INTERVIEW WITH INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER DILYANA GAYTANDZHIEVA, WEAPONS SUPPLIES TO MILITANTS IN SYRIA (START: 20:00 CEST, SATURDAY)

START: 20:00 CEST(Central European Summer Time)

TOPIC: Interview with Dilyana Gaytandzhieva on weapons supplies to Syria and the media secnsorship in Europe.

Dilyana Gaytandzhieva is an investigative reporter authored a report for Trud Newspaper, which found that an Azerbaijan state airline company was regularly transporting weapons to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Turkey under diplomatic cover as part of the CIA covert program to supply militants in Syria.

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JOURNALIST INTERROGATED, FIRED FOR STORY LINKING CIA AND SYRIA WEAPONS FLIGHTS

Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights

Dilyana Gaytandzhieva

Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

A months-long investigation which tracked and exposed a massive covert weapons shipment network to terror groups in Syria via diplomatic flights originating in the Caucuses and Eastern Europe under the watch of the CIA and other intelligence agencies has resulted in the interrogation and firing of the Bulgarian journalist who first broke the story. This comes as the original report is finally breaking into mainstream international coverage.

Investigative reporter Dilyana Gaytandzhieva authored a bombshell report for Trud Newspaper, based in Sofia, Bulgaria, which found that an Azerbaijan state airline company was regularly transporting tons of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Turkey under diplomatic cover as part of the CIA covert program to supply anti-Assad fighters in Syria. Those weapons, Gaytandzhieva found, ended up in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

While it’s long been understood that the US-Gulf-NATO coalition arming rebels inside Syria facilitated the rapid rise of the Islamic State as the group had steady access to a “jihadi Wal-Mart” of weapons (in the words of one former spy and British diplomat), the Trud Newspaper report is the first to provide exhaustive documentation detailing the precise logistical chain of the weapons as they flowed from their country of origin to the battlefield in Syria and Iraq. Gaytandzhieva even traveled to Aleppo where she filmed and examined labeled weapons shipping containers held in underground jihadist storehouses.

The Bulgaria-based journalist obtained and published dozens of secret internal memos which were leaked to her by an anonymous source as part of the report. The leaked documents appear to be internal communications between the Bulgarian government and Azerbaijan’s Embassy in Sofia detailing flight plans for Silk Way Airlines, which was essentially operating an “off the books” weapons transport service (not subject to inspections or tax under diplomatic cover) for the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), Saudi Arabia, Israel, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. Silk Way Airlines has been the subject of other recent investigations involving weapons supplies for the Saudi war on Yemen. In addition, the military monitoring site Balkan Insight has exposed similar weapons cargo flights in and out of neighboring Serbia.

Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights

Silk Way Airlines flight over Birmingham (UK). Image source: Flickr

But perhaps the more explosive finding involves private American companies contracting with the US government to help train and equip militants in Syria. An investigative series by Buzzfeed – the first of which was published in 2015 – named military contractor Purple Shovel LLC as the recipient of two no-bid contracts totaling more $50 million as part of the US train and equip program for Syria. Gaytandzhieva’s report definitively links Purple Shovel and other private American military contractors to the Azerbaijan Silk Way Airlines shipments. One leaked memo includes a cargo manifest for multiple tons of anti-tank grenades purchased in Bulgaria by Purple Shovel which were ostensibly designated for the official consignee – the Ministry of Defense of Ajerbaijan – but which never made it to Ajerbaijan. The documents, however, reveal that the military cargo was offloaded at Turkey’s Incirlik air base, which is one of the US and NATO’s main command centers for covert operations in Syria.

Though Gaytandzhieva’s report is months old and began through a series of smaller investigations, it gained little traction in Western or international press, even though it was promoted on social media and discussed among some of the world’s foremost experts on Syria and the Middle East. However, on Sunday Qatar-based Al Jazeera featured the story while reporting the shocking news that Gaytandzhieva had been interrogated by Bulgarian authorities before being fired from her newspaper:

Gaytandzhieva said on Thursday in a tweet that she was fired from her job at Trud after she was interrogated by the Bulgarian national security which tried to find out her sources.

She said she first got suspicious of the weapons transferred to Syria when she found Bulgarian-made weapons at the hands “terrorists” in Aleppo while reporting on the Syrian war there.

She said that she then traced those weapons to its Bulgarian manufacturer only to find out that those weapons were legally exported to Saudi Arabia, which in turn supplied it to “terrorists” in Syria.

Photo published for 350 diplomatic flights carry weapons for terrorists

350 diplomatic flights carry weapons for terrorists

At least 350 diplomatic Silk Way Airlines (an Azerbaijani state-run company) flights transported weapons for war conflicts across the world over the last 3 years. The state aircrafts of Azerbaijan…

trud.bg

I’ve just got fired for telling the truth about weapons supplies for  in  on diplomatic flights https://trud.bg/350-diplomatic-flights-carry-weapons-for-terrorists/ 

Al Jazeera is now belatedly highlighting the story in the midst of the current Qatari-Saudi diplomatic war which has resulted in a general airing of dirty laundry as each side continues to accuse the other of supporting terrorism. Regardless, Al Jazeera’s coverage constitutes the first time this story has entered the mainstream. While we’ve reported the recent Trump decision to end the CIA covert program of regime change in Syria, it appears the apparatus for external weapons shipments to jihadists in Syria remains in place through the continuing Silk Way Airlines weapons pipeline. As Al Jazeera reports:

Speaking to Al Jazeera by phone on Sunday from Bulgaria, Gaytandzhieva said: “Saudi Arabia, UAE and the US must stop using the cover of Silk Way Airlines diplomatic flights to supply Eastern European weapons which end up in the hands of terrorists around the world. Diplomatic flights are exempt from checks and inspection.”


Tracking weapons from Eastern Europe to Syrian al-Qaeda: December 2016 Bulgarian news broadcast by Dilyana Gaytandzhieva. Brief English commentary begins at 1:00 mark. The report investigates Bulgarian origin rockets and weaponry said to have been in possession of Nusra Front (AQ in Syria). Leaked documents would later confirm Bulgarian weapons shipped to Saudi Arabia as part of the covert Syria program.

Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) also carried out their own lengthy investigations which are consistent with Trud News journalist Gaytandzhieva’s findings. Infographic source: Balkan Insight

The CIA program relied heavily on US ally Saudi Arabia to arm anti-Assad jihadists, and while it appears that the White House recently ended the CIA side of things, there’s no evidence to suggest that Saudi Arabia or other participating allied countries ever ceased or even slowed their part of the operations. Also, given that both the CIA and Pentagon contract with private firms acting as middle men to get weapons to the Syrian battlefield, it is uncertain if all aspects of the CIA program have really been shut down. Historically, the CIA has sometimes farmed out legally questionable activities to private contractors for the sake of ‘plausible deniability’. Furthermore, the Pentagon side of the program, which supplies Kurdish and Arab groups in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) appears to be ramping up of late.

Given the latest development of Trud Newspaper firing its own journalist and Bulgarian authorities attempting to locate her sources, it is entirely possible and likely that pressure is building for Trud to remove the story from its website. The new Al Jazeera story has brought fresh international attention to Gaytandzhieva’s findings, which is sure to increase the controversy.

*****

Below are excerpts from the original Trud report with images of select leaked documents. The original report contains dozens of downloadable leaked memos which were translated with contents summarized by Dilyana Gaytandzhieva.

Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights

Government docs leaked by hackers (“Anonymous Bulgaria”) reveal weapons pipeline to terrorists in Syria:

According to these documents, Silk Way Airlines offered diplomatic flights to private companies and arms manufacturers from the US, Balkans, and Israel, as well as to the militaries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and the military forces of Germany and Denmark in Afghanistan and of Sweden in Iraq. Diplomatic flights are exempt of checks, air bills, and taxes, meaning that Silk Way airplanes freely transported hundreds of tons of weapons to different locations around the world without regulation. They made technical landings with stays varying from a few hours to up to a day in intermediary locations without any logical reasons such as needing to refuel the planes.

U.S. sends $1 billion worth of weapons

Among the main customers of the “diplomatic flights for weapons” service provided by Silk Way Airlines are American companies, which supply weapons to the US army and US Special Operations Command. The common element in these cases is that they all supply non-US standard weapons; hence, the weapons are not used by the US forces.

According to the register of federal contracts, over the last 3 years American companies were awarded $1billion contracts it total under a special US government program for non-US standard weapon supplies. All of them used Silk Way Airlines for the transport of weapons. In some cases when Silk Way was short of aircrafts due to a busy schedule, Azerbaijan Air Force aircrafts transported the military cargo, although weapons never reached Azerbaijan.

The documents leaked from the Embassy include shocking examples of weapon transport. A case in point: on 12th May 2015 an aircraft of Azerbaijan Air Forces carried 7.9 tons of PG-7V and 10 tons of PG-9V the supposed destination via the route Burgas (Bulgaria)-Incirlik (Turkey)-Burgas-Nasosny (Azerbaijan). The consignor was the American company Purple Shovel, and the consignee – the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan. According to the documents, however, the military cargo was offloaded at Incirlik military base and never reached the consignee. The weapons were sold to Purple Shovel by Alguns, Bulgaria, and manufactured by Bulgaria’s VMZ military plant.

According to the federal contracts registry, in December of 2014 USSOCOM signed a $26.7 million contract with Purple Shovel. Bulgaria was indicated as the country of origin of the weapons.

US covert program sent Bulgarian weapons to Al Qaeda via private military contractor 

On 6 June 2015, a 41-year old American national Francis Norvello, an employee of Purple Shovel, was killed in a blast when a rocket-propelled grenade malfunctioned at a military range near the village of Anevo in Bulgaria. Two other Americans and two Bulgarians were also injured. The US Embassy to Bulgaria then released a statement announcing that the U.S. government contractors were working on a U.S. military program to train and equip moderate rebels in Syria. Which resulted in the U.S. Ambassador to Sofia to be immediately withdrawn from her post. They very same weapons as those supplied by Purple Shovel were not used by moderate rebels in Syria. In December of last year while reporting on the battle of Aleppo as a correspondent for Bulgarian media I found and filmed 9 underground warehoused full of heavy weapons with Bulgaria as their country of origin. They were used by Al Nusra Front (Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria designated as a terrorist organization by the UN).

Saudi Arabia – sponsor and arms distributor

Besides the USA, another country that has purchased huge quantities of Eastern-European weapons and exported them on Silk Way Airlines diplomatic flights is Saudi Arabia. In 2016 and 2017, there were 23 diplomatic flights carrying weapons from Bulgaria, Serbia and Azerbaijan to Jeddah and Riyadh. The consignees were VMZ military plant and Transmobile from Bulgaria, Yugoimport from Serbia, and CHIHAZ from Azerbaijan.

The Kingdom does not buy those weapons for itself, as the Saudi army used only western weapons and those weapons are not compatible with its military standard. Therefore, the weapons transported on diplomatic flights end up in the hands of the terrorist militants in Syria and Yemen that Saudi Arabia officially admits supporting.

Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights

Report links internationally transported weapons to ISIS

On 5 March 2016, an Azerbaijan Air Force aircraft carried 1700 pcs. RPG-7 (consignor: Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan) and 2500 pcs. PG-7VM (consignor: Transmobile Ltd., Bulgaria) for the Defense Ministry of Saudi Arabia. Diplomatic flights from Burgas Airport to Prince Sultan Airport on 18 and 28 February 2017 each carried a further 5080 psc. 40 mm PG-7V for RPG-7 and 24 978 psc. RGD-5. The weapons were exported by Transmobile, Bulgaria to the Ministry of Defense of Saudi Arabia. Such munitions and RPG-7 originating in Bulgaria can often be seen in videos filmed and posted by the Islamic State on their propaganda channels.

Weapons on Silk Way flight manifests appear on the Syrian battlefield months after arrival in Turkey and Saudi Arabia

The 41.2-ton cargo from Baku and Belgrade included: 7.62 mm cartridges, 12 pcs. sniper rifles, 25 pcs. M12 “Black Spear” caliber 12.7x108mm, 25 psc. RBG 40×46 mm/6M11, and 25 pcs. Coyote machine gun 12.7×108 mm with tripods. The same heavy machine gun appeared in videos and photos posted online by militant groups in Idlib and the province of Hama in Syria a few months later. The aircraft also carried: 1999 psc. M70B1 7.62×39 mm and 25 psc. M69A 82 mm. On 26 February 2016, a video featuring same M69A 82 mm weapons was posted on YouTube by a militant group calling itself Division 13 and fighting north of Aleppo.

Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights

Interestingly, the aircraft that carried the same type of weapons landed in Diyarbakir (Turkey), 235 km away from the border with Syria. Another type of weapon, RBG 40 mm/6M11, which was from the same flight and supposedly destined for Congo too, appeared in a video of the Islamic Brigade of Al Safwa in Northern Aleppo.

After Turkey, the aircraft landed in Saudi Arabia and remained there for a day. Afterwards it landed in Congo and Burkina Faso. A week later, there was an attempted military coup in Burkina Faso.

Full report and downloadable copies of leaked documents are also available here.

Russian Sappers Discover US-Made Weapons in Aleppo in Militant Arms Cache

usa-made-weaponry-for-terrorists-3

Russian sappers deployed to Aleppo made a sensational discovery this week, uncovering a weapons cache left behind by anti-government militants filled to the brim with ammo for heavy weapons manufactured in countries including the US, Germany and Bulgaria.

Major Ivan Gromov, the commander of the mine-clearing group, told the Rossiya 24 television news channel that his group has been discovering Western-made ammunition, from large-caliber rounds for small arms to rocket artillery shells, littered across the city. Heavy rounds and shells include ammunition manufactured in the United States, Germany and Bulgaria, he added.

In a sensational discovery, Gromov’s team and local pro-government militia also found brand new, pristine 122 mm mortar shells, hand grenades and grenade launchers, missiles for multiple rocket launch systems and howitzer shells in a rebel hideout. The source of many of these weapons is clearly marked, with some of the ammo boxes featuring stickers marked ‘From USA for Mutual Defense’.

usa-made-weaponry-for-terrorists-4

Russian sappers arrived in eastern Aleppo at the beginning of December. Since then, they have cleared over 966 hectares (2,387 acres), including 350 km (about 217 miles) worth of roads and 2,149 buildings from explosive devices. A total of nearly 14,700 explosive devices had been found and defused, including over 6,700 IEDs. Just in the last day, the engineers cleared four schools, a kindergarten and nine mosques of explosive devices.


SOURCES:
SputnikNews
Submitted by Lone Bear 
War Press Info Network at :
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/sappers-us-weapons/
~

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Americans Better Take a Look at This…

Those presently running America have wrecked the country for their own ends, and in the process they have turned us into a nation widely feared and despised in the view of a large portion of the world’s population. The videos I’m posting here offer a sobering view of the extent to which this now seems to be the case.

The video above shows a huge march which took place in Belgrade, Serbia on February 20, 2016. The march was a massive show of solidarity with Russia. You can kind of tell that by the Russian flags and St. George banners proliferating everywhere, but another giveaway is the music. The song is called “The Sacred War.” It is a Russian patriotic song that has been around for a number of years and is mostly associated with World War II.

You need to know the lyrics of this song. Below  is a performance done in St. Petersburg in 2009 and which includes English subtitles:

A little more from the Belgrade march:

 

And now take a deep breath and prepare yourself. Here you will see “The Patriotic War” being performed in China:

And another performance in China:

And another:

And now let’s move on to Bulgaria. Here is a march in support of Russia that took place in front of the Turkish embassy in Sofia on November 28, 2015. Keep in mind, Turkey is our “ally” and a NATO member:

And here is another protest in Bulgaria, this one from February 15, 2015, or roughly a year ago. A machine-translation from the video might be informative: “The Bulgarian people started intense struggle for the withdrawal from NATO andfor the expulsion of NATOus military bases from the territory of Bulgaria.Meetings will take place every Sunday, until the Government listens to the voice of the people and did not fulfill his requirements! Peaceful Bulgarian peopleAnnounces Bulgaria as a zone of peace, and advocates the sovereignty of Bulgaria and countries all over the world! At the beginning of the columns carried hugeBulgarians Bulgarian banner, church bannershorugvii, Great George’s Ribbon,as a symbol of the struggle for sovereignty.”:

And finally one more from Bulgaria:

It would seem that a sizable number of people are beginning to view a “sacred war” against the US and NATO as a coming inevitability and one carrying with it a patriotic duty for all of humanity to fight.

Contact your imbecile, moronic senators and representatives and tell them to stop trying to foment a war with Russia and stop trying to overthrow the government of Syria before the blowback from all this hits us squarely in the face.

Russia Has Iran, Greece Approval for Syria Flights

Local Editor

Iran and Greece granted Russia the right to use its airspace for humanitarian flights to Syria, news agencies reported on Wednesday as Moscow confirmed it military presence in the crisis-hit country.

The press attache of the Russian Embassy in Iran, Maxim Suslov said that has granted permission to Russian aircraft with humanitarian aid on board to fly above the territory of Iran to Syria, Pravda.Ru reported with reference to ITAR-TASS.

Russian aircraftMeanwhile, Greece has also authorized the flyover of Russian airplanes to Syria via Greek airspace, officials at the Russian Embassy in Greece said Wednesday.

“The press service of the embassy of the Russian Federation confirms the receipt of the permission from the Greek authorities for the flyover of Russian airplanes via the airspace of Greece,” a representative of the Russian diplomatic mission in Athens told Interfax.

TASS said that the request covered the period from Sept. 1 to Sept. 24.

Reuters news agency also reportetd that Tehran and Athens granted Moscow such permission.

Earlier, he authorities of Bulgaria officially announced their decision not to grant such a permission to two Russian aircraft to fly in the Bulgarian airspace to Syria.

Representatives of the State Duma of the Russian Federation said that Russia would find an adequate response to such a move from Bulgaria, Pravda.Ru reported.

Russia Confirms Military Presence in Syria


Meanwhile, Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed that Russian military experts are in Syria.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the experts are coordinating arms deliveries to Syrian forces aimed at combating “terrorism”.

“We have never made a secret of military-technical cooperation with Syria,” she said, according to TASS.

“We’ve long been supplying weapons and military equipment to Syria. We do this under the existing contracts and in full conformity with international law,” Zakharova said.

“I can confirm and reiterate that there are Russian military specialists in Syria who help to use arriving equipment.”

Zakharova said that Russia would consider providing further anti-terrorism support to Syria if necessary.

“I can reiterate that if additional measures in the interests of boosting anti-terrorism efforts are required, then, undoubtedly, these issues will be additionally considered, but exclusively on the basis of international law of Russian legislature,” she said.

Source: Agencies

09-09-2015 – 14:54 Last updated 09-09-2015 – 14:54

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Hungary: Next Stop on the Putsch Express

Via The Saker

Submitted by Andrew Kahn for Voice of América
(Twitter @akahnnyc)

Once is a conspiracy theory. Twice is a coincidence. Thrice gets people wondering. Four times and the polished denials begin as conspiracy theory has become neoliberal reality.

So it is in the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe and former Soviet regions. Yugoslavia, Croatia, Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine. And where next? The number has gone way beyond four – the time of polished denials. To deny the conspiracy is meaningless at this point for it is not merely a conspiracy shrouded in the minds of tin-hat quacks but it is in the open for all to see; that is, whoever wishes to open their eyes to what is happening.

Were the choice words of Victoria Nuland not enough? Was the feting of John McCain by Ukrainian fascists not enough? Or the continuous duplicity in the words of any official tasked with parroting the lines of democracy devised by the most undemocratic geopolitical Machiavellis? When duplicity and hypocrisy mix in the cauldron of Washington’s witches’ brew being stirred in Brussels’ kitchen and served at tables in Tbilisi, Kiev, Grozny, and now Budapest.

And why Budapest? Why now? Why Hungary? Perhaps George Soros sees his days being numbered and he has saved his country for last. A collusion with the elites to rule his own country. Rather ironic that the NATO operations for liberty are now knocking on the door of Mr. Soros’ country. Or, perhaps, less conspiratorial – for who wants to peddle in conspiracies? – it is simply the latest salvo in the war to prolong the life of a dying United States-NATO hegemon.

One wonders whether the denizens of think tanks in Europe and the United States lay their heads down at night and count Russians and Chinese and any member of the Global South jumping over rapidly shrinking stacks of US dollars and Euros. One Russian Nationalist, Two Chinese Communists, Three Iranian Scientists. Like a drumbeat they see the alliance of Russia and China, Russia and its former allies, China and Africa, Iran and South America – the world with itself, devoid of a cowering pandering to the dictates of the post-WW2 leaders of freedom. Perhaps they see this as their eyes close on feather down pillows. They see this and they know the nightmare is nigh. A pill they need. A pill called Putsch that is branded and copyrighted with its own bold imprint on the pill – “Civil Society Democracy”. 

But I digress…why Hungary? Just a few years ago, Prime Minister Viktor Orban was going to become the darling of Washington. He was a right-leaning centrist of sorts whose views on immigrants would make Republican xenophobes proud but was sufficiently in agreement with the European Union and global capitalism when it came to economics and foreign policy. He was our buddy who could be counted on to serve as a bulwark against a possibly rising Russia under Vladimir Putin. But time passed and we find ourselves in the mid-20teens with the European Union in free-fall, wracked by a collapsed economy and Western European nations caught between liberal nebbishes and xenophobic rightists. And as time passed, Prime Minister Orban cleverly decided to see which way the winds were blowing and they were blowing towards the Kremlin. Center-right governments in Europe are being outflanked on their Right yet still slavishly remain within the EU paradigm – a suicide wish when farther-right populism is rightfully (if from the wrong ideological rationale) calling them out as puppets of Brussels. Public support for austerity is not that fashionable among blue-collar workers in Europe it should be noted and Orban was attuned to this.

So whether from a desire to stay in power or an actual interest in helping his right-leaning Christian-minded constituency that had been left to rot by Europe in the new post-Soviet world of liberalism, Orban decided to shift from ally of the West alone to hedging his bets between the West and Russia. Yet 2012 may have been the turning point when he left puppet status and he spurned IMF demands (more on this later) and began growing closer to President Putin who by this time had become the ultimate thorn in the side of NATO. A resurgent Russia was always being countered by the West – whether in Chechnya or Georgia – but the game had suddenly intensified with President Putin deciding that Syria would not be lost, Crimea would be re-unified with Russia and Russia would stand up once again to the West. 

This move by Orban to become part of the Russian orbit – defined as any country that does not swallow any fact-free attacks on Russia – marked him for targeting. Not only was Orban talking to Russia and attempting to navigate a non-aligned course but he was supportive of the boogeyman South Stream pipeline that Russia was planning – a pipeline that would navigate territory not controlled outright by the West. For a former Communist country to put this red flag in front of the West was, of course, verboten. Nevermind that Hungary had every economic reason to be non-aligned and find economic benefit from wherever it could in the face of EU collapse. In realpolitik, non-aligned means sleeping with the enemy – the Russian Bear.

Some may see Hungary’s moves – both its warming relations with Russia and support for the South Stream pipeline – as meaningless but for the United States every little country, every little leader, every little rebel group that opposes hegemony is a threat to be dealt with whether they are true rebels or are former allies like Orban who are now merely asking for some economic wiggle-room outside of IMF and Brussels dictates. And if there is really an honest questioning as to whether one country looking to have Russia as an economic partner is considered a threat one needs only to see the fate of the other Viktor – Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine. 

Indeed, even before Orban’s moves towards Russia, it was his steps in regards to the banking industry that first set the international world – or at least the “world” as defined by the borders of Europe and the United States – on its head.

At the end of 2011, the Hungarian Parliament voted in favor of banking changes which would place the national bank under closer control of the elected government with the vice presidents of the bank to be selected by the prime minister as opposed to appointment by the Bank’s president. It should be noted clearly that this was a 293-4 vote and not merely a party-line vote dominated by Orban’s Fidesz Party. When complaints are made by Hungarian opposition that Orban was taking dictatorial control remember this 293-4 number. Additionally approved at that time was a merger between the national bank and its financial regulator – essentially, Hungary had decided that the Bank would be under civilian control as opposed to an “impartial” leader which, as we recognize, is often determined not by impartiality but rather by subservience to international Capital’s wishes.

It was at this time the European Central Bank (ECB) began voicing concerns about the “independence” of the Hungarian National Bank and in the previous year of 2010, Orban did not renew a previous standby loan from the IMF, “opting instead for market financing and to keep the IMF out of government economic policies”i.

For Western Capital, this was clearly a slap in the face and a troubling sign that Hungary under Viktor Orban would use the IMF as it suited them as opposed to other way around. Orban had decided that taxes on the banking sector as well the nationalization of private pension funds was more important than renewing IMF standby loans.

The usual key words are being bandied about by the guardians of democracy. Orban is destroying civil society, cracking down on NGOs, opposing liberal democracy and he is becoming a dictator. Of course, no small reason for this Western claptrap is Orban’s decision to spurn IMF suggestions to cut pensions and remove a tax on banks. Again, one must recall that Orban is not anti-IMF by nature – having been negotiating with the IMF – but realizes that at a certain point, manure is simply manure. As he noted in 2012 in regards to IMF loan conditions he spurned: the deal “contains everything that is not in Hungary’s interests.”ii This was followed in 2013 by the head of Hungary’s Central Bank, Gyorgy Matolcsy, writing a letter to IMF head Christine Lagarde and telling her to shutter the IMF’s Budapest office as its services were no longer needed.iii Hungary would fully repay its IMF loan with a bold “Adios” on the final check.

In a 2013 article in the New York Times, it notes, regarding the then-newly appointed National Bank Director Gyorgy Matolcsy:

There is also concern among economists that Mr. Matolcsy will seek to emulate the economic stimulus

known as quantitative easing used by the U.S. Federal Reserve or Bank of England – essentially, a way

of pumping money in the economy. That, economists warn, could prove perilous in a small country

like Hungary that cannot finance itself without foreign capital.iv

In essence, in the name of banking freedom and independence, the European Union, IMF and ECB were looking to keep their own monopolistic control over Hungary and perpetuate a master-servant dynamic that they promulgate and enforce with an iron fist in most of the developing and post-Soviet world. Hungary’s decision to break from this was seen by the West (a grouping that should not be seen as including its stepchildren in Eastern and Central Europe) as tantamount to revolt. As the New York Times article hinted at, Hungary was looking for self-reliance and had begun to chart a course that would not lead to IMF loans or independent loans from Western European countries that it was in the process of politely spurning.

Not only was Hungary moving to economic independence – despite protestations that it was losing independence – but Hungary had made a conscious decision, as noted before, to be non-aligned in the rapidly deteriorating relations between the West and Russia. Strategically placed near Russia and within the region of an expanding NATO, this too was not to be accepted. The NATO encirclement of Russia could not be allowed to hit a roadblock with a pesky right-populist government in Hungary.

So it is that Viktor Orban has gone from reportedly praising U.S. Senator John McCain in 2008 as a “national hero in the most original sense of this expression” to John McCain now speaking of Hungary under Orban as “a nation that’s on the verge of ceding its sovereignty to a neo-Fascist dictator”.v

Warming relations with Russia, taxes on banks, nationalizing pension funds, spurning the IMF, traditionalist morality…all left for Orban to do to antagonize his former allies would be to send troops to support Hezbollah or some such effrontery.

Now there is never a country or leader who tries to break free of neoliberal policies and align with the enemies of Western freedom that is not marked for regime change for lack of a more diplomatic term. So it is that the question arises as to who in Hungary would take up the mantle as the reformer who will save Hungary from running headfirst – and intentionally – down the path to an illiberal democracy. In the words of Orban himself:

“…the new state that we are building is an illiberal state, a non-liberal state. It does not deny foundational values of liberalism, as freedom, etc.. But it does not make this ideology a central element of state organization, but applies a specific, national, particular approach in its stead.”vi

This is the point where it gets difficult for the United States and Brussels. Finding a neoliberal apparatchik in Hungary will be a wee bit harder than it was in Ukraine. While Ukraine had neoliberals who had no qualms about using fascist muscle and US State Department funds to gain power, Hungary is not so simple. Hungary has fascists in the form of the surging Jobbik Party that is pushing Orban from the right, a Fidesz Party of which Orban is a member that is charting a self-proclaimed illiberal path, a Socialist Party that barely registers 10% support and several minor parties with minimal support.

The likely attempt at this point will be a cobbled-together coalition of Fidesz officials who will bought back to support right-leaning liberal policies that Orban once supported, “reformed for the camera” Jobbik blue collar voters, apolitical but corruption-opposing college students, random members of the nebulously-defined civil society and most valuably capitalist technocrats to round out the bit. Blue collar workers as the goon squads fighting for a dystopic utopia where civil society’s technocrats will rule with a punch to the buttocks of the workers in the name of fiscal responsibility. Welcome back IMF.

Enter the Two Vs – Zsolt Varady and Gabor Vago – one the entrepreneur and the other the technocrat-politician.

To begin with, we have Mr. Varady, the capitalist tech entrepreneur and founder of the now-defunct Hungarian social media website iwiw.hu. If his name means nothing to you, etch it in your mind as his name was quietly making the rounds in reports on Hungarian protests in early 2015.

Politically, Mr. Varady came to (im)maturity this past October in his novel lawsuit against every Hungarian political party for the crime of “creating and maintaining a tax system that compels enterprises to commit tax fraud and tax evasion”. No real complaints with the dismantling of social welfare programs following the collapse of the socialist bloc. No. Simply a lawsuit blaming political parties for forcing corporations into tax fraud and evasion. Of all the complaints that could be laid before the feet of successive Hungarian governments, Mr. Varady decided on this.

Mr. Varady noted that his purpose in filing the legal proceedings – which he notes are merely “of secondary importance {to}…the related PR” was to improve “tax-paying morale”vii “To achieve an optimum tax system the state should be radically reformed. I cannot do that alone,” he says. “We need the support of considerable sections of society. The activities of civil society can serve the much needed umbrella for these messages.viii To paraphrase: Business doesn’t like Orban’s taxes so the working class which we will call “civil society” will serve our interests by being the democratic face for our plans to change the tax code in support of a minority.

Strike one in favor of Mr. Varady in the eyes of the West and IMF. Reform the tax code. Yet what of his political plans? Is he an idealist who wants to push a political agenda that may eventually conflict with foreign support for an Orban putsch? Well not at all. Indeed, he promotes as his next step in politicking the creation of “a website that helps people in civil society organization” which will be funded by “crowd-funding” and, here’s the kicker: “Perhaps we can also receive assistance from foreign foundations and probably émigré Hungarians will also chip in.”ix

One can see the wheels turning in Mr. Varady’s eyes. He of the recent “civil society” protests in Hungary. He of the white knight status who can step into the void as the bridge between all the necessary groups to bring democracy to Hungary and freedom from fascism to civil society. The strategy of street protest led by “civil society” is classic for who can oppose the desires of civil people? But keep his above comment in mind. “We” – meaning his class of neoliberal entrepreneurs seeking help from “foreign foundations” – “need the support of considerable sections of society” who will be the “umbrella for these messages”. Yes my friends, the pictures of civil society will be broadcast while the true agenda will be hidden. The goal, as Mr. Varady notes will be “new foundations” led by “teams of experts that are competent in their respective fields and are committed”x otherwise known as malleable technocrats.

Mr. Varady will be the counterpoint to Orban. An unelected Western-friendly gentleman simply looking to aid civil society against an elected modern-day “Mussolini” as Newsweek so appellated him.xi Mr. Varady will reverse the so-called “Putinisation of Hungary” and return ill-defined liberal democracy to the nation.

Lest anyone question Mr. Varady’s bona fides in being ready for the struggle, he has set the stage for force to be used by noting, despite lack of concrete examples, that “the Establishment” (read: the Orban government) “only understands the language of force”.

Not to be outdone by Mr. Varady is Gabor Vago, the fresh-faced but apparently politics-weary technocrat who bolted from the Politics Can Be Different (LMP) Party in early 2014 after alleged intra-party power struggles. Similar to Mr. Varady, his is a belief that politics is apparently déclassé and that a non-partisan movement is required. Anti-politics is the modus operandi of such civil society figures and one that plays perfectly into the hands of outside influences which will use the feint of anti-politics to push what ultimately becomes a purely economic-political putsch.

Many of the same talking points used by Mr. Varady were echoed by Gabor Vago in an interview with the business weekly Figyelo. Speaking of a December protest that he organized, Mr. Vago noted that the protest which included a punk concert – which he referred to as a “meta message” – was held for the purpose of promoting “a shift in the attitude of the tax authority”xii while using the protestors free-floating discontent as the muscle/street voice of the protest.

Mr. Vago, when asked about the next step replied: “Emphasis should gradually shift onto building communities…With time those micro communities can form a network.”xiii Perhaps based on his former political background, Mr. Vago was less circumspect than Mr. Varady in terms of speaking of the need for “power”. When queried regarding this issue he answered: “True, a change would require power. But that will only become a relevant question later.” When asked “When” he replied: “Perhaps within a year, perhaps in three or seven years’ time. One has to wait until the opportune moment.”xiv

As noted before, the amalgam protest movement requires technocrats and as Mr. Vago noted, without using the word “technocrat”:

Any change of elites would require the participation of experts. We need the support of people who took part in the transition [from Communism to the multi-party system] but not necessarily as politicians. People who have proved their talent in whatever field and think that the present regime is not viable. People who think their integrity puts them at a disadvantage and wish to turn Hungary into a country where you can be honest and competitive at the same time. Building from grass roots does not mean that we only organize ourselves in student clubs and romkocsma (alternative art pubs). We wish to approach people in all walks of life, ranging from top managers to unskilled rural workers.xv

In the same interview he was questioned as to how these groups will be coordinated:

Q: During the demonstrations against the Internet tax you were pleased to have involved young people who had been unaffected by politics until then. But only a few weeks on, only a fraction of those young people took to the streets. How can you involve people in long-term processes that hardly have any affinity to politics?

A: We need to identify the opinion leaders in existing groups and train them how to run such communities. Once we have won those opinion leaders, they will bring along their friends and the friends of friends. Demonstrations as such are not our ultimate goal, instead, to shape a democratic political community throughout Hungary.xvi

In essence, there will be a politico-technocrat elite overseeing the organization and release into society of nebulously-defined “opinion leaders” who will train people to run civil society “communities”. In theory it sounds wonderful – civil society having its rights. Yet rhetoric aside, the track record of Western-backed democratic upheavals needs to be viewed. The picture, as we know, is not too pretty of a sight whether in Georgia, Ukraine or elsewhere in the region.

Hungary is next in line for “democratic change” brought by the winds of the United States’ National Endowment for Democracy mixed with a touch of destabilization tactics from the CANVAS playbook of Srda Popovic.xvii

The question as to whether Hungary will meet the wrath of Washington and Brussels is not so much “if”, but “when”.

Once is conspiracy theory. Twice is coincidence. And now it has become reality.


i http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2011/12/201112316843684157.html
ii http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-19514325
iii http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/hungary-calls-on-imf-to-close-its-budapest-office-a-911250.html
iv http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/business/global/selection-of-hungarian-bank-chief-raises-fears.html
v http://budapestbeacon.com/politics/senator-john-mccain-calls-viktor-orban-neo-fascist-dictator/
vi http://budapestbeacon.com/public-policy/full-text-of-viktor-orbans-speech-at-baile-tusnad-tusnadfurdo-of-26-july-2014/
vii http://www.budapesttelegraph.com/news/814/zsolt_varady_on_demonstrations_and_plans_for_a_civil_website
viii Ibid.
ix Ibid.
x Ibid.
xi http://www.newsweek.com/hungarys-mussolini-vows-make-eu-member-illiberal-state-262127
xii http://www.budapesttelegraph.com/news/830/“our_goal_is_a_democratic_political_community_”_an_organizer_of_demos_says
xiii Ibid.
xiv Ibid.
xv Ibid.
xvi Ibid.
xvii http://www.occupy.com/article/exposed-globally-renowned-activist-collaborated-intelligence-firm-stratfor

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Why Syria, The Saudis,The Middle East, Russia And The West…..

Author’s Note… I created the maps below early last year (April) with the help of a friend who works as an energy analyst. After hours of research and creation, it became clear to me why the majority of  events and countries involved in the region were playing out as they were. Oil and natural gas, and the access or distribution of the resource dictates the actions of a number of regional countries and beyond. Going forward, I hope these maps can shed some light as to why there seems to be so much (coordinated) chaos in the recent past and present. Thanks -Trpintel

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HD View Of Image Above: HERE

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TRPINTEL | TRPINTEL

HD View Of Image Above: HERE

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TRPINTEL | TRPINTEL

HD View Of Image Above: HERE

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TRPINTEL | TRPINTEL

  HD View Of Image Above: HERE

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TRPINTEL | TRPINTEL

HD View Of Image Above: HERE

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My Points Of Note (To Consider)…. Or Not

– Its now apparent to see why Turkey and The Saudis have been so persistent in toppling Syria… To get a direct pipeline through Syria to tap into ( no pun intended) the TANAP/TAP pipeline… Signifying an undercut to Russia and a monopoly to Western Europe’s supply of hydrocarbons. Interesting to note that the Saudi’s decision to flood the market with cheap oil becomes clear as their original plans have not come to fruition and their adversaries are poised to reshuffle the world order in regards to energy supply.

– Turkey’s meddling is clear as their geographical location makes them an integral part of any plan to bring hydrocarbons to the EU and beyond. Erdogan has a desire to re-instate the Ottoman empire by being the major hub of distribution East and West. Like the Saudi’s they thought their plan would go accordingly fast, but the resistance in Syria has made them a pariah on the world stage. Interesting to note that a recent massive pipeline deal with Russia is a significant shift in this geo-political war and I believe signified a shift in their future plans in Syria and the region. They understand where their bread is buttered and want to switch sides as they see the writing on the wall. The Saudi’s are the opposite and will continue their disastrous foreign policy, but they do have alot of money to throw at a sinking ship.

– If one remembers Senator MCcains forays into Syria and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria) to strongarm nations to aquiesce to “Democracy”. The inter-connectors map shows the real reason he was so adamant to push for action here and nearer to Russia (Ukraine). Quite simply, out-right economic war against Russia and the anger at their position to control the supply of fuels west.

– Iran has lots and lots of LNG reserves and the EU knows that and desires some way to receive those supplies. They are in a predicament because of past demonization of Iran into a false monster. The fact is that Iran is poised to explode economically(good way). If they are allowed into the legitimate economic world, sans sanctions, that would also facilitate a reshuffling of the regional order. That frankly scares certain powers, because they would be left out in the cold.  Therefore the toppling of Syria is also an attack on Iran and its potential to dictate the future happenings in the region.

– The above fact is the reason we have seen the softening up to Iran and idea of lifting sanctions, but on the other hand the failure of recent talks to come to concrete agreements, because both sides to Iran are battling to have their results.  The truth is that physical realities will dictate the future and religious/philosophical ideals will fall to the wayside as countries have to feed and fuel their people.

– The Qataris are another interesting facet to this chess game as they were at first adamant regime changers in N Africa and Syria, but as they saw the writing on the wall and had a lot to lose if they went down with the sinking ship, have changed their tune and backed away from the fray (per say) to reinstate relations with whom they see as the eventual victors in this conflict.

– ISIS is nothing but blow-back and an alternative plan to carve up Syria for the benefit of Turkey and The House Of Saud. I will refer to my article I wrote early last year (HERE) and the idea of blow-back. Israel and Jordan (their leaders) better be careful with their foreign policy desicions because the more and more they play in the mud, the dirtier they become and eventually something they will not be able to clean up. I am under no illusion the power behind these forces and their ability to continue the facilitation of pure evil ( I always refer to this conflict as the most evil in history and ever put upon a people and nation).

In closing, things will happen as they are supposed to and the powers that be will eventually conclude this war when their interest are no longer viable in the long term. The important thing to note, who sees the writing on the wall and accepts the inevitable outcome and those that are too far gone to change their actions. These things have already happend and we who are looking on from the outside must watch. These events and actions are playing out in terms of decades and not months or weeks. Therefore, it is important for one to watch these events and think  in that context to better understand why things happen the way they do and not to get caught up in the everyday hysteria tha seems perpetual in all information outlets. Thanks for reading and stay tuned… Trpintel

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

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