Saturday READ – 11 October 2014
Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* HOPE AND DESPAIR GRIPS KURDS AS KOBANE CONTINUES TO RESIST
By Joris Leverink, RoarMag
ROAR editor Joris Leverink is in North Kurdistan on the Turkish-Syrian border to report on the battle for Kobanê and the Kurdish struggle for democratic autonomy. This is the first in a series of firsthand reports that will be published over the coming days.
After a couple of days in North Kurdistan, having spoken to a lot of people and having seen and heard more than my head can reasonably process, it’s time to share some observations and experiences. Two days ago, on Tuesday October 7, Kurds across Turkey, but especially in the country’s southeastern region, took to the streets in protest against Turkey’s role in the looming massacre of Kobanê. The size and intensity of the protests were unprecedented (at least since the violence of the 1990s), as was the reaction of the state. The opinion shared by most people I have met over the past few days is that this is the beginning of a new Kurdish uprising.
Before anything else, what has to be made absolutely clear is that the Kurds are not protesting to demand a military intervention by Turkey, as has been presented in several mainstream media outlets. Instead, the protesters — Kurds and sympathizers alike — demand an end to Turkey’s covert support for ISIS and for the border at Kobanê to be opened in order to let refugees out, and humanitarian aid and weapons in. Every single person I spoke to in Diyarbak?r, Urfa, Suruç and in the villages at the border agree about one thing: ISIS could never have grown as big as it did, and conquer as much of Rojava as it has done, were it not for the material, financial and logistical support the extremists received from the Turkish state. […]
* US EYES ‘BUFFER ZONE’ IN SYRIA ‘VERY VERY CLOSELY’
By Brandon Turberville, ActivistPost
As if any reasonably informed observer would be surprised, the United States is now eying the possibility of implementing a buffer zone in Syria “very very closely.”
On Wednesday, October 8, 2014, U.S. Secretary of State and Skull and Bones member John Kerry stated that “The buffer zone is an idea that has been out there. It is worth examining, it’s worth looking at very, very closely.”
The statement, demonstrating that the United States is edging ever closer toward the goal it has desired since the beginning of the Syrian crisis – a buffer zone – comes only days after Turkey’s parliament passed a resolution to allow the Turkish military to enter the sovereign territory of Iraq and Syria under the pretext of battling Western-backed IS militants.
The resolution also allowed foreign troops to use Turkish territory for the same purpose suggesting that the Incirlik air base may soon be used by the United States for its airstrikes against Syria.
Kerry’s statements echo those of other American officials such as General Martin Dempsey and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
According to the New York Times , Hagel stated that “We’ve discussed all these possibilities and will continue to talk about what the Turks believe they will require.”
Dempsey added that “a buffer zone might at some point become a possibility” although he also stated that it should not be considered imminent. […]
* POLISH DEATH SQUADS FIGHTING IN UKRAINE. CIA COVERT OPERATION?
By Nikolai Malishevski, Global Research
On May 11 a plane arrived at Kiev’s airport in strict secrecy; it was met by the airport’s military personnel rather than the civilian staff. NATO military uniforms, 500 packages of amphetamines, and containers marked as poisonous substances were unloaded from the plane. By order of the Kiev directorate of the SBU, the fighters, the cargo and the containers of poison were not inspected and left the airport in cars with tinted windows. The cargo was accompanied by CIA agent Richard Michael. Aboard the plane were also fighters from the Right Sector and the Polish private military company ASBS (Analizy Systemowe Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz) Othago, created several years ago by Poland’s current Minister of the Interior, B. Sienkiewicz.
According to available data (5), this Polish PMC lost 6 men during a punitive operation in Eastern Ukraine (the remaining casualties among foreign mercenaries working for the junta came from the American PMC Academi and its subsidiary PMC Greystone Limited, which lost 50 and 14 fighters, respectively, as well as the CIA and the FBI, with 25 casualties, 13 of whom were killed).
The Poles have been participating actively in the formation of death squads in Ukraine since September 2013, when Foreign Minister R. Sikorski invited 86 members of the Right Sector to train at the police training center in Legionowo, 23 km from Warsaw. The fighters, who came on the pretext of a university exchange program, were mostly men of around 40; they received a month-long training course in organizing mass protests, erecting barricades, seizing government buildings, street fighting tactics, shooting techniques, including from sniper rifles, etc. The Polish weekly Nie published a photo from Legionowo showing Ukrainian fascists dressed in Nazi uniforms alongside their Polish instructors in civilian clothing. […]
* THE TRUTH ABOUT CAPITALISM
By Atilio A. Boron, GreanvillePost
Not long ago the celebration of capitalist democracies, as if they constituted the crowning achievement of every democratic aspiration, found legions of adepts in Latin America, where the phrase was pronounced with a solemnity usually reserved for the greater achievements of mankind. But now that more than a quarter of a century has elapsed since the beginnings of the process of re-democratization in Latin America, the time seems appropriate to look at its shortcomings and unfulfilled promises. Do capitalist democracies deserve the respect so widely accorded them? In the following pages we intend to explore what democracy means, and then, on the basis of some reflections on the limits of democratization in a capitalist society, go on to examine the performance of ‘actually existing’ democracies in Latin America, looking behind external appearances to see their narrow scope and limits.
Let us begin by remembering Lincoln’s formula: democracy as the govern- ment of the people, by the people and for the people. Today this looks like the expression of an unreconstructed radical, especially in light of the political and ideological involution brought about by the rise of neoliberalism as the official ideology of globalized capitalism.
Well before this, democracy had already become completely detached from the very idea, not to mention the agency, of the people. Lincoln’s formula had long since been filed away as a dangerous nostalgia for a state of things irreversibly lost in the past.
What replaced it was the Schumpeterian formula, whose deplorable consequences are still strongly felt in mainstream social sciences: democracy as a set of rules and procedures devoid of specific content related to distributive justice or fairness in society, ignoring the ethical and normative content of the idea of democracy and disregarding the idea that democracy should be a crucial component of any proposal for the organization of a ‘good society’, rather than a mere administrative or decisional device.
Thus for Schumpeter it was possible to ‘democratically’ decide if, to take his own example, Christians should be persecuted, witches sent to the stake or the Jews exterminated. Democracy becomes simply a method and, like any other method, ‘cannot be an end in itself’.1 At the extreme, this approach turns democracy into a set of procedures independent of ends and values and becomes a pure decision-making model, like those which Peter Drucker proposes for the management of successful capitalist enterprises. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that democracy is much more than that. […]
* AN EBOLA OUTBREAK WOULD BE ADVANTAGEOUS FOR GLOBALISTS
By Brandon Smith, Alt-Market
t’s sad to say with such finality, but a universal fact of existence is that most of the people you meet in this life are fundamentally and functionally ignorant. Not necessarily stupid, but certainly ignorant. Ignorance comes not from a lack of intelligence, but from a denial of knowledge and truth. That is to say, ignorance takes hold when people decide to act as though they know and understand a thing, even if they do not. Ignorance prevails when a society or nation chooses to value the appearance of expertise, to value the theater of overconfidence, and to cheer for the bluster of morons rather than admit that they have unanswered questions on subjects they do not yet grasp. For nothing is worse for the self absorbed than to acknowledge that they do not know.
Entire nations have fallen throughout history because of this terrible weakness…
By extension, such ignorance is not just an inherent disease but also an easily exploitable disease. When we refuse to think critically and examine our surroundings thoroughly, we become like grazing gazelles oblivious to the predators encircling us in the tall grass. And, just as there are predatory individuals that hide amongst us, there are are also predatory oligarchs that camouflage themselves as benevolent politicos and financial professionals standing above us. Normal predators we fear, establishment predators we invite into our homes as protectors, saviors, and partners.
The disease of ignorance leaves us vulnerable to many other plagues, including literal plagues like the Ebola virus. When we take the establishment at its word concerning the threat of Ebola outbreak, we make ourselves vulnerable. When people assume that the worst could never happen to them, history shows us that it inevitably does. […]