— For the past five months, Swedish television SVT has had access to a large quantity of classified documents detailing Danske Bank’s dealings with Swedbank. There were a large number of transactions between the banks’ clients between 2007 and 2015.
The analysis reveals that 50 of Swedbank’s customers that show several risk indicators of suspected money laundering have funneled a total of USD 5.8 billion through the bank.
Dictators may have just two options when challenged: accept safe harbor, if available, step down, and try to appreciate (and survive) the “golden years”. (In BackChannels memory, Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf is the only General and President to have done that, and he today lives in exile — and declining health — in London; Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe has been recently removed from power by his former bodyguard, Emmerson Manangagwa — of course there’s more to that story — who may protect the old man while getting hands and head around the disaster left him by the former dictator).
The other is to suppress the revolution.
Beatings. Secret detention centers. Held without charges. Torture.
The gangs conveyed by white Toyota pick-up trucks as depicted in the above video may be known as “Shadow Battalions”.
The ISS article suggested for any protest to bring about change in Sudan, it would have to dislodge the government’s power base in the army and security apparatus, as well as the ruling coalition and the Islamic movement.
As former vice president Ali Osman Taha has said, “the authorities have full shadow battalions ready to sacrifice their lives to defend the regime”.
Omar al-Bashir must make clear the depths of the sadism he will indulge in his quest to remain in power by intimidating all who oppose his stay.
Aside: one BackChannels source has reported the use of shotgun bird shot aimed at faces to take out eyes.
The same sadism that once served Moscow (and may again serve it) at Lubyanka Prison appears repeated in the Soviet / Post-Soviet sphere of influence. Also infamous for murder and torture: Evin Prison, Iran; Sednaya Prison, Syria.
Now we have the “Ghost Houses” of Sudan.
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Security forces arrested 14 professors who were gathering to protest outside Khartoum University on Tuesday, witnesses said, as anti-government demonstrations neared the end of their eighth week.
The “Grand Game” may be over, but the war between the Medieval of Mind and the Modern Possessed of Conscience and Empathy, the foundations of Democratic Humanism and the above-board distribution of power supporting the best reasoned rule-of-law has just begun.
Iran and other producers have opposed a tighter partnership, fearing it could be dominated by Saudi Arabia and Russia, according to officials in the cartel. Riyadh and Moscow are the world’s top two oil exporters. A Russian Energy Ministry spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request for comment.
(The story, what with Bloomberg’s “Tic-Toc” and much else in the Mainstream Media fray, has been moving too fast for BackChannels normally placid quasi-academic treatment, bibliography and all. Inline reference and plain old bald URL’s suit in the making of points).
Just so you know, Putin’s recent purchase of a part of Venezuela’s oil resources is part of his (Moscow’s) 49 percent stake in CITGO.
And what does Putin really want: a world beset and bloodied by a revanche in feudal absolutism wandering around intoxicated by supporting and conflicting medieval worldviews.
Venezuela’s President on deck appears less proud about extensions of Yankee democratic good will while altogether more practical:
BackChannels will not beat the majors, but it may yet make some points. Herewith, three videos posted on YouTube within the last 24 hours –>
That last: political criminals!
For other glorious examples of Soviet Communist and post-Soviet socialist era success and the success of other feudal elites propped up by their mafia and military, BackChannels suggests spending time online involved with Syria — political disaster of the 21st Century! — and Zimbabwe (with Robert Mugabe gone, the state appears on the cusp of positive / responsible change).
BackChannels has heard Venezuela describe as ” a dictatorship of corrupt soldiers who traffic with oil, drugs and weapons. They have kidnapped the country. Maduro does not dare confront them and has been kidnapped in the government palace pretending to be president.”
Perhaps Venezuela’s now defecting soldiery will put a stop to her suffering at the hands of military and political criminals.
The Sudanese have only to look toward Syria to know how bad revolution before a tyrant may become. While the spectacle of the Syrian Tragedy may have been expected to quell enthusiasm for a similarly motivated revolution in Sudan, it appears to BackChannels at this hour that caught between starvation and a tyrant, the Sudanese motivation — and perhaps the motivation of the military as well — may grow the violence and the level of direct threat encountered by President(-for-Life) Omar al-Bashir.
Of particular and peculiar interest in that story may be the bonding expressed between dictatorships
In Ankara, deputy chairperson of the ruling Justice and Development party Cevdet Yilmaz also expressed support for Al-Bashir’s government after a meeting with the Sudanese ambassador on Wednesday
“We support the legitimate government of Sudan. Turkey has faced similar ploys many times,” Yilmaz said, adding that Turkey is confident that the government is sensitive to the demands of the Sudanese people and would avoid violence.
Although Erdogan’s Turkey exploits NATO for its military defense from Russian aggression in that dimension, it has effectively destroyed democracy in the state and bonded with Russia — or leveraged itself — with the “Turkish Stream” energy project. Basically for the Turks, liberal democracy and freedom have died in their homeland, and they have become part of an increasingly family-run business masquerading some as a sultanate.
“In most of Sudan’s almost 170 cities and big towns, someone has been shot. In some of them, more than 15 people have been shot. The shooting is happening through unofficial types of militia that the regime is using,” says Khansaa Al Kaarib, a Sudanese human rights lawyer and activist.
“For 30 years, this is what the Sudanese people have been getting from Bashir: Killing, killing, killing and more killing. People are simply fed up with this and they want to change this regime. They want to get out of the perception of a people lying under an ICC-wanted criminal, as soon as possible.”
The Sudanese story has had a similar start with a modest protest driven by hunger — i.e., economic protest with ecological variables in play — met by escalating means of repression, including live fire that taken or produced martyrs that in turn have become the focus of additional protests.
For Sudanese now active in shutting down Bashir’s goverment and replacing with a government more modern, responsive, and responsible, here is the voice from that other protest against continued (and Russian) feudal political absolutism as once represented by the corrupt and thuggish Viktor Yanukovych:
BackChannels awaits the Sudanese version: “I am Sudanese, and we have tired of the war criminal in Khartoum . . . .
Banks, as founder of Leave.EU, wanted Bannon’s data firm Cambridge Analytica to devise a plan in late 2015 for raising funds in the US that would support the unofficial Brexit campaign, according to the correspondence.
The emails are likely to be scrutinised in the US where Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, has interviewed Bannon a number of times.
It would seem all paths back toward the renewal of feudal political absolutism in the authentically democratic free world lead back to Moscow (and now perhaps Beijing as well).
Without Putin’s permit, Assad’s Sadnaya Prison would not exist. The memory of that obscenity will burn in history long after the “eye doctor” has succeeded in more fully destroying his own estate.
The Interpol stories involving Russia and China: which despot would wish himself to be policed?
Which despotic elite should be entrusted with the coordination policy of the world’s basic global policing element?
And how well will the west stand when it has itself been riven by the renewal of feudal governance?
The EU may impose sanctions on Hungary for adopting laws against the development of civic society, that’s according to MP Volodymyr Ariev, who is also vice-president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, chairman of the PACE Committee on Culture, Education, Science and Media.”In Hungary there are very serious problems with the European Union, with Brussels. They stem from those very anti-democratic laws that were passed by the Hungarian authorities, in particular against civic society, against the Soros University, public organizations, and not only that. Now the EU is on the path toward imposing sanctions on Hungary,” Ariev told Pryamiy TV channel.
EU / NATO has effectively lost Turkey as a partner for democracy, and it has seen democracy seriously degraded in Hungary as well. While BackChannels has thought it politic to lay off the United States in similar regard, the “Fake News!” President has made that tack similarly difficult. He has degraded the media (for many, America’s “Fourth Estate”); taken a hard run at the Department of Justice (Comey firing; effort to degrade or derail the Mueller Investigation; the out-of-order appointment of Matthew Whittaker as Acting Attorney General); and packed the court with the appointment of an at best marginally acceptable (Senate confirmation vote: 50 to 48) “old boy” of a lawyer.
Politics Medieval v Politics Modern and Democratic?
The barbaric and feudal politics of the world’s civilizational past would seem to be getting its claws into the world’s future and dragging it backward.
Steve Bannon, former political strategist for Donald Trump, said he plans to work closely with the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban in the run-up to next year’s European Parliament elections. Mr Bannon revealed that he had visited Budapest to speak to the far-right leader and his aides in meetings not previously made public.
The political operative also suggested Hungary would make an ideal home for “The Movement” – his new campaign group aimed at electing right-wing nationalists in Europe.
AN INTERVIEW WITH an 11-year-old Syrian boy broadcast last week on Russia’s main state-owned news channel, Russia-24, appears to have been filmed not in the boy’s hometown, where a suspected chemical attack took place, but at a Syrian army facility where Russian military advisers were present.
The report, claiming to prove that video of the attack’s aftermath was fake, is considered so important by Russian officials that Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, plans to screen it for the Security Council.
So Moscow wags the dog.
War may be a business — there’s a theme for BackChannels — but ask any victim of war if war is show business.
This may be a temporary post. I didn’t say much. Still . . . multiple sources, one live, one reportage, one an old film. Cool.
ISIL — the “Islamists” — have been long “played” by Moscow and Tehran as a goad to the west and a useful foil in their feudal struggle to sustain the medieval political absolutism that in turn supports their respective dictatorships.
President Trump’s bearing down on ISIS threatens to remove that plaything from the Moscow-Tehran (old “Red-Green Alliance”) toy box. Under pressure, and as much may have taken place in St. Petersburg earlier today, ISIS has now to displace and redistribute its criminal program.
The kind of manipulation involved between Moscow and an assortment of terrorist organizations may often be indirect. As the editor of Back-Channels, I believe that the al-Qaeda presence in Syria was “incubated” of de-emphasized in Syria’s combat planning, so as to shape and “frame” the look of the developing civil war. That’s what the piece is about, and there’s more online to support it.
Regarding the St. Petersburg train bombing — today’s event — there are some tweets now crediting ISIS with the attack.
The prompt: the suggestion that ISIS was finished in Iraq.
Reliant on the open source, BackChannels has been finding it difficult to obtain data regarding the ISIS presence in Mosul and elsewhere in the combined Syrian-Iraq Theater of War. This may be the closest one may get with today’s field reporting:
Some posters on Isis forums linked the explosions to Russia’s backing of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who is fighting Isis as well as other groups in the Syrian civil war.
The group hasn’t yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but often takes as long as a day to do so. If it does claim responsibility for the incident – which it has done with attacks that officials have later said it had no role in – it would be far from the first time it has done so, after it said it had inspired attempted attacks in Chechnya and Russia earlier this year.