Mês: março 2016

A oligarquia depenou o PT

Elio Gaspari 30/03/2016 O PMDB nunca pensou, não pensa em sair do governo e sente-se ofendido se alguém admite essa hipótese. Quem corre o sério risco de sair do governo é­ o PT. O partido que foi de Ulysses Guimarães e Tancredo Neves e hoje é de Eduardo Cunha e Renan Calheiros quer apenas tirar uma licença de alguns meses, até o início do governo de Michel Temer, seu atual presidente. A ideia de que o PMDB resolveu sair do governo não tem nexo nem propósito e se destina apenas a esconder um objetivo. Os doutores querem que se creia que nada têm a ver com a ruína do governo e pretendem retornar ao poder como se Michel Temer fosse o sucessor constitucional da senhora Rousseff por ocupar a vice-presidência do Flamengo, não a da República, eleito por duas vezes, sempre compartilhando a chapa. O PMDB sai do governo para continuar no poder, dando esperanças a oposicionistas que não tiveram votos e a todos os gêneros de maganos tementes da Operação Lava Jato. Ninguém sabe quais são os planos dessa coalizão para um eventual dia seguinte à posse de Temer, mas seu objetivo essencial está claro: trata-se de desossar a Lava Jato. A armação oligárquica precisa sedá-la, pois há barões na cadeia e marqueses temendo a chegada dos homens de preto da Federal. O PT e Dilma reagiram às...

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Palmyra Liberation Means No Less Than Human Rights or Democracy

It’s unequivocally good news Alexander Mercouris 29/03/2016 It is good news because it liberates one of Syria’s oldest cities from the dark oppression of Daesh. It is good news because it brings closer the day of Daesh’s eventual collapse, opening the way for the lifting of the siege of Deir Ez-Zor and the liberation of Raqqa. Palmyra’s liberation is also good news for all humanity and not just because it hastens the day of Daesh’s final collapse. Palmyra is one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, concentrating within itself some of the greatest monuments of classical Antiquity. It is a site of tremendous historical importance, the capital of the great Arab Queen Zenobia who defied the Romans. It is first and foremost the property of the Syrian people and of the Arab nation, but it is also in the truest sense the property of all humanity. Any civilized person would earnestly wish to see Palmyra preserved. Its threatened destruction by Daesh would have been a cultural calamity comparable to the sack of Rome by the Goths or the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols. Those who say they value Palmyra’s preservation less than human rights or democracy fail to understand that it is precisely when places like Palmyra are destroyed that human rights and democracy — and indeed human life itself — are most threatened. Acting with indifference to the threatened destruction of a place like Palmyra is not the conduct of a humane, civilized and democratic person even — or especially — if it is done behind a mask of humanitarianism. It is the conduct of a barbarian. The leaders of the...

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All quiet on Western front after Syrian forces recapture Palmyra from ISIS

Danielle Ryan 28 Mar, 2016   The recapture of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra was the single biggest defeat for ISIS since it declared its caliphate, but the West does not seem interested. Why? Because then they’d have to give some credit to Russia. Indeed, it must have been a tough weekend for Western media’s favorite Syria pundits. It’s hard to fathom that any observer — regardless of their particular leanings — could feel anything other than relief at such a victory. Yet, there’s a strange sense that some pundits might actually be a little bit disappointed. Not to see the back of ISIS in the city, of course, but to be faced with the uncomfortable reality that their narrative is quickly unraveling. No word from the grand coalition Given the monumental importance of this latest victory in Syria’s war, you would expect at least a comment or two from Barack Obama, who more than a year and a half ago solemnly swore that his grand coalition would “degrade and destroy”the terror group. You might also expect a few words from David Cameron, who, like Obama, has seemed so terribly concerned by the humanitarian situation in Syria and so determined to “defeat” ISIS. But the two of them must have been having a bit too much fun this past Easter weekend, because there wasn’t a peep out of them. In a...

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How Putin’s leverage shaped the Syrian ceasefire

  Gareth Porter Monday 28 March 2016   By his military withdrawal, Putin was actually enhancing his leverage over both the military situation and the political negotiations still to come When Russian President Vladimir Putin had a substantive meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry last week, it was an extremely rare departure from normal protocol.  There was some political logic to the meeting, however, because Putin and Kerry have clearly been the primary drivers of their respective governments’ policies toward Syria, and their negotiations have already led to a stunningly successful Syrian ceasefire and possible Syrian negotiations on a political settlement. Washington and Moscow had to cooperate in order to get that ceasefire along with the jump-starting of intra-Syrian negotiations, now scheduled to begin next month, according to UN special envoy Steffan de Mistura.  But the diplomatic maneuvering did not involve equal influence on each other’s policies.  Putin’s Russia has now demonstrated that it has effective leverage over the policy of Kerry and the United States in Syria, whereas Kerry has no similar leverage over Russian policy. Kerry had appeared to be the primary driver of a political settlement last year, propelled by a strategy based on exploiting the military success of the Nusra Front-led opposition forces, armed by the United States and its allies, in northwestern Syria.  Kerry viewed that success a way of put pressure...

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Oil and Gas Revenue Accounts for 21% of Russia’s Budget Not 50%

The contribution of oil and gas rents account for only 21% of Russia’s budget.  The myth they account for more than 50% is due to a misunderstanding – or a misreporting – of Russia’s accounting conventions. A correct breakdown of Russia’s total budget revenues shows Russia is not the oil dependent economy myth makes it out to be but that it has highly diversified sources of revenue reflecting the diversified nature of its economy. It is the diversity of revenues that flow into Russia’s budget – in which income, corporate and payroll taxes not oil and gas revenues make up the biggest contribution – that explain why contrary to predictions neither the budget nor the economy have been crushed by the oil price fall. Jon Hellevig Mon, Mar 28, 2016 Originally appeared at Awara We were being hammered with the message that Russia is nothing more “than a gas station masquerading as a country”. Russia’s economy was supposed to “be in tatters” once the oil revenue drained, for supposedly Russia produced nothing else. Well, now their dream of low oil prices have come true, but somehow it failed to materialize in the annihilation of Russia’s economy. The industry is intact, showing a slight growth of 1% for the two months of this year and having reported only a negligible decline of 3.4% for all of 2015. Unemployment has persistently stayed at...

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