Category Archives: Uncategorized

far be it from me to warn anybody of anything, but it’s a nice tune

the murid as usual the only grown-up in the room, maybe he’s jewish or sumpn

Syria: Attenuation of interest
El Murid, May 3 2016 00:15 MSK

From Syria almost daily there are reports about the unsuccessful attempts of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to stop the next attack of, or to counter-attack against Jabhat al-Nusra. In addition, Nusra in general have dramatically increased their mentions in the news. Reports of the offensive of the SAA by contrast become smaller. Several explanations for what is happening. First, Nusra grows her sworn groups of “moderate” militants. There is a collapse of the most “moderate” cohesion, showing only groups formed on ethnic, territorial or purely religious lines. In the ranks of “moderate” these groups occupy about a third of the total. The rest have serious fermentation, and gradually migrate toward Nusra, which operates in almost all the provinces of Syria, with the exception of those employed by ISIS. It is therefore logical that its numerical increase immediately leads to increase of references. The second point is that indeed, an offensive by the SAA is impossible. Six months of active operations without success could not fail to weaken and deplete it completely. In fact, in 2016, all offensive operations were conducted by a few SOF or by foreign PMCs. Other resources for offensive action was not found. Now it becomes clear picture of the capture of Palmyra: in fact, the Syrians were there on the strength of the quarter. The border with Lebanon in general, all under the control of Hezbollah, with rare presence of territorial forces of the Syrian (pro-Assad) militia and the SAA. Military mainly concentrated in Damascus, Latakia and Hama. The third point is associated with a sharp drop of interest in the Syrian events in the Russian media. No grand victories, the President said that the tasks have been completed, now the light goes on getting dimmer. Ahead of the elections, just a month and a half will need to shape the electorate to the correct opinion, so setting to “more positive.” Neither Ukraine nor Syria do not pull on the positive in our foreign policy, so they will be sweep under the rug. The second direction of propaganda in the coming months will be:

The enemies are not asleep, you cannot sway a throne, all unite, in general, pure Inhabited Island: “There, behind the crest of the hollow, the insidious enemy… the levers themselves and – forward.”

враги не дремлют, нельзя шатать трон, все сплотимся, в общем, чистый Обитаемый Остров: “Там, за гребнем лощины, коварный враг… Рычаги на себя и – вперед.”

The moral of the Russian sci-fi film cited, is that there are better ways to deal with a television-brainwashing empire than just by taking over the brainwashing. This I just found on the Antiquaries Forum (as you can see from the irritating “watermark”): Hello from Graham and the preternaturally beautiful procurator of the Crimean Republic:

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anna_sv takes a dim view of this installation, which appeared on Sofia Square, in the heart of Kiev, facing Hagia Sophia — Orthodox shrines of ancient Russia. Large decorative egg, painted under the swastika, established as part of the Easter exhibition in front of the Cathedral of St Sophia. The author of the work is the artist Natalia Voytenko. “Aryan Pasca. Pysanka ‘Swasta'”, so she called his art. It’s not assholes or freaks, they are children of Satan.

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MI5 is pretending to be ISIS, AQ or both to recruit jihadis, nothing fake about that

Britain’s covert propaganda bid to stop Muslims joining ISIS
Ian Cobain, Alice Ross, Rob Evans, Mona Mahmood, Nick Fielding, Safak Timur, Graun, May 2 2016

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HMG has embarked on a series of clandestine propaganda campaigns intended to bring about “attitudinal and behavioural change” among young British Muslims as part of a counter-radicalisation programme. In a sign of mounting anxiety across Whitehall over the persuasiveness of ISIS’ online propaganda, a secretive Home Office unit has developed a discreet multi-million-pound counter-messaging operation that it says privately is running at “industrial pace and scale.” However, the methods of the Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU), which often conceal the government’s role, will dismay some Muslims and may undermine confidence in the “PREVENT” (a pindo-style acronym for morons to grasp in the bath – RB) counter-radicalisation programme, which already faces widespread criticism. One RICU initiative advertises itself as a campaign providing advice on how to raise funds for Syrian refugees, and as such has had face-to-face conversations with thousands of students at university freshers’ fairs, without any of the students realising they were engaging with a government programme. That campaign, rather unimaginatively entitled “Help for Syria,” has distributed leaflets to 760,000 homes without the recipients realising they were government communications. Much of RICU’s work is outsourced to a London communications company called “Breakthrough Media Network (BMN)” which has produced dozens of websites, leaflets, videos, films, Facebook pages, Tweets and sound-bites with titles such as “The Truth about ISIS” and “Help for Syria.” BMN also organises events at schools and universities, and works closely with a number of grass-roots Muslim organisations to disseminate messages and campaigns that the company has developed as part of its RICU contract. BMN also helped form a PR company that promoted the work of the grassroots organisations to journalists. The community groups said their relationship with RICU helps them get their own messages to a wider audience, and that they retain editorial control over counter-radicalisation communications. However, a series of RICU and BMN documents seen by the Graun show that RICU privately says it is the one retaining editorial control, including over the products produced as part of these partnerships. In one document, BMN suggests that while the community groups are consulted at several stages of the project, final approval should remain with RICU. A former BMN employee said communications campaigns were designed according to objectives set by RICU, and that the government closely oversaw the progress of products and had final sign-off. The messages are targeted at the same audience as “PREVENT”, defined as British Muslims, particularly males, aged 15 to 39. The Home Office is highly defensive of RICU’s work. One senior boxtop acknowledged the unit was engaged in propaganda campaigns, but said:

All we’re trying to do is stop people becoming suicide bombers.

The Home Office Intelligence and Security Committee, which oversees RICU, says it believes the unit’s work is an important element of the PREVENT strategy (that’s not saying much – RB). Andrew Stunell, a former Lib Dem minister who was involved in drawing up counter-extremism policies in the coalition government, said he believed it to be “sound and reasonable” to support community groups that were promoting moderation, but that he was “neutral” on the question of whether government involvement should be acknowledged admitted. Several other former government ministers familiar with RICU’s work insisted it was an essential component of the government’s efforts to counter ISIS propaganda. They declined to be identified, one saying this was because the work was classified. One former minister said it would be “naive” to suggest the government could openly communicate its counter-radicalisation messages. But another, while broadly supportive of RICU, said he believed the deception involved in the dissemination of the messages could damage trust between the government and Muslim citizens. Critics of RICU’s behavioural change programme say they fear it could cause serious damage to the relationship between the government and Muslims. Imran Khan, the human rights lawyer who represented the family of murdered London teenager Stephen Lawrence, said:

If the government wants its Muslim citizens to listen to it, it needs to be trusted. And to be trusted, it needs to be honest. What is happening here is not honest, it’s deeply deceptive. Furthermore, this government needs to stop thinking of young British Muslims as some sort of fifth column that it needs to deal with.

Frances Webber of the Institute of Race Relations said the programme risked undermining rather than amplifying the work of Muslim civil society, if it appeared that groups had been co-opted to a government agenda. She said:

The community groups are in a double-bind. If they don’t disclose government support, and it’s revealed, they lose trust. If they do disclose it, they lose trust. The government should be asking itself, why is that? The answer is that the whole PREVENT model is bollocks irretrievably tainted. The government’s counter-radicalisation policy is trying to channel thought, speech and ideas into a fairly narrow concept of what’s acceptable and everything else is becoming potentially pre-criminal.

Some senior government boxtops who have been closely involved with PREVENT also have severe misgivings about how RICU’s programme is being delivered, and believe some PREVENT initiatives have been poorly conceived and not properly evaluated. One said:

PREVENT isn’t working. We know that, because PREVENT isn’t preventing. (This is stating the obvious contradiction. But in fact, PREVENT is working, doing what it is really supposed to do, which is recruit Jihadis but for overseas use, the same old garbage principle this entire Jewish-originated GWOT is based on – RB)

The aim of the propaganda campaign is set out in a series of documents. “Help for Syria” for example describes itself as “providing advice and guidance for anyone who wants to raise money and aid for Syria.” It was “designed, delivered and maintain” on behalf of RICU and the FCO to “influence conversations among young British Muslims” and reduce the desire to travel to the region. RICU staff, who include social psychologists and anthropologists as well as counter-terrorism officials and marketing strategists, describe their work as strategic communications rather than propaganda. BMN privately says that one objective of its RICU work is to promote “a reconciled British Muslim identity.” BMN goes to considerable lengths to conceal RICU’s involvement in its work. A number of staff are security-cleared, and new recruits are expected to sign non-disclosure agreements. The company has also offered to wipe computer hard drives after work has been delivered to the Home Office and to use mobile phones that can be disabled if lost or stolen. BMN is understood to say (this means they granted an interview but on condition of denying they had done so – RB) that its relationship with RICU is not covert and that it is up to the community groups to decide whether they disclose the government’s support. However in documents seen by the Graun, BMN says:

(We accept that) any content or messaging attributed to the state, are highly unlikely to have any credibility among these audiences. (Disclosure of the government’s role would have a) negative impact on … the product, RICU, PREVENT and the Home Office’s reputation.

Several sources say some of the campaign material has been tested on focus groups of young British Muslims without acknowledging its connection to PREVENT. One of RICU’s primary tasks is to monitor online conversations among what it describes as vulnerable communities. After products are released, RICU monitor “key forums” for online conversations, one of the documents says, in order to “track shifting narratives.” Strategic communications is defined by the UK government as “the systematic and coordinated use of all means of communication to deliver UK national security objectives by influencing the attitudes and behaviours of individuals, groups and states.” With the public unaware of how strategic communications operations are being conducted, the government has made a number of public announcements about its investment in such campaigns. Last September, Cameron announced at the UN in New York that his government would spend £10m on a “strategic communications cell,” in order to wage what he candidly described as a “propaganda war” against ISIS. The Home Office issued a statement saying it was working with communities, civil society groups and individuals to counter the “twisted narrative” of terrorists and extremists. It said:

We are proud of the support RICU has provided to organisations working on the front line to challenge the warped ideology of groups such as Daesh and to protect communities. This work can involve sensitive issues, vulnerable communities and hard-to-reach audiences, and it has been important to build relationships out of the media glare. We respect the bravery of individuals and organisations who choose to speak out against violence and extremism and it is right that we support and protect them. Our guiding principle has to be whether or not any organisation we work with is itself happy to talk publicly about what they do. At the same time, we are as open as we can be, and have referenced the role of RICU in publications and in parliament.

The Graun understands that the Home Office and the Foreign Office are about to embark on an expanded programme of strategic communications initiatives. (This is either a threat, or a coded way of saying they are going to scrap all these bullshit organs staffed by assholes and bigots and sadistic career spooks with no morals except those of the global underground of gangsters, but I doubt they will do that, cos they themselves are just the same global gangsters themselves, no more and no less – RB).

2922Why does he always look like he’s sucking cock when he’s preaching? – RB

merkel couldn’t have fucked this up more completely if she’d been paid to, which means she probably was

German comedian says Merkel “served him up for tea” to Erdogan
Madeline Chambers, Thorsten Severin (such a name! – RB), May 3 2016

Boehmermann on TV  in Hamburg, Aug 21 2012. (Photo: Morris Mac Matzen/Reuters)

The German comedian under investigation by prosecutors for mocking Erdogan accused Merkel on Tuesday of “filleting” him and serving him to Erdogan for tea in his first public comments since the row broke. Merkel drew heavy criticism for allowing German prosecutors to pursue a case against Jan Boehmermann after he recited a poem on television in March suggesting Erdogan engaged in bestiality and watched child pornography. Erdogan demanded Germany press charges against Boehmermann. Turkish prosecutors have currently over 1,800 cases open against people who have insulted Erdogan. Under Germany’s criminal code, insults against foreign leaders are illegal, but the government can decide whether to authorize prosecution. Boehmermann pulled no punches in his interview with Die Zeit weekly, saying:

The chancellor must not wobble when it’s a matter of freedom of opinion, but instead she filleted me, served me for tea to a highly-strung despot, and made me into a German Ai Weiwei.

The diplomatic spat is a headache for Merkel as it makes her vulnerable to accusations she wais getting too cozy with Erdogan. Critics have accused her of ignoring human rights violations and press freedoms in Turkey. Merkel is widely seen as causing the problem in the first place, because she described the poem to Davutoglu as “deliberately insulting,” something she herself has said was “in retrospect a mistake.” Prosecutors in Mainz who are dealing with the case said it was unclear when a decision would be made on whether to go ahead.

yesterday i saw a jpost story which claimed that ammonium chloride was an explosive, i guess highschool science is out of fashion

Kenya police foil anthrax attack by ISIS-linked group
BBC, May 3 2016

_89562250_kenyacompositeAbdi Ali, Nuseiba Mohammed Haji & Fatuma Mohammed Hanshi – RB

Kenyan police say they have foiled a large-scale biological attack using anthrax by a terror group with links to ISIS. A man, his wife and another woman have been arrested. Rewards have been offered for two other men. Police did not name the network, but said it stretches across the country and outside its borders, including to Somalia, Libya and Syria. There was no immediate independent confirmation. The police said in a statement that Mohammed Abdi Ali, a medical intern at a Kenyan hospital, was in charge of a “terror network planning large-scale attacks akin to the Westgate Mall attack.” They say he was also “engaged in the active radicalisation” of students, and helped recruit Kenyans “to join terror groups in Libya and Syria” (which probably means he was a recruiter for the CIA – RB) The statement says the network included medical experts who could help organise a biological attack using anthrax. His wife Nuseiba Mohammed Haji was arrested in Uganda along with her friend Fatuma Mohammed Hanshi. The police said accomplices had gone in to hiding, including Ahmed Hish and Farah Dagane, who are medical interns. Police described them as armed and dangerous and offered two million Kenyan shillings ($20k) for information leading to their apprehension.

i probably need to explain the inherent absurdity of this story, for the benefit of those still brainwashed by stupidity

Yeah, I probably need to explain that above a certain level in the Global GWOT, everything is fake, without exception. Don’t worry, you beautiful and blessed females of the indubitably chosen-by-something race, I love you anyway – RB

Nigerian boxtops stole $15b from imaginary anti-Boko Haram campaign
BBC, May 3 2016

_89554174_gettyimages-486154288Note the properly haughty look, which bespeaks a man of integrity – RB

About $15b was stolen from the supposed crusade against Boko Haram in Nigeria under the previous government, diverted through fraudulent arms contracts, Vice-Pres Osinbajo says. Several allies of ex-Pres Goodluck Jonathan, who held office from 2010 to 2015, have been put on trial after being accused of awarding fake arms contracts worth $2b. Pres Buhari, who came to office last year and whose dignified visage you see above, has vowed to fight corruption and recover “stolen funds.” Those facing charges included former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, ex-military chiefs and several contractors. Speaking at a university in Ibadan, Osinbajo said the amount stolen was more than half of Nigeria’s current foreign exchange reserves of $27b. Trying to sound as much as he could like Pindosi TV gangbusters, he opined:

It is important to send a message that no public officer can steal the resources of this country and expect to escape.

As a result of all this Pindo-induced GWOT racketeering and military fraud, Nigeria is facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with two-thirds of the country’s 36 states struggling to pay salaries to workers. The government says it inherited an “empty treasury” when it took office last year. Pres Buhari’s political opponents accuse him of waging a witchhunt against the previous administration (which is normal in these splendid Pindo-advised democracies worldwide – RB). During Jonathan’s rule, soldiers complained that despite the military’s huge budget, they were still almost completely unequipped. Meanwhile, Boko killed thousands of people in north-eastern Nigeria and kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls to use as sex slaves. Score another point for Pindo military education.

this jew dowsed a 16-year-old arab with gasoline and burned him to death

Actually, it’s even worse than that, but there’s only so much I can get in a headline. According to court testimony, On the morning of the murder the three assailants drove to East Jayloomia around 4am. They found Abu Khdeir alone, sitting on a ledge behind his home as he waited to greet relatives. It was Ramadan and Abu Khdeir was preparing to attend morning prayers at a mosque across the street from his house. Pretending they were lost and in need of directions, Ben-David and the two minors waved Abu Khdier over to approach their car. With the ruse, the three were able to quickly shove him into the back of their vehicle and speed off. They proceeded to beat Abu Khdeir and poured gasoline down his throat. The victim reportedly struggled throughout, and ultimately was set on fire while still conscious. His body was dumped in a West Jerusalem field and recovered by police after sunrise – RB

Israeli Jew gets life for burning Arab teenager to death
AAP (Australian), May 3 2016

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A Jew convicted of conveniently burning to death an Plastelinan Arab teenager and thus providing the provocation which made possible the 2014 attempt at genocide in Gaza, has been sentenced to life in prison. The Jayloomia District Court on Tuesday sentenced Yosef Haim Ben-David, who organised the killing of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair, to life, with an additional 20 years for other counts to be served consecutively. In Israel a life sentence usually means around 25 years. Two Jewish youths who helped Ben-David abduct the teen, who was burned alive, were sentenced in February, one to life imprisonment and the other to 21 years. All three defendants had confessed and said the Jul 2 2014 murder in Jayloomia was revenge for the killing days earlier of three young Jews by Hamas (fabrication) in the occupied West Bank (sic – RB). Ben-David, 30, attempted an insanity plea but after receiving psychological assessments, the court ruled he “fully understood his actions” and found him guilty last month.

Killer of Plastelinan Arab teen gets life, but parents fear he’ll go free
Charlotte Silver, Electronic Intifada, May 3 2016

2016-5-3-abu-khudair-epalivetwo131807Relatives hold pictures of Muhammad Abu Khudair outside the court in Jayloomia (Photo: Abir Sultan/EPA)

Nearly two years after 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudair was snatched from outside a mosque in occupied East Jayloomia, driven to a forest, bludgeoned with a crowbar, doused with fuel and burned alive, the ringleader of his murder has been sentenced to life imprisonment plus 20 years. The victim’s parents have expressed doubts, however, that Yosef Haim Ben David will serve the full term. Right before his sentence was handed down in Jayloomia, Ben David uttered his first apology since the trial began, telling the court:

I apologize for what happened. I used to work for ZAKA, and attended to both Jewish and Arab bodies (ZAKA, an ultra-orthodox non-state entity, is tasked by its religious directors to collect Jewish remains only, unlike the Red Hexagram (MDA) state ambulance service. It is known for not only ignoring Arab dead, but preventing Red Crescent ambulances from collecting them – RB). I always considered the human image and respect for the dead to be holy. I ask forgiveness of the family for all that happened.

But the Israeli Jewish, I assume Charlotte means in her usual Ali-commanded way – RB) prosecutor said, (reasonably enough really, considering what it must be like to be kidnapped and burned alive at the age of sixteen years old, just because of the colour of your skin; kinda thing Pindosis don’t have much knowledge of, I reckon – RB):

The defendant committed inconceivable and repulsive acts. He committed these barbaric acts, (he says,) motivated by revenge. Revenge for whom? For the family of the kidnapped, who said that they didn’t want revenge?

The prosecutor was referring to the three Israeli Jewish teenagers abducted and killed in the occupied West Bank. Their bodies were found just days before Muhammad Abu Khudair was killed. Ben David and his two accomplices, then 16 years old, kidnapped Muhammad in the pre-dawn hours of Jul 2 2014. Within two weeks, the three had confessed to planning and executing the killing of Muhammad. The minors, whose names have not been released (except by R Silverstein of course – RB), were sentenced by a Jayloomia court in February, one to life in prison and the other to 21 years. They were also ordered to pay Muhammad’s family about $8k in compensation. During their trial, the minors claimed that Ben David had conceived of the idea to avenge the murder of the three Israeli Jewish teenagers and that they had participated only reluctantly. But following their initial confession, the police announced that the three suspects had “made a group decision to kidnap and murder an Arab.” According to the indictment, both minors had restrained Muhammad in the woods and one of them choked him until he passed out. Ben David never denied responsibility for the killing, but made an insanity plea that was rejected by the court last month. Following Tuesday’s sentencing, Muhammad’s mother, Suha Abu Khudair, expressed doubt that Ben David would serve his full sentence, as Israel has a long, long history of releasing killers of Plastelinans ARABS early.

Much more frequently, Israelis JEWS who commit violence against Plastelinans ARABS enjoy impunity, which means they are rarely tried or convicted in the first place. Throughout the trial, Muhammad’s parents expressed strong dissatisfaction with the process and with repeated delays. Noting the unequal treatment of Plastelinans ARABS and Jews by Israel’s two-tier apartheid legal system, his father Hussein Abu Khudair asked:

Why haven’t they demolished the homes of these three murderers?

He was referring to Israel’s policy of punitive demolitions, used only against Plastelinans ARABS. After the sentencing on Tuesday, Abu Khudair repeated his demand for the homes of his son’s killers to be demolished. While the prosecutor told judges that the families of the three Israeli JEWISH teenagers had cautioned against revenge for their sons’ killings, that was not true of ol’ Bibi, who was citing Bialik just days before, to wit:

Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created.

But he added his own twist:

Neither has vengeance for the blood of three pure youths, who were on their way home to meet their parents, who will not see them anymore.

Netanyahu called the killers of the Israeli JEWISH teenagers, whose identity was not known but assumed to be Plastelinans ARABS, “human animals.”

While Ben David and the two youths who helped him kill Muhammad Abu Khudair are now in prison, there has been no accountability for Israel’s top leaders who whipped the population into a racist frenzy and who have incited violence and vengeance again and again.

jackass displays his personal preference for teenage hollywood gangster phraseology

Jackass warns Assad of “repercussions” if truce fails
Lesley Wroughton, David Alexander, Reuters, May 3 2016

FASCHINGSTEIN – Jackass Kerry warned Assad on Tuesday of “repercussions” if he does not stick to the bafflingly selective imposed ceasefire and move forward with a political transition, ie get lost. Jackass said he hoped that diplomatic efforts could restore the ceasefire to include Aleppo. He told reporters a day after emergency meetings in Geneva:

If Assad does not adhere to this, there will clearly be repercussions, and one of them may be the total destruction of the ceasefire, and then go back to war. I don’t think Russia wants that. I don’t think Assad is going to benefit from that. There may be even other repercussions being discussed. The line they are trying to draw now would prohibit any kind of incursion of Aleppo! It will not allow Aleppo to fall! If Assad’s strategy is to somehow think he’s going to just carve out Aleppo and carve out a section of the country, I got news for you, and for him! This war doesn’t end! It is physically impossible for Assad to just carve out an area and pretend he is somehow going to make it safe, while the underlying issues are unresolved in this war!

It was unclear what Jackass meant by repercussions (or to put it more simply, Jackass himself plainly was winging it through the blue sky of striking sound-bites, and in fact had no idea what he was saying, as usual – RB). Obama admin boxtops previously warned of consequences for Assad’s action in the country’s long-running civil war, but critics say Faschingstein has failed to follow through with a more aggressive response (like levelling the city of Damascus to the ground and building a new capital called something like “Aelia Capitolina” on top of the ruins and putting the Toads in charge of it, would just about make the point that you don’t argue with Uncle Sam – RB). Jackass said that without a ceasefire in Aleppo, the violence there was in danger of spiralling out of control (the Syrian Arab Army would certainly retake the city from the Pindo-supported al-Qaeda franchisees currently in possession of it). The plan now being worked on to ensure a more lasting ceasefire would try to separate rival forces from militias which are not covered by the ceasefire (ie Nusra, the AQ franchisees, who are the only effective pro-CIA people currently in the country, because the Toads are not so stupid as to send in their own SOF unless the CIA tells them to – RB).

Nusra rips out some guy’s heart on the battlefield (& films it, woo hoo)
JPost, May 3 2016

On Monday, fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra executed a guy from Jaysh al-Islam in the Damascus suburb of east Ghouta and ripped out his bleeding heart from his dead body (on camera). Fighters from Jaysh al-Fusfat, a coalition headed by Nusra, captured Mohammad Amer Hawa, shot him in his head and in his neck, cut out his stomach and then ripped out his heart. Hawa’s execution aroused a bit of a furor on Syrian social media networks, where a growing number of Jihadis lashed out at Nusra, saying it’s no different from ISIS. They emphasized that victim so ruthlessly slaughtered by Nusra was a devout Muslim who adhered to his religious duties, not an apostate who should be killed. This atrocious incident is just another part of the ongoing bloody fighting between Nusra and Jaish al-Islam over control in the strategic region of east Ghouta (which as you remember was the place where the sarin mass murder occurred, because the local thugs couldn’t handle the Toad-donated sarin bomb which they were supposed to explode & blame on Assad – RB).

if pindostan was strong enough to impose the eu in the first place, it is also strong enough to maintain it, against the remains of national sovereignty

EU may levy heavy fines against member states that defy directives on migrants
James McAuley, WaPo, May 3 2016

PARIS — In a blatant slap at the EU’s authority, Hungary’s Supreme Court on Tuesday paved the way for a referendum defying an EU order to resettle tens of thousands of migrants among member states. The proposed popular vote has long been pushed by Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, whose outspoken anti-immigrant platform and distaste for EU leadership are well documented. The referendum would be a direct affront to Brussels boxtops and to Angela Merkel, who have been pushing for a permanent system of mandatory migrant quotas across the EU. The Hungarian vote is expected to be held this year, and its results will be valid if voter turnout exceeds 50%. When they vote, Hungarians will answer the following question:

Do you want the EU to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary even without the consent of parliament?

This is ultimately a policy question, but Orban has said before that voting “no” is a vote for something far bigger, namely Hungary’s independence. As the EU continues to grapple with the migrant crisis, such challenges also raise the question of how the organization deals with renegade member states that openly defy directives from Brussels. In response to insubordination like Hungary’s proposed plebiscite, the EU may levy heavy penalties for governments that do not comply with directives for the resettlement of migrants. There have been reports that these fines could be as steep as €250k per migrant, but EU boxtops would not confirm the exact amount to the WaPo. Details are scheduled to be revealed in Brussels on Wednesday. In a Europe already ridden with internal divisions over what to do with migrants, many fear the consequences of a financial penalty clause. Marc Pierini, a former career EU diplomat and Brussels-based policy analyst, said:

It’s going to create as many problems as it tries to solve. It will build up recrimination against the EU, or “against Brussels” as they say in other capitals. I don’t see it as a very sound piece of policy. In my view, it’s no more than an additional sign of extreme nervousness.

The referendum in Hungary is only the latest grievance against the EU. After years of economic stagnation across the continent and a wave of terrorist attacks in 2015 whose execution largely depended on loopholes within the EU security apparatus, many member states grew frustrated with EU bureaucracy even before more than 1 million migrants arrived on the continent last year. Most notably, perhaps, Britain will vote next month on whether to exit the EU altogether, a move commonly referred to as “Brexit.” The Jun 23 vote is the culmination of a long campaign of British dissatisfaction with European bureaucracy and leadership. Whether it succeeds or fails, Brexit has ultimately established a precedent that many in Brussels view as dangerous: the option of saying goodbye. In an already fraught climate, the migrant crisis presents another massive problem for Europe to solve collectively in the months and years ahead, and one that will require significant financial and material investment to solve. The plans that EU leaders will announce Wednesday are in theory a road map out of the migrant crisis, but they are also an attempt to maintain control of an increasingly unruly and even unwary (this is ‘Faschingstein Consensus’ code for “the bear will eat you” – RB) continent. Pierini says:

It’s a very tense moment in the commission. Tomorrow is the day when you have to put down on paper the price for handing off the refugee crisis.

i do believe it would be illegal to deny that we love all these guys to bits

Would-be London Mayor Zac Goldsmith’s Anti-Muslim Playbook
Robert Mackey, The Intercept, May 3 2016

Stop me you’ve heard this one: An outsider politician who owes his station in life to the hundreds of millions he inherited from his father is running a failing campaign for office based on stoking fear of Muslims. “Failing” as in 20% down in the polls days before the election. That’s a clue that we are speaking about someone other than Donald Trump. In this case, the politician’s name is Zac Goldsmith, and he is the millionaire scion of a prominent British (Jewish, to spoil the comparison – RB) family. He was thought of until recently as a mild-mannered Tory MP, known mainly for his environmentalism and his sister’s friendship with Princess Diana. For the past two months, however, he has generated waves of disgust and, polls suggest, not much sympathy, by pursuing a mayoral campaign filled with racially divisive innuendo about the supposed danger of electing his Labour rival, Sadiq Khan, a son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants. Things reached something of a crescendo over the weekend when Goldsmith, advised by a political consultant whose website boasts that he was “described by Newt Gingrich as Britain’s own Lee Atwater,” published a dog-whistle appeal to voters in the right-wing tabloid Mail on Sunday that implied Khan, a moderate MP, would somehow fail to defend the British capital from Jihadis. The piece, which offered nothing more than hyperbolic claims that Khan was linked to extremists through his prior work as a human rights lawyer, ran alongside a photograph of a bus destroyed during the Jul 7 2005 bombings in London, under the headline:

On Thursday, are we really going to hand the world’s greatest city to a Labour Party that thinks terrorists are its friends?

The use of that image, and the perverse implication that the Muslim candidate whose own father drove a London bus should be associated with the terrorists (or false-flag artists – RB) who carried out that atrocity, did further damage to Goldsmith’s reputation, energizing his opponents and apparently costing him the support of even some friends and Tory colleagues. Among those who expressed disgust at the opinion piece were Sayeeda Warsi, a Tory member of the House of so-called ‘Lords’ and the first Muslim to serve in a British cabinet, and Goldsmith’s friend Bianca Jagger, who accused him of surrendering to Australian campaign strategist Lynton Crosby.

This effort to play on fears of Islamist terrorism, days before the voters go to the polls was perhaps the most blatant part of Goldsmith’s campaign against Khan, but as Simon Hattenstone explained in the Graun, it followed a concerted effort to drive a wedge between different parts of London’s large South Asian population. The first phase of the effort, which generated alarm in March, concerned campaign literature mailed to London voters presumed to be Hindus or Sikhs, based on their last names, that seemed designed to exploit anti-Muslim tensions among different faith groups from the Indian subcontinent. One line of attack seemed to be based on the assumption that members of those communities would reject Khan, the British-born son of Pakistanis, either because he did not attend a ceremony to welcome India’s divisive prime minister Narendra Modi or because, they were informed, he might impose a tax on family gold jewelry (not only a store of wealth but also a cause of emulation among these communities – RB). That part of Goldsmith’s campaign led Shazia Awan, a Tory activist and former parliamentary candidate from Wales, to speak of an “attitude to ethnic minority voters” that recalled colonial-era strategies of divide-and-rule, which she said have no place in a modern cosmopolitan Britain. Awan wrote in the New Statesman last month:

I always admired Goldsmith and felt he was a principled Tory, an environmental campaigner, someone who despite the privilege he was born into, truly loves the real London and the people that make this city great. All I see now is a man who is too weak to stand up to those directing his campaign, and as a result ruining his own reputation and credibility in the fickle pursuit of power.

Goldsmith’s attempt to position himself as a defender of British Indian culture also led to some inadvertent hilarity when he insisted last month that he loved Bollywood cinema, but was immediately stumped when asked to name a single actor or film that he liked.

After Khan directly accused Goldsmith of running an Islamophobic campaign, Goldsmith responded by attempting to connect Khan himself to extremism, by telling the Evening Standard that Khan had shown “appalling judgment” by speaking at events alongside “repellent” extremists such as cleric Suliman Gani. That attempt backfired spectacularly when Gani revealed photographic evidence that he had also appeared with Goldsmith, and even campaigned for the Tories against Khan at last year’s general election, polemicizing against the Labour candidate’s vote for same-sex marriage. The result of Goldsmith’s campaign is that he not only trails badly in the polls but has even inspired Graun columnist Owen Jones to call on voters to deliver a landslide victory for Khan. London’s ethnic minority population is now 44%.

Ken Livingstone, a former Labour mayor of the capital who was repudiated by Khan last week for bringing up Hitler in a debate over anti-Semitism, has expressed sympathy for Goldsmith’s apparent unease, telling the Graun last week:

Zac looks as if he’s heading for a breakdown, because he’s being forced to behave in a way that isn’t natural to him. Given the cosmopolitan nature of his family, he can’t possibly believe all this crap.

Goldsmith’s sister Jemima converted to Islam in 1995 (in order) to marry the Pakistani cricketer-politician Imran Khan. After that marriage dissolved, she returned to her maiden name. She is now known as Jemima Goldsmith again except on Twitter, where one of the couple’s two sons insisted that she continue to use the handle @Jemima_Khan. As she noted in March, that has created a fair bit of confusion about the mayoral race among her followers.

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