G20 Summit 2017 Hamburg

As they do every year, the world’s 19 largest economies, plus the EU and various financial institutions, met at the annual G-20 Summit, this year held in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7th and 8th.

This year, all eyes were on Trump, who was seeking to normalize his relations with the EU and Putin. Prior to the meeting, Trump had accused Germany of corruption and undermining the US economy. For her part, Merkel had announced that the US was no longer a German ally. His relationship with Putin has also been deteriorating since the attack against the Syrian government back on April 6. 

Due to various discrepancies between leaders, the summit was not successful. As expected, Merkel and Trump did not reach any agreement. The latter suggested that he will soon implement protectionist measures in the US coal industry which will affect the EU economy. The EU rapidly said that it was ready to retaliate against the US within a few days if Trump ever implements protectionist measures. 

The G20 leaders were not able to convince Trump to rejoin the Paris Climate Change agreement.  The latter ignored their claims and abandoned the climate change meeting before it ended in order to meet Putin on July 7th.

Despite their previous disagreements, Trump and Putin agreed on a partial ceasefire in Southern Syria that began on Sunday. They also agreed on the need of deescalating tensions between them in order to normalize relations and reach future agreements. In the end, they both agreed on continuing their regular talks until their next personal meeting takes place in a close future.

I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria,” Mr. Tillerson told reporters on Friday night in Hamburg, Germany, after the more than two-hour meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin. “And as a result of that, we had a very lengthy discussion regarding other areas in Syria that we can continue to work together on to de-escalate the areas and violence once we defeat ISIS, and to work together toward a political process that will secure the future of the Syrian people.”

Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, later said the cease-fire would take effect from midnight to noon local time on Sunday in the areas of Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida in Syria along the Jordanian border. “At first, security around this de-escalation zone will be guaranteed by the forces and means of the Russian military police, in coordination with the Americans and Jordanians,” he said.

The G-20 did not reach any agreement on the current refugee crisis. Italy, which is receiving thousands of refugees weekly, demanded a global compromise to solve the problem. However, the rest of the world leaders ignored Italy’s claims and directed their attacks against NGO’s

According to numerous world leaders, NGO’s are promoting immigration instead of helping refugees. For that reason, they discussed tightening the conditions permitting NGO’s to operate in the Mediterranean Sea.

Representatives from several NGO’s said that they are just saving lives and reminded governments that refugees are not immigrants. They are fleeing from war zones in countries such as Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan which were caused by the Western world.

As usual, social organizations organized an alternative to the G-20 Summit on July 5th and 6th, the so-called Global Solidarity Summit. This year, thousands of people from all over the world attended the various activities, assemblies, and conferences seeking alternative ways to improve people’s lives worldwide. Most of the conferences were open and people could freely participate and give their point of view regardless of their social status.

As expected, thousands of demonstrators from all over the world gathered in Hamburg in order to disrupt the G-20 summit. However, they were not able to achieve their ultimate goal due to a heavy police presence. Despite the fact that most of them were peaceful, the German police attacked them without justification, leading to serious riots, arrests, and injuries.

As numerous videos show, moments before the so-called “Welcome to Hell” march on was set to begin on July 6, thousands of German police officers rushed the crowd, hitting everyone, including journalists. In the end, the Hamburg police admitted that the “Welcome to Hell” march was peaceful at the time of the attack and only some in the crowd were masked.

The “Welcome to Hell” march was not the only protest which ended in riots. There were many others before, during, and after the summit in various locations around Hamburg. On a few occasions, protesters were able to close off portions of the city for several hours before the German police evicted them.

In the end, the G20 Hamburg Summit will be remembered for the inability of world’s leaders to agree on solving real people’s problems. People will remember instead the decisions made by the wealthiest nations, which will result in thousands of deaths in poor countries.

 

 

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U.S. Strike on Syria

On Thursday night, Donald Trump directed a strike against a Syrian military airbase, which targeted fighter planes, ammunition bunkers, radars, and petroleum storage. The Syrian regime said that the attack killed 7 soldiers and wounded 3.

In a brief press conference, Trump assured the American public that the strike was in retaliation for the last chemical attack against innocent civilians in Khan Sheikhoun in north-western Syria, which caused as many as 80 casualties, including many children.

Despite the fact that the UN could not reliably determine the accountability of the Syrian regime over the chemical attack, the U.S. government and the mainstream media launched a campaign to accuse them.

Ignoring the resolution of the UN, the NATO and other allies expressed their support for the strike and said that it was proportional. On the other hand, the Russian government condemned the attack and said that the U.S. is helping terrorists on the ground. Furthermore, the Russian Army announced the cessation of its communications with the U.S. in Syria and reiterated its support for the Syrian regime.

48 hours after the strike, in a joint statement, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, and several local militias said that the U.S. had crossed the line and that the next time they will respond with force. According to this coalition, there are many reasons to think that the U.S. wants to exert utter control over Syria due to its geolocation.

Despite their many lies, Russia and the U.S. have committed several war crimes in Syria. For years, the U.S. has bombed civilians and assisted rebel groups with ties to terrorist organizations, which have killed thousands of innocents. And Russia has supported the Syrian regime, which has also killed thousands of innocent civilians.

Everyone still remembers, when in 2003, at an assembly of the UN, the then U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, assured that the Iraqi government had WMD, which could soon cause carnage in the region and perhaps worldwide. As a result, the international community created a coalition to invade Iraq, which caused as many as 1 million of deaths. It was not until after some years that the international community found out that the CIA deliberately fabricated that story to intervene in Iraq.

By attacking Syria, Trump has gained as much popularity as Bush did during the Iraqi invasion. Since the strike, the mainstream media, including the most critical such as CNN, and The New York Times have praised Trump’s military action and elevated him as an excellent President.

It is deeply troubling that Trump has found out the key to gain popularity. Due to his incapacity to govern the country, it appears that he will launch more military interventions in countries such as North Korea and Iran.

It is important to remember that for years, Donald Trump suggested that Obama’s intervention in Syria was a political move to gain popularity. However, he is now adopting the same ploy. Fortunately for everyone, he could not delete his past tweets and here there is a sample of them:

Screenshot from 2017-04-08 13-55-13Screenshot from 2017-04-07 23-10-42

Despite the complexity of the Syrian conflict, this will only end when all parties negotiate a realistic resolution. Apparently, Trump is not willing to do so, but a strong antiwar movement may force him (like in the past with previous administrations) to step back in his bellicose decisions.

While the U.S. antiwar movement is organizing to become stronger, Trump is deploying warships, and troops in the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula. Over the next months, the world will observe whether the antiwar movement succeeds or Trump causes chaos everywhere.

 

Threats for 2017, and Global Resistance

In many ways, 2016 will be remembered as the year when society lost its common sense. Fascism became predominant in the world again, with Trump as a visible face; governments increased their violations of human rights; and the right to privacy, free speech and the freedom of the press were eliminated. In 2017, our society will face crucial events which could change this dynamic or make it worse.

Here are some of the global events and threats for 2017:

-Refugees: Millions of refugees are still along our borders waiting for a solution. In many cases, they have been living in precarious conditions for years now. It is provoking a humanitarian crisis that must be addressed as soon as possible. However, the Alt-Right political party and the elitist media are criminalising all refugees to halt their entrance into Western countries.

-Russia: Putin is increasing the nuclear capability of Russia to have more influence in the world. He is also abolishing human rights in Russia. As a result, activists and journalists are criminalised and sometimes assassinated by the government.

-Israel: Netanyahu’s rhetoric against the international community and Palestine is becoming more radical. He is threatening everyone who opposes his genocidal ideas. The potential international isolation of Israel, combined with his deranged actions make him a dangerous person. Everything indicates that in 2017, he will radicalise his rhetoric.

-Europe: In 2017, France, Germany and the Netherlands will hold presidential elections. Marine Le Pen (France), Geert Wilders (the Netherlands), and the tandem Frauke Petry/Jörg Meuthen(Germany) will be the perspective presidential candidates. Boosted by Trump’s success, they will have real chances to win the election in their countries representing a threat to the fundamentals of democracy.

-U.S.: Like Putin, Trump will also try to increase the nuclear capability of the U.S. representing a threat to the world. Trump is the visible face of fascism, and his ties with Alt-Right organisations, represented on his cabinet by Bannon, indicates that his presidency will soon turn authoritarian. It is foreseeable that Trump will try to abolish several human rights in the U.S.

As far as we know, these are threats to our democracy and human rights. It is in this context that, people will have to organise a global resistance to defend their rights. In conclusion, 2017 will be the year of the consolidation of fascism, violations of human rights, authoritarianism or the year that civil society will organise to defeat all these threats.

Trump and Putin: The Proliferation Of the Nuclear Arsenal

Putin and Trump have announced their intentions to extend the nuclear capacity of their countries. The announcements come after Putin and Trump suggested that they both will work together to solve international affairs (like the war in Syria). 

For its part, the international community has shown its worries over what apparently, is the beginning of a new nuclear arms race between Russia and America.

Experts and journalists, who are scrutinising the case consider that, in extending their nuclear arsenal, Trump and Putin are saber-rattling because they secretly want to funnel money to the military industrial complex. Nevertheless, they agree that it is hard to predict Trump’s intentions since he is “deranged.” Other experts, however, have suggested that Trump and Putin have made such a decision to maintain their international influence.

A small error could trigger a nuclear war with unpredictable consequences, including the extermination of a city or human extinction. Supposedly, it will not happen because there is not any government in the world willing to support such an idea. Secret services from several countries have recently warned about the fact that terrorist groups are trying to obtain weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear). In such a scenario, the launch of a nuclear bomb by a terrorist group could cause a misunderstanding between Russia and the U.S. triggering a disaster.

For years, the international community, and the civil society have warned both countries about the dangers of possessing nuclear arms. Hopefully, It will be enough to make Putin and Trump change their ideas related to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Until then, they should increase the security in their nuclear facilities. According to governmental authorities from both countries, the nuclear facilities are not safe at all; in fact, terrorists had easy access to obtain nuclear weapons.

The survival of humanity depends on the dismantlement of the nuclear arsenal and weapons of mass destruction in the world.