Three Countries, Three Continents, One Western Imperial Project

[ Ed. note – An excellent comparative analysis of US regime change operations in three different countries–Syria, Libya, and Yugoslavia. Writer Neil Clark discovers a seven-step process that the regime-changers seem to have employed in all three cases. ]

By Neil Clark

A resource-rich, socialist-led, multi-ethnic secular state, with an economic system characterized by a high level of public/social ownership and generous provision of welfare, education and social services.

An independent foreign policy with friendship and good commercial ties with Russia, support for Palestine and African and Arab unity – and historical backing for anti-imperialist movements.

Social progress in a number of areas, including women’s emancipation.

The above accurately describes the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Syrian Arab Republic. Three countries in three different continents, which had so much in common.

All three had governments which described themselves as socialist. All three pursued a foreign policy independent of Washington and NATO. And all three were targeted for regime change/destruction by the US and its allies using remarkably similar methods.

The first step of the imperial predators was the imposition of draconian economic sanctions used to cripple their economies, weaken their governments (always referred to as ‘a/the regime’) and create political unrest. From 1992-95, and again in 1998, Yugoslavia was hit by the harshest sanctions ever imposed on a European state. The sanctions even involved an EU ban on the state-owned passenger airliner JAT

Libya was under US sanctions from the 1980s until 2004, and then again in 2011, the year the country with the highest Human Development Index in Africa was bombed back to the Stone Age.

Syria has been sanctioned by the US since 2004 with a significant increase in the severity of the measures in 2011 when the regime change op moved into top gear.

The second step was the backing of armed militias/terrorist proxies to destabilise the countries and help overthrow these “regimes”. The strategy was relatively simple. Terrorist attacks and the killing of state officials and soldiers would provoke a military response from ‘the regime, whose leader would then be condemned for ‘killing his own people’ (or in the case of Milosevic, other ethnic groups),  and used to ramp up the case for a ‘humanitarian intervention’ by the US and its allies.

In Yugoslavia, the US-proxy force was the Kosovan Liberation Army, who were given training and logistical support by the West.

In Libya, groups linked to al-Qaeda, like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, were provided assistance, with NATO effectively acting as al-Qaeda’s air force

In Syria, there was massive support for anti-government Islamist fighters, euphemistically labelled ‘moderate rebels.’ It didn’t matter to the ‘regime changers’ that weapons supplied to ‘moderate rebels’ ended up in the hands of groups like ISIS. On the contrary, a declassified secret US intelligence report from 2012 showed that the Western powers welcomed the possible establishment of a Salafist principality in eastern Syria, seeing it as a means of isolating ‘the Syrian regime’.

The third step carried out at the same time as one and two involved the relentless demonisation of the leadership of the target states. This involved the leaders being regularly compared to Hitler, and accused of carrying out or planning genocide and multiple war crimes.

Milosevic – President of Yugoslavia – was labelled a ‘dictator’ even though he was the democratically-elected leader of a country in which over 20 political parties freely operated.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was portrayed as an unstable foaming at the mouth lunatic, about to launch a massacre in Benghazi, even though he had governed his country since the end of the Swinging Sixties.

Syria’s Assad did take over in an authoritarian one-party system, but was given zero credit for introducing a new constitution which ended the Ba’ath Party’s monopoly of political power. Instead all the deaths in the Syrian conflict were blamed on him, even those of the thousands of Syrian soldiers killed by Western/GCC-armed and funded ‘rebels’.

The fourth step in the imperial strategy was the deployment of gatekeepers – or ‘Imperial Truth Enforcers’ – to smear or defame anyone who dared to come  to the defence of the target states, or who said that they should be left alone.

The pro-war, finance-capital-friendly, faux-left was at the forefront of the media campaigns against the countries concerned. This was to give the regime change/destruction project a ‘progressive’ veneer, and to persuade or intimidate genuine ’old school’ leftists not to challenge the dominant narrative.

Continued here

إنه أمن «إسرائيل

اتفاق تعاون مسبق بين الأميركيين والروس: إنه أمن «إسرائيل» 

يوليو 10, 2017

روزانا رمّال

يتبدّل المشهد السياسي فجأة من السلبية «المطلقة» نحو الإيجابية الملحوظة خلال ساعات فقط، يحصل هذا استثنائياً عندما تقرّر الدول الكبرى بذل المزيد من الجهود باتجاه توفير مساحة من التحضير للإعلان عن مرحلة جديدة بعد مخاض طويل من التمسّك الأحادي الجانب لكل طرف بمواقفه السابقة من دون نيّة بالتقارب نحو نصف الطريق.

هو نصف الطريق، ربما الذي خرجت فيه قمة العشرين في هامبورغ بين الأميركيين والروس، والتي كانت في الواقع مظلة لقمة تاريخية أكبر بكثير من تفاصيل ما صدر عن اجتماع الدول الكبرى في 7 و8 تموز الحالي، فالرئيسان الأميركي دونالد ترامب والروسي فلاديمير بوتين التقيا في أول قمة تُعقد بينهما بعد انتخاب الرئيس ترامب وعاصفة الاستفزازت والاتهامات وصولاً حتى التهديد بالعزل، بسبب ما روّجته تقارير وأجهزة أمنية أميركية عن تعاون روسي مع حملة ترامب وتدخّل روسي جدّي في الانتخابات الأميركية.

لقاء نتجت عنه قرارات حيال العمليات العسكرية في سورية، خصوصاً جبهة الجنوب، حيث وافق الرئيسان على الإعلان عن بدء العمل بوقف اطلاق النار في 9 تموز الحالي ما شكّل تناقضاً بين الأجواء التي كانت سابقة بين واشنطن وموسكو والتي وصلت حد التصريحات الشديدة الحدة مؤخراً. فمسألة تحرر الرئيس الأميركي من الضغوط المحلية التي كان يواجهها مع عناصر وازنة في المؤسسة الأميركية كما أن استقالات وإقالات عدة طالت مسؤولين أميركيين رفيعي المستوى، بسبب ملف تدخل روسيا المزعوم بنتائج الانتخابات الأميركية.

كل شيء سار على ما يُرام في وقت كانت العيون شاخصة نحو مسألة أساسية. وهي هل ستحصل قمة بين الطرفين او لا؟ وإذ بالنتيجة قمة رسمية متفق على جدول أعمالها تؤكد ان الاجتماعات المعقودة في الاردن بين ضباط من الطرفين الروسي والأميركي، بخصوص الحديث عن مصير جبهة الجنوب السوري كانت جدية ومثمرة جداً.

الاتفاق بين بوتين وترامب يعني أن سلسلة اجتماعات بين الطرفين كانت قد جرت بين كواليس التصعيد الذي احتل الاعلام، في وقت كان العمل على قدم وساق بين دبلوماسيي الطرفين لإنجاح قمة الرجلين الاستثنائية.

الاتفاق هو تأكيد على أمر أساسي ألا وهو تعاون سوري مباشر مع روسيا في التوصل لهدنة في الجنوب، وهو أيضاً بطريقة أو بأخرى تعاون أميركي غير مباشر مع النظام السوري، وتنسيقاً عسكرياً وميدانياً معه. فالساعات الأولى من سريان العمل بوقف إطلاق النار تبدو واعدة لجهة التأسيس لأرضية عمل فعّالة بين الأميركيين والروس.

حالة من الهدوء على مختلف الجبهات الجنوبية بعد يوم واحد من إعلان بدء العمل بالهدنة. الجيش السوري هنا هو أحد أبرز العناصر القادرة على إنجاح أو إفشال هذا المخطّط وتبدو إيجابية كبيرة عند سورية في التوصل لحلول منطقية تحفظ سيادة البلاد بالتعاون مع الحليفة روسيا التي تحاول كسر الجليد مع الأميركيين وخلق مظلة روسية أميركية تحدّد مصير الأزمة، خصوصاً جبهة الجنوب التي تعني «إسرائيل» مباشرة وتكاد تفرض على الولايات المتحدة الخضوع لفكرة التعاون مع روسيا، لأن «لا حلّ» من دون هذا الخيار. فواشنطن تبدو بأمسّ «الحاجة» لخلق صيغة حلّ ينقذ «الإسرائيليين» او على الأقل يوضح مصير الحدود معهم أمنياً وعسكرياً، فتل أبيب التي تدرك أن حزب الله وإيران والجيش السوري كلّها قوى عزّزت حضورها مع حدود فلسطين المحتلة الجنوبية مع سورية تدرك أيضاً أنها عاجزة تماماً عن الدخول بأيّ حديث عن عملية سياسية أو معاهدة هناك من دون مساعٍ روسية.

هذه الحاجة ربما تفسّر وحدها منطق تقدم الأمور، كما رُسمت اليوم وتجاهل الأميركيين خطابات تصعيدية ضد روسيا أوحت بقطيعة ونسف كل ما عمل عليه الرئيس السابق باراك اوباما ومساعدوه في عهده مع روسيا.

حان الوقت للعمل البنّاء مع روسيا. كلام لترامب رافقه اعتراف من مستشار الامن القومي الأميركي هيربيرت مكانمستر بضرورة التعاون واصفاً الاتفاق بين بلاده وروسيا بالخطوة المهمة.

توجّه ترامب للقاء الرئيس الروسي، رغم تصويت مجلس الشيوخ الأميركي قبل ايام وبأغلبية ساحقة، لمصلحة قرار فرض عقوبات جديدة بحق روسيا، في ردّ على تدخلها في الانتخابات الأميركية أي أن مسألة إغلاق هذا الملف لا تزال صعبة في الشارع الأميركي. وهو الأمر الذي يفسّر أن المتغيرات العسكرية وتقدم محور روسيا في سورية وما يشكله من أخطار تواجد حزب الله وإيران على الحدود مع «إسرائيل» هو أكثر ما يمكنه أن يساعد ترامب كذريعة داخل المؤسسة الأميركية للتواصل مع روسيا.

فمصير «إسرائيل» هو المطروح على الطاولة هذه المرّة!

وزير الخارجية الأميركي، ريكس تيلرسون الذي يواظب على تكثيف تصريحاته تجاه سورية ونظامها، تقول المعلومات إنه كان الأكثر اهتماماً بالتحضير للقاء الرئيسين في هامبورغ وأكثر المهتمّين بنجاحه وهو أعلن بوقت سابق من عقد القمة أن الرئيس ترامب طلب منه العمل على إعادة بناء العلاقات مع روسيا عازياً ذلك لرغبة ترامب إلى «حرصه على الفصل بين قضية اتهام عدد من أعضاء فريقه بالارتباط مع جهات روسية، ومساعي تحسين العلاقات بين واشنطن وموسكو».

يمكن لواشنطن اذا الفصل بين المشاكل والمصالح بساعات وأيام قليلة، ويمكنها إعادة التموضع بشكل مدهش وتحويل الخلاف لتقارب عندما تقتضي المصلحة، حتى لو كان الحديث يمسّ سيادة وطنية أو خيانة كتلك المنوطة بالتدخل الروسي…

إنه أمن «إسرائيل»!

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Nikki Haley: Warmonger Extraordinaire!

South Front

Written by Antonius Aquinas; Originally appeared at antoniusaquinas.com

It must now be a prerequisite of those who become an American ambassador to the UN to possess certain characteristics and traits, the most important of which are rabid warmonger, child killer, and outright liar.

Remember it was Madeleine Albright when asked about the US blockading Iraq which prevented medicine and medical equipment from entering the country that resulted in the estimated death of a half a million children who coldly responded: “I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it.”  Then there is Colin “Weapons of Mass Destruction” Powell who told a bald-face lie about Iraq’s nuclear capabilities which paved the way for the US destruction of the country.

Nikki Haley: Warmonger Extraordinaire!

In her brief tenure as UN ambassador, Nikki Haley is fulfilling these requirements quite nicely.  Her latest crazed outburst came on the heels of the bizarre White House press release about another supposed Syrian government gas attack which warned President Assad that he would “pay a heavy price” if carried out.*

While the State and Defense Departments were apparently caught off guard by the White House action, Ambassador Haley was not (probably given advanced notice) and issued an even more provocative tweet:

Any further attacks done to the people

of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but

also on Russia & Iran who support him

killing his own people.**

Not only has Haley appointed herself judge, jury and executioner of the Assad regime, but her wild accusation includes reprisals to the neocons’ ultimate targets of Russia and Iran.  Her ridiculous statement has now given Syria’s enemies the green light to conduct another gas attack which will be blamed on Assad and his allies, Russia and Iran.  Nice work, Nikki!

From a diplomatic perspective, the entire affair was bungled and amateurish, confirming once again that the Trump Administration is out of its league in conducting foreign policy.

That Haley was even chosen to become part of the Trump Administration has been odd from the beginning, but as things have unfolded quite telling.  Haley was a vociferous critic of the future president.  She, and the likes of another war-monger and Russophobe, Lindsey Graham, were consistently attacking candidate Trump for being “soft” on Russia and his immigration stance especially his wildly popular border wall proposal.  To Haley and Graham, Donald Trump was out of step with the Republican Party’s values such as diversity as represented by Haley who, herself, is of Indian heritage.

Yet, despite all of the vitriol heaped at candidate Trump, the newly elected president, in a surprising and ominous move, decided to make the South Carolina governor, UN ambassador.  This, and a number of other selections to foreign policy posts, signaled that President Trump would abandon his promises and vote-garnering campaign talk of peaceful coexistence with Russia, a reduction of US presence in the Middle East, and in other hot spots across the globe.

While Haley has been an ardent warmonger from the start, President Trump did not have to select her for the post.  There were other more competent and surely less belligerent candidates available.  More than likely, the choice was probably a nod to his “advisor” daughter Ivanka, to curry favor among feminists.

While President Trump’s pick of Haley was an implicit betrayal of a large segment of his base, his foreign policy actions since becoming chief executive have been an explicit rejection of putting America first which he spoke of at his inaugural.  From escalating tensions with puny North Korea, dropping the mother-of-all-bombs on Afghanistan for no apparent reason, to making multi-billion dollar armament deals with the despots of Saudi Arabia among other troubling endeavors, Trump’s foreign policy is little different than his infamous predecessors.

While it looks like President Trump may have won the war, at least temporary, over the press and the anti-Trump Congressional forces about the fake Russian election involvement, he and his bellicose UN ambassador are now using the same underhanded methods to instigate a conflict to depose President Assad.  While the alternative media rightly showed how the mainstream press and politicos made up and manipulated stories to undermine President Trump, it should now be intellectually honest and call out the president and his UN ambassador for what they are doing in Syria.  In doing so, it may prevent the outbreak of WWIII.

TheSaker: I sure hope that I am wrong, but…

TheSaker: I sure hope that I am wrong, but…

03.07.2017

Written by TheSaker; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

The talk of the week is the upcoming meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin on the sidelines of the G20 conference this Friday.  There have been some very good articles already written on this topic, I particularly recommend Adam Garrie’s “5 obstacles Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will have to address in their meeting” for The Duran and Israel Shamir’s “What Would Putin Tell Trump?” for The Unz Review.  It is undeniable that the fact that these two men will finally meet is an event of immense significance and importance for the future not only of US-Russian relations, but even for the future or mankind.

Or is it?

I have to be honest here and say that my expectations are pretty close to zero.  Oh sure, they will smile, probably a lot, and some minor issues, such as the seizure of the Russian diplomatic residence in the USA, will be resolved.  Probably.  There might even be some kind of positive sounding sounds about “reaffirming the Minsk Agreement” or “fighting ISIS in Syria”, but compared to long list of truly vital issues which need to be urgently discussed and resolved, this will, I am afraid, be as close to nothing as it can get.  Why do I say that?

First, we should all stop kidding ourselves, Russia and the USA do not have “disagreements”.  The sad and frightening reality is that we are now closer to war than during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Not only are Russian and US servicemen now deployed in the same war zone (the Americans totally illegally), but unlike what happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis we have a US President who terminally lacks the willpower to deal with the crazies on the US side, I am talking about the Neocons, of course.  In fact, under Kennedy there were no real Neocons to tackle to begin with.  Now they are running the White House while Trump serves them coffee or watches TV in another room (I am jocking of course, but just barely).  In this context, to meet on the “sidelines” of a G20 conference is bordering on the criminally irresponsible.  What the world would need is for Trump and Putin to meet in a “Camp David” like format for at least 3-5 days with all their key advisors and officials.  Even if we assume a 100% of good will on both sides, meeting on the “sidelines” of an already big conference just won’t make it possible to get anything done.  In the very best of cases Lavrov and Tillerson could have done most of the hard work away from the public eye, but the truth is that the Russians say that so far the two sides have not even agreed upon an agenda.

Second, it is absolutely clear that the US Ziomedia and Congress will declare any, any, positive outcome from the meeting as “Trump caved in to Putin” and try to get a pound of political flesh out of Trump for it.  So for Trump any external success will mean an internal disaster.  And we already know that the man does not have what it takes to deal with such attacks.  Frankly, his only “tactic”, so to speak, to deal with the Neocons has been to try to appease them.  So short of Trump asking for political asylum in Russia and joining Snowden somewhere in Russia, I don’t see him ever taking any independent action.

Third, if we look at the people around Trump it is pretty clear that the only intelligent and rational person in the White House is Rex Tillerson.  The rest of them are lunatics, maniacs and imbeciles – the current US, what shall I call it, “actions” (can’t call it a “policy”) towards Syria clearly prove that the Executive Branch is completely out of control.  We now can clearly see that Mattis and McMaster are not these military geniuses presented to us by the Ziomedia but that, in fact, they are both phenomenally incompetent and that their views of the conflicts in Syria and even Afghanistan can only be characterized as totally lacking anything remotely resembling any kind of vision. Yet these two “geniuses” seem to be in charge.  For all his intelligence, Tillerson can’t even reign in this Nikki idiot at the United Nations.  We should stop kidding ourselves and stop pretending like there is anybody to talk to for the Russians.  At best, they are dealing with a Kindergarten.  At worst, they are dealing with an evil Kindergarten.  But either way, there is nobody to talk to on the US side, much less so somebody to begin solving the many issues which need solving.

I will admit that I did have high hopes for Trump and his apparent willingness to sit down and have an adult conversation with Russians.  I was especially inspired by Trump’s repeated rejection of the Ziomedia’s narrative about Russia and by what appeared to me as his “no nonsense” approach towards getting things done.  I wrote many articles for this blog saying that having hopes (not expectations!) for Trump was the right thing to do.  And, frankly, I think that at the time it was.  Last Fall I even wrote an entire chapter on this topic in the book “If I were King: Advice for President Trump“.   The big difference is that before his election we could only judge Trump by his words.  Now, however, we can judge him by his words and his actions and the latter show us a consistent pattern of supine subservience to the Neocons and their demands, from the betrayal of his friend and key advisor Flynn, to the recent threats to bomb Syria for, allegedly, “preparing” to use chemical munitions against civilians.

This might be his, shall we call it, “Las Vegas culture” – but Trump is all about form over substance and appearance over facts.  Just look at his frankly pathetic threats (with no less than 3 aircraft carrier strike groups!) against the DPRK or his half-assed missile strike on the Syrian airbase: it’s all a big show, nothing more.  No wonder the man likes “tweeting” – he seems to think in 140 character long “thought clusters”…

None of that would be too bad if the USA, and the West generally, had a halfway decent media and a Legislative Branch worthy of its name.  In theory, these could raise hell and demand that the President either resign or begin doing his job.  But, of course, they don’t and they won’t.  They hate Trump, of course, but they also own him.  He can make fun of them in “tweets” on his free time, but in terms of his policies he does exactly what they want.  And the very last thing they want is any kind of “detente” with Russia.  At most, they will impeach Trump just to humiliate him, but that’s about it.  They don’t even need to play their “Pence” card – Trump is what is colloquially known in US ghettos as their “punk-ass bitch”.

Ever since the ill-fated “GWOT” more or less petered out, Russia has become the indispensable bogeyman to terrify the public and justify multi-billion dollar corruption schemes.  Not only that, but a “resurgent Russia” is the cornerstone justification of the AngloZionist paranoia about a need to spend more on the war state, the police state and, of course, on corporate greed.  The powers that be are even re-heating old, Cold War era, scaring techniques:

The Defense Intelligence Agency has recently released a “Russian Military Power 2017” report. Since it is pretty well written, I actually recommend that you download and read it: it is a mix of pretty good information about the Russian Armed Forces and the garden variety nonsense about Russian hackers and their cyber-threat to US and its allies.  Just set aside the clearly politically-induced nonsense and you are left with a rather well made summary of what the Russian Armed Forces are up to these days.

I have to thank the DIA for this report: it made me feel young again, like I was in the 1980s when all the student of warfare and of the Soviet military were reading these annual “Soviet Military Power” reports with great interest.  But other than making some of us feel young, the real purpose of this document is clear and it is the very same one behind the Cold War era “Soviet Military Power” series: to justify an increase in “defense” (i.e. “aggression”) spending by showing how scary these evil Commies/Russikies were/are.

This would all be rather funny, and nostalgic in a way, if it did not show the total lack of imagination of the folks at the Pentagon.  Far from coming up with anything novel or interesting, they are bringing back into service stuff which for years had been collecting dust in the memories of now mostly retired Cold Warriors.  It is rather pathetic, really.

Over the past 30 years or so, Russia went from being the Soviet Union, to being a Somalia-like “democratic hell” during the 1990s, to becoming a completely new entity – a “New Russia” which is dramatically different from the Soviet Union of the 1980s. 

In contrast, the USA got completely stuck in its old patterns, except for this time they are “the same, but even worse”.  If the USA did not have nukes that would almost be okay (after all, the world can let “Uncle Sam” slowly lose his sclerotic brain, who cares?) but when a nuclear superpower is acting like an out-of-control rogue state, this is very, very, scary.

So back to our G20 meeting again.  The first thing which needs to be said is that Trump is weak, extremely weak: he goes in with the Ziomedia and Congress hating him and with a basically treacherous White House team clearly controlled by Pence, Kushner and the rest of the Neocon crazies.  To make things worse, Trump can offer the Russians absolutely nothing they would want or need.

Please don’t buy this sanctions canard.  The damage these sanctions could do they have already done.  The simple truth is that Russia has already survived the sanctions and come out even stronger, this is confirmed by international organizations and by the private sector. In fact, removing the sanctions right now would hurt the Russian economy far more, especially the agricultural sector, which has greatly benefited from the de-facto protectionist protection provided to the Russian economy by these sanctions.  Likewise, the Russian defense industry has successfully adapted to the total severance by the Ukronazi regime of all the defense contracts with Russia and now 100% Russian military systems and parts are being produced in Russia at a cheaper price and of a higher quality.  Besides, since Congress and UN Nikki have made it pretty darn clear that sanctions will remain in place until Russia agrees to return Crimea to the Ukraine, nothing will change until the current Ukraine finally breaks into three of four parts.

Trump could, in theory, offer the Russians to stop sabotaging the peace process in Syria and the Russians would surely welcome that.  But since the US policy of illegal air and missile strikes combined with a deployment of US forces on the ground in Syria is failing anyway, see here and here, the Russians are going to get what they want whether the US wants it or not.

As for the Ukraine, the situation there is so bad that an increasing number of specialists are saying that even the US has lost control of Banderastan and that now it’s going to be all about intra-Ukie power plays: the social, political, military, cultural and economic disaster has reach what I would call an “escape velocity” when the various processes taking place are basically chaotic, unpredictable and unmanageable.  I am personally very dubious that the Americans would have anything to offer the Russians.

How about the other way around?  What could the Russians offer Trump?

Again, I am afraid that nothing much either.

Russian foreign policies are all centered around the development of a multi-polar world and Putin is now extremely busy dealing with some seriously important matters.  So what can Putin offer Trump?  A promise not to invade Lithuania?  Trump knows that there never was any such threat to begin with.  It’s not like Putin can agree to pretend not to see the constant inflow of NATO forces and equipment into eastern Europe as the latter constitute a serious threat to the Russian national security.  Could the Russian promise that they won’t fly over the Baltic without their transponders on?  Hardly, since the first ones to switch off their transponders were the Americans.  What about a Russian promise not to intercept Secretary of Defense Mattis’ civilian transport aircraft over international waters?  But wait – that was the other way around, it’s NATO (a Polish F-16 actually) which intercepted Shoigu’s aircraft over the Baltic Sea during a long announced and official trip from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad (and who then ran away as soon as a Russian SU-27 showed the missiles it was carrying under it’s wings which by convention means “get the hell out of here or I shoot you down“), so its not the Russians, but the American who need to reign in their yapping poodle.

[Sidebar: I have never been a big admirer of Polish politicians, but now Poland is reaching truly historical lows in terms of cowardice, dishonor and plain stupidity; from their “war on statues“, to their idiotic accusation that the Russian ATC deliverately crashed an official Polish aircraft ( resulting form their categorical inability to accept that their own politicians gave a stupid order to their pilots) to Prime Minister Kazinsky’s war on “cyclists and vegetarians“, to the resurrection of the extremely dangerous “Three Seas” plan – Poland is constantly up to the no good and self-deafeningly stupid.  But then, what are we to expect from a country which considers a character like Pilsudksi as a national hero?  Sadly, Poland is repeating its worst historical mistake: the one of constantly trying to trigger a conflict between the West and Russia (apparently, history has taught them nothing).  So now, the tiny Polish poodle is barking at the Russian Bear convinced that Uncle Sam and the West will protect him if the bear comes down charging.  Truly, human stupidity is limitless].

I think I can guess what the Americans want: a partition of Syria, if not de jure then de factoI don’t think that this will work.  For one thing, the Americans are (yet again) overlooking the fact that the main actor in Syria is not Russia but Iran and Iran has no reason whatsoever to agree to any such partition.  Neither do the Russians, of course.  The only ones truly interested in a partition of Syria are,who else, the Israelis and since they are now back in charge of the White House, they are the ones pushing for this “solution”.  But that is something Turkey and Iran cannot accept as this would not only create a “Wahabistan” in eastern Syria, but also some kind of Kurdistan in the north – hardly a recipe for peace.  And, finally, let’s not forget the Syrians themselves.  They perfectly understand that any partition of their homeland would leave them squeezed between Israel in the southwest and some kind of crazy Daesh pretend-caliphate in the northeast – why would they ever accept such a rotten and, not to mention, unsustainable deal?

For the Americans, of course, it’s the other way around: since they could not get the black flag of Daesh to fly over Damascus they see the partition of Syria as the only acceptable outcome.  They will therefore oppose any peace process, especially one crafted by Russia, Iran and Turkey, with every ugly trick in their bag.

So, will the upcoming meeting yield nothing, nothing at all?

It will yield the fact that the two leaders spoke to each other, face to face.  That is not unimportant.  I also have some hopes for some type of ‘deconfliction’ agreements between Russia and the US/NATO (switch they bloody transponders on again!).  If we can get resumption of some kind of talks between NATO and Russia it would also be a good thing, even if nothing much concrete is achieved by this.  I suspect that Trump would love the ditch the Ukraine, but he can’t do that on political reasons.  If the Russians can con the Americans to endorse, even just verbally, the Astana talks on Syria that would be good because it would make it marginally harder for the Pentagon and/or the CIA to engage in false flag chemical attacks or any other such nonsense.  Am I missing something?  Yeah, probably some kind of  “cultural exchanges” (that’s when diplomats are truly desperate and have nothing else to offer) or a common plan to protect polar bears (thank God for small things all the same!).

The Russians will probably try to get Trump into agreeing to some kind of new UN Resolution on Syria, but since we all know that the USA disregards UN resolutions anyway, it won’t be much of a victory, even if it will feel good for a while.

I hope I am wrong, really wrong, totally wrong even.  I will be watching the (hopefully joint) press conference of Trump and Putin on Friday with a tiny leftover and paradoxical spark of hope that maybe, just maybe, Trump has something good left inside him.  But I won’t be holding my breath.  They say that hope dies last.  Maybe.  I will find out on Friday.

The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans

The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans

ERIC ZUESSE | 21.06.2017 | WORLD

The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans

The reason for the US government’s hostility — at least since 4 February 2014 —toward Europeans, has been a mystery, until now.

This hostility wasn’t even publicly recognized at all, until it leaked out, on that date, from a tapped phone-line of arguably the most powerful person at the US State Department, the person whom American President Barack Obama had personally entrusted with running his Administration’s most geostrategically sensitive secret foreign operations (and she did it actually throughout almost the entirety of Obama’s eight years in office, regardless of whom the official US Secretary of State happened to be at the time): Victoria Nuland.

Her official title was «Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs» and she was appointed to that post by the President himself, but nominally she reported to him through the Deputy Secretary of State William Joseph Burns, who reported to the Secretary of State, who, in turn, reported to the President.

She ran policies specifically on Ukraine (and, more broadly, against Russia). In the famous leaked phone call that she made on 4 February 2014 to the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, she instructed him to place in charge of Ukraine’s government, once America’s coup in Ukraine would be completed (which then occurred 18 days later and overthrew the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, entirely in violation of Ukraine’s own Constitution), «Yats» or Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He did, immediately after the coup was completed, receive this crucial appointment — basically, the power to control all other top appointments in the new Ukrainian government. With this appointment, the coup, which had started by no later than 2011 to be planned inside the US State Department, was effectively completed.

In this phone call, Nuland said «F—k the EU!» and no one, at the time, paid much attention to what this outburst was all about, but only that it sounded shockingly undiplomatic. Finally, however, clear evidence has now emerged, concerning what it was actually about.

This crucial evidence consists of a refusal (at long last) by both Germany and Austria, to ratchet-up further, as the US regime now demands, economic sanctions against Russia, sanctions that are a key part of America’s plan ultimately to conquer Russia — a plan that’s been carried out consistently by all US federal governments since the moment, on the night of 24 February 1990, when US President George Herbert Walker Bush himself secretly announced it to West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and afterward to other US vassal-heads-of-state — that, though the Soviet Union was already irrevocably in the process of ending the Cold War against the US and its allies, the US and its allies would secretly continue that war, henceforth, against Russia, until Russia itself would be conquered. He was implicitly informing them, there, that the Cold War, on the US side, wasn’t really about ideology (capitalist versus communist), but instead, was actually a long war for conquest, of the entire world (now it would be to strip Russia of its allies, and then to go in for the kill), by the US aristocracy and its vassal aristocracies (whom those European leaders represented).

On 15 June 2017, the Associated Press headlined «Germany, Austria slam US sanctions against Russia», and reported that both of those US vassal-nations, while paying obeisance to the imperial master, were not going to proceed further all the way to destruction of their own major oil and gas companies, in order to please that master:

In a joint statement, Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was important for Europe and the United States to form a united front on the issue of Ukraine, where Russian-based separatists have been fighting government forces since 2014.

«However, we can’t accept the threat of illegal and extraterritorial sanctions against European companies», the two officials said, citing a section of the bill that calls for the United States to continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would pump Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea. Half of the cost of the new pipeline is being paid for by Russian gas giant Gazprom, while the other half is being shouldered by a group including Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell, French provider Engie, OMV of Austria and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. Some Eastern European countries, including Poland and Ukraine, fear the loss of transit revenue if Russian gas supplies don’t pass through their territory anymore once the new pipeline is built.

Gabriel and Kern accuse the US of trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. They said the possibility of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project «introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations».

Currently, and for a very long time, the leading energy-supplier to the EU has been Russia, in the forms of oil and, especially, natural gas, both of which are transported into the EU via an extensive network of pipelines, most of which travel through Ukraine, which is a major reason why the US rulers wanted to take over Ukraine — in order to stop that, or at least to cause a necessity for Russia to build alternative pipelines (which the US regime would likewise do everything to block from happening) — but now both Germany and Austria are saying no to this US effort.

The US regime wants fracked US natural gas to fill an increasing portion of Europe’s needs, and for natural gas from US-allied fundamentalist Sunni royal regimes to fill as much of the rest as possible, so as to squeeze-out the existing top supplier, Russia. (Until recently, the plan was for US ally Qatar, owned by the Thani royal family, to become Europe’s main supplier, via pipelines which would traverse through Syria, for which reason Syria needs to be conquered (so that those pipelines through Syria can be built, perhaps even by American firms). However, the Sauds, who usually run US foreign relations — often with assistance from the Israeli regime, which is far more popular in the United States and also in Europe (and thus serves as the Sauds’ agents in the US and Europe) — have now blockaded Qatar because of Qatar’s insufficient compliance with the Sauds’ demand for total international isolation of Iran and of any other nation where Shia are or might become dominant. (For example, the Sauds bomb Yemen to impose fundamentalist Sunni leadership there and kill the Shia population.) And, so, now, after the break between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, even more than before, the main beneficiaries of cutting off Russian gas-supplies to the EU would be US fracking companies.

However, the big European oil and gas corporations would then play a smaller role in the European market, because those firms have mutual commitments with Gazprom and other Russian giants. The only big winners, now, of increased sanctions against Russia, would thus be US firms.

«Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America», Kern and Gabriel said.

Europe already has suffered considerable economic harm from complying with the US on taking over Ukraine, and from absorbing millions of destitute and alien refugees from Syria, Libya, and other countries where the US CIA, and other agencies, fomented the «Arab Spring» to unlock, in those countries, the oil and gas pipeline potential, which, if controlled by the US, would go to US oilfield-services firms such as Halliburton, and not to European ones such as Schlumberger.

Kern and Gabriel — and the local national aristocracies (respectively Austrian, and German) whom they represent — are now speaking publicly about the limits beyond which they will not go in order to obey their US masters.

Consequently, back in February 2014, when the European aristocracies complied with the US aristocracy’s coup in Ukraine even though knowing full well that it was a barbaric and very bloody coup and nothing ‘democratic’ such as the US-manufactured story-line alleged it to have been, those aristocracies accepted the heist because they thought and expected to be cut in on enough of the looting of Ukraine so as to come out ahead on it. But that’s no longer the case. Because of the Sauds’ campaign against the Thanis (the owners of Qatar), the gang are starting to break up. The US gangsters are no longer clearly in control, but are being forced to choose between the Sauds and the Thanis, and have apparently chosen the Sauds. The Sauds financed the 9/11 attacks in the United States, but are the largest foreign purchasers of US-made weapons.

The US aristocracy hate Europeans because the US aristocracy are determined to conquer Russia, and because Europeans aren’t fully cooperating with that overriding US government goal — many EU billionaires want deals with Russia, but America’s billionaires are determined instead to take over Russia, and so the US (and the Sauds) might be losing its traditional support from the EU.

International affairs — US, Russia, Sauds, Thanis, Iran, Germany, UK, etc. — are in unpredictable flux. But Europe seems gradually to be drifting away from the US

And resistant European aristocrats seem to be digging in their heels on this. Here is a translation of a report dated June 17th from the most reliable source of news regarding international relations, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or «German Economic News»:

Eastern Committee: US sanctions against Russia are a threat to Europe

German Economic News | Released:17.06.17 00:36 Clock

The Eastern Committee of the German economy is indignant at the new US sanctions against Russia.

The German companies have sharply criticized the US sanctions against Russia. «The sanctions plans of the US Senate are deeply alarming and, in principle, a threat to the European and German economy», said Klaus Schäfer, Deputy Chairman of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy, on Friday evening in Berlin. «America first is a new dimension to open up international markets to US providers at the expense of European jobs. Furthermore, we consider an extraterritorial application of economic initiatives generally wrong, «he said. In the Eastern Committee, the German companies active in Eastern Europe are organized. The federal government had also clearly criticized the sanction decision.

«Every further turn at the sanctioning screw increases the danger of new trade wars and the uncertainty of the world economy», warned Schäfer. The solution of the Ukraine conflict is not a step closer. A de-escalation on all sides was necessary. He pointed out that the US-Russia trade represented only one-tenth of the EU-Russia trade. «We pay the price of sanctions to Europeans», he criticized. «Implementation of the planned sanctions would make Europe more difficult to provide with favorable energy and inevitably lead to higher prices».

The most remarkable thing about this intensification of economic aggression by the US aristocracy against some of the European aristocracies, is that instead of the aggression being spearheaded this time by the US President, it’s being spearheaded by an almost unanimous US Senate: 97 out of the 100 US Senators voted for this bill. One cannot, this time around, reasonably blame «Donald Trump» for this ‘nationalism’ — it is instead clearly a Cold War, this time, by the US aristocracy (who are represented by the US government), against some European aristocracies, which are paying insufficient obeisance to the demands by the imperial aristocracy: the US gang.

Whereas, at the time of the US coup in Ukraine, the EU swallowed in silence their shock at how brutal and bloody it had been, and stayed with the Americans because the Americans claimed that the takeover would benefit European aristocracies too (‘expand the EU’), the lie about that is now clear to all (and Ukraine has been too wrecked by America, to be of much use to anyone but the Americans as a staging base for their missiles against Moscow), and therefore «the Western Alliance» might finally be breaking up.

The vassal-governments have put up with a lot from the US aristocracy, such as when German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was revealed to be tapped by America’s NSA, and the case was quietly dropped because, «Prosecutors say they can find no actionable evidence to support claims German chancellor’s mobile phone was tapped by US National Security Agency» even though everyone knew that the refusal by Germany’s prosecutors was based upon a lie, and that Germany «remains heavily reliant on the US», and that the US government’s knowing everything that German politicians do, provides against those politicians a blackmail-potential against themselves, that cannot be taken lightly. On the other hand, perhaps there now exists a countervailing force that can outweigh even considerations such as that. Maybe Germany’s billionaires have, somehow, finally become able to turn the tide on this.

No to the US Economic Blockade of Cuba! No to US Violation of Canadian Sovereignty!

Global Research, June 20, 2017

The Canadian Network On Cuba (CNC) denounces the violation of the sovereignty of Canada by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Treasury Department. OFAC fined the American Honda Finance Corporation (AHFC) $87,255 for approving and financing between February 2011 and March 2014 the leasing by Honda Canada Finance Inc. of 13 cars to the Embassy of Cuba in Canada.

This is an unambiguous act of hostility against Cuba carried out within Canada by Washington. The extraterritorial application of the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba targets not only Canada, as the AHFC is a subsidiary of the American Honda Motor Company, which is itself owned by Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and based in Japan, not the U.S.

Because Honda Canada Finance Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary company of American Honda Motor Company, Washington insists that it follow U.S. law as demanded by the 1992 Torricelli Act and the 1996 Helms-Burton Act.

In short, U.S. law supplants Canadian law within Canada!

Not only is this a violation of the sovereignty of Canada, it contravenes the Canadian Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act (FEMA).

In response to the Torricelli Act and the Helms-Burton Bill, the Government of Canada specifically amended FEMA in order to protect Canada against the increasing extraterritorial nature of the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba. Thus, FEMA prohibits Canadian corporations from complying with the extraterritorial measures of U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba

This violation of Canadian sovereignty by the U.S. Treasury Department illustrates that Washington not only wages an economic blockade against Cuba but also a diplomatic and political blockade.

Is this extraterritorial interference in Canadian sovereignty a warning that Canada-Cuba relations is now a direct target of the Trump administration?

The CNC calls on the Government of Canada to uphold the country’s sovereignty and reject this or any other effort to implement in Canada the internationally condemned and illegal U.S. economic blockade of Cuba.

The CNC urges the Canadian government and parliamentarians not to allow Canada’s policy towards and relations with Cuba to be targeted or undermined.

Featured image: Tony Seed’s Weblog

It’s the Russia, Stupid

It’s the Russia, Stupid

JAMES GEORGE JATRAS | 16.06.2017

It’s another week in Washington and another horror show. This time it was Attorney General Jeff Sessions being grilled by Senators on whether, when, and how he might have met with certain Russians, or any Russian, or someone who might actually know a Russian. In addition to fishing for any inconsistency that could be used to support an accusation of obstruction of justice or perjury – the usual sleazy methodology of politically motivated investigations here – the transparent aim was to further poison the well on any possible initiative to improve ties with Moscow.

The strategy appears to be working. The Russian Embassy in Washington confirms that for the first time since the Russian Federation’s founding the State Department did not send pro forma national day greetings. Perhaps the bureaucrats were afraid they would be tainted and themselves become targets of multiple investigations into «collusion» with the Kremlin. (Luckily, this intrepid Washington analyst has no qualms about such associations.)

Or more likely, they themselves are part of the Russophobic mob undermining the White House. It has been reported that soon after the inauguration Trump sought to open dialogue with the Kremlin and set an early summit with President Vladimir Putin. This produced a hysterical counteraction from the Deep State. As reported by conservative columnist and former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan:

«The State Department was tasked with working out the details.

«Instead, says Daniel Fried, the coordinator for sanctions policy, he received ‘panicky’ calls of ‘Please, my God, can you stop this?’.

«Operatives at State, disloyal to the president and hostile to the Russia policy on which he had been elected, collaborated with elements in Congress to sabotage any detente. They succeeded.

«‘It would have been a win-win for Moscow,’ said Tom Malinowski of State, who boasted last week of his role in blocking a rapprochement with Russia. State employees sabotaged one of the principal policies for which Americans had voted, and they substituted their own».

So much for constitutional government and the rule of law…

But now it gets even worse. This week Congress moved legislation designed to codify in statute sanctions imposed on Russia by Barack Obama over Ukraine and evidence-free charges of Russian election interference. Provisions for a presidential waiver, which are standard in any sanctions legislation, are unusually narrow. Congressional proponents are clear that their aim is to take the matter out of the president’s hands. Democrats, seemingly devoid of any other policy agenda or ideas, vow to keep banging the Russia drum through the 2018 Congressional elections.

When all is said and done, there are lots of reasons the political class hates Trump. His heresies on immigration and trade are near the top of the list. But make no mistake: for the Deep State and its mainstream media arm, demonizing Russia and Vladimir Putin personally is a dangerous obsession. (There is reason to suspect «Russian collusion» figured in the thinking of a fanatical Leftist’s shooting attack on Republican Congressmen: «The shooter also signed a petition calling for an investigation into Trump-Russia ties, confirming he was radicalized by the mainstream media’s obsession with conspiracy theories about Russia interfering with the election».)

It remains to be seen whether Oliver Stone’s extended interview with Putin on the Showtime network will have any impact. So far the commentary seems to be divided between descriptions of the substance of the discussion and attacks on Stone for talking with such a bad, bad man: «Speaking after the interview, Stone refuted allegations that he became an unwitting messenger of pro-Putin propaganda or of dishonest information given by the president».

With regard to substance, relatively little attention has been accorded in American media to Putin’s flat accusation that U.S. «special services» have supported terrorists, including in Chechnya. Of course anyone paying attention would know that arming jihadists is a standard part of U.S. policy, going back at least to Afghanistan in the 1980s and repeated in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, and today in Syria. Indeed, as early as the 1950s the U.S. had established a very close relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist elements as a weapon against Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and Baathists in Syria and Iraq, who Washington thought were a little too cozy with the Soviet Union and far too socialist and secular for the taste of our pals in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

There is a real symbiosis between the anti-Russian imperative in American foreign policy and support for radical Islamic elements. It did not end when the Soviet Union and communism collapsed but rather was intensified. This is why Moscow’s constant calls for a common front against terrorism are always rebuffed. Such cooperation doesn’t make any sense for anomenklatura whose number one goal is hostility to Moscow and for whom jihadists are at worst «frienemies» – people who may be troublesome but useful.

We can only imagine how completely different the world would be if the U.S. were to recognize that Russia is a country that in many respects is not that different from the United States or Europe and that we had common interests. But for the U.S. Deep State, that would amount to switching sides in a global conflict, where we see jihadists essentially as «freedom fighters» against a geopolitical adversary. These same clueless «elites» are then puzzled when their carefully nurtured, cuddly, «moderate» jihad terrorists attack us back here at home.

This irrational pattern is at the root of the hostility of American policymakers toward Russia and any prospect of normalizing bilateral ties. In large part, it’s what underlies the «soft coup» being directed against Trump, of which the Sessions pillorying was an episode. (A late report based on unreliable, unverified sources suggests that Special Counsel on the Russia probe, Robert Mueller, is expanding his investigation to include potential obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump. Mueller, a close personal friend of ousted FBI Director James Comey, has already packed his team with partisan Democrats.)

Those behind this attempted coup think we can continue to treat Russia as though it were a minor power of the magnitude of Serbia, Iraq, Libya, or Syria, or even Iran. They think if we just keep pushing, pushing, pushing, either the Russians will collapse or back down. They will do everything possible to box Trump in and prevent him from pursuing any path other than the disastrous course laid out by Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama. They can see no other outcome than removing Putin and returning Russia to the condition of a Yeltsin-era vassal state – a term Putin used in the Stone interview – or, better yet, its territorial breakup along the lines suggested by the late Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Will the Oliver Stone interview change any minds? It’s too soon to tell. But if the soft coup against Trump succeeds, it might not matter, since then America could not be considered a self-governing constitutional republic even in a residual sense. We may have already passed our own Rubicon and just don’t know it yet.

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