Voices of resistance from Manus Island – By DIANE FIELDES

 

Most of the words below are those of Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist who fled repression in Iran to seek asylum in Australia three years ago. They illustrate the foul racist inhumanity of successive Australian governments, from the Labor government that sent him to Manus Island to the Liberal government that keeps him there.

Behrouz’s words also express something very fine – a defiance and determination, by himself and others, to reject the doublespeak of their jailers, to engage in resistance and solidarity with each other, to maintain their humanity and dignity, and in doing so, to demand from all of us, on the other side of the razor wire, solidarity and resistance in response.

In a truly Kafkaesque move, the PNG government gave Behrouz Boochani a positive refugee determination – even though he and around 60 others had refused to submit an application for refugee status. Those deemed to be refugees were to be transferred to a different prison compound on the island, as a prelude to being resettled for life on PNG against their will.

Boochani wrote: “Tomorrow morning [24 April] they will move me to Oscar [compound]. I want to resist. They must take me by force. They said, ‘You only have 15 minutes. If you resist we will take you by PNG police by force’.

“I received a positive refugee status determination on 18 April from the PNG immigration. I arrived in Australia three years ago and asked Australia for asylum under international law. The Labor government of Australia exiled me to their prison camp in Manus Island PNG by force. I have been imprisoned here for almost three years and have been under a lot of pressure to fill in the protection application in PNG but I have constantly [refused] to do so. I did not arrive in PNG and did never give the PNG government my case for asylum. I have never wanted to resettle in this country.

“This is part of my fight. I have worked hard and tirelessly during the last 3 years to send out Manus voice. I wrote lots of articles and pieces in my real name and fake name. I have worked hard with film-makers, fellow journalists, organisations and lawyers but now I want to send out Manus voice by my body. I don’t have any other way.

“I don’t want to lose my personality. I don’t want to be a nameless detainee. By the 19 July law our legal status has been suspended and we become legally un-nameable beings. We are made into non-beings without dignity. Think of Hamid Khazaei, his body was used to violently send a message to the world … I fight to show people that Australia has tortured people in this hell prison for three years.”

In an earlier letter to PNG authorities, 76 refugees who received “double positive” status made their feelings plain about this new term of indefinite punishment:

“In our countries we were threatened of imprisonment, exile, torture and beatings, but in your country we were literally indefinitely imprisoned, exiled, tortured and were beaten up.

“In your country two of our friends were killed, one from negligence [Hamid Khazaei] and the other one [Reza Barati] was beaten to death by your people.

“In your country we stood in lines for hours and hours to receive ‘food’, shower, toilet and malaria medication under the merciless sunlight.

“In your country our humanity was taken away and we were humiliated but we sewed our lips and went on hunger strike with hundreds of our friends to plea for freedom but again you suppressed us because the only thing you could care [about] was the money that Australia would put in your pocket to dehumanise us.

“By writing this letter we would clearly like to inform you that we are not willing to be your slaves and await for death in poverty, loneliness and disease in case to be a lesson for the refugees in rest of the world.”

After his protest on 25 April, when he climbed a tree to resist being transferred, Boochani wrote these words:

“First I want to say thank you to all those advocates, journalists, academics, writers and friends who supported me and my way with their beautiful words yesterday.

“Really I am happy that people understood perfectly that I went on top of that tall tree because of humanity and moral values. I am proud that you could recognise that I did not do that because of any mental sickness and that it was a political action.

“Yesterday I had some short loud talks when I was on that dangerous place with immigration, psychologists, and officers and I explained to them that this action is only for democratic values and is against modern slavery which we in Manus prison are subject to.

“I could move to Oscar prison easily but I resisted and chose to fight on a tall tree with my body. I know that you can understand deeply my situation as a man who has been imprisoned for about three years without any crime. I am a political prisoner.

“I know that many of you know that I did not have any other way open to me to resist this. I had to climb on top of that tree because there was no longer any other way. The action was political. We are victims of political propaganda and should be understood as political prisoners … put up in a hell prison camp under a regime of systematic torture.

“I wanted to show that his policy is cruel, inhumane, unjust and a modern form of slavery. We were forcibly transported from Australia to their black site on Manus Island and are subject to a regime of systematic torture. I hope that this action will encourage people to think more about the Australian Guantanamo in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.

“Lastly, I want to say that I will continue to fight in any way that I can, even with my body.”

Join the rallies around the country to #BringThemHere

Sydney: Friday 29 April, 12:30pm Department of Immigration, 26 Lee Street

Brisbane: Friday 29 April, 5pm King George Square

Adelaide: Friday 29 April, 5pm Rundle Mall

Canberra: Friday 29 April, Department of Immigration, Lonsdale Street, Braddon

Melbourne: Saturday 30 April, 1pm State Library

 

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RT Once Again Documents Cozy Relations between Turkey, ISIL – By RT

Russia Today aired a new documentary exposing  dirty oil secrets and cozy ties between Turkey and Takfiri group, ISIL.

“In The Name of The Profit”, is an exclusive and unprecedented footage filmed by the RT only ten days after the town of Shaddadi in Syrian Kurdistan was liberated from ISIL terrorists.documents prove cozy ties between ISIL, Turkey

The area surrounding the town is well known for its vast oil reserves and extraction activity that for months was reaped by ISIS command to generate revenue.

Following Kurdish soldiers around the destroyed and abandoned homes, RT Documentary found documents which showed a direct link between Turkey and ISIL insurgents operating in Syria.

The Takfiri paperwork included an entire pile of foreign passports with Turkish entry stamps, and booklets encouraging jihad against the Syrian government, printed in Turkey.

But most importantly, among piles of ISIL documents RT journalists discovered heaps of detailed invoices used by the terrorists to calculate and report their daily revenues from illegal smuggling activity.

“Of course, they wouldn’t get any weapons from Turkey if they didn’t ship them oil,” a teenage oil refinery worker told RT.

“They … go with the oil and come back with the guns. And so they go, back and forth, back and forth.”

In addition, the documentary crew was also able to record exclusive interviews with locals – as well as captured ISIL recruits – who shed more light into the ISIL oil trade. According to witnesses on the ground, militants who came from Raqqa and Aleppo to pick up the oil constantly mentioned Turkey as the final destination.

One of the captured ISIL militants admitted that the terrorist group sells oil to Turkey. Others have admitted that crossing the border into the neighboring country proved to be relatively easy.

“Crossing the Syrian-Turkish border was also very easy. It was like crossing the street,” ISIL member from Saudi Arabia, Muhammed Ahmed Muhammed told RT.

“A man told me that the ISIL erased the borders. That there were no borders. I’d heard about that, but I couldn’t quite get it until I saw it myself.”

Ankara has always fiercely denied any involvement in an illegal oil trade with ISIL, and any contacts with the terror group whatsoever. RT has reached out to the Turkish Foreign Ministry for a specific comment on the documentary crew’s findings which Ankara has failed to provide thus far.

Besides collecting irrefutable proof of quite cozy relations between ISIL and Turkey, RT managed capture the mood of the populace who have lived and worked under ISIL yoke for months. They shared their untold stories of survival under the Takfiris’ rule.

 

Source: Agencies

29-04-2016 – 12:10 Last updated 29-04-2016 – 12:10

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Pepe Escobar: The turbulent calm before the next devastating geopolitical storm – By PEPE ESCOBAR

© AP Photo/ Hasan Jamali, File

Major turbulence seems to be the name of the game in 2016. Yet the current turbulence may be interpreted as the calm before the next, devastating geopolitical/financial storm. Let’s review the current state of play via the dilemmas afflicting the House of Saud, the EU and BRICS members Russia, Brazil and China.

Oil and the House of Saud

Not many people are familiar with the Baltic Dry Index. Yet the Index is key to track commodity demand. Two months ago, it was trading to all-time lows. Since then, it has increased over 130%. Precious metals prices have all moved higher in virtually all currencies. Why is this important? Because it tells us that faith in fiat currencies – the US dollar especially — is sharply declining.

The Baltic Index rise portends a rise in oil demand in Asia – especially China. Falling supply and rising demand for oil will likely drive up the price of the barrel of oil in the second half of 2016.

That does not mean that the House of Saud will win back the trust of both the US and Russia. Deep sources keep confirming that as far as Washington and Moscow are concerned, the House of Saud is expendable. Both are really energy independent (should the US want to be). Powerful Washington factions blatantly accuse Riyadh of “terror” – well, it’s way more complicated – while Moscow regards the House of Saud as following US orders to destroy Russia in an oil price war.

Ailing – on the way to dementia — King Salman and young Warrior Prince Mohammed would be finished if those famous 28 pages about 9/11 were released and the Saudi connection is incontrovertible. What next? Regime change. A CIA coup. A “trusted” Saudi military CIA asset elevated to power.

What’s left for the House of Saud is to play for time. High up in Riyadh the feeling is that relations with Washington won’t improve while Obama is president; the next president — whether Hillary or The Donald – will be a much better deal. So Plan A for now is to keep posing as essential to Washington in the “war on terra”; that means King Salman falling back on Mohammed bin Nayef, the Crown Prince, way more adept at it than the Warrior Prince, the conductor of the disastrous war on Yemen.

In parallel, Turkey’s Sultan Erdogan keeps advancing his play to take over oil in Iraqi Kurdistan, eventually diverting the whole supply to make Turkey energy independent – and thus a regional superpower.

Moreover, in Pipelineistan terms, Erdogan absolutely also needs the Qatar gas pipeline through Saudi Arabia and Syria to gain energy independence from Russia. That also happens to be a major US goal. And that also portends perennial trouble for the Syria peace process.

Erdogan already has the German superpower at his feet in the shape of a groveling, begging Chancellor Merkel. Were Turkey on its way to become an energy power, Merkel would prostrate herself on that Ankara palace golden ground non-stop. The CIA intimates as much, when it analyzes how Turkey will keep “expanding its influence” in Iraq through the militias they support, at the expense of Iraq’s security and political unity.

Andrew Bacevich‘s America’s War for the Greater Middle East examines how Washington ruled that “military preponderance” across the Middle East should be the strategic objective in a war against the USSR — that was when Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski reigned as geopolitical supremo. This was always supposed to be an endless war – now encompassing the “Greater Middle East” the neocons are so fond of.

Russia, Brazil and Hybrid War

Russia’s largest commodity exchange is actively courting international oil traders to join its emerging futures market. The goals are crystal clear; to disconnect the price-setting mechanism from the Brent oil benchmark and, crucially, to move away from the petrodollar. That also happens to be a key condition imposed by Beijing to the House of Saud for continuing to buy their oil.

It’s easy to forget that it was only 20 years ago that Moscow wanted to join the West as Christians, and was treated like trash. Russia was perceived in the Beltway to be weak under Yeltsin, who let in looters who ate up Russia as locusts, collapsing Russia’s GDP by 40% as they drew out natural resources, absconding with at least a trillion US dollars.

Now Exceptionalistan keeps updating every trick in the book to destroy or at least undermine Russia with Maidan in Ukraine, an oil price war, attacks on the ruble, Syrian pipelines. Hybrid, unconventional warfare rules – and these will only get nastier. The BRICS as a whole are under siege. The Brazilian color revolution, set up as a soft regime change process, is just the first stage in a new, sophisticated Hybrid War strategy bound to be studied in academia for decades.

As oil demand soars and supply contracts, Hybrid War practitioners across the spectrum will have to create a recession to keep the chaos going. A possible scenario is to let the embattled Italian banking system go down; that’s the next frontier in the EU.

Walking Dead Europe, meanwhile, subcontracted and/or externalized a policy of refugee repression, thus unleashing the largest mass deportation since WWII, complete with camps financed by EU taxpayers and managed by the Great Democrat Erdogan. The missing link is now in the open; everything is proceeding under control of NATO-linked think tanks.

As appalling as it may be, this is hardly new. It was already inbuilt in agreements that the EU imposes on African nations, “upgrading” their status to border Cerberuses. That’s the key mission of the Frontex agency, which is progressively delocalizing the external borders of the EU – to the east and to the south – to better repel migrants. Not a dot connected to NATO’s neo-imperial wars of choice, of course.

No wonder Noam Chomsky has noted that support for formal democracy in the West is dwindling, because they are not real democracies. All major decisions affecting the EU are taken by unelected eurocrats in Brussels. In a groundbreaking book published in Spain, Mercado-Estado-Carcel en la Democracia Neoliberal Espanola (Anthropos), Daniel Jimenez, doctor in Juridical Sociology at the University of Zaragoza, details how the new institutional local order is about de-democratization, denationalization and dependency; NATO, IMF, World Bank, the Paris club, BCE, the European Commission, the Fed, they are part of a global web of institutions, private but self-described as public or public but managed by private interests (such as the Fed). Michael Hudson, among others, has detailed how the EU never developed sustained mechanisms of transfer of capital from the wealthier economies towards poorer members.

I’m a mess without my China fix

Sophisticated Hybrid War-derived techniques may have been deployed full blast against Russia and Brazil. But against China, everything fizzles.

Exceptionalistan’s spin is that China is not as economically secure as it seems. So global public opinion is bombarded by the usual litany of “convulsions in its financial markets”, “investor risk aversion”, “volatility”, or an inevitable crash.

Nonsense. The leadership in Beijing has its strategic imperatives fully delineated in the latest Five-Year-Plan. It will pump whatever amount of credit into the system whenever it takes. It won’t depreciate the yuan – no matter how loud Washington/New York complain.

A yuan devaluation would sink an array of Chinese firms loaded up on US dollar debt. Moreover, Beijing is tweaking its system, a carefully calibrated transition from an export-driven model to one geared toward consumption by the internal market. A strong yuan preserves the purchasing power of tens of millions of members of the New Chinese Middle Class – all of them upwardly mobile, and all of them asset owners.

According to the US Treasury, only about $1.2 trillion in liquid securities is in Chinese hands. And that will keep diminishing, fast – as China keeps buying gold. And to top it off, China has already turned its economy around. That brings us back to that dramatic increase in the Baltic Index. Oil prices are rising. And China is buying the whole lot.

Beijing is advancing on all fronts; spreading influence/commercial deals all across Eurasia, which the New Silk Roads will shape into a mass emporium; modernizing its military; buying strategic foreign assets; building up global trust in the yuan as a stable reserve currency; allowing Chinese elites to diversify their enormous wealth by buying foreign assets, from vineyards in Bordeaux to the odd football giant, such as AC Milan.

No wonder the astonishing spread of Chinese economic power has left assorted Exceptionalists – from neocons to neoliberalcons — totally deranged. Washington has absolutely nothing to offer to nations across Asia, Africa and Latin America – to the whole Global South for that matter. They have all seen how Beijing is not in the market demanding Mob-style compound interest on sovereign debt; “support” for neo-imperial moves by NATO or the UN; one more extra-territorial hub for the US Empire of Bases; or total domination of their central banks.

On the other hand, they have seen what Washington does offer; endless war; the progressive smashing of the nation state; democracy blasted to smithereens; and technocratic governance by the 0.00001%.

Yet all this is just the calm before the storm. The Empire is already striking back. There’s serious blood on the tracks ahead.

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Turnbull Sends Australia Down A Dangerous Road – BY MICHAEL AIRD

TRANSPORTWORKERSUNION

OPINION: The Turnbull Government’s decision to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal is a travesty that will have far-reaching consequences for truck drivers and everyone who shares the roads with them, writes NSW Secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union Michael Aird.

When I first started working at the Transport Workers Union on the far north coast of NSW in 1996, I was more than a little wet behind the ears about how brutal the trucking industry could be. I learned quickly.

It was up in Kempsey that I first met Barry, a long-distance truck driver with a wife and two young daughters. One day, after driving over 13 hours a day for six days straight, an exhausted Barry parked his rig on the side of the road. Barry fell asleep and he missed his delivery slot at a Coles Distribution Centre in Brisbane. His boss’s response; sack him on the spot. With a sense of righteous injustice, I helped Barry to take his boss to court for unfair dismissal. I was convinced Barry would get a decent payout, maybe even his job back.

But out of nowhere Barry decided to settle for only three weeks’ pay. It turned out that someone had threatened to break both of Barry’s legs for pursuing the case. This was my introduction to the dark side of the road transport industry – the excessive hours demanded by clients and operators, the skipped maintenance, the endless fatigue, and the amphetamines dealt out by some bosses to keep their trucks moving.

Two years later I got a call to say that Barry, who was now working for a new operator, was dead. He had been using the truckies’ trick of corners, where exhausted drivers rely on their mate driving a truck ahead of them to signal any oncoming vehicles. If the road is clear, they use both sides of the road to travel around corners. When fatigue hits, this tactic helps to manage the vehicle and maintain excessive speeds. Barry came to a corner he couldn’t make in his wrecked state, careened off the road, and was killed in the crash.

At the coronial inquest for Barry and three other drivers killed in similar circumstances, the Coroner spoke about the systemic problems in the industry. The low rates, pay per kilometre incentive systems that encourage drug use, driving while fatigued, and other unsafe practices. All adding up to a sick industry that was killing people, not from accidents, but from preventable crashes. In 2016, the same problems remain. Over the past decade, truck crashes have killed more than 2500 Australians.

Working behind the wheel of a truck means you are 12 times more likely to die on the job than the average working Australian. Statistics from the Victorian Coroners Court show that truck drivers are the most likely to suicide. And if you happen to own a small business trucking company, ASIC statistics on insolvencies show that you are one of the most likely to go bankrupt.

Truck drivers are professional, hardworking Aussies who take great pride in their work. But many are under immense pressure from the big transport clients – like Coles, Westpac and BP – whose freight they are carrying. As an example, the national logistics manager for Coles has detailed how his KPIs demand a 5 per cent cut in transport costs while increasing the freight moved by 15 per cent, regardless of the consequences.

When truck drivers are not paid a safe rate for all the work that they do, it leaves some with little option but to speed, skip maintenance or push the limits by driving while fatigued. This is leading to devastation on our roads and devastation in the transport industry.

A root cause identified by more than two decades of coronial inquests, independent research and cross-party parliamentary inquiries is this economic pressure on drivers and transport companies. Despite numerous attempts by the Government to spin or ignore this inconvenient truth, it has been proven, time and again.

new matilda, truck
(IMAGE: Timitrius, flickr)

If we don’t address the systemic causes of the problems in the industry, we will continue to have chaos and tragedy on our roads. That’s why the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal was set up in 2012; to save lives on our roads by tackling this link between economic pressures and road safety.

The Tribunal had been working away for several years before it recently burst into public consciousness. Vested interests and politicians seeking an issue to campaign on between now and July 2nd attempted to spin the Tribunal into a battle between owner drivers and employee truck drivers.

The reality is that the Tribunal was established to bring truck drivers, trucking operators, and transport clients together to develop safe standards and conditions for all transport workers – owner driver and employee, regional and city based – that would then make the roads safer for all Australians.

The Tribunal had active inquiries into the cash in transit sector (where low rates and unscrupulous operators have seen drivers shot and killed) the Oil, Fuel and Gas Sector (responsible for the notorious Mona Vale crash), the Waste industry, Ports and other sectors. But it was all ignored in the political circus of recent weeks. The Government has now washed away years of inquiries, progress and hard work with the Tribunal’s abolition.

Big businesses at the top of the supply chain are the big winners from scrapping the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. They have abolished the one body that could hold them accountable nationally for providing safe and fair standards for all truck drivers.

The big losers? The rest of us. The transport workers and their families crushed by economic pressure from these major clients. The decent transport companies who want to play fair by their owner-driver and employee workforce. And everyone who shares the roads with truck drivers.

Truck Drivers are responsible for their individual actions, but if you want to tackle the systemic problems in the industry, you need to look at the economic pressures. Unless you address these root causes there will always be another truck driver facing the exact same pressures to do the job as cheaply and quickly as possible.

Think about this the next time you pass a truck. Do you want the B-Double hurtling towards you driven by a tired, stressed and pressured truck driver? Or do you want a refreshed and alert driver in a properly maintained rig?

That’s why safe and fair pay and conditions for truck drivers’ matters to everyone.

 

Michael Aird is the NSW Secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union.

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Sinodinos: The not so Artful Dodger – By ROSS JONES

Sinodinos: The not so Artful Dodger

Ross Jones 29 April 2016, 5:00pm 12

214 ? 0 0

 
SINODINOSARTFULDODGER
Public square … but not Parliament? Come on Arfur, you’re taking us for mugs!

Arthur Sinodinos thinks he’s very smart after avoiding appearing at a Senate hearing into dodgy donations yesterday, but Sydney bureau chief Ross Jones, who did turn up, says he is actually an idiot.

YOU CAN’T BLAME Arthur Sinodinos for not wanting to front Penny Wong in the Senate Estimates Committee — she would have chewed him up and left only the skeleton of truth for the electorate to pick over.

At ICAC, Arthur eclipsed even Alan Bond in the “I don’t remember” stakes, but failing to remember is not a crime. Failing to remember leaves wriggle room.

A Senate Estimates hearing affords no such luxuries.

At ICAC, Arthur bluffed and blustered and claimed black was white in the face of overwhelming evidence. Hanging with the Obeids? The Free Enterprise Foundation, what? All dead-set above board.

There were several occasions when the gallery burst into laughter at Arthurs’s ridiculous denials and senior moments, too many for a youngish wealthy man with a track record as being Howard’s Richeleau.

Every politician knows the huge majority the voting public can’t handle detail. Maybe 30 members of the public attended ICAC. For the rest – for channel 9, 7 & 10 viewers – all they saw was a beaming Arthur exiting ICAC with a big grin on his face and saying everything was hunky dory.

Where it counts, Fairfax is largely irrelevant.

Hardly anyone noticed the Kate McClymont and the Sydney Morning Herald coverage.

But if Arthur had fronted Penny he would have had nowhere to hide. So he didn’t bother. Because he has plenty to hide.

One of the great things about Parliament House is that its staff are effusively friendly. But the whole place is like Downton Abbey. There are downstairs mutterings and one of the main mutterings is that no bastard tells any other bastard what is going on.

So, confusion reigned on the morning of Thursday 29 April 2016.

The Senate Estimates Committee into associate entity funding was due to kick off at 9.30am. The only witness we were sure wasn’t going turn up was A. Sinodinos, PILLOW AO.

Others were rumoured, including even KMcK.

At 9am, the hearing was rescheduled for 11a.m. Not long after, it was rescheduled to start at 11.30 a.m. It was scheduled to finish at 1.00 p.m., but actually finished at 1.30 p.m.

In the interim, not much happened.

The only poor sods who turned up were AEC commissioner Tom Rogers and his legal chap.

They were facing senators Jenny McAllister (ALP, chair), Joe Ludwig (ALP), Nova Peris (ALP), Deborah O’Neill (ALP) Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens), Lee Rhiannon (Greens) and, formidably, Penny Wong (ALP). Not to mention Zed Seselja (token Lib).

Zed was worried that not enough attention was being paid to stuff like the CFMEU, but no-one cared much. Hanson-Young played on her phone, Peris said not a word. Ludwig stuck in the odd wry snipe at Zed.

And that was it.

Except for the admission Wong elicited from Rogers that if donors to an associated entity, say the FEF, contribute whatever amount, say $100,000, and they do it in lots under the $12,800 declaration threshold, there is no need to disclose.

The Senate hasn’t finished with Arthur yet. Refusal to comply with a Senate summons is not easily brushed away.

Worse for the artful one is that is within the powers of the Senate to determine the consequences of non-compliance.

Gaol is one.

Arthur might appear bright, but actually he is stupid. His former boss losing his seat is a clue.

The whole Senates Committee dissolved into a farce yesterday.

But it will re-solidify soon. And maybe grow some teeth.

You can follow Sydney bureau chief Ross Jones on Twitter @RPZJones.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

 

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Russia accuses UK of HELPING Islamic State by ‘protecting terrorists who finance jihadis’ – By ARIYANA LOVE

cameron-665021

 
 

#Russia #ISIS #UK #WarCrimes 

RUSSIA launched an extraordinary attack on the British Government today, accusing UK authorities of giving succour to Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists by turning a blind eye to extremist fundraisers.

by Tom Batchelor
The barbed criticism came from the former Soviet state’s foreign ministry, whose spokeswoman aimed blow after blow at the British for failing to close down funding channels for terrorists.
Speaking in Moscow, Maria Zakharova told a news briefing that the UK was indirectly supporting violent jihad overseas by failing to crackdown on extremists.
In a string of highly-charged rebukes of British Government policy, the Kremlin aide said London should address its own problems, such as alleged war crimes committed by British soldiers in Iraq, before interfering in Russia’s affairs.
She also blasted the United States for spreading fear about the threat from Moscow in order to provide cover for a military build-up in Eastern Europe.
Commenting on a UK Foreign Office report on human rights in Russia, the spokeswoman said: “This report is certainly an example of enormous hypocrisy. Unfortunately, this is not a special case.
“This is hypocrisy that has been lifted by London to the level of state policy.
“Objectively speaking, London’s [reputation] is heavily stained.”
MARIAZAKAROVARUSSIA
Maria Zakharova told a news briefing that the UK was indirectly 
supporting violent
Pulling no punches, Mrs Zakharova went on to goad the US president, saying: “People who consider themselves world leaders cannot change their decision, and of course they should be true men of their word.”
Russia has voiced concern about US plans to bolster its special forces in Syria after President Barack Obama announced on Monday the biggest expansion of ground troops in Syria since the civil war began.
The foreign ministry spokeswoman added: “We would like to comprehend what this is all about: whether this is a one-time action, who these people are and where they will be stationed.
“What they are dispatched there for and whether this is part of a programme or a plan.”
The deployment of up to 250 Special Forces soldiers increases US forces in Syria roughly sixfold.
Source: Express

Media blackout: U.S. still committing genocide in Iraq under guise of ‘fighting ISIS’ – By FELICITY ARBUTHNOT

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.”

(Albert Camus 1913-1960.)

On 1st May 2003, George W. Bush stood in a dinky little flying suit on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and in a super stage managed appearance told the lie of the century: “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.” (1)

The illegal occupation and decimation of Iraq continued until December 2011. In June 2014 they returned to bomb again in the guise of combating ISIS. As the thirteenth anniversary of Bush’s ridiculous appearance with a vast “Mission Accomplished” banner behind him, Iraq is largely in ruins, Iraqis have fled the murderous “liberation” and it’s aftermath in millions and there are over three million internally displaced.

The nation is pinned between a tyrannical, corrupt US puppet government, a homicidal, head chopping, raping, organ eating, history erasing, US-spawned ISIS – and a renewed, relentless US bombardment. So much for the 2008 US-Iraq State of Forces agreement, which stated that by 31st December 2011: “all United States forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory.”

On the USS Abraham Lincoln Bush stated: “In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world … Because of you, our nation is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free.”

In what has transpired to be monumental irony, he continued: “The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of al-Qaida, and cut off a source of terrorist funding.” There was of course, no al-Qaida in Iraq, no funding of fundamentalist terrorism under Saddam Hussein, it is the invasion’s conception, birth, now reached maturity from Baghdad to Brussels, Mosul to the Maghreb, Latakia to London.

In Iraq, US terrorism from the air is back in all its genocidal force.

Incredibly on 23rd April, the Independent (2) reported another staggering piece of either disinformation or childish naivety, in a predictably familiar script : “A spokesperson for the US military said all possible precautions were taken to avoid ‘collateral damage’ “, but in approaching 7,000 airstrikes the number of confirmed civilian deaths had risen on Planet Pentagon to just – forty one.

In another past it’s sell by date mantra: ‘Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesperson for Central Command, said the casualties were “deeply regretted” but maintained that the campaign was the “the most precise air campaign in the history of warfare.” ‘

And here’s another familiar one: “In this type of armed conflict, particularly with an enemy who hides among the civilian population, there are going to be, unfortunately, civilian casualties at times.” The Geneva Convention, amongst other Treaties, Principles and Conventions, is specific on the protections of populations in conflict, Colonel Ryder should familiarize himself with the texts.

So another onslaught in a quarter of a century of bombing Iraq is underway – another mass murder with a silly name: “Operation Inherent Resolve.”

© Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Here is reality from Dr Souad Al-Azzawi, Award winning environmental scientist who gained her Ph.D from the Colorado School of Mines.

She states of just the onslaught on Mosul, her home, the ancient university city of 1.5 million, that the stated figures from US spokespersons are: ” either misinformed about the real situation on the ground, since they are using drones and guided missiles, or airstrikes blindly, intentionally not saying the truth.

“I would like to list SOME of what the American’s airstrikes have been targeting and killing in Mosul:

  • Destroyed are all state services buildings, including Municipalities in right and left sides of Mosul. When they bomb at night, all security personnel get killed or injured, also residents of close by areas, and adjacent properties are destroyed.
  • Bombed and destroyed all communication centers.
  • Destruction of Dairy Production Factories in both left and right sides of Mosul. Casualties of these two are one hundred deaths and two hundred injuries among civilians who gathered to receive milk and dairy products from the factories.

Dr Al-Azzawi reminds that this is reminiscent of the bombing of the baby milk factor outside Baghdad in 1991 with the claim it was a chemical weapons factory. This writer visited the factory ruins just months later, there were still charred containers of milk power – the machinery was provided and maintained by a company in Birmingham, England which specialized in infant food production.

  • Bombing of Mosul Pharmaceutical Industries.
  • Mosul University was bombed with ninety two deaths and one hundred and thirty five injuries. Earlier estimates were higher, but many were pulled from the rubble alive. “They were students, faculty members, staff members, families of faculties, and restaurants workers.”
  • Al Hadbaa and Al Khadraa Residential Apartments compounds. Fifty people killed (families) and one hundred injured.
  • Hay al Dhubat residential area in the right side of Mosul, two days ago, five women women and four children killed and the whole house. The father is a respected pharmacist who has nothing to do with ISIL.
  • Destruction of houses in front of the Medical College, killed twenty two civilians – eleven in one family.
  • Bombing Sunni Waqif Building, twenty deaths and seventy injuries which included those in nearby commercial and residential buildings.
  • Car maintenance industrial areas in both left and right sides of Mosul destroyed with civilian’s casualties.
  • Bombing of flour factories in both sides of Mosul.
  • Rafidain and Rasheed banks and all their branches in both sides of Mosul. Destruction of all commercial and residential areas in the vicinity of these places, with as yet unknown civilian casualties. (My emphasis.)
  • Central Bank of Mosul in Ghazi Street, with nearby residential and commercial properties.
  • Pepsi factory, currently producing ice cubes only. Three deaths and twelve injuries among the workers.
  • The Governor’s house and close by guest house.
  • Mosul’s old industrial compound destroyed, with parking area for fuel Tankers and cars. Three days ago, huge explosion of fuel tankers, one hundred and fifty deaths and injuries.
  • Urban Planning Directory in Hay al Maliyah bombed.
  • Engineering Planning Directory in Hay al Maliyah bombed.
  • Food Storages in left side of Mosul bombed.
  • Drinking water treatment plants bombed.
  • All electrical generation and transformer stations in the left side of Mosul bombed.
  • Domez land communications center in left side of Mosul destroyed.
  • Al Hurairah Bridge – and many more.

There is a sickening familiarity to some of the targets – food, pharmaceuticals, water treatment plants, electricity generation, communications and educational facilities, bridges (the country, towns and cities are divided by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) have been favoured targets since 1991. Every time painstakingly and imaginatively restored they have been re-bombed for a quarter of a century.

During the 1990’s a Canadian film crew captured footage of US ‘planes dropping flares on harvested wheat and barley, incinerating entire harvests in a country, which due to the strangulating embargo there were near famine conditions in parts of society.

“When Iraqi civilians looked into the faces of our servicemen and women, they saw strength, and kindness, and good will”, said George W Bush in his “Mission Accomplished” speech. No, they saw invaders destroying their lives, their families, their history, raping, pillaging. They saw Falluja’s destruction, Abu Ghraib’s horrors and the eleven other secret prisons and nightmares ever ongoing.

On 25th April Dr Al-Azzawi added:

“More war crimes have been committed by American Coalition, yesterday April 24, 2016. The coalition airplanes bombed Rashidiya water treatment plant left side of Mosul city and Yermouk electricity generation station in the right side of Mosul. Through targeting these populations’ life sustaining necessities, the coalition is committing genocidal action towards Mosul residents in the pretext of fighting ISIS.”

Also on 25th April, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, on returning from a week in Iraq wrote starkly of the government: “Iraqis are crying out for fairness, recognition, justice, appreciation and meaningful participation in shaping their future – a process that goes forward and not backwards … We all have responsibilities towards the people of Iraq. While there is an international military coalition in place, a comparably resourced international coalition of practical compassion is also needed to help with the building blocks towards a sustained peace in Iraq.” (3)

In the US military lexicon it seems “compassion” has been replaced by their missiles of choice.

Ms Gilmore also stated that Iraq was being run by a failed government and warned foreign powers not to be “complicit” in its neglect of the plight of normal Iraqis. (4)

Further: “The international community must not allow itself to be made complicit with the failed leadership of Iraq … There is political paralysis in Iraq. There is no government in Iraq”, she stated blisteringly of America and Britain’s illegal, abortive, parliamentary project.

“Our commitment to Liberty is America’s tradition … We stand for human liberty”, concluded Bush on the USS Abraham Lincoln. Were mistruths ever bleaker? And when will George W. Bush, Charles Anthony Lynton Blair and their cohorts answer for their crimes in a Court of Law?

Notes

1. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/text-of-bush-speech-01-05-2003/

2. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/official-civilian-death-toll-from-us-air-strikes-against-isis-in-syria-and-iraq-doubles-to-41-a6997341.html

3. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=19871&LangID=E

4. http://jordantimes.com/news/region/un-envoy-says-war-goals-iraq-obscuring-humanitarian-crisis

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Five Federal Budget myths that refuse to die – By THE CONVERSATION

The Conversation 28 April 2016, 8:30am 5

106 ? 0 4

 
(Cartoon courtesy of Mark David | @mdavidcartoons)

In the lead up to the Federal Budget on 3 May, The Conversation asked five experts to dispel some of the most common myths associated with government budgets.

1. The Federal budget is like a household budget

Richard Holden, Professor of Economics, UNSW Australia

The Federal budget is nothing like a household budget. Not even a little bit. The key difference between government finance and household finances is that households have a finite life span, but the government does not (even when there is a change of leader or political party in power).

As individuals we typically take on debt early in our lives to invest in a home and education, and pay it back later in life in order to (ideally) pass on something to our children. Governments, by contrast don’t have this kind of end point where everything is brought to account.

Now, that doesn’t mean governments can rack up unlimited amounts of debt – far from it – but they can live with positive amounts of debt indefinitely. The calculus is really about making investments that return more than the interest cost on debt.

To be clear, governments should not fund recurrent expenditure with debt except in times of crisis (like 2007-8). But the idea that governments should aspire, as households often do, to have zero debt is deeply flawed and runs counter to how the most prosperous economies have done things for centuries.

(Source: Commonwealth budget, 2015-16. Get the data)

2. Any increase in tax will harm the economy

Ian McAuley, Lecturer in Public Sector Finance, University of Canberra

While Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison may have differing views on tax policy, on one aspect they seem to be in strong agreement: there should be no increase in taxes as a share of GDP. The Labor Opposition, although less explicit, has carefully crafted its policy proposals so as to be revenue-neutral.

This constraint on tax policy has gone largely unchallenged and that may be because of a widespread perception that Australia is “a high-taxing, big government country”, according to the 2015 Per Capita Tax Survey.

The reality, however, is that in comparison with other prosperous developed countries, Australia is a country of low taxes and small government. Among the world’s 18 most prosperous developed countries (OECD countries with per capita GDP greater than U.S.$35,000), our taxes at 34% of GDP (24% Commonwealth, 10% state and local) compare with an average of 44% for that group of countries. Over recent years, only the USA and Switzerland have had lower taxes than Australia (32% and 33% respectively).

As for the idea that high taxes impede economic growth, evidence from these countries does not support the proposition. The graph below shows that for the seven years 2007-2013 (the range of comparable OECD data), average taxes and economic growth. There is no evidence of any negative relationship. In fact, if anything, there is a small positive correlation, suggesting that perhaps high taxes and high economic growth go together, but it would be cheeky to draw such a conclusion, as the coefficient of correlation is very low.

Our book Governomics: Can we afford small government? (Ian McAuley and Miriam Lyons) suggests what counts in economic performance is not the size of government, but, rather, its quality — the capacity of public agencies to operate with efficiency and responsiveness where markets fail.

3. Australia’s government is too big — smaller government could help fix the budget

John Daley, Chief Executive Officer, Grattan Institute

Many believe that Australia has relatively large government and that the key to budget repair is smaller government that will lead to faster economic growth and a stabilised budget.

While there are many reasons to prefer smaller government, particularly promoting the scope for individuals to make choices that shape their own lives, smaller government is unlikely to solve Australia’s budgetary problems. Across the OECD, there is no obvious relationship between size of government and size of government deficits.

In any case, Australia has relatively small government. Although government expenditure is currently towards the upper limit of historic expenditure, Australian government expenditure is low relative to the OECD. This is so, even if compulsory superannuation contributions are taken into account. Australian governments spend less in most categories. In particular, welfare spending is relatively low due to Australia’s highly targeted welfare system.

Data for countries marked with an asterisk are for 2013; Turkey data is for 2012. (Source: OECD/Grattan Institute)

4. Every treasurer works closely with Treasury

John Wanna, Sir John Bunting Chair of Public Administration, Australian National University

Budgets are comprehensive and complex beasts that defy close management by any member of the political executive; teamwork across the core executive rather than inspirational involvement from a motivated treasurer are the essence of a good budget process.

But many Australians and most of the Canberra Press Gallery believe that when a government is labouring away preparing their annual budget, the treasurer of the day is ensconced in the Treasury, feverishly casting an eye over reams and reams of data and figures.

Treasurers and finance ministers are responsible for different parts of the budget. Treasurers look after the broader economic strategy and authorise the detailed economic data contained in the important Budget Paper No 1. They set spending limits for both the Federal government and inter-governmental transfers (Budget Paper no 3) and then focus on the revenue side, considering whether to increase any taxes or offer tax cuts to sweeten the budget. Treasury decides whether the budget will be contractionary or expansionary in nature.

In reality, some treasurers and finance ministers don’t spend much time with their own departments in the immediate lead-up months to the budget. Kim Beazley and John Fahey spent almost no time with their staff when they were finance ministers, relying instead on their advisers to do the leg work. Nick Minchin, Lindsay Tanner and Penny Wong were more active finance ministers. John Howard, Paul Keating, and Peter Costello spent considerable time with Treasury officials, often setting up their ministerial office in the department in the immediate days before the budget was presented to Parliament. They demanded a close relationship with their senior officials to craft the final budget speech, often rehearsing it in the Treasury department of their parliamentary office.

5. Printing more money will fix the economy

Phil Lewis, Professor of Economics, University of Canberra

For households and firms, any excess of spending over income must be financed by borrowing and accumulating debt. Governments, however, have an option not available to the rest of us and that is “printing money” (in practice this means a data entry in bank accounts rather than actual printing of bank notes).

The basic principle is that the central bank, in our case the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), can provide money to the government without the government having to pay interest or repay the debt. The central bank can create debt-free money out of nothing! No wonder printing money looks an attractive option.

The policy has generally fallen out of fashion among economists but has recently experienced a revival among central banks in the USA, Europe and Japan, through its closely related cousin, Quantitative Easing (QE), as governments attempted to revive flagging economies after the Global Financial Crisis. The two differ mainly in the way monetary expansion is financed. (There is not space here to explain further, but there is a relatively clear explanation here).

Proponents of QE try to distance themselves from the criticisms of printing money by proposing that QE has a different purpose. Under QE a central bank creates new money and uses it to purchase assets from other banks. The money the banks receive for the assets makes it easier for firms and households to obtain loans, interest rates fall and consumers and businesses will borrow and spend, boosting expenditure on goods services and investment, which increases employment and GDP. Unfortunately, falls in real interest rates to zero or negative have been singularly unsuccessful in reviving economies, particularly Japan. With the apparent ineffectiveness of QE there is talk of resorting to the money printing option.

Most textbooks point to the role of monetary expansion in fuelling inflation. Extreme examples are the hyperinflation experiences of Germany between the two World Wars and, more recently, of Zimbabwe. There is little doubt that if printing money is successful in reviving an economy, eventually there will be inflation. Most central banks, particularly the RBA, have set controlling inflation as their major goal of monetary policy.

Printing money also removes an important constraint on irresponsible government spending. Do we really want governments to be able to spend at will as they see fit? Money creation might seem like a “free lunch”, in that governments can increase spending without raising extra taxes, but eventually spending must be paid for by households and firms, meaning less productive activity, employment and growth.

 

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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BRICS vs Empire of Chaos: The Oil War Against Russia – By COREY SCHINK

The rather repulsive sight of US puppet-in-chief Obama grovelling before Saudi royals last week, while US media sounds off on the shocking (not) ‘revelation’ that the House of Saud was instrumental in carrying out 9/11, point to interesting developments in the Western oil war against Russia. Pepe Escobar has proposed that US intervention was the reason for the recent last-minute failure by the world’s leading oil producers to cut oil production, a deal that would have led to a rise in oil prices and given the Russians more room to maneuver by decreasing pressure on their state budget.

This came at a time when increased oil prices would benefit both Russia and Saudi Arabia – the Saudis are now more dependent on oil revenue than at any time in the past 40 years. But the Saudis, apparently with Washington’s gun to their heads in the form of a threat to expose the Saudi role in 9/11, announced that the oil war was back on by announcing that they would instead flood the market.

Bearing in mind that the House of Saud is, essentially, the West’s original Islamic State, their reneging on the oil cut deal is unsurprising. The very purpose of the Royal Head-chopping Kingdom has been to police the region and be a ‘proxy force’ that the West can use to do its dirty work. They’ve fulfilled that role brilliantly for decades, arming and inspiring thousands of terrorists, while turning the wealth of the Middle East into monopoly money for the West.

After the deal fell through, the Russian energy minister Alexander Novak essentially said ‘We’re sick of the games – bring it on’, calling the Saudis’ bluff by declaring that if they followed through on their threat to pump even more oil onto the markets, thus driving prices down further, and stating that Russia would respond by vastly increasing its own production.

Effects of the oil war on Russia

Indeed everyone is sick of Washington’s games. For two years now the Saudis have been pawns in an oil war directed at Russia, and the result has been a 70% drop in prices – a drop that is crushing their economy, but is first and foremost intended to crush Russia and hamper Iranian efforts to take their rightful place on the world stage.

When all this began, Western pundits predicted that it would lead to Russia’s demise. Obama told NPRit was a part of our rationale that the only thing keeping the Russian economy afloat was the price of oil“, and that, therefore, suppressing oil prices was the best way to ‘contain’ the country, in part to keep it from interfering in America’s on-going Muslim holocaust, and in whole to keep it from thwarting US hegemony.

Russia responded to this economic attack by devaluing the ruble, a move that was framed as being a ‘sign of Russian collapse’ by the ‘we-create-our-own-reality-and-call-it-news’ media. More clear-eyed analysts predicted that it would contribute vastly to the restructuring of the Russian economy by making imports more expensive and domestic production more profitable. And this is exactly what happened:

The economy continues to adapt to lower global prices for raw materials, and the further development of Russian manufacturing to replace imports and increase exports of goods other than raw materials will enable a gradual recovery of economic activity, the [Russian Central] bank said.

“The weaker ruble has led to a growth in the competitiveness of Russian goods and enabled economic growth in particular sectors, including the agricultural, food, chemical and mining industries. Indicators from the labor market and production capacity have shown recent stability.”

Russia also paid off $53 billion in foreign debt. And all this while conducting a large-scale military intervention in Syria to clean up another US mess. So much for ‘containing’ Russia.

That said, the economic attack has done damage to the Russian economy. Oil prices are now hovering in the mid-40s, whereas the Russian budget for 2015-2017 was made on the basis of prices remaining near $100.

© CEIC Data
Russian projected budget from 2014

As analyst Eric Draitser writes:

Russia has for decades been overly reliant, if not entirely dependent, on revenues from the energy sector to maintain its economic growth and fund its budget. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and Russia’s Federal Customs Service, oil and gas sales accounted for 68 percent of Russia’s total export revenues in 2013. With more than two-thirds of total export revenues and roughly 50 percent of the federal budget, not to mention 25 percent of total GDP, coming from oil and gas revenue, Russia’s very economic survival has been as dependent on energy as almost any country in the world.

In light of this, it’s no surprise that the drop in oil prices over the 18-month period from April 2014 to January 2016, which saw prices dive from $105 per barrel to under $30 per barrel, has caused tremendous economic instability in Russia. Even many leading Russian officials have conceded that the negative impact to Russia’s economy is substantial, to say the least.

At the World Economic Forum in January, former Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin explained that not only has the drop in oil prices badly hurt the Russian economy, but the worst may be yet to come. Kudrin noted the potential for prices to drop even further, possibly even below $20 per barrel, and he warned that the impact to the economy will be significant.

From the coup in Ukraine, to the proxy regime change operation in Syria, to the sanctions, to the oil war, Russia has capitalized on everything thrown at her, and has profited in some way from each. The stand-off between the US and Russia seems to be one of ‘who can hold their breath longest?’ And the answer to that is ‘Russia’, simply because it’s not drowning.

Russia and China have been purchasing gold at break-neck pace. In March this year, the Russian Central Bank officially became the world’s top gold purchaser. The following chart reveals the massive increase in Russian reserves since 2006:

© Blogger photo

At this point in time, the ruble is fully backed by gold. So what’s the plan?

BRICS vs Empire of Chaos – It’s a natural cycle

After WW2 the US emerged as the primary creditor nation and used its new-found clout to rebuild the world in its image by establishing international financial institutions it would control. The US dollar today is a global fiat currency, with nothing backing it except its monopoly ‘petrodollar’ status, and thus its broader ‘exceptional’ status as ‘world reserve currency’ – a status that is implicitly, and often explicitly, enforced via the threat and use of military force. With US credit long since spent, that system is rapidly dying, and the recent massive over-supply of crude via Saudi Arabia, in order to hurt Russia, has ultimately helped the dollar dig its own grave:

As Reuters reports, for the first time in almost two decades, energy-exporting countries are set to pull their “petrodollars” out of world markets this year,citing a study by BNP Paribas (more details below). Basically, the Petrodollar, long serving as the US leverage to encourage and facilitate USD recycling, and a steady reinvestment in US-denominated assets by the oil-exporting nations, and thus a means to steadily increase the nominal price of all USD-priced assets, just drove itself into irrelevance.

A consequence of this year’s dramatic drop in oil prices, the shift is likely to cause global market liquidity to fall, the study showed.

© Unknown

Observers’ jaws have hit the floor as the US and its vassals repeatedly shoot themselves in both feet; but such is the extent of the Exceptionalists’ drive to ‘contain’ Russia. They are blinded by hubris; sincerely believing that they will remain ‘top of the heap’ forever, they do not see that they are digging their own graves.

This development comes at a time when Russia and China are moving towards conducting all bilateral trade in their own currencies. Russia recently eclipsed Saudi Arabia as the main supplier of oil to China and, in January, Gazprom began settling all gas sales to China in yuan. A serious dent in global demand for the US dollar will come when Russia prices its oil exports (which are second largest in the world) in rubles.

A world where the life-blood of nations is not traded in dollars is a world where the US lacks the leverage to force other nations to pay for its domination. It would be a huge blow to its hegemonic status and, as the psychopathic elites lose their ability to intimidate the world financially, and continue to fight, threaten and back-stab one another, international trade conducted in anything other than dollars represents a fatal blow to the Empire of Chaos.

Suppose then that the rest of the world begins selling off their dollars, the result being that the world economy is pumped full of a currency that rapidly loses value as it comes back ‘home’ to the US. The ‘indispensable’ entity that exists as a parasite on the world economy would quickly find itself very ‘dispensable’.

Whether or not this trend continues and the scenario fully plays out, the fact is that the old financial system is dead. The world’s banks have been consumed by toxic debt; global demand has fallen and cannot be resurrected – at least, not in or by the West; China, on the other hand, has a massive array of investment projects lined up. From CEOs to Average Joes, awareness is growing that the future of the current system is bleak. US demand continues dropping (down a whopping 23.7% between 2008 and 2011), thus ending the US’ role as the engine for consuming global surpluses. In order for the rest of the world to move forward, the old system must be replaced, one way or another. It’s time for an actual New Order to supplant the globalists’ diabolical ‘New World Order’.

It’s at this point that gold becomes all-important. Irrespective of their currencies’ nominal values against the US dollar, the Russian and Chinese currencies are essentially backed by gold. In a series of interrelated moves that facilitate countries’ ‘de-dollarization’, the BRICS nations have created the outline of a new economic system with new institutions: the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Eurasian Development Bank, along with many long-term trade agreements being inked between BRICS members. This system could actually function as the integrated global economic system that the post-WW2 ‘Bretton Woods system’ was ostensibly designed for.

It is for this over-arching reason that we constantly hear about ‘provocations in the South China Sea’, about fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia, about the massive decline in the price of oil, and about ‘Russian hybrid warfare’. The old system is clinging desperately to power, and, as we’ve seen with the recent Saudi OPEC about-turn, they are going to desperate lengths to save their psychopathic pipe dreams.

And while they flounder to stave off the inevitable end of this hegemonic era, on-going freak weather, increased earthquakes and volcanic activity, increased meteor fireballs, and much more, apparently signal the end of a much larger natural cycle. Just glance at some of these headlines from recent weeks:

One naturally wonders, with so much disruptive environmental activity taking place, whether ‘something wicked comes’? The reader is encouraged to read the book Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection to understand how ‘socio-economic’ and ‘cosmic’ cycles are closely interconnected. The outcome of the battle between creativity and entropy, broadly manifest as the battle between BRICS and the Empire of Chaos on the human scale, could have more of a say in the future of civilization than we currently understand.

Conclusion

If Russia could work out a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a move that would land influence over 73% of the world’s oil supply, they would find themselves in their rightful role as ‘co-managers’ of the global oil spigot. But that’s still quite a big ‘if’. With the Saudis’ head held underwater by Washington – in large part because the utterly debauched House of Saud has hitherto rather enjoyed having its head held there – it’s probable, unless some among them can grow the cajones required to act in their best national interest, that they, Israel, the US, and Turkey will remain locked in their Faustian embrace until the (very) bitter end. As Putin remarked recently, “You can’t save someone who wants to drown.”

In the long-run, it’s only a matter of time before all these terrorist regimes, created by and for empires past and present, will crumble. Cast your eyes over Sott.net’s Earth Changes news category and consider that something BIG is in the air. The Götterdämmerung1 facing humanity is not just political, or financial, and it’s not even just global. It’s potentially catastrophic in the fullest sense of that term. If and when Mother Nature decides the criminal elites’ games are over, the psychopaths-in-power will have a lot more to worry about than manipulating the price of oil in order to maintain their power.

Note

1 Any cataclysmic downfall or momentous, apocalyptic event, especially of a regime or an institution.

Corey

Corey is a regular co-host on SOTT Radio Network’s Truth Perspective. A social worker by training, his passions include research, music, crisis management, and creating tasty dishes in the kitchen.

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BAD DAY FOR ALQAEDA IN SYRIA; TERRORIST LEADERS KILLED BY SYRIAN ARMY OPERATIVES; ALQAEDA/NUSRA COLLAPSING – By ZIAD FADEL

image: http://albaathmedia.sy/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/army3.jpg

armyHAMA:  The Syrian Army’s crack special operations units have conducted another flawless assault on Alqaeda rodents west of village of Al-Arba’een only a few hours ago.  The village is in the northwest area of the province which is crawling with all kinds of terrorist vermin.  This particular nest of rats was equipped with advanced satellite communications gear financed by the Saudi pimp regime and supplied by the criminal junta in Ankara.  It was the satellite equipment which gave them away as Syria’s electronic counter-measures are becoming increasingly informative.  Once they were spotted, SAA-SF units moved around the village setting up fire corridors.  The first target was a Mitsubishi flat bed truck with boxes of weapons and ammunition.  That was blown into smithereens by a Kornet rocket.  When the vehicle exploded, over 25 rodents came out of an agricultural structure firing their weapons at anything.  The SAA opened fire in a more lethal and exact way killing a confirmed 8 rodents.   All carcasses carried Nusra/Alqaeda identification and all were non-Syrian.  According to Wael, the majority of the dead were Turks.

 

Al-Sutayhaat and Khunayfis Villages:  Both the SAA and PDC mounted a successful assault on another Alqaeda/Nusra encampment in the eastern part of the province.  The attack started with mortars and was followed by a frontal attack with 1 T-72 tank and a Shilka supported by a platoon of infantrymen.  The rodents were seen trying to leave the area but were cut down by intense ground fire, the Shilka making mincemeat out of the rodents.  Here are the only Syrians in the pile of 30+ carcasses:

Naassir Munayyir

‘Abdul-Salaam Qarqoot

Mahmoud Muhammad ‘Ali-Hassan

Ameen Kahhaala

Firaas Muhammad Darwaza

 

Al-‘Ammayh Village:  At the intersection, east of Al-Sa’an Town, the Syrian security services planted an IED inside a Toyota Van with a Turkish license plate.  The target finally appeared inside a dark sedan seated in the rear.  As soon as the vehicle neared the van, an agent triggered the remote detonator and avulsed this stinking, purulent scavenger:

Moussa Al-Sawwaan (Nusra leader)

Shaadi ‘Abdul-Rahmaan (Driver) 

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HOMS: 

image: http://albaathmedia.sy/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/559593e4c461886c648b458f.jpg

Smoke rises in Egypt's North Sinai along the border with southern IsraelThe Syrian Air Force struck a 20+-convoy of trucks belonging to ISIS on the road leading to the Third Petroleum Station near the City of Palmyra killing over 18 rodents and wounding scores.  A report indicates the SAA is on its way to the scene in order to kill any ISIS survivors. 

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IDLIB: 

image: http://albaathmedia.sy/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/syrie.jpg

Syria army inflicts heavy losses on Takfiri militants in Idlib, AleppoKafr Sijna:  The SAA invaded and destroyed a major Nusra/Alqaeda command-control center which contained more electronic evidence of Turkey’s role in the terrorism in Syria.  No other details available.

 

Ma’saraan Village:  Another cleverly placed IED by the SAA-SF resulted in the vaporization of a leader of a group called “Ansaar Al-Haqq”, a franchise of Harakat Ahraar Al-Shaam Al-Islaamiyya.  It happened on the road to this village located in the southern part of the province.  Taking a page out of the Saudi Arabian terrorism manual, the SAA demonstrated what T.E. Lawrence once wrote about Syrians in his book, “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom”, to wit:  Syrians were an apelike people with Japanese quickness.  He did not mean Syrians looked like apes!  It’s just that the word “ape” means to “copy” or “imitate”.  The Saudis have all the valid claims to simian characteristics.

Sa’ood ‘Assaaf Abu Maazin (I have it on the best authorities that he is now checking out Mephisto’s George Foreman Grill – unfortunately for him– with too much intimacy.)

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DAMASCUS:  I have confirmed what one of our readers reported yesterday:  a leader of ‘Alloosh’s crumbling organization, Jaysh Al-Fath, one Muhammad Maaher Al-Buwaydhaani was killed in the East Ghoutaa by another pesky Syrian Army rocket.

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DER’AH:

image: http://www.sana.sy/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/11-82.jpg

11Nusra/Alqaeda had a really bad day in this area yesterday and today.  Although I don’t have detailed reports, heavy fighting is reported in the Al-Arba’een Quarter, Al-Karak, Al-Bihaar, Al-Naaziheen Camp where an Alqaeda C&C nest was annihilated, 3 mortar launch pads destroyed, 1 mortar seized and numerous fortifications brought down.

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NEWS AND COMMENT:

Sharmine Narwani sent me this excellent article by John Rosenthal, an investigative journalist, who was blacklisted by the usual Zionist hacks like the National Review:

http://thebricspost.com/world-played-with-fire-in-syria-scholar-says/#.VyDASDHXvZL

 

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PHOTO OF THE DAY:  AN SU-34 OVER ALEPPO. Sent by Khaled Nawaz Al-Nouri:

image: https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlp1/v/t1.0-9/13087798_10209581165030579_6892001529080463902_n.jpg?oh=a581a175fd8a66dab1673c84d9978edc&oe=57B83B5E

Read more at http://syrianperspective.com/2016/04/bad-day-for-alqaeda-in-syria-terrorist-leaders-killed-by-syrian-army-operatives-alqaedanusra-collapsing.html#gTvEbX9EQBdUjYYH.99

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