Annectere

an·nex transitive verb \ə-ˈneks, ˈa-ˌneks\

1 :  to attach as a quality, consequence, or condition
2 (archaic):  to join together materially :  unite
3:  to add to something earlier, larger, or more important
4:  to incorporate (a country or other territory) within the domain of a state
5:  to obtain or take for oneself

Origin of ANNEX: Middle English, from Anglo-French annexer, from annexe attached, from Latin annexus, past participle of annectere to bind to, from ad- + nectere to bind. First Known Use: 14th century -- Merriam-Webster
 

The smaller country sat astride a fault-line. While not exactly a recently developed one, the line had moved back a few countries in the past few decades. Its neighbor was a new-old power rising, one that had set its sights on reclaiming what it considered part of its homeland. Centuries of shared culture and language, not to mention shared rulers and borders, combined with the actual intent of many in the small country made conditions ripe for the rising empire to make its move.

(Europe ca. 1850, note also the peninsula on the right jutting into the Black Sea)

Riots were fomented, and broadly telecast by state-supported/owned media. One early spring the elected president, facing an imminent threat of lethal violence, and realizing that the Western powers were not going to lift a finger to help him, left office. An official dispatch of plea for help in quelling the lawlessness was transmitted to the ‘friendly, helpful’ neighboring power’s capital. ‘Reinforcements’ were sent from the benevolent patron. A few weeks later, a referendum was held, in which 99.7% of the population voted for immediate political and financial union with the neighboring larger country. Hundreds of thousands of citizens cheered in the streets to welcome their new overlords.

The newly enlarged budding empire sat down at the negotiating table with the major Western powers, and on the grounds of protecting its ‘countrymen’ managed to strike a deal to annex more  adjacent territories. These were summarily swallowed whole into the new empire, which wasted no time in moving its troops to make absolutely 'final' these new borders. Incidentally, the territories thus acquired contained a disproportionate share of heavy industry and natural resources. And of course the new borders would become anything but final.

The Western powers, confident they had settled the crisis, wasted no time in patting themselves on the back. It was only the schedule of the prize committee (and of course subsequent geopolitical events) that prevented the architects of this monumental agreement from receiving the Nobel peace prize, though three of them actually WERE nominated the following year.

The new (again) empire secured its Eastern flank by signing a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the larger superpower to its East, cementing its relationship of ''friendship and cooperation'' for decades to come.

In case you were wondering, this is not Crimea/Ukraine (see links in text vs. those in pictures). The story above is one that is being bandied about with incredible frequency on occasion of its 76th anniversary -- the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938.

There was only one small hitch with all of the above, of course… By some calculations, 2.5% of the global population perished in the following 6 years. A continent was badly damaged (in many places leveled), entire nations of people were decimated, humanity was subjected to the wonders of nuclear warfare and other sundry barbarisms arising from the need for efficiency in permanently (or temporarily) removing certain human occupants of various locales.

As a small aside, here is a PM-related account of the era from a very smart guy whose profession becomes important further below. I disagree with his misunderestimating assessment, and would argue that this time around the gold transfer mentioned seems to have gone in the other direction...

"The Czechs, seeing the writing on the wall, had transferred almost all their gold reserves outside of the country for safekeeping by 1939. Some went to Basel, and 1845 bars of it, worth six million 1939 British pounds, or nearly $400 million in today’s dollars, went to the Bank of England in London. Just days after the Nazis took Prague, on March 18, two bank-transfer requests quickly went out. (Literally at gunpoint, it was later revealed.) One for the 23.1 tons of Czech gold held with the BIS at the Bank of London, to be moved to the Reichsbank’s account. The other for 26.8 tons held by the Czechoslovak National Bank in London. The second transfer did not take place, as the Bank of England followed the new law freezing Czech assets in Britain.

But the BIS emptied the Czech account of the 23.1 tons and just a few days after that, the Reichsbank moved the gold via transfers and then physically to its vaults in Berlin. It took weeks before the British and French press got wind of the story, and the outrage was far too late in coming to do anything about it. Then in June, a remarkable discussion took place in the British House of Commons, when a bill was introduced to oblige the Bank of England to consult with the government on any issue affecting national interests. [...]

Putin is no master strategist. He’s an aggressive poker player facing weak opposition from a Western world that has become so risk-averse that it would rather fold than call any bluff, no matter how good its cards are. In the end, Putin is a Russian problem, of course, and Russians must deal with how to remove him."

There are, of course examples in history where something that was initially tried but failed, could be re-attempted in later years with subsequent success. The concept of blitzkrieg for most people evokes the image of German tanks rolling over the BeNeLux region and on to Paris during WWII. However, the plan for such an assault was drawn up nearly half a century earlier, by Herr Alfred von Schlieffen. It was sold to Kaiser Wilhelm as a foolproof and brilliant piece of military science that would guarantee German victory, a la "Paris for lunch, dinner at St. Petersburg.". We have the benefit of hindsight to know how it turned out the first, as well as the second time around.

I have no crystal ball, and claim to draw no direct parallels. Today is most assuredly not 1938. It is all too common to end a conversation by comparing current world participants to Nazis. If anything, such is one of the favorite pastimes of the Western MSM. The outcome of the current setup is still being written (or so I'd like to think).

But it seems to me that some participants in the current proceedings on the global stage may have been reading history a little more intensively than others. And in recognizing (and exploiting) the differences in current conditions and resources between the past and today, empires often DO rewrite history. Perhaps Vlad and crew really believe they have built a better mousetrap this time around. And there is a non-zero chance that they indeed have.

In chess, the beauty and wonder of the game comes in large part from the nearly infinite number of combinations of moves and positions that can follow any particular earlier setup on the board. There is a concept known as ‘swindle’, where a seemingly completely hopeless situation is turned by the grandmaster into a draw, or in some cases, even a win. Now, a swindle implies that one’s situation is lost. Against a perfect opponent, it would not be possible to pull off a swindle, but of course humans are not perfect.

Imagine what a skilled player can do with a position that is nowhere near lost? Or better yet, what a set of several skilled opponents working together can accomplish while engaging their more or less singular adversary at the same time? And what if the rules of the game are not quite so formal and strictly enforced?

PS: For a refreshingly different view of the situation on the Eastern front, I would recommend Dmitry Orlov's blog.

31 Comments

El Gordo's picture

Wel all

get the government we deserve. Even if it's a street corner preaching huckster.

I Run Bartertown's picture

34,283 people say...

"Vote for secession of Alaska from the United States and joining Russia"

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/alaska-back-russia/SFG1ppfN

erewenguy's picture

top ten?

Yep.  Now to read.

edit:

Heraclitus — 'No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.'

True, it is not 1938. And the US has a president that has stated in word and in deed that his goal is a transformation of the country. Extracting graft and payola for one's cohorts requires the weakening the internal conditions of the country. For those familiar with the source - "If a person wants to enter a strong man's house and steal his things, first the person must tie the strong man. Then the person can steal the things from the strong man's house."

I cannot think of any situation globally where Obama's actions have lead to greater stability for the local people, and has lead to greater unity among the American people. Looting is much easier in a chaotic situation, so there must be an opportunity for personal enrichment in the chaos. It is certainly not for the greater good.

If we compare the domestic politics to a marriage, a couple in constant turmoil is less likely to provide any real assistance to children, family, and community. The foundations of the US are being destroyed from within. "Transformed" if you will. We can put on a smiling face for the rest of the world, and even speak comforting words, but our real actions betray the state of our internal troubles.

treefrog's picture

firth of

forth

Safety Dan's picture

El Gordo - How Government Changes.. (Silver) Coin Modernization

Reading above reminded me how government always seems to come the rescue of... government, for the government; by the government; and never-mind the people or existing laws... The politicians will just pass new more convenient laws, like the Coin Modernization Act because silver was "tight" and it might raise the price of silver.. (or the Patriot Act for those pesky Americans who dish authority of the government)..

"At the request of the United States Mint, a bill with a legislative fix for problem was introduced known as “Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010″. The bill was passed in the House of Representatives and Senate, and then became Public Law No. 111-302 with President Obama’s signature. Under the Act, the previous requirements related to issuance of the American Silver Eagle bullion coins were changed. The new requirements called for the Secretary of the Treasury to strike the coins in both quantities and qualities that the Secretary determined to be sufficient to meet public demand. The purpose of the change was to allow Proof Silver Eagles to be produced even at times when bullion coins were not being minted in quantities needed to satisfy full public demand." 

For those who don't remember this "Act", the silver wasn't "available" for (purchase by a broke government), production of the silver coins, the Eagle. The old law specified they had to purchase enough silver and produce quantities to satisfy full public demand. The new law is whatever the Secretary determined to be sufficient...

Rrrrright, no thing such as a free market supply/demand.. Maybe 'the people' need to learn how to do the ‘swindle’ move discussed for chess - only for 'the people'. The motto on United States Coins "E Pluribus Unum" means "One Out of Many," and has reference to unity, something our government tends to forget. Ok, I'm done ranting.. 

http://silvereagleguide.com/legislation-impacting-american-silver-eagles/

DeaconBenjamin's picture

JY

You are teaching me. I was able to guess the context before you answered the riddle.

Also, the Schlieffen plan was never executed. It might well have worked if it had been tried.

TomMack's picture

Shall we play a game?

War games?  WOPR

David Lightman:   ............ How about Global Thermonuclear War?

Joshua: Wouldn't you prefer a nice game of chess?

thanks Jy   great post

PS:    is that Garry Kasparov playing chess at a simul.....  and if so.. where has he been?

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Looking at your map

Circa 1850, I think that Belgium should appear there (and did you see the size of Luxemburg!). Also seeing Austrian Italy reminds me of its 19th century struggle for freedom from Vienna. Incidentally, the opera William Tell was written as anti-Habsburg propaganda. Now Venetia (which includes the area around, and that was historically often controlled by, Venice) wants freedom from -- Rome. Venice votes in favor of independence. Indeed, the Northern League has been seeking independence for Lombardy for quite some time. (But not freedom for South Tyrol to rejoin Austria.) Referenda, anyone?

Lamenting Laverne's picture

Aircraft knowledgeble Turdites

Can someone here with knowledge of aircrafts shed some light on what kind of aircraft this "part of the fuselage" that is described in the linked story is? Thanks.

http://www.thinkspain.com/news-spain/24122/air-crash-into-sea-near-gran-canaria-was-a-false-alarm-confirm-emergency-services

sierra skier's picture

While doing snow removal this

While doing snow removal this morning the snow and puddled water mixed to annex themselves to the chute on my blower and proceeded to coat and cause the chute to clog numerous times.

Now back to do some clean-up. I'll check in later to read.

PS Top Ten.

Urban Roman's picture

For what it's worth

I don't think all that Czech and Reichsbank gold is in London any more.

I think it has been transferred far far to the East. Paper, physical, whatever they got. Victim of the currency wars.

Dr Jerome's picture

What's in a name?

One of the classic argument formulas taught by Aristotle (my fine avatar) was that you can argue from name--that common people believe that a person's name provides clues to their character.

Hmmm, is that why the name of JPM's Asian CEO is named Fang Fang, who just happens to be under investigation now.

Great name for a sociopath. How coincidental!

JY896's picture

Kasparov

That's an older pic from 2008 (click photo). Lately, he's been trying to get political -- arrested at anti-Putin rally and such. The quote about Czech gold is from him, he's got a think tank of some sort.

@DeaconBenjamin - I dunno about Schlieffen plan not being executed. V.1 resulted in extended trench warfare in France in WWI, failing in stage 1. V.2 saw Western front successfully roll to Atlantic, but failed during stage 2 in Russian winter in WWIII. Having studied two dress rehearsals in intimate detail as participant, perhaps Russia now thinks it's time to show the world how it's done...

Deaglán's picture

Kasparov

Kasparov was on an Irish chat show last Friday comparing Putin to Hitler.

Boswell's picture

Aircraft Parts?

Just a salvage boat carrying some junk...

http://www.multraship.com/news/

Headlines for our floating sheerlegs Cormorant, mistaken for 'crashed plane' off Gran Canaria: rtlnieuws.nl/nieuws/buitenl…

DayStar's picture

Harvey's Up! (TFMR)

Get the full-Harvey at: http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/395109#comment-395109

  • AP: Ebola, one of the world’s most deadly viruses, has spread from a remote forested corner of southern Guinea to the country’s seaside capital, raising fears that the disease, which causes severe bleeding and almost always death, could spread far beyond this tiny West African nation’s borders. In the first outbreak of its kind here, Ebola already has killed at least 70 people including one man whose family brought him to Conakry, the capital, for medical treatment. Now six of his relatives and two others exposed to him are being kept in isolation at a hospital. Health officials warn that the arrival of Ebola in this sprawling city of some 2 million people with an international airport could spell disaster. Among the poorest countries in the world, Guinea has severely limited medical facilities and a large population living in slums where the virus could spread quickly. [B]DS: [/B]Steve Quayle believes this eboala outbreak is a bioweapons test being carried out before our very eyes. Someone is testing a hybrid ebola weapon.
  • Umberto Pascali: Russia announces that it will sell (and buy) his products and commodities – including oil – in rubles; not anymore in dollars. The officials are very clear on their intention to punish the western speculators that have been looting their country for a long time: “Russia, at its present stage of development, should not be dependent on foreign currencies; its internal resources will make its own economy invulnerable to political wheeler dealers.” This is only the first step, declared Andrei Kostin, the president of VTB.
  • Tyler Durden: The overnight ramps are getting weaker and the morning monkey-hammerings of precious metals are not as aggressive but once again, for the benefit of those playing at home, USDJPY is surging in an attempt to drag stocks healthily green and prove that everything is fixed and gold is being dumped to also prove that the status quo rules and barbarous relics are a thing of the risk-strewn past. The problem is... stocks are not behaving as they should - no ramp up.
  • Mark O’Byrne (GoldCore): Snapping its four-day losing streak, gold prices recovered very marginally today. Traders said there was a revival of buying by retailers at these lower levels and this contributed to a marginal recovery in gold prices. Gold in Singapore, which normally sets price in the important Indian gold market, rose 0.4% to $1,296.80 an ounce and silver by 0.8% to $19.86 an ounce. Among other precious metals, palladium gained nearly 1% today to $765/oz but is lower for the week. Gold remains near six week lows and is on track for a second straight weekly decline. Gold has dropped about $100 an ounce from a six-month high in the last nine trading sessions despite increasing concerns about the U.S. and global economy. 
  • GoldCore on Japanese gold buying: Demand for gold in Japan surged 500% in the last month as Japanese buyers bought ahead of a sales tax increase and due to concerns about Abenomics and the ongoing debasement of the yen. A man who has been a trader for 33 years and works at a foreign-owned brokerage told the Financial Times that the tax increase represented a “good opportunity” to buy more gold as he was worried about holding too many yen-denominated assets. “I plan to hold it for a long time until there is a good time to sell, when the yen collapses or something,” he said. The surge in Japanese demand is small in tonnage terms in a global context and small vis a vis huge demand from India & especially China and from central banks but shows increasing concerns regarding currency debasement.
  • Mark O'Byrne on bank stress tests: Yesterday, the Federal Reserve’s stress tests led to jitters in financial markets and in the words of the Financial Times “rattled banks around the world.” Citigroup’s share price was hammered and fell 5.4%. The aftershock of the stress tests was felt beyond U.S. shores for the first time. The U.S. subsidiaries of Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and HSBC all failed on “qualitative” grounds, which includes failing to project losses rigorously when contemplating a severe recession or market meltdown. The Fed said that the banks management practices or capital cushions are not robust enough to withstand a severe economic downturn.
  • Zero Hedge: While the Japanese government may have no options now, the same can not be said of its citizens who have lived next to China long enough to know precisely what to do when faced with runaway inflation, and enjoying the added benefit of a collapsing currency courtesy of Kuroda's "wealth effect." That something is to buy gold, of course, lots of it. According to the FT, "Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelry, a precious metals specialist, reported that sales of gold ingots across seven of its shops are up more than 500% this month. At the company’s flagship store in Ginza on Thursday, people queued for up to three hours to buy 500g bars worth about Y2.3m ($22,500). March has been the busiest month in Tanaka’s 120-year history." 
  • Zero Hedge: The world's largest aluminum company, Rusal, just announced it is on the verge of insolvency after it warned of "material uncertainty" about its future, and that it has asked its creditors to delay repayment on a maturity from its $10 billion debt pile due next month. The Russian aluminium group, controlled by Oleg Deripaska and listed in Hong Kong,confirmed that it had asked lenders to delay a repayment due next month on part of its $10bn net debt pile. Rusal has become a curious nexus of three distinct issues: i) corporate overleverage, a pervasive problem for corporations which as we pointed out a month ago have far more net debt than they did at the last bubble peak; ii) an industry in decline as the key marginal market, China, is no longer in peak euphoria mode - one need only look at the most recent "non-one time, non-nonrecurring charges" Alcoa earnings report to see how the aluminum space is going from bad to worse, and iii) a new political wildcard, as it is increasingly becoming obvious that the next cold war will be fought in bank board rooms, at least from the perspective of the US. There is a fourth point. Rusal on Thursday "received a surprise boost when it won a court battle over proposed new London Metal Exchange trading rules, which the aluminium producer said had helped to push down prices."
  • Greg Hunter on Bernie Madoff fraud: Five more people were convicted in the Bernie Madoff fraud that prosecutors estimate to be a total of $65 billion. The prosecutor said that the Madoff Ponzi scheme “could not have been the work of one person.” He is correct, but it was much more than Madoff and his crew. JPMorgan reportedly paid big fines and restitution to avoid criminal prosecution over the Madoff scam. The bank coughed up $2.5 million in all to settle the case. Why has not a single JPMorgan banker been indicted under the RICO Act? This is an outrage, and they should be ashamed for NOT doing their jobs. I’ll bet the five people just convicted in the Madoff case would like to bypass jail and pay a fine; but they are, no doubt, going to the slammer. The economy will never truly recover until the rampant fraud is punished and removed from the system. 
  • Jim Willie, spoke about the Ukraine crisis, the coming split dollar (a greatly devalued one for internal use in the US), the end of the Petrodollar by the end of 2014, the arrival of the Petro-Yuan and of the Yuan as a fully convertible major currency.
  • Gordon Duff: There is a long-time rumor that Israel has stored nuclear weapons in all her embassies. “SNM” stands for “Special Nuclear Material.” Nuclear weapons give off, not only high energy photons but SNM is now detectable by satellite based sensors even if stored inside a shielded container. Sources indicate that “SNM” has been detected at Israeli embassies and consular facilities. There is, in fact, a “war plan” that includes simultaneous assaults on the worldwide embassy/consular facilities of a TBD (To Be Determined) nation in case of “special circumstances.” Though no specific mention of Israel is made, the infamous “Samson Option,” Israel’s plan to “take down the world” if threatened.  Thus, with the mysterious closure of Israeli facilities around the world, facilities conspiracy theorists and perhaps “others” believe may contain “doomsday” nuclear weapons. 
  • James Turk: Investors are adding to their long physical positions by borrowing national currencies because they want this exposure. They are long physical gold and short national currencies because they expect the gold price to rise and currencies to fall. It is useful to note how the Chinese yuan has fallen these past several weeks, so the yuan gold price was not hit that hard last week. It probably just whetted their appetite to borrow CCFDs so that they could buy more physical metal. These Chinese buyers know what they are doing. They understand gold is good value, and therefore they want all the physical metal they can possibly get in their possession. And the banks have been willing to heighten this insatiable demand with these CCFDs. So owners of physical gold should rest easy this weekend. They own what is in short supply, which means that the gold price is ready to climb higher.
  • Eric Sprott: They don’t want any bank to start the liquidation process because that’s when we find out what things are really worth, and they are not going to be worth anything compared to what the banks have on the books. So the big time bomb is derivatives and leverage in the banking system. We keep getting these comments out of Europe that some country has got to raise $25 billion to boost the capital of the banks. This is in an environment where the paper assets have been allowed to appreciate. Imagine a situation where they start depreciating. The leverage is just way too high and to me that’s always been the lingering huge fear. We could throw in wars, continuing economic decline, which I think we are having, but a bank collapse would be by far the biggest item in terms of how it would affect the financial markets, and in particular in how it would just blow interest into the precious metals area.
  • Brandon Smith (Personal Liberty Digest): Take These Steps Today To Survive An International Crisis Part 5 of 10: http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/395109#comment-395109

All this and more on...

The Harvey Report! surprise

DayStar

SilverSurfers's picture

Jesse

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who call bitter for sweet, and sweetness for bitter."

Woe to those who call good evil, unsubstantiated so.

Securing of the Eastern Flank, as if GLOBAL WAR is the game, rather than civilized nations with common trade having "friendship and cooperation", a good thing, and another step along the global confluence. It is the petty power plays, east and west, that call good evil and evil good. Children, I say, children, with toys, selfcenterness, and greed. But do have faith in mankind, as we transit through, and very slowly unwind the legacy and fear of the cold war, as diverse mind sets evolve to a higher plane. God Willing

The Ukrainian moderates, picked a fight, and lost the Crimea. :~

The Kremlin violated international norms, and stole the Crimea. :~

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Schlieffen Plan

Proposed

File:Schlieffen Plan.jpg

Executed

File:Stabilization of Western Front WWI.PNG

They put their weight in the center, rather than cut off the channel ports to reduce access by the BEF

Hagarth's picture

The Wall Street Code

The Wall Street Code: a thriller about a genius algorithm builder who dared to stand up against Wall Street. Haim Bodek, aka The Algo Arms Dealer.

From the makers of the much-praised Quants: the Alchemists of Wall Street and Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box. Now the long-awaited final episode of a trilogy in search of the winners and losers of the tech revolution on Wall Street.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Lavrov: Ukraine can't function as 'unified state'

John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov shake hands in Paris

PARIS -- Russia's foreign minister says Ukraine can't function as a "unified state" and should be a loose federation of regions that choose their own economic model, language and religion.

Sergei Lavrov said he and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the possibility of a federated Ukrainian state at "very, very constructive" late-night talks Sunday in Paris.

He said he and Kerry agreed to work with the Ukrainian government to improve rights for Russian-speaking Ukrainians and disarming "irregular forces and provocateurs."

PARIS -- Russia on Sunday set out demands for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, saying the former Soviet republic should be unified in a federation allowing wide autonomy to its various regions as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Paris in another bid to calm tensions.

After a brief call on French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Kerry sat down with Lavrov at the residence of the Russian ambassador to France to go over Moscow's response to a U.S. plan to de-escalate the situation as Russian troops continue to mass along the Ukrainian border.

Appearing on Russian television ahead of his talks with Kerry, Lavrov rejected suspicions that the deployment of tens of thousands of Russian troops near Ukraine is a sign Moscow plans to invade the country following its annexation of the strategic Crimean peninsula.

"We have absolutely no intention of, or interest in, crossing Ukraine's borders," Lavrov said.

Russia says the troops near the border are there for military exercises and that they have no plans to invade, but U.S. and European officials say the numbers and locations of the troops suggest something more than exercises.

In his interview, Lavrov made clear that Moscow believes a federation is the only way to guarantee Ukraine's stability and neutrality.

"We can't see any other way to ensure the stable development of Ukraine but to sign a federal agreement," Lavrov said, adding that he understood the United States was open to the idea.

U.S. officials have been coy about their position on a federation and insist that any changes to Ukraine's governing structure must be acceptable to the Ukrainians. Ukrainian officials are wary of decentralizing power, fearing that pro-Russia regions would hamper its western aspirations and potentially split the country apart. However, they are exploring political reforms that could grant more authority to local governments.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/lavrov-ukraine-can-t-function-as-unified-state-1.1752548

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Italian Police stop men with billions of fake bonds

30 Mar 2014 11:56 GMT+02:00

Vatican police on Saturday apprehended an American and a Dutch man who were trying to deposit billions of euros and US dollars in fake bonds in the Vatican bank.

The men were stopped by the police when they approached one of the guarded gates at the Vatican and asked to be let through to the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) as the bank is formally known, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told AFP.

The bonds were discovered in a briefcase they were carrying and the men were handed over to Italy's financial police, who found false passports and other fake documents in their hotel rooms.

The haul came a day after Italian prosecutors said two former top executives at the Vatican bank will go on trial for money laundering in a case that led to the seizure of €23 million ($32 million).

IOR press officer Max Hohenberg said the American and Dutch man "are neither clients of the bank, nor were they expected".

The bank, which handles the accounts of Catholic clerics and congregations around the world, has a murky reputation but the Vatican has vowed to clean it up and bring it in line with international laws.

Lombardi said Saturday's episode "shows the controls are working. But I don't think we're talking about a plot by criminal masterminds if they managed to get caught at the first hurdle."

The IOR has a troubled history, including the collapse of the Banco Ambrosiano, in which the Holy See was the main shareholder, and which had been accused of laundering money for the Sicilian mafia.

The chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, Roberto Calvi -- dubbed "God's Banker" in the press -- was found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982 in a suspected murder by mobsters.

In February, Pope Francis created a new finance ministry to oversee the Holy See's economic affairs in a move the Vatican said was aimed at increasing transparency.

http://www.thelocal.it/20140330/police-stop-men-with-bilions-of-fake-bank-bonds

JY896's picture

@DeaconB

Not arguing that Schlieffen plan wasn't botched/imperfectly executed during WWI. That's the point, the next generation had an existing template to use to say 'the predecessors botched section X of the plan, this time will be different, b/c we now know better'.

And it WAS different -- at first. I'm just worried we'll get to find out how different it will be the third time around.

SteveW's picture

Self determination

I remember an English speaking island people being attacked and occupied by a nearby nation. This island people did not wish to become part of (to them foreign) attacking country and article 1, section 2 of the United Nations charter was invoked (http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml) in particular the self determination clause.

In fact self determination was so strongly upheld that a naval task force was dispatched, including the monarch's second born son, the more than 8,000 miles to the island to expel the foreign invaders.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falklands_War)

This has nothing to do with the current Ukraine situation beyond the fact that the vote in Crimea was essentially one of self determination. In fact if space aliens were involved they would have sent observers to ensure a fair vote. Why didn't any uninvolved nation offer to send election observers? 1) The outcome was predetermined given Crimea's history as part of Russia until 1954 and its population. 2) Most modern states have parts that are agitating for independence e.g. Quebec in the case of Canada.

SilverSurfers's picture

Wat?

What Happens When "The Workers" Just Don't Care Anymore?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-30/what-happens-when-workers-just-dont-care-anymore

"The level of sloth, ...." Oh Meh!!! Them fightin Words! :|

Look, get this straight TD, turdites get up every day and post brilliant and enlightening stuff, so back off, button it up, and pack it up. 

A product of Leftist Political Pandering, safety nets and QE.

Safety Dan's picture

Relative Gold Chart

1. relative Gold chart 

The r-GOLD chart is gold divided by its own 200 dma. It has proven to be a reliable indicator in spotting major bottoms and tops for gold in the past 10 years. Recently the r-Gold chart bottomed out again and points towards new highs in 2014. 

rgold.gif

Old Gold chart shows 2014 potential highs..

goldvsDJ.gif

https://www.valcambigold.com/Charts.aspx

Fred Hayek's picture

JY -- It was the Manstein plan that was successfull in 1940

The germans were going to, again, attack the british and french a la the Schlieffen plan in 1940 but one of the more creative german staff officers, Eric Von Manstein realized that this was exactly what the allies expected and devised a plan to take advantage of the allies' expectation.  Instead of the lead elements of the german army advancing through central Belgium and then turning left, to the south toward Paris they had their armor work its way through Luxembourg and the Ardennes forest and then go straight for the channel.  The plan got to Hitler and he approved of it.  It worked brilliantly as the british and french were woefully far behind the germans at that point in time in understanding how to make use of tanks.  Once the germans were behind them, the french made one weak counter attack at Arras (led by some guy named De Gaulle) that didn't do much to cut off the german advance, and that was essentially it for the western front in 1940.

Finally, for five brief minutes, all those hundreds of hours I spent poring over books in my parents' house as a little kid have some utility.  Finally!

silver66's picture

Fred H

good bit of info

as for pouring over the books, as long as they did not have fold out pictures then the utility was probably good for learning 

Silver66

JY896's picture

Maginot line

Yup, exactly Fred -- the side that moves beyond trying to win the last war has the advantage.

I did not spend as much time on the specifics and tactics of each instance, I just wanted to highlight the intended strategy of a decisive, rapid victory in the West (using overwhelming, concentrated force), followed by a rapid pivot to the East to win the second front.

Lamenting Laverne's picture

@ Boswell

The picture in your link is so much clearer. I asked because I thought it looked like a piece of rig material or maybe a piece for the inside of a windmill tower, but the article text continued to say that it was a piece of aircraft fuselage even after confirming that no plane had crashed - so I thought someone here would know more. And you did ;-) Thanks. 

Safety Dan's picture

Malaysian Airliner Related To New Technology

This interview is entertaining and edifying. Dr Jim Garrow, (Obama compromised his CIA operative work for 45 years), discusses why the jet was "disappeared".  A military "litmus test", an invisibility cloak and a whole lot more.

It appears this link below, previously published on Turdville, is making more sense. 

http://kauilapele.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/the-only-post-i-will-make-on-malaysia-flight-370-leuren-moret-and-alfred-lambremont-webre/

Note the release date of the Navy's weapon and posting.  And, oh yes, Rothschild win again.. Surprised? NOT!

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