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Archive for April 23rd, 2012

With the surprise breakthrough by the far-right in the first round of the French presidential poll, political pundits now say their supporters are in a key position to decide who becomes France’s next leader.

­Marine Le Pen’s National Front has demonstrated an unexpectedly strong performance in the first round, taking a record 18.06 per cent to grab third place. Thus setting a record score for the far-right in history and beating the results achieved by the elder Le Pen in 2002.

Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the National Front, stunned France in 2002 by winning 16.8 per cent of the first-round vote, beating Socialist Lionel Jospin to face conservative Jacques Chirac in a runoff.

Now his daughter is set to interfere in the upcoming race.

“The battle of France has only just begun,” Marine Le Pen told supporters on Sunday.

Media reports suggest she would give her view on the run-off at a May Day rally in Paris next week.

Meanwhile, pollsters differ in their estimates of how many of her supporters would swing behind Sarkozy, after he was trying hard to win over right-wing voters with hard-line policies on immigration, French jobs and the euro. The first opinion polls suggest the majority would still back the incumbent president.

Political writer Diana Johnson however has told RT that Marine herself will prefer to support Francois Hollande.

“She said she wants to be the leader of the opposition. Now that Sarkozy will fail, she will become the leader of the right opposition to the left-wing government,” she explained.

There is yet another force able to bear down the second round. Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon finished fourth in the first round with 11 per cent of the vote.

Backed by the Communist Party, he called on his supporters to put an end to the Sarkozy era and support Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande.

“Our people appear really determined to turn the page after the Sarkozy years,” he was cited by Euronews as saying to his supporters. “And I repeat very clearly, right now, there is nothing to negotiate. I call on you to meet again on May 6, without demanding anything in exchange, on 6th May to beat Sarkozy. I ask you to mobilize yourselves as if it was a case of making me president.”

source.

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A recent survey by IPSOS commissioned by the television station B92 in Serbia has determined that 70% of the public is totally against the entrance of their country into NATO. The main reason for this opposition to the choice of accession to NATO is obviously tied to the memory and still bleeding wounds of the so-called Operation Allied Force  conducted between March 24 and 10th of  June 1999, when about one thousand fighters and thirty warships of the U.S., British, German, French, Italian, Turkish, Norwegian, Spanish, Portuguese and other allied nations hit hard Belgrade and it’s surrounding areas, causing thousands of deaths and untold tragedies for the people of Serbia, which still damages them  now –  seen from the traces left on the young generations from  the infamous use of depleted uranium.

The perfidy of Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Defense Secretary William Coehn, was masked by the slanderous accusations made at the UN against the government of Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia, which would have perpetrated the massacres in former Yugoslavia during the conflicts previous years and over the question of Kosovo. Despite the veto imposed by Russia, NATO showed its aggressive nature bypassing the international organization’s  brokerage and continuing it’s stubborn imperialist projects. Completely disassembled during the trial, the charges against Milosevic faded like snow in the sun, leading to repentance for the “abuses” of the national survey also examined the Swiss-Italian Carla Del Ponte. But it was not enough. Slobodan Milosevic became known, officially the victim of a collapse, in gray prison cell in The Hague.

Today, after years of conflict and international crises, Kosovo continues to be an illegal state, led by Hashim Thaci, which unilaterally declared its independence in 2008 and has so far been recognized only by about 193 representatives from 89 countries the UN. Since August 1999, in the heart of this troubled region illegally torn from Serbia, stands Camp Bondsteel, the largest U.S. military base throughout the Balkans, which can hold up to 7000 units, logistical infrastructure and hundreds of military vehicles . Thus, the region of Kosovo has followed the fate of Krajina, Slavonia and Montenegro, torn away – between 1995 and 2006 – from the people of Serbia despite their having historical majority in these regions.

Again, just like during the Second World War, Catholic and Muslim fanaticism ravaged the Balkans and the South Slavs divided into dozens of factions fighting among themselves. The cruelty of the Ustashe Croatian and Bosnian mujahideen and Albanian NATO found a new political and military axis once again more militias ready to be utilized as sharp weapons against Serbia.

“The Serbian population in Kosovo should be removed as soon as possible. Serbian settlers should be killed “it was said in 1939 by  the Albanian fascist leader Mustafa Kruja who collected several divisions of the Bosnian Muslim SS, perpetrating one of the most tragic ethnic cleansing of Kosovo that history remembers. A similar effort was undertaken by the Croatian Ustasha, the Catholic fundamentalist militia led by Ante Pavelic  criminally  used by Rome and Berlin under pressure from the Vatican hierarchy, that between 1941 and 1945  massacred 800,000 Serbs.

The puppet Independent State of Croatia and the annexation of Kosovo Albanians (and consequently the increase in the presence of Muslim Albanians in the Serbian region) were therefore already  the historical result of criminally conducted operations in the Balkans by nazi-fascist imperialists,  failed attempts of nationalist Chetnik collaboration with the fallen Kingdom of Yugoslavia, that soon fell back on alliances with various ethnic groups in their  devices, from the North (Bosnia and Croatia) to the south (Albania). In those four years, the Serbs were forced to convert to Catholicism under threat of death: When asked to make the sign of the cross, thousands refused and instead gave the orthodox sign  (with the hand moving from right to left, instead of from left to right), and were tortured and even killed.

During these persecutions the Serbian Orthodox Church leaders were the first to suffer and sacrifice: the Bishop of Banja Luka Plato was killed in an unbelievably brutal. Together with an Orthodox priest arrested, father Dusan Jovanovic, was taken to the village of Vrbanja, where their beards were dug with a blunt knife, their eyes gouged out, their noses and ears cut off, and their bodies burnt with hot tools. Their bodies, along with those of several other martyrs of the clergy, were thrown into the river Vrbanja. Archbishop Pietro Zimonic Sarajevo Ustasha threatened by the danger in which it was said: “I am the shepherd of the people, and it is my duty to be with my people in good times and bad.” He was arrested and imprisoned by the Ustasha May 12, 1941, but before he was able to send a message to his priests: “Stay in your parishes, and whatever happens to the people, even your destiny.” He was tortured and humiliated, and then thrown into a pit to die, along with 55 Orthodox priests. The Archbishop of Zagreb Dositheus was arrested May 2, 1941, imprisoned, beaten and tortured in a prison by the police of the Ustashe, under the complacent eyes of some Roman Catholics who took part in the crime. Even the police chief of the Ustasha commented: “The Metropolitan was tortured so cruelly that it was hardly possible to put it on the train to Belgrade.” The Bishop Sava of Trlaic Plaski (Lika) was imprisoned and tortured June 13, 1941 in a barn along with several other priests. In mid-August of that year he was taken to Mount Velebit and thrown into a pit with numerous other Serbs. The Bishop of Dalmatia Irenei was imprisoned and later moved to Italy in a concentration camp near Trieste. Bishop Nicholas Velimirovic, then elected a saint by the Church in Belgrade, but was deported by the Germans to the concentration camp at Dachau.

The Patriarch Gabriel was among the first to protest and to unite the people of Serbia against Italians and Germans after the bombing of Belgrade in April 1941. He refused to escape from Serbia that was offered by the fallen monarchs and wanted to share the sufferings of his people: May 9, 1941 the Nazis arrested him along with several Orthodox priests to Ostrog, accusing him of theft of government property. As decided by the Germans, the sixty-patriarch, was forced to travel almost completely naked and on foot, for a whole month, from Ostrog in Belgrade. It is said that as he passed, Christians Serbs cry and kneel praying to God Almighty for the alleviation of suffering. Many members of the Orthodox clergy and monks were killed by Germans, Italians, Albanians, Bosnian Muslims and Croats before their churches and their monasteries, in some big cities like Krushevac, Kragujevac, Novi Sad and Mostar.

One of the great moral leaders of this massacre was the Catholic Cardinal Stepinac, “spiritual guidance” of Ante Pavelic in Croatia, praised publicly ridiculed by the Polish pope Wojtyla during a visit several years ago in Zagreb, thus confirming the role of agent and anti antiorthodox  instrumentally elected Pope of the Vatican at the behest of the CIA and National Security Council (the then CIA director, Robert Gates, confirmed in a 2004 friendly relations between longtime Karol Wojtyla and Zbigniew Brzezinski both originally from Krakow).

The breakup of Serbia and spatial dispersion of the Slavic Orthodox community in fact responds to a strategic objective pursued by various foreign powers, who return again and again in history. From the Ottoman Empire to the Nazi-Fascism, until reaching the current NATO imperialism, the main reasons for this cruel divide and rule appear to be two:

– Impede the effective consolidation of the nation and the community that is numerically most substantial in the entire Balkan region (over 10 million inhabitants of the Republic of Serbia, which would add  1.8 million in Kosovo, those of Montenegro, almost 40 % of citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the entire Croatian territory of Krajina and Slavonia), around which could be raised a new unified state of all the Balkan Slavs (Yugoslavia), no longer artificially equal and “atheist” as in the times of Marshal Tito, but to be guided by a  Serbian Orthodox majority.
– Weaken the political strength of Serbia and block access to the sea to block  Russia – its primary traditional international partner – taking advantage of the special relationship, and expanding its sphere of influence to the Adriatic.

It thus explains the fury of 1999 against the people of Serbia and the continued persistence of an attitude of defiance by the United States and European Union, that never payed for their  war crimes of thirteen years ago, now tries  to bring Belgrade to the ‘euro membership and entry into NATO, as well as various attempts to weaken the national culture and traditions, to which the Serbs, however, always respond with firmness and unity, as the patriotic demonstrations often demonstrate. The fundamental support of the Kremlin and the next general elections (presidential, parliamentary and local) to be held shortly, will shape the geopolitical position of a country that, after all these years, remains essential in its anti-imperialist function.

source.

any errors in translation solely the fault of the Green Star.

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Whilst the rest of the world’s population continues to pay for the global financial crisis with their jobs, homes, education and health, and as bankers continue to award themselves millions of dollars in bonuses, such as the UK bank Barclay’s Chief Executive, who last year alone earned no less than $26.9 million; the Venezuelan government has increased the percentage of net profits which banks must grant in credit to national social programs, demonstrating what a regulated and socially orientated banking system could look like for the rest of the world.

Published in the government’s official gazette this week, Venezuelan banks will now be obliged to contribute 15% of their yearly earnings to securing housing as a constitutional right for the nation, as part of a government drive to create a social banking system which contributes to the development of society as opposed to simply siphoning off its wealth.

The measures specify that of the 15% that Venezuelan banks will be obliged to invest in the public interest, 66% must go towards granting credits for house building projects, 26% towards credit for house buyers and 8% towards credit for carrying out improvements, extensions and self-construction projects on citizens’ first homes.

Importantly, of the 66% designated for house building projects, 55% must go directly towards the government’s Housing and Environment Ministry for the government’s Great Housing Mission, which aims to build 2.7 million free houses for low income families before 2019, whilst 40% of these credits must go towards the construction of houses for families whose household income is no more than 6 times the national minimum wage. Not only will the banks have to file a report each month with the state’s Housing and Environment Ministry to ensure that these specifications have been met, but the ministry’s bank will also select which construction projects are to receive financing.

“These resources are a product of an increase in deposits in current and saving accounts, that is why they should go towards, in agreement with the Law on Banking Activity, the areas that are considered to be a priority and to be in the national interest by the Executive,” said Ricardo Sanguino, President of the National Assembly Commission for Finance and Economic Development.

This is indeed a stark contrast to the United Kingdom, where last week it emerged that the government had been forced into handing over £20 billion in taxpayer’s money to UK banks so that they would finally lend to small businesses, which have been denied credit en masse since the financial crisis hit; despite the fact that small businesses provide more jobs than larger firms in the UK and that the government maintains that they will be key to the creation of employment in the future.

Social banking

It is not that Venezuelan financial speculators and bankers care more about the wellbeing of the national population, but rather that Venezuelans are in the fortunate position of having a national government which prioritises their life quality, wellbeing and development over the health of bankers’ and lobbyists’ pay checks. If the 2009 financial crisis demonstrated anything, it was that capitalism is quite simply incapable of regulating itself, and that is precisely where progressive governments and progressive government legislation needs to step in.

Following the 2009 financial crisis, the Chavez government undertook a series of measures aimed at reining in the unfettered speculation of the banking sector and subjecting it to state regulation. Today, 10 out of the 25 banking institutions now operating in the country belong to the state, with 6 of them being development banks.

As well as nationalising Venezuela’s third largest bank in 2008 and merging 4 banks in 2009 to create the government’s Bicentenary Bank, the government passed progressive legislation in 2010 with its Law on Banking Sector Institutions, which to the cries of the private media and speculators everywhere, defined the industry as one of “public service”. As a public service, this law specifies that 5% of banks’ net profits must go towards funding community council projects, designed and implemented by communities for the benefit of communities.

In terms of regulation, not only does this legislation limit the amount that banks can lend out in a single transaction to no more than 20% of their capital, but it also prevents banks from participating in brokerage firms and insurance companies, as well as from forming financial enterprises with other sectors of the economy; minimising financial risk taking and speculation. The law also protects bank employees by requiring banks to put 10% of their capital into a fund for wages and pensions which can be used in the event of bankruptcy.

According to other legislation also passed in 2010, the Law of the National Financial System, through restructuring the banking system, the government is attempting to “orientate the use and investment” of the banking system’s funds towards the “public interest,” in order to “really create a social state of law and justice”.  The Law of the National Financial System also outlines the legal framework through which the Venezuelan people can “participate and supervise the management” of the country’s financial system through “social control” of the sector. Again, a far cry from the UK, where banks such as Northern Rock were nationalised with public funds, with the profitable parts of the bank then being sold back to private sector hawks such as Richard Branson at half the price. With absolutely no referendum, consultation process or input from the UK taxpayer.

Right now in the U.S. and Europe, it is painfully clear that the banks are firmly back in control, with no concrete measures having been adopted to curb their autonomy. In financial hotspots such as New York and London, banks are what continue to make the world go round for the movers and shakers of the city, who continue to perpetuate the myth that banking institutions are great wealth creators and are as such untouchable.

In the midst of the human fallout from the banking crisis, it is hard to maintain this mantra. The movement of banks into speculation and stock broking has turned the international banking system into a global casino which has everything to do with the uninhibited flow of great sums of capital but nothing to do with the creation of wealth; much less to do with human development. In Venezuela, this vision is being reconceptualised so that banks have a socially productive role, as opposed to a parasitic one.

Evidently, it is the lack of initiative on the part of governments in the U.S. and Europe to bring banks back under the control of the state through regulation and legislation, and not the lack of an alternative, which has meant that the autonomy of the banks has gone virtually unchallenged in wake of the financial crisis. Because Venezuela has proved that, despite the globalised nature of the banking system, these changes can be implemented when the government is on the side of the people and not the financial institutions.

Whilst funds from banks in Venezuela are going towards the construction of free housing and the maintenance of social programs for the benefit of the country, paradoxically people in the U.S. and Europe are being forced out of their overly priced housing in order to maintain a defunct financial system. Not because there is no alternative, but because their governments continue to be wedded to the great wealth creators for the 1%.

Edited by Venezuelanalysis

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Zionist Mercenaries in Syria

By Lizzie Phelan

The marked failure by so-called pro-Palestine solidarity circles in the west to defend the resistant Syrian government lead by Bashar al-Assad becomes even more ridiculous as the evidence that the conspiracy against Syria is first and foremost against the interests of the Palestinian homeland grows with each day.
Over the duration of the crisis in Syria, a number of examples of close cooperation between the Syrian opposition and senior figures from the zionist entity (Israel) have surfaced in the media that is not controlled by the NATO and puppet GCC nations.
One of those included a telephone conversation between Radwan Ziyade and Mouhammad Abdallah from the so-called “Syrian National Council” begging Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack for more support.
There have also been numerous instances reported in Syrian media of Syrian security forces seizing weapons from insurgents that originate from the zionist entity.
The visit by staunchly pro-zionist US senatorsJohn McCain and Joe Liebrman to Syrian rebels in order to support their call for more weapons, was also unequivocal.
No doubt so-called supporters of Palestine will find some way to dismiss the latest proof that the conspiracy against Bashar al-Assad’s Syria plays directly into the hands of the zionists.
Yesterday, the Times of Israel covered Syrian rebel leader, Nofal al-Dalawibi’s, comments that Israel had nothing to fear from a Syria run by the rebels.
The same article acknowledges the tough time the zionist entity has confronted over the decades under Baathist Syria, a fact which self professed pro-Palestinians choose to ignore. It adds: “Dalawibi’s interview marked the potential beginning of a change from that mindset, should the Syrian opposition struggle prevail.”
The zionists are clear, Assad’s Syria is bad for them and good for the future of a Palestinian homeland. And those who claim to support Palestine but fail to defend Assad’s Syria are playing perfectly into the zionists hands.

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A review of the major causes Bernard-Henri Lévy has embraced over the past 30 years reveals that behind an apparently dissident discourse, he has consistently taken the side of established authorities. When he involves himself in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is as a propagandist for the Jewish State, as reveals this excerpt from The Impostor: BHL in Wonderland, an investigation by Jade Lindgaard and Xavier de la Porte on France’s most famous contemporary philosopher.

“As I’m Jewish, and a friend of Israel…” Even on Al Jazeera, where he introduced himself with those words in March 2011, Bernard-Henri Lévy has never hidden his support for the Israeli state. It is a constant in his public utterances, whether made in France, the US or Israel.

“He’s one of the great defenders of Israel, and he does it in fine, resonant language and with great physical courage, and I believe that that is how he is perceived here,” we were told from Jerusalem by Claude Sitbon, a sociologist and historian who knows the Israeli francophone community well.

The writer often goes there to give talks. He has an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University and another from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in addition to the Scopus Prize awarded by the French community of the latter establishment.

His rare social dexterity – unique for a French intellectual – gave him access to the top ranks of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF, also known by the Hebrew acronym, Tzahal), which found in Bernard-Henri Lévy one of their most zealous spokesmen. Indeed it is not unreasonable to suggest that over the years a close collaboration has been established between the writer and the IDF staff.

In January 2009, aiming to report on the Tzahal offensive in the Gaza Strip, he travelled “embedded … with an elite unit”, as he put it in an article published on three continents. So he describes entering after dark, accompanied by a major and four reservists, the Abasan al-Jadida district “in the suburbs of Gaza City”, and rejoicing not to find the sort of wholesale destruction visited on the city of Grozny, in Chechnya, or some parts of Sarajevo. The implicit message was that Israeli shelling had not been as destructive as claimed.

In fact, however – according to Le Monde’s Israel correspondent Benjamin Barthe – he was not in the outskirts of the Gaza capital at all, but in “a big village, more than 20 kilometres south of Gaza”. Contrary to what Lévy seems to believe, Abasan al-Jadida is not a suburb of Gaza City.

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