Tag Archives: politics

macron01_400The cheer was always going to be qualified. The bubbles would be less effervescent, more a case of relieved sighing rather than frothy exultation.  After another electoral hack, and another round of threats, the French election was being played out in an era that may, in time, be given the Trump name.

The pollsters did rest a bit easier after the election result, with Emmanuel Macron outdoing his contender Marine Le Pen by fifteen percent. Their soothsayers have been failing of late, and this result provided some form of revival. But what it did show, as it did in the United Kingdom, is that the battle between the forces of nationalist nostalgia and autonomy, and the market model masquerading as prosperity and democracy, will continue to rage.

In any other set of circumstances, it would have been seen as thumping, clear, and unquestionable: a 66 percent approval for Macron, with Parisians going the whole hog with 90 per cent. But such are the times that the 34 percent, left unattended to the north and south of the country, may well become the future governing power, a disease that takes hold, and eventually conquering the host.

While it was second highest score in the second round of a presidential vote since 1965, Macron’s margin of victory becomes less significant when compared with that of Jacques Chirac’s 82.21 percent in 2002 over Marine Le Pen’s father. An unescapable fact is that 11 million votes were cast in favour of Le Pen.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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The Creepy Bungling Inspector Clouseau-like Relationship between Trump and the US Spy Agencies by Dr. Emanuel Paparella

Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rep. South Carolina, has dubbed the relationship of President Trump to the US spy agencies to a Dr. Clouseau investigating himself. He is probably on to something considering the various bungling self-defeating and incompetent ways by which  the House has so far been conducting the Russia dealings investigation.

It remains an entertainingly funny reality show controlled by the White House but it feels as if it could change on a dime and turn into a sad ugly tragedy. The question arises: is control slipping away from Trump prompting him to challenge agencies’ integrity and alleging that (in collusion with former president Obama) they monitored his presidential campaign?

papar01_400_02It is well known that counter-allegations have surfaced of Trump’s White House funneling secret intelligence reports to top Republicans investigating its ties to Russian officials as well as the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. These investigations, if proven, will seriously threaten his presidency. They also may reflect a deepening distrust of the intelligence community among Trump’s political advisers who remain bungling amateurs when it comes to classified information and covert programs. Michael Hayden, former CIA head and the National Security Agency has quipped lately that those bunglings “reveal a chasm of ignorance about how stuff is done.

It is also well known that Trump, with the backing of political advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, initially sought to put Wall Street billionaire Stephen Feinberg in charge of a review of the intelligence agencies. An early assessment of the review suggested the elimination of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, (the umbrella agency created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks) in order to better streamline and coordinate intelligence. At least that was the official rationale. The oversight agency was simply an unnecessary bureaucracy that ended up manipulating and distorting information. Now, however, the operative words are no longer “dismantle” the intelligence agencies, but “trim and optimize” to better make them manageable. The question arises: manageable by whom?

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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The psychotic paranoid Sultan by Thanos Kalamidas

For more than a decade, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – the present Turkish President – has been West’s favourite Muslim son. A leader that could work as an example, a role model and a strong breakwater to all kind of Muslim radicalism in Middle East and South East Asia. That’s how the West wanted him to be. So blinded by their own wishes, wants and denials they didn’t see that Erdoğan was a psychotic paranoid authoritarian, totally corrupted by power who manipulated everybody. And by everybody I don’t mean just the west but everybody including the radical Muslims of ISIL.

ovicover_25_03_17The amazing thing about Erdoğan is that while the Europeans were and still are, till very recently, victims of his manipulations, it was the Americans who saw first his real face and a very critical moment for them. It was when Erdoğan refused to help the Americans in their invasion to Iraq and surprisingly when Saddam fell defeated, the Turks appeared as victors ready for the looting. That made George W. Bush’s administration angry and their “friendly” attitude towards Turkey for the rest of the time was only due to keep appearances and of course for geopolitical reasons since Turkey remains an accountable force in the area. Obama continued Bush’s policy with Turkey: keep Erdoğan in a safe distance and doubt anything he says.

The Europeans from the other played a very strange and schizophrenic game with Turkey. While Turkey had started negotiations with EU for a membership, the EU leadership often used public opinion to delay talks or agreements. The 2005 French referendum for the European Constitution is the best example when 55% voted against with one and only excuse, they didn’t want Turkey as a full member state in the EU. Furthermore while it has never happened with any other candidate country, most EU member states demand to have an internal referendum before fully accepting Turkey in EU. But the same time the Europeans were too keen to support politically Erdoğan everywhere, invest financially in Turkey in the name of Erdoğan with Germany France and Holland majoring in those investment and finally keeping a “neutral” distance with Turkey’s conflicts first with the Kurds and then with another EU member (which actually made it more painful) with Cyprus. In both these cases the European “neutral” attitude is actually in conflict with the European principals since Erdoğan’s hostility against the Kurds is on the limits of a genocide and in Cyprus, Turkey occupies part of the independent and full EU member state as a result of an invasion not much different from Saddam’s to Kuwait. Furthermore Europe has been fully aware of Erdoğan’s dictatorial turn the last five years at least, has been fully aware of the imprisonments, tortures, murders plus Erdoğan’s connection with ISIL’s oil but still they kept treating him as a …partner, ally and friend.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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The House-Whites of Washington and the democrats of USA by Thanos Kalamidas

americ01_400It is over a month since Donald Trump’s enthronement in Washington DC and after the first hit, democrats seem to have moved from denial to acceptance and now reaction. Actually I found that there was a certain level of hypocrisy during the denial period from the Democrats. After preaching Trump for so long before the elections that he has to accept the outcome whatever that is when he actually won they flagged the …popular vote and the “not my president”. And I would definitely understand their anger and that they felt cheated if the electoral system was something new. But it wasn’t. Clinton, Obama and so many others before were elected with the same electoral system. So, how is it cheating now and never was before? Is exactly the same electoral system, isn’t it?

But …water under the bridge. They crossed their denial period in a month and they moved to reacting. The American Democrats. The American Democrats or the American democrats? It’s not the same, is it? I actually feel that while American Democrats have accepted that Trump is the 45th US President, they have started employing Tea Party policies and they aim for the 2018 elections targeting a Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) with a Democrat majority which will cripple Trump’s administration, the American democrats are still numb trying to find their way in this mess.

The average American – doesn’t matter what she or he voted – I have the feeling that is not divided but forced to choose between two radically opposite sides that divide him/her. From the one side is Donald Trump and the ruling Trumpist Republican Party with all the sub-Trumpists like the Tea Party, the “bikers for Trump” or the wild west supporters of the second amendment among others; authoritarians, fascists, racists, Nazis, prejudice, ignorant, haters, Russian puppets or at least this is what the media and the Democrats tell them. On the other side are the liberals and the Democratic Party or the raving feminists, the former communists, the anarchists, the pro-abortion, the against law and order, the pro uncontrolled immigration, the trouble makers, the marihuana smokers, the big brother supporters, the Hollywood elitists, the overrated academics, the fake news or at least this is what the Republicans, Fox News and the Trumpists tell them.This is a propaganda game Bannon and his nazi-style methods win at the moment.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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The Rattlin’ Tattlers by Leah Sellers

Rattle !  Rattle ! Whirrrrr !  Rattle !
 
Ka-boom !  Ka-boom !
 
“Come on outta’ your Hidey Holes, you Rattlin’ Tattlers !  You do not Rule the Roost here !  I, King Clyde, follower of the Trumpian Way, Rule over this here Chicken Coop  !  And not just this Chicken Coop, but the whole ding-dang-dong Chicken Yard “

Rattle !  Rattle !  Whirrrrr !  Rattle !

Ka-boom !  Ka-boom !

cats01_400“Clyde ?!  Clyde ?!  Put that gol’durned shot gun down for just a minute, will ya’ ?  It’s Sam.  I wanna’ come on into the Chicken Coop to talk without gettin’ my head blown off !”

“Why, sure, Sam !  Come on in, Pardner.  I could sure use some help knabbin’ these ‘ole Rattlin’ Tattlers !  You got your pistol with ya’ ?  Come right on,
in !

Sam slowly and cautiously opened the Chicken Coop’s holey and tattered door to discover his old childhood friend standing in the middle of the Chicken Coop naked as a Jaybird.

“Clyde, where are your clothes ?  What in the heck is goin’ on with you,
Boy ?  Do you understand how crazy all of this looks right now ?  You have got Lillian and the kids scared to death.”

“So, she called you to come on over here to get me in line, did she ?”

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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Fears at Munich: The Mattis Pitch on NATO by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

While the US commander-in-chief finds the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance something of an obsolete joke, and a costly one at that, his own appointment as Defence Secretary James M. Mattis was singing a different tune in Munich.

matis01_400The occasion was that of the Munich Security Conference, the 53rd no less, advertised as “a key annual gathering for the international ‘strategic community’” and founded as the “Internationale Wehrkunde-Begegnung.”

After being introduced by German Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyden, Mattis reiterated a line he seems he can stick with: Trump “too espouses NATO’s need to adapt to today’s strategic situation for it to remain credible, capable and relevant.” The interpretation there was elementary: European states had to engage in more convincing acts of binge spending on defence.

Moving onto the lingo of watered down geopolitics, Mattis then claimed that, “We all see our community of nations under threat on multiple fronts as the arc of instability builds on NATO’s periphery and beyond.” Nothing like a good jolt of fear to beef military budgets.

MSC chairman Wolfgang Ischinger had set the tone on the sentiment ahead of the receptions, the panels and the strategic love-in. “Instead of waiting in fear of the next Trump tweet, we Europeans should lay the foundations for a Europe that is strong, capable of taking action and committed to Western values.”

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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Is There Still Time Left To Save American Democracy? by Dr. Emanuel Paparella

am01There is an ongoing wishful thinking which began as soon as Donald Trump announced his candidacy: it’s fed by the wrong notion that somehow democratic institutions will stop, or at least curb Trump’s abuse of power. Now that he is president, some historians give us approximately a year to save the Republic.

The delusion seems to be based on a misconception, that somehow the leopard will change its spot, that one institution or other will eventually force him to change his behavior, that the office of presidency will mature him. But what has been demonstrated so far is that he doesn’t seem to care much about institutions as dispensers of laws, only in so far as they represent barriers to kleptocratic authoritarianism and personal ego aggrandizement. It’s all about Donald, all the times. Full stop.

There is a frightening complacency in the air that is redolent of the days of Hitler’s rise in the 30s during the 20th century. Then also things appeared normal to many Germans. They thought nothing had really changed. But they had changed and it was in fact the delusion that they had that soon enough led to regime change.

The mantra now seems to be this: we are Americans, not Germans; we are exceptionalists; we live beyond history; we have freedom because we love freedom; we love freedom because we are free. A bit circular, philosophically and logically speaking, but pernicious in the sense that if fails to acknowledge the historical structure that can enhance or weaken democracy and republics based on democratic structures. The escape from freedom can happen in any country. As Jefferson put: eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. Republics, such as that of Rome, can rise and fall. In fact, most Republics have fallen. Historical amnesia will only ensure that all the mistakes of past history will be repeated.

The fact is that the Trump administration currently looks to authoritarian regimes as its models. They are undoubtedly thinking about them, not in a negative sense but sympathetically, in a positive mode.

Let’s remember the 30 but not in Germany, here in the US. At that time we had people vehemently opposed to Roosevelt and what they considered his “welfare state,” his interventionist leaning in Europe to save it from fascism. For them, not FDR but Charles Lindbergh was their hero.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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