Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cyprus: U.S. To Dominate All Europe, Mediterranean Through NATO

By Rick Rozoff, Stop NATO

On February 24 a majority in the Cyprus parliament voted for the country to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Partnership for Peace program, a transitional mechanism employed to bring twelve Eastern European nations into the U.S.-dominated military bloc from 1999-2009: The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania and Croatia. Macedonia would have become a full member of the Alliance in 2009 along with the last two except for the lingering name dispute with Greece.

Cyprus is the only member of the 27-nation European Union that is not either in NATO or the Partnership for Peace (PfP), the only EU member that did not need to join NATO or be on its doorstep in order to be accepted, and the only European nation (excluding the microstates of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City) that is free of NATO entanglements. Every other nation on the continent and island state in the Mediterranean Sea is a member of NATO or the PfP. (NATO still lists Russia as a member of the second and since last November’s NATO summit in Portugal it has been active again in the NATO-Russia Council.)

[ ... ]

It added: “We demand an immediate end to efforts to join the military camp of those who are responsible for the Cypriot tragedy. We demand respect for the deceased of the coup and the invasion; respect to the revolutionaries, respect to everything the refugees and enclaved have suffered; respect to our missing persons.” [6]

The local press at the time reported that the president would “take the decision to the supreme court as he believes Parliament’s decision violates the Constitution.” [7]
The parliamentary action of last month is the culmination of several years of a concerted campaign by DISY, NATO and the EU to incorporate the last truly neutral European nation into the Pentagon-NATO global military nexus.

Six years ago Canada’s General Raymond Henault (now retired), at the time chairman of the NATO Military Committee, said, in relation to “Cyprus’s strategic importance in the eastern Mediterranean,” that “NATO has a very open policy for countries that want to work with it and Cyprus could be one of those if it decided to do that.”

[ ... ]

At the time AKEL leader Damianou itemized the country’s ruling party’s objections to a partnership with the world’s only military bloc, one which has waged open warfare from Southeastern Europe to South Asia:

“AKEL is opposed for three main reasons. First, we are now going through a period of negotiations for the settlement of the Cyprus problem, and demilitarisation is a basic parameter of this settlement.

“We would therefore be giving the wrong messages to the international community if at the same time we start negotiating entry into a military organisation.

“Second, we should also analyse international political developments, our capabilities as a small state and what role we could play in such an organisation. This body functions as a gateway to NATO, where Turkey plays a significant role.

“Thirdly, we should not forget the role which NATO played in Cyprus, in the events of 1974.”
He added: “Indeed, nine out of the ten new member-states that joined in the 2004 enlargement were granted EU membership on the precondition that they joined NATO. We did not have to do that as our interests are different and we seek a solution without armies.”

Controversy over Nigeria's first Islamic bank

Mushtak Parker reports in Nigeria licenses first Islamic bank for Arab News:

The most revealing thing about the latest new guidelines for non-interest banking issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on June 21; the provisional license given to Jaiz International to launch the country's first Islamic bank subject to fulfilling the bank authorization requirements; and the revelation that the Nigerian Treasury's Debt Management Office is studying the possibility of the country issuing its debut sovereign sukuk within the next year or so, is not the provisions of the above developments but the reaction of Nigerians (presumably) commenting on the websites of local newspapers and other such outlets.

Disturbingly these ranged from vitriolic Islamophobic rants which linked Islamic finance to terrorism financing and forebodes the transformation of Nigeria into a new Jihadist haven, to flattering admiration for Mallam Lamido Sanusi, the governor of CBN, for rising above the critics and facilitating the introduction of Islamic finance under financial inclusion policy. The few voices that saw Islamic banking as an alternative form of financial management to the interest-based capitalist conventional system and more connected to the real economy and with a potential to contribute to development in Africa's most populous country for the benefit of all Nigerians, hardly had a look in.

It would be unfair to draw generalizations from such a sample of comments, but in relation to recent statements from various groups and the sensitivity of the CBN over the matter, it becomes apparent that under the surface Nigeria is a highly sectarian society, which is further fuelled by the constant reinforcement of stereotypes on all sides of the ethnic and religious divides. Nigeria has a population of about 170 million which is roughly half Muslim and half Christian.

This is unfortunate because Nigeria in general is a highly educated society but with huge developmental challenges because of governance shortcomings in which the military have had a pervasive influence since independence, endemic corruption and economic mismanagement.

~ more... ~


See also: Evolution and trends in Islamic banking and Scholars support introduction of non-interest banking


Nigeria hosts Islamic Banking Conference - Press TV News 

Basics of Islamic Finance and Banking


Keiser Report: Europe's Neo Feudalism


This week Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, report on selling Greece's sovereignty and Spain's El Gordo. In the second half of the show, Max talks to economist Michael Hudson about the IMF assassins sent in to destroy the Greek economy.

Half of European Commission workers earn more than £71,500 a year

More than 10,000 workers directly employed by the European Commission - almost half the total - earn more than £71,500 a year, a report has found.


Howard Zinn on Civil Disobedience


A look at Dr. Zinn's views on non-violence and civil disobedience and his actions as a leader seeking to bring an end to the Vietnam War.

Women still in grip of idealized love and sex, purveyed by romantic fiction


Modern women are still heavily influenced by the idealised love and sex, purveyed by romantic fiction, says broadcaster and agony aunt Susan Quilliam in this month's Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care.

In some parts of the developed world, romance accounts for nearly half of all fiction titles purchased.
And while there is clearly a place for the genre, which can be enjoyable and fun, this rose-tinted view of relationships is not necessarily doing women any favours, argues Ms Quilliam.
"I would argue that a huge number of the issues we see in our clinics and therapy rooms are influenced by romantic fiction," she writes. "What we see ... is more likely to be influenced by Mills and Boon than by the Family Planning Association."
The genre has come a long way in terms of depicting a more realistic view of the world, says Ms Quilliam, "still a deep strand of escapism, perfectionism and idealisation runs through the genre," she writes.

Tech Guru William Powers on Email and Henry David Thoreau


Despite a modern reputation as an off-the-grid pioneer, the author of "Walden" thought deeply about the changing face of technology in his own day, and his thoughts remain eerily resonant today.

From Bulldozed Towers to Scientific Manifestos

From The Growing Movement Against Electromagnetic Contamination by Chellis Glendinning, CounterPunch

A global movement challenging the increasing presence of electromagnetic (EMF)/ radiofrequency (RF) radioactive contamination via “smart” gadgets and meters, antennas, Wi-Fi, and WiMAX is indeed afoot. Yet it resides in the shadows of popular awareness because the public communication media -- who might, but do not report on the effort -- are largely owned by the same corporate entities perpetrating the contaminating technologies, and they are motivated to not reveal the health and ecological dangers of wireless technologies. And so welcome to an unheralded, but vastly important, movement that is growing every day:

2000.
* An international gathering of scientists issues the Salzburg Resolution -- proclaiming that no low-end threshold for safe exposure exists for electromagnetic and radio-frequency radiation.

2001.
* In Cyprus demonstrators pour into the streets and fight police to protest Britain’s planned military communications towers and demand the release of their prime minister -- in jail for doing civil disobedience atop a 160-foot mast.

2002.
* Thousands of medical doctors and healthcare practitioners sign the Freiberg Appeal -- calling for tougher guidelines for EMF/RF exposure.

2003.
* After witnessing the biggest-ever protest meeting of a village in northern New Mexico, the local school board cancels an already-signed contract to erect cell towers on its schools.
* The Catholic Church in Italy calls for cell phone antennas to be removed from bell towers, branding them dangerous to human health and spiritually “out of keeping.”
* In England and Ireland outraged citizens bulldoze down cell towers –- as many as four in England and four in Northern Ireland each week.

2004.
* The International Association of Firefighters calls for a moratorium on citing cell-phone antennas on fire stations.

Civil disobedience hits the Greek toll roads


Portugal Proudly Presents Moody's Website Hacked by Portuguese Anonymous Hackers

Afghans Build Open-Source Internet From Trash

Douglas Rushkoff has championed the idea that the current corporate-controlled internet is far from the open commons we pretend it is.

"If we have a dream of how social media could restore peer-to-peercommerce, culture, and government, and if the current Internet is too tightly controlled to allow for it, why not build the kind of network and mechanisms to realize it?" Rushkoff asks.

Sounds daunting. And expensive, right? Wrong.

Funded primarily by the personal savings of group members and a grant from the National Science Foundation, residents of Jalalabad have built the FabFi network: an open-source system that uses common building materials and off-the-shelf electronics to transmit wireless ethernet signals across distances of up to several miles.

~ more... ~

Syntagma Square - Site of Direct Democracy






A live message of support from Robert delNaja of Massive Attack

Overdose: the next financial crisis

This hauntingly beautiful documentary tells the story of the greatest financial crisis we will ever see — the one that’s on its way. Watch it here.

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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