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Tue, 17 Oct 2017
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Liberal fascism: It's Macron, not Le Pen, making state of emergency permanent

© Daily Hampshire Gazette
French police to have carte blanche.
Emmanuel Macron very quickly made it official: He will introduce a bill which will transform extraordinary state of emergency powers into regular police practice. According to Le Monde, which saw a leaked copy of the bill: "...almost all the measures of the state of emergency will be found in common law."

What this means is that the post-Charlie Hebdo war hysteria has not only never stopped, but will have become the new, permanent normal: Anyone can be arrested, searched and detained with just a simple accusation. Judges simply need to be "informed"; police have carte blanche.

So...when can I start referring to France as an "authoritarian state" without getting edited?

LOL, I don't know what it would actually require to finally start calling that spade a "spade".... I am reminded that Confucius' "rectification of names" doctrine shows that the failure to call things by their proper names can only lead to social disorder.

I hate to say I told you so, but after less than one month in power Macron has proven to be what many feared: All the fascism of Marine Le Pen, slightly less (perhaps) of the xenophobia, 100 times the austerity. What a lousy formula that is! And despite all the warning signs, Macron won pretty handily. And again, despite all the warning signs, Macron's party is set to win an absolute majority in Parliament when the final round votes are tallied on June 18. The bill transforming civil liberties in France will be immediately introduced three days later, on June 21. Macron is not wasting any time in showing his true colors, and the bill was obviously whistle-blown in order to warn voters.

Comment: Reminiscent of 9/11 when the 'Patriot Act' sucked all the rights of liberty out of the US by fear-duping the citizenry into knee-jerk permissiveness to manipulation and forfeiture of their freedoms.

At least, back then, a nominally conservative government was doing the emergency-declaring. In this situation in France, we have a centrist liberal government burying civil rights in one fell swoop. Anyone can be arrested in France anytime for any infraction. The state doesn't even need to say why it's doing so.

Et toi, France?


Qatari FM visits Russian counterpart in Moscow: Lavrov encourages Arab neighbors to work things out

© Sanaa TV
FM Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani
The Qatari foreign minister has met with his Russian counterpart in Moscow, with the severing of ties between Qatar and some of its neighbors topping the agenda. Both ministers agreed the crisis should remain an internal issue. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said he explained what he called "an underpinning" to the recent crisis in the Arab world and Doha's "views on the issue" to Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in an exclusive interview with RT Arabic on Saturday.

The underlying reason for the events "must not be too deep," as relations between Doha and other Gulf states "were very friendly even two days prior to the escalation," the Qatari minister said. There have been meetings, consultations and summits in late May, "with no questions related to the current controversy having been raised" there.
"An information campaign to demonize Qatar has started all of a sudden," al-Thani said, claiming that all accusations against Doha have so far been "groundless, improvised" and lacking specifics. "If there are clear claims, they would have better been discussed at the table. Before taking any measures, Qatar should have been given a chance to answer to accusations," he said.
"Mr. Lavrov also stated his opinion, with it being that the conflict should stay within the scope of the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council]. Moscow is against any escalation, and we in Qatar agree," al-Thani told RT Arabic after his meeting with Lavrov.

Comment: Sacrificial lamb. When accusations come to the surface, blame someone else strongly, quickly, loudly. These are despicable tactics to deflect self-despicable deeds. Here it is twofold, as the blame game serves to unequivocally align Qatar with Iran, doubling down on 'reasons' to point fingers away from themselves -- the equally guilty.


Gulf crisis: German FM warns 'there is danger this conflict could become war'

© The Indian Express
Vice-Chancellor and FM Sigmar Gabriel
The recent diplomatic fracture among some of the biggest Arab nations is so "dramatic," it could spiral into a war, Germany's foreign minister has warned in an interview with local media. Sigmar Gabriel described the ongoing crisis in the Arab world as being "dramatic," while speaking exclusively to the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung.

The isolation of Doha by such key players as Saudi Arabia and its allies present "a danger that this conflict could become a war," Gabriel, who is also Germany's vice-chancellor, warned.

However, citing his "personal talks" with officials from several states, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey, as well as with counterparts from Iran and Kuwait, Gabriel said that although "the situation is serious," he believes "there are good chances to go ahead" in trying to prevent further escalation.

On Friday, Berlin made calls for greater diplomatic efforts to restore relations between allied and neighboring countries in the Gulf. Any escalation into violence must be avoided, and the blockade of Qatar lifted, Germany's foreign minister said. "Along with our American colleagues, but above all our colleagues in the region, we must try to find solutions, especially lifting the sea and air blockades," Gabriel told reporters in Germany, as quoted by Reuters.

Comment: Target Iran. Force the hand. Qatar was the way in. War? Gabriel could be right.


Saudi Arabia and Bahrain ban Al-Jazeera as gulf blockade tightens on Qatar

© Naseem Zeitoon / Reuters
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have banned tourist destinations from airing the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network in the latest escalation in the regional spat. Violators of the decrees face fines, closure, revocation of tourism licenses, and even imprisonment.

"All channels from the Al Jazeera Media Network must be removed" and replaced with "official Saudi television ones," the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage said in a statement, as posted by The New Arab.

"Any facility acting in violation of the aforesaid Circular will be held liable and be penalized with a fine amounting up to SR100,000 or the cancellation of its license; or both the penalties."

Eye 2

Have Western liberals been in bed with radical jihadists for far too long?

Lately we've been witnessing an ever increasing number of reports and non-conspiratorial facts that expose an alliance that exists between Western liberals and jihadists. It's hardly a secret that in Libya NATO fought a war on behalf of al-Qaeda and other radical groups to topple the legitimate government of what used to be the most prosperous and stable African state. Countries like Britain even used their intelligence services to help bring latent jihadists, some of whom were under police surveillance, in a bid to topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

Even today such states as the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium are not just sponsoring radical militants across the Middle East and arming them, they are effectively providing close air support to radical forces in Syria, while helping the Saudis to aid the Wahhabist cause in Yemen.

Comment: More to the point, there is a need to shine a light on who provides the funds for these terrorists to carry out their agenda. Then it will become clear why the 'political forces' lack the will or ability to stop the radical militants.

Snakes in Suits

Netanyahu calls for UN Palestinian refugee agency to be shut down

© Mohammed Salem / Reuters
The UN Palestinian relief agency "perpetuates" the refugee issue instead of solving it and should be "dismantled," the Israeli PM stated, adding that he had conveyed the idea to the US envoy to the UN. The agency dismissed his proposal as "fantasy."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the comments on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) during a weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

"It is time UNRWA be dismantled and merged with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees," Reuters quoted Netanyahu as saying.


Iranian Navy sends warships to Oman amid Gulf tensions

© Reuters
The Iranian Navy has dispatched a flotilla on a mission to Oman, local media report, and will enter international waters.

On Sunday, the 47th flotilla, comprised of an Alborz destroyer and Bushehr logistic warship, set sail from the southern port city of Bandar Abbas after a ceremony attended by naval commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Tasnim News reports. From Oman, the ships will head to the Gulf of Aden and international waters north of the Indian Ocean.

Light Saber

Jeremy Corbyn clears the way to finishing off the Tories

© Getty Images
He has changed the face of British politics.

There has been an elephantine shift in British politics. Few saw it coming (though some of us did) but there is no doubt that it has happened. Rising like lions from slumber, the British people have endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's political revolution and have upset the pundits, the establishment media and the British elite.

Against all odds the Labour Party has answered the questioning of its relevance. We have defied the odds without cosying up to Rupert Murdoch and without trying to outstrip the Tories on immigration. We have won seats we have not held for decades without pitting generation against one another and without dividing communities up. This is the new politics.

Comment: Jeremy Corbyn: The new political victory of a thoroughly decent man - and what it means

Snakes in Suits

Poroshenko's claims on Ukraine being 'independent from Russia' shattered by reality

© Sputnik/ Evgenia Novozhenina
On Sunday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that a visa-free regime with the European Union for Ukrainian citizens has come into force.

"Visa-free regime for Ukraine started working!" Poroshenko posted on his Facebook account.

On May 17, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani and Malta's Interior Minister Carmelo Abela, presiding at the Council of the European Union, signed a document on amending the bloc's legislation to grant Ukrainians the 90-day visa-free regime, which entered into force at midnight local time on Sunday (21:00 GMT on Saturday).


Iran company finalizes deal with Boeing to buy 60 planes

© Unknown
Iran's official IRNA news agency is reporting that the country's Aseman Airlines has finalized a deal to purchase 60 planes from the American company Boeing.

The Saturday report said that the planes will be delivered in two batches and the first batch will consist of 30 737 passenger planes to be delivered in 2019.

This is the second deal between the Chicago-based Boeing and an Iranian airliner since a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers went into practice in 2016.