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ANTIFA MANUAL FOUND

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 08:45
I’m not sure that we were supposed to know about this – if it is genuine.This document shows that it is Antifa (along with the forces they claim to be opposing - the real neo-nazis) are the real fascists.LEAKED: THE ANTIFA MANUALThere is always a possibility that this leaked document is a fake but if it is genuine it confirms our worst suspicions about ANTIFA, not as a movement to oppose white KKK supremacists but to subvert the power structure. (That is THEIR words, not mine)What makes me suspect that this may be genuine is the fact that while a real social movement, Occupy Wall Street was violently put down by the authorities this seems to have the tacit support of the elite and media
I have had a whole lifetime supporting movements that support exploited populations and oppose racism and misogyny.
However given the political climate in the United States it is obvious to me that this is something completely different. This is a movement funded by George Soros to undermine American society in the interests of bringing in a “New World Order”
Racism and sexism is something that can be countered only by every individual looking into their own heart. That means a proper education system that shows people how to think – not the dumbed down education system that has been foisted on the population by the very people who want to socially engineer society to the views enunciated here.
It is simply impossible to bring about racial tolerance and sexual equality by beating the shit our of people who disagree with you. And yet that is what is happening.


Here are some selected quotes from the manual


"To create a culture of tolerance we must first eliminate all forms of hate speech. Every idea critical of our movement or our way of thinking must be condemned as racist, homophobic,misogynist etc."
"Most liberals are not ANTIFA (yet) but soon they will be. Refugee crises such as those created by the situation in Syria are the ideal way to get more people of color (PoC) into America. They NEED our help. Ther are pictures of dead babies who ave washed ashore onto beaches. Use imagery such as this to get support for expandin the PoC/minority population in the United States."
"Never call any immigrant “illegal” obviously.They are “undocumented”. It doesn’t matter whether they were brought here by their parents at a young age. Migrants from Mexico and South America will play a central role in ANTIFA activities in the next 100 years."
"By 2011, one hundred years from now, our goal is to have 70% of the United States population be non-white. By then, we will hopefully have subverted the power structure enough to eventuate our ends."
ANTIFA MANUAL FOUND On Evergreen College Campus: Shut Down Their Rallies…Force The Media To Show Our Side As The Righteous One
This copy of the Antifa Manual, that is used by the George Soros funded, violent, anti-American, anti free-speech radical group, was allegedly found on the Evergreen College campus. The content of this manual is disturbing and should be read by every American, so we understand what we are up against. It helps to explain why these groups call our President and his supporters “Hitler” or “racists” or “homophobes.” It’s not that Trump or his supporters are any of these things, it’s just part of a campaign to humiliate and shut down any opposition to radicals whose ultimate goal is a one world order and the destruction of capitalism in America.
This manual gives every day Americans a look into the mind of a leftist radical who hates America and everything Americans stand for. They clearly have no regard for free-speech and are willing to use any means necessary, including deceit, outright lies and of course, violence to achieve their ultimate goals of a New World Order.This page explains how Antifa members are to use name-calling as a means to create a culture of tolerance. “When all else fails, compare someone to Hitler.” Next they discuss how to use ones minority status, and to remember that you are “Black first” and “American second.” or “Gay/Lesbian first” and “American third” and so on.It’s important to gain control of the media through any means necessary.Some major media conglomerates are swinging to our side, but they have not gone far enough.
It’s no coincidence that CNN just published a fluff piece on Antifa today: Unmasking the leftist Antifa movement
The CNN piece was clearly written to shed a sympathetic light on the violent group that’s been caught attacking and harming so many innocent Americans, many of them were harmed by Antifa for defending free speech and/or our President Donald J. Trump.
Look for the leftist media to kick it into high gear when it comes to defending the violence perpetrated on innocent Americans by the violent Antifa group. More of these soft pieces on the radical Antifa group are sure to be popping up over the next several months.
If you are seeking positions of power in the media, be sure to obfuscate and hide your true intentions on the various social media platforms.Use social media as a baton to slap down anyone who hold fascist viewpoints. Call them racist, homophobic, misogynistic. Create an echo chamber around you.
The next step is to threaten the livelihood of anyone who dares speak out against our agenda.


The pro-abortion page: This page talks about how white people are able to afford to have their “fetuses” aborted, while “people of color” have little choice but to keep a baby to term.



And finally, the ultimate goal is a New World Order and a New World Government where hatred and bigotry no longer exist. Imagine, if Antifa could figure out a way through George Soros funded activity, to shut down the rights of every American using violence and hatred at tools, their dream might just be possible…until they wake up and realize of course, that most Americans don’t hate this country and aren’t interested in Antifa’s special brand of violence and chaos.


http://100percentfedup.com/antifa-manual-found-evergreen-college-campus-shut-rallies-force-media-show-side-righteous-one/

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The real globalist agenda of ANTIFA

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 08:40
LEAKED: THE ANTIFA MANUAL
There is always a possibility that this leaked document is a fake but if it is genuine it confirms our worst suspicions about ANTIFA, not as a movement to oppose white KKK supremacists but to subvert the power structure. (That is THEIR words, not mine)
I have had a whole lifetime supporting movements that support exploited populations and oppose racism and misogyny.
However given the politcal climate in the United States it is obvious to me that this is something completely different. This is a movement funded by George Soros to undermine American society in the interests of bringing in a “New World Order”
Racism and sexism is something that can be countered only by every individual looking into their own heart. That means a proper education system that shows people how to think – not the dumbed down education system that has been foisted on the population by the very people who want to socially engineer society to the views enounced here.
It is simply impossible to bring about racial tolerance and sexual equality by beating the shit our of people who disagree with you. And yet that is what is happening.



Here are some selected quotes from the manual
"To create a culture of tolerance we must first eliminate all forms of hate speech. Every idea critical of our movement or our way of thinking must be condemned as racist, homophobic,misogynist etc."
"Most liberals are not ANTIFA (yet) but soon they will be. Refugee crises such as those created by the situation in Syria are the ideal way to get more people of color (PoC) into America. They NEED our help. Ther are pictures of dead babies who ave washed ashore onto beaches. Use imagery such as this to get support for expandin the PoC/minority population in the United States."
"Never call any immigrant “illegal” obviously.They are “undocumented”. It doesn’t matter whether they were brought here by their parents at a young age. Migrants from Mexico and South America will play a central role in ANTIFA activities in the next 100 years."
By 2011, one hundred years from now, our goal is to have 70% of the United States population be non-white. By then, we will hopefully have subverted the power structure enough to eventuate our ends.
ANTIFAMANUAL FOUND On Evergreen College Campus: Shut Down Their Rallies…Force The Media To Show Our Side As The Righteous One
This copy of the Antifa Manual, that is used by the George Soros funded, violent, anti-American, anti free-speech radical group, was allegedly found on the Evergreen College campus. The content of this manual is disturbing and should be read by every American, so we understand what we are up against. It helps to explain why these groups call our President and his supporters “Hitler” or “racists” or “homophobes.” It’s not that Trump or his supporters are any of these things, it’s just part of a campaign to humiliate and shut down any opposition to radicals whose ultimate goal is a one world order and the destruction of capitalism in America.
This manual gives every day Americans a look into the mind of a leftist radical who hates America and everything Americans stand for. They clearly have no regard for free-speech and are willing to use any means necessary, including deceit, outright lies and of course, violence to achieve their ultimate goals of a New World Order.This page explains how Antifa members are to use name-calling as a means to create a culture of tolerance. “When all else fails, compare someone to Hitler.” Next they discuss how to use ones minority status, and to remember that you are “Black first” and “American second.” or “Gay/Lesbian first” and “American third” and so on.


US Embassy in Russia suspends issuing of ‘Non-Immigrant’ Visas

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 03:40
BREAKING: US Embassy in Russia suspends issuing of ‘Non-Immigrant’ VisasThe move will make both business travel and tourism to Russia much more difficult

the Duran,21 August, 2017
The US Embassy in Russia has announced it has suspended the issuing of so-called ‘Non-Immigrant Visas’ in Russia. This move will remain indefinite for US consulates throughout Russia while services in Moscow will apparently resume after the 1st of September, 2017, the date after which 755 US diplomatic workers will be eventuated from Russia.
The US defines the following types of individuals who seek to travel to the US as those requiring ‘Non-Immigrant Visas’. Purpose of Travel Visa Category Required: Before applying for visa* Athlete, amateur or professional (competing for prize money only) B-1 (NA) Au pair (exchange visitor) J SEVIS Australian professional specialty E-3 DOL Border Crossing Card: Mexico BCC (NA) Business visitor B-1 (NA) CNMI-only transitional worker CW-1 (USCIS) Crewmember D (NA) Diplomat or foreign government official A  (NA) Domestic employee or nanny – must be accompanying a foreign national employer B-1 (NA) Employee of a designated international organization or NATO   G1-G5, NATO (NA) Exchange visitor J SEVIS Foreign military personnel stationed in the United States A-2
NATO1-6
(NA) Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics O USCIS Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional:
Chile, Singapore H-1B1 – Chile
H-1B1 – Singapore DOL International cultural exchange visitor Q USCIS Intra-company transferee L USCIS Medical treatment, visitor for B-2 (NA) Media, journalist I (NA) NAFTA professional worker: Mexico, Canada TN/TD (NA) Performing athlete, artist, entertainer P USCIS Physician J , H-1B SEVIS Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor) J SEVIS Religious worker R USCIS Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge H-1B DOL then USCIS Student: academic, vocational F, M SEVIS Temporary agricultural worker H-2A DOL then USCIS Temporary worker performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature. H-2B DOL then USCIS Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitor B-2 (NA) Training in a program not primarily for employment H-3 USCIS Treaty trader/treaty investor E (NA) Transiting the United States C (NA) Victim of Criminal Activity U USCIS Victim of Human Trafficking T USCIS Nonimmigrant (V) Visa for Spouse and Children of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) V (NA) Renewals in the U.S. – A, G, and NATO Visas (NA) This includes virtually all individuals seeking to travel to the US except those with American family members, refugees and those who have obtained traditional employment on US soil.
The move is seemingly a response to Russia forcing the US to withdraw 775 US diplomats and diplomatic staff from Russia which itself was a retaliatory measure against Barack Obama’s illegal seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the United States during which he also kicked Russian diplomats and embassy staff out of the US. That crisis has still not been resolved.


Donald Trump previously “thanked” President Putin for forcing a limitation on US Embassy staff in the country as it would keep costs down.


Russian Federation Council Deputy Andrei Klimov has said that Russia would respond to this latest move by US. He stated,“This is of course a demarche. We cannot stay in debt. Everything here is obviously going to be mirrored”.
It is not yet know what moves Russia will take against US visitors to the Russian Federation, as Russian visas tend to be less complex than their American counterparts.
Russia blasts new US visa restrictions

Press TV

Trump announces more wars

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 03:31
Afghanistan - Trump To Announce Four More One-Year Wars

Moon of Alabama,21 August, 2017

This evening Trump will announce a new "path forward" in the occupation of Afghanistan. According to the usual leaks it will be very same path the U.S. has taken for 16 years.

Several thousands soldiers from the U.S. and various NATO countries will (in vane) train the Afghan army. Special Forces and CIA goons will raid this or that family compound on someone's say-so. Bombs will be dropped on whatever is considered a target.

Trump will announce that 1,000 or so troops will be added to the current contingent. About 15,000 foreign troops will be in Afghanistan. About three contractors per each soldier will be additionally deployed.

Trump knows that this "path forward" is nonsense that leads nowhere, that the best option for all foreign troops in Afghanistan is to simply leave:Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 21 Nov 2013We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let's get out!But neither the military nor the CIA nor the local Afghan government will let the U.S. leave. Fear mongering is abound: "What happens if Afghanistan becomes a hotbed for international terrorists?" But few if any international terrorist incident in the "west" were ever organized in Afghanistan. In all recent incidents the culprits were locals.

For the military it is all about optics. The generals do not want to concede that they lost another war. The CIA wants to keep is militarized forces and drones which it justifies through its engagement in Afghanistan. The drug production in Afghanistan, which the U.S. never really tried to suppress, is rumored to finance "black" CIA operations just like it did during the Vietnam war and throughout various South American conflicts. The members of the Afghan government all live off U.S. largess. The war in Afghanistan is a racketpaid for with the lives of countless Afghans and U.S. taxpayer money.

Now tightly under control of neo-conservative leaning generals Trump had little chance to make a different decision. He had asked his team for alternatives but none were given to him:The president told McMaster “to go back to the drawing board,” the official said. “But he just kept coming back with the same thing.”
Trump's former strategic advisor Steve Bannon promoted an idea of Eric Prince, a shady provider of international mercenaries. Afghanistan would be given to a private for-profit entity comparable to the Brutish East-India Company. That company, with its own large army, robbed India of all possible valuables and nearly became a state of its own. But Prince and Bannon forgot to tell the end of that company's story. It came down after a large mutiny in India defeated its armed forces and had to be bailed out by the government. The end state of an East India Company like entity in Afghanistan would the same as it is now.Then there is the fairy tale of the mineral rich Afghanistan. $1 trillion of iron, copper, rare-metals and other nice stuff could be picked out of the ground. But in reality the costs of picking minerals in Afghanistan is, for various reasons, prohibitive.

The Bannon/Prince plan was lunatic but it was at least somewhat different than the never changing ideas of the military:The Defense Secretary [Mattis] has been using this line in meetings: "Mr. President, we haven't fought a 16-year war so much as we have fought a one-year war, 16 times."That line has already been used five years ago to describe the war on Afghanistan. (It originally describes the 10 year war in Vietnam.) Mattis did not explain why or how that repetitive one year rhythm would now change.

A "new" part of the plan is to put pressure on Pakistan to stop the financing and supplying of Taliban groups. That is not in Pakistan's interest and is not going to happen. The Trump administration wants to hold back the yearly cash payment to the Pakistani military. This has been tried before and the Pakistani response was to close down the U.S. supply route to Afghanistan. An alternative supply route through Russia had been developed but has now been shut down over U.S. hostilities towards that country. The U.S. can not sustain a deployment in Afghanistan without a sea-land route into the country.

The Afghan army is, like the government, utterly corrupt and filled with people who do not want to engage in fighting. More "training" will not change that. The U.S. proxy government is limited to a few larger cities. It claims to control many districts but its forces are often constricted to central compounds while the Taliban rule the countryside. In total the Taliban and associated local war lords holdmore than half of the country and continue to gain support. The alleged ISIS derivative in Afghanistan was originally formed out of Pakistani Taliban by the Afghan National Directorate of Security which is under the control of the CIA:In Nangarhar, over a year ago, the vanguard of the movement was a group of Pakistani militants who had lived there for years as ‘guests’ of the Afghan government and local people. While initially avoiding attacks on Afghan forces, they made their new allegiances known by attacking the Taleban and taking their territory.
ISIS in Afghanistan, founded as an anti-Taliban force, is just another form of the usual Afghan warlordism.

During 16 years the U.S. failed to set a realistic strategic aim for the occupation of Afghanistan. It still has none. Without political aim the military is deployed in tactical engagements that make no long lasting differences. Any attempts to negotiate some peace in Afghanistan requires extensive engagement with the Taliban, Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran. No one in Washington is willing to commit to that.

Trump's likely decision means that the story of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan will continue throughout the next years exactly as it happened during the last 16 years. The decision, once made, is unlikely to change until the next presidential election. The 16 one-year-wars in Afghanistan will become 20 one-year-wars for no perceivable gain.

The only conceivable event that could change the situation is an incident with a large number of U.S. military casualties. That could lead to a groundswell of anti-war sentiment which could press Congress into legislating an end of the war. But are the Taliban interested in achieving that?



Trump CAPTURED by neo-cons and Deep State

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 03:24
Trump announces Afghanistan war policy shift (LIVE VIDEO)



RT,21 August, 2017
President Donald Trump is anticipated to announce a new Afghanistan policy in a national address on the war at the Army's Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, next to Arlington National Cemetery.
Trump began his remarks addressing the recent violent political divisions, most vividly seen in Charlottesville, Virginia, last week.
"When one part of America hurts, we all hurt," Trump said, adding, "Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another."
Trump added that US troops fighting wars abroad "deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home."
Trump acknowledged that his "instincts" told him to pull out troops from Afghanistan.
"Historically, I like following my instincts," Trump said. He concluded differently, however.
"A hasty withdrawal," Trump said, would create a "vacuum" for terrorists.
Trump lamented the 20 terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the "highest concentration in any region, anywhere in the world," he said.
"Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos," he said, noting that there is nuclear-powered tensions between Pakistan and its neighbor India.
Trump called terrorists "nothing but thugs and criminals and, that's right, losers."
"We will not talk about numbers of troops," Trump said.
"Conditions on the ground," not public timetables, will determine the US' strategy, he said.
"I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will," he added.
"We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists," he said.
Trump was widely expected to heed the advice of his senior advisors Monday evening and announce an increase of the number of US troops in Afghanistan, which currently stands around 8,400.

The Saker on the concons capture of Donald Trump

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 02:26
The Neocons are pushing the USA and the rest of the world towards a dangerous crisis

Vineyard of the Saker,21 August, 2017
This analysis was written for the Unz Review.

First, my writing on the wall

In October of last year a wrote an analysis I entitled The USA are about to face the worst crisis of their history and how Putin’s example might inspire Trump and I think that this is a good time to revisit it now.  I began the analysis by looking at the calamities which would befall the United States if Hillary was elected.  Since this did not happen (thank God!), we can safely ignore that part and look at my prediction of what would happen if Trump was elected.  Here is what I wrote:

Trump wins.  Problem: he will be completely alone.  The Neocons have a total, repeat total, control of the Congress, the media, banking and finance, and the courts.  From Clinton to Clinton they have deeply infiltrated the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom, and the three letter agencies.  The Fed is their stronghold.  How in the world will Trump deal with these rabid “crazies in the basement“?  Consider the vicious hate campaign which all these “personalities” (from actors, to politicians to reporters) have unleashed against Trump – they have burned their bridges, they know that they will lose it all if Trump wins (and, if he proves to be an easy pushover his election will make no difference anyway).  The Neocons have nothing to lose and they will fight to the very last one.  What could Trump possibly do to get anything done if he is surrounded by Neocons and their agents of influence?  Bring in an entirely different team?  How is he going to vet them?  His first choice was to take Pence as a VP – a disaster (he is already sabotaging Trump on Syria and the elections outcome).  I *dread* the hear whom Trump will appoint as a White House Chief of Staff as I am afraid that just to appease the Neocons he will appoint some new version of the infamous Rahm Emanuel…  And should Trump prove that he has both principles and courage, the Neocons can always “Dallas” him and replace him with Pence.  Et voilà!

I went on to suggest that Trump’s only option would be to follow Putin’s example and do the the Neocons what Putin did to the oligarchs.  Clearly that did not happen.  In fact, one month after the election of Trump I wrote another analysis entitled “The Neocons and the “deep state” have neutered the Trump Presidency, it’s over folks!“.
Less than a month ago I warned that a ‘color revolution ‘ was taking place in the USA.  My first element of proof was the so-called “investigation” which the CIA, FBI, NSA and others were conducting against President Trump’s candidate to become National Security Advisor, General Flynn.  Tonight, the plot to get rid of Flynn has finally succeeded and General Flynn had to offer his resignation.  Trump accepted it.  Now let’s immediately get one thing out of the way: Flynn was hardly a saint or a perfect wise man who would single handedly saved the world.  That he was not.  However, what Flynn was is the cornerstone of Trump’s national security policy.  (…)  The Neocon run ‘deep state’ has now forced Flynn to resign under the idiotic pretext that he had a telephone conversation, on an open, insecure and clearly monitored, line with the Russian ambassador.  And Trump accepted this resignation.  Ever since Trump made it to the White House, he has taken blow after blow from the Neocon-run Ziomedia, from Congress, from all the Hollywood doubleplusgoodthinking “stars” and even from European politicians.  And Trump took each blow without ever fighting back.  Nowhere was his famous “you are fired!” to be seen.  But I still had hope.  I wanted to hope.  I felt that it was my duty to hope.  But now Trump has betrayed us all.   Again, Flynn was not my hero.  But he was, by all accounts, Trump’s hero.  And Trump betrayed him.  The consequences of this will be immense.  For one thing, Trump is now clearly broken. It took the ‘deep state’ only weeks to castrate Trump and to make him bow to the powers that be.  Those who would have stood behind Trump will now feel that he will not stand behind them and they will all move back away from him.  The Neocons will feel elated by the elimination of their worst enemy and emboldened by this victory they will push on, doubling-down over and over and over again.  It’s over, folks, the deep state has won.

I then concluded that the consequences of this victory would catastrophic for the United States:
In their hate-filled rage against Trump and the American people (aka “the basket of deplorables”) the Neocons have had to show their true face. By their rejection of the outcome of the elections, by their riots, their demonization of Trump, the Neocons have shown two crucial things: first, that the US democracy is a sad joke and that they, the Neocons, are an occupation regime which rules against the will of the American people. In other words, just like Israel, the USA has no legitimacy left. And since, just like Israel, the USA are unable to frighten their enemies, they are basically left with nothing, no legitimacy, no ability to coerce. So yes, the Neocons have won. But their victory is removes the last chance for the US to avoid a collapse.

I think that what we are seeing today are the first signs of the impending collapse.
The symptoms of the agony
  • Externally, the US foreign policy is basically “frozen” and in lieu of a foreign policy we now only have a long series of empty threats hurled at a list of demonized countries which are now promised “fire and brimstone” should they dare to disobey Uncle Sam.  While this makes for good headlines, this does not qualify as a “policy” of any kind (I discussed this issue at length during my recent interview with SouthFront).  And then there is Congress which has basically stripped Trump from his powers to conduct foreign policy.  This bizarre, and illegal, form of a “vote of no-confidence” further hammers in the message that Trump is either a madman, a traitor, or both.
  • Internally, the latest riots in Charlottesville now being blamed on Trump who, after being a Putin agent is now further demonized as some kind of Nazi (see Paul Craig Roberts’ first and secondwarnings  about this dynamic)
  • Organizationally, it is clear that Trump is surrounded by enemies as illustrated by the absolutely outrageous fact that he can’t even talk to a foreign head of state without having the transcript of his conversation leaked to the Ziomedia.
I believe that these all are preparatory steps to trigger a major crisis and use it to remove Trump, either by a process of impeachment, or by force under the pretext of some crisis.  Just look at the message which the Ziomedia has been hammering into the brains of the US population.
The psychological preparation for the forthcoming coup: scaring them all to death
Here are three very telling examples taken from Newsweek’s front page:Ask yourself, what is the message here?
Trump is a traitor, he works for Putin, Putin wants to destroy democracy in the United States and these two men together are the most dangerous men on the planet.  This is a “plot against America“, no less!Not bad, right?
“They” are clearly out there go get “us” and “we” are all in terrible danger: Kim Jong-un is about to declare nuclear war on the USA, Xi and Putin are threatening the world with their armies, and “our” own President came to power courtesy of the “Russian KGB” and “Putin’s hackers”, he now works for the Russians, he is also clearly a Nazi, a White supremacist, a racist and, possibly, a “new Hitler” (as is Putin, of course!).
And then, there are those truly scary Mooslims and Aye-rabs who apparently want only two things in life: destroy “our way of life” and kill all the “infidels”.  This is why we need the TSA, 16 intelligence agencies and militarized police SWAT teams everywhere: in case the terrorists come to get us where we live.
Dangerous international consequences
This would all be rather funny if it was not also extremely dangerous.  For one thing, the US is really poking at a dangerous foe when it constantly tries to scare Kim Jong-un and the DPRK leadership.  No, not because of the North Korean nukes (which are probably not real nuclear capable ICBMs but a not necessarily compatible combination of nuclear ‘devices’ and intermediate range ballistic missiles) but because of the huge and hard to destroy conventional North Korean military.  The real threat are not missiles, but a deadly combination of conventional artillery and special forces which present very little danger to the USA or the US military, but which present a huge threat for the population of Seoul and the northern section of South Korea.  Nukes, in whatever form, are really only an added problem, a toxic “icing” on an already very dangerous ‘conventional cake’.
[Sidebar – a real life nightmare: Now, if you *really* want to terrify yourself and stay awake all night then consider the following.  While I personally believe that Kim Jong-un is not insane and that the main objective of the North Korean leadership is to avoid a war at all costs, what if I am wrong?  What if those who say that the North Korean leaders are totally insane are right? Or, which I think is much more likely, what if Kim Jong-un and the North Korean leaders came to the conclusion that they have nothing to lose, that the Americans are going to kill them all, along with their families and friends?  What could they, in theory, do if truly desperate?  Well, let me tell you: forget about Guam; think Tokyo!  Indeed, while the DPRK could devastate Seoul with old fashioned artillery systems, DPRK missiles are probably capable of striking Tokyo or the Keihanshin region encompassing Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe including the key industries of the Hanshin Industrial Region.  The Greater Tokyo area (Kanto region) and the Keihanshin region are very densely populated (37 and 20 million people respectively) and contain an immense number of industries, many of which would produce an ecological disaster of immense proportions if hit by missiles.  Not only that, but a strike on the key economic and financial nodes of Japan would probably result in a 9-11 kind of international economic collapse.  So if the North Koreans wanted to really, really hurt the Americans what they could do is strike Seoul, and key cities in Japan resulting in a huge political crisis for the entire planet.  During the Cold War we used to study the consequences of a Soviet strike against Japan and the conclusion was always the same: Japan cannot afford a war of any kind.  The Japanese landmass is too small, too densely populated, to rich in lucrative targets and a war lay waste to the entire country. This is still true today, only more so.  And just imagine the reaction in South Korea and Japan if some crazy US strike on the DPRK results in Seoul and Tokyo being hit by missiles!  The South Koreans have already made their position unambiguously clear, by the way. As for the Japanese, they are officially placing their hopes in missiles (as if technology could mitigate the consequences of insanity!).  So yeah, the DPRK is plenty dangerous and pushing them into their last resort is totally irresponsible indeed, nukes or no nukes]
What we are observing now is positive feedback loop in which each move by the Neocons results in a deeper and deeper destabilization of the entire system.  Needless to say, this is extremely dangerous and can only result in an eventual catastrophe/collapse.  In fact, the signs that the USA are totally loosing control are already all over the place, here are just a few headlines to illustrate this:A French expression goes “when the cat is gone, the mice dance“, and this is exactly what is happening now: the USA is both very weak and basically absent.  As for the Armenians, they say “The mouse dreams dreams that would terrify the cat”.  Well, the “mice” of the world are dancing and dreaming and simply ignoring the “cat”.  Every move the cat makes only makes things worse for him.  The world is moving on, while the cat is busy destroying himself.
Dangerous domestic consequences
First on my list would be race riots.  In fact, they are already happening all over the United States, but they are rarely presented as such.  And I am not talking about the “official” riots of Black Lives Matter, which are bad enough, I am talking about the many mini-riots which the official media is systematically trying to obfuscate.  Those interested in this topic should read the book Don’t Make the Black Kids Angryby Colin Flaherty which shows that racist attack on Whites by Blacks (aka “polar bear hunting”) are on the rise pretty much all over the county.  Likewise, to anybody who stubbornly persists in ignoring the strong correlation between race and crime ought to read Ron Unz’s seminal analysis Race and Crime in America.  Now, before some self-appointed thought police volunteer accuses me a racism, I am not saying anything at all about the causes of the racial problems in the United States.  I am only saying that racial violence in the USA is severe and rapidly getting much worse.
The second problem which I see threatening the US society is an extremely rapid delegitimization of the entire US political system and, especially, of the Federal government.  For decades now Americans have been voting for ‘A’ and each time what they ended up with is ‘non-A’.  Examples of that include the famous “read my lips, no new taxes”, of course, but also Obama promises to stop stupid wars and now Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp”.  Americans have been lied to for decades and they know it.  There is a widening chasm between the so-called “American values” taught in schools and the reality of power.  While officially the USA are supposed to stand for democracy, freedom and all the other good things advocated by the Founding Fathers, the disgusting reality is that the USA are in bed with Wahabis, Nazis and Zionists.  The all-prevailing hypocrisy of it all now threatens to bring down the entire US political system just as the no less prevailing hypocrisy of the Soviet system brought down the USSR (if interested, you can read more about this topic here).  The simple truth is that no regime can survive for too long when it proactively supports the exact opposite of what it officially is supposed to stand for.  The result?  I have yet to meet an adult American who would sincerely believe that he/she lives in the “land of the free and the home of the brave”.  Maybe infants still buy this stuff, but even teenagers know that this is a load of bull.
Third, for all the encouraging statistics about the Dow Jones, unemployment and growth, the reality is that the US society is rapidly transforming itself in a three-tired one: on top, a small number of obscenely rich people, under them, a certain amount of qualified professionals who service the filthy rich and who struggle to maintain a lifestyle which in the past was associated with the middle-class.  And then the vast majority of Americans who basically are looking at making “minimal wage plus a little something” and who basically survive by not paying for health insurance, by typically working two jobs, by eating cheap and unhealthy “prolefeed” and by giving up on that which every American worker could enjoy in the 1950s and 1960s (have one parent at home, have paid holidays, a second vacation home, etc.).  Americans are mostly hard workers and, so far, most of them are surviving, but they are mostly one paycheck away from seriously bad poverty.  A lot of them only make ends meet because they get help from their parents and grand-parents (the same is true of southern Europe, by the way).  A large segment of the US population now survives only because of Walmart and the Dollar Store.  Once that fails, food stamps are the last option.  That, or jail, of course.
Combine all this and you get a potentially extremely explosive situation.  No wonder that when so many Americans heard Hillary’s comment about the “basket of deplorables” they took that as declaration of war.
And how do the Neocons plan to deal with all this?
By cracking down on free speech and dissent, of course!  What else?
Their only response – repression of course!
YouTube, Google, Facebook, Twitter – they are all cracking down on “bad” speech which includes pretty much any topic a garden variety self-described ‘liberal’ frowns upon. GoDaddy and Google are even going after domain names.  Oh sure, nobody gets thrown in jail for, say, defending the 2nd Amendment, but they get “demonetized” and their accounts simply closed.  It’s not the cops cracking down on free speech, it’s “Corporate America”, but the effect is the same.  Apparently, the Neocons do not realize that censorship is not a viable strategy in the age of the Internet.  Or maybe they do, and they are deliberately trying to trigger a backlash?
Then there is the vilification campaign in the media: unless you are some kind of ‘minority’ you are assumed to be nefarious by birth and guilty of all the evils on the planet.  And your leader is Trump, of course, or maybe even Putin himself, vide supra.  Christian heterosexual White males better run for cover…
Whatever may be the case, by their manic insistence, on one hand, to humiliate and crush Trump and, on the other, to repress millions of Americans the Neocons are committing a double mistake.  First, they are showing their true face and, second, they are subverting the very institutions they are using to control and run this country.  That, of course, only further weaken the Neocons and the United States themselves and that further accelerates the positive feedback loop mentioned above which now threatens the entire international system.
Us and them
What makes the gradual collapse of the AngloZionist Empire so uniquely dangerous is that it is by far the biggest and most powerful empire in world history.  No empire has ever had the quasi monopoly on power the USA enjoyed since WWII.  By any measure, military, economic, political, social, the USA came out of WWII as a giant and while there were ups and downs during the subsequent decades, the collapse of the USSR only reaffirmed what appeared to be the total victory of the United States.  In my admittedly subjective opinion, the last competent (no, I did not say ‘good’, I said ‘competent’) US President was George Herbert Walker Bush who, unlike his successors, at least new how to run an Empire.  After that, it is all downhill, faster and faster.  And if Obama was probably the most incompetent President in US history, Trump will be the first one to be openly lynched while in office.  As a result, the AngloZionist Empire is now like a huge freight train which lost its locomotive but which still have an immense momentum pushing it forward even though there is nobody in control any more.  The rest of the planet, with the irrelevant exception of the East Europeans, is now scrambling in horror to get out of the path of this out of control train.  So far, the tracks (minimal common sense, political realities) are more or less holding, but a crash (political, economic or military) could happen at any moment.  And that is very, very scary.
The USA has anywhere between 700 to 1000 military bases worldwide, the entire international financial system is deeply enmeshed with the US economy, the US Dollar is still the only real reserve currency, United States Treasury securities are held by all the key international players (including Russia and China), SWIFT is politically controlled by the USA, the US is the only country in the world that can print as much money as it wants and, last but not least, the US has a huge nuclear arsenal.  As a result, a US collapse would threaten everybody and that means that nobody would want to trigger one.  The collapse of the Soviet Union threatened the rest of mankind only in one way: by its nuclear arsenal.  In contrast, any collapse of the United States would threaten everybody in many different way.
So the real question now is this: can the rest of the planet prevent a catastrophic collapse of the AngloZionist Empire?
This is the irony of our situation: even though the entire planet is sick and tried of the incompetent arrogance of the AngloZionists, nobody out there wants their Empire to catastrophically collapse.  And yet, with the Neocons in power, such a collapse appears inevitable with potentially devastating consequences for everмybody.
This is really amazing, think of it: everybody hates the Neocons, not only a majority of the American people, but truly the entire planet.  And yet that numerically small group of people has somehow managed to put everybody in danger, including themselves, due to their ugly vindictiveness, infinite arrogance and ideology-induced short-sightedness.  That this could ever have happened, and at a planetary scale, is a dramatic testimony to the moral and spiritual decay of our civilization: how did we ever let things get that far?!And the next obvious question: can we still stop them?
I honestly don’t know.  I hope so, but I am not sure.  My biggest hope with Trump was that he would be willing to sacrifice the Empire for the sake of the USA (the opposite of what the Neocons are doing: they are willing to sacrifice the USA for the sake of their Empire) and that he would manage a relatively safe and hopefully non-violent transition from Empire to “normal country” for the USA.  Clearly, this is ain’t happening.  Instead, the Neocons are threatening everybody: the Chinese, the Russians, the North Koreans and the Venezuelans of course, but also the Europeans (economically), the entire Middle-East (via the “only democracy in the Middle-East”), all the developing countries and even the American people.  Heck, they are even threatening the US President himself, and in not-so-subtle way!
So what’s next?
Truly, I don’t know.  But my overwhelming sense is that Trump will be removed from office, either for “high crimes and misdemeanors” or for “medical reasons” (they will simply declare him insane and unfit to be the President).   Seeing how weak and spineless Trump is, he might even be “convinced” to resign.  I don’t see them simply murdering him simply because he is no Kennedy either.  After that, Pence comes to power and it will all be presented like a wonderful event, a group-hug of the elites followed by an immediate and merciless crackdown on any form of political opposition or dissent which will immediately be labeled as racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, terrorist, etc.  The evil hand of the “Russian KGB” (yes, I know, the KGB was dissolved in 1991) will be found everywhere, especially amongst US libertarians (who will probably the only ones with enough brains to understand what is taking place).  The (pseudo-) “Left” will rejoice.  Should this course of action result in an unexpected level or resistance, either regional or social, a 9-11 false flag followed by a war will the most likely scenario (why stray away from something which worked so well the first time around?!).  Unless the USA decides to re-invade Grenada or give Nauru a much deserved thrashing, any more or less real war will result in a catastrophic failure for the USA at which point the use of nukes by the Neocon crazies might become a very real risk, especially if symbolic US targets such as aircraft carriers are hit (in 1991 when the US sent the 82nd AB to Iraq there was nothing standing between this light infantry force and the Iraqi armored divisions.  Had the Iraqis attacked the plan was to use tactical nuclear weapons.  Then this was all quickly forgotten).
There is a reason why the Neocons thrive in times of crisis: it allows them to hide behind the mayhem, especially when they are the ones who triggered the mayhem in the first place.  This means that as long as the Neocons are anywhere near in power they will never, ever, allow peace to suddenly break out, lest the spotlight be suddenly shined directly upon them.  Chaos, wars, crises – this is their natural habitat.  Think of it as the by-product of their existence.  Eventually, of course, they will be stopped and they will be defeated, like all their predecessors in history.  But I shudder when I think of the price mankind will have to pay this time around.The Saker

America's second naval incident

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 02:20
Perhaps these sorts of incidents should happen more frequently?
US Navy orders worldwide 'operational pause' after warship crashes off SingaporeThis was the second accident involving missing sailors in the last three months

the Independent,21 August, 2017
The US Navy has ordered a "worldwide operational pause" after a warship crashed into a merchant vessel in Singapore.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson called for the one-day pause for a safety review to be carried out over the next few weeks within the separate commands.
The USS John McCain collided with an oil tanker off the coast of the Asian island in the early morning of 21 August resulting in five injuries and 10 missing sailors.
It comes just a few months after the USS Fitzgerald's collision with a container ship on 17 June 2017. Seven sailors were killed in that crash, some as young as 19 years of age.
It is the fourth accident to happen involving the US Navy in the Pacific theatre, which prompted Mr Richardson to say in a statement that the Navy needs to "ensure we are taking all appropriate immediate measures to enhance the Navy's safe and effective operation around the world."
Bodies found in search for seven US Navy sailors following sea collisionThe Navy will "examine the process by which we train and certify our forward deployed forces in Japan to be ready for operations and war," according to Mr Richardson's statement.
Among the issues to be reviewed are career development of sailors, maintenance procedures, equipment, as well as "tactical and navigational proficiency".
The review will not only be conducted by officers and the enlisted but outside experts from the private sector.
The search for the 10 missing soldiers from the USS McCain continues off the Strait of Malacca between Indonesia and Malaysia and further out in the ocean.

All others on board were either taken to hospital or safely made it back to port from the guided missile destroyer that had visible damage - a large dent in the left side - as it docked on its own power at Changi Naval Base in Singapore

What t expect from Trump's Afghanistan strategy

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 02:16
Trump is due to give a speech in a couple of hours. Will he show himself to be a puppet of the neo-cns and Deep State?

Does he have a strategy?
Trump's Afghanistan Strategy: What To Expect. With Jacob Hornberger


RonPaulLibertyReport

Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger joins the Liberty Report to preview President Trump's Afghanistan strategy that will be unveiled tonight. Should we expect a radical departure from the last 16 unsuccessful years? Get your tickets to the RPI Conference discussed in this video

American politics through Russian eyes

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 02:12
Trump Being Exposed as a Nazi as He Fires Staff Members


Vesti News

Lately, this has been one of the most viral photographs. From left to right: Priebus, Brennan, Spicer, Flynn. Trump’s associates, his administration's staff, whom the internal political struggle in the US knocked out of the White House. Let me remind you that it was the ideologist, Stephen Bannon, who was fired last on Friday. It seems that Trump is left alone with Vice President Pence, who is dreaming of impeaching the boss to occupy his chair. However, it only seems that way. Dozens of American cities turned into Charlottesville within a few days, where last week, there were clashes between radical right-wingers, leftists, and anti-fascists.

Sane Progressive on Trump's Deep State minders

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 02:07
Usually, if Debbie says it is a sign to take something seriously.Former DHS Chief and Military Advisor to CIA's Panetta, John Kelly Appointed to Manage Trump


Links and Sources

On monitoring all Trump calls:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/na...
https://vtdigger.org/2017/01/24/sande...

Leon Panetta 30 Year War:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/leon-pan...

John Kelly Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F....

Now they want bases in Syria:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mi...

Most dangerous people elevated by MSM as the grownups:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_an...

The latest breaking news

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 02:03
FBI Creating Right Wing False Flags Uncovered?

WeAreChange

In this video, Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange gives you the latest breaking news that happened this week. We go over an FBI right wing plot, tensions between China and India escalating, the latest white house buzz with the ouster of Steve Bannon plus a lot more. 

A focus on Greece

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 01:51
As Greece Burns, SYRIZA-Led Gov’t Declares “Success Story” After Neoliberal TakeoverSelling a struggling nation to the highest corporate, oligarchic, and state bidders may be just the way things work in the world, but please stop trumpeting it as a great “success story.” Greece’s forests are burning, its economy sold out, its citizens struggling more than before they were “saved.”
Michael Nevradakis,
Mint Press,21 August, 2017

ATHENS, GREECE — (Analysis) Exactly two years ago, on August 14, 2015, the “leftist” SYRIZA-led Greek coalition government — just over a month removed from a referendum that saw 62 percent of voters rejecting a new austerity plan proposed by the “troika” of Greece’s lenders, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund — put the final nail in the coffin of the referendum result, passing the third, and most onerous to date, memorandum proposal, foreseeing ever-harsher austerity measures, cuts, and privatizations.
Today, the sweet smell of “success” is in the air.If by success, of course, you meant the smell of charred forest, then you would be correct.Greece is burning, and not just due to the high summer temperatures. Dozens upon dozens of forest fires throughout the country, which broke out in the space of less than a week, have covered Athens and much of Greece with a choking, smoky haze. Outside of Athens, huge forest fires have raged over a span of over 25 kilometers and, as of this writing, a period of three days, inundating the city with a smoky haze.It could be said that this is the perfect complement to the winter atmosphere in the city, when Athens is blanketed by a noxious smog, the result of the burning of makeshift fireplaces and furnaces keeping many of the city’s residents warm; residents who can no longer afford absurdly-taxed heating oil or to run electric inverters.In a 24-hour period between August 13 and 14, 91 fires broke out in Greece. On the island of Zakynthos alone, 22 fires occurred during this period, just a few weeks after earlier fires burned parts of the island, which is a popular tourist destination. Across the strait, the mainland region of Ileia—which was heavily impacted by destructive and large-scale fires a decade ago, in the summer of 2007—once again fell prey to fires that ignited in multiple locations.Both a blessing—due to their capacity to moderate scorching summer temperatures—and a curse, Greece’s famed August winds, known as the “meltemi,” helped fuel many of these fires and aided in spreading them across large areas, igniting multiple fronts. But the outbreak of all of these fires and the scale of their intensity cannot be attributed to heat and wind alone.The large fires in Zakynthos and outside of Athens, for instance, began along multiple fronts within minutes, hinting at coordinated arson attacks.Indeed, evidence of arson, including gas canisters and large convex lenses, have already been discovered in Kalamos, the location near Athens where one of the blazes originated. Two convex lenses placed next to a large canister of natural gas found near Kalamos, a suburb of Athens.
On August 15, a 62-year-old man, said to be an employee of the Labor Ministry, who was in possession of numerous tools with which a blaze could be lit, was caught and arrested near Mount Parnitha, which itself had been previously reduced to ashes following destructive fires in August 2007. According to Gianna Tsoupra, adviser to the SYRIZA-affiliated regional governor of the Athens region Rena Dourou, such fires are an unfortunate “natural phenomenon.” Greece burns: who benefits? Volunteers try to extinguish the fire outside a military base at the village of Varnava , north of Athens, Aug. 14, 2017. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)

These fires could be described as a microcosm of much of what is wrong with Greece — as well as with the institution the country supposedly cannot survive without, the European Union. Greece today is the only European country without a national cadastre (forest registry). While areas classified as forestland are constitutionally protected, this classification is largely based on aerial photography dating back to 1945 or earlier. The results are often comical.For instance, a portion of the site of Athens’ former international airport—slated for privatization and development by the same SYRIZA government which prior to its election promised to abolish these very actions—has been classified as “forestland,” due to the vegetation which existed on the site in the 1937-39 time period. Indeed, the lack of an actual complete registry has led to a number of unintentional — or perhaps intentional — consequences.Burned land can, for instance, be sold to developers and then reclassified after the fact. A 2011 study by the Athens Polytechnic Institute found that approximately one million structures in Greece were constructed illegally (including on land previously covered by forest). Flexible legislation, such as Greek Law 4014/2011, allows such illegal properties to be “legalized” upon the payment of a fine—a practice viewed favorably for its lucrative income-generating potential by both the Greek government and its “partners” in the troika.In turn, this practice fuels—pun intended—more and more fires. According to GlobalForestWatch, over 150,000 hectares of Greek forest have been destroyed since 2000, one percent of the total land area of the country.At the onset of the Greek economic crisis, former government minister Theodoros Pangalos—whose governments oversaw and tolerated many of the aforementioned practices—stated, in anattempt to ascribe collective guilt and blame to the entire populace for the causes of the crisis, that the Greek people “ate it all together,” implying that the citizenry collectively took advantage of corruption and graft for its own benefit.As with many attempts at stereotyping, there is a grain of truth in this statement. On the island of Crete for instance, the “Residents Outside Town Planning” club represents approximately 45,000 illegal homeowners.However, the beneficiaries of such practices extend beyond just a certain segment of the Greek populace. “Ex-pats” who have relocated to Greece from countries considered by many self-loathing Greeks as “civilized” and “law-abiding” have taken advantage of such laws to purchase properties constructed illegally. Indeed, “ex-pats” looking to purchase property in Greece are evenadvised as to how an illegal property can be legalized. These very same “ex-pats” — reflecting arrogant, time-honored colonial habits that die hard — are known for lecturing the clearly lazy, wayward, and corrupt Greeks for engaging in such terrible practices as “tax evasion” through the withholding of receipts for small purchases.Meanwhile, Greece continues to reap the benefits of its membership in the “European family”—where, we are told, in a position supported by the entirety of the political representation in the national parliament, the country must remain “at all costs.” With Greece in flames, the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism obliged Greece’s fire service, already stretched thin due to fires at home and EU-supported economic austerity, to send two firefighting planes to Albania to battle forest fires in that country. A woman with a bucket walks among burnt forest land during a wildfire near the suburb of Kaisariani in eastern Athens, on, Aug. 10, 2017. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)

Conversely, no corresponding mobilization seems to have occurred at the EU level to fight fires in Greece. France, for instance, felt no need to display “solidarity” towards its “European partner,”refusing a request to send aerial firefighting aircraft to Greece, citing its own difficulties with fires. It is unclear why Greece could not respond in the same manner to the EU’s demands to send planes to Albania.In a tacit admission of who truly controls the purse strings in Greece, Giorgos Patoulis, the mayor of the northern Athens suburb of Maroussi and president of the Hellenic Union of Municipalities (KEDE), admitted in a radio interview that Greece’s limited resources to fight fires via aerial means are a direct consequence of the actions of those who control the country’s public spending. Since 2016, when the Greek Parliament essentially voted itself voteless, Greece’s annual budget has been determined by the EU itself.Greece: Business as usual? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during their meeting in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city on Thursday, June 15, 2017. Under heavy security Netanyahu is in northern Greece to discuss plans to become a key supplier of European energy through an ambitious Mediterranean undersea natural gas pipeline project. (AP/Giannis Papanikos)

Following the 9/11 attacks in the United States, with a country in mourning, then-president George W. Bush famously uttered that America was “open for business.” The current government in Greece is apparently following the same playbook.The SYRIZA-led government, many of whose members once participated in protest movements against apartheid Israel’s actions in Palestine, recently agreed to expedite efforts on the development of the EastMed pipeline, which would transport natural gas from Israeli gas fields to Greece, Italy, and Cyprus, in a project co-financed by the European Union and previouslysupported by the Obama administration.Oddly enough, the proposed pipeline route includes a 600-kilometer overland route in mainland Greece, passing right through the Mani region of the Peloponnese that burned to the ground in early July.Legislation currently being considered would officially declassify urban green spaces, such as parkland, that are currently considered “forestland” and protected by existing constitutional provisions. Loosening these protections would open the door to the economic “development” of the little remaining green space in Greece’s overcrowded, densely-populated, and haphazardly-planned cities. Meanwhile, in December the Greek Parliament passed Law 4442, Article 33 of which relaxes prior regulations on economic activity and the economic development of Greece’s archaeological sites. This law was passed at the behest of Greece’s so-called “saviors” in the troika.According to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras though — as well as to the global neoliberal press that fawns over him and his commitment to the “bitter medicine” of austerity — all is well in Greece and the sweet smell of success, rather than that of smoldering ashes, is indeed in the air. In an absurd and comical interview published by the bible of “leftists” worldwide, The Guardian, on July 24, Tsipras described a reality in which apparently only he, his fellow government ministers and members of parliament, and his supporters in the press and the troika apparently reside.In this interview, Tsipras claimed that “the worst is clearly behind us,” that Greece’s economy is “on the up,” and that his government “will extract the country from the crisis.” He excused his rejection of the referendum result of July 2015 as a “compromise” that prevented Greece from turning “into Afghanistan.” This statement reflects the same blatant fearmongering about the impact of a Greek departure from the EU and Eurozone that is practiced by the Greek and international mass media — which purportedly have fought the “leftist” government of Tsipras — and by the main Greek opposition, the neoliberal-right New Democracy party.The “objective” Guardian could not conceal its support for Tsipras’ brand of neoliberal “leftism,” peppering the article with language excusing away the actions of Tsipras and his government. SYRIZA’s first-place finish with 36 percent of the vote in the September 2015 elections amidst record voter abstention is described as a “mandate,” while the austerity measures imposed by the troika are described as a “rescue programme” that may be accompanied by “much-needed debt relief.”Tsipras himself defended his government’s position — to never consider an exit from the Eurozone and the EU — on the grounds that Europe would lose an important part of its history and heritage, an ironic statement when one considers that it is Greece that is losing its history, heritage, culture, language, and especially its sovereignty as a result of its membership in these institutions. This statement did, however, echo Tsipras’ January 25, 2015 victory speech that accompanied his initial ascent to power, a speech that contained constant references to “saving Europe” but no references to saving Greece, the country he was elected to govern.One day after this puff piece was published by The Guardian, the SYRIZA-led government and the international media (including, you guessed it, The Guardian) triumphantly proclaimed Greece’s “return to the markets” — as Greece “successfully” held its first bond sale in three years, selling 3 billion euros’ worth of five-year bonds at a yield (interest rate) of 4.625 percent.Compare this to the yields of other EU member-states as of August 15, including Belgium (-0.191 percent), France (-0.146 percent), Germany (-0.284 percent); crisis-hit countries such as Italy (0.7 percent), Portugal (1.089 percent), and Spain (0.217 percent); or even Romania (2.6 percent). It is evident that the idea of a common market and a common currency falls flat on its face. Greece’s 4.625 percent yield can also be compared to those in such economic powerhouses as Malaysia (3.622 percent), Botswana (4.2 percent), the Philippines (4.659 percent), and Vietnam (4.681 percent).The government of EU and Eurozone member-state Greece is — in honor, it would seem, of Pyrrhus and his “victory” — celebrating its ability to once again borrow on the international markets, at rates comparable to those of Vietnam and the Philippines and worse than Botswana, in order to repay the “bailouts” (in reality, loans) received from its creditors in the troika — which were used to repay the debt that is blamed for thrusting Greece into its current economic predicament in the first place! Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, welcomes European Commissioner for Economy Pierre Moscovici at Maximos Mansion in Athens, July 25, 2017. Greece is poised to tap international bond markets for the first time in three years in a move the government claims will signal the country is ready to emerge from its bailout era. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Reality, however, must not be allowed to interfere with the sweet scent of success. Hence another one of the Greek government’s and troika’s recent success stories, the purported “loosening” of Greece’s capital controls, imposed under the watch of the supposedly “heroic” former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, which have restricted withdrawals from Greek bank accounts since June 28, 2015. Earlier in August, the Greek government announced a new limit on withdrawals from Greek bank accounts of 1,800 euros per month, replacing the previous limit of 840 euros every two weeks.Simple math, however, demonstrates that the Greek government and its backers in the troika must consider the Greek people extremely stupid: an 840 euro withdrawal limit each two weeks amounts to a maximum of 21,840 euros per year, while a 1,800 euro monthly withdrawal limit equates to 21,600 euros annually — a reduction, in other words. The Guardian, however, joined the Greek government and most of the press corps in describing this as a “relaxation,” and further evidence of Greece’s “success story.”Notably, this is not the first time that “fuzzy math” has been used to “loosen” Greece’s capital controls. When initially imposed, a limit of withdrawals of 60 euros per day was established. This 60 euro daily limit was “relaxed” in September of 2015 to a weekly limit of 420 euros, which again equates to 60 euros per day.In July 2016, this limit was again “loosened”—by permitting withdrawals of 840 euros every two weeks, which again equated to 60 euros per day and 420 euros per week. The current annual limit of 21,600 euros comes out to a daily mean of 59.18 euros per day, less than when the capital controls were initially imposed in 2015!Greece’s “success story” is indeed so great that Greek justice minister Stavros Kontonis, ininterviews with Greek state television ERT and state news agency ANA-MPA, stated his belief that the recent spate of fires in the country is the result of an “organized plan to destabilize the country” hatched by unnamed elements who do not wish to see Greece’s economic “recovery” continue.EU and media hypocrisy at its finest
On August 1, the former head of Greece’s Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), one-time IMF staffer Andreas Georgiou, was issued a two-year suspended prison sentence by a court of appeals in Athens on charges of breach of duty. Georgiou had been accused by whistleblowers such as Zoe Georganta, a former member of ELSTAT’s board of directors, of manipulating Greece’s deficit and debt figures to cause them to appear worse than they were in reality, thereby providing the political impetus necessary to drag Greece under the troika’s austerity and privatization regime. While the charges of breach of duty related to the lesser crime of having sent data regarding Greece’s 2009 budget deficit to Eurostat without consulting with ELSTAT’s board, this nevertheless represented a victory for those in Greece who have stood opposed to the austerity policies of the past eight years.Opponents of “Brexit” and proponents of the European Union often hysterically claim that without the EU, human rights would somehow fly out the window. They must not have seen the reaction to the Georgiou case and the eventual verdict, on the part of the Nobel Prize-winning EU. European Commission coordinating spokesperson for Economic and Financial Affairs, Annika Breidthardt,expressed “concern” over the Georgiou ruling, claiming that ELSTAT’s independence was breached and that its members were not being “protected in line with the law,” further adding that the casewould be examined by the Euro Working Group this autumn and that an appeal would be a possibility.Prior to the verdict, Margaritis Schinas, the Greek-born chief spokesperson of the European Commission and former member of the European Parliament with the New Democracy party in Greece, again relayed the Commission’s disappointment and waning trust in Greece over the charges Georgiou was facing. Most damningly though, it was revealed that one of the requirements that the Greek government was obliged to enforce, in order to receive an 8.5 billion euro tranche of loan funds (which had already been earmarked for Greece due to the prior implementation of other troika demands), was to fully cover the cost of Georgiou’s legal defense. Coincidentally, of course, soon after these concerns were raised, a clause inserted into legislation pending before the Greek parliament provided for the full payment of Georgiou’s legal defense costs by the Greek state, via ELSTAT. Andreas Georgiou, stands outside the headquarters of the Statistics agency, in Athens, Greece. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)

Following the European Union’s lead, the press corps could not conceal their disappointment, seething over Georgiou’s guilty verdict. In an August 4 editorial, Bloomberg described the prosecution of Georgiou as “scandalous” and as “punishment” for “cleaning up” Greece’s finances. That same day, The Washington Post — owned by Jeff Bezos of Amazon andCIA fame, and quick to label independent news sites such as Mint Press News as “fake news” — stated in an editorial that Georgiou was “scapegoated” and was “only doing his job.” The Financial Timescharacterized the Georgiou trial as a “farce,” warning that the decision would “drive a wedge between Athens and euro area creditors.”In turn, a ludicrous Politico hit piececlaimed that Greece “condemned itself” by “convicting an honest statistician” in a decision that “raises questions about the integrity of the country’s institutions.” The author of this particular article, Megan Greene, seems to have taken on the side job of being Georgiou’s public advocate on Twitter, where she also has publicly demonstrated comfortable relationships with editors from Greece’s neoliberal newspaper of record, Kathimerini, and with Greek politicians.Interestingly, the “integrity” of Greece’s “institutions” was not called into question when, for instance, the Areios Pagos, Greece’s supreme court, ruled in early July that legislation rolling back Greek worker rights — which was implemented as part of Greece’s second memorandum agreement with the troika, and passed by the government of the non-elected technocrat prime minister and former central banker Lucas Papademos — was constitutional. According to the decision issued by the court, the laws in question had the purpose of increasing the “competitiveness” of Greek businesses and it followed that the resulting decrease in labor costs (wages) was therefore in the public interest.Not a word of protest was uttered by the European Commission, the Financial Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Politico, Megan Greene, or Kathimerini over this decision. Nor was the integrity of Greece’s judicial institutions questioned when, later in July, an appeals court in Athens ruled that wage reductions of up to 45 percent were “legal and constitutional.” Again there was silence from the European Commission and its supporters in the press corps.Indeed, instead of protest, the president of the Areios Pagos was rewarded: just days after the decision that found that the troika-imposed cutback in worker rights was constitutional, the president of the court, Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou, was hired as the supervisor of the legal office of prime minister Tsipras, purportedly on a non-salaried basis. Notably, Thanou-Christophilou had also served as Greece’s caretaker prime minister for approximately one month, prior to the September 2015 parliamentary elections.A “success story” – on paper only
Clearly congratulating himself on a job well done, Tsipras is now reportedly taking a vacation, while much of the country is up in flames, literally and figuratively. And why not? Tourism is said to be breaking records; unemployment is claimed to be on the decline; a primary budget surplus has been achieved; the current austerity program is claimed by Tsipras to be set to finish in 2018; the government is again claiming it will launch a television and radio licensing process to “go after” Greece’s oligarchs, and Greece is even reported to be launching talks to join the BRICS’development bank. Sounds great, right? Let’s deconstruct these claims.The August full moon has become an annual commemoration in Greece. Occurring during the peak of Greece’s tourist season, the night of the August full moon is a time when museums and historical sites throughout the country open their doors to the public, hosting free tours and live concerts.This year, the August 7 full moon was accompanied by a partial lunar eclipse. And, this year’s crowds at museums and historical sites were larger than in previous years. This could be attributed, in part, to tourism. Greece is expecting to achieve record tourist arrivals, which this year are projected to surpass 30 million visitors. The August full moon rises above the 5th Century BC Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio, south of Athens, on Aug. 7, 2017. More than a hundred of Greece’s ancient sites _ but not the Acropolis in Athens _ and museums were kept open until late Monday and concerts organized to allow visitors to enjoy the full moon, which is accompanied by a partial lunar eclipse. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)

There is another factor, however: while foreign tourists are arriving in Greece in droves, Greek residents are increasingly stuck at home — unable to afford even a brief vacation inside their own country and deprived of the opportunity to enjoy Greece’s beautiful beaches, islands, and countryside even for a few days. A 2016 study found that domestic tourism has decreased by 45 percent during the crisis.Athens neighborhoods that used to resemble ghost towns during August, were this year only moderately less vibrant than during the rest of the year. Unable to afford a vacation, many Greeks stayed home—and likely attended those free full-moon events in record numbers.Of course, privatizations were supposed to “save” Greece, including Greek tourism, justifying the sell-off of 14 profitable Greek regional airports and the port of Piraeus, the largest port in Greece and one of the largest in Europe. The 14 airports were purchased by a consortium of investors led by Fraport, owned by the German state.Proponents of privatization in Greece, conditioned over many decades to demonize anything and everything that is publicly owned or operated, argued that this investment was necessary to “improve” these airports and their “efficiency.” Those “improvements” are already evident, as complaints have been rolling in from travelers and employees alike: extremely long queues and a lack of air conditioning have been reported to be commonplace to a far greater extent than in the past, indeed the new normal, while parking privileges for employees at the Fraport-owned airportshave all but been curtailed.Quite fittingly, the final agreement that was reached between the Greek government and Fraport for the privatization of the 14 airports was based on a royal decree enacted by Greece’s “pro-western” post-war government in 1953 and signed by King Paul, of German lineage through the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.Such privatizations have been touted as “investments” that provide far-reaching benefits and jobs to the Greek economy, and as signs of investor confidence in Greece. The benefits they have actually provided Greece, however, are dubious, as seen in the case of Fraport. This is also evident in the case of the Chinese-owned Cosco, which purchased a controlling share in the entire port of Piraeus from the Greek state in 2016, and which had previously purchased the container port of Piraeus in an agreement with the then-government of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in 2011. What Cosco seems to have actually delivered to Piraeus are Chinese-style labor conditions, under which workers are, for instance, encouraged to urinate into the sea instead of taking toilet breaks.From a tourism standpoint, however, these privatizations are part of a larger negative trend that goes largely unreported: the profits from these airports and seaports, which previously entered public coffers, now go straight to Germany and China. In the meantime, the “all-inclusive” and cruise-ship models of tourism are those that have been most vigorously developed in recent years.This means that foreign visitors often arrive in Greece via foreign-owned charter airlines or cruise ships, on vacations that are usually booked with foreign travel agents and tour operators. They then spend most of their time on the cruise ship or inside an all-inclusive resort, contributing very little spending to the real economy. This is evidenced by statistics showing that despite Greece’s record arrivals, spending per tourist is on a decline, at a mere 430 euros per visitor, 15 percent less than Greece’s nearest competitor in the region.China, of course, is also a member of BRICS, and it has been reported in recent weeks that Greece has entered talks to formally apply for membership in the BRICS’ New Development Bank. Many opponents of neoliberalism around the world have touted BRICS as an alternative to the existing economic order. But is it really? China’s labor record, for instance, suggests otherwise — as doesthe Temer regime currently at the helm in Brazil, a favorite of Washington, which is currently enforcing troika-style austerity and is embroiled in corruption scandals. The same could be said of India, which is on board with much of the Western world’s efforts to eliminate cash and physical currency.But what about Russia? Many in Greece believe that Russia and Vladimir Putin can “save” Greece—if only Greece would turn its back on the Eurozone, EU, and NATO. Throughout the crisis, it has been rumored that there were secret plans for Greece to turn to Russia if it could not achieve “bailout” deals with the troika, but there seems to be no real evidence that Russia ever had such an aid package prepared for Greece, or that it was ever willing to provide such assistance. What is clear, however, is that Russia,  like China and like Germany, sees fertile ground in Greece for its own investments.In Febrary 2016, a series of economic deals were signed between Greece and Russia. At the time, the Russian government expressed its interest in a number of potential privatization deals in Greece. Flashing forward to April of this year, a majority share (67 percent) of the port of Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, which is viewed as a strategic gateway to the Balkans, was privatized. The buyer? The Deutsche Invest Equity Partners-CMA consortium, in which a major investor is a business figure by the name of Ivan Savvidis.Who is Savvidis? Born in Georgia when it was part of the former Soviet Union, Savvidis was employed in a state-owned tobacco factory during the Soviet years, becoming its general director soon after the collapse of the USSR and subsequent privatization of the factory. Savvidis was previously a deputy with Russia’s ruling party, United Russia, in the country’s parliament. He is also chairman of the SKA Rostov-on-Don football club in Russia.Prior to the 2010s, he was unknown in Greece, and there is some question as to whether he had even visited the country. In recent years, however, he has made his presence felt in Greece—especially since SYRIZA ascended to power. It could be said that he’s followed the path to power and influence that is preferred by the Greek oligarchic class.His first big splash was through the purchase of the PAOK football club in Thessaloniki, joining the ranks of other oligarchs who own football teams in Greece. His group of companies has made various investments in Greece, such as in the field of tourism, where he has bought out various hotels and established an aviation company.More recently, Savvidis began his foray into Greece’s utterly corrupt media sector, first via his participation in last year’s licensing bid for nationwide television licenses — a process ultimately struck down by Greece’s highest administrative court due to constitutional irregularities. Unabated, he has purchased the major daily tabloid Ethnos and financial newspaper Imerisia, as well as a share in the financially struggling national television station Mega Channel. These purchases were followed by his buyout of another national television station, Epsilon TV, earlier this month.These purchases have solidified Savvidis’ place in the Greek media landscape, just in time for the relaunch of the licensing bid for nationwide television stations by the SYRIZA-led government. Following the rejection of last year’s bidding process by Greece’s administrative high court, the government has set up a new bidding process, this time in conjunction with the purportedly independent national broadcasting regulator, but which repeats many of the same lies that were heard prior to last year’s bid.  These lies pertain particularly to the number of stations that the television spectrum can “fit” — a number that has now increased to seven national stations from four last year, but that is still far fewer than in other countries (such as Italy), and that all but ensures the continuation of an oligopoly controlled by a few powerful actors, namely Greece’s traditional oligarchs and more recent entrants like Savvidis.For the SYRIZA-led government, however, this forthcoming television licensing bid—which is said to be likely to extend to radio as well, with onerous requirements that smaller and rural stations will likely be unable to fulfill—represents another part of its “success story,” via the “fulfillment” of one of its many campaign promises, namely to “restore law and order” to the broadcast landscape. In reality, though, whereas the main opposition party SYRIZA promised to “crush” the oligarchs once in power, it is now preparing to turn the media landscape over to them officially. It should be noted at this point that the entirety of Greece’s major media owners have maintained, throughout the crisis, a staunch and unflinching pro-EU, pro-Eurozone, pro-austerity line.The puff piece published by The Guardian touted the drop in Greece’s official unemployment rateto 21.7 percent, from a peak of 27.9 percent in 2013, as yet another aspect of SYRIZA’s “success story.” Much is left unsaid, however: the long-term unemployed, who are not counted in the statistics; the 500,000-plus person “brain drain” out of Greece during the crisis years; the poor working conditions and paltry wages of many of those who are still employed; part-time jobs that are counted as “full” employment; the aforementioned rollback of worker rights; the job insecurity that workers face, including going months at a time without pay or enduring unpaid overtime, and their fear of leaving due to the uncertainty of being able to find any other job; and so forth.Just the 500,000-plus person brain drain alone would be enough for Greece’s unemployment rate to skyrocket, had these individuals not emigrated.Ah, but Greece has attained—and maintained—a primary budget surplus, which reached 3.05 billion euros in the first seven months of 2017. That’s good news, right? Not if one considers what a primary budget surplus actually is. Briefly, it means that the Greek state is spending less than it is taking in as revenue. While this may sound prudent, what decades and centuries of experiments in economic austerity have demonstrated is that for countries experiencing a severe economic depression, as in the case of Greece, maintenance of a primary budget surplus merely exacerbates the problem: money is sucked out of the real economy and not returned to it.As spending continues to decrease in a cash-starved economy where taxes are increasing and wages are declining, more and more cuts have to be made to government spending in order to meet surplus targets, perpetuating a never-ending death spiral.In the case of Greece, the SYRIZA-led government, in an agreement with the troika earlier this year, pledged to maintain a primary budget surplus of 3.5 percent of its GDP each year through 2023, and 2 percent annual surpluses thereafter until 2060. Tsipras’ claims, therefore,  that Greece’s austerity program will come to a close sometime in 2018 are laughable: the maintenance of primary budget surpluses is, by definition, the continuation of austerity—which Greece has pledged to continue for (at least) the next 43 years!But nevertheless, the smell of success is in the air. Prime Minister Tsipras and The Guardian say so, after all. The problem is, that scent hasn’t been detected by ordinary Greeks or by small business owners. Just in the first half of 2017, more than 15,000 businesses shuttered in Greece. But while the SYRIZA-led government is preparing to “crush” Greece’s oligarchs — who, like oligarchs the world over, evade their fair share of taxes by shifting profits offshore — the state has gotten to the bottom of Greece’s supposed problem with tax evasion via other apparently more effective means.In July, a man who has been unemployed since 2010 and whose income consisted of 24 cents in interest from his bank account, was issued a 4,470 euro tax bill, as the Greek tax system presumes that citizens have a certain income level if they have a bank account, home, or automobile in their possession—even if they are unemployed, even if the property was inherited, even if the citizen is in fact currently impoverished.In another case, a 49-year-old man in the town of Almiros was arrested and fined for the offense of selling 20 watermelons and 12 cantaloupes without a valid license. Greece’s television and radio stations, however, have operated without official licenses for decades, without anyone so much as batting an eyelash.In yet another example, if you are a property owner in Greece, rental leases must now be submitted electronically to the tax authorities, with the owner immediately taxed on a percentage of the foreseen rental income for the entire year—before that income has been earned for the year! If, as in the case of a neighbor of this author in Athens, a renter skips town without having paid rent, the owner is nevertheless taxed on this “income.” The deadbeat tenant’s inability to pay–and your consequent taxation on “income” never received–is apparently your problem, not that of the tax office or finance minister!An uncertain future, not a “success story” A house damaged by the forest fire stands among pine trees north of Athens, at Kalamos, on, Aug. 16, 2017. (AP/Ioanna Spanou)

As this piece is being written, the smoky smell of the fires raging outside of Athens still hangs ominously in the air, on a day that is supposed to be a national holiday in Greece. For the prime minister and the members of the SYRIZA-led coalition government — as well as for the unabashedly pro-EU, pro-euro, pro-austerity press corps — it is the sweet smell of success that is hanging in the air. Success that exists, if at all, on paper only, as far removed from reality as the government that is nominally in control of the country, and the European and international institutions that are actually at the helm — in Brussels, Berlin, and elsewhere.A decade ago, in the summer of 2007 and in the aftermath of the aforementioned destructive fires on Mount Parnitha and the Ileia region, an anonymous call went “viral” via SMS text messaging and bloggers, calling upon citizens to wear black and to descend upon Athens’ Syntagma Square, and other central points throughout Greece, for a “non-partisan” protest against the then-New Democracy government for its response to the blazes. This was perhaps the first such protest in the country’s modern-day history. Strangely, following the destructive fires of this summer and despite almost ubiquitous smartphone and social media usage, no such similar calls have been extended.Were the 2007 protests an aberration? Possibly. In Greece, the “Indignants” movement disappeared, never to reappear again, after the summer of 2011 and a last hurrah in February 2012 consisting of protests against the second memorandum. In the weeks leading up to the 2015 referendum, a “Solidarity with Greece” movement emerged in major cities in Europe and North America, where academic leftists and ivory-tower activists who somehow were able to procure large quantities of SYRIZA flags, organized rallies against the “blackmail” and “coup” SYRIZA and the Greek people were facing at the hands of the European institutions — which were apparently not evil enough, however, to warrant advocating in favor of “Grexit.”Following SYRIZA’s wholesale rejection of the referendum result though, an interesting thing happened: this “solidarity” movement largely disappeared — as did its rallies, though perhaps not the SYRIZA flags. Today, a key participant in these rallies, Irish author and “eurocommunist” activist Helena Sheehan, is shilling her recently-published book, Syriza Wave: Surging and Crashing with the Greek Left. Sheehan has taken advantage of the public catfight between Tsipras and Varoufakis to generate some extra publicity for her book, which she admits she was not the best qualified to write.Nevertheless, Sheehan gently chides SYRIZA for its capitulation and its supporters’ broken dreams, but does not question the European path followed by SYRIZA and by its predecessors before it. The “European dream” and open borders are a good thing, whereas restoration of national sovereignty is “fascist.” Sadly, there was no word from Sheehan as to when the “solidarity” rallies would take to the streets once more.Returning to political reality, opinion surveys in Greece, to the extent that they can be trusted, consistently show the former governing party, New Democracy, with a steady and sometimes overwhelming lead. Popular sentiment on the street is that whenever new elections are held again, New Democracy will emerge victorious—though it is likely that they too will fall far short of a parliamentary majority, even with the 50-seat parliamentary bonus undemocratically awarded to the winner.Just in case anybody believes New Democracy will represent a change in direction for Greece though, they would be wrong. It was two years ago when, following the referendum that overwhelmingly rejected the troika’s new austerity proposal for Greece, the SYRIZA-led government turned its back on the result and rammed through memorandum agreement number three for Greece, upon which much of today’s continued cuts, privatizations, and austerity are based.However, the third memorandum could not have been successfully passed in parliament without the votes of the members of former ruling New Democracy and “socialist” PASOK parties, as well as upstart pro-establishment party To Potami. New Democracy, like SYRIZA today, brought Greece back to the international financial markets via a bond tender in late 2013 with a similarly high yield — and, like SYRIZA, declared Greece a “success story” and claimed the end of the crisis was nearing.For Greece’s “saviors,” there’s a scent of success in the air. But for the rest of the Greek populace, what’s in the air, literally and figuratively, is the scent of destruction. In a country where, over the past decade and more, Greece’s agriculture, industry, economy, the dreams of its people, and the country’s future have been methodically burned, why not the nation’s forests as well?Top photo: A resident tries to extinguish a forest fire at Kalamos village, north of Athens, on Aug. 13, 2017. A total of 53 wildfires broke out in Greece Saturday and more have done so Sunday, including on the beach resort of Kalamos near Athens. (AP/Yorgos Karahalis)

A French state of alert

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 01:43
France: State of maximum alert France: État d’alerte maximal

Strategika 51,20 August, 2017
A sign of the extreme nervousness of the authorities in French due to the infiltration found in France of members of the terrorist cell that struck in Barcelona: a Mirage 2000 of the French Air force accompanied for 15 minutes a plane of the low-cost airline Jet2 ensuring the connection between Malaga (Andalusia-Spain) and Birmingham (Uk) during its passage through the air space French.
A specialized site has stated that the Mirage 2000 has been dispatched to intercept the flight LS1204 a result of an interruption of communications with the device. Jet2 has not confirmed this information and has asked for explanations on this subject to the French authority competent to control air traffic.
On the ground, from the Spanish border up in Britain, the authorities are on high alert to try to find not two elements (an Imam radical and a certain Younes AbouYaquoub, a fake pseudonym), but a support group consisting of ten individuals revenues in Europe, strong bitter at the fate that has known the Jihad Otanien in the Levant and ready to do anything to take revenge on their former employers.




Trump vs. Bannon

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 01:38
The Revolution BetrayedNow it’s Trump vs. Bannon
by Justin Raimondo

Anti war,21 August, 2017

The exit of Steve Bannon, the President’s political strategist, from the White House and his return to Breitbart.com marks the defeat, if not quite the end, of the “isolationist” America First faction within the Trump administration. It is a victory for what I call the Junta – the coterie of generals who now surround President Trump, and appear to have captured the conduct of American foreign policy. It is a victory, in particular, for Gen. H. R. McMaster, who took over the National Security Agency after Michael Flynn’s ouster, and who is the architect of the “new” Afghanistan strategy – the one that is merely a reiteration of the old strategy.
Bannon has been a particular target of the liberal media, which is responsible for labeling him as an advocate of the so-called “alt-right.” Yet there is exactly zero evidence of this allegiance in his public pronouncements, and his most recent interview – with the liberal journal,The America Prospect – has him characterizing them as a sad “collection of clowns.” Not that this will deter Bannon’s critics, who uniformly fail to mention what really set him apart from your run-of-the-mill Republican operative, and that is his foreign policy views.
The day before his ouster, the New York Times reported on Bannon’s “dovish” views:
From Afghanistan and North Korea to Syria and Venezuela, Mr. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, has argued against making military threats or deploying American troops into foreign conflicts.
His views, delivered in a characteristically bomb-throwing style, have antagonized people across the administration, leaving Mr. Bannon isolated and in danger of losing his job. But they are thoroughly in keeping with his nationalist credo, and they have occasionally resonated with the person who matters most: President Trump.”
Bannon’s views on the Korea “crisis” are reported on with a particularly dramatic display of eyebrow-raising: why, he even proposed withdrawing US troops from the Korean peninsula in exchange for North Korea’s denuclearization! (A proposal advanced in this space on more than one occasion.)It’s delightful to hear that Bannon describes General McMaster is the leader of the “globalist empire project” – a project, one might add, that many of us hoped might be dismantled during a Trump presidency.
Yet it was not to be: instead, the McMaster faction’s success in displacing Bannon, marks the virtual end of the “isolationists” as a coherent force in the White House. While it’s true that both Stephen Miller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are both skeptics of foreign adventurism, the former is primarily a speechwriter and the latter is a) on the outs with Trump and b) peripheral when it comes to foreign affairs.
Politico reports that the hawks in both parties are jubilant at Bannon’s departure: an Atlantic Council apparatchik tells us “Our European allies are happy,” and neocon grand dame Danielle Pletka hails the victory of the “internationalists” over the “isolationists.” The reason for the celebratory air, says Politico, is that the purge of Bannon “will remove an internal brake on U.S. military action abroad” – and this is an indicator of what we might expect in the not-so-distant future. Not only Afghanistan, but also Syria, Iran, and even Ukraine – all these are potential battlefields where US troops or our proxies will fight on behalf of the “globalist empire project.”
What we are seeing with Bannon’s return to the world of publishing is the separation of Trump from his base, the definitive if not quite final splitting away of Trumpism from Trump. In this sense, Bannon may be more effective on the outside looking in, as a lobby for the original Trumpism – the version that called out the Bush administration for lying us into the Iraq war and that abjured regime change.
As I’ve said from the beginning, the political significance of Trump’s rise was the defeat of neoconservative foreign policy orthodoxy and the advent of what the political class disdains as “isolationism.” Now it looks as though the neocons have reversed that victory inside the corridors of power: yet the hearts and minds of the 36 million voters who cast their ballots for Trump are still up for grabs. Meanwhile the cadre of a new conservatism, one that rejects internationalism and perpetual war, are coalescing around the banner of Bannonism.
While Bannon is going out vowing to defend the President against his critics, the direction that the administration is taking almost ensures that Trump’s former chief ideologue will join the ranks of those critics. In the end, the greatest enemy of Trumpism may not be the gaggle of losers, whiners, and special interests that make up the so-called “Resistance,” but rather Trump himself.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here


It is RAINING near the North Pole

Mon, 21/08/2017 - 10:06
It is raining at Alert, Canada – closest point to North Pole
Alert, NU, CanadaMonday 3:00 AMCloudy
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Alertin Canada is the closest populated settlement  

to the North Pole - latitude 82°30'05" north, 817 

kilometres (508 mi) from the North Pole.





https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alert%2C_Nunavut



POSTSCRIPT – Even more amazingly it is raining in ANTARTICA!!





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A mission to sail to the North Pole

Mon, 21/08/2017 - 09:47
Pen Hadow’s Arctic Mission – To Sail to the North Pole

https://www.facebook.com/ArcticMissionUK/?hc_location=ufi

Great White Con,
24 July, 2017


Arctic explorer Pen Hadow trekked, and swam, from Ward Hunt Island to the North Pole in 2003. Solo and unsupported. He plans to return to the North Pole this summer, but on this occasion he’ll be sailing with a few companions. According to yesterday’s Sunday Times:Pen Hadow launches bittersweet mission to sail to North PoleFor his new record attempt, Hadow and his nine-strong team will take two yachts on a 3,500-mile round trip from Nome in Alaska to the pole, using satellites to find a route through the ice and avoid getting stuck. He will fly to Alaska to join his team members on Saturday.If all goes to plan, he will arrive at the pole between August 15 and early September, about 510 miles further north than anyone has sailed before.Although the Sunday Times failed to mention it the expedition has a web site of it’s own. According to the Arctic Mission “About” page:Arctic Mission sets off from Nome in Alaska (USA) in the first week of August. The expedition team will not see land again for six weeks. We will cover about 3,500 miles by the time they return to harbour at Nome in mid-September.Our two 50 foot yachts, Bagheera and Snow Dragon II, are specially built to sail in waters with sea ice, and the four skippers, two on each boat, are exceptionally experienced in polar seas, and with navigation and safety procedures in sea ice.The Arctic Mission team intend to do lots of science during their attempt to reach the Pole:Our expedition is going to explore, discover and share the stories of the spectacular marine wildlife – plants, animals and even bacteria – that lives around the North Pole. Be prepared to be surprised!We’ll also be doing essential scientific studies and sharing this information, so that our international policy-makers can decide how best to #protect90North.The more we explore this unexplored ocean, the better we will understand how it works, which means we can make the best decisions to protect it for the benefit of everyone for ever.We’ve met the two yachts in question before. In 2015 Bagheera and Snow Dragon II both successfully negotiated the Northwest Passage. However this voyage will be far more difficult. During their attempt to sail to the North Pole in the summer of 2013 Sébastian Roubinet and Vincent Berthet had to be rescuedby the Russian icebreaker Admiral Makarov when the Central Arctic refreeze set in earlier than originally anticipated. Unlike the ice skating catamaran Babouchka, Bagheera and Snow Dragon II both have engines which will certainly help avoiding a similar fate. In addition perhaps the sea ice in the Arctic is less of an obstacle than it was in 2013? In an interview with the BBC World Service on Sunday Pen pointed out that:Now 40% of the international waters around the North Pole, what we call the Central Arctic Ocean, are open water in the summer time.When asked:Do you think you’ll actually achieve this goal then?Pen replied:I think it’s quite possible, with the assistance of a US agency that have satellites that are going to be helping us each day pick the best route through these ever narrowing cracks, and it’s quite possible that we’ll reach the North Geographic Pole.I also trust that the Arctic Mission team will be keeping a close eye on the Arctic weather forecast over the next month or so. Last August the crew of the yacht Northabout feared for their lives when caught in an Arctic cyclone in a sheltered anchorage on the Northern Sea Route. There is no such safe haven anywhere near the North Pole.Pen concluded his BBC interview as follows:If we can produce a visual image of a sail boat at 90 degrees north I think that could become an iconic image of the challenge that the twenty-first century faces. Are we serious about running this planet, which is actually what we need to start doing, and it’s biophysical resources on a sustainable basis, or are we just here for a laugh?We wish him and the Arctic Mission team well. Watch this space for further updates, and possibly that iconic visual image! Meanwhile here’s a picture of Bagheera in the Northwest Passage in 2015:plus an image from the Sentinel 1B satellite of the current state of the Arctic sea ice on the direct route from Nome to the North Pole:


Sentinel 1B image of Arctic sea ice at 86N, 180W on July 24th 2017
There don’t seem to be many “narrow cracks” just yet.
[Edit – August 9th]The Arctic Mission team have a new blog! In the latest post Pen Hadow says:[This] brings us to the summer of 2016, and an idea I was mulling over. A rather Big Idea. Had the deterioration of the Arctic sea ice got to a point where switching from Spring-time sledge-hauling to Summer-time sailing was appropriate? In my solo journey from northern Canada to the North Geographic Pole in 2003, I had spent over 30 hours swimming open water stretches, out of the total 850 hours spent hauling my sledge while walking on skis across the sea ice. It had dawned on me then that global warming was the likely cause of so much open water. Since then, it has become highly unlikely that the ski route from northern Russia to the Pole will be done again, due to the absence of sea ice for most of the year off the Severnaya Zemlya island group. And the other classic route from northern Canada no longer has an aircraft operation to provide the necessary support for sea ice expeditions, due to the worsening quality of the sea ice. Both routes have now been lost to the Arctic Ocean’s fast-changing environment. And with this change, the Arctic Ocean with its hitherto frozen summer surface is now rapidly becoming open-access to surface vessels for the first time in human history.Would it be possible to sail a small yacht to the Pole? Could that create a useful platform to share the unfolding situation with a global audience? Might this be the best way I could focus world attention on the merit of creating a new marine reserve in the international waters surrounding the North Pole?It looks like we’re just about to find out the answer to those questions. The team have also announced another livestream from Nome, Alaska. This one is scheduled for 8 PM BST tomorrow, Thursday August 10th. They say:Ahead of our Friday departure (weather permitting – there’s a nasty storm brewing over the Bering Strait that may prove problematic) we’d love to introduce you to the Arctic Mission team.This is probably what they are referring to:A bumpy ride for Pen Hadow et al. is in store on Saturday, and some big waves for Utqiaġvik (Barrow as was) as well.
[Edit – August 13th]An overly brief and (hence?) rather misleading article in the Sunday Times today. According to Jonathan Leake:Sailing to North Pole will have to waitPen Hadow, the British explorer, is today due to start a sailing expedition across the Arctic Ocean to highlight the effects of climate change, including an attempt to reach the North Pole.Scientists warned, though, that despite the rapid melting of the ice there was unlikely to be access to the North Pole via open water for some years.Professor Mark Serreze, director of America’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre, said the North Pole was still surrounded by nearly 800 miles of solid pack ice as of last week.Jonathan appears not to have a particularly good grasp of sea ice (thermo)dynamics during the latter stages of the summer melting season!


NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the North Pole on August 13th 2017, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite
Whilst waiting for the waves in the Bering Strait to die down Conor McDonnell, Arctic Mission’s photographer, has recorded a video from the top of Bagheera’s mast, amongst other places:
[Edit – August 14th]According to Pen Hadow Bagheera and Snow Dragon II will set sail in the small hours of tomorrow morning (UTC):We have also been promised live tracking real soon now:
[Edit – August 15th]The Arctic Mission live tracking map is operational at last. Here is what it reveals so far:It looks as though Bagheera and Snow Dragon II left Nome on their voyage of discovery at 06:00 UTC this morning.
[Edit – August 18th]Point Hope is now behind the Arctic Mission team:Next is Point Lay. Much further north, there are significant gaps appearing in the sea ice up to around 83N:


NASA Worldview “false-color” image of the Central Arctic north of the Beaufort Sea onAugust 18th 2017, derived from the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite

[Edit – August 19th]Bagheera and Snow Dragon II are obviously not heading for the Northwest Passage in 2017!
Plus further to a conversation on Twitter:

Crystal Serenity Sails the Northwest Passage in 2017
Great White Con, 18 August, 2017

After a voyage through the Northwest Passage untroubled by sea ice in 2016, the cruise liner Crystal Serenity has set sail for the Bering Strait and beyond once again. The SailWX tracking map shows her passing the Aleutian Islands:and although there is of course no sea ice to be seen yet her forward facingwebcam reveals Dutch Harbor as her next port of call:Much like last year, it looks as though the British icebreaker Ernest Shackleton ison its way to assist her:Having an icebreaker in attendance might well prove to be essential this year, since, according to the Canadian Ice Service, Larsen Sound is currently still full of sea ice:Watch this space!

One picture is worth a thousand words

Mon, 21/08/2017 - 09:38

Smoke almost reaches the North Pole

Temperatures could rise by 10 deg C by 2026

Mon, 21/08/2017 - 09:27
Temperature Rise
Arctic News, 16 August, 2017

How much could temperatures rise by 2026? The above image shows how a rise of 10°C (18°F) could occur by the year 2026, based on temperature anomalies from 1750 for February and on progressive growth of warming elements. The image below shows the same rise in another way.

Such a rise could take place even more rapidly, as discussed in the earlier post 10°C or 18°F warmer by 2021? For more on calculating the temperature rise from 1750 to 2016, see this page and this post.

Crucial will be the decline of snow & sea ice and associated feedbacks. Ominously, global sea ice is at a record low at the moment, as illustrated by the graph below by Wipneus.
[ click on images to enlarge ]
Arctic sea ice extent on August 15, 2017, was the 2nd lowest on record for the time of year (behind only 2012), as illustrated by the image on the right.

While extent was lower on August 15, 2012, Arctic sea ice is very thin at the moment, as the Arctic Ocean has become warmer, and sea ice could disappear altogether in one month time, as discussed in earlier posts such as this one.

And ominously, July 2017 was the hottest July on record, as illustrated by the image below.

Above image shows that July 2017 was 2.25°C (4.05°F) warmer than the annual global mean 1980-2015 (seasonal cycle). Only in August 2016 was it warmer (2.29°C), but then again, August 2017 looks set to be warmer than that yet.

The fall in thickness of the sea ice indicates that the buffer has gone that until now has consumed heat entering the Arctic Ocean during the melting season. In the absence of this buffer, where can all this extra heat go? Sea ice will start sealing off much of the surface of the Arctic Ocean by the end of September 2017, making it hard for more heat to escape from the Arctic Ocean by entering the atmosphere. The Buffer has gone, feedback #14 on the Feedbacks page
It looks like much of the extra heat will instead reach sediments at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean that contain huge amounts of methane in currently still frozen hydrates.
The danger is that more and more heat will reach the seafloor and will destabilize methane hydrates contained in sediments at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, resulting in huge methane eruptions.

As the image on the right shows, a polynomial trend based on NOAA July 1983 to January 2017 global monthly mean methane data, points at twice as much methane by 2034. Stronger methane releases from the seafloor could make such a doubling occur much earlier.

Methane reached peaks as high as 2881 ppb at 479 mb on August 18, 2017, as the combination image below shows (left panel, top left corner).
[ click on images to enlarge ]
The image doesn't specify the origin of the peak, but when levels are that much above the mean, the likely cause is either wildfires or clathrate destabilization. As the image in the right panel shows, methane levels at 280 mb were also very high over the Arctic Ocean north of Canada in the morning that day, which is unusual at such an altitude.

The image below shows that mean global methane reached a level of 1881 ppb at 280 mb (MetOp-1, am) on August 15, 2017.
The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as described at the Climate Plan.

Links

• Climate Planhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html
• Extinctionhttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extinction.html

• Temperature rise from 1750 to 2016
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/temperature.html

• How much warming have humans caused?https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/05/how-much-warming-have-humans-caused.html
• Feedbackshttps://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/feedbacks.html

• How much warming have humans caused?https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2016/05/how-much-warming-have-humans-caused.html

• 10°C or 18°F warmer by 2021?https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/04/10c-or-18f-warmer-by-2021.html

• Arctic Sea Ice Break Up August 2017https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/08/arctic-sea-ice-break-up-august-2017.html

Gerald Celente on trade wars

Mon, 21/08/2017 - 09:21
Gerald Celente Just Warned That The Coming Trade Wars Will Lead To World War
KWN19 August, 2017

On the heels of continued chaos in key global markets, the top trends forecaster in the world just warned King World News that the coming trade wars may turn into world war.King World News - Richard Russell - Prepare For Something Worse Than 1929 - 1932 ... Will The U.S. Seize People's Gold? By Gerald Celente of Trends Research Institute
August 19 – (King World News) – History is repeating itself. While the times are different and the names have changed, the underlying circumstances and basic fundamentals remains the same. The Crash of ’29, The Great Depression, plunging commodity prices, currency wars, trade wars, world war. Now, four score and six years later: The Panic of ’08, The Great Recession plunging commodity prices, currency wars
Are Trade Wars And World War Next?
Commodity prices’ continuing downward dive is indisputable evidence of a deteriorating global economy. For many, the Great Recession is depression. The equation is simple: there’s a glut of product and not enough people with enough money to buy them.
And today — just as it was prior to World War II when countries were denounced for devaluing their currencies to gain competitive export advantage — world reaction to China’s recent yuan devaluation continues to intensify. Trends are born, they grow, mature reach old age and die. As evidenced by Ben Bernanke’s appearance before the US Congress in 2011, the war of words against China is a trend in progress.
Bernanke criticizes China over currency:
The chairman of the US Federal Reserve has accused China of damaging prospects for a global economic recovery through its deliberate intervention in the currency market to hold down the value of the renminbi.
Speaking just hours after the Chinese government sharply criticized a US congressional bill that would punish Beijing for alleged currency manipulation, Ben Bernanke told a congressional committee that an undervalued renminbi was preventing the rebalancing of global demand towards emerging market economies.
“Right now, our concern is that the Chinese currency policy is blocking what might be a more normal recovery process in the global economy,” he said. “It is to some extent hurting the recovery.” (Financial Times, October 2011)
Trade Wars
The day before Bernanke’s accusation, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly to open debate on a bill to impose tariffs on imports from countries with undervalued currencies. In response to the bill, the Chinese government warned that if passed, the legislation would lead to a trade war. Now, some four years later, and with scores of currencies substantially devalued, we forecast growing political pressure among nations to raise tariffs and/or impose import quotas.King World News - Gerald Celente World Wars

The 14-year Afghan War, the longest war in American history, continues with no end in sight. The 12-year America-led Iraq War has re-ignited. Since the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, the war-torn nations grows more violent. Syria’s war ravaged, Yemen’s being bombed and throughout Africa, civil wars and cross-boarder wars rage. Bomb blasts in Bangkok, unrest in Egypt, massive protests in Brazil, war in Ukraine … and civil unrest ready to explode in countries where commodity prices have plunged, unemployment soars, debt levels grown and corruption is rampant. Is world war on the horizon?

Simultaeous crop faiures

Mon, 21/08/2017 - 09:17
What if several of the world's biggest food crops failed at the same time?Less than one-quarter of Earth's total cropland produces nearly three-quarters of the staple crops that feed the world's population – especially corn, wheat and rice, the most important cereal crops. These areas are our planet's major breadbaskets

Phys.org,5 June, 2017

Historically, when a crop failed in one of these breadbaskets, only nearby areas had to contend with shortages and rising prices. Now, however, major crops are traded on global markets, which means that production failures can have far-reaching impacts. Moreover, climate change is expected to generate heat waves and drought that could cause crop losses in most of the world's breadbaskets. Indeed, failures could occur simultaneously in several of these key regions.
Pardee Center postdoctoral scholar John Patrick Connors and I are using mathematical models to study the potential environmental and economic impacts of failures in multiple breadbaskets around the world. It is already clear from our preliminary work that this is a real, near-term threat.

The good news is that not all of these regions respond in the same way to shocks in other places in the world. Some could bring new land into production quickly, easing stresses caused by crop failures elsewhere. But in order to make global food systems more robust, we need to know more about the most damaging consequences of multiple breadbasket failures.

A vulnerable system

In the past several decades, many of the world's major breadbaskets have experienced shocks – events that caused large, rapid drops in food production. For example, regional droughts and heat waves in the Ukraine and Russia in 2007 and then again in 2009 damaged wheat crops and caused global wheat prices to spike by substantial amounts in both years. In 2012 heat and drought in the United States slashed national corn, soybean and other crop yields by up to 27 percent. And yields of important food crops are low and stagnating in many countries due to factors including plant diseases, poor soil quality, poor management practices and damage from air pollution.


At the same time, many experts assert that world food production may have to double by 2050 to feed a growing population and satisfy rising demand for meat, poultry and dairy products in developing countries. Global agricultural production has risen over the past 50 years, largely fueled by improvements in plant breeding and more intensive use of inputs, such as mechanized equipment, fertilizers and pesticides. This trend has eased pressure to bring new land into production. But it has limits, especially in the developing world, where the need to produce more food has been a main driver of deforestation in recent decades.

Top 10 grain-producing countries (5-year average, 2012/2013 – 2016/2017), based on 5-year USDA PS&D data. Credit: Brian Barker, University of Maryland, Author provided

It is clear that rising demand, growing international trade in agricultural products, and the potential for weather-, climate- and soil-related shocks are making the world food production system less resilient. Global agricultural trade can mean that price spikes in one region, if they are severe enough, can be felt broadly in other regions. Minor shocks, on the other hand, could be lessened by trade and by using grain reserves.

There is increasing evidence that in very poor countries, food price increases and shortages can lead to civil unrest and worsen other social and political stresses. And more wealthy countries are not immune, given the concentration of world food production and the global nature of trade. For example, the Russian/Ukrainian heat wave referenced above led to spikes in food prices, not just in the price of wheat. However, more wealthy countries also typically have more ability to buffer price shocks by either using grain reserves or increasing trade.

Modeling potential shocks

How can we understand this risk and its potential consequences for both rich and poor nations? Programs already exist to provide early warning of potential famines in the world's poorest countries, many of which already depend heavily on food aid. There also are programs in wealthier nations that monitor food prices and provide early warnings of price spikes.

But these programs focus mainly on regional risks, and often are not located in major food production areas. Very little work has been done to analyze risks of simultaneous shocks in several of the world's breadbaskets.

We want to understand the impacts that shock events could have if they occur in the real world so that we can identify possible contingency plans for the largest-impact events. In order to do that, we have used an integrated assessment model, the Global Change Assessment Model, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and is freely available to users around the world. 

Integrated assessment models have been designed specifically to simulate the interactions among Earth's energy, economic and land use systems.

We have developed scenarios in which small shocks (10 percent crop loss) and large shocks (50 percent crop loss), averaged over five years, are applied to corn, wheat or rice in their major production regions, and then to all the combinations of one, two or all three crops in one, two or the top three production regions.

Unsurprisingly, our results to date suggest that large shocks have larger effects than smaller shocks, as measured in subsequent changes in land use, the total amount of land dedicated to agriculture and food prices. But more interestingly, not all breadbasket regions respond to shocks in the same way.

Some of these areas are quite unresponsive to shocks occurring elsewhere in the world. For example, the total amount of land in agricultural production in South Asia changes relatively little due to shocks elsewhere in the world, largely because most of the arable land is already in use.

But other regions are extremely responsive. Notably, Brazil has the ability to bring a lot of new land into production if large shocks occur elsewhere, because it still has a significant amount of potentially arable land that is not currently being farmed. However, this land currently is mostly forest, so clearing it for agriculture would add significantly to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, and thus to global climate change.
Mapping risks
The Pardee Center has published a research agenda that discusses what we still need to know about these risks. Key questions include understanding the full distribution of risks, whether increased international trade can ameliorate risk and where the most responsive and the most sensitive regions are.

Ultimately, understanding and preparing for multiple breadbasket failures will require input from climate scientists, agronomists, ecologists, remote sensing experts, economists, political scientists and decision-makers. Mounting such an effort will be challenging, but the costs of failing to do it could be devastating.

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