- Color revolutions and Geopolitical ‘takeover of nations’ (Videos, Audio and Books).
- “Color revolutions” – and relevant Institutions and Brands
- Geopolitical ‘nation take-over’ games and Color Revolutions – ‘Must Read’ Documents (Download full Documents)
- “Color Revolution”: The Grassroots Takeover Technique (2009)
International group of academics to propose those on frontline of refugee crisis be commended for their ‘empathy and self-sacrifice’
Greek islanders who have been on the frontline of the refugee crisis are to be nominated for the Nobel peace prize with the support of their national government.
Of the 900,000 refugees who entered Europe last year most were received –scared, soaked and travelling in rickety boats – by those who live on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
The islanders, including fishermen who gave up their work to rescue people from the sea, are in line to be honoured with one of the world’s most esteemed awards. Eminent academics from the universities of Oxford, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell and Copenhagen are drafting a submission in favour of awarding the prize to the people of Lesbos, Kos, Chíos, Samos, Rhodes and Leros.
The nomination deadline is 1 February, but those behind the plan have already met the Greek minister for migration, Yiannis Mouzalas, who they say has offered his government’s full support. A petition on the website of the grassroots campaign group, Avaaz, in favour of the nomination has amassed 280,000 signatures. According to the petition: “On remote Greek islands, grandmothers have sung terrified little babies to sleep, while teachers, pensioners and students have spent months offering food, shelter, clothing and comfort to refugees who have risked their lives to flee war and terror.”
While the official nomination letter is yet to be finalised, it is understood the academics, whose identities will be revealed in the coming days, will implore the Nobel committee members to accept their nomination.
They will say that it must be noted that a people of a country already dealing with its own economic crisis responded to the unfolding tragedy of the refugee crisis with “empathy and self-sacrifice”, opening their homes to the dispossessed, risking their lives to save others and taking care of the sick and injured.
In December, the image of Antonis Deligiorgis, a 34-year-old Greek army sergeant, rescuing an Eritrean refugee from the turbulent waters off Rhodes, was singled out as a striking illustration of the valour of those in the islands.
click on image to watch video from The Guardian
Only individuals or organisations are eligible to win the prize so it is likely that the “solidarity networks” on the islands – groups of volunteers who organised to help the refugees – or individuals within groups will be the official nominees. A precedent was set in 1976 when Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan won the prize for their efforts in seeking peace in Northern Ireland. It was seen as a reward for all those who sought reconciliation during the most troubled years.
The volunteer networks on the Greek islands have provided accommodation, hygiene packs, food, dry clothes and help with the next steps for refugees. However, it is claimed that the instincts of the majority of islanders set the tone across Europe towards the refugees’ plight.
Spyro Limneos, an activist in Greece for Avaaz who distributed aid on the islands, said: “The people involved in the solidarity networks organised and helped the desperate when the governments weren’t even willing to recognise that the there was a crisis.
“By opening their hearts the islanders sent a powerful message that humanity is above races, above nations.
“I will never forget seeing young girls being rescued from a boat on Leros. They were smiling. They didn’t have suitcases or any possessions except their end-of-year school certificates written in Arabic. They laid those down in the sun to dry out. It was a combination of tragedy and hope.”
One of the organisers of the Solidarity Networks, Matina Katsiveli, 61, a retired judge who lives on Leros, welcomed the move but said there was “reward enough in the smiles of the people we help”.
To mark The Nation’s 150th anniversary, John Nichols was joined in conversation by the eminent radical intellectual Noam Chomsky at the Tucson Festival of Books in Arizona on March 15. Discussing issues ranging from media accountability and voter participation, to money in politics and income inequality, Chomsky offered insight into the greatest challenges of our time.
“The race towards disaster is being carried out with almost euphoric intensity,” said Chomsky. Chomsky maintains that meaningful change requires a democratic awakening. “Democracy is a threat to any power system,” he said.
TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=16888
From farm to pharmaceutical, diesel truck to dinner plate, pipeline to plastic product, it is impossible to think of an area of our modern-day lives that is not affected by the oil industry. The story of oil is the story of the modern world. And this is the story of those who helped shape that world, and how the oil-igarchy they created is on the verge of monopolizing life itself.
Noam Chomsky 2015 Videos 2015 Noam chomsky conference 2015 noam chomsky debate 2015 noam chomsky conversation 2015 noam chomsky interview
Noam Chomsky: America (US) is The Biggest Terrorist in the world (2015) https://youtu.be/272vNvH0-jc
Noam Chomsky: “The Emerging New World Order (NWO) : its roots, our legacy” (2015)
Noam Chomsky 2015 on Communism, Revolutionary Violence, the American Left and Zizek (2015)
Noam Chomsky 2015 in new conversation with Jonathan Freedland (2015)
Noam Chomsky: Conference “The Emerging New World Order system (NWO) : its roots, our legacy” (2015)
Noam Chomsky 2015 : USA Terrorism NWO propaganda (2015)
Noam Chomsky, Free Market Fantasies, Capitalism, In The Real World 2015
Noam Chomsky 2015 on Communism, Revolutionary Violence, the American Left and Zizek (2015)
Noam Chomsky 2015 in conversation with Jonathan Freedland (2015)
Noam Chomsky 2015 Israel and Palestine [FULL] (2015)
Development, Thought and Policy Lecture Series: Austerity and Neoliberalism in Greece, sponsored by the Julien J. Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs (http://www.newschool.edu/public-engag…), at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy (http://www.newschool.edu/milano). GPIA Professors Richard Wolff and Barry Herman share their insights, led by chair and moderator Achilles Kallergie, PhD Candidate in the GPIA program.
What austerity is about is shifting the burden of an economic crisis from one part of the population to another. The mass of Greek people did not force Andreas Papandreou to borrow money. The mass of the Greek people didn’t know about or have much to do with fiscal policy at the national level. In fact, governments, bankers, leading industrialists, ship builders, the major players of the Greek economy, got together, as their counterparts did elsewhere, to produce the decisions that then, in the wake of the international collapse of capitalism, became unsustainable, producing a crisis in Greece. Once that had happened, there was only one question left: Who was going to pay the cost of all the debt Greece has run up or all the production decisions made that have left Greece without the capacity to export, with a dependence on imports etc.? And at that point, as has happened in every country – Greece is in no way unique – the wealthy and the business community went to work, with their resources and their business connections, to make sure that they didn’t pay the price.
Afshin Rattansi goes underground with John Pilger. Award winning journalist and author, John Pilger talks to us about how Washington, London and Paris gave birth to ISIS-Daesh. Plus we examine the media’s role in spreading disinformation ahead of a vote in Parliament for UK bombing of Syria.
Another “master mind” behind a terror attack was killed last week by the police and can thereby not give any alternatives to the official story.
Imperialist reflexes and symptoms of severe megalomania are sadly the western leaders reactions to what more and more looks like yet another False Flag in the New Great Game, the imperialist US/EU grab in Eurasia. ISIS and NATO’s Gladio-strategies seem to be very strongly linked together. Why would the West support these groups some might ask? Apparently, ‘American foreign policy demands demons’ and why does it demand that?
James Corbett, gives a set of very important facts and draw his conclusions based on reason and investigation. In particular if compared with the official narrative.
The Corbett Report is an independent, listener-supported alternative news source. It operates on the principle of open source intelligence and provides podcasts, interviews, articles and videos about breaking news and important issues from 9/11 Truth and false flag terror to the Big Brother police state, eugenics, geopolitics, the central banking fraud and more. He started The Corbett Report website in 2007 as an outlet for independent critical analysis of politics, society, history, and economics. _______________________________________________________________
An open source intelligence report
When journalists are not repeaters but true reporters
“The classified DIA report presented in August 2012, stated that “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al- Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” being supported by “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey.” – READ MORE: Iraq Diary, Day 8: Does the DIA report talk about ISIS roots?”
NEW GREAT GAME
“The “Great Game”, the metaphor that is so upsetting to the Western establishment, refers to the struggle for supremacy between the British and the Russians. The Geographical Journal published an article in 1904, that articulated the reason that these great powers were engaged in the struggle for this piece of the globe.”
“The article was called “The Geographical Pivot of History” and was written by Sir Halford John Mackinder PC, the Director of the London School of Economics that was founded by the Fabian Society and folded into the heart of the British establishment in the University of London in 1900. (The cornerstone of the School’s Old Building on Houghton Street was laid by King George V himself). Mackinder is considered the father of the study of geopolitics.
“The Geographical Pivot of History” is the document that is often said to be the founding document of geopolitics and constitutes the first formulation of what would come to be called the “Heartland Theory”. This theory starts from the division of what Mackinder called the “World Island” into inherently divided isolated areas. Each of these areas has its own part to play in the unfolding of world history, with the area he called the “Heartland” of the central Eurasian landmass being the pivot point from which a civilization could derive the geopolitical and economic leverage with which to dominate the world as a whole. This was summarized in a famous dictum from his 1919 work, “Democratic Ideals and Reality”
“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;
Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;
Who rules the World-Island commands the World.”
Looking at the map of what Mackinder had in mind for the Heartland it’s apparent that the “heart” of this Heartland is indeed the Central Asia-Caucasus region. This is what Russia and Britain were so intent on wresting from each other in the 19th century Great Game: control of the region from which the building of a world empire would be possible. And this is why the Project 2049 Institute and others desperately want to downplay this idea. They don’t under any circumstances want anyone to believe that the US and its NATO allies are intent on regional domination or the formation of a world empire.”
“But fast forward to 1997. In that year, Zbigniew Brzezinski released his book “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives” (evidently Brzezinski wasn’t so shy about calling world domination for what it is). Brzezinski does not mince words about the Eurasian Heartland and how important it is to American “global primacy”.”
“Brzezinski predicted that the first great war of the 21st century would take place in this area of the globe and four years later, in the first year of the 21st century, the United States and its NATO allies invaded Afghanistan beginning an occupation that became the longest military operation in the history of America. Meet the New Great Game, same as the Old Great Game. This time it’s NATO against China, Russia and what might be loosely termed a ‘resistance bloc,’ but the idea is almost the same: dominate Central Asia-Caucasus and use it as pivot point to dominate the world.
The Old and New Great Game are similar in many ways. The Old Great Game sprang from British fears that Russian incursion into Central Asia would threaten to topple their hold over the crown jewel of the British Empire, India; the New Great Game springs from the fear that Russian and/or Chinese dominance over Central Asia and the Caucasus would prevent NATO from achieving its goal of “full spectrum dominance.” The Old Great Game involved the British invasion of Afghanistan in 1838 and attempt to install a puppet regime; the New Great Game involved the NATO invasion of Afghanistan and attempt to install a puppet regime. The Old Great Game relied heavily on espionage, spycraft and subterfuge to undermine Russia’s sway over the Heartland; and as we shall see, the New Great Game also heavily relies on covert means to undermine Russian and Chinese influence in the region.”
(This was a few extracts from James Corbetts lecture, “The Secret War: Gladio and the Battle for Eurasia”, which can be watched in its entirety in the video below.)
Gladio B and the Battle for Eurasia
TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=12947
‘Operation Gladio B’–the continuation of the old NATO Gladio program–covers a tangled web of covert operatives, billionaire Imams, drug running, prison breaks and terror strikes. Its goal: the destabilization of Central Asia and the Caucasus. In this presentation to Studium Generale in Groningen on November 19, 2014, James Corbett lifts the lid on this operation, its covert operatives, and the secret battle for the Eurasian heartland.
Paris Attacks: William Engdahl Explains the Past, Present and Future of the War in Syria
SHOW NOTES AND MP3 AUDIO: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=16975
F. William Engdahl of WilliamEngdahl.com joins us today to give his perspective on the Paris attacks. We discuss the historical background to what is taking place now in Syria, how it plays into the current geopolitical agenda of the US/NATO military powers, and what it means for France, Syria and the world moving forward.
Paris Attacks Truth: ISIS is a False Flag
SHOW NOTES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=16964
As The Corbett Report community continues to track the latest updates on the Paris attack investigation, let us not forget the essential underlying truth: ISIS is a creation of the US, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf States, and they are fostered, funded, equipped, armed, trained by the United States, and its Gulf allies, Turkey and Israel protected by the NATO allies and the GCC, France included.
US ex-intelligence chief on ISIS rise: It was ‘a willful Washington decision’
The US didn’t interfere with the rise of anti-government jihadist groups in Syria that finally degenerated into Islamic State, claims the former head of America’s Defense Intelligence Agency, backing a secret 2012 memo predicting their rise.
An interview with retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), given to Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan, confirms earlier suspicions that Washington was monitoring jihadist groups emerging as opposition in Syria.
About root causes and basic reasons to the refugee crisis and terrorism
Today the entire world is in mourning after the attacks in Paris – Today 60 million human beings are displaced by war and extreme poverty. When exactly does the continuous hypocrisy of the leading western governments become disgusting and extremely offensive? It has to be when their media, and not our ability to think for ourselves, decides what we should get shocked and outraged about and what we should ignore.
The governments in many European countries are responding to the refugee crisis and the terror attacks as their obvious values and principles suggests, with racist hysteria and policies backed by police and military aggressivity under martial law. The western public opinion must finally dare to dismiss and look beyond the monotonous, hackneyed western tale about evil dictators and terrorists, their local conflicts and the benevolent, “good and helpful” western, democracy-fairies.
One could read in the Independent a month ago: “Refugees have been seeking safe haven in the West for years. Recently, however, something has changed. Thousands have become millions, as nation after nation succumbs to anarchy and fanaticism”.
The basic reasons to why they succumb to fanaticism is really never satisfactory explained, besides the western tale about the cruel, local dictators and fundamentalist terrorists that hates western freedom. Facts are left out of the mainstream reporting: the role of criminal wars, disastrous neoliberal economics, and why mass displacement is a permanent feature under this system. Things are never really explained because in accordance with the western, self-glorifying supremacy dogma, the leading western governments don’t need to explain or admit any real responsibilities to the nations their precursors and themselves have teared apart.
Root causes are hidden within the western supremacy policies
Enforced neoliberal, strategic and economic “development plans” that tie the shattered nations and their people’s hands and feet to these same western governments, has clearly nothing to do with either refugees or global terrorism. Because when the neoliberal economists and ministers have concluded that “there is no alternative”, good people understand that, kneel, suffer and die quietly. Only bad, evil people doesn’t accept and even have the nerves to resist the genocidal conditions and the “necessary human costs” of the western, private bank and cartel labeled “development plans”.
So instead of taking the opportunity to announce real responsibilities, the western leaders talk about French, American and western noble values and principles. As if we are stupid and can’t see for ourselves which distorted and spineless kind of “nobleness” they mean. And how hideously, greedy, racist and hypocritical they practice their alleged values and principles.
History proves that practically ALL ethnic cleansings, genocides, civil wars and wars in the regions that refugees currently flee from, was caused, instigated, provoked and often actually organized by the main European colonial and postcolonial Powers. These western, imperialist geostrategic and geopolitical sentiments, policies and methods has been kept alive and nurtured through “life support” (conservatism, militarism) and in “greenhouses”(secret societies, fascist dictatorships) by old imperialists, royalists and various European and American nationalsocialist and fascist movements.
With the new century and the continuation of the monotonous, neoliberal policies, this has escalated into conditions that I believe we all had hoped to never again experience.
Why is this still happening, you might ask?
Because the warmongering Conservatives, Christian Right and Extreme Right, in the leading European nations, are longing for a “crusade” that they believe would re-establish their colonial control and power. But this time over the entire world. They have emerged through the two World Wars from the rivaling old European Empires & Kingdoms*1 and their financial, clergy and military elite. [*1 – Before 1918 they were named Austro-Hungarian Empire, German Empire, French Republic, Kingdom of Italy, British Empire, USA].
“The European basic values and principles are said to have been inspired and adopted from Greek culture, history, thinking and literature, but European history quite clearly proves that in practice it is the three German Reich’s that has shaped the actual basic values and principles of the European societies. From the ninth century and onward, no other culture has determined the entire continent’s fate as much as those three German dynasties.
Almost all the genocides, civil wars and wars in post-Roman, European history are direct results of the three dynasties that these men established.
- Charlemagne or Charles the Great – 9th century – 1st Reich or the “the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation” lasted ca 800 years
- Vilhelm I – 19th century – 2nd Reich or “Hohenzollern Germany” lasted ca 50 years
- Adolf Hitler – 20th century – 3rd Reich or “Nazi-Germany” lasted 13 years
These dynasties escorted and pushed the European folk-spirit into the darkest, most corrupt, perverted “caves” of human thinking and human emotional life. To such extent that its rulers with their cultural-ideological “offspring” could start the Crusades, the Catholic Inquisition, the Thirty Year’s War, The Balkan Wars and two World Wars. Two world wars that in their actual essence were triggered and launched to prevent any possibility of a feared European peoples rebellion against the Royals, the imperialists, their court’s and “Mammon’s” tyrannic dogmas and doctrines. This is highly relevant to what the current EU and US are triggering again and why.
These old colonial/neoliberal policies, strategies, tactics and methods of the western powers, must finally be fully exposed, debated and perceived by the media as the root causes and basic reasons for both terrorism and refugee crises.
Ever since the term “War on Terror” (WoT) was first used by George W Bush September 20, 2001 we have seen increasing wars, civil wars, massacres, ethnic cleansings and hordes of refugees fleeing from the affected regions. We can all easily conclude that we find ourselves in a far more unstable and dangerous world now than before 9/11, 2001. A long and unsuccessful campaign, allegedly to destroy al-Qaeda and other militant Islamist organizations, has brought the world to the brink of WWIII.
Barack Obama, changed the interpretation and meaning of the term “War on Terror” in 2013 from a general war tactic to a specified and targeted one. He stated, “We must define our effort not as a boundless ‘Global War on Terror’, but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America”. After 12 years of general US/NATO/mercenary-terror in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia, Ukraine, Syria and Yemen, after the crude dehumanization and demonization of entire folk groups and social classes and after the attack on western human and civil rights, he doesn’t need to clarify WoT or specify targets. He and the western leaders need to answer humanity on these questions now:
- WHO is going to take real responsibility for the dramatic “mistakes” and the clear deliberate crimes of 12 years of US-led, ghost-chasing campaigns, that has left millions of innocent, dead bodies around Asia, the Middle East and Africa?
- WHO is going to take real responsibility, for the current ca 7 million refugees from these countries that are fleeing to the west and the 60 million that are displaced?
- WHO is going to take real responsibility for the root causes and the basic reasons for terror attacks carried out in Middle Eastern and western cities?
To nuance the self-righteous, western citizen’s exaggerated self-image as a democratic philanthropist a bit, I am pointing out, that the practically unchallenged, but very real, geopolitical and geostrategic goals of Bush’s WoT-campaign and Obama’s interpretation of the same are:
- to deduct pipelines, control trade routes and take over the geographical regions between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea and the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea, because they are rich on natural resources and energy sources.
- to clear the area from large populations of its inhabitants for the long planned geostrategic moves of USA, EU, Israel and NATO against Iran, Arab world, Russia and China.
- to destroy every labor law that the American and European democratic, solidarity-, liberty-, human rights- and labour-movements have achieved since the end of the nineteenth century. It is about tearing down the workers rights, minimum wages, health care, social insurances, pensions and instead encourage and establish a pure “peon and slave market” to replace the labor markets.
- to destroy the last basic democratic principles, constitutions, human rights, international laws, treaties and conventions and instead gradually reform and legislate a totalitarian and ruthless control-state against the people, “to avoid chaos and protect us from terrorists”.
The average European and American citizen meanwhile, have just hovered around “in the blue”, day-dreaming of riches, never-ending pleasures and fame. He have been polishing on his narcissism, his megalomania, his supremacy tale and his racism, while his government is committing criminal act after criminal act against other nations and people’s.
There is no hope for any real positive change, unless the American and European citizens learn to mourn also the others’ innocent dead.
Most people around the world have come to the very logical conclusion, that the countries and governments that are so keen on causing all these problems, due to their neoliberal, geostrategic aims, should also take the main responsibility for the refugees and the root causes behind them. They see, even if they don’t dare to speak out, that USA/EU/NATO measures, policies and actions are state-sanctioned terror against other nations and against its own populations.
The known Wall Street-, White House-, Downing Street- and Brussels/Berlin-cooked, criminal strategies, tactics and methods that the western media defends, justifies, white-washes and cover up, over the last fifteen years are:
- false flag operations (blame a spectacular terror act on other than the actual perpetrator, to provoke revolution, civil war or war – usually intelligence-engineered and organized)
- financial terrorism (CIA-agents forces neo-colonial “treaties and agreements” on a nation. They offer financial “help” through extortion, imposing debts to takeover physical wealth and natural resources of a nation)
- “colour revolutions” (western intelligence services carries out grassroots-takeover actions with NGO-organized fake revolutions, known as colour revolutions, in order to distort and divide any democratic attempts and demads of the people in a nation (Libya, Ukraine and Syria are just few such examples)
- covert, regime change operations in sovreign nations
- arming and training of dictators, torturers and death squads that carries out mass arrests, interrogations by torture, political assassinations, mass killings and ethnic cleansings
- provocating and causing “convenient” civil wars by US-mercenary led massacres (Libya, Syria, Kenya, Ukraine)
- illegal wars (sanctions and invasions of nations based on lies – Iraq, Libya)
- proxy wars (military aggression on commission – others than own army are fighting ones war)
- soft coups (infiltration and corruption of a whole political elite in a nation, that can lead to democratic meltdown in that nation)
- military coups (when geostrategic or geopolitical US policies are unpopular and resisted)
It is disgraceful, that these criminal strategies, tactics and methods, are not perceived as the main root causes and basic reasons behind the current refugee and terror situation.
Now when crocodile tears are shed by our leaders for the refugees and TV-monkeys in reality are dishonoring the terror victims and their families’ mourning, we must dare to really honor both them, as well as any other innocent victims on this planet. We must therefore openly direct questions about the true Basic Reasons and Root Causes, and we must demand real responsibilities for their crimes from our governments.
There is no hope for any real positive change, unless the American and European citizens learn to mourn also the others’ innocent dead, and to condemn also the terror acts of their own leaders.
Except intro-text, epilogue and translation to English, which I added to the original, this is a videoclip from the show on the Greek TV-channel Alfpha, Ελληνοφρένεια 16-11-15
“This short video clip gives a human angle to the hysteria ‘enveloping’ the “Paris Attacks”, and urges the global, Public Opinion to THINK. It breathes decency, reverence and respect for also the others´ grief, pain and suffering. – This is “Ellinofreneia’s” very simple way to display things in its right perspectives – Perpectives that, as opposed to the the current genocidal, warmongering, ARE compatable with a Human Civilization.”
Most reasonable people around the world have come to the very rational and logical conclusion, that the nations and the Governments that are “so keen on” causing all this suffering and deaths – because of their geopolitical and geostrategic urges and goals – should exactly therefore take the main legal, moral, political, economic and social responsibility for the refugees and the ROOT CAUSES behind the phenomnons that create them.
There is truly no hope for any real PEACE, unless the European and American citizens learn to mourn also the others’ innocent dead,… and to be shocked and outraged also by the terror acts of THEIR OWN governments.
UPF’s (EPAM’s) proposal for a stop to the drowning of innocent people
While EU is pretending to address the refugee crisis by summits and by erecting walls, numerous innocent kids and grown-ups drown in the Aegean, in their attempt to live in safety away from wars. At the same time the Greek government sheds crocodile tears, pretending to care. Turkey allows human traffickers to act unhindered, leading to the death of hundreds of refugees.
UPF (EPAM) proposes the following measures to stop refugees’ deaths:
- To denounce Turkey’s flagrant collaboration with traffickers and to have sanctions imposed against Turkey, noting that this collaboration goes back several years.
- To strictly implement international law and UN conventions for the processing of refugees at countries of entry. This means that refugees are entitled to asylum at the first country of entry. This country is Turkey. Refusal by Turkey to offer asylum to the refugees — as dictated by international treaties and laws — and of appropriate travel documents should result in penalties from the international community.
- The Greek government is obliged to defend its sovereignty and to have the exclusive responsibility of directing and handling the crisis placing under its direct control and coordination the actions of volunteers, NGOs, private initiatives and international contributions. The exploitative unaccountable actions of suspect “humanitarian” organizations who victimize innocent refugees to either collect subsidies, or to serve geopolitical interests, has to be stopped.
- To denounce or to suspend the Dublin Convention and to deal with the crisis not as an internal EU problem, but as an international one. As a consequence, the responsibility for the solution chosen and the transfer of the people must involve the international community with the responsibility of the United Nations. It is inconceivable that there are states, like the USA, that are involved in the wars that create this unprecedented flow of refugees and immigrants and then wash their hands clean of the blame.
- If some of the States-members refuse to accept refugees, then to denounce such acts at the international community and international organizations as being complicit to mass murder, which constitutes a crime against humanity.
Human lives cannot be saved by words and conferences. Only with specific actions we can avoid human deaths.
UPF (ΕPAM) proposes such specific actions.
UPF (EPAM) Political Secretariat, November 5, 2015
Φοβερό βίντεο που πρέπει να καταλάβει ο καθένας που ονομάζεται Έλληνας μεσα και εξω απο την Ελλαδα… Πάλι οι Κρητικοί θα ανεβάσουν τα παντελόνια και τα βρακιά του Έλληνα που τα έχει στους αστράγαλους από το 2010, και τώρα πανε πια να του τα πάρουν εντελώς!… Λαέ ξεσηκώσου επιτέλους!!!!
«Να σταθώ στα πόδια μου»
Στίχοι: Λεωνίδας Μπαλάφας.
Μουσική: Λεωνίδας Μπαλάφας – Γιώργος Νικηφόρου Ζερβάκης.
Σκηνοθεσία: Θοδωρής Παπαδουλάκης
Παραγωγή Indigo View 2015
Introduction: 2015 has become a year of living dangerously. Wars are spreading across the globe. Wars are escalating as new countries are bombed and the old are ravaged with ever greater intensity. Countries, where relatively peaceful changes had taken place through recent elections, are now on the verge of civil wars.
These are wars without victors, but plenty of losers; wars that don’t end; wars where imperial occupations are faced with prolonged resistance.
There are never-ending torrents of war refugees flooding across borders. Desperate people are detained, degraded and criminalized for being the survivors and victims of imperial invasions.
Now major nuclear powers face off in Europe and Asia: NATO versus Russia, US-Japan versus China. Will these streams of blood and wars converge into one radiated wilderness drained of its precious life blood?
Living Dangerously: The Rising Tide of Violent Conflicts
There is no question that wars and military threats have replaced diplomacy, negotiations and democratic elections as the principal means of resolving political conflicts. Throughout the present year (2015) wars have spread across borders and escalated in intensity.
The NATO allies, US, Turkey and the EU have openly attacked Syria with air strikes and ground troops. There are plans to occupy the northern sector of that ravaged country, creating what the Erdogan regime dubs a ‘buffer zone’ cleansed of its people and villages.
Under the pretext of ‘fighting ISIS’, the Turkish government is bombing Kurds (civilians and resistance fighters) and their Syrian allies. On Syria’s southern border, US Special Forces have accelerated and expanded operations from their bases in Jordan on behalf of the mercenary terrorists – funded by the monarchist Gulf States.
Over 4 million Syrians have fled their homes as refugees and over 200,000 have been killed since the US-EU-Turkey-Saudi-sponsored war against the secular Syrian government was launched four years ago.
Dozens of terrorist, mercenary and sectarian groups have carved up Syria into rival fiefdoms, pillaged its economic and cultural resources and reduced the economy by over ninety percent.
The US-EU-Turkish military intervention extends the war into Iraq, Lebanon and…. Turkey – attacking secular governments, ethnic minority groups and secular civil society.
The feudal, monarchist Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have invaded Yemen with tanks, launching air strikes against a country without any air defenses. Major cities and towns are devastated. Saudi ground troops and armored carriers are killing and wounding thousands – mostly civilians. The brutal Saudi air and sea blockade of Yemen’s ports have led to a humanitarian crisis, as ten million Yemenis face starvation deliberately imposed by a grotesque and obscenely rich monarchy.
The Yemeni resistance fighters, driven out of the major cities, are preparing for prolonged guerrilla warfare against the Saudi monsters and their puppets. Their resistance has already spread across the frontiers of the absolutist Saudi dictatorship.
The brutal Israeli occupation troops, in collaboration with armed ‘settler’ colonists, have accelerated their violent seizure of Palestinian lands. They have stepped up the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, Bedouins, Druze and Christian inhabitants replacing their communities with racist ‘Jews-only’ colonial settlements.
Daily assaults against the huge ‘concentration camps’ of Gaza accompany an armed blockade of land, air and water, preventing the reconstruction of the tens of thousands of homes, schools, hospital, factories and infrastructure, destroyed by last year’s Israeli blitzkrieg.
Israel’s continued annexation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian territory precludes any diplomatic process; colonial wars have been and continue to be Israel’s policy of choice in dealing with its Arab neighbors and captive populations.
Africa’s wars, resulting from earlier US-EU interventions, continue to ravage-the Continent. Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Libya are riven by bloody conflicts between US-EU backed regimes and armed Islamic and nationalist resistance movements.
Throughout North and Sub-Sahara Africa, US-EU backed regimes have provoked armed upheavals in Libya, Nigeria (Boko Harem), Egypt (ISIS, Moslem Brotherhood et al), Chad, Niger, South Sudan, Somalia and elsewhere.
Imperial client Egyptian and Ethiopian dictators rule with iron fists – financed and armed by their EU and US sponsors.
Imperial wars rage throughout the Middle East and South Asia. Hundreds of experienced Baathist Iraqi military officers, who had been expelled or jailed and tortured by the US Occupation army, have now made common cause with Islamist fighters to form ISIS and effectively occupy a third of Iraq and a strategic swath of Syria.
There are daily bombings in Baghdad undermining its US client. Strategic advances by ISIS are forcing the US to resume and escalate its direct combat role
The US-Baghdad retreat and the defeat of the US-trained Iraqi military in the face of the Baathist-Islamist offensive is the opening salvo of a long-term, large-scale war in Iraq and Syria. The Turkish air-war against the Kurds in Iraq will escalate the war in Northern Iraq and extend it into southeast Turkey.
Closer to ‘home’, the EU-US-backed coup (‘regime change’) in Kiev and the attempt to impose dictatorial-pro-West oligarchic rule in Ukraine have detonated a prolonged civil-national war devastating the country and pitting NATO’s proxies against Russian-backed allies in the Donbas.
US, England, Poland and other NATO powers are deeply committed to pushing war right up to Russia’s borders.
There is a new Cold War, with the imposition of wide-ranging US-EU economic sanctions against Russia and the organizing of major NATO military exercises on Russia’s doorsteps. It is no surprise that these provocations are met with a major counter-response – the Russian military build-up. The NATO power grab in Ukraine, which first led to a local ethnic war, now escalates to a global confrontation and may move toward a nuclear confrontation as Russia absorbs hundreds of thousands of refugees from the slaughter in Ukraine.
The US puppet regime in Afghanistan has faced a major advance of the Taliban in all regions, including the capital, Kabul.
The Afghan war is intensifying and the US-backed Kabul regime is in retreat. US troops can scarcely advance beyond their bunkers.
As the Taliban military advances, its leaders demand total surrender of the Kabul puppets and the withdrawal of US troops. The US response will be a prolonged escalation of war.
Pakistan, bristling with US arms, faces a major conflict along its borders with India and permanent war in its semi-autonomous Northwest frontier states with Islamist and ethnic Pashtu guerrilla movements backed by mass regional political parties. These parties exercise de facto control over the Northwest region providing sanctuary and arms for Taliban militants operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Armed ethno-religious conflicts persist in western China, Myanmar and northern India. There are large-scale popular resistance movements in the militant northeast Thailand opposed to the current military-monarchist dictatorship in Bangkok.
In the 21st century, in South and Southeast Asia, as in the rest of the world, war and armed conflicts have become central in resolving ethnic, social, tribal and regional differences with central states: diplomacy and democratic elections have been rendered obsolete and inefficient.
Latin America – On the Verge
Burgeoning violent extra-parliamentary right-wing movements, intent on overthrowing or ‘impeaching’ elected center-left Latin American governments face major confrontations with the state and its mass supporters.
In Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil, US-backed opposition groups are engaged in violent demonstrations, directed toward ousting the elected regimes. In the case of Ecuador, ‘popular sectors’, including some indigenous leaders and sectors of the trade union movement, have called for an ‘uprising’ to oust President Correa. They seem oblivious of the fact that the hard-right oligarchs who now control key offices in the three principal cities (Guayaquil, Quito and Cuenca) will be the real beneficiaries of their ‘uprisings’.
The resurgent Right envisions violent ‘regime change’ as the first step toward ‘wiping the slate clean’ of a decade of social reforms, independent regional organizations and independent foreign policies.
‘Civil war’ may be too strong a word for the situation in Latin America at this time – but this is the direction which the US-backed opposition is heading. Faced with the mess and difficulty of dislodging incumbent regimes via elections, the US and its local proxies have opted for the choreography of street violence, sabotage, martial law and coups – to be followed by sanitized elections – with US-vetted candidates.
War and violence run rampant through Mexico and most of Central America. A US-backed military coup ousted the popularly elected, independent President Zelaya in Honduras. The ensuing US-proxy regime has murdered and jailed hundreds of pro-democracy dissidents and driven thousands to flee the violence.
The 1990’s US-brokered ‘Peace Accords’ in El Salvador and Guatemala effectively blocked any agrarian reform and income redistribution that might have led to the rebuilding of their civil societies. This has led to over two decades of mass disaffection, the rise of armed ‘gangs’ numbering over 100,000 members and an average of six to ten thousand homicides a year with El Salvador becoming the ‘murder capital of the hemisphere’ on a per capita basis. The annual murder toll under the US-brokered ‘Peace Accords’ now exceeds those killed each year during the civil war.
The real ‘carnage capital’ of the hemisphere is Mexico. Over 100,000 people have been murdered during the decade-long, US-backed ‘war on drugs’ – a war which has become a state-sponsored war on the Mexican people.
The internal war has allowed the Mexican government to privatize and sell the crown jewels of the national economy – the petroleum industry. While thousands of Mexicans are terrorized and slaughtered, the US and EU oil companies are curiously shielded from the drug lords. The same Mexican government, its police, officials and military, who collaborate with the drug lords in dividing up the billions of drug dollars, protect foreign oil companies and their executives. After all, narco-dollars are laundered by banks in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and London to help fuel the speculation!
From Regional to Nuclear Wars
Regional and local wars spread under the shadow of a looming world war. The US moves its arms, planes, bases and operations to the Russian and Chinese borders.
Never have so many US troops and war planes been placed in so many strategic locations, often less than an hour drive from major Russian cities.
Not even during the height of the Cold War, did the US impose so many economic sanctions against Russian enterprises.
In Asia, Washington is organizing major trade, military and diplomatic treaties designed to exclude and undermine China’s growth as a trade competitor. It is engaged in provocative activities comparable to the boycott and blockade of Japan which led to the Second World War in Asia.
Open ‘warfare by proxy’ in Ukraine is perhaps the first salvo of the Third World War in Europe. The US-EU-sponsored coup in Kiev has led to the annexation of Western Ukraine. In response to the threat of violence toward the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea and the loss of its strategic naval base on the Black Sea, Russia annexed Crimea.
In the lead-up to the Second World War, Germany annexed Austria. In a similar manner the US-EU installed a puppet regime in Kiev by violent putsch as its own initial steps toward major power grabs in Central Asia. The military build-up includes the placement of major, forward offensive military bases in Poland.
Warsaw’s newly elected hard-right regime of President Andrzej Duda has demanded that Poland become NATO’s central military base of operation and the front line in a war against Russia.
Wars and More Wars and the Never-ending Torrents of Refugees
The US and EU imperial wars have devastated the lives and livelihoods of scores of millions of people in South Asia, North and Sub-Sahara Africa, Central America, Mexico, the Balkans and now Ukraine.
Four million Syrian refugees have joined millions of Afghan, Pakistani, Iraqi, Yemeni, Somali, Libyan, Palestinian and Sudanese refugees fleeing US-EU bombs, drones and proxy mercenaries ravaging their countries.
Millions of war refugees escape toward safety in Western Europe, joining the millions of economic refugees who have fled free market destitution in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, the Balkans and other EU satellites.
Panic among the civilian population of Western Europe sets in as hundreds of thousands cross the Mediterranean, the Aegean and the Balkans.
Droves of refugees perish each day. Tens of thousands crowd detention centers. Local labor markets are saturated. Social services are overwhelmed.
The US builds walls and detention camps for the millions trying to escape the harsh consequences of imperial-centered free markets in Mexico, narco-terror and the fraudulent ‘peace accord’-induced violence in Central America.
As Western wars advance, the desperate refugees multiply. The poor and destitute clamber at the gates of the imperial heartland crying: ‘Your bombs and your destruction of our homelands have driven us here, now you must deal with us in your homeland’.
Fomenting class war between the refugees and ‘natives’ of the imperial West – may not be on the agenda . . . for now, but the future for ‘civil’ society in Europe and the US is bleak.
Meanwhile, more and even bigger wars are on the horizon and additional millions of civilians will be uprooted and face the choice of starving, fleeing with their families or fighting the empire. The ranks of seasoned and infuriated resistance fighters are swelling in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine and elsewhere.
The US and EU are becoming armed fortresses. US police deal with the marginalized citizenry as an occupying army, assaulting African-Americans, immigrants and dissidents – while looting poor communities . . . and protecting the rich…
War is everywhere and expanding: No continent or region, big or small, is free from the contagion of war.
Imperial wars have spawn local wars . . . igniting mass flights in a never-ending cycle. There are no real diplomatic success stories! There are no enduring, viable peace accords!
Some pundits may protest this analysis: They point to the recent US – Cuba rapprochement as a ‘success’. They conveniently forget that the US is still subverting Cuba’s biggest trading partner, Venezuela; that Washington’s major regional proxies are demanding regime change among Cuba’s allies in Ecuador, Brazil and Bolivia and that Washington is increasingly threatening Cuba’s alternative markets in Russia and China. The vision of the US flag flapping in the breeze outside its embassy in Havana does little to cover Washington’s iron fist threatening Cuba’s allies.
Others cite the US – Iran peace accord as a major ‘success’. They ignore that the US is backing the bloody Saudi invasion of neighboring Yemen and the massacre of Shiite communities; that the US has provided Israel with a road map detailing Iran’s entire defense system and that the US and EU are bombing Iran’s Syrian ally without mercy.
As for the US – Cuba and Iranian agreements– are they enduring and strategic or just tactical imperial moves preparing for even greater assaults?
The war epidemic is not receding.
War refugees are still fleeing; they have no homes or communities left.
Disorder and destruction are increasing, not decreasing; there is no rebuilding the shattered societies, not in Gaza, not in Fallujah, not in the Donbas, not in Guerrero, not in Aleppo.
Europe feels the tremors of a major conflagration.
Americans still believe that the two oceans will protect them. They are told that placing NATO missiles on Russia’s borders and stationing warships off China’s shores and building electrified walls and laying barbed wire along the Rio Grande will protect them. Such is their faith in their political leaders and propagandists.
What a packet of lies! Inter-continental missiles can ‘rain down’ on New York, Washington and Los Angeles.
It is time to wake up!
It is time to stop the US – EU headlong race to World War III!
Where to start? Libya has been irrevocably destroyed; it is too late there! Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are aflame. We are being plunged deeper into war while being told we are withdrawing! Ukraine sucks in more guns and more troops!
Can we really have peace with Iran if we cannot control our own government as it dances to the Israelis tune? And Israel insists on war – our waging war for them! As the Israeli war criminal General and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon once told some worried American Zionists: “Trouble with the US? We lead them by the nose . . . !”
Just look at the terrified families fleeing carnage in the Middle East or Mexico.
What is to be done?
When will we cut our losses and shake off the bonds of these war makers – foreign and domestic?
Former Greek Diplomat Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos talks to RT International as Greek PM Tsipras announces his resignation to clear the way for Sept. 20th election.
Ο Πρέσβης ε.τ. και μέλος του Ε.ΠΑ.Μ., Λεωνίδας Χρυσανθόπουλος μιλά στο RT για τις εκλογές του Σεπτεμβρίου 2015 και το Ε.ΠΑ.Μ.
07.26.2015 :: Analysis
Introduction: The Greek people’s efforts to end the economic depression, recover their sovereignty and reverse the regressive socio-economic policies, which have drastically reduced living standards, have been thrice denied.
First, the denial came as tragedy: When the Greek majority elected Syriza to government and their debts increased, the economy plunged further into depression and unemployment and poverty soared. The Greek people voted for Syriza believing its promises of ‘a new course’. Immediately following their victory, Syriza reneged on their promise to restore sovereignty – and end the subjugation of the Greek people to the economic dictates of overseas bankers, bureaucrats and political oligarchs. Instead Syriza kept Greece in the oligarchical imperialist bloc, portraying the European Union as an association of independent sovereign countries. What began as a great victory of the Greek people turned into a tragic strategic retreat. >From their first day in office, Syriza led the Greek people down the blind alley of total submission to the German empire.
Then the tragedy turned into farce when the Greek people refused to acknowledge the impending betrayal by their elected leaders. They were stunned, but mute, as Syriza emptied the Greek treasury and offered even greater concessions, including acceptance of the illegal and odious debts incurred by private bankers, speculators and political kleptocrats in previous regimes.
True to their own vocation as imperial overlords, the EU bosses saw the gross servility of Syriza as an invitation to demand more concessions – total surrender to perpetual debt peonage and mass impoverishment. Syriza’s demagogic leaders, Yanis Varoufakis and Alexis Tsipras, shifting from fits of hysteria to infantile egotism, denounced ‘the Germans and their blackmail’ and then performed a coy belly-crawl at the feet of the ‘Troika’, peddling their capitulation to the bankers as ‘negotiations’ and referring to their overlords as . . . ‘partners’.
Syriza, in office for only 5 months brought Greece to the edge of total bankruptcy and surrender, then launched the ‘mother of all deceptions’ on the Greek people: Tsipras convoked a ‘referendum’ on whether Greece should reject or accept further dictates and cuts to bare bones destitution. Over 60% of the Greek people voted a resounding NO to further plunder and poverty.
In Orwellian fashion, the megalomaniac Tsipras immediately re-interpreted the ‘NO’vote as a mandate to capitulation to the imperial powers, accepting the EU bankers’ direct supervision of the regime’s implementation of Troika’s policies – including drastic reductions of Greek pensions, doubling the regressive ‘VAT’ consumption tax on vital necessities and a speed-up of evictions of storeowners and householders behind in their mortgage payments. Thus Greece became a vassal state: Nineteenth century colonialism was re-imposed in the 21st century.
Colonialism by Invitation
Greek politicians, whether Conservative or Socialist, have openly sought to join the German-led imperial bloc known as the European Union, even when it was obvious that the Greek economy and financial system was vulnerable to domination by the powerful German ruling class.
From the beginning, the Greek Panhellenic Socialist Party (PASOK) and their Conservative counterparts refused to recognize the class basis of the European Union. Both political factions and the Greek economic elites, that is, the kleptocrats who governed and the oligarchs who ruled, viewed entry into the EU as an opportunity for taking and faking loans, borrowing, defaulting and passing their enormous debts on to the public treasury!
Widely circulating notions among the Left that ‘Germany is responsible’ for the Greek crisis are only half true, while the accusations among rightwing financial scribes that the ‘Greek people are spendthrifts’ who brought on their own crisis is equally one-sided. The reality is more complex:
The crash and collapse of the Greek economy was a product of an entrenched parasitic rentier ruling class –both Socialist and Conservative – which thrived on borrowing at high interest rates and speculating in non-productive economic activities while imposing an astronomical military budget. They engaged in fraudulent overseas financial transactions while grossly manipulating and fabricating financial data to cover-up Greece’s unsustainable trade and budget deficits.
German and other EU exporters had penetrated and dominated the Greek markets. The bankers charged exorbitant interest rates while investors exploited cheap Greek labor. The creditors ignored the obvious risks because Greek rulers were their willing accomplices in the ongoing pillage.
Clearly entry into and continued membership in the EU has largely benefited two groups of elites: the German rulers and the Greek rentiers: The latter received short-term financial grants and transfers while the former gained powerful levers over the banks, markets and, most important, established cultural-ideological hegemony over the Greek political class. The Greek elite and middle class believed ‘they were Europeans’ – that the EU was a beneficent arrangement and a source of prosperity and upward mobility. In reality, Greek leaders were merely accomplices to the German conquest of Greece. And the major part of the middle class aped the views of the Greek elite.
The financial crash of 2008-2009 ended the illusions for some but not most Greeks. After 6 years of pain and suffering a new version of the old political class came to power: Syriza! Syriza brought in new faces and rhetoric but operated with the same blind commitment to the EU. The Syriza leadership believed they were “partners”.
The road to vassalage is rooted deep in the psyche of the political class. Instead of recognizing their subordinate membership in the EU as the root cause of their crisis, they blamed ‘the Germans, the bankers, Angela Merkel, Wolfgang Schnauble , the IMF, the Troika… The Greek rulers and middle class were in fact both victims and accomplices.
The German imperial regime loaned money from the tax revenues of German workers to enable their complicit Greek vassals to pay back the German bankers… German workers complained. The German media deflected criticism by blaming the ‘lazy Greek cheats’. Meanwhile, the Greek oligarch-controlled media deflected criticism of the role of the parasitical political class back to the ‘Germans’. This all served to obscure the class dynamics of empire building — colonialism by invitation. The ideology of blaming peoples, instead of classes, is pitting German workers against Greek employees and pensioners. The German masses support their bankers, while the Greek masses have elected and followed Syriza – their traitors.
From Andreas Papandreou to Alexis Tsipras: Misconceptions about the European Union
After Syriza was elected a small army of instant experts, mostly leftist academics from Canada, the US and Europe, sprang up to write and speak, usually with more heat than light, on current Greek political and economic developments. Most have little knowledge or experience of Greek politics, particularly its history and relations with the EU over the past thirty five years.
The most important policy decisions shaping the current Syriza government’s betrayal of Greek sovereignty go back to the early 1980’s when I was working as an adviser to PASOK Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. At that time, I was party to an internal debate of whether to continue within the EU or leave. Papandreou was elected on an anti EU, anti NATO platform, which, like Tsipras, he promptly reneged on– arguing that ‘there were no alternatives’. Even then, there were international and Greek academic sycophants, as there are today, who argued that membership in the EU was the only realistic alternative- it was the ‘only possibility’. The ‘possibilistas” at that time, operating either from ignorance or deceit, were full of bluster and presumption. They denied the underlying power realities in the structure of the EU and dismissed the class capacity of the working and popular masses to forge an alternative. Then, as now, it was possible to develop independent alternative relations with Europe, Russia, China, the Middle East and North Africa. The advantages of maintaining a protected market, a robust tourist sector and an independent monetary system were evident and did not require EU membership (or vassalage).
Above all, what stood out in both leaders, Andreas Papandreou and Alexis Tsipras, was their profound misconception of the class nature of the dominant forces in the EU. In the 1980’s Germany was just beginning to recover its imperial reach. By the time Syriza-Tsipras rose to power (January 2015), Germany’s imperial power was undeniable. Tsipras’ misunderstanding of this reality can be attributed to his and his ‘comrades’ rejection of class and imperial analyses. Even academic Marxists, who spouted Marxist theory, never applied their abstract critiques of capitalism and imperialism to the concrete realities of German empire building and Greece’s quasi-colonial position within the EU. They viewed their role as that of ‘colonial reformers’ –imagining that they were clever enough to ‘negotiate’ better terms in the German-centered EU. They inevitably failed because Berlin had a built-in majority among its fervently neo-liberal ex-communist satellites plus the IMF, French and English imperial partners. Syriza was no match for this power configuration. Then there was the bizarre delusion among the Syriza intellectuals that European capitalism was more benign than the US version.
EU membership has created scaffolding for German empire-building. The take off point was West Germany’s annexation of East Germany. This was soon followed by the incorporation of the rightwing regimes in the Baltic and Balkans as subordinate members of the EU – their public assets were snapped up by Germany corporations at bargain prices. The third step was the systematic break-up of Yugoslavia and the incorporation of Slovenia into the German orbit. The fourth step was the takeover of key sectors of the Polish and Czech economies and the exploitation of cheap skilled labor from Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and other satellite states.
Without firing a shot, German empire-building has revolved around making loans and financial transfers to the new subordinate member states in the EU. These financial transactions were predicated upon the following conditions: 1) Privatization and sale of the new member states’ prized public assets to mainly German as well as other EU investors and 2) Forcing member states to dismantle their social programs, approve massive lay-offs and meet impossible fiscal targets. In other words, expansion of the contemporary German empire required austerity measures, which transformed the ex-communist countries into satellites, vassals and sources of mercenaries – a pattern which is now playing out in Greece.
The reason these new German ‘colonies’ (especially Poland and the Baltic States) insist on the EU imposing harsh austerity measures on Greece, is that they went through the same brutal process convincing their own beleaguered citizens that there was no alternative – resistance was futile. Any successful demonstration by Greek workers, farmers and employees that resistance to empire was possible would expose the corrupt relationship between these client leaders and the German imperial order. In order to preserve the foundations of the new imperial order, Germany has had to take a hardline on Greece. Otherwise the recently incorporated colonial subjects in the Baltic, Balkan and Central Europe states might “re-think” the brutal terms of their own incorporation to the European Union. This explains the openly punitive approach to Greece – turning it into the ‘Haiti of Europe’ analogous to the US’ long standing brutalization of the rebellious Haitians – as an object lesson to its own Caribbean and Latin American clients.
The root cause of German intransigence has nothing to do with the political personalities or quirks of Angela Merkle and Wolfgang Schnauble: Such imperial leaders do not operate out of neurotic vindictiveness. Their demand for total Greek submission is an imperative of German empire-building, a continuation of the step-by-step conquest of Europe.
German empire-building emphasizes economic conquests, which go hand-in-hand with US empire-building based on military conquests. The same economic satellites of Germany also serve as sites for US military bases and exercises encircling Russia; these vassal states provide mercenary soldiers for US imperial wars in South Asia, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.
Syriza’s economic surrender is matched by its spineless sell-out to NATO, its support of sanctions against Russia and its embrace of US policies toward Syria, Lebanon and Israel.
Germany and its imperial partners have launched a savage attack on the working people of Greece, usurping Greek sovereignty and planning to seize 50 billion Euros of vital Greek public enterprises, land and resources. This alone should dispels the myth, promoted especially by the French social democratic demagogue Jacques Delores, that European capitalism is a benign form of ‘social welfarism’ and an ‘alternative’ to the savage Anglo-American version capitalism.
What has been crucial to previous and current versions of empire-building is the role of a political collaborator class facilitating the transition to colonialism. Here is where social democrats, like Alexis Tsipras, who excel in the art of talking left while embracing the right, flatter and deceive the masses into deepening austerity and pillage.
Instead of identifying the class enemies within the EU and organizing an alternative working class program, Tsipras and his fellow collaborators pose as EU ‘partners’ , fostering class collaboration – better to serve imperial Europe: When the German capitalists demanded their interest payments, Tsipras bled the Greek economy. When German capitalists sought to dominate Greek markets, Tsipras and Syriza opened the door by keeping Greece in the EU. When German capital wanted to supervise the take-over of Greek properties, Tsipras and Syriza embraced the sell-off.
There is clear class collaboration within the Greek elite in the destruction of nation’s sovereignty: Greek banker oligarchs and sectors of the commercial and tourist elite have acted as intermediaries of the German empire builders and they personally benefit from the German and EU takeover despite the destitution of the Greek public. Such economic intermediaries, representing 25% of the electorate, have become the main political supporters of the Syriza-Tsipras betrayal. They join with the EU elite applauding Tsipras’ purge of left critics and his authoritarian seizure of legislative and executive power! This collaborator class will never suffer from pension cuts, layoffs and unemployment. They will never have to line up at crippled banks for a humiliating dole of 65 Euros of pension money. These collaborators have hundreds of thousands and millions stashed in overseas bank accounts and invested in overseas real estate. Unlike the Greek masses, they are ‘European’ first and foremost – willing accomplices of German empire builders!
Tragic Beginnings: The Greek People Elect a Trojan Horse
Syriza is deeply rooted in Greek political culture .A leadership of educated mascots serving overseas European empire-builders. Syriza is supported by academic leftists who are remote from the struggles, sacrifices and suffering of the Greek masses. Syriza’s leadership emerged on the scene as ideological mentors and saviors with heady ideas and shaky hands. They joined forces with downwardly mobile middle class radicals who aspired to rise again via the traditional method: radical rhetoric, election to office, negotiations and transactions with the local and foreign elite and betrayal of their voters. Theirs is a familiar political road to power, privilege and prestige. In this regard, Tsipras personifies an entire generation of upwardly mobile opportunists, willing and able to sellout Greece and its people. He perpetuates the worst political traditions: In campaigns he promoted consumerism over class consciousness (discarding any mobilization of the masses upon election!). He is a useful fool, embedded in a culture of clientelism, kleptocracy, tax evasion, predatory lenders and spenders – the very reason his German overlords tolerated him and Syriza, although on a short leash!
Tsipras’ Syriza has absolute contempt for democracy. He embraces the ‘Caudillo Principle’: one man, one leader, one policy! Any dissenters invite dismissal!
Syriza has utterly submitted to imperial institutions, the Troika and their dictates, NATO and above all the EU, the Eurozone. Tsipras/ Syriza reject outright independence and freedom from imperial dictates. In his ‘capitulation to the Germans’ Tsipra engaged in histrionic theatrics, but by his own personal dictate, the massive ‘NO to EU’ vote was transformed into a YES.
The cruelest political crime of all has been Tsipras running down the Greek economy, bleeding the banks, emptying the pension funds and freezing everyday salaries while ‘blaming the bankers’, in order to force the mass of Greeks to accept the savage dictates of his imperial overlords or face utter destitution!
The Ultimate Surrender
Tsipras and his sycophants in Syriza, while constantly decrying Greece’s subordination to the EU empire-builders and claiming victimhood, managed to undermine the Greek people’s national consciousness in less than 6 months. What had been a victorious referendum and expression of rejection by three-fifths of the Greek voters turned into a prelude to a farcical surrender by empire collaborators. The people’s victory in the referendum was twisted to represent popular support for a Caudillo. While pretending to consult the Greek electorate, Tsipras manipulated the popular will into a mandate for his regime to push Greece beyond debt peonage and into colonial vassalage.
Tsipras is a supreme representation of Adorno’s authoritarian personality: On his knees to those above him, while at the throat of those below.
Once he has completed his task of dividing, demoralizing and impoverishing the Greek majority, the local and overseas ruling elites will discard him like a used condom, and he will pass into history as a virtuoso in deceiving and betraying the Greek people.
Syriza’s embrace of hard-right foreign policies should not be seen as the ‘result of outside pressure’, as its phony left supporters have argued, but rather a deliberate choice. So far, the best example of the Syriza regime’s reactionary policies is its signing of a military agreement with Israel.
According to the Jerusalem Post (July 19, 2015), the Greek Defense Minister signed a mutual defense and training agreement with Israel, which included joint military exercises. Syriza has even backed Israel’s belligerent position against the Islamic Republic of Iran, endorsing Tel Aviv’s ridiculous claim that Teheran represents a terrorist threat in the Middle East and Mediterranean. Syriza and Israel have inked a mutual military support pact that exceeds any other EU member agreement with Israel and is only matched in belligerence by Washington’s special arrangements with the Zionist regime.
Israel’s ultra-militarist ‘Defense’ Minister Moshe Yaalon, (the Butcher of Gaza), hailed the agreement and thanked the Syriza regime for ‘its support’. It is more than likely that Syriza’s support for the Jewish state explains its popularity with Anglo-American and Canadian ‘left’ Zionists…
Syriza’s strategic ties with Israel are not the result of EU ‘pressure’ or the dictates of the ‘Troika’. The agreement is a radical reversal of over a half-century of Greek support for the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people against the Israeli terrorist state. This military pact, like the Syriza regime’s economic capitulation to the German ruling class, is deeply rooted in the ‘colonial ideology’, which permeates Tsipras’ policies. He has taken Greece a significant step ‘forward’ from economic vassal to a mercenary client of the most retrograde regime in the Mediterranean.
According to mainstream media, the current economic crisis in Greece is due to the government spending too much money on its people that it went broke. This claim however, is a lie. It was the banks that wrecked the country so oligarchs and international corporations could benefit.
Every single mainstream media has the following narrative for the economic crisis in Greece: the government spent too much money and went broke; the generous banks gave them money, but Greece still can’t pay the bills because it mismanaged the money that was given. It sounds quite reasonable, right?
Except that it is a big fat lie … not only about Greece, but about other European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland who are all experiencing various degrees of austerity. It was also the same big, fat lie that was used by banks and corporations to exploit many Latin American, Asian and African countries for many decades.
Greece did not fail on its own. It was made to fail.
In summary, the banks wrecked the Greek government and deliberately pushed it into unsustainable debt so that oligarchs and international corporations can profit from the ensuing chaos and misery.
If you are a fan of mafia movies, you know how the mafia would take over a popular restaurant. First, they would do something to disrupt the business – stage a murder at the restaurant or start a fire. When the business starts to suffer, the Godfather would generously offer some money as a token of friendship. In return, Greasy Thumb takes over the restaurant’s accounting, Big Joey is put in charge of procurement, and so on. Needless to say, it’s a journey down a spiral of misery for the owner who will soon be broke and, if lucky, alive.
Now, let’s map the mafia story to international finance in four stages.
Stage 1: The first and foremost reason that Greece got into trouble was the “Great Financial Crisis” of 2008 that was the brainchild of Wall Street and international bankers. If you remember, banks came up with an awesome idea of giving subprime mortgages to anyone who can fog a mirror. They then packaged up all these ticking financial bombs and sold them as “mortgage-backed securities” at a huge profit to various financial entities in countries around the world.
A big enabler of this criminal activity was another branch of the banking system, the group of rating agencies – S&P, Fitch and Moody’s – who gave stellar ratings to these destined-to-fail financial products. Unscrupulous politicians such as Tony Blair got paid by Big Banks to peddle these dangerous securities to pension funds and municipalities and countries around Europe. Banks and Wall Street gurus made hundreds of billions of dollars in this scheme.
But this was just Stage 1 of their enormous scam. There was much more profit to be made in the next three stages!
Stage 2 is when the financial time bombs exploded. Commercial and investment banks around the world started collapsing in a matter of weeks. Governments at local and regional level saw their investments and assets evaporate. Chaos everywhere!
Vultures like Goldman Sachs and other big banks profited enormously in three ways: one, they could buy other banks such as Lehman brothers and Washington Mutual for pennies on the dollar. Second, more heinously, Goldman Sachs and insiders such as John Paulson (who recently donated $400 million to Harvard) had made bets that these securities would blow up. Paulson made billions, and the media celebrated his acumen. (For an analogy, imagine the terrorists betting on 9/11 and profiting from it.) Third, to scrub salt in the wound, the big banks demanded a bailout from the very citizens whose lives the bankers had ruined! Bankers have chutzpah. In the U.S., they got hundreds of billions of dollars from the taxpayers and trillions from the Federal Reserve Bank which is nothing but a front group for the bankers.
In Greece, the domestic banks got more than $30 billion of bailout from the Greek people. Let that sink in for a moment – the supposedly irresponsible Greek government had to bail out the hardcore capitalist bankers.
Stage 3 is when the banks force the government to accept massive debts. For a biology metaphor, consider a virus or a bacteria. All of them have unique strategies to weaken the immune system of the host. One of the proven techniques used by the parasitic international bankers is to downgrade the bonds of a country. And that’s exactly what the bankers did, starting at the end of 2009. This immediately makes the interest rates (“yields”) on the bonds go up, making it more and more expensive for the country to borrow money or even just roll over the existing bonds.
From 2009 to mid-2010, the yields on 10-year Greek bonds almost tripled! This cruel financial assault brought the Greek government to its knees, and the banksters won their first debt deal of a whopping 110 billion Euros.
The banks also control the politics of nations. In 2011, when the Greek prime minister refused to accept a second massive bailout, the banks forced him out of the office and immediately replaced him with the Vice President of ECB (European Central Bank)! No elections needed. Screw democracy. And what would this new guy do? Sign on the dotted line of every paperwork that the bankers bring in.
(By the way, the very next day, the exact same thing happened in Italy where the Prime Minister resigned, only to be replaced by a banker/economist puppet. Ten days later, Spain had a premature election where a banker puppet won the election).
The puppet masters had the best month ever in November 2011.
Few months later, in 2012, the exact bond market manipulation was used when the banksters turned up the Greek bonds’ yields to 50%!!! This financial terrorism immediately had the desired effect: The Greek parliament agreed to a second massive bailout, even larger than the first one.
Now, here is another fact that most people don’t understand. The loans are not just simple loans like you would get from a credit card or a bank. These are loans come with very special strings attached that demand privatization of a country’s assets. If you have seen Godfather III, you would remember Hyman Roth, the investor who was carving up Cuba among his friends. Replace Hyman Roth with Goldman Sachs or IMF (International Monetary Fund) or ECB, and you get the picture.
Stage 4: Now, the rape and humiliation of a nation begin under the name of “austerity” or “structural reforms.” For the debt that was forced upon it, Greece had to sell many of its profitable assets to oligarchs and international corporations. And privatizations are ruthless, involving everything and anything that is profitable. In Greece, privatization included water, electricity, post offices, airport services, national banks, telecommunication, port authorities (which is huge in a country that is a world leader in shipping) etc. Of course, the ever-manipulative bankers always demand immediate privatization of all media which means that the country gets photogenic TV anchors who spew establishment propaganda every day and tell the people that crooked and greedy banksters are saviors; and slavery under austerity is so much better than the alternative.
In addition to that, the banker tyrants also get to dictate every single line item in the government’s budget. Want to cut military spending? NO! Want to raise tax on the oligarchs or big corporations? NO! Such micro-management is non-existent in any other creditor-debtor relationship.
So what happens after privatization and despotism under bankers? Of course, the government’s revenue goes down and the debt increases further. How do you “fix” that? Of course, cut spending! Lay off public workers, cut minimum wage, cut pensions (same as our social security), cut public services, and raise taxes on things that would affect the 99% but not the 1%. For example, pension has been cut in half and sales tax increase to more than 20%. All these measures have resulted in Greece going through a financial calamity that is worse than the Great Depression of the U.S. in the 1930s.
After all this, what is the solution proposed by the heartless bankers? Higher taxes! More cuts to the pension! It takes a special kind of a psychopath to put a country through austerity, an economic holocaust.
If every Greek person had known the truth about austerity, they wouldn’t have fallen for this. Same goes for Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and other countries going through austerity. The sad aspect of all this is that these are not unique strategies. Since World War II, these predatory practices have been used countless times by the IMF and the World Bank in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
This is the essence of the New World Order — a world owned by a handful of corporations and banks; a world that is full of obedient, powerless debt serfs.
So, it’s time for the proud people of Greece to rise up like Zeus and say NO (“OXI” in Greece) to the greedy puppet masters, unpatriotic oligarchs, parasitic bankers and corrupt politicians.
Dear Greece, know that the world is praying for you and rooting for you. This weekend, vote NO to austerity. Say YES to freedom, independence, self-government, sovereignty, and democracy. Go to the polls this weekend and give a resounding, clear victory for the 99% in Greece, Europe, and the entire western world.
The poor and the working class in the United States know what it is to be Greek. They know underemployment and unemployment. They know life without a pension. They know existence on a few dollars a day. They know gas and electricity being turned off because of unpaid bills. They know the crippling weight of debt. They know being sick and unable to afford medical care. They know the state seizing their meager assets, a process known in the United States as “civil asset forfeiture,” which has permitted American police agencies to confiscate more than $3 billion in cash and property. They know the profound despair and abandonment that come when schools, libraries, neighborhood health clinics, day care services, roads, bridges, public buildings and assistance programs are neglected or closed. They know the financial elites’ hijacking of democratic institutions to impose widespread misery in the name of austerity. They, like the Greeks, know what it is to be abandoned.
The Greeks and the U.S. working poor endure the same deprivations because they are being assaulted by the same system—corporate capitalism. There are no internal constraints on corporate capitalism. And the few external constraints that existed have been removed. Corporate capitalism, manipulating the world’s most powerful financial institutions, including the Eurogroup, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve, does what it is designed to do: It turns everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to be exploited until exhaustion or collapse. In the extraction process, labor unions are broken, regulatory agencies are gutted, laws are written by corporate lobbyists to legalize fraud and empower global monopolies, and public utilities are privatized. Secret trade agreements—which even elected officials who view the documents are not allowed to speak about—empower corporate oligarchs to amass even greater power and accrue even greater profits at the expense of workers. To swell its profits, corporate capitalism plunders, represses and drives into bankruptcy individuals, cities, states and governments. It ultimately demolishes the structures and markets that make capitalism possible. But this is of little consolation for those who endure its evil. By the time it slays itself it will have left untold human misery in its wake.
The Greek government kneels before the bankers of Europe begging for mercy because it knows that if it leaves the eurozone, the international banking system will do to Greece what it did to the socialist government of Salvador Allende in 1973 in Chile; it will, as Richard Nixon promised to do in Chile, “make the economy scream.” The bankers will destroy Greece. If this means the Greeks can no longer get medicine—Greece owes European drug makers 1 billion euros—so be it. If this means food shortages—Greece imports thousands of tons of food from Europe a year—so be it. If this means oil and gas shortages—Greece imports 99 percent of its oil and gas—so be it. The bankers will carry out economic warfare until the current Greek government is ousted and corporate political puppets are back in control.
Human life is of no concern to corporate capitalists. The suffering of the Greeks, like the suffering of ordinary Americans, is very good for the profit margins of financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs. It was, after all, Goldman Sachs—which shoved subprime mortgages down the throats of families it knew could never pay the loans back, sold the subprime mortgages as investments to pension funds and then bet against them—that orchestrated complex financial agreements with Greece, many of them secret. These agreements doubled the debt Greece owes under derivative deals and allowed the old Greek government to mask its real debt to keep borrowing. And when Greece imploded, Goldman Sachs headed out the door with suitcases full of cash.
The system of unfettered capitalism is designed to callously extract money from the most vulnerable and funnel it upward to the elites. This is seen in the mounting fines and fees used to cover shortfalls in city and state budgets. Corporate capitalism seeks to privatize all aspects of government service, from education to intelligence gathering. The U.S. Postal Service appears to be next. Parents already must pay hundreds of dollars for their public-school children to take school buses, go to music or art classes and participate in sports or other activities. Fire departments, ambulance services, the national parks system are all slated to become fodder for corporate profit. It is the death of the civil society.
Criminal justice is primarily about revenue streams for city and state governments in the United States rather than about justice or rehabilitation. The poor are arrested and fined for minor infractions in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere; for not mowing their lawns; for putting their feet on seats of New York City subway cars. If they cannot pay the fines, as many cannot, they go to jail. In jail they are often charged room and board. And if they can’t pay this new bill they go to jail again. It is a game of circular and never-ending extortion of the poor. Fines that are unpaid accrue interest and generate warrants for arrest. Poor people often end up owing thousands of dollars for parking or traffic violations.
Fascist and communist firing squads sometimes charged the victim’s family for the bullets used in the execution. In corporate capitalism, too, the abusers extract payment; often the money goes to private corporations that carry out probation services or prison and jail administration. The cost of being shot with a stun gun ($26) or of probation services ($35 to $100 a month) or of an electronic ankle bracelet ($11 a month) is vacuumed out of the pockets of the poor. And all this is happening in what will one day be seen as the good times. Wait until the financial house of cards collapses again—what is happening in China is not a good sign—and Wall Street runs for cover. Then America will become Greece on steroids.
“We are a nation that has turned its welfare system into a criminal system,” write Karen Dolan and Jodi L. Carr in an Institute for Policy Studies report titled “The Poor Get Prison.” “We criminalize life-sustaining activities of people too poor to afford shelter. We incarcerate more people than any other nation in the world. And we institute policies that virtually bar them for life from participating in society once they have done their time. We have allowed the resurgence of debtors’ prisons. We’ve created a second-tier public education system for poor children and black and Latino children that disproportionally criminalizes their behavior and sets them early onto the path of incarceration and lack of access to assistance and opportunity.”
The corporate dismantling of civil society is nearly complete in Greece. It is far advanced in the United States. We, like the Greeks, are undergoing a political war waged by the world’s oligarchs. No one elected them. They ignore public opinion. And, as in Greece, if a government defies the international banking community it is targeted for execution. The banks do not play by the rules of democracy.
Our politicians are corporate employees. And if you get dewy-eyed about the possibility of the U.S. having its first woman president, remember that it was Hillary Clinton’s husband who decimated manufacturing jobs with the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement and then went on to destroy welfare with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which halted federal cash aid programs and imposed time-limited, restrictive state block grants. Under President Bill Clinton, most welfare recipients—and 70 percent of those recipients were children—were dropped from the rolls. The prison-industrial complex exploded in size as its private corporations swallowed up surplus, unemployed labor, making $40,000 or more a year from each person held in a cage. The population of federal and state prisons combined rose by 673,000 under Clinton. He, along with Ronald Reagan, set the foundations for the Greecification of the United States.
The destruction of Greece, like the destruction of America, by the big banks and financial firms is not, as the bankers claim, about austerity or imposing rational expenditures or balanced budgets. It is not about responsible or good government. It is a vicious form of class warfare. It is profoundly anti-democratic. It is about forming nations of impoverished, disempowered serfs and a rapacious elite of all-powerful corporate oligarchs, backed by the most sophisticated security and surveillance apparatus in human history and a militarized police that shoots unarmed citizens with reckless abandon. The laws and rules it imposes on the poor are, as Barbara Ehrenreich has written, little more than “organized sadism.”
Corporate profit is God. It does not matter who suffers. In Greece 40 percent of children live in poverty, there is a 25 percent unemployment rate and the unemployment figure for those between the ages of 15 and 24 is nearly 50 percent. And it will only get worse.
The economic and political ideology that convinced us that organized human behavior should be determined by the dictates of the global marketplace was a con game. We were the suckers. The promised prosperity from trickle-down economics and the free market instead concentrated wealth among a few and destroyed the working and the middle classes along with all vestiges of democracy. Corrupt governments, ignoring the common good and the consent of the governed, abetted this pillage. The fossil fuel industry was licensed to ravage the ecosystem, threatening the viability of the human species, while being handed lavish government subsidies. None of this makes sense.
The mandarins that maintain this system cannot respond rationally in our time of crisis. They are trained only to make the system of exploitation work. They are blinded by their insatiable greed and neoliberal ideology, which posits that controlling inflation, privatizing public assets and removing trade barriers are the sole economic priorities. They are steering us over a cliff.
We will not return to a rational economy or restore democracy until these global speculators are stripped of power. This will happen only if the streets of major cities in Europe and the United States are convulsed with mass protests. The tyranny of these financial elites knows no limits. They will impose ever greater suffering and repression until we submit or revolt. I prefer the latter. But we don’t have much time.
Development, Thought and Policy Lecture Series: Austerity and Neoliberalism in Greece, sponsored by the Julien J. Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs (http://www.newschool.edu/public-engag…), at the Milano School for International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy (http://www.newschool.edu/milano). GPIA Professors Richard Wolff and Barry Herman share their insights, led by chair and moderator Achilles Kallergie, PhD Candidate in the GPIA program.
What austerity is about is shifting the burden of an economic crisis from one part of the population to another. The mass of Greek people did not force Andreas Papandreou to borrow money. The mass of the Greek people didn’t know about or have much to do with fiscal policy at the national level. In fact, governments, bankers, leading industrialists, ship builders, the major players of the Greek economy, got together, as their counterparts did elsewhere, to produce the decisions that then, in the wake of the international collapse of capitalism, became unsustainable, producing a crisis in Greece. Once that had happened, there was only one question left: Who was going to pay the cost of all the debt Greece has run up or all the production decisions made that have left Greece without the capacity to export, with a dependence on imports etc.? And at that point, as has happened in every country – Greece is in no way unique – the wealthy and the business community went to work, with their resources and their business connections, to make sure that they didn’t pay the price.
THE NEW SCHOOL | http://www.newschool.edu
The true nature of Syriza has been seldom examined and explained. To the foreign media it is no more than “leftist” or “far left” or “hardline” – the usual misleading spray. Some of Syriza’s international supporters have reached, at times, levels of cheer leading reminiscent of the rise of Barack Obama. Few have asked: Who are these “radicals”? What do they believe in?
An historic betrayal has consumed Greece. Having set aside the mandate of the Greek electorate, the Syriza government has willfully ignored last week’s landslide “No” vote and secretly agreed a raft of repressive, impoverishing measures in return for a “bailout” that means sinister foreign control and a warning to the world.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has pushed through parliament a proposal to cut at least 13 billion euros from the public purse – 4 billion euros more than the “austerity” figure rejected overwhelmingly by the majority of the Greek population in a referendum on 5 July.
These reportedly include a 50 per cent increase in the cost of healthcare for pensioners, almost 40 per cent of whom live in poverty; deep cuts in public sector wages; the complete privatization of public facilities such as airports and ports; a rise in value added tax to 23 per cent, now applied to the Greek islands where people struggle to eke out a living. There is more to come.
“Anti-austerity party sweeps to stunning victory”, declared a Guardian headline on January 25. “Radical leftists” the paper called Tsipras and his impressively-educated comrades. They wore open neck shirts, and the finance minister rode a motorbike and was described as a “rock star of economics”. It was a façade. They were not radical in any sense of that cliched label, neither were they “anti austerity”.
For six months Tsipras and the recently discarded finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, shuttled between Athens and Brussels, Berlin and the other centres of European money power. Instead of social justice for Greece, they achieved a new indebtedness, a deeper impoverishment that would merely replace a systemic rottenness based on the theft of tax revenue by the Greek super-wealthy – in accordance with European “neo-liberal” values – and cheap, highly profitable loans from those now seeking Greece’s scalp.
Greece’s debt, reports an audit by the Greek parliament, “is illegal, illegitimate and odious”. Proportionally, it is less than 30 per cent that of the debit of Germany, its major creditor. It is less than the debt of European banks whose “bailout” in 2007-8 was barely controversial and unpunished.
For a small country such as Greece, the euro is a colonial currency: a tether to a capitalist ideology so extreme that even the Pope pronounces it “intolerable” and “the dung of the devil”. The euro is to Greece what the US dollar is to remote territories in the Pacific, whose poverty and servility is guaranteed by their dependency.
In their travels to the court of the mighty in Brussels and Berlin, Tsipras and Varoufakis presented themselves neither as radicals nor “leftists” nor even honest social democrats, but as two slightly upstart supplicants in their pleas and demands. Without underestimating the hostility they faced, it is fair to say they displayed no political courage. More than once, the Greek people found out about their “secret austerity plans” in leaks to the media: such as a 30 June letter published in the Financial Times, in which Tsipras promised the heads of the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF to accept their basic, most vicious demands – which he has now accepted.
When the Greek electorate voted “no” on 5 July to this very kind of rotten deal, Tsipras said, “Come Monday and the Greek government will be at the negotiating table after the referendum with better terms for the Greek people”. Greeks had not voted for “better terms”. They had voted for justice and for sovereignty, as they had done on January 25.
The day after the January election a truly democratic and, yes, radical government would have stopped every euro leaving the country, repudiated the “illegal and odious” debt – as Argentina did successfully – and expedited a plan to leave the crippling Eurozone. But there was no plan. There was only a willingness to be “at the table” seeking “better terms”.
The true nature of Syriza has been seldom examined and explained. To the foreign media it is no more than “leftist” or “far left” or “hardline” – the usual misleading spray. Some of Syriza’s international supporters have reached, at times, levels of cheer leading reminiscent of the rise of Barack Obama. Few have asked: Who are these “radicals”? What do they believe in?
In 2013, Yanis Varoufakis wrote: “Should we welcome this crisis of European capitalism as an opportunity to replace it with a better system? Or should we be so worried about it as to embark upon a campaign for stabilising capitalism? To me, the answer is clear. Europe’s crisis is far less likely to give birth to a better alternative to capitalism… I bow to the criticism that I have campaigned on an agenda founded on the assumption that the left was, and remains, squarely defeated… Yes, I would love to put forward [a] radical agenda. But, no, I am not prepared to commit the [error of the British Labour Party following Thatcher’s victory]… What good did we achieve in Britain in the early 1980s by promoting an agenda of socialist change that British society scorned while falling headlong into Thatcher’s neoliberal trip? Precisely none. What good will it do today to call for a dismantling of the Eurozone, of the European Union itself…?”
Varoufakis omits all mention of the Social Democratic Party that split the Labour vote and led to Blairism. In suggesting people in Britain “scorned socialist change” – when they were given no real opportunity to bring about that change – he echoes Blair.
The leaders of Syriza are revolutionaries of a kind – but their revolution is the perverse, familiar appropriation of social democratic and parliamentary movements by liberals groomed to comply with neo-liberal drivel and a social engineering whose authentic face is that of Wolfgang Schauble, Germany’s finance minister, an imperial thug. Like the Labour Party in Britain and its equivalents among former social democratic parties such as the Labor Party in Australia, still describing themselves as “liberal” or even “left”, Syriza is the product of an affluent, highly privileged, educated middle class, “schooled in postmodernism”, as Alex Lantier wrote.
For them, class is the unmentionable, let alone an enduring struggle, regardless of the reality of the lives of most human beings. Syriza’s luminaries are well-groomed; they lead not the resistance that ordinary people crave, as the Greek electorate has so bravely demonstrated, but “better terms” of a venal status quo that corrals and punishes the poor. When merged with “identity politics” and its insidious distractions, the consequence is not resistance, but subservience. “Mainstream” political life in Britain exemplifies this.
This is not inevitable, a done deal, if we wake up from the long, postmodern coma and reject the myths and deceptions of those who claim to represent us, and fight.
The Greek debt, as such, is mostly not Greek debt. The debt which Germany and other nations are demanding that they pay for, is money that the Greeks never got! So the Greeks don’t owe that money. This was a swindle, because the Greeks didn’t incur that debt.
Lyndon LaRouche, Feb. 17, 2015
What Americans need to know about Greece and “its debt,” is that the new Greek government is asking the European Union to shut down a huge Wall Street-London bank swindle and make economic growth possible again in Europe.
If that doesn’t happen, the worsening bankruptcy of the whole trans-Atlantic banking system will continue to generate desperate confrontations with major powers Russia and China, with the threat of world war.
The rest of Europe, so far, is refusing to shut that Wall Street swindle down, and today Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jack Lew backed up that refusal, including by a threatening phone call to the Greek finance minister.
What Obama, Merkel, et al. are demanding Greece do, instead of shutting down this Europe-wide swindle by the banks, is run a budget surplus of 4.5% of its annual economy, exclusively to pay the “Greek debt.” In U.S. terms? That would mean the United States running a government tax surplus of $750 billion a year, in order to pay down debt. You won’t hear Obama or Lew volunteering to try it; it is impossible.
The “Greek debt” swindle is the same one as the TARP bailout here, and the Federal Reserve’s printing of $4 trillion in new money to cover Wall Street’s debts; and its perpetrators are the same huge banks.
In the United States, the big banks took millions of subprime, unrepayable mortgages sold by their captive mortgage companies, and made them into toxic securities which blew up the financial system and the whole economy in 2008; the government bailed them out, while our living standards plunged.
In Europe, the banks bought the mortgage securities from the U.S. banks. At the same time they made millions of unrepayable subprime loans of their own — not only to homeowners, but also to governments without the means to repay them, like those of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Hungary, and others. Big Wall Street banks were involved, particularly Goldman Sachs, which created “magic” derivatives: Take a bank loan to Greece, make it look like a mere “currency swap” rather than a debt — but turn it into a much bigger debt ten years later.
All this European subprime debt blew up on the big banks in 2009, a year after the U.S. subprime debt blew up on them. Then the European governments allsuperindebted themselves, to create a $1 trillion “European TARP” called by the initials EFSF. They bailed the megabanks out, with the IMF pitching in, using “only” about $600 billion to pay the unpayable “subprime government debt” part of it. $275 billion paid “Greek debt.”
This immense bank bailout got passed through the Greek, Irish, etc. governments, which passed it immediately on to the banks which had been their “subprime lenders.”
We have to spill this thing as a leading issue in the U.S. You can sink Wall Street on this one. If you sink the Greek swindle, you’re going to start a chain-reaction explosion of the international trans-Atlantic system, like the Wall Street system and similar things, the British andothers. They are the ones who owe the debt, not the Greeks.
The Greek debt swindle was classic. In 2009 Greece’s debt was $300 billion. It then “got” two huge bailouts in 2010 and 2012, of about $140 billion each. Less than 10% of that $275 billion stayed in Greece and was spent by the Greek government; more than 90% went directly and immediately to Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, and their fellow sharks, with small amounts crumbling to the hedge funds swimming alongside. Former Greek Labor and Social Security Minister Louka Katseli has given documentation that the Greek government actually got to spend or invest just 3% of that $275 billion. The only banks which had to write off their “Greek debt” were Greek banks; all of Wall Street and the London-centered banks got their toxic debt “assets” guaranteed 100% by this European bailout swindle. This made the Greek banks so bankrupt that the Greek government then had to borrow more to bail them out with $50 billion — so Greece’s debt was increased when supposedly being reduced! A total swindle!
Then, between 2010 and today, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, etc. were ordered to pay the bill for this huge new Europe-wide bank bailout debt. They imposed a slashing domestic austerity until their people emigrated, death rates rose and birth rates fell, and clouds of wood smoke rose over modern cities whose inhabitants could no longer afford modern heat. After five years of this punishment, Greece’s $300 billion debt has become $350 billion or so — after $250 billion passed through to the banks!
And the other European countries are also on the hook for this phony debt, all of it. They guaranteed it; Greece and Ireland and the other austerity-crushed countries can’t pay it, so the rest of Europe must either agree to reorganize that debt and write it down, or their taxpayers will pay for the swindle.
This is why the new Greek government now demands that Europe shut down this global bank swindle: Write off the unpayable debt; invest in reviving economic productivity by building new economic infrastructure.
In addition, the megabanks have to be put through a Glass-Steagall reorganization and broken up.
To which Lyndon LaRouche has added:
“This thing has to be put loud and clear on every doorstep in the United States. If you want to avoid World War III, that’s what you’ll do.”
Meanwhile, in Ukraine, after the forces of the fascist Kiev regime fled under fire today from encircled Debaltsevo, an actual ceasefire is now in effect, however fragile, and heavy weapons are being withdrawn from the front lines by both sides, as agreed by the leaders of the French, German, Ukrainian, and Russian governments at Minsk last week. To make it an enduring ceasefire, all we need do now, is immediately remove Nazi Victoria Nuland from the State Department.
Under circumstances of a quasi-world crash of financial markets, the government submitted to the European Stability Mechanism for re-financing. Requesting a new debt for the old. With this application, the country most directly subordinate to the permanent mechanism for controlled bankruptcy and dissolution.
The ESM is not something simple. It is a controlled bankruptcy institution based in Luxembourg for the eurozone countries that are unable to cope with their debts. The Treaty on the ESM is but one debt treaty to protect the euro. The board and the CEO have ultimate authority over the Member States must comply “unconditionally and irrevocably” as defined in the verbatim Treaty establishing the ESM. In essence it is about the set up of an uncontrolled organization based in Luxembourg that is not subject to any control and no authority, legal or other form.
Let’s see what is foreseen under the Establishing Treaty on the ESM. Succinctly with Article 32 par. 2 of the Treaty: “The ESM has full legal personality and has full legal capacity:
a) to acquire and dispose of movable and immovable property,
b) to contract,
c) to institute legal proceedings and
d) to conclude an agreement and / or protocols for the seat as necessary, to ensure the recognition and enforcement of the legal status and privileges and immunities. ”
The par. 3 of the same article states: “The ESM, real estate, its resources and its assets, regardless of location and owner, shall be immune from any form of legal proceedings, unless the ESM expressly waive its immunity for the purposes of any procedure, under the terms of any contract, including documentation of financial instruments.”
The par. 4 of the same article states: “The property, funds and assets of the ESM, regardless of location and holder, be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation or any other form of seizure, removal or detention under executive , judicial, administrative or legislative measures. ”
The par. 5 and 6 of the same article states: “The archives of the ESM and all documents belonging to the ESM or held to be inviolable. The premises of the ESM’s facilities shall be inviolable.”
While par. 8 and 9 of the same article states: “To the extent necessary for the performance of activities provided for in this Treaty, all property, funds and assets of the ESM shall not be subject to any restriction, regulation , control and moratoria of any nature. The ESM is exempted from any authorization or licensing obligation as a credit institution, investment services provider or other official licensed or regulated entity under the laws of each member of the ESM. ”
In fact Article 32 par. 8 of the Treaty establishing the ESM out: “To the extent necessary for the performance of activities provided for in this Treaty, all property, funds and assets of the ESM shall not be subject to any restrictions, regulation, control and moratoria of any nature. ”
In other words, the loans and the guarantees will be distracted by the ESM from the Member State which is under the tutelage of “not subject to any restriction, regulation, control and moratoria of any nature.” And so the debtor Member State is bound to suffer that decided in absentia without even the right to negotiate in order to supposedly achieve any restrictions, regulations, controls and moratoria in how the lending by the ESM will take place.
What happens when the ESM shall authorize the opening of a new financing program for Greece? Then drawn up “with the member of ESM memorandum of understanding (” MK “) describing in detail the conditions to be attached to facilitate financial assistance. The content of the MK reflects the weaknesses to be addressed and the financial assistance instrument chosen. “(Article 13, par. 3) Therefore any new funding must be accompanied by a” Memorandum of Understanding “, such as those imposed on us until today.
The new is that the “MK [Memorandum of Understanding] is fully consistent with the provisions for coordination of economic policies provided for in the TFEU [Operation Treaty on European Union], especially any acts of European Union law, including any opinion, warning, recommendation or a decision addressed to the ESM Member concerned. “(in the same article) that this time the Memorandum is a bilateral agreement with the state in funding, such as Greece, the result of a specific loan agreement. It falls to the TFEU and EU law.
What does this mean; It means that the application of the Memorandum is not something separate from our country’s participation in the “European integration” and therefore compliance with the memorandum, included in Article 28 of the Constitution “provides for restrictions on the exercise of national sovereignty,” to facilitate “participation of the Country in European integration,” as expressly mentioned in the explanatory statement of this article.
That is why the ‘European Commission signs the MK on behalf of the ESM “(par. 4), and also the’ European Commission – in cooperation with the ECB and wherever possible, together with the IMF – made responsible for monitoring the compliance with the conditions attached to the financial assistance facility. “(para. 5).
In other words the Member State that borrows directly from the ESM loses not only its national sovereignty, but its very state of existence. The government must “unconditionally and irrevocably” follow exactly what the European Commission and the Governing Board of the ESM decides. In other words, with our accession to the ESM, as the country Greece we are finished. We are converted into a plot in a liquidation mechanism. And all this with the left in government.
Posted by Dimitris Kazakis at 12:29 am
Translated by Kosmas Loumakis
4 days after the Greek people’s resounding “NO to the continuation of negotiations with the EU / ECB on the Greek people’s expense”, the Greek government yesterday announced that they will apply that Greece be incorporated in the super state EMS “help activities” so therefore in practice it cease to exist as an independent and sovereign nation. That is how Tsipras and the European Goebbels media interpreted the Greek people’s NO last Sunday. The ESM is a supranational organization, which was inaugurated October 8, 2012 and which as a legal entity in principle have the same rights as an independent state.
The masks have really fallen and now all of Greece sees who is really who, and that it only is two sides that actually exist in this ugly game and on the Greek people’s expense. Actually on all the European peoples expense, and with democracy shackled to both hands and feet. The people of Greece are not divided due to the referendum as the media mean. On the contrary, the Greeks are a more united people than ever, and the poisonous civil war doctrine, the left-right politics, begin to blur and instead people increasingly judge persons and behaviour under the parameters Democrat or anti-Democrat and of Greece and the Greek people’s best or banks and the business elite’s best. These exist in all parties (though quite thin on “democrats” in the Golden Dawn presumably).
“One should be quite clear with the fact that the only two real parties in this ugly pan-European game is the EU oligarchs and their serving-governments with their “diabolical” propaganda apparatus on the one hand, and the European nations, excluded its financial, business and political elite, on the other side.” I wrote this a few days ago and this truth is good to keep fresh in mind during the coming weeks “EU’s play”.
When will people really start to wonder when the hell all these super organizations was passed? When was the Europeans informed adequately on this? Did they have their say in this context? How many know today what the ESM really is?
Quick video explanation what the ESM actually is:
Strange that the educated and well articulate journalists have such difficulties to interpret a word of only three letters. The tens of thousands of banners and posters all over Greece as well as the approximately 4 million Greeks slogans on streets and squares in recent days, were not clear enough, says both the news parrots and their own government.
The panic among news readers, commentators and assorted “experts” in the Greek TV channels, was complete last night. So much drivel and hair-raising theories about how to interpret this NO. Most of them managed to twist it to that “NO meant “NO to a break with the EU”. And then the Swedish lawmakers on sex crimes claim that NO always is a NO. What about the rape case of Greece?
The interpretations, over the whole range, of course was that NO actually means yes and that no one in Greece really wants to leave the euro and the EU. Despite the fact that people across the country have spoken of “NO to the occupation”, which is how we all see the Eurogroup’s and in particular the German government’s role in Greece. These parrots need to broaden the horizons a little bit and stop drinking their coffee only in the highly polished in-cafés, where both staff and guests poses with the ridiculously bleached jaws and the ridiculously unnatural smiles.
Then came the real “turn off”, Tsipras own “victory speech”, in which he assured that he does not take the Greeks vote as if he had been commissioned to break with Europe, but to negotiate better terms for the “cooperation”. Firstly, you never call a choke leash “cooperation”, and secondly, we want him to throw off his choke leash and begin to actually lay the issues of the legitimacy of the debt and the agreements legitimacy on the table, and with the support in international law and even on the advice from the UN’s own human rights adviser, to refuse to pay the creditors and announce that Greece will not pay the debt and declare the debt and the loan agreement illegal.
Let the international courts deal with the matter and in the meantime Greece will not pay a single euro of the legally challenged debt. Why this would pose any problem to the Greeks, no sensible person who manages to count has really understood, despite all the doomsday propaganda in the media? If the Greeks do not pay usury-debt and therefore do not need to take new loans to pay back the last five years forced, unfair loans, there is enough money for salaries, pensions, healthcare, education, infrastructure, social and health insurances and necessities for the people.
That is in any case, what a Prime Minister and a government that works for its people and not for the banks and businessmen would do.
If someone, with such “wind in the sails” and with the main international legal bodies advice to refuse to pay, still doesn’t interpret a NO as a “NO to this sort of Europe”, one clearly have different allegiances than what one show. So his own interpretation was thus NYES. His victory speech sounded as if it was YES the people said. Didn’t he read the banners and didn’t he hear the slogans, or didn’t he see the graffiti across Athens that said “NO” and “RAUS”? Didn’t his party members pass the people’s “don’t you dare” message to any further negotiations with EU/ECB, on the people’s sacrifices, on the illegal debt and its inhumane choke leash called “loan agreement”? “Even if this would mean to leave the euro and a break with the EU,” was the clear message that echoed throughout Greece to the government on Sunday.
What this referendum has done and that actually is of great value, is that it caused a climate of panic where all masks has finally fallen and they have revealed themselves and their real purposes to the people. Today we clearly see what real loyalties each and every one has and whose interests they are working for. The political leadership, the news channels, the terrorized YES voters, the pretending democrats and the pretending left has been unmasked. Those who have maintained and lived on the corruption and the nepotism which overturned Greece now stands “nude” and with “their hand up to the elbow in the cookie jar.”
This can force Tsipras to new elections and a wider coalition or a new technocrat government type Papademo’s government. In the worst case, a military dictatorship to put the Greeks in the “plaster cradle” again as that psychopath-colonel, dictator and CIA agent Papadopoulos put it, in April 21, 1967. It will be very interesting to see how the vast majority of SYRIZA will react to Tsipras, to say the least, treacherous NO interpretation. It is doubtful whether he can handle this to the end of the month, to not say the end of the week, as he again reappears to the negotiations in political “shorts” to communicate the Greek people’s position to the Brussels and Berlin commandants.
I sure hope they refueled the helicopters!
sign says we say NO to the ockupation
Big graffiti on wall in Athens
I must inform everyone who still believe the European news media’s version of what happens in Greece, and what they report about Greece and the referendum, that a huge “yes”-propaganda machinery has been unleashed from all those who with their “courts” have brought the country to this position. Of course with huge foreign support and help, since at least WWII.
EPAM’s general secretary the economist Dimitris Kazakis says:
“The YES-side is struggling to hide that YES means confiscation of deposits, salary, pension, private and public property of Greek citizens, as required by the lenders. YES means the release of layoffs without compensation, permanency of the interests of the employer, unemployment and temporary short-term work for the vast majority of Greeks. It means the continuance and increase of misery, soup kitchens, suicides and deaths because of lack of the basic necessities. All this that the lenders call bailout.
And the government? What is the government doing? At the same time that they are closing the banks, leaving them at the mercy of the deliberately caused panic among the pensioners and the private sector, in the Government Gazette, Sheet no. 1295, June 30, 2015, the government gives new guarantees in public to the Eurobank, so that this particular bank can sell its own bonds of around 1.91 billion euros, and to the Greek National Bank for 4.26 billion euros.
The government supports bankrupt banks and guarantees that the Greek taxpayer will pay their debts if these banks cannot. But when it comes to protect the people’s savings, wages and pensions, they hold up their hands. It closes banks, puts a ceiling on withdrawals and paves the way for “haircut” savings from the first euro.
At the same time, and while having announced a referendum, Mr. Tsipras submit an ostensibly own proposal based on which the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will redeem the IMF. In other words, it suggests that the Greek should be further burdened with the IMF debt with ESM money and with at least twice the rate.
And the worst, he proposes to put the whole country under the ESM, which operates as a super state with complete immunity and privileges capitulations. This will move away from the IMF, which is unable to declare Greece bankrupt the and thus surrender completely to the ESM. To a super state that has the ability to sell, dismantle, cut and maim entire Greece.
Even though he wants to hide it Mr. Tsipras can not. He is with the YES even if he in public says NO. As does the leadership of Perissos (head quarters of the communist-party) that very much would like to say yes, but for show throws in an invalid vote. The referendum has already clarified the cloudy landscape. Every crook goes back to his own counter and shows his true colors.”
The yes-side, everyone should know, are those who have become used to not work for their income, but want to keep a position in the corrupt system and the subservient Greece of the cartels and the European banksters. They exist in the top of all the established parties in Greece and in all top channels in Greece and all of them are dependent on money from the different private and political interests, domestic as foreign. It’s all those who want to keep Greece a plutocracy and an oligarchy in dependence and in the lap of the foreign vultures. And I am not talking about serious investors who have long-term interests in Greece and in accordance with the Greek people’s interests, but the vultures that roam from country to country waiting for national collapses and is pushing for such things to happen and who lives on blood money and crimes against humanity… These are the ones that EU generally mean when they talk about “investors” and those are the ones that the Eurogroup doesn’t want to disappoint.
Anyone who are advocating a “yes” in this referendum wants to put Greece in a final colonial status to Brussels and Berlin and the Greek people to become debt-serfs in their own country…
Since the images of fighting pensionaries’ stomping on eachother or chaos and havoc in ATM queues that the photographers wanted didn’t actually occur to extent that they expected, they simply arranged them or in some cases I even saw images from other parts of the world broadcasted by European media as if they were from Athens… Even a number of buses from Sofia was chartered by ND-members and filled with Bulgarians, who for 100 Euro per head acted as “yes-supporters” on Syntagma on the YES-rally. Friends tried to talk with some people and they talked some Slavic language they told me and many others discovered the same… The current European propaganda machinery is not only spreading a ridiculous kind of black “journalism” but it also is a great humiliation to the intelligence and the common sense of the European citizen. Well apart from a few remote and intellectually dark corners of Europe.
In Sweden where I happen to be at the moment, unfortunately as always almost everyone are more or less very supportive of EU’s “defend-the-criminals-and-blame-the-victims” policy, the austerity-policies and they are completely influenced by the European Brussels directed media, so they listen to and trust every imaginable crap that comes out of every media-parrot’s beak in TV. The alleged critical voices in main stream media are ludicrous and on a level that not even kids in first class would believe in Greece, Spain and Portugal. In Sweden those voices are the absolute limit for what they can handle.
But forget about the Swedes. The Europeans that are actually able to critically follow the current events are not that stupid or that well conditioned, so at this time in history the masks are falling and everyone will show their right faces and their right intents and I have quite solid reason to believe that the nations and the people in Europe with a spine will stand up and do their historic duty. The Swedes will read about it and get the point in the history books in 60 or 70 years.
by Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, Ambassador ad.H.
Published in Diario de Noticias 29.06.2015
After five months of fruitless negotiations between Greece and its lenders, the Greek Prime Minister blasted the Institutions for submitting proposals that would destroy Greece and humiliate its people. So he proposed that a referendum be held next Sunday with the question of whether or not the Greek people support the EU proposals. On Sunday morning parliament adopted the proposal and the referendum will be held next Sunday.
The EU proposals were rejected because they would have devastating effects on the country. They anticipated reduction of wages and pensions, increase in food prices and other measures affecting the middle and lower classes.
The EU never expected that the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would dare ask for a referendum. Now attempts will be made by the EU and other circles to prevent the referendum from happening as was done in 2010. Already Christine Lagarde of the IMF made statements today saying that the Referendum will be invalid because after Tuesday the proposals will no longer exist. The Eurogroup also rejected a request from Greece to extend the exisiting program until after the referendum. Consequently as from Tuesday, the so-called financing of Greece from the institutions will stop and Greece will be obliged to pay its outstanding debt to the IMF. More attempts will take place during the week by creating panic to the people in the means of preventing access to their accounts, fomenting internal unrest etc. The EU is good in this. We saw what happened in Kiev in December 2013. But panic exists in the EU where the fear is spreading that the eurozone is collapsing.
If the outcome of the referendum is NO, then presumabely the government will inform the institutions of the will of the Greek people. It cannot be excluded that the Government denounces the Loan agreement of 2010 on the basis of articles 48-52 of the Vienna Treaty on Treaties which anticipate under which conditions an international treaty is null and void,and it covers the Greek case too. The denunciation in written form will be sent to the Secretary general of the UN, since the Vienna Treaty has been deposited at the UN, and Greece will legally stop all payments to the lenders since the Loan Agreement will be null and void. The money kept will help Greece in its road towards economic recovery. The next step will be the gradual and orderly exit of Greece from the eurozone, which will take place in a period of six months to one year. This position is also supported by the Unified Popular Front (EPAM), a party of which I am a member, and it will actively participate in support of the no vote.
If the outcome of the referendum is yes then the road for Greece to achieve colonial status will become a reality.
We are witnessing an incredible event, the EU destroying its member-states. During the last five years, the member states of the Eurozone, the EU as an institution, the IMF which is only a specialized agency of the UN, and the previous Greek governments,have violated most existing international treaties on the respect for human rights, i.e. the Lisbon treaty, the International Covenant of economic, social and cultural rights, the UN Charter etc, making them also criminally responsible for these violations. But this not our EU, it is not the EU that neither Greece, Portugal or Spain joined. It is an aberration.
I personally hope that this Greek revolution spreads to Portugal and Spain and to the other EU countries for the benefit of the peoples of Europe and of humanity.
Former Greek Diplomat and ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos talks with RT about the current situation in Greece.
Introduction: Over the past decade fundamental changes have taken place in Southern Europe, which have broken with previous political alignments, resulting in the virtual disappearance of traditional leftist ’parties, the decline of trade unions and the emergence of ‘middle class radicalism’.
New political movements, purportedly on the left, no longer are based on class conscious workers nor are they embedded in the class struggle. Likewise on the right, greater attention is paid to escalating the repressive capacity of the state instead of state intervention in pursuit of economic markets.
Radicalization of the right, including massive cutbacks in social spending, has demolished welfare programs. The dispossession of households has uprooted cohesive neighborhood-based social organizations.
In place of the class based traditional left, ‘non-leftist left’ movements have emerged. Their leaders embrace ‘participatory democracy’ but engage in vertical political practice.
On the right, politics no longer revolve around conserving national economic privileges. Rightwing leaders willingly subordinate their economies and society to imperial led crusades, which empty national sovereignty of any meaning while pillaging the national treasury.
This essay will proceed to discuss these complex changes and their meaning.
The ‘Non-Leftist Left’ in Southern Europe
The economic crisis, in particular the imposition of severe cuts in wages, pensions and other social welfare programs by rightwing and social democratic governments have led to widespread discontent, which the traditional workplace based leftist parties have been unable to address and mobilize the people. Prolonged and deepening unemployment and the growth of temporary employment have affected over 50% of the labor force.
Union representation has declined precipitously, further weakening the presence of traditional leftist parties in factories.
Large-scale evictions, foreclosure of mortgages and accompanying job losses have led to neighborhood-based anti-eviction movements and struggles. Millions of young workers now depend on their grandparents’ pensions and remain with two older generations in their parents’ home. For the young workers, the degradation of everyday life, the loss of personal autonomy and the inability to live independently have led to revolts for ‘dignity’.
The traditional left parties and trade unions have failed (or not attempted) to organize the unemployed. They have failed to attract the young and the downwardly mobile temporary workers in anything resembling class-based, class struggle-oriented movements.
Paradoxically despite the deepening crisis among most workers, the traditional left has declined. Its workplace orientation and its language of class struggle do not resonate with those without jobs or prospects. For the radicalized middle class the traditional left is too radical in seeking to overturn capitalism and too distant from power to realize changes.
The radicalized middle class includes public employees, professionals and self-employed private contractors who aspire to, and until recently, experienced upward mobility but have now found their path blocked by the austerity programs imposed by rightwing, as well as, social democratic parties.
Frustrated by the social democrats’ betrayal and facing downward mobility, the radicalized middle class are disoriented and fragmented. Many have joined amorphous street protests; some have even embraced, temporarily in most cases, the alternative traditional rightwing parties only to encounter even more brutal job cuts, insecurity and downward mobility.
The middle classes deeply resent being denied the opportunity for upward mobility for themselves and their children. They resent their formerly ‘moderately progressive’ Social Democratic leaders’ betrayal of their interests. Their radicalism is directed toward restoring their past access to social advancement. Their deep-seated hostility to the authorities is rooted in the loss of their previous status as a result of the crisis.
Middle class radicalism is tempered by nostalgia for the past. This radicalism is rooted in the struggle to restore the European Union’s social subsidies and growth policies. They remember a recent past of rising living standards and “social inclusion”, now denied their own children. This vision guides the rhetoric that the progressive middle class had earned and enjoyed theirrising incomes as a result of their own ‘merit’.
Today the radicalized middle class looks for practical, specifically defined and government-sponsored policies that can restore their past prosperity. They do not aim to ‘level the playing field’ for everyone but to prevent their proletariazation. They reject the politics of the traditional left parties because class struggle and worker-centered ideologies do not promote their own social aspirations.
For most radicalized middle class activists the culprits are ‘austerity’, the mega-bank swindlers and the political kleptocrats. They seek parties that can reform or moralize capitalism and restore ‘individual dignity’. They want to kick out corrupt officials. They demand ‘participatory democracy’ rather than the traditional left’s goal of public ownership under worker control.
Under the specific conditions generated by the current social crisis, a non-leftist left (NLL) has emerged throughout Europe. Spontaneous, amorphous, ‘anarchic’, extra-institutional and ‘street-centered’, the NLL has adopted an irreverent style. The NLL, in its origins, rejected political parties, well-defined programs and disciplined cadres in favor of spontaneity and irreverence toward institutions.
As the appeal of the NLL grew, the unemployed, the temporary workers, the insecure and unprotected non-unionized workers and the radicalized middle class joined demonstrations and found safety in the crowds. They were attracted by the appeals from ‘the street’ to oust the incumbent kleptocrats.
Emerging from this movement aimed at the downwardly mobile middle class’ anger, Podemosin Spain, Syriza in Greece and Five Stars in Italy have appealed to all the people disconnected from power, by promising a restoration of ‘dignity and respect.’ They made amorphous appeals to ‘end austerity’ with only a vague promise that they would create jobs.
The NLL leadership, however, is most clearly influenced by the non-radical resentments of the downwardly mobile middle class.
They never engaged in class struggles and have rejected class ideology. For the NLL leaders, social polarization is mostly a vehicle for building an electoral base. Their participation in small-scale local struggles was presented as ‘proof’ that the NLL leaders spoke to authentic popular aspirations.
The Non-Leftist Left’s Transition: From Street to Public Office
From the street, the NLL moved swiftly to elections and from elections they proceeded to form coalitions with traditional parties. Strategic decisions were taken by a small coterie of personalistic leaders: They redefined ‘participatory democracy’ to refer only to local neighborhood activism and issues – not national issues, which were the realm of ‘experts’.
Syriza, the first NLL to reach power, reflected the immense gap between the radical posturingof its leaders in opposition and their cringing conformity before Established Power (the Troika: IMF, European Commission, Central Bank) once elected to government.
Syriza embodied middle class resentment toward the Euro-technocratic elite in Brussels whom they blamed for their loss of past prosperity and job security and for the ongoing degradation of everyday life. Syriza denounced the Troika while it remained under its tutelage. It excoriatedthe EU elite in the highest moral tones for doing what its elite class interests dictated, that is, defend the EU bankers, extract debt payments and threaten their underlings. In practice,Syriza never applied any class analysis to the Troika’s policy as it continued to refer to their ‘EU partners’. ..even as they imposed brutall demands.
Once in power the Syriza leaders never mobilized a single mass protest and never even threatened a general strike in the face of EU colonial dictates.
Syriza’s personalist leader, Alexis Tsipra,s appointed right wingers from former regimes to key posts. He negotiated with the Troika and caved on all strategic issues dealing with debt payments, austerity and privatizations. Syriza never considered ‘going to the people’. Syriza’s‘moral crusade’ against capitalism ended by their embracing capitalism and the colonial Eurozone system.
Syriza’s lack of class analysis, class struggle and class mobilization and its total commitment to working within a moralized capitalism and the Eurozone to restore middle class status and security has resulted in the most abject conformity and surrender – punctuated by shameless buffoonery on the part of some leaders.
In the end, Syriza surrendered to the dictates of higher powers of the Troika ad their Eurozone acolytes, but not until it had emptied the Greek Treasury. The leaders have combined the worst of all worlds: a bankrupt national economy, a ‘protesting’ but fundamentally colonial regime and a disenchanted electorate.
Where Syriza wildly succeeded was in marginalizing the traditional left (the Greek Communist Party). It reaffirmed the historic pattern: free floating movements of the moment end up being run by personalistic leaders who presume to speak for “the people” while bending over to their overseas overlords.
NLL in Spain and Italy: Podemos and Five Stars
Podemos in Spain and Five Stars in Italy are ready to follow Syriza’s path of colonial subservience. They rejected and successfully marginalized the traditional left. They have gained mass support, organized mass protests and loudly rejected austerity and the dictates of the Troika.
While Podemos leaders talk of ‘participatory democracy’, a handful of leaders make all policy pronouncements, decide which candidates to support in the elections and determine what kind of post-election coalition governments they will join.
What gives Podemos and Five Stars their radical appearance is their opposition to the governing parties, their rejection of ‘austerity’, their criticism of neoliberalism – and their support for ‘micro-politics’ of local grassroots direct-action.
At no time or place have they counterpoised an alternative to capitalism. Nor have they repudiated illicit debts or supported the expropriation of the banks responsible for the pillage their economies.
Podemos and Five Stars deliberately obscure their politics: They are whatever any of their affiliates’ claim to be…
The leaders raise populist demands and speak about ‘dignity’, employment and punishment of corrupt officials. They call for an end to authoritarian measures, but avoid any real commitments to institutional change, especially of the repressive courts, police or armed forces.
Podemos and Five Stars criticize the EU’s austerity programs while staying in the EU as subordinate members of an organization dominated by German bankers. They promote popular mobilizations which they have turned into vote-gathering machines for electing their members to office.
The NLLs contradictory politics of populist gestures and institutional commitments reflect the politics of a frustrated and blocked middle class demanding a restoration of its past status and security. Podemos and Five Stars leaders put on the grand show of thumbing their noses at the establishment to promote limited middle class demands. On a much broader front, the leaders of the NLL have not organized any mass protests – let alone formed a mass movement which would seriously challenge the imperialist powers, NATO, the Middle East wars and US-EU sanctions against Russia.
Since most of their supporters are anti NATO, in favor of Palestinian independence and critical of the Kiev regime the popular base of the NLL will act on their own but will have no real impact on the current national leadership.
The reason for the disparity between leaders and followers is clear: The NLL leaders intend to form post-electoral coalitions with the corrupt and reactionary ‘center left’ parties so despised and rejected by their own electorate.
Following the nationwide Spanish municipal and regional elections, Podemos allied with corrupt Socialist Party (PSOE). In the municipality of Madrid, Podemos supported the left-center coalition Ahora Madrid (Madrid Now), which in turn has allied with the center-right Socialists to elect the ‘progressive’ mayoral candidate, Manuela Carmena.
While the entire ‘progressive camp’ celebrates the defeat of the hard-right Popular Party candidate –little has been said about consequential changes in the municipal and regional budgets, structures of economic power and class relations.
‘Five Stars’,( Movimento Cinque Stelle or M5S), Italy’s non-leftist left is dominated by a single ‘anti-leader’, Beppe Grillo, he defines the party’s programs and affiliations. He is known for making clownish, provocative gestures against the authorities, calling for a “Fuck the Parliament Day”.
It is Beppe who selects the candidates to run for Parliament. While in opposition, M5S loudly opposed all NATO wars in the Middle East, US military interventions in Latin America and free trade agreements. But now ensconced in the European Parliament, Beppe has aligned with the Libertarian Right.
Five Stars (M5S) central demands revolve around ‘direct democracy’ and ‘sustainable development’. It has captured the electoral support of the majority of the lower middle classgaining 26% of the vote (9 million voters) in the 2013 general elections.
While Beppe and his colleagues engage in fist fights within the Parliament, make radical gestures and spout belligerent rhetoric, ‘M5S’ has not supported a workers general strike. It participates in each and every election, but has stayed away from factory struggles.
Radicalism, as grand ‘gesture politics’, is an entertaining, non-threatening response to capitalism since there is no concerted effort to form class alliances with workers engaged in workplace struggles.
‘M5S’, like Podemos and Syriza, expresses the disorganized radicalism of the young, frustrated lower middle class raging against their downward mobility, while refusing to breakwith the EU .They rail against the concentration of power in the hands of the banks, but refuse to pursue their nationalization. M5S mobilized 800,000 people in Rome recently but led them nowhere. ‘Five Stars’ convokes crowds to meet and cheer its leaders and to ridicule the power brokers. Afterwards they all go home.
While the ‘NLL’ movements capture the support of the ‘indignant’, the mass of unemployed workers and the evicted householders, their leaders do not articulate a serious plan of action capable of challenging the economic power structures: they raise popular expectations via demands for ‘change’. However, these vague and deceptive slogans allow the NLL leaders to join in a medley of opportunist electoral coalitions and governmental alliances, with decidedly establishment personalities and parties.
In Greece, Italy and Spain the traditional left has either disappeared, or shrunk to a marginal force. With little or no base outside of the workplace and trade unions, they barely secure five percent of the votes.
The NLL has deepened the isolation of the traditional left and has even attracted a part of its social base. NLL’s rejection of the traditional left’s tight organization and top down leadership and its pluralistic rhetoric appeals to the young. Moreover, as the left trade unions have sought compromises with the bosses to save the jobs of employed workers and ignored the unemployed, the latter has looked to the ‘open and spontaneous’ NLL to express their opposition. In Spain’s municipal elections, the United Left, a Communist-led electoral formation, joined with Podemos to elect Manuela Carmena, the ‘insurgent mayor’ of Madrid.
While the Euro-US academic left has rightly celebrated the emergence of mass opposition to the rightist regimes in Southern Europe, they have failed to understand the internal dynamicswithin the NLL movements: the limitations of middle class radicalism and their conformists’ goals.
The example of Syriza in Greece is a warning of the fatal consequences of middle class leaders trying to realize radical changes, within the neo-liberal framework imposed by the EU.
Currently, the best example of the opportunism and bankruptcy of the NLL is found in the successful Mayor-elect of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, whose victory was hailed by Podemos as the ‘great victory for the people’ at recent celebration.
For her part, Mayor-elect Carmena has wasted no time repudiating all ‘five basic emergency reforms’ promised during the elections. In a press conference, the so-called ‘progressive Mayor of Madrid’ announced (with a cynical grin) that ‘promise number one’ – a public bank – was no longer needed because she was satisfied to work with the private banking oligarchy. She refused to pursue ‘promise number two’ – to provide subsidies for electricity, water and gas for poor families cut off from those services, claiming such support was too early and could wait until winter
Regarding Podemos ‘promise number three’ – a debt moratorium, Carmena insisted that “we will keep paying, for now”. On ‘promise number four’ favoring public over private contractors for municipal contracts, Carmena reversed the position: “We can’t change right away”.
Carmena even repudiated ‘promise number five’ – to immediately implement a summer meals program for poor children, insisting that she would rely on the inadequate programs of far right predecessor.
Moreover, Mayor-elect Carmena went even further, staffing her administration with far-right holdovers from the previous government to strategic policy-making positions. For example, sheappointed Carmen Roman, a former Director General of the far right Prime Minister Aznar, as Senior Executive of Madrid. She defended these reactionary decisions claiming that she was looking for “technocrats who are the best professional administrations”. Indeed, Carmen Roman had implemented mass firing of public workers and the dismantling of social programs in the ‘best professional’ manner possible!
Carmena further betrayed her Podemos electorate by insisting she looked forward to working with the hard right Prime Minister Rajoy and flatly rejected the idea of promoting a progressive alternative!
In less than one week, the euphoria over the victory of Podemos backed candidates has been dissipated by these acts of cynical opportunism: the non-leftist left has betrayed its electorate, from the very start!
Many countries in the world see the U.S. as the single greatest external threat to their societies.
During the latest episode of the Washington farce that has astonished a bemused world, a Chinese commentator wrote that if the United States cannot be a responsible member of the world system, perhaps the world should become “de-Americanized” — and separate itself from the rogue state that is the reigning military power but is losing credibility in other domains.
The Washington debacle’s immediate source was the sharp shift to the right among the political class. In the past, the U.S. has sometimes been described sardonically — but not inaccurately — as a one-party state: the business party, with two factions called Democrats and Republicans.
That is no longer true. The U.S. is still a one-party state, the business party. But it only has one faction: moderate Republicans, now called New Democrats (as the U.S. Congressional coalition styles itself).
There is still a Republican organization, but it long ago abandoned any pretense of being a normal parliamentary party. Conservative commentator Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute describes today’s Republicans as “a radical insurgency — ideologically extreme, scornful of facts and compromise, dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition”: a serious danger to the society.
The party is in lock-step service to the very rich and the corporate sector. Since votes cannot be obtained on that platform, the party has been compelled to mobilize sectors of the society that are extremist by world standards. Crazy is the new norm among Tea Party members and a host of others beyond the mainstream.
The Republican establishment and its business sponsors had expected to use them as a battering ram in the neoliberal assault against the population — to privatize, to deregulate and to limit government, while retaining those parts that serve wealth and power, like the military.
The Republican establishment has had some success, but now finds that it can no longer control its base, much to its dismay. The impact on American society thus becomes even more severe. A case in point: the virulent reaction against the Affordable Care Act and the near-shutdown of the government.
The Chinese commentator’s observation is not entirely novel. In 1999, political analyst Samuel P. Huntington warned that for much of the world, the U.S. is “becoming the rogue superpower,” seen as “the single greatest external threat to their societies.”
A few months into the Bush term, Robert Jervis, president of the American Political Science Association, warned that “In the eyes of much of the world, in fact, the prime rogue state today is the United States.” Both Huntington and Jervis warned that such a course is unwise. The consequences for the U.S. could be harmful.
In the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, the leading establishment journal, David Kaye reviews one aspect of Washington’s departure from the world: rejection of multilateral treaties “as if it were sport.”
He explains that some treaties are rejected outright, as when the U.S. Senate “voted against the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2012 and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1999.”
Others are dismissed by inaction, including “such subjects as labor, economic and cultural rights, endangered species, pollution, armed conflict, peacekeeping, nuclear weapons, the law of the sea, and discrimination against women.”
Rejection of international obligations “has grown so entrenched,” Kaye writes, “that foreign governments no longer expect Washington’s ratification or its full participation in the institutions treaties create. The world is moving on; laws get made elsewhere, with limited (if any) American involvement.”
While not new, the practice has indeed become more entrenched in recent years, along with quiet acceptance at home of the doctrine that the U.S. has every right to act as a rogue state.
To take a typical example, a few weeks ago U.S. special operations forces snatched a suspect, Abu Anas al-Libi, from the streets of the Libyan capital Tripoli, bringing him to a naval vessel for interrogation without counsel or rights. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry informed the press that the actions are legal because they comply with American law, eliciting no particular comment.
Principles are valid only if they are universal. Reactions would be a bit different, needless to say, if Cuban special forces kidnapped the prominent terrorist Luis Posada Carriles in Miami, bringing him to Cuba for interrogation and trial in accordance with Cuban law.
Such actions are restricted to rogue states. More accurately, to the one rogue state that is powerful enough to act with impunity: in recent years, to carry out aggression at will, to terrorize large regions of the world with drone attacks, and much else.
And to defy the world in other ways, for example by persisting in its embargo against Cuba despite the long-term opposition of the entire world, apart from Israel, which voted with its protector when the United Nations again condemned the embargo (188-2) in October.
Whatever the world may think, U.S. actions are legitimate because we say so. The principle was enunciated by the eminent statesman Dean Acheson in 1962, when he instructed the American Society of International Law that no legal issue arises when the United States responds to a challenge to its “power, position, and prestige.”
Cuba committed that crime when it beat back a U.S. invasion and then had the audacity to survive an assault designed to bring “the terrors of the earth” to Cuba, in the words of Kennedy adviser and historian Arthur Schlesinger.
When the U.S. gained independence, it sought to join the international community of the day. That is why the Declaration of Independence opens by expressing concern for the “decent respect to the opinions of mankind.”
A crucial element was evolution from a disorderly confederacy to a unified “treaty-worthy nation,” in diplomatic historian Eliga H. Gould’s phrase, that observed the conventions of the European order. By achieving this status, the new nation also gained the right to act as it wished internally.
It could thus proceed to rid itself of the indigenous population and to expand slavery, an institution so “odious” that it could not be tolerated in England, as the distinguished jurist William Murray, Earl of Mansfield, ruled in 1772. Evolving English law was a factor impelling the slave-owning society to escape its reach.
Becoming a treaty-worthy nation thus conferred multiple advantages: foreign recognition, and the freedom to act at home without interference. Hegemonic power offers the opportunity to become a rogue state, freely defying international law and norms, while facing increased resistance abroad and contributing to its own decline through self-inflicted wounds.
Everybody on this planet knows very well that since WWII the US governments has managed to acquire the longest criminal record in the history of mankind.
Only the insane, the emotionally constipated and the long term victims of exactly the manufacturing of consent policies that Chomsky talk about in this interview wouldn’t see that. The American nation managed to go from a rather popular country to a widely hated country because of what US foreign-policy, the CIA-methods and the NSA-practices had developed into, in just a decade after the WWII.
They managed this primarily by saving, protecting, inheriting and developing the Nazi-policies, methods and tactics into American foreign policies and intelligence service’s methods and by justifying their existence through continuous bogus roomers and lies about non-existing threats, and through false-flag attacks. The infamous universal justification for aggression is the security of the nation and the safety of the citizens doctrines. Doctrines that only US, Israel and a couple of the former colonial powers in EU have the right to practice.
The whole post-war world had become pro-American and both in Asia, the Arab world and in Latin America people looked at the American Dream life-style that Hollywood, the American car industry, McDonald’s and Walt Disney promoted, and they deliberately connected these newly advertised, displayed and spread values and liberties as the modern democratic world’s step into a new era of freedom.
The USSR, the nation that actually fought the Nazis fiercely throughout the war and that had defeated them, had in the western world already been pictured and presented as the new cruel dictatorial state, “the threat to the free world”. So from then on everyone could easily compare what they had learned was trustworthy, adequate reports of facts, and what news they spread about the USSR and about America’s own rising pseudo-democratic, imperialistic super-power.
Although most thinking people in the world understands the difference between the American citizens and the American government, by now the world’s citizens sympathies are primarily on the side of the victims of America and Israel. And I have a strong reason to suspect that as long as young American’s continue to, quite non-critically, buy their government’s crap and really believe that they will implement democracy in this way, the further the generalization of American citizens will escalate and fewer and fewer will care about the lives of those who doesn’t care about ours.
The last 40 years of hate that American government policy and the different CIA-operations around the world, has provoked and brought upon themselves and the American people, is really NOT because people outside America “envy” their freedom or their “way of life”. Something that American officials and presidents always explains it with but they could never present a single survey that supported those highly ethnocentric assumptions. According to all American presidents since Johnson, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that USA have developed the most aggressive and lethal, globally spread, neo-colonial policies and legalized state-terror that one can find since the Nazis and the WWII.
Watch movies from other parts of the world from the 50’s and 60’s and see that from the Arab-world to the both Arctic regions and almost everything in between, apart from the USSR influenced parts people adored and copied American film industry, fashion and life-style. This, until the true backside of this coin became obvious through the Vietnam war and people could therefore see the lies and the fake promises of this new hypocritical super power.
It was two particular events that turned a big part of the citizens of the world against USA before the Vietnam war. The USA/UK-promoted Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the USA/UK interests in Iran and the toppling of the democratically elected leader Mohammad Mossadegh. These both events helped the Islamic fundamentalist movements more than anything else had since its birth in 622 AD. Those two world events was the first indications and shocking evidences of a new real imperialistic terror-state rising in the post-war world.
Hitler’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and dictatorial excuses for ruthlessness and terror, was USA’s expressed reasons when they, first after two years of Nazi-rule in Europe, joined WWII. So it wasn’t at all “to save Europe” or to “fight for Justice and Democracy”. It was to not miss the geopolitical grab-and-scramble meal between England and the Soviet Union after the war. Roosevelt saw the chance to display himself and the USA as the saviors of Europe. This false assumption is what still color the view on USA to many Europeans. Except those who saw what USA was really after.
The August 14, 1941 Atlantic Charter established a vision for a post-World War II world, despite the fact the United States had yet to enter the War. The participants hoped in vain that the Soviet Union, having been invaded in June by her previous ally Nazi Germany, would adhere as well. In brief, the eight points were:
1. no territorial gains sought by the United States or the United Kingdom;
2. territorial adjustments must conform to the people involved;
3. the right to self-determination of peoples;
4. trade barriers lowered;
5. postwar disarmament;
6. freedom from want and fear;
7. freedom of the seas;
8. an association of nations.
Yeah, that worked out well! Actually, as a lip-service manuscript it still works out, for those who want to defend anything USA do today outside their borders and condemn anything the dissidents of US policies point at.
Nowadays, when we know about all the false-flag-operations, the proxy wars, the dehumanizing propaganda and the torture in American or American led detention and correctional facilities, it definitely looks like if they entered the war to slap the former “terror-experts” on their fingers, take-over their “terror-gurus” and their methods, tactics and rhetorical excuses for cruelty based on their pseudo-history and racist-logic.
Through the several thousands of Nazi and Fascist war criminals that the US army saved from the hands of the Red Army in the end of the war, they developed and established CIA, NSA and further developed FBI. To support that paradigm the EU was formed on Nazi-policies and by Nazis. Five years before Mr Holtstein became the first head of the EU, he was still in Spandau prison for war crimes.
Those who still refuse and deny to see this in the light of International Law, UN-conventions, the fundamental democratic principles and pure humanity, are as guilty to the atrocities of today as the Nuremberg Trials found the German citizens to be, who lived close to the 23 main extermination camps or any of the 1200 sub-camps. The citizens themselves claiming that they “didn’t know” or “couldn’t believe the roomers” still were taken by armed escort to the extermination camps to see the hills and piles of dead bodies.
The interviewer here, as well as the absolute majority of the western main stream media’s broadcasters, news anchors and “experts”, have hypocrisy ear-plugs on and most of them are victims of this kind of programming. The tops of the hierarchies in media are very aware of where exactly these policies are leading and they gain a lot by paving the way for such policies. “A hypocrite is one who condemn other peoples crimes, but refuses to look at his own crimes” says Noam Chomsky in this interview, and nothing could be more profoundly true nowadays and no other frequent, behaviour could manifest the racist-ideology’s rise so well as the western mass media’s tolerance and obvious promotion of clearly dehumanizing and misanthropic sentiments in the world.
Articles further explaining these issues
In their broadcasting of 30.5.2015 by Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert drew parallels between austerity and policies imposed today by Germany in EU countries, with the austerity and other measures imposed on the colonies of the British Empire, which led to the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and they are urging Greeks to declare their independence from the EU, the IMF and the cleptocracy of Brussels.
Ελλάδα κήρυξε την ανεξαρτησία σου!
Στην εκπομπη τους της 30.05.2015 ο Max Keiser και η Stacy Herbert παραλληλίζουν την λιτότητα και τις πολιτικές που επιβάλλει σήμερα η Γερμανία στις χώρες της ΕΕ με την λιτότητα και άλλα σχετικά μέτρα που επέβαλε στις αποικίες της η Βρετανική Αυτοκρατορία, τα οποία προκάλεσαν την Αμερικανική Επανάσταση και τη Διακήρυξη της Ανεξαρτησίας το 1776 και προτρέπουν τους Έλληνες να κηρύξουν την ανεξαρτησία τους από την ΕΕ, το ΔΝΤ και την κλεπτοκρατία των Βρυξελλών.
Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos is a third generation diplomat and former Ambassador of Greece to Canada, Poland and Armenia. He was Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece and Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization. Extremely knowledgable on issues of the EU and on what is happenning in Greece now, Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos was a junior diplomat in the team that negotiated Greece’s accession to the EEC. He is now against Greece’s membership to the EU and believes that the EU is destroying his country. He is a member of EPAM (Unified Popular Front), a movement that was founded in the wake of the protests of 2010 and 2011.
Julia Vladimirova met him.
“You were on the delegation that negotiated Greece’s accession to the European Community. Why are you now against it?”
” I was in the team that negotiated Greece’s accession to the EEC, as it was called then. The decision to join the EEC was taken in 1975 by Konstantinos Karamanlis and it was based on two political reasons : The first was to consolidate democracy in Greece, that had just been restored after a seven year dictatorship. The other was to give us some protection against Turkey that had just invaded Cyprus in July 1974. During that period the EEC was a serious organization. During the dictatorship it rendered enormous assistance to the democratic forces to fight against the military regime.”
“Now you want to take Merkel and Barroso to court and to leave the EU.What brought about such a radical change in your thinking?”
“In December 2009 I gave an interview to the Greek newspaper “Eleftherotypia” and the title of the interview was “Nightmare a fascist Europe”. It is true that the EU has become more and more undemocratic. It is no longer the democratic organization that we had joined back then. It is also destroying its member states. In Greece it is being done with the austerity measures that have been imposed upon us. Everything is being destroyed : our society, our economy, our culture, our education and our people. So why should we belong to an organization that destroys us. Only a masochist would. I would suggest that the EU be dismantled and be replaced by a new EU that would be working for the interests of the European people and not for the interests of the European bankers.”
“What advice would you give to the young people who believe in the EU? For example in Bulgaria we are also in crisis. There are protests in Sofia. All intellectuals, the elite, and also young educated people believe that their future lies within the EU and that it will help our country to reach higher standards, higher wages. What would you say to these people?”
“I would tell them to closely follow the events in Greece, since what happens to us most likely would happen to them. We are being told by the EU, that in order to become competitive, we must reach Bulgarian standards, as far as wages are concerned. However they will never tell you that you must reach Greek standards, but perhaps they might propose to you to reach Pakistani levels. However, I do not wish to impose my opinion upon them. Just let them follow the developments in Greece and reach their conclusions.”
“How was EPAM created? I know that it was created as a result of the protest movement of 2010.”
“EPAM’s members come from all aspects of politics. From the Communist left, center and right. It is a movement created by the demonstrations of 2010. It became a party about one and a half year ago. We participated in the first elections during the crisis and received 60000 votes or 1% of the total national vote, which can be considered as quite satisfactory for a six month old party. We believe that Greece needs a regime change. We do not recognize the debt or the memoranda. We support the formation of a provisional government and then the election of a Constitutional Assembly that will formulate the new constitution that would, for example, prohibit former politicians to run for parliament while allowing the new ones not to serve more than two terms and in this way end the profession of politicians. We shall also leave the eurozone as a first step and later on the EU. All those who have contributed to the destruction of the country will be tried. We shall also file charges against Brussels at the competent International courts for crimes against humanity, since about four thousand people have committed suicide because of the pressure of the crisis and also ask for reparations for the damage done. In brief this is the EPAM program.”
In politics, whoever can better influence the international media to push forward their views has the upper hand, say political communications insiders. And this isn’t just the case during election campaigns: in the European Union, decision-making power depends not only on the size of a given player’s economy, but also on how it deals with international media.
It’s no secret that in Brussels lies a well-oiled media machine, which can distribute information to all major media outlets across the continent in a matter of hours. The machine, which has risen in influence since the financial crisis broke in 2008, operates on the basis of maintaining the anonymity of journalists’ sources that feed it; one of the sacred principles of journalistic ethics.
However, here this principle of anonymity is also used to protect the Brussels media machine itself and ensuring it remains hidden from public view. No journalist in the Belgian capital is prepared to risk their job to expose how the system works, thus preserving a ‘code of silence’ around it.
The most influential group in the Brussels media machine is made up of the euro zone’s ‘hard core’ bloc. This means the Permanent Representation of Germany, located in Brussels, and assisted by political and financial satellite countries of Germany: Spain, Portugal, Slovakia and the Baltic states (among which, Latvia currently holds the EU presidency). France and Italy have clearly less influence and access in this system.
In terms of collection and distribution of news, the main players in the system are the three major European-level media outlets: the agencies Reuters and Bloomberg, and the Financial Times newspaper. Whatever this group reports, all other media outlets in Europe rush to reproduce. Thus – intentionally or not – articles published by the group are spread widely.
Information that enters the Brussels media machine comes from three sources: people working inside the EU bureaucracy who monitor critical meetings (interpreters as well as civil servants), the politicians themselves (or their aides) and senior officials of the European institutions. These sources are used to satisfy the need for timely, exclusive coverage of news events, which makes journalists extremely competitive in pursuing information on what is discussed during these meetings.
The most common means of communication from these sources to journalists is SMS. When it comes to more detailed leaks though, journalists from the three main media players (together with others from mostly German and British outlets) are invited to an unofficial press conference and briefed. This has been the case for the past few months.
In these meetings, the person doing the briefing is very often an official that also works at the European Commission’s Spokesperson’s Service. Of German origin, this man sets aside EU etiquette as well as the theoretical neutrality of his professional position.
A recent example that highlights how well this system functions was in Riga, during the recent Eurogroup meeting. On April 23, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis participated in a dinner with his colleagues, in order to prepare the issues for the forthcoming meeting. Everything proceeded normally. But the following day, the media ‘revealed’ highly aggressive rhetoric against Varoufakis from his colleagues during the Eurogroup meeting itself.
That same senior official of the European Commission, moments after the conclusion of the Eurogroup meeting, invited eight journalists for the ‘established’ daily informal press conference. “There was a lot of anger towards the Greek delegation,” a Brussels-based journalist, who asked to remain anonymous, told us. “When we asked about Mr Varoufakis’ position in the meeting, the official said ‘The guy lives on another planet’, and made derogatory gestures. This isn’t something we’ve seen before – neither from EU officials nor this particular person.”
An identical ‘update’ was given by two further EU officials, one working for the Eurogroup and one from a diplomatic mission of a Southern European country. “They were equally aggressive; trying to present Mr Varoufakis as an ‘alien’”, said the journalist, who was present during these discussions. “When we got to the heart of the matter concerning the Greek economy, the ‘sources’ refused to say any more. They just blamed Varoufakis.” These briefings were followed by tough statements from various ministers, echoing the German government’s point of view.
This specific information about the events of the Eurogroup meeting in Riga was published in all three aforementioned major media outlets, giving the impression of a war-like atmosphere at the meeting and breaking the unwritten rule of maintaining a professional distance from harsh words. Following these events, the Greek delegation decided for Varoufakis to not attend the planned dinner on the evening of April 24, to express his displeasure with the way his colleagues treated him and Greece. However, the ‘aggression’ from ministers, EU officials and the media did not subside. On the contrary, Reuters presented Varoufakis as “isolated”, simply because he did not attend the dinner, without asking for a statement from the Greek side. They also commented on Varoufakis’ decision not to wear a tie.
The go-ahead for this latest smear campaign was given by SMS, from a German official to a journalist at one of the three major media outlets. The journalist in question then called some of his sources in Athens in order to warn them what was coming.
During the Eurogroup meetings last February, the Greek government tried to breach the seemingly impenetrable ‘media wall’ being built around it. “The fact that the draft of Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s ‘decision’ was leaked by the Greek delegation, which essentially subverted debate on it, outraged many people in Brussels,” the journalist told us. “War was declared, and from that point on, the Greek positions were repeatedly leaked to Peter Spiegel of the Financial Times,” he added.
“Will Mr Varoufakis be able to survive the pressure?” asked the journalist. “At least Mr Tsipras still trusts him,” we replied.
“Then inform them in Greece, both the government and the people, that they can expect even more of these attacks,” he said.
Syriza: Plunder, Pillage and Prostration. (How the ‘Hard Left’ embraces the policies of the Hard Right)
Introduction: Greece has been in the headlines of the world’s financial press for the past five months, as a newly elected leftist party, ‘Syriza’, which ostensibly opposes so-called ‘austerity measures’, faces off against the “Troika” (International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and European Central Bank).
Early on, the Syriza leadership, headed by Alexis Tsipras, adopted several strategic positionswith fatal consequences – in terms of implementing their electoral promises to raise living standards, end vassalage to the ‘Troika’ and pursue an independent foreign policy.
We will proceed by outlining the initial systemic failures of Syriza and the subsequent concessions further eroding Greek living standards and deepening Greece’s role as an active collaborator of US and Israeli imperialism.
Winning Elections and Surrendering Power
The North American and European Left celebrated Syriza’s election victory as a break with neo-liberal austerity programs and the launch of a radical alternative, which would implement popular initiatives for basic social changes, including measures generating employment, restoring pensions, reversing privatizations, reordering government priorities and favoring payments to employees over foreign banks. The “evidence” for the radical reform agenda was contained in the ‘Thessaloniki Manifesto’ which Syriza promised to be the program guiding their newly elected officials.
However, prior to, and immediately after being elected, Syriza leaders adopted three basic decisions precluding any basic changes: Indeed, these decisions set it on a reactionary course.
First and foremost, Syriza accepted as legitimate the foreign debt of over $350 billion dollars, although most had been signed by previous government Kleptocrats, corrupt banks, business, real estate and financial interests. Virtually none of this debt was used to finance productive activity or vital services which would strengthen the economy and Greece’s future ability to payback the loans.
Hundreds of billions of Euros were stashed away in foreign bank accounts and foreign real estate or invested in overseas stocks and bonds. After affirming the ‘legitimacy’ of the illicit debt, Syriza followed up by declaring its ‘willingness’ to pay the debt. The ‘Troika’ immediately understood that the new Syriza government would be a willing hostage to further coercion, blackmail and debt payments.
Secondly, and related to the above, Syriza declared its determination to remain in the European Union and Eurozone and thus accepted the surrender of its sovereignty and ability to fashion an independent policy. It declared its willingness to submit to the dictates of the Troika. Once under the thumb of the Troika, Syriza’s only policy would be to ‘negotiate’, ‘renegotiate’ and make further concessions to the EU overseas banks in a totally one-sided process. Syriza’s rapid submission to the Troika was their second strategic, but not their last, betrayal of its electoral program.
Once Syriza demonstrated to the Troika, its willingness to betray its popular program, the Troika escalated its demands and hardened its intransigence. Brussels discounted Syriza’sleftist rhetoric and radical theatrical gestures as blowing smoke in the eyes of the Greek electorate. The EU bankers knew that when it came time to negotiate new loan agreements, the Syriza leadership would capitulate. Meanwhile, the Euro-American Left swallowed Syriza’s entire radical rhetoric without looking at its actual practice.
Thirdly, on taking office, Syriza negotiated a coalition with the far-right, pro-NATO, xenophobic, anti-immigrant Independent Greeks Party, guaranteeing that Greece would continue to support NATO’s military policies in the Middle East, the Ukraine and Israel’s brutal campaign against Palestine.
Fourthly, the bulk of Prime Minister Tsipras cabinet appointees had no experience of class struggle .Worse still, most were academics and former PASOK advisers without any capacity or willingness to break with the dictates of the Troika. Their academic ‘practice’ consisted largely of theoretical ‘combat’, ill-suited for real-world confrontation with aggressive imperial powers.
From a Scratch to Gangrene
By capitulating to the EU from the outset, including accepting to pay the illegitimate debt, hooking up with the Far Right and submitting to the dictates of the Troika, the stage was set for SYRIZA to betray all its promises and to worsen the economic burden for its supporters. The worst betrayals include: (1) not restoring pension payments; (2) not restoring the minimum wage; (3) not reversing privatizations; (4) not ending austerity programs; and (5) not increasing funds for education, health, housing and local development.
The Troika and its publicists in the financial press are demanding that Syriza cut the Greek pension system even further ,impoverishing over 1.5 million retired workers. Contrary to the media’s planted ‘examples’ of fat pensions enjoyed by less then 5% of pensioners, the Greeks have suffered the deepest pension reductions in Europe over the past century. In just the last past 4 years the Troika cut Greek pensions eight times. The vast majority of pensions have been slashed by nearly 50% since 2010.The average pension is 700 Euros a month but 45%of Greek pensioners receive less than 665 Euros a month – below the poverty line. Yet the Troika demands even greater reductions. These include an end of budget subsidies for pensioners living in extreme poverty, an increase in the retirement age to 67, an abolition of pension provisions tied to hazardous occupations and for working mothers. The earlier regressive measures, imposed by the Troika and implemented by the previous right-wing coalition regime, severely depleted the Greek pension fund. In 2012, the Troika’s ‘debt restructuring’ program led to the loss of 25 billion Euros of reserves held by the Greek government in government bonds. Troika austerity policies ensured that the pension reserves would not be replenished. Contributions plummeted as unemployment soared to nearly 30% (Financial Times 6/5/15 p4). Despite the Troika’s frontal assault on the Greek pension system, Syriza’s “economic team” expressed its willingness to raise the retirement age, cut pensions by 5% and negotiate further betrayals of pensioners facing destitution. Syriza has not only failed to fulfill its campaign promise to reverse the previous regressive policies, but is engaged in its own ‘pragmatic’ sellouts with the Troika.
Worse still, Syriza has deepened and extended the policies of its reactionary predecessors. (1)Syriza promised to freeze privatizations: Now it vows to extend them by 3.2 billion Eurosand privatize new public sectors. (2) Syriza has agreed to shift scarce public resources to the military, including an investment of $500 million Euros to upgrade the Greek Air Force. (3) Syriza plundered the national pension fund and municipal treasuries of over a billion Euros to meet debt payments to the Troika. (4) Syriza is cutting public investments in job creating infrastructure projects to meet Troika deadlines. ( 5) Syriza has agreed to a budget surplus of 0.6% at a time when Greece is running a 0.7% deficit this year – meaning more cuts later this year. (6) Syriza promised to reduce the VAT on essentials like food; now it accepts a 23% rate.
Syriza’s foreign policy mimics its predecessors. Syriza’s far right Defense Minister, Panos Kammenos, has been a vocal supporter of the US and EU sanctions against Russia- despite the usual flurry of Syriza’s faked “dissent” to NATO policies, followed by total capitulation – to remain in good standing with NATO. The Syriza regime has allowed each and every well-known kleptocrat and tax evader to retain their illicit wealth and to add to their overseas holdings with massive transfers of their current ‘savings’ out of the country. By the end of May 2015, Prime Minister Tsipras and Finance Minister Varofakis have emptied the Treasury to meet debt payments, increasing the prospects that pensioners and public sector workers will not receive their benefits. Having emptied the Greek Treasury, Syriza will now impose the “Troika solution” on the backs of the impoverished Greek masses: either sign-off on a new “austerity” plan, lowering pensions, increasing retirement age, eliminating labor laws protecting workers’ job security and negotiating rights or face an empty treasury, no pensions, rising unemployment and deepening economic depression. Syriza has deliberately emptied the Treasury, plundered pension funds and local municipal holdings in order to blackmail the population to accept as a ‘fait accompli’ the regressive policies of hardline EU bankers – the so-called “austerity programs”.
From the very beginning, Syriza gave into the Troika’s dictates, even as they play-acted their ‘principled resistance’. First they lied to the Greek public, calling the Troika ‘international partners’. Then they lied again calling the Troika memorandum for greater austerity a ‘negotiating document’. Syriza’s deceptions were meant to hide their continuation of the highly unpopular ‘framework’ imposed by the previous discredited hard rightwing regime.
As Syriza plundered the country of resources to pay the bankers, it escalated its international groveling. Its Defense Minister offered new military bases for NATO, including an air-maritime base on the Greek island of Karpathos. Syriza escalated Greece’s political and military support for EU and US military intervention and support of “moderate” terrorists in the Middle East, ludicrously in the name of “protecting Christians”. Syriza, currying favor with European and US Zionists, strengthened its ties with Israel, evoking a ‘strategic alliance’ with the terrorist-apartheid state. From his first days in office, the hard right Defense Minister Kammenos proposed the creation of a “common defense space” including Cyprus and Israel – thus supporting Israel’s air and sea blockade of Gaza.
Syriza’s political decision to ‘embed’ in the EU and the Eurozone, at all costs, signals that Greece will continue to be vassal state, betraying its program and adopting deeply reactionary policies, even while trumpeting its phony leftist rhetoric, and feigning ‘resistance’ to the Troika. Despite the fact that Syriza plundered domestic pensions and local treasuries, many deluded Leftists in Europe and the US continue to accept and rationalize what they choose to dub its “realistic and pragmatic compromises”.
Syriza could have confiscated and used the $32 billion of real estate properties owned by the Greek Armed Forces to implement an alternative investment and development plan – leasing these properties for commercial maritime ports, airports and tourist facilities.
Syriza buried Greece even deeper into the hierarchy dominated by German finance,by surrendering its sovereign power to impose a debt moratorium, leave the Eurozone, husband its financial resources, reinstate a national currency, impose capital controls, confiscate billions of Euros in illicit overseas accounts, mobilize local funds to finance economic recovery and reactivate the public and private sector. The fake “Left sector” within Syriza repeatedly mouthed impotent “objections”, while the Tsipras -Varofakis sell-out charade proceeded to the ultimate capitulation.
In the end, Syriza has deepened poverty and unemployment, increased foreign control over the economy, further eroded the public sector, facilitated the firing of workers and slashed severance pay- while increasing the role of the Greek military by deepening its ties to NATO and Israel.
Equally important, Syriza has totally emptied leftist phraseology of any cognitive meaning: for them – national sovereignty is translated into international vassalage and anti-austerity becomes pragmatic capitulations to new austerity. When the Tsipras – Troika agreement is finally signed and the terrible toll of austerity for the next decades finally sinks into the consciousness of the Greek public, the betrayals will hopefully evoke mass revulsion. Perhaps Syriza will split, and the “left” will finally abandon their cushy Cabinet posts and join the disaffected millions in forming an alternative Party.
class=”pret_art”>Introduction: About 75% of US employees work 40 hours or longer, the second longest among all OECD countries, exceeded only by Poland and tied with South Korea. In contrast, only 10% of Danish workers, 15% of Norwegian, 30% of French, 43% of UK and 50% of German workers work 40 or more hours.
With the longest work day, US workers score lower on the ‘living well’ scale than most western European workers. Moreover, despite those long workdays US employees receive the shortest paid holidays or vacation time (one to two weeks compared to the average of five weeks in Western Europe). US employees pay for the costliest health plans and their children face the highest university fees among the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In class terms, US employees face the greatest jump in income inequalities over the past decade, the longest period of wage and salary decline or stagnation (1970 to 2014) and the greatest collapse of private sector union membership, from 30% in 1950 down to 8% in 2014.
On the other hand, profits, as a percentage of national income, have increased significantly. The share of income and profits going to the financial sector, especially the banks and investment houses, has increased at a faster rate than any other sector of the US economy.
There are two polar opposite trends: Employees working longer hours, with costlier services and declining living standards while finance capitalists enjoy rapidly rising profits and incomes.
Paradoxically, these trends are not directly based on greater ‘workplace exploitation’ in the US.
The historic employee-finance capitalist polarization is the direct result of the grand success of the trillion dollar financial swindles, the tax payer-funded trillion dollar Federal bailouts of thecrooked bankers, and the illegal bank manipulation of interest rates. These uncorrected and unpunished crimes have driven up the costs of living and producing for employees and their employers.
Financial ‘rents’ (the bankers and brokers are ‘rentiers’ in this economy) drive up the costs of production for non-financial capital (manufacturing). Non-financial capitalists resort to reducing wages, cutting benefits and extending working hours for their employees, in order to maintain their own profits.
In other words, pervasive, enduring and systematic large-scale financial criminality is a major reason why US employees are working longer and receiving less– the ‘trickle down’ effect of mega-swindles committed by finance capital.
Mega-Swindles, Leading Banks and Complicit State Regulators
Mega-swindles, involving trillions of dollars, are routine practices involving the top fifty banks, trading houses, currency speculators, management fund firms and foreign exchange traders.
These ‘white collar’ crimes have hurt hundreds of millions of investors and credit-card holders, millions of mortgage debtors, thousands of pension funds and most industrial and service firms that depend on bank credit to meet payrolls, to finance capital expansion and technological upgrades and raw materials.
Big banks, which have been ‘convicted and fined’ for mega-swindles, include Citi Bank, Bank of America, HSBC, UBS, JP Morgan, Barclay, Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsch Bank and forty other ‘leading’ financial institutions.
The mega-swindlers have repeatedly engaged in a great variety of misdeeds, including accounting fraud, insider trading, fraudulent issue of mortgage based securities and the laundering of hundreds of billions of illegal dollars for Colombian, Mexican, African and Asian drug and human traffickers.
They have rigged the London Interbank Official Rate (LIBOR), which serves as the global interest benchmark to which hundreds of trillions of dollars of financial contracts are tied. By raising LIBOR, the financial swindlers have defrauded hundreds of millions of mortgage and credit-card holders, student loan recipients and pensions.
Bloomberg News (5/20/2015) reported on an ongoing swindle involving the manipulation of the multi-trillion-dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) fix, a global interest rate benchmark used by banks, corporate treasurers and money managers to determine borrowing costs and to value much of the $381 trillion of outstanding interest rate swaps.
The Financial Times (5/23/15, p. 10) reported how the top seven banks engaged inmanipulating fraudulent information to their clients, practiced illegal insider trading to profit in the foreign exchange market (forex), whose daily average turnover volume for 2013 exceeded $5 trillion dollars.
These seven convicted banks ended up paying less than $10 billion in fines, which is less than 0.05% of their daily turnover. No banker or high executive ever went to jail, despite undermining the security of millions of retail investors, pensioners and thousands of companies.
The Direct Impact of Financial Swindles on Declining Living Standards
Each and every major financial swindle has had a perverse ripple effect throughout the entire economy. This is especially the case where the negative consequences have spreaddownward through local banks, local manufacturing and service industries to employees, students and the self-employed.
The most obvious example of the downward ripple effect was the so-called ‘sub-prime mortgage’ swindle. Big banks deliberately sold worthless, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and collateralized debt obligation (CDO) to smaller banks, pension funds and local investors, which eventually foreclosed on overpriced houses causing low income mortgage holders to lose their down payments (amounting to most of their savings).
While the effects of the swindle spread outward and downward, the US Treasury propped upthe mega-swindlers with a trillion-dollar bailout in working people’s tax money. They anointed their mega-give-away as the bail out for ‘banks that are just too big to fail”! They transferred funds from the public treasury for social services to the swindlers.
In effect, the banks profited from their widely exposed crimes while US employees lost their jobs, homes, savings and social services. As the US Treasury pumped trillions of dollars into the coffers of the criminal banks (especially on Wall Street), the builders, major construction companies and manufacturers faced an unprecedented credit squeeze and laid off millions of workers, and reduced wages and increased the hours of un-paid work.
Service employees in consumer industries were hit hard as wages and salaries declined or remained frozen. The costs of the FOREX, LIBOR and ISDA fix swindles’ fell heavily on big business, which passed the pain onto labor: cutting pension and health coverage, hiring millions of ‘contingent or temp’ workers at minimum wages with no benefits.
The bank bailouts forced the Treasury to shift funds from ‘job-creating’ social programs and national infrastructure investment to the FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate) sector with its highly concentrated income structure.
As a result of the increasing concentration of wealth among the financial swindlers, inequalities in income grew; wages and salaries were frozen or reduced and manufacturers outsourced production, resulting in declines in production.
Employees, suffering from the loss of income brought on by the mega-swindles, found that they were working longer hours for less pay and fewer benefits. Productivity suffered. With the total breakdown of the ‘capitalist rules of the game’, investors lost confidence and trust in the system. Mega-swindles eroded ‘confidence’ between investors and traders, and made a mockery of any link between performance at work and rewards. This severed the nexusbetween highly motivated workers, engaged in ‘hard work, long hours’ and rising living standards, and between investment and productivity.
As a result, profits in the finance sector grew while the domestic economy floundered and living standards stagnated.
Financial Impunity: Regulatees Controlling the Regulators
Despite the proliferation of mega-swindles and their pervasive ripple effects throughout the economy and society, none of the dozens of federal or state regulatory agencies intervened to stop the swindle before it undermined the domestic economy. No CEO or banker was ever arrested for their part in the swindle of trillions. The regulators only reacted after trillions had ‘disappeared’ and swindles were ‘a done deal’. The impunity of the swindlers in planning and executing the pillage of hundreds of millions of employees, taxpayers and mortgage holders was because the federal and state regulatory agencies are populated by ‘regulatory administrators’ who came from or aspired to join the financial sector they were tasked with ‘regulating’.
Most of the high officials appointed to lead the regulatory agencies had been selected by the ‘Lords of Wall Street, Frankfurt, the City of London or Zurich.’ Appointees are chosen on the basis of their willingness to enable financial swindles. It therefore came as no surprise on May 28 2015 when US President Obama approved the appointment of Andrew Donahue, Managing Director and Associate General Council for the repeatedly felonious, mega-swindling banking house of Goldman Sachs to be the ‘Chief of Staff’ of the Security and Exchange Commission. His career has been typical of the Washington-Wall Street ‘Revolving Door’.
Only after fraud and swindles evoked the nationwide public fury of mortgage holders, investors and finance companies did the regulators ‘investigate’ the crimes and even then not a single major banker was jailed, not a single major bank was closed down.
There were a few low-level bond traders and bank employees who were fired or jailed as scapegoats. The banks paid puny (for them) fines, which they passed on to their customers. Despite pledges to ‘mend their ways’ the bankers concocted new schemes with their windfalls of billions of Federal ‘bailout’ money while the regulators looked on or polished their CV’s for the next pass through the ‘revolving door’.
Every top official in Treasury, Commerce and Trade, and every regulator in the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) who ‘retired to the private sector’ has ended up working for the same mega-criminal banks and finance houses they had investigated, regulated and ‘slapped on the wrist’.
As one banker, who insists on anonymity, told me: ‘The most successful swindlers are those who investigated financial transgressions’.
Mega-swindles define the nature of contemporary capitalism. The profits and power of financial capital is not the outcome of ‘market forces’. They are the result of a system of criminal behavior that pillages the Treasury, exploits the producers and consumers, evicts homeowners and robs taxpayers.
The mega swindlers represent much less than 1% of the class structure. Yet they hold over 40% of personal wealth in this country and control over 80% of capital liquidity.
They grow inexorably rich and richer, even as the rest of the economy wallows in crisis and stagnation. Their swindles send powerful ripples across the national economy, which ultimately freeze or reduce the income of the skilled (middle class) employees and undermine the living conditions for poor working-class whites, and especially under and unemployed Afro-American and Latino American young workers.
Efforts to ‘moralize’ capital have failed repeatedly since the regulators are controlled by those they claim to ‘regulate’.
The rare arrest and prosecution of any among the current tribe of mega-swindlers would only results in their being replaced by new swindlers. The problem is systemic and requires deep structural changes.
The only answer is to build a political movement independent of the two party system, willing to nationalize the banks and to pass legislation outlawing derivatives, forex trading and other unnatural parasitic speculative activities.
Because it’s Tradition!
USA, and its historic structural lack of democracy
The post-war US governments obvious irresponsibility and hypocrisy, worries many progressive, democratic scholars, intellectuals and the aware and critically thinking people in the world.
One by one, many powerful tribes have disappeared from the face of the earth – On the painting we see some of the Native American Nations that has been exterminated completely. A holocaust of 18 million people, a genocide that actually “worked out” for the killers.
Basing the republic on genocide and supremacy doctrines
Among the pilgrims and the settlers, some organized and some randomly gathered bands and groups of criminals, committed massacres on Native Americans on a regular basis. The pioneers’ community leaders at first, the revolutionaries later and then the American confederate and federal governments actually performed this mass killings on the railroad companies and the mining companies behalf. So genocide was clearly an accepted takeover tactic from the very beginning.
Between 1530 – 1890, 18 million Native Americans was slaughtered and not 1 million as the official story in American media, schoolbooks and some encyclopedias suggests. Deliberately caused famine, intentional mass poisoning and fatal epidemics of diseases, that was brought there from Europe, “took care” of the majority of the Native Americans. The deliberate depopulation of North America was presented to the public as God’s providence and as a sign of God’s will. The majority of the people supported this depopulation doctrine from the start and in May 1830, “The Indian Removal Act” was passed.
One can’t find anything about this in main stream American literature or school books. Although articles by writers, scholars and intellectuals’ in The New York Times, the Weekly New York Tribune and the Philadelphia Evening Post, for instance, in the mid-19th century reveals a loathsome attitude around this matter. There one can read how this genocide was portrayed as an “all together humanitarian act”, “for their own best”, as the voices of the establishment in Washington and other “cultivated” cities expressed it. Does this rhetoric remind you of anything? Because it is the same rhetoric as is used in our days, when they are “helping” Afghans, Iraqis, Somalians, Libyans, Syrians, Palestinians and Yemenites find American corporate “democracy”, or their death. The same dictating and degrading, insulting tone, the same superiority attitude and the same masters & servants logic, when they speak about “them”, or to “them”.
US governments had, from its very birth as a nation, adopted the British imperial behavior very well, and used it frequently against the indigenous people, the minorities, the dissidents and their neighbours. The common view on the “native being” was already quite poisoned in the minds of the Europeans who came from colonial powers. Empires, kingdoms and nations that already for a few hundred years had given justifications for genocide in the colonies, on pure race-biological or theological explanations to its people.
“The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”
I will quote some lines here from Jefferson Morley’s essay on the matter, before I continue to point at USA’s and the western world’s structural lack of democracy.
“In his career as lawyer and public servant, Francis Scott Key spoke publicly of Africans in America as “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.”… “He saw them as a shiftless and untrustworthy population — a nuisance to white people…”
Amazingly, the song was the product of a humiliation. Francis Scott Key was a veteran of what some dubbed “the Bladensburg Races,” the total collapse of American forces during the British invasion of Washington in August 1814.
When the untrained American militia faced the dogged advance by British troops, backed by artillery fire, the Americans broke rank by the hundreds and then by the thousands.
They ran as fast as they could, hence the humorous reference to “The Races.” Most simply ran back toward Washington, including Lieutenant Key. In the Bladensburg Races, Francis Scott Key was a sprinter.
He is the man who fitted his words to a popular English drinking club song called, “To Anacreon in Heaven.” Originally, the song had four stanzas, although only one is sung today. In the now-forgotten final stanza, Key wrote:
Then conquer we must when our cause it is just / And this be our motto: “In God is our Trust.” / And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
In Key’s formative lyrics, America would conquer in the name of a just God.”
In the eyes of the rest of humanity today, USA have the longest criminal record in the human history. Always accompanied by almost all the US governments with tales about the just and noble causes, rather than the truth. Actually, just by observing its practices, policies, strategies, methods and intentions, one can see that they are much more in accordance with the “characteristics” of another theological deity than God. Namely the one that is called Satan in the Bible. He is also called “the distorter”, “the deceiver”, “the liar” and “the serpent” there. If we chose to pay any attention to USA’s own religious claims we must always ask ourselves when its leaders talk about God: What godhood do they really talk about? And not only when American leaders talk about God, as a matter of fact. The western civilization claim Christian virtues and values, but promote, develop and prefer all the Anti-christian actions to reach what they call human progress.
Social-darwinism is a cornerstone for American democracy
US-governments have obviously taken the terms false-flag operations, geo-strategic aggression and neo-colonialism into the theological sphere. So, by lip-service values, surface virtues and reversed morals, we are convinced that a just God wants this WMD power to use Satan’s methods. There’s another WMD power in the Middle East, that nourishes the same kind of an ambiguous theology.
Empathy erosion, the scientific term for Evil, was structurally and deliberately embedded in the German society under Nazi-rule (although the particular values, the policies, the methods and the tactics derive back to the 9th century and Charlemagnes 1st Reich) and it is completely embedded in the American and the Israeli societies since the late 40’s. All three regimes was and is “democratically elected”. Europe through its three Reich’s is actually the pioneer of such policies. And current EU is nothing else than a 4th Reich in development,
USA has from the start based its socioeconomic practices on social engineering and its foreign policies on depopulation- and enslavement-doctrines, covert operations, misleading information and a racist “theology” as justification propaganda. This, is wrapped in a quite unfitting “noble cause gloria”, and a structural hypocrisy they insist to call democracy. The first English, French and German settlers, clearly came to North-America as pioneers but with the mindset and the motives of the conqueror. The mood to conquer in the name of a just God, have shaped their political and financial elite’s basic driving force, throughout their development as a nation and as a society. Luckily, there have almost always been progressive and very democratic voices raised in USA which have seriously questioned the unjust actions that this just God requires. Professor Noam Chomsky, writer and journalist Naomi Klein and the journalist and war correspondent Chris Hedges are three of the absolute top international voices on theses issues today. Unfortunately though, their standpoint and their opinions doesn’t constitute any clear political voice in the American political system of imperialism.
They are just allowed to express these very big truths and expose hidden facts about US-policies and the west’s racist-view on other people on the planet, because the US government has to pass as as at least, more democratic than “the enemies of USA”.
All the criminal acts and the atrocities that all US-governments wants to pass as “a necessary evil for a good cause”, domestic as abroad, are based on big lies towards its own citizens, and have always been. The structured and well preserved, Machiavellian “lack of democracy in democracy’s garments”, is deliberately constructed that way to keep the superiority doctrine alive among its citizens. To keep us all from finally shouting, “the king is naked!”. Feeding the infamous “redneck-logic”: “Yeah, maybe our democracy isn’t perfect, but we are better and more civilized than them… We have free elections and we can criticize our leaders“. A ludicrous assumption. The western citizen does not actually have free elections and he can through its intelligence-controlled media criticize the puppet but never the puppeteer and for that matter in a democracy, its not enough to just verbally or in writing criticize. He must also have the right to self-organize and unite and gain access to constitutionally defended legal tools in order to practically act in accordance with that criticism.
Atrocities, cruelty, racism and social division, are in reality nothing else than regular and very traditional American government methods and tactics, and therefore they should not arouse any feelings of anger. Because its nothing new. They are just following the same patterns of self-glorifying tales and dehumanizing, imperial policies, as they have from the beginning. And as any of the cruelest empires in the history of mankind. They have the Roman Empire and Nazi Germany as immediate models, but of course with contemporary tools. Those tools are mainly:
- the modern medial, mass-psychological propaganda and manipulation industry
- the left-right divide & conquer dogma in the alleged democratic, political system
- the neo-liberal, anti-democracy lobby
- the current educational system in the west
Unless we lived under a rock since we were born – and really think that the evident lack of democracy in democratic nations is “just the way it is” – it’s completely irrational to expect anything different from them, than their regular policies and their regular cover up stories. Therefore it’s irrational to become angry anymore. Why does anyone still hope that real humanity, respect and decency, will come from that nation’s aggressive regimes? It has set the standards for what passes as democracy in the world since WWII, and in good support and cooperation with, UK, France and Germany since WWI. The current peoples in these countries have understood this today and actually doesn’t give their consent to this, but their media is doing its treasonous job hiding this widespread public opinion.
People allover the world has reached their limits of their tolerance with this hypocrisy. They know very well now, that all those they vote for are puppets and that they can never vote for the puppeteers and the producers. Or to actually walk out from their grand scale marionette theater of illusions, for that matter.
Puppets, puppeteers vs free citizens and democratic nations
The west ignores real democracy
The puppeteers don’t need truly educated people, who possesses critical thinking and have spiritual aims. No, this kind of people are dangerous to the establishment! They prefer well-trained puppets to direct robots,… human as well as manufactured robots.
The puppeteers want obedient puppets just intelligent enough to operate the machines, keep their fellow humans in line and keep the system running, but stupid enough to never ask questions.
Our elected leaders are well programmed puppets
A puppet doesn’t need to be smart at all! However, the puppeteer does! To get a granted position as a puppet it’s enough if it can serve as a good, well-oiled puppet. Otherwise it will simply be replaced. If the grand marionette theater of illusions is the stage, it of course has to be well carved and from young, flexible, workable wood. It must be carefully painted, adjusted, made up and dressed and it must go through continuous controls and tests so the strings stay firmly attached.
This metaphor on world politics and the western corporate and financial world, was used to illustrate that the better someone is at being a puppet, the stupider he must be regarded as a human being. At least from an anthropocentric, utilitarian perspective. That means: To hold the survival and the thrive of Humanity, as the prime and major concern.
The puppeteers have been known, by their names and their faces for decades. They are quite well known by now and by more and more people every day, but it takes a little bit more than just knowing who they are, in order to get rid of these particular puppeteers.
In their opinion, they are entitled to rule over the rest of us because they claim to be the direct descendants of the ancient gods and consider themselves royal. These families are:
- Rothschild (Bauer or Bower)
- Cavendish (Kennedy)
- De Medici
- Sinclair (St. Clair)
- Warburg (del Banco)
- Windsor (Saxe-Coburg-Gothe)
The Rothschild dynasty is unquestionably the most powerful – visible – bloodline on Earth and their estimated wealth is around $ 500 trillions!
If we agree on calling them puppets and puppeteers, metaphorically, we must also really grasp that it is essentially a grand scale marionette theater of illusions we are talking about. So, why so many people are till so unsuspectingly drawn into their fictive world of illusions, is an enigma to me. Particularly, when we the people are concerned about and speak about, real people, real life, real problems and real societies and the marionette theater doesn’t. In effect, the puppeteers and their puppets talk about human farms and human cattle. Isn’t it about time to junite, organize and turn our backs to them? Not as sulking, angry, aggressive and in essence powerless children, but as aware, mature, insightful and united citizens, that knows how to unify around the real threats to the people. And how to exert political and legal pressure and fight a successful, democratic, liberation struggle. People have done it before, hundreds of times throughout history.
Courage, self-respect, solidarity and the urge to mobilize and unite against the real threats to the people and organize a determined, political resistance, has proved to be the most essential components that characterizes all successful liberation struggles against cruel monarchs, emperors, dictators and tyrants in history.
Pompei and The Minoan Eruption
The difference in dead people between the catastrophy of Pompei in 79 AD and The Minoan Eruption in Santorini ca 1500 BC is a perfect example of the difference between an unorganized society and an organized society and their ability to face catastrophies. Political and economic or any man made catatsrophies are not any different from natural catastrophies when it comes to what people can do to survive them.
In Popmei the inhabitants were waiting for the king or the elite to tell them what to do and they all turned to the divine for help and were therefore died in bed in their houses, petrified and coverd with ashes. In Santorini there weren’t a single body found even if the island was populated. Why? Because the citizens in Santorini had the ability of self-organization and as soon as they realized the eruption was coming, they evacuated the inhabitants to other islands around the Cyclades and to the mainland.
In both cases there was enough time to escape because the ashes after an eruption take many hours, sometime days to cover the land around. The dead found in Popmei died from the ashes and not the lava.
Today we westerners act like the Pompeians. We just give up our thinking, our intelligence, our innovation skills and our ability to unite and organize against severe threats to mankind and we wait for help “from above” (someone else). We know that “help” usually comes, if it comes, from those that did put us in the situation in the first place and it have always led us to worse conditions and worse threats than before. That is the story of the two world wars and that is how the third is starting. How long are we going to use the Pompeians tactic of hide and hope anstead of organize adequately, act and survive?
The only way to guarantee real democracy
A real democracy is not characterized by its government, but by its citizen. It’s the quality of the citizen that determines the quality of a democracy. But the alleged developed and “civilized” citizen in the self-justifying west, is still treating his elected government as if it was “an emperor” that doesn’t have the same legal obligations before its constitution as any other citizen. He treats his authorities as if it wasn’t he who pay their salaries and for a specific service only. He doesn’t know that he is actually prohibited by any real democratic constitution to give blank checks of consent and in advance to any elected official. And these citizens massively act as if elected officials and civil servants can’t be held to account in the court of Law. At the same time, this “citizen” still takes big pride in calling this democracy. Only that in a real democracy an elected official and a civil servant, on any level, CAN be held to account according to the constitution.
To any thinking human, the question must occur: Did the western citizen (particularly the citizen in the colonial nations) actually ever understand the basic principles of democracy, or is he still mentally and emotionally inclined to subservience in front of any “king”? Naked or dressed? In other words, did the Dark Middle Ages, the Catholic Church’s Inquisition, Colonialism, Feudalism and Zionism damage the European soul so deeply, that even now, serfdom and mental and emotional enslavement seem more attractive, than unified, social and political liberation actions for ones Freedom.
Freedom for a people depends on every citizens own level of self-respect and dignity. The human state of existence that most in the west have confused with negative character traits such as selfishness & narcissism and false pride & arrogance.
Before modern democracy arose in Europe, the countries or nation-states were called lands or nations, because they were kingdoms and private property of a handful of landowners, so today many confuse these names. Because they are not taught the real meaning of a nation-state in school. They are busy learning how to memorize without thinking and obey without questioning. Anyhow, from an international legal point of view and according to international conventions it’s first in a democracy that the word “nation-state” becomes meaningful.
To rule and dictate, as our current “democratic” governments do allover the western world, is something kings, emperors and dictators do. Democratically elected governments GOVERN their peoples rights and interests. And to govern – which is, how “the handling and organization of a nation’s public affairs” is called in a democracy – is not to rule. To govern means to guard, protect, defend and ensure the peoples liberties, rights, security, territory, borders and the treasury and the nation-state’s public finances.
That’s is the actual legal and political reason, why nation-states ever occurred. They were a necessary step towards guaranteeing peoples freedom and peoples safety from invasions and enslavement. According to its own self-determination. If anyone of you know about any other, better way, to actually defend a whole people’s independence and human birthrights, please let me know. Because without truly democratic nation-states, we are all left to our own destiny before any tyrant or any totalitarian, bank and corporate dictatorship.
They were founded upon democratically voted constitutions and international conventions, so that a people should have a common legal ground to unite around and defend their human rights, their civil liberties and their borders from. Culturally, historically and geographically. To defend and protect the citizen’s rights and the nation-states rights, and to their best interest, is the only reason for a free people to elect an official to govern its public affairs and its common good. That is the only assignment and responsibility any official in a truly democratic government he can have towards the citizen. And the citizen will find himself oppressed and abused, only when he himself fail to understand that clear and only role of the elected official.
History have shown us that anytime a united, aware and determined people has been attacked and invaded, the aggressor even if tenfold larger in numbers or better equipped and armed, have lost and suffered serious damages. The Battle of Salamis was the first example of such thing, in history. The Vietnam War, is a very good example from our time, of the same thing…
In the “Odyssey”, when Odysseus men had killed the god Helios’s cows by mistake, the gods doomed them to forget about their homeland and their roots. Why, was this considered as one of the worse damnation’s in the ancient world? Because they knew very well, that without a homeland and thus the ability to defend ones freedom, as a united folk-group, one will become a serf with no real options to ever free oneself from serfdom.
Only with strong healthy roots the tree can stand upright, without roots it’s nothing else than a dry trunk to throw in the fire – Greek folk wisdom
That is what the current puppeteers are doing with the modern western individual over the last century. This, after they had practiced for some centuries and learned how to first massacre and enslave the native peoples in the colonies. Then, to feed their wars, they learned how to make these people refugees and immigrants in the west. Massive replacements of people and migration has proved to be very good ways to rob an individual or a folk group from a true identity, a belonging, a context. No past, no future, just millions and millions of people deprived of, or sold to, their basic needs so that the puppeteers and their puppets can exploit them and use them as peons and slaves, in the western world’s “slave-markets”.
Basic democratic principles missing from today’s “democracies”
If the citizens mainly constitutes “a mob divided in left and right” instead of “a people”, then the officials can’t be anything else than rulers. That is a profound truth in both USA and Europe and particularly so in the former colonial powers and present neo-colonial powers, France, England, Germany. This includes the obedient and complying satellite states, as for instance Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and a number of former eastern European states, including Ukraine, which now is used by USA, EU and NATO for aggressive, geopolitical and strategic reasons…
Instead we could have the kind of democracy that at least keep the basic principles of the classic Athenian democratic values and principles. In particular, those principles that are “comfortably forgotten” by everyone everywhere, ever since.
- its principle of, citizen’s rights to anarchic political action, disobedience and non-cooperative solidarity-actions against tyranny, dictatorship and monarchy
- its principle of, immediate recall of an elected official if his actions are against the common good and against his assignment from the people
- its principle of, elected officials being held personally accountable in a public supreme court if they are suspected for illegal, negligent or destructive handling of public affairs and finances
The ones that organized the country of USA in the way it is structured, had already structured Europe after the same principles and values, so there is no actual moral difference in the way both continents rape the concept of democracy so blatantly across the world. In the name of people’s freedom and liberty of course. Maybe it’s time to ask unanimously and in the open: Whose liberties are we really talking about here? Because it sure isn’t the liberties of the peoples.
Maybe we understand now why the ancient Athenians constitutionally ensured that the elected official can be recalled at any given moment, if he doesn’t fulfil his assignment. He is in his position for just one purpose: To legally and politically protect and ensure the peoples liberties, rights and the safety of the citizen and the nation. Which is the one and the same in a real democracy. A democratic nation-state where this is not followed in practice, can’t call itself democratic, because the citizen of that country is not a free citizen. He is a serf, an economic commodity.
The only true hope can only come from people’s own feeling of self-respect and solidarity, as individuals, as units and as communities and nations. Real hope, comes from that and their courage and their ability to unite determined and fight adequately against oppression.
I am talking about the aware and awake citizen who are able to see through the systematic propaganda tale and see the true threats.
The only true hope can under no circumstances come from a subservient masters & servants-programmed puppet, who await the oppressor to change his ways and show mercy. Because he might be tempted to even become submissive, obedient and supportive of the ruler’s crimes in order to stand a chance to sit at the masters table. Maybe he can be a useful tool to the ruler he thinks, neglecting the needs of his own people and his own dignity as a human.
The puppet is the actual common characteristic of all the alleged “democratic elected officials”, allover the western world’s governments right now. And first of all those of the global imperial powers and former colonial nations, the G7.
“Germany and the BRICS countries can create a new credit system for global construction and development!”
Three were the reasons that made Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis push for the accession of Greece to the EEC in 1975, as it was then called. The first was to consolidate democracy in a country that had just come out from a catastrophic seven year military dictatorship. It should be recalled that the then democratic EEC had countered the dictatorship with every means possible and particularly by freezing the Association Agreement it had with Greece and the Financial Protocol. NATO, on the other hand, had supported the Junta. The second reason was to protect Greece against Turkey that had invaded Cyprus in 1974 and the third was to advance the economic development of the country.
When Greece joined the EEC in 1981, it had a dynamic industry with a yearly rate of development of 7.4%, a dynamic agriculture and self-sufficiency in most products with 24,2% of the population working in this sector. Unemployment was then around 3 to 4%.Afterthe accession, Greece was obliged to limit its steel production since there was an overproduction of it in the EEC and do dismantle its nascent automobile industry. Greece reduced its olive oil production to help reduce the olive oil lakes existing in the EEC and thus restructured its agriculture, reducing the percentage of population actively employed in that sector to 10%. And for many years, by the purchase of military hardware, Greece kept the French and German workers employed in the arms industries of their countries. From 2005 to 2010, Greece was the first importer of arms from Germany, purchasing 15% of its total production and the third largest customer of France. In 2010, Greece spent 1 billion euro on arm purchases from France and Germany. The social budget was reduced by 1.8 billion within the austerity measures program. Of course, EU funds helped the development of Greece and many important infrastructure products were done with EU co-financing. As such we have the Venizelos Airport, the Athens Ringroad, the Egnatia Highway and the Athens Metro. Agriculture was also assisted, often through subsidies paid for reducing agricultural means and productions rather than increasing them, even though it remains unclear how much funding actually reached its objective.
On January 1, 2002 Greece joined the Eurozone -and after only a few years the problems started that resulted in today’s situation.
Let us examine now the EU economic crisis that started as a result of the global financial crisis of 2008. The Greek government was persuades to sign a Loan Agreement in May 2010. The idea was that it could – through austerity measures – reduce the public debt which in 2009 was 129% of the GNP or 299 billion euro in absolute numbers. The promised results forecasted by experts and the predicted recovery as result of these measures, first announced in 2009, did not take place. De facto, we are still waiting for it. After two memoranda and admittedly mistaken policies from the EU, the IMF and the Greek governments, Greece to is on the verge of disaster with an increased debt of 175% of the GNP or 321 billion euro in 2013. Today it is around 180% of the GNP. One of the reasons for the failure of these measures was that the human factor was not taken into consideration and as a result Greece is facing today a social disaster without precedence. Instead of enhanced investment, recovery and growth, the economy has significantly decreased GDP reduction of 12.7% in 2012), factories, industries, shops have closed down almost on a daily basis. Those countries and companies who have invested are ignoring all workers rights of the EU or making their profits outside of Greece due to tax-haven-arrangements through e.g. the Netherlands ike the gold mining company Eldorado. And, in spite of the fact that the “institutions” had acknowledged their mistakes, they continue to insist on the implementation of the same ineffective policies that are destroying a member-state of the EU. Fortunately, the new Greek Government that came out from the elections of January 25, is refusing to implement measures that are ineffective and disastrous for the country.
But it is not only that the measures are erroneous, they also have violated human rights in Greece as well as the Lisbon Treaty. On December 18,the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and the Hellenic League for Human Rights published a report entitled ”Downgrading rights: the cost of austerity in Greece”, in which the legal responsibility and accountability of the Greek governments, the EU, its member-states and the IMF for violating human rights in Greece, are explained. The responsibility of these four actors is shared on the grounds that they jointly designed, negotiated, funded and implemented the two “economic assistance programs” which are the source of the violations.
Greece, as the sovereign state of the territory on which austerity measures were implemented, holds primary responsibility for failing to uphold its obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of all under its jurisdiction.
EU Member-states that took part in the negotiation, conclusion and financing of the adjustment programs were obliged to help Greece fulfill its obligations concerning the respect of human rights. They should have abstained from any action limiting the ability of Greece to respect its international obligations on human rights.
The European Union, being an Organization that enjoys a legal personality distinct from that of its members, should also be held accountable, since its accountability and responsibility are derived from EU primary law, as reflected in the founding instruments of the Union, as well as from customary rules of international law, on the responsibility of international organizations and universal human rights standards, that the EU has pledged to uphold and respect. By allowing its institutions and bodies, (Commission and the ECB) to be placed at the disposal of a group of States, seeking to incite Greece to adopt policies that will forseeably violate its human rights obligations, the EU has violated its obligations under article 2,3(1), (5) and 6 of the Treaty on the European Union.
The IMF is a specialized agency of the UN and as such should respect article 55 of the UN Charter, which includes universal respect for, and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.
It should be mentioned here that German activists have filed a lawsuit at the International Criminal Court of the Hague (OTP CR 345/12) against unknown people for damage done to the health of the Greek people.
But what went wrong with the EU, why is it destroying its Member-States and peoples? Personally, I think it has to do with the “expertisms” that has infiltrated the governmental bodies. Lobbyism and “Big Companyism” have gained a power far exceeding what it was in the early days of the European Idea, when the EU was functioning in a satisfactory way with Ministers dealing themselves with the issues pertaining to the Budget, Agriculture as well as other technical issues without the presence of “experts”. They locked themselves in consultations until the wee hours of the morning, often even stopping the clock, and resolved the problems in direct dialogue. And of course, the basic priority was that any solution had to benefit the people, in contrast to what is happening today where new contracts and agreements are planned in which companies, big industrial players and global financial conglomerate get granted almost unlimited power (TTIP). The EU gradually fell under the control of lobbyists and bureaucrats. Negative effects were created by the constant celebratory statements of European Councils that created erroneous impressions by announcing after each Summit that all problems of the EU were even better resolved than before. However, what failed most was the 2000 Lisbon Strategy that had as aim to make the EU the most competitive and dynamic economy of the world by 2010 with better and more work positions and social cohesion. Look at the 27 nations today, those they call PIIGs, and the others whose letter are to be added shortly. There is not a single nation within the EU which is not suffering from increased unemployment, decreased social welfare, increased taxes and costs and decreased effective incomes – compared to the year 2000. In the meantime it has reached a point where nowhere in the EU a family can be maintained with one income, which was the standard in all European nations in the beginning days of the EEC.
The EU could have played an important role in maintaining global balance. Unfortunately it has left this role to the USA, Russia and China. And it seems, the USA is following a policy of confrontation vis-à-vis the other two countries that may endanger humanity. An answer to this may be the BRICs initiative. This is an initiative of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to pursue a policy of economic development for the benefit of humanity. To that end they have created a Development Bank to invest billions in necessary development projects. China recently initiated the Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB), joined by over 20 Asian nations as founding members and has set up a Silk Road Development Fund. China has also proposed within BRICS the creation of a Free Trade Area of Asia and the Pacific (FTAAP).The incorporation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to the BRICS initiative could create a formidable power, which if remaining out of the control of the bankers and big companies’ lobbyists, could lead to a point that humanity indeed has a chance to reach global peace and end poverty through common human economic development. So, what is desperately needed is the cooperation of the USA and of the sovereign nations of Europe with the BRICS countries and their initiatives. Some European countries, to the annoyance of the USA, have already signed up. Hopefully this was done with an open mind and without a second agenda. To quote the declaration launched by the Schiller Institute of which I am a signatory: ”Only such an approach would restore the United States and Europe to their original purpose as expressed in the European Renaissance and the American Revolution …”
Because of Greece’s special relationships with China and Russia, Athens can play an important role within the BRICS initiative and also to cool down US aggressiveness towards these two nations.
Greece and Russia have always shared a special relationship. Not only because both countries are of the orthodox faith. There have been many occasions where Greeks and Russians have cooperated, worked together and helped each other. The first prime minister of a free Greece back in 1830, Ioannis Capodistrias, was Foreign Minister of Russia, before he took the helmet of a just freed Greece. General Orlof, sent by Catherine the Great, came to help the Greeks of the Peloponese to rise against the Turkish yolk. It may not have been successful at its time, but it gave the Greeks the courage to start it again in 1821. That the most famous export good of Russia, the caviar, has become exportable is thanks to Varvakis who discovered how to preserve it so shipment could be possible. Greeks have settled at the coastal area of what is Russia today since Jason was travelling with the Argo and as Greeks we can proudly say that we certainly have contributed to the Russian culture. This is some common ground that cannot just simply be discussed away or disappear due to some current differences in political views. These connections have lasted over the time and will continue to last. The visit earlier this month of the Greek Prime Minister to Moscow and the results it achieved are also due to this special relationship.
With China Greece shares the fact that both are ancient developed civilizations. Greece as well as China have travelled in the ancient times and helped to shape the cultures of the globe as they are today. The Chinese show a great respect to civilizations that existed in parallel with them, like the Greek one. Already this fact makes both of our nations respect each other thus facilitating cooperation on every level.
While criticizing the EU for the damage that it is doing to itself and to its members, the following solutions are proposed for Greece, the EU and for humanity:
– Greece : The new Government of Greece, has started negotiations with the lenders on a new basis meaning that it will no longer adopt measures hurting the people and that it will no longer receive orders from the lenders. If the EU continues to ask for measures that are unacceptable to Greece then a clash might happen that may have destructive consequences for Europe. We propose the following: The denounciation of the Loan Facility Agreement of May 2010,signed between Greece and the Member-States of the Eurozone, on the basis of articles 48-52 of the Vienna Convention concerning the Law of Treaties. These articles anticipate the invalidity of a Treaty if there was an error, fraud, coercion of a representative of a State etc. Greece will at the same time request compensation from the EU for the damage done to the country, which according to conservative estimates is about the amount of the so-called debt. The compensation claim will be based on article 41.3 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, that is incorporated in the Lisbon Treaty. The cessation of payments with the denounciation of the Loan Agreement and the compensation that will be given in time to the country, will allow Greece to repair the damages done and instigate development. It will also withdraw, within a one year period from the Eurozone, in order to implement beneficial economic policies that it cannot under Eurozone rules. The Unified Popular Front (EPAM) a political party not in parliament yet, supports this policy. And in case of an impasse in the ongoing negotiations with the lenders, there is a possibility that the present government might be forced to follow such an approach.
-The EU : The transformation of the EU into an efficient organization having as sole priority the safeguard of the interests of the people and not of the bankers is imperative. A new constitutional document must replace the violated Lisbon Treaty. The new document must be drafted by movements of citizens of Member-States who will submit their proposals to a European Assembly composed of representatives of these movements.
-Humanity : The deletion of the global debt which is about 600 trillion USD, will allow humanity to restart on a new and healthy basis. There exist many examples in history of debt deletion: From the ancient Greek Sisahtheia to the Jubilee of ancient Hebrew Communities where every 50 years the debts were cancelled. Even during the 70’s the developed countries of the West deleted the debt of the non-aligned movement, thus allowing the economic boom of Yugoslavia. The BRICS movement can promote this while the decision must be taken by the G-20.Humanity as a whole will benefit because it will be able to restart on sound and healthy principles.
In order to implement the previously mentioned proposals, it is necessary to have politicians with imagination, vision and courage, politicians who care about progress of humanity and put a stop to the greed and grabbing of Banks, Financial Institutions and Companies. Such politicians do not exist today. It is the task of us, the voters, the people, the political and unpolitical movements to create them.
Reparations for WWII Atrocities – the Background (including the German satiric show exposing viral facts behind Greek reparation claim)
A VIRAL VIDEO BY A GERMAN SATIRE SHOW (DIE ANSTALT) EDUCATES PEOPLE ABOUT THE REAL BACKGROUND AND THE TRUE SITUATION OF THE GREEK REPARATIONS CLAIM.
April 12, 2015
Last week, many Germans came to an ugly realization. People had been so proud of how Germany dealt with the aftermath of WWII, the earnest self-questioning and rejection of nationalism, the many apologies. Now, many have been forced to realize that Germany has done too little in the way that matters most: compensating the surviving victims.
There have periodically been earnest newspaper articles and editorials on the subject of course, but most left it at “Germany paid in 1960” and “Greece is now inventing debt to save their economy”. However, last week a German satire TV show took it upon themselves to educate people about all that the German governments did to avoid supporting the victims of the Nazis and blocking prosecution of the war criminals. The key passage of that satire show was posted online even before it aired on TV, it went viral and more than 2 million Germans and 1 million Greeks have seen it so far. [Athenianvoice’s comment: After the Greek comedian Lakis Lazopoulos aired parts of it in his popular show “Al Tsantiri News”, over 4 million Greeks inside and outside Greece have seen it.]
It cuts deep; many foreign commenters expressed astonishment that this was shown on a major German public TV channel. (That Germans produced this show, applauded/’liked’ and made it go viral is the only thought comforting me.)I have added English subtitles for you:
(If you don’t see subtitles, experiment with the buttons on the bottom right. If subtitles are visible but not readable, use the B, W, + and – keys on your keyboard)
Watch the video now. Below, I’ll recap how Germans were led to believe that they had done the honourable thing.
The History of Reparations
The Allies agreed in 1945, at the Yalta Conference and also in the Potsdam Agreement, that Germany would have to pay reparations to the victors for the damages caused in WWII.
Initially, this was very chaotic: the Soviet Union granted Poland a large chunk of German territory and the Red Army dismantled everything they could in their occupied zone, entire factories, almost every railway track. The Western Allies did similarly – especially the Brits and French plundered the industries while Americans were more interested in patents and foreign moneys of German companies. Additionally, German POWs were not released at the end of the war but used as slave labour for several years.
This way of taking reparations put those countries at a disadvantage who had been victims of the Nazis but did not have an occupied zone in Germany from which to take their compensation. So in 1946, the Paris reparations agreement created the Inter-Allied Reparations Agency (IARA) in order to calculate the sum of reparations and their fair distribution. However, this proved very difficult, for example Guatemala demanded 85 million dollars even though it hadn’t seen any war action. All in all, the IARA received demands for 1260 billion deutschmarks, that is 16 times the German GDP of the time. Only a big peace conference could possibly sort out all demands – but East and West were already entering the Cold War, so this conference never happened.
Germany’s European Allies, including Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Finland, signed peace treaties in 1947 and paid reparations. The reparations were significantly reduced from what was initially demanded – for example only 360 million dollars instead of 32 billion dollars from Italy. Greece received 105 million dollars from Italy and 45 million dollars from Bulgaria, only Germany didn’t pay anything because there was no peace treaty yet.
1950 to 1990
Because of the Cold War, neither the USA nor the Soviet Union were interested in their economically-ruined German puppet states having to pay huge amounts of reparations to other countries. They probably also remembered the consequences of the crushing Versailles Treaty. Because of this, the 1953 London Debt Agreement postponed all reparations until “united Germany” would sign a peace treaty – knowing that such a day was more than unlikely. Additionally, the Western powers, including Greece, accepted a haircut of 50% on German pre-war and post-war debt, not including war debt. At the same time, the Soviet Union abated Germany’s entire reparation debt and forced their puppet government in Poland to do the same – which the Poles now say is not valid because it wasn’t the act of a sovereign government.
With West Germany becoming an economic strong-house in the 1960s, Western European states no longer wanted to wait for an unlikely-looking reunification in order to get their compensation. West Germany signed individual agreements with 12 nations, including France, Britain, Austria and Greece. These agreements were not agreements about reparations though, they only concerned voluntary compensations for individual groups of victims. The agreement with Greece brought 115 million Deutschmark for Greek victims of the Nazi racist ideology, that is Holocaust victims but not the thousands of victims of massacres or 300,000 victims of deliberately-induced famine.
By 1989, nobody was expecting the reunification and subsequent peace treaty anymore. In order to have a legal defense against having to pay reparations (Poland alone was demanding 200-537 billion deutschmarks), the German government insisted on not calling the Two Plus Four Treaty a peace treaty, even though that’s what it was. They didn’t even deny that that’s the reason they didn’t want it to be called a peace treaty.
France, Britain, the USA and the Soviet Union were fine with that – they had taken a lot of reparations from the occupied zones already, didn’t particularly want a lot of money to flow into the unstable Eastern European countries and the Soviet Union additionally received large concessions in exchange for not calling it a peace treaty and not allowing Poland a seat at the table. So there are doubts whether the Two Plus Four Treaty will stand up to judicial scrutiny, given that it was a treaty at the expense of third parties in their absence. (The German government argues that since countries like Greece later ‘acknowledged’ the treaty and didn’t sue against it, they thereby consented to drop their claims for reparations. Reparations were conspicuously not mentioned in the treaty.)
Greece originally claimed 7.2 billion dollars at the value of 1938 dollars from the IARA and then agreed to postpone them in the London Debt Agreement. Since then, there have been regular requests for Germany to pay its debts, so contrary to how it is presented in the media, this is not something the new Greek government made up on the spot.
This doesn’t mean that their current demand of 279 billion euros is necessarily justified – for example, part of that is to compensate for the ruined economy after the occupation, a difficult claim as the Hague Conventions only require compensations for violations of international humanitarian law, not for all damages of war.
It’s debatable whether Germany should pay the IARA reparations now, but at the very least Germany should stop self-righteously pointing its finger at Greeceand shouting “Rules are rules. Debts must be paid. No tricks!” … The German governments were quite happy to ignore debts and use all tricks in the book.
(The only thing easy to determine is the forced loan that Greek authorities had to give to the Nazis to finance the Wehrmacht’s African campaign. It is quite likely that an international court of justice would insist on it being paid. A loan is a loan, paying it back is not even part of the reparations question. According to the Greek government, that would be 10.3 billion euros in today’s currency.)
Compensation for the Surviving Victims
It is unlikely that an international court of justice could force Germany to pay compensation to massacre survivors like Mr Sfountouris from the video, because a) individuals cannot sue states and b) the 1960 payment of 115 million deutschmarks for victims of Nazi racism does not specify what should be done for victims of non-racist crimes against humanity such as the “revenge” massacres.
There is also the problem that demands have been postponed for so long, some might say they’re beyond the statute of limitations – but this didn’t preventNorway from agreeing to pay reparations to Roma for racist policies and suffering under Nazis just a few days ago.
No matter what the legal standing is, and no matter what kind of snowball effect can be expected from finally starting to paying compensations, it is clear thatGermany has a moral obligation to the victims and it has abominably ignored this obligation for far too long. As a country priding itself on its morality, it is shameful for Germany to use legal loopholes to avoid compensating survivors of the atrocities, even if these loopholes exist.
- My answer to someone asking “Does it make sense for you when Greece demands €279bn from Germany in Nazi war reparations?” (bottom half)
- German editorial from yesterday (not mine): Debt and Atonement – I am ashamed to be German
Το ντοκυμαντέρ των Harald Schumann και Árpád Bondy που εξέπεμψε στις 9/3/15 το 1ο κανάλι της γερμανικής κρατικής τηλεόρασης ARD και ξεσήκωσε θύελλα αντιδράσεων. Μια πιο εκτεταμένη βερσιόν του είχε προβληθεί από το γαλλογερμανικό κανάλι ARTE στις 24/2/15 ( http://tinyurl.com/lq5bapk στα γερμανικά και http://tinyurl.com/om9nn3e στα γαλλικά). Με την ευκαιρία δείτε και το παρακάτω βίντεο για τον ESM : http://tinyurl.com/po8lgbd (δείτε το όλο! Φοβερές ομολογίες!)
The documentary of Harald Schumann and Árpád Bondy started broadcasting on 03.09.15 the first channel of German State Television ARD and roused a storm of reactions. A more extensive version had been viewed by the Franco-German channel ARTE on 24/2/15 http://tinyurl.com/lq5bapk in German and in French http://tinyurl.com/om9nn3e). By the way you see the video below for the ESM: http://tinyurl.com/po8lgbd (see all! Terrible confessions!)
Over the past 50 years the US and European powers have engaged in countless imperial wars throughout the world. The drive for world supremacy has been clothed in the rhetoric of “world leadership”, the consequences have been devastating for the peoples targeted. The biggest, longest and most numerous wars have been carried out by the United States. Presidents from both parties direct and preside over this quest for world power. The ideology which informs imperialism varies from “anti-communism”in the past to “antiterrorism”today.
Washington’s drive for world domination has used and combined many forms of warfare, including military invasions and occupations; proxy mercenary armies and military coups; financing political parties, NGO’s and street mobs to overthrow duly constituted governments. The driving forces in the imperial state , behind the quest for world power, vary with the geographic location and social economic composition of the targeted countries.
What is clear from an analysis of US empire building over the last half century is the relative decline of economic interests, and the rise of politico-military considerations. In part this is because of the demise of the collectivist regimes (the USSR and Eastern Europe) and the conversion of China and the leftist Asian, African and Latin American regimes to capitalism. The decline of economic forces as the driving force of imperialism is a result of the advent of global neoliberalism. Most US and EU multi-nationals are not threatened by nationalizations or expropriations, which might trigger imperial state political intervention.
In fact, MNC are invited to invest,trade and exploit natural resources even by post-neoliberal regimes . Economic interests come into play in formulating imperial state policies, if and when nationalist regimes emerge and challenge US MNC as is the case in Venezuela under President Chavez.
The key to US empire building over the past half-century is found in the political, military and ideological power configurations which have come to control the levers of the imperial state. The recent history of US imperial wars has demonstrated that strategic military priorities – military bases, budgets and bureaucracy – have expanded far beyond any localized economic interests of MNC. Moreover, the vast expenditures and long term and expensive military interventions of the US imperial state in the Middle East has been at the behest of Israel. The take-over of strategic political positions in the Executive branch and Congress by the powerful Zionist power configuration within the US has reinforced the centrality of military over economic interests
The ‘privatization’ of imperial wars – the vast growth and use of mercenaries contracted by the Pentagon- has led to the vast pillage of tens of billions of dollars from the US Treasury. Large scale corporations which supply mercenary military combatants have become a very ‘influential’ force shaping the nature and consequences of US empire building.
Military strategists, defenders of Israeli colonial interests in the Middle East, mercenary military and intelligence corporations are central actors in the imperial state and it is their decision-making influence which explains why US imperial wars do not result in a politically stable, economic prosperous empire. Instead their policies have resulted in unstable, ravaged economies, in perpetual rebellion..
We will proceed by identifying the changing areas and regions of US empire building from the mid 1970’s to the present. We then examine the methods, driving forces and outcomes of imperial expansion. We will then turn to describe the current ‘geo-political map of empire building and the varied nature of the anti-imperialist resistance. We will conclude by examining the why and how of empire building and more particularly, the consequences, and results of a half century of US imperial expansion.
Imperialism in the post Vietnam Period: Proxy Wars in Central America, Afghanistan and Southern Africa
The US imperialist defeat in Indo-China marks the end of one phase of empire building and the beginning of another: a shift from territorial invasions to proxy wars. Hostile domestic opinion precluded large scale ground wars. Beginning during the presidencies of Gerald Ford and James Carter, the US imperialist state increasingly relied on proxy clients. It recruited, financed and armed proxy military forces to destroy a variety of nationalist and social revolutionary regimes and movements in three continents. Washington financed and armed extremist Islamic forces world-wide to invade and destroy the secular, modernizing, Soviet backed regime in Afghanistan, with logistical support from the Pakistan military and intelligence agencies, and financial backing from Saudi Arabia.
The second proxy intervention was in Southern Africa, where the US imperial state financed and armed proxy forces against anti-imperialist regimes in Angola and Mozambique, in alliance with South Africa.
The third proxy intervention took place in Central America, where the US financed, armed and trained murderous death squad regimes in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to decimate popular movements and armed insurgencies resulting in over 300,000 civilian deaths.
The US imperial state’s ‘proxy strategy’ extended to South America: CIA and Pentagon backed military coups took place in Uruguay (General Alvarez), Chile (General
Pinochet) Argentina (General Videla), Bolivia (General Banzer) and Peru (General Morales). Empire building by proxy, was largely at the behest of US MNC which were the principal actors in setting priorities in the imperial state throughout this period.
Accompanying proxy wars, were direct military invasions: the tiny island of Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989) under Presidents’ Reagan and Bush, Sr. Easy targets, with few casualties and low cost military expenditures: dress rehearsals for re-launching major military operations in the near future.
What is striking about the ‘proxy wars’ are the mixed results.The outcomes in Central America, Afghanistan and Africa did not lead to prosperous neo-colonies or prove lucrative to US multi-national corporations. In contrast the proxy coups in South America led to large scale privatization and profits for US MNC.
The Afghan proxy war led to the rise and consolidation of the Taliban “Islamic regime” which opposed both Soviet influence and US imperial expansion. The rise and consolidation of Islamic nationalism in turn challenged US allies in South Asia and the Gulf region and subsequently led to a US military invasion in 2001 and a prolonged (15 year) war (which has yet to conclude), and most probably to a military retreat and defeat. The main economic beneficiaries were Afghan political clients, US mercenary military “contractors”, military procurement officers and civilian colonial administrators who pillaged hundreds of billions from the US Treasury in illegal and fraudulent transactions.
Pillage of the US Treasury in no way benefited the non-military MNC’s. In fact the war and resistance movement undermined any large scale, long-term entry of US private capital in Afghanistan and adjoining border regions of Pakistan.
The proxy war in Southern Africa devastated the local economies, especially the domestic agricultural economy, uprooted millions of laborers and farmers and curtailed US corporate oil penetration for over two decades. The ‘positive’ outcome was the deradicalization of the former revolutionary nationalist elite. However, the political conversion of the Southern African “revolutionaries” to neo-liberalism did not benefit the US MNC as much as the rulers turned kleptocratic oligarchs who organized patrimonial regimes in association with a diversified collection of MNC, especially from Asia and Europe.
The proxy wars in Central America had mixed results. In Nicaragua the Sandinista revolution defeated the US-Israeli backed Somoza regime but immediately confronted a US financed, armed and trained counter-revolutionary mercenary army (the “Contras”) based in Honduras. The US war destroyed, many of the progressive economic projects,undemined the economy and eventually led to an electoral victory by the US backed political client Violeta Chamorro. Two decades later the US proxies were defeated by a de-radicalized Sandinista led political coalition.
In El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the US proxy wars led to the consolidation of client regimes presiding over the destruction of the productive economy,and the flight of millions of war refugees to the United States. US imperial dominance eroded the bases for a productive labor market which spawned the growth of murderous drug gangs.
In summary, the US proxy wars succeeded, in most, cases in preventing the rise of nationalist-leftist regimes, but also led to the destructive of the economic and political bases of a stable and prosperous empire of neo-colonies.
US Imperialism in Latin America: Changing Structure, External and Internal Contingencies, Shifting Priorities and Global Constraints.
To understand the operations, structure and performance of US imperialism in Latin America, it is necessary to recognize the specific constellation of competing forces which shaped imperial state policies. Unlike the Middle East where the militarist-Zionist faction has established hegemony, in Latin America the MNC have played a leading role in directing imperial state policy. In Latin America, the militarists played a lesser role, constrained by (1)the power of the MNC, (2) the shifts in political power in Latin America from right to center-left (3) the impact of economic crises and the commodity boom.
In contrast to the Middle East, the Zionist power configuration has little influence over imperial state policy, as Israel’s interests are focused on the Middle East and, with the possible exception of Argentina, Latin America is not a priority.
For over a century and a half, the US MNC and banks dominated and dictated US imperial policy toward Latin America. The US armed forces and CIA were instruments of economic imperialism via direct intervention (invasions), proxy ‘military coups’, or a combination of both.
US imperial economic power in Latin America ‘peaked’ between 1975-1999. Vassal states and client rulers were imposed via proxy military coups, direct military invasions (Dominican Republic ,Panama and Grenada) and military-civilian controlled elections.
The results were the dismantling of the welfare state and the imposition of neo-liberal policies. The MNC led imperial state and its international financial appendages (IMF, WB, IDB) privatized lucrative strategic economic sectors, dominated trade and projected a regional integration scheme which would codify US imperial dominance.
Imperial economic expansion in Latin America was not simply a result of the internal dynamics and structures of the MNC but depended on (1) the receptivity of the ‘host’ country or more precisely the internal correlation of class forces in Latin America which in turn revolved around (2) the performance of the economy – its growth or susceptibility to crises.
Latin America demonstrates that contingencies such as the demise of client regimes and collaborator classes can have a profound negative impact on the dynamics of imperialism, undermining the power of the imperial state and reversing the economic advance of the MNC.
The advance of US economic imperialism during the 1975-2000 period was manifest in the adoption of neo-liberal policies, the pillage of national resources, the increase of illicit debts and the overseas transfer of billions of dollars However, the concentration of wealth and property, precipitated a deep socio-economic crises throughout the region which eventually led to the overthrow or ouster of the imperial collaborators in Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Nicaragua. Powerful anti-imperialist social movements especially in the countryside emerged in Brazil and the Andean countries.
Urban unemployed workers movements and public employees unions in Argentina and Uruguay spearheaded electoral changes, bringing to power center-left regimes which‘renegotiaed’ relations with the US imperial state.
US MNC influence in Latin America waned. They could not count on the full battery of military resources of the imperial state to intervene and re-impose neo-liberal clients because of its military priorities elsewhere: the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa.
Unlike the past, the US MNC in Latin America lacked two essential props of power:
the full backing of the US armed forces and powerful civilian-military clients in Latin America.
The US MNC’s plan for US centered integration was rejected by the center-left regimes. The imperial state turned to bilateral free trade agreements with Mexico, Chile,
Colombia, Panama and Peru. As a result of the economic crises and collapse of most Latin American economies, “neo-liberalism” ,the ideology of imperial economic penetration, was discredited. Neo-liberal advocates marginalized.
Changes in the world economy had a profound impact on US – Latin America trade and investment relations. The dynamic growth of China and the subsequent boom in demand and the rising prices of commodities, led to a sharp decline of US dominance of Latin American markets.
Latin American states diversified trade, sought and gained new overseas markets, especially in China. The increase in export revenues created greater capacity for selffinancing. The IMF, WB and IDB, economic instruments for leveraging US financial impositions (“conditionality”), were sidelined
The US imperial state faced Latin American regimes who embraced diverse economic options, markets and sources of financing. With powerful domestic popular support and unified civilian-military command, Latin America moved tentatively out of the US sphere of imperialist domination.
The imperial state and its MNC , deeply influenced by their “success” in the 1990’s, responded to the decline of influence by proceeding by ‘trial and error’, in the face of the negative constraints of the 21st century. The MNC backed policymakers in the imperial state continued to back the collapsing neo-liberal regimes, losing all credibility in Latin America. The imperial-state failed to accommodate changes – deepening popular and center-left regime opposition to “free markets” and the deregulation of banks. No large scale economic aid programs, like Presideny Kennedy’s effort to counter the revolutionary appeal of the Cuban revolution by promoting social reforms via the ‘Alliance for Progress”, were fashioned to win over the center-left,probably because of budget constraints resulting from costly wars elsewhere.
The demise of neo-liberal regimes, the glue that held the different factions of the imperial state together, led to competing proposals of how to regain dominance. The ‘militarist faction’ resorted to and revived the military coup formula for restoration: coups were organized in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Honduras and Paraguay . . . all were defeated, except the latter two. The defeat of US proxies led to the consolidation of the independent, anti-imperialist center-left regimes.Even the “success”of the US coup in Honduras resulted in a major diplomatic defeat,as every Latin American government condemned it and the US role,further isolating Washington in the region.
The defeat of the militarist strategy strengthened the political-diplomatic faction of the imperial state. With positive overtures toward ostensibly ‘center-left regimes’, this faction gained diplomatic leverage, retained military ties and deepened the expansion of MNC in Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and Peru. With the latter two countries the economic imperialist faction of the imperial state secured bilateral free trade agreements.
A third MNC – military faction, overlapping with the previous two, combined diplomatic-political accommodations toward Cuba, with an aggressive political destabilization strategy aimed at “regime change” (coup) in Venezuela.
The heterogeneity of imperial state factions and their competing orientations, reflects the complexity of interests engaged in empire building in Latin America and results in seemingly contradictory policies, a phenomenon less evident in the Middle East where the militarist -zionist power configuration dominates imperial policymaking.
For example the promotion of military bases and counter-insurgency operations in Colombia (a priority of the militarist faction) is accompanied by bilateral free market agreements and peace negotiations between the Santos regime and the FARC armed insurgency (a priority of the MNC faction).
Regaining imperial dominance in Argentina involves, (1) promoting the electoral fortunes of the neo-liberal governor of Buenos Aires Macri, (2) backing the pro- imperial media conglomerate , Clarin, facing legislation breaking up its monopoly (3) exploiting the death of prosecutor and CIA-Mossad collaborator, Alberto Nisman to discredit the KirchnerFernandez regime(4)backing NewYork speculaters’ (vulture)investment fund attempting to extract exorbitant interest payments and, with the aid of a dubious judicial ruling, blocking
Argentina’s access to financial markets
Both the militarist and MNC factions of the imperial state converge in backing a multi-pronged electoral – and coup approach, which seeks to restore a US controlled neoliberal regimes to power.
The contingencies which forestalled the recovery of imperial power over the past decade are now acting in reverse. The drop in commodity prices has weakened post neoliberal regimes in Venezuela, Argentina and Ecuador. The ebbing of anti-imperialist movements resulting from center-left co-optation tactics has strengthened imperial state backed right-wing movements and street demonstrators. The decline in Chinese growth has weakened the Latin American market diversification strategies. The internal balance of class forces has shifted to the Right, toward US backed political clients in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Paraguay.
Theoretical Reflections on Empire Building in Latin America
US empire building in Latin America is a cyclical process, reflecting the structural shifts in political power, and the restructuring of the world economy – forces and factors which ‘override’ the imperial state and capital’s drive to accumulate.Capital accumulation and expansion does not depend merely on the impersonal forces of “the market” – because the social relations under which the “market” functions, operate under the constraints of the class struggle.
The centerpiece of imperial state activities-namely the prolonged territorial wars in the Middle East – are absent in Latin America. The driving force of US imperial state policy is the pursuit of resources (agro-mining), labor power ( low paid autoworkers), markets (size and purchasing power of 600 million consumers). The economic interests of the MNC are the motives for imperial expansion.
Even as, from a geo-strategic vantage point, the Caribbean, Central America as well as South America are located most proximate to the US, economic not military objectives predominate.
However, the militarist-Zionist faction in the imperial state, ignore these traditional economic motives and deliberately choose to act on other priorities – control over oil producing regions, destruction of Islamic nations or movements or simply to destroy antiimperialist adversaries. The militarists-Zionist faction counted the “benefits” to Israel, its Middle East military supremacy, more important than the US securing economic supremacy in Latin America. This is clearly the case if we measure imperial priorities by state resources expended in pursuit of political goals.
Even if we take the goal of “national security”, interpreted in the broadest sense, of securing the safety of the territorial homeland of the empire, the US military assault of Islamic countries driven by accompanying Islamophobic ideology and the resulting mass killings and uprooting a millions of Islamic people, has led to “blowback”: reciprocal terrorism. US “total wars” against civilians has provoked Islamic assaults against the citizens of the West.
Latin America countries targeted by economic imperialism are less belligerent than Middle Eastern countries targeted by US militarists. A cost/benefits analysis would demonstrate the totally “irrational” nature of militarist strategy. However,if we take account of the specific composition and interests that motivate particularly imperial state policymakers, there is a kind of perverse “rationality”. The militarists defend the
“rationality” of costly and unending wars by citing the advantages of seizing the ‘gateways to oil’ and the Zionists cite their success in enhancing Israel’s regional power.
Whereas Latin America, for over a century was a priority region of imperial economic conquest, by the 21st century it lost primacy to the Middle East.
The Demise of the USSR and China’s conversion to Capitalism
The greatest impetus to successful US imperial expansion did not take place via proxy wars or military invasions. Rather, the US empire achieved its greatest growth and conquest, with the aid of client political leaders, organizations and vassal states throughout the USSR, Eastern Europe, the Baltic States the Balkans and the Caucuses. Long term, large scale US and EU political penetration and funding succeeded in overthrowing the hegemonic collectivist regimes in Russia and the USSR, and installing vassal states. They would soon serve NATO and be incorporated in the European Union. Bonn annexed East Germany and dominated the markets of Poland,the Czech Republic and other Central European states. US and London bankers collaborated with Russian-Israeli gangster-oligarchs in joint ventures plundering resources, industries, real estate and pension funds. The European Union exploited tens of millions of highly trained scientists, technicians and workers – by importing them or stripping them of their welfare benefits and labor rights and exploiting them as cheap labor reserves in their own country.
“Imperialism by invitation” hosted by the vassal Yeltsin regime, easily appropriated Russian wealth. The ex-Warsaw Pact military forces were incorporated into a foreign legion for US imperial wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Their military installations were converted into military bases and missile sites encircling Russia.
US imperial conquest of the East, created a “unipolar world” in which Washington decision-makers and strategists believed that, as the world’s supreme power, they could intervene in every region with impunity.
The scope and depth of the US world empire was enhanced by China’s embrace of capitalism and its ruler’s invitation to US and EU MNC to enter and exploit cheap Chinese labor. The global expansion of the US empire, led to a sense of unlimited power, encouraging its rulers’ to exercise power against any adversary or competitor.
Between 1990 and 2000,the US expanded its military bases to the borders of Russia.
US MNC expanded into China and Indo-China. US backed client regimes throughout Latin America dismantled the national economies, privatizing and denationalizing over five thousand lucrative strategic firms. Every sector was affected- natural resources, transport, telecommunications and finance.
The US proceeded throughout the 1990’s to expand via political penetration and military force. President George H. W. Bush launched a war against Iraq. Clinton bombed
Yugoslavia and Germany and the EU joined the US in dividing Yugoslavia into ‘mini states’
The Pivotel Year 2000: the Pinnacle and Decline of Empire
The very rapid and extensive imperial expansion, between 1989-1999, the easy conquests and the accompanying plunder, created the conditions for the decline of the US empire.
The pillage and impoverishment of Russia led to the rise of a new leadership under
President Putin intent on reconstructing the state and economy and ending vassalage.
The Chinese leadership harnessed its dependence on the West for capital investments and technology, into instruments for creating a powerful export economy and the growth of a dynamic national public-private manufacturing complex. The imperial centers of finance which flourished under lax regulation crashed. The domestic foundations of empire were severely strained. The imperial war machine competed with the financial sector for federal budgetary expenditures and subsidies.
The easy growth of empire, led to its over-extension. Multiple areas of conflict, reflected world-wide resentment and hostility at the destruction wrought by bombings and invasions. Collaborative imperial client rulers were weakened. The world-wide empire exceeded the capacity of the US to successfully police its new vassal states. The colonial outposts demanded new infusions of troops, arms and funds at a time when countervailing domestic pressures were demanding retrenchment and retreat.
All the recent conquests – outside of Europe – were costly. The sense of invincibility and impunity led imperial planners to overestimate their capacity to expand, retain, control and contain the inevitable anti-imperialist resistance.
The crises and collapse of the neo-liberal vassal states in Latin America accelerated.
Anti-imperialist uprisings spread from Venezuela (1999), to Argentina (2001), Ecuador (2000-2005) and Bolivia (2003-2005). Center-left regimes emerged in Brazil, Uruguay and Honduras. Mass movements, in rural regions,among Indian and mining communities gained momentum. Imperial plans formulated to secure US centered integration were rejected.
Instead multiple regional pacts excluding the US proliferated-ALBA,UNASUR,CELAC. Latin America’s domestic rebellion coincided with the economic rise of China. A prolonged commodity boom severely weakened US imperial supremacy. The US had few local allies in Latin America and over ambitious commitments to control the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa.
Washington lost its automatic majority in Latin America: its backing of coups in Honduras and Paraguay and its intervention in Venezuela (2002) and blockade of Cuba was repudiated by every regime, even by conservative allies.
Having easily established a global empire, Washington found it was not so easy to defend it. Imperial strategists in Washington viewed the Middle East wars through the prism of the Israeli military priorities ,ignoring the global economic interests of the MNC.
Imperial military strategists overestimated the military capacity of vassals and clients, ill-prepared by Washington to rule in countries with growing armed national resistance movements. Wars, invasions and military occupations were launched in multiple sites. Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Pakistan were added to Afghanistan and Iraq. US imperial state expenditures far exceeded any transfer of wealth from the occupied countries.
A vast civilian – military – mercenary bureaucracy pillaged hundreds of billions of dollars from the US Treasury.
The centrality of wars of conquest, destroyed the economic foundations
and institutional infrastructure necessary for MNC entry and profit.
Once entrenched in strategic military conceptions of empire, the military-political leadership of the imperial state fashioned a global ideology to justify and motivate a policy of permanent and multiple warfare. The doctrine of the ‘war on terror’ justified war everywhere and nowhere. The doctrine was ‘elastic’ – adapted to every region of conflict and inviting new military engagements: Afghanistan, Libya, Iran and Lebanon were all designated as war zones. The ‘terror doctrine’, global in scope, provided a justification for multiple wars and the massive destruction (not exploitation) of societies and economic resources. Above all the “war on terrorism” justified torture (Aba Gharib) and concentration camps (Guantanamo), and civilian targets (via drones)anywhere. Troops were withdrawn and returned to Afghanistan and Iraq as the nationalist resistence advanced.. Thousands of Special Forces in scores of countries were active, purveying death and mayhem.
Moreover, the violent uprooting, degradation and stigmatization of entire islamic people led to the spread of violence in the imperial centers of Paris, New York, London,
Madrid and Copenhagen. The globalization of imperial state terror led to individual terror.
Imperial terror evoked domestic terror: the former on a massive, sustained scale encompassing entire civilizations and conducted and justified by elected political officials and military authorities. The latter by a cross section of ‘internationalists’ who directly identified with the victims of imperial state terror.
Contemporary Imperialism: Present and Future Perspectives
To understand the future of US imperialism it is important to sum up and evaluate the experience and policies of the past quarter of a century.
If we compare, US empire building between 1990 and 2015, it is clearly in decline economically, politically and even militarily in most regions of the world, though the process of decline is not linear and probably not irreversible.
Despite talk in Washington of reconfiguring imperial priorities to take account of MNC economic interests, little has been accomplished… Obama’s so-called “pivot to Asia” has resulted in new military base agreements with Japan, Australia and the Philippines surrounding China and reflects an inability to fashion free trade agreements that exclude China. Meantime, the US has militarily re-started the war and reentered Iraq and
Afghanistan in addition to launching new wars in Syria and the Ukraine. It is clear that the primacy of the militarist faction is still the determinant factor in shaping imperial state policies.
The imperial military drive is most evident in the US intervention in support of the coup in the Ukraine and subsequent financing and arming of the Kiev junta. The imperial takeover of the Ukraine and plans to incorporate it into the EU and NATO, represents military aggression in its most blatant form: The expansion of US military bases and installations and military maneuvers on Russia’s borders and the US initiated economic sanctions, have severely damaged EU trade and investment with Russia.. US empire building continues to prioritize military expansion even at the cost of Western imperial economic interests in Europe.
The US-EU bombing of Libya destroyed the burgeoning trade and investment agreements between imperial oil and gas MNC and the Gadhafi government… NATO air assaults destroyed the economy, society and political order, converting Libya into a territory overrun by warring clans, gangs, terrorists and armed thuggery.
Over the past half century, the political leadership and strategies of the imperial state have changed dramatically. During the period between 1975 – 1990, MNC played a central role in defining the direction of imperial state policy: leveraging markets in Asia; negotiating market openings with China; promoting and backing neo-liberal military and civilian regimes in Latin America; installing and financing pro-capitalist regimes in Russia, Eastern Europe, the Baltic and Balkan states. Even in the cases where the imperial state resorted to military intervention, Yugoslavia and Iraq, , the bombings led to favorable economic opportunities for
US MNC .The Bush Sr regime promoted US oil interests via an oil for food agreement with
Saddam Hussein Iin Iraq
Clinton promoted free market regimes in the mini-states resulting from the break-up of socialist Yugoslavia .
However, the imperial state’s leadership and policies shifted dramatically during the late 1990’s onward. President Clinton’s imperial state was composed of long-standing MNC represntatives , Wall Street bankers and newly ascending militarist Zionist officials.
The result was a hybrid policy in which the imperial state actively promoted MNC opportunities under neo-liberal regimes in the ex-Communist countries of Europe and Latin America,and expanded MNC ties with China and Viet Nam while launching destructive military interventions in Somalia, Yugoslavia and Iraq.
The ‘balance of forces’ within the imperialist state shifted dramatically in favor the militarist-Zionist faction with 9/11:the terrorist attack of dubious origens and false flag demolitions in New York and Washington served to entrench the militarists in control of a vastly expanded imperial state apparatus. As a consequence of 9/11 the militarist-Zionist faction of the imperial state subordinated the interests of the MNC to its strategy of total wars. This in turn led to the invasion, occupation and destruction of civilian infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan (instead of harnessing it to MNC expansion). The US colonial regime dismantled the Iraqui state (instead of re-ordering it to serve the MNC). The assassination and forced out -migration of millions of skilled professionals, administrators, police and military officials crippled any economic recovery (instead of their incorporation as servants of the colonial state and MNC).
The militarist-Zionist ascendancy in the imperial state introduced major changes in policy, orientation , priorities and the modus operandi of US imperialism. The ideology of the “global war on terror” replaced the MNC doctrine of promoting “economic globalization”.
Perpetual wars (“terrorists” were not confined to place and time) replaced limited wars or interventions directed at opening markets or changing regimes which would implement neo-liberal policies benefiting US MNC.
The locus of imperial state activity shifted from exploiting economic opportunities, in
Asia, Latin America and the ex-Communist countries of Eastern Europe to wars in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa – targeting Moslem countries which opposed Israel’s colonial expansion in Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere.
The new militarist – power configuration’s conception of empire building required vast – trillion dollar – expenditures, without care or thought of returns to private capital. In contrast, under the hegemony of the MNC, the imperial state, intervened to secure concessions of oil, gas and minerals in Latin America and the Middle East.The costs of military conquest were more than compensated by the returns to the MNC. The militarist imperial state configuration pillaged the US Treasury to finance its occupations, financing a vast army of corrupt colonial collaborators, private mercenary ‘military contractors’and,soon to be millionaire, US military procurement (sic) officials.
Previously, MNC directed overseas exploitation led to healthy returns to the US Treasury both in terms of direct tax payments and via the revenues generated from trade and the processing of raw materials.
Over the past decade and a half, the biggest and most stable returns to the MNC take place in regions and countries where the militarized imperial state is least involved – China, Latin America and Europe. The MNC’s have profited least and have lost most in areas of greatest imperial state involvement.
The ‘war zones’ that extend from Libya, Somalia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan are the regions where imperial MNC have suffered the biggest decline and exodus.
The main “beneficiaries” of the current imperial state policies are the war contractors and the security-military-industrial complex in the US.Oversees the state beneficiaries include Israel and Saudi Arabia…In addition Jordanian, Egyptian, Iraqui , Afghani and Pakistani client rulers have squirreled away tens of billions in off-shore private bank accounts.
The “non-state” beneficiaries include mercenary, proxy armies .In Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and the Ukraine , tens of thousands of collaborators in self-styled “nongovernmental” organizations have also profited.
The Lost-Benefit Calculus or Empire-Building under the Aegeus of the Militarist-
Zionist Imperial State
Sufficient time has passed over the past decade and a half of militarist-Zionist dominance of the imperial state to evaluate their performance.
The US and its Western European allies, especially Germany successfully expanded their empire in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Baltic regions without firing a shot. These countries were converted into EU vassal states. Their markets dominated and industries denationalized. Their armed forces were recruited as NATO mercenaries. West Germany annexed the East. Cheap educated labor, as immigrants and as a labor reserve, increased profits for EU and US MNC. Russia was temporarily reduced to a vassal state between 1991 – 2001. Living standards plunged and welfare programs were reduced. Mortality rates increased. Class inequalities widened. Millionaires and billionaires seized public resources and joined with the imperial MNC in plundering the economy. Socialist and Communist leaders and parties were repressed or co-opted.In contrast imperial military expansion of the 21st century, was a costly failure. The ‘war in Afghanistan’ was costly in lives and expenditures and led to an ignominious retreat. What remained was a fragile puppet regime and an unreliable mercenary military. The US-Afghanistan war was the longest war in US history and one of the biggest failures. In the end the nationalist-Islamist resistance movements – the so-called “Taliban” and allied ethno-religious and nationalist anti-imperialist resistance groups- dominate the countryside, repeatedly penetrate and attack urban centers and prepare to take power.
The Iraq war and the imperial state’s invasion and decade long occupation decimated the economy . The occupation fomented ethno religious warfare. The secular Ba’thist officers and military professionals joined with Islamist-nationalists and subsequently formed a powerful resistance movement (ISIS) which defeated the imperial backed Shia mercenary army during the second decade of the war. The imperial state was condemned to re-enter and engage directly in a prolonged war. The cost of war spiraled to over a trillion dollars. Oil exploitation was hampered and the US Treasury poured tens of billions to sustain a “war without end’.
The US imperial state and the EU, along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey financed armed Islamic mercenary militias to invade Syria and overthrow the secular, nationalist, anti-
Zionist Bashar Assad regime. The imperial war opened the door for the expansion of the Islamic –Ba’thist forces—ISIS– into Syria . The Kurds and other armed groups seized territory, fragmenting the country. After nearly 5 years of warfare and rising military costs the US and EU MNC have been cut off from the Syrian market.
US support for Israeli aggression against Lebanon has led to the growth in power of the anti-imperialist Hezbollah armed resistance. Lebanon, Syria and Iran now represent a serious alternative to the US,EU, Saudi Arabia, Israeli axis.
The US sanctions policy toward Iran has failed to undermine the nationalist regime and has totally undercut the economic opportunities of all the major US and EU oil and gas
MNC as well as US manufacturing exporters.China has replaced them
The US-EU invasion of Libya led to the destruction of the economy and the flight of billions in MNC investments and the disruption of exports.
The US imperial states’ seizure of power via a proxy coup in Kiev, provoked a powerful anti-imperialist rebellion led by armed militia in the East (Donetsk and Luhansk) and the decimation of the Ukraine economy.
In summary, the military-Zionist takeover of the imperial state has led to prolonged, unwinnable costly wars which have undermined markets and investment sites for US MNC. Imperial militarism has undermined the imperial economic presence and provoked long-term, growing anti-imperialist resistance movements, as well as chaotic, unstable and unviable countries out of imperial control.
Economic imperialism has continued to profit in parts of Europe, Asia , Latin America and Africa despite the imperial wars and economic sanctions pursued by the highly militarized imperial state elsewhere.
However, the US militarists’ seizure of power in the Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia have eroded EU’S profitable trade and investments in Russia. The Ukraine under IMF-EU-US tutelage has become a heavily indebted , broken economy run by kleptocrats who are totally dependent on foreign loans and military intervention.
Because the militarized imperial state prioritizes conflict and sanctions with Russia, Iran and Syria, it has failed to deepen and expand its economic ties with Asia, Latin America and Africa. The political and economic conquest of East Europe and parts of the USSR has lost significance. The perpetual, lost wars in the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucuses have weakened the imperial state’s capacity for empire building in Asia and Latin America.
The outflow of wealth, the domestic cost of perpetual wars has eroded the electoral foundations of empire building. Only a fundamental change in the composition of the imperial state and a reorientation of priorities toward centering on economic expansion can alter the current decline of empire. The danger is that as the militarist Zionist imperialist state pursues losing wars, it may escalate and raise the ante ,and move toward a major nuclear confrontation: an empire amidst nuclear ashes!
Introduction: The Greek government is currently locked in a life and death struggle with the elite which dominate the banks and political decision-making centers of the European Union. What are at stake are the livelihoods of 11 million Greek workers, employees and small business people and the viability of the European Union.
If the ruling Syriza government capitulates to the demands of the EU bankers and agrees to continue the austerity programs, Greece will be condemned to decades of regression, destitution and colonial rule. If Greece decides to resist, and is forced to exit the EU, it will need to repudiate its 270 billion Euro foreign debts, sending the international financial markets crashing and causing the EU to collapse.
The leadership of the EU is counting on Syriza leaders abandoning their commitments to the Greek electorate, which as of early February 2015, is overwhelmingly (over 70%) in favor of ending austerity and debt payments and moving forward toward state investment in national economic and social development (Financial Times 7-8/2/15, p. 3). The choices are stark; the consequences have world-historical significance. The issues go far beyond local or even regional, time-bound, impacts. The entire global financial system will be affected (FT 10/2/15, p. 2).
The default will ripple to all creditors and debtors, far beyond Europe; investor confidence in the entire western financial empire will be shaken. First and foremost all western banks have direct and indirect ties to the Greek banks (FT 2/6/15, p. 3). When the latter collapse, they will be profoundly affected beyond what their governments can sustain. Massive state intervention will be the order of the day. The Greek government will have no choice but to take over the entire financial system . . . the domino effect will first and foremost effect Southern Europe and spread to the ‘dominant regions’ in the North and then across to England and North America (FT 9/2/15, p. 2).
To understand the origins of this crises and alternatives facing Greece and the EU, it is necessary to briefly survey the political and economic developments of the past three decades. We will proceed by examining Greek and EU relations between 1980 – 2000 and then proceed to the current collapse and EU intervention in the Greek economy. In the final section we will discuss the rise and election of Syriza, and its growing submissiveness in the context of EU dominance, and intransigence, highlighting the need for a radical break with the past relationship of ‘lord and vassal’.
Ancient History: The Making of the European Empire
In 1980 Greece was admitted to the European Economic Council as a vassal state of the emerging Franco-German Empire. With the election of Andreas Papandreou, leader of the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Party, with an absolute majority in Parliament, hope arose that radical changes in domestic and foreign policy would ensue.1/ In particular, during the election campaign, Papandreou promised a break with NATO and the EEC, the revoking of the US military base agreement and an economy based on ‘social ownership’ of the means of production. After being elected, Papandreou immediately assured the EEC and Washington that his regime would remain within the EEC and NATO, and renewed the US military base agreement. Studies in the early 1980’s commissioned by the government which documented the medium and long-term adverse results of Greece remaining in the EEU, especially the loss of control of trade, budgets and markets, were ignored by Papandreou who chose to sacrifice political independence and economic autonomy in favor of large scale transfers of funds, loans and credit from the EEC. Papandreou spoke from the balcony to the masses of independence and social justice while retaining ties to the European bankers and Greek shipping and banking oligarchs. The European elite in Brussels and Greek oligarchs in Athens retained a stranglehold on the commanding heights of the Greek political and economic system.
Papandreou retained the clientelistic political practices put in place by the previous right-wing regimes – only replacing the rightist functionaries with PASOK party loyalists.
The EEC brushed off Papandreou’ phony radical rhetoric and focused on the the fact they were buying control and subservience of the Greek state by financing a corrupt, clientelistic regime which was deflecting funds for development projects to upgrade Greek economic competitiveness into building a patronage machine based on increased consumption.
The EEC elite ultimately knew that its financial stranglehold over the economy would enable it to dictate Greek policy and keep it within the boundaries of the emerging European empire.
Papandreou’s demagogic “third world” rhetoric notwithstanding, Greece was deeply ensconced in the EU and NATO. Between 1981-85, Papandreou discarded his socialist rhetoric in favor of increased social spending for welfare reforms, raising wages, pensions and health coverage, while refinancing bankrupt economic firms run into the ground by kleptocratic capitalists. As a result while living standards rose, Greece’s economic structure still resembled a vassal state heavily dependent on EEC finance, European tourists and a rentier economy based on real estate, finance and tourism.
Papandreou solidified Greece’s role as a vassal outpost of NATO; a military platform for US military intervention in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean; and market for German and northern European manufactured goods.
From October 1981 to July 1989 Greek consumption rose while productivity stagnated; Papandreou won elections in 1985 using EEC funds. Meanwhile Greek debt to Europe took off … EEC leaders chastised the misallocation of funds by Papandreou’s vast army of kleptocrats but not too loudly. Brussels recognized that Papandreou and PASOK were the most effective forces in muzzling the radical Greek electorate and keeping Greece under EEC tutelage and as a loyal vassal of NATO.
Lessons for Syriza: PASOK’s Short-term Reforms and Strategic Vassalage
Whether in government or out, PASOK followed in the footsteps of its rightwing adversary (New Democracy) by embracing the NATO-EEC strait-jacket.
Greece continued to maintain the highest per capita military expenditure of any European NATO member. As a result, it received loans and credits to finance short-term social reforms and large scale, long-term corruption, while enlarging the party-state political apparatus.
With the ascent of the openly neoliberal Prime Minister Costas Simitis in 2002, the PASOK regime “cooked the books”, fabricated government data on its budget deficit, with the aid of Wall Street investment banks, and became a member of the European Monetary Union. By adopting the euro, Simitis furthered deepened Greece’s financial subordination to the non-elected European officials in Brussels, dominated by the German finance ministry and banks.
The oligarchs in Greece made room at the top for a new breed of PASOK kleptocratic elite, which skimmed millions of military purchases, committed bank frauds and engaged in massive tax evasion.
The Brussels elite allowed the Greek middle class to live their illusions of being ‘prosperous Europeans’ because they retained decisive leverage through loans and accumulating debts.
Large scale bank fraud involving three hundred million euros even reached ex-Prime Minister Papandreou’s office.
The clientele relations within Greece were matched by the clientele relations between Brussels and Athens.
Even prior to the crash of 2008 the EU creditors, private bankers and official lenders, set the parameters of Greek politics. The global crash revealed the fragile foundations of the Greek state – and led directly to the crude, direct interventions of the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission – the infamous “Troika”. The latter dictated the ‘austerity’ policies as a condition for the “bail-out” which devastated the economy, provoking a major depression; impoverishing over forty percent of the population, reducing incomes by 25% and resulting in 28% unemployment.
Greece: Captivity by Invitation
Greece as a political and economic captive of the EU had no political party response. Apart from the trade unions which launched thirty general strikes between 2009 – 2014, the two major parties, PASOK and New Democracy, invited the EU takeover. The degeneration of PASOK into an appendage of oligarchs and vassal collaborator of the EU emptied the ‘socialist’ rhetoric of any meaning. The right wing New Democracy Party reinforced and deepened the stranglehold of the EU over the Greek economy. The troika lent the Greek vassal state funds(“bail-out”) which was used to pay back German, French and English financial oligarchs and to buttress private Greek banks. The Greek population was ‘starved’ by ‘austerity’ policies to keep the debt payments flowing-outward and upward.
Europe: Union or Empire?
The European economic crash of 2008/09 resounded worst on its weakest links – Southern Europe and Ireland. The true nature of the European Union as a hierarchical empire, in which the powerful states – Germany and France – could openly and directly control investment, trade, monetary and financial policy was revealed. The much vaunted EU “bailout” of Greece was in fact the pretext for the imposition of deep structural changes. These included the denationalization and privatization of all strategic economic sectors; perpetual debt payments; foreign dictates of incomes and investment policy. Greece ceased to be an independent state:it was totally and absolutely colonized.
Greece’s Perpetual Crises: The End of the “European Illusion”
The Greek elite and, for at least 5 years, most of the electorate, believed that the regressive (“austerity”) measures adopted – the firings, the budget cuts, the privatizations etc. were short-term harsh medicine, that would soon lead to debt reduction, balanced budgets, new investments, growth and recovery. At least that is what they were told by the economic experts and leaders in Brussels.
In fact the debt increased, the downward economic spiral continued, unemployment multiplied, the depression deepened. ‘Austerity’ was a class based policy designed by Brussels to enrichoverseas bankers and to plunder the Greek public sector.
The key to EU pillage and plunder was the loss of Greek sovereignty. The two major parties ,New Democracy and PASOK, were willing accomplices. Despite a 55% youth (16 – 30 years old) unemployment rate, the cut-off of electricity to 300,000 households and large scale out-migration (over 175,000), the EU (as was to be expected) refused to concede that the ‘austerity’ formula was a failure in recovering the Greek economy. The reason the EU dogmatically stuck to a ‘failed policy’ was because the EU benefited from the power, privilege and profits of pillage and imperial primacy.
Moreover, for the Brussels elite to acknowledge failure in Greece would likely result in the demand to recognize failure in the rest of Southern Europe and beyond, including in France Italy and other key members of the EU (Economist 1/17/15, p. 53). The ruling financial and business elites in Europe and the US prospered through the crises and depression, by imposing cuts in social budgets and wages and salaries. To concede failure in Greece, would reverberate throughout North America and Europe, calling into question their economic policies, ideology and the legitimacy of the ruling powers. The reason that all the EU regimes back the EU insistence that Greece must continue to abide by an obviously perverse and regressive ‘austerity’ policy and impose reactionary “structural reforms” is because these very same rulers have sacrificed the living standards of their own labor force during the economic crises (FT2/13/15, p. 2).
The economic crises spanning 2008/9 to the present (2015), still requires harsh sacrifices to perpetuate ruling class profits and to finance state subsidies to the private banks. Every major financial institution – the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the IMF – toes the line: no dissent or deviation is allowed. Greece must accept EU dictates or face major financial reprisals. “Economic strangulation or perpetual debt peonage” is the lesson which Brussels tends to all member states of the EU. While ostensibly speaking to Greece – it is a message directed to all states, opposition movements and trade unions who call into question the dictates of the Brussels oligarchy and its Berlin overlords.
All the major media and leading economic pundits have served as megaphones for the Brussel oligarchs. The message, which is repeated countless times, by liberals, conservatives and social democrats to the victimized nations and downwardly mobile wage and salaried workers, and small businesspeople, is that they have no choice but to accept regressive measure, slashing living conditions (“reforms”) if they hope for ‘economic recovery’ – which, of course, has not happened after five years!
Greece has become the central target of the economic elites in Europe because, the Greek people have gone from inconsequential protests to political powers. The election of Syriza on a platform of recovering sovereignty, discarding austerity and redefining its relations with creditors to favor national development has set the stage for a possible continent-wide confrontation.
The Rise of Syriza: Dubious Legacies, Mass Struggles and Radical (Broken) Promises
The growth of Syriza from an alliance of small Marxist sects into a mass electoral party is largely because of the incorporation of millions of lower middle class public employees, pensioners and small businesspeople. Many previously supported PASOK. They voted Syriza in order to recover the living conditions and job security of the earlier period of “prosperity” (2000-2007) which they achieved within the EU. Their radical rejection of PASOK and New Democracy came after 5 years of acute suffering which might have provoked a revolution in some other country. Their radicalism began with protests, marches and strikes were attempts to pressure the rightwing regimes to alter the EU’s course, to end the austerity while retaining membership in the EU.
This sector of SYRIZA is ‘radical’ in what it opposes today and conformist with its nostalgia for the past. –the time of euro funded vacation trips to London and Paris, easy credit to purchase imported cars and foodstuffs, to ‘feel modern’ and ‘European’ and speak English!
The politics of Syriza reflects, in part, this ambiguous sector of its electorate. In contrast Syriza also secured the vote of the radical unemployed youth and workers who never were part of the consumer society and didn’t identify with “Europe”. Syriza has emerged as a mass electoral party in the course of less than five years and its supporters and leadership reflects a high degree of heterogeneity.
The most radical sector, ideologically, is drawn mostly from the Marxist groups which originally came together to form the party. The unemployed youth sector joined, following the anti-police riots, which resulted from the police assassination of a young activist during the early years of the crisis. The third wave is largely made up of thousands of public workers, who were fired, and retired employees who suffered big cuts in their pensions by order of the troika in 2012. The fourth wave is ex PASOK members who fled the sinking ship of a bankrupt party.
The Syriza Left is concentrated at the mass base and among local and middle level leaders of local movements. The top leaders of Syriza in power positions are academics, some from overseas. Many are recent members or are not even party members. Few have been involved in the mass struggles – and many have few ties with the rank and file militants. They are most eager to sign a “deal” selling out the impoverished Greeks
As Syriza moved toward electoral victory in 2015, it began to shed its original program of radical structural changes (socialism) and adopt measures aimed at accommodating Greek business interests. Tsipras talked about “negotiating an agreement” within the framework of the German dominated European Union. Tsipras and his Finance Minister proposed to re-negotiate the debt, the obligation to pay and 70% of the “reforms”! When an agreement was signed they totally capitulated!
For a brief time Syriza maintained a dual position of ‘opposing’ austerity and coming to agreement with its creditors. It’s “realist” policies reflected the positions of the new academic ministers, former PASOK members and downwardly mobile middle class. Syriza’s radical gestures and rhetoric reflected the pressure of the unemployed, the youth and the mass poor who stood to lose, if a deal to pay the creditors was negotiated.
EU – SYRIZA: Concessions before Struggle Led to Surrender and Defeat
The “Greek debt” is really not a debt of the Greek people. The institutional creditors and the Euro-banks knowingly lent money to high risk kleptocrats, oligarchs and bankers who siphoned most of the euros into overseas Swiss accounts, high end real estate in London and Paris, activity devoid of any capacity to generate income to pay back the debt. In other words, the debt, in large part, is illegitimate and was falsely foisted on the Greek people.
Syriza, from the beginning of ‘negotiations’, did not call into question the legitimacy of the debt nor identified the particular classes and enterprise who should pay it.
Secondly, while Syriza challenged “austerity” policies it did not question the Euro organizations and EU institutions who impose it.
From its beginning Syriza has accepted membership in the EU. In the name of “realism” the Syriza government accepted to pay the debt or a portion of it, as the basis of negotiation.
Structurally, Syriza has developed a highly centralized leadership in which all major decisions are taken by Alexis Tsipras. His personalistic leadership limits the influence of the radicalized rank and file. It facilitated “compromises” with the Brussels oligarchy which go contrary to the campaign promises and may lead to the perpetual dependence of Greece on EU centered policymakers and creditors.
Moreover, Tsipras has tightened party discipline in the aftermath of his election, ensuring that any dubious compromises will not lead to any public debate or extra-parliamentary revolt.
The Empire against Greece’s Democratic Outcome
The EU elite have, from the moment in which Syriza received a democratic mandate, followed the typical authoritarian course of all imperial rulers. It has demanded from Syriza (1)unconditional surrender (2) the continuation of the structures, policies and practices of the previous vassal coalition party-regimes (PASOK-New Democracy) (3) that Syriza shelve all social reforms, (raising the minimum wage, increasing pension, health, education and unemployment spending (4) that SYRIZA follow the strict economic directives and oversight formulated by the “troika” (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) (5) that SYRIZA retain the current primary budget surplus target of 4.5 percent of economic output in 2015-2017.
To enforce its strategy of strangulating the new government, Brussels threatened to abruptly cut off all present and future credit facilities, call in all debt payments, end access to emergency funds and refuse to back Greek bank bonds – that provide financial loans to local businesses.
Brussels presents Syriza with the fateful “choice”, of committing political suicide by accepting its dictates and alienating its electoral supporters. By betraying its mandate, Syriza will confront angry mass demonstrations. Rejecting Brussels’ dictates and proceeding to mobilize its mass base, Syriza could seek new sources of financing, imposing capital controls and moving toward a radical “emergency economy”.
Brussel has “stone-walled” and turned a deaf ear to the early concessions which Syriza offered. Instead Brussels sees concessions as ‘steps’ toward complete capitulation, instead of as efforts to reach a “compromise”.
Syriza has already dropped calls for large scale debt write-offs, in favor of extending the time frame for paying the debt. Syriza has agreed to continue debt payments, provided they are linked to the rate of economic growth. Syriza accepts European oversight, provided it is not conducted by the hated “troika”, which has poisonous connotations for most Greeks. However, semantic changes do not change the substance of “limited sovereignty”.
Syriza has already agreed to long and middle term structural dependency in order to securetime and leeway in financing its short-term popular impact programs. All that Syriza asks is minimum fiscal flexibility under supervision of the German finance minister-some “radicals”!
Syriza has temporarily suspended on-going privatization of key infrastructure (sea- ports and airport facilities) energy and telecommunication sectors. But is has not terminated them, norrevised the past privatization. But for Brussels “sell-off” of Greek lucrative strategic sectors is an essential part of its “structural reform” agenda.
Syriza’s moderate proposals and its effort to operate within the EU framework established by the previous vassal regimes was rebuffed by Germany and its 27 stooges in the EU.
The EU’s dogmatic affirmation of extremist, ultra neo-liberal policies, including the practice of dismantling Greece’s national economy and transferring the most lucrative sectors into the hands of imperial investors, is echoed in the pages of all the major print media. The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Le Monde are propaganda arms of EU extremism. Faced with Brussel’s intransigence and confronting the ‘historic choice’ of capitulation or radicalization, Syriza tried persuasion of key regimes. Syriza held numerous meetings with EU ministers. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Yanis Vardoulakis traveled to Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin and Rome seeking a “compromise” agreement. This was to no avail. The Brussels elite repeatedly insisted:
Debts would have to be paid in full and on time.
Greece should restrict spending to accumulate a 4.5% surplus that would ensure payments to creditors, investors, speculators and kleptocrats.
The EU’s lack of any economic flexibility or willingness to accept even a minimum compromise is a political decision: to humble and destroy the credibility of SYRIZA as an anti-austerity government in the eyes of its domestic supporters and potential overseas imitators in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland (Economist 1/17/15, p. 53).
The strangulation of Syriza is part and parcel of the decade long process of the EU’s assassination of Greece. A savage response to a heroic attempt by an entire people, hurled into destitution, condemned to be ruled by kleptocratic conservatives and social democrats.
Empires do not surrender their colonies through reasonable arguments or by the bankruptcy of their regressive “reforms”.
Brussel’s attitude toward Greece is guided by the policy of “rule or ruin”. “Bail out” is a euphemism for recycling financing through Greece back to Euro-controlled banks, while Greek workers and employees are saddled with greater debt and continued dominance. Brussel’s “bail out” is an instrument for control by imperial institutions, whether they are called “troika” or something else.
Brussels and Germany do not want dissenting members; they may offer to make some minor concessions so that Finance Minister Vardoulakis may claim a ‘partial victory’ – a sham and hollow euphemism for a belly crawl
The “bail out” agreement will be described by Tsipras-Vardoulakis as ‘new’ and “different’ from the past or as a ‘temporary’ retreat. The Germans may ‘allow’ Greece to lower its primary budget surplus from 4.5 to 3.5 percent ‘next year’ – but it will still reduce the funds for economic stimulus and “postpone” raises in pensions, minimum wages etc.
Privatization and other regressive reforms will not be terminated, they will be “renegotiated”. The state will retain a minority “share”.
Plutocrats will be asked to pay some added taxes but not the billions of taxes evaded over the past decades.
Nor will the PASOK – New Democracy kleptocratic operatives be prosecuted for pillage and theft.
Syriza’s compromises demonstrate that the looney right’s (the Economist, Financial Times, NY Times, etc.) characterization of Syriza as the “hard left” or the ultra-left have no basis in reality. For the Greek electorate’s “hope for the future” could turn to anger in the present. Onlymass pressure from below can reverse Syriza’s capitulation and Finance Minister Vardoulakisunsavory compromises. Since he lacks any mass base in the party, Tsipras can easily dismiss him, for signing off on “compromise” which sacrifices the basic interests of the people.
However, if in fact, EU dogmatism and intransigence forecloses even the most favorable deals, Tsipras and Syriza, (against their desires) may be forced to exit the Euro Empire and face the challenge of carving out a new truly radical policy and economy as a free and independent country.
A successful Greek exit from the German – Brussels empire would likely lead to the break-up of the EU, as other vassal states rebel and follow the Greek example. They may renounce not only austerity but their foreign debts and eternal interest payments. The entire financial empire – the so-called global financial system could be shaken . . .
Greece could once again become the ‘cradle of democracy’.
Post-Script:Thirty years ago, I was an active participant and adviser for three years (1981-84) to Prime Minister Papandreou. He, like Tsipras, began with the promise of radical changes and ended up capitulating to Brussels and NATO and embracing the oligarchs and kleptocrats in the name of “pragmatic compromises”. Let us hope, that facing a mass revolt, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Syriza will follow a different path. History need not repeat itself as tragedy or farce.
 The account of the Andreas Papandreou regime draws on personal experience, interviews and observations and from my co-authored article “Greek Socialism: The Patrimonial State Revisited” in James Kurth and James Petras, Mediterranean Paradoxes: the Politics and Social Structure of Southern Europe (Oxford: Berg Press 1993/ pp. 160 -224)
James Petras was Director of the Center for Mediterranean Studies in Athens (1981-1984) and adviser to Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou (1981-84). He resigned in protest over the PM expulsion of leading trade unionists from PASOK for organizing a general strike against his ‘stabilization program’.
Petras is co-author of Mediterranean Paradoxes: The Politics and Social Structure of Southern Europe. His latest books include Extractive Imperialism in the Americas (with Henry Veltmeyer); and The Politics of Empire: the US, Israel and the Middle East.
This post contains:
- Brief information about color revolutions
- Relevant institution
- Color revolutions brands
- Other posts on this topic
Color revolutions are, without a doubt, one of the main features of global political developments today. Should the reader wonder what a “color revolution” is, keep reading.
Let us first begin with the Wikipedia definition. That website introduces the concept by stating the following:
“Color revolution(s) is a term used by the media to describe related [political] movements that developed in several societies in the CIS (former USSR) and Balkan states during the early 2000’s. Some observers have called the events a revolutionary wave.
“Participants in the color revolutions have mostly used nonviolent resistance, also called civil resistance. Such methods as demonstrations, strikes and interventions have been [used to] protest against governments seen as corrupt and/or authoritarian, and to advocate democracy; and they have also created strong pressure for change. These movements all adopted a specific color or flower as their symbol. The color revolutions are notable for the important role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and particularly student activists in organizing creative non-violent resistance.
“These movements have been successful in Serbia (especially the Bulldozer Revolution of 2000), in Georgia’s Rose Revolution (2003), in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution(2004), in Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution and (though more violent than the previous ones) in Kyrgyzstan’s Tulip Revolution (2005), in Kuwait’s Blue Revolution (2005), in Iraq’s Purple Revolution (2005), and in Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution (1989), but failed in Iran’s Green Revolution (2009–2010) . Each time massive street protests followed disputed elections or request of fair elections and led to the resignation or overthrow of leaders considered by their opponents to be authoritarian.”
“Color revolutions” are foreign funded psycho-social operations of deception
What the Wikipedia article fails to mention is the massive foreign funding (State Department, Private corporations and affiliated “NGO’s”), and at least a notion that color revolutions are clear psycho-social operations of deception.
It’s a fact that Western governments (especially the US government) and various non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) spend millions of dollars to co-opt and “channel” local populations of targeted countries against their own political leadership.
Empty democracy slogans and flashy colors aside, one can argue that color revolutions are good old-fashioned regime change operations: destabilization without the tanks.
The secret ingredient is a sophisticated science used to manipulate emotions and circumvent critical thinking. History shows that, to much of the power elite, humanity is seen as a collection of nerve endings to be pushed and pulled one way or the other, sometimes made to tremble in fear, sometimes made to salivate like Pavlov’s dogs. These days the manipulation is so pervasive, so subtle, so effective, that even critical individuals at times must necessarily fail to recognize how often – or in what context – they have fallen prey.
Of course fear is the most obvious emotion played upon to effect massive social change. One need only to reflect upon the last fourteen years, since 9/11, to know that fear is a primary instrument used to initiate and justify dangerous shifts in public policy.
But as humanity has been physiologically equipped with a range of emotions, and is not merely arrested and controlled by fear alone, a strata of behavioral and political science also found it useful to master the flip-side of the emotional spectrum, and by that we mean desire. All that, drives groups of individuals to act, even in the face of fear, in pursuit of something worthwhile.
Many are the professions that utilize this type of understanding, including (but not limited to) marketing, advertising, public relations, politics and law-making, radio, television, journalism and news, film, music, general business and salesmanship; each of them selling, branding, promoting, entertaining, sloganeering, framing, explaining, creating friends and enemies, arguing likes and dislikes, setting the boundaries of good and evil: in many cases using their talents to circumvent their audiences’ intellect, the real target being emotional, often times even subconscious.
Looking beneath the facade of the color revolutionary movement we also find a desire-based behavioral structure, in particular one that has been built upon historical lessons offered by social movements and periods of political upheaval.
It then makes sense that the personnel of such operations include perception managers, PR firms, pollsters and opinion-makers in the social media. Through the operational infrastructure, these entities work in close coordination with intelligence agents, local and foreign activists, strategists and tacticians, tax-exempt foundations, governmental agencies, and a host of non- governmental organizations.
Collectively, their job is to make a palace coup (a situation in which a leader is removed from power by the people who have worked with him or her) seem like a social revolution; to help fill the streets with fearless demonstrators advocating on behalf of a government of their choosing, which then legitimizes the sham governments with the authenticity of popular democracy and revolutionary fervor.
Because the operatives perform much of their craft in the open, their effectiveness is heavily predicated upon their ability to veil the influence backing them, and the long-term intentions guiding their work.
Their effectiveness is predicated on their ability to deceive, targeting both local populations and foreign audiences with highly-misleading interpretations of the underlying causes provoking these events.
A color revolution is only an instrument of foreign policy – only a tool – the ultimate object being the geopolitical advantages gained by powerful financiers and the brain trust they employ. It follows that understanding geopolitical context (and motive) is necessary to understand the purpose of the color revolution.
The rest of this post highlights specific institutions of power
“Never utter these words: ‘I do not know this, therefore it is false.’ One must study to know; know to understand; understand to judge.” – Apothegm of Narada
SCROLL DOWN FOR LINKS TO RELEVANT INSTITUTIONS AND FURTHER DOWN FOR COLOR REVOLUTION BRANDS
The following institutions are central to the topics addressed here. (click on image to visit their home sites):
«Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible». These are the words from «1984», George Orwell’s fictional novel and eerily correct prognostication of future events from geopolitics to the loss of privacy and the rise of the surveillance state. Oceania fictionally represented the British Isles, North and South America, southern Africa, and Australasia. In Orwell’s world, Eurasia was comprised of Russia and Europe while another power, Eastasia, included China, Korea, and Japan.
Today, a modified form of the dystopian future world map of Orwell is becoming reality as Russia and China increasingly cooperate economically, politically, and militarily to ensure that the forces of Oceania – centered in Washington, London, Berlin, and Paris – do not overrun Eurasia.
At last month’s third annual International Security Conference in Moscow, a conclave sponsored by the Russian Defense Ministry, Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces, General Valery Gerasimov stated that Western-financed and organized «color revolutions», such as those employed twice in Ukraine and once in Georgia, represent a form of irregular warfare against Eurasia. Gerasimov’s statement about North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries, which resemble Orwell’s Oceania, launching irregular warfare against Eurasia could have been torn from the pages of «1984». Gerasimov cited information warfare, economic sanctions, and support for «proxy criminal organizations» and extremist groups as part of the West’s irregular warfare construct directed against Eurasia.
Gerasimov also said that color revolutions were part and parcel of Western military strategy against Eurasia since the non-military tactics employed were often followed by military force to bring about regime change. This is now the case with the Ukrainian government’s NATO-supported military offensive against federalists in eastern Ukraine, as well as in NATO support for Islamist rebels battling against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Military intervention, including air attacks, was also employed by NATO after the Islamist uprising in eastern Libya that eventually forced Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi from power.
Gerasimov’s comments about color revolutions was supported by none other than Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a non-profit think tank that often reflects the views of the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. State Department. Cordesman said color revolutions sponsored by the West were a new form of warfare against Russia and China.
Belarusian Defense Minister Yury Zhadobin cited the «godfather» of CIA-financed themed uprisings and revolutions, Gene Sharp, the director of the Albert Einstein Institution in Boston as the prime motivator of the uprisings witnessed in Europe and the Middle East. The armed forces of Russia, China, and Belarus now consider the West’s support for regime change through color revolutions as being part of the military doctrines of the United States and NATO. The military planners in Moscow, Beijing, and Minsk also view Western private military contractors – mercenaries — such as the former Blackwater, now Academi, as being part of the West’s regime change scenario after the outbreak of color revolutions.
The reasons for the West’s color revolution and regime change project for Eurasia are clear. With Russia and China at the forefront of developing new Eurasian energy schemes involving natural gas and new transportation routes evoking memories of the old Silk Road, the West feels threatened by the emergence in Eurasia of a dynamic new market that could not only rival but eclipse the European Union and Washington’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The emergence of a new Eurasian identity has alarmed the political leaders of de facto Oceania. Eurasia places economic development and respect for traditions over what many in Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and other countries of the region see as a Western «culture» that emphasizes pop culture, homosexuality, destruction of social safety nets, disrespect for religion, destruction of the traditional family unit, and unbridled vulture capitalism that promotes draconian austerity.
The Moscow security conference met at about the same time that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) held in Shanghai. There, Xi emphasized that Asia has entered the 21st century at that the Cold War mentality should be abandoned. Observers from Japan and the United States looked on as Asian delegates roundly rejected President Barack Obama’s Cold War military «pivot to Asia» and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s revanchist imperial military buildup in east Asia. In many respects, the United States Pacific forces and Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea represent the militaristic «Eastasia» of «1984», an entity that was allied for a period of time with Oceania.
Not only was the «Power of Siberia» natural gas pipeline, which will begin pumping natural gas from Siberia to China in 2018, agreed upon in Shanghai but there are plans to restore the old Silk Road as a major trans-Eurasian highway that will link China to Europe via the trans-Siberian highway and Europe’s E-30 highway. Eventually, an A-class motor highway will link Amsterdam with Beijing via the Asian Highway Network. This network of modern highways will restore the ancient Silk Road of Asia and move goods and passengers throughout Eurasia and, in the process, build new infrastructures in the remotest parts of the Eurasian heartland. This prospect has the banking houses of Europe and America concerned since they will be locked out of the financial sweepstakes.
Eurasia’s leaders, from Putin and Xi, to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are well aware how the color revolutions that have wracked Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan have been financed. The «Euromaidan» overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who rejected a union with the European Union and appeared ready to forge ties with Eurasia, was part of the West’s (or «Oceania’s) first indirect military aggression against Eurasia.
Some Eurasian leaders are aware that the West is trying to derail the developing Eurasian Union. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed transforming CICA into a new Organization for Security and Development in Asia (OSDA), which would be the closest thing to a Eurasian counterpart to NATO. Stressing Eurasia’s rejection of Western «values», Nazarbayev stressed that OSDA would be built upon Asian «tradition and values». Nazarbayev appeared to be speaking for a number of Eurasian leaders in rejecting the lewd permissiveness of Western culture as witnessed by «Pussy Riot’s» and FEMEN’s displays of vulgarity and gratuitous nudity in places of religious worship in Russia, Ukraine, and other countries.
There is a new competitor to America’s version of Oceania now emerging in Orwell’s Eurasia. Halford John Mackinder’s «Heartland Theory», which was espoused in his book «The Geographical Pivot of History», postulated that the power that controlled Eurasia’s heartland between the Volga and Yangtze and the Arctic Sea and Himalayas would control the destiny of the world.
If the Eurasian Union becomes a successful political and economic union, the United States, Britain, Western Europe, and Japan will be confined to an economically anemic and socially decadent coastal «Rimland» where the few remaining assets will be fought over by the hungry jackals of the banking houses of Wall Street, City of London, and Frankfurt. The outbreak of wars in Syria, Ukraine, and Iraq are but the first shots of the impending war between «Oceania» and «Eurasia».
Zoe Konstantopoulou, is the youngest in age and the second woman president of the Parliament. She was elected with 235 votes out of 298 MP’s who took part in the vote. The first official, purely democratic guidelines to the Greek parliament in long time, was given in the opening speech by Mrs. Zoe Konstantopoulou.
The first bright glimpse of sunshine shone on the Greeks, when the black clouds for the first time in five years scattered a little bit. It was a verbal ray, but it came from somewhere it hasn’t come for a very long time in Greece, or in Europe for that matter. It was the official, deeply democratic, patriotic and concrete positioning of the new President of the Parliament, in her opening speech.
For the first time since the bloody civil war, someone in that position, officially express and personally commits themselves to the very basic foundations of Democracy, so crystal clear. She pointed out that the Parliament’s biggest task is to first and foremost defend and guarantee these basic, democratic principles and values and the Greek nations historic right to them. She specifically mentioned the indisputable rights that the Greek nation and the Greek people in particular have, due to its heroic struggles and gigantic sacrifices for democracy and freedom, throughout history. Very firmly she declared, that whoever tries to deprive the Greeks these rights – from now on – will meet a wall with the democratic basic principles in practice. They will meet the original spirit of international law, the substantial essence of the UN-conventions and the Greek people’s constitutional rights, in action. And they will meet a parliament that will, first and above anything else, defend those historic rights and guarantee them to these historic defenders of them.
She gave a very thirsty and almost dehydrated people, a few shots of fresh spring water, after so many decades of drinking toxic and dirty water served with the great powers nicely packaged, bottled, latrine-water. She spoke directly to the hearts of over 80% of the Greeks (including the diaspora). That fact is the reason why Mr Varoufakis looked so worried and was twisting and turning like a “Lord Voldemort on coke”, during Mrs Konstantopoulous speech. Her words were as painful, distorted high noises in his ears, because he wears Soro’s headphones. To all neo-liberal powers on the planet, particularly the bankers that speech was like the sound of a metal knife cutting against an empty plate.
Mr Varoufakis might have taken the European media and the politically correct left-pretenders by storm, but if he doesn’t follow the wide majority of the party’s and the members standpoint on the debt, he will have many battles within the party. Mrs Konstantopoulou views are more rooted in SYRIZA than Varoufakis “austere livelihood” program, the get-used-to-being-poor-program. That he is a brilliant economist there is no question, but to be a brilliant economist is not enough for the position he has. He have to first and foremost work for the Greek people’s interests and nobody else’s. Dr Mengele was also a brilliant physician but his loyalties and his employer posed a lethal threat to many million people. It is for what and for who they work that matters. In his case it’s quite clear that he don’t work for the best of the Greek people.
Mrs Konstantopoulou showed a slightly different line than Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis who has been ensuring the debt and in reality just talks about “stretching it out over a longer time”. She spoke about deletion of the majority of the debt, as was promised. She also stressed that she herself will take initiative to promote the Greek claims of deleting most of the Greek debt and the Development clauses.
Due to the President of Parliament, Mrs Konstantopoulou’s unprecedented, official clarity and sharpness on the basic democratic principles, in contrast with what goes on in the Trojan Horse led parts of the government, it is evident that two ‘SYRIZA’ are in action right now… The Trojan Horse serves the great-powers’ interests, and the others, whose spirit together with the vast majority of the Greek people’s common spirit, spoke through the new President of the Greek Parliament on Friday.
This is the only really good news so far, but only if the new President of the Parliament’s official standpoint is also defended in practice and in action, of course.
Her constitutionally protected position, as President of the Greek Parliament, gives her very big freedom to set the rules and the guidelines for the parliament’s democratic, practical procedures in accordance with the fundamental democratic principles. In practice that means, to actively guarantee and defend the basic democratic rights for the Greek people and it must be based on the people’s requests.
The speech has not been broadcasted in its entirety anywhere in western media yet, except some excerpt (minutes and seconds from the 24 minutes of the speech). I tried to find it translated on YT, but not even an excerpt anywhere. That speech was a painful noise to the bankers and the global elite. As it always is when democracy’s fundamental principles, international laws and UN conventions are officially pointed out by government members, judges or the President of Parliament in a nation’s government.
I upload it here for you who understand Greek
This is an analysis from the Strategical Cultural Foundation, that with further details confirms my conclusions in my own article “SYRIZA’s new Greek government is just PASOK “updated” – Soro’s edition”.
A Soros «Trojan Horse» inside the New Greek Government?
Wayne MADSEN | 29.01.2015 | 00:00
As Greece celebrates the inauguration of its anti-austerity government, the euphoria should be tempered with a bit of realism. Although new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who named his son «Ernesto» after Cuban revolutionary Ernesto «Ché» Guevara, and the vast majority of his new Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) government have good left-wing and pro-labor credentials, the same cannot be necessarily said of the man Tsipras chose to be Greece’s new finance minister. Yanis Varoufakisis a citizen of Australia who was educated in Britain and worked as a professor at the University of Texas. Europe has witnessed such dual nationals with conflicting loyalties take power in countries in Eastern Europe, most notably in Ukraine, where American Natalie Jaresko became finance minister in order to deliver International MonetaryFund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB) austerity «poison pills» to Ukraine.
Today, the nations of eastern and central Europe are populated with globalists, overt types and those of the «crypto» variety, with many of them, like Varoufakis, citizens or past legal residents of other nations. Romania’s finance minister, Ioana Petrescu, is a Wellesley and Harvard graduate and former fellow for the U.S. Republican Party’s National Republican Institute at the neo-conservative and anti-Russian American Enterprise Institute (AEI). She is also a past professor at the University of Maryland. Although Petrescu’s right-wing connections to Washington appear at odds with Varoufakis’s ties to the neo-liberal Brookings Institution, in the world of «make believe» political differences, Petrescu and Varoufakis are two sides of the same coin. When one follows the money that helped create these two finance ministers, as well as Jaresko, all roads lead back to Washington and entities that suckle from the teat of the Central Intelligence Agency and its myriad of front entities.
Varoufakis’s curriculum vitae, like that of Jaresko’s, reeks of George Soros-intertwined globalist links. For a finance minister who is to — if we believe the dire warnings from the corporate press — challenge the austerity measures dictated to Greece’s previous failed conservative and social democratic governments by the «Troika» of the IMF, ECB, and European Commission, Varoufakis has had a past close relationship with the global entities with which he is expected to battle.
Varoufakis also served as «economist-in-residence» for the Valve Corporation, a video game spinoff of the always-suspect Microsoft Corporation of extreme globalist Bill Gates.
The warning signs that Varoufakis is a «Trojan horse» for the global bankers are abundant. First, Varoufakis served as an economic adviser to the failed PASOK social democratic government of Prime Minister George Papandreou, the man who first put Greece on the road to draconian austerity measures. Varoufakis now claims that he was ardently opposed to Papandreou’s deal with the «Troika» but no one will ever know how much the now-anti austerity finance minister agreed to while he was advising Papadreou on the proper course of action to settle Greece’s enormous debt problem.
Varoufakis is a close friend and co-author of American economist and fellow University of Texas professor James K. Galbraith, the son of the late «eminence grise» of American economists, John Kenneth Galbraith. Galbraith’s ties to the global banking elite are exemplified by his guest scholar position at the elitist Brookings Institution in Washington. In other words, although Tsipras’s biography suggests a bona fide leftist, Varoufakis’s background indicates that Greece’s new finance minister is at home and comfortable with the banker elites who carved out Greece’s national soul with a sharp blade of austerity cuts to social security, public health, and other basic public services.
The foreword to Varoufakis’s book, «A Modest Proposal, which deals with Europe’s financial crisis and which he co-wrote with James Galbraith and former British Member of Parliament Stuart Holland, was written by former French Prime Minister Michael Rocard. Rocard has called for the EU to appoint a European «strongman» and Rocard’s choice is European Parliament president Martin Schulz, the very same man who has warned the new SYRIZA government to abide by the austerity agreements concluded by the past PASOK and conservative governments.
Holland, an adviser to former Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, along with French President François Mitterand, helped craft the 1986 Single European Act, one of the charters that helped create the European Union financial system that has been used to emaciate the Greek economy in the name of austerity.
Varoufakis’s commitment to work within the IMF and European banking system is obvious from what the Greek finance minister wrote on his website. After calls by American financial writers Paul Krugman and Mark Weisbrot for Greece to follow the example of Argentina and default on its debts and exit the Eurozone altogether, Varoufakis argues that Greece must «grin and bear» the measures imposed on it by the bankers and the German government as a member of the Eurozone. And that means the SYRIZA finance minister surrendered to the whims of the bankers long before SYRIZA’s electoral victory. Considering the unquestionable leftist credentials of many members of the Greek government, the bankers have, at the very least, a willing accomplice as finance minister on the Greek side of the negotiating table on the future of the nation’s economy and the unpopular Troika-imposed austerity measures that swept SYRIZA to power.
Although Varoufakis stands ready to cut deal after deal with the global and European bankers, his colleagues in the coalition government SYRIZA crafted with the anti-EU but right-wing Independent Greeks party, will not follow EU diktats when it comes to such matters as agreeing to continued austerity, as well as EU sanctions against Russia. No sooner had Tsipras become prime minister, he criticized the EU for issuing a warning about further sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. Tsipras said an anti-Russia European Council statement had been issued without the consent of Greece.
Greece’s new foreign minister, Nikos Kotzias, is, like Varoufakis, an academic. However, unlike Varoufakis, Kotzias, a former Communist, has been a professor at a Greek, not a foreign, university. Kotzias and Tsipras are following through with their promises of opposing current and future EU sanctions against Russia, something that will not endear them to the Soros elements who have their clutches on Varoufakis. Kotzias has the power to veto new or renewed sanctions against Russia. Kotzias is opposed to German domination over Europe and was such a staunch Communist, he supported the crackdown by Polish Communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski on the Solidarity trade union movement in Poland in the 1980s, a fact that places him at complete loggerheads with EU Polish President Donald Tusk, an early activist within the Solidarity movement, who wants to impose further punitive measures on Russia. In what can only send EU and NATO interventionists into a tail spin, Kotzias will find himself more at home in Moscow than he will in Brussels or Berlin. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already started the process of establishing close relations with the new government in Athens. The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has likely commenced «surge» surveillance of all official communications links between Athens and Moscow and it has also certainly placed Greece, like Russia, Turkey, Brazil, Hungary, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and Lebanon into the category of a hostile «target» nation for the purposes of collecting signals intelligence or «SIGINT».
Greece, which pioneered the Trojan horse weapon used against Troy, must be on guard against Trojan horses like Varoufakis who have been implanted in the new Greek government.
The SYRIZA government’s inner circle and its first week doesn’t give much hope
The names in the new Greek government that was announced last Tuesday, gave many of us the shivers. Even we that didn’t believe in all the promises thought at least, that by getting rid of the ruthless, previous “Brussels- och Berlin-servants”, we could breathe out.
On the contrary, we had to abruptly digest the fact that Tsipras really can’t keep many of his main promises to the people. Not with these neo-liberal, “Soro’s boys and girls”, in the inner circle of ministers and vice ministers.
There is no doubt that the people’s choice in the elections was a ‘good step’, it was a step in the right direction but it was really nothing more than just one single step. And that little step is not expressed in the election of a Tsipra’s government, but in the decision of getting rid of the Samara’s government.
A brief analysis was made on Monday by Dimitris Kazakis, the economist and general secretary of the democratic, resistance movement E.PA.M* (the United Popular Front). He commented on some very suspicious members in SYRIZA’s lead, some of the former members of PASOK, the “dirty” members with an unresolved past. He commented on these names, because they are found in minister and vice minister posts, and in the negotiating team of the new government. After one look at the names, one understand that it is more likely that there will be sessions of sheer bargaining, rather than true negotiations about the Debt, the Austerity and the Democracy.
He speaks about the ministers and the members of the negotiation team as, the new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (a George Soros “boy”), vice prime minister Giannis Dragasakis and the minister of infrastructure, shipping and tourism, Georgos Stathakis, These are the Greek “Dalton brothers from the old PASOK” – Averel is missing, because he started his own party and got 2,4% from family and ‘friends’. All three are the bankers wolves. So the big bankers victory, also in this European ‘left-government’, is obvious.
He speaks about, “negotiator” Nikos Christodoulakis (Minister for Kostas Simitis, one of the most hated prime ministers, because he indebted the Greeks massively, with the infamous stock market fraud and various bribe scandals), Deputy Minister for combating unemployment, Rania Antonopoulou (from Levi Institute and active in several of George Soro’s organizations), “negotiator” Louka Katseli (voted for the first Memorandum and said afterward that she was not even familiar with the figures for the debt, because she didn’t read what she voted through), Nikos Kotsias the new reckless foreign minister (George Papandreou’s Foreign Minister, Pagalo’s helper, and Mr. Papandreou’s secretary – has been Pagalos-trained for many years).
It seems that the failed and fatal, neo-liberal Papandreou prescription will be restyled and ensured, instead of seriously questioned and condemned by those ministers. We see a poorly disguised PASOK, governing Greece now.
In Soro’s service
The new finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, revealed in his very first interview as a finance minister – given to BBC by the way, and not to a Greek channel – for who he really work and on whose behalf he really will negotiate. It stands clear that he is in this position to ensure and protect Soro’s, Levi’s & Co interests, and not to really negotiate on behalf of the Greek people. He is not there to, with the support in constitutional and international law and UN resolutions, question the debt. He is not there to demand a legal and financial investigation of the debt and the neo-colonial agreement with the Eurogroup/IMF/ECB. Even if that was one of the clear, actual assignments, from the people. With a few leftish, ‘cosmetic’ adjustments, and some socioeconomic ‘lollipops’ to the suffering, he will try to pass a new kind of “Memorandum”, a permanent one.
He will do this by continuing the Papandreic reasoning. This Narcissus, didn’t call the Greeks lazy, as Papandreou did, but he was equally degrading when he indirectly acknowledged the debt, instead of telling the truth to the Europeans, about the ‘Greek loans’. He should have! Because that’s what SYRIZA promised us. He felt instead that he had to calm down the nervous investors and the Eurogroup, before he could start posing as a “left” finance minister.
He actually deliberately lied to the Europeans, when he told them that they have ever paid one nickel from their pockets, for their governments loans to Greece. That their governments and their media have lied to them and told them that they tightened their citizens’ lives, because of the “lazy Greeks”, is an entirely different thing. That thing, is something that these citizens should take up with their governments, not with the Greeks. How are the Germans, the Slovenians and other European citizens paying for the Greeks?
Doesn’t Varoufakis know that Germany as a nation, borrowed Greece 15,2 billion euro within the framework of the “help-packages”, but made over 75 billion euro, only from the different interest rates on these loans? The loans that went to Greece was money that didn’t come from the citizens pockets, as this new finance minister implies. These countries governments borrowed money from the ECB with much lower interest rate than they lent to Greece. He also know more than well, that these countries didn’t lend Greece 240 billion euro in 5 years, but 55 billion euro, which 16 countries shared. The remaining 185 billion were provided by the EFSF, ie the temporary European Fund for controlled bankruptcy mechanism, which in its turn was borrowed from the markets by issuing its own debt securities. Thus they offered the citizens to speculate financially, to invest in another country’s bankruptcy, instead of asking them if they feel like supporting the EFSF or not. No one can ask the Greeks, neither legally nor morally, to feel any responsibility for the fact that these citizens lost money when they themselves accepted to speculate on people’s misery through such a disgusting pyramid game.
He didn’t tell the European citizens, that their governments actually made tens of billions of euros in profit by lending out money to Greece, and that they intentionally lied to them about it.
SYRIZA promised the Greeks, that they would pass the message to the Europeans about this and not continue Papandreous blame games, while acting as the “hard negotiator”. Indeed an odd view our times “left-wing governments” have on the term, speaking on behalf of the people.
We did not want the government to calm down the bankers and lenders. We wanted the government to upset them and determinedly and with the support of international law, really challenge them.
The European peoples hope against neo-liberalism?
If Tsipras have chosen to accommodate EU’s, the Euro-groups and the banker’s “wishlists”, he will not be well treated at all by the progressive parts of SYRIZA, the majority of their new voters and the bigger part of the Greek people. The majority of the voters voted for SYRIZA, for they committed themselves to “not back down” from the following promises:
- the condemnation and the demand for a judicial review, of the illegally imposed colonial loan agreements, in an international court
- a radical, democratic change in the current party controlled, customer based, political system
- the proper taxation of all the richest
- all the responsible – domestic and foreign – for the Greek peoples suffering and Greece’s destruction, to be held to account in the court of law”, for their crimes
The Greek people will not be satisfied or trust any government, before it show in practice that it doesn’t back away from these people’s “red lines”, in all aspects of these four crucial questions.
Tsipras, should know – because most of his constituents and many of his party members know – that the main ongoing, immediate threats that daily deepens our concerns, fueling our anger and extend our grief are:
- the enforced colonial agreements, the conditions and the debt serfdom of the Greek people (through the illegally signed resignation from any rights to defend its natural wealth, its sovereignty and its independence, on the demand of the Eurozone and Papandreou’s government),
- the planned, systematic, impoverishment, exhaustion and humiliation of the Greek people
- the increasing number of people who die as a direct result of ‘austerity’, all the suicides and the young migrating population
- the dismantling of democracy, the human and the constitutional rights in Greece
- the highly biased and propagandist media (that blatantly lies and instead of informing, withholds the truth from the people, polarize it and act like spokesmen for the Germany led, neo-liberal, neo-Nazi promoting and supporting, EU)
I will not comment at all on the small social-economic, tiny “soothers”. Once the above issues are treated with respect and according to the will of the people, I can feel myself compelled to applaud some of the ‘soothers’ too. I know that the submissive attitude towards the lenders were not at all what the Greeks voted for, nor a pimped Papandreou solution. We did not want the government to calm down the bankers and lenders, but to upset them. We wanted the government to determinedly challenge them, with the support of international law. But the Mr Kotsias, like any other of the current European moral cripples, they wave away international law, UN and international agreements and joins the psychopaths ‘war games’.
The Greek government foreign policy opened up for EU’s step two against Russia
One first positive thing, that could have been said about this government, would have been if Kotsias would have proceeded to the use of veto on the Ukraine issue, against the rest of EU. It would have been good if Greece’s media-baptized, “radical left” government, could have stopped the escalating involvement in the neo-Nazis massacres of the population of Ukraine, and not just adjust to the existing, highly toxic aggressiveness towards Russia. But the foreign minister Mr Kotsias (the Pangalos-apprentice) didn’t… He just pointed out some incorrect procedure and then he dropped the key comment “the sanctions do not work”, which in foreign policy language basically means we should proceed to the next step against Russia. He could have been the one who, with the support of international law and UN treaties, put his veto against “the EU’s ambition to be able to unilaterally declare war and start a war against a sovereign nation and from a third nation’s land”. That not a single representative, from any other member country, saw any problems with the fact that EU want to violate international law and existing UN treaties and resolutions, was not the problem according to Kotsias. But that they “ignored the prescribed procedure for Greece’s consent,” was certainly something he would not tolerate.
We know from historical facts that the comment “sanctions do not work” means let us go to step two. Airstrikes, drones, cluster bombs, create or support local “west-friendly ‘butchers and when that “does not work”, go to step three, land invasion (Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Argentina, Serbia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Libya etc.). Only in cases where they did not dare to actually declare war, they continued with sanctions for decades, such as the Soviet Union, China, Cuba and North Korea. That the Greek government did not use its veto against the EU and its neo-liberal crusade against Russia, is a position that is in direct conflict with the majority of the Greek people’s view and so will every submissive, customer minded Greek government be.
No, I can not really understand why some evil-minded, suspicious people, strongly doubts that this really is “the European peoples best hope against the bankers, the EU’s neo-colonial austerity policies and the neo-Nazi, ethnic cleansings”? Can you?
Syriza-regeringens inre krets och dess första vecka ger inte mycket hopp.
Namnen i den nya grekiska regeringen som tillkännagavs i tisdags, gav många av oss rysningar. Även vi som inte trodde på alla löften, trodde åtminstone att genom att bli av med de hänsynslösa, föregående “Bryssel och Berlin-tjänarna”, skulle vi kunna andas ut.
Tvärtom tvingades vi plötsligt smälta faktumet att Tsipras i verkligheten, inte kan hålla många av sina främsta löften till folket. Inte med dessa nyliberala “Soro’s pojkar och flickor”, i den inre kretsen av ministrar och viceministrar.
Det råder ingen tvekan om att folkets röst i valet var ett ‘bra steg’, det var ett steg i rätt riktning, men det var verkligen inte något annat än ett endaste, litet steg. Och det steget beskrivs inte, av beslutet att rösta för en Tsipras-regering, utan av beslutet att bli av med Samaras-regeringen.
En kort analys gjordes redan förra måndagen av Dimitris Kazakis, ekonomen och generalsekreteraren för den demokratiska motståndsrörelsen E.PA.M (Enad Folklig Front). Han kommenterade några mycket misstänkta medlemmar i Syrizas ledning, några av de tidigare medlemmarna ur PASOK, de “smutsiga” medlemmarna med ett olöst förflutet. Han kommenterade dessa namn, eftersom de återfinns i minister och vice ministerposter och i förhandlingsgruppen för den nya regeringen. Efter en blick på namnen, förstår man att det är mer sannolikt att det kommer att bli sittningar av köpslagning, snarare än verkliga förhandlingar om Skulden, Åtstramningspolitiken och Demokratin.
Han talar om ministrarna och medlemmarna i förhandlingsgruppen som, den nya finansministern, Yanis Varoufakis (en Soro’s “pojke”), vice premiärminister Giannis Dragasakis och ministern för infrastruktur, transport och turism, Georgos Stathakis, De här är de grekiska “Dalton bröderna från gamla PASOK “- Averel saknas, eftersom han startade sitt eget parti och fick 2,4%, från familj och “vänner”. Alla tre är bankirernas vargar. Så storbankirenas seger också i den här Europeiska’vänster-regeringen’, är uppenbar.
Han talar om,”förhandlaren” Nikos Christodoulakis (minister under Kostas Simitis, en av de mest hatade premiärministrarna för att han verkligen skuldsatta grekerna, med det ökända börs-bedrägeriet och diverse mut-skandaler), biträdande ministern för att bekämpa arbetslösheten, Rania Antonopoulou (från Levi Institute och aktiv i flera av George Soro’s organisationer), “förhandlaren” Louka Katseli (röstade för Memorandum I och sa efteråt att hon inte ens var bekant med siffrorna för skulden, för hon hade inte ens läst det hon röstat igenom), Nikos Kotsias den nya utrikesministern (var George Papandreou’s, utrikesminister, Pangalo’s hjälpreda, och även herr Papandreou’s rådgivare – han har blivit Pangalos-tränad i många år).
Det verkar som det misslyckade och dödliga, nyliberala Papandreou receptet skall stylas om och säkerställas, istället för att på allvar ifrågasätts och fördömas av dessa ministrar. Vi ser alltså endast ett dåligt förklätt PASOK regera Grekland nu.
I Soro’s tjänst
Den nya finansministern, Yanis Varoufakis, avslöjade i sin allra första intervju som grekernas finansminister – som gavs till BBC förresten, och inte till någon grekisk kanal – för vem han verkligen jobbar och för vems räkning han i verkligheten kommer att förhandla. Det är uppenbart att han är där för att försäkra och skydda Soro’s, Levi’s & Co intressen, och inte för att verkligen förhandla för det grekiska folkets räkning. Han är inte där för att, med stöd av konstitutionell och internationell rätt och FN:s resolutioner, ifrågasätta skulden och kräva en rättslig och ekonomisk utredning av alla de nykoloniala avtalet med Eurogruppen/ IMF/ ECB. Även om just detta var ett av de klara, faktiska uppdragen ifrån folket. Med hjälp av ett fåtal vänsteraktiga, “kosmetiska” justeringar, och några socialekonomiska “slickepinnar” till de lidande, kommer han att försöka driva igenom ett nytt sorts “Memorandum”, ett permanent sådant.
Han kommer att göra detta, genom att fortsätta det nyliberala Papandreiska resonemanget. Denna Narcissus, kallade förvisso inte grekerna lata, som Papandreou gjorde, men han var lika kränkande när han indirekt erkände skulden, istället för att berätta sanningen om ‘de grekiska lånen’, för européerna. Det borde han gjort! För det är vad Syriza lovade oss. Han kände istället att han ville lugna ner de nervösa investerarna och Eurogruppen, innan han kunde börja posera som en “vänster-regerings” finansminister.
Han ljög faktiskt medvetet för européerna, när han sa till dem att de någonsin har betalat ett nickel från sina fickor för sina regeringars lån till Grekland. Att deras regeringar och deras media ljög för dem och sa till dem att det var p.g.a “grekernas lathet”, som man måste strama åt deras liv, är en helt annan sak. Den saken får dessa medborgare ta upp och göra upp med sina regeringar, inte med grekerna. Hur betalar tyskarna, slovenernas och andra EU-medborgare för grekerna?
Vet inte Varoufakis, att Tyskland som nation lånade Grekland 15,2 miljarder euro inom ramen för “hjälppaketen”, men tjänade över 75 miljarder euro, endast från de olika räntorna på dessa lån? De lån som gick till Grekland var pengar som inte kom från medborgarnas fickor, så som den här nya finansministern antyder. Dessa länders regeringar lånade pengar från ECB med betydligt lägre ränta än vad de lånat ut till Grekland. Han vet också mer än väl, att dessa länder inte lånade Grekland 240 miljarder euro under 5 år, utan 55 miljarder euro, som 16 länder delade på. Resterande 185 miljarder kom från EFSF, dvs den tillfälliga europeiska fonden för mekanismen för kontrollerad konkurs, vilka i sin tur lånades från marknaderna genom att man gav ut egna skuldebrev. Regeringarna erbjöd alltså sina medborgare att spekulera i skuld, att investera i, ett annat lands konkurs, istället för att fråga dem om de har lust att stödja EFSF eller ej. Ingen kan be grekerna att varken lagligt eller etiskt, känna något ansvar inför faktum att dessa medborgare förlorat pengar, när de själva accepterat att spekulera i människors elände genom ett sådant motbjudande pyramid spel.
Herr Varoufakis talade inte om för de europeiska medborgarna, att deras regeringar faktiskt har gjort tiotals miljarder euro i vinst genom att låna ut pengar till Grekland, och att de avsiktligt ljög för dem om det.
Syriza lovade grekerna, att de skulle vidarebefordra meddelandet om denna lögn till européerna och inte fortsätta Papandreous skuld-lekar, och samtidigt spela “de hårda förhandlarna”. Verkligen besynnerlig uppfattning, som vår tids “vänsterregeringar” har om begreppet, tala för folkets räkning.
Vi ville inte att regeringen skulle lugna ner bankirerna och långivarna. Vi ville att regeringen skulle uppröra dem och beslutsamt och med stöd i internationell rätt, verkligen utmana dem.
De europeiska folkens hopp emot ny-liberalismen?
Om Tsipras har valt att tillmötesgå EU’s, Eurogruppens och bankirernas “önskelistor”, kommer han inte att behandlas väl alls av de progressiva delarna av Syriza, majoriteten av sina nya väljare och större delen av det grekiska folket.
Majoriteten av väljarna röstade på SYRIZA för att de förband sig att “inte backa” från följande löften:
- ett fördömande och krav om rättslig prövning, av de olagligt påtvingade koloniala låneavtalen, i internationell domstol
- en radikal, demokratisk förändring i det nuvarande parti-topps-kontrollerade, kundbaserade, politiska systemet
- den korrekta beskattningen av ALLA de rikaste
- att alla de ansvariga – inhemska och utländska – för det grekiska folkets lidande och Greklands förstörelse, skall ställas till svars i domstol för sina brott
Det grekiska folket kommer inte att nöja sig och lita på någon regering, innan den visar i praktiken att den inte backar från dessa folkets “röda linjer”, i alla aspekter av dessa fyra mycket avgörande frågor.
Tsipras, borde veta – eftersom de flesta av hans väljare och många av hans partimedlemmar vet – att de viktigaste pågående, omedelbara hoten som dagligen fördjupar vår oro, spär på vår vrede och förlänger vår sorg är:
- de påtvingade koloniala avtalen, villkoren och det grekiska folkets skuldlivegenskap (genom en olagligen undertecknad resignation från alla rättigheter att försvara naturrikedomar, suveränitet och självständighet, på begäran av Eurozonen och Papandreous regering)
- den planlagda, systematiska, utarmningen, utmattningen och förnedringen av det grekiska folket
- det ökande antalet människor som dör som direkt följd av ‘åtstramningarna’, alla självmorden och den utvandrande unga befolkningen
- nedmonteringen av demokratin, mänskliga och konstitutionella rättigheter i Grekland
- de mycket partiska och propagandistiska medierna (som uppenbarligen ljuger och istället för att informera, undanhåller sanningen från folket, polariserar det och agerar som talesman för det Tysklands-ledda, nyliberala, nynazist-främjande och -stödjande, EU)
Jag kommer inte att kommentera alls på de små socialekonomiska, ynka “tröstnapparna”. När ovanstående frågor behandlas med respekt och enligt folkets önskan kan jag känna mig manad att applådera några av ‘tröstnapparna’ också. Jag VET att den undergivna attityden mot långivarna inte alls var vad den grekerna röstade för och inte heller en pimpad Papandreou-lösning. Vi ville inte att regeringen skulle lugna ner bankirerna och långivarna, utan att oroa dem. Vi ville att regeringen målmedvetet skulle utmana dem, med stöd i internationell folkrätt. Men Herr Kotsias, precis som alla andra av de nuvarande fega, moraliska krymplingarna till utrikesministrar, så viftar han bort folkrätten, FN-konventioner och internationella fördrag och stämmer in i psykopaternas krigslekar.
Grekiska regeringens utrikespolitik öppnade vägen för EU’s steg två mot Ryssland
En första positiv sak, som kunde ha sagts om denna regering, skulle varit om Kotsias gått vidare till att använda sitt veto i Ukraina frågan, emot resten av EU. Det skulle nämligen ha varit bra om Greklands medie-döpta “radikala vänster”, kunde ha stoppat den eskalerande inblandningen i nynazistiska massakrer av befolkningen i Ukraina och inte bara anpassa sig till den befintliga, mycket giftiga aggressiviten emot Ryssland. Men det gjorde inte utrikesminister Kotsias (Pangalos-lärlingen)… Han påpekade bara några felaktiga ordningsrutiner och släppte sedan nyckel-kommentaren “sanktionerna fungerar inte”, som i utrikespolitiskt språk betyder vi bör gå vidare till nästa steg mot Ryssland. Han skulle kunnat varit den som, med stöd i grundläggande internationella lagar och FN-fördrag, lagt sitt veto emot “EU’s strävan till att ensidigt kunna förklara krig och starta krig emot en suverän nation. Att inte en enda representant från något annat medlemsland, såg några problem med faktum att EU vill bryta emot internationell rätt och befintliga FN-fördrag och resolutioner, var inte problemet enligt Kotsias. Men att de “ignorerade det föreskrivna förfarandet för Grekland samtycke”, var något han minsann inte skulle tåla.
Vi vet genom historiska fakta att kommentaren “sanktionerna fungerar inte” betyder låt oss gå till steg två. Flyganfall, drönare, kluster-bomber, skapa eller stödja lokala “väst-vänliga” slaktare och när det “inte fungerar”, gå till steg tre, mark invasion (Korea, Vietnam, Kambodja, Argentina, Serbien, Somalia, Afghanistan, Irak, Libanon, Syrien, Libyen etc.). Endast i de fall då man inte vågade att de facto gå till attack, fortsatte man med sanktionerna i flera årtionden, som exempelvis emot Sovjetunionen, Kina, Kuba och Nordkorea. Att den grekiska regeringen inte använde sitt veto mot EU och dess nyliberala korståg mot Ryssland, är en position som är i direkt konflikt med majoriteten av det grekiska folkets uppfattning och det kommer alla undergivna, kund sinnade grekiska regeringar vara.
Nä, jag kan verkligen inte förstå, varför några illasinnade, misstänksamma personer, starkt tvivlar på att de här verkligen är “de europeiska folkens bästa hopp emot bankirerna, EU:s nykoloniala åtsramnings-politik och de nynazistiska, etniska rensningarna”? Kan du?
Leo Panitch says it is the first left party to come to power since the 2007-2008 crisis of neoliberalism
Dimitri Lascaris says breaking up the troika and the power of oligarchs that control Greece is not going to be an easy task
Published time: January 26, 2015 14:01
Syriza’s Greek election win has dealt a blow to Eurocrats’ austerity agenda. As the European left celebrated the triumph, UK Prime Minister David Cameron warns the result will prompt further “economic uncertainty” in Europe.
Cameron made the comment after Syriza beat Greece’s ruling center-right New Democracy party in Sunday’s election, paving the way for a potential confrontation with international creditors.
Throughout its electoral campaign, the left-wing party pledged a series of deeply transformative policies.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras vowed to renegotiate Greece’s £179 billion bailout, and address clauses that make the Greek government’s implementation of harsh austerity measures mandatory.
He also said the party would demand the cancellation of over 50 percent of Greek debt owed predominantly to the ECB and Eurozone states, and place a new debt deal with the EU at the heart of its agenda.
As Syriza swept the ruling conservative New Democracy party from power, warnings that incoming Greek PM Tsipras’s party will prompt a crisis in the euro began to circulate.
‘There is no alternative’
Reflecting on the anti-austerity party’s electoral triumph, Cameron said the UK must stick to its economic plan of fiscal rectitude. In a climate of increasing economic insecurity in Europe, British policy makers must strive to deliver “security at home,”he warned.
Chancellor George Osborne suggested Syriza’s radical demands will require Greece’s exit from the eurozone.
He said the anti-austerity party’s pre-electoral mandate would be “very difficult” to deliver on and is ultimately “incompatible with what the eurozone currently demands of its members.”
In an effort to defend the austerity agenda that underpins his long-term economic plan for Britain, Osborne claimed Greek votes on Sunday weren’t against austerity, but against economic policies that had failed the Mediterranean state.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, the chancellor echoed Cameron’s stance that the election result would increase economic uncertainty in Europe.
But Euroskeptic UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader, Nigel Farage, took a more critical stance.
“Greece’s elections are a cry for help from those who have been impoverished by the euro,” he said.
Farage argued Syriza’s victory marked the beginning of a “game of poker” with German Chancellor and EU austerity architect Angela Merkel.
He also suggested the ECB will be “powerless” as this political game unfolds.
‘Hope has won’
Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said austerity hasn’t worked for Greece, for Britain or for the wider EU.
Lauding Syriza’s victory as “fantastic,” he argued investment in growth must replace savage cuts in Britain and Europe.
Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, said “hope has won.”
She said she was “inspired” by the large proportion of Greeks who voted for Syriza, and that the time had come for the EU to listen to economists and Greek citizens and “respond with debt forgiveness and support.”
Left-wing comedian and political activist Russell Brand also weighed in, calling for a new party in Britain that could emulate Syriza’s radical position.
Brand said he would abandon his propensity not to vote if a similar party emerged on Britain’s political horizon.
In response to Cameron’s claim that Syriza’s victory would increase economic uncertainty in Britain and elsewhere, Brand said: “It will increase economic uncertainty for corporations, the city and you, ‘Dave.’”
Despite concern amid Eurocrats and financial institutions that a Syriza victory could spell disaster for the eurozone and the euro itself, European stocks have remained relatively stable since Sunday.
Analysts suggest recent European Central Bank stimulus measures pursued by the bank’s chief Mario Draghi have neutralized fears over the anti-austerity party’s victory.
‘Rage against the dying of the light’
Writing in the Spectator magazine, Swedish economist Frederick Erixon said Greece’s election result had inevitably paved the way for “turbulence ahead, both in Greek and eurozone politics.”
But Yanis Varoufakis, a leading economics professor based in Athens, contests this view.
He argues, “Greek democracy resolved to rage against the dying of the light” on Sunday in a bid to place Greece on a path of “sustainable prosperity.”
“The people of Greece gave a vote of confidence to hope.”
“They used the ballot box, in this splendid celebration of democracy, to put an end to a self-reinforcing crisis that produces indignity in Greece and feeds Europe’s darkest forces.
While it remains unclear whether Greece will leave the euro, how Syriza’s policies will affect the single market currency and what they will mean for Britain and eurozone member states in the long term, one thing is certain: Syriza have proved it’s possible to build a successful political movement that can challenge austerity, and the governments and international creditors that propel it.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras will be officially sworn in on Monday afternoon as Greece’s new prime minister.
As his party begins its task of restructuring Greece’s political and economic position on a fraught European stage, leftist parties in Britain and Europe will be watching closely.
Εδώ και καιρό ζούμε τις συνέπειες της ανυπαρξίας πολιτικής από την Κυβέρνηση του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ. Ανυπαρξία πολιτικής που σιγά-σιγά και σταθερά μας οδήγησε στη σημερινή κατάσταση. Ποια είναι αυτή:
Η χώρα έχει απομονωθεί με την κατάληψη των τελωνείων στα σύνορα με όλες τις όμορες χώρες και έχει παραλύσει από τα δεκάδες μπλόκα αλλά και από την γενική απεργία όλων ανεξαρτήτως των κλάδων της κοινωνικής ζωής, ενώ οι αγρότες με τα εκατοντάδες τρακτέρ ανακοίνωσαν την απόφασή τους να κατεβούν στην Αθήνα, στην πλατεία Συντάγματος.
Είναι φανερό ότι φτάσαμε πλέον στην ΩΡΑ ΜΗΔΕΝ ανεξάρτητα από τις κινήσεις της Κυβέρνησης που προς το παρόν παρακολουθεί αδρανής τις εξελίξεις αδύναμη, σαν να μην υπάρχει.
Σήμερα για πρώτη φορά αποφάσισε να βγει από τη νάρκη της αλλά αντί να δώσει κάποια λύση εκτονώνοντας την κατάσταση, δήλωσε ότι δεν θα επιτρέψει την κάθοδο των τρακτέρ στην Αθήνα προσπαθώντας έτσι να αποτρέψει την σύγκρουσή της με τους αγρότες που όπως φαίνεται αυτή τη φορά είναι αποφασισμένοι για όλα, αφού τους έχουν φτάσει στο σημείο να παλεύουν για τα πλέον στοιχειώδη δικαιώματά τους. Μια σύγκρουση για την οποία αποκλειστικά υπεύθυνη είναι η κυβέρνηση. Ο «διάλογος» που προτείνει τώρα είναι στάχτη στα μάτια των αγροτών, αφού τις αποφάσεις δεν τις παίρνει η κυβέρνηση αλλά οι Θεσμοί.
Βεβαίως μια σύγκρουση όποιας μορφής και με όποια αποτελέσματα θα είναι πλήγμα δεινό σε μια καταρρέουσα χώρα. Και είναι βέβαιο ότι θα μας οδηγήσει όχι μόνο σε βαθύτερη κρίση αλλά παράλληλα και σε μια ακόμα βαθύτερη αλλαγή της ψυχολογίας του Ελληνικού Λαού, ο οποίος πιστεύω ότι συνειδητοποιεί πλέον σε ευρύτατη κλίμακα την ορθότητα των προβλέψεων και των θέσεών μας για το αδιέξοδο στο οποίο μας έχει οδηγήσει η πολιτική του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ.
Η διχαστική δήλωση του κ. Τσίπρα που μας χωρίζει σε καλούς και κακούς Έλληνες αποδεικνύει ότι έχει χάσει την επαφή του με την πραγματικότητα. Αφού για κείνον «κακοί» προφανώς είναι η Δεξιά κι όμως την ίδια στιγμή ο ίδιος και η κυβέρνησή του έχουν αναδειχθεί σε αρχιερείς της Νεοφιλελεύθερης Δεξιάς πολιτικής που εφαρμόζουν κατ’ εντολήν των ξένων Θεσμών. Και τώρα ήρθε η ώρα να πληρώσουν ακριβά οι ίδιοι την ολέθρια πλάνη τους. Δεδομένου ότι ο Ελληνικός Λαός έχει την αρετή να μην υποτάσσεται τελικά. Και έχει έρθει πλέον η ώρα αυτή του «τελικά», η ΩΡΑ ΜΗΔΕΝ που είναι η γενικευμένη σύγκρουση της Κυβέρνησης με τον Ελληνικό Λαό του οποίου η αιχμή είναι σήμερα οι Έλληνες αγρότες στο σύνολό τους και η απόφασή τους να ικανοποιηθούν τα αιτήματά τους.
Φτάσαμε λοιπόν στο σήμερα, όπου η ίδια η ζωή ανάγκασε τους Έλληνες να συγκροτήσουν ένα ανθρώπινο ακέφαλο μεν όμως ενιαίο μέτωπο πάλης. Η δύναμη που εκπέμπει ο παλλαϊκός ξεσηκωμός του Λαού όλων των κλάδων με επί κεφαλής τους αγρότες είναι τόσο μεγάλη που είναι κρίμα (ακόμα και στην περίπτωση που η Κυβέρνηση και οι Θεσμοί υποχωρήσουν κάπως) να έχουν ως κέρδος λίγα ψιχία. Ο Λαός μας δεν αξίζει μια τέτοια εξέλιξη που σε βάθος χρόνου θα τον οδηγήσει σε ακόμα μεγαλύτερη κρίση.
Αντίθετα αν με την απελπισία αλλά και τη θέληση που τον οδηγούν σ’ αυτόν τον γενικό ξεσηκωμό είχε φροντίσει να διεκδικήσει αυτά που του ανήκουν ως μια ενιαία δύναμη και με κοινούς στόχους στρατηγική τακτική αλλά και προοπτική, θα μπορούσε να κερδίσει πολλαπλάσια.
Γιατί είναι οι ίδιες οι διεθνείς δυνάμεις που μας αναγκάζουν να έχουμε όχι τρεις ή τέσσερις αλλά μόνο δύο εθνικές πολιτικές. Την πολιτική που ακολουθεί τις εντολές των Θεσμών και την πολιτική που υποστηρίζει τη σύγκρουση με τους Θεσμούς.
Δυστυχώς η συγκρότηση αυτού του Ενιαίου Μετώπου Πάλης που δεν θα διαπραγματευόταν απλώς για λίγα ψίχουλα παραπάνω αλλά θα είχε ως στόχο την κατάκτηση των ουσιαστικών δικαιωμάτων του Ελληνικού Λαού δεν έγινε ποτέ πραγματικότητα.
Γι’ αυτό το λόγο η ΩΡΑ ΜΗΔΕΝ δεν έχει φτάσει μόνο για την Κυβέρνηση αλλά κυρίως για τον Λαό. Και αυτή είναι η μεγάλη Τραγωδία.
The volunteer battalion of the ultra-nationalist Ukrainian Right Sector group is illegal, according to Ukraine’s Judge Advocate General, who slammed the group for its failure to integrate into Ukraine’s military.
The Right Sector battalion has over the past two years failed to decide whether it wanted to join the ranks of Ukraine’s army or of National Guards, the Judge Advocate General said in an interview. “According to all juridical norms and practices, and to the Ukrainian Constitution, speaking in meager legal terms, the Right Sector volunteer battalion is an illegal armed group,” Judge Advocate General Anatoly Matios told Ukraine’s Public Radio.
Matios has condemned certain incidents when the Right Sector volunteer battalion militants violated Ukrainian legislation.
“It is unacceptable that a [military] unit, even acting under the slogans of patriotism, should be lurking well-armed in rearward areas, playing firing on police checkpoints. Whether police is right or wrong is a question of law and its application,” Matios said.
In July 2015 the Right Sector militants clashed with police in western Ukraine’s Mukachevo. Kiev called the incident an “act of terror,” while the group said its forces would stand against the authorities across the country. The incident left four civilians and three police officers injured. One civilian was killed by Right Sector gunmen. The ultranationalist group said two of its fighters were killed and four injured in the incident.
If Ukrainian authorities go on with covering up general crime with patriotism, “chaos will devour Ukraine,” Matios said.
He however described Right Sector as “extreme patriots of the state” and their fallen fighters as “heroes, the country’s elite”.
Members of the Right Sector group took an active role in events on Maidan which resulted in a government coup in Ukraine in 2013 that led to the deposition of President Viktor Yanukovich.
In Russia the group’s activities were banned under a Supreme Court decision in January 2015. In addition, Russia’s Investigative Committee started criminal cases against several members of the radical Ukrainian group over charges of fighting against the Russian military in the Chechen wars of the 1990s.
On January 19 Ukrainian nationalists, largely represented by Right Sector, marched through the center of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev to commemorate the two year anniversary of Ukraine’s Euromaidan events. The crowd marched with Ukrainian flags and the flags of the far-right Right Sector group and gathered piles of tires setting them ablaze in front of the governmental buildings.
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The bitter truth on Ukraine and the “Revolution of Dignity”
The documentary is only in French so far, but in the text below there are many links that give the English speaking a good clue of what actually went on when the entire western media kept so quite about the actual facts on Ukraine’s “revolution”. I chose to put the word revolution in quotes, because when a small fascist minority hijacks a massive, democratic, uprising through ultra violence and overthrows the government to form a government of its own liking, it’s called a coup d’etat (always with a superpowers help – in Ukraine’s case it was USA and EU).
A real revolution, is when a large portion of the people, from different sectors, unite and organize through a democratic resistance struggle, and yes, even through an armed resistance, if necessary in order to overthrow a tyrant regime. A democratic, armed resistance against tyranny is defended in international law. The right to self-determination by armed struggle is permissible under the UN charter’s article 51, concerning self-defense. But it is very exact on the fact the law only defends democratic uprising and not coup d’etat.
The hard-hitting documentary by Paul Moreira “Ukraine, les masques de la révolution” [Ukraine: Masks of the Revolution], released on Monday night by Canal+, created a turmoil both in Ukraine and France well before the premiere. On Sunday the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported in Facebook that their Ambassador in France had sent an outraged letter to Canal+ where he condemned the documentary as a “a pamphlet at the height of the worst disinformation traditions” “using primitive methods of journalistic manipulation, including the handling of comments of respondents, distorted in translation and facts and purely fabricated images“. The same day Le Monde doubled the pressure on Canal+. Paul Moreira has calmly and respectfully responded to his critics by a detailed post translated into English here. To the credit of Canal Plus’ management, the documentary was screened in time:
Please watch it attentively. And let’s try to understand why it has infuriated so much the official Kiev.
To be fair, the masterpiece did not reveal anything new. So far there were a lot of separate investigations by international organizations, NGOs, concerned individuals etc on different aspects of the “Revolution of Dignity“: who actually killed the “heavenly hundred“, what happened in Odessa in May 2014, what is going on in the zone of “anti-terrorist operation” in the South-East of Ukraine, where are the “Russian troops” and where are the Western mercenaries there… But most of them were successfully ignored by the mainstream Western media, stick to their comfortable myths about Euromaidan.
The principal danger of Paul Moreira heartbreaking 50-minutes long documentary is that it exposed all critically important lies and silenced facts about “Revolution of Dignity” and its agents in a concentrated form at the established French TV channel.
Paul Moreira did not do anything but showed a simple and honest truth – there was no dignity in that “revolution”. There is no “free civilizational choice” and “independent and legitimate authorities” in today’s Ukraine. There are gangsters licensed to kill and rob, psychopaths and criminals in the “democratic parliament”, parallel Nazi-inspired army, foreign officials who manipulate the political process in a sovereign country, media under total nationalist control etc. His argumentation and picture are so evident, eloquent and bright that there is no reasonable way to refute them. Here is the cause of hysteria and calls to ban (which paradoxically has triggered unprecedented public attention to the movie far beyond France) – they understand that an open and fair discussion would lead further undesirable revelations against the interim rulers in Kiev.
One more pleasant outcome of this story is that the rumors about clinical death of the independent journalism in the West are apparently somewhat exaggerated…
The filmmaker’s own words
By Paul Moreira, published in French on his blog on Mediapart.fr, Jan 30, 2016, translated to English by New Cold War.org
When I started this investigation on Ukraine, I was astonished to discover the degree to which the massacre in Odessa [May 2, 2014] had faded from memory. Forty five people were killed in a huge fire in the heart of a major European city in the middle of the 21stcentury. Everything was filmed by dozens of cameras and cell phones. Yet around me, no one remembered.
Forty five Ukrainians of Russian origin died in a fire inside a building [the Trades Union House in the city center of Odessa] caused by the Molotov cocktails of Ukrainian nationalist militias. After a quick investigation, I discovered that the event had not been censored. It had been addressed, discussed, but never investigated. As though too embarrassing to discuss.
Why no investigation? Probably because the victims were of Russian origin. These victims were reported as “persons” but without knowing who they were, who killed them and why they were dead. “Persons” who were nobodies.
In speaking of these deaths, our democracies should have expressed some sympathy, officially, solemnly. There should have been strong reactions by chancelleries. Press releases by ministries of foreign affairs. [However], following the Russian invasion of Crimea, Russian-speaking populations in the conflict were assigned the roles of villains.
What happened on that May 2, 2014, in Odessa? I discovered the answer after viewing hours of video shootings, interviewing dozens of witnesses, finding victims and aggressors and comparing the stories until I pieced together facts that make sense of this fury. Important fact: I interviewed and have broadcast only direct witnesses of events–the people I saw on videos– in order to filter to some extent the exaggerations and lies that arise in such a circumstance, on the side of the attackers as well as victims. The result of this painstaking work is at the heart of the film to be broadcast Monday evening [February 1] by Canal Plus [Canal +].
During my investigation into this massacre of little exposure, I saw the importance of Ukrainian nationalist militias. They were at the forefront of street fighting on Maidan Square (January-February 2014], and later formed battalions to fight Russian troops in the east of the country. But these battalions were merged into the army. They did not exercise the same discipline. They were able to serve as auxiliaries to the government; or become a parallel police. And, yes, in their ranks, the signs of neo-Nazi ideology were obvious.
My investigation went against the commonly accepted narrative. I knew I was going to meet strong opposition, that we would be accused of playing into the hands of Putin, to voice elements of Russian propaganda. I did not expect to meet with such huge denial, bordering on hysteria at times. On a Ukrainian website, I am called a “terrorist” in the pay of the Russian secret service. The site calls for a ban on the film. Even the Ukrainian ambassador to France pressured Canal Plus [not to screen the film]. That is what surprises me the most. For it seems to me that Ukraine must ask itself about these paramilitary groups. They are, as stated in the film, the greatest threat to Ukrainian democracy. To renounce saying what one knows to be the truth because “it plays into Russian propaganda” is to become a propagandist oneself. One omits, not because we are liars but because we are full of good intentions. But never forget that from such omissions, the worst conspiracy theories are born.
In France, the accusations against the film have come mainly from two militant blogs and an unusually violent writing by the reporter in charge of Ukraine in Le Monde, Benoit Vitkine. In all three publications, the arguments are similar. It is said I did not nuance enough my perception of the extreme right, which ranges from dark brown neo-Nazism to light-beige nationalism. I exaggerated the importance of the paramilitary groups, armed with Kalashnikovs and sometimes with tanks. I have not stressed enough their heroic role in their fight against the Russians. I exaggerated the influence of Americans in the regime change [of February 2014].
And then certain factual errors are pinpointed. I’ll try to answer them here.
To question the rigor of my documentary, Benoit Vitkine cites one, sole example. He accuses me of having created out of my imagination the manufacture of a new generation of tanks by the nationalist battalion Azov (for which he seems to feel a fond indulgence). But it’s the truth. Andriy Biletsky, the head of the battalion, sang to me its praises [manufactured tank] with much pride. 1.2 meters of armored shield in the front and steering video cameras used to steer it. The technical details of this new beast of war can be found here.
Benoit Vitkine is well aware that Andriy Biletsky comes from the most radical extreme right. His electoral standing is low (although he is a Rada deputy), but his standing in steel and in battle-hardened men is strong.
Then Benoit Vitkine insinuates, without citing anything in support, that my purpose is to highlight “the installation of a new fascism in Ukraine”. Vitkine must be very angry to write such things. I never said that fascism had settled in Ukraine. The key phrase of my documentary is: “The Ukrainian revolution has created a monster that will soon turn against its creator.” And then I tell how far-right groups attacked the parliament and killed three policemen in August 2015. I have never suggested that the attackers were in power. Even if those who are in power were able to use them.
The only “good point” which Benoit Vitkine wants to award me is that I worked on the massacre of Odessa, a “frequently overlooked episode”. You said it yourself, dear colleague…
Anna Colin Lebedev writes a blog on Mediapart.fr. She, on the other hand, reproaches me precisely for my treatment of the “drama” of Odessa. She is careful to never write the word “massacre” or “butchery”, to never precisely name the savagery of the murders. Anna Colin Lebedev affirms that this “drama” is not at all ignored. The only proof she offers are papers published … a year after the fact. Those of Le Monde (Benoit Vitkine) and The Economist. A blogger, Olivier Berruyer, conducted an analysis of article headings in the days immediately following the massacre. This analysis is available on his website. It is most eloquent.
Anna Colin Lebedev accuses me of creating a story “centered on the tears of victims”. That’s true, I gave voice to a mother who lost her 17 year old son, Vadim Papura. She spoke reluctantly, she was certain that I would not use her statements, that the West does not care about their fate. I also give voice to Ukrainian nationalists, some of whom even voice remorse. I interviewed eyewitnesses from all sides. According to Anna, everything is the fault of the police, who were not sufficiently effective [in stopping the violence that day]. This is what the film should have focused on, she says. Not on militiamen who threw Molotov cocktails on the trade union building or who finished off the wounded lying on the ground [after jumping from windows to escape the burning building]. Not on the fact that none of the killers has been imprisoned and that the Ukrainian government has sabotaged any judicial inquiry, as recalled in the article in The Economist [May 8, 2014] which she kindly quotes as reference but which she probably has not taken the time to read.
That’s it for the specific criticisms. From there, we descend into tiny details.
Thus, Anna Colin Lebedev tells me that I mention the presence of the symbol of Azov on Maidan while the battalion had yet to be created. It will be formed three months later. Sure, but for me, it was just a name change: the symbol was everywhere on Maidan, it is the same symbol as the group ‘Patriots of Ukraine’, who have the same leader, Biletsky, the same men and who will go on to form a military battalion to fight in Mariupol [Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine].
So for clarity, I made the editorial decision not to go into such levels of detail. The fact that this famous [Azov] symbol is borrowed from an SS division, Das Reich, does not seem to move my critics.
Igor Moysichuk, according to Anna Colin-Lebedev, was not the spokesman for Pravy Sektor [Right Sector] however he was introduced as such in this televised debate. Igor Moysichuk is a member of nationalist splinter groups that sailed between Azov and Pravy Sektor but he was mostly a crook playing for his personal account. He joined the Radical party of Oleg Lyashko and he was arrested, in front of our camera, after extorting 100,000 Hryvnia from some guy from his party.
In the blog Comité Ukraine [Ukraine Committee] by Renaud Rebardy, I am accused of not reporting that the Azov battalion had integrated into the regular army. Renaud Rebardy will have misheard and, especially, misunderstood the nature of relations between the Ukrainian government and Azov. Here is a verbatim commentary from the film when I talk to Azov: “Officially, this brigade obeys the Ukrainian national army. And yet, many of them remain masked.”
And this is what their leader Andriy Biletsky told me about their financial means: “Well, if we talk about finances, for acquiring armaments, it is provided by the state, as is part of our equipment. The rest comes from the work of activists among whom there are small and medium businessmen. They invest money and make all of this possible. ”
During the interview and in comments that I finally edited out, Biletsky utters a veiled threat against the government he deems too corrupt. The subtlety of Azov is that they are officially in the army but they retain a wide margin of autonomy.
Then Renaud Rebardy says that there have “never been talks” to remove Russian as an official language in 13 Ukrainian regions. The facts: the Ukrainian parliament proposed to do so on February 23, 2014, and the day after, the war started. Russian-speaking populations were worried about their future and Putin took advantage of that to launch military manoeuvres. On February 28, the [interim] Ukrainian president repealed the measure. But it was too late, the devil had escaped from the box.
The same Renaud Rebardy chides me for reporting that the new Ukrainian Minister of Finance is a former U.S. diplomat. Natalie Jaresko became a naturalized Ukrainian in December 2014 in order to join the government. Before that, she worked first as a diplomat at the State Department, specializing in Eastern European countries, from 1989 to 1995, and then she maintained a strong relationship with the U.S. government after taking over the presidency of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), an investment fund that invests money from a U.S. state agency (USAID) in the Ukrainian economy. She remained there (in addition to her position at the private investment fund she ran, Horizon Capital) until she took a job in the Ukrainian government [as finance minister]. These are not trivial matters, correct?
Benoit Vitkine accuses me of reporting that the new ministers of the economy are “pro-business”. Yet this is the politics from which they declare themselves “aggressively pro-business,” I have it in my video recordings. This explains, for example, the fourfold increase in natural gas prices. Among other things.
Rebardy also accuses me of being too harsh with Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of the Svoboda Party. I describe him: “Historically, he belongs to the neo-Nazi movement.” This man has many times said that he wants to rid the country of the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia”; he often uses the term “Yid”. He was also the founder of the Social National Party (does that name remind you of something?).
Another criticism came from the militant Euromaidan blog: I gave voice to Alexis Albu, a communist activist of Odessa whom they accuse of being homophobic and red-brown.
Why did I interview Albu? Not because of his opinions but because I discovered on amateur video his presence in the building of Odessa on the famous May 2, 2014. And let me remind you, my goal was to find people who are seen in videos and then gather their comments on what they saw. I try to establish the facts. What interested me in Albu is that we see him walking out of the union building intact and shortly thereafter, he is laying on the ground, gravely wounded in the head. What happened in between?
Finally Anna Colin Lebedev noted a sentence written in the presentation of the website ofPremières Lignes announcing my documentary: “No one has really asked who they (the Ukrainian nationalist paramilitaries) were.” This sentence is obviously factually false. But if she saw the movie and, most of all, listened to it, she knows that this sentence is not in there. It was written to “sell” the film on the website of the production house and can therefore be attributed to clumsy marketing.
All this said, if one sits at the level global public perception, it is clear that the general public knows nothing about the importance of Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups, nor the existence of the massacre of Odessa of May 2, 2014. That`s because this issue has been underreported (which is not to say not reported at all). We know from the Russian side, it is said that far-right nationalists went to fight in the Donbass. But we know less on the other side.
To conclude, I invite everyone to watch the film on Monday night on Canal Plus and make your own judgment. Because the people who insult me and threaten me on social networks are precisely those who have not seen the documentary. They imagined it. Faith is a powerful drug.
You can watch the February 1, 2016 broadcast of ‘Ukraine: The Masks of the Revolution’ on channel ‘Canal Plus’ here (in French, 54 minutes), or click on the screen below. English-language promo and other information on the film is here.
Το Σάββατο 30 Ιανουαρίου 2016 στο Πνευματικό Κέντρο Αγ.Στεφάνου Αττικής, πραγματοποιήθηκε ανοικτή συζήτηση-ομιλία με θέμα :
«Έξοδος απ’τα Μνημόνια και τις συνέπειές τους. Υπάρχει λύση».
• Δημήτρης Καζάκης
οικονομολόγος, γενικός γραμματέας του Ε.ΠΑ.Μ.
• Δημήτρης Κυπριώτης
στρατηγός ε.α., οργανωτικός γραμματέας του Ε.ΠΑ.Μ.
• Γιώργος Τσιπάς
πολιτικός μηχανικός Ε.Μ.Π., φιλόλογος
Σε μια κατάμεστη αίθουσα, πολίτες από διάφορα κοινωνικά στρώματα και ηλικίες, για 4 ώρες και με αμείωτο ενδιαφέρον παρακολούθησαν τις εισηγήσεις των ομιλητών και έθεσαν καίρια ερωτήματα για το πως θα συγκροτηθεί πολιτειακά, οικονομικά, και γεωστρατηγικά η χώρα μας ΕΚΤΟΣ της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και υιοθετώντας νέο Εθνικό κρατικό νόμισμα.
Ο καθηγητής Γιώργος Τσιπάς ανέπτυξε πως το σύστημα μέσα από την επιδίωξη της εκπαιδευτικής αποσύνθεσης και την σκόπιμη καλλιέργεια της άγνοιας, καταφέρνει να εξασφαλίζει την «υπακοή» και την «υποταγή» στην ολιγαρχία που λυμαίνεται τον τόπο και κάλεσε τους πολίτες να διεκδικήσουν τη Δημοκρατία ξανά και να μην δείξουν φόβο στο να επιστρέψουν στην αυτονομία και την αυτάρκεια ως μοναδικό δρόμο ανάπτυξης ευημερίας και ανεξαρτησίας.
Ο στρατηγός ε.α. Δημήτρης Κυπριώτης περιέγραψε τη σπουδαία γεωστρατηγική θέση της χώρας μας, προειδοποίησε ότι μετά την απώλεια Εθνικής Κυριαρχίας ως συνέπεια των παράνομων δανειακών συμβάσεων επέρχονται και άλλες καταστροφικές υποχωρήσεις για βαρυσήμαντα εθνικά μας ζητήματα και υπογράμμισε πως η μόνη λύση προκειμένου να διασφαλίσουμε την Εθνική μας ακεραιότητα είναι η έξοδος της χώρας από τη νεοταξική νεοναζιστική Ε.Ε. και η χάραξη ανεξάρτητων και πολύπλευρων συμμαχιών ανάλογα με τα συμφέροντα της χώρας.
Τέλος, στην οικονομική αναγέννηση που μπορεί να εξασφαλίσει για τον τόπο μια αληθινή πατριωτική Κυβέρνηση, αναφέρθηκε ο γ.γ. του Ε.ΠΑ.Μ. Δημήτρης Καζάκης, αναλύοντας διεξοδικά με αδιαμφισβήτητα επιχειρήματα και αναλογιστικές προσεγγίσεις το τεράστιο οικονομικό αδιέξοδο που έχει προκληθεί στην ενδοτική μνημονιακή ανθελληνική στρατηγική των σαθρών κυβερνήσεων που με παράνομες συμβάσεις ξεπουλάνε παράλληλα τον εθνικό πλούτο της χώρας. Τέλος, κάλεσε τον κόσμο να διαβεί το μονόδρομο της Ανατροπής και ανάληψης της εξουσίας μέσω της άμεσης δημοκρατίας.
Την συζήτηση άνοιξε και συντόνισε η δημοσιογράφος Γωγώ Μπιτάκου επισημαίνοντας μεταξύ άλλων πως όσα ακούστηκαν από τους αξιόλογους και πατριώτες εισηγητές δεν αποτελούν μια γνώμη με την οποία μπορείς να διαφωνήσεις ή να συμφωνήσεις, αλλά τη μόνη ΕΠΙΛΟΓΗ που μπορεί να λυτρώσει την χώρα από την ΚΑΤΟΧΗ αποκαθιστώντας τη Δημοκρατία και εξασφαλίζοντας μια ζωή ελεύθερη, ποιοτική, δημιουργική και αξιοπρεπή, όπως αρμόζει στον υπερήφανο Ελληνικό λαό.
Το Ε.ΠΑ.Μ. Κυψέλης – Σεπολίων – Πατησίων διοργάνωσε ανοιχτή ομιλία – συζήτηση την Τετάρτη 27 Ιανουαρίου 2016 και ώρα 18:00 στο Πολιτιστικό Κέντρο «Μελίνα Μερκούρη» του Δήμου Αθηναίων, στην αίθουσα «Οδοιπορικό στην παλιά Αθήνα», στον 1ο όροφο, Ηρακλειδών 66α & Θεσσαλονίκης στο Θησείο με θέματα:
- «Μετάβαση σε Εθνικό Νόμισμα – Το εργαλείο για την
- «Γεωστρατηγική – Η θέση της Ελλάδος στο νέο
- «Νέο Σύνταγμα – Η οχύρωση της Δημοκρατίας»
Γενικός Γραμματέας του Ε.ΠΑ.Μ.
Στρατηγός ε.α. & Οργανωτικός Γραμματέας του Ε.ΠΑ.Μ.
Υποναύαρχος ε.α. – Νομικός & μέλος του Ε.ΠΑ.Μ.
It seems that it is time for this video to be re-posted again… Here’s something you probably never saw or heard about in the west. This is Putin answering questions regarding ISIS from a US journalist at the Valdai International Discussion Club in late 2014.
Vadå “aldrig igen”? Och vilka var egentligen de andra 9 miljonerna?
Två frågor som alla i dagens Europa har all rätt att fråga sig och framförallt fråga sina regeringar och sin media.
Nu, så här på förintelsedagen; varför vet vi så väldigt lite om de 9 miljoner övriga européer som förintades i dessa läger?
Att minnas förintelsens offer är mänskligt och oerhört viktigt, men varför minns vi endast den delen av offren som var judar? Att hela västvärlden förbiser majoriteten av de övriga offrens identitet och endast talar om de 6 miljoner som var judar, är för många av de antinazistiska demokraternas och motståndsmännens barn, barnbarn och anhöriga direkt stötande. De kräver förstås att deras offer och förluster också skall uppmärksammas och hedras så att uppmaningen “aldrig mer” även kan gälla ideologisk och socialekonomisk förföljelse och förintelse.
Det beräknas ha dött över 15 miljoner människor i de 23 största tyska förintelselägren och i de över 1 200 underlägren mellan åren 1939 och 1945. 6 miljoner var judar och 9 miljoner var inklusive romerna främst européer från Ryssland, Baltstaterna, Östeuropa och Balkan. Oavsett om någon inte vill hålla med om siffrorna, så är det denna fördelning av dödsoffren som gäller. 1/3 var judar och 2/3 var till sin majoritet utpekade nazistmotståndare.
Den 27 januari 1945 befriades fångarna från Auschwitz-Birkenau koncentrationsläger och därför uppmärksammas detta med en internationell förintelsedag så att ”vi aldrig skall glömma” och låta detta hända igen.
Men de 9 miljoner människor som mördades och som inte var judar, har vi för länge sedan glömt och därför förföljs idag människor med demokratiska åsikter eller s.k vänsteråsikter igen. Civil- och människo-rätts rörelser och demokratiska aktivistgrupper misstänkliggörs och demoniseras igen i Europa, precis som då. Borde inte Förintelsedagen hedra minnet av förintelsens ALLA offer?
Alla som idag öppet talar emot eller motsätter sig EU:s nyliberala kolonialism, alltså raserandet av både civila och mänskliga rättigheter, och som istället föredrar demokrati och rättvisa – framför de politiska och finansiella oligarkierna – är ideologiska ättlingar till majoriteten av de icke-judar som förintades i de tyska lägren då.
Då kallades de alla ”kommunister”, men mycket långt ifrån alla var verkligen kommunister. De klassades så därför att Röda Armén var de som piskat nazisterna värst, så alla motståndsrörelser i Europa oavsett karaktär “färgades röda” av nazisterna. Tyvärr har den feltolkningen följt med in i våra dagar. Inte minst genom den nuvarande Europeiska medians försorg, d.v.s. nyliberalismens propagandamaskineri. I verkligheten var motståndsrörelserna i Europa, i sin grund socialistiska och demokratisk-patriotiska.
Väldigt många av de intellektuella, poeterna, artisterna, förläggarna, skribenterna, motståndsmännen och rebellerna i de kämpande, fria delarna av Europa då var liberaler, demokrater, socialister och vanliga arbetare, bönder och bybor som tog till vapen främst som nazistbekämpande patrioter. Ja, t.o.m. vissa konservativa nazimotståndare fanns bland de 9 miljoner icke-judiska offren. Det handlade om människor som helt enkelt inte var beredda att lämna över sitt land till Hitler utan strid, och detta var också den absolut vanligaste drivkraften till att man anslöt sig till motståndsrörelsen.
Som första nation befriades Grekland den 10 Augusti 1944, då EAM/ELAS själva och utan stöd från vare sig allierade eller Sovjet, slutligen tvingade ut nazisterna från landet. Faktiskt, så var det enda landet där judar aktivt kunde bekämpa Nazisterna, den grekiska motståndsrörelsen ELAS. Och tusentals grekiska judar gjorde detta också.
Det största och mest effektiva verkliga motståndet emot nazisterna under 2:a världskriget var faktiskt inte de allierades arméer i Europa, utan motståndsrörelserna och deras betydande sabotage- och motstånds-krigsföring, främst i Östeuropa, Grekland, Frankrike, Belgien och Norge. Och det är just den utvecklingen som dagens nyliberaler och nynazister vill strypa redan innan de demokratiska krafterna hinner organisera sig i en genuin och effektiv befrielsekamp igen, precis som då. Därför slätar man skamligt nog över de 9 miljoner offren som inte var judar i dagens förintelseminne.
I enlighet med tidsandan låg dock nazisternas och den Europeiska och Amerikanska finanselitens ”kommunist-paranoia” till grund för den västeuropeiska allmänhetens uppfattning av dessa motståndsrörelser, så för icke-judarna blev samlingsnamnet för nazistmotståndet i Europa, ”kommunister” , vare sig de var kommunister eller ej. Den groteska generaliseringen görs än idag av högerextrema och högkonservativa och har gjorts sedan 1945. Till sådan grad att de europeiska parlamenten och den europeiska median idag har anpassat sig till den fascistiska logiken. Att vara demokrat och aktivt värna om civila och mänskliga rättigheter och rättvisa ses av EU-oligarkins parlament som “upprorsmakeri”.
Så nu när Europa och Tyskland återigen blivit en hemvist för nazistideologin och dess krigshets återigen sprids, är det av absolut största vikt att var och en vågar stå rakryggat och ta upp några specifika frågor enligt rubrikens frågeställningar. I synnerhet då nyliberalismens och nynazismens propagandaapparat inte någonsin tänker göra det. Inte sedan 1939, har den så kusligt samstämmiga Tysk-Europeiska politiken och median varit en så uppenbar anstiftare till ökad rasism, samhällssplittring, fattigdom, massakrer på civila, inbördeskrig, folkmord och krigsbrott. Libyen, Grekland, Ukraina, Syrien, Yemen är några av exemplen. Endast Grekland har av dessa klarat sig undan krig. Än så länge.
Jag är sannerligen inte ensam om att efterlysa att några ytterligare frågeställningar kring förintelsen lyfts idag vid sidan av den Europeiska, Bryssel- och Berlin-styrda media apparaten. Som exempelvis:
- Varför accepterar dagens EU-medborgare så enkelt politiska åtgärder, ekonomiska modeller och medial propaganda som uppenbarligen föder nazism, fascism och rasism?
- Vilka verkliga åtgärder vidtar det civila samhället i Europa idag för att inte muslimerna och de av Europeisk media utpekade syndabockarna, skall behöva uppleva samma skräckvälde som bl.a. judarna och nazistmotståndarna gjorde under slutet av 30-talet och första hälften av 40-talet i Europa?
- Vilka var egentligen de 9 miljoner icke-judar som förintades under 2:a världskriget och varför just dessa?
En grupp akademiker vill nominera invånarna i den grekiska övärlden till Nobels fredspris. Anledningen är deras insats i flyktingkrisen, skriver The Guardian.
Förra året gjorde 900.000 migranter den riskfyllda resan över Medelhavet. Majoriteten av dem togs emot av invånarna i den grekiska övärlden som hjälpte till att rädda dem ur havets vågor.
Nu förbereder en grupp akademiker vid universiteten i Oxford, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell och Köpenhamn en nominering av invånarna på Lesbos, Kos, Chíos, Samos, Rhodos och Leros till Nobels fredspris.
Gruppen anser att det bör uppmärksammas att invånarna – trots Greklands svåra ekonomiska problem – svarar på flyktingkrisen med ”empati och självuppoffring”. Öbor har öppnat sina hem och tagit hand om sjuka och skadade. I vissa fall har fiskare slutat jobba för att koncentrera sig på att rädda migranter.
Flyktingar tas emot på Lesbos. Foto: AP
”På avlägsna grekiska öar har mormödrar sjungit vettskrämda små barn till sömns, medan lärare, pensionärer och studenter i månader har erbjudit mat, skydd, kläder och tröst till flyktingar som har riskerat livet för att fly krig och terror”, skriver kampanjgruppen Avaaz som vid skrivande stund har fått in nästan 290.000 underskrifter på sin hemsida.
Nomineringen ska vara inne senast den 1 februari.
Marit Sundberg, DN
What “never again”? And who were really the other 9 million?
Two questions that all Europeans today have every right to ask, their governments and their media.
Now, on Holocaust Day; Why do we know so little about the 9 million other Europeans who were exterminated in these camps?
Remembering the Holocaust is human, and extremely important, but why do we only remember the part of the victims that were Jews? That the entire Western world ignores the majority of the other victims identities and only talks about the 6 million that were Jews, is downright offensive to the anti-Nazi Democratic Resistance fighters children, grandchildren and relatives. They of course demand that also their sacrifices and losses should be recognized and honored, so the call “never again” can apply also to ideological and socio-economic persecution and annihilation.
It is estimated that over 15 million people died in the 23 largest German extermination camps and the over 1,200 sub-camps, between 1939 and 1945. 6 million were Jews and 9 million were including the Romes, mostly Europeans from Russia, the Baltic States, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. If someone does not want to agree with the figures, still this is the accurate percentage of distribution of deaths. One third were Jews and two thirds were mainly Nazi opponents.
On 27 January 1945 prisoners from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was freed and therefore we honor the memory of the victims with an international Holocaust Day, so that “we shall never forget,” and “never let it happen again”.
But the 9 million people who were murdered and who were not Jews, we have forgotten long ago, and therefore people with democratic views, or so called left-wing views, are today again persecuted. The new civil and human-rights movements and democratic activist groups are discredited and demonized again in Europe, just as they were then. Shouldn’t the Holocaust Day honor the memory of ALL the victims of the Holocaust?
All those who today openly talk against or oppose the EU’s neoliberal colonialism, ie the destruction of civil and human rights and who prefer democracy and justice instead of the political and financial oligarchies, are the ideological descendants of the majority of the non-Jews who were exterminated in the German camps because they were against Nazism.
Then, they were all called “communists”, but very far from all were really Communists. They were classified as that because the Red Army was the one that whipped the Nazis the worst, so all resistance movements in Europe regardless of character were “colored red” by the Nazis. Unfortunately, this incorrect interpretation followed into our days. Not least through the current European media’s auspices, ie, the neo-liberal propaganda machinery. In reality, the resistance movements in Europe then, in their basics, were democratic-patriotic.
Very many of the intellectuals, poets, artists, publishers, writers, resistance fighters and rebels in the fighting, free parts of Europe, were liberals, democrats, socialists and ordinary workers, farmers and villagers who took up arms, primarily as an anti-Nazi and anti-occupation, patriotic act. Yes, even some conservative Nazi opponents, were among the 9 million non-Jewish victims. It was about people who simply were not willing to handover their country and themselves to Hitler without a fight, and this was by far the most common driving force for joining the resistance movements then.
Greece was the first liberated nation, in August 10, 1944, by EAM/ELAS themselves and without support of either the Allies or the Soviets, who finally forced the Nazis out of the country. In fact the only country in all of Europe where Jews, on massive scale, really could fight the Nazis was in the Greek resistance ELAS. And thousands of Greek Jews did this too.
The largest and most effective real resistance against the Nazis during World War 2 was actually not the allied armies in Europe, because they got quite whipped the first three years of the war. The English Army which was used to colonize so their strategy was to fight an “imperial war” also on European ground instead of fighting a “liberation war”. An imperial war is slow and demands a takeover of the infrastructure, the resources and the administration of the country. Therefore the resistance movements in Eastern Europe, Greece, France, Belgium and Norway, that in some cases were working together with Allie units, and in other cases with the Red Army, was the most effective and real resistance against the Nazis throughout the war. And it is precisely this development that today’s neoliberals, conservatives and neo-Nazis want to strangle before the democratic forces have time to organize themselves in a genuine and effective liberation struggle again, just like then. Therefore in today’s Holocaust Day they will once again shamefully smooth over the 9 million victims who were non-Jews.
In accordance with the time-spirit however, the Nazi and the European and American financial elite’s “communist paranoia”, formed the basis for the Western European public opinion of these resistance movements, so “communists” became the collective name for Nazi resistance in Europe, whether they were communists or not. This grotesque generalization is made also today, by the extreme right, the right-wing conservatives and the neoliberals, and has been ever since 1945. To the extent that the European Parliaments and the European media today have adapted themselves to this fascist logic. Being a democrat and actively defend the civil and human rights and justice, is seen as being “seditious” by the EU-oligarchy’s parliaments.
So now, when Europe and Germany once again become the continent of the Nazi ideology and its warmongering is spread again, it is of crucial importance that each and one of us dares to stand tall and raise the specific issues from the headline. In particular, when the neoliberal, neo-Nazi propaganda is never going to do it. Not since 1939 has the so creepy concordant German-European policy and the European media been such an obvious instigator of increased racism, social fragmentation, poverty, civilian massacres, civil wars, genocide and war crimes. Libya, Greece, Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, are some of the examples. Of those only Greece has avoided war… So far.
I am certainly not alone in calling for few further questions concerning the Holocaust day, alongside the European, Brussels and Berlin-run, media apparatus. Such as:
- Why does today’s European citizens so easily accept policies, economic models and media propaganda that so obviously gives birth to Nazism, fascism and racism?
- What real actions is the civil society in Europe today taking, so that Muslims and the by the European media designated scapegoats, should not experience the same terror the Jews and the Nazi-resisting Europeans did during the late 30’s and the 40’s in Europe?
- Who were really the 9 million non-Jews who were exterminated during the 2nd World War and why these?