September 2, 2014

Veterans Write Open Letter To Merkel To Avoid All-Out Ukraine War

Alarmed at the anti-Russian hysteria sweeping Washington, and the specter of a new Cold War, U.S. intelligence veterans one of whom is none other than William Binney, the former senior NSA crypto-mathematician who back in March 2012 blew the whistle on the NSA's spying programs more than a year before Edward Snowden, took the unusual step of sending the following memo dated August 30 to German Chancellor Merkel challenging the reliability of Ukrainian and U.S. media claims about a Russian "invasion."

Via AntiWar and ConsortiumNews, highlights ours

MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Ukraine and NATO

We the undersigned are longtime veterans of U.S. intelligence. We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on September 4-5.

You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian "invasion" of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the "intelligence" seems to be of the same dubious, politically "fixed" kind used 12 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicions of charges made by the US State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Barack Obama tried yesterday to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as "a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now … it’s not really a shift."

Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration – who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war, and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy. One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on "intelligence" that was dubious, at best.

Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days. More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the NATO summit next week.

Experience With Untruth

Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s checkered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen’s speeches continue to be drafted by Washington. This was abundantly clear on the day before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish Prime Minister, he told his Parliament: "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know."

Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence. Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine. Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on February 5, 2003 that, likewise, proved nothing.

That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were "increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence" and told him flatly, "Powell’s presentation does not come close" to justifying war. We urged Mr. Bush to "widen the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic."

Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic. Although President Vladimir Putin has until now showed considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can "shock and awe." In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.

If the photos that NATO and the US have released represent the best available "proof" of an invasion from Russia, our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the NATO summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative. Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Mr. Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.

We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of NATO is anathema to the Kremlin. According to a February 1, 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the US embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US Ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia’s strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.

Lavrov warned pointedly of "fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene." Burns gave his cable the unusual title, "NYET MEANS NYET: RUSSIA’S NATO ENLARGEMENT REDLINES," and sent it off to Washington with IMMEDIATE precedence. Two months later, at their summit in Bucharest NATO leaders issued a formal declaration that "Georgia and Ukraine will be in NATO."

Just yesterday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk used his Facebook page to claim that, with the approval of Parliament that he has requested, the path to NATO membership is open. Yatsenyuk, of course, was Washington’s favorite pick to become prime minister after the February 22 coup d’etat in Kiev. "Yats is the guy," said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland a few weeks before the coup, in an intercepted telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. You may recall that this is the same conversation in which Nuland said, "Fuck the EU."

Timing of the Russian "Invasion"

The conventional wisdom promoted by Kiev just a few weeks ago was that Ukrainian forces had the upper hand in fighting the anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine, in what was largely portrayed as a mop-up operation. But that picture of the offensive originated almost solely from official government sources in Kiev. There were very few reports coming from the ground in southeastern Ukraine. There was one, however, quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that raised doubt about the reliability of the government’s portrayal.

According to the "press service of the President of Ukraine" on August 18, Poroshenko called for a "regrouping of Ukrainian military units involved in the operation of power in the East of the country. … Today we need to do the rearrangement of forces that will defend our territory and continued army offensives," said Poroshenko, adding, "we need to consider a new military operation in the new circumstances."

If the "new circumstances" meant successful advances by Ukrainian government forces, why would it be necessary to "regroup," to "rearrange" the forces? At about this time, sources on the ground began to report a string of successful attacks by the anti-coup federalists against government forces. According to these sources, it was the government army that was starting to take heavy casualties and lose ground, largely because of ineptitude and poor leadership.

Ten days later, as they became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the "Russian invasion." That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by NATO and reporters like the New York Times’ Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that "the Russians are coming." (Michael Gordon was one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq.)

No Invasion – But Plenty Other Russian Support

The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.

At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come.

This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying. What is to be done at this point? In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership in NATO is not in the cards – and that NATO has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia – and especially not in support of the ragtag army of Ukraine. Other members of NATO need to be told the same thing.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

  • William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
  • David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
  • Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
  • Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)
  • Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)
  • Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)
  • Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)


2nd BEHEADING - Int'l Reports Claim Steven Sotloff Was Beheaded by ISIS

Reuters, CNN as well as many other news agencies were claiming on Tuesday that ISIS released a video showing  the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff.

The news implies that the journalist was executed by jihadist terrorists but there was no immediate confirmation of the video. The only thing that was announced was that the video warns governments to back off from this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State.

In the footage a masked militant beheads US reporter James Foley then parades Mr Sotloff, warning he is going to meet the same fate unless American President Barack Obama ends all the air strikes against the group in Iraq.

According to the international reports, Sotloff, 31, disappeared while reporting the news from war-torn Syria in August 2013. He is believed to have been kidnapped but this was not widely reported until he appeared on a video released last month by this barbaric terrorist organization.

Athens Slams Unacceptable Comments By Erdogan On Cyprus

The Greek government slammed the calls by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a “two-state” solution to the Cyprus problem and claims that Athens is not “doing its duty” as a guarantor power, desvribing them as “disappointing” and something that only confirms "Ankara’s persistence in its aggressive policy” on Cyprus.

Press reports said that the Turkish President opposed the prospect for a settlement based on a bi communal, bi zonal federation, while addressing a joint news conference in the Turkish-occupied north of Nicosia with Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

The same reports in the Greek press note that Erdogan denied receiving a letter from Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, which was delivered to him at his inauguration ceremony in Ankara last week by Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

Apparently when Erdogan arrived in the occupied north of the island, he was quoted as saying that Ankara would “not allow Turkish Cypriots to be incorporated within the Greek-Cypriot state as a minority” and then he called on Greece and the United Kingdom to intensify efforts to break the deadlock, claiming that “the Cyprus problem will be solved very quickly if Greece does its duty as a guarantor power as Turkey has done.”

Erdogan also pointed out that his country would permit the reopening of a former Greek Orthodox seminary near Constantinopole if the government of Athens finally allowed the construction of traditional mosques with minarets in the capital to begin as well as gave its consent to the Muslim communities in Thrace, northern Greece, to directly appoint their own muftis.

His statements were slammed by the Greek government and in a strongly worded statement the spokesman of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Constantinos Koutras, accused the Turkish President of attempting to “equate certain of Greece’s international obligations with Turkey’s heavy burden of responsibility regarding the Cyprus issue”, and described the parallel as “historically and legally groundless and, thus, politically unacceptable.”

Evidence suggests that tomb at Amphipolis was not looted

Evidence suggests that the tomb at Ancient Amphipolis may have not been looted, Culture Minister Constantinos Tasoulas said on Tuesday on MEGA Channel.
     "The landfill in the interior of the antechamber was made to protect the grave," Tasoulas said.
He added that:
      "the final answer will be given by the archaeological research....we must see the grave before we say for sure".
The Culture Minister pointed out that the finds in Amphipolis are good news that "Greek people deserve" adding that the ancient Greek culture and history is a source of pride for the Greeks.

OPINION - Greece, Europe, The Middle East & The Geopolitics of Blood

The atrocities carried out in the Middle East and Northern Africa seem unending. With the sword and Qur’an the Salafist jihadists are reviving 7th century brutality and are expanding with propaganda of blood and slaughter. By taking the world 1,300 back, they are sending chills of concern to the USA and Great Britain, whose foolish leaders Bush and Blair launched two unfortunate wars in 1993 and 2003 in the inhospitable Mesopotamian deserts.

Last Friday Great Britain upgraded its alert in order to tackle impending terrorist attacks, while in the USA the secrete services are carrying out investigations for Americans fighting for the Islamic State’s knife-wielding thugs.

Under pressure from previous experiences in the region, the Americans and English are avoiding making any commitments for military action in Syria.

Meanwhile the Kurds are directly threatened, Lebanon and Jordan fear the idea of a jihadists invasion,

Libya is being claimed by similar Islamic groups and Egypt, despite having well-trained armed forces, is living under the constant threat of a generalized Islamic revolt.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia, which until recently funded the jihadists, is trying to contain its population with immense infrastructure works, while the Emirs in Qatar are also starting to withdraw their support for the best, under intense pressure from the Americans.

As it appears, the West has lost control in the greater region and Israel is obviously feeling a greater threat, which is why it recently adopted a similar logic of blood and invasion in Gaza.

Sooner or later things will work out, through the rivers of blood and endless brutality and to the extent that the West cannot have a positive effect or take advantage of the influence that the Russians have in the area, who are currently embroiled in their own matters in Ukraine and are challenging Americans and Europeans.

The region will be split according to the new terms and influence of the Islamic State, the balances will change; Iran will become a regional power, the Kurds will likely gain a state, Turkey will experience the consequences of the new architecture in Mesopotamia and Greece should be prepared to receive endless waves of refuges.

We still do not know how China, Japan, India and the other smaller powers will respond to the new redistribution of power.

The Americans are already criticizing the Chinese for indifference, accusing them of not assuming their international responsibilities and merely collecting money.

Europe also resembles a serious patient, watching on with apathy. Germany and her rich satellites seem dedicated to their national –rather than European- goals, while France seems to have come to a standstill thanks to its bourgeois leadership; Italy has yet to come up with a reliable leadership and Spain does not have the strength and overall Europe seems trapped.

It is not in the position to serve the vision of a brave union which could make Europe a hegemonic force and guarantor of peace and progress.

There is not doubt that the world is changing face, that it is moving away from the balances of the past and revving forgotten threats.

That is why Greece and her people must focus on provisions and national unity. It is no time for weak-mindedness, slacking and leaps into the void.

Nobody can make any accurate predictions.

Originally Published in the To Vima Newspaper

Antonis Vardis passes away at the age of 66

Popular singer and song writer Antonis Vardis passed away early on Tuesday morning, at the age of 66, after a long battle with cancer.  He was diagnosed with cancer almost 23 years ago and in 2013 underwent a difficult surgical procedure in Germany which he believed vindicated his fight. Unfortunately the procedure, which removed a tumor in his brain, was not as successful as he thought and he was hospitalized two months ago after falling into a relapse.

He was born in 1948 in Moschato (southern Athens) and at just six years of age he met and charmed some of Greece’s greatest music legends such as Tsitsanis, Papaioannou, Zambetas and Rena Dalia at the “Falirikon” club, where he surprisingly first performed on stage.

Almost eleven years later and at the ripe age of 17, he formed the “Vickings” band with several of his friends and began to perform with many composers and musicians in the area of Plaka, such as Manos Loizos, George Dalaras, Yiannis Parios, Nikos Xylouris and more.

In 1973 he was awarded the second prize at a major music competition with a song that he composed but that was performed by George Dalaras.

Throughout his long career Vardis worked with some of the biggest names in the Greek music industry such as important Greek composers and musicians, such as Stelios Kazantzidis, Yannis Poulopoulos, Vasilis Papakonstantinou, Christos Nikolopoulos, Takis Soukas, Thanasis Polykandriotis, Dimos Moutsis, Yannis Spanos, Loukianos Kilaidonis, Manos Loizos, Lakis Karnezis, Haris Alexiou, Manolis Mitsias, Vicky Moscholiou, Dimitra Galani, Antonis Kalogiannis, Anna Vissi, Dimitris Psarianos, Tzavaras, Tania Tsanaklidou, Lavrentis Macheritsas, Antonis Remos, Sakis Rouvas, his son Yiannis Vardis and many many more.

Kalo Taxidi Antonis... You will be sadly missed.

OPINION - Assertive Russia + Disappearing West = Game Over?

The Russians are displaying more maturity and a stronger nerve over Ukraine. Do they suspect there is no longer any such animal as the West? And does Merkel want to change sides? The following is an excellent analysis from John Ward at The Slog. This is a must read!

John Ward (The Slog) - Whether “the West” likes it or not, the Russian deputy defence minister Anatoly Antonov, pulled a masterstroke of persuasion earlier this week when he demanded that the MH17 black box recordings be published in full. In this context, I do not use the word ‘propaganda’, and therein lies the genius of his move: for most people’s assumption will be that Antonov would never make the demand if he thought that there was the remotest chance the recorder would accuse the Russians of involvement in the shooting down of the Malaysian Boeing.

There’s a cynical particle inside me, of course, that wonders if Mr Antonov already knows that the black box is (a) missing (b) inconclusive or (c) has been snaffled by Moscow. But I doubt all that – otherwise he would’ve made the call much earlier. The deputy defence minister has put “the West” on the spot.

Except he hasn’t in terms of mass communications, because the vast majority of people seem to me not to have noticed his demand. But neverthless, the contrast between “Western” press hysteria and the relatively calm assurance of Putin and his entourage is there for all the objective folks to see quite clearly.

The screamer from the Daily Telegraph earlier this week insists that ‘Ukrainian volunteer battalions claim “hundreds” of their men have been killed and dozens taken prisoner after pro-Russian forces reneged on an agreement to allow them to withdraw from a besieged town 20 miles east of Donetsk’. The entire thing is hearsay that comes under the heading of “they would say that wouldn’t they?”.

You may have spotted that I’ve put ‘the West’ in inverted commas three times above.

This is because my one formative insight is to wonder if the term The West means anything any longer.

As I’ve posted before, it is clear that Berlin is not enjoying any of this EU/US pressurising of the Russians. It is equally clear (if 35 contacts around the EU are anything to go by) that Europeans with a functioning brain have – at the very least – doubts about what they’re being told… and in almost every case, see Germany’s idea of a federal solution in the Ukraine as perfectly sensible.

More generally, I have to add that they regard the idea of “going to war” over Ukraine as ridiculous bordering on surreal, and an obvious bluff.

I agree with them wholeheartedly: Barroso talking of a ‘point of no return’ only affirms my conviction that the universal mediocrity of EC officialdom is the only environment in which this former pro-Moscow booby could ever thrive.

All of which makes me doubt if there is any such thing in 2014 as The West.

The dislike of American commercial imperialism so strongly expressed by Charles de Gaulle in the 1960s has long since spread across Europe, and although British governments continue to spout “special relationship” at every opportunity, I’d be prepared to bet that – were there to be an Ashton Poll tomorrow – the majority would wish Westminster to be much less closely aligned to Washington.

Certainly, there is no doubt in my mind that inside the Chancellery, the key players are fed up to the back teeth of knee-jerk US energy-supply obsession. \

Merkel in particular (I’m told) has several times asked her aides rhetorically if President Obama has spotted that the EU has a bigger problem in that area… but seems less willing than Washington to blow up the planet in pursuit of a solution.

In many ways, the Ukraine tit-for-tat is a close replay of the Syrian saga, during which blatant attempts by the US State Department to whitewash the Muslim Brotherhood and blacken Assad’s Alawhites became so silly in the end, we were asked to believe that the Syrian leader was both about to surrender at any moment and busy alienating a traditional ally (Turkey) by bombing its airfields. When Recep Erdogan tried to pump up that particular balloon further, his citizens and poll advisers quickly stuck a pin in it.

I hold no brief for Putin, or for Bashar Assad: and as regular Sloggers know, the simplistic support for Hamas is a phenomenon I regard as akin to claiming Evangelos Venizelos could cross the Atlantic on a lawnmower. But equally, I regard Netanyahu as a necessary evil – as do many Israelis, by the way – and have long since ceased to believe anything uttered by John Kerry, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

I do not believe I am atypical in this regard.

So I ask again, ‘What exactly is The West in 2014?’.

For me, it looks like this: an America increasingly out of step with its allies, a Britain out of step with the EU, an Australia heavily dependent on China as a customer, a Russia keen to move closer to Beijing, a Japan looking after Number One as always, a Germany tired of America and ClubMed – and an utterly divided EU on the subject of neoliberal austerity.

Looked at from this perspective, exactly who are all these clowns speaking on behalf of when they warn Russia of dire consequences: the Greeks, who have never trusted the US? The Hungarians, who see Brussels as merely an agent of globalist colonialism? The British, whose dash towards UKip gathers momentum? The French, whose ruling Party has a large minority against Brussels-am-Berlin economic policy that is spookily close to the views of Marine LePen? The Italians, who display – with every month – a growing desire to exit the euro?

I think not.

Rather, they speak – as always these days – for puffed-up functionaries, deeply disturbed globalists, panicky bankers, and the eclectic gestalt that goes to make up what most people these days casually call The Elite.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Palestine, the Ukraine and Syria would not be so much as a pinpoint on the global radar screen if our species wasn’t still dependent on fossil fuel energy. We remain dependent on that energy form because, over some forty years or more, the US oil business and the Saudis have done pretty much everything in their power to maintain and nurture that dependence.

Given that history, the Russians hold both the best and worst of the cards: they have an energy deal with China and the power to cut the gas supply to Europe; but equally, they face a world depression in which the demand for that energy is (for the first time in the last two months) now visibly falling.

That balance is what all this bollocks is really about.

Call me naive, but I do not believe any Government anywhere has either the balls or the mandate to start a war right now.

This is 2014, not 1914: there are no hard and strong alliances to dictate a timetable to war, there is nowhere near enough jingoism to kick-start any enthusiasm, and above all there is no longer something on can realistically call The West…. just a lot of increasingly corporacratic troughers on the make.

You need solidarity and certainty to start big wars. It is the sole argument I can find in support of division.

With a West so divided, we The People should should be planning the reversal of corporatocracy, not lapping up main-media nonsense about never turning back from points of no return.

ANALYSIS - NATO's Options in Ukraine

Tony Cartalucci - LandDestroyer) - After provoking what is increasingly a devastating and expanding conflict in Ukraine, NATO appears to be out of options as its proxy regime loses its grip on both its military campaign against its own population in eastern Ukraine, as well as political control in the capital of Kiev itself. However, despite the turn of events, with NATO apparently rudderless, those seeking to undo and reserve the damage the West has created in Eastern Europe must not become complacent.

NATO still possesses several options with which it can respond to its deteriorating proxy regime and the eroding of its interests both in the region, and around the world.

Propaganda Retrenchment Before Aggressive Military Aid 

As the West has done in Syria, it now seeks to do in Ukraine - a complete retrenchment of the official narrative regarding the nature of the ongoing conflict. Previously, the Western media has gone through great lengths to obscure overt Nazism running throughout both the political front it is propping up in Kiev, as well as across the irregular forces sent alongside what remains of Ukraine's national army. Western media outlets have briefly touched on the issue in attempts to mitigate and manage growing public concern.

Regarding the formation by the Interior Ministry in Kiev of a battalion of Nazis - the Azov Battalion - the BBC would publish, "Ukraine conflict: 'White power' warrior from Sweden," the Telegraph would publish, "Ukraine crisis: the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists," and Al Jazeera would publish, "Driven by far-right ideology, Azov Battalion mans Ukraine’s front line." Each would in turn, admit that literal Nazis are fighting on behalf of the NATO-backed regime in Kiev - with the regime itself raising ultra-right, Neo-Nazi battle formations. But each would also attempt to downplay the implications and role of Nazism within the ongoing conflict.

That was until Foreign Policy magazine published its article, praising what it called, "fascist defenders of freedom." It's article titled, "Preparing For War with Ukraine's Fascist Defenders of Freedom," claims:
    The Azov Battalion -- so named for the Sea of Azov on which this industrial city is located -- is one of dozens of volunteer battalions fighting alongside pro-government forces in eastern Ukraine. After separatist troops and armor attacked from the nearby Russian border and took the neighboring town of Novoazovsk, this openly neo-Nazi unit has suddenly found itself defending the city against what Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called a Russian invasion.
    Pro-Russian forces have said they are fighting against Ukrainian nationalists and "fascists" in the conflict, and in the case of Azov and other battalions, these claims are essentially true.
Effectively, Foreign Policy finally admits that indeed, warnings that NATO was backing literal Nazis in Ukraine were more than mere "Kremlin propaganda," but rather the unequivocal truth. Foreign Policy would continue by reporting:
    Besides a strong defense, Ukraine needs the support of the West to defeat the invaders, Odnorozhenko argued. He called for the Europe and the United States to take a more aggressive stance on Russia and begin shipping weapons to Ukrainian pro-government forces.
And that is precisely what the United States and Europe are attempting to do - begin shipping more weapons and other forms of lethal aid to continue propping up the regime in Kiev. By embracing the Nazi militants fighting on behalf of Kiev, and simply claiming Russia is "worse," the West can repeat the strategy it used in Syria after it became apparent that militants fighting the government in Damascus were hardcore terrorists driven by sectarian extremism and aligned to Al Qaeda.

In fact, it was also Foreign Policy who, in mid-2012, published an article titled, "Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists: So the rebels aren't secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn't much matter."

The FP article also attempted to create a narrative that portrayed the Syrian government as a more pressing issue than revelations that NATO-backed militants were sectarian extremists, not the "pro-democracy freedom fighters" they were portrayed as being during and directly after the so-called "Arab Spring." Foreign Policy would also create an array of excuses explaining why militants were extremists - a strategy expected to play out again as Kiev's Nazism continues to emerge into greater public view.

By embracing and excusing two abhorrent ideologies and the heavily armed militant groups espousing them, NATO is able to continue backing both terrorists in Syria and Nazis in Ukraine. With the burden of covering up Nazism in Ukraine "off NATO's chest," it can commit to a more aggressive strategy of arming and aiding them.

Direct NATO Intervention 

The self-destructive fleeing forward of the West generally takes the form of political destabilizations, terrorism, false-flag attacks, incremental mission creep, and covert proxy wars. What it has learned from Russia in both 2008 in Georgia and again this year in Crimea, is that direct, unpredictable, bold moves can pay off.

NATO recently has been very public in stating it has no intention of intervening in Ukraine. Since NATO perpetually keeps the threat of military intervention "on the table" for all other conceivable conflicts across the planet, it is strange that both it, and its proxy regime in Kiev, have gone through extra efforts to insist such a scenario in Ukraine is neither desired, nor even "on the table."

With NATO building up troops in Eastern Europe, and its attempts to lull Russia into a false sense of security, planners in Moscow, eastern Ukrainians confronting NATO-backed troops on the battlefield in Ukraine, and in theaters across the region, sudden NATO intervention must be accounted for, as well as a swift counterstroke to disrupt what will be a precarious proposition for Western interests unaccustomed to such a risky move, and merely depending on shock, awe, and surprise to follow it through.

Incremental Escalation 

Barring a negotiated settlement brokered by Kiev that sees its forces withdrawn from eastern Ukraine and contested provinces forfeited to rebels, it is likely NATO will continue incremental escalation combining both an increasingly aggressive strategy of arming and aiding Kiev's forces regardless of their overt Nazism, as well as an incremental NATO build-up along Ukraine's borders and covertly within them.

Whether NATO commits to a more desperate strategy entirely depends on whether or not this incremental escalation can continue at a quicker pace than the regime in Kiev can collapse.

With NATO and the special interests driving its agenda failing in Ukraine and floundering in Syria, the West has exhibited signs of dangerous desperation causing lapses in judgement and an overall lack of deep, coherent, strategic planning. It has gone from forcing its enemies to react to its provocations in 2011, to a series of backpedaling reactions in the face of formidable counterstrokes made in return ever since. An enemy that is desperate, is an enemy that is dangerous. Feeling it has nothing to lose, it may commit to an increasingly reckless strategy of provocations in hopes that its enemies' caution and reason force them to back down.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

West Ignores Tribal Leaders Who Claim to Have Infiltrated ISIS

Iraqi tribal leaders on the front lines of the battle against the Islamic State (IS) are being denied an audience in Washington as the Barack Obama administration focuses instead on working with Baghdad.

Several tribal sheikhs say their tribes have infiltrated IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL, on both sides of the border with Syria and are ready to share valuable information with the US military that could be used to locate hostages, target supply routes and monitor recruitment efforts. There's a catch, though: The United States must deal directly with them, not with a central government that they see as little more than a stooge for Iran that has been oppressing them for the past decade.

"I'm trying to put together a group of sheikhs to come here to Washington ASAP," said Mark Alsalih, a US lobbyist for Sheikh Ali Hatem al-Suleiman, the emir of the largest tribe in Iraq and one of the leaders of the Sunni revolt against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government in Anbar province. "These folks are coming with actionable intelligence. The tribes can identify with great accuracy where ISIS is, who's supporting them, how they're getting their money and even where they sleep at night."

Alsalih said Sunni tribes are fed up with the extremism of IS, which he said imposes rules and restrictions unheard of in Islam.

Read the full story at AL Monitor by clicking HERE

August 30, 2014

Putin "Best not to mess with us" - Or With Nuclear Russia- (VIDEO)

Speaking before a pro-Kremlin youth camp on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country's armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, and underlined that foreign states should understand that “it’s best not to mess with” Russia.
     “Our partners – whatever condition their countries are in and whatever foreign policy concept they adhere to – should understand that it’s better not to mess with us,” Putin said. “Thank God, I believe it doesn’t occur to anyone to unleash a large-scale conflict with Russia.” 
He said that Russia is going to boost its military forces and nuclear deterrence potential.
     “Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear states. It’s not words, it is the reality,” he said. “We are strengthening our nuclear deterrence forces, we are strengthening our armed forces…We are beefing up our potential and will continue doing so.”
This is being done “not to threaten anyone, “but to feel secure,” he added.
     "Russia is not going to get involved in large-scale conflicts"
Russia will not get engaged in any large conflicts, but will defend itself in case of aggression, Putin warned.
     “Russia is far from getting involved any large-scale conflicts. We don’t want that and we are not going to do it. And, naturally, we should always be ready to repel any aggression against Russia,” Putin said. 
Reference - RT
Skip to the 1 Hour, 38 Minute mark for Putin’s full statement:

August 29, 2014

5.7 Earthquake Shakes Peloponnese, Strongly Felt in Athens & Crete

An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale rocked the southeastern coast of the Peloponnese on Friday morning, at 6:45 a.m. The epicenter was said to be at 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Sparta and 140 kilometres (87 miles) south of Athens (or between the island of Milos and Sparta).

The jolt was so strong and so long-lasting that it was strongly felt as far as Athens and Crete.

Immediately after the primary quake, an aftershock measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale occurred in the same area.

Until the time of this report, no damages and/or injuries have been reported.

*Story could be updated as more information is released.

August 28, 2014

Aegean Airlines To Add Seven More Aircraft To Its Fleet

Greece's Aegean Airlines signed a firm contract with Airbus for two additional A320ceo aircraft, adding to a previous order for that it had made for five A320s aircraft which was placed in September 2007.

All aircraft, according to a company press release, are going to be equipped with Airbus “Sharklet” fuel saving wing tip devices and set to be powered by IAE V2500 engines. The aircraft are also going to be the first A320s in Aegean’s fleet to feature the enhanced take-off weight capability of up to 78 tonnes, thus enabling the carrier to expand its route network with even longer range operations.

This new order is expected to strengthen the airline’s network that reaches today 205 international routes from its eight Greek bases (scheduled and charter flights), thus supporting tourism in Greece.

It should be noted that Aegean Airlines was named for the fourth year in a row as the Best Regional Airline in Europe at the 2014 World Airline Awards. At present, the company operates an all-Airbus single-aisle fleet of 36 Airbus A320 family aircraft including 17 directly purchased.

Beheading of Foley: Media Spies Put ALL Journalists in Danger

By Wayne Madsen (Global Research) - The increasing tendency of the Central Intelligence Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies to disregard previous prohibitions against the use of journalists as agents puts every legitimate reporter around the world in jeopardy. The CIA has a checkered past in the use of journalists as intelligence agents. The practice was common in the 1960s and early 70s but was banned by Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. However, when President Ronald Reagan helped reignite the Cold War, the CIA again began using journalists as intelligence agents. The practice put a number of journalists in jeopardy, especially those taken captive by guerrillas groups during the Lebanese civil war. There is nothing to suggest any president since Reagan has discontinued the practice of using journalists as agents.

Intelligence agents operating under journalistic cover can take a number of forms:

- Journalists who openly work for media operations linked officially to past and current CIA operations. These include Radio Free Europe / Radio Free Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Alhurra, Radio Sawa, Radio and TV Marti, and to some extent, the Voice of America.

- Journalists who work for work for accredited news media companies who agree to work covertly for U.S. intelligence. Such journalists have been known to work for The Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, and President Barack Obama’s one-time employer, Business International Corporation of New York City, publisher of executive business and political newsletters. CIA director Richard Helms had previously worked as a reporter for United Press International.

- Journalists who work for start-up publications linked to the CIA or CIA fronts, including the the Kyiv Post, Cambodia Daily, Burma Daily, Kabul Weekly, and Lidove Noviny of Prague.

- Freelance journalists who become embedded with U.S. military and paramilitary forces and work for one or more media operations having very low profiles.

Journalists working for media operations financed by the U.S. government’s Broadcasting Board of Governors have been known to leave legitimate media organizations, where they have already established strong journalistic credentials and high-level contacts, to join government operations like Radio Free Europe and the others to carry out assignments for U.S. intelligence.

One of the CIA’s favorite nesting grounds for its journalist-agents during the Cold War was the International Herald Tribune, formerly the Paris Herald Tribune, based in Paris. The paper was eventually jointly owned by The Washington Post and New York Times. The managing editor of the Herald Tribune News Service, Nathan Kingsley, left the paper’s Paris headquarters to be the head of Radio Free Europe’s news service in Munich. Kingsley replaced Gene Mater who became the public affairs spokesman for the Free Europe Committee in New York. Radio Free Europe and the Free Europe Committee were both connected to the CIA.

Publisher of the International Herald Tribune John Hay Whitney, a former U.S. ambassador to Britain, was involved in setting up a CIA media operation called Kern House Enterprises, a CIA proprietary firm registered in Delaware. The British branch of Kern House, not surprisingly located at Kern House in London, ran a CIA news service called Forum World Features (FWF), which, in turn, was linked to another CIA front, the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) in Paris. The CCF published, on behalf of the CIA, two periodicals,Encounter and Information Bulletin. FWF sold its news stories to 50 newspapers around the world, including 30 in the United States. FWF, which was established in 1965 and overseen by Kermit Roosevelt, the CIA’s architect of the overthrow of Iran’s democratic government in 1953, also published Conflict Studies, a scholarly journal that was among the first to hype the «threat» of global terrorism in the early 1970s. FWF could tap any of its agents as FWF journalists and send them on assignment. One such agent-journalist was assigned to the CIA station in Bangkok.

For years, the CIA operated the Rome Daily American in Italy. The English-language paper’s editor was a former reporter for the Associated Press. The paper was published by the same press that printed the small Italian-language newspaper representing the views of the Italian Social Democratic Party. The Daily American folded in 1986.

Another newspaper operated by the CIA was the South Pacific Mail,headquartered in Santiago, Chile and operated by CIA agent David Atlee Phillips. The English-language South Pacific Mail was distributed in Chile and several South Pacific nations and territories, from New Zealand and the Samoan isles to the New Hebrides and Tonga. Phillips, who would later be identified as a key facilitator of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, said that he and some 200 other journalists with whom he was familiar eagerly signed secrecy agreements with the CIA upon their recruitment as agents. Among those who signed such agreements was Arthur Hays Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times.

Operation Mockingbird was a CIA operation to influence the coverage established news media organizations gave to news events. Included in the CIA news media influence operations were Time magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New York Herald-Tribune, Saturday Evening Post, The Miami Herald, The Washington Star,and Copley News Service.

Austin Goodrich was a freelance journalist who wrote for the CIA’s favorite newspaper, the Paris Herald Tribune, CBS News, and the Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor has become, over the past six years, an ardent supporter of the Obama administration’s and CIA’s «Responsibility to Protect» (R2P) interventionist foreign policy. Even after Goodrich was identified as a CIA agent he continued working as a journalist in Stockholm, Amsterdam, Bangkok, and West Berlin.

A manifestation of the R2P policy was the CIA’s training and arming of Syrian Islamist rebels who eventually kidnapped U.S. photo-journalist James Foley in 2012. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the group that kidnapped Foley, whose reporting experience included being embedded with U.S. military units in Afghanistan and Iraq and CIA-supported rebels in Libya and Syria, eventually executed him in a gruesome videotaped beheading. But questions remain over whether the CIA’s continued use of journalists as agents and the embedding of journalists with CIA-trained insurgents runs the risk of journalists being mistaken as CIA operatives, especially in war zones.

Stuart Loory, who worked as the New York Herald-Tribune’s correspondent in Moscow in the 1960s before joining the Los Angeles Times and CNN, has said that the CIA’s use of journalists as spies calls into question the status of every journalist. He said, «If even one American overseas carrying a press card is a paid informer for the CIA, then all Americans with those credentials are suspect». Loory emphasized that «journalists must be willing to focus on themselves the same spotlight they so relentlessly train on others».

However, the caution urged by Loory has, in some cases, fallen on deaf ears. In 2012, New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti forwarded an advance copy of a column written by his colleague, columnist Maureen Dowd, to the CIA’s spokesperson Marie Harf. Dowd’s column concerned a CIA leak to Hollywood that involved the production of a movie called «Zero Dark Thirty». Harf has since been promoted to deputy press secretary for the Department of State where she is undoubtedly still fronting for her old CIA colleagues in spotting willing journalists, particularly foreign correspondents, eager to cooperate with the CIA.

With a number of print publications folding their operations, there has been a mushrooming of web-based news outlets. The Global Post, based in Boston, was able to send freelancer Foley to costly assignments in Libya and Syria. A subscription-based news website, which once only had 400 subscribers, is not only able to send someone like Foley off to cover wars but is able to maintain an international correspondents’ staff of 65 in high-cost cities ranging from Moscow and Jerusalem to Tokyo and Nairobi. Some uncomfortable questions must be asked. For example, from where does Global Post actually receive its funding? And, why does it find it advantageous to embed its freelancers with U.S. military units and CIA-financed Islamist insurgent groups? Looking back over the last 65 years encompassing the CIA’s use of journalists as agents, the answers to these questions become all too apparent.

Tomb At Amphipolis: Video Shows Grandeur of Excavations

A new video was just released capturing the work that is currently underway at Amphipolis in Northern Greece where archaeologists believe that either a high ranking general, Roxanne and Alexander's son Alexander, or even Alexander the Great himself may be buried. The video, which was filmed at a high altitude from the ENA channel, shows the spectacular size and the grandeur of the excavations.

At present, the Culture Ministry says that the archaeologists involved in this operation are placing their focus on the maintenance and protection of the findings. Over the next few days they are expected to secure and preserve all the artifacts that will be unearthed.

Greek Orthodox Archbishop In Gaza Says Rockets Were Fired From Church

Gaza City’s Greek Orthodox church compound, a site that sheltered hundreds of Palestinians who fled their homes during IDF shelling in the area, was used by members of Hamas to launch rockets at Israeli territory, a prominent Christian leader in the Strip said earlier this week.

When the Israeli army expanded its offensive in the Palestinian enclave several weeks ago, Archbishop Alexios of the Saint Porphyrios church made the decision to open the holy site’s doors in a show of interfaith solidarity, offering food, drink and shelter to all Gazans, regardless of their religion.  But now, as both the IDF and Hamas have held their fire for over two days in compliance with an Egypt-brokered 72-hour ceasefire, a frightened Alexios claimed that even with Palestinians crowding the church, Islamist fighters had set up a rocket launching site in the compound, CBN News reported.

Alexios went on to point out to CBN News reporters a roof terrace outside his office where he claimed rocket launchers had been set up. Citing security concerns, the archbishop refused to disclose any further details regarding Hamas activity in the area.

On July 21, five or six Israeli shells slammed into the church compound, as well as a nearby mosque, apparently in response to rocket fire from the site.

Alexios stressed that he did not wish to take sides in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, adding that he only sought to offer help to the people of Gaza, CBN reported.
     “We are disciples of Jesus, we must give love to everyone without condition,” he said. “There’s a lot of anger on the street. We need forgiveness and love to flow,” added Alexios.
Gaza’s once thriving Christian community has dwindled in number to around 1,500, most of them Greek Orthodox, out of a predominantly Sunni Muslim population of over 1.7 million. The Christian community in the Mediterranean seafront city, like their counterparts elsewhere in the Middle East, has been shrinking due to both conflict and unemployment.

Nearly half a million Palestinians out of Gaza’s 1.8 million people were displaced by Israeli bombardment, and many are still sheltering in schools after their homes were flattened in the offensive. Some residential neighborhoods were particularly hard hit by the Israeli army because of the Hamas practice of placing rocket launchers among homes, schools, hospitals and mosques, according to Israeli officials.


Patriarchs Meet With Ambassadors in Beirut With Aim Of Saving Middle East Christians

The Patriarchs of the East and the Ambassadors from diverse nations are scheduled to meet at the Maronite Patriarchate in Bkerke on Thursday, press reports said. The summit is part of efforts by Church leaders to preserve the role of Christians in Iraq, where the Islamic State is crushing minorities forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee.

The patriarchs are also preparing letters to the major powers of the Western and the Arab worlds to encourage them to preserve the regions' multiculturalism and the presence of Christians.

Last week, Patriarch Rai visited the Christian and Yazidi refugees in Erbil (Kurdistan, see photo) and together with the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako have launched appeals to the international community to stop standing idly by watching the massacre unfold.

Even Pope Francis, during his return trip from Seoul said that it is necessary "to stop an unjust aggressor," suggesting a collective action led by the UN. However, according to the Patriarchs, the delay in electing the President of Lebanon, who should be a Christian, is part of this campaign to erase their contribution to Arab society and the Middle East.

More on Asia News

Creeping Into Syria Will Force West To Hang Itself in Ukraine

Tony Cartalucci  (LandDestroyer)  -  The US has claimed it will begin reconnaissance flights over Syria - a tentative first step toward direct military intervention it has sought in attempts to overthrow the Syrian government since 2011. While the US is using the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) as a pretext to carry out these intrusions into Syrian territory, it was the US itself that created and to this day perpetuates ISIS and other extremist militant fronts amid a documented attempt to reorder the entire Middle East.

What is expected to follow is an incremental expansion of US military intervention in eastern Syria that will include further arming and funding of the very terrorist networks it claims it is violating Syria's borders to attack, culminating in eventual military operations carried out against the Syria government itself.

The US' justification for directly intervening in Syria however, only further undermines the very "international norms" it claims to champion, and opens the door for other nations it is menacing to use more direct means to confront its agenda of global military aggression, including along Russia's border with Ukraine.

Untying Russia's Hands 

In CNN's report, "Obama authorizes reconnaissance flights over Syria, U.S. official says," it states:
    In a discussion about whether the United States military would need Syrian government approval to act against ISIS in Syria, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest referenced the assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011.
    "The President has already demonstrated a willingness, where necessary, to protect the American people, has demonstrated a willingness to use military force to protect the American people, regardless of borders," Earnest said Monday.
By exercising policy "regardless of borders," the US has just hung itself politically in its efforts to protect the newly installed regime in Kiev, Ukraine, and prevent Russia from intervening against what are literally battalions of Neo-Nazi militants operating along Russia's border with Ukraine. Citing the need to "protect the Russian people" resonates clearer in regards to legitimate concerns, considering Ukraine's proximity to Russian territory, than America's claims that a region on the other side of the planet, where one of its citizens voluntarily chose to put himself into harms way by covering an ongoing armed conflict, somehow now requires direct US military intervention.

ISIS is America's Monstrosity

What is perhaps the most troubling aspect of all about America's attempts to begin military intervention in eastern Syria using ISIS as a pretext, is the fact that it and its regional allies including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, created ISIS in the first place to use as a proxy mercenary force for the purpose of overthrowing the government in Syria and confronting pro-Iranian forces across the region from Lebanon to Baghdad. With Syria effectively containing ISIS in eastern Syria and routing them in the more heavily populated regions of western Syria, the West's designs for regime change in Syria appear effectively defeated.

It was predicted, at the onset of ISIS' incursion into northern Iraq, that it would be used as a pretext to effect regime change on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border. The West's feigned surprise at the immense funding, armament, and organization of ISIS attempted to create 'distance' between itself and the mercenary force they themselves created.

In a June 2014 NEO Journal article titled, "NATO’s Terror Hordes in Iraq a Pretext for Syria Invasion," it was explicitly predicted that:
    The alleged territorial holdings of ISIS cross over both Syrian and Iraqi borders meaning that any campaign to eradicate them from Iraqi territory can easily spill over into Syria’s borders. And that is exactly the point. With ISIS having ravaged Mosul, Iraq near the Turkish border and moving south in a terror blitzkrieg now threatening the Iraqi capital of Baghdad itself, the Iraqi government is allegedly considering calling for US and/or NATO assistance to break the terror wave. Adding to the pretext, ISIS, defying any sound tactical or strategic thinking, has seized a Turkish consulate in Mosul, taking over 80 Turkish hostages - serendipitous giving Turkey not only a new pretext to invade northern Iraq as it has done many times in pursuit of alleged Kurdish militants, but to invade Syrian territory where ISIS is also based.
The report would also state (emphasis added):
    Invading northern Iraq will allow NATO to then justify cross-border operations into eastern Syria. In reality what NATO will be doing is establishing their long desired “buffer zone” where terrorists can launch attacks deeper and more effectively into Syrian territory. With western Syria returning to peace and order after a series of victories for the Syrian government, the last front NATO’s proxy forces have is Al Qaeda’s arch of terror running along Turkey’s border and now, across eastern Syria and northern Iraq. NATO’s presence in northern Iraq would also provide an obstacle for Iranian-Syrian trade and logistics.
Indeed, the US claims that the Syrian government holds no control and therefor no jurisdiction over its eastern most territories, allowing the US and its partners to invade, occupy, and control the region. Under the pretense of fighting ISIS, the US has already declared it would provide greater funding, arms, and support for "moderates" who would then be able to seek refuge in eastern Syria with absolute impunity from Syrian forces, allowing the West's terrorist proxies to operate deeper and more effectively in territory closer to Damascus.

In reality, these so-called "moderates" demonstrably never existed. The West has so far failed to explain how their funding, arms, training, and aid programs amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars and representing the collective resources of America, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey have somehow been "eclipsed" by ISIS forces. This is of course because the collective resources of the West and its regional allies were intentionally directed into the hands of ISIS and other extremists from the onset of the Syrian conflict.

Order Out of Chaos

By creating ISIS, directing it to this very day, while simultaneously using it as a pretext for direct military intervention, the West sets a dangerous precedent where in any nation that is able to create sufficient chaos within the borders of another nation, can then use this chao to reorder politically and economically any society they will.

What it also does, however, is untie the hands of Russia, who is currently managing a crisis along its borders not of its own creation, but tipped off by the successful US-backed violent overthrow of the elected government of neighboring Ukraine, resulting in a fascist regime coming to power and its subsequent waging of war against Ukrainians who refuse to recognize its illegitimate claim over Kiev.

If the US can invade Syria thousands of miles from its own shores, surely Russia can intervene in Ukraine. As America refers to "international norms" determining what is and isn't acceptable, the "norm" it has established with its creeping intervention in Syria justifies all that it has denounced Russia for allegedly doing in neighboring Ukraine.

The author Tony Cartalucci, is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer. He writes for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook” which is commonly featured on LandDestroyer as well as dozens other websites.

August 27, 2014

Greeks Fight Alongside Ukraine's Donetsk People’s Republic

Volunteers from Greece are among the representatives of various nationalities in the ranks of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) indepedence forces, the Athens Courier newspaper reported. According to the newspaper, there is a large community of Greeks in the east of Ukraine, who have suffered as much as other residents of the region and many of them fled for Russia’s Rostov and Kuban regions.
     “Pontic Greeks, who live in Greece, should be concerned with the fate of the Greeks living in Mariupol, which is trapped under the shelling [and other firing] of the Kiev-Lviv punishers,” the paper reported.
It is also noted in the paper that apart from Greeks, two battalions of Serbs and even 25 US citizens are fighting for “traditional human values” alongside militia in southeast Ukraine.

According to earlier reports, within the Vostok Battalion, DPR’s most prominent defense force, are volunteers from Spain, Italy, France, Spain, Canada, Russia and Poland.

The former DPR Prime Minister Alexander Borodai stated on his Facebook webpage that volunteers are especially needed to help residents and for the restoration of infrastructure in the region.

Since mid-April the Ukrainian government has been conducting a military operation in the east of Ukraine to suppress independence supporters who refused to acknowledge the new government that came to power after a coup that took place in Ukraine on February 22.

Thousands of civilians have died as a result of the confrontation. Moscow has repeatedly condemned the operation and urged for a ceasefire to prevent further casualties, sending a humanitarian convoy to war-torn eastern Ukraine, delivering about 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid.

RIA Novosti

MAJOR PROPAGANDA: What do James Foley, Rolf Harris, Greek Radio & Argentina Represent?

To the four subjects headlined above, one could also justifiably add the western media line on Syria’s Bashar Assad, the Ukraine, Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Italian economic statistics, QE aims, Libor rates, gold prices, Hackgate Court verdicts, the Mayor of London’s business arrangements, the ‘saving’ of the Coop, RBS techno-glitches, Non-farm US payroll assumptions, and the application of the term paedophilia to instances where the condition is quite obviously absent. Today the Slog offers a personal view on why the corporatocracy, the security services, the political class, and the media are joined at the hip. This analysis is the preface to an unfolding series over the next few days, says the author.

By John Ward (The Slog) - Once you start to delve further into the Foley beheading saga (as I’ve been doing for the last three days) it turns into a sort of black farce worthy of the Cohen brothers, but with overtones of Len Deighton’s books about espionage – and the sociopathic double-dealing of those who run agents.

When I first went into corporate life some 46 years ago, for some reason I kept on bumping into people who were very good at crosswords or chess – and occasionally both. They always struck me as having bits missing in the insight and emotional parts of the brain: mathematically talented with capacious memories, they nevertheless seemed to me not only otherwise uncreative, but also unaware of the socio-ethical ramifications of their actions.

As I became more senior in the advertising profession, more and more of these people popped up on the client side. My job on the agency side was to advise, caution and rationalise why they should say this or that sort of thing about good brands…and thereby help sell genuinely innovative ads that would cut through the cluttered smoke and mirrors of media communication.

At that time, the multinationalisation of advertising was getting under way. For my sins, I helped sell an agency into that world, and then moved on to work mainly for international agency groups during the autumn of my career.

(In advertising, it’s a bad idea to be around when winter comes… if you have any sense, autumn is the final season: arrange a benefit match, and then GTF out.)

Over the years, my clients became more globally ‘aligned’, and oddly enough, the chilly chess-playing crossword wizards kept on turning up.

There was one at Kodak who was CIA (and everyone knew it, which can’t have been that clever) and another at Gallaher who was an active agent in Northern Ireland – the homeland of the company – at the height of IRA terrorism.

I recall one memorable dinner in Brussels, shortly after the demise of the Soviet Union, at which I was placed next to a senior client whose inability to converse would’ve challenged Oscar Wilde on a good day. This chap also turned out to be a spy: he informed me at the end of a tense meal that he was off to Moscow the following day… to watch a chess championship.

Another (more raucous) business supper in Portugal during 1993 found me in conversation with a crossword fanatic who looked for all the world like the 1950s roué Soviet agent Guy Burgess. He alleged some quite astonishing things about the divided loyalties of George Galloway.

There are two points I’m trying to illustrate in the above: first, the multinational corporatocracy has been used by sovereign security agencies as ‘cover’ forever and a day… if nothing else, it provides a credible excuse for constant travel on either side of the various Great Ideological Divides; and second, there is a very obvious psychographic type engaged in the subterfuge. One can sum that type up in two words: sociopathic dissembler.

Extrapolating from that personal life experience, it has gradually dawned on me this week that this is a multinational corporate/sovereign security agency relationship every bit as unhealthy as that between national politicians, the police and the media. But the bottom line is this: whoever perpetrated the Foley Fake has now muddied the waters and gone to ground: the trail is not so much cold as permanently camouflaged. Conjecture about the past is pointless: careful analysis of current events – and preparation for future stunts – is what the decent citizens of hijacked sovereign States should be about.

Over the next few days, I shall be featuring several examples of how – more often than not – behind every miscarriage of justice lies a thinly-disguised corporate agenda. (And to me, Islamist Jihadism is a corporation as evil as anything the US could produce).

In the meantime, suffice to say that the latest "developments" in the Foley case include reports that a British subject suspected of murdering US journalist James Foley is the son of an alleged Al-Qaeda terrorist who is awaiting trial over the bombing of two US embassies that resulted in the deaths of 224 people (the Daily Telegraph); while on the other side of the Pond, "Father of suspect in Foley beheading was Osama lieutenant" (New York Post).

As these papers are owned respectively by the reclusive Barclay Brothers, and the antimatter formerly known as Rupert Murdoch, I leave you to your own devices in judging their veracity.

My own observation would be that both these long-jump conclusions will suit the US and British security services down to the ground.

Be all that as it may, President Obama vowed ‘justice’ for the killing (by which one suspects he meant ‘revenge’) and then went out to have a golf jolly with his mates.

Ladies Get Ready For The Convertible Shoe - Thanks To Greek Innovation!

Ladies the debate on whether to wear heels or flats is a thing of the past! A few students at the Democritus University in Thrace actually created a convertible high-heel shoe that puts an end to our dilemma on whether or not to wear flats or spiky heels.
     “This product is aimed at making women feel comfortable and elegant,” said Loukas Karakikes, one of the young inventors of the new shoes that include a special mechanism that can turn the high heel into a flat shoe and vice versa. 
According to the sate news agency, the idea came to the young team after looking at the market and women’s daily routines and noticed that women’s lives are very busy.
     “They go to work, they go out for coffee, drinks and entertainment and this requires different outfits and, specifically, different shoes.”
They joined their knowledge and skills and presto... the convertible shoe was invented!

Presently, the students are trying to market their invention and have created SkyWalker, a new company focused on convertible shoes.

Bravo to all three of them.

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