Saturday, August 23, 2014

Today's Links

1--Washington’s Nightmare Comes True: The Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership Goes Global (II), oriental review

2--Russia Moves Artillery Units Into Ukraine, NATO Says, NYT
Propaganda from the Gray Lady

3--Background on NYT's chief propagandist, CN

4---Pentagon: Russian convoy violates Ukraine's territorial sovereignty, stars and stripes

5---Russia Wants Regular, Transparent Reports on MH17 Crash Probe, RIA Novoski

6--Nobel guru fears it may be nigh impossible to stop deflation , Telegraph

Christopher Sims – a monetary expert, who now thinks money indicators have been rendered "essentially obsolete" by modern finance – says it may be impossible to reverse deflation in the Western economies by any normal means, in which case we are in trouble.

He argues that the public (including investors) are convinced that there will have to be some sort of payback for all the debts accumulated during the great era of leverage and excess. They have "internalised" the prospect of future tax rises and spending that will make them feel poorer.
"Some 60pc of people in the US say they doubt there will be any government benefits for them when they retire, and 60pc of those already retired think their benefits will be reduced," he said....

Prof Sims, who won the Nobel Prize in 2011 for studying "cause and effect in the macroeconomy", says monetary policy cannot do the trick either once interest rates have dropped to zero. He dismisses the monetary effects of quantitative easing as trivial. At best, he says, QE is a bluff intended to show resolve and change psychology...

 If Abenomics fails to generate inflation/recovery in Japan, we will have very compelling evidence that even extreme monetary policy cannot arrest entrenched deflation in ageing societies.

7---Libya falls apart, foreign policy

8---US and NATO threaten Moscow as Russian aid convoy crosses into Ukraine, wsws

The campaign against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine is part of a scheme by the US and the EU to politically destabilize Russia through a series of economic sanctions, political provocations and military threats. Ultimately American imperialism aims to subordinate Russia completely by reducing it the status of a neocolonial protectorate, raising the prospect of war between the two nuclear-armed powers.

9---German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Kiev, wsws

Then in February the US and Germany orchestrated a coup based precisely on these fascist forces to bring a new government to power, which was utterly dependent on the Western powers and contained fascists from Svoboda. One of the new government’s first acts was the signing of the association agreement with the EU.

The disastrous situation in Ukraine is a direct product of the intervention by German and US imperialism. Shortly after the coup, loan deals were agreed with the new regime making devastating social attacks a condition for financial support from the IMF. This included an increase in gas prices for workers, as well as tax cuts for businesses.

But above all, Germany and the US intensified the confrontation with Russia. Moscow responded to the aggressive expansion of the EU and NATO’s sphere of influence by incorporating the Crimean peninsula into Russia and backing the pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, who did not accept the regime in Kiev.
The Ukrainian government began a major offensive in April against the Donbas region controlled by the separatists. They proceeded with extreme brutality, and are responsible for the deaths of at least 950 civilians. At every stage, the Ukrainian government has been working closely with its masters in Berlin and Washington

10--FBI Admits: No Credible Threats to US From ISIS, antiwar

11--As War Escalates, Obama Makes ISIS ‘Enemy Number One’, antiwar

12---Empire’s Murderous Fruits, Nebojsa Malic, antiwar

It isn’t the first time the Empire is in bed with murderers and terrorists: prominent Washington politicians have praised the "Kosovo Liberation Army" as fighting for "human rights and American values." In fact, one such politician – John McCain – has heaped praise on both the KLA and the ISIS. The KLA-run "Republic of Kosovo" has even helped the Empire "train" Syrian jihadists, back in 2012. Maybe that explains why so many Albanians (aka "Kosovars") are killing and dying in Syria and Iraq today.

Of course, the Imperial media claim the Albanians are "outraged" that one of theirs would behead people. Yet why would they be, when the KLA had no problem beheading Serbs or committing other atrocities in 1998-99? Jihadist beheadings were also common during the Bosnian War, but the media narrative of "Good Muslims" vs. "Evil Serbs" insisted on burying that inconvenient fact. The Empire continues to cover for the KLA even today.

Now Imperial officials are saying ISIS is a threat greater than Al-Qaeda, and arguing not just for a new invasion of Iraq, but also of Syria! It is a white-knight gambit: first one creates the problem, then rides in to "solve it", reaping applause and adulation. Except that it never actually works, and failure leaves countless corpses in its wake...

A Hell of Their Own Making
The devastation of Iraq, the war in Syria, and now the rise of ISIS, all stem from the 2003 invasion of Iraq – a crime, based on a lie. Amidst the calls for renewed invasion – sorry, "liberation" – of Iraq, remember that the whole mess is due to the U.S. invading in the first place.
Nor would this be the first time. In the 1970s, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s dream of a "Soviet Vietnam" resulted in the creation of a jihadist insurgency in Afghanistan. Fifty years of near-constant warfare has reduced this country to abject barbarism, unleashing the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the warlords.
Earlier this month, an American general was killed in a "green-on-blue" attack at an Afghan military academy. Now, even if they wanted to extricate themselves from Afghanistan at this stage, Empire’s troops are stuck: their avenues of retreat are either controlled by the Taliban, or depend on Russia – which the Empire has done its best to antagonize over the past six months.
"Humanitarian" Murder
When the government of Ukraine rejected the EU’s predatory loans and costly, destructive "reforms" last fall – in favor of free trade with Russia – the Empire launched a coup. The power in Kiev was seized by militant nationalists and outright Nazis, previously on the fringe of politics.

13---What can be done?  Full speech delivered by Hezbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday August 15, 2014. , vineyard of the saker

... today there is a new track which I will talk about before going back to the two factors. The new track is more difficult and more dangerous than the previous one because it is not the track of toppling regimes and establishing alternative authorities. In such a track, when you topple a regime and bring along an alternative authority, the country remains as an entity; the state remains, the borders remain, the social structure remains or it might be harmed, and the army remains or might be harmed. The only thing that takes place is toppling an authority and bringing along an alternative authority.

The new track is not that of toppling regimes and establishing alternative regimes. It is rather the track we talked about in more than one occasion. It is the track of demolishing and ruining states, armies, peoples, and entities. We do not need evidence on what is taking place. We will go to that later. So it is the track of demolishing, disintegrating, crushing, and ruining everything.

The Americans are moving in this track along with all those who are with the Americans in the region including Israel too. They want to draw a new map for the region. However, on what is this new map to be drawn? New maps were drawn for the region following World War I and World War II. However, now on what they want to draw a new map for the region? They want to draw it on the disjoined limbs not only of individuals but also of states, peoples, societies, and ruins. So it is not that pillars and walls would remain and we would have only to repair them and rebuild the ceiling. The new map is to be drawn on baffled minds as a result of the events which are taking place and are plotted to take place in the region. Thus minds would become baffled: Where are we to go? What choices do we have? What are we to do? The new map is to be drawn also on terrified hearts. There is a very moving scene: a helicopter in Sinjar – I don't remember now whether it is an Iraqi helicopter or an American helicopter though I believe it is an Iraqi helicopter – carrying women and children from land. Just look at their faces and eyes and recall your women and children to know on what the new map of the region is to be drawn. It is to be drawn on disjoined limbs, ruins and wrecks, baffled minds, and terrified hearts. They want us all in the region to reach a catastrophe, and to end this catastrophe we would accept any dictations. Just put an end to this catastrophe. Save us from this calamity and you will have whatever you want in return. We are even ready to offer you our eyes. It would be a social, security, political, economic, intellectual, mental, and emotional catastrophe. Even worse, the main enemy would be the savior and the rescuer after all. This is where the region would be dragged to.

Well, what are the main factors of this track?

The first factor is the Israelis. This is what I talked about when talking about the demolition and ruining taking places in Gaza. As the Palestinian brethrens said, the true and factual target is hitting the resistance, disarming the resistance, putting an end to the structure of the resistance, and making the people in Gaza Strip frustrated from everything called resistance and that thus surrender. As such nothing would remain but ruin and wrecks.

The second factor is no less dangerous. It is the Takfiri current which the ISIL has become today the most prominent and evident manifestation of. ISIL is the greatest manifestation of this current. .....

Today, there is a regime which has become a state which is occupying and controlling a very vast geographic area – a part of Syria, and a part of the Iraqi territories. In fact, this area is much larger than some of the states in the region and the world. If we talk about the geographic area, they are controlling the sources of energy, oil, gas, and others. They control major rivers, major water dams. They have enormous quantities of arms and artilleries. They sell oil, and there are those who buy from them and trade with them and facilitate this operation. This is questionable. There are countries which have thousand problems in selling an oil carrier. How is ISIL able to sell and be financed before the eyes of the international community and regional countries for example? This organization has a great number of fighters too. The overwhelming majority of the main fighters are not Syrian or Iraqi fighters. They are rather fighters who were brought along from abroad. Their travel and their crossing the border were facilitated. This is also questionable. This organization which has this presence and has a special doctrine, view, understanding, and conduct which we noticed from Syria to Iraq started perpetrating massacres. It is not that they were engaged in a war. Rather they committed massacres, killed prisoners and captives, and killed innocent people. They started with their fellow tribesman – the followers of the same organization, the same intellect, the same pillar, and the same pledge. They are the al-Nusra. Then they started killing and are still killing the rest of their allies who are naturally their allies – meaning the Syrian armed forces. Battles are taking place now in the northern reef in Aleppo between ISIL and the rest of the factions. In fact, in some places al-Nusra kept themselves aside. The battles are taking place in Reef Idlib and north Idlib. Major battles took place in Deir Al-Zour. In Iraq and in Syria they fight, kill, and even slaughter everyone who differs with them in their viewpoints. So notice that they choose the means that depends on terrorizing. Well, if you concluded that you are allowed to kill those people, open fire on them and kill them. But no, they do not kill them except by slaughtering them before the camera. They even put it on the you-tube and broadcast it on satellite outlets so that the scene is seen worldwide. This is part of the psychological war that aims at spreading fear, terror, and horror among the peoples of the region, the governments, and the armies of the region. I would like to tell you that the massacres which were perpetrated are in the first place against Sunnis. You can review the numbers. Who killed the Sunnis? Who killed the Sunni scholars who are not with the regimes but rather against the regimes? See the people who were killed by ISIL. That's because the Sunnis whom we know as Sunnis are according to ISIL considered as unbelievers. That's because according to their doctrinal, intellectual, and jurisprudential categorizations, the unbelievers are so and so and so. This also applies to the Ash'aris, and most of the Sunnis in the world are Ash'aris in the doctrinal and intellectual sense of the word. However, if they were not Ash'aris but they differ with them politically or over the pledge, they would kill them. Didn't this take place?

What about the recent war waged by the ISIL? Well are the Kurds Christians or Shiah? Their majority are Sunnis. In this battle, over a million and a half million were displaced because of the ISIL war in Iraq. They are Sunnis. They are neither Shiah, nor Christians, nor Oyazdians. Well, in Iraq, ISIL did not spare anyone of whatever religion: Muslims, Christians, and Oyazdians. They did not spare anyone of whatever sect: Sunnis and Shiah. They did not spare anyone even if talking about races and nationalities: Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen. They did not spare anyone. Also in the battle in Syria, the same thing took place. They spared neither Arabs nor Kurds.....

The ISIL ruined sanctities, sacred shrines, mosques, and churches. They want to forcefully impose a definite life-style with the force of arms and terrorizing people – all people and not only Christians but rather Muslims and Christians alike. This life-style does not have anything to do with Islam, with Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), or with the Holy Quran. This is something else. Go and meet scholars. Ask all sects.

Well, does this scene exist or not? Is it a joke? They are announcing their goals. They put their map which they want to draw and they threat and bombard. What is even more dangerous from all of that is that they have a popular ground. Why should we hide behind our finger? They have a popular ground in several Arab states. It is not a Sunni background. No! Their background is the followers of this intellect which labels as an unbeliever everyone other than themselves. They declare killing everyone other than themselves permissible. They take as prisoners everyone's women except their women. They brag saying we came to slaughter you. That does not belong to any divine religion. No religion revealed by Allah Al Mighty says "we came to slaughter you". Attributing that to Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) is very dangerous and fake. After opening Mecca, Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) stood confronting Abu Sufyan and so and so… who fought him, displaced him, killed his companions, killed his uncle, devoured his uncle's liver, confiscated houses, and harmed him severely until he said: "No prophet was harmed as I was harmed." They fought him until they were frustrated. They became his prisoners and still they remained polytheists. Not all of them became Muslims. Some pretended to be Muslims, and some remained polytheists and ran away and hid themselves. However, what did the Prophet tell them?

Go you are free. He did not behead them. He did not slaughter them. He did not say "we came to slaughter you". When did he say "we came to slaughter you"? This is the slogan of ISIL. This is the slogan of this current....

The Americans may have a hand pursuant to the word Hilary Clinton was quoted as saying. I do not want to be responsible of saying this as I do not know whether this is right or wrong. However, all I know is that the Americans kept a blind eye on that, offered facilitations, and opened the gates to exploit this phenomenon in the track I talked about before. Indeed they are penetrated. Indeed, there is US influence, and whether they know or not, they are serving the US and the Israeli target in this new track. ....

Thus we wholeheartedly hope that no one present the battle in the region as a sectarian battle. It is not an Islamic-Christian war. It is not a factional war. It is not a Shiah-Sunni war. It is a war of another kind. It is the war of ISIL which has this annihilative, eliminative, Takfiri, brutal, slaughtering intellect against anyone against them. Their intellect is not based on Islam or on what took place at the time of the Prophet or at the time of the first Muslim Caliphs, or on the map that was previously drawn for the region, or on religious minorities. All of this is deleted. The sects, factions, minorities, churches, mosques, and shrines they are demolishing are 1400 years old. The overwhelming majority of the holy sites they are downing were under Sunni government. However, the ISIL have nothing to do with this history, this intellect, or even this culture. They want to wipe everything. They pose a threat to everyone. .....

 When ISIL invaded Mussel, Nineveh, and a large section of Salaheddine province, and broke into Diala and perpetrated massacres what forced people to run away in the desert (and all of these massacres are documented and we watched them on the TV), why did not the international community intervene? Why wasn't Obama's humanity and the American administration moved? Also when hundreds of thousands of Christians were attacked, they were not moved? In fact, they do not care for the Christians in Mussel or in Iraq or in Syria or in Lebanon. I would like to tell the Christians in Lebanon: Deluded is he among you who believe that the Christians in Lebanon mean anything to America or the west. Before any danger they will tell you what France told the Christians of Iraq: You are welcomed as refugees and we will grant you citizenships too. This is the project some seniors among you heard from the former French president. Does the west really care for the Christians in the region? Do you still seek help from the Americans, French, English, the international community, and the International Security Council after all what took place and is taking place? They do not care for Sunnis, Shiah, Christians, Oyazdians, and even Kurds. They did not care for the Kurds who were killed in Mussel, at the edges of Karkuk, in Zumar and Sinjar. They did not care for the Turkmen or the Arabs. Well, yes when ISIL came close to Erbil, they intervened because Kurdistan means what it means politically, security, and economically to the US administration and to the west. They intervened to tell ISIL that they are not allowed to come close to that area. These are your borders and limits. It is permitted that you slaughter Sunnis. It is permitted that you slaughter Shiah. It is allowed that you slaughter Christians and demolish their churches and imprison their women. It is permitted that you perpetrate genocides against Oyazdians, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, and Turks alike. As for Erbil and Kurdistan, they have a different position on the map. Do you want us to bet on these Americans and on the international community? O Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Palestinians, and peoples of the region! What are you waiting for? Will the Arab League protect you? Are you waiting for an Arab consensus or a united Arab strategy? I want to be very clear and precise. In any country around the world, when anyone feels that his existence is in the sphere of threat, elimination, and annihilation, does he wait for a national consensus? Has such a thing ever happened in history? No! Never!

So the big question is: If we agree that there is a danger threatening us, the question would be: How are we to confront this danger? Where shall we go? What are the capabilities? What are the means? What are the tools? There are major and big responsibilities to be shouldered by the Iraqis, the Syrians, the Palestinians, and the peoples of the region. I want to address the Lebanese and my logic can be applied on all the other peoples and countries because Praise be to Allah there are authorities, leaderships, scholars, parties, and movements which are perfect and great and fit to assume responsibility. ...

Is it true that if Hizbullah withdraws from Syria, the danger will be gone from Lebanon? Will ISIL then leave Lebanon alone? Does the ISIL really have no aspirations in Lebanon?.....

there is a crisis in the country. Let's address it and then we would debate whom to hold responsible. Now the national responsibility says: Let's face the war. Now the national responsibility says: Let's do something to protect the country. Let's protect our state, our Lebanon, our people, our society, and our region. .....Anyway, these are questions. Let's talk together. Hizbullah's presence in Syria: Does staying there or withdrawing from there protect Lebanon? Let's discuss this. Lebanon is in danger....

When an entity, a state, or a society is before an existential danger, the absolute priority before this existential danger would be to make reorganizations in a way that meets this existential danger. Whoever does not act accordingly would not be acting according to the mind, religion, morals, and humanity. He would be exposing his people to the danger of annihilation while he is sitting and wasting his time with issues he sees as fateful and of priority....

 call on all the Lebanese to comprehend that our country, our entity, and our society is before an existential danger in an exceptional and very dangerous way. I am not exaggerating and whoever does not want to believe let him believe later. In face of this existential danger, we must define our priorities....

We will not migrate to any other place in the world. We will not hold any other nationality. We will not leave this land at all. We will remain here. We will remain here raising our heads high. Here we will live, and if fighting is imposed on us, here we will fight. Here we will be martyred and here we will be buried. This is our choice...

Today, our country, our people, and our existence is in danger. We must assume this responsibility. ...We will not bury our heads in the sand. We will not be defeated. We will not run away.  We will stay and protect Lebanon. 

Full speech delivered by Hezbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday August 15, 2014.


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