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Tue, 09 Feb 2016
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Puppet Masters


EU censures Israeli settlement expansion

Palestinians searching the rubble for belongings after their home was demolished by Israeli regime bulldozers in the south of the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).
The European Union on Saturday censured the Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, calling on the Tel Aviv regime to stop demolition of Palestinian homes, some of which were funded by the EU. "In the past weeks there have been a number of developments in Area C of the West Bank, which risk undermining the viability of a future Palestinian state and driving the parties yet further apart," the EU diplomatic service said in a statement.

It referred to the Israeli regime's decision on January 25 to declare 154 hectares (380 acres) of land near Jericho in the West Bank as its own land, with reported plans to build about 150 new units for settlers. This was followed by the demolition of several Palestinian homes in the south of al-Khalil (Hebron) on Wednesday.

"This is particularly concerning both because of the extent of the demolitions and also the number of vulnerable individuals affected, including children who need support," the EU said, adding that "demolitions included EU-funded structures." "We call on the Israeli authorities to reverse the decisions taken and to halt further demolitions," it said.

Foreign ministers from the 28 EU states have confirmed "the EU's firm opposition to Israel's settlement policy" and criticized the actions including demolitions. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Friday he was "ashamed" at a lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian talks, which have been deadlocked since 2014.

Comment: The demolition of EU-funded housing may have finally brought this into focus for the EU states. Whatever the stimulus, the momentum against a 'carte-blanche Israel' is increasing.


Palestine's first embassy in the Western hemisphere opens in Brazil

© Tuba Kawthar/Facebook
The new embassy of the Palestinian Authority resembles the famous mosque on Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The inauguration comes weeks after Brazil rejected Israel's ambassador, a former leader of West Bank settlers.

The Palestinian Authority inaugurated its first embassy in the Western Hemisphere in Brasilia Wednesday amid a diplomatic row between Brazil and Israel.

Representatives of Arab countries and Arab Brazilians attended the event, hosted on land donated to the PA by former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

"This is the conclusion of a dream of mine that was also a dream of colleagues that came before me in this mission in the last four decades," said Palestinian ambassador Ibrahim Alzeben. "I hope that this is the beginning of a new phase in relations between Brazil and Palestine, that they can be closer and more diversified."

Comment: Congratulations to both countries, and Brazil especially for standing up to Israeli bullying.


Blatant bias in CBC News report about trial of Nadiya Savchenko - Charged with murdering two Russian journalists in Ukraine

Nadiya Savchenko on trial in Donetsk, Russia on Feb 1, 2016 (Susan Ormiston, CBC)
The following is an extensive report on the opening day, February 1, 2016, of the trial in Russia of Ukrainian right-wing extremist paramilitary Nadiya Savchenko. The report is by Susan Ormiston, European correspondent of Canada's state broadcaster, CBC.

The CBC was apparently one of the few, if only, Western media outlets to attend the opening day of the trial. The CBC report is one of the few published in English. Susan Ormiston's lengthy report contains a large number of photos.

The CBC reporter fills her report with the usual Western media bias, including:
  • The rebel forces in eastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Lugansk regions, aka Donbas) fighting for autonomy and democracy, against the violent civil war imposed by the governing regime in Kyiv beginning April 2014, are labelled "pro-Russia separatists".
  • Even though Nadiya Savchenko is accused of complicity in the murder of two Russian journalists, the CBC reporter's sympathies lie entirely with the accused killer, not with Ormiston's Russian journalist colleague victims.
  • In her ever-so-brief mention of the July 17, 2014 crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, and notwithstanding the absence of any proof two years later of Russian government involvement, the CBC reporter references "finger-pointing at Russia" in explaining the crash.
  • And so on.

Comment: The true story of Ukraine's 'Right Sektor' is rarely, if ever, told in the Western press. Recently, however, the French TV channel Canal+ aired this documentary:

'Kiev livid as documentary revealing ugly truth about Maidan 'revolution' aired on French TV - EN subs (VIDEO)'

Black Magic

Still in the Freezer: Turkey misses chance to normalize ties with Russia

© Sputnik/ Michael Klimentyev
In an interview with Sputnik, Turkish political analyst Haldun Solmazturk said Moscow is almost certain to respond in kind to Turkey recently blocking a Russian flight under the Open Skies Treaty.

He also said that by doing so, Ankara had in fact missed an opportunity to resuscitate relations with Moscow, which have been strained since Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane over Syria in November 2015.

Eye 1

Watch Ash Carter lie about huge convoys of oil moving between Turkey & ISIS

© Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Ashton Carter
One of the most embarrassing things to come out of the Russian military venture in Syria is the huge convoy supply lines of oil moving between Turkey and ISIS positions.

Watch America's finest mumble their way through explanations of why they have let this go on for two years.


Comment: Further reading:
Anyone wondering why the rest of the world sees the US administration as insane -- or worse -- need only spend a few minutes watching a daily briefing from the White House or especially the US State Department. These are not endeavors by intelligent and rational representatives of the US government to help explain US policies to the press corps and thereby to the rest of the world, but rather mind-numbingly sophomoric and barely literate diatribes.

The unbelievable insanity of the State Department's 'spokespeople'


Greatest threat to US? Sanders says 'paranoid' N. Korea, Clinton picks 'belligerent' Russia

© SOTT.net
Between Iran, North Korea, and Russia, Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders disagreed about which was the "greatest threat" to America in the final Democratic debate before the New Hampshire primary.

From the University of New Hampshire, MSNBC moderators Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow steered what was the most contentious Democratic debate thus far, and no topic exemplified that more than foreign policy.


Libya's instability threatens regional security, ISIS terrorism crisis in North and Sub-Saharan Africa

© www.newsweek.com
Gathering the ammunition for war.
Though Syria and Iraq are the main theaters of global standoff and terrorist activity in recent years, there is another country that also draws the attention of the world powers: Libya. Since the fall of Muammar Gadhafi in 2011, the war-torn country has been in a constant crisis fueled by the West's inability to implement any kind of a peace settlement involving a wide range of competing entities operating in the country. The so-called "national unity government" backed by the UN has almost no influence in the country. The crucial oil infrastructure and the coastal zone are controlled by fragmented factions. Indeed, it's obvious that US and European diplomats won't be able to control the Libyan conflict over the long term. A conflict they created themselves. A diplomatic solution could be found through UN procedures and under the supervision of the international community through neutral states such India, Malaysia, Indonesia or even Latin America states. Unfortunately, this type of "neutral approach" is never implemented by the UN.

If the US and the EU continue to participate in the conflict, the situation will likely deteriorate. The Libyan scenario is even worse than the situation in Syria and Iraq because the structure of governance is totally destroyed. After the start of the Russian military operation in Syria which also pushed other world powers to increase military activity in the region, ISIS is rapidly losing ground in Syria and Iraq. The group is now looking for a new home. Some 5,000 militants loyal to ISIS already operate in Libya and this number is expected to grow.

Thus Libya will likely become a foothold for the terrorist groups after a retreat from the Syria-Iraq battlespace. Here they will be able to set up a network of training camps and start a new full-scale recruiting campaign. Libya's advantageous geographical location will allow terrorist entities entrenched there to conduct operations in any chosen direction: Middle East, Europe or Northern and Central Africa. Economic resources also attract the attention of ISIS. Libya is rich in oil fields and its geographical location allows terrorist groups to control illegal traffic from the rest of Africa to Europe and Middle East.

Comment: See also:

Light Saber

Denmark tells Ukraine to follow Minsk agreement or sanctions against Russia could be dropped

© Eric Vidal / Reuters
Denmark's Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen
Ukraine must take the steps to peace agreed a year ago in Minsk, or risk losing the support of the European Union, said Denmark's foreign minister. Earlier this week other western powers criticized Kiev, following the resignation of a key minister.

"If Ukraine doesn't come through with the reforms linked to the Minsk peace process, it will be very difficult for Europe to continue united in support for sanctions against Russia," Kristian Jensen told Reuters at the EU foreign ministers' meeting in Amsterdam on Friday. "Ukraine has a deadline. They need to push those reforms now, they can't wait."

Signed by Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany last February, the Minsk accord lays out 13 steps to secure the end of the armed conflict in Donbas, in eastern Ukraine, which broke out in 2014, after people in the regions refused to accept the forceful change of power in Kiev. The conflict has resulted in over 9,000 deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people, according to the UN.

The initial stage prescribed a ceasefire, the pullout of heavy armaments, and the introduction of comprehensive international monitoring. Later, a constitutional reform would grant more autonomy to Donbas, which would conduct local elections.

Bad Guys

Obama prepares to fight in Libya, again

© www.frontpagemag.com
Libya, our latest and greatest next invasion...
Nearly five years after the U.S., Britain and France launched a bombing campaign against the Libyan government to bring about regime change, these same countries are contemplating a resumption of the war they thought was won when rebel forces they supported grotesquely tortured to death the country's leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi.

The result today in Libya is utter disarray. But at the time, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — a leading advocate of the bombing who justifies the deed to this day — was ecstatic when told the news of Qaddafi's death while she was appearing on a TV talk show. Laughingly she shouted to the cameras, "We came, we saw, he died!"

No one is laughing in Washington now. President Obama came, saw and created the very opposite of what he sought, a hardly unusual outcome for the Obama and Bush Administrations.in the Middle East. Instead of a pliable dependent government willing to do the bidding of Washington and its NATO foreign legion, there has been an explosion of civil war and Sunni jihadism.

Comment: A million casualties and still counting, undermined regional security, terrorist meccas, increased refugee migration to Europe and beyond, escalation of uprisings and rebellion, devastation and destruction...and the answer is a full-spectrum military war in Libya. Thanks USA.

Red Flag

EU migration chief recommends detention or removal centers to deal with flow of refugees

© Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters
The EU countries facing the heaviest influx of refugees need "detention or removal centers" for those denied entrance or unwilling to return back home voluntarily, the European Migration Commissioner said.

Referring in particular to Greece and Italy, Dimitris Avramopoulos has stressed that such facilities are needed alongside expanding "reception centers", also known as hotspots, to handle the intake and processing of refugees.

"Of course, during that time, people have to stay somewhere. So it is normal that we need more reception places," he told Euractiv.com. "But detention or removal centers are also needed for those who receive the decision to return, particularly if there is a risk of absconding and if they are not willing to return voluntarily."

According to the EU migration official, following the Western Balkans leaders' meeting in late October, Greece committed to expanding its reception places by 50,000.

Athens hopes that most of the facilities will be operational by mid-February, Reuters reported. However, the contraction of "hotspots" crucial for hosting the refugees, on one side, cause a furious reaction by locals on the other.

Comment: It's disgusting that, through the actions of Western countries in the Middle East, civilians are having to migrate to safer countries and those countries are then attempting to herd them into "detention centers" aka open-air prisons. It's a large-scale version of blaming the victim. Instead of treating these people as sub-human, maybe Europe ought to look in the mirror and recognize their responsibility in this entire mess.