Cyprus: Ethics Beats Exit.

CYPRUS, MOSCOW CAPITULATE, AFTER EURO ULTIMATUM, PLUTOCRATS KAPUT!

Good stuff, that Cyprus accord. I got accused of being a German Nazi, or something like that. Beats a good cup of coffee, anytime. Beware indeed of Franco-Germans bearing a ten billion euro gift to the destitute pirates. A new way of doing away with dogs has been identified: drowning them with euros.

By giving an ultimatum to Cyprus, France and Germany forced Cypriots to reach a higher level of awareness. Namely that moral failure does not pay. Plutocrats are going to have to regurgitate up to 40%, of their ill gotten gains.  

Franco-German Plot Enforces Higher Morale.

Franco-German Plot Enforces Higher Morale.

[French finance minister Pierre Moscovici on the left, plotting world conquest with his wheelchair bound German colleague Wolfgang Schäuble, and IMF’s Christine Lagarde.]

Dixit Wolfgang Schäuble about acerbic critiques of Deutschland: “C’est toujours comme cela, c’est comme dans une classe (à l’école), quand on a parfois de meilleurs résultats, ceux qui ont un peu plus de difficultés sont un peu jaloux” (Translation: laggards are devoured by jealousy).

I used to be highly critical of past “rescue” packages, starting with the Bush-Paulson-Geitner-Pelosi circus of 2008, because modest People, most of the population, the 99.9%, who had nothing to do with the crimes, were punished, instead of the real culprits, who made sure, through their manipulation of the media they own, that they would profit again handesomely. It was joining insult to injury. Squared. But this Cyprus deal is completely different. Indeed, it’s the exact opposite. It’s bringing Milton Friedman, the deregulation beast, and Pluto to kneel. 

What is the Cyprus deal? Well the details are far from being worked out said French finance minister Moscovici. The broad lines are known:

1) the European Central Bank has agreed to fork enough money (“liquidity”) so that banks can reopen in Cyprus, after being closed for nearly two weeks. On top of that the Eurozone, with help from IMF, will fork out ten billion euros through the European Stability Mechanism. (But not to recapitalize Laiki and Bank of Cyprus.)

2) Laiki Bank, the country’s second largest, will be dismantled (broken in two first). That should bring more than a billion euros. It’s the first time since the 2008 financial crisis that a deposit bank is purely destroyed. Accounts above 100,000 euros may mostly disappear. Oopss.

3) deposits below 100,000 euros will be removed from Laiki and transferred to other banks. That’s 30 billion euros (more than $40 billion).

4) deposits of Russian mobsters and other malevolent plutocrats above 100,000 euros will be heavily taxed at Bank of Cyprus.  Tax rate: 30% to 40%. That should bring 4,2 billion euros.

This way Cyprus will bring in 7 billion euros to add to the ten billion that the German, French, and Peoples of another 15 Eurozone nations, with the IMF, in their magnanimity, consent to send over to the greedy needy Cypriots. Greedy because they enjoyed for years 5 to 9% on their savings accounts, while everybody else was copiously stolen by their governments with below inflation returns. Needy because, like the proverbial cigale who danced all summer, they are now 17 billions short.

No more laundering, tax on corporations will go from 10% to 12.5% (same as Eire). Transaction and capital control will be set in place to prevent capital flight, maybe for months.

Olli Rehn, the economy commissar in Brussels promised Cypriots a “very difficult proximal future”.

There is the lesson the plutocratic sycophants or those paid by the Czar in Moscow want you to draw. Then there is reality.

Reality is that, since the 2008 financial crash, the plutocrats and their sycophants have made it so that, we the People, made the banksters, mobsters and plutocrats, rich again, using taxes, debt, and the general thievery of extravagantly low interest rates.

There was a serious ethical problem with this:

Those who caused the crisis did not get punished, and thus the perverse system of individuals, tribes, thoughts and emotions they belong to, stay unpunished, as if they were perfect. Not just that, but they profited from it. Thus the criminals were even encouraged, and criminality lauded. Obama, a president of the USA, no less, sang the praises of his “friend” Buffet (who will make zillions from Obamacare) and his “friend” Jamie Dimon (one of the main operators of the 2008 financial mass criminality).  

Notice that this rescue of the billionaires was a total violation of free market theory: free market theory says that losers get eaten alive, and that’s very good. So why did the losers at, say, Lehman Brothers, got to keep their billions?

Well, the billionaires are not rescued in Cyprus, they are going to get taxed 40%.

Why did the government give more than 50 billion dollars to Goldman Sachs, when it was down and out? Some (who made lots of money out of Goldman-Sachs, such as Warren Buffet,) will say that the business was viable. No. Free market says that business was dead, and should have been eaten.

A business such as G-S was made viable, because, not only did the government give more than 50 billion to G-S, but then made it so that G-S business would be viable, by keeping on with the derivative machinery, huge money gifts (“Quantitative Easing”) and other plots.

And what of jobs for the People? And what of a sustainable economy? And what of saving the planet? Were not these things more important than rescuing criminals from the very instruments they set up to exploit We the People?

Look at Eire (Ireland): private banks failed, the government stepped in, replaced all the lost money, while taking giant debts. Basically the pain and suffering got displaced from plutocrats, very rich people, shareholders, wealthy creditors, to most of society which could afford it the less, and all the less as the criminals had already sent their jobs, and most capital, overseas.

The same phenomenon is on-going in Spain. In Spain giant banks, which were in conspiracy with all sorts of well fed plutocrats are now failing. The Spanish government has stepped in to rescue those worthies, with the money of the poor, putting Spain in a terrible “sovereign” crisis. Why? Well, look at the symbols. The young son in law of the Spanish king, that is a good looking, if brainless, basket ball player, and suspected criminal, owns a ten million euros mansion in Barcelona.

Plutos and their sycophants expect that the Spanish “sovereign”, that is the Spanish People, will come to the rescue, some more, backed up by European taxpayers, those suckers in France and Germany.

However, there is now a socialist government in total control of France, and, differently from the plutophile abuser of the elderly, Sarkozy his name, they can’t justify to tax the French citizenry to save the king of Spain and his hyper wealthy son in law, a vulgar basketball player. That logic convinced Merkel and Schäuble.

Indeed there is another way If You Want To Save The World, Default. This is the strategy adopted in Cyprus. It should be adopted all over. When the hyper rich and their servants get demolished by their own instruments, step aside, and let them be devoured by their own monstrosities, so they can explore the horror of their deviant souls.

Don’t expect Krugman to draw the same lesson. Would that kill his business, influence, career model? Would nobody want to share caviar toast with him in Manhattan? Far from him those terrible thoughts! Instead all he got is that:

…a crisis of confidence that would collapse a country’s banks… Cyprus is there: closed banks, capital controls. In an important sense it’s already off the euro;

[link of Krugman to a completely stupid article by a presumably respected USA economist explaining why a “Cypriot euro” is worth less than a “French euro“, meaning those American economists understand nothing important]

Here is dear Paul, pursuing with this anti-European illogic: [Cyprus]… it has an inconvertible currency, the Cypriot euro, that just happens to be pegged to the other euro at a parity of 1. Why, exactly, should this parity be sacrosanct?

… Cyprus is now very overvalued — not only have the big capital inflows of yore dried up, a major export industry — offshore banking — has just died.

OK, there are still some considerations: access to ECB lending, possibly anti-inflation credibility, and general relations with the European Union. But Cyprus is now almost surely facing the prospect, not of recession, but of deep depression. Is this worth it?

Of course, it’s worth it. First look at the ten billions. Ten billion euros for one million people, that’s a lot of money. in absolute numbers, that’s more than four times the financial support of the USA for Israel (and that’s for 8 million people, not just one million).

More fundamentally, think. OK, thinking is hard. The Obama administration just announced anti-ballistic missiles missiles would be boosted by 50% in California, consecutive to Mr. Kim the terrorizing plutocrat in North Korea, who threatened repeatedly to make a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the USA.

No less. That, per se, should be viewed as a war crime, by the way: threat of mass murder, mass terrorism from a government, certainly falls under the Geneva Convention! Time to crack down on those venomous critters. The simple fact that they are so loudly Hitler-like is world-destabilizing.

Thus American economists, learn this, if you can. There are considerations more important than the economic ones. You can’t have an economy, if you don’t have a territory. France and Britain guarantee Cyprus’ security (to keep all Turks unwilling to think the unthinkable invasion of the 60% of the island they did not invade yet).

The military aspect is the fundamental reason why Cyprus is in the European Union. Being in the EU does not just protect Cyprus. It could come in handy in case of all out conflict in the region: the French Air Force could use Cyprus, as it did Crete and Sicily against Libya. Clearly some in France are itching to unleash Rafales against the Syrian Air Force, once Al Qaeda has been annihilated in Mali, and an international force can be fully installed to keep the peace. (And then, of course, there is the little question of Israel, which does not have a single friend in the region… but for Cyprus, with whom it shares an offshore gas field.)

And what of the Czar in all this? Did he recover from his bout of rage, when he found out that his laundry gig in Cyprus was up? Putin and Medvedev were told something in no uncertain terms, because they suddenly fell silent about Cyprus. While they were brought to heel, strangely, Boris Berezovsky, a billionaire, an authentic plutocrat who brought Putin to power (he said through secret, illegal financing), before they got bitterly estranged, was found mysteriously hanged in London. Knowing that some of Putin’s advisers pretend to be proud to be no smarter than bragging street thugs, and that rage operates in futile ways, this is eerie.

Morality is not just about the purity of heavens. In the fullness of time, morality is also about sheer survival, it’s a very basic notion. The economy has to reflect the most basic notions. Good to see Cyprus eventually turned away from the Dark Side. A democratic economy always beats a gangsta economy.

***

Patrice Ayme

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37 Responses to “Cyprus: Ethics Beats Exit.”

  1. Dominique Deux Says:

    The restitution of a few billion euros by more or less shady characters is not really the point there. II have been a bit uneasy at the barrage of Russophobic comments on many forums, painting anything Slavic with the Mafia’s colors. But even if there is much truth about that, Europe should not care about the ethics of Russian or Kirghiz investment in its economy. We accept Chinese oligarchs and American monopolists, don’t we? When Russia sees its criminal element as a problem and asks for our cooperation to curb it, then and only then should we worry about that side of the issue.

    In the same way, the oft invoked need to keep a country’s banking sector to a reasonable size is nothing but a smokescreen.

    The real issue, the core purpose of the deal, is to permanently eradicate a tax haven. People have been whining that poor Cyprus will not be able to go on with its so-called services sector: exactly. Europe has in effect rescued a beached pirate’s crew from drowning, and taken the opportunity to spike and jettison its cannon. Brilliant… and far-reaching. By taking care to – immediately afterwards – NAMING other targets (Luxembourtg, Malta, Slovenia…) the EU has not only given them the jitters; it has effectively impacted tax evaders’ confidence in them,

    The Economist had the audacity (Charlemagne – who else) to quip that France could not “summon the will” to push its usual stance of solidarity with the South, thus deliberately choosing to hide the truth, which is that France saw no grounds for solidarity, rather a need and an opportunity to strike a blow. This was not knee-jerk French-bashing on TE’s part. Its embarrassing lie proves one thing – the strategy is working and raising holy fears where it counts. People on its very forums are already pointing out that the endgame will be in the City.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: The Economist has been so embarrassingly biased and idiotic about the whole thing that I could not even summon the will to read their cut and paste drivel. They live off tax haven mania themselves (all the profit of the group that own them transit behind a mangy door in a Luxembourg apartment, before heading to the Treasure Islands).

      Now, as far as Russophobia, I don’t have it. (I have delightful newly immigrated to France neighbours in my Ramatuelle residence. I would want France would allow as many non criminal Russians to emigrate as they wish!) But some of Putin’s advisers are outright barbarians. I plan to write a short “Pussy Riot” essay. If I find the time. Basically they say: we need to look like thugs.

      All tax havens have to be destroyed. One must recognize Obama got the ball rolling with Switzerland (for once that he does something good…because his friends in Wall Street want to eliminate Swiss competition, it has been easy to persuade the USA state to go after Swiss banks…). So now that Switzerland is (mostly) done, there comes the rest. Moscovici acted very very well, and Melanchon, unbelievably, is at Moscow’s orders, same as in the 1930s, same language, same ideas too… I guess Melanchon is more French than Moscovici, just as Laval was more French than Hessel, hahaha…

      BTW, the Swiss will be the first to benefit from the removal of the banksters from their socio-economy…

      Cyprus will have to find growth the old fashion way, making a honest days’ work. First making peace with the Turkish-Cypriot part may help.
      PA

  2. leaveittoviva Says:

    “…find growth the old fashion way, making a honest days’ work.”
    And what do you do for a living?
    “First making peace with the Turkish-Cypriot may help.”
    And yet I’ll bet you believe that the Palestinians have justice on their side in their conflict with Israel.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      leaveittoviva: I frankly think, instead of spending my life abjectedly, serving mobsters plutocrats of Stalinist obedience… No to say that Wall Street obedience is not fundamentally the same.
      The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is very complex, with plenty of right to go around. And plenty of wrong. I don’t see Greek Cyprus try very hard (although I am no admirer of Erdogan, quite the opposite).
      Fortunately, abject groveling slurping by the toes of plutocrats represents now a fading opportunity in Cyprus…
      PA

  3. GM Says:

    After cracking down on Cyprus gangsters, who is next?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      GM: As I said, instead of forcing the poor to save the rich, the new paradigm is to force the rich to save themselves by selling some of their ill gotten gains…
      PA

  4. Hazxan Says:

    I’m not so sure this is really a paradigm change. I freely admit that the complexities of international finance are way beyond me, but my guess is that Russian money in tiny Cyprus is a safe target. We have a bloated banking sector in the UK too, but I can’t see us ever putting any pressure on the rich. And when Wall Street get’s squeezed…well, I expect to see flying pigs first!

    More radical commentators have noted since the crash that our debt based financial system is fundamentally flawed and will inevitably end up with all the money in the hands of a few and the rest in debt. Nothing changed, though, so a crises happens again.

    I wonder if behind-the-scenes, this isn’t really a contest between the West plutocrats and the Russian plutocrats? Rather than fleecing them for the good of “the people”, it is another smoke screen, with The City and Wall Street keeping the competition down. Because they hate competition, other than amongst the serfs competing to work for the lowest wage.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Hazxan: The complexities of international finance are not beyond me (I have made leveraged trades, including with options at the highest level). This is a paradigm shift. Clearly, it happened because the French socialist minsiter, a student & protege’ of Strauss-Kahn, was not going to go down the same path as Sarkozy. Moscovici superbly turned around the German leadership, and Merkel adopted the new paradigm (although she is worried about her Landersbanks).

      Markets had a mini crash when the president of the Eurogroup, a young Dutch who knows no economics, was told by the Franco-Germans that it was a change of paradigm, and repeated that loud and clear, before backtracking. I could talk about this for an hour, but I prefer to see what happens next.

      Logically, the next step is to fold a few large Spanish banks, instead of keep on ruining the Spanish People. (And the Franco-Germans too!)

      Oh, by the way, I am THE MOST radical commentators. See:

      http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/time-for-rico/

      Besides being most correct… I proposed basically to arrest them all. I would have Susan Rice indicted right away… I can’t wait to see her ejected of the government of the USA (although she has been behaving recently, her presence is an XL pipeline sword…)

      http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/no-rice-no-lice-no-dice/

      PA

      • Dominique Deux Says:

        Dysselbloom is an agricultural economist. Agriculture economy IS economy, it probably is closer to reality than hyperfinance casino economy, it also makes one very aware of pests and parasites, and it may have given him a sound viewpoint from which to assess parasitic shenanigans all over so-called financial places. I’m not sure his outburst was that unplanned – inspiring doubt into the minds of big tax haven depositors is not a bad move, especially if it is deniable.

        Oh yes I’m an agroeconomist by trade.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          I stand corrected. Pretty telling that some economist presented him as a non economist. Of course that’s much more serious than the lamentable Krugman style WS serving propaganda.
          PA

  5. old geezer pilot Says:

    One small bug squashed. So many more cockroaches left. Yes, the Cypriots will have to go back to crushing grapes and picking olives. But what about the Cayman Islands? It is still here.

    It has been estimated that 11 TRILLION dollars resides in off-shore tax havens.

    ELEVEN TRILLION DOLLARS.

    And so much of it has escaped from USA tax collectors, thanks to the generous laws passed by our Congress.

    Under pressure (and campaign contributions) from wealthy American Plutocrats.

    Yes, Mitt, I mean YOU.

    If you assume that the USA accounts for about 20% Of global GDP, that means that more than TWO TRILLION could have been taxed to more than cover the so-called sequester many times over.

    That’s the problem with cockroaches – there is no end to them.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      dear OGP: Well, the master tax haven is actually the USA itself. Major corporations don’t pay tax, Delaware sure makes Monaco look tiny, all half respectful financiers have, indeed, residences in the Caimans (I know some personally), Silicon Titans and other titans pay ZERO tax (they are the only multi billionaires WITHOUT income), etc.

      The plutocratic archipelago was pretty much set-up by the USA, including in its plutocratic colonies, China and Russia…

      I was in Palo Alto the other day, and made a blistering exposition, less than half a kilometer from the Jobs’ house, of how billionaires in Palo Alto (“PA”, hahaha) pay no tax. Nobody said anything. I had the impression of exposing General Relativity to a herd of cows. No wonder I am viewed as spitting in the soup…

      The USA has 1/3 of the world’s billionaires. (USA + Russia + China) have exactly half of the world’s billionaires… [Source: Forbes, 2013.]
      PA

      • Dominique Deux Says:

        You were lucky not to be understood. You’d have gotten tarred and feathered. Plutocrats elicit loyalty in the hearts of their many parasites and would-be parasites. Think of the Royalmania in the UK.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dominique: Oh, yes, they all hate me now. Between us, I can safely say I am absolutely hated by most of the friends people I used to know in the Bay Area. It’s fascinating. I was actually told explictly I was a traitor to my country(!)
          PA

    • old geezer pilot Says:

      In today’s NYT, an article by ANDREW HIGGINS and LIZ ALDERMAN indicates that Cyprus banks held a lot of their assets in Greek Bonds, which became worth half of face value after a meeting of the ECB. A time bomb waiting to go off.

      It did.

      So the smoking gun may not be in the hand of the Cypriots or Russian tax evaders – it may be in Brussels.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Well, Cyprus banks took high risks, high leverage, and paid interest of 5% to 9% for years. Plus speculated, with leverage, in the now deflating Cyprus real estate. Anyway, Brussels, Brussels, Brussels… The EC takes few decisions of its own, none major. National governments and European Parliament are in the driver’ seat. I am iching to write a scathing essay about the biaed in USA public opinion making.
        The Russians should be arrested, starting with the central bank head (more in the essay to come)
        PA

  6. TomAlex Says:

    4 things:
    1) You give no evidence, no numbers, nothing. How much of the bank deposits are russian. What percent of them is russian mafia, what percent is tax evaders?

    2)why did not the russian government raise an issue with Cyprus?[such as we will not support you in the UN]. When the german government wanted the list of possible tax evaders in swiss banks, it had no problem bribing to get them. Is the russian government so above this practice or are all cypriots involved in banking so untouchable?

    3)What’s your take then on Russian or other oligarchs doing business in other EU countries? Is your point that all ‘clean’ russian or Arab or whatever oligarchs go to England or France and buy football teams and only the dirty ones go to Cyprus? In fact you have said this yourself in your Cayman and Palo Alto posts

    4)where is your evidence of cyprus government ‘complicity’? Because if anyone comes to invest in a country, I know of no country that asks them ‘how they got the money’. If there is a request from his home country, then yes. Without it, no. Cyprus had a good relation with Russia, because it has not sold them out yet.

    Unlike almost any western country: Germany shortcircuited the Carter US arms embargo to arm Turkey after 1974. Blair’s UK applied tremendous pressure for the Anan plan; Blair’s wife was the lawyer of the ORams, who knowingly bought property that is the product of armed robbery with mass murder in occupied Cyprus. Eu officials push for legalising that product of armed robbery with mass murder’ free trade with occupied Cyprus’. And the EU has thrown all sense to the wind, by putting a nonsense requirement such as ‘opening ports to cypriot ships’ on Turkey’s negotiations (which Turkey does not fullfil) instead of the obvious ‘stop the occupation of a member state’. Imagine Japan occupying Hawai and the US talking about entry negotiations.

    Of course I am 100% for morality. But I am not going to discuss morality with the Blairs, or the people who have no problem doing business with mass murderers. So if one does a legit business with someone whose wealth is the result of tax evasion, one should be burned. If one does business with someone whose wealth is the result of armed robbery with mass murder, that’s mainline and respectable.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Welcome TomAlex, and thank for the challenging and cogent comment! Well, part of the problem is that nobody is sure of the numbers. I have seen anything between 20 and 60 billions for the Russian deposits in Cyprus. Same with the investments in Russia. The lowest numbers there are from plutocratic Morgan-Stanley: 225 billions in 4 years (Cyprus GDP is about 17 billion euros).

      Clearly massive investments in Western Europe by Russian mob, and or, plutocratic money is a security risk. I do agree that there is general rotting. Cyprus is just the welcome occasion of a change of paradigm on an important point: if one lives in free market, supposedly, one applies that to the plutocrats too!

      Now, of course, that should be extended all over. SPAIN, Spanish banks, is the obvious place in which to apply that paradigm next: insted of asking common Spaniards, Germans, Italians, and french to bear the burden, plutocrats should be made to lose their shirts and mansions, and those who are too compromised, put in jail.
      I have another Cyprus essay coming. It seems that there was a secret capital flight last week. That exhibits the complicity of some Cypriot LEADERS with the Russian/plutocratic mob.

      As far as Turkey is concerned, I am a declared enemy of the regime there. It’s indeed calamitous that Turkey is not expelled from all of Cyprus (that’s where the fish and other agriculture are). I do not like to see Erdogan’s wife going around with a veil: why does not he wear one too?

      The initial Putin-Medevedev reaction was so hysterical that one could only deduce that they themselves, or very close friend or family had money in Cyprus. BTW, lots of the Russian money comes from the drug trafficking out of Afghanistan (90%) of the worldwide opiates). So the USA is in it, in some sense. The USA originated the present Russian plutocracy, at least intellectually speaking.

      Germany (and France, Italy, and USA) brought Swiss banks to kneel and submit, but it was hard going. On the other hand, Suisse is clearly reconverting handsomely as a high tech, high science Mecca, at an accelerating pace… Best for everybody. I am sure Cyprus can operate a similar conversion (hey, ask help from the Swiss!)
      PA

      • Tom Alex Says:

        Ok, I think we agree that exact figures are hard to come by and most of what people base their ideas on at this point are highly uncertain estimates. I’m not sure whether the russian money in Cyprus is dirtier than the money used to buy Chelsea FC or PSG, but that’s another issue.
        For Erdogan, this is a guy whose grit is unlimited: This is a guy who has the nerve to ask for an apology, money and sanctions for say the Mavi Marmara and rules over a country that has still to take any action over Interpol warrants against grey wolves scum who clubbed to death in 1996 an unarmed cypriot demonstrator in the buffer zone who was ***Not attacking anything** unlike the Mavi Marmara activists and shot dead his cousin a couple of days later when he was climbing a pole to take down a turkish flag.
        As for the swiss: In a way there is a positive result to the present crisis, especially for a small place like Cyprus: The real problem there, as well as other countries in the South (but also other places in Europe) is the rise of a parasitic, incompetent and corrupt class of managers, who show everyone that the more you produce, the less you get. Their idea is “buy everything from abroad”, stiffle competent people and their ideas and basically produce nothing. I have many concrete examples But slowly but surely people will learn to push them aside and reply on themselves. This is a very good thing.

  7. TomAlex Says:

    One more thing:”France and Britain guarantee Cyprus’ security”
    Where exactly is that clause? I must have missed it? Because there is no EU defence policy such as “an attack on one is an attack on all”
    In fact UK along with the US and Turkey have gone to great lengths to ensure that any EU army will be able to fight in far away places as Afghanistan or Somalia, but not defend EU soil, such as Cyprus. Look it up. It’s called the Ankara agreement (not the 1963 one)

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      TomAlex: The defense guarantee is implicit. There are British troops on Cyprus, and an important British base (and there were French troops, very discreetly, until recently). Remember the Malouines/Falklands? One French, or British nuclear attack submarine, just one, could blockade Turkish access to Cyprus. 4 rafales could establish air supremacy over Cyprus air space, all the way to Galicia, etc.
      In case of all out war against Assad, brewing, France and Britain would fly out of Cyprus (although Turkey is now giving access to France again).
      PA

      • Tom Alex Says:

        First, there were also british troops on the island in 1974. If you mean that british bases are implicitly guaranteed, I agree. If you mean the island(what’s left), well I see no change from 74. 4 Rafales are obviously not enough -you are talking about hundreds of F16s. But the issue is not one of presence: It is the simple defence clause I am stressing. It costs NOTHING, so why not make it? Same as the US could not prevent the initial annexation of Kuweit, it gave a very strong message: “Just try us”.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Tom: I do agree that a defense guarantee should be formally given to Cyprus. But, in a way, it is in the EU membership. The 1974 attack took everybody by surprise.
          The point about the 4 Rafales is that France, in a few days could take out all the F16s, the Rafale is vastly superior, and can engage many targets and threats simultanously. Eurofighters/Typhoons have proven superior to F22 Raptors, too. So, if Cyprus was attacked, France and Britian could quickly achieve total air supremacy in Cyprus airspace.
          Let me re-iterate that I find Turkey’s position regarding Cyprus 100% unacceptable.

          The Kuwait/Saddam/USA story is not clear to this day. It was not clear that the USA would go to war for Kuwait. However, should Turkey invade the rest of Cyprus, war with France and Britain would be a given.
          PA

  8. Dominique Deux Says:

    I would add that French-UK military protection of the whole EU is an implicit given, which puts these two countries in the unfair position that the US loudly complains about for itself – of funding their competitors’ security while said competitors save billions on defense spending. It is explicit in the case of Germany, where it was seen as the price to pay to keep it from militaristic relapses. That no complaints are voiced (at least in the open) is testimony to those two countries’ sense of duty and history, more than generosity.

    Moreover there is no need for a formal protection pledge across the EU since all concerned countries are part of NATO and thus bound to that very pledge. So far France and the UK have completely fulfilled their obligations.

    Turkey’s attitude even as it keeps pounding on the admission door is a bad portent of what it would be once a full member of the EU. No wonder non-EU powers keep prodding the EU to embrace it.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, Dominique, no wonder that the USA keeps on insisting the EU is bad with Muslim fundamentalist biased Turkey… Funny, BTW, to see the Brits, who, historically were hysterically in favor of admitting everybody in the EU, now screaming shrilly as the Bulgarian invasion threatens…
      Berezovsky s’est-il suicide’? That is the (so far unresolved) question… I saw a Putin senior adviser on “60 Minutes” the other day, I could not believe what he was saying… Even Stalin did not stoop that low. even Stalin was careful not to stoop that low.
      PA

    • Tom Alex Says:

      Let me correct you Dominique: Cyprus is NOT a NATO member(Turkey will not allow it). Turkey IS. While NATO has a common defence clause for an attack by a non-NATO country on a NATO country, there is no such clause for an attack by a NATO country on a non-NATO country[what happened in 74 and has not changed] or between two NATO countries for that matter. Which is why the defense clause makes absolute sense within the EU. In short NOTHING has changed over 1974. You are correct that Turkey is making imperial demands on the EU now, just imagine what would happen if they ever do join. As for Britain’s stand on the EU, they often tend to justify De Gaulle’s view. Certainly the Blair administration was not one to inspire any confidence. And things look **very different** from France where there is no imminent danger and from Cyprus, where there is.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Tom: Blair was, at best, a traitor. I am amazed he is not indicted for war crimes. Turkey is not going to join the EU. Fewer and fewer “chapters” are negotiated. The way it’s going Bielorussia may get in first (everybody is supposed to laugh: hahhaha)… Turkey was admitted to negotiations with the EU, more than 52 years ago… Increasingly, finally, led by France, more investment of the EU is directed to the Magreb. High time.
        PA

  9. Dominique Deux Says:

    “Cyprus is NOT a NATO member”

    Yes I know, my comment was about the rest of Europe, which by and large is. Cyprus will have to make do with the implicit umbrella Patrice described.

    In the case of outright aggression, an UN resolution will do nicely to make up for the absence of bilateral commitments. So in Gulf War 1 France intervened as part of an UN move; later in Afghanistan it intervened as a NATO ally of US which had been attacked. And in case of emergency, France has shown it can react swiftly.

    Combat weariness of a sort is now affecting the US and UK military and (more to the point) the US and UK publics after long, botched, largely pointless capers abroad. France is the one and only Western power of some military weight whose population has absolutely no problem with intervention, provided it is justified (by necessity or ethics). This puts quite a heavy onus on us. President Hollande had been expected to cut and slash the defense budget; he said yesterday that would not happen.

    Patrice, about the Saddam/Kuwait business. You did a splendid job of exposing the true origin of the chaos in Afghanistan. I’d love to see you unravel the April Glaspie mystery.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: I will stay away from the April Glaspie mystery. We both know that was more than fishy. And it’s obvious that a good war would do wonder for a CIA man such as Bush Sr. But there are bigger fishes to fry. Like why did the Canadians land in France in JUNE 1940 (4 years before D day!) and not the USA? This really significant fact is ignored to this day.

      I mentionned a related FACT to the New York Times in the last week, after a deluge of false facts they had published, and I was immediately censored. That is still a hot subject!

      I agree with all your analyses above. I would be Assad, I would seriously worry as soon as the Rafales are not as needed above Mali. Although I am a dedicated leftist and aggressive non violent, or, rather, precisely because, I approved of Hollande’s firm commitment to not lower the French defense budget.

      On top of her nuclear subs, France has nearly 300 nuclear capable Rafales… Something Britain wishes she had, as her nuclear deterrent consists just of strategic nuclear subs, which could very well end up based in Brest… If Mr. Salmon(d) in Scottland wins his referendum… We smell a fish…
      PA

      • Dominique Deux Says:

        Dear Patrice

        this has nothing to do (or very little) with the Cyprus cleanup, but you mentioned the very distinct possibility that French Rafales could find themselves operating over Syria – presumably giving a lesson to the evil Assad.

        I certainly hope that never happens, and that even the planned delivery of sophisticated SA weapons to the nice secularist rebels will not happen (already Hollande is saying it will happen only on condition of being sure they would not land in jihadist hands, and adding that guarantee is far from existing).

        The so-called Arab Spring, like the Orange Revolution in Central Europe, is a murderous, organized sham. Westerners to whom democracy and religious freedom aresecond nature have been conditioned to perceive it as an us vs them fight – us secular democrats of all skin hues against them medieval jihadists and Stalinian dictators. That is wrong. The battle being fought is between two brands of Islamism – Emirati-supported Brotherhood and Saudi-supported Salafists – with secularists and Westerners being used as completely disposable pawns.

        The Syrian rebellion is anything but democratic; it started in Hama, the Brothers’ stronghold, and spread under a well organized media umbrella, complete with nice “moderates” to show the press. Then Salafists jumped into the fray, simply to block or share Brother success. The media demonizing machine was dusted off and used against Assad like it had been against Saddam. In both cases, thoroughly nasty chiefs of state, who had been persona gratissima for decades, were painted brown for convenience’s sake. Meanwhile the secularists in Syria huddle behind Assad, who does not propose to stone them.

        Oh yes, humanitarian duty. Thirty years ago Assad’s father Hafez rubbished a rebel town, Hama, killing up to 40,000 inhabitants, while the international community looked away. We all know that. Shameful! Never again! Except it’s all a Timisoara-like hoax.

        http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_de_Hama

        The medieval whipping, stoning, beheading hereditary monarchs playing that game – the very same who darkly muttered ” da Joos did it’ after 9/11 with incredible cynicism, using Réseau Voltaire and other mercenaries as their mouthpieces – would absolutely love it if the very same Rafales they declined to buy came and did their dirty work – at no expense to Their Highnesses.

        A distinct case has to be made for Tunisia, where a robust secular society is fighting for its survival against the very same Gulf-fed jackals. There France should do all it can, and restrict its intervention in Syria to the continued protection of Lebanon.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Dominique: I do agree with many of your points, even the most shocking. That’s why I did not call to jump at plutocrat Assad’s throat right away. However, I was 100% behind making war in Libya, and called hysterically for it before anybody else I know of (months before BHL woke up). I maintain my position, and fully expected the situation to get very complex in Libya. As it did. I support the Berbers in the mountains SW of Tripoli, through whom France delivered the death blow to Qaddafi (with the Muslim Fundamentalist organization there, enemy of the USA!).

          I view Arabic as a colonizer/invader language. Latin (that is French!) and Berber were there before. The Berber/Phoenician alphabet is more than twice older than the difformed Arabic version (forgive my evil racism, hahaha).

          What I want at this point is the rise of a strong secular opposition in Syria. A very complicated job, for the secret services, and where USA traditional interests and those of Franco-Britannia have been long at odds… But maybe that will change under my good friend Obama’s illuminated guidance… France-USA-Britain have to hold very tight right now. we could be at nuclear war with the nuts in North Korea in 12 hours…
          PA

    • TomAlex Says:

      “In the case of outright aggression, an UN resolution will do nicely to make up for the absence of bilateral commitments”
      … which was not the case in 1974. Actually, nowadays nodoby(except for countries like N.Korea) will start an “outright aggression”. They will cook up a pretext and invade for “humanitarian reasons”. This is how Turkey tries to portray the 74 invasion, but one really must be either blind or on their payroll to buy it, especially when colonists were brought in. So, a possible scenario had the Anan plan passed would be the president of Cyprus(Mr. Denktash for the second 6 months) would create an incident, killing his own people and then Turkey would intervene of course for “humanitarian reasons”. It would not be “outright aggression”.
      Second, things look very different far from the field and on the field. If you are in France, it’s easy to say “ok, this is unacceptable, so there will be a UN resolution and France will act, even alone”. Even so and if everything goes well-because we are not talking about fighting AlQueda jihadists in the Sahara desert, but a large NATO army, very close to his home base with very good connections inside NATO, if you are ON the field, you know very well that by the time there is a UN resolution, military preparations and actual action, it may be too late. So the best solution is always prevention rather than cure.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Dear Tom: In 1974, there was a junta of colonels in power in Greece. As they were at bay (they got arrested and on trial by January 1975), they found organizing a coup in Cyprus a good distraction. Since then Turkey invaded, and sent hundreds of thousands of colons, to steal Greek Cypriot property. obviously a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Indeed. However, Cyprio citizens are now EUROPEAN CTIZENS. That is what Krugman and other American plutophiles refuse to understand.

        The EU ‘Mutual Defence clause’ (Article 42.7) and article 222, the Solidarity Clause, of the European (de facto) Constitution would allow the common defense of Franco-Britannia to use maximum force in case of attack against any EU member, including Cyprus.

        There is no doubt that either France or Britain could win a war against Turkey. It does not matter if they are Jihadists or Turks. If military men know they are completely defenseless, they are not keen to pursue aggression. see what happened in the Falklands war; a Brit nuclear sub took out an Argentinean capital ship, with great loss of life, and the war was pretty much over. If Turkish F16s know they are like pigeons, picked ut of the sky at will, they will stay home, and stop supporting their government, just like the argentine military did with their own generals after the disastrous Falklands war.

        Let alone together, France and Britain are a military super power, as they are united by such a deep defense treaty that there is no doubt British nuclear subs would be based in Brest, if Scotland throws them out. Plus Germany has finally realized that it better stick to France in military adventures: see Mali.
        PA

  10. Tom Alex Says:

    Sure Patrice, it would allow it. But I find it hard to believe that such an intervention would take place(the “connections” issue), certainly not Britain if Blair was PM… Anyway I think we more or less agree on this and our only difference is that based on past experience I do not think this would be as automatic or guaranteed as you think. Plus, I do not think it is fair and even efficient for France and Britain to bear the defence budget alone. Think of it this way: How likely is it to have a simultaneous defence issue in the Falklands, Cyprus, Perehil or Mali? If this is unlikely, then a common EU defence would result in large savings [provided quality is not sacrificed] and/or efficiency. And, it would be a very significant step towards further unification.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well, if Thatcher was PM… Blair is just a greedy critter who speaks excellent French, and love his French castles. Considering that the French (followed by Britain) itch at intervening in Syria, it’s pretty obvious they would intervene against Turkey, thanks to high precision strikes. High precision strikes have made war much more of a solution. We may contemplate this against North Korea soon, if what I advocate in my next essay is acted on.

      As far as common EU defense, the lamentable attitude of Merkel in Libya has shown that it’s going nowhere. Fortunately, things are getting a bit reversed in Mali. (550 non French soldiers are supposed to get in, to help instruct the Mali army. Including 300 Germans.)

      So France and Britain found they cannot force the other Europeans to unify militarily, and take military preparedness seriously. Thus they are busy unifying militarily, although there are problems (say with the Brits opting for the semi-idiotic F35C instead of the very competent Rafale; that means the British carriers, although half French built will not be readily compatible with the French ones…)
      PA

      • Dominique Deux Says:

        In symmetrical operational condiions, wrong choices get corrected rather quickly as they translate into early losses. If push came to shove in EU waters, it could be that F35Cs warranted emergency replacements and that Rafales would be the obvious choice, rather than more of the glued-together contraptions. The wartime version of the markets at work: pilots get a much louder say at such times.

        Of course in asymmetrical conditions even a F35C could make it through…

        Who remembers France’s pre-WWII bizarre “multiplaces de combat”, swallowed by the war? Yet they were quite useful in the Spanish Civil war (here is a Potez-540 of the Spanish Republic, smuggled by Air Minister Cot; proof that France did its bit to help, against huge odds and nasty threats from her “allies”)

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          dear Dominique: Lots to say about France’s “Allies” during the Spanish Civil War and later: Great Britain, under the influence of proto-Nazis such as Keynes, Krugman’s great hero, had signed with Hitler in 1935 on the expansion of Germany to the east, and the USA was even worse. I know nothing on the “multiplaces de combat”. All I know is that, if the USA had been allied to France in June 1940, even symbolically, the French Air force could have re-established air supremacy above France. As it was, and the USA de facto allied with Hitler, it looked better to fold… They should have evacuated to North Africa… Anyway more on that later.

          The F35C is the VTOL version, for the Marines, the replacement of the Harrier. The only version of the F35 that makes some sense. But wait, maybe they can try some F35s in North Korea, I think they have two that work…
          During WWI the USA learned how to make the French 75mm gun on an industrial basis (under French supervision! Thus learning mass precision engineering, soon duplicated by Ford…). So maybe history will repeat itself…
          PA

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