Spying, whistleblowing and civil unrest continue to make the headlines this weekend leaving one wondering how much all three are linked. Egypt's 2011 Arab Spring revolution is now a nightmare spiraling downward into a possible full blown conflict. The military coup has left supporters of Morsi out in the cold and Egypt is in for a tumultuous time. Russia Today
reports Saturday armed guards have fired on crowd but the army denies involvement. With so many weapons on the street it could be any number of people making waves.
Will a foreign country step in overtly or covertly, as in the past?.Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed to unsuspecting civilians that western nations are gathering data and confidential information about the public. Governments continue to claim that it is all done within the bounds of laws but that is questionable. The extent of the spying mess is unknown for now which is why the hunt is on to catch former CIA operative Edward Snowden.Looking back to the Arab Spring and in particular Egypt, how far was the west involved in manipulating the so-called revolution? Egyptian leader Mubarek was at one time the favoured leader of that country but somewhere along the line that changed. Perhaps it was simply that the west acknowledged he was not a good leader and many of his people wanted democracy. Perhaps however says it all.The Syrian uprising is in a similar situation. Leader Bashar al Assad was once the preferred leader of Syria, at least by the west. He stayed over at Buckingham Palace and was wined, dined and treat as a welcome dignitary. Was that just western hypocrisy at that time? Were there no human rights infringements back then? You know, the old saying what cannot be cured must be endured, and also used to every opportunity it seems?Edward Snowden remains a man on the run Saturday. Hero or traitor the USA will not rest until he is apprehended. Snowden has many more secrets to reveal, a fact which has the west running scared. Do they include shocking revelations regarding western involvement in Egyot, Syria and the Arab Spring?Related reading:BBC news reporter Jeremy Bowen bloodied in Egyptian violence
Egyptian President Morsi ousted, under armed guard, military in charge
The latest Nobel Peace Prize award may come as a surprise to many people, especially those of us who live in Europe. According to the BBC, "The European Union has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for six decades of work in advancing peace in Europe."
During the last century Europe experienced two significant World Wars. Ten years was wasted fighting and destroying large chunks of Europe. Rebuilding after each War was long and hard. There have been smaller wars around the world plus civil unrest in some countries since but all out war has been kept under lock and key for the last 60 plus years.
In awarding the EU, the Nobel Peace Prize committee said that the EU had enabled Europe to become a peaceful continent rather than one of War.
Currently the EU faces austerity measures, gloom and doom plus many ordinary citizens seeing a down turn in their financial situation. It will be a testing time for all EU nations. Most people do not need reminding that Germany was at the forefront on the 20th Century confrontations. In the 21st Century many Europeans see Germany as once more trying to conquer and rule Europe, albeit this time with its economic policies.
Even today as the IMF Head Christine Legarde has asked that Greece be allowed more time to implement strict austerity measures, Germany has refused. Germany have insisted that Greece sticks to the bail out deal which was agreed. With the German economy less bouyant than in reacent years it is easy to see the reason for the German stance.
Nobel committee president Thorbjoern Jagland made the award and admitted that the EU faces a tough time. He concentrated on the EUs reconciliation work in the post second world war era and currently in the Balkan countries. His words and the award have delighted senior EU officials but the people may feel differently.
We tend to agree with those who think this EU award is a joke. The timing could not be worse. Europe looks set to implode once more. People such as Merkel may like to think that they have been recognised but they live in cloud cuckoo land. With people suffering austerity measures future conflicts may be more inclined to be civil rather than national wars. Spain and Greece have experienced violent protests and they are not alone.
Perhaps the timing is strange as there are so few candidates suitable for the peace prize this year. Then again maybe it is to gve the troubled EU a welcome morale lift. Perhaps it is a late April Fools joke?
The last time an organisation was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize outright was Medecins Sans Frontieres, which won in 1999. Now that one we can understand. The EU right now is tearing Europe apart.
If you thought the EU crisis was under control, think again. Out of sight, out of mind may be true, and reporting on the crisis in recent days has been almost non existent. However today July 24, 2012, there is more bad news for Europe
.Generally the German economy has been admired as strong and invincible. Now it seems that even the "powerhouse of Germany" maybe be under threat
. Credit agency Moody's has been quick to consider down rating Germany. If Germany's triple A rating
is cut it will be disastrous for Germany and the EU.With country's such as Spain still needing more bail outs the EU will look to Germany for a lead and for money. This time its looks may be in vain.
Today July 24, 2012, the Troika, that is the European Commission, The European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund are set to assess whether or not Greece has done enough to receive the next installment of its bail out. There are reports that the Greek government will ask for more time to enforce the austerity package demanded from the EU. Having imlemented many cuts already they still have quite a way to go.If the next installment of the bail out is not forthcoming expect the worst to happen. Greece will be in an untenable position in the Eurozone and left with few alternatives.The only sensible out come still appears to be an exit from the Eurozone for countries such as Greece and maybe even Spain.
Perhaps the best option would be the dissolution of the Eurozone and the EU dream. After all it became a nightmare long ago. One that people desperately need to wake up from.
If chewing the fat could solve the economic woes of Europe we would be well on the way to financial recovery. As it is, one meeting after another seems a huge waste of money when in reality nothing changes for the better. Are these leaders simply aiming to justify their jobs?
Today June 22, 2012, there has been a meeting of EU leaders in Europe. Hosted by Germany's Angela Merkel, (Who died and made her Queen?) the outcome looks likely to warrant yet more money. If it was yourself managing such a failed budget by now you would have decided to call it a day rather than keep throwing good money after bad, wouldn't you?
These European meetings have something of the school yard about them as they often only involve two leaders, selected leaders or all leaders and involve false promises and Chinese whispers. Today's looks to have been no different. Of coure the UK is not in the Eurozone as such, wisely having clung on to its own currency. This however makes us a poor relation in negotiations, that is unless they want the UK to stump up more cash.
Today's talks in Rome involved, unelected Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. How four leaders can decide the fate of other countries without including them in the talks is beyond this blogger. Including a non elected leader is a disgrace when leaders continue to advocate democracy and free, fair elections in Middle Eastern countries.
The four leaders are said to be in charge of the top four economies in the Eurozone. As three of those economies are experiencing difficulties it shows what a joke the European Union is.
Mr Monti said that "The first objective we agree on is to relaunch growth, investments and to create jobs."
The measures that they agreed are needed will be worth around 130bn euro. As usual then, not chicken feed. He went on to say, "We want there to be a significant European growth package, that is worth about 1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or 130bn euro."
Merkel's two-penneth was that "the lesson of this crisis is more Europe, not less Europe".
We think that many people will disagree with Ms Merkel on that score.
The divisions are there to be seen though even in this small minority meeting. Hollande for France wants countries to share financial burdens more whilst Merkel is pushing for a financial transaction tax which Cameron will not be in favour of. Of course the UK is not part of the Eurozone, but other countries who were not at this meeting are.Opinion:
What is it with all these little summits, meetings and tet a tetes?. Is it following the old adage of the bosses and the workers, that to divide is to conquer? How would you feel if you found out that an important meeting you attended had already run the week before without you. That is exactly how other Eurozone leaders will feel when they meet in Brussels next week. Of Course "Queen" Merkel will no doubt hold court first, with one or two leaders, but that is no way to do business. It smacks of dodgy dealings and underhand agreements. No wonder Europe is in such a mess.
Today's talks lasted less that two hours and the four did not agree wholeheartedly. Hollande wants assurances before sovereignty is surrendered to the EU whilst Merkel holds the opposite opinion. This is why many Europeans feel that Germany is once more attempting to rule Europe, this time by holding the purse strings.More Here
A new email today seemed well worth sharing. It was titled he wrote a book:--I was born in one country, raised in another. My father was born in another country. I was not his only child. He fathered several children with numerous women. I became very close to my mother, as my father showed no interest in me. My mother died at an early age from cancer. Although my father deserted me and my mother raised me, I later wrote a book idolizing my father not my mother. Later in life, questions arose over my real name. My birth records were sketchy. No one was able to produce a legitimate, reliable birth certificate. I grew up practicing one faith but converted to Christianity, as it was widely accepted in my new country, but I practiced non-traditional beliefs and didn't follow Christianity, except in the public eye under scrutiny. I worked and lived among lower-class people as a young adult, disguising myself as someone who really cared about them. That was before I decided it was time to get serious about my life and embarked on a new career. I wrote a book about my struggles growing up. It was clear to those who read my memoirs, that I had difficulties accepting that my father abandoned me as a child. I became active in local politics in my 30's then, with help behind the scenes, I literally burst onto the scene as a candidate for national office in my 40s. They said I had a golden tongue and could talk anyone into anything. I had a virtually non-existent resume, little work history, and no experience in leading a single organization. Yet I was a powerful speaker and citizens were drawn to me, as though I were a magnet and they were small roofing tacks. I drew incredibly large crowds during my public appearances. This bolstered my ego. At first, my political campaign focused on my country's foreign policy... I was very critical of my country in the last war, and seized every opportunity to bash my country. But what launched my rise to national prominence were my views on the country's economy. I pretended to have a really good plan on how we could do better, and every poor person would be fed and housed for free. I knew which group was responsible for getting us into this mess. It was the free market, banks and corporations. I decided to start making citizens hate them and, if they became envious of others who did well, the plan was clinched tight. I called mine "A People's Campaign". That sounded good to all people. I was the surprise candidate because I emerged from outside the traditional path of politics and was able to gain widespread popular support. I knew that, if I merely offered the people 'hope', together we could change our country and the world. So, I started to make my speeches sound like they were on behalf of the downtrodden, poor, ignorant to include "persecuted minorities". My true views were not widely known and I kept them unknown, until after I became my nation's leader. I had to carefully guard reality, as anybody could have easily found out what I really believed, if they had simply read my writings and examined those people I associated with. I'm glad they didn't. Then I became the most powerful man in the world. And then the world learned the truth. Who am I? ADOLPH HITLER If you were thinking of SOMEONE ELSE, you should be scared, very scared!The World after the Second Great War hoped it had seen the end of extremists
such as Herr Hitler's cronies and megalomaniacs like the man himself. Sadly this has been proved many times not to be the case. Of course it is sometimes about perception. One man's lifesaver may be another man's nutcase. That said there is no doubting the madness of the Nazi regime.As Europe falters again many people are looking towards the extreme right once more for some sort of salvation. They will not find it. They may find words but these people talk the talk, as they say. Lest we forget is more relevant than ever. Do not let them get even a tiny grip on power.Tags: Hitler, Neo Nazis, extreme right, European crisis