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The Rule of Lawlessness: The EU's failed mission to Kosovo


Comment: Political developments in Ukraine, and its fast deteriorating governmental structure should not come as a surprise. Naturally there are a multitude of promises from the West that Ukraine will have help to repair the country. The results of the same efforts made Kosovo provide sobering reading.


Foreign missions are ostensibly sent to monitor and correct perceived problems on the ground. They are equipped with the language of appropriate righteousness, and the clothing of good will. That, at least, is what the operation brief is meant to state. Often, the language fades.

The mission suffers metamorphosis. Deals are done on the ground. Money changes hands. Favours are done. It is not so much building Rome as becoming Rome that becomes important. Join what one cannot change - many local conditions simply resist transformation from the outside.

The EU's rule of law mission in Kosovo, Eulex, was one such creation. It remains the EU's biggest foreign crisis mission, despite a slimming operation that cut staff from 2,200 to 1,600. The Economist suggested, rather freely, that the deployment of Eulex in 2008 "delighted" Kosovars. "Many hoped it would stamp out organised crime and corruption."[1] Certainly, the legal infrastructure on the ground proved sparse and susceptible to manipulation. But the big fish were never going to enter Eulex's nets. They were the political untouchables, at least without sufficient evidence for conviction. The reputation of the group, as a result, waned.

Critics started gathering ammunition. Andrea Capussela, formerly involved in the economic side of things in the EU's policy in Kosovo, found Eulex indifferent, even timid, in getting the cores of corruption. At worst, it proved craven. The errors in the prosecution side of things started mounting. Prominent local Kosovars, instead of facing a legal brief, found themselves in clover.
Bell

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Wake up call: U.S. and Turkey to continue supporting terrorists

© RIA Novosti. Andrei Stenin
Moderate rebels: destroying Syria on behalf of the Almighty Faultless Exemplar of Perfection and All Things Good, the United States of America.
As if it weren't enough that the U.S. government (along with fellow reprobate countries Canada and Ukraine) voted against a UN resolution that essentially said fascism is bad, now Washington has stated their intention to continue working with Turkey to provide support to their terrorist proxies in Syria, which is ostensibly "battling" the Islamic State there. Sputnik reports:
Washington will continue to cooperate with Ankara on providing support to "moderate opposition" in Syria, which is battling Islamic State (IS) extremists, the White House said in a statement following a meeting between US Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

"The two leaders agreed on the need to degrade and defeat ISIL, to work towards a political transition in Syria, and provide support for the Iraqi Security Forces and the moderate Syrian opposition," the statement, released Friday, said.

According to the White House, Biden and Davutoglu discussed "the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria" during their Friday meeting in Ankara, which followed the US Vice President's visit to Ukraine.
Of course, by "battling", Washington actually means colluding with, jumping camps to, being defeated by, and 'surrendering' to IS. Of course, none of this - the U.S. supporting Nazis and terrorists - is really a surprise. As a Sott.net editor wrote in a comment to Riley Waggaman's recent piece for Russia Insider, 'Ukrainian Nazis Seem Nice': For the last 2 or 3 generations, the leaders of the West (led by the Late, Great United States) have been closet fascists. First they brought over the cream of the Nazi crop during Project Paperclip, and it's been all downhill since then. But at least they had the decency to keep their anti-human, pathocratic proclivities at least partially concealed. Now they're openly supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine and voting against resolutions condemning Nazism.
People

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Judge Andrew P. Napolitano - Natural Law as restraint against tyranny

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, once a Fox News TV show host - and now an outspoken critic of the US government - delivered a short, intriguing, and, I believe, important speech at the Mises Institute in Costa Mesa, California, on November 8th, 2014.

Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More
He began by talking about the origins of Natural Laws, beginning with this quote from Sir Thomas More's treason case under Henry VIII:
Some men say the earth is flat.
Some men say the earth is round.
But if it is flat, could Parliament make it round?
And if it round, could the kings command flatten it?
More was appealing to the jury of the Laws of Nature that restrain even the government. This was the classic Natural Law argument. More was not the originator of this argument; that was Saint Thomas Aquinas nearly 800 years ago. The English liberal philosopher John Locke picked up on this, as did Thomas Jefferson when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, and James Madison when he was a Scrivener for the US Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson's version of More's phrase -- "We are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" -- articulates the view that our rights come from our humanity.

Napolitano asks: What are these rights that come from humanity? And how can the government trample them? The concept of Natural Rights articulated by Aquinas is that there are areas of human behavior for which we do not need a government permission slip in order to make free choices. Things like freedom to develop your own personality, to think as you wish, to say what you think, the right to worship or not to worship, to assemble in groups or to refuse to assemble, to petition the government for redress of your differences, and the right to defend yourself against tyrants. These are the quintessential 'American rights'. The right to be left alone, for example, codified in the Fourth Amendment today is called the 'right to privacy'.
Mr. Potato

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Bizarro World: NATO admits no proof of Russian invasion; U.S. to send more military to Kiev

yats biden
© AP Photo/ Andrew Kravchenko, Pool
Yats: "And then we bombed their houses, raped their wives, and tortured the captives!" Biden: "LOL!"
An interesting juxtaposition of news items caught my attention today. First there's this, from an interview with Russia's envoy to NATO:
"As far as I remember, even NATO officials themselves admit they have no credible materials confirming that Russian weaponry and military vehicles cross the border and that Russian troops are being amassed along the border with Ukraine," Alexander Grushko said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.
Take that for what it's worth. But keep in mind that it makes a whole lot more sense than Kiev, the U.S. and NATO's hysterical screeching, which has not been accompanied by a single shred of actual evidence. Also remember that it's claims like this - that Russia is militarily supporting the Novorussian Armed Forces in the former "eastern Ukraine" - that have been the reasoning behind the West's current sanction war on Russia. For example:
Attention

House Republicans: Scientists to be prohibited from advising EPA on their OWN research

John Boehner

John Boehner
The "reform" measure makes room for industry-funded experts on the EPA's advisory board

Congressional climate wars were dominated Tuesday by the U.S. Senate, which spent the day debating, and ultimately failing to pass, a bill approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. While all that was happening, and largely unnoticed, the House was busy doing what it does best: attacking science.

H.R. 1422, which passed 229-191, would shake up the EPA's Scientific Advisory Board, placing restrictions on those pesky scientists and creating room for experts with overt financial ties to the industries affected by EPA regulations.

The bill is being framed as a play for transparency: Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, argued that the board's current structure is problematic because it "excludes industry experts, but not officials for environmental advocacy groups." The inclusion of industry experts, he said, would right this injustice.

But the White House, which threatened to veto the bill, said it would "negatively affect the appointment of experts and would weaken the scientific independence and integrity of the SAB."

Comment: Everyone in this tawdry situation knows it boils down to money. Loose regulations for dangerous industries equates to more profit, since they don't have to care about the health and environmental impact of the industry's activities. Grateful industries increase campaign donations to the scum politicians who pass the 'regulations'. More grant money flows the to those 'scientists' who produce the 'research' the industries need to 'prove' to Congress the regulations levels are fine, or could even be lowered. And around it goes.

Black Magic

Your friendly neighborhood Nazis in Ukraine


Comment: Well, it's official. The leaders of the Western world have decided to forgo all pretense and just come out with what they've been hiding for the last 2 or 3 generations. For all that time, you see, the leaders of the West (led by the Late, Great United States) have been closet fascists. First they brought over the cream of the Nazi crop during Project Paperclip, and it's been all downhill since then. But at least they had the decency to keep their anti-human, pathocratic proclivities at at least partially concealed. Not anymore. Now even that pretense has been dropped, revealing what a few of us knew all along.

Russia recently proposed a resolution at the UN condemning attempts to glorify Nazi ideology and deny that the Germans did anything wrong before and during WWII. Pretty basic stuff, right? Who could disagree?! Well, now we know: the U.S., Canada and Ukraine were the only countries to vote against the bill. Facile excuses aside, it's pretty telling. But not that surprising. After all, as Riley Waggaman writes for Russia Insider below, these very countries have been actively supporting neo-Nazis in east Ukraine this whole year. What has the world come to?


© AP Photo/Efrem Lukasky
A Ukrainian volunteer soldier with emblems of WWII SS Galician division that had fought against the Soviet Army.
The conflict in East Ukraine is "a choice between civilization and barbarism," warns Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, obviously alluding to the Associated Press photograph of "a Ukrainian volunteer soldier, with emblems of WWII SS Galician division."

What was once described as a poor choice of Halloween costume by Prince Harry is now in vogue with celebrated government forces participating in Ukraine's Anti-Terror Operation. Incredible, that only a few years ago, Nazi emblems and the people who wore them were under the cloud of critical disapproval - what is posterity? Or "civilization," for that matter?

Nazi symbols representing European integration have become so trendy in West Ukraine that The Daily Beast feels the need to ask, "Why are swastikas hot in West Ukraine?" Is it because handsomepants Russell Brand has reclaimed the swastika as the ancient mascot of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? Of course.
Hardhat

Western shortsightedness: Russia will seek partners for oil and gas projects in countries not imposing sanctions

© Reuters/Tatyana Makeyeva
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak: Russia will engage in O&G projects with countries not imposing sanctions.
Moscow will seek new partners in countries that have not imposed sanctions on it if Western oil and gas companies pull out of projects with Russia, RIA news agency quoted Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying on Saturday.

The sanctions over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis have targeted the delivery of oil technology, goods and services, aiming to make it harder for Moscow to access new oil sources.

"If (Western) companies decide for themselves not to take part in organizing investment projects in the long term, we will invite investors from countries which have not imposed sanctions against us and our oil and gas companies," Novak was quoted as saying in response to a question at a meeting with students.

Comment: The Western elites have been so keen to undermine Russia, that they have lost all sense of reason. Russia is by no means isolated, and countries imposing sanctions have seen their economies take hits that are directly related to these sanctions. Nonetheless, the West continues to march to this same drum beat, wishfully thinking it can eventually create the reality it desires. Not so bright, eh?

Cookie

One million tons of Iraqi grain stolen by ISIL

ISIS/ISIL fighters
© AFP Photo/Al-Furqan Media
ISIS/ISIL fighters
Baghdad says ISIL militants have stolen more than one million tons of grain from northern Iraq before transferring the loot to neighboring Syria.

Iraqi Agriculture Minister Falah Hassan al-Zeidan said in a statement on Tuesday that ISIL terrorists had taken wheat and barley to areas of Syria they currently control.
ISIL "in the past four months has stolen more than one million tons of wheat and grain from Iraq and transported it to Syria through Mosul," al-Zeidan said.
The statement added that the grain had been taken "from Nineveh Province to the Syrian cities of Raqqa and Deir al-Zor."

Back in August, the former director general of Iraq's Grain Board, Hassan Ibrahim, said the militants had seized 40,000 to 50,000 tons of wheat in Nineveh and the western province of Anbar, before moving it to Syria.

Iraqi officials say the militants consider eastern Syria to be "safe for them" and for this reason they are transferring the stolen crop "to preserve it."

After entering northern Iraq from Syria back in June, ISIL militants took over government grain silos in Nineveh and Salahuddin provinces, where nearly half of the country's wheat and barley is grown.

ISIL terrorists operating in the region have currently gained control over large areas of territory across Syria and Iraq. They have carried out atrocities in both countries, including mass executions and beheadings of local residents as well as foreign nationals.
Light Sabers

China against declaration of independence at referendums but Crimea is different due to its history

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping
© Unknown
These two leaders have joined forces on more than just economic levels. There is a war going on against them and they are well aware of it.
China is against the declaration of independence by any ethnic groups through referendums, but this does not apply to Crimea, the acting director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's European-Central Asian Affairs department, Gui Congyou, told Russian media on Friday.
"We should take a very careful and well-considered attitude to tackling nationalities' issues. We are against any nationality gaining independence through referendums. As far as Crimea is concerned, it has very special features. We know well the history of Crimea's affiliation," the diplomat said.
"On the whole, the nationalities' problems in some countries stem from double standard policies by certain states, which, proceeding from their own selfish interests, support one ethnic group and push it towards holding an independence referendum. This is a manifestation of double standards serving the interests of the United States. In a bid to achieve its aims, the US resorts to intervention in the internal affairs of other states by using force without UN Security Council authorization. China is firmly against this approach," Gui said.

In his opinion, "such actions trigger aggravations of inter-ethnic contradictions and result in armed conflicts."
Green Light

Russia not isolated: China recognises Crimean referendum!

Crimean referendum
© Unknown
China recognises Crimean referendum.
This is the clear meaning of the statement TASS reports that a senior official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry has made.
The fact that China recognises the Crimean referendum means that de facto (and surely before long de jure) China has recognised Crimea's unification with Russia. Note also that the official has expressed support for Russia's Ukrainian policy. [Here is the link from TASS]

This is the clearest statement from an official source (as opposed to the news media) of China's position viz the Ukrainian crisis that China has made to date. Because it is made by an official rather than a minister it has gone almost unnoticed. However that is how China works: statements of this sort are first floated in the media, then made formally but at a relatively low level, following which they become uncontested policy. Suffice to say that it is inconceivable that the official in question would have spoken out in this way without clearance from the very highest levels of the Chinese government and the fact that in his conversation to TASS he actually quotes comments made by Xi Jinping in telephone conversations with Putin puts that question beyond doubt.
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