Category Archives: Moon of Alabama

Should Syriza’s Choose The Soft Or The Hard Path?

So Syriza won in Greece. It formed a new government in coalition with the small, rightwing Independent Greece party. Before the election Syriza announced a program that would have Greece stay in the Euro but renegotiate conditions for loans.

I hope that was a ploy. Yves Smith describes the difficulties with Syriza’s soft path:

The nut of that problem, as we will see, is that while may be a very estimable-sounding position, it may not be as pragmatic as it appears. Greece likely has better odds of winning concessions if it is less reasonable, since the Germans and the even more implacable Fins are convinced that the periphery countries are immoral beggars who deserve to be ground into the dust if they cannot or will not pay their debts. Greece is unlikely to be able to shake the perception in the North that they have the upper hand and can force Greece to heel, giving at most only fairly minor concessions.

Greece’s best hope is if it there is an upsurge in popularity of other anti-austerity and anti-Eurozone parties in the rest of Europe. And they are more likely to rally support in the rest of the Eurozone if they take bold positions rather than careful, studied ones. And even then, that may not be enough for them to resolve the deep-seated problems they face. It isn’t simply that they face a very difficult challenge politically vis-a-vis the Troika, but that even if they get most of what they want, their policies do not look likely to generate enough demand to pull Greece out of its ditch.

Like Ian Welsh I would argue for Greece to take a harder course, at least during negotiations and, if those fail, to really walk the walk:

Greek debt is at a level which is effectively impossible to pay off and has been made much, much worse by all the “aid packages” and “bailouts” given by their “fellow” Europeans. (Aka. they should have defaulted years ago.)As for the Euro, Greece can’t print it, and Greece will need to print money.

I worry that Syriza is serious about negotiating on the debt. There is essentially no chance the Troika (well, really, Germany) will give them acceptable terms on a writedown. Negotiations should be intended only to go on long enough to demonstrate that a good deal is not possible. While they are ongoing, the Greeks should be preparing for Grexit and repatriating all the resources they can.

Greece would become another pariah of the “western” world and Ian, correctly in my view, thinks that is a position in which it is not alone and which can be used to Greece’s favor:

The media is playing this as an anti-austerity vote, and it is. But voting anti-austerity for a country like Greece which can’t feed itself, has no oil, and doesn’t have a lot of industry, is one thing: not being austere is another. If the Greeks want a decent life again, they will have to take on some of the most powerful nations in the world and at least fight to a draw.Many nations are in the same boat as Greece is: Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Argentina. Greece needs to make the necessary alliances with such countries and it needs to align with the rising Chinese block.

Doing this requires a psychological step that Greeks may be unwilling to take: a recognition that their interests do not lie with Europe; an understanding that Europeans are willing to see them impoverished, homeless and dead. Greeks who are living in the past and think the EU is about prosperity for everyone in the EU need to learn otherwise.

Syriza might go the more radical path. If not it is likely to fail and then the door will be open for the hard right to take power and to start wars to divert the attention from the ever falling economy.

Source: Moon of Alabama

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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Liberté D´Expression?

Source: Moon of Alabama

Dieudonné arrested over Facebook post on Paris gunman

French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala has been arrested for being an “apologist for terrorism” after suggesting on Facebook that he sympathised with one of the Paris gunmen, a judicial source has said.Prosecutors had opened the case against him on Monday after he wrote “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly” – mixing the slogan “Je suis Charlie”, used in tribute to the journalists killed at magazine Charlie Hebdo, with a reference to gunman Amédy Coulibaly. Dieudonné was arrested on Wednesday.

One wonders what “apologist for terrorism” may additionally include. When Hollandedelivers weapons to terrorists in Syria isn’t he also an “apologist for terrorism”?

Defending the racism of Charlie Hebdo is seen as heroic but criticizing Zionist racism in Israel is not allowed?

France now deploys 10,000 soldiers and 5,000 police to protect “Jewish sites”. Meanwhile 26 places of worship for Muslims have been attacked and 34 have been threatened.

Liberté and égalité are supposed to be center tenets of France. They are now completely out of whack.

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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The Stench Of Hypocrisy

These past few days have been quite interesting considering the change in climate that has been brought across Europe in what seems to be a carefully orchestrated narrative.

We at Oceania Saker strongly condemn the acts of terrorism in Paris, it was indeed a cowardly act which resulted in the loss of life. Life is precious and it saddens us how so much discord,chaos and insanity prevails around the world today.

There have been attempts both overt and covert at somehow linking The Saker and the other independent Saker Blogs to some kind of extremist view point.  We feel this is categorically false and without foundation. The Saker community is perhaps one of the most inclusive on the internet and everyone is welcome and will always be welcome.

We are merely reporting news, opinion and analysis which quite often is diametrically opposite to the mainstream media.

In this day and age, with all the revelations of not just global spying, torture and state sponsored acts of terror and genocide under the guise of “democracy”, we feel it is unnatural to simply swallow whole sale the “official” version of events.

We will continue to print opinion that we feel helps people question more. The text below is yet another opinion on the matter that we feel deserves to be heard. The hypocrisy is too great to be just ignored.

AE
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Source: Moon of Alabama

world_leaders_paris_march_650

Thousands of people take part in silent march in Paris in remembrance of the victims of last weeks terror attacks in France. The attacks, by a bunch of criminals, were depicted as an assault on “free speech”.

[Please click below to continue reading] Continue reading The Stench Of Hypocrisy

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Another Overview Of The Situation In Syria, Moon of Alabama

The U.S. has given up on the Fee Syrian Army in the north of Syria:

The United States has stopped paying most of the pro-western rebels fighting in northern Syria and has suspended the delivery of arms to them, rebel commanders told McClatchy Tuesday.

Some of the FSA mercenaries, now no longer getting paid, are joining jihadi groups:

As many as 800 to 1,000 fighters from U.S.-vetted rebel groups already have joined Nusra, …

The stop of support in the north is confirmed by additional reports. That this is likely real can also be seen in the number of arms video posted. The U.S. gave TOW anti-tank missiles to the mercenaries but demanded video uploads to prove their use. Eliot Higgins, though not always trustworthy, counted these numbers:

TOW videos posted by the opposition by month Apr 9 May 16 Jun 16 Jul 37 Aug 35 Sep 44 Oct 58 Nov 26 Dec 3

The U.S. is still paying for some small FSA groups within Aleppo city but these are now surrounded by the Syrian Arab Army and unlikely to be able to hold their positions. Their hold of Aleppo city is politically symbolic and therefore something the U.S. wants them to keep. It is the reason why the UN envoy is trying to negotiate a ceasefire for Aleppo. Syria and Russia areplaying along but Aleppo will likely be completely in government hands before any ceasefire is reached.

[Please click below to continue reading] Continue reading Another Overview Of The Situation In Syria, Moon of Alabama

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White House (Ab)Uses Ferguson To Promote More Surveillance, Moon of Alabama

White House (Ab)Uses Ferguson To Promote More Surveillance

The recent killing of a young black man by a police officer in Ferguson has led to amazing new opportunities. The White House is eager to promote new initiatives like this one in New York:

The NYPD Will Start Wearing Body Cams Wednesday

Beginning Wednesday, the pilot program will test different cameras on 60 officers from six precincts.

Engineers in the new Utah datacenter run by the National Security Agency have prepared special stream collection servers to provide realtime processing of the new videofeeds. Automatic numberplate and face recognition together with GPS data will be used to create data records for future analysis. “We are usually not allowed to collect or use such data of American persons,” a NSA spokesperson said. “But this is simply legal administrative assistance for the FBI and the local police,” the spokesperson added. “We are just a bit further along with this than they are.”

On the fly comparison of the video data with existing databases will allow to alert the policemen of searched-for automobiles. The cameras will also make make discrete noise should the officer approach persons who have their face-features stored in the national deviating person database. An additional feature utilizing Google glass and yet to be tested will provide the policemen with the name, date of birth and additional data like medical records of each person in their field of view.

Some of the video streams will be shared with the public. FOXNews signed a sponsoring contract with the NYPD that will allow it to exclusively use the streams. “Just imagine the possibilities,” Mr. V. O. Yeur, FOXnews vice president for business development, explained. “We will have the most goring night-programs from these feeds. Live and for nearly zero cost. Car accidents, marriage fights, murders each and every night – all without expansive additional equipment and personal in the street. The advertisers and shareholders will love this.”

Asked about possible problems with the anonymity of people not wanting to be recognized on camera V.O Yeur replied: “There is absolutely no problem with this. The viewers will never be able to see the recording policemen in those feeds and they will never learn their names. These exiting new programs will be broadcasted while offering the officers complete anonymity.”

Source:http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/12/white-house-abuses-ferguson-to-promote-more-surveillance-.html#comments

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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