Puppet Masters

Eye 1

Symbolic? Germany to use former Nazi barracks to house refugees

© Reuters / Ina Fassbender
Part of a memorial to the victims of forced labour of the National Rail (Reichsbahn) workshop is seen next to a former Nazi SS guards barracks of Buchenwald concentration camp in Schwerte, near the western German town of Dortmund January 13, 2015.
Officials in the German town of Schwerte have made plans to place some 20 refugees in barracks which were once part of the infamous Buchenwald concentration camp. The 'pragmatic solution' to provide shelter has sparked criticism, German media reported.

Hundreds of non-Germans were forced to live in the town of Schwerte in the country's west 70 years ago, when it was an outpost to one of the largest Nazi concentrations camps, Buchenwald.

Now, 21 refugees who have come to Germany seeking new homes have been offered to live in what is left of the former camp: the barracks once occupied by SS guards.

Local authorities say the plan is a pragmatic solution to help accommodate at least some of the large influx of refugees, who have come to the country after fleeing war-torn states such as Syria and Iraq. The first move-in is expected this week, Die Welt reported.

© AFP Photo / Bernd Thissen
The warden's barracks of a former Nazi concentration sub-camp are pictured on January 13, 2015 in Schwerte, western Germany.
With the country struggling to accommodate hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, some local governments are placing refugees not only in hotels and converted school buildings, but also in makeshift villages of freight containers.

Comment: Islamophobia is rising with moral values decreasing. Is history repeating itself? Is Holocaust 2.0 coming soon?

Quenelle - Golden

"It's all Greece's fault! Let them pay!"

Alexis Tsipras, the anti-austerity leader of Syriza party greets supporters after the initial election results.
With The Greek election in full motion, and first results perhaps 12 hours away, It would seem useful, no matter how the Greeks vote, to lay to rest a few misconceptions, and to expose a few 'conceptions' that have - largely - remained buried to date.

The first misconception is that the Greeks borrowed like crazy and therefore deserve to be thrown into a pit of suffering and misery. It is simply nonsense, a mere political narrative. Besides, most of what was borrowed went to the utterly corrupt 'oligarch system', not to the people in the street. Something the EU was certainly aware of when it accepted Greece as a member. But corrupt regimes can be of great use.

A few days back, in Bunch Of Criminals!, I made the point that the EU, and its members, have no right to do to a fellow member country what they did to Greece - and want to continue doing.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said this week that he will not negotiate with the Troika, but directly with EU officials. And there is a very solid reason for that. In today's Observer, Helena Smith interviews Greek sociologist Constantine Tsoukalas, who understands what has been happening to his country, and - rightfully - frames it in terms of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine.

What has happened to Greece is what Klein describes was done to South America and - later - Eastern Europe. Disaster capitalism. Bringing entire countries to their knees by enforcing predatory economic policies, and then using the ensuing chaos and smouldering ruins to take full control over their political, economic and social systems. Helena Smith:

Comment: And the attacks against the results of Greece's elections have started:

Carl Bildt twit
Read also: How the Shock Doctrine is being applied to Greece


How the Shock Doctrine is being applied to Greece

Naomi Klein tells EnetEnglish how her bestseller The Shock Doctrine relates to Greece
Greek riot 2012
© Reuters / Yorgos Karahalis
A woman shouting in front of riot policeman shields during a protest in front of the Greek parliament near Athen's Syntagma square on April 5, 2012, in reaction to the suicide of an elderly debt-ridden Greek man
According to bestselling author Naomi Klein, the systemic use of shock and fear by the power elites to undermine vulnerable communities is very much evident in post-bailout Greece. From the rise of racism to the sell-off of the country's oil and natural gas resources - much of what will shape Greece's immediate future are, she argues, predictable consequences of the politics of austerity.

Naomi Klein is the author of controversial New York Times bestseller The Shock Doctrine, which has been referred to as "the master narrative of our time". The book argues that business interests and powerful nations exploit shocks in the form of natural disasters, economic problems, or political turmoil, as an opportunity to aggressively restructure vulnerable countries' economies. She posits that because ultra-capitalistic policies are harmful to the majority of citizens, they cannot be implemented without a shock, ranging from media-hyped anxiety to police torture, that squashes popular resistance. In this exclusive interview, Klein explains to EnetEnglish how she believes the Shock Doctrine relates to Greece today.

How do events in Greece relate to your arguments in The Shock Doctrine?

To me it is a classic example of the things I wrote about. It's heartbreaking to see the same tricks and the same tactics being used so brutally. And there's been enormous resistance in Greece. It's particularly distressing to see the violent repression of the social movements that were resisting austerity. And it's just been going on for so long now. People get worn down.

What I've been following recently is the sell-off of natural resources for mining and drilling. That's the next frontier of how this is going to play out - the scramble for oil and gas in the Aegean. And it's going to affect Cyprus as well. This is a whole other level of using austerity and debt to force countries to sell off their mining and drilling rights for fire sale prices.

When you add the climate crisis on top of that it is particularly culpable that you have an economic crisis being used as leverage to extract more fossil fuels, especially because Greece itself very climate vulnerable. And I think its possible that, as the scramble for oil and gas heats up, there will be more resistance because it's a huge threat to Greece's economy

Now encircled, U.S. scrambling to protect its terror hordes in Syria

© Unknown
One of many U.S.-supported, terror-ravaged scenes in Aleppo over the past two years.
The Syrian Arab Army is reportedly close to completely encircling militants that have occupied the northern city of Aleppo since they invaded it from NATO territory in 2012. Once the encirclement is complete, analysts believe the the city will be finally liberated, in a process similar to the retaking of Homs further south.

The desperation of militants facing this final phase in the Battle for Aleppo is indicated by their Western sponsors' attempts to broker a ceasefire and arrange "aid" to reach them. Similar attempts were made in vain during the closing phases in the Battle for Homs in mid-2014 - with the city of Homs having been an epicenter of terrorist activity beginning in 2011, and now under the control of the Syrian government. Small pockets of militants have been isolated within Homs, allowing order to be restored across the majority of the city and the surrounding region.

As the Syrian government systematically regains control of a nation up-ended by Western-backed terrorists flooding the country accompanied by a seemingly inexhaustible torrent of cash, weapons, and equipment, the desperation of these Western interests has visibly increased.

The Guardian, chief among the many propagandists distorting the conflict since it began in 2011, is now attempting to form a narrative extorting global security by claiming only by NATO establishing a no-fly-zone over Aleppo and repelling Syrian government forces, can "moderate rebels" hold on to the city and repel lingering "Islamic State" (ISIS) forces.

Comment: Seems like U.S.-sponsored terror around the world has been having a bad week!

See also: Pentagon dispatches first batch of US forces to train Syrian rebels

and in Ukraine: Panic in Kiev?


Panic in Kiev?

The following article appeared briefly at this URL on censor.net.ua and was quickly pulled down. Ironic? It would seem so. My translation. I bring it to you because it succinctly lays out the situation as I've been able to piece it together from multiple Russian- and Ukrainian-language sources, and because you are unlikely to come across anything this truthful from cough Western media cough.

Comment: It looks like Kiev's fears have come true. Zakharchenko has announced an offensive on Ukrainian-occupied Mariupol:
I want to say the following: Today began an offensive on Mariupol [the crowd cheers], God willing in a couple of days Debaltsevo cauldron will be closed. And it will be the best answer to honor the memory of the dead. Because we will pay back everyone, we will pay those who pulled the trigger or pushed the button which launched the missiles that killed our countrymen here. Those who shot people in Gorlovka, Makeevka, Yenakievo, Shakhtersk, Zhdanovka, Kirovka. Will pay back for each of our murdered child, and each old man innocently killed here.
Now, the DPR and LPR armies have joined up and successfully encircled Ukrainian troops in Debaltsevo: that's 7,500 Ukrainians troops trapped.

Star of David

The Unbearable rudeness of "Bibi" Netanyahu

With the front page of the paper being occupied by so-called Deflate-gate, Congress was quick to reclaim its rightful place with its own mini-tempest over House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ("Bibi") Netanyahu to speak before a Joint Meeting of Congress without prior notice to and/or approval from the Obama administration.
Bibi Obama
© Unknown

A key day in the Ukrainian conflict?

© Presidential Press and Information Office
Meeting with permanent members of the Security Council.
This may turn out to be a critical day in the evolution of the Ukrainian conflict.

1. The Russian Security Council met today. We do not (obviously) have a full account but Putin's website has provided some details.

Strikingly, Putin referred to the junta as "official Kiev" and not "the Ukrainian government" or "the Ukrainian side". He also referred to the two east Ukrainian republics as "the Donetsk People's Republic" and "the Lugansk People's Republic".

This is the closest Putin has yet come to since Poroshenko's election in implying that the junta is not the legitimate authority in the Donbass and that the two NAF republics are.
Black Magic

Hillary Clinton mocks Putin, gladly accepts $500K in jewels from head-chopping Saudi dictator

Monsters, Inc. A Pixar family picture. Bring the kids!
Hillary Clinton is a comedic genius. Just listen to her "impersonate" Vladimir Putin. Do you hear that husky, not-at-all-Russian voice? It's like she NSA wire-tapped into Putin's voice box and then temporarily share-wared his most inner thoughts. Amazing.

When she loses the 2016 elections, she will surely have gainful employment as a children's entertainer. She'll need that job, too, after her husband is through with the legal bills associated with his most recent flying sex slave scandal. The Clintons - America's living treasures.
Light Sabers

Obama will not meet U.S.-bound Netanyahu, but Bibi will address U.S. Congress

© AFP Photo/Saul Loeb
US President Barack Obama speaks at Boise State University in Idaho on January 21, 2015
US President Barack Obama has refused to meet Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who will make a controversial visit to the United States in early March as he fights for re-election.

It is a "matter of long-standing practice and principle" that the president does not meet foreign leaders engaged in an electoral campaign, a White House spokeswoman, Bernadette Meehan, said Thursday.

Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress in early March -- just a few weeks before Israelis go to the polls on March 17.

But the focus of Netanyahu's address -- Iran -- as much as his timing is giving the White House heartburn.

Comment: While Obama may not want to deal with 'chickenshit' Netanyahu, House Speaker John Boehner invited Bibi -- and the Israeli leader accepted - without any involvement from the White House.
In public, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest politely describes this as a "departure" from protocol. He also says the president will not meet with Netanyahu when he visits in early March, but has attributed that decision only to a desire not to influence Israel's upcoming elections.

But in private, Obama's team is livid with the Israeli leader, according to Haaretz.

"We thought we've seen everything," a source identified as a senior American official was quoted as saying. "But Bibi managed to surprise even us. There are things you simply don't do.

"He spat in our face publicly and that's no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price."
This time Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might have gone too far.
It's bad enough that John Boehner invited him to address a joint session of Congress and lobby for more sanctions on Iran - and directly seek to undercut the president's top diplomatic initiative. Far worse is that Netanyahu accepted the invitation; it was a demonstration of ingratitude and hubris rarely seen before in the annals of the US-Israel bilateral relationship.
It's politics as usual.
Bibi, Boehner Team Up Against Obama

But it is fair to say that, these days, there is a particularly close connection between the Republicans and the Likud. After all, Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson is one of Netanyahu's most avid supporters. And if the ties weren't obvious already, House Speaker John Boehner's announcement Tuesday that he's invited Netanyahu to address a joint meeting of Congress on February 11 makes the link perfectly clear (PDF). He's giving Netanyahu the chance to bask in the full glow of the Washington spotlight just weeks before the Israeli elections on March 17.

There are three takeaways from this ploy that are almost as stunning as they are obvious:

First, Boehner's invitation is motivated as much by hostility to Obama and to his Iran policy as by a desire to reelect Netanyahu as prime minister.
That takes us to the second point: Boehner is using Netanyahu as much as Netanyahu is using the invitation. It's not at all clear, of course, where the idea of the invite originated. It doesn't strain the bounds of credulity to imagine it arose from a quiet suggestion by Israel or its prominent supporters here at home. But, in any case, Netanyahu can rally support for the Republican mantra that Iran is the region's dangerous bad boy, and he's virtually guaranteed a rousing reception among both parties.
Third, it will help Netanyahu in the March elections. But how much? As my grandmother used to say about her chicken soup, "It probably couldn't hurt." The Israeli pundits hammered Netanyahu's visit to France in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre for what they believed to be a political exploitation of the Paris terrorist attacks. But that visit wasn't well orchestrated. This one will be very carefully stage managed, complete with media interviews.
The Washington excursion is just an extra flourish. Any time an incumbent has an opportunity to use the powers and prestige of office to burnish his prime ministerial image, particularly that close to an election, so much the better. It won't be determinative. Israelis didn't ride in on a bale of hay yesterday; they're all too familiar with their politicians' politicking. But in a close election, being feted and supported by your country's key ally with a focus on critical security issues in an age of jihadi terror, well.....that's not a bad photo op.

And if Bibi wins? We probably can expect to see more of him as both Democratic and Republican candidates for president of the United States fight for the title of Israel's best friend.
This attitude towards other independent nations is not new to Israeli politicians or celebrities. The world's 'mightiest' and 'wealthiest' nation is no exception. See:

Take 2

European parliament report: 'cooperation with Russia is more preferable than confrontation'

Ioan Mircea Pașcu has presented a report to the European parliament arguing that in the long run cooperation with Russia is more preferable than confrontation.

Parliament's rapporteur on the strategic situation in the Black Sea and the annexation of Crimea by Russia Ioan Mircea Pașcu has delivered his report to parliament's security and defence subcommittee.

In his report, Pașcu has argued that the annexation of Crimea by Russia is, "completely changing the strategic situation in the Black Sea". He claimed that Russia's move into Ukraine was prompted by NATO's eastward expansion.

Russia's annexation of Crimea and encroachment into eastern Ukraine has been met with widespread condemnation across the world. Its actions in the region have breached several international agreements to which it is party to, including the Helsinki accords, the Paris charter and the Budapest memorandum - the first two of which guarantee national sovereignty, while the latter protects Ukraine's independence and borders.

Comment: Of course no mention of the illegal coup in Ukraine by US/NATO/EU. Wonder what 'cooperation' really means?