democracy - Page 7

  • Yemen is just such a mess no wonder alqaida feels at home

    "FIghting in central Yemen between Houthi rebels and a tribe in the town of Radda has killed at least 250 people in the last three days, security officials said Monday.


    The Houthis — a political and religious rebel group named after a former commander, Hussein Badr al-Din al-Houthi — captured Sanaa on Sept. 21 after weeks of anti-government protests focused on fuel price rises. The group signed a power-sharing agreement with other political parties soon afterward, a deal that was sanctioned by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. But this has not deterred the Houthis from pushing into other parts of the country. Their leaders say they want a more representative national government that can combat corruption and secure the country.

    if you understand something, you know more than I but this looks like a real mess in which you will never know who will do what to who 

    failed state is their name

  • why #ISIS has to control cities and road to have a steady income (next to oil)

    "Extortion and illicit taxation systems are also a significant source of income for ISIS, and potentially one of the most sustainable. Prior to capturing Mosul, ISIS was already earning $12 million a month in the city alone. This is now being replicated, though in a more organized manner, across ISIS-controlled territory and covertly in other areas under its partial influence. However, it should be recognized that this ‘extortion’ and taxation is not always done unilaterally and solely in ISIS self-interest. For example, a sophisticated ISIS taxation system on the main highway between Jordan and Baghdad has been developed which replaces the government’s import tax by charging reduced rates for the transport of goods into the Iraqi capital. The trucking business across western Iraq is primarily controlled by Sunni tribes, and therefore, by imposing lower taxes ISIS earns a steady income but offers its tribal guarantors an opportunity to increase their earnings.  Similar systems are in place elsewhere in western Iraq and eastern Syria, with an overriding emphasis place upon this dual focus of earning money while retaining a ‘buy-in’ from tribes that ISIS existentially relies upon for its societal survivability.

    so without troops on the ground to attack ISIS and to develop a sense of security so that nobody thinks that they have to pay to ISIS to be sure that their livehood and business will not have any risk of being killed, ISIS will be sure to have at one side enough resources to pay its combatants and at the other side have secured the continued commerce in the territories that she controls so that 'everything looks normal' and people can 'get on with their lives' (they think)

    and neither the Iraq army nor the Iraq leadership are showing any real willingness to go to a real war with ISIS because they are holding back (and the US and the socalled alliance is NOT giving them the military hardware and operations they need to make a real difference)

  • the situation can become much worse in Iraq and the region if #ISIS takes Anbar (but who cares over here?)

    "So far, Iraqi military and security forces in Anbar report they are receiving supplies and light arms from the government, but not the heavy artillery and tanks they say they need to push back Islamic State gains.


    “The general perception is that the Iraqi government doesn’t believe Anbar as a whole to be important,” says Ahmed Ali, an Iraqi researcher with the Institute for the Study of War based in Washington. “It sees parts of Anbar to be important, but it’s clear the government’s priority is to secure the [outskirts] of Baghdad first.”


    Similarly, US-led airstrikes have shifted away from targets in and around cities in Anbar in recent weeks. Instead, coalition planes are more often protecting key points of Iraqi infrastructure like the Mosul Dam and Bayji oil refinery.


    Ali says beyond the province’s symbolic value, there will be dramatic strategic consequences if Anbar falls out of government control. One of those consequences will be that Islamic State militants will be better positioned to launch attacks on Shia holy sites in Karbala. One such devastating attack, Ali argues, could spark an all out civil war in a manner similar to how the 2006 al-Askari Mosque bombing in Samarra unleashed a torrent of sectarian violence.

    war is not sending 9 or 20 times a plane to drop a bomb or 4 - how precise and massive they may seem

    war is not only giving small arms to soldiers who are facing an enemy with tanks, rocketlaunchers and heavy artillery 

    war is not standing by and saying everything is lost even if we have done everything we could (we say) 

  • these are the best/worst mediapirates websites (thanks MPAA)

    if you don't find it here, it will be very hard to find (and it will surely not be in Google)

    networks from firms should control that access to these sites is blocked to limit their responsabilities, if they have a proxy there should be some categories that would allow this. Allowing P2P traffic in a netwerk is just asking for huge legal and securityproblems (and sometimes networkproblems) 

    MPAA is spending millions to find them, calculate their importance and hunt them down to get at least their links out of Google as fast as possible (this is the reason for the renewed popularity of the sites that only have links to pirated content - which is illegal in Belgium under some conditions and maybe illegal in your country too, so be careful before you want to jump on the bandwagon)

    some sites are really located in astonishing places of which you would have thought that it would be easy to take them down using the copyright laws (Sometimes the FBI and now the London Police take down hundreds of websites in sweeps but those yearly actions aren't very effective because the search only goes to other places) 

    at another note, there is also some evidence that when there are professional, global and great alternatives like spotify and netflix the amount of illegal downloading reduces enormously 

    Direct Download and Streaming Cyberlockers: – Russia – Netherlands – Russia – New Zealand and the “Movshare Group” – Panama/Switzerland/Netherlands – Germany

    Peer-to-Peer Networks & BitTorrent Portals: – Several locations – Sweden – Germany/Luxembourg – Russia – Several locations – Ukraine – China


    Linking Websites: – Canada – Romania – Estonia – Switzerland – Switzerland – Latvia – Brazil – Brazil – Germany – China – Estonia – Argentina
    Degraç – Brazil – Brazil

  • this is the #hongkong camping for the long battle

    this will not be over in a week or two

    the students will not storm the buildings and invite the chinese army to come and crush them down and the chinese army will only come if they think they will lose otherwise hongkong and have a terrible example for them for other cities and regions how to get from under the centralist dictatorship

    the leadership in Hong Kong and China will not storm the camps because they have seen that even when they started to use some limited violence it only inflated enormously the number of protestors and the intensity of the protests and unless other protests now these protests can't be crushed while the whole world is watching

    both are planning and playing for the long term

    overday the camps of the protestors are mostly empty and most people join the permanent watchers when they have worked, taken a shower and eaten something (there is nothing more interesting on tv than to go out and discuss with your peers and stand together for democracy and freedom (while you still have that freedom)

    and so we will see every so many days initiatives, proposals and actions from one side or the other while we will never be sure if this is now the endgame

    and this is the same quarter by night, after working hours

    Embedded image permalink

  • #ukraine denies Der Spiegel desinformation about BUK missiles and #MH17

    we have published here time and time over again all the information that has been published by specialists since long time that the BUK came in from Russia and there is all the photographic evidence to proof it.

    But the propaganda and intox campaign of the masters of the Kremlin is as good as even when it comes to the western press who just copy-paste without verifying or critically researching information before researching it.

    And this strategy was even foreseen from the beginning directly after the disaster.

    “We have clearly stated that all our missile systems, including their personnel, were not present in the area of the tragedy,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Yevhen Perebyinis told DW on Monday, October 20.  “Statements that  militants had seized Ukrainian missile complexes do not conform to reality since all these systems had actually been moved in advance. We find it strange to hear conclusions that the militants had used Ukrainian missiles,” he said.


    Similarly, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense in an official statement posted on its website, October 20, has categorically denied claims that terrorists had seized the BUK-M1 (NATO code: SA-11 Gadfly) anti-aircraft missile system from a Ukrainian military unit.


    “Certain media citing the German magazine Der Spiegel have been disseminating information that the Malaysian passenger plane, flight MH17 , flying over the Donetsk Oblast had been downed by a BUK anti-aircraft missile system seized by pro-Russian separatists from one of the Ukrainian military units. The Command of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine officially states that information on the seizure by terrorists of the BUK-M1 anti-aircraft missile system from a military unit of the Air Force of Ukraine is not true,” the Ministry’s statement said.

  • the german drones can't be used in Ukraine because.....

    yeah you read it

    they will never go to Antartica

  • the military ships of the future don't look like ships

    In fact they are constructed to survive in electronic warfare attack and to keep attacks off that try to intercept communications (Tempest)

    If in the next war you can't defend yourself against the electronical signals and protect your own, than you have lost, no matter how big your bomb is

    by the way Russia is building an enormous Electronic warfare base in Kalingrad the Russian enclave that oversees the baltic sees (he is sending a few hundred electronic and cyberwarfare soldiers there)

  • #gamergate:how a small bunch of online SS-style bullish trolls bring down big gamessites

    These big gamers sites are all about the money, about having advertising and the advertisers all want to be hip and cool and not be embroiled in an online war between young women who happen to be gamers but of a different kind (even if professional gamer specialists say that women are the new market as the men market for gaming is already totally conquered and every industry looks for enormous expansion to be able to invest and develop and grow and diversify)

    but as they didn't win on the public forum about the place that women couldn't have in their gamers environment, they went on the attack against the firms who often lack the moral courage to withstand public campaigns and fight for the freedom of each to live, speak and breath whatever the sex, religion, race or political opinion

    "On October 1, the computing giant Intel pulled its ads from Gamasutra, a trade website for game developers, over an essay called "'Gamers' don't have to be your audience. 'Gamers' are over" by a journalist named Leigh Alexander. Intel had been successfully harassed by a small, contemptible crusade called "Gamergate"—a campaign of dedicated anti-feminist internet trolls using an ill-informed mob of alienated and resentful video game-playing teenagers and young men to harass and intimidate female activists, journalists, and critics.

    Unable to run Alexander out of game writing, as they had with the writer Jenn Frank, or force her from her home, as they did to the developer Brianna Wu, or threaten her from public engagements, as they did the following week to the critic and activist Anita Sarkeesian, Gamergate went after her publisher. And, in an unbelievable and embarrassing act of ignorance and cowardice, Intel capitulated. The company's laughable "apology," released late on that Friday afternoon, didn't cover up the fact of Gamergate's victory: Intel was not replacing its ads.

    And other advertisers followed suit and those big gamer communities are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. But now it is time for the others to go back on the offense against the firms who didn't stand firm, who didn't defend our and your freedom and let the bullish gangs cry victory. Even in Football stadiums girls and women go with men to see the match and support their teams together. There are even women in the police, the army and other professions that were before solely for men. Why should gaming be different ? And every woman working for firms like Intel or buying products from Intel or distributing them should tell Intel they were wrong because by withholding their advertising because of a gang of people who have no respect for the rights of others they go against any moral leadership they claim in all of their social responsability ads.

    If women can be no part of the community there is no community.


  • #ukraine : the ceasefire may come to an end soon

    this is what a Russian commentator says

    "current polls suggest that “there will be almost no pro-Russian deputies” in the Verkhovna Rada to be elected on October 26.  And Putin needs to achieve his goals in the next few months before the situation in the occupied territories becomes “truly catastrophic” and potentially explosive for Russia itself.


    Given that confluence of events, the Moscow commentator says, it is likely that “soon Russian forces and separatists will step up their military activities in an attempt to defeat the Ukrainian army, to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the parliamentary elections, and to provoke in Ukraine a political crisis” that will end either by making the current regime more willing to make concessions or by bringing to power a pro-Moscow government.


    Given the approach of winter and the reluctance of the EU to put its gas supplies at risk by a new round of sanctions, Putin has every reason to move quickly. And “if Russian forces and their allies in the Donbas do not achieve real successes, perhaps, they will attack along the entire line of the border

    and later today one of the rebel leaders said that the ceasefire is over

    while new pictures have emerged from Russian military transports to Ukraine

    the elections are near and very clear, there will hardly be any prorussian elected, so Putin has nothing to win if the elections take place because he can't lose anything

    so don't be surprised if we have some surprises in the coming week

  • German parliamentary commission that controls BND leaked wrongly the #MH17story

    wow this will stirr some problems in the trust relationship

    the president of the BND was briefing the Parliamentary commission about the indications and thoughts he had about the shooting of the airline but he doesn't had any proof. Only one member of the commission didn't understand it like this and told Der Spiegel that the intelligence agency BND had enough evidence.

    perfect for the Russians

    and the stories about the stolen BUK's from Ukraine were also planted.

  • omnipresence of mobile lights and police is the new communitypolicing in crime ridden NY neighborhoods

    first at night they place mobile lights with generators everywhere where there is not enough light

    there is no darkness as cover, you can see in the parks everything and everybody around you

    and the drug streetcorners are being taken over by cops, every corner a few of them

    not stopping and checking on everybody but being there to convince you that this is neither the time nor the place to do some crime there

    and to keep everybody wondering what it is all about

    nobody is communicating the official policies and strategies

    why is this important because the whole western world has studied the policies they have used in NY to diminish crime (zero tolerance) and the defects of some other policies

    what works in NY will be copied by police forces all over the western world

  • aren't these pretty barricades in Hong Kong (but where are the protestors gone ?)

    watch live here nothing happening absolutely nothing live now

  • Mad Putin proposed to Poland in 2008 to invade #ukraine and take possession of 5 western provinces

    this is like 1939 the other way round when Hitler proposed to Stalin (not the other way round) to invade Poland as a secret part of their non-aggression pact

    Maybe we understand now better why Poland and the other eastern countries are so afraid of Putin because he is so unpredictable and capable of anything

    would you ever believe that he was capable of doing or saying this ?

    And another thing 'the prime minister of Poland is talking with Putin and he knows that Putin is recording this conversation' (for propaganda goals). Does he still think he is a KGB operative playing spy or agent provocateur ? it is a mad mad world with people like this

  • one quote that explains Europe's present weakess versus Russia

    "Our mistake was not to humiliate Russia but to underrate Russia's revanchist, revisionist, disruptive potential. If the only real Western achievement of the past quarter-century is now under threat, that’s because we have failed to ensure that NATO continues to do in Europe what it was always meant to do: Deter. Deterrence is not an aggressive policy; it is a defensive policy. But in order to work, deterrence has to be real. It requires investment, consolidation, and support from all of the West, and especially the United States. I’m happy to blame American triumphalism for many things, but in Europe I wish there had been more of it."


    which means that part of that necessary public investment IMF and the others are talking about will have to go to defense and if that investment is big enough we will never have to use it again .... in Europe while maybe it would be easier to impress warmongers around the world to stop using war as a way of diplomacy or internal politics. 

    If the NATO wants to have a meaning for Eastern Europe it will have to be a strong NATO, if the military alliance with the US is to have a meaning for Eastern Europe it will be one that rebuilds its military capabilities, assumes its responsabilities and takes action whenever this seem to be needed in Europe. 

  • Belgian historical researchers ask Minister of Justice Koen Geens to open the archives about the Collaboration

    well, strange as it looks like but this Minister of the Justice will have to decide in a government with the flemish nationalists if he wants to open the archives of the collaboration after the second world war. It was asked by the most important historical researchers of this period on the RTBF yesterday. 

    Normally the access to these archives of the collaboration and the repression afterwards are closed unless a commission by the highest judges decides otherwise. 

    They say that it has to do something with the privacy and that not people are not 'yet' dead - but this is for 90% of the cases so and normally we are approaching the 70 years (or 100 or always extended) secrecy limit of some of the states archives. This doesn't mean that those archives can be made really public (this is published on the internet). You still have to file a demand and you still have to go to some library and you still have some conditions attached to the use and so on. 

    The result of all this is that you can have discussions that are based on presumptions and not on research and historical evidence. These myths are dangerous because they take a life of their own. 

    At the same time this government can also show the will to introduce a 'Freedom of Information' Act and also take some initiatives to open archives about some other periods in our history which need more historical research (the second world war, our colony and its decolonisation and our interventions, the cold war, .....) 

    And even if not all the documentation is put online or made available about these later periods, maybe a collection of specialised Belgian and international professors and researchers can have access to publish a 'white book' giving maybe a new look at these difficult periods in our national history (Leopold III, strikes of the 1960, ....) and with that learning from what went wrong and what we did right. And it will also in these cases be possible for other professors how things changed afterwards and what we can now learn or remembers from those crises (in Security we call this the 'lessons learnt' research)

    It is very strange to have access to those thousands of US documents stamped secret or confidential before and sometimes just a few months or years old while we here have to wait ages before such a document becomes part of the public debate or memory. 

    It is only if we understand history that we can prepare for the future. 

    This is maybe the reason I am reading about the cold war and the KGB to understand Putin and about surveillance and instelligence to understand Snowden and the new kind of cyberwar (that looks more like espionage operations)

  • follow the search for the Russian submarine live (ships arriving from everywhere)

    on tv they say 'just as in the cold war'

    we are in a new cold war, don't you know yet ?

    source (here you can follow live the search

  • the russian rebels in occupied #ukraine are even fighting or not recognizing each other

    this is the map of the different battalions or occupied territories held by a local warlord

    from time to time there are even firefights between the locals and the russians

    a profile of each can be found here


  • better than a pcgame : the battle for #Donetsk airport against the Russian troops

    yep these are Russian tanks and Russian soldiers - these are not civilean volunteers or rebels

    the video show one of the daily Russian attacks against the Ukrainan defenders who are becoming even more popular every attack they repell, even if they had to abandon some big parts of the airports

    and there are lots more from the Ukranian side here