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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,678

About Me

A Brit many years in Spain, Catalunya, Baleares, Canarias. Cooperative member. Geography. Ecology. Cartography. Software. Sound Recording. Music Production. Languages & Literature. History.

Journal Archives

Why Trump's Hawks Back the Iranian MEK Terrorist Cult (NY Review Of Books)

On July 22 (2018), Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to address an Iranian-American audience at the Reagan Presidential Library in California. The speech is part of a deliberate policy of escalating tensions with Iran, targeting its economy and supporting Iranian opposition groups—all for the purpose of pressuring and destabilizing Iran. At least one member of an Iranian terrorist group that has killed American citizens will also be in attendance. But it won’t be to disrupt Pompeo’s speech; rather, to support it. In fact, the member is on the invitation list.

Last month, the same terrorist group held an event in Paris, busing in thousands of young people from Eastern Europe to hear Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani call for regime change in Tehran. A similar event in Paris last year was addressed by John Bolton, who recently became President Trump’s national security adviser.

How an organization that was only delisted by the US Department of State as a terrorist group in 2012 could so soon after win influential friends at the heart of America’s current administration is the strange and sinister story of the Mujahedin-e Khalq, better known by its initials, MEK. Commonly called a cult by most observers, the MEK systematically abuses its members, most of whom are effectively captives of the organization, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). Regardless of its delisting by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—a political calculation on her part since many senior Democrats, as well as Republicans, had been persuaded by the MEK’s lavish lobbying efforts—the group has never ceased terrorizing its members and has continued to conduct assassinations inside Iran.

In the 1980s, the MEK served as a private militia fighting for Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War. Today, it has a different paymaster: the group is believed to be funded, in the millions of dollars, by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In Washington, D.C., as in Paris, France, the MEK pays tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees to US officials. Bolton, in particular, is a long-time paid supporter of the MEK, reportedly receiving as much as $180,000 for his appearances at the group’s events...

(Much more...) https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/07/20/why-trumps-hawks-back-the-mek-terrorist-cult/

So, "Intelligence" might point to the use of these people in a false flag op., conserving US-UK special forces direct action for, soon?

(See also MEK website: https://mek-iran.com/ )

About 100 Malians killed in attack on Dogon village

BAMAKO (Reuters) - At least 95 people were killed in an overnight attack on an ethnic Dogon village in central Mali, local officials said on Monday, the latest bout of ethnic violence fuelling the country’s security crisis.

Fighting between Dogon hunters and Fulani herders has killed hundreds since January, including a March attack in which gunmen killed more than 150 Dogon, one of the worst acts of violence in the West African country’s recent history.

Sunday’s attack took place in the Sangha district, where Fulanis from the neighbouring Bankass district descended on a Dogon village after dark, Bankass mayor Moulaye Guindo told Reuters on Monday. “Armed men, apparently Fulanis, fired at the population and burnt the village,” said Siriam Kanoute, an official for the nearby town of Bandiagara. He said the current death toll of 95 would likely rise as more bodies were being found...


Europeans used to ignore their parliament. Not any longer

Europeans used to ignore their parliament. Not any longer
Young people are suddenly interested: they understand that cooperation is the only way to tackle Google, or the climate

Caroline de Gruyter Wed 29 May 2019 08.00 BST

... I moved to Brussels in 1999 to report on asylum and migration. This was already a hot topic, due to refugees from the former Yugoslavia and people crossing the Mediterranean in boats. I spent most of my time at the commission, which produced proposals on border protection and common asylum rules, and at the council of ministers, where member states later shot these proposals to pieces in relative secrecy. But I hardly ever went to parliament. It produced excellent reports on migration but only had advisory powers. MEPs felt useless and frustrated. Their voters were left in the dark.

This has completely changed: since the 2009 Lisbon treaty, MEPs co-decide with governments on asylum and migration. Today, not only does the European parliament have more legislative powers but there is also much more awareness of the big issues. Everybody understands that countries cannot tackle climate breakdown or Google on their own. Because of the euro we have a common monetary policy; because of Schengen we share an immigration policy; because banks trade across borders, we have European banking rules and supervision. In Brussels, ministers and prime ministers take decisions on sensitive issues that citizens care about, such as security and defence. Just as national parliaments control governments in The Hague, Lisbon or Bratislava, the European parliament controls them when they take decisions in Brussels... This is how it should be: when our governments act in Brussels, there must be democratic control. That’s how democracy works – we have it at every level of governance, whether it’s municipal, regional, national or European. We just have to make sure that those levels are well-equipped with the tools that a mature and legitimate democracy needs: courts, governments, parliaments and oversight...

... I regularly give lectures about European issues. Young audiences are suddenly extremely interested. They want to know how Brussels works, and how Europe can navigate in a turbulent geopolitical landscape with superpowers such as the US, Russia and China circling around it. They understand that they have something to preserve, and they don’t want their children to be forced to choose between an American and a Chinese model.

People will now speculate about who will become president of the commission or the council. That’s good news. If we all finally step on to the European podium, ready to engage – even Eurosceptic parties who were previously only interested in “exits” – surely that’s good for democracy. It increases democratic checks and balances in Europe, and the legitimacy of what’s decided in Brussels...

Much more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/29/europeans-parliament-young-people-eu

The far-right ENF has 58 seats only, and no allies

unless you count the Brexiters, in the EFD.

See: https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=2321054

The Green / European Free Alliance group in the EU parliament includes the Scottish Nationalist Party and Plaid Cymru and Catalunya's Esquerra Republicana among others seeking EU reforms... It has natural allies in the United Left / Nordic Green group (38 seats).

Remainers won these elections - and they'd win a second Brexit referendum

What happens next is outlandish. About 100,000 of an ageing tribe, whose party scraped a derisory 9% in the European elections, are about to choose the next prime minister for all the rest of the UK’s 46 million voters. The Conservative party, which likes to call itself “the most successful party in the western world”, is now funded more lavishly by the legacies of its dead members than by its living ones. The keys to Downing Street have been handed on before in this high-handed monarchical manner without an election, but that doesn’t make it any less disgracefully undemocratic, as with so much of our failing constitution. Avoiding the legitimacy of election did Gordon Brown no good at all, giving him the hunted air of an insecure Richard the Third-ish usurper. The success of both the Brexit party and the Liberal Democrats’ “Bollocks to Brexit” riposte has obliterated the illusions of middle-ground, fence-sitting compromisers. Tory fears of the Nigel Farage surge will make it all the more likely that the crown falls into Boris Johnson’s incapable hands. The new prime minister’s lack of legitimacy will be a serious weakness, after the party scored its lowest vote since 1832.

That abysmal result will see the Tories move heaven and earth not to call a self-immolating general election, which would let the Farage hordes on to their Westminster turf. But with the same cast of MPs, the new prime minister inherits the same parliamentary maze, an Escher drawing of impossible hyperbolic geometry where each staircase leads back to an infinite beginning. Extraordinary that a Tory chancellor of the exchequer says he may bring down his own government with a vote of no confidence if any step is taken towards the no-deal Brexit stair. Yet the new leader will have been chosen on a promise to take exactly that stairway to hell... Trapped in the same paralysis as Theresa May, what happens next? The new leader will reach an impasse where going back to the people is the only escape parliament can agree: a referendum will look less alarming than a general election to both main parties. Instead of a mauling by Farage, the Tories would share his hard Brexit platform in a final conflict in this long culture war.

This is the only way to cauterise the gaping national split and confront once and for all the many dark issues that lurk beneath the nativist Brexit idea. By now, escaping from Brexit altogether offers a better long-term chance of recovery for the Tory party than being for ever branded with the dire consequences of a no-deal economic disaster.

In these elections remain was the winner, not Farage. What mattered beyond the number of seats won was the sum of remain votes. Lib Dem, Green, Scottish National party, Plaid Cymru and Change UK outpolled Brexit and Ukip by 40.4% remain to 34.9% hard Brexit. Now add in Labour and Conservative votes, divided – as pollsters Britain Thinks and YouGov suggest – by allocating 80% of Tory votes to leave, and 60% of Labour votes to remain. That suggests a remain win in a referendum by 50% to 47%. Certain? Of course not – it’s close – but this three-point remain majority certainly makes it a democratic outrage to press ahead with any kind of Brexit without giving voters the final say. And what is not in doubt is that there’s a clear majority against a no-deal Brexit...


More from BBC Europe editor:

... Europe's voters are looking elsewhere for answers. They're drawn to parties and political personalities they feel better represent their values and priorities.

Some are attracted by the nationalist right, promising a crackdown on immigration and more power for national parliaments, rather than for Brussels. Italy's firebrand Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini is a successful example, as is Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Other voters prefer a pro-European alternative, like the Green Party and liberal groups, which also performed well in these elections.

The new European Parliament will be broadly pro-EU but also fractured, making law-making and change difficult. Just when Europe's voters are screaming for change...


(Also without mentioning the United Left/Green group, which held its ground although it weakened through fragmentation in Spain).

European elections: far right 'surge' ends in a ripple

Source: The Guardian (in Budapest)

After months of boasts, bluster and apocalyptic rhetoric, Europe's far right had a modest night at the polls in the European elections, making striking gains in some countries but losses in others. In the end, a promised populist surge turned out to be more of a ripple.

There were expected strong showings for leading figures of the European far right, such as Hungary's anti-immigration prime minister, Viktor Orbn, whose Fidesz party took more than half the vote, and Italy's interior minister, Matteo Salvini, whose Lega was the biggest party. Marine le Pen's National Rally also narrowly topped the polls in France.

But while there were losses for traditional big parties in many countries, far from all of those votes went to far-right or populist parties, with greens and other pro-European forces also doing well...

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/27/european-elections-far-right-surge-ends-in-a-ripple

This gives a pan-EU, more detailed and nuanced view than you'd get from most MSM propaganda articles. Not mentioned is that the mainstream Green/EFA group is definitely left-wing and includes some pro-EU regional nationalists such as the Scottish SNP, while the rarely-mentioned Confederal Group of the European United Left /Nordic Green Left, which brings together left-wing MEPs in the European Parliament is also pro-EU and includes some regional reformists as well as Green interests and parties.

See official (provisional) results here: https://euobserver.com/eu-election/144963

Note that the far-right anti-EU nationalists are in the ENF and in (not all of) the EDFF, which together will hold only 15% of seats in the new EU parliament.

(Do you like real music?): Freedom (Spanish) Rhapsody (Klezmer)

Amazing, imho:

Chagos Islands: isolated UK faces thrashing in UN vote on ownership

The UK is facing a diplomatic rout at the United Nations on Wednesday when the general assembly is expected to vote overwhelmingly to demand Britain relinquish hold of one of the last vestiges of empire in the Indian Ocean. The US and the UK have lobbied intensely at the UN to avoid support for Britain dropping to single figures among the UN’s 193 member states on the issue of its continued possession of the Chagos Islands, known as the British Indian Ocean Territory.

The vote follows an advisory opinion issued by the international court of justice (ICJ) in February that UK should hand over control to Mauritius, which claims sovereignty over the islands.

London and Washington are trying to persuade allies to at least abstain, so as to prevent support for Mauritius reaching triple figures. The Mauritian mission to the UN believes it has reached that threshold, winning pledges of backing from more than 100 member states. Such a lopsided defeat would also serve to underline British isolation in a battle that many UN member states, particularly in Africa, see as a last stand to preserve a relic of empire, and at a time at a time when its European Union allies, dismayed by Brexit, are no longer automatically offering support...

... Britain took possession of the Chagos archipelago in 1814 and held on to the islands after Mauritian independence in 1968, allegedly through coercive pressure on independence leaders. Three years earlier the UK had secretly leased one of the islands, Diego Garcia, to the US to use as a military base. The people of the islands, the Chagossians, were forcibly evicted and have been campaigning for their return for decades...


The Liberal Embrace of War (Taibbi; Rolling Stone)

American interventionists learned a lesson from Iraq: pre-empt the debate. Now everyone is for regime change

... The social media era has made it much easier to keep pundits in line. Propaganda is effective when it’s relentless, personal, attacking, and one-sided. The idea isn’t to debate people, but to create an “ick” factor around certain ideas, so debate is pre-empted.

Don’t want to invade Syria? Get ready to be denounced as an Assadist. Feel ambivalent about regime change in Venezuela? You must love Putin and Maduro.

People end up either reflexively believing these things, or afraid to deal with vitriol they’ll get if they say something off-narrative. In the media world, it’s understood that stepping out of line on Venezuela or Syria will result in being removed from TV guest lists, loss of speaking income, and other problems.

This has effectively made intellectual objections to regime change obsolete. In the Trump era, things that not long ago aroused widespread horror — from torture to drone assassination to “rendition” to illegal surveillance to extrajudicial detention in brutal secret prisons around the world — inspire crickets now...


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