazi symbolism. He was celebrated as commander of the Azov battalion and assigned to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the police.Biletsky is not the only neo-Nazi recently appointed to law enforcement bodies. In October, Vadym Troyan, another Patriot of Ukraine member and deputy commander of the Azov battalion, was appointed as the head of the police in Kiev Oblast province. A Kharkov human rights group called it a “ disastrous appointment”. At the same time, another infamous extreme right politician from the Svoboda party Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, who once promoted Joseph Goebbels’s A Little ABC of National Socialism and the 25-point NSDAP Programme, will head up propaganda and analysis in the Security Service of Ukraine. Allowing people with such extreme views control over positions with significant enforcement resources is an obvious danger to democracy.But what is striking is that far-right and neo-Nazi views and connections do not seem to be problematic for either Ukrainian officials or mainstream opinion. Even the most typical line of criticism against Svoboda and the Right Sector expressed by liberal-minded people is inherently flawed. They may agree that the far right are dangerous, but they argue that the danger is that their provocative actions and statements can be exploited by Russian media to further discredit Ukraine.In this twisted logic the far right are criticised first of all for putting their partisan interests above Ukraine’s national interests. In other words, they are criticised not for being anti-democratic, reactionary, xenophobic and for propagating discriminatory ideas, but for not being nationalist enough. Even in critical discussions around the far-right appointments to high positions within law enforcement, there seem to be more worries about Ukraine’s international image than what neo-Nazis can do against political opponents and minorities and the dangerous resources they might accumulate.Ukrainians have already paid a very high price for ignoring the far right. According to research into systematic protests , members of the far right were the most visibly identified political agents in the Maidan protests, from the very beginning of the movement to the overthrow of Yanukovych  Moreover, they were relatively more visible in eastern and southern regions where Maidan did not have the majority support, thus pushing the local population even further away from the protest message. This was not a Russian media invention. On the contrary, it happened as a result of the preceding protest coalition of the centrist opposition parties with Svoboda.
High far-right visibility was one of the factors which prevented Maidan from growing into a truly national movement against Yanukovych, and formed the ground for the civil war.
Laughably the author of this oped then goes on to suggest that Putin bears some blame for this in this one sentence."Of course, Vladimir Putin bears a greater responsibility for this" ( But doesn't explain how all of these extremist/fascist/neo nazi appointments have anything to do wit Putin? He just makes the statement as if it is some gospel truth? I don't see it. The hell that Ukraine is turning into is all of it's own making) Then the oped writer contradicts his "blame Putin" nonsense by pointing out additional reasons Ukraine is leading itself down the path of destruction!!!!

" There is also responsibility of those Maidan supporters who consistently ignored, silenced and downplayed the significance and danger of the far right instead of decisively breaking away. This tolerance has already cost Ukraine lost territories, a mass destruction of industry and infrastructure, and thousands and thousands of lives"
If the oped writer wants to understand why the fascists are gaining ground- He should look no further then one Oligarch- brutal, corrupt, with lots of money to spread around. Igor Kolomoisky.
And stop with the out of place, nonsensical Putin bashing. 

An update on Syria and that truce, that will never be....
 Syria wants details on proposed truce
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Syria wants details on proposed truce

pennyforyourthoughts2 - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 11:51
 ABC
Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haidar says U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura presented officials in Damascus last week with "a headline, not with any comprehensive proposal" to implement small-scale, local truces.
Haidar also told The Associated Press on Monday that de Mistura "has to make sure that the armed groups on the ground and their backers are ready to accept this initiative."
 The Syrian government knows this is ruse.  The "truce" so called is simply a time buying exercise for the NATO imperialists 
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The AngloZionist Empire has truly become an "Empire of Illusions"

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 09:47
This is bizarre.  The recent two summits (APEC and G20) have, I would argue, ended up as a disaster for the US and its allies (see here, here and here) while Russia, China and the rest of the BRICS are clearly in control of the situation, yet there are still those who believe the western corporate media which wants to portray Putin are Russia as "weak".  

I suppose in our age of virtual reality perceptions are everything, and in this case such perceptions are clearly molded by exposure to the western corporate media whose brainwashing skills are nothing short of amazing.  But let's look at the facts.

The single biggest development which came out of these two summits is that Xi Jinping has clearly and, for the first time, openly shown that he fully support Putin and Russia.

I remember how earlier this year there were many who were doubting China's policies towards Russia, many were saying that the "Walmart-effect" (the magnitude US-China economic ties) would never allow China to side with Russia against the US and yet this is exactly what has happened on at least three levels:

1.  Economic: not only have Russia and China have signed what can only be called mega-contracts, but the Chinese were more than happy to offer Russian banks (under US/EU sanctions) access to Chinese credits.  China is also helping Russia to replace SWIFT.

2. Political: if anything, the Chinese went out of their way to show that not only was Russia not isolated, but that Putin was the guest of honor at the APEC - thereby openly defying the US/EU.

3. Military:  Russia and China are now engaged in regular large size joint military exercises including naval and ground operations.  Not only are these two training together, they are regularly practicing the creation of joint staffs.

This really should not have come as a surprise to anybody: Russia and China are truly *ideal* partners, and they perfectly complement to each other.  What one needs, the other has, and vice-versa.  Not only that, but both have been - and still are - bullied by the USA so much that I would argue that the Empire is literally pushing them into each other's hands. Obama has repeatedly and openly threatened both Russia and China, send them all sorts of ultimatums, tried to assemble coalitions against them and, of course, surrounded both with military bases and US anti-missile systems.

What Obama and his advisors have failed to realize is this: Russia and China (backed by the BRICS, SCO, CSTO, EEU) are far more powerful than the US/EU block in political, economic and military terms. This is the big news, the major strategic development, the geopolitical tectonic shift, which the Empire's corporate media is trying so hard to obfuscate.  As for western leaders, they are simply delusional and they have manifestly fallen into the old trap of believing their own propaganda. But, as the expression goes, "when your head is in the sand, your butt is in the air" and reality has now reasserted itself with a very powerful and painful bite.

The most ridiculous moment of last week's summit came when Obama, after having failed to achieve any of his objectives against Russia or China, made a speech where he seriously spoke of the importance of "American leadership".  It was comical to the point of being embarrassing.  On Russian TV the commentators where literally laughing when reporting this. 

As for Putin, obviously sure of his position, he openly poked fun at the idiocy of the US/EU leaders: "Have they thought about what they are doing at all or not? Or has politics blinded them? As we know eyes constitute a peripheral part of brain. Was something switched off in their brains?".  Combined with now an open warning that Russia would not allow the US/EU to crush the Novorussian resistance, Putin's message is blunt and clear: western leaders are driving their empire into a wall.  [If you have not done so already, I urge you to carefully parse Putin's recent interview with ARD].

The AngloZionist Empire has truly become an "Empire of Illusions" (to use Chris Hedges expression) where facts matter much less than spin, where the normal way to cope with a challenge is to deny its existence, were self-deception is a way of life.

The writing is on the wall.  It has been there for a long while.

The problem is that nobody wants to read it.

The Saker
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The key sentence in Putin's interview with the German TV channel ARD

THE VINEYARD OF THE SAKER - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 21:20
You can read the full interview here: http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/23253

But the following quote is, I believe, crucial:
Today there is fighting in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian central authorities have sent the armed forces there and they even use ballistic missiles. Does anybody speak about it? Not a single word. And what does it mean? What does it tell us? This points to the fact, that you want the Ukrainian central authorities to annihilate everyone there, all of their political foes and opponents. Is that what you want? We certainly don't. And we won't let it happen.The Russian original sentence is: Вы этого хотите? Мы не хотим. И не позволим.  I personally would translate this sentence "You want that?  We don't.  And we will not allow this."  You could also translate the last part as "we will not permit this".  This is not an expression of a preference or a much more vague "we won't condone" or "we oppose".  This is a very categorical statement which warns that Russia will proactively prevent such an outcome.

As I said it many times here already: Russia will not let the Nazis overrun Novorussia.

The Saker
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