viernes, 31 de mayo de 2013


Nervios en el Hemisferio Norte. Uno pasa revista a las ediciones digitales de los diarios y le viene un no sé qué, como un aire, un lejano recuerdo a 19 y 20 de Diciembre. ¿Será en este verano boreal? ¿En el que viene? Por las dudas, algunos ya empiezan a avisar.

Bajo el título “The coming mass strike upsurge of 2014-2015”, un viejo conocido de este blog, Webster G. Tarpley, escribe una espléndida nota sobre aquellas tormentas que vendrán. ¿Dónde? En el sitio iraní PressTV ( ¿En qué medio masivo de Occidente podrían publicar una nota así?

“Today, it is increasingly evident that the terrorist al-Qaeda death squads which NATO and Israel have been using to destabilize the government of Syrian President Assad are facing a very uncertain future. If these terrorists were to undergo a decisive defeat or even a total collapse, this would sharply expose the intellectual, moral, and political bankruptcy of the current rulers of Britain, France, the United States, and other countries. The path would then be clear to turn the international war of aggression into a domestic struggle for revolutionary reforms.”

Where are we in the unfolding of the current world economic depression, and what can we know about the events that lie ahead? The US Memorial Day holiday weekend provides the occasion to venture some answers to these questions.

The current world economic depression reached critical mass in the autumn of 2008. The world derivatives panic of that year and the bankruptcy of the British and US banking systems was then followed in 2010 by a European banking panic, which has been disguised as a sovereign debt crisis. That European banking crisis continues to the present day, made worse by brutal and stupid austerity policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission. With the US and European economies depressed, the slowdown has spread across the world to impact Brazil, China, and India.

No country has so far been able to turn the corner from depression to broad-based recovery. Japan is currently using high-risk competitive evaluations to end decades of stagnation, but this has been punctuated by signs of financial panic. The supposed success story of Iceland, touted especially by Keynesians, has been exposed as a big lie by the recent election there, which revealed a population driven to desperation by a massive collapse of its standard of living - to the point where voters were willing to bring back the hated right-wing parties responsible for the pre-crash orgy of speculation.

The unfolding of the current depression is roughly parallel to the development of the world economic crisis of the 1930s. Back then, the depression was triggered when Lord Montagu Norman’s Bank of England sharply raised the British discount rate in September 1929, sucking huge amounts of hot money across the Atlantic from New York to London, and resulting in the fabled US stock market panic of October 1929. That was followed by a European ranking crisis in the summer of 1931, which started with the Kreditanstalt of Vienna, then brought down the Danatbank and the rest of the large German banks, and culminated with the watershed default on gold payments by the Bank of England in September 1931, which destroyed the pound-based world monetary system of that era. The British debacle then provoked a panic run on US banks which accelerated during the 1932 and into the spring of 1933. By the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inauguration in March of 1933, every bank in the United States had shut its doors. The Roosevelt Bank Holiday merely provided legal cover for those stricken institutions.

In Europe and the United States, that previous depression reached its low point sometime during 1933. Then, even though depression continued to grip the planet, there was a modest uptick in economic activity and employment. Working people began to feel they had won a breathing space, and the political climate began to change. Today, with numerous ruling class voices being raised to argue that austerity policies have gone too far and are becoming counterproductive, a similar token, short-term amelioration may be in the works.

In much of Europe, the first years of the Depression were marked by a sharp right turn, with the reactionaries and fascists scoring important gains in a number of countries. Most important was of course Hitler’s seizure of power in Germany in January 1933. By early 1934, as historian Wolfgang Abendroth noted, the advance of fascism - like the advance of austerity today - seemed to be irresistible. Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Austria were under fascist regimes. Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and other Balkan states were civilian or military dictatorships. In England, Sir Oswald Mosley had launched his British Union of Fascists. In France, monarchists, reactionaries, and Fascists had almost succeeded with an armed assault on the Chamber of Deputies on February 6, 1934. A fascist coup had been narrowly avoided mainly because of personal rivalries among the various would-be dictators. But the French government of Daladier had fallen, and the new Doumergue regime included as defense minister Marshal Pétain, the boss of French fascism and spokesman for the underground fascist networks known as the Cagoule and the Synarchie.

The United States, since 1933 under by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal government, constituted an exception to the general reactionary drift of these years. But the early years of the new deal were unable to prevent a rout of the existing labor organizations due in large part to the colossal numbers of unemployed workers. But, via the middle of the 1930s, in a breathtaking reversal of fortunes, the US labor movement was about to regain the initiative.

First Years of Depression Bring Crisis of Popular Movements

In Europe, the very desperation of the situation after Hitler’s seizure of power forced Social Democratic and communist political forces to put aside their suicidal sectarian differences in favor of the so-called popular front, a defensive alliance against fascism which suffered from programmatic weakness, but was nevertheless enough to permit a regroupment and counterattack. Trade unionists, workers and other groups took the offensive to assert their economic rights.

Perhaps we can see some parallels between the low point of 1933-34 and our own current situation, especially when the quality of mass leadership is concerned. We have now lived through the abject failure of Occupy, whose Situationist/anarchist leadership reached a new low of absurdity by banning any concrete demands - arguing that if the demands were won, the movement would be co-opted. Very little is now left of Occupy, except the name, a bit of nostalgia, and a widespread resolve not to commit the same stupid mistakes a second time. Right wing pseudo-populist Ron Paul has exposed himself as an auxiliary to the Romney presidential campaign with the main goal of building a career for his nepotist and mediocre son Rand. The so-called Tea Party, which pretended in 2010 to represent a challenge to Wall Street bailouts, has now exposed itself as an abject tool of the reactionary billionaire Koch brothers. In Italy, Beppe Grillo and his guru Casaleggio have demonstrated their bungling ineptitude and bad faith, failing to win a single concrete benefit for their 8 million voters. The terrain, in short, is now clear for new leadership and new approaches.

1936: Popular Front Victories in Spain and France

The first part of the 1936 mass upsurge was the February victory of the Spanish Popular Front of socialists and communists. This alliance was attractive enough to pull even anarcho-syndicalist workers out of their usual self-defeating apolitical stance. A land reform, the most basic of all modernizations, was suddenly on the agenda. Wildcat strikes and peasant revolts broke out. In July 1936, General Francisco Franco, the head of the Spanish colonial army in North Africa, carried out a coup d’état against the Spanish Republic. Franco’s revolt enjoyed the support not just of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, but also of the British conservative regime. Even so, the fascist Franco could have been crushed if a minimum level of solidarity had been maintained between the Spanish and French popular front governments. Here we find a lesson that international cooperation will be absolutely indispensable if any successes are to be one in the years ahead. Nothing whatsoever can be done in Europe without a continent wide movement to seize control of the European Central Bank and use it to finance at least 40 million new productive jobs, starting in infrastructure.

In 1930s France, the Socialists, Communists, and radicals had joined in an electoral alliance in May and June 1935, scoring important successes in local elections. The communist, socialist, and Christian trade unions began closer cooperation. In the national political elections of April and May 1936, the parties of the popular front won a decisive victory. The reactionaries were momentarily in full retreat. The socialist Léon Blum became prime minister. At this point, French workers - desiring to immediately translate their political victory in two social advances - shut down the country with a mass strike, occupying many of the largest factories. In early June 1936, the unions secured a 40-hour week with no reduction in pay, two weeks of paid vacation, an end to unrestrained hire and fire labor policies, and substantial wage increases. The Socialists wanted the nationalization of the Bank of France, but communists - vainly hoping to make France an ally of the Soviet Union by showing restraint - blocked this decisive step. An obvious lesson for us today is precisely that no reforms are likely to prove durable unless the central banks are nationalized and their credit-creating power put at the service of the national interest in full employment and rising standards of living.

Unfortunately, the French popular front was unable to resist the British demand that no arms be provided for the defense of the Spanish Republic. Here again the lesson of international coordination and unity of action is clearly depicted.

In the United States, 1936 had witnessed the founding of the United Auto Workers union. At first, the UAW was a loose confederation of relatively weak locals. The first main UAW effort was to organize the General Motors auto plants in Flint, Michigan. After a strike broke out at a General Motors factory in Cleveland, Ohio, the UAW on December 30, 1936 began a sit-down strike in the Fisher body plant of Flint. General Motors tried desperately to drive the workers out of the factory, but President Roosevelt refused to order federal troops to intervene as strikebreakers. By February 1937, General Motors was forced to recognize the UAW as the sole collective bargaining representative for its workers for the coming six months. The 30,000-member UAW immediately recruited 100,000 new members, and by the end of 1938 had 500,000 unionized workers on its rolls. Even labor organizations which have been decimated by years of reaction can sometimes bounce back with exponential growth during a mass strike phase, provided their policies and leadership are right.

After Years of Defeat, US Labor Upsurge of 1936, FDR Landslide

There followed a general US labor upsurge, with 47 sit-down strikes in March 1937, 170 such strikes in April, and 52 sit-down actions in May. Chrysler plants, hotels, lumberyards, meatpacking plants, laundries, and department stores were all scenes of sit-down strikes. The usually benighted United States Steel Company, fearing an occupation of its plants, quickly accepted the United Steelworkers of America as sole collective bargaining agent. And this pattern was repeated in many other industries. A landmark victory was scored in the Remington Rand strike, which began in May 1936 and ended successfully in April 1937.

These events were accompanied by the presidential election victory of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won a second term in November 1936. This campaign was unquestionably the most radical of the entire New Deal. In his final speech at Madison Square Garden in New York City just before Election Day, Roosevelt had stated that the bankers “had begun to consider the government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me - and I welcome their hatred.”

Roosevelt pledged to crush these Wall Street forces during his second term, saying: “I should like to have it set up my first administration that in it the forces of selfishness and all the lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second administration that any of these forces met their master.” The figure of Roosevelt points up the foolishness and lack of realism of those anarchists, grillini, and other misguided souls who negate the very idea of leadership, irrespective of its quality. This is an infantile, anti-authoritarian impulse from the worst of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Capable and responsible leaders are essential for the success of popular movements. Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated the reactionary Republican ticket of Landon-Knox by 523 electoral votes to 8, while winning the highest percentage of the popular vote of any candidate since 1820. Roosevelt’s success also shows the synergy between election campaigns on the one hand and labor struggles on the other: they must work together, and neither one alone would be enough.

Comparison of 1935-1936 with 2014-2015: Syria, Putin, Bergoglio, Warren, Greece

The working hypothesis here is that, keeping in mind the general timetable of the 1930s world depression, we may very well be presented with new world historical opportunities of a mass upsurge of working people in 2014 and 2015, or even sooner. Here are some of the factors that currently seem to be preparing this new phase of mass struggle against austerity and bankers’ misrule.

Surprisingly to some, a major force in blowing the lid off the current political stagnation of the Western world may well turn out to be the situation in Syria. There is no greater stimulus to the rebellion of a subject population than to see the oppressor government defeated in one of its international adventures. Here we can cite the Russian Revolution of 1905 against the autocratic czarist regime, which was detonated by the humiliating defeat of the Russian Empire in the Russo-Japanese war. The czar was weakened, and forced for the first time to accept internal reforms, including a kind of Parliament.

Today, it is increasingly evident that the terrorist al-Qaeda death squads which NATO and Israel have been using to destabilize the government of Syrian President Assad are facing a very uncertain future. If these terrorists were to undergo a decisive defeat or even a total collapse, this would sharply expose the intellectual, moral, and political bankruptcy of the current rulers of Britain, France, the United States, and other countries. The path would then be clear to turn the international war of aggression into a domestic struggle for revolutionary reforms.

Closely related to the Syrian situation has been the leadership of Russian President V. V. Putin, who has remained steadfast in his support for President Assad - recently concentrating the Russian fleet off Tartus in the eastern Mediterranean, and delivering powerful anti-ship missiles and antiaircraft systems to the Syrian government. Putin is also pressing to have not only Syria but also Iran included in the coming Geneva conference on Syria, which might transform those proceedings into the beginnings of a general Middle East peace conference of the type which the Israelis have been attempting to sabotage for decades.

Another area of possible imperialist defeat in the short run is the continued domination of the International Monetary Fund. The BRICS block of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa is well advanced in its preparations for the launching of a BRICS development bank, which would tend to terminate the monopoly on international lending maintained by the IMF and World Bank for the purpose of strangling world economic development and looting the world economy in the interest of the City of London and Wall Street. A BRICS intervention to rescue Egypt from the clutches of the western creditors and plutocratic powers is long overdue, and would constitute a revolution in international affairs.

Another unexpected factor contributing to a possible sharp turn in the world situation is becoming of the Argentine Pope Francis. Here is a pontiff whose outlook has been decisively shaped by his ministry in the slum neighborhoods of Buenos Aires. Francis’s initial statements display a tough polemic against the plutocratic regimes of the Western world. The Pope demands that money be a servant of humanity, and not its ruler. He attacks the invisible power of plutocracy. His entire profile puts him on a collision course with the vicious austerity policies championed by the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Francis is reliably reported to be working on his first encyclical letter, which will be a defense of traditional Catholic social doctrine against the pernicious ideologies of neoliberalism, monetarism, and globalization. When this encyclical is published, the Vatican’s repudiation of the dominant economic schools of Europe and North America will become an important political fact. The dominant austerity psychosis will be stripped of its entire theoretical and practical justification. Austerity policies will be seen as the devil’s work. Resistance to imperialist looting can be expected to grow in southern Europe, in Latin America, and elsewhere.

In the United States, the younger generation is being crushed by a student loan burden which has now exceeded $1.1 trillion, exceeding all forms of household debt except home mortgages. The reactionary Republicans and the Wall Street Democrats of the Obama regime are resisting the rock-bottom interest rates which are the minimum necessary to stabilize this debt in the short run. For many students, student loan debt becomes the central factor of their lives. The average bachelor’s degree is accompanied by about $35,000 of debt. Advanced degrees easily generate $75,000 of debt. Degrees in law and medicine routinely exceed $100,000.

The new Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, long regarded by anti-Wall Street forces as the most promising politician in the Democratic Party, has now come forward with a bill to cut student loan interest rates to about .075%, representing a reduction of almost 90%. Equally significant is the fact that Senator Warren wants this debt relief to be paid for by the Federal Reserve System, which her bill orders to fund new loans administered by the Secretary of Education. Here is a case study of the method needed to raise the entire US and world economies out of depression - an economic recovery financed by cheap long-term credit for infrastructure, agriculture, and manufacturing provided by the de-privatized central bank.

Establishment news organs like the Washington Post (the house organ of the Federal Reserve System) are attempting to bury Warren’s proposal on their conspiracy of silence and censorship, but the word is getting out. The academic year of 2013-2014 could well be rocked by mass struggles on the part of students demanding the alleviation of their indebtedness. This is of course a critical factor, since it is inevitably young people who must provide the vanguard for any significant mass upsurge.

A wild card in the international situation remains Greece. Here the reactionary austerity block of Samaras and New Democracy might crumble during the spring and summer of 2013, opening the door to yet another round of early elections. If so, there is a real chance that the Syriza bloc might take over the government. This would highlight the important positive qualities of Syriza, which demonstrates a level of program, strategy, organization, and leadership which is vastly superior to the vast majority of today’s political formations. If Syriza as a governing party should become an object of sustained international attention, this comparison will prove extremely embarrassing for such snake oil salesmen as Beppe Grillo, Nigel Farage of the xenophobic UK Independence Party, and the petty bourgeois professors and legal cranks of the newly founded Alternative for Germany.

Success or Failure Determined By Leadership and Program: Get Ready

Since a new mass upsurge thus appears well within the realm of possibility, the main question becomes the preparedness of mass forces to take advantage of this new opportunity to lead the world out of the current economic breakdown crisis.

This comes down to the question of hegemony. What forces will exercise preponderant influence over the newly radicalized or newly revived strata entering the political battle over the next several years? We can be sure that if the principal ideologues of radical action remain such discredited fakers as Noam Chomsky or the Situationist International, the cause of civilization’s survival will become grim indeed. And if not Chomsky or the anarchists, who will set the tone?

Will there be an adequate anti-depression program, or will the very notion of program be reviled? Will there be a strategy of fighting a series of anti-austerity actions and election campaigns so as to believe pressure on working people in the short run, while building a movement capable of exercising power in the medium run? Will the necessity for leadership be recognized, or will infantilism and anti-authoritarianism rule the day? Will scores of contending splinter parties, organizations, groups, and groupuscules be able to form a common front, or will they insist on maintaining their impotence in fragmentation?

The answers provided to these questions in 2013-2014 may well determine the course of world history and the potential for human survival in 2015.”

200 años, ¿de qué sirvió?

Hasta la próxima.

jueves, 30 de mayo de 2013

El Siglo del Gas

El sitio web de la periodista Silvia Cattori ( reprodujo hace un tiempo un artículo del filósifo y analista geopolítico Imad Fawzi Shueibi, director en Damasco, Siria, del Data & Strategic Studies Center. Hemos posteado sobre esto en otras ocasiones, pero el artículo es generoso en precisiones y detalles. El mismo data del 17 de Abril de 2012 y se titula: “Struggle over the Middle East: Gas Ranks First”. Acá va:

Now we understand that energy is the goal of the war going on in Syria between the two main world alliances Nato + Israel against Russia and China and their allies. We know also that Lebanon and Syria contain enormous sources of Gas and this is now the real goal of the attack against them, especially coming from the theocracies of the Gulf afraid of losing their grip and fortune. - R.A.

Targeting Syria has never been far away from the struggle over gas in the world in general and the Middle East in particular. At a time in which there seemed to be a collapse in the Euro Zone accompanied with an extremely crucial economic crisis which led the U.S to be indebted for $ 14.94 trillion; i.e., 99.6% of the GDP, and at a time in which the global American influence reached a minimum in encountering emerging powers like China, India and Brazil, it has been so clear that searching for the potential of power no longer exists in the nuclear and non-nuclear military arsenal. That potential lies there, where energy harbours. This is the point which clearly manifests the Russian-American struggle.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russians began to feel that the struggle for armament has exhausted them, especially in the absence of the necessary energy sources needed by any industrial country. The American presence in the oil zones for some decades enabled them to grow and have control over the international political decision without much struggle. Therefore, the Russians turned towards energy sources, be them oil or gas. Since the international apportionment does not bear much competition in oil sectors, Moscow sought to manipulate gas in the areas of gas production, transporting or marketing on a large scale.

The starting point was in 1995 when Putin set the strategy of Gasprom Co. to move within the area in which gas exists starting from Russia through Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iran (for marketing) and the Middle East. Certainly, the projects of the Nord Stream and South Stream will be a historical order of merit/insignia given to Vladimir Putin for his efforts in bringing Russia back to the International arena and for tightening the grip on the European economy which will depend, for decades, on gas as an alternative for oil or depend on gas as well as oil, yet with prioritizing the first; i.e., gas. At this point, it was a must for Washington to hasten to create its peer project; Nabucco, to compete against the Russian project as to gain an international apportionment on the basis of which the next century will be politically and strategically determined.

Gas is the main source of energy in the twenty-first century whether as an alternative for oil, due to recession in oil reserves, or as a source of clean energy. Therefore, having control over the zones of gas reserves in the world is considered to be, for the old as well as modern powers, the basis of international Conflict in its regional manifestation.

Obviously, Russia well read the map and well learnt the lesson, for the lack of world energy resources that are needed to inject industrial institutions with money and energy, and which were not under the control of the Soviet Union, was the reason behind its collapse. Therefore, Russia learnt that the source of energy of the coming century; i.e., the 21st Century, was GAS.

An initial reading of the gas map reveals that gas locates in the following areas, in terms of quantity and access to consumption areas:

1. Russia: beginning with Vyborg and Beregvya.
2. Annexed to Russia: Turkmenistan.
3. The near and further roundabouts of Russia: Azerbaijan and Iran.
4. Captured from Russia: Georgia.
5. Eastern Mediterranean: Syria and Lebanon.
6. Qatar and Egypt.

Moscow hastened to work on two strategic lines; the first of which is setting up a Russian – Chinese (shanghai) century based on the economic growth of the Shanghai Bloc, on the one hand, and the control of gas resources, on the other hand.

Thus, Moscow set the grounds for two projects; the South Stream and the Nord (North) Stream in an attempt to face an American project that aimed at seizing the gas of the Black Sea and the gas of Azerbaijan; the Nabucco Project.

There is, then, a strategic race between two projects so as to have control over Europe and the gas resources.

• The American Project (Nabucco) which centres in Central Asia and the Black Sea and its surroundings. Its storage places are in Turkey while its path starts in Bulgaria, and moves through Romania, Hungary, Czech, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. It was due to pass through Greece, but this idea was ducked for the sake of Turkey. 

• The Russian projects; the Nord and South Streams: a) Nord Stream: It starts in Russia and goes directly to Germany, and from Weinberg to Sasnetz across the Baltic Sea without penetrating Belarus. This helped ease the American pressure there. b) South Stream: It starts in Russia and moves towards the Black Sea and Bulgaria, then it goes into Greece and then goes towards South Italy, Hungary and Austria.

The Nabucco project was supposed to compete the two Russian projects, but due to technical problems the project was delayed until 2017 though it was scheduled in 2014. This resolved the race in favor of Russia, at this stage in particular, and urged for the search of supplementary areas supporting either project:

1) The Iranian gas which the U.S. insists on making supportive of the Nabucco gas pipeline in the sense that it passes parallelistically by Georgia’s gas pipeline (and Azerbaijan if possible) to reach an assembling point in Erzurum, Turkey.
2) Gas of the Eastern Mediterranean: Syria, Lebanon and Israel.

Iran took a decision the result of which was signing a number of agreements in July 2011 to transport gas through Iraq to Syria. These agreements make Syria the centre of assembly and production in conjunction with the reserves of Lebanon. This is a space of strategy and energy that geographically opens for the first time and extends from Iran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Though it was banned and was not allowed for a length of years, it now shows the degree of struggle over Syria and Lebanon at this phase, and shows the emerging role of France that considers the Eastern Mediterranean as a historical region of influence and everlasting interests. The French role now goes along with the French absence ever since the World War II. In other words, France wants to have a role in the world of (gas) from which it has gained (a health insurance) in Libya and wants to gain (a life insurance) in both Syria and Lebanon.
Now, Turkey feels it is going to be lost amid the struggle for gas as long as the Nabucco project is late. At the time when the Nord and South Streams exclude Turkey, the latter knows quite well that the gas of the Eastern Mediterranean has become at a distance from the influence of Nabucco, and so has Turkey.

History of the Game
For the Nord and South Stream Projects, Moscow established the company of Gazprom in the early 1990s. Remarkably, Germany who wanted to escape, once and for all, the repercussions of the World War II, prepared itself to be a party to the project and a partner of it, as well, whether in terms of establishment, end of the north pipeline or the storage places of the south Stream in the Germanic roundabouts, especially Austria.

Gazprom was founded with the cooperation of Hans-Joachim Gornig; Moscow’s German friend, who was a former vice president of the German Oil and Gas Industrial Company and who supervised the construction of the pipeline network of GDR. The one who headed Gazprom until October 2011 was Vladimir Kotenev who was a former Russian ambassador to Germany.

The Company of Gazprom signed qualitative and easy transactions with German companies, on top of which comes the companies cooperating with the Nord Stream as the giant (E.ON) company for energy, and the giant (BASF) for chemicals where the (E.ON) gets preferences to buy amounts of gas at the expense of Gazprom when gas prices go up. This is considered to be a kind of (political) support of the German energy companies.

Moscow benefited from the liberalization of the European gas markets monopoly to force those markets to disconnect the distribution networks from production facilities. These clashes between Russia and Berlin turn a page of historic hostility to start a new phase of cooperation on the basis of economy as well as repudiation of a heavy weight put on Germany’s shoulders; i.e., the heavy weight of the debt-overburdened Europe that is under the thumb of the U.S. Germany considers that the Germanic Group; Germany, Austria, Czech and Switzerland, has the priority in being the core of Europe, but it should not bear the consequences of the aging of a continent nor the fall of another giant.

Gazprom’s German ventures include its Wingas joint venture with Wintershall, a subsidiary of BASF which is Germany’s largest oil and gas producer and controls 18% of the gas market. Gazprom has given its top German partners unrivaled stakes in its Russian assets. BASF and E.ON each control almost one-quarter of the Yuzhno-Russkoye gas fields that will provide most of the supplies for Nord Stream at a time, which is not a mere coincidence or simulation, when the peer of Gazprom in Germany; called "The Germanic Gazprom", expands to own 40% of the Austrian Centrex Co. specialized in gas storage. The latter has qualitative expansion into Cyprus; an expansion with which Turkey may not be contented.

Turkey dearly misses assuming a tardy role in the Nabucco Gas Company whereby it is supposed to start storing, marketing and transferring about (31) billion m³ of gas which can go up to (40) billion m³ – at a later stage – in a project that makes Ankara more and more subjugated to the Washington and Nato decisions without having the right to insist on joining the European Union that has rejected it several times.

As a matter of fact, the strategic ties through gas become even more strategic in politics where Moscow lobbies effective on the Social Democratic Party of Germany in North-Rhine Westphalia; the major industrial base that is home to the RWE (Neurath power plant) for electricity utilities and E.ON subsidiary.

Such an influence is recognized by the head of energy policies in the Green Party; Hans Joseph Fell, that four German companies related to Russia play a role in formulating the German Energy Policy through a very complicated network that lobbies ministers and manipulates the Public Opinion via the Eastern European Economic Relations Committee that represents German companies and has close business relations in Russia and countries of the Former Soviet Union Bloc.

Therefore, there is an indispensible silence on the part of Germany vis-à-vis the accelerating Russian influence. This silence is based on the necessity to improve the so-called"Energy Security" in Europe.

Remarkably, Germany now considers the policy of (easing and pacifying) suggested by the European Union to cover the Euro crisis would hinder the Russian – German investments for a long time. This reason, together with other reasons – stand behind the German dawdling in saving the euro laden with European debts. However, it should be taken into consideration that Germany and its Germanic bloc can bear those debts alone.

Every time Europeans oppose Germany and its policy regarding Russia, Berlin asserts that the Europe’s Utopian plans are unenforceable and may push Russia to sell its gas in Asia. This will, definitely, eighty-six the energy security in Europe.

This Russian – German engagement was not simple when Putin could employ the legacy of the Cold War regarding the presence of three million Russian-speakers living in Germany who comprised the second largest group after the Turks. He was also adept at employing a network of Eastern German officials who had been recruited to look after the interests of the Russian companies in Germany, let alone recruiting a number of ex-Eastern German State Security Service agents (ex-Stasi agents) including Gazprom Germania’s director of personnel and its director of finance, and director of finance of the Nord Stream Consortium Matthias Warnig who the Wall Street Journal reported as having helped Putin recruit spies in the Eastern – Germany City of Dresden when Putin was a young KGB operative.

To be fair, Russia’s employment of its former relations was not unripe; rather, it was for the benefit of Germany as a whole. That made the clash between the two countries not possible as long as interests were attained by both parties without having one dominating the other.

The Nord Stream Project, the major link between Russia and Germany, has been inaugurated recently with pipeline cost of 4.7 billion euros. Although the Nord Stream Pipeline links Russia and Germany, Europeans’ recognition that such a project would be part of the Energy Security made France and Holland hasten to declare it a European project. In this regard, it is good to mention that Lindner of the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations said without hesitation that it was a European not a German project and that they would not lock Germany into greater dependence on Russia. Such a declaration indicates the apprehension of the expanding Russian influence in Germany; however, the project of the Nord Stream, in structure, represents Moscow’s plan not the EU’s.

Russians can cripple energy distribution to Poland and other countries the way they like and will be able to sell gas to whoever pays more. However, the importance of Germany to Russia lies, practically, in the fact that it constitutes a platform from which to launch its strategy across the continent where Gazprom Germania has stakes in twenty-five joint projects in Britain, Italy, Turkey, Hungary and other countries. This – actually – leads us to say that Gazprom will – after a while – become one of the largest companies of the world if not the largest.

Not only did Gazprom leaders build this project, they also tried to interfere in the Nabucco Project that will – as aforementioned – be delayed until 2017, taking into consideration that the latter constitutes a serious challenge. Therefore, Gazprom – which owns 30% of a project designed for building a second major huge pipeline that reaches Europe roughly along Nabucco’s route; a project even Gazprom supporters call "political" – began a political auctioneering to show its muscles by stopping Nabucco or crippling it. Nevertheless, Moscow hastened to buy up gas in Central Asia and the Caspian in a bid to starve Nabucco at the same time it is ridiculing Washington politically, economically and strategically.

Outlining Europe’s and – later – the world’s Map
Gazprom operates gas facilities in Austria; i.e., facilities in the strategic Germanic roundabouts. It also leases facilities in Britain and France. However, the growing number of storage facilities in Austria will be the basis for drawing the energy map of Europe since it is going to provide the Slovenian, Slovakian, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian and somewhat German benefiting from a newly-established a repository called (Katrina) which Gazprom builds in cooperation with Germany with the aim of exporting gas to the hubs of Western Europe.

Gazprom established a joint storage facility with Serbia to export gas to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia itself. Feasibility studies have been conducted on similar storage ventures in the Czech Republic, Romania, Belgium, Britain, Slovakia, Turkey, Greece and even France. Such a venture, on the part of Gazprom, strengthens Moscow’s position as a provider of 41% of Europe’s needed supplies of gas. This, undoubtedly, means an substantial change in the relations between the East and the West in the short, mid and long runs. It also indicates an ebb in the American influence or a collision being prepared to along with considering the missile shield to establish a new world order where gas is the most essential pillar of its formation. This is a clear indication of the heating struggle in the Middle East over gas of the Eastern Coast of the Mediterranean.

Nabucco in a tight spot
Nabucco was conceived to funnel gas 3,900 kilometers from Turkey to Austria and was designed to carry 31 bcm of natural gas annually from the Middle East and the Caspian region to markets in Europe. The Nato-American-French hastening towards decisively ending all matters in the Middle East, particularly in Syria and Lebanon in a way that harmonizes with their interests, lies in the necessity to maintain calm situations supporting the investment and transportation of gas. Syria responded by signing a contract that aims at transferring gas from Iran to Syria passing by Iraq. As a matter of fact, it is the very Syrian and Lebanese gas that is the focal point of the struggle that aims at annexing it either to the Nabucco gas reserves or Gazprom, thus, the South Stream. The consortium of Nabucco consists of the German energy companies REW, Austrian OML, Turkish Botas, Bulgarian Energy Holding Company and Romanian Transgaz.

Five years ago, the initial costs of the rival project of Gazprom were estimated to be $ 11.2 billion and the project was expected to have lesser prices than the Russian one. The costs could drive up to reach $ 21.4 billion by 2017. This raises many questions about the viability of this economic project in particular taking into consideration that Gazprom has had enough deals in various regions in an attempt to encompass Nabucco that would feed on the surplus capacity of the gas of Turkmenistan, especially when we know that the ineffective pursuit of the Iranian gas precludes the possibility of achieving the Nabucco dream. This is, in fact, one of the unknown secrets of the struggle over Iran that has gone too far into defiance by choosing Iraq and Syria to be routes for its gas transport, or – at least – part of that route.

Thus, Nabucco’s best hope lies in gas supplies from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz 2 field which would almost be the only source of a project that seems to be stumbling from the very beginning. This manifests in the accelerating deals and in Moscow’s success in buying the sources of Nabucco, on the one hand, and the hardships encountered in achieving geopolitical changes in Iran and the Mediterranean (Syria and Lebanon), on the other hand. This comes at a time in which Turkey hastens to claim a share in the Nabucco Project either through signing a contract with Azerbaijan to buy 6 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in 2017 or trying to lay hands on Syria and Lebanon with the aim of hampering the transfer of Iranian oil or receiving a share of the Lebanese or Syrian gas affluence (or Syria and Lebanon altogether). The race towards occupying a position in the New World Order escalates through gas and other things ranging from small military services to the strategic domes of the missile shield.

Perhaps what poses a threat to Nabucco most is Russia’s attempt to ditch it through negotiating over more advantageous and competitive contracts of gas supplies in favor of Gazprom’s Nord and South Streams, hampering, thus, any effort to endow the United States and Europe with any kind of influence, politics and energy wise, whether in Iran or the Mediterranean. Moreover, Gazprom could be one of the most important investors or operators of the new gas fields in Syria or Lebanon. The date of August 16, 2011 was not randomly chosen by the Syrian Ministry of Oil to announce the discovery of a gas well in the Area of Qarah in the Central Region of Syria near Homs. The well has the capacity of producing 400.000 cubic metres a day (146 million cubic metres a year). However, the Syrian Ministry of Oil did not breathe a syllable about the Mediterranean Gas.

The Nord and South Streams lessened the importance of the American policy that appeared to be lagging behind. However, the sings of detest between the states of Central Europe and Russia have ebbed, but Poland does not seem to be dragging out of the play soon, nor does the US seem to be willing to retreat since it announced in late October 2011 the shift in the energy policies after the discovery of coal mines in Europe which will lessen dependence on Russia … and the Middle East. This seems to be a far-reaching or long-term goal due to the fact that there is a number of procedures to be taken before starting commercial production of coal. This coal can be attained from unconventional sources in the rocks found at thousands of feet underground by using the techniques of rock fracturing and the hydraulic fracturing of high pressure water. Those techniques are used to pump liquids and sand into a well to release gas. This issue, however, is coated with environmental risks due to the impacts of the fracturing techniques on water reserves.

China’s Participation
Sino-Russian cooperation in the field of energy is the power orienting the Sino-Russian strategic partnership. This is, in fact, what experts point to as the "base" for the double veto in the UNSC that came in favour of Syria.

Cooperation in the energy field is what lubricates the acceleration of the partnership between the two giants. It is not only a matter of gas supplies with preferences to China but it is a process that urges China to participate in gas distribution through selling new assets and facilities, in addition to attempting to have joint control over the executive administrations of the gas distribution networks where Moscow currently shows resilience in prices of gas supplies provided that they are allowed to access the local Chinese markets because of the profits there. It was agreed, thus, on that Russian and Chinese experts could work together in the following domains: “coordinating energy strategies in Russia and china; predicting and outlining prospective scenarios; and developing market infrastructure, energy efficiency and sources of alternative energy”.

Despite cooperation in the field of energy, there are other strategic interests that represent in the mutual Chinese – Russian conception of the risks of the American so-called project “Missile Shield”. Not only has Washington involved Japan and South Korea in the Missile Shield, but it has also sent an invitation to India in early September 2011 to be a partner in the very project. Moscow’s concerns intersect with Beijing’s as regards Washington’s moves to revive the Strategy of Central Asia; i.e., the Silk Road. This project is the same as that initiated by George Bush (Greater Central Asia Project) to roll back Russia and China’s influence in Central Asia in collaboration with Turkey to resolve the situation in Afghanistan by 2014 so as to arrange for the Nato influence there. There are increasing allusions from Uzbekistan to play host of the Nato for such a project. Here, Vladimir Putin estimates that what can foil the Western invasion on Russia’s back scenes in Central Asia will be the expansion of the joint Russian-Kazakhstani-Belarusian economic space in cooperation with Beijing.

This image of the international struggle mechanisms allows access to see one side of the process of the New World Order Formation based on struggling for military influence and on holding the backbone of age; namely, energy, on top of which comes gas.

The Gas of Syria
As Israel started oil and gas extraction, it was clear that the basin of the Mediterranean had entered the game and that Syria was either to be attacked or that the whole region was going to enjoy peace since the twenty-first century was the century of clean energy.
What we know about this issue is that the Mediterranean basin is the wealthiest in gas and that Syria would be the wealthiest state, according to the Washington Institute which also speculates that struggle between Turkey and Cyprus would heat due to Ankara’s inability to bear its losses of the Nabucco gas despite the contract Moscow signed with Ankara on December 2011 to transport part of the South Stream gas via Turkey.

Embracing the secret of the Syrian gas will let all know how big the game over gas is. Who controls Syria could control the Middle East, grip on the Gateway to Asia, possess the Key to Russia’s House, as Catherine 2nd put it, and could set foot on the Silk Road, according to China. Most importantly, they who could penetrate Syria for gas have the ability to dominate the world especially that the coming century is the Century of Gas. And with the contract Damascus signed to transport Iranian gas to the Mediterranean through Iraq, the geopolitical space would open and the gas space would close on the scene of Nabucco that used to be Europe and Turkey’s lifeline. Syria, undoubtedly, would be the key to the coming epoch."

miércoles, 29 de mayo de 2013

La Resistencia

En su sección “Tendencias del Oriente”, y bajo el título: “Hassan Nasrallah da la señal de contraataque del Eje de la Resistencia”, Pierre Khalaf publicó ayer un interesante análisis en Red Voltaire ( Acá va:

Mientras los estadounidenses tratan de vaciar de su contenido lo pactado en Moscú, minando así la conferencia Ginebra 2, el Estado sirio y sus aliados regionales siguen dando pruebas de gran determinación en cuanto a modificar de forma irreversible la correlación de fuerzas en el terreno. Al asestar durísimos golpes a los terroristas, Siria reduce prácticamente a nada el margen de maniobra de Washington. Paralelamente, Rusia mantiene su posición y rechaza todas las condiciones presentadas por Estados Unidos en cuanto a la delegación de las «oposiciones» sirias y el bloqueo de la participación de Irán en esa conferencia.

Al señalar que la región está atravesando «una nueva fase», el líder del Hezbollah, sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, da la señal de contraataque del Eje de la Resistencia, que comenzó hace semanas con los éxitos estratégicos registrados por el ejército sirio alrededor de Damasco y en las regiones de Alepo y de Idlib. Nasrallah fue claro: la Resistencia no permitirá que Siria caiga en manos de Estados Unidos, de Israel y de los movimientos takfiristas. No permitirá que nadie le corte sus líneas de abastecimiento ni que una fuerza enemiga venga a apuñalarla por la espalda. Y para evitarlo, la Resistencia está dispuesta a desplegar decenas de miles de combatientes de ser necesario.

Como confirmación de esas palabras, el ejército sirio prosigue su avance en el terreno. El 80% de la estratégica ciudad de Qoussair se halla ahora bajo control de los combatientes del ejército regular sirio, del Ejército de Defensa Nacional y de los Comités Populares. La carretera que conecta el este de Damasco con Homs, en el centro de Siria, está bajo control [de esas fuerzas del gobierno sirio]. Se trata de un eje vital para el envío de hombres y equipamiento hacia Siria y hacia todas las regiones del país. Según una fuente militar siria, el aeropuerto de Dabaa, en el norte de Qoussair, está totalmente rodeado, hay combates dentro de su perímetro y los rebeldes que allí se encuentran han perdido todo contacto con los que quedan en el norte de la ciudad.

En un intento por tratar de aliviar la presión, los terroristas sirios y sus padrinos libaneses están tratando de trasladar el conflicto al Líbano. Han intensificado sus agresiones contra el barrio de Jabal Mohsen, en [la ciudad libanesa de] Trípoli; han incrementado los incidentes y las provocaciones en Saida, a través del jeque integrista Ahmad al-Assir; han disparado cohetes del tipo Grad sobre la región fronteriza de Hermel y, más grave aún, el domingo lanzaron 2 cohetes sobre Beirut, más exactamente sobre la periferia sur.

Ammar al-Wawi, uno de los jefes de los extremistas sirios, lanzó amenazas el domingo afirmando que «el Líbano no está al abrigo de lo que sucede en Siria». «Lo que pasó en la periferia sur es una advertencia. Habrá repercusiones contra Beirut, contra Trípoli y contra el aeropuerto. No nos quedaremos cruzados de brazos ante las acciones del Hezbollah», agregó. Como prueba de la confusión que reina en las filas de los rebeldes sirios, Ammar al-Wawi fue rápidamente desautorizado por el vocero del Ejército Sirio Libre (ESL), Fahd al-Masri.

El debilitamiento de los extremistas se tradujo también en una serie de combates que estallaron el domingo entre rebeldes y combatientes kurdos en dos localidades del norte de Siria. Los enfrentamientos se produjeron en Ras al-Ain, localidad fronteriza con Turquía, entre los rebeldes y miembros de los Comités de Protección del Pueblo Kurdo (YPG).

Mientras tanto, Damasco desplegó su diplomacia con vistas a la conferencia Ginebra 2. El ministro [sirio] de Relaciones Exteriores, Wallid Moallem, visitó sorpresivamente Bagdad, donde anunció que Siria había dado su «acuerdo de principio» para participar en dicha conferencia enviando una delegación oficial. Declaró, luego de reunirse con el primer ministro [iraquí] Nuri al-Maliki, que Irak no será parte del eje hostil a Siria.

Paralelamente, Irán alzó el tono en contra de Turquía. El jefe del parlamento iraní, Ali Larijani, declaró que Ankara no debería atribuir a Irán y al Hezbollah la responsabilidad de los errores que [el propio gobierno turco] ha cometido en Siria a lo largo de 2 años.

Estos éxitos militares y la ofensiva política tienen lugar en momentos en que la llamada oposición siria sigue sin ponerse de acuerdo sobre la composición de su delegación a Ginebra 2, ya que sus sponsors regionales (Arabia Saudita, Qatar y Turquía) e internacionales, encabezados por Estados Unidos, siguen disputándose las cuotas de representación.

Declaraciones de Hassan Nasrallah, secretario general del Hezbollah

«Estamos viviendo momentos históricos críticos. Desde la retirada de las fuerzas sirias del Líbano en 2005, el gobierno libanés no ha logrado fortalecer su ejército ante las amenazas israelíes. Si el ejército libanés hubiese tenido los medios y el armamento necesario, habría luchado contra Israel con la misma ferocidad que el movimiento de resistencia. El problema esencial es que, desde la creación del Estado libanés, los responsables libaneses nunca han considerado Israel como un enemigo al que hay que combatir. El Estado es incapaz, sin la Resistencia, de defender el país frente a las amenazas israelíes. Vivimos en un Estado confesional, incapaz de adoptar una nueva ley electoral. ¿Cómo puede esperarse de ese Estado que resista ante el ejército israelí? Son incapaces de hacerlo. Pero la existencia de un Estado, incluso débil, es mejor que el vacío político y el caos. 

En Trípoli, hay que poner fin a la violencia absurda. Llamamos nuevamente a mantener al Líbano fuera de toda confrontación. Los que quieran pelear, que se vayan a Siria. Preservemos la neutralidad del Líbano. ¿Por qué luchar en Líbano? (…) Contra Siria se ha desatado una guerra mundial. Todo el mundo interviene en Siria. Pero la comunidad internacional sólo acusa al Hezbollah por su implicación en el conflicto. La comunidad internacional quiere la caída del régimen, aunque eso signifique la destrucción de Siria. Una parte de la oposición siria quiere el diálogo. Pero otra parte está trabajando para los servicios de inteligencia estadounidenses e israelíes. También hay en el terreno grupos armados, dominados principalmente por los takfiristas. Han venido del extranjero a luchar contra las fuerzas sirias nacionales. Ciertos países árabes financian y arman a esos movimientos. El ascenso de esos movimientos radicales es una amenaza, no sólo para los chiitas del Líbano sino para todos los libaneses, tanto musulmanes como cristianos. 

Siria constituye un pilar fundamental de la Resistencia. Siria es la defensa de la retaguardia de la Resistencia, el sostén de la Resistencia. La Resistencia no puede quedarse cruzada de brazos cuando está en peligro la defensa de su retaguardia y cuando se resquebraja su punto de apoyo. Seriamos idiotas si no actuásemos ahora. Si cae el régimen de Bachar al-Assad, la Resistencia se vería debilitada, lo que permitiría a Israel controlar el Líbano y eso marcaría el fin de los movimientos de resistencia en Palestina. No nos hace falta decretar la Yihad. Bastan dos palabras para que decenas de miles de combatientes marchen al frente. Estamos ante una nueva etapa que comenzó hace unas semanas. Luchamos para proteger a la Resistencia y al Líbano. Como siempre, de esta batalla saldremos victoriosos. Continuaremos nuestro rumbo y aceptaremos cualquier sacrificio en aras de alcanzar esa victoria. Os lo prometo.»

lunes, 27 de mayo de 2013


Opereta o información? En vista de los bruscos cambios de gabinete recientemente realizados por el monarca saudita, nos inclinamos por la opción "opereta". Por ahora. Veremos. Leemos en la agencia de prensa iraní PressTV ( lo siguiente:

"Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz is reported to be clinically dead as the monarch is not recently seen in the public.

A Saudi journalist working for London-Based Asharq Alawsat says the Saudi monarch has been clinically dead since Wednesday. 

He also quoted medical sources in Saudi Arabia as saying that the king’s vital organs, including his heart, kidneys and lungs, have stopped functioning. 

Doctors are said to have used a defibrillator on him several times. He is also reported to be alive with the help of a ventilator. 

The Royal Court has yet to comment on the report of King's death. 

The aging Saudi monarch has not recently appeared in the public and the country's crown prince is attending official meetings on his behalf. 

It is the second time in the past months that Asharq Alawsat reports the death of King Abdullah. 

In November 2012, the daily reported that Saudi king has slipped into coma and was clinically dead nearly a week after he underwent a 14-hour-long back surgery in a hospital in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. 

The report was later rejected by the Royal Court. 

The 89-year-old king’s health has declined over the past few years, during which he has been hospitalized several times. 

Failing health, old age as well as the death of the king’s half-brothers have raised concerns about the future of the oil-rich country in the face of anti-government demonstrations."

domingo, 26 de mayo de 2013


Bajo el título “Top Western 10 ‘hits’ on Syria”, Robert Fisk (foto de arriba) aclara algunos puntos sobre la ya intolerable hipocresía occidental en relación a ese país, y Medio Oriente en general (artículo aparecido en Press TV: Nada que los lectores de Astroboy no sepan, pero conciso y bien escrito. Acá va:

“While Western politicians make unfounded allegations against Iran over military assistance to Syria, these same politicians appear to be blind when it comes to the well-founded knowledge that American and British troops are running training camps in terror techniques for the extremists ripping Syrian society apart.

Listening to Western “governments” - otherwise known as criminal regimes led by war criminals - pontificating and pronouncing on Syria is like riding a rollercoaster of hilarity, absurdity and downright lies.

A selection of the “best”, that is, the worst, of these Western talking points has been compiled below into a top 10 Western ‘hits’.

This list is by no means complete or in order of importance. Press TV readers are invited to add more in the comments section below this column.

It has to be said, however, that this is no laughing matter; more a heart-crying shame, given the massive unnecessary human suffering that these criminal Western regimes are inflicting on a sovereign people and country over the past two years, with a total death toll of nearly 80,000 and counting - most of them civilians, men, women and children.

The rollercoaster of depravity seems to be gathering dizzying speed as the so-called international peace conference in Geneva looms sometime over the next few weeks. This is the political confabulation allegedly aimed at finding a negotiated peace settlement between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and members of the Syrian so-called “opposition”.

Supported by Iran, Russia and China, these aforementioned governments can be appraised as honest brokers in trying to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis. This is because their collective position is eminently reasonable, making no preconditions on the outcome and promoting a genuine dialogue between the Syrian people.

However, the same cannot be said for that other sponsor of the Geneva event, the United States, and its NATO allies, Britain and France, along with their regional Turk, Arab and Israeli puppets.

Here follows a recent selection of their dubious credentials and duplicities - a top 10 - which taken together does not augur well for a successful peace settlement to end Syria’s torment.

1. US, Britain and France arming up for peace

All three rogue states are now openly saying that they will escalate the supply of weapons to their proxy mercenary army of “rebels” in Syria if the Syrian government does not “get serious” about negotiating a “peaceful settlement”. The more relevant question is: are these Western regimes “serious about peace”?

It rather sounds like the Western powers are trying to hold a gun to Damascus’ head and demanding that it sign up to Western terms for “political transition”, that is, regime change. Note that US Secretary of State John Kerry is now backing Britain and France in their attempt to scrap the European Union’s embargo on weapons sales to Syria.

That embargo is, of course, a ridiculous charade anyway, as all of the three above Western regimes have been funneling “non-lethal” weapons and other military support to their proxy mercenaries via the conduits of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. But what the latest thinly veiled threat of aggression from the US, Britain and France portends is that if the Geneva summit does not go according to their geopolitical objectives of regime change in Damascus, they will then flood Syria with even more killing power. Perhaps also “no-fly zones” and Western boots on the ground.

The British Guardian newspaper quotes UK foreign minister William Hague’s spellbinding cynicism: “We have to be open to every way of strengthening moderates and saving lives.” So, in Hague’s warped world, giving anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to the Western-backed terrorists running amok in Syria will lead to peace and save lives.

Hague, Kerry and their French counterpart Laurent Fabius should be prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against peace, indicted on their own words, instead of being indulged as statesmen.

2. Western unelected minions make demands on sovereign Syrian government

As it turns out, Syria’s government has quickly responded to declare its willing participation in the Geneva peace summit next month. The Assad administration has even nominated possible negotiators, including the Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi. Meanwhile, the Western and Arab patronized exile group, the so-called Syrian National Coalition, with their American-educated accents and predilection for luxurious Qatari hotel suites, are pooh-poohing whether to even attend the Geneva conference. The SNC leader Ghassan Hitto, a Texan-based Syrian businessman, is being groomed as “premier-in-waiting”, but like many of his exile cronies, he has no popular base or mandate from the Syrian people. This is the same offshore foreign party that is demanding that President Assad abandons his office forthwith and takes refuge in some overseas land.

This Western political excrescence imposed on Syria is distinct from the genuine internal political opposition within Syria. There are legitimate voices for political reforms within Syria, whom the Damascus government has recognized as necessary for a national dialogue to advance Syrian society. But this legitimate opposition is ignored by the Western regimes. Wonder why?

3. EU funds al-Qaeda

This shocker follows the news that the European 27-nation bloc is to end its embargo on the sale of oil from Syria that is under the control of the mercenaries. It is a deliberate and stated EU policy to help boost the war chest for the militants. So who are these “deserving rebels”?

More than 100 militant groups are believed to be operating in Syria, which have come from nearly 30 countries, including Libya, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, the Russian Caucus, Qatar, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, as well as Britain and France. Most of these groups are self-styled Jihadists who claim to be Muslim, but in reality are nothing more than psychopathic terrorists, cutthroats, rapists and opportunistic bandits. The name “Free Syrian Army”, supposedly led by the tin-pot Brigadier General Salim Idriss, is in fact a baseless hologram that the Western sponsors of these proxy terrorists use to create the illusion that the Western, Turk and Arab regimes are supporting “moderates” with a “good cause”. That’s why these “moderates” set off no-warning car bombs to kill and maim “fellow Syrians” or mutilate and cannibalize corpses.

The West’s proxy terrorists have gloated in the most unspeakable cruelties against Syrian civilians and consistent with this vile conduct is their proclaimed affiliation with the Wahhabi al-Qaeda network. This is the clandestine network created and trained by Western military intelligence, funded by Saudi oil money, to carry out global operations of terrorism and destabilization, most notoriously the 9/11 attacks in the US.

Thus while instigating a fake global “war on terror” cover for ruling elites to hijack and ransack democracies, including their own, the US taxpayers have been saddled with $6 trillion in debts from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - just those two criminal genocidal wars alone - according to a recent Harvard University study.

After all this expenditure to “defeat” terrorism, the European Union is proposing to pay these same terrorists for the oil that they can loot from the fields and people of Syria. Meanwhile, the EU maintains economic sanctions on the Syrian government, depriving citizens of badly needed welfare and services. Whoops, the rollercoaster just did a loop-the-loop.

4. Israel provides air force for al-Qaeda

When the Israeli air force hit Damascus earlier this month, the al-Qaeda extremists on the ground were reportedly ecstatic over the attack on an Arab country by the Arab-land-thieving Zionist regime.

The strikes were also in part timed and designed to provide air support for these same mercenaries trying to make military headway against Damascus. This has got to be the apogee of absurdity in the Syrian conflict. The Zionist regime has been telling the world ever since its criminal inception in 1948 that it is living under an existential threat from Arab revenge. Yet this same self-pitying genocidal regime teams up with the most extreme and deformed Arab Wahhabi ideologues and throat-slitters. That really shows that the Western-backed Zionist and Wahhabi despots are one and the same.

5. West goes to war in Africa, but supports same terrorists in Syria

France, supported by the US and Britain, is still conducting a war of conquest in the West African country of Mali. This was justified by President Francois Hollande as an intervention to wrest control of northern Mali from “Islamist extremists”. The French media helped in this duplicity by reporting on “floggings, amputations and prohibitions on civil freedoms” under “Sharia law” imposed by militants in northern Mali before the French invasion. But when reports and video footage emerged this week of similar barbarities being imposed in the self-styled “emirates” of northern Syria by Western-backed Al-Qaeda groups, Hollande and his Western allies had nothing to say about that. Indeed, the Western regimes want to impose “no-fly zones” in those Syrian areas “liberated” by extremists, so that they are more free to extend their reign of terror on Syrian civilians.

6. West accuses Russia of “destabilizing” Syria and the region

Washington’s John Kerry this week castigated Moscow for going ahead with the supply to Syria of the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft defense system. This followed the same protest from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Russian President Vladimir Putin. These statements have surely got to qualify Western politicians as certifiable for a mental hospital. The destabilization of Syria and the entire region is a verifiable result of institutionalized violence emanating from Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv. Only a few weeks ago, the Zionist regime perpetrated yet another war crime by launching its third air strike on Damascus since January - acts of aggression countenanced by Washington. The Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov displayed charitable patience when he explained to the Western imbeciles the probity, and indeed necessity, of the S-300 batteries. “The system is sent to countries that need to defend themselves from air strikes,” said Lavrov. Don’t count on the Western imbeciles comprehending that simple truth.

Meanwhile, the Americans, British and French are flogging billions-of-dollars-worth of fighter-bombers, tanks and missiles to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf dictatorships. Much of this offensive capability is directed at Iran. Talk about Western doublethink and duplicity about who or what is destabilizing the region.

7. Blame it all on Iran and Hezbollah

Similar to the Western perverse logic about Russia “destabilizing” the region, US President Barack Obama and others have denounced Iran and Hezbollah for supporting Syria - a country that is besieged by a covert war of aggression instigated by these same Western powers. In a saner world, Iran and Hezbollah should be lauded for their international solidarity and neighborly compassion. And let’s remember that Hezbollah was incited to intervene against the foreign-backed terrorists in Syria after the latter began firing missiles and rockets into Shia villages along the Syrian-Lebanese border in recent months. Under international law of self-defense, Hezbollah is entitled to join forces with the Syrian army to rout these criminals from their havens, as they have done this past week in Qusayr in Homs Province.

John Kerry said: “Active military support to the Assad regime simply exacerbates the sectarian tensions and perpetuates the regime’s campaign of terror against its own people.” Make-believe stuff from the Kerry fairy.

Kerry should be asked about illegal Western active military support for renegade killers attacking a sovereign country? How is that for sectarian tensions?

William Hague added this mental somersault: “It is very clear that Syrian regime is receiving a great deal of support… from outside Syria from Hezbollah and Iran. This is a regime that is increasingly dependent on external support,” added Hague, who apparently cannot see the glaring irony that it is the terrorist mercenaries who are increasingly dependent on external support, that is, American, British, French, Turk, Israeli and the despotic Arab dictatorships of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Jordan.

8. Invisible American, British and Israeli troops

While Western politicians make unfounded allegations against Iran over military assistance to Syria, these same politicians appear to be blind when it comes to the well-founded knowledge that American and British troops are running training camps in terror techniques for the extremists ripping Syrian society apart. These NATO troops have set up camps in neighboring Jordan and Turkey from which the operatives launch into Syria. Video evidence has also emerged of Israeli commandos operating within Syrian territory, as well as violating the ceasefire demarcation line in the Golan Heights. Western mainstream news media have added to this absurdity by reporting that the “Syrian army has fired into Israel” - meaning that Syrian troops have responded to Israeli violations in the territory of Syria that Israel illegally annexed in 1967 and continues to illegally occupy in contravention of international law.

9. Turkey and Jordan appeal for help over refugee crisis… that they themselves created

Up to five million Syrians - 20 per cent of the population - have been burned out or turned out of their formerly safe and comfortable homes to eke a miserable living under tents. Some 1.5 million of these refugees are subsisting in campsites in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. The humanitarian crisis is costing the Turk government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan some $50 million a month, or a total of $1.5 billion over the past two years. That bill is set to skyrocket as the number of Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey is projected to double to more than 900,000 by the end of this year. Thus Turkey and Jordan are pleading for financial help from the international community. Yet, these countries would not have this refugee and financial problem if Turkey and Jordan did not allow mercenary armies to operate from their territories to maraud, pillage and terrorize Syrian people from their homes. Turkey and Jordan have taken an active part in creating a humanitarian crisis and now they want to the rest of the world to stump the bill. Indeed, so do the US, British and French rogue regimes.

10. Violence ‘spills over from Syria into Iraq’

This is how the Western media report it, but the truth is that violence and mayhem is spilling over from Iraq and Afghanistan into Syria and into many other countries across the region and the world. When the US-led NATO powers embarked on their criminal wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003, the world has been living ever since under a Western reign of imperialist terror. The genocidal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost more than 1.5 million lives. Those huge crimes have paved the way for a lawless world where Western regimes feel emboldened to attack and ransack any country they deem. Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Mali are some of the present sites of Western imperialist warmongering. Libya was previously. Iran is probably next. The US-led war on Syria has therefore necessarily to be understood as part of a criminal continuum for global dominance in the service of global capital. And the Western regimes and their leaders should be seen as criminals working hand-in-glove who should be arraigned in a democratic court of justice.

All of the above is but a shortlist of Western regime crimes and duplicity that is most saliently exposed in the terrible conflict being imposed on Syria.

The Syrian people deserve peace and all good people around the world no doubt wish them success in future negotiations. But, given the litany of crimes, lies and deception attributable to the US, Britain and France in particular, the omens leading up to the Geneva summit do not bode well.

That raises the question: should Syria and its allies in Iran, Russia and China even attend this so-called conference in Geneva? Perhaps Iran could convene an alternative summit dedicated solely to the internal Syrian parties, and deliberately excluding the enemies of Syria from the US, Britain, France and their myriad puppets. That alternative peace summit in Tehran could be held under the auspices of the Non-Aligned Movement, of which Iran is currently the presiding chairman.

viernes, 24 de mayo de 2013

Trinos (2)

Este tipo está que trina también, y no tiene nada de trosko. Lean este artículo de Michael Snyder, del Economic Collapse blog ( Mamita, los “derivados”!. Para lo que sigue, recuerden que “one billion” de la nomenclatura anglosajona equivale a mil millones de los nuestros; “one trillion”, a un billón, y “one quadrillion” a mil billones. Claro, los números son de escala cósmica, épica, de ahí esas recurrentes visiones a los “black holes” y cosas así. El infinito y más allá, digamos.  

Título: “America's Bubble Economy Is Going To Become An Economic Black Hole”:

Texto: “What is going to happen when the greatest economic bubble in the history of the world pops?  The mainstream media never talks about that.  They are much too busy covering the latest dogfights in Washington and what Justin Bieber has been up to.  And most Americans seem to think that if the Dow keeps setting new all-time highs that everything must be okay.  Sadly, that is not the case at all.

Right now, the U.S. economy is exhibiting all of the classic symptoms of a bubble economy.  You can see this when you step back and take a longer-term view of things.  Over the past decade, we have added more than 10 trillion dollars to the national debt.  But most Americans have shown very little concern as the balance on our national credit card has soared from 6 trillion dollars to nearly 17 trillion dollars.

Meanwhile, Wall Street has been transformed into the biggest casino on the planet, and much of the new money that the Federal Reserve has been recklessly printing up has gone into stocks.  But the Dow does not keep setting new records because the underlying economic fundamentals are good.  Rather, the reckless euphoria that we are seeing in the financial markets right now reminds me very much of 1929.  Margin debt is absolutely soaring, and every time that happens a crash rapidly follows.

But this time when a crash happens it could very well be unlike anything that we have ever seen before.  The top 25 U.S. banks have more than 212 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives combined, and when that house of cards comes crashing down there is no way that anyone will be able to prop it back up.  After all, U.S. GDP for an entire year is only a bit more than 15 trillion dollars.

But most Americans are only focused on the short-term because the mainstream media is only focused on the short-term.  Things are good this week and things were good last week, so there is nothing to worry about, right?

Unfortunately, economic reality is not going to change even if all of us try to ignore it.  Those that are willing to take an honest look at what is coming down the road are very troubled.  For example, Bill Gross of PIMCO says that his firm sees "bubbles everywhere"...

We see bubbles everywhere, and that is not to be dramatic and not to suggest they will pop immediately. I just suggested in the bond market with a bubble in treasuries and bubble in narrow credit spreads and high-yield prices, that perhaps there is a significant distortion there. Having said that, it suggests that as long as the FED and Bank of Japan and other Central Banks keep writing checks and do not withdraw, then the bubble can be supported as in blowing bubbles. They are blowing bubbles. When that stops there will be repercussions.

And unfortunately, it is not just the United States that has a bubble economy.  In fact, the gigantic financial bubble over in Japan may burst before our own financial bubble does.  The following is from a recent article by Graham Summers...

-First and foremost, Japan is the second largest bond market in the world. If Japan’s sovereign bonds continue to fall, pushing rates higher, then there has been a tectonic shift in the global financial system. Remember the impact that Greece had on asset prices? Greece’s bond market is less than 3% of Japan’s in size.
-For multiple decades, Japanese bonds have been considered “risk free.” As a result of this, investors have been willing to lend money to Japan at extremely low rates. This has allowed Japan’s economy, the second largest in the world, to putter along marginally.
-So if Japanese bonds begin to implode, this means that:
1)   The second largest bond market in the world is entering a bear market (along with commensurate liquidations and redemptions by institutional investors around the globe).
2)   The second largest economy in the world will collapse (along with the impact on global exports).
Both of these are truly epic problems for the financial system.

And of course the entire global financial system is a giant bundle of debt, risk and leverage at this point.  We have never seen anything like this in world history.  When you step back and take a good, hard look at the numbers, they truly are staggering.  The following statistics are from one of my previous articles entitled "Why Is The World Economy Doomed? The Global Financial Pyramid Scheme By The Numbers"...

-$70,000,000,000,000 - The approximate size of total world GDP.
-$190,000,000,000,000 - The approximate size of the total amount of debt in the entire world.  It has nearly doubled in size over the past decade.
-$212,525,587,000,000 - According to the U.S. government, this is the notional value of the derivatives that are being held by the top 25 banks in the United States.  But those banks only have total assets of about 8.9 trillion dollars combined.  In other words, the exposure of our largest banks to derivatives outweighs their total assets by a ratio of about 24 to 1.
-$600,000,000,000,000 to $1,500,000,000,000,000 - The estimates of the total notional value of all global derivatives generally fall within this range.  At the high end of the range, the ratio of derivatives to global GDP is more than 21 to 1.

The financial meltdown that happened back in 2008 should have been a wake up call for the nations of the world.  They should have corrected the mistakes that happened so that nothing like that would ever happen again.  Unfortunately, nothing was fixed.  Instead, our politicians and the central bankers became obsessed with reinflating the system.  They piled up even more debt, recklessly printed tons of money and kicked the can down the road for a few years.  In the process, they made our long-term problems even worse.  The following is a recent quote from John Williams of

‘The economic and systemic solvency crises of the last eight years continue. There never was an actual recovery following the economic downturn that began in 2006 and collapsed into 2008 and 2009. What followed was a protracted period of business stagnation that began to turn down anew in second- and third-quarter 2012. The official recovery seen in GDP has been a statistical illusion generated by the use of understated inflation in calculating key economic series (see Public Comment on Inflation). Nonetheless, given the nature of official reporting, the renewed downturn likely will gain recognition as the second-dip in a double- or multiple-dip recession.

What continues to unfold in the systemic and economic crises is just an ongoing part of the 2008 turmoil. All the extraordinary actions and interventions bought a little time, but they did not resolve the various crises. That the crises continue can be seen in deteriorating economic activity and in the panicked actions by the Federal Reserve, where it proactively is monetizing U.S. Treasury debt at a pace suggestive of a Treasury that is unable to borrow otherwise.’

And there are already lots of signs that the next economic downturn is rapidly approaching. For example, corporate revenues are falling at Wal-Mart, Proctor and Gamble, Starbucks, AT&T, Safeway, American Express and IBM. Would revenues at Wal-Mart be falling if the economy was getting better?

U.S. jobless claims hit a six week high last week.  We aren't in the danger zone yet, but once they hit 400,000 that will be a major red flag. And even though we are still in the "good times" relatively speaking, the federal government is already talking about tightening welfare programs.  In fact, there are proposals in Congress right now to make significant cuts to the food stamp program. If food stamps and other welfare programs get cut, that is going to make a lot of people very, very angry.  And that anger and frustration will get even worse when the next economic downturn strikes and millions of people start losing their jobs and their homes.

What we are witnessing right now is the calm before the storm. Let us hope that it lasts for as long as possible so that we can have more time to prepare. Unfortunately, this bubble of false hope will not last forever.  At some point it will end, and then the pain will begin.”