Monday, October 31

MATTEO RENZI

Acerbo, esposto a mille accuse e possibili ritorsioni polemiche, in sospetto di furbizià in quanto fiorentino, e vorrei vedere, sta diventando sempre più simpatico a un pezzo di opinione italiana trasversale, incuriosita da un linguaggio nuovo e da un uomo nuovo per quanto sperimentato in focose e aperte battaglie come quella per la conquista della sua città. Aver preso Firenze a suon di voti, contro apparati e disistimatori professionali, contro gli elefanti dei partito, e averlo fatto a trentatré anni, è onorificenza sufficiente, è un pieno di carburante per lunghe navigazioni o per una corsa veloce e decisiva, prematura per l`anagrafe ma non per la contingenza della sinistra italiana.
Perché Renzi sia simpatico, e mostri una tendenza all`affidabilità elettorale, perché sia insomma un naturale presidenziabile, è presto detto. Nessuno osservandolo pensa che questo leader debba accodarsi come una pecora a uno sciopero generale dei bonzi sindacali o a un programma corporativo e antipolitico della Emma Marcegaglia e dei padroncini capresi. Lo si vedrebbe più in sintonia con la riforma decisa e realizzata da Sergio Marchionne nei rapporti sindacali, e con le proposte di liberazione del lavoro di Pietro Ichino, fatte proprie in un momento di sobrietà e di intelligenza dal governo Berlusconi, che d`altra parte è titolare di una disoccupazione inferiore a quella di molti partner euroentusiasti per via del lavoro di Tiziano Treu incorporato da Marco Biagi. I giovani che tirano le molotov in piazza sono diversi da lui, sono conformisti, credono di desiderare l`impossibile, cioè un idolo regressivo, a lui il possibile basta, se no non farebbe politica. Renzi guida una città tosta, sapiente, orgogliosa ed elegante, che ospita i bottegai peggiori del mondo e la spiritualità cattolica più impegnata e solerte su vari fronti, da quello progressista a quello conservatore (dal fantastico e profetico Giorgio La Pira con i suoi discendenti, fino a Divo Barsotti, meno conosciuto ma eccezionale fondatore di gruppi di pensiero e monachesimo cattolico di primissimo ordine).
Ha eliminato un ciuffo imbarazzante. Dichiara e onora la propria ambizione. Motiva e trascina i suoi seguaci. Solleva tremende invidie che lo ingrassano, senza esagerare che già è tondeggiante. Sfruculia Berlusconi e la Lega in tv, ma non si tira indietro se si debba andare a discutere ad Arcore. E` naturalmente curioso dell`altro, senza perdere in gioia identitaria. In un paese come questo, si dice, non ha futuro un candidato alla guida del centro sinistra che parla con impertinenza della sinistra, che fa il bullo con i suoi capi cosiddetti storici, che vuole rottamare i dinosauri.
Ma in un sistema americano, in cui a decidere siano gli elettori, il corpo degli elettori ravvicinati riunito nei caucus e nelle primarie, e non i comitati di partito o di cor- rente, tutte queste sarebbero qualità di im-.
mediato riscontro, analizzate con perspicacia, o almeno con intuito, da una pletora di critici e di osservatori.
Solo il cinismo un po` bestiale, primitivo e gretto, di una certa nostra scuola politicista può trascurare il fattore di sfondamento che Renzi rappresenta anche nell`elettorato moderato. Lui lo sa, e per tre parole ovvie che dice contro Berlusconi, ne dice mille per cambiare il modo di essere dell`opposizione, e lo fa con schiettezza, non senza prudenza, con esitazioni comprensibili, ma in modo alla fine piuttosto volitivo. Non gli farei mai l`oltraggio di dichiararlo il mio candidato, perché il mio candidato è Berlusconi e dopo di lui un centinaio di berlusconiani puri, fino alla consunzione per esaurimento della lista. Ma osservo con franchezza, e senza particolare malizia, che lo scandalo di un`opposizione che non c`è, e di un programma di alternativa che non°ési te, potrebbe forse colmarlo un tipo e sì. Uno che si preoccupa non già di content r`onanisticamente i più radicalizzati e`faziosi dei suoi, uno che preferisce parlare agli italiani e vedere se ci sia la possibilità, chissà, un domani, di mettere insieme una maggioranza per domare lo spirito ideologico vuoto che questo paese ha ereditato dagli anni Settanta, insieme con un notevole debito pubblico.

Saturday, October 29

Has America Become an Oligarchy?

At first, the outraged members of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York were mainly met with ridicule. They didn't seem to stand a chance and were judged incapable of going up against their adversaries, Wall Street's bankers and financial managers, either intellectually or in terms of economic knowledge.

"We are the 99 percent," is the continuing chant of the protestors, who are now in their seventh week of marching through the streets of Manhattan. And, surprisingly, they have hit upon the crux of America's problems with precisely this sentence. Indeed, they have given shape to a development in the country that has been growing more acute for decades, one that numerous academics and experts have tried to analyze elsewhere in lengthy books and essays. It's a development so profound and revolutionary that it has shaken the world's most powerful nation to its core. Inequality in America is greater than it has been in almost a century. Those fortunate enough to belong to the 1 percent, made up of the super-rich, stand on one side of the divide; the remaining 99 percent on the other. Even for a country that has always accepted opposite extremes as part of its identity, the chasm has simply grown too vast.
Those who succeed in the US are congratulated rather than berated. Resenting other people's wealth is viewed as supporting class struggle, which is something very frowned upon.
Still, statistics indicate that the growing disparity is genuinely overwhelming. In fact, the 400 wealthiest Americans now own more than the "lower" 150 million Americans put together.
Nearly two-thirds of net private assets are concentrated in the hands of 5 percent of Americans. In comparison, the upper 5 percent of Germany hold less than half of net assets. In 2009 alone, at the same time as the US was being convulsed by mass layoffs, the number of millionaires in the country skyrocketed.
Indeed, if you look at the reports it compiles on every country in the world, even the CIA has concluded that wealth disparity is greater in the US than in Tunisia or Egypt.
A New 'Gilded Age'
In a book published in 2010, American political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson discuss how this "hyperconcentration of economic gains at the top" also existed in the United States in the early 20th century, when industrial magnates -- such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J. P. Morgan -- dominated the upper stratum of society and held the country firmly in their grip for years.
Writer Mark Twain coined the phrase "the Gilded Age" to describe that period of rapid growth, a time when the dazzling exterior of American life actually concealed mass unemployment, poverty and a society ripped in two.
Economists and political scientists believe the US has entered a new Gilded Age, a period of systematic inequality dominated by a new class of super-rich. The only difference is that, this time around, the super-rich are hedge fund managers and financial magnates instead of oil and rail barons.
A Threat to the World Economy

The academics fear this change could have serious consequences for the country's economic future. As they see it, this extreme inequality threatens to dramatically slow growth in the world's largest economy. This is part of a development, they argue, that has been under way for years but remained largely hidden in the years of cheap credit, rising real estate prices and excessive consumption -- when it seemed everyone was on the way up. And the problems only came to light with the arrival of the financial crisis. Through the 1970s, income for Americans across all social classes rose nearly in lockstep, by an annual average of roughly 3 percent. Starting in the 1980s, however, this trend underwent a fundamental transformation. Granted, the economy continued to grow -- but almost exclusively to the benefit of the country's top earners. The major economic expansion under President Ronald Reagan benefited only a few, and the problem only grew worse under George W. Bush.
At least since the beginning of the millennium, it has no longer been a simple matter of two societal extremes drifting further apart. Instead, the development is also accelerating. In the years of economic growth between 2002 and 2007, 65 percent of the income gains went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers. Likewise, although the productivity of the US economy has increased considerably since the beginning of the millennium, most Americans haven't benefited from it, with average annual incomes falling by more than 10 percent, to $49,909 (€35,184).

US media on Gaddafi: In praise of lynching

The mainstream US media has reacted to Muammar Gaddafi's brutal lynching with a tidal wave of cheers and approval, trumpeting the Colonel’s death as the start of a new era for Libya.

­US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the triumphant celebrations of Gaddafi’s death with her immortal line, “We came, we saw, he died!” - words which are sure to be remembered far beyond America’s shores.

Joy at the killing of the killing of the African leader spread like wildfire through the US media.

“It cost us a trillion dollars to get Saddam and a billion dollars to get Gaddafi,” remarked television host Bill Maher.

“And Libya says they’re going to pay back the billion that we spent, too. So it’s going to end up being sort of free for nothing,” cheered the host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.

Senator Lindsey Graham gave it to us straight:

“Let’s get in on the ground, there is a lot of money to be made in the future in Libya, there is a lot of oil to be produced,” he said.

Not a single American soldier killed and great opportunities ahead – it seems like the perfect new warfare, and one that serves as a sharp lesson to others.
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“I think it sends an important message to other leaders in the region,” lectured a CNN commentator.

“Boy, I tell you, these Arab dictators – they’re not very original. Just like Saddam Hussein, caught him in a hole,” sneered Bill Maher.

“Muammar Gaddafi was a bad guy,” Fox concluded.

Although many Libyans would argue whether he was really so bad, considering what Gaddafi did for the country’s social welfare and women’s rights, in the eyes of the US media, he was the ultimate evil.

“It is a demonization, every step of the way, against Gaddafi. In the media today always one man, one leader of a country, becomes a justification for destroying an entire country,” acknowledged Sara Flounders, member of the Workers World Party.

For a few days, the media savored the bloody images of Gaddafi’s killing and laughed at similarities between his capture in a ditch and that of Saddam Hussein.

In the eyes of the American public, the celebration of Gaddafi’s killing effectively erases the bad taste left by the NATO campaign – no mention of Libyan civilians killed in NATO strikes, not much talk about the destruction to the country caused by those strikes. Gaddafi’s killing is presented as a triumph, creating a perception that somehow it is perfectly OK to invade a country and help its leader be lynched. But if it is presented as such a success – doesn't it become more tempting to try the same methods somewhere else?

Gaddafi’s son: caught between a legal fight and flight

Col Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam says he is innocent and is reportedly considering appearing before the war crimes tribunal. The chief ICC prosecutor has warned him not to try to flee from his refuge in the Sahara desert.

­On the horns of a dilemma

­Communicating through intermediaries, the late Muammar Gaddafi’s son has told the International Criminal Court he is innocent of any crimes against humanity. An ICC arrest warrant issued for Saif al-Islam in June 2011 accuses him of murder and persecution. Meanwhile, he says he wants to clarify what could happen to him if and when cleared of charges at The Hague, the court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said on Saturday.
"There are some people connected with him that are in touch with people connected with us, so we have no direct relation; it's through intermediaries," Moreno-Ocampo told The Guardian.
"But we trust very much the person who is in touch for our side. He says he is innocent, he will prove he is innocent, and then he is more concerned about what will happen after, if he is considered innocent by the court," added Moreno-Ocampo. "So we explain to him the legal system, so we are making no deal, though we have a case against him," he added. "But we are explaining the legal system and his right to defend himself," he added.
Moreno-Ocampo stated the ICC would not make "a deal" in return for surrender, but insisted "the conversation is about how to appear before the judges and how we present the evidence."
Saif al-Islam expressed his readiness to surrender to the ICC, it was reported on Wednesday, due to the fact he did not feel safe in his hiding place, a senior military official of Libya's National Transitional Council said. If he surrenders he will be transferred to The Hague where the ICC shares a detention unit with the UN’s Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which is trying the former Liberian president Charles Taylor.

­Inextricable knot

­Despite having a line of communication with Saif al-Islam, Moreno-Ocampo voiced his concern that he could escape by fleeing to another country with the aid of mercenaries and that his declared willingness to go on trial is a ruse to win time.
Intelligence reports suggest that the mercenaries could include South Africans. The Gaddafi family also has strong links with desert tribes in Niger, Mali and other poor former French colonies in West Africa, making these places a possible refuge for Saif.
For the time being, the ICC has received a number of reports from Libya’s new National Transitional Council leaders that Saif al-Islam has taken refuge in the borderlands between Libya and Niger. According to reports, he fled to the frontier after his father was captured and killed near Sirte.
The International Criminal Court has warned that if Saif al-Islam tries to flee by plane, it would move to carry out a mid-air interception.
The ICC lacks a police force of its own, though member countries are legally bound to enforce its warrants.
Three of Saif al-Islam's six brothers were killed in the war that broke out in Libya. Another, Saadi, has reportedly found refuge in Niger.

'Gaddafi wasn't scared' - Colonel's driver

Muammar Gaddafi spent his last moments standing his ground and prepared for the inevitable as the rebels finally came for him. That is according to the Colonel’s loyal employee - one the few who witnessed his last days and secret funeral.
Huneish Nasr, who was Gaddafi’s personal driver for more than 30 years, has told the Guardian about the deposed leader’s last moments.
"He was always standing still and looking to the west,” Nasr said. “I didn't see fear in him.”
Nasr said he spent five days with Gaddafi and his guards in the besieged town of Sirte, holding the last stand in ‘District 2’ neighborhood. They moved constantly from house to house under fierce attacks from revolutionary fighters. According to Nasr, Gaddafi seemed to be struggling to accept the reality of what was happening around him.
“He wasn't scared, but he didn't seem to know what to do,” Nasr said. “It was the only time I ever saw him like that."
After Gaddafi’s convoy had been intercepted upon departure from Sirte, Huneish Nasr surrendered. Just before he was knocked to the ground, he saw a raving crowd swoop on his boss. That was the last time he saw Gaddafi alive.
Over three decades of service, Huneish Nasr, never saw any bad behavior in Gaddafi, who was “always just the boss” for Nasr. “He treated me well," Nasr said.
Nasr is a member of Gaddafi’s tribe and one of the few surviving members of the inner circle who did not betray Gaddafi. But he could not give any details of where the surviving loyalists might be.
"If any of the other close staff are still alive, I don't know where they are or what happened to them," Nasr said. "The rest of them may be somewhere with the revolutionaries or they may be dead.”
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was buried at dawn on October 25 in an undisclosed location in the desert. Huneish Nasr says that he was one of a select group who were at the funeral, along with Gaddafi's personal cleric, Khaled Tantoush, and two representatives of the ruling National Transitional Council.

Vitomir Bajic was preparing team for abduction of Police Minister’s son

Vitomir Bajic, member of Darko Saric’s drug dealing clan who committed suicide in a prison in Italy on September 21, last year organized with a group of criminals from Bosnia/Herzegovina and Croatia a team for following of Police Minister Ivica Dacic. As ‘Blic’ learns from a police source, that group planned abduction of Dacic’s son.
The plan was revealed in June last year after arrest of one of Bajic’s close associates in Croatia over cocaine smuggling from Latin America.
 

In a police action carried out by Serbian and Italian police, Bajic was arrested in Montenegro in November last year together with Srpska Klisura and Darko Saric’s brother Dusko. They were charged with smuggling of 225 kilos of cocaine confiscated by Italian police in June of 2009. Bajic was extradited to Italy in March this year. He committed suicide in a prison. He had both Serbian and Bosnia/Herzegovina citizenship. Bajic’s lawyer Borivoje Borovic told media that he ‘is not quite sure about the suicide version’.

‘Bajic was not a man who would kill himself’, Borovic said.

Apart from drug smuggling, Serbian police believe that Bajic was involved in several abductions, murders, cooperation with Saric, Luka Bojovic and Cvetko Simic killed in Zagreb last year.

Police are also very much interested in one of Bajic’s earlier connections which might help in revealing killing of one of eyewitnesses to assassination of Premier Zoran Djindjic. Namely Bajic and the killed eyewitness Kuja Krijestorac ran as partners a bakery in Belgrade.

Serbia lobbying for Kosovo partition

Serbia is leading intensive negotiations with Germany and the USA over Kosovo status and a solution that would be acceptable for the north of the province.

As ‘Blic’ learns the authorities in Belgrade have offered as a final solution partition of Kosovo/Metohija but so far that proposal does not seem to be acceptable for the international community. Regardless of the situation in the field, Serbia can expect that the candidate status is confirmed to it in December.
 
‘It is true that there are ongoing negotiations but they are not going smoothly. A solution is being sought in talks with the leading world powers and not with the authorities in Pristina. The problem, however, is that we have not gone far since partition of Kosovo is still unacceptable for the EU. Some other solutions are also on the table but they are not in the first plan’, a source from Serbian Government.

The fact is that it is very difficult to talk about Kosovo status with the USA because that story is a closed book for that country. Germany has the same stance. That country’s Chancellor Angela Merkel told Serbian authorities on several occasions that ‘there shall be no negotiations over the status’.

Ognjen Pribicevic, a diplomat and former Serbia ambassador to Germany is acquainted with the fact about the ongoing negotiations. He, however, did not want to talk about details.

‘The problem is that we are in a huge delay with those talks. That is so typical for us. Talks about the status should have been led ten years ago’, Pribicevic says.

The authorities in Belgrade are not in an enviable situation. On one side due to continuation of the European integration process they have just a few months to solve the problem the solution of which takes years. One the other side the Serbs in Kosovo north do not accept any solution which does not include presence of Serbia in the north of the province.

‘It is clear that such situation is a problem for Serbia and that the Government in Belgrade does not have full control over events taking place there. We heard President Tadic’s message that Belgrade wants continuation of talks with Pristina and continuation of European integration. That is why I believe that the candidate status would be confirmed to us in December’, Pribicevic says.

Milan Nikolic, Director of the Center for research of alternatives also thinks that Serbia does not have much of maneuvering space. He too thinks that we shall get the candidate status but not the date for beginning of negotiations with the EU.

Serbia pays for lobbying in US Congress

At the moment when diplomatic struggle for Kosovo is going on and decision over continuation of European integration is to be made, Serbian Government has decided to engage one of the most powerful companies in Washington the ‘Podesta Group’ to lobby for the interests of Serbia in the USA.
As ‘Blic’ learns the contract has been concluded on October 1 this year for the monthly fee of 100,000 Dollars. Part of that money, 25,000 Dollars shall go to the ‘Robert White’, a company that ‘Podesta Group’ engaged to lobby for Serbia in the Congress.

As per the contracted agreement the task of ‘Podesta Group’ shall be to contribute to realization of strategic goals of Serbia, enable development of useful and efficient relations between Serbia and the US, represent Serbian interests in all relevant and economic American institutions.

This is the first contract of this kind concluded since beginning of the year when all contracts on lobbying were cancelled in line with austerity measures. ‘Blic’ yesterday tried to get some more details at Serbian Government but without success. Neither the Embassy of Serbia in Washington wanted to make any comment.

‘No doubt that the idea that Serbia has its lobbyist in Washington is good. I hope the ‘Podesta Group’ shall be more successful then those that Serbia engaged earlier’, Obrad Kesic, political analyst from Washington

DINO MERLIN

The imminent arrival of Dino Merlin in Serbia for the first time since the civil war in former Yugoslavia has stirred the domestic public. While his admirers and music fans have sold out the Belgrade Arena for three shows in quick succession, those who dislike the Bosnian singer/songwriter are filing petitions, calling for boycott and calling him a Serb-hater. In an exclusive interview for Blic, Dino Merlin addresses the accusations, explains his contentious statements and admits that “emotions ahead of the Belgrade concerts are mixed, but I’m looking forward to the challenge”.

 (Becici, Budva Montenegro)



Did you expect such a huge demand and interest for your concerts in Belgrade and your fans queuing up to buy tickets?
- I was hoping for a big interest given that I have been receiving offers to play in Belgrade and the rest of Serbia for twenty years. However, I couldn’t have expected this enormous interest and two Arena concerts already sold out without a single poster put up in Belgrade.

Who are you going to meet of your friends and fellow entertainers from Serbia when you arrive and what are the prevailing emotions you will be taking into these meetings?
- I would love to meet my next-door neighbours who are living in Belgrade today. I wouldn’t talk names as they don’t mean anything to you, but I miss them and they mean a lot to me.


What is your reaction to various online petitions who are calling for the boycott of your concerts and indeed your arrival in the first place?
- We are fortunate enough to be living in a world of democracy, rather than totalitarianism, darkness and fascism. Everyone has the right to do what they please as long as they don’t jeopardise the freedoms and rights of other people. Individuals have the right to not want me to come to Serbia, but I am only interested in those people who love my music. I am coming to sing to them and only them.

Do you fear for your safety in Belgrade?
- No. I have learned in life only to fear God. I am not afraid because I haven’t wished or done evil to anyone and every night I will have around 18,000 guardians who will make sure nothing happens to me.

So, let’s get it out of the way – are you a Serb-hater, as some would like to label you?
- No, I am not. I don’t hate anyone, especially not an entire nation. I don’t divide people according to their ethnic group, but to those who do injustice and those who suffer from others’ injustice. These claims are nonsense. When it was the Serbs who were doing injustice, I reacted. When Serbs were hard done by I reacted then too. It is plain to see in my interviews, but no one is mentioning them here, for some reason.

Those who are now standing against you are referring to some statements of yours, like the one you gave for Globus in which you stated: “There can be no co-existence with the Serbs; God doesn’t like the ones who wreak havoc and He will do away with them through our rifles”. Did you really say that?
- It’s possible I have said something like that, because in a situation when you wake up one morning and you see someone has just started shelling your city with grenades and taking you out with sniper rifles, it’s hard to maintain your belief and hope in people and in the better tomorrow. The strength of me and my fellow Sarajevo folk is in the fact we have survived and I have called for no revenge, not even after the numerous innocent victims and the injustice we fell victim to. It could be that in that moment I had stopped believing in the good in people and began to believe in our force that could help us to survive.

Have you ever owned a tavern where there was a sign at the entrance which said “Forbidden for dogs and Serbs”? There is also a version of that story that says you had the slogan written on an LP record of yours.
- I have never owned or run a tavern, nor have I ever spread hatred towards anyone. There is not a single record of mine which says it is forbidden for anyone. The people who are making up these stories obviously have a sick imagination. Most of my songs are about love, universal experiences and are meant for anyone who likes them.

Thursday, October 27

l Pdl sotto assedio si stringe in più di un conclave, telefonate, consultazioni, solidarietà diffusa per un attacco giudicato ancora contenibile (ma cosa pubblicheranno domani?). Angelino Alfano entra ed esce da Palazzo Grazioli, poi tocca al vicecapogruppo in Senato, Gaetano Quagliariello. “E’ roba da matti, una violenta aggressione politica a mezzo giudiziario che stavolta mette a rischio tutto il paese”, ha insistito ancora Berlusconi, tormentato ma non arrendevole, perché la qualità del conflitto sta superando il livello di guardia e nonostante il rimbalzo positivo della Borsa la situazione sui mercati resta incerta. Lo dice anche Guido Crosetto, sottosegretario alla Difesa: “Chi ha a cuore l’Italia ci penserebbe venti volte prima di indebolire il governo in un momento difficile come questo”. Ma non ci sono più soltanto le inchieste di Napoli e Bari. Il gip di Milano, ieri, ha invitato la procura a chiedere il rinvio a giudizio per il premier, accusato di concorso in rivelazione di segreto d’ufficio per la vicenda della fuga di notizie sull’intercettazione tra Giovanni Consorte e Piero Fassino ai tempi della tentata scalata di Unipol alla Bnl: “Abbiamo una banca!”. L’avvocato Ghedini quasi ride mentre dice che “in Italia chiunque pubblica impunemente decine e decine di intercettazioni illegali, viola il segreto istruttorio, ma solo il presidente Berlusconi che di questo sistema è la vittima viene processato”.

Come dice Fabrizio Cicchitto: “Ci sono centomila intercettazioni. Una riserva infinita, che viene snocciolata con sapienza, poco alla volta, quando fa più male, secondo uno schema così perfetto da fare paura. In privato, al telefono, in un momento di nervosismo chiunque può dire qualsiasi cosa…”. Per questo il Cavaliere mercoledì ha voluto incontrare Giorgio Napolitano, che presiede il CSM. Il premier sa che nessun moralismo è possibile in Napolitano, sa che il presidente della Repubblica lo considererà sempre il suo principale interlocutore, almeno finché siederà a Palazzo Chigi e avrà anche un solo deputato in più delle opposizioni. Ma soprattutto il Cavaliere sa bene che al presidente questa situazione non piace affatto.

Fateci uscire da questo incubo, trovate una soluzione che raffreddi l’incandescenza. Ma l’incubo è la politica predatoria, la giustizia persecutoria, la fine della privacy, il bracconaggio illegale. Finché non getterà la spugna per sua volontà, magari in numero sempre decrescente, noi resteremo qui a incitarlo e a denunciare, uno per uno, i colpi bassi dei suoi avversari. Non è un Lord, è un grande pugile che dà scandalo. E noi qui non siamo al concerto, stiamo assistendo a un interminabile match di boxe. Facciamo il nostro dovere, e salvaguardiamo senza infingimenti e con passione le regole di un’arte nobile con devozione partigiana e patriottica. Le partite truccate non ci piacciono.

Friday, October 21

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. NO COMMENT !!!


Cosa deve fare l`Italia per combattere la sussiegosa impotenza europea?

L’asse Parigi-Berlino? Il motore franco-tedesco? Non scherziamo. Per capire come vanno davvero le cose, basta passare in rassegna la tragedia greca, madre di tutte le tragedie europee dei nostri giorni. Il 28 gennaio 2010 George Papandreou si presenta al forum di Davos, dove è sempre ospite gradito, e davanti al consesso di banchieri e politici, riuniti come ogni anno sulla "montagna incantata", illustra le misure draconiane (almeno così sembravano) approvate per aggiustare i conti. Il primo ministro si dichiara pronto ad affrontare una crisi già disperata.

In splendida solitudine?

JeanClaude Trichet, presidente della Bce commenta:"Ciascun paese ha i propri problemi, la Grecia s`è fatta del male da sola". Tirano un sospiro di sollievo gli emissari di Nicolas Sarkozv e Angela Merkel, la strana coppia che si gioca le sorti dell`Eurolandia.

Il 5 maggio dello stesso anno, durante uno sciopero, gruppi di black bloc assaltano a colpì di molotov la banca Marfin Egnatia posseduta da Andreas Vagenopoulos, presidente della 0lympic Airlines e patron del Panathinaikos. Muoiono soffocati tre impiegati.Cinque giorni dopo, un vertice europeo mette a disposizione 110 miliardi di euro da erogare a rate entro il 30 aprile 2013. Prestiti a scadenza troppo breve, con tassi elevati;un nuovo errore. Una scelta tempestiva avrebbe attutito la crisi? Probabilmente sì. Soprattutto, una decisione chiara, in un senso o nell`altro: un default governato o un salvataggio deciso.

Invece, Berlino e Parigi si sono gingillati con l`idea che quel che conta è difendere le proprie banche, zeppe di titoli marci: di prestito in prestito, riscuotono gli interessi ed evitano di mettere in bilancio le perdite sul valore dei titoli. Così funziona il direttorio. Così (non) funziona l`Eurolandia.Un anno e mezzo di gestione confusa e zigzagante ha favorito l`estensione a macchia d`olio dell`incertezza: Portogallo, Spagna, Italia, il cui eventuale collasso può davvero far crollare l`intero sistema.

E` giunto il momento di prendere atto degli errori commessi, con onestà, senza volontà punitive, né revansciste. Il governo italiano (magari con quello spagnolo anche se dimissionario) già domenica al vertice di Bruxelles, dovrebbe farsi interprete del profondo disagio dei paesi chiamati pigs (epiteto ingiurioso e razzista).

Naturalmente, tutti faranno pulizia in casa propria. La Grecia, sia pur tardi e malvolentieri, ingoia una medicina che rischia di uccidere il paziente. La Spagna sceglie una resa dei conti politica. L`Italia, in modo magari confuso, in un anno e mezzo raggiungerà il pareggio del bilancio (spesa per interessi compresa), Il Tesoro non ha risorse a disposizione, ma il paese è ricco, nove trilioni dì euro, quasi sei volte il Pil di un anno e cinque volte e mezzo lo stock del debito.

E` possibile far circolare questo patrimonio pietrificato dalla paura e sciogliere i lacci che ostacolano la voglia di fare. Nessuno è in grado di uscire dalla crisi con il rigore senza sviluppo. E questo lo ha sempre proclamato Mario Draghi, l`italiano ora al vertice della BEE. E` la linea della Banca d`Italia, anche del successore in pectore Ignazio Visco. Una volta adottato l`euro, però, non si può fare la crescita in un paese solo.

Dov`è finita la Francia di Jacques Delors che aveva immaginato progetti di modernizzazione del vecchio continente, magari talvolta faraonici? 0 la Germania di Helmut Kohl che ha rinunciò al marco per integrare i suoi due stati in una dimensione davvero continentale? La povertà della leadership è sotto gli occhi di tutti: Bruxelles balbetta, Berlino tentenna, Parigi chiacchiera. Se Roma mettesse in campo idee nuove, proposte coraggiose e praticabili, potrebbe presentarsi come portavoce di una Europa meridionale con aspirazioni ed energie capaci di rivitalizzare lo stanco flusso renano. E se non ora, quando?

Libia: una guerra che gli italiani non hanno voluto.

Se questa è la primavera araba.., era scritto che Gheddafi dovesse morire presto ed è morto come muoiono quasi tutti i dittatori: malamente e in situazioni poco chiare. Meglio per lui: se l`avessero catturato e tenuto in vita allo scopo di esibirlo quale trofeo al popolazzo, sottoporlo a un processo farsa e giustiziarlo tra gli applausi degli ex amici suoi, sarebbe stato umiliante per lui quanto peri suoi carnefici. La fine di tutti i regimi avviene nel rispetto di una liturgia disgustosa.

È toccata al fascismo, al nazismo e a molti comunismi. E il pensiero corre a Ceausescu e consorte, ammazzati quali criminali comuni dopo essere stati osannati e adorati per decenni come idoli.

Gheddafi avrebbe potuto salvarsi con facilità: molti Paesi lo avrebbero «ricevuto» volentieri, lui e le sue ricchezze smodate, garantendogli l`impunità. Ma, gonfio d`orgoglio e di supponenza, ha preferito, secondo gli impegni assunti, rimanere in Libia accanto al mucchio sempre più esiguo della propria gente, di cui era costretto a fidarsi dopo averne diffidato per circa mezzo secolo. Non abbiamo creduto per un solo momento alla favoletta che egli sia stato preso dai ribelli. Figuriamoci, una banda di straccioni disorganizzata e velleitaria che, senza l`imponente aiuto della Francia & C., si sarebbe sparata ai piedi. Notizie precise non si hanno e non si avranno mai. Tuttavia qualcosa è filtrato. All`inizio hanno raccontato che il raìs è stato attaccato da elicotteri occidentali e ferito alle gambe. Caricato su un`ambulanza sarebbe poi deceduto durante il trasporto all`ospedale. Una versione dei fatti che puzza di balla. La verità, infatti, è un`altra: un aereo francese ha colpito Gheddafi, poi i ribelli l`hanno linciato e finito con una pallottola partita da una mano pietosa o, più probabilmente comandata dall`alto. Un dittatore ucciso dal piombo giova alla causa degli assassini più di uno, tipo Saddam Hussein, che viene impiccato e, in quel momento, somiglia a un agnello, muove a pietà e magari lascia un buon ricordo nelle anime pie. Anche il tiranno più spietato, una volta in cattività e spinto al patibolo, fa pena, e l`odio di cui era circondato da potente evapora.

Probabilmente Gheddafi è andato all`altro mondo come desiderava: buon per lui.

E buon per noi che non saremo costretti a seguire le manfrine ipocrite di una giustizia inesistente nel Nord Africa, nonostante la primavera araba. Ma quale primavera? Uno schifo era il regime del Colonnello, uno schifo è quello che sta per subentrargli con la sponsorizzazione dell`Occidente, dato che i nuovi padroni delvapore sono stati fino a ieri servi del padrone defunto.

Dai figli di Gheddafi si passa ai fratelli musulmani: capirai che progresso.

Ora comincia la gara internazionale per accaparrarsi il petrolio libico e gli appalti per la ricostruzione di una nazione mai costruita e, da tempi remoti, in balia di tribù dalla cultura (si fa per dire) diversa dalla nostra e incompatibile con i princìpi elementari della democrazia rappresentativa e liberale. Alla corsa a chi farà più affari partecipiamo pure noi con un pesante handicap: eravamo interlocutori privilegiati del satrapo freddato e, in pochi mesi, siamo diventati ospiti appena tollerati al tavolo della spartizione. Ovvio. La guerra l`abbiamo fatta, però malvolentieri, con scarsa convinzione. E questo laggiù è noto.

È noto cioè che fino alla vigilia del conflitto l`Italia era amica di Gheddafi e che si è trasformata in nemica - mica tanto - per volontà non del governo in carica bensì perché pressata dalla cosiddetta comunità internazionale. Giustamente Silvio Berlusconi era riluttante ad attaccare il proprio compare, al quale era legato da interessi e reciproca simpatia. All`improvviso ha dovuto cambiare bandiera. Lo ha fatto perché trascinato per i capelli (anche qui si fa per dire) da Giorgio Napolitano, convertitosi dall`internazionalismo socialista ai superiori princìpi morali della civiltà occidentale.

Già. Chi avrebbe sospettato, anche solo vent`anni fa, che avremmo assistito a una simile giravolta? Adesso ci aspettiamo che il Quirinale esulti insieme con la sinistra al trapasso di Gheddafi, che segna l`ennesima vittoria dell`Italia in una guerra che gli italiani non hanno voluto. Intoniamo l`Inno di Mameli che ha sostituito Bandiera rossa.

Francia e Germania, impediscono di trovare una soluzione alla crisi.

Il direttorio franco-tedesco avanza "mano nella mano" ma non ha una visione comune salva crisi Bruxelles. Dare al Fondo salva euro un bazooka per sparare subito contro i mercati o costringere i governi a mettere lentamente, ma definitivamente, in ordine conti e banche? I leader della zona euro dovranno trovare una risposta nella serie di vertici del fine settimana che culmineranno nel Consiglio europeo di domenica. Ma dietro questa alternativa - la prima ipotesi è sostenuta dal presidente Nicolas Sarkozy, la seconda è promossa dalla cancelliera Angela Merkel - si nasconde il conflitto tra Francia e Germania, che impedisce di trovare una soluzione alla crisi.

Domenica non uscirà il piano "globale e sostenibile" promesso da Sarkozy e Merkel due settimane fa. "L`obiettivo di Herman Van Rompuy è di avere una decisione politica e orientamenti con abbastanza credibilità per i mercati", spiegano al Foglio fonti del Consiglio europeo. Poi "ci sarà molto lavoro tecnico da fare" a livello di ministri delle Finanze. E` già stato annunciato un altro vertice della zona euro mercoledì, prima del summit del G20 di novembre a Cannes. Il rischio di deludere i mercati è alto, tanto più che i dettagli "tecnici" riguardano importanti questioni: la ristrutturazione del debito greco, la potenza del Fondo europeo di stabilità finanziaria, la ricapitalizzazione delle banche.

L`ultimo conflitto franco-te- desco riguarda i soldi a disposizione del Fondo salva euro. I 440 miliardi a disposizione non bastano a comprare obbligazioni sovrane direttamente dai paesi in difficoltà o sui mercati secondari, fornire linee di credito precauzionali ai governi, e assistere la ricapitalizzazione bancaria. La Francia vorrebbe trasformare il Fondo in una banca privata, permettendogli così di farsi prestare 2-3 trilioni di euro della Banca centrale europea. Ma nel blitz di mercoledì a Francoforte Sarkozy si è sentito rispondere "nein" da Merkel. Parigi e Berlino divergono anche sulla ristrutturazione del debito greco: il 60 per cento di perdite imposte alle banche chiesto dai tedeschi è insostenibile per le banche francesi, fortemente esposte in Grecia. Dalla bancarotta di ` Lehman Brothers, Sarkozy e Merkel hanno detto di lavorare "mano nella mano". Ma non hanno mai guidato insieme l`Europa. Hanno duellato a colpi di piccole frasi cattive e fughe di notizie sulla stampa.

"La Francia agisce, mentre la Germania fatica a pensare", disse Sarkozy prima del vertice del maggio 2010 sul bailout della Grecia. Merkel voleva che fosse il Fondo monetario internazionale a salvare Atene dopo un tradizionale default, ma per Sarkozy era "inaccettabile". Così, alla fine si fece un terzo di salvataggio del Fini, due terzi dei paesi europei, e l`inevitabile default greco fu rinviato.

La storia della crisi della zona euro è un susseguirsi di compromessi mal riusciti.

Nell`ottobre dei 2010, durante la passeggiata sul lungo mare di Deauville, Sarkozy ottenne un nuovo Patto di stabilità meno rigido, ma in cambio fu costretto a concedere a Merkel la ristrutturazione del debito dei paesi soccorsi dal Meccanismo di stabilità permanente. I1 21 luglio scorso, Sarkozy ha avuto il rafforzamento dei poteri del Efsf, ma Merkel non ha dato al Fondo salva euro le risorse necessarie.

Anche l`accordo che si delinea per domenica sarà una via di mezzo: il Fondo dovrebbe assicurare il 20-30 per cento del valore delle obbligazioni emesse dai paesi della zona euro, mentre le banche subiranno perdite tra il 30 e il 50 per cento. Ma le difficoltà tra Sarkozy e Merkel illustrano un problema più profondo, che mina la zona euro sin dalle sue origini: Francia e Germania hanno due culture opposte della stabilità di bilancio, due concezioni diverse della politica monetaria e due visioni contraddittorie del ruolo della Bce.

Sunday, October 9

Syrian opposition violence - shocking video

Torture, booby-trapped cars, machine-guns shooting in the air – RT has come into the possession of a video that deals with episodes of the day-to-day life of members of the Syrian opposition.

It shows members of the opposition wielding various weaponry – from sickles to pump-action shotguns – and using it, as well as some results of their actions.

Parts of it contain too much violence to be reproduced for an unprepared audience, the rest is available to demonstrate the scale of the humanitarian catastrophe Syria is dealing with.
­Still in search of a solution

­Meanwhile, Russia has declared its readiness to continue working on a new resolution on Syria and expects two delegations of the Syrian opposition to visit Moscow for negotiations in October.

While a massive group of Western countries last week proposed two resolutions, both of which included sanctions against current President Bashar al-Assad’s regime if violence against the opposition continues, Russia and China opposed any kind of sanctions.

Russia has condemned the Western resolutions as being designed to force a regime change in Syria, which, according to numerous statements made by Russia's Foreign Ministry, will only encourage violence.

American war drones on despite virus

US military officials continue to say unofficially that the cyber attack on assault drones control center in Nevada has not had any impact on the American missions overseas.

­At the same, time neither US Air Force nor the creator of drones, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, will make any comments on the unfortunate incident that most probably became public due to an insider leak.

The first report about computer virus infecting US military networks came on October 8 from Wired magazine. It reported that the virus captured strokes on a keyboard in drones’ cockpits at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, making it tricky for the pilots who remotely fly assault drones like Predator and Reaper.

It became known that the problem was detected over two weeks ago, but the spyware proved to be a high-end program and the military IT specialists were unable to erase it from the system or quarantine it.

"We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back," a source told Wired.

The US military has shared no information on whether the virus has also been trying to extract any classified data from the military networks.

So far it remains unknown how the network became infected – was it an orchestrated attack or did the virus get into the secured network accidentally?

The US Air Force refuses to discuss any details of the virus accident also because this might provide the virus’s creator with valuable information on what has been achieved and what has failed, so the hacker could use different tactics and change the virus code to make it even more effective.

The US Air Force insists that the media is making a mountain out of a molehill and that the drones themselves have never been in jeopardy.

As of today, the US Air Force uses drones in at least five countries: about 150 Predator drones and 50 Reaper drones are used in Afghanistan and Iraq, unknown number is engaged in Libya, Pakistan and Yemen.

The American Predator and Reaper drones executing remote missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan are being operated by ordinary PCs, so it is no wonder a virus can be easily created to jam the commands. The real question in this situation is obvious – how is it become possible that the seemingly most secure military network got infected in the first place?

Now it appears that it might not just be the Creech Air Force Base network that was infected, but a large-scale military network as well, and in this case the virus would re-write itself back from the larger network – and not only at the Creech Base.

Two years ago there already was a scandal involving US drones, after American servicemen obtained a laptop belonging to Iraqi insurgents, with video footage files from drones on them. It was said Iraqis might have used a Russian or Chinese program to intercept the video signal from a drone and that the program could have cost as little as US$26.

Thursday, October 6

Secret panel approves executions of Americans

Criticism over the sudden CIA-led drone strike in Yemen that killed two American citizens last week has promoted questions over which authorities can approve such secretive assassinations.

Now a report reveals that a top-secret panel of high-up officials sent their suggestion all the way to President Obama.

According to a report released today by Reuters, the deaths of al-Qaeda linked militants Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan stemmed after their names made it to a “capture or kill list” that was put together by a secret panel of top government brass. That clandestine collective, however, does not keep a record of their neither rulings, nor do laws exist that establish its operation procedure or existence whatsoever.

The secrecy behind the sneak attack and lack of transparency is causing critics from across the board to question what many are calling extrajudicial killings. Both al-Awlaki and Khan were American citizens that were never formally charged with a crime or brought to trial. It was alleged ties with al-Qaeda and connections to the September 11 terrorist attacks that put their names on the list.

Does this mean that the US government can kill anyone it perceives as a threat without bringing them to trial? So far, yes.

In response, Republican presidential hopeful and Texas Congressman Ron Paul was quick to respond, speaking hours after the announcement that the United States should think twice before "assassinating American citizens without charges."

Less than a week later, Congressman Paul is continuing to question the legitimacy of the executions and warned members of the press in Washington DC yesterday that they could be next on their government’s hit list.

“Can you imagine being put on a list because you're a threat? What's going to happen when they come to the media?” asked Paul.

“What if the media becomes a threat? … This is the way this works. It's incrementalism.”

While the role of the panel that approves the killings is more than murky, Reuters has managed to speak to top officials speaking anonymously on the operation procedure that brought down the two alleged terrorists last week.

Grilled by reporters on Tuesday this week, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that the panel is an offset of the White House’s National Security Council, which puts forth suggestions that eventually go to the president.

“The National Security Council does the investigation, they have lawyers, they review, they look at the situation, you have input from the military, and also, we make sure that we follow international law,” Ruppersberger told reporters this week.

Officials speaking on condition of anonymity relayed to Reuters that the panel that works under the NSC draft up a roster of names to include on the hit-list, which is then sent to Cabinet secretaries and intelligence unit chiefs for approval. They add that attorneys with the Justice Department are consulted before an execution is carried out, and although President Obama isn’t required to sign-off on the killings, he can veto any decision and spare a name from being added.