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Catalonia and Kurdistan
Catalonia and Kurdistan

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The recent referenda in Catalonia and Kurdistan, while by no means crucial developments for Russia, have resulted in a lively debate in the Russian media and the Russian public opinion. The Kremlin itself has refrained from making any strong statements, possibly indicating that there might be several schools of thought on these issues in key ministries. Let’s look at these two situation from the Russian point of view.

Kurdistan:

This is the comparatively simpler one of the two: there is no way Russia is going to take the risk of alienating Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Furthermore, “independent Kurdistan” is so clearly a US-Israeli project that there is no constituency in Russia supporting this concept. Or is there?

Let’s not forget the for all the official smiles and declarations of mutual friendship, Erdogan is not, and will never, be trusted by the Kremlin. Furthermore, let’s not forget that Russia and Turkey fought 12 (twelve!) wars (1568-1570, 1672-1681, 1686-1700, 1710-1713, 1735-1739, 1768-1774, 1787-1791, 1806-1812, 1828-1829, 1853-1856, 1877-1878, 1914-1918). Neither should we forget the role Turkey played in supporting Takfiri terrorism in Chechnia. Or the fact that Erdogan himself bears a huge responsibility in the bloodbath in Syria. Oh and there is the issue of the Russian bomber shot down (with US assistance) over Syrian airspace. So, all in all, there is a lot in the past and the Russians will not ignore it. While it is most definitely not in the Russian national interest to fully support an independent Kurdistan anywhere (meaning not in Turkey, not in Iraq, not in Iran and not in Syria), a Realpolitik approach would strongly suggest that the Russian have an objective interest in keeping the Kurdish issue festering just to have a potential leverage against Turkey. Is that cynical? Yes, absolutely. I am not saying that this is morally/ethically right, only that there will be those in Russia who will make that case.

I think that the real issue for Russia is this: is peace between Russia and Turkey even possible? I personally believe that it is and, not only that, but I even believe that peace between Russia and Turkey is absolutely necessary. And that, in turn, means that it might even be inevitable. Let me explain.

First, 20th, 19th, 18th, 17thand 16th century dynamics are simply not transferable to the 21st century. If the geographical factors have not changed during the past centuries, military realities have. Yes, Russia and Turkey still can compete for influence or for the control of the Black Sea, but for the first time in history the outcome of a Russian-Turkish war has become absolutely predictable: Russia wins, Turkey loses or even disappears entirely. The Russians know that, and so do the Turks. This is exceedingly unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Second, I would argue that Russia and Turkey have common problems and common enemies. Sure, Turkey is still a member of NATO, I don’t think that will change anytime soon, but this membership is in the process of losing a lot of its substance. The attempted coup against Erdogan, which was fully backed and supported by the US, is a stark illustration that with friends like the US Turkey needs no enemies. So look at it from the Turkish point of view: what do Russia and the US want for Turkey? The US want Turkey to be a US colony and use against Russia, Iran and the Arab states in the region and in support of Israel. What does Russia want from Turkey? To be a predictable, reliable and truly independent partner with whom Russia can work. Now if you were Turkish, which option would most appeal to you?

Third, former enemies can become partners – just think of France and Germany for example. That can happen when objective factors combine with a political will and jointly “push” towards a fundamental transition from enemies to partners. I am increasingly inclined to think that this might be happening between Russia and Turkey.

I don’t think I am being Pollyannish here. And yes, there are still plenty of problems in Turkey which can flare-up, including Ergodan’s megalonania, neo-Ottoman imperial delusions, a nasty type of Ottoman Islamism, Turkey’s toxic policies towards Cyprus, Greece and Serbia, etc. But Russia cannot complain about the blind stupidity of East-Europeans who fail to grasp the fundamental differences between the old USSR and the new Russia while at the same time acting as of modern Turkey was the old Ottoman Empire. There are moments in history when what is required from wise leaders is to have the intellectual courage to understand that something fundamental has changed and that old dynamics simply do not apply. At the very least, Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways and to follow Russia in her realization that her future is not with the West, but with the South, East and North.

Fourth, the Kurdish question also presents a serious indirect risk for Russia: even if Russia is not directly involved, any tensions or, God forbid, war between any combination of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq would be a disaster for Russia because all of these countries are, to various degrees, Russian allies. Any conflict between these countries would weaken them and, therefore, weaken Russia too.

For all these reasons, I am personally convinced that having a festering Kurdish problem is not in the Russian national interest. However, neither is it in the Russian national interest to try to become deeply involved in this issue. At most, the Russians can offer to act as intermediaries to help the parties find a negotiated solution, but that’s is about it. Russia is neither an empire nor a world policeman and she has no business trying to influence or, even less so, control outcomes in this thorny issue.

ORDER IT NOW

Israel and the US will do everything they can to prevent Turkey from integrating itself into regional partnerships with Russia or Iran, but this might not be enough to prevent the Turks from realizing that they have no future with the EU or NATO. In the AngloZionist Empire some are more equal than others, and Turkey will never be granted any kind of real partnership in these organizations. The bottom line is this: Russia has a lot to offer Turkey and I believe that the Turks are beginning to realize this. Russia can, therefore, do much better than to simply support Kurdish separatism as a way to keep pressure on Ankara. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is too primitive to be at the foundation of Russia’s policies towards Turkey.

For all these reasons I don’t see Russia supporting Kurdish separatism anywhere. Russia has nothing to gain by supporting what is clearly a US-Israeli project aimed at destabilizing the entire region. I believe that the Kurds themselves have made a huge historical mistake by aligning themselves with the US and Israel and that they therefore will now reap the bitter fruits of this strategic miscalculation: nobody in the region supports a “2nd Israel” (except Israel, of course) and neither will Russia.

Catalonia

Catalonia is far away from Russia and the outcome of the crisis there will have no real impact on Russian national interests. But on a political level, Catalonia is highly relevant to the Russian political debates. See for yourself:

The case of Catalonia can be compared to Crimea: a local referendum, organized against the will of the central government. In contrast, when Kosovo was cut-off from Serbia in total illegality and without any kind of referendum the entire West gave this abomination a standing ovation. The Russians then issues stark warnings about the precedent this set and thereafter South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Crimea happened. Is the secession of Catalonia not the next logical step? Is there not a karmic beauty in the fact that Spain and the rest of the EU are now being hit by the very same demon they unleashed in Kosovo? There is a definite Schadenfreude for many Russians in seeing the pompous asses of EU politicians sitting on the red ants nest of separatism – let’s see how smart and “democratic” you guys truly are?! It is rather funny, in a bitter-sweet way, to see how ‘democratic’ policemen beat up peaceful demonstrators whose only “crime” was to want to cast a ballot in a box. A lot of Russians are now saying that Russia is now the only truly democratic and free country left out there. Needless to say, the way the Madrid government handled this situation further damage the credibility of the West, the EU and the entire notion of “civilized Europe” being “democratic”.

My feeling is that the way the central government handled this event alienated most Russian who are simply baffled by the utter stupidity and needless brutality of the police crackdown during the vote: what in the world were the cops trying to achieve?! Did they really think that they could prevent the vote? And what is the point in then denying that a referendum did take place? Or what about the praise for the police and their behavior? I have to say that for all my pro-Spanish biases, the way Madrid handled it all truly seems fantastically stupid and self-defeating to me.

Historically, the USSR was on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil war and there are still a lot of ties between Russia and Catalonia today. However, there is also s sympathy between Russia and Spain and the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony. Still, a lot of Russian commentator did speak about Madrid’s “Fascism” in handling the events in Catalonia, and footage of anti-separatists screaming Francoist slogans did not help.

Some Russians, however, mostly liberal, caution about supporting separatism movements in Europe because Russia herself in multi-national and because of the risk of the separatist fad coming right back to Russia. I don’t think that this is much of a real risk for Russia. Not after Chechnia. I just don’t see any region in Russia really interested in trying to secede from the Russian Federation. If anything, I see more potential for various region on the other side of the Russian border wanting to join Russia (Novorussia to begin with).

The question which divides a lot of Russians is this: is Russia better off with a strong EU because a strong EU might be more capable of standing up to the US or is Russia better off with a weak EU because a weak EU weakens the Western ‘front’ against Russia? My personal opinion is that EU is doomed anyway and that a collapse of the EU would be a good thing for the people of Europe as it would bring closer the inevitable decolonization of the European continent. This suggests to me that while the eventual outcome of the current crisis is probably irrelevant to Russia, the fact that a crisis is happening is to Russia’s advantage.

I think that most Russians have positive feelings towards both Spain and Catalonia. The only clearly negative feelings I have seen over the past couple of days are elicited by the brutal and dumb way Madrid handled this crisis: most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians. But other than that, the Kremlin’s position that “this is an internal Spanish issue” is probably supported by a majority of experts. Russia has nothing to gain by involving herself in this crisis and she therefore won’t do so.

Conclusion

Potentially, the recent referendums in Kurdistan and Catalonia have the potential to turn into the proverbial spark which will set off a major explosion. The Russians are aware of that risk and will do whatever they can to avoid such an outcome. Unlike the US which thrives of crises, hence the overt support for the Kurds and the covert support for the Catalans, Russia’s “political model” (in the sense of “business model”) does not need crises at all, in fact the Russians dislike them intensively (yet another reason why the notion of a Russian invasion of any country, including in the EU, is just simply ignorant and plain stupid). There is a paradox here: the US, whose military has not had a meaningful victory since the war in the Pacific, thrives on conflict, chaos and violence, while Russia, which probably has the most formidable military on the planet, seems to consider conflicts like a plague which needs to be avoided at all costs. In reality, there is no paradox here, these are simply to dramatically civilizational models which have fundamentally different visions of the kind of world they want to live in. Whatever happens in the future, the Russians will be observing these two conflicts with some trepidation, and they will hotly debate them. But I don’t see them trying to actively involve themselves in what is fundamentally not their problem.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Catalonia, Kurds, Russia, Turkey 
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  1. kimms says:

    “Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways”

    She does but bringing such a primitive, in essence middle-age-mindset country into the 21st century, is a really really tough one. Some 80% of the Turks support ISIS & Al-nusra what does that tell us about their society? Their violent intolerance and pogroms against native Christians? It would probably be much easier to restore Constantinople after an inevitable civil war then to hope for Turkey to make such a giant leap into realpolitik.

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    • Replies: @dervis
    You have not got a clue about Turkish mindset my friend.
    , @anonymous

    She does but bringing such a primitive, in essence middle-age-mindset country into the 21st century, is a really really tough one. Some 80% of the Turks support ISIS & Al-nusra what does that tell us about their society?
     
    And, what-age-mindset country would, for example, AmeriKKKa or Britain-AmeriKKKa's-bitch be? You do understand that the former is called Evil Empire for a reason, right?

    Perhaps for vile godless scum like you, belonging to such decadent polytheist (essentially godless) societies would be something to be exultant about, but for those of us who still cling to concepts of morality, and are constantly fearful of polytheism, it certainly isn't.

    About supporting Jihadists, we are those who support the brave blessed Islamic soldiers who fight the evil polytheist enemies of the One and only, the vile imperialists and the zionists. We reject any who take innocent lives anywhere.

    Now, what does it tell about your societies which support unjust wars which spread untold death and suffering around the world... certainly to an ungodly level of Greed and Psychopathy?

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  2. Randal says:

    Strong on the Kurdish/Russian analysis. Not so impressed with the Catalonia stuff, which seems to me to be overly impressed by all the hysterical propaganda about “police brutality” in the Spanish police perfectly reasonably trying to enforce the law.

    Granted to some extent it’s necessary to treat that propaganda seriously, to the extent that it has been successful in shaping some opinion, but it isn’t necessary to restate it as though it’s objectively true, which suggests Saker for some reason actually believes that a government has no right to order its police to arrest people who break the law, or that police have no right to deal with people who obstruct them in performing their lawful duty.

    Try doing that in the US some time and see what it gets you.

    I have inherent sympathy for the Catalan separatists as nationalists disrupting the Euro establishment’s cosy setup, and inherent antipathy for them as a bunch of globalist lefty pro-immigration, pro-EU hypocrites, so I’m conflicted on my emotional response to the issue. Perhaps that allows for more objectivity.

    In practical terms, though, I can see no short term future for Catalan separatism. There is almost zero possibility of any major world government recognising a unilaterally seceding region in Spain, for obviously self-serving reasons, and a unilateral declaration of independence leaves Catalonia in breach of Spanish law to the degree that it fails and outside the EU and without any realistic way to organise its finances and economy to the extent that it succeeds.

    Far from making a mistake, I suspect the Madrid government did the right thing (from the point of view of the Spanish central government and its tactical objective of frustrating the Catalan separatists’ goal on secession) in making it clear that the “referendum” was illegal – it prevented it from being a much more credible mandate for independence, and the hysterical response to a few robust police operations will soon fade as reality sets in.

    Rationally, you would expect therefore that the noises the separatists are making about a UDI within days should be a bluff. However, it’s certainly possible that Puigdemont’s analysis is different and he will go ahead with one. In that case, it seems likely the central government will suspend regional government and arrest the separatist leaders, replace the senior ranks of the local police force and seek to ride out the likely mass demonstrations, mob resistance and strikes that will follow.

    The separatists can only lose from then on, since all they can do is make life unpleasant for their own people in Catalonia while the central government tightens the noose. It doesn’t appear there is sufficient or sufficiently strong support for independence in Catalonia, nor any strong foreign sponsor, to enable them to hold out long enough to bring Spain, backed by the EU establishment, to its knees. As time goes on, more and more people in Catalonia, starting with the strong opponents of separatism and moving on to neutrals and ultimately even “soft” separatist supporters, will come to blame the UDI hotheads for their situation.

    The separatists will be left depending on a “hail Mary” to rescue them – a Spanish government collapse or some kind of Euro crisis that, instead of causing the big EU powers to tell Madrid to crack down harder and sort things out, somehow has the opposite effect.

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    • Replies: @s.a. top
    "which seems to me to be overly impressed by all the hysterical propaganda about “police brutality” in the Spanish police perfectly reasonably trying to enforce the law."

    Wrong.

    Holding a referendum is freedom of speech.

    Asking all catalonians their opinion about separation is freedom of speech.

    When the spanish law does not give democratic/political power to a referendum, a judge in court based on the law can simply declare the referendum null and void.

    The spanish government acts out of fear for no good reason.

    This police brutality is a crackdown on freedom of speech.

    Only when the catalonian people act against the law, and based on the referendum decide to separate, the government can enforce the law.
    , @Wally
    "Saker for some reason actually believes that a government has no right to order its police to arrest people who break the law, or that police have no right to deal with people who obstruct them in performing their lawful duty.
    Try doing that in the US some time and see what it gets you."

    It has been 'tried', and heretofore Antifa has won. The police have generally refused to do their "lawful duty" and stop them.

    , @utu
    Excellent analysis. I also agree with Saker that that strong Europe may have greater chances to free itself from American influence and thus be more likely to make a deal with Russia. However if EU starts disintegrating then still Germany on its own can make such a deal. When I look at many events of last 3 years a lot of them can be interpreted as American attempts to prevent linking of Germany and Russia. What is overtly anti-Russian is covertly anti-German. Germany is the only chance for Russia to not be reduced to the role of junior partner as it would be in either the alliance with China or the US that at the end of the future US-China conflict would be swallowed up by the winner.
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  3. Randal says:

    Is there not a karmic beauty in the fact that Spain and the rest of the EU are now being hit by the very same demon they unleashed in Kosovo? There is a definite Schadenfreude for many Russians in seeing the pompous asses of EU politicians sitting on the red ants nest of separatism – let’s see how smart and “democratic” you guys truly are?!

    The Karmic beauty is indeed there as far as the EU is concerned, but there is an irony within the irony, in that Spain is the only significant EU member (pace any Rumanian patriots reading this) not to have recognised Kosovo.

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    • Replies: @Randal
    [Forgot to add Greek patriots to the Rumanian ones I referenced there.]
    , @reiner Tor
    Hungary initially didn't recognize Kosovo under our leftist government 2007-2010, but then Orbán quickly recognized it. It's obvious that since hundreds of thousands of Hungarians live in most neighboring countries (over a million in Romania), if borders get redrawn due to the wish of the population of an area, it could only benefit Hungary.
    , @Andrei Martyanov
    Solana is despicable.
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  4. Randal says:
    @Randal

    Is there not a karmic beauty in the fact that Spain and the rest of the EU are now being hit by the very same demon they unleashed in Kosovo? There is a definite Schadenfreude for many Russians in seeing the pompous asses of EU politicians sitting on the red ants nest of separatism – let’s see how smart and “democratic” you guys truly are?!
     
    The Karmic beauty is indeed there as far as the EU is concerned, but there is an irony within the irony, in that Spain is the only significant EU member (pace any Rumanian patriots reading this) not to have recognised Kosovo.

    [Forgot to add Greek patriots to the Rumanian ones I referenced there.]

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  5. Whoa, an atypically boring piece from the Saker. Come on man, be contrarian, troll a little; that Russia doesn’t want to alienate Turkey, this we can figure out without your help.

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  6. dervis says:

    It is shameless to say that -the fact that Erdogan himself bears a huge responsibility in the bloodbath in Syria- after admitting that Kurdistan and for that matter ISIS is so clearly a US-Israeli project. American arrogance

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  7. dervis says:
    @kimms
    "Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways"

    She does but bringing such a primitive, in essence middle-age-mindset country into the 21st century, is a really really tough one. Some 80% of the Turks support ISIS & Al-nusra what does that tell us about their society? Their violent intolerance and pogroms against native Christians? It would probably be much easier to restore Constantinople after an inevitable civil war then to hope for Turkey to make such a giant leap into realpolitik.

    You have not got a clue about Turkish mindset my friend.

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    • Replies: @Astraea
    What then IS the "Turkish mindset"? It would be good of you to let us all know - at least, I certainly would be grateful for some inside information about that country which I cannot make head or tail of.
    , @Avery
    {You have not got a clue about Turkish mindset my friend.}

    Sure he does.

    Turkey and its MIT intelligence agency in collaboration with ISIS organized the chemical attack and mass murder at Khan Shaykhun. Turkish police themselves stopped the chemical carrying trucks, without knowing that high level Turkish officials were involved.

    Erdogan's son was running a business of selling Syrian oil stolen by ISIS to world markets are rock-bottom prices. That is until RuRF started bombing the truck convoys into twisted, melted steel.


    Super-majority* of Turks today are the same nomad UgurTürkoğlu savages that invaded Asia Minor about 1,000 years ago. Despite wearing Western clothes and having their physical appearance altered through forcible theft of genes of indigenous, sedentary civilized peoples - at the core they are Asiatic invadonomads to this day.


    ________________
    * there is a tiny, tiny percentage of civilized, honorable Turks, but they are marginalized and harassed, terrorized, jailed, etc by the Fascist, genocidal Turkish state.

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  8. dervis says:

    No one mention of US ’s toxic and toxic policy towards Israel

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    • Replies: @Wally
    And why is that?
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  9. @Randal

    Is there not a karmic beauty in the fact that Spain and the rest of the EU are now being hit by the very same demon they unleashed in Kosovo? There is a definite Schadenfreude for many Russians in seeing the pompous asses of EU politicians sitting on the red ants nest of separatism – let’s see how smart and “democratic” you guys truly are?!
     
    The Karmic beauty is indeed there as far as the EU is concerned, but there is an irony within the irony, in that Spain is the only significant EU member (pace any Rumanian patriots reading this) not to have recognised Kosovo.

    Hungary initially didn’t recognize Kosovo under our leftist government 2007-2010, but then Orbán quickly recognized it. It’s obvious that since hundreds of thousands of Hungarians live in most neighboring countries (over a million in Romania), if borders get redrawn due to the wish of the population of an area, it could only benefit Hungary.

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    • Replies: @Randal
    Makes sense. And perhaps that accounts for Rumania's failure to recognise despite that country usually being a fairly reliable toady for Washington and Berlin these days.
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  10. Randal says:
    @reiner Tor
    Hungary initially didn't recognize Kosovo under our leftist government 2007-2010, but then Orbán quickly recognized it. It's obvious that since hundreds of thousands of Hungarians live in most neighboring countries (over a million in Romania), if borders get redrawn due to the wish of the population of an area, it could only benefit Hungary.

    Makes sense. And perhaps that accounts for Rumania’s failure to recognise despite that country usually being a fairly reliable toady for Washington and Berlin these days.

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    • Replies: @Romanian
    That and our sympathy for the Serbs.
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  11. Solid piece. But this:

    and there are still a lot of ties between Russia and Catalonia today.

    All those Russian bastards who root for FC Barcelona–eat this sons of bitches. Hala Real Madrid!!;-) I kid, I kid, I generally don’t like La Liga.

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    • Replies: @bb.
    lol. barca fans are the most annoying sport fans in the world. it's like the joke: how do you know someone is vegan/a barca fan? they will tell you. good riddance
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  12. The common denominators are stupidity & Israel.

    The stupidity of the Spanish “politicians” both from Milan & Catalan in allowing this situation to develop is almost unbelievable. The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans, who did not previously have a majority for independence. They will now be closer to a majority.

    It’s almost as though the dummy was conspiring WITH the Catalan dopes in the breakup of his own country. Weird.

    Israel is, reportedly, a huge investor in the Catalan area. The Separatist movement is being driven by the Catalan elite, not from the grassroots. It’s more Maidan than Wat Tyler.

    Only Israel is backing the Barzani Kurd separatists who have considerable Jewish heritage & are as stupid as the Catalans in their greedy pursuit of autonomy.

    The Israeli dream of Greater Israel, “from the Nile to the Euphrates” is at work in the M.East.
    The globalist dream of the destruction of every nation, including the mad U$Asylum Empire & the Nazi state of Israehell is at work, again, in Europe.

    John Doran.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans
     
    LOL!

    It's as though the world has been taken over by a combination of 1970s hippies moaning about "police brutality, man" because they got their weed confiscated and Marxist halfwits going on about "fascist oppressors" - oh, hang on, that pretty much is what has happened. They grew up into globalists and brought their children up as SJWs and antifa thugs

    Catalan separatists:

    "Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! I'm being repressed!"

    When did it become "Nazi-like" for police to enforce the law? (For grownups, I mean. Obviously childish hippies have always had that view.)
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  13. @Randal

    Is there not a karmic beauty in the fact that Spain and the rest of the EU are now being hit by the very same demon they unleashed in Kosovo? There is a definite Schadenfreude for many Russians in seeing the pompous asses of EU politicians sitting on the red ants nest of separatism – let’s see how smart and “democratic” you guys truly are?!
     
    The Karmic beauty is indeed there as far as the EU is concerned, but there is an irony within the irony, in that Spain is the only significant EU member (pace any Rumanian patriots reading this) not to have recognised Kosovo.

    Solana is despicable.

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    • Replies: @Randal
    Indeed. All Blairite, US Quisling establishment socialist types are despicable.
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  14. Randal says:
    @John Doran.
    The common denominators are stupidity & Israel.

    The stupidity of the Spanish "politicians" both from Milan & Catalan in allowing this situation to develop is almost unbelievable. The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans, who did not previously have a majority for independence. They will now be closer to a majority.

    It's almost as though the dummy was conspiring WITH the Catalan dopes in the breakup of his own country. Weird.

    Israel is, reportedly, a huge investor in the Catalan area. The Separatist movement is being driven by the Catalan elite, not from the grassroots. It's more Maidan than Wat Tyler.

    Only Israel is backing the Barzani Kurd separatists who have considerable Jewish heritage & are as stupid as the Catalans in their greedy pursuit of autonomy.

    The Israeli dream of Greater Israel, "from the Nile to the Euphrates" is at work in the M.East.
    The globalist dream of the destruction of every nation, including the mad U$Asylum Empire & the Nazi state of Israehell is at work, again, in Europe.

    John Doran.

    The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans

    LOL!

    It’s as though the world has been taken over by a combination of 1970s hippies moaning about “police brutality, man” because they got their weed confiscated and Marxist halfwits going on about “fascist oppressors” – oh, hang on, that pretty much is what has happened. They grew up into globalists and brought their children up as SJWs and antifa thugs

    Catalan separatists:

    “Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! I’m being repressed!”

    When did it become “Nazi-like” for police to enforce the law? (For grownups, I mean. Obviously childish hippies have always had that view.)

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    • Replies: @FB
    Your repetition of the jingo 'police have a right to enforce the law' is laughably simplistic and at odds with reality...

    The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime...

    The details that you overlook are fatal...

    The 'police' with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local...what you refer to as 'police' are the Spanish Civil Guard, described by wikipedia as being 'organised as a military force'...and with a long and bloody history during the authoritarian Franco era especially, as political shock troops...

    The footage of what took place is there for everyone to see...there was not one recorded instance of the demonstrators resorting to violence, either against property or persons, including the Civil Guard...

    This itself is remarkable, as police agent provocateurs starting trouble is a standard tactic in any demonstration where authorities want to create an excuse for police violence...the fact that they were unable to deploy such provocateurs speaks volumes about the order maintained by the demonstrators, supported by local police and first responders...

    Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently, as was seen in the massive anti-trump riots...they only swung into action after individuals initiated violence against property and persons...

    Every police department in civilized countries sticks to these rules, not least for their own interests...during any mass demonstration, the local police interest is always to keep things from getting out of control and minimizing property damage and human casualties...

    What we saw in Catalonia was a non-local paramilitary force on a purely political mission of violent assault...

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/860924/catalonia-referendum-spain-map-independence-barcelona-basque-civil-guard-polling

    Bottom line is that police do have a duty to stop violent demonstrators who are breaking the law, but not peaceful assemblies...

    , @The Alarmist

    "When did it become “Nazi-like” for police to enforce the law?"
     
    What law would that be? They were enforcing the edict of a Court and the Spanish executive.

    OTOH, one could make a strong case that the referendum was mere expression, the freedom of which is protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the freedom of association and assembly protected under Article 11 of the same. Of course, this being Europe, both provisions have weasle-word derogations that allow national governments to abridge these, but subject to the use of force being no more than is necessary, and one of the main tests under Article 15 (Derogations) is that the derogation must be in response to a public emergency threatening the life of the nation. It's already a stretch to say the actions of the riot police were proportionate to the threat posed by the referendum and the participants; it's also a stretch to say that a referendum threatens the civil order in spain (it's a referendum, not a riot or revolution), much less that the secession of Catalonia would imperil the life of the Spain as a country. And then there's that Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union respect for human dignity and democracy thingy.

    The actions of the Spanish Riot Police in Catalonia showed the EU in general and Spain in particular for the anti-democratic forces they are.

    What is truly rich is that in the fine tradition of the EU, which is to have populaces who vote against the elitist's will go back and vote again until they arrive at a "correct" outcome, Spain has now put on the table a proposal for a new referendum with fuller participation on the theory that pro-remain voters did not turn out in the un-sanctioned referendum.

    , @Beefcake the Mighty
    What law were the Spanish police enforcing? That the Spanish State is permanently inviolable? Is that a just or legitimate law?
    , @Span
    Very good comment , full of common sense and respect . As you say , I am fed up with the western left-caviar and their insulting and demeaning language .
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  15. Randal says:
    @Andrei Martyanov
    Solana is despicable.

    Indeed. All Blairite, US Quisling establishment socialist types are despicable.

    Read More
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  16. FB says:
    @Randal

    The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans
     
    LOL!

    It's as though the world has been taken over by a combination of 1970s hippies moaning about "police brutality, man" because they got their weed confiscated and Marxist halfwits going on about "fascist oppressors" - oh, hang on, that pretty much is what has happened. They grew up into globalists and brought their children up as SJWs and antifa thugs

    Catalan separatists:

    "Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! I'm being repressed!"

    When did it become "Nazi-like" for police to enforce the law? (For grownups, I mean. Obviously childish hippies have always had that view.)

    Your repetition of the jingo ‘police have a right to enforce the law’ is laughably simplistic and at odds with reality…

    The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime…

    The details that you overlook are fatal…

    The ‘police’ with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local…what you refer to as ‘police’ are the Spanish Civil Guard, described by wikipedia as being ‘organised as a military force’…and with a long and bloody history during the authoritarian Franco era especially, as political shock troops…

    The footage of what took place is there for everyone to see…there was not one recorded instance of the demonstrators resorting to violence, either against property or persons, including the Civil Guard…

    This itself is remarkable, as police agent provocateurs starting trouble is a standard tactic in any demonstration where authorities want to create an excuse for police violence…the fact that they were unable to deploy such provocateurs speaks volumes about the order maintained by the demonstrators, supported by local police and first responders…

    Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently, as was seen in the massive anti-trump riots…they only swung into action after individuals initiated violence against property and persons…

    Every police department in civilized countries sticks to these rules, not least for their own interests…during any mass demonstration, the local police interest is always to keep things from getting out of control and minimizing property damage and human casualties…

    What we saw in Catalonia was a non-local paramilitary force on a purely political mission of violent assault…

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/860924/catalonia-referendum-spain-map-independence-barcelona-basque-civil-guard-polling

    Bottom line is that police do have a duty to stop violent demonstrators who are breaking the law, but not peaceful assemblies…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime…
     
    Peaceful assembly does not include intentionally breaking the law as confirmed by a direct court order, unless the law is an unreasonable one that precludes peaceful protest or political expression or assembly, which the Spanish law self-evidently does not. Catalan separatists in Spain have every right to speak and assemble freely, and they do so endlessly. Might as well claim drug dealers can't be arrested in the US for meeting to buy and sell drugs because it's a "breach of their inalienable human rights".

    The ‘police’ with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local
     
    No they aren't. In the UK there are national police organisations that act on various kinds of crime. In the US federal police enforce federal laws.

    Whether it's local or national police enforcing a court's orders is in reality irrelevant, except that local police might be more likely to abrogate their responsibility to enforce the law through partisan loyalty to the lawbreakers, as happened with the Catalan police.


    Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently
     
    I don't know what world you live in, but in the real one the US and pretty much all police forces regularly enforce court orders and remove and/or arrest those who impede their doing so, with whatever level of violence is required to do so - usually not much in practice.

    Here are German police dealing with hippy squatters "exercising their right of free assembly" in Berlin in June:

    https://youtu.be/vM1c_58e6jk?t=75

    Here's how US police followed orders to clear leftists "exercising their right of free assembly" in Zucotti Park in 2011:

    https://youtu.be/cf8lwzDXrXk?t=6

    And here's how US police dealt with treehuggers "exercising their right of free assembly" in breach of the law in Montana last year:

    Police in riot gear faced off with protesters on horseback as the months long protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline came to a head Thursday.

    At least 117 protesters were arrested after law enforcement Humvees and helicopters began to flood the area to break up a protester encampment near the pipeline's path.

    Calling themselves "water protectors," supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe set up tents and teepees on the land, about an hour south of Bismarck, which they said belongs to the tribe under a 19-century treaty.

    But authorities said they are trespassing on pipeline property. Officials brought in reinforcements from seven states to remove protesters and dismantle roadblocks made of hay bales and wood.

    As the standoff continued, police deployed bean bag rounds and pepper spray gas and unleashed a high-pitched siren to disperse the crowd.

     
    Look, I'm not a blanket apologist for the police or for government repression. I recognise that there are plenty of occasions when governments and police act repressively. But this business in Catalonia was not one of those times, even if there might have been occasions when individual officers or units got carried away - police are human beings, and those might be disciplinary issues but they do not make either the Spanish government enforcing the law nor the Spanish police carrying out their orders to do so somehow "Nazi-like", as the post to which I was replying asserted.

    Catalan separatists are an awful lot less repressed than traditionalists/nativists/racists and other such dissident minorities of the traditionalist right are in Europe and the UK, where the latter can have their political representation infiltrated and disrupted, their meetings attacked, their sympathisers harassed and dismissed from employment, and their freedom of expression suppressed, with the connivance or even active cooperation of government. Catalan separatists as a matter of hard fact have all those freedoms that nativists etc do not, and having those freedoms does not require being allowed to carry out a specific illegal act that has been forbidden by court order, merely in order to try to flout the law of the land.
    , @utu
    an inalienable human right

    Another victim of American religiosity with respect to a piece of paper. No point of reading further.
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  17. … the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.

    Which Russians exactly?

    Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans’ natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/

    … most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.

    Again, who are these mythical “most Russians”?

    It’s a sure bet that a good majority hasn’t even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh


    It’s a sure bet that a good majority hasn’t even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

     

    This is what I suspect as well. It might matter more if Spain was a major trading partner with Russia, but I don't think that has been the case in recent history. I don't think there is a significant expat community of either Spanish in Russia or vice versa, either.

    Watching the EU step a few more steps, zombie-like, toward her inevitable end must be faintly amusing, though.

    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans.
     
    In general, everybody is hostile to everybody else, particularly when the establishment media are endlessly propagating hostile narratives, the US influence being (as the man said) a major factor in that. The phony 'global attitude' survey shows the favorability of the US in Germany dropping 20-30% in one year, and yet the US is exactly the same country. These numbers are meaningless.
    , @Carlo
    Well, Spain allowed for some years the Russian Navy to stop for provisions in Ceuta. Only last year they finally capitulated to NATO pressure. Locals also noticed that Russian sailors and officers were always polite and ordered, never entering into brawls or getting drunk in public, after a well-orchestrated worldwide propaganda campaign like this:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/as-aleppo-burns-spain-resupplies-the-russian-navy_us_5808b794e4b00483d3b5d06a
    , @Dissenter
    Indeed, totally agree, I very much doubt that the oppinion of a commenter in a political gathering ( in the case it was even political...) could be extended to all the Russian people.
    This is a custom by The Saker, who lives in the US since 30 years and almost never travels abroad, least to Russia, to invent such generalizations without any base.

    Also, the way he enjoys the suffering and bad times others are passing, especially concerning the EU, is not only nauseating but also opposite to what a real Christian would be. So, for the much he tries all the time to demonstrate he is such a "devote Christian of the original faith", nobody, except his sycophants on duty, would swallow such a joke.

    And the fact that he rips his garments in front of the Spanish police´s violence, which, even admitting was out of place in front of peaceful people, was reduced to push people and throw rubber balls, when he has never said anything about US police´s violence, which result in dead people ( especially black people ) in the streets one day after another, is a measure of the size of his hypocrisy and demagogery and a confirmation, if more were needed, whom interests he serves.
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  18. @Anatoly Karlin

    ... the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.
     
    Which Russians exactly?

    Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/

    ... most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.
     
    Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

    It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

    It’s a sure bet that a good majority hasn’t even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

    This is what I suspect as well. It might matter more if Spain was a major trading partner with Russia, but I don’t think that has been the case in recent history. I don’t think there is a significant expat community of either Spanish in Russia or vice versa, either.

    Watching the EU step a few more steps, zombie-like, toward her inevitable end must be faintly amusing, though.

    Read More
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  19. At the very least, Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways and to follow Russia in her realization that her future is not with the West, but with the South, East and North

    .

    Whatever.

    You Can Take The Man Out Of The Ghetto, But You Can’t Take The Ghetto Out Of The Man.

    These are intractable issues. As much as you wish otherwise, both Russia and Turkey are too big, too clumsy, and too backward to do much about any of this. Powerlessness. Get used to it. At least Russia has oil.

    And the future is over-rated.

    The smarter citizens of the West began to see the illusory folly of the Myth of Progress decades ago. You Russians are still trying to push Utopia. You would think you would have learned something from the whole Communist experiment.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Carlo
    "You Russians are still trying to push Utopia."
    What utopia is Russia still trying to push? The West wants the entire world filled with LGBT and tolerance and human rights and free trade and everyone then will be happy.
    , @FB

    ...Russia and Turkey are too big, too clumsy, and too backward to do much about any of this. Powerlessness. Get used to it...
     
    If Russia is so backward, why does the US have to beg for rides to the space station...?...or buy rocket engines from Russia to launch US military satellites...?

    And if Russia is 'powerless' why do US jets in the skies over Syria stay out of Russia's de facto no-fly zone...?
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  20. Randal says:
    @FB
    Your repetition of the jingo 'police have a right to enforce the law' is laughably simplistic and at odds with reality...

    The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime...

    The details that you overlook are fatal...

    The 'police' with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local...what you refer to as 'police' are the Spanish Civil Guard, described by wikipedia as being 'organised as a military force'...and with a long and bloody history during the authoritarian Franco era especially, as political shock troops...

    The footage of what took place is there for everyone to see...there was not one recorded instance of the demonstrators resorting to violence, either against property or persons, including the Civil Guard...

    This itself is remarkable, as police agent provocateurs starting trouble is a standard tactic in any demonstration where authorities want to create an excuse for police violence...the fact that they were unable to deploy such provocateurs speaks volumes about the order maintained by the demonstrators, supported by local police and first responders...

    Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently, as was seen in the massive anti-trump riots...they only swung into action after individuals initiated violence against property and persons...

    Every police department in civilized countries sticks to these rules, not least for their own interests...during any mass demonstration, the local police interest is always to keep things from getting out of control and minimizing property damage and human casualties...

    What we saw in Catalonia was a non-local paramilitary force on a purely political mission of violent assault...

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/860924/catalonia-referendum-spain-map-independence-barcelona-basque-civil-guard-polling

    Bottom line is that police do have a duty to stop violent demonstrators who are breaking the law, but not peaceful assemblies...

    The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime…

    Peaceful assembly does not include intentionally breaking the law as confirmed by a direct court order, unless the law is an unreasonable one that precludes peaceful protest or political expression or assembly, which the Spanish law self-evidently does not. Catalan separatists in Spain have every right to speak and assemble freely, and they do so endlessly. Might as well claim drug dealers can’t be arrested in the US for meeting to buy and sell drugs because it’s a “breach of their inalienable human rights”.

    The ‘police’ with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local

    No they aren’t. In the UK there are national police organisations that act on various kinds of crime. In the US federal police enforce federal laws.

    Whether it’s local or national police enforcing a court’s orders is in reality irrelevant, except that local police might be more likely to abrogate their responsibility to enforce the law through partisan loyalty to the lawbreakers, as happened with the Catalan police.

    Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently

    I don’t know what world you live in, but in the real one the US and pretty much all police forces regularly enforce court orders and remove and/or arrest those who impede their doing so, with whatever level of violence is required to do so – usually not much in practice.

    Here are German police dealing with hippy squatters “exercising their right of free assembly” in Berlin in June:

    Here’s how US police followed orders to clear leftists “exercising their right of free assembly” in Zucotti Park in 2011:

    And here’s how US police dealt with treehuggers “exercising their right of free assembly” in breach of the law in Montana last year:

    Police in riot gear faced off with protesters on horseback as the months long protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline came to a head Thursday.

    At least 117 protesters were arrested after law enforcement Humvees and helicopters began to flood the area to break up a protester encampment near the pipeline’s path.

    Calling themselves “water protectors,” supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe set up tents and teepees on the land, about an hour south of Bismarck, which they said belongs to the tribe under a 19-century treaty.

    But authorities said they are trespassing on pipeline property. Officials brought in reinforcements from seven states to remove protesters and dismantle roadblocks made of hay bales and wood.

    As the standoff continued, police deployed bean bag rounds and pepper spray gas and unleashed a high-pitched siren to disperse the crowd.

    Look, I’m not a blanket apologist for the police or for government repression. I recognise that there are plenty of occasions when governments and police act repressively. But this business in Catalonia was not one of those times, even if there might have been occasions when individual officers or units got carried away – police are human beings, and those might be disciplinary issues but they do not make either the Spanish government enforcing the law nor the Spanish police carrying out their orders to do so somehow “Nazi-like”, as the post to which I was replying asserted.

    Catalan separatists are an awful lot less repressed than traditionalists/nativists/racists and other such dissident minorities of the traditionalist right are in Europe and the UK, where the latter can have their political representation infiltrated and disrupted, their meetings attacked, their sympathisers harassed and dismissed from employment, and their freedom of expression suppressed, with the connivance or even active cooperation of government. Catalan separatists as a matter of hard fact have all those freedoms that nativists etc do not, and having those freedoms does not require being allowed to carry out a specific illegal act that has been forbidden by court order, merely in order to try to flout the law of the land.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB
    Your argument is all over the place...

    But you admit yourself...

    Peaceful assembly does not include intentionally breaking the law as confirmed by a direct court order, unless the law is an unreasonable one that precludes peaceful protest or political expression or assembly, which the Spanish law self-evidently does not.
     
    Obviously the Catalan people felt that the central government's 'law' forbidding the referendum was in fact unreasonable...

    Objectively, many would have to agree...the UK allowed the Scots to have an independence referendum, Canada allowed Quebec referendum twice...

    So by international precedent, de facto if not de jure, a minority population has a reasonable right to expect such an act of political expression...

    Just because the central government made a so-called law, does not make it morally valid or legally binding...

    Your selected incidents of police crackdown are not comparable...the 2011 ouster of the '99' percent protesters in New York was only enforced after months of patience with a relatively small group of people who were clearly violating local laws about camping out on sidewalks etc...

    The Dakota pipeline issue was likewise a protracted affair...eventually the protesters are removed from private property etc...

    This has nothing in common with a pre-emptive action by paramilitary police against an entire minority population...it's an absurd comparison...

    Whether you agree with the Catalans or not, the glaring fact is that Madrid should not have used violence to suppress the vote...it has only shot itself in the foot...many Catalans who might have been in the 'stay' camp have likely switched after this...people do not like to be bullied...

    Madrid lost its cool...it could have just let the 'illegal' referendum take place and then fought the battle in the legal system, or in the court of world opinion...

    But after this foolish use of unnecessary violence they have lost on every count...
    , @Chabab
    I take it you strongly condemn George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the gang for breaking British Law, then?
    , @yeah
    You make out the Catalan affair to be a simple law and order matter. FB has posted a very well-reasoned response to counter your error. The main points as I see them about this matter are as follows:

    (a) Re that Law and court orders must always be followed: sorry that argument does not cut it. Yes, 99% times the law deserves to be respected, but there are the exceptional times when human history evolves by toppling what posed as law and order and installing a new law and order. If Americans had obeyed British law, America would still have been ruled from London. Nations change identity, boundaries change, sub-groups sometimes come together to form a nation, sometimes pull apart to form separate countries. That the Catalans are a sub-group, have been a sub-group, and are viewed as a sub-group by other Spaniards seems to be the case. They now want to set up a separate house, nothing inherently criminal about that.

    (b) The policeman's truncheon or the states' paramilitary response is by no means always - pragmatically or ethically - the right option. We should at least have learnt that minimum by now from the record of ethnicities, countries, and states in world history. The right to self-determination is a natural law far higher than any law made by the powers that be for the time being.

    (c) As sub-groups struggle to create their own countries, other states always - 100% times - exploit the situation. Some encourage it, overtly or covertly, for their own ends; some oppose it, again for their own selfish reasons; and most prefer to sit on the sidelines - again only for their self-serving reasons. Nothing pretty about that. Times like these reveal pompous asses and crass hypocrites ruling countries in the name of higher ideals everywhere. Let us at least call them out, as the Saker has with the EU fossils.

    (d) I am no expert on the internal politics of Spain, or its history, or the tensions between its sub-groups. But I do know that such tensions and squabbles are today a world-wide phenomenon, and likely to grow as globalization removes the economic underpinning of more and more states. The business world has its mergers and divestments, which we handle pragmatically. Countries that previously functioned as cohesive economic entities may in some cases also find that they have to redefine their political entities to accord with economic realities. The economic factor seems to be the case in the Catalan movement. Perhaps the Spaniards did not handle the distribution of their economic pie with the necessary cleverness, statecraft, and wisdom. By way of contrast, the Canadians did: consequently, while Quebec has been waxing and waning about separating from Anglophone Canada since decades, but when they are made to see their post-independence economic realities, the desire to separate evaporates. Canada does not use police action, nor threaten it. Just smart thinking and clever statecraft keeps the problem under control.

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  21. Russia is neither an empire nor a world policeman and she has no business trying to influence or, even less so, control outcomes in this thorny issue.

    But in the meantime, Russia sure can play war-criminal with the best of them:

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/russian-jets-kill-civilians-fleeing-across-euphrates-syrian-opposition-108491042

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/rights-group-condemns-attacks-syrian-hospitals-170928072406051.html

    It’s funny how just last week all the talk on The UNZ Review was about how Russia was going to control outcomes with its advanced stand-off cruise missiles.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB
    You've got quite a chip on your shoulder...

    Russian war crimes...?...according to the Syrian 'opposition'...?...ie ISIS and their fellow travelers...
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  22. Carlo says:
    @Johnny Rico

    At the very least, Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways and to follow Russia in her realization that her future is not with the West, but with the South, East and North
     
    .

    Whatever.

    You Can Take The Man Out Of The Ghetto, But You Can't Take The Ghetto Out Of The Man.

    These are intractable issues. As much as you wish otherwise, both Russia and Turkey are too big, too clumsy, and too backward to do much about any of this. Powerlessness. Get used to it. At least Russia has oil.

    And the future is over-rated.

    The smarter citizens of the West began to see the illusory folly of the Myth of Progress decades ago. You Russians are still trying to push Utopia. You would think you would have learned something from the whole Communist experiment.

    “You Russians are still trying to push Utopia.”
    What utopia is Russia still trying to push? The West wants the entire world filled with LGBT and tolerance and human rights and free trade and everyone then will be happy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    A Wahhabist-free Middle-East under the benevolent guidance of Vladimir Putin. Duh. Are you new here?
    , @anonymous

    The West wants the entire world filled with...
     
    You forgot to add, a few billion dead, to your list. Western "humanitarianism" sure works in mysterious ways.
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  23. A lot of Russians are now saying that Russia is now the only truly democratic and free country left out there.

    Is this guy one of them?

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-politics-navalny/kremlin-critic-navalny-jailed-for-third-time-this-year-idUSKCN1C72CX

    Or is he a threat to this “true democracy” and “free country”?

    I’m confused. Maybe something was lost in translation.

    Read More
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  24. FB says:
    @Johnny Rico

    At the very least, Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways and to follow Russia in her realization that her future is not with the West, but with the South, East and North
     
    .

    Whatever.

    You Can Take The Man Out Of The Ghetto, But You Can't Take The Ghetto Out Of The Man.

    These are intractable issues. As much as you wish otherwise, both Russia and Turkey are too big, too clumsy, and too backward to do much about any of this. Powerlessness. Get used to it. At least Russia has oil.

    And the future is over-rated.

    The smarter citizens of the West began to see the illusory folly of the Myth of Progress decades ago. You Russians are still trying to push Utopia. You would think you would have learned something from the whole Communist experiment.

    …Russia and Turkey are too big, too clumsy, and too backward to do much about any of this. Powerlessness. Get used to it…

    If Russia is so backward, why does the US have to beg for rides to the space station…?…or buy rocket engines from Russia to launch US military satellites…?

    And if Russia is ‘powerless’ why do US jets in the skies over Syria stay out of Russia’s de facto no-fly zone…?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    This is about Russia's (and to a lesser extent Turkey's) ability to exert control in the Middle East. This is not about the United States. Control being the opposite of powerlessness. Stay on topic.

    If you want to compare the US to Russia in some way related to this article, their respective space programs are a weak argument unless you care about colonizing Mars. Silicon Valley is in California, not Moscow.

    American and Russian generals discuss keeping their aircraft out of each other's way over Syria. I can't answer any questions pertaining to what arrangements they have. It is also illegal for Americans to be flying over Syria as they have not been invited in like the Russians. Americans (including the current President before he was elected, at least) have shown little interest in being involved in Syria. For good reason. Syria affects the lives of Americans in exactly zero different ways.
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  25. @Anatoly Karlin

    ... the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.
     
    Which Russians exactly?

    Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/

    ... most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.
     
    Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

    It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

    Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans.

    In general, everybody is hostile to everybody else, particularly when the establishment media are endlessly propagating hostile narratives, the US influence being (as the man said) a major factor in that. The phony ‘global attitude’ survey shows the favorability of the US in Germany dropping 20-30% in one year, and yet the US is exactly the same country. These numbers are meaningless.

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  26. FB says:
    @Johnny Rico

    Russia is neither an empire nor a world policeman and she has no business trying to influence or, even less so, control outcomes in this thorny issue.
     
    But in the meantime, Russia sure can play war-criminal with the best of them:

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/russian-jets-kill-civilians-fleeing-across-euphrates-syrian-opposition-108491042

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/rights-group-condemns-attacks-syrian-hospitals-170928072406051.html

    It's funny how just last week all the talk on The UNZ Review was about how Russia was going to control outcomes with its advanced stand-off cruise missiles.

    You’ve got quite a chip on your shoulder…

    Russian war crimes…?…according to the Syrian ‘opposition’…?…ie ISIS and their fellow travelers…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    I don't know what that means. Learn to form complete thoughts and sentences and maybe we can have a conversation. But I'm guessing that is not your intent. If it is, start off slow and practice. You'll be up to speed in no time.
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  27. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Why is it that one tries to share Unz articles on facebook through the facebook button, the headline and article isn’t specified and all you see is genetric ‘unz.com’? Did facebook rig it this way?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You're lucky that it hasn't been covered under a "fake news" barrier yet.
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  28. FB says:
    @Randal

    The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime…
     
    Peaceful assembly does not include intentionally breaking the law as confirmed by a direct court order, unless the law is an unreasonable one that precludes peaceful protest or political expression or assembly, which the Spanish law self-evidently does not. Catalan separatists in Spain have every right to speak and assemble freely, and they do so endlessly. Might as well claim drug dealers can't be arrested in the US for meeting to buy and sell drugs because it's a "breach of their inalienable human rights".

    The ‘police’ with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local
     
    No they aren't. In the UK there are national police organisations that act on various kinds of crime. In the US federal police enforce federal laws.

    Whether it's local or national police enforcing a court's orders is in reality irrelevant, except that local police might be more likely to abrogate their responsibility to enforce the law through partisan loyalty to the lawbreakers, as happened with the Catalan police.


    Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently
     
    I don't know what world you live in, but in the real one the US and pretty much all police forces regularly enforce court orders and remove and/or arrest those who impede their doing so, with whatever level of violence is required to do so - usually not much in practice.

    Here are German police dealing with hippy squatters "exercising their right of free assembly" in Berlin in June:

    https://youtu.be/vM1c_58e6jk?t=75

    Here's how US police followed orders to clear leftists "exercising their right of free assembly" in Zucotti Park in 2011:

    https://youtu.be/cf8lwzDXrXk?t=6

    And here's how US police dealt with treehuggers "exercising their right of free assembly" in breach of the law in Montana last year:

    Police in riot gear faced off with protesters on horseback as the months long protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline came to a head Thursday.

    At least 117 protesters were arrested after law enforcement Humvees and helicopters began to flood the area to break up a protester encampment near the pipeline's path.

    Calling themselves "water protectors," supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe set up tents and teepees on the land, about an hour south of Bismarck, which they said belongs to the tribe under a 19-century treaty.

    But authorities said they are trespassing on pipeline property. Officials brought in reinforcements from seven states to remove protesters and dismantle roadblocks made of hay bales and wood.

    As the standoff continued, police deployed bean bag rounds and pepper spray gas and unleashed a high-pitched siren to disperse the crowd.

     
    Look, I'm not a blanket apologist for the police or for government repression. I recognise that there are plenty of occasions when governments and police act repressively. But this business in Catalonia was not one of those times, even if there might have been occasions when individual officers or units got carried away - police are human beings, and those might be disciplinary issues but they do not make either the Spanish government enforcing the law nor the Spanish police carrying out their orders to do so somehow "Nazi-like", as the post to which I was replying asserted.

    Catalan separatists are an awful lot less repressed than traditionalists/nativists/racists and other such dissident minorities of the traditionalist right are in Europe and the UK, where the latter can have their political representation infiltrated and disrupted, their meetings attacked, their sympathisers harassed and dismissed from employment, and their freedom of expression suppressed, with the connivance or even active cooperation of government. Catalan separatists as a matter of hard fact have all those freedoms that nativists etc do not, and having those freedoms does not require being allowed to carry out a specific illegal act that has been forbidden by court order, merely in order to try to flout the law of the land.

    Your argument is all over the place…

    But you admit yourself…

    Peaceful assembly does not include intentionally breaking the law as confirmed by a direct court order, unless the law is an unreasonable one that precludes peaceful protest or political expression or assembly, which the Spanish law self-evidently does not.

    Obviously the Catalan people felt that the central government’s ‘law’ forbidding the referendum was in fact unreasonable…

    Objectively, many would have to agree…the UK allowed the Scots to have an independence referendum, Canada allowed Quebec referendum twice…

    So by international precedent, de facto if not de jure, a minority population has a reasonable right to expect such an act of political expression…

    Just because the central government made a so-called law, does not make it morally valid or legally binding…

    Your selected incidents of police crackdown are not comparable…the 2011 ouster of the ’99′ percent protesters in New York was only enforced after months of patience with a relatively small group of people who were clearly violating local laws about camping out on sidewalks etc…

    The Dakota pipeline issue was likewise a protracted affair…eventually the protesters are removed from private property etc…

    This has nothing in common with a pre-emptive action by paramilitary police against an entire minority population…it’s an absurd comparison…

    Whether you agree with the Catalans or not, the glaring fact is that Madrid should not have used violence to suppress the vote…it has only shot itself in the foot…many Catalans who might have been in the ‘stay’ camp have likely switched after this…people do not like to be bullied…

    Madrid lost its cool…it could have just let the ‘illegal’ referendum take place and then fought the battle in the legal system, or in the court of world opinion…

    But after this foolish use of unnecessary violence they have lost on every count…

    Read More
    • Agree: Beefcake the Mighty
    • Replies: @Randal

    Obviously the Catalan people felt that the central government’s ‘law’ forbidding the referendum was in fact unreasonable
     
    Many lawbreakers think the laws that get in their way are unreasonable. And your commonplace misuse of "the people" to mean that part of the people that think what you think they ought to think, is noticeable here. Clearly a very substantial minority of the Catalan people (around half, according to polling) are absolutely opposed to independence, and many of them also opposed carrying out this referendum, as illustrated by the fact that turnout was only 43% plus whatever number of votes might have been prevented by the police action.

    The point is that objectively it wasn't remotely unreasonable to regard this process as illegal, whatever you might choose to convince yourself of, because the legitimate Spanish constitutional court legitimately annulled the regional acts authorising it and ordered that it not go ahead pending arguments on its legality, and because it in no way inhibits the right of the separatists to express their opinions, assemble, organise and protest, and elect their own representatives. It just prevents them engaging in a particular activity that is in direct breach of the Spanish constitution, and goes against a specific court order.

    Don't like the law? Protest it, try to change it, whatever, but don't break it just to try to score a political point and then hysterically complain about "police brutality" when you get arrested. If you choose a form of protest that is directly illegal, then you have to expect the government and police will prevent you from doing it if they can.

    Feel free to try an illegal protest in direct defiance of government, courts and police in any other country in the world and see what happens to you.


    Objectively, many would have to agree…the UK allowed the Scots to have an independence referendum, Canada allowed Quebec referendum twice…
     
    And in most other countries the idea that regions have the right to unilaterally secede has been regarded as false, and in many cases the attempt to do so has triggered civil war to suppress it, such as in the case of the US civil war, Kosovo, Georgia, Transnistria, Donetsk/Luhansk. Indeed, the European Parliament on Wednesday was almost unanimous in declaring that unilateral secession is not justifiable. Here's the President of the Parliament summing it up:

    "In the light of the debate that has just taken place and to summarise the position expressed by a majority in this Parliament, I would like to highlight some key elements.

    As the history of the European Union teaches us, in democracy, the only way forward is to work together for harmony and unity.

    No one took lightly the events that took place on Sunday. However, unilateral decisions, including declarations of independence from a sovereign state, are contrary to the European legal order and bound to provoke dangerous divisions."

    And that's the view of all the major EU governments as well.

    As such, the attempt to hold an illegal referendum with the stated purpose of justifying a unilateral secession and commencing the process is clearly open to legitimate question in the light of the constitutional ban.

    The separatists could of course have chosen to postpone the referendum and argue the case in court, but they knew they'd lose that case because their actions were clearly illegal. They chose instead to defy the law of their land and then try to use any attempt to enforce the law as a pretext to cry out "police brutality".

    Many dupes fell for it.


    Your selected incidents of police crackdown are not comparable…the 2011 ouster of the ’99′ percent protesters in New York was only enforced after months of patience with a relatively small group of people who were clearly violating local laws about camping out on sidewalks etc…

    The Dakota pipeline issue was likewise a protracted affair…eventually the protesters are removed from private property etc…

    This has nothing in common with a pre-emptive action by paramilitary police against an entire minority population…it’s an absurd comparison…
     

    In every case the police were enforcing the law against people defying the law for political reasons, just as in this case. Delay is irrelevant. The referendum was an event taking place on a specific day and to delay action would have been to allow it to proceed unopposed.

    You are very quick to blame the government for trying to enforce the law, and noticeably slow to admit that the separatists could simply have avoided any confrontation by not breaking the law.


    Whether you agree with the Catalans or not, the glaring fact is that Madrid should not have used violence to suppress the vote…it has only shot itself in the foot…many Catalans who might have been in the ‘stay’ camp have likely switched after this…people do not like to be bullied…

    Madrid lost its cool…it could have just let the ‘illegal’ referendum take place and then fought the battle in the legal system, or in the court of world opinion…
     

    That's your opinion (and you aren't alone in holding it), but I doubt it for the reasons I gave above, and clearly the Spanish government didn't think your arguments were persuasive when they undoubtedly considered how to deal with the separatists' lawbreaking, either.

    But after this foolish use of unnecessary violence they have lost on every count…
     
    Let's wait and see, shall we? I think the separatists are the ones who have made the disastrous error here, and they now have no apparent way forward to achieve their goals. Short of some kind of miraculous collapse of the Spanish government (unlikely given the widespread dislike of the separatists in most of the rest of Spain) or other presently unforeseeable dramatic change of circumstances, they appear to be heading for disaster.
    , @Fredrik
    I don't recall the British allowing the Americans to vote. Independence still happened.

    Why be under any illusions that independence/secession will happen unless you're strong enough to force the issue. Right or wrong doesn't really mean anything.
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  29. Virgile says:

    Once Erdogan is kicked out, hopefully in 2019, Turkey will stop following neo-ottoman foreign policy and will deal better with the ethnic Kurds. Erdogan has been the curse of the region, it is high time that he and his corrupted friends leave power. Anyone would be better for Turkey!

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I wonder whether Turkey and Iraq would agree to let the Kurds have an independent country on land currently in those countries, IF

    (1) Iraq kept a majority of the oil fields up north AND permanent royalty rights to all the fields the Kurds get, and

    (2) Kurds in turkey were required to leave Turkey permanently.

    Maybe also encourage and financially incentivize Kurds in Iran and Iraq to resettle in Kurdistan, if that would help secure support or st least non-opposition to the plan.

    Probably not. Just a thought about how very, very much would have to be offered for turkey or Iraq to even consider countenancing the loss of some of their territory.

    Turkey, no way, unless the battle of the bassinets leads Kurds to constitute an appreciably larger percentage of the Turkish pop than they do now and have more leverage.

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  30. Carlo says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    ... the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.
     
    Which Russians exactly?

    Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/

    ... most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.
     
    Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

    It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

    Well, Spain allowed for some years the Russian Navy to stop for provisions in Ceuta. Only last year they finally capitulated to NATO pressure. Locals also noticed that Russian sailors and officers were always polite and ordered, never entering into brawls or getting drunk in public, after a well-orchestrated worldwide propaganda campaign like this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/as-aleppo-burns-spain-resupplies-the-russian-navy_us_5808b794e4b00483d3b5d06a

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  31. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon
    Why is it that one tries to share Unz articles on facebook through the facebook button, the headline and article isn't specified and all you see is genetric 'unz.com'? Did facebook rig it this way?

    You’re lucky that it hasn’t been covered under a “fake news” barrier yet.

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  32. Yeah, Russia has separatist problems of its own.

    It should play it cool.

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  33. s.a. top says:
    @Randal
    Strong on the Kurdish/Russian analysis. Not so impressed with the Catalonia stuff, which seems to me to be overly impressed by all the hysterical propaganda about "police brutality" in the Spanish police perfectly reasonably trying to enforce the law.

    Granted to some extent it's necessary to treat that propaganda seriously, to the extent that it has been successful in shaping some opinion, but it isn't necessary to restate it as though it's objectively true, which suggests Saker for some reason actually believes that a government has no right to order its police to arrest people who break the law, or that police have no right to deal with people who obstruct them in performing their lawful duty.

    Try doing that in the US some time and see what it gets you.

    I have inherent sympathy for the Catalan separatists as nationalists disrupting the Euro establishment's cosy setup, and inherent antipathy for them as a bunch of globalist lefty pro-immigration, pro-EU hypocrites, so I'm conflicted on my emotional response to the issue. Perhaps that allows for more objectivity.

    In practical terms, though, I can see no short term future for Catalan separatism. There is almost zero possibility of any major world government recognising a unilaterally seceding region in Spain, for obviously self-serving reasons, and a unilateral declaration of independence leaves Catalonia in breach of Spanish law to the degree that it fails and outside the EU and without any realistic way to organise its finances and economy to the extent that it succeeds.

    Far from making a mistake, I suspect the Madrid government did the right thing (from the point of view of the Spanish central government and its tactical objective of frustrating the Catalan separatists' goal on secession) in making it clear that the "referendum" was illegal - it prevented it from being a much more credible mandate for independence, and the hysterical response to a few robust police operations will soon fade as reality sets in.

    Rationally, you would expect therefore that the noises the separatists are making about a UDI within days should be a bluff. However, it's certainly possible that Puigdemont's analysis is different and he will go ahead with one. In that case, it seems likely the central government will suspend regional government and arrest the separatist leaders, replace the senior ranks of the local police force and seek to ride out the likely mass demonstrations, mob resistance and strikes that will follow.

    The separatists can only lose from then on, since all they can do is make life unpleasant for their own people in Catalonia while the central government tightens the noose. It doesn't appear there is sufficient or sufficiently strong support for independence in Catalonia, nor any strong foreign sponsor, to enable them to hold out long enough to bring Spain, backed by the EU establishment, to its knees. As time goes on, more and more people in Catalonia, starting with the strong opponents of separatism and moving on to neutrals and ultimately even "soft" separatist supporters, will come to blame the UDI hotheads for their situation.

    The separatists will be left depending on a "hail Mary" to rescue them - a Spanish government collapse or some kind of Euro crisis that, instead of causing the big EU powers to tell Madrid to crack down harder and sort things out, somehow has the opposite effect.

    “which seems to me to be overly impressed by all the hysterical propaganda about “police brutality” in the Spanish police perfectly reasonably trying to enforce the law.”

    Wrong.

    Holding a referendum is freedom of speech.

    Asking all catalonians their opinion about separation is freedom of speech.

    When the spanish law does not give democratic/political power to a referendum, a judge in court based on the law can simply declare the referendum null and void.

    The spanish government acts out of fear for no good reason.

    This police brutality is a crackdown on freedom of speech.

    Only when the catalonian people act against the law, and based on the referendum decide to separate, the government can enforce the law.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Holding a referendum is freedom of speech.
     
    No, holding a referendum is a political process, in this case one explicitly stated and clearly intended to be the beginning of a process of unilateral declaration of independence.

    Freedom of speech is something the Catalan separatists have absolutely, and exercise freely and profusely, unlike those who fall foul of political correctness and "hate speech" laws.

    Asking all catalonians their opinion about separation is freedom of speech.
     
    Polling is perfectly legitimate and not illegal in Catalonia. Organising a referendum for the stated purpose of initiating a unilateral declaration of independence is.

    This police brutality is a crackdown on freedom of speech.
     
    No, there has been no infringement of freedom of speech whatsoever. All there has been is the attempt to enforce a legitimate court order against people who don't like the law in question and chose to defy it, having been warned that it would be enforced.

    That's their choice, in the end, but only a fool pays attention to their bleating when they don't like the unsurprising consequences.

    Such bleating makes a mockery of all the people around the world who face genuine suppression of their actual rights, and real brutality at the hands of governments and police.
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  34. Russia, which probably has the most formidable military on the planet,

    Soviet Military was indeed mighty during the Cold War, but it couldn’t defeat ragtag Afghans whose military capacity was well-below that of Viet Cong in the Vietnam War.

    Today, Russian military is a great power regionally but a paper tiger on the world stage. The most it can hope for is playing defense.

    US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.

    US won every major battle in Vietnam. It’s just that Vietnamese in the South couldn’t hold their own ground on their own. It was South Vietnam that lost in the end, not the US.

    US totally destroyed Iraq twice, first in Gulf War and then in Iraq Invasion. Militarily, US power was overwhelming. Problem was political. US failed to set up a stable system of government. As such, it led to insurgencies everywhere.

    Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.

    The problem hasn’t been US military power that can still smash any nation with the possible exception of China and Russia, but ONLY if China and Russia fights defensively.

    The problem is that military options cannot fix political and social problems. US can invade and defeat and destroy. Military is a destructive force, and US is second to none. But after the destruction, there is need for construction, and the military cannot do that. It requires political will, talent, unity, and order. But as long as US invaded diverse nations and unleashes tribal conflict, what follows is chaos. Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Yeah, right. Perhaps you should reread your history rather than take it simply from pop culture.

    Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.

     

    Only after Russia abandoned them, and even so, they still held on for quite some time. This was also when the US forces were more competent.

    US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.
     
    The "millions" only were perceived so by the Marines during the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River because the Chinese troops had achieved almost complete envelopment - in reality, it was pretty much equal numbers, and American formations shattered would never recover for the remainder of the war. Although the UN forces did better in the second half, it was battles like that of Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge - which were named for specifically that reason - which proved that total victory was unattainable due to the casualties that Communist forces could inflict upon the UN.

    It was far from a cakewalk.

    In strength disposition at this point, the US might be able to win a war against either Russia or China alone. But they would obviously not allow the other to be destroyed, and any attack on one of them would result in both of them retaliating.

    Its over for the US in terms of unilateral military solutions.

    , @FB

    US won every major battle in Vietnam.
     
    And here's the rest of the story...

    '...In total, the United States military lost in Vietnam almost 10,000 aircraft, helicopters and 578 UAVs...'

    and...'South Vietnam's army lost 2,500 aircraft and helicopters...'

    and...'North Vietnam lost 150 – 200 aircraft and helicopters...'

    So that's a kill ratio of what, 50 to 1 for third world air force Vietnam against 'superpower' United States...?

    Lopsided much...?

    That has to be some kind of record for losing aircraft...not seen since WW2...

    Oh and let's not forget the US fleeing their embassy in Saigon by rooftop helicopter...

    US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.
     
    Oh yes...let's see...

    '...The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any American military unit in history...The Chinese offensive continued pressing American forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital. Eighth Army's morale and esprit de corps hit rock bottom, to where it was widely regarded as a broken, defeated rabble...'

    Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.
     
    Hmm...interesting...

    '...The shootdown of an F-117 stealth aircraft over Kosovo in 1999 served as a wake-up call for the Air Force...NATO never fully succeeded in neutralizing the Serb integrated air defense system...'

    and...

    'Operation Allied Force was the most intense and sustained military operation to have been conducted in Europe since the end of World War II....'

    and...

    'The air campaign over Kosovo severely affected the readiness rates of the United States Air Force’s Air Combat Command during that period... many aircraft will have to be replaced earlier than previously planned, as their planned fatigue life was prematurely expended. PGM inventories needed to be re-stocked, the warstock of the AGM-86C Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile dropping to 100 or fewer rounds.[11] ...Of the more than 25,000 bombs and missiles expended, nearly 8,500 were PGMs, with the replacement cost estimated at $US1.3 billion.[12] Thus the USAF suffered from virtual attrition of its air force without having scored a large number of kills in theater. Even if the United States' best estimates of Serbian casualties are used, the Serbians left Kosovo with a large part of their armored forces intact...'

    So the combined might of 19 Nato countries with a population of 900 million vs little Serbia and its 7 million people...a nato air armada of over 1,000 aircraft...and still little Serbia stood its ground...

    As for Afghanistan...US still hasn't won anything in 16 years...

    As Paul Craig Roberts regularly reminds us, the US hasn't won a realwar since the pacific war in ww2...

    Thanks for the opportunity Mr. Priss...hope we can dance again sometime...oh...and have fun in disneyland...
    , @The Alarmist
    Even if we were to stipulate to your rah-rah recapitulation of history, one cannot escape the fact that the US won precisely zero of the conflicts you cite, and in the process lost nearly 100,000 lives of its own prosecuting the actions, not to mention the millions of others killed.

    More importantly, other than the dubious "Domino Theory," which I will grant felt like a real threat at the time, what national interest has been served by any one of these actions?

    Hint: Goose-egg

    Seriously, Serbia? That has war-crime written all over it. All that effort to send Milosovich to the Hague, where the poor bugger died before he was essentially cleared. Fine example of a US victory there, chap.

    , @anonymous

    US totally destroyed Iraq twice, first in Gulf War and then in Iraq Invasion.
     
    Your mofing evil country destroyed another nation for no great reason, causing untold death and suffering, and you mention it so casually, perhaps even boastfully.

    Anyway, we can all concede that AmeriKKKa can win any traditional war (it is only limited by worldly perception, even if the desire to let loose limitlessly is a wet dream of all your elites).

    That said, for sure, the Evil Empire has lost the war for Morality, and it has lost the war for Spirituality.

    It is basically fucked. So, enjoy while you can, fucked person of a fucked nation :)

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  35. Silva says:

    Ha. If Tuva had made a referendum to secede from Russia, how would the latter react?

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  36. polskijoe says:

    Very strong countries all abuse power and do bad things. US the dominant country is most guilty today. Formerly USSR, Nazi Germany, Japan, UK, etc, etc.

    Having police, enforcing things needs to be done sometimes, but even police have some disgusting people who abuse.

    In Catalonia neither side is innocent.

    We live in a world, where people are shouting Nazi, Fascist, at very small events. The Western world has shifted left.

    Traditional values are hate speech, you are now a neonazi, fascist according to the rainbow flag crowd, the drug addicts, antifa, etc.

    Russia obviously has problems, but I support them to create a mulipolar world. No nation should be king of the world.

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  37. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Priss Factor
    Russia, which probably has the most formidable military on the planet,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_VVVTmiWFo

    Soviet Military was indeed mighty during the Cold War, but it couldn't defeat ragtag Afghans whose military capacity was well-below that of Viet Cong in the Vietnam War.

    Today, Russian military is a great power regionally but a paper tiger on the world stage. The most it can hope for is playing defense.

    US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.

    US won every major battle in Vietnam. It's just that Vietnamese in the South couldn't hold their own ground on their own. It was South Vietnam that lost in the end, not the US.

    US totally destroyed Iraq twice, first in Gulf War and then in Iraq Invasion. Militarily, US power was overwhelming. Problem was political. US failed to set up a stable system of government. As such, it led to insurgencies everywhere.

    Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.

    The problem hasn't been US military power that can still smash any nation with the possible exception of China and Russia, but ONLY if China and Russia fights defensively.

    The problem is that military options cannot fix political and social problems. US can invade and defeat and destroy. Military is a destructive force, and US is second to none. But after the destruction, there is need for construction, and the military cannot do that. It requires political will, talent, unity, and order. But as long as US invaded diverse nations and unleashes tribal conflict, what follows is chaos. Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.

    Yeah, right. Perhaps you should reread your history rather than take it simply from pop culture.

    Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.

    Only after Russia abandoned them, and even so, they still held on for quite some time. This was also when the US forces were more competent.

    US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.

    The “millions” only were perceived so by the Marines during the Battle of the Ch’ongch’on River because the Chinese troops had achieved almost complete envelopment – in reality, it was pretty much equal numbers, and American formations shattered would never recover for the remainder of the war. Although the UN forces did better in the second half, it was battles like that of Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge – which were named for specifically that reason – which proved that total victory was unattainable due to the casualties that Communist forces could inflict upon the UN.

    It was far from a cakewalk.

    In strength disposition at this point, the US might be able to win a war against either Russia or China alone. But they would obviously not allow the other to be destroyed, and any attack on one of them would result in both of them retaliating.

    Its over for the US in terms of unilateral military solutions.

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    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    Good reply. It’s also a myth that the US never lost a battle in Vietnam.
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  38. @FB
    You've got quite a chip on your shoulder...

    Russian war crimes...?...according to the Syrian 'opposition'...?...ie ISIS and their fellow travelers...

    I don’t know what that means. Learn to form complete thoughts and sentences and maybe we can have a conversation. But I’m guessing that is not your intent. If it is, start off slow and practice. You’ll be up to speed in no time.

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    FB's comment was quite intelligible despite some minor errors. The gist of it was...
    "Russian war crimes? According to whom? The Syrian opposition? in other words ISIS and those like them." I'm pretty sure that FB is pointing out the absurdity of your claim of Russian war crimes in Syria and that you got the point too however, not having any substantial rebuttal, you simply resorted to the pedantic correction of some grammatical errors instead. Johnny Pobracito loses, again.
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  39. @Carlo
    "You Russians are still trying to push Utopia."
    What utopia is Russia still trying to push? The West wants the entire world filled with LGBT and tolerance and human rights and free trade and everyone then will be happy.

    A Wahhabist-free Middle-East under the benevolent guidance of Vladimir Putin. Duh. Are you new here?

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  40. I like how he is outraged by what Spain has done to Catalonia, but has no problem noting separatism isn’t a problem in Russia because of what happened to Chechnia. What happened to Chechnia?

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    • Replies: @neutral

    What happened to Chechnia
     
    Lots of people died, which leads me to the question that really matters, if you care about Spain that much and hate independent Catalan that much, how many people would you be willing to kill to keep it in Spain? Please don't cop out of this question by saying thats not going to happen because of X,Y,Z, the intent of the question is to see how many would you be prepared to accept as losses, if your answer is zero then it indicates you don't care at all, however if your answer is greater than zero then I have to know how many and consequently why it is so absolutely important not to have Catalonia go free?
    , @Johnny Rico

    What happened to Chechnia?
     
    Haha! Nothing happened to Chechnya. Chechens love Russia. There is no reason for anything to have happened to Chechnya.

    There was no FSB conspiracy to blow up apartment buildings so Putin could blame it on Chechen terrorists and then proceed to flatten Grozny in 1999 solidifying his grip on power. No war crimes. No targeting civilians. None of that happened. Just ask the resident Russian military apologists.

    Chechens love Russia. "Russia is now the only truly democratic and free country left out there," in the words of The Saker. They elect a president with very limited powers every six years. So that makes it a democracy not a dictatorship. It's always the same guy, but he's a really nice guy, a smart guy - so everything is cool.

    Nothing happened in Chechnya.

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  41. @FB

    ...Russia and Turkey are too big, too clumsy, and too backward to do much about any of this. Powerlessness. Get used to it...
     
    If Russia is so backward, why does the US have to beg for rides to the space station...?...or buy rocket engines from Russia to launch US military satellites...?

    And if Russia is 'powerless' why do US jets in the skies over Syria stay out of Russia's de facto no-fly zone...?

    This is about Russia’s (and to a lesser extent Turkey’s) ability to exert control in the Middle East. This is not about the United States. Control being the opposite of powerlessness. Stay on topic.

    If you want to compare the US to Russia in some way related to this article, their respective space programs are a weak argument unless you care about colonizing Mars. Silicon Valley is in California, not Moscow.

    American and Russian generals discuss keeping their aircraft out of each other’s way over Syria. I can’t answer any questions pertaining to what arrangements they have. It is also illegal for Americans to be flying over Syria as they have not been invited in like the Russians. Americans (including the current President before he was elected, at least) have shown little interest in being involved in Syria. For good reason. Syria affects the lives of Americans in exactly zero different ways.

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  42. FB says:

    what precisely did you not understand…?

    I am not a mindreader…

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  43. FB says:
    @Priss Factor
    Russia, which probably has the most formidable military on the planet,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_VVVTmiWFo

    Soviet Military was indeed mighty during the Cold War, but it couldn't defeat ragtag Afghans whose military capacity was well-below that of Viet Cong in the Vietnam War.

    Today, Russian military is a great power regionally but a paper tiger on the world stage. The most it can hope for is playing defense.

    US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.

    US won every major battle in Vietnam. It's just that Vietnamese in the South couldn't hold their own ground on their own. It was South Vietnam that lost in the end, not the US.

    US totally destroyed Iraq twice, first in Gulf War and then in Iraq Invasion. Militarily, US power was overwhelming. Problem was political. US failed to set up a stable system of government. As such, it led to insurgencies everywhere.

    Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.

    The problem hasn't been US military power that can still smash any nation with the possible exception of China and Russia, but ONLY if China and Russia fights defensively.

    The problem is that military options cannot fix political and social problems. US can invade and defeat and destroy. Military is a destructive force, and US is second to none. But after the destruction, there is need for construction, and the military cannot do that. It requires political will, talent, unity, and order. But as long as US invaded diverse nations and unleashes tribal conflict, what follows is chaos. Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.

    US won every major battle in Vietnam.

    And here’s the rest of the story…

    ‘…In total, the United States military lost in Vietnam almost 10,000 aircraft, helicopters and 578 UAVs…’

    and…’South Vietnam’s army lost 2,500 aircraft and helicopters…’

    and…’North Vietnam lost 150 – 200 aircraft and helicopters…’

    So that’s a kill ratio of what, 50 to 1 for third world air force Vietnam against ‘superpower’ United States…?

    Lopsided much…?

    That has to be some kind of record for losing aircraft…not seen since WW2…

    Oh and let’s not forget the US fleeing their embassy in Saigon by rooftop helicopter…

    US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.

    Oh yes…let’s see…

    ‘…The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any American military unit in history…The Chinese offensive continued pressing American forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital. Eighth Army’s morale and esprit de corps hit rock bottom, to where it was widely regarded as a broken, defeated rabble…’

    Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.

    Hmm…interesting…

    ‘…The shootdown of an F-117 stealth aircraft over Kosovo in 1999 served as a wake-up call for the Air Force…NATO never fully succeeded in neutralizing the Serb integrated air defense system…’

    and…

    ‘Operation Allied Force was the most intense and sustained military operation to have been conducted in Europe since the end of World War II….’

    and…

    ‘The air campaign over Kosovo severely affected the readiness rates of the United States Air Force’s Air Combat Command during that period… many aircraft will have to be replaced earlier than previously planned, as their planned fatigue life was prematurely expended. PGM inventories needed to be re-stocked, the warstock of the AGM-86C Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile dropping to 100 or fewer rounds.[11] …Of the more than 25,000 bombs and missiles expended, nearly 8,500 were PGMs, with the replacement cost estimated at $US1.3 billion.[12] Thus the USAF suffered from virtual attrition of its air force without having scored a large number of kills in theater. Even if the United States’ best estimates of Serbian casualties are used, the Serbians left Kosovo with a large part of their armored forces intact…’

    So the combined might of 19 Nato countries with a population of 900 million vs little Serbia and its 7 million people…a nato air armada of over 1,000 aircraft…and still little Serbia stood its ground…

    As for Afghanistan…US still hasn’t won anything in 16 years…

    As Paul Craig Roberts regularly reminds us, the US hasn’t won a realwar since the pacific war in ww2…

    Thanks for the opportunity Mr. Priss…hope we can dance again sometime…oh…and have fun in disneyland…

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    • Agree: polskijoe
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    ‘…In total, the United States military lost in Vietnam almost 10,000 aircraft, helicopters and 578 UAVs…’ and…’South Vietnam’s army lost 2,500 aircraft and helicopters…’ and…’North Vietnam lost 150 – 200 aircraft and helicopters…’ Lopsided much…?

    Ridiculous comparison. North Vietnam had almost NO AIR POWER. Whoever heard of North Vietnamese Air Cavalry? Viet Cong and North Vietnam hid in the jungle and relied on anti-aircraft guns from USSR

    For every aircraft the commies had, US had 1,ooo.

    Oh and let’s not forget the US fleeing their embassy in Saigon by rooftop helicopter…

    But that was in 1975. US military had left in 73. It was just a rescue operation.

    ‘…The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any American military unit in history…The Chinese offensive continued pressing American forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital.

    This was not due to Chinese military superiority but (1) US arrogance and (2) ambush factor.

    MacArthur was so sure of victory that he just sent US troop up north faster and faster and disregarded reports that Chinese troops might be pouring in and hiding behind bush and hills.

    But once US regrouped and pushed back, Chinese couldn't make any more gains despite so many men thrown at the US by Mao.

    As for Afghanistan…US still hasn’t won anything in 16 years…

    Like I said, military is a destructive force. US military has done a good job in smashing enemies in Afghanistan. Problem is US finds it impossible to cobble together a real nation in Afghanistan given the diversity, tribalism, and corruption of people there. Also, US interests in Afghanistan are not determined by military men but by neocons and industrialists who think in terms of poppies, minerals, pipelines, and geo-politics. Military can win battles but cannot build a nation.

    Afghanistan is turning out like Manchuria during the 30s and 40s and Ukraine now. A no man's land that belongs to nation but is manipulated by all its neighbors.
    And Afghan leaders are like Puyi.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqhsnyGK0Bs

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  44. Dissenter says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    ... the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.
     
    Which Russians exactly?

    Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/

    ... most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.
     
    Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

    It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

    Indeed, totally agree, I very much doubt that the oppinion of a commenter in a political gathering ( in the case it was even political…) could be extended to all the Russian people.
    This is a custom by The Saker, who lives in the US since 30 years and almost never travels abroad, least to Russia, to invent such generalizations without any base.

    Also, the way he enjoys the suffering and bad times others are passing, especially concerning the EU, is not only nauseating but also opposite to what a real Christian would be. So, for the much he tries all the time to demonstrate he is such a “devote Christian of the original faith”, nobody, except his sycophants on duty, would swallow such a joke.

    And the fact that he rips his garments in front of the Spanish police´s violence, which, even admitting was out of place in front of peaceful people, was reduced to push people and throw rubber balls, when he has never said anything about US police´s violence, which result in dead people ( especially black people ) in the streets one day after another, is a measure of the size of his hypocrisy and demagogery and a confirmation, if more were needed, whom interests he serves.

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  45. Randal says:
    @FB
    Your argument is all over the place...

    But you admit yourself...

    Peaceful assembly does not include intentionally breaking the law as confirmed by a direct court order, unless the law is an unreasonable one that precludes peaceful protest or political expression or assembly, which the Spanish law self-evidently does not.
     
    Obviously the Catalan people felt that the central government's 'law' forbidding the referendum was in fact unreasonable...

    Objectively, many would have to agree...the UK allowed the Scots to have an independence referendum, Canada allowed Quebec referendum twice...

    So by international precedent, de facto if not de jure, a minority population has a reasonable right to expect such an act of political expression...

    Just because the central government made a so-called law, does not make it morally valid or legally binding...

    Your selected incidents of police crackdown are not comparable...the 2011 ouster of the '99' percent protesters in New York was only enforced after months of patience with a relatively small group of people who were clearly violating local laws about camping out on sidewalks etc...

    The Dakota pipeline issue was likewise a protracted affair...eventually the protesters are removed from private property etc...

    This has nothing in common with a pre-emptive action by paramilitary police against an entire minority population...it's an absurd comparison...

    Whether you agree with the Catalans or not, the glaring fact is that Madrid should not have used violence to suppress the vote...it has only shot itself in the foot...many Catalans who might have been in the 'stay' camp have likely switched after this...people do not like to be bullied...

    Madrid lost its cool...it could have just let the 'illegal' referendum take place and then fought the battle in the legal system, or in the court of world opinion...

    But after this foolish use of unnecessary violence they have lost on every count...

    Obviously the Catalan people felt that the central government’s ‘law’ forbidding the referendum was in fact unreasonable

    Many lawbreakers think the laws that get in their way are unreasonable. And your commonplace misuse of “the people” to mean that part of the people that think what you think they ought to think, is noticeable here. Clearly a very substantial minority of the Catalan people (around half, according to polling) are absolutely opposed to independence, and many of them also opposed carrying out this referendum, as illustrated by the fact that turnout was only 43% plus whatever number of votes might have been prevented by the police action.

    The point is that objectively it wasn’t remotely unreasonable to regard this process as illegal, whatever you might choose to convince yourself of, because the legitimate Spanish constitutional court legitimately annulled the regional acts authorising it and ordered that it not go ahead pending arguments on its legality, and because it in no way inhibits the right of the separatists to express their opinions, assemble, organise and protest, and elect their own representatives. It just prevents them engaging in a particular activity that is in direct breach of the Spanish constitution, and goes against a specific court order.

    Don’t like the law? Protest it, try to change it, whatever, but don’t break it just to try to score a political point and then hysterically complain about “police brutality” when you get arrested. If you choose a form of protest that is directly illegal, then you have to expect the government and police will prevent you from doing it if they can.

    Feel free to try an illegal protest in direct defiance of government, courts and police in any other country in the world and see what happens to you.

    Objectively, many would have to agree…the UK allowed the Scots to have an independence referendum, Canada allowed Quebec referendum twice…

    And in most other countries the idea that regions have the right to unilaterally secede has been regarded as false, and in many cases the attempt to do so has triggered civil war to suppress it, such as in the case of the US civil war, Kosovo, Georgia, Transnistria, Donetsk/Luhansk. Indeed, the European Parliament on Wednesday was almost unanimous in declaring that unilateral secession is not justifiable. Here’s the President of the Parliament summing it up:

    In the light of the debate that has just taken place and to summarise the position expressed by a majority in this Parliament, I would like to highlight some key elements.

    As the history of the European Union teaches us, in democracy, the only way forward is to work together for harmony and unity.

    No one took lightly the events that took place on Sunday. However, unilateral decisions, including declarations of independence from a sovereign state, are contrary to the European legal order and bound to provoke dangerous divisions.”

    And that’s the view of all the major EU governments as well.

    As such, the attempt to hold an illegal referendum with the stated purpose of justifying a unilateral secession and commencing the process is clearly open to legitimate question in the light of the constitutional ban.

    The separatists could of course have chosen to postpone the referendum and argue the case in court, but they knew they’d lose that case because their actions were clearly illegal. They chose instead to defy the law of their land and then try to use any attempt to enforce the law as a pretext to cry out “police brutality”.

    Many dupes fell for it.

    Your selected incidents of police crackdown are not comparable…the 2011 ouster of the ’99′ percent protesters in New York was only enforced after months of patience with a relatively small group of people who were clearly violating local laws about camping out on sidewalks etc…

    The Dakota pipeline issue was likewise a protracted affair…eventually the protesters are removed from private property etc…

    This has nothing in common with a pre-emptive action by paramilitary police against an entire minority population…it’s an absurd comparison…

    In every case the police were enforcing the law against people defying the law for political reasons, just as in this case. Delay is irrelevant. The referendum was an event taking place on a specific day and to delay action would have been to allow it to proceed unopposed.

    You are very quick to blame the government for trying to enforce the law, and noticeably slow to admit that the separatists could simply have avoided any confrontation by not breaking the law.

    Whether you agree with the Catalans or not, the glaring fact is that Madrid should not have used violence to suppress the vote…it has only shot itself in the foot…many Catalans who might have been in the ‘stay’ camp have likely switched after this…people do not like to be bullied…

    Madrid lost its cool…it could have just let the ‘illegal’ referendum take place and then fought the battle in the legal system, or in the court of world opinion…

    That’s your opinion (and you aren’t alone in holding it), but I doubt it for the reasons I gave above, and clearly the Spanish government didn’t think your arguments were persuasive when they undoubtedly considered how to deal with the separatists’ lawbreaking, either.

    But after this foolish use of unnecessary violence they have lost on every count…

    Let’s wait and see, shall we? I think the separatists are the ones who have made the disastrous error here, and they now have no apparent way forward to achieve their goals. Short of some kind of miraculous collapse of the Spanish government (unlikely given the widespread dislike of the separatists in most of the rest of Spain) or other presently unforeseeable dramatic change of circumstances, they appear to be heading for disaster.

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    • Replies: @FB
    Well Randal, the fact that you are quoting the EU doublespeak mitigates against the credibility of your argument...at least in my view...

    This is the same EU whose leading countries instigated the Yugoslavia demolition, and then topped that off with an illegal war of aggression against Serbia, in order to wrest territory from that country...

    They were quick to recognize the fake state of Kosovo, although to its credit Spain did not...even so, Kosovo is still not a legitimate state and cannot take a seat at the UN...

    Spain did participate in the illegal Nato bombing of Serbia, so the old adage about stuff coming around is not apparently unfounded...

    Oh but lest we forget Kosovo was a 'special' and 'unique case'...

    The fact of the matter is that the EU, which has been a vassal to the US empire, is now reaping what it has sown...

    The entire postwar order was predicated on sanctity of borders and this was enshrined in international law, both in the UN and the Helsinki Accords...as well as the sovereignty of UN member states and how they conduct their internal affairs...

    We did not see any breakups of states during this era, with the exception of Korea, which was split in two by the US. East Pakistan seceded peacefully and in mutual agreement to become Bangladesh because they were on the other side of the Indian subcontinent to their country mates.

    With the collapse of the USSR, the US decided to change all that...Yugoslavia was immediately dismantled...Croatia and Bosnia allowed to secede from Yugoslavia, but Serb minorities therein not allowed the same right to self-determination...

    Kosovo, which unlike Catalonia, had never existed as a state, was the final nail in the coffin of the postwar system of international stability...

    So when Abkhazia and south Ossetia seceded from Georgia, the Russians invoked the goose/gander proposition...same with Crimea...

    But who let the genie out of the bottle...?...that same EU that sings out soaring rhetoric about 'democracy' but insists on playing god on who gets to have self-determination and who does not...

    Likewise in the Middle East where US insists on breaking up Syria, and secretly Iraq...but of course the Palestinians couldn't dream of declaring their own statehood...

    Hypocrisy never pays...it's all going to end very badly for the 'masters of the universe' who don't even realize that the world is moving on and they will soon be on the scrapheap of history...
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  46. Randal says:
    @s.a. top
    "which seems to me to be overly impressed by all the hysterical propaganda about “police brutality” in the Spanish police perfectly reasonably trying to enforce the law."

    Wrong.

    Holding a referendum is freedom of speech.

    Asking all catalonians their opinion about separation is freedom of speech.

    When the spanish law does not give democratic/political power to a referendum, a judge in court based on the law can simply declare the referendum null and void.

    The spanish government acts out of fear for no good reason.

    This police brutality is a crackdown on freedom of speech.

    Only when the catalonian people act against the law, and based on the referendum decide to separate, the government can enforce the law.

    Holding a referendum is freedom of speech.

    No, holding a referendum is a political process, in this case one explicitly stated and clearly intended to be the beginning of a process of unilateral declaration of independence.

    Freedom of speech is something the Catalan separatists have absolutely, and exercise freely and profusely, unlike those who fall foul of political correctness and “hate speech” laws.

    Asking all catalonians their opinion about separation is freedom of speech.

    Polling is perfectly legitimate and not illegal in Catalonia. Organising a referendum for the stated purpose of initiating a unilateral declaration of independence is.

    This police brutality is a crackdown on freedom of speech.

    No, there has been no infringement of freedom of speech whatsoever. All there has been is the attempt to enforce a legitimate court order against people who don’t like the law in question and chose to defy it, having been warned that it would be enforced.

    That’s their choice, in the end, but only a fool pays attention to their bleating when they don’t like the unsurprising consequences.

    Such bleating makes a mockery of all the people around the world who face genuine suppression of their actual rights, and real brutality at the hands of governments and police.

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    • Replies: @Miro23

    Such bleating makes a mockery of all the people around the world who face genuine suppression of their actual rights, and real brutality at the hands of governments and police.
     
    True enough, the Catalan radicals are wheeling out the old 1970's Counter Cultural "Police Violence", "Nazi State" tropes when they (like the 1970's US student activists) are among the most privileged and free people in the world.
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  47. @FB

    US won every major battle in Vietnam.
     
    And here's the rest of the story...

    '...In total, the United States military lost in Vietnam almost 10,000 aircraft, helicopters and 578 UAVs...'

    and...'South Vietnam's army lost 2,500 aircraft and helicopters...'

    and...'North Vietnam lost 150 – 200 aircraft and helicopters...'

    So that's a kill ratio of what, 50 to 1 for third world air force Vietnam against 'superpower' United States...?

    Lopsided much...?

    That has to be some kind of record for losing aircraft...not seen since WW2...

    Oh and let's not forget the US fleeing their embassy in Saigon by rooftop helicopter...

    US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.
     
    Oh yes...let's see...

    '...The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any American military unit in history...The Chinese offensive continued pressing American forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital. Eighth Army's morale and esprit de corps hit rock bottom, to where it was widely regarded as a broken, defeated rabble...'

    Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.
     
    Hmm...interesting...

    '...The shootdown of an F-117 stealth aircraft over Kosovo in 1999 served as a wake-up call for the Air Force...NATO never fully succeeded in neutralizing the Serb integrated air defense system...'

    and...

    'Operation Allied Force was the most intense and sustained military operation to have been conducted in Europe since the end of World War II....'

    and...

    'The air campaign over Kosovo severely affected the readiness rates of the United States Air Force’s Air Combat Command during that period... many aircraft will have to be replaced earlier than previously planned, as their planned fatigue life was prematurely expended. PGM inventories needed to be re-stocked, the warstock of the AGM-86C Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile dropping to 100 or fewer rounds.[11] ...Of the more than 25,000 bombs and missiles expended, nearly 8,500 were PGMs, with the replacement cost estimated at $US1.3 billion.[12] Thus the USAF suffered from virtual attrition of its air force without having scored a large number of kills in theater. Even if the United States' best estimates of Serbian casualties are used, the Serbians left Kosovo with a large part of their armored forces intact...'

    So the combined might of 19 Nato countries with a population of 900 million vs little Serbia and its 7 million people...a nato air armada of over 1,000 aircraft...and still little Serbia stood its ground...

    As for Afghanistan...US still hasn't won anything in 16 years...

    As Paul Craig Roberts regularly reminds us, the US hasn't won a realwar since the pacific war in ww2...

    Thanks for the opportunity Mr. Priss...hope we can dance again sometime...oh...and have fun in disneyland...

    ‘…In total, the United States military lost in Vietnam almost 10,000 aircraft, helicopters and 578 UAVs…’ and…’South Vietnam’s army lost 2,500 aircraft and helicopters…’ and…’North Vietnam lost 150 – 200 aircraft and helicopters…’ Lopsided much…?

    Ridiculous comparison. North Vietnam had almost NO AIR POWER. Whoever heard of North Vietnamese Air Cavalry? Viet Cong and North Vietnam hid in the jungle and relied on anti-aircraft guns from USSR

    For every aircraft the commies had, US had 1,ooo.

    Oh and let’s not forget the US fleeing their embassy in Saigon by rooftop helicopter…

    But that was in 1975. US military had left in 73. It was just a rescue operation.

    ‘…The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any American military unit in history…The Chinese offensive continued pressing American forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital.

    This was not due to Chinese military superiority but (1) US arrogance and (2) ambush factor.

    MacArthur was so sure of victory that he just sent US troop up north faster and faster and disregarded reports that Chinese troops might be pouring in and hiding behind bush and hills.

    But once US regrouped and pushed back, Chinese couldn’t make any more gains despite so many men thrown at the US by Mao.

    As for Afghanistan…US still hasn’t won anything in 16 years…

    Like I said, military is a destructive force. US military has done a good job in smashing enemies in Afghanistan. Problem is US finds it impossible to cobble together a real nation in Afghanistan given the diversity, tribalism, and corruption of people there. Also, US interests in Afghanistan are not determined by military men but by neocons and industrialists who think in terms of poppies, minerals, pipelines, and geo-politics. Military can win battles but cannot build a nation.

    Afghanistan is turning out like Manchuria during the 30s and 40s and Ukraine now. A no man’s land that belongs to nation but is manipulated by all its neighbors.
    And Afghan leaders are like Puyi.

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    • Replies: @FB
    'Ridiculous' or not...the fact that US lost 10,000 planes to a third world country one quarter its size goes down in the annals of history as a historic military defeat...

    So does the destruction of the Eighth US Army in Korea...

    Of course such humiliations are never taken to heart by Americans, as they would by a more serious mentality...it is far easier to create an escapist fantasy that is fact-free...

    Toodles...
    , @Anonymous
    The choice of Shilkas was a doctrine concept of Communist AA, and proved its effectiveness in Vietnam. To this day, Russia has the best ground to air system in the world.

    And by Heartbreak Ridge, UN forces couldn't make realistic headway against Communist forces either. Any ground taken was shortly lost and in a war of attrition, it wasn't looking the most positive for the UN.

    And that was then. The gap has closed significantly since.
    , @FB
    'Priss Factor' said...

    '...For every aircraft the commies had, US had 1,ooo...'
     
    Why do I get the feeling I'm talking to someone who is still in junior high...?

    According to wikipedia...'North Vietnam lost 150 – 200 aircraft and helicopters...'

    Even if they lost every single aircraft they had, that would mean the US fielded between 150 thousand and 200 thousand aircraft...which would be more jets than have been produced in the entire world up to this point, including civil jets...

    '...Yeah… but Viets lost 2 to 3 million people...If you fight someone and he knocked out all your teeth while you knocked out one of his, who got it worse?...'
     
    I see, so now we are actually back in grade school...?

    The fact that the US murdered 3 million civilians in Vietnam does not a victory make...

    Ever since the first battle in history, victory has been defined very simply...the army that stays on the battlefield is the winner...the army that runs away is the loser...

    By your definition the Nazis won WW2 because they murdered 20 million Russian civilians...

    Forget the fact that Russians captured Berlin, and the Germans fled even their own [Russian occupied] country to surrender to the US on the Western front...
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  48. I wonder… if Japan or perhaps even USSR had managed to turn Manchuria into an independent state, would it be to China what Ukraine is to Russia today?

    Because communist Mao ruled in North China, Soviets were willing to hand over Manchuria to him. (Even so, Soviets refused to return Mongolia to China, and it remains independent today.)
    But suppose KMT had been dominant in China at the close of WWII? One wonders if USSR had decided to carry out their own version of Manchukou, a puppet republic that claimed to be non-Chinese.

    Russian shouldn’t have given up Ukraine — at least eastern half of Ukraine — when the USSR break apart. It should have been to Russia what Manchuria is to China today.

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  49. Chabab says:
    @Randal

    The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime…
     
    Peaceful assembly does not include intentionally breaking the law as confirmed by a direct court order, unless the law is an unreasonable one that precludes peaceful protest or political expression or assembly, which the Spanish law self-evidently does not. Catalan separatists in Spain have every right to speak and assemble freely, and they do so endlessly. Might as well claim drug dealers can't be arrested in the US for meeting to buy and sell drugs because it's a "breach of their inalienable human rights".

    The ‘police’ with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local
     
    No they aren't. In the UK there are national police organisations that act on various kinds of crime. In the US federal police enforce federal laws.

    Whether it's local or national police enforcing a court's orders is in reality irrelevant, except that local police might be more likely to abrogate their responsibility to enforce the law through partisan loyalty to the lawbreakers, as happened with the Catalan police.


    Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently
     
    I don't know what world you live in, but in the real one the US and pretty much all police forces regularly enforce court orders and remove and/or arrest those who impede their doing so, with whatever level of violence is required to do so - usually not much in practice.

    Here are German police dealing with hippy squatters "exercising their right of free assembly" in Berlin in June:

    https://youtu.be/vM1c_58e6jk?t=75

    Here's how US police followed orders to clear leftists "exercising their right of free assembly" in Zucotti Park in 2011:

    https://youtu.be/cf8lwzDXrXk?t=6

    And here's how US police dealt with treehuggers "exercising their right of free assembly" in breach of the law in Montana last year:

    Police in riot gear faced off with protesters on horseback as the months long protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline came to a head Thursday.

    At least 117 protesters were arrested after law enforcement Humvees and helicopters began to flood the area to break up a protester encampment near the pipeline's path.

    Calling themselves "water protectors," supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe set up tents and teepees on the land, about an hour south of Bismarck, which they said belongs to the tribe under a 19-century treaty.

    But authorities said they are trespassing on pipeline property. Officials brought in reinforcements from seven states to remove protesters and dismantle roadblocks made of hay bales and wood.

    As the standoff continued, police deployed bean bag rounds and pepper spray gas and unleashed a high-pitched siren to disperse the crowd.

     
    Look, I'm not a blanket apologist for the police or for government repression. I recognise that there are plenty of occasions when governments and police act repressively. But this business in Catalonia was not one of those times, even if there might have been occasions when individual officers or units got carried away - police are human beings, and those might be disciplinary issues but they do not make either the Spanish government enforcing the law nor the Spanish police carrying out their orders to do so somehow "Nazi-like", as the post to which I was replying asserted.

    Catalan separatists are an awful lot less repressed than traditionalists/nativists/racists and other such dissident minorities of the traditionalist right are in Europe and the UK, where the latter can have their political representation infiltrated and disrupted, their meetings attacked, their sympathisers harassed and dismissed from employment, and their freedom of expression suppressed, with the connivance or even active cooperation of government. Catalan separatists as a matter of hard fact have all those freedoms that nativists etc do not, and having those freedoms does not require being allowed to carry out a specific illegal act that has been forbidden by court order, merely in order to try to flout the law of the land.

    I take it you strongly condemn George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the gang for breaking British Law, then?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    No shit, he's an Englishman.
    , @Randal
    I'm not saying that the anti-secession position is generally right. I see the argument on whether secession can be unilateral or only by agreement with the majority nation as very much one that can be made very effectively in both directions. In the end, you have to judge it case by case, imo, and it's inevitably going to involve very subjective judgements.

    So even if my position were that the Catalan secessionists are wrong, that wouldn't mean I necessarily think other cases of unilateral secession were or are wrong. In fact, I have no strong view either way on the Catalan secession. The fact that the secession (and therefore the referendum intended to kick-start the process) is clearly unlawful in Spain does not mean that it is necessarily morally wrong (legality and morality don't necessarily align), but it does mean the Spanish government is perfectly entitled to set the police on it. My beef is mainly that I'm irritated at the shamelessly sentimental and dishonest way the Spanish action on Sunday has been exaggerated beyond all reason into "Nazi-like action" and supposed gross breaches of human rights, when it's nothing of the sort.

    As for the American secession, it's long enough ago that I don't have strong feelings on it, despite being an Englishman as somebody anonymously pointed out. I do think it's rather amusing that the Americans have managed to create a far more abusive government for themselves than the British colonial government ever was, but that's their business. Also that most of the founders would probably be horrified (but maybe not surprised) at what their independent society has degenerated into.
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  50. FB says:
    @Randal

    Obviously the Catalan people felt that the central government’s ‘law’ forbidding the referendum was in fact unreasonable
     
    Many lawbreakers think the laws that get in their way are unreasonable. And your commonplace misuse of "the people" to mean that part of the people that think what you think they ought to think, is noticeable here. Clearly a very substantial minority of the Catalan people (around half, according to polling) are absolutely opposed to independence, and many of them also opposed carrying out this referendum, as illustrated by the fact that turnout was only 43% plus whatever number of votes might have been prevented by the police action.

    The point is that objectively it wasn't remotely unreasonable to regard this process as illegal, whatever you might choose to convince yourself of, because the legitimate Spanish constitutional court legitimately annulled the regional acts authorising it and ordered that it not go ahead pending arguments on its legality, and because it in no way inhibits the right of the separatists to express their opinions, assemble, organise and protest, and elect their own representatives. It just prevents them engaging in a particular activity that is in direct breach of the Spanish constitution, and goes against a specific court order.

    Don't like the law? Protest it, try to change it, whatever, but don't break it just to try to score a political point and then hysterically complain about "police brutality" when you get arrested. If you choose a form of protest that is directly illegal, then you have to expect the government and police will prevent you from doing it if they can.

    Feel free to try an illegal protest in direct defiance of government, courts and police in any other country in the world and see what happens to you.


    Objectively, many would have to agree…the UK allowed the Scots to have an independence referendum, Canada allowed Quebec referendum twice…
     
    And in most other countries the idea that regions have the right to unilaterally secede has been regarded as false, and in many cases the attempt to do so has triggered civil war to suppress it, such as in the case of the US civil war, Kosovo, Georgia, Transnistria, Donetsk/Luhansk. Indeed, the European Parliament on Wednesday was almost unanimous in declaring that unilateral secession is not justifiable. Here's the President of the Parliament summing it up:

    "In the light of the debate that has just taken place and to summarise the position expressed by a majority in this Parliament, I would like to highlight some key elements.

    As the history of the European Union teaches us, in democracy, the only way forward is to work together for harmony and unity.

    No one took lightly the events that took place on Sunday. However, unilateral decisions, including declarations of independence from a sovereign state, are contrary to the European legal order and bound to provoke dangerous divisions."

    And that's the view of all the major EU governments as well.

    As such, the attempt to hold an illegal referendum with the stated purpose of justifying a unilateral secession and commencing the process is clearly open to legitimate question in the light of the constitutional ban.

    The separatists could of course have chosen to postpone the referendum and argue the case in court, but they knew they'd lose that case because their actions were clearly illegal. They chose instead to defy the law of their land and then try to use any attempt to enforce the law as a pretext to cry out "police brutality".

    Many dupes fell for it.


    Your selected incidents of police crackdown are not comparable…the 2011 ouster of the ’99′ percent protesters in New York was only enforced after months of patience with a relatively small group of people who were clearly violating local laws about camping out on sidewalks etc…

    The Dakota pipeline issue was likewise a protracted affair…eventually the protesters are removed from private property etc…

    This has nothing in common with a pre-emptive action by paramilitary police against an entire minority population…it’s an absurd comparison…
     

    In every case the police were enforcing the law against people defying the law for political reasons, just as in this case. Delay is irrelevant. The referendum was an event taking place on a specific day and to delay action would have been to allow it to proceed unopposed.

    You are very quick to blame the government for trying to enforce the law, and noticeably slow to admit that the separatists could simply have avoided any confrontation by not breaking the law.


    Whether you agree with the Catalans or not, the glaring fact is that Madrid should not have used violence to suppress the vote…it has only shot itself in the foot…many Catalans who might have been in the ‘stay’ camp have likely switched after this…people do not like to be bullied…

    Madrid lost its cool…it could have just let the ‘illegal’ referendum take place and then fought the battle in the legal system, or in the court of world opinion…
     

    That's your opinion (and you aren't alone in holding it), but I doubt it for the reasons I gave above, and clearly the Spanish government didn't think your arguments were persuasive when they undoubtedly considered how to deal with the separatists' lawbreaking, either.

    But after this foolish use of unnecessary violence they have lost on every count…
     
    Let's wait and see, shall we? I think the separatists are the ones who have made the disastrous error here, and they now have no apparent way forward to achieve their goals. Short of some kind of miraculous collapse of the Spanish government (unlikely given the widespread dislike of the separatists in most of the rest of Spain) or other presently unforeseeable dramatic change of circumstances, they appear to be heading for disaster.

    Well Randal, the fact that you are quoting the EU doublespeak mitigates against the credibility of your argument…at least in my view…

    This is the same EU whose leading countries instigated the Yugoslavia demolition, and then topped that off with an illegal war of aggression against Serbia, in order to wrest territory from that country…

    They were quick to recognize the fake state of Kosovo, although to its credit Spain did not…even so, Kosovo is still not a legitimate state and cannot take a seat at the UN…

    Spain did participate in the illegal Nato bombing of Serbia, so the old adage about stuff coming around is not apparently unfounded…

    Oh but lest we forget Kosovo was a ‘special’ and ‘unique case’…

    The fact of the matter is that the EU, which has been a vassal to the US empire, is now reaping what it has sown…

    The entire postwar order was predicated on sanctity of borders and this was enshrined in international law, both in the UN and the Helsinki Accords…as well as the sovereignty of UN member states and how they conduct their internal affairs…

    We did not see any breakups of states during this era, with the exception of Korea, which was split in two by the US. East Pakistan seceded peacefully and in mutual agreement to become Bangladesh because they were on the other side of the Indian subcontinent to their country mates.

    With the collapse of the USSR, the US decided to change all that…Yugoslavia was immediately dismantled…Croatia and Bosnia allowed to secede from Yugoslavia, but Serb minorities therein not allowed the same right to self-determination…

    Kosovo, which unlike Catalonia, had never existed as a state, was the final nail in the coffin of the postwar system of international stability…

    So when Abkhazia and south Ossetia seceded from Georgia, the Russians invoked the goose/gander proposition…same with Crimea…

    But who let the genie out of the bottle…?…that same EU that sings out soaring rhetoric about ‘democracy’ but insists on playing god on who gets to have self-determination and who does not…

    Likewise in the Middle East where US insists on breaking up Syria, and secretly Iraq…but of course the Palestinians couldn’t dream of declaring their own statehood…

    Hypocrisy never pays…it’s all going to end very badly for the ‘masters of the universe’ who don’t even realize that the world is moving on and they will soon be on the scrapheap of history…

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Well Randal, the fact that you are quoting the EU doublespeak mitigates against the credibility of your argument…at least in my view…
     
    Well the fact that you have resorted to an irrelevant digression into criticism of the EU and the existing international order (most of which I agree with by the way) tells me you have no substantive response.

    My reference to the EU was merely to point out in response to your assertion that the UK and Canada precedents have supported unilateral secession that most international opinion is against it.

    Please be aware, though, that I'm not pointing out that criticism of the Spanish government is unwarranted and absurdly overstated, and that there's no apparent way for the separatists to go but defeat, because I want the Spanish to win and the separatists to lose. Far from it, I'm pretty ambivalent about the issue, and certainly if the Catalans were to somehow win through some miraculous Spanish government collapse then I'd certainly see the resulting chaos as a real opportunity to damage the EU elites. But in this discussion we are not changing anything except perhaps our own understanding of the situation. This debate is not about advocacy, but about description and analysis.
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  51. FB says:
    @Priss Factor
    ‘…In total, the United States military lost in Vietnam almost 10,000 aircraft, helicopters and 578 UAVs…’ and…’South Vietnam’s army lost 2,500 aircraft and helicopters…’ and…’North Vietnam lost 150 – 200 aircraft and helicopters…’ Lopsided much…?

    Ridiculous comparison. North Vietnam had almost NO AIR POWER. Whoever heard of North Vietnamese Air Cavalry? Viet Cong and North Vietnam hid in the jungle and relied on anti-aircraft guns from USSR

    For every aircraft the commies had, US had 1,ooo.

    Oh and let’s not forget the US fleeing their embassy in Saigon by rooftop helicopter…

    But that was in 1975. US military had left in 73. It was just a rescue operation.

    ‘…The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any American military unit in history…The Chinese offensive continued pressing American forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital.

    This was not due to Chinese military superiority but (1) US arrogance and (2) ambush factor.

    MacArthur was so sure of victory that he just sent US troop up north faster and faster and disregarded reports that Chinese troops might be pouring in and hiding behind bush and hills.

    But once US regrouped and pushed back, Chinese couldn't make any more gains despite so many men thrown at the US by Mao.

    As for Afghanistan…US still hasn’t won anything in 16 years…

    Like I said, military is a destructive force. US military has done a good job in smashing enemies in Afghanistan. Problem is US finds it impossible to cobble together a real nation in Afghanistan given the diversity, tribalism, and corruption of people there. Also, US interests in Afghanistan are not determined by military men but by neocons and industrialists who think in terms of poppies, minerals, pipelines, and geo-politics. Military can win battles but cannot build a nation.

    Afghanistan is turning out like Manchuria during the 30s and 40s and Ukraine now. A no man's land that belongs to nation but is manipulated by all its neighbors.
    And Afghan leaders are like Puyi.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqhsnyGK0Bs

    ‘Ridiculous’ or not…the fact that US lost 10,000 planes to a third world country one quarter its size goes down in the annals of history as a historic military defeat…

    So does the destruction of the Eighth US Army in Korea…

    Of course such humiliations are never taken to heart by Americans, as they would by a more serious mentality…it is far easier to create an escapist fantasy that is fact-free…

    Toodles…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    Yeah... but Viets lost 2 to 3 million people.

    If you fight someone and he knocked out all your teeth while you knocked out one of his, who got it worse?

    US poured tons of bombs on Vietnam. Vietnam didn't hit a single target in the US.

    US failed in its grand strategy, but it did a A LOT OF DAMAGE to the Viets.

    Even today, just from agent orange there are so many suffering.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCqok_UvwY0

    US is like Roman Empire. It sure knows to kill when it wants to.
    , @Wally
    "‘Ridiculous’ or not…the fact that US lost 10,000 planes to a third world country one quarter its size goes down in the annals of history as a historic military defeat…"

    No, the US lost planes to Russian MIGS & Russian SAMs.

    , @Johnny Rico
    Can you get me an order of hotcakes and a strawberry-banana smoothie?
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  52. @Johnny Rico
    I don't know what that means. Learn to form complete thoughts and sentences and maybe we can have a conversation. But I'm guessing that is not your intent. If it is, start off slow and practice. You'll be up to speed in no time.

    FB’s comment was quite intelligible despite some minor errors. The gist of it was…
    “Russian war crimes? According to whom? The Syrian opposition? in other words ISIS and those like them.” I’m pretty sure that FB is pointing out the absurdity of your claim of Russian war crimes in Syria and that you got the point too however, not having any substantial rebuttal, you simply resorted to the pedantic correction of some grammatical errors instead. Johnny Pobracito loses, again.

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  53. @FB
    'Ridiculous' or not...the fact that US lost 10,000 planes to a third world country one quarter its size goes down in the annals of history as a historic military defeat...

    So does the destruction of the Eighth US Army in Korea...

    Of course such humiliations are never taken to heart by Americans, as they would by a more serious mentality...it is far easier to create an escapist fantasy that is fact-free...

    Toodles...

    Yeah… but Viets lost 2 to 3 million people.

    If you fight someone and he knocked out all your teeth while you knocked out one of his, who got it worse?

    US poured tons of bombs on Vietnam. Vietnam didn’t hit a single target in the US.

    US failed in its grand strategy, but it did a A LOT OF DAMAGE to the Viets.

    Even today, just from agent orange there are so many suffering.

    US is like Roman Empire. It sure knows to kill when it wants to.

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  54. The separatists will be left depending on a “hail Mary” to rescue them

    Reminds me of Ignatius of Loyola and his experience at Montserrat … La Moreneta, (the Dark One)

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  55. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Priss Factor
    ‘…In total, the United States military lost in Vietnam almost 10,000 aircraft, helicopters and 578 UAVs…’ and…’South Vietnam’s army lost 2,500 aircraft and helicopters…’ and…’North Vietnam lost 150 – 200 aircraft and helicopters…’ Lopsided much…?

    Ridiculous comparison. North Vietnam had almost NO AIR POWER. Whoever heard of North Vietnamese Air Cavalry? Viet Cong and North Vietnam hid in the jungle and relied on anti-aircraft guns from USSR

    For every aircraft the commies had, US had 1,ooo.

    Oh and let’s not forget the US fleeing their embassy in Saigon by rooftop helicopter…

    But that was in 1975. US military had left in 73. It was just a rescue operation.

    ‘…The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any American military unit in history…The Chinese offensive continued pressing American forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital.

    This was not due to Chinese military superiority but (1) US arrogance and (2) ambush factor.

    MacArthur was so sure of victory that he just sent US troop up north faster and faster and disregarded reports that Chinese troops might be pouring in and hiding behind bush and hills.

    But once US regrouped and pushed back, Chinese couldn't make any more gains despite so many men thrown at the US by Mao.

    As for Afghanistan…US still hasn’t won anything in 16 years…

    Like I said, military is a destructive force. US military has done a good job in smashing enemies in Afghanistan. Problem is US finds it impossible to cobble together a real nation in Afghanistan given the diversity, tribalism, and corruption of people there. Also, US interests in Afghanistan are not determined by military men but by neocons and industrialists who think in terms of poppies, minerals, pipelines, and geo-politics. Military can win battles but cannot build a nation.

    Afghanistan is turning out like Manchuria during the 30s and 40s and Ukraine now. A no man's land that belongs to nation but is manipulated by all its neighbors.
    And Afghan leaders are like Puyi.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqhsnyGK0Bs

    The choice of Shilkas was a doctrine concept of Communist AA, and proved its effectiveness in Vietnam. To this day, Russia has the best ground to air system in the world.

    And by Heartbreak Ridge, UN forces couldn’t make realistic headway against Communist forces either. Any ground taken was shortly lost and in a war of attrition, it wasn’t looking the most positive for the UN.

    And that was then. The gap has closed significantly since.

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  56. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Chabab
    I take it you strongly condemn George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the gang for breaking British Law, then?

    No shit, he’s an Englishman.

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  57. Wally says:
    @Randal
    Strong on the Kurdish/Russian analysis. Not so impressed with the Catalonia stuff, which seems to me to be overly impressed by all the hysterical propaganda about "police brutality" in the Spanish police perfectly reasonably trying to enforce the law.

    Granted to some extent it's necessary to treat that propaganda seriously, to the extent that it has been successful in shaping some opinion, but it isn't necessary to restate it as though it's objectively true, which suggests Saker for some reason actually believes that a government has no right to order its police to arrest people who break the law, or that police have no right to deal with people who obstruct them in performing their lawful duty.

    Try doing that in the US some time and see what it gets you.

    I have inherent sympathy for the Catalan separatists as nationalists disrupting the Euro establishment's cosy setup, and inherent antipathy for them as a bunch of globalist lefty pro-immigration, pro-EU hypocrites, so I'm conflicted on my emotional response to the issue. Perhaps that allows for more objectivity.

    In practical terms, though, I can see no short term future for Catalan separatism. There is almost zero possibility of any major world government recognising a unilaterally seceding region in Spain, for obviously self-serving reasons, and a unilateral declaration of independence leaves Catalonia in breach of Spanish law to the degree that it fails and outside the EU and without any realistic way to organise its finances and economy to the extent that it succeeds.

    Far from making a mistake, I suspect the Madrid government did the right thing (from the point of view of the Spanish central government and its tactical objective of frustrating the Catalan separatists' goal on secession) in making it clear that the "referendum" was illegal - it prevented it from being a much more credible mandate for independence, and the hysterical response to a few robust police operations will soon fade as reality sets in.

    Rationally, you would expect therefore that the noises the separatists are making about a UDI within days should be a bluff. However, it's certainly possible that Puigdemont's analysis is different and he will go ahead with one. In that case, it seems likely the central government will suspend regional government and arrest the separatist leaders, replace the senior ranks of the local police force and seek to ride out the likely mass demonstrations, mob resistance and strikes that will follow.

    The separatists can only lose from then on, since all they can do is make life unpleasant for their own people in Catalonia while the central government tightens the noose. It doesn't appear there is sufficient or sufficiently strong support for independence in Catalonia, nor any strong foreign sponsor, to enable them to hold out long enough to bring Spain, backed by the EU establishment, to its knees. As time goes on, more and more people in Catalonia, starting with the strong opponents of separatism and moving on to neutrals and ultimately even "soft" separatist supporters, will come to blame the UDI hotheads for their situation.

    The separatists will be left depending on a "hail Mary" to rescue them - a Spanish government collapse or some kind of Euro crisis that, instead of causing the big EU powers to tell Madrid to crack down harder and sort things out, somehow has the opposite effect.

    “Saker for some reason actually believes that a government has no right to order its police to arrest people who break the law, or that police have no right to deal with people who obstruct them in performing their lawful duty.
    Try doing that in the US some time and see what it gets you.

    It has been ‘tried’, and heretofore Antifa has won. The police have generally refused to do their “lawful duty” and stop them.

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  58. Wally says:
    @FB
    'Ridiculous' or not...the fact that US lost 10,000 planes to a third world country one quarter its size goes down in the annals of history as a historic military defeat...

    So does the destruction of the Eighth US Army in Korea...

    Of course such humiliations are never taken to heart by Americans, as they would by a more serious mentality...it is far easier to create an escapist fantasy that is fact-free...

    Toodles...

    “‘Ridiculous’ or not…the fact that US lost 10,000 planes to a third world country one quarter its size goes down in the annals of history as a historic military defeat…”

    No, the US lost planes to Russian MIGS & Russian SAMs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    The US lost 2200 planes. The rest were helicopters.
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  59. Miro23 says:
    @Randal

    Holding a referendum is freedom of speech.
     
    No, holding a referendum is a political process, in this case one explicitly stated and clearly intended to be the beginning of a process of unilateral declaration of independence.

    Freedom of speech is something the Catalan separatists have absolutely, and exercise freely and profusely, unlike those who fall foul of political correctness and "hate speech" laws.

    Asking all catalonians their opinion about separation is freedom of speech.
     
    Polling is perfectly legitimate and not illegal in Catalonia. Organising a referendum for the stated purpose of initiating a unilateral declaration of independence is.

    This police brutality is a crackdown on freedom of speech.
     
    No, there has been no infringement of freedom of speech whatsoever. All there has been is the attempt to enforce a legitimate court order against people who don't like the law in question and chose to defy it, having been warned that it would be enforced.

    That's their choice, in the end, but only a fool pays attention to their bleating when they don't like the unsurprising consequences.

    Such bleating makes a mockery of all the people around the world who face genuine suppression of their actual rights, and real brutality at the hands of governments and police.

    Such bleating makes a mockery of all the people around the world who face genuine suppression of their actual rights, and real brutality at the hands of governments and police.

    True enough, the Catalan radicals are wheeling out the old 1970′s Counter Cultural “Police Violence”, “Nazi State” tropes when they (like the 1970′s US student activists) are among the most privileged and free people in the world.

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  60. bb. says:
    @Andrei Martyanov
    Solid piece. But this:

    and there are still a lot of ties between Russia and Catalonia today.
     
    All those Russian bastards who root for FC Barcelona--eat this sons of bitches. Hala Real Madrid!!;-) I kid, I kid, I generally don't like La Liga.

    lol. barca fans are the most annoying sport fans in the world. it’s like the joke: how do you know someone is vegan/a barca fan? they will tell you. good riddance

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    lol. barca fans are the most annoying sport fans in the world
     
    I hate everything game-wise Barca produced since Cruyff for some reason pretended himself to be a Catalan and was in the foundation of damn tiki-taka--a nauseating rape of the game. I wonder if ever a single Barca player was tested seriously for doping. After Ovrebo scandal in 2009 in UEFA CL semi-final with Chelsea (not to forget Camp Nou ass-holes turning on sprinklers with Chelsea players still on the field) being openly in your face preventing from destroying Barca at Stamford Bridge I have a complete, untreatable case of Allergy on everything Catalan.
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  61. @bb.
    lol. barca fans are the most annoying sport fans in the world. it's like the joke: how do you know someone is vegan/a barca fan? they will tell you. good riddance

    lol. barca fans are the most annoying sport fans in the world

    I hate everything game-wise Barca produced since Cruyff for some reason pretended himself to be a Catalan and was in the foundation of damn tiki-taka–a nauseating rape of the game. I wonder if ever a single Barca player was tested seriously for doping. After Ovrebo scandal in 2009 in UEFA CL semi-final with Chelsea (not to forget Camp Nou ass-holes turning on sprinklers with Chelsea players still on the field) being openly in your face preventing from destroying Barca at Stamford Bridge I have a complete, untreatable case of Allergy on everything Catalan.

    Read More
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  62. neutral says:

    I am assuming that when the term “the Russian view” is used, it implies elite government strategists, foreign policy journalists and big business types. What I am curious about is what the average Russian thinks about Turkey, like most other places I am assuming that most have at best a casual interest in geopolitics and at worst they care nothing about it, that being the case how do people generally view the Turks? With that many wars between the two nations I would imagine that a racial slur for the Turks by the Russians exists (and vice versa) if that is the case is it commonly used by say football hooligans when Turks are discussed?

    Read More
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  63. neutral says:
    @Lars Porsena
    I like how he is outraged by what Spain has done to Catalonia, but has no problem noting separatism isn't a problem in Russia because of what happened to Chechnia. What happened to Chechnia?

    What happened to Chechnia

    Lots of people died, which leads me to the question that really matters, if you care about Spain that much and hate independent Catalan that much, how many people would you be willing to kill to keep it in Spain? Please don’t cop out of this question by saying thats not going to happen because of X,Y,Z, the intent of the question is to see how many would you be prepared to accept as losses, if your answer is zero then it indicates you don’t care at all, however if your answer is greater than zero then I have to know how many and consequently why it is so absolutely important not to have Catalonia go free?

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    ...I have to know how many and consequently why it is so absolutely important not to have Catalonia go free?
     
    An....interesting.....question.
    And choice of words.


    Maybe we could rephrase it a bit.

    "I have to know how many and consequently why it is so absolutely important not to have a secession from a modern state?"

    Any state.
    We could start from Canada and work our way to Argentina.
    Or from Scotland to Italy/Greece.
    Russia?
    Donbass....
    Why not having Tibet go ....free?
    Or Xinjiang?
    Palestine/Israel.

    Or any other region/federal entity/autonomous region of this world?

    Or Catalonia is a special case?
    Somehow.

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  64. neutral,

    “Lots of people died, which leads me to the question that really matters, if you care about Spain that much and hate independent Catalan that much, how many people would you be willing to kill to keep it in Spain? “

    Oh hell no. I have no dog in the fight. I have no problems with Catalonia and I’m not invested in Spain. I am just observing and commenting on public events.

    “Please don’t cop out of this question by saying thats not going to happen because of X,Y,Z”

    I think it will happen. That is my point. I’m warning that it will happen. Predicting it at any rate. I could be wrong but I fear I’m right.

    As a spectator with no emotional stake in who wins, I will probably be happy to cheer for whoever wins. If you think I sound pro-Spain, you may think it is because I’m interpreting events to see what I want because I like Spain, or I’m arguing with motivated reasoning to preserve Spain. But I’m not. If I sound pro-Spain it’s just because it looks to me like they’re winning.

    I look at what the Spanish leaders are saying and how they’re acting, and what the Catalonian leaders are saying and how they are acting, and it looks like Spain is going to win. The Spanish leaders are basically saying civil war before secession and I have to consider they might not actually be bluffing. Then the answer to “how many?” is “as many as it takes”.

    The Catalonian leaders keep talking nonsense really, about seceding in peace, how Spain must back down and respect their values, how the EU is obligated to intervene for them and readmit them. None of these things will happen like they say. I’m not saying I don’t want them to happen, I’m just warning you it won’t work like that.

    The Catalan leaders are either lying or they are delusional. If they are lying, rhetoric is rhetoric, all governments lie. C’est la vie. They have a plan and we can hope they know what they are doing, but we will find out.

    I am hoping to see them reveal a secret buildup of APCs, 200,000 strong CatalJugend Korps, and a back-room geopolitical deal with Vladimir the Impaler Putin. If they do that, I will proclaim Spain over.

    Si vis pacem, para bellum. The best way to avoid war with Spain is to have a 200,000 strong CatalJugend Korps up-armored upfront, then they will be scared to attack and you can secede in peace.

    If they are not lying, if they delusional and they actually believe what they are saying in public about believing in the feelings of puppies, I fear this will be an utter disaster for Catalonia and they should really turn back now for their own sake.

    Read More
    • Agree: Randal
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    For a starter, I believe that Catalonian leadership will chicken out.

    I also have certain experience in related matter.
    Different time and place of course, but that's what makes this.........interesting.

    So, coming from that experience, there is one element worth considering. Actually, two.

    First and foremost the will of common people to fight to death for what they believe.
    Without that there is nothing.

    Next:

    I am hoping to see them reveal a secret buildup of APCs, 200,000 strong CatalJugend Korps, and a back-room geopolitical deal with Vladimir the Impaler Putin. If they do that, I will proclaim Spain over.
     
    If...if they have that will, the next important element is local police force.

    If..if....local police force is part of that effort then it could be a serious deterrent, or,well, sure path to heavy fighting.
    And heavy loss of life.

    From then on, again, that will...who has better stomach for casualties, own and the opponent's.

    My two cents.
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  65. peterAUS says:
    @neutral

    What happened to Chechnia
     
    Lots of people died, which leads me to the question that really matters, if you care about Spain that much and hate independent Catalan that much, how many people would you be willing to kill to keep it in Spain? Please don't cop out of this question by saying thats not going to happen because of X,Y,Z, the intent of the question is to see how many would you be prepared to accept as losses, if your answer is zero then it indicates you don't care at all, however if your answer is greater than zero then I have to know how many and consequently why it is so absolutely important not to have Catalonia go free?

    …I have to know how many and consequently why it is so absolutely important not to have Catalonia go free?

    An….interesting…..question.
    And choice of words.

    Maybe we could rephrase it a bit.

    “I have to know how many and consequently why it is so absolutely important not to have a secession from a modern state?”

    Any state.
    We could start from Canada and work our way to Argentina.
    Or from Scotland to Italy/Greece.
    Russia?
    Donbass….
    Why not having Tibet go ….free?
    Or Xinjiang?
    Palestine/Israel.

    Or any other region/federal entity/autonomous region of this world?

    Or Catalonia is a special case?
    Somehow.

    Read More
    • Replies: @polskijoe
    Countries part of NWO , secession bad.
    Countries which anti NWO, secession good. (divide and then conquer).

    thats the EU-US-Zio-Globalist view.
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  66. peterAUS says:
    @Lars Porsena
    neutral,

    "Lots of people died, which leads me to the question that really matters, if you care about Spain that much and hate independent Catalan that much, how many people would you be willing to kill to keep it in Spain? "
     
    Oh hell no. I have no dog in the fight. I have no problems with Catalonia and I'm not invested in Spain. I am just observing and commenting on public events.

    "Please don’t cop out of this question by saying thats not going to happen because of X,Y,Z"
     
    I think it will happen. That is my point. I'm warning that it will happen. Predicting it at any rate. I could be wrong but I fear I'm right.

    As a spectator with no emotional stake in who wins, I will probably be happy to cheer for whoever wins. If you think I sound pro-Spain, you may think it is because I'm interpreting events to see what I want because I like Spain, or I'm arguing with motivated reasoning to preserve Spain. But I'm not. If I sound pro-Spain it's just because it looks to me like they're winning.

    I look at what the Spanish leaders are saying and how they're acting, and what the Catalonian leaders are saying and how they are acting, and it looks like Spain is going to win. The Spanish leaders are basically saying civil war before secession and I have to consider they might not actually be bluffing. Then the answer to "how many?" is "as many as it takes".

    The Catalonian leaders keep talking nonsense really, about seceding in peace, how Spain must back down and respect their values, how the EU is obligated to intervene for them and readmit them. None of these things will happen like they say. I'm not saying I don't want them to happen, I'm just warning you it won't work like that.

    The Catalan leaders are either lying or they are delusional. If they are lying, rhetoric is rhetoric, all governments lie. C'est la vie. They have a plan and we can hope they know what they are doing, but we will find out.

    I am hoping to see them reveal a secret buildup of APCs, 200,000 strong CatalJugend Korps, and a back-room geopolitical deal with Vladimir the Impaler Putin. If they do that, I will proclaim Spain over.

    Si vis pacem, para bellum. The best way to avoid war with Spain is to have a 200,000 strong CatalJugend Korps up-armored upfront, then they will be scared to attack and you can secede in peace.

    If they are not lying, if they delusional and they actually believe what they are saying in public about believing in the feelings of puppies, I fear this will be an utter disaster for Catalonia and they should really turn back now for their own sake.

    For a starter, I believe that Catalonian leadership will chicken out.

    I also have certain experience in related matter.
    Different time and place of course, but that’s what makes this………interesting.

    So, coming from that experience, there is one element worth considering. Actually, two.

    First and foremost the will of common people to fight to death for what they believe.
    Without that there is nothing.

    Next:

    I am hoping to see them reveal a secret buildup of APCs, 200,000 strong CatalJugend Korps, and a back-room geopolitical deal with Vladimir the Impaler Putin. If they do that, I will proclaim Spain over.

    If…if they have that will, the next important element is local police force.

    If..if….local police force is part of that effort then it could be a serious deterrent, or,well, sure path to heavy fighting.
    And heavy loss of life.

    From then on, again, that will…who has better stomach for casualties, own and the opponent’s.

    My two cents.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    For a starter, I believe that Catalonian leadership will chicken out.
     
    That's what I think must be the rational move now, if they can't bluff Madrid into some kind of compromise. Hard to see what that could really be anyway - what could Madrid concede that wouldn't be mere face-saving for a separatist surrender, without themselves losing? Maybe guarantees against prosecution or dismissal for the separatists and their police accomplices? But that's still really just face-saving.

    But Puigdemont's analysis of the situation might well be different (clearly he has much more direct knowledge of the situation than we do), or he might be highly motivated and irrational in the sense that he is willing to declare UDI and let the heavens fall, knowing there's no plausible chance of achieving his goals by it but hoping for a miracle.

    If he goes for it, I think it will be a matter of heavy policing, not military occupation. It doesn't seem to me there's any stomach for a real fight in Catalonia. But it would be easy to be wrong on that, from this distance, and such things can easily escalate.
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  67. @Lars Porsena
    I like how he is outraged by what Spain has done to Catalonia, but has no problem noting separatism isn't a problem in Russia because of what happened to Chechnia. What happened to Chechnia?

    What happened to Chechnia?

    Haha! Nothing happened to Chechnya. Chechens love Russia. There is no reason for anything to have happened to Chechnya.

    There was no FSB conspiracy to blow up apartment buildings so Putin could blame it on Chechen terrorists and then proceed to flatten Grozny in 1999 solidifying his grip on power. No war crimes. No targeting civilians. None of that happened. Just ask the resident Russian military apologists.

    Chechens love Russia. “Russia is now the only truly democratic and free country left out there,” in the words of The Saker. They elect a president with very limited powers every six years. So that makes it a democracy not a dictatorship. It’s always the same guy, but he’s a really nice guy, a smart guy – so everything is cool.

    Nothing happened in Chechnya.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Ah yes, the Russian Imperialist Genocide of those poor, poor Chechens (aka the ethnic cleansing of the Russians in Chechnya and the near doubling of the ethnic Chechen population even as it turned into a monoethnic, de facto sovereign state that is 85% funded by Russian taxpayer gibsmedats).
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  68. @Wally
    "‘Ridiculous’ or not…the fact that US lost 10,000 planes to a third world country one quarter its size goes down in the annals of history as a historic military defeat…"

    No, the US lost planes to Russian MIGS & Russian SAMs.

    The US lost 2200 planes. The rest were helicopters.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wally
    I never stated a number. It was FB who said:

    "the fact that US lost 10,000 planes"

    Regardless, US planes and helicopters went down because of Soviet weapons, not Vietnamese.

    Thanks.

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  69. Randal says:
    @peterAUS
    For a starter, I believe that Catalonian leadership will chicken out.

    I also have certain experience in related matter.
    Different time and place of course, but that's what makes this.........interesting.

    So, coming from that experience, there is one element worth considering. Actually, two.

    First and foremost the will of common people to fight to death for what they believe.
    Without that there is nothing.

    Next:

    I am hoping to see them reveal a secret buildup of APCs, 200,000 strong CatalJugend Korps, and a back-room geopolitical deal with Vladimir the Impaler Putin. If they do that, I will proclaim Spain over.
     
    If...if they have that will, the next important element is local police force.

    If..if....local police force is part of that effort then it could be a serious deterrent, or,well, sure path to heavy fighting.
    And heavy loss of life.

    From then on, again, that will...who has better stomach for casualties, own and the opponent's.

    My two cents.

    For a starter, I believe that Catalonian leadership will chicken out.

    That’s what I think must be the rational move now, if they can’t bluff Madrid into some kind of compromise. Hard to see what that could really be anyway – what could Madrid concede that wouldn’t be mere face-saving for a separatist surrender, without themselves losing? Maybe guarantees against prosecution or dismissal for the separatists and their police accomplices? But that’s still really just face-saving.

    But Puigdemont’s analysis of the situation might well be different (clearly he has much more direct knowledge of the situation than we do), or he might be highly motivated and irrational in the sense that he is willing to declare UDI and let the heavens fall, knowing there’s no plausible chance of achieving his goals by it but hoping for a miracle.

    If he goes for it, I think it will be a matter of heavy policing, not military occupation. It doesn’t seem to me there’s any stomach for a real fight in Catalonia. But it would be easy to be wrong on that, from this distance, and such things can easily escalate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Well...once upon a time I spent quite some time thinking about this (secession issue).

    That topic....nationalism/secession goes way beyond logic, common sense, and rational analysis.
    Personally, as a sort of professional and say, subject matter expert on certain things at the time, and was a (minuscule) part of that environment, even after all these years....I still don't get it.
    I'll probably never get it.
    Because it can't be understood; ti must be FELT.
    Rational, analyitical types most of the time can't.

    C'mon...how many of us reading this have been able to get into that ...vibe....in concerts?
    You know...people dancing, chanting, arms up...in trance?
    Or, better, how many professionals from, say, "gun" trades have been able to do that?

    And THAT is something which is, sort of, dangerous.

    what could Madrid concede that wouldn’t be mere face-saving for a separatist surrender, without themselves losing? Maybe guarantees against prosecution or dismissal for the separatists and their police accomplices? But that’s still really just face-saving.
     
    There IS one thing.
    Sacking top echelon of Guardia Civil.
    To....be conciliatory...
    And, then, when Catalonians (or anyone else) tries again, as they could, would the Guardia Civil execute the order?Any order?

    he might be highly motivated and irrational in the sense that he is willing to declare UDI and let the heavens fall,
     
    Yup.
    Because, true nationalists can do that.
    And cold and calculated people behind them can expect escalation, blood, mayhem...from which they could achieve something.

    It doesn’t seem to me there’s any stomach for a real fight in Catalonia. But it would be easy to be wrong on that, from this distance, and such things can easily escalate.
     
    Yup.
    I can easily see things going both ways.
    A couple of SF inflicted deaths and the will of masses vaporize.
    Or....ignites.

    I actually believe that its impossible to predict what could happen with any certainty.
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  70. PeterAUS,

    It would be good if you are right. I kind of suspect that the Catalonian leftist leadership is actually delusional and believes in the feelings of puppies and feels entitled to have the EU revolt for them. In order to chicken out they have to be scared. I’m worried they are too hopped up on delusions and will actually provoke Spain to destroy Catalonia, with no competent defense or serious challenge, and then be shocked and whine about it.

    The local Mossos (I think that’s what it’s called) PD seems to be obeying the nationalist Catalonian leaders. All the rest of the cops in the country plus the semi-militarized civil guard and the actual army are for Madrid. It’s been minor posturing so far though, I don’t think the police have actually fought each other beyond 1 or 2 minor tense standoffs (and one of those was with firefighters).

    But right now the Catalonian government is still technically their legal superiors. If Rajoy replaces or suspends Catalonian government we will see who the local cops take orders from.

    FYI wikipedia puts La Guardia Civil around 92,000 strong.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    provoke Spain to destroy Catalonia
     
    Well...well....doesn't work that way.

    Not at all.

    If it comes to violence it should be clinical, fast and competent.
    Special forces only.
    Fast in, execute mission, fast out.
    Cold kill if you will.
    Shock and hard arrest/death.

    All the rest could, very well, work actually for Catalonian leftist leadership.
    I can paint several scenarios here but no need.

    Protracted heavy violence doesn't work for Madrid (armor, gunships and such).
    It would work for Catalonian leftist leadership, I am positive.

    1 or 2 minor tense standoffs
     
    Whoah...didn't know that.
    Now....that isn't good for those hoping for peaceful resolution.
    A question then: would've it escalated in ONE SHOT fired? Just one shot?
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  71. Johnny Rico,

    Exactly. The Basque will love Spain just like the Dagestanis love Russia once they see what happened to Chechnia in Catalonia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Dagestanis unironically love Russia thanks in part to "free" and de facto independent Chechnya having attacked them in 1999.

    Being subsidized 80% by the rest of Russia also helps.
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  72. Randal says:
    @Chabab
    I take it you strongly condemn George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the gang for breaking British Law, then?

    I’m not saying that the anti-secession position is generally right. I see the argument on whether secession can be unilateral or only by agreement with the majority nation as very much one that can be made very effectively in both directions. In the end, you have to judge it case by case, imo, and it’s inevitably going to involve very subjective judgements.

    So even if my position were that the Catalan secessionists are wrong, that wouldn’t mean I necessarily think other cases of unilateral secession were or are wrong. In fact, I have no strong view either way on the Catalan secession. The fact that the secession (and therefore the referendum intended to kick-start the process) is clearly unlawful in Spain does not mean that it is necessarily morally wrong (legality and morality don’t necessarily align), but it does mean the Spanish government is perfectly entitled to set the police on it. My beef is mainly that I’m irritated at the shamelessly sentimental and dishonest way the Spanish action on Sunday has been exaggerated beyond all reason into “Nazi-like action” and supposed gross breaches of human rights, when it’s nothing of the sort.

    As for the American secession, it’s long enough ago that I don’t have strong feelings on it, despite being an Englishman as somebody anonymously pointed out. I do think it’s rather amusing that the Americans have managed to create a far more abusive government for themselves than the British colonial government ever was, but that’s their business. Also that most of the founders would probably be horrified (but maybe not surprised) at what their independent society has degenerated into.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    I do think it’s rather amusing that the Americans have managed to create a far more abusive government for themselves than the British colonial government ever was, but that’s their business. Also that most of the founders would probably be horrified (but maybe not surprised) at what their independent society has degenerated into.

    When Tocqueville was writing his Democracy in America (1835) he saw it pretty clearly where this experiment was heading. I read him first time after 25 years living in the US. If I have read him earlier, I like to think that probably I would not have come in the first place but more likely I would not have been able to appreciate him.

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  73. Randal says:
    @FB
    Well Randal, the fact that you are quoting the EU doublespeak mitigates against the credibility of your argument...at least in my view...

    This is the same EU whose leading countries instigated the Yugoslavia demolition, and then topped that off with an illegal war of aggression against Serbia, in order to wrest territory from that country...

    They were quick to recognize the fake state of Kosovo, although to its credit Spain did not...even so, Kosovo is still not a legitimate state and cannot take a seat at the UN...

    Spain did participate in the illegal Nato bombing of Serbia, so the old adage about stuff coming around is not apparently unfounded...

    Oh but lest we forget Kosovo was a 'special' and 'unique case'...

    The fact of the matter is that the EU, which has been a vassal to the US empire, is now reaping what it has sown...

    The entire postwar order was predicated on sanctity of borders and this was enshrined in international law, both in the UN and the Helsinki Accords...as well as the sovereignty of UN member states and how they conduct their internal affairs...

    We did not see any breakups of states during this era, with the exception of Korea, which was split in two by the US. East Pakistan seceded peacefully and in mutual agreement to become Bangladesh because they were on the other side of the Indian subcontinent to their country mates.

    With the collapse of the USSR, the US decided to change all that...Yugoslavia was immediately dismantled...Croatia and Bosnia allowed to secede from Yugoslavia, but Serb minorities therein not allowed the same right to self-determination...

    Kosovo, which unlike Catalonia, had never existed as a state, was the final nail in the coffin of the postwar system of international stability...

    So when Abkhazia and south Ossetia seceded from Georgia, the Russians invoked the goose/gander proposition...same with Crimea...

    But who let the genie out of the bottle...?...that same EU that sings out soaring rhetoric about 'democracy' but insists on playing god on who gets to have self-determination and who does not...

    Likewise in the Middle East where US insists on breaking up Syria, and secretly Iraq...but of course the Palestinians couldn't dream of declaring their own statehood...

    Hypocrisy never pays...it's all going to end very badly for the 'masters of the universe' who don't even realize that the world is moving on and they will soon be on the scrapheap of history...

    Well Randal, the fact that you are quoting the EU doublespeak mitigates against the credibility of your argument…at least in my view…

    Well the fact that you have resorted to an irrelevant digression into criticism of the EU and the existing international order (most of which I agree with by the way) tells me you have no substantive response.

    My reference to the EU was merely to point out in response to your assertion that the UK and Canada precedents have supported unilateral secession that most international opinion is against it.

    Please be aware, though, that I’m not pointing out that criticism of the Spanish government is unwarranted and absurdly overstated, and that there’s no apparent way for the separatists to go but defeat, because I want the Spanish to win and the separatists to lose. Far from it, I’m pretty ambivalent about the issue, and certainly if the Catalans were to somehow win through some miraculous Spanish government collapse then I’d certainly see the resulting chaos as a real opportunity to damage the EU elites. But in this discussion we are not changing anything except perhaps our own understanding of the situation. This debate is not about advocacy, but about description and analysis.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    It seems to me that you have missed the point right from your first representatation of what happened as just police enforcing the law.

    The objection is to the moral deficiency and political idiocy of the Spanish government's launching physical action likely to lead to violence when all people were doing was expressing an opinion. I am no more familiar than I guess you are with Spanish law or legal concepts. The word "illegal" doesn't explain much. But it shouldn't have been too difficult for the Spanish PM to say "the Court has spoken: this do called referendum can have no legal effect. If it goes ahead it will be null and void and we advise citizens not to take part in this charade".

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  74. peterAUS says:
    @Randal

    For a starter, I believe that Catalonian leadership will chicken out.
     
    That's what I think must be the rational move now, if they can't bluff Madrid into some kind of compromise. Hard to see what that could really be anyway - what could Madrid concede that wouldn't be mere face-saving for a separatist surrender, without themselves losing? Maybe guarantees against prosecution or dismissal for the separatists and their police accomplices? But that's still really just face-saving.

    But Puigdemont's analysis of the situation might well be different (clearly he has much more direct knowledge of the situation than we do), or he might be highly motivated and irrational in the sense that he is willing to declare UDI and let the heavens fall, knowing there's no plausible chance of achieving his goals by it but hoping for a miracle.

    If he goes for it, I think it will be a matter of heavy policing, not military occupation. It doesn't seem to me there's any stomach for a real fight in Catalonia. But it would be easy to be wrong on that, from this distance, and such things can easily escalate.

    Well…once upon a time I spent quite some time thinking about this (secession issue).

    That topic….nationalism/secession goes way beyond logic, common sense, and rational analysis.
    Personally, as a sort of professional and say, subject matter expert on certain things at the time, and was a (minuscule) part of that environment, even after all these years….I still don’t get it.
    I’ll probably never get it.
    Because it can’t be understood; ti must be FELT.
    Rational, analyitical types most of the time can’t.

    C’mon…how many of us reading this have been able to get into that …vibe….in concerts?
    You know…people dancing, chanting, arms up…in trance?
    Or, better, how many professionals from, say, “gun” trades have been able to do that?

    And THAT is something which is, sort of, dangerous.

    what could Madrid concede that wouldn’t be mere face-saving for a separatist surrender, without themselves losing? Maybe guarantees against prosecution or dismissal for the separatists and their police accomplices? But that’s still really just face-saving.

    There IS one thing.
    Sacking top echelon of Guardia Civil.
    To….be conciliatory…
    And, then, when Catalonians (or anyone else) tries again, as they could, would the Guardia Civil execute the order?Any order?

    he might be highly motivated and irrational in the sense that he is willing to declare UDI and let the heavens fall,

    Yup.
    Because, true nationalists can do that.
    And cold and calculated people behind them can expect escalation, blood, mayhem…from which they could achieve something.

    It doesn’t seem to me there’s any stomach for a real fight in Catalonia. But it would be easy to be wrong on that, from this distance, and such things can easily escalate.

    Yup.
    I can easily see things going both ways.
    A couple of SF inflicted deaths and the will of masses vaporize.
    Or….ignites.

    I actually believe that its impossible to predict what could happen with any certainty.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    That topic….nationalism/secession goes way beyond logic, common sense, and rational analysis.
    Personally, as a sort of professional and say, subject matter expert on certain things at the time, and was a (minuscule) part of that environment, even after all these years….I still don’t get it.
    I’ll probably never get it.
    Because it can’t be understood; ti must be FELT.
    Rational, analyitical types most of the time can’t.
    ....
    I actually believe that its impossible to predict what could happen with any certainty.
     
    Agree entirely.

    Rationally I think the separatists must now cave because they cannot win at any reasonable cost, and that if they go ahead they will lose in the way I've described, but I wouldn't bet my life on it, for the reason you give here.

    I do understand the nationalist pov, by the way, because I do feel it in relation to my own country and the EU. If it came down to it, I would declare against the EU and let the heavens fall, or support those who would do so.
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  75. peterAUS says:
    @Lars Porsena
    PeterAUS,

    It would be good if you are right. I kind of suspect that the Catalonian leftist leadership is actually delusional and believes in the feelings of puppies and feels entitled to have the EU revolt for them. In order to chicken out they have to be scared. I'm worried they are too hopped up on delusions and will actually provoke Spain to destroy Catalonia, with no competent defense or serious challenge, and then be shocked and whine about it.

    The local Mossos (I think that's what it's called) PD seems to be obeying the nationalist Catalonian leaders. All the rest of the cops in the country plus the semi-militarized civil guard and the actual army are for Madrid. It's been minor posturing so far though, I don't think the police have actually fought each other beyond 1 or 2 minor tense standoffs (and one of those was with firefighters).

    But right now the Catalonian government is still technically their legal superiors. If Rajoy replaces or suspends Catalonian government we will see who the local cops take orders from.

    FYI wikipedia puts La Guardia Civil around 92,000 strong.

    provoke Spain to destroy Catalonia

    Well…well….doesn’t work that way.

    Not at all.

    If it comes to violence it should be clinical, fast and competent.
    Special forces only.
    Fast in, execute mission, fast out.
    Cold kill if you will.
    Shock and hard arrest/death.

    All the rest could, very well, work actually for Catalonian leftist leadership.
    I can paint several scenarios here but no need.

    Protracted heavy violence doesn’t work for Madrid (armor, gunships and such).
    It would work for Catalonian leftist leadership, I am positive.

    1 or 2 minor tense standoffs

    Whoah…didn’t know that.
    Now….that isn’t good for those hoping for peaceful resolution.
    A question then: would’ve it escalated in ONE SHOT fired? Just one shot?

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  76. polskijoe says:
    @peterAUS

    ...I have to know how many and consequently why it is so absolutely important not to have Catalonia go free?
     
    An....interesting.....question.
    And choice of words.


    Maybe we could rephrase it a bit.

    "I have to know how many and consequently why it is so absolutely important not to have a secession from a modern state?"

    Any state.
    We could start from Canada and work our way to Argentina.
    Or from Scotland to Italy/Greece.
    Russia?
    Donbass....
    Why not having Tibet go ....free?
    Or Xinjiang?
    Palestine/Israel.

    Or any other region/federal entity/autonomous region of this world?

    Or Catalonia is a special case?
    Somehow.

    Countries part of NWO , secession bad.
    Countries which anti NWO, secession good. (divide and then conquer).

    thats the EU-US-Zio-Globalist view.

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  77. PeterAUS,

    I may exaggerate, but as you say these things can escalate. It depends what the Catalonians do. Yes, it could work for them. Or it could also destroy them.

    Certainly Spain will not actually turn Catalonia into Chechnia literally because this is not Russia. But they could destroy their political movement, destroy their autonomy, destroy their economy, destroy someone’s kid’s braces on the street and end up having to put down several dozen radicalized teenagers. Of course heavy violence doesn’t work for Madrid because it should never get that far. Spain is to be expected to put them down with the civil police forces.

    Let’s just say it’s 4 1/2 years of street protests that can’t justify anything other than La Guardia, until the government collapses and the cops cannot make it stop. Like that is not going to ruin Catalonia turning Barcelona into Kiev? Whether it works or not? For it to work it practically has to.

    As for the standoffs, I am not sure, but I believe the local guys didn’t actually have firearms on them during it, they were just standing them blocking access in uniform and not backing down, and weren’t arrested. Like I said in 1 case it was actually the fire department not the police. This is based on internet media stories I’m personally on a different continent.

    Now, if the Mossos was big enough to block every road leading into the region they could possibly secede like that. They could have defended the vote, perhaps without violence. Detente between equal civil forces standing on the highway on the way into the region. If the Civil Guard has to fire on local PD to clear the highway that’s a real roadblock for Madrid. Catalonia could be over there seceding peacefully while Spaniards poop themselves and ponder becoming Serbia. That’s where 200k Cataljungen Korps come in. But Mossos only has 16k. La Guardia has 90k. And they already let La Guardia in.

    If they were really serious they should have been freaking out over wires in public places and building APCs and hiring more cops because “terrorists” for the last 10 years while kissing Putin’s ass. And then sealed their own borders before they voted. They are peicemeal pussyfooting around and if they don’t back down they’ll end up turning Catalonia into Chechnia. What other way forward do they have that even might work that doesn’t involve wrecking the place, besides backing down and doing it differently next decade?

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Well..this feels as heavy topic.
    If it was not in Europe, sure........but...........

    And, more I read about this more......familiar........it becomes......
    Uncomfortably familiar.
    Hopefully I'll be proven totally wrong.

    I could put myself here in, say, an adviser to Mossos (or any town/city civilian leadership), but...no.....

    Don't want nightmares and, more importatnly, feels a bit morbid. Just me.

    Having said that, just a couple brief comments.


    Of course heavy violence doesn’t work for Madrid because it should never get that far. Spain is to be expected to put them down with the civil police forces.
     
    How Madrid is supposed to use civil police forces when their true loyalty is with Catalonia?
    Madrid has to use external resources.
    Slippery slope there.

    Let’s just say it’s 4 1/2 years of street protests that can’t justify anything other than La Guardia, until the government collapses and the cops cannot make it stop.
     
    That's one scenario.
    Another is ........not quite optimistic for Madrid. Not at all......................................

    Now, if the Mossos was big enough to block every road leading into the region they could possibly secede like that.
     
    No.
    It can be done, easily, with relatively small but loyal Mossos units. And willing civilian population.
    Easily.

    If they were really serious they should have been freaking out over wires in public places and building APCs and hiring more cops because “terrorists” for the last 10 years while kissing Putin’s ass. And then sealed their own borders before they voted.
     
    No.
    All they should've done is to accurately judge public sentiment and make certain........plans.......
    Simple contingency plans.
    That's enough.
    And that's easy.

    Anyway...........

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  78. The last comment was probably a failure of a comment the point I was trying to make is I don’t see this working unless they go much further than they seem willing to go. But they may not back down anyway because they are in denial about what it takes. Which means it will hurt.

    “Destroyed” is a bit bombastic. But they will not be happy.

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  79. peterAUS says:
    @Lars Porsena
    PeterAUS,

    I may exaggerate, but as you say these things can escalate. It depends what the Catalonians do. Yes, it could work for them. Or it could also destroy them.

    Certainly Spain will not actually turn Catalonia into Chechnia literally because this is not Russia. But they could destroy their political movement, destroy their autonomy, destroy their economy, destroy someone's kid's braces on the street and end up having to put down several dozen radicalized teenagers. Of course heavy violence doesn't work for Madrid because it should never get that far. Spain is to be expected to put them down with the civil police forces.

    Let's just say it's 4 1/2 years of street protests that can't justify anything other than La Guardia, until the government collapses and the cops cannot make it stop. Like that is not going to ruin Catalonia turning Barcelona into Kiev? Whether it works or not? For it to work it practically has to.

    As for the standoffs, I am not sure, but I believe the local guys didn't actually have firearms on them during it, they were just standing them blocking access in uniform and not backing down, and weren't arrested. Like I said in 1 case it was actually the fire department not the police. This is based on internet media stories I'm personally on a different continent.

    Now, if the Mossos was big enough to block every road leading into the region they could possibly secede like that. They could have defended the vote, perhaps without violence. Detente between equal civil forces standing on the highway on the way into the region. If the Civil Guard has to fire on local PD to clear the highway that's a real roadblock for Madrid. Catalonia could be over there seceding peacefully while Spaniards poop themselves and ponder becoming Serbia. That's where 200k Cataljungen Korps come in. But Mossos only has 16k. La Guardia has 90k. And they already let La Guardia in.

    If they were really serious they should have been freaking out over wires in public places and building APCs and hiring more cops because "terrorists" for the last 10 years while kissing Putin's ass. And then sealed their own borders before they voted. They are peicemeal pussyfooting around and if they don't back down they'll end up turning Catalonia into Chechnia. What other way forward do they have that even might work that doesn't involve wrecking the place, besides backing down and doing it differently next decade?

    Well..this feels as heavy topic.
    If it was not in Europe, sure……..but………..

    And, more I read about this more……familiar……..it becomes……
    Uncomfortably familiar.
    Hopefully I’ll be proven totally wrong.

    I could put myself here in, say, an adviser to Mossos (or any town/city civilian leadership), but…no…..

    Don’t want nightmares and, more importatnly, feels a bit morbid. Just me.

    Having said that, just a couple brief comments.

    Of course heavy violence doesn’t work for Madrid because it should never get that far. Spain is to be expected to put them down with the civil police forces.

    How Madrid is supposed to use civil police forces when their true loyalty is with Catalonia?
    Madrid has to use external resources.
    Slippery slope there.

    Let’s just say it’s 4 1/2 years of street protests that can’t justify anything other than La Guardia, until the government collapses and the cops cannot make it stop.

    That’s one scenario.
    Another is ……..not quite optimistic for Madrid. Not at all………………………………..

    Now, if the Mossos was big enough to block every road leading into the region they could possibly secede like that.

    No.
    It can be done, easily, with relatively small but loyal Mossos units. And willing civilian population.
    Easily.

    If they were really serious they should have been freaking out over wires in public places and building APCs and hiring more cops because “terrorists” for the last 10 years while kissing Putin’s ass. And then sealed their own borders before they voted.

    No.
    All they should’ve done is to accurately judge public sentiment and make certain……..plans…….
    Simple contingency plans.
    That’s enough.
    And that’s easy.

    Anyway………..

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  80. @Randal

    The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans
     
    LOL!

    It's as though the world has been taken over by a combination of 1970s hippies moaning about "police brutality, man" because they got their weed confiscated and Marxist halfwits going on about "fascist oppressors" - oh, hang on, that pretty much is what has happened. They grew up into globalists and brought their children up as SJWs and antifa thugs

    Catalan separatists:

    "Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! I'm being repressed!"

    When did it become "Nazi-like" for police to enforce the law? (For grownups, I mean. Obviously childish hippies have always had that view.)

    “When did it become “Nazi-like” for police to enforce the law?”

    What law would that be? They were enforcing the edict of a Court and the Spanish executive.

    OTOH, one could make a strong case that the referendum was mere expression, the freedom of which is protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the freedom of association and assembly protected under Article 11 of the same. Of course, this being Europe, both provisions have weasle-word derogations that allow national governments to abridge these, but subject to the use of force being no more than is necessary, and one of the main tests under Article 15 (Derogations) is that the derogation must be in response to a public emergency threatening the life of the nation. It’s already a stretch to say the actions of the riot police were proportionate to the threat posed by the referendum and the participants; it’s also a stretch to say that a referendum threatens the civil order in spain (it’s a referendum, not a riot or revolution), much less that the secession of Catalonia would imperil the life of the Spain as a country. And then there’s that Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union respect for human dignity and democracy thingy.

    The actions of the Spanish Riot Police in Catalonia showed the EU in general and Spain in particular for the anti-democratic forces they are.

    What is truly rich is that in the fine tradition of the EU, which is to have populaces who vote against the elitist’s will go back and vote again until they arrive at a “correct” outcome, Spain has now put on the table a proposal for a new referendum with fuller participation on the theory that pro-remain voters did not turn out in the un-sanctioned referendum.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    The Crown is the ultimate authority, what else is needed?
    , @Randal
    87 was written as a reply to this post, but became detached and was added as a general post on the thread. I'm not sure if this is a software glitch or feature, or just carelessness on my and other users' part, but it seems to happen fairly regularly.
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  81. utu says:
    @Randal
    Strong on the Kurdish/Russian analysis. Not so impressed with the Catalonia stuff, which seems to me to be overly impressed by all the hysterical propaganda about "police brutality" in the Spanish police perfectly reasonably trying to enforce the law.

    Granted to some extent it's necessary to treat that propaganda seriously, to the extent that it has been successful in shaping some opinion, but it isn't necessary to restate it as though it's objectively true, which suggests Saker for some reason actually believes that a government has no right to order its police to arrest people who break the law, or that police have no right to deal with people who obstruct them in performing their lawful duty.

    Try doing that in the US some time and see what it gets you.

    I have inherent sympathy for the Catalan separatists as nationalists disrupting the Euro establishment's cosy setup, and inherent antipathy for them as a bunch of globalist lefty pro-immigration, pro-EU hypocrites, so I'm conflicted on my emotional response to the issue. Perhaps that allows for more objectivity.

    In practical terms, though, I can see no short term future for Catalan separatism. There is almost zero possibility of any major world government recognising a unilaterally seceding region in Spain, for obviously self-serving reasons, and a unilateral declaration of independence leaves Catalonia in breach of Spanish law to the degree that it fails and outside the EU and without any realistic way to organise its finances and economy to the extent that it succeeds.

    Far from making a mistake, I suspect the Madrid government did the right thing (from the point of view of the Spanish central government and its tactical objective of frustrating the Catalan separatists' goal on secession) in making it clear that the "referendum" was illegal - it prevented it from being a much more credible mandate for independence, and the hysterical response to a few robust police operations will soon fade as reality sets in.

    Rationally, you would expect therefore that the noises the separatists are making about a UDI within days should be a bluff. However, it's certainly possible that Puigdemont's analysis is different and he will go ahead with one. In that case, it seems likely the central government will suspend regional government and arrest the separatist leaders, replace the senior ranks of the local police force and seek to ride out the likely mass demonstrations, mob resistance and strikes that will follow.

    The separatists can only lose from then on, since all they can do is make life unpleasant for their own people in Catalonia while the central government tightens the noose. It doesn't appear there is sufficient or sufficiently strong support for independence in Catalonia, nor any strong foreign sponsor, to enable them to hold out long enough to bring Spain, backed by the EU establishment, to its knees. As time goes on, more and more people in Catalonia, starting with the strong opponents of separatism and moving on to neutrals and ultimately even "soft" separatist supporters, will come to blame the UDI hotheads for their situation.

    The separatists will be left depending on a "hail Mary" to rescue them - a Spanish government collapse or some kind of Euro crisis that, instead of causing the big EU powers to tell Madrid to crack down harder and sort things out, somehow has the opposite effect.

    Excellent analysis. I also agree with Saker that that strong Europe may have greater chances to free itself from American influence and thus be more likely to make a deal with Russia. However if EU starts disintegrating then still Germany on its own can make such a deal. When I look at many events of last 3 years a lot of them can be interpreted as American attempts to prevent linking of Germany and Russia. What is overtly anti-Russian is covertly anti-German. Germany is the only chance for Russia to not be reduced to the role of junior partner as it would be in either the alliance with China or the US that at the end of the future US-China conflict would be swallowed up by the winner.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    I also agree with Saker that that strong Europe may have greater chances to free itself from American influence and thus be more likely to make a deal with Russia.
     
    I wish them good luck, as long as my country isn't part of it. I'd like my country to detach itself from de facto subordination to the US as well, but de facto subordination is (mostly) better than de jure subordination, which is what membership of the EU as it transforms into a United States of Europe would mean.

    When I look at many events of last 3 years a lot of them can be interpreted as American attempts to prevent linking of Germany and Russia. What is overtly anti-Russian is covertly anti-German.
     
    With noticeable assistance from Germany's own Quisling elites. Though they have perhaps more chance of overcoming that problem than we in Britain do.

    Germany is the only chance for Russia to not be reduced to the role of junior partner as it would be in either the alliance with China or the US that at the end of the future US-China conflict would be swallowed up by the winner.
     
    Probably so. The history of Russo-German relations is not all that promising, but as US control of Germany wanes (as it surely must as the post-WW2 occupation becomes more distant and as US relative power wanes generally) and both Russia and Germany face what will likely in the long run be an unmatchable force in China as well as legacy US power, there might be room for an accommodation.

    Germany (or its predecessor states) and Russia worked together well enough when France was the big threat, after all.

    For now, though, it should be clear to any Russian that a close alliance with China is necessary until the menace of US interventionism has been finally broken. And while there's lots of celebration around here of the idea that US setbacks and Russian post-Soviet recovery mean that has already been achieved, I feel they are premature, to say the least.

    If I have read him earlier, I like to think that probably I would not have come in the first place but more likely I would not have been able to appreciate him.
     
    The reality is a lot different from the image, and the US has had the most effective propaganda vehicle in the history of mankind to date working to manage the image for the past century and more.
    , @polskijoe
    There is a significant portion of EU elites (Atlantacists)
    who refuse to let go of US.

    They are found in every EU nation, especially in UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Italy.
    They attend the Bilderberg meeting.

    What the EU needs is Guallist type attitude (though it had faults).
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  82. Read More
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  83. utu says:
    @Randal
    I'm not saying that the anti-secession position is generally right. I see the argument on whether secession can be unilateral or only by agreement with the majority nation as very much one that can be made very effectively in both directions. In the end, you have to judge it case by case, imo, and it's inevitably going to involve very subjective judgements.

    So even if my position were that the Catalan secessionists are wrong, that wouldn't mean I necessarily think other cases of unilateral secession were or are wrong. In fact, I have no strong view either way on the Catalan secession. The fact that the secession (and therefore the referendum intended to kick-start the process) is clearly unlawful in Spain does not mean that it is necessarily morally wrong (legality and morality don't necessarily align), but it does mean the Spanish government is perfectly entitled to set the police on it. My beef is mainly that I'm irritated at the shamelessly sentimental and dishonest way the Spanish action on Sunday has been exaggerated beyond all reason into "Nazi-like action" and supposed gross breaches of human rights, when it's nothing of the sort.

    As for the American secession, it's long enough ago that I don't have strong feelings on it, despite being an Englishman as somebody anonymously pointed out. I do think it's rather amusing that the Americans have managed to create a far more abusive government for themselves than the British colonial government ever was, but that's their business. Also that most of the founders would probably be horrified (but maybe not surprised) at what their independent society has degenerated into.

    I do think it’s rather amusing that the Americans have managed to create a far more abusive government for themselves than the British colonial government ever was, but that’s their business. Also that most of the founders would probably be horrified (but maybe not surprised) at what their independent society has degenerated into.

    When Tocqueville was writing his Democracy in America (1835) he saw it pretty clearly where this experiment was heading. I read him first time after 25 years living in the US. If I have read him earlier, I like to think that probably I would not have come in the first place but more likely I would not have been able to appreciate him.

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  84. @Priss Factor
    Russia, which probably has the most formidable military on the planet,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_VVVTmiWFo

    Soviet Military was indeed mighty during the Cold War, but it couldn't defeat ragtag Afghans whose military capacity was well-below that of Viet Cong in the Vietnam War.

    Today, Russian military is a great power regionally but a paper tiger on the world stage. The most it can hope for is playing defense.

    US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.

    US won every major battle in Vietnam. It's just that Vietnamese in the South couldn't hold their own ground on their own. It was South Vietnam that lost in the end, not the US.

    US totally destroyed Iraq twice, first in Gulf War and then in Iraq Invasion. Militarily, US power was overwhelming. Problem was political. US failed to set up a stable system of government. As such, it led to insurgencies everywhere.

    Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.

    The problem hasn't been US military power that can still smash any nation with the possible exception of China and Russia, but ONLY if China and Russia fights defensively.

    The problem is that military options cannot fix political and social problems. US can invade and defeat and destroy. Military is a destructive force, and US is second to none. But after the destruction, there is need for construction, and the military cannot do that. It requires political will, talent, unity, and order. But as long as US invaded diverse nations and unleashes tribal conflict, what follows is chaos. Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.

    Even if we were to stipulate to your rah-rah recapitulation of history, one cannot escape the fact that the US won precisely zero of the conflicts you cite, and in the process lost nearly 100,000 lives of its own prosecuting the actions, not to mention the millions of others killed.

    More importantly, other than the dubious “Domino Theory,” which I will grant felt like a real threat at the time, what national interest has been served by any one of these actions?

    Hint: Goose-egg

    Seriously, Serbia? That has war-crime written all over it. All that effort to send Milosovich to the Hague, where the poor bugger died before he was essentially cleared. Fine example of a US victory there, chap.

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  85. @The Alarmist

    "When did it become “Nazi-like” for police to enforce the law?"
     
    What law would that be? They were enforcing the edict of a Court and the Spanish executive.

    OTOH, one could make a strong case that the referendum was mere expression, the freedom of which is protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the freedom of association and assembly protected under Article 11 of the same. Of course, this being Europe, both provisions have weasle-word derogations that allow national governments to abridge these, but subject to the use of force being no more than is necessary, and one of the main tests under Article 15 (Derogations) is that the derogation must be in response to a public emergency threatening the life of the nation. It's already a stretch to say the actions of the riot police were proportionate to the threat posed by the referendum and the participants; it's also a stretch to say that a referendum threatens the civil order in spain (it's a referendum, not a riot or revolution), much less that the secession of Catalonia would imperil the life of the Spain as a country. And then there's that Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union respect for human dignity and democracy thingy.

    The actions of the Spanish Riot Police in Catalonia showed the EU in general and Spain in particular for the anti-democratic forces they are.

    What is truly rich is that in the fine tradition of the EU, which is to have populaces who vote against the elitist's will go back and vote again until they arrive at a "correct" outcome, Spain has now put on the table a proposal for a new referendum with fuller participation on the theory that pro-remain voters did not turn out in the un-sanctioned referendum.

    The Crown is the ultimate authority, what else is needed?

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    In a constitutional monarchy, the people's representatives.
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  86. Randal says:

    What law would that be? They were enforcing the edict of a Court and the Spanish executive.

    The court that was charged with determining what the law of the land is (that’s what courts do).

    OTOH, one could make a strong case that the referendum was mere expression, the freedom of which is protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the freedom of association and assembly protected under Article 11 of the same.

    You could certainly try to make such a case, but you would fail in any reasonably objective forum. It clearly wasn’t “mere expression”, but rather a political act intended to be the beginning of a process of the breakup of Spain, directly contrary to the Spanish constitution. It’s frankly disingenuous to try to pretend otherwise.

    As I noted above, the Catalan separatists had, and still have, more freedom of expression and association than traditionalist conservatives and nativists have in any European country or in the UK.

    Of course, this being Europe, both provisions have weasle-word derogations that allow national governments to abridge these, but subject to the use of force being no more than is necessary, and one of the main tests under Article 15 (Derogations) is that the derogation must be in response to a public emergency threatening the life of the nation. It’s already a stretch to say the actions of the riot police were proportionate to the threat posed by the referendum and the participants; it’s also a stretch to say that a referendum threatens the civil order in spain (it’s a referendum, not a riot or revolution), much less that the secession of Catalonia would imperil the life of the Spain as a country. And then there’s that Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union respect for human dignity and democracy thingy.

    All this legalist argumentation is entirely beside the point. The simple fact is that the Spanish government and police did nothing dramatically out of the ordinary or morally outrageous in trying to enforce a court’s order against wilful obstruction, and you only refuse to accept it because you desperately want to find a pretext to condemn the Spanish government.

    The actions of the Spanish Riot Police in Catalonia showed the EU in general and Spain in particular for the anti-democratic forces they are.

    The EU is indeed an anti-democratic force, but the Spanish government’s actions on Sunday weren’t an example of it. There is a perfectly legitimate dispute over whether democracy should be local or national, on secessionist issues such as this one, and the Spanish national government is every bit as democratic (and as pseudo-democratic) as is the Catalan regional government that is trying to force independence through based upon the wishes of a narrow majority (if that) of Catalonia’s inhabitants and against the wishes of the vast majority of Spain’s inhabitants.

    Spain has now put on the table a proposal for a new referendum with fuller participation on the theory that pro-remain voters did not turn out in the un-sanctioned referendum

    That would be a huge development if true, but I’m not aware of any such proposal. Got a link?

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    "The court that was charged with determining what the law of the land is (that’s what courts do)."
     
    That is a bastardised version of what courts are supposed to do. Courts would ideally defer to the will of the people as articulated by the legislature in agreement with the executive. In the current situation, you have some contention as to who is representing the people. If I take all the EU claptrap at face value, the will of the people is determined as close to the people as possible. BTW, there is talk about territorial cohesion in the EU treaties, but then nearly everything under that title is about establishing a fund to transfer money for that purpose. Very telling.

    No matter howv a reasonable person looks at it, the actions of the police were disproportionate to what they were facing, which was a peaceful referendum. Using your logic, the police could be used to bust heads because the loss of Eurovision would cripple the national psyche, which I guess is why Eurovision nations don't get to vote for themselves.
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  87. Randal says:
    @peterAUS
    Well...once upon a time I spent quite some time thinking about this (secession issue).

    That topic....nationalism/secession goes way beyond logic, common sense, and rational analysis.
    Personally, as a sort of professional and say, subject matter expert on certain things at the time, and was a (minuscule) part of that environment, even after all these years....I still don't get it.
    I'll probably never get it.
    Because it can't be understood; ti must be FELT.
    Rational, analyitical types most of the time can't.

    C'mon...how many of us reading this have been able to get into that ...vibe....in concerts?
    You know...people dancing, chanting, arms up...in trance?
    Or, better, how many professionals from, say, "gun" trades have been able to do that?

    And THAT is something which is, sort of, dangerous.

    what could Madrid concede that wouldn’t be mere face-saving for a separatist surrender, without themselves losing? Maybe guarantees against prosecution or dismissal for the separatists and their police accomplices? But that’s still really just face-saving.
     
    There IS one thing.
    Sacking top echelon of Guardia Civil.
    To....be conciliatory...
    And, then, when Catalonians (or anyone else) tries again, as they could, would the Guardia Civil execute the order?Any order?

    he might be highly motivated and irrational in the sense that he is willing to declare UDI and let the heavens fall,
     
    Yup.
    Because, true nationalists can do that.
    And cold and calculated people behind them can expect escalation, blood, mayhem...from which they could achieve something.

    It doesn’t seem to me there’s any stomach for a real fight in Catalonia. But it would be easy to be wrong on that, from this distance, and such things can easily escalate.
     
    Yup.
    I can easily see things going both ways.
    A couple of SF inflicted deaths and the will of masses vaporize.
    Or....ignites.

    I actually believe that its impossible to predict what could happen with any certainty.

    That topic….nationalism/secession goes way beyond logic, common sense, and rational analysis.
    Personally, as a sort of professional and say, subject matter expert on certain things at the time, and was a (minuscule) part of that environment, even after all these years….I still don’t get it.
    I’ll probably never get it.
    Because it can’t be understood; ti must be FELT.
    Rational, analyitical types most of the time can’t.
    ….
    I actually believe that its impossible to predict what could happen with any certainty.

    Agree entirely.

    Rationally I think the separatists must now cave because they cannot win at any reasonable cost, and that if they go ahead they will lose in the way I’ve described, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it, for the reason you give here.

    I do understand the nationalist pov, by the way, because I do feel it in relation to my own country and the EU. If it came down to it, I would declare against the EU and let the heavens fall, or support those who would do so.

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  88. Randal says:
    @The Alarmist

    "When did it become “Nazi-like” for police to enforce the law?"
     
    What law would that be? They were enforcing the edict of a Court and the Spanish executive.

    OTOH, one could make a strong case that the referendum was mere expression, the freedom of which is protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the freedom of association and assembly protected under Article 11 of the same. Of course, this being Europe, both provisions have weasle-word derogations that allow national governments to abridge these, but subject to the use of force being no more than is necessary, and one of the main tests under Article 15 (Derogations) is that the derogation must be in response to a public emergency threatening the life of the nation. It's already a stretch to say the actions of the riot police were proportionate to the threat posed by the referendum and the participants; it's also a stretch to say that a referendum threatens the civil order in spain (it's a referendum, not a riot or revolution), much less that the secession of Catalonia would imperil the life of the Spain as a country. And then there's that Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union respect for human dignity and democracy thingy.

    The actions of the Spanish Riot Police in Catalonia showed the EU in general and Spain in particular for the anti-democratic forces they are.

    What is truly rich is that in the fine tradition of the EU, which is to have populaces who vote against the elitist's will go back and vote again until they arrive at a "correct" outcome, Spain has now put on the table a proposal for a new referendum with fuller participation on the theory that pro-remain voters did not turn out in the un-sanctioned referendum.

    87 was written as a reply to this post, but became detached and was added as a general post on the thread. I’m not sure if this is a software glitch or feature, or just carelessness on my and other users’ part, but it seems to happen fairly regularly.

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  89. Randal says:
    @utu
    Excellent analysis. I also agree with Saker that that strong Europe may have greater chances to free itself from American influence and thus be more likely to make a deal with Russia. However if EU starts disintegrating then still Germany on its own can make such a deal. When I look at many events of last 3 years a lot of them can be interpreted as American attempts to prevent linking of Germany and Russia. What is overtly anti-Russian is covertly anti-German. Germany is the only chance for Russia to not be reduced to the role of junior partner as it would be in either the alliance with China or the US that at the end of the future US-China conflict would be swallowed up by the winner.

    I also agree with Saker that that strong Europe may have greater chances to free itself from American influence and thus be more likely to make a deal with Russia.

    I wish them good luck, as long as my country isn’t part of it. I’d like my country to detach itself from de facto subordination to the US as well, but de facto subordination is (mostly) better than de jure subordination, which is what membership of the EU as it transforms into a United States of Europe would mean.

    When I look at many events of last 3 years a lot of them can be interpreted as American attempts to prevent linking of Germany and Russia. What is overtly anti-Russian is covertly anti-German.

    With noticeable assistance from Germany’s own Quisling elites. Though they have perhaps more chance of overcoming that problem than we in Britain do.

    Germany is the only chance for Russia to not be reduced to the role of junior partner as it would be in either the alliance with China or the US that at the end of the future US-China conflict would be swallowed up by the winner.

    Probably so. The history of Russo-German relations is not all that promising, but as US control of Germany wanes (as it surely must as the post-WW2 occupation becomes more distant and as US relative power wanes generally) and both Russia and Germany face what will likely in the long run be an unmatchable force in China as well as legacy US power, there might be room for an accommodation.

    Germany (or its predecessor states) and Russia worked together well enough when France was the big threat, after all.

    For now, though, it should be clear to any Russian that a close alliance with China is necessary until the menace of US interventionism has been finally broken. And while there’s lots of celebration around here of the idea that US setbacks and Russian post-Soviet recovery mean that has already been achieved, I feel they are premature, to say the least.

    If I have read him earlier, I like to think that probably I would not have come in the first place but more likely I would not have been able to appreciate him.

    The reality is a lot different from the image, and the US has had the most effective propaganda vehicle in the history of mankind to date working to manage the image for the past century and more.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    The reality is a lot different from the image, and the US has had the most effective propaganda vehicle in the history of mankind to date working to manage the image for the past century and more.

    But there is something deeper about American psyche and character:

    “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” - D.H. Lawrence
     
    Here is a video that could illustrate why taking of POW on Pacific war theater was so unsuccessful:

    Horrifying body camera footage shows the moment a North Carolina man raised his arms right before police fatally shot him to the ground

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4957212/Video-North-Carolina-man-raised-arms-police-shot-him.html#ixzz4urRBQw4L
     
    On some level I can see that Jews had a redeeming influence on America and its psyche but at the same time the unprecedented power they achieved in America in combination with the power America achieved in the world lead to even more deadly and dangerous creation than what Tocqueville could ever have imagined. W/o Jews one can imagine America becoming isolationist if voices of American country bumpkins who, yes are killers with soul that never melted, could be heard but with them it is impossible even though Jews somewhat enriched and humanized American soul.
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  90. @Daniel Chieh
    The Crown is the ultimate authority, what else is needed?

    In a constitutional monarchy, the people’s representatives.

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  91. @Randal

    What law would that be? They were enforcing the edict of a Court and the Spanish executive.
     
    The court that was charged with determining what the law of the land is (that's what courts do).

    OTOH, one could make a strong case that the referendum was mere expression, the freedom of which is protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the freedom of association and assembly protected under Article 11 of the same.
     
    You could certainly try to make such a case, but you would fail in any reasonably objective forum. It clearly wasn't "mere expression", but rather a political act intended to be the beginning of a process of the breakup of Spain, directly contrary to the Spanish constitution. It's frankly disingenuous to try to pretend otherwise.

    As I noted above, the Catalan separatists had, and still have, more freedom of expression and association than traditionalist conservatives and nativists have in any European country or in the UK.


    Of course, this being Europe, both provisions have weasle-word derogations that allow national governments to abridge these, but subject to the use of force being no more than is necessary, and one of the main tests under Article 15 (Derogations) is that the derogation must be in response to a public emergency threatening the life of the nation. It’s already a stretch to say the actions of the riot police were proportionate to the threat posed by the referendum and the participants; it’s also a stretch to say that a referendum threatens the civil order in spain (it’s a referendum, not a riot or revolution), much less that the secession of Catalonia would imperil the life of the Spain as a country. And then there’s that Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union respect for human dignity and democracy thingy.
     
    All this legalist argumentation is entirely beside the point. The simple fact is that the Spanish government and police did nothing dramatically out of the ordinary or morally outrageous in trying to enforce a court's order against wilful obstruction, and you only refuse to accept it because you desperately want to find a pretext to condemn the Spanish government.

    The actions of the Spanish Riot Police in Catalonia showed the EU in general and Spain in particular for the anti-democratic forces they are.
     
    The EU is indeed an anti-democratic force, but the Spanish government's actions on Sunday weren't an example of it. There is a perfectly legitimate dispute over whether democracy should be local or national, on secessionist issues such as this one, and the Spanish national government is every bit as democratic (and as pseudo-democratic) as is the Catalan regional government that is trying to force independence through based upon the wishes of a narrow majority (if that) of Catalonia's inhabitants and against the wishes of the vast majority of Spain's inhabitants.

    Spain has now put on the table a proposal for a new referendum with fuller participation on the theory that pro-remain voters did not turn out in the un-sanctioned referendum
     
    That would be a huge development if true, but I'm not aware of any such proposal. Got a link?

    “The court that was charged with determining what the law of the land is (that’s what courts do).”

    That is a bastardised version of what courts are supposed to do. Courts would ideally defer to the will of the people as articulated by the legislature in agreement with the executive. In the current situation, you have some contention as to who is representing the people. If I take all the EU claptrap at face value, the will of the people is determined as close to the people as possible. BTW, there is talk about territorial cohesion in the EU treaties, but then nearly everything under that title is about establishing a fund to transfer money for that purpose. Very telling.

    No matter howv a reasonable person looks at it, the actions of the police were disproportionate to what they were facing, which was a peaceful referendum. Using your logic, the police could be used to bust heads because the loss of Eurovision would cripple the national psyche, which I guess is why Eurovision nations don’t get to vote for themselves.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    the actions of the police were disproportionate to what they were facing, which was a peaceful referendum
     
    It's simply disingenuous of you to keep pretending this was "just a peaceful referendum", because it was explicitly intended to be the political initiation of a process of unilateral secession. You know that is what it was, I know that is what it was, and certainly the Catalan separatist politicians, the Spanish politicians and the Spanish court all knew that is what it was.

    Regardless, the referendum process was illegal (by definition, because a court with legitimate jurisdiction had ordered it halted) and the Spanish government had every right to order the police to confiscate the tools being used to carry it out, and implicitly to deal appropriately with anyone knowingly attempting to obstruct their doing so.

    If they had machine-gunned the crowds, you might have a case that their actions were disproportionate or "Nazi-like", as the original post to which I was replying put it, with tediously unoriginal hyperbole.

    While you are very keen to blame the government and police for trying to enforce the law, what about recognising the responsibility of the separatists for their deliberately provocative insistence on breaking the law?
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  92. Randal says:
    @The Alarmist

    "The court that was charged with determining what the law of the land is (that’s what courts do)."
     
    That is a bastardised version of what courts are supposed to do. Courts would ideally defer to the will of the people as articulated by the legislature in agreement with the executive. In the current situation, you have some contention as to who is representing the people. If I take all the EU claptrap at face value, the will of the people is determined as close to the people as possible. BTW, there is talk about territorial cohesion in the EU treaties, but then nearly everything under that title is about establishing a fund to transfer money for that purpose. Very telling.

    No matter howv a reasonable person looks at it, the actions of the police were disproportionate to what they were facing, which was a peaceful referendum. Using your logic, the police could be used to bust heads because the loss of Eurovision would cripple the national psyche, which I guess is why Eurovision nations don't get to vote for themselves.

    the actions of the police were disproportionate to what they were facing, which was a peaceful referendum

    It’s simply disingenuous of you to keep pretending this was “just a peaceful referendum”, because it was explicitly intended to be the political initiation of a process of unilateral secession. You know that is what it was, I know that is what it was, and certainly the Catalan separatist politicians, the Spanish politicians and the Spanish court all knew that is what it was.

    Regardless, the referendum process was illegal (by definition, because a court with legitimate jurisdiction had ordered it halted) and the Spanish government had every right to order the police to confiscate the tools being used to carry it out, and implicitly to deal appropriately with anyone knowingly attempting to obstruct their doing so.

    If they had machine-gunned the crowds, you might have a case that their actions were disproportionate or “Nazi-like”, as the original post to which I was replying put it, with tediously unoriginal hyperbole.

    While you are very keen to blame the government and police for trying to enforce the law, what about recognising the responsibility of the separatists for their deliberately provocative insistence on breaking the law?

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  93. @FB
    'Ridiculous' or not...the fact that US lost 10,000 planes to a third world country one quarter its size goes down in the annals of history as a historic military defeat...

    So does the destruction of the Eighth US Army in Korea...

    Of course such humiliations are never taken to heart by Americans, as they would by a more serious mentality...it is far easier to create an escapist fantasy that is fact-free...

    Toodles...

    Can you get me an order of hotcakes and a strawberry-banana smoothie?

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  94. polskijoe says:
    @utu
    Excellent analysis. I also agree with Saker that that strong Europe may have greater chances to free itself from American influence and thus be more likely to make a deal with Russia. However if EU starts disintegrating then still Germany on its own can make such a deal. When I look at many events of last 3 years a lot of them can be interpreted as American attempts to prevent linking of Germany and Russia. What is overtly anti-Russian is covertly anti-German. Germany is the only chance for Russia to not be reduced to the role of junior partner as it would be in either the alliance with China or the US that at the end of the future US-China conflict would be swallowed up by the winner.

    There is a significant portion of EU elites (Atlantacists)
    who refuse to let go of US.

    They are found in every EU nation, especially in UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Italy.
    They attend the Bilderberg meeting.

    What the EU needs is Guallist type attitude (though it had faults).

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  95. @Lars Porsena
    Johnny Rico,

    Exactly. The Basque will love Spain just like the Dagestanis love Russia once they see what happened to Chechnia in Catalonia.

    Dagestanis unironically love Russia thanks in part to “free” and de facto independent Chechnya having attacked them in 1999.

    Being subsidized 80% by the rest of Russia also helps.

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  96. @Johnny Rico

    What happened to Chechnia?
     
    Haha! Nothing happened to Chechnya. Chechens love Russia. There is no reason for anything to have happened to Chechnya.

    There was no FSB conspiracy to blow up apartment buildings so Putin could blame it on Chechen terrorists and then proceed to flatten Grozny in 1999 solidifying his grip on power. No war crimes. No targeting civilians. None of that happened. Just ask the resident Russian military apologists.

    Chechens love Russia. "Russia is now the only truly democratic and free country left out there," in the words of The Saker. They elect a president with very limited powers every six years. So that makes it a democracy not a dictatorship. It's always the same guy, but he's a really nice guy, a smart guy - so everything is cool.

    Nothing happened in Chechnya.

    Ah yes, the Russian Imperialist Genocide of those poor, poor Chechens (aka the ethnic cleansing of the Russians in Chechnya and the near doubling of the ethnic Chechen population even as it turned into a monoethnic, de facto sovereign state that is 85% funded by Russian taxpayer gibsmedats).

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  97. utu says:
    @Randal

    I also agree with Saker that that strong Europe may have greater chances to free itself from American influence and thus be more likely to make a deal with Russia.
     
    I wish them good luck, as long as my country isn't part of it. I'd like my country to detach itself from de facto subordination to the US as well, but de facto subordination is (mostly) better than de jure subordination, which is what membership of the EU as it transforms into a United States of Europe would mean.

    When I look at many events of last 3 years a lot of them can be interpreted as American attempts to prevent linking of Germany and Russia. What is overtly anti-Russian is covertly anti-German.
     
    With noticeable assistance from Germany's own Quisling elites. Though they have perhaps more chance of overcoming that problem than we in Britain do.

    Germany is the only chance for Russia to not be reduced to the role of junior partner as it would be in either the alliance with China or the US that at the end of the future US-China conflict would be swallowed up by the winner.
     
    Probably so. The history of Russo-German relations is not all that promising, but as US control of Germany wanes (as it surely must as the post-WW2 occupation becomes more distant and as US relative power wanes generally) and both Russia and Germany face what will likely in the long run be an unmatchable force in China as well as legacy US power, there might be room for an accommodation.

    Germany (or its predecessor states) and Russia worked together well enough when France was the big threat, after all.

    For now, though, it should be clear to any Russian that a close alliance with China is necessary until the menace of US interventionism has been finally broken. And while there's lots of celebration around here of the idea that US setbacks and Russian post-Soviet recovery mean that has already been achieved, I feel they are premature, to say the least.

    If I have read him earlier, I like to think that probably I would not have come in the first place but more likely I would not have been able to appreciate him.
     
    The reality is a lot different from the image, and the US has had the most effective propaganda vehicle in the history of mankind to date working to manage the image for the past century and more.

    The reality is a lot different from the image, and the US has had the most effective propaganda vehicle in the history of mankind to date working to manage the image for the past century and more.

    But there is something deeper about American psyche and character:

    “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” – D.H. Lawrence

    Here is a video that could illustrate why taking of POW on Pacific war theater was so unsuccessful:

    Horrifying body camera footage shows the moment a North Carolina man raised his arms right before police fatally shot him to the ground

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4957212/Video-North-Carolina-man-raised-arms-police-shot-him.html#ixzz4urRBQw4L

    On some level I can see that Jews had a redeeming influence on America and its psyche but at the same time the unprecedented power they achieved in America in combination with the power America achieved in the world lead to even more deadly and dangerous creation than what Tocqueville could ever have imagined. W/o Jews one can imagine America becoming isolationist if voices of American country bumpkins who, yes are killers with soul that never melted, could be heard but with them it is impossible even though Jews somewhat enriched and humanized American soul.

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    • Replies: @Wally
    Is this how 'Jews enriched and humanized our soul'?

    Supremacist Jews have been marketing the '6,000,000' lie in the US since at least 1869?

    http://balder.org/judea/billeder-judea/Scan-New-York-Times-Six-Million-Since-1869-Composite.jpg

    http://balder.org/judea/New-York-Times-Six-Million-Jews-Since-1869.php
    , @Randal
    Thoughtful stuff that needs careful consideration. Though the first thought in response is the corroborative one that we are after all talking about the largely unrepentant nation responsible for the two greatest single acts of terrorism in human history.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    W/o Jews one can imagine America becoming isolationist if voices of American country bumpkins who, yes are killers with soul that never melted, could be heard but with them it is impossible even though Jews somewhat enriched and humanized American soul.
     
    LOL.
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  98. Wally says:
    @dervis
    No one mention of US ’s toxic and toxic policy towards Israel

    And why is that?

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  99. Wally says: • Website
    @utu
    The reality is a lot different from the image, and the US has had the most effective propaganda vehicle in the history of mankind to date working to manage the image for the past century and more.

    But there is something deeper about American psyche and character:

    “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” - D.H. Lawrence
     
    Here is a video that could illustrate why taking of POW on Pacific war theater was so unsuccessful:

    Horrifying body camera footage shows the moment a North Carolina man raised his arms right before police fatally shot him to the ground

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4957212/Video-North-Carolina-man-raised-arms-police-shot-him.html#ixzz4urRBQw4L
     
    On some level I can see that Jews had a redeeming influence on America and its psyche but at the same time the unprecedented power they achieved in America in combination with the power America achieved in the world lead to even more deadly and dangerous creation than what Tocqueville could ever have imagined. W/o Jews one can imagine America becoming isolationist if voices of American country bumpkins who, yes are killers with soul that never melted, could be heard but with them it is impossible even though Jews somewhat enriched and humanized American soul.

    Is this how ‘Jews enriched and humanized our soul’?

    Supremacist Jews have been marketing the ’6,000,000′ lie in the US since at least 1869?

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  100. “The Saker” presents himself as a “specialist” on Russian affairs, whereas in truth, the man lives thousands of miles from Russia, uses a FAKE name, and mostly writes in glittering generalities without providing fresh facts and specifics.

    As a member of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (Rocor) I have many Russian contacts (some who know Putin personally), and am informed about the country and its leaders from inside sources on a daily basis. [See ROCOR Letter Affirming my Church status @ http://www.brothernathanaelfoundation.org/pics/BNAffirm.png)

    Saker writes (who is he, by the way? Why does he use a fake name?):

    “Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways.”

    Does Saker have a clue about Russia’s approach to other nations it trades with?

    Any high-schooler who studies international affairs knows that Russia does NOT dictate to nations it deals with what their domestic and foreign policies should be.

    For example, not once has Russia leveraged its gas exports to Europe as a political tool. (Dictation and Leveraging is JEWmerica’s way, NOT Russia’s.)

    As for Saker’s analysis of Russia’s view toward Kurdish secession, is he ignorant of Russia’s modelling-stance regarding the issue of “separatism?” Is he unaware of Russia’s position toward the Donetsk and Luhansk republics in Eastern Ukraine?

    Perhaps Saker never heard of (or understood) the Minsk Agreements of which Russia is a co-signatory, and of which, has as its aim the preservation of Ukraine’s unity and coherence.

    With Russia being a country of principle, dependability and predictability, one can safely surmise that Russia would be against break-away movements such as the Kurdish and Catalan ones.

    Thus, Mr The Saker could have cut his tedious Article in half.

    And instead of a sleeping pills, insomniacs can swallow his slumbersome scribble in full.

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    Your assessment of Saker is pretty accurate. Yes, he sounds like a schoolboy still playing with his toy soldiers. But he has some redeeming qualities like earnestness, naivety and high degree of honesty, I think, which you would expect form somebody who was growing up in healthy and decent environment but who really did not grow up. Good for him.
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  101. Kevin says:

    Uncle Uri Avnery is suggesting that Israel to be divided between the Elite Ashkenazi Jews and the Subjugated Mizrahim Jews.

    Separation Is Beautiful
    by Uri Avnery Posted on October 07, 2017

    http://original.antiwar.com/avnery/2017/10/06/separation-is-beautiful/

    To quote Uncle Uri from his article:

    “Their plan is to partition the State of Israel along the Jaffa – Jerusalem road, dividing the country into two halves. Everything north of the dividing line will remain the property of the Ashkenazis, everything south of it will become the new sovereign Mizrahi state, to be called Medinat Mizrah.

    From there, your imagination can lead you anywhere you want.”

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  102. Fredrik says:
    @FB
    Your argument is all over the place...

    But you admit yourself...

    Peaceful assembly does not include intentionally breaking the law as confirmed by a direct court order, unless the law is an unreasonable one that precludes peaceful protest or political expression or assembly, which the Spanish law self-evidently does not.
     
    Obviously the Catalan people felt that the central government's 'law' forbidding the referendum was in fact unreasonable...

    Objectively, many would have to agree...the UK allowed the Scots to have an independence referendum, Canada allowed Quebec referendum twice...

    So by international precedent, de facto if not de jure, a minority population has a reasonable right to expect such an act of political expression...

    Just because the central government made a so-called law, does not make it morally valid or legally binding...

    Your selected incidents of police crackdown are not comparable...the 2011 ouster of the '99' percent protesters in New York was only enforced after months of patience with a relatively small group of people who were clearly violating local laws about camping out on sidewalks etc...

    The Dakota pipeline issue was likewise a protracted affair...eventually the protesters are removed from private property etc...

    This has nothing in common with a pre-emptive action by paramilitary police against an entire minority population...it's an absurd comparison...

    Whether you agree with the Catalans or not, the glaring fact is that Madrid should not have used violence to suppress the vote...it has only shot itself in the foot...many Catalans who might have been in the 'stay' camp have likely switched after this...people do not like to be bullied...

    Madrid lost its cool...it could have just let the 'illegal' referendum take place and then fought the battle in the legal system, or in the court of world opinion...

    But after this foolish use of unnecessary violence they have lost on every count...

    I don’t recall the British allowing the Americans to vote. Independence still happened.

    Why be under any illusions that independence/secession will happen unless you’re strong enough to force the issue. Right or wrong doesn’t really mean anything.

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  103. Randal says:
    @utu
    The reality is a lot different from the image, and the US has had the most effective propaganda vehicle in the history of mankind to date working to manage the image for the past century and more.

    But there is something deeper about American psyche and character:

    “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” - D.H. Lawrence
     
    Here is a video that could illustrate why taking of POW on Pacific war theater was so unsuccessful:

    Horrifying body camera footage shows the moment a North Carolina man raised his arms right before police fatally shot him to the ground

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4957212/Video-North-Carolina-man-raised-arms-police-shot-him.html#ixzz4urRBQw4L
     
    On some level I can see that Jews had a redeeming influence on America and its psyche but at the same time the unprecedented power they achieved in America in combination with the power America achieved in the world lead to even more deadly and dangerous creation than what Tocqueville could ever have imagined. W/o Jews one can imagine America becoming isolationist if voices of American country bumpkins who, yes are killers with soul that never melted, could be heard but with them it is impossible even though Jews somewhat enriched and humanized American soul.

    Thoughtful stuff that needs careful consideration. Though the first thought in response is the corroborative one that we are after all talking about the largely unrepentant nation responsible for the two greatest single acts of terrorism in human history.

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  104. Seraphim says:

    The irrationality of the sudden outburst of the imperative demand for independence, the lack of clarity of what the outcome of this move would be and the dubious benefits for the Catalan people, would suggest that someone is intent to create a new chaos situation that would affect the EU in its entirety.
    See for a different take on the crisis:
    “The Catalan Referendum is a classic bait-and-switch operation by Barcelona”, by Andrew Korybko
    October 1, 2017, 22:09

    http://theduran.com/the-catalan-referendum-is-a-classic-bait-and-switch-operation-by-barcelona/

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  105. Joe Hide says:

    To Saker,
    I liked this article. It had a full on application of logic, history, and personal opinion (Which I agree with now after you justified it). What more can I say?

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  106. Moscow, we’ve got a problem! Putin’s American supporters are caught in the web of their own contradictions. They don’t know which way to jump! They want to destroy the EU and have been preaching “national sovereignty” out of one side of their mouths and supporting separatist movements which challenge national sovereignty out of the other. The two contradictory scams have crashed head on in Catalonia revealing the cynical dishonesty of both. If the Catalans have a right to independence, so have the Chechens, the Kosovo Albanians, the Crimean Tatars and the ethnic Ukrainian majorities in Donetsk and Lugansk, to name but a few. If Putin, in the name of Russian sovereignty, is entitled to repress by military force Chechen attempts to secure their independence, Spain is entitled to do the same in Catalonia. As long as Putin is prepared to make war on Ukraine if it seeks to assert its sovereignty by using military force to take back possession of all of its territory, Putin cannot be presented as a defender of “national sovereignty”. As long as Putin prevents the ethnic Ukrainian majority in Donetsk and Lugansk from asserting the same right of self-determination as he defends for the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea, he cannot be presented as a champion of self-determination. In plain English, the whole thing is a scam. But then we knew that right from the start.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {. If the Catalans have a right to independence, so have the Chechens, the Kosovo Albanians, the Crimean Tatars}

    Kosovo Albanians:

    Kosovo is the native land of indigenous Serbs. Muslim 'Kosovo' Albanians over the years ethnically cleansed the indigenous Christian Serbs, and with NATO/US and Wahhabist KSA support and connivance wrested the native land of Serbs from Serbia. And the leadership of Kosovo is nothing but a gang of criminals involved in organ trade of murdered Serbs.

    Crimean Tatars:

    Are not indigenous to Crimea. They are Turkic invaders from East Asia.
    As to so-called 'Crimeans' having the alleged right to independence: Tatars constitute about 10% of Crimea (2014). Ethnic Russians ~65%. Ethnic Ukrainians ~15%. The super majority of residents of Crimea votes to re-join Russia. If Tatars want 'independence' they can go and live in Kiev or go back to their original homelands.

    Chechens:

    Chechens are indigenous to Chechnya. So I support them being independent.
    However, a region like Chechnya cannot remain independent for long. If Russia separates them, it will be immediately taken over by NATO/US/KSA (Wahhabists). It will become an unassailable base for spreading Wahhabist Islamist terror throughout RF.

    After the 1st Chechen war, which Russia lost badly, Russians left and Chechnya was independent for all practical purposes. So how did Islamist Chechens use their independence? They started invading their neighboring regions (still part of RF), in order to spread radical Islam there with the goal of creating a so-called Caucasus Emirate.

    At present Chechnya is again independent for all practical purposes. Kadyrov and his clan run the place as they want. Moscow sends $Billions and looks the other way. As long as Kadyrov suppresses Islamist terrorists, which he does very brutally and very effectively.


    {Spain is entitled to do the same in Catalonia}

    Spain is entitled to nothing.
    Catalans are indigenous to where they are today.
    And Catalonia being independent cannot endanger Spain's security in any way.
    Catalonia is wealthier than the rest of Spain, and Madrid uses the region as cash cow.
    That is the only reason Madrid opposes Catalonia's independence.

    , @Beefcake the Mighty
    Troll.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    I am not at all against Chechnya becoming independent.

    Conditions:

    (1) They have to give back the lands north of the River Terek, which they ethnically cleansed Russians from in the 1990s.

    (2) If they will want to host terrorists, that's fine - to be expected, really - but then they should expect a barbed wire fence encircling them and round the clock autonomous drone strikes.

    (3) Naturally, their budget will no longer be 85% subsidized by Russian taxpayers.
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  107. @Randal

    Well Randal, the fact that you are quoting the EU doublespeak mitigates against the credibility of your argument…at least in my view…
     
    Well the fact that you have resorted to an irrelevant digression into criticism of the EU and the existing international order (most of which I agree with by the way) tells me you have no substantive response.

    My reference to the EU was merely to point out in response to your assertion that the UK and Canada precedents have supported unilateral secession that most international opinion is against it.

    Please be aware, though, that I'm not pointing out that criticism of the Spanish government is unwarranted and absurdly overstated, and that there's no apparent way for the separatists to go but defeat, because I want the Spanish to win and the separatists to lose. Far from it, I'm pretty ambivalent about the issue, and certainly if the Catalans were to somehow win through some miraculous Spanish government collapse then I'd certainly see the resulting chaos as a real opportunity to damage the EU elites. But in this discussion we are not changing anything except perhaps our own understanding of the situation. This debate is not about advocacy, but about description and analysis.

    It seems to me that you have missed the point right from your first representatation of what happened as just police enforcing the law.

    The objection is to the moral deficiency and political idiocy of the Spanish government’s launching physical action likely to lead to violence when all people were doing was expressing an opinion. I am no more familiar than I guess you are with Spanish law or legal concepts. The word “illegal” doesn’t explain much. But it shouldn’t have been too difficult for the Spanish PM to say “the Court has spoken: this do called referendum can have no legal effect. If it goes ahead it will be null and void and we advise citizens not to take part in this charade”.

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    • Replies: @yeah
    Exactly, well said. Referendums can sometimes be negated or diffused by clever statecraft and sensible handling, rarely by letting loose police on the people. The Spaniards need to talk to each other, not to open the door to future violence.
    , @Randal

    But it shouldn’t have been too difficult for the Spanish PM to say “the Court has spoken: this do called referendum can have no legal effect. If it goes ahead it will be null and void and we advise citizens not to take part in this charade”.
     
    This is your opinion on a question of political tactics. The Madrid government obviously took a different view from you (and likely devoted considerably more resources to the question than you or I or any of the rest of us onlookers have). Personally, I think they were probably correct and took the right course of action, for the reasons I've given above, which has been rewarded tonight by the separatists seemingly backing down from the promised unilateral declaration of independence.

    Regardless, it was a decision squarely within the Spanish government's purview. Having had a court forbid the vote from proceeding, it was up to the government to decide what steps to take in preventing it, taking into consideration public order considerations as well as the strategic political question of what would give the best result for preserving the unity of Spain, which is their overriding constitutional responsibility in the matter.

    And as a matter of simple objective fact, they did nothing that is not done routinely by police forces throughout the world, and much less than many, in enforcing the rule of law.
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  108. Except that with the bombast that occasionally mars his articles he asserts without evvidence that the attempted coup against Erdogan “was fully backed and supported by the US”. Does he expect us to believe that just because incompetent invasions and coups extending back at least to the Bay of Pigs is an Ametican specialty? Any evidence from Turkish sources? Any real evidence?

    And I wish he wouldn’t throw around the word colony like Humpty Dumpty using well established words with whatever imprecise personal flavour he wants to apply. (Same goes for those who call British India a colony and the Raj colonial rather than imperial if more is meeded than “Raj” or “rule”. To think how hard the Greeks worked on their colonies!)

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  109. Astraea says: • Website
    @dervis
    You have not got a clue about Turkish mindset my friend.

    What then IS the “Turkish mindset”? It would be good of you to let us all know – at least, I certainly would be grateful for some inside information about that country which I cannot make head or tail of.

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  110. @Randal

    The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans
     
    LOL!

    It's as though the world has been taken over by a combination of 1970s hippies moaning about "police brutality, man" because they got their weed confiscated and Marxist halfwits going on about "fascist oppressors" - oh, hang on, that pretty much is what has happened. They grew up into globalists and brought their children up as SJWs and antifa thugs

    Catalan separatists:

    "Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! I'm being repressed!"

    When did it become "Nazi-like" for police to enforce the law? (For grownups, I mean. Obviously childish hippies have always had that view.)

    What law were the Spanish police enforcing? That the Spanish State is permanently inviolable? Is that a just or legitimate law?

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    • Replies: @Randal

    What law were the Spanish police enforcing?
     
    The constitution of Spain, and the basic rule of law.

    That the Spanish State is permanently inviolable?
     
    Presumably Spain has procedures for modifying the constitution, as most constitutionally governed countries do.

    In effect, it's just taking the view that secession is not just a matter for the seceding people alone, but for the people of the rest of the state of which the seceding region is part. The contrary proposition can certainly be argued, but that position is not an unusual one. It's the one the US, in effect, adopted for itself, after all.

    Is that a just or legitimate law?
     
    That's a matter of opinion, obviously. As far as I can see it can be forcefully argued either way, and the result is likely to depend upon the particular interests and sympathies of the one judging the particular case.
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  111. yeah says:
    @Randal

    The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime…
     
    Peaceful assembly does not include intentionally breaking the law as confirmed by a direct court order, unless the law is an unreasonable one that precludes peaceful protest or political expression or assembly, which the Spanish law self-evidently does not. Catalan separatists in Spain have every right to speak and assemble freely, and they do so endlessly. Might as well claim drug dealers can't be arrested in the US for meeting to buy and sell drugs because it's a "breach of their inalienable human rights".

    The ‘police’ with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local
     
    No they aren't. In the UK there are national police organisations that act on various kinds of crime. In the US federal police enforce federal laws.

    Whether it's local or national police enforcing a court's orders is in reality irrelevant, except that local police might be more likely to abrogate their responsibility to enforce the law through partisan loyalty to the lawbreakers, as happened with the Catalan police.


    Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently
     
    I don't know what world you live in, but in the real one the US and pretty much all police forces regularly enforce court orders and remove and/or arrest those who impede their doing so, with whatever level of violence is required to do so - usually not much in practice.

    Here are German police dealing with hippy squatters "exercising their right of free assembly" in Berlin in June:

    https://youtu.be/vM1c_58e6jk?t=75

    Here's how US police followed orders to clear leftists "exercising their right of free assembly" in Zucotti Park in 2011:

    https://youtu.be/cf8lwzDXrXk?t=6

    And here's how US police dealt with treehuggers "exercising their right of free assembly" in breach of the law in Montana last year:

    Police in riot gear faced off with protesters on horseback as the months long protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline came to a head Thursday.

    At least 117 protesters were arrested after law enforcement Humvees and helicopters began to flood the area to break up a protester encampment near the pipeline's path.

    Calling themselves "water protectors," supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe set up tents and teepees on the land, about an hour south of Bismarck, which they said belongs to the tribe under a 19-century treaty.

    But authorities said they are trespassing on pipeline property. Officials brought in reinforcements from seven states to remove protesters and dismantle roadblocks made of hay bales and wood.

    As the standoff continued, police deployed bean bag rounds and pepper spray gas and unleashed a high-pitched siren to disperse the crowd.

     
    Look, I'm not a blanket apologist for the police or for government repression. I recognise that there are plenty of occasions when governments and police act repressively. But this business in Catalonia was not one of those times, even if there might have been occasions when individual officers or units got carried away - police are human beings, and those might be disciplinary issues but they do not make either the Spanish government enforcing the law nor the Spanish police carrying out their orders to do so somehow "Nazi-like", as the post to which I was replying asserted.

    Catalan separatists are an awful lot less repressed than traditionalists/nativists/racists and other such dissident minorities of the traditionalist right are in Europe and the UK, where the latter can have their political representation infiltrated and disrupted, their meetings attacked, their sympathisers harassed and dismissed from employment, and their freedom of expression suppressed, with the connivance or even active cooperation of government. Catalan separatists as a matter of hard fact have all those freedoms that nativists etc do not, and having those freedoms does not require being allowed to carry out a specific illegal act that has been forbidden by court order, merely in order to try to flout the law of the land.

    You make out the Catalan affair to be a simple law and order matter. FB has posted a very well-reasoned response to counter your error. The main points as I see them about this matter are as follows:

    (a) Re that Law and court orders must always be followed: sorry that argument does not cut it. Yes, 99% times the law deserves to be respected, but there are the exceptional times when human history evolves by toppling what posed as law and order and installing a new law and order. If Americans had obeyed British law, America would still have been ruled from London. Nations change identity, boundaries change, sub-groups sometimes come together to form a nation, sometimes pull apart to form separate countries. That the Catalans are a sub-group, have been a sub-group, and are viewed as a sub-group by other Spaniards seems to be the case. They now want to set up a separate house, nothing inherently criminal about that.

    (b) The policeman’s truncheon or the states’ paramilitary response is by no means always – pragmatically or ethically – the right option. We should at least have learnt that minimum by now from the record of ethnicities, countries, and states in world history. The right to self-determination is a natural law far higher than any law made by the powers that be for the time being.

    (c) As sub-groups struggle to create their own countries, other states always – 100% times – exploit the situation. Some encourage it, overtly or covertly, for their own ends; some oppose it, again for their own selfish reasons; and most prefer to sit on the sidelines – again only for their self-serving reasons. Nothing pretty about that. Times like these reveal pompous asses and crass hypocrites ruling countries in the name of higher ideals everywhere. Let us at least call them out, as the Saker has with the EU fossils.

    (d) I am no expert on the internal politics of Spain, or its history, or the tensions between its sub-groups. But I do know that such tensions and squabbles are today a world-wide phenomenon, and likely to grow as globalization removes the economic underpinning of more and more states. The business world has its mergers and divestments, which we handle pragmatically. Countries that previously functioned as cohesive economic entities may in some cases also find that they have to redefine their political entities to accord with economic realities. The economic factor seems to be the case in the Catalan movement. Perhaps the Spaniards did not handle the distribution of their economic pie with the necessary cleverness, statecraft, and wisdom. By way of contrast, the Canadians did: consequently, while Quebec has been waxing and waning about separating from Anglophone Canada since decades, but when they are made to see their post-independence economic realities, the desire to separate evaporates. Canada does not use police action, nor threaten it. Just smart thinking and clever statecraft keeps the problem under control.

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  112. Romanian says: • Website
    @Randal
    Makes sense. And perhaps that accounts for Rumania's failure to recognise despite that country usually being a fairly reliable toady for Washington and Berlin these days.

    That and our sympathy for the Serbs.

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  113. @Anonymous
    Yeah, right. Perhaps you should reread your history rather than take it simply from pop culture.

    Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.

     

    Only after Russia abandoned them, and even so, they still held on for quite some time. This was also when the US forces were more competent.

    US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.
     
    The "millions" only were perceived so by the Marines during the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River because the Chinese troops had achieved almost complete envelopment - in reality, it was pretty much equal numbers, and American formations shattered would never recover for the remainder of the war. Although the UN forces did better in the second half, it was battles like that of Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge - which were named for specifically that reason - which proved that total victory was unattainable due to the casualties that Communist forces could inflict upon the UN.

    It was far from a cakewalk.

    In strength disposition at this point, the US might be able to win a war against either Russia or China alone. But they would obviously not allow the other to be destroyed, and any attack on one of them would result in both of them retaliating.

    Its over for the US in terms of unilateral military solutions.

    Good reply. It’s also a myth that the US never lost a battle in Vietnam.

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  114. yeah says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    It seems to me that you have missed the point right from your first representatation of what happened as just police enforcing the law.

    The objection is to the moral deficiency and political idiocy of the Spanish government's launching physical action likely to lead to violence when all people were doing was expressing an opinion. I am no more familiar than I guess you are with Spanish law or legal concepts. The word "illegal" doesn't explain much. But it shouldn't have been too difficult for the Spanish PM to say "the Court has spoken: this do called referendum can have no legal effect. If it goes ahead it will be null and void and we advise citizens not to take part in this charade".

    Exactly, well said. Referendums can sometimes be negated or diffused by clever statecraft and sensible handling, rarely by letting loose police on the people. The Spaniards need to talk to each other, not to open the door to future violence.

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  115. Avery says:
    @Michael Kenny
    Moscow, we’ve got a problem! Putin’s American supporters are caught in the web of their own contradictions. They don’t know which way to jump! They want to destroy the EU and have been preaching “national sovereignty” out of one side of their mouths and supporting separatist movements which challenge national sovereignty out of the other. The two contradictory scams have crashed head on in Catalonia revealing the cynical dishonesty of both. If the Catalans have a right to independence, so have the Chechens, the Kosovo Albanians, the Crimean Tatars and the ethnic Ukrainian majorities in Donetsk and Lugansk, to name but a few. If Putin, in the name of Russian sovereignty, is entitled to repress by military force Chechen attempts to secure their independence, Spain is entitled to do the same in Catalonia. As long as Putin is prepared to make war on Ukraine if it seeks to assert its sovereignty by using military force to take back possession of all of its territory, Putin cannot be presented as a defender of “national sovereignty”. As long as Putin prevents the ethnic Ukrainian majority in Donetsk and Lugansk from asserting the same right of self-determination as he defends for the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea, he cannot be presented as a champion of self-determination. In plain English, the whole thing is a scam. But then we knew that right from the start.

    {. If the Catalans have a right to independence, so have the Chechens, the Kosovo Albanians, the Crimean Tatars}

    Kosovo Albanians:

    Kosovo is the native land of indigenous Serbs. Muslim ‘Kosovo’ Albanians over the years ethnically cleansed the indigenous Christian Serbs, and with NATO/US and Wahhabist KSA support and connivance wrested the native land of Serbs from Serbia. And the leadership of Kosovo is nothing but a gang of criminals involved in organ trade of murdered Serbs.

    Crimean Tatars:

    Are not indigenous to Crimea. They are Turkic invaders from East Asia.
    As to so-called ‘Crimeans’ having the alleged right to independence: Tatars constitute about 10% of Crimea (2014). Ethnic Russians ~65%. Ethnic Ukrainians ~15%. The super majority of residents of Crimea votes to re-join Russia. If Tatars want ‘independence’ they can go and live in Kiev or go back to their original homelands.

    Chechens:

    Chechens are indigenous to Chechnya. So I support them being independent.
    However, a region like Chechnya cannot remain independent for long. If Russia separates them, it will be immediately taken over by NATO/US/KSA (Wahhabists). It will become an unassailable base for spreading Wahhabist Islamist terror throughout RF.

    After the 1st Chechen war, which Russia lost badly, Russians left and Chechnya was independent for all practical purposes. So how did Islamist Chechens use their independence? They started invading their neighboring regions (still part of RF), in order to spread radical Islam there with the goal of creating a so-called Caucasus Emirate.

    At present Chechnya is again independent for all practical purposes. Kadyrov and his clan run the place as they want. Moscow sends $Billions and looks the other way. As long as Kadyrov suppresses Islamist terrorists, which he does very brutally and very effectively.

    {Spain is entitled to do the same in Catalonia}

    Spain is entitled to nothing.
    Catalans are indigenous to where they are today.
    And Catalonia being independent cannot endanger Spain’s security in any way.
    Catalonia is wealthier than the rest of Spain, and Madrid uses the region as cash cow.
    That is the only reason Madrid opposes Catalonia’s independence.

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  116. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    If this were about honest politics, the question to resolve center around a people’s right to self-determination, particularly absent a common religion and a well regarded dynastic house à la Hapsburgs, or a strong Caudillo. A “multicultural” Spain cannot coalesce around a weak Felipe Vi.

    Resentment is ceaselessly inoculated into the population, and there is not enough perception of a outside or common threat (!). Whence unity? The opportunity for taking down the system negotiated in 1978 is there.

    Two good-level rumors: there is a strong masonic (in historically freemason rich Spain) hand in the referendum. Andorra is giving up its banking secret in 2018, and those nice Catalonian elites are losing their banking haven.

    Hidden elites are clashing over territory control. Somebody wants to be the new Count of Barcelona.

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    @Somebody wants to be the new Count of Barcelona.

    Any suggestion who can be that 'somebody'?

    Maybe our semi-reliable Wikipedia can give us some cues:

    "Benveniste, is the surname, byname in an old, noble, rich, and scholarly Jewish family of Narbonne, France and northern Spain from the 11th century. The family was present in the 11th to the 15th centuries in Provence, France, Barcelona, Aragon and Castile' Spain. Family members received honorary titles from the authorities and were members of the administration of the kingdom of Aragon and Castile. They were the Baillie ("Bayle") - the Tax Officer and Treasurer, Alfaquim - Senior Advisor to the King and Royal Physician in Barcelona and Aragon in the 12th and 13th centuries. They held the title of "Nasi" (prince in Hebrew), a name given to members of the House of David, in the Jewish communities (mainly Barcelona) and were prominent religious and secular leaders in the 11th to the 14th centuries. In the 14th to the 15th century they held the titles of "Benveniste de la Cavalleria"—"of the knights" (a name given by the Templars to their treasurers and tax collectors) and Don—a noble person in Aragon and Castile. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 they were dispersed mainly to Portugal, Greece - Salonica other parts of the Turkish Empire and North African countries. In Portugal they were forced to convert to Christianity in 1497 and became one of the rich traders and bankers (the Mendes family) of Europe. Today the name is borne by families in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Israel. It was also used as a prænomen...
    The first appearance of the name Benveniste was in the 11th century in southern France (Septimania, Provence of our time). The region was shaped by Charlemagne from the Frankish Kingdom of the Carolingian. The big Narbonne Jewish center was established, according to Jewish and Christian sources, by prominent Jews from Bagdad at the request of the Carolingian kings in the end of the first millennium AD. The Babylonian names of Makhir, Hasdai, Sheshet and Shealtiel are the names of chief rabbis and leaders - Nasi (considered by the Jewish tradition as descendents of king David) of the Jewish center. The Jewish families assisted the Christian administrations of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona as tax collectors and advisers. In 1150 Aragon and Barcelona were united by the marriage of their rulers. The Jewish families appear together with the name Benveniste in official and Jewish documents of Narbonne, Barcelona and Aragon from the 11th-13th century AD with the title Nasi added their names. They appear in the travel books of Benjamin of Tudela from the 12th century...
    The House of Mendes|Benveniste probably began as a company trading precious objects. Following the beginning of the Age of Discovery and the finding, by the Portuguese, of a sea route to India, Goncalo Mendes financed ships (and possibly participated) in the Vasco di Gama missions. They became particularly important as one of the six families that controlled the spice trade in the Portuguese India Armadas (the kings of black pepper). They established with the other families a trading post in Antwerpen from where they controlled the distribution of black pepper in Europe. They also traded in silver - the silver was needed to pay the Asians for those spices. They financed the kings and queens of Portugal, Spain, England, the Flanders and the popes in Rome".

    A notable scion of the 'House of Mendes/Benveniste' was:
    "Dom João Migas Mendes... influential figure in the Ottoman Empire during the rules of both Sultan Suleiman I and his son Selim II. He was a great benefactor of the Jewish people...A Court Jew, he was appointed the Lord of Tiberias,[3] with the expressed aim of resettling Jews in Ottoman Syria and encouraging industry there; the attempt failed, and, later, he was appointed to the Duke of Naxos. Nasi also brought about war with the Republic of Venice, at the end of which Venice lost the island of Cyprus to the Ottomans. After the death of Selim, he lost influence in the Ottoman Court, but was allowed to keep his titles and pension for the remainder of his life....
    During the war between the Ottomans and the Republic of Venice, Nasi's negotiations with the Jewish community in Venetian-ruled Cyprus were uncovered, and, as a result, the Jewish population of Famagusta (with the exception of Jews who were natives of the city) was expelled in June, 1568. It is believed that he intended parts of Cyprus to be a Jewish colony and encouraged the Ottoman annexation of Cyprus in the war to that end; he was granted a coat of arms by Selim that indicated he would be given viceregal rank in that colony...
    Maintaining contacts with William the Silent, Nasi encouraged the Netherlands to revolt against Spain, a major adversary of the Ottoman Empire (the rebellion was ultimately carried out by the Union of Utrecht, as the start of the Eighty Years' War). For this and other achievements, he was appointed by Selim to become the Duke of Naxos; he also later became the Count of Andros. Represented locally by one Francesco Coronello, Nasi mainly ruled the Duchy from his palace of Belvedere, where he also maintained his own Hebrew printing press, which was kept by his wife, Doña Reyna, after Joseph's death...
    Joseph Nasi is best known to history for his attempt to resettle the towns of Tiberias and Safed in 1561. He was the first person to attempt to settle Jews in the cities of what was then Southern Syria by practical means, as opposed to waiting for the Messiah..."

    Jews treasurers and tax collectors of the Templars? Templars the origin of the Masons?
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  117. Wally says:
    @Johnny Rico
    The US lost 2200 planes. The rest were helicopters.

    I never stated a number. It was FB who said:

    “the fact that US lost 10,000 planes”

    Regardless, US planes and helicopters went down because of Soviet weapons, not Vietnamese.

    Thanks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    I was simply providing some detail, because 10,000 "planes" being brought down by "Soviet weapons" sounds pretty incredible as does being brought down simply by the Vietnamese.

    Regardless, US planes and helicopters went down because of Soviet weapons, not Vietnamese.
     
    This is still completely faulty analysis, highly misleading, and disinformation.

    Given those raw numbers on planes and helicopters and with documentary coverage of the Vietnam War that was available in 1980 (not to mention Ken Burns' recent 18-hour work) it should be fairly obvious that roughly 7800 Hueys, Cobras, Choctaws, and other helicopters were shot down by heavy machine-gun fire, concentrated AK-47 fire, RPGs, or hit by mortars or artillery while in landing zones or on runways.

    Yes, they were Soviet bullets and weapons. But they were fired by Vietnamese and it was the Vietnamese who were fighting.

    Guns don't kill people, people kill people, and all that. Cheers.

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  118. utu says:
    @Brother Nathanael Kapner
    "The Saker" presents himself as a "specialist" on Russian affairs, whereas in truth, the man lives thousands of miles from Russia, uses a FAKE name, and mostly writes in glittering generalities without providing fresh facts and specifics.


    As a member of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (Rocor) I have many Russian contacts (some who know Putin personally), and am informed about the country and its leaders from inside sources on a daily basis. [See ROCOR Letter Affirming my Church status @ http://www.brothernathanaelfoundation.org/pics/BNAffirm.png)


    Saker writes (who is he, by the way? Why does he use a fake name?):

    “Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways.”

    Does Saker have a clue about Russia's approach to other nations it trades with?

    Any high-schooler who studies international affairs knows that Russia does NOT dictate to nations it deals with what their domestic and foreign policies should be.

    For example, not once has Russia leveraged its gas exports to Europe as a political tool. (Dictation and Leveraging is JEWmerica's way, NOT Russia's.)

    As for Saker's analysis of Russia's view toward Kurdish secession, is he ignorant of Russia's modelling-stance regarding the issue of "separatism?" Is he unaware of Russia's position toward the Donetsk and Luhansk republics in Eastern Ukraine?

    Perhaps Saker never heard of (or understood) the Minsk Agreements of which Russia is a co-signatory, and of which, has as its aim the preservation of Ukraine's unity and coherence.

    With Russia being a country of principle, dependability and predictability, one can safely surmise that Russia would be against break-away movements such as the Kurdish and Catalan ones.

    Thus, Mr The Saker could have cut his tedious Article in half.

    And instead of a sleeping pills, insomniacs can swallow his slumbersome scribble in full.

    Your assessment of Saker is pretty accurate. Yes, he sounds like a schoolboy still playing with his toy soldiers. But he has some redeeming qualities like earnestness, naivety and high degree of honesty, I think, which you would expect form somebody who was growing up in healthy and decent environment but who really did not grow up. Good for him.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brother Nathanael Kapner
    Who is 'The Saker' anyways?

    Why does he HIDE behind a FAKE name?

    Every author who is posted here uses their REAL name including the owner of this site, Ron Unz.

    (My Orthodox Christian baptismal and monastic name with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (Rocor) is "Brother Nathanael." My secular name is "Milton Kapner." I never tried to hide that. And I never tried to hide that I was born and raised as a Jew.)

    See my Church status with Rocor @ http://www.brothernathanaelfoundation.org/pics/BNAffirm.png

    But this mystery man, The Saker, who poses as some kind of expert on all things Russian (and never uses the "Jew" word like Philip Giraldi and Paul Craig Roberts), wants to be a cryptic critic of geopolitical events.

    If perhaps his writings were incisive, with fresh insights, and calls out the "Jew," then we might allow Saker his mystic anonymity.

    But given his banality and oft-incorrect analysis (like stating that Putin and Medvedev are at odds with one another--Putin being a "nationalist" and Medvedev being an "Atlanticist"--which is totally FALSE, and which Saker apparently lifted from Alexander Dugin who has NO influence in Russian politics), he lacks any warrant to pose himself as some enigmatic pundit.

    Force him out of the closet! Everyone uses their REAL names attached to their Articles here...it's time Saker did too!

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  119. utu says:
    @FB
    Your repetition of the jingo 'police have a right to enforce the law' is laughably simplistic and at odds with reality...

    The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime...

    The details that you overlook are fatal...

    The 'police' with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local...what you refer to as 'police' are the Spanish Civil Guard, described by wikipedia as being 'organised as a military force'...and with a long and bloody history during the authoritarian Franco era especially, as political shock troops...

    The footage of what took place is there for everyone to see...there was not one recorded instance of the demonstrators resorting to violence, either against property or persons, including the Civil Guard...

    This itself is remarkable, as police agent provocateurs starting trouble is a standard tactic in any demonstration where authorities want to create an excuse for police violence...the fact that they were unable to deploy such provocateurs speaks volumes about the order maintained by the demonstrators, supported by local police and first responders...

    Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently, as was seen in the massive anti-trump riots...they only swung into action after individuals initiated violence against property and persons...

    Every police department in civilized countries sticks to these rules, not least for their own interests...during any mass demonstration, the local police interest is always to keep things from getting out of control and minimizing property damage and human casualties...

    What we saw in Catalonia was a non-local paramilitary force on a purely political mission of violent assault...

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/860924/catalonia-referendum-spain-map-independence-barcelona-basque-civil-guard-polling

    Bottom line is that police do have a duty to stop violent demonstrators who are breaking the law, but not peaceful assemblies...

    an inalienable human right

    Another victim of American religiosity with respect to a piece of paper. No point of reading further.

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  120. @Michael Kenny
    Moscow, we’ve got a problem! Putin’s American supporters are caught in the web of their own contradictions. They don’t know which way to jump! They want to destroy the EU and have been preaching “national sovereignty” out of one side of their mouths and supporting separatist movements which challenge national sovereignty out of the other. The two contradictory scams have crashed head on in Catalonia revealing the cynical dishonesty of both. If the Catalans have a right to independence, so have the Chechens, the Kosovo Albanians, the Crimean Tatars and the ethnic Ukrainian majorities in Donetsk and Lugansk, to name but a few. If Putin, in the name of Russian sovereignty, is entitled to repress by military force Chechen attempts to secure their independence, Spain is entitled to do the same in Catalonia. As long as Putin is prepared to make war on Ukraine if it seeks to assert its sovereignty by using military force to take back possession of all of its territory, Putin cannot be presented as a defender of “national sovereignty”. As long as Putin prevents the ethnic Ukrainian majority in Donetsk and Lugansk from asserting the same right of self-determination as he defends for the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea, he cannot be presented as a champion of self-determination. In plain English, the whole thing is a scam. But then we knew that right from the start.

    Troll.

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  121. El Dato says:

    The attempted coup against Erdogan, which was fully backed and supported by the US,

    Seriously what.

    There is no proof, there isn’t even a motive.

    And I would think, if it was supported by the US, Erdogan would be saying hello to Allende at the present time.

    Swallowing Erdogan’s bombast and bullshit is not good for mental sanity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @El Dato
    Unless well-connected individuals in the US were more partial to Erdogan's islamistic personality cult of the resurrected caliph than a to a strong state, albeit one run by the military, and warned ahead.
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  122. @Michael Kenny
    Moscow, we’ve got a problem! Putin’s American supporters are caught in the web of their own contradictions. They don’t know which way to jump! They want to destroy the EU and have been preaching “national sovereignty” out of one side of their mouths and supporting separatist movements which challenge national sovereignty out of the other. The two contradictory scams have crashed head on in Catalonia revealing the cynical dishonesty of both. If the Catalans have a right to independence, so have the Chechens, the Kosovo Albanians, the Crimean Tatars and the ethnic Ukrainian majorities in Donetsk and Lugansk, to name but a few. If Putin, in the name of Russian sovereignty, is entitled to repress by military force Chechen attempts to secure their independence, Spain is entitled to do the same in Catalonia. As long as Putin is prepared to make war on Ukraine if it seeks to assert its sovereignty by using military force to take back possession of all of its territory, Putin cannot be presented as a defender of “national sovereignty”. As long as Putin prevents the ethnic Ukrainian majority in Donetsk and Lugansk from asserting the same right of self-determination as he defends for the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea, he cannot be presented as a champion of self-determination. In plain English, the whole thing is a scam. But then we knew that right from the start.

    I am not at all against Chechnya becoming independent.

    Conditions:

    (1) They have to give back the lands north of the River Terek, which they ethnically cleansed Russians from in the 1990s.

    (2) If they will want to host terrorists, that’s fine – to be expected, really – but then they should expect a barbed wire fence encircling them and round the clock autonomous drone strikes.

    (3) Naturally, their budget will no longer be 85% subsidized by Russian taxpayers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    (2) If they will want to host terrorists, that’s fine – to be expected, really – but then they should expect a barbed wire fence encircling them and round the clock autonomous drone strikes.
     
    This is not how it works. Not even close.
    , @Avery
    {..... a barbed wire fence encircling them}

    Russia cannot encircle Chechnya with a barbed wire fence: Chechnya has a border with Georgia. During the Chechen wars, Chechens were routinely going to Pankisi Gorge in Georgia to hide, refit, recuperate.

    Although present Georgian leadership is more rational than the CIA stooge and traitor to Georgia Saakashvili, they still can't decide where they belong. They are playing footsie with NATO, and of course have a grudge against Russia. So if RF casts Chechnya loose, Islamist terrorists will move freely to Chechnya via Georgia, and also via Azerbaijan thru Georgia.
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  123. El Dato says:
    @El Dato

    The attempted coup against Erdogan, which was fully backed and supported by the US,
     
    Seriously what.

    There is no proof, there isn't even a motive.

    And I would think, if it was supported by the US, Erdogan would be saying hello to Allende at the present time.

    Swallowing Erdogan's bombast and bullshit is not good for mental sanity.

    Unless well-connected individuals in the US were more partial to Erdogan’s islamistic personality cult of the resurrected caliph than a to a strong state, albeit one run by the military, and warned ahead.

    Read More
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  124. @utu
    The reality is a lot different from the image, and the US has had the most effective propaganda vehicle in the history of mankind to date working to manage the image for the past century and more.

    But there is something deeper about American psyche and character:

    “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” - D.H. Lawrence
     
    Here is a video that could illustrate why taking of POW on Pacific war theater was so unsuccessful:

    Horrifying body camera footage shows the moment a North Carolina man raised his arms right before police fatally shot him to the ground

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4957212/Video-North-Carolina-man-raised-arms-police-shot-him.html#ixzz4urRBQw4L
     
    On some level I can see that Jews had a redeeming influence on America and its psyche but at the same time the unprecedented power they achieved in America in combination with the power America achieved in the world lead to even more deadly and dangerous creation than what Tocqueville could ever have imagined. W/o Jews one can imagine America becoming isolationist if voices of American country bumpkins who, yes are killers with soul that never melted, could be heard but with them it is impossible even though Jews somewhat enriched and humanized American soul.

    W/o Jews one can imagine America becoming isolationist if voices of American country bumpkins who, yes are killers with soul that never melted, could be heard but with them it is impossible even though Jews somewhat enriched and humanized American soul.

    LOL.

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  125. @Anatoly Karlin
    I am not at all against Chechnya becoming independent.

    Conditions:

    (1) They have to give back the lands north of the River Terek, which they ethnically cleansed Russians from in the 1990s.

    (2) If they will want to host terrorists, that's fine - to be expected, really - but then they should expect a barbed wire fence encircling them and round the clock autonomous drone strikes.

    (3) Naturally, their budget will no longer be 85% subsidized by Russian taxpayers.

    (2) If they will want to host terrorists, that’s fine – to be expected, really – but then they should expect a barbed wire fence encircling them and round the clock autonomous drone strikes.

    This is not how it works. Not even close.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    AK like most IQ cultists idolizes Jews/Israel so he uses the template of Gaza here.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Autonomous drones will be developed in a future Russia where the state hi-tech corporation is no longer run by Putin's thieving old KGB buddies.
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  126. utu says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    (2) If they will want to host terrorists, that’s fine – to be expected, really – but then they should expect a barbed wire fence encircling them and round the clock autonomous drone strikes.
     
    This is not how it works. Not even close.

    AK like most IQ cultists idolizes Jews/Israel so he uses the template of Gaza here.

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  127. @Wally
    I never stated a number. It was FB who said:

    "the fact that US lost 10,000 planes"

    Regardless, US planes and helicopters went down because of Soviet weapons, not Vietnamese.

    Thanks.

    I was simply providing some detail, because 10,000 “planes” being brought down by “Soviet weapons” sounds pretty incredible as does being brought down simply by the Vietnamese.

    Regardless, US planes and helicopters went down because of Soviet weapons, not Vietnamese.

    This is still completely faulty analysis, highly misleading, and disinformation.

    Given those raw numbers on planes and helicopters and with documentary coverage of the Vietnam War that was available in 1980 (not to mention Ken Burns’ recent 18-hour work) it should be fairly obvious that roughly 7800 Hueys, Cobras, Choctaws, and other helicopters were shot down by heavy machine-gun fire, concentrated AK-47 fire, RPGs, or hit by mortars or artillery while in landing zones or on runways.

    Yes, they were Soviet bullets and weapons. But they were fired by Vietnamese and it was the Vietnamese who were fighting.

    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, and all that. Cheers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wally
    Huh?

    How is the fact that they were "Soviet weapons not Vietnamese" "disinformation & faulty'.
    Get a grip, mate.

    Without Soviet weapons the Vietnamese would have been chucking water buffalo dung.

    "But they were fired by Vietnamese and it was the Vietnamese who were fighting."
    Redundant.

    Ken Burns? Seriously? Now there's some " faulty disinformation. LOL

    Thanks.

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  128. @Andrei Martyanov

    (2) If they will want to host terrorists, that’s fine – to be expected, really – but then they should expect a barbed wire fence encircling them and round the clock autonomous drone strikes.
     
    This is not how it works. Not even close.

    Autonomous drones will be developed in a future Russia where the state hi-tech corporation is no longer run by Putin’s thieving old KGB buddies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Autonomous drones will be developed in a future
     
    Defense (Ohrana) of the state border will never be relegated to some autonomous drones, which are merely one of the tools, especially such border as hypothetical border with Chechnya. There is a reason for the building of the Main Directorate of Border Guards Troops in Moscow (Главное Управление Пограничных Войск ФСБ РФ) being that large (right behind main Lubyanka building) and has separate military academy (in fact more than one). No drones will mitigate this hypothetical problem and will require apart from establishment of a very serious Border District some serious combined arms forces, see 201st Military Base (formerly 201st Motor-rifle division) in Tajikistan, as an example.

    Putin’s thieving old KGB buddies
     
    Maybe they are but the bimbo who wrote the article has very little (which is expected from journous and other hip humanities "educated" youth) knowledge about what is the main specialization of Rostec which, surprise, surprise, provides MoD with a range of the world-class systems from state-of-the-art avionics both for military and civilian aircraft to, not even arguably, best E(C)CM systems in the world. In related news, yesterday, the demigod of young and hip, Stewe Woznyak, was in Moscow and as a great founder of Apple predicted in his lecture and Q & A that followed that in the nearest future, and I quote, "everything mechanical" will die out. You see, Anatoly, only computers and software, all the way, only hardcore--theoretical mechanics, calculations of stresses, tensions, deformations and other peculiar things used... everywhere, be damned;-) As long as things are shiny and "futuristic" we all should be fine.
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  129. It’s worth noting that the worst Russian excesses in Chechnya took place under the drunken fool Yelstin, beloved by neoconservatives for turning his country over to “Western” vampire-bankers.

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  130. @Anatoly Karlin
    Autonomous drones will be developed in a future Russia where the state hi-tech corporation is no longer run by Putin's thieving old KGB buddies.

    Autonomous drones will be developed in a future

    Defense (Ohrana) of the state border will never be relegated to some autonomous drones, which are merely one of the tools, especially such border as hypothetical border with Chechnya. There is a reason for the building of the Main Directorate of Border Guards Troops in Moscow (Главное Управление Пограничных Войск ФСБ РФ) being that large (right behind main Lubyanka building) and has separate military academy (in fact more than one). No drones will mitigate this hypothetical problem and will require apart from establishment of a very serious Border District some serious combined arms forces, see 201st Military Base (formerly 201st Motor-rifle division) in Tajikistan, as an example.

    Putin’s thieving old KGB buddies

    Maybe they are but the bimbo who wrote the article has very little (which is expected from journous and other hip humanities “educated” youth) knowledge about what is the main specialization of Rostec which, surprise, surprise, provides MoD with a range of the world-class systems from state-of-the-art avionics both for military and civilian aircraft to, not even arguably, best E(C)CM systems in the world. In related news, yesterday, the demigod of young and hip, Stewe Woznyak, was in Moscow and as a great founder of Apple predicted in his lecture and Q & A that followed that in the nearest future, and I quote, “everything mechanical” will die out. You see, Anatoly, only computers and software, all the way, only hardcore–theoretical mechanics, calculations of stresses, tensions, deformations and other peculiar things used… everywhere, be damned;-) As long as things are shiny and “futuristic” we all should be fine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    There is a reason for the building of the Main Directorate of Border Guards Troops in Moscow (Главное Управление Пограничных Войск ФСБ РФ) being that large (right behind main Lubyanka building) and has separate military academy (in fact more than one).
     
    Yes, Russia has a major silovik overgrowth problem. A normal government would cut their numbers by at least half.

    Stewe Woznyak, was in Moscow and as a great founder of Apple predicted in his lecture and Q & A that followed that in the nearest future, and I quote, “everything mechanical” will die out. You see, Anatoly, only computers and software, all the way, only hardcore–theoretical mechanics, calculations of stresses, tensions, deformations and other peculiar things used… everywhere, be damned;-)
     
    Well, considering that Apple has a greater market cap ($750 billion) than the entirety of the Moscow stock exchange ($635 billion), I don't exactly know who should be laughing...
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  131. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The Kurds have copied the Zionist genocide in Iraq and Syria and no one in the region will allow the US/Israel plot, ‘ kurdistan’ take place.

    [In the speech, Nechirvan attempted to shift responsibility for the abandonment of Sinjar from the Peshmerga onto the Iraqi army. In the process, he made a number of false and misleading statements that sidestepped some uncomfortable realities about the Genocide—problems that will not disappear but which will become part of the historical memory of that fateful day.]

    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/krg-targets-minorities-ahead-kurdistan-independence-referendum-part-one-exploiting-yazidi-genocide/

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  132. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @kimms
    "Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways"

    She does but bringing such a primitive, in essence middle-age-mindset country into the 21st century, is a really really tough one. Some 80% of the Turks support ISIS & Al-nusra what does that tell us about their society? Their violent intolerance and pogroms against native Christians? It would probably be much easier to restore Constantinople after an inevitable civil war then to hope for Turkey to make such a giant leap into realpolitik.

    She does but bringing such a primitive, in essence middle-age-mindset country into the 21st century, is a really really tough one. Some 80% of the Turks support ISIS & Al-nusra what does that tell us about their society?

    And, what-age-mindset country would, for example, AmeriKKKa or Britain-AmeriKKKa’s-bitch be? You do understand that the former is called Evil Empire for a reason, right?

    Perhaps for vile godless scum like you, belonging to such decadent polytheist (essentially godless) societies would be something to be exultant about, but for those of us who still cling to concepts of morality, and are constantly fearful of polytheism, it certainly isn’t.

    About supporting Jihadists, we are those who support the brave blessed Islamic soldiers who fight the evil polytheist enemies of the One and only, the vile imperialists and the zionists. We reject any who take innocent lives anywhere.

    Now, what does it tell about your societies which support unjust wars which spread untold death and suffering around the world… certainly to an ungodly level of Greed and Psychopathy?

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    • Replies: @Joe Levantine
    "About supporting Jihadists, we are those who support the brave blessed Islamic soldiers who fight the evil polytheist enemies of the One and only, the vile imperialists and the zionists"
    Fighting Zionism is an absolute virtue. But could you please name the ' blessed Islamic soldiers'. Are you refering to any such soldiers in recent history or to those who have fought under the banner of the Islamic Umma 14 centuries ago. My impression is that since the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the Moslem soldiers were the product of Western intelligence services and they are hardly blessed.
    As for fighting polytheism, I think that the last thing a civilised world needs is a war motivated by religion. Every person has the right to believe whatever his or her conscious leads them to believe as long as they do not coerce others to conform to such beliefs.
    However, when it comes to Turkey, while I very much welcome any Turkish move towards a rapprochement with Russia, Turkish imperial history has a lot to atone to especially the events of the last days of the empire with respect to the Armenian genocide and the great famine of mount Lebanon which wiped out half the population under Ottoman occupation.
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  133. Avery says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I am not at all against Chechnya becoming independent.

    Conditions:

    (1) They have to give back the lands north of the River Terek, which they ethnically cleansed Russians from in the 1990s.

    (2) If they will want to host terrorists, that's fine - to be expected, really - but then they should expect a barbed wire fence encircling them and round the clock autonomous drone strikes.

    (3) Naturally, their budget will no longer be 85% subsidized by Russian taxpayers.

    {….. a barbed wire fence encircling them}

    Russia cannot encircle Chechnya with a barbed wire fence: Chechnya has a border with Georgia. During the Chechen wars, Chechens were routinely going to Pankisi Gorge in Georgia to hide, refit, recuperate.

    Although present Georgian leadership is more rational than the CIA stooge and traitor to Georgia Saakashvili, they still can’t decide where they belong. They are playing footsie with NATO, and of course have a grudge against Russia. So if RF casts Chechnya loose, Islamist terrorists will move freely to Chechnya via Georgia, and also via Azerbaijan thru Georgia.

    Read More
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  134. Span says:
    @Randal

    The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans
     
    LOL!

    It's as though the world has been taken over by a combination of 1970s hippies moaning about "police brutality, man" because they got their weed confiscated and Marxist halfwits going on about "fascist oppressors" - oh, hang on, that pretty much is what has happened. They grew up into globalists and brought their children up as SJWs and antifa thugs

    Catalan separatists:

    "Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! I'm being repressed!"

    When did it become "Nazi-like" for police to enforce the law? (For grownups, I mean. Obviously childish hippies have always had that view.)

    Very good comment , full of common sense and respect . As you say , I am fed up with the western left-caviar and their insulting and demeaning language .

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  135. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Carlo
    "You Russians are still trying to push Utopia."
    What utopia is Russia still trying to push? The West wants the entire world filled with LGBT and tolerance and human rights and free trade and everyone then will be happy.

    The West wants the entire world filled with…

    You forgot to add, a few billion dead, to your list. Western “humanitarianism” sure works in mysterious ways.

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  136. Avery says:
    @dervis
    You have not got a clue about Turkish mindset my friend.

    {You have not got a clue about Turkish mindset my friend.}

    Sure he does.

    Turkey and its MIT intelligence agency in collaboration with ISIS organized the chemical attack and mass murder at Khan Shaykhun. Turkish police themselves stopped the chemical carrying trucks, without knowing that high level Turkish officials were involved.

    Erdogan’s son was running a business of selling Syrian oil stolen by ISIS to world markets are rock-bottom prices. That is until RuRF started bombing the truck convoys into twisted, melted steel.

    Super-majority* of Turks today are the same nomad UgurTürkoğlu savages that invaded Asia Minor about 1,000 years ago. Despite wearing Western clothes and having their physical appearance altered through forcible theft of genes of indigenous, sedentary civilized peoples – at the core they are Asiatic invadonomads to this day.

    ________________
    * there is a tiny, tiny percentage of civilized, honorable Turks, but they are marginalized and harassed, terrorized, jailed, etc by the Fascist, genocidal Turkish state.

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  137. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Priss Factor
    Russia, which probably has the most formidable military on the planet,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_VVVTmiWFo

    Soviet Military was indeed mighty during the Cold War, but it couldn't defeat ragtag Afghans whose military capacity was well-below that of Viet Cong in the Vietnam War.

    Today, Russian military is a great power regionally but a paper tiger on the world stage. The most it can hope for is playing defense.

    US held their ground in Korea against millions of Chinese troops.

    US won every major battle in Vietnam. It's just that Vietnamese in the South couldn't hold their own ground on their own. It was South Vietnam that lost in the end, not the US.

    US totally destroyed Iraq twice, first in Gulf War and then in Iraq Invasion. Militarily, US power was overwhelming. Problem was political. US failed to set up a stable system of government. As such, it led to insurgencies everywhere.

    Also, Serbia folded quickly once US got involved.

    The problem hasn't been US military power that can still smash any nation with the possible exception of China and Russia, but ONLY if China and Russia fights defensively.

    The problem is that military options cannot fix political and social problems. US can invade and defeat and destroy. Military is a destructive force, and US is second to none. But after the destruction, there is need for construction, and the military cannot do that. It requires political will, talent, unity, and order. But as long as US invaded diverse nations and unleashes tribal conflict, what follows is chaos. Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.

    US totally destroyed Iraq twice, first in Gulf War and then in Iraq Invasion.

    Your mofing evil country destroyed another nation for no great reason, causing untold death and suffering, and you mention it so casually, perhaps even boastfully.

    Anyway, we can all concede that AmeriKKKa can win any traditional war (it is only limited by worldly perception, even if the desire to let loose limitlessly is a wet dream of all your elites).

    That said, for sure, the Evil Empire has lost the war for Morality, and it has lost the war for Spirituality.

    It is basically fucked. So, enjoy while you can, fucked person of a fucked nation :)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    @AmeriKKKa

    Two KK would suffice to describe America (kaka<κακά, τά=evil<Proto-Indo-European root *kakka- “to defecate”).
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  138. Wally says:
    @Johnny Rico
    I was simply providing some detail, because 10,000 "planes" being brought down by "Soviet weapons" sounds pretty incredible as does being brought down simply by the Vietnamese.

    Regardless, US planes and helicopters went down because of Soviet weapons, not Vietnamese.
     
    This is still completely faulty analysis, highly misleading, and disinformation.

    Given those raw numbers on planes and helicopters and with documentary coverage of the Vietnam War that was available in 1980 (not to mention Ken Burns' recent 18-hour work) it should be fairly obvious that roughly 7800 Hueys, Cobras, Choctaws, and other helicopters were shot down by heavy machine-gun fire, concentrated AK-47 fire, RPGs, or hit by mortars or artillery while in landing zones or on runways.

    Yes, they were Soviet bullets and weapons. But they were fired by Vietnamese and it was the Vietnamese who were fighting.

    Guns don't kill people, people kill people, and all that. Cheers.

    Huh?

    How is the fact that they were “Soviet weapons not Vietnamese” “disinformation & faulty’.
    Get a grip, mate.

    Without Soviet weapons the Vietnamese would have been chucking water buffalo dung.

    “But they were fired by Vietnamese and it was the Vietnamese who were fighting.”
    Redundant.

    Ken Burns? Seriously? Now there’s some ” faulty disinformation. LOL

    Thanks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    I'm sorry, you are not making any sense.

    There is not to my knowledge a case in history where an army was chucking water buffalo dung.

    I'm not sure what your point is. If you have an alfernative visual record to the documentaries, The 10,000 Day War or Ken Burns', please mention it.

    I have little interest in counterfactual argument, alternative/theoretical history, or what-ifs and what-could-have-beens. The Vietnamese beat the Americans.

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  139. Seraphim says:
    @anonymous

    US totally destroyed Iraq twice, first in Gulf War and then in Iraq Invasion.
     
    Your mofing evil country destroyed another nation for no great reason, causing untold death and suffering, and you mention it so casually, perhaps even boastfully.

    Anyway, we can all concede that AmeriKKKa can win any traditional war (it is only limited by worldly perception, even if the desire to let loose limitlessly is a wet dream of all your elites).

    That said, for sure, the Evil Empire has lost the war for Morality, and it has lost the war for Spirituality.

    It is basically fucked. So, enjoy while you can, fucked person of a fucked nation :)

    @AmeriKKKa

    Two KK would suffice to describe America (kaka<κακά, τά=evil<Proto-Indo-European root *kakka- “to defecate”).

    Read More
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  140. @utu
    Your assessment of Saker is pretty accurate. Yes, he sounds like a schoolboy still playing with his toy soldiers. But he has some redeeming qualities like earnestness, naivety and high degree of honesty, I think, which you would expect form somebody who was growing up in healthy and decent environment but who really did not grow up. Good for him.

    Who is ‘The Saker’ anyways?

    Why does he HIDE behind a FAKE name?

    Every author who is posted here uses their REAL name including the owner of this site, Ron Unz.

    (My Orthodox Christian baptismal and monastic name with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (Rocor) is “Brother Nathanael.” My secular name is “Milton Kapner.” I never tried to hide that. And I never tried to hide that I was born and raised as a Jew.)

    See my Church status with Rocor @
    But this mystery man, The Saker, who poses as some kind of expert on all things Russian (and never uses the “Jew” word like Philip Giraldi and Paul Craig Roberts), wants to be a cryptic critic of geopolitical events.

    If perhaps his writings were incisive, with fresh insights, and calls out the “Jew,” then we might allow Saker his mystic anonymity.

    But given his banality and oft-incorrect analysis (like stating that Putin and Medvedev are at odds with one another–Putin being a “nationalist” and Medvedev being an “Atlanticist”–which is totally FALSE, and which Saker apparently lifted from Alexander Dugin who has NO influence in Russian politics), he lacks any warrant to pose himself as some enigmatic pundit.

    Force him out of the closet! Everyone uses their REAL names attached to their Articles here…it’s time Saker did too!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Eagle Eye

    Saker ... lacks any warrant to pose himself as some enigmatic pundit.

    Force him out of the closet! Everyone uses their REAL names attached to their Articles here…it’s time Saker did too!
     

    Saker offers fresh and interesting perspectives in a useful format - food for thought, something rarely seen in the MSM.

    If the Saker wishes to post pseudonymously, more power to him. Many important publications throughout history were pseudonymous or anonymous, because the writer had a real life.

    If Brother Nathanael were a real American, he would know, for example, that the Federalist Papers were published pseudonymously.

    No doubt Brother Nathanael will now rejoin that if you have nothing to hide, you should tell us your full name and address so we can visit you at 2 am.

    A gentleman always has a real life to protect.

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  141. Seraphim says:
    @Anon
    If this were about honest politics, the question to resolve center around a people's right to self-determination, particularly absent a common religion and a well regarded dynastic house à la Hapsburgs, or a strong Caudillo. A "multicultural" Spain cannot coalesce around a weak Felipe Vi.

    Resentment is ceaselessly inoculated into the population, and there is not enough perception of a outside or common threat (!). Whence unity? The opportunity for taking down the system negotiated in 1978 is there.

    Two good-level rumors: there is a strong masonic (in historically freemason rich Spain) hand in the referendum. Andorra is giving up its banking secret in 2018, and those nice Catalonian elites are losing their banking haven.

    Hidden elites are clashing over territory control. Somebody wants to be the new Count of Barcelona.

    @Somebody wants to be the new Count of Barcelona.

    Any suggestion who can be that ‘somebody’?

    Maybe our semi-reliable Wikipedia can give us some cues:

    “Benveniste, is the surname, byname in an old, noble, rich, and scholarly Jewish family of Narbonne, France and northern Spain from the 11th century. The family was present in the 11th to the 15th centuries in Provence, France, Barcelona, Aragon and Castile’ Spain. Family members received honorary titles from the authorities and were members of the administration of the kingdom of Aragon and Castile. They were the Baillie (“Bayle”) – the Tax Officer and Treasurer, Alfaquim – Senior Advisor to the King and Royal Physician in Barcelona and Aragon in the 12th and 13th centuries. They held the title of “Nasi” (prince in Hebrew), a name given to members of the House of David, in the Jewish communities (mainly Barcelona) and were prominent religious and secular leaders in the 11th to the 14th centuries. In the 14th to the 15th century they held the titles of “Benveniste de la Cavalleria”—”of the knights” (a name given by the Templars to their treasurers and tax collectors) and Don—a noble person in Aragon and Castile. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 they were dispersed mainly to Portugal, Greece – Salonica other parts of the Turkish Empire and North African countries. In Portugal they were forced to convert to Christianity in 1497 and became one of the rich traders and bankers (the Mendes family) of Europe. Today the name is borne by families in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Israel. It was also used as a prænomen…
    The first appearance of the name Benveniste was in the 11th century in southern France (Septimania, Provence of our time). The region was shaped by Charlemagne from the Frankish Kingdom of the Carolingian. The big Narbonne Jewish center was established, according to Jewish and Christian sources, by prominent Jews from Bagdad at the request of the Carolingian kings in the end of the first millennium AD. The Babylonian names of Makhir, Hasdai, Sheshet and Shealtiel are the names of chief rabbis and leaders – Nasi (considered by the Jewish tradition as descendents of king David) of the Jewish center. The Jewish families assisted the Christian administrations of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona as tax collectors and advisers. In 1150 Aragon and Barcelona were united by the marriage of their rulers. The Jewish families appear together with the name Benveniste in official and Jewish documents of Narbonne, Barcelona and Aragon from the 11th-13th century AD with the title Nasi added their names. They appear in the travel books of Benjamin of Tudela from the 12th century…
    The House of Mendes|Benveniste probably began as a company trading precious objects. Following the beginning of the Age of Discovery and the finding, by the Portuguese, of a sea route to India, Goncalo Mendes financed ships (and possibly participated) in the Vasco di Gama missions. They became particularly important as one of the six families that controlled the spice trade in the Portuguese India Armadas (the kings of black pepper). They established with the other families a trading post in Antwerpen from where they controlled the distribution of black pepper in Europe. They also traded in silver – the silver was needed to pay the Asians for those spices. They financed the kings and queens of Portugal, Spain, England, the Flanders and the popes in Rome”.

    A notable scion of the ‘House of Mendes/Benveniste’ was:
    “Dom João Migas Mendes… influential figure in the Ottoman Empire during the rules of both Sultan Suleiman I and his son Selim II. He was a great benefactor of the Jewish people…A Court Jew, he was appointed the Lord of Tiberias,[3] with the expressed aim of resettling Jews in Ottoman Syria and encouraging industry there; the attempt failed, and, later, he was appointed to the Duke of Naxos. Nasi also brought about war with the Republic of Venice, at the end of which Venice lost the island of Cyprus to the Ottomans. After the death of Selim, he lost influence in the Ottoman Court, but was allowed to keep his titles and pension for the remainder of his life….
    During the war between the Ottomans and the Republic of Venice, Nasi’s negotiations with the Jewish community in Venetian-ruled Cyprus were uncovered, and, as a result, the Jewish population of Famagusta (with the exception of Jews who were natives of the city) was expelled in June, 1568. It is believed that he intended parts of Cyprus to be a Jewish colony and encouraged the Ottoman annexation of Cyprus in the war to that end; he was granted a coat of arms by Selim that indicated he would be given viceregal rank in that colony…
    Maintaining contacts with William the Silent, Nasi encouraged the Netherlands to revolt against Spain, a major adversary of the Ottoman Empire (the rebellion was ultimately carried out by the Union of Utrecht, as the start of the Eighty Years’ War). For this and other achievements, he was appointed by Selim to become the Duke of Naxos; he also later became the Count of Andros. Represented locally by one Francesco Coronello, Nasi mainly ruled the Duchy from his palace of Belvedere, where he also maintained his own Hebrew printing press, which was kept by his wife, Doña Reyna, after Joseph’s death…
    Joseph Nasi is best known to history for his attempt to resettle the towns of Tiberias and Safed in 1561. He was the first person to attempt to settle Jews in the cities of what was then Southern Syria by practical means, as opposed to waiting for the Messiah…”

    Jews treasurers and tax collectors of the Templars? Templars the origin of the Masons?

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    You might be onto something. I would look into the connection to Occitania and Cathar heresy which was successfully squashed by the Church and what was the heresy really all about, i.e., who was behind it. But it was then. Now the heresy is the mainstream and the Church is in the retreat. Catalan secession may jump across the Pyrenees to France. And then there is The Kingdom of Two Sicilies.
    , @Anon
    What an interesting mining of Wikipedia, Franco and Carrero Blanco would have appreciated it. What immediately came to mind was Juan Alvarez Mendizábal, né Mendez, a jewish mason whose 1820 manifest was the beginning of the insurrection, and a ferocious persecutor of the Spanish Church, always along the lines of expropiation/exclaustration/murder/banning.

    @ who might it be?

    There's a fog here too, particularly as one has to factor in disinformation campaigns and the blurring of national interest with Catalan/EU interest. Dissolve et coagula, no doubt is applicable. Anyhow, if 19th and early 20th century Spain is anything to go by, there will be more than one covert player, and with more coming in internationally, on top of the visible political actors. The very rich Pujol family, for example, would benefit if suddenly there was no Spanish state to keep prosecuting. The local Church has also agitated in favor, but keep in mind that after Franco won, and put in place the anti-communist and anti-Masonic laws in 1939 and 1940, both of them chose to infiltrate the Church and particularly the Jesuits, their historical enemies, so it would be the anti-catholic part of the Catholic Church. Merci, merci, Gramsci. Add to that local Muslim and jewish communities. And the Freemasons would benefit too, naturally, Barcelona being one of their three historic strongholds, alongside Madrid and Valencia.

    @ Templars as origin of Spanish Freemasons

    Well, thanks no doubt to Franco's long dictatorship, there is quite a bit of spanish scholarship about freemasonry, some even specialized. The thesis goes thus: freemasonry has been mostly allied with the British (Perfidious Albion) and American governments, thus a stabilizing force, and helped historically to promote their international interest, though they confronted each other during the latter's War of Independence. It was subversive and central in the overthrow of the French monarchy and there rabidly anti-Church (expropiation, exclaustration, cesaropapism, Vendée). It was subversive and central in its fight against Spanish might (yes, a little settling of accounts for 1492, but not only that), including the dismantling of its colonies, the 19th century violence, the overthrow of Alfonso XIII and the 2nd republic. Franco's invaluable Jakim Boor columns are held to be a 'little simplistic' but not erroneous. (Franco, a very gifted fellow, had the advantage of ordering all the lodges' documentation seized in the spring of 1937 as enemy intelligence and sent to Salamanca for safekeeping.) It was also held to be important in doing in the Hapsburgs, the demands placed on Alfonso and Carl the same. (That is also the position of at least some of the Hapsburgs descendants and some proof of that can be found online.)

    Anyway, their origins: we can disregard the self-promoting myths about ancient origin (Egypt, Hiram Abif), and put the date at June 24, 1717, at a London tavern The Goose and the Grasshopper, where four secret anti-Stuart societies united into the Great Lodge of London, afterwards Great Lodge of Britain, the common root of all later freemasonry. Linked to Hanoverian destiny, they were used to further british 'national interest' both on the continent and later quite prominently in the New World. Gnostic in conception, for the what and why of their objectives I like the very lucid analysis of Leon XIII "Humanum Genus" that still stands today.

    I haven't yet mined Wikipedia.

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  142. utu says:
    @Seraphim
    @Somebody wants to be the new Count of Barcelona.

    Any suggestion who can be that 'somebody'?

    Maybe our semi-reliable Wikipedia can give us some cues:

    "Benveniste, is the surname, byname in an old, noble, rich, and scholarly Jewish family of Narbonne, France and northern Spain from the 11th century. The family was present in the 11th to the 15th centuries in Provence, France, Barcelona, Aragon and Castile' Spain. Family members received honorary titles from the authorities and were members of the administration of the kingdom of Aragon and Castile. They were the Baillie ("Bayle") - the Tax Officer and Treasurer, Alfaquim - Senior Advisor to the King and Royal Physician in Barcelona and Aragon in the 12th and 13th centuries. They held the title of "Nasi" (prince in Hebrew), a name given to members of the House of David, in the Jewish communities (mainly Barcelona) and were prominent religious and secular leaders in the 11th to the 14th centuries. In the 14th to the 15th century they held the titles of "Benveniste de la Cavalleria"—"of the knights" (a name given by the Templars to their treasurers and tax collectors) and Don—a noble person in Aragon and Castile. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 they were dispersed mainly to Portugal, Greece - Salonica other parts of the Turkish Empire and North African countries. In Portugal they were forced to convert to Christianity in 1497 and became one of the rich traders and bankers (the Mendes family) of Europe. Today the name is borne by families in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Israel. It was also used as a prænomen...
    The first appearance of the name Benveniste was in the 11th century in southern France (Septimania, Provence of our time). The region was shaped by Charlemagne from the Frankish Kingdom of the Carolingian. The big Narbonne Jewish center was established, according to Jewish and Christian sources, by prominent Jews from Bagdad at the request of the Carolingian kings in the end of the first millennium AD. The Babylonian names of Makhir, Hasdai, Sheshet and Shealtiel are the names of chief rabbis and leaders - Nasi (considered by the Jewish tradition as descendents of king David) of the Jewish center. The Jewish families assisted the Christian administrations of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona as tax collectors and advisers. In 1150 Aragon and Barcelona were united by the marriage of their rulers. The Jewish families appear together with the name Benveniste in official and Jewish documents of Narbonne, Barcelona and Aragon from the 11th-13th century AD with the title Nasi added their names. They appear in the travel books of Benjamin of Tudela from the 12th century...
    The House of Mendes|Benveniste probably began as a company trading precious objects. Following the beginning of the Age of Discovery and the finding, by the Portuguese, of a sea route to India, Goncalo Mendes financed ships (and possibly participated) in the Vasco di Gama missions. They became particularly important as one of the six families that controlled the spice trade in the Portuguese India Armadas (the kings of black pepper). They established with the other families a trading post in Antwerpen from where they controlled the distribution of black pepper in Europe. They also traded in silver - the silver was needed to pay the Asians for those spices. They financed the kings and queens of Portugal, Spain, England, the Flanders and the popes in Rome".

    A notable scion of the 'House of Mendes/Benveniste' was:
    "Dom João Migas Mendes... influential figure in the Ottoman Empire during the rules of both Sultan Suleiman I and his son Selim II. He was a great benefactor of the Jewish people...A Court Jew, he was appointed the Lord of Tiberias,[3] with the expressed aim of resettling Jews in Ottoman Syria and encouraging industry there; the attempt failed, and, later, he was appointed to the Duke of Naxos. Nasi also brought about war with the Republic of Venice, at the end of which Venice lost the island of Cyprus to the Ottomans. After the death of Selim, he lost influence in the Ottoman Court, but was allowed to keep his titles and pension for the remainder of his life....
    During the war between the Ottomans and the Republic of Venice, Nasi's negotiations with the Jewish community in Venetian-ruled Cyprus were uncovered, and, as a result, the Jewish population of Famagusta (with the exception of Jews who were natives of the city) was expelled in June, 1568. It is believed that he intended parts of Cyprus to be a Jewish colony and encouraged the Ottoman annexation of Cyprus in the war to that end; he was granted a coat of arms by Selim that indicated he would be given viceregal rank in that colony...
    Maintaining contacts with William the Silent, Nasi encouraged the Netherlands to revolt against Spain, a major adversary of the Ottoman Empire (the rebellion was ultimately carried out by the Union of Utrecht, as the start of the Eighty Years' War). For this and other achievements, he was appointed by Selim to become the Duke of Naxos; he also later became the Count of Andros. Represented locally by one Francesco Coronello, Nasi mainly ruled the Duchy from his palace of Belvedere, where he also maintained his own Hebrew printing press, which was kept by his wife, Doña Reyna, after Joseph's death...
    Joseph Nasi is best known to history for his attempt to resettle the towns of Tiberias and Safed in 1561. He was the first person to attempt to settle Jews in the cities of what was then Southern Syria by practical means, as opposed to waiting for the Messiah..."

    Jews treasurers and tax collectors of the Templars? Templars the origin of the Masons?

    You might be onto something. I would look into the connection to Occitania and Cathar heresy which was successfully squashed by the Church and what was the heresy really all about, i.e., who was behind it. But it was then. Now the heresy is the mainstream and the Church is in the retreat. Catalan secession may jump across the Pyrenees to France. And then there is The Kingdom of Two Sicilies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    @Catalan secession may jump across the Pyrenees to France

    You also may be up to something however unlikely it seems momentarily. But if you think at "The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)" created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as (ominously?) the 'Barcelona Process', you may have to think twice.
    "The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, also known as the Barcelona Process, was created in 1995 as a result of the Conference of Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in Barcelona on 27 and 28 November under the Spanish presidency of the EU. The founding act of the Partnership in 1995 and Final Declaration of the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference is called the Barcelona Declaration, which is often used to refer to the Process itself....
    The aim: straighten out the "clash of civilizations"! The process did not go smoothly, mainly because of the determination of Israel to stall any attempt at the solution of the Palestinian problem.

    "Having been slowed down by the financial and political situation in 2009, the UfM was given a decisive push in March 2010 with the conclusion of the negotiations on the set-up of its General Secretariat and the official inauguration of the same on 4 March 2010 in (you may have guessed)Barcelona, in the specially refurbished Palau de Pedralbes".

    Cathars and Templars and the Grail were the decoys. Their fanciful 'history' served only to make people to look the other way and not see what was under their eyes.

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  143. @Wally
    Huh?

    How is the fact that they were "Soviet weapons not Vietnamese" "disinformation & faulty'.
    Get a grip, mate.

    Without Soviet weapons the Vietnamese would have been chucking water buffalo dung.

    "But they were fired by Vietnamese and it was the Vietnamese who were fighting."
    Redundant.

    Ken Burns? Seriously? Now there's some " faulty disinformation. LOL

    Thanks.

    I’m sorry, you are not making any sense.

    There is not to my knowledge a case in history where an army was chucking water buffalo dung.

    I’m not sure what your point is. If you have an alfernative visual record to the documentaries, The 10,000 Day War or Ken Burns’, please mention it.

    I have little interest in counterfactual argument, alternative/theoretical history, or what-ifs and what-could-have-beens. The Vietnamese beat the Americans.

    Read More
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  144. Wally says:

    Clearly you’re new here.

    The Killing of History

    http://www.unz.com/article/the-killing-of-history/


    Indeed, “the Vietnamese beat the Americans” so bad that as many Vietnamese as possible flocked to the US .

    True enough, you do have “little interest” in the facts.

    Happy Dreaming.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
    I'm sorry. Are you a combat veteran? Were you in The Nam? I meant no disrespect.
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  145. Art says:

    A peaceful breakup for Catalonia is a good think for humanity – smaller is better – it is safer – it is more stable. The modern large nation state is a loser because it is controlled by an uncaring elite.

    Think Peace — Art

    Read More
    • Replies: @polskijoe
    Smaller is better, if many nations are small.

    Only makes sense to split Spain if other larger nations split. Starting with US.
    maybe Germany
    maybe Russia
    maybe China
    maybe France
    etc, etc.
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  146. Seraphim says:
    @utu
    You might be onto something. I would look into the connection to Occitania and Cathar heresy which was successfully squashed by the Church and what was the heresy really all about, i.e., who was behind it. But it was then. Now the heresy is the mainstream and the Church is in the retreat. Catalan secession may jump across the Pyrenees to France. And then there is The Kingdom of Two Sicilies.

    @Catalan secession may jump across the Pyrenees to France

    You also may be up to something however unlikely it seems momentarily. But if you think at “The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)” created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as (ominously?) the ‘Barcelona Process’, you may have to think twice.
    “The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, also known as the Barcelona Process, was created in 1995 as a result of the Conference of Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in Barcelona on 27 and 28 November under the Spanish presidency of the EU. The founding act of the Partnership in 1995 and Final Declaration of the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference is called the Barcelona Declaration, which is often used to refer to the Process itself….
    The aim: straighten out the “clash of civilizations”! The process did not go smoothly, mainly because of the determination of Israel to stall any attempt at the solution of the Palestinian problem.

    “Having been slowed down by the financial and political situation in 2009, the UfM was given a decisive push in March 2010 with the conclusion of the negotiations on the set-up of its General Secretariat and the official inauguration of the same on 4 March 2010 in (you may have guessed)Barcelona, in the specially refurbished Palau de Pedralbes”.

    Cathars and Templars and the Grail were the decoys. Their fanciful ‘history’ served only to make people to look the other way and not see what was under their eyes.

    Read More
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  147. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Seraphim
    @Somebody wants to be the new Count of Barcelona.

    Any suggestion who can be that 'somebody'?

    Maybe our semi-reliable Wikipedia can give us some cues:

    "Benveniste, is the surname, byname in an old, noble, rich, and scholarly Jewish family of Narbonne, France and northern Spain from the 11th century. The family was present in the 11th to the 15th centuries in Provence, France, Barcelona, Aragon and Castile' Spain. Family members received honorary titles from the authorities and were members of the administration of the kingdom of Aragon and Castile. They were the Baillie ("Bayle") - the Tax Officer and Treasurer, Alfaquim - Senior Advisor to the King and Royal Physician in Barcelona and Aragon in the 12th and 13th centuries. They held the title of "Nasi" (prince in Hebrew), a name given to members of the House of David, in the Jewish communities (mainly Barcelona) and were prominent religious and secular leaders in the 11th to the 14th centuries. In the 14th to the 15th century they held the titles of "Benveniste de la Cavalleria"—"of the knights" (a name given by the Templars to their treasurers and tax collectors) and Don—a noble person in Aragon and Castile. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 they were dispersed mainly to Portugal, Greece - Salonica other parts of the Turkish Empire and North African countries. In Portugal they were forced to convert to Christianity in 1497 and became one of the rich traders and bankers (the Mendes family) of Europe. Today the name is borne by families in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Israel. It was also used as a prænomen...
    The first appearance of the name Benveniste was in the 11th century in southern France (Septimania, Provence of our time). The region was shaped by Charlemagne from the Frankish Kingdom of the Carolingian. The big Narbonne Jewish center was established, according to Jewish and Christian sources, by prominent Jews from Bagdad at the request of the Carolingian kings in the end of the first millennium AD. The Babylonian names of Makhir, Hasdai, Sheshet and Shealtiel are the names of chief rabbis and leaders - Nasi (considered by the Jewish tradition as descendents of king David) of the Jewish center. The Jewish families assisted the Christian administrations of the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona as tax collectors and advisers. In 1150 Aragon and Barcelona were united by the marriage of their rulers. The Jewish families appear together with the name Benveniste in official and Jewish documents of Narbonne, Barcelona and Aragon from the 11th-13th century AD with the title Nasi added their names. They appear in the travel books of Benjamin of Tudela from the 12th century...
    The House of Mendes|Benveniste probably began as a company trading precious objects. Following the beginning of the Age of Discovery and the finding, by the Portuguese, of a sea route to India, Goncalo Mendes financed ships (and possibly participated) in the Vasco di Gama missions. They became particularly important as one of the six families that controlled the spice trade in the Portuguese India Armadas (the kings of black pepper). They established with the other families a trading post in Antwerpen from where they controlled the distribution of black pepper in Europe. They also traded in silver - the silver was needed to pay the Asians for those spices. They financed the kings and queens of Portugal, Spain, England, the Flanders and the popes in Rome".

    A notable scion of the 'House of Mendes/Benveniste' was:
    "Dom João Migas Mendes... influential figure in the Ottoman Empire during the rules of both Sultan Suleiman I and his son Selim II. He was a great benefactor of the Jewish people...A Court Jew, he was appointed the Lord of Tiberias,[3] with the expressed aim of resettling Jews in Ottoman Syria and encouraging industry there; the attempt failed, and, later, he was appointed to the Duke of Naxos. Nasi also brought about war with the Republic of Venice, at the end of which Venice lost the island of Cyprus to the Ottomans. After the death of Selim, he lost influence in the Ottoman Court, but was allowed to keep his titles and pension for the remainder of his life....
    During the war between the Ottomans and the Republic of Venice, Nasi's negotiations with the Jewish community in Venetian-ruled Cyprus were uncovered, and, as a result, the Jewish population of Famagusta (with the exception of Jews who were natives of the city) was expelled in June, 1568. It is believed that he intended parts of Cyprus to be a Jewish colony and encouraged the Ottoman annexation of Cyprus in the war to that end; he was granted a coat of arms by Selim that indicated he would be given viceregal rank in that colony...
    Maintaining contacts with William the Silent, Nasi encouraged the Netherlands to revolt against Spain, a major adversary of the Ottoman Empire (the rebellion was ultimately carried out by the Union of Utrecht, as the start of the Eighty Years' War). For this and other achievements, he was appointed by Selim to become the Duke of Naxos; he also later became the Count of Andros. Represented locally by one Francesco Coronello, Nasi mainly ruled the Duchy from his palace of Belvedere, where he also maintained his own Hebrew printing press, which was kept by his wife, Doña Reyna, after Joseph's death...
    Joseph Nasi is best known to history for his attempt to resettle the towns of Tiberias and Safed in 1561. He was the first person to attempt to settle Jews in the cities of what was then Southern Syria by practical means, as opposed to waiting for the Messiah..."

    Jews treasurers and tax collectors of the Templars? Templars the origin of the Masons?

    What an interesting mining of Wikipedia, Franco and Carrero Blanco would have appreciated it. What immediately came to mind was Juan Alvarez Mendizábal, né Mendez, a jewish mason whose 1820 manifest was the beginning of the insurrection, and a ferocious persecutor of the Spanish Church, always along the lines of expropiation/exclaustration/murder/banning.

    @ who might it be?

    There’s a fog here too, particularly as one has to factor in disinformation campaigns and the blurring of national interest with Catalan/EU interest. Dissolve et coagula, no doubt is applicable. Anyhow, if 19th and early 20th century Spain is anything to go by, there will be more than one covert player, and with more coming in internationally, on top of the visible political actors. The very rich Pujol family, for example, would benefit if suddenly there was no Spanish state to keep prosecuting. The local Church has also agitated in favor, but keep in mind that after Franco won, and put in place the anti-communist and anti-Masonic laws in 1939 and 1940, both of them chose to infiltrate the Church and particularly the Jesuits, their historical enemies, so it would be the anti-catholic part of the Catholic Church. Merci, merci, Gramsci. Add to that local Muslim and jewish communities. And the Freemasons would benefit too, naturally, Barcelona being one of their three historic strongholds, alongside Madrid and Valencia.

    @ Templars as origin of Spanish Freemasons

    Well, thanks no doubt to Franco’s long dictatorship, there is quite a bit of spanish scholarship about freemasonry, some even specialized. The thesis goes thus: freemasonry has been mostly allied with the British (Perfidious Albion) and American governments, thus a stabilizing force, and helped historically to promote their international interest, though they confronted each other during the latter’s War of Independence. It was subversive and central in the overthrow of the French monarchy and there rabidly anti-Church (expropiation, exclaustration, cesaropapism, Vendée). It was subversive and central in its fight against Spanish might (yes, a little settling of accounts for 1492, but not only that), including the dismantling of its colonies, the 19th century violence, the overthrow of Alfonso XIII and the 2nd republic. Franco’s invaluable Jakim Boor columns are held to be a ‘little simplistic’ but not erroneous. (Franco, a very gifted fellow, had the advantage of ordering all the lodges’ documentation seized in the spring of 1937 as enemy intelligence and sent to Salamanca for safekeeping.) It was also held to be important in doing in the Hapsburgs, the demands placed on Alfonso and Carl the same. (That is also the position of at least some of the Hapsburgs descendants and some proof of that can be found online.)

    Anyway, their origins: we can disregard the self-promoting myths about ancient origin (Egypt, Hiram Abif), and put the date at June 24, 1717, at a London tavern The Goose and the Grasshopper, where four secret anti-Stuart societies united into the Great Lodge of London, afterwards Great Lodge of Britain, the common root of all later freemasonry. Linked to Hanoverian destiny, they were used to further british ‘national interest’ both on the continent and later quite prominently in the New World. Gnostic in conception, for the what and why of their objectives I like the very lucid analysis of Leon XIII “Humanum Genus” that still stands today.

    I haven’t yet mined Wikipedia.

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    • Replies: @polskijoe
    Interesting post.

    Freemasonry has always been hostile to the Church, but
    it was the Freemasons inside Catholic countries most guilty of it.
    Im sure you know how many revolutions and assassinations they took part in.

    I dont know how much influence the Freemasonry has over the Church since Vatican II
    (there are several theories out there).

    Grand Orient/Latin Freemasonry, was aggressive in:
    France, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, etc.

    Possibly in Spain and Portugal (there were time periods where they were silencing all CC).
    , @Seraphim
    "So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. 32Then you will know the truth*, and the truth will set you free.”"
    * ἀλήθεια, ας, ἡ: truth, but not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness. In ancient Greek culture, alḗtheia was synonymous for "reality" as the opposite of illusion, i.e. fact.

    Quite simply put, know the facts. Wikipedia is a mine in which you may find gold, silver, diamonds, but also rubbish. It should be mined with the right tools, i.e. with a prior knowledge of the true history, the one written by historians after documents.
    The history of FM, of its origins, of it being an instrument of the British Secret Services, is no longer a 'secret', specialized histories of it filling miles of bookshelves. Ditto the history of the Jews and of the Jewish-Christian controversies (which really fill entire buildings). But of course, they would remain 'secret' for the average curious who couldn't make the effort to read the (daunting) mass of information. They would fall back on the easier to assimilate simplified versions of undergraduate manuals or even easier nowadays of the sensationalist You-tube versions.
    Keep digging!
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  148. @anonymous

    She does but bringing such a primitive, in essence middle-age-mindset country into the 21st century, is a really really tough one. Some 80% of the Turks support ISIS & Al-nusra what does that tell us about their society?
     
    And, what-age-mindset country would, for example, AmeriKKKa or Britain-AmeriKKKa's-bitch be? You do understand that the former is called Evil Empire for a reason, right?

    Perhaps for vile godless scum like you, belonging to such decadent polytheist (essentially godless) societies would be something to be exultant about, but for those of us who still cling to concepts of morality, and are constantly fearful of polytheism, it certainly isn't.

    About supporting Jihadists, we are those who support the brave blessed Islamic soldiers who fight the evil polytheist enemies of the One and only, the vile imperialists and the zionists. We reject any who take innocent lives anywhere.

    Now, what does it tell about your societies which support unjust wars which spread untold death and suffering around the world... certainly to an ungodly level of Greed and Psychopathy?

    “About supporting Jihadists, we are those who support the brave blessed Islamic soldiers who fight the evil polytheist enemies of the One and only, the vile imperialists and the zionists”
    Fighting Zionism is an absolute virtue. But could you please name the ‘ blessed Islamic soldiers’. Are you refering to any such soldiers in recent history or to those who have fought under the banner of the Islamic Umma 14 centuries ago. My impression is that since the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the Moslem soldiers were the product of Western intelligence services and they are hardly blessed.
    As for fighting polytheism, I think that the last thing a civilised world needs is a war motivated by religion. Every person has the right to believe whatever his or her conscious leads them to believe as long as they do not coerce others to conform to such beliefs.
    However, when it comes to Turkey, while I very much welcome any Turkish move towards a rapprochement with Russia, Turkish imperial history has a lot to atone to especially the events of the last days of the empire with respect to the Armenian genocide and the great famine of mount Lebanon which wiped out half the population under Ottoman occupation.

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  149. @Andrei Martyanov

    Autonomous drones will be developed in a future
     
    Defense (Ohrana) of the state border will never be relegated to some autonomous drones, which are merely one of the tools, especially such border as hypothetical border with Chechnya. There is a reason for the building of the Main Directorate of Border Guards Troops in Moscow (Главное Управление Пограничных Войск ФСБ РФ) being that large (right behind main Lubyanka building) and has separate military academy (in fact more than one). No drones will mitigate this hypothetical problem and will require apart from establishment of a very serious Border District some serious combined arms forces, see 201st Military Base (formerly 201st Motor-rifle division) in Tajikistan, as an example.

    Putin’s thieving old KGB buddies
     
    Maybe they are but the bimbo who wrote the article has very little (which is expected from journous and other hip humanities "educated" youth) knowledge about what is the main specialization of Rostec which, surprise, surprise, provides MoD with a range of the world-class systems from state-of-the-art avionics both for military and civilian aircraft to, not even arguably, best E(C)CM systems in the world. In related news, yesterday, the demigod of young and hip, Stewe Woznyak, was in Moscow and as a great founder of Apple predicted in his lecture and Q & A that followed that in the nearest future, and I quote, "everything mechanical" will die out. You see, Anatoly, only computers and software, all the way, only hardcore--theoretical mechanics, calculations of stresses, tensions, deformations and other peculiar things used... everywhere, be damned;-) As long as things are shiny and "futuristic" we all should be fine.

    There is a reason for the building of the Main Directorate of Border Guards Troops in Moscow (Главное Управление Пограничных Войск ФСБ РФ) being that large (right behind main Lubyanka building) and has separate military academy (in fact more than one).

    Yes, Russia has a major silovik overgrowth problem. A normal government would cut their numbers by at least half.

    Stewe Woznyak, was in Moscow and as a great founder of Apple predicted in his lecture and Q & A that followed that in the nearest future, and I quote, “everything mechanical” will die out. You see, Anatoly, only computers and software, all the way, only hardcore–theoretical mechanics, calculations of stresses, tensions, deformations and other peculiar things used… everywhere, be damned;-)

    Well, considering that Apple has a greater market cap ($750 billion) than the entirety of the Moscow stock exchange ($635 billion), I don’t exactly know who should be laughing…

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Well, considering that Apple has a greater market cap ($750 billion) than the entirety of the Moscow stock exchange ($635 billion), I don’t exactly know who should be laughing…
     
    Again, it is an exercise in futility trying to explain to people with no background a profound difference between shiny (and extremely expensive) object such as whatever is iPhone and, say, modern commercial jet. Different universes technologically but, again, bringing up MSE which is as related to real economy as I am Chinese is hardly a good argument. This is not to mention the fact of an absolute BS Wozniak, for all his undeniable talent and prominence, spoke out. Sad part, he preceded this sheer idiocy with "I am an engineer and I can tell you.." Welcome to the world of militant incompetency, Anatoly.

    Yes, Russia has a major silovik overgrowth problem. A normal government would cut their numbers by at least half.
     
    And why not 70%, why not 82,5%? Where those numbers are even coming from? Will 42.3% suffice? Last time I checked Chemezov was doing quite well as Rostec CEO and, considering what Rostec does for a living one has to say that his management is not bad at all. Just one example of "silovik". You have better candidates? I doubt it very much.
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  150. @Anatoly Karlin

    There is a reason for the building of the Main Directorate of Border Guards Troops in Moscow (Главное Управление Пограничных Войск ФСБ РФ) being that large (right behind main Lubyanka building) and has separate military academy (in fact more than one).
     
    Yes, Russia has a major silovik overgrowth problem. A normal government would cut their numbers by at least half.

    Stewe Woznyak, was in Moscow and as a great founder of Apple predicted in his lecture and Q & A that followed that in the nearest future, and I quote, “everything mechanical” will die out. You see, Anatoly, only computers and software, all the way, only hardcore–theoretical mechanics, calculations of stresses, tensions, deformations and other peculiar things used… everywhere, be damned;-)
     
    Well, considering that Apple has a greater market cap ($750 billion) than the entirety of the Moscow stock exchange ($635 billion), I don't exactly know who should be laughing...

    Well, considering that Apple has a greater market cap ($750 billion) than the entirety of the Moscow stock exchange ($635 billion), I don’t exactly know who should be laughing…

    Again, it is an exercise in futility trying to explain to people with no background a profound difference between shiny (and extremely expensive) object such as whatever is iPhone and, say, modern commercial jet. Different universes technologically but, again, bringing up MSE which is as related to real economy as I am Chinese is hardly a good argument. This is not to mention the fact of an absolute BS Wozniak, for all his undeniable talent and prominence, spoke out. Sad part, he preceded this sheer idiocy with “I am an engineer and I can tell you..” Welcome to the world of militant incompetency, Anatoly.

    Yes, Russia has a major silovik overgrowth problem. A normal government would cut their numbers by at least half.

    And why not 70%, why not 82,5%? Where those numbers are even coming from? Will 42.3% suffice? Last time I checked Chemezov was doing quite well as Rostec CEO and, considering what Rostec does for a living one has to say that his management is not bad at all. Just one example of “silovik”. You have better candidates? I doubt it very much.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Wikipedia says US Border Patrol has 21,000 people.

    I can't even easily find the number of people in the Russian Border Guards (hurray for transparency) but the one estimate I found via one of Richard Sakwa's books is 160,000-200,000.

    Or about 20x larger relative to the population.

    And yet all these tax-eating wastrels can't even control immigration and the flow of drugs from Central Asia.

    So you're right, the reduction will indeed have to be more on the order of 82.5%.

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  151. @Andrei Martyanov

    Well, considering that Apple has a greater market cap ($750 billion) than the entirety of the Moscow stock exchange ($635 billion), I don’t exactly know who should be laughing…
     
    Again, it is an exercise in futility trying to explain to people with no background a profound difference between shiny (and extremely expensive) object such as whatever is iPhone and, say, modern commercial jet. Different universes technologically but, again, bringing up MSE which is as related to real economy as I am Chinese is hardly a good argument. This is not to mention the fact of an absolute BS Wozniak, for all his undeniable talent and prominence, spoke out. Sad part, he preceded this sheer idiocy with "I am an engineer and I can tell you.." Welcome to the world of militant incompetency, Anatoly.

    Yes, Russia has a major silovik overgrowth problem. A normal government would cut their numbers by at least half.
     
    And why not 70%, why not 82,5%? Where those numbers are even coming from? Will 42.3% suffice? Last time I checked Chemezov was doing quite well as Rostec CEO and, considering what Rostec does for a living one has to say that his management is not bad at all. Just one example of "silovik". You have better candidates? I doubt it very much.

    Wikipedia says US Border Patrol has 21,000 people.

    I can’t even easily find the number of people in the Russian Border Guards (hurray for transparency) but the one estimate I found via one of Richard Sakwa’s books is 160,000-200,000.

    Or about 20x larger relative to the population.

    And yet all these tax-eating wastrels can’t even control immigration and the flow of drugs from Central Asia.

    So you’re right, the reduction will indeed have to be more on the order of 82.5%.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Wikipedia says US Border Patrol has 21,000 people.
     
    Anatoly, as I stated, if you want to continue to use Wikipedia and the number of US border guards as a foundation for, say, calculation of the discreteness of the flights of UAVs, or how and where and what force is used for control, how KSP and surveillance is organized, among many other things--sure. I already stated not for once we live in the Warholian world where everybody gets their 15 minutes of fame. We also can see results of militant incompetency all around us, although for you, a product of US "education" it might not be that obvious. I omit here a sheer ignorance on comparing US "border guards" who are nothing more than a police force with military force in Russia which is tasked with guarding such places as the border between Russia and Middle Asia, or, for that matter former Caucasus republics which have a stellar record of providing a good bridge for terrorist groups.

    I can’t even easily find the number of people in the Russian Border Guards (hurray for transparency) but the one estimate I found via one of Richard Sakwa’s books is 160,000-200,000.
     
    Yes, you also have to account for the Maritime Units of the Border Guards of FSB RF which include several separate brigades and one division of the ships which are tasked with the defense of the Russia's maritime border and exclusive Economic Zone as well as are, under war conditions, an integral part of Russian Navy tasked with patrol, ASW and escort functions. If you didn't know the US with which you are trying to compare (wrongly) with Russia (look at the map, for starters) has the United States Coast Guard force which has at its disposal around 238 cutters of different sizes, from small boats to a national security cutters of Bertholf-class, own air command and has more than 70 000 active duty and auxiliaries serving in it. Here is how it looks like:

    https://www.uscg.mil/Units/Organization/

    You may also know that Hamilton-class cutters of USCG were not only tasked during Gulf Wars with patrolling Persian Gulf but also carried a Harpoon 2x4 package installed on them to have a full SuWa capability. So much for "Border Patrol", right? So, do you want to continue this discussion in depth? FYI, today what used to be MCh PV KGB USSR are called, and you may have guessed it, a Coast Guard--all ships are re-painted blue-white and carry this sign on boards. Here is Vorovsky of 1st Division in Seattle with visit several years ago.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Russian_Border_Guard_vessel_Vorovskiy_in_Seattle_%28cropped%29.jpg

    So you’re right, the reduction will indeed have to be more on the order of 82.5%.
     
    Again, before "reducing" anything one has to have an alternative, a substitution, you don't have it.
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  152. polskijoe says:
    @Art
    A peaceful breakup for Catalonia is a good think for humanity - smaller is better - it is safer - it is more stable. The modern large nation state is a loser because it is controlled by an uncaring elite.

    Think Peace --- Art

    Smaller is better, if many nations are small.

    Only makes sense to split Spain if other larger nations split. Starting with US.
    maybe Germany
    maybe Russia
    maybe China
    maybe France
    etc, etc.

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    • Replies: @Art

    Smaller is better, if many nations are small.

    Only makes sense to split Spain if other larger nations split. Starting with US.
    maybe Germany
    maybe Russia
    maybe China
    maybe France
    etc, etc.
     
    Hear Hear!

    Local is always better - local folks voting on local issues - is safe and stable - and most of all peaceful - no big wars without the OK of the local folks.

    Think Peace --- Art

    p.s. The deep state can be eliminated in one vote – clearly, that is not true of the nation state.
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  153. polskijoe says:
    @Anon
    What an interesting mining of Wikipedia, Franco and Carrero Blanco would have appreciated it. What immediately came to mind was Juan Alvarez Mendizábal, né Mendez, a jewish mason whose 1820 manifest was the beginning of the insurrection, and a ferocious persecutor of the Spanish Church, always along the lines of expropiation/exclaustration/murder/banning.

    @ who might it be?

    There's a fog here too, particularly as one has to factor in disinformation campaigns and the blurring of national interest with Catalan/EU interest. Dissolve et coagula, no doubt is applicable. Anyhow, if 19th and early 20th century Spain is anything to go by, there will be more than one covert player, and with more coming in internationally, on top of the visible political actors. The very rich Pujol family, for example, would benefit if suddenly there was no Spanish state to keep prosecuting. The local Church has also agitated in favor, but keep in mind that after Franco won, and put in place the anti-communist and anti-Masonic laws in 1939 and 1940, both of them chose to infiltrate the Church and particularly the Jesuits, their historical enemies, so it would be the anti-catholic part of the Catholic Church. Merci, merci, Gramsci. Add to that local Muslim and jewish communities. And the Freemasons would benefit too, naturally, Barcelona being one of their three historic strongholds, alongside Madrid and Valencia.

    @ Templars as origin of Spanish Freemasons

    Well, thanks no doubt to Franco's long dictatorship, there is quite a bit of spanish scholarship about freemasonry, some even specialized. The thesis goes thus: freemasonry has been mostly allied with the British (Perfidious Albion) and American governments, thus a stabilizing force, and helped historically to promote their international interest, though they confronted each other during the latter's War of Independence. It was subversive and central in the overthrow of the French monarchy and there rabidly anti-Church (expropiation, exclaustration, cesaropapism, Vendée). It was subversive and central in its fight against Spanish might (yes, a little settling of accounts for 1492, but not only that), including the dismantling of its colonies, the 19th century violence, the overthrow of Alfonso XIII and the 2nd republic. Franco's invaluable Jakim Boor columns are held to be a 'little simplistic' but not erroneous. (Franco, a very gifted fellow, had the advantage of ordering all the lodges' documentation seized in the spring of 1937 as enemy intelligence and sent to Salamanca for safekeeping.) It was also held to be important in doing in the Hapsburgs, the demands placed on Alfonso and Carl the same. (That is also the position of at least some of the Hapsburgs descendants and some proof of that can be found online.)

    Anyway, their origins: we can disregard the self-promoting myths about ancient origin (Egypt, Hiram Abif), and put the date at June 24, 1717, at a London tavern The Goose and the Grasshopper, where four secret anti-Stuart societies united into the Great Lodge of London, afterwards Great Lodge of Britain, the common root of all later freemasonry. Linked to Hanoverian destiny, they were used to further british 'national interest' both on the continent and later quite prominently in the New World. Gnostic in conception, for the what and why of their objectives I like the very lucid analysis of Leon XIII "Humanum Genus" that still stands today.

    I haven't yet mined Wikipedia.

    Interesting post.

    Freemasonry has always been hostile to the Church, but
    it was the Freemasons inside Catholic countries most guilty of it.
    Im sure you know how many revolutions and assassinations they took part in.

    I dont know how much influence the Freemasonry has over the Church since Vatican II
    (there are several theories out there).

    Grand Orient/Latin Freemasonry, was aggressive in:
    France, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, etc.

    Possibly in Spain and Portugal (there were time periods where they were silencing all CC).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    It looks that it has more influence than ever. Vatican II represents the first victory of the long drawn masonic plan of subversion of the Church from inside. But the ultimate goal is not the 'destruction' of the Church, but its apostasy, the official declaration from the 'Pope' that Christ is not God, that He was not the Messiah, but we should wait for the 'real' Messiah of the Jews. It is nearly done.
    , @Anon
    Late, still, are you Polish?

    What do you think about the rosary prayed on the borders this past Saturday?
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  154. @Wally
    Clearly you're new here.

    The Killing of History
    http://www.unz.com/article/the-killing-of-history/

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/KenBurns.png

    Indeed, "the Vietnamese beat the Americans" so bad that as many Vietnamese as possible flocked to the US .

    True enough, you do have "little interest" in the facts.

    Happy Dreaming.

    I’m sorry. Are you a combat veteran? Were you in The Nam? I meant no disrespect.

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  155. Seraphim says:
    @Anon
    What an interesting mining of Wikipedia, Franco and Carrero Blanco would have appreciated it. What immediately came to mind was Juan Alvarez Mendizábal, né Mendez, a jewish mason whose 1820 manifest was the beginning of the insurrection, and a ferocious persecutor of the Spanish Church, always along the lines of expropiation/exclaustration/murder/banning.

    @ who might it be?

    There's a fog here too, particularly as one has to factor in disinformation campaigns and the blurring of national interest with Catalan/EU interest. Dissolve et coagula, no doubt is applicable. Anyhow, if 19th and early 20th century Spain is anything to go by, there will be more than one covert player, and with more coming in internationally, on top of the visible political actors. The very rich Pujol family, for example, would benefit if suddenly there was no Spanish state to keep prosecuting. The local Church has also agitated in favor, but keep in mind that after Franco won, and put in place the anti-communist and anti-Masonic laws in 1939 and 1940, both of them chose to infiltrate the Church and particularly the Jesuits, their historical enemies, so it would be the anti-catholic part of the Catholic Church. Merci, merci, Gramsci. Add to that local Muslim and jewish communities. And the Freemasons would benefit too, naturally, Barcelona being one of their three historic strongholds, alongside Madrid and Valencia.

    @ Templars as origin of Spanish Freemasons

    Well, thanks no doubt to Franco's long dictatorship, there is quite a bit of spanish scholarship about freemasonry, some even specialized. The thesis goes thus: freemasonry has been mostly allied with the British (Perfidious Albion) and American governments, thus a stabilizing force, and helped historically to promote their international interest, though they confronted each other during the latter's War of Independence. It was subversive and central in the overthrow of the French monarchy and there rabidly anti-Church (expropiation, exclaustration, cesaropapism, Vendée). It was subversive and central in its fight against Spanish might (yes, a little settling of accounts for 1492, but not only that), including the dismantling of its colonies, the 19th century violence, the overthrow of Alfonso XIII and the 2nd republic. Franco's invaluable Jakim Boor columns are held to be a 'little simplistic' but not erroneous. (Franco, a very gifted fellow, had the advantage of ordering all the lodges' documentation seized in the spring of 1937 as enemy intelligence and sent to Salamanca for safekeeping.) It was also held to be important in doing in the Hapsburgs, the demands placed on Alfonso and Carl the same. (That is also the position of at least some of the Hapsburgs descendants and some proof of that can be found online.)

    Anyway, their origins: we can disregard the self-promoting myths about ancient origin (Egypt, Hiram Abif), and put the date at June 24, 1717, at a London tavern The Goose and the Grasshopper, where four secret anti-Stuart societies united into the Great Lodge of London, afterwards Great Lodge of Britain, the common root of all later freemasonry. Linked to Hanoverian destiny, they were used to further british 'national interest' both on the continent and later quite prominently in the New World. Gnostic in conception, for the what and why of their objectives I like the very lucid analysis of Leon XIII "Humanum Genus" that still stands today.

    I haven't yet mined Wikipedia.

    “So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. 32Then you will know the truth*, and the truth will set you free.””
    * ἀλήθεια, ας, ἡ: truth, but not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness. In ancient Greek culture, alḗtheia was synonymous for “reality” as the opposite of illusion, i.e. fact.

    Quite simply put, know the facts. Wikipedia is a mine in which you may find gold, silver, diamonds, but also rubbish. It should be mined with the right tools, i.e. with a prior knowledge of the true history, the one written by historians after documents.
    The history of FM, of its origins, of it being an instrument of the British Secret Services, is no longer a ‘secret’, specialized histories of it filling miles of bookshelves. Ditto the history of the Jews and of the Jewish-Christian controversies (which really fill entire buildings). But of course, they would remain ‘secret’ for the average curious who couldn’t make the effort to read the (daunting) mass of information. They would fall back on the easier to assimilate simplified versions of undergraduate manuals or even easier nowadays of the sensationalist You-tube versions.
    Keep digging!

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  156. Art says:
    @polskijoe
    Smaller is better, if many nations are small.

    Only makes sense to split Spain if other larger nations split. Starting with US.
    maybe Germany
    maybe Russia
    maybe China
    maybe France
    etc, etc.

    Smaller is better, if many nations are small.

    Only makes sense to split Spain if other larger nations split. Starting with US.
    maybe Germany
    maybe Russia
    maybe China
    maybe France
    etc, etc.

    Hear Hear!

    Local is always better – local folks voting on local issues – is safe and stable – and most of all peaceful – no big wars without the OK of the local folks.

    Think Peace — Art

    p.s. The deep state can be eliminated in one vote – clearly, that is not true of the nation state.

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  157. Eagle Eye says:
    @Brother Nathanael Kapner
    Who is 'The Saker' anyways?

    Why does he HIDE behind a FAKE name?

    Every author who is posted here uses their REAL name including the owner of this site, Ron Unz.

    (My Orthodox Christian baptismal and monastic name with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (Rocor) is "Brother Nathanael." My secular name is "Milton Kapner." I never tried to hide that. And I never tried to hide that I was born and raised as a Jew.)

    See my Church status with Rocor @ http://www.brothernathanaelfoundation.org/pics/BNAffirm.png

    But this mystery man, The Saker, who poses as some kind of expert on all things Russian (and never uses the "Jew" word like Philip Giraldi and Paul Craig Roberts), wants to be a cryptic critic of geopolitical events.

    If perhaps his writings were incisive, with fresh insights, and calls out the "Jew," then we might allow Saker his mystic anonymity.

    But given his banality and oft-incorrect analysis (like stating that Putin and Medvedev are at odds with one another--Putin being a "nationalist" and Medvedev being an "Atlanticist"--which is totally FALSE, and which Saker apparently lifted from Alexander Dugin who has NO influence in Russian politics), he lacks any warrant to pose himself as some enigmatic pundit.

    Force him out of the closet! Everyone uses their REAL names attached to their Articles here...it's time Saker did too!

    Saker … lacks any warrant to pose himself as some enigmatic pundit.

    Force him out of the closet! Everyone uses their REAL names attached to their Articles here…it’s time Saker did too!

    Saker offers fresh and interesting perspectives in a useful format – food for thought, something rarely seen in the MSM.

    If the Saker wishes to post pseudonymously, more power to him. Many important publications throughout history were pseudonymous or anonymous, because the writer had a real life.

    If Brother Nathanael were a real American, he would know, for example, that the Federalist Papers were published pseudonymously.

    No doubt Brother Nathanael will now rejoin that if you have nothing to hide, you should tell us your full name and address so we can visit you at 2 am.

    A gentleman always has a real life to protect.

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    • Agree: polskijoe
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  158. Seraphim says:
    @polskijoe
    Interesting post.

    Freemasonry has always been hostile to the Church, but
    it was the Freemasons inside Catholic countries most guilty of it.
    Im sure you know how many revolutions and assassinations they took part in.

    I dont know how much influence the Freemasonry has over the Church since Vatican II
    (there are several theories out there).

    Grand Orient/Latin Freemasonry, was aggressive in:
    France, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, etc.

    Possibly in Spain and Portugal (there were time periods where they were silencing all CC).

    It looks that it has more influence than ever. Vatican II represents the first victory of the long drawn masonic plan of subversion of the Church from inside. But the ultimate goal is not the ‘destruction’ of the Church, but its apostasy, the official declaration from the ‘Pope’ that Christ is not God, that He was not the Messiah, but we should wait for the ‘real’ Messiah of the Jews. It is nearly done.

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    • Agree: utu
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  159. @Anatoly Karlin
    Wikipedia says US Border Patrol has 21,000 people.

    I can't even easily find the number of people in the Russian Border Guards (hurray for transparency) but the one estimate I found via one of Richard Sakwa's books is 160,000-200,000.

    Or about 20x larger relative to the population.

    And yet all these tax-eating wastrels can't even control immigration and the flow of drugs from Central Asia.

    So you're right, the reduction will indeed have to be more on the order of 82.5%.

    Wikipedia says US Border Patrol has 21,000 people.

    Anatoly, as I stated, if you want to continue to use Wikipedia and the number of US border guards as a foundation for, say, calculation of the discreteness of the flights of UAVs, or how and where and what force is used for control, how KSP and surveillance is organized, among many other things–sure. I already stated not for once we live in the Warholian world where everybody gets their 15 minutes of fame. We also can see results of militant incompetency all around us, although for you, a product of US “education” it might not be that obvious. I omit here a sheer ignorance on comparing US “border guards” who are nothing more than a police force with military force in Russia which is tasked with guarding such places as the border between Russia and Middle Asia, or, for that matter former Caucasus republics which have a stellar record of providing a good bridge for terrorist groups.

    I can’t even easily find the number of people in the Russian Border Guards (hurray for transparency) but the one estimate I found via one of Richard Sakwa’s books is 160,000-200,000.

    Yes, you also have to account for the Maritime Units of the Border Guards of FSB RF which include several separate brigades and one division of the ships which are tasked with the defense of the Russia’s maritime border and exclusive Economic Zone as well as are, under war conditions, an integral part of Russian Navy tasked with patrol, ASW and escort functions. If you didn’t know the US with which you are trying to compare (wrongly) with Russia (look at the map, for starters) has the United States Coast Guard force which has at its disposal around 238 cutters of different sizes, from small boats to a national security cutters of Bertholf-class, own air command and has more than 70 000 active duty and auxiliaries serving in it. Here is how it looks like:

    https://www.uscg.mil/Units/Organization/

    You may also know that Hamilton-class cutters of USCG were not only tasked during Gulf Wars with patrolling Persian Gulf but also carried a Harpoon 2×4 package installed on them to have a full SuWa capability. So much for “Border Patrol”, right? So, do you want to continue this discussion in depth? FYI, today what used to be MCh PV KGB USSR are called, and you may have guessed it, a Coast Guard–all ships are re-painted blue-white and carry this sign on boards. Here is Vorovsky of 1st Division in Seattle with visit several years ago.

    So you’re right, the reduction will indeed have to be more on the order of 82.5%.

    Again, before “reducing” anything one has to have an alternative, a substitution, you don’t have it.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {..... former Caucasus republics which have a stellar record of providing a good bridge for terrorist groups.}

    Well, two of the former Caucasus republics have a stellar record supporting Islamist terrorism in Russia: Republic of Georgia and your former home of Azerbaijan.
    Republic of Armenia has a stellar record of fighting and defeating Islamist terrorist groups.

    Historical tidbit: infamous Shamil Basayev's Chechen volunteer battalion fought on the side of Azerbaijan in Shushi in 1992. Chechens fought well and were the last to leave Shushi as Armenian liberators fought their way in. Azerbaijanis and other rabble had already run away. Basayev later admitted that his battalion's battle loss at the hands of Armenian Dashnak battalion was the first for him. He also heaped scorn on Azerbaijani military for incompetence and cowardice.
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  160. Randal says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    It seems to me that you have missed the point right from your first representatation of what happened as just police enforcing the law.

    The objection is to the moral deficiency and political idiocy of the Spanish government's launching physical action likely to lead to violence when all people were doing was expressing an opinion. I am no more familiar than I guess you are with Spanish law or legal concepts. The word "illegal" doesn't explain much. But it shouldn't have been too difficult for the Spanish PM to say "the Court has spoken: this do called referendum can have no legal effect. If it goes ahead it will be null and void and we advise citizens not to take part in this charade".

    But it shouldn’t have been too difficult for the Spanish PM to say “the Court has spoken: this do called referendum can have no legal effect. If it goes ahead it will be null and void and we advise citizens not to take part in this charade”.

    This is your opinion on a question of political tactics. The Madrid government obviously took a different view from you (and likely devoted considerably more resources to the question than you or I or any of the rest of us onlookers have). Personally, I think they were probably correct and took the right course of action, for the reasons I’ve given above, which has been rewarded tonight by the separatists seemingly backing down from the promised unilateral declaration of independence.

    Regardless, it was a decision squarely within the Spanish government’s purview. Having had a court forbid the vote from proceeding, it was up to the government to decide what steps to take in preventing it, taking into consideration public order considerations as well as the strategic political question of what would give the best result for preserving the unity of Spain, which is their overriding constitutional responsibility in the matter.

    And as a matter of simple objective fact, they did nothing that is not done routinely by police forces throughout the world, and much less than many, in enforcing the rule of law.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    You are right that it (taken as a central government decision rather than a lower level police use of discretion) could have been based on a rational judgment that it was headcracking time in the cause of an ultimate objective. Thus "let all the bleeding hearts from Edinburgh to Athens wring their hands; it's time to scare the shit out of the average secessionist and make it clear it isn't a game". Someone would have raised the question whether it woudn't backfire and soldify the secessionist faction and generate support for it. "Nah, they're a lot of lily livered Chardonnay secessionists. If we're wrong and they can stand a whiff of grapeshot...., well, yeah,yeah and the pigs will fly".

    My politics has always been perverted by a constant search for the reasonable, reasoned solution. I think I might have suggeated tò the young Bonaparte when he saved the revolution that he could have used water cannon.
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  161. Randal says:
    @Beefcake the Mighty
    What law were the Spanish police enforcing? That the Spanish State is permanently inviolable? Is that a just or legitimate law?

    What law were the Spanish police enforcing?

    The constitution of Spain, and the basic rule of law.

    That the Spanish State is permanently inviolable?

    Presumably Spain has procedures for modifying the constitution, as most constitutionally governed countries do.

    In effect, it’s just taking the view that secession is not just a matter for the seceding people alone, but for the people of the rest of the state of which the seceding region is part. The contrary proposition can certainly be argued, but that position is not an unusual one. It’s the one the US, in effect, adopted for itself, after all.

    Is that a just or legitimate law?

    That’s a matter of opinion, obviously. As far as I can see it can be forcefully argued either way, and the result is likely to depend upon the particular interests and sympathies of the one judging the particular case.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS

    As far as I can see it can be forcefully argued either way, and the result is likely to depend upon the particular interests and sympathies of the one judging the particular case.
     
    Oh yes.

    And implementation of those interests (first and foremost) and then symphaties (distinctively second) depends, always, on POWER.
    Power of arms most of the time.

    Yugoslavia example is a good one I believe.

    Croatia can secede from Serb majority Yugoslavia.
    Serb minority within Croatia can not secede from that Croatia and join their brothers in remaining Yugoslavia.

    Bosnia can secede from Serb majority Yugoslavia (smaller then original after Croatia leaving).
    Serb minority in that Muslim majority entity can not secede and join their brothers in remaining Yugoslavia.

    Kosovo can secede from Serb majority (still smaller Yugoslavia after Bosnia left).
    Serbs in north of that entity can not secede from that Kosovo.

    Somebody would think that rules of International law were constantly being ....amended....just to fuck Serbs up.

    And, when the Serbs weren't buying those laws (no sane person/people/leadership would, of course) there came the real methods: arming Croatian army, arming Muslims in Bosnia, and, of course, the first "humanitarian bombing" of a sovereign state when Kosovo pulled the same trick.

    So.....its actually funny reading all this (well intentioned and resourced, but totally irrelevant IMHO) "law this/rule that".
    All that died with Clinton era.

    From then on it's simple and naked POWER.

    Now, how to get and implement that power is another matter.

    In this particular case it looks more and more that Catalan's "independence leadership" simply didn't have what it takes.
    A bit of guts.
    Saloon leftists are of that type. All grandiose talk, no action (when action requires risking their own skins that is).
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  162. peterAUS says:
    @Randal

    What law were the Spanish police enforcing?
     
    The constitution of Spain, and the basic rule of law.

    That the Spanish State is permanently inviolable?
     
    Presumably Spain has procedures for modifying the constitution, as most constitutionally governed countries do.

    In effect, it's just taking the view that secession is not just a matter for the seceding people alone, but for the people of the rest of the state of which the seceding region is part. The contrary proposition can certainly be argued, but that position is not an unusual one. It's the one the US, in effect, adopted for itself, after all.

    Is that a just or legitimate law?
     
    That's a matter of opinion, obviously. As far as I can see it can be forcefully argued either way, and the result is likely to depend upon the particular interests and sympathies of the one judging the particular case.

    As far as I can see it can be forcefully argued either way, and the result is likely to depend upon the particular interests and sympathies of the one judging the particular case.

    Oh yes.

    And implementation of those interests (first and foremost) and then symphaties (distinctively second) depends, always, on POWER.
    Power of arms most of the time.

    Yugoslavia example is a good one I believe.

    Croatia can secede from Serb majority Yugoslavia.
    Serb minority within Croatia can not secede from that Croatia and join their brothers in remaining Yugoslavia.

    Bosnia can secede from Serb majority Yugoslavia (smaller then original after Croatia leaving).
    Serb minority in that Muslim majority entity can not secede and join their brothers in remaining Yugoslavia.

    Kosovo can secede from Serb majority (still smaller Yugoslavia after Bosnia left).
    Serbs in north of that entity can not secede from that Kosovo.

    Somebody would think that rules of International law were constantly being ….amended….just to fuck Serbs up.

    And, when the Serbs weren’t buying those laws (no sane person/people/leadership would, of course) there came the real methods: arming Croatian army, arming Muslims in Bosnia, and, of course, the first “humanitarian bombing” of a sovereign state when Kosovo pulled the same trick.

    So…..its actually funny reading all this (well intentioned and resourced, but totally irrelevant IMHO) “law this/rule that”.
    All that died with Clinton era.

    From then on it’s simple and naked POWER.

    Now, how to get and implement that power is another matter.

    In this particular case it looks more and more that Catalan’s “independence leadership” simply didn’t have what it takes.
    A bit of guts.
    Saloon leftists are of that type. All grandiose talk, no action (when action requires risking their own skins that is).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    In this particular case it looks more and more that Catalan’s “independence leadership” simply didn’t have what it takes.
    A bit of guts.
    Saloon leftists are of that type. All grandiose talk, no action (when action requires risking their own skins that is).
     
    Yes, as I noted earlier it does look as though the separatists bottled it when it came to the decision point. They blinked:


    "Today I assume the mandate for Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic," says Mr Puigdemont.

    But he adds: "We're suspending the declaration of independence for a few weeks, because we want a reasonable dialogue, a mediation with the Spanish state."
     
    Clearly they are hoping the Spanish government will fall into what they see as a trap, of cracking down on them anyway for the "suspended" declaration of independence, so they can (they assume) use more overwrought squealing about "police brutality" and "fascist oppression" to motivate more supporters. Be interesting to see how Madrid deals with that one.

    But the separatists' supporters themselves seem to recognise the climb-down for what it is:

    The BBC's Maria Byrne is in Barcelona and says the mood among pro-independence supporters is downbeat:

    Surrounded by so many disappointed faces. Pro-independent people telling us this is not what they wanted. #catalunya
     
    Same as the "radicals" the Greek people elected to stand up for them, who simply took the power and the perks of office and sold their own voters down the river.

    Never trust the left on anything to do with national sovereignty. They will always sell you out.
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  163. @Randal

    But it shouldn’t have been too difficult for the Spanish PM to say “the Court has spoken: this do called referendum can have no legal effect. If it goes ahead it will be null and void and we advise citizens not to take part in this charade”.
     
    This is your opinion on a question of political tactics. The Madrid government obviously took a different view from you (and likely devoted considerably more resources to the question than you or I or any of the rest of us onlookers have). Personally, I think they were probably correct and took the right course of action, for the reasons I've given above, which has been rewarded tonight by the separatists seemingly backing down from the promised unilateral declaration of independence.

    Regardless, it was a decision squarely within the Spanish government's purview. Having had a court forbid the vote from proceeding, it was up to the government to decide what steps to take in preventing it, taking into consideration public order considerations as well as the strategic political question of what would give the best result for preserving the unity of Spain, which is their overriding constitutional responsibility in the matter.

    And as a matter of simple objective fact, they did nothing that is not done routinely by police forces throughout the world, and much less than many, in enforcing the rule of law.

    You are right that it (taken as a central government decision rather than a lower level police use of discretion) could have been based on a rational judgment that it was headcracking time in the cause of an ultimate objective. Thus “let all the bleeding hearts from Edinburgh to Athens wring their hands; it’s time to scare the shit out of the average secessionist and make it clear it isn’t a game”. Someone would have raised the question whether it woudn’t backfire and soldify the secessionist faction and generate support for it. “Nah, they’re a lot of lily livered Chardonnay secessionists. If we’re wrong and they can stand a whiff of grapeshot…., well, yeah,yeah and the pigs will fly”.

    My politics has always been perverted by a constant search for the reasonable, reasoned solution. I think I might have suggeated tò the young Bonaparte when he saved the revolution that he could have used water cannon.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    could have been based on a rational judgment that it was headcracking time in the cause of an ultimate objective
     
    I don't think it was even that. I think the description of the events as "head-cracking time" is sentimental hyperbole based on exaggerated propaganda.

    This was hinted at recently in the Guardian;

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/08/catalonia-demo-injuries-fact-checking
    "“We’ve seen a lot of fake pictures on people who have been hurt by the police, but were really pictures from different demonstrations,” said the head checker for the El Objective TV show. He produced web pictures of bleeding protesters that went viral – but they were old stuff from a miners’ strike five years ago. That woman who had all her fingers broken. She hadn’t. That six-year-old boy, paralysed by police brutality? It didn’t happen. Serious injuries on the day: just two."

    In reality most of the violence was just the low level stuff that happens when police are trying to do their job and are intentionally resisted by mobs of people, if they do not quickly back down. Especially when, as appears to be the case here, the national police were left high and dry by the local Catalan police who declined to do their job (for understandable reasons, perhaps, but nevertheless), thereby leaving the national police exposed and understaffed for the job. People being what they are (and police being human beings), that will occasionally result in unintended serious injuries when dealing with large numbers.

    Two serious injuries is far below what you'd expect if police were actually going in hard on crowds of that size.
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  164. Randal says:
    @peterAUS

    As far as I can see it can be forcefully argued either way, and the result is likely to depend upon the particular interests and sympathies of the one judging the particular case.
     
    Oh yes.

    And implementation of those interests (first and foremost) and then symphaties (distinctively second) depends, always, on POWER.
    Power of arms most of the time.

    Yugoslavia example is a good one I believe.

    Croatia can secede from Serb majority Yugoslavia.
    Serb minority within Croatia can not secede from that Croatia and join their brothers in remaining Yugoslavia.

    Bosnia can secede from Serb majority Yugoslavia (smaller then original after Croatia leaving).
    Serb minority in that Muslim majority entity can not secede and join their brothers in remaining Yugoslavia.

    Kosovo can secede from Serb majority (still smaller Yugoslavia after Bosnia left).
    Serbs in north of that entity can not secede from that Kosovo.

    Somebody would think that rules of International law were constantly being ....amended....just to fuck Serbs up.

    And, when the Serbs weren't buying those laws (no sane person/people/leadership would, of course) there came the real methods: arming Croatian army, arming Muslims in Bosnia, and, of course, the first "humanitarian bombing" of a sovereign state when Kosovo pulled the same trick.

    So.....its actually funny reading all this (well intentioned and resourced, but totally irrelevant IMHO) "law this/rule that".
    All that died with Clinton era.

    From then on it's simple and naked POWER.

    Now, how to get and implement that power is another matter.

    In this particular case it looks more and more that Catalan's "independence leadership" simply didn't have what it takes.
    A bit of guts.
    Saloon leftists are of that type. All grandiose talk, no action (when action requires risking their own skins that is).

    In this particular case it looks more and more that Catalan’s “independence leadership” simply didn’t have what it takes.
    A bit of guts.
    Saloon leftists are of that type. All grandiose talk, no action (when action requires risking their own skins that is).

    Yes, as I noted earlier it does look as though the separatists bottled it when it came to the decision point. They blinked:

    “Today I assume the mandate for Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic,” says Mr Puigdemont.

    But he adds: “We’re suspending the declaration of independence for a few weeks, because we want a reasonable dialogue, a mediation with the Spanish state.”

    Clearly they are hoping the Spanish government will fall into what they see as a trap, of cracking down on them anyway for the “suspended” declaration of independence, so they can (they assume) use more overwrought squealing about “police brutality” and “fascist oppression” to motivate more supporters. Be interesting to see how Madrid deals with that one.

    But the separatists’ supporters themselves seem to recognise the climb-down for what it is:

    The BBC’s Maria Byrne is in Barcelona and says the mood among pro-independence supporters is downbeat:

    Surrounded by so many disappointed faces. Pro-independent people telling us this is not what they wanted. #catalunya

    Same as the “radicals” the Greek people elected to stand up for them, who simply took the power and the perks of office and sold their own voters down the river.

    Never trust the left on anything to do with national sovereignty. They will always sell you out.

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  165. peterAUS says:

    Well….still…..
    Based on:

    “Today I assume the mandate for Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic,” says Mr Puigdemont.

    But he adds: “We’re suspending the declaration of independence for a few weeks, because we want a reasonable dialogue, a mediation with the Spanish state.”

    It can, still, go both ways.

    1. They blinked and simply trying to save face. Game over essentially.

    2. They are using those “few weeks” to get organized.
    There are ways to do it. Proven methods to do it right if one really wants to pull it of.
    Again, requires just two things:GUTS and a bit of brains.

    Looking at them, I’d go for 1. One way to find out.

    If this is actually true:

    The BBC’s Maria Byrne is in Barcelona and says the mood among pro-independence supporters is downbeat:

    Surrounded by so many disappointed faces. Pro-independent people telling us this is not what they wanted. #catalunya

    my only comment is: hahahahaha……

    As for

    Never trust the left on anything to do with national sovereignty. They will always sell you out.

    Well, not always…not at all:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten-Day_War

    But, then, Slovenes have always been more Germanic then Slavic.
    Spaniard… types, on the other hand……we do remember Falklands don’t we?

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  166. Randal says:
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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Agree.
    Good point with DEMOS.

    When you look at critical leadership during that brief conflict only the top guy was actually old school "leftist".
    The rest, 3 of them, were not leftist at all.
    Especially the guys in charge of Slovenian "armed wing" of independence movement.
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  167. Randal says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    You are right that it (taken as a central government decision rather than a lower level police use of discretion) could have been based on a rational judgment that it was headcracking time in the cause of an ultimate objective. Thus "let all the bleeding hearts from Edinburgh to Athens wring their hands; it's time to scare the shit out of the average secessionist and make it clear it isn't a game". Someone would have raised the question whether it woudn't backfire and soldify the secessionist faction and generate support for it. "Nah, they're a lot of lily livered Chardonnay secessionists. If we're wrong and they can stand a whiff of grapeshot...., well, yeah,yeah and the pigs will fly".

    My politics has always been perverted by a constant search for the reasonable, reasoned solution. I think I might have suggeated tò the young Bonaparte when he saved the revolution that he could have used water cannon.

    could have been based on a rational judgment that it was headcracking time in the cause of an ultimate objective

    I don’t think it was even that. I think the description of the events as “head-cracking time” is sentimental hyperbole based on exaggerated propaganda.

    This was hinted at recently in the Guardian;

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/08/catalonia-demo-injuries-fact-checking

    “We’ve seen a lot of fake pictures on people who have been hurt by the police, but were really pictures from different demonstrations,” said the head checker for the El Objective TV show. He produced web pictures of bleeding protesters that went viral – but they were old stuff from a miners’ strike five years ago. That woman who had all her fingers broken. She hadn’t. That six-year-old boy, paralysed by police brutality? It didn’t happen. Serious injuries on the day: just two.

    In reality most of the violence was just the low level stuff that happens when police are trying to do their job and are intentionally resisted by mobs of people, if they do not quickly back down. Especially when, as appears to be the case here, the national police were left high and dry by the local Catalan police who declined to do their job (for understandable reasons, perhaps, but nevertheless), thereby leaving the national police exposed and understaffed for the job. People being what they are (and police being human beings), that will occasionally result in unintended serious injuries when dealing with large numbers.

    Two serious injuries is far below what you’d expect if police were actually going in hard on crowds of that size.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Interesting. Then it seems the Spanish government didn't take a controlled rational judgment driven decision to do what it took to show resolution but stumbled unimaginatively into a politically risky situation almost bound to be misrepresented in lots of media and receptive minds. So if it does work out favourably for tbe central government rather than the reverse it will be luck. I am still therefore somewhat inclined to the view that the course of heavily publicising that npthing would be achieved was the better courae. Backed up by anticipating a premature and illegal declaration of independence with the statement of what would follow from that which could be made to sounf very threatening.
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  168. peterAUS says:
    @Randal

    Agree.
    Good point with DEMOS.

    When you look at critical leadership during that brief conflict only the top guy was actually old school “leftist”.
    The rest, 3 of them, were not leftist at all.
    Especially the guys in charge of Slovenian “armed wing” of independence movement.

    Read More
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  169. Avery says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Wikipedia says US Border Patrol has 21,000 people.
     
    Anatoly, as I stated, if you want to continue to use Wikipedia and the number of US border guards as a foundation for, say, calculation of the discreteness of the flights of UAVs, or how and where and what force is used for control, how KSP and surveillance is organized, among many other things--sure. I already stated not for once we live in the Warholian world where everybody gets their 15 minutes of fame. We also can see results of militant incompetency all around us, although for you, a product of US "education" it might not be that obvious. I omit here a sheer ignorance on comparing US "border guards" who are nothing more than a police force with military force in Russia which is tasked with guarding such places as the border between Russia and Middle Asia, or, for that matter former Caucasus republics which have a stellar record of providing a good bridge for terrorist groups.

    I can’t even easily find the number of people in the Russian Border Guards (hurray for transparency) but the one estimate I found via one of Richard Sakwa’s books is 160,000-200,000.
     
    Yes, you also have to account for the Maritime Units of the Border Guards of FSB RF which include several separate brigades and one division of the ships which are tasked with the defense of the Russia's maritime border and exclusive Economic Zone as well as are, under war conditions, an integral part of Russian Navy tasked with patrol, ASW and escort functions. If you didn't know the US with which you are trying to compare (wrongly) with Russia (look at the map, for starters) has the United States Coast Guard force which has at its disposal around 238 cutters of different sizes, from small boats to a national security cutters of Bertholf-class, own air command and has more than 70 000 active duty and auxiliaries serving in it. Here is how it looks like:

    https://www.uscg.mil/Units/Organization/

    You may also know that Hamilton-class cutters of USCG were not only tasked during Gulf Wars with patrolling Persian Gulf but also carried a Harpoon 2x4 package installed on them to have a full SuWa capability. So much for "Border Patrol", right? So, do you want to continue this discussion in depth? FYI, today what used to be MCh PV KGB USSR are called, and you may have guessed it, a Coast Guard--all ships are re-painted blue-white and carry this sign on boards. Here is Vorovsky of 1st Division in Seattle with visit several years ago.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Russian_Border_Guard_vessel_Vorovskiy_in_Seattle_%28cropped%29.jpg

    So you’re right, the reduction will indeed have to be more on the order of 82.5%.
     
    Again, before "reducing" anything one has to have an alternative, a substitution, you don't have it.

    {….. former Caucasus republics which have a stellar record of providing a good bridge for terrorist groups.}

    Well, two of the former Caucasus republics have a stellar record supporting Islamist terrorism in Russia: Republic of Georgia and your former home of Azerbaijan.
    Republic of Armenia has a stellar record of fighting and defeating Islamist terrorist groups.

    Historical tidbit: infamous Shamil Basayev’s Chechen volunteer battalion fought on the side of Azerbaijan in Shushi in 1992. Chechens fought well and were the last to leave Shushi as Armenian liberators fought their way in. Azerbaijanis and other rabble had already run away. Basayev later admitted that his battalion’s battle loss at the hands of Armenian Dashnak battalion was the first for him. He also heaped scorn on Azerbaijani military for incompetence and cowardice.

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  170. @Randal

    could have been based on a rational judgment that it was headcracking time in the cause of an ultimate objective
     
    I don't think it was even that. I think the description of the events as "head-cracking time" is sentimental hyperbole based on exaggerated propaganda.

    This was hinted at recently in the Guardian;

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/08/catalonia-demo-injuries-fact-checking
    "“We’ve seen a lot of fake pictures on people who have been hurt by the police, but were really pictures from different demonstrations,” said the head checker for the El Objective TV show. He produced web pictures of bleeding protesters that went viral – but they were old stuff from a miners’ strike five years ago. That woman who had all her fingers broken. She hadn’t. That six-year-old boy, paralysed by police brutality? It didn’t happen. Serious injuries on the day: just two."

    In reality most of the violence was just the low level stuff that happens when police are trying to do their job and are intentionally resisted by mobs of people, if they do not quickly back down. Especially when, as appears to be the case here, the national police were left high and dry by the local Catalan police who declined to do their job (for understandable reasons, perhaps, but nevertheless), thereby leaving the national police exposed and understaffed for the job. People being what they are (and police being human beings), that will occasionally result in unintended serious injuries when dealing with large numbers.

    Two serious injuries is far below what you'd expect if police were actually going in hard on crowds of that size.

    Interesting. Then it seems the Spanish government didn’t take a controlled rational judgment driven decision to do what it took to show resolution but stumbled unimaginatively into a politically risky situation almost bound to be misrepresented in lots of media and receptive minds. So if it does work out favourably for tbe central government rather than the reverse it will be luck. I am still therefore somewhat inclined to the view that the course of heavily publicising that npthing would be achieved was the better courae. Backed up by anticipating a premature and illegal declaration of independence with the statement of what would follow from that which could be made to sounf very threatening.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Then it seems the Spanish government didn’t take a controlled rational judgment driven decision to do what it took to show resolution but stumbled unimaginatively into a politically risky situation almost bound to be misrepresented in lots of media and receptive minds. So if it does work out favourably for tbe central government rather than the reverse it will be luck.
     
    This looks like a rather wilfully tendentious interpretation, if not an outright non sequitur.

    I am still therefore somewhat inclined to the view that the course of heavily publicising that npthing would be achieved was the better courae. Backed up by anticipating a premature and illegal declaration of independence with the statement of what would follow from that which could be made to sounf very threatening.
     
    That's your opinion. It wasn't the opinion of the Spanish government, clearly, and it isn't mine fwiw.

    If the government had stopped short of enforcing the law it would merely have looked powerless and fearful in the face of separatist action, no matter how much blustering verbal threats it had issued. The most likely result would be that the referendum would have gone ahead with a turnout higher than 50% and still with a substantial majority in favour of independence, since as on previous occasions most people supporting independence would tend to be motivated to turn out, whereas opponents would not. (Trying to encourage opponents to turn out whilst still maintaining that the vote was illegal would have placed campaigners against independence in an impossible situation, and if the government wanted to have a Scottish-style in/out referendum they'd have organised it themselves in the first place, for greater control and reliability).

    The separatists would have gone into the weekend on a high and with political momentum on their side, having promised that they would declare independence within 48 hours of a supportive result and declaring that the referendum result gave them a mandate to do so. Government threats, however bloodcurdling, would have been dismissed as ineffectual bluffing.

    Instead the outcome of the referendum was a stiff shock that made the government's position clear, kept the turnout based upon counted votes below 50%, and left the separatists looking shocked and reactive instead of dynamic and in control. And the consequence was that they bottled a decision that the had surely counted previously upon implementing.

    Imo, that suggests the tactically correct decision was made (from the Spanish government's point of view), even if some of the visuals were able to be spun more effectively than expected by the separatists because we in the modern US sphere live in an even more sentimental and infantilised society than even I thought we did.

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  171. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @polskijoe
    Interesting post.

    Freemasonry has always been hostile to the Church, but
    it was the Freemasons inside Catholic countries most guilty of it.
    Im sure you know how many revolutions and assassinations they took part in.

    I dont know how much influence the Freemasonry has over the Church since Vatican II
    (there are several theories out there).

    Grand Orient/Latin Freemasonry, was aggressive in:
    France, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, etc.

    Possibly in Spain and Portugal (there were time periods where they were silencing all CC).

    Late, still, are you Polish?

    What do you think about the rosary prayed on the borders this past Saturday?

    Read More
    • Replies: @polskijoe
    Polish ancestry. Rosary stuff: Well Poles are one of the most serious Catholics when it comes to faith in the world. I wonder what the Jesuit Pope thought of it since he wants some immigrants.

    You see there is a mini conflict inside the church between factions. I guess something related to VCII.
    The Pope dismissed the Knights of Malta leader (or was it resignation forget).

    I think there is mostly conservatives, some liberals and tiny amount of trads in the clergy.

    Is accepting refugees the Catholic thing to do? Im not sure.

    For 1000 years Europe defended itself against Islam, and now they want to let them in.
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  172. polskijoe says:
    @Anon
    Late, still, are you Polish?

    What do you think about the rosary prayed on the borders this past Saturday?

    Polish ancestry. Rosary stuff: Well Poles are one of the most serious Catholics when it comes to faith in the world. I wonder what the Jesuit Pope thought of it since he wants some immigrants.

    You see there is a mini conflict inside the church between factions. I guess something related to VCII.
    The Pope dismissed the Knights of Malta leader (or was it resignation forget).

    I think there is mostly conservatives, some liberals and tiny amount of trads in the clergy.

    Is accepting refugees the Catholic thing to do? Im not sure.

    For 1000 years Europe defended itself against Islam, and now they want to let them in.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Thank you. I agree Muslims should be kept at bay.

    Whether it is catholic is a good question. I think there is manipulation of language and of sentiment with a specific political aim. Do current labels (refugees) conform to actual reality? Mislabeling an enemy/infiltrator as immigrant/guest is a serious mistake that injures both the common good and individual citizens. And let's not forget prudence is the first of the virtues.

    Here's the immediately relevant passages of the Catechism:

    "The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

    Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

    2242 The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."48 "We must obey God rather than men":49

    When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel.50"

    I think most Western people today are oppressed by deracinated, corrupt authorities.

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  173. Randal says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Interesting. Then it seems the Spanish government didn't take a controlled rational judgment driven decision to do what it took to show resolution but stumbled unimaginatively into a politically risky situation almost bound to be misrepresented in lots of media and receptive minds. So if it does work out favourably for tbe central government rather than the reverse it will be luck. I am still therefore somewhat inclined to the view that the course of heavily publicising that npthing would be achieved was the better courae. Backed up by anticipating a premature and illegal declaration of independence with the statement of what would follow from that which could be made to sounf very threatening.

    Then it seems the Spanish government didn’t take a controlled rational judgment driven decision to do what it took to show resolution but stumbled unimaginatively into a politically risky situation almost bound to be misrepresented in lots of media and receptive minds. So if it does work out favourably for tbe central government rather than the reverse it will be luck.

    This looks like a rather wilfully tendentious interpretation, if not an outright non sequitur.

    I am still therefore somewhat inclined to the view that the course of heavily publicising that npthing would be achieved was the better courae. Backed up by anticipating a premature and illegal declaration of independence with the statement of what would follow from that which could be made to sounf very threatening.

    That’s your opinion. It wasn’t the opinion of the Spanish government, clearly, and it isn’t mine fwiw.

    If the government had stopped short of enforcing the law it would merely have looked powerless and fearful in the face of separatist action, no matter how much blustering verbal threats it had issued. The most likely result would be that the referendum would have gone ahead with a turnout higher than 50% and still with a substantial majority in favour of independence, since as on previous occasions most people supporting independence would tend to be motivated to turn out, whereas opponents would not. (Trying to encourage opponents to turn out whilst still maintaining that the vote was illegal would have placed campaigners against independence in an impossible situation, and if the government wanted to have a Scottish-style in/out referendum they’d have organised it themselves in the first place, for greater control and reliability).

    The separatists would have gone into the weekend on a high and with political momentum on their side, having promised that they would declare independence within 48 hours of a supportive result and declaring that the referendum result gave them a mandate to do so. Government threats, however bloodcurdling, would have been dismissed as ineffectual bluffing.

    Instead the outcome of the referendum was a stiff shock that made the government’s position clear, kept the turnout based upon counted votes below 50%, and left the separatists looking shocked and reactive instead of dynamic and in control. And the consequence was that they bottled a decision that the had surely counted previously upon implementing.

    Imo, that suggests the tactically correct decision was made (from the Spanish government’s point of view), even if some of the visuals were able to be spun more effectively than expected by the separatists because we in the modern US sphere live in an even more sentimental and infantilised society than even I thought we did.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    You make a good case. A pleasure to read such extended coherence on these threads.
    , @Miro23

    If the government had stopped short of enforcing the law it would merely have looked powerless and fearful in the face of separatist action, no matter how much blustering verbal threats it had issued.
     
    That's about it.

    The Independistas have for years threatened and received from central government (Madrid backing down) - and they were clearly expecting more of the same.

    What they weren't expecting was Civil Guards smashing down doors (i.e that some rules are enforced), and the fast and large scale corporate exits from Catalonia - so now they're wandering around lost and confused.
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  174. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    US COALITION OUT OF SYRIA NOW!!!

    Syria is a sovereign country. The duly-elected Syrian government in Damascus has the right and duty under international law to defend its people and borders against foreign invasion and occupation. Furthermore, Syria is within its right to invite its allies to volunteer military forces in the defence of the Syrian nation. On the other hand, the US has committed an act of war against Syria and is creating the very dangerous possibility of direct conflict between the superpowers, the USA and Russia.

    It is illegal for the US to be in Syria. The US has no more right to be in Syria without Syrian permission than Syria has to be in the US without US permission. This is a principle to which the US has agreed by treaty, namely by signing the UN Charter. It is therefore violating its own law as well as international law.

    It is illegal and immoral to commit atrocities or to support those who do. The US has been supporting terrorist organizations who have committed many war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, and the current leader of the “Deir Ez-Zor Military Council”, set up by US Special Forces, is Ahmad Abu Khawla, a former ISIS fighter. This is only one of the more recent and blatant examples of US use and support of terrorist mercenaries in Syria.

    The US and its allies have spent billions of dollars for “regime change” in Syria. We are pleased that they failed, because the proposed cure of permanent chaos, bloodshed, and genocide has been much worse than the disease. However, the monsters in the US government who cooked up this hair-brained scheme, during both the Bush and Obama regimes, have acted on behalf of the oligarchs who run the military-industrial complex and haven’t a care about the millions of American citizens who sacrifice health, education, and opportunity in order to finance this folly.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-coalition-out-of-syria-now-syria-solidarity-movement-statement/5612719

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  175. @Virgile
    Once Erdogan is kicked out, hopefully in 2019, Turkey will stop following neo-ottoman foreign policy and will deal better with the ethnic Kurds. Erdogan has been the curse of the region, it is high time that he and his corrupted friends leave power. Anyone would be better for Turkey!

    I wonder whether Turkey and Iraq would agree to let the Kurds have an independent country on land currently in those countries, IF

    (1) Iraq kept a majority of the oil fields up north AND permanent royalty rights to all the fields the Kurds get, and

    (2) Kurds in turkey were required to leave Turkey permanently.

    Maybe also encourage and financially incentivize Kurds in Iran and Iraq to resettle in Kurdistan, if that would help secure support or st least non-opposition to the plan.

    Probably not. Just a thought about how very, very much would have to be offered for turkey or Iraq to even consider countenancing the loss of some of their territory.

    Turkey, no way, unless the battle of the bassinets leads Kurds to constitute an appreciably larger percentage of the Turkish pop than they do now and have more leverage.

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  176. @Randal

    Then it seems the Spanish government didn’t take a controlled rational judgment driven decision to do what it took to show resolution but stumbled unimaginatively into a politically risky situation almost bound to be misrepresented in lots of media and receptive minds. So if it does work out favourably for tbe central government rather than the reverse it will be luck.
     
    This looks like a rather wilfully tendentious interpretation, if not an outright non sequitur.

    I am still therefore somewhat inclined to the view that the course of heavily publicising that npthing would be achieved was the better courae. Backed up by anticipating a premature and illegal declaration of independence with the statement of what would follow from that which could be made to sounf very threatening.
     
    That's your opinion. It wasn't the opinion of the Spanish government, clearly, and it isn't mine fwiw.

    If the government had stopped short of enforcing the law it would merely have looked powerless and fearful in the face of separatist action, no matter how much blustering verbal threats it had issued. The most likely result would be that the referendum would have gone ahead with a turnout higher than 50% and still with a substantial majority in favour of independence, since as on previous occasions most people supporting independence would tend to be motivated to turn out, whereas opponents would not. (Trying to encourage opponents to turn out whilst still maintaining that the vote was illegal would have placed campaigners against independence in an impossible situation, and if the government wanted to have a Scottish-style in/out referendum they'd have organised it themselves in the first place, for greater control and reliability).

    The separatists would have gone into the weekend on a high and with political momentum on their side, having promised that they would declare independence within 48 hours of a supportive result and declaring that the referendum result gave them a mandate to do so. Government threats, however bloodcurdling, would have been dismissed as ineffectual bluffing.

    Instead the outcome of the referendum was a stiff shock that made the government's position clear, kept the turnout based upon counted votes below 50%, and left the separatists looking shocked and reactive instead of dynamic and in control. And the consequence was that they bottled a decision that the had surely counted previously upon implementing.

    Imo, that suggests the tactically correct decision was made (from the Spanish government's point of view), even if some of the visuals were able to be spun more effectively than expected by the separatists because we in the modern US sphere live in an even more sentimental and infantilised society than even I thought we did.

    You make a good case. A pleasure to read such extended coherence on these threads.

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  177. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @polskijoe
    Polish ancestry. Rosary stuff: Well Poles are one of the most serious Catholics when it comes to faith in the world. I wonder what the Jesuit Pope thought of it since he wants some immigrants.

    You see there is a mini conflict inside the church between factions. I guess something related to VCII.
    The Pope dismissed the Knights of Malta leader (or was it resignation forget).

    I think there is mostly conservatives, some liberals and tiny amount of trads in the clergy.

    Is accepting refugees the Catholic thing to do? Im not sure.

    For 1000 years Europe defended itself against Islam, and now they want to let them in.

    Thank you. I agree Muslims should be kept at bay.

    Whether it is catholic is a good question. I think there is manipulation of language and of sentiment with a specific political aim. Do current labels (refugees) conform to actual reality? Mislabeling an enemy/infiltrator as immigrant/guest is a serious mistake that injures both the common good and individual citizens. And let’s not forget prudence is the first of the virtues.

    Here’s the immediately relevant passages of the Catechism:

    “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

    Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

    2242 The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”48 “We must obey God rather than men”:49

    When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel.50″

    I think most Western people today are oppressed by deracinated, corrupt authorities.

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  178. Miro23 says:
    @Randal

    Then it seems the Spanish government didn’t take a controlled rational judgment driven decision to do what it took to show resolution but stumbled unimaginatively into a politically risky situation almost bound to be misrepresented in lots of media and receptive minds. So if it does work out favourably for tbe central government rather than the reverse it will be luck.
     
    This looks like a rather wilfully tendentious interpretation, if not an outright non sequitur.

    I am still therefore somewhat inclined to the view that the course of heavily publicising that npthing would be achieved was the better courae. Backed up by anticipating a premature and illegal declaration of independence with the statement of what would follow from that which could be made to sounf very threatening.
     
    That's your opinion. It wasn't the opinion of the Spanish government, clearly, and it isn't mine fwiw.

    If the government had stopped short of enforcing the law it would merely have looked powerless and fearful in the face of separatist action, no matter how much blustering verbal threats it had issued. The most likely result would be that the referendum would have gone ahead with a turnout higher than 50% and still with a substantial majority in favour of independence, since as on previous occasions most people supporting independence would tend to be motivated to turn out, whereas opponents would not. (Trying to encourage opponents to turn out whilst still maintaining that the vote was illegal would have placed campaigners against independence in an impossible situation, and if the government wanted to have a Scottish-style in/out referendum they'd have organised it themselves in the first place, for greater control and reliability).

    The separatists would have gone into the weekend on a high and with political momentum on their side, having promised that they would declare independence within 48 hours of a supportive result and declaring that the referendum result gave them a mandate to do so. Government threats, however bloodcurdling, would have been dismissed as ineffectual bluffing.

    Instead the outcome of the referendum was a stiff shock that made the government's position clear, kept the turnout based upon counted votes below 50%, and left the separatists looking shocked and reactive instead of dynamic and in control. And the consequence was that they bottled a decision that the had surely counted previously upon implementing.

    Imo, that suggests the tactically correct decision was made (from the Spanish government's point of view), even if some of the visuals were able to be spun more effectively than expected by the separatists because we in the modern US sphere live in an even more sentimental and infantilised society than even I thought we did.

    If the government had stopped short of enforcing the law it would merely have looked powerless and fearful in the face of separatist action, no matter how much blustering verbal threats it had issued.

    That’s about it.

    The Independistas have for years threatened and received from central government (Madrid backing down) – and they were clearly expecting more of the same.

    What they weren’t expecting was Civil Guards smashing down doors (i.e that some rules are enforced), and the fast and large scale corporate exits from Catalonia – so now they’re wandering around lost and confused.

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  179. FB says:
    @Priss Factor
    ‘…In total, the United States military lost in Vietnam almost 10,000 aircraft, helicopters and 578 UAVs…’ and…’South Vietnam’s army lost 2,500 aircraft and helicopters…’ and…’North Vietnam lost 150 – 200 aircraft and helicopters…’ Lopsided much…?

    Ridiculous comparison. North Vietnam had almost NO AIR POWER. Whoever heard of North Vietnamese Air Cavalry? Viet Cong and North Vietnam hid in the jungle and relied on anti-aircraft guns from USSR

    For every aircraft the commies had, US had 1,ooo.

    Oh and let’s not forget the US fleeing their embassy in Saigon by rooftop helicopter…

    But that was in 1975. US military had left in 73. It was just a rescue operation.

    ‘…The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any American military unit in history…The Chinese offensive continued pressing American forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital.

    This was not due to Chinese military superiority but (1) US arrogance and (2) ambush factor.

    MacArthur was so sure of victory that he just sent US troop up north faster and faster and disregarded reports that Chinese troops might be pouring in and hiding behind bush and hills.

    But once US regrouped and pushed back, Chinese couldn't make any more gains despite so many men thrown at the US by Mao.

    As for Afghanistan…US still hasn’t won anything in 16 years…

    Like I said, military is a destructive force. US military has done a good job in smashing enemies in Afghanistan. Problem is US finds it impossible to cobble together a real nation in Afghanistan given the diversity, tribalism, and corruption of people there. Also, US interests in Afghanistan are not determined by military men but by neocons and industrialists who think in terms of poppies, minerals, pipelines, and geo-politics. Military can win battles but cannot build a nation.

    Afghanistan is turning out like Manchuria during the 30s and 40s and Ukraine now. A no man's land that belongs to nation but is manipulated by all its neighbors.
    And Afghan leaders are like Puyi.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqhsnyGK0Bs

    ‘Priss Factor’ said…

    ‘…For every aircraft the commies had, US had 1,ooo…’

    Why do I get the feeling I’m talking to someone who is still in junior high…?

    According to wikipedia…’North Vietnam lost 150 – 200 aircraft and helicopters…’

    Even if they lost every single aircraft they had, that would mean the US fielded between 150 thousand and 200 thousand aircraft…which would be more jets than have been produced in the entire world up to this point, including civil jets…

    ‘…Yeah… but Viets lost 2 to 3 million people…If you fight someone and he knocked out all your teeth while you knocked out one of his, who got it worse?…’

    I see, so now we are actually back in grade school…?

    The fact that the US murdered 3 million civilians in Vietnam does not a victory make…

    Ever since the first battle in history, victory has been defined very simply…the army that stays on the battlefield is the winner…the army that runs away is the loser…

    By your definition the Nazis won WW2 because they murdered 20 million Russian civilians…

    Forget the fact that Russians captured Berlin, and the Germans fled even their own [Russian occupied] country to surrender to the US on the Western front…

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  180. “Russia has nothing to gain by supporting what is clearly a US-Israeli project aimed at destabilizing the entire region.”

    I cannot believe that the Saker (or whoever) wrote that. How about this?: The project to create a viable state for the world’s largest stateless minority is a 100-percent Kurdish project. The Kurds have been fighting for their independence for over 100 years. (Yes, the division within the Kurds is suicidal, but the passion for independence is the same as that of any minority or majority yearning for freedom.)

    Politics is the art of the expedient (odious, though, it is to me). If the Kurds find that the only country, and a very powerful at that, is willing to help them, then, I say, why not? Why shouldn’t the Kurds refuse Israeli help just because the Saker and almost everybody else these days hates Israel for good or bad reasons?

    By the way didn’t the Russians once help establish an independent Kurdish republic? Yes, helping the Kurds now is politically difficult for the Kremlin, but the least the Russians should do is remain silent on the issue.

    I think that the Kurds have every right to do whatever is politically expedient to create an independent state carved out of not only Iraq, but also Iran, Syria, and particularly Turkey. Yes, this means war and carnage. Well, what’s the alternative? Slavery for another 100 years?

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