France: Mutilation of democracy

Anna van Densky OPINION The images of a Yellow Vest protester with a ripped off hand agonizing in arms of street medics, attempting to deliver first aid, is hundred times more shocking, because of the place of the incident – the National Assembly of France – the parliament, the democratic institution, representing citizens.

If such an image had come from Venezuela there would have been an immediate call for a Security Council meeting for discussing the violations with human rights there, and most probably to make the resolution more convincing, the Americans would sent there a couple of missiles, just to be sure the warning is taken seriously.

However if the events are taking place in a country which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and founding member of the European Unionthere is nobody to remind the French government about the respect of human rights. Equally silent is the European Union, proudly celebrating the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a milestone document, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (10.12.1948) at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France.

While Europe is celebrating the Declaration, it is also carefully watching the compliance, but mainly in oil-rich countries, like Venezuela, where you have to be careful with human rights, or you are risking to lose everything like it happened with the leaders of Iraq or Libya after the riot in Benghazi…

Benghazi. The most striking is the silence of the leading French human rights defenders like Bernard-Henry Lévy, known as BHL, who was promoting the intervention to Libya without the UN resolution, insisting the international organisations are far too slow to react adequately on ongoing human tragedy there. But nowadays who from famous French human rights defenders is  standing against mutilation of citizens, manifesting their indignation with the government’s policies?..

Mid-January the LCI TV channel has revealed statistics pointing at 1700 wounded, among them around 100 people with serious injuries.

Among grave injuries the most common were head wounds,  and often with serious consequences, leaving people with lifelong disabilities: 13 have lost an eye since the beginning of the movement as a result of police shooting. There were are 9 (+1) hand injuries caused by grenades; 5 in the leg, one in the reproductive organs, and one in the foot. The wounded are mostly men. There are 10 women out of 93 cases, according to BFMTV assembling data mid-January.

Nevertheless the numbers of injured and mutilated don’t motivate international organisations, obliged to defend human rights, to say a word on French government repressions, reducing the human rights to a tool of foreign policy, a reason to interfere in home affairs of the other countries, especially those which are oil-rich…

GJ target

INF funeral revives nuclear war threat

Russia‘s defense minister Sergey Shoygu announced the  intention to build mid-range, nuclear-capable missiles a week after the President Trump has decided to abandon INF Treaty, which is considered to be one of the biggest achievement of humanity, closing the chapter of  the Cold War. The world is pushed back full force into the situation of the imminent risk of the World war III, triggered by will or by an accident. The dangerous perception of possibility to wage and win a nuclear war is back.

It would be very naive to think that technology is perfect: in 1983 Soviet officer on duty has prevented the nuclear war just because of his exceptional capacity for analysis, assuming the information he received from computers was erroneous – an episode of Cold War known as “false nuclear attack“.

The humanity was exceptionally lucky, that Stanislav Petrov was on duty on September 26, 1983 to identify the missile attack warnings as “false alarm“. His personal decision to disobey the rules is seen as having prevented a retaliatory nuclear attack based on erroneous signals on the United States and its NATO allies missiles, which could have resulted in immediate escalation to the full-scaled nuclear war. Now we, as humanity are back to the situation when our survival depends on decision of an officer on duty, watching the monitor.

Last five years both the Americans and Russians blamed each other the violation of the INF, however it was NATO rapidly expanding.

Kremlin accuses the U.S. of violating the INF by the deployment of Aegis missile defence system in Romania and Poland, indicating that the launchers used in that system for defensive interceptors could be adapted to fire offensive cruise missiles.

In return Washington accused Russians of employment mystery missile  9M729  for Iskander launchers being more powerful than declared (480 km).  Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov acknowledged its existence but firmly denied it was capable to hit targets between 500 -5,500 km away, strictly compliant with the INF.

The problems accumulating in the US-Russia relations have created a toxic mass within a new political and military context, caused by NATO galloping enlargement with a subsequent advancing of the military infrastructure to Russian borders: after including the East European countries, belonging to the Warsaw Pact the moment of the INF signature between Reagan and Gorbachev. nowadays the Alliance moved further to the East opening its door for Georgia and Ukraine. The perspective of installing Aegis there will create a vulnerability for Moscow, impossible to neglect.

However existing problems of relations between superpowers do not give a right to cancel the greatest achievement of the past, reversing progress, and pushing humanity to the brink of a fatal nuclear conflict, of which Europe is becoming a hostage. The American ambition for the hegemony has price too high to pay – the extinction of our civilization.

Congo ‘Red Prince’ wins presidency

The victory  of ‘Red PrinceFelix Tshisekedi (53), who capitalised his father’s Etienne legend, upset the West, sincerely hoping that a globalist and liberal Martin Fayulu (62) former Exxon-Mobil top manager will capture the imagination the Congolese nation. However the miracle did not happen, and Congolese people, especially those, who live on less than $1.25 a day, defined as the threshold for extreme poverty, voted Socialism. In Congo 80% of population is falls under the description of as extremely poor, logically seeing in leftist Tshisekedi-son a protector of their interests with his political UDPS party programme to defeat poverty: “Vaincre la pauvreté”.

The frustration of the West hit the lowest, when they endorsed the interference of the Catholic Church in the election process, referring to it as to an ‘honest broker’, monitoring the elections, and accumulating the ‘authentic‘ data on people’s vote in favor of Martin Fayulu.

Although since the collapse of the USSR, more than a billion people across the globe have been lifted out of extreme poverty  in Russia, China, India, following the principles of the liberal system, nevertheless the charms of the Socialism in some parts of the world stayed intact. Especially among African youth, who believes in superiority of the socialism over capitalism, and in Congo the population pyramid clearly indicates the dominance of young generation with median age of 17 years old.

However the crucial factor in favor of the CongoleseRed PrinceFelix Tshisekedi is China, the major trading partner, and investor in DR Congo. The Chinese model is seen by many Africans as a genuine alternative to the Western capitalism, with the Communist party keeping business ambitions framed. Led by Communists, Chinese annual trade with Africa has amounted to $220 billion, making it Africa’s largest bilateral trading partner.

Congo possesses half of the world’s cobalt reserves, and is high quality copper, both in growing demand of modern high-tech industries, assessing Central African country as one of the richest in the world in raw minerals with $24 trillion worth.

However Chinese companies are not just trading in raw materials, but spending $3 billion to build roads, hospitals and universities in Kinshasa and throughout entire Congo. The barter is part of a new philosophy of Communist party that combines development aid and mineral concessions in a package deal. It’s a business model the Chinese are replicating across the African continent, infusing their influence though aid at the most rapidly growing market in the world. Within this economic realities, the victory of the Socialist candidate, is also a reflection of the Chinese Communist party growing influence on African continent.

 

 

Swedish TV focused on whitewashing Islam

Not only did the state broadcaster run an article claiming that the bestial murder of two Scandinavian girls in Morocco had nothing to do with Islam, but it also put the emphasis on the fact that sharing the graphic video of the killing is illegal, while downplaying the sheer brutality of the murder itself, many viewers complained, American Renaissance by Jared Taylor reports.

Swedish national broadcaster SVT has come under a storm of criticism for its coverage of the double murder of Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (24) and Maren Ueland (28) by Islamists in Morocco.

Many viewers complained that the state broadcaster was more concerned by the video of the killing being spread than the grisly murders themselves. While one of the victims was decapitated alive in the style of Daesh executions, SVT didn’t mention the beheading at all, instead merely reporting about “neck wounds”.

The clip is so brutal that many people who have watched it admit to it having a deep impact and regret having ever played it.

Happened to watch the movie clip that is being circulated. The one where one of them gets her head cut off. I wish I could unsee it. I’ve seen many horrible things. For a while I felt a responsibility as a journalist to see the movie clips that Daesh released. Still, this was much worse. It is the worst I have ever seen. It will haunt me”, Svenska Dagbladet columnist Ivar Arpi wrote on his Facebook page, calling the murderers “beasts”.

SVT, however, chose another angle, warning fellow Swedes not to share the graphic clip, informing that violation of the law may be punished with up to four years’ imprisonment.

We have got very good legislation in place called unlawful infringement. This law is aimed at just this kind of case when someone spreads information or images of somebody in a vulnerable position”, former prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem told SVT.

Previously, SVT also ran a report from a memorial ceremony in Marrakesh condemning the murders. In the clip, an anonymous woman claimed that the victims “could have been anyone”, with another person stressing that “This is not Islam” and “has nothing to do with it”.

#AfricaEurope2018: Juncker collapsed

It does not make much sense to continue hiding President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker‘s illness. The secrecy around it only nourishes abominable calumny about his presumed alcoholism, used by his political enemies to discredit his work. (Image: Daily Mail online newspaper).

A problem of bending his joints has been visible for a couple of years already, and has caused embarrassment a number of times. Some medical experts suggest Juncker has an aggressive form of portraitists, provoking a continuous inflammation of his joints, a few times Bekhterev’s disease was mentioned,  while analyzing his way of walking with difficulty of turning his head, and increasingly crooked back. Affecting the joints and heart, it doesn’t damage the brain, however only medical specialists know it, because among the broader public, it creates an image of someone, who is unable to carry on his public duties.

It is in the best interest of the European Commission as an institution to publish the medical report of its president, to end all kind of insinuations, and calumny. The comparisons with fading Leonid Brezhnev are far more damaging to the European project, than the publication of the medical report, however grim it is. There are just some month to go on until the end of his mandate, but they are decisive for the Future of Europe. “Let there be light!”

 

#Strasbourg: EU commemorates slain reporters

The EU institutions and the International Press Association (API/IPA) paid tribute to two reporters, victims of the #Strasbourg terrorist attack.

The journalists in the press centre of the European Commission paid tribute to both reporters – Antonio Megalizzi  (29) and Bartosz Orent-Niedzielski  (35)– slain in jihad attack by a minute of silence.

The reporter Antonio Megalizzi (29) from Trento, Italy  was in Strasbourg to cover the European Parliament plenary session for radio network Europhonica.

His friend Barto Pedro Orent-Niedzielski (35) from Katowice, Poland, nicknamed #Bartek lived in Strasbourg, he was engaged in cultural life of the city, and also in promotion of the LGBT rights.

 

May gets political reassurances from EU

Britain’rime minister, Theresa May, appealed to the EU leaders at the EU Summit for concessions to help her receive the support in Westminster next month for an Article 50 deal that can  facilitate the UK exit from the European Union.

 

Arriving at a Brussels Summit May said she was not expecting an immediate breakthrough but wanted help to get a Brexit deal she agreed with the EU27 last month ratified in London, where many in her Conservative Party who claim the concessions made are unacceptable on long term, trapping the country into endless limbo.

May urged the EU leaders to work with her to “change the perception” of the controversial  Irish borderbackstop” plan.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the “backstop’ concerning the Irish border is not negotiable red line of the Article 50 deal. If it is applied it should be applied for a shortest possible period, however the EU would refuse the expiration date.

In aftermath of the confidence vote May promised to listen to concerns of those members of her party who oppose negotiated by her government deal. The “backstop” remains an apple of discord and puts the entire deal ratification at risk.

In case House of Commons votes down the deal, the UK ‘hard’ Brexit under WTO rules becomes inevitable.

Apart of her doorstep remarks at arrival, German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not give a press conference after the first day of the EU Summit.