Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

UNGA: US vs. Egypt or a Bully vs. Diplomacy

by Oui Tue Sep 25th, 2018 at 09:17:07 PM EST

I refuse to give the US president a podium for his ugly rhetoric today at the United Nations. By contrast, I listened to the speech given by Egypt's president al-Sisi - a contrast of night and day or black and white.

More below the fold ...

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Game Changer R2P: Russia to Deliver S-300

by Oui Tue Sep 25th, 2018 at 08:27:32 AM EST

See my diary one week ago - Fucking Israelis Stirring Up Big Trouble.

Israelis have been left out of the loop by the Americans in the war effort in Syria. The diplomatic effort is now in the hands of three major players Turkey, Russia and Iran.

Here's what happened in the last 24 hours above Latakia ...

Russia Reports Il-20M "Coot-A" Electronic Intelligence Aircraft Lost in Syria During Israeli Air Strike Near Latakia | The Aviationist |

A Russian military Ilyushin Il-20M Coot-A spyplane has been reported as "down" at approximately 2300 local time (2000 GMT) on Monday Sept. 17, in the Mediterranean Sea off the Syrian coast. There were 14 crewmembers on board the aircraft according to multiple reports.

What happened after the Russian Ministry of Defense investigated the incident and loss of Russian lives ...

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Murder Inc. - Hatred of the American State

by Oui Mon Sep 24th, 2018 at 07:07:31 PM EST

I have never forgotten the ten thousands killed at the hands of rightwing military trained and led by US special forces in Central and South America. Murderers finding refuge inside the US.

Killing leftist oriented International journalists with impunity - US led guerilla warfare in Central America - the Fort Bragg death squads. The ugly business still exists to extend US Imperialism across the globe. We have endured these tactics in Afghanistan - Iraq - Libya - Syria and will continue in de future. Do not allow any US president or Ambassador to the UN lecture the world on Human Rights. A very BIG abuser is settled right in Washington DC.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Iran - 'look into the mirror'
Iran: Terror Strikes IRGC Forces In Parade

More below the fold ...

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Chequers is a red herring

by Frank Schnittger Sun Sep 23rd, 2018 at 08:30:58 PM EST

In all the hullabaloo about the EU's rejection of the Chequers proposals, one little detail has been forgotten: The Chequers proposals were never going to be part of the Brexit agreement in the first place. If agreed, they would have been part of the proposals for the future relationship between the EU and UK - as contained in a non-binding "Political Declaration" - to accompany the legally binding Brexit agreement.

The Brexit agreement itself is concerned mainly with the UK's exit payment, the treatment of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, and with the back-stop on the Irish border.  According to all parties, that Brexit agreement has been 90% agreed, and the UK even signed up to the EU's outline proposals on the backstop in December 2017.

Theresa May only got cold feet on the deal in March 2018 when the EU produced a legally enforceable text which defined how it would work in detail.[Pages 108-116 of attached draft Brexit Agreement (PDF)]. Realizing that a failure to secure full access to the EU Customs Union and Single Market would result in some kind of customs or regulatory difference and therefore control requirements between Great Britain and N. Ireland, she caved in to DUP pressure and declared no British Prime Minister could ever agree to this.

Except she already had agreed to it (in principle).  So the row over the EU rejection of the Chequers proposals (which had already been killed off by internal Tory party opposition before they ever got to Salzburg) is nothing but a red herring to distract attention from her real difficulty with the DUP. The political declaration to accompany the formal Brexit Treaty can be as vague or aspirational as she likes, referencing Chequers, Norway or Canada +++, but whatever it contains is not legally enforceable and won't be agreed in detail until towards the end of the transition period in any case.

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Iran: Terror Strikes IRGC Forces In Parade

by Oui Sat Sep 22nd, 2018 at 11:30:30 PM EST

Attack happened on day the Arab community celebrated Saudi National Day. Last year I was in the UAE.

Ahvaz National Resistance claims deadly attack on military parade in Iran | The National - UAE |

Dozens of people, including women and children, were killed in an attack on a military parade in southwestern Iran on Saturday.

The death toll of 25 was expected to rise after gunmen attacked the parade in Khuzestan province on Saturday. More than 60 people were injured in the attack.

Almost half of the victims were members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp, state news agencies reported, making it one of the worst attacks ever on the elite force.

President Hassan Rouhani warned of a "crushing response".

Continued below the fold ...

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Perfect Storm - May's Humiliation @SalzburgEU

by Oui Fri Sep 21st, 2018 at 05:50:40 AM EST

Frank’s excellent front page story how May’s breakfast in Salzburg was a primary stumbling block …

The Guardian puts the boot in

No sugarcoating from her (former) 27 EU colleagues. Time has run out. To save her party, May's destroying Great Britain and looking into the abyss ...

The Papers

More below the fold ...

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The Guardian puts the boot in

by Frank Schnittger Fri Sep 21st, 2018 at 12:48:05 AM EST


The Guardian has been excoriating Theresa May for her Salzburg performance: Macron puts the boot in after May's Brexit breakfast blunder:

The spin from Downing Street had been that Theresa May's meeting with her Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, shortly after breakfast in the margins of an EU summit in Austria, had been "relatively warm", albeit "frank". The dawning truth later that evening was that, in a premiership littered with missteps, May had made one of her worst errors of judgment as the two leaders and their teams met in a private room in Salzburg's Mozarteum University.

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Caesar Trump: Building His Enduring Fort In Poland

by Oui Wed Sep 19th, 2018 at 11:08:01 AM EST

Poland's new tactic for getting a U.S. military base? Pitch it as Fort Trump | Chicago Tribune |

US considering building 'Fort Trump' in Poland | Politico EU |

Poland's proposal for a permanent American base on its soil is controversial at NATO. Some allies view the idea as overly provocative toward Russia, and a potential violation of the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, an agreement intended to ease tensions that seems to prohibit the "permanent stationing of substantial combat forces" in Central and Eastern European countries. Poland has urged the U.S. to regard that provision as "moot" in light of Russia's recent military aggression in Ukraine.

Continued below the fold ...

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Day of reckoning approaches

by Frank Schnittger Wed Sep 19th, 2018 at 10:56:46 AM EST

We're now moving into the Brexit negotiation end-zone with EU leaders trying to give Theresa May as much cover as they can ahead of the Conservative and Labour Party conferences from September 23rd to October 3rd.  After that they will expect significant concessions form the UK side particularly on the Irish border back-stop to clinch a deal.

But the UK side is singing an altogether different tune and are doubling down on their reneging on last December's deal on the backstop. They claim that allowing N. Ireland to remain within the Customs Union would shatter the constitutional integrity of the UK, and that "no British Prime Minister would agree to this".

For the Irish government, this represents a particularly difficult dilemma, because a "no deal" Brexit - now being re-branded as a "World Trade rules Brexit" - could be just as damaging to the Irish economy as to the UK. Something has to give, and the UK is betting that the Irish government, or EU support for the Irish position, will be the first to fold.

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Money Talks ... The Arab World

by Oui Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 10:30:27 PM EST

Imran Khan's visit to Saudi Arabia and UAE will start a new era | Gulf News |

Dubai: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is being widely praised for his drastic steps, including the austerity measures he took within one month of coming into power.

His first official visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is even more commendable for it will largely be focused on the financial bailout plan for his country in addition to mending ties that saw a downward trend in recent years due to blunders committed by his predecessors.

Continued below the fold ...

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Fucking Israelis Stirring Up Big Trouble [Update]

by Oui Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 09:44:48 AM EST

[Update-1] To be added soon ...

3D Reconstruction of Il-20 Downing in Syria, Released by Russian MoD

After report by Russian MoD on investigation Israeli strike on Latakia, president Putin will take appropriate measures …

Russia Capable of Denying Israel Access to Syrian Airspace | Sputnik News |
S-300 missile system: Russia to upgrade Syrian air defences | BBC News |

END OF UPDATE

Follow-up diary to - Syrian Civil War - Endgame In Idlib?

Israelis have been left out of the loop by the Americans in the war effort in Syria. The diplomatic effort is now in the hands of three major players Turkey, Russia and Iran.

Here what happened in the last 24 hours above Latakia ...

Russia Reports Il-20M "Coot-A" Electronic Intelligence Aircraft Lost in Syria During Israeli Air Strike Near Latakia | The Aviationist |

A Russian military Ilyushin Il-20M Coot-A spyplane has been reported as "down" at approximately 2300 local time (2000 GMT) on Monday Sept. 17, in the Mediterranean Sea off the Syrian coast. There were 14 crewmembers on board the aircraft according to multiple reports.

Continued below the fold ...

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Belgium stands up for freedom of speech in Spain

by IdiotSavant Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 02:57:33 AM EST

Back in February, Spain sentenced rapper Valtonyc to three and a half years in prison for insulting the monarch. He promptly fled the country. Now, a Belgian court has refused to extradite him:

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PM May @BBC: My Deal or No Deal

by Oui Mon Sep 17th, 2018 at 06:31:24 PM EST

[Update-1] My follow-up diary: Perfect Storm - May's Humiliation @SalzburgEU.

Impersonating the Iron Lady ...

Inside No 10: Deal or No Deal? | BBC Panorama |

The Brexit deadline is looming - just weeks left to get a deal, just months until the country is due to leave the European Union. The stakes are high for Britain, and at the centre of it all is the prime minister. Theresa May has to strike a deal with the EU and convince the public and MPs that her plan is the best plan. The only alternative, the government say, is no deal at all. But many disagree - and her own party, the opposition and the country are divided. So what does the prime minister's plan really mean, and what else could we do?

At a crucial time for the country, Panorama has been inside Downing Street with Theresa May as she seeks to navigate Britain's negotiations with the EU.

Below is how foreign media covered PM May's interview ...


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Syrian Civil War - Endgame In Idlib? [Update]

by Oui Fri Sep 14th, 2018 at 06:54:05 PM EST

Will the West accept defeat in their attempt to overthrow Bashar Assad?
Will the Atlantic Alliance and NATO concede the intrusion of Russia/China/Iran in their backyard?

Will Netanyahu's rightwing government keep quiet in the coming weeks or intervene in Syrian politics?

[Update] See my new diary - Fucking Israelis Stirring Up Big Trouble

Will Germany's Merkel show military muscle to play the game with the "Big Boys" to keep her chance for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council?
Will Russia especially and Syria use the Idlib Battle for a lethal blow to the foreign jihadists holed up with no place to go?
Will Turkey manage to keep the border shut for Syrian civilians in the fear of letting terrorists into their country?
The US, UK, France and NATO allies are ready to make a devastating bombing campaign over Syria. Germany is willing to do their part although 75% of its citizens are opposed to intervene militarily.

One thing is guaranteed, lots of PROPAGANDA coming your way the coming days and weeks about the END GAME in Syria.

More below the fold ...

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Hungary and Poland: Rogue states threatening the EU?

by Frank Schnittger Fri Sep 14th, 2018 at 02:46:01 PM EST

Hungary and Poland pose worse threat to EU than Brexit

Unforeseen and shocking political developments in another member state have placed Ireland at the centre of the biggest crisis facing the EU. No, I am not talking about Brexit but the breakdown of the rule of law in Hungary and, particularly Poland.

Ireland's central role in this comes from a case that has come before the Irish High Court. Artur Celmer is wanted by the Polish authorities for trial on a number of charges including drug trafficking. An EU law called the European Arrest Warrant made the extradition of people from one member state almost automatic.

However, politics has intervened. In recent years, the Hungarian and Polish governments have been criticised for adopting increasingly illiberal policies, particularly in relation to judicial independence.

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The EU acts against Hungary

by IdiotSavant Thu Sep 13th, 2018 at 10:56:33 AM EST

Over the past few years, Hungary has been transforming itself into an authoritarian state. The government of Viktor Orbán has undermined human rights and the rule of law, attacked judicial independence, and shut down independent media. Not to mention being virulently Islamophobic. This is all a violation of European democratic norms, and its finally grown too much for the EU, which has voted to pursue disciplinary action against them:

Front paged by Frank Schnittger

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Europe's Four Freedoms - [Update]

by Oui Thu Sep 13th, 2018 at 08:41:51 AM EST

Big update with Opinion piece in The Guardian by Bernie Sanders - a man speaking his mind and from the heart!

The political urgency to "conquer" the former satellite states of the Soviet bloc of nations is coming home to bite the EU in its behind. The corruption in these states prevents real steps to close the gap to democracy, human rights and Europe's Four Freedoms principle. No leadership but ordinary politicians who belief in winning the next election as a priority above a vision for a future of the next generation. Just take a view on thousand years of "belonging" to the Christian European family [?] and where there is abuse of LGBT citizens.

Visionaries from the history of European integration

    "In all our future efforts we shall have to keep in mind that mankind cannot give concrete shape to all the potentialities with which Nature and History have endowed it, if it does not live in harmony with its time. The single market which we will institute for the first time represents one of the essential elements for achieving great developments in production. These developments are necessary and are possible, but only if we unite ... In these days when the first supranational institutions of Europe are being established, we are conscious of the beginning of the great European revolution of our time: the revolution which, on our Continent, aims in substituting unity in freedom and in diversity for tragic national rivalries, the revolution which tends to stop the decay of our civilization and to initiate a new Renaissance."
    [Jean Monnet - 1957]

More below the fold ...

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Brexit Negotiations Ending In Divorce Talks

by Oui Wed Sep 12th, 2018 at 05:53:07 PM EST

EU Commission president SAVAGES Theresa May's Brexit plan in State of the Union speech | Daily Star |

In an apparent attack on the Leave movement, Juncker said member states of the EU should "say 'no' to unhealthy nationalism" which is "riddled with poison and deceit".

Continued below the fold ...

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Dutch Gov't Admits Support for Salafist Jihadists in Syria

by Oui Mon Sep 10th, 2018 at 09:32:09 PM EST

A developing story ...

US citizens and its western allies have been LIED to and clouded by military propaganda from their governments. How many deaths did these criminal acts cause in Syria by extending the civil unrest. How many civilians have fled their homes and millions crossed into Europe causing an "immigration" issue which led directly to a conservative movement of white supremacy and a strong shift to right-wing politics across Europe.

It's all there for you to read in the archives of European Tribune and @BooMan. I have not been fooled.

[Update-1]

Netherlands supported Syrian jihadist group: report | Dutch News - NL Times |

Dutch gave support to terrorist groups in Syria | Nieuwsuur Investigative Report |

Pick-up trucks and uniforms

The investigation also shows that the Netherlands supplied Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-max pick-up trucks to Syrian rebels, among other things. The Netherlands also sent uniforms, satellite telephones, laptops, mattresses, backpacks and cameras. The rebels tell Nieuwsuur and Trouw that they are very satisfied with the Dutch help and that they are already using the goods received by the Netherlands in the armed struggle.

More below the fold ...

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We Need to Talk

by Cat Mon Sep 10th, 2018 at 05:42:00 PM EST

Social Media Executives Testify on Russian Interference in U.S. Elections is C-SPAN's title for the hearing in which Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg appeared before the US Senate Intelligence Committee last week. Colin Stretch, VP & General Counsel, Facebook, Sean Edgett, Acting General Counsel, Twitter, and Richard Salgado, Dir. of Law Enforcement and Information Security, Googgle appeared for US Senate Judiciary Committee questions last October. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook, has since reluctantly and alone responded to questioning about the company's data marketing and security policies from a joint session of US senate Judiciary and Commerce, Science and Transportation Committees, the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and EU Parliament

Chairman Burr, Vice Chairman Warner, Ms Sandberg, and Mr Dorsey began proceedings with opening statements (00:02:00 - 00:31:00), here omitted. Video recorded playback of opening remarks, prepared statements or transcripts of those bromides and platitudes have been archived by various publishers. The format of the hearing was divided into "seven-minute question re-rounds" allocated to committee members. The first segment of sworn testimony is here transcribed to emphasize that since public hearings in 2017 so-called tech companies, incorporated in the USA, fully co-operate with the federal government in telecommunication surveillance, the development of ad hoc US censor codes, as well as the arrests and prosecutions of suspected code offenders.

Lest you imagine immunity among foreign and "foreign-born" correspondents with whom US American citizens communicate, reconsider. Look to the intellectual and instrumental defenses of civil liberties granted by your own governments. How disorderly and lively are "democratic" institutions in your community?

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News and Views

 17 - 23 September 2018

by Bjinse - Sep 18, 72 comments

Your take on this week's news

 3 - 9 September 2018

by Bjinse - Sep 2, 158 comments

Your take on this week's news

 September Open Thread

by Bjinse - Sep 2, 22 comments

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet thread

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