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Ghost Dog

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,078

About Me

A Brit a long time in Spain, Catalunya, Baleares, Canarias. Cooperative member. Geography. Ecology. Cartography. Software. Sound Recording. Music Production. Languages & Literature.

Journal Archives

"designed to placate a dictators ego" - ¡Bingo!

In 2024 the dictator intends to either be running for and assured of a third term or to have simply decreed no further elections.

The Reconquest of (America's) Moon and the American Space Command will be part of the new Emperor's show, as will be, probably, the use of tactical nukes and compulsory citizens' digital ID by then.

I think he intends to go full-Mussolini.

The Brits are spinning narrative... Under orders?

... Lord Howell, a former Conservative cabinet minister and chairman of the Lords international relations committee, asked his government on Thursday whether it “was such a good idea to raid the Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar in the first place”. He said: “Obviously we want to stop oil getting to President Assad, although probably he can get all the oil he wants from Russia. Are we not supposed to be on the same side as the Iranians on the question of nuclear proliferation and control? Can we have a firm assurance that we did this not just at the say-so of the US?” Lady Goldie, for the government, insisted the request to intercept the ship came from the government of Gibraltar, but Foreign Office officials in the past have indicated the biggest factor in play was pressure from the US.

Speaking on the BBC, Nathalie Tocci, the special adviser to the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, put the UK decision in a wider political context. “The UK is feeling its own fragility and a fear of isolation as it tries to cut off its membership from the EU. There’s a line connecting the Iran story and the UK ambassador to the US.”

Either way, once Grace 1 had been seized, UK shipping in the Gulf was in Iranian crosshairs. By the weekend, the British government was privately advising British flagged vessels not to carry oil through the Gulf, leading to an abrupt about-turn of a BP tanker, British Heritage, heading to collect oil in Basra. By Tuesday night the British government was lifting the code alert to level 3, the highest possible, and on Wednesday the giant British Heritage was interrupted by Iranian ships.

Curiously, media briefing about British Heritage, and the intervention by HMS Montrose, which warded off the Iranian boats by aiming its guns at them, came originally from the US, and not the Ministry of Defence...


...Iran has rejected the claims. Foreign minister Javad Zarif called the British allegations “worthless” in remarks to the semi-official Fars news agency. “Apparently the British tanker has passed. What [the British] have said themselves and the claims that have been made are for creating tension and these claims have no value,” Zarif said...


Brexit is about disintegration of UK

... Polls show repeatedly how strongly Conservative members and voters prefer achieving Brexit over supporting Scotland and Northern Ireland. That upends the renewed support for the union expressed by Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt who compete to lead the party. Johnson especially alienates Scottish political activists of all hues based on his previous disregard for their interests and his evident English home counties appeal. Despite his pledges to union-proof policy for fair treatment, the deeper strain of English nationalism coming through the campaign and from future Conservative competition with Nigel Farage’s Brexit party is likely to win out.

Labour members and voters are more unionist in their solidarities. But the growing fragmentation of English politics between the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Brexit party will dampen that effect. So would any Labour search for Scottish National Party support after a general election, since the SNP would demand a second independence referendum and/or a differentiated deal allowing Scotland to remain closer to the EU.

By the same token, it would be difficult for Labour to resist supporting a second EU referendum. Were it to be held and reverse Brexit, how much would it resolve these deepening fissures in the UK’s constitutional order?

There is little sign of a will or capacity to conduct the root-and-branch reform many legal and political analysts say is needed to avoid break-up – by reforming, differentiating or federalising the UK in a more codified way. Calls for a UK-wide constitutional convention, citizens’ assembly or new foundational Act of union lack cross-party support and citizen interest, and are rejected by the dominant SNP in Scotland. The ignorance and indifference about Brexit’s consequences for the UK’s peripheries among politicians and officials in London reinforces pessimism among these analysts as to whether such reform is possible...


Proportional representation in Westminster elections would lead to much possibly healthy change...

Labour plots 'new banking ecosystem' to tackle climate emergency

... In order to fully decarbonise the economy, McDonnell said Labour would marshal the resources and levers of power available to HM Treasury, as well as strengthen regulatory powers and priorities for the Bank of England (BofE) in order to unlock investment needed for a 'Green Industrial Revolution'. He reiterated Labour plans for to set up a system of national and regional investment banks to spend £250bn over the next decade on projects such as solar farms, zero carbon transport networks, green home retrofits, and tidal lagoons, which he said would be funded through government bonds.

The speech follows previously announced plans to rewrite the Treasury's Green Book in order to tackle Whitehall's "short-termist economic philosophy", which McDonnell today suggested would ensure the government takes into account the costs of both action and inaction on climate change. McDonnell also said Labour would seek to look beyond the Treasury by taking action to force the private and banking sector to take action to tackle climate risks and shift spending towards the net zero transition.

He revealed plans to set up a Sustainable Investment Board that would bring together the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Business Secretary, and the Bank of England Governor to oversee productive investment across the UK with a specific responsibility for meeting climate targets.

"Let's set out the range of government resources to be made available," he said. "Leaving it to the market just won't succeed."...


Analysis: Trump - Iran - Abe (Guardian)

... In the wake of US abrogation of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, and its attempt to pressure the rest of the world to follow suit, Iran expected China and at least a few of their other oil customers to defy the US oil embargo. That has not happened so far. Rouhani met Xi Jinping in Kyrgyzstan on Friday to get a clear idea of Chinese intentions, but Xi seems to have remained non-committal.

Meanwhile, the European mechanism that was supposed to insulate the trade in basic humanitarian supplies from US sanctions has yet to get off the ground – and may never fly.

Faced with economic strangulation, Tehran has less and less to lose. Whether it was behind the tanker attacks or not, it had signalled its intention to make the rest of the world pay some of the price for US brinksmanship. The message from Iranian officials over the past two months has been that, if Iran could not export its oil through the Gulf, nor should other nations. Tehran has also slapped down a nuclear ultimatum. If sanctions pressures are not significantly eased by 8 July, it will throw off some of the shackles of the 2015 nuclear deal, most importantly by raising the level at which it enriches uranium. That will ring alarm bells around the world, by cutting the time Iran would need to make a bomb.

Trump now appears to realise that the train he boarded is not heading to a glorious summit, but a potentially devastating conflict in the Gulf, and that some of his own officials, notably the national security adviser, John Bolton, are quite content – enthusiastic, even – to keep driving in that direction...


Is this voice good? (Use Me Up (Bill Withers)) Soundcloud:


Why Trump's Hawks Back the Iranian MEK Terrorist Cult (NY Review Of Books)

On July 22 (2018), Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to address an Iranian-American audience at the Reagan Presidential Library in California. The speech is part of a deliberate policy of escalating tensions with Iran, targeting its economy and supporting Iranian opposition groups—all for the purpose of pressuring and destabilizing Iran. At least one member of an Iranian terrorist group that has killed American citizens will also be in attendance. But it won’t be to disrupt Pompeo’s speech; rather, to support it. In fact, the member is on the invitation list.

Last month, the same terrorist group held an event in Paris, busing in thousands of young people from Eastern Europe to hear Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani call for regime change in Tehran. A similar event in Paris last year was addressed by John Bolton, who recently became President Trump’s national security adviser.

How an organization that was only delisted by the US Department of State as a terrorist group in 2012 could so soon after win influential friends at the heart of America’s current administration is the strange and sinister story of the Mujahedin-e Khalq, better known by its initials, MEK. Commonly called a cult by most observers, the MEK systematically abuses its members, most of whom are effectively captives of the organization, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). Regardless of its delisting by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—a political calculation on her part since many senior Democrats, as well as Republicans, had been persuaded by the MEK’s lavish lobbying efforts—the group has never ceased terrorizing its members and has continued to conduct assassinations inside Iran.

In the 1980s, the MEK served as a private militia fighting for Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War. Today, it has a different paymaster: the group is believed to be funded, in the millions of dollars, by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In Washington, D.C., as in Paris, France, the MEK pays tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees to US officials. Bolton, in particular, is a long-time paid supporter of the MEK, reportedly receiving as much as $180,000 for his appearances at the group’s events...

(Much more...) https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/07/20/why-trumps-hawks-back-the-mek-terrorist-cult/

So, "Intelligence" might point to the use of these people in a false flag op., conserving US-UK special forces direct action for, soon?

(See also MEK website: https://mek-iran.com/ )

About 100 Malians killed in attack on Dogon village

BAMAKO (Reuters) - At least 95 people were killed in an overnight attack on an ethnic Dogon village in central Mali, local officials said on Monday, the latest bout of ethnic violence fuelling the country’s security crisis.

Fighting between Dogon hunters and Fulani herders has killed hundreds since January, including a March attack in which gunmen killed more than 150 Dogon, one of the worst acts of violence in the West African country’s recent history.

Sunday’s attack took place in the Sangha district, where Fulanis from the neighbouring Bankass district descended on a Dogon village after dark, Bankass mayor Moulaye Guindo told Reuters on Monday. “Armed men, apparently Fulanis, fired at the population and burnt the village,” said Siriam Kanoute, an official for the nearby town of Bandiagara. He said the current death toll of 95 would likely rise as more bodies were being found...


Europeans used to ignore their parliament. Not any longer

Europeans used to ignore their parliament. Not any longer
Young people are suddenly interested: they understand that cooperation is the only way to tackle Google, or the climate

Caroline de Gruyter Wed 29 May 2019 08.00 BST

... I moved to Brussels in 1999 to report on asylum and migration. This was already a hot topic, due to refugees from the former Yugoslavia and people crossing the Mediterranean in boats. I spent most of my time at the commission, which produced proposals on border protection and common asylum rules, and at the council of ministers, where member states later shot these proposals to pieces in relative secrecy. But I hardly ever went to parliament. It produced excellent reports on migration but only had advisory powers. MEPs felt useless and frustrated. Their voters were left in the dark.

This has completely changed: since the 2009 Lisbon treaty, MEPs co-decide with governments on asylum and migration. Today, not only does the European parliament have more legislative powers but there is also much more awareness of the big issues. Everybody understands that countries cannot tackle climate breakdown or Google on their own. Because of the euro we have a common monetary policy; because of Schengen we share an immigration policy; because banks trade across borders, we have European banking rules and supervision. In Brussels, ministers and prime ministers take decisions on sensitive issues that citizens care about, such as security and defence. Just as national parliaments control governments in The Hague, Lisbon or Bratislava, the European parliament controls them when they take decisions in Brussels... This is how it should be: when our governments act in Brussels, there must be democratic control. That’s how democracy works – we have it at every level of governance, whether it’s municipal, regional, national or European. We just have to make sure that those levels are well-equipped with the tools that a mature and legitimate democracy needs: courts, governments, parliaments and oversight...

... I regularly give lectures about European issues. Young audiences are suddenly extremely interested. They want to know how Brussels works, and how Europe can navigate in a turbulent geopolitical landscape with superpowers such as the US, Russia and China circling around it. They understand that they have something to preserve, and they don’t want their children to be forced to choose between an American and a Chinese model.

People will now speculate about who will become president of the commission or the council. That’s good news. If we all finally step on to the European podium, ready to engage – even Eurosceptic parties who were previously only interested in “exits” – surely that’s good for democracy. It increases democratic checks and balances in Europe, and the legitimacy of what’s decided in Brussels...

Much more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/29/europeans-parliament-young-people-eu

The far-right ENF has 58 seats only, and no allies

unless you count the Brexiters, in the EFD.

See: https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=2321054

The Green / European Free Alliance group in the EU parliament includes the Scottish Nationalist Party and Plaid Cymru and Catalunya's Esquerra Republicana among others seeking EU reforms... It has natural allies in the United Left / Nordic Green group (38 seats).
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