November 15, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “SCF” – US President Barack Obama has just given the Pentagon orders to assassinate commanders of the Al Nusra terror network in Syria. American media reports over the weekend say the new urgency arises from US intelligence fears that al Qaeda-affiliated groups are preparing to mount terror attacks against Western targets from strongholds in Syria.
The purported US «kill list» will be acted on through drone strikes and «intelligence assets». The latter refers, presumably, to US special forces that are already operating in northern Syria alongside Turkish military.
Last week, a similar announcement was carried in the British press, which reported that elite British SAS troops had received orders to kill up to 200 jihadi volunteers from Britain who are suspected to be active in Syria (and Iraq). Again, the same rationale was invoked as in the latest American plan. That the assassination program was to pre-empt terror attacks rebounding on Western states.
A British defense official was quoted as saying that the mission could be the most important ever undertaken by the SAS in its entire 75-year history. «The hunt is on», said the official, «to take out some very bad people».
Significantly, too, the British SAS kill operations in Syria are reportedly being carried out as part of a «multinational effort». That suggests that the Pentagon’s initiative reported this weekend in being coordinated with the British.
The Empire is relentless, on the move, planning, trying, testing, re-calibrating, reorganising and then going on the offensive again. It is an endless cycle and surely there are victims as we all play our role in resisting the Nazi Death Cult that is the United States and its surrogates.
A patriot of Novorussia, Arseny Sergeyevich Pavlov (aka Motorola) was assassinated on 16 October 2016 by a remote triggered bomb in the lift of his apartment complex. He leaves behind his wife and child who will bear the very real burden of his loss. He sacrificed all for his belief in the right of man to set his own destiny, he sacrificed for all of Donbass.
There are varying analysis going around and it is worthy to read, digest and take into account each. The Saker has penned his own take on things which is well worth consideration, you can read it here.
However, I wish to put forward another account from Texac, who is in the Essence of Time unit in DNR. He is an American who has decided that dignity and honour are above meaningless pledges to a bloody flag (USA). He left his life behind in the US and has since worked towards fighting US/EU backed Nazis in Ukraine.
The purpose here is to illustrate that all of us are on the same side and it is with our varied views that we forge in strength to face the enemy in whatever way we can. The information war is a vital one that is already taking toll on the enemy, hence it is more important than ever to close ranks and not give way to infighting and slander.
Oceania Saker’s take on this finds merit in questions and legitimate points raised in both Texac’s observation as well as the very legitimate concerns raised by The Saker.
The Western Press keeps repeating the same message – by leaving the European Union, the British have isolated themselves from the rest of the world, and will have to deal with terrible economic consequences. And yet, the fall in the Pound could be an advantage within the Commonwealth, which is a far greater family than the Union, and present on all six continents. Famous for its pragmatism, the City could quickly become the international centre for the yuan and implant the Chinese currency in the very heart of the Union.
The United States remain uncertain of their capacity to convince the European Union to participate actively in NATO, and the will of the United Kingdom to pursue the military alliance that they have been building together since 1941 for the purpose of dominating the world. Because despite the allegations of the European leaders, the Brexit does not isolate the United Kingdom, but enables it to turn to the Commonwealth and to create links with China and Russia.
Press-ganging the Europeans into NATO
The United States and the United Kingdom had planned to push the members of the Union to announce the increase of their military budget to 2% of their GDP during the Alliance summit in Warsaw (8 and 9 July). Besides this, there were plans for the adoption of a strategy for deploying forces at the Russian border, including the creation of a joint NATO–EU logistical unit which would enable the collective use of helicopters, ships, drones and satellites.
Until now, the United Kingdom was the most important contributor of the Union in matters of Defence, providing close to 15% of the EU defence budget. Apart from this, it was in charge of Operation Atalanta for the protection of maritime transports off the coast of the Horn of Africa, and had made its ships available in the Mediterranean. And finally, it was planned that the UK would furnish troops for the constitution of EU combat groups. With the Brexit, all these engagements are now null and void.
For Washington, the question is now whether London will or will not accept to increase its direct investment in NATO, of which it is already the second most important contributor, to compensate for the part it played in the EU – but without gaining any particular advantage by doing so. Although Michael Fallon, the current British Minister of Defence, has promised not to weaken the common efforts of NATO and the EU, no-one can see why London would agree to place new troops under foreign command.
As a result, and above all, Washington is questioning the will of London to pursue the military alliance that it has been building with the Crown since 1941. Of course, we should not rule out the possibility that the Brexit may be a British trick enabling them to renegotiate their «special relation» with «the Americans» to their advantage. However, it is much more probable that London hopes to extend its relations to Beijing and Moscow without necessarily forgoing the advantages of its entente with Washington.
The Anglo-Saxon secret agencies
During the Second World War, and even before they joined the war, the United States concluded a pact with the United Kingdom which was clearly laid out in the specifics of the Atlantic Charter . It called for the two countries to unite in order to guarantee freedom of maritime circulation and the extension of free trade.
This alliance was implemented by the «Five Eyes» agreement, which currently serves as the basis for the cooperation between 17 Intelligence agencies from 5 different states (the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as three other members of the Commonwealth – Australia, Canada and New Zealand).
The documents revealed by Edward Snowden attest that the Echelon network in its current form constitutes «a supranational Intelligence agency which is independent of the laws of its own member states». So the «Five Eyes» have been able to spy on personalities like the Secretary General of the UNO and the German Chancellor, and at the same time, carry out mass surveillance on their own citizens.
Those were the days when Libya (“We came, we saw, he died”) offered to the world a full-blooded humanitarian imperialist spectacle starring Three American Harpies: Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice, actually four if Hillary’s mentorette and soul mate, Madeleine Albright, was included.
Pop cynics felt tempted at the time to coin those Amazons-in-waiting Brunhilde and the Valkyries. Or at least to qualify perma-smirker Hillary as Attila The Hen.
So let’s kill the suspense. There will be, predictably, a sequel. And it even comes with a somewhat highbrow preview, titled Expanding American Power, published by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) think tank .CNAS happens to be co-founded – and led – by former Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, who served in the Obama Administration under Leon Panetta.
Also predictably, CNAS and its combative paper read as a sort of grand PNAC remixed – including some of those same old neocon/neoliberalcon faces; Elliot Abrams, Robert Zoellick, Martin Indyk, Dennis Ross, and of course Flournoy herself, who a Beltway consensus already identifies as the next Pentagon head under a President Clinton.
In this context, Exceptionalistan rules in all its forms – from thejuicy defense contractor donor list to the emphasis on NATO on trade via the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). After Brexit though, implementing TTIP will be a tall order – and that’s a mighty understatement.
Pentagon-in-waiting Flournoy was recently quoted as willing to send “more American troops into combat against ISIS and the Assad regime than the Obama administration has been willing to commit.”
Well, not really. She actually responded to the piece, arguing she’s in favor of “increasing U.S. military support to moderate Syrian opposition groups fighting ISIS and the Assad regime, like the Southern Front, not asking U.S. troops to do the fighting in their stead.”
John Pilger strikes a blow to the hypocrisy of a wider political culture that apologizes for the crimes of the EU while denigrating the nation’s poor.
The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media.
This was, in great part, a vote by those angered and demoralized by the sheer arrogance of the apologists for the “remain” campaign and the dismemberment of a socially just civil life in Britain. The last bastion of the historic reforms of 1945, the National Health Service, has been so subverted by Tory and Labour-supported privateers it is fighting for its life.
A forewarning came when the treasurer, George Osborne, the embodiment of both Britain’s ancient regime and the banking mafia in Europe, threatened to cut 30 billion pounds from public services if people voted the wrong way; it was blackmail on a shocking scale.
Immigration was exploited in the campaign with consummate cynicism, not only by populist politicians from the lunar right, but by Labour politicians drawing on their own venerable tradition of promoting and nurturing racism, a symptom of corruption not at the bottom but at the top. The reason millions of refugees have fled the Middle East—first Iraq, now Syria—are the invasions and imperial mayhem of Britain, the United States, France, the European Union and Nato. Before that, there was the willful destruction of Yugoslavia. Before that, there was the theft of Palestine and the imposition of Israel.
The pith helmets may have long gone, but the blood has never dried. A nineteenth century contempt for countries and peoples, depending on their degree of colonial usefulness, remains a centerpiece of modern “globalization,” with its perverse socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor: its freedom for capital and denial of freedom to labor; its perfidious politicians and politicized civil servants.
All this has now come home to Europe, enriching the likes of Tony Blair and impoverishing and disempowering millions. On 23 June, the British said no more.
The most effective propagandists of the “European ideal” have not been the far right, but an insufferably patrician class for whom metropolitan London is the United Kingdom. Its leading members see themselves as liberal, enlightened, cultivated tribunes of the 21st century zeitgeist, even “cool.” What they really are is a bourgeoisie with insatiable consumerist tastes and ancient instincts of their own superiority. In their house paper, The Guardian, they have gloated, day after day, at those who would even consider the EU profoundly undemocratic, a source of social injustice and a virulent extremism known as “neoliberalism.”
For three days this month, June 16-18, I had the opportunity to participate as a panelist in the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia. I’ve been in Russia many times since the Ukraine US-backed coup d’état of February 2014, and the deliberate escalations of NATO military and economic tensions and sanctions against the Russian Federation. This year’s forum, my second as participant, gave me a rare opportunity to speak with leading representatives from every sector of the Russian economy- from CEOs of the energy sector to the Russian Railways to the national Russia Grid electricity provider to numerous small and mid-sized businessmen, to a wide range of economists. It sharpened my perception of just how precarious the situation of Russia today is.
What became clearer to me in the course of the three days of discussions in St Petersburg is precisely how vulnerable Russia is. Her Achilles Heel is the reigning ideology that controls every key economic post of the Government of the Russian Federation under Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Under the terms of the Russian Constitution adopted in the chaos of the Yeltsin years and enormously influenced, if not literally drafted, by Russia’s foreign IMF advisers, economic policy is the portfolio responsibility of the Prime Minister and his various ministers of Economics, Finance and so forth. The Russian President, today Vladimir Putin, is responsible for defense and foreign policy.
Making the job virtually impossible of reviving credit flows to fuel genuine real investment in urgently needed infrastructure across the vast land expanse of Russia is the Central Bank of Russia. The Central Bank of Russia was given two constitutionally-mandated tasks when it was created as an entity independent from the Russian Government in the first months of the Russian Federation following the breakup of the Soviet Union. It must control Russian domestic inflation and it must stabilize the Ruble against major foreign currencies. Like western central banks, its role is almost purely monetary, not economic.
In June, 2015 as I participated the first time in the St Petersburg forum, the Russian Central Bank base rate, interest charged to banks, was 11%. In the peak of the so-called Ruble crisis in January 2015 it had reached 17%. Expectations last summer were that Elvira Nabiullina, the central bank governor since 2013, would begin to bring central rates rather rapidly down to manageable levels, especially at a time when central banks such as the European Central Bank, the US Fed and the Bank of Japan were lowest in some 500 years at zero or even negative. Further, since January 2016 oil prices, a significant factor in the Ruble strength as Russia is the world’s largest oil exporter, began a rise of more than 60% from lows below $30 a barrel in early January to levels near $50 six months later.
That lowering of rates by the Central Bank hasn’t happened. Instead it is slowly killing the economy. One year later, in early June, 2016 the Russian Central Bank under Governor Nabiullina made the first rate cut since June 2015…to a still-deadly 10.5%. Perhaps it’s notable that monetarist Nabiullina was named by the London Euromoney magazine as their 2015 Central Bank Governor of the Year. That should be seen as a bad omen for Russia. Equally ominous was the fulsome praise the head of Washington’s IMF had for Nabiullina’s monetarist handling of the early 2015 Ruble crisis.
I’ll try and keep this gracefully short: Mario Draghi ‘unleashed’ a bazooka full of desperate tools on the financial markets yesterday and they blew up in his face faster than you could say blowback or backdraft (and that’s just the start of the alphabet). This must and will mean that Draghi’s stint as ECB head is for all intents and purposes done. But…
But there are two questions: 1) who has the power to fire him (not an easy one), and 2) who can replace him. Difficult issues because the only candidates that would even be considered for the job by the same people who hired -no, not elected- Mario -and who will still be in power after he’s gone-, under present conditions, are carbon copies of Draghi. They all went to the same schools, worked for the same banks etc.
So maybe they’ll let him sit a bit longer. Then again, the damage has been done, and Mario has done a lot of destruction, is what the markets said yesterday. But to replace him with someone who’s also already lost all credibility, because they supported Mario every step of the way, carries a very evident risk: that nobody will believe in the entire ECB itself anymore. If you ask me, it’s crazy that anyone still would, but that’s another chapter altogether.
Not that Janet Yellen and Japan’s Kuroda and China’s Zhou Xiaochuan should not also be put out by the curb. While they may -seem to- vary in approaches today, they all started from the same untested, purely theoretical and entirely clueless origins. Just saying. None of them have any idea what negative rates etc will lead to. They’re all in the same rabbit hole. And that’s not a joke, it’s deeply sad.
Ultra-low interest -even negative- rates and bond purchases to the tune of $1 trillion a year, Mario’s schtick, exist all across the formerly rich world. And they all do for the same purpose: to make the people think that they, and their economies, are still rich. Just so bankers can take from them whatever it is they still do have. Think pension funds, investment funds.
Why did this pandemonium of ZIPR and QE ever get started? Because central banks, and the economists that work within them, edged along by bankers who risked behemoth losses, said the most important thing to do was to ‘save’ the banking system, and they can always find some theory to confirm that preference.
But the banking system is where the losses are, and it’s where the risks are. Which are then both transferred to Joe and Jane Blow, who subsequently have less to spend, which defeats the alleged central bank purpose of ‘stimulating’ the economy.
Draghi’s argument for the new (water-)bazooka measures is that without them, Europe would face ‘awful’ deflation. But it’s his very measures that create and encourage deflation. So who still knows how to count beyond 101? Good question.
But anyway, I just wanted to say that Draghi’s gone in all but physical presence. And if they keep him on for a while longer, that means that what happened today will happen again, just faster. Big risk.
No Super Mario no more.
What happened with Draghi yesterday is eerily reminiscent of the ‘glorious’ Bernanke days, when ‘poor’ Ben would make one of his weighty announcements and the effects he was looking for would fizzle out within hours. In full accordance with the law of diminishing returns, Draghi’s new and far more desperate measures lost their very meaning even within the space of barely more than half an hour. This EURUSD graph says it all:
That is ugly. That has meaning. Much more than Mario -the former Goldman Sachs executive- himself and his paymasters will be willing to acknowledge. It means the financial world is now ready to bet against Draghi. Like they bet against China.
Europe’s best hope, somewhat ironically, is German resistance against Draghi, which yesterday reached a point of no return. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard gave a perfect example overnight of why that is:
Professor Richard Werner from Southampton University, the man who invented the term QE, said the ECB’s policies are likely to destroy half of Germany’s 1,500 savings and cooperative banks over the next five years. They cannot pass on the negative rates to savers so their own margins are suffering. “They are under enormous pressure from regulatory burdens already, and now they are reaching a tipping point,” he said.
These banks make up 70pc of German deposits and provide 90pc of loans to small and medium firms, the Mittelstand companies that form the backbone of German industry. Prof Werner said these lenders are beingpunished in favour of banks that make their money from asset bubbles and speculation.
“We have learned nothing from the financial crisis. The sooner there is a revolt in Germany, the better,” he said.
Draghi’s done. This hole is too deep for him to climb out of.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.
The chaotic socio-political processes that the US provoked in Europe have given rise to a dangerous group of ideologues that the author describes as Secular Wahhabis. Just like their Islamic jihadist ideological brethren, they have a burning hate for Western civilization and want to totally destroy it, even though most Secular Wahhabis were born, raised, and spent their whole lives within it and don’t have any practical experience living outside of this civilizational sphere. While it may initially come off as mind-boggling that a Westerner, or anybody for that matter, would want to facilitate their own civilizational suicide, it’s not at all strange when one realizes that these people operate under the guidance of an ultra-extreme leftist ideology that has essentially become a fundamentalist secular religion for them.
To explain, Secular Wahhabis abide by the literal interpretation of leftist theoretical texts from a bygone era, structurally mirroring the exact same thing that the Islamic Wahhabis do with the Quran. For whatever personal reason it may be, whether they misguidedly think in their own minds that such a move will strengthen multipolarity or if they’re just expressing an inferiority complex on a macro scale via civilizational sadism, they firmly believe in the sanctity of the leftist theoretic dogma for open borders and complete opposition to any assimilative and integrative policies on the part of immigrant-receiving governments. So strong is their belief in this radical ideology that they instinctively slur anyone who disagrees with it or stands in their way as “fascists”, typically accompanying their overly emotional and disproportionate reaction with the threat that “the only good fascist is a dead fascist”. In this way, they once more follow in the footsteps of the Islamic Wahhabis who always call their opponents “infidels” and oftentimes literally try to kill them.
The similarities don’t end there, however, since the Secular Wahhabis have a vile hatred for cultural and civilizational identity, even among their own “comrades”, that’s equal in intensity to that which the Islamic Wahhabis feel towards secularity and their fellow Muslims that go along with it. The reason why Islamic Wahhabis obsessively oppose secularism is obvious, but when it comes to the Secular Wahhabis, this can be attributed to the influence of Cultural Marxism. This label is an exonym that’s not self-applied by those who believe in it but is instead given by outsiders who note these people’s utter disdain for anything to do with cultural identity, thinking instead that the only social variables that matter in explaining the world are economic- and class-based ones. Accordingly, the Secular Wahhabis regularly engage in paranoid purges and “fascist” outings within their ranks against those who they suspect of believing in the practicality of incorporating ethnic and cultural identity factors into their world outlook. The verbal violence that occurs during these dark moments frighteningly resembles and is but one escalation point away from the physical violence that Takfiris commit against their own flock, further underlining the behavioral and ideological structural commonalities between the Secular and Islamic Wahhabis.
The rise of Secular Wahhabis has been directly facilitated by the polarizing ideological extremism that has resulted from the Immigrant Crisis, but even before this pivotal event was engineered, the Russian government had already predicted that such a hateful movement might one day rear its ugly head. In 2008, Russia’s then-Ambassador to NATO and present Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the defense industry Dmitry Rogozin warned that a very dangerous threat was brewing in the world:
“Until things get really tough, they are going to keep pretending that Russia is their opponent. I think that in the XXI century, the real threat is posed by a certain bunch of people who think that you and I are second-class people. Those close-minded people simply don’t recognize our right to live. They don’t care who they are dealing with – Russians, Jews, Tatars, French, or British, or whoever, – they are all the same to them. To them, we are just a worthless civilization that must be destroyed. Let’s hope our Western counterparts realise that those guys threaten us all in equal measure and that this plague advancing on the European continent will engulf us while we are all arguing.
There is a new civilization emerging in the Third World that thinks that the white, northern hemisphere has always oppressed it and must therefore fall at its feet now. This is very serious. If the northern civilization wants to protect itself, it must be united: America, the European Union, and Russia. If they are not together, they will be defeated one by one.”