Looking at Novorussia/Russia/Ukraine through the eyes of The Saker…

The West’s Ignorance of Ukraine Atrocities is an Outrage

Today, buried 9 minutes into the latest edition of the Channel 1 news report on Russian television, was a 23 seconds long statement by Latvian Human Rights investigator Enorst Gronych who declared on camera that he has interviewed the people of a village recently evacuated by the Junta’s repression forces who had told him about “repeated cases of gang rapes of minor girls aged 12, 13 and 14 years old” by Ukrainian thugs.

According to Gronych, this kind of pattern falls within the definition of “genocide”.

In fact, the Russian TV channels have also been reporting mass graves, numerous cases of civilians pulled out of their cars and summarily shot, mass graves of people shot with their hands tied in their back and tortures, tortures and more tortures: systematic beatings, branding with swastikas, knife wounds, broken bones, heard trauma, damaged kidneys are all apparently what any detained person (regardless of the reason for their detention) should expect from the Junta’s “liberators”.

Furthermore, it is now becoming apparent that about 50% of the Novorussian “prisoners of war” which are being exchanged for Ukrainian POWs under the terms of the recent ceasefire agreement are not combatants at all but civilians seized for the sole purpose of exchanging them. 

It is not hard to imagine what truly happened to the missing 50%: most of them were tortured and shot by drunken Ukrainian thugs (in stark contrast Ukrainian POWs were treated, washed, fed, clothed and then given the choice to say in Russia or go back to the Ukraine).

Let’s make sure this video goes viral!

I am still personally in “maintenance mode” until this evening, but I wanted to drop by to urge you all to check out my latest post on Russia Insider and, especially, the “forensic video” RI posted today which clearly shows the face of one the leaders of the Nazi gangs of “Ukrainian Interahamwe” which murdered an unknown number of people (officially 42, according to Novorussian sources over 200) in Odessa on May 2nd 2014.

If you can, please circulate this video for three reasons: first, it could force the Ukrainian authorities to take action against this man; second because the issue of gross human right violations by “Euro-Ukrainians” needs to be raised to force the regimes in power in Europe to look at the kind of Nazi thugs they have taken as “allies” in their war against Russia; third, to try to get the MSM to look into this issue.

The Russian response to a double declaration of war

First, I consider the following sequence indisputable:

First,  Russia must prevail over the current AngloZionist war against her.  What the Empire wants in Russia is regime change followed by complete absorption into the Western sphere of influence including a likely break-up of Russia.  What is threatened is the very existence of the Russian civilization.

Second, Russia will never be safe with a neo-Nazi russophobic regime in power in Kiev.  The Ukie nationalist freaks have proven that it is impossible to negotiate with them (they have broken literally every single agreement signed so far), their hatred for Russia is total (as shown with their constant references to the use of – hypothetical – nuclear weapons against Russia).  Therefore,

Third, regime change in Kiev followed by a full de-Nazification is the only possible way for Russia to achieve her vital objectives.

Again, and at the risk of having my words twisted and misrepresented, I have to repeat here that Novorussia is not what is at stake here.  It’s not even the future of the Ukraine.  What is at stake here is a planetary confrontation (this is the one thesis of Dugin which I fully agree with).  The future of the planet depends on the capability of the BRICS/SCO countries to replace the AngloZionist Empire with a very different, multi-polar, international order.  Russia is crucial and indispensable in this effort (any such effort without Russia is doomed to fail), and the future of Russia is now decided by what Russia will do in the Ukraine.  As for the future of the Ukraine, it largely depends on what will happen to Novorussia, but not exclusively.  In a paradoxical way, Novorussia is more important to Russia than to the Ukraine. 

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Khorasan…

They’re Making Up Stuff

And so it was back to the drawing board, and quickly – because timing is everything in these matters. You can’t get a good war hysteria going and then just let it run out of steam. Oh no. You have to keep beating those war drums harder and harder, no matter how many drumsticks you break in the process, until you get the desired result – the consent of the citizenry, however passive and ultimately fickle it may turn out to be.

They had to come up with something fast, and so – like their predecessors – they simply started to make up stuff. This was the modus operandi of the Bush crowd, and it worked for them, at least temporarily – how many people still believe Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks? And, yes, there are still conservative cargo-cultists who think Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction” are somewhere out there, waiting to be found. I’m sure Laurie Mylroie still has her fan club, which used to include top Bush administration officials.

In short: lying works, and so administration officials simply invented a new enemy, one more fearsome – and, simultaneously, more familiar – to Americans than ISIS. They dubbed it “Khorasan,” which, as far as anyone knows, is a former province of Iran, now divided into three separate provinces also named Khorasan. We are told their ostensible leader – whom we have just now supposedly killed in air strikes – was once head of “Al Qaeda in Iran,” a shadowy group that has never pulled off a single action or engaged in any propagandistic activities, and for all we know never really existed at all. Those evil Iranian mullahs, the “experts” aver, have been sheltering a radical Sunni terrorist group – one that considers them heretics deserving of death – for their own malign purposes. No convincing evidence of this unlikely alliance is ever offered, however, and it seems about as credible as the Al Qaeda-Saddam Hussein connection Bush and his crew broadcast far and wide.

What’s so fearsome about “Khorasan”? Well, they couldn’t care less about establishing a Caliphate, because, you know, that’s so 632, and as for overthrowing Assad, the Khorasanians won’t stoop to conquer. No, nothing less than an attack on America, preferably using an airliner as a weapon of choice, will do. What they lack in originality they more than make up for when it comes to the all-important Imminence Factor. We are told the Khorasan Group – sounds like an investment bank, doesn’t it? – is planning an attack on an unnamed Western target and that they have assembled a cadre of Western fighters who could just hop on a plane and ignite themselves in midair.

And, oh yes, they have special clothing that ignites spontaneously and other tricks of the terrorism trade which no one has ever seen or heard of before.

Media Way Overhyped Khorasan Group Threat

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Iceland update…

Iceland: Bankers Convicted, Unemployment Down

Remember Iceland? During the high-flying early 2000s, its three main banks went berserk, paying high interest rates to international investors that accumulated deposits equal to more than 100% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and making loans equal to 980% of GDP. When the collapse came, Iceland took a route not taken by Ireland, Spain, and other EU countries: Rather than bail out the banks, the government simply let them go bankrupt. The value of the krona fell by about half, the country was embroiled in disputes with the Netherlands and the United Kingdom over paying off Dutch and British depositors, and it had to take an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan just to stay afloat.

When we last checked in, there were indictments and criminal investigations of the officers of all three banks, and Icelandic banks were forced to forgive all mortgage debt in excess of 110% of a home’s value. Iceland’s 2012 unemployment rate was 6.0% compared to Ireland’s 14.7%. But that was two years ago; what’s happening now?

In December 2013, four top officials of the country’s formerly largest bank, Kaupthing, were sentenced to jail terms ranging from five and a half years for its chief executive to three years for one of the majority owners. While their cases are currently under appeal, they were indicted this July for further fraud charges. Various bank and government officials have had final convictions as determined by the Supreme Court of Iceland; Wikipedia has a handy rundown on where numerous cases stand, all based on Icelandic-language sources so I cannot read them myself.

Homeowners are still in difficulty in Iceland, however. This is because mortgages in Iceland are usually indexed to the inflation rate; that is, the amount of principal is increased by the rate of inflation. Iceland’s inflation rate was 5.2% in 2012 and 3.9% in 2013, while Ireland’s inflation was 1.7% in 2012 and a near-deflation 0.5% in 2013. That is a pretty hefty load for Icelandic homeowners. The current conservative government has instituted a new round of mortgage relief, but there are a lot of devils in the details. Almost half of the “relief” comes in the form of people being allowed to use their retirement savings (which are tax-advantaged like U.S. individual retirement accounts) to pay down their debt. Yeah, it’s great to pay your mortgage with pre-tax dollars, but it’s still your own money you’re paying, which will no longer be available for retirement. The IMF has raised doubts about the plan’s overall effect on government finances, too.

As I mentioned in my last post, unemployment in Iceland stood at 4.4% in July, versus 11.5% in Ireland (navigate to Labour Force Statistics, then Short-term Statistics, Short-term Labour Market Statistics, then Harmonised Unemployment Rates). And, as I also mentioned in the post, Ireland’s unemployment rate has been artificially lowered due to net emigration from the country.

While Iceland suffered a great deal from the crisis and is by no means out of the woods, it looks like the country made the right call by not bailing out the banks. The economy is growing and unemployment is down to less than half of its peak crisis level. As Paul Krugman has emphasized, having your own currency to devalue helps as well, although it substantially raised inflation and mortgage balances. Iceland was dealt a bad hand by its bankers, but it’s making at least some of them pay for that, which is more than we can say in the United States.

Let Banks Fail Is Iceland Mantra as 2% Joblessness in Sight

Iceland let its banks fail in 2008 because they proved too big to save.

Now, the island is finding crisis-management decisions made half a decade ago have put it on a trajectory that’s turned 2 percent unemployment into a realistic goal.

While the euro area grapples with record joblessness, led by more than 25 percent in Greece and Spain, only about 4 percent of Iceland’s labor force is without work. Prime MinisterSigmundur D. Gunnlaugsson says even that’s too high.

“Politicians always have something to worry about,” the 38-year-old said in an interview last week. “We’d like to see unemployment going from where it’s now — around 4 percent — to under 2 percent, which may sound strange to most other western countries, but Icelanders aren’t accustomed to unemployment.”

The island’s sudden economic meltdown in October 2008 made international headlines as a debt-fueled banking boom ended in a matter of weeks when funding markets froze. Policy makers overseeing the $14 billion economy refused to back the banks, which subsequently defaulted on $85 billion. The government’s decision to protect state finances left it with the means to continue social support programs that shielded Icelanders from penury during the worst financial crisis in six decades.

Iceland Economy 2014

Iceland’s Scandinavian-type social-market economy combines a capitalist structure and free-market principles with an extensive welfare system. Prior to the 2008 crisis, Iceland had achieved high growth, low unemployment, and a remarkably even distribution of income. The economy depends heavily on the fishing industry, which provides 40% of export earnings, more than 12% of GDP, and employs nearly 5% of the work force. It remains sensitive to declining fish stocks as well as to fluctuations in world prices for its main exports: fish and fish products, aluminum, and ferrosilicon. Iceland’s economy has been diversifying into manufacturing and service industries in the last decade, particularly within the fields of software production, biotechnology, and tourism. Abundant geothermal and hydropower sources have attracted substantial foreign investment in the aluminum sector, boosted economic growth, and sparked some interest from high-tech firms looking to establish data centers using cheap green energy, although the financial crisis has put several investment projects on hold. Much of Iceland’s economic growth in recent years came as the result of a boom in domestic demand following the rapid expansion of the country’s financial sector. Domestic banks expanded aggressively in foreign markets, and consumers and businesses borrowed heavily in foreign currencies, following the privatization of the banking sector in the early 2000s. Worsening global financial conditions throughout 2008 resulted in a sharp depreciation of the krona vis-a-vis other major currencies. The foreign exposure of Icelandic banks, whose loans and other assets totaled more than 10 times the country’s GDP, became unsustainable. Iceland’s three largest banks collapsed in late 2008. The country secured over $10 billion in loans from the IMF and other countries to stabilize its currency and financial sector, and to back government guarantees for foreign deposits in Icelandic banks. GDP fell 6.8% in 2009, and unemployment peaked at 9.4% in February 2009. GDP rose 2.7% in 2012 and unemployment declined to 5.6%. Since the collapse of Iceland’s financial sector, government economic priorities have included: stabilizing the krona, implementing capital controls, reducing Iceland’s high budget deficit, containing inflation, addressing high household debt, restructuring the financial sector, and diversifying the economy. Three new banks were established to take over the domestic assets of the collapsed banks. Two of them have foreign majority ownership, while the State holds a majority of the shares of the third. Iceland began making payments to the UK, the Netherlands, and other claimants in late 2011 following Iceland’s Supreme Court ruling that upheld 2008 emergency legislation that gives priority to depositors for compensation from failed Icelandic banks. Iceland owes British and Dutch authorities approximately $5.5 billion for compensating British and Dutch citizens who lost deposits in Icesave when parent bank Landsbanki failed in 2008. Iceland began accession negotiations with the EU in July 2010; however, public support has dropped substantially because of concern about losing control over fishing resources and in reaction to worries over the ongoing Eurozone crisis.

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Dreams of the Earth – Love Songs For A Troubled Planet

http:// https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHpuP78kfSE&list=UUMNNQwdpNmgP3PsxhP40gAw

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who benefits from “takfir” and the exploitation of jihad?

Playing with Fanatic Fire: How the Saudis (and the U.S.) have perilously exploited radical Islam in their pursuit of power

Before finding his “medicine man,” Muhammad ibn Saud, founder of the Saud dynasty that today reigns over Saudi Arabia, was nothing more than a petty marauding potentate ruling the town of Diriyah.

But his career took a turn when he offered asylum to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, founder of Wahhabism, which is today the official religious doctrine of Saudi Arabia. al-Wahhab was an Islamic scholar and preacher who had been expelled from a neighboring town for stirring up trouble. Ibn Saud saw explosive martial potential in al-Wahhab’s teachings, and al-Wahhab saw in Ibn Saud a convenient vessel through which to spread his doctrine at the point of the sword. al-Wahhab allegedly told Ibn Saud:

“I want you to grant me an oath that you will perform jihad (Struggle to spread Islam) against the unbelievers. In return you will be imam, leader of the Muslim community and I will be leader in religious matters.”

They formalized the pact in 1744, and this power sharing arrangement between the Al Saud family, and the Al ash-Sheikh descendants of al-Wahhab has held to this day.

The two men discovered a particularly volatile blend of the defining chemical formula for state power: dogma-propagating violence mixed with violence-sanctifying dogma. The sword and the scepter had once again joined forces, and Araby would soon quake.

The more irreplaceable between the two contributions, however, was al-Wahhab’s. His doctrine was particularly suited to animate conquest. Its theocratic, intolerant, austere, puritanical zealotry stimulated both self-abasing sacrifice and self-righteous fury. And its sub-doctrine of takfir, which defines deviant Muslims as non-Muslims, and thereby overcomes the stigma attached to warring against co-religionists, was crucial in providing the Saudi conquest of Muslim peoples the animating fire of jihad.

More basically, if the faith of subjects can be manipulated to buttress state power, then it makes sense that fanatic faith, like that preached by al-Wahhab, can put state power into overdrive, fueling both absolutism and conquest.

The 9 Biggest Myths About ISIS

It is true that ISIS opposes Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria, and the two constantly fight one another in Syria. But calling ISIS a “Syrian rebel group” misses two critical facts about ISIS. First, it’s a transnational organization, not rooted in any one country, with lots of fighters who come from outside the country and are motivated by global jihadist aims as well as the Syrian war specifically. Second, Assad and ISIS are not-so-secretly helping each other out in some crucial ways, even as they fight. ISIS and Assad are frenemies, not full-on opponents.

For one thing, ISIS predated the Syrian civil war. It started as al-Qaeda in Iraq in the mid-2000s and, after that group was defeated by Iraqis and American forces around 2008, reformed in the same country. Between 2008 and 2011, ISIS rebuilt itself out of former prisoners and ex-Saddam era Iraqi army officers. ISIS did not grow out of the Syrian rebellion: it took advantage of it.

Now, it’s true the war in Syria benefitted ISIS tremendously. It allowed ISIS to get battlefield experience, attracted a ton of financial support from Gulf states and private donors looking to oust Assad, and a crucial safe haven in eastern Syria. ISIS also absorbed a lot of recruits from Syrian rebel groups — illustrating, incidentally, why arming the “good” Syrian rebels probably wouldn’t have destroyed ISIS.



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