Syria and Diplomacy

by craig on January 21, 2014 11:49 am in Uncategorized

The problem with the Geneva Communique from the first Geneva round on Syria is that the government of Syria never subscribed to it.  It was jointly chaired by the League of Arab States for Syria, whatever that may mean.  Another problem is that it is, as so many diplomatic documents are, highly ambiguous.  It plainly advocates a power sharing executive formed by some of the current government plus the opposition to oversee a transition to democracy.  But it does not state which elements of the current government, and it does not mention which elements of the opposition, nor does it make plain if President Assad himself is eligible to be part of, or to head, the power-sharing executive, and whether he is eligible to be a candidate in future democratic elections.

Doubtless the British, for example, would argue that the term transition implies that he will go.  The Russians will argue there is no such implication and the text does not exclude anybody from the process.  Doubtless also diplomats on all sides were fully aware of these differing interpretations and the ambiguity is quite deliberate to enable an agreed text. I would say that the text tends much more to the “western” side, and that this reflects the apparently weak military position of the Assad regime at that time and the then extant threat of western military intervention.  There has been a radical shift in those factors against the western side in the interim. Expect Russian interpretations now to get more hardline.

Given the extreme ambiguity of the text, Iran has, as it frequently does, shot itself in the foot diplomatically by refusing to accept the communique as the basis of talks and thus getting excluded from Geneva.  Iran should have accepted the communique, and then at Geneva issued its own interpretation of it.

But that is a minor point.  The farcical thing about the Geneva conference is that it is attempting to promote into power-sharing in Syria “opposition” members who have no democratic credentials and represent a scarcely significant portion of those actually fighting the Assad regime in Syria.  What the West are trying to achieve is what the CIA and Mossad have now achieved in Egypt; replacing the head of the Mubarak regime while keeping all its power structures in place. The West don’t really want democracy in Syria, they just want a less pro-Russian leader of the power structures.

The inability of the British left to understand the Middle East is pathetic.  I recall arguing with commenters on this blog who supported the overthrow of the elected President of Egypt Morsi on the grounds that his overthrow was supporting secularism, judicial independence (missing the entirely obvious fact the Egyptian judiciary are almost all puppets of the military) and would lead to a left wing revolutionary outcome.  Similarly the demonstrations against Erdogan in Istanbul, orchestrated by very similar pro-military forces to those now in charge in Egypt, were also hailed by commenters here.  The word “secularist” seems to obviate all sins when it comes to the Middle East.

Qatar will be present at Geneva, and Qatar has just launched a pre-emptive media offensive by launching a dossier on torture and murder of detainees by the Assad regime, which is being given first headline treatment by the BBC all morning

There would be a good dossier to be issued on torture in detention in Qatar, and the lives of slave workers there, but that is another question.

I do not doubt at all that atrocities have been committed and are being committed by the Assad regime.  It is a very unpleasant regime indeed.  The fact that atrocities are also being committed by various rebel groups does not make Syrian government atrocities any better.

But whether 11,000 people really were murdered in a single detainee camp I am unsure.  What I do know is that the BBC presentation of today’s report has been a disgrace.  The report was commissioned by the government of Qatar who commissioned Carter Ruck to do it.  Both those organisations are infamous suppressors of free speech.  What is reprehensible is that the BBC are presenting the report as though it were produced by neutral experts, whereas the opposite is the case.  It is produced not by anti torture campaigners or by human rights activists, but by lawyers who are doing it purely and simply because they are being paid to do it.

The BBC are showing enormous deference to Sir Desmond De Silva, who is introduced as a former UN war crimes prosecutor.  He is indeed that, but it is not the capacity in which he is now acting.  He is acting as a barrister in private practice.  Before he was a UN prosecutor, he was for decades a criminal defence lawyer and has defended many murderers.  He has since acted to suppress the truth being published about many celebrities, including John Terry.

If the Assad regime and not the government of Qatar had instructed him and paid him, he would now be on our screens arguing the opposite case to that he is putting.  That is his job.  He probably regards that as not reprehensible.  What is reprehensible is that the BBC do not make it plain, but introduce him as a UN war crimes prosecutor as though he were acting in that capacity or out of concern for human rights.  I can find no evidence of his having an especial love for human rights in the abstract, when he is not being paid for it.  He produced an official UK government report into the murder of Pat Finucane, a murder organised by British authorities, which Pat Finucane’s widow described as a “sham”.  He was also put in charge of quietly sweeping the Israeli murders on the Gaza flotilla under the carpet at the UN.

The question any decent journalist should be asking him is “Sir Desmond De Silva, how much did the government of Qatar pay you for your part in preparing this report?  How much did it pay the other experts?  Does your fee from the Government of Qatar include this TV interview, or are you charging separately for your time in giving this interview?  In short how much are you being paid to say this?”

That is what any decent journalist would ask.  Which is why you will never hear those questions on the BBC.

 

 

 

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2,917 Comments

  1. Live from Kiev and the 7th circle of hell.

    http://rt.com/on-air/ukraine-kiev-police-protesters/

  2. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Jan, 2014 - 10:39 pm

    @ John Goss

    Somewhile ago you (ably) translated an unpleasant sentence in Russian from Usbstan or some similar name.

    As you’ve often spoken out for transparency and openness, would you be inclined to share with us when, where and why you took the trouble to learn Russian so well?

  3. A list of six more outrages for just one day. Imagine the hurt caused and the resentment felt if it was happening to us here.

    Israel approves more illegal settlement homes
    NEWS / Source: Al Jazeera / Thursday, 23rd January, 2014
    Government approves 381 new homes near Ramallah, bringing to 2,530 the number of new homes signed off this year.

    Israeli settlers uproot, steal 800 olive trees near Ramallah
    NEWS / Source: IMEMC / Thursday, 23rd January, 2014
    A group of Israeli settlers on Wednesday uprooted 800 olive saplings planted by Palestinian farmers in the village of Sinjel.

    PA ministry condemns Israeli attack on Al-Quds campus
    NEWS / Source: Ma’an News / Thursday, 23rd January, 2014
    The Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education on strongly condemned an Israeli raid on Al-Quds University campus in Abu Dis.

    Samer al-Issawi’s Home Raided
    NEWS / Source: IMEMC / Thursday, 23rd January, 2014
    An Israeli force raided former prisoner Samer al-Issawi’s home in the Issawiyeh District of occupied east Jerusalem, local media said.

    Israeli airstrike kills 2 Palestinians in Gaza
    NEWS / Source: Ma’an News / Thursday, 23rd January, 2014
    An Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip including one accused by Israel of ordering rocket attacks.

    http://www.foa.org.uk/

  4. Why the secrecy? Do they know that the people are getting what’s going on?

    De Blasio, in Private Speech to Aipac, Stresses Commitment to Israel
    By KATE TAYLOR
    JAN. 24, 2014

    Mayor Bill de Blasio gave an unannounced speech at a gala of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the leading pro-Israel lobby group, in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday night, assuring its members that “part of my job description is to be a defender of Israel.”

    The appearance at the New York Hilton was not listed on the mayor’s public schedule, and a reporter who tried to attend was escorted away by security.

    The seemingly secretive nature of the mayor’s appearance led to questions on Friday about the transparency of Mr. de Blasio’s young administration, especially given the mayor’s repeated pledges during last year’s campaign to oversee a more open and inclusive City Hall than his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

    Mr. de Blasio, facing sharp inquiries from reporters on Friday, offered a measured mea culpa, saying he would urge aides to be more careful to inform the public about his whereabouts.

    “We do owe you a clear understanding of where I am and what I’m doing,” the mayor said at a news conference in the Blue Room at City Hall.

    The mayor noted that the organizers of the event, held at a Midtown hotel, had requested that no journalists be allowed to attend. He said that, “in many cases,” he would make his remarks available to the public in instances where the press was not given access.

    /..
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/25/nyregion/de-blasio-in-private-speech-to-aipac-stresses-commitment-to-israel.html?_r=0

    Last time I saw him, he was red in the face shovelling snow. Heart attack imminent I thought if he didn’t watch it.

  5. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Jan, 2014 - 11:01 pm

    MARY, at 16h28, mentioned the UN Human Rights Council in a favorable way, presumably because it is dealing with a report condemning Israel for various misdemeanors.

    I wonder if MARY would agree with me that the credibility of this Human Rights Council would be greatly enhanced if it did not include, as present members, the following bastions of human rights and freedoms and good governance:

    Algeria
    China
    Congo
    Cuba
    Kazakhstan
    Kuwait
    Morocco
    Pakistan
    Russian Federation
    Saudi Arabia
    FYRPM
    United Arab Emirates ?

  6. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    24 Jan, 2014 - 11:10 pm

    (Ghoulishly) charming as ever, Mary writes the following about Mayor Bill de Blasio

    “Last time I saw him, he was red in the face shovelling snow. Heart attack imminent I thought if he didn’t watch it.”

    _________________________

    I can think of some one else who’s in line for a heart attack if she keeps shovelling her anti-Israel obsession onto every single thread so unremittingly. The only question would be : death through paroxysms of rage or grief?

  7. There is a silver lining in every cloud.

    I used to live near John Milton’s cottage in Chalfont St Giles. He went there to escape the plague.

    John Milton coined the phrase ‘silver lining’ in Comus: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634

    ‘I see ye visibly, and now believe
    That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
    Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
    Would send a glistering guardian, if need were
    To keep my life and honour unassailed.
    Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
    Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
    I did not err; there does a sable cloud
    Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
    And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.’

  8. Hold on to your hats, again. The smoke is clearing from the mirror.

    Emerging-Market Slide Deepens
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303448204579340480156732234

    ‘A slide in emerging-market currencies, bonds and stocks broadened Friday, stoking investors’ fears that a pullback from these countries was just getting started and would hit strong and weak economies alike.

    This week’s drop in emerging-market assets hasn’t matched the full-blown panic selling of last summer. But it is being guided by a growing conviction among investors that a shift in global growth—driven by developed, rather than developing, countries—will pull down all emerging markets, from the most vulnerable economies such as Turkey to sturdier economies like Mexico.’

  9. Histrionic voices from China Mary. They may be on the verge of another meltdown such as that from the US in 2008.
    Some correction on currency being rumored. These things usually are done on weekends, so if you have cash in the bank you might want to pull out. I hope I am not being unduly negative, but I have squirreled some cash like nuts in the winter :)

  10. “Halt doch mal die Klappe, Du…” In case you’re traveling abroad and are in need of proper Germanic phrases.

    Anata wa hontou ni yapari baka desuyo!

  11. @ Ben,

    Too many elected officials with their hands tied behind their backs and their balls squeezed by Zionists/Dual Israel Firsters.

    The Difference Between Judaism and Zionism.

    But AIPAC’s loosing ground: Top Israel Lobby Group Loses Battle on Iran, But War Not Over, BDS’ gaining traction, so there’s a sliver of hope.

  12. BrianFujisan

    25 Jan, 2014 - 1:01 am

    Just to Repeat…Guano –

    “I’ve a mind to add BrianFujisan to my list of trolls for this idiotic comment above: “f free and fair elections were held tomorrow in Syria ……President Assad would likely win.”

    AFTER the word ‘win’ above, THE REST READS –

    This is the result of the ethnic and religious minorities in Syria that have rallied behind President Assad, since they’ve witnessed the consistent religious sectarian atrocities committed by the U.S.-backed rebels (which the U.S. media loves to ignore or minimize).
    Assad would probably win an election since there is also simply no one else on the government side or the opposition side with his name recognition or popularity. The U.S.-backed rebel war in Syria has vastly strengthened Assad’s political hand, but you wouldn’t know it from the Western, anti-Syrian media.
    Demanding Assad’s ouster also does not reflect the situation on the ground. The U.S.-backed rebels have never controlled more than one Syrian city, namely Raqaa, which is dominated by al-Qaeda and is governed under a Taliban-style interpretation of Islamic law, which includes a strict ban on music. Thus, the rebels don’t have the ground power that would even enable them to make the demand that “Assad must go

    Guano…out of respect for Jon, and Craig i’m not going into a war of words…. But Shame on you, for calling Nevermind a Troll, then trying to back it up…i have actually met Nevermind and his Lovely Wife, thoroughly Decent People.

  13. June 15, 2013

    “Deutsche Bank, 60 times Over-Leveraged and a $72 trillion Derivative Exposure”

    https://alternativeeconomics.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/deutsche-bank-60-times-over-leveraged-and-a-72-trillion-derivative-exposure/

    January 19, 2014

    “German watchdog plans to step up FX probe at Deutsche: report”

    http://wkzo.com/news/articles/2014/jan/19/german-watchdog-plans-to-step-up-fx-probe-at-deutsche-report/

    Jan. 20, 2014, 5:53 a.m. EST

    “Deutsche Bank latest to count the cost of bank probes
    Posts €1 billion loss after taking charge for legal costs”

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/europes-big-banks-count-the-cost-of-probes-2014-01-14

  14. “The Missing TRILLIONS: Where The RICH & MIGHTY Hide The CASH. Tax Havens EXPOSED”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd2QVvWc6Nw

  15. BrianFujisan

    25 Jan, 2014 - 2:10 am

    A couple of Sections from a piece by Ajamu Baraka For Global research.

    That is why commitment to regime change, rather than to a peace based on Syrian realities and the needs of the Syrian people, is the price of admission to this week’s conference in Montreux, Switzerland. It is a conference that it would be more accurate to call a ‘war conference’ rather than a ‘peace conference’ due to U.S. Secretary of State Kerry’s insistence on keeping the scope of the agenda confined to the terms of the Geneva I communique, which calls for a political transition in Syria.

    “On January 16, Kerry restated the U.S. position on Geneva 2. ”It is about establishing a process essential to the formation of a transition government body — governing body — with full executive powers established by mutual consent,” he told reporters.

    The consent of whom? Who assumes power and will a new government represent the aspirations for democracy, civil liberties, workers’ rights, respect for religious and community difference that the “revolution” promised or is Syrian’s future already written from the Libyan experience?

    There are now voices inside and outside the Administration saying that the U.S. should abandon the Syrian National Coalition and work instead with the Salafi-Wahhabi fundamentalists who have joined together under the umbrella of the Islamic Front (IF) and are being presented as the “moderate” alternative to the radicalism of al-Qaeda. However, the Syrian people, who have a history of secularism and respect for different religions, have not signed on to a post-Assad society and government ruled by a group that has publically stated its opposition to democracy and intention to establish an Islamic state under Sharia law.

    But who cares what the Syrian people want? It does not seem to matter to the U.S. that supporting Salafi-Wahhabi fundamentalism is the antithesis of the justification it gave for supporting the “revolution” against al-Assad. It does not matter because in the end the interests of the Syrian people are of little concern to these policymakers who prioritize U.S. imperialist interests above every other consideration.

    In the long annuls of crimes by U.S. and Western imperialism, the slow, protracted destruction of the Syrian state, including the tens of thousands of lives sacrificed, is starting to emerge as one of its most significant crimes. It can be listed with crimes like the Christmas season carpet bombing of North Vietnam in 1972 and the millions murdered in Iraq during the period of sanctions and full-blown military attack.”

    More from this piece @

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/geneva-ii-us-orwellian-subterfuge-al-qaeda-acts-as-americas-boots-on-the-ground-in-syria/5366145

  16. Nevermind

    ‘exposing their simple minds’

    Exactly right they have simple minds that see through the Liberal froth of the West. Brian Fujisan again blows my simple mind by referring to democratic numbers in relation to Syria. Whatever has democracy got to do with a tyrant? Do you think the democracy of Iraq has been an improvement on the autocracy of CIAddam?

    Assad forces regularly pulled people out of their homes and murdered them or carted them off for torture. Every protest was genocidally put down. It is absolute and complete Islamophobic wishful thinking to imagine that the Syrian people would ever vote for him.

    Or, as they say in liberal circles, the next government of Syria are going to be Muslim – Get over it.

  17. BrianFujisan

    25 Jan, 2014 - 6:21 am

    Just for the fkn record… when i met Nevermind and his Wife…i was wearing middle East type head gear…..A chief Joseph t shirt… and open shirt Sporting Japan Embroidery… and yet Nevermind and his wife, were, within a short time ( half hour )..offering me a bed… if i’m down south…But that’s Real people for ya.

  18. BrianFujisan

    25 Jan, 2014 - 6:49 am

    Who are the Real War Criminals?

    The underlying intent of this latest propaganda dribble is to present the Syrian government as a criminal entity while at the same time whitewashing the real war criminals, those who have committed extensive war crimes against the Syrian people.

    Western governments and their allies –including the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar– have blood on their hands. They are directly responsible for triggering a humanitarian disaster. This is a war of aggression using terrorism as a diabolical instrument of conquest.

    Western Handlers of Al Qaeda are War Criminals

    We are dealing with staged intelligence ops: The atrocities committed by the various Al Qaeda terrorist entities integrated by foreign mercenary forces were ordered by their Western handlers who share full responsibility for these horrendous crimes.

    In a twisted logic, the crimes directly ordered by Western military alliance are casually blamed on the government of Bashar Al Assad. The victims of war are blamed for the crimes committed by the aggressor nations.

    The Al Qaeda rebels are paid killers, they follow orders, they are trained by Western, Saudi and Qatari special forces. They are sent in as part of an intelligence operation. Those responsible for these horrendous crimes are the heads of State and heads of government of NATO and GCC member states.

    The Western military alliance is pressuring Syria to surrender and accept “regime change”. If these conditions are not met, they threaten to send in more terrorists.

  19. plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…….

    ‘The usual refrain is that Westminster cannot make RBS and Lloyds do things differently because, in order to survive, these banks need to behave like other competitors: generating as much profit and paying their staff as much.

    This argument may be right if the existing business model of British banks and other financial companies is fine. But it is not. It is a business model that has caused the biggest financial crisis in 70 years and created imbalances and inequalities that threaten the future viability of the British economy. The fact that the political class, including Miliband himself, cannot even imagine state-owned banks ditching such a model is a testimony to the power of the financial industry lobby.

    From the day when RBS and Lloyds were bailed out, the Labour government was at pains to emphasise it would run them along the same lines as before nationalisation. The only thing for which Labour and, subsequently, the coalition government have used the government’s dominant shareholding position has been to restrain bonuses. But this is really missing the point.

    The problem with bonuses in the financial industry is not about their levels – if someone makes a huge contribution to the economy, he or she should be richly rewarded. The main problem is that these bonuses are given to people for doing the wrong things well – things that harm the economy in order to enrich the shareholders, the top managers of banks and other financial firms.’
    [..]

    ‘Unfortunately, few regulations have been introduced since the crisis that have materially changed the goals of financial companies. The result has been “business as usual”.

    All those complex and risky financial products that were at the centre of the 2008 financial crisis – such as mortgage-backed securities, collateralised debt obligations, credit default swaps and other financial derivatives – are back in vogue again.

    The credit rating agencies, whose incompetence and cynicism in rating those financial products has become legendary after the crisis, are still operating in the same way.

    Thanks to Help to Buy, the mortgage-lending market is nearly back to its old self. Now you can get loans that are 95% equal to the value of the house – not quite the 125% you could get before the crisis, but nearly there.’

    The Banking Industry’s Biggest Problem isn’t Bonuses or Market Share
    Ha-Joon Chang
    The Guardian, January 21, 2013
    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/the-banking-industrys-biggest-problem-isnt-bonuses-or-market-share

  20. BrianFujisan

    25 Jan, 2014 - 6:53 am

    Jon / Craig Alcanon’s 5 mins edit time is a brilliant idea….

    COS…i forgot a link –

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-who-are-the-real-war-criminals/5366179

  21. Well said Brian for both of your earlier posts. But why were you awake?

  22. Now here’s a job opportunity for someone in these financially straitened times.

    Palace Seeks Housekeeper To Run Baths
    The Royal Household has put out an advert for a “meticulous” new member of staff to join its team at Buckingham Palace.
    http://news.sky.com/story/1200754/palace-seeks-housekeeper-to-run-baths

    Well someone’s got to do it. You can’t expect them to turn the taps.

  23. Try getting HSBC to hand over your own money! Who do they think they are? They have probably got the wind up ever since they were done for money laundering in the US.

    HSBC imposes restrictions on large cash withdrawals http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25861717

    At the bottom of that page is this little snipper about BLiar’s pal Jamie Dimon (Diamond?)

    Jamie Dimon, the chairman and chief executive of the banking giant JP Morgan, saw his pay increase to $20m (£12.1m) for 2013, according to the company

  24. What is a snipper? Snippet!

  25. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    25 Jan, 2014 - 8:42 am

    @ Mary

    “At the bottom of that page is this little snipper about BLiar’s pal Jamie Dimon (Diamond?)”
    ______________________

    I suppose that the “(Diamond?)” is your courageous way of hinting that he’s Jewish?

    And then various Eminences deny that there is a nasty undercurrent of anti-semitism on this blog……

    PS – his parents were Greek (Greek Orthodox, to reassure you)

    ***************

    “Life is getting better, life is getting merrier!” (J. Stalin, ca. 1932)

  26. Further Allegations of US War Crimes in Fallujah
    by Felicity Arbuthnot / January 24th, 2014

    The United States Marine Corps … its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor…

    — Thomas E. Ricks, Making the Corps, 1997

    As the US-unleashed Grim Reaper continues to cull Iraqis in ever rising numbers, this month of the 23rd anniversary of the 1991 US-led onslaught on Iraq and just weeks away from the 11th woeful wake for the 2003 illegal invasion, yet another atrocity in a litany of those under the illegal US-UK occupation has come to light.

    Fallujah, now under attack from US installed tyrant Nuri al Maliki’s sectarian militia, armed with US supplied weapons, with the US also “… looking to provide additional shipments of Hellfire missiles to Iraq … as well as ten Scan Eagle drones and forty eight Raven drones” (Guardian, January 7, 2014), now another previously unreported US war crime of the myriad heaped on the city in 2004, also returns to haunt them.

    The Americans invaded, chillingly “house to house, room to room”, raining death and destruction on the proud, ancient “City of Mosques.”

    /..
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/01/further-allegations-of-us-war-crimes-in-fallujah/

    Terrible. These atrocities were and still are ongoing as Kerry strode the corridors of the Montreux Palace Hotel mouthing the word ‘peace’ before heading off to join the crooks and gangsters at Davos.

  27. Some here will not like this piece written by Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss about Jewish power in the US. I assume the author knows what he is talking about.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2009/10/liberals-like-to-deceive-themselves-about-jewish-power.html

  28. When I saw the headline, I thought that it referred to Sir John Scarlett late of MI6 and the JIC.

    No. It’s the Oxfam/Sodastream supporter, actress Scarlett Johansson. Her agent had better extricate her from the mess before her career follows the same path as the Sodastream share price.

    Scarlett and Oxfam chat over Palestinian land loss
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/scarlett-oxfam-palestinian.html

    ~~~

    The spooky Scarlett is now on the board of Murdoch’s Times. That fits.

  29. “Assad forces regularly pulled people out of their homes and murdered them or carted them off for torture. Every protest was genocidally put down. It is absolute and complete Islamophobic wishful thinking to imagine that the Syrian people would ever vote for him.”

    Yet in 2010 the life expectancy of someone born in Syria was considerably better than someone born in Glasgow. The literacy rate over 90% compared to 3% in Qatar. The hard line treatment of fanatical extremists brought security for the average man in the street. Our support of fanatical extremists in Syria has brought death and destruction.

    As in Iraq, which had never seen a suicide bombing prior to 2003 yet now ordinary people are being murdered daily and have been for over 10 years, I think the ordinary man in the street would prefer the security of a dictator than the misery of a democracy imposed on them by the West.

  30. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!, 24 Jan, 2014 – 10:39 pm

    “@ John Goss

    Somewhile ago you (ably) translated an unpleasant sentence in Russian from Usbstan or some similar name.

    As you’ve often spoken out for transparency and openness, would you be inclined to share with us when, where and why you took the trouble to learn Russian so well?”

    No!

    But I’ll share my open letter to David Cameron with you, because while Craig’s post mentions atrocities in Syria, there are atrocities closer to home which need attention. I have stopped being polite when I write to the Prime Minister because I just get a standard response.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2014/01/24/free-shaker-aamer-from-gitmo-an-open-letter-to-british-pm-david-cameron/

  31. Fred

    Cameron’s UK snipers started this Syrian civil war. A million protesters went to London to warn Blair what would happen when he took the lid off Saddam’s repression. Cameron avoided that and posed as a man of peace in the vote on the US bombing Assad.

    It’s like the tax system, they charge you 20% on your earnings and 20% on your spending, 20% of your income on transport and 20% of what’s left on housing. They oppress you when they put in the dictator, then they oppress you when they take him out again.

    Is it any wonder that the people are scrapping with eachother in the world?

  32. Fudgebrains

    Assad is one of those disbelievers who refuse, like the Japanese in WW2 to relinquish power without being forced by ruthless, excessive brutal opposition. After being forced into submission they became the greatest brains on earth and a bye-word for politeness.

    It takes a lot of single-minded resolution to get rid of people like these.

  33. Resident Dissident

    25 Jan, 2014 - 2:04 pm

    “I think the ordinary man in the street would prefer the security of a dictator than the misery of a democracy imposed on them by the West.”

    The ordinary man in Syria would prefer neither.

  34. “Assad is one of those disbelievers who refuse, like the Japanese in WW2 to relinquish power without being forced by ruthless, excessive brutal opposition.”

    Yup, Churchill was a lot like that as well.

  35. Similarities to Libya and Syria seen in Ukraine.

    January 24, 2014

    Libya, Syria And Now Ukraine – Color Revolution By Force

    The same forces that instigated unruly demonstrations in 2011 in Syria are now instigating such demonstrations in the Ukraine. That at least is what I am reading out of the fact that the exactly same graphics are used to train the willing-to-fight demonstrators. How else to explain the above graphics, once with Arabic and once with in Cyrillic letters?

    Accompanying the demonstrations and illegal occupations of government buildings are in both cases brutal, criminal attacks on the police and other government forces. In Syria the violence “muscle” part was done by foreign financed Jihadists while neo-nazi gangs are used in the Ukraine. The demonstrations and the attacks on the state are planned and go together. There is nothing “peaceful” in demonstrations that are only the public-relations cover for attacks on the state. But the foreign politicians and media immediately utter “concerns” and threats over completely normal government responses to them. It is a scam to justify “western” “support” for the demonstrators and to further the violence.

    The aim is “regime change” of legitimate governments by small minorities. Should the “regime” resist to that the alternative of destroying the state and the whole society is also wholeheartedly accepted.

    Several German media used of the “regime” slander for the dully elected Ukrainian government today and did some concern trolling about “peaceful demonstrators” while policemen in Kiev were doused with Molotov cocktails. It is very obvious what is going on here and the media are playing along with the politicians, militaries and secret services that are behind these “revolutions”.

    Color revolutions in the old form had become too obvious a scheme to be of further use. The concept was therefore extended to include intensive use of force and mercenaries and to support those forces from the outside with weapons, ammunition, training and other means. After Libya, where Gaddhafi forces are still fighting back, Syria was destroyed and now the Ukraine is the target. There are likely lists of other countries that shall be attacked by such means. What is really behind the Gezi-park demonstrations in Turkey and the protests in Bangkok? Are foreign powers behind these too or are they just copycat actions by local groups? How does Egypt fit in?

    And what is the best defense a legitimate government can build against and how should it react to such attacks?

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/01/libya-syria-and-now-ukraine-color-revolution-by-force.html

    Plus forum

  36. Is this the start of the end? It’s two weeks too late according to some predictions I’ve read.

    http://iacknowledge.net/hsbc-bank-on-verge-of-collapse-second-major-banking-crash-imminent/

  37. Thanks for the good links to an excellent diplomat, Someone, a man who speaks out about what he sees to be wrong, unlike so many wannabe politicians and second hand diplomats here, sunning themsleves in the light of others.

    Dummkopf!

    Und ‘mal Klappe zu!

    Fudgebrains

    I forgive you two for your personalised jibes, not that this will stop you.

    NATO is making itself unpopular to the clapping sound of some feckless spend thrift civil servants who could not care less how much taxpayers money is wasted on them and NATO. Its not just Syria that has stumped NATO, their aim and objectives have been highjacked by warmongers such as technocrat Rasmussen and piss envoy’s such as Bliar.What do they need a new headquarter for? Is the old one not spy proof enough? As long as they can carry on wiping the arse of Netanyahu and his fascists friends these NATO scribblers could not care less.
    I’m beginning to entertain the idea of letting go of the EU, its feckless commission, NATO and the open border and free trade policie. Let all these TNC’s and their brand marketeers fight for the markets and reintroduce tarifs and import taxation.

    And as a mark of respect to the new rulers of the world, BMW, now that they sorted many of the inherent technical deficiencies, should be encouraged to sell its British marque cars to Chinese off shore investors, enpowering the happy millionaires here, as well as the tax-fleeced and still slumbering British electorate with cheaper Chinese made British cars.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/construction-of-new-nato-headquarters-in-brussel-overbudget-a-944468.html

  38. Ukraine protests going global. Makes Occupy look like dilettantes.

    http://21stcenturywire.com/201…..es-go-home

  39. wherever the drones fly Margaretta D’Arcy will put her banner to. The cancer ridden peace activists, who has dared to protests against US hegemony over irish territory and their use of murderous drone’s, is festering away in an Irish jail.

    It exemplifies irish party politicians and their aims to be seen as brutal and emotionally stultified as their British counterparts.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/25/irish-president-free-margaretta-darcy

  40. When Michael D Higgins took office in 2011 we had high hopes.

    His speech –

    ‘We must seek to build together an active, inclusive citizenship; based on participation, equality, respect for all and the flowering of creativity in all its forms. A confident people is our hope, a people at ease with itself, a people that grasps the deep meaning of the proverb ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’ – our strength lies in our common weal – our social solidarity.

    Sin iad mór-théamaí na hUachtaránachta atá curtha romham agam, agus mé

    lán-dóchasach go bhfuilimid ar tháirseach ré nua d’Éirinn agus d’Éireannaigh, sa bhaile agus i gcéin. Ré nua ina mbeidh bunluacha na cothroime agus an chirt, agus spiorad na cruthaíochta, faoi bhláth: poblacht, a mbeidh Éireannaigh de gach aicme agus traidisiún bródúil aisti.

    My Presidency will be a Presidency of transformation, recognising and building on the many positive initiatives already under way in communities, in the economy, and in individual and collective efforts throughout our land. It will be a Presidency that celebrates all of our possibilities. It will seek to be of assistance and encouragement to investment and job creation, to innovation and original thinking – a Presidency of ideas – recognising and open to new paradigms of thought and action. It will aspire to turn the best of ideas into living realities for all of our people, realising our limitless possibilities – ár feidireachtaí gan teorainn.

    In implementing the mandate you have given me, I will seek to achieve an inclusive citizenship where every citizen participates and everyone is treated with respect. I will highlight and support initiatives for inclusion across Ireland and also make it a priority to visit and to support the participation of the most excluded in our society, including those in institutional care.’

    and more of the same.

    So much for fine words. I say that people are disappointing.

    http://www.president.ie/featured-posts-without-news/welcome-to-president-ie-2/

  41. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    25 Jan, 2014 - 5:07 pm

    ““Assad is one of those disbelievers who refuse, like the Japanese in WW2 to relinquish power without being forced by ruthless, excessive brutal opposition.”

    Yup, Churchill was a lot like that as well.”
    ___________________-

    Yeah, Fred, sure.

    Grow up, for Heaven’s sake.

  42. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    25 Jan, 2014 - 5:10 pm

    “The spooky Scarlett (ie, Johansson) is now on the board of Murdoch’s Times. That fits.”
    __________________

    Fits what, exactly, Mary?

    And why “spooky”? Most normal people would probably think she’s young and beautiful. You really are an old crab.

  43. You have twisted my comment by adding ie Johansson to it. My comment read:

    “The spooky Scarlett is now on the board of Murdoch’s Times. That fits.”

    and referred to the ex head of MI6 and member of the JIC, as I said and as you damn well know. Get lost and cut your crap.

  44. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    25 Jan, 2014 - 5:47 pm

    Another knee-jerk from the Resident Denigrator:

    “Try getting HSBC to hand over your own money! Who do they think they are? They have probably got the wind up ever since they were done for money laundering in the US.

    HSBC imposes restrictions on large cash withdrawals http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25861717
    _______________________

    Let me educate her.

    This is almost certainly connected with a current EU Directive, loosely known as the “Money laundering Directive”, which stipulates that transactions and purchases over a certain amount must be carried out in a way that is traceable (eg, bank transfer, bank draft, credit or debit card, cheque, etc..) and cannot be effected simply by handing over a wad of £50 or €500 notes. The Directive provides that the maximum transaction in cash from 2014 is limited to €3000. It would therefore seem logical that banks should attempt to assist the respect of this provision by limiting the amount of cash an individual can withdraw without explanantion from his bank account to that same amount.

    Readers will note that another objective of the “Money laundering Directive” – albeit an unstated objective – is to assist govts in their fight against illegal tax avoidance (both direct and indirect tax).

    I imagine that no one on this blog would support either money laundering or illegal tax avoidance.

    In conclusion, therefore, Mary’s post is an attempt to put yet another issue in the worst possible light:

    ** it does not attempt to supply relevant context

    ** and it gives the misleading impression that – quote – banks make it hard for you to get at your money. False – had the gentleman featured in the “story” Mary linked to asked his bank to transfer the £7000 to his mother’s account he would have had no trouble at all. Why didn’t he? Doesn’t his mother have a bank account?

  45. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    25 Jan, 2014 - 5:56 pm

    @ Mary

    Do you deny that you were being unpleasant about Scarlett Johansson? I quote :

    “No. It’s the Oxfam/Sodastream supporter, actress Scarlett Johansson. Her agent had better extricate her from the mess before her career follows the same path as the Sodastream share price.”
    _______________

    I assume that the above isn’t just your twisted way of expressing concern but, rather, another manifestation of your evident urge to be unpleasanr and denigratory about just about everyone.

    Here’s a deal – I’ll cut what you charmingly call the “crap” if you promise to have surgery to get your bile duct removed.

  46. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    25 Jan, 2014 - 5:59 pm

    “I forgive you two for your personalised jibes, …”
    ______________

    Thanks, Nevermind, I appreciate that.

  47. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    25 Jan, 2014 - 6:02 pm

    Habbabkuk’s question to Mr Goss

    “Somewhile ago you (ably) translated an unpleasant sentence in Russian from Usbstan or some similar name.

    As you’ve often spoken out for transparency and openness, would you be inclined to share with us when, where and why you took the trouble to learn Russian so well?”

    Mr Goss’s reply :

    “No!”

    Why so coy, I wonder?

    Would it help if I just limited my question to the “why”?

  48. For the others here. It is important to know that Oxfam are protecting Scarlett Johansson, this supporter of the Zionist construct, Israel. Sorry it is rather long but I do not have a link.

    Oxfam’s cowardly stance on Scarlett Johansson’s Israeli settlement profiteering

    Human rights defenders took some encouragement yesterday from a statement by Oxfam implicitly criticizing Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson for a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with the Israeli-occupation profiteering firm SodaStream.
    Johansson is also an “Oxfam Global Ambassador,” representing the human rights and development charity and helping it raise money around the world.

    The Oxfam statement said that it was in “dialogue” with Johannson, suggesting that action might be forthcoming.

    But yesterday, an excellent post on the growing controversy, by Robert Mackey, for The Lede blog at nytimes.com, revealed:

    A spokesman for Oxfam, Matt Herrick, told The Lede in an email on Thursday that the group had not asked Ms. Johansson to withdraw from her endorsement deal with SodaStream. Oxfam objected in 2009 when another ambassador, the American actress Kristin Davis, agreed to endorse Ahava, an Israeli cosmetics company that also has a factory in a West Bank settlement. After a wave of negative publicity, Ahava and Ms. Davis quickly parted ways.

    This is quite disturbing. Given the facts, the very least Oxfam could do is to give Johansson a clear choice: them or us. It is impossible to be an “ambassador” both for a human rights group and for human rights abusers!

    Oxfam’s earlier statement said that it had informed Johansson “that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.”

    Mackey’s post provides details about SodaStream’s presence in an illegal West Bank settlement, as well as providing information on the routine abuses in industrial zones in the occupied West Bank (among other sources, Mackey cites The Electronic Intifada’s report from last year “SodaStream ‘treats us like slaves,’ says Palestinian factory worker”).

    Baffling
    “Oxfam has been clear about settlements being a major barrier for peace, which makes it baffling that they would not ask their own Global Ambassador to end her support for a company based in a settlement and profiting from exploiting Palestinian land, labor, and resources,” Ramah Kudaimi of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, wrote The Electronic Intifada in an email.
    “We call again on Oxfam to hold up its values and cut ties with Scarlett,” Kudaimi added.
    The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation recently issued an action alert asking people to contact Oxfam America president Raymond Offenheiser, to urge that Oxfam “press Scarlett to end her deal with SodaStream or…end its relationship with the actress to send the message that supporting companies that profit from occupation and human rights abuses is unacceptable.”
    In the UK, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign has issued a similar call.

    Duplicity
    Oxfam’s hiding behind “dialogue” while failing to act is no different from the US-sponsored so-called “peace process” in which Palestinians are invited to engage in endless “dialogue” with Israel, while Israel continues to gobble up their land.
    Groups like Oxfam are supposed to provide a civil society alternative to such government duplicity. Instead, we see Oxfam emulating it in the most cowardly way.
    It’s time for Oxfam to act on its principles instead of just talking about them.
    I will be tweeting this post at @Oxfam and @OxfamAmerica as well as some of the key personnel who have been disseminating the “dialogue” statement online.
    These include @Winnie_Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam international, @Mark_Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam UK and @mattmherrick, director of media for Oxfam America.

    While Oxfam hides, the controversy and attention Johansson’s shameful deal with SodaStream is attracting only continues to grow.

    One Democratic State Group
    odsg.org/co

  49. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    25 Jan, 2014 - 6:24 pm

    “For the others here. It is important to know that Oxfam are protecting Scarlett Johansson, this supporter of the Zionist construct, Israel.”
    ___________________

    It’s not important at all.

    Why do YOU think it’s so important? Important for WHOM?

    *******************

    BTW, YOU HAVEN’T RESPONDED to the following post of mine yet :

    “@ Mary

    “At the bottom of that page is this little snipper about BLiar’s pal Jamie Dimon (Diamond?)”
    ______________________

    I suppose that the “(Diamond?)” is your courageous way of hinting that he’s Jewish?

    And then various Eminences deny that there is a nasty undercurrent of anti-semitism on this blog……

    PS – his parents were Greek (Greek Orthodox, to reassure you)”

    Why did you put “Diamond?” in brackets after Jamie Dimon’s name?

  50. Drone Warfare
    More than 2,400 dead as Obama’s drone campaign marks five years

    http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2014/01/23/more-than-2400-dead-as-obamas-drone-campaign-marks-five-years/

    and on the same website

    ‘An unprecedented attempt to discover if UK officials are complicit in CIA drone strikes in Pakistan has been stopped by the Court of Appeal.

    The court ruled that a case being brought by a Pakistani whose father was killed in a CIA drone strike on March 17 2011, could not go ahead as it could require an English court to pass judgements on the United States.

    The case was brought by Noor Khan whose father was a tribal elder from Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region. Khan’s father died as he led a tribal council. At least 18 other civilians were reported killed in the strike.

    For two years Noor Khan has been trying to get English courts to examine whether UK officials at GCHQ share information about targets in Pakistan with the CIA, and whether this could therefore make British spies complicit in murder or war crimes. The British government has consistently refused to confirm or deny whether it does share such intelligence.’

    Drone Warfare
    First UK legal challenge to CIA drones blocked by Court of Appeal
    http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2014/01/20/first-uk-legal-challenge-to-cia-drones-blocked-by-court-of-appeal/

  51. “Debt Rattle Jan 25 2014: A Bank Run in London?”

    http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-jan-25-2014-bank-run-london/

    “Bank-Run Fears Continue; HSBC Restricts Large Cash Withdrawals”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-24/bank-run-fears-continue-hsbc-restricts-large-cash-withdrawals

  52. “If and when uncertainty spreads to the dollar, the real crisis will arrive, likely followed by high inflation, exchange controls, pension confiscations, and resurrected illegality of owning gold and silver. Capitalist greed aided and abetted by economists and policymakers will have destroyed America.”

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/01/25/economists-policymakers-murdered-economy-paul-craig-roberts/

  53. This is simply about HSBC addressing money laundering and banks have always requested advance warning for cash withdrawals over £1,000. Card transactions and BACS transfers are unaffected but no; this has to be a sign that the End Times are upon us.

  54. Very few, if any, of the extreme predictions from these ‘anti-capitalist’ Global Research authors ever seem to come to fruition. One would be forgiven for thinking they are only in it for the money.

  55. Yes Anon, until it happens all the predictions are incorrect. When it does happen they suddenly gain credibility. Take a look at this.

    https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/stunnning-chart-todays-stock-market-is-eerily-reminiscent-of-1929_12042013

  56. This is Monzer Akbik mouthpiece of the Syrian Opposition, promoting the ‘Assad must go’ theme, being interviewed by Zeinab Badawi of the BBC World Service. The BBC is going its utmost to promote the removal of Assad. The 22.30 news just now on BBC1 was packed out with it.

    Monzer Akbik – Syrian National Coalition
    November 2013
    Duration: 30 minutes

    With the first formal negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition leaders, the Geneva 2 conference, planned to take place soon, Zeinab Badawi speaks to Monzer Akbik, the chief of staff to the leader of the Syrian opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Coalition.

    The UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has been in Damascus to meet President Assad in preparation for the talks. However, there is disarray in rebel ranks about whether they should attend the talks at all. So is the opposition scuppering the best chance to end the bloodshed in Syria?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03gq5yq

    I can remember this excruciating puff piece Badawi did with Mrs BLiar.
    There was another which I cannot find.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrqwtLd8dBo
    From the start

  57. “Yeah, Fred, sure.

    Grow up, for Heaven’s sake.”

    Hey shit for brains doesn’t think the British bulldog “we’ll fight them on the beaches” spirit becoming of people of colour.

    BTW, were your parents very closely related?

  58. BrianFujisan

    First, let me apologise for my disgusting remarks earlier, but feelings are running very high about Assad when diplomats are threatening to keep Assad in place. Please forgive me.

    We all know that the present atrocities committed by AlQaida in Syria are part of a continuum of the relationship between the pro-Zionist West and political Islam: The destruction of the Ottoman caliphate and the release of land to the state of Israel, the British/Zionist foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood, the spread of MB political strategy, the coalition of AlQaida and the West against the Soviet Union, and the false-flag operation of 9/11 and the War on Terror and Arab Spring are the main landmarks.

    The basis of this evolving process is a false religious doctrine which is specifically forbidden in the Qur’an: 1/ Joining politically with the Jews and Christians. 2/ Creating divisions and suspicions between Muslims. 3/ Trying to disguise the political friendship between political Islam and the West by trying to conflate individual questioning of the policy with spying, so that the leaders can keep their haram alliances under wraps.

    There is an essay by Aiman Al Zawahiri on Spying, which gathers this Muslim Brotherhood offshoot sect’s main components from which I quote:
    “We would not be exaggerating if we said that the frontline of the Crusader’s campaign, which is carried out by the US and its allies against the Muslims and their lands, is the spying networks in all its types, shapes, and forms. These networks are the basic resource that the enemy relies on for its small and large military operations. The spying networks are their eyes to see the hidden things that they cannot see and are their hands that are still extending inside the houses, in the forests, up the mountains, into the valleys, and inside the dark caves in order to catch a target that their developed technology was not able to reach. The spies arethe brigades, the soldiers, and they are present and absent at the same time. They were sent to penetrate the ranks of the Muslims generally, and the mujahidin specifically, and spread all over the lands like locusts.
    “Although the spies are busy day and night carrying out their duties in an organized and secret manner and taking directions, even orders like soldiers, still you never feel their presence. You can see their influence like killing, destroying, imprisoning, and tracking,but you do not see them. They are like Satan and his followers; they see us but we can never see them. How many heroic leaders have been kidnapped at their hands? How many houses have been destroyed by planes that do not know anything except the information and the directions of the spies? How many major mujahid were surprised to be imprisoned or traced? ‘Even the military and financial supply roads of the mujahidin, which are far from the enemy’s surveillance, were found by the spies. They even reported the mujahidin’s movements, times, number, and equipment.
    “The danger of these brigades is not limited to their ability to penetrate the people, but it exceeded that to reach the variety of nationalities, types, and descriptions of these hidden aggressive soldiers. They have among them old hunchbacked men who cannot even walk, strong young men, weak women inside their house, young girls, and even children who did not reach puberty yet.
    “Among those listed, the spy might be a doctor, nurse, engineer, employee, student, preacher, scholar, runner, or a taxi driver. The spy can be anyone because there is no limitation or conditions to choose a spy. He should only be able to deliver the information to the people with whom he is working.”

    What has changed since this was written is that we now know for certain that the Zionist West is bosom darling best friends of political Islam, and so we now know why we have been deluded by this coalition for so long, so that Al Qaida can assist the Zionist West supposedly against the interests of bogeyman Russia, but actually to serve the state of Israel, which controls both Russia and the West. ( and China and Australia and the rest.)

    In order to support this secrecy Al Qaida created suspicions about betrayal by fellow Muslims, which led to denouncements, Takfir, and vast intercommunal strife. The Muslims of the satellites of the former Soviet Union were sacrificed like sheep in revenge for the victories the AlQaida – NATO alliance won over them and the peoples of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria were sacrificed in exchange for the removal of the tyrants, whom the West no longer needs anyway to spy on and control the Muslims because they do it by IT and soft alliances with client states.

    Of course, as a Muslim I support my elders in their wisdom. They are accountable for the consequences of their actions. Allah is judge over them and I am not their judge. But of one thing I am certain. Zawahiri states that Hassousiya/ trying to work out what’s going on and Jassousiya/investigating and passing on information, are one and the same process.

    If I had not questioned the world around me I would not have found the truth of Islam. Islam commands us to use our intelligence. Politics in my opinion is lying, which I detest, and is forbidden in Islam. Therefore if the process of taking power from an alliance with the Zionist West confused the Muslims and non-Muslims about what Islam means and of what it consists, they may have unintentionally damaged Islam in spite of the benefits. That would be the calculation of the West/Zionists.

    There is an old Sufi saying that if I tell yiou the truth you benefit and if I lie, it makes you think harder so you benefit. Yes, the strategy of political Islam is based on Sufism, not the ways/sunnah of the prophet SAW. Neither you nor I can do much about others, but the Qur’an and Gospel tell us that what is in the heart comes out in the deeds. If you put in your heart that the Zionist West is in charge of everything, you will get the deeds which we have witnessed. There is no God but Allah means there is no power or judge or knower except God.

    Just trying to give you a logical explanation. Political Islam hates blogs like Craig Murrays at the best. In my opinion it was political Islam, conspiring with the British against their own Caliphate rulers in Turkey that got Islam into this mess. In my opinion politics is about the self and power under the empty slogans of truth and justice.

  59. The quality of debate here is utter crap.

    Ideally, there should be no question of whether Assad “stays or goes”. Rightly, that decision should belong to the people of Syria, and no one else.

    But there is Russia, and whatever criticism there is of Putin, Russia is not going to abandon its Syrian naval base, the only Russian naval base on the Mediterranean, I think. That would remain true no matter who was in power in Russia, just as the US would not abandon its base for the US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain no matter who wins elections in the US.

    So any “Good Guy / Bad Guy” argument about Putin and Assad is utterly irrelevant.

    For Russia to support free and fair elections in Syria, Russia would have to be sure that whoever got elected would permit that base to remain.

    So what to do? If the Western powers are serious about helping the people of Syria, there will need to be some sort of guarantee that the Russian base can stay. But of course the Western/NATO powers want rid of that base. Every damn Syrian can die for all the superpowers care; each side is as hypocritical as the other.

    Would it be a good thing if the West/NATO powers succeeded in ousting Russian naval power from the Mediterranean? Personally, I simply don’t know. Large shifts of power carry inherent dangers, and some sort of balance of power is generally the least bad alternative.

    There is an interesting parallel with Scottish independence here. An independent Scotland would probably tell Westminster that the nuclear submarines are no longer welcome in Faslane. Would a Westminster government be able to re-deploy those submarines somewhere on the English coast? The US would not accept UK (or rUK) nuclear disarmament.

    Disclaimer – wild speculation on my part: could the two problems be solved with a deal? Russia abandons its Mediterranean base in exchange for UK/rUK nuclear disarmament? Could this even mean that the atrocity in Syria can’t be ended until after the Scottish independence referendum?

  60. Oh, and just to save Habbabkuk the trouble, I’ll call myself a fucking idiot. I’m a fucking idiot, and everything I’ve written is the ramblings of a fucking idiot. OK?

    Now, let’s get back to discussing each other’s personalities, yes?

  61. @ Clark,

    Q: But there is Russia, and whatever criticism there is of Putin, Russia is not going to abandon its Syrian naval base, the only Russian naval base on the Mediterranean, I think.

    R: Russia has a plan B Russia’s Airbase Requests in Cyprus Causes Conflict with U.S., because Russia Sending Permanent Warship Fleet To Mediterranean and Russia to create Mediterranean fleet to protect Syria.

    According to HUMINT the naval base in Tartus has not been ‘left to rot,’ although some news outlets did run that kind of stories.

    Someone who has watched ‘Behind Closed Doors’ is in no way a historical [WWII] expert.

  62. It seems common sense can be found amongst all the destructive emotions which accumilate in the western hemisphere.

    “Politics is lying” and the truth and sensibilities are suppressed.

    @Guano
    What is your opinion on the Syrian diplomats opening speech at the recent gathering, a speech which I beleive has been suppressed?

    The eyes can see but the mind is blind!

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.uk/

  63. Bashar Jafari says suggestions that discussions will include talking about President Assad’s future are “a big lie”

    Syria talks: Assad’s future not on agenda, says Jafari25 January 2014 Last updated at 12:16 GMT

    Syria’s opposition and government have met face to face in Geneva for talks aimed at “saving Syria”.

    Syria’s Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jafari – part of the government delegation – told the BBC’s Lina Sinjab that his priority was “putting an end to the terrorism and the violence”.

    He said that President Bashar al-Assad’s future was not up for discussion.

    Including short video http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25893408

  64. Thought I should reprint this from the Medialens editors –

    Indented/quoted

    ‘Blair on killing as a ‘perversion of faith’
    Posted by The Editors on January 26, 2014, 8:25 am

    Blair, writing in the Observer, argues that “there is one thing self-evidently in common: the acts of terrorism are perpetrated by people motivated by an abuse of religion. It is a perversion of faith.”

    http://tinyurl.com/obg8gyx

    Says Blair, the illegal war-fighting, mass-murdering ‘Christian’.

    DE

  65. As is said. Where is the tipping point?

    So far there is no equilibrium. Isn’t justice waiting for Tony Blair and other administrators of illegal wars in Malaysia?

  66. Jay

    As I said previously, that introductory was equivalent to a paedophile arguing for his human rights. ‘Nobody can interfere with my completely loving abuse which isn’t harmful.’ Fat git with a brain problem. Shit happens, but fortunately there are outsiders to intervene in Syria and help the Syrians to put things right.

  67. “As I said previously, that introductory was equivalent to a paedophile arguing for his human rights. ‘Nobody can interfere with my completely loving abuse which isn’t harmful.’ Fat git with a brain problem. Shit happens, but fortunately there are outsiders to intervene in Syria and help the Syrians to put things right.”

    One of the things common to both Christianity and Islam is the story of Moses. He brought law and order to the people of Israel when they left the laws of Egypt behind. Made them civilised.

    In this world we are trying to be civilised internationally now as well, making laws all sovereign states must abide by and one of those laws is quite explicit, people from one sovereign state are not allowed to use violence to make changes to another sovereign state.

    No amount of character assassination by comparing people to paedophiles can change that or justify those who flaunt the law and hence wound civilisation.

  68. Talking about endtimes, has anyone come across this guy, Prof Guy McPherson.

    He reckons we’re heading for near term extinction in a matter of decades, that the earth is heating up on its own now which will destroy our habitat and that the erosion of industrial civilization will render us incapable of maintaining and servicing the world’s nuclear power plants.

    When you add in the economic collapse we see all around us and the proxy wars in ME and up to the Russian and Chinese borders it is certainly not unreasonable that those who present a more sanguine take on these signal events are asked to explain how they see these many crises unfolding in a more positive fashion.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEGlYXumguI

  69. Mary, 25 Jan 3.01pm

    I read a very good analysis in the Asia Pacific forum of similar underlying themes in the Thailand “democracy” protests.

    Middle class rage threatens democracy:
    http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2014/01/21/middle-class-rage-threatens-democracy/

  70. “Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

    http://japanfocus.org/-Mark-Selden/4065

  71. Thanks form that great link, Arbed, leaves us to wait for the middle classes to realise that they have to connect with the working classes to achieve their aim of change.

    Corruption is also a massive problem here, not just in FIFA or the FA, but with the corrupt practises and sole adherence to the City’s excesses. By the end of the month Osborne might want to eat his ‘the economy is improving’ BS and regurgitate it somewhat different, i.e inflation will eat us all.

    meanwhile in a once bright and multicultural corner of Haifa its residents are faced with eviction from and the demolition of their ancestral family homes, because the fascist rulers decreed it to happen.
    The drip drip of Apartheid and racialism some here excuse.

    http://electronicintifada.net/content/israel-destroy-another-haifa-neighborhood-evict-palestinian-residents/13072

    And why is it tennable that Syrian territory, the Gholan, is being exploited by resource raiders seeking to steal its oil and gas, if that would happen here, i.e US companies invading parts of Scotland to explore and steal gas/oil, all hell would break loose.

  72. Herbie @ 26 Jan, 2014 – 11:53 am

    The prof is an engaging speaker. He describes human extinction arising inevitably from his premise of global warming as an established fact. He begins …..

    “Climate chaos is well under way, this is a series off assessments [he points to a long list on the projection screen] conducted by large organisations. As we go down the page [the list is in chronological order], the predictions becoming increasingly catastrophic are based on more data and increasingly sophisticated modelling ….”

    Everything he then goes on to say over the next hour follows from that opening statement.

    His premise may well be true, but I and many others are not convinced it is an established fact. If he had begun with “If it is the case that climate chaos is well under way ….”, I would have no problem with his lecture, but by denying the existence of another viewpoint, he shows blinkered vision. In fact his choice of words throughout seemed designed to defy the sceptics, for example he describes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as “among the most conservative scientific bodies on the planet.” You might as well claim that Christianity is the only true religion and expect no dissenters.

    Which ever side of the fence you stand, or even if you’re sitting on it like me, the prudent course is for mankind to get its act together and live sustainably. There are, however, a few who would put short term greed before prudence. McPherson pretending the fence is all-encompassing makes it easy for
    those people to ignore the warning alarms.

  73. Hi A Node

    I’m not sure what the other viewpoint is. We’ve been living a big lie for ages now and we continue day and daily to live the lie of growth.

    Politicians, Corporations and mainstream media talk on and on about growth at the same time as they acknowledge the problems for climate. These two positions are clearly incompatible, but it doesn’t seem to bother them much, so they’re clearly deluded and deluding everyone else, apart from those who look at the dataset.

    It’s a bit like the public myths that Chomsky exposes when he explains what the official record has to say.

    Anyway, here’s Prof Al Bartlett explaining, in simple terms, other of the public illusions we’ve created for ourselves.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8ZJCtL6bPs

    Prof Guy McPherson lives sustainably and has done for some years now. His fallout with his university began when he asked that they implement more eco-friendly measures on campus. They paid lip service to such issues but refused the implications of them. You see. There it is again. Saying one thing but doing another. We’re all doing that now and on a massive scale.

    The point is that neither mainstream media nor politicians etc have the faintest strategic idea for dealing with any of the big issues facing us. They plough their own narrow little furrows paying no attention to the bigger picture, so we shouldn’t expect that the crises facing us will be telegraphed to all and sundry.

  74. The killing continues.

    Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian in north Gaza

    Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian man and wounded another in a cross-border incident in the north of the Gaza Strip.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25887076

  75. Herbie

    You point out that ever-increasing growth is incompatible with sustainability. I agree, of course, and I also agree with the implication that we should therefore adapt our lifestyles accordingly.
    The question is whether we have yet reached a point where human behaviour is significantly affecting the climate, or whether our influence is dwarfed by natural climate cycles. There is legitimate cause for debate on this matter, and you and the prof declaring that the argument’s over doesn’t make it so.

    Here’s just one reason why the question is important: If we take Guy McPherson at his word, humans have set the climate on an irreversible course and it is too late to change our ways, we are doomed regardless, so we might as well continue on our profligate way, fiddling while Rome burns.

    I agree we need to urgently address humanity’s place in the global ecology, but I think oversimplifying the issues is counter-productive.

  76. Fred
    Use the cat flap please.

  77. “Prof Guy McPherson lives sustainably and has done for some years now. His fallout with his university began when he asked that they implement more eco-friendly measures on campus. They paid lip service to such issues but refused the implications of them.”

    Well said Herbie and A Node, the global equilibrium has been very disturbed to find that their unemployment is going down, but their output and productivity has not, schocks, no growth? what calamity for these annuity addicts who can’t live without their annual appanage.

    The same situation exists at the ever expanding and unsustainable UEA, who’s env. school has provided many a blueprint for sustainable living to the world over the years. Its Tyndal centre is wholly unsustainable they don’t even measure their own ecological footprints within the different faculties.

    UEA is surrounded by three massive schools and twice daily the whole area is in deep traffic doodoo, UEA needs more than buses and cycles, its car park is bursting with cars from staff and students.
    UEA’s recycling policy is quaint and outsourced when this money should be returned and aid students. The student union is run like a businerss now and it has some 6 million profits at anyone time, not that this has much improved their Waterfront venue, only the student bars on campus get regular makeovers to the tune of hundreds of thousands.

    all in all, could do as they say others should do. UEA is not working up to its motto ‘Doing different’!

  78. “A rich man, a middle class man and a poor man beside a plate of 10 biscuits.

    The rich man takes 9 of the biscuits, and says to the middle class man “look, that poor guy is trying to take all of your biscuit”.

  79. “20. Liam Fox – Former Conservative MP – became shadow health secretary in 1999 – employs Adam Werrity as a paid intern in 2004 – by this time Adam Werrity becomes a director of health consultancy firm ‘UK Health Ltd’ (now dissolved), while Liam Fox was shadow health secretary of which he and Liam Fox were shareholders. Werrity owned 11.5% of UK Health Group and Fox owned 2.3%. In 2005 a researcher based in Mr Fox’s office worked ‘exclusively’ for the now closed Atlantic Bridge ‘charity’, which Liam Fox was the founding member; Mr Werrity became director, and which had links to radical right-wing neocons in the U.S. The researcher received funding from Pfizer Inc. He claimed ‘she has no function in any health role.’ The researcher was Gabby Bertin, who is now David Cameron’s press secretary. Received £5,000 to run his private office in October 2012 from investment company IPGL limited, who purchased healthcare pharma”

    http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/p/mps-with-or-had-financial-links-to.html

  80. January is a favourite month for booking holidays so here some suggestions.

    Why PEACE TALKS ARE GOOD for Apartheid Adventures – Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEOpL7CerIs&feature=youtu.be

    Some background on the tour company.

    http://apartheidadventures.com/tours/HOME.html

    Afterwards, if you click on “See what we have to offer” and you have a choice of more Apartheid Tours videos.

  81. A Node

    I understand your point, but still I find McPherson’s argument and data quite compelling. There doesn’t seem to be anyone seriously challenging his argument, and how could they. He’s just presenting the official data, the public record, much as Chomsky does.

    They bring it together in one place so that people can see the big picture, and funnily enough that big picture is at variance with what is deemed to be publicly understood, through media and so on.

    I think a good rule of thumb is, if media are pushing it, it’s probably bullshit and fairy tales.

    Anyway, McPherson goes into much more depth here:

    http://www.carolynbaker.net/2013/11/25/video-guy-mcphersons-climate-change-presentation-depauw-university-indiana-october-2013/

    He says that the movers and shakers know all this stuff. Why wouldn’t they. It’s on the public record.

    If you were a mover and a shaker and knew all this stuff, what would you do?

    I suppose some might just decide to have the greatest party ever…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbBYzuxyNuk

  82. BrianFujisan

    26 Jan, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    Having Read many times, and with ongoing terrorist butchery in Syria… The Russians are taking the lead at G2..why should anyone be talking to the evil terrorists committing horrendous acts in Syria –

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at G2 conference, stated that no talks will take place with terrorists in Syria. Meanwhile, “We refuse to have talks and do not recommend other parties to hold talks with them over principled considerations,” Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s NTV on Sunday
    .
    The minister noted that Jebhat an-Nusra, the Islamic state of Iraq and Levant, and other Al-Qaeda branches cannot be involved in the peace process while militants “rampage and commit terrorist acts [in Syria].”

    Lavrov has expressed doubts about including the recently established Syrian Islamic Front – a Sunni Muslim organization of Islamist rebel groups fighting against the Assad government – in the peace process.

    The Islamic Front includes organizations that were directly involved in a massacre that killed at least 32 civilians in Adra, Lavrov said, and “some or another structure can hardly be imagined to be a partner in peace talks.”
    “Militants are flowing like communicating vessels between the Islamic Front, Javhat al-Nusra, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – they go to where more money is paid,” Lavrov said….more on this @ –

    http://rt.com/news/syria-talks-lavrov-terrorists-219/

  83. Fred makes a point about arguing for human rights. If it is a human right then it exists without the need to present a case other than to prove you are human. However abhorrent the behaviour, to suggest that human rights do not apply devalues the currency. If you want to start calling people beasts, whether it may be war criminals, sex offenders or people you just don’t like, do not debase what we have by importing your own value judgments. JM

  84. “Fred makes a point about arguing for human rights.”

    Actually I didn’t, I was quoting another poster.

    My point was about rule of law.

    I agree with you entirely.

  85. Thanks Guano for your response.

    How will these changes likely to transcend the Syrian people in terms of jobs, education, land ownership.
    What will happen to Syria’s resources.

    Where does the money go at present. Into government?

    Who’s looking at the accounts…. It’s government run.

  86. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviews Syrian senior adviser to President Assad, Bouthaina Shaaban

    http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2014/01/25/401930cnns-blitzer-interviews-syrian-senior-adviser-to-president-assad-bouthaina-shaaban/

    ‘You have to be in Syria to know who’s doing what. One can’t be in Washington [like] Christiane Amanpour or in New York and then decide who is doing what. Remember the chemical [attacks]? Massachusetts [MIT] has announced the study that all that has been circulated about the chemical [attacks] was absolutely unfounded about the Syrian government. We have to acknowledge that there is a huge campaign against the Syrian Government for the last three years, and the aim is not the Syrian Government, the aim is the destruction of Syria, the destruction of the Syrian people for only the benefit of Israel. That is the true story that is happening in Syria.’

    Watch the full interview.

    ~~~~~

    Ms Shaaban was also interviewed by the BBC but for balance, they had an American woman, Ms Ratif Jouejati ‘shilling’ for the Syrian National Coalition. ie the Saudi and Qatari funded rebel rabble.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25883729

    I see Ms Jouejati is very keen on ‘Waging Non-Violence’. http://wagingnonviolence.org/?s=jouejati No irony.

  87. Fred… @ 11;44

    Some more on the international Laws you were Referring to –

    War Crimes in Libya and Terrorism in Syria : Open letter to David Cameron –

    Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

    After the involvement of the United Kingdom as part of the FUKUS-Axis (France, UK, US, Israel) in the travesty of international law (*), the murderous terrorist attack on the people of the Libyan Jamahiriya and after similar involvement in terrorist activities in Syria, there are certain questions that the members of the international community deserve to ask and to which we consider we deserve a reply, unless, of course, you think that is your prerogative to ride roughshod over international law, break norms of diplomacy and act like a boorish, arrogant, pig-headed brat and remain unaccountable.

    That not being the case, thank you for your time and here are the questions.

    1. Did your country liaise with the group LIFG in Libya during the hostilities in this country during 2011 and was this group on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office list of proscribed terrorist groups during the time that the UK was aiding it in armed conflict? This being the case, would you admit that the FCO was actually breaking UK law and as such your Foreign Secretary is liable for prosecution? Why, then, has be not been prosecuted?

    16. Would you agree that you are in part responsible for the actions being carried out by the groups your country has armed in both Libya and Syria and are you aware of the atrocities they have committed? If you deny they have committed atrocities then perhaps you would like the same sort of actions to happen to your family, since you can see no wrong? And if you do admit that the terrorists the UK supported in Libya sliced off women’s breasts in the streets, slit the throats of black Libyans because they are racists, raped young girls because they are rapists, torched buildings, attacked police stations, murdered, looted and stole private and public property then you admit that in arming and financing such groups, you stand accountable?

    notice that I have jumped from Question 1.…To the last Question -16
    All Questions worth a wee scan….and here is the Link –

    http://libyanfreepress.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/war-crimes-in-libya-and-terrorism-in-syria-open-letter-to-david-cameron/

    see also this long list of Nato crimes in Libya @

    http://libyasos.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/operation-unified-protector-nato-in.html

    Lastly …

    The Law case of the Century –

    NATO: Indictment for breach of international law in the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The military and political leaders of NATO are hereby accused of the following crimes committed in the Libyan campaign of 2011, in which the systematic breaches of international law are underlined.

    Understanding that international law exists and that it is systematically broken by certain powers with impunity, understanding that such a situation is unacceptable and that the same set of laws should apply to all, equally, with the same sets of weights and measures employed in upholding it, I hereby accuse NATO and the below-mentioned individuals, party to its acts in the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from February to September (ongoing) 2011, of breach of international law;

    1. Accusation: NATO war crimes, crimes against humanity, breach of UN Charter, Breach of UNSC Resolutions, breach of Geneva Conventions, occasioning murder, attempted murder, actions occasioning grievous and actual bodily harm, destruction of private and public property.

    2. Accused:…..there follows a list of 31 accused individuals, and more detail of the crimes. @

    http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/06-11-2011/119534-indictment_nato-0/

    Guano
    i forgive you….No harm done eh.. anger is everywhere these days… many people on Craig’s Blog…are reading of things that the MSM… keep well hidden from joe Public…and that is yet another crime – Propaganda For the Gov.com…. suppressing of truth for us

  88. BrianF; I ‘grok’ your approach to human relations. Much can be learned…

  89. Oh! Oh!….

    “We will stand with the people of Ukraine,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
    Kerry added that the United States is coordinating with its allies in efforts to resolve the situation peacefully.
    “We are working with our partners to press the government of Ukraine to forego violence, to address the concerns of peaceful protesters, to foster dialogue, promote the freedom of assembly and expression,” he said.

    Sound familiar?

  90. It’s so obvious Kerry is really just a NWO lackey and more like a Republican than a Republican.

  91. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will be relieved to have it confirmed that they have lost none of their influence in New York now that their ‘special friend’ Michael Bloomberg has been replaced as Mayor of New York by Bill de Blasio.

    De Blasio has been embarrassed by the revelation that shortly after he was elected, he failed to inform the media of his attendance at an AIPAC conference. Luckily, someone has released a secret recording of his speech. You can listen to it here:
    http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/new-yorks-liberal-mayor-speaks-at-aipac/

    As a taster, here’s a couple of snippets that caught my ear:

    “New York has a special obligation, and I feel a part of my job description [as Mayor of New York] is to be a defender of Israel.”

    ….and….

    “As Mayor of New York City, I want you to know you have a friend and an ally at City Hall, that City Hall will always be open to AIPAC, that when you need me to stand by you in Washington or anywhere, I will answer the call and I’ll answer it happily, because that’s my job”

    Perhaps one of our regular Israel defenders could suggest why this normally outspoken self-publicist was reluctant to share with his electorate the promises he made in their name.

  92. BrianFujisan

    Can we link the present turmoil in Syria with historical examples of coalition between the four parties, Western States, Zionism, Client rulers of Muslim countries and AlQaida and conclude that Blair was a participating agent of the perversion of faith he criticises in Syria?

    For example, Western States use Zionist commercial companies to outsource sensitive State functions. Assad was directly involved with extraordinary rendition by the UK. Al Qaida was directly involved with the Western overthrow of Gaddafi. So can we conclude that the situation in Syria is in fact orchestrated by all three parties consensually?

    I have always assumed that Zionism was telling the other three what to do by various forms of financial blackmail. But what if the military power, spying power, judicial power, media power are consensual and shared collectively by the leaders of business, government, religion, military etc. ? Their target is us the world’s resources and means to fulfill their ambition to monitor the slightest sign of organised resistance by the people by 24/7 monitoring of the private lives of people?

    As I read somewhere recently, if there is any resistance it will have been organised by the themselves as a sop to the people’s frustration.

    If all these powers are colluding against us we have to expose their actions equally. We are constrained by etiquettes of good behaviour from reporting the fascist tendencies of the things around us out of our control. Or is that what they want? for us to drop the etiquettes of good behaviour and allow ourselves to fall into the same nihilistic control-freak trap of West/Zio/Client/Qaida ?

    They and their refusal to submit to God’s control over everything are bound collectively for Hell/Jahannam. Patience preserve us from going there.

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  93. All four parties, I mean.

  94. BrianFujisan

    27 Jan, 2014 - 4:16 am

    Guano

    I do respect some ( very few ) religions But certainly NOT those of T BLIAR…AND G Fkn Bush…And Snotty nosed Elite cameron…FUCKING Multi-Millionaires these shits you want help from..not government but each individual..all of them ….Guano… be careful that you don’t sell you’re soul..by inviting help from these cunts… MY religion is Nature.. and in Natives… ie the first peoples before conquest…. i don’t know where you live… but believe it or not even in Scotland we have had it….Highland Clearances…Wars ect

    P.s thank you for peaceable Debate..long may it last..at this rate, we can keep Craig’s blog open

  95. Don’t want to harp on too much about this but something’s happening.

    http://iacknowledge.net/breaking-hsbc-bank-and-china-out-of-cash-china-halts-bank-cash-transfers/

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