Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

China’s Development of the Russian Far East Can Improve EU-Moscow Relations

By Paul Antonopoulos | November 6, 2019

Russia’s Far East Investment and Export Support Agency investment manager Vasily Libo revealed on November 1 that China’s foreign investment in the Far East advanced development zone accounted for about 59.1% of foreign investments in the region. This massive investment into the Far East is a strategic move by China as it aims to fully exploit the riches and benefits that this region of Russia can bring.

As the Russian Far East has a huge investment potential, especially with materials, natural resources, fisheries, and tourism, China aims to take advantage of the mostly underdeveloped region. The region is not only resource rich, but is strategically located as it borders China Mongolia and North Korea, and has a maritime border with Japan.

This is undoubtedly Russia’s gateway to Asia.

Many commentators and experts have claimed the 21st Century is the “Asian Century” as China, India, Japan, Indonesia and Russia will be some of the world’s biggest economies by 2030. It is precisely for this reason that Russian President Vladimir Putin has prioritized the rapid development of the Russian Far East and has encouraged foreign investments into the region. Putin in May 2016 offered free land handouts in the Far East to Russians and naturalized citizens, demonstrating that Russia wishes to gain from Asia’s rapid economic development in the 21st century. This can be achieved from the port city of Vladivostok, close to the Chinese and North Korean borders.

The official website of the Far East and the Arctic Development Department explained that China is one of the major investment partners in the Far East and that Chinese investors have participated in 49 projects in advanced development zones and the Vladivostok. Another 40 investment projects with a total value of more than $23 billion US dollars are in the preparatory stage.

The largest projects using Chinese capital include the gold mining project involving China Gold Group, the coal project participated by China Energy, the Nakhodka Mineral Fertilizer Plant, and also the Zhongding United Animal Husbandry Co., Ltd., who are involved in milk production. According to data from the Russian Far East and Arctic Development Department, trade between the Far East and China grew by 26% in 2018, reaching $9.7 billion. In the first half of 2019 it increased by 21% to $4.9 billion. These initiatives are aimed at not only developing the sparsely populated region that has only 7 million people, in which tens of thousands are Chinese citizens who have now migrated to the region in search of opportunities and establish themselves as merchants and entrepreneurs.

For China, the region is just another economic opportunity, while for Russia it plays a critical role in economically engaging with Asia. It is for this reason that the port city of Vladivostok, located conveniently close to China and North Korea, has hosted the Eastern Economic Forum annually ever since its establishment 2015. This is in part to attract and diversify the type of foreign investment in the Far East. However, with China contributing nearly 60% of foreign investment into the region, it would suggest that it has failed in this goal so far.

Although Indian Prime Minister Modi on the eve of Vladivostok’s 5th Eastern Economic Forum this year proposed a trilateral engagement between Moscow, New Delhi and Tokyo by collectively developing the Far East, it appears that China’s economic influence in the region will not be significantly challenged in the near future.

Japan’s investments in the Far East’s economy exceeds $15 billion after many years and will continue to develop, but this is still insignificant compared to the Chinese investment. Rather, the insignificant amount of foreign investment from sources other than China demonstrates that if Moscow wishes to economically engage with Asia through the Far East, it may only be able to do so through the nexus of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Because China controls a host of ports throughout Asia, including in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and even Australia, Russia’s growing engagement with Asia through Vladivostok has to be done through the BRI network. This port network however can create a corridor that stretches from Vladivostok to Darwin, and all the emerging markets in between like the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. This has also caught the attention of Western Europe.

French President Emmanuel Macron made a Facebook post in August where he said “progress on many political and economic issues is evident, for we’re trying to develop Franco-Russian relations. I’m convinced that, in this multilateral restructuring, we must develop a security and trust architecture between the European Union and Russia.” This is a curious choice of words since France has maintained hostile relations with Moscow over Russia’s reunification with Crimea, blaming Russia for the MH17 airline tragedy, and for Russia militarily defending Syria and economically supporting Venezuela.

However, Macron has proven to be a pragmatist and identifies that if the European Union wants to remain relevant in the 21st Century, it must grow its economic relations with Asia. It is for this reason that Macron also expanded on General de Gaulle’s famous phrase that Europe stretches “from Lisbon to the Urals” by saying Europe’s territory stretches to Vladivostok, the port city that is closer to Beijing, Tokyo, and even Darwin, then it is to Moscow, let alone Paris.

Coupled with the Trans-Siberian railway, products from Asia can reach Europe much faster than shipping to Europe, making the development of Vladivostok an interest for Western Europe too. Europe will probably not be enticed enough to develop the Far East, knowing full well that Asian powerhouses like China, India and Japan are already involved in the region. However, it is likely that Europe will be enticed enough to enjoy the benefits of having an open Eurasian corridor that must transverse Russia in its entirety from Vladivostok or other eastern cities to the European side of Russia.

Therefore, China’s development of the Russia’s Far East could push Europe to improving its relations with Russia. The European Union maintains a sanctions regime against Russia, mostly because of pressure from Washington. However, in recent months, there have been continued questions against the necessity to maintain sanctions against Russia from European Union officials and Members of European Parliament. It is likely that as we continue to venture into the “Asian Century,” the Russian Far East will become a thriving area. It remains to be seen whether the inevitability of the “Asian Century” will be recognized by the entirety of the European Union in the near future, but it would be in their own economic interests to recognize this reality quickly. And to recognize this would mean an eventual normalization of relations between the European Union and Russia.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

November 6, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , , | 1 Comment

Europe’s gas alliance with Russia is a match made in heaven

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | November 3, 2019

Amidst the excitement over the killing of the ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, a development of much impact on international security passed by when Denmark made the innocuous announcement on October 30 that it would permit the proposed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to pass through its exclusive economic zone.

Copenhagen modestly explained that it was “obliged to allow the construction of transit pipelines” under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The Nord Stream 2, which will connect Russia’s Leningrad Region  to Germany’s Baltic coast, bypassing the traditional route via Ukraine, aims to double the capacity of the already-built Nord Stream 1 to 110 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year that is more than a quarter of the European Union’s gas consumption.

On October 31, Gazprom, Russia’s energy Leviathan, had said 83 percent of the pipeline construction — more than 2100 km of the pipeline — was complete. The permit to construct in the Danish Exclusive Economic Zone south-east of Bornholm covers a 147-km-long route section.

Pipelay has been completed in Russian, Finnish and Swedish waters, and for the most part in German waters. The construction of both landfall facilities in Russia and Germany is nearing completion. Thus, the development last week signifies that Russia is certain to finish the project by the end of this year.

Despite the rising tensions in Russia’s relations with the United States, a massive energy project is all set to slither along the seabed between Russia and the European Union. The US wants to stifle the serpent in its infancy but Germany and Russia navigated it to the home stretch.

The project is expected to ensure safe and stable supplies of gas to Europe. The competitive Russian gas supplies will enable European customers to save anywhere around 8 billion euros on their gas bill in 2020.

More importantly, according to a study conducted by the University of Cologne EWI, “When Nord Stream 2 is available, Russia can supply more gas to the EU decreasing the need to import more expensive LNG. Hence, the import price for the remaining LNG volumes decreases, thereby reducing the overall EU-28 price level.”

Herein lies the rub. Europe has become a natural gas battleground for the US and Russia. Of course, apart from being a prized market, Europe is also a political battleground between the US and Russia.

Russia traditionally dominated the European market while the European Union appears to be keen to wean itself off Russian gas, given the geopolitical implications of over-reliance on Moscow for its energy security. On the other hand, the US is looking to step up its exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe and faces a big resourceful competitor who cannot be dislodged from the market  — Russia.

Russia loomed large as the largest supplier of natural gas to the EU in 2018. According to the European Commission’s latest data on EU imports of energy products in October, eleven member states imported in 2018 more than 75 percent of their total national imports of natural gas from Russia.

Russia has multiple pipelines in operation, which gives it a big advantage in cutting down transportation costs for the European consumers, as compared to more expensive LNG imports from the US. Clearly, both geoeconomics and geopolitics are at play here.

The US’ transatlantic leadership is largely conditional on the climate of relations between Europe and Russia in general and between Germany and Russia in particular. Washington is acutely conscious that Nord Stream 2 can provide the underpinning for a stable, predictable relationship between Europe and Russia, which would go against the grain of the Trump administration’s projection of Russia as a revisionist power that the US is determined to counter.   

In sum, Washington apprehends that if Nord Stream 2 is completed, it will come as a severe blow to transatlantic relations, although on the face of it, the US has been arguing that the project runs counter to the Western sanctions imposed on Russia following its annexation of Crimea.

Actually, this argument is sheer sophistry, since Europe’s dependence on Russian energy supplies is a legacy inherited from the days of the Soviet Union. Moscow is a stakeholder in preserving its reputation as a stable, reliable supplier of energy to Europe at competitive prices. The crux of the matter is that the European consumer prefers the cheaper Russian gas to the expensive LNG exports from the US.

Meanwhile, the Ukraine crisis alerted Russia to the geopolitical reality that it could be vulnerable to US pressure politically, which in turn prompted its energy pivot to China. Gazprom aims to become China’s top gas exporter by 2035. When the Power of Siberia pipeline (under construction in Eastern Siberia to transport gas to Far East countries) becomes active later this year, it will deliver 38 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually to China, which will make China Russia’s second-largest gas customer after Germany.

However, paradoxically, Russia’s gas exports to Europe are only increasing in recent years. In 2018, Gazprom’s gas sales to Europe and its share of Europe’s gas market reached record highs. This trend can only continue as the Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream pipelines, which will become active shortly this year, will deliver an additional 86.5 billion cubic meters annually to Europe.

Simply put, Europe’s addiction to Russian gas remains a fact of life and with the continent’s own gas production on the decline, Europe needs to import much bigger volumes of gas and lots of it is going to come from Russia.

The amazing part has been the dogged resistance by Germany to the US pressure tactic to abandon Nord Stream 2. The US even threatened to sanction German companies; US Congress passed resolutions calling for an end to construction of the pipeline. Germany’s manufacturing economy is dependent on imports for 98% of its oil and 92% of its gas supply, and cheap gas is the lifeblood of its export-based economy.

But then, there could be more to it politically than meets the eye. Can it be a coincidence that Germany is also resisting US pressure to shut out Chinese tech giant Huawei from its 5G networks? Like with Nord Stream 2, Washington advanced the same argument apropos Huawei — national security concerns. But Germany snubbed the calls from the US.

The Economist magazine wrote some months ago that the “The Atlantic Ocean is starting to look awfully wide. To Europeans the United States  appears ever more remote.” To be sure, the coming into fruition of Nord Stream 2 is yet another sign that the transatlantic relationship currently faces significant challenges.

The US-European policy divisions have emerged on a wide range of regional and global issues. Although US and European policies toward Russia remain broadly aligned, Nord Stream 2 turned out to be a key US-European friction point.

November 3, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 1 Comment

Denmark removes final hurdle for Russian gas pipeline to Europe

RT | October 30, 2019

Denmark has given the green light for the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to pass through its waters. Copenhagen’s delay in granting permission has been the main hurdle to completing the project on time.

“The Danish Energy Agency has granted a permit to Nord Stream 2 AG to construct a section of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines on the Danish continental shelf southeast of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea,” the agency said in a press release.

It explained that the permit was granted in accordance with Denmark’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“Denmark is obliged to allow the construction of transit pipelines with respect to resources and the environment and if necessary to assign the route where such pipelines should be laid,” it said.

The agency said it concluded that “the southeastern route on the continental shelf is preferable to the northwestern route” as it is the shortest one. It provides the “least risk and impact from an environmental and safety perspective and therefore is the preferable choice.”

The undersea pipeline, designed to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany and other European customers, is set to be finished by the end of the year. The offshore and land sections of the pipeline were connected on the German side last year and a receiving terminal is currently under construction there. Russia has finished laying nearly two thirds of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline along the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

The project has only needed approval from Danish authorities; other countries on the route of the pipeline – Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany – have long-since approved it.

The pipeline’s construction has been criticized by the US administration which attempted to derail the project in order to boost sales of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe.

October 30, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , | 2 Comments

Is the ‘Greater Albania’ Project Aimed Against Russia in the Balkans?

Preševo Valley, Serbia.
By Paul Antonopoulos | October 28, 2019

A project for Greater Albania – conspiracy or legitimate? According to a 2010 Gallup Balkan Monitor report, 83% of Albanians in Albania supported the idea of a Greater Albania, with 81% and 53% of Albanians in Kosovo and North Macedonia respectively supporting such an ambition.

The ultimate goal? To have Kosovo and the Preševo Valley in Serbia, southern Montenegro, Epirus in Greece and western North Macedonia into a single Greater Albanian state. Although this may not be official policy of the Albanian Republic, it is ingrained into the Albanian mythos. The very idea of a Greater Albania has roots in the 1913 Treaty of London that left roughly 40% of the Albanian population outside the newly established Albanian country. This has been something that the U.S. could weaponize against Russian influence in the Balkans.

Despite the heroics of Albanian national figure and anti-Ottoman guerrilla leader Gjergj Kastrioti, more commonly known as Skënderbej, the Albanians became loyal Ottoman subjects and were used as colonists in more restive and disloyal areas of the empire, especially those inhabited by the Serbs, Bulgarians and Greeks. They often became a majority over the initial inhabitants, like what happened in Kosovo and western North Macedonia.

Although the idea of a Greater Albania may seem like an exaggerated conspiracy, to the Serbian people this is anything but. The Serbian mythos finds itself in the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, where despite their courage, Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović was martyred and his forces routed by the Ottoman invaders. Although the Serbs achieved sovereignty over Kosovo with the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, the region had already become an Albanian majority on Ottoman orders to weaken Serbian identity to the region.

Kosovo became an autonomous region of Serbia after the establishment of socialist Yugoslavia in the aftermath of World War Two and retained its Albanian-majority. The 1990’s proved this was always a weak point of Serbia. With the U.S. sponsoring the violent destruction of Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s, the status of Kosovo was left unresolved, culminating in the terrorist-led war against the Yugoslav state (in which Serbia was the successor of) in 1999.

The terrorist ethnic-Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), with the backing of NATO and the Albanian Republic, defeated Yugoslav forces. The United Nations and NATO assumed control of the territory, which eventually declared independence in 2008. Since then the region has become a heroin ‘smugglers paradise,’ and a hub for human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms trafficking.

It is for this reason that in an interview on Saturday, the former Serbian Chief of General Staff, General Ljubisa Dikovic, discussed the project for a Greater Albania. Dikovic believes that the area of ​​the Balkan Peninsula cannot be peaceful because of unresolved issues like Kosovo.

“There can easily be big problems if things get out of hand. I hope that there will be enough wisdom and intelligence and that everyone will do what we do, in terms of strengthening security, cooperation and trust. I am free to say that we are in the lead because I do not see on other sides showing desire to build peace. After all, the issue of ‘Greater Albania’ is a matter of the highest security risk. We can ask why this is happening now with Albania and [North] Macedonia? It might be waiting to create a ‘Greater Albania’,” Dikovic said.

His comments come as the economic situation in Kosovo continues to deteriorate and becomes even more reliant upon foreign aid and donations from the unilateral behaving U.S., their former Ottoman masters in Turkey that had gifted lands to them hundreds of years earlier, and Germany who effectively rules the European Union.

The former military man’s comments also come as Serbia leads Exercise “Slovenian Shield 2019” with Russia. Although some Slavic tribes broke off and headed south into the Balkans sometime at around 600AD, they maintained their Slavic kinship with the Russians and shared Christian Orthodox faith, ensuring Serbia has always had a pro-Russia view. Albanian expansionism has therefore become a natural ally of the U.S. to limit Russian influence in the Balkans.

However, this begs the question then why strong efforts for Albanian independence in Greece, Montenegro and North Macedonia has been weak in comparison to those in Serbia. Greece has been a long-time loyal NATO member, with the exception of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and therefore does not pose a threat to U.S. hegemony in the Balkans, protecting Greece from destabilization efforts via Albanian expansionism. Although Montenegro and North Macedonia also share Slavic kinship with the Serbs and Russians, as well as the Orthodox faith, they have proven to have Globalist ambitions, wanting to join NATO and the EU.

Serbia remains the only anti-EU/NATO state in the Balkans that is overwhelmingly pro-Russia. It is for this reason that Dikovic wants to renew compulsory military service, stating: “One should not gamble and think that there will be no conflict and risk. It is not only up to us, but we must have an answer to everything.”

Although the overwhelming majority of Albanians want a Greater Albania, it is unlikely to be achieved with Washington’s backing in Greece, Montenegro and North Macedonia as they do not pose a threat to U.S. hegemony in the Balkans, but rather serve it, while not encouraging Russian influence in the region. As Serbia is a pro-Russian island in a hostile region, it will continue to be targeted by Albanian expansionism with U.S. backing. Will this drive for expansionism violently spill over into the Preševo Valley? That remains to be seen.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

October 28, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Former MKO members expose anti-Iran ruse in Albania

Press TV – October 26, 2019

Albanian police on Wednesday claimed that they had foiled planned attacks by Iranian agents against an exiled terrorist group living in Albania, but several former members of the group have come forward to reveal that they are the real individuals being accused of the plot.

Since 2014, some 3,000 MKO members have settled in a camp in Albania after being transferred by the US from Iraq. Earlier this week, Albanian authorities claimed that they had discovered an active cell of the Iranian Quds Force and prevented their “plan of March 2018″ to attack the camp.

In March 2018, two people were held in Albania but set free for lack of evidence. At the time, an opposition leader denounced the announcement as a ploy by Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama to divert attention from Tirana’s failure to start entry talks with the European Union.

The accusation was similar to those made against Iran in Europe, including by France in October 2018 which accused Tehran of plotting to attack an annual MKO rally outside Paris.

The timing of the accusations was suspicious. They came as European governments apparently sought to save a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran after the US abandoned the agreement.

From the outset, Tehran vehemently dismissed the claims as false flag operations, while those detained in connection with the alleged plots were released later due to lack of evidence.

On Saturday, a Canadian-Albanian historian released a video of his interview with several individuals who said they had defected the MKO, but were now being framed by the terrorist group as Iranian agents sent to attack the camp near Durres, Albania’s main port.

Dr. Olsi Jazexhi, who carried out the interview, explained that a “cold war” is underway in Albania between former MKO members and the ringleaders of the terrorist organization.

Jazexhi, who specializes in the history of Islam, nationalism and religious reformation in Southeastern Europe, described those speaking in the interview as former terrorists who have abandoned terrorism against Iran and decided to lead a civilian life.

He has already aired a TV show called the “Opinion” in Albania, which said the MKO runs its own secret service in the impoverished European country, and that it spies on former members of the organization who live there.

A former member of the MKO in the video, labelled as an agent of Iran, is heard saying, “I don’t want to fight anything, any side. I want my own life, personal life, civilian life and I don’t want to fight.”

“For this reason, the MKO does not want us to live here. They put pressure on us to leave this country because if another member in the MKO comes out for anything or any work and see us we have a free [life], maybe they want to come out and have a free life. For this they make fake news against us, accuse us of being agents and mercenary of Iran,” the man says.

Last year, Albania expelled two Iranian diplomats suspected of “involvement in activities that harm the country’s security.”

Iran denounced the expulsions, saying Albania has fallen prey to a scenario fabricated by the US and Israel and certain terrorist groups.

The MKO has carried out numerous attacks against Iranian civilians and government officials over the past three decades and is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community.

Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist assaults since the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have fallen victim to MKO’s acts of terror.

October 26, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment

It’s ‘unthinkable & absurd’ to jail Catalan pro-independence leaders, former UN special rapporteur tells RT

A protest in solidarity with the Catalan pro-independence politicians in Barcelona, Spain, October 20, 2019. © Jon Nazca / Reuters
RT | October 24, 2019

The prosecution of Catalan pro-independence politicians by Spain violates European law and is simply “absurd,” a former high-ranking democracy and human rights expert at the UN has told RT.

“Political prisoners in Spain… It’s absolutely unthinkable!” Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, who served as the UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, said in an interview with Rafael Correa on RT Spanish.

He branded the jailing of the leaders of the Catalan independence movement “absurd,” especially since the “Catalans have been protesting for many years in a peaceful, democratic fashion.”

Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia voted in favor of independence in October 2017. Madrid called the vote illegal and sent in a massive police force to disrupt the referendum.

Chaotic scenes from the ground with officers in full riot gear beating civilians for merely voting, storming polling stations and snatching ballot boxes made the headlines back then, triggering widespread condemnation from international humanitarian organizations.

Following the voting-day crackdown, Spanish authorities detained a group of prominent Catalan politicians who had been involved in staging the referendum. Former Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras and eight others were sentenced to between nine and 13 years in prison earlier this month.

Spain is now demanding the extradition of former regional president Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium shortly after the failed independence bid.

“Both Puigdemont and Junqueras were elected with a mandate to carry out this [exact] referendum,” de Zayas stressed.

“So, criminally prosecuting someone for actions that were legitimized through a democratic election is … beyond all reason.”

“It violates Article 2 of the [EU’s] Treaty of Lisbon, which says that such issues must be brought up before the European Commission. Yet, I don’t see any complaints coming from Berlin, Brussels or Copenhagen that declare: ‘Things like that shouldn’t happen in Europe.’”

The lengthy prison sentences for pro-independence politicians sparked peaceful protests in Barcelona, which has been marred by night-time rioting and clashes with police. The mass protests raged for several days in a row, culminating in a general strike last Friday, which attracted at least half a million supporters of independence.

October 24, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

Western central bankers: they’re God, they trust – a 10-part series on the QE economy

By Ramin Mazaheri | The Saker Blog | October 21, 2019

It’s not that the West’s central bankers are infallible – the similarity is that they cannot be held accountable. After all – who can call God to account for His decisions?

Like God, when things succeed it is They (central bankers) who deserve all the credit – when things fail it’s because we failed to properly follow Their policies.

And like God, they don’t need regulation – it is They who give the regulations, which must be accepted on faith alone and no matter how poor the results.

Central bankers are held partially accountable by only one sector – the markets of money. If markets go down based on any of their statements the bankers immediately reverse themselves, regardless of the situation. Countless times Bernake, Yellen, Trichet, Draghi and others have made statements purposely as clear as mud and then backtracked at the first lower lip quaver from the rich. Despite this exception, neoliberalism has proven to be the worship of bankers, as they rule and not markets – central bankers, of course, subvert and control the markets in many ways.

This idolatry is not new: for two centuries “capitalism with Western characteristics” has truly been “banker rule”. The most impressive victory of neoliberalism – their ability to extend their unholy domain despite provoking the Great Recession – proves this: Central bankers in the G7 nations and the Eurozone have all been given the power to set fiscal policy, to decide social policy priorities and to render domestic elections irrelevant. Western nations are no longer democracies (and they were all, every one, merely the types of democracies which pointedly refused to evolve after 1917) but bankocracies.

The Great Recession has exposed modern capitalism to be not just banker worship but also banker governance.

This is not some wild-eyed lefty nonsense – they are deciding public policy. If we called them a “Politburo” instead of a “central bank” the West would rally up a posse of Nazis and send them to invade.

This multipart series will – as many of my previous such series have also done – use an exceptionally important political book as a jumping off point, which also allows me to humbly impart my point of view gleaned from my work as a daily hack journalist in the heart of the Eurozone. This point of view is rarely heard, yet has virtues which academics, think-tankers, specialists and authors cannot possibly contain – even we hack journalists must have some virtues, after all?

The book is 2018’s Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World by Nomi Prins, a former Wall Street executive who saw the light and is now informing on the crimes of Western imperialism-capitalism.

Quite simply, the book’s primary virtue is chronological: Prins gives a historical account of central banker doings in key areas – Mexico, China, Brazil, Japan and Europe – ever since US banker crimes set off the Great Recession in 2007. Prins gives us all the key happenings in these regions (only China is the one which is undoubtedly not capitalist-imperialist), and that is not something you can find all in one place elsewhere.

And because central bankers run the West, it is like reading the daily itinerary of a dictator – “this is how things were decided”.

What Prins does a good job in reminding us is that this has all been done to keep US banks solvent. Every policy of the US Fed is about defending this goal, and not at all about the health of the global economy; the idea that the US would be militarily aggressive and culturally overbearing yet financially benevolent is preposterous and unsupported by evidence.

But the book is essentially conventional journalism – it is a recounting of historical decisions, facts and consequences. The only radical, non-Western change Prins really suggests is to move away from the dollar. The world “class” is used less than a handful of times. Her mentions of the negative effect of central bankers’ decisions on the average person are clearly sincere but both sparing and brief. Few people get into Wall Street out of their love for poetry, after all. The book is a former Wall Streeter watching other Wall Streeters who have taken a brief detour into public service (except in China) – it is banker-centric. And this is quite useful in the 21st century.

Prins clearly and correctly views bankers as the problem, but her solution is essentially limited to hoping that China’s central bankers will re-balance the status quo, and that their stewardship will allow developing countries to coordinate cooperatively instead of exploitatively. She does not believe that the entire system needs re-ordering upon new moral and political foundations (or even upon the very different moral foundations upon which Red China rests, and which account for their different policies).

But merely changing Western-centrism to Sino-centrism, with its obvious shift away from the US greenback (and even combined with her correct approval of cryptocurrency) cannot be enough. China is not insisting that Western capitalist-imperialist nations follow Beijing, but that they reform themselves – Iran does this too, but where Beijing uses a whisper Iran uses a megaphone amplified by a megaphone. Prins needed far more moral condemnation and to propose far more actual changes to the prevailing Western system, but – as I wrote – this is essentially a book of typical Western capitalist “objective” journalism, where moralising is supposed to be left entirely to the reader.

This series is advocacy journalism. What I have done is to take Prins’ useful chronological, globally-oriented journalism on modern economic history and analyse it from a perspective very different from her own: a pro-socialist and anti-imperialist one.

It’s a great book, but lacks a modern political viewpoint

Prins gets the main point across, though, and it’s there in her title: G7/G20 central bankers have colluded since 2008 to (greenback) paper over the causes of the Great Recession.

Her book makes it undoubtedly clear how monetary policy has been coordinated to inflate and appease the 1%-dominated “markets” at different points around the world at different times. She doesn’t use these correct political terms, but she shows that 21st century Western financial policies are fundamentally neo-imperialist: the world has slaved for the benefit of the former unipolar imperium since 2008 – even though said imperium provoked the financial crisis in 2008 – because of collusion orchestrated by the imperium to inflict policies on the global economy which were mainly to save their biggest, busted banks.

There you have it: three major points upon which the past 11 years of Western economic history have been resting. This also explains why the West’s financial foundation is even shakier than it was in 2008.

You don’t need a PhD in economics to immediately grasp the correctness of these allegations: Nobody in their right mind would buy the securities of the top US banks… except for unaccountable central bankers. Central banks West-wide routinely bought $200 billion of such assets per month. Taxpayers were not enriched by buying bad investments, of course, but the busted banks in the US, Germany and France were.

The collusion Prins refers to in her title is the way the Fed used their influence to force other G20 banks to adopt the same policies. These policies are: massive money printing via QE, ZIRP (Zero interest rate policies) to persuade banks to take the money, and relaxing collateral standards in order to make sure banks got that money no matter how unsound everybody knew they were.

The problem comes down to a simple difference between capitalist and socialist views of finance: governments with policies dominated by the former give taxpayer money to private banks with no rules or accountability, whereas governments with policies dominated by the latter give this money with massive oversight, regulations and directives in order to ensure that it is used as efficiently as humanly possible. The irony for socialist-inspired nations is that they are the ones who are painted as corrupt!

Governments influenced by the former can rely on compliant, privately-owned Mainstream Media to repeatedly insist that these loans are for the benefit of all even though there is no such evidence for such a claim, nor any logical reason to expect such an outcome. Governments influenced by the latter really don’t care what the Western MSM says – their own people don’t need to be propagandized in favor of capitalist lies, and thus they mainly try to keep a low profile as regards international media.

(Cuba spends almost nothing on their media; Iran only recently started PressTV (and this service is more notable for its “different” viewpoint – “Voice of the voiceless” is the official slogan – rather than its scope and size); Xinhua seems to spend most of its time on soft news and certainly doesn’t trumpet its own beliefs. Indeed, much can be said about that difference between Iran and China: the former is nearly screaming up to Heaven what it is thinking and doing, whereas inscrutability in China is not just a cliché but their government policy, which aims to avoid friction. But I digress….)

The ultimate problem with Prins is that – like all “I’m a capitalist but not THIS capitalism” – she is ultimately a historical/economic nihilist:

Prins is like so many fine commentators on the Anglophone fringe: accumulating, exposing and railing against the crimes of capitalism, and garnering many clicks and views, but remaining fundamentally supportive of the capitalist system. They don’t believe in the only philosophical and economic alternative humans have designed to capitalism – socialism – nor do such analysts ever thread the camel through needle and become the one capitalist who finally proposes a capitalist system which is not based on exploitation, competition, aggression, etc.

There are ostensibly two main types of central bankers: the ones with more legacy power, and the ones with less but rising power, as is the case in China.”

Totally false: very real alternatives exist, and denying that – which Prins essentially does – only keeps people stuck in the political nihilism of TINA (There Is No Alternative).

The very real, very working alternative: the ‘terrorist’ central bankers of Iran & China

As I alluded to, China’s central bank is predicated on totally different foundations. And then you have Iran’s central bank: Iran’s central bank chief, Valiollah Saif, was declared a terrorist last month by Washington. Neither of these countries with socialist-inspired revolutions have banking leaders who are quotidian, interchangeable “central bankers minus legacy power”, as Prins describes.

Why was Iran’s Central Bank declared a “global terrorist”?

More flagrantly oppositional than Iran’s foreign policy are the tenets which guide Iran’s National Bank: it is totally state-owned, whereas the Fed is a consortium of private banks and set up like private corporations (something rarely understood). Iran’s National Bank is not “independent” from the government in the slightest. Iran’s central bank cannot meddle in – much less dictate – domestic policy, because that is why Iran has elections. Iran’s Central Bank, due to its fundamental independence, anti-capitalist and revolutionary nature proves that not all central bankers are the same.

Importantly, the independence of many Western central banks came after the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979: The Bank of Japan was made independent in 1998, the same year the ECB opened its doors to let greed rush in. Of course, their independence ensures that they follow policies which are for private concerns and not public ones.

Contrarily, China and Iran have central banks owned, literally, by the People. Former ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet often talked about how the ECB was a “bank of the people”, but it was classic continental hypocrisy – the Maastricht treaty, in the neoliberal & anti-socialist model in which the EU and Eurozone were created, explicitly made the ECB independent of any government. Does anyone possibly persist in believing, 10 years into (not after) the crisis, that the ECB has chosen policies which benefit the 99% and not the 1%?

There is widespread agreement in Iran that Islam tolerates capitalism – there are plenty of private banks – but Iran has agreed with socialism that the only solution is to have the biggest banks owned by the state. That is the only way “strings” can ever be applied to taxpayer money-created-loans in order to create a virtuous – and not exploitative – monetary cycle between government and business.

Such a solution is not proposed by a capitalist like Prins. She even tries to intimate that China’s Central Bank is almost equally duplicitous (though she could never get away with implying that China’s central bank was as exploitative), which is pure political nihilism and easily disproved.

The reality is that governments must issue paper money and private bankers act as the middleman to get this money to citizens… but only in capitalist countries. In socialist-inspired countries government workers serve as the middleman, and that is why they are succeeding in the 21st century. China and Vietnam are the two biggest boomers since 1980, while Cuba, Iran, Venezuela and a handful of others would be booming if they were not so terribly sanctioned.

Conclusion: There is no god but God

(That is perhaps the theological heart of Islam there, and repeated in every Salah daily prayer. Various stone idols with multiple limbs, the Christian trinity and Western central bankers all are not God because there is only one, single God and His name is God.)

Allow me to conclude with a few more indisputable truths, many of which have been painfully learned over the past decade:

  • Neoliberal central bankers are not as competent as even those much-maligned Iranian Revolutionary Shi’a mullahs. Per Prins:

With rates already near zero, or negative in some countries, there is little-to-no room to maneuver in the event of a looming crisis. After the decade-long money-conjuring policy, one with no real end in sight, one thing has become clear: central bank craftsmanship has been ineffective, at best, and has demonstrated gross negligence for the lasting consequences at worst. The assumption that these central banking policies will anytime soon evoke real growth is as preposterous as it is wrong.”

  • Once these paper props are stopped, chaos is certain to result in the Western economy. This chaos was always merely postponed via QE’s “helicopter money” (money thrown from helicopters (to the rooftops of fancy banker soirees?) in the hope that it will do good); this chaos will be even worse because 10 years of failed policies logically means that the West’s economies are far weaker than they were 10 years ago.
  • Capitalism is guaranteed to go from boom to bust, but the 2008 bust was both exceptionally bad and exceptionally driven by the US. The policy response was also exceptionally bad and also exceptionally driven by the US, and is also culturally designed to make Western society’s labor and financial laws even more exceptionally like those of the US.
  • If Western central bankers wanted to do everything they could to empower their enemy – socialist China – only then can they consider themselves as having been a success. The past decade has seen China soar so high they have broken the glass ceiling of a unipolar world. In slower historical processes, China has floated its yuan since January 2016, no longer pegging it to the dollar, and they have gotten the yuan added to the IMF Special Drawing Rights basket. QE could have changed the nature of Western societies in a good way, as it did in China, per Prins: “In China, conjured money went to building real things, whether they were needed or not, whereas for the rest of the G7, it tended to go into less tangible and more speculative uses.” The idea that China is building “unneeded” things and ghost towns is pro-capitalist propaganda, and is debunked here, but the result is clear: QE has only made China stronger but the West weaker.
  • The West has been told that the problem is developing countries not pulling their weight – China (alleged currency manipulation, their “slowdown” from incredible growth to merely fantastic growth, their trade war, etc.), Greece and other weak economies – when both the primary cause of the Great Recession and the primary cause of the continued global slowdown has been due to following the leading ideologies of the capitalist-imperialist West.
  • What the MSM has refused to shout from the rooftops is that all these trillions of QE could have gone directly into the pocket of the average person and produced comparatively spectacular economic growth on the macro level and on the micro/individual level. Half could have gone to citizens and the other half to infrastructure growth, and the money-conjuring nations would have assured their people 50 years of success and modernity. Sadly, capitalism does not believe in controlling their banks or their 1%. Instead, as everyone reading this fringe series on a fringe website written by a fringe hack journalist likely already knows, it went into the FIRE economy (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) and created massive bubbles worse than the ones a decade ago.

It comes down to a palpable feeling of social responsibility in government policy – there is none in hyper-competitive, “you have no right to a social safety net” Western neoliberal capitalism: contrarily, there is some of this rather holy spirit in Iranian Islamic Socialism, Socialism With Chinese Characteristics, Cuban-style socialism, etc.

It does not matter if this social responsibility comes from fear of God, or fear of incurring social shame or fear of el Norte, or whatever – results matter in social policy, because they mean life and death; because social policy always has and always will include very real judges dispensing very real (even if unfair) justice. Western distractions like “psychological motivation” are mainly overly-dwelled upon by existential Western urbanites who need to pay a psychologist to get them to finally accept that they are ragingly self-destructive, just like their economic principles and policies.

I will allow you to skip to the final page (of my series, not Prins’): At some point China will be asked to pick up the baton of QE collusion, because they are the only major economy which hasn’t done it yet… and they will not do it.

Why would they save the West? Not just because of their socialist ideals, nor their “Century of Humiliation”, but also because they have already been propping up the US monetarily (along with Japan) for quite some time.

But perhaps realizing that China won’t devalue its own economy via Western economic policies, the US has begun their fourth round of Quantitative easing. Their private media/propaganda outlets are ordering us “dont call it QE4”, but it’s exactly the same as before: printing new money to give to private banks with no strings attached.

QE, like God, has to be permanent.

Unlike God, there will be a reckoning for QE one day and it will be worse than in 2008.

For now, the West remains righteous neoliberal believers, and heaven rain down furious destruction on any Yellow Vester who smashes the window of a Western bank!

An 10-part series may seem like a lot, but these articles are shorter than my usual output when it comes to analytical series (Part 1 is the longest, or nearly). This series is essentially a continuation, updating and expansion of a 7-part series I wrote in autumn 2017 which also covered the failed Western policy of QE. Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

***********************************

Part 1Western central bankers: they’re God, they trust – a 10-part series on the QE economy

Part 2 – How QE has radically changed the nature of the West’s financial system

Part 3 – QE paid for a foreign buying spree: developing countries hurt the most

Part 4 – Iran vs Mexico: ‘economic inflows’ versus ‘economic independence’

Part 5 – Understanding the West’s obsession with inflation

Part 6 – The new ‘beggar thy neighbor’: wars to devalue labor, not currencies

Part 7 – Blaming China for the Great Recession… to avoid emulating China’s (socialist-inspired) success

Part 8 – 1941, 1981, 2017 or today – Europe’s mess is still Germany’s fault

Part 9 – Don’t forget the real root of Brexit: fear of Eurozone economic contagion

Part 10 – Bankocracies: the real Western governance model


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China and the upcoming Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

October 21, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 4 Comments

Brexit: Parliament Tethers Britain to a Failing Experiment

Europe is crumbling, & Britain’s elite desperately want to be part of the wreckage

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | October 20, 2019

Brexit isn’t going to happen. Left or Right – Lexit or Rexit – it’s over. It’s time to make peace with that idea.

Penned in by the absurd Benn Act, No Deal is off the table, which means Britain will be forced to either remain or accept a deal that’s Remain by another name.

The Letwin Ammendment and Johnson’s unsigned extension request are just morbid theatre. Unnecessary nails in a well-sealed coffin.

It’s all very Weekend at Bernies’ – A lame cast of characters, puppeteering Brexit’s corpse to keep up a tired joke that was never funny to begin with.

Parliament has become an absurd pantomime, where a clown Prime Minister – his majority willfully destroyed – sets up straw men that the “opposition” bayonet with increasingly maniacal glee. No thought is given to policy or consequences, only increasing the tally of Boris Johnson’s parliamentary defeats.

Labour, and the bedraggled, hysterical remainers in the Lib Dems/TIG/Green Party, have become nothing but contrarians – automatically gain-saying anything tabled by the government for the simple joy of humiliating the nation’s Court Jester in Chief.

Corbyn has been so successfully gaslighted by his remain-heavy PLP he doesn’t even realise he’s betraying his life-long principles, his mentor Tony Benn, and entire swaths of the Labour’s Northern heartlands, who all voted to leave.

When a general election does come, it will mean nothing.

Labour will likely be destroyed as working-class voters either flock to the Brexit Party or simply collapse into the apathy of the voiceless, and stay home.

If Labour scrapes together enough voters from Remain country in Scotland and London to claw their way to a small majority, well their socialist manifesto will be crippled by the EU’s austerity policy and restrictions on nationalisation.

In either event, Corbyn will be replaced by a New Labour non-entity of little renown and less worth. The papers will declare socialism dead (again), and maybe clap Corbyn on the shoulder for doing “well, considering” and “changing the conversation”.

We’ll be invited the celebrate the new (inevitably) female leader as a sign of “progress”, while society continues to slip backwards.

Whether the hardcore Remainers get their “People’s Vote” or not, and whichever of the carousel of undesirables happens to be Prime Minister when it all eventually wraps up, Brexit is dead. Parliament killed it.

This on-going, slow-burn sabotage is hard to watch – but it’s not what this article is about.

What it’s about is a question. An important question. One that should weigh heavily on the shoulders of Remainers on the eve of their – for want of a better word – victory:

Do we really want this? Does the EU, right now, really look like something we want to be a part of?

Let’s run down the situation on The Continent.

France is miserable, sick of austerity. Sick of spending cuts and falling standards and neo-liberal economics promising a trickle-down that never seems to come.

In Paris – and many other French cities – the Yellow Vests are nearing their fiftieth straight week of protests, and don’t seem to be slowing down (Hopefully they plan something nice for their first birthday).

People have lost eyes, hands, even lives. The Hong Kong protests – so long front-page news in the UK – have been a picnic in comparison.

In Hungary, an elected President is held hostage by the bureaucracy of the EU. Whatever you think of Orban, he was democratically elected to enact the political promises he made during his campaign. That Brussels can sanction him, and threaten to remove Hungary’s voting rights, is perverse. Anti-democracy in the name of democracy.

They say it’s about “protecting European values”, but is it?

That’s pretty hard to believe, considering the situation elsewhere in Europe…

Spain will join France in the flames soon. They already sent thirteen politicians to prison for sedition.

Take a moment to consider that – actual “sedition”.

This comes after sending in riot police to break up a peaceful referendum. Spanish police beat voters, arrested protesters and destroyed ballot boxes.

Madrid has faced no punishment, or even criticism, for this. They – unlike Orban – have escaped any sanction or censure. Police attack Catalonian independence protests on the streets of Barcelona…and Brussels’ silence is deafening.

(Imagine Russia had just jailed 13 opposition politicians for sedition. Imagine Maduro was blinding protestors with rubber bullets. The difference in coverage and attitude would be breathtaking.)

What is the difference between Budapest and Paris? Or Moscow and Madrid?

Well, Orban is anti-EU (as are the Gilets Jaunes). The governments of France and Spain are Pro EU, with a ferocity that fully justifies the capital P.

Follow a pro-EU agenda of austerity, uncontrolled immigration and globalisation and you can blind as many protesters as you want.

The harder you look, the more it seems “European values” is slang for “European power”.

The talk of the EU Army bubbles away on the back-burner, whilst the European Parliament merrily votes through massive funding for “StratCom” programmes to “counter misinformation”.

We hear about peace, but we don’t see it. We hear about prosperity, but we don’t feel it.

Austerity is choking the birthplace of democracy to death, and its – again, for want of a better word – “leaders” are spending tax revenues on propaganda and the military.

Is that going to help a single ordinary citizen out of poverty? Are these moves designed to make life fair, equal or easy for ordinary citizens? Or consolidate and enforce authority?

Look at Europe. Really look at it. It’s burning. And yet Remainers sit amongst the flames and say everything’s fine.

We are lectured on “European Values”, but that phrase has been meaningless for years, and every day edges closer and closer to full-on parody.

Europe is a sinking ship the rats in Parliament refuse to leave.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he’s forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

October 19, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics | , , | Leave a comment

The EU’s conditional aid and suppression of Palestinian rights

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | October 14, 2019

The European Union’s incoming Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell has already signalled a continuation of the bloc’s prevailing politics when it comes to Palestine – preserve the two-state compromise by ensuring funding to the Palestinian Authority.

“If anyone helps the Palestinians today and their right to have their own state, that is Europe,” Borrell declared at the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs. The truth is Europe does neither; it is merely concerned with maintaining its influence when it comes to the two-state compromise and peace-building narratives, all of which serve the EU’s political agenda.

Summarising the gist of the EU’s foreign policy when it comes to Palestine, Borrell tweeted: “The EU contributes almost one million € a day to attend the Palestinian Authority. We must continue to defend a peaceful coexistence and the two states solution.” A succinct description of what EU funding constitutes – providing the PA with the necessary backing to function without the existence of a Palestinian state.

For the EU, maintaining the two-state paradigm at the helm of policy works better than implementation, which is now inapplicable anyway. The pretence of state-building, which the PA forms part of, is also a veneer that shifts focus away from the EU’s lucrative trade deals with Israel. Borrell has already stated, unsurprisingly, that the EU’s trade agreements with Israel will not be broken. In 2017, Israel-EU trade amounted to €36.2 billion, which pales in comparison to EU assistance to the PA.

For Palestinians, therefore, the EU only finances hypotheses – in Borrell’s words, “the possibility of the creation of a Palestinian state that can coexist peacefully with an Israeli state.” The EU can claim to be the biggest donor to the Palestinians, yet it is financing its own agenda, rather than providing the means for Palestinians to demand their legitimate political rights.

The Oslo Accords, which allowed Israel to colonise additional Palestinian land, have not been repudiated by the EU. On the contrary, there has been no contestation of the framework on the grounds that it has stripped Palestinians of what remained of their land and freedom. With the PA a willing accomplice, the EU has never been challenged by Palestinian political bureaucrats to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people. Conversely, the PA reaches out to the EU for assistance in maintaining the violations imposed by Israel and to which the international community turns a blind eye.

Europe is not helping Palestinians towards statehood – it is maintaining the illusion of statehood as an interim project, while Israel colonises what remains of Palestinian territory. The Oslo Accords are vague and so is EU policy towards Palestine. Instead of seeking clear parameters to decolonise Palestine, the EU is adopting the same ambiguities that have transformed Palestinians into a humanitarian project against their will.

The EU is merely financing its unwarranted justification of the two-state paradigm and forcing Palestinians into conditional financial aid. While nothing new is expected when it comes to the EU’s farcical peace and state-building for Palestinians, Borrell has indicated the EU’s agenda upfront – the financing of agendas and illusions to enable Israel’s ongoing colonial project.

October 14, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 1 Comment

How The US Quietly Lost The 1st Amendment

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 10/12/2019

While many would argue that Americans’ First Amendment rights have long since dwindled from the liberties initially granted in The Bill of Rights, a decision by the European Union’s highest court could well mark the final nail in the coffin of free speech.

As Politico reports, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that Facebook can be ordered to track down and remove content globally if it was found to be illegal in any EU country. In its ruling, CJEU said that EU law allowed local judges to order the world’s largest social network to remove illegal content, as well as delete material that conveyed a similar message under certain circumstances.

The decision is not just a slap in the face of worldwide citizens’ freedom of expression, but a big defeat for Facebook as it will force them to be more responsible for what is appearing on the internet (and thus what is seen by those who make the rules as not appropriate for the genpop).

“This judgement raises critical questions around freedom of expression and the role that internet companies should play in monitoring, interpreting and removing speech,” Toby Partlett, a Facebook spokesman, said in a statement.

“We hope the courts take a proportionate and measured approach to avoid having a chilling effect on freedom of expression.”

Of course, it won’t as EU bureaucrats have hardly shown the ability to undertake measured responses when it comes to cracking down on non-sanctioned thoughts, words, and memes. Facebook officials went to exclaim that:

… the ruling “undermines the longstanding principle that one country does not have the right to impose its laws on speech on another country.”

As Politico details, the ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in 2016 by Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, an Austrian lawmaker, who had requested that Facebook delete defamatory posts made about her by an anonymous user.

When an Austrian court sided with her, the company initially only removed the content from being viewed in Austria, but subsequent appeals had focused on whether such takedowns should apply globally, and if Facebook should be required to remove similar content once it has been made aware of the defamatory material.

Following the ruling by Europe’s highest court, her case will now be referred back to Austrian judges, who will make the final ruling about how to apply Thursday’s decision.

As one would expect, digital rights campaigners were incensed by the breadth of the decision:

“The court’s decision opens the door for serious restrictions on freedom of expression due to the takedown of legitimate speech. Extending removal to the vague concept of “equivalent” content is harmful because the context as well as motivation of users re-sharing content may significantly differ with each re-upload,” said Eliška Pírková, Europe policy analyst at Access Now, a campaigning group.

Those who believe tyranny cannot come to the United States should take a look around because it’s already here and as the EU court’s decision shows, it is not just Washington that Americans should fear.

October 12, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Anti-Corruption is the New Corruption

Amazing Polly | October 10, 2019

I discuss how *G.Soros* is pivotal to the Globalist takeover of countries by using the example of Ukraine.

This seems to involve the CIA in its capacity as part of an underground international Intelligence Apparatus which I believe was set up during & after WW2 in Project RUSTY.

I also focus on the major role Canadians have played in Ukraine.

There’s a lot going on here, so grab a pen. :)

NOTE: the photo I say is of Oleh Havrylyshyn is not him. I put in the wrong file.

If you would like to send a financial contribution so that I can keep doing this work, please click the following link or go to my website, amazingpolly.net and check the contact page for a P.O Box address.

Paypal: https://paypal.me/PollyStGeorge twitter: https://twitter.com/99freemind

Bitchute video backup: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/99Fr…

References:

472 page collection of CIA declassified documents re Project RUSTY & the Gehlen group, which eventually became the CIA and the BND in Germany. Astonishing info: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingro…

Chrystia Freeland Macleans: https://www.macleans.ca/news/liberal-…

Anti Trump Freeland Macleans: https://www.macleans.ca/politics/what…

The World According to Soros: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/19…

Halyna Freeland and Soros: https://www.kyivpost.com/article/cont…

Soros & Ukraine: http://willzuzak.ca/lp/soros01.html

US caused Orange Revolution: https://www.theguardian.com/world/200…

Orange Revolution aftermath: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/s…

NYT Clinton Pinchuk: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/us…

Zelensky Pinchuk Kuchma together again: https://www.unian.info/politics/10581…

European Dev Bank, Ukraine, 2016: https://www.ebrd.com/work-with-us/pro…

Holowaty Supreme Constitutional Court, Ukraine: http://www.ccu.gov.ua/en/publikaciya/…

NGO Transparency measures: http://www.ukrweekly.com/uwwp/wp-cont…

Soros Information war: https://www.newspapers.com/image/4847…

Zlochevsky Burisma Biden: http://www.ukrweekly.com/uwwp/biden-i…

Ottawa Citizen Chomiak: https://ottawacitizen.com/news/nation…

Deeper dive into Chomiak: http://johnhelmer.net/michael-chomiak…

October 12, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

EU can order Facebook to remove ‘hate speech’ even if it’s outside Europe, top court says in landmark ruling

RT | October 3, 2019

Facebook must comply with demands from EU nations to remove content deemed illegal, even if the material falls outside of their jurisdiction, a top court has ruled. The decision could undermine freedom of speech on the internet.

The European Court of Justice, the bloc’s top court, said on Thursday that an individual country can order Facebook to remove posts, photographs, and videos, and even restrict access to these materials to people all over the world.

According to the Luxembourg-based court, a national court of any EU country has the right to instruct the social media giant to take down posts considered defamatory in regions beyond its jurisdiction.

The ruling upholds a non-binding opinion from an ECJ adviser in June, which Facebook argued “undermines the longstanding principle that one country should not have the right to limit free expression in other countries.”

The initial opinion came after an Austrian Green party politician sued Facebook, demanding that the platform delete defamatory content about her posted by a user, as well as duplicates of the same material. The complaint was referred to the ECJ by Austria’s High Court. The politician, Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, insisted that Facebook prevent the content from being viewed worldwide.

This is the second major ECJ ruling in as many months concerning freedom of expression on the internet. In September, the court said that Google does not have to apply the EU’s “right to be forgotten” law globally. The directive requires the tech giant to remove search result listings to pages containing damaging or false information about a person. As a result, Google implemented a feature that prevents European users from being able to see delisted links.

October 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment