Category Archives: Insurrection

“An Unparalleled Economic & Political Crisis”: Brexit Optimism Collapses As Ministers Fear “Historic Catastrophe”, by Tyler Durden

The British government has made a complete mess of Brexit. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

“I have near zero optimism because I think it is going to be very messy,” warned one UK minister, speaking to Bloomberg on condition of anonymity. The prospects of getting an agreement are slim, the minister said. “If we crash out without a deal, it’s going to be a historic catastrophe.”

And he is not alone as the latest YouGov polls show 69% of Brits believe Brexit is going badly and the largest finger of blame for Brexit going badly is being pointed at the government. Two thirds (68%) of those who think Brexit is currently going badly say that it is the government’s fault. This includes three quarters who voted Remain (77%) and 58% of Leave voters.

Additionally, as TruePublica.org notes, with lots of talk of preparing for a no-deal Brexit, the possibilities of the Tory party completely disintegrating in 2019 becomes ever-more real. The electorate is now becoming very nervous of what Brexit may bring, given that the Conservatives have no idea themselves, which means it should be no surprise that Theresa May’s favorability score plummets to new low.

It should be noted that, as stated above, those turning against the Prime Minister appear to be Leave voters. The only truly amazing statistic about Theresa May is that at the summer recess – she’s still Prime Minister. And few would have bet on that at any odds just six months ago.

Perhaps even more ominously, for the first time ever, more people support a second referendum – 42% of Britons think there should be a referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal, 40% do not.

When Brexit talks resume in Brussels in mid-August, Bloomberg points out that British and European officials will have just 10 weeks to finalize the complex set of international negotiations before their October deadline. That’s because they need to leave time to ratify whatever agreement emerges in both the U.K. and European Parliaments before Britain exits the bloc on March 29 next year.

To continue reading: “An Unparalleled Economic & Political Crisis”: Brexit Optimism Collapses As Ministers Fear “Historic Catastrophe”

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He Said That? 7/28/18

Fred Van Lente (born 1972) American writer, primarily of comic books and graphic novels, Ivar, Timewalker, Volume 3: Ending History, (2016):

Do you know why empires fall? Because they can no longer believe their own lies.

Deadly Protests in Iraq Push Country to Brink of Revolution, by Middle East Eye

Iraq is yet another shining success for the neoconservative vision of the Middle East. From Middle East Eye at theantimedia.org:

Major protests were set to take place across Iraq on Friday as anger continued to mount over power cuts, unemployment and water shortages in the south, as well as the heavy-handed government response to demonstrations.

Protesters attempted to gather in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, as well as in public spaces across the country, as a mounting death toll and reports of arbitrary arrests by security forces and militias stoked resentment.

Thousands gathered in Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar province, which has been a hotspot for protests in the south. Placards and Twitter hashtags referred to a “hunger revolution”.

At least 16 people have been killed and hundreds wounded and arrested since protests began less than two weeks ago in Basra over power cuts and high water salination.

 

Some activists have put the death toll much higher, but repeated government shutdowns of the internet have made documenting the violence difficult. The Ministry of Defence has claimed that 274 security personnel have been injured.

In a statement on Friday, military spokesperson Brigadier General Yahya Rasool said that the “right to peaceful protest is guaranteed by the Iraqi constitution” and that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had “instructed the security forces to facilitate and protect peaceful protests”.

However, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights said on Friday that 336 people had been arrested and then released during the protests in the south.

Amnesty International quoted sources in Baghdad saying that protesters were being “beaten and killed” under the cover of the internet blackouts.

“Deliberately disabling the internet is a sinister restriction to the right to freedom of expression and strongly indicates that the authorities have something to hide,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, in a statement on Thursday.

“We fear this blackout is deliberately designed to give carte blanche to the security forces to repress peaceful activists without being recorded and held accountable.”

To continue reading: Deadly Protests in Iraq Push Country to Brink of Revolution

Iraq Protesters Storm Airport, Oil Offices Amidst Energy Crisis; Foreign Companies Begin Evacuations, by Tyler Durden

Fifteen years after the US invasion, Iraq still has a way to go before it becomes a model Middle East democracy. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Widespread protests have gripped multiple Iraqi cities for a week in response to government corruption, rising unemployment, and an electricity shortage which has left residents suffocating in soaring summer temperatures. 

What began as anger over a continued failing infrastructure, however, has increasingly turned into political protests and clashes with police after May 12th parliamentary elections tainted by broad allegations of fraud failed to produce a new government.

And now Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has weighed in publicly on the side of the protesters, stating they are facing an “extreme lack of public services”.

Sistani’s words were issued via live television broadcast during a significant escalation in the Shia hotbed of Najaf on Friday, where hundreds of protesters stormed the city’s international airport, bringing air traffic to a halt.

Video showed demonstrators rushing through security barriers while chanting demands, and multiple fires were lit just outside the terminal. Iraqi police appear to have held back, as the protesters numbers were significant — possibly into the thousands according to social media footage — and were able to block key access points to the airport. State TV reported that security was restored and operations resumed as normal by late Friday.

Though sporadic protests over the country’s failing electricity grid have been ongoing throughout the summer, last weekend witnessed the first significant clashes with security forces in the southern city of Basra, resulting in an least one death. And this weekend’s clashes appear to be escalating with at least two more deaths reported in Amara, the capital of the Maysan province on the border with Iran.

In response, Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi reportedly held an emergency homeland security cabinet meeting Friday and personally went to the restive southern city of Basra to address and attempt to calm the current unrest.

To continue reading: Iraq Protesters Storm Airport, Oil Offices Amidst Energy Crisis; Foreign Companies Begin Evacuations

A Neoconservative Plan for Punishing Iran, by Philip Giraldi

Iran has been in the US warmongers’ crosshairs since 1979, when the Iranian people revolted against US puppet the Shah. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

President Donald Trump makes a point of insisting that he has nothing against the Iranian people and is only interested in opposing what he regards as the dangerous activities of their government, but his own record in office belies that claim. It is clear that what he is trying to do is put pressure on the people of Iran to rise up and force a change in government, a process otherwise referred to as regime change. Indeed, if one is to believe Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani, the White House is now committed to “bring down the Iranian regime.” He added that “The collapse of the Islamic Republic of Iran is around the corner.”

Giuliani was addressing a Paris meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran at the end of June, the political front group for the terrorist Mujahideen-e-Khalq, for which he has been a frequent paid speaker. This dream of an abrupt transition in government is a fantasy project that is widely held within neoconservative and pro-Israel circles in Washington, to include Giuliani, and it very often is invoked as part of what is sometimes referred to as the “Obama betrayal,” which posits that if President Barack Obama had actively supported so-called “green” reformers in the Iranian election of 2013, they might have actually won. That supposition greatly inflates the actual support for the reformers at that time and also currently, confusing a largely civil rights movement with a unified political party.

Obama then went on to sign the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran, which has been a target of joint Israeli and neocon wrath ever since. Trump, of course, has risen to the bait and has withdrawn the United States from the deal, also reintroducing both general and targeted sanctions as well as seeking to ban the sale of Iranian oil worldwide.

Unfortunately, as is so often the case, Trump and his advisers, certainly to include National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Senior Adviser for Policy Stephen Miller, are engaging in the wrong tactics to bring about any what might reasonably be regarded positive changes to moderate the grip of Iran’s Supreme Religious Council and are instead hardening domestic popular support for the government through the threats and sanctions which ultimately accomplish little more than punishing the Iranian people.

To continue reading: A Neoconservative Plan for Punishing Iran

Celebrating the 4th of July, from The Burning Platform

https://www.theburningplatform.com/2018/07/04/celebrating-the-4th-of-july/

The great firewall of China: Xi Jinping’s internet shutdown, by Elizabeth C. Economy

Repression of the internet has become more strict under Xi Jingping. From Elizabeth C. Economy at theguardian.com:

Before Xi Jinping, the internet was becoming a more vibrant political space for Chinese citizens. But today the country has the largest and most sophisticated online censorship operation in the world.

In December 2015, thousands of tech entrepreneurs and analysts, along with a few international heads of state, gathered in Wuzhen, in southern China, for the country’s second World Internet Conference. At the opening ceremony the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, set out his vision for the future of China’s internet. “We should respect the right of individual countries to independently choose their own path of cyber-development,” said Xi, warning against foreign interference “in other countries’ internal affairs”.

No one was surprised by what they heard. Xi had already established that the Chinese internet would be a world unto itself, with its content closely monitored and managed by the Communist party. In recent years, the Chinese leadership has devoted more and more resources to controlling content online. Government policies have contributed to a dramatic fall in the number of postings on the Chinese blogging platform Sina Weibo (similar to Twitter), and have silenced many of China’s most important voices advocating reform and opening up the internet.

It wasn’t always like this. In the years before Xi became president in 2012, the internet had begun to afford the Chinese people an unprecedented level of transparency and power to communicate. Popular bloggers, some of whom advocated bold social and political reforms, commanded tens of millions of followers. Chinese citizens used virtual private networks (VPNs) to access blocked websites. Citizens banded together online to hold authorities accountable for their actions, through virtual petitions and organising physical protests. In 2010, a survey of 300 Chinese officials revealed that 70% were anxious about whether mistakes or details about their private life might be leaked online. Of the almost 6,000 Chinese citizens also surveyed, 88% believed it was good for officials to feel this anxiety.

For Xi Jinping, however, there is no distinction between the virtual world and the real world: both should reflect the same political values, ideals, and standards. To this end, the government has invested in technological upgrades to monitor and censor content. It has passed new laws on acceptable content, and aggressively punished those who defy the new restrictions. Under Xi, foreign content providers have found their access to China shrinking. They are being pushed out by both Xi’s ideological war and his desire that Chinese companies dominate the country’s rapidly growing online economy.