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30 June, 2017

Latest Venezuelan opposition coup attempt against Maduro linked to DEA, CIA

More than 80 people miraculously avoided injury or death in a helicopter attack that targeted Venezuelan government buildings this week. The attack may have been part of an attempted coup supported by the U.S. as it seeks to topple Venezuela’s government to gain access to its massive oil reserves.

Opposition efforts to topple Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government are rapidly heating up, as months upon months of opposition protests have failed to make the inroads desired by the more extremist elements of the opposition and their foreign backers, particularly the United States.

With the current government still hanging on to power despite years of economic sabotage and the funneling of millions from the U.S. to right-wing Venezuelan opposition parties, those determined to see Maduro removed from power have now turned to more drastic, violent measures in order to spark a coup.

On Tuesday, one of the more dramatic incidents of the most recent phase of the Venezuelan crisis took place when a stolen police helicopter opened fire on the Supreme Court and the Interior Ministry. At the time the attack occurred – about 5 p.m. local time – there were an estimated 80 people still inside the Interior Ministry and the Supreme Court was in session. No deaths or injuries were reported, a fact that the Venezuelan government attributed to a quick response by national guard forces, who repelled the attacking helicopter before it could do more damage.

Maduro condemned the attack soon after it occurred, calling it a “terrorist attack” that “could have caused dozens of deaths.” Ernesto Villegas, Venezuela’s Communications and Information Minister, stated that the attack was intended to be part of an attempted coup led by extremist groups within the opposition, with full U.S. government support said to be behind them.

Villegas’ assertion that the U.S. was involved in this attack is not based on mere speculation. Pérez has been known to work for Miguel Rodríguez Torres, a former general and former minister of Venezuela’s Department of Interior Relations, Justice and Peace who is currently being investigated for his ties to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the CIA. The charges first surfaced when the Venezuelan news agency Últimas Noticias obtained an official DEA document that described Rodríguez Torres as a “key information provider” for the agency and recommended that he be secured as a protected source for the DEA and U.S. government. It also noted that 40 percent of his assets and wealth are held in the U.S. under his wife’s name.

The U.S. has long sought to oust the left-wing, democratically elected government that was brought to power in Venezuela by Hugo Chávez in the late 1990s. Since Chávez’s election, the U.S. is believed to have spent between $50 to $60 million to strengthen the country’s right-wing opposition in the hope that they would win elections. Former U.S. President Barack Obama alone dedicated $5 million to “support political competition-building efforts” in Venezuela.

More recently, the U.S. Senate has been mulling over new legislation that would provide an additional $20 million for “democracy promotion” efforts in Venezuela. However, some of these efforts in the past have led to right-wing politicians and their affiliates paying protesters in cash to violently escalate opposition rallies.

Such rallies have turned increasingly violent in recent weeks, with three people burned alive by opposition protesters just in the last week. Journalists have also been targeted, with some being directly shot at and others threatened with being lynched or set aflame. Despite the violence, the Venezuelan opposition is likely to continue receiving funding from the U.S., which is eager to gain control of Venezuela’s oil reserves – the largest in the world – no matter the cost.

Source, links:


WikiLeaks - Alert for Linux users

Today, June 29th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the OutlawCountry project of the CIA that targets computers running the Linux operating system.

OutlawCountry allows for the redirection of all outbound network traffic on the target computer to CIA controlled machines for ex- and infiltration purposes. The malware consists of a kernel module that creates a hidden netfilter table on a Linux target; with knowledge of the table name, an operator can create rules that take precedence over existing netfilter/iptables rules and are concealed from an user or even system administrator.

The installation and persistence method of the malware is not described in detail in the document; an operator will have to rely on the available CIA exploits and backdoors to inject the kernel module into a target operating system. OutlawCountry v1.0 contains one kernel module for 64-bit CentOS/RHEL 6.x; this module will only work with default kernels. Also, OutlawCountry v1.0 only supports adding covert DNAT rules to the PREROUTING chain.


Brazil: Temer's neoliberal labor and pension reforms explained

The latest Ipsos Institute poll released this Thursday reveals that 93 percent of Brazilians reject Temer's presidency.

Friday will mark another general strike in Brazil against labor and pension reform proposed by Senate-imposed president Michel Temer.

Labor reforms proposed by Temer include the elimination of payment for workers' commute from their contracts, a reduction in employer compensation for abuse and allowing employers to reduce workers' salaries while increasing their work hours.

While Temer's vision of new labor laws would increase work hours, his radical proposal for pension reform would scrap the average retirement age of 54, making it mandatory that women retire at 62 and men at 65.

He's also proposing a 20-year freeze on public spending.

Enmeshed in a series of political corruption scandals and the general belief that his rise to the presidency was occasioned by a parliamentary coup orchestrated against democratically elected Dilma Rousseff, Temer's proposals aimed at stripping worker's rights and pensions are finding stiff opposition nationwide.

The latest Ipsos Institute poll, released this Thursday, reveals that 93 percent of Brazilians reject Temer's presidency. It's precisely for this reason that a general strike is scheduled the following day to avert reforms that would drastically undermine workers' rights and social security.



Venezuela: opposition protesters burn motorcyclist alive at barricade

One man was killed and another left with severe burns after opposition protesters attacked a truck driver with molotov cocktails in the state Zulia, Venezuela on Wednesday.

The national director of Civil Protection, Jorge Galindo, reported Thursday that one person was killed and two bystanders were seriously injured as a result of a protest in Maracaibo.

According to a victim of the attack, the trucker attempted to avoid being attacked at the barricade and collided into a motorcycle behind the vehicle, trapping the motorcyclist under the truck before protesters threw the petrol bombs.

"We came across the barricade .. and those who had blocked the way began throwing stones at us to loot the truck and when we went in reverse, we hit the motorcycle," said Jose Bravo, who was in the passenger seat of the truck.

(The motorcyclist) lay injured on the road and then they threw Molotov bombs at us and set the truck on fire. The boy burned to death and my colleague and I were rescued," Bravo continued.

Bravo, 33, suffered third-degree burns to 95 percent of his body, was sent to the Coromoto Hospital’s Burn Unit to receive treatment.

The motorcyclist was identified as 20 years old Luigin Paz.

Full report:

29 June, 2017

Guess what's the real reason of the legalization of gambling and marijuana

Richard Wolff explains perfectly the real reason behind the legalization of gambling and marijuana, which has nothing to do with some kind of shift of the states towards progressive policies.

As Wolff says:

Starting a few decades ago, Americans who have been told to save their money, who have been told in church that gambling was sinful, we're told that now the world has changed and you should please gamble every day, as much as possible. We call that the lottery system.

On every corner, in every tobacco store, in every stationary store, in countless drug stores, people are trying to sell you scratch tickets, lottery tickets, mega millions this, mega box that. That was once thought sinful, wasteful, inappropriate. Now we're been told 'you can't win if you don't play'.

And over the last few years, another unthinkable has happened. The following states have now legalized the recreational use of marijuana: Colorado, Washington, California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine. Six states have made it legal and it is a booming business.

We have lotteries and we have the legalization of marijuana, not because of cultural reasons, particularly, and not because of cultural changes particularly. We have that because our state governments are afraid to tax corporations and the rich because they will lose the money without which you cannot win electoral office in this country. And they've loaded up the mass of people with taxes because they didn't tax corporations and the rich. So, they dare not to raise taxes on them because then, they will lose the votes.

Caught between not wanting to lose votes and not wanting to lose the money they need to be politicians and to compete for the votes, they're desperate. That's why they borrow so much money and why Illinois, Puerto Rico have collapsed. Because they can't borrow anymore having borrowed too much already.

So, imagine how desperate they are. 'Can we find', they ask themselves, 'new ways of raising money that the mass of people will not be angry at us about, and that the corporations and the rich won't care because we're not taxing them'. Answer: yes. Part one of the answer, institute lotteries. Part two of the answer, legalize marijuana.

Those state governments can raise money from people who buy marijuana, but let's be clear: these are regressive taxes, both the lottery and the marijuana. The lottery for sure since all statistics show us that the poorer you are, the more likely you are to spend on a lottery ticket, and that's no surprise because the more desperate you are to engage the fantasy that you might become a millionaire tomorrow, if you buy the right lottery ticket.

With marijuana, it's a population that is so excited that it can finally do something legally that it has had to do illegally before, that they won't mind, at least for a while, being taxed.

These are taxes on people that make no effort to discriminate according to their ability to pay. Lotteries hit the poor more than the rich, and cost the poor a bigger share of their income than they cost the rich. And the tax on marijuana works pretty much the same way.

These are not progressive taxes. They make no effort like an income tax does, to tax you according to your ability to pay. They are escape hatches, ways for irresponsible Democrats and Republicans to get out of what they ought to be doing, which is taxing the wealthiest and the business community because they've been the ones to cut their taxes the most, everywhere over the last 30 to 40 years.

Με εργαλεία της NSA φέρεται να έγινε και η νέα παγκόσμια κυβερνοεπίθεση

Χρήση εργαλείων, που πιστεύεται ότι αναπτύχθηκαν από την αμερικανική Υπηρεσία Εθνικής Ασφάλειας (NSA), φέρονται να χρησιμοποίησαν χάκερ και στην νέα παγκόσμια κυβερνοεπίθεση που βρίσκεται σε εξέλιξη.

Το κακόβουλο λογισμικό Petya, που έκανε και πάλι την εμφάνισή του, κωδικοποιεί τα δεδομένα υπολογιστών και ζητά από τους χρήστες να καταθέσουν το αντίτιμο 300 δολαρίων στο ηλεκτρονικό νόμισμα bitcoin, προκειμένου να τους δώσει το κλειδί για την αποκωδικοποίηση.

H εξάπλωση του κακόβουλου λογισμικού επιτυγχάνεται μέσω ενός κενού ασφαλείας (EternalBlue) στα Windows το οποίο σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες χρησιμοποιούνταν από την NSA, πριν διαρρεύσει στο ίντερνετ.

Όπως εξηγεί με μήνυμά του στο Twitter o Έντουαρντ Σνόουντεν, η αμερικανική κυβέρνηση γνώριζε εδώ και πέντε χρόνια για το πρόβλημα στην ασφάλεια των Windows αλλά δεν ενημέρωσε την εταιρεία. Αξιωματούχοι της NSA, που μίλησαν υπό καθεστώς ανωνυμίας στην Washington Post, αποκάλυψαν ότι υπήρχε έντονη ανησυχία για το μέγεθος του κινδύνου που εγκυμονούσε η χρήση του συγκεκριμένου εργαλείου, η υπηρεσία όμως συνέχιζε να το χρησιμοποιεί (εναντίον τίνος;) αδιαφορώντας για τις πιθανές συνέπειες.


28 June, 2017

Herbert Marcuse on modern totalitarianism

In chapter four of his book One-Dimensional Man, published in 1964, Herbert Marcuse gave a remarkably accurate definition of the modern totalitarianism in Western societies:

              The fact that the prevailing mode of freedom is servitude, and that the prevailing mode of equality is superimposed inequality is barred from expression by the closed definition of these concepts in terms of the powers which shape the respective universe of discourse. The result is the familiar Orwellian language ("peace is war" and "war is peace," etc. ), which is by no means that of terroristic totalitarianism only. Nor is it any less Orwellian if the contradiction is not made explicit in the sentence hut is enclosed in the noun. That a political party which works for the defense and growth of capitalism is called "Socialist, " and a despotic government "democratic," and a rigged election "free" are familiar linguistic-and political-features which long predate Orwell.

           Relatively new is the general acceptance of these lies by public and private opinion, the suppression of their monstrous content. The spread and the effectiveness of this language testify to the triumph of society over the contradictions which it contains; they are reproduced without exploding the social system. And it is the outspoken, blatant contradiction which is made into a device of speech and publicity. The syntax of abridgment proclaims the reconciliation of opposites by welding them together in a firm and familiar structure.

Today, as the false promises of capitalism start to collapse, we are witnessing growing inequality, economic instability and uncertainty, frequent financial crises, degeneration of the social state, poverty.

So, are we witnessing the collapse of the general acceptance of these lies by public and private opinion?

And does this totalitarianism starts to become more direct and obvious, using other pretexts (e.g. terrorism, economic competition, etc.)?

New UK govt held together by fear of a PM Jeremy Corbyn

After weeks of wrangling, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party agreed on Monday to give Prime Minister Theresa May the votes she needs to stay in office and push through legislation ensuring that the United Kingdom exits the European Union.

While the Democratic Unionist leader, Arlene Foster, spoke of the deal being “in the national interest” of the U.K. as a whole, commentators pointed to what looked like a massive concession to Northern Ireland’s local government — an additional 1 billion pounds in social welfare spending.

The money, though, was probably less important to the D.U.P. than staving off what it sees as a nightmarish alternative: the specter of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, becoming prime minister.

That’s because the election campaign that just concluded, with a hung Parliament in which no single party holds a majority of seats, kicked off a remarkable surge in popularity for Corbyn. That surge, lifting Corbyn and Labour, has shown no signs of abating since the votes were cast on June 8.

The Labour leader was widely seen to have handled the aftermath of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London better than the prime minister — comforting victims as she dodged the public — and opinion polls suggest that his party would win a new election if May is unable to govern.

Full article:

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Exploitation of children in propaganda war against Syria continues

Part 4 - The Bitter Truth

The Western and Gulf media work in lockstep with the narratives emanating from Washington on Syria. It is not coincidental that certain photos and stories of Syrian children go viral, while other more damning photos and sordid realities get no notice period.

Regarding the Omran case, we now know that he was not gravely hurt as media tried to imply, that his family have gone back to their lives in Aleppo, and the exploitation and lies around Omran cannot continue.

When I met them on June 6th, they showed no signs of the duress which terrorists and their backers—which include Western corporate media—claim. Instead, some neighbors were over, discussing media fabrications around Omran.

However, the children who are believed to have been exploited and used in the 2013 Ghouta chemical weapons fabrications remain missing and have not gone back to their lives, nor have their families in the Latakia countryside.

In March 2017, physicians with Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, after examining a White Helmet’s video, wrote: “…Swedish medical doctors, specialists in various fields, including pediatrics, have revealed that the life-saving procedures seen in the film are incorrect – in fact life-threatening – or seemingly fake, including simulated resuscitation techniques being used on already lifeless children.

The article noted that Dr Lena Oske, a Swedish medical doctor and general practitioner, said of an adrenaline injection shown in the video, “If not already dead, this injection would have killed the child!

While in al-Waer, Homs, on June 9, 2017, speaking with a woman who had returned not long after the last terrorist had been bused out in the government’s reconciliation agreement, she told me a story of her friend from the area. Bearing in mind that this is second hand information (and that I didn’t have time to stay another day to meet the friend in question), I’ll leave her words and this 2012 link as food for thought regarding the use of children, alive or day, for war propaganda against Syria: “In 2014, my friend’s son, Louay was leaving his school. A mortar fell on the street nearby and he was hit with shrapnel. The Red Crescent took him in an ambulance to al-Bour, a nearby aid association, which couldn’t treat him, so he was taken to a government hospital in al-Zahra’a. They tried to save him, but he died.

They took him back to al-Bour where they cleaned him for burial. While my friend was waiting, people from al-Bour carried him onto the street yelling the regime killed him, look what the regime does to children.'

Later, she saw on both al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya footage of her son, with men blaming the “regime” for killing children in Syria.

But she didn’t agree. The government helped her son and tried to save his life. He was 7 years old.


Source, links, videos:

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How Greece became a guinea pig for a cashless and controlled society

As Greece moves closer to becoming a cashless society, it is clear that the country’s attitude towards cash is reckless and dangerous. The supposed convenience of switching to a cash-free system comes with a great deal of risk, including needless overreach by the state.

by Michael Nevradakis

Part 4 - Cashless policies bode poorly for the future

Where does all this lead though? What does a cashless economy actually mean and why are global elites pushing so fervently for it? Consider the following: in a cashless economy without coins or banknotes, every transaction is tracked. Buying and spending habits are monitored, and it is not unheard of for credit card companies to cancel an individual’s credit or to lower their credit rating based on real or perceived risks ranging from shopping at discount stores to purchasing alcoholic beverages. Indeed, this is understood to be common practice. Other players are entering the game too: in late May, Google announced plans to track credit and debit card transactions.

More to the point though, a cashless economy doesn’t just mean that financial institutions, large corporations, or the state itself can monitor all transactions that are occurring. It also means that the entirety of the money supply—itself now existing only in “virtual” form—will belong to the banking system. Not one cent will exist outside of the banking system, as physical currency will simply not be in circulation. The banking system—and others—will be aware not just of every transaction, but will be in possession of all of our society’s money supply, and will even have the ability to receive a percentage of every transaction that is taking place.

So what happens if your spending habits or your choice of travel destinations raises “red flags”? What happens if you run into hard times economically and miss a few payments? What happens if you are deemed to be a political dissident or liability – perhaps an “enemy of the state”? Freezing a bank account or confiscating funds from accounts can take place almost instantaneously. Users of eBay and PayPal, for instance, are quite aware of the ease with which PayPal can confiscate funds from a user’s account based simply on a claim filed against that individual.

Simply forgetting one’s password to an online account can set off an aggravating flurry of calls in order to prove that your money is your own—and that’s without considering the risks of phishing and of online databases being compromised. Many responsible credit card holders found that their credit cards were suddenly canceled in the aftermath of the “Great Recession” simply due to perceived risk. And if you happen to be an individual deemed to be “dangerous,” you can be effectively and easily frozen out of the economy.

Those thinking that the “cashless revolution” will also herald the return of old-style bartering and other communal economic schemes might also wish to reconsider that line of thinking. In the United States, for instance, bartering transactions are considered taxable by the Internal Revenue Service. As more and more economic activity of all sorts takes place online, the tax collector will have an easier time detecting such activity. Thinking of teaching your child to be responsible with finances? That too will have a cost, as even lemonade stands have been targeted for “operating without a permit.” It’s not far-fetched to imagine that particularly overzealous government authorities could also target such activity for “tax evasion.”

In Greece, while oligarchs get to shift their money to offshore tax havens without repercussion and former Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis has been acquitted for failure to submit a declaration of assets, where major television and radio stations operate with impunity without a valid license while no new players can enter the marketplace and where ordinary households and small businesses are literally being taxed to death, police in August 2016 arrested a father of three with an unemployed spouse for selling donuts without a license and fined him 5,000 euros. In another incident, an elderly man selling roasted chestnuts in Thessaloniki was surrounded by 15 police officers and arrested for operating without a license.

Amidst this blatant hypocrisy, governments and financial institutions love electronic money for another reason, aside from the sheer control that it affords them. Studies, including one conducted by the American Psychological Association, have shown that paying with plastic (or, by extension, other non-physical forms of payment) encourage greater spending, as the psychological sensation of a loss when making a payment is disconnected from the actual act of purchasing or conducting a transaction.

But ultimately, the elephant in the room is whether the banking system even should be entrusted with the entirety of the monetary supply. The past decade has seen the financial collapse of 2008, the crumbling of financial institutions such as Lehman Brothers in the United States and a continent-wide banking crisis in Europe, which was the true objective behind the “bailouts” of countries such as Greece—saving European and American banks exposed to “toxic” bonds from these nations. Italy’s banking system is currently teetering on dangerous ground, while the Greek banking system, already recapitalized three times since the onset of the country’s economic crisis, may need yet another taxpayer-funded recapitalization. Even the virtual elimination of cash in Iceland did not prevent the country’s banking meltdown in 2008.

Should we entrust the entirety of the money supply to these institutions? What happens if the banking system experiences another systemic failure? Who do you trust more: yourself or institutions that have proven to be wholly irresponsible and unaccountable in their actions? The answer to that question should help guide the debate as to whether society should go cashless.


Source, links:

[1] [2] [3]

Οι νεοφιλελέδες είναι αδύνατον να κρύψουν τη χαρά τους ...

Άλλη μια φορά η υποκρισία του νεοφιλελεύθερου κατεστημένου χτύπησε κόκκινο, αυτή τη φορά με αφορμή το πρόσφατο πρόβλημα που προέκυψε με τους συμβασιούχους στους δήμους.

Αφού είπε το αυτονόητο, ότι οι εργαζόμενοι πρέπει να πληρωθούν τα δεδουλευμένα, ο Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης αναμάσησε την καραμέλα που πλασάρει τελευταία το κατεστημένο για να δικαιολογήσει τα αδικαιολόγητα: “νομιμότητα” συνοδευόμενη από μπόλικη “αλήθεια”:

Η Κυβέρνηση πρέπει να πάψει να δίνει ψεύτικες υποσχέσεις. Και πρέπει να παρουσιάσει μια συνολική λύση η οποία να σέβεται τους εργαζόμενους και τα δικαιώματά τους, αλλά και να μην παραβιάζει τις δικαστικές αποφάσεις και το Σύνταγμα. Δυστυχώς, οι προτάσεις της Κυβέρνησης εγκυμονούν νέους νομικούς κινδύνους και τελικά δεν λύνουν το πρόβλημα. Η δική μας θέση είναι ξεκάθαρη: Πρέπει να πληρωθούν άμεσα τα δεδουλευμένα των εργαζομένων συμβασιούχων που εξαπατήθηκαν από την Κυβέρνηση. Καταθέτουμε στη Βουλή σχετική τροπολογία. Πρέπει, όμως, να πούμε στους εργαζόμενους την αλήθεια. Δεν μπορεί να γίνει καμία μονιμοποίηση εκτός του συνταγματικού πλαισίου και των δημοσιονομικών δυνατοτήτων. Πρέπει να συναφθούν νέες συμβάσεις ορισμένου χρόνου για την άμεση αντιμετώπιση της σημερινής κατάστασης, σύμφωνα πάντα με τα οριζόμενα στο Σύνταγμα. Τέλος, πρέπει να στραφούμε σε εναλλακτικές και πιο οικονομικές μορφές παροχής υπηρεσιών στον τομέα της καθαριότητας. Και αυτό μπορεί να γίνει μέσα από συμπράξεις του Δημοσίου με ιδιωτικούς φορείς, ενώ πρέπει να πριμοδοτηθεί σε αυτούς η απασχόληση όσων έχουν σχετική εργασιακή εμπειρία.” (

Επειδή παρήλθαν οι εποχές των παχιών αγελάδων όπου οι διορισμοί γίνονταν από το παράθυρο μέσω των κομματικών διαύλων, η νεοφιλελεύθερη δεξιά (πρώην λαϊκή), έπρεπε να βρει το κατάλληλο αφήγημα που θα μπορούσε να καθίσει καλά στα αυτιά των 'νοικοκυραίων'. Το ίδιο σύστημα της μίζας, της ρεμούλας και του ρουσφετιού έγινε ξαφνικά "έντιμο": δεν δίνει ψεύτικες υποσχέσεις, λέει την αλήθεια και επικαλείται τη νομιμότητα.

Και όλα αυτά για να φτάσει τελικά στο "ζουμί", δηλαδή τις ιδιωτικοποιήσεις. Το ίδιο σύστημα που φρόντισε να απαξιωθεί το δημόσιο, προκρίνει τώρα ως μοναδική λύση για τα αδιέξοδα, τι άλλο; την ιδιωτικοποίηση των πάντων. Και εδώ ασφαλώς είναι τεράστια η ευθύνη της κυβέρνησης με την προχειρότητα και επιπολαιότητα που επέδειξε.

Το κατεστημένο, λοιπόν, με κύριο εκφραστή τη νεοφιλελεύθερη δεξιά, που κόπτεται δήθεν για τους εργαζόμενους, είναι αδύνατον να κρύψει το πόσο αδημονεί να ιδιωτικοποιήσει ως και τον αέρα που αναπνέουμε ...

27 June, 2017

Sorry Julian Assange, but you are COMPLETELY wrong about Emmanuel Macron

... and, about Trump to some extent ...

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, wrote recently a remarkable analysis about Why the Democratic party is doomed. We could agree with most of it, except the last sentence in which Assange writes:

           The Democratic base should move to start a new party since the party elite shows no signs that they will give up power. This can be done quickly and cheaply as a result of the internet and databases of peoples' political preferences. This reality is proven in practice with the rapid construction of the Macron, Sanders and Trump campaigns from nothing. The existing Democratic party may well have negative reputational capital, stimulating a Macron-style clean slate approach. Regardless, in the face of such a threat, the Democratic establishment will either concede control or, as in the case of Macron, be eliminated by the new structure.

From the three cases that Assange refers to, only Sanders is a "product" that came out of “nothing”, without the support of the establishment mechanisms, but purely with the support of the people from below and especially the American youth that indeed used successfully the Internet technology to promote Bernie.

Emmanuel Macron didn't came out of nothing. The 'darling' of the neoliberal establishment had full support from the mainstream media since the beginning of his campaign. Macron is literally a construction of the establishment. He might have lost, even from the Leftist leader Jean-Luc Melenchon (who has been 'beaten' by the media, like Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US), if he didn't have so much support from the establishment apparatus.

As mentioned already, Macron is certainly the first priority of the establishment. Not only he comes straight from the banking industry which lies on the top of the pyramid of the financial elites. He is also the new model promoted by the neoliberal regime. A young technocrat without a political party. A post-modern apolitical figure totally compatible to the younger generations who were born and raised according to the completely apolitical culture, built by the regime, especially the last four decades.

But even Donald Trump did not came out of nothing. It has been discovered that Donald Trump, who was promoted as "anti-establishment", took more time coverage in the media, even compared to the definitely-pro-establishment Hillary Clinton! The explanation is simple: Donald Trump is just a reserve of the establishment as has been repeatedly supported by this blog (and has been proved remarkably fast), against the real threat for the establishment called Bernie Sanders.

So, dear Julian, from the three cases you mentioned, only Bernie Sanders' campaign really came out of nothing, with the pure support and mobilization of the American people.

Αλέξης Μακιαβέλι Τσίπρας

Μπορεί στο εξωτερικό να τρώει πολύ ξύλο από τους εκπροσώπους του νεοφιλελεύθερου ιερατείου, αλλά στο εσωτερικό, ο Αλέξης Μακιαβέλι Τσίπρας δείχνει ότι έχει μάθει καλά τα κόλπα των πολιτικών ελιγμών. Βέβαια, στο εξωτερικό έχει να κάνει με άλλους, αδίστακτους και πανίσχυρους Μακιαβέληδες και είναι φυσικό να φεύγει κάθε φορά μελανιασμένος από το πολύ ξύλο. Βλέπετε, στο βασίλειο των πολιτικών Μακιαβέληδων επικρατεί ο νόμος του ισχυρού, όπως ακριβώς και στο ζωικό βασίλειο.

Έτσι, ενώ ο μικρός Αλέξης τρώει τα γκολ με το τσουβάλι στο εξωτερικό, στο εσωτερικό το παίζει μέγας μπαλαδόρος έχοντας για αντιπάλους κάτι Κούληδες, Φώφηδες, Σταύρους και Βασίληδες.

Τελευταία λοιπόν μεγάλη ντρίπλα του Αλέξη ήταν αυτή που έκανε στη Φώφη. Και η Φώφη, αν και προερχόμενη από την πάλαι ποτέ ισχυρή Πασοκική αυτοκρατορία, που σημαίνει ότι έπρεπε να είναι λίγο περισσότερο πονηρή, έπεσε κατευθείαν στη λούμπα.

Ο πονηρός Αλέξης, λοιπόν, έκανε άνοιγμα στις "προοδευτικές δυνάμεις" και συγκεκριμένα στη Δημοκρατική Συμπαράταξη, βάζοντας βέβαια και κάποιους όρους, δηλαδή, να θυμηθεί η "Συμπαράταξη" το Σοσιαλιστικό της παρελθόν και να πάψει να φοράει τη νεοφιλελέ ενδυμασία. Βέβαια, το ότι ο Αλέξης, μετά από το πολύ ξύλο που τρώει έξω, εφαρμόζει τα πιο σκληρά νεοφιλελεύθερα μέτρα κάθε φορά, είναι μια "μικρή" λεπτομέρεια που δεν παίζει και πολύ μεγάλο ρόλο σε τέτοιου είδους επικοινωνιακές πολιτικές "τσαχπινιές".

Το τάιμινγκ ήταν επίσης πολύ καλό, λίγο μετά την επίθεση της Φώφης κατά του Αλέξη στην τελευταία τους συνάντηση (σαν να λέμε είπε ο γάιδαρος τον πετεινό κεφάλα), περί θηλιάς κ.λ.π.

Έτσι, ο Μακιαβέλι της Αριστεράς θα είναι σε κάθε περίπτωση κερδισμένος. Αν κάποια στιγμή, αλλάξουν τα πράγματα και η Δημοκρατική Συμπαράταξη αποφασίσει συμπόρευση με τον ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, ο Τσίπρας θα έχει το πάνω χέρι στις επόμενες εκλογές, με το πάλαι ποτέ ισχυρό ΠΑΣΟΚ να καταντάει ορντινάντσα του.

Προς το παρόν, η Φώφη του το έκοψε ορθά κοφτά (και αυτό ήταν το μεγάλο λάθος της - είναι φανερό ότι δεν μπορεί να συγκρατήσει τα νεύρα της), πράγμα που θα δώσει το δικαίωμα αύριο στον Τσίπρα να ρίξει όλο το φταίξιμο στις υπόλοιπες "προοδευτικές δυνάμεις" και ειδικά στο παλαιό ΠΑΣΟΚ, σε περίπτωση πολιτικής αναταραχής και αστάθειας και σε περίπτωση που κάποιοι (βλέπε Λεβέντης), συνεχίζουν να κραυγάζουν για κυβερνήσεις συνεργασίας και "εθνικής συνεννόησης".


26 June, 2017

Alert: Trump regime tightens noose further around Whistleblowers

It was a matter of time. CIA director Mike Pompeo has just went further from his original position. Recall that early this year, Pompeo informed United States senators he would “aggressively seek to ensure we have the most effective programs for identifying insider threats.

As mintpressnews expained, “It was a pledge to pursue the same anti-leaks policies that discourage whistleblowing that President Barack Obama’s administration pursued. Since President Donald Trump has expressed his fervent support for torture, which is against the law, and a draft executive order has circulated suggesting the Trump administration will restore the CIA’s rendition, detention, and interrogation program, the prospect of Pompeo intensifying efforts to clampdown on leaks is all the more concerning.

Pompeo came back with fresh statements, showing that he is determined to hunt fiercely the Whistleblowers movement. From Independent:

CIA Director Mike Pompeo says he thinks disclosure of America's secret intelligence is on the rise, fuelled partly by the “worship” of leakers like Edward Snowden.

In some ways, I do think it's accelerated,” Mr Pompeo told MSNBC. “I think there is a phenomenon, the worship of Edward Snowden, and those who steal American secrets for the purpose of self-aggrandisement or money or for whatever their motivation may be, does seem to be on the increase.

Mr Pompeo said the United States needs to redouble its efforts to stem leaks of classified information.


Mr Pompeo said the Trump administration is focused on stopping leaks of any kind from any agency and pursuing perpetrators.

I think we'll have some successes both on the deterrence side — that is stopping them from happening — as well as on punishing those who we catch who have done it,” Mr Pompeo said.

We all understand what a CIA head means by "pursuing perpetrators" and "punishing those who we catch". It means brutal interrogation and torture for anyone who will dare to expose the dirty secrets and endless crimes of the US empire.

So far, the 'anti-establishment' Donald Trump actually hired Goldman Sachs to run USA. The 'anti-establishment' Donald signed a bill to deregulate again Wall Street, so that the parasites of the financial mafia to be able to play their games at the expense of the majority, as happened so many times in the past, causing big financial crises. The 'anti-establishment' Donald quickly aligned with the neocon agenda and bombed Syria. In fact, the 'anti-establishment' Donald did even more than the puppet of the establishment, Barack Obama, by provoking dangerously war games in Asia-Pacific. The 'anti-establishment' Donald kept US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, continued the US interference in Yemen and elsewhere. The 'anti-establishment' Donald pursued a totally unacceptable health care program that - in case it will pass - will push millions of Americans further to the cliff, without even a rudimentary social safety net.

Only one thing was left for Donald to preserve a little more the myth of the 'anti-establishment' candidate: pardon Whistleblowers. Well, guess what: all the people around the Trump regime and especially the CIA director are slipping fast towards the positions of the corporate Dems like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Recall that a year ago, Clinton strategist, Bob Beckel, called for WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange to be assassinated, as WikiLeaks reported on twitter.

It is obvious that the Trump regime has quickly become another tool of the establishment to maintain its domination over the American people. Whistleblowers are in great danger, but not alone. They are supported by an increasingly large number of individuals worldwide who seek truth and justice. The battle for these values will be long and hard.

Assange criticizes ‘doomed’ Democratic Party for stirring Russia-Trump ‘hysteria’

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says the Democratic party is “doomed,” while warning its Trump-Russia collusion narrative is a “political dead end” that is consuming all its energy. Assange took to Twitter on Sunday to list six reasons he believes the party is sabotaging itself, why.

The Democratic establishment has vortexed the party’s narrative energy into hysteria about Russia,” he wrote, calling the rhetoric a “political dead end.

Despite vast resources, enormous incentives and a year of investigation, Democratic senators who have seen the classified intelligence at the CIA such as Senator Feinstein (as recently as March) are forced to admit that there is no evidence of collusion,” he wrote.

The WikiLeaks founder went on to address other issues he believes are leading to the party’s demise, including the collapse of the Democratic vote over the past eight years, which he says has occurred at all levels – city, state, congressional, and presidential.

This short-term tactic has led to the inevitable strategic catastrophe of the white and male super majorities responding by seeing themselves as an unserviced political identity group,” he wrote, noting that Trump received the votes of 63 percent of white men and 53 percent of white women.

Assange also listed the many shortcomings of the Trump administration, including “broken promises, inequality, economy, healthcare, militarization,” saying the Democrat party can’t really address those issues, either, because “all its energy and it is entangled with many of the same groups behind Trump’s policies.

The 45-year-old went on to say that the Democratic party has integrated itself with the “security sector and media barons,” which leads to the perception that Democrats “act on behalf of an entrenched power elite.

The Democratic base should move to start a new party since the party elite shows no signs that they will give up power,” he wrote.

Assange tweeted the six points from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been holed up for the past five years.

Although Sweden dropped an investigation into Assange’s sexual assault allegations last month, he has remained in the embassy to avoid being extradited to the United States. WikiLeaks published 391,832 classified documents relating to the war in Iraq in 2010, the biggest leak of its kind in military history.


Exploitation of children in propaganda war against Syria continues

Part 3 - Real Poster Children Brutally Beheaded, Sniped, Starved, Maimed

Effective war propaganda tugs at the heart strings, using many tactics, including adorable children in threatening situations, or dead, and comes hand in hand with condemnations for crimes committed, allegedly, by the villain(s) being caricatured. In the following instances, children being injured or murdered did occur, but the condemnations were muted or not at all.

A few weeks prior to the photo of Omran Daqneesh going viral as the poster child for suffering in Syria, terrorists of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki faction beheaded a boy said to be around 12 years old.

Although the decapitators filmed the entire savage act, posing for gleeful selfies as they tortured the boy prior to murdering him, leaders and media in the US took little notice of the horrific slaughter. Ten days after the questionable events which led to the light injury of Omran, two young boys in the Idlib villages of Foua and Kafraya were shot in their head and neck respectively by a sniper from Jaysh al-Fateh terrorists in the village of Binnish close by. The injuries were serious. They were rendered even more serious given that the villages had been completely surrounded and fully under siege by terrorists since March 2015.

In April 2017, a convoy of children, women, elderly and ill being evacuated from Foua were attacked by a terrorist explosion, with reports over 200 murdered, including 116 children. The attack included luring with potato chips and filming children in the convoy before later blowing them up and claiming to be rescuing them. Not only did these terrorists murder civilians and children, but they staged the scene to then look like heroes.

Indeed, in the West this massacre was called a “hiccup” and little denunciation was made about the vast numbers of dead, let alone the injured.

In October, 2016, Press TV was one of the few outlets to report on another adorable Aleppo boy, Mahmoud, “a six-year-old Syrian boy who was born without arms, and recently lost both of his legs after stepping on a mine planted by militants in Syria’s Aleppo.” The report includes scenes of Mahmoud showing his resilience, adjusting to life without any limbs. But for corporate media, Mahmoud’s were the wrong villains.

Terrorist bombings and snipings have killed children in schools and homes throughout Syria over the years, including the October 2014 terrorist car and suicide bombing of the Akrama Al-Makhzoumi School in Homs, killing at least 41 children by conservative estimates, or up to 48 children by other reports, along with women and other civilians, as well as attacks on Aleppo schools, as I detailed earlier.

In Aleppo and in Damascus, I have visited numerous hospitals and seen endless poster children of suffering in Syria. The differences between these children and those which Western and Gulf media present us, is that these children were murdered, rendered critically-injured, or maimed by the bombs, mortars and snipings of terrorists which the West presents as “moderate rebels”, so their stories will never be front page, much less heard.

Source, links, videos:

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How Greece became a guinea pig for a cashless and controlled society

As Greece moves closer to becoming a cashless society, it is clear that the country’s attitude towards cash is reckless and dangerous. The supposed convenience of switching to a cash-free system comes with a great deal of risk, including needless overreach by the state.

by Michael Nevradakis

Part 3 - Global powers jumping on cashless bandwagon

Nevertheless, a host of other countries across Europe and worldwide have shunned Germany’s example, instead siding with the IMF and Stiglitz. India, one of the most cash-reliant countries on earth, recently eliminated 86 percent of its currency practically overnight, with the claimed goal, of course, of targeting terrorism and the “black market.” The real objective of this secretly planned measure, however, was to starve the economy of cash and to drive citizens to electronic payments by default.

Iceland, a country that stands as an admirable example of standing up to the IMF-global banking cartel in terms of its response to the country’s financial meltdown of 2008, nevertheless has long embraced cashlessness. Practically all transactions, even the most minute, are conducted electronically, while “progressive” tourists extol the benefits of not being inconvenienced by the many seconds it would take to withdraw funds from an ATM or exchange currency upon arrival. Oddly enough, Iceland was already largely cashless prior to its financial collapse in 2008—proving that this move towards “progress” did nothing to prevent an economic meltdown or to stop its perpetrators: the very same banks being entrusted with nearly all of the money supply.

Other examples of cashlessness abound in Europe. Cash transactions in Sweden represent just 3 percent of the national economy, and most banks no longer hold banknotes. Similarly, many Norwegian banks no longer issue cash, while the country’s largest bank, DNB, has called upon the public to cease using cash. Denmark has announced a goal of eliminating banknotes by 2030. Belgium has introduced a 3,000-euro limit on cash transactions and 93 percent of transactions are cashless. In France, the respective percentage is 92 percent, and cash transactions have been limited to 1,000 euros, just as in Spain. Outside of Europe, cash is being eliminated even in countries such as Somalia and Kenya, while South Korea—itself no stranger to IMF intervention in its economy—has, similarly to Greece, implemented preferential tax policies for consumers who make payments using cards.

Aside from policy changes, practical everyday examples also exist in abundance. Just try to purchase an airline ticket with cash, for instance. It remains possible—but is also said to raise red flags. In many cases, renting an automobile or booking a hotel room with cash is simply not possible. The aforementioned Department of Homeland Security manual considers any payment with cash to be “suspicious behavior”—as one clearly has something to hide if they do not wish to be tracked via electronic payment methods. Ownership of gold makes the list of suspicious activities as well.

Just as the irony of Germany being a largely cash-based society while pushing cashless policies in its Greek protectorate is lost on many Greeks, what is lost on seemingly almost everyone is this: something that is new doesn’t necessarily represent progress, nor does something different. Something that is seemingly easier, or more convenient, is not necessarily progress either. But for many, “technological progress,” just like “scientific innovation” in all its forms and without exception, has attained an aura of infallibility, revered with religious-like fervor.

Combating purported tax evasion is also treated with a religious-like fervor, even while ordinary citizens—such as the two aforementioned gentlemen in Greece—typically seek to minimize their outlays to the tax offices. Moreover, while such measures essentially enact a collective punishment regardless of guilt or innocence, corporations and oligarchs who utilize tax loopholes and offshore havens go unpunished and are wholly unaffected by a switch to a cashless economy in the supposed battle against tax evasion.

This is evident, for instance, in the case of “LuxLeaks,” which revealed the names of dozens of corporations benefiting from favorable tax rulings and tax avoidance schemes in Luxembourg, one of the original founding members of the EU. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, formerly the prime minister of Luxembourg, has faced repeated accusations of impeding EU investigations into corporate tax avoidance scandals during his 18-year term as prime minister. Juncker has defended Luxembourg’s tax arrangements as legal.

At the same time, Juncker has shown no qualms in criticizing Apple’s tax avoidance deal in Ireland as “illegal,” while having been accused himself of helping large multinationals such as Amazon and Pepsi avoid taxes. Moreover, he has openly claimed that Greece’s Ottoman roots are responsible for modern-day tax evasion in the country. He has not hesitated to unabashedly intervene in Greek electoral contests, calling on Greeks to avoid the “wrong outcome” in the January 2015 elections (where the supposedly anti-austerity SYRIZA, which has since proven to be boldly pro-austerity, were elected).

He also urged the Greek electorate to vote “yes” (in favor of more EU-proposed austerity) in the July 2015 referendum—where the overwhelming result in favor of “no” was itself overturned by SYRIZA within a matter of days. In the European Union today, if there’s something that can be counted on, it’s the blatant hypocrisy of its leaders. Nevertheless, proving that old habits of collaborationism die hard in Greece, the rector of the law school of the state-owned Aristotle University in Thessaloniki awarded Juncker with an honorary doctorate for his contribution to European political and legal values.

Source, links:

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Νέες ενδοϊμπεριαλιστικές αντιθέσεις στη Μέση Ανατολή

Στον 21ο αιώνα στα «ευρασιατικά Βαλκάνια» (Λίβανος, Παλαιστίνη, Συρία, Ιράν, Ιράκ), στην περιοχή του Κόλπου και στην ευρύτερη Μέση Ανατολή, μια περιοχή-εθνοτικό μωσαϊκό, εμπλέκονται άμεσα δύο βασικοί άξονες: Από τη μία ο ευρωατλαντικός, με διακριτά συμφέροντα κυρίως μεταξύ ΗΠΑ και Βρετανίας και με διακριτά ενεργό συμμετοχή πρωτίστως της Γαλλίας αλλά και Γερμανίας. Από την άλλη, ο άξονας Ρωσίας-Κίνας-Συρίας-Λιβάνου-Ιράν, με υπαρκτές αντιθέσεις στο εσωτερικό του.

του Αλέκου Αναγνωστάκη

Μέρος 4ο – Το «αραβικό ΝΑΤΟ» με στόχο το Ιράν

Πίσω από τον πάντα υπολογίσιμο σιϊτισμό του Ιράν και πίσω από τον ισχυρό σουνιτισμό της Σαουδικής Αραβίας, βρίσκονται οι πραγματικές αντιθέσεις ανάμεσα στα διάφορα κέντρα του ιμπεριαλισμού. Η ίδια η εσωτερική κόντρα των Σαούντ με τους Αλ-Θάνι, που κρατά εδώ και είκοσι χρόνια, είναι η κόντρα ανάμεσα σε αναδυόμενες ιμπεριαλιστικές δυνάμεις του Ιράν και της Σαουδικής Αραβίας. Οι ενέργειες του Ριάντ, των ΗΑΕ και άλλων αποτελούν μέρος μιας συντονισμένης προσπάθειας όχι συντριβής, αλλά πίεσης στο Κατάρ, ώστε να ευθυγραμμιστεί με τις σαουδαραβικές θέσεις για τη Μουσουλμανική Αδελφότητα και το Ιράν. Αυτό ωφελεί και τις ΗΠΑ.

Αυτό εξάλλου αποκαλύπτει και επιβεβαιώνει και η επίθεση της Σαουδικής Αραβίας το 2013, μέσω ενός περιφερειακού σουνιτικού συνασπισμού, εναντίον των Αδελφών Μουσουλμάνων στην Αίγυπτο, υποστηρίζοντας το αιματηρό στρατιωτικό πραξικόπημα που προκάλεσε ντόμινο αλλαγών. Μετά από αυτό, οι Αδελφοί Μουσουλμάνοι υποχωρούν. Παραδίνουν στην Τυνησία την «αρχή» σε μια κοσμική κυβέρνηση, παρακμάζουν στην Ιορδανία, υποχωρούν στη Συρία με ενδυνάμωση των τζιχαντιστών, περιορίζονται στη Λιβύη στην κατοχή της πρωτεύουσας και της δυτικής μόνο χώρας, υφίστανται διώξεις στις μοναρχίες του Περσικού Κόλπου. Τώρα, με «αιχμή» τους Σαούντ, επιχειρείται η επανασυγκρότηση και επαναλειτουργία του λεγόμενου αραβικού ΝΑΤΟ από τις μοναρχίες του Κόλπου, στην αντιπαράθεσή τους με το Ιράν.

Παρ’ όλα αυτά, το Κατάρ συνεχίζει να τηρεί ευνοϊκή στάση απέναντι στους Αδελφούς Μουσουλμάνους και στο Ιράν. Το δε παγκόσμιας εμβέλειας τηλεοπτικό κανάλι Al Jazeera, με έδρα τη Ντόχα, συνεχίζει τα δημοσιεύματα εναντίον των γειτονικών μοναρχιών. Συνεχίζει να στηρίζει τον ηγέτη της Χαμάς Αλ-Μεσάλ και τον εξοστρακισμένο κληρικό της Σαουδικής Αραβίας Καράνταγι, τη συνένωση του παρακλαδιού της Αλ-Κάιντα στη Συρία με 4 τζιχαντιστικές οργανώσεις για την δημιουργία της «Επιτροπής Απελευθέρωσης της Λεβαντίνης».

Σε αυτές του τις πρωτοβουλίες, εκτός του Ιράν, συνεπικουρείται και από την Τουρκία του Ερντογάν, του έτερου υποστηρικτή των Αδελφών Μουσουλμάνων. Στην τρέχουσα κρίση, η Τουρκία πραγματοποιεί σαφές άνοιγμα προς το Κατάρ. Η βουλή της ενέκρινε συμβολικά την αποστολή Τούρκων στρατιωτών στο έδαφός του και ο πρόεδρος του τουρκικού εμπορικού επιμελητηρίου στέλνει αεροπλάνα με τρόφιμα.

Η κοινή κλωστή που συνδέει Κατάρ, Τουρκία, Ιράν είναι τα τεράστια υλικά συμφέροντα και ο ρόλος τους στην ευρύτερη περιοχή, είναι η ιδιοδιαχείρηση τους. Δεν είναι δηλαδή οι αιρέσεις του Ισλάμ που τις χρησιμοποιούν με τρόπο ανάλογο με αυτόν που χρησιμοποιούν την ορθοδοξία, τον καθολικισμό, τον προτεσταντισμό για την εξυπηρέτηση των συμφερόντων τους τα δυτικά ιμπεριαλιστικά κέντρα. Η συνολική κατάσταση έχει να κάνει με μια χωρίς προηγούμενο διάβρωση του κοινωνικού ιστού, παρουσία πολιτικών ηγετών οι οποίοι αντί να ενώνουν, να δίνουν όραμα, συμβάλλουν στην αποσύνθεση.

Η αίσθησή δε που αποκομίζει κανείς ακόμη και στην αντιμετώπιση (και από τη «Δύση») των ισλαμικών οργανώσεων ως φονταμενταλιστικές και τρομοκρατικές, είναι πως αυτό γίνεται αδίστακτα και τελείως οπορτουνιστικά. Αρκεί αυτό να οδηγεί στη συμμόρφωση των μαζών στη νεοφιλελεύθερη αντίληψη δυτικής η ισλαμικής χρειάς. Αρκεί αυτό να απομακρύνει από μια στάση ζωής που μπορεί να διεκδικεί τα αιτήματα ελευθερίας, ισότητας και αξιοπρέπειας, μακριά από κάθε υποκριτική και εργαλειακή χρήση της θρησκείας, του εθνικισμού ή όποιου άλλου καταφυγίου.

Αυτός ο φαύλος κύκλος είναι δυνατό να σπάσει τελικά είτε από μια αδύνατο να προβλεφθεί κοινωνική καταστροφή στην ευρύτερη περιοχή είτε από ένα σύγχρονο ανερχόμενο απελευθερωτικό εργατικό και λαϊκό ρεύμα, αραβικής προφανώς καταγωγής.



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