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Europe's Frontier: A Rusted Iron Curtain

by Oui Sun Jan 7th, 2018 at 09:58:35 AM EST

"Europe faces a threat to its cohesion. But this time it's on the eastern front, not the western"

The Observer view on the EU's eastern bloc | Editorial - Jan. 7, 2018 |

European leaders have been at pains over the past 12 months to emphasise that Brexit is not the only or even the biggest issue confronting the EU. They do so, in part, to keep the British in their place. But they also speak the truth. Whether it is eurozone reform, the rise of xenophobic extremism or growing pressure exerted by Russia ...

Yet the EU's biggest challenge in 2018 may be none of the above. It comes from within. It has been slowly emerging along the bloc's central and eastern flanks since the so-called Visegrád Group of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic acceded in 2004.

More below the fold  ...

Front paged - Frank Schnittger

Orbán has called for the defence of Europe's "Christian culture" against "Muslim invasion". And he accuses Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, of "moral imperialism" in supposedly forcing Syrian refugees on Europe in 2015.

Orbán's crude antics have resulted in elevated poll ratings at home, his expected re-election this spring, and a raised profile as the voice of heightened central and eastern European resistance to Franco-German domination of the EU. The prospect of Britain no longer being around to offset the influence of Berlin and Paris has fuelled this reactionary, Eurosceptic dynamic among smaller EU states whose membership London formerly championed - yet another unwelcome Brexit outcome.

Orbán now claims a new friend in the almost but not quite neo-fascist coalition that won power in Austria at the close of 2017. But it is Poland, under the ugly tutelage of the authoritarian Law and Justice party, that has emerged as his closest ally.

Every disadvantage has its advantage or new opportunities, ...

A lot to consume in this strong editorial, it's the underlying decade long development of the Eastern Bloc that has caused the erosion of Western - or Old Europe's principles of the Common Market of the Six. I do put much of the blame in the aggression of NATO to move its frontier eastward and with the Afghan War at the behest of the United States, into a global expeditionary force for regime change wherever. The main culprits are the U.S. under Clinton - Bush - Obama and the U.K. regimes of Tony Blair - Gordon Brown - David Cameron.

The British financial centrum of London is one of the foremost homes of Russian oligarchs to stash their wealth and use their propaganda to overthrow their nemesis, Putin, in the Kremlin.

The Interpreter is an anti-Russian propaganda outfit funded by ousted Russian oligarch Khodorkovsky

Ever since 2004 and the first Orange Revolution, the anti-Russia movement has gained steam and in the last election year for U.S. President got all the losers of the Democratis party on its bandwagon. How sad ... reminds me of the patriotic or nationalistic mindset of the 1960s and the early stage of the Vietnam War protest.

My earlier diaries on the opportunities after Brexit ...

Europe Establishes Defense Pact PESCO
Europe's Socialism Beats IMF Forecast ...
Ukraine-Russia Proxy War and the U.S. Election
Berlin Stunned By Aggressive NATO Propaganda On Ukraine

It's just like the American people electing Donald Trump as their president, it's been a long time coming. Best to watch this fissure in democracy and get it over with as soon as possible with the least of harm. It's a process where We The People must learn and make better choices.

From comments @BooMan ...

Naomi Klein on the US Elections, the Democratic Party, and What the Movement Does Next | The Real News - June 20, 2016 |

    The Bernie Sanders campaign has shown that "a progressive majority in the United States is within grasp" and could play a major role in the next election cycle, said Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

    "What do we do with this energy that now reveals that actually, a progressive majority in the United States is within grasp?" said Klein. "I mean, this is a shattering of the neoliberal consensus. We've been told for so long that the left could never win in the United States, and here you have a candidate who's a self-described democratic socialist, never walks that back. The more he spoke openly about seemingly radical ideas like free, free education and so on, free college education, the bigger the crowds became," said Klein.

    "On the other hand, what the Sanders campaign has shown is that a lot of what we told ourselves on the left is not true," Klein said.

It was the Democrats' embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump | The Guardian Opinion - Nov. 9, 2016 |

Democrats once represented the working class. Not any more | The Guardian Opinion - Nov. 10, 2016 |

Compare the state of affairs in today's Democratic Party and Jeromy Corbyn's Labour party ...

The latest victory for Corbynites creates a conqueror's dilemma

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jan 8th, 2018 at 06:22:11 AM EST
It's 7th of January 2018, not 2017 ?

Now what ?
by pi (etribu-at-opsec.eu) on Wed Jan 10th, 2018 at 08:24:43 AM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jan 10th, 2018 at 07:25:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot to consume in this strong editorial

is an appropriately understated response to the many unstated assumptions that constitute the subject ("cohesion")--alternately attributed to either "EU" (supra-national government bureaucracy) or "European" identity (centripetal acceleration of topography)--elevated to the readers' attention by the lamentation of anonymous "independent" Observer's pubic intellectuals (+ SHOW/HIDE).

You are quite correct to unmask the true subject of this editorial. It is "Old Europe's" principal state actors in the theater of world wars and intriguing alliances. This implacable "Balance of Power" defies reduction, whether by fervid romanticism, munition, "Council of Four," or SDR. Any semblance of concerted peace infuriates speculators.

Money left on the table

I say, lamentation for a thing that never was ("cohesion") indicates the fugue state enveloping the Observer's gaze. The editors' speech is invidious, scarcely objective. Look, I am to understand, postulate the current condition of perennial feudal competition for domination, "an empire," is actually an empire. The very agents of EU or Europe's purported demise are its "nationalistic"* constituencies, Hungary and Poland but not Britain. They are not "an alliance of free nations" as is the custom, the British want no part in it.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jan 10th, 2018 at 08:31:51 PM EST
re: "its band wagon"

2004 will do for a date, when Anglo-merican gov't executed a "pivot" away from NATO. Neither have been any good at alliances to begin with. I suppose, by then equivocation of the willing (the civilian rather than NATO careerists) in support of the QWOT effort, rising industrial and monetary rivalry (1998), not to mention tepid reception of the PNAC led by the other idiot, G.W. Bush, provoked it.

The Surge

Unilateral escalation of hostilities on the greater middle-east front and regression to red-baiting espionage on the western front foreshadowed a schism: This lede, I think, belongs to the section in a future chapter of an AP US-History-Opposed-to- European History textbook (Kindle edition), dedicated to "international relations." Tap to watch the alpha, "Either you're for us or against us," (2001) and the omega, "Fuck the EU" (2014). But how?

DNC Super Delegates Leap PNAC, GWOT, MAGA into 1951

Defamation. It's a comparatively cheap stimulus. The mess o'er Syria is winding down. And it's ballsy! Un-American Activities interrogation of 28 unfree, sovereign nations, 600M, to peel off, say, a couple hundred recruits for KAOS. VOA/NPR reports, "Democrats Detail Russian Election Interference In Europe."

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are out with a new report [206 pp] detailing [!] Russian interference in 19 European countries. NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Sen. Ben "Criminalize BDS" Cardin.
INSKEEP: ...I'd like to ask though, other than the United States, where the intelligence agencies did find Russia with substantial interference, has Russia actually changed the election results in very many places?
CARDIN: Well, that's impossible [!] to tell. We know that they were very active, as you pointed out, in France and Germany. We know in the U.K., they were active in the Brexit referendum. Did they influence the result? I don't think we'll ever know for sure. But we know that they did try to interfere with the democratic institutions of free elections.

The report is a masterpiece of WTF, revising 30 years of Putin hagiography, sifting through then refuting published US "intelligence community" RT marketing statistics (Chap. 3, Old Active Measures and Modern Malign Influence Operation), and so forth. The money quote:
Using the funding authorization outlined in the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act as policy guidance, the U.S. government [!] should increase this spending in Europe and Eurasia to at least $250 million over the next two fiscal years.

Beyond Eurozone: Chapter 6

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jan 11th, 2018 at 02:25:01 AM EST
more pull-quotes, less politic review @ DURAN
Democrat Senators publish a deeply disturbing and profoundly racist report about Russia

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jan 13th, 2018 at 07:23:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Democrats search for Russians -- any Russians -- for collusion story
In a letter from the Democratic senior minority counsel for the [SENATE SELECT] committee [ON INTELLIGENCE], April Doss, various individuals and groups were told to reveal not just any Russian citizens with which they have associated but anyone that an organization "knows or has reason to believe [is] of Russian nationality or descent." Any degree of Russian blood.
So these individuals and groups are expected to reveal the names and association with anyone with any Russian blood who acted "in any way" with any aspect of the "political election process in the U.S."
The forced disclosure of such names has long been viewed as a threat to core constitutional rights. In the 1958 case National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Alabama in seeking the list of members from the NAACP. The court ruled that the disclosure of such names "may induce members to withdraw from the Association and dissuade others from joining it because of fear of exposure of their beliefs shown through their associations and of the consequences of this exposure."

If Europeans can't do better than this, I don't know what.

Black Struggle, Red Scare
I was hoping you'd flag plays in the SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE on Internal Security

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Jan 11th, 2018 at 04:17:35 AM EST
Somebody has to give them the name of Sergey Brin.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jan 11th, 2018 at 07:27:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Story of Sergey Brin

I think California is trying to escape McCarthyism of Nixon, Reagan and Cohn - Trump's advisor.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 11th, 2018 at 10:19:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oo boy. That Weisberg repro is an ugly trip down memory turnpike ...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jan 11th, 2018 at 06:49:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
unfortunately, it was a boomerang! :-(

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 11th, 2018 at 08:21:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To my mind, Ukraine doom will always be associated with ETA and IMF debt traps --another "structural adjustment program"-- chained to NATO membership. And the remote possibility of EU membership, a promise of liberation from tyranny of the oligarchs. This set up had Love, Greece all over it, under the civil war and Breedlove false flags, right up to the Minsk cease fire.

At that other website, from the beginning I'd suggest a vacation in Kiev to any UID bragging about  lowest USD:EUR rates ever.

So. How's austerity working out for the Chocolate King and the freedom fighters? Two interpretations of FYE 2017. The conclusions barely differ, but familiarity with ground conditions do.

Atlantic Council | Which Will Be Europe's Poorest Country? Ukraine or Moldova
Duran | 2017: The Ukrainian economy's dismal year

The kiss of death and turn of the screw I expected:

Thanks to its improved macroeconomic situation, Ukraine's government sold $3 billion of Eurobonds* in September. Unfortunately, this sign of economic health tipped the political balance against reform. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was supposed to give Ukraine credits of $4 billion in 2017. But since the government did not fulfill the IMF conditions, the country received only $1 billion, while it had to pay back $1.3 billion. The European Union canceled its last tranche of €600 million after Ukraine failed to fulfill four conditions.

* This brand class is horribly misleading. For the record: I never refer to any of those funds. Whenever I mention "eurobonds", I'm anticipating issue of an instrument that does not exist yet, EU treasury notes, "backed" by the full faith and credit of EP taxation authority. It's a France dream, a Germany nightmare.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Jan 13th, 2018 at 07:07:43 AM EST
Republicans in power end George Bush's War on Terror (WOT). Claiming victory?

You are with US or the enemy!

China, Russia outpace terrorism as greatest threat to US, says Pentagon | DW |

The US has classified China and Russia as its main military competitors in a strategy document. Moscow has dismissed Washington's defense policy as "imperialist," while China said it represented a "Cold War mentality."

The US Defense Department on Friday unveiled a new "national defense strategy" that portrays China and Russia as the largest threats to US interests, saying the country's armed forces must increase combat readiness.

"It is increasingly clear that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model - gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic and security decisions," said an 11-page unclassified version released on Friday.

 « click for more info »

The new strategy represents a "fundamental shift" in US defense policy, which has largely focused on countering terror groups in the Middle East since the September 11, 2001 attacks claimed by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

'Urgent change'

At a speech unveiling the strategy, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said the US faces "growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russia." The new strategy establishes the need for "urgent change" in the armed forces, which will allow it to "restore warfighting readiness" Mattis claimed it has lost.  

National Defense Strategy released with clear priority: Stay ahead of Russia and China | Defense News |
Is NATO doing enough to pressure Russia over Ukraine?

Just a reminder, former NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer distances himself from his political life long pro-Atlantic attitude.

Unbelievable ... Jaap De Hoop Scheffer

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 19th, 2018 at 08:00:10 PM EST
The Pentagon is chock-a-block with half wits.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 at 07:11:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In US pilot circles the maneuver would be called an Ace!

Here's The Video Of the Russian Su-27 Flanker Buzzing A U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries Over The Black Sea | The Aviationist |

On Jan. 29, a U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries aircraft flying in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27.

According to the U.S. Navy "This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the Su-27 closing to within five feet and crossing directly through the EP-3's flight path, causing the EP-3 to fly through the Su-27's jet wash. The duration of the intercept lasted two hours and 40 minutes."

"The Russian military is within its right to operate within international airspace, but they must behave within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents on and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). Unsafe actions‎ increase the risk of miscalculation and midair collisions.

The U.S. aircraft was operating in accordance with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity."

Why does the US Navy increase its presence in the Black Sea
Russia, Turkey and the Black Sea A2/AD Arms Race | National Interest - March 2017 |
US destroyer Donald Cook enters Black Sea amid Ukraine tension | RT - March 2014 |
Crimea and the Black Sea Fleet in Russian- Ukrainian Relations | Belfer Center - Aug. 1995 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jan 31st, 2018 at 08:15:05 PM EST

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