Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Yes, Let's Allow The Syrian People To decide For Themselves, Soros Meddling In EU Affairs, Venezuela On The Brink

Yes, Let’s Allow The Syrian People To Decide For Themselves

Is common sense beginning to creep into US policy in the Middle East? Last week Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the longer-term status of Syrian President Assad would be “decided by the Syrian people.” The media reported this as a radical shift in US foreign policy, but isn’t this just stating what should be obvious? 

What gives any country the right to determine who rules someone else? 

Washington is currently paralyzed by evidence-free rumors that the Russians somehow influenced our elections, but no one blinks an eye when Washington declares that one or another foreign leader “must go.”

It’s only too bad that President Obama hadn’t followed this back in 2011 instead of declaring that Assad had to go and then arming rebel groups who ended up being allies with al-Qaeda. Imagine how many thousands of lives and billions of dollars would have been saved by following this policy in the first place. Imagine the millions of refugees who could still be in their homes, running their businesses, living their lives.
Will the Trump Administration actually follow through on Tillerson’s Syria policy statement? It is too early to tell. The President has illegally sent hundreds of US troops to fight on the ground in Syria. Current US positions in eastern Syria suggest that Washington may be looking to carve out parts of oil-rich areas of the country for some kind of future federation.

The White House followed up on Tillerson’s comments by stating that getting rid of Assad was no longer a top priority for the US. This also sounds good. But does this mean that once the current top priority, destroying ISIS, is completed, Washington may return to its active measures to unseat the Syrian president? Neocons in Washington still insist that the rise of ISIS in Syria was due to President Assad, but in fact ISIS did not appear in Syria until the US began trying to overthrow Assad. They haven’t given up on their desire to overthrow the Syrian government and they do have influence in this Administration.
If the Trump Administration is serious about letting the people of Syria decide their fate he needs to take concrete steps. Rather than sending in more troops to fight an ISIS already on its last legs, he must bring US troops home and prohibit the CIA from further destabilizing the country.

The name of George Soros in recent decades has been repeatedly mentioned in connection with different mass movements around the globe that frequently resulted in some form of coup d’etat. Unsurprisingly, there’s been a lot of accusations going his way both across the globe and in the US, so it is hardly a coincidence that his name was mentioned by Gateway Pundit when the so-called “women’s marches” against President Donald Trump were on the rise in the US.

As it’s been reported by the Financial Times, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban carries on his struggle against his ideological adversary billionaire George Soros, calling the financier and his Open Society Foundations fund a bunch of “paid political activists.” This time, the efforts of Victor Orban are aimed at closing the Central European University (CEU), founded by Soros in the republic some 3 decades ago. The right-wing Fidesz Party, led by Orban, submitted to the National Parliament a bill that would introduce changes in the system of higher education in the country. The new legislation will require foreign universities to change their legal status, making them accountable to the government of Hungary. At the same time the Central European University came under heavy fire in the Hungarian media, while all the NGO affiliated with the billionaire are now running the risk of closure.

In turn, the New York Times would report:

In Hungary, especially those who are succored by George Soros, and accusing the groups of wanting to flood Europe with Muslims and transforms” Christian “in the multicultural stews of left-wing globalism.

The EU has been knee deep in the struggle to put a stop the flow of refugees for years now, but it is opposed by volunteers from non-governmental humanitarian organizations who created a whole network for the delivery of tens of thousands of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia to Europe. It is the humanitarian organizations that today provide those suffering in the above mentioned regions with the means and skills for those who found themselves struggling at home necessary to reach Europe as safely as possible.

Today, such “humanitarian organizations” specialized in the delivery of refugees to Europe are represented by well-established associations – the French Medecins Sans Frontieres, the Spanish Proactiva Open Arms, the Maltese The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS).

MOAS is funded by the Tangiers Group funds, but Soros has also been sponsoring it. According to Disobedient Media, last year the organization received 500 thousand euros on “search and rescue operations” from the major global activism group Avaaz. It, in turn, was founded by the advocacy group of public policy Moveon, owned by the above mentioned American financier.

Venezuela security forces on Tuesday clashed with anti-government protesters seeking, in part, to remove justices from the Supreme Court accused of unconstitutionally favoring the ruling party, while supporting lawmakers locked in a bitter dispute with the administration of President Nicolas Maduro and the Supreme Court. 
Previously, the opposition-controlled National Assembly had called for the march ahead of a vote by lawmakers to remove members of the country’s top court, less than a week after judges attempted to seize the power of Congress. The protest was the most violent since hundreds of thousands flooded the capital last year demanding the embattled president’s ouster.

Tuesday’s vote, however, was canceled after national guardsmen blocked the marchers as they attempted to cross Caracas’s main avenue, using teargas, pepper spray and water cannons to disperse the crowds. Ramon Muchacho, mayor of the Caracas Municipality of Chacao - an opposition stronghold - reported nine injuries including a gunshot victim, after the clashes with police and a rival protest by government sympathizers. 
Security forces,  including the Bolivarian National Police, or PNB, and the Venezuelan National Guard, or GNB, fired tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons in attempts to disperse protesters in Caracas.

Clashes ensued as security forces attempted to repel protesters, some of whom began to throw rocks and other objects at the security officials. The Venezuelan opposition accused Maduro's regime of preventing a peaceful protest from occurring.  "Hundreds of police and guards move to block access to Caracas for a mobilization, but against insecurity not a single one moves!" Henrique Capriles Radonski, governor of Venezuela's Miranda state and a key opposition leader, said in a statement Tuesday.
As discussed last week, the protests come after Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice, or TSJ, last week said it would assume the National Assembly's duties - a ruling it later reversed, particularly after Venezuela's chief prosecutor, Luisa Ortega, expressed "great concern" about the measure, which she said violated the constitution. The opposition said the TSJ's move was akin to a coup d'etat in favor of Maduro's regime.

The South American country is facing a political, security and economic crisis in which basic goods such as food and medicine are in short supply, unavailable or unaffordable. Venezuela has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. The opposition's efforts to remove Maduro from power have been dismantled by the TSJ, which is accused of ruling in favor of Maduro's regime.
Today's protests are expected to continue. Earlier on Tuesday, President Maduro, speaking on state television, pledged to continue governing regardless of opposition actions.

On March 29, the Supreme Court of Venezuela dissolved the country's elected legislature, allowing Venezuela's top court to write future laws. The court is filled with allies of Venezuela's socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, while the legislature is dominated by Maduro's opponents, and the court's ruling was seen as the latest step on Venezuela's descent into a full-fledged dictatorship. But following international outcry—as well as the appearance of cracks within Maduro's own party—the court reversed itself just a few days later, on April 1.

Thus, the uneasy standoff between Venezeula's legislature and executive is set to continue. Last week's episode is only the latest reminder of the tendency of socialism to lead to dictatorship, as identified by the Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek in The Road to Serfdom.

In 1944, when he wrote his book, Hayek noted that the crimes of the German National Socialists and Soviet Communists were, in great part, the result of growing state control over the economy. As he explained, growing state interference in the economy leads to massive inefficiencies and long queues outside empty shops. A state of perpetual economic crisis then leads to calls for more planning.

But economic planning is inimical to freedom. As there can be no agreement on a single plan in a free society, the centralization of economic decision-making has to be accompanied by centralization of political power in the hands of a small elite. When, in the end, the failure of central planning becomes undeniable, totalitarian regimes tend to silence the dissenters—sometimes through mass murder.

Hayek was fortunate enough to live to see the defeat of both the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes. Unfortunately, there are still places where Hayek's most dire warnings remain relevant. Nicolas Maduro's Venezuela is one such place.
Beginning in 1999, when Maduro's predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, became President, the government has played an ever-increasing role in the Venezuelan economy. Price and wage controls were put in place, trade was restricted, and private property was expropriated—often without compensation. Partly as a result of those economically illiterate actions (the fall in the price of oil, which Venezuela depends on, did not have such dire consequences in any other oil-rich country), Venezuela's economy tanked and public opposition to the ruling regime increased. Thus, the 2015 parliamentary election saw the opposition to Maduro's leftist policies capture a super-majority in the country's National Assembly.

Unfortunately, socialism, in spite of its manifest failings and Hayek's warnings, refuses to go away. Wannabe socialists are thus destined to learn not from history, but from their own mistakes. In the meantime, ordinary people suffer.

If Terrorists Targeted Russia, Who’s Behind the Terrorists?

Eleven have been killed and dozens more injured in what is an apparent terrorist attack on St. Petersburg’s metro system. Western analysts are assigning possible blame for the attack on either terrorists operating from Russia’s Chechnya region, or possibly terrorist groups affiliated with fronts fighting in Syria.

Western analysts are also attempting to cement a narrative that downplays the significance of the attacks and instead attempts to leverage them politically against Moscow. A piece in the Sydney Morning Herald titled, “Fears of a Putin crackdown after terror attack on St Petersburg metro,” would attempt to claim:

So who is to blame? No one has said officially. The BBC’s Frank Gardner says suspicions will centre around Chechen nationalists or an Islamic State inspired group wanting payback for Putin’s airstrikes in Syria. Or it could be a combination of both. 

Putin has in the past justified crackdowns on civilian protests by citing the terror threat. But will he this time, and will it work?

At least one pro-Kremlin commentator has linked the attack to the recent mass demonstrations organised by Putin’s political opponent.

Yet, in reality, the demonstrations and the terrorist groups being implicated both share a significant common denominator – both are openly long-term recipients of US-European aid, with the latter group also receiving significant material support from US-European allies in the Persian Gulf, primarily Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

US-European support for foreign-funded organizations posing as “nongovernmental organizations” (NGOs) running parallel efforts with terrorist organizations undermining Moscow’s control over Chechnya have been ongoing for decades.

Beyond Chechnya, the United States’ own Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) would admit in a 2012 memo (PDF) that:

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran). 

The DIA memo then explains exactly who this “Salafist principality’s” supporters are (and who its true enemies are):

The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.

In essence, the “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) was a creation of the US in pursuit of its attempted regime change agenda in Syria. The current, self-proclaimed “Islamic State” is situated precisely in eastern Syria where the DIA memo claimed its state sponsors sought to place it. Its role in undermining Damascus and its allies’ attempts to restore peace and order to the Syrian state is obvious.

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