July 21, 2014

Rift Widens Between Anglo-Americans and Continental Europeans


Both strategically and economically, some European countries are being forced to move away from the Anglo-American (British Empire) faction because of the sheer insanity of the latter’s policy. Relations with Russia is a case in point. As of July 3, the German, French and Russian foreign ministers have begun direct diplomatic talks with their Ukrainian counterpart, without the participation of the U.S. State Department.

Contributed to HellasFrappe
By EIR Strategic Alert

Italy’s Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, who now has the rotating chairmanship of the EU Council, visited Kiev and Moscow last week, announcing that Ukraine, the European Union and Russia would begin talks on implementing the Ukraine-EU association agreement.

This is “another achievement within the context of Italian and European diplomatic efforts,” as reported on Italian foreign ministry website.

Mogherini had two days of talks in Kiev with Ukraine leaders, before meeting with President Putin July 9 in Moscow, to urge with all “a bilateral ceasefire”. However, the main obstacle to a ceasefire remains the ongoing military offensive by Kiev against the pro-Russian federalists in Eastern Ukraine.

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has also been actively promoting diplomacy with Russia. In an interview with the Austrian Die Presse July 10, he stated bluntly that,
      “De facto the Crimea is not part of Ukraine any more.Needless to say, we will not recognize this de jure. It is an illusion to believe that we can find a solution right now.” 
Asselborn revealed that it was he who suggested that Austrian President Heinz Fischer meet Putin in Vienna two weeks ago, adding that he disagreed with Ukraine’s policy:
     “Evidently, President Poroshenko is trying to resolve the conflict through a military option. He should follow Steinmeier’s advice and start a dialogue with Russia and the OSCE.”
Asselborn also warned that Europe and the U.S. cannot dictate policy to Russia and China, so he proposed that “the West should pause to reconsider its policy.”

Of particular interest is the example he chose:
     “Tony Blair is still convinced that the war in Iraq was the right option, though tens of thousands of people were killed there for no reason. The country is still in chaos today.”
As for the most important ally of the United States in Europe, Germany, relations are at a low. In addition to the widespread opposition to economic sanctions and a confrontationist line toward Russia, the revelations on the outrageous spying practices of the NSA and CIA have created an uproar.

So much so that Foreign Minister Steinmeier, on behalf of the Merkel government, took the unprecedented step July 10 of calling on the U.S. State Department to pull its CIA station chief out of the Berlin embassy, after it was revealed that he had been paying a BND agent to obtain secret documents. While short of a formal expulsion, that decision apparently shook up Obama’s entourage, who had not expected such a strong reaction.

To make matters worse, shortly after that scandal came after the arrest of another spy for the CIA working at the German Defense Ministry. According to some reports, the Americans believe they have to operate behind the back of German intelligence, because of heavy Russian infiltration.


IT'S ALL CLEARER NOW - Hillary Tells EU to Use MH17 Crash As Excuse To X Gazprom (VIDEO)


Sen. Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton (Photo credit: SEIU International)
Now the agenda of the NWO or as we so lovingly call them the neocons is starting to become clearer and make a bit more sense. Former State Secretary Hillary Clinton doesn't want a good crisis to go to waste, much like her neocon buddy Henry Kissinger, who has always taken advantage of a crisis to execute his plans for a one world order. Recently she told Charlie Rose on a live televised talk show that her recommendation to the European Union is to take advantage of the shot-down MH17 tragedy so as to "immediately accelerate efforts to find alternatives to Gazprom."

(So is it safe to assume that the US wants to capitalize on the plane crash because of the ongoing East West energy race? OBVIOUSLY Frappers... Just turn back the clock to when Costas Karamanlis landed a deal to extend Russia's South Stream pipeline through Greece, remember all the Wikileaks cables that claimed that the Americans were furious with him and wanted him out of power. Who did we get after him? George of course... who led us right into the natural resource sucking vampires of the IMF. Wake up Frappers. When we say its always about the oil... we mean it is almost always about the damn oil!!!)

Moscow-based Gazprom is the largest producer of natural gas in the world and one of the globe's largest companies. A few weeks back on June 26th they announced that they would settle contracts with China using yuan or rubles instead of dollars. This move came about one month after Russia and China announced a record $400B gas deal and between you and us that is a whole lot of dollars that won't be needed in the international economy. Place that with the launch of the BRICS development bank (which is much like the IMF and/or the World Bank), and there is ample motive that explains why the West is so steadfast on accusing Russia about this tragedy.

What a shocking geopolitical chess game it is. The big players, or in this case the superpowers are literally killing off innocent civilians to save their currencies. The events that we are witnessing dear Frappers are unprecedented. Is it a conspiracy? Hell no. Watch the video for yourselves! It is more than obvious that the Western powers are making morally questionable moves to secure resources that are not in their control, a practice commonly known as expanding corporate empire by force.

Armies should not be defending corporate interests, they should be defending nations from national threats.

Shame Mrs. Clinton...



Conspiracy or Truth - Bloodstained CIA Hands All Over Malaysian Plane Destruction Reports Russia


CLICK ON BOLD LINKS TO CROSS REFERENCE ARTICLE WITH MAINSTREAM NEWS

A grim new report prepared by The Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (GRU) relating to the tragic destruction of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over the skies of the eastern Ukrainian conflict region on July 17th, which killed all 298 passengers and crew, states that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) now has “bloodstained hands” due to their disappearance of key witnesses and the destruction of vital evidence relating to this tragedy.

It was reported that within 5-minutes of President Putin warning his US counterpart, President Obama, on July 17th that “war games” being carried out by NATO member Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) forces over Romania could lead to a “potential catastrophe”, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was destroyed after “suddenly” leaving its assigned flight path putting it on a course leading to the Russian Air Base in Morozovsk located in the Rostov Oblast close to the border with Ukraine.

In Putin’s conversation with Obama, the GRU reports, the US leader was warned of a “potential catastrophe” due to Ukraine’s July 3rd accusation that Russian military helicopters had crossed its borders, and then 5 days later, on July 8th, closed its airspace above this conflict region, but for still unknown reasons gave an “exception of transit flights at altitudes of above 7,900 m until the situation fully normalizes”.

Putin’s greatest concern, this report continues, was that immediately after Ukraine’s July 8th closing of their airspace over the conflict region, their military forces then deployed one of their two operational Buk-M1 air defense systems for unknown reasons as the separatists they have been battling with have no air force, a critical point even the New York Times was forced to question.

Important to note, GRU experts say, are that the seven Buk-M1 air defence systems that Ukraine sold to Georgia in 2007 comprised almost half of Ukraine’s total arsenal of these sophisticated weapons which as of July 17th numbered 8, and with 5 of them currently undergoing upgrade/repair at UKROBORONSERVICE which is a subsidiary of a the state company Ukrspecexport.

Even more critical to note, this report says, was that flight MH 17 “electronically intersected” with Putin’s presidential plane, which was returning to Moscow from Brazil, over Poland, with Putin’s plane continuing towards Moscow, and MH 17 continuing its flight path towards eastern Ukraine.

Prompting Putin’s urgent call to Obama, GRU experts in this report say, were radio intercepts relayed to military security analysts aboard the presidential plane showing that MH 17 was being ordered by Ukrainian ground controllers to descend from their 10,668 meter (35,000 feet) flight path to10,000 meters (33,000 feet) just skimming 304 meters (1,000 feet) above the restricted altitude limits of this conflict zone.

What caused the greatest alarm, however, for the security analysts aboard Putin’s presidential plane, this report says, was when further Ukrainian ground controller instructions to MH 17 ordered it deviate nearly 321 km (200 miles) north from its assigned flight path putting it on a course normally taken by Russian Air Force cargo flights to their Morozovsk air base.

Western propaganda media reports, it should be mentioned, state that MH 17’s flight diversion was due to thunderstorms, a claim quickly discounted by Malaysia Airlines director of operations Izham Ismail who said they had no reports from the pilot to suggest that this was the case.

GRU experts in this report surmise (but with limited circumstantial evidence) that Ukrainian military ground controllers were confusing MH 17 with Putin’s presidential plane believing that its intended course was Morozovsk and that this tragedy could indeed have been an assassination attempt.

Ukraine's military air defense forces, it’s critical to note, is better known for its misfires than its bulls eyes. In two years alone, their troops accidentally fired missiles at an apartment complex and a passenger ship, and in its most notorious disaster of all, downed Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 over the Black Sea in the fall of 2001, killing 78 people and which drew international ridicule and repulsion.

Of the most shocking information related to Obama by Putin in the minutes prior to MH 17 being destroyed, this report continues, were from security analysts aboard the presidential plane who were monitoring ETN Global Travel Industry News (eTurboNews) where continuous messages were being posted from an air traffic controller at Boryspil International Airport in Kiev.

According to ETN relating to these messages they state:

ETN received information from an air traffic controller in Kiev on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

This Kiev air traffic controller is a citizen of Spain and was working in the Ukraine. He was taken off duty as a civil air-traffic controller along with other foreigners immediately after a Malaysia Airlines passenger aircraft was shot down over the Eastern Ukraine killing 295 passengers and crew on board.

The air traffic controller suggested in a private evaluation and basing it on military sources in Kiev, that the Ukrainian military was behind this shoot down. Radar records were immediately confiscated after it became clear a passenger jet was shot down. Military air traffic controllers in internal communication acknowledged the military was involved, and some military chatter said they did not know where the order to shoot down the plane originated from.

Obviously it happened after a series of errors, since the very same plane was escorted by two Ukrainian fighter jets until 3 minutes before it disappeared from radar. Radar screen shots also show an unexplained change of course of the Malaysian Boeing. The change of course took the aircraft directly over the Eastern Ukraine conflict region.”

As to the exact and real-time messages being posted to ETN [see in English or Spanish] by this air traffic controller in Ukraine, this report says, Putin’s security detail became “gravely concerned” due to their detailed knowledge about what was occurring with MH 17, including its being followed by Ukrainian fighter jets and then its destruction on a flight path it shouldn’t have been on in the first place.

Most ominous about the information being relayed to ETN by this Ukrainian air traffic controller, GRU intelligence experts in this report say, was “nearly immediately” after they were posted, CIA “resources” took command of Boryspil International Airport, and had all of them deleted, and the blog and Twitter account associated with them shut down.

This report further notes that the air traffic controller posting the information relating to the destruction of MH 17 has been identified as being a Spanish national named Carlos, a claim denied by the Spanish government, but since confirmed by ETN who stated:
     “The information in this article is independently confirmed and based on the statement of one airline controller and other tweets received.”
Also contradicting the Spanish governments denial of their citizen Carlos working as an air traffic controller in Ukraine, this report says, was his May 8th interview [see in English or Spanish or view video (in Spanish) HERE] wherein he stated not only his profession, but further noted his fears about the right-wing revolutionaries who had taken control in Kiev.

With Ukrainian security services under CIA direction having confiscated all of the air traffic radar recordings of MH 17, this report concludes, and with the Obama regimes propaganda machine now in high gear, it now appears that the US-EU agenda regarding this tragedy is less than finding its true perpetrators, and instead as using it as a context for war.

Sorcha Faal
WhatDoesItMean.

Number Of Greek Public Sector Employees Drops By 267.095


The number of public sector employees in Greece apparently dropped by 267,095 during the period 2009-2013, claims a report in ANSAmed. Although figures are mentioned, HellasFrappe has not cross checked this story to determine if it is credible or not. We therefore ask our readers to absorb the information with a grain of salt because there is an ongoing controversy over public sector layoffs and this article and/or news could only be a smokescreen.

According to the author in ANSAmed, in 2009, there were 952,625 public employees but in 2013 their number fell to 675,530.

Out of the aforementioned sum, a good number of employees apparently retired, but the vast majority were working on contracts that were never renewed.

Information from the Greek Ministry of Administrative Reform regarding contract staff reveals that in 2009 the state employed 148,634 temporary employees, while in December 2013 they were 12,196.

The author claims that this means that at least 136,438 contract employees were laid-off from the Greek public sector after their contracts expired.

The regular staff in the public sector in 2009 was 692,907 people, while in December 2013 it had been reduced by almost 100,000, reaching 599,207 employees.

In May 2014 there was a further reduction, as only 590,908 employees were recorded.

Reference - ANSAmed


Malaysia MH17 crash: 10 Simple Questions Russia Wants Ukraine to Answer


credit RT
Some Western states and Kiev rushed to find Russian involvement in the MH17 crash having no evidence to back their claims, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister told RT. He invited Ukraine to answer 10 questions to prove their commitment to an impartial probe.

Speaking to RT, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov has criticized Western countries for jumping to conclusions just “24 hours after the crash” while there is no evidence.
     “They try to show to the whole world that we are responsible for the crash. It is very strange that without any evidence my colleagues from western media would like to find somebody who is responsible for the crash,” Antonov said. “It seems to me that this is part of information warfare which has been started against the Russian Federation and armed forces.”
     Instead of using the incident as the pretext for groundlessly blaming one of the sides, the catastrophe over Ukrainian sky should be used as a possibility to restart cooperation to “prevent such tragedies in the future.”
     “As for me, I don’t want to use this opportunity to blame anybody. I would just like to raise few questions for my colleagues from the armed forces of Ukraine,” Antonov said. “I hope they try to answer the questions, it will be a good opportunity for us to realize where we are, whether there is a possibility for us to restart cooperation and to find who is really responsible for the tragedy.”
     “Answers for these questions could help us find an opportunity to prevent such tragedies in the future,” the Deputy Defense Minister said.
TEN QUESTIONS FOR THE UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES

    1. Immediately after the tragedy, the Ukrainian authorities, naturally, blamed it on the self-defense forces. What are these accusations based on?

    2. Can Kiev explain in detail how it uses Buk missile launchers in the conflict zone? And why were these systems deployed there in the first place, seeing as the self-defense forces don’t have any planes?

    3. Why are the Ukrainian authorities not doing anything to set up an international commission? When will such a commission begin its work?

    4. Would the Ukrainian Armed Forces be willing to let international investigators see the inventory of their air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, including those used in SAM launchers?

    5. Will the international commission have access to tracking data from reliable sources regarding the movements of Ukrainian warplanes on the day of the tragedy?

    6. Why did Ukrainian air traffic controllers allow the plane to deviate from the regular route to the north, towards “the anti-terrorist operation zone”?

    7. Why was airspace over the warzone not closed for civilian flights, especially since the area was not entirely covered by radar navigation systems?

    8. How can official Kiev comment on reports in the social media, allegedly by a Spanish air traffic controller who works in Ukraine, that there were two Ukrainian military planes flying alongside the Boeing 777 over Ukrainian territory?

    9. Why did Ukraine’s Security Service start working with the recordings of communications between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the Boeing crew and with the data storage systems from Ukrainian radars without waiting for international investigators?

    10. What lessons has Ukraine learned from a similar incident in 2001, when a Russian Tu-154 crashed into the Black Sea? Back then, the Ukrainian authorities denied any involvement on the part of Ukraine’s Armed Forces until irrefutable evidence proved official Kiev to be guilty.

RT


Christians In Jordan Against "Foreign" Occupation of Greek Orthodox Church


Christians of the Greek Orthodox community in Jordan protested on Monday against what they called the "foreign colonisation" of the Orthodox Church, saying that Patriarch Theophilos III, the current Pope in Jerusalem, and his dominion have stripped the Church of its "national and spiritual identity", Anadolu news agency reported.

The protest was organised by the Young Arab Orthodox organisation in front of their Patriarchate in the capital of Amman, and was attended by dozens of Arab Orthodox Christians. The protestors started with prayers for the victims who have fallen in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and then prayed to lift injustice from the world and bring peace.

The protest's media coordinator, Rola Nasrawin, told Anadolu that: "We reject the Patriarchate in Palestine and the priest Gabriel Naddaf, who promotes the recruitment of Arab Christians in the Israeli occupation army and likens the legitimate Palestinian resistance with terrorism." She added that: "We also reject Patriarch Theophilus III's exploitation and depletion of the Church and its parishioners and resources through illegal practices which contribute to empty the Arab Middle East of its Christian population."

The protestors said that the current Greek Orthodox Bishop in Amman, Bishop Venedictus, is merely a "figurehead Bishop without any real position, who only follows Patriarch Theophilus III's policies". They rejected the prejudice against "any Arab national cleric" and stressed that any decision against them is a decision to be rejected.

The protesters also stressed that the Monastery of the Holy Virgin Mary in Jordan and the removal of Archimandrite Christophoros are both red lines and there will be no power that can touch the monastery or force the father from it.

Orthodox Christians consider the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem to be the mother Church and the first Church in history. The current patriarch is Theophilos III, the 141st Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. The Patriarchate includes nationals in Jordan, Israel and Palestine and serves nearly half a million Christians, the majority of whom live in Jordan.

OCC247


Greek Court Says Female Genital Mutilation Is Grounds Enough for Asylum


No-FGM
No-FGM (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A Greek appeals court provisionally accepted a Kenyan woman's plea recently claiming that deportation of her and her children to Kenya by Greek authorities could seriously harm them irreparably, exposing them to physical abuse in the form of female genital mutilation. The following article is a combined report that was featured in Eleftherotypia.

A traditional surgeon holds razor blades before carrying out female genital mutilation on teenage girls in Uganda in 2008 (Photo: Reuters) A traditional surgeon holds razor blades before carrying out female genital mutilation on teenage girls in Uganda in 2008 (Photo: Reuters) In a landmark ruling, an Athens court has placed a temporary hold on the deportation of a Kenyan woman and her three underage children because they face female genital mutilation (FGM) if they return to her country.

The Athens Administrative Appeals Court based its decision on the 1951 Geneva convention. In 2009, the UN high commissioner for refugees noted the threat of FGM was a legitimate factor for granting asylum to women or their children.

The Kenyan national arrived in Greece on 3 September 2002 in order, as she said, to get financial help for a foot operation on one of her children. She applied for asylum in Attica for herself and her children, aged 13, 5 and 3. The youngest is the child of an American citizen.

In her application, she said she did not want to return to her country because she belongs to the Kikuyu tribe, which practices FGM, and she could also be subjected to the same by Mungiki, a banned terrorist organisation in Kenya.

An estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide have been subjected to FGM. In Africa alone, it is thought that three million girls may undergo FGM every year, which can cause serious physical and psychological harm. The practice has been internationally condemned as a gross human rights abuse. There are several types of FGM. The most serious is called infibulation and involves the partial or total removal of the genitalia and stitching/narrowing of the vaginal opening. Clitoridectomy is the partial/total removal of the clitoris and/or hood. Excision is the partial/total removal of the clitoris and labia. FGM also includes all other harmful practices to the genitalia like pricking, piercing, scraping and cauterising.

Her asylum application was rejected on the grounds that she and her children did not meet the Geneva convention’s classification conditions for refugee status.

The woman then applied to a relevant justice ministry committee to ask for a review of her case in order to be issued international protection. The committee again rejected her application on the grounds that she did not submit “incontrovertible evidence proving that her fear due to the threat of being subjected to FGM by the Mungiki organisation can be seen as justifiable and substantiated on objective facts, in order to conclude that there is immediate and unavoidable threat to her life or physical safety if she returns to her country of origin”.

The ministry's committee also concluded that “there is no provable danger that upon her return to her country she would undergo severe harm consisting of a death sentence or torture, as in Kenya and especially Nairobi (her last recorded residence), there are no conditions of international or domestic armed conflict that would lead to the conjecture of serious injury due to indiscriminately practiced violence”.

It concluded that the woman and her children did not meet conditions related to refugee or additional protection status according to standing laws, but it said all four fulfilled conditions that allowed residence permits to be issued for humanitarian reasons. It thus referred the case to the administrative court.

The woman took recourse to the courts on the grounds that if she and her children returned to Kenya they would be tortured or treated inhumanely and that her children would be either conscripted into criminal organisations, abducted by them or be persecuted - in the youngest's case - for being the child of an American citizen.

The court accepted her plea on a temporary basis and said their return to Kenya by Greek authorities could harm them irreparably, exposing them to physical abuse. It suspended the justice ministry committee's decision until the court could give a final ruling and ordered state authorities to abstain from any act that would result in the forced exit and repatriation to Kenya of the woman and her children.

The court also ordered that if the special document certifying she had applied for asylum has been removed by authorities, it must be restored and extended in date if expired.

What is female genital mutilation (FGM)?

* An estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide have been subjected to FGM. In Africa alone, it is thought that three million girls may undergo FGM every year.

* FGM is prevalent in 27 African countries and parts of the Middle East and Asia, notably Yemen, Iraqi Kurdistan and Indonesia. It is also found in industrialised countries among some immigrant populations. Countries where the practice is near universal include Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Mali and Guinea.

* There are several types of FGM. The most serious is called infibulation and involves the partial or total removal of the genitalia and stitching/narrowing of the vaginal opening. Clitoridectomy is the partial/total removal of the clitoris and/or hood. Excision is the partial/total removal of the clitoris and labia. FGM also includes all other harmful practices to the genitalia like pricking, piercing, scraping and cauterising.

* FGM is mostly carried out between infancy and 15. The procedure is arranged by the women in the family.

* It is usually performed by traditional cutters who may use anything from razor blades to scissors, broken glass or tin can lids. However there is an increasing trend in some countries like Indonesia for hospitals to perform FGM.

* FGM is found among Muslim and Christian communities. It is also practised by followers of some indigenous religions. People often believe FGM is required by religion, but it is not mentioned in the Koran or Bible.

* Reasons for carrying out FGM vary. Some communities believe it preserves a girl's virginity, prevents promiscuity after marriage and increases male sexual pleasure. Parents say it is an act of love because it purifies the girl, brings her status and prepares her for marriage. It is also mistakenly believed to enhance fertility and make childbirth safer for the baby. Girls who have not been cut are ostracised in some communities.

* FGM can cause severe bleeding, pain, shock, recurrent urinary tract infections, cysts and infertility. It also increases the risk of labour complications, maternal mortality and newborn deaths. The procedure itself can prove fatal.

* A study in Iraq found girls who had undergone FGM were more prone to post-traumatic stress disorders, depression and other psychological disturbances than girls who hadn't. Campaigners liken the psychological effects to those suffered by rape victims. The silence surrounding FGM may also compound the girl's sense of isolation.

* FGM has been banned by the majority of African countries where it is practised as well as many industrialised countries. But enforcement of the law is usually weak and prosecutions are rare.

* FGM violates a plethora of international treaties which many FGM-practising countries have agreed to. These include the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Maputo Protocol on women's rights adopted by the African Union.


Enet, ANA-MPA, Reuters




Doctors Without Borders: Stop bombing civilians trapped in the Gaza Strip


Médécins Sans Frontières. Merçi.
(Photo credit: raffaelebrustia)
It is reported that more than 100 Palestinians were killed in Gaza Strip this past weekend. As such, rhe international medical humanitarian organization "Doctors Without Borders" (MSF), issued a statement urging Israel to “stop bombing civilians trapped in  the Gaza Strip and allow medical personnel to enter and operate safely”.

GAZA/PARIS, JULY 20, 2014 -- Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, the majority of the dead and wounded in Gaza are civilians, and medical workers are also coming under fire, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.

Women and children comprised most of the wounded people arriving on Sunday morning in the emergency room in Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where MSF is working, following heavy shelling overnight and in the morning in the city’s Ash Shuja’iyeh neighborhood. MSF personnel witnessed hundreds of people fleeing the area. MSF calls on Israel to stop bombing civilians trapped in the sealed-off Gaza strip, and to respect the safety of medical workers and health facilities.

“Shelling and air strikes are not only intense but are also unpredictable, which makes it very difficult for MSF and other medical workers to move and provide much needed emergency care,” said Nicolas Palarus, MSF field coordinator in Gaza.

Two brothers, eight and four, were among the hundreds of civilians wounded overnight in Ash Shuja’iyeh. They lay side by side in Al Shifa’s intensive burn care unit, suffering severe burns from a missile strike on their house.

It was only at dawn that people began to flee the area by foot or in packed vehicles, and when wounded people were able to reach the hospital either by ambulance or on their own.

“In the emergency resuscitation room, half of the severe cases died within minutes, and half required emergency surgery,” said Audrey Landmann, MSF medical coordinator in Gaza.

At the hospital, MSF also witnessed two paramedics who had died and two others who were injured while trying to retrieve wounded from Ash Shuja’iyeh. Separately Sunday morning, a clearly identified MSF vehicle escaped an air strike 300 meters away. Israeli authorities had earlier guaranteed secure movements for MSF from the Erez border crossing to Gaza City, so that an incoming surgical team could be picked up.

“Medical workers and facilities must be respected, and shooting should not occur at or near ambulances and hospitals,” said Palarus.

Since Israel launched its ground offensive the number of victims is increasing exponentially.

“While official claims that the objective of the ground offensive is to destroy tunnels into Israel, what we see on the ground is that bombing is indiscriminate and that those who die are civilians,” said Palarus.

Three families of MSF staff members are sheltering at MSF’s post-operative clinic in Gaza City. “They have nowhere else to go and crossing the border does not seem a realistic option,” said Palarus. “United Nations shelters are now overcrowded and hygiene conditions are extremely worrying.”

In response to the emergency, MSF is supporting Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City with a full surgical team, medical equipment and emergency supplies, and has donated two emergency stocks to the Central Drug Store in the south and north of Gaza.

The MSF post-operative clinic in Gaza City is running at 10 to 30 percent of its capacity because the intensity of the bombing impedes patients from accessing the facility. Regular MSF activities in Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis have been interrupted by the conflict.

MSF has been working in Gaza for more than 10 years, providing medical, surgical and psychological services. It also responded to the 2009 and 2012 emergencies in Gaza.

Source - Doctors Without Borders


BUSTED - How S.Arabia helped ISIS to take over the north of Iraq


King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz in 2002
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany. The following article was featured in The Independent.

How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him:
      "The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally 'God help the Shia'. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them."
The fatal moment predicted by Prince Bandar may now have come for many Shia, with Saudi Arabia playing an important role in bringing it about by supporting the anti-Shia jihad in Iraq and Syria. Since the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) on 10 June, Shia women and children have been killed in villages south of Kirkuk, and Shia air force cadets machine-gunned and buried in mass graves near Tikrit.

In Mosul, Shia shrines and mosques have been blown up, and in the nearby Shia Turkoman city of Tal Afar 4,000 houses have been taken over by Isis fighters as "spoils of war". Simply to be identified as Shia or a related sect, such as the Alawites, in Sunni rebel-held parts of Iraq and Syria today, has become as dangerous as being a Jew was in Nazi-controlled parts of Europe in 1940.

There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al-Qa'ida-type jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute last week, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasised the significance of Prince Bandar's words, saying that they constituted "a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed".

He does not doubt that substantial and sustained funding from private donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to which the authorities may have turned a blind eye, has played a central role in the Isis surge into Sunni areas of Iraq. He said: "Such things simply do not happen spontaneously." This sounds realistic since the tribal and communal leadership in Sunni majority provinces is much beholden to Saudi and Gulf paymasters, and would be unlikely to cooperate with Isis without their consent.

Read more - The Independent



Letter By US President in 1964 Reveals Turkey's Intent To Invade Cyprus A Decade Later


English: Map of the districts of Cyprus, named...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Letter to Prime Minister Inonu from President Johnson dated June 5, 1964

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I am gravely concerned by the information which I have had through Ambassador Hare from you and your Foreign Minister that the Turkish Government is contemplating a decision to intervene by military force to occupy a portion of Cyprus. I wish to emphasize, in the fullest friendship and frankness, that I do not consider that such a course of action by Turkey, fraught with such far reaching consequences, is consistent with the commitment of your government to consult fully in advance with the United States. Ambassador Hare has indicated that you postponed your decision for a few hours in order to obtain my views. I put to you personally whether you really believe that it is appropriate for your government, in effect, to present an ultimatum to an ally who has demonstrated such staunch support over the years as has the United States for Turkey. I must, therefore, first urge you to accept the responsibility for complete consultation with the United States before any such action is taken.

It is my impression that you believe that such intervention by Turkey is permissible under the provisions of the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960. I must call your attention, however, to our understanding that the proposed intervention by Turkey would be for the purpose of supporting an attempt by Turkish Cypriot leaders to partition the island, a solution which is specifically excluded by the Treaty of Guarantee. Further, that treaty requires consultation among the guarantor powers. It is the view of the United States that the possibilities of such consultation have by no means been exhausted in this situation and that, therefore, the reservation of the right to take unilateral action is not yet applicable.

I must call to your attention also, Mr. Prime Minister, the obligations of NATO. There can be no question in your mind that a Turkish intervention in Cyprus would lead to a military engagement between Turkish and Greek forces. Secretary of State Rusk declared at the recent meeting of the ministerial council of NATO in The Hague that war between Turkey and Greece must be considered as "literally unthinkable". Adhesion to NATO, in its very essence, means that NATO countries will not wage war on each other. Germany and France have buried centuries of animosity and hostility in becoming NATO allies; nothing less can be expected from Greece and Turkey. Furthermore, a military intervention in Cyprus by Turkey could lead to direct involvement by the Soviet Union. I hope you will understand that your NATO allies have not had a chance to consider whether they have an obligation to protect Turkey against the Soviet Union if Turkey takes a step which results in Soviet intervention without the full consent and understanding of its NATO allies.

Further, Mr. Prime Minister, I am concerned about the obligations of Turkey as a member of the United Nations. The United Nations has provided forces on the island to keep the peace. Their task has been difficult but, during the past several weeks, they have been progressively successful in reducing the incidents of violence on that island. The United Nations Mediator has not yet completed his work. I have no doubt that the general membership of the United Nations would react in the strongest terms to unilateral action by Turkey which would defy the efforts of the United Nations and destroy any prospect that the United Nations could assist in obtaining a reasonable and peaceful settlement of this difficult problem.

I wish also, Mr. Prime Minister, to call your attention to the bilateral agreeement between the United States and Turkey in the field of military assistance. Under Article IV of the agreement with Turkey of July 1947, your government is required to obtain United States consent for the use of military assistance for purposes other than those for which such assistance was furnished. Your government has on several occasions acknowledged to the United States that you fully understand this condition. I must tell you in all candor that the United States cannot agree to the use of any United States supplied military equipment for a Turkish intervention in Cyprus under present circumstances.

Moving to the practical results of the contemplated Turkish move, I feel obligated to call to your attention in the most friendly fashion that fact that such a Turkish move could lead to the slaughter of tens of thousands of Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus. Such an action on your part would unleash the furies and there is no way by which military action on your part could be sufficiently effective to prevent wholesale destruction of many of those whom you are trying to protect. The presence of United Nations forces could not prevent such a catastrophe.

You may consider that what I have said is much too severe and that we are disregardful of Turkish interests in the Cyprus situation. I should like to assure you that this is not the case. We have exerted ourselves both publicly and privately to assure the safety of Turkish Cypriots and to insist that a final solution of the Cyprus problem should rest upon the consent of the parties most directly concerned. It is possible that you feel in Ankara that the United States has not been sufficiently active in your behalf. But surely you know that our policy has caused the liveliest resentment in Athens (where demonstrations have been aimed against us) and has led to a basic alienation between the United States and Archbishop Makarios. As I said to your Foreign Minister in our conversation just a few weeks ago, we value very highly our relations with Turkey. We have considered you as a great ally with fundamental common interests. Your security and prosperity have been a deep concern of the American people and we have expressed that concern in the most practical terms. You and we have fought together to resist the ambitions of the communist world revolution. This solidarity has meant a great deal to us and I would hope that it means a great deal to your government and to your people. We have no intention of lending any support to any solution of Cyprus which endangers the Turkish Cypriot community. We have not been able to find a final solution because this is, admittedly, one of the most complex problems on earth. But I wish to assure you that we have been deeply concerned about the interests of Turkey and of the Turkish Cypriots and will remain so.

Finally, Mr. Prime Minister, I must tell you that you have posed the gravest issues of war and peace. These are issues which go far beyond the bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States. They not only will certainly involve war between Turkey and Greece but could involve wider hostilities because of the unpredictable consequences which a unilateral intervention in Cyprus could produce. You have your responsibilities as chief of the government of Turkey; I also have mine as President of the United States. I must, therefore, inform you in the deepest friendship that unless I can have your assurance that you will not take such action without further and fullest consultation I cannot accept your injunction to Ambassador Hare of secrecy and must immediately ask for emergency meetings of the NATO Council and of the United Nations Security Council.

I wish it were possible for us to have a personal discussion of this situation. Unfortunately, because of the special circumstances of our present constitutional position, I am not able to leave the United States. If you could come here for a full discussion I would welcome it. I do feel that you and I carry a very heavy responsibility for the general peace and for the possibilities of a sane and peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem. I ask you, therefore, to delay any decisions which you and your colleagues might have-in mind until you and I have had the fullest and frankest consultation.

Sincerely.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON

Source

ANALYSIS - The West & The Middle East: Fierce Rivalries


T
he author Andrew Lycett untangles the complex story of how the West’s involvement in Middle Eastern affairs has been interpreted by historians. The article was first featured on geopolitics-gr

The West has recently cooled in its enthusiasm for military intervention in the Middle East. Following costly incursions into Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, there has been no stomach for military action in Syria.

That does not mean it has turned its back on the region. The Levant, West Asia, the Arab world – whatever you call it – has long been a focus of competing western cultural, political and economic interests.

This tradition stretches back to the Crusades, though it took its modern form in the mid-19th century, after a combination of biblical scholarship and archaeological excavation fuelled renewed fascination with the Holy Land. The ensuing philosemitism coincided with the growth of political Zionism, stimulating an atmosphere sympathetic to Jewish national aspirations.

Parallel with this strand was the realpolitik that accompanied the decline of the Ottoman Empire. Political turbulence in Egypt, the gateway to British India through the Suez Canal, encouraged Britain to take a more proactive role there from the 1880s onwards.

This background has been widely explored by historians. Although first published in 1956, Barbara Tuchman’s Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour still provides an excellent introduction. For a more academic perspective, focusing on the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire, try The Making of the Modern Near East, 1792-1923 by Malcolm Yapp (1987).

The First World War hastened Ottoman decline, leading not just to the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the British mandate to administer Palestine, but also to western-supported monarchies in Syria (albeit fleetingly), Iraq and Transjordan (Saudi Arabia had already gone its separate way). Many books have been written about this period, though few are better than David Fromkin’s A Peace to End All Peace: Creating the Modern Middle East 1914-1922 (first published in 1989).

Already fierce rivalries among western powers were emerging, particularly between the British and the French, a theme brought to life in James Barr’s A Line in the Sand (2011). A key reason was the discovery of oil. The first strikes were made by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1908 in Iran. The potential of this new fuel encouraged Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, to order the conversion of all Royal Navy ships to oil. Commercial possibilities encouraged American oil businesses and, by extension, the United States government, to take notice. However, the American company SOCAL did not strike oil in Bahrain until 1932 and in Saudi Arabia until 1938.

Another factor causing a hardening of attitudes was the situation in Palestine, as the Jewish and Arab populations became increasingly at odds.

Western historians tended to present a narrative of emerging Arab nationalism forcing Britain gradually to let go of its imperial commitments. Examples include Elizabeth Monroe in Britain’s Moment in the Middle East, 1914-1956 (first published in 1963 and later updated to cover the years 1914-71) and Albert Hourani in his History of the Arab Peoples (1991). In ending her original book in 1956 Monroe marked the Suez Crisis, a seminally important moment in Britain’s relationship with the Middle East, as explored by Keith Kyle in his Suez (1991) and Cutting the Lion’s Tail: Suez Through Egyptian Eyes (1986) by Muhammad Haykal.

This consensus was attacked by Elie Kedourie, of the London School of Economics, who argued, initially in England and the Middle East: The Destruction of the Ottoman Empire (1952) and then notably in his influential essay The Chatham House Version (1970), that British validation of Arab nationalism was not only misinformed but an abrogation of imperial responsibilities.

The establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 had added a harder Zionist edge to these arguments, particularly as American policy-makers needed to pay heed to their Jewish voters. American interest in the region, already piqued by oil, was further stirred by its role in the Cold War, with countries such as Egypt and Syria tilting to the Soviet Union. Ensuing political instability led to regular regime change, as chronicled by Patrick Seale in The Struggle for Syria (1965) and his later book, Assad of Syria (1989).

In the 1970s another factor entered the equation, as the Arab states not only took control of their oil reserves, but began to use them as an economic weapon, as Saudi Arabia did in the wake of the Arab-Israel war in 1973. The Prize (1990) by Daniel Yergin remains a useful primer for anything to do with the politics of Middle East oil. For a critique of how western governments and associated adventurers cynically courted venal Arab rulers see Said Aburish, A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite (1997).

Such developments could not occur in a political vacuum. The failure of most 20th-century Arab states sparked internal reassessment, encouraging renewed Islamist approaches to society – some increasingly fanatical, such as those advocated by al Qaeda, whose attack on New York in 2001 precipitated the US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. For an astute assessment of this Islamist revival see Malise Ruthven’s A Fury for God (2002).

Kedourie’s critique of the Arab world was expanded upon  by Bernard Lewis, who moved from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London to Princeton University. He presented the Arab world as backward, bound by a suffocating religion and incapable of adapting to modern conditions. Lewis stirred a great deal of controversy with key texts such as The Shaping of the Modern Middle East (1994). Positions similar to that of Lewis were adopted by historians such as David Pryce-Jones and Daniel Pipes. Generally neoconservative and pro-Israeli, they helped prepare the ideological ground, particularly in the United States, for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The ‘Arab Spring’, the recent widespread popular agitation for political democratisation, has yet to find a reliable historian. That said, Washington insider Marc Lynch’s analysis in The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East (2012) provides a useful first draft.
Andrew Lycett is a biographer and broadcaster. His most recent book is Wilkie Collins: A Life of Sensation (Hutchinson, 2013).


Ron Paul: What the Media Won’t Report About Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17


Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In his weekly address, former US presidential candidate Ron Paul lashes out at the American and foreign media for rushing to point the finger at Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow for the tragic crash of Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine last week.

The Following is a transcript of the video:

Just days after the tragic crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said. President Obama held a press conference to claim – even before an investigation – that it was pro-Russian rebels in the region who were responsible. His ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, did the same at the UN Security Council – just one day after the crash!

While western media outlets rush to repeat government propaganda on the event, there are a few things they will not report.

They will not report that the crisis in Ukraine started late last year, when EU and US-supported protesters plotted the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Without US-sponsored “regime change,” it is unlikely that hundreds would have been killed in the unrest that followed. Nor would the Malaysian Airlines crash have happened.

The media has reported that the plane must have been shot down by Russian forces or Russian-backed separatists, because the missile that reportedly brought down the plane was Russian made. But they will not report that the Ukrainian government also uses the exact same Russian-made weapons.

They will not report that the post-coup government in Kiev has, according to OSCE monitors, killed 250 people in the breakaway Lugansk region since June, including 20 killed as government forces bombed the city center the day after the plane crash! Most of these are civilians and together they roughly equal the number killed in the plane crash. By contrast, Russia has killed no one in Ukraine, and the separatists have struck largely military, not civilian, targets.

They will not report that the US has strongly backed the Ukrainian government in these attacks on civilians, which a State Department spokeswoman called “measured and moderate.”

They will not report that neither Russia nor the separatists in eastern Ukraine have anything to gain but everything to lose by shooting down a passenger liner full of civilians.

They will not report that the Ukrainian government has much to gain by pinning the attack on Russia, and that the Ukrainian prime minister has already expressed his pleasure that Russia is being blamed for the attack.

They will not report that the missile that apparently shot down the plane was from a sophisticated surface-to-air missile system that requires a good deal of training that the separatists do not have.

They will not report that the separatists in eastern Ukraine have inflicted considerable losses on the Ukrainian government in the week before the plane was downed.

They will not report how similar this is to last summer’s US claim that the Assad government in Syria had used poison gas against civilians in Ghouta. Assad was also gaining the upper hand in his struggle with US-backed rebels and the US claimed that the attack came from Syrian government positions. Then, US claims led us to the brink of another war in the Middle East. At the last minute public opposition forced Obama to back down – and we have learned since then that US claims about the gas attack were false.

Of course it is entirely possible that the Obama administration and the US media has it right this time, and Russia or the separatists in eastern Ukraine either purposely or inadvertently shot down this aircraft. The real point is, it’s very difficult to get accurate information so everybody engages in propaganda. At this point it would be unwise to say the Russians did it, the Ukrainian government did it, or the rebels did it. Is it so hard to simply demand a real investigation?


Source - YouTube



July 18, 2014

Ukraine, Malaysian Airlines, Hamas & Hungary - Grinding Trust To Dust


By John Ward (The Slog) - A blogger visits Budapest and reports on fears of agent provocateur activity by Americans to smear the Prime Minister. Is he a Moscow sleeper, a closet fascist, CIA double-buffer, fantasist who lives in Dudley with his Mum, or someone trying to get closer to the truth?

Some comment threaders accuse him of falsely maligning George Soros for his Nazi collaboration, greedy attack on the £, and support of the serial neoliberal meddler in Hungary, Richard Field.

Are they Mossad agents, Hungarian neoliberal former Soviet Kommissars, CIA, naifs, fantasists living with Mum in Dudley, or doubters trying to get closer to the truth?

In a mid-air collision of physical and virtual, the Malaysian airlines riddle is shot down by the Ukrainian enigma.

Were the perpetrators Newscorp hacks desperate for the ultimate headline, Moscow adherents out to blame extreme Ukrainian nationalists, or trigger-happy idiots now keen to disguise their incompetence by inventing conspiracy theories?

Is Israel nothing more than an aggressive imperialist power? Is Hamas nothing more than a terrorist organisation? Is Iran building a bomb? Why are the arctic temperatures so abnormally high alongside generalised cooling elsewhere? Do the police arrest ageing celebrity gropers and pass them off as paedophiles out of incompetence or malignancy?

With every new day in 2014, there is a different ball of kitten-savaged wool to try and unravel. Over 90% of folks are too busy or indifferent to bother. A further 7% are bitterly divided about who did what, when, and why. And a final loosely-arranged 3% are delighted by all the confusion.

For that confusion means that the Left can have 100 conspiracy theories….and the Right can have 100 reasons to dismiss reality as “left-wing poppycock”. But whereas the Left sees the endless conspiracies as evidence of something or other (they’re just not quite sure what) the ultimately eclectic élite revels in the smokescreen, and uses it as a fog behind which things can be fixed without others noticing.

The bottom line is that the Resistance is divided and neutered, and ordinary people are scared.

And that fear suggests a profoundly disturbing outcome to all of this: it is the desperate search by the working and middle classes for a simple explanation….for, if you like, a soundbite that can be trotted out in pubs and across dinner tables. Confusion breeds fear and, in the long run, fear encourages uncritical belief.

To put this into Marxist dialectics, there is accusation, counter-accusation – and then certainty. The most dangerous people on the planet are those who believe.

Faux certainty is not dialectical synthesis, it is myth. Grind up truth and disinformation with your pestle and mortar, and a thin dust capable of being blown to the furthest horizon – a thin, swirling mass of myth – will result. It is a more pernicious form of pollution than the worst oil slick.

This is our world today. We are, it seems to me, being softened up for a life of corporacratic certainty. We are being offered these little Reichstag fires – and their fall-guy mental patients running around inside waving smoking guns or torches – to make us breathe a huge sigh of relief once the inevitable Emergency Powers Act turns up.



MAKE HIM SH**T UP - Papandreou Refuses To Assume Responsibility, Claims ND Policies Led to Bailouts


The scientific community should really examine the phenomenon called "George Papandreou". The former Prime Minister and leader of the controversial PASOK party is still reluctant to recognize his mistakes and accept responsibility for Greece's downfall. There has to be a medical condition for the  severe case of Stockholm syndrome which has totally clouded his mind.

On Friday he began accusing the New Democracy party of what he said was catastrophic fiscal management, but he also had the audacity to note that in the past ND also maintained its clientelism, which resulted in Greece having to apply for a bailout.

Of course the minor detail that he was already in consultations -and worked underground- with the IMF prior to the bailouts as revealed by the former head of the IMF himself D. Strauss-Khan is a detail that George hopes will go unnoticed. (Wishful thinking of course)

Addressing the Symi Symposium which is being held on the island of Spetses, Papandreou said that in order to truly exit the crisis, Greece must first do away with public sector clientelism.

We agree of course, but again George seems to forget that most of the public sector was hired under all the PASOK governments before him. In fact, the amount of workers in the public sector skyrocketed under his own father's second term in office. But again... we understand that he sometimes forgets to note certain things because as we said earlier his case is quite unique.

During his speech he criticized the dominant pro-austerity camp in the EU, arguing that fiscal discipline and austerity are the solution to the crisis when little has been done to promote the financial and political union between EU member states. Following this he once again defended his proposal for a referendum, insisting that the active participation of the people in established procedures are paramount in a representative democracy.

True... But as revealed by Panos Kammenos, the proposal for the referendum simply fattened the wallets of Papandreou 's hedge fund buddies (Soros and friends), and damaged Greece's credibility on the international markets even more. If that was Papandreou's objective then we say job well done.


Greek Canadians Gift Olympic Globe to Montrealers


Praxitelis Tzanoulinos’ impressive sculpture representing a sphere surrounded by Olympic rings and laurel branches is now going to be shocased at Gaia Park in Town of Mount Royal in Quebec's number one city (and home of HellasFrappe's editor) Montreal. The steel globe can be seen at the edge of the once Greek dominated area of Park Extension.

The imposing sculpture that has a diameter of approximately 1.4 meters and weighs more than 130 kilos is a gift from the Greek community to the city of Montreal in honor of the fact that the Olympic torch passed by the area twice.

While unveiling the sculpture at a unique ceremony, Town of Mount Royal’s (TMR) Mayor Philippe Roy said that the choice of Gaia Park was not coincidental as it bears the Greek name symbolizing the Earth.

The Consul General of Greece in Montreal, Thanos Kafopoulos, thanked the municipality for accepting the sculpture nd did not omit to spotlight the four Greek families that were responsible for its construction: Paul and Melpa Kamateros, Nikolaos Tsatas, Nikolaos Arkolakis and Jimmy Christopoulos.

BUSTED - Reports Claim Owner of Olympiacos Is Corrupt - Why Is The Greek Press Silent?


By Jacob Serfas and Nikolas Leontopoulos (PressProject) - Billionaire shipowner, owner of Olympiacos F.C. and Piraeus strongman, Evangelos Marinakis has been implicated in a potential criminal ring which prosecutors say appears to have “approached and sought to manipulate… police officers, judges, politicians and other powerful individuals of the country.” Yet despite Mr Marinakis’s prominence (or perhaps because of it) few media outlets have chosen to report on the allegations against one of the country’s most influential men.

Last week SKAI TV published a recent decision by the Misdemeanor Council of Athens to allow secretly recorded phone conversations to be used in a preliminary investigation of Mr Marinakis and a number of other important figures suspected of a range of crimes. These include setting up a criminal organisation, conspiring to rig the outcomes of football matches, blackmail, bribery and violating the law regulating explosives. The Olympiacos owner and other club and Football Association officials are due to appear before prosecutors to offer explanations on the 20th of August. The investigation is ongoing; no indictments have been issued against the persons mentioned in the Council’s report.

The Council’s decision includes about 100 pages of transcripts of telephone conversations recorded in 2012 which, among others, appear to show Mr Marinakis abusing his influence as the head of Olympiacos. Andreas Koreas, the prosecutor in charge of the case writes:

“From the evaluation of the content of the transcribed telephone conversations, the following indications arise: That the president and close collaborators of Olympiacos… approached and sought to manipulate in order to serve their interests, police officers, judges, politicians and other powerful individuals of the country, some of whom they hired in important positions in the football club following their departure from key positions they held in the public sector.”

The prosecutor goes on to maintain that Marinakis chose, through the president of the Greek Football Association, Giorgos Sarris, specific referees to oversee key games in the playoffs of the 1st division Football League during the 2011-2012 season. Mr Marinakis is also alleged to have used his influence among individuals at smaller clubs loyal to him to secure the election of Mr Sarris as the head of the Football Association.

In several of the recorded conversations Mr Marinakis is heard apparently giving direct instructions to a high ranking Greek FA official. In one instance the official asks for Mr Marinakis’s approval over the referee selection for a lower division game. In another Mr Marinakis appears to tell the official of what the outcome of an appeal should be.

The documents also include testimony from a number of individuals who claim to have been the victims of campaigns of intimidation by people associated with Olympiacos club. The most damning of these comes from the FIFA referee Petros Konstantineas who testified before prosecutors that after being selected to referee a Superleague match (the top league in Greece) between Xanthi and Olympiakos during the 2011-12 season, various individuals from the Greek FA informed him in no uncertain terms that Olympiakos must win the match.

He responded that he ‘did not owe anything to anyone’ and that he would referee the match fairly and that the ‘best and luckiest would win.’ Olympiacos was defeated in the game. Subsequently, a bakery owned by Konstantineas was first vandalized and then several weeks later set on fire in an act of arson by unknown individuals who had placed an improvised incindiery device in the building.

Marinakis and the press

The court document is also revealing about Mr Marinakis’s apparent use and intimidation of the press to further his and Olympiacos’s interests.

In the past it has been alleged by the newspaper Avgi (affiliated to the leftist opposition party SYRIZA) that the newspaper Parapolitika is controlled by Mr Marinakis and that the shipowner used the newspaper to publish stories favourable to the right-wing Samaras government.

In response, Parapolitika sued Avgi several months ago, denying any links to Mr Marinakis. (Incidentally the lawyer in that case was Makis Voridis, at the time the parliamentary spokesman for New Democracy, now the Health Minister following June’s government reshuffle. Mr Voridis rose to prominence from the ranks of parties on the far-right.)

On paper, the newspaper as well as the other holdings of the “Parapolitika” media group (including a financial paper, a sports paper and an Olympiacos FM radio station) are all owned by the chief editor of Parapolitika, journalist Yannis Kourtakis.

Asked in a 2012 interview (link in Greek) about the financing of the Parapolitika paper Mr Kourtakis said, “Our resources and money are provided by our thousands of readers.” About his opinion of Mr Marinakis, Mr Kourtakis said “I follow, as you do, Mr Marinakis as a businessman.”

And in 2014, prior to the launching of a new radio station, Mr Kourtakis was asked in an interview whether it was perhaps an ‘expensive sport’ for a journalist turned publisher to run a radio station. He replied:
     “Healthy businesses, businesses without loans, those that want to have a leading role have only one source of funding: the public.” His interviewer insisted, asking, “Don’t you need a businessman to back you up?”
Mr Kourtakis responded:
     “The time when businessmen invested in the media losing money is over. Our criterion is the trust which the public show in us. That is our strength and out point of reference.”
Yet the assertion from Parapolitika and its chief editor that Mr Marinakis had no links with the paper, is directly contradicted by the transcripts of the wiretapped phone conversations which record Mr Marinakis talking with Mr Kourtakis in May 2012, conferring over the next day’s headline of the newspaper and with Mr Marinakis apparently giving the editor direct instructions.

Elsewhere Mr Marinakis is also heard instructing his head of communications to place stories in a number of ‘their’ outlets and in Parapolitika.

Aside from Mr Marinakis’s apparent use of ‘friendly’ outlets, in testimony other journalists have claimed to be the victims of intimidation by Olympiacos and/or Mr Marinakis. One journalist, George Tampakopoulos, testified that Mr Marinakis struck him twice in a restaurant, while reporters Antonis Karpetopoulos and Nikos Vasilaras testified to having been attacked by gangs of apparent Olympiacos supporters. The latter, according to the court documents, was also fired from his job allegedly following an order from Mr Marinakis.

Perhaps even more intriguing from a media point of view is the widespread silence regarding the latest court documents that implicate one of the country’s most influential shipowners in criminal activities.

While the story was broken by one of the main national broadcasters - SKAI, few others have reported on the recent court decision and associated transcripts. (Note that the owner of SKAI is Ioannis Alafouzos, another shipowner who is also the owner of Panathinaikos F.C. which is Olympiacos’s main rival. It is well known that there is little love lost between Mr Marinakis and Mr Alafouzos who rarely pass on opportunities to publicly attack each other.)

Many important newspapers and websites are entirely silent on the issue. A characteristic example is perhaps ToVima.gr, owned by the biggest media group, DOL, in the country. The newspaper reported a story about Mr Marinakis only two days after SKAI broke the story about the allegations. The article reports on comments the shipowner made to an Economist conference about the importance of shipping to the Greek economy, yet somehow managed to avoid a single mention about the allegations against Mr Marinakis. Nor does the newspaper report on them anywhere else.

Other news outlets have reported on the recent revelations, without however naming those who are investigated (including Mr Marinakis) nor publishing any of the content of the Council’s decision.

The pretext invoked by most such news outlets regarding their silence is that the leaked judicial files are part of a criminal investigation that is confidential and has not until now led to convictions. But in Greece publishing leaked judicial files that are part of an investigation is a daily routine for the press, and in many cases the same outlets that are currently invoking the secrecy of the investigation have been very active in leaking or reproducing such material. And one can only wonder at how a judicial report concerning one of the country’s top businessmen and the country’s top football club is not deemed newsworthy enough for those media outlets to report.

While it can be difficult to criticise newspapers for what they choose not to report on, in this case the silence is somewhat deafening.

TPPI conducted a simple survey of the frontpages of all of the top political, economic and sports newspapers of July 9th, the day after the leak of the council’s decision. With the exception of a few newspapers, (some of which are known to be linked to business interests that rival those of Mr Marinakis) the majority chose to completely ignore the issue, despite it concerning one of the most powerful businessmen in the country (or perhaps because of it?).

Of particular interest is the situation concerning sports newspapers. In Greece, surprising as it may seem, over 10 sports newspapers circulate nationwide on a daily basis. The majority of these have club allegiances. Perhaps unsurprisingly all those that support Olympiacos chose not to print a word about the investigation into Mr Marinakis and the alleged match fixing ring. However what is more alarming is that even those that are self-described as being independent (Sportday and Goal) also do not mention Mr Marinakis, (Sportday refers to the case somewhat uneasily without, however, mentioning any names - link in Greek).

In this context it is also worth mentioning that sports journalism is likely to become even less independent than it already is. Evangelos Marinakis and Yannis Alafouzos, and the football clubs owned by them (Olympiacos and Panathinaikos), are expected to further increase their grip on the sports media. According to press reports, Mr Marinakis, owner of Olympiacos FC, has already agreed to buy Sentra FM, a sports radio station, and Goal, the sports newspaper. Meanwhile Mr Alafouzos, for his part, is in talks to buy Novasport FM, the biggest sports radio broadcaster in the country, and Sportday, another sports newspaper. If the deals materialize, the two shipping magnates and owners of Greece’s two biggest football clubs will control the two biggest sports-related media groups in the country.


Was Putin's plane the real target that led to Malaysia Airlines crash?


Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Ukraine is responsible for the disaster with Malaysia Airlines plane, which occurred on Thursday, July 18. The Russian president urged the Russian authorities to assist in every way in the investigation of this crime.
     "Undoubtedly, the state, on the territory of which it happened, is responsible for this terrible tragedy," Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the State for Economic Affairs, which he proposed to start with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the terrible disaster.
     "This tragedy would not have happened, if there had been peace in the world, and if the fighting in the south-east of Ukraine wouldn't have been resumed," Putin said.
Putin ordered the Russian government to do everything possible to establish an objective picture of the disaster.
     "I ask the Russian government through available opportunities of civilian agencies to do everything to thoroughly investigate  this event," said the president.
     "We must do everything in our power so that an objective picture of what happened became available to the general public of Russia, Ukraine and the whole world," Putin stated.
     "These are absolutely unacceptable things, and nobody has the right to pass this by without making appropriate conclusions, without obtaining objective information about the accident," said the president of the Russian Federation.
Putin also reiterated his condolences on behalf of the Russian government to all the families of the victims, as well as the governments of those countries, whose citizens were flying in the crashed plane.

Amid the versions of the reasons of the crash of the MA Boeing 777, officials with the Russian Federal Aviation Agency, Rosaviation, believe that the passenger jetliner was shot down.

The original target could be the airplane of Russian President Putin.
     "The presidential jetliner and the Malaysian Boeing intersected at the same point and at the same echelon. This happened near Warsaw, on 330th echelon at an altitude of 10,100 meters. Air Force One was there at 16:21 MSK, the Malaysian plane - at 15:44 MSK," an anonymous source said.
     "The contours of the two aircraft are generally similar, the linear dimensions are also very similar, and as for coloring, it looks almost identical at a remote distance," the source said.
Afterwards, an official spokesman for Rosaviation that the agency never comments on the routes of Air Force One.

Advisor to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Anton Gerashchenko, said that the plane was shot down with anti-aircraft missile system Buk.

At the same time, armed supporters of Donetsk and Luhansk breakaway republics denied any involvement in the crash of the plane. They do not exclude that the Ukrainian Air Force is responsible for the disaster. Donetsk People's Republic Prime Minister Alexander Boroday said that the plane could be shot down by Ukrainian air defense, which, according to him, were set on high alert on July 14. In addition, the website of the People's Republic of Luhansk says that eyewitnesses saw a strike fighter attacking the Malaysia Airlines Boeing.

Check relevant video: http://cdn.rt.com/files/news/2a/66/80/00/putin-plane-crash-0600_480p.mp4?event=download

pravda.ru


INSIDE SCOOP- Greece Gets Prepared For New Massive Illegal Immigration Flow


In an article by geopolitical and security expert Ioannis Michelatos at RIMSE (published in June) we were shocked and dismayed when we discovered that Greece is bracing itself for a new wave of illegal immigration. Michelatos claims that this should be expected in the mid-term, and throughout Southeast Europe, on account of the deteriorating situation in the Middle East and North Africa regions (MENA). He says that this event is also paired with the culminations in Ukraine and the Black Sea area.

by Ioannis Michaletos (RISME) - The upturns and radical changes in the geopolitical vicinity of Southeastern Europe is raising substantial fears in policy-makers across the region that a major flow of illegal immigrants and refugees, chiefly from the battle fields of the Middle East is due to arrive by land or by sea in the coming months and years and will further deteriorate the situation and associated issues concerning illegal immigration.

Greece being for several years, as the main entrance and hub of such activities, bearing the burden mostly by incoming immigrants transiting from Turkey, is gradually upgrading its capabilities to combat this phenomenon to any extent possible. The incumbent Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU, which lasts until first of July 2014 and the successive Italian one, have illegal immigration into the EU as the main focus of their political agenda.

A series of measures aiming to safeguard borders and relating to the efforts by the Police, security and coast guard forces is being presented below, along with brief descriptions.

First of all a newly built open seas ship for the coast guard is in the process of being ordered that will have necessary equipment to track down incoming vessels of any type and in great distances, along with search and rescue capabilities for a large number of people. The cost of such is estimated at around 40 million Euros, and would be responsible for patrolling mainly in the Mediterranean Sea where the issue of Libyan sources illegal immigrants grows larger on a monthly basis. Furthermore, already six smaller fast patrol boats have been obtained by the coast guard capable of reaching 30 nautical knots per hour, costing 12 million Euros in total. The infrastructure would be coupled with the completion of the VTMS for Offshore Maritime Traffic Management, surveillance system for all Greek water ways and ports.

Furthermore, since the maritime environment in the Greek seas is noted for its dotted scenery of literally thousands of small islands, making surveillance an extremely hard work, the plans call for more alert stations, equipped with thermal cameras, radars and sensors, of a total budget exceeding 15 million Euros. Other notable and necessary systems that have already been procured are 15 portable thermal cameras, 3 motor vans with installed cameras capable of examining the insides of any vehicle or vessel, 100 new jeep autos, 4 small rubber speed boats, modern telecommunication tools and upgrades of older patrol ships, with all the aforementioned costing more than 10 million Euros.

Concurrently the coast guard is upgrading its role in the country by being responsible for wider security operations that are indirectly related to the organized crime structures that assist illegal immigration.

Recently 1.2 tons of pure heroin were confiscated in Athens by a joint DEA/ Special coast guard forces operation, leading to the arrests of Greeks, Turks and Albanians that were part of a wider criminal chain stretching from Afghanistan up to Belgium.

The Greek Police had in the past years administered and managed the establishment of a fence in the main land entrance to Greece from Turkey in the Evros river border. The 8 mile fence in a critical junction in the borders, along with a boosting of police guard presence, managed to reduce incoming flows, nevertheless, since 2013 the Syrian crisis has produced a new incoming wave and more than one million refugees of Syrian descent are said to be in Turkey and in transit.

The plans for further upgrade of security are added by the procurement of 3 mobile command and control vans with thermal cameras, providing real-time image and sound to the central commands and embedded in the nationwide C4i system.

Also four X-ray units will scan constantly suspicious vehicles that may carry groups of people within them in the region just inside the Greek territory when crossing from the East.

Nevertheless, since the whole project has to be thoroughly articulated so as to be effective the Police is up scaling its surveillance capabilities on air by the procurement of two more helicopters with necessary cameras, along with the introduction of dozens of UAV's capable of scanning the majority of the Greek borderline, along with particular high-danger junctions in motorways, ports and public facilities.

The budgeting for all the above exceeds 25 million Euros.

To those, additional 300 rough terrain vehicles, 40 portable thermal cameras, new intelligence analysis software, software tracking systems, GIS systems and new telecommunication equipment has to be added, along with voice and dialect recognition software and DNA labs and data bases. The whole cost for those exceeds 20 million Euros.

The cost rises even further if one considers the significant surge in Police operations within the country for the deportation of illegal immigrants since mid-2012 with tens of thousands of exits, and great number of detentions with a cost that surpasses 150 million Euros. To that it has to be noted that the costs associated with extra policing, manpower used and secondary expenses cannot be numbered but all available sources point out that a great deal of everyday work for the local Police is related to illegal immigration issues.

Despite all the above the recent events in Iraq with the expansion of the most brutal form of Jihadism points out that new immigration flows will reach the EU and most probably coming to its Balkan flank and directly related with assorted security issues, such as the "returnees" jihadists and weapons contraband along with more drug deliveries.

In those circumstances it is fundamental for the countries that will bear the consequences, and more specifically Greece, Bulgaria, FYROM and Serbia, to boost their bilateral cooperation in that sector and create a stronger nexus of collaboration in order to withstand an emerged pressure by irregular immigration that has direct demographic and political implications.

Furthermore Western Balkan countries, aspiring to join the EU such as Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia should also join the effort and at the same time look into the issue, which has started affecting them as well, being seen as "weak links" for the routes being used by the organized crime networks involved in illegal immigration.

Lastly Italy which has been receiving the bulk of Libyan exported immigrants is directly associated with the Southeastern European environment due to its proximity with both Greece and Albania from where it also receives Asians and Africans en route to other EU countries.

In a nutshell the following measures should and could be taken by all those countries mentioned:
-More investment in human and technical resources, systems, organization and methods

  • - Further collaboration and joint operations in between the neighboring countries affected
  • - Diplomatic unity in the face of the issue and vis-a-vis Turkey which stands as the main transit conduit of incoming immigration flows and in parallel directly implicated into destabilizing Middle Eastern countries
  • - Seek out for more EU-funded and backed structures relating to the issue
  • - Sweeping and long-range investigations to take out criminal syndicates involved in human smuggling, forged paper production and illegal immigration assistance


The stakes are high. A massive inflow of more immigrants into Europe will create destabilizing political effects in most countries along with the serious economic, social and health concerns.

Moreover a chain reaction effect of illegal immigration, will lay the foundations of a continuation of a decades long procedure that will render stability in both the Balkans and the rest of Europe and exacerbate simmering ethnic tensions.

Multiculturalism as a notion is already dead and buried for years and in the face of the dramatic developments in the Middle East which open a new and violent chapter in human history, Europe should be focused on how to keep the peace in the region rather than passively waiting for the whole of Asia to reallocate Westwards and in due time.

That will solve no problem and in fact it will duplicate the Middle Eastern conflicts in all major EU urban centers, a process that has already started.

Read More At RIMSE


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