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The End for Erdogan and AKP - Financial Fraud and Money Laundering

December 31st, 2013

Michael Collins

Hurriyet Daily News columnist Mustafa Sonmez broke a story that should define the outcome of the Turkish crisis. If he's accurate about the Erdogan government's scheming, the crisis in Turkey is over. It is just a matter of time for the full scope of the fraud and corruption to come to public attention. There is no reason to doubt his story since much of it is public record.

Under Erdogan's AKP government, Turkey has engaged in financial manipulation on a grand scale. The manipulation involves overstating national income and understating the nation's current account deficit. The country could soon lose its current terms for access to the international financial system and credibility with those who regulate that system.

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2014 Predictions

December 31st, 2013

by Stephen Lendman

Some are best guesses. Others are easier to make. For billions worldwide, 2013 was grim. Expect 2014 to be no better. For many it'll be worse.

Conflicts without end continue. Waging them threaten humanity. War profiteers never had it better.

Washington bears most responsibility. One nation after another is ravaged, destroyed and plundered.

It's the American way. Advancing its imperium matters most. So does benefitting the nation's privileged class.

War criminals and crooks run things. The criminal class in Washington is bipartisan. They're waging war on humanity.

They're ravaging the world for unchallenged dominance. Millions of lost lives don't matter. It's a small price to pay, they claim. So is unspeakable human misery.

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Planned Israeli Jordan Valley Annexation?

December 31st, 2013

by Stephen Lendman

In May 2011, Netanyahu addressed Congress. He was warmly welcomed. London's Guardian called it a "love-in." He received 29 standing ovations.

Jerusalem must remain Israel's exclusive capital, he said. Loud cheers followed him saying:

"Israel has no better friend than America, and America has no better friend than Israel. We stand together to defend democracy. We stand together to advance peace. We stand together to fight terrorism."

"Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967," he stressed.

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Is Anything Left? Privacy Rights

December 31st, 2013



The answer to this question is being pondered across America in light to the two seeming mutually contradictory US Federal Court decisions handed down this month from Courts in Washington DC and New York.

The legal issue of what rights are left to American citizens that can prevent governmental intrusions into their privacy and also governmental invasions using heavy handed searches and seizures following the launching of the Bush administrations ‘war of terrorism’ has gained new impetus following disclosures by former National Security Agency analyst turned whistle blower, Edward Snowden. Without Snowden’s patriotic leaks, no legal challenge could have been brought to the NSA practices.

Now that two US Federal District Courts, with identical powers under the US Constitution have seemingly reached opposite results on the same legal issue involving the right of the NSA to conduct ‘metadata’ searches and store the information of scores of millions of unknowing Americans the issue is likely going to have to be decided by the US Supreme Court. As predicted, appeals were immediately filed from the Trial Courts decision in both cases.

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Iran Nuclear Talks Resume in Geneva

December 31st, 2013

by Stephen Lendman

On December 30, Iran and P5+1 nations resumed negotiations. It's the third round since early November. Focus is on implementing Geneva agreed on terms.

Iran's Foreign Ministry political and international affairs director general, Hamid Baeidinejad, heads Tehran's delegation. It includes nuclear, banking, oil and transportation sector representatives.

EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton's aid, Stephen Clement, heads the P5+1 delegation.

On December 12, Obama breached Geneva. He unilaterally imposed new sanctions. He ordered the Treasury and State Department to implement them.

He circumvented Congress. He did so by executive order. He targeted Iranian, Asian and European companies, as well as individuals connected to them.

He violated the letter and spirit of Geneva. He claimed otherwise. At issue is whether he really wants a permanent agreement once the interim one expires in six months.

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US Universities of Shame

December 31st, 2013

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed the American Studies Association (ASA). It's the nation's oldest and largest organization involved in the interdisciplinary study of US culture and history.

Members include academics, researchers, librarians, and public officials and administrators.

Academic ones represent many disciplines. They include history, literature, religion, art, architecture, philosophy, music, science, ethnic studies, anthropology, sociology, political science, education, and gender studies among others.

On December 16, ACA members voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions. They did so justifiably. They did so overwhelmingly.

Their December 4 resolution supported social justice. It opposed "all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, discrimination, and xenophobia..."

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Palestinian Political Prisoners

December 31st, 2013

by Stephen Lendman

Palestine imprisons no Israelis for any reason - zero. Thousands of Palestinians wrongfully languish in Israel's gulag.

They're tortured and abused. They're intimidated, humiliated and degraded. They're held under appalling conditions.

They're poorly fed and clothed. They're denied proper medical treatment when ill. They're mostly political prisoners. They're punished for being Muslims.

Since Israel's occupation began, over 800,000 Palestinians were incarcerated. It's about 20% of Palestine's population. It's around 40% of its male population. Doing so is unprecedented anywhere.

Nearly all Palestinian prisoners are held inside Israel. Incarcerating them outside Palestine violates Fourth Geneva's Article 49. It states:

"...forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons (including prisoners) from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive."

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Christmas versus Xmas: A Political Reading

December 30th, 2013

James Petras


The transformation of Christmas from a story about a migrant working-class family fleeing state persecution, in the search for a safe haven and receiving support and solidarity to the biggest capitalist commercial bonanza of the year – has far-reaching political consequences.

Taking Christ out of Christmas

The fundamental ‘change’, engineered by the capitalist class in pursuit of profits, was to take the ‘Christ Story’ out of Christmas and to convert the weeks before and after into a consumer orgy. Aided and abetted by “secularist allies”, the capitalist class succeeded in eliminating any reference to the Christmas story, including the nativity scene and carols commemorating it, from public spaces. The significant social message, embedded in the Christmas story, is diluted by well-meaning cultural diversity-promoters, who demand ‘equal time for ‘Hanukah’ (a Jewish narrative celebrating war, conquest and the slaughter of ‘apostate-assimilated-Hellenized’ Jews by traditionalists-fundamentalists - an event not even mentioned in the Hebrew Bible) and “Kwanzaa” (a holiday invented in the 1960’s by a cultural black nationalist preaching “self-help”). In place of the Christmas story, we have been given anachronistic ‘Nordic tales of tree worship’ and ‘gift giving’ by an obese bearded sweat-shop owner employing stunted slave workers *(‘Hi Ho, Hi Ho! It’s off to work we go; we work all day, we get no pay! Hi Ho, Hi Ho!’). This has become the dominant mythology driving the consumerist – profiteering of the global commercial – capitalist production chain.

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Egypt's Pinochet

December 30th, 2013

by Stephen Lendman

Junta power runs Egypt. It reflects the worst of fascism writ large. General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi rules as strongman. He heads the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

He's Washington's man in Cairo. Since August 2012, he's been top military commander.

He's Defense and Military Production Minister. He's a 1977 Egyptian Military Academy graduate. He got US training. He's a US War College graduate.

He maintains close Pentagon ties. Washington manipulated Mubarak's ouster. It was complicit in toppling Mohamed Morsi.

It deplores democracy. It opposes it at home and abroad. It's governed by a homeland police state apparatus.

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Israel Bombs Gaza - Again

December 30th, 2013

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli regimes are guilty of decades of crimes of war, against humanity, and slow-motion genocide.

State terror is official policy. Besieged Gazans are being slowly suffocated. Over 1.7 million Palestinians are affected. Air, ground and sea attacks repeat with disturbing regularity.

The latest came late Thursday. Israeli warplanes bombed multiple sites. Gaza City's Sheikh Radwan and Al-Hawouz neighborhoods were targeted. So was Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza.

Other Israeli missiles struck vacant land east of Ash-Shujaeyya. It was close to where an IDF contract worker was killed.

Shifa Hospital sources said two Palestinians suffered shrapnel wounds. No deaths so far were reported.

Earlier repeated Israeli provocations targeted Gazan farmers, children and other civilians. One death was reported. A three-year-old Palestinian girl won't reach age four.

In response, gunfire from Gaza killed an IDF contract worker. On Tuesday, Israeli warplanes responded. So did tanks and ground forces from inside Israel's border.

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