pindos are full of shit, that is why this guy is their president

Obama compares Syrian refugees to pilgrims on the Mayflower
Bradford Richardson, The Hill, Nov 26 2015

This ‘Thanksgiving’ (my sneer quotes – RB), Obama is calling for Pindosis to lend a helping hand to another group of pilgrims fleeing persecution. Obama said in his weekly address Thursday:

Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims, men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families. What makes Pindosia into Pindostan (know wot I mean – RB) is that we offer that chance.

He praised Pindosis who have offered to open their homes to refugees fleeing war-torn Syria, saying:

One woman from Pennsylvania wrote to me to say, ‘Money is tight for us in my household … But I have a guest room. I have a pantry full of food. We can do this.’ Another woman from Florida told me her family’s history dates back to the Mayflower, and she said that welcoming others is part of ‘what it means to be an Pindosi.’

He called for citizens to put the “generosity” of Pindostan on full display by welcoming refugees into the country with arms wide open, saying:

I hope that you and your family have a wonderful ‘Thanksgiving’, surrounded by loved ones and full of joy and gratitude. And together, may we all play our own small part in the Pindostani story, and write a next chapter that future generations can be thankful for.

The House passed a measure earlier this month making it more difficult for Syrian refugees fleeing ISIS to enter the country. Republicans have cast doubt on whether refugees can be properly vetted to ensure that they are not terrorists. At least one assailant in the Nov 13 Paris attack is suspected of entering France posing as a migrant.

to judge by the “correction”, this article originally included an assertion that russia had invaded mainland ukraine, so i shall try to find that

An earlier version of this article misidentified the territory that Russian SOF seized in Mar 2014. It is the Crimean Peninsula, not mainland Ukraine. I’ve pinpointed the spot, near the end. Elsewhere, I have relieved the tedium of the article by making small improvements – RB

Russia and Ukraine in a Standoff Over Crimea Power Outage
Alisa Sopova, Neil MacFarquhar, (Ivan Nechepurenko), NYT, Nov 25 2015

CHONGAR/MOSCOW — Ground zero of the latest confrontation between Ukraine and Russia was a sea of mud and not much else on Wednesday. About half a dozen fighters, their boots sinking into a sodden field, were guarding the downed electricity pylons that were blown up last weekend, plunging much of the disputed Crimean peninsula and the Kherson region of mainland Ukraine into darkness. Activists from the Tatar minority and Ukrainian nationalists attacked the first repair crews and their police escorts seeking to restore the felled pylons, driving them away. The situation has been at an impasse since, with more than 1.2 million people in Crimea without power and no sign of any repair crews. Oleksiy Byk, a chunky, bearded asshole from Right Sector, snarled:

The people of Crimea are not supposed to feel like they live in a resort, while the country is at war!

Byk said he used to fight the separatists in the east, but after the so-called ceasefire negotiated under the Minsk peace accords supposedly took hold in September, he and many other hardcore fighters gravitated to the area just north of Crimea. They are spoiling for a fight. A desultory economic blockade has been enforced since September, but the downing of the pylons seems to have prompted a new standoff between Moscow and Kiev, with the latter finding new ways to increase the tension daily. On Wednesday, Yatsenyuk said the country was closing its airspace to all Russian planes, after earlier terminating all flights between the two countries. In a you-can’t-fire-me-I-quit move, he also ordered Naftogas to stop buying Russian gas. But Gazprom had announced earlier in the day that it was cutting off all gas supplies to Ukraine because Kiev had not paid its bills. Russia also threatened to cut off coal supplies. Pres Putin is preoccupied with Turkey, but he did pause long enough on Wednesday to express dismay that the Ukrainian government was not addressing the problem. Putin, who tends to use the word “partners” for most interlocutors, said:

I am surprised by the position of our partners in Kiev. These events could not be taking place without their connivance.

He mocked the idea that Kiev wanted Crimea back while victimizing its residents. Analysts said it was difficult for either side to act. Russia, under the threat of EU sanctions for any aggressive action in Ukraine, is trying to extract itself from economic sanctions, not prompt more. Ukraine used to depend on Russia for gas, but after years of confrontations it has beefed up storage facilities and engineered reverse-flow supplies from Europe. (Yards of bullshit about heroic Tatars here, all omitted – RB). Here around Chongar, however, Tatar activists are not much in evidence. They seem to have been assigned to ‘logistical’ (my sneer quotes – RB) tasks, like providing food and housing for the men guarding the checkpoints on the road and the fallen pylons. The fighters were mostly veterans from the east who did not want to go back to civilian life. Roman was the spox for the group guarding the pylons. Even though there were not many of them, he said, they could quickly summon reserves on standby should any repairmen or Ukrainian troops arrive, or scavengers try to make off with the scrap metal. He said he was ready to take on any government forces who showed up, bragging:

I’m more experienced than them. It would take me two minutes maximum to take a gun from them.

The small contingent’s main problem was boredom and despair hunger. Their food stocks were running low and the constant rain had affected their generator. The light bulb in their tent kept going out. All the fighters in the area are a bit coy lying about who blew up the four main pylons. The official answer they give is “unidentified patriots.” (Some false equivalence type of comparison with Russian SOF supposedly in mainland Ukraine in Mar 2014 was here – RB). The fighters were allowing some repair work to proceed on one pylon to restore power to about 200,000 customers in the immediate vicinity, work that the state-run electric company, Ukrenergo, said would be completed as early as Thursday. Arsen Avakov, the interior minister, announced that there was no point in rebuilding them all until they could be protected. Crimea can generate about one third of the power it needs, and a trunk line to Russia meant to be connected by the end of December will not nearly close the gap.

yeah, and if you keep saying the various secret services staged 9/11 (which they did), then nasty things can happen

If you keep saying the Toads are like ISIS, you might get sued
Adam Taylor, WaPo, Nov 26 2015

The Toads have long been annoyed that everyone keeps suggesting they are anything like ISIS. Sure, they say, perhaps some of the laws on the books may look similar to the punishments in the extremist organization, but Toad Hall is a sovereign state that abides by the rule of law and uses these punishments with discretion. Now, reports in the Toad Hall press suggest that the Toads have a new tactic for those who compare them to ISIS: taking them to court. According to a report in pro-government newspaper al-Riyadh, the Toad Hall ‘justice ministry’ is planning to sue a Twitter user who suggested that a death sentence recently handed out to a Plastelinan artist for apostasy was “ISIS-like.” A source in the ‘justice’ ministry told the newspaper, according to a translation by Reuters:

To question the fairness of the courts is to question the justice of Toad Hall and its judicial system, based on Islamic law, which guarantees rights and ensures human dignity. The ministry will not hesitate to sue any media that slanders the religious judiciary of Toad Hall.

It is unclear who the Twitter user in question is, though his or her comments would have referred to the case of Ashraf Fayadh, who according to HRW was investigated for blasphemy, spreading atheism and having illicit relationships with women, based on pictures found on his phone. After initially being sentenced to 800 lashes and four years in prison, he was retried and on Nov 17 was sentenced to death. Fayadh’s case is the latest Toad punishment to draw international condemnation. There have been some signs that the Toads were willing to halt or even cancel punishments that do this. Raif Badawi, a writer and dissident who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for blasphemy last year, has only had 50 of those lashes administered since he became an international cause célèbre, though he remains in prison. However, the comparison to ISIS appears to be a particular bone of contention for the Toads. Speaking to NBC News earlier this year, Interior Ministry spox Maj-Gen Mansour al-Turki justified the use of capital punishments such as beheadings in Toad Hall by saying the country’s Sharia-based legal system ensures fairness. He said:

ISIS has no legitimate way to decide to kill people. The difference is clear.

i hate this newspaper (which is owned by an obscure russian oligarch), but i hate cameron even more

Cameron challenged over ‘magical’ 70,000 moderates figure
Matt Dathan, ‘Independent’ (UK), Nov 26 2015

A senior Conservative MP has challenged David Cameron over his “magical” claim that there are 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria who could seize ISIS-held territory following a bombing raid on the Islamic extremists in the north of the country. The claim has also become a sticking point for Labour, with Jeremy Corbyn expected to demand clarification over the 70,000 figure before deciding his party’s position on air strikes. Julian Lewis, chairman of the Defence Committee, said he was “extremely surprised” to hear the Prime Minister tell MPs that there were “about 70,000 Syrian opposition fighters on the ground who do not belong to extremist groups” when he set out the case for launching air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. Lewis said he was tabling a question in the House of Commons demanding Cameron clarify the claim. Following a Shadow Cabinet meeting to discuss Cameron’s ‘seven-point plan for defeating ISIS’, which he set out in a 32-page document in response to a Foreign Affairs Committee report that expressed grave concerns over military action, senior Labour figures made clear that Cameron would have to give more information about the number of forces on the ground in Syria. The PM’s spox said:

He obviously felt comfortable with the analysis provided to him. The figure was provided to him by the Joint Intelligence Committee. They provided that intelligence and analysis independent of the Government. The 70,000 figure was based on the best intelligence and analysis we have. That’s the best advice we’ve received. We’ve no reason to doubt it in any way.

Lewis says intervention in Syria should not go ahead without the involvement with Assad’s army. He told Sky News:

Where are these magical 70,000 people? And if they are there fighting, how come they haven’t been able to roll back Daesh? Is it that they’re in the wrong place? Is it that they’re fighting each other? Or is it that in reality they’re not all that moderate, and that there are a lot of Jihadis among them? I think we really need to know about this, so that we don’t look back on this moment as having made a big mistake on the base of misleading information that was given, not by the Prime Minister, but to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has conceded that air strikes alone cannot be decisive in taking on Daesh, unless they are supported by credible ground forces. So the only missing element is the credible ground forces. The reality is if you want to defeat Daesh, you need to have the regular Syrian army as part of the force that’s going to do it, and that’s where the Prime Minister has a sticking point. He still can’t bring himself to forge an alliance with the Russians and their client Assad, because of course they are so unpleasant. But Churchill, whom we are constantly told we must emulate, did precisely that with Stalin and the Bolsheviks in WW2. Sometimes the best you can do is choose the lesser of two evils.

“has anyone thought this through?” yes, the pindo-jewish global-nazi ruling-class have thought it through and they actually want WW3, or WW4 as they call it

Stumbling to War With Russia?
Patrick Buchanan, Nov 27 2015

Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian warplane was a provocative and portentous act. That Sukhoi Su-24, which the Turks say intruded into their air space, crashed and burned in Syria. One of the Russian pilots was executed while parachuting to safety. A Russian rescue helicopter was destroyed by rebels using a Pindosi TOW missile. A Russian marine was killed. “A stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists,” said Vladimir Putin of the first downing of a Russian warplane by a NATO nation in half a century. Putin has a point, as the Russians are bombing rebels in north-west Syria, some of which are linked to AQ. As it is impossible to believe Turkish F-16 pilots would fire missiles at a Russian plane without authorization from Erdogan, we must ask: Why did the Turkish autocrat do it? Why is he risking a clash with Russia? Answer: Erdogan is probably less outraged by intrusions into his air space than by Putin’s success in securing the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad, whom Erdogan detests, and by relentless Russian air strikes on Turkmen rebels seeking to overthrow Assad.

Imperiled strategic goals and ethnicity may explain Erdogan. But what does the Turkish president see down at the end of this road? And what about us? Was the Pindosi government aware Turkey might attack Russian planes? Did we give Erdogan a green light to shoot them down? These are not insignificant questions. For Turkey is a NATO ally. And if Russia strikes back, there is a possibility Ankara will invoke Article V of NATO and demand that we come in on their side in any fight with Russia. And Putin was not at all cowed. Twenty-four hours after that plane went down, his planes, ships and artillery were firing on those same Turkmen rebels and their Jihadi allies. Politically, the Turkish attack on the Sukhoi Su-24 has probably aborted plans to have Russia join France and Pindostan in targeting ISIS, a diplomatic reversal of the first order. Indeed, it now seems clear that in Syria’s civil war, Turkey is on the rebel or Jihadi side, with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah on the side of the Syrian regime. But whose side are we on? As for what strategy and solution President Obama offers, and how exactly he plans to achieve it, it remains an enigma.

Nor is this the end of the alarming news. According to The Times of Israel, Damascus reports that, on Monday, Israel launched four strikes, killing five Syrian soldiers and eight Hezbollah fighters, and wounding others. Should Assad or Hezbollah retaliate, this could bring Israel more openly into the Syrian civil war. And if Israel is attacked, the pressure on Washington to join her in attacking the Syrian regime and Hezbollah would become intense. Yet, should we accede to that pressure, it could bring us into direct conflict with Russia, which is now the fighting ally of the Assad regime. Something Pindosi presidents conscientiously avoided through 45 years of Cold War, a military clash with Moscow, could become a real possibility. Does the White House see what is unfolding here?

Elsewhere, yet another Russia-NATO clash may be brewing. In southern Ukraine, pylons supporting the power lines that deliver electricity to Crimea have been sabotaged, blown up, reportedly by nationalists, shutting off much of the electric power to the peninsula. Repair crews have been prevented from fixing the pylons by Crimean Tatars, angry at the treatment of their kinfolk in Crimea. In solidarity with the Tatars, Kiev has declared that trucks carrying goods to Crimea will not be allowed to cross the border. A state of emergency has been declared in Crimea. Russia is retaliating, saying it will not buy produce from Ukraine, and may start cutting off gas and coal as winter begins to set in. Ukraine is as dependent upon Russia for fossil fuels as Crimea is upon Ukraine for electricity. Crimea receives 85% of its water and 80% of its electricity from Ukraine.

Moreover, Moscow’s hopes for a lifting of Pindo & Euro sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea, appear to be fading. Are these events coordinated? Has the Pindosi government given a go-ahead to Erdogan to shoot down Russian planes? Has Obama authorized a Ukrainian economic quarantine of Crimea? Vladimir Putin is not without options. The Russian Army and pro-Russian rebels in south-east Ukraine could occupy Mariupol on the Black Sea and establish a land bridge to Crimea in two weeks. In Syria, the Russians with 4,000 troops could escalate far more rapidly than either us or our French allies. As of today, Putin supports Pindo-French attacks on ISIS. But if we follow the Turks and begin aiding the rebels who are attacking the Syrian army, we could find ourselves eyeball to eyeball in a confrontation with Russia, where our NATO allies will be nowhere to be found. Has anyone thought this through?

you will recall that i raised the question of whether the bataclan was a “jewish target.” well, it was, and of a specific sort… interracial, “progressive” and stinking rich

The Bataclan was a highly desirable target from the pov of Islamist terr’ism, precisely because it was interracial, and built fraternal and cultural bonds between blacks & whites. The terr’ists want the opposite. Remember that fellow with the interracial theatre group in the West Bank? (He was gay, into the bargain, with a publicly acknowledged Arab boyfriend. Imagine!). But the terr’ists still ultimately are paid by CIA, or by Bandar’s men, depending whether they call themselves AQ or ISIS. It’s not hard to follow, once you accept the gigantic mendacity of it all. See highlight – RB

From Retirement In Israel, Bataclan Ex-Owner Recalls Better Times
Emily Harris, NPR, Nov 26 2015

gettyimages-497694156_custom-261b1dd499c80a7335cd7d6dbcf5801c00333f78-s800-c85Joel Touitou aka Laloux on Nov 18 at his home in Ashdod

When his cellphone rang on the night of Friday Nov 13, Joel Touitou (aka Laloux) didn’t answer. The sun had long since set, the Jewish Sabbath was under way, and he doesn’t use electronics on Shabbat. He recognized the number. One of his sons was calling from Paris. Laloux, who managed the Bataclan theater for decades until he and his family sold it in September, now lives in Ashdod, a coastal city in southern Israel. Finally, after his son’s number flashed three or four times, Laloux answered. He recalls:

I take the telephone and said I hope it’s important. Wow. Of course it’s important.

His son was safe, but had heard about the attack at the theater and wanted his father to know. The next call came from a friend and former colleague, still inside the Bataclan as the carnage continued. Laloux switched on the TV. He says:

I didn’t understand what had happened, really. I switched off the TV. I had to think.

Although Laloux’s formal connection to the Bataclan theater ended with the sale, his Jewish family’s decades there weave a thread into the rich tapestry that is Paris. His father bought the venue in 1976. Laloux is one of 10 children of El Kahlaoui Tounsi, a once-renowned singer and percussionist. Born Elie Touitou in Tunisia in 1932, as El Kahlaoui Tounsi, he travelled and performed with French, North African and international stars, appeared in more than a dozen films and worked with composers including Michel Legrand and Vladimir Cosma. He moved his family to Paris when Laloux was a baby and bought businesses: three recording studios, his son says, and two theaters: the Bergère Palace as well as the Bataclan. He started his own record label, Dounia, which signed Arab artists as well as Jewish transplants to France.

dsc_0015_custom-3474d64255a8a4b1d45c76917074d7adb8bbadcc-s800-c85Joel’s Tunisian-born father Elie Touitou, aka El Kahlaoui Tounsi

Chris Silver, a history PhD candidate and music blogger, writes:

El Kahlaoui Tounsi gave a voice to some of the best North African artists of the 20th century via Dounia Records, at a time when few others would.

El Kahlaoui handed the keys to the Bataclan to his son when Laloux was 22. Laloux remembers:

He said, “Joe, you must,” because every night he wanted to go to some gig, gala, and he wasn’t here. At the beginning, we did some private galas, lots of bar mitzvahs, and little by little I made the Bataclan one of the most famous music halls of Paris.

The day after the Paris attacks, a video circulated of about 10 men, their faces hidden by black and white checkered scarves, appearing to threaten door staff at the Bataclan. They were angry the theater was holding a fundraiser for a French Jewish organization, Migdal, which supports the IOF. One of the masked men says:

Next time we won’t be coming here to talk.

The footage is said to have been filmed in 2008. Laloux says he’d never seen the video or heard of the visit from Bataclan staff. He dismisses it as a publicity stunt. (He’s lying; he didn’t report it because he feared that the police would impose security requirements that would interfere with his business. I know these fuckers inside out. They run the music business the same way everywhere in the world – RB). He says it is ‘dangerous’ to believe the theater was targeted because of the fundraisers or its long Jewish ownership:

I think that’s dangerous, because people will say: “Oho! It’s not against the West! It’s not against France! It’s against this place, because they are Jewish! Aha! Now we understand!”

He believes the attackers simply wanted to kill as many people as possible. Laloux does say many event producers in Paris get emails complaining when Israeli artists are booked. But he says he never cared. He says:

I have to ask permission of Islamists every time I want to produce an Israeli singer? ETA if it’s a Basque singer? The IRA if it’s an Irish group? No! It’s my program! And if anybody doesn’t want to come see it, you know, don’t come.

Israel has encouraged French Jews to emigrate, suggesting they are not safe in Europe. Laloux says he retired to Israel rather than another warm country because it was a way to support Zionism, not because he was fearful in Europe. And like his father, he remains a passionate fan of Arabic music, history and art. He says:

Arabic culture is fantastic. I like the music. I like (the poetry), I like everything in Oriental culture. I learned to read and write in Arabic. The politics is something else.

there is something about being blown up by a 75-year-old howitzer that i find deeply appealing

In the area of ATO the armament was the howitzer of 1931, Nov 25 2015


The Ukrainian army received a battery of howitzers B-4 sample 1931. This was told by a soldier of the 28th mechanized brigade on Facebook, Alexander Lorents. He said:

To 28 OMBR battery “microphonics” have been sent the 203-mm gun B-4, sample of 1931, the so-called “Stalin’s sledgehammer.” The best gunners, so to speak artillery green berets, after a successful combat missions on these guns, will change on “Peonies”. Hit with a Stalin’s sledgehammer for fans of Joseph Visarionovich. All for STALIN! Slava Ukraine!

Screenshot from 2015-11-26 22-11-18

As is known, Ukrainian troops in the area ATO have previously been provided with machine guns “Maxim”, including those which were issued in 1912. Also in the army used anti-tank rifle used during WW2. For your information, this is the B-4 high (special) power Soviet howitzer, caliber 203.4 mm (8″). The full official name of the guns is 203 mm howitzer of the sample of 1931. During the Soviet-Finnish war, this weapon was used to destroy pillboxes and bunkers of the Mannerheim line. Soviet soldiers dubbed it the “Karelian sculptor” because, when firing on the Finnish Border, missiles B-4 would transform these facilities into a bizarre mishmash of bits of concrete and iron rebar. By the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, howitzer B-4 was only howitzer artillery regiments high power RVGK.


always more drivel from the milk chocolate fuhrer

Dutch anti-Ukraine activists are helping Putin: Poroshenko
Toby Sterling (who the fuck is called ‘Toby’ nowadays? – RB), Reuters, Nov 26 2015

AMSTERDAM – Poroshenko said on Thursday that Dutch activists seeking to undo Ukraine’s EU Association Agreement are unwitting pawns of Vladimir Putin. Alone among EU nations, the Dutch are holding a referendum on Apr 6, albeit non-binding, on whether to reject the 2014 association agreement with Ukraine. Although the Dutch government did not want a referendum on the agreement, it had no choice after a satirical news website gathered the 300,000 signatures required under Dutch law to force one. Poroshenko told NRC Handelsblad in an interview at the start of a two-day state visit to the Netherlands:

I am horrified by the idea that the Dutch are being taken hostage in a political game. Consciously or unconsciously, they are helping Putin. Everyone should know that a vote in the referendum is also a vote for or against Ukrainians who gave their lives for European values.

The GeenStijl website campaign was intended in part to annoy pro-EU politicians in The Hague who crafted a law on popular demand referendums which went into effect in July. But campaigners also say they actually oppose the Ukraine agreement, which they argue will eventually lead to Ukrainian EU membership and an influx of unwanted immigrants. A majority of parties in parliament have signalled they would heed a strong outcome either for the treaty or against it. If the Dutch were to refuse to sign the treaty it would remain officially invalid, though the EU has already begun implementing parts of it. It is unclear how many people will actually turn out to vote: campaigners gathered 430,000 signatures in a nation of 17 million.

the way this is written is somewhere between a news story & a PR handout

Handshakes and smiles hide investors’ concerns for Ukraine
Roman Olearchyk, Financial Times (London), Nov 26 2015

Exchanging warm handshakes and smiles, Ukraine’s cabinet ministers lined up to be photographed with Pindo commerce secretary Penny Pritzker and an entourage of senior Pindo executives who joined her for the autumn visit to Kiev. As they settled into deep leather chairs for discussions, Ukraine’s prime minister made his pitch for investment. He pledged to promptly address any concerns executives had. Arseniy Yatseniuk told his Pindosi visitors:

You have questions, we have answers. You have investments, we are ready to receive them.

Yet, as discussions continued, it emerged new investors had not shown up. Ukrainian officials heard a mix of praise on recently implemented reforms, and warnings that further investments from some of its largest existing investors such as Cargill, Citibank and DuPont hinged on improvements to a still horrible business climate, a weak judiciary and the shaky rule of law. Pritzker said:

There’s been progress made, in macroeconomic stability achieved through austerity and fiscal prudence, both conditions of a $40b bailout led by the IMF. We are ready to guarantee a third $1b loan, to support continued progress in advancing reforms that will be important to unlock international investment in Ukraine and lay the groundwork for return to growth. Disbursement is conditioned on Ukraine’s progress on implementing its economic reform programme, including, of course, adherence to the IMF’s programme and concrete forward momentum in the ongoing fight against corruption. Ultimately, the political will is needed to create the conditions for businesses to continue and make greater investments.

The mixture highlights the sobering reality for cash-strapped Ukraine. Even if Kiev ends its war, it must pick up the pace to improve the business environment and conquer the widespread corruption that continues to bleed budget coffers and businesses dry, from high-level, rent-seeking scams to lower-level graft fostered by choking bureaucracy. Only then does it stand a chance of attracting investment at levels needed to secure sustained growth and higher living standards that millions of Ukrainians two years ago hoped the Maidan revolution would deliver. The task is daunting. To catch up with Poland, Ukraine must quadruple the $62b in direct foreign investment attracted since independence in 1991. After peaking at nearly $10bn in 2008, net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows inched up to $2b in eight months of this year after plunging to some $300m in 2014. Aivaras Abromavicius, Ukraine’s economy minister, says:

It was not expected to be a year of massive FDI. At the start of the year we still had people dying in large numbers on the front line. After 36 months of successive productivity decline, we obviously are far, far behind and need to accelerate, in order to offer investors a light regulatory framework, rule of law, quite a few things. We achieved macroeconomic stabilisation. The country is changing.

Simplified business registration boosted Ukraine four points in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 ranking to 83rd out of 189 countries. Deeper deregulation and other reforms would advance a country that has shot up 69 places since 2012, when it ranked 152nd. Near-term challenges focus on overhauling and streamlining bloated and dysfunctional government institutions, foremost unruly courts, prosecutors, and tax and customs services. Copying the model of a recently launched police force, new staff will be competitively hired and better paid, reducing vulnerability to corruption. It is an approach borrowed from nearby Georgia. A decade ago, under the 2004-2013 presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili, the Caucasus country climbed to the top of the World Bank ranking. Now exiled from facing prosecution in Georgia, Saakashvili, who governs Ukraine’s Odessa region and advises Kiev on reforms, stresses the need to privatise mismanaged state enterprises swiftly. Many, he says, are being milked dry by vested interests that skim and transfer profits into offshore, middleman companies. Saakashvili says companies from Pindostan, Eurostan & Turkey have expressed interest in potentially lucrative state-run businesses:

There are many big cash earners, like the Odessa Portside chemical plant. Once you do one or two tenders really well, you generate lots of cash. Once people buy it, you can generate lots of tax income. That’s how a real economy works.

He describes Ukraine as “the next big tiger of Europe” and full of “amazing” but untapped potential, from rich resources and low-cost but skilled labour to a location perfect for exporting. Abromavicius adds that investments are trickling into the promising agriculture sector and ports, and singled out plans by auto parts manufacturers, including Japan’s Fujikura, to build factories near Ukraine’s border with the EU. Additionally, George Soros has pledged to invest $1b in what he calls “the new Ukraine” and plans to invest in a leading domestic IT company called Ciklum and provide seed money for an investment fund managed by Kiev-based Dragon Capital. Abromavicius says:

Given substantially lower costs of production and opening up of the EU market from the first of January, Ukraine can become some sort of a factory for Europe.

the jews ain’t gonna give up the advantage of these battalions of goyish sitting ducks

Egypt, Israel rebuff bid to trim Sinai ‘peacekeeping’ (my sneer quotes – RB) force
Reuters, Nov 25 2015

The ‘Pindo-led peacekeeper force’ in the Sinai will remain unchanged after Egypt and Israel rebuffed proposals to trim it by about a fifth, an Egyptian official said on Tuesday. The Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) was installed to monitor the demilitarization of the Sinai under the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace accord. Some of its 12 contributor countries have been considering changes to its deployment and mandate. They worry about the safety of the almost 1,900 ‘peacekeepers’ after six were wounded in September by a roadside bomb. They argued that dismantling more remote and vulnerable posts would not significantly set back the mission, especially at a time when Egypt and Israel say their counter-insurgency ties are closer than ever. But both countries favour the MFO status quo, and at a review meeting held in Rome last week and attended by a Pindo delegation, they stood firm, according to one Egyptian official who told Reuters:

The MFO said they want to reduce the force now, but we and Israel refused. They proposed withdrawing some 400 troops over six to nine months and replacing them with remote surveillance equipment. We said this is not the proper time, during a war on terrorism. It would give Jihadis the wrong message. That was the main outcome. No talks about any reduction now.

Cairo sees the MFO as part of a relationship with Israel that, while unpopular with many Egyptians, brings them $1.3b/yr in Pindo ‘defense’ aid, sweetening the foreign-enforced demilitarization of their sovereign Sinai territory. For the Israelis, the MFO offers strategic reassurance, recalling that two years ago Sisi toppled an elected Islamist regime hostile to the Jewish-majority state next door. MFO and Pindo officials had no immediate comment. An Israeli official declined to discuss the Rome meeting, but appeared to confirm common cause over maintaining the MFO, telling Reuters:

Israel and Egypt are interested in the force remaining with its current disposition.

Egyptian security efforts in the Sinai have suffered major setbacks, including the Oct 31 downing of a Russian airliner and Tuesday’s deadly bombing of a hotel where judges were staying. ISIS claimed responsibility for both incidents. But Egypt and Israel argue against any precautionary MFO drawdown, saying the insurgents do not seem interested in attacking the foreign troops, who employ some 400 Sinai locals.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 118 other followers