Daily Archives: March 31, 2016

USA | Clinton email reveals: Google sought overthrow of Syria’s Assad

By Rudy Takala

Google in 2012 sought to help insurgents overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to State Department emails receiving fresh scrutiny this week.
Messages between former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s team and one of the company’s executives detailed the plan for Google to get involved in the region.
“Please keep close hold, but my team is planning to launch a tool … that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from,” Jared Cohen, the head of what was then the company’s “Google Ideas” division, wrote in a July 2012 email to several top Clinton officials.
“Our logic behind this is that while many people are tracking the atrocities, nobody is visually representing and mapping the defections, which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition,” Cohen said, adding that the plan was for Google to surreptitiously give the tool to Middle Eastern media.
“Given how hard it is to get information into Syria right now, we are partnering with Al-Jazeera who will take primary ownership over the tool we have built, track the data, verify it, and broadcast it back into Syria,” he said.
“Please keep this very close hold and let me know if there is anything [else] you think we need to account for or think about before we launch. We believe this can have an important impact,” Cohen concluded.
The message was addressed to deputy secretary of state Bill Burns; Alec Ross, a senior Clinton advisor; and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan. Sullivan subsequently forwarded Cohen’s proposal to Clinton, describing it as “a pretty cool idea.”
Cohen worked as a member of the secretary of state’s policy planning staff from 2006 to 2010, when he was hired to lead Google Ideas, but was tied to using social media to incite uprisings even before he left the department. He once reportedly asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to hold off of conducting system maintenance that officials believed could have impeded a brief 2009 uprising in Iran, and Julian Assange, who founded the secret-leaking website WikiLeaks, has for years referred to Cohen as Google’s “director of regime change.”
The exchange on Syria was highlighted by Wikileaks on Saturday. Earlier in the week, the site posted more than 30,000 emails that Clinton sent or received during her tenure leading the State Department.

The Netherlands | Rutte: Ukraine will never join the European Union

The Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte believes that Ukraine should never join the European Union (EU).
He said it in an interview with NU.nl about the Ukraine referendum next week.
According to the Prime Minister Netherlands against accession, “because we believe that Ukraine should have both a good relationship with Europe and with Russia. That can not if they are in the European Union.”
Rutte: “It is also about the history of Ukraine. If you look at history, Russia will also originated in Kiev and other parts of the Ukraine.”
Rutte says also Russia’s attitude towards Ukraine is partly understandable. “You can not deny that Russia rightly asks Ukraine to have good relationship also to Russia. Russia only goes too far when it says Ukraine may only maintain a good relationship with Russia.”
According to the prime minister, Russia will consider support of its own position as the Netherlands rejects the treaty. “The desire of Russia we should not reward.”
Rutte wants in the interview does not address the possibility of another referendum and its consequences for the Netherlands’ position in the EU.
Rutte in the interview does not want to go to the possibility of another referendum and its consequences for the Netherlands’ position in the EU.

UN expert on Greece: “The excessive austerity in the public health care sector literally killed the nurse and doctor before turning to the patient”

by Eric Toussaint

The CADTM recommends that our readers should apprise themselves of Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky’s report on his Mission to Greece, which can be accessed via the link (A/HRC/31/60/Add.2). Report of the Independent Expert, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky |1|, on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights (29 February 2016).

Hungary | International workshop in Budapest discusses refugee crisis

An international workshop titled “Crises and Victims: A Workshop on Refugees, Migrants, and Anti-Refugee Discourses in a New Way,” organized jointly by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the Karl Polanyi Center for Global Social Studies, and Eszmélet journal, was organized in Budapest on February 26-27, 2016. The meeting was held at a critical conjuncture defined by two related developments. First, European governments have been doing their best to refuse admitting refugees escaping from wars in Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, which started and/or escalated due partly to direct or indirect intervention of the same European powers. Second, xenophobia and racism, which have been important problems in Europe for a long time, have reached an alarmingly high level. In the workshop progressive and socialist intellectuals from various European countries discussed different perspectives on the contemporary refugee crisis and its possible progressive solutions.