New York Times Warns Greece to Accept Endless Depression– Because Default Might Be Painful

 

Region:

 

 

130953James Stewart had a piece in the New York Times (6/25/15) telling readers that if Greece were to leave the euro, it would face a disaster. The headline warns readers, “Imagine Argentina, but Much Worse.” The article includes several assertions that are misleading or false.

First, it is difficult to describe the default in Argentina as a disaster. The economy had been plummeting prior to the default, which occurred at the end of the year in 2001. The country’s GDP had actually fallen more before the default than it did after the default. (This is not entirely clear on the graph, since the data is annual. At the point where the default took place in December of 2001, Argentina’s GDP was already well below the year-round average.) While the economy did fall more sharply after the default, it soon rebounded, and by the end of 2003 it had regained all the ground lost following the default.

Argentina’s economy continued to grow rapidly for several more years, rising above pre-recession levels in 2004. Given the fuller picture, it is difficult to see the default as an especially disastrous event, even if it did lead to several months of uncertainty for the people of Argentina.

In this respect, it is worth noting that Paul Volcker is widely praised in policy circles for bringing down the US inflation rate. To accomplish this goal, he induced a recession that pushed the unemployment rate to almost 11 percent. So the idea that short-term pain might be a price worth paying for a longer-term benefit is widely accepted in policy circles.

The pre-default decline has been much sharper in Greece than in Argentina: over 25 percent in Greece, compared to less than 10 percent in Argentina. This should mean that Greece has much more room to bounce back if it regains control over its fiscal and monetary policy.

At one point, the piece refers to the views of Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister, on the difficulties of leaving the euro. It relies on what it describes as a “recent blogpost.” Actually, the post is from 2012.

To support the argument that Greece has little prospect for increasing its exports, it quotes Daniel Gros, director of the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels, on the impact of devaluation on tourism:

But they’ve already cut prices and tourism has gone up. But it hasn’t really helped, because total revenue hasn’t gone up.

Actually, tourism revenue has risen. It rose by 8.0 percent from 2011 to 2013(the most recent data available) measured in euros, and by roughly 20 percent measured in dollars.

In arguing that Greece can’t increase revenue from fishing, the piece tells readers, “The European Union has strict quotas to prevent overfishing.” However, the piece also tells readers that leaving the euro would cause Greece to be thrown out of the European Union. If that’s true, the EU limits on fishing would be irrelevant.

The piece also make a big point of the fact that Greece does not at present have a currency other than the euro. There are plenty of countries, including many which are poorer than Greece, who have managed to switch over to a new currency in a relatively short period of time. While this process will never be painless, it must be compared to the pain associated with an indefinite period of unemployment in excess of 20.0 percent, which is almost certainly the path associated with remaining in the euro on the Troika’s terms.

In making comparisons between Greece and Argentina, it is also worth noting that almost all economists projected disaster at the time Argentina defaulted in 2001. Perhaps they have learned more about economics in the last 14 years, but this is not obviously true.

Economist Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. A version of this post originally appeared on CEPR’s blog Beat the Press (6/26/15).

You can send a message to the New York Times at letters@nytimes.com, or to public editor Margaret Sullivan at public@nytimes.com (Twitter:@NYTimes or @Sulliview). Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

Germany spreading anti-Russian propaganda through schools

Angela-Merkel-1-001

Chancellor Angela Merkel

Germany spreading anti-Russian propaganda through schools

The Bundeswehr is intensifying its efforts to militarize German society and attracting young people into its ranks to fight against “new threats” and a “threat from Russia” in particular, World Socialist Web Site wrote.

Army and military equipment are seemingly becoming a natural part of leisure and family activities in Germany. The last major “military” event took place on June 13 in 15 various cities in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Bundeswehr, WSWS reported.

According to the website, staged combat and armor demonstrations, simulations of helicopter operations and personal conversations with soldiers coupled with entertainment facilities for children and families are a central component of a new strategy in foreign policy, which was announced by the federal government at the beginning of 2014.

German President Joachim Gauck had called for a stronger role of the army in the German society already in 2012.

“Generals, officers, Bundeswehr soldiers – come back to the middle of our society!” he appealed to his audience.

The Bundeswehr anniversary was not the only part of an intensive and comprehensive military strategy to recruit young people for the armed service. The strategy is aimed at militarizing the whole society and recalls the darkest times of German history, with the population being re-accustomed to violence and preparing for new wars, WSWS wrote.

The problem here is that the German army faces an overwhelming opposition. Given the historical crimes of German imperialism in the two World Wars, anti-war sentiment in the country is very strong.

To attract more people to its military ranks, the government has been investing ever-increasing sums of money into recruitment activities since 2011. While in 2009 the allocated financing was “only” €3.8 million, the planned spending in 2015 is nearly ten times more and amounts to €35.5 million.

The central task of the new strategy is to make the German army “one of the most attractive employers” in the country. It includes a comprehensive recruitment policy at schools, job fairs or on the Internet.

Schools are often attended by officers who present themselves as objective experts on foreign and security policy, but mainly talk about missions abroad and the dangers of international terrorism. They try not only to convince pupils of the necessity of military operations worldwide, but also promote their own propaganda materials.

Anti-Russian propaganda is one of the most common ones. The German youth is being convinced that Russia poses a serious threat to international security, which the EU and NATO have to tackle immediately.

Comment: There appears to be a concerted effort to demonize Russia throughout Europe: Exclusive: Anti-Russian propaganda appearing in Dutch school textbooks
King+Willem+Alexander+Queen+Maxima+Nuclear+hAVyQa1GDycl

Ahhhhh how nice. Vassals of the Empire welcome POTUS.

Argentine newspaper: Putin behind the renaissance of Russia’s influence

 

1023464187

Russian President Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin helped to restore Russia, as well as the former influence of the Kremlin amid the European crisis, Argentinian newspaper Infobae wrote. According to prominent Argentinian analyst and author Mariano Caucino, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, for many years Russia seemed to have lost its privileged position as a global player. However, Russia’s geographical location, stockpile of nuclear arms and veto rights in the UN Security Council, as well as Moscow’s political, historical and energy influence point to the fact that the country is a world power.

The newspaper rhetorically asks who Vladimir Putin is: a hero who restored the superiority of Russia after the collapse of the USSR and national humiliation in the 1990s, or an “evil power” as Western media usually presents the Russian leader.

“Russia’s attitude to the area of its influence means that no one is allowed to intrude into the sphere of the country’s interests as it poses a threat to its sovereignty,” the Argentinian newspaper noted.

Russia cannot imagine itself in isolation from world politics, while having all necessary things to be engaged in world affairs. Unfortunately, over the last decade, the West has attempted to force Russia out of the position as a superpower, preferring China and India.

“These are the hidden reasons, which motivated the Russian leadership to proceed to action on the creation of a multi-polar world. Russia seeks to demonstrate to the international community an alternative way of political, cultural and spiritual development based on Eurasian values.”

According to Infobae, Moscow believes that the times of a uni-polar world should be left in the past, when the United States after the Cold War used to be the sole superpower.

“Due to its historical significance, enormous size and political will, Russia is destined to be a global player in the future. Historic injustices committed in the 1980s and 1990s need to be fixed,” Mariano Caucino wrote.

Moreover, the newspaper noted that the long-term interests of the West would be better protected if they complied with the principles of respect for its partner and mutually beneficial cooperation, taking into account its political and historical realities.

As a sovereign nation under international law, Novorossiya can bring Kiev’s war criminals to justice: Legal analysis from an international human rights lawyer

 

Dr. Jonathan Levy
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 11:24 UTC

 Previously published by Global Research

Flag of Novorossiya

Flag of Novorossiya

Under the influence of an intense disinformation campaign much of the world has tried its best to ignore the existence of the sovereign state of Novorossiya (Federativnoye Gosudarstvo Novorossiya). The Western media when it does mention Novorossiya applies denigrating terms like “self-declared state”, “unrecognized state” and even “puppet republic” to describe the status of Novorossiya. In fact, under international law, Novorossiya has the same status as any other member of the community nations – it is a sovereign independent nation.

The “gold standard” of statehood is the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States enacted in 1933. The Montevideo Convention requires an aspiring state to have it own territory, population, a functioning government and the ability to enter into relationships with other states. Novorossiya, while not currently in control of all its territory, has maintained an undisputed presence in Lugansk and Donetsk, backed up by a seasoned army and security forces. There is a sizeable population in Novorossiya, despite ethnic cleansing attempts by the Ukraine government. There is a functioning government and diplomatic efforts are ongoing, as evidenced by the Minsk process. In a just and fair world then, Novorossiya would be welcomed into the fold of sovereign nations as its newest member. But the world is neither just nor fair and Novorossiya is attacked by enemies in the West and blocked on other fronts by economic sanctions and diplomatic boycotts.

Donbass_terror

Nonetheless, Novorossiya has friends. The Russian people of course overwhelmingly support this new nation and South Ossetia has welcomed Novorossiya by diplomatically recognizing it. Diplomatic recognition is an important first step towards international legitimacy since South Ossetia itself is recognized by four UN member states – Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, and Nauru. More recognition for Novorossiya of course would be desirable but is not necessary to establish legitimacy. Somaliland, for example, which has been sovereign since 1991 and is recognized by no other country, yet has maintained its complete independence and conducts business worldwide, issues passports and currency, and defends itself without any disapproval from the major powers. Novorossiya, unlike Somaliland, is an industrialized nation in Europe and not on the periphery of Africa; its relevance as an independent nation is assured.

But how does this relate to war crimes committed by Kiev’s political elite, Ukrainian armed forces and so-called “volunteer brigades” of fascists? Before the brilliant tactical victory by the Novorossiya self-defence forces that broke the blockade of Dontesk and Lugansk in late August 2014, it appeared as if the entire command and political infrastructure of Novorossiya might be in real danger of liquidation, summary arrest or exile if Ukrainian forces and their foreign mercenaries stormed Donetsk and Lugansk. The very real scenario of another unfair UN-sponsored tribunal like the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia) which mainly persecuted Serbs for defending themselves was looming large in the event Ukraine prevailed.

12

Mass graves with hundreds of tortured victims, found with their hands bound near Donetsk, Novorossiya

Personally, on the 4 months anniversary of the Odessa massacre, I was thinking, “Shame on the ICC (International Criminal Court), which has ignored the snipers of the Maidan and the paid thugs who burned innocents alive in Odessa.” And God forbid the UN should set up show trials to demonize the defenders of Donetsk and Lugansk. As an international human rights lawyer I believed there had to be a way for justice to prevail. I wrote an article suggesting the Council of Europe, a separate organization from the biased European Union, of which both Ukraine and Russia are members, might be a possible sponsor of a war crimes tribunal.

One of the Council of Europe’s main organs is the European Court of Human Rights. I was thrilled when, the day after my article was published, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov met with the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland. However, nothing concrete has emerged, and under heavy pressure from the United States the Council of Europe has proven itself no friend to Novorossiya through its inaction, and has seemingly become yet another loudspeaker for Kiev’s backers.

Nonetheless, a war crimes tribunal is an important weapon against fascism. Fascists thrive in dark places and times, and hide their identities behind masks and hoods; the threat of exposure of their identities and deeds scares them greatly. Even during the worst days of the Second World War, Himmler eased up on his murder of Jews in Hungary in fear of prosecution after the war. The cowards and the cravens in Kiev, who allow their forces to target schools and mass transit in Donetsk would likely modify their behaviour if they risked indictment for war crimes from a recognized tribunal. But the Kiev regime is currently well-protected by backers in United States and NATO, and consequently is emboldened in its attempts to intimidate the people of Novorossiya.

Therefore Novorossiya itself as a sovereign state must seize the initiative. Just as Novorossiya and only Novorossiya defended itself from Kiev, it is only Novorossiya that can move forward with a war crimes tribunal. Evidence and testimony has been already been collected, and it is abundant. Many of the perpetrators – both high and low – are known, and the rest will be discovered. The enablers, propagandists and funders of genocide outside Ukraine are also numbered, and known for the most part. There is no lack of allegations or suspects. What is lacking is the mechanism to bring them to justice.

Currently, Novorossiya is isolated. The threat of sanctions against the companies and persons of those who might help has unfortunately made the cause of justice take a back-seat to economics and politics. Yet Novorossiya can act against war criminals and not just symbolically. Section 107 of the Restatement (Second) of Foreign Relations Law of the United States [1965] states that:

“An entity not recognized as a state but meeting the requirements for recognition specified in § 100 [of controlling a territory and population and engaging in foreign relations], or an entity recognized as a state whose regime is not recognized as its government, has the rights of a state under international law in relation to a non-recognizing state…”

See also Article 74 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which states that: “The severance or absence of diplomatic or consular relations between two or more States does not prevent the conclusion of treaties between those States.” What all this means is that under international law Novorossiya may act avail itself of all the remedies under international law as long as some other states concur.

Novorossiya can set up not just a domestic tribunal but an international one that can reach beyond its borders. This is especially important because the war criminals are, for the most, except for their foot soldiers, not on the borders of Novorossiya or inside the territory of Novorossiya. The criminals are in Kharkiv, Denepetrovsk, Kiev, Lviv, Warsaw and beyond. International reach is the key. When the oppressed people of Ukraine finally wake out of their slumber and throw out the rascals in the Kiev government and cleanse the country of Nazis and corrupt oligarchs, the criminals will find a soft landing in Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, just as many blood-stained Banderists did after Second World War. The Vatican, MI6, and the predecessor to the CIA did all they could to help certain useful Nazis and their collaborators escape justice via the ratlines and find a new life as assets abroad. A repeat of this travesty of justice must be avoided as these rotten apples have a way of resurfacing later with their message of hate and ultra-nationalism.

It is not enough to want justice for crimes. It is not enough to investigate war crimes. The guilty must eventually be chased down and brought back to face justice for these efforts to be credible. The task is even more daunting when most of the major powers in the world are on the side of the killers. Even the international organizations tasked with enforcing human rights, the ICC, the UN, and Council of Europe have abandoned their responsibilities to the people of Novorossiya. Is a war crimes tribunal therefore a mission impossible?

Kiev war criminals

Kiev war criminals

A Modest Proposal

mh17_crash_site

The Ukrainian Army firing thousands of rounds of mortars at residential buildings in Novorossiya

It is impressive that even in the midst of current battle for the Donetsk Airport, brave people are collecting and documenting evidence of war crimes committed in the Donbass. The news media and human right activists from Russia have been particularly helpful. But who should be the recipient of the evidence? If the investigation of the downed Malaysian jetliner, Flight MH-17, is an indication of the sort of justice that can be found outside Novorossiya, I have serious doubts. Evidence has been destroyed by the Ukrainian government, and unfounded allegations of the mass murder of the innocent passengers on Flight MH-17 has been levelled not only against Novorossiya but also the Russian government, which has been defamed by the press and politicians from Kiev to Kansas City. The Dutch team who are the lead investigators of the plane crash – and from a NATO member state – are susceptible to subtle and not-so-subtle pressure. Everyone has been kept in the dark through a lack of transparency throughout the process.

On the other hand, why not turn the evidence over to a friendly country like Russia? That also creates a problem. Sanctions will flow like wine at a wedding and any results denied and discredited by a thousand naysayers in the Western press. I suggest Novorossiya must act on its own initiative against war criminals, however, not just domestically but internationally too. As pointed out above, Novorossiya as a sovereign state may engage in foreign relations. It can sue in the courts of other countries because it is an independent sovereign state under international law and its agencies are legal entities. Novorossiya may file cases with international tribunals. However, it is also blocked from membership in the major international organizations and the existing tribunals seem heavily prejudiced against Novorossiya.

Novorossiya therefore must set up its very own International Tribunal and give it independence to act in lieu of the UN, ICC, and Council of Europe. This bold act will result in recognition of the tribunal even when states may still shy away from recognizing Novorossiya itself. Progressive states will recognize the tribunal and its power to seize property and extradite criminals. Perhaps a third-party country host can be found too.

But how can this be accomplished and who will do the work when the existence of Novorossiya still hangs in the balance? Much of the field investigation is being done already. However, the most important element is: who will staff the Tribunal? Yes, people from Novorossiya and Russia, but also lawyers and jurists from around the world seeking to advance the cause of justice should be encouraged to participate. It is international participation and support that will give the proposed tribunal substance, even as the UN and ICC have failed the people of Donetsk and Lugansk.

UkraineArmyAttackingCivilians

The Ukrainian Army firing thousands of rounds of mortars at residential buildings in Novorossiya

We live in a virtual world. While court rooms are still necessary, there exists the technology to supplement traditional methods of justice. Judges often conduct hearings via Internet while the accused are held elsewhere. Jurists and attorneys from around the world could act as judges and advocates for the defence and prosecution. International lawyers commissioned by Novorossiya could file actions to seize assets of blood-stained Ukrainian oligarchs and politicians with bank accounts and property outside Ukraine for the benefit of the victims and their families. There are dozens of international lawyers who would help and they in turn know dozens more.

The war criminals are smug in the thought they have powerful friends outside Ukraine who will help them escape justice if their plans to subvert Ukraine and destroy the Donbass ultimately fail. Let us unleash a volunteer corps of a thousand lawyers, linked by technology worldwide, and undeterred by their governments. Novorossiya must give to them the commission to hunt down the war criminals and seize their assets. Give us lawyers the right to sue the merchants of death and destruction, the purveyors of deadly agitprop, and even the old networks of Nazis who are behind the Banderists.

Lawfare is a strategy of using law as a substitute for traditional military means to achieve an operational objective – in this case bring war criminals to justice and deter future crimes. The present day legal hurdles are surprisingly low and the proliferation of potential forums adds to the attractiveness of lawfare. Novorossiya can demonstrate standing and jurisdiction and is especially well-situated to take advantage of lawfare. Legal action can be accomplished without loss of life or large-scale deployment of assets. The only requirements are potential standing and a knowledgeable legal representative. A court filing often generates as much or more publicity than a military skirmish.

The world and its organizations have largely ignored, covered up, or even condoned the war crimes committed against the people of Novorossiya. The backers of fascism think they can act with impunity just as they did after the Second World War when Nazi war criminals used the Vatican-run “ratline” to escape to South America and Spain. But the world has changed, technology and access to information has levelled the playing field. Novorossiya has demonstrated it can prevail against great odds on the battle field, now let the members of the international community who abhor war crimes use their skills and technology to make the seemingly impossible happen – to bring Kiev’s war criminals to justice.

About the author
Dr. Jonathan Levy, is an attorney member of the International Criminal Bar. Dr Levy holds a PhD in Political Science and is a Senior Adjunct faculty member at two North American universities.

Israel Killed and Injured More Civilians with Explosive Weapons than Any Other State in 2014

 

Damage caused by Israeli explosives remains visible in this mosque and many other buildings in Gaza. Mohammed Asad/APA images.
 
Israel killed and injured more civilians with explosive weapons than any other state in the world in 2014 due to its military assault on Gaza. This is according to a new report by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), an organization that tracks the global impact of explosive weapons on civilians.The report defines explosive weapons as “munitions such as air-dropped bombs, mortars, improvised explosive devices and artillery shells” which cause “deaths, injuries and damage by projecting explosive blast, heat and often fragmentation around a point of detonation.”

While both state and non-state groups contributed to civilian casualties in 2014, states were responsible for 28 percent of civilian injuries and deaths, a sharp 17 percent rise from the previous year. This was due in large part to Israel’s military assault on Gaza, which accounted for 44 percent of all explosive violence in 2014.

figure_4

Bolstering previous human rights assessments that have accused Israel of war crimes, the AOAV report sheds further light on the degree of firepower the residents of Gaza were subjected to last summer.

Dubbed Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 51-day bombing campaign killed 2,251 Palestinians and injured another 11,000, according to UN figures. The vast majority of those killed (1,462) were civilians, including 551 children, making Gaza the third most dangerous place in the world to be a civilian in 2014, according to AOAV.

As a result, Palestinians in Gaza made up 43 percent of global civilian casualties from artillery shelling, 35 percent of civilian casualties from aerial bombings and 40 percent of worldwide child casualties from explosive violence in 2014.

After the dust settled, bomb disposal experts estimated that Israel dropped the equivalent of six atomic bombs on Gaza.

In 2014, Gaza accounted for the third highest number of civilian casualties from explosive violence globally, exceeding civilian death and injury in Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

figure_2

Of the 4,022 injuries and deaths from explosive violence AOAV recorded in Gaza, 3,813 were civilians.

This means that civilians comprised an alarming 95 percent of those killed or maimed by explosives in Gaza, placing Israel in the same league as the militant group Boko Haram, whose deadly suicide and IED (improvised explosive device) attacks resulted in a 97 percent civilian casualty rate in Nigeria. By comparison, the rate of civilian casualties in Syria, to which Israel often refers to deflect from its own atrocities, was 81 percent.

Such findings contradict Israeli proclamations that it does more than any other force on earth to avoid civilian casualties.

Israel was responsible for more than one third, or 35 percent, of civilians hit by air-launched explosives, Syria for 43 percent and Iraq for 8 percent, leading to a nearly threefold global rise in civilian casualties from aerial explosives in 2014.

figure_9

Israel launched more than 6,000 airstrikes in Gaza, which caused 53 percent of Gaza’s civilian casualties, according to AOAV. The other 47 percent were killed or injured by ground and naval shelling.

Furthermore, the report found that 43 percent of Israeli air attacks were launched by drones, accounting for 29 percent of Gaza’s civilian casualties.

An investigation by the Associated Press generated similar results, finding that over half of civilians killed in Gaza died in Israeli airstrikes on their homes, “including 19 babies and 108 preschoolers between the ages of one and five.”

Aerial explosives were particularly detrimental to children around the world, “with 44 percent of all deaths and injuries being reported as caused by air launched weapons,” the AOAV report states, citing as an example the 29 July air assault on an apartment building in Khan Younis that killed 18 children and critically injured another four as they sheltered with their families.

study by Defense for Children International-Palestine found that 225 Palestinian children were killed in Israeli airstrikes “while they were in their own homes or seeking shelter, often as they sat down to eat with their families, played or slept.” Another 164 children were “directly targeted and unlawfully killed” by Israeli drone strikes on their homes and in the street as they attempted to flee to safety.

Indeed, Israel proved itself to be a world leader at killing and maiming children with explosives. Of the total child casualties from explosive violence in 2014, 40 percent were in Gaza and 25 percent were in Syria, revealed AOAV.

Artillery shelling

Though Israel possesses a high tech arsenal of precision-guided weapons, it pounded the densely populated Gaza Strip with 34,000 unguided shells, including 19,000 high-explosive artillery shells. As a result, Palestinians in Gaza made up 43 percent of global civilian casualties from artillery shelling.

Israel fired these weapons indiscriminately into Gaza’s densely populated neighborhoods.

On 19 and 20 July, Israel battered the neighborhood of Shujaiya with 7,000 high explosive shells, firing 4,800 shells within a seven-hour period. The extent of the indiscriminate shelling, which killed at least 55 people, including 19 children and 14 women, was so unprecedented, senior US military officers who participated in the US destruction of Iraq were reportedly left “stunned.”

While the AOAV report attributes high civilian casualties by states to the targeting of groups and individuals in populated areas, it should be noted that statements by Israeli military leaders demonstrate a calculated military strategy that deliberately and systematically targets civilians and civilian infrastructure.

As a recent investigation by the UN Human Rights Council observed, Israel’s widespread attacks on civilians in Gaza “may have constituted military tactics reflective of a broader policy, approved at least tacitly by decision-makers at the highest levels of the government of Israel.”

Still, Israeli officials and their American benefactors are adamant that Israel is an enlightened democracy surrounded by a hostile sea of ruthless Arab dictators and marauding terrorist groups. However, the reality in Gaza suggests Israeli leaders have far more in common with the figures they detest than they would care to admit.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has approved a $1.9 billion weapons package to Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, essentially guaranteeing Israel’s capacity to reenact its 2014 attack against the people of Gaza. At this point, it’s simply a matter of when.

 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

 

 

Terror Talk: Politicians, Former CIA Head, FBI, Homeland Security All Ramp Up Warnings For July 4th

Congressman warns of “terrorists in American basements”

 

Region:

 

It’s a good job no one in the US watches the mainstream news media any more. Any one who did take in the multitude of news shows over the weekend, however, is now most probably convinced that they are about to be attacked any second by armies of terrorists in their own back yard.

Politicians and intelligence officials were paraded out one after the other to harp on about how terrorists hate the freedom of Americans and blah blah blah July the 4th is most likely going to end up in a terrorist attack.

Following attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait Friday, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBIissued alerts to local law enforcement and urged Americans to “remain vigilant” for the upcoming Independence Day celebrations.

“They don’t put those statements out that far in advance, unless there’s reason for concern,” said harbinger of doom New York Rep. Peter King in an interview with ABC’s “This Week.”

“I would say there’s probably more concern now than at any time since September 11th.” King added, repeating the same thing he says every time there is any threat of terrorism.

King called ISIS “incomparable” in its ability to reach the “disaffected,” the “deranged” and the “ideologically committed.”

“I mean, it’s no coincidence that you’ve seen a series of arrests here in New York of terrorists over the last week to 10 days. This is not just something that’s happening by coincidence.” King, almost salivating in anticipation, told viewers.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) was wheeled out on “Fox News Sunday” to deliver a similar message.

“There’s a great deal of chatter, a high-volume if you will,” McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said.

McCaul cited a “confluence” of events as pointing to an almost definite terror attack in America. “ISIS spokesman calling for jihad during Ramadan, which is happening right now. You have the one-year anniversary of the caliphate or Islamic State; and now we have the Fourth of July coming up, which is one of the holidays we celebrate that they like to target this sort of thing and these anniversaries.” McCaul urged, throwing in an unsubstantiated claim that the federal government has prevented over 50 terror plots in the past year.

McCaul also intimated to viewers that the internet is at least partly to blame.

“I’m extremely concerned about the way these Syrian ISIS recruiters can use the Internet at lightning speed to recruit followers in the United States with thousands of followers in the United States and then activate them to do whatever they want to do whether it’s military installations, law enforcement or possibly a Fourth of July event parade.” he said.

McCaul added that ISIS ” demonstrates a global threat that they can conduct external operations and they are very savvy at doing that over the Internet.”

Referring to the attacks overseas, McCaul again blamed… the internet – “The idea that they could do this, and now, the external operations potentially into the United States by use of the Internet.” he stated.

McCaul warned that because of… the internet, terrorists are able to get in “homes and in the basements in the United States”.

“This is not bin Laden with courriers now. This is a new generation of terrorists using the Internet in a very savvy way to attack the West and also get in the homes and in the basements in the United States to radicalize individuals and then call them up as sleeper cells to attack Americans.” the Congressman claimed.

In addition to these two clowns, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell said Monday that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if there’s a terrorist attack during the 4th of July weekend.

“This one really resonates with me for two reasons,” Morell said. “One is there’s been about 50 people in the last 12 months who have been arrested in the United States for being radicalized by ISIS, wanting to go fight there or wanting to conduct an attack here, so there’s a lot of people out there who are seeing themselves as aligned with ISIS, number one.”

“Number two, you have this ISIS call to arms during Ramadan,” Morell said. “We are right in the middle of Ramadan, call to arms, conduct attacks against our enemies, so I’m worried about this one.”

“I don’t want to tell Americans what to do or what not to do, but…I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re sitting here a week from today talking about an attack over the weekend in the United States,” he told co-host Norah O’Donnell. “That’s how serious this is.”

So remember to enjoy yourselves this 4th of July weekend, but expect the worst… and don’t forget that the internet is to blame for all this.

Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

Israel’s Seven Year Illegal Blockade of Gaza: A Gross Violation of the EU-Israel Association Agreement

 

europe-israelThe blockade has been criticized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Human Rights Council and other human rights organizations, a criticism that has been officially supported by United States administrations. In June 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the humanitarian needs in the Hamas-controlled area must be met along with legitimate Israeli security concerns. International institutions consider the blockade illegal.’

‘The legal framework for EU- Israel relations is provided by the EU-Israel Association Agreement signed in Brussels, on 20 November 1995, and following ratification by the 15 Member States parliaments, the European Parliament and the Knesset, entered force on 1 June, 2000.’

‘Among other things, the agreement states that the respect for human rights and democratic principles guides the internal and international policy of both Israel and the EU and constitutes an essential and positive element of the Agreement.’

CONSIDERING the importance which the Parties attach to the principle of economic freedom and to the principles of the United Nations Charter, particularly the observance of human rights and democracy, which form the very basis of the Association:

The EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over any of the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 comprise the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law. The EU has made it clear that it will not recognise any changes to pre-1967 borders, other than those agreed by the parties to the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP). The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council has underlined the importance of limiting the application of agreements with Israel to the territory of Israel as recognised by the EU.

There is but one option now open to the EU Commission – it must abrogate the EU-Israel Association Agreement on the grounds of the gross violation and breach of its specific provisions, by Israel, since 2007.