Category Archives: Articles in English
Ukraine under dissolution on the order of US-EU and instrument is the rise of the fascist extreme right
by Dimitris Kazakis
If you want to know who in all ways are strengthening the rise of fascism and nazi extremism in Europe, you do not need do anything else but to look at what is happening right now in Ukraine. Both the U.S. and Germany has under Europe’s cover story beautifully financed the resurrection of the 14.e Waffen SS division in Ukraine, which had been formed by Nazi Ukrainian nationalists during the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union.
This horde of barbarians who stayed in the historical chronicles of the 2nd world war with the name Ukrainian SS, participated in mass cleansing of civilians, hundreds of villages was burnt as Distomo in Greece but first and foremost in Ukraine itself, but also in Belarus. The ferocity with which acted in many cases surpassed their comrades from Germany.
This is why their actions was rightly condemned not only by the Red Army and the partisans who were operating behind the lines of Hitler, but also by the western allies. Anyone arrested with insignias of this unit was sent directly to court martial and faced the firing squad for heinous crimes against civilians. *Many of their insignia have clear Swedish roots and Swedish ultra-right and neo-Nazis openly demonstrate their support for the Ukrainian Nazis (This article highlights the truth about who financially, organisationally and logistically also supports the Swedish and the European new-Nazis and right-wing extremism).
The history of today’s confrontation
This horde was not the only one. The Ukrainian Galicia’s main city Lvov was historically the eastern region of the kingdom of Galicia, which until the first world war was attached to the Austro-Hungarian empire. The Austro-Hungarian Empire had annexed Galicia during the division of the kingdom of Poland in the 18th century. But because the region of Galicia status of exploitation and oppression was relatively mild compared with the Tsarist regime, many Poles along with other ethnic and religious minorities relocated in order to escape from the Tsarist pogroms that took place on a regular basis.
The House of Habsburg of Austria allowed this relocation to the attached Galicia so the area became a great mix of different populations in terms of religion, ethnicity, language, and so on. Polish nationalists claimed Galicia for their account. And because the Austrians wanted to counterbalance their activity they strengthened in every way the Ukrainian nationalism as a rival. A Ukrainian nationalism with a strong German reference. Very quickly Galicia became the field of confrontation of the Polish and the Ukrainian nationalism with populations experiencing ethnic cleansing for the rival camps to achieve “purity” in their own ethnic standards.
On June 23, 1917 Ukraine is established as a part of the original Russian Republic, where a few months ago, in February, the Russian people had overthrown the Tsar. After the overthrow of the Provisional Government in Petrograd by the Bolsheviks on November 7 (October 25 on the Julian calendar), 1917 and the passage of all power to the soviets, a Bill of Rights of the Peoples of Russia is published the 15 (2) November of the same year, which recognized “the right of the peoples of Russia to free self-determination, to the point of secession and the creation of an independent state.” Few days later, ie on 20 (7) November, the Ukrainian Central Rada based in Kiev proclaimed the Ukrainian Democratic Republic.
Ukraine is established as an independent state
22 (9) January 1918 the Ukrainian Central Rada published the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine on the basis of which the People’s Republic of Ukraine was formed with socialist references and imperatives, but is directly hostile to the Bolsheviks. With the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, signed between mainly Germany and Soviet-Russia on March 3, 1918, Ukraine came under the control of the German Empire. For the first time in order to help the most extreme nationalist elements in Ukraine, Germany presses Austria to leave eastern Galiciain the control of Ukrainian nationalists.
With the direct help of the Germans and Austrians on 24-26 April 1918, the Cossack ataman Paul Skoropantski overturns the Central Rada and impose a brutal dictatorship. The gallows and executions are put on the daily agenda. All the old privileges of the aristocracy are restored. Paramilitary groups are threatening to burn the villages who are resisting and they spread terror on the population. With the capitulation of Germany and Austria, the Skoropantski regime is overturned in December 1918.
The People’s Republic of Ukraine is re-established a new Central Rada where Simon Petliura prevailed, who found the opportunity to demand with the support of the French who disembarked in Odessa in November 1918 to occupy the vacuum left by the capitulation of the Germans.
The Ukrainian Rada participate in the 19 countries invasive war against Soviet Russia, run by the Entente. But repeated defeats and the growing popular discontent, are leading the Rada – at the suggestion of France and England – to form an alliance with Poland’s dictator Pildouski in April 1920 to continue the war against Soviet Russia.
On March 18, 1921 the peace treaty of Riga was signed between Poland and Soviet Russia under which Galicia, which was passed by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk to the ownership of Ukraine, is attached to the first. From then until the second world war the Poles implemented savage ethnic cleansing operations against the local population who refused to consider themselves Polish, as well as against anyone who opposed the partition of the region into latifundia in favor of Polish aristocrats.
The emergence of Ukrainian Nazis nationalists
In 1929 reportedly in Ukrainian Galicia the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), weas founded and was composed mainly of followers of individual terrorism and paramilitary action. Their ideology ranged from an extreme nationalist racial perception of Ukrainian blood purity, to openly Fascist and Nazi beliefs. Until the beginning of the Nazis invasion against the USSR on June 22, 1941, this organization has focused in pogroms against the Poles, Russians, Jews and generally against anyone without ”pure” Ukrainian blood on one hand and, on individual acts of terrorism against the Polish establishment on the other hand.
In the preparations of the Nazi aggression against Poland, but also during the OUN helped especially by acts of sabotage and assassination attempts. This has built excellent relations between Ukrainian nationalists and German Nazis. Indeed, the latter to ensure their cooperation, had promised to handover the rule throughout Galicia which was under Polish occupation. Something that didn’t happen since the treaty Riebentrof-Molotov came between in September 1939 on the basis that Nazi Germany recognized the domination of the USSR in Galician that was annexed by Poland from Ukraine in 1921.
However, the OUN’s cooperation with the Nazis didn’t stop. Instead it was intensified and used by the Nazis as a fifth collon against the Soviets in the territory of western Ukraine. And therefore unsurprisingly with the Nazi invasion of the USSR, the OUN found the opportunity to announce on 30 June 1941 the Ukrainian state established in Lviv, the capital of the Ukrainian Galicia and led by Stjepan Banderas.
This Act of Declaration mentions among other things the following: “The newly established Ukrainian state will work closely with the great National Socialist Germany, led by the leader Adolf Hitler who is forming a new order in Europe and the world and help the Ukrainian people to be relieved from Moscows occupation. The Ukrainian People’s Revolutionary Army, who has established themselves on Ukrainian land, will continue to fight alongside the allied German Army against the Moscow occupation for a sovereign and united state, as for a new world order.”
Although the new Ukrainian state was pure Nazistic, Nazi Germans had other plans for Ukraine. They saw it as the breadbasket of the German 3rd Reich flooded by German settlers. And therefore they did not recognize the fledgling state only when it was too late for them in 1944 when they where under wild retreat from the Red Army. Nevertheless the OUN functioned as the political cradle of the Ukrainian SS and helped greatly with recruitment by the Nazi Germans regular and irregular portions of volunteers who fought alongside them and distinguished themselves as few SS-units of atrocities against the people of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Austria.
The remains of these units after they were renamed to 1:st division of the Ukrainian National Army they surrendered to Anglo-Americans on May 10, 1945. Americans smuggled both Ukrainian Nazis, but also German Nazi officers of the division and made sure to dispense the countless war crimes mainly committed against civilians in the areas they acted. In this way, they resurrected the old OUN and used it as a means of recruiting and training agent provocateurs often sent for sabotage and subversive activity in Soviet Ukraine.
Ukraine after the dissolution of the USSR
When the USSR was dissolved and Ukraine passed into the hands of the former party oligarchy that over a night turned into “democrats” they turned the country into their own private plot. And as happened everywhere in the former existing socialism, the former party members cooperated with the old dissidents agents of the West in order to plunder as much as possible from the countries that inherited the mercy of party autocracy. This happened in Ukraine, which in 1993 entered the orbit of the IMF to completely collapse the social cohesion of the country and the crash the economy.
Architect of Destruction Viktor Yushchenko, the first governor of the independent by Western standards newly created central bank of Ukraine. Yushchenko as head of the Central Bank was responsible for the deregulation of the national currency in the context of the “shock therapy” imposed by the IMF in October 1994.
In November 1994, the World Bank sent negotiators to consider the reform of the agriculture of Ukraine. With the liberalization of trade (which was a part of the financial package from the IMF), the surplus grain from the U.S. and the “food aid” functioned as dumping of the domestic market, contributing to the destabilization of one of the largest and most productive economies in the world in wheat (eg comparable with Midwestern U.S. states).
Until 1998, the liberalization of the grain market resulted in a reduction of production of grain by 45% compared to the level of 1986-1990. The collapse of livestock production of poultry and dairy products were even more dramatic.
The cumulative decline in GDP as a result of the financial package and the “structural reforms,” by the IMF was over 60% in the period 1992-1995. This temporary sacrifices was necessary for Ukraine to acquire a bright future, the IMF staff said over and over again. While the failure of the “economic package” the blamed, where else, on the corrupt political leaders of Ukraine.
In 1999, after heavy pressure from Washington, the central bank governor Yushchenko was appointed Prime Minister of Ukraine. Following his appointment, Yushchenko immediately put in motion a comprehensive range of bankruptcy on most industrial companies in the country, under the aegis of the IMF. He also tried to undermine the bilateral trade in oil and natural gas between Russia and Ukraine on behalf of the IMF, which had demanded that the trade be made in U.S. dollars and not in exchange of goods.
The destruction of the industrial infrastructure of the country and the loads of exchanges with the main trading partner, Russia, led to the climax of the mass migration of the Ukrainian population, but also to the “advertisement” of Ukraine to the West through the most famous export goods, Ukranian girls that in ‘myriads’ became victims of human trafficking with white flesh.
This fact together with the fact that the selling off of the country was generalized did cost the orange government the elections. Viktor Yanukovych won the presidential elections of 2010, a typical politician from a corrupt establishment, who in order to manage the massive popular anger and the collapse of the country away from the appetites of the West, was forced to turn east towards Russia.
The Nazis in U.S. and EU’s service
On 21 November 2013, the government resign from the signing of the association agreement that was proposed by the European Union. The opposition reacts with protests in Kiev and in the western part of the country, which are rapidly turning into a rebellious look. It prompts a call for early presidential and parliamentary elections and refuses to form a government when approached by President Yanukovych after the Prime Minister resigns. These events were baptized Euromaidan, before Eurorevolution, from Radio Free Europe, which is operated by the State Department.
At first glance, the motion appears to be an attempt to organize a second “Orange Revolution.” But on January 1, 2014, the power changes hands on the streets. The Nazi party “Freedom” organized a torchlight procession in Kiev in memory of Stepan Bandera, the Nazi nationalist leader who allied himself with the Nazis against the Soviets. And that is why the by the west adored Yushchenko wanted in the eve of his fall to anoint a national hero of Ukraine, collecting the responses from the greater portion of his countrymen, and many Jewish, Polish and Russian organizations. The rally was attended by over 15,000 Nazi with swastikas and symbols of the old Ukrainian SS. Since then, the capital has been covered with anti-Semitic slogans and terrorism prevails against anyone who is considered an “outsider” or “pro-Russian” by the Nazis.
This Nazi organization became possible the with money from the embassies of the U.S. and German primary, whilst organized the first occupation of Lviv ensured free passage to the West for supplies of money, arms and all sorts of supplies. Today on the streets of Kiev the faltering government is confronting the revived Ukrainian SS with training, weapons and money from Germany, USA and the European Union. The intentions of the staffs of the ‘democratic’ West is no longer a simple coup d’etat. They seek the complete dissolution of Ukraine, its shredding so that its people no longer will be able to escape the Wests control.
Already in Kiev and elsewhere armed Nazi groups act and with specially trained commandos in the West, veterans of the “civil wars” in Syria and Libya in order to not allow the repressive forces of the Ukrainian government to gain the upper hand. And so the streets are stained with the blood of innocent. On the other hand, the Ukrainian government seems unable to deal with such a situation quickly escalates towards open military intervention with support from outside.
The armed forces of the country have since long been dismantled by the previous “orange revolution” and the “financial packages” of the IMF, so they are now not in a position to resist the armed dismantling of the country. Add to that, that many current and former military personnel have discovered that it is highly profitable to fight from the lines of the modern Ukrainian SS.
The threat to the “soft underbelly” of Russia
With all that Ukraine tends to evolve into a key attack corridor against Russia. The prevalence of the Nazis in Ukraine will mark not only the end of Ukraine itself, but also the beginning of armed infiltration operations in the border of Russia. Just like the U.S. are used to do to Syria, Iran, and generally to any country they intend to wrap in the flames of an artificial civil war. With this notion today in Ukraine both the Nazis and the big bosses in Washington, Berlin and Brussels are struggling to get revenge for the defeat of the army of von Paulus, which ultimately failed to cut off Russia from the energy sources in Caucasus.
Apart from the fact that these developments from far smell widespread war, the question is: how far is Greece from tasting the recipe of Ukraine on its own territory? In a situation of social and economic collapse comparable with that of Ukraine? How far?
Posted in Greek by Dimitris Kazakis February 24 at 9:26 at EPAM’s website
Translated to English by Kosmas Loumakis in accordance with the original text
When the article was written the government of Ukraine was still in power as some of the comments at the end of the article comes from that horizon.
*Footnote by the translator, in relevance to Sweden.
Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University talking with journalists of democracy now February 20, 2014
Transcript from video (min. 11:45 – 35:14)
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: A short-lived truce has broken down in Ukraine as street battles have erupted between anti-government protesters and police. Last night, the country’s embattled president and the opposition leaders demanding his resignation called for a truce and negotiations to try to resolve Ukraine’s political crisis. But the truce only lasted a few hours. The last three days have been the bloodiest period of Ukraine’s 22-year post-Soviet history. Over 50 people have died, including at least 21 today. The truce ended today when armed protesters attempted to retake Independence Square. Both sides have accused the other of using live ammunition. A Ukrainian paramedic described the chaotic scene.
UKRAINIAN PARAMEDIC: [translated] Some bodies are at the concert hall. Some are at the barricades. Now there are maybe around 15 or 20 dead. It is hard to count, as some are carried away, others are resuscitated. Now, as far as I know, three dead people are at the city hall, and two more dead are at the main post office. There are so many at the concert hall that we didn’t even take them.
AMY GOODMAN: The Ukrainian parliament, Rada, and Cabinet buildings have reportedly been evacuated because of fears they could be stormed by protesters. The street clashes are occurring while the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, is meeting with the foreign ministers from Germany, Poland and France.
The Obama administration stepped up pressure on the Ukrainian government Wednesday by announcing a visa ban on 20 members of the Ukrainian government. The U.S. is also threatening to place sanctions on the Ukrainian government.
The protests began in late November after President Yanukovych reversed his decision to sign a long-awaited trade deal with the European Union, or EU, to forge stronger ties with Russia instead.
To talk more about the latest in Ukraine, we’re joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. His most recent book, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War, is now out in paperback. His latest piece in The Nation is called “Distorting Russia: How the American Media Misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine.”
So, talk about the latest, Professor Cohen.
STEPHEN COHEN: Where do you want me to begin? I mean, we are watching history being made, but history of the worst kind. That’s what I’m telling my grandchildren: Watch this. What’s happening there, let’s take the big picture, then we can go to the small picture. The big picture is, people are dying in the streets every day. The number 50 is certainly too few. They’re still finding bodies. Ukraine is splitting apart down the middle, because Ukraine is not one country, contrary to what the American media, which speaks about the Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Historically, ethnically, religiously, culturally, politically, economically, it’s two countries. One half wants to stay close to Russia; the other wants to go West. We now have reliable reports that the anti-government forces in the streets—and there are some very nasty people among them—are seizing weapons in western Ukrainian military bases. So we have clearly the possibility of a civil war.
And the longer-term outcome may be—and I want to emphasize this, because nobody in the United States seems to want to pay attention to it—the outcome may be the construction, the emergence of a new Cold War divide between West and East, not this time, as it was for our generation, in faraway Berlin, but right on the borders of Russia, right through the heart of Slavic civilization. And if that happens, if that’s the new Cold War divide, it’s permanent instability and permanent potential for real war for decades to come. That’s what’s at stake.
One last point, also something that nobody in this country wants to talk about: The Western authorities, who bear some responsibility for what’s happened, and who therefore also have blood on their hands, are taking no responsibility. They’re uttering utterly banal statements, which, because of their vacuous nature, are encouraging and rationalizing the people in Ukraine who are throwing Molotov cocktails, now have weapons, are shooting at police. We wouldn’t permit that in any Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause, but it’s being condoned by the European Union and Washington as events unfold.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And when you say the Western countries who bear some responsibility, in what sense do they bear responsibility? I mean, clearly, there’s been an effort by the United States and Europe ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union to pull the former Soviet states into their economic sphere, but is that what you’re talking about?
STEPHEN COHEN: I mean that. I mean that Moscow—look at it through Moscow’s eyes. Since the Clinton administration in the 1990s, the U.S.-led West has been on a steady march toward post-Soviet Russia, began with the expansion of NATO in the 1990s under Clinton. Bush then further expanded NATO all the way to Russia’s borders. Then came the funding of what are euphemistically called NGOs, but they are political action groups, funded by the West, operating inside Russia. Then came the decision to build missile defense installations along Russia’s borders, allegedly against Iran, a country which has neither nuclear weapons nor any missiles to deliver them with. Then comes American military outpost in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, which led to the war of 2008, and now the West is at the gates of Ukraine. So, that’s the picture as Moscow sees it. And it’s rational. It’s reasonable. It’s hard to deny.
But as for the immediate crisis, let’s ask ourselves this: Who precipitated this crisis? The American media says it was Putin and the very bad, though democratically elected, president of Ukraine, Yanukovych. But it was the European Union, backed by Washington, that said in November to the democratically elected president of a profoundly divided country, Ukraine, “You must choose between Europe and Russia.” That was an ultimatum to Yanukovych. Remember—wasn’t reported here—at that moment, what did the much-despised Putin say? He said, “Why? Why does Ukraine have to choose? We are prepared to help Ukraine avoid economic collapse, along with you, the West. Let’s make it a tripartite package to Ukraine.” And it was rejected in Washington and in Brussels. That precipitated the protests in the streets.
And since then, the dynamic that any of us who have ever witnessed these kinds of struggles in the streets unfolded, as extremists have taken control of the movement from the so-called moderate Ukrainian leaders. I mean, the moderate Ukrainian leaders, with whom the Western foreign ministers are traveling to Kiev to talk, they’ve lost control of the situation. By the way, people ask—excuse me—is it a revolution? Is it a revolution? A much abused word, but one sign of a revolution is the first victims of revolution are the moderates. And then it becomes a struggle between the extreme forces on either side. And that’s what we’re witnessing.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to the Ukrainian opposition leader, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who admitted earlier today the opposition does not have full control of protesters in Independence Square.
ARSENIY YATSENYUK: The only chance to do it is to stop the riot police, to stop the protesters, to impose a DMZ, like demilitarized zone, and to move this conflict from the streets to the Parliament.
REPORTER 1: Parts of the protesters are out of control?
ARSENIY YATSENYUK: No one—I would be very frank, that the government doesn’t control the riot police, and it’s very difficult for the opposition to control Maidan. And there are a number of forces who are uncontrolled. This is the truth.
REPORTER 2: So, Ukraine is in chaos now.
ARSENIY YATSENYUK: Ukraine is in a big mess.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s Ukrainian opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Professor Cohen?
STEPHEN COHEN: A moderate.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go—
STEPHEN COHEN: Who wants to be president.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to President Obama. He’s in Mexico for the big Mexico-Canada-U.S. summit talking about Ukraine.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: With regard to Ukraine, along with our European partners, we will continue to engage all sides. And we continue to stress to President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian government that they have the primary responsibility to prevent the kind of terrible violence that we’ve seen, to withdraw riot police, to work with the opposition to restore security and human dignity, and move the country forward. And this includes progress towards a multi-party, technical government that can work with the international community on a support package and adopt reforms necessary for free and fair elections next year. Ukrainians are a proud and resilient people who have overcome extraordinary challenges in their history, and that’s a pride and strength that I hope they draw on now.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s President Obama in Mexico, Professor Cohen.
STEPHEN COHEN: What are you asking me to comment on?
AMY GOODMAN: Your response to his response.
STEPHEN COHEN: To what he just said? Shame. Shame. He is saying that the responsibility for restoring peace is on the Ukrainian government, and it should withdraw its security forces from the streets. But let me ask you, if in Washington people throwing Molotov cocktails are marching on Congress—and these people are headed for the Ukrainian Congress—if these people have barricaded entrance to the White House and are throwing rocks at the White House security guard, would President Obama withdraw his security forces? This is—this is—and do you know what this does? And let’s escape partisanship here. I mean, lives are at stake. This incites, these kinds of statement that Obama made. It rationalizes what the killers in the streets are doing. It gives them Western license, because he’s not saying to the people in the streets, “Stop this, stop shooting policemen, stop attacking government buildings, sit down and talk.” And the guy you had on just before, a so-called moderate leader, what did he just tell you? “We have lost control of the situation.” That’s what I just told you. He just confirmed that.
So what Obama needs to say is, “We deplore what the people in the streets are doing when they attack the police, the law enforcement official. And we also don’t like the people who are writing on buildings ‘Jews live here,’” because these forces, these quasi-fascist forces—let’s address this issue, because the last time I was on your broadcast, you found some guy somewhere who said there was none of this there. All right. What percent are the quasi-fascists of the opposition? Let’s say they’re 5 percent. I think they’re more, but let’s give them the break, 5 percent. But we know from history that when the moderates lose control of the situation, they don’t know what to do. The country descends in chaos. Five percent of a population that’s tough, resolute, ruthless, armed, well funded, and knows what it wants, can make history. We’ve seen it through Europe. We’ve seen it through Asia. This is reality. And where Washington and Brussels are on this issue, they won’t step up and take the responsibility.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, even in most recent history, whether you look at Libya or whether you look at the situation in Syria, where those presidents warned that there were extremist elements inside a broader popular movement that were eventually going to gain control, this seems like a replay in terms of what’s going on here in the Ukraine of a popular movement, but yet a very, very, as you say, right-wing movement—not only a right-wing movement, but a fascist movement with a history. Ukraine has had a history of a fascist movement going back to the days of Nazi Germany.
STEPHEN COHEN: Let’s go to real heresy. Let’s ask a question: Who has been right about interpreting recent events? Let’s go to the Arab Spring. Obama and Washington said this was about democracy now, this is great. Russia said, “Wait a minute. If you destabilize, even if they’re authoritarian leaders in the Middle East, you’re not going to get Thomas Jefferson in power. You’re going to get jihadists. You’re going to get very radical people in power all through the Middle East.” Looking back, who was right or wrong about that narrative? Have a look at Egypt. Have a look at Libya. Who was right? Can Russians ever be right about anything?
Now what are the Russians saying about Ukraine? They’re saying what you just said, that the peaceful protesters, as we keep calling them—I think a lot of them have gone home. There were many. By the way, at the beginning, there were hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, of very decent, liberal, progressive, honorable people in the streets. But they’ve lost control of the situation. That’s the point now. And so, the Russians are saying, “Look, you’re trying to depose Yanukovych, who’s the elected government.” Think. If you overthrow—and, by the way, there’s a presidential election in a year. The Russians are saying wait ’til the next election. If you overthrow him—and that’s what Washington and Brussels are saying, that he must go—what are you doing to the possibility of democracy not only in Ukraine, but throughout this part of the world? And secondly, who do you think is going to come to power? Please tell us. And we’re silent.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to the famous leaked tape right now. The top State Department official has apologized to her European counterparts after she was caught cursing the European Union, the EU, in a leaked audio recording that was posted to YouTube. The recording captured an intercepted phone conversation between the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe. Nuland expresses frustration over Europe’s response to the political crisis in Ukraine, using frank terms.
VICTORIA NULAND: So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and have the U.N. help glue it. And, you know, [bleep] the EU.
AMY GOODMAN: While Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s comment about the EU dominated the news headlines because she used a curse, there were several other very interesting parts of her conversation with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
GEOFFREY PYATT: Let me work on Klitschko, and if you can just keep—I think we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. Then the other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych, but we can probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.
VICTORIA NULAND: So, on that piece, Geoff, when I wrote the note, Sullivan’s come back to me VFR saying, “You need Biden?” And I said, “Probably tomorrow for an attaboy and to get the deets to stick.” So Biden’s willing.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Pyatt, speaking with Victoria Nuland. The significance of what she is saying? She also had gone to Ukraine and was feeding protesters on the front line.
STEPHEN COHEN: Cookies, cookies. Well, here again, the American political media establishment, including the right and the left and the center—because they’re all complicit in this nonsense—focused on the too sensational, they thought, aspect of that leaked conversation. She said, “F— the European Union,” and everybody said, “Oh, my god! She said the word.” The other thing was, who leaked it? “Oh, it was the Russians. Those dirty Russians leaked this conversation.” But the significance is what you just played. What are they doing? The highest-ranking State Department official, who presumably represents the Obama administration, and the American ambassador in Kiev are, to put it in blunt terms, plotting a coup d’état against the elected president of Ukraine.
Now, that said, Amy, Juan, you may say to me—neither of you would, but hypothetically—”That’s a good thing. We don’t like—we don’t care if he was elected democratically. He’s a rat. He’s corrupt.” And he is all those things. He is. “Let’s depose him. That’s what the United States should do. Then the United States should stand up and say, ’That’s what we do: We get rid of bad guys. We assassinate them, and we overthrow them.’” But in Washington and in Brussels, they lie: They’re talking about democracy now. They’re not talking about democracy now; they’re talking about a coup now.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, this is more from—
STEPHEN COHEN: And we—excuse me—and we should—we, American citizens, should be allowed to choose which policy we want. But they conceal it from us. And I’m extremely angry that the people in this country who say they deplore this sort of thing have fallen silent.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Let’s listen to little bit more of the leaked conversation between the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe.
VICTORIA NULAND: Good. So, I don’t think Klitsch should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think it’s a good idea.
GEOFFREY PYATT: Yeah. I mean, I guess, you think—in terms of him not going into the government, just let him sort of stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I’m just thinking, in terms of sort of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok and his guys. And, you know, I’m sure that’s part of what Yanukovych is calculating on all of this. I kind of—
VICTORIA NULAND: I think—I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the guy—you know, what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week. You know, I just think Klitsch going in, he’s going to be at that level working for Yatsenyuk. It’s just not going to work.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, speaking with Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine. Stephen Cohen, this—this chess game—
STEPHEN COHEN: You don’t need me here. What do you need me for?
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —this chess game that they’re conducting here?
STEPHEN COHEN: There it is. There it is.
AMY GOODMAN: But explain the names. Who is Klitsch, Yats?
STEPHEN COHEN: All right. And notice the intimacy with which the Americans deal with the two leading so-called “moderate”—and these are big shots, they both want to be president—Ukrainian opposition. Klitschko is Vitali Klitschko, a six-foot-eight former—he resigned his title two months ago to enter politics—heavyweight champion of the world. His residence has been Ukraine—I mean, Germany. He plays—he pays taxes in Germany. He’s a project of Merkel. He represents German interests. I’m sure he’s also faithful to Ukraine, but he’s got a problem. Yatsenyuk, however—not Yatsenyuk, but the other guy she calls “Yats” is a representative of the Fatherland Party. It’s a big party in Parliament. But Washington likes him a lot. They think he’ll be our man. So you could see what they’re saying. We don’t quite trust Klitschko. Now, if you want to get esoteric, that’s the tug between Washington and Berlin. They’re not happy with Merkel, the chancellor of Germany. They don’t like the role Merkel is playing, generally. They think Germany has gotten too big for its britches. They want to cut Merkel down. So you noticed Klitschko, the boxer, is Merkel’s proxy, or at least she’s backing him. You notice that they say, “He’s not ready for prime time. Let him do his homework.”
Now, this guy—I’m bad on Ukrainian names. Tyagnybok, that they say has got to play a role, he’s the leader of the Freedom Party, the Svoboda Party, but a large element of that party, to put it candidly, is quasi-fascist. And they’re prepared to embrace this guy. This is the guy, by the way, that Senator John McCain in November or December went to Kiev and embraced. Either McCain didn’t know who he was, or he didn’t care. The United States is prepared to embrace that guy, too—anything to get rid of Yanukovych, because they think this is about Putin. That’s all they really got on their mind.
AMY GOODMAN: And yet, here you have President Obama, again, speaking yesterday in Mexico.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our approach as the United States is not to see these as some Cold War chessboard in which we’re in competition with Russia. Our goal is to make sure that the people of Ukraine are able to make decisions for themselves about their future, that the people of Syria are able to make decisions without having bombs going off and killing women and children, or chemical weapons, or towns being starved, because a despot wants to cling to power.
AMY GOODMAN: Who benefits from the instability, Professor Cohen, in Ukraine? And what does it mean for Putin? Is he concerned about this?
STEPHEN COHEN: Of course he’s concerned. It’s right on his borders, and it’s all tainting him. I mean, The Washington Post wrote an editorial yesterday. Putin is happy that the violence has broken out in the streets. Everybody understands, even The Washington Post understands, which understands almost nothing about Russia, but they got this, that during the Sochi Olympics, the last thing Putin wants is violence in Ukraine. So why is he happy about it? He deplores it. He’s unhappy. He’s furious at the president of Ukraine. He read him the Riot Act on the phone last night, that why doesn’t he get control of the situation? What is he doing? So Putin is not responsible for this. Can we speak about Obama?
AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly.
STEPHEN COHEN: Very quickly. I grew up in the segregated South. I voted for him twice, as historical justice. That’s not leadership. That’s a falsification of what’s happening in Ukraine, and it’s making the situation worse, what he says, is that we deplore the violence and call upon Ukrainian government to withdraw its forces and stop the violence. He needs to talk about what’s happening in the streets.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And is it conceivable, if Ukraine descends into a further civil war, that Russia might intervene?
STEPHEN COHEN: It’s conceivable. It’s conceivable. Here—I mean, Yanukovych—you might say, as an adviser to Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine, “Impose martial law now, because you’ve got bad PR in the West anyway, and you’re not in control of the situation.” The problem is, Yanukovych isn’t sure he controls the army.
AMY GOODMAN: He just fired the head of the army yesterday.
STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, we don’t know what it means, but it indicates he’s not too sure about the army. But, by the way, you asked, would Russia intervene? Would NATO intervene? NATO is all over the place. NATO was in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Ask yourself that: Would NATO send troops in? Is that, yes, you think they would?
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I—
STEPHEN COHEN: We don’t know.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We don’t know, yeah.
STEPHEN COHEN: And we’re not going to be told, just like we’re not being told what’s going on in these private conversations about deposing the president of Ukraine. If they depose—
AMY GOODMAN: Unless they’re leaked again.
STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, and if the Russians leak them, it doesn’t count. Is that right?
AMY GOODMAN: The U.S. can hardly protest, given the whole scandal with the NSA recording conversations.
STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, well, you know what they said. They said—they said, when this got leaked, that this is a low point in statecraft. After Snowden? After Snowden? I mean, what did Tennessee Williams used to say? Mendacity? Mendacity? The mendacity of it all? Don’t they trust us, our government, to tell us a little bit of the truth at last?
AMY GOODMAN: Stephen Cohen, I want to thank you for being with us. We’re going to move onto Venezuela. Stephen Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. His most recent book, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War, it’s just out in paperback. His latest piece in The Nation is “Distorting Russia: How the American Media Misrepresent [Putin], Sochi and Ukraine.” This is Democracy Now! Back in a minute.
On 20th of February 2014, the Greek Minister of Culture and Sports Mr. Panos Panagiotopoulos delivered the opening speech of the EU conference “Financing Creativity” in Athens. This conference seeks to address models of cultural policy in the coming decades. Yet not a single artist was invited as a speaker nor was the conference promoted publicly. Given this situation “Mavili Collective” called for artists from different fields of practice to attend the conference. Having been excluded from a dialogue about cultural policies the artists present publicly expressed their feelings regarding the proposed role of culture and laughed. The response of the Minister is revealing.
The Minister of Culture stated in his speech that we need to be more competitive following the economies of China and Middle East since the cost of labour in Europe today is extremely high. The words most frequently used by many of the speakers were: competitiveness, business, industry, product, consumers etc. Mrs Lina Mendoni, General Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Sports made the crucial statement that “Culture is economy”. A vision for the culture that is nowadays expressed openly and indicative of how the Greek State is increasingly abandoning its support of contemporary culture. Instead, as was stated clearly in the conference, the Greek State intends to fund private institutions that will then form the cultural landscape of the country. Does such a policy reflect the wider vision of the EU for culture? Some might say the conference was a fiasco, but was the fiasco the laughter or the cultural policies/narratives being proposed?
by Vasilis Migkos – TRANSCEND Media Service
Greece’s Golden Dawn Neo-Nazi Party and How to Make Them Less Appealing to Greek Society
Everything started a very long time ago in Greece. Back to 1940’s at the period that Greece was violently invaded and occupied by Germany (April 1941 – October 1944). The German invasion succeeded the failed attempt of fascist Italy to occupy Greece. It was at that time the Nazism appeared in Greece. Although the vast majority of Greeks fought bravely against the Germans and struggled against the occupation, there was a small minority who cooperated with German administration, acting against their fellow citizens. These people, with the aid of the Nazi regime, earned privileges, protection and, of course, money at the expense of other Greeks.
After the liberation of Greece, paradoxically, these people were never punished. On the contrary, they enjoyed their big fortunes, created by dirty means during the occupation and got actively involved in social and economic life of Greece. Betrayers, black marketers, blackmailers, snitches and some of them murderers, had the chance to become stronger and remained unpunished.
In 1967, when the military coup occurred in Greece, a new generation of fascists came to the surface, assisted by the old ones. The new generation collaborated closely with the military regime till its collapse in 1974. The way and the methods were almost same as it happened during the Nazi occupation. Privileges, power, money and protection. Democracy was, of course, paralyzed and human rights were violated. People were pushed to exile, tortured and killed during the 7-year Greek Dictatorship.
Golden Dawn is the main nationalist extremist party in Greece nowadays. It is very well known for its radical ideas, violent methods and provocative behaviors. It was created in 1980 and its initial aim was to publish the homonymous magazine. The principles of the movement were absolutely neo-Nazi with hymns to Hitler and propaganda in favor of the superiority of the Aryan race. It was strange though, because like-minded extremists in Germany were fond of killing immigrants, especially Greeks and Turks who traditionally can be found in Germany in vast numbers and are considered to be inferior to the locals. Recently there was a trial of a member of the National Socialistic Underground of Germany, a woman who was involved in the murder of 8 Turks, 1 Greek and a police officer, during the period 2000 – 2007.
At the beginning, Golden Dawn had absolutely no power in Greece. It was a very small group of people that participated in the Yugoslav War (alongside the Serbs) and tried to get involved in the “Macedonian Issue” at the beginning of 1990s, when nationalism in Greece had risen against its neighboring country the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M.) which claimed the name “Macedonia” to be the official name of its state. However, despite the tension in the relationships of Greece with its neighbors (mainly Turkey, Albania and F.Y.R.O.M.), Golden Dawn had little impact on Greek politics. I must mention that, traditionally, Greek society on average was a leftist one. The Greek Left was always strong and present at the social and political movements of the country and the European Union (EU).
Although Greece has been a member of the EU since 1981, the transformation of Greek society and political life went wrong. Since 1974, two political parties have succeeded each other in the governance of the country. The socialists (PASOK) and the liberal right wing party (Nea Dimokratia). Their way of governance established totally wrong ethics in political and social life of Greece. Nepotism, opacity and corruption became such a usual phenomenon in Greek daily life, especially in politics. Each party was trying to promote their people, the public sector became huge and the wages of the civil servants were unreasonably increased.
At the same time, Greeks were enjoying an impressive improvement in their standard of living, able to consume more and more, linking their social status to the cost and the amount of the products they were buying, including houses and cars. Nepotism had penetrated in almost every aspect of their lives. It was a common secret that “if you don’t have good connections, you cannot do anything”. That was true. This system was so well constructed and enlarged, that if someone wanted to enjoy even the simplest things, such as finding a job, he should become part of this system and ask for the assistance of a politician or an important person in the local community. At that time, in the 1990s, Greece faced its first serious immigration problem. After the collapse of communists’ regime, massive waves of illegal immigrants from Albania were coming to Greece. Poor and desperate and most of them uneducated, it was logical that crime rates would become higher after their entrance in Greece. After the bankruptcy of Albania, Albanian prisons were opened and Albanian criminals were set free while at the same time the military equipment (guns and bullets) were looted. Many of them came to Greece, armed and illegal and continued their action in a country which was traditionally the wealthiest among the Balkans. This was the first time that racism appeared in Greece. It was because of all these incidents that many among the Greeks created a stereotype about Albanians, who are supposed to be criminals and thieves.
Problems also existed at the eastern borders, where territorial disputes were poisoning Greek-Turkish relations. In 1996, Greece and Turkey almost went to war because of a dispute related over two tiny Aegean islands. The war was prevented at the very last moment. At the same time, Turkish intervention in Thrace, the oppression of the minorities of the two countries and the “eternal” Cyprus issue kept always alive the fear of a possible Greek – Turkish war that could erupt at any time between the two countries.
Under those circumstances, someone would expect that Greek nationalism and Golden Dawn would rise. This didn’t happen though. The only instances that Golden Dawn appeared in public life was the demonstrations organized in memory of the three Greek members of a military helicopter pilot who died in the background of the crisis and the prosecution and trial of a member of Golden Dawn, Antonis Androutsopoulos, known as “Periandros” after the violent attack by him and his group against Dimitris Kousouris in 1998. The percentages of Golden Dawn in the elections were extremely low and its impact on Greek society was of no importance.
Things changed rapidly after the economic crisis emerged. The sudden change in Greece at all levels, political, economic, social and cultural, made Greeks wake up from a dream they were living in since 1974 when Democracy was reestablished in the country after the collapse of Junta. Or, better said, was supposed to have been reestablished. The dramatic reductions of the wages, the massive dismissals and the tremendous increase of crime rates, ruined the normal, quiet life of Greeks who, on average, were able to spend money, consume, travel and generally enjoy the goods of capitalism. The scandals that were revealed remained unpunished with a very few exceptions. The sense of injustice grew among Greeks. Some people, who played important political and economic role in Greece, were proved or rumored to have stolen huge amounts of money and participated in countless scandals. Very few of them were prosecuted.
People felt betrayed. No one ever told them about the perils of Greek economy, no one ever cared really about the destiny of Greek economy. Both of the parties that were altering in power, were constantly trying to give more and more to their people, in order to gain votes and secure their reelection. People, on the other hand, learned to expect more and more from their governments, and were disappointed if someone talked about the need of austerity measures and regularization of the economy, although it could easily be foreseen that this abnormal kind of economy would, sooner or later, collapse. Until today, the number one demand among the Greeks is Justice: Punishment of the perpetrators and confiscation of their properties. It is very well known that, if the Greek government had the courage to punish say 50 people (politicians and businessmen) and prosecute those who systematically don’t pay taxes (I am talking about professional debtors who owe huge amounts of money), Greece could pay all or almost all of its debt. Punishment of banks is also a great demand in Greece, because their unreasonable funding policies led them very close to bankruptcy and the Greek government spent a huge amount of money in order to save them. Money that normally could (and should) be spent for the payment of the debt.
The political system seems unwilling or unable to punish and distribute justice. Traditional political powers were now seen as the bricks of the same dirty wall. Thus, Golden Dawn appeared. They showed muscles, discipline, power, decisiveness and followed the typical strategy of all neo-nazi parties around the world. They accused immigrants of the high crime rates and unemployment of the locals. They presented themselves as the “cleaners”, the strong muscled guys who want and are able to “clean” the country by kicking immigrants out of the borders and punishing the politicians who stole money.
At this point I should also mention the strange role of media and the immigration problem. The presence of Golden Dawn in Greek media became almost daily. People got used to watching scenes of violence. Muscles and militarism became a lifestyle. The flags, the ceremonies, the symbols and the outraged extremists became attractive to those who were feeling angry, desperate and disappointed. Lack of education and of a minimal standard of political analysis gave a place to Golden Dawn in peoples’ minds, while, at the same time, none of the political parties made a clear and effective suggestion about how the problem of illegal migration problem of Greece could be solved. The position of the country (neighboring with Asia), the NATO wars and several conflicts brought thousands of desperate people to Greece, in their attempt to enter EU, in order to find a better future.
That’s why we reached the point that a neo-Nazi political party managed to get so much support in the last election in a country that was traditionally leftist, a country that is historically bonded with democracy, a country that fought and achieved victory against fascist Italy during World War II, fought bravely and was occupied and devastated by Nazis in 1941, a country that has countless cemeteries full of bones of people who were killed fighting Nazism and Fascism.
The recent arrests of some of the leading member of Golden Dawn and the imprisonment of their general leader, after the murder of Greek leftist Hip Hop artist by a fan of Golden Dawn, showed to people the structure and the way of action of this party. Guns, Nazi flags and objects and several things were found in the houses of the leading members of the party. Their prosecution of those people is something that may be legally correct, but not so much effective when it comes to the struggle against the roots of the problem. As it happened in Germany, Italy and other countries, fascism and Nazism rely on fear which, combined with ignorance, leads to hate.
How can this change?
Active citizenship through education with the adoption of a transparent way of governance under the umbrella of justice: Greeks were familiarized with the distorted idea that politics is something strange, full of dirtiness and not something that they should actively get involved, not something that they should really be concerned about. Politics were identified with opacity and corruption and was totally unattractive for the masses which, however, were strongly willing to get fanatics for a party and follow someone who promised to them privileges, job and money. It has been a vicious circle, feeding more and more the monster of nepotism and cultivating the ethics of competition and individualism.
Greeks should be taught that politics is something they should actively be involved. So we need education. We also need the sense of injustice to be restored. We need decisive measures for the punishment of the perpetrators and the establishment of transparency and substantive legality. There must be a wide campaign with the aid of media, social networks and activist actions. I am afraid though, that it is extremely hard for this to work under the circumstances of crisis and strict austerity measures. This is not only about Greece. It is also about EU and the whole world.
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Michael Nevradakis: Joining us today on Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series is Dimitris Kazakis, the economist and the general secretary of EPAM, Greece’s United Popular Front. Mr. Kazakis, thank you for joining us today.
Dimitris Kazakis: Thank you for having me.
Michael Nevradakis:Let’s begin with a discussion about Greece’s current presidency of the European Union? How do you respond to Greece taking over the EU’s rotating presidency and to the recent statements that we heard from Greek and European politicians regarding the supposed progress that has been made by Greece?
Dimitris Kazakis: I believe that we find ourselves in a situation where all European citizens are beginning to understand that the European Union, or what was described by Jose Manuel Barroso and Mario Draghi as “progress” or the “political and economic union” of Europe, is a threat to all European peoples. Here in Greece, this has manifested itself in a particular way. Recently, a major ceremony was organized for Greece’s rotating European Union presidency, and this took place with Athens under occupation. It is incredible that with a simple decision issued by the Greek police, which was reminiscent of the Greek military junta of 1967-1974, protest marches and gatherings were banned throughout all of Athens, based on the absurd claim that the physical safety of the European dignitaries visiting Athens was in danger. This is a ludicrous claim when you consider that they were in a guarded, secure space, in the AthensMusic Hall. And yet this rationale was used as an excuse to ban protests and gatherings in all of Athens, a decision which is completely unconstitutional, but which is meant to send the message to the Greek people that they need to get used to such a strong police presence. Typically, at protests, we see the usual troublemakers show up, which give the police an excuse to intervene violently–not that they needed much of an excuse to do so–and this gets on the news, the media reports how violent the protests were, and so forth. We, as the National Popular Front EPAM, came out to the streets of downtown Athens despite the ban, and with an open call to the Greek public. We broke the ban and we were the only organized group that marched in Athens on the day of the ceremony. Yet, this was not mentioned anywhere in the news. We weren’t surprised, we did what we had to do though, and we wanted to demonstrate to the citizens of Greece and Europe who are under the same occupation, that they can put a stop to this occupation only with a show of strength and determination, that we as citizens will not be stripped of the few remaining rights that we still have. Later that day, prime minister Samaras, with his well-known peculiar smile which resembles a cross between a deeply troubled person and a space alien, came out and said that Greece is doing well, that it is on the road to recovery, and that we need more European integration, to which my response is “no more Europe, we can’t take it anymore!”
Michael Nevradakis:The assumption of the rotating European Union presidency by Greece was accompanied by several other major stories which suddenly dominated the headlines in Greece. We had the government taking back a proposal for a 25 Euro entrance fee for public hospitals, we had a statement by the president of Alpha Bank, one of Greece’s largest banks, criticizing the government for taking back this measure, we had the escape of suspected terrorist Christodoulos Xiros from a prison furlough, we had further arrests of members of parliament from the far-right Golden Dawn party…do you believe that the timing of all of this is merely coincidental, or do you believe that something deeper and less visible is at play here?
Dimitris Kazakis: We have to see these developments on two levels. On one level is Greek society, which on the surface seems to be a passive observer to everything that is happening in the country, but which is, in reality, reaching a boiling point. People in Greece are beginning to understand that none of the political options which existed within the country’s system of governance up until now is not enough, is not allowing their message to get across. The upcoming municipal and European elections are increasingly seen as the final opportunity for change to possibly be delivered from within the existing system. This is what is happening at the societal level. On a political level, we are seeing the increasing disenfranchisement of the people with the political system. This is evident simply by looking at the sharply declining ratings for the television and radio news programs, which consists of black propaganda in favor of the current economic and political parties. The public is not interested, doesn’t care, and doesn’t watch or listen to them anymore. Another characteristic example is the sharp rise in internet connectivity rates in Greece, which have gone from about 15 or 20% to well over 50%, despite the crisis. This is evident of the demand for news and information from sources other than the mainstream outlets of propaganda in Greece. The political system in Greece is collapsing, and this is true of all of the major parties, even with the differing characteristics of each particular party. In light of the collapse of the existing political system, the governing coalition is trying to distract the public in various ways, whether it be through the arrests of more members of Golden Dawn for weapons possession, or through the discussion of the increasing dangers of urban terrorism, led by the recently-escaped Christodoulos Xiros, who we are supposed to believe easily escaped even though he is in poor health. To illustrate how ludicrous this is, the former Postbank chief Aggelos Filippidis, who left Greece to avoid arrest, was tracked down in Turkey using his cell phone coordinates, but we are supposed to believe that the infirm Christodoulos Xiros cannot be found? At the same time, the government is trying to terrorize the public by presenting a dual threat: that of far-right extremists represented by Golden Dawn on one end, and the supposedly extremist left at the other end, the armed terrorist left led by terrorists such as Christodoulos Xiros and phantom terrorist groups. I would really not be surprised to learn that these so-called terrorist groups were created in some basement office in Athens’ police headquarters. All of this fearmongering on the part of the government has to do with the upcoming municipal and European elections and the government’s attempts to make electoral gains through a campaign of terrorizing the public and creating a false dilemma between the right and the left. The government is trying to unite all right-wing voters under its umbrella, even if many of those voters consider the current government to be treasonous, by presenting itself as the only viable option against the left in Greece. And on the other hand, it is trying to associate anyone who is speaking out against the government’s policies and who is calling for change, with terrorism and with those who wish to wage urban guerrilla warfare. My response to this is to say that the rule of this government these past few years is the worst form of terrorism that Greece has experienced in the post-war period. <<<
Michael Nevradakis: In recent weeks, we’ve seen the emergence of a new major scandal in Greece, with accusations of cronyism and fraudulent loans given by institutions such as the Hellenic Postbank. This is a scandal which has implicated major names in Greece’s banking and finance sectors, as well as politicians. Please share with us your take on the situation.
Dimitris Kazakis: We have to begin by examining this issue in a broader sense. Greece’s system of governance has traditionally maintained certain “sacred cows.” These “sacred cows” reinforce and reproduce the corrupt system of governance in the country, as well as the various financial and economic interests which support it. These sacred cows are the country’s banking system, the country’s defense industry, which was always used as a patronage tool for the country’s elite, and the thirdly, major public works projects and the major contractors who would receive the contracts for these projects. These are the three pillars of the modern-day Greek system of governance, at least in the past 40 years since the fall of the military dictatorship. What has happened now? One of these three pillars was hit: the defense industry, through the government’s plans, under troika pressure, to dissolve it. Here of course there is much behind-the-scenes manoeuvring amongst defense contractors regarding who will emerge as the frontrunner in the new political situation that is shaping up in Greece. And now, the second sacred cow that is being attacked is the banking system, through the Hellenic Postbank scandal. This scandal has directly implicated major business figures including Mr. Kontominas, Mr. Griveas, and Mr. Lavrentiadis, who already is in prison, and in addition, Mr. Vardinogiannis is also under attack, through his close professional relationship with Mr. Filippidis. With this, Pandora’s Box is now being opened for the third pillar as well, the major public works projects, from what is being heard. Why is all of this happening at this time? I don’t believe that these pillars are being attacked as part of a genuine effort to reform the Greek state and the Greek economy. Instead, I believe that it has to do with the fact that the entire Greek state apparatus is being dismantled, in order for Greece to be turned into a controlled periphery of Europe, where foreigners — whether they are EU bureaucrats, politicians, or investors — will be able to come in and take over full control of the state, which will have in the meantime ceased functioning as an independent, sovereign entity. This should not come as a surprise, when considering that towards the end of 2013, German magazine Der Spiegel referred to Greece as a cross between “Afghanistan and Pakistan,” that it is a failed state. This term was not used by accident. “Failed state” is a term that is used in diplomatic circles to refer to countries that are incapable of governing themselves, and which as a result require international control, oversight, or intervention. I believe that the groundwork is being laid systematically to “justify” the characterization of Greece as a failed state, or as German Chancellor described Greece back in September, as a “dependency” located in Europe’s periphery. All of this is meant to justify the claim that the Greek State is no more. And within this context, they not only believe that they can accomplish this, but they are trying to convince the ordinary Greek that he or she not only lives in a worthless banana republic, but that the Greek people themselves are worthless, incompetent, and incapable of self-governance or handling their own affairs. By doing this, they hope to convince the Greek people that what is best for them are foreigners – technocrats, bureaucrats and bankers – who will govern the country and impose the necessary policies. It should be noted that Mario Draghi said something very similar on October 5th in a speech he gave in the United States before a group of banking executives, where he said that there are two types of sovereignty: national sovereignty, referring to the sovereign rights of a particular nation, and the sovereignty of effectiveness, where a non-democratic, non-representative government provides a society’s basic necessities to the people. And he posed the question: what is preferable? To have rights but not the ability to exercise them, or to have your basic needs met? That’s the dilemma that Mario Draghi posed, and that is the direction that we are heading in. They are trying to convince the ordinary Greek that he is illiterate, that he is incompetent, and that the solution is not for him to become literate or competent, but to give up control to those who are competent and capable, who in this case happen to be non-Greek. That’s their philosophy and what they are trying to accomplish.
Michael Nevradakis:And unfortunately, this is a mentality that has indeed entered the Greek psyche in various ways, as we often hear ordinary Greeks say that we failed, that we are incapable, that we brought the country to the position it is in today, that the foreigners are more civilized, more organized, more efficient, and that we need the Germans or some other superior power to come in and impose order on the country.
Dimitris Kazakis: Yes, indeed. That is the myth, and it is repeated over and over again by the mass media in Greece. It is quite amazing, for instance, to see just how many television programs in Greece keep glorifying immigration, constantly presenting examples of Greeks who purportedly became incredibly successful abroad, in Germany or elsewhere, even though we all know just how difficult immigration is, in reality, and what a difficult time people have when they are forced to leave their home. And we are not talking about immigration by choice, whether it is to gain new experiences or new knowledge and skills in order to eventually return to your country. We are talking about a situation where people are being forced to leave. And in the media, this is being glorified as some sort of wonderful solution, in order to convince the ordinary Greek that, hey, if their son or daughter cannot find work in Greece, it’s okay, they’ll simply go overseas and find a job there, without thinking about what their child will actually go and do overseas, where will they go and under what circumstances. This is a sign of the occupation that Greece is presently experiencing as a nation. If you go back and read newspapers from the Nazi occupation in Greece, one will find that the main headline of the major Greek newspaper Kathimerini on the second day after the Nazi invasion, with German troops stationed in Athens, the headline read: “And now, let us all get back to work for the new, peaceful era that is ahead of us.” In other words, the newspaper was instructing the Greek people that the war was over, that they lost everything, and that they should lower their heads and back to work. Indeed, at the time the newspapers were writing that the most organized peoples of Europe were the Germans, and that the Germans came to Greece to restore order and to save Greece from the corruption of the previous era and from the politicians that had been imposed on the country by the British imperialists. That’s what they were saying back then, and they are writing very similar things today. And there is a percentage of the Greek population which has already lost the battle, not with their country’s system of governance, but their battle with life, they have committed suicide while living, they are the living dead. When you say and you convince yourself that you no longer have any control over your life, it is a form of committing suicide. Here I must state my very firm belief that the most dynamic element of the Greek population today, its youth, need to return to Greece. Right now, Greece is calling for its young people all across the world to mobilize, to return to their country, because their country needs them now as it has never needed them before, in order to be able to recover. Otherwise, I am afraid that in the very near future, what we know as Greece today will no longer exist, that this country, which previous generations fought for with blood, with tears, and with major battles, will no longer exist.
Michael Nevradakis: There is also an incredible parallel that should be mentioned with the 1950s, the first decade after the war, when I believe that it was actually official Greek government policy to promote immigration out of the country, and indeed by providing funds in order for people to leave, supposedly as a measure that would reduce unemployment in the country!
Dimitris Kazakis: Yes, this is very true. And indeed, the governments at the time were also glorifying immigration, which was at similar level’s to today. But there is one major difference: back then, people in Greece shed tears over this immigration, and there was a whole chunk of popular culture, film and music from that era, which reflected the pain of separation, of immigration and leaving home. This doesn’t exist today, because there is no culture which would reflect such a pain. Today’s celebrities care about other things, about their lifestyle, their yachts, and they have no connection with the people. And so, people in Greece are enduring this pain silently, as there is no popular culture that reflects what they are experiencing. This perhaps explains why, compared to the 1950s, there is a larger percentage of people in Greece who have abandoned all hope.
Michael Nevradakis:Let’s turn our conversation now to the policies of the European Union. You mentioned earlier about how the European Union and the troika are planning the final dissolution of Greece…what is being heard from the European Union at this time, for both Greece and Cyprus, regarding issues for which we have heard numerous rumors, such as eliminating bank deposit insurance, about new property taxes, or even for a new so-called “haircut” of the Greek debt?
Dimitris Kazakis: For the haircut of Greek debt, it has been decided, from all sides, from the head of the European Stability Mechanism Klaus Regling, from the German government, and from the European Commission, that they only acceptable agreement regarding the restructuring of the debt would be an extension of the repayment period for the debt, and specifically, only the portion of the debt which is bilateral. This refers only to the first 70 or 75 billion out of the initial 110 billion from the first so-called “bailout” Greece received, as this money was loaned to Greece on the basis of a bilateral agreement between countries. The remaining money that has since been loaned to Greece, about 190 billion Euros in all, was given through the European Stability Mechanism. These monies were not loaned on the basis of a bilateral agreement, but through the issuance of bonds, and the repayment terms of bonds cannot be changed except by exchanging the bonds with new bonds. For this to happen, it requires a political intervention and the voluntary participation of the bond-holders, who have flat-out rejected such a possibility. But what does the extension of the repayment period really even mean? They are fooling the public. What it really means is that you pay more money, over a longer period of time. If a bank issues you a 10 year loan with an interest rate of 2.5% and they offer to refinance the loan over 30 years at an interest rate of 2%, if you do the calculations, you will see that you will actually pay a lot more money over time, for the same loan. So essentially, this so-called extension really just means more money for the lenders. Here, we should mention another major problem, which is Greece’s rapidly growing debt. The country’s public debt right now stands at 326 billion Euros. If we add private debt to this figure, we will add an additional 208 billion to the tally, for a total of 534 billion Euros. And if we add to that the debts of the banking sector, which total 100 to 120 billion Euros, then we are talking about a total debt burden of over 650 billion Euros, not even including any secret debts that we are unaware of, with credit default swaps and so forth that no one has ever bothered to investigate. At this time, Greece’s annual gross domestic product is 183 billion Euros, and it is projected to decline further. Is it ever possible for Greece to repay these debts, which are three and a half times the size of Greece’s GDP? Is this sustainable? No, not a chance. Can the debt simply be “haircut”? No, it cannot. It can only be written off. And this can only happen with a unilateral decision made by the Greek people. There are no examples in history, from the beginning of the 19th century, of a national debt being written off without the people imposing the write-off, or even, at least, a partial write-off of the debt. If the people don’t demand it and impose it, it will not happen. Debt has never been written off simply on the basis of an agreement with the lenders, without there also being conditions attached to the write-off which were so odious that it was worse than the original debt. In the meantime, the economic depression in Greece is reaching epic proportions. Since we are hearing a lot of nonsense recently about Greece attaining a primary surplus, that GDP declined only 3.8 or 4 percent, let me just mention one statistic that anyone can understand. One of the key measures of the strength of a modern economy is its electricity consumption. A growth in the demand for electric power is a very basic indication of the growth of an economy. Can an economy grow without a corresponding growth in demand for power? No, it cannot. On the other hand, you can, for instance, have a recession that is much bigger than the decline in demand for electric power– a decline in electricity consumption of 2% and a GDP decline of 8%, for example — but you cannot, under any circumstances, have a decline in GDP that is smaller than the decline in consumption of electric power. It is impossible. It’s like saying that an economy can function without electricity. IT cannot happen. Knowing that, can somebody please explain to me, perhaps one of the all-knowing economists in the Greek finance ministry, how it is possible that the decline in Greek GDP was on the order of 3.8 or 4% in 2013 with a projected increase of 0.4% in 2014, when just in the first 11 months of 2013, the total amount of electricity generated and demanded within the Greek economy declined by 8.2%? This means that the true extent of GDP decline is at least 8.2%! This is unprecedented for the Greek economy, we’ve only seen this during times of war. This is a sign of the direction we are heading in. Meanwhile, the Greek economy is among the bottom 5 or 6 countries in the world, out of over 180 countries, with the lowest percentage of investment in their economies. Greek workers, the 67% or so of the working population that is employed in salaried positions, has lost 60% of its purchasing power at current price levels. This last point is especially significant when we consider the deflationary pressures on the Greek economy at this time. Under these conditions, unemployment has reached record levels. For this year, a further decline in wages on the order of 2.8% is projected, and this alone will cause the unemployment rate to rise to 28.9%. And when we are examining unemployment, we need to take into account long-term unemployment. When the economic crisis first began in Greece in 2009, the unemployment rate in Greece was around 8%. Out of these 8%, 25% were unemployed for a year or more, shocking figures for that particular time. Today, the official unemployment rate is 27.8%, and a whopping 72% of those who are unemployed have been out of work for over one year. Under such conditions, the working population has been completely devalued, and any recovery will be extremely difficult under present policies. This is why many economists have deemed the Greek economic crisis as a terminal economic crisis. A terminal economic crisis is when, under existing circumstances, there is no possibility of an economic recovery. When this is the case, radical measures must be taken.
Michael Nevradakis: And aside from the debt issue, what is being heard in EU circles regarding issues such as the imposition of new property taxes or the possible haircut of bank deposits?
Dimitris Kazakis: At this time, what is being heard in EU circles can be summed up by a recent statement by Joaquin Almunia, the vice-president of the European Commission, who in response to a recent question posed by a Greek representative of the European parliament, said that if the Greek government requests it, that the EU will certainly go ahead and impose a haircut of bank deposits in Greece. This of course is laughable, because the troika, not the Greek government, are the ones governing Greece in the first place. Beyond this though, recently the president of the Bank of Greece, George Provopoulos, stated that Greek banks will require a new injection of capital, sometime around May or June of this year. Quite coincidentally, this is right after the scheduled time for the municipal and European parliament elections in Greece. In order for the banks to be recapitalized again, they want to get the 8 billion Euros that are said to be earmarked for them in the coffers of the European Stability Fund, 8 billion Euros that have been put on the tab of the Greek taxpayer and added to the country’s national debt. And of course these funds are not enough, more capital will be needed, and as a result, Greece will have to reach a new agreement with the European Stability Fund for additional monies that will recapitalize the country’s banks. If you visit the website of the European Stability Fund, you will read that anyone that receives money from the fund from June 2013 and afterwards will have to enforce a bail-in scheme in order to receive the monies. What does a bail-in mean? It means that those with bank deposits will contribute to the recapitalization of the banks, by losing a portion of their deposits, while the bank’s losses will be charged to the bank’s basic shareholders, which at this time, after the recapitalization of 2012, is the Greek state, and by extension, the Greek public. And what will also follow from this will be a reorganization of the banking sector under the oversight of the EU, and a new memorandum for Greece. So, sometime around May or June of this year, a sudden problem will appear with Greece’s deficit, which everyone already knows will be the largest deficit since 2009, it will suddenly be discovered that there is no primary surplus, that this is just a myth being uttered by prime minister Samaras while the real figures are being whitewashed, and a new loan will be needed for Greece, and not just for the banks, since Greece will be facing a funding shortfall ranging from 7 to 17 billion Euros for 2014 alone. So, as a result, the European Union will impose yet another memorandum on Greece. This is why changes are already being planned within the government at this time; changes which can take a variety of forms. I think the last thing that prime minister Samaras and the mafia that is ruling Greece want at this time is national parliamentary elections, but it is possible, and what they would want to do is to pass the baton on to Syriza and to Alexis Tsipras, the current leader of the main opposition, who has already passed his tests for “good behavior” with the Europeans, that he will not challenge the banks, that he will not pull Greece out of the Eurozone, and so forth. Tsipras will take over and the ticking time bomb will explode in his hands. All of the lies and myths of the previous government will blow up in his face, and as a result, his government will last only for two months or so, a new government will then be formed that lasts perhaps another couple of months, beginning a cycle of short-lived governments that will have a hard time lasting more than two months. This will continue until the Greek people finally decide to do away with this system and with all of these politicians and to implement a new plan for the recovery and reconstruction of Greece from scratch.
Michael Nevradakis:Let’s delve further into the issue of the possible departure of Greece from the Eurozone. In the past year, we’ve heard many politicians and many media outlets talk about how the danger of a Greek exit from the Euro has been overcome, but despite this, we continue to hear that this remains a possibility. What would a Eurozone exit mean for Greece at this time?
Dimitris Kazakis: It depends under what conditions and circumstances it takes place. The Europeans, and particularly the Germans, do not wish to lose Greece. Just a few weeks ago, during the holidays, there were numerous reports in the German press about the importance of Greece as a market for German exports, without there being any corresponding importance attached to German imports from Greece. This is a unilateral relationship and it is very important to Germany and its exports. Germany certainly gains a lot, economically, from such a relationship. The Germans are also afraid of the discord this will create within the Eurozone since, I remind you, there is no established procedure for a country to exit the Eurozone. Also, even if a country leaves from the Eurozone, even if it was kicked out by the other member-states, what will happen to all those Euros the following day and what would happen to the value of the currency? How would they be able to maintain its current exchange rate? This is why they are laying the groundwork from now for Greece, that it is a “failed state,” to bring in foreign powers and so on. The idea is to keep Greece in the Eurozone, even by force if deemed necessary. The only way for Greece to depart from the Eurozone, and to leave under conditions that create hope for the future, is for the Greek people themselves to impose it, and to impose it in the context of a broader plan for the reconstruction and redevelopment of the country. Otherwise, even if Greece departs the Eurozone, we will still be facing the same crisis and destruction, just outside of the Eurozone. Greece needs to be rebuilt from a new basis, for all the terms to change, politically and economically. Otherwise, any discussion regarding a departure from the Eurozone or not is pointless, and only serves to instill fear in those people who still feel that they have something to gain from being in the Eurozone. However, in the next six months, when they see that their bank deposits – at least for those people who still have money in the bank – when they see that their deposits are threatened, then their opinions will change as well, and support for a Greek departure from the Eurozone will increase dramatically. Already, according to the Eurobarometer survey, which is far from the most objective measure, 35% of the Greek people are in favor of returning to a domestic currency. My prediction is that even the Eurobarometer survey will show, within six months, a majority in favor of a departure from the Euro.
Michael Nevradakis: Beyond Greece, how would you describe the economic situation right now in other EU countries? For instance, you described, in a recent interview, the poor economic situation in France at the present time…
Dimitris Kazakis: Yes. Right now there is a great interest from the markets to buy bonds from countries like Ireland and Portugal, but the economies of these countries are collapsing. To illustrate, Ireland’s level of investment is only 9% of GDP. Countries with a level of investment that low include Guinea-Bissau, Yemen, and Somalia; countries which are beset by strife and civil war. How is it possible for such an economy to suddenly attract the interest of investors for its bonds? The answer lies in a recent statement made by Mario Draghi that the EU will do everything possible for the Euro to not sustain any blows. Translated, this means that the foreign investor will buy bonds from countries like Ireland and Portugal because they know that the European Union will do everything possible to reimburse them even in the event of a collapse of a Eurozone member-state such as Spain, France, Portugal, and so on. There is a major problem in France right now, an unprecedented situation. There are over 1.8 million people in Paris alone who are eating at soup kitchens. Unemployment is on the increase, investment is dropping, incomes are falling, and we are talking about a society that does not have the type of safety net, with families living together and such, that exists in Greece. Similar problems are being seen throughout the Eurozone. Recently, the quarterly report of the European Commission was circulated, which stated that if drastic measures are not taken quickly, the living standards of European citizens will decline to the standard of living in the United States during the 1960s. Of course, the manner in which this warning was written is to scare and blackmail governments and voters into accepting German-imposed policies that will supposedly “bail them out.” The economic figures show that living standards have already declined to those of the 1960s, and are quickly on their way to reaching the living standards of the 1920s, and the more that these economic policies are pursued and enforced, the more that they try to force through European economic integration, the more rapid the decline in living standards will be. The Eurozone has the highest unemployment rate in the world, higher still than the rest of the European Union. The social welfare state, which was the biggest achievement of the European peoples, has collapsed, and the few remaining freedoms and rights which still exist are now under attack by Jose Manuel Barroso and the others. Barroso said that he wants to implement a European Union of law and order, in statements made this past September. We see this “law and order” in Athens, and we see it in Spain, where a law was passed which foresees huge fines for anyone who protests in the streets without police approval. For instance, anyone who protests outside of the Spanish parliament without a permit from the police will face a fine of 600.000 Euros! We are talking about a pan-European police state at this time, and this is being done solely because the EU leaders and bureaucrats are terrified of social unrest against their policies.
Michael Nevradakis:We are on the air with the economist and general secretary of EPAM, Greece’s United Popular Front, here on Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series. Mr. Kazakis, recently, EPAM organized the first international conference for national currency, debt, and democracy. Tell us about the conference proceedings and about the proposal which emerged from the crisis for the establishment of a pan-European movement for the return to a national currency and the write-off of national debt.
Dimitris Kazakis: At this conference, which was the first of its kind held in Greece, over 34 representations participated from 10 countries, from Britain all the way to Finland. The atmosphere at the conference was excellent, and it was excellent because we discovered that we all speak the same language with regards to these issues, despite the fact that everyone was involved with the specific situation back in their home countries. It was evident that it would be much easier for all of us to collaborate and to work together than we originally thought, and certainly in a much more simple and civilized manner than what we have been sold from European Union bureaucrats about the so-called “United Europe.” We proved what a truly united Europe could be based upon: that a united Europe cannot exist with enslaved peoples, but only with free and independent nations, sovereign nations, where all nations respect each other and treat each other as equals, whether they are large or small. These are our basic values, and at the conference, we discovered together that we had the same goals in mind: national independence, popular sovereignty, and freedom for all peoples. These three principles stand in contrast to what the present-day European Union stands for, with the Eurozone, the common currency, the policies that they have been enforcing, the destruction of the European people. We decided to establish a network of dynamic movements and personalities from across Europe and the world, as we don’t want to remain trapped in the logic of EU bureaucrats. We want this to be a truly international movement, not just a European movement, as we believe that all peoples, all nations have the right to equal relationships with every other nation. There are no first-class or second-class nations in our view. We can start in Europe, in countries that are experiencing the problems that we are concerned with, but we wish this to be an international movement. And one of the things that we are trying to do is to help each other. To give an example, at the conference, representatives from three separate movements from Spain discovered here, in Athens, each others’ existence, found that they have the same goals and values, and decided to join forces, instead of there being three separate movements fighting for the same thing. Based on this spirit of collaboration and unity, EPAM decided that if it is to elect any representatives to the European parliament this spring, despite its opposition to the actual existence of this body and all of the European Union institutions, that it will redistribute any funding it receives from the EU to the various movements that are in existence throughout Europe to allow them to have the means to grow and develop. The major problem all such movements face is a lack of resources. For instance, the representatives who came from Spain told us that they travel from city to city on foot, because they do not have the available resources under such dire economic conditions to be able to travel via any other means. We were laughing, because this all seemed very familiar to us, as we do the same thing here in Greece. We, in fact, even proposed to share this experience together, in a sort of modern-day pilgrimage, but of a political and social nature. The French representatives also told us the same thing, and truly, we were very happy to see that there are such movements in existence which are dedicated to the well-being of their nations, and that we have the ability and the interest to develop close ties with each other as well. This is the embryo of tomorrow’s Europe, with free and equal nations which together can make decisions. <<<
Michael Nevradakis:And as you mentioned earlier, the European elections are approaching, as are municipal and local elections in Greece. Will EPAM be participating in both of these elections and will you potentially work together with any other similar movements which exist here in Greece?
Dimitris Kazakis: EPAM already collaborates, on the streets, with various political and social movements, on a number of fronts and issues. For the European elections, the membership of EPAM has decided to participate in the elections on a stand-alone basis, instead of as part of a broader umbrella. This is for three reasons. First, because our collaboration with other parties and movements has not yet reached such a level that would allow us to collaborate fully with a uniform platform. Second, because we wish to be the only party to participate in this year’s European elections based on a platform of national independence, with the Greek flag held high and with our demands for the restoration of our nation’s sovereignty and independence. No other political movement in Greece will be participating with such a message. The third reason is that we are trying to attract candidates to EPAM who are not necessarily from our movement, but to people who share our message and our beliefs.
Michael Nevradakis: And in addition to the local and European elections, it is being rumored that early parliamentary elections might also be declared in Greece. Do you believe that early elections will be held this year, and if so, will EPAM participate and would it consider collaborating with other parties such as Syriza in a potential government coalition?
Dimitris Kazakis: Yes, we will participate. Now, in what way and with which candidates, remains to be seen, as it depends on the conditions under which these elections would be held. I am not convinced though that we will see early elections this year, but that does not mean that the possibility should be ruled out, that snap elections couldn’t be declared even a month from now. I fear though that the current government wants to draw out its life span for as long as possible, for the final agreements to be made. Now, one might say…if the current governing parties suffer heavy losses in the local and European elections, how would they be able to continue governing this country? But, in Greece, we have seen other coups since May of 2010, so this unfortunately would not surprise us. And we did not see any of the opposition parties in parliament do much at all to speak out, for instance, against the complete ban on any protests or gatherings in Athens during the day of the EU presidency ceremony. Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza, simply stated that he would not participate in the ceremony, an announcement which is meaningless and just for the consumption of the media. So it is not unimaginable that the current government will refuse to step down and will remain in power, and there is no political force inside the Greek parliament that will be able to do anything about this. They’ll come out and scream and shout and make accusations, but that’s about it. Of course, the Greek people might have something to say about this and might demand and force elections. Whatever happens though, we will participate, not with the goal of entering parliament or becoming a “better” opposition party than any of the other opposition parties. We will participate with a goal of Greece avoiding its total destruction and putting an end to the hell that it is experiencing today. For this to happen, there needs to be a total, complete, and radical change, as you know. Right now there is a phantom force that is hanging overhead all over Greece. That force is EPAM. Despite the fact that it has a presence everywhere in Greece, that its popularity and influence is growing rapidly, EPAM has been completely shut out of the media in Greece. It has been silenced everywhere, even while so many other completely marginal political parties are often heard. The reason is very simple: we are the only political force that the political system in Greece cannot manipulate or counter. It cannot play games with us. What we are trying to do is to break this silence, not because we want to be seen on television, but because we believe that the millions of Greek people deserve to have the opportunity to get to know us. This is our biggest challenge. If the Greek people knew us, then they would be able to make an informed choice. And we honestly believe that if given such a choice, we as EPAM would win. So they silence us totally, so that the public cannot easily find out about us. At the same time, the public is being bombarded with rigged polls which present a false dichotomy with only two choices. This creates a climate where you will either vote for the major right-wing party because you despise the left, or you will vote for the major supposedly left-wing party because you are not a right-winger. In such a context, the issues are not being discussed, ideas to get Greece out of the crisis are not being discussed, and the Greek people are not being unified. We would like to enter parliament if for no other reason than for us to have the opportunity to be heard by the people and for them to recognize that we are a legitimate political force. If this happens, the first major change in the mentality of the people will already have been accomplished. The people will have learned that there is an alternative, one that is currently being suppressed. From that point forward, we would not be the ones that would prevent, say, Alexis Tsipras of Syriza from governing. That is not for us to say, and we don’t care who is governing the country, but rather, what they will do for the country. If Alexis Tsipras can do the job, then we will gladly support him, even if we don’t believe that he will be able to do the job. We, however, will not participate in any governing coalition unless it fulfils our major positions: the unilateral write-off of the Greek debt, an exit from the Eurozone and the introduction of a domestic currency on the basis of careful planning and consideration, the filing of criminal charges against all those who brought Greece to its present-day situation and all those who stripped the country of its sovereignty and of popular rule, in violation of the Greek law and the Greek constitution. Fourth, to eliminate all obligations and agreements with the EU and the troika passed since May of 2010, including 420 new laws, 27 ministerial decrees, an entire orgy of illegality and illegitimacy. Finally, the establishment of a national committee to form a new national constitution, to allow the country to turn the page and to put an end, once and for all, to this political era. Without these commitments, EPAM will not participate in any governing coalition, as we know very well that these are the minimum preconditions for there to be true change in our country. We would not be averse to provide support, outside of the government, to a governing coalition which can, at the very least and at the bare minimum, provide some basic guarantees that will allow Greece and its people to experience even a small amount of breathing room. We made these proposals to Alexis Tsipras on the 8th of May 2012, when he called for a national dialogue, which of course never actually took place. We submitted our proposals though, and told Tsipras that though we don’t agree on the major issues, we are willing to give you a chance to prove that you can, in fact, accomplish all that you say that you can accomplish, within the Eurozone and within the European Union, even if we do not believe that what you are proposing can in fact be achieved. We stated that we are willing to provide some support, outside of a governing coalition, if you can at least do the following: first, restore Greece’s electoral system to a system of simple proportionality. Second, by eliminating the 100.000 Euro fee to participate in any election, a fee which is small change for the major parties but which is often prohibitive for smaller political movements like ours, for a true popular movement. And imagine there are three elections held in one year…300.000 Euros! Where can we find such money and to find candidates, particularly young candidates, most of whom are unemployed at the present time? This is a basic question of democracy and allowing people to express themselves democratically. Third, we want what is happening right now with Greece’s banks to be ended immediately, these ongoing scandals, their recapitalization and so on. Why should the Greek people pay to bail out the banks and these bankers, or pay for their yachts, their homes, or whatever else? Fourth, we want there to be an investigation to reveal all of the secret agreements that previous governments have signed, which have stripped Greece of its sovereignty. If any government can at least provide these guarantees to us, we would be willing to provide support for them outside of any governing coalition. We would provide such support knowing that such a government cannot accomplish all of this within the Euro. But we will not be the ones to decide this, it is for the people to decide. And we will be there when such a government fails, in order to not allow for any dark forces to take advantage of the situation and to bring the country back to where it is today, or worse, but to instead work to allow political movements that know how to overcome this situation once and for all to take hold.
Michael Nevradakis: Whatever happens, it is certain that 2014 will be a landmark year and that we will see a lot of changes, politically, economically, and socially, by year’s end. Mr. Kazakis, thank you very much for joining us today on Dialogos Radio, and thank you very much for sharing your insights and analysis with us.
Dimitris Kazakis: Thank you for having me.
Posted by epaminternational on 03/02/2014
Date: 08 October 2012
Luxembourg – The inaugural meeting of the Board of Governors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), comprising the euro area Finance Ministers, was held in Luxembourg on 8 October 2012. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Eurogroup and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the ESM, said: “I am delighted to announce that the ESM has been formally inaugurated today.
Deutsche Sprache / Subtitles in english / sottotitoli italiani / ελληνικοί υπότιτλοι
Auch für diejenige, die bescheid wissen um was ESM wirklich geht, gibt es sehr interessante Geständnisse nach Minute 09:57 !
Even for those who know well what EMS is, there are some very interesting confessions after minute 09:57 !
Anche per chi sa bene che cos’ è MES, ci sono alcune confessioni molto interessanti dopo 09:57 !
Ακόμα και γι αυτούς που ξέρουν καλά τι είναι ο ΕΜΣ, υπάρχουν κάποιες πολύ ενδιαφέρουσες ομολογίες μετά το λεπτό 09:57!
Posted in S.C.G. January 6, 2014
It has always been in the interest of the ruling class to cultivate illusions which obscure the true nature of the game. Time to look behind the curtain.
“Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” - President Woodrow Wilson in his book the “The New Freedom” published in 1913
The quest for power is the primary driving force of history, always has been, always will be. Those who fail to recognize this principle are not spared in the grand chess game, but rather are moved and manipulated by forces that they do not understand.
From the perspective of those who dominate the board it is obviously preferable to have a population of ignorant pawns than it is to have an array of opponents which are capable of mounting an effective resistance. To that end it has always been in the interest of the ruling class to cultivate illusions which obscure the true nature of the game.
Elizabeth Sikorovsky: “Manufacturing Consent, What is that is that title meant to describe?”
Noam Chomsky: “Well the title is actually borrowed from a book by Walter Lippmann written back around 1921, in which he described what he called the manufacture of consent as a revolution in the practice of democracy. What it amounts to is a technique of control, and he said this was useful and necessary because the common interests, the general concerns of all people elude the public. The public just isn’t up to dealing with them, and they have to be the domain of what he called a specialized class.”
Walter Lippmann wasn’t speaking theoretically, nor was he commenting on a phenomenon that he had observed from a distance, he was part of that specialized class and he personally influenced the development of this new technique of control.
So what was this new technique that Lippmann was referring to?
The answer to that question takes us back to the beginning of World War I. In 1917 Woodrow Wilson formed the Committee on Public Information, also known as the CPI. It was a propaganda agency and it’s purpose was to build support for the war with the American people. The CPI, run by a man named George Creel was known for its crude tactics, blatant exaggerations and outright lies. However one member of the CPI, Edward Bernays, had a much more subtle approach. Rather than resorting to low brow tactics Bernays studied the mindset of the American people, then based on his observations he created a campaign to promote the idea that America’s purpose in the war was to “make the world safe for democracy”. This meme was wildly successful, so much so that continues to be used even to this day.
Edward Bernays was Sigmund Freud’s nephew, and like his uncle he was avid student of human psychology. Some documentarians such as Adam Curtis in his film “The Century of the Self” have mistakenly assumed that the psychological techniques that Bernays went on to develop were merely the practical application of Freud’s theories. However, though Freud had a significant influence on his nephew, the reality of the matter is that he was not the source of these ideas.
Sigmund Freud, Edward Bernays and Walter Lippmann all subscribed to a school of thought that was first put forth in 1895 by a French social psychologist named Gustave Le Bon. Le Bon wrote several books, the famous of which was entitled “Psychologie des Foules”. It was translated into English as “The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind”.
“The Crowd” was a revolutionary piece of work. In it Le Bon not only presented an in depth description of group psychology and how it differed from individual psychology but he also outlined a very simple set of principles that enable leaders to spark ideological contagion and thereby rise to power.
Hitler, Goebbels, and Mussolini all studied Le Bon’s writings and applied his techniques to the letter. The results they attained were precisely those that Le Bon claimed that they would have. Funny how they leave that little detail out of most history books don’t you think?
Sigmund Freud’s book “Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego” was in fact a direct critique of the writings of Gustave Le Bon and William McDougall which focused on the relationship between individual psychology and group psychology, and explained how human groups can be controlled for long periods of time through the manipulation of group identity, belief systems and social structures.
Edward Bernays studied Freud, Le Bon, Wilfred Trotter, Walter Lippmann and many others. He then combined their perspectives and synthesized them into an applied science. He named that science public relations.
The success of his “make the world safe for democracy” meme during the war, both at home and abroad, planted the seed of an idea in his mind. Could group psychology tactics be applied during peacetime? After the Committee on Public Information was disbanded he decided to find out, and in 1919 he opened the world’s first pubic relations agency. He referred to his office as The Council on Public Relations.
This was Bernays’ specialty, engineering social trends for clients, and he was very, very good at it. Perception was now a commodity for sale to the highest bidder.
Bernays aided the CIA and United Fruit Company (known today as Chiquita Brands International) in a successful campaign to topple a democratically elected Guatemalan government in 1954, he headed up the public relations campaign to garner support for the fluoridation of municipal water supplies on behalf of the aluminum mining Alcoa Inc, who was looking for a cheap way to dispose of their industrial waste, and he even helped a company convince the American public to eat heavier breakfasts so that they would buy more bacon.
What made Bernays so successful was his skill in applying of 3 psychological tactics:
1. Creating carefully calculated associations with the subconscious fears and desires of individuals.
2. Influencing opinion leaders and perceived authority figures in order to reach those who followed them.
3. Initiating the contagion of behaviors and ideas through social conformity.
Bernays wrote several books promoting these psychological tactics including “Propaganda” and “Crystalizing Public Opinion”. In these books he specifically encouraged governments and corporations to use his methodology to manipulate public perception.
This suggestion did not fall on deaf ears.
His techniques worked so well that they were adopted by virtually every sector that sought to influence the public: media, politics, advertising, even the military. As Walter Lippmann had indicated, it was a revolution.
Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, found Bernays’ approach very useful. Bernays acknowledged this fact in his 1965 autobiography entitled “Biography of an Idea” where he wrote:
“Karl von Wiegand, foreign correspondent of the Hearst newspapers, an old hand at interpreting Europe and just returned from Germany, was telling us about Goebbels and his propaganda plans to consolidate Nazi power. Goebbels had shown Wiegand his propaganda library, the best Wiegand had ever seen. Goebbels, said Wiegand, was using my book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me. … Obviously the attack on the Jews of Germany was no emotional outburst of the Nazis, but a deliberate, planned campaign.” (Biography of an Idea, page 652)
The events that transpired in Nazi Germany stunned the world and they inspired several prominent psychologists to investigate how populations are convinced to commit atrocities. In the process they inadvertently established the science behind Le Bon’s and Bernays’ methods.
In 1951 psychologist Solomon Asch set out to study and measure the effects and causes of social conformity and its ability to alter perception. To do so he ran a series of experiments in which he asked groups of students to participate in what he told them was a “vision test.” In reality, all but one of the participants in each test were were actually actors, each of whom had been prepped to give specific answers at specific times.
The subjects were shown a card with a line on it, followed by another card with 3 lines on it labeled 1, 2, and 3. They were then asked which line in the second card matched the line on the first card in length. The lines were made in such a way that correct answer was obvious.
Each member of the group was asked to give their response one at a time, and the “real” participant always answered last or next to last. For the first two trials the actors gave the obvious, correct answer, however beginning on the third trial, they would all give the same wrong answer. The goal was to ascertain how many people would conform to the perception of those around them when the group’s position contradicted their own senses.
The results surprised Asch. He had believed that the majority of participants would not conform and give an answer that was obviously wrong; however, results showed that 37% of people would conform to the crowd consistently and 75% conformed at least some of the time.
Asch was uncertain as to whether this conformity was limited to social compliance or whether it was actually influencing perception at the neurological level.
In 2005 neuroscientist Gregory Berns sought to answer this question. Berns created a variation of Asch’s experiment, this time measuring brain wave activity during the test to determine at what level of the brain this conformity was taking place. The results showed very clearly that the Occipital and Parietal lobes were the most active when the participants were answering incorrectly. This meant that conformity was actually altering the perception of the test subjects at the neurological level.
Take a moment and register what that means. Social conformity literally causes the brain to rewrite our reality. Keep in mind these tests were conducted using subject matter that was physically verifiable. Imagine the implications for matters of opinion or faith.
In 1961 Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, conducted a series of experiments which measured the willingness of individuals to obey authority figures.
In the experiment test subjects were placed in a scenario where they were led to believe that when they flipped a switch an electric shock was being delivered to a person in the adjacent room. They were then ordered by a man in a white jacket claiming to be the official scientist in charge to ask the person in the next room a series of questions. If they received an incorrect response they were to punish them by flipping the switch thereby administering a shock.
As the test progressed the voltage level was steadily increased and the screams from the next room became more and more desperate, begging to stop the test and stating multiple times that they had a heart condition.
Many of the subjects expressed hesitation about continuing with the experiment upon hearing the person in other room scream and beg for help. Those that did were informed by the scientist that they had no choice but to continue. No consequences were threatened, yet just this assertion was usually enough to achieve compliance.
Under the influence of an apparent authority figure 50 to 65% of subjects continued administering the shocks even up to the maximum 450 volt shock. They even continued after the person in the other room stopped screaming which indicated that they were unconscious or dead.
The Milgram authority experiment has been repeated numerous times over the years, using individuals from a wide range of economic and social backgrounds and the conclusions are always consistent. The aura of authority exercises an almost irresistible force over the human mind, easily overriding core morals and ethics. Even more shocking is the fact that no legitimate authority is necessary. Appearances suffice.
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” - Edward Bernays – “Propaganda” 1928
The invisible government that Walter Lippmann, Edward Bernays, and Woodrow Wilson had referred to was not just an abstract concept. It was a very real and concrete reality, and they were were well positioned to comment on it, because they directly participated in its creation.
It all started as an inquiry. “The Inquiry.” to the select few who knew, was a group of 150 men assembled by Woodrow Wilson to gather the data they thought necessary to “make the world safe for democracy” after World War I was over.
Among the known members of the inquiry were Walter Lippmann, Paul Warburg (better known as the father of the Federal Reserve), and Edward House, Wilson’s closest advisor, the man responsible for convincing Wilson to sign the Federal Reserve Act in 1913.
From 1917 to 1918, the group compiled over 2000 documents to be used during postwar negotiations. The most famous of these was the 14 points document, authored by Walter Lippmann, which proposed the creation of the League of Nations, the predecessor to the United Nations.
After the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 a portion of the Inquiry met at the Hotel Majestic with a number of British diplomats to discuss forming a permanent institution. This meeting eventually led to the decision to join forces with a group of high-ranking officers of banking, manufacturing, trading and finance companies led by Elihu Root, a powerful corporate lawyer who was also a former United States Secretary of War, and leading advocate of Americas entry into the World War I. On July 29, 1921 the merged group filed a certification of incorporation, officially forming the Council on Foreign Relations, also known as the CFR.
The CFR, went on to build a membership comprised of the worlds most powerful business leaders, politicians and corporations. Among the corporate members are Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Chevron, Exxon, Shell, BP Oil, General Electric, Raytheon, Lockhead Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Bloomberg, Rothschild North America, and Dyncorp international. You can find a complete list on the CFR website.
John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State under president Eisenhower, is listed as one of the founding members of the CFR on their own website. It was Dulles that convinced Eisenhower to use the CIA to topple the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953. The Shah, a puppet who was installed to take his place, was a brutal dictator. He enjoyed full support from the U.S. government until he was overthrown in the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
Dulles was also the man behind the 1954 CIA coup in Guatemala. And remember Bernays ran the propaganda for that operation. The tactic Bernays chose was to convince the public that the Guatemalan government was backed by the Soviets.
Bernays’ tactic worked even though the Soviet Union didn’t even have diplomatic relations with Guatemala at that time.
Once again Bernays set a trend, and for the next 40 years the U.S. government would use the specter of communism to justify invasions and covert operations around the globe.
Another member of the CFR McGeorge Bundy was National Security advisor under Kennedy and then under Lyndon B. Johnson. He was also the man responsible for encouraging the escalation of the Vietnam War. A prospect that Kennedy opposed and would not have allowed had he lived. This is according to documents written by Bundy himself.
President Nixon’s National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger is also a member of the council. Kissinger was the man behind the CIA coup which overthrew the democratically elected president of Chile Salvador Allende. The puppet they installed in Allende’s place, Augusto Pinochet, was another brutal dictator who tortured and killed thousands of his own citizens. The U.S. government politely looked the other way.
Carter’s National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski is also a member of the council.
It was Zbigniew Brzezinski who was behind the funding and arming of mujahideen in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A tactic designed to incite the Soviets to invade. These islamic militants later came to be known as the Taliban.
In this clip Hillary claims that the U.S. funded what they now call Al Quaeda in response to the Soviet invasion of 1979. However Zbigniew Brzezinski himself admitted in a 1998 interview with the Le Nouvel Observateur that the U.S. began funding the insurgents before the invasion and that this in fact was designed to draw the Soviets in.
Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisors Richard V. Allen and Robert C. McFarlane are also members of the council as was his Secretary of State George Shultz. George Shultz was behind the attempted overthrow of the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. This was part of the Iran Contra scandal. The Contras which Reagan and Shultz were arming and training through the CIA, killed, tortured, raped, mutilated, and abducted hundreds of civilians they suspect of sympathizing with the Sandinistas. Yet when the scandal broke the media put all of the focus on the source of the funding for the operation rather than on the crimes that were being committed with that money.
George H. W. Bush was a director of the CFR from 1977-79 and his Secretary of State James Baker is a current member.
You might remember this clip from 2012 where Baker and Clinton Joked about the plan to take out Iran.
Kinda sounds like an inside joke doesn’t it?
One year after this interview the Obama administration attempted to initiate an attack on the Syrian government. This was designed to draw in Iran which has a mutual defense agreement with Syria. Obama took an indirect route by funding and arming militants, who then committed atrocities and blamed them on government forces. Sound familiar? Perhaps that’s because Zbigniew Brezinski was Obama’s personal mentor.
Bill Clinton is also a member of the Council, and his Secretary of State, Madeline Albright is currently serving on the Board of Directors.
Madeline Albright was in charge of the sanctions on Iraq that were in place during the entire Clinton administration.
Colin Powell, who led the charge to war with Iraq by presenting false evidence to the U.N. in 2003 is also currently on the CFR board of directors.
George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and his Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are also members of the CFR.
Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, was the man behind the banker bailouts in 2008. Goldman Sachs, which just happens to be a corporate member of the CFR was one of the primary beneficiaries of that bailout.
Another CFR member Robert Gates, was Secretary of Defense under both Bush and Obama.
Obama’s first National Security Advisor James L. Jones is a CFR member, as is Obama’s second National Security advisor Tom Donilon, his 3rd National Security advisor Susan Rice, his second Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, his first Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as was his first Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. John Kerry, Obama’s second Secretary of State, acknowledged that he was a member of the CFR in a speech given at the Council in 2003 but he is no longer listed in the official roster.
In the Senate Diane Feinstein is listed as a member, as is John Mccain, Joe Lieberman and former Senator Christopher Dodd. Christopher Dodd is currently the president of the Motion Picture Association of America in that role he was the driving force behind the SOPA and PIPA internet bills.
Three out of six of the current board members of the Federal Reserve, Daniel Tarullo, Jerome Powell, and Janet Yellen are all publicly listed as members of the Council.
This cozy relationship between the Federal Reserve and the CFR goes back to the very beginning. Paul Warburg was a founder of both organizations and he held positions in both of them concurrently. He was a director of the Council from its creation in 1921 until his death in 1932 and he served on the Federal Reserve board From 1921 to 1926.
His son James Warburg, who was also a CFR member, is most famous for the statement he made before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on February 17, 1950 in which he said, “We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The question is only whether world government will be achieved by consent or by conquest.”
Caroll Quigley was an author and professor of history at Georgetown University. He was also a personal mentor of President Bill Clinton.
Quigley served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy, the Smithsonian Institution, and the House Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration. He was not a fringe lunatic by any stretch of the imagination, but was in fact a respected member of the establishment. That’s what makes the statements he made in his book “Tragedy and Hope” so significant.
“Tragedy and Hope” was a dense and highly detailed historical volume which covered world history from 1914, with an emphasis on analyzing of the driving forces of civilization. The book was completely uncontroversial, that is until you get to the middle where he makes the following statement:
“There does exist and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates to some extent in the way the Radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.”
Quigley specifically identified the CFR and the Institute of International Affairs as key hubs in this Round Table network and he confirmed its close relationship to banking and finance.
The Institute of International Affairs, also known as the Chatham house is the sister organization of the CFR. It was created in 1920 by the British diplomats who attended the meeting at the Hotel Majestic in Paris in 1919. There are chapters of the Institute of International Affairs in Australia, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Finland, Hungary, Sweden, New Zealand, South Africa, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, Japan and in other countries as well.
The secret to the power the Council on Foreign Relations and the other round table groups wield lies in a clever application of the techniques that Bernays developed.
They target individual psychology by cultivating a sense of exclusivity and prestige which plays upon people’s desire to feel important and powerful. This is how they attract new members.
Like Bernays they manipulate the public indirectly by targeting opinion leaders and authority figures. By influencing their membership, which is comprised of men and women in the highest levels of government, business and finance they hijack the phenomenon observed in the Milgram Authority experiments while bypassing the electoral process. Most of the meetings held at the CFR are run under Chatham house rules meaning that the ideas discussed there may be used and spread by those present but no one is allowed to mention where those ideas came from.
These closed door discussions and their exclusive membership process work together to engineer the phenomenon demonstrated in the Asch conformity experiments. New members must be nominated by an existing member, seconded by three members and approved by board of directors. This process ensures that ideological continuity is maintained as social conformity brings new members into line with the group.
It’s important to remember that wealth, social status and official positions of power do not reduce the effects of group psychology.
To put it in simple terms the politicians aren’t calling the shots. They’re puppets. Voting the bums out doesn’t work, and now you know why.
Even if we remove every single corrupt oligarch from the councils of government we will end up right back in the same situation unless we deal with the psychological underpinnings of our enslavement.
But how do we do that? How do we reach the group mind and shake the crowd from its slumber?
Group psychology is a weapon and like all weapons it is capable of being used for good or for evil. For many years it has been in the wrong hands. It has been hidden from the public and used against them. It’s time for the people to pick up that weapon and use it to free themselves.
Time to start studying.
Read Gustave Le Bon’s books: “The Crowd” and “The Psychology of Revolution”.
Read Edward Bernays’ books: “Propaganda” and “Crystalizing Public Opinion”.
And read Gene Sharp’s books: “From Dictatorship to Democracy” and “National Security Through Civilian-Based Defense”
Learn the theory. Learn the techniques and start using them to spread the truth rather than hiding it. Start using them to prevent wars rather than start them. Start using them to stop the militarization of the police and to end the surveillance state. Use them to bring this corporate mafia to its knees.
To some of you this might be a bit frightening. This is dangerous stuff. These are ideological m-16s with boxes of ammunition.
If even a few motivated individuals started using these techniques effectively it could seriously disrupt the balance of power.
But that’s exactly what’s needed.
I challenge you to look around. Look at the state of the world. Look at where these psychopaths are taking us. If you do not feel the imperative to change the course we are on, then you are not paying attention.
To be continued (Parts 2 and 3 are already under way).
If you want to shift the balance of power back into the hands of the people, a simple starting point is to spread this video. Make a commitment to get this film into the hands of as many people as you can. Share it through social media, post it on your website, and send it to your friends via email. You have permission to download this video and distribute it through any means necessary.
The Crowd by Gustave Le Bon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1483926141/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp…
Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War by Wilfred Trotter: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QOA9G6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp…
Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego by Sigmund Freud: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1482042703/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp…
Propaganda by Edward Bernays: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0970312598/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp…
Crystalizing Public Opinion by Edward Bernays: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193543926X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp…
Tragedy and Hope by Carol Quigley: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/094500110X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp…
The creation of the CFR:http://www.cfr.org/about/history/cfr/inquiry.html
Janet Yellen (Chair of the Federal Reserve) is CFR: http://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/bios/board/yellen.htm
Jerome H. Powell former partner in the Carlyle Group and current member of the CFR: http://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/bios/board/powell.htm
National Security Advisor Jones admits who he really takes his orders from:http://www.cfr.org/defensehomeland-security/remarks-national-security-ad…
Brezinski admits that the CIA started funding the Mujahiddin in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet invasion to draw them into the region: http://dgibbs.faculty.arizona.edu/brzezinski_interview
John Kerry admits to being a member of the CFR back in 2003 (he is currently not listed on the official roster): http://www.cfr.org/iraq/making-america-secure-again-setting-right-course…
The real story behind the Iraq sanctions:http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2000/mar/04/weekend7.weekend9
John Foster Dulles founding member of the CFR:http://www.cfr.org/about/history/cfr/assumptions.html
McGeorge Bundy’s role in pushing for the Vietnam war, and his admission that he would not have been able to get the war if Kennedy had lived:http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/64713/lawrence-d-freedman/lessons…
George Shultz and the attempt to topple the democratically elected Sandinista government in Nicaragua by backing the “Contras”: http://www.nytimes.com/1983/10/20/world/shultz-and-president-defend-aid-…
Those same Contras were responsible for horrific atrocities against civilians: http://articles.latimes.com/1985-03-08/news/mn-32283_1_contras
More regarding the attrocities in Nicaragua: http://books.google.com/books?id=MGgWWT9fWYQC&pg=PA32&dq=For+its+critica…
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh Says Obama Lied About The Syrian Chemical Weapons Attacks
Posted in S.C.G. December 10, 2013
Seymour Hersh the investigative journalist who exposed the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, and the US military’s brutal torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison has now come forward stating that Obama lied about the Syrian Chemical Weapons attacks one August 21st, 2013.
Hersh’s article entitled “Who’s Sarin?” which he released on December 8th, accuses Obama of cherry picking intelligence, and hiding the fact that the U.S. intelligence community knew full and well that the rebels possessed sarin gas and should have been considered suspects in the attack.
In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.
Hersh went on to say that many military and intelligence officers had expressed their frustration regarding the way the information was distorted by the administration.
One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration’s assurances of Assad’s responsibility a ‘ruse’. The attack ‘was not the result of the current regime’, he wrote. A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack was happening. The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam. The same official said there was immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: ‘The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, “How can we help this guy” – Obama – “when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?”’
He also confirmed the fact that the rockets used in the attack were homemade and were not the type used by the Syrian government at all.
“Theodore Postol, a professor of technology and national security at MIT, reviewed the UN photos with a group of his colleagues and concluded that the large calibre rocket was an improvised munition that was very likely manufactured locally. He told me that it was ‘something you could produce in a modestly capable machine shop’. The rocket in the photos, he added, fails to match the specifications of a similar but smaller rocket known to be in the Syrian arsenal.”
Of course none of this information would come as a surprise to anyone who watched the video we produced right after the attack (The Syrian War: What You’re Not Being Told):
Also note we predicted the attack on Syria a year before it happened:
Description of the crude rockets witnesses saw used in the chemical attack match remains found after other attacks: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/23/us-syria-chemicals-idUSBRE97M0…
According to the U.N. investigation the March 19th chemical weapons attack turned out to be committed by the rebels: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22424188
Russia agrees that the U.S. backed rebels were behind the attack: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/09/us-syria-crisis-chemical-russi…
by James Petras
Introduction: In ancient Rome, especially during the late Republic, oligarchs resorted to mob violence to block, intimidate, assassinate or drive from power the dominant faction in the Senate.
While neither the ruling or opposing factions represented the interests of the plebeians, wage workers, small farmers or slaves, the use of the ‘mob’ against the elected Senate, the principle of representative government and the republican form of government laid the groundwork for the rise of authoritarian “Caesars” (military rulers) and the transformation of the Roman republic into an imperial state.
Demagogues, in the pay of aspiring emperors, aroused the passions of a motley array of disaffected slum dwellers, loafers and petty thieves (ladrones) with promises, pay-offs and positions in a New Order. Professional mob organizers cultivated their ties with the oligarchs ‘above’ and with professional demonstrators ‘below’. They voiced ‘popular grievances’ and articulated demands questioning the legitimacy of the incumbent rulers, while laying the groundwork for the rule by the few. Usually, when the pay-master oligarchs came to power on a wave of demagogue-led mob violence, they quickly suppressed the demonstrations, paid off the demagogues with patronage jobs in the new regime or resorted to a discrete assassination for ‘street leaders’ unwilling to recognize the new order’. The new rulers purged the old Senators into exile, expulsion and dispossession, rigged new elections and proclaimed themselves ‘saviors of the republic’. They proceeded to drive peasants from their land, renounce social obligations and stop food subsidies for poor urban families and funds for public works.
The use of mob violence and “mass revolts” to serve the interests of oligarchical and imperial powers against democratically-elected governments has been a common strategy in recent times.
Throughout the ages, the choreographed “mass revolt” played many roles: (1) It served to destabilize an electoral regime; (2) it provided a platform for its oligarch funders to depose an incumbent regime; (3) it disguised the fact that the oligarchic opposition had lost democratic elections; (4) it provided a political minority with a ‘fig-leaf of legitimacy’ when it was otherwise incapable of acting within a constitutional framework and (5) it allowed for the illegitimate seizure of power in the name of a pseudo ‘majority’, namely the “crowds in the central plaza”.
Some leftist commentators have argued two contradictory positions: One the one hand, some simply reduce the oligarchy’s power grab to an ‘inter-elite struggle’ which has nothing to do with the ‘interests of the working class’, while others maintain the ‘masses’ in the street are protesting against an “elitist regime”. A few even argue that with popular, democratic demands, these revolts are progressive, should be supported as “terrain for class struggle”. In other words, the ‘left’ should join the uprising and contest the oligarchs for leadership within the stage-managed revolts!
What progressives are unwilling to recognize is that the oligarchs orchestrating the mass revolt are authoritarians who completely reject democratic procedures and electoral processes. Their aim is to establish a ‘junta’, which will eliminate all democratic political and social institutions and freedoms and impose harsher, more repressive and regressive policies and institutions than those they replace. Some leftists support the ‘masses in revolt’ simply because of their ‘militancy’, their numbers and street courage, without examining the underlying leaders, their interests and links to the elite beneficiaries of a ‘regime change’.
All the color-coded “mass revolts” in Eastern Europe and the ex-USSR featured popular leaders who exhorted the masses in the name of ‘independence and democracy’ but were pro-NATO, pro-(Western) imperialists and linked to neo-liberal elites. Upon the fall of communism, the new oligarchs privatized and sold off the most lucrative sectors of the economy throwing millions out of work, dismantled the welfare state and handed over their military bases to NATO for the stationing of foreign troops and the placement of missiles aimed at Russia.
The entire ‘anti-Stalinist’ left in the US and Western Europe, with a few notable exceptions, celebrated these oligarch-controlled revolts in Eastern Europe and some even participated as minor accomplices in the post-revolt neo-liberal regimes. One clear reason for the demise of “Western Marxism” arose from its inability to distinguish a genuine popular democratic revolt from a mass uprising funded and stage-managed by rival oligarchs!
One of the clearest recent example of a manipulated ‘people’s power’ revolution in the streets to replace an elected representative of one sector of the elite with an even more brutal, authoritarian ‘president’ occurred in early 2001 in the Philippines. The more popular and independent (but notoriously corrupt) President Joseph Estrada, who had challenged sectors of the Philippine elite and current US foreign policy (infuriating Washington by embracing Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez), was replaced through street demonstrations of middle-class matrons with soldiers in civvies by Gloria Makapagal-Arroyo. Mrs. Makapagal-Arroyo, who had close links to the US and the Philippine military, unleashed a horrific wave of brutality dubbed the ‘death-squad democracy’. The overthrow of Estrada was actively supported by the left, including sectors of the revolutionary left, who quickly found themselves the target of an unprecedented campaign of assassinations, disappearances, torture and imprisonment by their newly empowered ‘Madame President’.
Past and Present Mass Revolts Against Democracy: Guatemala, Iran and Chile
The use of mobs and mass uprisings by oligarchs and empire builders has a long and notorious history. Three of the bloodiest cases, which scarred their societies for decades, took place in Guatemala in 1954, Iran in 1953 and Chile in 1973.
Democratically-elected Jacobo Árbenz was the first Guatemalan President to initiate agrarian reform and legalize trade unions, especially among landless farm workers. Árbenz’s reforms included the expropriation of unused, fallow land owned by the United Fruit Company, a giant US agro-business conglomerate. The CIA used its ties to local oligarchs and right-wing generals and colonels to instigate and finance mass-protests against a phony ‘communist-takeover’ of Guatemala under President Arbenz. The military used the manipulated mob violence and the ‘threat’ of Guatemala becoming a “Soviet satellite”, to stage a bloody coup. The coup leaders received air support from the CIA and slaughtered thousands of Arbenz supporters and turned the countryside into ‘killing fields’. For the next 50 years political parties, trade unions and peasant organizations were banned, an estimated 200,000 Guatemalans were murdered and millions were displaced.
In 1952 Mohammed Mossadegh was elected president of Iran on a moderate nationalist platform, after the overthrow of the brutal monarch. Mossadegh announced the nationalization of the petroleum industry. The CIA, with the collaboration of the local oligarchs, monarchists and demagogues organized ‘anti-communist’ street mobs to stage violent demonstrations providing the pretext for a monarchist- military coup. The CIA-control Iranian generals brought ‘Shah Reza Pahlavi back from Switzerland and for the next 26 years Iran was a monarchist-military dictatorship, whose population was terrorized by the Savak, the murderous secret police.
The US oil companies received the richest oil concessions; the Shah joined Israel and the US in an unholy alliance against progressive nationalist dissidents and worked hand-in-hand to undermine independent Arab states. Tens of thousands of Iranians were killed, tortured and driven into exile. In 1979, a mass popular uprising led by Islamic movements, nationalist and socialist parties and trade unions drove out the Shah-Savak dictatorship. The Islamists installed a radical nationalist clerical regime, which retains power to this day despite decades of a US-CIA-funded destabilization campaign which has funded both terrorist groups and dissident liberal movements.
Chile is the best-known case of CIA-financed mob violence leading to a military coup. In 1970, the democratic socialist Dr. Salvador Allende was elected president of Chile. Despite CIA efforts to buy votes to block Congressional approval of the electoral results and its manipulation of violent demonstrations and an assassination campaign to precipitate a military coup, Allende took office.
During Allende’s tenure as president the CIA financed a variety of “direct actions” –from paying the corrupt leaders of a copper workers union to stage strikes and the truck owners associations to refuse to transport goods to the cities, to manipulating right-wing terrorist groups like the Patria y Libertad (Fatherland and Liberty) in their assassination campaigns. The CIA’s destabilization program was specifically designed to provoke economic instability through artificial shortages and rationing, in order to incite middle class discontent. This was made notorious by the street demonstrations of pot-banging housewives. The CIA sought to incite a military coup through economic chaos. Thousands of truck owners were paid not to drive their trucks leading to shortages in the cities, while right-wing terrorists blew up power stations plunging neighborhoods into darkness and shop owners who refused to join the ‘strike’ against Allende were vandalized. On September 11, 1973, to the chants of ‘Jakarta’ (in celebration of a 1964 CIA coup in Indonesia), a junta of US-backed Chilean generals grabbed power from an elected government. Tens of thousands of activists and government supporters were arrested, killed, tortured and forced into exile. The dictatorship denationalized and privatized its mining, banking and manufacturing sectors, following the free market dictates of Milton Friedman-trained economists (the so-call “Chicago Boys”). The dictatorship overturned 40 years of welfare, labor and land-reform legislation which had made Chile the most socially advanced country in Latin America. With the generals in power, Chile became the ‘neo-liberal model’ for Latin America. Mob violence and the so-called “middle class revolt”, led to the consolidation of oligarchic and imperial rule and a17 year reign of terror under General Augusto Pinochet dictatorship. The whole society was brutalized and with the return of electoral politics, even former ‘leftist’ parties retained the dictatorship’s neo-liberal economic policies, its authoritarian constitution and the military high command. The ‘revolt of the middle class’ in Chile resulted in the greatest concentration of wealth in the hands of the oligarchs in Latin America to this day!
The Contemporary Use and Abuse of “Mass Revolts”” Egypt, Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand and Argentina
In recent years “mass revolt” has become the instrument of choice when oligarchs, generals and other empire builders seeking ‘regime change’. By enlisting an assortment of nationalist demagogues and imperial-funded NGO ‘leaders’, they set the conditions for the overthrow of democratically elected governments and stage-managed the installment of their own “free market” regimes with dubious “democratic” credentials.
Not all the elected regimes under siege are progressive. Many ‘democracies’, like the Ukraine, are ruled by one set of oligarchs. In Ukraine, the elite supporting President Viktor Yanukovich, decided that entering into a deep client-state relationship with the European Union was not in their interests, and sought to diversify their international trade partners while maintaining lucrative ties with Russia. Their opponents, who are currently behind the street demonstrations in Kiev, advocate a client relationship with the EU, stationing of NATO troops and cutting ties with Russia. In Thailand, the democratically-elected Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, represents a section of the economic elite with ties and support in the rural areas, especially the North-East, as well as deep trade relations with China. The opponents are urban-based, closer to the military-monarchists and favor a straight neo-liberal agenda linked to the US against the rural patronage-populist agenda of Ms. Shinawatra.
Egypt’s democratically-elected Mohamed Morsi government pursued a moderate Islamist policy with some constraints on the military and a loosening of ties with Israel in support of the Palestinians in Gaza. In terms of the IMF, Morsi sought compromise. The Morsi regime was in flux when it was overthrown: not Islamist nor secular, not pro-worker but also not pro-military. Despite all of its different pressure groups and contradictions, the Morsi regime permitted labor strikes, demonstrations, opposition parties, freedom of the press and assembly. All of these democratic freedoms have disappeared after waves of ‘mass street revolts’, choreographed by the military, set the conditions for the generals to take power and establish their brutal dictatorship – jailing and torturing tens of thousands and outlawing all opposition parties.
Mass demonstrations and demagogue-led direct actions also actively target democratically elected progressive governments, like Venezuela and Argentina, in addition to the actions against conservative democracies cited above. Venezuela, under Presidents Hugo Chavez and Vicente Maduro advance an anti-imperialist, pro-socialist program. ‘Mob revolts’ are combined with waves of assassinations, sabotage of public utilities, artificial shortages of essential commodities, vicious media slander and opposition election campaigns funded from the outside. In 2002, Washington teamed up with its collaborator politicians, Miami and Caracas-based oligarchs and local armed gangs ,to mount a “protest movement” as the pretext for a planned business-military coup. The generals and members of the elite seized power and deposed and arrested the democratically-elected President Chavez. All avenues of democratic expression and representation were closed and the constitution annulled. In response to the kidnapping of ‘their president’, over a million Venezuelans spontaneously mobilized and marched upon the Presidential palace to demand the restoration of democracy and Hugo Chavez to the presidency. Backed by the large pro-democracy and pro-constitution sectors of the Venezuelan armed forces, the mass protests led to the coup’s defeat and the return of Chavez and democracy. All democratic governments facing manipulated imperial-oligarchic financed mob revolts should study the example of Venezuela’s defeat of the US-oligarch-generals’ coup. The best defense for democracy is found in the organization, mobilization and political education of the electoral majority. It is not enough to participate in free elections; an educated and politicized majority must also know how to defend their democracy in the streets as well as at the ballot box.
The lessons of the 2002 coup-debacle were very slowly absorbed by the Venezuelan oligarchy and their US patrons who continued to destabilize the economy in an attempt to undermine democracy and seize power. Between December 2002 and February 2003, corrupt senior oil executives of the nominally ‘public’ oil company PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela) organized a ‘bosses’ lockout stopping production, export and local distribution of oil and refined petroleum produces. Corrupt trade union officials, linked to the US National Endowment for Democracy, mobilized oil workers and other employees to support the lock-out, in their attempt to paralyze the economy. The government responded by mobilizing the other half of the oil workers who, together with a significant minority of middle management, engineers and technologists, called on the entire Venezuelan working class to take the oil fields and installations from the ‘bosses’. To counter the acute shortage of gasoline, President Chavez secured supplies from neighboring countries and overseas allies. The lockout was defeated. Several thousand supporters of the executive power grab were fired and replaced by pro-democracy managers and workers.
Having failed to overthrow the democratic government via “mass revolts”, the oligarchs turned toward a plebiscite on Chavez rule and later called for a nation-wide electoral boycott, both of which were defeated. These defeats served to strengthen Venezuela’s democratic institutions and decreased the presence of opposition legislators in the Congress. The repeated failures of the elite to grab power led to a new multi-pronged strategy using: (1) US-funded NGO’s to exploit local grievances and mobilize residents around community issues; (2) clandestine thugs to sabotage utilities, especially power, assassinate peasant recipients of land reform titles, as well as prominent officials and activists; (3) mass electoral campaign marches and (4) economic destabilization via financial speculation, illegal foreign exchange trading , price gouging and hoarding of basic consumer commodities. The purpose of these measures is to incite mass discontent, using their control of the mass media to provoke another ‘mass revolt’ to set the stage for another US-backed ‘power grab’. Violent street protests by middle class students from the elite Central University were organized by oligarch-financed demagogues. ‘Demonstrations’ included sectors of the middle class and urban poor angered by the artificial shortages and power outages. The sources of popular discontent were rapidly and effectively addressed at the top by energetic government measures: Business owners engaged in hoarding and price gouging were jailed; prices of essential staples were reduced; hoarded goods were seized from warehouses and distributed to the poor; the import of essential goods were increased and saboteurs were pursued. The Government’s effective intervention resonated with the mass of the working class, the lower-middle class and the rural and urban poor and restored their support. Government supporters took to the streets and lined up at the ballot box to defeat the campaign of destabilization. The government won a resounding electoral mandate allowing it to move decisively against the oligarchs and their backers in Washington.
The Venezuelan experience shows how energetic government counter-measures can restore support and deepen progressive social changes for the majority. This is because forceful progressive government intervention against anti-democratic oligarchs, combined with the organization, political education and mobilization of the majority of voters can decisively defeat these stage-managed mass revolts.
Argentina is an example of a weakened democratic regime trying to straddle the fence between the oligarchs and the workers, between the combined force of the agro-business and mining elites and working and middle class constituencies dependent on social policies. The elected-Kirchner-Fernandez government has faced “mass revolts” in the a series of street demonstrations whipped up by conservative agricultural exporters over taxes; the Buenos Aires upper-middle class angered at ‘crime, disorder and insecurity’, a nationwide strike by police officials over ‘salaries’ who ‘looked the other way’ while gangs of ‘lumpen’ street thugs pillaged and destroyed stores. Taken altogether, these waves of mob action in Argentina appear to be part of a politically-directed destabilization campaign by the authoritarian Right who have instigated or, at least, exploited these events. Apart from calling on the military to restore order and conceding to the ‘salary’ demands of the striking police, the Fernandez government has been unable or unwilling to mobilize the democratic electorate in defense of democracy. The democratic regime remains in power but it is under siege and vulnerable to attack by domestic and imperial opponents.
Mass revolts are two-edged swords: They can be a positive force when they occur against military dictatorships like Pinochet or Mubarak, against authoritarian absolutist monarchies like Saudi Arabia, a colonial-racist state like Israel, and imperial occupations like against the US in Afghanistan. But they have to be directed and controlled by popular local leaders seeking to restore democratic majority rule.
History, from ancient times to the present, teaches us that not all ‘mass revolts’ achieve, or are even motivated by, democratic objectives. Many have served oligarchs seeking to overthrow democratic governments, totalitarian leaders seeking to install fascist and pro-imperial regimes, demagogues and authoritarians seeking to weaken shaky democratic regimes and militarists seeking to start wars for imperial ambitions.
Today, “mass revolts” against democracy have become standard operational procedure for Western European and US rulers who seek to circumvent democratic procedures and install pro-imperial clients. The practice of democracy is denigrated while the mob is extolled in the imperial Western media. This is why armed Islamist terrorists and mercenaries are called “rebels” in Syria and the mobs in the streets of Kiev (Ukraine) attempting to forcibly depose a democratically-elected government are labeled “pro-Western democrats”.
The ideology informing the “mass revolts” varies from “anti-communist” and “anti-authoritarian” in democratic Venezuela, to “pro-democracy” in Libya (even as tribal bands and mercenaries slaughter whole communities), Egypt and the Ukraine.
Imperial strategists have systematized, codified and made operational “mass revolts” in favor of oligarchic rule. International experts, consultants, demagogues and NGO officials have carved out lucrative careers as they travel to ‘hot spots’ and organize ‘mass revolts’ dragging the target countries into deeper ‘colonization’ via European or US-centered ‘integration’. Most local leaders and demagogues accept the double agenda: ‘protest today and submit to new masters tomorrow’. The masses in the street are fooled and then sacrificed. They believe in a ‘New Dawn’ of Western consumerism, higher paid jobs and greater personal freedom . . . only to be disillusioned when their new rulers fill the jails with opponents and many former protestors, raise prices, cut salaries, privatize state companies, sell off the most lucrative firms to foreigners and double the unemployment rate.
When the oligarchs ‘stage-manage’ mass revolts and takeover the regime, the big losers include the democratic electorate and most of the protestors. Leftists and progressives, in the West or in exile, who had mindlessly supported the ‘mass revolts’ will publish their scholarly essays on ‘the revolution (sic) betrayed” without admitting to their own betrayal of democratic principles.
If and when the Ukraine enters into the European Union, the exuberant street demonstrators will join the millions of jobless workers in Greece, Portugal and Spain, as well as millions of pensioners brutalized by “austerity programs” imposed by their new rulers, the ‘Troika’ in Brussels. If these former demonstrators take to the streets once more, in disillusionment at their leaders’ “betrayal”, they can enjoy their ‘victory’ under the batons of “NATO and European Union-trained police” while the Western mass media will have moved elsewhere in support of ‘democracy’.
*James Petras is a retired Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York and adjunct professor at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who has published prolifically on Latin American and Middle Eastern political issues.
He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in publications such as the New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review and Le Monde Diplomatique. Currently he writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. His commentary is widely carried on the internet and radio stations around the world.
Petras describes himself as a “revolutionary and anti-imperialist” activist and writer.. He was a founding member of the Young Socialist Alliance and early articles by him appeared in the The Young Socialist in 1959 and 1960. He’s listed as the Bay Area correspondent for the paper for several issues. He has a long history of commitment to social justice,