Pepe Escobar on China/Russia ‘Deal of the decade’ & Europe’s secret US deal blues

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Publicado em 15/04/2014
While the West weighs up putting more spanners in the works with sanctions, Russia and China are getting on with business. The two are looking at a deal that could see gas pumped into the world’s most-populated nation for the next 3 decades. Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar told RT that Beijing’s stance on the global political arena is bearing fruit.

Moniz Bandeira vê ameaças ao Brasil a partir da Ucrânia e Venezuela

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Publicado em 28/02/2014
O politólogo residente na Alemanha Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira, autor do livro A Segunda Guerra Fria, analisou nesta entrevista pelo Skype, com o embaixador Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães e os jornalistas Beto Almeida e FC Leite Filho, da TV Cidade Livre de Brasília e do blog cafenapolitica.com.br, os acontecimentos recentes na Ucrânia, que afastaram o presidente Viktor Ianukovitch, e na Venezuela. que, mais uma vez fracassaram na tentativa de derrocar o regime bolivariano, implantado pelo falecido presidente Hugo Chávez. Moniz explica didaticamente que esses movimentos são produto do método do professor norte-americano Gene Sharp, autor do manual From Democracy to Dictartoship, que açulam as massas contra os governos progressistas, através de ações de rua e de opinião, tendo a mídia como principal arauto, como pretexto a defesa de direitos fundamentais e como objetivo manter a hegemonia dos Estados Unidos sobre o mundo.

Essas ações, segundo o cientista polîtico brasileiro, se traduziram na invasão pura e simples das tropas da OTAN, aliança militar dos Estados Unidos com a União Europeia, como no Iraque, Afeganistão e na Líbia, e quando não podem, provocam a deposição de presidentes, como agora ocorreu na Ucrânia, cujo presidente não renunciou e tenta resistir na península da Crimeia, de população de origem majoritariamente russa. A título de exemplo, ele disse que se Nicolás Maduro, da Venezuela, tivesse caído, as pressões logo viriam sobre a Argentina e, em seguida, o Brasil.
- O Brasil precisa ter cuidado – enfatizou Moniz Bandeira – porque essas manifestações dos chamados black blocs podem estar sendo instrumentalizadas por determinados interesses internacionais de ONGs e agências americanas como a NED (National Endowement for Democracy), USAID, e outras agências estatais e fundações privadas.

Já o embaixador Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães, ex-secretário-geral do Itamaraty e alto comissariado do Mercosul, alertou para o acordo de livre comércio desta última entidade com a União Europeia, o qual, no seu entendimento, significará o fim do mercado comum que une Brasil, Argentina, Paraguai, Uruguai e Venezuela, pois implicará no fim da união aduaneira de que desfrutam nossas empresas contra as megaempresas europeias. Estas, no seu entender, poderão até fechar suas filiais por aqui. Depois deste acordo com a Europa, acredita Samuel, virão inevitavelmente outros TLCs com os Estados Unidos e com a China, inibindo todo o esforço brasileiro de promoção social e de inserção no mercado internacional.

Na sua análise, Moniz Bandeira ainda explica que os Estados Unidos tentam seu domínio sobre o Brasil desde 1889, lembrando frase atribuída ao Visconde de Ouro Preto, último chefe do governo do império, quando disse que os americanos estavam por trás da proclamação da República.

The Treaty of Versailles

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Publicado em 06/11/2013
This BBC documentary entitled “The Peacemakers” is an in-depth study of the Versailles Treaty of 1919. It provides some fine insight into the process, the politics, the problems and the impact of that infamous settlement. This is ideal for students of this period. You might also enjoy ‘Lloyd George’s War’ on my channel. Uploaded for educational purposes only.

Ukrainians Breathe Sigh of Relief As Diplomatic Efforts Continue Between West & Russia

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Professor Nicolai Petro lays out how the Crimea crisis could be resolved, as tension remains between pro-EU groups and Russian supported factions – March 6, 2014

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
Following the Russian takeover of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine, Western and Russian diplomats are meeting in Paris to discuss how to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine. The European Union has also offered a $15 billion aid package to Ukraine on the condition that it reaches a deal with the International Monetary Fund over austerity measures and domestic gas subsidies.
Now joining us to discuss all this is Nicolai Petro. Nicolai is a professor of politics at the University of Rhode Island, and he has been in Ukraine since July as a visiting scholar and has observed the current crisis firsthand.
Thank you for joining us, Nicolai.
NICOLAI PETRO, POLITICS PROF., URI, VISITING SCHOLAR IN UKRAINE: Hello.
DESVARIEUX: So, Nicolai, I want to first start off with getting a sense of Putin’s approach and the reasons for why he decided to move with such urgency to intervene in the Crimea. Can you just assess how much danger there really was to Russians in Ukraine, as Putin had claimed?
PETRO: I don’t think there is a threat on a personal level specifically to Russians or Russian speakers, since that group is huge in this country and it’d be hard to even identify who such people are, since a lot of people are, for all practical purposes, bilingual.
But there is the reality of lawlessness and violence, which has increased sharply. And we’ve all seen the scenes on television that show that. And I believe Putin’s concern specifically in Crimea was that similar incidents had occurred in front of the regional parliament that week, and there was the concern that such violence could then extend south to the Russian base in Crimea.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. And I want to get a sense of how ordinary people, as well, are dealing with what’s happening in Ukraine. Can you speak to the different political factions and how they’re reacting to Russian movement into Crimea?
PETRO: I think the political groups in the parliament, which is dominated by the pro-E.U. groups, which are oriented toward the West, as well as their national supporters, they are, of course, overwhelmingly condemning this as a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. There have been, however, protests in the East and in the South which have raised the Russian flag over local parliament buildings that have been taken over briefly. And so while popular sentiment I suspect is overwhelmingly unhappy with this intervention, it does seem to have provided a shot in the arm to those groups which, through this, feel some sort of support from Russia for asserting more local self-government and appeal for a more federalistic type of political system in the Ukraine.
DESVARIEUX: Alright. Let’s talk about the transitional government that was put in place after former president Yanukovych was ousted. I mean, people could even say he is currently the president in some ways. You wrote an article for The Nation that a radical nationalist agenda at place in the Ukrainian revolution is currently happening right now. Can you just speak to that?
PETRO: I believe the radicals are a small faction and a minority in Parliament. But the unique circumstances of the transition, in which they played a key role removing–in specifically organizing the removal of Yanukovych gives them significantly greater weight than their numbers suggest. And the way I like to phrase it is that the political power in the parliament can only act at the sufferance of the Maidan, the street which is very largely controlled, I would suspect, by the right sector. So we really have a sort of bifurcation of power between the parliament and the Maidan. And we see this in the role that the Maidan has played in the appointment of ministers.
In the parliament itself, we have a political party called Svoboda, or Freedom, which is a key part of the government coalition currently. And it is this party that, on December 13, 2012, the European Parliament issued a condemnation of that particular party, and of the rise of Ukrainian nationalism more generally, for being–and I quote–”racist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic”. And it, the European Parliament, at the time called for all other political parties to disassociate themselves from Svoboda and not to form coalitions with it. Well, today Svoboda holds key leadership positions in the parliament, including the deputy speakership. It holds the office of prosecutor general and four ministerial portfolios in the new government, as well as several appointed governorships.
DESVARIEUX: And who’s their base, would you say, Nicolai?
PETRO: Well, their geographic base is in the western regions of the country, although they have party representation throughout Ukraine. I understand from reading descriptions and discussions of the party that there’s a disagreement about how popular it is today. Anton Shekhovtsov, a scholar of Ukrainian nationalism in London, has pointed out that the Svoboda Party’s ratings have fallen. But we really have to go, really, by the percentage that they got in the last elections, in 2012, which is just over 10 percent. And we shall see how they fare in the upcoming elections for Parliament, which are scheduled at the end of this year.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Let’s talk about how you would resolve this Crimea crisis. I know you’ve written about this. Can you just sort of give us a play-by-play of how you would have resolved this?
PETRO: Well, I don’t have any magic wand, but it seems to me that it’s no coincidence that this crisis blew up in Crimea. And the reason is that it is so easy for Russia to apply pressure on Ukraine there. Russia has several thousand military and their family in Crimea, and as a result, I think sentiment against the chaos that they see in Kiev is very high.
So for this to stop, the status of Crimea has to be something that is decided by the local residents. And I think the West can take four steps to accomplish this.
First–and this has already been done, according to today’s agreements–provide quick and massive economic assistance to Kiev, although one of the things that I would have hoped for is that this be done on the condition that hardcore nationalists not be part of the government. This would be consistent with the E.U. Parliament’s own resolution on the danger of Ukrainian nationalism.
A second point–or a second step, I should say, is that in exchange for this marginalization of the nationalists, they could demand that Russia immediately withdraw its troops back to bases in Crimea and publicly declare that it has no territorial ambitions in Ukraine. This is actually something that Putin said yesterday. So far, so good.
Third step is to press the government in Kiev and the government in the capital of Crimea, Simferopol, to agree to the terms of an internationally supervised referendum on the status of the island by the end of this year. I think it’s important not to rush this referendum, but indeed to have it validated, and for it to take a little bit longer so that people can really think about their status in Ukraine and what exactly the pros and cons are of increasing their autonomy.
And lastly, once the status of Crimea is determined, then I think the issue of the status of the Black Sea Fleet will probably need to be renegotiated again, as is provided under the terms of the treaty, by appropriate authorities. So if that authority happens to be the government in Kiev, then this will put pressure on Moscow to abide by whatever new agreement they come to over the fleet. And if it happens to be the government in Crimea, that issue will be essentially resolved, since the support of the fleet retirees and their families will become the island’s main source of revenue.
DESVARIEUX: Alright. Nicolai Petro, visiting scholar in Ukraine, thank you so much for joining us.

Russia Today: “CrossTalk: Revolutionary Kiev”

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Publicado em 26/02/2014
What legacy has Viktor Yanukovich left? What powers in Kiev have legitimacy now? And does EU have a responsibility to democratize Ukraine? CrossTalking with Amanda Paul, Dmitry Babich and Alexander Mercouris.

Coletiva Brasil – Reino Unido (18/02/2014)

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Publicado em 18/02/2014
O Ministro das Relações Exteriores, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, e o Secretário de Estado para Negócios Estrangeiros do Reino Unido, William Hague, conversaram com a imprensa após reunião de trabalho no Palácio Itamaraty.

Brasília, 18 de fevereiro de 2014.

The Economics of the 1%: Neoliberal Lies About Government (1/3) John Weeks deconstructs a central tenet of neoliberal ideology: vilification of the government’s role in the economy

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AISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.
This is the first part of a three-part discussion on a new book titled Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy. The author of the book is John Weeks. He’s a professor emeritus at the University of London, he’s a regular guest of The Real News, and he’s now joining us.
Thank you so much, John Weeks.
JOHN WEEKS, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UNIV. OF LONDON: Well, thank you for having me on. I’m very pleased to be here and talk about my book.
NOOR: So one of the chapters in your book is titled “Lies about Government”, and you start off the chapter by talking about fake economics, which is the term you use to describe mainstream neoliberal economics. And you say it includes as a central message the inherent inefficiency and intrinsic malevolence of governments at all levels. Talk about what you mean and how governments and their role in our economy is so vilified and why that’s done.
WEEKS: It derives from a basic ideology that says that everybody and everybody in the world is a consumer and that you derive your pleasure in life from consuming, which, if you reflect on it, obviously is a pretty sick idea. I mean, people who actually behave that way I think are rather unhappy people. But at any rate, if you take that position, if you take that analytical position, then it follows that taxes are a burden–they take away an individual’s ability to consume. And they are–some of it may be absolutely necessary. You might say that that’s the more benign wing of this school of economics, which I refer to as fakery. And so they begin by saying everybody’s a consumer. Taxes should be as small as possible so you can go out and consume. And anything that can be produced through the private sector should be produced by the private sector. And then, in addition to that, if it ends up being produced through the government, it will be produced inefficiently; that is, there are some things you can’t avoid, one presumes. You can’t have a private fire department. They would just go and put out the fires of the people that paid, not the ones next door that hadn’t. But most things, you should go from the private sector, ’cause the government is inherently inefficient.
It’s quite extraordinary, actually, that people–many people believe that. The reason they believe it is because it’s beaten into people every day, because–think about it for a moment. You’ll learn that, say, the environmental agency wastes money building something or other, whether it be subsidizing wind farms or subsidizing people to do research on non-carbon-based energies. But this is peanuts compared to the private sector. I mean, you have these executives who oversaw the collapse of the financial system, and each year they’re getting bonuses of up to $100 million, $300 million. Well, I mean, if this isn’t a waste, what is?
And then, in addition, many of these companies produce things that are absolutely useless for the economy, making billions of dollars out of producing so-called financial products which led to the collapse of the economy.
But the idea’s been sold. You know, government is inefficient. We’ll make it as small as possible. And we ought to–oh my deuce. I forget what the cliche is. It ought to be leaner and more effective.
This is nonsense. The government sector needs to be larger. Just about all of the basic things governments do they do more effectively and cheaper than the private sector. One of the best examples is pensions. The U.S. Social Security system is much more efficient than anything in the private sector. And that is because the government doesn’t charge you a handling fee and doesn’t run a profit doing it.
So there is this ideology that says the natural state of people is markets, and governments are intrusions into those markets, which itself is completely nonsense, because the people out there watching, they might have had bad experiences going down to the post office, having to stand in line, all that sort of stuff, but they sure had bad experiences with the private sector.
The idea that markets should exist without government regulation is absurd. You know, say a supermarket, which is a concrete form of a market–how do you get there? You’re driving your car. In order to drive that car, you have to have a licence. You get the license from the state government. You’re going to drive on a road. The government will have built that road. There will be regulations about how fast you can drive so you don’t kill each other, other people when you do it. The government is doing all of that. That supermarket could not exist. That supermarket chain could not exist without the role of local and federal government. It’s not that the federal government intervenes in markets. It’s that they are the facilitator by which markets exist.
Now, there may be some things that are silly for governments to do, just like there are some things that are silly for markets to do. But the idea that somehow you could have a market, it wasn’t–that had the government out of it wasn’t completely contrary to all experience.

Fonte: The Real News Network (TRNN)