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Wed, 20 Feb 2019
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Niall Bradley to PressTV: 'Yellow Vests Movement a Result of Sclerotic, Totalitarian Politics in Western Europe'

presstv interview niall yellow vests
They got their name from high-visibility jackets that French motorists have since 2008 been legally obliged to purchase and carry in all vehicles. Beginning as rallies in France in mid-November in protest against fuel tax hikes, the Yellow Vest movement voiced opposition to President Emanuel Macron's economic reforms, and even demand that he resign.

Inspired by Yellow Vest protests in France, copy-cat rallies have also been held in Belgium, Portugal, Ireland, the UK, Sweden and Germany. What is going on here, and where is it all headed?

On today's The Debate, we discuss the revolutionary mood in Europe with Kenneth Fero, lecturer at Coventry University in the UK, and Niall Bradley, editor at independent news site SOTT.net


Family

A European Spring Beckons

yellow vests arche de triomphe
© Getty
Is safety yellow the color of the European Spring?
Europeans are in revolt against the political and moral order and it's wonderful.

The emptiest, dumbest platitude of our time, uttered both by establishment stiffs like the Archbishop of Canterbury and by self-styled radical leftists, is that the 1930s have made a comeback. Treating that dark decade as if it were a sentient force, a still-extant thing, observers from both the worried bourgeoisie and the edgy left insist the Thirties have staggered back to life and have much of the West in their reanimated deathly grip. Looking at Brexit, the European turn against social democracy, the rise of populist parties, and the spread of 'yellow vest' revolts, the opinion-forming set sees fascism everywhere, rising zombie-like from its grave, laying to waste the progressive gains of recent decades.

This analysis is about as wrong as an analysis can be. Comparing contemporary political life to events of the past is always an imperfect way of understanding where politics is at. But if we really must search for echoes of today in the past, then it isn't the 1930s that our era looks and feels like - it's the 1840s. In particular 1848. That is the year when peoples across Europe revolted for radical political change, starting in France and spreading to Sweden, Denmark, the German states, the Italian states, the Habsburg Empire, and elsewhere. They were democratic revolutions, demanding the establishment or improvement of parliamentary democracy, freedom of the press, the removal of old monarchical structures and their replacement by independent nation states or republics. 1848 is often referred to as the Spring of Nations.

Comment: Revolutions take time to form. But it appears this one has arrived. But as the author has asked, who will shape and direct the pent-up energy, and to what end. Revolutions, at least in the last two centuries, have tended to go badly off the rails.

From 2013: Protests against rising food prices begin in UK, how long until the European Spring?


Pirates

Continued US Occupation of the ME Does Not Suppress Terrorism, It Causes It

Water reflect military
© Task & Purpose
Reflection
Even the neo-con warmongers' house journal The Guardian, furious at Trump's attempts to pull US troops out of Syria, in producing a map to illustrate its point, could only produce one single, uncertain, very short pen stroke to describe the minute strip of territory it claims ISIS still control on the Iraqi border.

Of course, the Guardian produces the argument that continued US military presence is necessary to ensure that ISIS does not spring back to life in Syria. The fallacy of that argument can be easily demonstrated. In Afghanistan, the USA has managed to drag out the long process of humiliating defeat in war even further than it did in Vietnam. It is plain as a pikestaff that the presence of US occupation troops is itself the best recruiting sergeant for resistance. In Sikunder Burnes I trace how the battle lines of tribal alliances there today are precisely the same ones the British faced in 1841. We just attach labels like Taliban to hide the fact that invaders face national resistance.

The secret to ending the strength of ISIS in Syria is not the continued presence of American troops. It is for America's ever closer allies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf to cut off the major artery of money and arms, which we should never forget in origin and for a long time had a strong US component. The US/Saudi/Israeli alliance against Iran is the most important geo-political factor in the region today. It is high time this alliance stopped both funding ISIS and pretending to fight it; schizophrenia is not a foreign policy stance.

Alarm Clock

Documents Expose British Government Covert Anti-Russian Propaganda and Truth Behind Skripal Case

Russia Sripals lies
It is worth starting by noting that a high percentage of the Integrity Initiative archive has been authenticated. The scheme has been admitted by the FCO and defended as legitimate government activity. Individual items like the minutes of the meeting with David Leask are authenticated. Not one of the documents has so far been disproven, or even denied.

Which tends to obscure some of the difficulties with the material. There is no metadata showing when each document was created, as opposed to when Anonymous made it into a PDF. Anonymous have released it in tranches and made plain there is more to come. The reason for this methodology is left obscure.

Most frustratingly, Anonymous' comments on the releases indicate that they have vital information which is not, so far, revealed. The most important document of all appears to be a simple contact list, of a particular group within the hundreds of contacts revealed in the papers overall. This is it in full:

Jet1

Trump Orders Syria Troop Pull-Out & Hollywood 'Liberals' Go Bananas

fighter jets
© Getty Images
The announcement by President Trump that US troops would be leaving Syria has been met with anger not just by neocons, but by Hollywood 'liberals' too. Aren't progressives supposed to oppose wars and illegal occupations?

Of course, we have to be cautious. Trump's announcement of a troop withdrawal from Syria, for now at least, is just words. We need to see evidence of soldiers leaving before we start to celebrate. We need to read the small print with a large Sherlock Holmes-style magnifying glass.

Even so, it's a positive development as it marks a further winding down of the conflict. Some though don't see it that way.


Comment: See also: Orange man bad, Empire good: Reactions To Trump's Syria withdrawal plan say more than the plan itself


Megaphone

Gilets Jaunes Protests Spread to Canada: Thousands Say NO to Justin Trudeau's Globalist Government

A recent demonstration in a northern Alberta city was a clear message rejecting Trudeau's anti-pipeline, pro-carbon tax, open borders, globalist agenda

GP Convoy
© unknown
A convoy of over 600 vehicles in Grande Prairie, showed support for oil pipelines.
The people are fed up. They have had enough, and they are making their voices heard.

The gilets jaunes ('yellow vest') protests against excessive taxation without representation that have erupted across France over the last month are now spreading to different parts of the world. Recently, there have been similar demonstrations in other European countries, including Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, the UK and Sweden.

Partially inspired by the mass uprising of the people in France, residents of Grande Prairie, Alberta, held a large public demonstration in a downtown park last Sunday. The event was billed as a "pro-pipeline rally", and was coordinated in response to the Canadian government's inept handling of, and interference with, four different oil pipelines that were slated to bring Alberta oil to the world market.

The failure of the government to oversee the successful implementation of even one of the proposed pipelines have lead to record low prices for Canadian oil, with devastating results to the local industry and economy.

Christmas Tree

Russophobic Tide Rising as Tory Government Fends Off Corbyn And Brexit

theresa may brexit
© Lukas Schulze/Getty Images
A float featuring British Premier Theresa May drives in the annual Rose Monday parade on February 27, 2017
In almost 30 years as a member of parliament and another 20 years watching it from the outside, I have never seen - or imagined - a basket-case Britain like this.

"It's not one damned thing, it's one damned thing after another," as the former Conservative premier Harold MacMillan once said. That Britain no longer has a functioning prime minister is just one damned thing. Add the dysfunctional government, a parliament of herded cats, a foreign policy deep in disgrace, a media subverted to the core by the deep-state, a wholly uncertain economic future, at "war" with the European continent and with our special relationship to the United States daily undermined by a parallel collapse of the power structures in Washington, it's hard not to be pessimistic about the future.

The sight of the prime minister literally rushing from the chamber seconds after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn rather cleverly wrong-footed everyone (not least his own party) by tabling a no-confidence motion not in the government - which would have united her own side and their allies on the principle that turkeys seldom vote for an early Christmas, in this case an early general election - but in the prime minister personally. It was a rational assumption that some at least of the 117 Conservative MPs who had just expressed their own no-confidence in Theresa May might do so again, or even sit on their hands and abstain. They would, after all, be then rid of her and keep their government.


MIB

UK-funded 'Integrity Initiative' Exposed Infiltrating European Media Through Fake News Factories

integrity initiative
It's been over a month since hackers began exposing the Scotland-based 'Integrity Initiative' as a UK government-funded propaganda outfit - and gradually new details of the organization's clandestine activities have come to light.

The documents were leaked by a group which claims to be associated with the Anonymous hackers. The first batch of leaks revealed the Integrity Initiative (II) was stealthily operating "clusters" of influencers across Europe working to ensure pro-UK narratives dominate the media.


Comment: That's not so bad in itself, but this was more than simple shameless self-promotion: British spooks and establishment figures were caught clandestinely influencing who does and does not get (s)elected into official positions in other European countries, on the basis of their 'proper ideological worldview'. For these people, the meaning of the word 'integrity' is very different from what most of us understand by it.


The second batch showed that the organization was also running disinformation campaigns domestically - specifically a smear campaign against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn; all done under the guise of combatting "Russian propaganda."


Comment: Same as they did regarding Trump. Corbyn may be 'of the Left', but he clearly has - from the perspective of the deep state - more in common with the US president than relatively superficial differences suggest.


Now, a third batch of leaks has exposed that the project allegedly operated much like a modern-day version of Operation Mockingbird - a secretive 1950s project whereby the CIA worked hand-in-glove with willing journalists in major media outlets to ensure certain narratives were adhered to. Only this time, it's a UK-funded organization with deep links to the intelligence services and military passing itself off as a non-partisan "charity."


Comment: Of course they don't. It's 'our team', after all, and 'we' must help 'our team' or be sent down for treason. Truth, integrity (the normal meaning of the word), and journalism be damned.


Vader

'Alexa, Drop a Bomb': Amazon Wants in on US Warfare

amazon bomb jedi
© Jared Rodriguez / Truthout
The acquisitive impulses of hundreds of millions of people could become the stuff of their imprisonment or death.
Amazon is seeking to build a global "brain" for the Pentagon called JEDI, a weapon of unprecedented surveillance and killing power, a profoundly aggressive weapon that should not be allowed to be created.

Founded in 1994 as an online book seller, Amazon is now the world's largest online retailer, with more than 300 million customers worldwide, and net sales of $178 billion in 2017.

Amazon has built a vast, globally distributed data storage capacity and sophisticated artificial intelligence programs to propel its retail business that it hopes to use to win a $10 billion Pentagon contract to create the aforementioned "brain" that goes by the project name Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, a moniker obviously concocted to yield the Star Wars acronym - JEDI.

As of the October 12, 2018, deadline for submitting proposals for JEDI, Amazon is the betting favorite for the contract, which will go to just one bidder, in spite of protests by competitors, chief among them Microsoft and IBM. The Pentagon appears likely to select a winner for the contract in 2019.

SOTT Logo Radio

NewsReal: Yellow Vest Protests, Brexit Farce - Revolutionary Climate in Western Europe?

newsreal yellow vests brexit
Is France going through revolution 2.0? La Terreur followed in the wake of the 1789 French revolution, so is last week's extraordinary coincidence of an 'ISIS/Islamist terror attack' at a critical moment in the French state's handling of the Gilets Jaunes' popular insurrection an indicator of what's likely to happen next? History may not repeat, Mark Twain said, but it sure rhymes.

Speaking of extraordinary coincidences, what is up with both France and the UK undergoing profound national crises at the same time? The Brexit chaos looks like its settling on the prediction we made two years ago: they're going to re-run the in/out referendum (then properly rig the result this time).

In this episode of NewsReal, Joe & Niall discuss the brewing revolution in western Europe, the latest Russiagate nothing-burger, and the American government's 'new' strategy for countering Russia and China in Africa.


Running Time: 01:32:33

Download: OGG, MP3


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