UKRAINIAN SOLDIER CONFIRMS: UKRAINE’S MILITARY SHOT DOWN MALAYSIAN MH17 PLANE

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U.S. allies got on board with that and agreed to hiked sanctions against Russia

by ERIC ZUESSE | INFOWARS.COM | DECEMBER 18, 2014

A Ukrainian soldier who was part of the crew that operated the supposed missile-battery that the Ukrainian Government claims shot down the Malaysian MH17 airliner on July 17th has testified publicly for the first time, saying that the missile-battery was operated by the Ukrainian military, not by the rebels as asserted, and that he and his former crew-mates who operated it laughed when they heard their Government say that this missile-battery was operated by rebels and had shot the airliner down.

An English-translated transcript of the December 15th Russian-language interview with this soldier was posted at UkraineWar.Info on December 17th by Michael Collins, an investigative journalist with UkraineWar.Info who has been following very closely the multiple investigations that are proceeding into the cause of the downing.

This testimony confirms the accumulating prior, already overwhelming and even-more-convincing evidence, which is linked to in my latest article on the topic, here, all of which evidence indicates that either one or else two Ukrainian fighter-jets intentionally shot this airliner down — that it was not an error by rebels who had mis-identified this airliner as being a bomber from the Ukrainian Government, such as the Ukrainian Government and its sponsor the U.S. Government claim.

Regarding the reason why the Ukrainian Government did this, it, too, is clear: U.S. President Obama needed a startling incident in order to obtain from the EU and other U.S.-allied nations their participation in heavily increased economic sanctions to weaken Russia. As soon as this plane was downed, both the Ukrainian Government and the Obama Administration claimed that they possessed convincing proof that it had been downed by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine’s former southeast. All U.S. allies got on board with that and agreed to hiked sanctions against Russia.

This “false flag” event (as such government fakeries are called in the intelligence communities) succeeded, just as did Hitler’s burning down the Reichstag and blaming it on leftists, which was the event that enabled him to seize total power in Germany.

THIS JUST IN (3:21PM Eastern time in U.S.) from Michael Collins: “George [Eliason, a third member of our team at UkraineWar.Info, and a resident inside the conflict-zone] says that due to the pub from the article, the ukraine govt took down their ‘damning’ pic of BUK 312 today and that the reporter who did the interview is underground and fleeing the country.”

So, the reason why Ukrainians are reluctant to go public about their lying Government is obvious. And, all of the ‘news’ media there are owned by Ukrainian, or, in some cases, by American, oligarchs. (The American ones do it through ‘nonprofit’ foundations they create, which are co-funded by the American Government. The U.S. oligarch then gets tax-write-offs, plus co-funding by U.S. taxpayers, to save him still more money on his scheme.)

EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

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The EU General Court has ordered that the Palestinian militant group Hamas be removed from the bloc’s terror blacklist. The move comes over four years after Hamas appealed its terror designation before the EU.

The European Union first banned Hamas’ military wing, the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in 2002, though the organization’s social and political divisions were not put on the terror list. Following a series of Hamas suicide bombings during the second intifada or uprising in September 2003, the EU extended the ban to include the organization as a whole.

On September 12, 2010, Hamas appealed the ban, largely on procedural grounds. In its complaint, the group cited a lack of due process, specifically, that it had not been properly informed the act was being implemented. It further asserted that as a “legitimately-elected government,” it cannot be labeled as a terrorist organization, saying such a designation flies in the face of “the principle of non-interference in the internal matters of a State.”

The court accepted the organization’s argument, saying that the decision to remove Hamas from the list was not based on an examination of Hamas’ activities, but rather on an examination of the procedures used to institute the 2003 ban in the first place. Unless an appeal brings closure, however, a funding freeze against the group and sanctions against its members will remain in place for three more months.

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The lawyer for Hamas, Liliane Glock, told AFP she was “satisfied with the decision.”

Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq lauded the decision, saying the court had righted an injustice done to the organization, which he said is a “national freedom movement,” and not a terrorist organization, the Jerusalem Post reports.

But a deputy from Israel’s major right-wing Likud party, Danny Danon, said, “The Europeans must believe that there blood is more sacred than the blood of the Jews which they see as unimportant. That is the only way to explain the EU court’s decision to remove Hamas from the terror blacklist.”

“In Europe they must have forgotten that Hamas kidnapped three boys and fired thousands of rockets last summer at Israeli citizens,” he added.

Shortly after the ruling, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the EU to keep Hamas on its list of terrorist organizations.

“We expect them to immediately put Hamas back on the list,” Reuters cites Netanyahu as saying in a statement. “Hamas is a murderous terrorist organization which in its charter states its goal is to destroy Israel.”

The EU and Israel have attempted to downplay the ruling, saying that groups standing within Europe as terror organizations will not change. Israeli and European officials say the court will be given a few months to rebuild its file against Hamas with evidence of the group’s activities, which will enable it to be placed back on the list of terror organizations, the Israeli news portal Ynet reports.

According to RT’s Paula Slier, Israeli politicians “across the political spectrum” have unanimously condemned what they call a “temporary” removal.

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According to Slier, EU officials have given Israel assurances that Brussels’ position has not changed, saying Wednesday’s ruling was a “technical” mistake. Officials from the 28-member bloc further said the court did not have sufficient authority to affect the entire EU’s position.

In the interim, however, EU member states will be empowered to establish diplomatic ties with Hamas.

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The EU ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, will meet with Israel’s Foreign Minister, Nissim Ben-Sheetrit, on Wednesday to discuss the matter, Israeli daily Haaretz reports. Faaborg-Andersen is expected to reiterate that the EU’s position on Hamas remains unchanged, and that a future decision to reclassify Hamas as a terror organization is forthcoming.

During the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, Hamas defeated the PLO-affiliated Fatah party and has governed the Gaza Strip for the past seven years. Some countries have treated Hamas as a terrorist organization, while others have not. While Australia, Canada, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Qatar, the US and the UK all treat Hamas or its military wing as a terrorist organization, other states, including China, Iran, Russia and Turkey, do not.

Hamas leaders have made several diplomatic trips to Russia to discuss a range of issues, from Palestinian reconciliation to economic relations.

New Russian sanctions bill to be signed by end of week – White House

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A new bill imposing further sanctions on Russia is to be signed by US President Barack Obama by the end of the week, a White House spokesman told a news briefing Tuesday.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama is expected to sign new legislation this week despite preliminary concerns about its content. “I would anticipate that it would get done before the end of the week,” he said.

However, he said that the bill has provided a degree of flexibility required by the president.

“That said, because it does preserve the president’s flexibility to carry out the strategy, he does intend to sign the bill,” Earnest said.

Obama was under pressure from both Republicans and Democrats after the Senate granted final approval to the bill late Saturday. The bill will see some $350 million provided to Ukraine by way of assistance.

“On behalf of the people’s House, I urge President Obama to sign this bipartisan legislation,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement on Monday.

The bill would additionally require the further imposition of conditional sanctions on the defense sector, such as penalties on state-owned arms dealer Rosoboronexport (among other defense companies) as well as connected individuals.

The ‘Ukraine Freedom Support Act’ does not make sanctions fully obligatory and allows Obama to have power over which parts of the bill to enforce.

However, “it does send a confusing message to our allies because it includes some sanctions language that does not reflect the consultations that are ongoing,” Earnest said.

The new sanctions come amid concerns over the stability of the Russian ruble, which nosedived Tuesday following a decline in oil prices and previous rounds of sanctions imposed by both the US and the EU.

ON THE BRINK OF WAR AND ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

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On occasion a reader will ask if I can give readers some good news. The answer is: not unless I lie to you

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS DECEMBER 13, 2014

On occasion a reader will ask if I can give readers some good news. The answer is: not unless I lie to you like “your” government and the mainstream media do. If you want faked “good news,” you need to retreat into The Matrix. In exchange for less stress and worry, you will be led unknowingly into financial ruin and nuclear armageddon.

If you want to be forewarned, and possibly prepared, for what “your” government is bringing you, and have some small chance of redirecting the course of events, read and support this site. It is your site. I already know these things. I write for you.

The neoconservatives, a small group of warmongers strongly allied with the military/industrial complex and Israel, gave us Granada and the Contras affair in Nicaragua. President Reagan fired them, and they were prosecuted, but subsequently pardoned by Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush.

Ensconced in think tanks and protected by Israeli and military/security complex money, the neoconservatives reemerged in the Clinton administration and engineered the breakup of Yugoslavia, the war against Serbia, and the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders.

Neoconservatives dominated the George W. Bush regime. They controlled the Pentagon, the National Security Council, the Office of the Vice President, and much else. Neoconservatives gave us 9/11 and its coverup, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the beginning of the destabilizations of Pakistan and Yemen, the U.S. Africa Command, the invasion of South Ossetia by Georgia, the demise of the anti-ABM Treaty, unconstitutional and illegal spying on American citizens without warrants, loss of constitutional protections, torture, and the unaccountability of the executive branch to law, Congress, and the judiciary. In short, the neoconservatives laid the foundation for dictatorship and for WW III.

The Obama regime held no one accountable for the crimes of the Bush regime, thus creating the precedent that the executive branch is above the law. Instead, the Obama regime prosecuted whistleblowers who told the truth about government crimes.

Neoconservatives remain very influential in the Obama regime. As examples, Obama appointed neoconservative Susan Rice as his National Security Advisor. Obama appointed neoconservative Samantha Power as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Obama appointed neoconservative Victoria Nuland as Assistant Secretary of State. Nuland’s office, working with the CIA and Washington-financed NGOs, organized the U.S. coup in Ukraine.

Neoconservatism is the only extant political ideology. The ideology is “America uber alles.” Neoconservatives believe that History has chosen the United States to exercise hegemony over the world, thereby making the U.S. “exceptional” and “indispensable.” Obama himself has declared as much. This ideology gives neoconservatives tremendous confidence and drive, just as Karl Marx’s conclusion that history had chosen the workers to be the ruling class gave early communists confidence and drive.

This confidence and drive makes the neoconservatives reckless.

To advance their agenda neoconservatives propagandize the populations of the U.S. and Washington’s vassal states. The presstitutes deliver the neoconservatives’ lies to the unsuspecting public: Russia has invaded and annexed Ukrainian provinces; Putin intends to reconstitute the Soviet Empire; Russia is a gangster state without democracy; Russia is a threat to the Baltics, Poland, and all of Europe, necessitating a U.S./NATO military buildup on Russia’s borders; China, a Russian ally, must be militarily contained with new U.S. naval and air bases surrounding China and controlling Chinese sea lanes.

The neoconservatives and President Obama have made it completely clear that the U.S. will not accept Russia and China as sovereign countries with economic and foreign policies independent of the interests of Washington. Russia and China are acceptable only as vassal states, like the UK, Europe, Japan, Canada, and Australia.

Clearly, the neoconservative formula is a formula for the final war.

All of humanity is endangered by a handful of evil men and women ensconced in positions of power in Washington.

Anti-Russia propaganda has gone into high gear. Putin is the “new Hitler.”
Daniel Zubov reports on a joint conference held by three U.S. think tanks.
The conference blamed Russia for the failures of Washington’s foreign policy. Read this article:http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20141205/1015538604.html to see how neoconservatives operate in order to control the explanations. Even Henry Kissinger is under attack for stating the obvious truth that Russia has a legitimate interest in Ukraine, a land long part of Russia and located in Russia’s legitimate sphere of influence.

Since the Clinton regime, Washington has been acting against Russian interests. In his forthcoming book, The Globalization of War: America’s Long War against Humanity, Professor Michel Chossudovsky presents a realistic appraisal of how close Washington has brought the world to its demise in nuclear war. This passage is from the Preface:

“The ‘globalization of war’ is a hegemonic project. Major military
and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken
simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan
Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US military agenda
combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions
geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.

“Under a global military agenda, the actions undertaken by the
Western military alliance (US-NATO-Israel) in Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Palestine, Ukraine, Syria and Iraq are coordinated at the highest
levels of the military hierarchy. We are not dealing with
piecemeal military and intelligence operations. The July-August
2014 attack on Gaza by Israeli forces was undertaken in close consultation
with the United States and NATO. In turn, the actions in
Ukraine and their timing coincided with the onslaught of the attack
on Gaza.

“In turn, military undertakings are closely coordinated with a
process of economic warfare which consists not only in imposing
sanctions on sovereign countries but also in deliberate acts of destabilization
of financial and currency markets, with a view to undermining
the enemies’ national economies.

“The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure
which threatens the future of humanity. As we go to press, US
and NATO forces have been deployed in Eastern Europe. US military
intervention under a humanitarian mandate is proceeding in sub-Saharan
Africa. The US and its allies are threatening China under President Obama’s
‘Pivot to Asia’.

“In turn, military maneuvers are being conducted at Russia’s
doorstep which could lead to escalation.

“The US airstrikes initiated in September 2014 directed against
Iraq and Syria under the pretext of going after the Islamic State are
part of a scenario of military escalation extending from North Africa
and the Eastern Mediterranean to Central and South Asia.
The Western military alliance is in an advanced state of readiness.

“And so is Russia.”

As I have often remarked, Americans are an insouciant people. They are simply unaware. Suppose they were aware, suppose that the entire population understood the peril, could anything be done, or have the insouciant Americans fallen under the control of the police state that Washington has created?

I don’t think there is much hope from the American people. The American people cannot tell genuine from fake leadership, and the ruling private elites will not permit real leaders to emerge. Moreover, there is no organized movement in opposition to the neoconservatives.

The hope comes from outside the political system. The hope is that the House of Cards and rigged markets erected by policymakers for the benefit of the One Percent collapses. David Stockman regards this outcome as a highly likely one. The collapse that Stockman sees as being on its way is the same collapse about which I have warned. Moreover, the number of Black Swans which can originate collapse are even more numerous than the ones Stockman correctly identifies. Some financial organizations are worried about a lack of liquidity in the fixed income (bonds) and derivatives markets. Barbara Novack, co-chair of Black Rock, is lobbying hard for a derivatives bailout mechanism.

David Stockman’s article is important. Read it until you understand it, and you will know more than most everyone. http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/12/david-stockman/duck-and-cover%E2%80%A8/

Many will ask: If the wealth of the One Percent is vulnerable to economic collapse, will war be initiated to protect this wealth and to blame the Russians or Chinese for the hardships that engulf the American population? My answer is that the kind of collapse that I expect, and that David Stockman and no doubt others expect, presents government with such social, political, and economic insecurity that organizing for a major war becomes impossible.

Whereas the political impotence of the American people and the vassalage of the Western World impose no constraints on Washington, economic collapse brings revolutions and the demise of the existing order.

As hard as collapse would make it for people to survive, the chances for survival are higher than in the event of nuclear war.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.

OPEC ‘collapsing as oil heads to $50 barrel’…

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Bank of America sees $50 oil as Opec dies
“Our biggest worry is the end of the liquidity cycle. The Fed is done. The reach for yield that we have seen since 2009 is going into reverse”, said Bank of America.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

The Opec oil cartel no longer exists in any meaningful sense and crude prices will slump to $50 a barrel over the coming months as market forces shake out the weakest producers, Bank of America has warned.
Revolutionary changes sweeping the world’s energy industry will drive down the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG), creating a “multi-year” glut and a much cheaper source of gas for Europe.
Francisco Blanch, the bank’s commodity chief, said Opec is “effectively dissolved” after it failed to stabilize prices at its last meeting. “The consequences are profound and long-lasting,“ he said.
The free market will now set the global cost of oil, leading to a new era of wild price swings and disorderly trading that benefits only the Mid-East petro-states with deepest pockets such as Saudi Arabia. If so, the weaker peripheral members such as Venezuela and Nigeria are being thrown to the wolves.
The bank said in its year-end report that at least 15pc of US shale producers are losing money at current prices, and more than half will be under water if US crude falls below $55. The high-cost producers in the Permian basin will be the first to “feel the pain” and may soon have to cut back on production.

The claims pit Bank of America against its arch-rival Citigroup, which insists that the US shale industry is far more resilent than widely supposed, with marginal costs for existing rigs nearer $40, and much of its output hedged on the futures markets.
Bank of America said the current slump will choke off shale projects in Argentina and Mexico, and will force retrenchment in Canadian oil sands and some of Russia’s remote fields. The major oil companies will have to cut back on projects with a break-even cost below $80 for Brent crude.

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It will take six months or so to whittle away the 1m barrels a day of excess oil on the market – with US crude falling to $50 – given that supply and demand are both “inelastic” in the short-run. That will create the beginnings of the next shortage. “We expect a pretty sharp rebound to the high $80s or even $90 in the second half of next year,” said Sabine Schels, the bank’s energy expert.

Mrs Schels said the global market for (LNG) will “change drastically” in 2015, going into a “bear market” lasting years as a surge of supply from Australia compounds the global effects of the US gas saga.
If the forecast is correct, the LNG flood could have powerful political effects, giving Europe a source of mass supply that can undercut pipeline gas from Russia. The EU already has enough LNG terminals to cover most of its gas needs. It has not been able to use this asset as a geostrategic bargaining chip with the Kremlin because LGN itself has been in scarce supply, mostly diverted to Japan and Korea. Much of Europe may not need Russian gas at all within a couple of years.
Bank of America said the oil price crash is worth $1 trillion of stimulus for the global economy, equal to a $730bn “tax cut” in 2015. Yet the effects are complex, with winners and losers. The benefits diminish the further it falls. Academic studies suggest that oil crashes can ultimately turn negative if they trigger systemic financial crises in commodity states.
Barnaby Martin, the bank’s European credit chief, said world asset markets may face a stress test as the US Federal Reserve starts to tighten afters year of largesse. “Our biggest worry is the end of the liquidity cycle. The Fed is done and it is preparing to raise rates. The reach for yield that we have seen since 2009 is going into reverse”, he said.
Mr Martin flagged warnings by William Dudley, the head of the New York Fed, that the US authorities had tightened too gently in 2004 and might do better to adopt the strategy of 1994 when they raised rates fast and hard, sending tremors through global bond markets.
Bank of America said quantitative easing in Europe and Japan will cover just 35pc of the global stimulus lost as the Fed pulls back, creating a treacherous hiatus for markets. It warned that the full effect of Fed tapering had yet to be felt. From now on the markets cannot expect to be rescued every time there is a squall. “The threshold for the Fed to return to QE will be high. This is why we believe we are entering a phase in which bad news will be bad news and volatility will likely rise,” it said.
What is clear is that the world has become addicted to central bank stimulus. Bank of America said 56pc of global GDP is currently supported by zero interest rates, and so are 83pc of the free-floating equities on global bourses. Half of all government bonds in the world yield less that 1pc. Roughly 1.4bn people are experiencing negative rates in one form or another.
These are astonishing figures, evidence of a 1930s-style depression, albeit one that is still contained. Nobody knows what will happen as the Fed tries to break out of the stimulus trap, including Fed officials themselves.