Fleeing Morality and Refugees

A Syrian refugee holds a baby in a refugee camp set in the town of Harmanli, south-east of Sofia on November 12, 2013. Bulgaria's asylum centres are severely overcrowded after the arrival of almost 10,000 refugees this year, half of them Syrian. The influx has fuelled anti-immigrant sentiment in a country already struggling with dire poverty. AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOVNIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images
A Syrian refugee holds a baby in a refugee camp set in the town of Harmanli, south-east of Sofia on November 12, 2013. Bulgaria’s asylum centres are severely overcrowded after the arrival of almost 10,000 refugees this year, half of them Syrian. The influx has fuelled anti-immigrant sentiment in a country already struggling with dire poverty. AFP PHOTO / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOVNIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images

 

I started writing under the wish/need to note down some of my thoughts concerning the facts that we hear, see or live about the people who leave their countries (massively at this point) and become refugees or migrants or whatever-bs-their-namers-call-them-in-order-to-serve-their-own-interests.
Beyond the image, under the isothermic blanket or the tent, deeper than frostbite and hunger, which they meet during their trip, there are HUMANS.
Mercy!

Massiveness seems to distort, to water the understanding of people on what it means one’s forced separation, trip and finally wretched presence, thousands of miles away from home.
Perspective is lost and I admire those who act, react and offer by participating actively. 
Thought produce thoughts and together with human concern and interest in global issues, apart from whys and hows about the course and willful struggle of refugees, I questioned certain countries’ reactions with (apparently but you never know) prominent, Austria. 
Here, today, I want to confess that no matter now many years will pass (as it seems), there will always be something which will surprise me, which will find me unaware and will let me speechless, and which will draw all over my world a giant black question mark: Evil, malice, badness.
Theories and philosophies about human nature, kindness and culture, pale in front of malice. I don’t know if some good person has defined it once and forever.
In my understanding and senses it’s chilling because it lacks reason and I would never comprehend it even if I’d try.
It’s above me. It slips my mind.
Why would someone want to be bad? If he doesn’t want, he won’t; as simple as that.

Less strict persons say that bad souls are a by-product of some misery, lack, trauma, complex or imbecility (which seems probable although not for all cases).
Seriously?!
So, the rest of us, normal good people, we are all happy all the time, full, come from ideal environments and upbringings and we are geniuses?
You, bad, may suffer from something else; do you have to become “dirty-soul”?

To return to the global drama which takes place before our eyes (and everywhere in the world but we don’t normally learn about it unless it becomes massive and Media “appropriate”).
Once it happened to you to become “dirty-soul”, is it necessary to also become a politician or a person with influence and/or authority and to use people as if they were rubbish?
Why you, sub-human, don’t try to do the same to others, more powerful than you (individuals or states)?

The conclusion is that some statements and declarations are beyond limits of politics and interests and enter the sphere of raw and overt evil, which might have no clear (or unclear) reason but it always has disastrous results – to a smaller or bigger extent.  

At the same time and in parallel with the obvious, whatever takes place in a political level works destructively upon less resistant minds and more shaky moralities, because it acquits violence (covert or not) from human to human and allows its externalization which might were suppressed or masked because of social conventions.
Well, social conventions and contracts seem to have become toilet papers – the nearest to political correctness term available.
Woe for humanity if the same become sensitivity, empathy, compassion, understanding, kindness and finally logic. 
 
It is useful to know though, that:

  • Millions of refugees are hosted in countries outside “enlightened” Europe (and West), for years. For “civilized” countries and their Media they appear as nonexistent. The only images which are allowed to reach us are those which serve propaganda.
  • For ages, migrants enter Europe or EU, they are often exploited or marginalized or demonized. However, they live a better life … than death. More rarely, they really live their dream.
  • Suddenly, for Austria, FYROM and other “over-civilized”, migrants stink and likewise do refugees. Nowadays, when there are no lower jobs left and no funds can feed their so-called hospitality and solidarity, they throw them all in the lions’ den.
  • The massive exodus of Syrian citizens is useful for the West because it stripped the country as well as the demonized Assad. No matter how many elections or reforms he makes, the absent population will be the strong card for the Westerns and “opposition”.No, we are not all Charlie or Paris suddenly.
    It is certain though that we are all migrants or refugees under circumstances.
    The only condition needed is an economic crisis, like in Greece for example but not limited, or our violent uprooting. But it’s unlike, isn’t it? Sure..!

Exactly as unlike as it were for the about 5 millions of Syrians just a few years ago.

See also:
Report of UN for the Refugees (UNHCR) June 2015

«INTRODUCTION: Conflict, persecution, generalized violence and violations of human rights continued to cause forced displacement around the world during the first six months of 2015. Fighting across parts of the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa have continued into the first half of the year, resulting in millions of individuals being forced to flee either within or outside their country»

 

 

 

 

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The Multifaceted Russian-Turkish Conflict

russian pilots
© Sputnik/ Alexander Vilf Relatives of Russian Su-24 Pilot ‘Refuse to Believe He is Dead’

The following article was written on 27th November, therefore some of the details might have changed.
Wherever possible, I have made adjustments.

Just a few days after Turkish F-16s shot down the Russian Su-24 aircraft on 24th November, tens of scenarios and analysis have been published and broadcasted and they all have a common factor:

They accept that the players after the incident are much more than two and that a new chapter in foreign policies has opened.
The time perspective of the event itself will reveal the whole spectrum of participants, those concerned and the stakeholders, the number of who appears to be growing.
In the foreground, there are Russia, its president Vladimir Putin and their recent involvement in the war against ISIS in Syria on one hand, and the NATO member Turkey of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the other.
Inevitably, the European Union and its two most powerful countries, Germany and France, become parts of this equation to a more or less obvious extent. They are both NATO members and that’s a role they have to support.
France’s wound of 13th November is fresh as much as are its president’s Francois Hollande declared intentions (and actions) to intensify war against terrorism of ISIS by cooperating with allies and not-so-allies, as is Russia.
To this end, all predictions and signs favored a joint effort with Russia and Mr Hollande’s meet with US president Barack Obama included smoothing of edges and bridging the gap between US and Russia in the name of the common cause.
An aspect of these policies is that Russia’s decision to operate against ISIS in Syria has been vindicated and it can be seen as a win of Vladimir Putin, whose country is blacklisted by NATO, USA and EU, i.e. from the West.
Even if NATO members defended the “right of Turkey to protect its land”, they didn’t provide any further support through public statements.
Therefore Erdogan, who at first seemed to have deterred the approach between West and Russia and the reinforcement of powers against ISIS willingly or not, failed to promote his country as a decisive regional factor.
Irrespective of Turkish president’s instability, as German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on 25th November, and “exuberance”, by the defensive-aggressive movement of shooting a NATO non-friendly country’s war craft, Turkey repeated its practice of establishing de facto conditions (Cyprus occupation is one of them) and attempted to demonstrate and “tout” its role and status of NATO member.
Also, the overt and straight support to Turkmens could be interpreted as a “declaration” implying the “Kurdish factor”, i.e. Turkish friendly Vs Turkish hostile populations.
Only a short time before, Erdogan had highlighted Turkey’s ambitions to become member of EU and used the refugee crisis and the “need” of EU to ensure Turkish cooperation, in order to extract a promising result.
The obvious benefits though have been a few and so far limited to a financing from EU.
[During the conference of 29Nov., EU promised 3 billion euros which could, and they possibly will, increase and visa regime “rearrangements” and everyone turned a blind eye to the flagrant human rights violations. But then again, that’s the EU …]
So, Turkey decided to use the “NATO card”.

We have to remember that both Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Junker “suggested” common Greek and Turkish rescue operations in Greek territorial waters.
When Greece rejected such type of Turkish involvement, Ms Merkel underlined that “both countries are NATO members”, as if it should be understood that the membership would allow common territorial grounds or that insured territorial security -for Greece.

It also goes without saying that inside his country Erdogan emphasizes in every possible way the factors of security and stability and projects the image of a strong, powerful, competent and determined leader.
This image covers and entertains impressions and reactions against his controversial “relationship” with civil rights and has even supported his party AKP in recent parliamentary elections.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has a more moderate approach and made efforts to express more peaceful intentions after the downing of the Russian jet.
Turkish and Russian presidents have several similarities as leading personalities and some observers would find similarities even in governing.
It’s their differences, though, which make the “difference” together with the roles of their countries with regard to international relations.

Within the recent picture, Syria remains the hot spot and the threat of ISIS is the global factor.
President Hollande had to suffer a second hit of French capital and citizens, in order to consider a plan of joint action, not restricted inside NATO frame and interests, but comprising several regional powers.
In this frame, while Vladimir Putin has taken a positive initiative (if war can ever be considered positive), Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears as the negative factor.
[The disclosures (within the country and after Putin had spoken about it publicly) of Turkish role and involvement in oil smuggling, triggered Erdogan’s beloved practice of overt censorship.]

The downing of jet incident brought to the forefront the many and “artfully” non-promoted by western media, dark spots of Turkish involvement and role in Syria crisis.
The day-after has brought Russian resolutions about sanctions to Turkey -and Russians know a lot about sanctions as imposed on them by USA allies.

Although some analysts have spoken about a WWIII, on one hand this seems to be happening now with all these open fronts all over the world, and on the other it is highly undesirable even by US, the “usual suspect” of initiating wars and invasions and at least during Obama’s administration.

The nightmare of a generalized regional war could involve:
Lebanon, a tormented country which recently has (silently) suffered major inland hits by terrorism,
Egypt, a country which is revising, rebuilding and expanding its foreign relations,
Jordan, because of proximity and as the hosting country of thousand of refugees,
and probably Iran as a Russian and Syria ally but also against ISIS.
It could also involve Israel, its phobic and pro war policies and, worst case scenario, its nuclear weapons.

The news “run”, tension intensifies or discharges sequentially, anything written could be soon outdated and the so called “diplomatic thriller” between Russia and Turkey continues. with Erdogan’s invitation to Putin to a meeting during World Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris.

[It is imperative to remember, although Davutoglu’s statements and attitude leaved no chance to forget, that Turkish diplomacy is among the (two in my opinion) most insolent of the world.
Another feature of their policies is (again among the two) to create «guilt complexes» to their interlocutors.
The combination of antidemocratic practices, together with the assassination of Tahir Elci, pro-Kurdish activist, made EU-Turkish approach more bitter.
]

At this point of time we can conclude that although hopes and fears are significant yet invisible and neglected factors of foreign policies, prudence, sangfroid and sobriety combined with care about people, are better consultants and should prevail for all participants, at last.

 

The Greek Thriller

Humanite 6.7.2015

It is understood that referendum of 5th July in Greece and the next, ongoing round of negotiations with European institutions, have gained the lion’s share of interest for two weeks now.
Although nothing solid has been achieved until this time, talks in Euro Group continue, a summit meeting of 19 countries of Eurozone is expected during the day (Sunday 12.7.2015) and the summit of 28 EU member-states is said to be cancelled.
That last (cancellation) can be interpreted as a sign that Grexit is not an option anymore.
Meanwhile, the German “idea” of a temporary Grexit (for five years) has been characterized ridiculous by several EU members.
At the same time, Finland’s minister of economy has come up with a decision from his country to negotiate nothing but an exit of Greece.

It is certain that there is no easy or painless solution for the Greek people (a relative article in The Conversation here) , 61, 3% of whom voted NO and showed that they are fed up with and determined to resist austerity, which Noam Chomsky considers a Class War.
On the other hand, it has become common knowledge that EU (which is quite different thing or notion from Europe) is rotting because of its political, structural, ideological and social problem caused by strict neo-liberal policies.
The decay offers way to “euro-skepticism” which, unfortunately, is supported by extreme right wing nationalists and racists.
If there is a “healthy” solution to EU’s problems it is certain that it cannot be induced and launched by misanthropes (an interesting article about the notion by TeleSur here) of any kind (like Christian-democrats of Germany or fascists in France, Greece, Denmark, Finland etc.)
Although that it is unfounded and kind of racist to attribute behavioral properties to entities such as nations, the same way that Greeks have been repeatedly accused of not working much (laziness), the “hard working” Germans have been historically proved as obsessed to impose their (sour) way of narrow-thinking, living, ruling or working to other states – either by wars or by financial ruling and deprivation.

On the other hand, other European leaders (when they manage to extricate from German “rules”), they support Greece on an ethical, diplomatic or political level.
This is the case of France, even if Francois Hollande is just trying to show his own and his country’s political importance within EU and to prove wrong whoever claims that he appears more as a Merkel’s follower than a strong politician.
European people from their part, have never stopped to support Greece both as a “cause” and as a reflection of their own future.
Sadly, the word solidarity has become the quinessence of hipocricy of EU institutions and a testament to that is the try of european officials to stop IMF’s report which says that Greek debt is not viable and that is should be reduced or restructured.

It is worth wondering if Greece would have recovered by now from a default five years ago.
It is certain though that they have not recovered, quite the opposite, with austerity measures, with huge loans to banks and not to the people or to development and with authoritarian policies of EU and IMF.

While Greek “thriller” is underway, the world is spinning and life goes on, hopefully,  although this is not the case everywhere.
So, hopefully, we shall be back with a review of the week.

Thoughts on Greek Referendum

GReferendum

On Sunday 5th July, Greeks will vote in a referendum. They will have to vote Yes or No, as it is the case for any referendum.
The subject is the whole set of proposals made by “institutions” (i.e. EU, ECB and IMF, the lenders) to Greek government.
Here are some thoughts on the overall picture:

– The proposals-terms set by the institutions are the “product” of five month-long negotiations with Greek officials. During these negotiations the Greek government has changed several times their own proposals and counter-proposals. Nevertheless, they have insisted, at least, in refusing measures on cuts and reductions of pensions and on further deregulation of labor rights.
– Amendments on Greek proposals have led to an indirect acceptance of several measures of austerity which initially had been rejected.
– After each retract and reviewed proposals of Greek government, the lenders have either rejected them or have answered with tougher demands.
– Sy.Riz.A (Coalition of Radical Left), the main governmental party, is pro-European and advocates reforms inside EU for the benefit of the people, while it claims that EU has substantially deviated from its founding principles.
– Although named radical and consisting of moderate lefts (even social-democrats) as well as communists, Syriza stands for parliamentary (bourgeois) democracy with left principles.
– Greek government has been obliged by circumstances (pressure from lenders) to leave apart its elections program such as: Raise of minimum wage, more fair distribution of wealth as well as burdens, abolish of charges imposed on poor and middle class, tackle of humanitarian crisis, fight against corruption and tax avoidance, respect of labor rights etc.
– Internal opposition has repeatedly blamed government for not applying their program and for having lied to the people. Opposition implies that it is not possible to materialize such principles and promises because they oppose to lenders’ demands which promote development (as perceived with neo-liberal terms).
– Expanding requirements of lenders are in fact consistent and representative of neo-liberal EU and IMF’s principles.
– Lenders also press for privatizations of state property, which previous governments have partly executed in most cases under pressure and therefore without sufficient programming and with little or no profit.
– Lenders’ more recent demands (among others) include reduction of defense spending, at the same time when both EU and NATO manufacture additional “threat” from North (FYROM – article TWTP) apart from the “traditional” Eastern and in the middle of  several west induced turbulence in the area of eastern Mediterranean and Middle East.
– Although reluctantly and in contradiction with party’s principles, Mr. Tsipras’ government has showed its willingness to reach an agreement and has accepted to continue privatizations, to keep contributions through taxes (even on law incomes) and to increase VAT rates.
– Greek citizens appear to support country’s staying inside EU and euro zone and a strong propaganda is exercised by the Media and by conservative circles to this direction.
– Greeks are also tired after five years of austerity, so-called negotiations which have always led to dead ends and more cruel measures in return of receiving loan installments.
– Greek people have suffered a lot (to the limits of exhaustion) and the vast majority of middle and poor class experiences a severe degradation of life quality.
– Any production process and consuming (apart from basic necessities) has stopped and the one remaining productive sector of tourism will be mutilated if increased VAT would be imposed. Even banks’ only service provided to consumers is accepting deposits and sending funds abroad when at the same time they receive expensive capital from ELA.
– Even faint attempts of the government to cooperate with other countries such as Russia (well, especially Russia), has met hostility from EU and West in general.
– At the same time, lack of real negotiations of previous governments together with punitive austerity policies and declarations from the part of the lenders has created a sense of humiliation.
– The main request of elections on 25th January which elected Syriza has been the discharge from the terms-measures of memoranda.
– Since then, all negotiations proved fruitless initially because Greece requested change of policies, suggested less recession and claimed sovereignty.
– In the meantime, almost any attempt of government to rule inside the country and the parliament has been rejected by the lenders. In fact, lenders blackmailed and argued that laws against their will would be considered as “unilateral actions” and would lead to failing of negotiations and funding refusal.
– They have also rejected or discouraged any negotiation concerning reduction of the non viable debt.

– From their part, lenders have exercised stronger pressure which a progressive government could not accept (as previous governments of liberal ideology did).
– After five months, after strong contradictions inside Syriza and from Greek people, after extended propaganda and cause of fear by the Media and following a repetitive undermining of negotiations by the lenders, Greek Prime Minister and the Greek government decided a referendum. Referendum will call Greeks to say Yes or No to certain proposals of lenders which concern reforms, debt viability and financing needs of the country.
– During parliamentary voting on referendum, Communist Party of Greece has submitted a proposal which suggests that the Greek citizens should vote Yes or No both to lenders’ and to government’s proposals and to releasing from EU. They say that government’s proposals are in fact a new memorandum and imply recession and measures against the people.
– Right wing, on the other side, claim that the question at stake consists decision on staying or exiting from EU and euro-zone, although government has made clear that the meaning is anything but that.
– If presidium of Parliament had accept the proposal of Communist Party, any ambiguity (manufactured by the Media and the conservative opposition) would be clarified and people would also decide on government’s measures.

– Mr. Tsipras’ government and party envision reforms inside EU and targets to empower movements and parties born by the wave of massive discontent in south-European countries due to inequalities and measures of austerity.
– While parliamentary and political processes are taking place inside Greece, while people face a major decision and while they are going to exercise an important democratic right, “institutions” continue to blackmail with indirect threats, with ambiguous statements and with deprivation of banks’ liquidity, causing reasonable fears to Greek people.
– It is useful to remind here that Greeks, unlike other nations, have never decided themselves about Greece’s participation in EU or euro-zone.

As a conclusion, if lenders had made half of Greek government’s retreats and compromises, a decent and mutually beneficial agreement could have been achieved.
Now, it’s up to the people to consider and decide on their future, with the expectation and the belief that by empowering their government new opportunities will emerge for their country.

Also published in Reader Supported News

The Many Faces of Racism Worldwide

Charleston

Two distinctive facts took place the last days. One peaceful and democratic, such as elections in Denmark, on Thursday and a violent, such as the killing of nine people in a church of Charleston, South Carolina, USA. Regardless of the distance and their difference in nature, the two events have common characteristics and each of them underlines the existing problems of racism, xenophobia and anti-immigration in both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

European Face

In Denmark, the Danish People’s Party (DF or DPP), a traditionally populist, far-right party that focuses on immigration and social issues is now the second largest in the country and is going to back the coalition of the center-right bloc.
“Danish voters ousted Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt in an election on Thursday and handed power to an opposition centre-right alliance including huge gains for a eurosceptic, anti-immigrant party”, according to Reuters while teleSUR reports: “Anti-immigration and Euroscepticism triumphed in the Thursday elections, as far right and liberal parties were voted in to replace country’s first female prime minister. Denmark’s center-right bloc secured 90 seats in Parliament, out of a total 179, with liberal opposition leader Lars Lokke Rasmussen to take-on the position of prime minister. The backing from the far right party Danish Peoples’ Party (DF), which secured second place in elections Thursday, gives the coalition a majority”.
“The far-right Danish People’s party (DPP) triumphed in the European elections, winning Denmark’s biggest share of the vote as EU-sceptic parties from across the Nordic countries gained further ground in the European parliament”, notes The Guardian.

According to Reuters again: “The party has already managed to set the agenda on some issues without being in government – mainstream parties across the political aisle talked about curbing immigration, following its lead, and DF won an important concession from centre-right parties on its stance on the European Union. Just before the election, the centre-right parties agreed to support British Prime Minister David Cameron’s bid to reform the EU. DF also wants to go further and call an in-or-out referendum on EU membership for Denmark.”

In Europe and inside EU, anti-immigrant parties have gained ground.
“Finland’s anti-immigration Finns party – previously known as the True Finns – increased its number of MEPs to two, but its share of the vote (13%) didn’t match its success in the last national election when it won 19%.” (The Guardian)
In UK elections of early May, the anti-European Union UK Independence Party took 12.6 %, although David Cameron is conservative and eurosceptic enough to announce plans for banning free speech as a form of new counter-extremism laws to tackle terrorism. New laws were due to be introduced in parliament when it would re-open at the end of May, according to The Conversation.

Denmark and UK are the two countries “legally exempt from joining the euro zone unless their governments decide otherwise, either by parliamentary vote or referendum, while the Swedish people turned down euro adoption in a 2003 referendum and since then the country has intentionally avoided fulfilling the adoption requirements by not joining European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II), which is voluntary”. (Wikipedia)
Greece is not an exemption to this recent “rule” of raising racism. The ultra nationalist, fascist, neo-nazi and (therefore) anti-immigrant and xenophobic party “golden dawn” has 17 of 300 seats of the Parliament and 3 in the EP. (Wikipedia)
Neither is France, with their far-right National Front of Le Pen family, which has boosted its power at the municipal elections. I
n addition, “NF will spearhead a new far-right political bloc in the European Parliament, a long-delayed move that will boost the funding and influence of anti-immigrant and anti-European Union voices in the legislature. The new group, called “Europe of Nations and of Freedoms,” brings together 36 lawmakers from seven different countries. It will give a higher profile to parties that have been marginalized in Brussels, amid close cooperation among the three main party groups since European-wide elections in May 2014”, reports The Wall Street Journal.

American Face

On the other hand, in USA, the long history of racism seems to revive – if it ever ended.
Killings of African-American citizens by the police are proved to be more a social than an “inside” problem.
Last Wednesday, Dylann Roof, a young white man has shot nine people inside a church of the black community in Charleston. Roof confessed, he has been arrested and is charged with hate crimes and possession of guns.
“Roof’s crime cannot be divorced from the ideology of white supremacy which long animated his state nor from its potent symbol—the Confederate flag”, notes Ta-Nehisi Coates in the The Atlantic.
Although the Confederate flag is presented as a “heritage” symbol by its defenders, the not-so-hidden symbolism remains white supremacy. A symbol asks for action and action needs means.
Widespread possession of arms inside USA is fiercely defended by the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) which is tightly connected with conservatives.
Therefore, no gun control has been applied not even after several mass shootings in the past (Aurora, Newtown etc).
Instead, NRA addresses a message to Barack Obama and to Hilary Clinton (!) claiming that: “…the heroes, the ones who are willing to fight and die for his freedoms demands a commander-in-chief worthy of such sacrifice.” [… ]
Obviously, NRA “feels” that Obama and Hilary have or could do what is logic and necessary: Restrict guns or apply serious measures for gun control.
President Barack Obama however, has used “hard rhetoric” (american mutatis mutandis) on free gun market stating, according to The Atlantic: “We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.” Not even close but again that’s USA.

A crucial aspect of this new massacre is, again, racism.
Americans seem to have never learned that all the people, inside and outside their country have human rights. Centuries after the invasion in American continent, they (well, many and not all of them, hopefully) don’t accept that people of all races and religions who are american citizens are equal to “whites”. Decades of fights for equal opportunities and rights have not “touched” a portion of american population. Even worse, they have not changed their mindset which is reflected more often than never into their policies inside and outside their country.

World Face

The way the two above mentioned facts in Denmark and in USA are connected becomes obvious. When “official” violence which aims to suppress movements and fights is not enough or when policies (global, regional or national) have to be imposed without facing reactions and opposition, the “card” of discord, division, internal fights and hate is used.

While USA faces a raise of their “traditional” racism, Europe itself has a long history of exploitation of humans, whether they are residents of their colonies or newcomers into more powerful countries.

Xenophobia, intolerance and racism are used against people who refuge in European countries to save their lives (article TWTP) and are dictated by the intention of governing elites to deviate people’s minds from the real responsible for their problems.
Nations, races or groups of people are demonized and then victimized when an effort is made to cause fear against difference.
Palestinians are such a victim the last 60 years. Of course, their tyrant and exterminator uses fear to obscure the facts and to persuade ordinary people against them presenting them as “threat” and enemy. It is exactly the same as hate of extremists islamists of ISIS who are obsessed in killing anyone they think as enemy.
Western methods of tackling with them do not differ much and they perpetuate the circle of mistrust, fear, intolerance and finally hate.

As far as it concerns EU, a very obscure side of that (not so sudden) raise of anti-immigrant parties is that they are also “eurosceptics”. This combination hides the notion that EU is somehow “the opposite of racism” and serves equality and human rights. Under this aspect, EU is beatified before the eyes of discontented citizens who have lost quality of life, social security, jobs, homes and rights. They are kept “quiet” and happy because the “good Union” protects them from the bad eurosceptics who happen to be racists and officials do not mention the fact that both uprooted people and fascists are their creation.

No surprise that racism (together with all its instigators as well as manifestations) is spreading after a short period of impairment just in time to manipulate low paid and with no social security people (Greece is a representative example). Xenophobia, intolerance and racism serve the perpetually smoldering purpose of a world dominance of elites.

Also published in: Reader Supported News

Relative article from Consortiumnews.com: Facing America’s Great Evils

 

 

Human Rights and Dying Migrants

This morning Greek media reported the arrival of 1,800 migrants, mainly from Middle East, in central Athens square. They were added to 100,000 people (refugees and migrants) who have crossed Mediterranean since start of 2015 according to UNHCR, “with record numbers now arriving every day in the Greek islands. Official figures show that as of 8 June a total of 103,000 refugees and migrants had arrived in Europe: 54,000 in Italy, 48,000 in Greece, 91 on Malta and 920 in Spain.”

EU obviously faces a humanitarian problem and evidently turns a blind eye to it, as its latest political (non) decisions show. (TWTP article Sea of War and Death)

The problem contains several contradictions:
– Human beings lose their lives while trying to escape their countries just to save their own and their children lives. 
– Civil and offensive wars, hunger, turmoil or evictions force people to abandon their residencies, fortunes, homes, jobs, families and homeland in order to survive. The oxymoron here is that a series of events beyond their power, force educated and working, respected and “normal”, until yesterday, people to be uprooted, then to become victims of traffickers and in the end to be treated as “interlopers” in European countries.
– The majority of the problems that their countries face are western-made and EU plays a major role in these. Libya’s (not so) civil war Lethal attempt of USA for a regime change in Syria.
– “Breeding and nurturing” by the West of islamic extremists in order to destabilize so-called enemies during the last decades.
– The consequent empowerment of armed sectarians who turned into a threat even for their funders.
– The newfound (?) “exploitation” of ISIS as a threat requiring restrictions and intercepts and which attempts to generate fear and to boost xenophobia, racism and far right parties in Europe,
and last but not least:

 – The perpetual and never stopped crimes of evictions, settlements, imprisonments and inhuman treatment, to the limits of genocide, in Palestine.

A western person could and should imagine itself and its family threatened by all these dangers. And then, to put itself in the same conditions that all these younger or elder people, women, men and children face when they arrive into european countries.
Dignity is a human right and it is not limited into one’s home or country’s borders and of course not in religion, race or ethnicity.
The self-proclaimed advocates and the self-appointed “defenders” of human rights use double standards, depending on their political and dominating purposes. They invade lands to defend freedoms and they violate major rights inside these lands.

In the present situation, in which Europe does not heed labor force anymore, the victims of western wars address to the instigators of their problems for relief. And the West condemns them for a second time in misery, threats, loss of dignity, inhuman conditions or in the ever existing and present, marginalization – if they survive.

The next thing to wait is an augmenting demonization of migrants – beloved practice of western propaganda. They will all be considered as islamist terrorists and they will be placed in new Guantanamos.

In the name of “safety” of course.

What lies behind Greek debt and negotiations

tsipras-liou

A few days earlier, on May 27, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called Jack Lew, US Treasury Secretary and asked him to mediate in favor of an agreement between Greece and the so-called institutions (EU, IMF, ECB) during G7 talks in Germany.
Mr Lew, according to Embassy of US in Athens: “Emphasized that the Treasury remains engaged with all parties involved – including Greece, its European partners, and the IMF – and continues to urge all parties to find common ground and reach an agreement quickly.  Secretary Lew reiterated that failure to agree on a path forward would create immediate hardship for Greece and broad uncertainties for Europe and the global economy.  Secretary Lew offered to remain in contact with the Prime Minister and other parties in Europe and the international financial institutions”.
According to Reuters, although Greece was not in the agenda its crisis has overshadowed G7 talks.

Here, it is necessary to quote: The Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of the finance ministers and central bank governors of seven major advanced economies as reported by the International Monetary Fund: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States meeting to discuss primarily economic issues. The European Union is also represented within the G7. The G7 are the seven wealthiest major developed nations by national net wealth, representing more than 64% of the net global wealth ($263 trillion) according to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report October 2014. The IMF’s Managing Director usually participates. (Wikipedia)
G7 used to be G8 but Russia, the 8th member, has been excluded since 2014 and the whole gathering has become a gathering under the wing of US. G7 is in fact a group of capitalist countries with similar economic and political systems.
Furthermore, the epitome of capitalism, IMF, also participates.

In 2001, 200,000 demonstrators from several countries, protested during G8 summit in Genoa, Italy and “accused the police of brutality and denying them their right to non-violent protest. They believe that G8 summits are non-legitimate attempts by eight of the world’s most powerful governments to set the rules for the planet at large”.

Leading or following?

It is therefore worth wondering:
Why a politician of leftish ideology and probably politics, as soon as he will be allowed to govern his country, Mr Alexis Tsipras, thinks that a gathering of eminently neo-liberal officials would act in favour of Greece and not to the benefit of a bunch of conservative “institutions”?
Even more when their ultimate objective is austerity, wage reductions and dominance of the markets? 

Even if Prime Minister represents Greek public opinion according to polls, there is an inconsistency between on one side his election program, the communist ideas of his party and probably his own views and on the other side the negotiating moves he makes.
EU itself is a nest of neo-liberalism and all regulations, guidelines, directives and legislation do not leave space for any progressive government and administration.
Apart from the pressure of repayment of an unsustainable debt, the left Greek government will have to overcome the imposed by USA et al. conservative and restrictive guidelines (inside and outside the country) in order to apply progressive and left politics. Under present circumstances, it is understood that “conspiracy theories” about a deliberate destruction of Greece, seem to be confirmed.

Greece is not free anymore to import from, to export to, to connect and collaborate with, and to develop trade or other cooperation with any country without, at least EU’s, prior permission -with or without debt.
If a first visit in Moscow caused such a wave of reactions (TWTP article) it can be easily understood what would a broader collaboration with Russia or with Venezuela (for example) would ignite.
It is yet to see the impact of the Iranian foreign minister’s Javad Zarif visit in Athens on May 29th.
However, debt protects the “system” from “bold” exercise of sovereignty, something which is thought more possible by a left government.

Anything “left” causes abhorrence and fear to conservatives all around the world.
Europe has been the cradle of both dark ages but also of enlightenment.
EU, by following the imperialism dogma of USA and NATO has declined to a “follower” to say the least. If war is induced under the pretext of “union” (namely in Ukraine) it becomes obvious that it has deviated seriously.

It is ironic that Greek media present as “positive” any comment or statement of officials against Grexit or whatever similar.
It is common knowledge that no-one would like Greece to exit the euro zone – let alone EU and any capitalist group like G7.
Unless EU changes radically and be released from the chariot of USA, it will reproduce a modern yet conservative model which is incompatible with once progressive European traditions, ideas and cultures. Consequently, EU will become even more “toxic” for its member-states. 
Failing to distance itself, will also lead to its full inferiority which, among others, dictates agreements like TTIP or “demonization” of any sovereign country which is not subordinated to USA.

Then and now

Greece is presented as the weakest link but in fact it has escaped the “adjustment and compliance stage” of uniformity inside neo-liberalism.
Corruption is common among many countries more or less but in Greece it was formed by the “triangle” of Government officials-Big businesses plus media-Banks.
On the other hand, this same triangle led Greek people skillfully and systematically to a consuming delirium -top feature of capitalism- only to find themselves trapped a few years after the country entered the euro zone, in fact without the prerequisites.
An answer to why corruption as well as uncontrolled debt has been allowed within the bosom of EU, is the present situation.
Debt and loans is only a means to further restrain a country and terms about privatizations of crucial assets and state property is not investing but just a sample of extended dependency of the country. “They want to buy Greece cheap”, as is mentioned in the article of Steve Weissman What Europe and the IMF Are Doing to Greece: A First-Hand Look.

Greece possesses the undoubted advantage of its geopolitical position and historically, so far, this card has not been played to its own benefit by the majority of Greek politicians.
Even the…urge to join euro zone (and European Community earlier) brought benefit only to certain circles and not to the people.
After all, the whole idea of united European countries is based upon the profit of the few and not of the many who are sentenced to lack of reaction due to either exhaustion or to consent which is, as well known, manufactured by media and by propaganda.

Mr. Tsipras’ government has the chance not only to restore some breakdowns of the past but also to start a new age of politics and of an authentic union.
If he fails, many of European people’s dreams, aspirations, fights and movements will undergo a severe setback.
This is the ultimate purpose of conservatism and capitalism but it is not in favour of people’s interests -nowhere in the world.

FYROM: The next potential victim of western imperialism

FYROM_parliament_interior

The destabilization in one more country is being attempted in Former Yugoslavian Republic Of Macedonia (FYROM) by the West, namely USA. This time, the sine qua non local “liaison” is the leader of the opposition party Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), Zoran Zaev.

According to international Media, this attempt is one more recognizable sign of the American and NATO imperialism and another brick in the wall of Cold War between USA and Russia (after Ukraine and Syria).

According to CIA’s World Factbook about FYROM: “A couple of major transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and hashish; minor transit point for South American cocaine destined for Europe; although not a financial center and most criminal activity is thought to be domestic, money laundering is a problem due to a mostly cash-based economy and weak enforcement. Since its independence in 1991, Macedonia has made progress in liberalizing its economy and improving its business environment, but has lagged the Balkan region in attracting foreign investment and corruption remains a significant problem”.

“Consolidation”, “need of reforms”, “democratization”, “freedoms”, “liberalization of economy” are the pretexts and eventually a change of government or of regime is attempted, and there are certain steps which follow and usually lead to destruction. These used methods seem so distinctive that they could barely miss the eye of even the most “innocent” observer although, according to an exhaustive analysis by Strategic Culture Foundation, this specific issue has a couple of hidden sides.

Apart from these, the pattern for toppling Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (of christian democratic VMRO-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity) and a government change attempt strictly follows some main features, factors and principles which remain unchanged.

Let’s examine some of the facts:

I. FYROM has been declared as “potential candidate” member of EU back in 2003 – 12 years after country’s declaration of independence in 1991 and two years after the insurgency of the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army (NLA) militant group in 2001.
Furthermore, in 21 – 22 June 2002 “at the Seville Conference, the European Council expressed the willingness of the EU to take over from NATO in fYR Macedonia”.

It is worth noticing here the existing objection of Greece against the use of the name of the Greek region Macedonia. In EU the country’s official name is FYROM, which is though not used in numerous other occasions such as media, social media or by the USA et al.
Greece has vetoed FYROM’s NATO accession in 2008, and has been hindering the start of its EU accession talks.

The report of EU Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament “Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2010-2011” about FYROM, notes:
However, relations with Greece continued to be adversely affected by the unresolved name issue. The country is engaged in talks under the auspices of the UN on resolving it. Actions and statements which could negatively impact on good neighbourly relations should be avoided. The direct meetings at the highest political levels are positive steps, although this momentum has not yet led to concrete results. Maintaining good neighbourly relations, including a negotiated and mutually acceptable solution to the name issue, under the auspices of the UN, remains essential“.

The point here is (very) relevant to the economic crisis in Greece.
The meet of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with Russian president Vladimir Putin alarmed USA and the announcement of a possible cooperation for a gas pipeline, alarmed both USA and EU.
Greece has longed suffered under the fear of “threat from the East” (i.e. Turkey).
Although the relationships of the two have not and will not normalize as long and the Cyprus issue remains unsolved, it is possible that a destabilized FYROM could be used as an additional “threat from the North” and therefore, as a means of pressure on Greece for “compliance, conformity and obedience”.

II. Government is set under pressure by the “revelations” of scandals (Accusations for wiretapping by the government, Purchase of an expensive car by the Prime Minister). After the above said accusations two ministers and the head of the intelligence have resigned while government denies the allegations about tapping, reports BBC.
Alleged use of vicious methods and wealth owned by leaders have been used in almost every case of regimes or governments overthrows. They are a common instrument of propaganda in order to “touch” sensitivity of public opinion.

III. In case that politics and accusations do not succeed in toppling the government and in order to impose faction and destabilization, people are “motivated” through social media to protests which resemble to these which led to destabilization in Ukraine, in “Arab Spring” in North Africa but failed and turned into war in Syria.
Additional pressure is applied by internal discord between ethnic, political or other groups which is incited by the opposition (SDSM and Zaev). Specifically, SDSM appears to have orchestrated protests in Kumanovo in May 5 and 6.
The protests turned violent and resulted to the death of six policemen (eight according to other Media) after clashes with albanian ethic groups.
The groups are said to be “terrorists who crossed the border and entered the territory of the Republic of Macedonia on May 5th and 6th”. SDSM has planned a rally for May 17th.

For this purpose, SDSM already mobilized the membership with focus on collecting abusers and people with multiple file of offenders and former prisoners with series of crimes”, comments local Kurir. Earlier, opposition leader “in an interview with the show ‘360 stepeni’ which is aired on Alsat television again revealed state secret and said that he knew of the terrorist group, but did not report to law enforcement authorities. Zaev admitted that the SDSM had evidence of movement of criminal structures, shared with the former leader Branko Crvenkovski, SDSM recognizing that there is parallel security service”, reports Kurir.

The strategy here is to apply dual mechanisms of pressure that can engage in ‘friendly competition’ with one another in seeing which can overthrow the government first. The only reason that this concept is even considered and that the Color Revolution hasn’t totally fizzled out by this time is because it’s gained some support from dissatisfied youth groups who have been manipulated into joining the anti-government protests. With the Color Revolution kept alive by a collection of youth and their heavily publicized tweets and protests, and the Unconventional War dependent on terrorism, the regime change operations’ social foundations are extremely weak, yet they have the potential for massive expansion if the 17 May destabilization events can gather more adults and Albanians (either through enticement or provocation)”, notes Strategic Culture Foundation.

IV. Foreign diplomats, potiticians and governments, all of them US alliances, criticise the government. After the clashes, EU said it was “deeply concerned, which is worrying for country’s candidacy to become EU member.

The opposition leader “refused to participate at the reconciliation meeting between the four largest parties, which was reportedly scheduled to take place on May 14th”, reports Novinite and continues: “According to media reports, Zaev would accept a meeting with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski only in the presence of international mediators and representatives of the international community. The opposition leader dismissed the possibility of Gruevski heading a broad coalition government. Zaev called for the establishment of an interim government, which should prepare Macedonia for the holding of free, fair and democratic elections. The SDSM leader ruled out the participation of the incumbent prime minister and other people involved in crimes in an interim cabinet”.

The intentions of Zaev become more and more obvious. He displays his contempt to Prime Minister and challenges his authority. At the same time he demands the presence of “mediators and representatives of international community” as if Gruevski weren’t the elected leader.
Thus, after constructing the background, he calls into question the sovereignty of the government and uses external sources to essentially support the toppling.

The country is thereby driven to extensive conflicts and doomed to destabilization or:

V. If needed, in the next stage the methods of propaganda, public discontent and protests are degenerated to violence with the use of militant groups supported and armed by the US as is the case of Ukraine and as has already happened in FYROM.

Meanwhile, after clashes with police, “Russia accused Western organisers on Saturday (May 16) of trying to foment a colour revolution in the troubled former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, where political tensions are building ahead of an opposition rally on Sunday” and “the EU and NATO have called for a transparent investigation into last week’s killings”, reports Reuters.

The reaction of Russia could be taken for granted and as mentioned above, one more front opens in order to further demonize the country of Putin and to further implicate EU in case that Angela Merkel’s visit to Moscow on May 10th, a day after Moscow’s vast military parade in honor of the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, would be translated as sign of reconciliation.

Conservative government of Skopje will have to resist pressure and fraudulent practices and any change has to be peacefully conducted by people and not from Western interests. 
The most important challenge though is to avoid internally and externally “submitted” violence and conflicts.

 

Alexis Tsipras’ visit in Moscow The aftermath

Tsipras-visits-moscow-5

On 8th April, a few days before Orthodox Christian Easter, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited Moscow, the capital of Russia, and met with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

While this was “one of the many visits” that the new Head of the Government of any country is expected to carry out (a few days earlier Mr. Tsipras had visited German Chancellor Angela Merkel), it proved that this specific travel to Russia has triggered disproportionately many reactions, especially among the officials of the EU.
For example, the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, felt obliged to warn Greek Prime Minister not to “endanger” the common European policies against Russia.
Although we shall not analyze in this article the issue, the background, the expediency, the appropriateness, the ultimate purposes and the side effects of these policies, it is worth noticing that neither the president of the E.P. nor any official of a country or an institution has the right to “warn” the leader of a state about anything.
After all, in which way Mr. Tsipras could endanger the supposedly solid and righteous policies of EU? Could Greece unilaterally lift sanctions? It is proved they cannot.
If any unilateral action could be taken, Russia would have possibly agreed to lift sanctions against Greek agricultural products, a disastrous side-effect of sanctions of EU against Russia.
Even the use of the word “controversial” by Media seems having the intention to creating negative impressions. These reactions combined with a few other aspects of the conversations between the two leaders, worth some further analysis.

One of the dominant subjects discussed, according to the two leaders’ statements, has been the construction of a pipeline which will transfer gas within Greek territory and will be the extension of the pipeline which passes through Turkey.
While the profits deriving from this pipe are connected and are relative to energy sufficiency and autonomy for Greece, as Alexis Tsipras stated, there is a question about this project and this question has to do with the promoted Energy Union project which was launched in March 2015 by the EU.
Apart from any other (many) controversies of this Union which has been questioned by scientists, its so-called environmental profits are also questioned.
Additionally, the target of 20/20/20 includes measures for climate.
To this controversy, we have to add the controversial or even catastrophic results of earlier “unions”- such as Agricultural, Monetary etc- for the weaker, less populated and with “obedient” neo-liberal governments, member-states.
Energy Union, not accidentally at all, followed sanctions against Russia and coincides chronologically to the discussions of infamous Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between EU and USA which until now has not been signed mostly because of German objections, no matter how calamitous the agreement has proved to be.
EU is also an “open” market for the Canadian tar sands oil, furthermore in front of the uncertainty about Keystone XL, at least during Obama administration.
If and when the terms of the agreement become profitable for Germany et al., it is certain to be imposed to other member-states.

Could Greece sign an agreement with Russia, if it contradicts the terms of the Energy Union?
In the same way by which Athens is in fact not allowed to ask money from lenders other than IMF or EU (which is the explanation of the attempt to create climate of fear with “leaks” and publications about Grexit soon after the travel to Moscow), in the same way by which Bulgaria, after the impose of sanctions to Putin and Russia, was ordered to stop the construction of the profitable for the country South Stream pipeline (which bypasses Ukraine and probably because of this reason was undesirable for EU and USA) and was threatened to be deprived of economic support if they denied, in this same way Greece will not likely be allowed to build the pipeline.

If all earlier Greek governments had not realized how important the country is or they had chosen not to shield the country’s interests and not to take advantage of their geostrategic place, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the new Greek government, have to play smartly and to use their strong cards for the benefit of the Greek people.
Many, inside and outside Greece, could argue that any action not approved by the European partners, could lead Greece outside EU.
An ousting of a “disobedient” member would certainly be one more demonstration of punitive policies conducted by Germany et al.
On the other hand, the upheaval caused by the visit of Greek Prime Minister in Moscow is a fine example of the fear which is caused to the dominant EU powers when a member-state exercises its right to independent national policy.
Mr. Tsipras says (and we believe him) that “wants” EU although, with all due respect, he most likely wants the European ideals of the once preached Europe of the People.
The EU of the present much less the EU of the future, is not “of the People”.
Even if it is called “EU of the citizens”, in fact it is the EU of the rich and powerful who act according to a political, cultural and ideological conservative conception.

Relationships within the EU resemble to these of  troubled marriages of older times:
The obliged by social conventions not to work member is financially dependent and therefore weaker.
This member, the wife in most cases, thinks that she cannot afford to abandon the bad husband. Therefore she suffers psychological blackmail by the owner of the wealth.

Instead of an epilogue: If indeed (as it is published) a leader of a European country has warned Alexis Tsipras not to become “useful idiot” for Russia (a phrase falsely attributed to Vladimir Lenin), someone has to tell him or her that potential useful idiots are certainly more decent than useless and volunteer idiots.