Financial Tyranny Rules Eurozone

Stephen Lendman

Eurozone's failed project is doomed. It's just a matter of time.

From inception, Eurozone planning was flawed. Uniting 17 dissimilar countries under rigid rules failed.

Membership required surrendering monetary and fiscal authority to a central power. Debt entrapment and banker occupation followed. Partnered with banking giants, money-controlled Troika power decides everything - the EU and ECB and IMF.

Rules require lowering living standards, sacking public workers, and selling off state assets lock, stock and barrel at fire sale prices.

None of it would happen if troubled sovereigns weren't trapped in the euro straightjacket. It lets bankers make rules, set terms, issue diktats, and pressure, bribe or otherwise force governments to acquiesce. As a result, households are burdened with oppressive austerity through no fault of their own.

Troubled Greece and Italy now make headlines. Troika power sacked their heads of state. One's replaced in Greece. Italy's choice is imminent. Lucas Papademos got Greece's top job. He'll serve unelected as prime minister. His credentials explain why.

A former ECB vice president (2002 - 2010), he earlier served as Governor of the Bank of Greece from 1994 - 2002. In 1980, he was Federal Reserve Bank of Boston senior economist. Afterwards, he became Bank of Greece's chief economist.

Since 1998, he's also been a Rockefeller-controlled Trilateral Commission member.

Troika power is safe in his hands. Democracy's birthplace abandoned it. Without it, personal freedom is gone.

The unravelling of the European Union

Peter Schwarz

Less than a year ago the demise of the euro and the breakup of the European Union were generally conceived of as unthinkable. Now, they are the dominant themes in European politics and in the media.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently warned parliament, “If the euro fails, Europe fails.” Similar warnings have been made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Not only the notoriously euro-skeptical British press, but also such pro-European papers as France’s Le Monde and Germany’s Die Zeit are no longer excluding the failure of the common European currency.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has described the economic consequences of such a development in the starkest terms. The collapse of the euro zone would cause an economic crash that would instantly wipe out half of the value of Europe's economy, plunging the continent into a depression as deep as the 1930s slump, he has declared.

But the alternative proposed by Merkel, Sarkozy and Barroso to avoid such a catastrophe is not less disastrous. It amounts to setting up a dictatorship of the financial markets over every aspect of social life. Recent events in Greece and Italy confirm this. In each country a government of experts selected by the EU is being formed without any democratic legitimacy. Its task is to decimate the living standards of the people by implementing unprecedented austerity measures.

In fact, “saving” the euro by means of austerity measures and the breakup of Europe are not opposite, but rather parallel political strategies serving the same basic aim. The recent EU summit in Brussels set the course for both. It dictated punitive austerity measures for Greece and Italy and subordinated the Greek budget to the control of the “troika”—the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. At the same time, it did not exclude the exit of Greece from the euro zone.

Merkel’s chancellery has already prepared studies on the financial implications of such a step, and if one country leaves the euro zone, it will hardly be possible to avoid the exodus of others.

From Balfour to Obama: Colonial Thinking on Palestine

Roger Sheety

Nations that come into existence by dispossessing, imprisoning and slaughtering the indigenous population have two problems with history:
1. Its ugliness makes it hard to glorify.
2. Its shortness exposes the tenuousness of any claim that this is 'our land'.
~ Paul Woodward, American and Israeli Exceptionalism (

The phrase “British Mandate of Palestine” is as commonplace in Western and Zionist scholarship on Palestine as to be inoffensive and therefore barely given a second thought. Indeed, a quick internet search of this seemingly innocuous term reveals some two million results of wildly varying quality and usefulness.

There was, however, no such thing as “British Mandate” of Palestine; it was and remains a purely European/Western colonial construct, an abstraction with real and disastrous consequences. In reality, the Palestinian people never consented to be occupied by British colonials, never agreed to have their ancestral land partitioned and given away to other Europeans, and never asked to be “civilized” by an imperial government which was completely ignorant of their language, culture and history. The same could be said of “French Mandate” Syria and Lebanon or “British Mandate” Iraq.

The term “British Mandate” did have its uses, though. It allowed colonial historians and apologists to believe that Palestine was somehow destined for partition, which made it “legal” and thus sanctified. You see, there was a mandate to Britain given by the League of Nations in 1922 and so Britain, the greatest nation on earth, the model of Western enlightenment and progressive thought, was obligated to carry out its mission—or so the argument went. And what of the indigenous people of Palestine? As summed up by Lord Balfour in 1917, their aspirations, their rights and even their very existence were of little or no consequence:

“Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desire and prejudices of 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land. We do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.”

Anti-Democratic Israeli Legislation

Stephen Lendman

The future is now. It's unfolding in plain sight.

On October 31, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) expressed concern about "two contradictory main trends" in Israel's Knesset winter session:

• following its previous one, enacting more anti-democratic laws; and
• counter-measures to promote laws promoting social and economic rights, perhaps incentivized by summer social justice protests.

Mostly, however, anti-democratic measures outnumber alternatives. ACRI expressed alarm. On November 8, a brief report headlined, "Knesset Continues Attempts to Silence Civil Society," saying:

Last week, Israel's Knesset winter session began. So far, proposed social justice bills lost out to anti-democratic ones. A coalition defeated them. Expect an amendment severely curtailing free expression to pass.

This weekend, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation will vote on two bills. One aims to impede the work of civil society groups by restricting their international funding.

The proposed Associations Law wants strict monetary limits placed on their ability to function. It stipulates that Israeli NGOs seeking to influence state policy at most can receive $6,000 from foreign donors.

Israel's civil society and human rights organizations are at risk. Dark Knesset forces want them eliminated, perhaps by successive legislative measures.

Erdoğan: Either You Belong to Me, Or the Courts

Selin Pelek & Foti Benlisoy

Individuals arrested as part of the KCK operations
being transported. Image from unknown archive.

The collective imprisonment of political figures who are expressing the desires of the Kurdish people is an old reflex of Turkey’s state tradition. Collective arrests that started in 1959 with the imprisonment of forty-nine Kurdish intellectuals turned into collective executions in the 1990s and now—in proportion to the Kurdish people’s political development during the tenure of the AKP [the governing Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (Justice and Development Party) of Prime Minister Erdogan]—they have taken the form of sensational mass detentions. The ring encompassing the area where detentions have been carried out, once concentrated in the east, has expanded to the west of the Euphrates River to include academics and writers from the west of Turkey. It appears that the arrests of Professor Büşra Ersanlı and the publisher Ragıp Zarakolu (two recent arrests within the wide-ranging “KCK operations” carried out in Turkey by the government of Erdogan) will create a stir marked by considerable anger and energy within the intellectual community, which has long been targeted by a campaign of intimidation. It is not just that “the skullcap has fallen” (as the Turkish saying goes), but rather, it is completely gone, revealing the baldness for all to see.

What is clear is that the AKP, which has long been strutting on the political scene as both victim and “revolutionary,” has adopted with voracious appetite and great enthusiasm the ideals of the Turkish state. As if imitating the former governor of Ankara, Nevzat Tandoğan, who famously said, “If communism is to come, it is us who will bring it,” the AKP says, “If the Kurdish problem is to be solved, it is us who will solve it,” refusing to recognise any interlocutor except itself. Prisons are overflowing with those refusing to become the Kurds of the AKP. There is not even the slightest indication of any connection whatsoever between “terrorism” and those taken in as part of the KCK operations, which have been initiated under the pretext of wiping out the PKK’s urban branch.

The asymmetrical war being waged against civilians by the government has stamped all advocates of peace as “the enemy.” Especially since the electoral success of the Block Candidates supported by the BDP [Peace and Democracy Party, which has been struggling for the rights of Kurdish citizens in Turkey], the AKP, using “terrorism” as an excuse, has been intensifying day by day its repression of all non-governmental structures that draw their strength from the autonomous power of the Kurds. The latest arrests are a sign that the well-worn cliché, “Let them lay down their weapons, come down from the mountains, and do their politics on the plains,” often repeated by the so-called moderate wing of statesmen, has completely rotted away. […]

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