Archive for September, 2014

Diagnosis of Early Daíl Term Syndrome
September 22, 2014

You can’t move for breathless articles in the newspapers about growth and recovery. All day on radio and TV, every opportunity is taken to drive the message. All conveniently timed with the return normal proceedings in the political realm. There was a similar attempt coinciding with returning of the Dáil in January of 2013, ‘green shoots’. A concerted effort across papers – and we are seeing very the same co-ordination now.

The thing to watch out for is how many of these stories are written by say, Fionnan Sheehan and other journalists whose job is not counting beans but talking to politicians, Last year there was a big build up to ‘exiting the bailout’ in November but the wheels quickly came off whatever capital government hoped to make as garda scandal after garda scandal flooded out. They will be trying not to make the same mistake again.

You will only see snatches in Irish business pages, but abroad there is plenty of talk about Germany stuttering for the last year. They kept a good lid on it out of necessity but once October’s federal elections were out of the way, the effect of five years austerity on economies with which Germany trades became harder to ignore, chickens coming home to roost. To underline this, the whole union depends on German strength and none more so than France which is in the tenth straight month of zero growth. It is not that they are only fucked now, their banks and borrowings have been fucked from the start but Europe’s economy has deteriorated to the stage where it can be no longer be hidden. Europe’s economy  s still well well below 2007 levels while US climbed back long ago. The predictions of people whose job it is to make money from all this misery don’t see much changing and we haven’t even started whatever road we are going with Russia.

Will the UK be enough? I don’t know but it is against this backdrop that you are seeing absolutely certainty in the Irish papers. They are up every tree and under every rock looking for ways to conform the lie, believing again in the same sort of Irish economic exceptionalism seen during the bubble. A new Dáil term is a new chance to get back on track. We will have this for another few weeks and then expect there will be war on Sinn Féin.

Dr. Five   22nd September 2014

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Our Reactions to ISIS
September 21, 2014

I was disturbed to see some people on Facebook sharing a North American video which originated on the Facebook page of one Richard Haines. The video has has had over 70,000 shares to date, so I think it can be assumed that at least that number of people watched that video and probably believed it!  The video says the population of Europe and the wider west, from 2008, is being replaced/ will be replaced by tens of millions of Muslim immigrants…and that all of the western states will be replaced by Islamic Republics (citing Gaddafi as well).

It was like watching Der Ewiger Jude. Absolutely disgusting, and obviously it’s an unregistered video because if it was up on youtube the person who originated it could be done for hate speech in a number of countries, certainly in Ireland or Britain, and youtube would probably take it down anyways.

I am disgusted  that anybody would be gullible enough to share that.  I reported it as a racist video to Facebook, and reported the original account for originating that vile crap as well. The facts  are that while some European populations are declining from birth rate etc, others in fact are not-such as Ireland and many Eastern European countries. Immigration isn’t illegal, and neither is being an arab so I don’t know what people who watch this propaganda want.

Disturbing that people would buy into such *****.

I think this ISIS phenomenon is /will be part of a wider provocation to help garner western support for war in the middle east, and anti-muslim laws won’t be long following. Fact is if we did not overthrow elected governments, nor interfere in their affairs, change would come naturally as it came in Egypt (at least until prevented by military coup) and Tunisia, and everybody would be better off. In fact many people who fled home for a better life or to avoid persecution would have been able to return home in time.

Irish Hate speech laws are quite strong and I would not worry about that sentiment gathering pace politically here, as SF for example is an anti racist party with some immigrant candidates ,North and South (including a black representative from the Congo) , and hoovered up much of the so called sovereignty vote, but on a Republican basis.

What I am worried about are countries like France, Britain etc. and what the knock on effects of something like a Front Nationale/UKIP led government would mean for Europe’s minorities, especially Arabs who are really being stigmatized at the moment as a result of ISIS’s actions (ISIS originally having been US backed and funded against Assad (I see they are u-turning on that now too!).

There seems to me to be a wider resource grab on the cards here and a desire of the political elites of some countries to stigmatise the Arabs and maybe others in the process. Europe going back to the worst of its’ roots so to speak.

 

Andrew Purlfield  20th September 2014

 

 

 

“The People’s Front” – The Merging of Fascists and Liberal Democrats in Ukraine
September 13, 2014

On September 10th the founding congress of the “People’s Front” political party in the Ukraine was held. The new party is led by Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and speaker of the Rada, Oleksandr Turchynov. It also includes two current government ministers, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, and Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko. Other well known members are former National Security and Defense Council Secretary, Andriy Parubiy, and the former head of the National Anti-Corruption committee, Tetiana Chornovol. Both resigned from the current government in recent months. We will return to them later.

The new party has been viewed as a splinter of the Batkyvschyna party of former prime minister and oligarch Yulia Tymoshenko.

The first noteworthy thing about the new party is that media sources have suggested it is being funded by the oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. Business News Europe for example states:

Oleh Lyashko’s success with his Radical Party is widely attributed to his backing by former head of the presidential administration Serhiy Lyovochkin and the TV channel Inter that Lyovochkin co-owns with gas oligarch Dmitry Firtash. Pundits say that Yatsenyuk has struck out on his own with People’s Front after being promised support by Firtash’ bitter rival, oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, owner of Ukraine’s largest bank Privat and one of Ukraine’s largest TV channels 1+1, and currently also governor of the wealthy Dnipropetrovsk*region. *Kolomoisky has funded volunteer battalions fighting in the east, commanders of which were present at the founding of People’s Front on September 10.

As the article notes, Kolomoisky is closely associated with the fascist paramilitary battalions.

Kolomoisky’s Dnipro Battalion “securing” a public building

His name has also cropped up with regards to the tragic events in the Trade Union Building in Odessa.

Interesting photos from the founding congress of the Peoples Front can be viewed here.

These photographs illustrate a second noteworthy thing about the party, namely the number of prominent paramilitary leaders who attended the launch. These have apparently been formed into a “military council”. Why a political party would require a military council is not readily understood.

The most significant of these leaders is Andriy Biletsky, the head of the “Azov” battalion, the most openly fascist of the paramilitary battalions. Biletsky is also the leader of the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine and it’s paramilitary wing Patriot of Ukraine. According to wiki:

The Patriot of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Патріо́т Украї́ни) is a Ukrainian nationalist organization with racist and neo-Nazi political beliefs. It constitutes a paramilitary wing of the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine (S.N.A.), an assemblage of neo-Nazi organizations and groups founded in 2008 that share the social-national ideology and agree upon building a social-national state in Ukraine. Both the “Patriot of Ukraine” and the S.N.A. engage in political violence against minorities and their political opponents. The leader of the “Patriot of Ukraine” and of the Social-National Assembly is Andriy Biletsky.

The political ideology of the SNA has been summed up by the analyst Anton Shekhovtsov as follows:

The SNA is a neo-Nazi movement, which has always been too extreme for the Right Sector. According to its official documents, its ‘nationalism is racial, social, great-power imperialist, anti-systemic (anti-democratic and anti-capitalist), self-sufficient, militant and uncompromising’. Its ideology ‘builds on maximalist attitudes, national and racial egoism,’ while glorifying the Ukrainian nation as part of the ‘White Race.’

At the time of the February coup Biletsky was languishing in jail along with other prominent Patriot of Ukraine members, Ihor Mykhailenko and Vitaliy Kniazhesky, for a gun attack on a prominent anti-fascist journalist Serhiy Kolesnyk. Within days the three (along with other imprisoned Nazis) were freed on foot of a special Rada bill.

Azov Battalion volunteers swearing in

The open incorporation of a Nazi like Biletsky into the party of Yatsenyuk and Turchynov shows that it is no longer possible to separate “liberal democrats” from fascists in the Ukraine. Any lines of distinction have now been blurred. Platforms are shared, political parties are shared, etc.

Launch of the People’s Front: Chornovyl and Yaatsenyuk, below party symbol

This can also be seen in the Radical Party of Lyashko’s which is tipped to gain anything up to 20% of the vote in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Lyashko has lured many SNA activists from the Right Sector in recent months and in the May 2014 Kyiv city council elections the following SNA members ran for the Radical Party: Oleh Odnorozhenko (SNA’s main ideologue), Ihor Mosychuk (second in command of the Azov), Ihor Kryvoruchko, and Volodymyr Shpara.

Establishment Politics in the Ukraine has moved sharply to the right. Extreme nationalism is now espoused by all the bourgeois parties. The Banderaite slogans “Hail Ukraine” and “Glory to the Heroes” are now main stream. Within this, however, there are various groupings representing different oligarchs, with differing connections to “western” imperialism and prepared to embrace far right extremism to differing degrees. Lyashko represents the oligarch Firtash, in the People’s Front we have linked Yatsenyuk (Washingto’ns man), the oligarch Kolomoisky and various paramilitary forces. Many of the Nazis in the Ukraine have recognised the collapse of barriers between themselves and “liberals” and availing of open doors have abandoned party building and moved into “mainstream” parties.

Aside from Andriy Biletsky and the other paramilitary leaders there are two other prominent individuals associated with the People’s Front which, to my mind, mark it as a clear and present danger to the Ukrainian working class. These are Andriy Parubiy and Tetiana Chornovol. Parubiy I described early this year during the Maidan protests as possibly the most dangerous individual in the Ukraine. He was the founder of the Social-National Party of the Ukraine (the forerunner of Svoboda) and is also a former leader of the Nazi paramilitary Patriot of Ukraine group. He left these organisations in 2004 to infiltrate the establishment parties. He was one of the main leaders of the “Orange Revolution” in 2004 and was a commander and in charge of “security” during the Maidan protests. His name has often appeared in discussions of the sniping attacks on the Maidan. After the coup he was appointed Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council which oversaw the “ATO” against Eastern Ukraine. Chornovol, who is often described as an anti-corruption activist is also of the far right and cut her political teeth in the Nazi UNA-UNSO organisation which was notorious for sending fighters to the Transnistrian, Abkhaz and Cechen conflicts. Her husband, Nikolai Beryozovoi, was killed last month in the fighting in east Ukraine. Not surprisingly, he was a member of the openly fascist, Azov Battalion.

Both Parubiy and Chornovol resigned from the government recently. He refused to give a reason while she stated that no inroads were being made in tackling corruption. It is interesting, therefore, that both have seen fit to set up a new party with prominent members of the government. It is possibly because this party will be placed significantly to the right of the Poroshenko Bloc, as shown by Yatsenyuk’s recent attacks on cease fire initiatives, and who knows what plans US imperialism has for it and it’s “military council” if the situation the Ukraine continues to deteriorate.

Sam Lord 13 September 2014

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Yatsenyuk, Ukraine P.M., with Obama in the Oval Office, March 2014

Greek “Surgeons of History”- Excavating a Lost Empire
September 7, 2014

Day by day accounts of the important excavations at Amphipolis, Macedonia, Greece, from Ephilant – two weeks of posts made at Politicalword.org – for more updates follow the “Absolute Thread of Randomness” on our forum Politicalworld.org

13.8.2014

Exciting times for archaeologists in Greece.

An excavation in Αμφίπολη (Amphipolis, Serres, Macedonia) has gripped the nation, with the possibilities being outlined as “exceptional” by the head archaeologist Katerina Peristeri, who describes this as potentially more important than the Ακρόπολη (Acropolis). The site is a huge tomb, surrounded by a 497 meter long marble wall. So far, a 4.5 meter wide road leading to the tomb has been uncovered, as have two enormous statues of sphinxes guarding the road. The tomb has been dated between 300 and 325 BC, which is the time the great Macedonian king Alexander the Great died. Although he was killed in Babylon and later buried in Egypt, his final resting place was never disclosed.

The dig begun in 1960, when a 5.2 meter high sculpture of a lion was unearthed outside the tomb. It then got side-tracked when a huge settlement, dating back to 3000 BC was uncovered. Meanwhile, the lion got restored and the dig around the area where the lion was found resumed.

And then, they found the wall…When the wall, made from Thassian marble, was discovered, they knew they had something really big on their hands. The sheer size of the tomb makes this a painstakingly slow job , but Peristeri says it is worth it to remove the soil grain by grain, because they are finding an enormous amount of things while doing this. She has rightfully resisted calls to go in with mechanical equipment and go to the centre to find who is buried there. She expects to be able to enter the actual burial chamber by the end of the month. The danger is that the roof may collapse, as it is not in the best of shape. So re-enforcements are built as they go along, after they removed everything that may hold clues as to what may be hidden further down the 4.5 m wide road. Then we will know if this is indeed, as speculated, the tomb of Alexander the Great. It is also being speculated that this could be the tomb of his wife and son, who were both murdered after his death. I think Katerina Peristeri may suffer be a good few sleepless nights before that time arrives…


20.8.2014    The archaeologists digging in Amphipolis are getting ready to enter the tomb. They have now cleared the two sphinxes guarding the entrance and have decided not to move them, for among other reasons the fact that these boys weigh 1.5 ton each and there is little wiggle room to lift them out.

Katerina Peristeri said yesterday that they have now uncovered 13 steps and reached the wall separating the tomb from the outside world, and they will begin removing this today. They have brought in a specialist mining-architect to help construct a support for the roof to ensure it does not collapse. Katerina Peristeri was visibly excited at the prospect of entering this tomb, and expressed the hope that the tomb would be intact and not looted. “That would be the ideal situation. If the roof has not caved in and the tomb has not been looted, we will find everything intact inside, then the personal items buried with whoever rests in there will tell us a lot more about who he/she/they are. We still have no idea, other than the carbon dating giving us a date of 325 – 320 BC and it being important person(s) due to the sheer size of the tomb. The sphinxes indicate some link to ancient Egypt, but we don’t know anything more just yet. An intact chamber will tell us everything we need to know.” This date range has given rise to serious speculation that this might just be the last resting place of Alexander the Great, and has prompted the archaeologists to request, and get round-the clock police protection for the site as they fear modern looters might just take their changes. Certain people in FYROM are already using the situation to once again stir trouble and demand that all the contents be transferred to their country as they are the only legitimate heirs of Alexander and other claptrap.
Comment: The sheer quality of that sculpture is awesome, no matter who or when made it. I wonder when that chap lost his head ? It does not look as though it would have fitted under the vault, suggesting that it may have been moved into that position from elsewhere.

“Is there another one, facing him ?” C. Flower

There is indeed another sphinx opposite this guy, they are about 2 meters apart.

You can just see his paws sticking out from behind the outer wall. from there it’s 13 steps down, and another wall, which the archaeologists assume seals the tomb. The job is painstakingly slow, they expect to be ready to start taking the other wall down in about 2 weeks. It must be nerve wrecking for those involved in this.

The head is indeed missing, but as far as I know they have one, ir bits of one, and it would seem like the sphinx is looking head down, a bit like a vulture… Restoration is not going to be easy, they reckon it will take up to 3 years.

20.8.2014 (later)  So, here they are, in half their glory

The archaeologists have confirmed that the wings and pieces of the head have been found on the site, leading some to believe that the tomb was raided at some stage, or at least vandalized. Now begins the painstaking part of removing the rest of the wall. The entrance to the tomb is apparently underneath the sphinxes and not, as first thought, behind them. This could speed things up a little. They have meanwhile also found traces of red and blue paint on and around the sphinxes, and an intact black and white mosaic with rhombus shapes ( a rhombus is basically a square pushed out of shape). They have also determined that the sphinxes were made by the same person(s) who made the lion, and they are indeed of exquisite craftsmanship.
The wings were found in the same area where a huge portion of the meanwhile restored lion was found. Archaeologists now believe that the lion originally stood on top of the mount, but was pulled down by raiders at some stage. Others say he may have been dislodged by an earthquake.
23.8.2014     This is getting seriously exciting now.

As the wall is carefully dismantled, this is what is emerging from behind it

We are looking at distinct Ionic architecture, which is beginning to reveal frescos in red blue and black. It is painstakingly slow, and Katerina Peristeri estimates it will take another month or so before they have the entrance cleared. She has now also barred all the politicians from the site, and told them to read the briefings she gives to the ministry and the press every day if they are indeed that interested… Peristeri is becoming a serious celebrity here, and every politician seems to think it vital for their career to have a picture taken of themselves with the woman. The head archaeologist also poured cold water on the ministers daft idea of organized tours to the ongoing excavations. Nobody is allowed anywhere near the site without her permission, and that is extended to her team only. She briefs the press on a daily basis, supplies the images, but will not let anybody near the actual entrance.
This morning she excitedly announced that they have unearthed all the pieces of the wings of the sphinxes and now have the complete wings in their possession.
Amazing to see the colour and decoration. We are so used to seeing Greek architecture bleached white with age and wear and tear. The crispness and quality of the carving too – having been protected from the elements.

“Wow, loving the reports from the Amphipolis dig, exciting stuff!” Sidewinder

26.8.2014  Getting there, slowly but surely..

And while the archaeologists, who describe themselves as “the surgeons of history” meticulously remove all the earth from the entrance, many theories about the origin and content of the tomb are being offered. Including of course the necessary conspiracy theories accusing every traditional “enemy” of the country of having looted the tomb at some stage…
What the whole thing has done is it has galvanized the people to take the right kind of pride in their heritage. Another major site, the ancient city of Messene, is currently being threatened by an enormous wild-fire which is being fanned by strong winds and high temperatures. It is getting that tricky that the government has ordered the evacuation of a number of villages, fearing that the fire-fighters will not be able to contain the fire before it gets there. Apart from the villages, the site of the city of Messene is also being threatened by the same wild fire. Last year this would not have raised an eyebrow anywhere, people just lost all interest in everything and anything thanks to the economic/political situation in the country. This year, it’s different. The head archaeologist in Amphipolis, Katerina Peristeri, has really managed to capture the imagination of the Greeks, and rally them around not just the project, but their heritage in general. Her daily reports are absolutely breath taking, and the enthusiasm she has generated is contagious. As soon as news spread about the fire and the potential damage to the villages and Messene, literally hundreds of volunteers from all over the place gathered in Messene and started helping the fire fighters clearing bush, digging fire trenches, evacuating the old people etc. So far, the fire has destroyed some 2000 acres of land, but it has been diverted away from 3 of the villages and the latest reports say that with the help of the volunteers and 6 airplanes the fires have been brought under control.


Katerina Peristeri has more news for us…

They have now entered the antechamber and are facing another wall.

The hole at the top left of this wall is large enough for a full grown man to go through, which has again fuelled speculation that the tomb may have been raided at some stage. Meanwhile, a few more details have been released. As commented on by C. Flower, the quality of the sculptures is incredible.

Other items have really raised the fever regarding who is buried here…

 

Today we learned that the architecture of the tomb, the wall, and some of the other items still under examination (mosaic floors etc) strongly indicate that the tomb was designed by Dinocrates, the architect who was responsible for the design and construction of Alexandria, and personal friend of Alexander the Great.

1.9.2014    Today we got the news that the antechamber has been accessed, and after some cleaning up a white and red marble floor was literally unearthed.

According to Katerina Peristeri the antechamber is in “excellent condition” and the marble floor is of “superb quality and craftsmanship”. This discovery has now slowed down the process of getting to the actual tomb itself, with could conceivably consist of a number of rooms, giving the size of the tomb.
2.9.2014   Painstakingly slow, the archaeologists are finding their way in to the tomb and reveal exquisite craftsmanship in the process.


They now know of 3 chambers behind the sealing wall, created by traverse diaphragmic walls. It turns out that not just the sealing wall had a top stone missing, but each of the traverse walls has a similar “flaw”, making the archaeologists think that this was not the work of grave robbers, but part of the construction.

Each of the chambers has been filled with large quantities of earth which must be removed literally trowel by trowel…At the same time, reinforcements must be constructed to allow the walls to remain upright under the increasing pressure from the earth on the other side.


Preliminary inspection of the walls in the antechamber have revealed a fresco with traces of blue colouring.
This video gives you a very good idea of the size of the Amphipolis tomb, and why the archaeologists are so excited about this…

Ephilant 4 Sept 2014

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