Schlagwort-Archive: #Europe

Prof. Richard A. Werner, D.Phil. (Oxon): EU Basics – Your Guide to the UK Referendum on EU Member ship; June 20, 2016

Von: „Martin Zeis“ <Martin.zeis>
Datum: 23. Juni 2016 um 15:37:46 MESZ
An: gc-special-engl%Martin.zeis
Betreff: Prof. Richard A. Werner, D.Phil. (Oxon): EU Basics – Your Guide to the UK Referendum on EU Membership; June 20, 2016

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis, 23.06.2016

Dear all,

in an article* rich in content Prof. Richard A. WERNER disputes on two questions relating to the EU referendum of the British people:

a) What does it actually mean to stay in the EU?

b) What does it mean to exit?

* https://professorwerner.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/eu-basics-your-guide-to-the-uk-referendum-on-eu-membership

b) The dire warnings by Prime Minister David Cameron, together with the heads of the IMF, the OECD and various EU agencies have given that economic growth will drop, the fiscal position will deteriorate, the currency will weaken and UK exports will decline precipitously Werner refutes by facts.

a) As for the first question Werner recommends to consult the EU itself (see quotation below).

Breathtaking is his presentation of evidence, „that the EU is the result of a major US secret service operation – effectively just yet another secret creature of deception launched by the CIA (taking seat of honour in the hall of infamy that includes false flag operations, invasions, coup-detats, and the establishment of organisations such as Al Qaida and ISIS)“. (…)
„DECLASSIFIED American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. … US intelligence secretly funded the European Move-ment, paying over half its budget. Some of Europe’s founding fathers were on the US payroll.“ (…)
„This solves the third mystery, namely how on earth the allegedly democratic European nations could design such an undemocratic, virtually dictatorial structure. With the EU/United States of Europe the US not only achieves its geo-strategic goals in Europe, but it has also eliminated the role of pesky national parliaments that could on occasion get in the way of US or CIA foreign policy. And another puzzle is solved, namely why the EU had so readily agreed to a US request a few years back that US spy agencies get access to all European emails and telephone calls ….“

Q U O T A T I O N (relatiing to question a)

„Happily, the EU released a major official report about its key policies and what it plans to achieve in the near future in October 2015. This report was issued in the names of the “Five Presidents“ of the EU. In case you had not been aware that there was even a single, let alone five presidents of the EU, these are: The unelected president of the European Central Bank, Goldman Sachs alumnus Mario Draghi, the unelected president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the unelected Brussels Commissar and “president of the Eurogroup“, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the “president of the Euro Summit“, Donald Tusk, and the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz. What is the message of this not negligible number of EU presidents concerning the question of where the EU is going? The title of their joint report is a give-away: “The Five President’s (sic) Report: Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union“. https://ec.europa.eu/priorities/publications/five-presidents-report-completing-europes-economic-and-monetary-union_en

The report starts with the frank admission that “with 18 million unemployed in the euro area, a lot more needs to be done to improve economic policies” in the EU. Well said. But what exactly needs to be done?
“Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) today is like a house that was built over decades but only partially finished. When the storm hit, its walls and roof had to be stabilised quickly. It is now high time to reinforce its foundations and turn it into what EMU was meant to be…“
“ we will need to take further steps to complete EMU.”

The central planners in Brussels and at the ECB in Frankfurt are not unaware that under their command, a historically unprecedented economic dislocation has taken place in the EU during the past ten years, including massive asset and property bubbles, banking crises and large-scale unemployment in all the periphery countries – with over 50% youth unemployment in Greece, Spain and Portugal, as well as the lack of any serious controls of the EU external borders to prevent an influx of unparalleled numbers of illegal immigrants and economic migrants.

However, the EU central planners are in denial about the fact that these problems have been caused entirely by their own misguided and disastrous policies. As a result, they argue that the solution to such problems can only be further concentra-tion of powers into their hands: “We need more Europe“, as Mrs Merkel put it (source: please read these Merkel claims about the EU http://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-priorities-2020/news/merkel-calls-for-political-union-to-save-the-euro/) This is what they propose to implement in the coming years, by turning all EU members into one single country.
So the Five Presidents‘ Report makes clear that the EU is not simply a free trade area. That project had been left behind with the 1992 Maastricht Treaty and a very different kind of Europe has become enshrined with the 2007 European Constitution (called ‘Lisbon Treaty‘, since the people of Europe in several referenda rejected it. Source: please read what the author of the rejected European Constitution says: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/valeacutery-giscard-destaing-the-eu-treaty-is-the-same-as-the-constitution-398286.html ).

Instead, the EU is the project to abandon all national sovereignty and borders within and melt away all European nations that don’t succeed in exiting in time, into a merged, joint new single country, with one central European government, centralised European monetary policy, centralised European fiscal policy, centralised European foreign policy, and centralised European regulation, including of financial markets and banking. This United States of Europe, an undemocratic leviathan that the European peoples never wanted, is the culmination of the much repeated mantra of “ever closer union“. (…)

WERNER-EU-Basics+UK-Referendum160620.pdf

P.C. ROBERTS: Somnolent Europe, Russia, and China: Accept US Hegemony or Go to War? EU was a creature of the CIA

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis, 08.05.2016

Dear all,

the articles below written by Paul Craig Roberts and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard explain the enormous pressure the US-Empire exerts on the British government preventing a BREXIT at all costs.

First: „Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement. The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen. William J. Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA.“ (cf. A. Evans-Pritchard)

Second: „As I have previously written, Washington believes that it is easier to control one government, the EU, than to control many separate European governments. As Washington has a long term investment in orchestrating the European Union, Washington is totally opposed to any country exiting the arrangement. That is why President Obama recently went to London to tell his lapdog, the British Prime Minister, that there could be no British exit.
Like other European nations, the British people were never allowed to vote on whether they were in favor of their country ceasing to exist and them becoming Europeans. … Washington’s position is that the British people must not be permitted to decide against the EU, because such a decision is not in Washington’s interest.“ (cf. P.C. Roberts)

PCR-EU=creature-of-CIA160506.pdf

Sergey LAVROV: "Russia’s Foreign Policy: Historical Background"; Global Affairs, March 3, 2016

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis, 03.03.2016

Dear all,

today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Russian Federation published a striking article by Sergey Lavrov about Russia’s foreign policy over the course of the last 1000 years.

(full text attached, pdf-file 8p)

Greets
Martin Zeis

— E X C E R P T —

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2124391

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Russian Federation,
Foreign policcy / News
3 March 2016 09:20

Sergey Lavrov’s article „Russia’s Foreign Policy: Historical Background“ for „Russia in Global Affairs“ magazine, March 3, 2016

„International relations have entered a very difficult period, and Russia once again finds itself at the crossroads of key trends that determine the vector of future global development.

Many different opinions have been expressed in this connection including the fear that we have a distorted view of the international situation and Russia’s international standing. I perceive this as an echo of the eternal dispute between pro-Western liberals and the advocates of Russia’s unique path. There are also those, both in Russia and outside of it, who believe that Russia is doomed to drag behind, trying to catch up with the West and forced to bend to other players’ rules, and hence will be unable to claim its rightful place in international affairs. I’d like to use this opportunity to express some of my views and to back them with examples from history and historical parallels.

It is an established fact that a substantiated policy is impossible without reliance on history. This reference to history is absolutely justified, especially considering recent celebrations. In 2015, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of Victory in WWII, and in 2014, we marked a century since the start of WWI. In 2012, we marked 200 years of the Battle of Borodino and 400 years of Moscow’s liberation from the Polish invaders. If we look at these events carefully, we’ll see that they clearly point to Russia’s special role in European and global history.

(…)

Speaking about Russia’s role in the world as a great power, Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin said that the greatness of a country is not determined by the size of its territory or the number of its inhabitants, but by the capacity of its people and its government to take on the burden of great world problems and to deal with these problems in a creative manner. A great power is the one which, asserting its existence and its interest … introduces a creative and meaningful legal idea to the entire assembly of the nations, the entire “concert” of the peoples and states. It is difficult to disagree with these words.“

LAVROV-Russia’s-Foreign-Policy160303.pdf

Documentation du Sommet pour un plan B en Europe

 

 

EN DIRECT – Sommet pour un plan B en Europe

Le samedi 23 janvier 2016 à partir de 13h00, suivez en direct le sommet du plan B. Retrouvez le programme complet à cette adresse : http://bit.ly/20GKV5P.

YANIS VAROUFAKIS – Interviews auf RT-tvs-Underground; Corriere Della Sera, 16.09.2015

Von: „Martin Zeis“ <Martin.zeis>
Datum: 19. September 2015 um 18:36:14 MESZ
An: gc-special01%Martin.zeis
Betreff: YANIS VAROUFAKIS – Interviews auf RT-tvs-Underground; Corriere Della Sera, 16.09.2015

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis, 19.09.2015

Hallo zusammen,

vor der morgigen Wahl in Griechenland meldete sich der vormalige griechische Finanzminister Yanis VAROUFAKIS in mehreren Interviews zu Wort, um zentrale Fragen aus dem Feld der die Syriza-/OXI-Bewegung unterstützenden Kräfte zu beantworten, die Entwicklung seit Januar 2015, die Gründe der Kapitulation am 13. Juli 2015, was links sein, linke Politik definiert und seine Konsequenzen: die (Mit-)Arbeit an dem Projekt einer NEUEN LINKEN in Europa* sowie in Kürze erscheinende Buch: „AND THE WEAK SUFFER WHAT THEY MUST? (To be published in New York by Nation Books). The theme is nothing less than a history of the euro…“ zit.a. Corriere Della Sera / engl. Übers. Y.V., 16.09.2015

* vgl. „Ein Plan B für Europa“, Paris 12.09.2015;
URL: www.oskar-lafontaine.de/links-wirkt/details/b/1/f/1/t/ein-plan-b-fuer-europa

Yanis Varoufakis
thoughts for the post-2008 world

RT-tvs-Underground, 16.09.2015 Varoufakis-Interview 27:13 min
http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/09/16/on-corbyn-greece-and-the-un-interviewed-for-rt-tvs-underground/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_giZbaZPm94#t=1270

Greece’s Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Corbyn, Greece and the UN
Afshin Rattansi goes underground on Yanis Varoufakis. Ahead of the election this weekend in Greece, the former finance minister talks about Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign and what he can do to win the war with the media. He explains the difference between the UK and Greece and why they have been in a great depression for five years. And discusses the reason why his party had to go against the public and accept a bailout. Plus why he no longer has what it takes to support Syriza.

Video in deutscher Übersetzung abrufbar unter:
http://www.rtdeutsch.com/32337/headline/rt-exklusiv-yanis-varoufakis-im-interview-systemmedien-werden-versuchen-euch-zu-zerfleischen/

Interview im Corriere Della Sera – 16 SEP 2015
http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/09/16/interview-in-corriere-della-sera-16-sep-2015/#more-10343

For the Italian version as published in CDS, click here. But beware: The Italian text there is a summary of my answers and, in my view, offers a distorted version of my original answers in English (including the awful title) – which you can read here…

How are you? Do you regret having resigned? Are you missing your months as a State minister?
Personally I am flourishing, even though the political situation in Greece after our 13th July surrender is sad and augurs nothing good for Greece or for Europe. It is the reaction to me of people on the street, in Greece, Italy, France, even in Germany, in conjunction with the freedom to pursue my political agenda outside the strictures of government, that gives me much joy. Do I miss being minister? Definitely not. The ministry was a duty that was worth bearing only as long as we were guided by principle. My successors, in contrast, had the task of managing that awful surrender. I do not envy them. After all, if I did I would not have resigned!
The stress you went through during spring and summer have had an influence on your personal relationships?
No, not at all. True love and friendship survives such trials. My five months in government won me more true friends while the resignation unveiled the fake ones.
Have you enjoyed being a style model, being pointed as a sex symbol, having fan like a rock star?
No. I have detested the star system all my life. It would have been the height of hypocrisy to enjoy its output the moment, for some unknown to me reason, the same system elevated me to a fake pedestal.
Do you think this kind of attention was detrimental to your success as a negotiator?
No. The hostility I faced was not personal and had nothing to do with my public image. It was simple due to our government’s audacity to say “No!” to a failed troika program.
Were your colleagues uneasy with your popularity?
You have to ask them. It did not seem that way to me.
It has been said you are finishing a new book. Can you tell us the title and the main thesis?
All my life, at least since 1989, I have been finishing some book! So, yes, I am about to put the finishing touches on a book that was almost completed before the January election, but which was abandoned the moment I became minister. It is entitled AND THE WEAK SUFFER WHAT THEY MUST? (To be published in New York by Nation Books). The theme is nothing less than a history of the euro…
You declared to be ready to work on a continental project for a New Left. In Frangy-en-Bresse you met Arnauld Montebourg. Have you two planed something concrete? Is the project going forward? In which way?
Definitely. And it is not just the two of us. We are part of a Pan-European Network dedicated to democratising the Eurozone. Except a formal announcement soon.
What do you mean for “left” in politics?
Aristotle defined democracy as the system of government in which the poor, who are always in the majority, rule. In this sense, the Left is the custodian of democracy, insisting as it does that decisions affecting the lives of the majority are taken by their representatives, in their interest, and without bowing to the directives of the powerful few who command the majority of material resources. Democratising the Eurozone, even if it is only in the sense of bringing a dose of liberal democracy to the Eurogroup, seems to me a good start for the Italian, Greek, Spanish, German Left to reinvigorate itself.
Tsipras won the referendum that refused an hard MoU, but accepted an even harsher MoU. Did you understand why?
Of course I understand, even if I disagree with his choice. (…)

In „Secret“ Report Lagarde Says Greece Will Need Massive Debt Relief; Reuters 14.07.2015

zerohedge, 14.07.2015 — http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-14/imf-declares-war-germany-secret-report-lagarde-says-greece-will-need-massive-debt-re

IMF Declares War On Germany: In „Secret“ Report Lagarde Says Greece Will Need Massive Debt Relief

Update: Europe now looks to be in damage control mode. Here’s Reuters:

EU SOURCE SAYS EURO ZONE LEADERS KNEW OF LATEST IMF DEBT ANALYSIS FOR GREECE BEOFRE AGREEING ON THIRD BAILOUT TERMS

A divide between the IMF and Europe (read: Germany), regarding writedowns on Greece’s debt to the EU has been brewing for quite some time and recently returned to the international spotlight when, a few months back, the Fund indicated debt relief was a precondition for its participation in any further aid for Athens.

More recently, the IMF released a report on Greece’s debt sustainability just prior to the referendum. The timing appeared to be strategic and may have helped secure the „no“ vote for Tsipras.

Unfortunately, the IMF didn’t appear to anticipate the PM’s complete capitulation and now, the subject of debt relief has again been put off, this time until Greece officially passes the new „deal“ through parliament and legislates its terms.

Today, another „secret“ IMF document on the sustainability of Greece’s debt burden has surfaced and not surprisingly, the Fund is once again pounding the table on a haircut. One is certainly left to wonder if the US (and its veto power) are pulling the strings behind the scenes and orchestrating „leaks“ at opportune times. Here’s more from Reuters:

Greece will need debt relief far beyond what euro zone partners have been prepared to consider due to the devastation of its economy and banks in the last two weeks, a confidential study by the International Monetary Fund seen by Reuters shows.

The updated debt sustainability analysis was sent to euro zone governments late on Monday, hours after Athens and its 18 partners agreed in principle to open negotiations on a third bailout programme of up to 86 billion euros in return for tougher austerity measures and structural reforms.

„The dramatic deterioration in debt sustainability points to the need for debt relief on a scale that would need to go well beyond what has been under consideration to date – and what has been proposed by the ESM,“ the IMF said, referring to the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund.

European countries would have to give Greece a 30-year grace period on servicing all its European debt, including new loans, and a very dramatic maturity extension, or else make explicit annual fiscal transfers to the Greek budget or accept „deep upfront haircuts“ on their loans to Athens, the report said.
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/14/us-eurozone-greece-imf-report-idUSKCN0PO1CB20150714?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews

In other words, the IMF is now openly at war with Germany (and its sound money compatriots like Finland) over debt forgiveness, which futher underscores the split in Europe between the German bloc and the those who favored leniency for Greece, and, by extension, a relaxation of the doctrine of strict fiscal discipline that has dominated EU politics (in word if certainly not in deed in the periphery) since the onset of the European debt crisis.

Of course any debt haircut for Greece will only serve to embolden other periphery debtor states, especially those where Syriza sympathizers enjoy growing support ahead of elections. In short, if parties like Podemos in Spain perceive that Germany has blinked on debt relief they too will push for writedowns, something we outlined in detail after the last IMF „leak“ in „Did IMF Just Open Pandora’s Box.“
(see: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-02/did-imf-just-open-pandoras-box )

=======

Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
martin.zeis

Yanis VAROUFAKIS: Dr Schäuble’s Plan for Europe: Do Europeans approve? – pre-publication- summary (publication in: Die Zeit, 16.07.2015

http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/07/13/dr-schaubles-plan-for-europe-do-europeans-approve-article-to-appear-in-die-zeit-on-thursday-16th-july-2015

Yanis Varoufakis – thoughts for the post-2008 world

Dr Schäuble’s Plan for Europe: Do Europeans approve? – Article to appear in Die Zeit on Thursday 16th July 2015
Posted on July 13, 2015 by yanisv

Pre-publication summary: Five months of intense negotiations between Greece and the Eurogroup never had a chance of success. Condemned to lead to impasse, their purpose was to pave the ground for what Dr Schäuble had decided was ‘optimal’ well before our government was even elected: That Greece should be eased out of the Eurozone in order to discipline member-states resisting his very specific plan for re-structuring the Eurozone.

  • This is no theory.
  • How do I know Grexit is an important part of Dr Schäuble’s plan for Europe?
  • Because he told me so!

I wrote this article not as a Greek politician critical of the German press’ denigration of our sensible proposals, of Berlin’s refusal seriously to consider our moderate debt re-profiling plan, of the European Central Bank’s highly political decision to asphyxiate our government, of the Eurogroup’s decision to give the ECB the green light to shut down our banks.

I wrote this article as a European observing the unfolding of a particular Plan for Europe – Dr Schäuble’s Plan.

And I am asking a simple question of Die Zeit’s informed readers:

  • Is this a Plan that you approve of?
  • Do you consider this Plan good for Europe?

M. K. BHADRAKUMAR: Obama’s overture to Putin has paid off; Asia Times, May 15, 2015

Following a remarkable analysis of the Empire’s road to nowhere and Kerry’s motives to make a pilgrimage to Sochi.
Excerpt (full text attached)

Asia Times,May 13, 2015 — http://atimes.com/2015/05/obamas-overture-to-putin-has-paid-off
Obama’s overture to Putin has paid off
By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

There is no reason to doubt the disclosure by the unnamed senior State Department official who briefed the media even as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was heading for Sochi, Russia, to meet President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, to the effect that the “Secretary and (Russian Foreign Minister Sergey) Lavrov have been talking for some time about when the conditions might be ripe, and we (the U.S.) obviously wanted to make sure that if he (Kerry) was going to make the trip (to Russia), he’d get a chance to talk to the main decision maker (read Putin).”

Indeed, there was an inevitability about yesterday’s meeting at Sochi and what happened is in the best traditions of the denouement of Russian-American tensions, historically speaking. The partisans on both sides who fought the media war through past year probably thought that the “New Cold War” was for real or that they were witnessing were the birth pangs of a new world order. They must be feeling let down.

Of course, the humility in the tone of the senior State Department Official is striking. The Russians have shown that they could hunker down like nobody’s business when it comes to defending their core interests, and the Obama administration has understood that. More importantly, the U.S. also understands that from now on the law of diminishing returns will be at work.

Simply put, the Chinese have made their appearance on the strategic landscape of Eurasia for the first time in history, and the U.S. badly needs Russia’s cooperation in the Middle East, more than at any time since the Cold War ended.

On the other hand, for all their bravado, the Russian elites also have understood that the future scenario for their economy remains grim if the western embargo on finance, investment and trade continue relentlessly. They realize too that at this rate they may eventually have to settle for a role as China’s junior partner. The world at large may sympathize with Russia’s plight and isolation, but life moves on, leaving the elites in Moscow to cope with the deepening economic recession as best as they could on their own faltering steam.

In retrospect, the Russians placed unrealistically high hopes on the independent foreign policies toward Russia on the part of the U.S.’ European allies. Even Greece caved in, finally. (…)

Equally, the sigh of relief in Moscow is almost audible. From the Russian viewpoint, the West’s boycott of Moscow has ended. We may expect European statesmen to travel to Moscow as before. Indeed, as the U.S.-Russia collaboration on regional conflicts advances, it will have positive fallout on the bilateral relations between the two big powers. (Last week, Washington had signaled willingness to engage Moscow in talks relating to the U.S.’ missile defence program.)

Both Washington and Moscow are in a chastened mood today, as the media briefings in Sochi strongly suggest. They peered into the abyss and didn’t like what they saw.

In the final analysis, Obama took a high risk by making the overture to Russia. His critics and detractors are bound to pounce on him, as they would only see his overture to Putin as yet another U-turn on a crucial foreign policy front. (…)

Evidently, he is outstripping America’s political class, large sections of the intelligentsia and the media – and, of course, annoying friends and allies in Central Europe who clamor for a hard line on Russia – Poland and the Baltic states, in particular.

Obama made three cardinal errors of judgment on Russia. One, he allowed the U.S. interference in Russia’s domestic politics to continue with the objective of changing the political calculus in the Kremlin in a direction that would serve America’s global interests. True, the U.S. had gotten used to stringing the Russian elites and once even had arranged Boris Yeltsin’s re-election as president (1996). But Obama could have sized up that the times had changed. (…)

Second, Obama underestimated Russia’s resolve to maintain a buffer on its western borders, which has been the traditional invasion route from Europe. Washington literally forced Putin’s hands on Crimea and eastern Ukraine. What happened was not Putin’s choice. In the obsessive drive to demonize Putin, it is often overlooked that he desires a partnership with the West, but on equal terms. The Russian “hyper sensitivity” is not difficult to comprehend.

Third, Obama has been obstinate in his refusal to acknowledge Russia’s legitimate aspirations as a global power.
(…) How could such an erudite mind and profound intellect have got it all so very wrong? Of course, Obama’s familiarity with Russian politics has been limited and he has allowed himself to be led by the seasoned “Russia hands” in the U.S. foreign-policy establishment who are weaned on Cold War era politics. The result has been that he ended up pursuing the very same containment strategy toward Russia that was ushered in by the Bill Clinton administration in the early nineties.

It has proved to be a road to nowhere, because the Russia that Bill Clinton in turn hoodwinked, bullied and pushed around no longer exists today. (…)

BHADRAKUMAR-Obamas-overture-to-Putin150513.pdf

Putin’s red line for US policies by M.K. Bhadrakumar – Asia Times, April 14,2015

—  complete article ( 3 pages) attached — 
Asia Times, April 14, 2015 —  http://atimes.com/2015/04/putins-red-line-for-us-policies

BHADRAKUMAR-Putin’s-red-line-for US150414

Why did Moscow take such a momentous decision on Monday to scatter to the winds the sanctions regime, which was choreographed so tenaciously by the United States over many years and painstakingly assembled under the direct supervision of the White House, to drive Iran into a corner? The answer to this question will have a lot of bearing on the course of world politics in the coming several decades. (See my blog Putin liberates Iran from sanctions.)   (…)
The fact of the matter is that the Russian decision on Monday is both ‘reactive’ as well as ‘proactive’. First, the ‘reactive part’. Some background is needed here, which is not widely known, hence the following brief explanation.
For a start, it is useful to remember that one of the most shameful episodes in Barack Obama’s presidential diplomacy with the Russian leadership was the personal assurance given by him to the then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev just before the 2012 presidential election that once he got re-elected he would address Mos-cow’s concerns over the deployment of the US’ ABM system in Europe. The American side no longer talks about it but the cavalier fashion in which Obama went back on the solemn assurance once he actually got re-elected, significantly contributed to the collapse of the US-Russia “reset”.
At the level of a head of state, statesmen don’t behave like school children; nor is the missile defence issue a game of hide-and-seek. But Obama behaved in an abdominal way. Russia all along disputed the American contention that the ABM was directed against the so-called “rogue states” (read Iran and North Korea). Indeed, Obama himself held out an assurance to Moscow, while addressing a public gathering in Prague in 2009, that once the Iran nuclear issue got resolved the raison d’etre of the ABM deployment in Europe would cease to be.   But now that the US-Iranian negotiations over the Iran issue have entered the home stretch and a deal is well within sight, Obama is once again suffering from loss of memory, forgetting his pledge in Prague five years ago. Washington has begun quietly shifting the goal post. Funnily enough, the US and NATO now argue with a straight face that the deployment of the ABM system in Europe (in close proximity to the Russian borders) has nothing to do with the Iran nuclear issue.
Of course, Moscow has protested in indignation. (Read the Foreign Ministry statement in Moscow last weekend.) But nowadays, Washington doesn’t care for the Russian foreign ministry’s viewpoint. Obama himself doesn’t want to recall tete-e-tete with Medvedev, either .
The point is, the US intention behind the deployment of the ABM in Europe all along aimed at neutralizing Russia’s missile capabilities. In short, its real purpose is to eliminate Russia’s so-called “second-strike capability”. The agenda here is to realize the decades-old American dream (dating back to the Cold War era) of attaining “nuclear superiority” globally and to terminate this irksome business of “global strategic balance” with Russia.
Russia perfectly well understands the US’ strategic calculus factors in the plain truth that “post-Soviet” Russia still remains the only country on the planet with a thermo-nuclear capability to destroy the United States. Washington knows Russia under-stands its strategic calculus aiming at the weakening and dismemberment of Russia to reduce it to a second-rate power. Russia knows Washington comprehends the authenticity of the Russian fears and concerns.
To cut a long story short, Putin has decided to let Obama also get a feel of what it feels like when America’s core interests and national security concerns come under danger – plainly put, if America ever comes under threat from a nuclear Iran possessing ICBM capability. Indeed, the S-300 missiles make a formidable ABM system, which severely restricts the US’ strike capabilities against Iran.   (…)
The bottom line is that the U.S. will have to learn to respect Russia’s legitimate concerns and cease trampling on its core interests.
(…)   —  emphasis m.z.  —
=======
Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
martin.zeis@gmxpro.net

imagining-our-shared-future Yanis Varoufakis – thoughts for the post-2008 world

http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/03/20/of-greeks-and-germans-re-imagining-our-shared-future
Yanis Varoufakis – thoughts for the post-2008 world
Posted on March 20, 2015 by yanisv

Of Greeks and Germans: Re-imagining our shared future

Any sensible person can see how a certain video[1] has become part of something beyond a gesture. It has sparked off a kerfuffle reflecting the manner in which the 2008 banking crisis began to undermine Europe’s badly designed monetary union, turning proud nations against each other.

When, in early 2010, the Greek state lost its capacity to service its debts to French, German and Greek banks, I campaigned against the Greek government’s quest for an enormous new loan from Europe’s taxpayers. Why?
I opposed the 2010 and 2012 ‘bailout’ loans from German and other European taxpayers because:
the new loans represented not a bailout for Greece but a cynical transfer of losses from the books of the private banks to the weak shoulders of the weakest of Greek citizens. (How many of Europe’s taxpayers, who footed these loans, know that more than 90% of the €240 billion borrowed by Greece went to financial institutions, not to the Greek state or its citizens?)
it was obvious that, at a time Greece could not repay its existing loans, the austerity conditions for giving Greece the new loans would crush Greek nominal incomes, making our debt even less sustainable
the ‘bailout’ burden would, sooner or later, weigh down German and other European taxpayers once the weaker Greeks buckled under their mountainous debts (as moneyed Greeks had already shifted their deposits to Frankfurt, London etc.)
misleading peoples and Parliaments by presenting a bank bailout as an act of ‘solidarity to Greece’ would turn Germans against Greeks, Greeks against Germans and, eventually, Europe against itself.
In 2010 Greece owed not one euro to German taxpayers. We had no right to borrow from them, or from other European taxpayers, while our public debt was unsustainable. Period!
That was my ‘controversial’ point in 2010: In 2010, Greece should have borrowed not one euro before entering into debt restructuring procedures and partially defaulting to its private sector creditors.
Well before the May 2010 ‘bailout’, I urged European citizens to tell their governments not to even think of transferring private losses to them.
To no avail, of course. That transfer was effected soon after[2] with the largest taxpayer-backed loan in economic history given to the Greek state on austerity conditions that have caused Greeks to lose a quarter of their income, making it impossible to repay private and public debts, and causing a hideous humanitarian crisis.
That was then, in 2010. What should we do now, in 2015, that Greece remains in crisis and our people, the Greeks and the Germans, have, regrettably but also predictably, descended into a mutual ‘blame game’?
First, we should work towards ending the toxic ‘blame game’ and the moralising finger-pointing which benefit only the enemies of Europe.
Secondly, we need to focus on our joint interest: On how to grow and to reform Greece rapidly, so that the Greek state can best repay debts it should never have taken on while looking after its citizens as a modern European state ought to do.
In practical terms, the 20th February Eurogroup agreement offers an excellent opportunity to move forward. Let us implement it immediately, as our leaders have urged in yesterday’s informal Brussels meeting.
Looking ahead, and beyond current tensions, our joint task is to re-design Europe so that Germans and Greeks, along with all Europeans, can re-imagine our monetary union as a realm of shared prosperity.
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[1] Whose showing derailed an otherwise constructive discussion on German television.
[2] First in May 2010 (€110 billion) and then again in the Spring of 2012 (another €130 billion).

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Martin Zeis
globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
martin.zeis@gmxpro.net