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Greek American community weighs in on Cyprus talks, and the removal of Turkish troops

A letter from the Greek American community on the Cyprus talks.

Alex Christoforou

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The Annan Plan in 2004 failed to unify Cyprus because of the thorny issue of Turkish troop removal and security guarantees failed to provide a proper security umbrella, without the need of Turkish intervention hanging over the heads of Cypriots.

The latest talks taking place in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, are entering their second week, and the make or break chapter of security and guarantees is expected to be negotiated by both sides.

Cyprus Mail reports

Ahead of Monday night’s main session on security and guarantees in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, all sides have submitted their written positions with strict commitment not to leak any documents.

However at least earlier in the day, both Greece and Turkey seemed to be playing hardball and sticking to their known positions.

Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias accused “some” of trying to “put the cart before the horse” while Turkish deputy prime minister and government spokesman, Numan Kurtulmus, said that without the Turkish Cypriot community being guaranteed, Turkey would not retreat on the issue of security and guarantees.

The Greek American community has issued this statement on the talks as they enter a make or break stage…

On the eve of the Conference on Cyprus, we feel compelled to express our views on the Cyprus negotiations on behalf of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Hellenic Council (AHC), the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey, and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH). Our community has worked with successive US Administrations on behalf of a workable and lasting solution on Cyprus. In 2004, when we warned that the flawed Annan Plan was headed in the wrong direction, some officials defamed us as “rejectionists,” “hard liners,” or as “not having a bottom line.” Yet history proved us right and the officials predicting a landslide victory in 2004 wrong. At this key moment in Cyprus’ history, we have decided that it is time for us to speak out, warn against false steps, and describe an agreement that we may be able to support.

We have not only advocated for an end to the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, but for a new and better Cyprus. We have: invested in Cyprus; led business delegations interested in a reunified Cyprus; pushed for better bilateral relations between Cyprus and the United States. We have prepared for reunification with our Turkish Cypriot brethren by supporting bi-communal programs, by opening lines of communications with Turkish Cypriot business and opinion leaders, by encouraging policies like the issuance of Republic of Cyprus passports to Turkish Cypriots. We are informed by Cyprus’ tragic past, but not enslaved by it. Our point of reference is the Cyprus of the future, not the Cyprus of 1974.

When we expressed our support for the February 2014 Joint Declaration that began this round of negotiations, we were full of hope. We dared to believe that the world was finally invested in a reunited and truly independent Cyprus, that the days when Cyprus was sacrificed at the altar of a larger political agenda had passed us. These hopes have been dashed over and over again.

Cypriots are prepared to make difficult, and in many cases painful, compromises on issues like territory, power sharing, and property. We acknowledge that Cypriot led negotiations over these issues have progressed further than ever before. At the same time, we regret that the issue that ultimately damned the 2004 Annan Plan – that of security – has not witnessed tangible progress.

We support the proposition that all Cypriots have the fundamental right to feel secure in their country. Indeed, the security of its citizens is the primary responsibility of any state. Several ideas – including an expanded peace keeping mission, an international police force, and other federal structures – that can provide security to all Cypriots are actively under consideration. With well-developed European institutions providing additional layers of security, we are convinced that a reunified Cyprus can meet the highest standards of protection for all its citizens.

The legalization and continued presence of a Turkish occupation force – of any size – and granting Ankara the right of any kind of intervention is completely inconsistent with the goal of a workable and lasting reunification. We cannot prioritize the international community’s desire for a diplomatic victory at the expense of a viable solution. Supporting a reunification with an uncertain future because it is subject to a Turkey with hegemonic aspirations and the ability to wait out every single diplomat involved in today’s negotiations is irresponsible.

We have been asked whether we cannot simply support “whatever the Cypriots agree to.” We are offended by this question. It assumes that our priorities are at odds with those of the Cypriot people. We are attuned to sentiment in Cyprus, and right now our conclusion is that the almost singular focus on process without addressing certain issues is setting up the Cyprus negotiations for failure.

We are not at the negotiating table, and many of us will not have a vote in a referendum on reunification. But we are being asked to invest in and encourage investment in a reunified Cyprus, and to reassure the citizens of Cyprus that the U.S. will stand firmly behind a Cyprus solution and help ensure that it is workable and lasting.

If Turkey’s presence is formalized in a reunified Cyprus – either through guarantees or troop presence – we cannot do any of the above with confidence. Cyprus is in Europe, and just as US policy has prioritized a Europe “whole, free and at peace,” we ask the same for Cyprus. Turkish troops and rights of intervention prevent both the “free” and “at peace” from ever being true. We are committed to the security of Turkish Cypriots and ALL Cypriots, and there are several structures which do not involve Turkish troops that can achieve that security. Going into the upcoming Conference on Cyprus, we condition our support of an agreement on it avoiding certain provisions:

1. A reunified Cyprus cannot be subject to foreign guarantees. The demands by Turkey to retain its guarantor status keep Cyprus inherently unsafe. An EU member state is in no need of any guarantees by foreign powers.

2. Turkish troops have no place in a reunified Cyprus. In 2008, former Vice President Joe Biden insisted on the “full withdrawal of Turkey.” We have the same demand. Foreign armies are not meant to carry out policing functions and would only serve as a source of instability.

3. The benefits that each community is to realize in a reunified Cyprus cannot be subject to temporary derogations and unclear timelines. If these benefits are not in place on Day 1 of a settlement, a successful referendum is less likely, and what will in any case be a challenging implementation period will be derailed.

4. Any settlement cannot contravene the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The Convention is binding on Cyprus and Turkey. The Charter is binding on Cyprus. For any settlement to be lawful, and for all Cypriots to have the full protection of the law, both the Convention and the Charter must be incorporated.

We continue to believe that a successful reunification of Cyprus will not only benefit the people of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, it will stabilize a volatile Eastern Mediterranean and further the interests of the United States. Focusing more on process and deadlines than on substance will only lead to failure and instability.

Nikos Mouyiaris,
Chairman and Founder, HALC
Andrew Manatos, President, CEH
Endy Zemenides, Executive Director, HALC
Tasos Zambas,
Executive Vice President, FCAO
Savas Tsivicos, 
President, Hellenic Federation of New Jersey
Philip Christopher, President, PSEKA
Nick Larigakis, President, AHI
Kyriakos Papastylianou, President, FCAO
Ioannis Fidanakis, Executive Director, AHC

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Germany Wants Nuclear Bombers

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them.

The Duran

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Via VoltaireNet.org:


Germany’s armed forces are currently studying the possibility of acquiring nuclear bombers capable of using the new American B61-12 atomic bombs.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon itself plans to deploy these new atomic bombs in the German region of Eifel, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The German air force already has multi-tasking Tornado warplanes, which are already capable of deploying American atomic bombs. But those aircraft are going to be replaced, possibly, by European-developed Eurofighters, or by United States manufactured F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Either way, the warplane that Germany selects will have to be equipped with the AMAC (Aircraft Monitoring and Control) system, which allows the use of the new American atomic bombs and enables the regulation of the power of the explosion as well as at what height the bombs explode after they are launched.

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them, and believes that this gives it the right to sit on the UN Security Council sharing the permanent member position occupied by France.

Both countries would thus represent the European Union, under the auspices of NATO.

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1st since Notre Dame: Yellow Vests back despite ‘unifying’ disaster & they are angry

‘Yellow Vests’ march in Paris for 23rd straight week.

RT

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By

Via RT…


Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians’ calls for “unity” in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday’s protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

“The rioters will be back tomorrow,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on Friday. “The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame.”

For many of the protesters, grief over the destruction of the 800-year-old landmark has made way for anger. With smoke still rising from Notre Dame, a group of French tycoons and businessmen pledged €1 billion to the cathedral’s reconstruction, money that the Yellow Vests say could be better spent elsewhere.

“If they can give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, they should stop telling us there is no money to respond to the social emergency,” trade union leader Philippe Martinez told France 24.

Saturday’s protests saw a return to scenes familiar since the Yellow Vests first mobilized in November to protest a fuel tax hike. Demonstrators in Paris’ Bastille district set barricades on fire and smashed vehicles, and police deployed tear gas to keep the crowds at bay.

Sporadic incidents of vandalism and looting were reported across the city, and some journalists even reported rioters throwing feces at police.

60,000 police officers were deployed across the country, and in Paris, a security perimeter was set up around Notre Dame. A planned march that would have passed the site was banned by police, and elsewhere, 137 protesters had been arrested by mid afternoon, police sources told Euronews.

Beginning as a show of anger against rising fuel costs in November, the Yellow Vests movement quickly evolved into a national demonstration of rage against falling living standards, income inequality, and the perceived elitism and pro-corporation policies of President Emmanuel Macron. Over 23 weeks of unrest, Macron has made several concessions to the protesters’ demands, but has thus far been unable to quell the rising dissent.

After Notre Dame caught fire on Monday, the president postponed a television address to the nation, during which he was expected to unveil a package of tax cuts and other economic reforms, another measure to calm the popular anger in France.

Macron’s address will be held on Thursday.

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O Canada! The True North Strong and Free – Not

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence.

Jim Jatras

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Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Canadian visitors to Washington sometimes wonder why their embassy stands at the foot of Capitol Hill.

The answer? To be close to where Canada’s laws are made.

A main showcase of Ottawa’s craven servility to Washington is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s complicity in the US-led regime change operation being conducted against Venezuela. Not content with ruining his own country with multiculturalism, polysexualism, and the like, Li’l Justin has acted in lockstep with Big Brother to the south inslapping sanctions on Venezuelan officials and serving as a US agent of influence, especially with other countries in the western hemisphere:

‘A Canadian Press report published at the end of January revealed that Canadian diplomats worked systematically over several months with their Latin American counterparts in Caracas to prepare the current regime-change operation, pressing [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro’s right-wing opponents to set aside their differences and mount a joint challenge to the government. “The turning point,” said the Canadian Press [Global News], “came Jan. 4, when the Lima Group … rejected the legitimacy of Maduro’s May 2018 election victory and his looming January 10 inauguration, while recognizing the ‘legitimately elected’ National Assembly.” The report cited an unnamed Canadian official as saying the opposition “were really looking for international support of some kind, to be able to hold onto a reason as to why they should unite, and push somebody like Juan Guaidó.”

‘One day prior to Maduro’s inauguration, [Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia] Freeland spoke to Guaidó, the newly-elected National Assembly speaker, by telephone to urge him to challenge the elected Venezuelan president.’

But that’s not all. Canada is out front and center in the “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies’ war on China’s Huawei – with direct prompting from US legislators and intelligence.  As explained by Col. Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Gen. Colin Powell, it’s not that Huawei violated any law when circumventing US sanctions but it is the US that is acting illegally by unilaterally imposing sanctions that were never agreed to internationally. But that’s OK – when it comes to Washington’s claims of jurisdiction over every human being on the planet, Justin and Chrystia are happy to oblige!

Also, let’s not forget Chrystia’s role in keeping the pot boiling in Ukraine. It would of course be cynical (and probably racist) to attribute anything relating to Ukraine to her own interesting family background …

To be fair, the lickspittle attitude of Canadian officials towards their masters south of the 49th parallel is hardly unique in the world. Also to be fair, it’s natural and would be generally beneficial for Canada to have a positive relationship with a powerful, kindred neighbor rather than a negative one. Think of Austria’s ties to Germany, or the Trans-Tasman relationship of Australia and New Zealand, or the links that still exist between Russia and Ukraine despite efforts by the west to set them against each other (as, for example, Spain and Portugal were at loggerheads for several centuries, when the latter was a loyal ally of Spain’s foe, Great Britain, to such an extent that Portugal was sometimes shown on maps and globes in the same pink as British possessions; a similar situation existed between Argentina and British ally Chile).

A close and mutually advantageous relationship is one thing, but Canada’s de facto loss of independence is another. Not only does the US control Canada’s diplomacy, military, and intelligence but also her financial system (with, among other levers, the notorious FATCA law, which places Canadian institutions under the supervision of the IRS, with Canada’s revenue service acting, care of the Canadian taxpayer, as a cat’s paw for not only the IRS but the NSA and other snooping agencies). As explained by one Canadian nationalist (yes, they do exist!), the redoubtable David Orchard, trade is also a critical issue:

‘Canada …, after almost three decades of “free trade” with the U.S., has more than $1.2 trillion in federal and provincial debt, large deficits at every level, no national child or dental care, high university tuition, miserly old age pensions, years of massive budget cuts, and giveaway prices for its exports of oil, gas, timber and minerals.

‘For 150 years, great Canadian leaders have warned that without an economic border with the United States, we would soon no longer have a political border.

‘We once owned the world’s largest farm machinery maker, Massey Harris, headquartered in Toronto; built the world’s largest and most respected marketer of wheat and barley, the Canadian Wheat Board, based in Winnipeg; created a great transcontinental railway system, beginning in Montreal, which tied our country together; and saw Vancouver’s shipyards produce the beautiful Fast Cat ferry.

‘Instead of spending hundreds of billions on foreign-made machinery, electronics, automobiles, ships, fighter jets and passenger aircraft (even payroll systems for federal employees!), we can build our own, both for the domestic and export market.

‘We once designed and built the world’s most advanced jet interceptor, the Avro Arrow, so we know it can be done. [Emphasis added] With Canada’s resources and ingenuity, it could create a prosperous, domestically controlled economy that would give Canadians multiple benefits, security and pride of ownership. All that is required is some of the will that drove our ancestors to create an alternate power in North America. As George-Étienne Cartier, the great Québécois Father of Confederation, put it, “Now everything depends on our patriotism.”’ [Note: Orchard is the author of the must-read book The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism. To begin at the beginning, in the late 1680s, as part of English-French rivalry in North America, Massachusetts Puritans sought to root out the nest of popish deviltry known as Quebec. Following their disastrous 1690 defeat, they decided to fight Satan closer to home by hanging witches. The rest, as they say, is history…]

Scratch a Canadian patriot and you’ll hear about the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. As a watershed moment in Canada’s downward slide into subservience, the cancellation of what by all accounts was a magnificent aircraft – and a snapshot of what Canada’s international competitiveness (including in advanced aerospace) could have looked like had it been able to develop independently – might have been the point of being sucked into the American vortex. As noted by one response to my suggestion that Ottawa’s stance on Venezuela amounted to Canada’s annexation by the US: “Canadian here…unfortunately, the above is true (not literally of course, but in practice). It goes back even before the time of Diefenbaker, who canceled our Avro Arrow program on demand from the US – thus destroying our aerospace industry and causing brain drain to the US/Europe.”

To this day, the decision of then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to kill the Arrow project (and “put 14,528 Avro employees, as well as nearly 15,000 other employees in the Avro supply chain of outside suppliers, out of work”) on what came to be known as “Black Friday,” February 20, 1959, remains controversial and shrouded in mystery. A mix of budgetary, political, technological, and personality factors has been cited, none of them conclusive. Pressure from the US side, including unwillingness of Washington to purchase a Canadian aircraft when the US could pressure them to buy American planes and missiles, no doubt played a key role: “Instead of the CF-105, the RCAF invested in a variety of Century Series fighters from the United States. These included the F-104 Starfighter (46 percent of which were lost in Canadian service), and (more controversial, given the cancellation of the Arrow) the CF-101 Voodoo. The Voodoo served as an interceptor, but at a level of performance generally below that expected of the Arrow.”

While we may never know reliably why Diefenbaker cancelled the Arrow or how Canada or Canadian industry might have followed a different path, there’s no question of the superior capabilities of the Arrow. As it happens, one of the few pilots who had a chance to test the Arrow in an impromptu friendly dogfight is now-retired USAF fighter pilot Col. George Jatras, later US Air Attaché in Moscow (also, this analyst’s father). As he related in 2017:

‘I’ve received a number of messages in the last couple days about this bird, including some that say it may be revived. I don’t know how The Arrow would compare to today’s aircraft, but I had a first-hand lesson on how it faired against the F-102.

‘In 1959, I was stationed at Suffolk County AFB on Long Island with the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron. We had an informal exchange program with a Canadian fighter squadron stationed near Montreal. From time to time, two or four aircraft from one of the squadrons would fly to the other’s base on a weekend cross country.

‘On one such exchange, I was #3 in a four ship formation led by [former Tuskegee airmanErnie Craigwell (I don’t recall who the other pilots were). As we entered Canadian airspace, cruising at about 40,000 ft., we spotted a contrail well above our altitude (probably at 50,000ft.) and closing very fast.  As the other aircraft appeared to be passing by, we could clearly see the delta shaped wing and knew it was the Avro Arrow that the Canadian pilots had told us about. Then, instead of just passing by, he rolled in on us! Ernie called for a break and we split into elements. When we talked about the encounter afterwards we all agreed that our first thought was, “This guy is in for a surprise; he doesn’t know that he’s taking on the F-102.”  Well, we were the ones in for a surprise. Even with two elements covering each other, not one of us could get on his tail. His power and maneuverability were awesome.  After he had played with us for a few minutes, like a cat with four mice, he zoomed back up to about 50K and went on his way. What an aircraft! What a shame that it never went into production.’

What is perhaps most curious about the Arrow’s demise is that “everything was ordered brutally destroyed; plans, tools, parts, and the completed planes themselves were to be cut up, destroyed, scrapped and everything made to disappear.”  Why? Well, security of course! Don’t engage in conspiracy theories …

The Canadian national anthem finishes with a pledge: “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.” It should be noted that understandably resentful Loyalists fleeing the US following the American Revolution were a major contribution to the growth of Canada’s English-speaking population. American troops – back when we were the plucky underdog fighting the mighty British Empire – invaded Canada in 1775 and during the War of 1812 but were defeated. Relations got testy during the American Civil War as well, and even afterwards the US was wary of a proposed united “Kingdom of Canada,” hence the choice of the name “Dominion” in 1967. If today’s Canadians think we-all down here don’t know whom they’ve mostly had in mind to “stand on guard” against all this time, they’d better think again.

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence – eh?

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