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Thursday, 19 January 2017

Israeli Defense Forces general Likens Israel to 1930's Germany



[Statement] on Holocaust Remembrance Day

‘[I]f there is anything that frightens me in remembrance of the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed … in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding evidence of them here among us in the year 2016,’ Maj. Gen. Yair Golan told an audience earlier this month. by Richard Silverstein

SEATTLE - Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, was commemorated in Israel and throughout the Jewish world earlier this month with solemn ceremonies of remembrance. But one speech rocked Israel with its moral criticism of Israeli society.

Speaking to an audience gathered at Tel Yitzhak, a kibbutz in central Israel, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, the Israeli Defense Forces deputy chief of staff, warned Israel that the Jewish state threatened to fall into a moral chasm like the one that befell Nazi Germany for its treatment of “foreigners” — read: Palestinians and African refugees.

Here are some of his remarks [author’s translation]:

“The Holocaust should bring us to ponder our public lives and, furthermore, it must lead anyone who is capable of taking public responsibility to do so. … Because if there is anything that frightens me in remembrance of the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed … in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding evidence of them here among us in the year 2016.”

“The Holocaust … must bring us to … deep soul-searching regarding the responsibility of [our national] leadership and the quality of our society. It must lead us to fundamentally rethink how we, here and now, behave towards the other: the foreigner, the widow and the orphan [these are traditional Jewish social justice concepts].”

“There is nothing easier and simpler than hating the foreigner … There is nothing easier and simpler than fear-mongering and making threats. There is nothing easier and simpler than behaving brutishly, being indifferent [to the plight of the Other], and self-righteous.”

“On Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is worthwhile to consider our capacity to uproot the first buds of intolerance, violence, and self-destruction that lie on the path toward moral decay.”

In his speech, Golan refers in particular to the extraordinary level of incitement, hate and violence in Israeli society toward “foreigners.” Since the current round of violence began in the fall, 200 Palestinians have been killed. The majority have been Palestinians who attacked Israeli soldiers and police to protest Israeli encroachment on Jerusalem’s Muslim holy sites. But close to one-quarter of the Palestinian dead have been civilians murdered by Israeli forces in incidents like this and this.

Window-dressing a deadly, pervasive problem

The IDF’s deputy chief of staff also referenced the murder of a young Palestinian man at a Hebron checkpoint in March, which was filmed by a Palestinian videographer. The graphic evidence offered by the video raised a storm of controversy within Israel, with most excusing the shooting or even lionizing the IDF shooter, whose name I first identified when it was under Israeli gag order.

Feeling compelled to act to protect its international image, the army medic who turned his gun on the incapacitated Palestinian lying on the street was charged with negligent homicide by the IDF. He is being tried in military court.

Golan’s speech highlighted the supposedly high moral standards of the IDF in prosecuting its own soldier. The legal proceedings pointed, he maintained, to a standard he urged Israel itself to emulate in its relations with Palestinians. The problem is that much of this is window-dressing. Scores of unarmed Palestinians have been killed in very similar circumstances, but only when there is a camera on hand in possession of a Palestinian or peace activist is there any accountability.

Proof of this may be seen in a tragic incident on April 27. Private Israeli security guards at Qalandiya West Bank checkpoint murdered a 23-year-old Palestinian mother who was five months pregnant and her teenage brother. The latter had secured a permit to attend a medical appointment in Israel, and they were navigating the Qalandiya checkpoint for the first time. They inadvertently entered the vehicle lane and misunderstood Hebrew language commands to retreat.

Israeli forces claimed the two “threw knives” at the guards, but Palestinian eyewitnesses say the shooter was 60 feet from the brother and sister and seemingly not in any danger. They also claim the pair did not have knives, and the weapons were planted on their bodies afterward. Though there are security cameras monitoring the spot, the IDF refuses to make the footage available.

To add insult to injury, the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont reported that the young mother had committed “suicide by IDF,” as if a woman who was five months pregnant and with three young children would do such a thing. This is likely an idea planted in the journalist’s mind by official Israeli spin doctors who have launched false rumors blaming victims for their own murders in similar cases.

Evidence of collaboration between early Zionist leaders and the Nazis

Returning to Golan’s Yom HaShoah speech, considering the sensitivity with which Israel treats the Holocaust, it’s extraordinary for an active duty member of the senior military command to warn Israel that it threatened to fall into a moral chasm like the one that befell Nazi Germany. It must be seen as a clarion call from the nation’s most significant institution, urging a drawback from the abyss.

Characteristically, Golan was savaged for his outspokenness by far-right government ministers who harbor some of the same racist attitudes the major general was attacking.

In this context, it’s worth examining a political controversy inflaming the British chattering and political classes. This one has inundated the Labour Party’s left-wing leadership with controversial attacks by the British pro-Israel lobby and the largely pro-Tory press.

The debate has spilled over into the American media as well. Raw Story published a piece by Prof. Rainer Schulze which largely supports the notion that London’s former left-wing mayor, Ken Livingstone, has crossed a bright red line by claiming that Adolf Hitler “supported Zionism.”

The facts are far more complicated than Schulze makes them out to be. First, Livingstone’s claim, while overstated, is by no means a “historical error.” In fact, there is ample historical evidence that the Zionist leaders of the 1930s Yishuv and senior Nazi leaders collaborated in significant ways. Their collaboration was not based on shared values or principles, but on mutual self-interest. But that, of course, does not make the partnership less significant.

In 1933, German Zionist organizations, with the support of the Yishuv, signed the historic Transfer (“Haavara”) Agreement with Nazi authorities. It stayed in effect for nearly a decade and saved some 20,000 German Jews. But it is the method by which they were saved that is the most troubling: The Nazis liquidated the property of the emigrants and shipped Nazi goods of equal value to Israel where they were sold. Some of the proceeds of the sale were then returned to the emigrants when they resettled in Palestine.

For the Nazis, the deal solved critical needs. Germany faced an increasingly effective international boycott organized by American Zionists, led by Rabbi Stephen Wise. While the boycott had begun among the Jewish community here, it was beginning to resonate far beyond U.S. borders. Hitler had just begun to contemplate the military buildup that would eventually lead to World War II, and he knew an international boycott would destroy his rearmament effort.

Part of the deal meant that Wise and the American Zionists would call off the boycott. Thus ended one of the most promising attempts to strangle the Nazi infant in its cradle before it could grow up to wreak havoc on the world.

Further, in 1933 the German economy remained mired in the Great Depression and was also saddled with the onerous financial penalties of World War I reparations. The funds the Nazis looted from German Jews played a role in pumping needed cash into the economy.

Schulze minimizes and misconstrues both the history of the Nazi approach to the “Jewish Question” and the Transfer Agreement’s role in its evolution:

“While this implicitly always suggested murder and extermination, it took time until it became clear how this extermination could be effectively executed and until the Nazi authorities felt that such a radical ‘final solution’ could be pushed through.”

As the following sources show, it wasn’t until the early 1940s that it was clear that the Nazis had embraced the “Final Solution” of mass extermination. Prior to that, they had displayed a certain flexibility in their notions of how to deal with European Jewry.

‘Blood for Goods’

There is an even later and more obscure episode in the history of that era that involved negotiations between the Nazis and the Yishuv, in the form of the Jewish Agency. In 1944, a small group of Hungarian Jews established a rescue committee to try to save as many Jews from the Nazis as they could. Among them were Joel Brand and Rudolf Kastner, who would be assassinated in Israel in 1957.

They contacted the Nazis to offer bribes in return for stopping the deportations to Auschwitz. Not only were the Germans amenable, none other than Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust, met repeatedly with Brand and came up with a far more ambitious scheme. He appointed Brand to present it to the Jewish Agency, the foreign office of the Yishuv.

The plan would offer Jewish lives in return for supplies the Nazis desperately needed on the Russian front. Notably, 100,000 Jews would be freed (and permitted to emigrate to Palestine) for every 1,000 trucks the Jews or the Allies shipped to the Nazis. The plan was nicknamed “Blood for Goods.” A total of 1 million Jews were offered in return for up to 10,000 trucks.

When Brand traveled to the Middle East to present the plan to the Jewish Agency, the latter appeared not to understand the gravity of the situation in Europe or the seriousness of Brand’s proposal. The agency had sent a lower level official to meet Brand. After Brand protested, the agency sent the far more senior Moshe Sharett, a future prime minister.

When Brand told Sharett that 6 million Jews had already perished and that another 2 million would meet that fate unless the agency acted, Sharett reportedly looked at him as if he were a mad man.

But another factor proved even more decisive in arresting the plan: The British arrested Brand and imprisoned him in Egypt. They didn’t trust him or the plan. Brand never returned to Budapest to report to Eichmann, who in return began the mass deportations which led to the murder of 400,000 Hungarian Jews in Auschwitz.

The irony is that it was the British government which had an opportunity to negotiate to save the largest remaining intact Jewish community in Europe, but it refused to do so. If Britain wishes to debate anything, it might review the choices its leaders made in this decisive moment.

A red herring

In his recent report, Schulze seems fixated on the false notion that Livingstone is claiming the Nazis not only supported Zionists, but that they were Zionists. He writes:

“The Haavara Agreement does not mean the Nazis were ever Zionists. … These policies do not in any way resemble Zionism.”

At no point has Livingstone ever suggested they were, and Schulze sets up a red herring argument by claiming that he does. Schulze appears to be unaware of this little known, but critical source praising the affinity of Zionism and Nazism. It is this glowing encomium penned by Reinhard Heydrich, the SS chief, in 1935, which was published in a leading SS publication. Francis Nicosia quotes it in his 1985 book, “The Third Reich and the Palestine Question”:

“‘National Socialism has no intention of attacking the Jewish people in any way. On the contrary, the recognition of Jewry as a racial community based on blood, and not as a religious one, leads the German government to guarantee the racial separateness of this community without any limitations. The government finds itself in complete agreement with the great spiritual movement within Jewry itself, the so-called Zionism, with its recognition of the solidarity of Jewry throughout the world and the rejection of all assimilationist ideas. On this basis, Germany undertakes measures that will surely play a significant role in the future in the handling of the Jewish problem around the world.’

“Göring’s January 24, 1939, note to the Interior Ministry gave Heydrich the authority to determine which parts of the world were the most suitable destinations for Jewish emigrants. The SS had consistently favored Jewish emigration to Palestine and would continue to do so with its enhanced authority in emigration policy.”

It’s important to note that in 1935, the Nazis had yet to formulate their plan to exterminate European Jewry. That came in 1942, after the war terminated the opportunity to rid Europe of Jews via emigration. But regardless of this fact, it indicates that there was an affinity between senior Nazi leaders and Zionism.

Hitler, himself, may have viewed these matters differently, and so Livingstone’s claim is somewhat imprecise. But whatever reluctance the Nazi leader may have felt toward such arrangements was overwhelmed by the practical needs the Nazis had for material support the German Jewish plunder could provide.

Expressing genuine concern or exploiting a trope?

There were also significant elements in the Yishuv Zionist movement which returned the admiration Heydrich expressed above.

The Irgun, the militant rightist movement founded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky, was eager not only to do business with the Nazis, as the Yishuv did, but to forge an alliance based on ideological affinity. The Irgun envisioned a Jewish state that would not be a democracy, but rather one based on the totalitarian ideals espoused by the Nazis:

“The establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, and bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.

“Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”

It’s important to note that the Irgun was considered the opposition to the majority Yishuv leadership. It was in the minority and would not take control of the state until 1977, under the leadership of Menachem Begin and later Yitzhak Shamir.

But the Irgun was a powerful force in pre-1948 Palestine. It conducted dramatic assassinations of British leaders and international negotiators like Count Bernadotte. The ruling Yishuv leadership often looked the other way at such mass violence. Some rightist violence was directed against indigenous Palestinians as well. The infamous 1948 attack on Deir Yassin was the work of Irgun “freedom fighters” under Begin’s leadership.

It is absolutely false to label criticism like Livingstone’s as unfounded or anti-Semitic. It is, in fact, historically accurate. The real question is how one deals with the historical record. It would be far better for Israel’s supporters to accept the truth and critique the decisions made by the leaders of the Yishuv than it would be to smear those who summon history to criticize Israel.

The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University, an Israeli academic institute which studies world anti-Semitism, recorded a dramatic decrease in anti-Jewish acts around the world. There was a 50 percent drop from 2014 to 2015.

Given these statistics, one wonders what exactly pro-Israel forces in Britain are worried about. Are they genuinely concerned about anti-Semitism, or are they exploiting a trope which they know will resonate among Jews and non-Jews alike, in order to sabotage the Labour Party’s left-wing leadership under Jeremy Corbyn?

There is an enormous danger in playing the anti-Semitism card in such a fashion. Like the boy who cried wolf, if you cry discrimination when there is none, there will come a time when you really need to warn the world of mortal danger to Jews, and no one won’t believe you because you abused their trust in the past. This would be a truly unfortunate development for Jews, Israel and the world.

http://www.mintpressnews.com/israeli-defense-forces-general-likens-israel-1930s-germany-holocaust-remembrance-day/216436/

Source - Mint Press News - Monday 16th May 2016 - Richard Silverstein

Editor's note - According to the Eichmann Memoirs Argentinian Edition, some Jews were paid £1,000 to settle in Palestine pre war - a very considerable sum of money. Some extracts were published in Life magazine 1960 by Walter Sassen, a Dutch journalist and former member of the SS.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Welcome to Greater Israel!


The tail will be wagging the dog under Donald Trump

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

While the presidential campaign was still in progress it was possible to think that there might be some positive change in America’s broken foreign policy. Hillary Clinton was clearly the candidate of Washington Establishment hawkishness, while Donald Trump was declaring his disinclination for democracy and nation building overseas as well as promoting détente with Russia. Those of us who considered the foreign policy debacle to be the most dangerous issue confronting the country, particularly as it was also fueling domestic tyranny, tended to vote on the basis of that one issue in favor of Trump.

On December 1st in Cincinnati, president-elect Donald Trump made some interesting comments about his post-electoral foreign policy plans. There were a lot of good things in it, including his citing of $6 trillion “wasted” in Mideast fights when “our goal is stability not chaos.” And as for dealing with real enemies, he promised to “partner with any nation that is willing to join us in the effort to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism…” He called it a “new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past” adding that “We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks.”

Regarding the apparent inability of governments to thoroughly check out new immigrants prior to letting them inside the country, demonstrated most recently in Nice, Ohio and Berlin, Trump described how “People are pouring in from regions of the Middle East — we have no idea who they are, where they come from what they are thinking and we are going to stop that dead cold. … These are stupid refugee programs created by stupid politicians.” Exaggerated? For sure, but he has a point, and it all is part and parcel of a foreign policy that serves no actual interest for people who already live in the United States.

But, as so often with Trump, there was also the flip side. On the looney fringe of the foreign and national security policy agenda, the president-elect oddly believes that “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” So to reduce the number of nukes we have to create more of them and put them in more places. Pouring gasoline on a raging fire would be an appropriate analogy and it certainly leads to questions regarding who is advising The Donald with this kind of nonsense.

Trump has promised to “put America first,” but there is inevitably a spanner in the works. Now, with the New Year only six days away and the presidential inauguration coming less than three weeks after that, it is possible to discern that the new foreign policy will, more than under Barack Obama and George W. Bush, be driven in significant part by Israeli interests.

At least Obama had the good sense to despise Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but that will not be true of the White House after January 20th. Trump’s very first telephone conversation with a foreign head of government after being elected was with Netanyahu and during the campaign, he promised to invite Bibi to the White House immediately after the inauguration. The new president’s first naming of an Ambassador-designate to a foreign nation was of his good friend and bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman to Israel. Friedman had headed Trump’s Israel Advisory Committee and is a notable hard liner who supports the Israeli settler movement, an extreme right-wing political entity that is nominally opposed by existing U.S. government policy as both illegal and damaging to Washington’s interests. Beyond that, Friedman rejects creation of a Palestinian state and supports Israel’s actual annexation of the West Bank.

U.S. Ambassadors are supposed to support American interests but Friedman would actually be representing and endorsing a particularly noxious version of Israeli fascism as the new normal in the relationship with Washington. Friedman describes Jerusalem as “the holy capital of the Jewish people and only the Jewish people.” Trump is already taking steps to move the U.S. Embassy there, making the American government unique in having its chief diplomatic mission in the legally disputed city. The move will also serve as a recruiting poster for groups like ISIS and will inflame opinion against the U.S. among friendly Arab states in the region. There is no possible gain and much to lose for the United States and for American citizens in making the move, but it satisfies Israeli hardliners and zealots like Friedman.

The Trump team’s animosity towards Iran is also part of the broader Israeli agenda. Iran does not threaten the United States and is a military midget compared either to nuclear armed Israel or the U.S. Yet is has been singled out as the enemy du jour in the Middle East even though it has invaded no one since the seventeenth century. Israel would like to have the United States do the heavy lifting to destroy Iran as a regional power. If Washington were to attempt to do so it would be a catastrophe for all parties involved but that has not stopped hardliners from demanding unrelenting military pressure on Tehran.

Donald Trump is not even president yet but he advised Barack Obama to exercise the U.S. veto for the resolution condemning Israeli settlements that was voted on at the United Nations Security Council on Friday, explaining that “As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations. This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

This is a straight Israeli line that might even have been written by Netanyahu himself. Or by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which fumed “AIPAC is deeply disturbed by the failure of the Obama Administration to exercise its veto to prevent a destructive, one-sided, anti-Israel resolution from being enacted by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In the past, this administration and past administrations have rejected this type of biased resolution since it undermines prospects for peace. It is particularly regrettable, in his last month in office, that the president has taken an action at odds with the bipartisan consensus in Congress and America’s long history of standing with Israel at the United Nations.”

Ah yes, the fabled negotiations for a two state solution, regularly employed to enable Israelis to do nothing while expanding their theft of Arab land and one wonders how Trump would define what is “fair to the Palestinians?” So we are already well into Trump’s adoption of the “always the victim argument” that the Israelis have so cleverly exploited with U.S. politicians and the media.

Not content with advising Obama, Trump also reportedly took the Palestinian issue one step further by directly pressuring the sponsoring Egyptians to postpone any submission of the resolution. Expecting to have a friendly president in the White House after January 20th, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi complied on Thursday but the motion was reintroduced by New Zealand, Venezuela, Senegal and Malaysia on the following day. The resolution passed with 14 yes votes and a courageous U.S. abstention after Obama finally, after eight long years, developed a backbone. But unfortunately, Trump’s interventions suggest that nothing critical of Israel will be allowed to emerge from the U.N. during his term of office. Referring to the U.N. vote, he said that “things will be different after January 20th.”

The United Nations resolution produced an immediate reaction from Israeli Firsters in Congress and the media, led by Senator Chuck Schumer and the Washington Post. The Post featured a lead editorial entitled The Obama Administration fires a dangerous parting shot and an op-ed The United States just made Middle East peace harder by no less a redoubtable American hero than Eliot Abrams. Look in vain for any suggestion of what might be construed as an actual U.S. interest in either piece. It is all about Israel, as it always is.

The problem with Israel and its friends is that they are never satisfied and never leave the rest of us Americans alone, pushing constantly at what is essentially an open door. They have treated the United States like a doormat, spying on us more than any ostensibly friendly nation while pocketing our $38 billion donation to their expanding state without so much as a thank you. They are shameless. Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer has been all over American television sputtering his rage over the United Nations settlements vote. On CNN he revealed that Israel has “clear evidence” that President Obama was “behind” the resolution and he announced his intention to share the information with Donald Trump. Every American should be outraged by Israel’s contempt for us and our institutions. One has to wonder if the mainstream media will take a rest from their pillorying of Russia to cover the story.

For many years now, Israel has sought to make the American people complicit in its own crimes while also encouraging our country’s feckless and corrupt leadership to provide their government with political cover and even go to war on its behalf. This has got to stop and, for a moment, it looked like Trump might be the man to end it when he promised to be even-handed in negotiating between the Arabs and Israelis. That was before he promised to be the best friend Israel would ever have.

Israel’s quarrels don’t stay in Israel and they are not limited to the foreign policy realm. I have already discussed the pending Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a bipartisan effort by Congress to penalize and even potentially criminalize any criticism of Israel by equating it to anti-Semitism. Whether Israel itself wants to consider itself a democracy is up to Netanyahu and Israeli voters but the denial of basic free speech rights to Americans in deference to Israeli perceptions should be considered to be completely outrageous.

And there’s more. Israel’s government funded lawfare organization Shurat HaDin has long been using American courts to punish Palestinians and Iranians, obtaining punitive damages linked to allegations regarding terrorist incidents that have taken place in Israel. Now Shurat HaDin is using our courts to go after American companies that do business with countries like Iran.

Last year’s nuclear agreement with Iran included an end to restraints on the Islamic Republic’s ability to engage in normal banking and commercial activity. As a high priority, Iran has sought to replace some of its aging infrastructure, to include its passenger aircraft fleet. Seattle based Boeing has sought to sell to Iran Air 80 airplanes at a cost of more than $16 billion and has worked with the U.S. government to meet all licensing and technology transfer requirements. The civilian-use planes are not in any way configurable for military purposes, but Shurat HaDin on December 16th sought to block the sale at a federal court in Illinois, demanding a lien against Boeing for the monies alleged to be due to the claimed victims of Iranian sponsored terrorism. Boeing, meanwhile, has stated that the Iran Air order “support(s) tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.”

So an agency of the Israeli government is taking steps to stop an American company from doing something that is perfectly legal under U.S. law even though it will cost thousands of jobs here at home. It is a prime example of how much Israel truly cares about the United States and its people. And even more pathetic, the Israel Lobby owned U.S. Congress has predictably bowed down and kissed Netanyahu’s ring on the issue, passing a bill in November that seeks to block Treasury Department licenses to permit the financing of the airplane deal.

The New Year and the arrival of an administration with fresh ideas would provide a great opportunity for the United States to finally distance itself from a toxic Israel, but, unfortunately, it seems that everything is actually moving in the opposite direction. Don’t be too surprised if we see a shooting war with Iran before the year is out as well as a shiny new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem (to be built on land stolen from Palestinians, incidentally). Trump might think he is ushering in a new era of American policy based on American interests but it is beginning to look a lot like same-old same-old but even worse, and Benjamin Netanyahu will be very much in the driver’s seat.

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/welcome-to-greater-israel/

Friday, 18 November 2016

Global Trumpism


Why Trump’s Victory Was 30 Years in the Making and Why It Won’t Stop Here

By Mark Blyth



Trump’s victory was predictable, and was predicted, but not by looking at polls. Polling has taken a beating recently having failed to predict the victory of David Cameron’s Conservative Party in the British general elections, then Brexit, and now the election of Donald Trump. One can argue about what’s wrong with the methods involved, but more fundamentally what polls do is to treat these phenomena as isolated events when they are in fact the product of a common set of causes 30 years in the making. 

There are two issues at play here. The first is known as Galton’s problem, after Sir Francis Galton, the inventor of much of modern statistics. Galton’s problem is that when we treat cases as independent—the British election, Brexit, the U.S. election—they may not actually be independent. There may be links between the cases—think of Brexit’s Nigel Farage showing up at Trump's rallies—and there could be subtler contagion or mimicry effects in play as information from one case “infects” the other, changing the dynamics of the system as a whole. Could there then be a higher set of drivers in the global economy pushing the world in a direction where Trump is really just one part of a more global pattern of events?

Consider that there are many Trumpets blowing around the developed world, on both the right and the left. On the one side, insurgent right-wing parties are bulldozing the vote shares of traditional centrist parties all over Europe. For example, the Finns Party is the second-largest party in the Finnish parliament. In Sweden, the Swedish Democrats are the third-largest party in parliament. In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s political party, Fidesz, runs the country having won two elections. Meanwhile in France, the most popular political party is the National Front, which in all scenarios but one—whatever such exercises are actually worth—is expected to win the first round of voting in the 2017 French presidential election. But when all the other parties in France close ranks to prevent the National Front from winning the second round, it’s hardly a victory for democracy. And even in that bulwark of stability, Germany, the upstart Alternative for Germany beat German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union into second place in her own backyard.


A clash outside the Labor Ministry in Athens, Greece, January 2013.

But there is also a left-wing version of this phenomenon. Consider the Scottish National Party (the clue is in the name), which has annihilated every other political party in Scotland, or Podemos in Spain, which has won 69 out of 350 seats in the Spanish parliament. Left-wing upstart Syriza runs Greece—even if it’s under Troika tutelage—and Die Linke in Germany is yet another drain on the vote share of the once-dominant Social Democrats, whose own vote share has utterly collapsed.

These parties of course have very different policy stances. The new right favors nationals over immigrants and has, at best, a rather casual relationship with the liberal understanding of human rights. The new left, in contrast, favors redistribution from top to bottom and inclusive rather than exclusionary growth policies. But they also have more in common than we think. They are all pro-welfare (for some people, at least), anti-globalization, and most interestingly, pro-state, and although they say it sotto voce on the right, anti-finance. To see why, consider our second issue.
At the end of World War II, the United States and its allies decided that sustained mass unemployment was an existential threat to capitalism and had to be avoided at all costs. In response, governments everywhere targeted full employment as the master policy variable—trying to get to, and sustain, an unemployment rate of roughly four percent. The problem with doing so, over time, is that targeting any variable long enough undermines the value of the variable itself—a phenomenon known as Goodhart’s law.

Long before Goodhart, an economist named Michal Kalecki had already worked this out. Back in 1943, he argued that once you target and sustain full employment over time, it basically becomes costless for labor to move from job to job. Wages in such a world will have to continually rise to hold onto labor, and the only way business can accommodate that is to push up prices. This mechanism, cost-push inflation, where wages and prices chase each other up, emerged in the 1970s and coincided with the end of the Bretton Woods regime and the subsequent oil shocks to produce high inflation in the rich countries of the West in the 1970s. In short, the system undermined itself, as both Goodhart and Kalecki predicted. As countries tried harder and harder to target full employment, the more inflation shot up while profits fell. The 1970s became a kind of “debtor’s paradise.” As inflation rose, debts fell in real terms, and labor’s share of national income rose to an all-time high, while corporate profits remained low and were pummeled by inflation. Unions were powerful and inequality plummeted.
    The era of neoliberalism is over. The era of neonationalism has just begun.

But if it was a great time to be a debtor, it was a lousy time to be a creditor. Inflation acts as a tax on the returns on investment and lending. Unsurprisingly in response, employers and creditors mobilized and funded a market-friendly revolution where the goal of full employment was jettisoned for a new target—price stability, aka inflation—to restore the value of debt and discipline labor through unemployment. And it worked. The new order was called neoliberalism.

Over the next thirty years the world was transformed from a debtor’s paradise into a creditor’s paradise where capital’s share of national income rose to an all-time high as labor’s share fell as wages stagnated. Productivity rose, but the returns all went to capital. Unions were crushed while labor’s ability to push up wages collapsed due to the twin shocks of restrictive legislation and the globalization of production. Parliaments in turn were reduced to tweet-generating talking shops as central banks and policy technocrats wrested control of the economy away from those elected to govern.
But Goodhart’s law never went away. Just as targeting full employment undermined itself, so did making inflation the policy target.

Consider that since the 2008 crisis the world’s major central banks have dumped at least $12 trillion dollars into the global economy and there is barely any inflation anywhere. Almost a quarter of all European bonds now have negative yields. Unsurprisingly, interest rates are on the floor, and if it were not for the massive purchasing of assets in the Eurozone by the European Central Bank, deflation would be systemic. In sum, we may have created a world in which deflation, not inflation, is the new normal, and that has serious political consequences, which brings us back to Trump.



Using an ATM during a power outage in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 2016.

In a world of disinflation, credit became very cheap and the private sector levered up—massively—with post-crisis household debt now standing at $12.25 trillion in the United States. This is a common story. Wage earners now have too much debt in an environment where wages cannot rise fast enough to reduce those debts. Meanwhile, in a deflation, the opposite of what happens in an inflation occurs. The value of debt increases while the ability to pay off those debts decreases.

Seen this way, what we see is a reversal of power between creditors and debtors as the anti-inflationary regime of the past 30 years undermines itself—what we might call “Goodhart’s revenge.” In this world, yields compress and creditors fret about their earnings, demanding repayment of debt at all costs. Macro-economically, this makes the situation worse: the debtors can’t pay—but politically, and this is crucial—it empowers debtors since they can’t pay, won’t pay, and still have the right to vote.

The traditional parties of the center-left and center-right, the builders of this anti-inflationary order, get clobbered in such a world, since they are correctly identified by these debtors as the political backers of those demanding repayment in an already unequal system, and all from those with the least assets. This produces anti-creditor, pro-debtor coalitions-in-waiting that are ripe for the picking by insurgents of the left and the right, which is exactly what has happened.

In short, to understand the election of Donald Trump we need to listen to the trumpets blowing everywhere in the highly indebted developed countries and the people who vote for them.

The global revolt against elites is not just driven by revulsion and loss and racism. It’s also driven by the global economy itself. This is a global phenomenon that marks one thing above all. The era of neoliberalism is over. The era of neonationalism has just begun.

Source: foreignaffiars.com

Friday, 28 October 2016

“Child refugees” are coming to the UK. Why is the Jewish community so determined to bring them in?

October 27, 2016

Francis Carr Begbie



The dismantling of the Calais “Jungle” refugee camp has been marked by huge scenes of disorder with rioting, at least one gang rape, and much of the camp going up in flames. But there has been uproar in Britain too since the realisation that most of the thousands of “child refugees”, which the Prime Minister had agreed to accept, were neither children nor refugees.

From the moment these healthy, strapping adult male migrants stepped off the bus in London it was obvious that the British people had been subjected to yet another massive immigration deception. Those who enabled and organised this “child refugee” scam are brazening it out, safe in the knowledge there will be no comebacks for them.

First they attempted to prevent any more embarrassing pictures by throwing blankets over the arrivals so they resembled state witnesses at a Mafia trial. Then a screened walkway from the bus alighting point to the door of the reception centre was erected overnight for the same purpose. Dental tests to determine the real age of these youths were ruled out as an “invasion of privacy.” And there is no question of having them deported, so nothing can be done now. They’re here. Get over it.
But of course, it all works better if there is no clamour from the public. So the powers-that-be have resorted to the tried and tested method of stifling dissent. Anyone who sticks his head above the parapet to raise doubts is subjected to stern lectures about their moral shortcomings. BBC TV presenter Gary Lineker chastised his fellow British for their “shameful” attitudes, while Labour shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott attacked those who wanted to carry out dental tests to assess their age as “racist.” Pop singer Lily Allen became a media darling when, on behalf of the people of Britain, she made a tearful apology to the refugees for causing their plight.


Let that sink in. Britain caused the plight of the refugees.

After voting for Brexit, for ordinary British people, who have seen their schools, hospitals and welfare services strained to breaking point, a fresh influx of immigrants was not exactly what they had been looking forward to. After all, Britain has no legal or moral obligation to take these people. They were supposed to be the responsibility of the first country they arrived at in the EU. And why are they coming to racist Europe anyway? It’s incredibly short-sighted of them. Why not go to some Asian or African country? Or Israel?

This fresh burden will be placed squarely on the local authorities that receive the immigrants, and they are going to have to dig deeply. While the government is providing £40,000 ($48,000) per annum for each young refugee, the total annual cost is around £133,000 ($162,000). So tax increases — or reduced services in other areas — are predicted.

Naturally little of this will fall on the prosperous London boroughs filled with BBC-watching, morally uplifted Whites. Instead many migrants are being located in far-flung areas such as Devon or poorer northern communities already thronging with refugees, such as Bradford.

The tipping point in the long battle to admit these bogus “child refugees” seems to have been a multi-faith initiative in which more than 200 religious leaders led by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams and senior representatives from the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh faiths — signed a letter urging the Prime Minister to admit 3,000.

In a speech at a London synagogue, Lord Williams described the Calais camp as “a stain” on the British conscience. But in fact, this alleged multi-faith support was not what it appeared to be.  It was largely organised by dozens of Jewish activists working through an organisation called Citizens UK that organised the casework and poured substantial resources into ensuring that the necessary amendments to the law would make it through Parliament.

The Calais “Jungle” crisis has brought the Jewish community together in a unity of purpose rarely seen outside the occasion of Israel’s various wars. From the highest communal levels to the smallest youth groups, it seems everyone Jewish has been mobilised in the cause of getting uneducated, unassimilable Muslim economic migrants into Britain.

It is a campaign they have chosen to frame in entirely moral terms. The Jewish community’s loud insistence has been that not only is Britain under a strict moral obligation to take these migrants but that there should be no upper limit. To do otherwise would be to undermine our reputation as a humanitarian country that wishes to describe itself as civilised.

Their arguments have been formed around highly emotional anecdotes and images. Time and again we have been treated to stories of children struggling in the squalor at the Calais “Jungle” camp. The iconic photographs of the lifeless body of three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach are frequently invoked.
You will notice that nowhere is there any consideration of the stress this is causing on existing British communities, especially those in the poorer areas where refugees are invariably housed. Nor is there any recognition of the profound unfairness this imposes on the native White community who will be required to support these strangers via the welfare system, health and housing services. Such a process is not only unaffordable, it makes a mockery of the basic idea that help from the welfare state is in return from previous tax contributions.

There is a largely unspoken reason for this:  resentment over Britain’s perceived inadequacy in admitting Jewish refugees before World War II. In fact, Britain admitted many tens of thousands of Jews in the 1930s, but it is an article of faith amongst many Jews that Britain could and should have admitted many more.

Typical of this attitude was the speech of Rabbi Herschel Gluck, founder of the Muslim-Jewish Forum. He says he lost over 100 relatives in the Holocaust and implied that Britain’s wartime attitudes to refugees were to blame for this. “I feel obliged to ensure we don’t make the same mistakes,” he said.

Numerous references were made to the Kindertransport programme by which Jewish children from Europe were smuggled into Britain. (The TOO has already debunked much of this greatly mythologised episode.)

A veteran of that same Kindertransport is the figurehead for the Calais refugee crusade. eighty-four year old Lord Alf Dubs , a veteran Labour politician. He has  tirelessly campaigned for mass immigration all his life. A former director of the Refugee Council, he somehow arrived in Britain aged six in 1939 despite Britain’s horrendous attitudes at the time, and was shown much Christian charity. Since then, he has chosen to repay this kindness by devoting his life to opening Britain’s borders to non-Whites from around the globe.

According to EU law, refugees should have been  processed at the first country they arrived at, so some ruse had to dreamed up whereby Britain could allow their entry. This was done through a device known as the EU’s Dublin III regulation, whereby lone refugee children could be taken to any European country where they have a relative.
This was not enough for Lord Dubs.  He wanted the “child refugees” in the Calais “Jungle” admitted to Britain without any “family reunion” qualification and pushed his own amendment which would oblige the British government to transfer to the UK any unaccompanied refugee children from Europe.
To this end Lord Dubs was able to count on wholesale establishment support. Not just the Archbishop of Canterbury but charities, NGOs and even economists all rallied round.

TOO has already shown the hugely disproportionate Jewish influence on a similar letter from senior lawyers. The same disproportionately Jewish influence can be seen in the plea from the 126 economists. One of the signatories was Jonathan Portes, who can be fairly regarded as the architect of Tony Blair’s mass immigration disaster.

So it seemed as if the passing of the Dubs amendment to an immigration bill was a foregone conclusion.  But then at the vote in the House of Commons there was a problem. For Conservative politicians had not long finished fighting a general election campaign in which their voters had left them in no doubt how they felt about the never-ending waves of mass immigration.

In the House of Commons the Dubs amendment was defeated.  Jewish campaigners could barely contain their anger. The nagging, scolding words of Dr. Edie Friedman, director of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, were characteristic.
As a result, children across Europe will remain cold, alone and at risk over the coming months. This was an opportunity to stand on the right side of history, to bring relief to just 3,000 of the 95,000 unaccompanied children who applied for asylum in Europe last year.

We wake up this morning on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of compassion.The Immigration Bill has shown the UK at its worst, uncaring about the suffering of children a mere 30 miles away in places like Calais, but it has also shown us (sic!) at our best.
Rabbi Harry Jacobi too was beside himself with anger at MPs voting in accordance with their electorate’s wishes. For him loomed the shadow of 1938, when Britain decided to stop the flood of Jewish refugees.
Too many MPs with hardened hearts, just like the biblical story of Pharaoh. To close their eyes and hearts to unaccompanied children, to insist that it is alright to detain pregnant women, and that refugees can still be detained indefinitely simply on the say so of an immigration official. These are not the actions of a world-leading moral civilisation.
Then, in one of his last acts as Prime Minister, David Cameron did a U-turn and announced he would allow the amendment to go through unopposed. Now Britain could admit the bogus 3,000 “refugee children” unilaterally.

Citizens UK’s main task seems to be getting migrants or “refugees” into Britain and dispersed around the country. It describes itself as a “community organiser’s hub,” but is in fact an arm of the state with deep pockets and a nationwide network of affiliated organisations. It has fought many legal battles for refugees and succeeded in getting migrant “child asylum seekers” released from detention centres and housed in the wider community.

So how Jewish is it?  At letterhead level it seems to be drawn from a cross-section of the community, but at organiser level, the Citizens UK appears to be disproportionately Jewish. (This tactic of recruiting sympathetic non-Jews and giving them highly visible position in Jewish-dominated causes has a very long history, going back at least to immigration battles in the early twentieth century, as recounted in Chapter 6 of SAID [p. 192ff] and Chapter 7 of Culture of Critique [e.g., pp. 249-250].) They include the Citizens UK spokeswoman, Rabbi Janet Darley, who, of course, has a tear-jerking story to tell. She said it was when a 15-year-old migrant fell under the wheels of a truck he was trying to board that she felt that she had to get involved.
For me, that was the deal breaker — I knew I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do everything I could to make sure there were no more dead children. … The Torah warns us against the wronging of a stranger. For us, this is core teaching and not an optional extra.
Another Jewish Citizens UK activist is senior organiser Charlotte Fischer, who is lobbying for Britain to increase the total number of “Syrian” refugees it has agreed to take  from 20,000 to 50,000. “We are doing shamefully compared to Canada” she chides.

But the UK is doing awesomely compared to Israel. Doesn’t that count for anything?
Citizens UK campaigner Rabbi Danny Rich is co-chair of yet another arm of the refugee industry, the National Refugee Welcome Board. He clearly has the magic touch when it comes to getting access on the BBC. Since the beginning of September he has graced at least half a dozen BBC outlets including the main BBC TV news and the BBC World Service and gets softball kidglove treatment from all of them. He blithely brushed aside the concerns of ordinary British people: “Look at the Kindertransport and the contribution made to Britain over the last 70 years by those who escaped the Nazis. Look at the contributions made today by doctors, nurses and care workers, many of who were not English born.”  Anyone doubting the distinctly Jewish flavour of Citizens UK would be advised to look at this promotional video, also featured at the beginning of this article.

Of course, no British refugee campaign would be complete without the presence of Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner who can be guaranteed to be at the forefront at any number of “multi faith” immigrant events including a Citizens UK vigil outside the House of Commons.

Citizens UK is an umbrella organisation overseeing local grass roots initiatives for refugees all over the country, many of which are Jewish-organised. One of the main ones is called Safe Passage UK. In an article for the Jewish Chronicle, the two Jewish organisers described their work as “fighting injustice.”  Apparently a group of synagogues had raised £200,000 for them in just a few weeks.
Rabbi Rebecca Birk was recently named by the Evening Standard as one of London’s most influential people for her fund raising for Safe Passage UK. Again, her entire rationale is bound up with her Jewish identity, framed, of course, as a moral imperative stemming from the inherently moral essence of Judaism. She says:
The Jewish identity is predicated on being a foreigner, relying on the kindness of strangers, it runs through our own theology really: doing good, mending the world. We talk of three pillars the world stands on — the Torah, divine service, and kind acts. It’s an anathema to be a Jew and only be concerned with oneself.
A clear sense of Jewish identity also informed the efforts of the three fashionable north London women who decided to put their media careers on hold to set up the Help Refugees charity in the Calais “Jungle.” The women, two of whom are Jewish, have tapped into a lucrative market indeed, and their outfit was one of the biggest players in Calais. It has been a massive, trendy, profile-raising success. After setting up, they were inundated with corporate contributions, and now they run 26 projects from Israel and on the migrant trail all the way across Europe. Articles about them focus on “child refugees.” And because Hollywood is well-known for its high moralism, it is not surprising that actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Lena Dunham have lent their support.
Help Refugees even has a mobile kitchen on to the shores of Greece where their volunteers are helping refugees from Turkey from their dinghies and then seeing them off on their long journey across Europe. One of these women, Dani Lawrence, insists her parents fled anti-Semitism in Morocco in the sixties.
The Jewish community has an extremely high opinion of its charitable efforts. Their strong Jewish identities and loyalty to their tribe are obvious, and it is wonderful that all that philanthropy makes them feel so good about themselves. But it might be worthwhile for the White British to ask what exactly is in it for them, apart from Kosher certification?

It is time to ask some searching questions about the real motives that lie behind all this Jewish selflessness.  After all, a charitable disposition towards Muslims is not exactly a characteristic of Jewish life anywhere else and certainly not in the Palestinian territories. And no question is guaranteed to infuriate Jewish activists more than asking why Israel doesn’t admit any refugees from Syria which is, after all, next door?

So what do they get out of this sudden influx of unassimilable immigrants who have neither the temperament nor inclination to fit into modern Britain? Sadly, as readers of TOO are all to familiar with (see, e.g., “Is immigration a Jewish value?“), the motivation is not compassion but veiled ethnic vindictiveness aimed at undermining and dispossessing ordinary British people.
One of the questions that British people might also ask themselves is this: If those British people in the 1930s who had admitted waves of Jewish refugees could see the fruits of what they had done, what would they think?

If those British people, who were to suffer so much in a war they were told was about “freedom”, if they were to see the streets of Peckham, Newham or any number of London boroughs or cities today overrun by Third-Worlders, what would they think?

And if they were to then told, in detail, about the role of Jewish activism, power and “philanthropy” in bringing about this transformation, what would their thoughts be then?Perhaps they would agree with so many of us.  That the Jewish invocation to “heal the world” seems to be code-words for eradicating White identity and eradicating the power of Whites to control their own destiny.

And perhaps, instead of admitting these “child refugees,” Britain would have been better off remembering the words of another Jewish sage, economist Milton Friedman, who said “You can have a welfare state or you can have open borders, but you cannot have both.”

http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2016/10/where-are-the-child-refugees/

Monday, 26 September 2016

Russia provides definitive video proof that US backed ISIS jihadists attacked UN convoy in Syria




http://theduran.com/russia-provides-definitive-video-proof-that-us-backed-isis-jihadists-attacked-un-convoy-syria/


An attack on a UN humanitarian convoy exactly at the time of the UN summit. A conveniently timed distraction quickly blamed on Assad and Russia.

Over the weekend the US (and its “coalition puppets partners”) were caught red handed providing air support to ISIS fighters in Syria, helping the terrorists overrun a strategic air force base in Deir Ezzor.
This was an obvious attack on a sovereign nation, in support of a radical terrorist group. The US called it a “mistake”, but we know it was no mistake. It was a message to Syria, Russia and Iran.
The US will not tolerate seeing Assad and the Syrian government forces win the war on the ground. America’s policy on Syria is crystal clear…ISIS will raise its black flag over Damascus. Assad must go.

Russia called out the US on the attack in Deir Ezzor, and revealed that America is providing air support to ISIS fighters.

Cut to the UN summit in New York, and an attack on a UN humanitarian convoy in Aleppo. The US was quick to pin the blame on Russia and the Syrian government.
An attack on a UN humanitarian convoy exactly at the time of the UN summit. A conveniently timed distraction away from America’s attack on a sovereign.

Russia and Syria were quickly blamed, no evidence and proof was provided.

Now we have video evidence from the Russian Defense Ministry, showing that their was no chance it had attacked the convoy, leaving the only option as to who actually attacked the UN convoy in Aleppo squarely on “moderate” rebels’ shoulders…who are connected to the US coalition.
A false flag distraction. No doubt about it.

The Russian military released drone footage of a pickup truck carrying a heavy mortar and driving past the humanitarian convoy.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement…

“No airstrikes were carried out against a humanitarian aid convoy in a southwestern suburb of Aleppo by Russian or Syrian aviation. Seeing as the convoy’s route lied through the territories controlled by militants, the Russian reconciliation center monitored its passage yesterday via drones.”

Konashenkov added that monitoring finished when all humanitarian aid was delivered at 10:40 GMT.
“Further movements of the convoy were not monitored by the Russian side. Only the militants controlling this area know details of the convoy’s location.”

Examination of video shows no signs of an ammunition strikes on the convoy.
“We have carefully studied videos by so-called activists from the site and found no signs of any ammunition striking the convoy. There are no shell holes, cars’ bodies are not damaged and there are no construction faults from the bust wave. All shown on the footage is a direct consequence of the cargo being set on fire. The fire strangely coincided with a major offensive by militants in Aleppo.”

Zerohedge provides this logic to the narrative…

The [Russian] ministry emphasized that the perpetrator of the fire, as well as his goal may be known by members of the “White Helmets” organization that has connection to al-Nusra Front terrorists who have “accidentally” been at the right time and in the right place with cameras.

While it is unclear why Russia would bomb a convoy it was filming and which it knew the entire world would be focused on, at least it has provided some footage to validate its statement. We now eagerly await the US “intelligence services” to present their own evidence which confirms that Russia is lying. We doubt that will be provided, and instead this will devolve into yet another instance of fingerpointing and accusatory diplomacy which will achieve nothing but escalate already deadly tensions in the region.

Zerohedge reports further on the newest Syrian war blame game…

The big geopolitical news in the aftermath of yesterday’s bombing of a UN humanitarian convoy in Syria, which according to unofficial, UK-funded “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” was done by Russian or Syrian fighter jets, was this morning’s vocal denial by the Russia defense ministry that neither Russian nor Syrian planes were responsible for the bombing raid.

As we concluded this morning, there were two possibilities: either Russia is lying, or it is telling the truth. And since Russia should be able to back up its claims with video footage, the question emerges: did US-coalition forces or US-backed “moderate rebels” belonging to the al-Nusra, stage the attack a UN convoy in the latest “false flag” attempt to shift attention to “Russian aggression”, and seek justification to escalate the military campaign against Syria, and its proxy supporter, Russia?

To be sure, it won’t be the first time the US has “made a mistake” – just on Saturday, US-coalition forces apologized for killing dozens of Syrian troops in what Assad called “flagrant American aggression.” If confirmed, it will once again demonstrate that the western MIC will stop at nothing to escalate military conflicts, no matter the bodybount, if it means bigger military contracts courtesy of generous US taxpayers.

And since ignoring Russia’s response would mean the US was tacitly admitting was the responsible party (and lied), moments ago the WSJ reported that U.S. intelligence agencies said they believe that Russian aircraft conducted the strike that targeted a humanitarian aid convoy in northern Syria on Monday, essentially accusing the Kremlin of lying.

John Kerry initially had suggested that Syrian aircraft were responsible for the strikes on the U.N. convoy, which killed at least 12 people. However, the rhetoric escalated after U.S. officials said new intelligence indicates that Russian forces, rather than the Syrians, conducted the strike.

The WSJ also said that US officials said the Russian and Syrian governments had been notified in advance to the presence of the 31-truck convoy to ensure it wouldn’t be bombed by their forces in the area. “There was coordination ahead of time with the Russians,” a U.S. official said. Oddly, the US had not notified the Russian and Syrian governments on Saturday when a US strike killed over 60 Syrian troops in what the US later said was a “mistaken” strike.

The White House declined to comment on the new intelligence....

From :
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-20/us-accuses-kremlin-lying-says-russia-bombed-syrian-aid-convoy

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Europe’s descent into chaos


Company Focus: Cyber Security

As a dedicated security professional I spend much of my time studying social, political and economic developments in our landscape and how these changes may impact the current, and more importantly, future security trends. Three articles have caught my eye in recent months. The first article was regarding the Swedish Police struggling with 52 blacklist no go zones, where parallel societies exist outside of police control. The second article talked about the French Army’s contingency plans for ‘re-appropriating national territory’, meaning to win back neighbourhoods where the population has become hostile to security forces and has easy access to weapons. The third article concerned Sweden’s army chief warning men under his command in an internal document, that they could expect to be fighting a war in Europe against skilled opponents “within a few years”.

These articles would be unheard of and seen as alarmist or even absurd only a few years ago. So what is the current situation in Europe that has led to parallel societies, the need for military plans to be drawn up to regain national territory and a senior military commander warning of a possible third world war?

Terrorism

The terrorist attacks against Charlie Hebdo, Stade de France, Bataclan Theatre and Brussel’s Airport have shown how significant the threat is that Europe currently faces from Islamic terrorism. These attacks have made apparent to the general public, how overstretched the European security services are and impacting their confidence on the state’s ability to protect them. The Brussels attacks in particular shone a spotlight on Molenbeek, Europe’s so-called ‘jihadi central’. This no go zone of Brussels has become a breeding ground for extremism because of ineffectual state policing, leading to limited oversight, allowing criminality to prevail and radical Islamists to obtain a foothold. The key point though is that Molenbeek is not a one off in Europe.

In Sweden, the National Criminal Investigation Service highlighted 52 areas which have been put on a '"blacklist" which are then divided into three categories from "risk areas" to "seriously vulnerable". An example of one of these areas is Rinkeby in Stockholm, which the report describes as an area where police are attacked, there is open support for religious extremists and people of Jewish faith should avoid the area. In Ronna, Geneta and Lina, areas of southwest Stockholm, criminals eat at restaurants without paying, drive their cars at high speeds and park wherever they like without legal retribution. They also sell guns and drugs and intimidate locals and police. In Norsbord, criminals have been reported to let children as young as 12 carry weapons and they have an undue influence on local politics. These are just a few examples of no go zones in Europe at present, prior to the current wave of mass migration.

Mass migration without integration

Conflict, poverty and population pressures in Africa and the Middle East are causing mass migration to Europe, at such a rate that the host nations are finding it impossible to effectively police, never mind assimilate the new arrivals. These migrants often lack the skills and abilities for the high tech job market of Europe, leading to unemployment, social deprivation and in many cases criminality. Another barrier to employment is the lack of language skills, with the welfare state enabling the formation of ghettos because migrants can live on state handouts with integrating. Without effective integration, the problems which I have highlighted in Molenbeek and Stockholm will become commonplace across Europe.

Old grudges new continent

Migrants to Europe are also bringing with them their grudges and many of these issues are playing out in tit for tat attacks. In mid-February a Kurdish man was shot while attending a pro-Kurdish rally in Stockholm. A couple of days later a Turkish cultural centre in Stockholm was bombed. Many migrants that have come to Europe from Syria have fought for different factions and it seems likely that we will witness violence among these communities. An interesting Twitter profile to look at is @EU_Interpol. They are not actually associated officially with Interpol, however, they use open source intelligence methods to highlight Syrian militants now living in Europe, which brings me onto the topic of training and experience.

Skilled militants

Europol warned in January that Islamic State has set up training camps across Europe to prepare fighters to carry out ‘special forces style’ attacks in EU countries. The key point regarding this topic is that with the Iraq, Syrian and Libyan conflicts particularly, there are significant quantities of military aged males who have battle experience, training in weaponry, tactics and explosives, who are now living in Europe.

Criminality

Although the majority of our reporting focuses on emerging markets and supporting client’s operations in these areas, Europe’s deteriorating security situation is taking up more of our time. A large proportion of that reporting involves crimes committed by migrants, either against Europeans or other migrants. Some examples of the types of criminality we are monitoring include, rape and sexual violence, murder, smuggling, weapons sales, terrorism, rioting, fraud, arson, drug dealing and paedophilia.

Religious, ethnic and tribal Politics

Another destabilising factor that is currently playing out in Europe are the reports of undue influence on the political system. The mayor of Tower Hamlets, a district in London, was removed in 2015 for vote rigging and voter intimidation. Lutfur Rahman was Britain’s first Muslim executive mayor and was accused of spiritual intimidation of voters, urging them “to retain truth, righteousness and practise religious belief” by voting for him. In Norsborg, Stockholm, police report that criminal gangs in the area have an undue influence on local politics. A group of criminals from Södertälje and Norsborg have formed a movement called the Assyrian National Party. Police currently have very limited oversight of the group and are unware if they are a political party or a tool for recruitment for the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. The key issue here is that as Europe becomes more socially diverse, fragmented and polarised, so will its politics, making the continent difficult to govern due to a disparate set of parties, with differing ideological beliefs and objectives for society.

The cementing of the right

Terrorist attacks and migrant criminality is polarising European opinion on mass migration. On 27th March 2016, at a memorial for those who were killed in the Brussels terror attacks, a group of 500 people, some of which were reportedly from the right wing group ‘The Nation’ protested against terrorism and immigration. From Corsica in the south to Sweden in the north we are seeing attacks on migrant centres and mosques and the rise of nationalist ‘self-defence’ and protest groups, such as PEGIDA and the Soldiers of Odin. In eastern Europe, The People’s Party – Our Slovakia, a far-right group who wear uniforms modelled on a second world war Nazi puppet state, won seats in parliament for the first time and right wing parties are on the rise across the continent.

The destruction of community cohesion, a tactic of Islamic State

Islamic State are using a tactic in Europe that they have used in Iraq for years. By attacking one community they erode cohesion with the intention of creating a sectarian war. If Muslims feel that far right groups are going to attack them, they may seek out help and support from the more radical elements of society, which only serves to add fuel to the problem. European fear of radical Islam will increase prejudice, discrimination, ghettoization and unemployment, which will only serve to radicalise more Muslims. As more attacks are conducted, far right groups will also gain in support leading to a highly polarised society with the right wing one end of the spectrum and the left and Islam on the other end.

Conclusion

With mass migration, criminality, terrorism and the rise of far right political parties and self-defence groups, Europe is currently on a path to political, economic and civil turmoil.
Security services are currently overstretched in some countries and the sudden influx of millions of migrants, associated language difficulties and cross border investigations will only make the problem more acute. Add to this the potential for right and left wing terrorism, which cannot be discounted and seems likely in the medium term, suddenly intelligence and police institutions will be completely overwhelmed.

There is also the issue of a clash of civilisations. Many of Europe’s new arrivals have been raised in another religion and represent a radically different culture, with different beliefs and values. Two cultures living side by side peacefully is difficult, just take Northern Ireland as an example. That is a country where the people are of the same race and speak the same language. What will happen when there are suddenly numerous religions and ethnicities living side by side? In Malmo for example certain migrant communities are currently engaged in a race war.

Europe is heading for a clash of civilisations and any reaction by political groups to enforce European cultural dominance will be seen as discrimination, leading to further divisions and eventually if the political process cannot solve these issues, conflict and warfare.

The process I have outlined will take place over a matter of years and decades, however, with the European economy still precariously unstable, should an economic deterioration occur this process will be significantly quickened. People who support the Soldiers of Odin, Britain First or the English Defence League represent a section of society who have little to lose, which is why they are the first to protest. The middle classes will only come out to protest when they are being significantly impacted by a situation, so if millions across Europe suddenly lose their jobs and houses, there is nothing to hold them back from venting that anger. In that situation, I would agree with the head of Sweden’s armed forces that we would witness another world war in Europe.

Source:-

http://www.counterterrorbusiness.com/company-focus/europe%E2%80%99s-descent-chaos