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Tue, 25 Oct 2016
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Yanis Varoufakis speaks on the European constitution, economic disintegration and Orwellianism

© Roman Pons
Yanis Varoufakis
In this video the former finance minister of Greece and founder of DiEM25 (Democracy in Europe Movement 2025), Yanis Varoufakis, provides us an insight into why the European constitution does not represent the people of Europe and lacks substance. He also talks about disintegration of the European Union, what forces are driving its demise and how Orwellian language is used to hide this.
  • Do we have a constitution that represents the voice of the European people?
  • Could the EU disintegrate in the near future?
  • What are the observations that are pointing towards a disintegrating European Union?
  • Is Orwellianism being employed to deceive the population?
These questions and more are addressed in this video.

Arrow Down

Is Turkey heading down and out?

© Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com
Turkish President Erdogan
This has been an amazing week which saw the first clear sign of the collapse of the EU and Turkish President Erdogan presenting his excuses to Russia for the downing of a Russian SU-24 over Syria 7 month ago. While the latter event was largely eclipsed by the former, it might be the sign of something even more dramatic taking place: the collapse of Turkey.

Does that seem like hyperbole?

Let's look again.

The Presidency of Erdogan has been nothing short of cataclysmic for Turkey which resulted in a perfect storm of crises, each of them very serious:
1) Crisis in Syria: the Turkish policy of support for Daesh to overthrow Assad has failed. Abjectly so. Not only is Assad still in power, but the latest bombing in Turkey seem to indicated that Daesh is turning against Turkey now (assuming the official explanations is true, which it might not be as we will discuss below). The entire Syria policy of Erdogan is now in shambles.

2) Crisis with the EU: the last thing the Brits did before Brexiting was to tell Turkey that it could join the EU in 3000 years. Other EU member states were not as direct, but everybody knows that this is true. Furthermore, the grand Erdogan-Merkel friendship and alliance has completely fizzled out.


Turkey 48 hours: Diplomatic victories, deadly terror attack...are they connected?

© www.aktifhaber.com
The first two days of the past week saw two momentous developments on the diplomatic front take place on the Turkish scene. But Tuesday night then witnessed a heinous terror attack that left the country reeling. The ruling Justice and Development Party (or AKP), led by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım (aka Hapless) and staunchly supported by the nominally neutral President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (aka the Prez), appeared in shock following a triple suicide attack on the Atatürk Airport in Istanbul . . . but could it be that these seemingly random and unrelated events are somehow interlinked and interconnected?

Last Monday and Tuesday (27-28 June 2016) have constituted a most momentous 48 hours for Turkey. At the very outset of the week, things looked up with the Turkish media (read, the state propaganda apparatus) reporting that Israel had finally decided to make reparations and reinstate cordial relations with Turkey, relations that have been shaky ever since then-PM Erdoğan's "One Minute" performance at Davos (30 January 2009) and the subsequent deadly Mavi Marmara incident (31 May 2010).

Later on during the same day then news emerged that Turkey had, in turn, made overtures towards Russia, in an attempt to patch up things between Ankara and Moscow, between Tayyip Erdoğan and Vladimir Putin. Following these two major developments on the political scene, pundits and the public alike were busy regurgitating the facts when Tuesday night, towards 10 PM, terrorist struck at Istanbul's main communication artery, the Atatürk Airport in Yeşilköy, the nation's biggest and Europe's third largest, in operation since 1924, serving more than 60 million passengers last year.

Comment: Psychopathic maneuvers, assuredly. Questionable sincerity, definitely. Connection of events, likely.

See also: Double trouble: Israeli rapprochement deal and the tragedy of Turkish treachery


US supplies Ukrainian army with advanced radar systems, clashes ongoing in Donbass

© Unknown
AN/TPQ-36 counter-fire radar system
The Ukrainian Army has received four advanced counterbattery radar systems and 10 countermortar radar systems from the United States military, according to Russian language news accounts.

The systems, used at the battalion level by US troops, are among the most advanced of its type in the world. The systems enables the operator to pinpoint the location of firing artillery and mortars and enable friendly artillery to hit and destroy firing artillery, according to a story posted on the korrespondent.net news website.

Four each AN/PQ-36 Firefinder radar systems and 10 each AN/TPQ-49 radar systems arrived at the Boryspil International Airport on Saturday. According to the report, additional $500 million in direct aid is to be transferred to Ukraine from the United States.

Comment: See also:
Russia demands end to shelling of Donbass, increased monitoring of the conflict


Pepe Escobar: Israel-Turkey's "diplomatic victory" leads to incremental genocide

© Unknown
Whatever deal has been struck still leaves Palestine under a horrendous, medieval siege. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe was not far off the mark when he qualified it as "incremental genocide." It's like this was a post-modern normalization of relations with apartheid South Africa.

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online, where he wrote the column The Roving Eye from 2000 to 2014. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of "Globalistan" (2007), "Red Zone Blues" (2007), "Obama does Globalistan" (2009) and "Empire of Chaos" (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is "2030", also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015. He currently lives between Paris and Bangkok. In an exclusive interview with the English section of Khamenei.ir, Mr. Escobar's sheds light on Turkey-Israel relations and the issue of Palestine.

The following is the full text of the interview:

Comment: See also:
Behind the Headlines: Rearranging the Geopolitical Chessboard: Turkey's about-face, Istanbul attacks, Brexit's bombshell


Independence day hypocrisy - not democracy

© thesleuthjournal.com
On July 4, 1776, America gained independence from Britain. Everything changed but stayed the same under new management - the way the framers planned it.

Today we'd call them a Wall Street crowd - a deplorable bunch, including bankers, merchants, planters, ship owners, lawyers, politicians, judges, slave owners and traders, speculators, smugglers, privateers, and other type wheeler-dealers.

"We the people," meant them, not us. They created a government of men, not laws. Property owners alone had rights. Ordinary people didn't matter, entirely left out.


America's drone wars, what do they really do?

© www.newsweek.com
The Washington Post in its recent article, "How Obama went from reluctant warrior to drone champion," attempts to address the White House's recent claims regarding civilian casualties resulting from US drone strikes since 2009. The article points out that while the US officially claims "between 64 and 116″ civilians have been killed, it also includes estimates from various think-tanks and pro-war propaganda outlets admitting to at least 200-300 civilian deaths.

However, even these numbers are conservatively low, and in The Washington Post's attempt to "check" White House numbers, it itself appears to be attempting to downplay the full scale of America's global drone operations, portraying it as a perhaps ill-fated but honest attempt to target and eliminate dangerous terrorists. However, it is anything but, and the "numbers game" is merely a distraction from this fact.

Leaked US Documents Reveal Drones Seek to Create, Not Stop Terror

It was revealed by the Intercept through leaked US government documents that civilians may account for as much as 90% of all casualties from drone strikes. In its first article in a long series detailing America's drone operations titled, The Assassination Complex, it reports:
...documents detailing a special operations campaign in northeastern Afghanistan, Operation Haymaker, show that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. During one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. In Yemen and Somalia, where the U.S. has far more limited intelligence capabilities to confirm the people killed are the intended targets, the equivalent ratios may well be much worse.
And upon viewing the leaked Operation Haymaker documents, it becomes clear that America's drone operations in Afghanistan have admittedly very little tactical value in eliminating specific "terrorists," and the actual "benefits" noted amid these operations is instead the perpetuation of terror, fear and sociopolitical division in targeted areas, including among civilian populations.

Considering these noted "benefits," high civilian casualty rates of up to 90% makes sense. If the goal is to simply instill fear, it doesn't matter who dies, just as long as someone does.

Comment: See also: Obama drone casualty numbers are a lie


Turkish opposition member: Erdogan government is secretly mending ties with Assad

Last week, the Turkish government took steps to mend relations with both Israel and Russia. Now, Turkish People's Democratic Party (HDP) parliamentary group leader Idris Baluken suggests that Ankara may very well be carrying out secret negotiations aimed at mending ties with Syria as well.

Last Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized to Moscow over the Su-24 pilot who died after being shot down over Syria by a Turkish warplane in November 2015; the same day, Ankara and Tel Aviv agreed to mend relations, ruined in 2010 following an Israeli raid on a Turkish humanitarian aid ship destined for Gaza which resulted in the deaths of 10 Turks.

Now, according to HDP parliamentary group leader Idris Baluken, Ankara may be trying to mend relations with Damascus as well. Late last month, the lawmaker tabled a parliamentary question on the secret talks allegedly being held between Syrian and Turkish officials in third countries.

Comment: As we wrote in our coverage on Erdogan's apology (see here and here), it's time for Turkey to put up or shut up, and so far, they have made a big show of actually changing their disastrous policies on Syria. Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said today that Turkey will "cooperate with everyone who fights Daesh", adding: "we opened Incirlik air base for those who want to join the active fight against Daesh. Why not cooperate with Russia in the same manner? Turkey is ready for such cooperation. Terrorism is our common enemy. Joint efforts are important to avoid negative incidents [among sides fighting ISIS]" While many interpreted that as meaning that Turkey was opening the base for use by Russians, Cavusoglu clarified, saying that isn't what he said.


Democratic platform looks the other way regarding Palestine, Iran demonized

© trofire.com
Telepathy: "I hear nothing." "Just noise."
The report is that Bernie Sanders just won a string of concessions from the Hillary Clinton camp on the 2016 party platform. Wall Street reform, banking reform, regulations on hedge funds, criminal justice reform, greater opposition to the death penalty, and let's fight for a $15 minimum wage. Sanders is "winning some big victories," says Greg Sargent in the Washington Post: "it looks as if this process is going better for progressives and Bernie supporters than previously suggested."

But guess what's not in the concessions? Where are Clinton's redlines? You guessed it. Vox says the sticking points are Trans Pacific Partnership, stronger measures to slow global warming, and Israel Palestine.
Earlier in negotiations, the party rejected an amendment from [James] Zogby that would have called on an end to Israel's "occupation and illegal settlements" in Palestine, according to the Associated Press. That fight symbolizes a clear divide between Sanders and Clinton, who is generally viewed as much more pro-Israel.
Here's that draft as of July 1. Notice how supportive it is of Israel. Not a word of criticism. Jerusalem is the capital forever. And Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is wicked - and anti-democratic.
A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism. That is why we will always support Israel's right to defend itself, including by retaining its qualitative military edge, and oppose any effort to delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.

We will continue to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel's future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity. While Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations, it should remain the capital of Israel, an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths. Israelis deserve security, recognition, and a normal life free from terror and incitement. Palestinians should be free to govern themselves in their own viable state, in peace and dignity.

Comment: With the platform accepting many of Sanders' signature issues, it guarantees Clinton will have an easier time securing democratic progressives' support, negating the impetus to oppose her as a candidate and truthify its many fallacies. It is almost beyond belief that the DNC can get away with such magnitude of lies and manipulations, but they will. The American public is restless and once this part is set in stone, they will move on as though nothing else matters. To them, apparently, nothing does. Look who's still in the race...


Syrian President Assad's interview with Australian TV (VIDEO + transcript)

President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to the Australian SBS TV channel in which he criticized the double standards of the West- openly attacking the Syrian government politically, but continuing to deal with it through back channels-calling for a more humanitarian and less costly solution to refugee crisis through stopping support to the terrorists.