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NATO spreading war and suffering, while building glitzy $1.4 billion headquarters in Brussels

From the Ron Paul Institute, Brian Cloughley explores how NATO continues to march towards war with Russia in order to justify its very existence, spreading fear and propaganda…all the while the outdated organisation is building over priced and over budgeted HQs in Brussels.

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NATO is Building Up for War written by Brian Cloughley.

The German city of Frankfurt is continental Europe’s largest financial center and host to the country’s Stock Exchange, countless other financial institutions, and the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) which is responsible for administering the monetary policy of the 18-nation Eurozone. The place is awash with money, as demonstrated by the plush new ECB office building which is costing a fortune.

The original price of the bank’s enormous palace was supposed to be 500 million euros, about 550 million dollars, but the bill has now been admitted as €1.3 billion (£930 m; $1.4 bn). This absurdly over-expensive fiasco was directed by the people who are supposed to steer the financial courses of 18 nations and their half billion unfortunate citizens. If the ECB displays similar skill sets in looking after Europe’s money as it has in controlling the cost of constructing its huge twin-tower headquarters, then Europe is in for a rocky time.

Intriguingly, the Bank isn’t alone in contributing to Europe’s bureaucratic building boom. There is another Europe-based organization of equal ambition, pomposity and incompetence which is building a majestically expensive and luxurious headquarters with a mammoth cost overrun about which it is keeping very quiet indeed.

The perpetrator of this embarrassing farce is NATO, the US-Canada-European North Atlantic Treaty Organization which is limping out of Afghanistan licking its wounds, having been fighting a bunch of sandal-wearing rag-clad amateur irregulars who gave the hi-tech forces of the West a very hard time in a war whose outcome was predictable. But the debacle hasn’t dimmed the vision of the zealous leaders of NATO who are confronting Russia in order to justify the existence of their creaking, leaking, defeated dinosaur. Their problem is not only do they lose wars, but they then look for another one to fight — to be directed from a glittery new and vastly expensive building whose cost has soared above all estimates.

Just like NATO’s wars.

NATO’s operation “Unified Protector” to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi involved a massive aerial blitz of 9,658 airstrikes which ended with the gruesome murder of Gadhafi — and caused collapse of Libya into an omnishambles where fanatics of the barbarous Islamic State are now establishing themselves.

In spite of the horror of NATO’s Libyan catastrophe one does have to have a quiet smile about Ivo H. Daalder and James G Stavridis whose deeply researched analysis in the journal Foreign Affairs in 2012 was titled “NATO’s Victory in Libya.” These sages declared that “NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention . . . NATO’s involvement in Libya demonstrated that the alliance remains an essential source of stability . . . NATO may not be able to replicate its success in Libya in another decade. NATO members must therefore use the Chicago summit to strengthen the alliance by ensuring that the burden sharing that worked so well in Libya — and continues in Afghanistan today — becomes the rule, not the exception.”

Not much is working well in either Libya or Afghanistan two years after the Daalder-Stavridis advocacy of “burden sharing” and it is obvious that NATO has been the opposite of a “source of stability” in both unfortunate countries.

In October 2005 I wrote that “NATO is to increase its troop numbers in Afghanistan to 15,000 and its secretary-general states that instead of acting as a peacekeeping force it will assume the combat role of US troops, which is insane . . .  The insurgency in Afghanistan will continue until foreign troops leave, whenever that might be. After a while, the government in Kabul will collapse and there will be anarchy until a brutal, ruthless, drug-rich warlord achieves power. He will rule the country as it has always been ruled by Afghans: by threats, religious ferocity, deceit, bribery, and outright savagery when the latter can be practiced without retribution. And the latest foreign occupation will become just another memory.”

The number of US-NATO troops in Afghanistan has been reduced from a high of 130,000 to 13,000, of which some 10,000 are US, but NATO’s new headquarters building in Brussels is expanding in both size and cost. The budget for the immense complex was approved at 460 million Euros (500 million US dollars) in 2010 but has now surged to over 1.25 billion Euros, about 1.4 billion dollars.

Germany’s Der Spiegel reported in January that the scandal of the cost overrun was being kept secret by all governments contributing to this redundant organization. A leaked cable from Germany’s ambassador explained that at a meeting of NATO representatives last December they “pointed to the disastrous effect on the image of the alliance if construction were to stop and if NATO appeared to be incapable of punctually completing a construction project that was decided at the NATO summit of government leaders in April 1999 in Washington. The risk of a further cost increase is already palpable.”

The solution to NATO’s self-imposed image problem was simple : the people responsible for managing the affairs of a military alliance involving 28 countries, 3.5 million combatants and 5,000 nuclear weapons decided, as asked by the staff of its Secretary General, to deal with the matter “confidentially.” In other words, the cost overruns and delays in construction are being deliberately concealed from the public in the hope that NATO’s executives will not appear incompetent.

Meantime, while trying to conceal their flaws, faults and failings in management of basic administrative affairs, NATO’s chiefs are squaring up to Russia in an attempt to persuade the world that President Putin is about to mount an invasion from the east. The focal point of NATO’s contrived alarm is the corrupt and chaotic regime in power in Ukraine, which has serious disagreements with Russia and is therefore energetically supported by the United States to the point of distortion, menace, and mendacity.

As reported in the UK’s Daily Telegraph on March 4, the commander of US troops in Europe, General Frederick “Ben” Hodges, has accused Russia of having 12,000 troops inside eastern Ukraine, which was irresponsible nonsense.

Hodges was formerly the army’s Congressional Liaison Officer in Washington where he obviously acquired a taste for political grandstanding, as in a political speech of the sort that generals have no right to make he declared that “We have to raise the cost for Putin. Right now he has 85 per cent domestic support. But when mothers start seeing their sons come home dead, when the price goes up, domestic support goes down,” which was as offensive as it was hostile.

In February the Wall Street Journal reported Hodges as saying “I believe the Russians are mobilizing right now for a war that they think is going to happen in five or six years—not that they’re going to start a war in five or six years, but I think they are anticipating that things are going to happen, and that they will be in a war of some sort, of some scale, with somebody within the next five or six years.” Just what President Putin was supposed to make of that is anyone’s guess — but it is certain that Hodges’ bellicose meanderings did nothing to persuade Moscow that there would be any attempt by the US-NATO coalition to modify its policy of uncompromising enmity.

Other pronouncements by NATO leaders have been equally threatening and intended to convince the public of western Europe that Russia attacked Ukraine.

But even if Russia had indeed invaded Ukraine, it would have had nothing whatever to do with anyone else.

The US-NATO coalition willfully ignores the fact that Ukraine is not a member of either the European Union or NATO and has no treaty of any sort with any nation in the world that would require provision of political, economic or military support in the event of a bilateral dispute with any other country. Yet NATO has seized upon the Ukraine-Russia discord to justify its policy of unrelenting hostility to Moscow.

It is most important for NATO that it has an enemy to confront, because there would be no reason for its existence if an enemy did not exist. But there is no enemy intent on invading any NATO country — if only because Russia would be suicidally insane to try to attempt any such thing. Quite simply, if Russia invaded any member of NATO there would have to be instant NATO response — and that would lead to nuclear war. It’s as stark as that.

NATO should have been disbanded at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union because that threat was the sole reason for its existence; but it decided to multiply membership and extend its military presence closer and closer to Russia’s borders. There is little wonder that Russia is apprehensive about NATO’s intentions, as the muscle-flexing coalition lurches towards conflict.

NATO’S Supreme Commander, US General Breedlove, has also contributed greatly to tension and fear in Europe by issuing dire warnings about Russia’s supposed maneuvers. On March 5 he indulged in fantasy by claiming, without a shred of evidence and no subsequent proof, that Russia had deployed “well over a thousand combat vehicles” along with “combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery” within Ukraine. This pronouncement was similar to his downright lie of November 18, 2014, when he told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that there were “regular Russian army units in eastern Ukraine.”

The swell of anti-Russian propaganda, confrontation and attempted intimidation by NATO has increased, and if it continues to do so it is likely that Moscow will take action, thereby upping the stakes and the danger even more. It is time that NATO’s nations came to terms with the reality that Russia is a major international power with legitimate interests in its own region. Moscow is not going to bow the knee in the face of immature threats by sabre-rattling US generals and their swaggering acolytes. It is time for NATO to forge ties rather than destroy them — and to build bridges rather than glitzy office blocks.

Brian Cloughley writes about foreign policy and military affairs from his home in Voutenay sur Cure, France.

References:

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2015/april/04/nato-is-building-up-for-war/

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10 signs that America is in MUCH worse trouble than we all thought

You may find it difficult to believe some of the things that I am about to share with you. Instinctively, most of us know that America is in trouble, but recently it has been impressed upon me that things are much worse than I originally believed.

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A homeless man sleeps under an American Flag blanket on a park bench in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. As of June 2013, there were an all-time record of 50,900 homeless people, including 12,100 homeless families with 21,300 homeless children homeless in New York City.

Our cities are becoming cesspools, our nation is falling apart all around us, and it seems like the number of sick, twisted and depraved people is multiplying.

We still have a relatively high standard of living for the moment, but the only reason we can maintain that standard of living is because we are on the greatest debt binge in human history. And once that bubble bursts, I fear for what this nation is going to become, because things are getting really bad out there.

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The following are 10 signs that America is in much worse trouble than we all thought…

#1 America is “the most dangerous country in the developed world to give birth in”

We all know that our healthcare system is rapidly deteriorating, but I figured that the U.S. would be at least in the middle of the pack when it comes to women dying during childbirth. Sadly, I was completely wrong

The U.S. is the most dangerous country in the developed world to give birth in according to a report.

About 50,000 women are “severely injured” during childbirth, and about 700 women die every year. Half of these deaths could have been prevented, as could the injuries, if correct safety procedures had been followed, according to an investigation by USA Today.

#2 America is absolutely teeming with sexual predators

When I read stories like the one I am about to share with you, it makes me want to vomit. According to a report that was just released, more than 300 “predator priests” were identified in just 6 Pennsylvania dioceses

A landmark grand jury report identifies more than 300 “predator priests” in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses, the state Supreme Court said Friday in ordering the findings released. (Tap here to read the court ruling.)

The justices said the report on clergy child sexual abuse going back decades and allegations of cover-up efforts will be made public but without the names or “individual specific information” of priests and others who have challenged the findings, at least in the initial version to be released.

#3 America has a massive problem with pedophilia

This is particularly true in Hollywood, and actor Elijah Wood has decided to go public about it

The actor, in a new interview with the Sunday Times, is accusing Tinseltown of having a pedophilia problem, saying “a lot of vipers” are preying on children in the business.

“Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organized. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” he said. “There is darkness in the underbelly. What bums me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power. That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people: they can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”

#4 America is full of people that are looking to take advantage of others

During the recent horrific wildfires in northern California, authorities say that there was “a lot of looting”

With so many people locked out of huge areas of the city, looters had moved in to take advantage, officials said, adding that police patrols are being increased and hat National Guard troops are being brought in to help.

“We’re experiencing a lot of looting and are beefing up our security,” Redding Police Chief Roger Moore told a crowd of about 250 residents Saturday afternoon. And Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko received a round of applause when he announced the first arrest of a suspected looter.

#5 America has way too many politically-correct control freaks that want to ruin all of our lives

I never dreamed that the day would come when plastic straws would be banned in the United States, but now it is actually happening

Only in California can you go to jail for offering restaurant patrons a straw. According to the ordinance, first-time offenders will be given a written warning. Second-time offenders will face steeper consequences. Based on the city’s municipal code, penalties for straw-peddling will include a “fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months.”

The West Coast is home to many a plastic straw ban; the city of Seattle, WA, was the first city in the U.S. to ban plastic straws in early July. But in the Emerald City, a violation only warrants a $250 fine. California is not to be outdone in their regressive-progressive politics.

#6 America is a nation of addicts

Today, I came across a survey that found that nearly half of all Americans admit to shopping online (one addiction) while drunk (another addiction)…

If you’ve poured yourself a glass of wine or two and then started browsing Amazon, you’re not alone — and you may well have spent more than you meant to. A new survey finds that Americans who shop online under the influence spend over $40 each time.

Gin drinkers actually spend the most, about $82 on average, while whiskey drinkers are the cheapest buzzed buyers, according to addiction treatment facility the Archstone Recovery Center. They polled over 1,000 people who reported purchasing an item off of Amazon while under the influence of alcohol.

#7 America is on a path to financial suicide

The federal government is already 21 trillion dollars in debt, and it is being officially estimated that we will hit the 30 trillion dollar mark by 2028.

#8 America seems to have an endless supply of cruel people

Down in Louisiana, authorities have arrested 5 people that locked an autistic woman that they were related to in a cage and forced her to eat her mother’s ashes

A Louisiana woman living with autism was locked up in a cage, threatened and abused and forced to eat her mother’s ashes by five people, who were indicted this week by a federal grand jury in New Orleans, officials said.

The indictments accuse five family members of abusing their 22-year-old relative until June 2016, according to court documents released by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

#9 America’s major cities are rapidly being transformed into cesspools

The following is an excerpt from a letter that was recently penned by Portland’s police chief

Our City has become a cesspool. Livability that once made Portland a unique and vibrant city is now replaced with human feces in businesses doorways, in our parks, and on our streets. Aggressive panhandlers block the sidewalks, storefronts, and landmarks like Pioneer Square, discouraging people from enjoying our City. Garbage-filled RVs and vehicles are strewn throughout our neighborhoods. Used needles, drug paraphernalia, and trash are common sights lining the streets and sidewalks of the downtown core area, under our bridges, and freeway overpasses. That’s not what our families, business owners, and tourists deserve.

#10 America is inhabited by way too many idiots

These days just about anyone will do just about anything for 15 minutes of fame, and one of the worst examples of this was when Florida resident Robby Stratton walked into a convenience store with a live alligator

The man, identified by WJAX as Robby Stratton, is seen on video posted to Facebook walking into the store in Jacksonville with the gator’s mouth taped shut.

Stratton approaches the counter and asks the man behind it: ‘Y’all got beer still? Y’all ain’t out, are y’all?’

He then sees someone in the back of the store and says: ‘Is he taking the last bit of beer? You aren’t taking the last bit of beer are you?’

Stratton planned this stunt well in advance, and he made sure to have it recorded so that he could post it on Facebook.

This is what America has become. We need to take a long look in the mirror, because we are in an advanced state of decline.

Hopefully the American people will start to wake up, because the time to turn things around is quickly running out.

Via The American Dream

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Democrat Party Exodus: Millennial white men not welcome (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 44.

Alex Christoforou

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Public demonization, identity politics, and forcing equality of outcome throughout society, is driving white male millennials away from the Democrat Party.

Young white men are increasingly turned off by the Democrats’ embrace of identity politics. An entire generation of voters has become disillusioned with what was once considered an inclusive, working class left, and has now morphed into a social media lynch mob obsessed with the destruction of “The Patriarchy” and “toxic masculinity”.

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou unpack the reasons behind a millennial white male exodus away from the establishment left, and towards Trumpism on the right or progressive ideology thought on the left. Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Spiked

A hock poll by Reuters/Ipsos reveals that the Democrats are shedding millennial votes, with support dropping by nine percentage points since 2016. This shift is most pronounced among white millennial men, who now favour Republicans over Democrats by 11 percentage points. In 2016, Democrats led Republicans in this group by 12 percentage points. There has been a staggering swing of 23 percentage points in just two years.

The poll shatters a number of widely held assumptions. Firstly, that young people are naturally drawn to the Democrats. Secondly, that the chaos and incompetence of Donald Trump’s rule are enough to turn voters blue. While two thirds of those polled dislike Trump, that distaste does not translate into either a rejection of the GOP as a whole or into support for the Democrats.

Democrats are clearly yet to come to terms with their defeat in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, the party has devoted a great deal of energy to pushing allegations of Russian meddling – a story of little interest to ordinary voters, who have long since accepted the outcome of a fair and free election. Similarly, baseless and shrill accusations that Trump is a fascist have clearly been ineffective in drumming up support for an alternative. Opposition to Trump is one thing, but most voters are none the wiser as to what the Democrats actually stand for.

But while the Democrats may be uninspiring to millennials as a whole, the party is actively alienating young, white men. Today’s identity politics is impossible for millennials to avoid, whether they are confronted with it on campus or through clickbait comment pieces. In the identitarian worldview, ‘white men’ are responsible for all the world’s woes – the phrases ‘white people’ and ‘white men’ are practically shorthand for evil. Listicles reveal the ‘37 things white people need to stop ruining in 2018’, magazines declare that ‘white men must be stopped’, while even respectable outlets like the Washington Post ask ‘why can’t we hate white men?’.

But rather than reject the divisive politics of identity, the Democratic establishment and its cheerleaders have embraced it. During the election, Hillary Clinton namechecked and explicitly targeted a number of demographic groups. At the same time, her team told the media they were confident they could win without the support of white men. Many commentators agreed. ‘Hillary Clinton doesn’t need white men’, insisted the Washington Post – supposedly because they make up a declining share of the electorate and can therefore be ignored. Of course, we all know what the result was – white voters were crucial to Trump’s election upset. Nevertheless, liberal commentators are still urging the Democrats to ‘get over’ white working-class voters in the upcoming midterms. They are surplus to electoral requirements, outsiders to the ‘progressive coalition… in all its multicultural, multiracial splendour’, according to one writer.

Democrats insist that white voters are electorally irrelevant. But when they disappoint the party and decide not to vote for it, they are painted as backward and irrational. Clinton’s defeat was rationalised by her allies as a ‘whitelash’ – not a rejection of a wildly unpopular candidate, but an outburst of racist rage. Clearly, white male millennials are picking up on this kind of language and are beginning to think that they are not wanted by the party.

A truly progressive party ought to be able to give voice to concerns that bridge racial and gender divides. It ought to have a more honest understanding of its past failures and a clear programme for the future. But if the Democrats continue to shirk responsibility for their electoral defeats, and continue to embrace identity politics, it won’t just be young, white men who abandon them.

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For gender neutrality, English schools forbid girls from wearing skirts

Teachers hope it will make things “fairer for transgender pupils and eliminate complaints over the decency of short skirts”.

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For the sake of making transgender students feel at home, a school in East Sussex, UK, is introducing gender neutral school uniforms, making trousers with a white shirt and tie the norm for all students, regardless of gender. Now, that miniscule number of transgenders doesn’t have to feel like they’re outside of what’s normal. Everyone can be just as genderless as the next.

Sky News

Priory School in Lewes, East Sussex, has introduced the policy to make the uniform the same for all students, regardless of gender.

Teachers hope it will make things “fairer for transgender pupils and eliminate complaints over the decency of short skirts”.

The updated uniform, which the school website says “has been designed specifically in response to the many issues and suggestions raised by parents, students and school staff”, also rectifies the issue of boys having to wear ties while girls do not.

It comprises grey trousers, white shirt, navy jumper and a blue and silver tie.

Headteacher Tony Smith told the Brighton Argus newspaper: “Specifically, it addresses the current issues of inequality and decency.

“Another issue was that we have a small but increasing number of transgender students and therefore having the same uniform is important for them.”

However, one local mother who was not in favour, told the local newspaper: “My daughter said she has got a gender and it’s female, so being gender neutral when she has got a gender is a big deal for her, as she is proud to be a girl.”

The pro-sodomite news site Pink news goes further

He added that this simple but symbolic change would make a huge difference to trans pupils who go to the school in Lewes, Sussex.

Smith said that Priory has “a small but increasing number of transgender students, and therefore having the same uniform is important for them.”

Speaking to PinkNews, he added: “We wanted a uniform for everyone.

“It could have been skirts for everyone, but we wanted to go with a uniform that was easy to source and supply, and that’s not easy for boys’ cuts.”

He pointed out that in the summer, it is now possible for students of all genders to wear shorts or skorts (a combination of shorts and a skirt).

“We wanted a uniform which promotes greater equality,” Smith explained, adding “a number” of trans students welcomed the move when it was announced.

“We’ve done this for positive reasons. For us, it is a greater equality having the same for everybody.”

Some parents expressed disgust with the decision, which stops girls from wearing skirts. One mother of a student said: “If girls dressing differently than boys is now to be considered sexist, then it is equally sexist to have female teachers wearing skirts and not wearing ties.

“If they want this, they must live the values they force on others and go fully gender free. My daughter and her friends are appalled by this.”

As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, one school in Oxfordshire has forbidden boys to wear shorts and told them that they must wear skirts as reported by Independent:

A secondary school in Oxfordshire has reportedly banned boys from wearing shorts in the hot summer months – but said they are free to wear skirts instead if they wish.

Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common recently introduced a new, stricter uniform policy that states pupils can only wear trousers or skirts.

When one parent asked if their son could wear tailored shorts for summer, he said he was told “no” by staff as shorts were not allowed – but as they had a gender-neutral policy, boys could opt
Father Alastair Vince-Porteous told the Daily Mail: “I was told shorts are not part of the uniform. It’s a shame we can’t be more grown up about it, we aren’t asking for ra-ra skirts or skinny jeans, just grey tailored shorts for two months a year, it’s not a big deal.”

Instead of the miniscule minority of the trans accommodating to the larger body of society, the rest of society must change in order to accommodate them. Meanwhile, one can hear complaints about immigrants not accommodating the culture in which they enter into by learning the language of their new country. But how long until the bureaucratic demands come out that, for fairness’ sake, host countries demand that their citizens learn Arabic or Spanish in order to accommodate immigrants?

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