http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/etf_headlines/ETF-in-Focus--EWJ-May-23.html en Another Deadlocked Election Coming Up In Spain http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/another-deadlocked-election-coming-spain <p><em>Submitted by <a href="https://mishtalk.com/2016/05/03/another-deadlocked-election-coming-up-in-spain/">Mike &quot;Mish&quot; Shedlock</a></em></p> <p><strong>Another Deadlocked Election Coming Up In Spain?</strong></p> <p>After six months of failed coalition attempts, Spain&rsquo;s King Felipe dissolved parliament and announced new elections. I reported on this last week, but the official document dissolving parliament was signed today. New elections are on June 26. Will the results be any different?</p> <p>There are 350 seats in Spain&rsquo;s parliament.&nbsp;Courtesy of the <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36193789" target="_blank">BBC</a>, the 2015 election went like this (blue highlights mine).</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/04/20/spain-2015-election-results2.png"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/04/20/spain-2015-election-results2_0.png" style="width: 500px; height: 265px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>Party Leaders</strong></p> <ul> <li>PPOE &ndash; Former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy</li> <li>PSOE &ndash; Pedro Sanchez</li> <li>Podemos &ndash; Pablo Iglesias</li> <li>Ciudadanos &ndash; Albert Rivera</li> </ul> <p><strong>Coalition Problems</strong></p> <ul> <li>PSOE and PPOE could have formed a coalition, but the result would not have been stable. The party leaders do not get along and the left and right generally don&rsquo;t mix.</li> <li>The three leftists parties could have formed a coalition, but Podemos is eurosckeptic and in favor of letting Catalonia have a vote on independence. The other two leftist parties are staunch nationalists as well as staunch euro supporters.</li> <li>Ciudadanos ruled out forming a coalition with Podemos for philosophical reasons noted above.</li> <li>Ciudadanos was formed as an anti-corruption party and wants nothing to do with Mariano Rajoy and his totally corrupt PPOE Popular Party either.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Clash of Ideas</strong></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/84de5d62-1116-11e6-839f-2922947098f0.html#axzz47RjeFps1" target="_blank">Financial Times</a> explains the blame game as follows.</p> <ul> <li>Mariano Rajoy, the acting prime minister and leader of the conservative Popular party, has repeatedly blamed the Socialists for refusing to form a grand coalition under his leadership. &ldquo;What happened over the past four months must not repeat itself. Vetoes are bad for democracy,&rdquo; the prime minister said on Monday.</li> <li>Pedro Sánchez, the Socialist leader, has in turn attacked the anti-austerity Podemos movement for turning down his proposal for a Socialist-led government with the centrist Ciudadanos party.</li> <li>Podemos, meanwhile, has lashed out at the Socialists for declining its invitation to form a leftist government.</li> </ul> <p>&ldquo;A poll by Metroscopia, published in the El País daily over the weekend, gave the PP 29 per cent of the vote, far ahead of its closest rival, the Socialists, with 20.3 per cent.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Podemos IU Alliance</strong></p> <p>Let&rsquo;s complicate the matter further. Podemos just announced an alliance with <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Left_%28Spain%29" target="_blank">Izquierda Unida</a> (IU) United Left.</p> <p>IU received 3.68% of the vote in 2015.</p> <p>Via translation from El Pais, please consider <a href="https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&amp;tl=en&amp;js=y&amp;prev=_t&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;u=http%3A%2F%2Fpolitica.elpais.com%2Fpolitica%2F2016%2F05%2F01%2Factualidad%2F1462124934_578585.html&amp;edit-text=" target="_blank">Podemos Seeks to Unite All Forces Left of PSOE</a>.</p> <p>Podemos &ldquo;We Can&rdquo; has launched new operations in three communities (Catalonia, Galicia and Valencia) to gather support for the upcoming elections. Now, Podemos seeks to expand these agreements not only IU but a whole series of forces to the left of the PSOE with good territorial projection.</p> <p>In short, Podemos is going after that block of &ldquo;other&rdquo; voters in the above chart. If current results hold, Podemos will oust PSOE from the number two spot.</p> <p><strong>Political Setup</strong></p> <ol> <li>No party is going to achieve a majority.</li> <li>PSOE and Podemos unlikely to reach 50%</li> <li>Ciudadanos will not enter a three-way agreement with PSOE and Podemos</li> <li>If PSOE and PPOE can muster up 50% combined, there will be intense pressure by the king to form an unstable &ldquo;grand coalition&rdquo;</li> <li>If PSOE and PPOE cannot muster up 50%, another failed election is in store.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Budget Analysis</strong></p> <p>Spain&rsquo;s budget is way out of control. No matter who gains control, huge budget cuts are coming up. Won&rsquo;t that be fun?</p> <p>I expect an unstable &ldquo;grand coalition&rdquo; forms. If so, I doubt it lasts a year. PPOE will not like the budget cuts but will have to keep voting for them for the coalition to &ldquo;work&rdquo;.</p> <p>Podemos is waiting in the wings for the upcoming collapse.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="822" height="435" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/spain-2015-election-results2.png?1462412783" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/another-deadlocked-election-coming-spain#comments Thu, 05 May 2016 08:57:32 +0000 Tyler Durden 530524 at http://www.zerohedge.com Majority Of Germans Think The Media Is Controlled By Political, Economic Elites http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/majority-germans-think-media-controlled-political-economic-elites <p>According to a recent <a href="http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/medien-umfrage-des-bayerischen-rundfunks-das-unbehagen-gegenueber-eliten-waechst-a-1090417.html">survey</a>, the majority of people in Germany view the news media as simply a pillar of the government and the powerfully elite. <strong>Only one third of the respondents think that the German news media is truly independent,</strong> while the majority view the government and parties as having control over particular policies, and the lobbyists and advertisers<strong> having control over the economic news</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/04/20160504_media_0.PNG"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/04/20160504_media_0.PNG" width="600" height="540" /></a></p> <p>More than half of the respondents viewed the news media as controlled by the "powerful" in the country, a view which manifested in recent years in the wake of going through crisis after crisis as <strong>the media began to be viewed simply as part of the system, or, the Fourth Estate.</strong></p> <p>Another major issue brought forth by the respondents is that the<strong> media reports only the problems, never presents any solutions, </strong>and when it came to consequences of political decisions very little reporting was done on the impacts those decisions had on the people. </p> <p>It's apparent that the <strong>German people know their history (e.g. Joseph Goebbels)</strong>, and have a healthy skepticism for the media. It would behoove everyone to have a bit <em>(a lot)</em> of skepticism about what the media tells them each day, as there are <strong>undoubtedly agendas that don't include simply reporting the truth.</strong></p> <p>Of course, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/article/head-eurogroup-admits-lying-about-secret-greek-meeting-out-fears-market-collapse">when even the <strong>president of the European Union admits to lying</strong></a>, what hope is there for ever discovering the facts?<strong><br /></strong></p> <p>Of course, telling the truth in a<strong> world hell-bent on papering over issues and serving as many agendas as possible is a very difficult and unpopular thing to do</strong>. Sadly, there are even media outlets out there who try to take out any of their competition trying to do so.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="241" height="133" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160504_state.png?1462408079" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/majority-germans-think-media-controlled-political-economic-elites#comments European Union Fourth Estate Germany The Fourth Estate Thu, 05 May 2016 08:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530518 at http://www.zerohedge.com Guest Post: The Great Western Retreat http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/guest-post-great-western-retreat <p><a href="http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7938/western-retreat"><em>Submitted by Giulio Meotti via The Gatestone Institute,</em></a></p> <div> <ul class="content_preface_bullets"> <li> <p><strong>Of all French soldiers currently engaged in military operations, half of them are deployed inside France. And half of those are assigned to protect 717 Jewish schools.</strong></p> </li> <li> <p>This massive deployment of armed forces in our own cities is a departure from history.<strong> It is a moral disarmament, before a military one.</strong></p> </li> <li> <p>Why does anyone choose to fight in a war? Civilized nations go to war so that members of today&#39;s generation may sacrifice themselves to protect future generations. <strong>But if there are no future generations, there is no reason whatever for today&#39;s young men to die in war. It is &quot;demography, stupid.&quot;</strong></p> </li> </ul> </div> <p><strong>On March 11, 2004, 192 people were killed and 1,400 wounded in a series of terrorist attacks in Madrid</strong>. Three days later, Spain&#39;s Socialist leader, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, was elected prime minister.<strong> Just 24 hours after being sworn in, Zapatero ordered Spanish troops to leave Iraq &quot;as soon as possible.&quot;</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The directive was a monumental political victory for extremist Islam.</strong></span> Since then, Europe&#39;s boots on the ground have not been dispatched outside Europe to fight jihadism; instead, they have been deployed inside the European countries to protect monuments and civilians.</p> <p><strong>&quot;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/15/paris-attacks-operation-sentinelle-soldiers-patrolling-streets-france-safer" target="_blank">Opération Sentinelle</a>&quot; is the first new large-scale military operation within France. </strong>The army is now protecting synagogues, art galleries, schools, newspapers, public offices and underground stations. Of all French soldiers currently engaged in military operations, <a href="http://www.lopinion.fr/blog/secret-defense/l-armee-protege-682-sites-territoire-national-22196" target="_blank">half of them</a> are deployed inside France. And half of those are assigned to protect <a href="http://www.gouvernement.fr/securite-interieure-mobilisation-sans-precedent-des-forces-armees" target="_blank">717 Jewish schools</a>. Meanwhile, French paralysis before ISIS is immortalized by the image of police running away from the office of the satirical magazine <em>Charlie Hebdo</em> during the massacre there.</p> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="margin-bottom: 5px; max-width: 600px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="max-width: 600px; border: 1px solid black;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/pics/1578.jpg" width="600" /><br /> <p style="font-size: 82%; margin: 4px 6px;">French soldiers guard a Jewish school in Strasbourg, February 2015. (Image source: Claude Truong-Ngoc/Wikimedia Commons)</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>You can find the same figure in Italy: 11,000 Italian soldiers are currently engaged in military operations and more than half of them are used in operation &quot;<a href="http://messaggeroveneto.gelocal.it/udine/cronaca/2015/12/01/news/undicimila-uomini-tra-italia-ed-estero-1.12548932" target="_blank">Safe Streets</a>,&quot;</strong> which, as its name reveals, keeps Italy&#39;s cities safe. Italy&#39;s army is also busy providing aid to migrants crossing the Mediterranean.</p> <p>In 2003, Italy was one of the very few countries, along with Spain and Britain, which stood with the United States in its noble war in Iraq -- a war that was successful until the infamous US pull-out on December 18, 2011.</p> <p>Today, Italy, like Spain, runs away from its responsibility in the war against the Islamic State. Italy&#39;s Defense Minister <a href="http://www.thelocal.it/20151117/italy-rules-out-military-action-in-syria" target="_blank">Roberta Pinotti</a> ruled out the idea of Italy taking part in action against ISIS, after EU defense ministers unanimously backed a French request for help.</p> <p>Italy&#39;s soldiers, stationed in front of my newspaper&#39;s office in Rome, provide a semblance of security, but the fact that half of Italy&#39;s soldiers are engaged in domestic security, and not in offensive military strikes, should give us pause. <em><strong>These numbers shed a light not only on Europe&#39;s internal terror frontlines, from the French banlieues to &quot;Londonistan.&quot; These numbers also shed light on the great Western retreat.</strong></em></p> <p>US President Barack Obama has boasted that as part of his legacy, he has withdrawn American military forces from the Middle East. His shameful departure from Iraq has been the main reason that the Islamic State rose to power -- and the reason Obama postponed a military withdrawal from Afghanistan. This US retreat can only be compared to the fall of Saigon, with the picture of a helicopter evacuating the U.S. embassy.</p> <p><strong>In Europe, armies are no longer even ready for war. </strong>The <a href="http://www.nationalinterest.org/feature/germanys-military-dying-13748" target="_blank">German army is now useless</a>, and Germany spends only 1.2% of GDP on defense. The German army today has the lowest number of staff at any time in its history.</p> <p><strong>In 2012, Germany&#39;s highest court, breaking a 67-year-old taboo against using the military within Germany&#39;s borders, allowed the military to be deployed in domestic operations.</strong> The post-Hitler nation&#39;s fear that the army could develop again into a state-within-a-state that might impede democracy has paralyzed Europe&#39;s largest and wealthiest country. Last January, it was <a href="http://www.dw.com/en/report-german-jets-useless-at-night/a-18988883" target="_blank">revealed</a> that German air force reconnaissance jets cannot even fly at night.</p> <p><strong>Many European states slumber in the same condition as Belgium, with its failed security apparatus. </strong>A senior U.S. intelligence officer even recently <a href="http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7677/belgium-jihadists" target="_blank">likened the Belgian security forces</a> to &quot;children.&quot; And Sweden&#39;s commander-in-chief, Sverker Göranson, said his country could only <a href="http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6287/sweden-military" target="_blank">fend off an invasion</a> for a maximum of one week.</p> <p>During the past ten years, the United Kingdom has also increasingly been seen by its allies -- both in the US and in Europe -- as a power in retreat, focusing only on its domestic agenda. The British have become increasingly insular - a <a href="https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/western-europe/littler-england" target="_blank">littler England</a>.</p> <p><strong>The UK&#39;s armed forces have been downsized; t</strong>he army alone is expected to shrink from 102,000 soldiers in 2010 to 82,000 by 2020 - <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/b4c057d0-79be-11e2-9015-00144feabdc0.html#axzz47EYkBL00" target="_blank">its smallest size since the Napoleonic wars</a>. The former head of the Royal Navy, Admiral Nigel Essenigh, has spoken of &quot;<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/11673337/Our-defence-cuts-leave-us-looking-feeble-in-the-eyes-of-the-world.html" target="_blank">uncomfortable similarities</a>&quot; between the UK&#39;s defenses now and those in the early 1930s, during the rise of Nazi Germany.</p> <p><strong>In <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/refugees-temporary-military-housing-quebec-ontario-1.3326462" target="_blank">Canada</a>, military bases are now being used to host migrants from Middle East. </strong><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/21/canada-end-airstrikes-syria-iraq-new-prime-minister-trudeau" target="_blank">Justin Trudeau</a>, the new Canadian prime minister, first halted military strikes against ISIS, then <a href="http://www.torontosun.com/2016/03/23/canada-not-at-war-with-isis-trudeau" target="_blank">refused to join</a> the coalition against it. Terrorism has apparently never been a priority for Trudeau -- not like &quot;gender equality,&quot; global warming, euthanasia and injustices committed against Canada&#39;s natives.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The bigger question is: Why does anyone choose to fight in a war?</strong></span> Civilized nations go to war so that members of today&#39;s generation may sacrifice themselves to protect future generations. But if there are no future generations, there is no reason whatever for today&#39;s young men to die in war. It is &quot;demography, stupid.&quot;</p> <p><a href="http://www.euromonitor.com/spain-in-2030-the-future-demographic/report" target="_blank">Spain</a>&#39;s fertility has fallen the most -- the lowest in Western Europe over twenty years and the most extreme demographic spiral observed anywhere. Similarly, fewer babies were born in <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-demographics-idUSKCN0VS1NY" target="_blank">Italy</a> in 2015 than in any year since the state was founded 154 years ago. For the first time in three decades, Italy&#39;s population shrank. <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32929962" target="_blank">Germany</a>, likewise, is experiencing a demographic suicide.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>This massive deployment of armed forces in our own cities is a departure from history. It is a moral disarmament, before a military one. It is Europe&#39;s new Weimar moment,</strong></span> from the name of the first German Republic that was dramatically dismantled by the rise of Nazism. The Weimar Republic still represents a cultural muddle, a masterpiece of unarmed democracy devoted to a mutilated pacifism, a mixture of naïve cultural, political reformism and the first highly developed welfare state.</p> <p>According to the historian <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Weimar-1918-1933-Walter-Laqueur/dp/1842120271" target="_blank">Walter Laqueur</a>, <strong> Weimar was the first case of the &quot;life and death of a permissive society.&quot; Will Europe&#39;s new Weimar also be brought down, this time by Islamists?</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="553" height="375" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160504_retreat.png?1462394641" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/guest-post-great-western-retreat#comments Afghanistan Barack Obama Belgium France Germany Global Warming Guest Post Iraq Italy Middle East Newspaper United Kingdom Thu, 05 May 2016 07:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530501 at http://www.zerohedge.com What We REALLY Know About the 9/11 Defendants http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-05/what-we-really-know-about-911-defendants <p>The government pretends that it&rsquo;s giving the surviving 9/11 masterminds a fair trial, and that justice will prevail.</p> <p>The truth may be a wee bit different &hellip;</p> <h3 style="color: #000099;">Kangaroo Court Show Trials</h3> <p>Buzzfeed <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/the-us-government-has-been-outsourcing-the-gitmo-trials?utm_term=.qmZ4k8gVD#.vew1geOW5" target="_blank" title="reported">reported</a> yesterday:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>The Defense Department has farmed out to a private company much of the criminal investigation and trials of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks</strong> on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to federal records and sources affiliated with the trials who spoke to BuzzFeed News.</p> <div class="googlepublisherpluginad" style="text-align: center; width: 100%; height: auto; clear: none;">&nbsp;</div> <p>What&rsquo;s more, the government has hired the same firm, SRA International, to <strong>serve both the prosecution and defense teams</strong>, sparking concerns of a conflict of interest that could undermine the integrity of one of the most significant terrorism cases in modern history.</p> </blockquote> <p>Sound a little odd?&nbsp; It&rsquo;s not the only fishy thing about the 9/11 trials &hellip;</p> <p>In 2008, the former chief prosecutor for Guantanamo&rsquo;s military commissions disclosed that the trials have been <em>rigged to prevent any possibility of acquittal</em>.</p> <p>Specifically, the head of the Guantanamo tribunal &mdash; who is actually in charge of both prosecuting and defending the suspects &mdash; <a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/rigged-trials-gitmo" target="_blank" title="told">told</a> the former chief prosecutor:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Wait a minute, we can&rsquo;t have acquittals. If we&rsquo;ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can&rsquo;t have acquittals, we&rsquo;ve got to have convictions.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>In addition, three other Guantanamo prosecutors &mdash; Maj. Robert Preston, Capt. John Carr and Capt. Carrie Wolf &mdash; &ldquo;asked to be relieved of duties after saying <a href="http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/02/hbc-90002460" target="_blank" title="they were concerned that the process was rigged. One said he had been assured he didn’t need to worry about building a proper case; convictions were assured">they were concerned that the process was rigged. One said he had been assured he didn&rsquo;t need to worry about building a proper case; <strong><em>convictions were assured</em></strong></a>.&rdquo;</p> <p>Another former Guantanamo prosecutor resigned, <a href="http://washingtonindependent.com/53655/gitmo-detainee-claims-u-s-paid-prosecution-witnesses" target="_blank" title="saying">saying</a> in a sworn declaration that the government pulled all sorts of shenanigans in one case.</p> <p>The head of the tribunal also <a href="http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2002/03/dod032102b.html" target="_blank" title="said">said</a> that &mdash; even if the defendants are somehow acquitted &mdash; <a href="http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2002/03/dod032102b.html" target="_blank" title="they may not be released from Guantanamo">they may not be released from Guantanamo</a>.</p> <p>No wonder the American Bar Association, &ldquo;which the Pentagon had said would help arrange such representation, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/12/AR2008021203042.html" target="_blank" title="has refused to participate because it objects to the trial procedures">has refused to participate because it objects to the trial procedures</a>.&rdquo;</p> <p>And no wonder the defense attorneys who have agreed to represent the defendants <a href="http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=41255" target="_blank" title="say that the process is completely unfair">say that the process is completely unfair</a>. See also <a href="http://www.democracynow.org/2008/2/20/guantanamo" target="_blank" title="this interview">this interview</a>.</p> <h3 style="color: #000099;">Both the 9/11 Trials and the 9/11 Commission Investigation Were Based on Unreliable Evidence Produced by Torture</h3> <p>The CIA <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/03/the-reason-for-this-cover-up-goes-right-to-the-white-house.html" title="videotaped the interrogation of 9/11 suspects, falsely told the 9/11 Commission that there were no videotapes or other records of the interrogations, and then illegally destroyed all of the tapes and transcripts of the interrogations">videotaped the interrogation of 9/11 suspects, falsely told the 9/11 Commission that there were no videotapes or other records of the interrogations, and then illegally destroyed all of the tapes and transcripts of the interrogations</a>.</p> <p>9/11 Commission co-chairs Thomas Keane and Lee Hamilton <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/opinion/02kean.html" target="_blank" title="wrote">wrote</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Those who knew about those videotapes &mdash; and did not tell us about them &mdash; obstructed our investigation.</p> </blockquote> <p>The chief lawyer for Guantanamo litigation &ndash; Vijay Padmanabhan &ndash; <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/27/politics/main4897315.shtml?tag=topHome" target="_blank" title="said">said</a> that torture of 9/11 suspects was widespread. And Susan J. Crawford, the senior Pentagon official overseeing the military commissions at Guantánamo &mdash; the novel system of trials for terror suspects that was conceived in the wake of the 9/11 attacks &mdash; <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/13/AR2009011303372.html?hpid=topnews" target="_blank" title="told">told</a> Bob Woodward:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>We tortured Qahtani. His treatment met the legal definition of torture.</p> </blockquote> <p>Moreover, the type of torture used by the U.S. on the Guantanamo suspects is of a special type. Senator Levin revealed that the <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/04/senator-government-used-communist-torture-techniques-aimed-at-extracting-false-confessions.html" title="the U.S. used Communist torture techniques specifically aimed at creating false confessions.">the U.S. used <em>Communist</em> torture techniques <strong><em>specifically aimed</em></strong> at creating <em><strong>false</strong> confessions.</em></a> (and see <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/66622.html?ref=fp1" target="_blank" title="this">this</a>, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/us/02detain.html?_r=3&amp;pagewanted=all&amp;" target="_blank" title="this">this</a>, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/14/iraq.torture/index.html" target="_blank" title="this">this</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/15/ksm-was-questioned-about_n_203898.html" target="_blank" title="this">this</a><em>).</em></p> <p>And according to <a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20090212035205/http://deepbackground.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/01/30/624314.aspx" target="_blank" title="NBC News">NBC News</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured</li> </ul> <ul> <li>At least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information as a way to stop being &ldquo;tortured.&rdquo;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>One of the Commission&rsquo;s main sources of information was tortured until he agreed to sign a confession that he was <strong>NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ</strong></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The 9/11 Commission itself <em>doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions</em>, and yet kept their doubts to themselves</li> </ul> <p>In addition, one of the two main &quot;sources&quot; of information for the 9/11 Commission Report - Abu Zubaydah - was touted by the government as <a data-mce-="" href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/12/torture-911-evil-last-13-years.html">one of Al Qaeda&#39;s top 3 leaders</a> ... an Al Qaeda mastermind, general,&nbsp; and terror coordinator. But the government was later forced to admit that Zubaydah <a data-mce-="" href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/12/torture-911-evil-last-13-years.html">wasn&#39;t even <em>connected</em> with Al Qaeda at <em>all</em></a>.</p> <p>Zubaydah was also literally <a data-mce-="" href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/12/torture-911-evil-last-13-years.html">nutty as a fruitcake years <em>before</em> 9/11</a>, and yet the CIA kept on torturing him until he totally lost his mind and became like a brain-dead, trained dog. And the government touted his information gained from torture as if it were vital fact.</p> <p>The <em>other </em>main &quot;source&quot; for the 9/11 Commission Report &ndash; alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed &ndash; said that he gave the interrogators a lot of <a href="http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22530" target="_blank" title="false information – telling them what he thought they wanted to hear – in an attempt to stop the torture">false information &ndash; telling them what he thought they wanted to hear &ndash; in an attempt to stop the torture</a>. We also know that he was heavily tortured <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/15/ksm-was-questioned-about_n_203898.html" target="_blank" title="specifically for the purpose of trying to obtain false information about 9/11 ">specifically for the purpose of trying to obtain false information about 9/11 </a> &ndash; specifically, that Iraq had something to do with it.</p> <h3 style="color: #000099;">9/11 Commissioners Slam Blatant Obstruction of Justice</h3> <p>The 9/11 Commissioners publicly expressed anger at cover ups and obstructions of justice by the government into a real 9/11 investigation:</p> <ul> <li>The Commission&rsquo;s co-chairs <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/opinion/02kean.html?ref=opinion" target="_blank" title="said">said</a> that the CIA (and likely the White House) &ldquo;obstructed our investigation&rdquo;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey said that <a href="http://salon.com/ent/feature/2006/06/27/911_conspiracies/index4.html" target="_blank" title="“There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version . . . We didn’t have access . . . .”">&ldquo;There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version . . . We didn&rsquo;t have access . . . .&rdquo;</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>9/11 Commissioner Timothy Roemer said <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/08/02/9-11panel.pentagon/index.html" target="_blank" title=" “We were extremely frustrated with the false statements we were getting”"> &ldquo;We were extremely frustrated with the false statements we were getting&rdquo;</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>9/11 Commissioner Max Cleland resigned from the Commission, stating: <a href="http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2003/11/21/cleland/index.html?pn=1" target="_blank" title="“It is a national scandal”">&ldquo;It is a national scandal&rdquo;</a>; <a href="http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2003/11/13/911_panel_to_get_access_to_withheld_data/" target="_blank" title="“This investigation is now compromised”">&ldquo;This investigation is now compromised&rdquo;</a>; and <a href="http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/03/23/1546256" target="_blank" title="“One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9-11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up”">&ldquo;One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9-11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up&rdquo;</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>The Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission (John Farmer) &ndash; who led the 9/11 staff&rsquo;s inquiry &ndash; <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/04/senior-counsel-to-the-911-commission-at-some-level-of-the-government-at-some-point-in-time-there-was-an-agreement-not-to-tell-the-truth.html" title="said">said</a> &ldquo;At some level of the government, at some point in time&hellip;there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened&ldquo;. He also <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/01/AR2006080101300.html" target="_blank" title="said">said</a> &ldquo;I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described &hellip;. The tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years&hellip;. This is not spin. This is not true.&rdquo;</li> </ul> <p>And the Co-Chair of the official Congressional Inquiry Into 9/11 &ndash; and former head of the Senate Intelligence Committee &ndash; has <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/09/the-co-chair-of-the-congressional-inquiry-into-911-and-former-head-of-the-senate-intelligence-committee-calls-for-a-new-911-investigation.html" title="called for a new 9/11 investigation">called for a new 9/11 investigation</a>.</p> <p>Some examples of obstruction of justice into the 9/11 investigation include:</p> <ul> <li>An FBI informant hosted and rented a room to two hijackers in 2000. Specifically, investigators for the Congressional Joint Inquiry <a href="http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/05/11/con05439.html" target="_blank" title="discovered">discovered</a> that an FBI informant had hosted and even rented a room to two hijackers in 2000 and that, when the Inquiry sought to interview the informant, the FBI refused outright, and then hid him in an unknown location, and that a high-level FBI official stated these blocking maneuvers were undertaken under orders from the White House. As the <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/12/big-brother-spying-didnt-stop-connecticut-school-shooter-or-911.html#" title="New York Times">New York Times</a> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/08/politics/08graham.html" target="_blank" title="notes">notes</a>:</li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Democrat who is a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused the White House on Tuesday of covering up evidence &hellip;.The accusation stems from the Federal Bureau of Investigation&rsquo;s refusal to allow investigators for a Congressional inquiry and the independent Sept. 11 commission to interview an informant, Abdussattar Shaikh, who had been <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/12/big-brother-spying-didnt-stop-connecticut-school-shooter-or-911.html#" title="the landlord">the landlord</a> in San Diego of two Sept. 11 hijackers.</p> </blockquote> <ul> <li>The chairs of both the 9/11 Commission and the Official Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 <a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/03/chairs-of-both-the-911-commission-and-the-joint-intelligence-inquiry-into-911-said-that-government-minders-obstructed-the-911-investigation.html" title="said">said</a> that Soviet-style government &ldquo;minders&rdquo; obstructed the investigation into 9/11 by intimidating witnesses</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The 9/11 Commissioners <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/01/AR2006080101300.html?sub=new" target="_blank" title="concluded">concluded</a> that officials from the Pentagon lied to the Commission, and considered recommending criminal charges for such false statements</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The tape of interviews of air traffic controllers on-duty on 9/11 was intentionally destroyed by crushing the cassette by hand, cutting the tape into little pieces, and then dropping the pieces in different trash cans around the building <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F0091FFE3C580C748CDDAC0894DC404482&amp;incamp=archive:search?" target="_blank" title="as shown by this NY Times article (summary version is free; full version is pay-per-view)">as shown by this NY Times article (summary version is free; full version is pay-per-view)</a> and by <a href="http://web.archive.org/web/20040509021515/http://www.suntimes.com/output/terror/cst-nws-tape07.html" target="_blank" title="this article from the Chicago Sun-Times">this article from the Chicago Sun-Times</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li title="ACLU">As reported by <a href="http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/CIA.pdf" target="_blank" title="ACLU">ACLU</a>, <a href="http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/03/16/did-addington-oppose-911-commission-questions-to-avoid-independent-evaluation-of-torture-program/" target="_blank" title="FireDogLake’s Marcy Wheeler">FireDogLake</a>, <a href="http://rawstory.com/2010/03/revealed-ashcroft-tenet-rumsfeld-warned-911-commission-line-should-cross/" target="_blank" title="RawStory">RawStory</a> and many others, declassified documents shows that Senior Bush administration officials sternly cautioned the 9/11 Commission against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001</li> </ul> <p>So how much do we really know about the 9/11 defendants?</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-05/what-we-really-know-about-911-defendants#comments FBI Florida Iraq NBC New York Times Testimony White House World Trade Thu, 05 May 2016 05:52:37 +0000 George Washington 530533 at http://www.zerohedge.com Notorious Hacker Makes 'Bombshell' Claim: "I Got Inside Hillary's Completely Unsecured Server" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/notorious-hacker-makes-bombshell-claim-i-got-inside-hillarys-completely-unsecured-se <p>In a dramatic development that could lead to renewed focus on Hillary Clinton's email server scandal, <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/hacker-guccifer-i-got-inside-hillary-clinton-s-server-n568206">NBC reports </a>that the Romanian hacker who first exposed Hillary Clinton's private email address is making a "bombshell" new claim: <strong>that he also gained access to the former Secretary of State's "completely unsecured" server. </strong></p> <p>"It was like an open orchid on the Internet," Marcel Lehel Lazar, who is better known by his handle Guccifer which he used when he first unveiled the formerly unknown domain name of Hillary personal server one year ago, told NBC News in an exclusive interview from a prison in Bucharest. "<strong>There were hundreds of folders</strong>." </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/04/20/guccifer%20nbc.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/04/20/guccifer%20nbc.jpg" width="600" height="338" /></a><br /><em>Cynthia McFadden, right, with the Romanian hacker Guccifer in Romania</em></p> <p>As previously reported, Lazar was extradited last month from Romania to the United States to face charges he hacked political elites, including Gen. Colin Powell, a member of the Bush family, and former Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal. </p> <p>NBC further reports that according to a source with knowledge of the probe into Clinton's email setup told NBC News that with Guccifer in U.S. custody, investigators fully intend to question him about her server. </p> <p>To this point Lazar, 44, has not provided documentation to back up his claims, nor has he released anything on-line supporting his allegations, as he had frequently done with past hacks. The FBI's review of the Clinton server logs showed no sign of hacking, according to a source familiar with the case. </p> <p>Brian Fallon, national press secretary for Clinton's presidential campaign, said Guccifer's claims were baseless. "<strong>There is absolutely no basis to believe the claims made by this criminal from his prison cell," </strong>said Fallon. "In addition to the fact that he offers no proof to support his claims, his descriptions of Secretary Clinton's server are inaccurate. It is unfathomable that he would have gained access to her emails and not leaked them the way he did to his other victims. </p> <p>"We have received no indication from any government agency to support these claims, nor are they reflected in the range of charges that Guccifer already faces and that prompted his extradition in the first place," Fallon added. "<strong>And it has been reported that security logs from Secretary Clinton's email server do not show any evidence of foreign hacking</strong>."</p> <p>That strawman, of course, now puts Hillary in harms way as it redoubles attention on a scandal that many had decided was likely going to blow over. All that Trump will have to do now is find confirmation that Lazar is telling the truth and suddenly Clinton's email transgressions will get a renewed lease on life at the worst possible moment, <strong>just as a federal judge opened the door to interviewing Hillary Clinton as part of a review into her use of a private email server while secretary of State</strong>. </p> <p>All this is happening just as as Hillary thought she had managed to put her email scandals behind her.</p> <p><object id="flashObj" width="600" height="337" data="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="data" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="videoId=4878122949001&amp;playerID=407451912001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEA-5AE~,7pYsU79IKz1jyZLSY9Sb290m5ARebDo_&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" /><param name="name" value="flashObj" /><param name="flashvars" value="videoId=4878122949001&amp;playerID=407451912001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEA-5AE~,7pYsU79IKz1jyZLSY9Sb290m5ARebDo_&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /></object></p> <p>According to <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/278702-judge-leaves-open-door-for-clinton-deposition-in-email-probe">The Hill, </a>Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia laid out the ground rules for interviewing multiple State Department officials about the emails, with an eye toward finishing the depositions in the weeks before the party nominating conventions. </p> <p>Clinton herself may be forced to answer questions under oath, Sullivan said, though she is not yet being forced to take that step. </p> <p><strong>“Based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary,</strong>” Sullivan said in an order on Wednesday. [READ THE ORDER BELOW] Discovery is the formal name for the evidence-gathering process, which includes depositions. </p> <p><strong>“If plaintiff believes Mrs. Clinton’s testimony is required, it will request permission from the Court at the appropriate time.</strong>”</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In his order, Sullivan pointed to revelations from the emails appearing to show officials trying to evade demands of FOIA.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In one email, for instance, Mull told Abedin that Clinton’s emails “would be subject to FOIA requests” if she used a department-issued BlackBerry, even though her identity would remain secret. Abedin responded that the idea “doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In February, Sullivan ruled that the evidence-gathering process could proceed, and the two sides have been haggling since then. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sullivan had previously suggested that Clinton could be forced to respond to questions, but his order on Wednesday offered the clearest indication that it remains a real possibility.</p> </blockquote> <p>The order comes in the course of a lawsuit from conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, and leaves open the possibility that Clinton will be forced to answer detailed questions on the eve of her formal selection as the Democratic presidential nominee about her creation of the server. </p> <p>While it is unclear yet if Hillary will be deposed, Sullivan ordered at least six current and former State Department employees to answer questions from Judicial Watch, which has filed multiple lawsuits over the Clinton email case. Among these are longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin, former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, under secretary for management Patrick Kennedy, former executive secretary Stephen Mull and Bryan Pagliano, the IT official believed to be responsible for setting up and maintaining the server. The judge also ordered the State Department to prepare a formal answer<br /> about Clinton’s emails. Donald Reid, a senior security official, may<br /> also be asked to answer questions, if Judicial Watch so decides.</p> <p>More importantly, that process is scheduled to be wrapped up within eight weeks, putting the deadline in the final week of June, and well ahead of the presidential election.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Judicial Watch brought suit against the State Department under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in an effort to bring Abedin’s emails to light. The lawsuit has since evolved into a battleground over Clinton’s use of the private server. </p> <p>Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called Wednesday’s order “a significant victory for transparency and accountability,” and promised that it would shine a light on Clinton’s email practices.</p> <p>“Judicial Watch will use this discovery to get all of the facts behind Hillary Clinton’s and the Obama State Department’s thwarting of FOIA so that the public can be sure that all of the emails from her illicit email system are reviewed and released to the public as the law requires,” he said in a statement.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Any deposition would surely roil the presidential race and force her campaign to confront the issue, which has dogged her for a year. Once again, this is precisely what Trump will pounce on and will be sure to make it the centerpiece of all his upcoming debates with </p> <p> <iframe src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/311514316/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-aNXnjJkJEdgA11Lad0SE&amp;show_recommendations=false" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="600" height="338" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/guccifer%20nbc.jpg?1462411464" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/notorious-hacker-makes-bombshell-claim-i-got-inside-hillarys-completely-unsecured-se#comments FOIA Freedom of Information Act Judicial Watch NBC Romania Testimony Transparency Thu, 05 May 2016 03:33:51 +0000 Tyler Durden 530522 at http://www.zerohedge.com China Warns 'Will Respond To Trump Presidency' http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/china-warns-will-respond-trump-presidency <p><a href="http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/981347.shtml">Speaking through its mouthpiece Global Times</a>, China has published its first reaction to &quot;unpredictable&quot; Trump&#39;s position as presumptive Republican nominee and their <strong>expectations of a Trump vs Clinton fight for The White House</strong>...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump won a sweeping victory in the Indiana Republican primary on Tuesday, dealing a heavy blow to his rival Ted Cruz, who dropped out of the race later that night. <strong>Trump cleared his way to the Republican nomination for the 2016 US presidential election.</strong> Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus declared Trump to be the party&#39;s &quot;presumptive&quot; presidential nominee and called for unity against Hillary Clinton.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Trump&#39;s breakthrough in the Republican primaries has caused a sensation in US politics, public discourse and the international community. At the beginning of the race, most analysts and observers believed that Trump was no more than a clown. <strong>A few months ago, few people believed that the endgame would be between Trump and Clinton.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Although many analysts still insist the odds are in favor of Clinton, they are somewhat uncertain about the final result. Trump&#39;s performance in the primaries has proven them wrong. Why can&#39;t the unstoppable candidate prove them wrong again?</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>If Trump really captures the White House, what will it mean? This scenario is becoming increasingly serious.</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>The US traditional political elite and media have long ignored the drastic changes in US society</strong></u>. Rising against the repression of the GOP establishment and the mockery of US mainstream media, Trump will substantially shake the conventional US&#39; way of operation. <strong>Acquiring more authority from US society, he will be expected to bring in more reforms, that might change many established policies.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><em><strong>According to Trump&#39;s current policy proposals, a Trump-led US might be inclined to isolationism and attach more importance to &quot;America First,&quot; and American economy. Ideology will be downplayed. Washington might engage in more squabbles with its free-riding allies, and tighten up its immigration policy which as a result will upset the Latin Americans. After enjoying massive trade surplus from the US for years, China and Japan will be demanded by Washington to widen market access.</strong></em></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>If Clinton is elected, the US politics will be more predictable and revolve around the previous orbit.</strong> Although Washington is expected to be tougher on Beijing, its policies are controllable. While Trump represents pragmatism, Clinton prioritizes ideology in political affairs. To China, this distinction is more important. Clinton sees the Sino-US relationship from a traditional perspective, and Trump from a much newer viewpoint. The latter will bring changes to the Sino-US relationship.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>However, a single individual is unable to dictate the Sino-US relationship and the US domestic issues.</strong> If elected, Trump will be restricted by interior and exterior realities. As a result,<strong> he will be subject to &quot;transformation.&quot; </strong>In fact, the &quot;transformation&quot; is an interaction between Trump and the US. <strong>He will be more prudent if taking office in the White House</strong>. In fact, compared with the past, Trump has become more attentive to his words.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>If elected as the president, Trump&#39;s ability to take action and make change will not be as great as suggested by his unrestrained performances.</strong> He has already &quot;created history&quot; today. Even if he is defeated by Clinton, Trump has deeply impressed the US politics.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The US election pattern is basically finalized: Trump versus Clinton. <strong>It will be a super political show, attracting unprecedented attention and closely bound up to the world interests. </strong>While Trump is a practical business tycoon subverting US political correctness, Clinton is a former secretary of state and former first lady, representative of US political correctness and the mainstream thoughts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Improving strength is the most reliable way to respond to the US uncertainties. <strong>We believe that no matter Trump or Clinton, they will see a &quot;China with strength&quot; from different perspectives.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>So it would appear China favors the &quot;status quo&quot; of Clinton and while not <em>fearing</em> a Trump presidency, is <em><strong>more than willing to respond to any isolationist actions with &quot;strength.&quot;</strong></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="259" height="159" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160504_china.png?1462367346" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/china-warns-will-respond-trump-presidency#comments China Donald Trump Indiana Isolationism Japan Nomination White House Thu, 05 May 2016 03:22:02 +0000 Tyler Durden 530454 at http://www.zerohedge.com How A Collapse In South America Could Trigger Martial Law In The U.S. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/how-collapse-south-america-could-trigger-martial-law-us <p><a href="http://www.alt-market.com/articles/2883-how-a-collapse-in-south-america-could-trigger-martial-law-in-the-us"><em>Submitted by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,</em></a></p> <p><strong>If an economic system collapses in the woods and no one is paying attention, are there any consequences outside the woods?</strong>&nbsp;Well, yes, of course. As with most situations financial and global, however, consequences are not usually taken very seriously until they have spawned a vast bog of sewage we all have to then swim through.</p> <p><strong>The issue is and always will be &ldquo;interdependency,&rdquo; </strong>and the dissolution of sovereign borders. Take a close look at the European Union, for example.</p> <p><strong><em>You have a large network of fiscally interdependent nations struggling to maintain a sense of principled identity and heritage while participating in the delusion of multiculturalism. You have a system in which these nations are admonished or even punished for attempting to become self-reliant. You have a system which encourages a Cloward-Piven-style forced integration of incompatible cultures. You have unmanageable debt. You have a welfare addicted socialist population plagued by naive assumptions of entitlement. And on top of it all, you have a political structure dominated by cultural Marxists who would like nothing better than to see the whole of the old world go down in a blazing inferno.</em></strong></p> <p>This EU dynamic can only end in one of two ways - the complete dismantling of the supranational body and a return to sovereignty, or, a socio-economic crisis followed by even more centralization and the end of all remnants of sovereignty. <strong>Either way, the consequences will not be pretty.</strong></p> <p>In the EU there are particular nations that are being exploited by globalists to initiate greater disaster in the overall region. As Wikileaks exposed in <a href="https://wikileaks.org/imf-internal-20160319/" target="_blank">transcripts of IMF discussions on Greece</a>, the plan has always been to create enough chaos to drive fear into the general populace. Fear that can be used to manipulate the masses towards handing even more administrative power over to those same globalists. They know that a fiscally-tiny nation like Greece can still do kinetic damage to its neighbors because its neighbors have weak foundations. One domino sets off the chain.</p> <p><u><strong>The same strategy may also be used in the Western hemisphere; more specifically, the collapse in South America that almost no one in the mainstream seems to be paying much attention to.</strong></u> While mainstream coverage sometimes looks at each South American nation as an isolated case, none of the coverage examines these crises as an interconnected breakdown, and they certainly do not suggest any future ill effects to the U.S.</p> <p>First, lets take a look at some of South Americas most important economies and why they are on the verge of an epic catastrophe.</p> <h2><u><strong>Venezuela</strong></u></h2> <p>The crash of oil prices from more than&nbsp;$100 per barrel down to around $40 per barrel or less has annihilated oil-dependent Venezuela, a country already in financial turmoil. Overprinting of currency has been the only &ldquo;solution&rdquo; offered so far. Hyperinflation is now taking hold with the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-22/imf-sees-venezuela-inflation-rocketing-to-720-percent-in-2016" target="_blank">IMF warning</a> of a 720 percent increase this year.</p> <p>Currently, necessities are being rationed while a growing number of citizens are left empty handed.</p> <p>Many food purchases in Venezuela require an <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/10/29/452636462/the-nightmare-of-grocery-shopping-in-venezuela" target="_blank">electronic ration card</a>. Shoppers are forced to wait in long lines for hours just for a chance to purchase staple items that may be sold out by the time they get their turn.</p> <p>The government under Socialist President Nicolas Maduro has <a href="https://fee.org/articles/venezuela-moves-to-natonalize-food-ration-medicine-kill-comedy/" target="_blank">nationalized all food and medicine distribution</a>, and is currently instituting rationing of electricity, and even time! A two-day work week for public sector workers is now in force. Private companies are being asked to use their own generators to continue operations rather than relying on the grid.</p> <p>Finally, Venezuela is so close to implosion that they no longer have the money to pay for the work of currency printers they rely on outside the country. Meaning, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-27/venezuela-faces-its-strangest-shortage-yet-as-inflation-explodes" target="_blank">they no longer have the money to pay for printing more money</a>.</p> <p>Disaster in the nation is inevitable and a general collapse is likely to occur this year.</p> <h2><u><strong>Brazil</strong></u></h2> <p>Brazil is simply a mess, and a perfect example of why the recently-established BRICS &ldquo;bank&rdquo; has always been a farce and will never be competition to the IMF (Not that this was ever the intention, as I have proven <a href="http://www.alt-market.com/articles/2753-the-fall-of-america-signals-the-rise-of-the-new-world-order">in numerous articles</a> on the false East/West paradigm. The BRICS bank works WITH the IMF, not against it).</p> <p>Brazil&rsquo;s national debt has doubled in the past five years and officially the economy is set to shrink by 3.5 percent in 2016. In the meantime, <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/31/news/economy/brazil-gdp-recession/" target="_blank">Brazil&rsquo;s currency has recently hit record lows</a> against the U.S. dollar as devaluation begins to sting.&nbsp; At the same time, currency devaluation has done nothing to help Brazil&#39;s ailing exports.&nbsp; The country can barely keep its own economy stable, let alone participate in a global banking venture in &quot;competition&quot; with the IMF.</p> <p>As often happens during economic crisis, political chaos is taking hold. A whole host of criminal misconduct and corruption charges are being fielded against president Dilma Rousseff as impeachment proceedings gain momentum.</p> <p>Perhaps not surprisingly, at least three of the politicians in line to take over Rousseff&rsquo;s position are ALSO under investigation for <a href="http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/apr/19/3-men-in-line-for-brazilian-presidency-accused-of/" target="_blank">criminal activity</a>.</p> <p>Brazil is set to host the Summer Olympics in Rio this year, but all indicators suggest that they will be fiscally incapable of adequately paying for the infrastructure improvements required for the games to proceed.</p> <h2><u><strong>Argentina</strong></u></h2> <p>Argentina has been in and out of economic crisis consistently since 2002, and beholden to the IMF for almost as long. Argentina&rsquo;s original collapse in 2001/2002 is a commonly-used example of a modernized and westernized economic system suffering from a high speed financial disaster that was mostly hidden from the public until it was too late.</p> <p>Today, Argentina&rsquo;s new government has yet again chosen to do what most establishment controlled governments do when the economy is in decline &mdash; they hide the numbers. Though government officials have claimed a reduction in <a href="https://panampost.com/raquel-garcia/2016/04/04/poverty-in-argentina-soars/" target="_blank">Argentina&rsquo;s poverty rate</a>, other sources indicate it has actually soared this year to more than&nbsp;32 percent of the population.</p> <p>This poverty is compounded by <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/argentinas-central-bank-to-take-aim-at-inflation-starting-in-september-1461886030" target="_blank">heavy price inflation</a>. Most goods and services in Argentina currently inflate in price by approximately 35 percent annually.</p> <p>Though Argentina has recently restructured its debts and is now able to issue treasury bonds for sale again, essentially all of the capital gained through bond sales is used to pay back creditors from past economic crises. Under these conditions, it is only a matter of time before the country suffers yet another breakdown.</p> <h2><u><strong>A Chain Reaction Leading To Martial Law </strong></u></h2> <p><strong>Much of South America is on the verge of financial chaos, but I have focused on the three countries above because they are the most influential on the continent as a whole. As goes Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina, so goes South America. That said, what does any of this have to do with the U.S.? Why should we care?</strong></p> <p>Various nations within South America are always experiencing intermittent crisis, and one might argue that this mattered little to the U.S. in the past. But what we are witnessing now is not an isolated collapse in a single country, but collapse conditions in all of South America&rsquo;s major economies with weakness prevalent in most other nations. Like the EU, South America seems to be a powder keg waiting for a spark.</p> <p><strong>The U.S. itself is not far behind in terms of an economic breakdown and this could be exacerbated by fiscal chaos in the south. As for how this effects the U.S. in other ways, here&rsquo;s where things get a little weird&hellip;</strong></p> <p>In the wake of the Iran/Contra hearings, the exposure of documents pertaining to a program called &ldquo;Rex 84&rdquo;, part of &quot;Operation Garden Plot&quot;, hit the mainstream news. Rex 84 stood for &ldquo;Readiness Exercise 1984,&rdquo; and was a continuity of government program designed to lock down the U.S. under martial law during &ldquo;civil disturbances.&rdquo; This included the power of government to forcefully relocate large populations from their homes or even detain large populations at will. You can read the original Rex 84/Operation Garden Plot documents in PDF form <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=2&amp;ved=0ahUKEwimt5zT6r_MAhXMkYMKHTafBTIQFggkMAE&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.governmentattic.org%2F2docs%2FDA-CivilDisturbPlanGardenPlot_1968.pdf&amp;usg=AFQjCNGH8uGXv8XPVwys3t0poY5I3_lEaw&amp;sig2=QRTKOGJTKRfRjADS8Gj-3g&amp;cad=rja">here</a>.</p> <p><strong>Though Rex 84 was launched decades ago, the program never actually went away. </strong>All responsibilities pertaining to Rex 84 are now under the oversight of the Department of Homeland Security and Northcom.</p> <p>One of the primary &ldquo;disturbances&rdquo; mentioned as a rationale for Rex 84 was a &ldquo;mass exodus&rdquo; of immigrants from Central or South America across the U.S.-Mexico border.</p> <p>The exposure of Rex 84 was probably the primary catalyst for the growing concern over &ldquo;FEMA camps,&rdquo; as the program demanded mass internment of &ldquo;dissidents&rdquo; and immigrants. As we know well after the events in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, FEMA &ldquo;camps&rdquo; are not necessarily places that are pre-established. Rather, an internment camp or detention facility can be erected in mere days by federal agencies anytime, anywhere. <em><u><strong>For those that think the idea of internment camps is a thing of the past, watch as Gen. Wesley Clark offers this very idea as a response to those he considers &ldquo;disloyal to the U.S.&rdquo;</strong></u></em></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eaPwqokBn9M" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>I would suggest that the provisions of Rex 84 are an integral part of the establishment apparatus, and that they fully plan to utilize them in the near future</strong>. For Europe,<strong> Rex 84-style measures may very well be used in response to the continuing flood of millions of Muslim immigrants with no intentions of integrating with the existing European population</strong>. And certainly, many people might cheer those measures. A few more terrorist attacks and watch how quickly the socialist majority rescinds their welcome. Keep in mind, though, history shows us that the destruction of freedom for one broad group invariably leads to the destruction of freedom for all.</p> <p><strong>In the West, a South American collapse will likely lead to our own mass flood of illegal immigrants in addition to the millions already crossing our borders.&nbsp;</strong> One must also consider the probability of ISIS fighters mingling with these immigrants. This would be a crisis in direct proportion to that of Europe. Take note that in the U.S. and Europe the respective governments have ENCOURAGED mass migrations from cultures with little to no respect for the values and principles of the host nations. An economic crisis would only expedite the disasters they have already started.</p> <p><strong>Again, many Americans might cheer for mass detentions in the wake of an immigration threat, but in the end, the &ldquo;defense&rdquo; of U.S. borders would be used by the establishment to rationalize unconstitutional actions against everyone</strong>. I have outlined the threat of a South American exodus to our borders in the hopes that if and when it occurs, people are not so stupid as to turn to the government for help, the same government that aided in creating the calamity in the first place.</p> <p><u><em><strong>Expanded government power solves nothing in the long run, regardless of who is in office at the time (this includes Trump). Independent and sovereign action is the only answer. Individuals, counties and states securing their own borders. Whether it be in the face of a collapse in South America, or any other Black Swan event. Keep the feds out no matter the supposed threat. Never invite the vampire into your house.</strong></em></u></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="479" height="319" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160504_us1.png?1462406250" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/how-collapse-south-america-could-trigger-martial-law-us#comments Black Swan Bond Brazil BRICs Corruption Creditors European Union Greece Hyperinflation Iran Martial Law National Debt New Orleans None Thu, 05 May 2016 02:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530517 at http://www.zerohedge.com Where Does The U.S. Get Its Oil? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/where-does-us-get-its-oil <p><u><strong>Ever wondered where the United States imports its oil from?</strong></u></p> <p><a href="http://howmuch.net/articles/oil-imports-gif-15-years">Howmuch.net</a> came out with some infographics to show that from 2000 to 2015. What we would highlight here is the notable shift from the U.S. depending heavily on Middle East countries and Mexico, to <strong><em>depending more on America&#39;s neighbor to the north, Canada.</em></strong></p> <p><strong>In 2000, the U.S. imported 661 million barrels of oil from Canada, 503 million barrels from Mexico, and a combined 902 million barrels from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/04/20160504_2000.PNG"><img height="350" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/04/20160504_2000_0.PNG" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Here is 2005, which we note Iraq&#39;s decline after the U.S. decided to take over...</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/04/20160504_2005.PNG"><img height="356" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/04/20160504_2005_0.PNG" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>In 2010, a notable decline in Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait occurs, while Canada becomes a much more significant source of oil.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/04/20160504_2010.PNG"><img height="355" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/04/20160504_2010_0.PNG" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>And here is 2015, in which the U.S. imports a whopping 1.37 billion barrels of oil from Canada, while Mexico provides 277 million (a 44.9% decrease from 2000 levels), and Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait combine for just 544.9 million barrels, a 39.6% decrease from levels in 2000.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/04/20160504_2015.PNG"><img height="351" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/04/20160504_2015_0.PNG" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In seeing this, it&#39;s little wonder that OPEC has a keen interest in not cutting supply, as they know full well that lower oil prices will eventually (if not already) take out competition in the U.S. and Canada. Now we can see visually how one of the world&#39;s largest importers of oil is shifting its preference, and<em><strong> should help everyone understand OPEC&#39;s &quot;totally unpredictable&quot; inability to come to an agreement on oil production cuts</strong></em>.</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/despite-shale-glut-u-s-imports-more-foreign-oil-1462310512#:XUPl6BP111EeQA">Wall Street Journal </a>has some additional detail on how 2016 is shaping up so far for the U.S.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>The U.S. is importing more foreign crude than it has in years, becoming one of the last ports of call for many oil-producing nations despite a glut of crude from domestic companies.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Oil imports this year have surged 20% to about eight million barrels a day since early May 2015, when they approached a 20-year low,</strong> according to federal data. Crude from the Republic of Congo, Russia and Brazil is arriving at U.S. ports, while Canada is sending a record amount of oil to the U.S., the data show.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>A series of market disruptions in recent months is one reason for the sharp rise in imports, even though U.S. production is close to a three-decade high at nearly nine million barrels a day. These changes include Iran&rsquo;s return to exporting crude after sanctions were lifted in January, a move that indirectly led to more U.S. imports even though Iran itself can&rsquo;t sell to the U.S.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Another big driver: The rest of the world is running out of places to store oil. Facilities from Rotterdam to Cape Town already are near capacity, but the U.S. still has room to spare, said Brian Busch, director of oil markets for Genscape, a data firm that tracks energy shipments.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The U.S. has filled about two-thirds of its total storage capacity and has room for roughly 100 million barrels more, Mr. Busch said. By comparison, major storage hubs in China and South Africa appear full, and Europe&rsquo;s main storage space centered in Rotterdam appears to be within 10% of its usable capacity, according to Mr. Busch.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>But with more crude heading to the U.S., the states are moving closer to full storage capacity, too, said Skip York, a vice president with Wood Mackenzie, an energy consultant.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>As U.S. tanks fill, &ldquo;it will eventually have to put some downward pressure on U.S. prices,&rdquo; Mr. York said. Even before then, the raft of new supply from overseas could weigh on U.S. oil prices.</em></p> <p><em>On Tuesday, oil for June delivery fell $1.13, or 2.5%, to settle at $43.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, on expectations that U.S. crude inventories will keep climbing. Crude is up 67% from a 2016 low hit in February but down 28% from a year ago.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Still, rising imports isn&rsquo;t bad news for everyone in the oil patch. Traders that can afford to hold oil and lock in higher sales through the futures market are big beneficiaries.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Refiners like Phillips 66, major energy companies like BP PLC and international trading houses like Mercuria Energy Group are storing foreign crude in the U.S. so they can sell it for a profit later, according to federal data.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Socking away oil in American storage can cost between 30 cents and 85 cents a barrel each month, which is well below the $1 a barrel or more it takes to keep crude floating in oil tankers, observers said.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s precisely why some of these traders import it, to put it in storage,&rdquo; said Amrita Sen, co-founder of Energy Aspects, a London consulting firm.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>A Wall Street Journal analysis of U.S. Energy Department numbers shows nearly 114 million barrels of foreign oil entered the U.S. between May 2015 and February and went to storage tanks. The majority is parked in Oklahoma and Illinois. That figure is up 30% from less than 88 million barrels in the same period a year earlier.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Meanwhile, wait times to deliver foreign crude into the U.S. have become so backlogged that more than 28 million barrels of oil are sitting idle on tankers in the Gulf of Mexico, according to ship-tracking firm ClipperData. That figure is more than double the normal level, ClipperData said.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Storage space isn&rsquo;t the only reason for the U.S. import boom. Countries like Venezuela and Iraq are selling oil for low prices just to keep pumping, observers said, and Iran is ramping up exports.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>U.S. refiners still are prohibited from buying Iranian oil, but crude from the Persian Gulf country going to other destinations has unleashed a chain reaction that is causing more oil to flow into the U.S.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Iran has been underpricing many of its competitors to win back market share. That means some countries that got cut out of business in Europe and Asia because of lower-priced Iranian crude are selling to the U.S. market, traders and analysts said.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Countries like Angola, Albania and the U.K. recently delivered crude to New Jersey, California and Louisiana after Iran underpriced them, according to oil traders and analysts. These countries haven&rsquo;t had much U.S. business since the shale revolution until this year, according to ClipperData.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Saudi Arabia also shipped 33% more crude to the U.S. at the start of 2016 than it did during the same period last year, boosting volumes into the country back over one million barrels a day, federal data show, as the kingdom seeks to increase its market share.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Tom Cambridge, chief executive of Cambridge Production Inc. in Amarillo, Texas, said he has been concerned about the increase in imports and the downward pressure that it can exert on U.S. oil prices.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>He and a few other oil executives have been trying to drum up support among politicians to push for quotas on foreign oil imports, he said. &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re filling up at a station in Texas, chances are you&rsquo;re running on Saudi gasoline,&rdquo; Mr. Cambridge said.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Another factor influencing imports: <strong>The cost of shipping oil on U.S. trains is more expensive than importing foreign crude, a reflection of low oil prices and shifting transportation costs.</strong></em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Refineries in Washington state, which often process Alaskan crude, are importing more oil from Argentina and Brazil, according to federal records. New Jersey and Pennsylvania plants are importing from Azerbaijan, Chad and Gabon, crude that competes directly with the Bakken Shale.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;It currently makes more sense to import a tanker of crude from Nigeria than to buy an oil train from North Dakota,&rdquo;</strong> said Stephen Wolfe, senior oil strategist in Houston at Trafigura Beheer BV, a commodities trading firm.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user51698/imageroot/2016/05/04/20160504_2016oil.PNG" style="width: 318px; height: 545px;" /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="966" height="565" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160504_2015.PNG?1462387876" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/where-does-us-get-its-oil#comments Brazil China Crude Futures market Illinois Iran Iraq Kuwait Market Share Mexico Middle East Oklahoma OPEC Saudi Arabia Wall Street Journal Thu, 05 May 2016 02:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530489 at http://www.zerohedge.com Buchanan: If There's A 2nd Cold War, Did Russia Really Start It? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/buchanan-if-theres-2nd-cold-war-did-russia-really-start-it <p><a href="http://buchanan.org/blog/russia-resents-us-125183"><em>Submitted by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,</em></a></p> <p>Friday, a Russian SU-27 did a barrel roll over a U.S. RC-135 over the Baltic, the second time in two weeks.</p> <p>Also in April, the U.S. destroyer Donald Cook, off Russia&rsquo;s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, was twice buzzed by Russian planes.</p> <p><strong>Vladimir Putin&rsquo;s message: Keep your spy planes and ships a respectable distance away from us. Apparently, we have not received it.</strong></p> <p>Friday, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work announced that 4,000 NATO troops, including two U.S. battalions, will be moved into Poland and the Baltic States, right on Russia&rsquo;s border.</p> <p><em><strong>&ldquo;The Russians have been doing a lot of snap exercises right up against the border with a lot of troops,&rdquo; says Work, who calls this &ldquo;extraordinarily provocative behavior.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>But how are Russian troops deploying inside Russia &ldquo;provocative,&rdquo; while U.S. troops on Russia&rsquo;s front porch are not?</strong></span> And before we ride this escalator up to a clash, we had best check our hole card.</p> <p>Germany is to provide one of four battalions to be sent to the Baltic.</p> <p>But a Bertelsmann Foundation poll last week found that <strong>only 31 percent of Germans favor sending their troops to resist a Russian move in the Baltic States or Poland, while 57 percent oppose it, though the NATO treaty requires it.</strong></p> <p>Last year, a Pew poll found majorities in Italy and France also oppose military action against Russia if she moves into Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia or Poland. If it comes to war in the Baltic, our European allies prefer that we Americans fight it.</p> <p><strong>Asked on his retirement as Army chief of staff what was the greatest strategic threat to the United States,</strong> Gen. Ray Odierno echoed Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, <em><strong>&ldquo;I believe that Russia is.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p>He mentioned threats to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.</p> <p>Yet, when Gen. Odierno entered the service, all four were part of the Soviet Union, and no Cold War president ever thought any was worth a war.</p> <p>The independence of the Baltic States was one of the great peace dividends after the Cold War. But when did that become so vital a U.S. interest we would go to war with Russia to guarantee it?</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Putin may top the enemies list of the Beltway establishment, but we should try to see the world from his point of view.</strong></span></p> <p>When Ronald Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik in 1986, Putin was in his mid-30s, and the Soviet Empire stretched from the Elbe to the Bering Strait and from the Arctic to Afghanistan.</p> <p>Russians were all over Africa and had penetrated the Caribbean and Central America. The Soviet Union was a global superpower that had attained strategic parity with the United States.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Now consider how the world has changed for Putin, and Russia.</strong></span></p> <p>By the time he turned 40, the Red Army had begun its Napoleonic retreat from Europe and his country had splintered into 15 nations.</p> <p>By the time he came to power, the USSR had lost one-third of its territory and half its population. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were gone.</p> <p>The Black Sea, once a Soviet lake, now had on its north shore a pro-Western Ukraine, on its eastern shore a hostile Georgia, and on its western shore two former Warsaw Pact allies, Bulgaria and Romania, being taken into NATO.</p> <p>For Russian warships in Leningrad, the trip out to the Atlantic now meant cruising past the coastline of eight NATO nations: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Great Britain.</p> <p><strong>Putin has seen NATO, despite solemn U.S. assurances given to Gorbachev, incorporate all of Eastern Europe that Russia had vacated, and three former republics of the USSR itself.</strong></p> <p>He now hears a clamor from American hawks to bring three more former Soviet republics &mdash; Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine &mdash; into a NATO alliance directed against Russia.</p> <p><strong>After persuading Kiev to join a Moscow-led economic union, Putin saw Ukraine&rsquo;s pro-Russian government overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup.</strong></p> <p>He has seen U.S.-funded &ldquo;color-coded&rdquo; revolutions try to dump over friendly regimes all across his &ldquo;near abroad.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Russia has not accepted the hand of partnership,&rdquo; says NATO commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, &ldquo;but has chosen a path of belligerence.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p><em>But why should Putin see NATO&rsquo;s inexorable eastward march as an extended &ldquo;hand of partnership&rdquo;?</em></p> <p><em>Had we lost the Cold War and Russian spy planes began to patrol off Pensacola, Norfolk and San Diego, how would U.S. F-16 pilots have reacted? </em></p> <p><em>If we awoke to find Mexico, Canada, Cuba, and most of South America in a military alliance against us, welcoming Russian bases and troops, would we regard that as &ldquo;the hand of partnership&rdquo;?</em></p> <p><strong>We are reaping the understandable rage and resentment of the Russian people over how we exploited Moscow&rsquo;s retreat from empire.</strong></p> <p>Did we not ourselves slap aside the hand of Russian friendship, when proffered, <em><strong>when we chose to embrace our &ldquo;unipolar moment,&rdquo; to play the &ldquo;great game&rdquo; of empire and seek &ldquo;benevolent global hegemony&rdquo;?</strong></em></p> <p>If there is a second Cold War, did Russia really start it?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="235" height="148" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20160504_us.png?1462406127" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/buchanan-if-theres-2nd-cold-war-did-russia-really-start-it#comments Afghanistan Bulgaria Eastern Europe Estonia France Germany Italy Kazakhstan Latvia Lithuania Mexico Norway Poland Romania SPY Turkmenistan Ukraine Uzbekistan Vladimir Putin Thu, 05 May 2016 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 530516 at http://www.zerohedge.com EU Plans $290K Per Person Fine For Countries Refusing "Fair Share" Of Refugees; Angry Response Ensues http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/eu-plans-290k-person-fine-countries-refusing-fair-share-refugees-angry-response-ensu <p>As Norway <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-26/norway-offers-refugees-cash-leave-country">offers cash</a> for refugees to leave, <a href="http://www.thelocal.no/20160408/norway-wont-take-any-more-refugees-from-eu">announcing</a> that they won't be accepting any more refugees from the EU, and <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-23/switzerland-readies-military-preparation-new-wave-migrants">Switzerland prepares its military to close down borders</a>, the EU has seemingly had enough of every country acting as if it has any type of sovereignty left. The European Commission has announced that it is going to pull rank on everyone, and in Obama-like fashion, will be fining countries for not taking their fair share of refugees.</p> <p>Here is a detailed summary of all that happened today in the ongoing European refugee crisis <a href="https://mishtalk.com/2016/05/04/eu-plans-290000-per-person-fine-on-countries-refusing-fair-share-of-refugees-case-for-brexit-crystallized/">courtesy of Mish Shedlock.</a></p> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>EU Plans $290,000 Per Person Fine on Countries Refusing “Fair Share” of Refugees; Case For Brexit Crystallized</strong></p> <p>The European Commission plans fines of $290,000 per person on countries refusing to take in their fair share of refugees.</p> <p>This plan is aimed straight at Poland, Slovokia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Austria.</p> <p>The UK, Ireland, and Denmark all have opt-out policies, but the UK cannot expect that to last forever unless the vote goes for Brexit.</p> <p><strong>Punitive Fines</strong></p> <p>Today the EC fired a warning shot across the bow of countries who believe they have a right to control their foreign policies.</p> <p>The announcement comes in the form of <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36202490" target="_blank">Punitive Penalties for Refusing Asylum Seekers</a>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The European Commission has proposed reforms to EU asylum rules that would see stiff financial penalties imposed on countries refusing to take their share of asylum seekers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The bloc’s executive body is planning a sanction of €250,000 (£200,000; $290,000) per person.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The UK and Ireland can opt out of asylum policies, and the British government has already indicated it will not take part. Denmark is also exempt.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Countries refusing to accept their quota would effectively be fined – with the money going to frontline states such as Italy and Greece that have carried the burden.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The proposals for sanctions alarmed Central European countries that have refused to implement the refugee quota deal:</p> <ol> <li>Poland’s foreign minister wondered if it was “a serious proposal”</li> <li>Slovakia’s interior minister complained the proposed “fair share” system failed to respect reality</li> <li>Hungary called it “blackmail” and “unacceptable”</li> <li>The Czech Republic said it was an unpleasant surprise as it returned to a concept of mandatory quotas which had been rejected</li> </ol> <p>The four countries were outvoted when the quota plan was agreed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hungary’s government on Tuesday announced plans for a referendum on the EU’s resettlement plans.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Add Austria to the List</strong></p> <p>Following Austria’s vote last month in national elections it’s safe to add Austria to the list.</p> <p>For details, please see<a href="https://mishtalk.com/2016/04/25/anti-immigration-party-wins-first-round-of-austria-elections-by-larger-than-expected-margin-we-are-not-worlds-social-department/" target="_blank"> Anti-Immigration Party Wins First Round of Austria Elections: “We are Not the World’s Social Department”</a>.</p> <p><strong>Hungary Referendum on Quota Wins Supreme Court Backing</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The Hungarian government’s plans to hold a referendum on whether it will accept the EU’s quota system on accepting migrants has been approved by the country’s top court, Hungary Today reported.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has been strongly critical of EU pushes to resettle refugees and migrants across the continent, going as far as putting up fences on Hungary’s borders with neighbors Serbia and Croatia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Orban has remained critical of these plans and on Tuesday evening Hungary’s Supreme Court refused to block the decision to hold a national referendum on the issue.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The vote is planned in September or early October, asking Hungarians “Do you want the EU, even without the approval of Hungarian parliament, to be able to prescribe the mandatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary?”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After receiving approval from Hungary’s top court, the motion for a referendum will now be put to a parliamentary vote, where Orban’s Fidesz party holds a commanding majority. In the likely scenario that it is approved, an exact date will be set.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Opposition parties in Hungary have opposed the idea, with far-right eurosceptic party Jobbik calling for Hungary to refuse the quotas plan outright, without a referendum, news site Politics.hu reported. Meanwhile, the liberal Democratic Coalition warned that the <em>referendum was actually taking Hungary towards leaving the EU</em>.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Case for Not Joining EU Crystal Clear</strong></p> <p>The case for a UK Brexit is now crystal clear.</p> <p>The UK’s “opt-out” of such items will not last forever. This is just the beginning of nannycrat nonsense.</p> <p>London can also expect financial transaction taxes and all sorts of inane wealth redistribution schemes.</p> <p>In Hungary, the liberal Democratic Coalition warned that the referendum was actually taking Hungary towards leaving the EU.</p> <p><strong>Hungary’s Referendum Question</strong></p> <p>Hungary’s Referendum Question: “<em>Do you want the EU, even without the approval of Hungarian parliament, to be able to prescribe the mandatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary?</em>”</p> <p><strong>Question Every Nation Needs to Ask</strong></p> <p>Let’s for a moment presume the US, Mexico, Canada, Honduras, Guatemala were in an “Amero Agreement” with each country having equal say.</p> <p>Here’s the revised question “<em>Do you want the Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala, even without the approval of US Congress, to be able to prescribe the mandatory resettlement of non-US citizens in the US?</em>”</p> <p>That is exactly what’s happening in Europe.</p> <p>The US would never cede foreign policy to Mexico and Honduras, so why should the UK, Hungary, or Poland cede policy to a group of other nations?</p> <p><strong>Brexit Odds</strong></p> <p>ZeroHedge reports <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/pro-brexit-leader-jokes-keep-sending-obama-over-after-surge-polls" target="_blank">Pro-Brexit Leader Jokes “Keep Sending Obama Over” After Surge In Polls</a></p> <p><a href="https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/brexit-odds.png"><img src="https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/brexit-odds.png?w=529&amp;h=300" alt="Brexit Odds" width="529" height="300" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-37491" /></a></p> <p>“Brexit leaders are thrilled President Barack Obama came out against them, because they are seeing a bounce in the polls.”</p> <p><strong>Blackmail</strong></p> <p>RT offers this perspective: <a href="https://www.rt.com/news/341814-eastern-europe-refugee-quotas/" target="_blank">‘Blackmail’: Eastern European govts lash out at EC’s quota penalty proposal</a>.</p> <p><strong>Related Posts</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://mishtalk.com/2016/04/23/obama-escalates-brexit-fearmongering-campaign/" target="_blank">Obama Escalates Brexit Fearmongering&nbsp;Campaign</a></li> <li><a href="https://mishtalk.com/2016/03/17/the-tampon-tax-brexit-and-reform-promises/" target="_blank">The Tampon Tax, Brexit, and Reform&nbsp;Promises</a></li> <li><a href="https://mishtalk.com/2016/02/21/six-uk-ministers-abandon-cameron-in-favor-of-brexit/" target="_blank">Six UK Ministers Abandon Cameron in Favor of&nbsp;Brexit</a></li> </ul> <p>Key quote: “The Americans would never contemplate anything like the EU for themselves or for their neighbors, in their own hemisphere,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="660" height="371" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/migrants.jpg?1462410926" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-04/eu-plans-290k-person-fine-countries-refusing-fair-share-refugees-angry-response-ensu#comments Barack Obama Czech Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Mexico Norway Poland Switzerland Thu, 05 May 2016 01:15:54 +0000 Tyler Durden 530521 at http://www.zerohedge.com