Why the rise of fascism is again the issue, by John Pilger

The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.

“To initiate a war of aggression…,” said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, “is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Had the Nazis not invaded Europe, Auschwitz and the Holocaust would not have happened. Had the United States and its satellites not initiated their war of aggression in Iraq in 2003, almost a million people would be alive today; and Islamic State, or ISIS, would not have us in thrall to its savagery. They are the progeny of modern fascism, weaned by the bombs, bloodbaths and lies that are the surreal theatre known as news.

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Obama failed his coup in Venezuela, by Thierry Meyssan

Once again, the Obama administration has tried to force the change of a political regime that resists it. On February 12, an Academi (formerly Blackwater) plane disguised as an aircraft of the Venezuelan army was supposed to bomb the presidential palace and kill President Nicolas Maduro. The plotters had planned to place former MP María Corina Machado in power and have her immediately acclaimed by former Latin American presidents.

President Obama had given a warning. In his new doctrine of Defence (National Security Strategy), he wrote: “We stand with citizens whose full exercise of democracy is in danger, as the Venezuelans.” Yet, Venezuela is, since the adoption of the 1999 constitution, one of the most democratic countries in the world. This sentence presaged the worst to prevent it from continuing its path to independence and wealth redistribution.

It was on February 6, 2015. Washington was finishing developing the plan for the overthrow of the democratic institutions of Venezuela. The coup was planned for February 12.

“Operation Jericho” was supervised by the National Security Council (NSC), under the authority of Ricardo Zuñiga. This “diplomat” is the grandson of the homonymous president of the Honduran National Party who organized the coups of 1963 and 1972 in favor of General López Arellano. He directed the CIA station in Havana (2009-11), where he recruited and financed agents to form the opposition to Fidel Castro while negotiating the resumption of diplomatic relations with Cuba (finally concluded in 2014).

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WWII Greek anti-fascist hero and left politician slams capitulation of Syriza

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Manolis Glezos is a Greek National Hero and belonged to the Greek resistance during WWII. He is also a MEP of SYRIZA and one of its most respected leaders. In short, he is not your 30-something “cool” and “hip” politician who are little more than salad dressing for your Greek salad.

“On May 30, 1941, he and Apostolos Santas climbed on the Acropolis and tore down the swastika, which had been there since April 27, 1941, when the Nazi forces had entered Athens. It inspired not only the Greeks, but all subjected people, to resist against the occupation, and established them both as two international anti-Nazi heroes.” – Wikipedia

When SYRIZA came to power with much fanfare, opinion was abound and their stance on Russian sanctions puzzled many. The wishful thinking crowd held on but as time goes by we are reminded of Dagmar Henn’s analysis once again:

“The actual mobilization of people in Greece came to a halt with Syriza. While Syriza might be a positive change globally speaking, it is at the same time a negative change for Greece.”

– Conversation: Greece in the bigger picture?

AE

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“I ask the Greek people to forgive me for contributing to this illusion.” With this phrase veteran left politician, WWII resistance fighter and SYRIZA MEP Manolis Glezos slammed the Greek government for handling the negotiations with the country’s lenders and so having changed the rhetoric of the party.

In an article uploaded on the website of his Movement for Active Citizens, the historic member of the Greek left expresses his deep disappointment about the way SYRIZA handles with the negotiations ans calls for party members to decide if they accept this situation. Manolis Glezos writes:

Renaming the Troika into Institutions, the Memorandum of Understanding into   Agreement and the lenders into partners, you do not change the previous situations as in the case renaming meat into fish.

Of course, you cannot change the vote of the Greek people at the elections of January 25, 2015.

The people voted in favor of what SYRIZA promised: to remove the austerity which is not the only strategy of the oligarchic Germany and the other EU countries, but also the strategy of the Greek oligarchy.

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Year of the Sheep, Century of the Dragon?, Pepe Escobar

New Silk Roads and the Chinese Vision of a Brave New (Trade) World

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Chinese Dream

BEIJING — Seen from the Chinese capital as the Year of the Sheep starts, the malaise affecting the West seems like a mirage in a galaxy far, far away. On the other hand, the China that surrounds you looks all too solid and nothing like the embattled nation you hear about in the Western media, with its falling industrial figures, its real estate bubble, and its looming environmental disasters. Prophecies of doom notwithstanding, as the dogs of austerity and war bark madly in the distance, the Chinese caravan passes by in what President Xi Jinping calls “new normal” mode.

“Slower” economic activity still means a staggeringly impressive annual growth rate of 7% in what is now the globe’s leading economy. Internally, an immensely complex economic restructuring is underway as consumption overtakes investment as the main driver of economic development. At 46.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP), the service economy has pulled ahead of manufacturing, which stands at 44%.

Geopolitically, Russia, India, and China have just sent a powerful message westward: they are busy fine-tuning a complex trilateral strategy for setting up a network of economic corridors the Chinese call “new silk roads” across Eurasia. Beijing is also organizing a maritime version of the same, modeled on the feats of Admiral Zheng He who, in the Ming dynasty, sailed the “western seas” seven times, commanding fleets of more than 200 vessels.

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The Assassination of Greece, by James Petras

James Petras was Director of the Center for Mediterranean Studies in Athens (1981-1984) and adviser to Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou (1981-84). Here he analyzes the Greek crisis and its issues within the European Union.

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Yánis Varoufákis and Aléxis Tsípras

The Greek government is currently locked in a life and death struggle with the elite which dominate the banks and political decision-making centers of the European Union. What are at stake are the livelihoods of 11 million Greek workers, employees and small business people and the viability of the European Union. If the ruling Syriza government capitulates to the demands of the EU bankers and agrees to continue the austerity programs, Greece will be condemned to decades of regression, destitution and colonial rule. If Greece decides to resist, and is forced to exit the EU, it will need to repudiate its 270 billion Euro foreign debts, sending the international financial markets crashing and causing the EU to collapse.

The leadership of the EU is counting on Syriza leaders abandoning their commitments to the Greek electorate, which as of early February 2015, is overwhelmingly (over 70%) in favor of ending austerity and debt payments and moving forward toward state investment in national economic and social development [1]. The choices are stark; the consequences have world-historical significance. The issues go far beyond local or even regional, time-bound, impacts. The entire global financial system will be affected [2].

The default will ripple to all creditors and debtors, far beyond Europe; investor confidence in the entire western financial empire will be shaken. First and foremost all western banks have direct and indirect ties to the Greek banks [3]. When the latter collapse, they will be profoundly affected beyond what their governments can sustain. Massive state intervention will be the order of the day. The Greek government will have no choice but to take over the entire financial system . . . the domino effect will first and foremost effect Southern Europe and spread to the ‘dominant regions’ in the North and then across to England and North America [4].

To understand the origins of this crises and alternatives facing Greece and the EU, it is necessary to briefly survey the political and economic developments of the past three decades. We will proceed by examining Greek and EU relations between 1980 – 2000 and then proceed to the current collapse and EU intervention in the Greek economy. In the final section we will discuss the rise and election of Syriza, and its growing submissiveness in the context of EU dominance, and intransigence, highlighting the need for a radical break with the past relationship of ‘lord and vassal’.

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US “Easing Into” War with Syria Using ISIS Boogeyman, by Tony Cartalucci

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The US is a few “accidental” airstrikes away from total war with SyriaThe US is reportedly working with Turkey to provide militants inside of Syria with radios to call in US airstrikes to help in their “fight against ISIS.” Despite the obvious reality that these militants are in fact fighting alongside ISIS and are primarily fighting the Syrian Arab Army, and that such airstrikes are inevitably going to be called in on Syrian, not ISIS targets, the US is nonetheless attempting to assure the world this is not the case.

The London Telegraph declared in its article, “Moderate Syrian rebels ‘to be given power to call in US air strikes’,” that:

The US is planning to train some 5000 Syrian fighters a year under the plan as part of an effort to strengthen the fractured rebel movement against the government of President Bashar al-Assad and extremist groups. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that the initial training would focus on helping rebels hold ground and resist fighters allied with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

The Telegraph would also report:

Four to six-man units will be equipped with rugged Toyota Hilux vehicles, GPS and radios so they can identify targets for airstrikes.

Even in the Telegraph’s article, it is clear that this plan will inevitably be aimed at the Syrian government and its troops, the only secular force in the region fighting Al Qaeda and its spin-off, ISIS.

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CYCLOPS WINS

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This is completely crazy.

For EVERY devalued euro the Greek government saved – via “spending cuts”, more taxes, hurling people towards unemployment, etc. – the Greek economy CONTRACTED by €1.20.

The troika “remedy” – austerity – led to Greece’s debt to GDP ratio going UP, and NOT down.

And this is what the troika, Medusa/Cyclops Merkel, panzer Schauble et regalia want to go on.

Tsipras and Mister V. should grow some balls and GO NUCLEAR.

REALLY go for a Grexit. And mean it. Then let’s see if the panicked troika won’t sue for peace. Imagine the headlines: “Merkelator, the euro eliminator”, etc..

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Extinct—Extincter—Extinctest, by Dmitry Orlov

Dmitry Orlov has an amazing knack of processing information and then presenting to you, in his usual humorous fashion, the nuggets of truth.

Here Dmitry gives us another 30,000 foot view of what is happening to us and our planet.

AE

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This blog is dedicated to the idea of presenting the big picture—the biggest possible—of what is going on in the world. The abiding areas of interest that make up the big picture have included the following:

1. The terminal decay and eventual collapse of industrial civilization as the fossil fuels that power it become more and more expensive to produce in the needed quantities, of lower and lower resource quality and net energy and, eventually, in ever-shorter supply.

The first guess by Hubbert that the all-time peak of oil production in the US would be back in the 1970s was accurate, but later prediction of a global peak, followed by a swift collapse, around the year 2000 was rather off, because here we are 15 years later and global oil production has never been higher. Oil prices, which were high for a time, have temporarily moderated. However, zooming in on the oil picture just a little bit, we see that conventional oil production peaked in 2005—just 5 years late—and has been declining ever since, and the shortfall has been made up by oil that is difficult and expensive to get at (deep offshore, fracking) and by things that aren’t exactly oil (tar sands).

The current low prices are not high enough to sustain this new, expensive production for much longer, and the current glut is starting to look like a feast to be followed by famine. The direct cause of this famine will not be energy but debt, but it can still be traced back to energy: a successful, growing industrial economy requires cheapenergy; expensive energy causes it to stop growing and to become mired in debt that can never be repaid. Once the debt bubble pops, there isn’t enough capital to invest in another round of expensive energy production, and terminal decay sets in.

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MAJOR GREECE UPDATE

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The Eurogroup presser turned into a neo-Foucault debate about les mots et les choses. The RFKATT (Racket Formerly Known As The Troika) – now known as “institutions” – wants an “extension”; the Greeks want a “bridge”. They are supposed to be the same thing.

But they’re not. Here’s Neo-Foucaultian Chanel Lagarde: “An extension continues an existing program, and a bridge is with a view to what is next.”

The lowdown: first the Greeks need to fold – accept the “program”, which means more austerity in the form of a bailout. No bridge. AFTER that RFKATT would consider some changes. But NOT more money.

All this happened after a Eurogroup draft deal was leaked. The draft outlined the above. The Greeks said “no way”.

So we’re back to the EU playing its same old TINA (there is no alternative) scratchy CD; Greece needs to ask for an extension of the current racket and thus “buy time” and keep negotiating.

And once again this week has been promoted as the final deadline… There will be a new meeting but only if the Greeks fold.

Here’s Varoufakis at his own presser: the Greeks want a four-month loan extension, coupled with “conditionality”; that’s the way to go for a new contract “between two equals”. He added: “The only way to solve Greece is to treat us like equals; not a debt colony.”

Looks like it’s going the “debt colony” way.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

 

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