​EU is in serious trouble and it’s not Russia’s fault

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Angela Merkel has criticized Vladimir Putin’s, apparent, strategy to spread Russia’s sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. The Chancellor doesn’t acknowledge that Germany’s domination of Europe has been disastrous for some states.

Europe’s neo-liberal media are having a collective hernia at the thought that some former Warsaw Pact countries are cozying up to Moscow. Especially in Germany. On top of that Merkel’s recent speech in Australia was full of tough criticism of Russia. However, on closer inspection, what they are accusing the Kremlin of doing is exactly what the EU has been at for the past 20 years.

Do a random street poll in any eastern European capital. Prague or Bratislava, where I have been this week, for example. Ask whether life is better now, under the thumb of the EU, compared to how it was in 1989, under the Soviet jackboot. The responses I have gotten are 50-50. If you’d tried the same query a decade ago, it’d have been fairly unanimous that 2004 would have trumped ’89.

The EU is in serious trouble. Living standards are falling all over the union and political instability is fomenting from Dublin to Athens and Madrid to Zagreb. Iceland recently u-turned on a plan to join the grouping and, previously, resolute aspirants like Serbia and Montenegro are cooling their ardor for membership.

Angela Merkel thinks this is Russia’s fault. That’s akin to blaming Brazil’s strikers for their 7-1 World Cup capitulation to Germany. Pure hokum. If Merkel wants to find the real culprit, she need only look in the mirror. The Berlin government, which she has led for 9 years is sucking the continent dry. While peripheral states flounder and pivotal countries stagnate, Germany is doing just fine. This is because the entire EU system – especially the Euro currency – is propping up its largest member while choking the rest.

Thatcher’s wisdom
Of course, Britain’s Margaret Thatcher and France’s Francois Mitterrand warned of this a quarter century ago, and they were both spot on. In January 1990, Mitterrand confided to his UK counterpart: “reunification will result in Germany gaining more European influence than Hitler ever had.”

It’s worth mentioning, in fairness, that the ugly Euro currency monster was Mitterrand’s, naive, attempt to curtail this eventuality. The Germans were quite content with the solid Deutschmark but Paris believed that a currency union would keep their neighbors in check and made it the price of agreeing to a united Germany.

Thatcher foresaw this and informed Mitterrand that Bonn (the then capital) wouldn’t be tamed by strengthening EC (later EU) institutions. “Germany’s ambitions would then become the dominant and active factor,” she counseled. She added: “We beat the Germans twice (in war), and now they’re back.”

Following reunification, a previously 4-pronged European elite (France. Britain, West Germany and Italy) became greatly diluted. Restored to its former capital of Berlin, the, now much larger, state began to dominate. In the early 00’s, the EU expanded massively to the east, growing by 10 members in 1 day in 2004, with a further 3 following later. What happened in all these newbies, from Estonia in the north to southern Cyprus was that German commerce rapidly swarmed their economies. If you think that’s fanciful, I’d urge you to visit a shopping center in Krakow or Brno and tell me how it, greatly, differs from one in Dresden? To my eyes, not by much.

Existing members, such as Ireland and Spain were flooded with cheap German credit. This was basically a form of captive loan-sharking. German banks handing out easy money to facilitate the purchase of German-made goods, from cars to electronics. When the scheme went wallop in 2008, the German creditors didn’t accept a haircut. Instead, the penalties were passed on to Irish and Spanish taxpayers, further enslaving them to Berlin.

Germany the winner
Meanwhile, Germany’s trade surplus continued to expand and they were happy to leave the rest of Europe to rot. Instead of showing empathy, the Hamburg and Berlin media were full of features mocking the economically wrecked nations. Ireland, apparently, had an epidemic of wild, abandoned, horses and the Spanish were delighted at the extra time for Siestas. Oh, what fun the yellow-press had in those halcyon days – and what harm they did to perceptions of Germany.

Now, Merkel seems to believe that Russia is coercing some European states into doing business. Complete nonsense. It’s rather more believable that financially stressed governments have begun to see through Berlin’s practices and are hedging their bets. After all, it’s the duty of a sovereign to look after its own citizens, not the pampered bankers of Frankfurt or industrialists of Munich. Germany’s arrogant mistreatment of the rest of Europe is coming home to roost.

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“Frau Nein”, as she was once known, is especially upset about Russian influence in Hungary and Serbia. Apologies if I’ve missed something but I haven’t noticed the reports of Berlin heaping goodies on them. Does Merkel seriously expect their rulers to reject advantageous deals with Moscow to keep her happy? If she does, she’s lost touch with reality.

“This is not just about Ukraine. It’s about Moldova. It’s about Georgia. If things carry on like this…. we will need to raise the issue of Serbia, of the states in the western Balkans. How can something like this happen in the middle of Europe? Old thinking about spheres of influence… must not succeed,” the Chancellor emoted last weekend.

Doing what’s right
What Merkel is trying to say, with breathtaking arrogance is “how dare Russia nose in on our patch” – as if Germany had a divine right to control these independent nations. Spheres of influence aren’t an issue once they are tilted towards Berlin or Brussels, which the former increasingly controls. Lost in all of this is the economic fact that Germany and Russia are now neck and neck economically, with Moscow poised to overtake its historic rival in the next few years. Russia has also succeeded in creating an alliance with China, Germany’s biggest export rival. This has forced Berlin into solidifying its previously waning alliance with the USA, something which isn’t uniformly popular in Germany.

However, in Budapest and Bratislava, premiers Viktor Orban and Robert Fico are doing what’s right by their electorate and striking the optimum deals for their countries. Merkel is deeply offended by such a practice as it reduces Germany’s omnipotent strangle-hold on their commerce. Orban is also committed to pushing ahead with the Southstream pipeline, in partnership with Moscow. Why? Not to undermine Berlin, but to guarantee its energy supply because Ukraine is unreliable as a transit territory. This is entirely understandable – it’s Orban’s job to look after Hungary, not to bow down before Germany.

The pro-NATO, neoliberal, media in Western Europe are presenting Russia’s trade deals with struggling eastern states as some kind of dastardly plan to undermine the EU. Such suggestions are hyperbolic nonsense. The leaders of Hungary, Slovakia and Serbia would, gladly, bite the hand off Merkel if she was willing to throw some German cash around. However, she’s not and Putin is. Consequently, these countries are doing what’s best for their current circumstances. There is nothing sinister about it.

THE COMING CLIMATE ONSLAUGHT

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President Obama readies a sweeping list of executive actions

By ANDREW RESTUCCIA and ERICA MARTINSON 11/11/14 8:38 PM EST Updated 11/12/14 7:33 AM EST

The Obama administration is set to roll out a series of climate and pollution measures that rivals any president’s environmental actions of the past quarter-century — a reality check for Republicans who think last week’s election gave them a mandate to end what they call the White House’s “War on Coal.”

Tied to court-ordered deadlines, legal mandates and international climate talks, the efforts scheduled for the next two months show that President Barack Obama is prepared to spend the remainder of his term unleashing sweeping executive actions to combat global warming. And incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have few options for stopping the onslaught, though Republicans may be able to slow pieces of it.

The coming rollout includes a Dec. 1 proposal by EPA to tighten limits on smog-causing ozone, which business groups say could be the costliest federal regulation of all time; a final rule Dec. 19 for clamping down on disposal of power plants’ toxic coal ash; the Jan. 1 start date for a long-debated rule prohibiting states from polluting the air of their downwind neighbors; and a Jan. 8 deadline for issuing a final rule restricting greenhouse gas emissions from future power plants. That last rule is a centerpiece of Obama’s most ambitious environmental effort, the big plan for combating climate change that he announced at Georgetown University in June 2013.

Obama announced yet another initiative Wednesday in Beijing, where he and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly committed to targets for the two nations to curb their carbon emissions during the next two decades. And on top of all that, the administration is expected in the coming weeks to pledge millions of dollars — and possibly billions — to help poor countries deal with the effects of climate change.

The pending EPA actions alone could amount to the most ambitious burst of environmental regulatory activity from Washington since President George H.W. Bush approved a crucial set of amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990 — although Obama’s administration has already taken several big strides of its own, including limits on mercury pollution from power plants.

The administration was committed to its upcoming deadlines many months ago, in some cases under court order, after postponing a number of the actions until after the 2012 or 2014 elections. Now that Obama is almost out of time, they’re coming all at once.

On deck are even more climate actions that will stretch well into 2015. In June, EPA is due to put out a final version of its rule for cutting greenhouse gases from the nation’s existing power plants — the linchpin of Obama’s entire climate effort.

“In a world that was turned upside down on Election Day, two things are certain,” said Heather Zichal, who served as Obama’s top climate change adviser until 2013. “One: Corporate polluters and their allies in Congress will continue to fight against progress on the broader climate agenda. Two: The president is and will remain 100 percent committed to his climate action plan and he’ll fight to protect it.”

The kicker for Republicans eager to stomp all over the president’s agenda: Congress has little immediate recourse, despite McConnell’s pledges to use “the spending process” to rein in EPA. With so much action rolling through the pipeline, Republicans will have to choose their battles carefully if they want to make headway while proving they can govern.

In an interview after Election Day, McConnell acknowledged that stopping Obama will be difficult, given the president’s veto power. McConnell has also promised a return to regular order, and Republicans probably won’t want to repeat last year’s government shutdown in hopes of forcing the president’s hand.

“I think that actually preventing EPA from moving forward on the climate change regs will be a challenge,” said industry attorney Jeff Holmstead, who headed the agency’s air office during the George W. Bush administration.

If Congress tries to defang “high profile” regulations like those on carbon emissions, “we would expect the president to veto,” said Cal Dooley, a former Democratic member of Congress who heads the chemical industry’s trade association. “And I don’t expect that you’ll have a two-thirds vote in the Senate to override.”

Greens are counting on Obama to hold the line, especially on climate change.

“We are very confident that he will continue to take the common sense steps necessary to make this strong plan a reality,” League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski said in an email. “That may not please the climate change deniers, but it is the right thing to do for our health, our economy, and our security.”P

On the other hand, a GOP-led Congress could pass agency-specific spending bills with riders that undercut rules that seem less important to Obama. Some Republicans think he might swallow an attack on the ozone rule, for example.

Christine Todd Whitman, who served as George W. Bush’s first EPA administrator, said the Republicans’ new Senate leaders will at least try to hobble the agency.

“It’s going to get harder for EPA,” she said. “With Jim Inhofe as chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I think what they’re going to do is starve the agency.”

EPA is not the only agency pushing new rules, however. The Interior Department is also expected to release a long-delayed draft regulation in the spring that tightens limits on mountaintop-removal coal mining.

And Obama’s negotiators are working on plans for an international global warming agreement, set to be signed in Paris at the end of 2015, that would require the U.S. and other nations to slash greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come.

The U.S. is also expected to announce in the coming weeks how much money it will contribute to an international fund for helping poor countries deal with the effects of global warming. Developed countries have pledged to raise $100 billion a year from government and private sources for that cause by 2020, with some of the money going to the fund. But the prospect of handing billions of dollars in climate aid to the developing world is not going to win much applause from Republicans, who could block the money through the appropriations process.

The U.S. will probably announce its pledge before or during a Nov. 20 meeting in Berlin.

“I think this will be one of the more challenging outcomes of the elections in terms of implementing the administration’s climate plan,” said Heather Coleman, climate change policy manager at Oxfam America.

The administration had previously postponed many of the upcoming regulatory actions, most notoriously with the surprise September 2011 decision to squelch EPA’s proposal to lower its smog limits. That decision blindsided both EPA leaders and environmentalists, and was widely regarded as an effort to defuse a major regulatory controversy before Obama had to run for reelection.

Similarly, EPA issued a proposed rule on coal ash in 2010, but sat on it for nearly four years until a federal court imposed a deadline for this December.

Greens are counting on Obama to hold the line, especially on climate change. | M. Scott Mahaskey
All the glare focusing on Obama’s big climate rules means that other items on his environmental agenda are getting less public attention than they once did. That could aid Republicans’ push to weaken some of regulations through negotiations with the White House and EPA, perhaps with deals to delay rules rather than repeal them outright. But that would depend on McConnell keeping the House from insisting on hardcore anti-EPA bills that would be surefire veto bait.

The word from the Hill “is that McConnell really is interested in trying to show that Republicans can get things done, so I think they’re going to try to come up with some narrow bills where the President could sign,” Holmstead said.

Among other possibilities, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) hopes to bring up legislation that would shift authority away from EPA on regulating coal ash ponds. Given the agency’s previous reluctance to deal with coal ash at all, the White House might not fight him too hard.

Efforts to tighten ozone regulations are clearly not a top White House priority either, given Obama’s efforts to punt the rule in 2011. But defying the court deadline to finish the rule — “that’s where it’s going to take congressional action,” Dooley said. The manufacturing industry broadly opposes tightening the ozone standards, which it says could make permits more difficult and expensive to obtain.

Former Sen. Tim Wirth, a Democrat who served as the Clinton administration’s top international climate negotiator, thinks Obama will push through his main agenda regardless of what Republicans come up with.

“He’ll just do what he’s going to do anyway,” Wirth said.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/climate-rules-obama-112792.html#ixzz3IsA2fX00

State Department plans to bring foreign Ebola patients to U.S.

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By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times – Updated: 8:13 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The State Department has quietly made plans to bring Ebola-infected doctors and medical aides to the U.S. for treatment, according to an internal department document that argued the only way to get other countries to send medical teams to West Africa is to promise the U.S. will be the world’s medical backstop.

Some countries “are implicitly or explicitly waiting for medevac assurances” before they will agree to send their own medical teams to join U.S. and U.N. aid workers on the ground, the State Department argues in the undated four-page memo, which was reviewed by The Washington Times.

More than 10,000 people have become infected with Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and the U.S. has taken a lead role in arguing the pandemic must be stopped over there. President Obama has committed thousands of U.S. troops and has deployed American medical personnel, but other countries have been slow to follow.

In the memo, officials say they would prefer patients go to Europe, but there are some cases where the U.S. is “the logical treatment destination for non-citizens.”

The document has been shared with Congress, where lawmakers were already nervous over the administration’s handling of the Ebola outbreak. The memo even details expected price per patient, saying transport costs come to $200,000 and treatment is estimated at $300,000 per case.

A State Department official denied there are plans to bring non-citizen patients to the U.S., saying instead that officials are considering using American aircraft equipped to handle Ebola cases to transport non-citizens to other countries, but “there are absolutely no plans to medevac non-Americans” to the U.S.

“We have discussed allowing other countries to use our medevac capabilities to evacuate their own citizens to their home countries or third-countries, subject to reimbursement and availability,” the department official said in a statement. “But we are not contemplating bringing them back to the U.S. for treatment. Allegations to the contrary are completely false.”

The internal State Department memo is described as “sensitive but unclassified.” A tracking sheet attached to it says it was “cleared” by offices of the deputy secretary, the deputy secretary for management, the office of Central African affairs and the medical services office.

A call to the number listed for Mr. Sorenson wasn’t returned Tuesday.

Mr. Obama has been clear in his desire to recruit medical and aide workers to fight the disease in Africa.

“We know that the best way to protect Americans ultimately is going to stop this outbreak at the source,” the president said at the White House on Tuesday, praising U.S. aide workers who are already involved in the effort. “No other nation is doing as much to make sure that we contain and ultimately eliminate this outbreak than America.”

More than 10,000 people have contracted Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with about half of those cases proving fatal.

Four cases have been diagnosed in the U.S. — and three of those were health workers who were trying to aid infected patients. Two of those, both nurses at a Dallas hospital, have been cured.

In addition, the U.S. has treated several American aide workers who contracted the disease overseas but who were flown here for treatment.

The U.N. and World Health Organization are also heavily involved in deploying to the affected region, but other countries have been slower to pony up their own resources to fight Ebola in West Africa or to agree to treat workers who contract the disease.

The State Department memo says only Germany has agreed to take non-German citizens who contract the disease.

Officials would prefer European nations step up because it is closer to West Africa, making transport easier, the State Department memo said. But officials said there are some cases where the U.S. is the right choice — notably where non-Americans are contracted to work in West Africa for U.S.-based charities, the Centers for Disease Control or the U.S. Agency for International Development.

“So far all of the Ebola medevacs brought back to U.S. hospitals have been U.S. citizens. But there are many non-citizens working for U.S. government agencies and organizations in the Ebola-affected countries of West Africa,” the memo says. “Many of them are citizens of countries lacking adequate medical care, and if they contracted Ebola in the court of their work they would need to be evacuated to medical facilities in the United States or Europe.”

The memo says the State Department already has a contract in place with Phoenix Aviation, which maintains an airplane capable of transporting an Ebola patient. The U.S. can transport non-citizens and have other countries or organizations pay for the cost.

The U.S. has already helped three health workers be sent to Germany and one to France.

In the U.S., the department memo lists three hospitals — the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta — that are willing to take patients.

According to the memo, Homeland Security officials would be required to waive restrictions in U.S. law to speed the patients into the U.S.

“A pre-established framework would be essential to guarantee that only authorized individuals would be considered for travel authorization and that all necessary vetting would occur,” the memo reads.

A Homeland Security spokeswoman didn’t return emails seeking comment.

Judicial Watch, a conservative-leaning public-interest watchdog, revealed the existence of a State Department plan earlier in October. When The Times described the document to Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch’s president, he said it is evidence of why the administration balked at adopting a travel ban on those from the affected countries.

“Under this theory, there could be people moving here now, transporting people here now, and it could be done with no warning,” Mr. Fitton said. “If our borders mean anything, it is the ability to make sure that dire threats to the public health are kept out.”

After those initial reports surfaced, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte had sent a letter asking for answers. On Tuesday he said the document The Times obtained “raises more concerns and questions than answers.”

“President Obama should be forthcoming with the American people about the scope of his plan to bring non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to the United States for treatment,” Mr. Goodlatte said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/28/state-department-plans-to-bring-foreign-ebola-pati/?page=2#ixzz3HUY9ixir
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Germany could be home to 7,000 Muslim extremists by Christmas

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German authorities fear there could be as many as 7,000 Muslim extremists in the country by the end of the year. Disenfranchised youths are particularly vulnerable to being recruited, while there are around 450 German extremists in Syria and Iraq.

The extremists all follow the strict interpretation of Islam known as Salafism and believe that jihad is a legitimate tool in their fight against the West, which they believe is an enemy of Islam. Hans-Georg Maassen, who is the head of Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency,told rbb-Inforadi that there are currently around 6,300 Islamic extremists in Germany, but this figure could rise to as many as 7,000 by the end of the year, AP reports.

There has been a steep rise in the number of Germans attracted to fundamentalist Islam. Three years ago there were only in the region of 3,800 followers of Salafism in the country, which then rose to 4,500 in 2012.

Speaking in late August in Berlin, Maassen said young Muslims are attracted to Islamic State (IS) because of its brutality. The militant group has become infamous for beheading captives amongst other things. The German domestic intelligence chief also says the group formally known as ISIS, seems to be “more authentic” than Al-Qaeda.

“There is a link between the successes IS has had so far in Iraq and the activities here in Germany and the propaganda and canvassing activities aimed at young jihadists,” said Maassen, which was reported by Reuters. “The Islamic State is, so to speak, the ‘in’ thing – much more attractive than the Nusra Front, the al Qaeda spin-off in Syria.”

“What attracts people is the intense brutality, the radicalism and rigor. That suggests to them that it is a more authentic organization even than al Qaeda,” he said. “Al Qaeda fades besides the Islamic State when it comes to brutality,” the BfV chief added.

Massen also mentioned that many young people who feel disenfranchised from society are attracted to extremist Islamic groups, as it gives them a sense of belonging and purpose. They hope that by joining such organizations, they will go “from being underdogs to top dogs.”

It is estimated that around 450 Islamic fundamentalists from Germany have travelled to Syria and Iraq. According to German authorities the majority are German nationals, with about 30 percent coming from a number of nations, which include Turkey, Morocco and Bosnia.

AP quoted a security official as saying that around a quarter of them are converts to Islam.

The BfV estimates that there are currently around 43,000 Islamists in Germany overall, with 1,000 being of serious concern, while 130 are under round-the-clock surveillance.

A report by German security officials also found that the “most important factor for radicalization” was friends. They had more of an influence than recruiters or radical imams, while the internet was also another important source to gain extremist followers.

The document states that it normally takes around a year for the vast majority of people to become radicalized, which would allow sufficient time for them to be offered help. However, identifying someone who is going through the process of radicalization is not so easy, with visible changes in behavior only taking place once the person is becoming more extremist, the report added, according to Der Spiegel.

GERMANY OF 1930S AND UKRAINE IN 2014: OMINOUS SIMILARITY

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Ukraine is tantamount to allowing a Nazi state emerge in the heart of Europe

by ALEXANDER DONETSKY | STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION | OCTOBER 27, 2014

If one compares the Germany of the 1920-1930s and the Ukraine of today – the similarity is striking.

The situation in the country allows a political party seen as a marginal one by the majority of population ride the wave of discontent to become a major political actor. It comes to power and establishes a dictatorship. Formally President von Hindenburg led the country, but the members of the National Socialist German Workers Party held all key government positions. Germany quickly turned into a totalitarian state. The same thing is taking place in Ukraine. Top government officials connive at advocates of Nazi ideology who grab all key positions. Only yesterday the Ukrainian Nazi were viewed as a marginal force and today they spread their views to make the ideology of national socialism permeate all aspects of public life.

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Social nationalism is another name for the ideology of Ukrainian integral nationalism that emerged in the 1920-1940s. According to its founders, the ideology is a compilation of German Nazism and Italian fascism adapted to the Ukrainian realities. The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) was the driving force spreading this ideology around. Stepan Bandera, one of the organization’s leaders, got a prison sentence in Poland for committing a terrorist act. He was freed by Hitler’s occupational force and recruited by Abwehr. Bandera went around by the nickname of Grey. Now the man is the most revered hero of the new Kiev regime. Eugene Konovalets (alias Consul), the first leader of OUN, and his successor Andrei Melnyk (Consul-2) also worked for Abwehr.

The revival of fascism in Ukraine started in the late 1980s. Underground student circles supported by Canada and US-based emigrants, former OUN fighters, sprang up in Lviv. As Ukraine became an independent state many groups emerged to announce themselves as ideological successors to the OUN’s Bandera group: UNA-UNSO (the Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense), the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Patriot of Ukraine, the Social-Nationalist Party (in 2005 renamed the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda), the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU), the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine (S.N.A.), the Stepan Bandera All-Ukrainian Organization ″Trizub″, the All-Ukrainian organization Sich etc. They all supported the idea of pure race totalitarian state and tough nationalist dictatorship ruled by the “leader of the nation”.

In the late 1920s-early 1930s German newspaper Welt am Abend warned about the possibility of Hitlerites coming to power. It wrote that fascist combat units formally got separated from the party to go underground and act as sports unions, sharp shooters clubs, skittles clubs and singing groups. The same thing took place in Ukraine in 1990-2010. The UNA-UNSO, Trizub and Svoboda monopolized all the paintball, shooting and martial arts clubs and associations of football fans and scouts. They spread their ideology among senior school-goers and students. The nationalist propaganda was especially aggressive in the universities of Lviv, Kiev, Kharkov where students responded en mass to the calls for violent overthrow of government and unleashing a nationalist revolution in Ukraine.

It had been known many months before the Maidan events that nationalists had been preparing a coup. In October 2012 one of Svoboda leaders made a speech at the meeting in honor of UPA calling on Neo-Nazi to foster military spirit and hone combat skills to fight the occupation force. Her colleague Yuri Mikhalchishin made precise that it was necessary to prepare for urban warfare and “make the enemies of Ukrainian nation eat asphalt”, meaning first of all Russians and Jews. A year later the Trizub leadership said at the press-conference that the plans existed to take power of the whole country and eliminate the enemies of the nation. The UNSO and the Patriot of Ukraine formally separated from Svoboda, that provided a training base for the party members, and started to run their own courses to master the combat, rappel assault and explosives handling skills, as well as tactics to capture buildings. The Pamyatka (Instruction) that was published in the third edition of Banderovets newspaper (2010) instructed everyone to learn martial arts, master military endurance sports, shooting and knife fight skills. The same newspaper explained what the training was required to seize power soon. The groups mentioned above, as well as outright racists and anti-Semitists, like “fighters for the purity of white race” from White Hammer, became the main fighting force during the coup that took place in Kiev in February 2014. Like in the case of German SA, the groups’ militants formed units called “hundreds of Maidan self-defense”. The fascist Germany used the “Sieg Heil!” greeting as a way of saluting. The activists of Maidan-2014 movement greeted each other with words “Long Live Free Ukraine!” to be answered with “Long Live Heroes!” in response, the very same way it is practiced by Bandera followers. As time went by this semi-official All-Ukrainian greeting became the official way to hail each other in the Ukrainian armed forces. They salute with right hand – a well-known gesture. The OUN red-black flag became the second semi-official flag of Ukraine that inherited the Nazi symbols – blood and soil.

* * *

Coming to power Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Alexander Turchinov and Petro Poroshenko could not but express gratitude to neo-Nazi for the support. Valentin Nalivaichenko has close links to Trizub, the group which served as a basis for Pravy Sector (a Ukrainian nationalist political party). He was appointed the head of Ukrainian Security Service. Andriy Parubiy is the founder of the Patriot of Ukraine and Social-Nationalist Party. He got the position of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. Igor Smeshko, a retired Colonel-General (three stars), is the founder of Sich which is part of Social-National Assembly of Ukraine. Some time ago he was appointed presidential advisor and chairman of the presidential committee for intelligence. Sergey Kwit banned the use of Russian language on the territory of Kiev Mohyla Academy that he headed at the time. Now he became the Minister of Education. Ihor Shvaika and Andrey Mohnik, the Svoboda political party members, now head, accordingly, the ministries of agriculture and ecology and natural resources. There are many other people who hold less important positions to instill the ideological mixture of Italian fascism and German Nazism into all spheres of life from economy to military training, from art and TV to school education.

On October 6, Odessa-based Timer published the text of school dictation for Ukrainian language learners. Here is a fragment, that goes as, “We – the children of Ukraine and she is our mother. Mothers, as is known, are not chosen. Honest people. Born Ukrainians, the people of Little Russia refuse to recognize their native mother and go to stepmother to serve her as if she were the one to give them birth…These creatures only look like humans being scum of the earth in reality. They are only half humans even if they have higher education and academic degrees. Since a long time ago they deserve to be behind bars in Ukrainian jails. The prisons shed tears willing to accommodate their “clients”. Don’t cry, prisons, your time will come, Ukrainophobes will be behind bars and not as your guests. They will come to stay forever. And then the Ukrainian society will get rid of this trash, this unbearable filth and shame”.

Yuri Mikhalchishin is appointed deputy head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) responsible for analysis and ideological work. Since 2012 Mikhalchishin is a member of Ukrainian parliament and one of leading ideologists of Nazi Svoboda party. He played a pivotal role in making public the speeches of Goebbels to be read in Ukraine now. He believes that the social nationalist revolution is ahead to change the world and “only the people with new mindset and pattern of action can create the new life as they are not burdened by the past”.

Valentin Nalivaichenko, the head of Ukrainian counterintelligence, has been a sponsor of terrorist organization Trizub for a few years being involved in the combat training of its members. With him at the helm one can imagine what kind of ideological work his deputy Yuri Mikhalchishin will do!

Like Gestapo in the fascist Germany the Ukrainian Security Service is not under the jurisdiction of administrative courts. To oppose its activities one cannot appeal to justice like in the case of other state bodies. The same way as Gestapo the service enjoys the right of preventive arrest without a court decision. Like the subordinates of Heinrich Himmler in the 1930s-1940s the Ukrainian Security Service operatives supervise the implementation of the slave labor program called “public works”. The agency led by Nalivaichenko is notorious for cruel tortures and beatings. The fact is proven by ample evidence provided by the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics self-defence forces servicemen, as well as civilians accused of separatism. The Ukrainian counter-intelligence operatives practice assassinations of the government’s political opponents. For instance Alexander Samoilov, the pro-rector of Kharkiv International Slavic University, was detained by Ukrainian Security Service in Kharkiv together with some other “separatists”.

Turning a blind eye on the similarities between the Germany of Hitler and the contemporary Ukraine is tantamount to allowing a Nazi state emerge in the heart of Europe. The state that poisons their people by inculcating the ideology of the ethnic exclusiveness, propagates the idea of physical extermination of dissidents and feeds the dreams of global domination exercised by militarized Ukraine going nuclear. It’s not an exaggeration: it’s enough to read the program of any organization mentioned in the article to see that the affirmation is true.

FIGHT AGAINST ISIS BACKFIRES

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/c/embed/4e49a9bc-0d70-497d-a9f6-994ebf568ea7

By Liz Sly October 10 at 8:18 PM

REYHANLI, Turkey — The U.S.-led air war in Syria has gotten off to a rocky start, with even the Syrian rebel groups closest to the United States turning against it, U.S. ally Turkey refusing to contribute and the plight of a beleaguered Kurdish town exposing the limitations of the strategy.

U.S. officials caution that the strikes are just the beginning of a broader strategy that could take years to carry out. But the anger that the attacks have stirred risks undermining the effort, analysts and rebels say.

The main beneficiary of the strikes so far appears to be President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces have taken advantage of the shift in the military balance to step up attacks against the moderate rebels designated by President Obama as partners of the United States in the war against extremists.

The U.S. targets have included oil facilities, a granary and an electricity plant under Islamic State control. The damage to those facilities has caused shortages and price hikes across the rebel-held north that are harming ordinary Syrians more than the well-funded militants, residents and activists say.

At the start of the air campaign, dozens of U.S. cruise missiles were fired into areas controlled by the moderate rebels, who are supposed to be fighting the Islamic State. Syrians who had in the past appealed for American intervention against Assad have been staging demonstrations denouncing the United States and burning the American flag.

Kurds fleeing from Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian city of Kobane find shelter in Turkey, as they wait for action to save their homes. (Reuters)
“Everyone is angry with the airstrikes. For three years we have been asking for support, and now the West decides to hit only the Islamic State?” said Abu Wassim, a rebel fighter in the northern province of Idlib. The strikes are weakening the Islamic State, he said, but “empowering the regime.”

Since the outcry about the choice of targeting in the first days of the air campaign, the majority of coalition attacks have been concentrated in the three northern and eastern provinces governed by the Islamic State as part of its self-proclaimed caliphate, which stretches across the Syrian border into Iraq.

U.S. officials say the strikes are working to achieve the core American objective — to degrade and ultimately defeat the militants.

“The airstrikes are hitting the targets they are intended to hit,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told journalists Friday. “They take out ISIL positions. They take out ISIL tanks. They take out ISIL weapons. That’s obviously helping,” she said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

Residents of Islamic State-
controlled areas say the attacks have had a noticeable impact on the jihadist group’s tactics and behavior, forcing it to adopt a lower profile to avoid detection from the air.

In their self-styled capital of Raqqah, the foreign jihadists who until recently swept through the streets in armored convoys, showing off American Humvees and other booty captured from the Iraqi army, now drive around in regular vehicles, according to residents. A wealthy neighborhood of spacious villas has been abandoned by the Chechen, European, Arab and other foreign fighters who had moved in. They have relocated to apartments in the city center, blending in among the ordinary citizens, residents say.

Elsewhere, the militants have vacated headquarters, checkpoints, command posts, courts and other facilities, many of which had been conspicuously painted with the Islamic State’s distinctive black-and-white logo.

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Intensified airstrikes push some Islamic State militants from Kobane
OCT. 8 TO OCT. 9, 2014
U.S.-led coalition stepped up airstrikes on members of the Islamic State around the Syrian border town.
Oct. 10, 2014 Smoke rises after airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition on the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds. Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images
“You don’t see them around like you used to,” said a resident of Raqqah, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The strikes are not unpopular among ordinary people in Raqqah, who yearn for an end to the militants’ harsh rule, said another resident interviewed on a visit to Turkey. He also spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is afraid. Since the U.S.-led attacks began, Syrian government airstrikes have stopped, he said.

“The big difference between the coalition strikes and the Assad strikes is that the coalition strikes are accurate and they only hit the Islamic State,” he said, speaking during a visit to relatives. “The Assad strikes only kill civilians.”

Militants unbroken
But the attacks have not loosened the militants’ grip on power, he and other residents said, or had any significant impact on the militants’ capacity to launch offensives and capture territory, as the assault on the Kurdish border town of Kobane has demonstrated. Over a two-week period, fighters swept unimpeded through a string of villages around the town. Only when they reached the town itself did the U.S. military weigh in with intensified strikes.

U.S. officials have defended the response to the Kobane battle by pointing to the broader strategy, which is primarily aimed at rolling back the Islamic State’s gains in Iraq.

“In Syria, the purpose of the airstrikes largely is to get at this group’s ability to sustain itself, to resupply, to finance, to command and control,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon’s spokesman, told reporters last week. “They use Syria as the sanctuary and safe haven so that they can operate in Iraq.”

In Iraq, however, the United States has allies beyond the borders of the Islamic State’s territories who back the airstrikes, including the Iraqi government and the leaders of the semiautonomous Kurdish region. At least in some parts of the country, those allies are in a position to dispatch ground forces to capitalize on the airstrikes.

In Syria, the strikes have highlighted the absence of U.S. partners on the ground. Moderate rebels grouped in the Free Syrian Army were pushed out of the Islamic State’s northeastern strongholds during fierce fighting over the summer and now have no presence in the areas that are the chief target of the coalition attacks.

The one front on which the rebels are battling the Islamic State, in the northern province of Aleppo, has not seen any coalition airstrikes, even though rebels say they have asked for them.

Instead, the Syrian government launched a new offensive last week aimed at cutting off rebel supply lines to Aleppo city a few miles farther south, forcing the rebels to redirect troops from the fight with the militants.

Moderate rebels at risk
In Khan Sheikhoun, a front-line town in rebel-held Idlib province, the rate of government airstrikes has tripled since the U.S.-led attacks were launched, according to activists in the town.

“There’s a disconnect between a stated American policy that recognizes you need a credible local force on the ground and a campaign that is undermining those local forces,” said Noah Bonsey, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group who is monitoring the war from Syria’s northern border with Turkey. If the U.S. government doesn’t speed up plans to support the Free Syrian Army, “a year from now there might not be any moderate rebels left,” he said.

U.S. officials say they are aware of the need to accelerate the effort to train and equip an effective rebel force in Syria. Harf said a Pentagon team will be dispatched to Turkey next week for discussions on ways to do that. The White House strategy includes a $500 million program to train and equip 5,000 Free Syrian Army fighters, but that still has not begun.

“We don’t have a willing, capable, effective partner on the ground inside Syria right now,” Kirby said Wednesday. “It’s just a fact.”

Even rebels who have received U.S. support now have withdrawn their backing for the U.S.-led air campaign, which they had initially welcomed. Harakat Hazm, the group anointed with the first deliveries of U.S.-made antitank weapons this year, issued a statement calling the American effort “a sign of failure whose devastation will spread to the whole region.”

The rebels say they have been put in a difficult position in which they are being asked to support a strategy that has so far brought them no benefits and is regarded with suspicion by ordinary Syrians. They are now insisting they will not support the strikes unless the strategy is extended to include toppling the Assad regime — a position shared by Turkey, which hosts the rebel leadership.

“We have no problem with striking the Islamic State, but people think it is Syrians who are being targeted, which makes it difficult for the Free Syrian Army to support America,” said Salim al-Birin, a commander with the Fifth Legion, another group that has received U.S. support. “That is why we want strikes against the regime as well. Then maybe people would change their minds.”