Tag Archives: Iraq

#Harper’s War(s): The Next Generation(s) of Serfs #cdnpoli #elxn42

For this (hopefully last) installment of the “#Harper’s War(a) series we thought it might be a good idea to consider the actual costs vs benefit of the Harper’s ongoing far-right Economic Extraction Action Plan with regards to the current hybrid “Millennial” generation and next generation(s). At this stage in this game as the election draws near we must also ponder the mysteries within the “text” of the highly secret TPP that was “promised” to be released prior to election day but for rather lame “Go along, to get along” reasons, it will not be available.

The Harper Regime’s non-stop divisive Babylonian shell-game economics, fear-mongering, war profiteering, script regurgitation, hyperbolic rhetoric and it’s pandering for strategic voters to the extreme far-right minority segments for support is a very real and significant problem. They have purposely timed this coordinated operation to coincide with a very small Parliamentary calendar and will complete the far-right takeover with 3 successive blows. While all persist in the war-drumming and Bill C-51 distractions the delayed omnibus budget will go unchallenged, un-scrutinized and unnoticed. Since we know that there is no Parliament sitting until after the election, serious questions have and will continue to simply go unanswered and unaddressed. Win or lose, the Harper Regime wins in the end since if they lose, they won’t have to answer for a lot of issues that are bubbling over, the next group will yet if they do win, it’s full steam ahead until they ultimately lose control of the narrative, message and messengers. Unfortunately if they manage to steal a majority, it will propel us past the point of no return.

Before proceeding further down this rabbit hole, we should contemplate the shorter term consequences with regards to the safety and security of the younger generations, domestically. One thing that we are certain of is that each and every Government policing and security agency  across the board are undergoing sweeping downsizing and compounding budget reductions. In other words, more budget cuts and downsizing measures are being implemented before any review of the cost/benefit analysis of past cuts to see where shortfalls have been discovered and persist to be problematic. With the massive and solitary refocus upon the minimalistic lone-wolf “terrorist” attack scenario, the already stressed system will deteriorate and downgrade the Police State’s collective ability to provide adequate resources for investigations into crimes that affect almost everyone, everyday. The trade off, we as a society are being forced to accept in the form of Bill C-51, is that all resources, real and imaginary, must be allocated to waging a war against an invisible needle-in-a-haystack boogeyman and not against those countless, easy to find, individuals engaging in organized crime, money laundering, Ponzie scheming, fraud, corruption, drug smuggling, gun running, child exploitation, human trafficking, gang warfare, armed robbery and the like. Since we must be made less-safe at all costs to be more-safe with future costs, all that will be needed in the future will be the stoke of a pen and an ever expanding list of “terrorists” can be determined and declared as necessary.

Even putting aside that all of the opaque enemies, boogieman and murky allies in these officially declared and unofficially undeclared ideological wars by the Harper Regime and their globalist comrades, aka: Bolsheviks, are between ultra-right entities fighting for dominance in their sphere of influence and then compound that with the way Bill C-51 is worded to declare the “official” far-right and ultra-right “enemies” and pay attention to the lack of certain “useful” far-right entities. Fast forward a bit and one may notice that in any foreign intervention scheme the Harper Regime’s choice is always in support of the furthest to the right of the embattled parties in the region with the most advantageous economic trade-route territories and better financed private mercenary armies. If we disregard any “left” opposition exists in any region, we can only presume that this Government sanctioned strategy in-itself creates an immediate far-right adversary within itself and is designed for almost immediate failure.

We also know that once any Party is beholden to an assortment of competing unholy fringe alliances for electoral convenience, ultra-far-right (or left) extremist segments can and will, easily coalesce, conspire and ultimately seize complete power and control over the government, economy and the military in one sweep. Isn’t this how the previously far-right Reform/Alliance coup transpired? First they acquired the party apparatus then they seized total control of the PMO and consolidated the powers within itself and the Treasury Ministry and Justice Ministry. Now we will bear witness to the evolution of extreme politics as the Liberal Party will transition further to the right to appeal to the former conservative base that oppose Harper and to piggyback on the politics of fear-mongering and war profiteering that made the “West” great. If recent history is to be proven correct, the best way to form a Party quickly is to coordinate, co-op and/or outright hijack one. In the above scenario, either way the vote goes, the “right” retains control of the Government apparatus with a solid plan b that on the surface seems palatable with the added bonus of redrawing the boundaries and redefining the “left” side of the spectrum.

Considering the generations that will pay for these wars, with their lives and limbs and odious unpayable debts by insulated older generations have zero voice, we must explore and understand the costs, ramifications and implications of an unfettered march to war policy for both the short term and long term. Having driven their carefully “controlled messages” this far into the collective psyche, the Harper Loyalists, propagandists and apologists can now begin probing even further towards the far-right extremes based upon zero facts, tin-foil hats and illogical fears by way of deception and subversive intimidation.

The oddly concealed and/or conveniently overlooked fact remains that these younger generations, with absolutely no voice, will be the bearers of the debts and actions of today’s political establishment. The veil is finally lifting and exposing the “invisible hand” of the economy and how many, if not most, of the publicly elected officials are beholden to the interests of the top 15% of the population. This may well be the ideal scenario, who knows, but even if it is there should be a system of checks and balances so that they do not go off the rail off into some ideological fantasy land. Contrary to the constant “…net new jobs…” mantra we hear repeated, consider real math and compare that to the actual number of newly work-aged employes into the workforce since the Harper Regime first came to power, their employment opportunities and their debt servitude.

The Harper Regime’s job creation results are truly pathetic and serve only the wants of a coddled 15% that will never serve in a war, nor suffer on any battlefield at the expense of the 85% majority. Compound that even further by looking at the age demographics of the actual hiring and associated pay scales, one will see that skewed in favour of the expanding 55+ segment as opposed to the expanding 25 and under segment. Once again, the beneficiaries will never have to serve in military services, but will be free to profit off such endeavours.

This seems to be the beginnings of the perfect generational storm as one generation seeks to reap the rewards of their labours, irregardless to their losses while the generations that will be necessary to fund these rewards remain jobless. This poses a problem since this age segment lost a significant portion of their savings, investments and pensions, aka: “wealth”, in the aftermath of the economic crisis and may never recover. This presumes that one will only have the freedom of choice to choose to be sent off to slaughter as cannon fodder abroad or exist within a rationed impoverishment at home. This also begs the question, how are such a select few able to initiate and instigate problems seeking solutions that they themselves never end up paying for, or adequately funding and/or administering, the long term solutions.

Pay close attention to the shell gaming by way of omnibus budgeteering only short gains profits and all real costs of their selectively interventionist backstopping practices are allowed to download the costs of their imposed austerity measures and military backed foreign financial adventurism, the lower 85% will continue to spiral downward and rapidly converge into a broader society with an overall lesser quality of life. Oddly enough, the data shows that within a zero-sum economic model, the top 15% are pretty much immune to the effects of deteriorating economy and  due to the constraints and trade offs that accompany globalization schemes and economic integration agendas, the younger generations are constrained by the vary same global investors that discourage “public” investment necessary to properly educate our children and instead favour various privatization schemes. This financial downloading can be witnessed in real time with regards to health care, infrastructure, First Nations, Veterans and other public service cuts such as police, fire and other emergency first responder services.

We really can’t proceed without pondering the relativity of the abrupt resignation of John Baird, the shady foreign endeavours file, think Myanmar/Burma and Hillary Clinton’s email (treason) scandal, the pending Iraq/Syria and Beyond War Act, Bill C-51 and the delayed budget fit into this toxic mix. The combination of these three topics uncovers an entirely new perspective into how pervasive and powerful the anti-diplomatic, antagonistic, pro-war lobby has become and how any anti-war dissent will be stifled and suppressed with extreme prejudice and impunity.

Now, one must consider and compare how vigorously the Harper Regime fully endorsed, sanctioned and supported the Maidan, and set the stage for this tragically epic battle of the oligarchs civil war, in Ukraine with how vigorously, through legislation such as the Fair Elections Act and Bill C-51 or violence as in the case of the Toronto G8/G20 kettle filled crackdown, they are assuring that any popular demonstrations and/or uprising against their ideological rule, are fearfully discouraged and cannot happen in Ottawa or elsewhere. In this new norm, only Harper Loyalist’s and apologists will be afforded to any rights and/or freedoms such as speech, thought, association and/or assembly. The inconvenient truth is that all of these bits and chunks of power consolidation to the PMO and Treasury will be afforded to any/all future Governments.

It seems plausible that the fear-mongering, war drum beating and shell-game economics propaganda can easily neuter any opposition. It’s a major trump card and it is being played in much the same way as it was in the lead up to WW1. The pre-war propaganda that sets the stage campaign is in full gear as we speak.

First of all we should remember the timing of the “Arab Spring” and how the Libyan intervention, sprinkled with the “Assad Must Go” sideshow narrative, contaminated the 2011 election campaign that was fraught with several seedy and shady election shenanigans by outside market players beyond the legal jurisdiction of Canadian law enforcement agencies and the reach of Elections Canada. This deviously cleaver tactic conveniently led to major distractions with regards to the fundamental issues that lead up to the Election of 2011 and the ongoing epic failures of the Harper Regime at the time.

Remember, while some have slithered their way into the courts, the major issues with their governance and opacity were never resolved while their dirty deeds remain hidden and concealed from the public by the politicos and media alike for the most part. With cunningly shrewd manipulation of legislation and the subsequent consolidation of powers into the PMO and Treasury Ministry, their collective “documented” shenanigans will be sealed as classified far beyond the reach of the youth of today and tomorrow.

In other words, it is in their collective (15%) opinion, most of which invest and shelter their ill gotten “wealth” abroad, that after they themselves so greatly benefited from, and fully reaped the fruitful rewards of a rigged system, that very same system must be destroyed from the inside and out. This “controlled demolition” will hypothetically assure by way of distraction and diversion that their collective (15%) future prosperity, safety and security is assured at the expense of the remaining 85%, aka: serfs…


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#Harper’s War(s): #Harpernomics, #C51 and the #NATO Cruz Missile! #cdnpoli #pnpcbc #ctvpp

Much can be gleaned about the rise and tightening grip of the far-right globally if one dares to look outside the box that is framed by the media conglomerates. The repetition that the “media” is somehow a soapbox for the “left” has run it’s coarse as is evident with the rise of the far-right phenomenon that finds the media on board, full steam ahead. At best the media may be a few steps away from the ultra-far right but it is closer to the far-right than ever and is certainly going along to get along. One question may be, are they willingly going along or have they been secretely legislated?.

This mashup summary will be a somewhat long rant that will pose some seriously neglected questions, expose some uncomfortable gaps and potential connections and exploit some rather historical similarities. This summary may be updated but more than likely will branch off into further research. If anything it should prompt many to delve deeper into any of the issues that are connected.

We intend to additionally explore if we are actually in an “official” state of war that has been secretly declared. Is it possible for a War Measures Act to be secretly or subversively implemented? If so, how do we actually know if this is the case and who the “enemy” is? Or is this where “Harper’s Enemies Lists” somehow fits in? This may explain the virtually one-sided presentations across the various conflict zones and hot spots that emanate from the same handful of global conglomerates. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for a much bigger glacier.

How can an ideological war between the ultra-far-right and the far-right politically or a cultural/tribal/civil war pitting nationalists vs ultra-nationalists militarily, be fought simultaneously at home and abroad?

How far to the “right” must one travel and give up personally to acquire perceived safety and security provided by the oppressive Harper Regime over real life freedom and liberty in the pursuit of prosperity provided by democracy and credible market based capitalism?

How much further to the “right” will the Liberal Party creep and how far will the NDP choose to follow behind?

We only ponder this because some circles are harder to square than others. The further to the right you travel, you’ll notice that moar war and less freedom are on the agenda while the less war factions simply go along to get along for the most part.

We are also beginning to contemplate how the destabilization in Ukraine and Iraq are not being used as some sort of “incentive” to members within the E.U. with regards to expediting and completing the pending cross-Atlantic Free Trade Agreements. Cutting of access to Eurasian markets under the cover of sanctions against Russia seems like a good strategy as is the display of how quickly organized violence against any State can be launched. Add that with the secret TPP and it gets much clearer but we might have to ask Nigel Wright since he has his fingerprints all over the place. The Duffy scandal forces one to consider how much access and influence really had and how he used it to further his own financial portfolio.

How do all of these tie in with the SPP and Bill C-51?

Who are Harper’s advisors anyway and who advises them?

Are these the same type of ideological “foreign policy” advisors that the G.W. Bush Iraq team “employed” to cherry pick reams of intel for a needle in a haystack, pie in the sky, unsubstantiated documents/clauses to fabricate the conditions that justify immediate and massive military intervention?

“We the People” are certainly being groomed for a war of unimaginable scale and consequences, but it will be very, very good for some global investors. The “Police State” conditions are being arranged via the Trojan Horse Bill C-51 to “legally” stifle any/all anti-war and/or anti-austerity protests. There will be no Ottawa Maidan, period. If we were to boil it down to it’s murky base, we would notice that all of the current conflict zones that require liberation are concentrated along various pipelines, energy, transportation, shipping and rail corridors. When the long dust settles, new borders will be redrawn to consolidate and secure trade routes. The real problem is that no State can control what it’s oligarchs invest in or how they invest it, move it, offshore it or divest it. Another thing that is certain is that professional mercenary alliances and the black market only serve those that provide the necessities of war and are loyal only to those that can provide them financing and armaments.

The key fact is that through the various narratives being weaved about Bill C-51, it is a massive Trojan Horse with the anti-war movements in it’s sights. All of the others that will be caught up in this dragnet operation that fall on the “left” side of the political spectrum will be either considered a “bonus” or as acceptable collateral damage and cannon fodder. Keep in mind that fear, intimidation and propaganda plague all cultures/regions and are utilized by multiple overlapping players with their own ultimate agendas. while violent persecution attempts to solve dissent abroad, the “West” achieves this control of dissent easily by way of economic persecution. In either case, the “life” of the individual involved is lost, one by loss of blood, the other by loss of assets/income/credibility/career.

One of the key provisions of Bill C-51 that needs to be examined is the “language” about the censoring of the interwebz of “terrorist” propaganda. If we harken back to WWI and ponder the implications of how propaganda and censorship are used to sell wars and interventions, we need to ask ourselves one fundamentally important question, who decides this opaque definition. Then we need to ask ourselves, where, why and how opaque definition based declarations are decided. The logical follow up question would be who has the most to benefit from the proceeds of the declaration?

If we look at the deteriorating situation in Ukraine from beyond the lens of the AP/Reuters reports, we see a nation that is spiraling into chaos and various oligarchs have their own loyal “volunteer” battalions. Many estimates put these far-right extremist “anti-Russia” mercenary groups at approx 17, each with it’s own vision, mandate and source of funding. The same might be presumably said for the “pro-Russian” side as well. These would be players that are being employed to either secure business interests or expand land claims.

Some other interesting points to ponder may be related to the bursting of the Commodities Super Cycle during a highly concentrated, uncertain, oversupplied and illiquid global market based upon unsustainable debt.

Have we reached peak energy?

How low can the price of oil/energy go before the serviceable-debt bubble pops?

Are these wars being waged to assure that the flow of energy profitability increases in an otherwise oversupplied market?

Since no Central bank or amount of austerity can ever balance the costs of misguided military interventions and the effects of previous omnibus budgets yet to be felt, let’s review a small segment of what has transpired since debt based Harpernomics has replaced surplus based economics.

Even with the massive downloading of costs onto the Provinces without balancing the tax system and revenue sharing, the Federal Debt has exceeded $600 Billion, with debt servicing alone growing daily at a steady clip. Since those costs are immediately download to the Municipalities/etc. the costs to service existing debts becomes an issue that rapidly prevents proper infrastructure maintenance and upgrade investments.

Since Harpernomics has replaced economics with selective inflation based shell-game budgetary tricks to acquire a magical surplus of everything just before an election, the fact remains that job creation continues to lag far behind the amount necessary to accommodate new entries into the work force, wages are stagnant at best and according to the Harpernomicists themselves, the average hours worked per week is in a steady decline and is projected to continue the trend downward.

Will the drop in oil and commodities afford the Harper Regime the “right” to encourage wage reductions throughout the energy sector like they did to the non-outsourced manufacturing sector?

At what point does using a sliding scale for the hours worked considered “full time” for job numbers presented by the Harpernomicists become a purely mythical and unreliable set of digits to an actual number?

Other than the Harper Loyalists, Harpernomicists and apologists, who actually thinks that misguided war waging is free?

Even though the Harper Regime cannot provide a final figure for the Afghanistan intervention, the costs estimates thus far range between $20-30 billion CDN + uncountable collateral damages. The results of the intervention, other than the huge short term gains by military contractors, are far from conclusive. No matter how hard anyone tries or how many times it is invaded and/or occupied it, Afghanistan is going to be whatever it wants to be based upon their own best interests within boundaries on a map that they had no voice in drawing. In the overall case of the invasion, on paper it looked all good and noble and just, but not far under the surface the truth existed. The entire process was manipulated and intelligence was distorted so that one of the more sinister and nefarious minority groups were given authority over the majority. Surely a group will accept “aid” to gain their own syndicate a competitive advantage but there will always be shifting of the balance of power between tribal alliances as power is gained. This is not the first rodeo of this kind for Afghans and they know that any “foreign” presence will be short  sights and short lived in the big picture and have pretty much decided where the boundaries lie between themselves.  The greatly under-reported violence that we see now in Afghanistan is the end result of external military intervention and occupation that allowed certain tribes to immediately fill the vacuum and consolidate “legal” authority by force. Not only that but, the blowback from the flourishing Poppy boom and trade is already being felt globally and the negative effects will be long lasting across the board.

In much the same way the Afghanistan costs were budgeted, contrary to the initial “estimates” provided by the Harper Regime, the Libya intervention Harpernomiced out several times higher at approx. 1/2 billion + uncountable collateral damages that has resulted in a completely insecure failed state embroiled in a civil/tribal war intermixed with various mercenary groups seeking weapons and training. The fact that there were no attempts by Canada or other NATO Allies to secure cooperation with the remnants of the Libyan Military to secure the armories and military facilities is highly suspicious at best. Has anyone pondered the thought that maybe John Baird was communicating about Libya/Syria with Hillary Clinton via her unsecured private email server? What happens if those communications get leaked?

Who is ultimately paying for this high, long-term debt-servicing-cost agenda?

What is the motivation, and what are the true long term costs in blood, currency value and purchasing power, behind the fascinating objective of creating an “invisible” self-perpetuating unsustainable debt burden?

How can Harper promise that 2 wars, in Ukraine and Syria/Iraq, can be fought and funded on the backside of lower oil revenues, stagnant at best wages, massive looming job losses, deflationary housing market pressures and lower tax revenues.

As the debates surrounding war and electioneering take center stage, Bill C-51 and the “delayed” budget simmer away. One affects our assets and the other affects our liberties bad both are being looted by the pro-war insiders. This brings us to a rather oddly timing of the NATO meeting, the U.S. Presidential campaign bid that was declared by Canada’s own export, far-right winger Ted Cruz and the devious election tactics used by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to court, fear-monger and rally the farther-right elements to assure his grip on power. These “faces” present the sell-siders of apocalyptic evangelical wars in their respective domains and propose, foster and initiate discontent within and interventions abroad to protect opaque “national” interests. Ultimately, since Cruz has zero chance just based upon the amount of cash he has, we conclude that he is simply strategic investment in the global game of consensual election engineering and a political pawn that posed no threat to the U.S. status quo. His entry is a pre-election campaign aimed at intended to influence and engage Canadians to bolster far-right support for the Harper Party in the short term from beyond the realm and jurisdiction of Election Canada. Since Cruz is staunchly anti-Obama, pay attention to which slogans and taking points get highlighted, accentuated and repeated by whom, on this side of the border. Then pay closer attention to how the media in the U.S. respond to hostile rhetoric from the anti-Obama/pro-Bibi Harper Loyalists. Then pay attention to how the Liberals respond.

This combination sets the stage for Harper’s  sell-side that supports NATO’s expansion into sovereign Syrian territory against “darker” ultra-far-right mercenaries for hire with the bonus prize of additional Ukraine territory to train “lighter” ultra-far-right mercenaries for hire that will eventually become a battle hardened menace to the E.U. and the West. Fear not, Harper’s Bill C-51 will protect us.

Is widespread war and discontent the Harper Regime’s reverse Soylent Green Solution for youth unemployment and lack of opportunity?

Are these strategic regions being justifiably destabilized in order to profitably reduce the stockpiles of Cold War era armaments and battle-harden the next generation of unaccountable and subcontract-able mercenary units?

What about the Yemen powder keg that is exploding and what about the current and ongoing collateral damages, dislocations and refugee crisis?

In one instance, international law isn’t relevant as Harper Loyalists proclaim that they are defending the autonomy of “Kurdistan” against a threatening “darker” ultra-far-right terrorist threat emanating from Syria that has no legal standing. One that, oddly enough, is fully armed with American equipment, hardware and armaments and has secured funding from several regional players with varied agendas. We need to remember that “Kurdistan” is a province within Iraq in what amounts to a breakaway region that has been planning and forming an independent State since at least 1991. It is rather obvious that the Sykes-Picot concept over and the position and/or agenda of the Kurds and that of the Iraq Government in Baghdad are not necessarily in sync. Their ultimate vision is the combination of the greater Kurdish regions that span across Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq or maybe the recreation of Assyria. This which would provide “space” for the Kurds to consolidate authority as well as provide regional protection for the remaining Christians and other targeted minorities. The only way for that to unfold would be if the primary players decided to seriously negotiate satisfactory representative regional agreements that settles the power/land dispute between the Sunni and Shiite populations in Iraq and Syria, below Kurdistan. These primary players would have to coordinate with Baghdad and Damascus and consider splitting off Sunni chunks into an independent state that lies between Syria and Iraq. With the hidden civil war in Iraq bubbling over and the chaos in Syria putting more pressure on the border, this seems like the most plausible end-goal as this strategically concentrated and central swath would be able to control the flow of resources and mercenaries between all of the surrounding nations and let the Sunni/Shiite and Islamaphobia battles ensue.

In another instance, in a quasi-mixed role reversal as far as international law is concerned, the autonomy of “Novorossiya” within the Ukraine is being denied to it’s inhabitants while they are being attacked by far-right mercenary groups funded international and regional players with diverging, converging and overlapping interests. Another odd twist with regards to interpretations and reinterpretations of international laws is in the way Crimean autonomy post 1991 has been interpreted

In a coinciding instance in Syria itself, much like the propaganda campaign to bomb freedom into Libya, an actual far-right terrorist threat was detected from a very small and problematic region and was identified as emanating from the same roots as the armed insurrection in Libya. In these cases, the media portrays these known terrorists as peaceful liberators and gives them a free pass to do their dirty deeds without question.

Then we have the Yemen civil war being reignited in what is a very strange play with regards to the loose application regarding international law, violating sovereignty and crossing borders. In this case, unlike Ukraine, the President that fled to safety abroad is given authority over the security situation. In some ways it almost seems as if there are some interesting energy power alliances behind the scenes that may be trying to isolate the House of Saud by drawing them into a trap in Syria or is the House of Saud is pursuing more calculated and nefarious deeds by isolating it’s own allies into convoluted quagmires with it’s adversaries and enemies.

Maybe Gaddafi was right, over the years he repeatedly told all of the Arab leaders that eventually they will all be deposed and replaced eventually, just like Saddam. It is probable that some of those leaders realized this threat existed, or quickly became aware with the prophetic demise of Gaddafi, and have been engaged in developing solid contingency plans for the stability of the most vital economic regions while destabilizing others in-between the regional economic hubs. This situation has the potential to close vital sea traffic between the Red Sea and Arabian Sea and if it accelerates quickly may well put the traffic thru the Persian Gulf at risk/mercy of counter measures since port and seaway blockades are typically dealt with with military means.

All of this will of coarse, allow the price of oil to rise. the problem is that the overall fuel savings did not provide any real measurable “spending the savings” injection into the economy. The price of fuel and energy went way up too fast and for far too long that it was a drain on the overall disposable income of everyone all along. We can now see what a negative effect the post economic crisis energy boom was really having. Considering actual inflation for necessities, Canadians have not seen any measurable savings in the retail, supply chain or transportation sectors due to the reduction in fuel costs, we know that any increases at the pumps, scales or meters will be felt hard by everyday Canadians.

The odd denominator is that even if we were still able to ignore the armed foreign factions, the peaceful anti-regime factions that were caught in the crossfire were all declared terrorists by some and/or liberators by others. Either way, with complete disregard to civilian casualties entire villages and communities are being bombed into ruins by their own government forces vs foreign funded mercenaries that are both engaged in scorched earth policies. Whomever keeps fighting for the most piles of rubble the longest, wins and eventual gains access to various economic aid and stimulus packages with the high interest portion of the debt shifted off as a Government obligation and the next to zero interest portion to the private interests

These facts along countless fronts and lines in-between sides and within context “paints” pretty much anyone and everyone as a hostile target, enemy and/or terrorist threat. It’s only a matter of time before someone/something of importance is downed and the tragedy and chaos that follows. It’s only a matter of time until some politico spouts off the wrong thing that lights the fuse.

Does any of this sound familiar? What about the “geographical” turf being disputed? Look at the “lines” and former boundaries of nations and empires after the tumultuous 1800’s that were drawn on paper pre-WWI. Look for connections to the competing oligarchs, moguls, robber-barons and profiteers that supported the pro-war expansionist parties and lobbies, some of the links still exist today.  and then follow whomever eventually held/holds the war debts of the winners and losers for more insight.

As in the past, the financial structure will be recalculated based upon the final holdings of the competing oligarchs and the division of power that will have afforded themselves. With these “rights” they will reserve the “right” to redraw secure trade routes, “lines” and boundaries in order to forcibly open new markets for some and close them to others. As far as Iraq is concerned, Harper advocated, without question, the deceptive 2003 strategy and subsequent invasion and destabilization of Iraq. Harper Loyalists and apologists ideologically accepted the potential for collateral damage and to this day are committed to pursing an opaque end goal of Middle East liberation and democratization, by hook or by crook. The plan is several years behind and like ll government projects, grossly over-budget and rife with corruption.

Has anyone considered that the “national” interests in Libya that Harper sent the Military to protect were none other than those of Canada’s former spy watchdog, Arthur Porter and other SNC Lavelin insiders? The timing of it all behind the backdrop of the “Arab Spring” that followed the financial “crisis” is rather intriguing. War provides a very effective duck, dust and cover opportunity for those with the inside power to wage war to their own benefit. It is also rather revealing how deep the plot(s) really are and how many of Harper’s current and past advisers and insiders have run amuck or gone rogue.

Moving back a bit to Ted Cruz and the upcoming Harper campaign, let’s ponder a few facts/fictions. The first point is that, in case anyone has not noticed, the far-right Ted Cruz will never win, period, but his “views” on Iraq/Syria, NATO and Ukraine will provide a nice background for Harper’s campaign with it’s shared agenda of instigating hostilities and division and discrediting honest questions, dialog and diplomatic/political compromise. His entry will serve to rally and kettle the far-right fringe groups into more manageable small subgroups that can/will be pigeonholed within the current North American Conservative/Republican base. They will, at least in the short term, be given maximum exposure followed by a carefully controlled rhetoric that mimics the views of the far-right in Canada. This is important because these are the far-right fringe groups that have felt betrayed by the Harper Regime. This propaganda tactic cements them into the Conservative caucus and this empowerment and coverage gives the formerly fractured fringe groups a vast illusion that they will ultimately benefit if victory is achieved, which will further radicalize them. This of coarse, will only radicalize and encourage other far-right-wing anti-elements to thrive. This sets the stage for the able, mobile and nimble enemy of the future to be created and fostered in much the same way as how, what was framed initially as an al Qaeda offshoot, IS/ISIL/ISIS has mystically conquered the Middle East. Strip out the foreign fighters and interventionists and one might be surprised that “We the People” know how to live side by side for the most part and what our regional and national interests are based upon facts on the ground, not dreaming and pondering of right-wing thinktanks.

To truly this perspective one must, at least partially, appreciate how intricate these apparatuses are linked, since this pro-war vs anti-war propaganda phenomenon has often been repeated. One only needs to look back to the pre-WWI era though the various national lenses, media presentations and political rhetoric compared to the rush into the Afghanistan and Iraq quagmires and fiasco in Libya. Keep in mind that the declared military campaign was to be “over by Christmas” and lasted years beyond and effectively set the stage for the Stock Market Crash and WWII that set the stage for the Cold War, etc. Since most publications are/were heavily censored depending upon the “official” states of war in each of these cases, one does need to differentiate between the sell-side war players, the active-side war players and the instigating, agitating warmongering and escalation sided players. Combine those sides together and the un-holy trio radicalizes into an axis with the powers of the Wall Street insider syndicates behind them.

Is it possible to acquire a true cost vs benefit to overall society analysis that is not based upon the ideological zero-sum economy that transforms sovereign state wealth into publicly subsidized debt and then concentrates the usury proceeds to the upper percentile? When one considers the above it seems as if the governments of “sovereign on paper” Nations are really nothing more than fronts for various financial criminal cabals and those that require capital.

Until next time, we’ll leave you with the following press release that pretty much sums up the state of the “independent” and “free” press…

News Release Article from  Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Statement by Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO of the CRTC, on journalistic independence

March 25, 2015 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

One of the pillars of Canada’s broadcasting system—and, in fact, of our country’s democracy—is that journalists are able to report news stories independently and without undue editorial interference. This principle, along with other fundamental journalistic values, is enshrined in the Code of Ethics that was developed by RTDNA Canada (The Association of Electronic Journalists).

Further to section 2(3) of the Broadcasting Act, the CRTC has been entrusted by Canadians, through Parliament, to defend the principles of fair comment, freedom of expression and journalistic independence.

That a regulated company does not like one of the CRTC’s rulings is one thing. The allegation, however, that the largest communication company in Canada is manipulating news coverage is disturbing. Holding a radio or television licence is a privilege that comes with important obligations that are in the public interest, especially in regards to high-quality news coverage and reporting.

An informed citizenry cannot be sacrificed for a company’s commercial interests. Canadians can only wonder how many times corporate interests may have been placed ahead of the fair and balanced news reporting they expect from their broadcasting system.

The RTNDA Code of Ethics is administered by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. Canada’s private broadcasters, including CTV, are members of this independent body and must adhere to its codes of conduct. Complaints about this matter should be directed to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for investigation.

We expect Canada’s broadcasters to live up to their responsibilities and adhere to a high standard in their news and information programs.

– 30 –

Contacts

Follow us on Twitter: @CRTCeng

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/crtceng

Media relations:
Tel.: 819-997-9403; Fax: 819-997-4245

General inquiries:
Tel.: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423; Fax: 819-994-0218
Toll-free No.: 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
TDD – Toll-free No.: 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
Ask a question or make a complaint

These documents are available in alternative format upon request.

source: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=955409


Remember, politics is a contact sport, like hockey, so please feel free to add quick contributions, observations and relevant information as a comment below!

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#Harper’s War(s): #Ukraine, #Iraq, #Censorship, #Propaganda and False Narratives #cdnpoli #pnpcbc #ctvpp

Just when we thought the Harper Regime’s fear-mongering and war-profiteering propaganda had no “legitimate” counter narratives thanks to gaslighting media conglomerates, yellow journalists and cowardly controlled Oppositions, Friday the 13th presented a couple of rather odd surprises from the most unusual sources. Thanks to an attempted censorship of an article/video published/uploaded 12Mar2015 by the Voice of America (VOA), an article that seemingly flew under the radar via  Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) published 08Mar2015 and another under the radar article via ABC News published 11Mar2015, we can actually present some facts about the situation in Ukraine and Iraq/Syria that may come to a surprise to many but unsurprising to others. One may begin to wonder who “We the People” should really be afraid of, who the enemy actually is and who should be incarcerated for life.

Sadly, this tri-fecta is not really good for the actual People of Ukraine nor Iraq nor Syria or here, but you can be assured that the People of Ukraine and Iraq and Syria, and their respective regions, their collective peace, prosperity, safety and security, are feeling the full brunt of this wonton military adventurism and they certainly will not forget these omissions and facts.  While our attention is being diverted every which way but loose, the Harper Regime and their foreign partners are taking full advantage of the ongoing distractions and fear-mongering while at the same time coordinating very similar draconian legislation, such as Bill C-51, to curtail the fundamental liberties of the collective citizenry and populous. Let’s face the facts, the Harper Regime is merely going along, to get along.

Below, we will present everyone with 3 articles that should concern everyone for multiple reasons. After you take the time to review them, ponder the wars that are being sold by way of deceptive propaganda techniques sand the flooding of vast regions with weapons and armaments. Then question the role that the “legitimate” media conglomerates playing to sell these foreign endevours as legitimate and necessary as well as the way that our elected politicians are turning a blind eye to certain facts to go along, to get along. Discuss them with your friends, political representatives and adversaries alike. Upon reflection, utilize some critical thinking skills and ask yourself and decide for yourself, Cui bono?

The first article is the most recent and the one that prompted this summary that should stir the debate about the situation in Ukraine, who is fighting who and why. The article/video from the VOA was censored within a day of being published for some odd reason. Since this one requires a bit of an introduction, we will present an embedded summary video, that may also be viewed via our ytube channel, followed by screengrabs of the pages and the content of the original article.

Censored VOA: In Eastern Ukraine, Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels #cdnpoli

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02Wid7I0tWk

12mar2015 VOA In Eastern Ukraine, Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels Cached 12Mar2015 15:39:57 GMT
Cached 12Mar2015 15:39:57 GMT
VOA: In Eastern Ukraine, Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels Cached 13Mar2015 Page Not Found
Retrieved: 13Mar2015 Page Not Found

In Eastern Ukraine, Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels
Published March 12, 2015

After months of fighting in eastern Ukraine, the presence of the Ukrainian military and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the rebellion. VOA spent a day with a group of new recruits undergoing weapons and explosives training. Patrick Wells reports from Donetsk.

original: http://www.voanews.com/media/video/2677066.html
cached: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:tU8tTSud0JMJ:http://www.voanews.com/media/video/2677066.html

This article should cause alarm bells to go off far and wide, considering the non-stop, wall to wall coverage of a single suspicious recently slain politician in Russia. Oddly the “international” community is loud with regards to one individual in Russia yet completely silent about several suspiciously dead individuals in Ukraine. Once again, Cui bono?

Suicide Or Homicide? In Ukraine, Old-Guard Officials Dying Mysteriously


Mykola Serhiyenko apparently shot himself dead with a hunting rifle.

By Marichka Naboka
March 08, 2015

This year Ukraine has seen a bizarre string of deaths involving high-ranking officials, including a ex-city mayor, a former railway executive, and the former head of the state body in charge of privatization.

A total of five officials died in a single 34-day period between January 28 and February 28. In each case, the deaths have been ruled probable suicides. But the victims’ political allegiances and job histories have led many in Ukraine to suspect that the men were in fact murdered:

January 26 — Mykola Serhiyenko, the former first deputy chief of the state-run Ukrainian Railways, died in his Kyiv home after apparently shooting himself with a registered hunting rifle.

Investigators said Serhiyenko, 57, was alone at the time of the tragedy, and that all of the flat’s doors and windows had been locked shut from the inside and showed no signs of tampering.

Serhiyenko, who worked with Ukrainian Railways from April 2010 to April 2014, had been appointed to the post by Mykola Azarov, the former prime minister under Viktor Yanukovych. Azarov and Yanukovych are both wanted by Interpol on charges including embezzlement and misappropriation.


Oleksiy Kolesnyk

January 29 — Oleksiy Kolesnyk, the former head of the Kharkiv regional government, died after apparently hanging himself.

Kolesnyk, 64, did not leave a suicide note, but media and investigators have hinted he may have killed himself, noting that his death took place on the birthday of his friend and fellow politician, former Kharkiv Governor and Party of Regions ideologue Yevhen Kushnaryov, who died in 2007 after being shot on a hunting expedition.

Kolesnyk began serving as chair of the Kharkiv Regional Council in 2002, but resigned prematurely in 2004.


Serhiy Walter

February 25 — The former mayor of the southeastern city of Melitopol, 57-year-old Serhiy Walter, reportedly hanged himself. A member of the Party of Regions who had served as the head of Melitopol since 2010, Walter had been dismissed from his post in 2013 and put on trial for abuse of power and ties to organized crime.

Walter was forced to attend some 145 hearings during his trial, with prosecutors calling for 14 years’ imprisonment. Throughout the proceedings, he insisted he was innocent. Walter was due to attend a new hearing on the day he died.


Oleksandr Bordyuh

February 26 — One day after Walter’s death, the body of the 47-year-old deputy chief of the Melitopol police, Oleksandr Bordyuh, was found in a garage. According to news reports, Bordyuh’s former boss was a lawyer involved in Walter’s trial.

Media reported that the cause of Bordyuh’s death was ruled a “hypertensive crisis,” or stroke — a term that police frequently use in instances of suicide. Additional details were not provided.


Mykhaylo Chechetov

February 28 — Mykhaylo Chechetov, the ex-deputy chairman of the Party of Regions faction in Ukraine’s parliament, died after jumping or falling out of the window of his 17th-story apartment.

The death came just days after Chechetov was arrested for fraud and abuse of office stemming from his two years at the helm of the powerful State Property Fund. (Chechetov posted bond to avoid being held in pretrial detention.)

Chechetov’s time at the property fund, from April 2003 to April 2005, marked one of the busiest periods of post-Soviet privatization, with the steel giant Kryvorizhstal among the cut-rate sales made during his tenure. The plant, notoriously, was sold to a group that included the son-in-law of former President Leonid Kuchma, Viktor Pinchuk, for just $850 million. (In October 2005, Viktor Yushchenko reversed the sale, reselling a 93-percent stake in the plant to Mittal Steel for $4.8 billion.)

Anton Herashchenko, a Popular Front lawmaker and adviser to the Interior Ministry, has speculated that Chechetov may have been driven to suicide by fellow old-guard members whose role in the deal stood to be exposed by his testimony. “It’s a shame we’ll never get to learn all of the interesting things we would have heard from Chechetov’s evidence,” he wrote on Facebook.

Chechetov isn’t the first head of the State Property Fund to die an unnatural death.

On August 27, 2014 the body of Valentina Semenyuk-Samsonenko was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head, with a gun lying nearby. She led the agency from April 2005 to December 2008. Her family told reporters they dismissed the possibility of suicide, saying that she had spoken fearfully of someone taking out a contract on her life.

The third death of an official tied to Ukraine’s privatization took place even earlier. In May 1997, the head of the Crimean branch of the State Property Fund, Oleksiy Holovizin, was killed in the entryway of his house.

Lawmaker Ihor Lutsenko, a member of the new government’s anticorruption committee, wrote in Ukrainska Pravda that eliminating Property Fund chiefs makes it almost impossible to reverse corrupt privatization sales, like that of Kryvorizhstal.

“Semenyuk and Chechetov won’t be saying anything,” he wrote. “And that will cost us, the citizens of Ukraine, tens of billions of dollars.”

The recent string of deaths comes 10 years after two more resonant cases that followed closely on the heels of the Orange Revolution. Heorhiy Kirpa, transport minister under Kuchma, was found dead in late December, 2004. His death came two days after the rerun of the second round of presidential elections that handed Yushchenko the win over Yanukovych.

The following March, Kuchma’s former interior minister, Yuriy Kravchenko, died one day after being called as a witness in the resurrected case of slain journalist Heorhiy Gongadze.

Both deaths were officially ruled suicides — even though, in Kravchenko’s case, it had taken two gunshots to kill him.

Written in Prague by Daisy Sindelar based on reporting in Kyiv by Marichka Naboka

source: http://www.rferl.org/content/suicide-homicide-ukraine-officials/26888375.html

Now this article is the most troubling since it not only affects the credibility of the military interventions, but it also poses the greatest threat to our soldiers that are being deployed. make no mistake, if ABC News decided to run this story, it has already been widely disseminated abroad by so called enemies and allies alike. This is where the Harper Regime has sent our special forces to “train” Iraqi soldiers/miltia and where they want to deploy even more in an offensive capacity. It may be time to question this misguided mission before more flag draped coffins begin to arrive home. Does anyone really believe that those foreign funded mercenaries or our so called allies in Iraq/Syria can tell the difference between an American and Canadian? Once again, Cui bono?

‘Dirty Brigades’: US-Trained Iraqi Forces Investigated for War Crimes
Mar 11, 2015, 2:18 PM ET
By JAMES GORDON MEEK, BRIAN ROSS, RYM MOMTAZ and ALEX HOSENBALL

PHOTO: A bound and blindfolded detainee appears to be dropped – or possibly hung from the neck according to one analyst — from what looks like an Iraqi military base guard tower. The image was posted on Instagram.

A bound and blindfolded detainee appears to be dropped – or possibly hung from the neck according to one analyst — from what looks like an Iraqi military base guard tower. The image was posted on Instagram.

Obtained by ABC News

U.S.-trained and armed Iraqi military units, the key to the American strategy against ISIS, are under investigation for committing some of the same atrocities as the terror group, American and Iraqi officials told ABC News. Some Iraqi units have already been cut off from U.S. assistance over “credible” human rights violations, according to a senior military official on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.

The investigation, being conducted by the Iraqi government, was launched after officials were confronted with numerous allegations of “war crimes,” based in part on dozens of ghastly videos and still photos that appear to show uniformed soldiers from some of Iraq’s most elite units and militia members massacring civilians, torturing and executing prisoners, and displaying severed heads.

The videos and photos are part of a trove of disturbing images that ABC News discovered has been circulating within the dark corners of Iraqi social media since last summer. In some U.S. military and Iraqi circles, the Iraqi units and militias under scrutiny are referred to as the “dirty brigades.”

“As the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] and militias reclaim territory, their behavior must be above reproach or they risk being painted with the same brush as ISIL [ISIS] fighters,” said a statement to ABC News from the U.S. government. “If these allegations are confirmed, those found responsible must be held accountable.”


[In an image posted on Instagram, six black-uniformed men who appear to be Iraqi Special Operations Forces from the “Golden Brigades” surround an alleged ISIS suspect who has been dragged with a rope or cable tied to his foot.]

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, along with international human rights advocates and military experts, called the photos evidence of Iraqi “war crimes.”

“I guarantee you ultimately we get blamed for it whether we did it or not,” Leahy predicted.

Under what is known as the Leahy Law, the U.S. is required to cut off funds to any foreign military unit when there is “credible evidence” of human rights violations. In Iraq the responsibility of determination falls to the Department of Defense. In recent Senate testimony, Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed the Iraqi investigation had been ordered and said the Leahy Law applies to units operating alongside the many militias also fighting in Iraq against ISIS.

“I would say that involves the Leahy Law,” Leahy recently told ABC News after viewing the shocking imagery. “And I’d argue that we should be withholding money.”

According to the Pentagon, the U.S. already has. In a statement to ABC News, the Joint Staff official revealed that in the months since the U.S. began airstrikes and military assistance to Iraq last August, “We have withheld assistance from certain Iraqi units on the basis of credible information in the past. Due to the sensitive nature of our security assistance, we are unable to discuss specific units.”

In Washington today, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey told lawmakers the U.S. military is keeping a close eye on the militias as well.

“What we are watching carefully is whether the militias — they call themselves the popular mobilization forces — whether when they recapture lost territory, whether they engage in acts of retribution and ethnic cleansing,” he said.

An Iraqi government spokesperson previously said while the dozens of photos could be ISIS propaganda, a full investigation was warranted.

“Yes, of course we will investigate these pictures,” the spokesperson, Gen. Saad Maan, said in an interview in Baghdad as he viewed a selection of images provided by ABC News.

“We don’t have anything to hide,” the general said. “We don’t have anything to be in, let’s say, in a black corner.”


[A bound and blindfolded detainee appears to be dropped – or possibly hung from the neck according to one analyst — from what looks like an Iraqi military base guard tower. The image was posted on Instagram.]

The Iraqi military is key to the U.S. strategy to fight ISIS and stop its atrocities, which have outraged the world. The U.S. is shipping almost $1 billion in weapons, as well as providing U.S. military trainers to instruct new Iraqi recruits. A special operations official in Baghdad, however, said it’s the government of Iraq that decides — not the Pentagon — which Iraqi units get U.S.-donated weapons, such as 43,000 M4 rifles and thousands of other light infantry weapons Congress approved for shipment in December. American troops are not known to be operating on the ground in combat in Iraq or Syria. No Americans are shown in the images or footage ABC News has found, nor have any Americans been implicated in any of the alleged atrocities.

Officials from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International who reviewed the library of horrors assembled in the ABC News investigation said it is rare to see so much visual evidence of human rights abuses.

“Usually when forces commit such crimes they try to hide them. What we are seeing here is a brazen, proud display of these terrible crimes,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East Executive Director at Human Rights Watch, said in an interview as she and the group’s lead investigator in Iraq, Erin Evers, surveyed the carnage.

ABC News came upon the first such images last September, when a reporter following personal Instagram accounts of Iraqi counter-terrorism troops spotted a video of a handcuffed prisoner shot in the head by a man in camouflage — which more than 600 users “liked.” The English and Arabic captions by a self-identified member of the Iraqi security forces said, “We have arrested this terrorist yesterday and we killed him after completion of interrogation.”

A separate photo posted in September showed the severed head of a long-haired and bearded alleged ISIS fighter lashed to the grill of a U.S.-donated Humvee bearing an Iraqi Army license plate. A second related photo eventually surfaced of what appeared to be an Iraqi Army soldier holding up the same severed head next to the gun truck. Desecration of war dead and extrajudicial killings are violations of the Geneva Conventions.

“You don’t behead someone and place their head on the front of your Humvee. That’s unacceptable — because it’s a war crime. And it’s an atrocity,” retired U.S. Army Special Forces Lt. Col. James Gavrilis told ABC News.

As a senior officer in 5th Special Forces Group in Iraq a decade ago, Gavrilis was deeply involved in counterinsurgency during the U.S. war and creating Iraqi counter-terrorism units from Special Forces and special police teams.

“I think it’s horrible. I think this really shows a failure of our policy for Iraq,” Gavrilis said, confirming that the imagery looked authentic and too plentiful online to be faked.

“Both sides are committing war crimes,” he said. “This is widespread, it’s endemic.”


[A man wearing a uniform with a patch that appears to be from the Emergency Response Brigade steps on two severed heads in a photo posted on Instagram.]

In another video posted online in October, two unarmed civilians are shot to death after being questioned, and denying, whether they were part of ISIS. When the camera pans to one man with a gun, he appears to be wearing a uniform and shoulder patch of Iraqi Special Forces, with Iraqi Army officers also nearby observing the atrocity.

Fighters who appear to be a mix of militia and army appearing in a separate 78-second video circulating in January — including some wearing Iraqi flags and Iraqi Special Forces patches — take pictures of a captured teenaged boy who appears terrified. “Didn’t you just shoot?” demands one fighter. The handcuffed boy, shoved to the ground, insists, “No, no, I did not shoot a single bullet.”

The men argue over whether to kill him, some asking the others to calm down, but they shoot him to death anyway as the sound of mortars and gunfire nearby punctuate the crime. “This is to avenge the martyrs,” one man says.

“I’ve seen all sorts of horrible things over the years… but I have never seen anything this bad in my life,” said Ali Khedery, an American former diplomat in Baghdad who advised five U.S. ambassadors in the Iraqi capital and three generals overseeing Middle East operations at U.S. Central Command.

Khedery recently wrote in Foreign Policy about another video, where a man was beaten and machine gunned to death by a gang who appeared to be both militias and Iraqi Special Forces with U.S.-donated M4A1 rifles. He said the video slaughter of the Iraqis accused by their killers of smuggling weapons for ISIS was far worse, because Iraqi government troops were present.

“It was the shooting of unarmed men. This is a U.S.-backed government. They carried U.S. weapons,” he said.

U.S. and Iraqi authorities say they have been working to fully authenticate the content posted online on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter connected to the Iraqi military. The uniforms and insignia of Iraqi Special Operations Forces under the command of Baghdad’s Counter-Terrorism Forces as well as special police and Emergency Response units from the Ministry of the Interior are clearly identifiable in many of the photos and videos, which include many severed heads and corpses dragged behind humvees.

Gen. Maan, the Iraqi government spokesperson, claimed the patches identifying Iraqi military units could be bought on Iraqi streets and that the gruesome images could be a clever ploy by ISIS to discredit the Iraqi military.


[The patches worn by the men in one of the photos posted to Instagram appear to match the patches of the Iraqi Emergency Response Brigade (E.R.B.), a counter-terrorism unit within the Ministry of Interior.]

“It does not look like ISIS propaganda at all,” Gavrilis said. “I don’t know how we could support them, if they are spearheading a lot on the front lines alongside these militias, and if they are conducting these kinds of atrocities as well… These Shi’a militias are just as barbaric as ISIS.”

Some militias take pride in their atrocities and appear to often be calling the shots on the battlefield, not the government forces, BloombergView columnist Eli Lake found when he recently visited the front lines north of Baghdad.

Officials said that the State Department’s human rights observers and military intelligence had viewed examples of Iraqi Security Forces posting atrocities on personal social media for over a year. But one knowledgeable U.S. official said that since ABC News began asking about the many disturbing images last fall, the atrocities allegations against Iraq’s fighting forces have grown “more severe” and the “very concerning” allegations are being raised at high levels in Baghdad.

The Pentagon spokesperson told ABC News the U.S. military has “discussed with Iraqi leaders the paramount importance of maintaining high standards of conduct and protecting civilian populations of all sects.”

“The actions of a small minority, if left unchecked, could do serious harm to the efforts of the Iraqi government,” the spokesperson said.

With several thousand American troops back in Iraq as trainers, the alleged atrocities by Iraqi troops puts U.S. military commanders in the unenviable position of having to sort out which units are clean or dirty, Gavrilis said.


[The severed head of an alleged ISIS fighter is being held up by a desert camouflage-uniformed individual in front of a Humvee in this image uploaded to Instagram. Patches on his uniform match those often worn by the Iraqi Army.]

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights last month released a report on Iraq that both condemned ISIS for its campaign of killings verging on genocide, but also criticized Iraqi Security Forces for military operations that “which may have amounted to war crimes.”

Last March, the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor also issued its own damning report on Iraq, stating that government officials under then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki committed “extrajudicial killings” — meaning battlefield executions of ISIS suspects and killing individuals in custody without trial.

“Ministry of Interior officials tortured detainees to death, according to reports from multiple government officials and human rights organizations,” read the annual report. The Bureau explicitly fingered the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Forces and Interior Ministry’s special police units — which the U.S. established, trained and armed from 2003-2011, and whose troops are seen in many of the atrocities images.

But the State report was issued before the U.S. began airstrikes in Iraq last August to assist security forces in successfully retaking the Mosul Dam, and long before President Obama deployed thousands of American infantrymen, special operations forces and enablers back into Iraq beginning last fall to assist the Iraqis in fighting ISIS. A new report is expected soon, officials said.

Now that the alleged war crimes of the U.S.-backed forces have become public, the Iraqi spokesman stressed that his government will not tolerate “bad behavior.”

Using the Arabic slang for ISIS, Gen. Maan said, “We do not allow any person to be a savage like Daesh.”

ABC News’ Divya Kumar, Cho Park, Rhonda Schwartz, Randy Kreider and Lee Ferran contributed to this report.

[A black uniformed individual holds the severed head of a purported Saudi ISIS fighter while standing on top of a black-painted Humvee. In the background, a man wears two patches signifying the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s Emergency Response Brigade.]

source: http://abcnews.go.com/International/dirty-brigades-us-trained-iraqi-forces-investigated-war/story?id=29193253

Cui bono?

 

 


Remember, politics is a contact sport, like hockey, so please feel free to add quick contributions, observations and relevant information as a comment below!

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#Harper’s War(s): Ten + Reasons to Vote Against the Use of Military Force #cdnpoli #GPC #NDP #LPC #CPC

With the hyper-accelerations and unprecedented fear-mongering campaign being waged upon “We the People” of Canada and our “Allies” with regards to the “terrorist” threat posed by IS/ISIL/ISIS. With the recent tragic friendly-fire death of a Canadian soldier, the reports that an Agent employed by a Canadian intelligence organization was involved in the delivery of the 3 U.K. schoolgirls into Syria and the media blackout by the Canadian media conglomerates regarding the very important Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing titled “The President’s Request for Authorization to Use Force Against ISIS: Military and Diplomatic Efforts” (AUMF), we feel it is necessary to republish an open letter by former U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich Members of Congress detailing 10 reasons to vote against the use of military force.

The reason this is of utmost importance is that the Harper Regime is hell-bent on furthering our military intervention and has thus far been less than transparent, actually rather deceptive and opaque, regarding our role in Iraq/Syria and beyond while the U.S. is proposing an initial 3 year open ended commitment. According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s proposed resolution authorizing the use of military force against the Islamic State contains no geographic limitations. The proposal allows attacks on “associated persons or forces” or any “closely related successor entity” to IS/ISIL/ISIS that is at war with the United States or its partners.

Yes, this is the very same Dennis Kucinich that announced the raising of the Al Qaeda flag over the courthouse in Benghazi in Libya back in November 2011 after the “successful liberation” of Libya by NATO air power. Oddly enough, the Canadian military predicted Libya would descend into civil war and Top Pentagon officials distrusted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2011 march to war in Libya as well.

We may also presume why John Baird has decided to “quit” the game of geo-poltics, maybe there was too much blood on his hands and realized that the fix is in within the Harper Regime. Now this is extremely problematic considering the rush by the war-mongering Harper Regime to ram Bill C-51 through and the implications of these combined issues. Within a few days we have several “Allies” that are publicly stating views that counter the narrative of not only the Harper Regime, but our so called “free and independent” media conglomerates. Unlike the coordinated one-sided Ukraine/Russia propaganda campaign, this poses such an interesting and convoluted conundrum that even the AP and Reuters can’t seem to deliver a straight storyline. This is presumably, much like the dueling Israel/Iran narrative, due to the fact that their dueling narratives reach a much broader audience on both sides of the false left/right paradigm with the single solid connection that there are a small group of fear-mongering war-profiteering NeoCons within both “official” political Parties, whether they may be Liberal/Democrats or Conservative/Republicans. Below this open letter, we will embed the above mentioned video uploaded by former U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich along with another article titled “How Governments Twist Terrorism” since there seems to be no clear “definition” being presented by the Harper Regime with regards to Bill C-51 and the Harper Regime members of the Committee seem to have a serious problem asking questions of the witnesses and instead are presenting monologs to the witnesses.


Ten Reasons to Vote Against the Use of Military Force

Dear Colleague,

I was honored to serve in Congress for 16 years. During that time I provided information and helped to create debates over U.S. policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other nations, defending the Article I, Section 8 responsibilities of Congress on matters of war and peace. Those of you who know me are aware that I avoid partisanship. I have challenged Republican and Democratic administrations alike.

Congress rightfully lacks confidence in this administration, given its bungling of a war against Libya and its general mishandling of international policy.

Why would Congress, as a co-equal branch of government, be so ready to give up its constitutional power to this president with an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), which represents a wholesale appropriation of war power?

This could be one of the most important votes you will ever cast, so I want to share with you, collegially, information that I hope will be of use in your deliberations.

I present some thoughts for your consideration as you enter into a momentous, new debate over the authorization of military force, this time against the Islamic State.

This could be one of the most important votes you will ever cast, so I want to share with you, collegially, information that I hope will be of use in your deliberations.

Here are 10 reasons why Congress should not grant the president authority to use military force against the Islamic State, based on fact, consequences and the U.S. Constitution:

  1.  ISIS is not a threat to the U.S. homeland.

Writing in The American Conservative, Senior Editor Daniel Larison points out that the U.S. is taking on an unnecessary risk:

“… the U.S. mistakenly volunteers to address a regional security problem that poses no real threat to America, [while] its regional partners do as little as they can get away with, and in some cases stop doing even that in order to get the U.S. to take additional risks on their behalf.”

If the U.S. enters the fray, of course, regional partners will let us do the fighting.

There is no credible information available that indicates ISIS is a direct threat to the U.S. According to a Wall Street Journal article, “Lawmakers Told Islamic State Isn’t Terror Threat on U.S. Soil,” Congress has already been advised by U.S. counterterrorism officials that ISIS is not a threat to the U.S. homeland. Additionally, no new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has been produced alleging ISIS is a direct threat to America. However, an all-out U.S. war against ISIS could expose America to unnecessary threats, without any national security benefits.

  1. The AUMF disingenuously calls for a “limited” war, while it is written to guarantee a permanent war, thus nullifying the power of the people’s representatives in Congress.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution were vitally concerned with the separation of powers, especially when it came to war. The power to declare war is vested in the Congress, in Article I, Section 8. The AUMF is written to enable the administration to conduct war, unilaterally, against any group, anywhere, at any time, over a period of three years, which opposing combatants will ignore.

If the administration succeeds in gaining approval for this particular AUMF, it will not have to return to Congress for approval as it takes its war from nation to nation. This is clearly contrary to the intent of the founders. It weakens Congress’ constitutional power (checks and balances) and undermines the Constitution.

  1. The AUMF is a blank check and a fiscal black hole.

Since the AUMF sets the stage for a worldwide conflict, the cost of action will run into the hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars, particularly if ground troops are involved in a war with religious overtones that go back 14 centuries. This war will inevitably require an emergency wartime supplemental appropriation and massive borrowing, adding to the $16 trillion U.S. deficit and weakening the U.S. economy internally while providing great wealth to war profiteers who are already draining America’s wealth.

  1. Regional armies appear to be rising to their own defense; U.S. presence will escalate war.

At this very moment ISIS is finally under pressure from Iraqi forces and pro-government militias, without U.S. boots on the ground. Additionally, ISIS is said to be experiencing internal pressures and conflicts. The Washington Post points out: “The Islamic State is battling major offensives waged on at least three fronts — by Kurds in northern Syria, Kurds in northern Iraq and the combined force of Iraqi army and Shiite militia fighters advancing on the central Iraqi city of Tikrit.”

“…the risks of escalation are enormous. The biggest proponent of an American invasion is the Islamic State itself. The provocative videos, in which a black-hooded executioner addresses President Obama by name, are clearly made to draw America into the fight. An [U.S.] invasion would be a huge propaganda victory for jihadists worldwide … they all believe that the United States wants to embark on a modern-day Crusade and kill Muslims.” — Graeme Wood in the Atlantic Magazine, March 2015.

ISIS desperately needs to draw the U.S. in, to provide a rallying cry “against the foreign invader.” Why should America put our troops in harm’s way to provide this terrorist organization with new life, especially since armies in the region are stepping up to take the fight to ISIS?

In the AUMF, the president wants language that provides for U.S. ground forces to have “flexibility.” Read: “Boots on the ground!” If Congress passes the AUMF, it will have no say in the conduct of this war, except for appropriations.

  1. The U.S. could get drawn into a worldwide religious war.

President Obama says, “We are not at war against Islam.” Congressional approval of the president’s request for the AUMF against the Islamic State will change that quickly. The AUMF will become a powerful recruiting tool for ISIS. How else will it be interpreted abroad, other than America at war with Islam? The U.S. could blunder into a complex, multidimensional conflict with explicit religious overtones, no matter what the president says.

ISIS wants to draw the U.S. into a religious war, to secure its role as the self-proclaimed defender of Islam against crusading foreign invaders.

Jihadis, anticipating a great war for Islam, have streamed into the region from all over the world to join ISIS ranks. An estimated 20,000 fighters from 90 nations have converged to fight alongside ISIS.

“This is a fight the Islamic State should be denied. And yet we should have learned that it is a bad idea to get into a ground war with people whose idea of victory is martyrdom.” — Richard Cohen in the Washington Post, Feb. 23, 2015.

  1. ISIS and Al Qaeda are divided. US re-entry into war could unite them.

ISIS and Al Qaeda are in a deep rift. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri differ on strategy, tactics, methods, religious interpretations and on Baghdadi’s establishment of a caliphate.

An all-out U.S. military attack against ISIS will force Al Qaeda into an alliance it does not want, to join ISIS in a “fight against Western invaders,” creating a united front much stronger and more deadly to America and her allies.

  1. A Solution: Follow ISIS’ money, and shut it down.

Where is ISIS getting its money? Up to 100,000 ISIS fighters are funded by Gulf State donors, identified in the past as being from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. Fully equipping and providing for one modern combat-ready soldier can cost $850,000 to $1,000,000 a year. ISIS’ army could be gaining $85 billion to $100 billion a year from various sources. We can either commit the U.S. military to another war, and the U.S. to further risk of impending attacks through the genesis of a new crusade, or we can fight this threat with intelligent power and high technology.

The administration must identify the specific sources of ISIS’ money, the individuals, the nations and the means of transfer, and shut them all down. It must sanction countries and individuals, tie up their bank accounts and commercial activities, freeze their assets and cancel their credit cards. Send platoons of accountants from the Treasury Department and the IRS into the fray, not platoons of U.S. soldiers. The U.S. must track oil sales, sales of antiquities and other valuables. Anyone involved in any transactions of any kind with ISIS must be identified and sanctioned.

  1. Solution: Cyber response.

The U.S. has the ability to identify and disrupt terror networks using digital technology. The CIA, in a major reorganization, has just created a fifth directorate, the Directorate of Digital Innovation, in recognition that intelligent power means using the most technologically advanced tools available. For its part, the NSA, which has admitted gaps, is also strengthening its information collecting. If, as Clausewitz said, “War is the continuation of politics by other means,” in the 21st century we  have other means to avoid a “boots on the ground” shooting war.

  1. Endless wars enable Washington to ignore a domestic agenda.

It has been said that others attack us in order to destroy the way we live. Since 9/11, our own government has been responsible for shredding the Constitution through wars of choice and the imposition of a national security state with a permanent state of emergency.

The U.S. now spends about $1 trillion a year to “defend” America using lethal means. Yet the more money we spend, the greater the peril. Why? Meanwhile, at home, America’s middle class is falling apart, wages and benefits have dropped, retirement savings have vanished and Wall Street and war profiteers clean up. Americans, punished through unwarranted, massive surveillance, have forfeited constitutional rights and civil liberties. The right to privacy, which is protected by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, has been destroyed in the name of security.

  1. The time has come for the U.S. to review the effects of interventionism.

ISIS grew out of U.S. interventions. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have disintegrated into chaos and violence. The price tag has been extraordinary in loss of human life and the cost of trillions of dollars. Bad judgments, misinformation and even lies have caused our nation to intervene, inspiring radical elements, stoking the fires of nationalism and engendering religious conflict. A great price has been paid and continues to be paid by our troops and their families.

This is the time for Congress and the administration to rethink the failed national security strategy, the failed doctrine of intervention, the failed “right to protect” doctrine and the abominable intrusion into the private lives of Americans.

Congress must refuse to give up its constitutional power under Article I, Section 8 and hold the executive branch in check on matters of war. It should defeat the AUMF and stop the administration from spreading war around the world.

Congress has a new opportunity to get control of runaway spending and keep America strong without wasting resources. In my early years in Congress, I was shocked to learn, from the inspector general to the Department of Defense, that DOD had over $1 trillion in accounts that could not be reconciled. According to the GAO, the Army “lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch units.” The Constitution, Article I, Section 9, requires an accounting. With the national security budget at $1 trillion annually, and trillions spent for wars of choice, and a trillion unaccounted for, and countless billions in cost overruns, the question is who is defending the taxpayers?

The Authorization for the Use of Military Force provides a new opportunity for a much-needed debate over the direction of America, our priorities and the best way to protect our nation from harm. Thank you for considering my views.

Respectfully,

Dennis Kucinich
Member of Congress 1997 – 2013

source: http://www.kucinich.com/?_escaped_fragment_=10-Reasons-to-Vote-Against-the-Use-of-Military-Force/c1z12/5500a8330cf27b8ab26b528e
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/03/11/open-letter-to-members-congress-about-authorization-to-use-military-force/


Uploaded on Nov 2, 2011

Hi, Congressman Dennis Kucinich here. I just got off the phone with a very well-known talk show host from Cleveland, Mike Trivisonno, who told me about calls that he is getting from people who are concerned that there is an Al Qaeda flag flying over the courthouse in Benghazi in Libya. It was put there by the same group that we helped to oust the Gaddafi regime.

What is going on in America? On the one hand, we have soldiers dying in Afghanistan fighting Al Qaeda. On the other hand, we just helped a group of people take over Libya and the Al Qaeda flag is flying over their capital city headquarters.

What are we doing? It is time for America to get its story and its priorities straight about what we stand for as a nation. Its time to get out of all these wars and all of these conflicts where we think we can play both sides against the middle and it usually ends up with U.S. soldiers getting killed.

Its time to bring our troops home and take care of things here at home. As we approach Veteran’s Day 2011, we should really honor those who serve by having a foreign policy that is straight. That speaks directly to the concerns of the American people. That is mindful of the fact that we can’t tell the whole world what to do and we have an obligation to get our own house in order here at home and put people back to work.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0FQzhWy0VI


How Governments Twist Terrorism
By Philip Giraldi | March 12, 2015

States craft terror definitions and designations to absolve themselves and satisfy their constituencies.

The Washington Post reports that “terrorism trend lines are ‘worse than at any other point in history.’” But what is terrorism? It has frequently been pointed out that “terrorism” is a tactic, not an actual physical adversary, but it is less often noted that a simple definition of what constitutes terrorism is hardly universally accepted, while the designation itself is essentially political. The glib assertion that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter fails to capture the distinction’s consequences as the terror label itself increasingly comes with a number of legal and practical liabilities attached. Describing an organization as terroristic in order to discredit it has itself become a tactic, and one that sometimes has only limited connections to what the group in question actually believes or does.

The bone of contention in defining terrorism is where to draw the line in terms of the use of violence in furtherance of a political objective. In practice, it is generally accepted that state players who employ violence do so within a social framework that confers legitimacy, while nonstate players who use political violence are ipso facto terrorists, or at least susceptible to being tagged with that label, which confers upon them both illegitimacy and a particularly abhorrent criminality. But some on the receiving end of such a Manichean distinction object, noting that the laws defining terror are themselves drawn up by the governments and international organizations, which inevitably give themselves a pass in terms of their own potential liability. They would argue that established regimes will inevitably conspire to label their enemies terrorists to marginalize both resistance movements and internal dissent in such a way as to diminish the credibility of the groups that are so targeted. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently been doing precisely that, and one might reasonably argue that government use of violence is often in practice indistinguishable from the actions of nonstate players.

Some common dictionary definitions of terrorism include engaging in “the systematic use of terror,” surely an indication of the inscrutability of an issue when the word must be used to define itself. The United Nations has been unsuccessfully negotiating a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism since 2002 that would define terror as causing death or serious injury or destroying or damaging public or private property “to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.”   The United States Federal criminal code uses similar language, as does the Patriot Act, with the key elements being the use of violence or physical destruction to “intimidate or coerce” a civilian population or an existing government.

Governments are aware of what can be accomplished by invoking the word “terrorism.” The diplomacy-averse United States frequently hides behind the label, as it is prohibited by law from negotiating with groups so-labeled, and thereby avoids having to confront the possible legitimacy of what they represent. And it also justifies a uniformly violent response, which is invariably described as self-defense.

Fourteen years ago the “global war on terror” was used to justify wholesale American intervention in predominantly Muslim countries. A number of European countries, including France and Britain, have followed the example of the two Patriot Acts by introducing antiterrorism legislation that provides special police and intelligence service authorities that limit normal legal protections in terrorism cases. The broadly written laws have largely rendered the authorities immune from either regulation or prosecution, and governments in the West have generally been reluctant to allow any third-party inquiries into the related behavior of military and police forces. In the United States the state secret privilege, originally intended to prohibit the exposure of classified information in court, has been used to completely derail judicial proceedings relating to offenses allegedly committed by the government in terrorism cases.

And critics of the essentially hypocritical double standard used in defining terrorism certainly have a point. One might reasonably argue that the use of drones, in which “signature” targets are killed because they match a profile, fits comfortably within the definition of terrorism. During 2003-4, American Army and Marine forces in Fallujah sometimes shelled and bombed targets in the city indiscriminately and were certainly responsible for hundreds of civilian deaths. The Israeli Defense Forces killed thousands of civilians in two incursions into Gaza as well as several attacks on Lebanon. There was no declaration of war to justify the use of armed force in either case, and independent observers noted that many of the civilian casualties could have been avoided, normally a defining factor that makes an incident terror. Both Israel and the United States turned the tables on the situation by referring to their opponents and victims as “terrorists.” There has been no accountability for the deaths because it was two governments that carried out the killing.

In a world seemingly obsessed with terrorism it was inevitable that something like an anti-terrorism industry would grow dramatically. Every television and radio network has its own stable of pundits who pontificate on every violent incident, and there also are well-compensated freelancers, who describe themselves as experts, such as Evan Kohlmann and Steve Emerson. Emerson recently had to apologize after claiming that Birmingham, England had a number of no-go areas controlled by local Muslim extremists.

It should be no surprise that lawyers have now also gotten into the game. In 1996 Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which allows victims of terrorism to file civil suits in federal and state courts against sponsors or supporters of terrorism. Once you have a group or individual labeled as terrorist, or providing assistance to terrorists, there are a number of options you can pursue. The burgeoning antiterrorism industry appears to be in some ways linked to the increasing employment of Lawfare, which uses the legal system to wage war by alternative means, making it possible to obtain a favorable judgment and damages from the assets of a recognized terrorist organization. Such litigation benefits from favorable legislation in the United States that makes terrorism a worldwide crime subject to U.S. judicial review.

Recent court cases have involved both states that allegedly sponsor terrorism or actual organizations that are now parts of governments that either currently or at one time were perceived to be terrorists. Many of the groups targeted are enemies of Israel, and the Israeli Lawfare center Shurat HaDin is most active in pursuing such litigation. In a recent case in New York City, the Palestinian Authority was successfully sued by a group of Israelis and Americans over terrorist attacks that took place in Israel in 2002-4. If the appeal fails, the Palestinian Authority will be required to pay $1 billion in damages and will be bankrupted, with negative consequences for the United States, which has been seeking to create a viable government on the West Bank.

The U.S. Department of State identifies four countries as state sponsors of terrorism, making them prime targets for sanctions and other legal action. They are Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran. Cuba is an anomaly as it has not threatened anyone in decades but remains on the list due to the deep passions within America’s politically powerful Cuban Lobby. Sudan likewise should not be so designated, as even the U.S. government admits that it is cooperative on terrorism issues.

This leaves Syria and Iran, both of which are regarded as state sponsors of terrorism even though both are themselves victims of terrorist attacks carried out by groups supported by the United States. They are on the list because they harbor or cooperate with Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. All three groups consider themselves to be resistance movements against the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, but Israel regards all three as terrorists, a view shared by the United States on the state department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list. That viewpoint is not necessarily shared by many European governments, which regard the organizations as having evolved into legitimate political parties. There are also thousands of individuals and groups considered to be terroristic or criminal, collected by the U.S. Department of Justice on its Special Designated Nationals List. Individuals and organizations on the list have their assets blocked and are subject to other punitive action by the United States government.

Being designated by the Department of the Treasury or state does not necessarily mean that someone or some organization was actually involved in terrorism. The Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic charity, was declared a terrorist organization in 2001. Its officers were convicted and imprisoned in a 2008 trial because the Treasury Department determined ex post facto that it had given money to Hamas before that group was itself named as a terrorist organization.

Inclusion on the State or Treasury lists can mean that there is solid evidence of wrongdoing, but it can also represent mere insinuations or a strong desire to see a group singled out for punishment. In any event, once a group or person is designated for a list, it is difficult to get off. Organizations that have not engaged in terrorist activity for many years remain on the list while other groups that are active escape censure. Recently, the Mujaheddin e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian terrorist group that killed six Americans in the 1970s, was removed from the list under political pressure from Congress and the media. Again, Israel was involved. MEK is an enemy of the current government in Tehran and is itself an important component of the Israeli intelligence effort against Iran, having been involved in the fabrication of information suggesting that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program as well as participating in the assassinations of Tehran’s scientists.

So what terrorism actually consists of very much depends on one’s perspective, rendering the word itself largely meaningless. But those who are listed as terrorists experience real consequences even accepting that the designation is both selectively applied and politicized. The United States and Israel in particular use the terrorism label to demonize opponents, drum up fear, and generate popular support for security policies that might otherwise be unpalatable. They also justify their own behavior by asserting that they occupy the moral high ground in the defense of the world against terror, a claim that certainly should be regarded with considerable skepticism.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-governments-twist-terrorism/

 

 


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#Harper’s War(s): #Canada vs #C51 vs #CSIS vs #RCMP – #cdnpoli #pnpcbc

In our previous brief summary,  The Rise of the #NeoBolsheviks aka #NeoCons, we touched upon the various similarities between the Harper Regime and the Bolsheviks counter-revolution that violently seized power in Russia in 1917. For this brief summary we will pose a few questions and issues that seem to be missing from the current discourse, dissemination, conversation, reporting and debate about Bill C-51.

When will the Opposition and those opposed to the Orwellian and dystopian Bill C-51 mobilize in mass protests and how long will they remain committed?

Before we delve into the content, or lack thereof, we feel it is necessary to question the “Bread and Circuses” methods that are being utilized to “frame and mandate” the debate via the MSM and social media. The easiest way to present this is by utilizing our own CBC News coverage. At a later date we hop to present a summary that compiles the result of our in-depth analysis into how the CBC News and especially CBC’s Power and Politics, and to a lesser degree the Exchange, are nothing more than well organized and scripted “Limited Hangouts” that are engaging in a full spectrum “Gaslighting” operation against the citizenry that is being guided directly via the PMO. Not only are the hosts actively engaged but the supporting staff and reporters, guests, panelists, lobbyists and free-lance journalists are as well. This does nothing but cast a broad cloud of suspicion and call into question their own ethics and legitimacy. This harms our economy, society, peace, safety and security more than anything and everything else combined.

The short and simple overview is that the primary mandate is one that completely reinforces the PMO scripts and message about the geo-political and economic environment with a shrewd blend of “Yellow Journalism” and a tightly “Controlled Opposition” counter narrative when necessary, if at all. To observe this one only needs to inspect the language that is crafted within their coverage and articles and how “Sockpuppets” and carefully placed commentary divert the comments sections and social media discussions.

For the above to be addressed, we propose a few remedies that may open the debate and conversion. In our opinion, the collective Opposition and concerned backbenchers must, on behalf of all Canadians, demand a formal, immediate, open and transparent inquiry into how the PMO is utilizing tax-payer resources to contaminate and gaslight discussion and comment threads.

  1. Who are those being employed and who is actually accountable for the scripts and narrative?
  2. What are the costs vs benefits and implications vs opposition associated with these activities and what amount of resources are being utilized?
  3. When will there be an initial investigation and/or formal inquiry.
  4. Where are the message control operatives operating from, where are they being deployed?
  5. Why is there no public and/or Parliamentary scrutiny and/or oversight and why has this issue been allowed to fly under the radar for so long?
  6. How much is this actually costing, how can these practices be acceptable to anyone that is not in power and how will the results of any investigation be presented?

Moving forward to the Bill C-51 “Bread and Circuses” debate, keeping in mind that this is directly related and overlaps several narratives that converge the economy and security amongst others. These narratives are in full view and converging rather rapidly. We need to point out that this is by design and being controlled by a relatively small few that have the controlling stake within the Harper Regime itself, the segment that is completely protected from the implications and/or ramifications of Bill C-51 for various reasons.

Bill C-51, like all of the previous Omnibus Bills, many of which we have still not felt the ramifications of, is an extremely opaque, ill-conceived, bloated and convoluted piece of oppression. Just observe the smugness, arrogance, and self-absurdness of the Harper Regime and their Loyalists.

  1. Who ultimately controls the fear-mongering narrative surrounding Bill C-51 and who ultimately benefits other than the Harper Regime, their special interest lobbies and their Loyalists?
  2. What measures are in place to assure the legality the fear-mongering scripts, talking points, narrative and spin surrounding Bill C-51 by the Harper Regime, their special interest lobbies and their Loyalists?
  3. When will the illegal terror propaganda being disseminated and propagated, fear-mongering scripts, talking points, narrative and spin surrounding Bill C-51 by the Harper Regime, their special interest lobbies and their Loyalists be investigated and prosecuted?
  4. Where are the fear-mongering scripts, talking points, narrative and spin surrounding Bill C-51 by the Harper Regime, their special interest lobbies and their Loyalists being organized and are they legal?
  5. Why are the scripts, talking points, narrative and spin by the Harper Regime, their special interest lobbies and their Loyalists surrounding Bill C-51 being endlessly regurgitated and why have the Opposition not formed, fostered, nutured and/or encouraged protests?
  6. How are the the fear-mongering scripts, talking points, narrative and spin surrounding Bill C-51 being addressed and countered?

To move forward a bit, we also need to open the debate about expanding the powers of CSIS, especially intervention strategies, when they conflict with the RCMP and/or contaminate and/or corrupt active investigations by other law enforcement agencies. We know there are serious flaws with the U.S. with regards to the conflicting agendas of the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. When one or more agencies are directing resources in what amounts to turf wars, which take precedence and who reimburses the resources that were wasted.

We already have serious backlogs and deficiencies within our own systems and entities. The most troubling stem from the lack of adequate funding, manpower and resources across the board. These deficiencies have bogged down investigation, burdened the courts and crated an extremely insecure environment. Considering the lack of security within the various Government controlled Ministerial databases and web portals, one must ponder how these can be adequately addressed without proper funding and oversight. In short, the entire “system” is insecure and that places all Canadians at risk.

  1. Who will assure that the activities and expanded powers being proposed do not encourage a “spy vs spy” scenario playing out and who will assure the integrity of the investigations?
  2. What provision will be utilized to assure that there are absolutely no conflicts of interest between CSIS interventions and RCMP investigations along with covert foreign intelligence operatives/agencies operations and what steps are being taken to assure that the expansive inter-Ministerial data sharing system is secured and invulnerable to exploits and back door attacks?
  3. When will the public be allowed to address their concerns about the ramifications of entrapment and dragnet surveillance?
  4. Where are the provisions that address the activities of foreign intelligence operatives and agencies that are actively conducting their own independent operations in Canada?
  5. Why is the Harper Regime entitled to be given a blank check free pass to directly and indirectly seize complete control of Canada and the lives of Canadians at home and abroad?
  6. How can CSIS and the RCMP assure Canadians that rogue agents within their own ranks or the ranks of Government are identified and eliminated as potential threats to our collective safety and security?

In addition to the above questions and concerns we need to be very mindful of the potential long term effects regarding Bill C-51 especially the budgetary implications. We presume that, based upon the previous failed budgets, that none of the programs and/or operations will be allocated adequately. This presumption is based upon several key components and the inadequate funding that are associated with the unbroken string of failed budgets by the Harper Regime and taking into consideration that the across the board austerity cuts have yet to actually fully be realized nor have they borne any positive results.

We realize that Bill C-51 is the most opaque, broad sweeping, dangerous and un-democratic Trojan Horse legislation ever proposed by the Harper Regime. We also realize that the language about “economic” security is even more opaque. What we take great issue with is the way in which the likes of the oppressive Regimes of Egypt, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE are glorified as proponents of liberty, freedom, democracy, peace, safety, security and prosperity with regards to the funding of ongoing terrorist activities in Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa, while other less oppressive regimes are demonized, targeted and sanctioned.

Contrary to the published punditry, we realize that while the Harper Regime insists that the provisions contained within Bill C-51 is not a treat to legitimate forms of dissent and/or protests, past experiences and practices employing agent provocateurs by policing agents at the Montebello SPP Summit in 2007, the kettling, arrests and mass detention of “legal” protesters at the Toronto G8/G20 while suspected agent provocateurs went unattained, the various attacks and anti-protest legislation passed nationwide, but specifically against Quebec students and the storm trooping of the Occupy protests.

In other words, since the foreign funded bloodless coup d’état by Stephen Harper and his Reform/Alliance cabal over the past decade that brought them to power, virtually all forms of opposition, legitimate dissent and legal protests have either been co-opted, infiltrated by agent provocateurs, faced threats and intimidation, been financially sanctioned, silenced, censored, slandered and discredited.

Most of all and probably of utmost importance, protests to the actions and inactions of the Harper Regime have been either declared illegal, disallowed and/or severely limited by way of legislation and/or by-laws.

If we were to foresee “who” Bill C-51 is targeting. Based upon the militarism and foreign adventurism trend by the Harper Regime and their failed attempts to become actively involved and deploy forces into the 2003 GW Bush fraudulent WMD War upon Iraq that was blocked by “We the People”, anti-war advocates, activists and protesters are the intended targets. All of the others that are already on Harper’s Hit List are just gravy on the potatoes and frosting on the cake.

Now, keeping in mind that the Harper Regime actually sent officials to stand by those protesters at the Ukrainian Maidan and supported, advocated and encouraged the overthrow of an corrupt albeit elected Regime, not to mention their active involvement into the affairs of Libya and Syria, both of which are mired in foreign funded civil wars, that directly fostered the foreign funded “barbaric terrorists” of today, the only real questions that remain are really simple:

  1. Who benefits from the Harper Regime’s opaque agenda and mandate?
  2. What is the true agenda the Harper Regime’s Loyalist and supporters?
  3. Where is this mass suppression and surveillance data accumulation by the the Harper Regime ultimately headed?
  4. When will the will of “We the People” be heard and acknowledged by the Harper Regime?
  5. Why does the Harper Regime fear and refuse to address questions and concerns?
  6. How far will the Harper Regime go in their quest of full spectrum domination of Canada and Canadians?

Wake up, smell the coffee and face the cold hard facts, this may well be the last time Canadians will ever be able to protest anything that is not sanctioned by the Regime that controls the Parliament and Government of the day.

 

 


Remember, politics is a contact sport, like hockey, so please feel free to add quick contributions, observations and relevant information as a comment below!

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#Harper’s War(s): The Rise of the #NeoBolsheviks aka #NeoCons #cdnpoli #pnpcbc

At certain points in time one must reflect upon the past in order to sort out the present as it trends into the future. In many ways this seems like an impossible task for even the most prolific academics and historians considering history is often typically distorted and “created” based upon past propaganda that contradicts current propaganda efforts. This is why we must go back a bit further in time for comparison to decipher and decode the facts and realities from the fictions and propaganda in order to reconstruct the actual facts and realities. Keep in mind that the shylocks, charlatans and snake-oil salesmen that control the past easily control and rewrite “history” on demand and ultimately control the present and intend to do so well into the future.

We assUme that our “free” and “independent” media plays an unbiased and transparent role in investigating, researching, presenting and publishing evidence based facts. The only constant fact about this assumption is that it is fundamentally flawed. The one simple and glaringly obvious fact is that our “free” and “independent” media presents information in a very hyper sensationalized, biased and opaque manner to gain and retain viewers, followers and subscribers. These distorted facts and opinions are then presented to the general public by our “free” and “independent” media conglomerates to serve the needs and requirements of their own investors, stake-holders and advertisers. In other words, they are “free” and “independent” to publish whatever provides the best return on investment, period. At the present time, as has occurred in the past, if it bleeds, it leads, because fears and wars sell “papers” and allows the ruling Party to fraudulently sell the “justification” loss of freedoms and liberties to an ill-informed populous.

We also, sometimes foolishly, assUme that our “elected” officials play an unbiased and transparent role when in fact they only present the information in an opaque manner that serve the needs of its own investors and ideological supporters in order to get “elected” by the less informed citizenry. In reality our “free” and “independent” media are simply the sell-side tools of the Harper Regime Loyalists that promote globalist intervention schemes. Instead of well researched facts to formulate and base our own opinions, “We the People” are simply given “Bread and Circuses” to distract from reality in order to further an opaque and hidden agenda that is based upon their fabricated realities. Simply put, the “free” and “independent” media are nothing more than the ultimate tools of war, at home and abroad and they are indeed controlled by munitions makers, armaments dealers, war profiteers and financial terrorists along with countless mercenaries, private militias and armies that engage in both quasi-legal, semi-legal and illegal terrorist activities.

The parallels between the past and present are astounding considering the fact that if either of these collective entities fails to remain transparent with the facts, they utterly fail the populous, not only today but well into the future. In other words, just as the victors of the past wrote their own version of history, todays political victors misguided, falsified talking points and regurgitated published propaganda become the historical fact well into the future as they are the only source of information. This may be refereed to as the “Big Lie” theory and is developed and nurtured via “sockpuppets”, “Limited Hangouts” and the “Gaslighting” effect.

While this is noticeable to a great degree across the MSM, to see this in action one only needs to parse the “articles” and comments on our own tax-payer funded CBC News website. Pay close attention to how the timing of the “UPDATES” coordinate with the arrival of sockpuppets and trolls and how the message is massaged on both ends by way of subversive propaganda techniques. On the one hand, there are several half truths presented with subtle innuendos, based upon hearsay, within the “articles” themselves at various points to appear well researched, honest, truthful and factual. On the other hand, important and relevant factual articles that have been investigated and researched, worthy of broad discussion and sharing, typically have the comments feature disabled. Most of the sensationalized and misrepresented articles are from outside sources, primarily Reuters and AP.  These articles work two-fold, first and formost to drive a message that follows the Harper Regimes talking points and spin as close as possible and second as a click-bait distraction that keeps and/or pushes these well spun “articles” into the “Most Viewed” sections in order to drive out the more important topics.

For many the “title” of this entry and the reference to Bolshevism seems comparatively disjointed in the least or sensational at best. It poses a sort of conundrum and prompts further explanation, if at all possible. One may inquire as to how Stephen Harper and the Harper Regime Loyalists could be compared to the Bolsheviks circa 1917? Some might opine, isn’t that a stretch of the imagination? Others may ponder and obsess that Stephen Harper and the Harper Regime Loyalists are more akin to NeoNazis and fascists.

In order to delve a bit further we need to understand the difference between the Russian Revolution in the spring of 1917 that lead to the downfall of the Czar, coincidentally a cousin of the reigning Crown, and the violent Bolshevik Revolution that hijacked it within a few months time as summer transcended into autumn of 1917. One must keep in mind that the initial revolutionaries sough to create an elected Constitutional Republic much like that of France and the United States, not a theocratic oligarchy based upon subjects and/or serfdom led by empty promises and catchy sloganeering.

While the comparison to fascists seems more appropriate and fairly well traveled within the interwebz to many they really are two sides of the same coin that enable technically what amounts to total government control and oppression of all dissenting opinions total government control and oppression of all dissenting opinions. In broad terms, fascists typically aim to protect the interests and well being of the citizenry of the Sovereign State they represent, its own productivity, industries, public services, etc. to support a strong national economy founded upon a high quality education that leads to full employment. On the other side of the coin, bolsheviks prefer global domination and the concept of globalization where the interests of the Sovereign State become secondary to the global investor class of Carpetbaggers and Robber Barons hell bent on global domination at all costs. Sadly, as opposed to a multi-polar “win-win” economy, the uni-polar “zero-sum” economy transfers those costs to the citizenry while the profits are quickly offshored.

This seems like it is impossible since over the past century we have all been indoctrinated into believing a false left/right paradigm exists based upon the battle of the “…ists & …ism’s” factored within. This simple word play allows global investors to play the tried and true leftists vs  rightists meme along with the persistent communists vs fascists theme. This easily allows the ultra small minority investor class, aka: regional/global oligarchs, complete control over the establishment main-stream media and anti-media conglomerates, dis-information aggregators, politicians, economists and politicos in order to “trickle down” and share in the spoils of excess, while the  majority of the populous are burdened with the costs under the collective banner of “capitalists/capitalism” that serve no public or national interests anywhere.

This was fairly evident during the First Cold War propaganda campaign that cemented the sides by way of half truths, misrepresentation and factual manipulation that ultimately relied upon morphing German and Soviet propaganda intermixed with the Allies propaganda to confuse and indoctrinate the masses. The problem and stark reality is that none of the propaganda that was published and propagated in the various regional/global media outlets to “sell” these wars before and during the First and Second World Wars have ever been properly scrutinized and disseminated before it was shrewdly entrenched into the educational system as history class nor corrected before it took root into the collective psyche.

This conundrum has become even more evident now that we have hyper accelerated into the Second Cold War via the external geo-political/military meddling in the EU, the Ukraine, North Africa and the Middle East, not to mention the rest of Africa, Asia and South America. This begs the question of who benefits when the Regime in power actively seeks out, creates and encourages enemies at home and abroad? At what point does one acknowledge that the Regime in power may in fact, be the actual enemy of the State?

If one analyzes and digests the implications of the above, one can easily draw parallels to how the Harper Regime and it’s die hard Loyalists, aka: Reform Party, effectively hijacked a major political party in what amounts to a bloodless coup d’état. These Loyalists have formed under the collective banner of what amounts to fear-mongering, war-mongering NeoConservatives within the U.S. and Canada and draw upon a fraudulent form of flag waving nationalism that encourages misguided ultra-nationalists to, in many cases violently, force their agenda, lest one be labeled as “unpatriotic”, towards furthering extreme economic NeoLiberalism that ignites the flames for extremists and terrorists to thrive at home and abroad.

The inconvenient truth is that no matter how often the Harper Regime Loyalists proclaim and repeat their pre-scripted talking points, nothing is ever either just black or just white, there are an infinite number of shades of gray in-between. The Harper Regime and their Loyalists, under the guise of providing safety and security with their endless “Tough on Crime” rhetoric, undermines the safety and security of now only Canadians, at home and abroad, but the entire global community.

This should sound multiple alarm bells that something is rotten in Ottawa. The only question that really remains is will the collective Opposition, non-Reformers and Conservative backbenchers actually take the hard steps necessary to remove the stench and rot before more damage is done, or will they simply choose to await another fraudulent election shrouded within the fog of war and rhetoric as they did in 2011 when the Harper Regime, its Loyalists and apologists declared that Libya must be bombed back into the stone age and Syria’s Assad Must Go?  The reality is that the previous NeoCon led schemes in Afghanistan and Iraq have led to the destabilization of the region and the more recent NeoCon instigated schemes in Libya, Syria and Ukraine have literally flooded 3 Continents with an endless supply of modern weaponry and uncontrollable chaos.

Do Canadians really “need” the Harper Regime to “protect” Canada from the various “terrorists” they themselves fostered and nurtured into existence? Keep in mind that the Harper Regime’s aggressive interventions in Libya and Syria alone have accounted for millions upon millions of displaced and impoverished families, hundreds of thousands of dead men, women and children of all ages and hundreds of billions of dollars in destroyed infrastructure, not to mention the countless lost historical sites and artifacts.

As a final point to ponder, has anyone really considered that Bill C51 is really designed to silence the anti-war, anti-foreign intervention advocates? Let’s face it, the genie is outta the bottle, Pandora’s box has been ripped wide open as the Harper Regime and their collective war-profiteering “Allies” at home and abroad have seemingly crossed the rubicon,  passed the point of no return, and leading “We the People” into yet another multi-continental World War.

Cui bono?

 


Remember, politics is a contact sport, like hockey, so please feel free to add quick contributions, observations and relevant information as a comment below!

Contact us if you would like to contribute to our collaborative efforts or would like to share/submit articles, data or additional content, feel free to add feedback, additional info, alternative contact details, related links, articles, anonymous submission, etc. as a comment below, via web-form, through social media outlets or email us directly and confidentially at: dumpharper [at] live [dot] ca


This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. and intend its use to be for education and instructional purposes only. Therefore, we believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond “fair use,” you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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#cdnpoli: Meet #Ukraine’s Svoboda Party #GPC #NDP #LPC #CPC

Meet the Svoboda Party

Since we have previously put together a fairly comprehensive summary regarding the Right Sector, we really wanted to grasp an understanding of the popularity that surrounds the Svoboda Party since they seem poised to not only win the May 25th elections, if there are indeed any, but may well gain a majority. The text of this doc below, aside from this brief hastily composed introduction, will be taken directly from the official Svoboda Party website itself along with the link. Upon reviewing their “program” one can see, if you have read the text of the EU/Ukraine Association Agreement, how the two cannot be reconciled for the most part as integration is not within their mandate, it is indeed the opposite. Not only that, but it may surprise you how different the Svoboda Party is compared to any of the political party’s that currently hold any power, could, “legitimacy” or presence in Canada or the US or the UK or the EU for that matter. They are indeed the anti-party that is anti-establishment and anti-status-quo which explains it’s popularity.

This will certainly cause many unforeseen (?) issues for many of the key players involved in the coup d’etat as the contagion will spread and cannot be isolated within the boundaries of Ukraine. That is why this look into the mandate of the Svoboda Party seems very important for many reasons since they already hold so many high level positions. In addition, it seems rather odd that that we are not being informed, due to the escalating anti-Russia and anti-Putin rhetoric and propaganda spins, about the situations occurring in many other regions of Ukraine, including what has been occurring in the so called pro-EU side, considering the new puppet regime was booed by the protesters as they were announced at Maidan.

It is worth noting that Ukraine is a far more diverse nation than is being reported and there are many minority groups and many in Ukraine speak Russian and other languages. They are Ukrainian citizens that are not necessarily pro-Russia or pro-Putin or anti-EU or anti_Ukraine and their voices are being ignored and silenced and are defiantly afraid for their safety and it is all because of the language they speak. They have been essentially used as scapegoats and media fodder by the Western powers and are faced with unimpeded violence at the hands of the Right Sector and other ultra-nationalist white supremacist groups. This in itself should be an indication that the newly installed government is illegitimate considering the State is not protecting them in any way shape or form, period. Quite the contrary, the State is allowing an unimpeded ethnic cleansing campaign to go unchallenged, which is a violation of not only the EU Integration agreement but international laws

We should also take into consideration the sudden and dramatic narrative shift away from Kiev and towards Crimea, that no matter how they spin it, seems to be very peaceful and orderly as it does not seem like any kind of invasion, but a response that was called for by the regional authorities in the semi-autonomous region of Crimea that have rejected the unconstitutional matter in which the previously and democratically elected government structure was dissolved and has scheduled a referendum.


All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” program – “Program for the Protection of Ukrainians”

The main purpose of the All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” is to build a powerful Ukrainian State based on the principles of social and national justice. A state, which takes its rightful place among the leading countries and provides a continuous development of the Ukrainian nation.

In order to achieve this objective, The All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” proposes a clear plan of immediate priority steps.

І. Power and Society: Radical Clean-up and Fair System

1. Conduct lustration of the authorities. Depose from power the agents of KGB and government officials who held executive positions in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

2. Promulgate lists of the agents of the USSR KGB, who were or are in the state service of Ukraine and in other socially important positions.

3. Appoint released after the lustration vacancies to young professionals, graduates of Ukrainian universities, who are selected on the base of principles of patriotism and professionalism and special government administrative courses.

4. Establish mandatory policy for polygraph testing of government employees and candidates for elective office regarding their involvement in corruption, cooperation with foreign intelligence services and having dual citizenship.

5. Adopt a special anti-corruption law to control not only income, but also expenditures of public officials and their family members.

6. Implement as a principle in criminal law that “the greater the position, the higher the responsibility for the crime committed”.

7. Set the graph “nationality” in the passport and birth certificate. Determine the nationality by birth certificate or birth certificate of the parents, considering the requests of the citizen.

8. Implement a criminal penalty for any displays of Ukrainophobia.

9. Submit to public discussion the draft law on proportional representation in the executive branch of Ukrainians and representatives of national minorities.

10. Submit to public discussion the draft of the Constitution, according to which the Ukrainian state is a presidential republic, the President of Ukraine is the head of the state, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the direct head of the Government of Ukraine.

11. Reduce the term in office of the President of Ukraine to four years. (One and the same person can hold the office of President for no more than twice). To be elected as the President, one must be a citizen of Ukraine by birth, has lived in Ukraine for the last 20 years, has reached 35 years of age, who speaks and is fluent in the official language, has no criminal record and has not been brought to responsibility for anti-Ukrainian offenses.

12. Implement a proportional system of elections to the parliament with open lists. To be elected as a deputy, one must have been living in Ukraine for the last 10 years, reached 18 years of age, who speaks and is fluent in the official language, who is competent and has no criminal record.

13. Provide equal access for all electoral stakeholders to the media for their coverage of program provisions, debates and so on. Prohibit paid political advertising in the mass media three months before and throughout the campaign.

14. Oblige candidates for all elective offices to specify in their official biographies the nationality, all previous (from the Soviet era) party and government positions and convictions – repaid and unrepaid. Withdraw the registration of the candidates who concealed biographical facts or deprive deputies of their mandate, if the concealment was found after the election

15. Provide equal participation of representatives of all political parties participating in elections in the electoral committees.

16. Cancel parliamentary immunity from criminal and economic crimes. Prohibit bringing to responsibility deputies of all levels for their political positions, statements and voting nature (except for anti-Ukrainian, anti-state, and Ukrainophobian activity).

17. Limit the duration of the parliament and local councils from five to three years. Reduce the number of national deputies of Ukraine in the parliament to 300.

18. Implement fingerprint voting in order to ensure exclusively personal involvement of the deputies in the Parliament.

19. Restrict the increase of wages and other material rewards for deputies within the period of validity of their mandate.

20. Implement the election of local judges by the community for 5 years, appellate judges by the Congress of local judges for a period of 7 years, the Supreme Court by the Congress of Judges of Ukraine for 10 years.

21. Raise the age limit of judges to 30 years. A judge may be elected if he is a citizen of Ukraine who has experience in the field of law for at least 5 years, who is competent, has no criminal record, has been living in Ukraine for the last 10 years and who speaks and is fluent in the official language.

22. Provide transparent and publicly accessible functioning of the unified register of court decisions in order to ensure uniform application of the law by all courts of the state.

23. Provide compensation for moral and material damage incurred by a person through unlawful decisions and actions of state authorities and local government officials, at the expense of the perpetrators. The losses for a wrongful judgment must be compensated at the expense of the judge who approved it.

24. Submit to public discussion the draft law on a new three-tiered system of administrative-territorial structure of Ukraine, which consists of 300 counties and also cities, towns and villages.

25. Implement a majoritarian system of elections for deputies of village, town and city councils, a mixed proportional and majoritarian system for deputies of county councils.. To be elected as a deputy of the local council, one must be a citizen of Ukraine, who reached 18 years of a age on the election day, who is competent, has no criminal record and has been living in the community for at least 5 years.

26. Provide local communities with the right to elect every 3 years the village, town, city and district chairmen who heads the Executive Committee through secret, equal and direct voting. Elect village, town and district headmen in two rounds.

27. Provide the local communities with the right to withdraw deputies of local councils and local judges, to impeach the head of the executive committee, surveyor and the head of of Internal Affairs by referendum.

28. Ensure the increase of the role of local government by reallocating powers and financial resources between the central government and local governments on the basis of budgeting “from the bottom up”.

29. Introduce the practice of the widest direct democracy in local communities – referendums, plebiscites, general meetings and so on. Introduce the practice of the widest direct democracy in local communities – referendums, plebiscites, general meetings and so on. Conduct local referendums on vital issues. Introduce a mechanism for community veto on decisions of local governments.

30. Deepen the impact on the livelihood of the local government communities by creating house, street and block committees. Allow the division of land and new construction in populated areas only with the consent of the authorities, except in cases of national needs. Resolve disputed land and construction issues through local referenda.

31. Allow all mentally healthy citizens of Ukraine that have never been convicted of a crime to freely acquire and possess firearms and cold weaponry.

ІІ. Economy: Economic Independence and Social Justice

1. Conduct “energy audits” – carry out a complete inventory of mining sites and energy production of all types in Ukraine.

2. Adopt a national program of energy independence of Ukraine on the principle of “consumption reduction, production increase, source diversification.”

3. Diversify the import sources of energy resources: no more than 30% per provider (country). Implement and develop special trade programs (for example, the project “carbamide in exchange for liquefied gas”). Eliminate the monopoly of foreign energy companies on the Ukrainian market.

4. Establish strict proportional dependence of prices for Russian gas transit through Ukraine and the rent of underground gas storage facilities in accordance with the selling price of gas for Ukraine.

5. Achieve sales of Russian gas to European consumers in the east and not the west border of Ukraine.

6. Destroy corruption schemes in the energy sector. Establish transparent tenders for equipment for state-owned energy companies. Implement strict state control over the pricing in the oil and gas sector.

7. Adopt a national program to develop energy fields. Increase own gas and oil production, in particular by developing the sea shelf, including deposits abroad. Develop the coal industry as a priority area.

8. Create own closed nuclear cycle based on domestic raw materials. Construct public infrastructure necessary for the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel.

9. Adopt a national program of development and implementation of alternative energy: diesel fuel from coal, biofuel, wind, solar, hydropower (including recovery of small HPP networks) etc.

10. Develop and implement a national program to encourage energy-saving technologies. Switch to control heat measuring equipment of end users. Invest in heat supply technology. As a result, reduce the energy needs of the state and lower prices for utilities.

11. Adopt a law on strategic companies and strategic industries. Disallow the privatization of strategic enterprises and return to state ownership ones that were privatized earlier. Ensure state control over natural monopolies.

12. Check the legality of the privatization of all large enterprises (in which the average number of employees exceeds one thousand persons annually or the gross revenue from sales of the product in a year exceeds fifty million hryvnias). Return illegally privatized facilities to state and workers ownership.

13. Provide an opportunity to employees to acquire right of ownership of state and communal companies, participate in their management and fair distribution of profits. Allow employees to sell their share in the company exclusively to the appropriate company. Require employees who have stopped the employment relationship with the enterprise to sell their share to the enterprise.

14. Ensure the benefits of domestic investors over foreign ones in the privatization of state enterprises.

15. Return to state ownership privatized enterprises whose owners do not fulfill their social, investment and other commitments.

16. Allow transfer of long-term use of historical and cultural heritage objects for the purpose of restoring, preserving and efficient functionality, subject to the investor protection requirements of restoration and investment commitments. Suspend the use in case of non-compliance or liabilities.

17. Increase criminal penalties for crimes related to the seizure of enterprises, land and so on. Create a legal framework for combating illegal construction.

18. Adopt a new land code and approve it in national referendum. Conduct a complete inventory of land, buildings, and premises in Ukraine. Create a “Unified State Register of rights to immovable property and land” and to ensure its openness and transparency.

19. Prohibit agriculture land trade in Ukraine. Give it to long-term possession of Ukrainian citizens with the right of family inheritance. Determine legal grounds for termination of such possession in case of using the agricultural land for inappropriate purposes or in case of deterioration of the soil (fertility).

20. Establish criminal liability for soil erosion as a result of human actions. Strengthen criminal liability for illegitimate acquisition of soils.

21. Allow persons who acquired ownership of agricultural land by lawful means (when shared, or obtained by an inheritance by law) to sell these plots of land exclusively to the state. Disallow any other means of transfer of such sites. Disclaim the ownership of agricultural land acquired by debt receipts.

22. Obligate the citizens who wish to acquire land for agricultural purposes in an amount greater than 30 acres, to take a qualifying exam in the subject of the land’s activity.

23. Allow land ownership only of homestead land parcels and those under apartment buildings and other real estate. Do not allow ownership of land by foreigners and persons without citizenship.

24. Ensure the rent for the use of agricultural land to be in accordance with the regulatory assessment of the land.

25. Disallow change of use of agricultural land designation, except for state and public needs. Turn to the state ownership land that is not used for the purposes intended or used contrary to the comprehensive plans for sustainable rural development.

26. Adopt a law on increased land value to regulate its use and ensure public control over it.

27. Adopt a new tax code with socially fair simplified system of taxation. Simplify and improve tax administration and accounting.

28. Reduce the fiscal pressure on all sectors of the state, which produce national product, particularly small and medium enterprises. Establish progressive tax rate on the principle of “small business – low taxes, big business – big taxes.”

29. Cancel criminalized value added tax. Establish a single social tax on personal income taxation on a progressive scale and base rate of 20%. Do not tax the income of minimum wage. Set progressive luxury tax (real estate, luxury goods, etc.). Forward a minimum 30% of revenues from taxes on luxury to lower consumer prices of essential commodities.

30. Establish comprehensive tax incentive investments in science, education and innovation. Reduce income tax to 5% on the portion of profits that redirect to technological renovation of production means in accordance with advanced technology.

31. Provide maximal punishment for economic crimes, corruption and state job damages in especially large amounts. Fight for capital export in the offshore, including through the revision agreements on avoidance of double taxation of income and property.

32. Ensure state control over the banking sector (state-owned banks must have at least 30% of the banking capital of the country). Legally restrict usurious extortionate interest on bank loans for households and enterprises in Ukraine. Do not allow foreign persons to own controlling stakes of any private banks in Ukraine.

33. Ensure complete transparency and accessibility of the National Bank for law enforcement agencies. Restrict the independence of the National Bank during economical emergency situations, such as the economic crises, wars. Introduce criminal liability for antisocial monetary and other policies of the National Bank, which lead to the impoverishment of the general population. Adopt a law on state gold and currency reserves.

34. Prohibit the issuance of foreign currency loans (exception – business entities that carry out foreign trade activities). Transfer debt on loans issued to individuals in foreign currency into national currency at the exchange rate that was at the time the loan. Compensate for the difference at the expense of gross expenses of banks and foreign exchange reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine.

35. Eliminate the social gap between rich and poor by encouraging development of the middle class (small and middle businessmen, high-paying professionals, including public sector workers – doctors, teachers, etc.), which will amount to not less than 60% of the working population. Provide targeted public interest-free loans to start a business (SME) and to simplify the permitting system. Implement state program of economic education of citizens.

36. Adopt a new Law of Ukraine “On government procurements and state orders”, considering the benefits for the national manufacturers. Trade with state funds. Create a unified state Internet resource for the effective conduct of online-trading in the area of procurement.

37. Ensure revenues from the transit potential of Ukraine to the state budget and send them to construction of transport infrastructure.

38. Require to conduct construction of state and municipal facilities solely by national experts, thus creating working places for the citizens of Ukraine.

39. Implement targeted preferential government loans to small and medium agriculture, particularly to provide for agricultural manufacturers with means of production. Implement large-scale sectoral programs of direct grants. Provide government support for innovation in agriculture.

40. Adopt a national program for the development of agricultural equipment. Impose prohibitive import duties on agricultural machinery 5 years after its announcement, the equivalent of which is produced in Ukraine.

41. Develop the cooperative movement in rural areas in accordance with a separate comprehensive state program.

42. Create networks for sales of Ukrainian agricultural products.

43. Establish the parity of purchasing and selling prices for agricultural products. Provide food needs of the state exclusively through domestic agricultural products (except products that are not cultivated in the Ukraine).

44. Carry out an effective and transparent activity of the State Reserve and its activity on all agricultural markets. Provide agricultural manufacturers with government contracts for agricultural products. Rebuild the state system of storing agricultural products.

45. Adopt national development programs of breeding, seed production, plant protection, livestock breeding, horticulture, fish culture and so on. Conduct a complete inventory of appropriate production facilities.

46. Develop the social sector in rural areas. Ensure easily accessible preferential loans for the purchase and construction of housing in rural areas if the borrower participates in agricultural production and for budget employees.

47. Develop competitive sectors for Ukrainian industrial and innovation activities: food-processing (including recycling of foreign material), aircraft, shipbuilding, machine tools and machinery (energy, agriculture, etc.), military-industrial complexes and space industry. Direct government support for high-tech, knowledge-intensive, innovative, import substitution and vertically integrated industry.

48. Encourage gradual replacement of imported products with domestic ones (especially big and small agricultural machinery, light industry, food products).

49. Eliminate private monopolies and oligopolies in the Ukrainian economy.

50. Allow export of non-recoverable raw materials and derivative products only by corresponding licenses.

51. Adopt a law on privatization of housing in apartment blocks including land plots for houses, adjacent areas and joint ownership of citizens.

52. Reform housing and communal services. Stimulate the creation of condominiums. Ensure maintenance and exploitation of apartment buildings on competitive basis. Disallow foreign companies to serve condominiums. Introduce institute of certified managers of apartment buildings.

53. Return companies-monopolists of electricity, gas, heat, water supply and sanitation to communal ownership of territorial communities.

54. Implement a comprehensive state program for full utilization of solid domestic and biological waste.

55. Require building companies to build social housing at affordable prices in accordance with the government program. Create a state special fund for development of social housing. Implement a comprehensive program of reconstruction and gradual replacement of buildings built in the 1960-ies (“khrushchevskas”).

56. Adopt a new, socially just, Labor Code – Labor Code of Ukraine. Develop a tariffication scale of hourly wages in line with European standards. Set five-fold ratio between the maximum and minimum hourly wage in the public sector employees.

57. Support the development of effective independent trade unions. Ensure the right to strike.

58. Abolish the unjust pension reform, legitimize retirement age from life expectancy. Establish direct dependence of the amount of pension from work experience and the permissible five-fold ratio between the maximum and minimum pension for solidarity pension system.

59. Bring the living wage in line with the actual needs. Regularly review the living wage standards to maintain their relevance.

60. Provide disabled citizens and orphans government with targeted assistance in an amount not less than the subsistence minimum.

ІІІ. National Health: Overcoming the Demographic Crisis and Raising the Quality of Life

1. Implement long-term state program to promote healthy social life, including the promotion of mental and physical health, fighting drug addiction, alcoholism and smoking.

2. Implement obligatory state social health insurance that will provide a guaranteed basic package of urgent primary medical aid, provided free of charge at the expense of public health fund.

3. Implement a “Reproductive Health of the Nation” program. Disallow abortion except due to medical issues, and/or rape, which were proved in court. Align the implementation of illegal abortion to attempted murder in the criminal law.

4. Implement a policy of economic protectionism against domestic pharmaceutical industry and medical engineering. Ensure strict state control over the quality and price of medical products, especially imported.

5. Recover and return to state ownership Sanatorium and resort facilities. Prohibit realigning of sanatoriums. Prevent the privatization of the resort and sanatorium lands throughout Ukraine.

6. Adopt national housing program under which a family with three children receives state free loan, a family of four children – state free loan, 50% of which is refundable, a family with five children or more – free housing from state. Establish accessible government soft loans for housing for young families.

7. Increase the amount of payments to Ukrainian families for the birth of each additional child in accordance with inflation rates in the country and the growth of prices for baby products.

8. Ban advertising of tobacco products and alcoholic beverages in any form throughout Ukraine. Criminalize promotion of drug use (including so-called ‘soft drugs’) and sexual perversions.

9. Provide local communities the right to limit the sale of alcoholic beverages.

10. Set a special tax on alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, genetically modified food. Direct the funds received to programs addressing social diseases (tuberculosis, oncological and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, HIV / AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction).

11. Create a network of modern laboratories for the analysis of food products for the presence of genetically modified organisms.

12. Allow sale of genetically modified food products only with special labeling that is clearly visible and only in specialized departments of retail establishments. Strengthen criminal penalties for non-compliance during labeling and trade of genetically modified foods.

13. Organize adequate state control over healthcare workers, sanitary working conditions and public safety in manufacturing.

14. Provide residents of regions of Ukraine, who were affected by anthropogenic pollution, with a status equal to that of Chernobyl residents.

15. Keep the existing reserve areas and parks intact and create new recreational areas.

16. Require raw material-intensive branches of large companies to conduct ecological modernization of production facilities.

17. Encourage the transfer beyond the settlements to a safe distance of all enterprises engaged in pollutant emissions into the environment.

18. Oblige physical and legal persons to compensate double the amount of damage caused to the environment.

IV. Citizenship and Migration: Right to a Homeland and Protection of the Living Space

1. Adopt a new Citizenship Act, under which citizenship will be given only to those persons who were born in Ukraine or are ethnically Ukrainian, who returned from abroad for permanent living and working in Ukraine. Allow people born in Ukraine from foreigners or stateless persons to acquire Ukrainian citizenship upon reaching age of majority only under the conditions of Ukrainian language fluency, knowledge of Ukrainian history and content of the Constitution of Ukraine.

2. Allow to acquire citizenship of Ukraine in exceptional cases, to persons who are legally residing in Ukraine for at least 15 years and are fluent in Ukrainian, have knowledge of Ukrainian history and content of the Constitution of Ukraine., took the oath of allegiance to Ukraine and abandoned all other nationalities. Disallow these persons’ right to acquire the citizenship of Ukraine, if they have criminal records.

3. Provide strict criminal liability for unlawful provision and obtaining of citizenship.

4. Eliminate the illegal practice of dual citizenship. Deprive of Ukrainian citizenship persons who hide that they are citizens of another state.

5. Confiscate property and capital goods acquired in Ukraine from offenders of the Citizenship Act to the state.

6. Facilitate the mass returning to Ukraine of ethnic Ukrainians. Ensure preferential terms for returning home of Ukrainians and their descendants born abroad.

7. Conclude bilateral agreements on the legalization of Ukrainian workers. Provide state protection of Ukrainians abroad by all possible means.

8. Create conditions for Ukrainian migrant workers to return home. Consider their earned money and property, provided that they invest in Ukrainian business, to be investments that are not taxed.

9. Eliminate the root cause of migration and demographic crisis – ensure the constitutional right to housing for every Ukrainian family.

10. Ban the adoption of Ukrainian children by foreigners.

11. Introduce symmetrical visa regime with other countries. Let visa-free entry to Ukraine to citizens of only those countries which have abolished visa requirements for citizens of Ukraine.

12. Establish stricter anti-immigration measures and improve the system of detention and deportation of illegal immigrants.

13. Strengthen state border protection and cut off channels of illegal migration.

14. Establish mandatory registration of foreign citizens who arrive on the territory of Ukraine, in the local bodies of Ministry of Internal Affairs. Establish, due to the threat of international terrorism and crime, a uniform biometric control system for everyone who enters Ukraine (database of fingerprints, eye retina, etc.).

15. Terminate agreement with the EU on readmission. Conclude with other states, from territories where illegal immigrants come to Ukraine, readmission agreements (return of illegal immigrants) on favorable conditions for Ukraine.

16. Provide place in higher educational institutions’ dormitories primarily for Ukrainian, not foreign students.

17. Carry out regular inspections of Foreigners Registration materials coming from schools with lists of students who actually enrolled in them. Ensure timely exit from the territory of Ukraine of foreign students who are expelled from schools.

V. Information Space and Education: Preserving National Identity and Cultural Development

1. Adopt the Law “On Protection of the Ukrainian language” instead of the current “On Languages in the Ukrainian SSR”. New State Language Policy Committee, responsible for the protection and distribution of Ukrainian language. Create a State Language Policy Committee, responsible for the protection and propagation of the Ukrainian language.

2. Regulate the use of the Ukrainian language in the media according to the number of Ukrainians – no less than 78% of their space and airtime.

3. Provide simultaneous official language audio translation of foreign performances, broadcasts and films on television and radio. Provide translation at the expense of the media owners.

4. Abolish tax on the Ukrainian book publishing, audio, video production and software.

5. Implement a mandatory Ukrainian language exam for civil servants and candidates for elected office. Require all state employees to use Ukrainian language at work and during public appearances.

6. Include in the programs of all universities in Ukraine a compulsory “Culture of Ukrainian language” course of not less than 72 hours.

7. Verify the language of instruction in all without exception training and educational institutions to be in accordance with the official status of the learning facilities. Revoke licenses of educational institutions if they have carried out teaching in foreign languages without proper registration status of the establishment of foreign language teaching. Cease the supply of textbooks and teaching materials in foreign languages at the expense of the State Budget of Ukraine in institutions that do not have official status of institutions with foreign language teaching.

8. Cultivate the best traditions of Ukrainian pedagogy. Discontinue the practice of mechanical copying of foreign models, including the Bologna Process.

9. Expand the network of preschool educational institutions. Provide each child access to Ukrainian preschool.

10. Restore and maintain the system of after-school facilities and children’s sports schools.

11. Implement a state program of soft loans for education. Provide graduates of secondary and higher education with first working place.

12. Adopt a state program of patriotic education and hardening the nature of the young generation. Provide active leisure and recreation for children and youth. Promote youth networks and patriotic organizations, sports groups, clubs, summer camps for children and youth.

13. Change the principles for candidate of science titles and PhDs and for structure of the Supreme Attestation Commission of Ukraine for ensuring real, not formal control over the quality of dissertations.

14. Encourage the return of Ukrainian scientists who moved abroad.

15. Establish incentive programs of cooperation between Ukrainian and leading foreign academic institutions.

16. Bring patent law of Ukraine in line with the leading international practice of patent law. Ensure that the researchers and developers receive no less than 25% of the amount from the sale of rights to a patent for their invention.

17. Remove soviet propagandistic literature from youth and public library funds. Purchase at the expense of the national budget works of literature, art, music, film to replenish libraries, museums, record libraries, video libraries, repertoire of theaters, music collectives and more.

18. Provide state scholarships and grants on competitive basis to carry out art projects, creations of national works of literature, art, music, movies, plays, concerts, TV programs and more.

19. Develop networks of concert halls, cinemas, bookshops, galleries and exhibition halls, providing favorable conditions for them to rent.

20. Introduce the protection issue of national information space within the competence of NSDC to deal with informational occupation of Ukraine. Create public radio and television, competitive Ukrainian film industry.

21. Deprive of licenses the media that violates language legislation, humiliates national dignity of Ukrainians, spreads misinformation or carries out anti-Ukrainian propaganda.

22. Require all media to inform the public about all of their owners (the press – in every issue, TV and radio – daily, during broadcast).

23. Increase import duty on foreign polygraphic, audio and video products. Implement a tax on foreign rebroadcasting of radio and television program products, copying and rental of music and film. Redirect the funds for the development to the national information space.

24. Direct every sixth hryvnia from profits from rental of foreign films to the development of the domestic film industry. Set tax on advertising, during the broadcast of foreign films, in favor of national cinema.

25. Increase mandatory quotas of airtime on radio and TV and screen time in cinemas for Ukrainian language audio-visual products produced in Ukraine and ensure its uniform presence on the air throughout the day. Implement strict criminal liability for failure to comply with the quota.

26. Establish tax relief on the development of advanced information technology and modern electronic networks. Eliminate oligopoly market of information technologies on the territory of Ukraine.

27. Create competitive Ukrainian operating system for computers based on current available systems with high-quality translation, reasonable ammount of Ukrainian fonts, implement customer support and security services. Establish a Ukrainian operating system in all government bodies and institutions.

28. Establish domestic production of Ukrainian-language software (especially specialized: for accounting, storing, school, office, etc.) for government agencies, educational institutions and for free sale. Require public institutions to use exclusively Ukrainian software.

29. Promote the establishment of a unified Ukrainian Local Church centered in Kiev.

VI. Historical Justice: State Building and Overcoming the Consequences of Occupation

1. Specify in the Constitution of Ukraine that the succession of modern Ukrainian state was established in Kievan Rus’, continued by Galicia-Volhynia, Cossack Hetman Republic period, Ukrainian People’s Republic, West Ukrainian People’s Republic, Carpathian Ukraine and the Ukrainian state, which was restored by the Act of June 30 1941, and that independent Ukraine emerged as a result of over three centuries of national liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people.

2. Recognize the fact of occupation of Ukraine by Bolshevik Russia during 1918-91, which resulted in an unprecedented genocide of Ukrainians.

3. Achieve Ukrainian genocide recognition during the twentieth century from the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the United Nations, the European Parliament, the parliaments of the world, in which 20.5 million Ukrainians were killed, to be considered a crime against humanity (terror and looting of civilians during the war of UPR against Bolshevik Russia in 1918-1921; dekulakization and forced collectivization; artificial famine of 1921, 1932-33, 1947; several waves of Ukrainian elite killings in 1920-30-40’s and 1970’s; killing of civilians during the war, forced labor export of Ukrainians to foreign lands; “Operation Vistula”; torture in prisons and humiliation using punitive psychiatry on Ukrainian patriots until the collapse of the Soviet empire; robbing the national economy, historical and cultural values; robbery and destruction of Ukrainian churches; persecution on ethnic and religious grounds; the systematic destruction of Ukrainian culture and language; total Russification).

4. Open all the archives of Cheka-SPD-NKVD-MGB-KGB that are stored in the central archive and regional archives of the Security Service of Ukraine.

5. Renew criminal investigation into the Holodomor of 1932-33, which was recognized by the state as genocide of the Ukrainian people, a crime, to which the statute of limitations is not applicable. Carry out a public trial of communism. Obtain a court order to ban the communist ideology as misanthropic and one that has caused irreparable damage to the Ukrainian people.

6. Establish strict criminal liability for public denial of the Holodomor as genocide against the Ukrainian nation.

7. Abolish and prevent the use of imperial-Bolshevik symbols, commemorations of dates, monuments and names in honor of butchers of Ukraine. Prohibit the establishment of any imperial monuments and symbols in Ukraine that glorify the history of the occupants..

8. Set up a special investigative structure for tracing criminals who were destroying the Ukrainian nation, and after finding them bring them to justice.

9. Demand from Moscow official recognition, apology and compensation for the genocide of the Ukrainian people. Achieve from Russia the return of savings of the citizens of Ukraine (83 billion karbovanetses as of 1991). Insist on the transfer to Ukraine the rightful share of the Diamond fund, gold and foreign exchange reserves, foreign assets of the former USSR.

10. Pay compensation to repressed Ukrainians and their descendants in amounts corresponding to their suffering.

11. Provide Ukrainians from Kuban, Chełm Land, Nadsyannya, Podlasie, Lemko regions, which were forcibly evicted from their land, with status of deported peoples with all social guarantees.

12. Develop and implement a public education program “The Truth about the Ukrainian genocide.” Provide separate educational discipline “History of Ukrainian genocide in the twentieth century” in all schools.

13. Acknowledge that the struggle, which was taking place until the end of the 1950-ies by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), was a national liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people. Acknowledge UPA soldiers and OUN underground fighters to be members of the national liberation struggle for independence of Ukraine.

14. Provide the veterans of UPA with proper privileges and compensate for the not added ones since the independence.

15. Abolish special pensions for servants of the Soviet regime, the executives of the Communist party, Komsomol and punitive authorities of the USSR.

16. Disseminate the truth about the Ukrainian liberation struggle in the twentieth century by means of social advertising, public parliamentary hearings, documentary and feature films, book publishing and more. Implement a course of studying the history of the Ukrainian liberation struggle in the twentieth century in all schools.

17. Establish a National Memorial Museum dedicated to the Ukrainian valour (the armed struggle for independence of the Ukrainian Nation).

18. Revive traditional Ukrainian holidays. Introduce state-level celebration on the second Sunday in May of traditional for the Ukrainians Mother’s Day.

19. Announce October 14 (St. Pokrova – patron saint of Ukrainian Cossacks, the day of the creation of UPA) to be a national holiday – the Day of Ukrainian Weaponry. Cancel celebration of 23th February – the so-called “Fatherland Defender Day” (of the Soviet army).

20. Facilitate the return of national, cultural, historical and other values to Ukraine exported abroad during periods of occupation.

VII. Foreign Policy and Defence: the European-Ukrainian Centrism and a Strong State

1. Determine the European Ukrainocentrism state strategic course according to which Ukraine aims to become not only the geographical, but also the geopolitical center of Europe.

2. Cease all participation of Ukraine in supranational formations launched by Moscow: Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Common Economic Space (CES), the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and others.

3. Pay special attention to the only true geopolitical project, in which the main role is played by Ukraine – GUAM. Involve other countries in the Commonwealth from the Black Sea and Caspian Basin.

4. Direct foreign efforts to build closer political and economic cooperation with natural allies – the countries of Baltic-Black Sea geopolitical axis (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria, in the long term – Belarus et al.). Initiate mutually beneficial agreements between these countries and Ukraine in all strategic areas: trade and customs policy, energy security and transit, defense, etc.

5. Develop and implement an effective state program’s for positive image of Ukraine in the world. Involve through special government programs the numerous Ukrainian diasporas to lobby Ukrainian interests in other countries.

6. Complete delimitation (establish agreement) and demarcation (marking of border signs) of Ukraine national borders, including the sea. Set borders unilaterally in case of further delays by neighbors countries, including Russia. Ensure proper border security. Introduce a visa regime with Russia.

7. Demand from countries which declared the safety and security of the borders of Ukraine in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons (Budapest Memorandum, 1994), effective rather than paper guarantees. Conclude bilateral agreements with the U. S. and the UK for immediate full-scale military assistance to Ukraine in case of armed aggression against Ukraine.

8. Appeal to the General Assembly and the UN Security Council demanding statements to evaluate the possibility of pre-emptive nuclear strikes without declaring war.

9. Restore the nuclear status of Ukraine due to violations of the Budapest Memorandum by Russia (one of the guarantors of security of Ukraine): conflicts around Tuzla island and the Kerch Strait, direct threats, brutal political and economic pressure, regular attempts of officials to question the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Restore tactical missile and nuclear arsenal state. Appeal to the U. S. and the UK to promote and support the nuclear program in Ukraine.

10. Start real, not declarative actions that enable the integration of Ukraine into the European security structures: clean authority and power structures from the agents of Moscow; neutralize subversive organizations funded by Russia; delimit and demarcate the borders; destroy the pockets of separatism; neutralize all territorial claims to Ukraine; ensure the withdrawal of Russian military bases on Ukrainian territory; immediately reform and rebuild the Armed Forces and Naval Forces of Ukraine.

11. Demand from NATO member countries favorable conditions for Ukraine, clear guarantees and specific terms of possible entry of Ukraine into NATO. Develop and implement a parallel plan for Security and Defense of Ukraine.

12. Develop own system of missile attack warning and means of action in response to the independent or joint basis with other countries. Recover in its entirety the air defense system to protect the country’s entire airspace. Strengthen Air Defence to protect strategic facilities and populous cities. Appeal to Western countries to provide Ukraine for rent with mobile air defense system to deploy missile and air shields in exchange for intelligence of Ukrainian radar stations in Sevastopol and Mukachevo. This way, verify the real willingness of NATO to cooperate with Ukraine in the field of defense and security.

13. Set funding of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at 5% of GDP (to overcome technological backwardness of the Armed Forces from neighboring countries), given the urgent need for reforming and upgrading the troops. Reform the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including the navy and the aircraft, equip them with ships, aircraft, missile strike systems and air defense systems of the 4th and 5th generations, re-equip existing equipment (aircraft, ships) with modern weapons.

14. Restore the prestige of service in the Armed Forces and other military formations. Increase salaries of military personnel. Solve the problem of providing them with housing by providing soft loans for the state of its acquisition.

15. Rebuild own military-industrial complex for providing the Armed Forces of Ukraine with national modern weapons and effective participation of Ukraine in the global arms market. Integrate research institutions of the Armed Forces into the military-industrial complex of Ukraine. Provide priority studies on the establishment of the modern samples of high precision weapons and weapons that act on new physical principles. Establish favorable military-technical cooperation with other countries.

16. Ensure strict control over pricing and receiving the proceeds from arms sales to the state budget of Ukraine. Direct all proceeds from arms sales solely for defense. End the practice of mindless destruction of modern effective samples of armament at the request of other countries or their sale at the expense of Ukraine.

17. Develop and systematically implement by 2017 a new program of reform and construction of Ukrainian army that will provide real national defense. Create high-tech and professional contract army – the regular troops. Establish a national reserve of the Armed Forces.

18. Create a unified system of training and mobilization of reservists (on the Swiss model). Restore in its entirety the system of initial military training and civil defense in the secondary school and a network of military faculties in universities.

19. Create an effective counter-intelligence service to ensure the safety of the Ukrainian rear against saboteurs of the likely opponent.

20. Reorganize and strengthen the coast guard of the Black Sea. Set in the strategically important areas on the Black Sea-Azov coast of Ukraine anti-ship and anti-submarine missiles to protect the body of water, place modern air defense missile systems to cover military coast guard and Marine Corps’s naval forces. Increase the number of troops in the Crimea, re-equip them with modern rocket artillery and armored vehicles for rapid deployment and countering possible aggression.

VIII. Crimea and Sevastopol: Establishing a Constitutional Order and Ensuring Stable Development

1. Submit to nationwide referendum the change of status of the Crimea from autonomous to regional and abolish the special status of Sevastopol.

2. Provide Sevastopol with the right of free port. Implement preferential tax treatment for resort and recreational economic activity in the Southern and Western coast of Crimea.

3. Terminate “Kharkiv agreements” between Yanukovych and Medvedev of April 21, 2010.

4. Develop a program at the level of National Security Council on unilateral actions of Ukraine in case of failure of obligations on the withdrawal of the Black Sea Fleet from the territory of Ukraine until 2017. Demand the immediate withdrawal of the Black Sea Fleet from Crimea, if the Russian Federation further violates the laws of Ukraine and the signed international agreements.

5. Create Ukrainian checkpoints at all sites, leased by the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Disallow foreign military personnel in military uniform to move outside of leased military bases of foreign countries on the territory of Ukraine(except for official delegations).

6. Raise the flag of Ukraine over all the objects rented by the Black Sea Fleet and set the procedures for the use of foreign state symbols on the territory of Ukraine in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine and international standards.

7. Ensure immediate enforcement of all decisions of the Ukrainian courts regarding the removal of Ukrainian property from illegal use by the Black Sea Fleet. Appeal to judicial instances with claims for compensation related to these losses. Conduct a thorough inventory of the property, buildings and territories used by the Black Sea Fleet.

8. Implement unilaterally and in accordance with international standards the recalculation of rental rates for the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine.

9. Strengthen the protection of the state border in the Azov and Black Seas. Ensure strict customs controls for all cargoes that enter the territory of Ukraine through Black Sea Fleet.

10. Implement continuous unimpeded professional inspections of military facilities the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine for compliance with the laws of their operation and Ukraine signed international agreements. Demand from the Russian Federation detailed quarterly reports on their residence in Ukraine (including the territorial waters and the continental shelf) weapons and ammunition.

11. Make a complete revision of property rights and land use rights and property of objects in the Crimea.

12. Restore the right for unrestricted use of land areas in accordance with applicable law – beaches and coastal zones in the hundred-meter zone from the flow line.

13. Adopt a state program of integration into Ukrainian society of the Crimean part that would foresee economic, transport, cultural, informational and educational integration.

14. Implement state programs representing Ukrainian culture and art in the Crimea. Provide on competitive basis centers of Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian media in Crimea, supported by the state.

15. Ensure that the Ukrainians of the Crimea have free access to Ukrainian media and bookstores through targeted subsidies from the state budget.

16. Ensure that the Ukrainians of the Crimea have the opportunity to freely receive education in their mother tongue in secondary, vocational and higher education establishments.

Approved by the Constituent Congress of SNPU on September 9th, 1995, with amendments and additions made by

The ninth Congress of SNPU on February 14th, 2004,

The twentieth Congress of the All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” on May 24th, 2009,

The twenty-third Congress of the All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” on December 24th, 2011

Registered by order number 1470/5 of Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on August 12th, 2009.

source: http://en.svoboda.org.ua/about/program/


After reviewing the above Svoboda Party “program” it would be a good idea to review the overview of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement titled “Guide to the Association Agreement” for a deeper understanding of the point we are attempting to articulate.

EU-Ukraine Association Agreement
“Guide to the Association Agreement”

++++ Background:

Relations between the EU and Ukraine are currently based on the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) which entered into force in 1998. At the Paris Summit in 2008 the leaders of the EU and Ukraine agreed that an Association Agreement should be the successor agreement to the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement.

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (AA) is the first of a new generation of Association Agreements with Eastern Partnership countries. Negotiations on this comprehensive, ambitious and innovative Agreement between the EU and Ukraine were launched in March 2007. In February 2008, following confirmation of Ukraine’s WTO membership, the EU and Ukraine launched negotiations on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) as a core element of the Association Agreement.

At the 15th Ukraine-EU Summit of 19 December 2011, the EU leaders and President Yanukovych noted that a common understanding on the text of the Association Agreement was reached.

On 30 March 2012 the chief negotiators of the European Union and Ukraine initialled the text of the Association Agreement, which included provisions on the establishment of a DCFTA as an integral part. In this context, chief trade negotiators from both sides initialled the DCFTA part of the Agreement on 19 July 2012. Both EU and Ukraine expressed their common commitment to undertake further technical steps, required to prepare conclusion of the Association Agreement.

++++ Political association and economic integration:

The Association Agreement will constitute a new stage in the development of EU-Ukraine contractual relations, aiming at political association and economic integration and leaving open the way for further progressive developments. The AA provides for a shared commitment to a close and lasting relationship, based on common values, in particular full respect for democratic principles, rule of law, good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

> Wide range of sector cooperation: This ambitious and pioneering Agreement is a concrete way to exploit the dynamics in EU-Ukraine relations, focusing on support to core reforms, on economic recovery and growth, governance and sector co-operation in more than 30 areas, such as energy, transport, environment protection, industrial and small and medium enterprise (SME) cooperation, social development and protection, equal rights, consumer protection, education, training and youth as well as cultural cooperation.

> Trade and Trade related matters (DCFTA): Closer economic integration through the DCFTA will be a powerful stimulant to the country’s economic growth. Approximation of Ukraine to EU legislation, norms and standards, will be the method. As a core element of the Association Agreement, the DCFTA will create business opportunities in both the EU and Ukraine and will promote real economic modernization and integration with the EU. Higher standards of products, better services to citizens, and above all Ukraine’s readiness to compete effectively in international markets should be the result of this process.

> Mobility: The importance of the introduction of a visa free travel regime for the citizens of Ukraine in due course,

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provided that the conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place is recognised in the Agreement.

++++ Content of the Association Agreement

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement counts in total over 1200 pages and comprises of

> A Preamble as an introductory statement of the Agreement, setting out the Agreement’s purpose and underlying philosophy;

> Seven Titles which concern General Principles; Political Cooperation and Foreign and Security Policy; Justice Freedom and Security; Trade and Trade related matters (DCFTA); Economic and Sector Cooperation; Financial Cooperation with Anti-Fraud Provisions, as well as Institutional, General and Final Provisions;

> 43 Annexes setting out EU legislation to be taken over by a specific date and

> Three Protocols.

The Association Agreement in a nut-shell:

> The AA aims to accelerate the deepening of political and economic relations between Ukraine and the EU, as well as Ukraine’s gradual integration in the EU Internal Market including by setting up a DCFTA.

> The AA is a concrete way to exploit the dynamics in EU-Ukraine relations, focusing on support to core reforms, on economic recovery and growth, governance and sector co-operation.

> The AA constitutes also a reform agenda for Ukraine, based around a comprehensive programme of Ukraine’s approximation of its legislation to EU norms, around which all partners of Ukraine can align themselves and focus their assistance.

> The AA negotiations were not a stand-alone exercise: EU assistance to Ukraine is linked with the reform agenda as it emerges from the result of negotiations. The Comprehensive Institutional Building Programme (CIB) is particularly important in this regard.

++++ Preamble

The PREAMBLE is a selection of the most important areas/facts pertinent to EU-Ukraine relations. It sets out the ambition for a close and lasting relationship. Although it has a non-binding introductory character, it presents important references to common values and could be perceived as a “scene-setter” for the Agreement.

The elements which are set out in the Preamble include among others:

> A reference to common values on which the EU is built – namely democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and rule of law – and which are shared by Ukraine.

> A reference that Ukraine is recognised as a European country which shares a common history and common values with the Member States of the EU.

> A reference to the European aspirations of Ukraine. The EU welcomes Ukraine’s European choice, including its commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy and a market economy.

> An acknowledgement that the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the EU will depend on progress in the implementation of the Association Agreement as well as Ukraine’s track record in ensuring respect for common values, and progress in convergence with the EU in political, economic and legal areas.

++++ Title I: General Principles

Title I defines the general principles which will form the basis for the domestic and external policies of the Association between the EU and Ukraine namely:

> Respect for democratic principles, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

> The promotion of respect for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, inviolability of borders and independence, as well as countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are set out. Moreover, the principles of a free market economy, good governance, the fight against corruption, the fight against different forms of trans-national organised crime and terrorism, the promotion of sustainable development as well as effective multilateralism are central to enhancing the relationship between the EU and Ukraine and will underpin their relationship.

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++++ Title II: Political dialogue and reform, political association, cooperation and convergence in the field of foreign and security policy

In Title II, the Association Agreement foresees the intensification of the EU-Ukraine political dialogue and cooperation in view of gradual convergence in the area of Common Security and Foreign Policy (CSFP) as well as Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP).

> Title II covers issues such as the aims of political dialogue, dialogue and cooperation on domestic reform as well as foreign and security policy.

> The Agreement foresees several fora for the conduct of political dialogue: the EU-Ukraine Summit will present the highest level of political dialogue. At ministerial level the dialogue will be conducted within the Association Council. The political dialogue will aim inter alia:

>> to deepen political association and increase political and security policy convergence and effectiveness;

>> to promote international stability and security based on effective multilateralism;

>> to strengthen cooperation and dialogue on international security and crisis management, notably in order to address global and regional challenges and key threats;

>> to foster result-oriented and practical cooperation for achieving peace, security and stability on the European continent;

>> to strengthen respect for democratic principles, the rule of law and good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, non-discrimination of persons belon ing to minorities and respect for diversity, and to contribute to consolidating domestic political reforms.

> Title II dedicates a specific article on the International Criminal Court and calls on the cooperation of the EU and Ukraine in promoting peace and international justice by ratifying and implementing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and its related instruments.

++++ Title III: Justice, Freedom and Security

Title III covers issues concerning the rule of law and respect for human rights; protection of personal data;

cooperation on migration, asylum and border management; treatment of workers; mobility of workers; movement of persons; money laundering and terrorism financing; cooperation on the fight against illicit drugs; the fight against crime and corruption; cooperation in fighting terrorism and legal cooperation.

> The EU and Ukraine commit through the Association Agreement to increase their dialogue and cooperation on migration, asylum and border management. The importance of the introduction of a visa free travel regime for the citizens of Ukraine in due course, provided that the conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place is recognised in the Agreement

> The commitment to combating organised crime and money laundering, to reducing the supply of and demand for illicit drugs and to stepping up cooperation in the fight against terrorism is also reflected in the Agreement.

> The wish to enhance people-to-people contacts is explicitly set out.

++++ Title IV: Trade and Trade-Related Matters
The EU is Ukraine’s main commercial partner and accounts for 31% of its external trade, ahead of Russia (2010).

Closer economic integration through the DCFTA will be a powerful stimulant to the country’s economic growth. As a core element of the Association Agreement, the DCFTA will create business opportunities in Ukraine and will promote real economic modernization and integration with the EU. Higher standards of products, better services to citizens, and above all Ukraine’s readiness to compete effectively in international markets should be the result of this process.

> Hence the DCFTA Title IV of the Association Agreement is dedicated to Trade and Trade Related Matters. Through a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area economic integration is envisaged.

> The DCFTA, linked to the broader process of legislative approximation will contribute to further economic integration with the European Union’s Internal Market. This includes the elimination of almost all tariffs and barriers in the area of trade in goods, the provision of services, and the flow of investments (especially in the energy sector). Once Ukraine has taken over the relevant EU acquis, the EU will grant market access for example in areas such as public procurement or industrial goods.

> The DCFTA will provide for a conducive new climate for economic relations between the EU and Ukraine. New

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trade and investment opportunities will be created and competition will be stimulated. All these elements are factors crucial to economic restructuring and modernisation. As regards the impact of a removal of customs duties entailed by the DCFTA, experience has shown that this short-term loss of import charges will be more than compensated for by the increased revenue received by the state from indirect taxes paid by companies seizing new market opportunities and by the general boost to the economy. The budget spending on legal and institutional reforms in trade-related areas is or will be supported by the EU along with funds from International Financial Institutions. The DCFTA once in force will provide tariff cuts which will allow the economic operators of both sides to save around 750 millions euros per year in average (most of the customs duties being lifted)

++++ Title V: Economic and sector cooperation

Title V comprises 28 chapters in the fields of energy cooperation; macro-economic cooperation; management of public finances; taxation; statistics; environment; transport; space; cooperation in science and technology; industrial and enterprise policy; mining and metals; financial services; company law, corporate governance, accounting and auditing; information society; audio-visual policy; tourism; agriculture and rural development; fisheries and maritime policy; Danube river; consumer protection; cooperation on employment, social policy and equal opportunities; public health; education, training and youth; culture, sport and physical activity; civil society, cross-border and regional cooperation; participation in European Agencies and Programmes, based on gradual approximation with the EU acquis and also – where relevant – with international norms and standards.

++++ Title VI: Financial cooperation, with anti-fraud provisions

The European Union and its Member States continue to be the largest donor to Ukraine: since 1991, assistance provided by the European Union alone has amounted to over €2.5 billion. The European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument (ENPI) allocates € 470 million to Ukraine for the years 2011-2013. This goes to support action in three priority areas: good governance and the rule of law; facilitating the entry into force of the Association Agreement, and sustainable development, including energy and environment. This amount includes funding under the Eastern Partnership for the Comprehensive Institution Building programme (€ 43.37 million). The latter is designed to improve the administrative capacity of partner countries and their compatibility with EU institutions, for instance through twinning programmes, professional training and secondment of personnel.

> Ukraine will benefit from EU Financial Assistance through existing funding mechanisms and instruments in order to achieve the objectives of the Association Agreement.

> The future priority areas of the EU Financial Assistance to Ukraine will be laid down in relevant indicative programmes reflecting agreed policy priorities between the EU and Ukraine. The indicative amounts of assistance will take into account Ukraine’s needs, sector capacities and progress with reforms.

> EU assistance will be implemented in close cooperation and coordination with other donor countries, donor organisations and International Financial Institutions (IFI), and in line with international principles of aid effectiveness. Through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF), to which Ukraine is eligible IFI investments could be leveraged. The NIF aims at mobilising additional funding to cover the investment needs of Ukraine for infrastructures in sectors such as transport, energy, the environment and social issues (e.g. construction of schools or hospitals).

> The Agreement lays down that the EU and Ukraine will take effective measures to prevent and fight fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities.

++++ Title VII: Institutional, general and final provisions

The Association Agreement foresees a tailor-made institutional set up for EU-Ukraine relations.

> At the top level, the EU-Ukraine Summit will be established: The Summit will present the highest level of political dialogue and will be a platform for meetings between Presidents.

> At ministerial level, the dialogue will be conducted within the Association Council which could meet in any configuration. The Association Council will have the power to take binding decisions.

> The Association Council will be assisted in the performance of its duties by an Association Committee. The Association Committee will create Subcommittees to implement sector cooperation. Meeting in a special format, the Association Committee will address the specific DCFTA issues.

> The Association Agreement also foresees a parliamentary dimension, notably by establishing a Parliamentary Association Committee. It will be a forum for Members of the European Parliament and the

4 /5

Parliament of Ukraine to meet and exchange views.

> Another important element of the Association Agreement is the promotion of regular civil society meetings. Hence, a dedicated Civil Society Platform will be established. The Platform will be able to make recommendations to the Association Council.

In order to ensure the correct implementation of the Association Agreement, the Agreement texts sets out some general and final provisions. A selection of these provisions is set out below:

> One key provision underpinning the Association Agreement sets out the concept of gradual approximation of Ukraine’s legislation to EU norms and standards. Specific timelines are set within which Ukraine should approximate its legislations to the relevant EU legislation. These timelines vary between 2 and 10 years after the entry into force of the Agreement.

> Another guiding provision sets out the concept of dynamic approximation. There was a need to set out this concept as the EU law and legislation is not static but under constant evolution. Thus the approximation process will be dynamic and should keep pace with the principal EU reforms, but in a proportionate way, taking account of Ukraine’s capacity to carry out the approximation.

> In order to examine whether the commitments as set out in the Association Agreement are met, dedicated provisions related to monitoring were included in the Agreement. Monitoring means here to supervise the application and implementation of the Association Agreement, its objectives and commitments. It is a continuous appraisal of progress in implementing and enforcing measures and commitments covered by the Association Agreement. This monitoring process will be of a particular importance for the DCFTA as its positive result will be the prerequisite of any further market opening for the Ukrainian economic operators

> Monitoring will include the assessments of approximation of Ukraine’s legislation to the EU acts (and where applicable international instruments) as defined in the Association Agreement.

> The Association Agreement also sets out a Dispute Settlement Mechanism. This mechanism would come into effect if obligations under the Association Agreement are not fulfilled by one of the Agreement Parties. For the DCFTA part, another binding trade specific Dispute Settlement Mechanism is set out in form of a dedicated protocol. This trade specific mechanism is inspired by traditional WTO dispute settlement mechanism.

> The duration of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is unlimited. At the same time the Parties will undertake a comprehensive review of the achievement of objectives under the Agreement within five years. It should be noted that the text of the AA will be drawn up in 22 EU Member States languages as well as in Ukrainian.

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http://eeas.europa.eu/images/top_stories/140912_eu-ukraine-associatin-agreement-quick_guide.pdf


If after reviewing the above Svoboda Party “program” and the “Guide to the Association Agreement” does not adequately answer enough questions, the full text may give a broader understanding of how they cannot be reconciled and what really lies ahead for Ukraine.

ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ITS MEMBER STATES, OF THE ONE PART, AND UKRAINE, OF THE OTHER PART

PREAMBLE

THE KINGDOM OF BELGIUM,
THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA,
THE CZECH REPUBLIC,
THE KINGDOM OF DENMARK,
THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY,
THE REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA,
IRELAND,
THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC,
THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN,
THE FRENCH REPUBLIC,
THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC,
THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS,
THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA,
THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA,
THE GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG,
HUNGARY,
THE REPUBLIC OF MALTA,
THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS,
THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA,
THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND,
THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC,
ROMANIA,
THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA,
THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC,
THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND,
THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN,
THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND,
Contracting Parties to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Member States’,
THE EUROPEAN UNION, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Union’ or ‘the EU’ and
THE EUROPEAN ATOMIC ENERGY COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as ‘the
EURATOM’
on the one part, and

UKRAINE

on the other part,
Hereafter jointly referred to as ‘the Parties’,

– TAKING ACCOUNT of the close historical relationship and progressively closer links between the Parties as well as their desire to strengthen and widen relations in an ambitious and innovative way;
– COMMITTED to a close and lasting relationship that is based on common values, that is respect for democratic principles, rule of law, good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, non-discrimination of persons belonging to minorities and respect for diversity, human dignity and commitment to the principles of a free market economy, which would facilitate the participation of Ukraine in European policies;
– RECOGNIZING that Ukraine as a European country shares a common history and common values with the Member States of the European Union (EU) and is committed to promoting those values;
– NOTING the importance Ukraine attaches to its European identity;
– TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the strong public support in Ukraine for the country’s European choice;
– CONFIRMING that the European Union acknowledges the European aspirations of Ukraine and welcomes its European choice, including its commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy and a market economy;
– RECOGNIZING that the common values on which the European Union is built – namely democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and rule of law – are also essential elements of this Agreement;
– ACKNOWLEDGING that the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the European Union will depend on progress in the implementation of the current Agreement as well as Ukraine’s track record in ensuring respect for common values, and progress in convergence with the EU in political, economic and legal areas;
– COMMITTED to implementing all the principles and provisions of the United Nations Charter, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in particular of the Helsinki Final Act [of 1975], the concluding documents of the Madrid and Vienna Conferences of 1991 and 1992 respectively, the Charter of Paris for a New Europe [of 1990], the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights [of 1948] and the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms [of 1950];
– DESIROUS of strengthening international peace and security as well as engaging in effective multilateralism and the peaceful settlement of disputes, notably by closely cooperating to that end within the framework of the United Nations (UN) and the OSCE and the Council of Europe (CoE);
– COMMITTED to promoting the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders;
– DESIROUS of achieving an ever closer convergence of positions on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, taking into account the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union, including the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP);
– COMMITTED to reaffirming the international obligations of the Parties, to fighting against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and to cooperating on disarmament and arms control;
– DESIROUS of moving forward the reform and approximation process in Ukraine forward, thus contributing to gradual economic integration and deepening of political association;
– CONVINCED of the need for Ukraine to implement the political, socio-economic, legal and institutional reforms necessary to effectively implement this Agreement and committed to decisively supporting those reforms in Ukraine;
– DESIROUS of achieving economic integration, inter alia through a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) as an integral part of this Agreement, in compliance with rights and obligations arising out of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) membership of the Parties, including through extensive regulatory approximation;
– RECOGNIZING that such a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, linked to the broader process of legislative approximation, shall contribute to further economic integration with the European Union Internal Market as envisaged in this Agreement;
– COMMITTED to developing a conducive new climate for economic relations between the Parties, and above all for the development of trade and investment and stimulating competition, factors which are crucial to economic restructuring and modernisation;
– COMMITTED to enhancing energy cooperation, building on the commitment of the Parties to implement the Energy Charter Treaty [of 1994];
– COMMITTED to enhancing energy security, facilitating the development of appropriate infrastructure and increasing market integration and regulatory approximation towards key elements of the EU acquis, promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources as well as achieving a high level of nuclear safety;
– COMMITTED to increasing dialogue – based on the fundamental principles of solidarity, mutual trust, joint responsibility and partnership – and cooperation on migration, asylum and border management, with a comprehensive approach paying attention to legal migration and to cooperating in tackling illegal immigration, trafficking in human beings and the efficient implementation of the readmission agreement;
– RECOGNISING the importance of the introduction of a visa free travel regime for the citizens of Ukraine in due course, provided that the conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place;
– COMMITTED to combating organised crime and money laundering, to reducing the supply of and demand for illicit drugs and to stepping up cooperation in the fight against terrorism;
– COMMITTED to enhancing cooperation in the field of environmental protection and to the principles of sustainable development;
– DESIROUS of enhancing people-to-people contacts;
– COMMITTED to promoting cross-border and inter-regional cooperation;
– COMMITTED to gradually approximating Ukraine’s legislation with that of the Union along the lines set out in this Agreement and to effectively implementing it;
– TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that this Agreement shall not prejudice and leaves open future developments in EU-Ukraine relations;
– CONFIRMING that the provisions of this Agreement that fall within the scope of Part III, Title V of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union bind the United Kingdom and Ireland as separate Contracting Parties, and not as part of the European Union, unless the European Union together with the United Kingdom and/or Ireland jointly notify Ukraine that the United Kingdom or Ireland is bound as part of the European Union in accordance with Protocol No. 21 on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice annexed to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. If the United Kingdom and/or Ireland ceases to be bound as part of the European Union in accordance with Article 4a of the Protocol No. 21, the European Union together with the United Kingdom and/or Ireland shall immediately inform Ukraine of any change in their position in which case they shall remain bound by the provisions of the Agreement in their own right. The same applies to Denmark, in accordance with Protocol No. 22 on the position of Denmark, annexed to those Treaties.

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS

continue:
http://euroua.com/association/eu-ukraine-association-agreement_EN.pdf


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The end of the New World Order

The upheavals of the early 21st century have changed our world. Now, in the aftermath of failed wars and economic disasters, pressure for a social alternative can only grow

By
The Guardian
Friday 19 October 2012 18.00 BST

lehman-new-world-order
Culture shock … the collapse of Lehman Brothers ushered in the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

In the late summer of 2008, two events in quick succession signalled the end of the New World Order. In August, the US client state of Georgia was crushed in a brief but bloody war after it attacked Russian troops in the contested territory of South Ossetia.

The former Soviet republic was a favourite of Washington’s neoconservatives. Its authoritarian president had been lobbying hard for Georgia to join Nato’s eastward expansion. In an unblinking inversion of reality, US vice-president Dick Cheney denounced Russia‘s response as an act of “aggression” that “must not go unanswered”. Fresh from unleashing a catastrophic war on Iraq, George Bush declared Russia’s “invasion of a sovereign state” to be “unacceptable in the 21st century”.

As the fighting ended, Bush warned Russia not to recognise South Ossetia’s independence. Russia did exactly that, while US warships were reduced to sailing around the Black Sea. The conflict marked an international turning point. The US’s bluff had been called, its military sway undermined by the war on terror, Iraq and Afghanistan. After two decades during which it bestrode the world like a colossus, the years of uncontested US power were over.

Three weeks later, a second, still more far-reaching event threatened the heart of the US-dominated global financial system. On 15 September, the credit crisis finally erupted in the collapse of America’s fourth-largest investment bank. The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers engulfed the western world in its deepest economic crisis since the 1930s.

The first decade of the 21st century shook the international order, turning the received wisdom of the global elites on its head – and 2008 was its watershed. With the end of the cold war, the great political and economic questions had all been settled, we were told. Liberal democracy and free-market capitalism had triumphed. Socialism had been consigned to history. Political controversy would now be confined to culture wars and tax-and-spend trade-offs.

In 1990, George Bush Senior had inaugurated a New World Order, based on uncontested US military supremacy and western economic dominance. This was to be a unipolar world without rivals. Regional powers would bend the knee to the new worldwide imperium. History itself, it was said, had come to an end.

But between the attack on the Twin Towers and the fall of Lehman Brothers, that global order had crumbled. Two factors were crucial. By the end of a decade of continuous warfare, the US had succeeded in exposing the limits, rather than the extent, of its military power. And the neoliberal capitalist model that had reigned supreme for a generation had crashed.

It was the reaction of the US to 9/11 that broke the sense of invincibility of the world’s first truly global empire. The Bush administration’s wildly miscalculated response turned the atrocities in New York and Washington into the most successful terror attack in history.

Not only did Bush’s war fail on its own terms, spawning terrorists across the world, while its campaign of killings, torture and kidnapping discredited Western claims to be guardians of human rights. But the US-British invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq revealed the inability of the global behemoth to impose its will on subject peoples prepared to fight back. That became a strategic defeat for the US and its closest allies.

This passing of the unipolar moment was the first of four decisive changes that transformed the world – in some crucial ways for the better. The second was the fallout from the crash of 2008 and the crisis of the western-dominated capitalist order it unleashed, speeding up relative US decline.

This was a crisis made in America and deepened by the vast cost of its multiple wars. And its most devastating impact was on those economies whose elites had bought most enthusiastically into the neoliberal orthodoxy of deregulated financial markets and unfettered corporate power.

A voracious model of capitalism forced down the throats of the world as the only way to run a modern economy, at a cost of ballooning inequality and environmental degradation, had been discredited – and only rescued from collapse by the greatest state intervention in history. The baleful twins of neoconservatism and neoliberalism had been tried and tested to destruction.

The failure of both accelerated the rise of China, the third epoch-making change of the early 21st century. Not only did the country’s dramatic growth take hundreds of millions out of poverty, but its state-driven investment model rode out the west’s slump, making a mockery of market orthodoxy and creating a new centre of global power. That increased the freedom of manoeuvre for smaller states.

China’s rise widened the space for the tide of progressive change that swept Latin America – the fourth global advance. Across the continent, socialist and social-democratic governments were propelled to power, attacking economic and racial injustice, building regional independence and taking back resources from corporate control. Two decades after we had been assured there could be no alternatives to neoliberal capitalism, Latin Americans were creating them.

These momentous changes came, of course, with huge costs and qualifications. The US will remain the overwhelmingly dominant military power for the foreseeable future; its partial defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan were paid for in death and destruction on a colossal scale; and multipolarity brings its own risks of conflict. The neoliberal model was discredited, but governments tried to refloat it through savage austerity programmes. China’s success was bought at a high price in inequality, civil rights and environmental destruction. And Latin America’s US-backed elites remained determined to reverse the social gains, as they succeeded in doing by violent coup in Honduras in 2009. Such contradictions also beset the revolutionary upheaval that engulfed the Arab world in 2010-11, sparking another shift of global proportions.

By then, Bush’s war on terror had become such an embarrassment that the US government had to change its name to “overseas contingency operations”. Iraq was almost universally acknowledged to have been a disaster, Afghanistan a doomed undertaking. But such chastened realism couldn’t be further from how these campaigns were regarded in the western mainstream when they were first unleashed.

To return to what was routinely said by British and US politicians and their tame pundits in the aftermath of 9/11 is to be transported into a parallel universe of toxic fantasy. Every effort was made to discredit those who rejected the case for invasion and occupation – and would before long be comprehensively vindicated.

Michael Gove, now a Tory cabinet minister, poured vitriol on the Guardian for publishing a full debate on the attacks, denouncing it as a “Prada-Meinhof gang” of “fifth columnists”. Rupert Murdoch’s Sun damned those warning against war as “anti-American propagandists of the fascist left”. When the Taliban regime was overthrown, Blair issued a triumphant condemnation of those (myself included) who had opposed the invasion of Afghanistan and war on terror. We had, he declared, “proved to be wrong”.

A decade later, few could still doubt that it was Blair’s government that had “proved to be wrong”, with catastrophic consequences. The US and its allies would fail to subdue Afghanistan, critics predicted. The war on terror would itself spread terrorism. Ripping up civil rights would have dire consequences – and an occupation of Iraq would be a blood-drenched disaster.

The war party’s “experts”, such as the former “viceroy of Bosnia” Paddy Ashdown, derided warnings that invading Afghanistan would lead to a “long-drawn-out guerrilla campaign” as “fanciful”. More than 10 years on, armed resistance was stronger than ever and the war had become the longest in American history.

It was a similar story in Iraq – though opposition had by then been given voice by millions on the streets. Those who stood against the invasion were still accused of being “appeasers”. US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicted the war would last six days. Most of the Anglo-American media expected resistance to collapse in short order. They were entirely wrong.

A new colonial-style occupation of Iraq would, I wrote in the first week of invasion, “face determined guerrilla resistance long after Saddam Hussein has gone” and the occupiers “be driven out”. British troops did indeed face unrelenting attacks until they were forced out in 2009, as did US regular troops until they were withdrawn in 2011.

But it wasn’t just on the war on terror that opponents of the New World Order were shown to be right and its cheerleaders to be talking calamitous nonsense. For 30 years, the west’s elites insisted that only deregulated markets, privatisation and low taxes on the wealthy could deliver growth and prosperity.

Long before 2008, the “free market” model had been under fierce attack: neoliberalism was handing power to unaccountable banks and corporations, anti-corporate globalisation campaigners argued, fuelling poverty and social injustice and eviscerating democracy – and was both economically and ecologically unsustainable.

In contrast to New Labour politicians who claimed “boom and bust” to be a thing of the past, critics dismissed the idea that the capitalist trade cycle could be abolished as absurd. Deregulation, financialisation and the reckless promotion of debt-fuelled speculation would, in fact, lead to crisis.

The large majority of economists who predicted that the neoliberal model was heading for breakdown were, of course, on the left. So while in Britain the main political parties all backed “light-touch regulation” of finance, its opponents had long argued that City liberalisation threatened the wider economy.

Critics warned that privatising public services would cost more, drive down pay and conditions and fuel corruption. Which is exactly what happened. And in the European Union, where corporate privilege and market orthodoxy were embedded into treaty, the result was ruinous. The combination of liberalised banking with an undemocratic, lopsided and deflationary currency union that critics (on both left and right in this case) had always argued risked breaking apart was a disaster waiting to happen. The crash then provided the trigger.

The case against neoliberal capitalism had been overwhelmingly made on the left, as had opposition to the US-led wars of invasion and occupation. But it was strikingly slow to capitalise on its vindication over the central controversies of the era. Hardly surprising, perhaps, given the loss of confidence that flowed from the left’s 20th-century defeats – including in its own social alternatives.

But driving home the lessons of these disasters was essential if they were not to be repeated. Even after Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terror was pursued in civilian-slaughtering drone attacks from Pakistan to Somalia. The western powers played the decisive role in the overthrow of the Libyan regime – acting in the name of protecting civilians, who then died in their thousands in a Nato-escalated civil war, while conflict-wracked Syria was threatened with intervention and Iran with all-out attack.

And while neoliberalism had been discredited, western governments used the crisis to try to entrench it. Not only were jobs, pay and benefits cut as never before, but privatisation was extended still further. Being right was, of course, never going to be enough. What was needed was political and social pressure strong enough to turn the tables of power.

Revulsion against a discredited elite and its failed social and economic project steadily deepened after 2008. As the burden of the crisis was loaded on to the majority, the spread of protests, strikes and electoral upheavals demonstrated that pressure for real change had only just begun. Rejection of corporate power and greed had become the common sense of the age.

The historian Eric Hobsbawm described the crash of 2008 as a “sort of right-wing equivalent to the fall of the Berlin wall”. It was commonly objected that after the implosion of communism and traditional social democracy, the left had no systemic alternative to offer. But no model ever came pre-cooked. All of them, from Soviet power and the Keynesian welfare state to Thatcherite-Reaganite neoliberalism, grew out of ideologically driven improvisation in specific historical circumstances.

The same would be true in the aftermath of the crisis of the neoliberal order, as the need to reconstruct a broken economy on a more democratic, egalitarian and rational basis began to dictate the shape of a sustainable alternative. Both the economic and ecological crisis demanded social ownership, public intervention and a shift of wealth and power. Real life was pushing in the direction of progressive solutions.

The upheavals of the first years of the 21st century opened up the possibility of a new kind of global order, and of genuine social and economic change. As communists learned in 1989, and the champions of capitalism discovered 20 years later, nothing is ever settled.

This is an edited extract from The Revenge of History: the Battle for the 21st Century by Seumas Milne, published by Verso. Buy it for £16 at guardianbookshop.co.uk

continue reading source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/19/new-world-order

dfsg


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Cameron and Obama ended the neocon era. But the era of Assad goes on

David Cameron and Barack Obama buried the neocons in Washington. But the west will pay a price for the quiet life

By
The Guardian
Wednesday 14 March 2012 21.20 GMT

Barack Obama welcomes David Cameron
Barack Obama welcomes David Cameron during an official arrival ceremony on the south lawn of the White House in Washington today. Photograph: Mark Wilson / POOL/EPA

It is as easy to be distracted by the outward glamour of a prime ministerial visit to Washington as it is to fail to discern its occasional real inner substance. Both things apply in the case of David Cameron’s White House talks with Barack Obama. On one level they were the very embodiment of the self-indulgent vacuity of which Simon Jenkins wrote here. On another, they marked the end of a chapter in modern history.

On Wednesday in the White House they buried the neocons. Or, to put it rather more carefully, since neoconservatism has been through many contrasting incarnations and the term is widely misused, Cameron and Obama marked the imminent close of the phase of US-UK foreign policy that began after 9/11 with the coming together of American imperial power and British support for the active promotion of democracy and liberal institutions, particularly in the Muslim world.

Of course, like most attempts to draw a line in the sand of history, this one is approximate and inconclusive in many ways. The Afghanistan campaign which, along with the jihadist threat, is one of the few constants of the past decade, is not over yet. There will still be nearly 70,000 US troops in Afghanistan at the turn of this year and 9,000 British until late next, with an “enduring commitment” beyond that. The interventionist reflex, the wish to nurture liberal institutions as a counterweight to jihadism, and the sheer ability to act with greater military effectiveness than most rivals will all continue to shape US and UK foreign policy in the Muslim world and elsewhere for as far ahead as the eye can see.

Meanwhile, for all the buddiness of the US visit and the Churchillian rhetoric of their Washington Post op-ed piece this week, the two leaders do not march in lockstep anyway. Obama put it with utter clarity in Wednesday’s White House press conference. Britain and America are different economies in different places. The one nation is an indisputable first-rank world power. The other is a leading second-rank one that cannot act unilaterally even if it wanted to. The US is bound into the Middle East, in particular in relations with Israel, in ways that do not apply to Britain to the same degree. Cameron was more committed to intervention in Libya and is keener on intervention in Syria than Obama.

Yet, even when all these and many other provisos are taken into account, Wednesday was still the end of an era. Over Afghanistan – despite all the talk about the upcoming Nato summit, the handover to Afghan security forces and Obama’s claim that there will be “no steep cliff” of rapid pullout at the end of 2014 – the aim is withdrawal. Recent killings of Brits and by Americans and Wednesday’s audacious attack inside Camp Bastion are all harbingers of that. “People get weary,” said Obama, in a moment of frankness. The pullout will happen because the voters have lost the will to fight.

The similar surface noise over Iran and Syria also conceals a deeper current, a long withdrawing roar of disengagement. Cameron and Obama dwelt less on Iran and Syria than they did on Afghanistan. That’s partly because there is less they can do there, even the Americans, certainly the British. The Washington Post joint article emphasised that there is time and space to pursue a diplomatic solution in Iran, buttressed by stronger sanctions. There is not an iota of ambiguity in the toughness of the language, but the unspoken reality is that Obama would do almost anything to avoid getting trapped into a military strike against Iran. That doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. But it does mean that he thinks, rightly, that it would be a mark of failure if it did.

In Syria the limits of engagement are even more stark. At the White House press conference, Obama spoke about aid to the opposition, about pressure on the regime, about mobilising the nations and tightening the sanctions. Cameron threatened the Assad dynasty with the international criminal court. It all sounds like action, and it is all useful incremental stuff. But it is action at a distance, with strict limits. It is not intervention, because the international order has a collective interest in inaction and because the costs – not least the political costs at home – are deemed too high.

All this is, in very large part, the politics of where we are now. Faced with all three of these grim situations at once – a decade-long losing struggle against a feudal patriarchal narco-state, the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of a paranoid revolutionary theocracy, and the readiness of a corrupt Arab socialist autocrat to kill his own people for the sake of the revolution – it is hardly surprising that Obama and Cameron hold back. Who’s to blame them for doing so? The historic failure in Iraq leaves them little choice. But so does the fragility of the global economy. Even if the US and the UK were faced with only one of the three problems, Iraq and the recession would make them think twice.

A large part of all of us breathes a huge sigh of relief at this. The post-George Bush era finally beckons. Withdrawal from Afghanistan means no more pointless deaths of young soldiers, no more massacres, insults and acts of desecration against Afghans – at least by Americans. Western nations think in instant gratification terms and short timescales and this has all gone on too long. The west has had enough of fear and shame and hard times, of making enemies out of strangers and realising that getting people to change their ways is harder than it first seemed. People get weary, just like Obama said.

Another part of us, though, ought to reflect on what is being lost by this overwhelming collective disengagement. The disengagement is happening because the mistakes – crimes if you prefer – of the past have created a collective war-weariness that has now become a collective war-wariness. It is natural to want the conflict to end.

Who wouldn’t? It’s not wrong to want a quiet life, but how right is it when it comes at a price that someone else will inevitably have to pay? That wasn’t acceptable to earlier generations who scorned non-intervention in Spain or Abyssinia. Obama and Cameron closed the door on the George Bush era on Wednesday, to the general relief of the world. But the era of Mullah Omar, Ayatollah Khamenei and Bashar al-Assad goes on, posing questions that will one day have to be answered.

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continue reading source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/14/cameron-obama-ended-neocon-era

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Bush, Gog and Magog

Bush, Gog and Magog

Just when you thought it couldn’t get crazier, a well-sourced story claims Bush invaded Iraq because of Bible prophecies

Here’s a story we should all be ashamed of missing: George W Bush attempted to sell the invasion of Iraq to Jacques Chirac using biblical prophecy.

In the winter of 2003, when George Bush and Tony Blair were frantically gathering support for their planned invasion, Professor Thomas Römer, an Old Testament expert at the university of Lausanne, was rung up by the Protestant Federation of France. They asked him to supply them with a summary of the legends surrounding Gog and Magog and as the conversation progressed, he realised that this had originally come, from the highest reaches of the French government.

President Jacques Chirac wanted to know what the hell President Bush had been on about in their last conversation. Bush had then said that when he looked at the Middle East, he saw “Gog and Magog at work” and the biblical prophecies unfolding. But who the hell were Gog and Magog? Neither Chirac nor his office had any idea. But they knew Bush was an evangelical Christian, so they asked the French Federation of Protestants, who in turn asked Professor Römer.

He explained that Gog and Magog were, to use theological jargon, crazy talk. They appear twice in the Old Testament, once as a name, and once in a truly strange prophecy in the book of Ezekiel:

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

Who are all these people? The best opinion is that like all Bible prophecy, it is a mixture of wish-fulfilment and contemporary (iron age) politics. Some of it at least seems to refer to the turmoil brought about by Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC (unlike Bush, Alexander actually conquered Afghanistan). But they have been for the last two hundred years the subject of increasingly excited evangelical fanfic, especially in America; in the 70s and 80s, Gog was meant to be Russia. Ronald Reagan seems to have believed that.

But with Reagan, the prophecy appreciation part of his brain functioned quite independently of the part that started wars (there’s nothing in the Old Testament about Nicaragua or even Grenada). Bush seems to have taken the threat of Gog and Magog to Israel quite literally, and, if this story can be believed, to have launched a war to stop them.

Can it be believed? We have calls out to Professor Römer and to the Protestant Federation of France. I’ll report back if or when they get back to us. But Römer story was published in the Lausanne University magazine in 2007, and looks perfectly credible there. It was repeated independently in a French book of interviews with Chirac this spring. I’m certainly inclined to believe it myself: it makes as much sense as anything else about Bush’s policy in Iraq.

There is one last twist to the story. The prophecy concludes in a way that should make even George W Bush flinch: having set his hooks in Gog, Magog, Meschech, Tubal, old Gomer, Togarmah and all, and dragged them to attack Israel, what does God do to defend his chosen people? First he gets mad:

My fury shall come up in my face.

And then he gets even:

For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.
And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

Is that really what a true defender of Israel would wish to happen there? If there was anyone who suffered such things as a result of Bush’s war, it was the poor Iraqis. Tricky stuff, the word of the lord.

original source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2009/aug/10/religion-george-bush