The Barrel Bomb Conundrum

Much has been said about the Barrel Bomb in Syria. Here is a former Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murrays explanation why he prefers Barrel Bomb against the conventional military bombs from the US army.

Virtually every mainstream media article or broadcast on the United States aerial massacre of Syrian government troops, manages to work in a reference to barrel bombs as though this in some way justifies or mitigates the US action.

It is a fascinating example of a propaganda meme. Barrel bombs are being used by Syrian government forces, though on a pretty small scale. They are an improvised weapon made by packing conventional explosive into a beer barrel. They are simply an amateur version of a conventional weapon, and they are far less “effective” – meaning devastating – than the professionally made munitions the UK and US are dropping on Syria, or supplying to the Saudis to kill tens of thousands of civilians in Yemen, or to Israel to drop on children in Gaza.

If a bomb were to drop near me, I would much prefer it to be a barrel bomb as it would be less likely to kill me than the UK and US manufactured professional variety. If, however my guts were to be eviscerated by flying hunks of white hot metal, I would not particularly care what kind of bomb it was. The blanket media use of “barrel bomb” as though it represents something uniquely inhumane is a fascinating example of propaganda, especially set beside the repeated ludicrous claims that British bombs do not kill civilians.

It is of course only part of the media distortion around the Syria debacle. Western intervention is aimed at supporting various Saudi backed jihadist militias to take over the country, irrespective of the fact that they commit appalling atrocities. These the media label “democratic forces”. At the same time, we are attacking other Saudi controlled jihadists on the grounds that they are controlled by the wrong kind of Saudi. You see, chopping off the heads of dissidents and gays is OK if you are one of the Saudis who directly controls the Saudi oil resources. It is not OK if you do it freelance and are one of the Saudis who is merely acting at the covert behest of the other Saudis who control the Saudi oil resources.

I do hope that is clear.

Alfons

 

 

Victory for Saudi Arabia: Obama stops right of action for 9/11

US President Obama has vetoed a bill inserted, with the could accuse the victims of 9/11 against Saudi Arabia. Obama said such a law, the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia would be violated. Saudi Arabia is the main financier of the Islamist mercenaries in Syria.

US President Barack Obama has a veto prevents law for justice for victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001th. According to the law about survivors could directly accuse the government of Saudi Arabia. According to Obama, this would violate the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia and cause also could befall a wave of lawsuits across the United States. “I feel deep sympathy for the families of the victims of September 11,” Obama wrote on Friday in support of his action.

Saudi Arabia had threatened in the event that the law comes into force with a massive sell its Treasuries.

Saudi Arabia is the main US ally in the Middle East and supports numerous mercenaries and Islamists in Syria to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad. The Saudis and the Americans are preparing to build a pipeline that would lead, inter alia through Syria.

Obama feared especially that other countries adopt similar laws and members of the US armed forces can be held responsible for their conduct abroad in court. “We have by far the largest foreign presence in the world,” Obama wrote. In addition, the Government would be in responding to state-run terrorist attacks have their hands tied because suddenly private courts would have involved.

The US Congress had passed the law and could now make the Obama decision to withdraw his hand. For this purpose, a two-thirds majority would be needed.

Alfons

Utrikes Politiska Institutet har publicerad en artikel av Joel Ahlberg, som arbetar vid Folke Bernadotteakademin.

 

Artikelns har överskriften: Assads totalitära styre – ett hinder för fred I Syrien.

Vad som man direkt undrar över, hur kan Assad avsiktlig mörda sina egna medborgare, och samtidigt fortsätt att styra ett land utan några medborgare. Under de sista året har man hållit val, ja val under kriget, I Syrien. Visst kan man ifråga sätta valets legitimitet, men resultatet visar att majoriteten av befolkningen som kunde rösta la sin röst på Assad regimen. Man kan alltid kritisera och förneka giltigheten av valet, och att det var manipulerad. Detta är nämligen alltid utgångspunkten för s.k. exporter, som vet, eller tror sig veta, hur ett totalitärt styre “organisera sina egna val”.

Vad som inte nämns av experten på Syrien är följande:

Syrien var innan kriget ett sekulärt land, där man utövade olika religioner utan inblandning av staten. Samtidigt hade man en population som har en högt utbildning av både kvinnor och män. Syrien har en av mellanöstern mest utbildade folk, efter Israel. Alla vet vi att kunskap ger makt, hur kan en despot utbilda sina undersåtar, så att de kan göra en revolution? Landet följde en s.k. Arabiska våren, med en demonstration, som underbyggdes av västmakterna. Detta är utom all tvivel. Det finns hundratals rapporter om detta, vilket naturligtvis inte nämns i väst medierna. Detta land har nu bombads tillbaka till stenåldern, på grund av ett religionskrig, som började efter USA krossade en annan “despot”, och sedan lämnade landet, Irak helt för sig själv.

I hela denna operation, där USA utan urskillning utraderade Irak, även det ett landet med en högutbildad befolkning, och skicka dem tillbaka till stenåldern. Sen lämnade man landet efter att först förstöra hela dess infrastruktur, dess kulturminnen, och skickade ett stort antal människor på flykt till Europa. Irak som land kan inte återuppbyggas, utan hjälp av omvärlden, och där bör USA vara den största bidragsgivaren. Detta krig var en krigsförbrytelse, enligt FN revolutionen. Var är personerna som ställs inför rätta?

Sedan kan vi nämna Libyen, även detta land med den högsta utbildade befolkningen I Afrika. Både kvinnor och män, fick fri utbildning, fri medicin m.m. Gaddafi var en nagel i öga på USA och Storbritannien, medan Italien köpte oljan från dem.. Bar några veckor innan Gaddafi blev mödad, hälsad Blair på honom, och kramade om honom. Detta var en “verklig vän”?

Att nu riktar sina blickar mot Syrien, med detta lands kultur, är naturligtvis bara en fortsättningen om kontrollen av oljan i mellanöstern. Vilka är det nu som styr oljan i Irak, i Libyen, inte är det libyerna eller irakierna, nej det är det amerikanska oljebolagen, som EXXON, Chevron m.m. vilka är det som vill ha en oljeledning till Europa över Syrien, naturligtvis bara USA. På detta sätt kan man störa  Ryssland olja leveranser till Europa vilket försvaga deras ekonomi.

De västliga demokratierna påstår alltid att man vill stödja demokratier. Frågan man bör ställa sig: ”Börja med Saudi Arabien, Qatar, Kuwait, Förenade Arabemiraten, Dubai”. Istället så håller man dessa diktatoriska länder under armarna, genom att skicka vapen till dem, för att döda sin egen befolkning, om de skulle göra uppror (se Bahrain). Eller så anfaller man och bombadera ursinningslöst, som Saudi Arabien, en av de fattigaste länderna på jorden, nämligen Jemen, för att folket har avsatt sin president. En president som Saudi Arabien eller USA inte vill kännas vid. Kanske därför att han inte dansa efter deras pipa.

Att Syrien har varit alltid mycket nära förbunden med Ryssland, det är inte så som Joel Ahlberg påstår. Syrierna bad Ryssland om hjälp, att bekämpa IS rebellerna.

Nu är de dock så att väst pressen genomför en stor hatoperation mot Ryssland, på grund av Krim. Även där far man med lögner. Enligt internationell lag så har invånarna rätt att rösta vilket land de vill tillhöra, och det var en överväldigande majoritet som röstade för Ryssland. Det fans inga Kalasjnikov beväpnade soldater som tvingade befolkningen att rösta för Ryssland. 80 procent av Krim invånarna är ryssar.

Jag betackar mig för sådana exporter som Joel Ahlberg, som bygger hela sin berättelse på en läkare som flytt från Syrien, och informera så osaklig.

Alfons

 

 

POROSHENKO CULTURALLY SENT HEADS OF GERMAN & FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTRIES IN HELL

The Ukrainian government has refused to comply with the Minsk agreements, and said that nobody can dictate to Ukraine any conditions.

 The Ukrainian government has denied representatives of the ‘Normandy Quartet’ from Germany and France in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, a MP from the presidential bloc, Sergey Kunitsyn, confirmed such an interpretation of the position, expressed by the Ukrainian President at a meeting with the foreign ministers of France and Germany.

According to him, Germany and France cannot dictate to Ukraine any conditions.

“Nobody can dictate to us the conditions under which we return our territories – neither France nor Germany nor Great Britain. I am advocating that they should remember the Budapest Memorandum, which guarantees a territorial integrity, just in case. It really was an international instrument. I think that we cannot speak about any changes of the Constitution,” Kunitsyn said, speaking on the 112 TV channel.

At the same time, a Verkhovna Rada deputy of the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, Vadim Denisenko, said that during the talks with Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, German Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault have actually demanded from Ukraine the same that previously was required by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“If to simplify words that the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany said in Kiev, it can be reduced to the formula ‘truce – special status – elections in Donbass – control of the border’. The offer of Europeans is more than a serious blow to our positions,” Denisenko wrote in his blog.

However, according to the representative of the Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc, Kiev is not going to agree with the European requirements.

“This does not mean that we should give up. We have no other option than to follow the formula ‘truce – control of the border – elections’,” the deputy announced a strategy of Kiev.

“In order to understand what to do next, we should try to find out what will happen if we agree or not to agree to the proposal of the French-German assault,” Denisenko noted. “We send our European partners to hell (culturally) and insist that firstly, we should get control of the border. Than it threatens us? Will they lift sanctions against Putin? Well, here we are powerless. Will Putin begin a full-scale operation? We are not immune from this. We just need to play for time and to require new safeguards, new agreements, and new memorandums. And to prepare for a war…,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, a former head of the Donetsk region, Sergei Taruta, noted that Germany and France are starting to put pressure on Ukraine, requiring implementation of the Minsk agreements. According to him, nobody will agree to any new format or agreements.

“Nobody even envisage another format. This is a clear position of all participants of the ‘Normandy Format’ – Germany and France. Naturally, now they will rigidly insist that Ukraine, for its part, also should ensure compliance with the covenants, which are registered in the Minsk agreement,” he said, speaking on the 112 TV channel.

Taruta also noted that German and French representatives are going to visit the front line in order to inspect the work of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

At the same time, Moscow hopes that the visit of German Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to the Donbass will increase pressure on Kiev in order to make the Ukrainian government to perform the Minsk agreements, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

“As for the Steinmeier’s visit to Ukraine, now the main thing is to exert maximum pressure on Kiev on implement of the Minsk agreements. It is very important not to weaken, but to intensify the pressure on Kiev in order to make the government to start to move forward,” Zakharova said.

According to her, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was discussing this topic with his German counterpart during a number of telephone conversations.

The visit of the Foreign Ministers of Germany and France to Donbass that has been begun today, is the first visit of this kind since the beginning of military operations in the east of Ukraine.

Alfons

 

A grand reception: The nuclear deal with Iran is based on wishful thinking

“We have fooled,” concluded the Deputy National Security Advisor to the US President. Ben Rhodes, the negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal and the interference with reporting it retrospectively together. Thus, the discussion of the “moderates” in Iran was supposed to be completed – a pro-American, aiming at regime change group does not in Tehran.
On July 14, marked the first time the completion of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5 + 1 countries. But the drumbeat seemed strangely subdued. There are good reasons: First, the contract behavior of Iran are subject to criticism; after all, the United States, Britain, France and Germany have already written a protest letter to the UN Secretary-General in March in which they contest the missile tests of Iran as a “violation of the spirit of the Treaty” and “defiance of a UN resolution” and Ban Ki ask Moon to appropriate actions.
On the other hand, the American mainstream media are deeply frustrated to furious, since they had to take note that they have been hineinmanipuliert literally from the White House over the years through a web of lies previously unimaginable scale in a positive commentary on the nuclear agreement with Iran. What happened?
Get out of the Middle East
On May 5, the New York Times Magazine published an interview by David Samuels with Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser to the American president, and some of its employees. This Rhodes described general communication policy with the press, radio, and television in the age diverse, tend to uncontrollable social media. But after that, it was down to business. When the conversation turned to the report and commentary on the nuclear agreement with Iran by the American media, Rhodes presented the important details of a grand deception of the press by the Obama administration, as in recent American history without precedent.
The action started in 2009 with the takeover of the presidency by Barack Obama. Although the new president had no specific plans for the Middle East, was for Rhodes early recognized that this region had determined the strategic thinking Obama. Even more. Obama apparently was looking for a way to quickly withdraw the increased US commitments towards countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Turkey. Rhodes encouraged by his own admission the President in this view. To solve this problem, the possibility has been identified to defuse through a nuclear deal with Iran, the dangerous situation in the region and to make a massive US presence unnecessary. With a “bold action” would, so Rhodes’s understanding that the United States begin the process of a comprehensive disengagement in the Middle East.
The implementation of this idea began in July 2012. Jake Sullivan, a close confidant of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, traveling under the utmost secrecy to Muscat (Oman) at a meeting with leaders of the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His mission was to convey to the Iranians that the United States “are ready to open a direct dialogue channel to solve the nuclear issue on the condition that Iran at the highest level, in turn, is ready to serious discussions”. The Iranians agreed.
From then on everything went very fast. In several rounds of negotiations in which Sullivan was later accompanied by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, the delegations were fighting for the essential parts of a comprehensive agreement. After each round of negotiations, Sullivan and Burns presented the status of negotiations and the current problems of the President and his advisors. Sullivan recalled, “Before each round of negotiations, we discussed three, four or five hours in Washington.”
In March 2013, three months before the departure of the government Ahmadinejad, the design for an “Interim Agreement” was present, which later became the basis for the final agreement. But everything was secret. remained secret were the two letters that Obama had written to Ayatollah Khamenei in 2009 and 2012 Design. Leon Panetta said this recently that he never got as CIA director and later as defense minister to face these letters.
Officially took away the political non-relationship between the US and Iran. But now, after the completion of a draft framework turned inevitably the question of how long negotiations begun with the Israel-hater and Holocaust denier Ahmadinejad should be taught to the American public. There was quite a predicament.
From hardliners to moderates
But fate came to Obama and his kitchen cabinet to help. In June 2013, appointed after the parliamentary elections in Iran Hassan Rohani as head of state. Now came the moment of Ben Rhodes. Although the Obama administration, having regard to their analysis of intelligence, initially agreed that it is Rohani at best a modern hardliners themselves – conciliatory in tone, but hard on the matter – acted sat Rhodes a new way of seeing things through , He convinced Obama to publicly Rohanis office as secular process with the potential for system change in Iran to evaluate.
That gave Obama the opportunity to present the negotiations with Iran on a nuclear deal as a direct result of a dramatic upheaval in Iran and so to escape the odium of having taken up with Ahmadinejad. Subsequently, Rohani became one moderate whose policy could also support through a mutually beneficial nuclear treaty against the hardliners to Khamenei. Everything suddenly seemed possible and Obama’s idea was to a perspective in which Iran was to future regional power in the Middle East.
Rhodes’ idea worked. Without negotiations in Oman and to mention the fact that there was already a negotiated framework agreement, Obama justified now officially and publicly to enter the United States in negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program. Thankfully we took in the US and throughout the world, this initiative of the United States noted.
But to this change in American politics to lead radical and lasting success, it was not done with mere announcements of the President. In particular, the media had to be pounded into that a government of moderates in Iran was at the helm, which was worth a generous approach to the negotiations all the efforts of the US and its allies. Rhodes and his associates organized this system a constant readiness to help the public and the media to provide appropriate information.
Moreover, Wherever criticism to Obama’s new policy was heard, held Rhodes and his staff immediately and comprehensively against. No negative comment had no “correction” – first and spontaneously on Twitter, in the aftermath, according to the importance of the critic or the goods, by professionals whose goodwill you look – had previously assured – in whatever way.
Rhodes and his colleagues flooded the American media scene literally with daily reports of success on the further consolidation of the moderates in Iran and the progress in the negotiations. The dropped them all the easier as the negotiated in the first phase of negotiations “Interim Agreement” already existed at the start of negotiations. In reality, it just a matter of the media went for months staged sham negotiations to a seemingly fundamental issue matter credibly pretend.
After agreeing on the “Interim Agreement” in November 2013. Although seriously discussed, but it was no longer about Basic, but only to fill in the detail Agreed. In one important respect, however, the negotiations were staged artfully: from time to time acute crisis situations were recorded – coupled with hectic travel and alarmist rhetoric ( “on a knife edge”, “shortly before failure”), which should maintain the fiction in Iran give it a permanent dispute moderates to Rohani with the hardliners to Khamenei on the meaning and design of the nuclear agreement.
But it was not like that. The decision on the key parameters of an agreement had already fallen at the start of the negotiations – in Washington and Tehran. And each side had the other long signaled that the agreement was to realize at any price – the Iranians because it bring them the internationally granted consent for the enrichment of uranium and exempt them from sanctions should; Obama because it east should bring the first and most crucial step in solving the US from the Middle Zone Problem.
Non-binding recommendations
In July 2015, the shadow boxing over and the negotiations were successfully completed. But still was Rhodes’ political mission does not end. Now it was time to bring the Treaty through Congress. This is also achieved. However, when the parliamentary hurdles in the United States and Iran had been overcome, the campaign of the White House ended abruptly. That was understandable. For a few weeks after the conclusion of the nuclear agreement, Iran indicated that it would cannibalize all the weaknesses of the Treaty mercilessly for his own benefit. The example of started from October 2015 medium-range missiles speaks volumes.
Was Iran “prohibits any activity concerning ballistic nuclear weapons capable missiles” in the old, but still transitional valid Resolution 1929 of the UN Security Council agreed to the nuclear deal and codified in a UN resolution settlement of that question contains only the diaper soft formulation, Iran was “invited” to participate in activities and to refrain from using nuclear-capable missiles. It was therefore only logical that the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to corresponding protests by saying the contract did not prohibit but formulated only a non-binding recommendation or requirement.
Although entering an American Responsible, Iran’s behavior infringes not the codified agreement, but rather the spirit of the Treaty, Zarif wiped aside. While Obama himself tried to tackle the problem by a trivializing statement that “the Iranians have repeatedly bans in missile tests violated” would have, but this helpless reaction made it clear that Obama himself made no great hopes more about the behavior of the moderates.
Then it happened in quick succession with the disenchantment of moderates and at the same time also with the expectations on fundamental changes inside Iran. It began with Leon Panetta. When asked whether there was indeed a viable group of moderates in Iran in addition to the hard-liners, said the ex-CIA chief with a simple no. He continued: “There was never doubt that the armed forces and the supreme leader rule the country with an iron fist. There was also no doubt that the claim that there is a significant opposition, would get any significance. ”
The penultimate act of this development for sober analysis of the situation in Iran delivered a few weeks ago Wendy Sherman, the US chief negotiator in the nuclear talks. Speaking at a public discussion they had indeed no doubts about the value of the agreement arise, but their verdict on Iran was devastating for many listeners: “There is in Iran only hardliners and hard liner. And Rohani is a hardliner. ”
“We fooled”
The dramatic end of the story about the years of deliberately false information to the public by the White House on the situation in Iran finally sat the inventor of this rogue prank, Ben Rhodes, himself. In his conversation with David Samuels, on the reports that the New York Times Magazine , Rhodes makes the cat not only out of the bag, it also makes the entire US media scene, including the Washington precious springs and all, think tanks, ridiculous. The quintessence of his misleading the media he summarized with: “We have made a fool” ( “We drove them crazy”).
With the testimony of Ben Rhodes, the discussion about the existence and importance of the moderates in Iran would actually be over. But it is not, neither in the US nor in Europe. Reluctant many media representatives say goodbye to the beloved thesis about the seemingly unstoppable rise of a system-critical group of significant size in Iran. Moreover, even had so well speculate about the future of Iran – which of course would be a great one – about the end of the Iranian revolution and the grandiose prospects of economic cooperation between the West and the politically refined oil and gas giants Iran.
It therefore seems still hardly an article about Iran, where Rohani is not referred to as “moderate.” Meanwhile play the Iranians with this theater as the fact has shown that in the last election, numerous well-known hardliners could enter into a choice list of moderates to give the impression of a starched moderate camp for uninformed third parties.
What the revelations of Rhodes can mean for the future of the nuclear agreement is unclear. The fact that many deceived streamline their frustration by the defiant statement that you have helped in any case a good thing to break, not bulky duration. It is expected that many media representatives do not lift a finger more, if the contract should be in trouble. This also applies to the run astray politicians, for after the election in the fall anyway pending a reassessment of foreign policy decisions Obama. One thing is certain already clear: On the Iranian side has to continue to do it with hardliners and hard hardliners, and not with the chimera of a pro-American, aiming at regime change group tends majority capable Moderate.

Alfons

Google, Amazon and Co. Pay Less Tax Than an Austrian Sausage Stand

Multinational corporations such as Starbucks and Google pay less tax in Austria than one of the country’s famous coffee houses or sausage stands yet rake in hundreds of millions from advertising in the small Alpine nation, Austrian chancellor Christian Kern said.

The center-left politician quoted Austrian activist and author Max Schrems, who said Amazon only paid €1,400 ($1,562) in corporate taxes in 2014 during an interview with Der Standard. He also bemoaned outdated Austrian legislation that uses fees on advertisements to fund the country’s independent media but exempts online ads.

“Every Vienna café, every sausage stand pays more taxes in Austria than a global company. That’s true for Starbucks, Amazon and other companies,” Kern was quoted by the paper.

The chancellor praised the European Commission for this week demanding €13 billion in back taxes from iPhone giant Apple and criticized fellow EU members that offer tax breaks to foreign companies. Brussels ruled that Ireland had improperly granted tax breaks to the computer company, putting the rest of the European Union at a disadvantage.

Ireland’s cabinet agreed Friday to appeal the ruling alongside Apple after Apple CEO Tim Cook labelled the ruling “total political crap.”

“What Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg or Malta are doing lacks solidarity with the rest of the European economy,” Kern said.

The politician said Google reaps €200 million in sales in Austria, while Facebook makes as much as €120 million with little given back to the country or its media. He indicated that the companies also generate very little in personal income tax since Google only employs about a dozen people in Austria, and Facebook even fewer.

The politician said he was considering changes to Austrian media financing laws that require advertisers to pay a 5% fee for advertisements. The fee is used to finance the country’s media but isn’t collected on online ads.

Many European countries collect fees from residents to finance broadcasters, such as the British Broadcasting Corporation. Proponents say the fees ensure national media can remain independent watchdogs. Critics say media can finance itself through advertisements.

“The production model and the financing model have changed drastically with digitalization. If you’re interested in a broad range of opinions and media, then we’ll have to collect it differently. And we’re prepared to,” Kern said.

 

 

The Protests At Standing Rock – Youll never believe where this report comes from | Indigenous Peoples |Axisoflogic.com

Source: The Protests At Standing Rock – Youll never believe where this report comes from | Indigenous Peoples |Axisoflogic.com

I found this very interested and disgusting article. It tells the story of the indigenes people, who are called criminals because the would not aloud the big companies using their land and destroy it. They are the real environmentalists of our time.

Listen to this short information and draw jour conclusions, what the United States stands for? It is not as they always put forward words like DEMOCRACY, LIBERTY and JUSTES. It is take and grab what you can, don’t think about others.

Alfons

Rio athletes just voted Yelena Isinbayeva onto IOC Athletes Committee.

 

In a massive snub to WADA and IAAF, Russian pole vault champion and Olympic star Yelena Isinbayeva was elected to the IOC Athletes Committee despite being banned from competing in Rio Olympic by WADA instigated IAAF collective ban on Russian track and field athletes.

What the athletes competing in the Rio Olympic Games think of the doping scandal was made clear on 18th August 2016 during the elections to the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Committee.

Twenty three candidates stood for four vacant places on the Athletes’ Committee.  The four elected are German fencer Britta Heidemann (1,603 votes), South Korean table tennis player Ryu Seung-min (1,544 votes), Hungarian swimmer Daniel Gyurta (1,469 votes) and – in a massive snub to WADA and the IAAF which banned her from competing in Rio – Russia’s two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva (1,365 votes).

Isinbayeva is Russia’s most famous current athlete.  She has a completely clean record, and was a strong prospect for another gold medal in her sport.  She was however banned from competing in Rio at WADA’s instigation as a result of the collective ban imposed on Russia’s track and field athletes by the IAAF.

Isinbayeva’s election to the IOC’s Athletes’ Committee is therefore an act of high symbolism, showing the extent to which outside the Western world the whole doping scandal is seen for what it is: a politicised lynching of Russian athletes and of the Russian Olympic  Team by WADA and its backers in the West.

The Russians are already saying as much.  TASS reports that Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov told journalists that Isinbayeva’s election

“……is a serious lesson to the IAAF leadership, who doubted that she was ‘clean’. It is a response of athletes from all parts of the world who voted for Lena. This is a victory for Lena and a victory for Russia. Under the current circumstances, the athletes of the world, in fact, voted for Russia.  We had looked forward to the decision and hoped for the victory. Today, it is extremely important for her and for her country that the Olympians had elected her at a time when she was banned from competing in the Olympics for some far-fetched reasons.”

What this episode underlines is the extent to which the West – and in particular the English speaking part of the West – deludes itself when it supposes that it speaks for the whole world.

On the contrary the world outside the West sees the present confrontation between the West and Russia in a completely different way from the way the Western media presents it.

Far from seeing Russian athletes as cheats many people in the world outside the West sees them for what they are really are: victims of the West in this affair.  Enough athletes at Rio obviously share this view and feel sufficiently strongly about it to ensure that Isinbayeva got elected.

Operation Crossroads 70 Years Later

Seventy years ago this month a joint U.S Army-Navy task force staged two atomic weapons tests at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the first atomic explosions since the bombings of Japan in August 1945. The first test, Able, took place on 1 July 1946. The second test, Baker, on 25 July 1946, was the most dangerous, contaminating nearby ships with radioactive fallout and producing iconic images of nuclear explosions later used in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove. Documents posted today by the National Security Archive, shed light on Operation Crossroads, as does a gallery of videos and photographs.

The Navy, worried about its survival in an atomic war, sought the Bikini tests in order to measure the effects of atomic explosions on warships and other military targets. Named Operation Crossroads by the task force’s director, Rear Admiral William Blandy, the tests involved a fleet of 96 target ships, including captured Japanese and German warships. Both tests gave the U.S. military what it sought: more immediate knowledge of the deadly effects of nuclear weapons.

The U.S. Navy’s early March 1946 removal of 167 Pacific islanders from Bikini, their ancestral home, so that the Navy and the Army could prepare for the tests, is also documented with film footage. The Bikinians received the impression that the relocation would be temporary, but subsequent nuclear testing in the atoll rendered the islands virtually uninhabitable.

Observers from the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission, including two from the Soviet Union, viewed the Crossroads tests from a safe distance. Recently declassified documents shed light on the emerging Cold War atmosphere; one of the observers, Simon Peter Alexandrov, who was in charge of uranium for the Soviet nuclear project, told a U.S. scientist, Paul S. Galtsoff, that while the purpose of the Bikini test was “to frighten the Soviets,” they were “not afraid,” and that the Soviet Union had “wonderful planes” which could easily bomb U.S. cities.

Today’s posting contains a number of primary source documents on the planning of Operation Crossroads and assessments of the two tests, including:

  • An estimate from Los Alamos Laboratory of the planned underwater atomic test: “There will probably be enough plutonium near the surface to poison the combined armed forces of the United States at their highest wartime strength.”
  • A report by an Army officer on the Able test, which exploded in mid-air above an array of warships, conveyed Army-Navy tensions: Noting that Admiral Blandy had painted a “very optimistic picture from the Navy point of view” of the damage done to the ships, “when we examined the target fleet through our field glasses [we saw] that even on the major capital ship, superstructures had been severely damaged.” “The target fleet had indeed suffered a staggering blow.”
  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Evaluation Board noted in a message sent after the Baker test that because of the radioactive water the Baker test spewed upon the ships, the “contaminated ships became radioactive stoves, and would have burned all living things aboard with invisible and painless but deadly radiation.”
  • According to a Navy observer’s report, the two tests were “spectacular and awe-inspiring,” but the “radiological contamination of the target vessels which followed the underwater burst was the most startling and threatening aspect.”
  • The contamination of the target ships caused by the Baker test led Stafford Warren, the task force’s radiation safety adviser, to warn Admiral Blandy of the danger of continuing decontamination work to salvage the ships: the ships were “in the main extensively contaminated with dangerous amounts of radioactivity.” It was not possible to achieve “quick decontamination without exposing personnel seriously to radiation.” These warnings eventually led Blandy to halt the cleanup effort.
  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff Evaluation Board’s final report on the Crossroads tests called for U.S. superiority in atomic weaponry and Congressional action to give the U.S. Presidents license to wage preventive war against adversaries which were acquiring nuclear weapons. The Crossroads report was suppressed for years until it was declassified in 1975.

Rothschild about the monetary policy:

We are witnessing the greatest experiment in history

The investment banker Lord Rothschild is not sure how the biggest experiment of the history of monetary policy will end. So far his company has earned big money. Rothschild sees the greatest risks in the West.

A luminary in the financial sector, Jacob Rothschild – head of investment company RIT Capital Partners – warns against the negative consequences of the expansive monetary policy of central banks. Low interest rates, negative returns on some government bonds and bond-buying programs by some central banks are part of the largest monetary experiment in world history. The long-term consequences of these policies, as Rothschild, are completely unpredictable.

In the semi-annual report of RIT Rothschild looks at the current situation: “In the past six months, the central bankers have continued the biggest experiment of monetary policy in the world’s history. We are in unfamiliar territory and it is therefore impossible to estimate the unconsidered consequences of very low interest rates, the fact that around one third of all government debt has a negative return, as well as the massive bond-buying programs.

Concerning risks writes Rothschild: “Meanwhile remains weak growth, with weak demand and deflation in many parts of the developed world. Many of the risks to which I referred last year, remain: In fact, the geopolitical situation has continued to deteriorate. The United Kingdom has withdrawn from the EU, the presidential elections in the US in November will be unusually tense, whereas the situation in China remains unclear and the growth of the world economy is slowing. remain the Middle East conflicts exist and are unlikely to be resolved in the coming years. Their consequences we have felt already during the terrorist attacks in France, Germany and the USA.

RIT has given this risk adjusted its portfolio with gold again play a greater role: “In times like these the preservation of the assets remains the fundamental objective. In equities, we have lowered our commitment of 55 percent to 44 percent. Our commitment to Sterling has been shut down in the past six months, at 34 percent, with currency accounting for about 25 percent of the total portfolio. We have increased gold and precious metals to the end of June to 8 percent. ”

Since inception of RIT in 1988 Rothschild was able to achieve a total return of about 2,000 percent.