Welcome to Sott.net
Sat, 13 Feb 2016
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters
Map

Airplane

Countering the MH17 horse hockey: Russian investigators say weapon used was most likely air-to-air missile

The Russian Investigative Committee has data suggesting that the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was most likely brought down by an air-to-air missile produced outside of Russia, committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said Wednesday.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

"Regarding the priority version, we have data, including the one based on the results of examinations, [that suggests that] the plane was shot down by an air-to-air missile... Moreover, experts believe that they have established the type of missile and this is not a Russian-made missile," Markin said.

The data that the Russian Investigative Committee possesses, confirms the testimony of Evgeniy Agapov, a witness from Ukraine who served as a mechanic in the First Squadron Brigade of Tactical Aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force, he added.

In December, a former Ukrainian airbase employee, whose name at the time was not disclosed, said he saw a Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 combat jet carrying air-to-air missiles taking off, on the day of the tragedy, from an airbase in eastern Dnipropetrovsk, and later seeing the same plane return without any missiles.

Comment: The official investigation has been a complete joke from the get-go, so don't be surprised if the final report blames Russia. But keep in mind the official report will probably have little to no correspondence with that little thing called truth...

Asymmetric Warfare: MH17 False-Flag Terror and the 'War' on Gaza

MH17 Who Dunnit? Western Media Silent on the Evidence


Stormtrooper

Buildup of U.S. military in Europe preparation for EU social and economic meltdown?

Image
© AP Photo/ Matthias Schrader
The capitulation of the Greek government to Berlin-led finance capital is a daunting watershed moment. It marks the "disciplining" of the wider European electorate under corporatist financier rule. What is happening in Greece is a forerunner for other European Union states.

In that event, widespread social unrest can be expected.

The rapid expansion of American military forces across Europe over the past year has invoked the pretext of "defending" NATO allies from alleged Russian aggression. But an altogether different contingency is that Washington is preparing for a military coup in Europe - in the wake of economic collapse stemming from the Greek debt crisis.

Just last week, American army general Ray Odierno - a member of the US Joint Chiefs of staff - outlined plans for a new battalion of troops in Germany, along with heavy armour and other equipment. Odierno told the Wall Street Journal that the new military installations were to counter "the rising Russian threat".

Germany is already under de facto US military occupation, since the end of the Second World War, with tens of thousands of American troops and a slew of garrisons. Why the need for more American military, and not in peripheral European states close to Russia, but right in the heart of Europe - Germany?

Megaphone

Germany cuts own throat in twisting Greece's arm

Image
© AP
Germany has shot itself in the foot by persuading Greece to accept its new highly unpopular bailout deal and now "Europe as it is, is over," according to Tyler Durden, an analyst for the financial website Zero Hedge.

The Italians, Spanish, and French anxiously watched how Germany and the Troika twisted Greece's arm in an Italian mob-style, Tyler Durden, an analyst for the financial website Zero Hedge pointed out, adding that the EU as it is, is over now.

"The Germans just made their biggest mistake in a long time (how about some 75 years) over the weekend. Now, when all you have to bring to a conversation slash negotiation is bullying and strong arming and brute force, that should perhaps not be overly surprising. But it's a behemoth failure all by itself regardless," the analyst noted.

The author underscored that Greek Prime Minister Tsipras failed to introduce an alternative currency in Greece and has ultimately given in to the Troika not because he lost his nerve, but because he was actually "made an offer he couldn't refuse."

Light Sabers

A Russia-China led "community of destiny": The world is no longer dominated by the West

Image
The tide is changing. The world is no longer dominated by the US, Western Europe, and Japan. The Group of Eight (G8), which reverted to the Group of Seven (G7) in 2014, has been displaced by the BRICS, which is why Russia was not bothered when it was expelled from the G8/G7 talk shop by the US, Germany, Japan, Canada, Britain, France, and Italy.

Across the globe, businesses and governments anticipate the normalization of trade with Iran, with or without a final nuclear agreement between Tehran and the Permanent 5+1 (or the EU3+3). The BRICS has begun to institutionalize itself and move beyond the stage of being a coordinating forum for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. China's New Silk Road has gained traction while the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) became a reality in January 2015. Plus, after fifteen years, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is expanding.

Eurasia is integrating and forming the nucleus of an alternative and rival world order. This has the policymakers in the Washington Beltway worried. While they prevented Ukraine from joining the EEU, the US and its allies did everything to undermine and mock the EEU when it was launched by Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Despite this, even before the Eurasian Economic Union's first birthday, the EEU has made headway. It has already started the process of establishing free trade zones with Vietnam, Egypt, India, Iran, and South America's Southern Common Market (Mercosur / Mercosul). Mercosur consists of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Eye 1

U.S. continues plans to stifle free speech: Senate to vote on forcing social media sites to report suspicious activity

Image
"Take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties." - James Madison
On Wednesday July 15th, 2015, the Senate will vote on a measure that would require social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to report suspected terrorist activity to Federal authorities. This is part of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2016.

While the feds say this is to protect social media companies who do report, and not a way to coerce them into spying, the measure specifically calls on social media sites to proactively monitor sites for content instead of just removing it. The vague language of the bill combined with the government's tendency to paint opponents as dangerous or terrorists leaves enough room for this bill to take on a life of its own very quickly.

"If it becomes law, their natural tendency will be to err on the side of reporting anything that might be characterized as 'terrorist activity' even if it is not. And their duty to report will chill speech on the Internet that relates to terrorism." says Gregory Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Currently these sites remove questionable content as they are made aware of it. That means that if a user reports a post or a comment as a threat, Facebook, for example, investigates the report and then decides if they are going to remove it for breaking their terms of service, or if it can remain on the site. If YouTube users flag a video related to bomb making, YouTube may take it down. However, social media sites could soon be required to report these instances to Homeland Security and 17 other agencies. But the bill also requires social media to look for terrorist activity specifically. What does that mean exactly? Will they search for keywords? Will they monitor people who follow certain websites? Will they target people who speak certain languages or are located in specific areas of the world?

Question

Can the U.S. evolve with Russia, China, and the rest of humanity and accept a multi-polar world?

Image
© AFP
World leaders during a photo session at the BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia
Have you noticed? American officials seem to be only able to ever talk about war. War, war, war. While Russia and most other countries of the world are talking of partnership, development, progress, prosperity and peace. What is it to be for humanity? War or peace?

American leaders are stuck in a seemingly never-ending mental groove of hostility, suspicion, enmity, war. Look into their eyes. They offer a dead-end of no hope, no progress, no humanity, only continual conflict. By contrast, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders are striving to enact a vision of hope for humanity, one based on mutual cooperation, partnership and common development.

The problem with official America is that it is still stuck in a centuries-old mindset when it presumed the right - and righteousness - of enslaving millions of people and exterminating native nations from their lands. Today, US states may be taking down the Confederate flag as a symbol of genocidal racism, but elsewhere if we listen to American leaders the same genocidal, supremacist mentality prevails - even when it is articulated by an African-American president.

In recent days, we saw a salutary example of how backward and nihilistic official America is in its thinking. Before the US Senate was the presumed next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, giving testimony ahead of his official appointment. The Joint Chiefs are America's top military brass, who advise the president and his National Security Council on all matters of war and, much less, peace. Listening to Dunford's worldview, one would think that America is under threat from all corners of the globe. Threat, insecurity, danger, fear, enemies, death, destruction, and so and so on. Official America's worldview is one of never-ending nightmare, wherein lurks evil foreign spectres and demons.

Che Guevara

Grexit or Jubilee? Greek debt could be annulled the same way it was created (if the EU wanted to)

The crushing Greek debt could be canceled the way it was made - by sleight of hand. But saving the Greek people and their economy is evidently not in the game plan of the Eurocrats.

Greece's creditors have finally brought the country to its knees, forcing President Alexis Tsipras to agree to austerity and privatization measures more severe than those overwhelmingly rejected by popular vote a week earlier. No write-down of Greece's debt was included in the deal, although the IMF has warned that the current debt is unsustainable.

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis calls the deal "a new Versailles Treaty" and "the politics of humiliation." Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos calls it a "coup d'état" done by "blackmailing the Greek prime minister with collapse of the banks and a complete haircut on deposits."

"Blackmail" is not too strong a word. The European Central Bank has turned off its liquidity tap for Greece's banks, something all banks need, as explained earlier here. All banks are technically insolvent, lending money they don't have. They don't lend their deposits but create deposits when they make loans, as the Bank of England recently confirmed. When the depositors and borrowers come for their money at the same time, the bank must borrow from other banks; and if that liquidity runs dry, the bank turns to the central bank, the lender of last resort empowered to create money at will. Without the central bank's backstop, banks must steal from their depositors with "haircuts" or they will collapse.

What did Greece do to deserve this coup d'état? According to former World Bank economist Peter Koenig:
[T]he Greek people, the citizens of a sovereign country . . . have had the audacity to democratically elect a socialist government. Now they have to suffer. They do not conform to the self-imposed rules of the neoliberal empire of unrestricted globalized privatization of public services and public properties from which the elite is maximizing profits - for themselves, of course. It is outright theft of public property.
According to a July 5th article titled "Greece - The One Biggest Lie You're Being Told By The Media," the country did not fail on its own. It was made to fail:
[T]he banks wrecked the Greek government, and then deliberately pushed it into unsustainable debt . . . while revenue-generating public assets were sold off to oligarchs and international corporations.
A Truth Committee convened by the Greek parliament reported in June that a major portion of the country's €320 billion debt is "illegal, illegitimate and odious" and should not be paid.

Comment: Some people are already taking this idea into their own hands on a personal scale, though they still have to work within a corrupt system: What a marker of the elite's psychopathic nature. They simply don't care about the suffering they inflict on the citizens of their target countries.


Vader

U.S. pressuring EU to keep Greece in Eurozone all about its anti-Russian project

Image
As leaders of the European Union meet this weekend to decide on whether Greece is to be ejected from the eurozone, Washington is pulling out the stops to prevent such an outcome.

What is alarming Washington is not the technical, financial arguments over Greece's eligibility to remain inside the EU's monetary system. Nor, we can aver, are the pressing human concerns about the poverty-stricken Greek people from the collapse of their country's economy. What has the US rattled is that the monetary crisis in Europe could lead to much bigger geopolitical consequences: in particular, the EU's bickering threatens to unravel Washington's carefully constructed anti-Russian agenda in which, for the US, a coherent Europe plays a vital role.

If the Greek financial crisis spreads to other EU member states the result could see the 28-member bloc become riven with acrimonious splits; splits that will crack wide open to undermine the American strategy of trying to isolate Russia through a US-imposed cleavage between Moscow and the rest of Europe. Even the future of the US-led NATO military alliance could be at risk if the EU financial crisis gets out of control.

The main target for US diplomatic efforts at keeping the 19-member single-currency system together is Germany. Berlin's insistence, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, that no debt write-off can be afforded to Greece is raising the stakes that Athens will be forced into a»Grexit» from the eurozone. Germany, along with Latvia and Lithuania, has been strident in its demands that Greece must pay off its debts in full through a mixture of austerity and «fiscal consolidation».

Comment: This perspective helps understand the recent IMF rebuke toward Germany's bailout deal with Greece.


Gem

BRICS, SCO, and Eurasian Union Summits: The other 'international community' meets in Ufa, Russia

For the week of July 6-10, the city of Ufa, Russia will have been at the center of the world, or more particularly the very center of the emerging multipolar world order.

Russia, with host and presidency duties of the annual heads of state's summits of both BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), has taken advantage of the opportunity to hold both summits in concert.

The occasion is also being used to hold a meeting of the heads of the newly formed EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union). This is no coincidence or mere convenience - this is a definitive statement about world order and international relations.

Ufa was surely chosen by Russia for two reasons beyond simply pumping needed infrastructure money into the city. First, Ufa, as the capital of the Islamic majority Bashkortostan Republic will highlight the summits' - and Russia's multi-confessional - character.

Second, Ufa's location in central Russia on the verge of the Urals - also stresses Russia' enormous size, bridging both the West and the East.

The Western governments and press love to refer to the actions and positions of the West as "the international community", but in Ufa we see a much more real representation of the international community.

Black Magic

Backlash mounts against 'neo-colonial servitude' - EU's blackmail of Greece poisons Europe

© Getty

The terms imposed after marathon talks through the night on Sunday are far harsher than those rejected by Greek voters in a landslide referendum a week ago.
'It is now perfectly clear to a lot of people that the only way out of neo-colonial servitude is to break free of monetary union,' said one Syriza rebel


Greek premier Alexis Tsipras faced a furious backlash from own Syriza party on Monday night after yielding to draconian demands from Europe's creditor powers, and agreeing to let foreign surpervisors to take control of his country.

The bitter climb-down clears the way towards an €86bn rescue package and the renewal of emergency liquidity for the Greek banking system, once Greece's parliament has voted for pension cuts, tax rises and a raft of other measures by Wednesday. This is the first of a series of deadlines as the country is kept on a tight leash.

The terms imposed after marathon talks through the night on Sunday are far harsher than those rejected by Greek voters in a landslide referendum a week ago, and risks shattering democratic consent in Greece. It has left Europe bitterly divided along North-South lines of cleavage, severely testing the political cohesion of monetary union.

"Greece has been devastated and humiliated. Europe has showed itself Pharisaical, incapable of leadership and solidarity," said Romano Prodi, the former Italian prime minister.

An independent fund will take control of €50bn of Greek state assets, collateral to prevent Syriza reneging on the deal at a later date. Three-quarters of this will be used to recapitalise the Greek banks and repay debt.


Comment: A loan to repay a loan debt you already have? The proper term is loan-sharking.


International inspectors will have the power to veto legislation. The radical-Left Syriza government will be forced to repeal a raft of laws passed since it took power in January, stripping away the last fig leaf of sovereignty.

"It is unconditional surrender. We get serious austerity with no debt relief. We will have foreign supervisors crawling over everything," said Costas Lapavitsas, a Syriza MP and one of 40 or so rebels who plan to abstain or vote against the deal, mostly from the Left Platform.

"They are telling us that from now on, they are going to govern the country. I am afraid there is going to be a real fight about this. There is a groundswell of anger and it is now perfectly clear to a lot of people that the only way out of neo-colonial servitude is to break free of monetary union," he said.

Comment: Mr. Evans-Pritchard has been quite prophetic in his analysis of the ongoing Greek crisis. This from two years ago:
  • Sarcasm: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's grovelling apology to Herr Schäuble