Putin: People aren’t running from Assad in Syria, but from ISIS

Putin: People aren’t running from Assad in Syria, but from ISIS

    

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the fight against terrorism should be a coordinated international effort, and Russia is taking steps to form such a coalition. He added that in Syria it should go hand in hand with an internal political process.

“Of course, we know that there are different approaches to Syria. By the way, people are running away not from the regime of Bashar Assad, but from Islamic State, which seized large areas in Syria and Iraq, and are committing atrocities there. That is what they are escaping from,” RIA Novosti quoted Vladimir Putin as saying on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

“They [IS] kill hundreds and thousands of people, burn them alive or drown them, cut off people’s heads. How are people supposed to live there? Of course, they run away.”

He stressed that it is necessary to fight terrorism in all forms, saying, “We really want to create some kind of an international coalition to fight terrorism and extremism.”

The Russian president revealed that he had personally discussed the creation of an anti-IS coalition with the leaders of the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and other partners.

The war on terror in Syria should be complimented by an internal political process, Putin said, stressing that President Assad is ready to take certain steps in this direction.

“We do realize that political changes are needed and we are talking to our partners in Syria,” Putin told journalists, adding that a “general understanding” on the issue has been elaborated.

“The president of Syria, by the way, agrees with it, up to calling early parliamentary elections, establishing contacts with the so-called ‘healthy’ opposition and involving them in governance,” Putin said, adding that this is an internal matter for Syria. “We do not impose anything, but we’re ready to contribute to internal dialogue in Syria,” the Russian president emphasized.

Answering journalists’ questions about whether Russia is ready to engage in military operations to combat IS, the president said it was premature to speak about Moscow’s participation.

“We see what is happening now: the US Air Force is carrying out strikes. Yet, the efficiency of these airstrikes is poor. It is premature to say that we are ready to do it [too]. But we are already providing Syria with quite strong support in terms of equipment, training of military servicemen and weapons,” Putin said. He reminded that Moscow and Damascus have certain military contracts and they are being fulfilled.

“We are considering various options, but so far what you are talking about is not on the agenda,” Putin said.

Since March 2011, more than 220,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict.

Sick claims by israelis on social media that photos of Palestinian boy’s brutalization were faked. Overlooking fact IDF has admitted it

The ‘Pallywood’ smear: Viral images of Palestinian boy’s brutalization bring backlash

Israel’s defenders on social media are pushing a “Pallywood” narrative in reaction to the video gone viral documenting a soldier’s brutal treatment of a child in the occupied village of Nabi Saleh last Friday. Shortly after the UK’s Daily Mail publicized the incident, it revamped its headline, claiming Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi was a “prolific ‘Pallywood star’“and then claimed that “Questions have been raised over the authenticity …”  of the event and the proliferation of the video.

The UK’s Guardian got into the act: “a pressing question has emerged: what did the images show? The reality is as complex as it is unsettling and contradictory.”

And Ynet is all over the story, alleging the entire incident was staged.

The #Pallywood hashtag is prolific on Twitter. Here’s an example from infamous Israeli lawfare group Shurat HaDin:

Let us be clear about the media trend: Israeli hasbara is fighting back against the exposure afforded to activists as a result of last week’s embarrassing photos and video. No doubt the Tamimi’s are getting famous. But that is because they refuse to stop protesting the theft of their village land and spring. Denied any means of self defense, they dare to expose the world to the reality of their lives while the cameras are rolling. They have no guns or bombs, they fight with media and exposure. But the scenes they record are very real. And the whole point is to capture the violence they face, as a matter of routine, on camera. Rosa Parks also planned her heroic action on a Montgomery bus in 1955. But was it staged? Of course not.

It appears that some people are just now waking up to this reality. That these protests, like other protests and demonstrations throughout history, are intended to garner attention and change facts on the ground. If the cameras were not there, armed Israeli forces would still chase, capture, arrest and detain Palestinians, including their children. The point of the recordings for the Tamimi family is to get the message out to the world.

The reason the video went viral is that most people object to a policy of targeting, abducting and imprisoning children. But in Palestine, soldiers enter villages, sometimes in broad daylight, sometimes in the middle of the night, and take children away.  Here’s another example of grabbing a child in Nabi Saleh:

Are the soldiers being set up to star as villains in a “Pallywood” video? If so, one would think Israel should stop targeting Palestinian children. And stop invading villages in the middle of the night. But no. Ayed Abu Eqtaish, account­ability program director at Defense for Children Internation­al-Palestine (DCIP), told The Arab Weekly 700 children were put on trial in Israeli military courts in 2014.

The detention of each of those children is deeply painful for the families. The soldiers are the villains of the occupation. While the media tells us Israel only acts in reaction, the reason Palestinians protest in Nabi Saleh and Bil’in and other villages and towns across Palestine is in reaction to the theft of their land and water and to protest the conditions of life under occupation. They pay a price for this. Israel arrests children to suppress the non violent resistance to the theft of their land.

Oddly, this revelation is making big waves. That’s a good thing.

Armed Israeli forces target, chase and capture Palestinian children all the time, routinely. The country tries to suppress the news by arresting and attacking journalists and photographers. Or  breaking their equipment as documented in the Oscar nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras. A case of Pallywood meets Hollywood? You be the judge. Documentaries like Budrus and 5 Broken Cameras are not just art, they tell real stories about real events.

Even dead Palestinian children are suspected of acting in Pallywood videos. According to blogger Thomas Wicker,  20-year-old Salem Shamaly, executed by an Israeli sniper in the Gaza neighborhood of Shujaiya and caught on film by Joe Catron /International Solidarity Movement during the hours of a humanitarian ceasefire in Israel’s 51 day 2014 summer slaughter in Gaza, was another example of Pallywood. But let’s get back to the kids.

Jana Jihad

When Palestinian children are recorded they are particularly dangerous. For they run the risk of gaining recognition and an international following, and appearing as if (think about it) they are normal kids.

Last spring The Arab Weekly reported Janna Jihad, a 9 year old from Nabi Saleh, was rising to fame, “dubbed the youngest amateur journalist in the Palestinian terri­tories”.  Janna records her life on a mobile phone telling the story of her village through the eye of a Palestinian child: “From Israeli tear-gas to stun grenades, night raids and even losing friends, Janna’s child­hood is often interrupted with dramatic events in the village of Nabi Saleh.”

At the end of her videos Janna turns the camera on her own face and signs off “with her name like a professional.” She’s become popular on Facebook, many of her videos have gone viral. Little Janna Jihad circa 2011, confronted soldiers after her very good friend Mustafa Tamimi was killed by Israeli military forces. She saw him dead on the ground. Pallywood? Or real life. How is a parent to protect a child from an invading force whose leaders regard them as blades of grass, in the famous “mowing the lawn” metaphor for cutting down Palestinian resistance?

Janna Jihad told CNC news (video):

We want, we want the children to be like all the children in the world and we want to be free and we want to be like, with peace. And we don’t want anybody in our land and our country to be terrorists

Larry Derfner described the denial fiasco that swept the upper echelon of Israeli diplomatic and military defenders following the release of video footage of the killings of two Palestinian teens, Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu Daher during the Nakba Day– a catastrophe for ‘Pallywood’ conspiracy theorists.

According to Defence of Children International/Palestine, in January 2015 alone 163 Palestinian children were abducted and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system, February – 182, March – 182, April – 164. And it continues month after month after month. Very few of those abductions, often harrowing scenes of children being taken from the arms of parents, activists or friends, are recorded on video. When they are, Israel supporters call it Pallywood. But make no mistake it is very real.

So why do they do it, the villagers and the Israeli military? Do the Nabi Saleh villagers pose a security threat to Israel, in their little village located deep in the West bank.  It’s really not that complicated. The village land and the village spring, like a lot of land in West Bank, is beautiful, resourceful and desirable.  So desirable Israel declared it an “antiquities site” to prevent Nabi Saleh residents from accessing the fields around the spring. Yet curiously, antiquities sites are not damaged by settlers, only Palestinians.

One way to deal with this issue might be to allow residents of Nabi Saleh access to their spring.

According to Brad Parker, International Advocacy Officer & Attorney for Defense for Children International Palestine, Palestinian children experience systematic and widespread human rights violations as a result of Israel’s prolonged military occupation of Palestinians. Yet the idea that Palestinian children have agency, are able to think for themselves, speak for themselves, tell their own stories in their own way, has created a completely abhorrent situation for Israel advocacy.

Hence, Israeli advocacy groups like UK Media Watch and CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) claim “activists often place their children in danger to score propaganda points” and the pliable media swiftly follows suit and completely revamps their coverage. The soldier “was ambushed by the young girl,” the Daily Mail claims. As if when a soldier came to take one of our siblings, we’d wave goodbye and say ‘See you in a few months honey’. These children did not choose to grow up under occupation. The Tamimi’s are recording their lives so that the world will listen. They are doing this to get your attention.

It’s true. This is what occupation looks like at night, there are hundreds of videos like this on the internet.

So where’s the Palestinian Gandhi? A few of them are living in Nabi Saleh. Gandhi would be a Pallywood star too, convicted of protest organizing and participating in illegal marches. Look at this headline: Nabi Saleh’s Bassem Tamimi convicted by Israeli courts based on coerced testimony from 15-year-old boy. Did that get the world’s attention? No. Bassem and his wife have just recently been arrested again. 

The jails are full of Palestinian village children who protest the confiscation of their land. Soldiers grab the children, torture and imprison them until they sign something in Hebrew against the leader organizing the protests. It’s either your land or your kids. So fun to be a Pallywood star! And these villages have the miserable fortune of being placed where Israel covets their land, where settlers are actively expanding illegal settlements against international law, and the soldiers are there to serve that expansion. That’s why they go to these villages.

Arab Weekly, Palestinian girl rises to fame:

The young girl told The Arab Weekly she used to jot down her feelings in a locked journal every night but then decided to turn to documenting her activities and emotions on video. She carried her mobile camera to Jerusalem and Ramallah talking about free­dom of prayers, arrests, suppres­sion of protests and Jewish settle­ments….

In her videos, she says Israeli attempts to suppress the protest will not dissuade people, but will inspire them to fight for libera­tion. “If we stop protesting, they will take the rest of the lands,” she explained.

However, Jana’s mother says the girl is sometimes afraid, “I don’t push her one way or the other. She’s free to decide if she wants to participate in the protest,” Tamimi told The Arab Weekly.

Getting ready for the Friday protest, Jana wrapped a black and white keffiyeh around her neck to cover her nose from a faint-causing gas as her mother asked her about her plans, “I don’t know, we’ll see,” she replied.

Bassem Tamimi, a leader of the popular resist­ance move­ment in Nabi Saleh and a distant relative of Jana’s, said his group was subject to criti­cism for allow­ing children to protest. He told The Arab Weekly that there is no safe place for children in the village in the first place.

“A tear-gas canister broke my daughter’s arm while she was sitting at home. We care more about our children than anybody else,” he said.

Palestinian parents teach their children about life because the occupation forces this life on them. If you think the Israeli military is caught up in a trap, being forced to arrest, detain, torture and imprison Palestinian children– it could simply change its policies.

While the Daily Mail, Shurat HaDin, Michael Oren, CAMERA and pro Israel trash sites like Algemeiner, and scores of others, feel no compunction about employing the slanderous term Pallywood, can you even imagine the reaction to the term Jewywood being referenced to Jewish suffering, death or Israeli propaganda for that matter?

 

 

 

 

 

Something needs to be done about israel, The devastating effects of night raids on Palestinian families

The devastating effects of night raids on Palestinian families

SEE ALSO Israeli night raids a routine terror for Palestinian children

IDF night raids, an everyday occurrence in the occupied territories, ensure that Palestinians cannot feels safe in the one place where safety should be assured.

By Salwa Duaibis

Israeli night raid, Salem, West Bank, 26.8.2015. (Activestills)

Over the years, the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC) has collected testimonies from Palestinian women in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza on a whole range of issues. However there is one issue, above all others, that stands out due to the frequency with which it occurs and the devastating impact it has on women, their children and entire communities: night raids conducted by the Israeli military into Palestinian villages and homes, which have been taking place on a nightly basis in the occupied territories for the past 48 years.

In a sample of 100 instances of night raids conducted since 2014, the one common thread mentioned by the women who provided testimonies to WCLAC was a sense of terror. The raids usually begin at around 2.00 a.m. with aggressive banging at the door or simply an explosion to blow it in. Masked soldiers storm the house as the family tries to comprehend what is happening. Sometimes a family member will be arrested, other times not. Sometimes there is violence, sometimes not. The house will be searched with reports of damaged furniture; wardrobes emptied with contents thrown to the floor, while soldiers leave muddy boot marks throughout the house.

Perhaps the most devastating impact these raids have is on the children. Mothers report that their children have problems sleeping after experiencing a night raid. Some children become aggressive, others wet their beds. No one feels safe in the one place where safety should be assured.

According to a recent report by WCLAC, it is estimated that the military conducts nearly 1,400 night raids each year, with over 65,000 since military law was imposed on the West Bank in 1967. These figures do not even include the more frequent military incursions that occur into Palestinian villages and cities during the day. Furthermore, our testimonies reveal that every night raid occurs on average within two kilometers of an Israeli settlement, and even closer to a road used by settlers. The simple fact is that to guarantee the protection of hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians living in occupied territory, the army must engage in mass intimidation of the local population.

While this strategy is largely successful, it would be naïve to assume that it does not generate resentment and anger. The question is how long can this anger be contained and how is it likely to manifest itself?

Salwa Duaibis is the head of the International Advocacy Unit at the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC).

Kerry wants Syria turned into another Libya but without USA involvement

Kerry ‘Convinced’ of Need for Syria Ground Invasion

NOVANEWS
Image result for john kerry cartoons

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

“There will need to be people on the ground. I am convinced there will be at the appropriate moment,” said the U.S. Secretary of State.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hinted that a ground invasion of Syria was forth- coming, but that U.S. troops would not play a part.

Until now, the White House has been careful to avoid suggestions of U.S. soldiers on Syrian soil, instead coordinating an alliance of airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, purpo-rtedly against the Islamic State group.

RELATED: 10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy off Militarism

But in the interview with CNN,Kerry said that he believed the moment would arrive for Middle Eastern countries to send soldiers.

“We are talking about very specific ways to do that with other countries in the region,” he said. “There will need to be people on the ground. I am convinced there will be at the appropriate moment.” “The president has made it very clear that American troops are not part of that equation,” he added. “But I do know that there are others who are talking about it. There are people in the region who are capable of that.”

The official declined to say which countries might partake in the ground operation.

Last week, the U.S. firmed up a  deal with Turkey to  start taking part in the fight against the Islamic State, after six months of resistance. Ankara announced its firstairstrikes on  neighboring  Syria  Saturday  using smart bombs without crossing into Syrian airspace.

However, Kurdish fighters allied with the leftist PKK guerrillas have accused Turkey

Corbyn “Quantitative Easing for People rather than for the Banker’s gambling losses”

New large scale housing, energy, transport and digital projects: Quantitative easing for people instead of banks

Quantitative Easing for People: Jeremy Corbyn’s Radical Proposal

by ELLEN BROWN

Dark horse candidate Jeremy Corbyn, who is currently leading in the polls for UK Labour Party leadership, has included in his platform “quantitative easing for people.” He said in a July 22nd presentation:

The ‘rebalancing’ I have talked about here today means rebalancing away from finance towards the high-growth, sustainable sectors of the future. How do we do this? One option would be for the Bank of England to be given a new mandate to upgrade our economy to invest in new large scale housing, energy, transport and digital projects: Quantitative easing for people instead of banks.

As his economic advisor Richard Murphy further explains it:

People’s quantitative easing is . . . a highly directed process where the debt that is . . . repurchased has been deliberately created and issued either by a green investment bank or by local authorities, health trusts and other such agencies for the specific purpose of funding new investment in the economy at the time when big business and financial markets are completely failing to deliver the scale of investment that is needed to get the UK working again and to restore our financial prosperity.

According to the Positive Money group:

Ideas in a similar vein have been advocated or at least suggested by notable economists including J M Keynes (1), Milton Friedman (2), Ben Bernanke (3), William Buiter (4) and Martin Wolf (5).  Most recently, Lord Adair Turner (6) has proposed similar ideas, highlighting that ‘there are no technical reasons to reject this option’.

Perhaps, but critics have found plenty to criticize. Peter Spence writes in the UK Telegraph:

A victory for Jeremy Corbyn in the next general election would put Britain on a collision course with Brussels and condemn the UK to “Zimbabwe-style ruin”, experts have warned.

. . . Tony Yates, a former Bank economist and now a professor at the University of Birmingham, said: “Down that road leads monetary policy ruin. . . . That’s what Zimbabwe was doing, where they ended up paying all their bills by printing new money.”

Spence also quoted Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who said, “The reason why one doesn’t even start on this conversation is the removal of any discipline on fiscal policy that comes from that.”

The Bogus Hyperinflation Threat

Dire warnings of Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation have been leveled against quantitative easing (QE) ever since the Federal Reserve embarked on it in 2008. When the European Central Bank announced in January 2015 that it, too, would be engaging in QE – along with the US, the UK and Japan – alarmed commentators warned of currency wars, competitive beggar-thy-neighbor devaluations and hyperinflation. But QE has been going on since the late 1990s, and it hasn’t happened yet. As Bernard Hickey observed in the New Zealand Herald on August 30th:

The US Federal Reserve cut its Official Cash Rate to almost 0 per cent in 2008 and has left it there. It launched three rounds of so-called quantitative easing and has only just stopped printing money to buy Government bonds.

The Bank of Japan has been printing for years and only recently ramped that up to try to lift its economy out of decades of perma-recession. The European Central Bank has cut its deposit rate to minus 0.2 per cent to try to force savers to invest. That means savers have to pay the bank to mind their money. . . .

China has blown $310 billion propping up a stock market that has fallen at least 43 per cent from its peak. It pushed the Chinese yuan lower and spent another US$200b to stop further falls.

This week the People’s Bank of China cut its main lending rate to 4.6 per cent and loosened lending rules for banks.

Yet there is no sign of the threatened hyperinflation:

All this rate-cutting and money printing has made it attractive to buy stocks, property and bonds that produce a regular income greater than the near-zero interest rates. . . .

But, curiously, all this money printing and 0 per cent interest rates have yet to unleash the inflation dragon, at least for goods and services. Asset prices are pumped up and juicy, but goods manufactured in factories and in cloud services are firmly in deflationary mode.

Why? According to conventional economic theory, increasing the money in circulation has only one effect: when the quantity of money goes up, more money will be chasing fewer goods, driving prices up. Why hasn’t that happened with the massive rounds of QE now gone global?

A Flawed Theory

Conventional monetarist theory was endorsed until the Great Depression, when John Maynard Keynes and other economists noticed that massive bank failures had led to a substantial reduction in the money supply. Contradicting the classical theory, the shortage of money was affecting more than just prices. It appeared to be directly linked to a massive wave of unemployment, while resources sat idle. Produce was rotting on the ground while people were starving, because there was no money to pay workers to pick it or for consumers to buy it with.

Conventional theory then gave way to Keynesian theory. In a March 2015 article in The International New York Times called “Keynes Versus the IMF,” economist Dr. Asad Zaman writes of this transition:

Keynesian theory is based on a very simple idea that conduct of the ordinary business of an economy requires a certain amount of money. If the amount of money is less than this amount, then businesses cannot function — they cannot buy inputs, pay labourers or rent shops. This was the fundamental cause of the Great Depression. The solution was simple: increase the supply of money. Keynes suggested that we could print money and bury it in coal mines to have unemployed workers dig it up. If money was available in sufficient quantities, businesses would revive and the unemployed labourers would find work. By now, there is nearly universal consensus on this idea. Even Milton Friedman, the leader of the Monetarist School of Economics and an arch-enemy of Keynesian ideas, agreed that the reduction in money supply was the cause of the Great Depression. Instead of burying it in mines, he suggested that money could be dropped from helicopters to solve the problem of unemployment.

And that is where we are now: despite repeated rounds of QE, there is still too little money chasing too many goods. The current form of QE is merely an asset swap: dollars for existing financial assets (federal securities or mortgage-backed securities). The rich are getting richer from bank bailouts and very low interest rates, but the money is not going into the real economy, which remains starved of the funds necessary to create the demand that would create jobs. To be effective for that purpose, a helicopter drop of money would need to fall directly into the wallets of consumers. Far from being “undisciplined fiscal policy,” getting some new money into the real economy is imperative for getting it moving again.

According to Social Credit theory, even creating more jobs won’t solve the problem of too little money in workers’ pockets to clear the shelves of the products they produce. Sellers set their prices to cover their costs, which include more than just workers’ salaries. Chief among these non-wage costs is the interest on money borrowed to pay for labor and materials before there is a product to sell. The vast majority of the money supply comes into circulation in the form of bank loans, as the Bank of England recently acknowledged. Banks create the principal but not the interest necessary to repay their loans, leaving a “debt overhang” that requires the creation of ever more debt in an attempt to close the gap. The gap can only be closed in a sustainable way with some sort of debt-free, interest-free money dropped directly into consumers’ wallets, ideally in the form of a national dividend paid by the Treasury.

As Keynes pointed out, price inflation will occur only when the economy reaches full productive capacity. Before that, increased demand prompts an increase in supply. More workers are hired to produce more goods and services, so that demand and supply rise together. And in today’s global markets, inflationary pressures have an outlet in the excess capacity of China and the increased use of robots, computers and machines. Global economies have a long way to go before reaching full productive capacity.

Running Afoul of the EU

A more challenging roadblock to Corbyn’s proposal may simply be that there are rules against it. Peter Spence writes:

Key parts of the Labour leadership frontrunner’s plans would fall foul of EU laws intended to avoid runaway inflation, and consign the UK to a three-year legal battle with the European Court of Justice (ECJ). . . .

Mr Corbyn’s proposals would clash with Article 123 of the Lisbon Treaty, which forbids central banks from printing money to finance government spending.

Perhaps; but the ECB has already embarked on a QE program involving the purchase of government securities. What are government securities but government debt used to finance government spending? The rule has already been bent. Why not bend it in a way that actually benefits the economy, the people, and the nation’s infrastructure? Corbyn’s proposal is needed, it will work, and it is an idea whose time has come.

Corbyn says that Britain in future must comply with International Law in foreign military interventions

Britain should not engage in foreign military intervention without UN backing – Corbyn

Labour Party leadership frontrunner and anti-war advocate Jeremy Corbyn says armed intervention by British forces in foreign states should only occur in circumstances where it is approved by the United Nations (UN).

The veteran Labour MP, who campaigned stringently against Britain’s role in the 2003 Iraq War, insisted he cannot imagine circumstances in which he would back such military intervention.

Corbyn made the remarks during the final leadership debate before the ballots close on September 10. His performance in the debate provoked loud cheers from the audience, while a Sky Pulse survey of 8,000 people afterwards found he had scored 80.6 percent of the vote.

Blairite rival Liz Kendal scored 9.1 percent, while New Labourites Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper scored 5.7 percent and 4.6 percent respectively. The news broadcaster later claimed the poll was not scientific.

As foreign policy took the discursive center stage, each of the leadership hopefuls rejected the proposal of dispatching British soldiers to tackle Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) forces on the ground. But Corbyn went further, insisting he would struggle to imagine any circumstance where he would back the deployment of UK armed forces abroad.

Challenged by Kendall on whether any circumstance might change his view on this, Corbyn responded: “Any? I am sure there are some. But I can’t think of them at the moment.”

Corbyn’s opposition to foreign military intervention could block Prime Minister David Cameron from seeking parliamentary approval to extend airstrikes against IS targets into Syria.

In late August, Corbyn said he would issue an apology for the 2003 invasion of Iraq if he is elected leader of the Labour Party.

Corbyn insisted the invasion had been undertaken “on the basis of deception,” and had lost the party millions of voters.

“It is past time that Labour apologized to the British people for taking them into the Iraq war on the basis of deception and to the Iraqi people for the suffering we have helped cause,” he told the Guardian. “Under our Labour, we will make this apology.”

The leadership debate, which was broadcast live on Sky News from Gateshead, North West England, came to a close with a heated exchange between Corbyn and rival Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.

Cooper, who is not predicted to win the race, sharply criticized Corbyn’s pledge to introduce “people’s quantitative easing,” warning it would drive up inflation, bolster Britain’s debt burden and give the electorate false hope.

The shadow home secretary had previously described his proposal to introduce the economic policy shift as “private finance on steroids.”

Corbyn’s economic policy prescriptions have attracted heated criticism from Blairite Labour politicians and those who back the “austerity-lite” policies of outgoing leader Ed Miliband.

Cooper’s criticism of people’s quantitative easing was echoed by Labour’s shadow chancellor Chris Leslie in August, who argued Corbyn’s “starry-eyed, hard left” economic strategies were doomed to fail.

But UK economist and tax justice campaigner Richard Murphy defended Corbyn’s proposals, stressing people’s quantitative easing differs markedly from quantitative easing as it is traditionally understood.

The quantitative easing employed by UK governments from 2009 to 2012 did not see funds flowing into Britain’s “productive economy,” but rather into “house price and asset speculation,” Murphy said at the time.

Under Corbyn’s policy, however, debt would be repurchased deliberately and issued by councils, health trusts or a green investment bank for the purpose of funding new forms of investment.

Murphy argued that such an approach is vital in an economic climate where financial markets and big business are failing to deliver the level of investment Britain needs.

He said the funds freed up by “people’s quantitative easing” would not be funneled into asset speculation and drive up inflation because banks would be excluded from the loop.

Speaking in Thursday’s debate, Burnham warned Labour is in danger of repeating “mistakes of the 1980s,” when its internal fissions cleared the political playing field for the late-Conservative PM Margaret Thatcher.

Kendall conceded that supporters of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair had allowed themselves to be portrayed as hungry for victory. Corbyn was also deeply critical of the European project, warning the European Union (EU) is “increasingly operating like a free market.”

Ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband is unlikely to return to the party’s frontline, sources say. The fallen Labour chief is expected to announce his intention to campaign on environmental and inequality issues as a backbench MP in the coming days.

Europe’s Refugee Crisis and the Warped Morality of David Cameron, who played a major part in creating them

Europe’s Refugee Crisis and the Warped Morality of David Cameron

UK Prime Minister David Cameron this week said “as a father I felt deeply moved” by the image of a Syrian boy dead on a Turkish beach. As pressure mounts on the UK to take in more of those fleeing to Europe from Syria and elsewhere. Cameron added that the UK would fulfil its “moral responsibilities.”

On hearing Cameron’s words on the role of ‘morality’, something he talks a lot about, anyone who has been following the crisis in Syria would not have failed to detect the hypocrisy. According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009. He told French TV:

“I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business… I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria.”

Writing in The Guardian in 2013, Nafeez Ahmed discusses leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials, that confirmed US-UK training of Syrian opposition forces since 2011 aimed at eliciting “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.”

He goes on to write that, according to retired NATO Secretary General Wesley Clark, a memo from the Office of the US Secretary of Defense just a few weeks after 9/11 revealed plans to “attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years,” starting with Iraq and moving on to “Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.” Clark argues that this strategy is fundamentally about control of the region’s vast oil and gas resources.

In 2009, Syrian President Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets in direct competition with Russia. Being a Russian ally, Assad refused to sign and instead pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran crossing Iraq and into Syria that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe. Thus Assad had to go.

And this is where Cameron’s concerns really lie: not with ordinary people compelled to flee war zones that his government had a hand in making but with removing Assad in order for instance to run a pipeline through Syrian territory and to prevent Iran and Russia gaining strategic momentum in the region.

Ordinary folk are merely ‘collateral damage’ in the geopolitical machinations of bankers, oilmen and arms manufacturers, only to be shown any sympathy when the media flashes images of a dead Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach or people drowned at sea trying to escape turmoil at home. It is then that people like Cameron are obliged to demonstrate mock sincerity in the face of public concern.

It is not only Syrians who are heading for Europe and the UK but also people from Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. Countries that Britain has helped to devastate as part of the US-led long war based on the Project for a New American Century and the US right to intervene unilaterally as and when it deems fit under the notion of the US ‘exceptionalism’ (better known as the project for a new imperialism – the ‘Wolfowitz Doctrine’).

Cameron said that Britain is a moral nation and would fulfil its moral responsibilities. Large sections of the population – ordinary men and women – are certainly ‘moral’ but that is unfortunately where any notion of morality seems to stop. Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray has called the UK a rogue state and a danger to the world. Last year, he told a meeting at St Andrews University in Scotland that the British Government is deeply immoral and doesn’t care how many people its kills abroad if it advances it aims. Moreover, he said the UK was a state that is prepared to go to war to make a few people wealthy.

He added that Libya is now a disaster and 15,000 people were killed when NATO (British and French jets) bombed Sirte, something the BBC never told the public. Murray told his audience what many already know or suspect but what many more remain ignorant of:

“I’ve seen things from the inside and the UK’s foreign interventions are almost always about resources. It is every bit as corrupt as others have indicated. It is not an academic construct, the system stinks.”

Murray was a British diplomat for 20 years. But after only six months, he said that in the country where he was Ambassador, the British and the US were shipping people in order for them to be tortured and some of them were tortured to death. As far as Iraq is concerned, Murray said that he knew for certain that key British officials were fully aware that there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction. He said that invading Iraq wasn’t a mistake, it was a lie.

Back in 2011, 200 prominent African figures accused Western nations and the International Criminal Court of “subverting international law” in Libya. The UN has been misused to militarise policy, legalise military action and effect regime change, according to University of Johannesburg professor Chris Landsberg. He said it is unprecedented for the UN to have outsourced military action to NATO in this way and challenges the International Criminal Court to investigate NATO for “violating international law.” In 2015, the outcome has been to turn Africa’s most developed nation to ruins and run by armed militias fighting one another.

Is this the stability and morality Cameron preaches?

Yet for public consumption, Cameron flags up his ‘morality’ by stating that the UK would continue to take in “thousands” of refugees. But he cautions that this is not the only answer to the crisis, saying a “comprehensive solution” is required. Awash with self-righteous platitudes he hoped would drown out any hint of hypocrisy or irony, Cameron added: “We have to try and stabilise the countries from which these people are coming.”

One year ago, Cameron told the United Nations that Britain was ready to play its part in confronting “an evil against which the whole world must unite.” He also said that that “we” must not be so “frozen with fear” of repeating the mistakes of the 2003 Iraq invasion. He was attempting to drum up support for wider Anglo-US direct military action against Syria under the pretext of attacking ISIS.

At the same time, Cameron spoke of the virtues of the West’s economic freedom and democratic values as well as the horrors of extremism and terror. Cameron’s was a monologue of hypocrisy.

Over a million people have been killed via the US-led or US-backed attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, so we were told. It did not. That was a lie and hundreds of thousands have paid with their lives. We were told that Gaddafi was a tyrant. He used the nation’s oil wealth well by presiding over a country that possessed some of the best indices of social and economic well-being in Africa. Now, thanks to Western backed terror and military conflict, Libya lies in ruins and torn apart. Russia is a threat to world peace because of its actions in Ukraine, we are told. It is not. The US helped instigate the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Ukraine and has instigated provocations, sanctions and a proxy war against an emerging, confident Russia.

But how far in history should we go back to stress that the West and Cameron and his ilk have no right to take the moral high ground when it comes to peace, respect for international law, self-determination, truth or democracy? The much quoted work by historian William Blum documents the crimes, bombings, assassinations, destabilisations and wars committed by the US in country after country since 1945. And since 1945 the UK has consistently stood shoulder to shoulder with Washington.

Cameron stood at the UN and talked of the West’s values of freedom and democracy and the wonders of economic neoliberalism in an attempt to promote Western values and disguise imperialist intent. But it’s a thin disguise. The Anglo-US establishment has imposed its economic structural violence on much of the world by bankrupting economies, throwing millions into poverty and imposing ‘austerity’ and by rigging and manipulating global commodity markets and prices. Add to that the mass illegal surveillance at home and abroad, torture, drone murders, destabilisations, bombings and invasions and it becomes clear that Cameron’s ongoing eulogies to morality, freedom, humanitarianism, democracy and the ‘free’ market is hollow rhetoric.

Apart from attempting to legitimise neoliberal capitalism, this rhetoric has one purpose: it is part of the ongoing ‘psych-ops’ being waged on the public to encourage people to regard what is happening in the world – from Syria, Iraq and Ukraine to Afghanistan and Libya, etc – as a confusing, disconnected array of events (perpetuated by unhinged madmen or terror groups) that are in need of Western intervention. These events are not for one minute to be regarded by the public as the planned machinations of empire and militarism, which entail a global energy and trade war against Russia and China, the associated preservation of the petro-dollar system and the encircling and intimidation of these two states with military hardware.

Any mainstream narrative about the current migrant-refugee ‘crisis’ must steer well clear of such an analysis. Instead, we must listen to Cameron talking about the West ‘helping’ to stabilise the countries it helped to destabilise or destroy in the first place. It’s the same old story based on the same misrepresentation of imperialism: the US-led West acting as a force for good in the world and reluctantly taking up the role of ‘world policeman’.

Whether it’s the now amply financially rewarded Blair or whether it is Cameron at the political helm, the perpetual wars and perpetual deceptions continue.

Cameron plays his role well. Like Tony Blair, Cameron’s media-friendly bonhomie is slicker (and cheaper) than the most experienced used car salesman. And like Blair before him, Cameron is the media-friendly PR man who beats the drums of war (or mock sincerity, as the situation dictates), courtesy of a global power elite, who through their think tanks, institutions and financial clout ultimately determine economic policies and decide which wars are to be fought and for what purpose –

“… the Davos-attending, Gulfstream/private jet-flying, money-incrusted, megacorporation-interlocked, policy-building elites of the world, people at the absolute peak of the global power pyramid. They are 94 percent male, predominantly white, and mostly from North America and Europe. These are the people setting the agendas at the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, G-8, G-20, NATO, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. They are from the highest levels of finance capital, transnational corporations, the government, the military, the academy, nongovernmental organizations, spiritual leaders and other shadow elites. Shadow elites include, for instance, the deep politics of national security organizations in connection with international drug cartels, who extract 8,000 tons of opium from US war zones annually, then launder $500 billion through transnational banks, half of which are US-based.” – David Rothkopf (Project Censored ‘Exposing the transnational ruling class’)

Colin Todhunter is an independent writer

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