Monday, December 21, 2015

Spain's elections produce totally 'hung' Parliament

So extremely hung that only the, rather unnatural, coalition of the traditional twin parties PP (tories) and PSOE (Blairite pseudo-labor) could from a stable majority. But this is most unlikely to happen because it would be a near-suicide for the PSOE, already in serious trouble. 

Any predictable right-leaning majority is strictly impossible, while a left leaning majority is technically possible but would need to include the Catalan independentists (17 seats counting both parties, which are allied for independence in Catalonia) and that is simply unacceptable for the PSOE, strongly committed to Castile-centric Jacobin style unionism. 

So, barring a most unstable minority government, which would need in any case at least passive support by the PSOE, not allowing them to play the opposition role, the most likely scenario is a repetition of the elections in few months. 

The overall results

This is a snapshot of the new Spanish Congress (taken from Público, where I'm also getting other data from):

Note: 29 seats of coalitions are here presented as Podemos', 11 seats of coalitions are presented as PP's

As you can see the Conservatives (PP) hold better than expected (most polls forecast around 110-115 seats), while their "renewal" sidekick Ciudadanos (C's, pseudo-liberal, rather reactionary in fact) demonstrated to be a relative fiasco, getting many less votes and seats that Falsimedia (popular collective nickname for the bourgeois media) was forecasting for them. 

In any case the PP has lost almost four million votes and about one third (63) of their former seats. And not all them have gone to their FIDESZ-style replacement C's, whose leaders were often unable to even explain why one should vote for them. Heh, why not?, I guess. Or rather: why yes? Why to vote to the party whose main goal was to preserve the status quo, offering their help to whoever else would win, except to Podemos?

It is clear nevertheless that there is a strong right-winger vote in Spain, particularly among the older generations, and that it is amplified in terms of seats (the Senate is much worse, with the PP nearing a majority) thanks to a very distorted electoral system that dramatically favors depopulated rural provinces, where people has only very limited choice. I'll get to that later. 

The PSOE holds a bit better than expected, thanks largely to this rural provinces' over-representation distortion and its strongholds of Andalusia and Extremadura. But it is anyhow severely injured and has lost 1.5 million votes relative to the 2011 elections, which were already very poor results for the historical party that once helped to forge Pablo Lafargue (Marx' collaborator and son-in-law, author of the must-read book The Right to Be Lazy and first Socialist member of the French National Assembly). Their historically bad results in the urban provinces (fourth place in Madrid for example) are very symptomatic of an ailing force that manages to resist but won't last for much longer after having betrayed their historical ideals in such unforgivable ways. 

As for Podemos... better than Falsimedia predicted, a bit short for their dreams maybe. Good performance in general terms but weak in core Spain, getting their best results in the periphery, in some cases clear provisional borrowings from nationalist forces.

Seats obtained in each province (click to enlarge)

Coalitions are effectively impossible

A stable majority requires 176 seats, however:
  1. PP+C's: 163
  2. PSOE+Podemos+IU: 161 
The rest can be functionally split in two categories: (a) the Basque nationalists and Canarian regionalists, who have not enough seats to offer, and therefore do not matter at all, and (b) the Catalan nationalists, who have 17 seats and in pure theory could be decisive, as have been in the past. However these two Catalan parties (Catalan Republican Left, ERC, and Democracy and Freedom, DL, formerly Democratic Convergence of Catalonia) are immersed in leading the Catalan independence process and would not demand less than legal reforms that allow for self-determination. This is something that Podemos and IU can assume but that the PSOE will not. 

Other options:
  1. PSOE+Podemos+C's: it is almost unthinkable considering the polar opposites that Podemos and C's are. If anything this kind of unnatural coalition could just serve to reform the electoral law prior to new elections, little more, and it does not look like something the PSOE wants to do. Also the position of the PP in the Senate is so strong that it could maybe veto any such attempt of reform.
  2. PP+PSOE: their voters share musical tastes (horrible ones, don't ask) and the twin parties share a general view of the unitary state, European Union, NATO and the TTIP, but that doesn't seem like enough, particularly because the PSOE can only expect to suffer for taking part in such kind of alliance, including probably a break up of the party itself, something that has not happened since the Communist Party was formed in the 1920s. It'd be the the final suicidal Pasokization of the PSOE. Nuff said.

Overview of the biased electoral system

By law 102 of the 350 seats are assigned to the 50 provinces (two each) and the African "plazas" (one each), then the remaining 248 seats are apportioned by provinces according to last census' population (in some cases like Soria and the African towns they get zero). 

The assignment of seats is not proportional either but is attributed by the so-called D'Hont system, after removing all lists that didn't reach 3% of legal votes. The D'Hont system divides each list's vote figure by integer numbers (1/1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc.) and then assigns one seat to each resulting figure in order of these artificially resulting figures. It approaches proportionality in large circumscriptions but not in smaller ones. 

The whole system is designed to be "conservative", favoring the large consolidated parties with strong presence in all the territory, notably rural provinces with very little population. It is not as extremely distorting as the Anglosaxon "winner takes all" system (which I consider outright bipolar-fascist) but tends to that anyhow. 

The over-representation of rural areas has hardly any comparison and it strongly favors rural Castile and other semi-assimilated low population areas where "caciquismo" and conservatism is strong:

Most over-represented provinces in the Spanish electoral system

The election of the Senate is even more ridiculously distorted. The apportioning is vaguely inspired on that of the USA, with four seats being attributed to each province, of which each elector can vote to three only. The voting is technically nominal but in practical terms the result is invariably that three senators go to the most voted list and one to the second one. Of course provinces are mere administrative divisions akin to English counties or French departments and have none of the federal self-rule that US states enjoy, nor do they have in most cases any ethnic or other distinctive feature making them deserving of such representation privileges. On the contrary: their over-representation weights strongly in favor of Castile-centric nationalist uniformity.

In addition to all that, voting for the million-plus expatriates (mostly economic exiles, naturally unhappy with how things go) has become so nightmarishly impossible that they are effectively denied the right to vote.

Analysis of the results of the three major parties

The People's Party (conservatives) has done a bit better than expected, in spite of losing almost 5 million voters. Thanks to its wide implementation through the state (except in the Basque Country and Catalonia, where it is clearly much weaker) and the already discussed rigging of the representation, they manage to hold a quite undeserved plurality and can veto any attempt at constitutional or most other legal reforms.

PP (and participated coalitions): performance by province
We can consider the PP to be the Castilian National Party, sort of: the party of the caciques, embodying the worst of Spain: its backwardness, its powerlessness, its perennial inability to come together in a progressive project of any sort, its consolidated corruption, its unbearable nostalgia of the 16th century, the ghosts of Torquemada and Franco. All that is still strong, but not everywhere: its weak spots are the stateless nations of the Northeast (Basque and Catalan countries) and the assimilated but largely colonial regions of the South: Andalusia and Canary Islands. The reactionary PP is the most strongly favored by the extreme distortions to popular representation. 

The Spanish Socialist Worker Party (PSOE) used to be the glue that held Spain together, with strong performance in Catalonia, the Basque Country, Madrid and, of course, its stronghold of Andalusia, however today it is much much weaker and does not look like it can recover, failing to produce illusion in the masses after way too many betrayals and no sign of internal change. 

PSOE performance by province

In the map above it is most symptomatic how the PSOE fails to perform in key urban areas like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, etc., having lost almost all support in the peripheral stateless nations but also in the capital. It has become almost a rural party and that is not enough, much less for a party that pretends to be left-leaning and to appeal to the working class. 

The only big city they keep strong at is Seville. All the rest is quite pathetic for a party of the caliber of the PSOE. If Lafargue or Pablo Iglesias the elder would raise from the dead, they would cry. 

They are almost naturally being replaced by Podemos, which had a good showing but is however not yet strong enough:

Podemos and participated coalitions: performance by province

Podemos and its participated coalitions (in Catalonia, Valencian Country, Galicia and Huesca province) has performed best in the peripheral nations. It is still very weak in Castile (with some honorable exceptions, notably Madrid) and even in Aragon and Andalusia. Many of the votes obtained (alone or in coalition) in the Catalan Countries, Galicia or the Basque Country are clearly borrowed from the nationalist left. In many senses Podemos embodies in these elections the relative vigor of the peripheral "Spain" (the Spain that largely does not want to be Spain or that would accept to be only in radically different conditions of ethnically re-balanced federalism at best). Their discourse accepting the right to self-determination (favoring a union of the willing, so to say) has surely been key for those peripheral results. This is the kind of discourse that core Spaniards often hate, preferring to impose their Castile-centric uniformity by violent means. All that may explain, at least to a large extent the striking differences in performance of the new party in the various areas. 

Of course, these peripheral areas are also in many cases the progressive avant-guard of the state and have been so for centuries already, but it is very difficult for a party to fly an understanding discourse with Catalan or Basque grievances and get any sympathies in core Spain, entrenched in Greater Castilian (alias Spanish) nationalism. 

Another reason for their relatively weak performance in core Spain is that they wrongly chose to run separately from United Left, with whom they formed coalitions in several countries (Valencia, Catalonia, Galicia) but not elsewhere. This stubbornness about running solo in core Spain is not justified and has clearly damaged them. I haven't got time to study how many seats they have lost for this stupid reason but my hunch is that around a dozen, enough to form a coalition government with the PSOE probably, one in which they could be leaders even.  

Update: Podemos+IU would have got 14 extra seats according to El Diario, mostly at the expense of the PP (-9) and C's (-4):

If Podemos+IU would have run together (right) compared with actual results (left)

This would have allowed for a left-leaning PSOE+Podemos+coalition government, short of just 3 seats to get absolute majority. Tactical support by Basque or Catalan nationalists would still be needed but feasible, particularly if institutional reform in federalist direction was agreed upon.

(Note: the El Diario's estimate seems to be missing two seats from the total count, not sure why. In any case they have an excellent 25 panels' analysis of the elections that I must recommend). 

On the good side, they have consolidated their position in places like Madrid, Cádiz or Asturias, with interesting results also in places like Burgos, La Rioja, Valladolid, León and quite markedly in Canary Islands too. Overall they appear very strong but let's be clear: (1) they could have been stronger in coalition with United Left and (2) many of their votes are borrowed from the nationalist or federalist ethnic left or direct product of the coalition with them (Valencian Country, Galicia, Huesca province). 

Notes on Catalonia and the Basque Country

Catalonia is immersed in a secessionist process with a strong enough majority formed by three parties: DL (center-right), ERC (center-left) and CUP (radical grassroots left). The former two run in coalition to the so-called plebiscitary elections in September and came short of a majority, awaiting till present day some sort of arrangement with CUP. CUP does not run to the Spanish elections and called for abstention, however it's probable that many of its voters chose to vote either ERC (which included a CUP member in their list) or En Comú Podem (the wide Barcelona-inspired coalition in which Podemos, but also United Left, participated). These two lists came second and first in Catalonia, with DL coming fourth and PSOE third (the vote was quite fragmented).

Overall a possible interpretation is that the leftist ideas are strong in Catalonia and that Artur Mas (DL) should probably allow someone more to the left to become the President, what would be surely supported by the CUP. This would put the independence process back on track, being a key issue in the institutional crisis that Spain is going through. One that has no easy legal solution but that may well be decided by unilaterally by Catalans themselves. Or so they are set to do in any case.

In the Basque Country I have to underline the very poor performance of the leftist nationalist Euskal Herria Bildu coalition. It owes probably to several reasons: on one side it is a key state election in which the all-Spain parties (namely Podemos) get all the attention and interest, more so as they are openly in favor of self-determination, on the other side there is a rather strong undercurrent of criticism to the current party-centered structures and way-too-moderate attitudes of the coalition. This may have led many to either abstain or vote for Podemos, arguably a more participative party. 

Of particular annoyance is the over-representation in the lists of the social-democratic (?) Eusko Alkartasuna party, including some quite disliked individuals, for example Opus Dei member Rafael Larreina (who openly stands against abortion rights) and his protegee the infamous Lorena López de Lacalle, whose political trajectory is wormish, both imposed in the lists against the decision of the popular assemblies. 

Ironically Podemos also imposed candidates to the local structures (controlled until recently by a very dubious character: Roberto Uriarte, of sad anti-labor trajectory and extremist Spanish nationalist attitudes). Uriarte and his cadres resigned as reaction, Podemos-Euskadi being now led by an electoral committee (a most provisional circumstance), but this resignation was perceived positively by many, with the imposed candidate being much more pro-Basque than the former secretary. 

This puts Podemos in the Western Basque Country (Navarre is a different case, its leadership being much more acceptable) in a very unusual situation: it has no active leadership, it has a weak membership (the 15-M protests were weak in the Western Basque Country, so the grassroots did not naturally coalesce) but it has a huge voting pool (although much is borrowed from EHB and will surely return to their natural coalition in regional elections, to be held soon), which is basically looking at Madrid, not the local leadership, weak and contested.

Another interesting development in the Western Basque Country is that most likely, and for the first time in history, a leftist coalition has hope to take the government and displace the perennial liberal-conservative PNV rule. There are many difficulties for this to happen but it is clear that Podemos appeals to a less "ethnicist" urban working class that EHB has difficulties in reaching to and that both formations potentially complement each other and could rule together for the good if they can overcome their mutual distrust. We'll see.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Iraq: US providing air cover for DAESH

The US bombing that killed some 25 Iraqi soldiers and injured other 20 was no mistake, according to Iraqi military sources: they think that the USA is providing air cover for the Islamic State and preventing the liberation of Fallujah that way. 

Commander Hakim al-Zamili, speaking to RT, said: 
We don't believe it was a technical mistake. We constantly see that the United States are trying to provide air cover to Islamic State. They are preventing us from making an offensive. I think everyone is now convinced that the United States is not sincere in its fight against Islamic State. Maybe they have another agenda. The Pentagon, the CIA and other agencies in the US are trying to make a [rift] between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq. They are trying to tear [apart] Iraq with the help of their allies like Turkey and the Gulf states.

I do not believe it either. The USA and allies are all the time operating in favor of the Islamic State, as well as other fundamentalist terrorist groups, in spite of their constant denials and of their use of the terror organization as pretext for unilateral intervention inside the territory of sovereign states, against international law, as well as for the establishment of perpetual emergency rule in Europe and North America.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What to expect in tomorrow's key all-Spain elections

Today is meditation day and I'm going to meditate rather loudly. Not about what I'm going to vote, which I have already and meticulously decided, but on what to expect after election day, which is tomorrow, Day of the Sun and hopefully sunny enough. 

Legal polls used to give a significant share to pseudo-centrist ultra-nationalist all-Spain maverick yuppie party Ciudadanos but, after seeing their actual results in the recent regional and municipal elections (Catalonia excepted, where they collected the majority of the unionist vote) and comparing with pre-election polls, it became clear that they are very much inflated, probably because they are the pet project of NATO's secret services in order to prevent a second "Syriza scenario", times five in size. This tendency: inflating C's and deflating Podemos has been going on in all the polls. In spite of all the latest legal polls suggested a clear recovery of Podemos and fall of C's.

In this last week it is illegal in all the arbitrary political demarcation of Spain to publish or spread electoral opinion polls, however it is perfectly legal in Andorra, another much smaller capricious shape in our political maps, where El Periòdic newspaper has been publishing a series of daily polls on the Spanish elections.

Illegal as it is I won't mention them but rather will write some fiction on the elections taking place in the imaginary Theocracy of Catholica, as commented in the palace of the Bishop of Urgell. Any semblance with reality is a mere coincidence.

According to the rumors coming from the Bishop's Castle, the Pope's Party, led by Cardinal Mario Redcheek, will still get a plurality in tomorrow's elections but with a mere 26% of the vote (Christians are not anymore what they used to be, where is the Inquisition?!) and some 109 councilors His Holiness will need massive support to continue in power in the Theocracy. 

Sadly for the PoPe, the C'IA is not gathering enough dissident votes and his chief operating officer A. Riverside is expected to get only 16% of the popular support and a mere 52 councilors.

The Catholic Reform Party of the most handsome mannequin Peter Saints will probably collect 21% of the devotees' support and some 86 councilors. 

The Heretic Party of Paul Churches and affiliated coalitions will get 20% and some 73 councilors, while the Atheist Union will get 4% and 3 seats. Other parties, including more or less irreducible Gauls and Apaches, never fully subjugated by Rome, get 13% of the vote and some 30 councilors. 

The situation is so bad that Cardinal Redcheek went to Rome (or wherever) to report to Popess Angela I and apparently said that the Heretics were coming second maybe, causing her surprise and that of her majordomo Ronald Husk, as can be seen in this priceless video, no doubt filmed by Satan himself. 

The Cardinal's fears are not based only on Urgell's data but mostly on internal secret polls of which it is mortal sin to even discuss but which give an even better position to the Heretics and announce a greater fiasco of the Reform and C'IA parties. Sinful as it may be, fruit sellers through the Theocracy's markets are spreading the news with coded prices

So, back to reality, what to expect? A most hung parliament in which no single nor probably even two parties can form a majority. What, considering the extremely challenging situation in Catalonia, whose political parties have been in the past critical in allowing for stable majorities but are now alienated by a hostile Spanish (Great Castilian) nationalist revival, makes the situation most volatile. 

While I don't think that the guys at Electomanía got this quite right, this is their Electo-Forecast (a bit optimistic for Podemos and C's IMO, a bit too pessimistic for the PSOE), they are the experts so who am I to argue:


More after actual results come by.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Corsica: nationalist victory

The new Assemby of Corsica:
orange = Per a Corsica,
pink = Prima a Corsica,
blue and grey = French Right
A "detail" that was somehow buried in the news by the issue of the rise of fascism in France and the striking similitude between the three main state-wide parties in their growing totalitarianism is that the French colony of Corsica, the nationalists achieved a major victory, finally getting to rule the Mediterranean island.

The elections were won by the independentist coalition Per a Corsica (For Corsica), with the leftist regionalists Prima a Corsica (Corsica First) coming second, French unionist parties had a mediocre result. 

Per a Corsica is made up of leftist Corsica Libera and centrist Femu a Corsica. Prima a Corsica is a leftist coalition of the Left Front and left-leaning independents. It is not independentist but neither centralist (reminds of the Catalan coalition Catalonia Can Indeed).

Obviously with 35% of the popular vote (2nd round for the Presidency, which fell to Gilles Simeoni, of Femu a Corsica) and short of a majority in seats (24/51), the Corsican nationalists cannot attempt to impel yet a separatist process but the tendency is there and will probably stay. The composition of the chamber seems to demand a relatively leftist policy, although I am a bit skeptical that the "moderate" president will be keen to implement them, surely leading to frictions as is happening in Navarre. 

In any case my congratulations to the Corsican people for taking steps ahead, moderate as they may be in favor of their self-rule and for giving a color note to the otherwise very sad electoral landscape of the French state.

Turkey giving sarin to DAESH and other ongoing stuff around the murderous Islamist farce

As you may know by now (or maybe not because Western media just does not report on most important matters), Turkish MP Eren Erden (CHP) presented evidence of Turkey providing the Islamic State (DAESH) with sarin ingredients. 

Instead of treating the matter as the outrageous scandal it is, the ruling AKP is treating it as a matter of "treason", much as the independent media is being persecuted for revealing other weaponry supply by Ankara to the terrorist organization. 

All non-surprising to some extent (the totalitarian tendencies of Erdogan and company are well known by now, as is their support to the DAESH) but still very worrisome and worth mentioning, particularly as  I am subject of a state that has pledged alliance via NATO to this terrorist regime, and that is also the case of many of my readers. 

Erdogan's maneuvers are unthinkable without the blessings of NATO and therefore we can only understand terror attacks such as the one of the Bataclan as self-attacks of NATO (against commoners, not strategic assets or members of the elite), as the bombs that Orwell's Oceania dropped on the proletarian suburbs of London in order to justify its militaristic and totalitarian regime, blaming them on the always elusive and distant enemy. 

Like Orwell's Oceania, NATO also needs its own regular season of hatemins. Yes, "1984" is a must-read, we may not have reached that far yet (check: no black helicopter hovering outside the window, not tonight at least) but we are dangerously close and every other day a step closer.

The Saudi coalition that is not

Another curious development in the neocolonial front of West Asia is the announcement by the worst dictatorship of Earth (alias: our best friends the Saudi monarchy), a regime historically even more deeply immersed in the development of Sunni fundamentalist terrorism than Turkey, who are total noobs in comparison, of a coalition of 32 states and several terrorist Syrian organizations in order to "fight DAESH" (read: fight secularism in Syria and elsewhere).

As soon as it was announced some of its main alleged members, Indonesia and Pakistan, rejected to be involved. Nobody had even asked them: the "coalition" seems to be a mere oriental fantasy that would be ridiculous if thousands of real people would not be on the crosshair of Saudi megalomania, nowadays affecting mainly Syria and Yemen but also extended through much of the World via Al Qaeda and DAESH. 

As Prof. Chossudovsky says, we must change the overall Western Imperial Regime in order to make the World a safer place. A place where there is no place for dictators like Erdogan or Ibn Saud, for genocidal regimes like Israel, and where we are not anymore afraid of a bunch of psychopaths with a religious pretext and an agenda of self-attacks dictated by the generals and spies of NATO.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Fascists lead the vote in the French regional elections

Regional lead by party: black = FN, blue = LR, fuchsia = PS
The fascist party National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, has obtained around 30% of the vote in the first round of the regional elections, leading the tally in eight of the thirteen European regions of the French Republic (data from the four regions of America and Africa is still not available). 

The second best performing party was the conservative The Republicans of corrupt and authoritarian former President Sarkozy with around 27% of the vote, while the ruling Socialists (social-liberals) came third with roughly 23%. The divided real left parties (Front de Gauche, Greens) may have obtained together around 10-15% of the vote, a bit more if the much weaker Communist Party and Worker Struggle would be included.

The participation was very low, barely 40% in the departament encompassing the Northern Basque Country and Bearn, for example. 

Corsica: nationalists perform well

The nationalist list Femu a Corsica came second in the Mediterranean colony, with more than 17% of the vote, while the regionalist Rassembler pour la Corse came third with 13% of the vote, ahead of Sarkozy's LR (12%). Corsica Libera got some 8%. Unlike in the mainland, the fascists performed badly in the country of Pasquale Paoli, with a mere 9%. 

In the Brittany region (smaller than historical Brittany), the regionalist list Yes Brittany gathered 8%. 

Very worrisome

While indeed that one of every four French citizens, at least, is voting fascist is most worrying, I'm even more worried, if that is possible, about the return of Sarkozy (most likely indirect outcome) and the rightist drift of the PS, which has imposed a permanent state of emergency in the Hexagon. An outright victory of Le Pen would just be the logical outcome of such reactionary evolution across the whole of society, and it would not be significantly different from the autocratic rule of Sarkozy or Valls. France is clearly going down the drain of authoritarianism and that's very bad, for the French of course but also for all the rest of Europe.

Turkey invades Syria

Yesterday I had to report that Turkey had invaded parts of Iraq, today that it has done the same in Syria, almost simultaneously, occupying and fortifying a position across the border, not far from the Islamist capital, Raqqa, with the effect of splitting the Kurdish-controlled area in two and guaranteeing the oil, arms and zombie trade between th Caliphate and the Turkish state. 

Together with the "sneakers on the ground" (actual but hidden US military presence in Northern Iraq, that has been going on for some time) and the apparent Turkish confirmation of installing a military base near Mosul, with apparent complicity of the contested pro-Washington regime in Southern Kurdistan (Iraq), the NATO intervention in (and against) these two beleaguered states is fait accomplí

Erdogan: the new Mussolini!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Turkey invades Iraq

With the likely aim to aid their embattled Islamic State (DAESH) puppet allies and consolidate the (Washington and Tel Aviv promoted) "Hornets Nest", under threat of extermination by the joint Russian and Syrian offensive, Turkey has sent troops to Mosul District, an area under DAESH control but disputed by Kurdish militias. 

Iraq has demanded the immediate exit of the Turkish invader force but this request is likely to be ignored by Erdogan's unbearable cynicism.

Ankara claims that it is just "an incursion" and that they are there "to train Iraqi troops". What "Iraqi troops" might those be (if at all)? Only those of the Islamic State. 

The most obvious aim of the attack is probably to set a barrier between DAESH and Kurdish forces, which might otherwise take control of Mosul, the second largest city of Iraq and a key hub in the oil smuggling business of the DAESH and the Erdogan clan. 

This mafioso-terrorist association of the Ankara regime and the DAESH puppet of the Pentagon has been denounced for a long time in the alternative media but only recently, after Turkey downed a Russian jet in a calculated act of war, the usually reserved Moscow government has provided strong evidence of this association. Iraq has also denounced the illegal trade and I guess this is yet another reason for Erdogan pushing it within the frail Iraqi borders. 

What can happen? Well, Iraq has let clear that they do not want US "boots on the ground" within their borders no matter what, pretexting that Shia militias had threatened to kill them but actually because they do not trust Washington nor their semi-autonomous protectorates (Tel Aviv, Ankara, Riyadh) at all. This underlines the alignment of Iraq, a major oil producer (second only to Saudia before the troubles began), with Iran, Russia and China, something that surely is not taken lightly in Washington nor in Ankara. 

Russia had pondered to extend their air operations into Iraq, while China did openly offer its air forces to Baghdad last year in order to fight DAESH. Recently China also signed a military base agreement with Djibouti, located at the strategical Bab-el-Madeb strait, near Yemen, and which also holds a French naval base. So the whole region is each day resembling a mini World War scenario, in which the Western Empire (NATO-plus) is clearly not afraid of provoking its Eurasian rivals into greater intervention, nor these seemingly coy about replying with a "bring it, cowboy", sorta.

Nevertheless I think that a likely development will be the destabilization of Saudia and Turkey themselves, because the Eurasian allies must know that only playing a defensive "cold war" is not enough, that Washington and their satellites must feel the pain themselves, else they will never be brought to any sort of semi-good faith negotiation or understanding. As Sun Tzu said: in order to win the war, take what the enemy values most.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

From islamic terror to state terror: France brutally smashes Climate March

The effects of the prolonged and probably to be permanent state of emergency in France are already becoming patent: the Climate March was crushed today by the French police with tear gas and batons, just because... there is no right to demonstrate anymore in the Republique. 

Hundreds of people were arrested. 

The result of capricious state over-reaction to the terror attacks is that France is now heading to become a Islamic State of its own kind. Maybe not Islamic but similarly fascist in any case.

Russia Today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Forecast: Moscow's reaction?

Russia Today's latest poll:

After Turkey shot Russian jet over Syria Moscow will:
  • respond to Ankara with economic sanctions
  • intensify bombing campaign on Syria-Turkey border
  • establish no-fly zone along Syria-Turkey border
  • increase support to Kurdish fighters 

Most correct answer (in my humble opinion): all of the above. And probably something else that nobody has yet anticipated, not me either.

The relation between Russia and NATO has been degrading in the last years, beginning precisely in Syria:
  1. 2011: NATO and allies (Saudia, Zionistan, Qatar) begin proxy military intervention in Syria
  2. June 2011: China and Russia veto anti-Syrian UN Security Council resolution
  3. 2012: China and Russia veto another anti-Syrian UN Security Council resolution
  4. Winter 2013-14: NATO intervenes via proxy in Ukraina: Euromaidan putsch, largely manned by Neo-Nazi death squads
  5. 2013-14: The so-called Islamic State (DAESH) expands to Iraq (Fallujah conquered in January 2014, Mosul conquered in June)
  6. Late Winter 2014: Crimea democratically self-determinates in favor of annexation to Russia
  7. 2014: NATO & allies initiate economic sanctions against Russia, Russia responds with counter-sanctions
  8. 2014-15 Ucraine conflict stagnates, unsolved
  9. Fall 2015: Russia intervenes in Syria in favor of the Damascus regime, putting the Islamists in a very difficult situation. Some Islamic State groups are flown to Ukraine and Yemen by their state allies
  10. November 24: Turkey shoots down a Russian bomber in Syria, local Turcoman militias shoot and kill the pilot, the co-pilot is rescued. NATO blesses Turkey's attack: they claim that Turkey has "the right to defend itself" but Syria does not. 
What can happen now? On one side it is clear that Russia is deeply offended and has canceled all cooperation with NATO members regarding Syria. On the other extreme, all-out war, which would be nuclear war, is almost certainly a no-go zone, no matter what... or almost. Anything in  between can happen however. 

Russia has shown that they can lay back and wait for the best moment to counter-strike, they have also shown that they can respond very quickly and effectively against provocations, be it in Crimea or in South Ossetia.

Turkey clearly cowers under the skirt of NATO but that does not make the Erdogan regime invulnerable, not at all. Erdogan has in his megalomaniac and authoritarian rise offended many people, even inside the, once all-powerful, Turkish Military. Of course the Left, be it Kurdish or Turkish, hates Erdogan, but he also has enemies in the Right. 

Turkey's Achilles' heel is anyhow the very consolidated Kurdish guerrilla (PKK), which, after upholding a unilateral cease-fire for many years, was pushed into war again recently. Erdogan is known to have used the Islamic State as pretext to bomb Kurdish positions and even civilians in both Syrian and Iraqi territory. Violations of sovereign airspace by Turkey are just a matter of course in fact, and they are usually unmistakable acts of war. 

Even if Putin and co. probably hate it, their best chance at retaliation against Turkey is in fact arming the Kurdish rebels, just as Turkey and their allies (NATO or otherwise) have been arming groups in Syria and Iraq. Why do I say that they probably hate it: mostly because the PKK is a leftist revolutionary force and the Putin regime in Russia is a Right-wing bourgeois conservative force. They have almost nothing in common, except one thing: both have the same enemy: Erdogan and his Islamist regime. And the enemy or my enemy is my friend. But it cannot be an easy relation, no matter what, because the enemy of the PKK is Capitalism, while Putin is a guardian of Capitalism, who sympathizes with reactionary forces like Le Pen, the Lega Nord and the UKIP. But life makes strange allies, you know.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Erdogan tries to trigger World War III

Putin described the attack as "a stab in the back,
carried out against us by accomplices of terrorists".
Turkey has shot down a Russian airplane in Syria (source 2), apparently killing one of the pilots and getting the other to be captured by some militia allied of the Islamists.

Regardless of whether the airplane accidentally stepped or not into Turkish airspace (Russia says nope), the attack is a clear act of war. Terrorist Islamist Turkey feels backed by NATO (otherwise they would not have dared to) and is trying to bring Russia and NATO to start the feared World War III, which implies, almost certainly, total destruction of Humankind by nuclear suicide. 

Turkey is well known as the main direct backer of the Islamist terrorists who, among many other crimes, attacked Paris earlier this month. The very legitimacy of Erdogan's latest electoral "victory" is heavily under question as many observers consider that the polls were rigged, also the campaign was marred by repression against the media and state-organized terror attacks against the opposition campaign. 

The attitude of Erdogan is clearly one of provocation and we should all take this most seriously because, make no mistake, this is an act of war and Russia would be totally legitimate to respond with military means. However this could drag NATO into an all-out war, which would quickly escalate into nuclear war, with catastrophic consequences for all Humankind, probably extinction.

Update: mapping footage made available by Russia clearly indicates that the bomber never entered Turkish territory and that the attack took place inside Syria. In other words: the only air space violation was done by the Turkish fighter.

Russia has also announced the first counter-measures: all bombings will be escorted by fighter jets and air defense of the Syrian coastal strip will be reinforced by air-defense cruiser Moskva.

I expect more counter-measures however, notably economic sanctions but also probably (just my guess so far) that Russia will arm the Kurdish guerrilla in ways that will be able to effectively challenge the Turkish armed forces, much like Turkey arms the Islamists in Syria. Until now the Kurds had been mostly on their own, because their socialist ideals made them ineligible for aid by any power, all of which are bourgeois regimes but today's attack is a step too far by Ankara and I'm sure it will not go unanswered.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Chaos and death among refugees in Lesbos

From the Greek Left Review:

Life in Lesbos: “The Children’s Feet Are Rotting – You Guys Have One Month and Then All These People Will Be Dead”

“There are thousands of children here and their feet are literally rotting, they can’t keep dry, they have high fevers and they’re standing in the pouring rain for days on end. You have one month guys, and then all these people will be dead”.

read full story at Greek Left Review.

As More Children Drown, Volunteers on Lesbos Say Rescues Are Left Largely to Them

“We have lines of children half dead waiting to be hung upside down so we can pound the water out of their tiny lungs — boat after boat,’’ Trace Myers, a volunteer from England, wrote on her Facebook page. “We have ambulances, wailing, soaked, terrified people.”

read full story at Greek Left Review.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Patriot Act" in France

The DAESH attacks in Paris are, I understand, controlled and authorized by NATO's "Deep State". Much like the 9/11 attacks in the USA 14 years ago, they have two objectives:
  1. To provide a "Pearl Harbor" style justification for foreign military intervention, in this case clearly focused on Syria and ignoring the actual supporters of the DAESH, such as Saudi Arabia and its Gulf vassals, Turkey or the United States, among others (Putin recently mentioned 40 countries, several of which have seats in the G20). 
  2. To induce a state of panic among the European population, French particularly, in order to push ahead with anti-democratic and repressive new legislation and de facto measures. This part can be split in three categories:
    1. Anti-immigration (in spite of the fact that the authors of the attacks were French or Belgian and that they had been freely traveling in and out of the Schengen area without police ever interfering).
    2. Against free transit of people in the European Union. This is about the only good thing we get from this confederacy: that the artificial borders are less apparent. 
    3. Reinforcement of authoritarian tendencies and particularly of the police state, dismantling democracy and human rights for the sake of "security".
soldiers patrol Paris
However the police state clearly failed to prevent the attacks, attacks that had been announced (for example the erratic Spanish political analyst J. Verstrynge considered a French 9/11 style attack certain and immediate in a debate two weeks ago, citing French government sources). The Schengen area was already suspended on the pretext of the Climate Summit and this was totally useless: the terrorists could travel between Paris and Brussels unhindered. Many increments of the police state (telecom spying without judicial authorization, among others) had already been approved after the Charlie Hebdo attacks and these were totally useless. The police state is useless, especially if it is the Deep State who organizes the attacks. Without purging our own hawks and secret services this kind of attacks can only happen once and again, if the shadow commanders think they are useful for their agenda of rallying the masses in favor of militarism, imperialism and repression. 

Anyway, what is happening now (source: Gara) is that President Hollande and PM Valls (what's up with France's hyper-successful police ministers: first Sarkozy, now Valls?) are promoting an increase of the police state. By the moment there is an extension of the state of emergency for three months, much more than the usual 12 days. But what they are proposing is a change of the constitution to the worse. In spite of the French nationality of the terrorists, their focus is xenophobic: allowing banning the entry in the Hexagon to double nationality citizens, speedy ways of expulsion of immigrants, and even the removal of the nationality for those indicted with "terrorism" charges (not for looting the public treasury like Sarkozy?). This last measure goes against the International Declaration of Human Rights which clearly states that people have the right to a nationality and not to be deprived of it. 

They will also forbid associations inciting to hate but it does not seem like the fascist National Front and their xenophobic discourse will be included.

Additionally more jobs will be created in the police apparatus: 5000 new gendarmes, 2800 new judiciary workers and 1000 new border officers. 

An interesting read is also Tierry Meyssan's article on the attacks. A bit clouted with lots of details but emphasizing that it is the Deep State who's running the show, largely the Pentagon directly (people like Petraeus, Clinton or Allen, and of course we can't forget the long menacing shadow of Sarkozy). Interestingly he mentions that the very day of November 13 the emergency services of Paris held a drill of reaction against multiple terrorist attacks. Coincidence? This kind of "coincidences" happen too often, so most certainly not.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Police let Bataclan attackers act for almost three hours

Update: it has surfaced (a witness trapped inside listening to the terrorists' conversations, which were all in perfect French, it seems) that the attackers were trying to negotiate and that the police may have managed it as a hostage crisis. This would explain the delay.

Three hours in which the attackers were murdering people!

Almost three hours after the carnage began, grenade blasts and automatic gunfire marked the moment police stormed the building to free those still trapped inside. (Herald Sun)

‘They are hiding in some kind of room in the dark and they text(ed) me, and they are very afraid, of course, and they are waiting for the police to intervene, but it’s been over two hours now and this is terrible.’ (journalist J. Pierce talking about some friends trapped inside, Euractive)

Watch also what WeAreChange informal news channel has to say:

Among other interesting things, they mention how Twitter and Facebook are tolerating DAESH recruitment through those social media and how the latter even is actively persecuting those who try to expose the terrorist recruiters.

Against terrorism, arm the people

We have become helpless sheep. That is one of the aspects that the terror attack against random workers in France highlights. If the people would have been armed, the death toll would have been much smaller: the attackers would have been quickly eliminated by some among the citizenry. 

Instead we Europeans have become dependent on the dangerous "protection" of the armed forces (police, army). There are a couple of exceptions in Switzerland and Austria, where people does have the right to own arms (and where there are no terror attacks, incidentally), but otherwise that's the norm across Europe: citizens can't protect ourselves, we are strictly dependent on the state. 

We need to regain the right to be armed, a proud people is an armed people. Anything else is just sheep awaiting the slaughter, regardless of who is the author.

"An act of war"? Against whom?

Several French newspaper opened yesterday with the term "guerre" (war) in their headers. Later, the President of the Republic, François Hollande, spoke to the media using the expression "an act of war". 

It is becoming obvious that the "French 9/11", again an attack not against oligarchies or the state apparatus but against common workers, is meant to direct the public opinion in the direction of war. But against whom?

The most obvious answer is the Islamic State or DAESH. However the DAESH is not a real state but a terrorist gang with only some weak territorial control, heavily disputed by the legitimate states of Syria and Iraq and many other forces such as the Kurdish militias, Hizbollah, the Iranian and Russian military and even as of late the elusive Free Syrian Army, which Moscow now claims is aiding them against DAESH. 

The DAESH however has sponsors that can be named: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United States of America and some other allies, including France itself. So is France going to declare war to the USA? To Saudi Arabia? To Turkey or Qatar? To its own secret services under NATO? It may sound like a joke but it is a very pertinent question. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

On the wake of the Paris massacre

I woke up today with the horrible news of a brutal massacre in Paris. Seven coordinated terrorist attacks against the civilian population caused 126 deaths, 83 severely injured and 132 with lesser injuries. The attacks also caused the declaration of the state of emergency, the deployment of the army in the city and partial closure of borders.

The only possible reaction is that of anguish and rage. There is no coceivable justification for indiscriminate attacks against the civilian population, not even under conditions of war, being considered a war crime. These are crimes against Humankind and deserve our utmost rejection. 

Also there is no possible justification of any sort: the French Republic is not actively involved in Syria (some of the attackers cried "this is for Syria!") except verbally and, if anything, as NATO member and close collaborator with the USA, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey, it would covertly support the Islamists, using them only as poor pretext to attack the anti-Islamist forces of Damascus. 

I know that keeping lucidity under such powerful emotional stress is difficult but we must, no matter what. 

The analytic question qui bono? must be formulated and properly answered. My best answer so far is that such an attack is a strong push for greater French, European and NATO intervention in Syria, where DAESH terror is being used as pretext to attack the secularist regime of Damascus. 

A more logical reaction would be however to intervene against the totalitarian and authoritarian regimes that actively support Islamist terror, namely: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel, as well as repressing the hawkish factions in Washington and London, who do exactly the same.

Of course, that will not happen but it is the logical follow up.

Society can only be secular: let's fight against religious fanaticism everywhere because it is nothing but fascism.

See also: 26 things you must know about DAESH (Global Research)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Yemeni forces capture Saudi town of Al Raboah

Yemeni "rebel" forces (Sana'a government) captured the Saudi border town of Al Raboah (also Ar Raboah) earlier this month (sources: ABNA, Khabar Agency, Odio de Clase[es]). When Saudi Arabia began its military intervention in Yemen this Spring, I predicted that something like this would happen eventually. It may be just the beginning.

Raw footage of the takeover (source: Almasirah TV):

Monday, November 9, 2015

Catalan Parliament proclaims "disconnection" with Spain

With a clear majority of 72 vs 63, the Catalan Parliament has approved this morning the nine points of the declaration that I advanced on Friday, which proclaims the beginning of a process for the formation of a sovereign and independent Catalan Republic, allowing for 30 days to initiate the corresponding key laws (constituent process, social security and public treasury) and declares insubordination towards Spanish institutions such as the Constitutional Court, explicitly mentioned. 

Afterwards an annex, again with nine points, addressing human and social rights, was also approved with the same majority. Strangely enough the non-indpendentist allegedly left-leaning groups, be it the Socialist Party or Catalonia Can Indeed (Podemos + United Left + independents) voted against the annex, which urges the future government to:
  1. guarantee basic energy needs to all families,
  2. guarantee housing to people at social exclusion risk,
  3. guarantee universal access to public health care,
  4. appeal the constitutionality of the latest Spanish education law (Wert law)
  5. appeal the constitutionality of the Spanish law of civic security (muzzle law), which is the most repressive of all Europe and goes against the International Declaration of Human Rights
  6. make ineffective the Spanish law of local administrations, that severely constricts local self-rule,
  7. open relations with the UN High Commission for Refugees in order to host a greater number of refugees than those admitted by Spain,
  8. follow the 17/2015 law on matters of abortion and effective equality between men and women (I don't understand well this part but that's what it says),
  9. renegotiate the public debt in order to allocate resources to social expenses.

Raül Romeva, speaker of Together for the Yes (the largest group, with 62 seats), explained that it is not a unilateral declaration of independence but an act of sovereignty, rupture and dignity. Anna Gabriel (Popular Unity List, CUP) used her time to explain the points of the annex, emphasizing that way the social meaning of the disconnection process. 

All other parties and coalitions joined forces against not just each of the nine main points, voted separately, but also against the social annex, underlining the inclusion of Catalonia Can Indeed in the unionist bloc without any shades. One of its MPs, Joan Giner (Podem), said he rather wanted to abstain in the vote, notably because of the social annex, but that he has been hardly pressed by the leaders of the group, to vote against, with threat of expulsion if he did not follow the group's discipline. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Catalan Parliament to proclaim an independent Republic on Monday

Catalan Republican ensign or estelada
This is my translation of the text that will be voted and no doubt approved on Monday in the Catalan Parliament, in effect a declaration of independence:

The Parliament of Catalonia:

FIRST.- Confirms that the democratic mandate obtained in the elections of September 27th of 2015 is founded on a majority of seats of the parliamentary forces which have as goal that Catalonia becomes an independent state and with a wide pro-sovereignty majority in both votes and seats that demands the opening of a constituent process not subordinated. 

SECOND.- Declares solemnly the beginning of the process of creation of the independent Catalan state with the form of a republic. 

THIRD.- Proclaims the initiation of a civic, participative, open, integrating and active constituent process in order to prepare the foundations of the future Catalan constitution.

FOURTH.- Urges the future government to adopt the necessary measures to make effective these declarations. 

FIFTH.- Considers pertinent to initiate in the maximum term of thirty days the procedure of the laws of constituent process, social security and public treasury.

SIXTH.- As depositor of the sovereignty and expression of constituent power, it insists that this Parliament and the process of democratic disconnection will not be subordinated to the decisions of the institutions of the State of Spain, particularly the Constitutional Court, which it considers without legitimacy nor competence since the sentence of June of 2010 on the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, which was voted previously in referendum by the people, among others. 

SEVENTH.- Will adopt the necessary measures to open this process of democratic, massive, sustained and peaceful disconnection with the State of Spain in a way that allows for the empowerment of the citizenry at all levels and based on an open, active and integrating participation.

EIGHTH.- Urges the future government to fulfill exclusively those norms or mandates emanated from this, legitimate and democratic, Chamber in order to encase the fundamental rights that may be affected by the institutions of the State of Spain.

NINTH.- Proclaims the will of initiating negotiations in order to make effective the democratic mandate of creation of an independent Catalan state with the form of a Republic and also to make it known to the State of Spain, the European Union and the whole international community.

The Spanish Constitutional Court, rather unexpectedly, declined to forbid the vote in advance, so there is no legal impediment that may be used as excuse for a police raid or similar unilateral action by Madrid. Not yet at least.

The text will be debated and voted in the morning. In the evening, the major list Junts pel Sí (Together for the Yes) will propose its initial candidate for the Presidency, Artur Mas (Convergents), however it is well known that he will lose the vote because the other necessary partner in the independentist alliance, the List of Popular Unity (CUP), will vote against, as they promised in the electoral campaign (because he embodies conservatism, repression, ultra-capitalism and corruption). 

In later days it is probable that Junts pel Sí will propose an alternative candidate most probably either the independent head of the list, Raul Romeva, or the leader of the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), Oriol Junqueras. This has no yet been clarified but if the Parliament can't elect a President three times, new elections must be held. This scenario is of course purely theoretical, as there is a clear agreement between both independentist forces to make sure that Catalonia goes all the way to its independence. 

Another story is how will Madrid act. In theory at least it can declare the state of emergency and send in the armed forces, be them police or regular soldiers, as well as suspending the autonomy of Catalonia. Doing that in the midst of the all-Spain electoral campaign seems a bit stupid but who knows! Whenever they do it, and if they do, it will trigger a dramatic standoff against the vast majority of the Catalan People, which has already demonstrated that can walk out peacefully for their national rights in numbers that repeatedly border the figure of two million.

A similar situation happened in Kosovo 25 years ago, when Milosevic's Serbia intervened against the legitimate authorities of the Albanian-mayority country. It was the beginning of the end of Yugoslavia, even if Kosovo's nonviolent resistance failed to achieve its democratic goals peacefully. In the end war ensued and Kosovo became free. 

Original text in Catalan (from

El Parlament de Catalunya:

PRIMER.- Constata que el mandat democràtic obtingut a les passades eleccions del 27 de setembre del 2015 es basa en una majoria d'escons de les forces parlamentàries amb l'objectiu que Catalunya esdevingui un estat independent i amb una àmplia majoria sobiranista en vots i escons que aposta per l'obertura d'un procés constituent no subordinat.

SEGON.- Declara solemnement l'inici del procés de creació de l’estat català independent en forma de república.

TERCER.- Proclama l'obertura d'un procés constituent ciutadà, participatiu, obert, integrador i actiu per tal de preparar les bases de la futura constitució catalana.

QUART.- Insta el futur govern a adoptar les mesures necessàries per fer efectives aquestes declaracions.

CINQUÈ.- Considera pertinent iniciar en el termini màxim de trenta dies la tramitació de les lleis de procés constituent, de seguretat social i d'hisenda pública.

SISÈ.- Com a dipositari de la sobirania i expressió del poder constituent, reitera que aquest Parlament i el procés de desconnexió democràtica no se supeditaran a les decisions de les institucions de l'Estat espanyol, en particular del Tribunal Constitucional, a qui considera deslegitimat i sense competència arran de la sentència de juny del 2010 sobre l’Estatut d’Autonomia de Catalunya votat prèviament pel poble en referèndum, entre d’altres.

SETÈ- Adoptarà les mesures necessàries per obrir aquest procés de desconnexió democràtica, massiva, sostinguda i pacífica amb l'Estat espanyol de tal manera que permeti l'empoderament de la ciutadania a tots els nivells i en base a una participació oberta, activa i integradora.

VUITÈ.- Insta el futur govern a complir exclusivament aquelles normes o mandats emanats d'aquesta Cambra, legítima i democràtica, a fi de blindar els drets fonamentals que puguin estar afectats per decisions de les institucions de l'Estat espanyol.

NOVÈ.- Declara la voluntat d'inici de negociacions per tal de fer efectiu el mandat democràtic de creació d'una estat català independent en forma de República i, així mateix, ho posa en coneixement de l'Estat espanyol, de la Unió Europea i del conjunt de la comunitat internacional.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Germany tolerates Nazi terror against immigrants

Sare Antifaxista mentions that Katja Kipping (Die Linke) denounced Chancelor Merkel's government failure in solving the systematic attacks against asylum-seeker centers in the Central European country. The "brown shirt terror" is not punctual anymore but a systematic pattern of terrorism against immigrants, particularly centers for refugees. 

Attacks against assylum-seeker centers (blue: 2014, red: first half of 2015)

Nazi terrorism has only grown in the last months, yet almost nobody has been arrested for the attacks. It is very apparent that the German state is accomplice.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Impressions from the spiraling crisis of the state of Spain

Yesterday it was news that the glued-to-the-chair Spanish President Mariano Rajoy has been meeting with all-Spain political parties in order to rally them around his brittle figure against the Catalan process of independence and in defense of the Franco-blessed "sacred unity of Spain". 

Of course not a single relevant Catalonia-only party or coalition (nor even Catalan regional leader of an all-Spain party) was called to La Moncloa Palace. It is being dealt as a Castilian problem, totally ignoring the will of 7.5 million Catalans. There will be a token Catalan politician meeting today but his party (Unió) has been eliminated from the political competition in the last elections, so they are totally irrelevant. 

Shamelessly President Rajoy declared to the press that "we are all together in this", meaning that the all-Spain unionist parties PSOE and Ciudadanos back him: a very narrow meaning of "all". He declined to even mention the dissident Podemos party, addressing it as "that party that you mention", which is clearly off line. The other major state-wide left-wing coalition, United Left, will attend today but again they are clearly not in line with the hardcore unionist dogma of the Weimar Coalition, which is the same as the Commission Majority at European Union level (minus Convergencia, which is affiliated to the liberal ALDE bloc, along with the unionist Ciudadanos). 

The idea that transpired is that the threatened state of Spain (Greater Castile) will act in force against the secessionist threat, even suspending the autonomy status. The relative weakness of the Weimar Coalition was also apparent even if Rajoy insisted in using the word "all", meaning actually some, mostly Castile-only, forces. 

Police raids against Catalan anarchists and Galician nationalists

I think that it is very symptomatic that the Spanish political tribunal Audiencia Nacional (alias The Inquisition, created by dictator Franco under another name) has been rounding political dissidents in both Catalonia and Galicia these days. Dozens of people have been arrested in both countries accused of being loosely related to anarchist direct action groups (in Catalonia, in spite of the alleged attacks taking place in Madrid and Zaragoza) or to Galician leftist independentist guerrilla. 

The raids can be taken as an instance of saber rattling, not the first one. However in Catalonia it has become a political issue because the autonomous police force Mossos d'Esquadra has taken part in the operation, raising the anger of a key independence process actor: the Popular Unity Lists (CUP). These quickly criticized the autonomous government for obeying dictates from Madrid, precisely when they have proposed a roadmap for independence, which implies actively denying Spain any further authority in Catalonia by means of political and social disobedience.

The Catalan process conundrum

The radical independentist bloc CUP is crucial to form an independence government in Catalonia, as Junts pel Sí (Together for the Yes) coalition does not have a majority. They are making sure that their program is incorporated to the process and that it won't be a any feint for mere continuity with previous Convergencia-led governments, under strong judiciary pressure for corruption but also under political criticism for being way too bourgeois and not prioritizing the popular classes and human rights. 

The CUP, as I say, has proposed a roadmap for independence via serious political disobedience. The proposal is at the moment blocked by means of a technicality: the new Parliament has not yet convened because the PP is delaying its constitution all it can. But it's clear that it will be put to vote as soon as the Parliament is formed. It is plausible that it will be approved, although maybe slightly amended, because it is a pre-condition by the CUP in order to continue negotiations to enable the formation of a government. 

The CUP is also demanding that the new President is not considered to be the President of an autonomous region of Spain but of the Catalan Republic. 

Yesterday it was also leaked that some councilors of the current government considered these demands to be unacceptable. However President Mas seems to have shrugged and stated the obvious: without the CUP there is no government and there is no independence process. As the Junts pel Sí list is mostly made up of independents, rather than members of the backing parties Convergencia and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, it is likely that the opinion of possible dissidents within Convergencia will have only limited weight in practical terms.

So the most likely outcome is that the CUP will succeed in the essence of their demands, which are set to make sure that the process of independence can't be reversed, that the bad practices of previous governments are not repeated and that the general program of the new government is more left-leaning. Although still not discussed, almost certainly the new President won't be Artur Mas but someone with a more leftist profile. 

As a marginal note, the support of half of the Catalonia Sí que es Pot list (Catalonia Can Indeed, participated by Podemos and United Left, as well as independents) to the election of the new President of the Parliament has been taken by some as a sign pro-independence leaning among many of its members, reinforcing the pro-independence majority in the Catalan Parliament. 

Another note is that the Catalan Government announced yesterday that it cannot pay the cost of medicines to pharmacies, what is in practical terms a signal of bankruptcy. This is in turn may be affected by the fact that Catalonia does not manage its own finances in full within the current status.


My expectation is that a provisional government of the Catalan Republic will be invested in short term, surely even before the all-Spain elections of December. This assuming that Madrid takes so long to suppress the autonomy and that the civil disobedience plan does not work well enough to allow for the constitution of such government. 

Madrid will, almost without doubt try to suppress the Catalan democratic institutions for the first time in many decades, creating an unprecedented situation that is in almost everything identical to what happened with Kosova (Kosovo) in 1990. However Catalonia is much more important economically than Kosova, not just in GDP but also because of its strategical position as nexus between the Iberian peninsula and continental Europe, and also has several times the population of the Balcanic country. 

Not at all accidentally, Spain is one of the few states of the European Union that does not recognize Kosova as an independent state (the others are Romania, Greece and Slovakia). The obvious reason for this anomalous stand is that Spain fears similar processes of unilateral independence taking place within its own territory and does not want to deal with such problems in a constructive and democratic manner but rather by means of imperialism and militarism, Milosevic-style.

While the lack of popular militias or any form of widespread gun ownership precludes a war, at least in the short term, it is also clear that the military means of Spain are relatively modest. Half of its land forces are the military police corps Guardia Civil (80,000 troops, mostly already busy in regular law enforcement), the rest of the Army having only 75,000 effectives, way too many of them officers. Other land troops that can be used are 5000 marines.

It is unclear to me how a military occupation can solve anything. In fact, we can only expect the situation to deteriorate, as a repression-disobedience stalemate consolidates between the majority's independence will and the relatively powerless occupation forces, while the conflicts spread unavoidably to other parts of the state. 

Even within the wider European Union, such a situation will be hard to manage and, in any case, it is part of the growing spiral of conflicts that it faces as it degenerates into anti-democratic ultra-capitalism at the service of an ailing Empire.