Tehran reminds US of its own killings by race, provides proof

 September 23, 2022

Iran, through its Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, calls US human rights records despicable and slams claims on human rights abuses in the country as baseless.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani

The Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to the US Secretary of State’s claims on human rights issues in Iran and slammed them as baseless, reminding the US of its own record of killings and human rights abuses committed racially, with Black people making the majority of those killed.

Following how the West, spearheaded by the US, took advantage of the death of Mahsa Amini, claiming that it was the result of a brutal arrest by the Iranian police, and the fact that the western and Arab-monarchy-backed media outlets quickly jumped to the trend of covering anti-Iran protests, picturing them as large rallies, when in fact, they included far fewer numbers than depicted, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani reminded the US of its “despicable” human rights record across the world. 

“With a despicable human rights record both at home & abroad, how does the US have the audacity to give itself higher moral ground to lecture the world?” Kanaani tweeted on Friday.

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Syria: US occupation base in Al-Shaddadi comes under rocket attack

18 Sep 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Local media report on a rocket attack targeting a US occupation military base in Al-Hasakah Governorate, near the Syria-Iraq border, on Sunday morning.

The US military base in Al-Shaddadi

    The US occupation base in Al-Shaddadi, in the Syrian eastern province of Al-Hasakah, was targeted by rockets. 

    Local media reported on Sunday morning that a rocket attack targeted the US occupation facility in Al-Hasakah governorate, near the Syria-Iraq border.

    No further details were revealed on the attack.

    Several explosions were heard from the American occupation base in Deir Ezzor Province about two weeks ago. Some speculated that the explosions were caused by three rockets hitting the base.

    Read next: Rocket bombing targets US occupation base in Syria

    The US occupation bases in Syria come under rocket and drone attacks frequently.

    Earlier in July, violent explosions rocked a US occupation Army base in Al-Jebsa oil fields in eastern Syria, Sputnik reported Wednesday.

    The Russian agency quoted informed sources as saying that they heard strong explosions in the northern and western countryside of the oil city of Al-Shaddadi, which includes the largest US base in Al-Hasakah Governorate.

    Sputnik pointed out that the explosions coincided with an intense overflight of warplanes and helicopters of the so-called “International Coalition” that took off from its base in Al-Shaddadi and fired flares, as information reported that the base was being targeted with missiles.

    Sources revealed to Al Mayadeen that the missiles that targeted the US base in Al-Jabsa were launched from Tal Al-Shayer near the Iraqi border, an SDF-controlled region.

    One of the missiles fell 200 meters from an aircraft runway within the base, and two close to the residential area, according to the sources. 

    What is the US doing in Syria?

    Besides being an occupation that backs armed groups for its own operations and agenda in the region, the US occupation forces continue to steal Syrian oil by smuggling it from their bases in Syria to their bases in Iraq.

    Convoys of tens of vehicles, including tankers loaded with stolen oil from oil fields occupied by US forces in Syria, are frequently seen crossing toward northern Iraq, in addition to trucks loaded with military equipment.

    The US interference in the crisis-stricken Middle Eastern country continues to be exposed, from occupation to military agenda and the theft of oil.

    US forces smuggle dozens of oil tankers out of Syria

    In one of the latest acts of a series of US forces looting Syrian oil, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on September 9 that a US convoy loaded with looted Syrian oil left from the illegitimate Al-Mahmoudiyah crossing and entered Iraqi territory.

    According to the Syrian agency, “a convoy of the US occupation forces, consisting of 88 tankers loaded with stolen Syrian oil, left from the illegitimate Al-Mahmoudiyah crossing and entered Iraqi territory.”

    The local sources mentioned that the US convoy exited the Syrian territories toward the bases of the US occupation in northern Iraq.

    It is noteworthy that US forces control about 90% of Syria’s oil-producing territory, depriving the government of its most significant source of fuel and income.

    Some local reports reveal that US forces smuggle not only oil out of the country but also indispensable food supplies.

    In August, the Syrian Oil Ministry revealed that the US occupation forces loot the majority of Syria’s oil, knowing that the daily production of the eastern oil fields is 80.3 thousand barrels.

    The United States has been for years supporting the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militias, and the US-backed forces are currently occupying parts of the provinces of Al-Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, and Raqqa, where the largest Syrian oil and gas fields are located.

    The actions carried out by the United States constitute state piracy with the aim of plundering Syria’s oil resources and depriving the Syrians of their own resources amid a harsh economic situation caused largely by the US occupiers.

    Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah’s Eyes & Missiles Are on Karish, We Do Not Fear Any Imposed Confrontation

    September 17, 2022

    By Al-Ahed News, Live Coverage

    Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech at the end of the Arbaeen procession that headed towards the shrine of Sayyeda Khawal [AS] in Baalbek on September 17, 2022.

    Sayyed Nasrallah began his speech by condoling Muslims on the Arbaeen of Imam Hussein [AS] and thanks the participants in the Arbaeen March who walked to the holy shrine of Imam Hussein daughter, Sayyeda Khawla in Baalbek.

    In his speech, the Secretary General talked about the most important lessons of the Arbaeen saying, “Looking back at the stances of Imam al-Sajjad and Sayyeda Zeinab [AS] in Yazid’s palace, a believer could never show weakness or despair no matter how hard the calamities and the circumstances are.”

    In the light of this, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that “The remembrance of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] and his household is eternal until the Day of Resurrection.”

    The Resistance Leader affirmed, “There is no place for humiliation, but rather for moving on based on the long history of faith in the future and the divine promise.”

    Also, in his speech, His Eminence addressed the Iraqi people thanking them for their great generosity, hospitality, and love they have been showing for the visitors of Imam Hussein [AS].

    “We must thank our brothers and sisters in Iraq, the authorities and the people, for their immense generosity, time, effort, and management of this grand event,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

    His Eminence highlighted that “The Arbaeen Walk in Iraq, in which 20 million visitors took part, is unprecedented in history on the level of the participating masses.”

     “At least hundreds of thousands of those walked the road leading from Najaf to Karbala. Those visitors went there with their own money; states do not fund this ziyara. Those 20 million visitors are 20 million hearts beating in the love of Imam Hussein [AS]. The poor and the needy are the first we see there,” Sayyed Nasrallah clarified.

    Elsewhere in his speech, the Hezbollah SG recalled the Sabra and Shatila Massacre which was carried out from the 16th of September, 1982, and until the 18th of the same month.

    Sayyed Nasrallah explained, “The ‘Israeli’ enemy sponsored the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, but it was mainly perpetrated by certain Lebanese sides that are known and that were allied with ‘Israel’ militarily in the invasion of 1982.”

    “The Sabra and Shatila Massacre could amount to the biggest and most heinous massacre that was committed in the history of the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict,” the Resistance Leader added, remembering that “Around 1900 Lebanese martyrs and some 3000 Palestinian martyrs were the victims of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre.”

    His Eminence said that the Sabra and Shatila Massacre remains “The most horrific to have been carried out by ‘Israel’s’ tools in Lebanon, and the ones responsible for it were never held accountable for it.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah slammed those who have been sowing strife in Lebanon saying, “We’ve been hearing phrases comparing ‘our Lebanon’ and ‘your Lebanon’, telling us we do not belong to ‘their’ Lebanon. I tell them that the Sabra and Shatila Massacre is one of the faces of ‘their’ Lebanon! The liberation of the South is the face of our Lebanon!”

    “The culture of death belongs to those who committed the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, while the culture of life belongs to those who liberated South Lebanon without even killing a chicken! They say the massacre was carried out to avenge Bachir Gemayel. They took revenge from who? From innocent civilians! Whereas during our fight, we did not even kill a chicken! Who are the ones of a death culture?!” the Hezbollah SG exclaimed.

    Elsewhere in his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah said, “The American guarantees neither protected the Lebanese and the Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila nor elsewhere. Anyone who trusts the Americans in this sense is offering their men, women, children, and even the unborn to be slaughtered.”

    The Resistance chief hailed the Palestinian youths, particularly those in the occupied West Bank, for their active presence in the field of resistance.

    “The enemy now is frightened by the resistance of the West Bank as it is fighting its young generation,” His Eminence said.

    Relatedly, Sayyed Nasrallah praised Hamas’ latest statement on resuming ties with Syria as a respected choice, saying, “Palestine’s priority lies in fighting the ‘Israeli’ enemy and the confrontation with the ‘Israeli’ enemy will prevail all stances as per the statement issued by Hamas.”

    His Eminence went on to say, “The Syrian leadership and people will remain the true supported of the Palestinian people and are bearing the sacrifices for their sake,” adding, “Resistance, and not begging, is the sole way to reclaim the rights.”

    Regarding the extraction of gas from the Karish platform, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that “Lebanon is in front of a golden opportunity that might not be repeated, which is extracting gas to solve its crisis.”

    “We sent a powerful message warning that the enemy not to extract from the Karish field until Lebanon is given its rights, as this would be crossing a red line,” the Resistance Leader said.

    “We offered the negotiations a true opportunity in which Lebanon extracts gas and we were not after any trouble,” His Eminence explained, saying, “We are not part of the maritime border demarcation negotiations, but our eyes are on Karish, as are our missiles.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say, “I believe that the ‘Israelis’, the Americans, and others have enough info for them to know that the Resistance is very serious in its warnings, and that we don’t fear any confrontation if it was forced upon us.”

    Another issue His Eminence addressed during his speech was the UNIFIL’s mandate in Lebanon.

    “The most recent development regarding the UNIFIL is an act of aggression and a violation of the Lebanese sovereignty; it reflects the absence of the aging state and the one behind this ‘Israeli’ trap is either ignorant or traitor,” Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out.

    His Eminence added, “The latest decision regarding the UNIFIL would have exposed Lebanon to grave dangers, but the stance of the Lebanese state was a good one.”

    Concerning the issue of the government formation, Sayyed Nasrallah said that hopes are high, warning that the country must not enter a presidential void.

    “Everybody should offer compromises so that electing a president would take place in its due constitutional time,” the Resistance chief said, saying, “Threats are futile and we support calls for agreeing on a president with meetings being held away from tensions and vetoes.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah focused on the issue that “The President of the Republic must enjoy a wide popular and political base to assume his legal and constitutional duties.”

    In his comments about the events surrounding the banking sector, the Hezbollah Secretary General said, “Dealing with the security level is insufficient and officials must form a crisis and emergency cell to finds real solutions.”

    The Resistance leader summed up his address by stressing the importance of the popular support base that the coming president should have in order to be able to fulfill his duties adequately.

    “No matter how hard the difficulties in Lebanon and the region are, we will definitely emerge victorious and our people will be able to enforce their will,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.

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    Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine ( Weekly Update 08 – 14 September 2022)

    15. 09. 2022

    Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

    A child was killed, 8 others were wounded, and dozens of others suffocated in Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacks in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

    On 08 September 2022, IOF killed Haytham Hani Mubarak (17) from Beitounia, West of Ramallah, with several bullets at the DCO checkpoint near the entrance to Beitin village, east of Ramallah, and kept his body in custody, claiming that Mubarak tried to stab a soldier with a knife, yet there was no eyewitness to the incident.

    Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force during IOF incursions into cities and villages and suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

    On 08 September 2022, A Palestinian was injured with a rubber bullet in the foot in IOF clashes following their incursion into Qalandia refugee camp in East Jerusalem. Also, a Palestinian was injured with a live bullet when IOF opened fire at Palestinians, who tried to confront settlers’ attacks in Sinjil village in Ramallah.

    On the same day, IOF violently attacked Palestine TV journalist, Yousuf Mohammad ‘Aadi (36), when he was on Al-Wad Street in East Jerusalem, causing him bruises, wounds and fractures before arresting and later releasing him on bail the following day. ‘Aadi said to PCHR’s staff that IOF violently assaulted him and dragged him to the ground when he started screaming for help to passersby, who tried to intervene, but the soldiers prevented them and continued hitting him on the head, grabbed his hair and yanking him many times to the ground between the iron bars of a barrier.  Although he fainted, they continued beating him and then tied him up and arrested him.

    On 09 September 2022, 4 Palestinians were shot by IOF’s rubber bullets in clashes that followed IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya. On the same day, an elderly suffocated due to teargas inhalations and others were sustained brises and suffocated during IOF suppression of a peaceful protest in support of Al-Nabi Samuel village residents, near al-Jib military checkpoint, northwestern East Jerusalem. In addition, 2 Palestinians were wounded and 5 suffocated during IOF suppression of a peaceful protest against land confiscations and settlers’ attacks in Sinjil village in Ramallah.

    In the Gaza Strip, 2 IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western Gaza shore, and 2 other shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip.

    So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 120 Palestinians, including 85 civilians: 25 children, 8 women; 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers; and the rest were activists; 15 of them were assassinated. Thirty-two of those killed, including 19 civilians: 8 children and 3 women were in the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. Also, 1,316 Palestinians, including 204 children, 40 women, and 22 journalists, were wounded in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Moreover, 4 Palestinian prisoners, including a woman, died in the Israeli prisons.

    Land razing, demolitions, and notices

    IOF forced 2 Palestinians to self-demolish 2 houses and an animal barn in East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

    On 08 September 2022, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his under-construction house in Silwan village in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Also, they demolished retaining walls in al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

    On 09 September 2022, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish a barrack he owned and used as an animal barn in Al-Isawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

    On 12 September 2022, IOF forced a widow to self-demolish her house in Silwan village in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction, rendering her and her 3 children homeless.

    Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 113 families homeless, a total of 670 persons, including 130 women and 310 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 118 houses and 41 residential tents. IOF also demolished 90 other civilian economic objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

    Settler-attacks

    On 08 September 2022, an Israeli settler threw stones at a vehicle travelling on Bypass Road (60) near Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron, and broke its windshield. On the same day, 2 Palestinians were injured and sustained bruises while 5 cars were badly damaged  as a result of the settlers’ attacks in Sinjil village in Ramallah

    On 13 September 2022, a Palestinian sustained wounds and fractures when Israeli settlers assaulted him in his land near at-Tuwani village close to Havat Ma’oun settlement outpost, south of Hebron. When a Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance arrived and tried to evacuate the injured, the settlers intercepted it and damaged its tires. IOF arrested the injured and took him via an Israeli ambulance to Soroka Hospital.  He was then referred for investigation to the police station in Kiryat Aba’ settlement, claiming that he attempted to kill a settler. Later on, IOF backups arrived in the area, opened fire, and fired tear gas canisters at the Palestinians there.  As a result, some of them suffocated.  Also, IOF arrested 10 Palestinians and interrogated them about a settler’s injury in clashes against Palestinians in the area.

    Since the beginning of the year, settlers conducted at least 180 attacks. In two of the attacks, 2 Palestinians were killed.

    IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

    IOF carried out 210 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 78 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children and a woman. In the Gaza Strip, IOF carried out 4 limited incursions into eastern Khan Yunis, eastern Gaza Valley village, southeast of Gaza, and Deir Al-Balah in the central governorate.

    On 08 September 2022, IOF arrested 2 Palestinians, including a child, while trying to infiltrate via the border fence, east of Rafah, and released them the next day. On 13 September 2022, the Israeli Naval Forces arrested 4 fishermen after intercepting their boat off Gaza Valley shore.

    So far in 2022, IOF conducted 6,140 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 3,618 Palestinians were arrested, including 339 children and 32 women. IOF also conducted 32 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 84 Palestinians, including 49 fishermen, 30 infiltrators, and 5 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

    Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

    The Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.

    In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 100 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested 4 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

    On 08 September 2022, IOF established a military watchtower near the western entrance to Taqou’ village, east of Bethlehem.

    On 11 September 2022, IOF closed the metal detector gate established at the western entrance to Husan village in Bethlehem and later reopened it.

    So far in 2022, IOF established 3,105 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 146 Palestinians at those checkpoints

    Fire, loud explosions reported in US occupation base east of Syria

    September 14, 2022  00:26

    Source: Agencies

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    Local sources report a massive explosion and smoke coming from a US occupation base in Syria.

    In 2019, Trump announced US troops would largely withdraw from Syria, with the exception of a small force that would remain to ‘protect’ oil resources (AFP)

      A massive explosion was reportedly heard in the province of Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria, on Wednesday afternoon.

      Smoke was reported rising from the vicinity of a US occupation base in the Omar oil field, east of Deir Ezzor, local media reported. 

      Sputnik reported that plumes of smoke were visible for a decent amount of time.

      US troops flew drones in the sky of the area while the fire was blazing from the US base, according to the report.

      Local sources reported to Sputnik that several explosions were heard after the fire broke out in the US base. The cause of the fire and loud explosion was not revealed to the media.

      Read next: Rocket bombing targets US occupation base in Syria

      What is the US doing in Syria?

      Besides being an occupation that backs armed groups for its own operations and agenda in the region, the US occupation forces continue to steal Syrian oil by smuggling it from their bases in Syria to their bases in Iraq.

      Convoys of tens of vehicles, including tankers loaded with stolen oil from oil fields occupied by US forces in Syria, are frequently seen crossing toward northern Iraq, in addition to trucks loaded with military equipment.

      The US interference in the crisis-stricken Middle Eastern country continues to be exposed, from occupation to military agenda and the theft of oil.

      US forces smuggle dozens of oil tankers out of Syria

      In the latest act of a series of US forces looting Syrian oil, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on September 9 that a US convoy loaded with looted Syrian oil left from the illegitimate Al-Mahmoudiyah crossing and entered Iraqi territory.

      According to the Syrian agency, “a convoy of the US occupation forces, consisting of 88 tankers loaded with stolen Syrian oil, left from the illegitimate Al-Mahmoudiyah crossing and entered Iraqi territory.”

      The local sources mentioned that the US convoy exited the Syrian territories toward the bases of the US occupation in northern Iraq.

      It is noteworthy that US forces control about 90% of Syria’s oil-producing territory, depriving the government of its most significant source of fuel and income.

      Some local reports reveal that US forces smuggle not only oil out of the country but also indispensable food supplies.

      In August, the Syrian Oil Ministry revealed that the US occupation forces loot the majority of Syria’s oil, knowing that the daily production of the eastern oil fields is 80.3 thousand barrels.

      The United States has been for years supporting the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militias, and the US-backed forces are currently occupying parts of the provinces of Al-Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, and Raqqa, where the largest Syrian oil and gas fields are located.

      The actions carried out by the United States constitute state piracy with the aim of plundering Syria’s oil resources and depriving the Syrians of their own resources amid a harsh economic situation caused largely by the US occupiers.

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        US economic decline and global instability Part 2: Rise of BRICS

        September 01, 2022

        Source

        by Phillyguy

        Summary

        The US emerged from WWII as the world’s preeminent military and economic power. All of the pillars supporting US power are now threatened by decades of neoliberal economic policies, spending vast sums of taxpayer money propping up financial markets, the military and attainment of economic/military parity by the Russia-China-Iran axis. In this essay, I link the continuing economic and social decline in the US/EU (collectively referred to as the ‘west) to an increasingly reckless US foreign policy, the role corporate media serves in promoting these policies to the American/EU public and the rise of Russia, China and other countries in the global south.

        Introduction

        This is a continuation or my previous article, linking US economic decline and global instability [1]. Briefly, the US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading economic and military power. Since that time, US global power has rested on: 1) unrivaled military and economic power, 2) control of world’s energy reserves (primarily in the Middle East), and 3) maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Following the conclusion of WWII in 1945, the US had the world’s largest economy and was the major ‘growth engine’ for western capitalism for the next 3 decades. In the mid-1970s, this began to change as US corporate profits began to stagnate/decline, a direct consequence of spending large amounts of taxpayer money on wars on the Korean Peninsula (1950-1953) and Vietnam (1955-1975) and increased competition from rebuilt economies in Europe, primarily Germany (Marshall Plan) and Asia- Japan, South Korea (Korean and Vietnam wars) and more recently China. Starting in the early 1980s, the US financial elite began pressuring policy makers to pursue neoliberal economic policies, including multiple tax cuts for the wealthy, financial deregulation, austerity, attacks on the poor and labor and outsourcing manufacturing jobs to Mexico, China and other low-wage platforms. The Soviet Union officially dissolved on Dec 26, 1991. This was viewed by the US ruling elite as the removal of the major rival to US global power and would allow unrestrained actions of the American military to invade and occupy countries which are rich in natural resources and/or occupy geo-strategic locations and expand NATO into Eastern Europe up to the Russian border. Since 1991, US/NATO have been involved in conflicts in Yugoslavia, Persian Gulf/Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine [2].

        Role of Corporate Media

        First Amendment of the US constitution-

        ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

        It is commonly stated that the press (aka the proverbial ‘4th estate’) in the US is ‘free’ and ‘independent’ and ‘essential for the functioning of a free society’, serving as a ‘watchdog’ on government actions and policies and vital to protect the ‘liberty’ of American citizens. As is often the case, things are not always as they seem.

        In a recent interview with Brian Berletic, Mark Sleboda commented that “Western media is in ‘lockstep’ with government on foreign policy to a degree that would make real dictators blush” [3]. While there is no doubt that Western (read corporate) media is indeed promoting US foreign policy, it is not the US government that formulates these polices, rather they are formulated and developed by the ruling elite, using corporate-funded foundations and ‘think tanks’, academic institutions and prominent politicians. These include the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Rand Corporation, Rockefeller Foundation, American Heritage Foundation, Atlantic Council, Brookings, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Academic institutions such as The Kennedy School (Harvard), Hoover Institution (Stanford), Walsh School of Foreign Service (Georgetown) and School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins) not only provide ‘experts’ and government officials, such as Wendy Sherman (Kennedy School) current US Deputy Secretary of State in the Biden Administration, they serve as training grounds for government officials and corporate management, some of whom are employed by above listed universities and foundations.

        Once formulated, these policies are ‘sold’ to the American public by a compliant and well-disciplined media. Approximately 90% of US media is controlled by six large corporations- Comcast, Walt Disney, AT&T, Paramount Global, Sony, and Fox, with a combined market cap of circa $500 billion [4] [5]. Like other large corporations, media conglomerates have the same class interests as the financial elite, i.e., promoting policies which increase corporate power and profits and maintain US global hegemony. So called ‘public’ media, such as National Public Radio (NPR) and the BBC, in the UK, function in a similar manner. Corporate media is closely integrated with large financial interests and serves as a ‘cheerleader’ for the Pentagon and US foreign policy.

        Not surprisingly, major broadcasters, the paper of record (NYT), Wall St. Journal (WSJ), Washington Post, etc. are little more than a sounding board for the US ruling elite and thus, function primarily as the ‘ministry of propaganda’ for large financial interests. Any reporter, military analyst, aka ‘TV General’, etc. who ‘steps out of line’, such as telling the truth about the military debacle facing Ukraine will either be severely reprimanded or find themselves out of a job. Some examples-

        1) CBS recently ran a documentary claiming that only 30% of ‘military aid’ sent to Ukraine actually arrived. The video was removed following complaints from the Ukrainian government. [6] [7].

        2) David Sanger (Harvard graduate) is chief Washington correspondent for the NYT and also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) [8], whose members include corporate executives, bankers, and other representatives of the ruling elite.

        3) David Ignatius (Harvard graduate) is a foreign affairs columnist for the WaPo and has close ties to the intelligence community- CIA and Pentagon.

        Sanger and Ignatius serve as pundits for US global power, promoting the use of military force to promote American interests.

        When you do not toe the corporate line…………

        4) Gary Webb was a journalist working for the San Jose Mercury News. In 1996, Webb published a series of articles, “Dark Alliance”, describing how Nicaraguan Contra rebels, working closely with the CIA, supplied crack cocaine to the Black community in Los Angeles and used proceeds from these sales to purchase weapons to overthrow the government of Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front. Following publication of the Dark Alliance series, corporate media became hysterical, denouncing Webb, effectively ruining his career; he committed suicide in 2004 [9]

        5) Julian Assange- In 2010, Wikileaks, founded by Julian Assange, published a series of leaks obtained from Chelsea Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, documenting US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following publication of these leaks, the American government began a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks. In 2010, Sweden issued an arrest warrant for Assange over allegations of sexual misconduct. To avoid extradition, Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In 2019, Assange was arrested by British police at the Ecuadorian embassy and transferred to Belmarsh, a Category-A men’s prison in London. Up to this point, Julian Assange had not been formally charged. However, on May 23, 2019, the United States government charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and is currently awaiting potential extradition to the US [10].

        The US has been almost continuously involved in overt and covert military conflicts since 1940 and as a result, war and associated violence has been normalized and institutionalized by corporate media to the point, where these policies are readily accepted by a relatively docile and ignorant American public. When foreign governments deemed hostile to US corporate interests limit press ‘freedom’, they are immediately labeled as repressive/terrorist regimes and potential candidates for direct attack and ‘regime’ change by the US State Department. Apparently, what is ‘good for the goose’ is ‘not good for the gander’. As pointed out above, any journalist that threatens the American empire risks losing their job, imprisonment and/or death.

        Accelerating Decline of late-stage American Capitalism

        Multiple factors have contributed to the decline of American economic power. These include economic policies, spending astronomical amounts of taxpayer money on the military and war, social instability and rise of China-Russia-Iran axis.

        Economic policies

        Since the mid-1970s, US policy makers have pursued neoliberal economic policies- financial deregulation, austerity, tax cuts for the wealthy, attacks on labor and job-outsourcing, which has resulted in the massive growth of the FIRE sector of the economy composed of finance, insurance, and real estate. These polices precipitated the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) 2007-2008, the largest financial shock since the Great Depression. Rather than resolve the severe structural problems confronting American capitalism which created this crisis, the FED used the Treasury as a de facto taxpayer-supported ‘piggy bank’ (the FED cannot print money) to prop up equity markets, bonds, over-priced real estate and [still] insolvent banks. To put this in perspective, since 2009, the FED has injected over $40 trillion into financial markets, increasing the wealth of the financial elite, the proverbial ‘1%’. Not surprisingly, over the last 5 years, US government deficits have increased circa $2 trillion annually, currently exceeding $30 trillion (Fig. 1); this figure does not include municipal, corporate or consumer debt. This begs the obvious question of how long can the FED continue this orgy or money printing and debt? Note- for comprehensive background information on the FED’s financial activities, see Wall Street on Parade [11].

        Military Spending and War

        Since its inception, the US has been built on theft and violence, justified by ‘Christian’ religion and ‘White man’s burden’. The first permanent British settlement in North America was established in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. A decade later, African slaves were introduced by Dutch slave traders. Over the next 250 years, the US government would continue stealing land and displace/murder circa 90% of the indigenous population. In the mid-19th century, the US had the world’s leading economy, largely built on cotton produced by Black slaves [12]. Fast forward 150 years, the US has been almost continuously at war since 1940. 911 was a godsend for the military- US taxpayers have spent circa $21 trillion ($7.2 trillion going to military contractors) on post-911 militarization [13] [14]. The military appropriation for 2023 exceeds $760 billion. Despite this taxpayer largess, the Pentagon has not ‘won’ a war since 1945, was forced out of Afghanistan after spending $2 trillion, and confronts looming strategic debacles in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine. This has vividly shown the rest of the world the limits of American military power. Unfortunately, after expending so much financial and human capital, the Pentagon appears incapable of extricating itself from these conflicts as doing so is an admission of failure and by extension military weakness. This was clearly seen following Joe Biden’s decision to remove US troops from Afghanistan in 2021 and the push-back he received from corporate media and people in Congress.

        Political Chaos and Social Instability

        We frequently hear that US society has progressed to the point, where the country appears to be increasingly ungovernable. Indeed, American society is plagued by economic inequality, racism and ubiquitous violence. The American working class has watched their standard of living plummet- a result of decades of neoliberal economic policies, including job outsourcing, austerity, stagnant income growth and since the Covid 19 pandemic, high inflation, reflected by increasing costs for rent, transportation, energy, groceries, medical care and other necessities. To put this in perspective, 60% of Americans do not have $500 in savings and thus are one expensive car repair, medical emergency or job loss away from financial ruin. At the same time the wealth of American billionaires has increased circa $1 trillion during the Covid19 pandemic. Not surprisingly in 2016, Donald Trump skillfully exploited the justifiable anger and frustration of working people, stating that he would ‘Make American Great Again’, blaming American economic problems on immigrants from Mexico and Latin America and China’s economic rise.

        Rise of BRICS/SCO and US/NATO debacle in Ukraine

        We are seeing the continued rise in the global power and influence of Russia, China and allied nations, on multiple fronts, including organizational, economic and militarily. The BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are expanding. Original BRICS members included Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Iran and Argentina have applied for admission, while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turkey and Egypt are applying for entry next year. SCO is the largest regional economic institution in the world, covering 60% of Eurasia with a population > 3.2 billion and combined GDP of member states circa 25% of global total. Trade between BRICS and SCO member states is increasingly being carried out using local currencies.

        The Mir payment system operated by the Russian National Card Payment System [15] is a direct competitor to Visa and Mastercard and now accepted throughout the Russian Federation and in 13 countries including India, Turkey and South Korea and will soon be used in Iran. BRICS nations are developing a global currency for international trade that will directly compete with the dollar [16]. Russia is developing a new international trading platform for precious metals: the Moscow World Standard (MWS) [17]. The Russian Finance Ministry believes this new independent international structure will ‘normalize the functioning of the precious metals industry” and serve as an alternative to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA; https://www.lbma.org.uk), [18] which for years has been accused of systematically manipulating the price of precious metals markets to depress prices [19]. Collectively, these policies have been designed to significantly reduce the dependence of economies in Russia, China, India and other countries in the Global South on the US/EU and eliminate dependence on the US dollar and Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system [20] for international trade. No doubt this is being done in close collaboration with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) whose goal is to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth [21] [22]. This trajectory has been accelerated following enactment of US/EU sanctions on Russia, Iran and China.

        Over the last decade, the military power of Russia, China and Iran has greatly strengthened. The Russian military is a global leader in air-defense systems and hypersonic weapons, which are impermeable to any air-defense systems currently deployed by the US/NATO [23]. Over the last 25 years, China has modernized its military, focusing on People’s Liberation Navy and Army Air Force [24] [25]. China has developed a robust missile arsenal including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) [26]. The Pentagon now considers China a ‘formidable military force’ and a ‘major challenge’ to the US Navy in the Western Pacific. The Islamic Republic of Iran has also developed a formidable defensive military capability, which has positioned Iran as a major power broker in the region. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has concluded- ‘Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles, some capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe.’ [27]. Iran has repeatedly warned the US/NATO that it can target US military bases in the region, including Al Udeid base in Qatar, the largest US base in the Middle East. We are seeing increased assertiveness from the Russia-China-Iran axis in Syria, Ukraine and Western Pacific. This was clearly articulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June, declaring an end of “the era of the unipolar world” [28]. The Pentagon is being increasingly challenged by the Russia-China-Iran axis in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Western Pacific.

        Ukraine- another US/NATO debacle

        For background and historical information covering Ukraine and her relationship with Russia, see [29]. Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe after Russia and occupies a strategic location in Eastern Europe, sharing a circa 2300 km (1227 mi) border with Russia [30] (Fig. 2). As of 2021, Ukraine had the second largest military (circa 200,000 military personnel), after the Russian Armed Forces, in Europe and has the dubious distinction of being one of the most corrupt countries in the world [31]. Historically, the predominantly Russian speaking population in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine has maintained close ties with Russia.

        In February 2014, the US- instigated Maidan coup took place, replacing the democratically-elected President Victor Yanukovych with a Russia-phobic and far-right politician/economist/lawyer, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Not surprisingly, the Ukrainian government was soon dominated by an alliance of far-right/fascistic organizations including the Right Sector and Svoboda and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland. This was predictable, as these groups were the most virulently anti-Russian factions in Ukraine [32] and are still very active in the government and military [33] [34]. Soon after the coup took place, the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics declared their independence, initiating the war in the Donbas. Over the next 8 years, the US/NATO would train circa 100,000 Ukrainian troops and channel $ billions in military aid [35], which was used to equip Ukrainian army and fortify positions adjacent to the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics [30] (Fig. 3). This buildup was accompanied by increased shelling of residential areas in the Donbas region by the Ukrainian military [36] [37], setting up a potential invasion of this region [38]. In response to the escalating attacks by Ukrainian forces. Russia recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics as sovereign states on Feb 21, 2022, just prior to the Russian invasion on Feb 24, 2022, describing this campaign as a Special Military Operation (SMO) [39]. For an excellent overview of why Russia made the decision to invade Ukraine, see [40].

        Going up against a well-trained, well equipped and an entrenched Ukrainian army, Russian forces have managed to take control of circa 20% (~47,000 square miles) of southern Ukraine and are incrementally removing Ukrainian forces from this region [38] (Fig. 3). Significantly, this territory contains prime agricultural and resource-rich land. It appears that Russia is planning on annexing littoral territory extending from the Donetsk/Luhansk region to Odesa [41]. Once this happen, any future Ukrainian state will not only be land-locked and lack direct access to the Black Sea, it will also lose valuable land as well. Military analyst Andrei Martyanov [42] has pointed out the ‘combined West doesn’t have material and technological means of fighting Russia in Eastern Europe without losing catastrophically. Western weapons turned out to be nothing more than commercial items not designed to fight the modern war, plus–no Western economy, including the United States has the capability to produce them in needed quantities anyway.’

        The collective west has responded to the Russian invasion by blocking the opening of the Nord Stream 2 energy pipeline, which would directly supply Russian natural gas to Germany, imposed sanctions on Russian energy exports and disconnected Russian banks from the SWIFT system. To the dismay of the US/NATO, these actions have led to large increases in EU energy costs while strengthening the Russian economy [43]. Indeed, the paper of record (NYT) published a recent OpEd bemoaning the fact that despite western sanctions, Russia is making more money than ever on energy exports to China, India and other countries [44]. Despite nonstop condemnation from the US and EU of Russia’s SMO in Ukraine, many nations have not criticized the war [45]; only 1/3 of UN members supported a new anti-Russia resolution this August [46]. Thus, dwindling international support for Ukraine, coupled with success of the Russian SMO indicates that the country will not exist in its current form.

        Concluding Remarks

        The decline of late-stage American capitalism has been ongoing since the mid-1970s, but has been accelerated by the GFC, Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and Russian SMO in Ukraine. Not surprisingly, the ruling elite and their representatives in Washington have responded by shifting the costs of this decline onto the public, who have watched their living standard plummet, homelessness increase [47], imposed reactionary legislation such as the criminalization of pregnancy by the US Supreme Court, ratcheted up state violence against working people and people of color, while engaging in an astronomically expensive and reckless foreign policy. It appears the ruling elite view the Russia-China-Iran axis as an intolerable obstacle to US global power, reflected in the ongoing war in Ukraine, which is a de facto proxy war between the US and Russia. US-imposed sanctions on Russian energy have driven global energy prices higher; natural gas prices in the EU are 14-fold higher than the 10-year average. As a result, the UK/EU are at risk of not having sufficient quantities of natural gas for the winter, while EU industry will not be competitive with their rivals in Asia, who are being supplied with cheaper Russian energy. This is going to lead to increasing unemployment and social instability in the Eurozone.

        The continued presence of US troops in Iraq and Syria is a desperate attempt to maintain control over Middle East energy reserves. The continued recklessness of this occupation can be seen from the constant Israeli attacks on Syrian and Iranian-allied forces by Israel/US, increasing the chances of a war with Iran, which can rapidly escalate, potentially incinerating the entire Persian Gulf region. It appears the US is abandoning the ‘one-China’ policy’ that has guided relations between the two countries for nearly 5 decades and is preparing to recognize Taiwan as an ‘independent’ state, a redline for the Peoples Republic of China. No doubt, this was one motivation for sending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, from ‘’liberal’ San Francisco, with a net worth exceeding $100 million, to visit Taiwan. The Pentagon is actively encouraging Japan, which is little more than a US stooge/vassal and still occupied by circa 50K US troops, to join in this effort [48]. This begs the obvious question- did Japan learn anything from their defeat in WWII? As Glen Ford has pointed out, hegemons do not have ‘allies’ they only have subordinates [49].

        The decline of late-stage American capitalism has progressed to the point where the very survival of the American empire is now contingent upon endless money printing to prop up financial markets and the military. This is becoming increasingly tenuous as this orgy of money printing and debt has created gigantic bubbles in every asset class- ‘everything bubble’, increasing inflation and threatening to derail the dollar’s role as world reserve currency and viability of western capitalism. Considering the weak state of US/EU economies, what economic incentives does the US have to encourage countries in the Indo-Pacific to reduce trade with China? Obviously, this is a nonstarter [50]. The ruling oligarchy are well aware of US economic decline and in desperation, are attempting to directly confront the Russia-China-Iran axis, which has attained economic and military parity (superiority?) with US/NATO. Perilous times ahead.

        Notes

        1. US economic decline and global instability. The Saker Jan 19, 2021; https://thesaker.is/us-economic-decline-and-global-instability/

        2. American Involvement in Wars from Colonial Times to the Present- Wars From 1675 to the Present Day By Martin Kelly Nov 4, 2020; https://www.thoughtco.com/american-involvement-wars-colonial-times-present-4059761

        3. Ukraine’s Growing Dependency on Terrorism w/Mark Sleboda The New Atlas Aug 25, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgiRKbTYbZQ&t=1997s

        4. The Big 6 Media Companies By Adam Levy Jun 10, 2022; https://www.fool.com/investing/stock-market/market-sectors/communication/media-stocks/big-6/

        5. The 6 Companies That Own (Almost) All Media; https://www.webfx.com/blog/internet/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media-infographic

        6. Why military aid in Ukraine may not always get to the front lines. By Adam Yamaguchi and Alex Pena CBS News Aug 7, 2022; https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ukraine-military-aid-weapons-front-lines/

        7. CBS censors its own report on Ukraine weapons corruption Multipolarista Aug 14, 2022; https://soundcloud.com/multipolarista/cbs-ukraine-weapons-corruption

        8. Council on Foreign Relations; https://www.cfr.org/

        9. How Gary Webb Linked the CIA to the Crack Epidemic — and Paid the Ultimate Price by Marco Margaritoff Feb 18, 2022; https://allthatsinteresting.com/gary-webb

        10. Julian Assange, Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange#Seth_Rich

        11. Wall Street on Parade Pam Martens and Russ Martens; https://wallstreetonparade.com/

        12. Half Has Never Been Told by Edward E. Baptist 2016 (Book)

        13. State of Insecurity- The Cost of Militarization Since 9/11 by Lindsay Koshgarian, Ashik Siddique and Lorah Steichen Institute for Policy Studies; Link: https://ips-dc.org/report-state-of-insecurity-cost-militarization-since-9-11/

        14. Costs of war; https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/

        15. The exponential rise of Russia’s Mir payment system by James King The Banker

        July 20, 2021; https://www.thebanker.com/Transactions-Technology/FX-Payments/The-exponential-rise-of-Russia-s-Mir-payment-system?ct=true

        16. Russia and China are brewing up a challenge to dollar dominance by creating a new reserve currency by George Glover Markets Indiser Jun 24, 2022; https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/dollar-dominance-russia-china-rouble-yuan-brics-reserve-currency-imf-2022-6

        17. Precious Metals: Russia Proposes New Standard to Compete with LBMA Goldbroker Aug 17, 2022; https://goldbroker.com/news/precious-metals-russia-proposes-new-standard-to-compete-with-lbma-2826

        18. London Bullion Market Association (LBMA); https://www.lbma.org.uk

        19. Rigged Gold Price Distorts Perception of Economic Reality by Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler Sept 22, 2014; https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/09/22/rigged-gold-price-distorts-perception-economic-reality-paul-craig-roberts-dave-kranzler/

        20. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system; https://www.swift.com/

        21. China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the global trade, investment and finance landscape 2018;

        22. Belt and Road Initiative; https://www.beltroad-initiative.com/belt-and-road/

        23. Trends in Russia’s Armed Forces- An Overview of Budgets and Capabilities by Keith Crane, Olga Oliker and Brian Nichiporuk Rand Corporation 2019; https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2573.html

        24. China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service Mar 8, 2022; https://sgp.fas.org/crs/row/RL33153.pdf

        25. An Interactive Look at the U.S.-China Military Scorecard Rand https://www.rand.org/paf/projects/us-china-scorecard.html

        26. China is building more than 100 new missile silos in its western desert, analysts say

        Image without a caption By Joby Warrick Washington Post June 30, 2021; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/china-nuclear-missile-silos/2021/06/30/0fa8debc-d9c2-11eb-bb9e-70fda8c37057_story.html

        27. Missile Defense Project, “Missiles of Iran,” Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies; https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/iran

        28. President Putin’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Speech, June 17, 2022. Defense Info; https://defense.info/global-dynamics/2022/06/president-putins-st-petersburg-international-economic-forum-speech-june-17-2022

        29. Ray McGovern: Historical Context for Conflicts in Ukraine Consortium News Jul 10, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gLzsQA3UGY

        30. Map Explainer: Key Facts About Ukraine By Bruno Venditti, Graphics/Design: Nick Routley Feb 23, 2022; https://www.visualcapitalist.com/map-explainer-ukraine/

        31. Welcome to Ukraine, the most corrupt nation in Europe by Oliver Bullough The Guardian Feb 6, 2015; https://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/feb/04/welcome-to-the-most-corrupt-nation-in-europe-ukraine

        32. How and why the U.S. Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine by Eric Zuesse Modern Diplomacy June 4, 2018; https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/06/04/how-and-why-the-u-s-government-perpetrated-the-2014-coup-in-ukraine/

        33. Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are on the March in Ukraine- Five years after the Maidan uprising, anti-Semitism and fascist-inflected ultranationalism are rampant.

        By Lev Golinkin The Nation Feb 22, 2019;

        34. Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies Fair Observer Mar 11, 2022; https://www.fairobserver.com/region/europe/medea-benjamin-nicolas-js-davies-ukraine-war-russia-ukranian-neo-nazi-fascists-azov-battalion-89292/

        35. Ukraine- World Socialist Website; https://www.wsws.org/en/topics/country/ukraine

        36. Ukrainian Army terror bombings By Laurent Brayard Jun 6, 2022; https://mronline.org/2022/06/06/ukrainian-army-terror-bombings/

        37. Donbass Update: Ukraine Continues to Shell Residential Areas Telesur Feb 24, 2022; https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Donbass-Update-Ukraine-Continues-to-Shell-Residential-Areas-20220224-0004.html

        38. Important — A Message for Americans Gonzalo Lira June 18, 2022; https://www.strategic-culture.org/video/2022/06/20/2022-06-18-important-a-message-for-americans/

        39. Putin Announces Start to ‘Military Operation’ Against Ukraine by Anton Troianovski and Neil MacFarquhar NYT Feb. 23, 2022; https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/world/europe/ukraine-russia-invasion.html

        40. Why Russia Invaded Ukraine by Eric Zuesse The Duran Sept 1, 2022; https://theduran.com/why-russia-invaded-ukraine/

        41. All the way to Odessa by Pepe Escobar The Unz Review Aug 26, 2022; https://www.unz.com/pescobar/all-the-way-to-odessa/

        42. Reminiscence of the Future (Andrei Martyanov); http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/

        43. Europe’s Markets and Energy Security Disrupted by Russia Sanctions by Kenneth Rapoza Forbes Aug 23, 2022; https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2022/08/23/europes-markets-and-energy-security-disrupted-by-russia-sanctions/?sh=6d2312b45097

        44. Russia Is Making Heaps of Money from Oil, but There is a Way to Stop That

        July 29, 2022; https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/29/opinion/russia-oil-sanctions-biden.html

        45. Why have many nations not condemned the war in Ukraine? by Bernd Debusmann News Decoder Apr 4, 2022; https://news-decoder.com/why-have-many-nations-not-condemned-the-war-in-ukraine/

        46. Only one in three UN members back new anti-Russia resolution- International support for Ukraine has dropped dramatically since March RT Aug 26, 2022; https://www.rt.com/russia/561627-un-ukraine-resolution-support/

        47. Census Bureau: 3.8 million renters will likely be evicted in the next two months — why the rental crisis keeps getting worse by Brian J. O’Connor Yahoo Sun, Aug 28, 2022; https://www.yahoo.com/video/census-bureau-3-8-million-100000978.html

        48. U.S. presses Japan to cancel Constitution’s peace-clause. China and Japan must thus finally agree now, to avoid a war by Eric Zuesse The Duran Aug 25, 2022; https://theduran.com/why-a-deal-is-needed-now-between-china-and-japan/

        49. Glen Ford’s Ukrainian Crystal Ball Black Agenda Report Jul 27, 2022; https://www.blackagendareport.com/glen-fords-ukrainian-crystal-ball

        50. A New World Order is Looming and the West Doesn’t Like it by James ONeill Aug 24, 2022; https://journal-neo.org/2022/08/24/a-new-world-order-is-looming-and-the-west-doesn-t-like-it/

        3 Figures

        Figure 1: Total US Public Debt

        Figure 2. Map of Ukraine

        Figure 3. Military situation in Ukraine Aug 31, 2022

        Figure 1. Total US public debt. Note that debt in Q1 2020 was $ 23.2 trillion while in Q2 2022 was $ 30.5 trillion, an increase of $7 trillion.

        FRED Graph

        Source: Total Public Debt; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GFDEBTN

        Figure 2. Map of Ukraine

        Ukraine Map

        Source: US Department of Defense

        Figure 3. Military Situation in Ukraine for Aug 31, 2022. Areas in Red are controlled by the allied forces of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Militia and Russian military.

        Source: Ukraine interactive map; https://liveuamap.com

        Western Propaganda and its Aftermath

        August 31, 2022

        Source

        by Asia Teacher

        As President Zelensky attains celebrity media status, revered by western political leaders and Hollywood’s glitterati all jostling for a photo shoot, let’s not forget the propaganda behind it and the consequences now beginning to emerge.

        The western propaganda we’re currently experiencing is nothing new. Today’s President Putin joins yesterday’s Middle East “monsters” as current Ukrainian Nazi militias become “freedom fighters” and the Russians become “Nazis.” Likewise, the previous Middle Eastern terrorist groups became “moderate Islamist’s” but only if they were fighting for a US led NATO in Iraq and Syria. Yet such is the power of belief on an already stupefied majority western population that it’s become factual.

        In our upside down world, reality has long vanished to 15% of our western leaders who regard themselves as the “international community.” On August 24th, only 54 countries out of 193 supported a UN resolution which condemned Russia for not stopping its intervention in the Ukraine, which begs the question of why, if the majority population loathe today’s western politicians, do they passionately and often even fanatically believe their every word?

        Supplying weapons and financial aid to the Ukraine which enables Russia to get bogged down in an endless war with mounting casualties, coupled with sanctions to bring down Russian middle-class living standards is just another attempt at regime change. Moreover, having failed to control the Middle East oil producers, it has not gone unnoticed that Russia is itself a major gas and oil producer.

        Bathsheba Crocker, US Ambassador to the UN warned in the New York Times on February 21st before the incursion occurred that Russia had a ‘hit list’ of people destined for arrest, detention and torture including “vulnerable populations such as religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons.” How she knew that is not explained, but the inclusion of homosexuals as a vulnerable group now appears mandatory in any media story.

        From allegations presented as facts by Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner Lyudmyla Denisova and picked up by The British Daily Mail and the US New York Times in May, of multiple repeated child rapes and murders near Kiev. Meanwhile, Newsweek also in May ran the headline “Russians Targeting Kids’ Beds, Rooms With Explosives: Ukrainian Bomb Team”; what kind of sick minds dream this up?! Although written in a news format, both headlines carried disclaimers that the content remained unverified. In which case, why report it as news? One assumes that in time these stories will join Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and the Ghost of Kyiv hoaxes.

        The problem with current western propaganda is that it relies on sensationalism and each manufactured story must outdo the last to retain its WOW effect. In today’s world, neighbors Poland and Slovakia propose building an oil “peace pipeline” as opposed to what Polish President Morawiecki refers to as the German Nordstream “war pipeline.” Meanwhile, debate continues to rage over why Russia is shelling itself in the Zaporizhzia nuclear power plant with American made missiles and fragments of US HIMARS missiles found in Yelenovka, where 57 Azov prisoners died and 130 were wounded whilst giving testimony for the upcoming War Crimes trials. Getting rid of the evidence?

        Who will western politicians blame if the weapons they’re sending to the Ukraine are responsible for another Chernobyl type incident as inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrive at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and before entering suggest the facility be handed back to the Ukrainian authorities. Am I the only one aghast at the thought of a nuclear plant in the hands of the Ukraine armed forces which number Neo-Nazi militia battalions in their ranks?

        That the Ukraine is not about freedom and democracy but Russian regime change isn’t a well-kept secret. A year before the 2014 overthrow of Yanukovych, Carl Gershman, Director of US NGO National Endowment for Democracy (NED) had already stated: “Ukraine is the biggest prize … If it could be pulled away from Russia and into the West, Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.” More recently, on the first of March 1st 2022, a spokesman for the British Prime Minister said, “but the measures [sanctions] we are introducing, that large parts of the world are introducing, are to bring down the Putin regime.” Or as Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy and Finance stated, “We are going to wage a total economic and financial war on Russia.”

        Conversely, the opposite has happened. At the beginning of the intervention the ruble stood at 85 to the dollar. Yet today it’s 61.35; in other words, the ruble is actually strengthening against the dollar. No matter the amount or severity of sanctions, major oil producers, despite what any other calamities befall them, do not go bankrupt.

        Yet six months into the incursion, the adverse effects of sanctions on energy and industrial fertilizers are becoming all too visible in the west. Soaring inflation and food prices, record bankruptcies and huge energy price increases as millions of Ukrainian immigrants flood into an already weakened and recession hit Western Europe. Who will blink first?

        Although the west is currently in dire social and economic straits, removing President Putin and replacing him with another 1990’s Yeltsin type puppet would be a major boost for the west and Wall Street of course.

        In our highly technologically advanced western societies, cheap energy and lots of it is why we exist as first-world societies. The alternative and sustainable green energy myth hasn’t happened as it doesn’t exist. If we take away our lifeblood support, what we’re beginning to experience is a terminal collapse. Despite the political pessimism and hype, when the present situation comes to an end our economies are not going to bounce back, the lost jobs aren’t going to return and inflation will not magically return to near zero. This is it, the final battle of civilizations and personally, I can do without identity politics, the homosexuality agenda, drug and crime epidemics and open borders.

        Asia Teacher is a UK citizen, retired teacher of English plus Social and Political Science.

        Ukraine: Somewhere between Afghanization and Syrianization

        Ukraine is finished as a nation – neither side will rest in this war. The only question is whether it will be an Afghan or Syrian style finale.

        August 30 2022

        Photo Credit: The Cradle

        By Pepe Escobar

        One year after the astounding US humiliation in Kabul – and on the verge of another serious comeuppance in Donbass – there is reason to believe Moscow is wary of Washington seeking vengeance: in the form of the ‘Afghanization’ of Ukraine.

        With no end in sight to western weapons and finance flowing into Kiev, it must be recognized that the Ukrainian battle is likely to disintegrate into yet another endless war. Like the Afghan jihad in the 1980s which employed US-armed and funded guerrillas to drag Russia into its depths, Ukraine’s backers will employ those war-tested methods to run a protracted battle that can spill into bordering Russian lands.

        Yet this US attempt at crypto-Afghanization will at best accelerate the completion of what Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu describes as the “tasks” of its Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. For Moscow right now, that road leads all the way to Odessa.

        It didn’t have to be this way. Until the recent assassination of Darya Dugina at Moscow’s gates, the battlefield in Ukraine was in fact under a ‘Syrianization’ process.

        Like the foreign proxy war in Syria this past decade, frontlines around significant Ukrainian cities had roughly stabilized. Losing on the larger battlefields, Kiev had increasingly moved to employ terrorist tactics. Neither side could completely master the immense war theater at hand. So the Russian military opted to keep minimal forces in battle – contrary to the strategy it employed in 1980s Afghanistan.

        Let’s remind ourselves of a few Syrian facts: Palmyra was liberated in March 2016, then lost and retaken in 2017. Aleppo was liberated only in December 2016. Deir Ezzor in September 2017. A slice of northern Hama in December and January 2018. The outskirts of Damascus in the Spring of 2018. Idlib – and significantly, over 25 percent of Syrian territory – are still not liberated. That tells a lot about rhythm in a war theater.

        The Russian military never made a conscious decision to interrupt the multi-channel flow of western weapons to Kiev. Methodically destroying those weapons once they’re in Ukrainian territory – with plenty of success – is another matter. The same applies to smashing mercenary networks.

        Moscow is well aware that any negotiation with those pulling the strings in Washington – and dictating all terms to puppets in Brussels and Kiev – is futile. The fight in Donbass and beyond is a do or die affair.

        So the battle will go on, destroying what’s left of Ukraine, just as it destroyed much of Syria. The difference is that economically, much more than in Syria, what’s left of Ukraine will plunge into a black void. Only territory under Russian control will be rebuilt, and that includes, significantly, the bulk of Ukraine’s industrial infrastructure.

        What’s left – rump Ukraine – has already been plundered anyway, as Monsanto, Cargill and Dupont have already bagged 17 million hectares of prime, fertile arable land – over half of what Ukraine still possesses. That translates de facto as BlackRock, Blackstone and Vanguard, top agro-business shareholders, owning whatever lands that really matter in non-sovereign Ukraine.

        Going forward, by next year the Russians will be applying themselves to cutting off Kiev from NATO weapons supplies. As that unfolds, the Anglo-Americans will eventually move whatever puppet regime remains to Lviv. And Kiev terrorism – conducted by Bandera worshippers – will continue to be the new normal in the capital.

        The Kazakh double game

        By now it’s abundantly clear this is not a mere war of territorial conquest. It’s certainly part of a War of Economic Corridors – as the US spares no effort to sabotage and smash the multiple connectivity channels of Eurasia’s integration projects, be they Chinese-led (Belt and Road Initiative, BRI) or Russian-led (Eurasian Economic Union, EAEU).

        Just like the proxy war in Syria remade large swathes of West Asia (witness, for instance, Erdogan about to meet Assad), the fight in Ukraine, in a microcosm, is a war for the reconfiguration of the current world order, where Europe is a mere self-inflicted victim in a minor subplot. The Big Picture is the emergence of multipolarity.

        The proxy war in Syria lasted a decade, and it’s not over yet. The same may happen to the proxy war in Ukraine. As it stands, Russia has taken an area that is roughly equivalent to Hungary and Slovakia combined. That’s still far from “task” fulfillment – and it’s bound to go on until Russia has taken all the land right up to the Dnieper as well as Odessa, connecting it to the breakaway Republic of Transnistria.

        It’s enlightening to see how important Eurasian actors are reacting to such geopolitical turbulence. And that brings us to the cases of Kazakhstan and Turkey.

        The Telegram channel Rybar (with over 640k followers) and hacker group Beregini revealed in an investigation that Kazakhstan was selling weapons to Ukraine, which translates as de facto treason against their own Russian allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Consider too that Kazakhstan is also part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the EAEU, the two hubs of the Eurasian-led multipolar order.

        As a consequence of the scandal, Kazakhstan was forced to officially announce the suspension of all weapons exports until the end of 2023.

        It began with hackers unveiling how Technoexport – a Kazakh company – was selling armed personnel carriers, anti-tank systems and munitions to Kiev via Jordanian intermediaries, under the orders of the United Kingdom. The deal itself was supervised by the British military attaché in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital.

        Nur-Sultan predictably tried to dismiss the allegations, arguing that Technoexport had not asked for export licenses. That was essentially false: the Rybar team discovered that Technoexport instead used Blue Water Supplies, a Jordanian firm, for those. And the story gets even juicier. All the contract documents ended up being found in the computers of Ukrainian intel.

        Moreover, the hackers found out about another deal involving Kazspetsexport, via a Bulgarian buyer, for the sale of Kazakh Su-27s, airplane turbines and Mi-24 helicopters. These would have been delivered to the US, but their final destination was Ukraine.

        The icing on this Central Asian cake is that Kazakhstan also sells significant amounts of Russian – not Kazakh – oil to Kiev.

        So it seems that Nur-Sultan, perhaps unofficially, somehow contributes to the ‘Afghanization’ in the war in Ukraine. No diplomatic leaks confirm it, of course, but bets can be made Putin had a few things to say about that to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in their recent – cordial – meeting.

        The Sultan’s balancing act

        Turkey is a way more complex case. Ankara is not a member of the SCO, the CSTO or the EAEU. It is still hedging its bets, calculating on which terms it will join the high-speed rail of Eurasian integration. And yet, via several schemes, Ankara allows Moscow to evade the avalanche of western sanctions and embargoes.

        Turkish businesses – literally all of them with close connections to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) – are making a killing, and relishing their new role as crossroads warehouse between Russia and the west. It’s an open boast in Istanbul that what Russia cannot buy from Germany or France they buy “from us.” And in fact several EU companies are in on it.

        Ankara’s balancing act is as sweet as a good baklava. It gathers    economic support from a very important partner right in the middle of the endless, very serious Turkish economic debacle. They agree on nearly everything: Russian gas, S-400 missile systems, the building of the Russian nuclear power plant, tourism – Istanbul is crammed with Russians – Turkish fruits and vegetables.

        Ankara-Moscow employ sound textbook geopolitics. They play it openly, in full transparence. That does not mean they are allies. It’s just pragmatic business between states. For instance, an economic response may alleviate a geopolitical problem, and vice-versa.

        Obviously the collective west has completely forgotten how that normal state-to-state behavior works. It’s pathetic. Turkey gets “denounced” by the west as traitorous – as much as China.

        Of course Erdogan also needs to play to the galleries, so every once in a while he says that Crimea should be retaken by Kiev. After all, his companies also do business with Ukraine – Bayraktar drones and otherwise.

        And then there’s proselytizing: Crimea remains theoretically ripe for Turkish influence, where Ankara may exploit the notions of pan-Islamism and mostly pan-Turkism, capitalizing on the historical relations between the peninsula and the Ottoman Empire.

        Is Moscow worried? Not really. As for those Bayraktar TB2s sold to Kiev, they will continue to be relentlessly reduced to ashes. Nothing personal. Just business.

        The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

        Damascus: US Occupation Cost Syria $107.1bn in Oil, Gas Sector Losses

        August 30, 2022

        By Staff, Agencies

        Damascus says the years-long occupation of Syria by the United States has cost the war-ravaged Arab country $107.1 billion in oil and gas sector losses.

        In two identical letters sent to the secretary-general of the United Nations and the president of the UN Security Council, Syria’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that direct and indirect losses caused by the US occupation of the Arab country are estimated at 107.1 billion dollars till the end of the first half of the current year.

        “According to the figures of the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources and its accurate statistics, the direct losses suffered by this key vital sector amounted to 24.2 billion dollars as a result of the thefts of oil, gas and mineral resources that have been committed by the terrorist groups and the separatist SDF militia that is spreading in northeastern Syria under the auspices, protection and support of the American forces present in Syria illegally,” said Syria’s foreign ministry, Syria’s official news agency [SANA] reported.

        The US and its allies invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of fighting the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] terrorist group without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. Damascus has repeatedly condemned the unauthorized presence of the US troops in the Arab country.

        The US-led military interference, however, was surprisingly slow in confronting the terrorists, despite the sheer size of the coalition that had enlisted scores of Washington’s allied countries.

        Furthermore, Washington backs the Kurdish People’s Protection Units [YPG] militant group, which is the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] militant, a coalition of militant factions which also receives support from the US and has occupied large parts of northeastern Syria.

        The ministry said “the estimated value of these losses resulting from extraction, smuggling and illegal trade in Syrian oil, gas and mineral resources amounted to $18.2 billion until the end of the first half of this year, and the SDF militia continues to steal and smuggle Syrian oil, gas and mineral resources and illegal trade. The project is under the cover and protection of the American forces present in Syria illegally.”

        The US military has stationed forces and equipment in eastern and northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists. However, numerous confirmed reports indicate that the US forces and their allied SDF militants smuggle large quantities of Syria’s crude oil almost on a daily basis. 

        “These losses are also caused by the sabotage and theft of extracting and transporting Syrian oil, gas and mineral resources facilities by terrorist groups, the estimated value of losses resulting from these crimes amounted to 3.2 billion dollars. In addition to the illegal bombing and aggression perpetrated by the so-called “international coalition” on Syrian oil and gas facilities, the estimated value of the losses resulting from these acts of aggression amounted to 2.8 billion dollars,” the statement added.

        “As for the estimated value of the indirect losses until the middle of this year, it amounted to $82.9 billion, which represents the values of lost production of Syria’s crude oil, natural gas, gas for house use, various oil derivatives and mineral wealth, due to the decline in production down from the expected and planned rates within the framework of normal working conditions as a result of the crimes of sabotage, destruction, theft and illicit trafficking committed by terrorist groups and separatist militias that spread in the areas of oil and gas fields and mineral resources under the protection, sponsorship and cover of the US forces illegally present in Syria,” said the foreign ministry.

        Damascus considers the US presence to be an outright violation of its sovereignty. It says it reserves the right to respond to the occupation as it sees fit.

        The Futility of Dialogue with Idiots and Liars

        August 26, 2022

        Source

        The entire crisis could have been avoided with much less loss of life if the NATO powers had responded to Russia’s long-held security concerns.

        Two weeks ago, the Strategic Culture Foundation proposed an urgent, simple test: stop the artillery shelling on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The ZNPP – Europe’s largest nuclear power station – continues to come under military attack thereby risking a nuclear catastrophe.

        It is an incredible siege situation. And one that illustrates – for anyone willing to see it, that is – the profound criminality of the NATO-backed war in Ukraine against Russia. There is nothing that the NATO powers and their lying media will stoop to. In a related illustration, the British would-be next Prime Minister Liz Truss this week said she was willing to use nuclear weapons even if it caused global annihilation. This is the same psychopathic mentality that the world has to endure from such Western regimes.

        This week, Russia’s envoy to the United Nations presented photographic evidence to the Security Council that showed irrefutably that the ZNPP is being shelled by the NATO-backed Kiev regime. The trajectory of fire is from the territory held by the Ukrainian military and the weaponry includes M777 howitzers supplied by the United States.

        The Kiev regime’s claims are patently absurd. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claims that Russian forces are attacking the ZNPP despite the obvious fact that the Russian military took over the station in early March, days after it launched its security operation on February 24 to neutralize mounting NATO threats from Ukraine. The Western governments and news media continue to indulge Zelensky’s blatant lie by amplifying the perverse accusations of “self-sabotage” by Russia. The United Nations’ chief António Guterres has also shamefully indulged the nonsense by pretending to “not know the truth” about “conflicting claims”.

        There are no “conflicting claims”. It is starkly evident that the NATO-backed Kiev regime is engaging in nuclear terrorism by willfully attacking the ZNPP. NATO and its Ukrainian proxy are using the threat of nuclear catastrophe to demand that Russian forces withdraw from the ZNPP. It is entirely fortunate that Russia’s military secured the ZNPP at an early stage. Otherwise, the Kiev regime and its NATO handlers would have had a free hand to use nuclear blackmail.

        Not for the first time, this week the Western powers abused the Security Council by allowing the Ukrainian leader to address the forum. The Council’s rules stipulate that addresses can only be made by in-person attendees. Yet, for the second time, Zelensky was permitted to speak to the Council via video link. His speech was a travesty of lies, accusing Russia of nuclear terrorism among other hysterical claims of causing world hunger and global inflation.

        When Russia’s ambassador Vassily Nebenzia took his turn to set the record straight at the Security Council hearing, the Ukrainian leader refused to listen, his video link conveniently cut off.

        Nevertheless, the Russian envoy presented the evidence of NATO-backed military strikes on the ZNPP and went on to cogently state that the crisis in Ukraine has been systematically instigated by the NATO powers and its Kiev proxy over the past eight years since the CIA-backed coup in 2014. Nebenzia remarked on how Western powers and the Kiev regime are living in a “parallel reality”.

        It is common to hear these days how the world is subjected to a post-truth condition. In plainer language that means a world of lies, falsehoods, distortions, misinformation and disinformation. The crisis in Ukraine, the NATO powers and the Kiev regime are an embodiment of this fiendish reality.

        Western regimes accuse Russia of unprovoked aggression in Ukraine. (The same regimes that have slaughtered their way through Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and continue to illegally bomb Syria, to name but a few victim nations.) They declare they are defending sovereignty and democracy. This is a preposterous charade that flies in the face of facts that the Western powers weaponized a Nazi regime in Ukraine to destabilize Russia. (An echo of how they weaponized Hitler’s Third Reich for the same purpose more than eight decades ago.) The Kiev regime has been killing its own people for eight years and committed countless war crimes. The relentless attacks on the ZNPP are totally consistent with the depraved conduct. Elsewhere, the NATO-backed regime has shelled chemical and oil plants in the Donbass territory. The Western media decline to report on these violations because that would reveal the criminal mentality and practice of the Kiev regime and its NATO sponsors.

        Russia’s military operation to neutralize the growing NATO threat in Ukraine has been effective. The poisonous boil has been lanced and NATO’s decades-long aggressive expansionism against Russia has been checked. Yet Western media – the propaganda ministry that it is – claim that Russia’s intervention has been a failure. The United States and its NATO allies continue to flood Ukraine with offensive weapons even while the Kiev regime is using nuclear terrorism with these weapons and while Russian forces are destroying the Ukrainian military. That’s not a contradiction; it is a green light for more war and profits for the American military-industrial complex that underpins U.S. capitalism.

        The entire crisis could have been avoided with much less loss of life if the NATO powers had responded to Russia’s long-held security concerns. But that assumes the NATO powers would have been interested in avoiding war. The damning conclusion is that the United States and its imperialist allies have always wanted the present war in order to pursue a geopolitical ambition of confronting Russia. In the same way that the U.S.-led axis wants to precipitate a war with China over Taiwan and other bogus issues.

        American-led Western capitalism is addicted to war for its own ghoulish survival. A world of peaceful relations is fundamentally anathema to Washington and its vassals. But the ruling regimes can’t very well admit that pernicious motive, so they have to cover up their criminal agenda with deceptions about democracy, rules-based order, human rights and other laughable pretensions. Western media provide the necessary cosmetics for the ghoulish reality. The fact is wars and destruction are the oxygen for U.S. global power and its imperial lackeys. Dozens of wars since World War II waged by the U.S. and its international crime syndicate of NATO accomplices, especially its British henchman, attest to that naked, ugly truth.

        The Ukrainian comedian-turned-president Zelensky is a liar and idiot. But he is only a bit-player in a bigger circus of imperial kabuki. His regime has used human shields and civilian centers as cover for its despicable ends. It has committed false-flag massacres in a vile attempt to blame Russia. It has diverted Russian gas from European markets while refusing to pay its energy debts. And it continues to extort Western taxpayers to foot the bill for its depredations – all too willingly obliged by Western regimes. To pay for the global-scale extortion racket, the Western public is being told to take cold showers and get used to “the end of abundance”, as France’s President (and former bankster) Emmanuel Macron haughtily advised this week.

        The farce this week at the UN Security Council in which Western powers brazenly snubbed the evidence of their own criminality while giving a platform to Zelensky to peddle his ridiculous lies demonstrates a profound dilemma. Any attempt to engage idiots and liars through reasoned dialogue is doomed to fail. When dialogue and diplomacy are made futile then conflict is made all but inevitable. That dilemma has been a constant hallmark of relations with Western powers for many years. The present crisis in Ukraine is the tragic outcome. Lamentably, more such crises can be expected because the idiots and liars never stop.

        Western regimes are collapsing from their own inherent loss of legitimacy. That loss is entirely due to their lies becoming more manifest despite their servile media facade. Collapse can be good. It is incontestably good in the case of ending endemic corruption. The ineffable danger, however, is what Western elites will do to avoid historic collapse. As the NATO-backed Kiev regime is demonstrating through its nuclear terrorism and as Britain’s idiotic politician Liz Truss revealed by her demonic embrace of global annihilation.

        US launches air raids on ‘IRGC-linked’ areas in east Syria

        August 24, 2022 

        The US occupation forces in Syria announce that they carried out precision airstrikes on facilities linked to the IRGC in Deir Ezzor, Syria.

        Boys look out the window of a building damaged by an Israeli occupation air strike near Damascus airport, in Damascus, Syria, November 20, 2019 (Reuters)

        The US occupation forces in Syria said early Wednesday they carried out airstrikes in eastern Syria on areas used by groups linked to the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).

        The strikes “took proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties,” the US military’s Central Command said.

        CENTCOM did not identify the targets nor offer any figures killed in the strikes that the military said came at the orders of US President Joe Biden.

        “Today’s strikes were necessary to protect and defend US personnel,” CENTCOM spokesperson Colonel Joe Buccino claimed in a statement.

        Buccino underlined that the offensive was in response to an attack that took place on August 15, which was allegedly launched by “Iran-backed groups” in Syria against a US occupation forces post in Al-Tanf region. CENTCOM claimed that the attack did not result in any casualties or damages.

        “These precision strikes are intended to defend and protect US forces from attacks like the ones on August 15 against US personnel by Iran-backed groups,” the statement read.

        “The US strikes targeted infrastructure facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s [IRGC],” it added.

        Iranian media announced Tuesday the martyrdom of IRGC officer Abolfazl Alijani during an advisory mission in Syria. 

        According to Iranian media, martyr Alijani, a graduate of the Imam Hussain Military College of the IRGC, is one of the combat engineering cadres of the ‘Amir Al-Mu’minin’ college for Military Sciences of the Revolution Guards Ground Force.

        Deir Ezzor is a highly important region for the US occupation forces, as it lies on the borders with Iraq and contains vast oil fields. 

        The Syrian Oil Ministry revealed earlier this month that the US occupation forces loot the majority of Syria’s oil, knowing that the daily production of the eastern oil fields is 80.3 thousand barrels.

        It is noteworthy that Syrian state media has accused over and over again the US and the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) armed groups of occupying areas in the vicinity of oil-rich fields, smuggling resources to Iraq, and then siphoning them out.

        The United States has been for years supporting SDF militias against Damascus, and the US-backed forces are currently occupying parts of the provinces of Al-Haskah, Deir Ezzor, and Raqqa, where the largest Syrian oil and gas fields are located.

        The actions carried out by the United States constitute state piracy with the aim of plundering Syria’s oil resources and depriving the Syrians of their own resources amid a harsh economic situation caused largely by the occupiers, the Americans themselves.

        Press conference of the foreign ministers of Syria and Russia

        More on the topic

        Sayyed Al-Houthi: Foreign Forces Pillaging Yemen’s Gas, Oil Resources

        August 24, 2022

        By Staff, Agencies

        The leader of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement says foreign forces and their supporters in Yemen are pillaging the country’s gas and oil resources.

        All of the country’s oil and gas resources have been plundered by “the invading coalition, thieves, and occupiers,” Sayyed Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said during a televised address on Tuesday.

        Saudi Arabia launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms, logistical, and political support from the United States and other Western states.

        The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and crush Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government.

        While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has martyred hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

        A UN-brokered truce came into force in April between the coalition and Ansarullah. The truce has been extended twice ever since.

        Sayyed al-Houthi advised that the invading coalition seize the ceasefire opportunity to end its invasion of Yemen and a simultaneous siege that it has been imposing on the violence-weary country.

        He asserted that it was not easy for Yemen to find a replacement for the natural resources’ revenues at the same time as the coalition maintained the siege.

        “The all-out targeting of the nation and the severe inequity that is being exercised against it, entails that we take action towards confronting this oppression,” Sayyed al-Houthi stated.

        Anyone, who does not prioritize confrontation with the aggressors, “is ignoring the size and purposes of this invasion,” Sayyed al-Houthi added, urging the Yemenis to retain their stances concerning the country’s independence.

        He went on to say despite a temporary ceasefire, Yemeni forces preserve their complete readiness to confront the sinister goals that are potentially harbored by the country’s aggressors.

        “One of our priorities during the temporary ceasefire period is to preserve a high level of preparedness and to pay attention to all of the enemies’ plots,” Sayyed al-Houthi said.

        “Despite retaining our readiness during the current ceasefire period, we should not assume that the war is over and start concerning ourselves with other issues,” His Eminence added.

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        Two Lives: Victoria and Victorine

        August 20, 2022

        Source

        By Batiushka

        Victoria

        Victoria Jane Nuland was born in 1961 to Sherwin Nudelman, the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, and a British-born mother, Rhona Goulston. Already in his teens Nudelman had changed his name to Nuland in order to carve out a career. With the British-named Victoria, an Anglo-Zionist was clearly in the making.

        Indeed, she duly studied at an elite private boarding school in Connecticut, whose alumni include many US politicians. Then she went to Brown University, where she studied Russian literature, political science and history. She married Robert Kagan, the future leading Jewish neocon.

        Her worldview relects exactly the folly of the US since 1990 under the influence of the neo-imperialist neocons and Blairite-Clintonian ‘liberal interventionists’. This has resulted in mass poverty in the USA, as well as 9/11, and millions of deaths in wars and tensions outside the US with the Islamic world, Iran, Russia, China and anyone else that resists US imperialism.

        From 2003 to 2005, during the US rape of defenceless Iraq and the theft of its oil and gas, Mrs Kagan was a foreign policy advisor to the notorious Cheney. She must have many deaths on her conscience from that particular mess. The Iraq catastrophe led to terrorism and counterterrorism and disastrous new wars in Libya and Syria. Meanwhile, her husband was demanding an ever more warlike foreign policy against the background of US fears of the coming multipolar world, a world which it would no longer be able to dominate.

        So Mrs Kagan, who yearned for permanent NATO expansion and the encirclement of Russia, was deeply involved in the US ‘regime-change’, that is, the plot to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically-elected government by violence in 2014. This led to America’s responsibility for the ensuing civil war that had killed at least 14,000 people, women and children among them, even before 24 February 2022 and had left Ukraine the poorest country in Europe.

        Her $5 billion coup in 2014 in the wretched Ukraine, a strategic candidate for NATO on Russia’s border, was implemented through Oleh Tyahnybok’s neo-Nazi Svoboda Party and the new Right Sector militia. We do not forget that it was Tyanhnybok who had delivered a speech praising Ukrainians for fighting Jews and ‘other scum’ during World War II. In February 2014 their protests in Kyiv’s Maidan Square turned into running battles led by neo-Nazis and extreme right-wing forces that the US had financed and orchestrated. A mob led by the Right Sector militia marched on Parliament and the President and others fled for their lives.

        Facing the possible loss of its naval base in Sevastopol in the Crimea, Russia accepted the overwhelming result (a 97% majority) of an internationally-observed referendum in which Crimea voted to leave the Ukraine and rejoin Russia, of which it had been a part from 1783 to 1954. The Russian provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, part of Russia until the terrorist Communists had given them away to the Ukraine in 1922, similarly declared independence from Neo-Nazi Kiev. This starting a bloody war between US-backed separatists in Kiev and the local Eastern Ukrainian people.

        Mrs Kagan wants an ever-more dangerous War with Russia and China to justify her militarist foreign policy and Pentagon budgets. She relies on her mythical version of Russian aggression and US ‘democratic’ intentions. She claims that Russia’s military budget, one-tenth of that of the US, is proof of ‘Russian confrontation and militarisation’. She wants ‘permanent bases along NATO’s eastern border’ and sees Russia’s desire to defend itself after so many successive (and failed) Western invasions as an obstacle to NATO’s expansionism. In short, the deluded Mrs Kagan has with others unleashed intractable violence, chaos and the risk of nuclear war. How does she sleep at night?

        Victorine

        The other day I went over from Paris and put flowers on a grave in a small, unheard-of town in Brittany, in the hills near Loudeac. It was the first days of autumn, the trees had begun turning colour and there was a slight chill in the early morning and evening air – in northern France the weather always changes after 15 August.

        Tante (Aunt) Victorine had been born in the straw on the dirt floor of a cowshed in a hamlet of six houses, which still bore the name of its Breton founder, Brehan, 1300 years later. Literally. The tiny one-floor home-built house had a dining room/kitchen/bedroom on one side and the cow lived on the other side and was sent out to the field during the day. It had changed but little in 1981 when I first met her. Living in Upper (Eastern) Brittany, she spoke not Breton, but ‘Gallo’, the local dialect of French. Or, as the locals will tell you, French is the local (Parisian) dialect of Gallo.

        Victorine had been born on 22 November 1918 and inevitably, after the Armistice of 11 November 1918, she had been named Victorine. So many sturdy Breton peasants had gone out to fight the dirty ‘Boches’ and not come back. The Boches were the German enemy of the Paris elite, the elite who had so depised Bretons as ‘yokels’ (‘ploucs’) in peacetime and had banned their language. The victory, after which Victorine had been named, was not that of France, it was the victory of peace for the peasants who had lost many of their best sons fighting against so many of the best sons of Bavarian and Saxon peasants in the futile quagmires and the deadly trenches of World War I.

        That was why, like so many women of her generation, Victorine did not marry: there was no-one to marry. Indeed, in 1941 her sister had had a child by a reluctant German soldier who had been forced to join the German Army and had then been sent to patrol the wilds of Brittany. It was the great taboo of the village, but we will leave the condemnation to the sour-faced village pharisees. The illegitimate child, Jean-Pierre, her great-nephew, was my friend.

        Victorine did not go to church very often. She did not much like that hard, stony building where hard, stony faces condemned human-beings for loving life. She preferred the hills and streams, woods and fields of God’s Cathedral, where she passed her life, growing vegetables on her patch in the spring, picking fruit in the little orchard in summer and autumn, for eating, cooking, bottling and jam, chopping logs for winter heating, looking after her cow for milk and the best salted butter you have ever tasted, and the pig at the bottom of the garden, that would be slaughtered by the village-slaughterer, Michel, every December and sold for pork at the village butcher’s.

        So Victorine eked out a living. She would have liked to have had a man and children, but it was not to be. She passed away peacefully, a smile on her face, as she went to meet her Maker in November 1989, aged just 71. It had been a hard life, spent in her little house and on its piece of land, whitening her soul, like some early Christian hermit. She had made the best of a life that, on the surface at least, had already in 1914 been wrecked before she had even been born by the war-loving elites of Berlin and Vienna and Paris and London. But if I had to choose between the life of the similarly-named Victoria and Victorine, I would prefer ten thousand times over to have the life and clear conscience of Tante Victorine. God bless her.

        20 August 2022

        IOF shoots Palestinian, leaves him to bleed to death, arrests several

        August 15, 2022 

        Source: Agencies

        By Al Mayadeen English 

        The Israeli occupation forces storm multiple homes, brutally killing and arresting Palestinians.

        Young Palestinian martyr Mohammad Shaham was shot by the IOF at point-blank range in the head

        Palestinian Mohammad Shaham died of severe wounds due to live bullets shot by Israeli forces to his head at dawn Monday, after Israeli occupation forces stormed his house in Kafr ‘Aqab, northwest Al-Quds.

        The martyr’s father, Ibrahim Shaham, stated that special Israeli forces raided his house late in the night, shooting his son at point-blank range in the head, leaving him to bleed on the ground for over 40 minutes before arresting him.

        The Resistance committees mourned the martyrdom of Shaham, saying in a statement that “The blood of Shaham and every martyr will remain a beacon for all revolutionaries among our people until liberation and return; [it will] remain a curse that chases the criminal enemy until expelled from our blessed land.” 

        Mass arrests in Ramallah and Beit Lahm 

        Furthermore, the Israeli occupation forces arrested 10 citizens from Deir Abu Mash’al and Birzeit, northwest Ramallah.

        Local sources said that the occupation forces raided a number of houses from Deir Abu Mash’al, confirming the arrest of the freed prisoner Youssef Hawshe after raiding, searching and tampering with his house.

        The IOF have also arrested seven citizens from the Beit Lahm governorate, while local forces told the Palestinian Wafa news agency that the occupation forces have stormed the town of Beit Fajjar, arresting five civilians after they raided and searched the homes of their relatives. 

        According to the sources, the occupation forces, accompanied by special units, stormed the Dheisheh refugee camp, in south Beit Lahm, arresting two young men. 

        The IOF also arrested, at dawn today, a civilian from the town of Asira Ash-Shamaliya, north of Nablus.

        Storming of Al-Aqsa

        Dozens of illegal Israeli settlers stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday in light of intense security provided by the IOF.

        “The courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque underwent successive incursions by settlers from the Morocco Gate (Al-Maghariba Gate), during which they performed Talmudic rituals and carried out provocative tours,” the Islamic Endowments Department in occupied Al-Quds said reported.

        Al-Aqsa Mosque undergoes at least two settlers’ incursions daily, once in the morning and the other in the evening, except for Friday and Saturday, in an attempt to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque.

        A Tale of Two Cities

        August 13, 2022

        Source

        By Batiushka

        (With Apologies to Charles Dickens)

        Moscow and Washington

        It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

        The opening words of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’

        It is the best of times. That which some in Moscow and in the Orthodox Christian world in general have been awaiting for a thousand years is coming to pass. Just as it has been prophesied again and again down the centuries: the West and its ruthless Imperialism are collapsing in the face of the resistance of the long-suffering and long-exploited Rest. This struggle is being led by Russia. What a time to be alive. We did not think we would live to see it. After the disaster of the Western and Russophobic ideology of Parliamentary Democracy, which was imposed by Great Britain and others on the old Russian Empire in February 1917, and then, as a prime example to the West of blowback, those incompetents passed power into the hands of the equally Western and Russophobic ideology of Marxism, which began genociding its subject peoples in October 1917.

        It is the worst of times. Nobody likes this Washington-imposed war. People are dying, people are being mutilated both in their bodies and in their souls, people are being exploited and manipulated. Still worse is our pain for the Western peoples, on whom their wealthy elites are about to threaten with death by hunger and death by freezing, with all the civil strife that is hanging over them like black Doomsday.

        It is the age of wisdom. Some in Moscow and elsewhere know that this is an existential war not just for the Russian Federation, but for the whole world. Either we will have a One World Dictatorship imposed on us by the Western elites, or else we will have Freedom and Peace, Justice and Prosperity.

        It is the age of foolishness. The gerontocracy in Washington has imposed a choice. From 330 million Americans, all they could find as candidates to be US President, him who has charge of the nuclear button, is two very elderly men, an ill-reputed, viagra-charged businessman-clown and an ill-reputed double-dealer of dubious personal morality, clearly suffering from the onset of dementia.

        It is the epoch of belief. There are those in Moscow and elsewhere who believe that the values of traditional faiths can vanquish the great Satan and his depravity.

        It is the epoch of incredulity. There are those in Washington and elsewhere who are unwilling or unable to believe that the Western world is utterly corrupted and are so deluded that they are convinced of their own lies.

        It is the season of Light. At last in Moscow and elsewhere the possibility of freedom and new life for the peoples of the once-enslaved world dawns.

        It is the season of Darkness. The CIA-controlled Western media, fed from the judases in Washington, is striving to spread the darkness of its tentacular lies all over the world.

        It is the spring of hope. On 24 February 2022 (new style), 105 years to the day after it was enslaved by the West (old style), Moscow proclaimed the springtime of liberation for the Ukraine, physical liberation for Russian-speakers, and spiritual liberation of the whole country from the twin yoke of Militarism and Nazism.

        It is the winter of despair. Only a few weeks away from the first cold nights, nobody in Washington or in the Western European world with a mind that still works is looking forward to this winter. Hunger and cold, bankruptcy and unemployment, with ensuing mass civil disobedience, beckon to the Western peoples. Can you hear the demons laughing? They are laughing at you, the naïve, gullible, hoodwinked, zombified Western masses, gaslit by your narcissistic, egomaniac elite.

        Hope

        I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done…

        From the closing paragraph of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’

        If we can win against the Mordor of the Collective West and its weapons of destruction, sanction and propagandisation, all three of which the Allies are wearing down in the Ukraine, then nothing from the above prophecy is beyond us.

        There are those who can see the struggles to be truly free, triumphs and defeats, through long years to come. There are those who can see the evil of this time of 2022, and of the previous time, the thousand years which preceded it, of which the present is only the logical result. There are those who can see that here at last is the chance for the Western elites to make amends for their millennial crimes towards the rest of the world, first of all to their own peoples, then to the peoples of Eastern Europe and Russia, of the Middle East, and North Africa, of Central and South America, of North America, of Central and Southern Africa, of Asia and Oceania. This repentance, in mind and heart and deed, would indeed be a far, far better thing that the Western world could do than anything it has ever done before.

        12 August 2022

        Why have I stopped posting maps of the situation in the Ukraine and a few other questions

        August 10, 2022

        A reader recently asked me why I have not posted any maps of the military situation in the Ukraine, and that is a fair question which I will answer below.

        There are a few reasons for this, but the main and most obvious one is this: unlike the first month or two of the SMO, there are very few changes worth showing on a map.  That is NOT to say that there are no changes on the frontlines, there are, plenty, but they just don’t translate into nice looking maps.

        recent post on Moon of Alabama quoted what appears to be a leak from the Ukrainian command and which I will repost here:

        Ukrainian channels are discussing what might be a leaked data from AFU General Staff:

         The AFU are only at 43-48% strength
        – medical workers at their limit
        – small arms and armor are not enough
         191 thousand soldiers were killed and wounded (only AFU, not including others)
        – there is not enough hydraulics and liquid nitrogen for M777 howitzers
        – no one cares about the missing – there are no statistics
        – the equipment transferred by the West is running out
        – western weapons are operated by amateurs, since there are no qualified specialists
        – no way to repair weapons on the spot due to the lack of spares and specialists – everything is sent to Poland

        BTW, even with this dire report, I would caution against predicting a decisive break in morale. As with Peski, the walking wounded are sent straight back into the trenches

        I would just add here that Peski has been taken.

        But the key factoids here are “The AFU are only at 43-48% strength” and “191 thousand soldiers were killed and wounded (only AFU, not including others)“.

        Figures might change from country to country, and it all depends on the type of warfare which is being conducted, but the rule of thumb I was taught is that any unit which loses over 30% of its strength is not capable of fulfilling its theoretical combat missions.  Now, in history, there are plenty of examples of units with 30% or even more losses, but such units can only hold their ground, not operate an orderly withdrawal nevermind a counterattack.  The eventual outcome is always the same, eventually such units collapse and disappear (dead, prisoner or escape).

        Put otherwise, at this current stage of the war, statistics such as the one above tell the story, maps don’t.

        That being said,

        The truth is that the Ukrainian forces in the Donbass have been in a de-facto operational cauldron since the first week of the SMO.  That is not the result of any special Russian military move, but a factor of geography.  Simply put, the eastern Ukraine is a gigantic cauldron.  True, it as not a locked cauldron, meaning that the Ukrainian side still could move forces into and out of the cauldron, but it was already “locked by fire” meaning that Russian forces could, and did, attack the forces moving in and out with devastating effectiveness.

        Quick reminder: the Ukrainians, supported by billions of dollars from the combined West did have eight years to prepare very strong fortifications along the towns and cities they controlled before the SMO.  Maybe somebody expected the Russians to move in frontally, carpet bomb the Ukie-controlled Donbass (as the USA would do) and then frontally attack taking huge casualties in the process.  The Russians, wisely, did not oblige.  Instead, they chose to slowly grind down the Ukrainian defenses.

        These tactics did, by the way, result in quite a few towns and villages being liberated by Russia (Izum, Peski and others), and quite a few tactical “cauldrons” which eventually were absorbed.  But, again, the maps did not reflect the nature of what was taking place.

        One question I get a lot is: how come the Russian can’t even stop the shelling of Donetsk from, say, Avdeevka?  They have a much stronger and larger artillery force and they have very good counter-battery capabilities, so what is the problem here?

        Simple, the Ukrainians position their artillery right next to buildings occupied by civilians.  So when a Ukrainian mortar, howitzer or MLRS fires at Donetsk or Makeevka, the Russians DO see where it fired from, but they cannot simply reply with a volley of their own, because that would be killing tens if not hundreds of innocent civilians.  That would also give the West the “Russian massacre” they so badly wanted in Bucha.  So, instead of firing back, the Russians then refine their firing data, which not only takes time, but also allows the Ukrainians to move, not necessarily by much, just a few tens or hundreds of meters, sometimes just on the other side of a building.

        So the Russians decided that moving in slow makes much more sense than to frontally storm the Ukrainian fortifications.  This is better for both the LDNR and Russian forces and it is much better for the civilians.

        Look, why do you think that the entire civilian infrastructure of, say, Kiev or Kharkov is fully functioning?  If you really sincerely believe that the Russians could not destroy it on day 1 of the SMO, you might as well stop reading and never revisit this blog again.  For the rest, here is the truism which really explains it all

        ==>>The Russians do not fight wars the way the USA does<<==

        What do I mean by that?

        Here is the basic US war plan:

        1. Attack a basically defenseless country
        2. Achieve air supremacy (in the absence of any modern air defenses)
        3. Fire a large amount of cruise missiles, followed by massive air strikes
        4. If that is not enough, deliberately target and destroy the entire civilian infrastructure
        5. Then send in ground forces whose basic tactic is this: advance and shoot defenseless people, and when meeting any resistance, call in an airstrike.  Then continue.
        6. Declare victory and leave (ideally while leaving a comprador puppet regime in control)

        The result is well over a million dead in Iraq, the total devastation of Libya, the massive bombing of Serbian civilians in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo, etc. etc. etc.

        The Russians simply reject that “logic” on moral and pragmatic grounds.  Remember the #6 above!  That is *not* a viable option for Russians.

        Historically, genocide has ALWAYS been the western way of war, this is especially true of the British and the US Americans.  You don’t have to believe me, simply read this book: The First Way of War: American War Making on the Frontier, 1607–1814 by John Grenier, who retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2009 after a twenty year career in which he attained the rank of lieutenant colonel and served two tours as a professor at the Air Force Academy. He currently serves as the senior professor in American military history for Norwich University’s on-line Masters of Art in Military History (MMH) program.  Really, I mean it, get his book, read it, and lose any naive illusions you might have about “western democracy” and how “liberals” wage war on others.

        Another question I get is this: why do the Russian not bypass the Ukronazi towns and villages in the Donbass and push on deeper inside the Ukraine?  The answer is simple:  because that would place Russian forces in between the still existing Ukrainian positions which the Russians are slowly grinding down now and the Ukrainian forces in the Central Ukraine.  It is hardly surprising that the Russians do not want to have their forces fighting on two fronts, one to the West and one to the East.  So what about the famous “deep armor operations” or the use of battalion tactical group as a tactical-operational maneuver group? These are all parts of a regular, full-scale, combined arms operation, yes, but the SMO is NOT, repeat, NOT a regular combined arms operation.  One example, when the Russians initiated their SMO the Ukrainians had a pretty substantial numerical superiority over the Russians, combined with specific military technological elements (such as advanced secured communications) which the LDNR forces did not have at all, and which the Russian military did have, but not down to the same subunit levels as the Ukrainians.  What do we see today?  The numerical superiority is gone, and the advanced technologies given to the Ukronazis by the West have only made things more difficult for the Russians, but failed to affect the outcome.

        And, of course, the “favorite” one: you (and others) have said many times that Russia could and would defeat the Ukraine in days, a few week max.  So now do you admit that you were totally wrong?

        First, let’s begin with the assumption of that question, that is to say that Russia did not defeat the Ukraine in days or weeks.  Is that even true?

        I would argue that is is not.  The Russians *DID* successfully basically disable the Ukrainian armed forces in the first few days and weeks of the war: almost the entire Ukrainian air force was destroyed and so were much of the Ukrainian air defenses.  As for the ground forces, they have failed to execute a single effective counter-attacks, at most they claimed that every Russian retreat was a result of their counter-attacks, but let me ask a simple question here: if those counter-attacks were successful, where is the result???  Nothing, well, other that the utterly fictitious fairy tales coming out of Kiev, of course.  And since Kiev has been wall-to-wall lying about everything from Day 1 of the SMO, how can anybody take their grandiose statements seriously?

        So what really happened?

        Number of foreign mercenaries in the Ukraine

        What happened is that the untied West decided to throw its full military might behind the Nazi regime in Kiev.  Not only have BILLIONS of dollars worth of equipment been made available to the Ukrainian forces, there were also THOUSANDS of “volunteers” sent to the Ukraine to support the Ukronazi forces (see chart of the right, click here for higher resolution. Quick translation of the main terms: Страна: country; Прибыло: arrived; Уничтожено: destroyed; Убыло: departed; Всего: total).

        Last, but most certainly not least, the US and NATO are making use of all their C4ISR capabilities in support of the Ukronazi forces.  In fact, it would be accurate to say that the US+NATO have now taken full control of all the military operations in the Ukraine (they have also presided over the total crackdown on any and all forms of internal Ukrainian opposition!).

        Once this is understood, let me ask you three simple questions:

        • Have I or anybody else declared that Russia would militarily defeat the combined forces of the US+NATO in days or weeks?
        • How long would YOU estimate it would take the Russians to achieve such a goal?
        • Do you really not see that IN SPITE of that massive and total support of the West, Russia is well on her way to do just that, to defeat not only the best and biggest proxy force in US history, but also all the efforts of the combined West to defeat Russia militarily and economically?

        If you did not see this, say, even one month or two ago, I could understand.  But if you STILL don’t smell the coffee, then I declare you hopeless, encourage you to stop reading this article and stay away from this blog 🙂

        Seriously, if the combined West had left the Ukronazi regime in Kiev to its own devices “Ze” would have had to capitulate about 10 days into the SMO, if only to spare the lives of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.

        Did the Russians expect such a massive reaction from the West?  The term “expect” is very misleading.  That is not how these things work.  Operational and strategic plans are not based on a single scenario which you “hope” will materialize.  Here are also two things which we should always remember:

        • It is the job of the intelligence agencies and the operations planning departments to prepare and model for as many possible scenarios (or scenarii?) as reasonably imaginable.
        • Operational and strategic plans do not deal with tactical issues and they CONSTANTLY change depending on a feedback and decision making loop.

        One example: Putin admitted during a TV interview that when the Russians moved into Crimea he had placed Russian nuclear forces on maximal alert.  Does that meant that anybody in the Kremlin or the General Staff “expected” the US to nuke Russia?  Of course not!  But they DID consider that possibility and took the needed action to try to prevent it.

        Same here.  I am very confident that the Russians were fully prepared for the West’s insane and, frankly, suicidal reaction to the SMO.  In fact, that “maximal” response was one of the MANY contingencies which the Russians must have prepared for.  As a former intelligence analyst, I can tell you that military analysis does look at as many options as possible and then the operational planning folks make their own preparations for any contingency.

        It is now abundantly clear that the West is determined to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian.  Hence the truly idiotic order given to the best and most capable Ukrainian forces to not engage in a mobile defense but to hold their ground in the Donbass until they are totally destroyed.

        Furthermore, it is also abundantly clear that the western countries are willing to destroy not only its own economies, but the entire international financial system to try to hurt Russia (and China) as much as possible.

        In other words, Russia is not engaged in a war against the Ukraine, but against the entire united and consolidated West.

        ==>>Have I not been saying just that since at least 2013?<<==

        How long will this war last?

        I cannot answer that because the answer depends entirely on: how suicidally stupid the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire are?

        The Ukrainian forces in the eastern Ukraine have no hopes for an orderly retreat anymore, so they will be destroyed.  How soon?  I don’t know, that depends on the folks in the trenches and how strong a grip the Nazis have over that force.

        Will there be a Ukrainian counter-attack towards Kherson?  I sure hope not.

        Why? Because currently the Ukrainian forces are dug in inside the city of Nikolaev, and if they decide to attack, they will not only have to get into their pre-battle order formation outside the protective confines of the city, but then they will also have then cross a mostly empty plain.  In other words, it will be a massacre.

        Might they still try?  Sure!  ALL the orders given to the Ukrainian forces by the USA+NATO are de facto suicidal and make no military sense.  No Neocon will ever give a damn about more massacred Ukrainians.

        What else could the Ukrainians do?

        Mostly, what they have been doing so far, including:

        • Massacring as many civilians in the liberated areas as possible, including with the use of banned weapons (anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions).
        • Organize effective terrorist attacks not only in the liberated areas of the Donbass, but also inside Russia (that the Ukrainians have proven pretty good at)
        • They might conduct further attacks against Russia, Crimea and the Crimean bridge.  None of them will make any military difference or even have much of an impact, but it will be good PR, especially with the full support of the AngloZionist propaganda machine aka “the free press”.
        • They are trying hard to bomb the nuclear power station in Zaporozhie.  The power plant at Chernobyl might become a target again.  Finally, the Ukronazis still have access to plenty of spent nuclear waste which they could use as a “dirty bomb” against their own population and blame Russia (think of it as a “nuclear Bucha”).
        • The steady flow of fixed and rotary wing aircraft from Poland, Romania and other countries will continue, giving the Ukronazi propaganda the illusion that Russia does not have air superiority over the entire Ukraine.

        There is also a very real possibility that Poland and Hungary might move into the western Ukraine to “protect” their nationals.  They have, so far, refrained from doing so, at least openly, probably because US/NATO commanders do not want to risk a Russian strike on NATO forces (even these idiots Biden and Stoltenberg have publicly said that!).  However, if done intelligently, Poland and Hungary might well obtain by entirely non-official channels, a Russian promise to “look away” and not take any action.  Why?  Because Russia has no need whatsoever for these territories and because Russia will be more than happy to let the Poles and Hungarians deal with the Ukronazi nutcases of the western Ukraine.

        I hope that the above answers at least some questions you might have had.

        I will mention one last thing: while the collapse of the international financial system is already well underway, its effects have, so far, not been fully felt, most definitely not in the USA and not even fully in the EU.  Once the magnitude of this self-inflicted disaster become absolutely undeniable, not even by the Neocon-run “free press” things in the West will began to change politically.  So now is the time to wait and see, not speculate.

        Andrei

        Roger Water blasts a CNN propagandist

        August 10, 2022

        Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov : Member countries of the African Union

        July 29, 2022

        Editorial Comment: Mr Lavrov’s visits to Arab states, the Arab League, and African states can only be described as a stunning victory and a complete triumph for diplomacy. A short overview is included in the second part of this Operation Z situation report: http://thesaker.is/sitrep-operation-z-collapses-and-progress/
        All of the various transcripts can be read at the MFA site: https://www.mid.ru/en/
        Short comments and summaries can be found on the MFA Telegram Channel: https://t.me/MFARussia



        Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to the questions during a meeting with permanent representatives of the member countries of the African Union and the diplomatic corps, Addis Ababa, July 27, 2022

        Your Excellencies,

        Ladies and gentlemen,

        Representatives of the media,

        Thank you very much for coming here at our invitation. I believed that being in Addis Ababa, it is absolutely important to meet with the African Union members, like I did during all my previous visits. We could not do this at the headquarters for, as far as I understand, scheduling reasons. And I’m glad that you’ve accepted our invitation to come here to the Russian Embassy to discuss issues which are on the top of international agenda.

        Many of our Western colleagues try to send the message that the key, if not the only, problem in international relations is the situation around Ukraine. I tend to disagree with such an assertion and during my visit here and  in my previous encounters with my foreign colleagues, I sense a broad understanding that the issue is much more complex and complicated.

        What we witness now, especially as the West launches an unprecedented campaign of sanctions, accusations, threats, vis-à-vis Russia and anybody who dares to support Russia or even not to condemn Russia. This campaign indicates that we are living through a very important historical period, a period where we will all be deciding what kind of universe we are going to have and to leave for our children and grandchildren. The universe which is based on the United Nations Charter, which says that the United Nations is founded on the principle of sovereign equality of states, or we will have the world where the right of force, the right of the strongest dominates.

        Actually, what it is all about can be described on the following example. Is it our choice to have the world where we have the so-called collective West, totally subordinated to the United States and feeling free, feeling that it has the right to decide when and how to promote its own interests without following the international law, without any respect to the sovereign equality of states?

        When our American colleagues felt in the past that there was a threat to their interests, tens of thousands kilometers from the American coast, be it Yugoslavia in 1999, be it Iraq in 2003, be it Libya in 2011, and many other occasions, without any hesitation, without explaining anything to anybody, very often on false pretexts, they just started military operations levelling cities, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, like it happened in Iraq in the city of Mosul which was literally levelled. The same happened to Raqqa in Syria, where dozens and hundreds of corpses have been lying for weeks unattended and I don’t recall the progressive civilized community raising any big noise about that situation.

        When the Russian Federation, not just overnight, but for the last ten long years has been drawing the attention of the United States and its allies to the unacceptable policy which they have been promoting on Ukraine, building Ukraine as a stronghold to contain Russia, pumping more and more modern arms in Ukraine, planning to build naval and military bases in that country and encouraging in all possible ways Russophobic policies of its leaders; when in 2014 we categorically protested to the West that in spite of its guarantees, the opposition in Ukraine staged a bloody coup and when they came to power, the first thing they did was to demand to cancel the status of the Russian language which has been the historical language of Ukraine from the very beginning. They also demanded the Russians to get out of Crimea. They sent armed groups to storm the Parliament of Crimea and then the eastern part of Ukraine protested against the coup.

        The putchists called them separatists, terrorists and started a full-fledged military operation against them. And the West as I’ve said, which had guaranteed only a few days before that – guaranteed a peace deal between the former president and the opposition, the deal which provided for creation of a government of national unity and early elections, – this deal was disrupted overnight and the opposition bragged that they created the government of the winners.

        See the difference: the government of national unity and the government of the winners. This was an invitation for the civil war because the opposition called part of its own citizens “losers” while the opposition became “winners”.

        So when this all started we managed, together with some other countries, to stop it in February 2015 – Minsk Agreements were signed – keeping Ukraine one-piece.

        The eastern territories of Ukraine that originally after the coup declared independence were persuaded not to insist on independence and to agree to stay inside Ukraine by these Minsk Agreements, provided they are given a special status. First of all, the right to use the Russian language.

        This was endorsed by the Security Council and this was systemically and totally ignored and sabotaged by the Kiev regime with the encouragement of the West.

        There was no direct dialogue between Kiev and those territories in spite of the fact that this was directly demanded from the Ukrainian regime by the Security Council.

        And few weeks ago the former President of Ukraine P.Poroshenko who signed the Minsk Agreements, proudly stated to the media that “When I was signing it, I never intended to implement it. We just needed more time to get more weapons from the West in order to enable us to resolve the problem of Ukrainian East by the use of force.” Very honestly.

        But this is totally neglected by the West. So we have been knocking on the door of our Western colleagues at least since 2013, telling them that this is absolutely a red line when you create a direct threat to the Russian Federation just on our borders. When you create a Russophobic state, which during all these years, managed to pass series of laws, prohibiting – physically, literally, – the use of Russian language in education, in culture, in media, and even in day-to-day life.

        And at the same time, legislation was passed to legalize neo-Nazi theories and practices. Neo-Nazi battalions with swastikas and insignias of Waffen-SS, have been mushrooming in Ukraine and becoming the cornerstone of the Ukrainian Army.

        It’s a very radicalized country. They glorify the collaborators of Hitler condemned by the Nuremberg Tribunal and all this is being done with silent encouragement by the United States and the European Union. And the process which I’ve described was accompanied by the Western attempts, not attempts – policy – to pull Ukraine into NATO.

        Dozens of military exercises of NATO with Ukraine were held on Ukrainian territory with an obvious anti-Russian dimension. The efforts of Russia during all these years – it was not just, you know, we say today that this is a threat and excuse us, but we need to remove this threat. It has been happening for at least ten years.

        When we’ve told our Western colleagues, “Guys, why are you pulling Ukraine to NATO? You know that this is a hostile organization vis-a-vis Russia, they were telling us, ‘Don’t worry, it will not be detrimental to your security.’”

        Russia, as any other self-respectful country has the right to determine itself what is good for its security and what is not. In that case, NATO members led by the United States, opted to decide for us what is good for the Russian Federation.

        We reminded them that many years ago in 2010, they all signed up a declaration saying that the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe will be based on the principle of equal and indivisible security, which means that any country can choose alliances, but no country has the right in choosing alliances to increase its security at the expense of the security of other countries. And that no single organization in Europe can pretend to dominate the security space.

        NATO is doing exactly this. And NATO, of course, is strengthening the security of its own at the expense of the security of the Russian Federation, because the borders of NATO have been moved just to the borders of Russia.

        So we told them, “Guys, political commitments to which your presidents and prime ministers put the signatures don’t work. Let’s make this principle that the security is indivisible and must be equal for all, let’s make it legally binding.”

        And we suggested to them respective treaties several times. First, back in 2009 and the last attempt was in December of 2021. And they told us, “Look gentlemen, first there would be no legally binding security guarantees except for NATO members. And second, as regards Ukraine, the relations between NATO and Ukraine are none of your business.” And that was the end of it.

        And parallel with this absolute rejection of constructive efforts we have been undertaking for many, many years, parallel to this the Ukrainians, in violation of the Minsk Agreements, started to accumulate huge military force on the line of contact with the eastern part of the country where the two republics have been under siege, basically. They intensified radically the shelling and bombing of those territories.

        When we understood that there would be no agreement on security guarantees in Europe which would be equal, when we understood that there would be no implementation of the Minsk Agreements because the Ukrainian leadership publicly renounced this, and when we understood that the only way to save the people in the east of Ukraine was to recognize these two republics, we did so.

        We signed the Treaty on Mutual Assistance with them and at their request, we are now exercising a special military operation aimed at saving lives of the citizens of the Donbass and removing any possibility for Ukrainian territory to be used to threaten the security of the Russian Federation.

        I am sure that you have been following the events. I know that the Western media presents the situation in a totally distorted manner. If only to mention the so-called food crisis, as if nothing was of concern before February this year.

        If you read the reports of the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization, you will refresh your memory and establish the fact that the problems in the world food market started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when in an attempt to fight this virus and the pandemic consequences the US, the EU and Japan have made an emission for eight trillion dollars’ worth without any economic substantiation, and they use this empty money to buy food and all other goods which they believe would be necessary in case pandemic takes long and there will be closure of countries.

        Then there were, of course, increases, long ago, of the price of fertilizers because of the reckless policy of the Western countries on the so-called Green Transition, because the energy supplies, the classical energy resources were more or less discriminated and all this has brought the price of fertilizers high, which of course affected the price of food, and so on and so forth. And then there were not very conducive climate conditions for a couple of years.

        And yes, the situation in Ukraine did affect, additionally, negatively affected food markets. But not because of the Russian special operation, rather due to the absolutely inadequate reaction of the West, which announced sanctions, undermining the availability of the food on the markets.

        When we explain this to them, they say, “Food and fertilizers are not covered by sanctions”. Yes, but you know, half-truth is worse than a lie. And the truth is that the list of sanctions does not contain an item saying “food”, but what it does contain is prohibition for the Russian ships to call to the ports in the Mediterranean, prohibition for the foreign ships to call on the Russian ports, to pick up food and other cargo, prohibition to insure the Russian ships, because of which insurance prices quadrupled overnight. And of course, prohibition for the main Russian bank, Russian Agricultural Bank, which has always served the payments for Russian food exports – it was listed in the European Union sanctions.

        So the latest attempt by our Turkish friends and the Secretary General of the United Nations resulted in a deal between Russia and the United Nations, whereby Secretary General Guterres committed himself to press the Western countries to lift those restrictions, which I just quoted. We’ll see whether he can succeed.

        And the same deal as you know, provided for Ukraine an obligation to demine its coastal line for the ships which have been locked there, I think 70 ships from 16 countries since February, to allow them out of the Ukrainian territorial waters, after which Turkish and Russian fleet will ensure their safe travel to the straits and then to the Mediterranean.

        So those were the agreements, which could have been announced long, long ago, if not for the Western stubbornness in insisting that they are always right, and all those who don’t agree with them, of course, are always wrong.

        A similar situation is taking place with the energy markets. Many years ago, before February this year, the West started discriminating Russian energy projects. First, the project called Nord Stream 1 was limited by 50% of its capacity for no good reason at all. Europe deprived itself of 50% of Russian cheap, accessible gas.

        Then Nord Stream 2 was blocked by absolutely illegal action when the legal committee of the European Union ruled that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was built and financed and invested, fully aligned with the existing European norms.

        But after that, the European Commission changed the rules retrospectively and applied the new rules to the investment which took place legally several years ago.

        So Nord Stream 2 is also not available. Poland, several months ago, stopped taking gas from a direct pipeline from Russia. Ukraine stopped one of the two transit lines through its territory from Russia. And there was some hassle with that turbine which went for maintenance to Canada, then Canada didn’t want to bring it back.

        I listed five or six factors which immediately negatively affected gas supplies to Europe volume-wise. And, of course, the less you buy from Russia through a pipeline, which is a price established for long-term, the more expensive prices on the spot.

        It reached yesterday, I think, $2,200 for a thousand cubic meters. So the attempts to blame us for everything which goes wrong is an attempt with not very clean purposes and intentions.

        What is my point? My point is that it’s a period of history where we will have to choose either to go down the current, which the West tries to move, saying that the world must be run not by international law, but by the rules.

        They coined an expression “rules-based world order”. And if you analyze the behavior of our Western colleagues in the international arena, you will understand that these rules differ from case to case. There is no single criteria. There is no single principle, except one. If I want something, you have to obey. If you don’t obey, you would be punished.

        This is the picture for the future offered to us by the rules-based world order promoted by the West. Basically, this is the unipolar world where the United States, which subordinated to its own will everybody else in the European Union and allies in Asia… This is the offer. Not even an offer, it is an ultimatum actually.

        The alternative to this, and I’m sure that the overwhelming majority of the world countries do not want to live as if the colonial times came back, that the vast majority of the states want to be independent, want to rely on their own tradition, to rely on their own history, to rely on their old friends, don’t want to betray their old friends.

        And this is basically evident from the fact that except two or three developing countries, no one else in Africa, Asia or Latin America joined the illegal American and European sanctions.

        And back to the United Nations Charter. I believe, when we speak about more just, more democratic world order, we don’t need to invent anything. Once again, I quote the Charter which says that the United Nations is based on the principle of sovereign equality of states.

        And to recognize that each state is independent, each state has the right to determine how it wants to live, what kind of economic, social, political system it wants to choose on the basis of the will of its people. And I have no slightest doubt that any normal state wants to be like this. Nobody wants to have enemies. This is also an absolute truth. Neither Russia nor any other country present in this hall – I have no doubt.

        But if countries, like we witness now the behavior of the West, if they do want to have enemies, as they publicly declared in their doctrines, in the decisions of the latest NATO summit in Madrid – they do want enemies, they appoint enemies, they appoint the order in which they handle these enemies. Now Russia is the first, China is earmarked as the existential challenge for the long term. And all this manifests in renewed thinking about how the world economy and the world system operates.

        If the US and the European Union – under the demand of the US – decided to freeze the Russian reserves – and now they seriously start a legal process to prepare the basis to confiscate the Russian money – who knows… If they become irritated by somebody else tomorrow or the day after, they might do the same.

        In other words, the reliance on dollar as the instrument supporting the world economy is not very promising, frankly speaking. And it is not by incident that more and more countries are shifting to using alternative currencies, shifting to use national currencies more and more, and this process will be gaining momentum.

        This is not to say that we are suggesting some kind of revolution against the dollar, against the United States – this is to state the obvious: the West created a system which was based on certain principles – free market, fair competition, sanctity of private property, presumption of innocence, and something else. All these principles have been thrown down the drain when they needed to do what they believe is to punish Russia.

        And I don’t have the slightest doubt that, if need be, they will not hesitate to do the same in relation to any other country which would irritate them one way or another.

        I mentioned China as the next target. It’s a very interesting example of how the Americans consider fair competition in practice. Actually, China developed into the number one world economy – everybody recognizes this – and China did so, China achieved those results, working and acting on the basis of the rules established by the West. The IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the rules to settle disputes, competition and the stuff. China accepted those rules in developing its own economy and China defeated the West, economically and trade-wise, investment-wise, on its own turf, on the basis of the rules invented by the West.

        And what happened next? Already a couple of years ago, the Secretary of Treasury of the United States and some other officials started saying, “We need to reform the Bretton Woods Institutions, we need to reform the WTO and we need to organize this reform between the US and Europe not to allow anybody else to participate in developing new rules.”

        Guys, it is absolutely obvious, how they want this world to be operated. And I believe, as long as it is not too late, we would be ready to talk to our Western friends when they come back to their senses about how they think they should live together with all of us in the future. But this conversation can only be made on full equality, with full respect to the legitimate interests of all of us.

        If I took too long of your time, I apologize. And I understand there might be a couple of questions, right?

        Question: Your Excellency, Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation,

        On behalf of the people of South Sudan, the Government and on my own behalf, I wish to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Ethiopia for inviting me and my delegation here.

        We are grateful that our two countries, the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Sudan enjoy cordial bilateral relations, dating back to the day of our declaration of independence, where the Russian people and their Government were among those who recognized our statehood on July 9, 2011. Since then Your Excellency, the people and the governments of two countries have stood with the people and the Government of South Sudan in many ways.

        The people of South Sudan wish to express their gratitude for your immense support in the UNSC, the Human Rights Council in Geneva and other activities where you supported us. First of all, as you explained, Your Excellency, you outlined your view on sanctions. Now we know what’s really going on.

        On the current political situation in my country I would like to inform Your Excellency the Minister that the signed revitalized peace agreement of 2018 is holding despite the challenges that you have mentioned. These include numerous sanctions by Western countries and their allies, and an arms embargo. Other factors of concern are natural disasters, such as heavy rains…

        Sergey Lavrov: I apologize, can you pass on this text? Because it would be useful and more polite to the others. Ok? Please, pass it. Thank you!

        Just one remark. We are against those sanctions which are intended to punish people. And don’t forget that the initiators of these sanctions against you are exactly the same countries who wanted to create South Sudan out of Sudan.

        Question: Thank you very much for giving a very detailed and covering all important aspects in your briefing. A short question: How the hegemony of dollar can be controlled by international community because right now the countries like Pakistan and many developing countries are suffering from huge debt that continues to grow. The problem is getting worse. I would like you to clarify the situation.

        Sergey Lavrov: I am not an expert in monetary affairs. What I said was it’s an obvious feeling by many countries that the dollar is not reliable, because the capricious behavior could be aimed at anyone in the future.

        I know that you can feel this on yourself, if you compare the situation of 20-30 years ago and now. So, it’s life. It’s life. And nobody wants to go to war because of the dollar and I believe this is crazy.  But people want to have some insurance as regards the reliability of their economic and trade relations with their partners. And there are examples, including the use of national currencies, including barter, including clearing mechanisms. Some might say this is going back to the past instruments of conducting trade. But there would be digital currencies, I don’t have the slightest doubt, which are already being developed in China, for example, in Venezuela, in Iran.

        We are thinking about this as well. It’s the beginning of a process. Now we have accumulated the elements of the problem and we know that it must be addressed.

        Question: With an approach of winter during which gas importations increase. How does Russia going to export its gas and circumvent the sanctions imposed? 15 African countries import more than 50% of their grain from Russia. The situation also affected the exports from African countries to Russia. How does Russia intend to manage trade relations with Africa?

        Sergey Lavrov: I think I addressed both issues in my remarks. I hope you listened to me. Antonio Guterres personally promised to make sure that the US and EU remove any obstacles to the export of Russian grain. If you add your noble voice to his efforts, I think it would be useful.

        And on gas prices – I also explained how Europe systemically, during the last almost ten years, was creating barriers on the way of bringing to European countries cheap and accessible Russian gas.

        I listed five or six specific decisions which were cutting more and more of Russian exports, vacating the room in Europe for much more expensive LNG from the United States, just like, you know, the US insists that Europe sends all its weapons to Ukraine, vacating the arms market in Europe for the import of American weapons. It’s “nothing personal, it’s business.”

        As regards your country (Algeria), the Europeans are now thinking of alternative sources of supply. They have suffocated themselves with their own hands the pipeline routes from Russia. Now they are  looking for alternatives. And I know that the Mediterranean, including Algeria, is one of those sources.

        They would be asking you to help, and it’s up to your companies to decide, it’s up to your government to decide.

        In our case, according to our experiences that when we had long-term contracts with Europe, these long-term contracts protected our interests. But, a few years ago, Europe started cutting long-term contracts saying, “Let’s shift to the spot market”. And the spot market does not guarantee that you will have a long-term investment justified.

        So, what we see now is not a scientific, not a responsible approach to the energy markets – it’s a hectic search for something which can save you this winter, with the green agenda shelved for the time being.

        The coal is coming back, polluting the atmosphere – it’s a mess, if you take a look at the energy and environment policy that Europe is promoting. I am sorry to say this. We are not getting any happiness or joy from what Europe is experiencing, but they have been doing this to themselves for quite some time already.

        Ladies and gentlemen, I have to apologize because the minister – my colleague from Ethiopia – is   waiting for me for the next event. Once again I want to thank you whole-heartedly for accepting our invitation. I hope it was not a waste of time. I tried to be as frank as I can, and we would be ready to promote dialogue with the African Union.

        Unfortunately, we could not meet at the headquarters. And we would be ready for a dialogue on all these and any other issues of interest and of importance with you bilaterally. With all of you we have good relations and channels of communication.

        I wish you all the best and keep healthy. Thank you very much.

        Iran FM Terms Revenge for Gen. Soleimani as ’Absolute Responsibility’

        Jully 23, 2022

        By Staff, Agencies

        Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said revenge for the assassination of Iran’s celebrated anti-terror commander Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani is among the “absolute responsibilities” of the foreign ministry and other concerned organizations.

        Amir Abdollahian made the remarks in an interview broadcast on state television Thursday evening while elaborating on the Sayyed Ebrahim Raesi-led administration’s foreign policy.

        “The issue of General Soleimani will never be forgotten. The issue is so deep that even [Russian President Vladimir] Putin pointed to the important position and role of General Soleimani during his meetings with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the Iranian president,” the top diplomat said.

        The foreign ministry, Amir Abdollahian noted, has beefed up a committee that follows up on international issues, adding that the judiciary branch is also seriously pursuing the case.

        “We consider avenging the blood of Martyr Soleimani in legal, international, and political arenas and deem following up on the issue in all its aspects as our absolute responsibility,” he asserted.

        General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG], and his Iraqi trenchmate Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], were martyred along with their companions in a US drone strike on January 3, 2020.

        The strike near the Baghdad International Airport was authorized by then-President Donald Trump.

        The two noted anti-terror commanders were tremendously respected and admired across the region for their instrumental role in fighting and decimating the Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

        In other remarks during the interview, Iran’s foreign minister said Saudi Arabia has shown readiness to advance the ongoing talks from security to the political sphere, after progress in the previous five rounds hosted by the Iraqi government.

        He said the two sides have reached some agreements, including on re-opening embassies in their respective countries.

        “Last week we received a message from Iraqi foreign minister [Fuad Hussein] saying that the Saudi side is ready to move the phase of talks from a security one to a political and public one,” said the minister.

        “We also expressed our readiness to continue talks at the political level so that it leads to the return of Iran-Saudi Arabia ties to the normal level.”

        Riyadh decided to sever diplomatic relations with Iran back in January 2016 after its embassy in Tehran was stormed by protestors who were enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

        There was no change in Riyadh’s confrontational policy towards Tehran until 2021 when it signaled an inclination to mend fractured ties with the Islamic Republic.

        Putin: US Must Stop Stealing Syrian Oil

         July 20, 2022

        Russian President Vladimir Putin during a joint news conference following a three-way summit of leaders of Iran, Russia and Turkey in Tehran (Tuesday, July 19, 2022).

        Source: Agencies

        The US must stop stealing oil from the Syrian people, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Tuesday, after meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts in Tehran.

        The three guarantors of the “Astana process” also agreed that the US should leave illegally held land in the trans-Euphrates region, and cease making the humanitarian crisis in Syria worse with their unilateral sanctions.

        “[The US has to] stop robbing the Syrian state, the Syrian people, exporting oil illegally,” Putin told reporters on Tuesday evening. He said this was a “common position” of Russia, Iran and Turkey.

        The three guarantors of the “Astana process” called for the US to leave the trans-Euphrates area, and stop making the humanitarian crisis in Syria worse with unilateral sanctions.

        President Putin told reporters that American troops must “stop robbing the Syrian state, the Syrian people, exporting oil illegally.” He said this was a “common position” of Russia, Iran and Turkey.

        Several hundred US troops are illegally present in Syria, mainly controlling the oil wells and wheat fields in the country’s northeast, controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia since the defeat of ISIL Takfiri terrorists. The SDF has refused to reintegrate with the government in Damascus, which Washington wishes to see overthrown.

        Since 2019, the US has sought to punish anyone trying to assist the reconstruction of war-torn Syria via the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act,” accusing the Syrian of alleged war crimes and blocking all assistance to Damascus.

        Putin said on Tuesday that such sanctions have had “disastrous results” and that humanitarian aid to Syria “should not be politicized.”

        During Tuesday’s summit in Tehran, Putin met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a joint declaration, the three presidents confirmed their conviction that “there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict,” only a political one under the leadership of the UN. They also condemned “unilateral sanctions violating international law” that are exacerbating the serious humanitarian situation in Syria, urging the UN and other international organizations to “increase assistance to all Syrians, without discrimination, politicization and preconditions.”

        Russian Federation – The situation in #Syria is one of the most important axes during #Putin’s visit to Tehran
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