Friday 24th of November 2017

Leg Cramps at Night?...

news...news...

Americans are outraged by allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an intelligence service to hack email accounts of the Democratic National Committee. How inexpressibly heinous that one country, Russia, would try to influence elections in another sovereign country, in this case the United States!  How unprecedented!  How diabolical! How uniquely Russian!

In response, the Obama administration has expelled Russian diplomats, hinted at economic sanctions, and promised further retaliation using America’s “world-class arsenal of cyber weapons.”  (NYT Dec. 16, 2016) Obama’s Republican opponents, for their part, have demanded “rocks” instead of Obama’s “pebbles.”

But does the USA meddle in the presidential elections of other countries?

Our friends in South America might have insights here — hundreds of cases of economic and military blackmail, election fraud, assassination, and the violent overthrow of democratically elected leaders.  So too in Europe (Greece, Italy, Portugal, Georgia, Ukraine, etc.), east Asia (Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, etc.), north Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco), and dozens of other countries on five of the six inhabited continents. (Joshua Keating, “Election Meddling Is Surprisingly Common,” Slate.com, 4 Jan., 2017; Tim Weiner, CIA:  Legacy of Ashes, 2008; Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, 1992, 2006.)

In the welter of red-faced indignation, the torrents of denunciations from Senate hearings and press conferences, talk shows and podcasts, one might have expected someone to pose the rather obvious question whether American agencies have ever meddled in Russian presidential elections.  And yet (surprise surprise!) America’s corporate-owned press of record, an institution that constantly flaunts its “objectivity,” has failed to raise that straightforward question.

So, let us raise it here:  Has the USA engaged in this sort of meddling?  And if so, what effect has it had on Russia?

The answer to the first question, of course, is a resounding Yes.  Even as you read these words, you can bet that one or more of seventeen Federal agencies of the United States are busy hacking Russia.  (It is a safe bet that other countries are engaged in cyber espionage against Russia and the United States, too, including China and Israel.)

Let us limit our discussion to one single case.  Readers will recall that in the run-up to the 1996 presidential election in Russia, opinion polls put the pro-western incumbent, Boris Yeltsin, in fifth place among the presidential candidates, with only 8% support. The same polls showed that the most popular candidate in Russia by a wide margin was the Communist Party’s Gennady Zyuganov. Moved to desperation by the numbers, well-connected Russian oligarchs suggested just cancelling the election and supporting a military takeover, rather than facing a defeat at the polls.  Neocons in the West embraced the idea–all in the name of Democracy [Gus note: the US financed the "revolution" in Ukraine, 2014], of course.  In the end, though, Yeltsin and the oligarchs decided to retain power by staging the election.

In keeping with Russian laws at the time, Zyuganov spent less than three million dollars on his campaign.  Estimates of Yeltsin’s spending, by contrast, range from $700 million to $2.5 billion.   (David M. Kotz, Russia’s Path from Gorbachev to Putin, 2007) This was a clear violation of law, but it was just the tip of the iceberg.

In February 1996, at the urging of the United States, the International Monetary Fund (which describes itself as “an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation”) supplied a $10.2 billion “emergency infusion” to Russia.The money disappeared as Yeltsin used it to shore up his reputation and to buy votes.  He forced the Central Bank of Russia to provide an additional $1 billion for his campaign, too.  Meanwhile, a handful of Russian oligarchs, notably several big contributors residing in Israel, provided more billions for the Yeltsin campaign.

In the spring of 1996, Yeltsin and his campaign manager, billionaire privatizer Anatoly Chubais, recruited a team of financial and media oligarchs to bankroll the Yeltsin campaign and guarantee favorable media coverage on national television and in leading newspapers.  In return, Chubais allowed well-connected Russian business leaders to acquire majority stakes in some of Russia’s most valuable state-owned assets.

Campaign strategists for the former Republican governor of California Pete Wilson covertly made their way to the President Hotel in Moscow where, behind a guard and locked doors, they served as Yeltsin’s “secret campaign weapon” to save Russia for Democracy.  (Eleanor Randolph, “Americans Claim Role in Yeltsin Win,” L.A. Times, 9 July 1996)  Yeltsin and his cohorts monopolized all major media outlets, print and electronic, public, and private. They bombarded Russians with an incessant and uncontested barrage of political advertising masquerading as news, phony “documentaries,” rumors, innuendos, and bad faith campaign promises (including disbursement of back pay to workers and pensioners, stopping further NATO expansion, and peaceful settlement of Yeltsin’s brutal war against Chechnya [Gus note: Chechnya's troubles came from US financed "rebels"]. Yeltsin campaigners even floated the threat that he would stage a coup and the country would descend into civil war if Zyuganov were to win the vote.

It is now public record that the Yeltsin campaign conducted extensive “black operations,” including disrupting opposition rallies and press conferences, spreading disinformation among Yeltsin supporters, and denying media access to the opposition.  The dirty tricks included such tactics as announcing false dates for opposition rallies and press conferences, disseminating alarming campaign materials that they deceitfully attributed to the Zyuganov campaign, and cancelling hotel reservations for Zyuganov and his volunteers. Finally, widespread bribery, voter fraud, intimidation, and ballot stuffing assured Yeltsin’s victory in the runoff election.

The day after his victory, Yeltsin disappeared from the scene and did not reappear until months later, drunk. During Yeltsin’s second term, the “non-ideological” IMF provided another infusion of money, this time $40 billion.  Once again, more billions disappeared without a trace, much of it stolen by the President’s chronies, who placed it in foreign banks.  The re-elected President didn’t even pretend to make good on his campaign promises.

Serious observers, including leading Democrats, agree that even if the recent hacking allegations against Russia turn out to be true, the “dirty tricks” did not affect the outcome of the 2016 election.  By contrast, American meddling and financing of the 1996 presidential election in Russia clearly played a pivotal role in turning Yeltsin from a candidate with single-digit approval at the beginning of the year into a winning candidate with an official (but disputed) 54.4% of votes cast in the second-round runoff later that same year.

Let us consider some of the consequences of Yeltsin’s electoral win:

–In the first years of the Chubais-Yeltsin privatization scheme, the life expectancy of a Russian male fell from 65 years to 57.5 years.  Female life expectancy in Russia dropped from 74.5 years in 1989 to 72.8 years in 1999.

–Throughout Yeltsin’s terms as President, flight of capital away from Russia totaled between $1 and $2 billion every month.

–Each year from 1989 to 2001 there was a fall of approximately 8% in Russia’s productive assets.

–From 1990 to 1999 the percentage increase of people living on less than $1 a day was greater in Russian and the other former socialist countries than anywhere else in the world.

–The number of people living in poverty in the former Soviet Republics rose from 14 million in 1989 to 147 million in 1998. As a result of the 1998 financial collapse and the devaluation of the ruble, the life savings of tens of millons of Russian families disappeared over night.  Since then, the Great Recession and low oil pries have only made matters worse.

–In the period from 1992 to 1998 Russia’s GDP fell by half–something that did not happen even under during the German invasion in the Second World War.

Under Yeltsin’s tenure, the death rate in Russia reached wartime levels.  Accidents, food poisoning, exposure, heart attacks, lack of access to basic healthcare, and an epidemic of suicides—they all played a role.  David Satter, a senior fellow at the anti-communist, Washington DC-based Hudson Institute, writing in the conservative Wall Street Journal, described the consequences of this victory of Democracy:  “Western and Russian demographers now agree that between 1992 and 2000, the number of ‘surplus deaths’ in Russia–deaths that cannot be explained on the basis of previous trends–was between five and six million persons.” (Accessed 8 April 2015.  American sociologist James Petras has given a figure of 15 million surplus deaths since the demise of the Soviet Union.)

NATO continued its expansion east. Yeltsin turned the Chechen city of Grozy into a field of rubble, and he quickly became the most reviled man in Russia.  But as one observer put it at the time, “Yeltsin didn’t seem to notice, which is hardly surprising, since he was drunk for most of his tenure in office.”By the time he left office, the American-approved President of the Russian Federation had an approval rating of 2%.  (CNN, 2002)   But by that time it didn’t matter:  the kleptocrats were safely installed in power, and American-imposed Democracy had achieved its aims in Russia’s “transition.”

Yeltsin died in 2007, celebrated as an anti-communist hero by the neocons in Washington and New York, but hated by the vast majority of Russians.  Four years later, Dmitri Medvedev, then-President of Russia, eulogized Yeltsin for creating “the base of a new Russian statehood, without which none of our future successes would be possible.”  But a Time magazine writer reported that, despite Medvedev’s public praise, the story he told privately was quite different.  On 20 February 2012, he reportedly told attendees at a closed-door meeting:  “Russia’s first President did not actually win re-election in 1996 for a second term.  The second presidential vote in Russia’s history, in other words, was rigged.”  (Simon Shuster, “Rewriting Russian History:  Did Boris Yeltsin Steal the 1996 Presidential Election?” Timeonline, 24 Feb. 2012.)

Some readers, perhaps, do not see the point of reminding ourselves of America’s role in the election of Yeltsin and America’s responsibility for the resulting misery and mass death.  But let us remind ourselves that the recent hacking accusations are just one element of a full-on media assault against Russia, led by Washington.  From supposed Russian war crimes in the fight against the murderous jihadi occupiers of Syria to Russia’s re-annexation of overwhelmingly pro-Russian Crimea and the doping of Olympic athletes, America’s neocons are engaged in a propaganda blitz with high stakes.

Armenia is one of many frontline positions in Washington’s escalating media campaign against Russia.  Yes, the Russian Federation is an imperialist state, in V.I. Lenin’s technical sense of the term.  And yes, Russia wields undo influence in Armenia.  But by now it is clear that greater sovereignty for Armenia is not what is at stake when it comes to the Russophobe opposition.  After all, the Russia haters do not seem to have much problem with the idea of giving up sovereignty to the American imperialists and their regional surrogate, the Republic of Turkey. More importantly, the cause of greater national sovereignty will be harmed if the Russia haters have their way.  They only confirm the pervasivesense of vulnerability, economic isolation, and military encirclement among Russians, a people who have endured three decades of enormous destruction and humiliation, after a century of invasion and wars that claimed the lives of tens of millions of their compatriots.

Let us remind ourselves that the loudest of Yerevan’s Russia haters are the same fanatics who led Armenia to its present state of ruin.  After so much failure and disaster, they continue to hawk the old dangerous fantasy of Uncle Sam as Armenia’s savior. They are unrepentant, and like Yeltsin, they take their marching orders from Washington.

Markar Melkonian is a teacher and an author. His books include Richard Rorty’s Politics:  Liberalism at the End of the American Century (1999), Marxism: A Post-Cold War Primer (Westview Press, 1996), and My Brother’s Road (2005).

read more:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-meddling-in-1996-russian-elections-in-support-of-boris-yeltsin/5568288

helping yeltsinhelping yeltsin

And let's remind viewers, readers and myself that not a single proof of Russia meddling in the US Presidential elections has been shown... All the this and that "evidence" of Mueller and co are not proof, even if someone "did" business with some "Russian" and swindled a few dollars. Today's paradise papers dump reminds us that the USA is full of "clean and honest Christian" businesses, while the rest of the world, especially Russia, is devious, tax evading and "evil" ... 

 

And remind me. Who was Us President at the time of this US meddling in Russian elections? Ah yes... William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. It looks like it took 20 years for Russia's revenge... But in fact, Russia did not have to, and did not, interfere with the 2016 presidential elections. Rupert Murdoch did. Putin knew that this would be enough. 

and read: 

 

The story of Fancy Bear

 

the "it's complicated" saudis...

It started off with the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a clearly orchestrated move produced and executed by his paymasters in Riyadh.

Hariri announced on a Saudi-owned channel, from the Saudi capital, that he was resigning his post in protest at foreign intervention in Lebanon's domestic affairs. The irony was lost on him. 

The ostensible reason he gave, as he invoked his late father's name, was that he too is threatened with assassination. 

As the day turned into evening, there were reports of explosions being heard close to the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. It transpired that Houthi rebels (linked to Iran and allied with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is partially linked to the United Arab Emirates) had fired at least one ballistic missile from Yemen towards Riyadh. It put an exclamation point on the fact that the war in Yemen is far from over - more than two years since Saudi Arabia launched operation "Decisive Storm."

As the clock inched to midnight another bombshell was dropped; this time by the Saudis: A royal decree ordering the arrest of several princes, billionaires, and notable figures, as well as the sacking of senior government officials. Some were the sons of the late King Abdullah. One was the head of the Saudi National Guard. 

All three of these developments will have seismic implications, not just on Saudi Arabia, but on the region and beyond. 

read more:

http://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/middleeast/2017/11/saudi-arabia-game-thob...

But do not despair at the pumps:

The market for oil, Saudi Arabia's most lucrative export, is unlikely to be affected by the arrest of dozens of former Saudi state officials and at least 11 Saudi princes in an anti-corruption drive, financial analysts have said.

On Sunday, it was reported that 11 Saudi princes, four incumbent ministers of the Saudi government and dozens of former government ministers had been arrested in an anti-corruption drive. 

Reportedly among those arrested is prominent billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, owner of the Kingdom Holding Company which has large stakes in businesses and property around the world including Citigroup, Twitter and several luxury hotel chains.

The arrests took place just hours after Saudi ruler King Salman decreed the creation of a powerful new anticorruption committee led by his son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. King Salman also fired several high-profile ministers.

 

read more:

https://sputniknews.com/business/201711051058838602-saudi-shock-arrests-...

Here we must contemplate that should the price of oil go up, the Ruskies would become rich...The USA cannot allow this to happen so they will make sure the price of oil stays more or less put, despite the Saudi clean up. I would suggest that the Saudi King might have to watch his back...

of fake news and ASIO...

 

...

It's only the older people who smile and say "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose". This came back to mind when a recent article in The New Daily was drawn to my attention. Its headline made the bold claim that ASIO were the secret police doing enormous damage to our democracy. It asserts that ASIO "was born out of the anti-communist hysteria of the post-war era and has always been closely associated with the conservative side of politics".

The unsuspecting reader might take this to be a statement of fact. It was presumably intended to convey the idea that people right-of-centre like the idea of secret intelligence agencies and whipped themselves into a false frenzy about communists after WWII, hence we have this dastardly agency called ASIO.

 

What is not said is also what is conveyed: sensible lefties would not have been so sucked in by the hysteria. A quick look into ASIO history tells a different story. It was in fact set up by Labor under Ben Chifley. Under the "five eyes" intelligence sharing, our government knew from material acquired through Operation Venona, run by the United States, that there were Russian operatives active in Australia during and after WWII.

Chifley's famous 1949 speech referring to the "light on the hill" may have drawn inspiration from the parable of salt and light at Matthew 5:14: "You are a light to the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." 

But in setting up ASIO he knew, as our allies knew, there were "reds under the bed". In fact, there was one in Herbert Evatt's office, who was attorney-general at the time.

Read all of Amanda's posts:

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/fake-news-has-been-around-a-lot-longer-tha...

 

 

Let's remind ourselves that Saddam's WMDs was a CIA concocted fake news.

 

See also: http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/1686

and

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/11276

 

 

Meanwhile in the land of the guns that don't kill people and god:

A gunman walked into a small Baptist church in rural Texas on Sunday and opened fire, killing at least 25 people and turning a tiny town east of San Antonio into the scene of the country’s most recent mass horror.

Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas confirmed the death toll, which has steadily increased throughout the day after the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

Accounts of the number of dead have varied: Paul W. Pfeil, a Wilson County, Tex., commissioner, said that he did not have a total count of those killed but that it was “more than 20.”

Albert Gamez Jr., another Wilson County commissioner, told CNN that he was told by an emergency medical technician that 27 people were dead and 24 others were injured. He said he was told by the police that the gunman was chased into the next county and was killed, but it was not clear whether the police shot him or he killed himself.

Mr. Gamez said the victims were still inside the church. Sutherland Springs is a small community where everyone knows one another, he said.

read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/05/us/church-shooting-texas.html

(note this story has been referenced in the third panel of the toon at top). Sad.

of fake news at the SMH...

 

Dr Evan Jones analyses recent MSM "good guys versus bad guys" coverage of politics and world events.

BEING of advanced years, it is imperative that I try to achieve a rough mental and emotional equilibrium. Old age attracts many killers, but one doesn’t want to die prematurely of apoplexy.

The secret appears to be — do not expose oneself to any media, but especially the mainstream media. It’s a perennial struggle because of the thirst for information and the lust for understanding one’s world.

I have put myself on a strict diet, but even the over-breakfast glance at the Sydney Morning Herald has me jumping up with outrage. Outrage and fury. It’s enough to drive one early to drink.

One thinks that it can’t get any worse, but then it does get worse.

The crims are running the shop

Never has elected officialdom been so comprehensively full of cretins, spivs, criminals and flunkeys for power. If these contemptible slimes are so bereft of the concept of the public purpose, how have they germinated, flourished and coagulated into monopolising public office?

And then they all run off and get their paychecks from their paymasters.

Revolving door of #corruption & #Greed destroying our country. Time for CHANGE #auspol#revolution https://t.co/y29ijnu1HR @IndependentAus

— Marcus Champ (@OzMyHomeMAC) November 4, 2017

The Abbott-Turnbull Federal Government and the O’Farrell-Baird-Berejiklian State Government have to be the worst in Australian political history. The hollow Billy McMahon at the Federal level (1971-72) and the corrupt Robert Askin in NSW (1965-75), for example, pale into significance compared to the current regimes under which us NSW people survive.

It’s the events of course. Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton, mastermind of refugee torture and manslaughter albeit the front for an entrenched system, is sub-human. One could go on — the list is endless.

But it’s also the media. One gets outraged at the parlous state of the world and the forces behind the degradation, but one also gets outraged that we are lied to about who these forces are. It’s all the fault of the bad guys — over there. We’re still being served up world politics as a spaghetti western.

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and the good guys versus bad guys scenario

Witness the Sydney Morning Herald editorial (Wednesday 1 October) titled ‘The Russia plot thickens as Trump advisers fall’.

Claims the editorial writer:

'But we already know the Russian meddling, which included the hacking of emails and the use of social media to disseminate phoney stories, was real. That is because a range of official U.S. security agencies – the same ones that now report to Mr Trump, and that he relies upon – have told us so.'

The state of Trumps delusion exceeded only by his voters. The Russia plot thickens as Trump advisers fall https://t.co/VnDhDCpwpY via @smh

— Stephen Asprey (@stephenasprey) October 31, 2017

Rather, we know nothing of the sort. There is no evidence of official Russian influence to date. The claims of influence from the "Kremlin" and the evil Putin keep changing, with no-one in the MSM worrying about the changing stories.

There is a very real prospect of finding Trump’s links to Russian-born business spivs who operate outside the law, as has Trump in building his real estate empire, but the American authorities don’t seem to be interested in pursuing these links.

The reason that Trump is in the White House has nothing to do with the supposedly ever malignant Evil Empire but because the corrupt Democratic National Committee bet on the wrong horse. It’s that simple.

The SMH editorial is an embarrassment. And representative of Fairfax’s coverage of international affairs, not least the U.S. In a word — lamentable.

read more:

https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-msms-prob...

 

Please Evan, don't blow an engine cylinder up on the account of the spivs with pens at the SMH... Lamentable but the SMH is not the only stupid media on the planet, unfortunately... And by the way, despite the mediocre media frothing at the mouth, there is far less certainty about Putin's interference in the US Presidential elections than there was "certainty" about Saddam's WMDs... Think about it in front of a glass of red ned....

 

of fake news at the new york times...

Disregarding President Trump’s insistent claim that the establishment press propagates “fake news” requires a constant effort—especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I cherish the First Amendment. Mark me down as favoring journalism that is loud, lively, and confrontational. When members of the media snooze—falling for fictitious claims about Saddam’s WMD program or Gaddafi’s genocidal intentions, for example—we all lose.  

So the recent decision by Times editors to publish an op-ed regarding Paul Manafort’s involvement in Ukraine is disturbing. That the Times is keen to bring down Donald Trump is no doubt the case. Yet if efforts to do so entail grotesque distortions of U.S. policy before Trump, then we are courting real trouble. Put simply, ousting Trump should not come at the cost of whitewashing the follies that contributed to Trump’s rise in the first place.

The offending Times op-ed, the handiwork of Evelyn N. Farkas, appears under the title “With Manafort, It Really Is About Russia, Not Ukraine.” During the Obama administration, Farkas served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, and Mess Kit Repair.  Okay, I added that last bit, but it does seem like quite an expansive charter for a mere deputy assistant secretary.  

The story Farkas tells goes like this.

First, from the moment it achieved independence in 1991, Ukraine was a divided nation, “torn between Western Europe and Russia.” Ukrainians in the country’s western precincts wanted to join the European Union and NATO. Those further to east “oriented themselves toward Russia, which exerted maximum influence to keep Ukraine closely aligned.” In one camp were enlightened Ukrainians. In the other camp, the unenlightened.

Second, Manafort’s involvement in this intra-Ukrainian dispute was—shockingly—never about “advanc[ing] the interests of democracy, Western Europe or the United States.” Manafort’s motives were strictly venal. In what Farkas describes as a “standoff between democracy and autocracy,” he threw in with the autocrats, thereby raking in millions.

Third, Manafort’s efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, “Putin’s man in Kiev.” Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas’s words, “experienced a burst of membership expansion” right up to Russia’s own borders.

In response to Yanukovych’s action, “the Ukrainian people,” that is, the enlightened ones, “took to the streets,” forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia’s Vladimir Putin “instigated a separatist movement” in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering “a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day.”

To accept Farkas’s account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail.

Such was hardly the case, however.  One need not be a Putin apologist to note that the United States was itself engaged in a program of instigation, one that ultimately induced a hostile—but arguably defensive—Russian response.  

In the wake of the Cold War, the EU and NATO did not experience a “burst” of expansion, a formulation suggesting joyous spontaneity. Rather, with Washington’s enthusiastic support, the West embarked upon a deliberate eastward march at the Kremlin’s expense, an undertaking made possible by (and intended to exploit) Russia’s weakened state. In football, it’s called piling on.

That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded.  

That at some point a resentful Russia would push back was all but certain. Indeed, more than a few Western observers had warned against such a response.  

The proposed incorporation of Ukraine into NATO brought matters to a head. For Putin, this was an unacceptable prospect. He acted as would any U.S. president contemplating the absorption of a near neighbor into hostile bloc of nations. Indeed, he acted much as had Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy when they assessed the implications of Cuba joining the Soviet bloc.

read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/more-fake-news-alas-from...

"Gaddafi’s genocidal intentions" were no more than preventing terrorists from Al Qaeda and other groups from taking over the country, under the financing of the Saudis and possibly America. It would have been good for the media to stop the West's view of the situation by exposing the similitude with the "Saddam's WMDs" now being used to destroy Libya... Had the media been awake at the US conspiracy against Gaddafi, Libya would still be a reasonable country in Africa and there would have been half as much refugees in Europe. Remove the US/European intervention to support the "moderate" Al Qaeda/Al Nusra rebels in Syria and there would have been no refugee crisis in Europe