Tag Archives: Putin

Time Magazine as a comedian

There are days when things go pear shaped, we all have them. Some go pear shaped in the best of ways, others less so. Now, I am not a big fan of Time magazine. I have nothing against them and the pictures tend to be pretty awesome. Yet, until today I had no idea that they had an interesting sense of humour. So, let’s take a look at ‘This Is What the U.S. Can Do to Help End It‘ in regards to the Syrian war (at http://time.com/5195442/eastern-ghouta-syria-civil-war-anniversary/).

It starts with “as it stands today, the U.S. is essentially a bystander. The Trump Administration has on cruise control the same ISIS-centric policies of the Obama Administration. The small contingent of U.S. troops present in eastern Syria only marginally stabilize territory liberated from the Islamic State while preventing Iranian and Syrian government forces from seizing the region. The Trump Administration has ended the CIA’s arm-and-equip program for the Syrian moderate opposition, a program which was created under President Obama, which was never sustainable or substantial“, which is true, there is nothing in opposition of that and in that regard we remain serious. That is, until we see: “Find a way to deliver aid. The U.S. must work with the international community to find an effective means of getting resources to the region. The stream of videos coming out of Ghouta shows a population subjected to the worst conditions imaginable. We should take the lead in enforcing United Nations demands for a real cease-fire to alleviate this brutal suffering. We can save lives now.” Is that so? Perhaps some can remember the ceasefire that was unanimously set in motion at the UN around the 1st of March. So, how did that pan out? Knowing that Russia and Syria hold the US in even less regard than the UN, the chances of the first part becoming reality is not that much of a reality to begin with and re-iterating that point 12 days later is a little bit of a joke at the very least. In eastern Ghouta, according to SBS, the death toll has passed the ‘thousand mark’, implying that the Ghouta region gets depopulated by close to one hundred cadavers every day. One could argue that until the culling stops, it will be too late for humanitarian aid. If the players had only acted 6 years ago, instead of waiting, sitting on ones hands and hoping for diplomatic resolution, or accept the reality that Syrian lives have no counterbalance in oil and let them pass away (it is not humane, but the reality we see here will never ever be near humane). Wasn’t it Friedrich Nietzsche who said: ‘To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering‘? So how much meaning can we find in Syria at present?

But that was merely their opening act. Getting to the main event we get “Repair relations with Turkey. In the end, U.S. policy in Syria rests on the U.S. and Turkey working together. Turkey is currently engaged in Operation Olive Branch against Syrian Kurds in the northern Syrian city of Afrin, to stabilize its own southern border and to prevent the establishment of a Kurdish state“. So, how delusional is that? Turkey only cares about Turkey, which in itself is nothing they can be blamed for, that stance is fair enough. So, how will the US continue in regards to the Armenian genocide? Let’s not forget that we might soon have the situation that Turkey could be blamed for two genocides, at that instance Turkey would in theory surpass Nazi Germany. The entire PKK issue is one that hangs around the necks of both the US and NATO. The headline ‘Kurds threatened with beheading by Turkey’s allies if they don’t convert to extremism‘, which we see in the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-civil-war-assad-regime-turkey-afrin-kurds-eastern-ghouta-us-allies-militia-a8252456.html) also shows “Mr Abdulrahman, who is the leading human rights monitor in Syria with a network of informants throughout the country, says he is worried that international attention is entirely focused on the Syrian army assault on Eastern Ghouta and “nobody is talking about” the potential slaughter of the Kurds and other minorities in Afrin“, with in addition: “as many as one million Kurds may be threatened and adds that it is becoming extremely difficult for them to escape from Afrin because Syrian government checkpoints on the only road leading south to Aleppo “are demanding bribes of up to $4,000 per family to let people through.” Mr Abdulrahman points to growing evidence drawn from videos taken by themselves of militiamen claiming to be members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) that the units advancing ahead of regular Turkish troops are extreme jihadis“, the reasoning there is “Isis recruits had been instructed by Turkish trainers not to use their traditional tactics, such as the of extensive use of car bombs, because this would identify them as terrorists. He suspected that Isis fighters would be used as cannon fodder in Turkey’s war against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and then discarded“.

Perhaps we should also remember the part that Time Magazine did not give us. “The Turkish military responded with a ferocious counterinsurgency campaign that led to the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, most of them Turkish Kurdish civilians, and the displacement of more than three million Kurds from south eastern Turkey“, which is seen in The Middle East by Ellen Lust. My knowledge of the PKK goes back to the days when we saw Öcalan pleading for an independent Kurdistan. I am not stating that the PKK was innocent, there are questions on both sides, yet as the Americans are so actively ignoring the Armenian issues as well as trying to please Turkey, a nation that has never proven to be a true ally, will the US and NATO remain in denial in regards to the 40,000 dead Kurdish civilians? That would be wrong on a whole new level. In that regard there is one additional part. The claim that ‘the PKK had been accusing Turkey of supporting ISIS at the time when the PKK was part of several offensives against ISIS in Iraq and Syria‘, an issue reported by Al Jazeera in 2015. Was that ever proven or disproven? You see, allowing an ISIS supporter in our midst is one part that should offend everyone, yet that too does not make it to the radar of Time magazine.

And it does not end there, the comedy gets to be better with “Only Turkey has the credibility, resources and geopolitical heft to steward U.S. interests in Northern Syria“, it is Saturday Night Life (SNL) in magazine form. Turkey has not had any credibility for close to a decade; perhaps some Americans remember how Turkey wanted all their debts wiped to allow US planes over Turkey. This happened shortly after 9/11, so when you remember that part, how dicey is their allegiance? And the only resources it clearly has are the ones they have and others pay for. That is seen with “Turkey’s continued membership in NATO means that American taxpayers subsidize the Turkish state in the form of guarantees of military defense in case of military conflict with non-NATO nations”, which implies that at least in part, the US is paying for the conflicts that Turkey is currently in. When was that going to be exposed and in that light, what resources does Turkey actually have, bought and paid for with non US supported funds? I do not know, I am merely asking.

So after the main event we get a small collection of one-liners like “Threaten additional, immediate sanctions of Russia. Putin is directly responsible for the Syrian government’s actions. Options at the U.N. have been exhausted. Accountability mechanisms are non-existent — even investigative mechanisms like the U.N. probe into chemical attacks in Syria have been undermined and curtailed by Russian veto“, sanctions have never worked (so far), Syria will never listen to Russia but will knock on their door for aid (linked to clear profitable agreements that is) and the UN options were never exhausted, in fact none were actually used in the end as none had any chance of working.

It is like me stating that my sex life with Scarlett Johansson is exhausted! That part is absolutely true, yet I never have been with her in the first place and as I never have had any Dangerous Liaisons with the youthful young lady (read: 33 years, 3 months and 21 days at present) and I am merely looking at optional non-existing future endeavours, so for that part I am completely honest (and equally unrealistic), just like the United Nations.

So as the article ends with the truth in the shape of “There will be no winners in the Syrian Civil War, and the reconstruction costs of returning the country to even a minimal level of functioning will be enormous. Neither Russia nor Iran alone can afford to support it, and the Syrians will bear the costs of this debacle for decades to come“, we all agree that this will be the case. So as the EU and US are preparing to make some good will gesture in the shape of 3-4 billion, I wonder how much of that will in the end make it to the people. I personally see it as a path that will invigorate corruption and self-indulgence of the administrations that receive such funds. UN oversight will be close to pointless and in the end a fair bit of that will go towards paying the Russian constructions firms like LLC Priceline, who had the connections to end the war by culling the opposition of President Bashar al-Assad. So in the end it is like watching the UN feeling better about themselves because they added some relief funds. When we set the entire spectre of events into a classical frame, we could be watching the reality of the Divine Comedy. When you consider that in the end well over 500,000 soul ended in eternal torment, the setting of reality is worse than the one Dante Alighieri envisioned, but then the Syrian war was no Time Magazine Comedy, or a classic Italian Poem, which is at present 700 years old. Syria will end up being the damnation of us all, we will end up being damned through our inaction to get anything done because in the end none of us got anything positive done towards the Syrians, not those in Syria and not the millions of refugees, we ended up disappointing them all close to completely.

Yet with the end of the Divine Comedy we got ‘My guide and I did enter, to return To the fair world‘ making it a fairy tale compared to the Syrian reality, the reality of the world we helped create, merely the darkness of caves and the evil we harbour in our midst. I feel certain that is how the refugees feel for generations to come, the eternal curse of inaction and those watching those remain absent of action towards their survival.



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When a joke is too pathetic

This is the first thought that came to mind when I saw the ‘headline’ ‘IMF has ‘criminal responsibility’ for Greek crisis‘, which was in the Guardian Live part. So, is Alexis Tsipras just too stupid to be allowed as a politician? Let’s face it, after 6 months he achieved absolutely nothing, so is my question that far out of bounds? He created decline in diplomatic bonds by accusing everyone, except the ones really responsible, which were the Greeks themselves!

Let’s take a look at some of this, for this I am taking a larger step back, back in time. You see, after the Olympics of 2004, we should have seen an influx and a positive result for Greece, which it did, but only to the smallest extent. Compared to other nations that influx was not as strong as many expected it to be. When we look at the data the OECD (at http://www.oecd.org/) has, we see that the investment in Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) was up in the year before the Olympics (that makes sense), then collapsed, only to go up steeply in 2006 and 2007, after that it goes down a lot, far below the average, guess what, after it hit a low (-26%) in 2012, suddenly there was a spike in investments, to minus 9.5% in 2013 and plus 2.7 percent in 2014. Yet, investments by whom? If we look at investment on % of GFCF by government we see that they represent 23.3% in 2013 and 20.7% in 2012. All this whilst corporate invested 34.9% in 2012 and 38.3% in 2013, households are in the basement, so the picture does not make sense (to me), when we compare this next to let’s say, the Netherlands, the picture looks even more distorted. Greece spiked its general government investment as % of GFCF far beyond the Netherlands, especially in 2009 and 2013. Greece has nowhere near that funding. Now, we see that it is just ‘% of GFCF’, yet spiking’s of 7% difference makes a lot more sense for the Netherlands than for Greece (the Dutch have dikes, harbours and plenty of assets to worry about). The Greek spending under former PM George A. Papandreou as well as spending by former PM Antonis Samaras, or should I say spending whilst they were in charge? Spending on transport equipment, other buildings and cultivated assets went up consistently, especially since 2012, whilst investment for dwellings went down from 2011 to 8% in 2014. These investment parts cannot be denied to some extent, yet the spiking implies that it is done at a moment’s notice, on the whim of emotion, lacking long term insight and stability. You only need to compare Greece to nations like the Netherlands and Sweden to see that the ‘spikes’ reflect what I would call: lacking vision and insight.

The questions only increase when you consider that Greece’s net trade never comes close to -20, -25.2 is the best they were able to achieve from 2003 onwards, and this is in billions of dollars, so as we see a decade of minus 20 billion or worse, it was -64 billion in 2008, questions should be asked, especially from the Greeks. A nation in trade deficit for ever a decade adds up to questions on WHY they were allowed onto the bond market in 2014, no one clearly asked those questions. In that light I need to add a blog (at http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2014/05/11/how-the-greek-banks-secured-an-additional-hidden-e41-billion-bailout-from-european-taxpayers/), the article called ‘How the Greek Banks Secured an Additional, Hidden €41 billion Bailout from European taxpayers’, so how come that these matters are not on the front page? So as I see it, these massive indicators are shown that when it comes to ‘criminal responsibility’, Alexis Tsipras should also knock on the doors of previous PM’s and Greek political bigwigs (if they actually have any). For the simple reason that massive austerity would have been needed in 2006 onwards, how much was cut? How was this achieved? You see 2005 was already a clear indication that overhaul of property taxation, tax collection and tax evasion was a clear given, especially when you come up short by THAT much. Yet in over a decade no achievements were made and neither was anything truly done in the last 6 months.

In addition, we see the dangers of the title ‘Athens threatens to miss IMF payment‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/16/eurozone-greek-exit-athens-imf-grexit-tsipras), whatever the Eurozone braces for is an unknown to me, considering the large players downplayed the event. The quote ‘threatens to miss IMF payment‘ is also slightly misrepresented. As I see it. As I see it, Greece no longer has that much money at their disposal, I reckon the shift by using the IMF emergency funds was a clear given. There is also a ghostly silence when it comes to the bank run. No clear indication how strong that pull is, or are the banks perhaps already empty? That is not a speculation, it is the question, especially as political parties and banks are debating ‘Grexit’. The problems will only intensify when the bank runs are complete. Actually, I expect that escalations will occur a lot faster when people can no longer withdraw. There is presently no indication when it will happen, but as payments are missed, the dangers of banks no longer handing out cash (emphasis on ‘being able to’) after June 23rd is not out of the question, if the bank run continues, that date might be even before that date. It will be a new low in humanitarian economics, as retirees will no longer receive payments, how will they be able to pay, when the Greek government allowed in March for the dipping into pension funds. Depending on how many Greek bonds these pensions ended up with, when money is not coming, which is extremely realistic, the pension funds themselves will not be able to flood the monthly retirement pay out, which is due in less than 2 weeks, at that point, how will the population react?

I expect to stay away from Greece until that dust cloud settles as it will be a harsh reality for Greeks to watch tourists walk around whilst they can no longer afford to feed themselves. The escalation with refugees all over Greece (Kos being the most visible one) is not helping any. The fact that posters are appearing with texts like “I am an immigrant, I’m here to rape your children” is not helping any. You might think that they are separate issues, but they are not. You see, this fuel of hatred is hitting Greeks every day, the unrest is growing amongst both sides. The entire debt mess is hitting the Greeks, who now see that what is left would be lost to the refugees. We are all about humanitarian aid, but how many will give them your last sandwich? How many will give food to the refugees when it means that your children will not eat? You might think that this is an exaggeration, but after next week, that might not be the case. When the announcement of a default meeting is given, the banks will get overrun, people will take all their money out, they might already be starting that today, when THAT is gone, how exactly will groceries be paid for? All this, because the two players Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Vardoulakis have basically been sitting on their hands for 6 months. It is nice to see the headlines ‘No new reform proposals for Eurogroup‘ and ‘Varoufakis rules out ‘Grexit’, deal possible if Merkel takes part‘. Well, as we are seeing now, it is no longer up to Varoufakis and Tsipras. as they pushed away reforms, accused the IMF and as we see ‘Europe Struggles Toward Solution as Tsipras Rips Into Creditors‘, we have to wonder, the Greeks made these deals, a I see it, the acts of THIS administration is now killing their own options, burning the bridges behind them. At this point, as I see it. Greece can no longer state “Grexit not a possibility“, at this point, we have arrived at the stage that Greece gets notified that Greece will be ejected from the Euro, perhaps even the Eurozone. The latter part is not that likely, but in sight of the Greek acts, no longer an impossibility. Now, only 2 hours ago we see “US urges compromise after Greek PM attacks IMF” (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2015/jun/16/greek-crisis-negotiations-deadlocked-as-time-runs-short-live-updates). Now we see “US Treasury secretary Jack Lew has telephoned Alexis Tsipras to urge him to reach a realistic compromise, urgently. In a statement, the Treasury revealed that Lew told Tsipras that the Greek people, and the global economy, would suffer if Athens can’t reach a deal with creditors

My cold war view (I miss those old days) is: “Jack, buddy boy! Did you miss certain facts? Did you consider that this is exactly what Alexis Tsipras wants all along? He is a communist! This scenario will have a massive impact on America, he is meeting Putin on Friday. Perhaps they will walk through the Hermitage on Saturday, a family outing, special tour and as they turn around the corner he gets his new golden future, if he can push Greece over the edge, massively hurting the US (please do not deny that it will not hurt the US), than he will have a nice future, he might even get the Star of Lenin on May 1st 2016. Instead of meeting with European parties, he is having another meeting with Putin. This guy met with Putin more often than the bulk of the Europeans together

This might look like my shallow view, but consider the past of Syriza, their foundations, is my view so far-fetched? He has done absolutely nothing to propel the debt situation in any positive way. Is all war not based on deception? (Source: Art of War). Look at all the photo’s the papers have, all posing moments and all presentations of the moment (which politicians tend to do), has Alexis Tsipras been anything but a petulant child? As he went on and on in the style of: ‘Just give me my cookie now!‘ (Reference to the 7.2 billion bailout). In 6 months no clear reforms, no clear mention in any direction that could have eased any kind of resolution. The icing on the cake would be if the US would now take on some of these debts too. It would be a total victory for Tsipras, he can tell the Greek population has been dealt with and he’ll be living next to the Kremlin for daily Caviar and Vodka, the new Russian superstar!

This is just my view, it is a view and there is no reliability on my view, but oddly enough, my view matches all the facts we see, so is it less or more likely? Consider yourself, when you are in deep water with your bank, would you not try to get a dialogue and understanding? Would you not plead ‘there is no money now, but as soon as some comes in, we start paying!’ of course, the bank cuts you off, but the bank realises that waiting is better than losing, especially when the client has sincere intentions. So pissing of your bank, accusing them of ‘criminal responsibilities’ and letting them pay for it all, how does that help?

When the fence between you and the tiger is gone, posturing seems pointless, even if it is the only thing left to you. So, are the Greek politicians in charge now the joke that is too pathetic?

From accusations to ‘trying to make up’ as Helena Smith of the Guardian reports, “Over in Athens the government’s spokesman has just released a statement attempting to douse tensions with EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker“. Is this part of the play, or have the members of Syriza lost direction and focus? This is the question for many, you see, accusations followed by carefully phrased corrections is about emotion, limelight and posturing, as I see it an almost empty gesture to keep a non-conversation going. In here, I mean non-conversation as a means to continue a dialogue that allows for non-actions to continue too. Will this go on for 30 hours until the upcoming near-fatal meeting to be? That will be a question to consider, because tomorrow might be the last chance before certain members meet separately to put Grexit to the vote. That last part is again just my view, but it is a distinct possibility, because the reality of Grexit has now been voiced, and the change from ‘if’ to ‘when’ Grexit commences needs a start date, Germany, France and Italy would want to keep control of that moment, just to make sure that they will not be terminally affected because of it, a consequence that is still an option!

As I see it, the game will change massively for France when Grexit happens, as such, France would want to champion that meeting for valid reasons of cost impact.


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Facts, Fiction or Fantasy

It is the elementary consideration of the three F’s, when we look at the information in regards to the Ukraine. It is not whether we give value or credibility of the news we see coming from Sky News, the Dutch NOS, BBC, CNN or even Fox News. There is a side that remains largely unspoken by many of them.

We see the news on how it is written on how these poor, poor Ukrainians are getting pummelled back into the anti-freedom group called ‘the Russian Federation’. Is that actually a truth?

Yes, we all notice on how well organised and well-armed these pro-Russian antagonists are, but are we seeing all the information correctly? Consider that not a few or a dozen people are in favour of these so called referendums, no; the people are out and about in hundreds and thousands. Many are singing their ‘old’ Russian songs and anthems. This is at the heart of the missing information. Consider that we see a lot more US involvement, whilst Kiev is now asking for the ‘Blue Helmets’ (UNIFIL) intervention. These people are about to get more support in 2 weeks, then the entire Syrian nation got in three years. I hope you remember that little escapade. It is still going on and the amount of casualties remain rising in Syria.

So, why are we all up in arms about Ukraine? Is it because some in Kiev want the European values and we are so upset about those who do not want to share ‘our’ way of life? Consider that the news has all been about implying that these acts are all orchestrated by the Kremlin and whilst it sounds really fun to hear about some politician who is about to get his assets frozen, nothing real can be done. By the way, can anyone tell me when the American Politicians or Wall street big bosses got their assets frozen?

The Ukrainian mess is blowing out of proportions in two ways. The first was the start of the Crimea and in specific the way the west and others responded to the events. I will always consider the fact that Russia did have some involvement here to some extent. The reason is that not having their fingers on the pulse whilst there is a massive naval base there is just not an option. They might not have intervened, or they remain silent on actions, but they knew what was going on. It was in their interest to pretend to be the non-observant here. Yet, that story does not reflect on the other parts of the Ukraine. A simple look at the map can tell us that. The Crimea was a military power point; the rest of the Ukraine is not. It is so simple for Russia to stand at a distance as see this all go up in flames and then offer ‘humanitarian’ aid.

The part that western news is ignoring is the shouting of the people that they have had enough of Kiev corruption. In their mind this will only lead to even worse times. Can we even blame them? Look at what the IMF has wrought (not through their actions through), Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain and Cyprus. Massive debts, then IMF/EU financial support and after that austerity and continues after it started to choke a population. Government administrations get re-elected, no one goes to jail and some end up with a massive amount of money and favours. Is it such a leap of faith that Ukraine, a nation where corruption is such an issue, a place where now its population is just too scared to see what happens next? Consider the news in the last week, where we read that Christine Lagarde stated that the IMF was no longer forcing structural changes (http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/04/13/imf-no-longer-forces-structural-change). Was that just a small illumination of change as fear is gripping certain population groups? Consider the statement that was given last week that ‘the IMF was a victim of US politics‘, it is enough to scare many people. The statements of the IMF, which were also stated by Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, that the US seems to be playing their own political games on regards to the IMF. None of these issues were raised, even though it is stated in several sources that the Ukraine is about to receive 9 billion in aid from the IMF. Now, I am not objecting in regards to the aid, yet, whilst it is known by all the players above a certain levels (at least 4 levels below Lagarde, Obama and Putin), that the Ukraine has a history and environment of corruption. None of that is properly addressed, so whilst 9 billion will go to the Ukraine, how much will end up out of the hands of the corrupt? Misreading gas meters, government invoices and the list goes on, how much of those will get paid by the 9 billion? Still wondering why the Ukrainian people are so anxious?

None of these matters are looked at (with proper levels of investigation) by the press, which makes for some of these newscasts a negotiable level of ‘pro-western’ advertisements, making the situation worse.

What the press is unwilling to illuminate, is that at the centre of these troubles are the pro-western politicians. They had no issue disposing of its former president, yet when they themselves are rejected by the Crimea and as it seems by the people at large, everyone shouts foul!

That part is an issue, no matter how many journalists ignore it. It is of course also a nice point of light as well; my income might drastically improve if the cold war is back. There is of course the badge of benefits we see with new movies (like a new impossible mission going up against their old adversary), the video games and in my case more data analyses. All those international locations that would need Palantir Government installed, trained and consulted upon.

Is this the reality? I do not know, the pressure between east and west is growing, so it remains a consideration. Consider however the events in Syria and that red line that was drawn (by the US), nothing happened. Is it because US intervention might get some of their oil benefits revoked? Is Syria not an interesting nation? (Which seems odd, as the pressures there would influence their long-time ally Israel.) So what is the press not investigating and what are we not getting told in this instance?

Consider that when you watch the news tonight and listen to what they say exactly, because you will hear suppositions and carefully phrased implied events, but where were the facts and more important, why are we not getting all the facts? That last one is important, as it turns a fact driven newscast into a work of fiction or even fantasy, which is getting the Ukrainians so angry and bothered.

In the end I still ask the question that is at the centre of this all. Why did the EEC not let the Ukraine be? This is not a statements against dealing with the Ukraine as a business partner, but in the light where the economies are down to such a degree, when the EEC is still dealing with the new partners and the overall debt levels are far exceeding acceptable levels in many of the EEC nations, growing is not a solution, it is a sure path to implosion, which will leave most of the EEC in a destitute state. That part is also seen as the two big national influencers, namely the French ‘Front Nationale’ and the British UKIP. When they do get the referendum to fall in their favour, the EEC will be in a mess that they will not be able to fix. Is the adding of as many nations as possible a desperate act to float the EEC at that point? (That was an actual question I am phrasing myself!)

The last one is likely to be a mere speculation (read fiction), from my side. Yet, considering the steps as we saw the EEC change and grow from 2008 onwards, after economic blow after blow. Now Greece is selling bonds again, whilst at present, their economy is in no way ready to deal with the old debts as well as the additional new ones. Are you still surprised to see the Ukrainian actions?

I am not stating that Russia is in such a great state, but there is every indication that they are not in a bad state either (with massive parts if Europe depending on Russian Gas), add to that, the fact that the Middle East is now diversifying by making Russian arms deals and other deals, which should indicate that they will order less from the west. Cars, electronics and other needs are now more and more moved to Asian makers like China, India, Myanmar et al. Some was already there, but slowly the list of migration is growing. Australia will lose massive amounts of jobs as the car industry moves away (not one brand, but all brands within the next 36 months). We see that airlines are slimming down and as the news reaches us day after day, often just after some ‘good’ news reached us, the balance is not looking good. The west is becoming less and less the place to be.

I do agree that the economy is slowly getting better, but it is also changing. Both have an impact on most of us and I still believe that actual economic improvements are not enjoyed by many of us until late 2015. All these factors are linked, as they are told to all. This is because the Ukrainian people are also watching the news, reading it on the internet and the picture shown is not a good one. So, when they felt that they were about to get the short end of the stick, they all rose up, because the devil you know (Russia) beats the devil you don’t (EEC). That part the big bosses all forgot about and when they applied pressure, they lost the Ukraine. Now the escalations there might not be so much orchestrated, but the stories, as they came from their ‘new’ government is sounding less and less honest in their ears. They want the old days back and in all fairness, can we blame them? Moreover, are the involved nations even happy to add another nation who is on the brink of bankruptcy?

These questions have not been dealt with at all. The last one is one we should all ask ourselves. Why intervene in the Ukraine, whilst politicians have no solution at all for those in hardship and dying in Syria? That issue reflects directly on the people of Jordan and Palestine, especially after a second chemical attack, whether we believe these events to be stories of fact, fiction or fantasy. We are witnessing iterations of ‘the cost of doing business’ on a global scale. It is however the local people who pay the bill through taxation and the Ukrainians seem to be very unhappy about the changes and the bill they will get presented with.



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Foreign and Domestic

America is under attack. The question becomes whether this is a new one, or one that has been ongoing. There are several thoughts and they all, too some extent link together.

The foreign groups ‘attacking’ America include both China and Russia. They are both using to some extent their own puppets. Let us call them Syria and Iran for now. Russia’s pulling the strings of Iran. No matter how the strings are pulled, no matter how acts are ‘begotten’, the issue is that Iran has been given the one carrot it cannot ignore. It is the support to get a nuclear power plant placed within Iran. Russia gets a string of benefits; this includes making America look bad, making their claims fall short, which according to the speakers in the Kremlin will look pretty good on the front page of Izvestiya (Известия). China is now giving support to Syria as Syria in a last moment of desperation plays the ‘oversight on my Chemical Romance stockpile’ card. The question becomes, whether it is just last minute, or certain cards were offered during the G20 to be played, because any of this, must seemingly be cast on making the US President to not look bad (the view projected after the fact will be an entirely different issue).

To support certain new options goes decently further than just the ad-hoc statement by United States Secretary of State John Kerry. These issues have been playing for some time and most issues started to accelerate as we all saw in the news. Many of the top tier papers reported these events. So how come that these events are still seen as a foreign attack?

That would be a fair question!

China and Russia had been blocking many of the events needed to make any stance against the indecent slaughter of the people of Syria (on both sides). I could cleverly state that Russia and China removed the ‘s’ and used laughter to block the US and other nations to get anything done there. The fact that the Bushehr plant is announced to get a new baby brother as reported by Polina Garaev “Putin will present Rohani with new deal worth $800 million for new batch of S-300, construction of new nuclear reactor at Bushehr” gives additional weight on the Iranian ‘support voice’ in regards to the Syrian question. Whether this will become the Alice Cooper nightmare remains to be seen, it is however clear that the S-300 additions do mean that they fear the response by Israel towards this new billion dollar baby. Trust me when I say that there will be well beyond $200 million in additional fees for consultancy, education and other requirements. The one part I do like about this all is that Iran seems to not trust their own propaganda on the ‘advanced’ Mershad from 2010 and prefers to rely on solid Russian technology as it was developed in 1978 (sometimes life throws you a nice juicy steak to blog about). Still, if Israel cannot get there via the air, I think I have found a way to super charge the fuel rods to melt them down all by themselves (pretty much stopping both reactors from ever working again). It should take only three elements and I got the idea from a snow globe, go figure!

All four players in this parade are anti-American; their union is not because they like one another, but because of their individual needs united in non-American likes. That does not make for an attack. That does not mean they are attacking America. That part had been shown in http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23845800, which is only one of many newscasts on that topic. In addition there is http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/world/middleeast/new-us-envoy-to-un-strongly-condemns-russia.html. This could be seen as a first level of evidence that the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) was nothing more than a political tool to stop any kind of condemnation and the lowest forms of support for the victims of the chemical attack.

Are there doubts?

Yes, even though some claims came that there was ‘evidence’, I am still having certain doubts in regards to the actual attacker. When a State secretary goes on a world tour visiting heads of state showing ‘secret’ evidence, parts are not right. It is shown to a group that is too large. Instead of giving it all to the media letting EVERYONE publish it would have been a much better policy, it could have had the result that the UK would have been in favour of actions. The delays, the Intel that WOULD have been there from those big boxes high in the sky, (commonly known as satellites), could have shown much of the evidence. Yet, personally, I am not completely convinced that they were attacks ordered by Assad (directly or indirectly), which I admit is a personal view and based on gut feeling more then anything else. Is it possible that some misguided Assad supporter did this? Yes, that is a definite possibility. I dealt with these thoughts in a previous blog called ‘tactical choices of inactivity‘. I have always believed that Al-Qaeda is only about Al-Qaeda and their goals. It was never about Syria for them (I personally believe this). The theatre of war in play gives them ample opportunity to get to USA and Israel. There is a chance that the number of military opposition leaders, who knew about chemical caches seems larger than most considered, which means that others knew too. This entire new play is as I see it is not about the fear from Syria AND Russia that unwanted elements might want to get things going out of hand. It is likely that this is already the case and a USA offensive would stop any chance of that part getting a certain level of control. It could be that this danger is in play, meaning that both Russia and Syria want to get out of the way fast, allowing the new diplomatic play to proceed, whist the US gets left holding the bag.

No matter how this plays out in any diplomatic way. We will see soon enough that Syrian victims will get overly victimised soon enough with added by-lines on how America never intervened.

In my view, I see that the domestic enemy of America seems to fit into three distinct categories. First of all, this is not about lone wolf terrorists, or any terrorist groups, they fall in the foreign enemy group. No, the Americans do not get to be that lucky as such.

The first enemy group are those libertarians hiding behind ‘freedom of information‘. This group is for the most the direct one we see, receiving all kinds of media support and protection. They do not need to fear the House of Lords and some Leveson report, but they do ‘fear’ what the NSA had been doing. The electronic Frontier foundation did instigate a case which they won. Sky News covered this at http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=905204. My issue is the quote “as part of the agency’s effort to track potential terror plots

In my mind, when (not if) the next attack on America succeeds, then the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) should MANDATORY in the light of ‘freedom of information’ reveal the names of all their supporters in this case to the family members of the victims the next attack has. There will be no carefully phrased denials; there will be no talk about ‘we so sorry’. I want to see those names clearly shown on-line. In addition, the EFF board members John Perry Barlow, Brian Behlendorf, John Buckman et al will have to visit all the funerals of those victims and look the survivors and family members of the deceased straight in the eyes. I wonder how ‘ideological’ they will feel at that time. Interesting that they (as far as I could tell) have not been too active in protecting people from places like Microsoft and others when we see articles like http://rt.com/usa/yahoo-microsoft-campaign-political-862/

That is another matter, which is ALL about personal gain (by those corporations) and not about keeping the American people safe. Another article is http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/06/13/gamers-fear-microsofts-xbox-one-could-be-future-of-prism-after-nsa-revelations, I do not agree with that article. That is not about some PRISM project, it is about Microsoft making sure that Microsoft gets more and others less. That is about greed and spawning INACTIVITY to the future new developers (unless it is in the hands of Microsoft). With gaming as a hundred billion dollar market, and as the gamers market surpassed the porn industry as a revenue group, did you expect these events not to happen?

I personally see the EFF as a sanctimonious group at best, of course others have their own view which are quite opposite of mine and as such they are very welcome to have that view, because I do believe in freedom of speech. I do have an issue with it when you endanger the safety of a nation.

The second group are the economic leprechauns (‘leper cons’ might be a better term). These are not the good and fiddledy diddledy types walking around with a cauldron of 100 gold coins. These are greed driven monsters in need of more and more at the expense of everything and everyone. They will enable their voice to whatever keeps them playing the game. The attack on Syria would have meant that their profits go down, so they would do whatever they could to stop it by forcing a diplomatic solution view. It seems such a humane view, yet, they will avoid taxation by moving funds offshore, they avoid taxation by becoming a virtual entity and they will prolong their game by removing your rights and your future. I personally believe that in many cases banks are on that side too. Did you forget on how in the lowest moments over 3.5% of mortgages are added to the foreclosure listings? Why are THEY a domestic enemy of America? Are sound business strategies suddenly outlawed? No, they are not, yet there have been too much personal and corporate gain preferences in the past and war is usually bad for business, unless you sell ammunition. In that regard my words might seem to be empty in the view of certain people, yet consider that America is an ideal by the people and for the people. How come that those views are so often drowned out by corporate greed, to give view to what is good for corporations and their stakeholders?

The third group is the most dangerous of all, it is a wild-card called ‘the self-centred person’. They are traitors, manipulators, journalists and/or politicians. The reader could even see me as one of these types of people. This group is dangerous as they could also be members of the first or second group. Yet, whilst wearing one of the other two cloaks they are only in it for the good of self. Edward Snowden falls in this group. Too much ‘evidence’ showed that he was all in it for himself. This was never about freedom of information or the security of America, it was about his life style, his future, his fortune and he was so willing to sell America down the drain in the process. The evidence? If that was truly about some level of honour, he would never have gone to Hong Kong or Russia. Several countries do not have an extradition treatment with USA, the fact that he ran to nations who are direct opposed to the American way of life should be seen in that light. Bradley Manning basically does not fit this group very well. There is a valid concern that he was misguided in his choices, when the choice was there he just gave it all away to Wiki-Leaks. In the smallest of defence of Manning, it seems that he at least was never out for personal gain; his ideology was, as I see it utterly misguided, which makes him the odd duck out. The recipients were however very willing to push his buttons for what they believed was a ‘righteous cause’, manipulative steps to say the least.

The problem with my own view (I will admit to that), is that my view has evolved from information given to me from journalistic and other sources, whilst I know that many in this ‘game’ have their own agenda to maintain. That means that it is about a target they have. The time of truly neutral journalism has been over for some time and I fear it will never return, which makes for an interesting view of the first amendment. The freedom of speech would become the freedom of representation of those we service, because the board of directors in a media group are often linked to other endeavours, making their freedom of speech a lesser item.

America is in my humble opinion under attack, and Syria is just the new stage where the American chess pieces are about to be moved, whilst some of them will be removed. I wonder where we all stand on the 1st of January 2014. That date will be soon upon us and that view might partially depend on the steps the growing New World Order coalition of Russia, China and India will take.



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Cold War Two?

When we look at the news and other media, then we see immigration issues on many levels and in many nations. There is no denying that every nation has its own issues with immigration.

Here in Australia there has been an uneasy issue with refugees for a long time. Many claim that options could be found, especially when processing off-shore, yet the initial issue was clear that this could never be done as it breached humanitarian law. Yet, only one year later PM Julia Gillard seems to look at additional options to press this solution once more.

The issue that brings this to the top of the list is the issue that the NOS reported in the case of the Russian Dolmatov, which was also reported by Fox News and the BBC. The BBC was even so clever to put the word suicide within quotes. Perhaps they have the same concerns I have. Was this truly just a suicide, or are these levels of miscommunications set to such an unusual level that more is going on? Perhaps some of the involved parties were doing Putin a personal favour? Before we consider this to be another thought of conspiracy theory, let us take a look at the facts involved.

The Dutch IND (Immigration and Naturalisation services) conveniently concluded that Dolmatov’s life was not in danger should he return to Russia. Perhaps they want to rethink their status? If a band like Pussy Riot, likely nothing more than a nuisance can get placed in a small cell, then someone with ACTUAL knowledge of Russian missile systems could be regarded as a more serious issue to Russia, only fuelling the evidence that wrong calls were made.

Additional evidence was shown by the Dutch Newspaper NRC where information was brought that there was information that the FSB tried to recruit Dolmatov. Whether that part can be proven, it does clearly indicate that Dolmatov’s return to Russia would have much further reaching consequences. There is no doubt in my mind that these facts should have been in the IND report and as such this entire immigration process would have taken another turn from day 1. If these facts were intentionally ignored or omitted, then the question becomes, were these facts tampered with, and by whom for what reason?

In the rebuttal, if those facts by NRC were incorrect then even so, the fact that he was a visible activist against the Putin administration was a known fact. The fact that the Russian police had been actively engaging anti-Putin protests is well known. Several newspapers had reported on some anti-Putin activists to be jailed for terms in excess of four years.

We see support to the status as it SHOULD have been in: “Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees”

For this we look at the General principles (31).

The inclusion clauses define the criteria that a person must satisfy in order to be a refugee. They form the positive basis upon which the determination of refugee status is made.

That document also states that: “There is no universally accepted definition of “persecution”, and various attempts to formulate such a definition have met with little success. From Article 33 of the 1951 Convention “it may be inferred that a threat to life or freedom on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group is always persecution“.

So we seem to have a proven point. The Netherlands did sign that charter and it even specifically states that the Netherlands extended the application to Aruba. With additional evidence from Dutch press sources (the NRC is often regarded as one of the highest quality sources in Dutch Journalism), I can come to no other conclusion that this was NOT just an administrative (data entry) error.

I was stated in the Dutch NOS newscast that the immigration police did not mention the right that he was allowed to have his own lawyer. Such a basic right omitted? Can we deduce that there is a structural problem?

This can be supported by a report in a case that was judged in November 2006 where was stated “in een geval waarin ervan wordt uitgegaan dat het aan verweerder – de IND of de politie – te wijten is dat geen advocaat bij het gehoor aanwezig was, sprake is van schending van het recht op rechtsbijstand. De rechtbank verwijst daartoe naar artikel 5.2, vijfde lid, Vreemdelingenbesluit 2000 en artikel 18 van de Grondwet.

[Translation]: in a case where the defendant (the IND or police), that no legal representation was present at the interview is a transgression on the right of legal aid. The bench refers to article 5.2 paragraph 5 of the refugee act 2000 and article 18 of the constitution.

There is additional evidence to state that the IND has had its failings longer than that. Can we therefor reject the assumption that this is ‘just’ miscommunication as was reported? This gives a view by both Gertjan Bos (Chief inspector of Security and Justice) and Fred Teeven (Secretary of Security and Justice) as insincere and an utter fail. The words by Gertjan Bos where he was unable to answer whether better dealing with the situation would had a different result cannot be answered as something too funny to consider to be a serious response.

The first seems to clearly prove that Dolmatov did make pass the requirements of Refugee. As such, as the detainment of Dolmatov was unjust, it would already be evidence that reason of a possible ‘suicide’ is no longer an issue.

The NOS reported that Dolmatov had already tried a first attempt to take his own life, after which no physician was assigned to his case. That in itself is a failing too. This does have a two sided issue. On the one hand there was a suicide risk and no proper care was taken, which is an even worse ‘foo foo’ point for the government. Yet on the other side, the responses that there was pressure and intimidation in regards to Dolmatov taking his life is also an issue, as there is no mention that this pressure was there in the first attempt (or at least so it seems to be the case).

So, are the Dutch dealing with a failed IND system, or was this all a very convenient solution for the Russians. The fact that the Dutch government is very vocal in accepting blame after a three month investigating is not strange. So that is not a factor. What is a factor is that Secretary Teeven did not want an investigation into the dealings of the IND after the murder of evicted Serbian Kosanovic only a month before the Dolmatov case hit.

The NOS did report that Secretary Teeven will adopt the findings in regards to the Dolmatov report. Yet, part of the newscast is a worry, where this has been set as a failing with inaccurate computers and miscommunication. Blatant right violations seem to be at the centre of this all and as such we could deduce that the IND has a strong infrastructure failure where the rights of refugees are set. I read more than one article where it is stated that the IND prefers to do a first interview WITHOUT legal representation, as to ascertain whether a person is a true refugee. This is fair enough, yet, in a legal state, such a solution should be regarded as inferior. This I voice as we know that many western nations have a high amount of freedom and refugees come from places where these rights are missing. This means that refugees who are trying to escape a place of intimidations (often worse) as placed in a setting where they are highly intimidated. They are in their own job interview where failing the interview would mean certain death. Would you not be intimidated?

Going back to the Dolmatov case. There was an interesting mention made by the Amsterdam Herald on the 4th of April. There it stated the following: “Ludmilla Doronina, Dolmatov’s mother, said that as the note went on the style became less recognisably her son’s. Towards the end it contains an elementary spelling mistake which she insists he would never have made. ‘On the first page every comma is in the right place,’ she told Dutch state broadcaster NOS. ‘I think he wanted to give a sign that this had been written under the influence of something or someone.’

I mention this as I found it. I am not sure how reliable this is, yet as the Amsterdam Herald seems to be the only source, some question marks should be added. I do wonder if any of the Journo’s took a serious look at those insinuations. It does not matter whether the mother is an emotional source (some papers live on emotions). It is a fact that could support or reject certain issues currently under discussion.

In the end we are left with an interesting question. If refugee issues are mounting up, and in this case where a nation as evolved, liberal and free as the Netherlands has a failing of this magnitude. Should we worry about certain issues that are now visibly in play all over the commonwealth?

Is this the second cold war? A war that decides who gets to live in freedom? For if freedom is a right subjected to conditions then what defines freedom and what is the future of any refugee?



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