en Putin Blamed For Poland's Bust-Up With Brussels <p><strong><a href="">Russia-gate blame-scaping is accelerating across Europe</a>... </strong>and now it is being embraced by none other than European Council President Donald Tusk.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 560px; height: 335px;" /></a></p> <p>In what is an <strong>unprecedented attack by an EU leader on a member state&rsquo;s sitting government</strong>, <a href="">Bloomberg reports</a> that Tusk explicitly suggests the ruling Law &amp; Justice party is merely a &#39;puppet of Putin&#39; and just forwarding Russian interests...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Strident dispute with Ukraine, isolation in the European Union, walking away from rule of law and judicial independence, attack on non-governmental sector and free media,&rdquo; Tusk wrote on his personal Twitter account on Sunday.<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>&nbsp;</strong></em></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>&ldquo;Law &amp; Justice strategy or Kremlin plan? Too similar to sleep well.&rdquo;</strong></em></span></p> </blockquote> <p>This aggresiver tweet comes just days after Poland&#39;s Independence Day parades &#39;triggered&#39; mainstream media everywhere... as tens of thousands of people, waving tens of thousands of white-and-red national flags young and old, of all walks of life, with whole families take to the streets. <strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="302" src="" width="560" /></a></p> <p><a href="">As we detailed previously</a>, <strong>to the western media these are Nazis, racists, anti-semites and islamophobes. An abomination for the European Union.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>What has positive overtones in Poland (patriotism, faith, family), has negative ones in Western Europe and the other way round. Migrants, LGTBQ and gender mainstreaming is not welcome in the area between the Oder and Bug Rivers. <strong>The EU values cannot be farther from Poland&rsquo;s values and vice versa.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Independence March denigrated by the Western media was favourably covered by the Polish government and other national media, except for those which are far to the left and very much pro-European. The former shored up the positive aspects of the event, the latter only looked for incidents to blow them out of any proportion and join the chorus of their western counterparts in condemning <em>&ldquo;fascists&rdquo;</em> and <em>&ldquo;white supremacists&rdquo;</em>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>A thirty-six million nation in the heart of Europe (i.e. with a population approximately the size of Spain&rsquo;s) is throwing down the gauntlet to the EU establishment and its view of European unity</strong></span> based on cultural and religious indifference and anti-nationalism.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">As Bloomberg notes,</a> Tusk&rsquo;s tweet is the latest salvo in a war of words between Poland and the EU, as<strong> fears mount in Brussels that Warsaw&rsquo;s government is shifting toward authoritarian rule.</strong> It also adds to speculation that the 60-year-old former Polish prime minister plans a comeback to domestic politics when his term as chairman of EU leaders&rsquo; meetings expires in 2019, the same year that current parliament and government&rsquo;s term ends in Poland.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="288" src="" width="560" /></a></p> <p><strong>On Friday, Prime Minister Beata Szydlo criticized her fellow leaders and lawmakers from the bloc for weighing sanctions against the nation over anti-democratic actions and suggested they weren&rsquo;t being honest.</strong> The&nbsp;<a href="" title="Company Overview">European Parliament</a>&nbsp;said last week it would examine possible sanctions against Poland over democratic backsliding. That opens a second EU front against Warsaw after the&nbsp;<a href="" title="Company Overview">European Commission</a>&nbsp;last year initiated a rule-of-law investigation into the right-wing Law &amp; Justice party due to judicial independence concerns.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t not tell the prime ministers that we should respect each other, that we should strive for our political families to have respect for other countries in the public debate, in the European Parliament and in other European institutions,&rdquo; </strong>Szydlo told reporters in Gothenburg, Sweden, before a meeting with her EU counterparts on Nov. 17.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;Debates should be based on the truth.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">As we conclude previously</a>, <em>at the time when the Soviets were establishing the communist political system in Central Europe someone said (someone ascribed these words to Stalin himself) that communism fits the Polish nation like a saddle fits a cow. <strong>Is the attempt to Europeanize Poles another attempt at saddling the cow?</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="788" height="471" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Central Europe Donald Tusk European Commission European Council European Parliament European Union European Union European Union History of Poland 1989–present) Law & Justice party None Poland Polish Constitutional Court crisis Polish government Politics Twitter Twitter Ukraine Warsaw’s government western Europe World World history Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607562 at Germany: Spike In Stabbings <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute,</em></a></p> <div> <ul> <li>Chancellor Angela Merkel&#39;s open-door migration policies have set in motion a <strong>self-reinforcing cycle of violence </strong>in which more and more people are carrying knives in public - including for self-defense.</li> <li>A 40-year-old man stabbed to death his 31-year-old wife and mother of their three children. Police said the man was angry that his wife was using social media.</li> <li>A &quot;dark-skinned&quot; man (<em>dunklem Teint</em>) drew a knife on a 54-year-old female train conductor when she asked him for his ticket.</li> </ul> </div> <p><strong>A recent surge in stabbings and knife-related violence across Germany is drawing renewed attention to the deteriorating security situation there since Chancellor Angela Merkel&#39;s 2015 decision to allow in more than a million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.</strong></p> <p>In recent months, people armed with knives, axes and machetes have brought devastation to all of Germany&#39;s 16 federal states. Knives have been used not only not only to carry out jihadist attacks, but also to commit homicides, robberies, home invasions, sexual assaults, honor killings and many other types of violent crime.</p> <p><strong>Knife-related crimes have occurred in amusement parks, bicycle trails, hotels, parks, public squares, public transportation, restaurants, schools, supermarkets and train stations. Many Germans have the sense that danger lurks everywhere; public safety, nowhere.</strong></p> <p>Police <a href="" target="_blank">admit</a> they are outnumbered and overwhelmed and increasingly unable to maintain public order &mdash; both day and night.</p> <p>Statistics that are reliable on knife violence in Germany - where police been <a href="" target="_blank">accused</a> of failing to report many crimes, apparently in an effort &quot;not to unsettle&quot; the public - do not exist.</p> <p><strong>A search of German police blotters, however, indicates that 2017 is on track to become a record year for stabbings and knife crimes: Police <a href="" target="_blank">reported</a> more than 3,500 knife-related crimes between January and October 2017, compared to around 4,000 reported crimes during all of 2016 - and only 300 in 2007. Overall, during the past ten years, knife-related crimes in Germany have increased by more than 1,200%.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>The media in Germany do not report most knife-related violence.</strong></u> Crimes that are reported are often dismissed as &quot;isolated incidents,&quot; unrelated to mass immigration. Moreover, many crime reports, including those in police blotters, omit any reference at all to the nationalities of the perpetrators and victims &mdash; ostensibly to avoid inflaming anti-immigration sentiments.</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" src="" style="max-width: 100%;" /><br /> <p style="font-size: 82%; margin: 4px 6px;">Pictured: German police secure the crime scene after a knife attack on May 10, 2016 at the train station in Grafing. A man stabbed four people while reportedly shouting &quot;Allahu Akbar&quot; (&quot;Allah is greater&quot;), killing one. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><strong>Merkel&#39;s open-door migration policies have, however, set in motion a self-reinforcing cycle of violence in which more and more people are carrying knives in public &mdash; including for self-defense.</strong></p> <p>The epicenter of knife-related violence in Germany is <strong>Berlin</strong>, where some areas are now so dangerous that they have effectively become no-go zones. In Neukölln and other neighborhoods with large immigrant communities, stabbings have become daily features of life. Migrants were responsible for at least 45% of the crimes committed in the German capital in 2016, <a href="" target="_blank">according</a> to the <em>Berliner Morgenpost</em>.</p> <p>The northern cities of <strong>Bremen</strong> and <strong>Bremerhaven</strong> are also hotbeds of knife violence. In 2016, at least 469 people &mdash; more than one a day &mdash; were stabbed in Bremen, <a href="" target="_blank">according</a> to official documents obtained by the newspaper <em>Bild</em>. More than a dozen people in Bremen died of their stab wounds. Another 165 knife attacks were registered in nearby Bremerhaven, a 75% increase since 2014. Migrants, according to <em>Bild,</em> were found responsible for most of the violence.</p> <p>Another flashpoint of knife violence is <strong>North Rhine-Westphalia</strong>; stabbings are rampant in Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Cologne, Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Essen, among other cities. Düsseldorf&#39;s city center has been particularly plagued by stabbings.</p> <p>Many knife attacks appear to be random, indiscriminate assaults on innocent bystanders &mdash; especially at transport hubs and on public transportation:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Munich</strong>, October 21. A 33-year-old man <a href="" target="_blank">randomly stabbed</a> eight people, including a 12-year-old boy, at the Rosenheimer Platz. Police said they &quot;assume&quot; that the stabber, a serial offender with a long rap sheet, was suffering from a &quot;mental disorder.&quot;</li> <li><strong>Mönchengladbach</strong>, October 16. An 18-year-old Algerian, in Germany illegally, randomly <a href="" target="_blank">drew a knife</a> on a 65-year-old man in a wheelchair at the central train station.</li> <li><strong>Hamburg</strong>, October 15. A 23-year-old man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> in a restaurant after he made &quot;accidental eye contact&quot; with his attacker.</li> <li><strong>Berlin</strong>, October 11. Two passersby were <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> at the Neukölln subway station. Police said the attack was random and unprovoked.</li> <li><strong>Cologne</strong>, October 2. A 24-year-old woman was <a href="" target="_blank">robbed at knifepoint</a> by a &quot;dark-skinned&quot; man (<em>dunklen Teint</em>) while on a train to Düsseldorf&#39;s airport.</li> <li><strong>Mannheim</strong>, September 30. A 31-year-old man <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> random passersby. Police fired a warning shot after pepper spray failed to subdue him.</li> <li><strong>Leipzig</strong>, July 27. A 46-year-old father at an amusement park with his family was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> and seriously injured when he was attacked by a group of Afghan youths.</li> </ul> <p>Knife attacks increasingly involve teenagers and young children as well as women:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Gießen</strong>, November 15. Two &quot;southern-looking&quot; men (<em>südosteuropäisch Aussehen</em>) <a href="" target="_blank">drew a knife</a> on two children at a school playground and took their lunch money.</li> <li><strong>Dormagen</strong>, November 15. A 39-year-old man randomly <a href="" target="_blank">drew a knife</a> on a teenager at the Helmut-Schmidt-Platz. The attacker was transferred to a psychiatric ward.</li> <li><strong>Wiesbaden</strong>, November 14. A man <a href="" target="_blank">drew a knife</a> on a woman and her children in broad daylight at a playground. The woman said the man tried to steal her dog and when she resisted, attacked her.</li> <li><strong>Cologne</strong>, November 2. A 39-year-old woman was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> by a man on drugs.</li> <li><strong>Singen</strong>, October 4. Two 14-year-old children speaking Turkish <a href="" target="_blank">drew a knife</a> and assaulted several children at a playground.</li> <li><strong>Dortmund</strong>, October 1. A 15-year-old was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> after he tried to stop a fight between a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old at the Gustav-Heinemann school.</li> <li><strong>Freiburg,</strong> September 29. A 34-year-old woman was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> by another woman during a dispute in a parking lot.</li> <li><strong>Hermannsburg</strong>, August 29. A man <a href="" target="_blank">drew a knife</a> on a 22-year-old woman because she was supposedly holding up traffic in a parking garage.</li> </ul> <p>In mass brawls between groups of people from different nationalities and ethnic groups, knives appear to be weapons of choice:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Erfurt</strong>, November 11. A 22-year-old Afghan was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> and seriously injured during an altercation with other Afghans at a multifamily house.</li> <li><strong>Rüdersdorf</strong>, November 11. A 19-year-old was seriously injured during a <a href="" target="_blank">knife fight</a> at a multifamily house.</li> <li><strong>Hamburg</strong>, November 9. Three men were <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> during a knife fight in Eimsbüttel.</li> <li><strong>Berlin</strong>, November 7. A 21-year-old Vietnamese man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed to death</a> as he left his father&#39;s convenience store in the Wilmersdorf district. The killer is still at large.</li> <li><strong>Bremen</strong>, November 2. A 20-year-old man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed to death</a> during a mass brawl in front of a kebab restaurant. A few hours earlier, another man had been <a href="" target="_blank">shot to death</a> in a nearby supermarket.</li> <li><strong>Hoyerswerda</strong>, October 25. A 23-year-old Libyan was <a href="" target="_blank">slashed in the face</a> during a fight with a 28-year-old Libyan and a 23-year-old Tunisian.</li> <li><strong>Bad Wildungen</strong>, October 16. An 18-year-old man was stabbed and seriously injured when a dozen people got into a <a href="" target="_blank">knife fight</a>.</li> <li><strong>Eschwege</strong>, October 15. A 23-year-old Afghan <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> a 23-year-old Algerian during a mass brawl involving more than 40 people at a refugee shelter.</li> <li><strong>Dortmund</strong>, October 14. More than 40 migrants engaged in a <a href="" target="_blank">knife fight</a> at a refugee shelter. When police arrived, they were &quot;massively attacked&quot; by the mob. Police used dogs to restore order.</li> <li><strong>Cologne</strong>, October 14. A 22-year-old migrant from Africa was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed to death</a> at the Ebertplatz in a knife fight involving six other Africans.</li> <li><strong>Öhringen</strong>, October 12. A 17-year-old German-Turk <a href=";art1494,3924865" target="_blank">stabbed</a> and seriously wounded a 19-year Pole during a knife fight.</li> <li><strong>Bielefeld</strong>, October 2. A 21-year-old man was repeatedly <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> after he came to the aid of a couple being attacked by a group of Afghan men at a skate park. More than 20 people eventually joined the fight. The stabbing suspect is an 18-year-old Iraqi Kurd.</li> <li><strong>Naumburg</strong>, October 1. An 18-year-old Afghan and a 19-year-old Moroccan were <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> during a mass brawl between persons of foreign origin.</li> <li><strong>Dortmund</strong>, September 3. A 34-year-old Bulgarian <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> a 54-year-old Turk outside a restaurant.</li> </ul> <p>Knives have also been used in &quot;honor&quot; violence and internecine disputes:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Bad Homburg</strong>, October 30. A 40-year-old man <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed to death</a> his 31-year-old wife and mother of their three children. Police said the man was angry that his wife was using social media.</li> <li><strong>Oldenburg</strong>, October 14. The trial began of a 37-year-old Iraqi accused of <a href=",1,332451280.html" target="_blank">stabbing to death</a> his wife, the mother of his five children, who were in the house at the time of the attack. According to the indictment, the Iraqi murdered his wife to restore the &quot;family honor&quot; after he believed she was having an affair with another man. The woman had, in fact, been attending German language courses.</li> <li><strong>Eggenfelden</strong>, October 4. A 47-year-old migrant from Kazakhstan <a href="" target="_blank">castrated</a> a 28-year-old Ukrainian migrant at a migrant shelter; the victim bled to death at the scene.</li> <li><strong>Leipzig</strong>, August 11. A 37-year-old Afghan <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed to death</a> his 34-year-old wife, who was pregnant with their third child. The couple&#39;s two children were present at home during the crime.</li> <li><strong>Riederich</strong>, July 9. A 35-year-old Macedonian <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed to death</a> a 30-year-old Macedonian from a rival clan during a wedding.</li> <li><strong>Herzberg,</strong> June 29. Mohammad Hussain Rashwani, a 38-year-old migrant from Syria tried to <a href=";art1056,6061969" target="_blank">behead</a> 64-year-old Ilona Fugmann at her beauty salon. Fugmann had offered Rashwani a job as a hair stylist and German media praised him as an exemplar of successful integration. Mohammad reportedly had found it difficult to subordinate himself to his female boss.</li> <li><strong>Cologne</strong>, June 14. A 33-year-old Syrian <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> and seriously injured his ex-wife at a supermarket in Cologne. He also stabbed his 13-year-old son after the boy intervened to protect his mother.</li> <li><strong>Cottbus</strong>, June 9. A 32-year-old Chechen man was <a href="" target="_blank">sentenced</a> to 13 years in prison for slitting his wife&#39;s throat and throwing her out of the second-floor window of their apartment. The man was charged with manslaughter rather than murder because, according to the court, the &quot;honor killing&quot; was done in the heat of passion: the man thought that his wife had been unfaithful.</li> </ul> <p>Knife attacks also occurred against social workers and public servants:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Pfaffenhofen</strong>, November 11. A 28-year-old Kazakh-German held a 31-year-old clerk at a youth welfare office <a href="" target="_blank">hostage at knifepoint</a> for more than five hours. He said he disagreed with the results of a custody battle, in which his one-year-old daughter would be sent to a foster home.</li> <li><strong>Göppingen</strong>, October 26. A &quot;dark-skinned&quot; man (<em>dunklem Teint</em>) <a href="" target="_blank">drew a knife</a> on a 54-year-old female train conductor when she asked him for his ticket.</li> <li><strong>Ahaus</strong>, October 12. A 28-year-old Nigerian was sentenced to 13 years in prison for <a href="" target="_blank">stabbing to death</a> a 22-year-old assistant at a refugee shelter.</li> <li><strong>Saarbrücken</strong>, June 7. A 27-year-old Syrian <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed to death</a> a 30-year-old psychologist working for the German Red Cross. The attacker and the psychologist reportedly got into an argument during a therapy session at a counselling center for traumatized refugees.</li> </ul> <p>Attackers are often repeat offenders known to police:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Gießen</strong>, November 15. A 29-year-old Kosovar and a 19-year-old Albanian <a href="" target="_blank">drew a knife</a> on an undercover detective who caught them shoplifting. Police said the Kosovar was wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant.</li> <li><strong>Bielefeld</strong>, October 31. A 39-year-old man <a href="" target="_blank">drew a knife</a> on police during a routine identification check. Police said he had a long rap sheet that included burglary and dealing drugs.</li> <li><strong>Düsseldorf</strong>, October 17. A 27-year-old migrant, Khudeda Jamal Jindi, from Iraq, <a href="" target="_blank">slashed</a> a man in the face at Burgplatz. Police <a href="" target="_blank">said</a> he had a long rap sheet that included other knife crimes; it remains unclear why he was never deported.</li> <li><strong>Arnschwang</strong>, June 4. Mostafa J., a 41-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan, <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed to death</a> a five-year-old Russian at a refugee shelter. It later emerged that the man had a criminal history in Germany and should have been deported in 2011 but was not.</li> </ul> <p>Recent knife-jihad attacks include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Hamburg</strong>, July 28. A 26-year-old Palestinian, Ahmed A., <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed to death</a> one person and injured several others at a supermarket in the Barmbek district. Although he repeatedly shouted &quot;Allahu Akbar&quot; and said he was a jihadist who wanted to die as a martyr, the newspaper <em>Die Welt</em> <a href="" target="_blank">wrote</a>: &quot;It is still unclear whether the Barmbek murder is the work of a convinced Islamist or the desperate act of a mentally troubled person. His approach seems downright schizophrenic &mdash; or is it indeed calculated?&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Meanwhile, other knife-related crimes reported during October include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Hagen,</strong> October 1. An unidentified man <a href="" target="_blank">slashed</a> a man with a machete at the central train station. <strong>Speyer</strong>, October 1. A 27-year-old man with a <a href="" target="_blank">knife</a> attacked police during an identification check at the central railway station. <strong>Werl</strong>, October 1. A &quot;southern-looking&quot; man (<em>südländischer Typ</em>) <a href="" target="_blank">robbed</a> on a 20-year-old man at knifepoint.</li> <li><strong>Wilhelmshaven</strong>, October 1. A man speaking German with an Eastern European accent <a href="" target="_blank">robbed</a> a gas station at knifepoint. <strong>Freiburg,</strong> October 2. Two &quot;Turkish-looking&quot; teenagers (<em>türkisches Aussehen</em>) <a href="" target="_blank">robbed</a> two teenagers at knifepoint in a public plaza.<strong> Ulm</strong>, October 2. Three &quot;dark-skinned&quot; men (<em>dunkle Hautfarbe</em>) <a href="" target="_blank">robbed</a> a 20-year-old man at knifepoint.</li> <li><strong>Soest</strong>, October 4. An 18-year-old Somali <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> a 39-year-old German man at a railway station. <strong>Hamburg</strong>, October 5. A 24-year-old security guard at a clothing store was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> when he confronted two male shoplifters. <strong>Wolfsburg</strong>, October 6. Two men were <a href="" target="_blank">slashed</a> during a fight in the Hochring district. <strong>Wiesbaden</strong>, October 6. A 23-year-old man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> in the city center.</li> <li><strong>Johanngeorgenstadt</strong>, October 7. Five teenagers had their knives <a href="" target="_blank">confiscated</a> during a weapons check at the German/Czech border. <strong>Münster</strong>, October 7. Two men robbed a 16-year-old at knifepoint at a bus stop. <strong>Bremen</strong>, October 8. Two men were <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> during a fight in the city center.</li> <li><strong>Weinheim</strong>, October 9. A 24-year-old store clerk was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> by a 46-year-old client. <strong>Hofheim</strong>, October 10. A private security guard was <a href="" target="_blank">slashed</a> at an Oktoberfest celebration. <strong>Cologne</strong>, October 10. A 36-year-old man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> by a 26-year-old at a kiosk in the Zollstock district.</li> <li><strong>Stade</strong>, October 11. A &quot;southern-looking&quot; man (<em>südländischem Aussehen</em>) <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> and seriously injured a 38-year-old man. <strong>Berlin</strong>, October 13. A man was seriously injured in a <a href="" target="_blank">knife fight</a> at the Alexanderplatz. <strong>Kassel</strong>, October 15. Two &quot;Arabic-speaking&quot; men robbed a 43-year-old woman <a href="" target="_blank">at knifepoint</a> in the Wesertor district.</li> <li><strong>Niederstetten</strong>, October 17. A 19-year-old man <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> a 30-year-old man in the stomach at a restaurant. The stabbing occurred after the 30-year-old allegedly &quot;offended&quot; the 19-year-old&#39;s wife. <strong>Bremen</strong>, October 19. A 25-year-old man was <a href=",-mob-bedraengt-polizeibeamte-in-huchting-_arid,1659676.html" target="_blank">stabbed</a> by a group of males in the Huchting district. When police arrived to investigate, they were immediately surrounded by a mob of between 30 and 40 men. Police used teargas and dogs to restore order. <strong>Berlin</strong>, October 19. A 19-year-old Romanian was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed to death</a> in the Tiergarten district.</li> <li><strong>Halle</strong>, October 19. A man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> during an dispute over drugs. <strong>Düsseldorf</strong>, October 21. Two men were <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> by four assailants in front of a McDonald&#39;s restaurant in the city center. <strong>Stemwede</strong>, October 21. Three members of the same family were <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> during a dispute. The attack was apparently initiated by a 43-year-old man opposed to his step-daughter&#39;s choice of boyfriend.</li> <li><strong>Hamburg</strong>, October 22. An 18-year-old clerk at a cellphone store was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> by a 21-year-old man unhappy with the service. <strong>Hamburg</strong>, October 22. A 30-year-old man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> in the stomach at the entrance to a subway station. <strong>Düsseldorf</strong>, October 22. A 21-year-old man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> while trying to break up a fight.</li> <li><strong>Rheine</strong>, October 22. A 20-year-old Romanian <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> a 44-year-old Romanian during a disagreement. <strong>Berlin</strong>, October 23. A 59-year-old man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> and seriously injured at a store in the Schöneberg district. <strong>Leipzig</strong>, October 23. A 21-year-old man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> during a fight at the central train station.</li> <li><strong>Solingen</strong>, October 23. A 19-year-old man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> during an fight. <strong>Berlin</strong>, October 24. A 39-year-old man <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> a 20-year-old man at the Jewish Hospital in the Wedding district. <strong>Hünstetten-Bechtheim</strong>, October 27. An 18-year-old man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> at an annual festival.</li> <li><strong>Wangen</strong>, October 29. A 56-year-old man <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> a 52-year old man during a disagreement at a restaurant. <strong>Chemnitz</strong>, October 29. A 27-year-old Libyan was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> during a knife fight involving migrants from North Africa.</li> <li><strong>Gießen</strong>, October 30. Two Syrian asylum seekers were <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> during an altercation with another Syrian in the city center. <strong>Waldshut</strong>, October 30. A 32-year-old man was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> and seriously injured during a row at a bus station in the Tiengen district. <strong>Frankfurt</strong>, October 30. An apartment manager was <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> and seriously injured when he attempted to evict a family from the premises.</li> <li><strong>Kulmbach</strong>, October 31. A 38-year-old Turk <a href="" target="_blank">stabbed</a> a 33-year-old German during a dispute. <strong>Berlin</strong>, October 31. Three men were injured during a <a href="" target="_blank">knife fight</a> involving six men at a store in the Schöneberg district. The <em>Berliner Zeitung</em> provided an unusually detailed account of the fight, including the ages of each of the participants, but failed to give any information about their nationality.</li> </ul> <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="586" height="352" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Afghanistan Combat Czech European migrant crisis Gatestone Institute German police German Red Cross Germany Iraq Islamic terrorism in Germany Israeli–Palestinian conflict Jewish Hospital Kazakhstan Knife legislation Knives Law Middle East Middle East Mohammad Newspaper North Africa North Rhine Palestinian terrorism Statutory law UN Court Violence Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607558 at ECB Proposes End To Deposit Protection <p><em>Submitted by <a href="">GoldCore</a></em></p> <p>It is the &#39;<a href="">opinion of the European Central Bank</a>&#39; that the deposit protection scheme is no longer necessary:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&#39;covered deposits and claims under investor compensation schemes&nbsp;<strong>should be replaced by limited discretionary exemptions</strong>&nbsp;to be granted by the competent authority&nbsp;<strong>in order to retain a degree of flexibility.&#39;</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>To translate the legalese jargon of the ECB bureaucrats this could mean that the current &euro;100,000 (&pound;85,000) deposit level currently protected in the event of a bail-in may soon be no more. But worry not fellow savers, as the ECB is fully aware of the uproar this may cause so they have been kind enough to propose that:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&quot;...during a transitional period, depositors should have access to an appropriate amount of their covered deposits to cover the cost of living within five working days of a request.&quot;</em></p> </blockquote> <p>So that&#39;s a relief, you&#39;ll only need to wait five days for some &#39;competent authority&#39; to deem what is an &#39;appropriate amount&#39; of your own money for you to have access to in order eat, pay bills and get to work.</p> <p>The above has been taken from an&nbsp;<a href="">ECB paper</a>&nbsp;published on 8 November 2017 entitled &#39;on revisions to the Union crisis management framework&#39;.</p> <p>It&#39;s 58 pages long, the majority of which are proposed amendments to the Union crisis management framework and the current text of the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD).</p> <p>It&#39;s pretty boring reading but there are some key snippets which should be raising a few alarms. It is evidence that once again a central bank can keep manipulating situations well beyond the likes of monetary policy. It is also a lesson for savers to diversify their assets in order to reduce their exposure to counterparty risks.</p> <p><strong>Bail-ins, who are they for?</strong></p> <p>According to the May 2016 Financial Stability Review, the EU bail-in tool is &#39;welcome&#39; as it:</p> <div title="Page 1"> <div> <div> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <p><em>...contributes to reducing the burden on taxpayers when resolving large, systemic financial institutions and mitigates some of the moral hazard incentives associated with too-big-to-fail institutions.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>As we have discussed in the past, we&#39;re confused by the apparent separation between &#39;taxpayer&#39; and those who have put their hard-earned cash into the bank. After all, are they not taxpayers? This doesn&#39;t matter, believes Matthew C.Klein in the FT&nbsp;<a href="">who recently argued</a><em> </em>that <em>&quot;Bail-ins are theoretically preferable because they preserve market discipline&nbsp;without causing undue harm to innocent people.&quot;</em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote> <p>Ultimately bail-ins are so central banks can keep their merry game of easy money and irresponsibility going. They have been sanctioned because rather than fix and learn from the mess of the bailouts nearly a decade ago, they have just decided to find an even bigger band-aid to patch up the system.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <p><em>&#39;Bailouts, by contrast, are unfair and inefficient. Governments tend to do them, however, out of misplaced concern about &ldquo;preserving the system&rdquo;. This stokes (justified) resentment that elites care about protecting their friends more than they care about helping regular people.&#39; - Matthew C. Klein</em></p> </blockquote> <p>But what about the regular people who have placed their money in the bank, believing they&#39;re safe from another financial crisis? Are they not &#39;innocent&#39; and deserving of protection?</p> <p>When Klein wrote his latest on bail-ins, it was just over a week before the release of this latest ECB paper. With fairness to Klein at the time of his writing depositors with less than &euro;100,000 in the bank were protected under the terms of the ECB covered deposit rules.</p> <p>This still seemed absurd to us who thought it questionable that anyone&#39;s money in the bank could suddenly be sanctioned for use to prop up an ailing institution.&nbsp;We have regularly pointed out that just because there is currently a protected level at which deposits will not be pilfered, this could change at any minute.</p> <p>The latest proposed amendments suggest this&nbsp;is about to happen.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 598px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Why change the bail-in rules?</strong></p> <p>The ECB&#39;s 58-page amendment proposal is tough going but it is about halfway through when you come across the suggestion that&nbsp;&#39;<strong>covered deposits&#39; no longer need to be protected</strong>.&nbsp;This is determined because the ECB is concerned about a run on the failing bank:</p> <div title="Page 42"> <div> <div> <div> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <p><em>If the failure of a bank appears to be imminent, a substantial number of covered depositors might still withdraw their funds immediately in order to ensure uninterrupted access or because they have no faith in the guarantee scheme.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>This could be particularly damning for big banks and cause a further crisis of confidence in the system:</p> <div title="Page 42"> <div> <div> <div> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <p><em>Such a scenario is particularly likely for large banks, where the sheer amount of covered deposits might erode confidence in the capacity of the deposit guarantee scheme. In such a scenario, if the scope of the moratorium power does not include covered deposits, the moratorium might alert covered depositors of the strong possibility that the institution has a failing or likely to fail assessment.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Therefore, argue the ECB the current moratorium that protects deposits could be &#39;counterproductive&#39;. (For the banks, obviously, not for the people whose money it really is:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <p><em>The moratorium would therefore be counterproductive, causing a bank run instead of preventing it. Such an outcome could be detrimental to the bank&rsquo;s orderly resolution, which could ultimately cause severe harm to creditors and significantly strain the deposit guarantee scheme. In addition, such an exemption could lead to a worse treatment for depositor funded banks, as the exemption needs to be factored in when determining the seriousness of the liquidity situation of the bank. Finally, any potential technical impediments may require further assessment.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The ECB instead proposes that &#39;certain safeguards&#39; be put in place to allow restricted access to deposits...for no more than five working days. But let&#39;s see how long that lasts for.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <p><em>Therefore, an exception for covered depositors from the application of the moratorium would cast serious doubts on the overall usefulness of the tool. Instead of mandating a general exemption, the BRRD should instead include certain safeguards to protect the rights of depositors, such as clear communication on when access will be regained and a restriction of the suspension to a maximum of five working days by avoiding a cumulative use by the competent authority and the resolution authority.</em></p> </blockquote> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even after a year of studying and reading bail-ins I am still horrified that something like this is deemed to be preferable and fairer to other solutions, namely fixing the banking system. The bureaucrats running the EU and ECB are still blind to the pain such proposals can cause and have caused.</p> <p><strong>Look to Italy for damage prevention</strong></p> <p>At the beginning of the month, we explained how the&nbsp;<a href="">banking meltdown in Veneto Italy destroyed&nbsp;200,000 savers and 40,000 businesses</a>.</p> <p>In that same article, we outlined how exposed Italians were to the banking system. Over &euro;31 billion of sub-retail bonds have been sold to everyday savers, investors, and pensioners. It is these bonds that will be sucked into the sinkhole each time a bank goes under.</p> <p>A 2015 IMF study found that the majority&nbsp;of Italy&rsquo;s 15 largest banks a bank rescue would &lsquo;<strong>imply bail-in of retail investors of subordinated debt</strong>&rsquo;. Only two-thirds of potential bail-ins would affect senior bond-holders, i.e. those who are most likely to be institutional investors rather than pensioners with limited funds.</p> <p>Why is this the case?&nbsp;As we have previously explained:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <p><em>Bondholders are seen as creditors. The same type of creditor that EU rules state must take responsibility for a bank&rsquo;s financial failure, rather than the taxpayer. This is a bail-in scenario. </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>In a bail-in scenario the type of junior bonds held by the retail investors in the street is the first to take the hit. When the world&rsquo;s oldest bank&nbsp;Monte dei Paschi di Siena collapsed&nbsp;ordinary people (who also happen to be taxpayers) owned &euro;5 billion ($5.5 billion) of subordinated debt. It vanished.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Despite the biggest bail-in in history occurring within the EU, few people have paid attention and protested against such measures. A bail-in is not unique to Italy, it is possible for all those living and banking within the EU.</p> <p>Yet, so far there have been no protests. We&#39;re not talking about protesting on the streets, we&#39;re talking about protesting where it hurts - with your money.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 327px;" /></p> <p>As we have seen from the EU&#39;s response to Brexit and Catalonia, officials could not give two hoots about the grievances of its citizens. So when it comes to banking there is little point in expressing disgust in the same way. Instead, investors must take stock and assess the best way for them to protect their savings from the tyranny of central bank policy.</p> <p>To refresh your memory, the ECB is proposing that in the event of a bail-in it will give you an allowance from your own savings. An allowance it will control:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;...during a transitional period, depositors should have access to an appropriate amount of their covered deposits to cover the cost of living within five working days of a request.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Savers should be looking for means in which they can keep their money within instant reach and their reach only. At this point physical, allocated and segregated gold and silver comes to mind. This gives you outright legal ownership. There are no counterparties who can claim it is legally theirs (unlike with cash in the bank) or legislation that rules they get first dibs on it. Gold and silver are the financial insurance against bail-ins, political mismanagement, and overreaching government bodies. As each year goes by it becomes more pertinent than ever to protect yourself from such risks.</p> </div> </div> </div> <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="533" height="239" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bailout Bank Run Banking Business Central Banks Counterparties Creditors Deposit insurance European Central Bank European Central Bank European Central Bank European Union Fail Finance Financial crises Financial services Great Recession Institutional Investors International Monetary Fund Italy Meltdown Monetary Policy Money Moral Hazard Stock market crashes Systemic risk Too big to fail Mon, 20 Nov 2017 05:16:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 607534 at Who Gets To Push The Nuclear Button? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,</em></a></p> <p><a href="">William Binney is the former National Security Agency (NSA) official who created NSA&rsquo;s mass surveillance program for digital information. </a>He says that if the Russian government had conspired with Trump, hacked the Democratic National Committee&rsquo;s computer, or in any way influenced the outcome of the last US presidential election, the National Security Agency would have the digital evidence.<strong> The fact that we have been listening to the unsubstantiated charges that comprise &ldquo;Russiagate&rdquo; for more than one year without being presented with a scrap of evidence is complete proof that Russiagate is entirely fake news.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="305" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>The fake news originated with CIA director John Brennan and FBI director Comey conspiring with the DNC in an effort to discredit and unseat President Trump</strong> and at a minimum prevent him from damaging the vast power and profit of the military/security complex by normalizing relations with Russia.</p> <p>Consider what this means.</p> <p><strong>The directors of the CIA and FBI made up a totally false story about a newly elected President and fed the lies to the presstitutes and Congress.</strong> The presstitutes never asked for a drop of evidence and enlarged the Brennan/Comey lie with a claim that all 17 US intelligence agencies had concluded that Russia had interfered. In actual fact, a handful of carefully selected people in three of the agencies had prepared, perhaps under duress, a conditional report that had no evidence behind it.</p> <p><strong>That it was fake news created to control President Trump was completely obvious, but corrupt security officials, corrupt senators and representatives, a corrupt DNC, and corrupt media used constant repetition to turn a lie into truth.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 599px; height: 380px;" /></a></p> <p><u><strong>Having shoved Trump into the militarist camp, his enemies have turned on Trump as an unstable, volatile person who might push the button. </strong></u>Senator Bob Corker (R, TN) and Senator Chris Murphy (D,CT) are using the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to portray President Trump as a quixotic person who shouldn&rsquo;t have his finger on the nuclear button. We have gone full circle, from Trump who wants to defuse nuclear tensions to Trump who might push the button.</p> <p>If Senators Corker and Murphy were really concerned and not just orchestrating a new way to attack Trump, <strong>they would bring out the fact that Russiagate is a hoax that has made nuclear war more likely</strong>. <a href="">As I have pointed out,</a> Washington has convinced Moscow that Washington is planning a surprise nuclear attack on Russia and also collecting Russian DNA for a tailored Russian-specific bio-weapon. I cannot think of anything more likely to trigger nuclear war than the escalated tensions that Russiagate is preventing Trump from reducing.<a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank"> </a></p> <p><u><strong>For the record, contrary to the erroneous assertions of &ldquo;nuclear experts,&rdquo; the president cannot simply order a nuclear attack. </strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>The president either has to accept a Joint Chiefs war plan and order a launch when the military is ready, or</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...he has to accept the advice of his national security adviser to launch in retaliation for incoming enemy ICBMs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>If a president simply ordered a nuclear strike, he would be ignored.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>If it is not the president who must make the nuclear decision, who is it to be? The military? We should be thankful that that was not the case when the Joint Chiefs pressured President John F. Kennedy to approve a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.</p> <p><strong>The question who should have launch authority is an easy one to answer. <em>No one. </em></strong></p> <p>If nuclear missiles are incoming, launching does not protect you. You are already going to be destroyed. Why destroy the other side of the world in an act of revenge. It is pointless.</p> <p>There is no such thing as a preemptive strike that prevents retaliation.</p> <p><strong>Nuclear war is an act of insanity. Nothing can justify it.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 300px;" /></a></p> <p><strong>The purpose of diplomacy is to prevent war. However, ever since the Clinton regime attacked Serbia, US diplomacy has been used to cause wars.</strong> During the 16-years of George W. Bush and Obama the US destroyed in whole or part seven countries, killing and maiming millions of peoples and producing millions of refugees. Not a single one of these wars was justified. Everyone of these wars was based in lies. The last US government that showed any respect at all for truth was the George H. W. Bush administration.</p> <p><strong>Before launching each of these acts of unprovoked aggression, Washington demonized the leader of the country.</strong> To get rid of one person, Washington did not flinch at murdering large numbers of people and destroying the infrastructure of the country. This tells you that Washington has no morality. None. Zilch. Therefore, Washington is capable of launching a preemptive nuclear strike. Back when nuclear weapons were puny by today&rsquo;s standards, Washington nuked two Japanese cities while Japan was trying to surrender. That was in 1945, a lifetime ago. Whatever bits of morality that still existed then are long gone.</p> <p>Today a CNN editor-at-large named Chris Cillizza, published online an article titled,<a href=""><strong><em> &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a massive moral vacuum in the country right now.&rdquo; </em></strong></a>At last, I thought, a presstitute has realized that Washington&rsquo;s constant nuclear threats against other countries shows a complete disrespect for the life of the planet and indicates a moral vacuum. But no, the presstitute is talking about sexual harassment, especially that of Roy Moore in the 1970s. And it is all Trump&rsquo;s fault. How can he lead when he harasses women himself?</p> <p><strong>President Trump intended to normalize relations with the other major nuclear power. He has been prevented from doing so by the military/security complex, the DNC, and the presstitutes.</strong></p> <p>Cillizza says sexual harassment is a &ldquo;very big&rdquo; consequence of Trump&rsquo;s election. <u><em><strong>I am left wondering if CNN&rsquo;s editor-at-large considers nuclear war to be as serious as sexual harassment.</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="1003" height="502" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Bob Corker Central Intelligence Agency Climate change skepticism and denial Congress Democratic National Committee Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Foreign Relations Committee George H. W. Bush administration James Comey Japan national security National Security Agency None Nuclear Power Nuclear warfare Nuclear weapon Politics Presidency of Donald Trump Russian government The Apprentice U.S. intelligence United States US government WWE Hall of Fame Mon, 20 Nov 2017 04:12:02 +0000 Tyler Durden 607557 at "Worst Case Scenario" Looms As Merkel's "Jamaica Coalition" Collapses; EUR Sinks <p>We <a href="">warned on Friday </a>that German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a &#39;night of the long knives&#39; in her efforts to bring together the co-called &#39;Jamaica&#39; coalition of four parties and after a desperate weekend of talks, Bloomberg reports<strong> Merkel&#39;s efforts at forming a coalition have failed meaning a second election looms and sending the euro sliding</strong>.</p> <p><img height="326" src="" width="600" /></p> <p>As Bloomberg reports, talks on forming German Chancellor&nbsp;Angela Merkel&rsquo;s next government collapsed, <strong>throwing the future of Europe&rsquo;s longest-serving leader into doubt and potentially pointing the world&rsquo;s fourth-biggest economy toward new elections.</strong></p> <p><strong>After a 12-hour negotiating session that ended shortly before midnight Sunday,</strong> the Free Democratic Party walked out of the exploratory talks, saying the differences with the Green party were too great to bridge.</p> <p>Merkel has sought for four weeks to enlist the two smaller parties for her fourth-term coalition.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s better not to govern than to govern badly,&rdquo;</strong></em> FDP head Christian Lindner told reporters in Berlin.</p> </blockquote> <p>No further coalition talks were scheduled, he said. There was no immediate comment from Merkel.</p> <p>EURUSD is down aroound 80 pips on the news...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 315px;" /></a></p> <p><a href="">As MINT Partners&#39; Bill Blain noted previously,</a> <strong>Germans are not used to multiple elections &ndash; and a second vote early next year would be massive negative for Merkel herself</strong> &ndash; she may even have to stand down if coalition looks like falling. That could be massive shock.</p> <p>As a result, the prospects for more volatile European peripheral markets, particularly Greece and Italy, are likely to be exacerbated,&nbsp;and<strong> we might well see some of the currency and European stock market froth blow away in coming days as the scale of the &ldquo;German Problem&rdquo; becomes clearer.</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>My&nbsp;worst case Germany scenario is a second election early next year,&nbsp;political uncertainty as Mutti Merkel finds herself squeezed out,&nbsp;</strong>and a scramble to build a new coalition government in her aftermath.</li> <li>The best case scenario isn&rsquo;t much better: that Merkel manages to forge a new coalition,&nbsp;<strong>but it will be a long drawn out affair and the resulting administration will be vulnerable, weak and fraxious.</strong></li> </ul> <p>These sound like German problems, but&nbsp;<strong>they mean the &ldquo;leader of Europe&rdquo; is likely to be entirely inward focused in coming months/years.. at a time when the European union will be facing a host of new issues regarding closer union, banking union and reform of the ESM, bailout and QE policies</strong>. There will also be new potential crisis points &ndash; Italian elections next year, Greece bailout, renewed immigration crisis or a blow-up with Trump. And these are just the known unknowns.</p> <p><strong>This has profound implications for the so-called French/German axis as it slides towards Paris. </strong>We are not going to see a new German government &ldquo;waste time&rdquo; on issues like closer EU union, European Banking Union, or critical finance issues like reforming ESM or new approaches on QE and Bailout funds. Forget Wiedemann for ECB president, it&rsquo;s more likely to another Frenchman (Trichet II) &ndash; I&rsquo;m sure its already underway. In short.. Germany negotiations could get very fraxious while Europe is dragged down in its wake. I doubt the markets have discounted it yet.</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="486" height="264" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Angela Merkel European Banking Union European Central Bank European Union European Union Free Democratic Party German government German Lutherans Germany Germany Government Greece Green Party Italy Merkel Politics Politics of Germany Trichet Mon, 20 Nov 2017 04:00:29 +0000 Tyler Durden 607563 at Victoria's Secret Staff Think The Chinese Are Spying On Them <p>Stories about the shambolic Victoria&rsquo;s Secret fashion show &ndash; which is slated to take place Tuesday Nov. 28 in Shanghai &ndash; just keep getting weirder.</p> <p>Chinese bureaucrats have so far refused to cooperate with the show&rsquo;s producers and planners, denying visas to Gigi Hadid, one of the show&rsquo;s highest-profile models, and Katy Perry, the US pop superstar who was slated to be the musical guest.</p> <p>The Communist Party has also inexplicably refused to issue press passes and visas to members of the western media who were supposed to travel to China to cover the event.</p> <p>Already, we imagine the marketing brass at L Brands have learned their lesson, and that this will be both the first, and the last, VS fashion show held in China.</p> <p>But as if all this weren&rsquo;t enough, the <a href="">New York Post</a> is now reporting that the show&rsquo;s organizers believe the Chinese government is spying on them. Which, of course, is probably true, given Chinese authorities&rsquo; well-known penchant for monitoring foreigners.</p> <p><a href="">The Post</a> says e-mails of VS show staffers and production crew are apparently being monitored by Chinese authorities.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 256px;" /></a></p> <p>TV and media-industry insiders who are desperately trying to figure out what&rsquo;s going on amid the production chaos are getting frustrated by messages from colleagues in China simply saying that they can&rsquo;t speak frankly about the issues with the government because their communications are being watched.</p> <p>Perry had her visa application declined because she once showed support for Taiwan (which is in an independence struggle with China) during a Beijing concert. Hadid&rsquo;s was denied because of a picture her sister, Bella Hadid, published on Instagram that the Chinese public deemed offensive. Plus, fellow Angel Adriana Lima&rsquo;s visa application has been imperiled by an unknown &ldquo;diplomatic issue.&rdquo; Meanwhile, a host of other models have also had their visas denied.</p> <p>Many fashion bloggers have also been denied visas, and TV producers have discovered that they need permits to shoot outside of the Mercedes-Benz Arena, where the show, which is slated to air on CBS later this month, is set to take place.</p> <p>As one source put it, &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re going to China you want to show that you&rsquo;re in China!&rdquo;</p> <p>The surveillance is apparently making it difficult for the show&rsquo;s organizers to find replacements for the models who have been denied entry. Harry Styles has already been booked to fill in for Perry.</p> <p>&ldquo;They want to discuss what&rsquo;s going on as far as replacements for those denied visas and alternative arrangements, but they have to be tight-lipped because it seems that the government is watching their e-mails,&rdquo; said a source.</p> <p>With more than a week to go before the show, we can only imagine what fresh entanglements will crop up as the date draws nearer.<br />&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="494" height="253" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bella Hadid China Chinese government Communist Party Finance Financial services Gigi Hadid Human migration Mercedes-Benz Money New York Post Travel visa Victoria's Secret Visa Inc. Mon, 20 Nov 2017 03:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607531 at Top NSA Whistleblower Claims "Russiagate" A Fake To Increase War-Spending <p><em><a href="">Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,</a></em></p> <p><em><strong>William Binney is the mathematician and Russia-specialist, who quit the NSA in 2001 as its global Technical Director for geopolitical analysis, because of the lying about, and manipulations of, intelligence, that he saw &mdash; distortions of intelligence by the George W. Bush Administration &mdash; in order to &lsquo;justify&rsquo; systematic, massive, and all-encompassing, Government snooping into all Americans&rsquo; private electronic communications.</strong> His, and some colleagues&rsquo;, efforts to get the Inspector General of the US Department of Defense to investigate the matter, produced FBI raids into their homes, and seizures of their computers, so as to remove incriminating evidence they might have against higher-ups. According to Binney, NSA&#39;s Director, Michael Hayden, had vetoed in August 2001 a far less intrusive and more effective system of signals-intelligence collection and analysis, which might have enabled the 9/11 attacks to be blocked &mdash; a more effective system that would have been less expensive, less intrusive, and not violated Americans&rsquo; Constitutional rights. Hayden went on to head the CIA, until the end of George W. Bush&rsquo;s Presidency. Afterward, Hayden joined the Chertoff Group and other military-industrial-complex contractors of the US federal Government. <strong>There were no such rewards for any of the whistleblowers.</strong></em></p> <p><a href=""><img height="305" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Binney viewed Hillary Clinton as continuing George W. Bush&rsquo;s neoconservatism, and so, though reluctantly, voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.</p> <p>On November 15th, an interview of Binney was published at the Washingtonsblog news-site, titled&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">&ldquo;How to Instantly Prove (Or Disprove) Russian Hacking of US Election&rdquo;</a>, in which Binney provides technical details to explain why he<strong> strongly believes that the Democratic Party&rsquo;s allegations, which say that Russia was the source of the leaks of information from the computers of the Democratic National Committee and from Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s campaign manager John Podesta, are nothing more than intentional concoctions and distortions, which are backed and promoted by America&rsquo;s military-industrial complex, whose stock-values rise accordingly with the lies</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p>He believes,</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>there&rsquo;s a huge part of the story that the entire mainstream media is missing &hellip;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Specifically, Binney&nbsp;<a href="">says</a>&nbsp;that the NSA has long had in its computers information which can prove exactly who hacked the DNC &hellip; or instead prove that the DNC emails were leaked by a Democratic insider. &hellip;</p> <p>And he&nbsp;<a href="">stressed</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>If the idiots in the intelligence community expect us to believe them after all the crap they have told us</strong> (like WMD&rsquo;s in Iraq and &ldquo;no we don&rsquo;t collect data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans&rdquo;) then&nbsp;they need to give clear proof of what they say. <strong>So far, they have failed to prove anything.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Which suggests they don&rsquo;t have proof and just want to war-monger the US public into a second cold war with the Russians.</p> <p>After all, there&rsquo;s lots and lots of money in that for the military-industrial-intelligence-governmental complex of incestuous relationships.</p> <p>His technical explanation of how he came to this conclusion, is provided in that Washingtonsblog article. <strong>He doesn&#39;t think that the elements within the intelligence community which are promoting the Russiagate allegations can possibly be so stupid as to actually believe what they are saying. </strong>He claims that they know that what they are saying is false, because if it weren&rsquo;t false, then they could provide, to the public, evidence that it is true, and do it without violating anyone&rsquo;s rights, nor revealing any legitimate US national-security information.</p> <p><u><em><strong>Basically, he is saying that the keepers of the keys are blocking the public from the truth, because they know that the truth will expose the fact that they&rsquo;ve been lying to the public, all along.</strong></em></u></p> <p>His technical explanation of the details employs a number of undefined terms, which aren&rsquo;t understandable to persons who are not themselves technically knowledgeable about the field, such as his saying:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>First, from deep packet inspection, they would have the originator and ultimate recipient (IP) of the packets plus packet series 32 bit number identifier and all the housekeeping data showing the network segments/path and time to go though the network. And, of course, the number of packet bits. With this they would know to where and when the data passed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From the data collection, they would have all the data as it existed in the server taken from. <strong>That&rsquo;s why I originally said&nbsp;if the FBI wanted Hillary&rsquo;s email, all they have to do is ask NSA for them.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>All this is done by the Narus collection equipment in real time at line rates (620 mbps [mega bits per second,] for the STA-6400 and 10 gbps [giga bits per second] for the Insight equipment).</p> </blockquote> <p>Binney explained what these numbers mean: <em><strong>Each Narus Insight device can monitor and record around 1,250,000 emails each second &hellip; or more than 39 trillion emails per year.</strong></em></p> <p>However, no one who is promoting the Russiagate allegations is taking him on, to debate Binney&rsquo;s allegations. Instead, all of the newsmedia are plastered with allegations of &lsquo;Russia&rsquo;s meddling in American democracy&rsquo;.</p> <p>There are people who know what the terms that Binney is using refer to. But, <strong>thus far, none of these people is saying that Binney is a liar.</strong> Instead, they&rsquo;ve all just been ignoring him - and none of the major newsmedia have been inviting Binney and the promoters of the military-industrial-complex&rsquo;s position onto their forums in order to debate these issues in public.</p> <p><em><strong>It&rsquo;s just like the situation was about &lsquo;Saddam&rsquo;s WMD,&rsquo; in 2002 and 2003 prior to our invasion and destruction of Iraq as a supposed &lsquo;response&rsquo; to the 9/11 attacks.</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="612" height="311" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> America’s military Binney Central Intelligence Agency CRAP Democratic National Committee Democratic National Committee email leak Democratic Party Donald Trump FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation George W. Bush administration Government Housekeeping Iraq Mass surveillance Michael Hayden Narus National security National Security Agency None Politics Politics Privacy of telecommunications Strategic Culture Foundation Surveillance U.S. Department of Defense William Binney Mon, 20 Nov 2017 03:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607555 at Big Brother Is Here: Twitter Will Monitor Users Behavior 'Off Platform' <p>In perhaps the most intrusive move of social media platforms&#39; efforts signal as much virtue as possible and appease their potentially-regulating government overlords, <strong>Twitter has announced that it is cracking down on what it defines at hate-speech and <span style="text-decoration: underline;">not just by looking at its own site</span></strong>.</p> <p><img height="272" src="" width="600" /></p> <p>In what amounts to a major shift in Twitter policy, <a href="">Mashable&#39;s Kerry Flynn reports</a> that the company announced on Friday that<strong> it will be monitoring user&#39;s behavior &quot;on and off the platform&quot; and will suspend a user&#39;s account if they affiliate with violent organizations</strong>, according to an&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">update to Twitter&#39;s Help Center</a>&nbsp;on Friday.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><h3><u>Abusive Behavior</u></h3> <p><strong>We believe in freedom of expression and open dialogue, but that means little as an underlying philosophy if voices are silenced because people are afraid to speak up.</strong> In order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs, we prohibit behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user&rsquo;s voice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Context matters when evaluating for abusive behavior and determining appropriate enforcement actions. </strong>Factors we may take into consideration include, but are not limited to whether:</p> <ul> <li>the behavior is targeted at an individual or group of people;</li> <li>the report has been filed by the target of the abuse or a bystander;</li> <li>the behavior is newsworthy and in the legitimate public interest.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Violence: <strong>You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people. This includes, but is not limited to, threatening or promoting terrorism.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>You also may not affiliate with organizations that - <u>whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform</u></strong> - use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Abuse: You may not engage in the<strong> targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. </strong>We consider abusive behavior an attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else&rsquo;s voice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hateful conduct: <strong>You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hateful imagery and display names:<strong> You may not use hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile header</strong>. You also may not use your username, display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behavior, such as <strong>targeted harassment or expressing hate towards a person, group, or protected category</strong>.</p> </blockquote> <p>Furthermore, Twitter says it will control the stream of information more broadly...</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>At times, <u><em><strong>we may prevent certain content from trending.</strong></em></u></p> </blockquote> <p>As <a href="">Kerry Flynn notes</a>, these changes comes amid <strong>aggressive moves by Twitter to curb abuse and harassment on the site</strong> after more than a decade of essentially letting the abusers operate freely.</p> <p>Over the last week, Twitter has taken action against the accounts of white supremacists. Twitter permanently banned Tim &quot;Treadstone&quot; Gionet, a prominent alt-right troll more widely known as Baked Alaska, earlier this week. It also removed the verification badges of Jason Kessler, one of the organizers of the racist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, and of alt-right activist Richard Spencer.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 328px;" /></p> <p><strong>Twitter&#39;s decision to monitor users off site sparked concern from free speech advocates </strong>such as Andrew Torba, founder of social network Gab.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;This is a scary precedent to set,&quot; </strong>he wrote in an email to Mashable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&quot;Rules like this will only force dissidents and those who are speaking truth to power to silence themselves or risk being silenced by Twitter.&quot;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Twitter&#39;s<strong> new rules will not be enforced until December 18th</strong>...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">We&rsquo;ve updated our rules around abuse and hateful conduct as well as violence and physical harm. These changes will be enforced starting December 18. Read our updated rules here: <a href=""></a></p> <p>&mdash; Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) <a href="">November 17, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script><p>And of course,<em> &quot;if you&#39;re doing nothing wrong, then why would this be an issue for you&quot; </em>will be instant reposte of those defending yet more intrusion within America&#39;s surveillance state.</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="485" height="265" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Abuse Baked Alaska Behavior Harassment Hate speech Human behavior Microblogging Social Issues Social media Software South of Market, San Francisco Twitter Twitter Twitter Violence Mon, 20 Nov 2017 02:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607542 at How A Half-Educated Tech Elite Delivered Us Into This Chaos <p><a href=""><em>Authored by John Naughton, op-ed via The Guardian,</em></a></p> <p><em><strong>If our supersmart tech leaders knew a bit more about history or philosophy we wouldn&rsquo;t be in the mess we&rsquo;re in now...</strong></em></p> <p><a href=""><img height="311" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>One of the biggest puzzles about our current predicament with fake news and the weaponisation of social media is why the folks who built this technology are so taken aback by what has happened.</strong> Exhibit A is the founder of Facebook, <a class="u-underline" href="">Mark Zuckerberg</a>, whose political education <a class="u-underline" href="">I recently chronicled</a>. But he&rsquo;s not alone. In fact I&rsquo;d say he is quite representative of many of the biggest movers and shakers in the tech world. We have a burgeoning genre of &ldquo;<a class="u-underline" href="">OMG, what have we done?</a>&rdquo; angst coming from former Facebook and Google employees who have begun to realise that the cool stuff they worked on might have had, well, antisocial consequences.</p> <p>Put simply, what Google and Facebook have built is a pair of amazingly sophisticated, computer-driven engines for extracting users&rsquo; personal information and data trails, refining them for sale to advertisers in high-speed data-trading auctions that are entirely unregulated and <a class="u-underline" href="">opaque to everyone</a> except the companies themselves.</p> <p><strong>The purpose of this infrastructure was to enable companies to target people with carefully customised commercial messages and, as far as we know, they are pretty good at that.</strong> (Though <a class="u-underline" href="">some advertisers</a> are beginning to wonder if these systems are quite as good as Google and Facebook claim.) And in doing this, Zuckerberg, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin <a class="u-underline" href="">and co</a> wrote themselves licences to print money and build insanely profitable companies.</p> <p><strong>It never seems to have occurred to them that their advertising engines could also be used to deliver precisely targeted ideological and political messages to voters. </strong></p> <p>Hence the obvious question: how could such smart people be so stupid? <u><em><strong>The cynical answer is they knew about the potential dark side all along and didn&rsquo;t care, because to acknowledge it might have undermined the aforementioned licences to print money.</strong></em></u> Which is another way of saying that most tech leaders are sociopaths. Personally I think that&rsquo;s unlikely, although among their number are some very peculiar characters: one thinks, for example, of Paypal co-founder <a class="u-underline" href="">Peter Thiel</a> &ndash; Trump&rsquo;s favourite techie; and Travis Kalanick, the founder of Uber.</p> <p><strong><em>So what else could explain the astonishing naivety of the tech crowd?</em></strong> My hunch is it has something to do with their educational backgrounds. Take the Google co-founders. <a class="u-underline" href="">Sergey Brin</a> studied mathematics and computer science. His partner, Larry Page, studied engineering and computer science. Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard, where he was studying psychology and computer science, but seems to have been more interested in the latter.</p> <p>Now mathematics, engineering and computer science are wonderful disciplines &ndash; intellectually demanding and fulfilling. And they are economically vital for any advanced society. But mastering them teaches students very little about society or history &ndash; or indeed about human nature. <strong>As a consequence, the new masters of our universe are people who are essentially only half-educated.</strong> They have had no exposure to the humanities or the social sciences, the academic disciplines that aim to provide some understanding of how society works, of history and of the roles that beliefs, philosophies, laws, norms, religion and customs play in the evolution of human culture.</p> <p><strong>We are now beginning to see the consequences of the dominance of this half-educated elite.</strong> As one perceptive observer <a class="u-underline" href="">Bob O&rsquo;Donnell</a> puts it:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;a liberal arts major familiar with works like Alexis de Tocqueville&rsquo;s <a class="u-underline" href=""><em>Democracy in America</em></a>, John Stuart Mill&rsquo;s <a class="u-underline" href=""><em>On Liberty</em></a>, or even the work of ancient Greek historians, might have been able to recognise much sooner the potential for the &lsquo;tyranny of the majority&rsquo; or other disconcerting sociological phenomena that are embedded into the very nature of today&rsquo;s social media platforms.<strong> While seemingly democratic at a superficial level, a system in which the lack of structure means that all voices carry equal weight, and yet popularity, not experience or intelligence, actually drives influence, is clearly in need of more refinement and thought than it was first given.</strong>&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>All of which brings to mind CP Snow&rsquo;s famous <a class="u-underline" href="">Two Cultures</a> lecture, delivered in Cambridge in 1959, in which he lamented the fact that <strong>the intellectual life of the whole of western society was scarred by the gap between the opposing cultures of science and engineering on the one hand, and the humanities on the other</strong> &ndash; with the latter holding the upper hand among contemporary ruling elites.</p> <p>Snow thought that this perverse dominance would deprive Britain of the intellectual capacity to thrive in the postwar world and he clearly longed to reverse it.</p> <p>Snow passed away in 1980, but one wonders what he would have made of the new masters of our universe. One hopes that he might see it as a reminder of the old adage: be careful what you wish for &ndash; you might just get 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="1287" height="667" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Brin Computing Economy of the United States Facebook Google Google Harvard Larry Page Life extensionists Mark Zuckerberg Sergey Brin Social media Technology Technology The Social Network Mon, 20 Nov 2017 02:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607551 at Hezbollah On "High Alert", Says It Will Be Blamed For 'False Flag' Assassination Attempt <p><em>Submitted by Elijah Magnier, <a href="">Middle East based chief international war correspondent for Al Rai Media</a></em></p> <p>Hezbollah has raised its military readiness on the whole Lebanese territory in the last few days and <strong>put its forces on high alert</strong> in the light of the threats it has received from a number of countries, and <strong>especially from Israel and Saudi Arabia.</strong> Hezbollah forces have been mobilized in the event of any hostile activity on the borders or in the country, notwithstanding the ongoing conviction of its leadership that Israel will not wage a direct war in the near or distant future.</p> <p>According to well informed sources, <strong>Hezbollah fears the possible assassination of a well-known Lebanese figure</strong>, Sunni or Christian, similar to the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. <strong>The aim would be to re-mix the cards on the Lebanese scene, accuse Hezbollah and to embarrass President Michel Aoun.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 285px;" /></a><br /><em>Image source: Reuters via The Jerusalem Post.</em></p> <p>Aoun has raised the challenge against Riyadh during the recent events related to the televised resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and he has accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri as a hostage (for more than two weeks), defining the Prime Minister&rsquo;s submission to this act as &ldquo;unconstitutional and illegitimate.&rdquo;</p> <p>Moreover, Hezbollah, in coordination with Iran, <strong>has issued orders not to transfer weapons sent to it from Iran via Syria to Lebanon for the following clearly defined reasons:</strong></p> <ul> <li>There is no longer a reason to store weapons in Lebanon because the Lebanese-Syrian front has become united.</li> <li>Hezbollah needs to maintain accurate and long-range missiles in Syria (not Lebanon), confirming what Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar Assad have said, that <strong>&ldquo;Syria is one front against Israel in the next war.&rdquo;</strong></li> <li>Hezbollah&rsquo;s weapons stores in Lebanon are full, and its warehouses are overflowing. <strong>Hezbollah therefore could maintain a long war if Israel did decide to attack Lebanon,</strong> and has the capability of launching hundreds of rockets and missiles daily.</li> </ul> <p>It is clear that President Bashar al-Assad has emerged stronger from the war that has been going on for more than six years. <strong>His thinking is now orientated towards the Israeli threat,</strong> to tune in with Hezbollah and to assure Saudi Arabia and Israel that Hezbollah will not be left alone in any future battle because the front from Naqoura (in southern Lebanon) to the Golan is now united. Assad is determined and able to respond to any Israeli violation following the total defeat of the &ldquo;Islamic State&rdquo; in all the Syrian cities.</p> <p>Thus, Assad has lived with and survived the war and has learned to accept losses: during the hard days of the war, the number of soldiers killed reached hundreds in some battles. The Syrian leadership is in a better position to accept the consequences of any future war with Israel as long as the goals are reached despite the sacrifices required.</p> <p>But Assad will not be alone facing any future attack on Hezbollah. There are thousands of fighters in Syria from neighboring countries, available at the request of the Syrian government. These shall certainly not be neutral in the next war with Israel if it should happen.</p> <p><strong>Damascus will be careful not to provoke the United States directly in the next war with Israel,</strong> but it will give a free hand to the Syrian resistance if the US decides to occupy north-east Syria.</p> <p><strong>The presence of Russian troops in the Levant may not allow all belligerents to be dragged into a large war</strong> with multiple frontiers and certainly not a third world war. Israel is so far giving signs that its forces are aware of the future danger and won&rsquo;t be dragged into a war in the region <strong>despite Saudi Arabia&rsquo;s financial offers and support.</strong> The Saudis were responsible for kidnapping the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (who was <a href="" target="_blank">&quot;released&quot; this weekend</a>), aiming to present Lebanon as more vulnerable, inviting Israel, in vain, to attack what the Kingdom defines as the &ldquo;arms of Iran&rdquo; in the Middle East.</p> <p>Russia has no agreement with Israel on anything related to the presence of the Iranian forces and its loyalists in Syria and particularly on the borders with Israel. The Kremlin is not negotiating and disposing of Syrian soil because these matters concern the Syrian government, <strong>which intends to recover the occupied Golan after the end of the ISIS threat and al-Qaeda, the Takfiri extremists, in Syria.</strong></p> <p>Saudi Arabia&#39;s renewed power ploy in the Middle East is likely to more than meet its match because it seriously underestimates Hezbollah as an effective military arm of Iran</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="897" height="512" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> al-Qaeda Bashar al-Assad east Syria Hassan Nasrallah Hezbollah Hizballah International relations Iran Iran–Israel proxy conflict Israel Lebanese nationalism Lebanese Sunni Muslims Lebanon Lebanon–Syria relations Levant March 8 Alliance Michel Aoun Middle East Middle East Politics Politics of Lebanon Rafic Hariri Reuters Saudi Arabia southern Lebanon Syrian government War Mon, 20 Nov 2017 02:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 607560 at