‘Ode to Joy,’ followed by chaos and despair

White Helmets promo concert in NY featured “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven, a favorite of Hitler.

Author’s points are well taken except he decries exclusion of Turkey from the EU. Now Erdogan’s government policies are on full display. which actually fits right in with the sordid, aggressive policies of the EU/NATO.

From the NY Times

DEC. 24, 2007

London

LAST week, European Union leaders put an end to a decade of diplomatic wrangling and signed the Treaty of Lisbon, which outlined a complete overhaul of the organization, including the creation of a permanent post of European Union president to represent Europe on the world stage. During the ceremony at Lisbon’s grandiose Jerónimos Monastery, a choir performed Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” in the background. While the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, first performed in 1824, may seem an innocuous choice for the official anthem of the European Union (it was declared such in 1972), it actually tells much more than one would expect about Europe’s predicament today.

The “Ode to Joy” is more than just a universally popular piece of classical music that has become something of a cliché during the holiday season (especially, oddly, in Japan, where it has achieved cult status). It has also been, for more than a century, what literary theorists call an “empty signifier” — a symbol that can stand for anything.

In early 20th-century France, the Nobel laureate Romain Rolland declared it to be the great humanist ode to the brotherhood of all people, and it came to be called “the Marseillaise of humanity.” In 1938, it was performed as the high point of the Reichsmusiktage, the Nazi music festival, and was later used to celebrate Hitler’s birthday. In China during the Cultural Revolution, in an atmosphere of total rejection of European classics, it was redeemed by some as a piece of progressive class struggle.

In the 1950s and ’60s, when the West German and East German Olympic squads were forced to compete as a single team, gold medals were handed out to the strains of the “Ode to Joy” in lieu of a national anthem. It served as the anthem, too, for the Rhodesian white supremacist regime of Ian Smith. One can imagine a fictional performance at which all sworn enemies — Hitler and Stalin, Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush — for a moment forget their adversities and participate in the same magic moment of ecstatic musical brotherhood.

There is, however, a weird imbalance in this piece of music. In the middle of the movement, after we hear the main melody (the “joy” theme) in three orchestral and three vocal variations, something unexpected happens that has bothered critics for the last 180 years: at Bar 331, the tone changes totally, and, instead of the solemn hymnic progression, the same “joy” theme is repeated in the “marcia turca” ( or Turkish march) style, a conceit borrowed from military music for wind and percussion instruments that 18th-century European armies adopted from the Turkish janissaries.

The mode then becomes one of a carnivalesque parade, a mocking spectacle — critics have even compared the sounds of the bassoons and bass drum that accompany the beginning of the marcia turca to flatulence. After this point, such critics feel, everything goes wrong, the simple solemn dignity of the first part of the movement is never recovered.

But what if these critics are only partly correct — what if things do not go wrong only with the entrance of the marcia turca? What if they go wrong from the very beginning? Perhaps one should accept that there is something of an insipid fake in the very “Ode to Joy,” so that the chaos that enters after Bar 331 is a kind of the “return of the repressed,” a symptom of what was errant from the beginning.

If this is the case, we should thus shift the entire perspective and perceive the marcia as a return to normality that cuts short the display of preposterous portentousness of what precedes it — it is the moment the music brings us back to earth, as if saying: “You want to celebrate the brotherhood of men? Here they are, the real humanity …”

And does the same not hold for Europe today? The second stanza of Friedrich Schiller’s poem that is set to the music in “Ode to Joy,” coming on the heels of a chorus that invites the world’s “millions” to “be embraced,” ominously ends: “But he who cannot rejoice, let him steal weeping away.” With this in mind, one recent paradox of the marcia turca is difficult to miss: as Europe makes the final adjustments to its continental solidarity in Lisbon, the Turks, despite their hopes, are outside the embrace.

So, when in the forthcoming days we hear again and again the “Ode to Joy,” it would be appropriate to remember what comes after this triumphant melody. Before succumbing to the warm sentiment of how we are all one big family, I think my fellow Europeans should spare a thought for all those who cannot rejoice with us, all those who are forced to “steal weeping away.” It is, perhaps, the only way we’ll put an end to the rioting and car burnings and other forms of the Turkish march we now see in our very own cities.

Top British NATO General wants cyber-attacks to trigger article 5 collective response

From RT

https://www.rt.com/uk/379371-nato-cyber-attack-war/video/

March 3, 2017

NATO’s top European commander wants cyber-attacks to be considered a strong enough reason to trigger the alliance’s Article 5 which contains the principle of collective self-defense.

General Adrian Bradshaw, the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe accused Moscow of cyber and informational attacks, telling the BBC the West needs “a grand strategy” to combat Russian “hybrid warfare.”

Currently, Article 5 declares that an “armed attack” against one or more NATO member states shall be considered an attack against all of them, leading to an appropriate collective response.

For Bradshaw, however, this definition is not broad enough to ensure the effective operation of the Alliance.

The West must respond by using all the tools at its disposal – economic, political, diplomatic as well as military – to deter Russian aggression”, the general reportedly said.

He wants the interpretation of Article 5 to be stretched to include other pretexts for collective self-defense other than an “armed attack”, which is what the wording of the article currently states.

Continue reading

EU not welcome: Serbian Parliament shouts down Mogherini [VIDEO]

From Fort Russ and RT

March 4, 2017 –
By J. Arnoldski –
The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, was met with a “less than warm welcome” in the Serbian parliament on March 3rd amidst her tour of the Balkans. Chants of “Serbia! Russia! We don’t need the EU” left Mogherini sitting uneasily in her seat.
Political analyst John Bosnitch explained this event to RT as “a door slammed shut in her [Mogherini’s] face.” Calling the protest in the Serbian parliament a “fair bit of resistance”, Bosnitch emphasized, is “an understatement of the first calibre.”
“The message that she was given was: ‘Go away; the people of this region do not want to join the EU…and please don’t try and start a Hitler-style two-front war fighting the English and fighting the Serbs at the same time, because you’ll lose,'” Bosnitch clarified.
When asked by RT why Mogherini was met with such fierce rejection by Serbian representatives, Bosnitch posited that the EU is a “carbon copy” of NATO, the “most powerful, aggressive military force on the earth” that bombed Serbia in 1999 “without any legal grounds” and subsequently partitioned the country.
In Bosnitch’s words, “Hey guys, now that we’ve bombed you, divided you, impoverished you, and demonized you, we’d like to invite you to become a lower member of the EU” is the real translation of Mogherini’s attempt to coax Serbia into the union.
“There is no outlet for the EU in this battle,” Bosnitch says. In his opinion, even if the Serbian people “are dragged into the EU kicking and screaming”, they would contribute to the implosion of Brussels’ union just as much they would while remaining outside of the EU. In this spirit, Bosnitch likened Serbia’s resistance to “European integration” to Brexit.

“If they take Serbia in, they get a trojan horse. If they don’t get Serbia in, they have another force along with the English and Brexit ripping the EU apart,” Bosnitch concluded.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/03/eu-not-welcome-serbian-parliament.html

EU and Turkey close airspace to Russian warplanes fighting Daesh

What is clear is that the EU, Turkey, and the U.S., despite their smooth words to the contrary, will use all means at their disposal to stop Russia and keep ISIS. They intend for  ISIS/Daesh to go on and win. They have not changed their goal.

The public can trust these smiling deceitful NATO players, or judge them by their actions and history. Games over.

Global Research, December 21, 2015
Sputnik News 19 December 2015

Europe and Turkey closed their airspace for Russian Long-Range Aviation planes carrying out airstrikes on Daesh positions in Syria, forcing Russian pilots to reroute, Deputy Commander Maj. Gen. Anatoly Konovalov said Saturday.

According to Konovalov, Russian pilots had to leave for Syria from Russia’s northernmost Olenegorsk military airport in order to bypass Europe and then cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Syria.

“There were certain issues that excluded the possibility of performing the tasks by other means. Europe would not allow us, Turkey would not allow us,” Konovalov said.He added that even in such conditions, Russia’s Long-Range Aviation proved its capability to perform the assigned tasks.

Russia has been conducting airstrikes on positions of IS, a group outlawed in many countries including Russia, in Syria since late September at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The original source of this article is Sputnik News

TTIP — Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership — negotiations fall apart following mass protest in EU

Global Research, October 06, 2015
TruePublica 5 October 2015

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron is accusing those who oppose the expansive trade deal with the United States of making up horror stories about the agreement in order to poison the pact.

That agreement is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and critics all along the political spectrum are exposing the enormous dangers of the deal — all without having to invent a single scary story.

Back in January the EU Commission published their response to the consultation on TTIP and it was found that 97% of the 150,000 responses opposed the trade deal. These respondents represented the general public. The biggest petition in the EU’s history was then presented that contained the signatures of 2 million citizens (now nearly 3 million) opposed to TTIP. Both were rejected as were proposals even for a simple hearing of the European Citizens Initiative.

Then in April this year, thousands of protestors took to the streets of cities all over Europe as unelected officials of the EU Commission continue to ignore the concerns of its citizens.

In June, fellow MEPs from many political parties who are also opposed to TTIP joined Ukip in standing, shouting, booing and clapping to show their dissatisfaction with proceedings. MEPs were due to set out their first formal position on TTIP since negotiations started two years ago and the meeting descended into chaos (video). The meeting was then stopped by the commissioners.

Meanwhile David Cameron has persistently attempted to call out those working to derail the deal. Cameron has accused critics of inventing false scare stories whilst urging business chiefs to help make the case to overcome sustained attacks from left-wing opponents and warned Britain would “rue the day if we miss this opportunity” to open up transatlantic markets.

Cameron, who (increasingly) seldom listens to the general public or elected members of parliament representing the electorate will no doubt use all his powers to get this deal though to redeem himself after being called incompetent by his own military generals and by the Obama administration over Syria.

In sharp comparison, both Paris and Berlin want the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS) of TTIP removed from the transatlantic trade treaty currently being negotiated with Washington. This is a game changer.

Matthias Fekl, the French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, told EurActiv France that he would “never allow private tribunals in the pay of multinational companies to dictate the policies of sovereign states, particularly in certain domains like health and the environment”.

That was back in January. Nine months later and France has now reinforced that message and gone one big step forward.

In an interview with Sud-Ouest, Matthias Fekl threatened to “call a complete halt” to the TTIP negotiations if things do not change. EurActiv France reports. America has shown no desire to change any of the major issues that have been challenged.

Fekl told the French newspaper that he believes the “total lack of transparency” in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations poses a “democratic problem”.

Fekl, the Minister of State for Foreign Trade called on the United States to show “reciprocity” in the negotiations. “American members of parliament have access to a much higher number of documents than we do in Europe,” he said.

The German people are now taking a stand and now it is being reported in the USA that sentiment is going against the deal – “It is entirely possible that the U.S. could seek to conclude the deal in the next few years only to find that European governments are unwilling to risk the ire of their voters”.

Matthias Fekl, explained that, ever since the negotiations began in 2013, “These negotiations have been and are being conducted in a total lack of transparency,” and that France has, as of yet, received “no serious offer from the Americans.”

The reasons for this stunning public rejection had probably already been accurately listed more than a year ago. Jean Arthuis, a member of the European Parliament, and formerly France’s Minister of Economy and Finance, headlined in Le Figaro, on 10 April 2014, “7 good reasons to oppose the transatlantic treaty”. There is no indication that the situation has changed since then, as regards the basic demands that President Obama is making. Arthuis said at that time, that he was opposed to;

  1. Private arbitration of disputes between States and businesses. Such a procedure is strictly contrary to the idea that I have of the      sovereignty of States. …
  2. Any questioning of the European system of appellations of origin. According to the US proposal, there would be a non-binding register, and only for wines and spirits. Such a reform would kill many European local products, whose value is based on their certified origin.
  3. Signing of an agreement with a power that legalizes widespread and systematic spying on my fellow European citizens and European businesses. As long as the agreement does not protect the personal data of European and US citizens, it cannot be signed.
  4. Allowing the United States proposal of a transatlantic common financial space, who adamantly refuse a common regulation of finance, and they refuse to abolish systematic discrimination by the US financial markets against European financial services.
  5. The questioning of European health protections. We do not want our animals treated with growth hormones nor products derived from GMOs, or chemical decontamination of meat, or of genetically modified seeds or non-therapeutic antibiotics in animal feed.
  6. The signing of an agreement if it does not include the end of the US monetary dumping. Since the abolition of the gold convertibility of the dollar and the transition to the system of floating exchange rates, the dollar is both American national currency and the main unit for exchange reserves in the world. The Federal Reserve then continually practices monetary dumping, by influencing the amount of dollars available to facilitate exports from the United States. As things now stand, America’s monetary weapon has the same effect as customs duties against every other nation. [And he will not sign unless it’s removed.]
  7. Allow the emerging digital services in Europe to be swept up by US giants such as Google, Amazon or Netflix. They’re giant absolute masters in tax optimization, which make Europe a “digital colony.”

France is now considering “all options including an outright termination of negotiations” says France’s Trade Minister.

Concern over the impact of TTIP has united disparate groups from French farmers to German constitutional lawyers and politicians on the left and right.

50,000 demonstrators are expected to gather in front of Berlin’s central train station on October 10th to protest both the TTIP and a similar deal between the EU and Canada, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). That event is part of the week-long International Days of Action against corporate-friendly trade deals. Two thirds of Germans are now opposed to the deal, hence the expected strong turn-out.

The European public, already heavily opposed to TTIP also oppose America’s bombings of Middle Eastern countries, which have forced hundreds of thousands of refugees into Europe. European leaders are being compelled to question their relationship and alliance with the United States.

David Cameron, already in breach of basic democratic principles back in Britain by sending special forces ground troops and RAF bombing missions in Syria is of course used to supporting the dismantling of democracy, no matter whether at home or abroad.

Universally ignored by almost all media outlets in every western country, including Britain, whose governments has called for Assad to go was a respectable YouGov report that concluded some 55% of Syrians wanted Assad to stay.  Cameron had one third less of the electorate supporting him at the last election than Assad had of his people.

The result of America’s constant pressure and bullying of its european ‘allies’ to get involved in the bombing of countries where millions of refugees are expected in the year ahead, is that the european people are, in greater numbers, questioning the rationality of their elected leaders. This has only added to EU citizens suspicions over secret trade deals such as TTIP with America and is not only empowering them but forcing their own leaders to rethink the order of importance.

America seems to have forgotten Europe’s own pressures. Between the economic crisis that has rumbled on since 2008, the threat of a “Grexit” earlier in the summer, security concerns and the rise of terrorism and now the humanitarian crisis unfolding on Europe’s borders with the arrival of so many refugees, the political unity of Europe is at stake. There is a clear inability by politicians to unite on major challenges that may well pull the EU apart, say politicians – TTIP is no longer an imperative on the agenda.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership-ttip-negotiations-fall-apart-following-mass-protest-in-the-eu/5479985

European Parliament surrenders to Washington on Russia policy

By Stephen Lendman
Posted on Global Research, June 13, 2015

The European Parliament, Council of the European Union and European Commission share EU legislative functions separate from individual member states’ right of initiative power to propose and enact new laws for their respective countries.

During a June 10 plenary session in Strasbourg (two days ahead of Russia’s National Day), MEP’s adopted a resolution (494 to 135 with 69 abstentions) urging EU reassessment of relations with Moscow because of Ukraine crisis conditions.

The measure includes a litany of “Russia-bashing” accusations and Big Lies claiming:

  • “Russia’s direct and indirect involvement in the armed conflict in Ukraine…”
  • it’s annexing Crimea;
  • violating Georgian territory; and
  • regional economic coercion and political destabilization.

“(B)ecause of its action in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine, (Russia) can no longer be treated as, or considered, a “strategic partner,” the resolution said.

It urged countering Russian hard truths irresponsibly called propaganda – wanting important sources of news, information and analysis like RT International and Sputnik News replaced by Western-style government sponsored disinformation and Big Lies on issues mattering most.

Fact: Russia-bashing has nothing to do with its nonexistent interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs, violating its sovereignty, annexing its territory, or waging war.

Fact: It has everything to do with attacking Russia’s sovereign independence and vitally important opposition to America’s imperial agenda.

Fact: It’s about promoting regime change – wanting pro-Western stooge governance replacing Putin.

Fact: It’s wanting Russian resources and population exploited – strip-mining the country for profit, transforming its people into serfs.

Fact: It’s about European nations partnering with America’s dirty agenda at the expense of their own interests – risking another major war on their territory.

Russian lower house State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said “(e)verybody understands who tells the Europeans what they should do, and why.”

Fact: It’s about America wanting other nations doing its fighting and dying for it to enrich its privileged interests more than already.

On Thursday, US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey said America needs “a network of allies.”

“We really want to play an away game, and we need teammates to do it. The very last thing we want is to play a home game.”

Fact: It’s about letting police state justice override fundamental human and civil rights.

Fact: It’s about replacing democracy with money-controlled tyranny.

Fact: It’s about creating a world more unfit to live in than already.

Fact: It’s a loud and clear call to everyone to unite against a monster threatening fundamental liberties too precious to lose.

The European Parliament’s resolution was based on a report by hardline Lithuanian MEP Gabrielius Laandsbergis irresponsibly saying:

“With its aggression against Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, the Russian leadership has put our policies at a crossroads. It’s up to the Kremlin to decide now which way it will go – cooperation or deepening alienation.”

Not a shred of credible evidence suggests Russian direct or indirect aggression in Ukraine. If any existed it would have been revealed long ago.

During his 13th annual marathon Q & A session in April, Putin forthrightly said “(i)n regard to the question of whether or not our troops are in Ukraine, I’ll say directly and definitely that there are no Russian troops in Ukraine.”

An April 16 Kremlin tweet said “Putin on the rumours that Russian troops are deployed in #Ukraine: I want to make this clear, there are no Russian troops in Ukraine.”

Russia alone continues forthright efforts for diplomatic conflict resolution. Anti-Russian propaganda drowns out hard truths. It exceeds the worst of Cold War vitriol. It risks the unthinkable – possible confrontation between the world’s two most formidable nuclear powers.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net .

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PMCentral time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/european-parliament-surrenders-to-washington-on-russia-policy/5455362

The $160 Billion cost: Why Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych spurned EU’s offer, on 20 Nov. 2013

Why didn’t Yanukovich tell the Ukrainian people? Why did he keep this information hidden?

By Eric Zuesse
March 27, 2015
Global Research

“Burying the lede” is a way that ‘news’ professionals hide or “bury” things while ‘reporting’ on them; and the biggest example of this in modern times occurred when Germany’s Spiegel (Mirror) magazine headlined its cover-story on 24 November 2014, ”Summit of Failure: How the EU Lost Russia over Ukraine.” On the magazine’s front cover, it was instead bannered as “Kalte Krieger — Geschichte einer Machtprobe: Wie Merkel und Putin Europa an den Rand des Abgrunds brachten” which translates as: ”Cold Warrior — History of a Showdown: How Merkel and Putin brought Europe to the Edge of the Abyss.” This was a very lengthy report, 7,000 words, but the historically blockbuster revelation in it, which the global press has ignored, and/or themselves buried by similarly mentioning it without headlining it or leading with it (nor even linking to it), was this (which would have been a fair headline for that news report, since it’s 99% of that news-report’s real value): “EU’s Offer to Ukraine Would Have Cost Ukraine $160B.” (I hope that the headline that I used above is even better, however.)

And, so: now you know why, on 20 November 2013, Yanukovych turned that offer down — and the rest was history (the “Maidan” demonstrations, and all the rest, producing the Ukrainian civil war, and the new and much hotter version of the old Cold War, including all of those economic sanctions against Russia, and the resulting boom in nuclear weapons on both sides, and the thousands of corpses in the eastern Donbass region of what used to be Ukraine).

This blockbuster revelation was in merely a brief, 231-word passage within the 7,000-word article, and nothing further was said about it than these mere 231 words.

Here it is (as given in Spiegel’s online English edition of the article’s second half — and the article’s first half was here, but it contains nothing of this blockbuster revelation):

Kiev, Presidential Palace

Nov. 19, 2013

At Barroso’s behest, Füle traveled to Kiev once again to meet with Yanukovych – and the Ukrainian president got straight to the point. In talks with Putin, Yanukovych told Füle, the Russian president explained just how deeply the Russian and Ukrainian economies are interconnected. “I was really surprised to learn about it,” Yanukovych said. … “There are the costs that our experts have calculated,” Yanukovych replied. ”What experts?” Füle demanded to know. The Ukrainian president described to his bewildered guest the size of the losses allegedly threatening Ukraine should it sign the agreement with the EU.

Later, the number $160 billion found its way into the press, more than 50 times greater than the $3 billion calculated by the German advisory group. The total came from a study conducted by the Institute for Economics and Forecasting at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and it was a number that Yanukovych would refer to from then on.

“Stefan, if we sign, will you help us?” Yanukovych asked. Füle was speechless. ”Sorry, we aren’t the IMF. Where do these numbers come from?” he finally demanded. “I am hearing them for the first time.” “They are secret numbers,” Yanukovych replied. “Can you imagine what would happen if our people were to learn of these numbers, were they to find out what convergence with the EU would cost our country?”

Though that was a poorly-written passage, it does clearly state why Yanukovych couldn’t possibly have accepted the offer. The passage makes no connection between, on the one hand, “the Russian president explained just how deeply the Russian and Ukrainian economies are interconnected. ‘I was really surprised to learn about it,’ Yanukovych said,” and, on the other, “‘There are the costs that our experts have calculated,’ Yanukovych replied.

Did Putin’s statement cause Yanukovych to request this new analysis from Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences? We just don’t know. The reporters didn’t say. Maybe they didn’t even wonder about that. All that the article tells us is: the latter scientific institution calculated that if the EU’s offer were to be accepted, the cost to Ukraine would be $160B.

Why, then, was this blockbuster news-item buried, so that virtually no one noticed it? Perhaps the key passage to provide a hint to explain this burying (which hint appears in the article’s first half) was “Berlin continued to focus its efforts on Tymoshenko [whom the Ukrainian government had imprisoned on a corruption conviction, but Merkel — like Obama — was insisting that she be freed from prison], it failed to recognize the real danger: The Russian Federation’s power play.” The only actual “power play” that the article describes from Russia was “the Russian president explained just how deeply the Russian and Ukrainian economies are interconnected. ‘I was really surprised to learn about it,’ Yanukovych said.” Apparently, Putin’s “danger,” his merely “explaining” that, was, to the writers of the Spiegel ‘news’ report, a “power play.” The anti-Russian slant is blatant there.

In other words: This article’s writers, evidently, needed to find a way to present a negative view of Russia, and especially of Putin. Therefore, focusing their story and presentation around this particular blockbuster revelation (which went in the contrary direction) was out of the question for them — and especially for their employer.

So: now you know why Yanukovych, the very next day after his learning about the $160B price tag of the EU’s offer, turned it down, and also why this revelation is still news, more than a year later — just as it was news to me until I happened upon it only today.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-160-billion-cost-why-ukraines-viktor-yanukovych-spurned-eus-offer-on-20-nov-2013/5439125

New Greek leadership takes action; will Greece leave the Euro?

Questions:

  • Why was the German post-WWII debt repayment structured in a completely different way than that of Cyprus and Greece?
  • How much pressure was exerted by corporations such as Ford, GM, IBM, ITT, Coca Cola, and banks on the German debt repayment structure so that their investments and income were not lost?
  • Does Germany have a special status politically with the European elite? Is it a country “too big” or “too important” to fail?
  • Will Germany repay their debt to Greece?

Greek Exit from the Euro!
By Andreas C. Chrysafis
Global Research, February 14, 2015

There is a serious political and economic clash going on deep inside the chambers of the EU. The newly elected Tsipras government has triggered a tsunami that may not be so easily contained. The northern states dominated by Germany and braced by the ECB have now also regressed to blackmailing tactics. What they feared the most is about to happen; a battle has ensued between David and the mighty Goliath – everyone knows the end result! It may also cause a domino effect over other member-states and that’s the worst nightmare facing the EU institution.

All eyes are directed at the new charismatic young Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his unorthodox Finance Minster Yianis Varoufakis. A Greek Revolution of the Mind has sprung into action. Immediately since taking office the Greek government, has forbidden Troika to return to Greece and cancelled the selling off of the Piraeus Ports to private investors. That shocked the Eurogroup.

The Greek nation had had enough of Troika’s failed austerity measures and it was decided in Athens that economic colonization through the suffering of the Greek people could no longer be tolerated under any terms.

Unless Greece renegotiates and restructures the unsustainable Troika loans, it will be impossible to repay it and the nation will remain in debt for generations to come. Greece’s request to renegotiate Troika’s terms was a wise move but was rejected by the Eurogroup. Exacerbating tension between the two camps, the Greek government also decided not to adopt further EU sanctions against Russia.

That did not go down well either. But one thing is for certain; the government of Greece is no longer prepared to play ball and be dictated to by a group of unaccountable and unelected EU Troika bankers at the expense of the people and its integrity as a free democratic nation.

Knowing its limitations and economic strength, Tsipras’ government behaved responsibly in wanting to re-structure the country’s debt within the boundaries of the EU. The refusal of assistance by the Eurogroup but especially by Germany came of no surprise. Actually Germany should have behaved much better because after WW2, it also faced a similar situation. Instead, it chose to behave appallingly against Greece.

In fact Germany faced total bankruptcy from the strains of the Second World War but the Allied nations came to its rescue with a grand master plan; a plan that was based on a different school of thought on how to help a country out of debt.

The London Agreement on German External Debts known as the 1953 London Debt Agreement was established as an Agreement that in fact set a precedent for debt relief for poorer economies.

This Debt Relief Agreement negotiated by the Western allies (Britain, the USA, France and bankers) provided an inspired master plan to help Germany recover financially rather than to destroy it completely. The idea behind the plan prescribed was that a country; is more likely to repay its debts through economic recovery rather than economic suppression and stagnation!

For Greece (and Cyprus for that matter), the EU-Troika did precisely the opposite. It destroyed its economy; robbed people’s bank accounts (bail-in); caused massive recession; suppression; shut down banks; raised taxation and triggered massive unemployment. Troika’s economic rescue plan was actually based on economic colonization and its success depended, on firstly destroying all hope of recovery for the ultimate control.

Compare what the Allied Debt Relief Agreement did for Germany with what Troika’s Mnimonio rescue plan for Greece (and Cyprus) has done, and a contrasting picture emerges; one that shows double standards and sinister motives!

Analytically, Germany’s debts after the war amounted to 38.8 billion marks and the Agreement signed on 27 February 1953 reduced the debt to 14.5 billion, which amounts to a 62.6% reduction. The repayment period was also stretched out over 30 years and allowed Germany to postpone some payments until such time as re-unification. It was decided that the burden of servicing the entire debt if not reduced, meant that the German economy stood: little chance of a recovery!

The philosophy behind the Agreement was a masterpiece of the road to recovery, and it worked wonders. First and foremost, the Agreement provided that Germany was able to pay its external debt while maintaining a high level of growth and improving living standards of its population. In fact, it meant that they were allowed to pay back the loan without getting poorer. That was a superb piece of economic strategy that could only benefit both parties!

To achieve this, creditors agreed to help Germany in a number of positive ways such as but not limited to:

Reduce importation to assist and manufacture at home those goods that were formerly imported (equally helping with job-creation); creditors agreed to reduce their own exports to Germany; supported and purchased German exports to restore a positive trade balance; the debt service/export revenue ration, was not to exceed 5% and depended on how much the economy could afford; debt re-payment would derive directly from export revenue income; the Agreement also contained the possibility of suspending payments while conditions were re-negotiated in the event of reduced available resources. On the 3rd of October 2010 the last payment was made with 69,9 million euros. This payment was considered to be the last one to its creditors.

This is the kind of formula necessary for economic recovery and not Troika’s austerity, which destroys nations and reduces citizens to poverty. With the help of a hard working population Germany has become one of the most economically powerful and influential countries in Europe.

Compare what Troika’s rescue plan did for Greece, and it becomes obvious that the Resolutions (Mnimonios) introduced were never meant to restore economic recovery and growth like the 1953 London Debt Agreement did for Germany; they were geared to dominate through debt dependency.

In fact under the terms of the 1953 London Agreement on German External Debts, Germany owes the Greek people 476 million reichmarks ($14 billion) that Greece was forced to give Nazi Germany during its occupation. If 3% interest had been accrued over 66 years, the loan corresponds in today’s terms to $93 billion. The Tsipras government is now demanding that money back and if successful, it certainly would open up Pandora’s box for Germany.

If things remain unchanged, Greece will never be in a position to repay its crippling debt but will only enter into a deeper crisis. The annual interest payments alone (in billions) on a 350 billion debt would keep the nation in utter poverty and that’s precisely what the new government wants to avoid.

Equally, one can reasonably ask: what happened to all those billions borrowed? Where did it all go? Certainly it did not go to improving public services, the infrastructure and hospitals or to making people affluent and living with dignity. In fact the majority of those funds borrowed went straight back into the coffers of German and EU banks to bail themselves out at the expense of citizens. It is reported that less than 10% of the bailout money borrowed ever reached the people; that is what modern economic colonization does to poorer nations!

The new government recognized this and for the first time ever an elected government decided not to follow the footsteps of its predecessors who failed the people of Greece miserably.

A well-organized exit from the Euro currency and return to the Greek drachmas cannot be discounted. In fact it would be a wise decision because Greece will then determine its own exchange rate to help its economy grow free from EU constraints. As an EU member state, the UK did not adopt the Euro currency so why not Greece or Cyprus for that matter!

Actually, exit from the Euro may be more beneficial in the long run. However, there are various conflicting theories made by economists of a Euro exit but they all agree on one thing: that exit from the Euro, would not be easy but not impossible. The final word however, whether to retain the Euro or not, rests with the Greek people under the terms of a referendum. With transparency, well-informed citizens, can make well-informed decisions and the decision whether to retain the Euro or not, belongs to the people and not to a temporary government.

Out of the ashes of despair, Greece will rise up again and will succeed. It will do so because the nation’s dignity has been restored with thousands of people flooding the streets of Athens, Salonika and major cities to endorse their support for the new government. Unquestionably, a nation that has the full support of its people it will never fail.

However, there are certainly clouds looming on the horizon for both nations but on the positive side, Greece may be the catalyst to bring about changes for the better and that hope may also spread to Cyprus – we sure hope so for Cyprus’ sake!

Andreas C Chrysafis
Author – Writer – Artist
www.facebook.com/ACChrysafisAuthor
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http://www.globalresearch.ca/greek-exit-from-the-euro/5431292

Saker: End of 2014 report and a look at what 2015 might bring

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/12/2014-end-of-year-report-and-look-into.html

Introduction:
By any measure 2014 has been a truly historic year which saw huge, I would say, even tectonic developments. This year ends in very high instability, and the future looks hard to guess. I don’t think that anybody can confidently predict what might happen next year. So what I propose to do today is something far more modest. I want to look into some of the key events of 2014 and think of them as vectors with a specific direction and magnitude. I want to look in which direction a number of key actors (countries) “moved” this year and with what degree of intensity. Then I want to see whether it is likely that they will change course or determination. Then adding up all the “vectors” of these key actors (countries) I want to make a calculation and see what resulting vector we will obtain for the next year. Considering the large number of “unknown unknowns” (to quote Rumsfeld) this exercise will not result in any kind of real prediction, but my hope is that it will prove a useful analytical reference.

The main event and the main actors
A comprehensive analysis of 2014 should include most major countries on the planet, but this would be too complicated and, ultimately, useless. I think that it is indisputable that the main event of 2014 has been the war in the Ukraine. This crisis not only overshadowed the still ongoing Anglo-Zionist attack on Syria, but it pitted the world’s only two nuclear superpowers (Russia and the USA) directly against each other. And while some faraway countries did have a minor impact on the Ukrainian crisis, especially the BRICS, I don’t think that a detailed discussion of South African or Brazilian politics would contribute much. There is a short list of key actors whose role warrants a full analysis. They are:

  1. The USA
  2. The Ukrainian Junta
  3. The Novorussians (DNR+LNR)
  4. Russia
  5. The EU
  6. NATO
  7. China

I submit that these seven actors account for 99.99% of the events in the Ukraine and that an analysis of the stance of each one of them is crucial.  So let’s take them one by one:

1 – The USA

Of all the actors in this crisis, the USA is by far the most consistent and coherent one.  Zbigniew Brzezinski, Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland were very clear about US objectives in the Ukraine:

Zbigniew Brzezinski: Without Ukraine Russia ceases to be empire, while with Ukraine – bought off first and subdued afterwards, it automatically turns into empire…(…)  the new world order under the hegemony of the United States is created against Russia and on the fragments of Russia. Ukraine is the Western outpost to prevent the recreation of the Soviet Union.

Hillary Clinton: There is a move to re-Sovietise the region (…) It’s not going to be called that. It’s going to be called a customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that, (…) But let’s make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it.

Victoria Nuland: F**k the EU!

Between the three, these senior US “deep-staters” have clearly and unambiguously defined the primary goal of the USA: to take control of the Ukraine to prevent Russia from becoming a new Soviet Union, regardless of what the EU might have to say about that.  Of course, there were other secondary goals which I listed in June of this year (see here):

As a reminder, what were the US goals in the Ukraine: (in no particular order) [Editor: I’ve substituted Saker’s colors for words]

  1. Sever the ties between Russia and the Ukraine [Still possible ]
  2. Put a russophobic NATO puppet regime in power in Kiev [Still possible ]
  3. Boot the Russians out of Crimea [Failed ]
  4. Turn Crimea into a unsinkable US/NATO aircraft carrier [Failed ]
  5. Create a Cold War v2 in Europe [Compromised ]
  6. Further devastate the EU economies [Still possible ]
  7. Secure the EU’s status as “US protectorate/colony” [Still possible ]
  8. Castrate once and for all EU foreign policies [Still possible ]
  9. Politically isolate Russia [Failed ]
  10. Maintain the worldwide dominance of the US dollar [Compromised ]
  11. Justify huge military/security budgets [Achieved ]

I have color-coded these objectives into the following categories:
Achieved – black 
Still possible – too early to call – blue
Compromised – pink
Failed – red

Current “score card”: 1 “achieved”, 5 “possible, 2 “compromised” and 3 “failed”.

Here is how I would re-score the same goals at the end of the year:

  1. Sever the ties between Russia and the Ukraine [Achieved ]
  2. Put a russophobic NATO puppet regime in power in Kiev [Achieved ]
  3. Boot the Russians out of Crimea [Failed ]
  4. Turn Crimea into a unsinkable US/NATO aircraft carrier [Failed ]
  5. Create a Cold War v2 in Europe [Still possible ]
  6. Further devastate the EU economies [Achieved ]
  7. Secure the EU’s status as “US protectorate/colony” [Achieved ]
  8. Castrate once and for all EU foreign policies [Achieved ]
  9. Politically isolate Russia [Failed ]
  10. Maintain the worldwide dominance of the US dollar [Compromised ]
  11. Justify huge military/security budgets [Achieved ]

New score card: 6 “achieved”, 1 “possible”, 1 “compromised” and 3 “failed”

At first glance, this is a clear success for the USA: from 1 achieved to 6 with the same number of “failed” is very good for such a short period of time.  However, a closer look will reveal something crucial: all the successes of the USA were achieved at the expense of the EU and none against Russia.  Not only that, but the USA has failed in its main goal: to prevent Russia from becoming a superpower, primarily because the US policy was based on a hugely mistaken assumption: that Russia needed the Ukraine to become a superpower again.  This monumental miscalculation also resulted in another very bad fact for the USA: the dollar is still very much threatened, more so than a year ago in fact.

This is so important that I will repeat it again: the AngloZionist Empire predicated its entire Ukrainian strategy on a completely wrong assumption: that Russia “needed” the Ukraine.  Russia does not, and she knows that.  As we shall see later, a lot of the key events of this year are a direct result of this huge miscalculation.

The US is now facing a paradox: “victory” in the Ukraine, “victory” in Europe, but failure to stop a rapidly rising Russia.  Worse, these “victories” came at a very high price which included creating tensions inside the EU, threatening the future of the US shale gas industry, alienating many countries at the UN, being deeply involved with a Nazi regime, becoming the prime suspect in the shooting down of MH17 and paying the costs for an artificially low price of gold.  But the single worst consequence of the US foreign policy in the Ukraine has been the establishment of a joint Russian-Chinese strategic alliance clearly directed against the United States (more about that later). Continue reading