Europe is Kaput. Long live Europe! - Philosopher Slavoj Žižek and former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, discuss Europe's future

With the recent economic crisis in Greece, unprecedented challenges to centralized European policy, and the lack of consensus on the ongoing refugee crisis, many would agree that Europe faces its greatest ever predicament.

Slavoj Žižek, regarded as 'the most dangerous philosopher in the West' (The New Republic), and Yanis Varoufakis, self-described 'erratic Marxist' and economic 'rock-star' (Business Insider and other publications), met in Croatia in 2013.

They have never appeared together on the public stage - until now. Take your seat to hear them discuss the urgent task of building a different and more democratic Europe.

The conversation explores the contradictions of late capitalism and some of the solutions that might just save the European project. It is moderated by Croatian philosopher Srecko Horvat and followed by a Q&A session.


Putin makes an example of Turkey's back-stabbing: Why the US and West should pay close attention


Don't make me angry - You wouldn't like me when I'm angry
First the facts: the toll is settled. Two Russians are dead, and a Su-24 fighter-bomber and Russian helicopter that arrived in relief are down. A marine from that effort died, as did the pilot of the jet. The second pilot of the jet was rescued, evidently in a joint effort by Russian, Hezbollah and Syrian forces . When they bailed, the pilots were shot at by the rebel militants. It is not clear whether the Russian pilot was killed in the air or once he hit the ground but either way, "our moderates" committed war crimes. In the gruesome video, someone is reported saying, "We should have burned him before he died." The Russians have followed the downing with massive aerial bombardments of the rebel positions, and the Syrian Arab Army has made further advances.

As for the war of words and images: As my first two posts on this indicate, there was confusion about the path of the Russian jet. The Turkish version emerged first, and this was picked up by al-Jazeera, the Qatari voice of the Western alliance. We may remember that when the Russian passenger jet exploded over Sinai, "ambivalent alliance" bosses Cameron and Obama were practically sure within hours 'whodunnit' and how. The Russians took their time and looked at the evidence — which they have not revealed, it should be remembered. Similarly, when the Russian radar video came out, it fairly convincingly belied that of Turkey. Others have commented that for Turkey's story to be correct the planes had to be flying at stall speed. Turkish reports that 10 warnings in 5 minutes preceded the takedown are refuted point blank by the surviving Russian pilot who said they were flying at 6000 feet, not 15,000, on paths well within Syria he had flown many times. He said they did not even have time to make evasive maneuvers when they were hit in the tail section. Parties from several sides are calling this a planned provocation.


Reuters: The joke's on Washington when it comes to Syria - Putin keeps on winning

"The bear is not going to ask permission of anyone."
When Russia began its military campaign in Syria, the Obama administration and its allies quickly claimed it was a disaster in the making. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called Russian President Vladimir Putin "impulsive" and said he was "winging it" in Syria with no long-term strategy. Former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul ridiculed Putin's "supposed strategic genius," arguing the Russian leader "cannot restore Assad's authority over the whole country." Even President Barack Obama joined the chorus, publicly warning Putin that he risked an Afghanistan-style Russian "quagmire" in Syria.

It turns out, though, that the joke's on Washington: Thanks to shrewd tactics plus tailwinds from the Paris attacks, Syria is turning into a major strategic victory for Putin. Here's what he's accomplished and how he did it.

For starters, as Putin explained in both 2013 and during his recent United Nations speech, what he fears most is power vacuums filled by extremists. As Putin stated early in Russia's bombing campaign, Russia did not plan major ground operations, since its goal was simply "to stabilize the legitimate government" to prevent its immediate overthrow. For this reason, as director of the Carnegie Moscow Center Dimitri Trenin argues, Putin never meant to help Bashar al-Assad achieve complete military victory, but rather to stave off Syria's collapse.

Putin has already met this first objective. The Assad regime is no longer in imminent danger, and with Russian air support it has actually re-taken key areas in central Syria and Aleppo. As a result, the regime's key territory in its Alawite heartland no longer faces the risk of being overrun.

Comment: Even the MSM can't deny that Putin has been a skilled player on the geopolitical chessboard. All the West's attacks on him and Russia tend to backfire. For example: The Struggle for Hearts and Minds: Putin Continues to Call NATO's Bluff

Bad Guys

Columbia U. Research Paper: Is Turkey collaborating with the Islamic State (ISIS)?

© Unknown

Is Turkey collaborating with the Islamic State (ISIS)? Allegations range from military cooperation and weapons transfers to logistical support, financial assistance, and the provision of medical services. It is also alleged that Turkey turned a blind eye to ISIS attacks against Kobani.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu strongly deny complicity with ISIS. Erdogan visited the Council on Foreign Relations on September 22, 2014. He criticized "smear campaigns [and] attempts to distort perception about us." Erdogan decried, "A systematic attack on Turkey's international reputation, "complaining that "Turkey has been subject to very unjust and ill-intentioned news items from media organizations." Erdogan posited: "My request from our friends in the United States is to make your assessment about Turkey by basing your information on objective sources."

Columbia University's Program on Peace-building and Rights assigned a team of researchers in the United States, Europe, and Turkey to examine Turkish and international media, assessing the credibility of allegations. This report draws on a variety of international sources -- The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, BBC, Sky News, as well as Turkish sources, CNN Turk, Hurriyet Daily News, Taraf, Cumhuriyet, and Radikal among others.

Comment: The recent shoot-down of a Russian Su-24 jet in Syria and subsequent events have exposed Turkey's role in supporting ISIS to the world community. There's no longer any excuse for ignoring it.

Star of David

The man behind the curtain: Israeli colonel captured among ISIL terrorist forces in Iraq

This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was "caught with IS pants down." By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called IS - or Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preference - terrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence he apparently said a lot regarding the role of Netanyahu's IDF in supporting IS.

In late October an Iranian news agency, quoting a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, reported the capture of an Israeli army colonel, named Yusi Oulen Shahak, reportedly related to the ISIS Golani Battalion operating in Iraq in the Salahuddin front. In a statement to Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency a Commander of the Iraqi Army stated, "The security and popular forces have held captive an Israeli colonel." He added that the IDF colonel "had participated in the Takfiri ISIL group's terrorist operations." He said the colonel was arrested together with a number of ISIL or IS terrorists, giving the details: "The Israeli colonel's name is Yusi Oulen Shahak and is ranked colonel in Golani Brigade... with the security and military code of Re34356578765az231434."

Comment: Israel and Western powers have been creating, funding, directing, and fighting among terrorists for a long time. Its nothing new, but is a fact that rarely seems to make it into the Western media and to the awareness of most people. Or if it does, the implications are never explored. No surprise there. Perhaps that will now begin to change since these types of 'smoking guns' have never been better documented and more apparent.

Remember these British SAS guys - who were caught dressed as Arabs red-handedly inflicting violent chaos among the Iraqi population several years ago?



Putin's JFK moment - a time for wisdom

Turkey's provocative action puts Russia one step away from full-scale war with NATO

With today's shoot-down of a Russian SU-24 by a Turkish F-16, the conflict in Syria has entered a very dangerous escalation.

Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance. Let us therefore not mince words: A NATO state has just attacked Russia. Perhaps not since the downing of an American U-2 over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, has the world been so close to a third world war.

At that time, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as most of John F. Kennedy's cabinet supported retaliatory bombing and invasion of Cuba. Had such taken place, it would have compelled Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev to seize West Berlin. That in turn would have led to further retaliation by NATO. Within a very short time full-scale war, including nuclear exchange, could have taken place.

Fortunately, Kennedy and his closest circle of advisors were able to foresee the progression of events, resist the warhawks, establish direct communication with Khruschev and find a negotiated settlement to the crisis. Had he reacted rashly or buckled under the pressure for war, it is doubtful the world would exist today.

Like Kennedy, Putin must now display the ultimate statesmanship

Comment: Amen.


Stephen Lendman: 'Inconceivable that Turkey acted independently - Washington complicit in downing Russian jet?'


Turkish-NATO military shoots down a Russian Su-24 jet inside Syria, 24 November 2015
Both countries are NATO allies, united against Assad, wanting him toppled, actively complicit in supporting and using ISIS, as well as other terrorist groups as proxy foot soldiers in the war Obama launched in March 2011.

It's inconceivable Turkey acted on its own, independent of US-dominated NATO. Its action is a major geopolitical incident - a premeditated act of war against Russia in Syrian airspace.

Ankara claiming the aircraft entered Turkish airspace, ignoring multiple warnings, has the distinct aroma of a bald-faced lie to cover up a hostile act.

Erdogan's recklessness has ruptured Turkish/Russian relations, at least for the time being. Sergey Lavrov cancelled his scheduled Wednesday trip to Istanbul, saying "(a) decision has been made to cancel the meeting at the level of Russian and Turkish foreign ministers..."

He urged Russian citizens to avoid visiting Turkey, leaving themselves vulnerable to terrorism, adding:
"It's necessary to emphasize that the terror threats with their roots in Turkey have been aggravated. And that's true even if we don't take into account what happened today. We estimate the threats to be no less than in Egypt."
Russia's state tourism agency Rostourism recommended suspending tour package sales to Turkey. Moscow-based Natalie tours already did so.

Putin minced no words blasting Erdogan, saying:
"(t)his incident stands out against the usual fight against terrorism.Our troops are fighting heroically against terrorists, risking their lives. But the loss we suffered today came from a stab in the back delivered by accomplices of the terrorists."
He also warned of grave consequences for Russian-Turkish relations.

Comment: The fallout from this insane act could well have far-reaching consequences for the Empire. If the Washington elite thinks this will magically provide it with leverage at the Vienna talks on Syria's future, or help it eke out a piece of northern Syria in which to provide a 'safe zone' for its head-choppers and heart-eaters, it's very much mistaken.

Russia, in the meantime, is nothing if not cautious. It can absorb this asymmetrical attack - albeit one that was done through conventional means of warfare - and essentially continue its mission in Syria as before. The writing is still on the wall for ISIS and the 'moderate head-choppers' in Syria.

In the meantime, Turkey has completely exposed itself as a funder and facilitator of 'Islamic' terrorism, and a dire fate awaits that double-dealing war criminal, the 'neo-Ottoman Sultan', Recep Erdogan.


Turkey shoots down Russian warplane: NATO's act of war

Despite blatant provocation, Russia must continue toward the finish line. With cameras rolling, Turkey has claimed it has shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft. The New York Times in its article, "Turkey Shoots Down Russian Warplane Near Syria Border," reports that:
Turkish fighter jets on patrol near the Syrian border shot down a Russian warplane on Tuesday after it violated Turkey's airspace, a long-feared escalation that could further strain relations between Russia and the West.
The escalation is "long feared" not because the Turkish government actually fears that Russian warplanes crossing their border pose a threat to it or its people, but because Russia has ended NATO's proxy war, a proxy war spearheaded in part by Turkey itself, amid Russia's joint military operations with Syria against the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (ISIS) and supporting terrorist factions.


Priceless: PBS uses Russian video during report of alleged U.S. airstrike on ISIS oil smuggling trucks

Russia does what the US pretends to do.
U.S. media can not agree with itself if Russia is giving ISIS an airforce or if Russia pounds ISIS with the biggest bomber raid in decades. Such confusion occurs when propaganda fantasies collide with the observable reality.

To bridge such divide requires some fudging.

So when the U.S. claims to act against the finances of the Islamic State while not doing much, the U.S Public Broadcasting Service has to use footage of Russian airstrikes against the Islamic State while reporting claimed U.S. airstrike successes.

The U.S. recently claimed to have hit Islamic State oil tankers in Syria. This only after Putin embarrassed Obama at the G-20 meeting in Turkey. Putin showed satellite pictures of ridiculously long tanker lines waiting for days and weeks to load oil from the Islamic State without any U.S. interference.

The U.S. then claimed to have hit 116 oil tankers while the Russian air force claims to have hit 500. But there is an important difference between these claims. The Russians provided videos showing how their airstrikes hit at least two different very large oil tanker assembly areas with hundreds of tankers in each. They also provided video of several hits on oil storage sites and refinery infrastructure.

I have found no video of U.S. hits on Islamic State oil tanker assemblies.

Bad Guys

Putin outed ISIS's G20 financiers — But not a single western media outlet has reported it

There's something about these people that the western media doesn't want you to know about...
A revealing silence from the "free" western press

We've been very patient. For the last 12 hours we've been constantly refreshing Google News for just one — one — western article about Putin's bombshell comments at the G20 summit in Antalya. You would think that the Russian President stating publicly that ISIS is receiving money from 40 different countries, including G20 members, would be "newsworthy". Right?

But the western media has defied even our worst expectations: Not a single mainstream western outlet reported on Putin's comments. Typically, at least the Daily Beast has the common courtesy to distort or misrepresent the most recent Putin press conference. But in this instance, there is literally no written western record of Putin saying anything about who finances ISIS during the G20 summit in Turkey. This is insane.

Only cricket chirps from the west