Friday, August 15, 2014

Today's Links

. And who the hell does Samantha Power think she is telling Russia what to do or not? Why doesn't she take a trip to Guantanamo Bay torture and concentration camp, place her hand on her left breast and sing God Bless America? Russian humanitarian aid convoys on Russian soil are Russia's business. And if she or anyone else sees Trojan Horses in an aid convoy, perhaps they should take their meds in the morning. Does anyone seriously think that Russia is going to smuggle troops into Ukraine in a convoy when if it wanted to, it could simply march across the border? And what about the border regions adjoining Russia? How ridiculous can anyone get?"
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, Pravda


1---Subprime Car Loans Are The New "Cash For Clunkers" - Auto Production Soars Most Since July 2009, zero hedge


2---No Return to Normal, James Galbraith (archive)


3--Europe’s Greater Depression is worse than the 1930s, WA Post (drawing the wrong conclusions)


But it's a little misleading to just call this a depression. It's worse than that. Europe is turning Japanese. The combination of zombie banks, a rapidly aging population and, most importantly, too-tight money have pushed it into a "lowflationary" trap that makes it hard to grow, and is even harder to escape from. That's what happened to Japan in the 1990s, and now, 20 years later, its nominal GDP is actually smaller than it was then. Now, Europe isn't that far gone, but it's getting there. Inflation is already a meager 0.4 percent. And you can tell that investors don't think it's going to pick up anytime soon, because they're willing to lend to governments for almost nothing. Indeed, for the first time in its history going back to the Napoleonic era, Germany (or one of its predecessor states) can borrow for 10 years for less than 1 percent. Japan, of course, has been able to borrow this cheaply for a decade now.


4---The Forever Slump (Krugman pushes monetary easing) NYT


The good news is that things don’t look that dire in America, where job creation seems finally to have picked up and the threat of deflation has receded, at least for now. But all it would take is a few bad shocks and/or policy missteps to send us down the same path.

The good news is that Janet Yellen, the Fed chairwoman, understands the danger; she has made it clear that she would rather take the chance of a temporary rise in the inflation rate than risk hitting the brakes too soon, the way the E.C.B. did in 2011. The bad news is that she and her colleagues are under a lot of pressure to do the wrong thing from the too-muchers, who seem to have learned nothing from being wrong year after year, and are still agitating for higher rates.

5---Turkey and Russia "bypass" the dollar, wolf street 

Indeed, according to Russian sources, when the Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Alexei Ulyukayev met with Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekchi “on the margins” of the recent G20 meeting of trade ministers in Sydney, the Turkish side proposed strengthening trade and economic relations between the two nations through a bilateral currency agreement that would effectively bypass the US dollar middleman

6--Japan Economic Collapse - GDP Plunges by 6.8%!: Abenomics: Could it get any worse?, , market oracle

7---US Top Brass call for boots on the ground, wsws

This theme was made the center of a Washington Post front-page article Thursday entitled “Militant threat gets modest response.” The article states that ISIS “has attracted more fighters, controls more territory and has access to a larger stream of money than Al Qaeda did before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.” It chides the Obama administration for having “mounted a decidedly modest military campaign to check its advance through northern Iraq,” one that “has been defined primarily by the limits it has placed on the US military’s intervention.”

The Post goes on to quote Adm. James Stavridis, a former supreme allied commander of NATO, as warning that air strikes are not sufficient and arguing for “a fast and serious response, including Special Operations forces on the ground.” Also cited is retired Col. Derek Harvey, a former senior officer in Iraq and at US Central Command, who insists that “probably close to 8,000” US ground troops will be needed to drive ISIS out of the large swathe of Iraqi territory it has taken....


That Washington’s supposed “humanitarian” impulses come into play only when they further US imperialism’s predatory objectives has been underscored by reports that the Iraqi military, to which the Pentagon is rushing arms and ammunition, has at least since May—before the ISIS offensive—been dropping barrel bombs on residential neighborhoods of the insurgent Sunni-dominated cities of Anbar province.
The Al-Monitor web site reported that the use of the weapon, together with the participation of Shi’ite militias in the fighting, has “exacerbated the rage, as the government is now accused of waging a war to exterminate Sunnis in Iraq.”


While the US administration has continuously denounced the Assad regime for the use of barrel bombs against areas held by the US-backed “rebels” in Syria, it has no problem when the same weapon is employed by the Iraqi regime just across the border.
Washington successfully imposed its dictate of regime change in Iraq Thursday, with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announcing his resignation in favor of the US-backed prime minister-designate, Haider al-Abadi, a member of Maliki’s own Shi’ite Da’wa party. It is far from clear, however, that this reshuffling at the top of the regime will ameliorate the country’s deep crisis, the end product of the mass killing and destruction inflicted over the course of nearly nine years of US war and occupation.


8---No Russian troops crossed into Ukraine – FSB, RT


....Earlier, several foreign news agencies caused quite a stir, reporting that a convoy of Russian military vehicles had crossed into Ukraine overnight.
The reports triggered criticism from NATO and some European states.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen referred to the alleged incident as to “a Russian incursion” that they “saw.”
Last night we saw a Russian incursion, a crossing of the Ukrainian border,” he said Friday, adding that “it is a clear demonstration of continued Russian involvement in the destabilization of eastern Ukraine.”
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he was “very alarmed by the reports.”
...


Russia’s Security Service (FSB) has denied reports that the country’s troops have crossed the border into Ukraine. Border guards have been deployed to provide security near the frontier, but they operate only on the Russian side, the FSB said.
The mobile military teams “operate strictly within the territory of the Russian Federation,” a spokesperson for the FSB Border Guard Service in Rostov region told RT on Friday.
Russia has stepped up security measures on its border with Ukraine as local residents are under constant threat because of “regular cross-border shelling” and an increased number of “mass border crossings” by the Ukrainian military, he explained. For that reason, FSB mobile border guards’ teams have been created.


9---Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner blast corporate Mafiosi, RT


10--Aid convoy to Ukraine faces disruption, may be attacked - Russia, RT


Moscow has information that the convoy delivering humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine may be attacked by Kiev’s forces, with the “punitive” Aidar Battalion planning to mine the road that the vehicles will use, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.
On Friday, Moscow accused Ukraine of attempting to disrupt the humanitarian aid convoy now that the preparations for its delivery have reached their final stages and all key issues have been agreed upon.
“We draw attention to the sharp intensification of military actions by Ukrainian forces with the obvious goal to block the route, agreed upon with Kiev, of the humanitarian convoy from the Russia-Ukraine border to Lugansk,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
In Moscow’s view, all this gives the impression that there are people both in Ukraine and abroad who are willing to disrupt the humanitarian mission, even “at the cost of new casualties and destruction.”
Those nurturing such criminal plans are taking huge responsibility for their consequences,” the ministry said..


Russia sent a convoy of 280 trucks carrying humanitarian aid – such as medical supplies, food, including baby food, sleeping bags and other basic necessities – to conflict-torn southeastern Ukraine on Tuesday. The convoy is currently stuck near the Ukrainian border, and is awaiting final approval from Kiev before moving forward.


11---Kiev firebombs Donetsk, RT


Citizens of Donetsk have recorded multiple videos of white glowing particles raining on residential quarters. The locals allege that Ukraine's military has shelled their city with internationally prohibited phosphorus incendiaries.


12---Putin’s electoral rating doubles in 2014, RT


13---Finland seeks way around sanctions, itar tass


Putin described the Russian-Finnish talks as meaningful and constructive. The two presidents discussed bilateral cooperation and future prospects, including economic interaction to which the two countries pay special attention.
Putin said Russia was Finland’s leading trade and economic partner in 2013. “We practically meet all Finnish needs in natural gas and are reliable suppliers of other energy resources to the Finnish market. Finland, in turn, is one of Russia’s key European partners,” Putin said.


Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia and Finland would exert every effort to seek the earliest end of conflict in eastern Ukraine.
“We are going to do everything within our power to end the military conflict as soon as possible, establish a dialogue among all the parties concerned and provide relief aid,” Putin said, adding both countries were seriously concerned with the large-scale military operations and a true humanitarian disaster in south-east Ukraine


14--IEDs threaten humanitarian relief? itar tass
Reports are coming that a sabotage group of punitive battalion Aidar plans to mine some sections of roads in the Luhansk region in order to destroy a humanitarian aid convoy and personnel guarding it and then accuse militia of terrorist activity,” the diplomatic agency said.


15---Ukranian Military May Use Force to Stop Humanitarian Aid Convoy - Moscow, ria novosski


– The Kiev government has intensified its military action to prevent the humanitarian aid convoy from moving along the agreed route to the city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.
“We would like to note that the Ukrainian military has intensified hostilities with an evident purpose to disrupt the convoy’s route from the Russian-Ukrainian border to Luhansk that was previously agreed with Kiev,” the ministry said in a statement.


“It appears that a lot of people both in Ukraine and beyond its borders are willing to stop the humanitarian mission, regardless of new bloodshed and destruction,” the statement reads.
According to the ministry, reports come out regarding the direct threats to use force against the humanitarian convoy that Russia sent earlier this week. At the same time, the Russian side remains “strongly committed to a speedy and full-fledged implementation of the agreements reached with the leadership of Ukraine and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about the delivery of the humanitarian aid” to citizens of Ukrainian eastern regions


16---Poroshenko should hear the screams of those civilians his Fascists burnt alive every single night for the rest of his life. He won't however because neither he nor those who support him could care less, pravda


All the Russian-speaking Ukrainians wanted at the time was to be listened to by Kiev. Amid all the latest fighting, we must not forget the massacres of civilians committed by Ukrainian security forces and pro-Kiev Fascist scum. For example, on Friday May 2, at least 40 anti-Kiev protesters were burnt alive in the Trade Union building by jeering Fascist scum which had surrounded the building and hurled Molotov cocktails through the windows, screaming "Death to Russians". A cleaning lady was strangled and had her throat cut. Let us not forget that. And karma will come to those who did it. And those who support them.

Let us not forget the massacre by Fascist scum in Slovyansk. Let us not forget the massacre by Fascist scum in Mariupol. Let us not forget the massacre by Fascist scum in Donetsk. And today, civilians are being indiscriminately targeted by Ukrainian armed forces in and around Lugansk and in and around Donetsk. War crimes are being committed and in sending these troops to perform these outrages, Poroshenko is a war criminal and deserves to be hauled before a court.


(Buckle up)
Again, troops are killing unarmed Russian civilians, and you are debating whether it is time to start delivering weapons to these murderers so that they can kill more Russians? All of your vaunted “politics of memory” and “learning from the past” is simply a pile of dog shit, as again before your eyes unarmed civilians are butchered, and you applaud this and promise these Ukrainian murderers fresh financing.

You have not learned humanism, you Germans. You have not learned responsibility. You have not learned to resist Evil and tell that Evil clearly to its face, “No, you are the killer, I will not help you, you must stop the killing immediately.” You have not learned to be a responsible, independent, free people, who are capable of giving good in return for good.

You are slaves who think good is a weakness.

In 1934, Hitler drove you like sheep, and in 2014 Obama is your shepherd. If tomorrow in Germany, the Americans open a concentration camp for Russians, half of you will immediately submit their curriculum vitaefor jobs as operators of the gas chambers, and your press will start to explain how this camp is patriotic and good for the German economy. It would then follow that killing these Russian “Untermensch”, crafting lampshades out of their skin for daring to resist, and sending this nicely packaged to Washington to please your American ally.

Germans have failed their test. When Evil has returned again to Europe, you do not even attempt to resist it, and immediately fall prostrate at its feet like a slave after the eagerly-awaited, long delayed return of your master. Serve Evil, impose sanctions, support the murder of Russians, supply weapons to the killers of Russians, justify this genocide – the end of your story will be familiar, because Evil cannot win.

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