October 30, 2014

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THE BEAR IS BEGINNING TO GROWL - Putin Exposes Criminal Global Order

Before an international audience, Russian President Vladimir Putin, recently exposed an international order capitalizing on the end of the Cold War to reshape the world according to its own interests, sidelining concepts such as basic international relations, international laws, systems of checks and balances, and even the very concept of national sovereignty itself. Amid President Putin's speech, as analyzed below by geopolitical expert Ulson Gunnar at NEO, Putin said he would condemn the United States' support for neo-fascists, terrorists, and its contempt for national sovereignty around the world.

The West's Rebuttal

Ulson Gunnar - (NEO, LandDestroyer)  - Curious language accompanied the New York Times' account of the Valdai International Club discussion in the Black Sea coastal region of Sochi, Russia in front of which President Putin spoke. In an article titled, "Putin Accuses U.S. of Backing ‘Neo-Fascists’ and ‘Islamic Radicals’," the NYT attempts to portray President Putin's statements about US support for neo-fascists and terrorists as merely baseless accusations.

The NYT claims, "instead of supporting democracy and sovereign states, Mr. Putin said during a three-hour appearance at the conference, the United States supports “dubious” groups ranging from “open neo-fascists to Islamic radicals.”" The NYT would also report, "“Why do they support such people,” he asked the annual gathering known as the Valdai Club, which met this year in the southern resort town of Sochi. “They do this because they decide to use them as instruments along the way in achieving their goals, but then burn their fingers and recoil.”"

It is difficult to understand why the NYT attempts to portray this statement as particularly controversial, or as a "diatribe," as the Times puts it, rather than a factual, timely, and necessary observation.

The NYT would also state, "Russia is often accused of provoking the crisis in Ukraine by annexing Crimea, and of prolonging the agony in Syria by helping to crush a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow’s last major Arab ally. Some analysts have suggested that Mr. Putin seeks to restore the lost power and influence of the Soviet Union, or even the Russian Empire, in a bid to prolong his own rule."

Technically speaking, Russia is regularly accused of all of this, though the NYT fails to fill in for readers how ridiculous each and every one of these accusations are.

To begin with, the Ukrainian crisis began when neo-fascists violently overthrew the elected government of Ukraine in late 2013, early 2014 with the United States' full backing. The political order that seized power constituted overtly fascist political parties including Svoboda and the "Fatherland Party," and was openly backed by flagrantly Neo-Nazi armed groups such as Right Sector. It was only then that eastern Ukrainians began to flee into the arms of Russia who in turn oversaw a referendum returning Crimea to Russian sovereignty.

Likewise regarding Syria, there is no question today that the conflict Damascus is fighting is not a "popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad," but rather a proxy war being fought against Damascus using sectarian extremists ranging from various Al Qaeda affiliates, to the newly christened "Islamic State," all of which constitute terrorist fronts and in no way equate to a "popular uprising."

As far as the NYT's claims that President Putin seeks to "restore the lost power and influence of the Soviet Union, or even the Russian Empire," readers may be left confused when considering that the Soviet Union and Russian Empire represent two diametrically opposed political orders, and still, neither aspired toward nor achieved the global hegemony Western military and economic expansion has reached.

The US is its Own Worst Enemy

President Putin's comments about the United States using various proxies as "instruments" toward achieving their goals, but with which they"burn their fingers and recoil" in the process could best be exemplified in the US' arming of Al Qaeda and other militant groups in Afghanistan during the 1980's. Al Qaeda would go on to become a global scourge the US claims it must now wage an equally global war to extinguish, of course with no apparent success.

Part of the United States' growing problem upon the global stage, a problem where it is irredeemably losing respect and legitimacy it had once commanded, is its own mass media and its utter failure to hold accountable poor policy driven by corrupt, criminal special interests. Leaving it to Russian President Vladimir Putin to point out the sorry state of American foreign policy grants Russia the respect and legitimacy the US would have otherwise held onto were it capable of putting its own house in order. The inability of America's media to serve public interests is in itself a symptom of America's greater malaise.

Of course as with all nations, Russia does what is in Russia's own best interests. Occasionally, however, these interests converge with public interests and in this case, global interests. The United States' foreign policy has become a global menace to all, not just a menace to Russia. However, because US foreign policy is a menace to Russia as well, Russia by necessity must protest it at venues like the Valdai International Club. Because of this, President Putin's words strike with a popular resonance.

From Afghanistan, to Iraq, to Syria, to Ukraine and now ironically back to Iraq again, the United States has left a trail of catastrophe behind all that it has done overseas. Nations so far spared such catastrophe are most likely considering what happens if they're next. It is not the Kremlin's ability to sway the minds of the world that has turned the tables on America causing it to slink away into irrelevancy and general disdain, but its own actions it refuses to address or reform.

When America's Agenda Becomes the "World's" Agenda...

President Putin would continue with comments stating, "it looks like the so-called 'winners' of the Cold War are determined to have it all and reshape the world into a place that could better serve their interests alone." He would also state, "in a world dominated by one country and a group of its satellites, the process of 'global decision-making' often boils down to pushing through their own recipes under the guise of a universal proposal. This group has in fact become so ambitious that its solutions are now passed off as decisions made by the entire global community."

It is difficult to disagree. With the rise of the BRICS highlighting just how "global" America's "recipes" are not, President Putin's "diatribe" will soon become painfully obvious facts understood widely around the world and only further hinder the West as it tries to manufacturing legitimacy and authority out of thinner and thinner air. Indeed, as President Putin suggests, there is nothing truly "international" about what is often called "international consensus." Instead, it is a collection of "satellites" around the United States, and often even states strong-armed into lending their "consensus." When nations a billion strong refuse to sign onto the US' agenda, or an entire continent rejects the authority of America's so-called "international" institutions, can they truly be called "international?"

Such tactics however, resemble those of tyrannies, in fact, the very tyrannies the United States had once been thought of as the champion against. Ironic that it has become what it had once fought, from its inception to the pinnacle of its power, influence and respect. The tides will change when President Putin's message becomes better understood and the true global consensus develops the power and resources to have its voice heard over the manufactured "consent" the US wields upon the world's stage. While it is possible that the US might alternatively right itself before this happens, it is unlikely. As the NYT proves, those charged with holding the United States' special interests accountable have clearly committed themselves to doing precisely the opposite.

The author, Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. This article was also feautured on LandDestroyer


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UNICEF - Greek Children Sink Into Poverty

A new UNICEF report shows that 2.6 million children have sunk below the poverty line in the world’s most affluent countries since 2008, bringing the total number of children in the developed world living in poverty to an estimated 76.5 million.

Innocenti Report Card 12, Children of the Recession: The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries, ranks 41 countries in the OECD and the European Union according to whether levels of child poverty have increased or decreased since 2008. It also tracks the proportion of 15-24 year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). The report includes Gallup World Poll data on people’s perceptions of their economic status and hopes for the future since the recession began. While early stimulus programmes in some countries were effective in protecting children, by 2010 a majority of countries pivoted sharply from budget stimulus to budget cuts, with negative impact on children, particularly in the Mediterranean region.

"Many affluent countries have suffered a 'great leap backwards' in terms of household income, and the impact on children will have long-lasting repercussions for them and their communities," said Jeffrey O’Malley, UNICEF’s Head of Global Policy and Strategy.

"UNICEF research shows that the strength of social protection policies was a decisive factor in poverty prevention. All countries need strong social safety nets to protect children in bad times and in good - and wealthy countries should lead by example, explicitly committing to eradicate child poverty, developing policies to offset economic downturns, and making child well-being a top priority," O’Malley said.

Other significant findings of the UNICEF report, released today at an event co-hosted with the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, include:

- In 23 of the 41 countries analysed, child poverty has increased since 2008. In Ireland, Croatia, Latvia, Greece and Iceland, rates rose by over 50 per cent.

- In Greece in 2012 median household incomes for families with children sank to 1998 levels – the equivalent of a loss of 14 years of income progress. By this measure Ireland, Luxembourg and Spain lost a decade; Iceland lost 9 years; and Italy, Hungary and Portugal lost 8.

- The recession has hit 15-24 year olds especially hard, with the number of NEETs rising dramatically in many countries. In the European Union 7.5 million young people (almost equivalent to the population of Switzerland) were classified as NEET in 2013.

In the United States, where extreme child poverty has increased more in this downturn than during the recession of 1982, social safety net measures provided important support to poor working families but were less effective for the extreme poor without jobs. Child poverty has increased in 34 out of 50 states since the start of the crisis. In 2012, 24.2 million children were living in poverty, a net increase of 1.7 million from 2008.

In 18 countries child poverty actually fell, sometimes markedly. Australia, Chile, Finland, Norway, Poland and the Slovak Republic reduced levels by around 30 per cent.

"Significantly, the report found that the social policy responses of countries with similar economic circumstances varied markedly with differing impacts on children," O’Malley said..

For more visit UNICEF


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AMPHIPOLIS: If the tomb was looted, it belonged to someone important

The archaeologist in charge of the excavations in Amphipolis Katerina Peristeri was recently presented with the Macedonian Award of 2014 in Drama (northern Greece),  for her overall cultural and scientific contributions, particularly the recent findings in Amphipolis.

Regarding the ongoing excavations, Peristeri told journalist that “if the tomb has been looted, it means that someone very important is there, a very important person”. She also noted that the recent findings suggest that there is no opening towards a fourth chamber but she said that there are still "many mysteries which must be solved”.

She avoided elaborating on the identity of the person entombed, but she did say that many theories have already been drawn by many about it, and then stressed that patience and thorough work is necessary before coming to any conclusions.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture announced that fragments of the Sphinx statues have been located. Archaeologists working in the tomb in Amphipolis have made a new series of impressive discoveries which offer valuable clues in uncovering the secrets hidden within.

Amongst the recent findings are the head and fragments of the wings belonging to the two sphinx statues at the entrance of the tomb. According to state officials, these fragments are enough to restore the sphinx statues to their glory. In fact, the Greek Culture Ministry’s architect M. Lefantzis is expected to draft the relevant plans.

The discovery of the marble fragments, from the two sphinx statues that adorn the entrance to the tomb make officials believe that the tomb in Amphipolis may have been looted at some point, and later restored.

On the outside of the tomb, it was reported that archaeologists discovered a series of engravings which appear to have the signature of the tomb architects. The engravings feature Greek letters and support the theory that the tomb was constructed at some point in the 4th century BC.

Lastly, US archaeologist Dorothy King who has been following the excavations at Amphipolis, said on her blog recently (Dorothy King’s PhDiva) that “the empty rooms and dead end support a cenotaph and heroin for Alexander the Great, which was not reused for anyone else since doing so with such an important tomb might have seemed presumptuous.”

In her post, Ms. King notes that the chambers were probably used for a cult of Alexander whilst they waited for his body to come home.
     “The items once in there would have been removed before it was filled with soil to prevent it collapsing,” the historian described by The Guardian as “blonde, glamorous and a fearless hunter of treasures” said.
Based on the fact that the weight of the mound should not have been enough to make the chamber collapse if the rest of the core was solid, the archaeologist believes that there were other sets of rooms in the mound. She said she also is convinced that it is highly likely that there were other structures around the important tomb, whether the sarcophagi of later deceased or temples to heroes and gods.

(Combined news reports)


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ANALYSIS: Geopolitics, The War Against Syria & Against the Daesh (ISIS)

In a new and original analysis, geopolitical analyst Thierry Meyssan  at VoltaireNet)   exposes the geopolitical reasons for the failure of the war against Syria and the real objectives of the so-called war against Daesh (otherwise known as ISIS). This is particularly important for understanding current international relations and the crystallization of conflict in the Levant (Iraq, Syria and Lebanon).

The three crises in the Coalition

Thierry Meyssan (VoltaireNet) -  We are witnessing the third crisis in the camp of the aggressors since the beginning of the war against Syria.

- In June of 2012, at the Geneva Conference 1, which was to mark the return of peace and organize a new division in the Middle East between the United States and Russia, France, which had just elected Francois Hollande, put forth an restrictive interpretation of the final communiqué. Then she organized the revival of the war, with the help of Israel and Turkey and the support of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CIA Director David Petraeus.

- Turkey, in the summer of 2013, along with Israel and France, organized the chemical bombing of the Damascus ghoutta in such a way as to attribute it to Syria. But the United States refused to launch a punitive war.

- In January, 2014, the United States, in a secret session of Congress, voted to fund and arm Daesh with the mission to invade the Sunni areas of Iraq and the Kurdish region of Syria to divide these large states. France and Turkey then armed Al-Qaeda (al-Nosra Front) so that it would attack Daesh and compel the United States to return to the original plan of the Coalition. If Al-Qaeda and Daesh reconciled in May following an appeal for calm by Ayman al-Zawahiri, France and Turkey are still not participating in Allied bombing.

In general, the Coalition of Friends of Syria, which, in July 2012, included "a hundred countries and international organizations," now includes not more than 11. The Coalition against Daesh, for its part, regroups officially "more than 60 states," but they have so little in common that their list is kept secret.

Distinct interests

In fact, the Coalition is made up of many states that each pursue specific goals and fail to agree on their common goal. One can distinguish within it four forces:

- The United States seeks to control the oil of the region. In 2000, the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG) chaired by Dick Cheney had, through satellite imagery and drilling data, identified global oil reserves and had observed immense reserves of Syrian gas. During the military coup of 2001, Washington decided to successively attack eight countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon and Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Iran) to seize their natural resources. His staff then adopted a plan to remodel the "Broader Middle East" (which also includes the dismantling of Turkey and Saudi Arabia), while the following year the State Department created its MENA department to organize the "Arab spring."

- Israel defends its national interests : in the short term, it continues its step by step territorial expansion. Simultaneously and without waiting to control the entire space between the two rivers, the Nile and the Euphrates, it intends to control all economic activity in the area, including of course the oil. For its protection in the age of missiles, it means on the one hand to take control of a security zone on its border (now it has pushed blue helmet peacekeepers from the border of the Golan and replaced them by Al -Qaïda) and on the other hand to neutralize the Egyptian and Syrian armies taking them from behind (deployment of Patriot missiles from NATO in Turkey, creating a Kurdistan in Iraq and South Sudan).

- France and Turkey continue the dream of restoring their empires. France hopes to get a mandate over Syria, or at least a portion of the country. She created the Free Syrian Army and gave it the green, white and black three-star flag of the French mandate. Turkey, for its part, intends to restore the Ottoman Empire. As of September 2012, it appointed a wali to administer this province. Turkish and French projects are compatible because the Ottoman Empire had admitted that some of its provinces be administered with other colonial powers.

- Finally, Saudi Arabia and Qatar know they cannot survive other than by serving the United States and fighting secular regimes, of which the Syrian Arab Republic is now the sole expression in the region.

The evolution of the Coalition

These four forces have not been able to work together except during the first part of the war, from February 2011 to June 2012. It was indeed a fourth generation strategy: some Special Forces Groups organized incidents and ambushes here and there, while Atlanticist and Gulf TV portrayed an Alawite dictatorship repressing democratic revolution. The amounts invested and soldiers deployed did not amount to much and everyone thought they could take advantage once the Syrian Arab Republic was overthrown.

However, in early 2012, the Syrian people began to doubt that President Bashar al-Assad was torturing children and that the Republic would be overthtown in favor of a Lebanese type of confessional system. The seige of the Takfirists of the Islamic Emirate of Baba Amr foreshadowed the defeat of the operation. France then negotiated an end to the crisis and the return of French officers who had been taken prisoner. The United States and Russia negotiated to replace the United Kingdom and France and to share all of the region such as London and Paris had done with the Sykes-Picot agreements of 1916.

Since that time, nothing works in the Coalition. Successive failures show that it cannot win.

In July of 2012 in Paris, France brought together with great fanfare the most important meeting of the Coalition and relaunched the war. The speech by Francois Hollande was written in English, probably by Israelis, and translated into French. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ambassador Robert S. Ford (trained by John Negroponte) were engaged in the most vast covert war in history. As in the past in Nicaragua, private armies recruited mercenaries and sent them to Syria. Except this time, these mercenaries were managed ideologically to train jihadi hordes. Overseeing operations escaped the Pentagon to befall the State Department and the CIA. The cost of the war was huge, but it was not attributed to the treasuries of the United States, France and Turkey, for it was entirely paid by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

According to the Atlanticist and Gulf press, a few thousand foreigners came to lend a hand to the "Syrian democratic revolution." But on the ground the "democratic revolution" was nowhere to be found, only groups of fanatics chanting slogans such as "Peaceful Revolution: Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave! " [1] or " No to Hezbollah, no to Iran, we want a president who fears God! " [2]. According to the Syrian Arab Army, these were not a few thousand, but 250,000 foreign jihadists who came to fight, and often die, from July 2012 to July 2014.

But the day after his re-election, Barack Obama forced the CIA director, General David Petraeus to resign, and he got rid of Hillary Clinton during the formation of his new administration. So that at the beginning of 2013, the Coalition was based practically only on France and Turkey, the United States doing as little as possible. This was obviously the time the Syrian Arab Army was waiting for to launch its inexorable reconquest of the territory.

Francois Hollande and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hillary Clinton and David Petraeus expected to overthrow the secular republic and impose a Sunni regime that would have been placed under the direct rule of Turkey, but including French senior officials. A model inherited from the late nineteenth century, but that held no interest for the United States.

Democrat Barack Obama and his two Secretaries of Defense, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel are driven by radically different politics: Panetta is from the Baker-Hamilton Commission and Obama was elected on the program of the Commission. According to them, the United States is not and should not be a colonial power in the Mediterranean sense, that is to say, they should not envisage territorial control by installing settlers. The experience of the Bush administration in Iraq was extremely expensive compared to its return on investment. It should not be reproduced.

After Turkey and France tried to enrol the United States in a vast bombardment of Syria, by staging the chemical crisis of the summer of 2013, the White House and the Pentagon decided to regain control. In January 2014, they convened a secret meeting of Congress and made it pass a secret law approving a plan for dividing Iraq into three and secession of the Kurdish region of Syria. To do this, they decided to fund and arm a jihadist group able to achieve what international law prohibits to the US Army: ethnic cleansing.

Barack Obama and his armies are not envisaging the remodeling the "broader Middle East" as a goal in itself, but only as a means to control natural resources. They use a classic concept of divide and conquer, not to create positions of kings and presidents in new states, but to continue the policy of the United States since Jimmy Carter.

In his speech on the State of the Union on Jan. 23, 1980, President Carter outlined the doctrine that bears his name: the US believes that it owns the hydrocarbons in the Gulf which are vital to its economy. Therefore, any questioning by anyone of this axiom will be considered "prejudicial to the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an attack will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force." Make no mistake, President Carter was not talking about supplying the US with Gulf oil instead of local oil, but of controling the world oil market using dollars, in the way the United Kingdom assured its 19th century power base by controlling the world coal market. Over time, Washington has developed the instrument of this policy, the CentCom, and extended its reserved zone to the Horn of Africa.

Therefore, the current bombing campaign of the Coalition no longer has any connection with the initial goal of overthrowing the Syrian Arab Republic. It has no connection either with its "war on terrorism". It is concerned exclusively with defending the economic interests of the United States alone, if necessary by creating new states, but not necessarily.

Currently, the Pentagon is symbolically assisted by a few Saudi and Qatari planes, but by neither France nor Turkey. It admits to having conducted more than 4,000 sorties, but having killed just over 300 fighters of the Islamic Emirate. If we stick to the official line, that is more than 13 sorties and an unknown number of bombs and missiles to kill one jihadist. These would be of the costliest and most inefficient air campaign in history. But if we consider the reasoning that preceded it, the attack by Daesh against Iraq corresponds to a manipulation of oil prices that have been reduced from $115 a barrel to $ 83, a decrease of nearly 25 %. Nouri al-Maliki, the legitimately elected Iraqi Prime Minister, who sold half of his oil to China, was suddenly stigmatized and overthrown. Daesh and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government themselves have reduced their oil theft and export by approximately 70%. All the oil facilities used by Chinese companies have simply been destroyed. De facto, the Iraqi oil and Syrian oil has escaped the Chinese buyers and been reintegrated into the international market controlled by the United States.

Ultimately, this air campaign is a direct application of the "Carter Doctrine" and a warning to President Xi Jinping who is trying to conclude here and there, bilateral contracts to supply his country with hydrocarbons, bypassing the international market.

Anticipating the Future

From this analysis we can conclude that:

- In the current period, the United States is willing to lead a war only to defend its strategic interests of controlling the international oil market. Therefore, it can go to war against China, but not against Russia.

- France and Turkey will never be able to realize their dreams of recolonisation. France should think about the role that AfriCom has assigned to it on the black continent. She can continue to intervene in all states that are trying to get closer to China (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Central African Republic) and restore "Western" order, but she will never be able to restore her colonial empire [3]. Turkey should also tone it down. Even if President Erdoğan manages to make an alliance against nature between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Kemalist officers, he will have to abandon his neo-Ottoman ambitions. Above all, he should remember that as a NATO member, his country is more than any other susceptible to be the victim of a pro-US coup, as were before him Greek Georgios Papandreou and Turkish Bülent Ecevit.

- Saudi Arabia and Qatar will never be repaid the billions they invested at a loss to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic. Worse, it is likely they will have to pay for part of the reconstruction. The Saud family should continue to respond to the economic interests of American officials, but not to pursue major wars and consider that at any time, Washington can choose to partition their private property, Saudi Arabia.

- Israel can hope to continue playing underhand to cause the effective division of Iraq into three in the medium term. It would thus obtain an Iraqi Kurdistan comparable to what South Sudan has already created. It is however unlikely that it can immediately connect it to northern Syria. Similarly, it is unlikely to oust UNIFIL in southern Lebanon and replace it with Al Qaeda as it did with the FNUOD Force at the Syrian border. But in 66 years, Israel has become accustomed to try much and often to get a little more still. It is actually the only winner in this war against Syria and within the Coalition. It has not only weakened its Syrian neighbor for years, but it has managed to force it to abandon its chemical arsenal. In this way, it is the only state in the world to officially have both a sophisticated nuclear arsenal and a chemical and biological arsenal.

- Iraq is de facto divided into three separate states of which one, the Caliphate, will never be recognized by the international community. Initially, we do not see what would prevent the secession of Kurdistan, other than the difficulty of explaining by what enchantment it increased its territory by 40% from its administrative definition, including the oil fields of Kirkuk. The Caliphate should gradually give way to a Sunni state, probably governed by men who have officially "left" Daesh, but in a less cruel manner. These would be a process comparable to that of Libya where veterans of al Qaeda were placed in power without raising the slightest protest.

- Syria will gradually regain peace and focus on its long reconstruction. It will look for this to Chinese companies, but it will keep Beijing away from its hydrocarbons. To rebuild its oil industry and to exploit its gas reserves, it will turn to Russian companies. The issue of pipelines which cross it will depend on its Iranian and Russian supporters.

- Lebanon will continue to live under the threat of Daesh but the organization will never play a role other than that of terrorists. Jihadists are just a way to gel a little more the polical operation of a country sinking into anarchy.

- Finally, Russia and China should urgently intervene against Daesh, in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, not out of compassion for the local people, but because this tool will soon be used against them by the United States. Already, if Daesh is controlled by Saudi Prince Abdul Rahman, who finances, and by the caliph Ibrahim, who heads the operations, its principal officers are Georgians, all members of military intelligence, and sometimes Chinese Turkic speakers. In addition, the Georgian defense minister acknowledged, before changing his mind, his hosting of training camps for jihadists. If Moscow and Beijing hesitate, they will face Daesh in the Caucasus, in the Ferghana Valley, and in Xinjiang.

Notes

  • [1] "Peaceful revolution" means here that we will not hurt Sunnis.
  • [2] At the beginning of the war, Hezbollah was not present in Syria, but Syria militarily supported Hezbollah in its fight against the Israeli aggressor. It was therefore not a matter of putting Hezbollah out of Syria, but of ceasing support for the resistance.
  • [3] I will in a future article return to the current presence of officers of the French Foreign Legion on a secret mission in Syria. In April 2014, seven of them were killed while leading an al-katiba of the al-Nosra Front (Al-Qaeda) and wielding Milan missiles.






October 28, 2014

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OPINION: For Turkey is massacre (or GENOCIDE) a policy option?

Is the new alliance between Turkey and France concentrated only on economic issues to wit entry into the European Union, or is it political? Thierry Meyssan at Voltaire Network says that if it is then Paris must provide cover for Ankara whatever the policy, but at the same time asks if this support goes as far as supporting GENOCIDE. The author says that the Obama administration has called Turkey into question for its support of the Islamic Emirate (Daesh) twice. On October 2nd US Vice President Joe Biden called on Turkey in a speech at the Kennedy School at Harvard and following this, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, David S. Cohen called on Turkey on October 23rd before the Carnegie Foundation. Both men accused Ankara of supporting the jihadis and selling the oil that they are stealing in Iraq and Syria. Thierry Meyssan says that in the face of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s denials, Biden apologized. Following this, the Turkish government allowed the PKK to come to the aid of Kobani Syrian Kurds besieged by Daesh (or ISIS). Nonetheless, Ankara's begavior was not convincing and therefore Washington renewed its accusations. Thierry Meyssan says he does not believe that what is at issue is the support for jihadists. He notes that Turkey does not act in its regard other than in accordance with the US plan, and, according to his estimates Daesh has remained controlled by the CIA (or as he claims until mid-October). Washington, according to him, cannot admit that a member of NATO is visibly involved in the massacre (or GENOCIDE) that threatens the people of Kobani.

Turkey and the issue of ethnic cleansing

The policy of the Obama administration is simple: Daesh was created to do what NATO cannot do, ethnic cleansing, while members of the Alliance must pretend to have nothing to do with it. The massacre of Syrian Kurds is not necessary to Washington politics and the involvement of Turkey constitutes a crime against humanity.

The attitude of Turkey appears as involuntary. And that’s the problem. Turkey is a revisionist state. It never admitted that it committed the massacre of 1.4 million Armenians, hundreds of thousands of Greek Christians and 50,000 Assyrians in Persia (1914-1918) and again of 800 000 Armenians and Greeks (1919-1925)[3]. Far from closing this painful chapter in its history, the condolence message sent by Erdogan, on April 23rd, has instead demonstrated the inability of Turkey to acknowledge the crimes of the Young Turks.[4]

Ankara has tried in the past to liquidate the Kurdish PKK. Many have fled to Syria. President al-Assad gave them Syrian nationality at the beginning of the war, and armed them so that they could defend the national territory. On the contrary, for Ankara, killing them would be good news, and Daesh could do this dirty work.

Turkey’s involvement in recent ethnic cleansing

During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995), the Turkish Army supported the "Arab Legion" of Osama bin Laden who ethnically cleansed the country by massacring quantities of Christian Orthodox Serbs. The fighting jihadists survivors then joined armed groups in Syria, including Daesh (or ISIS).

In 1998, the Turkish Army participated in the military training of the KLA, whose attacks were repressed by the Yugoslav government, justifying the intervention of NATO. During the war that followed, Hakan Fidan (current head of the Turkish secret service MIT) was the liaison between NATO and Turkey.

Ultimately, the KLA drove out the Christian Orthodox Serbs and desecrated their places of worship. In 2011, Hakan Fidan sent jihadists to Kosovo to be trained in terrorism by the KLA and to attack Syria.

During the occupation of Iraq, the United States officially relied on Turkey and Saudi Arabia to rebuild the country.

The policy was then to provoke civil war and conduct systematic massacres, of mostly Shiites and Christians. As explained by the former adviser to the White House for Homeland Security, Richard A. Falkenrath, this policy was designed to encyst jihadism, use it on the spot and make sure it does not come to the United States[5].

In September 2013, hundreds of jihadists from the Free Syrian Army (supported by France and bearing the flag of the French colonial militia), supported by elements of Al-Nusra Front (Syrian branch of Al Qaeda) arrived in Turkey to take the village of Maloula, raping its women, killing its men and desecrating its churches. Maloula offers no strategic military interest. The attack was only a way to visibly persecute Christians of whom Maloula has been the Syrian symbol for nearly two thousand years.

In March 2014, hundreds of jihadists of Al-Nusra Front and the Army of Islam (pro-Saudis) arrived in Turkey, supervised by the Turkish Army to sack the city of Kessab. The population managed to flee before being slaughtered. When the Syrian Arab Army came to the rescue, Turkey opposed it and shot one of its planes.

Kessab is of strategic interest to NATO, because of the proximity of a Russian radar base that monitors the Alliance’s Turkish base of Incirlik. The people of Kessab are Armenians whose families fled the massacres perpetrated by the Young Turks.

Does today’s Turkey allow GENOCIDES?

We must therefore ask the question: by denying that the massacre of Armenians in general and of diverse mainly Christian minorities, which occurred from 1915 to 1925, was organized by the Committee of Union and Progress, isn’t Turkey saying that genocide is not a crime, but a policy like any other?

The policy of the current Turkish government is based on the "Davutoğlu doctrine," named after the current Prime Minister.

According to this political science professor, Turkey must restore its influence of the Ottoman era and unify the Middle East on the basis of Sunni Islam.

At first, the Erdogan administration advocated the resolution of conflicts left in suspense since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which he called a policy of "zero problems" with his neighbors. Seizing the rebound, Syria and Iran then negotiated a free trade zone that caused an economic boom in the three countries. But in 2011, during the NATO war against Libya, Turkey abandoned its conciliatory attitude to emerge as a belligerent power.

Since then, it has been again angry with all its neighbors, with the exception of Azerbaijan.

French support for Turkey

During the war against Libya and against Syria, Turkey and France have come together to forge a genuine pact, in the line of the Franco-Ottoman alliance desired by Francis I and Suleiman the Magnificent; an alliance that lasted two and a half centuries and ended only with Napoleon Bonaparte, then resurfaced briefly during the Crimean War.

The new alliance was ratified by the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, who, in February 2013, lifted the French veto on the accession of Turkey to the EU and is now engaged in promoting its entry.

Thus, Francois Hollande and Laurent Fabius, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ahmet Davutoglu sponsored a joint operation to assassinate President Bashar al-Assad and his foreign minister Walid al-Moallem by cleaning staff of the presidential palace, but the operation failed.

In the summer of 2013, Turkey organized the chemical bombardment of the ghoutta and accused Syria.

Supported by France, Ankara sought to involve the United States in bombing the capital and in overthowing the Syrian Arab Republic. Both countries tried to return Washington to its initial project of overthrowing the Syrian Arab Republic.

A document submitted to the United Nations Security Council, certifies that after the secret vote by the US Congress in January 2014, arming and funding Syrian rebels to ethnically cleanse the region, France and Turkey continued secretly to arm all the al-Nusra Front (that is to say, al Qaeda) to fight against Daesh.

The idea was always to bring Washington back to its original project.

We note in passing that it is not only Turkey but also France, who armed jihadists who attacked the Christian towns of Maloula and Kessab, raping their women, killing their men and desecrating their churches.

The corruption of French leaders by Turkey

While the press often refers to the corruption of the French ruling class by Qatar, it is silent on the Turkey’s huge investment in French politicians.

The proof of this corruption: the silence of the French officers on domestic developments in Turkey (world record for the imprisonment of journalists, lawyers and senior officers) on its support for international terrorism (Turkish Justice has established that Erdogan met the Al Qaeda banker 12 times, Turkey has four al-Qaeda camps and organized the transit of tens of thousands of jihadists), on the pillage of Syria (thousands of factories were dismantled in the district of Aleppo and transferred to Turkey) and its massacres (Maloula, Kessab, and soon perhaps Kobani).

In 2009, the Turkish employer class - faithful allies of Erdoğan - created the Bosphorus Institute responsible for promoting ties between the two countries. [6] Its scientific committee, co-chaired by Anne Lauvergeon, [7] includes the cream of French politicians (UMP Jean-Francois Coppe [8] and Alain Juppe [9]), the Socialist Party (Elizabeth Guigou [10] Pierre Moscovici [11]), many very close to President Hollande (Jean-Pierre Jouyet [12] and Henri de Castries [13]), and even former communists, to name a few.

It is certainly not in the spirit of these figures, some of which are honorable, to approve of the massacres committed by Ankara. That is nevertheless what they are doing.

By allying herself with Turkey, France has become and active accomplice of its massacres.

Notes

  • [1] "Remarks by Joe Biden at the John F. Kennedy Forum," by Joseph R. Biden Jr., Voltaire Network, 2 October 2014.
  • [2] "Remarks by US Treasury Under Secretary David S. Cohen on Attacking ISIL’s Financial Foundation," David S. Cohen, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 23, 2014.
  • [3] Statistics of democide: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900, RJ Rummel, Transaction, 1998, p. 223-235.
  • [4] The Young Turks were a revolutionary and nationalist Ottoman political reform party, officially known as the Union and Progress (CUP) Committee. They allied themselves with minorities and overthrew sultan Abdülhamid II. Come to power, they implemented a policy of Turkification that led them to plan the genocide of minorities, mostly Armenians.
  • [5] Quoted in "If Democracy Fails, Try Civil War," Al Kamen, The Washington Post, September 25, 2005.
  • [6] See the website of the Institute of the Bosphorus.
  • [7] Former collaborator of François Mitterrand, she became director of Areva (2001-11). She is currently Chair of the Commission on innovation.
  • [8] MP, former minister and president of the UMP.
  • [9] Mayor of Bordeaux, former prime minister and former president of the UMP, he became foreign minister in the early wars against Libya and Syria.
  • [10] Former collaborator of François Mitterrand and former minister, current President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.
  • [11] MP and former minister, he was appointed to become Commissioner.
  • [12] High official, longtime friend of François Hollande, he is now secretary general of the Elysee.
  • [13] A longtime friend of François Hollande, he is now CEO of AXA Insurance.


Voltaire Net

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British Reporter -Now a Hostage- Appears in new ISIS Clip Saying West Is Lying - VIDEOS

As reported by CNN in a new report below, British photojournalist John Cantlie -who is supposedly a hostage- is used in a new video as a NEWS REPORTER from the battle-ravaged city of Kobani in northern Syria. The video, claims the news reporter in the video below, was released by the ISIS group. In the Daily Mail we read that the hostage addresses the camera in a new propaganda clip while strolling carefree in some parts of the city. The same report claims that the photojournalist was captured in 2013 while working in Syria.


In the news broadcast-style footage, entitled Inside 'Ayn-Islam (BELOW), Cantlie appears to be reading from a prepared script and claims that despite reports coming from the West, Kobani is still in the hands of ISIS (or the insurgents, who he refers to as the Mujahideen).


The clip opens with an aerial shot, purportedly of the city, which is said to have been filmed using a drone, before Mr Cantlie begins his report.

The pre-recorded (????) sound of gunfire can also be heard.

Dressed in a loose-fitting black shirt, his hair slightly longer than in other videos released by the extremist group, Cantlie appears to be in good health as he addresses the camera in the five-and-a-half minute broadcast.

Cantlie is shown heavily criticising Western news reports or leading mainstream media networks, which he notes have come from information given to journalists by "Kurdish commanders or White House press secretaries, neither of whom have the slightest intention of telling the truth."

At the same time he describes the US Air Force as being totally "hopeless" and says that reports which claim that ISIS fighters are retreating from Kobani are false.

Reference: YouTube


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OXI Europe cannot OWN us... they OWE us - THIS IS A MUST READ

On October 28, 1940 the people of Greece answered the call to defend this country and in six weeks were able to drive the Italian army back into the cold mountains of Albania. It was a major humiliation for the AXIS and the first victory that they can be defeated. The Greeks inspired the people of Europe and put Hitler in the position of having to delay his invasion of Russia, to commit troops to attack and occupy Greece. The Russian defense of Stalingrad and the cold Russian winter were the beginning and end of the Third Reich and Greece's resistance is a major part of the puzzle. 
It was Metaxas' rejection of the Italian Ultimatum which is celebrated every year on this day. We said OXI (no) 74 years ago, OXI to fascism, OXI to the occupation of our land, OXI to Repression... and NAI (yes) to Democracy, NAI to liberty and NAI to the future of Europe!
Our European partners, or so called "allies" have forgotten that this small, relatively poor nation kept fascism at bay along Europe’s southern flank during WWII for just enough time so that its strong resistance can become a beacon of hope for the rest of Europe that the AXIS can be defeated. Because of this, Europeans, or countries such as England, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, (even the Germans) should today be thanking little Greece for having the b**lls and determination to go up against fascists such as Mussolini and Hitler.

They should thank us for inspiring them through our struggle and resistance to never permit Nazism to spread like a cancer across Europe.

They should thank us for being able to speak in their national languages today instead of just German and they should thank us for having their democracies.

Money and power have clouded their memories and now they are numb to our human rights as a society with all these unjust "conditions, agreements and austerity" they have so easily imposed on our people.

HellasFrappe wants remind all of Europe that the people of Greece said OXI to fascism then, and will CONTINUE to say OXI to every type of fascism (geopolitical, economic and political) today and for all of time.
OXI they cannot OWN us, they OWE us…  England owes us…. France owes us… and Germany which so proudly wants to own us... OWES us. It owes us for all the suffering it caused to our people, for murdering thousands of our brothers and sisters in cold blood, for setting back our economy and for plundering our villages, cities and towns. They OWE us for forcing our Hellene brothers and sisters to flee to all the corners of the earth, they OWE us for all the mothers who wept for their dead sons, they OWE us for all our fallen soldiers, they OWE us for torching historic villages in the name of fascism, they OWE us for the loan we gave them during the war and which was never paid back to our country, they OWE us for the gold that they are suspected of illegally removing from our country, they OWE us for the artifacts and the precious art that they plundered, they OWE us for dividing and corrupting many of our countrymen and then throwing us in civil war, and without a doubt they OWE us BILLIONS in war reparations which they openly paid to all the other nations which they invaded... but never to Greece. They also owe us for developing their defence ministries, their innovation and technology industries and for their capitalist market. If it wasn't for little old Greece, ALL OF WHOM EUROPE WANTS TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF, then the continent we know as the EU today, would have been named Germany, and not Europe! Most importantly... Europe and Europeans OWE us for giving birth to the name EUROPE which by the way is also GREEK!  - HellasFrappe
In such a framework, HellasFrappe wishes to refresh Europe's memory We do not want to be accused of fanatic patriotism, and will ALWAYS base our opinion on the facts at hand. That is why we ask that our fans watch the video below, (in the Greek language) before reading the article that is featured under the documentary so that they can acquire a better understanding of why we believe Europe OWES us and not vice versa. Please note that the article below was not written by HellasFrappe, but is a republication of an article that was featured in a magazine that was published by the British Armed Forces during WWII!


October 28th 1940 - May 31st 1941
REPRINTED FROM THE MAGAZINE
"THE FIGHTING FORCES," APRIL, 1946, ISSUE
(This following article was taken from a magazine feature which was published during WW II by the British Armed Forces) Gale & Polden Ltd. Aldershot 1633-c

The remarkable achievements of the small Greek Army during the earlier phases of the war in standing up, practically unaided, to the Italians for five months, and to the Germans for another two months, is admitted to have had an important influence on the general strategy of the war.

As we know now from the evidence produced at the Nuremberg Trial, the unexpected resistance encountered in the Balkans knocked out the German Army's schedule for the attack on Russia, which, instead of 15th May, 1941, had to be put back to 22nd June, 1941. Further, the Greek defence of Crete in May, and the losses of picked paratroops incurred by the Germans prevented the latter from carrying out their plan for synchronizing an invasion of Syria with Ali Rashid's rebellion in Iraq. The salient facts about the two campaigns—in Albania and Macedonia—are summarized below.

In August, 1940, the Italian High Command in Albania began to move its forces, together with large quantities of stores and munitions, to the neighbourhood of the Greco-Albanian frontier. In view of these moves, the Greek General Staff, as a precautionary measure, reinforced its units along the frontier and at the same time proceeded to mobilize one division in Epirus, one other division and an infantry brigade in Western Macedonia.

For political reasons, that is, in order not to provoke Italy, the Greek Government refrained from calling up additional forces. It listened to the German Government's advice, conveyed through the Greek Minister in Berlin, that as long as Greece avoided giving cause for military action, Germany would prevent Italy from attacking her. Consequently, the remaining garrisons throughout Greece were kept at their peacetime strength, although all preparations were made for rapid mobilization in case of eventualities.

From the point of view of equipment, things were very well advanced as compared with the period before 1935, and all the depots had their full complement for equipping all units in the event of mobilization.The frontier fortifications were almost completed on the Bulgarian sector. Along the Greco-Albanian frontier fortification was limited to small field works and isolated concrete pill-boxes for machine guns.

The morale both of people and Army was excellent.

The Greek plan of campaign, as drawn up after Italy's seizure of Albania in April, 1939, was based on the following considerations

(a) The initiative, both in the concentration of forces and in beginning the attack, was left, for the political reasons already stated above, to Italy. This naturally was bound to give the Italians a great advantage, at any rate in the initial stages of the campaign. The Italian forces in Albania amounted then to live full divisions on a war footing (including one armoured division) and the Italians also possessed complete superiority in the air. These forces had the possibility of being increased to an unknown degree by reinforcements from Italy. Not only were the Greek forces along the frontier greatly inferior but the concentration of further Greek forces was bound to be slow and uncertain owing to the risk of interruption in communications through aerial bombardment.

(a) Allied help, in view of the guarantees already given, was regarded as a certainty, but its extent was a matter for speculation. In view of the critical situation in which Britain found herself after the collapse of France in 1940, British assistance was bound to be very small and would probably be limited to sending one or two air force units.

Another result of the French collapse was that it was no longer possible to rely on the British Navy for the defence of the Greek islands and coasts and the keeping open of communications with Greece, so that a certain number of Greek forces had to be detailed for coastal defence.

(c) As regards the attitude of Greece's neighbours, Bulgaria was regarded as a certain opponent likely to take the field against Greece by the side of Italy at once or possibly later.

Yugoslavia and Turkey were regarded as likely to remain neutral. The former was bound by no obligation to intervene in a struggle between Greece and Italy. As regards Turkey, although there existed no military convention, Turkey was bound by the political agreement of 1933, by which Greece and Turkey had mutually guaranteed each other's frontiers.

Greece therefore had to rely entirely on her own forces.

On the above suppositions, the Greek plan of operations, drawn up on a purely defensive basis, provided for the following initial distribution of forces after the mobilization :
  1. Albanian Front.—Eight infantry divisions and two infantry brigades.
  2. Bulgarian Front.—Six infantry divisions and one infantry brigade.
  3. Reserves.—One infantry division, one infantry brigade and one cavalry division.
As foreseen by the plan of operations, the tactical objective would be, on the Albanian front, to delay the advance of the enemy as much as possible until he could be finally stopped in front of a strong defensive position: on the Bulgarian front, to stop him in front of the fortified line.

The information concerning the general disposition of the Italian forces, in the summer of 1940, showed that the bulk of these forces, including one armoured division, were concentrated along the Epirus frontier, whereas in the Korytsa—Morova sector there were only limited forces. The conclusion to be drawn from the above disposition was that the main Italian attack would be directed against Epirus. The plan of the Greek General Staff in the middle of September, 1940, following the above disposition of the Italian forces, provided for a general defensive action but also for the possibility of taking the offensive:
  • (a) In the Korytsa—Morova sector if sufficient forces could be concentrated for the capture of those two positions; and
  • (b) Against the enemy's flank by an attack through the Pindus region in Epirus.
Further, the Greek High Command, envisaged a more general offensive action as soon as it was clear that there was no immediate danger from Bulgaria and that, consequently, it would be possible to transfer forces from the Bulgarian front.

At the declaration of war (28th October, 1940) the disposition of the opposing forces was as follows:
  • Italian Forces in Albania.—Nine to ten infantry divisions (including one armoured division). With the addition of large numbers of tanks, heavy artillery and considerable forces of Blackshirts and Albanian forces, and several hundred aircraft.
  • Greek Forces.—Two infantry divisions and one infantry brigade; a number of independent detachments with a total strength of six battalions, with very little artillery, and, far behind the line, in Actoloakarnania, another three battalions; no tanks or armoured cars, and very little heavy artillery.
Thus the proportion was one Greek to three or four Italian divisions.
  • Further, the Italians were greatly superior in heavy infantry armament suitable for mountain warfare, as each Italian infantry regiment disposed of six heavy and fifty-four light mortars to the Greeks' four heavy mortars only.
  • The Greek Air Force, at the declaration of war, consisted of 25 to 30 Fighters, 20 to 25 bombers, and 10 long-distance reconnaissance planes. There were also a number of planes of an antiquated type, with a speed of 120 kilometres per hour, which, needless to say, were useless for military operations.
On the morning of 28th October, 1940, after the rejection of the Italian ultimatum by the Greek Premier, General Metaxas, the Italian Army attacked on a front reaching from Mt. Grammos to the sea, while the Italian Air Force bombarded the Greek front-line positions and lines of communications. North of Mt. Grammos as far as the Yugoslav frontier enemy action was on a limited scale.

The main Italian attack was launched in the direction of Jannina, the capital of Epirus, while, by a powerful thrust through the gorges of the Pindus, the Italian Command aimed at outflanking Epirus from the north and cutting off the Greek forces there from the other forces in North-West Macedonia.

After the first local Italian successes, the Greek Army, its mobilization completed, counter-attacked on 14th November and threw the enemy back to a considerable depth beyond the frontier, inflicting heavy losses. Korytsa was captured on 22nd November and Argyrocastro on 8th December.

By 28th December, at which date the severe winter and attendant difficulties of supply brought operations to a standstill, the Greek forces had reached a line Progradets—Kanya—Suchagora—Tscnivontc—Bazair—Scfcragha—Chimarra, a distance of 100 to 160 kilometres beyond the farthest point reached by the Italians in their first offensive.

By this time the strength of the of Greek forces, thanks to the timely transfer of troops from the Bulgarian front had been raised to eleven infantry divisions, two infantry, brigades and one cavalry division, while the Italian forces had increased to sixteen infantry divisions (including an armoured division), together with several independent units of cavalry, Bersaglieri, Blackshirts and Albanian troops.

The Greek Army did not possess a single tank, further, the Italian Air Force had a crushing superiority in the air. Nevertheless, the tiny Greek Air Force did not hesitate to challenge the Italians, often inflicting upon them heavy losses.

British help, by the end of the year, 1940, consisted of 39 fighter planes and 18 bombers, with British personnel. This small British air force rendered great services during the operations of February, 1941, when its strength consisted of two squadrons of Blenheim bombers, two squadrons of Gladiator fighters and one squadron of Hurricanes. But, from the beginning of March, this force was reduced to very small numbers, so that during the big Italian offensive of 9th to 25th March the Greek Army remained almost without air protection.

During the period between 28th December, 1940, and the Italian offensive in March, operations were confined mainly in the central sector of the front, where the Greek forces achieved advances in considerable depths.

In the above offensive, prepared long before by the Italians and which was witnessed by Mussolini himself, the Italians threw into the sector between Apsos and the River Aoos twelve divisions, including an armoured division, and several battalions of Bersaglieri and Blackshirts, very strong forces of artillery and several hundred planes against only six Greek divisions almost without air support. Nevertheless, the above attack ended in a complete defeat for the Italian forces, which did not succeed in occupying a single inch of new ground.

On 6th April, 1941, Germany declared war on Greece. After the collapse of Yugoslavia the whole position of the Greek Army on the Albanian front was threatened from the flank and rear. The Army had to fall back and only gave up the struggle after being surrounded. The Italians could not claim to have scored a single success.

This brought the glorious struggle of Greece against Italy to an end. In these operations the Greek Army employed fourteen infantry divisions and one cavalry division as against the Italians' twenty-eight infantry divisions, one armoured division and some sixty-live independent battalions, supported by a-numerous air force and powerful artillery.

As previously stated, the Greek High Command, during the course of the Albanian campaign had to withdraw considerable forces from the Bulgarian frontier.

From the beginning of February, Bulgaria began to take serious military measures. At the same time, it was reported that German war material and personnel were arriving in large numbers and taking over the Bulgarian aerodromes. The German forces in Rumania began to advance towards the Bulgaro-Rumanian frontier and bridges were thrown across the Danube at various points.

On 1st March the German forces entered Bulgaria and, screened by four Bulgarian divisions posted along the Greco-Bulgarian frontier, began to advance south.

In view of these developments, the reasons which had up to that point prevented the landing of Allied reinforcements in Greece ceased to be operative, and British reinforcements amounting to two infantry divisions and one armoured brigade were landed. At the same time, Turkey, whose intentions until then had remained ambiguous, declared that she would not take action unless her own territory was attacked.

Yugoslavia came out on the side of the Allies at the end of March, 1941, after overthrowing the Government which had signed the Tripartite Agreement with the Axis.

The strength of the Greek forces along the Greco-Bulgarian frontier had been considerably weakened through the withdrawal of reinforcements for the Albanian front. The Greek General Staff had for a moment contemplated fighting its defensive action against the enemy forces about to attack from Bulgaria on a line Mt. Kaimaktsalan— Mt. Vermon—Haliakmon River. This line, besides not requiring such strong forces, could have been linked up more easily with the Albanian theatre of operations.

This solution, however, had the disadvantages not only of abandoning a large extent of the national territory to the invaders, but also of reacting unfavourably on the position of Turkey and Yugoslavia. To the latter in particular it was a matter of vital importance to keep open her communications with Salonika, which would become her principal base of supplies when attacked from the north.

After the Yugoslav coup d'etat at the end of March, 1941, the above plan of withdrawal had to be rejected. It was then decided to hold the fortified line Mt. Beles— mouth of the River Mesta (Nestos). Three infantry divisions and one infantry brigade (none of them up to full strength) were detailed for this purpose, in addition to the existing forces garrisoning the forts.

Two more Greek divisions and the newly arrived British reinforcements were placed in reserve on a second line running from Mt. Kaimaktsalan—Mt. Vermon to the mouth of the River Haliakmon.

Finally, the newly formed armoured division was disposed along the Vardar Corridor.

By agreement between the Greek and Yugoslav General Staffs, after the change of Government in Yugoslavia, it was decided to carry out combined operations for the purpose of liquidating the situation in Albania as soon as possible.

The Greek forces were to launch a general offensive against the Italians. This offensive would be synchronized with an attack by four Yugoslav divisions to be ready by 12th April.

It was further agreed that strong Yugoslav forces would secure the southern sector towards the Bulgarian frontier so as to prevent any enemy action from that quarter which, if successful, would cut off contact between the Greek and Yugoslav forces.

On the morning of 6th April Germany declared war on Greece and Yugoslavia, and powerful German forces took the offensive against both countries.

The strong German forces operating from Southern Bulgaria attacked the fortified Greek positions in Eastern Macedonia and Western Thrace, while other forces were directed against the southern sector of the Yugoslav front in the region of Strumnitsa with the object of driving a wedge between the Yugoslav and the Greek armies.

The German attack on the Greek fortified line was smashed with heavy losses. The line of forts stood up against the whole weight of the powerful German onslaught, which was supported by large numbers of tanks and planes. In this epic struggle the Greek forces were not only inferior in numbers and armament, owing to the fact that a large part of the heavy guns and other equipment had been dispatched to the Albanian front, but also were entirely devoid of friendly support from the air, while the German planes flew over the positions by the hundred dropping bombs.

But whereas the German attack failed to break through the line of Greek forts, the German forces operating against the Yugoslav front soon broke through and by forcing the passage through the corridor of the Strumnitsa River soon found themselves in the open valley of the Vardar, whence their advance towards Salonika was virtually unopposed, as the defence of that flank of the Greek front had been left entirely to the Yugoslav Army.

At the same time, other German forces advanced swiftly through Yugoslav territory to join up with the Italian forces on the Albanian front, while another strong corps moved from the region of Skopje southwards towards Western Macedonia, thus outflanking the line Kaimaktsalan—Ycrm6n and threatening the flank and rear of the Greek Army on the Albanian front.

On this front, the extreme right of the Greek front, in accordance with the agreement between the Greek and Yugoslav High Commands, launched a vigorous offensive on the morning of 7th April, and drove back the opposing Italian forces to a considerable depth, capturing a large number of prisoners. On the Yugoslav side there was no corresponding move. In view of the German threat to the Greek rear, the continuation of the Greek offensive came to a standstill.

On 9th April the Germans occupied Salonika, thus leaving the rear of the fortified line in Eastern Macedonia completely uncovered. The garrisons of the forts were forced to capitulate, after having bravely repulsed all the attacks of the enemy up to that point.

The remaining Greek and British forces in Central Macedonia and Thessaly, under strong German pressure, were compelled to withdraw southwards. Finally, the British forces, after a defensive action at Thermopylae, succeeded in embarking and evacuated Continental Greece, some of them going to Crete.

The Germans entered Athens on 27th April. It did not take them long to make themselves masters of the whole of Greece and carry out their preparations for the capture of Crete. Crete fell in the latter part of May after a hard fight. This may be said to have brought to an end the hostilities in Greece.

Hitler himself and all ranks of the German Army paid ample tribute to the valour of the Greek soldiers and the tenacity shown by the Greek Army.

A word must also be said about the great services rendered by the small Greek Navy.

Throughout the period of hostilities the Greek Fleet, though far inferior in numbers and strength to the Italian Fleet, did not confine itself to the defensive but also engaged in offensive operations. It effectively covered all the transports of troops and material, often in highly exposed areas, without a single transport being lost.

At the same time, it harassed the enemy communications in the Straits of Otranto, inflicting on him considerable losses in transports and probably sinking one U-boat. It carried out frequent raids in the Adriatic and bombarded the enemy coasts. Its losses, up to the date of the German declaration of war, were insignificant. But after the beginning of the German attack the Greek Navy suffered very heavy losses from air bombardment.

After covering the withdrawal of the British forces to Crete and from Crete to Egypt, the remnants of the Fleet withdrew to Alexandria.

Although the fall of Crete in May, 1941, brought the official war to an end, the resistance of the Greek people to the triple invaders—Italians, Germans and Bulgars— continued without interruption and at the cost of heavy sacrifice.

The enemy was compelled to maintain considerable forces in the country. The strength of the occupation forces is reckoned to have been ten to twelve Italian divisions and six to eight German, not including the Bulgarian forces in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, which the Bulgars were allowed to occupy in payment for their services.

The above figures prove the extent of Greece's contribution to the Allied struggle throughout the cruel years of the occupation. These services might have been even greater had the national effort been better directed.

Outside Greece too the remnants of the Greek forces from Crete, strengthened by volunteers from Greece itself and recruits from the Greek communities abroad, kept the flag flying on the battlefields of North Africa and Italy, at El Alamein an«i Rimini. Units of the Greek Navy and Air Force continued to serve by the side of their British allies in the Mediterranean.

Such was the contribution of Greece during the Second World War. Starting on 28th October, 1940, the struggle continued unabated for the best part of five years, until the final victory.

When the moment comes to appraise each country's share in the Allied triumph, it should not be forgotten that, for seven months, during the most critical period of the Allies fortunes in 1940-41, the Greek nation, united, stood up to the overwhelming power of the Axis and set an example which, morally as well as materially, should not be underestimated in the general balance sheet of the war.
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"The Greek" in 1940

 "We employ two systems. First, wait till the sun comes out, then pull forth the bayonet and shake it over the head so the Italians can see the gleams. Then put the bayonet on the rifle. Second, gather shoulders-to-shoulders, take a deep breath and together shout: 'Aera! Aera!' " Aera means "wind."
Field Marshall Keitel, who was Chief of Staff of the German Army, came across as being bitter when he said that:
     "the unbelievable strong resistance of the Greeks delayed by two or more vital months the German attack against Russia; if we did not have this long delay, the outcome of the war would have been different in the eastern front and in the war in general, and others would have been accused and would be occupying this seat as defendants today".
After the war there were 10% fewer Greeks alive than when the war started and the overall devastation of the country took years to recover from, but this small country showed the world at a time when it mattered the most that freedom is worth fighting for. The sacrifices made by the Greek nation ultimately changed the course of history and contributed in preventing the evils of Fascism and Nazism from dominating the world.

The poem below was written in 1941 as a tribute to the heroism of the Greek nation after their defeat by the Germans.
 

The Greek
Il Duce with his mighty legions
Knocked at Greece’s ancient gate
He had forty million people
And the Greeks had only eight
With his Fascist banners gleaming
From the high Albanian Peak,
“I am coming,” cried Il Duce.
“Come ahead,” replied the Greek.

“Forward!” shouted the commanders
With a good old Roman curse;
And the legions started rolling,
Rolling swiftly – in reverse,
And throughout the startled nation
The news began to leak
That the Duce had been walloped
By the sturdy little Greek.

Then that poor, moth-eaten Caesar,
What a different song he sang!
“This great big bully licked me!
Hey Adolph, get your gang!”
“You’re a dumkopf,” cried the Fuehrer,
As he pulled his trusty gun;
“You don’t know how to murder kids;
“I’ll show you how it’s done.”

And then the tanks began to roll
With clank and roar and groan:
The great planes blacked the sky and filled
The air with ceaseless drone,
In endless ranks with flame and bomb
And gray guns long and sleek;
The mighty German war machine
Moved down upon the Greek.

And still that fellow wouldn’t run –
He didn’t quite know how.
“We’ve got some help,” he said, “and that
just makes it even now.”
“Bring on your millions, Adolph dear,
We’re neither scared nor meek.
The British, sixty thousand strong,
Are standing with the Greek!”

They fought a fight like Homer’s song
They died, as brave men must
Their ranks, “neath dark odds,
Were beaten to the dust.
And then heroic chivalry
Attained its highest peak
As the victors clasped their bloody hands
Above the fallen Greek.

Someday, beyond this veil of tears,
We’ll all stand on the spot
To tell the Judge of all the world
Just who we were – and what.
I wouldn’t be a Fascist then,
Or Nazi grim and bleak;
But I’d be proud to tell my God
That once I was a Greek! 

Source - YouTube

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US Congressman's Historic Speech on OXI Day - THIS IS A MUST READ


The following report is a re-publication of a speech that was given by the Honorable Micheal Bilirakis of Florida in the US Congress on Friday, October 28, 2005.  Mr. Bilirakis words represent the Diaspora HellasFrappe has been lobbying for and the Diaspora that makes everyone of Hellenic background proud. We thank you Sir.

The full text of Congressman Bilirakis’ remarks follow:
    Mr. Speaker, I rise proudly to celebrate “oxi” day. The historical significance of this day and what it meant to the outcome of World War II cannot be overstated. The outcome of a decision made on a day in 1940, had a profound impact on the conducting of the war by Nazi Germany. We’re talking about a stand made by a small, battered and courageous nation, namely Greece, against the larger, more powerful aggressors Italy and Germany.
    By October of 1940, World War II had begun, and the Nazi war machine was already in high gear. Along with Hitler’s ally, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the German and Italian forces were threatening the whole of Europe. European nations were bowing to tyranny and destruction as the Germans and the Italians marched through Europe.
    Great Britain endured Germany’s aerial bombardment, forcing Hitler to seek another avenue to subdue the British. Hitler intended to eliminate British operations in the Mediterranean in order to weaken their ability to deter German advances.
    To achieve this, Hitler needed the Axis powers to strike at British forces in Greece. By conquering Greece, Hitler would gain access to an important connecting link with Italian bases in the Dodecanese islands. This would give the Italians a strangle hold on British positions in Egypt, where British forces were already facing attack from the Italian army in north Africa. The British considered the defense of Egypt vital to allied positions in the oil rich Middle East.
    On October 28, 1940, the Italian Ambassador in Athens presented an insulting ultimatum to Greek Prime Minister Metaxas, demanding the unconditional surrender of Greece or Italy would declare war and invade Greece. Mussolini had given the Greek Prime Minister Metaxas three hours to reply.
    Ioannis MetaxasPrime Minister Metaxas responded with the now historic word “oxi”, which means “no” in Greek. His statement embodied the true spirit of the Greek people. His words of defiance echoed the same devotion and love of country that Greek patriots exhibited during their war of independence against the Ottoman empire when they shouted the defiant words “liberty or death.” Prime Minister Metaxas’ actions marked the beginning of one of the world’s most heroic efforts against tyranny and oppression. Italy then invaded.
    It is important to note that in addition to Greece having a population seven times smaller than Italy, the disparity in their armed forces was even greater: Italy had close to ten times the firepower of Greece in its army and navy and seven times the troops. Italy’s large air force had total air superiority since Greece had a very small defensive air force. However, despite their lack of equipment, the Greek army proved to be well-trained and resourceful. Within a week of the invasion, it was clear that Italian forces were suffering serious setbacks despite having control of the air and fielding superior armored vehicles.
    On November 14th, the Greek army launched a counter-offensive and quickly drove the Italian forces back into Albania. By the next month, the Greeks had captured the town of Pogradec in eastern Albania. The fighting continued for a few more months…it was clear that the Greeks were not going to stand for defeat. In a last ditch effort to bring the war to a close before the Italians would be forced to ask Hitler to intervene, they launched another assault on March 12, 1941. After six days of fighting, the Italians had made only insignificant gains, and it became clear that German intervention was necessary.
    German-Bombing-of-Piraeus-in-GreeceOn April 6, 1941, Hitler ordered the German invasion of Greece. It took the Germans five weeks to finally end the conflict. This delay proved to be critical to the outcome of the war. Italy’s inability to capture Greece enabled the British to win major victories against Mussolini’s forces in north Africa. This solidified British positions in the region as well as in Cyprus. In addition, it contributed to the failure of the German Barbarossa campaign to conquer Russia.
    Due to Mussolini’s humiliating defeat by the Greeks in Albania and Greece, Hitler was compelled to capture the Balkans, mainly Yugoslavia and Greece, thus, delaying his Barbarossa plan to invade and capture the Soviet Union before the winter of 1941. The Greek resistance, both in Albania, and in the other famous battle in Crete, altered, favorably for the allies, his Barbarossa time table by at least six months.
    Perhaps most importantly, the Germans never gained the advantage against the British. Although Germany had conquered much of Europe, its inability to decimate British and Russian forces early in the war would eventually prove to be fatal. Thanks to the heroic Greek resistance and their countless sacrifices, the war tide had been permanently changed for Hitler due to the delay of this critical time table.
    Nearly one million Hellenes died during that time. That was 14% of the population in 1940. That is equivalent to losing 39 million people in this country TODAY in the case of a war to defend our country.
    The entire Western world, discouraged and fearful of the Axis powers and the growing ugly war, took hope from these incredible victories. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said of the Greeks: “Today we say that Greeks fight like heroes, from now on we will say that heroes fight like Greeks.”
    A very small number of those Greeks who fought like heroes are still alive today – some now are American citizens. One of those heroes lives in my congressional district – Mr. Demetrios Palaskas who, along with others, has shared those traumatic stories of the mountain fighting by the rag-tag Greeks against such a powerfully equipped invader. We all salute you Mr. Palaskas – you and your many fellow heroes for helping to keep the world free.
    Mr. Speaker, “oxi” day is an inspiration to all those who cherish democracy and freedom. It marks defiance against terrible odds. As an American of Greek descent, I am proud to honor the memory of those brave patriots who fought for freedom for themselves and ultimately for all the free world on this important day.
Reference - http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2005-10-28/pdf/CREC-2005-10-28-pt1-PgE2221.pdf


October 23, 2014

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Greece & Cyprus Count On EU To Support Them Against Turkish Aggression

Turkish seismic exploration vessel `Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa` entered Cyprus` exclusive economic zone earlier this week, a few days after Turkey issued a NAVTEX for the area. The move prompted Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades to suspend his participation in the UN backed negotiations which aim to reunify the island under a federal roof. Following this, Cyprus' National Council adopted a package of eight measures with immediate effect in response to the continuing violation of the sovereign rights of its EEZ by Turkey.

Cyprus officials even went as far as saying that they would not consent to the opening of any new chapter in Turkey’s accession process to the EU and would examine the possibility of a recourse to the UN Security Council.

Anastasiades was expected to report Turkey to the European Council, which convenes on October 23-24, with a view to condemning the illegal actions of Turkey and the violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its EEZ, but he had just been discharged from the hospital following some health issues and had to remain in bed, so Greek Premier Antonis Samaras represented him instead.

On behalf of the Cypriot president, Samaras on Thursday presented a map to European Leaders that documented the situation that has developed in Cyprus' EEZ.

As such, the explosive events in southeastern Mediterranean and Turkey’s aggressive behavior were some of the main points of discussion at Thursday’s meeting in Brussels. Cyprus, in cooperation with Greece, raised the issue for discussion to seek support from their European partners in order to mitigate the Turkish behavior.

The only thorn seems to come from Great Britain, because they do not want to further aggravate Turkey because of its crucial role in the ongoing war against the Islamic State (or basically in Syria).

In Cyprus, government officials announced that they were determined to proceed with the drilling despite all the recent Turkish provocations in the region. More exactly, Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said on Thursday that so far, no problems have arisen in Cyprus’ energy program by the presence of the Turkish Barbaros ship in the area.

He said that the ENI/Kogas consortium, which is drilling in the area, has not yet made any concrete complaints about the Turkish ship’s presence, and he noted that the ship has not attempted -in any way so far- to prevent ENI/Kogas from carrying on with its work. In fact Lakkotrypis said that the company is sending the Cyprus government daily progress reports, while state services are closely monitoring the movements of the Turkish vessels and so far there have not been any problems. He also said that once drilling by the ENI/Kogas consortium is complete, the drill would be moved to the next site in one of the potential deposits of blocks 2, 3 and 9.

Nonetheless, no one can deny that the presence of the Turkish surveyor ship in the area is a terrible provocation and the statements that were made by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday concerning Cyprus and the rights to the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) only added more fuel to the fire and prompted strong reaction from the Athens government.

More exactly, President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias sent a message to his Cyprus counterpart expressing support in the face of Turkey's "illegal and provocative" actions, which he said violated Cyprus' sovereign rights.
     "At this time when the Cyprus Republic's sovereign rights to its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are being violated in an illegal and provocative manner by Turkey, I wish to relay the unanimous support of the Hellenic Republic and the entire Greek people," Papoulias said, while stressing that the European Union must stand by Cyprus at this time.
     "I express our hope and anticipation of a positive result from the actions that your government is undertaking to deal with the situation that has arisen, hoping at the same time that the European Union will actively display its solidarity," he said.
Obviously Davutoglu's statements were an additional provocation. The references made by the Turkish prime minister to scenarios of partitioning 'two states' are indicative of the true Turkish intentions.

Turkey's actions are a gross violation of international law and an insult to the European Union. Isn't Cyprus a member of the UN, EU and the Eurozone? Yes it is. Shouldn't this be acknowledged? Isn't the UN, the EU, etc. obligated to support and protect Cyprus?

It is. Only Turkey refuses to realise and recognise this fact. This is probably why its Prime Minister came out on Wednesday saying that Turkey will continue with its seismic research in the Mediterranean south of Cyprus, in spite of the Cyprus government's objections and the threat that EU accession negotiations will be interrupted.

Can Russia send an survey vessel to Long Island and begin scanning the area for natural gas and oil? Wouldn't this be a violation of the US' sovereignty? Then why the hell isn't the West reacting to all these provocations, but tolerates every bully tactic in the book from Turkey?

(Silly us... the West tolerated the invasion of Cyprus.)

Davutoglu left it to be understood that its seismic survey vessel "Barbaros" was acting on the basis of agreements between Turkey and the illegal occupation regime in the northern part of the island, which of course is only recognised only by Turkey.
     "We have a right to carry out seismic surveys in the region and we will always exercise our rights," Davutoglu said, while in a statement reported by the Turkish news agency Anadolu, he is quoted as saying that "Turkish Cypriots have as many rights as the Greek Cypriots to the continental shelf or Cyprus' EEZ".
But wait, he also said that if the Cyprus government contested its right to carry out seismic research to the south of the island then  "the scenario of two states" could just open for discussion.

Across the Atlantic, Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State said that the US recognizes the Republic of Cyprus’ right to develop its resources in its exclusive economic zone. She said that the US continues to strongly support the negotiation process conducted under UN good offices "to reunify the island into a bizonal and bicommunal federation. That’s obviously been our policy for a long time”.

Asked to comment on the statement by Cyprus` Government Spokesman that what is happening in Cyprus is another Turkish invasion against the island, Harf said “well, I haven’t seen those comments, but we continue to believe that the island’s oil and gas resources, like all of its resources, should be equitably shared between both communities in the context of an overall settlement. And it’s important, I think, to avoid actions that may increase tensions in the region”.

(Combined Reports)


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