The High Cost of American Friendship

June 19, 2022

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By Eamon Mckinney

Democracy is easily defined by most, but to America it means any country that subverts its own national interests to those of the U.S.

Henry Kissinger once famously said, “To be an enemy to America can be dangerous, but to be a friend can be lethal.” The aged but far from venerable Kissinger’s words have never been truer than they are today. America has a habit of redefining words to suit its own purposes. What the word “friend” means to America is interpreted differently by other nations. Of course friend is not the only word that means something different to America than it does to everyone else. Democracy is easily defined by most, but to America it means any country that subverts its own national interests to those of the U.S. The recent Summit of the Americas held in Los Angeles hosted a number of notable Latin America statesmen. There were however many notable absentees, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, the latter two are undeniably democracies but by virtue of their independent government policies they were not welcome at the American-hosted summit. According to America’s twisted version of democracy, only right-wing, neo-liberal, America-friendly countries can qualify as legitimate democratic governments, and by extension “friends.”

The days when America can dictate and bully Latin American nations are over. Though not as intended by the hosts, there was much unity and friendship in evidence at the Summit. The head of Mexico’s socialist Government Manuel Lopez Obrador refused to attend in protest at the exclusion of the three absent nations, a lower-level official was sent in his stead. The heads of state of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador also declined the invitation citing the same reason. This principled and courageous stance came with the understanding that they would be positioning themselves as American enemies, but they did it anyway. After two hundred years under the imperialist Monroe doctrine they will no longer tolerate being considered America’s backyard. The message from Latin America was clear, “we don’t need your version of friendship, and we will take our chances as your enemy.”

Although unstated, one of the main U.S. objectives at the Summit was to dissuade further Latin American engagement with China. The problem for America is that “south of the border” they prefer the Chinese version of friendship. That entails actually listening to the needs of their “friends”, something America is lamentably bad at. All the Latin countries are struggling with burdensome IMF debt and many are seriously close to default. They need investment in their economies and their infrastructure. China offers both without the internal interference in the nations’ domestic affairs. Respect for sovereignty and self-determination is what Latin Americans having been fighting for since the Spanish conquest more than 400 years ago. For the first time in centuries countries can see how that can now be achieved, and China is a big part of that scenario. America only offers co-operation on security, Latin America has security concerns but most of that concern is directed at America. The tone deaf empire needs to understand that Latin America has a new, much better friend.

The message the U.S. got from the Summit was a clear continent-wide rejection of American policies and its attempts to create an anti-China block. We can assume that American officials are getting used to such rejection by now. Attempts to create an anti-China alliance in Asia have also failed miserably, for many of the same reasons. No Asian country sees China as a threat, they see it as a regional leader whose economic miracle has concurrently raised the economies of its neighbours. The U.S. attempts to create security concerns where they don’t exist has gained zero traction among Southeast Asian nations. With the exception of the occupied nations of South Korea and Japan, China’s relationships with its Asian neighbours are excellent. “Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Jaakob said that “When Americans come to Asia they only want to talk about security, we have no pressing security concerns, when Asian nations get together we talk about trade, any problems can be resolved through negotiation and diplomacy”. The main security concern among Asian nations is the talk of the need for an Asian NATO. The recent U.S. attempts to place missiles aimed at China in six Asian countries unsurprisingly found no takers. If America was listening (doubtful), they would have heard that it is neither needed nor wanted in a region that just wants to do business. American friendship in Asia means making any enemy of China, and none consider that worth the price.

Another of America’s enemies, Russia has defied all attempts to destroy its economy and has rebounded to have the world’s strongest currency. The transparent motivations behind the Ukraine conflict have many nations quietly cheering Russia on in their fight against the common enemy, the Empire. The sanctions designed to destroy Russia found little support outside the usual suspects in the NATO clique. With the world facing catastrophic shortages of food, energy and capital it is increasingly Russia and China that countries are turning to for help.

While America’s enemies continue to enjoy much goodwill, how are America’s friends doing? Not so good. By joining in the absurd Anti-China Covid rhetoric spurred by Trump, Australia, Canada and Britain have committed economic suicide by alienating a valuable trade partner, just to please America. American friends in Europe will suffer through horrific food and energy shortages together with rapidly increasing inflation, all largely a result of the Ukraine provocation. Not forgetting the instigation of an unnecessary and dangerous war in their neighbourhood, a war that no one but America (NATO) wanted. And of course the Ukraine itself, goaded into a disastrous war against a much stronger foe, now finds itself facing defeat and destruction. All attempts by the hapless Zelensky at a negotiated peace are blocked by the West. Not while there are some Ukrainians still alive apparently. Despite the encouraging words of his American masters, the disposable Zelensky finds himself very much alone. The once prosperous post-Soviet Ukraine has turned into a bankrupt, burned-out shell of its former self. Zelensky may well retreat to his $45mil in Miami when it is all over, but the unfortunate Ukrainian people will suffer the consequences of American friendship for generations to come.

If America has its way, its “friends” in Taiwan will soon suffer the same fate as the Ukraine. Despite all attempts to provoke China into an action that would draw International outrage, and presumably sanctions, China has demonstrated considerable restraint. It understands the game being played and absent a foolish Declaration of Independence from Taiwan, it is unlikely to be drawn in. South Korea and Japan have been occupied nations since 1944. The American presence is overwhelmingly objected to by the citizens, yet they owe fealty to America. In the event of a China conflict, their U.S. bases would likely be the first targets in any China response. Yet both nations declined American requests to host China facing missiles in their countries.

The loss of American influence has accelerated tremendously in recent months, and it came at a bad time. America needs friends more than ever now and it is finding them increasingly hard to come by. Even long time “friends” and supplicants like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are shunning America’s call to produce more oil. Biden couldn’t even get MBS to take his phone call. Shamelessly they also turned to Venezuela to ask for oil, unsurprisingly they found no friends or solutions there either.

Returning to Henry Kissinger, by his definition, being a friend or enemy of America can be equally dangerous. “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests”

Those that consider themselves American “friends” should heed his words.

But credit where it is due, the U.S. is indeed inspiring a new spirit of friendship and co-operation among the nations of the world. Economic and security blocs of like-minded countries are expanding in Central Asia, Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. All of these blocs are anti-imperialist in nature, and by definition anti-American. More than a century of American imperialism is coming to a rapid end.

When Will Americans Face War Crimes Charges?

May 27, 2022

By Declan Heyes

Source

This article surveys previous war crimes’ trials from earlier eras to assess today’s plans to put captured Russian soldiers on trial in Kiev and Azov militia members on trial in Donbass.

This article surveys previous war crimes’ trials from earlier eras to assess today’s plans to put captured Russian soldiers on trial in Kiev and Azov militia members on trial in Donbass. Although all crimes should be appropriately punished, the examples which follow, which are in no way exhaustive, show that has rarely been the case.

The article begins with the Nuremberg trials before moving on to some of the more relevant issues those trials, and the Tokyo ones which followed, gave rise to. It uses those trials, rather than NATO’s more recent war crimes in the Arab world, as its benchmarks to more properly hone in on the key issues pertaining to NATO’s war crimes in Ukraine. While just a snap shot, the article is important as it sets out the main parameters under which the main perpetrators in Washington, London, Brussels and Kiev should, with their entourage, be in the dock as a first step to being jailed for life.

Nuremberg’s Ground Rules

The Nazi leaders tried at Nuremberg faced a total of four counts: (1) crimes against peace: the planning, initiating and waging of wars of aggression in violation of international treaties and agreements; (2) crimes against humanity: conducting the crimes of extermination, deportation and genocide; (3) war crimes: the violation of the rules of war; (4) and, finally, “a common plan of conspiracy to commit” the criminal acts listed in the first three counts. These four counts now form the basis of any legal discussion of genocide and its related crimes.

These four counts are also more than sufficient to indict NATO’s leaders. Previous articles cited NATO’s think tanks plotting violating counts one and four. As my previous articles repeatedly call attention to NATO’s wars of extermination, I have little more to say here on why the USA should be indicted under count two or, indeed, on count three. There is, in short, overwhelming grounds to charge NATO’s political, media, military and industrial elite along the very same lines adumbrated above, under which those who faced justice at Nuremberg were charged.

That is because the Nuremberg proceedings clarified and reaffirmed the emerging principles of international law: aggressive war, such as those which NATO waged in Iraq, Serbia, Syria, Vietnam, Libya and Yemen, constitute crimes, for which NATO’s instigators, heads of state included, are accountable; and accomplices and accessories who joined organizations, such as the SS, the SAS, the Parachute Regiment, the U.S. Marine Corps and the Gestapo, knowing of their criminal purposes, should be held to legal account.

Count 2 involved crimes against humanity, including the crimes of extermination, genocide, murder, enslavement, deportation or other inhuman acts done against any civilian population. Any proper investigation of NATO’s terror campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Libya would furnish sufficient grounds to indict tens of thousands of NATO personnel and their political overseers as war criminals.

The most authoritative definition of war crimes, count three, was formulated in the London Charter of August 8, 1945, which established the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal. Under their definition, war crimes are acts of violence against civilian populations, prisoners-of-war or, in some cases, enemy soldiers in the field; they are committed primarily by military personnel; they are in violation of the laws and customs of war; they are not justified by military necessity; and they often involve weapons or military methods of unusual cruelty or devastation. The Ukrainian Armed Forces and their far right militias, which Ukraine’s political leaders deliberately fully incorporated into their armed forces, stand accused of countless numbers of such war crimes.

Orders from On High

Nuremberg not only formalized earlier conventions but internationalized the crimes as well. The defense that these crimes had been legal in Nazi Germany was rejected. Superior orders, as in the earlier Major Wirz and Llandovery Castle cases, were again rejected as a defense. Because of these precedents, German generals, German bureaucrats, German judges and German economic ministers were all found guilty. As the German High Command, the Waffen SS and the Gestapo were condemned as criminal organizations, the very same should apply to every NATO force implicated in all of its Arab Spring, Serbian and Ukrainian genocide campaigns.

Genocide

The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide specifically lists five acts, any of which intentionally perpetrated against a national, ethnic, racial or religious grouping may constitute genocide. Killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group are each cited as genocidal mechanisms by that body. The UN has also decreed that conspiracy, incitement, attempt and complicity in genocide are also punishable. Perpetrators may be punished whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals. All transgressors are, in theory at least, legitimate targets for retribution.

Given that the deliberate destruction or emasculation of a society’s leaders, if perpetrated to cull a community’s leadership, also constitutes genocide — even if the majority survives, Poroshenko and Ukraine’s other leaders who led the extermination campaign against Ukraine’s Russian speakers must stand trial and spend the remainder of their lives in a penal colony, if found guilty.

Embargoed Japan

On July 21, 1941, Japan signed a preliminary agreement with the Vichy government of Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain, leading to Japan’s occupation of airfields and naval bases in Indochina. Almost immediately, the U.S., Britain, and the Netherlands instituted a total embargo on oil and scrap metal to Japan— arguably tantamount to a declaration of war. This was followed soon after by the United States and Great Britain freezing all Japanese assets in their respective countries. Radhabinod Pal, one of the judges in the post-war Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, later argued that the U.S. had clearly provoked the war with Japan, calling the embargoes a clear and potent threat to Japan’s very existence. These points are noted to posit that NATO’s prolonged and systematic use of sanctions to starve Venezuela, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia into submission constitute (1) crimes against peace; (2) crimes against humanity, most obviously in the death through malnutrition of 500,000 Iraqi children; (3) war crimes; (4) and, finally, “a common plan of conspiracy to commit” the criminal acts listed in the first three counts.

Unit 731

Although the Soviets wanted Unit 731, Japan’s producers of chemical and biological weapons, charged, the International Military Tribunal found no evidence that such a unit even existed. Unit 731 escapes even token mention in the vast tomes of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. This is all the more surprising when we consider that at least twenty of the twenty-eight major defendants on trial at Tokyo had direct knowledge of the unit’s activities. These include Generals Hideki Tojo and Sadao Araki, former Prime Ministers Kiichiro Hiranuma and Koki Hirota and Shumei Okawa, the supremacist intellectual.

All in all, five thousand Japanese were arrested after World War II; 2,400 went to prison; eight hundred and nine were executed by firing squad; and eight were hanged, including General Hideki Tojo. Just as in Germany, most of the arraigned were small fry. They included 173 Taiwanese and 148 Koreans. Only a small number of high ranking army and navy officers, no captains of the war economy and virtually none of the civilian demagogues in politics, academe and the media who helped prime Japan’s twin pumps of racial arrogance and fanatical militarism were put on trial. No secret police, no secret society members, no industrialists faced trial. The enslavement of Formosans and Koreans was not mentioned, nor was the issue of the comfort women or unit 731. At the Tokyo trial, all the defendants meticulously avoided implicating Hirohito. The judges even commented that the emperor was conspicuous by his absence from the dock. These mistakes should not be replicated when NATO’s leaders, industrialists, media enablers and apologists, past and present, stand trial for their own bio labs in Ukraine. They must all swing.

The Tiger of Malaya

General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Tiger of Malaya, was hanged in Manila on February 23, 1946. The fate of this officer, a first-class fighting man, affirmed something new in the annals of war. For Yamashita did not die for murder, or for directing other men to do murder in his name. Yamashita lost his life not because he was a bad or evil commander, but simply because he was a commander, and the men he nominally commanded had done unspeakably evil things. He was hanged for simply being Japan’s nominal boss of bosses in the Philippines during the Rape of Manila when Imperial naval troops engaged in an orgy of slaughter and rape, of beheadings and burnings alive, of torture and wanton destruction, of the murders of the helpless — women, babies, priests and American prisoners of war included.

Although the war crimes of the Japanese in Manila deserved retribution — and Homma, its main architect, was also hanged — Yamashita deserved justice. The American officers in charge of his trial did not give him the opportunity to defend himself and Time magazine raged and ranted about Yamashita’s brutality during the Bataan Death March; Yamashita had been stationed in Manchuria at the time. The fact that both Yamashita, who captured Singapore, easily the biggest and most ignominious surrender in British military history, and Homma had both previously defeated MacArthur probably decided their fate: the Japanese invaded the Philippines a fortnight after Pearl Harbor and, short of polishing up his pompous “I shall return” speech, MacArthur made little preparations to repel them. Next time, the scales of justice must be balanced so all culpable NATO generals and not just heroic Iranian and Iraqi generals in Bagdad face the music.

Japanese Occupation

From 1945 to 1958, U.S. military personnel were involved in 9,998 reported crimes and other terror attacks on Japanese civilians. One of the most notorious of these occurred on January 1957, when Spc. 3rd Class William S. Girard, a soldier in the U.S. Army 8th Cavalry Regiment, shot and killed a Japanese woman. The “incident” occurred at a target range at Somagahara, Gunma Prefecture, which locals often entered, even during live firing exercises, to collect brass shell casings which they sold for scrap. Witnesses insisted Girard, who was on guard duty, baited Naka Sakai, by tossing empty casings toward her, calling out in broken Japanese for her to collect them, and then amusing himself by firing off empty cartridges from the grenade launcher on his M1 rifle. One of his shots killed her. Girard got a three-year sentence, suspended. But less than a month after his conviction, Girard and his Japanese wife, “Candy,” were relocated, with a hero’s welcome, to the United States. The incident expedited the closing of army facilities in Japan’s main islands and led to an increase of sexual attacks on Okinawans. Because the tendency of young American occupation troops to rape and pillage remains a major problem in Okinawa to this day, just as it has remained a problem in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and wherever those criminals congregate, the only solution is to ban American troops serving overseas. Japan, for one, and Iraq and Syria, for others, would welcome such an initiative to cage these brutes.

Italian Savages

Italy has never atoned for its war crimes in Spain, in the Balkans and in Africa where it gassed Ethiopian villagers in a flagrant breach of the Geneva Convention. Italy, which helped foment the war, has actually been brazen enough to put aged Nazis in the dock – whilst simultaneously engaging in fresh bouts of criminal adventurism in the Balkans, Libya and Iraq under the NATO umbrella. Of more than 1,200 Italians sought for war crimes in Africa and the Balkans, not even one has ever faced justice. Webs of denial spun by the Italian state, the Vatican, academe and the media have re-invented Italy as a victim, gulling the rest of us into acclaiming the Good Italian long before Captain Corelli strummed his mandolin, while running his hand up the legs of peasant Greek girls. Benito Mussolini’s invading soldiers slaughtered all before them, they starved infants in concentration camps and they engaged in genocide. They were the Americans of their day.

When General Pietro Badoglio, whose planes strafed Red Cross camps and dropped 280kg bombs of mustard gas into Ethiopian villages, died of old age in his bed, the Italians buried the bastard with full military honors; they even renamed his home town after him! General Rudolfo Graziani, aka the butcher of Libya, massacred entire communities; his crimes included an infamous assault against the sick and elderly of Addis Ababa. His men posed for photographs holding the severed heads of the victims of Mussolini’s Pax Romana. General Mario Roatta, known to his men as the black beast, killed tens of thousands of Yugoslav civilians in indiscriminate reprisal attacks and deliberately deprived them of water, food and basic medicines in the concentration camps he herded the survivors into. Successive Italian governments have steadfastly refused to reveal the location of stockpiles of mustard gas in Ethiopia and innocent African children still continue to die as a result. And Italy and all of NATO couldn’t care less about those war crimes or the thousands of other more recent ones that regularly feature on this site.

Look Over There

The United States has had to admit its own war crimes on some very rare occasions. The best-known such episode involved the pre-meditated murder of 400 unarmed women, children and old men by an American company under the command of Lieutenant William Calley during the Vietnam war. Calley’s trial established yet again that whatever immunity is accorded military acts in war extends only to conduct that conforms to the rules of war. The deliberate killing of civilians by infantrymen, as occurred at My Lai, is a war crime because it cannot be excused by the exigencies of war. Lt. William Calley, Jr. was tried and convicted by an American military court-martial of premeditated murder. The Vietcong, had they captured him, could have legitimately show-cased him as a war criminal — to wide-spread Western protests, no doubt. Calley served just over three years for ordering and taking part in these murders. Three other defendants were acquitted.

Marine Private Michael Schwartz was convicted of killing twelve Vietnamese villagers in a separate incident at Danang. When other officers testified that they had been ordered to kill their prisoners, Lieutenant James Duffy, another defendant, was cleared of summarily executing a prisoner. No compensation was paid to their victims. Like My Lai, Schwartz was tried, not by an international court, but, as in the second Iraq war, by his compatriots, by his fellow-Americans. In the light of America’s more recent transgressions against international law, this merely reinforces the widely-held notion that America’s hired guns remain above the law.

Although vested interest groups still hunt down the lowliest Nazi collaborators, the mass slaughters of Vietnamese villagers in 1967 by the elite Tiger Force unit of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division are now all but forgotten; an earlier investigation had been closed in 1975, even though it had established that members of this highly decorated unit had committed war crimes when they wantonly massacred hundreds of unarmed civilians. Given that Senator John Kerry, the Democratic candidate for the 2004 U.S. Presidency, freely admits to murdering 21 Vietnamese civilians and that Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. secretary of state, was wanted in Belgium and France for crimes against humanity, it is one rule for one set of victims and another rule for America’s victims.

Ukraine in Short

Though the Ukrainian war, like all others, is hell, that should not excuse the planners and perpetrators of the unspeakable war crimes that have been visited upon Ukraine. Although 21 year old Russian Sgt. Vadim Shyshimarin may well be, as charged and so very rapidly convicted by the corrupt Kiev regime, a war criminal, I imagine his was a cock eyed show trial. That is, for starters, because the CIA’s Radio Free Europe forced Shyshimarin to emotionally face off with the widow of a Ukrainian he allegedly killed, because it would be more impossible for Shyshimarin to get appropriate legal aid in Ukraine than it was for George Dimitrov to get legal counsel in Nazi Germany, because of the sheer speed of the trial and because (Z)elensky is an even bigger show boater than Goebbels ever was.

Regarding the proposed trials of those evacuated to Russian POW camps from Mariupol, even their own skin, in the form of head to toe Nazi tattoos, seem to condemn them both as criminals and as the idiots they are obviously are. They, however, are not the real criminals, who are to be found pulling the strings in Davos, Washington, Brussels and London.

There is, in the criminal world, an old saying that, if you do the crime, you should do the time. Because NATO’s top war criminals are serial abusers, the only way we will ever have a lasting peace is if the Clinton, Bush, Cheney, Epstein, MacCain, Maxwell, Obama and related organized crime families are, along with all their enablers, jailed and the keys metaphorically thrown away.

Though that is unlikely to happen today or the day after, what must happen is a systematic process of gathering and collating evidence against them and those who follow them for when the tide turns and the arc of the moral universe eventually bends towards justice for us and jail time for them.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with India Today television channel, Moscow, April 19, 2022

April 20, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1810023/

Question: The big question that most are asking is the reason for this operation, the reason for President Putin to take the country to war at a time when we have seen negotiations and talks taking place. What was the reason? We know that America said that Russia was going to carry out operations. New Delhi certainly was not aware of it. Many countries said that it is not something that is going to happen, but it did happen.

Sergey Lavrov: The real reason is the complacency of most countries of the world after the end of World War II, when our Western colleagues, led by the United States, declared themselves winners and in violation of the promises to the Soviet and Russian leadership started moving NATO eastward. They kept saying: “Don’t worry, this is a defensive alliance, it is not a threat to Russian security.” It was a defensive alliance when there were NATO and the Warsaw Treaty, and there was the Berlin Wall, as you remember, both physical and geopolitical. It was very clear what was the “line of defence” for this “defensive alliance.”

When the opponent disappeared, both the Warsaw Treaty disappeared and the Soviet Union disappeared, they decided that they will move the “line of defence eastward.” They did this five times without explaining against whom they are going to defend themselves, but in the process building up their advanced assault capacities and choosing the former Soviet republics, especially Ukraine, as the springboard against the Russian interests.

As early as 2003, for example, when they had a presidential election in Ukraine, the West was publicly and blatantly demanding Ukrainians: you must choose, are you with Russia or with Europe? Then, of course, they started pulling Ukraine into the European Union Association Agreement. The agreement provided for zero tariffs for Ukrainian goods in Europe, and European goods in Ukraine. We had a free trade area agreement with Ukraine in the context of the Commonwealth of Independent States. So, we told our Ukrainian neighbours: guys, we have zero tariffs with you, but we have protection with the European Union, because we negotiated WTO entry for 18 years. For some time, we did manage to protect some sectors of the Russian economy – agriculture, insurance, banking, and some others – with considerable tariffs. We told them: if you have zero [tariffs] with Europe and zero [tariffs] with us, we are not protected against European goods, which was part of the deal when we entered the WTO.

Then in 2013, when the Ukrainian President understood the problem, he asked the European Union to postpone the signature of the Association Agreement. We suggested that the three of us – Russia, Ukraine, and the EU – could sit together and discuss how to proceed. The European Union in a very arrogant way said that this is none of your business, we do not put our nose in your trade with China or other countries, so this is going to happen. Then the President of Ukraine decided to postpone this ceremony. The next morning, the demonstrators were on Maidan in Kiev.

In February 2014, the European Union helped negotiate a deal between the President and the opposition. Next morning, the signatures of the European Union representatives – France, Germany and Poland – were absolutely ignored by the opposition, who staged a coup and declared that they are creating a “government of the winners,” that they will cancel the special status of the Russian language. They threatened to throw ethnic Russians out of Crimea, they sent armed groups to storm the Crimean parliament. That is how the war started. The Crimeans said: “We don’t want to have anything [to do] with you, leave us alone.” As a I said, there was a threat from armed groups. The eastern areas of Ukraine said: “Guys, we do not support your coup, leave us alone.” They never attacked the rest of Ukraine. The putschists attacked them, having called them terrorists. They called them terrorists for eight long years.

We managed to stop this bloodshed in February 2015 – the so-called Minsk Agreements were signed, providing Eastern Ukraine with some special status, language, the right to have some local police, special economic relations with the adjacent Russian regions. It was basically the same as [the agreement] the European Union negotiated for the north of Kosovo where Serbs live. In both cases, the European Union failed totally to deliver on what was guaranteed by the signatures of its members. For eight long years, the respective governments of Ukraine and Presidents of Ukraine were saying, blatantly and publicly, that they were not going to implement the Minsk agreements, that they will move to Plan B. They continued to shell the territories of these [self-] proclaimed republics during all these years. We warned the Europeans, the Americans, and Ukraine that they are ignoring something which was endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. To no avail.

People do not want to go back into this history because they prefer to take events on their immediate merit, but these particular events are rooted in the desire of the United States and what we call the collective West, to rule, to dominate the world and just show everybody that there would be no multipolarity. It would be only unipolarity.

And that they can declare Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yugoslavia, located tens of thousands of miles from the United States, threats to their security, and can do whatever they please there, levelling cities, like they did with Mosul in Iraq, and Raqqa in Syria. Russia has been warning all its colleagues that just on our borders you have been creating a springboard against us: you have been pumping arms into Ukraine, you have been totally ignoring the legislation of Ukraine, which prohibited, completely prohibited the Russian language, you have been encouraging neo-Nazi ideologies and practices. The neo-Nazi battalions were very much active against the territories which proclaimed themselves independent and who were promised special status. It’s inside Ukraine.

It was all linked with Ukraine becoming NATO’s springboard, and NATO expansion. They were saying that Ukraine will be in NATO. Nobody can stop Ukraine if it so wishes. Then President Zelensky said that he might think about coming back to possess nuclear weapons. In November last year, my President suggested to the United States and to NATO to sit down, to cool off, and to discuss how we can agree on security guarantees without NATO’s further eastward expansion. They refused. In the process, the Ukrainian army radically intensified the shelling of those republics in violation of all the ceasefire agreements. We didn’t have any other choice but to recognise them, to sign mutual assistance treaties with them, and, in response to their request, to send our troops as part of special operation to protect their lives.

Question: You provided the basics: the history, as well as the present context. But you also said, President Putin himself said, that this is not targeting civilians or the citizens, people of Ukraine. It is to do with the administration. We know that in international foreign policy parlance it is used quite often: not in my backyard. America says it all the time, and many other countries say it. But should an entire people, and entire population be punished for an administration wanting to carry out independent foreign policy?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think it’s about any independence. Since 2013, and maybe even earlier, hundreds and hundreds of US, UK, and other Western security and military experts have been openly sitting in the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence and the Ukrainian security apparatus. They basically were running the place.

As for the civilians, immediately when this special operation started in response to the request from Donetsk and Lugansk in full compliance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, when it was announced by President Putin, he said that the sole purpose of this operation is to demilitarise and denazify Ukrainians – these two problems of the country are intimately linked. We have been targeting only military infrastructure. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian army and the so-called nationalist battalions, which are using Nazi insignia, swastikas, which was borrowed from Indian history, but twisted the wrong way, and insignia of Waffen-SS battalions, these people were using and continue to use civilians as human shields. They were placing heavy weapons in the middle of towns and cities, next to schools, next to kindergartens, to hospitals. The internet is full of the testimonies of the people who were living in these places, and who were asking these people not to do this.

Unfortunately, nobody in the West actually pays attention to the facts, which we have been providing. Instead, they are staging some fake situations, like a couple of weeks ago with the place called Bucha. The Russian troops left on March 30, I think, and for three days the city was back in the hands of the Ukrainian administration. The mayor of Bucha Anatoly Fedoruk was publicly saying that the city is back to normal life. Only on the fourth day, they started showing images of dozens of corpses lying in the street, which was only a few days before shown as being back to normal. Then a few days later in the city of Kramatorsk, which was fully in the Ukrainian hands, they summoned people to the railway station, and attacked them with a Tochka-U missile. It was proven beyond any doubt that the missile was fired by the Ukrainian army. That’s why the next morning it was out of the news in the West because everybody understood the obvious nature of this provocation. Now, The New York Times says that they have the proof that cluster bombs were used by the Ukrainian army.

Speaking of civilians and the rules of international humanitarian law, I can once again assure you that our army operates against the military infrastructure and not against civilians.

Question: Mr Lavrov, you said that Russian forces have only targeted military facilities. Even if there were military facilities or tanks that have been placed in civilian areas, Russian forces did not show restraint in taking them down. Hence, there are civilians who have been killed. There has been bloodshed, whether it is the outskirts of Kiev, primarily Mariupol, Volnovakha – absolutely raised to the ground. Some responsibility has to be taken by the Russians also on the bloodshed?

Sergey Lavrov: It is always terrible when military activities bring damage to the civilians and to the civilian sector, to civilian infrastructure. As I said, when people have been killing ethnic Russians, citizens of Ukraine, in the east for eight years, no TV representatives, be it Asian, be it African, be it Latin American, be it European, be it the United States, paid any attention to this. The Russian journalists have been working on the contact line, on the side of the republics, round the clock, showing the atrocities committed by the Ukrainian neo-Nazis and Ukrainian armed forces. And during all those years not a single foreign journalist cared to come to the other part of this line of contact to see what was going on there.

The statistics available from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe indicate that the damage afflicted on the civilians and the civilian infrastructure on the side of the republics, the [self-] proclaimed republics, was five times more and bigger than the same figure for the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government.

This is not to say that we can just ignore the victims and the damage to the civilian infrastructure, but once again I want to emphasise a very important thing. This outcry started only when the Russians decided to protect Russians who are citizens of Ukraine and who were absolutely discriminated. There was no outcry when the city of Raqqa, for example, in Syria was levelled with dozens and hundreds of corpses lying there unattended for weeks and weeks. The American military never had any scruples about achieving their military goals, be it in Syria, be it in Iraq, be it in Afghanistan, for that matter.

This is a tragedy, when people die. But we cannot tolerate the situation when our Western colleagues say that they can do anything they want. They can encourage the government in Kiev to be as Russophobic as it takes. They would not tell them to stop prohibiting the Russian language in education, in media, stop banning all Russian speaking channels, including Ukrainian channels, they would not tell them not to prosecute the opposition, who favours dialogue with Russia, and to stop violating the commitments to give special status to the territories where the Russian speaking population dominates.

Question: You made a very important point because India Today has travelled to Donetsk and we have been putting out these reports. It is very important because it is important to understand the plight of Russian descent and Russian speaking people in Ukraine. There is no taking away from that. We will talk about Donbass. But coming to the allegations against Russia of genocide, of war crimes, and on the fact that chemical weapons have been used by Russian forces, what do you have to say to the visuals? You said that there were no bodies. There were bodies in the basements that have been found much later that would have been found anyway much later. Will there be no investigation that will be carried out? Why just say that it did not happen?

Sergey Lavrov: We are investigating the atrocities of the neo-Nazi battalions of Ukraine and of Ukrainian armed forces. There is a special commission created by the Russian chamber – there is a public organisation which is very experienced. They have been discovering the fakes staged by the so-called White Helmets in Syria, in many other cases. We will not cease our efforts to establish the truth.

We are used to the fact that the United States, the United Kingdom, and other Western countries have a very interesting habit: they just throw in news when they believe this news will work ideologically for their benefit, and then, when it comes to the facts, and when more facts are discovered, putting a big question mark on their assertions, they just lose interest.

2007, London. Poisoning of Mr Litvinenko. Huge outcry. The investigation begins, and after a few weeks a public inquiry is announced, which in the UK  means that it is secret. Until now, we cannot get the facts about what had happened to Mr Litvinenko.

2014, Malaysian Airlines Boeing. Shot down over Ukraine. We presented a huge amount of facts. We requested that we be part of the investigation – no way. Ukrainians who did not close their skies during the conflict were invited to this investigation group, Russia was not. Malaysia, as the owner of the plane, was invited only five months later after the Australians, the Dutch. They and the Malaysians agreed among themselves that anything coming out of this room must be subject to consensus, meaning that Ukraine, which did not close the skies, had a veto power on this investigation. We could not get the truth on this one as well.

2019, Salisbury poisoning. The people disappeared. The only proof which was made public is “highly likely,” as Theresa May said. The Brits insisted on the expulsion of Russian diplomats by most of the European countries. When I asked my friends, did they provide proof beyond the public statements about “highly likely” it was Russia, they said “no, but they promised to.” I checked one year later, whether this was done, it was not done. And so on, and so forth.

2020. Our opposition blogger Mr Navalny was poisoned. We asked the Germans. We immediately responded to the German request to let him go to the Berlin hospital. Twenty-four hours after the request he was flown to Berlin. We don’t have any confirmation who was flying with him, where did they get the bottle which is the key element in this investigation. When we asked the Germans to show us the formula which they discovered in his blood, they said this is a military secret.

It is us who until now insist on the truth about Litvinenko, about the Skripals, about Malaysian Boeing, and about Navalny. The stories that they stage in Ukraine these days are of the same nature.

Question: Going back to the investigations, you are saying that that Azov battalion is absolutely shameful, yes, they should be investigated. They are neo-Nazis, and they should not have been incorporated or integrated into any military regime in any country. But if you introspect and look at your own people as well, is there any instance of denying and rejecting claims? Will there be investigations against your own people if they have done wrong? Will they be held accountable?

Sergey Lavrov: We have a law that prohibits the military to do anything which is not allowed under international humanitarian law. Any violations are registered and investigated.

On Azov, it is interesting that you mentioned it. Azov was listed in the United States in 2014 or 2015 as a group that cannot be supported, that cannot legitimately operate, and it was prohibited by Congress to provide any assistance to this battalion. Everybody forgot about this or rather they certainly remember what this group is about, and they decided to put their money on this group.

In Japan, as you know, they passed a special decree by the government that Azov is no longer a neo-Nazi group, and the Japanese government apologises for listing Azov as such. And of course when President Zelensky in his camouflage was asked about Azov by some journalists, who felt that something was wrong with these neo-Nazi trends, Zelensky said quietly: Azov, they are what they are, we have many groups like this. They are part of our army.

You, I mean the media, started asking questions about Azov only when the military operation was launched. For eight long years, nobody lifted a finger, nobody bothered about what was being groomed in Ukraine, as a continuation, or rather a resurrection, of what was boiling in Europe in 1930s.

Question: President Zelensky said that Russia plans to use tactical nuclear weapons.

Sergey Lavrov: He says many things. Depends on what he drinks and what he smokes. He says many things.

Question: Do you think it was a strategic miscalculation by President Zelensky to take on Russia when there was no certain assurance from NATO and the European Union that they would actually back Ukraine?

Sergey Lavrov: President Zelensky came to power with the promise of peace. He said that he will reach peace on the basis of the Minsk Agreements. A few months later, he said he cannot implement the Minsk Agreements because the Minsk Agreements are “unimplementable.”

Question: It was the Russian forces, the DPR.

Sergey Lavrov: No, he never said that it was because of the military situation on the ground. He said that it is unthinkable for Ukraine to give special status to any part of his territory. But it was very “thinkable,” if I may say so, when Ukraine was created, to put together the territories which now (those in the west) never celebrate Victory Day, May 9, and the eastern territories, which would never celebrate the heroes honoured in the west: those who collaborated with Hitler. With this difficult composition of territories, to say that Ukraine can only be a unitary state, and that it would not give special status to these people even if the Security Council demands so, I believe that this was not very far-sighted.

Had he cooperated as he promised to his electorate when he was elected, had he cooperated in implementing the Minsk Agreements, the crisis would have been over long ago.

Question: Did the West betray Zelensky?

Sergey Lavrov: No, I think the West played Zelensky against Russia and did everything to strengthen the desire to ignore the Minsk Agreements.

The “West” is a broad notion. It’s the United States and the Brits. The rest of the West, including the European Union, is just an obedient servant.

Question: Tactical nuclear weapons. Will Russia ever use them?

Sergey Lavrov: Ask Mr Zelensky. We never mentioned this. He mentioned this. So, his intelligence must have provided him some news. I cannot comment something which a not very adequate person pronounces.

Question: As a P5 member, as a nuclear power, will nuclear be an option at all, on the table at all?

Sergey Lavrov: When the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987, Gorbachev and Reagan, decided that they have special responsibility for peace on this planet, they signed the solemn declaration that there could be no winners in a nuclear war, and therefore a nuclear war must never be launched.

After the Trump administration came to office, we have been telling them, because tensions were aggravated: “Why don’t we try to send a positive political message to the entire universe and to reiterate what Gorbachev and Reagan pronounced?” During all the four years of the administration, they refused to do so.

But we were really encouraged when President Biden was inaugurated. Five days after his inauguration, we repeated this offer, he first agreed to extend the [New] START treaty without any preconditions. In June 2021, when they met with President Putin in Geneva, they issued this declaration. This declaration was issued on our initiative. After the Americans and the Russians said that there must be no nuclear war, that they won’t think about it, we started to promote the same commitment in the context of the P5. Not the United States, not UK, not France – Russia. Eventually, earlier this year, in January this year, the P5, at the level of presidents and heads of government, issued the statement which we initiated and which we were pushing through for all these years.

Question: So nuclear is off the table?

Sergey Lavrov: This statement, both the Russian-American statement, and the P5 summit statement, were issued on the strong insistence of the Russian Federation.

Question: Coming back to the Donbass region, DPR, LPR. The independence of these republics is non-negotiable for Russia when you talk to Ukraine. What happens if the negotiations succeed between Ukraine and Russia and should there be a settlement, will Russia withdraw from other areas: Sumy, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Nikolayev?

Sergey Lavrov: I thought you are a journalist, but you can be a spy. I am not discussing the military operation, for obvious reasons it is never the case.

On the territorial situation, we recognise DPR and LPR within the administrative boundaries of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The Minsk agreements were signed when these two territories were split roughly half and half. Now the militias of these republics are fighting to get their territory back.

When they had a referendum in 2014, it was held on the entire territories of the former regions. But then the coup leaders started the war, which they called an anti-terrorist operation, and they took a considerable chunk of both regions. So, yes, we recognise LPR and DPR within their declared territories as a result of the referendum.

Question: Which in fact includes Mariupol and Volnovakha, as part of Donetsk.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes.

Question: My question is, if there is a settlement between the two sides, and they recognise, which President Zelensky said he would not, he said that they are going to fight for Donbass to the very end, so where are the red lines?

Sergey Lavrov: I cannot intelligently discuss what President Zelensky says because he always changes his mind diametrically.

He was the initiator of the negotiations, which we accepted. At some point we were disappointed because they were changing their mind every time, coming late, leaving early, but then in Istanbul, about one month ago, it was on March 29, they brought a paper, saying that we are not going to be a member of any military alliance, that they will be neutral. In return, they asked for security guarantees, preferably P5, maybe some others, and it was written and initialled by the head of the heads of delegations. The security guarantees they were asking for would not cover Crimea and the territories in the east of Ukraine.

It was not our language, it was their language. Now President Zelensky says “no way.” They started backtracking even earlier. But this is a paper with the signature of the head of the Ukrainian delegation. So, before we can intelligently discuss what he says one day or another, we need to have clarity about the credibility of this person and about his team.

Question: Was there any understanding in Istanbul on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kiev, as well?

Sergey Lavrov: We changed the configuration of our presence. This was announced immediately after Istanbul that since we believed that they brought something which could serve as a basis [of an agreement], we made a goodwill gesture, and we changed the configuration in the Kiev and Chernigov areas.

This was not appreciated at all. Instead, this Bucha thing was immediately staged and played, like Skripals were played in Salisbury, like the Malaysian Boeing, like Navalny, played, but immediately put aside when the hard facts were presented which they cannot challenge.

Question: There are mayors who have been appointed now by Russia in Berdyansk and Melitopol, and they are saying that they will hold a referendum, that they are not going to go back. Is that the plan?

Sergey Lavrov: That’s the outmost democracy, right? A referendum – people saying what they want.

Question: Which means that you are securing your land boundary in Sumy and Kharkov, but also the waters, if you look at Zaporozhye, Nikolayev.

Sergey Lavrov: People have been suffering in all these places for eight long years, when neo-Nazis were prohibiting them to speak their own language, prohibiting them to commemorate the heroes of World War II, of the Great Patriotic War, prohibiting to have parades and to have any events to commemorate the fallen, the parents, the grandparents of these people.

Now when they have thrown away these neo-Nazis, and say that now we will decide who will be running the place – this is our mayor, this is our legislature, I believe that this is a manifestation of democracy after so many years of oppression.

Question: It seems that Ukraine has lost more land than it would have gained by negotiating on Donbass.

Sergey Lavrov: It’s the decision of those who have been running Ukraine, of those who have been sabotaging the Minsk agreements, in spite of the UN Security Council decision. We are not up for regime change in Ukraine. We have said this repeatedly. We want the Ukrainians themselves to decide how they want to live further in a way, which would not repeat the Minsk agreements, when they did decide that they did not want to do anything with the coup leaders, who immediately said that they are against anything Russian: culture, language, everything what these people cherish. Then they were promised something by the European Union and cheated.

We want the people to be free. To decide how they want to live in Ukraine.

Question: Russia is one of the most sanctioned countries in the world. How long can you sustain?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think we are thinking in the context of sustaining. Sustaining means, you know, you sustain, you take some hardships, and hope that, sooner or later, this would be over.

Russia has been under sanctions all along – Jackson–Vanik, then it was repealed, but Magnitsky Act was introduced, then we were punished for the free vote of the Crimeans, we were punished for supporting those who were in favour of keeping the Minsk agreements, but the Ukrainian government did not want them to get what they promised, and so on and so forth.

So, now we have come to a very straightforward conclusion. We cannot rely on our Western colleagues in any part of our life, which has strategic significance, be it food security, which we managed to ensure ourselves after 2014, be it, of course, defence, and be it some strategic sectors where high-tech is developing and indicating the future of the mankind. We did not have time to achieve self-sufficiency in all these areas, but in most cases, we resolved this issue. Of course, we are open to cooperation with all other countries who do not use illegal, illegitimate unilateral measures in violation of the UN Charter.

India is among those. We cooperate bilaterally. I visited a couple of months ago, and we cooperate in many international organisations.

Question: Speaking of India, India is under immense pressure to sever ties, to cut down imports of energy, of fuel, but India has stood its ground. In terms of reliability, is there a concern that India should have with regards to the kind of defence cooperation both countries have? Could there be delays in deliveries of critical weapons systems that India is buying from Russia, such as the S-400s? What is the conversation you have been having with New Delhi on this ground?

Sergey Lavrov: India is our very old friend. We called our relationship a long time ago a strategic partnership. Then, about 20 years ago, the Indian friends said: why don’t we call it a “privileged strategic partnership?” Sometime later, they said that this was not enough. Let’s call it “especially privileged strategic partnership.” This is a unique description of the bilateral relations between India and Russia.

With India, long before all this became such a hot potato, we supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept “Make in India” and we started substituting simple trade with local production, shifting production of the goods needed by India on your territory. It was for quite a number of years already that we have been promoting the use of our national currencies in settlements between the governments of the two countries.

We promoted national information systems, transmission systems, like SWIFT. You have your own, we have our won. They are being used more and more. Payment cards: we have MIR, you have RuPay. They are mutually supportive. It is not, you know, a huge percentage, of the overall volume of trade, but it is steadily growing. On defence, we can provide anything India wants. Technology transfers in the context of defence cooperation are absolutely unprecedented for any of India’s outside partners.

Question: We have got away with a waiver from the United States for the S-400s, but future collaborations, could they become difficult?

Sergey Lavrov: You know, when the Americans say that they are in favour of democracy all over the world, they mean only a very specific thing – that it is up to them to decide who is democracy, and who deserves to have some good attitude on behalf of Washington. When they convened this summit of democracies, you only need to look through the list of invitees, to understand that it is not about real democracies, it is about something else. The Americans now run all over the world, their ambassadors have priority number one to go to the foreign ministry, to the government of the country where they serve and say: “You must stop talking to Russia, you must join sanctions against Russia.”

Well, long before this crisis, I have been talking to the Americans, to the Europeans, I told them: when you say democracy, democracy, and at the conferences you always want this language on rule of law and democracy, I asked them about adding that apart from the national level, we want democracy and the rule of law internationally. They don’t like it. When they push everybody in this anti-Russian camp, when they go to India, when they go to China, to Turkey, to Egypt, countries with their own thousands years of history of civilization, of culture, and when they are not even ashamed to publicly tell you what to do, I believe something is wrong not only with manners, which always has been the case, but something is wrong with the mentality.

When Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, says publicly: “We, the United States, has not yet decided whether to introduce sanctions against India for the S-400s,” they have not decided what is good for you. His under-secretary Wendy Sherman later said: “We must help India understand what is important for its security.” How about that?

Question: I suppose your counterpart gave them a befitting reply on how to conduct one’s foreign policy?

Sergey Lavrov: Absolutely. I respect Subrahmanyam Jaishankar very much. He is a seasoned diplomat, and he is a real patriot of his country. He said that we will be taking the decisions on the basis of what India believes it needs for its development, for its security. It’s respectful. Not too many countries can say something like this.

Question: You mentioned China. For us, the China factor is very important. Russia has a unique relationship when it comes to ties with China and ties with India. You mentioned the United States of America, so again, I am going to go back to the US. Recently, in one of the visits, deputy national security advisor said that should India continue ties with Russia, there will be consequences. If, he said, there is another incident at the LAC, then the US will not come to India’s rescue. The statement is flawed, because there are two points. One is that he said “should there be another incident,” not recognising that the Chinese are still on Indian soil. Secondly, he said that they will not come to India’s rescue, but they did not come in the first place. But where does Russia stand?

Sergey Lavrov: We stand in favour of resolving any conflicts on the basis of arrangements negotiated directly between the parties, like, just like it was in Ukraine, when the two parties, the rebels, as they are called, the separatists, as they are called, for us they are self-proclaimed republics, on the one side, and the government, which came to power as a result of the coup, on the other side had a deal, negotiated and endorsed by the Security Council. It is another matter that the government, with the instigation of the West, failed to deliver, but the method is the one which we believe should be applied everywhere.

After those incidents on the border, we welcomed the resumption of the discussions between the military of India and China, the discussions between the politicians, at the level of the foreign ministers, and we hope that this would be resolved. We cannot use those threats, which are absolutely normal for the Americans, who say “or else, there would be consequences.” It is their favourite statement.

What we would like to do, as Russia, we would like to promote the formats where India, Russia, and China participate together. It started in 1996-1997, when Russia’s Foreign Minister at that time, Yevgeny Primakov, suggested the RIC format – the troika formed by Russia, India, and China. It happened, and we continue to convene in this format. I think, last November there was probably the 20th ministerial meeting. Not only foreign ministers, but also ministers of economy, ministers of trade, political scientists meet, which may not be very much publicised, but it is a very useful format.

We were very much in favour, even we were the leading force in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to promote this, of the full membership of India, together with Pakistan, in this organisation. This is another premise for China and India to be together in the company of their neighbours, and to build more confidence.

Question: Finally, before I let you go, sir, Europe is looking to halt gas from Russia. Come summer, policies might get harsher. But you are looking for the dedollarisation of the global energy market by dealing in roubles. How do you propose to do that, should they start halting?

Sergey Lavrov: There will be no change for the Europeans and other countries who buy our gas. The reason for this decision was very simple and obvious. When they froze the Russian assets in dollars, euro, yens, and the pound sterling for the amount of more than 300 billion euros or dollars, those were mostly the money kept in Western banks after we received payments from them, from the Western countries, for our gas deliveries.

In other words, they paid us, and they stole the money from us because those were the currencies which are linked to the Western banking system. So what we told them to do: they would not be paying directly to Gazprom’s accounts abroad, but they would be paying to a bank called Gazprombank. It is an independent entity. They would be paying the same amount which they have to pay under the existing contracts, but they will pay these amounts to a special account which they have to open with this bank. There would be a parallel account in roubles. So they pay euros, and then inside this bank these euros are transferred to the rouble account, and from this account Gazprom receives roubles.

Question: So you are not running losses at all on the money Russia is to receive from Europe? There is no money that has been stopped?

Sergey Lavrov: Exactly. As of now, they would not be able to keep the money in their banks, the money that they not even owe us, but which they paid to us already. I believe this is something which does not contradict contracts. They would still be paying in euros or dollars or whatever was the currency of the contract, but we will have insurance that this robbery would not happen again.

Question: Finally, sir, before I let you go, I have to go back to that question on eastern Ukraine. Intensification of war efforts now in eastern Ukraine – is the trigger the flagship warship Moskva that sunk. What really happened there? Is that one of the triggers now why we see more intensification against Ukraine?

Sergey Lavrov: No, this operation in the east of Ukraine is aimed, as was announced from the very beginning, to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. This operation will continue. Another stage of this operation is beginning. I am sure that this will be a very important moment of this entire special operation.

Question: What happened to the warship?

Sergey Lavrov: It is for the Ministry of Defence. They explained what happened and I cannot add anything to this.

Question: On that note, many thanks for joining us here on India Today. It was indeed a pleasure, sir.

Sergey Lavrov: Thank you very much.

Question: That was the Foreign Minister of Russia speaking exclusively to India Today.


Notes on information availability from the Russian Federation:

The best video is on Telegram:  https://t.me/MFARussia/12362
This is the first complete address from the Russian MFA that they posted on Telegram since the attack on the availability of Russian information started.  It is also a complete interview in English and without translators.

The Indian interviewer is smart and respectful.  Mr. Lavrov is patient and clear.

It is still a hit-and-miss exercise to get complete information from Russian professional sources.   You can see these interviews live on Ruptly but there is no playback.  The videos and transcripts are on the Russian Foreign Ministry site, but frequently there is no playback.  In copying this transcript just a while ago, the Russian MFA site went down again.

It is important to see or read these completely in order to find nuance and context. It seems to be a fashionable journalistic method to report on one or two snippets only. In that, the Russian media sources are not helping us to help them. Here is an example.  Mr. Lavrov’s takeaway quote on being asked about Zelenski, is:  “He says many things, depending on what he drinks or what he smokes.”   RT decided to shorten that, and said:  “He says many things, depending on what he drinks.”   Incorrectly reporting even direct quotes does not serve the Russian cause.

Amarynth

From Korea to Libya: On the Future of Ukraine and NATO’s Neverending Wars

April 6, 2022

Ukraine needs peace and security, not perpetual war that is designed to serve the strategic interests of certain countries or military alliances.

By Ramzy BAROUD

Much has been said and written about media bias and double standards in the West’s response to the Russia-Ukraine war, when compared with other wars and military conflicts across the world, especially in the Middle East and the Global South. Less obvious is how such hypocrisy is a reflection of a much larger phenomenon which governs the West’s relationship to war and conflict zones.

Like every NATO-led war since the inception of the alliance in 1949, these wars resulted in widespread devastation and tragic death tolls.

On March 19, Iraq commemorated the 19th anniversary of the US invasion which killed, according to modest estimates, over a million Iraqis. The consequences of that war were equally devastating as it destabilized the entire Middle East region, leading to various civil and proxy wars. The Arab world is reeling under that horrific experience to this day.

Also, on March 19, the eleventh anniversary of the NATO war on Libya was commemorated and followed, five days later, by the 23rd anniversary of the NATO war on Yugoslavia. Like every NATO-led war since the inception of the alliance in 1949, these wars resulted in widespread devastation and tragic death tolls.

None of these wars, starting with the NATO intervention in the Korean Peninsula in 1950, have stabilized any of the warring regions. Iraq is still as vulnerable to terrorism and outside military interventions and, in many ways, remains an occupied country. Libya is divided among various warring camps, and a return to civil war remains a real possibility.

Yet, enthusiasm for war remains high, as if over seventy years of failed military interventions have not taught us any meaningful lessons. Daily, news headlines tell us that the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Spain or some other western power have decided to ship a new kind of ‘lethal weapons‘ to Ukraine. Billions of dollars have already been allocated by Western countries to contribute to the war in Ukraine.

In contrast, very little has been done to offer platforms for diplomatic, non-violent solutions. A handful of countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia have offered mediation or insisted on a diplomatic solution to the war, arguing, as China’s foreign ministry reiterated on March 18, that “all sides need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiation that will produce results and lead to peace.”

Though the violation of the sovereignty of any country is illegal under international law, and is a stark violation of the United Nations Charter, this does not mean that the only solution to violence is counter-violence. This cannot be truer in the case of Russia and Ukraine, as a state of civil war has existed in Eastern Ukraine for eight years, harvesting thousands of lives and depriving whole communities from any sense of peace or security. NATO’s weapons cannot possibly address the root causes of this communal struggle. On the contrary, they can only fuel it further.

If more weapons were the answer, the conflict would have been resolved years ago. According to the BBC, the US has already allocated $2.7bn to Ukraine over the last eight years, long before the current war. This massive arsenal included “anti-tank and anti-armor weapons … US-made sniper (rifles), ammunition and accessories.”

The speed with which additional military aid has poured into Ukraine following the Russian military operations on February 24 is unprecedented in modern history. This raises not only political or legal questions, but moral questions as well – the eagerness to fund war and the lack of enthusiasm to help countries rebuild.

After 21 years of US war and invasion of Afghanistan, resulting in a humanitarian and refugee crisis, Kabul is now largely left on its own. Last September, the UN refugee agency warned that “a major humanitarian crisis is looming in Afghanistan”, yet nothing has been done to address this ‘looming’ crisis, which has greatly worsened since then.

The amassing of NATO weapons in Ukraine, as was the case of Libya, will likely backfire. In Libya, NATO’s weapons fueled the country’s decade long civil war.

Afghani refugees are rarely welcomed in Europe. The same is true for refugees coming from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Mali and other conflicts that directly or indirectly involved NATO. This hypocrisy is accentuated when we consider international initiatives that aim to support war refugees, or rebuild the economies of war-torn nations.

Compare the lack of enthusiasm in supporting war-torn nations with the West’s unparalleled euphoria in providing weapons to Ukraine. Sadly, it will not be long before the millions of Ukrainian refugees who have left their country in recent weeks become a burden on Europe, thus subjected to the same kind of mainstream criticism and far-right attacks.

While it is true that the West’s attitude towards Ukraine is different from its attitude towards victims of western interventions, one has to be careful before supposing that the ‘privileged’ Ukrainains will ultimately be better off than the victims of war throughout the Middle East. As the war drags on, Ukraine will continue to suffer, either the direct impact of the war or the collective trauma that will surely follow. The amassing of NATO weapons in Ukraine, as was the case of Libya, will likely backfire. In Libya, NATO’s weapons fueled the country’s decade long civil war.

Ukraine needs peace and security, not perpetual war that is designed to serve the strategic interests of certain countries or military alliances. Though military invasions must be wholly rejected, whether in Iraq or Ukraine, turning Ukraine into another convenient zone of perpetual geopolitical struggle between NATO and Russia is not the answer.

commondreams.org

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Tags:

InterventionismIraqNATOUkraineWar

President Putin’s Full Remarks at the Oil for Ruble announcement

April 01, 2022

Ed Note – Amarynth

The video that we could obtain, was only a snippet and that is posted here:  http://thesaker.is/putin-sets-ruble-for-gas-payment-deadline/

The full address is worth taking a look at, as Mr Putin in no uncertain terms told the west and Europe what they are doing. I caution that this is a machine translation, so, fine parsing of words may not be productive. This is the gist of what Mr Putin said.

As the Kremlin website is more down than up, this machine translation came via a poster on Moon of Alabama.  We thank you for grabbing it,  karlof1 | Mar 31 2022 16:33 utc | 94

—————–
Today I have signed an Executive Order that establishes the rules for trade in Russian natural gas with so-called unfriendly states. We offer counterparties from such countries a clear and transparent scheme. To purchase Russian natural gas, they must open ruble accounts in Russian banks. It is from these accounts that payment will be made for gas delivered starting tomorrow, from April 1 of this year.If such payments are not made, we will consider it a failure to fulfill obligations on the part of buyers – with all the ensuing consequences. No one sells anything to us for free, and we’re not going to do charity either. That is, existing contracts will be stopped.

I would like to stress once again that in a situation where the financial system of Western countries is used as a weapon, when companies from these states refuse to fulfill contracts with Russian banks, enterprises, individuals, when assets in dollars and euros are frozen, it makes no sense to use the currencies of these countries.

In fact, what’s going on, what’s already happened? We supplied European consumers with our resources, in this case gas, and they received it, paid us in euros, which they then froze themselves. In this regard, there is every reason to believe that we have supplied part of the gas supplied to Europe virtually free of charge.

This, of course, cannot continue. Moreover, in the case of further gas supplies and their payment under the traditional scheme, new financial revenues in euros or dollars can also be blocked. Such a development of the situation is quite expected, especially since some politicians in the West talk about it, speak publicly. Moreover, it is in this vein that the heads of government of the EU countries speak. The risks of the current state of affairs are, of course, unacceptable for us.

And if you look at the issue as a whole, the transfer of payments for the supply of Russian gas to Russian rubles is an important step towards strengthening our financial and economic sovereignty. We will continue to consistently and systematically move in this direction within the framework of the long-term plan, to increase the share of settlements in foreign trade in the national currency and the currencies of those countries that act as reliable partners.

By the way, you have probably heard that many traditional suppliers of energy resources to the world market are also talking about diversifying settlement currencies.

Let me repeat once again: Russia values its business reputation. We comply with and will continue to comply with our obligations under all contracts, including gas contracts, and we will continue to supply gas in the established volumes, I want to emphasise this, and at the prices specified in the existing long-term contracts.

I emphasize that these prices are several times lower than the current quotes on the spot market. What does that mean? Simply put, Russian gas is cheaper energy, heat, light in the homes of Europeans, an affordable cost of fertilizers for European farmers, and therefore, food in the end. Finally, this is the competitiveness of European enterprises, and hence the salaries of Europeans, citizens of European countries.

However, judging by the statements of some politicians, they are ready to neglect the interests of their citizens, if only to please their overseas master, the suzerain. Some kind of populism inside out: people are encouraged to eat less, dress warmer to save on heating, refuse to travel – and all this supposedly for the benefit of those people from whom these voluntary deprivations are demanded for the sake of abstract North Atlantic solidarity.

Such dubious approaches and actions in economic, energy, food policy on the part of Western countries have been observed for more than a year.

By the way, the food crisis will be followed by another inevitable, another wave of migration, including primarily to European countries.

Nevertheless, step by step, decisions are being made that push the world economy to a crisis, lead to the severance of production and logistics ties, lead to an increase in global inflation and increased inequality, to a decrease in the well-being of millions of people, and in the poorest countries – I have already said this – to the tragedy of mass starvation.

Naturally, the question arises: who is responsible for this? Who will be responsible for this?

It is clear that the United States will again try to solve its problems – namely its own problems – at someone else’s expense, including launching a new wave of emissions and budget deficits. It has already grown exorbitantly, and in the leading European economies the record is broken by inflation, and in the United States. And at the same time, they are trying to blame their mistakes in economic policy on us, they are always looking for someone to blame. It’s pretty obvious, we’re seeing it.

I would like to add that the United States will try to capitalize on the current global instability, as it did during the First and Second World Wars, during its aggressions against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria and so on. Global markets are falling, and the value of shares of companies of the American military-industrial complex is only growing. Capital is flowing into the U.S., depriving other regions of the world of development resources.

As a result, Europeans are not only forced to fork out, but also, in fact, with their own hands to undermine the competitiveness of European companies, to remove them from the global market. For Europe, this means large-scale de-industrialization and the loss of millions of jobs, and against the background of rising prices for food, gasoline, electricity, housing and communal services, there is also a radical decline in the standard of living of citizens.

This is the price that the ruling Western elites offer to pay to people, as I have already said, for their ambitions and short-sighted actions both in politics and in the economy, including for the economic war that they are trying to unleash against Russia, or, one might say, have already unleashed.

It didn’t start now, it didn’t start in the last month. Illegitimate sanctions and restrictions have been imposed against our country constantly, for many years. Their goal is to restrain Russia’s development, undermine our sovereignty, and weaken our potential in production, in finance, in technology.

Let me repeat that all these sanctions were prepared in advance, they would have been introduced in any case, I want to emphasise this. In fact, these are sanctions for our right to freedom, for the right to be independent, for the right to be Russia. For the fact that we do not want to dance to someone else’s tune, to sacrifice our national interests and traditional values.

The collective West is not going to abandon the policy of economic pressure on Russia. Moreover, of course, he will look for new reasons for sanctions, namely pretexts. Therefore, it is not worth counting on changing these approaches, at least in the near future.

In this regard, I would like to ask the Government, the Bank of Russia and the regions to ensure that the sanctions pressure on our country, as it was in previous decades, will continue when organising systematic work to develop the economy and its individual sectors. That is the objective reality.

What do I consider important to note here and I ask you to draw the attention of all colleagues to this? Considering the situation in each specific industry, sphere, it is necessary to focus not only on overcoming the challenges of the current year, but also to build long-term development plans based on the internal capabilities of our economy, Russian science and education system. We must rely primarily on private business initiative and healthy competition, strive to maximize the load of our enterprises, create new competencies and increase Russia’s global competitiveness as a whole.

At the same time, the key indicators of the effectiveness of economic policy for us should be the preservation and creation of jobs, the reduction of poverty and inequality, improving the quality of people’s lives, the availability of goods and services. It is with these requirements in mind that we discussed the situation in the construction and housing sector last week.

Oligarchs Lie, Cheat, and Censor…Dying Humor

 MARCH 24, 2022

MIRI WOOD SYRIA

Oligarchs have been in the news lately, but in the generic mood of bias. Most function behind the scenes as financiers who pull strings that let working class folk get crushed in warehouse collapses because they weren’t allowed to seek appropriate shelter prior to a deadly tornado. Some have their names mentioned when their billions allow them to take old ladies on private space ship rides. Others get to be deified as godly philanthropists.

Oligarchs behind the scenes are the most hazardous, because, remaining anonymous, they get to engage in all kinds of seemingly low-level lying, looting, and crushing remnants of the sense of humor via censorship.

Syria News website was founded by an immigrant Syrian. It currently has two staff and unpaid writers: One is the Syrian immigrant who happens to be Muslim and the other is I, a US American who happens to be Jewish.

Syria News has just been notified that some anonymous oligarchs have stolen some fractions of pennies from us, by “disabled -” or “restricted ad serving.” Three of my reports — two recent and one over two years old — have been named as the causative factor for the Kafkaesque crimes of being “shocking,” “derogatory,” and/or “dangerous.”

According to the anonymous oligarchs’ warning, all of my writings (hundreds or thousands, I don’t know) are under complete “disabled ad serving” for “dangerous or derogatory content.”

According to a bona fide physical dictionary, dangerous means “1. Attended with danger; hazardous; perilous; unsafe. 2. Likely to, or capable of causing injury or harm.”

Shocking is an adjective meaning, “causing intense surprise, disgust, horror, etc.”

By what standard of human decency is it ok for Macron to mass enucleate Gilets Jaunes protesters, is it ok that MSM yellow journalists ignore the blinding of dozens of French citizens, while the secretive oligarchs steal pennies from a website because I verified the brutality, I condemned the savagery, and I shared photographs of some of his one-eyed victims, because so few of us stand on our hind legs to bear witness, while the snobs on the Hill and the snobs in the SC look the other way?

Contrary to the lies of the anonymous oligarchs, I have never written anything that could remotely be considered “likely to, or capable of causing injury or harm” to another.

Per the same physical dictionary, derogatory means “Harmful to the reputation or esteem of a person or thing; disparaging.”

Maybe if the media oligarchs and the diplomatic oligarchs and the corrupt politician wannabe oligarchs hadn’t tolerated Colin Powell’s scary ‘Show & Lie’ at the UN, 2003, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, & Yemen would be intact.

Instead, the cowards cowered and the liars got rich.

The three targeted reports the anonymous oligarchs have wrongfully targeted are Hollywood & Syria: The Uses of Enchantment in Crimes against Peace; NATO UN Junta Monthly anti-Syria Meeting ups Imperial Hypocrisyand False Flag Chemical Plot Gets Nusra Front Terrorists Fried.

The Hollywood report explains how the use of moulage trauma in movies has been used on Syrian children to make journalists, diplomats, and politicians suspend disbelief in order to engage in war propaganda against a sovereign country — in this case, Syria. I made clear that none of the painted children — whose photographs were shared widely in mainstream media sources, without the threat of censorship — was physically injured. The writing was challenging as it was a challenge to be objective while imagining the fear and terror endured by the kidnapped children.

I also emphatically stated that there was no evidence that photographers had any part in the kidnappings, nor was there any evidence the photographers were skilled in the art of moulage trauma applications.

The March 2022 report on the NATO UN Junta meeting contains hyperlinks to the statements of various diplomats, the ones who appear to be oblivious to the fact that children are being kidnapped and marketed on the dark web. It includes photos of a motherless child, made up in ghoulish moulage, shared in transatlantic NATO media for purpose of war propaganda — which is a breach of International Law — and of the child further traumatized in a similar photo whose credit claimed it was taken years later, in another country.

Do I not have the moral duty to let our diplomats know about this? The “shocking content” is that they don’t, and that the first credited photographer had no complaint over his subject being moved from Syria to Yemen, in the same makeup but with her dress moved downward, and with her trying to calm another mother-less boy, screaming in terror.

THE SHOCK BELONGS TO OUR OVERPAID POLITICIANS, AND OUR FINELY COIFFED DIPLOMATS WHO ALL AVERT THEIR GAZE, SOME OF WHOM MAY BE TOO BUSY COUNTING THEIR STOCK DIVIDENDS FROM THEIR WAR INVESTMENTS.

Similarly, the False Flag Chemical Plot Gets Nusra Front Terrorists Fried report did not show photographs of the inbred terrorists’ burn injuries from spilling those poisonous substances they were going to bomb civilians with, onto themselves (am I supposed to apologize for the use of the word, “fried”? Am I supposed to hire a psychoanalyst to wipe out all shreds of unconscious humor? I once got a very bad burn from a crazed chef, which involved — really — a frying pan. Maybe I’ll stand myself in the corner, for using the self-defense humor mechanism, because the absurdity of that story is much more enjoyable than remembering the excruciating pain of the burn). Instead, I included two videos shared by the stethoscope-less, CPR-less, can’t use an Ambu bag White Helmets, using their own videos which show them engaged in kidnappings of Syrian children.

That report also includes a photograph never censored, a photograph of the White Helmets holding a near-term baby that was skillfully, surgically cut from its living mother’s womb.

HOW DARE OUR TAXES FUND THESE CRIMINAL PSYCHOPATHS? HOW DARE OUR PAID JOURNALISTS, OUR CORRUPT POLITICIANS, AND OUR MOSTLY LYING DIPLOMATS AVERT THEIR GAZE FROM THESE HORRORS, AND THEN LIE ABOUT THEM?

Hidden oligarchs cheat us out of pennies, claiming report on Hollywood techniques is “dangerous & derogatory.”
Hidden oligarchs claim this report contains “shocking content” though featured image of kidnapped kids in moulage trau
Oligarchs claim of ‘shocking content’ included videos not censored in social media, showing actual kidnappings of Syrian children.

There are few journalists — salaried or not — with the skills I bring to my reporting: Not only have I been involved in direct trauma care involving countless patients, but I have also been taking photographs since getting my first camera — a hand-me-down 1946 Brownie at the age of six.

I know the anatomy and physiology of bleeds, including arterial ones. I know that violent psychopaths who rip a kidnapped child’s deltoid and scapular muscles until he’s unconscious from pain, and his arm is only still attached because of his skin, is caused by the degenerate violence perpetrated against the little boy, and I recognize it is not crushing injury (ffs, even The Guardian couldn’t hide the obvious, and was forced to change its featured image of the child, whose attackers should be locked up permanently in a psychiatric facility for violent criminals).

I have attempted to put reality in the faces of our phony diplomats and corrupt politicians. In every instance, I have utilized Tort Law & Journalistic Ethics. I am mindful in my writing, to adhere to the highest of ethical standards, and I have never breached irresponsibility in doing the work of UN diplomats, work they get paid for, for free.

If Syria News readers would like to give a figurative (“metaphorical and not literal”) punch to the invisible, apocryphal oligarchs, you can do so by sending us a donation:


Syria News is a collaborative effort by two authors only, we end up most of the months paying from our pockets to maintain the site’s presence online, if you like our work and want us to remain online you can help by chipping in a couple of Euros/ Dollars or any other currency so we can meet our site’s costs on time; you can also donate with Cryptocurrencies through our donate page.

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‘After Syria, Ukraine is part two of World War III’: Senior Analyst

March 17, 2022

In a recent episode of his YouTube political talk program ’60 minutes’, senior Lebanese political analyst Nasser Qandil argued that ‘the Ukraine war is part two of World War III’, after ‘part one in Syria had ended in a clear victory for Russia’.

Source: Nasser Qandil (YouTube)

Description:
Date: March 7, 2022

( Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing a small monthly amount here )

Transcript:

Nasser Qandil:

I wish to talk about a number of points regarding the Ukraine war, because we – as always –aim at deepening and consolidating the understanding, awareness, and perception of all those watching us, and helping them to receive the means (that raise their) awareness and not (imposing) our own outcome, meaning they can use the tools, premises, and introductions (we present) to reach different conclusions – and this is an achievement that’s way more important than (merely) dictating to them the outcome (of analyses) and saying (that’s the whole thing) and ‘full stop’ (i.e. you don’t need to think any further). Therefore, our mission in this program is to increase the knowledge (of viewers), and not only to use (the knowledge) we have or that which people have (in our discussions).

The first conclusion I wish to consolidate with you, my dear viewers, is that this war is the largest war after World War II. I personally tried to check through history before adopting this conclusion, (looking into) the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the Invasion of Iraq, the Invasion of Afghanistan, the wars of Israel in our region (the Middle East) since 1967 including the October War we fought (against Israel) as Arabs, and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon; this whole outcome makes me confidently say, bearing responsibility for my words, that this is the world’s largest war after World War II, and I’ll explain why.

The first point is that the initiator of this war is Russia, while all the other wars had (another) common (factor). We haven’t witnessed a war – except for a limited number like the October War for example, like initiatives (by forces) opposing the American (hegemony) project and its extensions and alliances, the majority – 99% of the wars witnessed after World War II were wars of domination and control carried out by the US. Therefore, we are before a war, the first characteristic of which is the transfer of the military initiative in decision-making. This shift moved from a side that was the only one taking the initiative, and which has, for seventy years, taken the lead at the global level, which is the US, (that recently) withdrew from Afghanistan and (began) avoiding to take part in wars and (began) gathering its shreds and shrapnel from places it got involved in with the aim of incurring the least amount of (further) losses, and in an attempt to strike settlement (agreements), (while) on the other hand we have the rise of a side that has started – since more than 10 years within a limited (pace) – speaking about the South Ossetian war in 2008, the Crimean Peninsula war in 2014, the huge position (Russia took) in Syria in 2015, and (the part it took) in Kazakhstan in 2021. However, now (this war) is President Putin’s largest war – Russia’s largest war after this calm ascent (of Russia), and the parallel decline of American power.

Here, we can’t look at the war from the (aspect of) geography alone. Before going into the geographical (aspect), it’s a fundamental and essential issue yes. But (first) we’re talking about a descending arc of a state, which is the US arc (of power), and an ascending Russian arc – an arc that represents this rise of Asia as a whole, and can be seen in Eastern countries in different manifestations, even if there weren’t a precise and accurate coordination and approach between Russia, Iran, and China – because there are many who would try to dig up some cracks and holes within this presentation; we are not talking about congruence of approaches. Even in the Syrian war, China didn’t take the position that Iran took; Russia took time until it took (its) position (to support Syria,) but it eventually did and paid the price for it and reaped its fruits. Consequently, it’s not necessary to speak about congruence, yet there’s an Asian rise (of power) that no one can argue about, a rise that shakes American hegemony. No one can say that the rise of Iran is not evident, and that this rise (of power) didn’t lead to the erosion of America’s position and grip on the heart of Asia and especially in our region (the Middle East). (In addition,) China’s rise worries America and the entire West, and Russia’s rise is now evident in the military sphere and through this huge, massive qualitative step, which (helped) form this ascending Russian arc that expresses this rise of Asia, (a Russian arc) that is sometimes ahead of the (Asian arc) such that it enjoys a higher degree of courage in its decision-making, (all of this) while the descending American arc (lies on the other side)…here we talk about the second characteristic of this war, which makes it one of the world’s most important wars after World War II, which is that it’s taking place in Europe.

All other wars – in the view of the West that led the world, (the West being) the US and Europe – were on the peripheries and in third world countries. I mean, check (the history) of all the (previous) wars – it (will help) explain to us why this revival of racist thought is being seen in (the attitudes) of journalists and analysts through unintended slips of tongue sometimes, (because) maybe if they thought a little about it they’d be ashamed (of what they were saying). However, this war is actually in Europe, and not in a third world country.

Therefore, for the first time since World War II – although the Yugoslavian war was in Europe, it was a war carried out by the US and western Europe to destroy what’s left of the Soviet legacy, to pave the way for a tight grip on the entire geography, economy, and politics of Europe. Now, this is the first war to knock Europe’s door, meaning that Russia is fighting a war and it’s on the European door. This is the second factor.

The third factor – I want to draw attention to the necessity of investigation, to reread information about Ukraine. Here, I’ll provide the main points to help (the viewer) get (the idea of) what we’re talking about. There’s a chain called ‘The European Bridge’ of five major European states, historically speaking: Spain, France, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. Ukraine, in terms of (geographical) area equals (the area of) France plus a bit, (and it equals) Germany + Holland + Belgium + Switzerland (all together) in (its geographical) area. Ukraine’s population equals the population of France and equals the population of both Poland and Romania added together. The rest of the Eastern European countries became fragments – after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia – the rest, such as Lithuania, Estonia and Hungary are actually micro-states compared to the size of Ukraine. We’re speaking about 45 million people, meaning twice the number of Iraq’s (population) back when the war started (there). We’re speaking about an area of (about) 600,000 km², which is Syria’s size multiplied by three times and a half, and Lebanon’s size multiplied by 60. We are speaking about the second (most important) state in the Soviet Union after Russia, in terms of size, population, army, technical qualifications of its (various) generations, its colleges, participation in food and technical production, its position in terms of nuclear weapons.

So, we’re not speaking about Iraq, the besieged, disintegrated, weak Iraq that suffers from internal crises, that is not supported by any (external) side, and which is this far (from Europe) – if (in) Iraq, the US army’s entrance to the capital, Baghdad, took 20 days while they were at their peak of advancement, and so even if it takes the Russian army 200 days to enter Kyiv, they will still be considered as making (good) progress – (this approach) allows us to read the situation correctly. Ukraine – this is Ukraine, of course in Ukrainian history there’s a connection between it and Russia; Ukraine is to a large extent (considered as a) mini-Russia. Originally, Russia initiated from Kyiv, the Russian Empire was founded in Kyiv and then moved to Moscow. Therefore, there are efforts for reaching parity, or emulation and competition (between them). Ukraine believes – those who know the traditional Soviet environment (can relate), when we used to visit the Soviet Union, none would introduce themselves by their original nationality and point out that they’re not Russian, except for the Ukrainians; they use to say ‘I’m not Russian’. And I’m speaking about communists, he’d be an official whose mission is to negotiate with us and talk about issues. So, (we can notice that) Ukraine has a sense of competition, with the European background, and a dimension that is related to the way Ukraine was formed – which is a group of (mixed) ethnicities, and if you look at its geography you can notice that parts of it didn’t belong to Ukraine and Stalin later joined many of them to Ukraine: a part of Moldova, a part of Poland, in addition to the Crimean Peninsula that was originally Russian.

Anyway, Lenin and Stalin had a bias for Ukraine and a special interest in satisfying this Ukrainian pride and reassuring them that (Ukraine) is of an important and special status. Therefore, it has always been – I use a metaphor sometimes, I’d say that Ukraine’s (relation) with Russia is like Queen Elizabeth and Lady Diana, in which Queen Elizabeth represents the throne, history (of England), etc., and Lady Diana is the sweet, lovely, popular, (lady) that (represents) elegance, youth, and beauty etc. Therefore, Ukraine, in the eyes of the Soviet Union and the West – Brzezinski said in the 80s or 1978 that ‘Russia without Ukraine is a great state, and a very great one, yet without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an Empire’.

So, we must know what we are speaking about, and why am I saying these words. It is to say that the conclusion is that Putin – this is his war, (the war) that he had been preparing for since at least 2014, because the 2014 war when he annexed the Crimean Peninsula and joined it to Russia, it was the first Ukrainian war for President Putin. (Furthermore,) since 2008, when he entered South Ossetia, he wasn’t aiming at Georgia; look at the (world) map, you’ll see Georgia’s size compared to Ukraine, it can’t even be compared to it! The fight is over Ukraine, the same way Syria was (of great importance) in the Middle East; the one who controls Syria will have control over the (whole Middle East) region and the world through it, (now,) the one who controls Ukraine will have control over Europe and the world through it.

Therefore, the first point we must break free from in our thinking and debate, is talking about the duration of the war; who said Putin wishes to end it in a short period of time? Why put a formula that says that one of the signs of success is the speed in which the achievement is done? It’s not a rule at all! This war might be (intentionally) designed to be a long one, so that a new world system could be built upon its ramifications, developments, and (resulting) frameworks.

It’s a war that cannot end without (reaching) a Russian-American-European settlement. Who’s Zelenskyy? What (kind of) position and power does he have (compared to Russia’s power)? What can he offer in any kind of negotiations? And what kind of decision does he get to make in negotiations? Therefore, it’s a Russian-American war. Europe became part of it. And if Europe had made the decision of not being a part of it, the whole thing would’ve ended through a Russian-European settlement. Therefore, the US used all its capabilities to make Europe a part of it, but that’s not a permanent condition. Today the fight is over Europe; to what extent can Europe remain part of this war?

Therefore, we are before part two of World War III. If Syria was the first episode, then Ukraine is the second episode. The first episode ended – if we are speaking internationally – it ended with a clear victory for Russia. Now we are before the second episode.

The Last American War … will be in Europe

Two weeks into the Ukraine conflict, the Atlantic alliance is already fraying. Europe, which helped destroy much of West Asia, is now the battlefield for the Last American War.

March 09 2022

By Abdel Bari Atwan

During the second US-led war on Iraq in 2003 and its resulting invasion and occupation, I wrote an article in the British daily, The Observer, commissioned by its editor-in-chief, entitled ‘America is an expert in destruction not construction.’ That title proved to be dismally accurate as US warplanes bombed all Iraqi infrastructure facilities from water and electricity stations to bridges, and killed more than a million Iraqis, according to the international medical journal Lancet.

Joe Biden said he would target Russia when he became US president. But, his war with Russia will have mainly European casualties.Photo Credit: The Cradle

Nearly 20 years later, the article springs to mind again as I follow the developments of the Ukrainian war, the associated military and diplomatic posturing of global stakeholders, and the potential ignition of a nuclear war that could lead to catastrophic consequences for the world – starting with Europe.

Battlefield: Europe

It is Europe, after all, which will be the main theater of a nuclear clash unless current mediation efforts bear fruit. And any ‘political solution’ of the conflict spells victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his country, as Moscow will not accept anything short of a complete purging of NATO’s strategic depth in Ukraine.

It was the United States that instigated and ignited this war, and Ukraine and its good people were merely victims of US President Joe Biden’s declaration upon entering the White House that Russia is the number one enemy of the United States, followed by China. He simply made Ukraine the “poisoned bait” to draw the Russians into a long war of attrition that could sap their economy and cause sedition from within.

The US-European threat of “sanctions from hell” was a double plan: these would either deter Putin from invading Ukraine, or provoke him into doing exactly that. The former would be paraded as a Russian defeat, and the latter would be used to financially bankrupt the Russian state, turn its citizens against their government, and isolate Moscow.

But, about two weeks after the first Russian tank entered Ukrainian territory, the naivety of the western plan was fully exposed. Not only did it incorrectly assess the speed at which Moscow might achieve its aims, but it thoroughly underestimated Russia’s ability to counter western punishments with its own.

The western plan has instead triggered a backlash of monumental proportions, whose first line of victims will be residents of both Europe and the United States.

Ukraine, the flint to start a fire

As the dust settled, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky began to show signs of shock and hysteria, lashing out at NATO’s “weakness,” amassing battalions of right-wing neo-Nazis to replace deserting Ukrainian army soldiers, and putting out a global call for foreign fighters to come to Ukraine and fight the Russians.

Zelensky has by now realized that NATO was only prepared to stand by his side and provoke his anti-Moscow rants until the Russian armored vehicles rolled in. He discovered quickly that he was abandoned by all, especially the United States, whose representative to the United Nations said yesterday that it would not send a single soldier or plane to Ukraine.

As oil prices skyrocketed to around US $130 per barrel this week, European countries, including Germany, Bulgaria, and France have said that they cannot manage without Russian oil and gas imports. Those words are the first tangible indication of a crack in the Atlantic alliance, and should be expected to extend to the NATO alliance as the fissures grow.

Europe ostensibly derives its strength from the power of its economy, and the so-called “common values” of the waning liberal order premised on democracy, human rights and social justice. Now, these elements are being eroded one by one as censorship, authoritarianism and war-profiteering take hold within western governance.

The masks have dropped. Those “values” are instead being rapidly replaced by overt racist sensibilities, favoring the “blond-haired and blue-eyed” citizen over all others, and mobilizing neo-Nazi and extremist movements to maintain the western “rules-based order.”

Economy is power: the western alliance collapse

The economic prosperity, security and stability enjoyed by the west since the end of the Second World War will be the first victim of this confrontation taking shape in Ukraine, and it looks near certain that financial collapse, political chaos and intra-state geographic fragmentation may ensue.

The decades of punishing sanctions imposed by the United States as an alternative to direct military intervention in North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela have not achieved their goals. They have not caused the ‘regime-change’ that was intended, and it is highly unlikely that the current sanctions on Russia, if imposed (so far, Russian oil and gas flow is paid for through the SWIFT financial system) in whole or in part, will prove an exception.

Alexander Novak, Russia’s deputy prime minister in charge of energy, warned late Monday of “catastrophic” consequences for world oil and gas markets if the US implements its threats to impose a ban on energy exports from his country.

These actions, he predicted, would result in a ten-fold rise in the price per cubic meter of natural gas and an unprecedented US $300 dollars per barrel for oil. Novak further threatened that Moscow would retaliate by halting gas supplies to Europe through their Nord Stream 1 pipeline, especially if Germany continues to suspend its Nord Stream 2 counterpart in response to US pressure and if Washington imposes a ban on Russian oil.

Nord Stream 1 currently operates at 100 percent and pumps nearly 60 billion cubic meters per year to Europe.

The United States destroyed Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya, and has not participated in the reconstruction of any of its destruction.

But the victim now will be Europe, which, while able to bully those weaker states, will not be able to do so with a much bigger, stronger global power like Russia, led by a shrewd geopolitical strategist like Vladimir Putin.

Europe is now lending its territories to this last American war. It is facing a nuclear power that is allied with other nuclear states like China, North Korea and, potentially, India. This time, the magic may be turned on the magician, and the destruction on the USA.

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

بوتين يسأل: لماذا العجلة؟.. فالوقت معنا!

 ناصر قنديل

هي ليست حرب أوكرانيا بل حرب أوروبا، فالصراع الروسي الأميركي يدور حول موقع أوروبا في الخريطة العالمية الجديدة، ومن غير المعقول أن تكون روسيا على أبواب إعلان آسيا خالية من الوجود الأميركي بينما أميركا تمسك بكل أوروبا في قبضتها، والحرب على أوروبا كانت حرباً من طرف واحد خاضها الأميركيون طوال ثلاثين عاماً، فتقدموا الى الحدود الروسية بلا تردد، سمحوا بولادة الاتحاد الأوروبي من بوابة حرب يوغوسلافيا، فالاتحاد الذي منعوا قيامه في أيام وجود الاتحاد السوفياتي منذ عام 1964 كي لا يتحول إلى قوة مستقلة، أفرجوا عنه بعد تفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي عام 1994 ليكون آلتهم القانونية لوراثته واستقطاب الدول الأوروبية الشرقية كمرحلة تمهيدية لضمها إلى حلف الناتو. والمعادلة بسيطة وهي أن أوروبا الغربية ستتحمل أكلاف الدول الأوروبية الشرقية الفقيرة، وزحف سكانها وأياديهم العاملة الرخيصة نحو الغرب وسلعهم الزراعية المنافسة، والوعد الأميركي لأوروبا هو تطويق روسيا وإلزامها بتأمين تدفق الغاز تحت شروط تفرضها واشنطن، كميات وأسعاراً، بما يتناسب ويتلاقى مع نتائج الزحف الذي بدأ نحو آسيا من قبل أميركا منذ عام 2000 وحربي أفغانستان والعراق لتطويق الصين، ووضع سقف لنموّها الاقتصادي وكميات وأسعار استهلاكها للطاقة، لتعوض أوروبا كل أكلافها على فقراء الاتحاد الأوروبي، وتحكم سيطرتها على الأسواق الآسيوية، دون مزاحمة صينية، ودون تحكم روسي بأسعار ومصادر الطاقة، وعندما لم يعد من أمل لإنعاش حروب أميركا الآسيوية، خصوصاً بعد الفشل في الحرب على سورية التي تحولت الى حرب أميركية روسية مباشرة، وبعد الانسحاب من افغانستان الذي تحول الى خيبة أوروبية كبرى، وصعود إيران التي تحولت الى مأزق أميركي أوروبي مشترك، وضع الأميركيون أوكرانيا كعنوان للحرب التي ستعيد أوروبا الى بيت الطاعة مجدداً، وستتيح جمع الطاقات الأميركية الأوروبية في حرب مشتركة تحت العنوان نفسه، محاصرة روسيا وإضعافها، وصولاً لإملاء الشروط عليها.

الحرب على روسيا لم تتوقف وفقاً لقراءة الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، فعام 1990 انتهت الحرب الباردة من طرف واحد هو الطرف الروسي بينما بقيت مستمرة من الطرف الأميركي، والهدف تفتيت وحدة روسيا وتحويلها الى أشلاء ممزقة ضعيفة وعاجزة، وفق نظرية قوامها أن روسيا لا بد أن تقوم يوماً ما وتستعيد عافيتها وتعود للبحث عن مستقبل يشبه ماضيها، وطالما لديها الجغرافيا والموارد والسكان والجيش، كعناصر لهذا النهوض فهي خطر على الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم؛ ولذلك خاضت روسيا اختبارات عديدة لرسم سيناريو المواجهة لقطع الطريق على الحلقة الأخيرة من هذه الحرب التي بدأت مؤشراتها بالظهور، من بوابة قيام أوكرانيا بشن حرب لاستعادة دونباس، والبدء بفتح جبهة شبه جزيرة القرم، ولأن روسيا تفهم الشيفرة الأميركية وأميركا تفهم الشيفرة الروسية، لم يكن هناك التباس حول أن أوكرانيا، روسيا الثانية بالنسبة للغرب بحجم مساحتها وسكانها وتاريخها ومواردها وجيشها، هي رأس الحربة، من خارج حلف الناتو، منعاً للتورط في حرب مباشرة. والنظر الى حجم وسرعة الإجراءات المتبادلة التي اتخذتها دول الغرب من جهة وروسيا من جهة أخرى، يبدو واضحاً أن الخطط كانت جاهزة لكل الفرضيات على طرفي الصراع، باعتبار ما يجري آخر الحروب، وأم الحروب، والحرب الفاصلة.

بالنسبة لروسيا كانت كل الاختبارات التي تلت حرب أوكرانيا الأولى عام 2014، محور تجميع ودراسة لرسم السيناريوات والخطط، ولذلك توقفت موسكو عند حدود ضمّ شبه جزيرة القرم وأبقت وضع دونباس معلقاً، خشية أن يشكل نقطة الضعف التي تفجّر الحرب قبل ان تكون مستعدة لكل احتمالاتها، وكانت كلمة السر المفهومة من الطرفين الروسي والغربي، أن إعلان الاعتراف بجمهوريتي دونباس يعني إعلان الحرب، وأهم ما تحققت منه روسيا هو خشية أميركا وأوروبا من المواجهة العسكرية المباشرة وسعيهما لتفاديها، ورهانهما على العقوبات الاقتصادية والمالية المشددة كضربة قاضية تعادل حرباً نووية، لذلك تركزت خطة روسيا على كسب الوقت في احتواء أعلى درجات العقوبات المالية، عبر مراكمة مخزون احتياطي مالي يكفيها لسنتين، لا تطاله العقوبات، وترصد كل محاولة لتخزين احتياطات اوروبية تحرّر أسواق أوروبا من الارتهان للغاز والنفط الروسيين، وضبط أسواق النفط والغاز على حافة التوازن بين العرض والطلب، بحيث يؤدي أي تأزم إلى جنون السوق، بحيث تنتقل معركة تداعيات العقوبات إلى أوروبا، وتتحوّل التداعيات بنتائجها الى مصدر لزيادة العائدات الروسية النقدية السائلة. وإذا سارت هذه الجبهة كما يجب فتصبح إطالة أمد الحرب خطة روسية، لأن موسكو لا تريد تكرار تجربة الأميركيين في العراق، لا لجهة بسط احتلال أجنبي يصبح عرضة لحرب استنزاف، ولا لجهة بناء حكم مؤيد يعجز عن انتزاع ثقة الشعب، والحرب يجب أن تبقى نافذة مواربة مفتوحة لحل سياسي دولي شامل تكون أميركا وأوروبا شريكتين فيه.

يستغرب الروس الحديث عن معيار السرعة لقياس نجاح عمليتهم العسكرية، وينقلون عن الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين قوله، لماذا العجلة؟.. فالوقت معنا!

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The Face of Western Civilization

March 09, 2022

Source

By Francis Lee

It is interesting to note how the collective west has reacted to the present and ongoing events in Eastern Europe – namely, in Russia and Ukraine. As I understand it Russia has concerns about its own security and NATO’s inexorable push toward the Russian frontier. Moreover, there has been a positioning of missile systems, nuclear and otherwise, right smack on the borders of Romania and Poland. How did this situation arise, to the extent which it has?

Back in 1990 but not wishing to alarm the Russians the American Secretary of State, James Baker, proposed a hypothetical bargain to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev after the fall of the Berlin Wall: if you give up your part of Germany, NATO will “not shift one inch eastward.” (Famous Words).

Controversy erupted almost immediately over this 1990 exchange—but more important was the decade to come, when the words took on a new meaning. Gorbachev let his East Germany (DDR) go, but Washington rethought the bargain, not least after the Soviet Union’s own collapse in December 1991. Russia was initially assured that NATO forces and hardware would not move one inch further to the Western borders of Russia. Washington realized, however, that it could not just win big but win bigger. The new approach completely reversed the original pact: Not one inch of territory need be off limits to NATO.  The Russians had not done their paperwork and had not signed up to the original written agreement. A silly oversight perhaps, but a costly, legal, and enforceable one.

Jens Stoltenberg NATO Fuhrer.

Well, we all know how this worked out. Just to rub salt in the wound NATO Chief, Jens Stoltenberg, has made it clear that there is more to come. Apparently, anyone can join NATO and have its own missile system installed and pointing at Russia with a 3-to-5-minute flight time to St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Well, and who could possibly object to this! (Sarcasm). Sooner or later, however, Russia was going to alter facts on the ground starting with Ukraine. No state worth its salt, viz., a sovereign state, could possibly allow itself to be surrounded with a view to war, invasion, and total obliteration. The Cuba crisis of 1962 was a prototype of this face-off. At that time both the US and USSR adhered to a Westphalian posture, to wit, non-interference in each other’s sphere of influence, security imperatives and recognition of each other’s sovereignty. But it would appear things had changed since the US Anglo-Zionist empire came into being by NATO’s incremental expansion and push to Russia’s western frontiers. It would appear things had changed in terms of the West’s foreign policy which had become belligerent and expansionist. If Russia didn’t like the new ‘Rules-Based’ Policy of the western hegemon in tow with its Western allies, well, too bad!

Russia’s initial inertia in 2014 allowed the NATO backed Ukrainian army to push up to the eastern republics in the Donbass, Lugansk and Donetsk. But the stout resistance of these two republics halted the advance of the Ukie army and inflicted two heavy defeats at Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo in 2014/15. At that time Russia did not allow the incorporation for the two republics into the Russian Federation. (It should be understood, however, that the two republics were in fact receiving aid, both in war materiel and ‘volunteers’ from Russia, although this was never openly admitted by the Russian government.) Be that as it may, Crimea, was a different matter; it was the home base of the Russian navy and a permanent military presence for Russia. Russia also held the freehold for its base in Sevastopol until 2045 and paid an annual rental for this to the Ukrainian government. This being the case there was a referendum which overwhelmingly endorsed the outcome: Crimea, whose population was dominantly Russian, and Russian speaking, became Russian again after the temporary period of Ukrainian stewardship which had lasted since 1954.

This much is history.

The West. God’s own creation. Where to start!

The United States.

­The United States is – unlike western central and eastern Europe – a sovereign state. Since its inception the US has pursued wars just about everywhere around the globe but started at its home base. After the anti-British revolution, the US started to play the imperialist game. First there were the wars against Mexico. From 1846 to 1848, the United States of America and Mexico fought the Mexican American War. There were many causes of the war, but the biggest reasons were Mexico’s lingering resentment over the loss of Texas and the Americans’ desire and acquisition of Mexico’s western lands, such as Arizona, Nevada, California and New Mexico. The Americans believed their nation should extend to the Pacific: this belief was called “Manifest Destiny.” This was a quasi-religious doctrine, which if anything has actually grown stronger as the centuries pass.

Additions to the US empire came in the form of Cuba, Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines – pretty run of the mill stuff, as imperialism goes. The US did not have a hinterland beyond the Americas but got global after the first and more importantly the second world war. The United States was to become a full-blown imperialist power, particularly in Western Europe, and Japan which had become a patchwork of non-sovereign states under US hegemony. This is still the case today. Now even Eastern European non-sovereign states became part of the US-NATO bloc.

But the US war machine ran into trouble in Southeast Asia, first with the Korean and then Indo-China wars. The carnage and general fall-out of these wars was unparalleled. See the bombing of Laos, Vietnam and particularly North Korea. These were outright defeats for the American war machine, though the Americans were loath to admit it.

US B52 dropping its load of bombs somewhere in South East Asia.

Then of course there has been the US involvement in the middle east which has included, ongoing wars against Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. More to come to be sure. But It seems ominous to conclude that the US is trapped in unwinnable wars in the middle-east but in fact leaves much of the heavy lifting to its Zionist Rottweiler, not only in the middle-east, but crucially in the US itself where the Anti-Deformation League (ADL) American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA); in terms of international relations and foreign policy I suppose you could call this the tail wagging the dog. The British had the common sense to remove themselves from the Zionist entity in 1948. The American-Israel lobby have, however, have been loath to part with this geopolitical entity which has been a liability ever since.

The United Kingdom

When Britain was a sovereign state its Empire covered a vast patchwork of subaltern states – most importantly India, which also included modern Pakistan, Burma, Malaya, Singapore – and various states in Africa: from Capetown to Cairo. There were many wars fought in Southern Africa, for example the Boers vs the Zulus, the Boers vs the English known as the Boer Wars, and the Zimbabwean (at that time Rhodesia) bush war.

These wars were also bloody affairs but particularly brutal in India – during the so-called Indian Mutiny 1857-58. This was an uprising of the – Sepoys – Native Indian soldiers against their British masters. The violence with which the British put down the rebellion has only been approached in the history of the empire by the repression of the Irish rebellion in the 1790’s and of the native Mau Mau rebellion in East Africa in the 1950s. Karl Marx wrote in 1853 ‘’the British had a double mission in India, one destructive the other regenerating … they had accomplished in a way that unbound before all our eyes all the profound hypocrisy and inherent barbarism of bourgeois civilization, turning from its home where it assumes respectable forms to the colonies where it goes naked.’’

(In this respect see India and George Orwell’s personal experiences in this jewel in the crown of the British Empire. In two particular factual pieces where he was personally involved, he recounted the following two essays which are well worth reading: ‘’A Hanging’’ and ‘’Shooting An Elephant’’ 1936)

The British long retreat from empire was given an additional shove by the US in 1946 with the American loan – Michael Hudson explains:

‘’The first loan on the post-war agenda was the British Loan which, as President Truman announced in forwarding it to Congress, would set the course of American and British economic relations for many years to come. He was right, for the Anglo-American Loan Agreement spelled the end of Britain as a Great (imperial) Power. (Super-Imperialism – pp.268/269). So the UK was, to use an American expression, forced to eat crow.

This pattern of imperialism, its rise and fall, has been generally on the same trajectory, with the various states involved having had only a limited tenure. The UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austro-Hungary, and even little Belgium have had their own involvement with their imperial fate. These are now all subaltern regimes in the present American Empire.

(See The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival. First published in 1913, Sir John Glubb British-soldier and diplomat examined the human race over a period of 4,000 years and found the same patterns of rise and fall of national greatness and all in the same timescale.)

All of which brings us to the present impasse.

The present geopolitical situation involving the great powers seems to be reaching a critical moment. To recount the history and present situation. The Ukrainian government sent its army into the Eastern Ukraine – some 100,000 men – earlier in the year, with the intent of invading and subduing the two breakaway republics – the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts, which had defied the bombing and shelling campaign which had been going on since 2014. This had cost the lives of some 14000 inhabitants of these two republics. But the Kiev forces were thrown back after their initial first push by a counterattack in 2014-15, where they were comprehensively defeated at the battles of Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo. But the shelling still continued. However, this second Ukrainian offensive has had unforeseen outcomes.

When Putin heard of the new invasion from the western Ukraine attacking the breakaway republics, he had had enough, as had the Russian people and the Russian Parliament a fortiori. He firstly extended full citizenship to the populations of the two republics which automatically became part of the Russian Federation. Next came the part which changed everything. It was expected that having absorbed the two breakaway republics he decided in his own words to demilitarise and clear out the neo-nazi forces – for good – in the rest of the Ukraine. And then to the alarm of the western elites the Russian forces rolled west.

Of course, this has caused consternation if not abject panic, in western capitals with what amounted in military terms to a complete paralysis of the West. But then the information war took off. This is the formidable weapon of the western states and is used to potent effect. But there were also economic effects which are just beginning to come on stream.

These included shortages for various components and food stuffs and raw materials which will negatively affect western economies as well as the all-pervasive death wish of financialization. Russia has not yet rolled out its own sanctions to see how they go down in western capitals, but it will be interesting to see their effect.

So, this is where we are. At the dawn of a bi-polar world. As Robert Kennedy once said. ‘’Like it or not, we live in interesting times.’’

Exclusive: Pro-Zionist U.S. Politicians Dead Set on War with Russia

World affairs are rapidly moving toward chaos as the war between Russia and Ukraine threatens to escalate into a nuclear conflagration.

March 9, 2022

By  VT Editors

by Richard C. Cook for VT

World affairs are rapidly moving toward their culmination as the U.S.-instigated war between Russia and Ukraine threatens to escalate into a nuclear conflagration.

The charge to world war is being led by U.S. Zionist politicians and bureaucrats, especially President Joe Biden and his chief implementer, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. As usual, the dirty work on the ground is being carried out by the ever-present CIA and its compliant military superstructure.

By now the Zionist march to world domination has been thoroughly documented and will not be reprised here. It has been accomplished largely through infiltration and control of the English-speaking nations—chiefly Great Britain and the U.S.

Great Britain was taken over during the latter part of the 19th century through the instrumentality of Cecil Rhodes’ Round Table, controlled by the Rothschilds. The U.S. fell under the dominion of the same influences with Zionist creation of the Money Trust leading to the Federal Reserve System in 1913.

The chief competition for world hegemony by 1900 was imperial Germany, which the Zionists succeeded in knocking off through World Wars I and II. Along the way, it was also necessary to eliminate competition from the Austro-Hungarian, Russian, Ottoman, and Persian empires, although the aid of Bolshevik Russia, aka the Soviet Union, had to be enlisted to counter the strength of Hitler’s Germany on the European continent.

By then, the independent Zionist entity of Israel had been wrested from British-controlled land in Palestine. Zionism now had a tangible world headquarters.

But after World War II, as Zionist-controlled America moved decisively toward world hegemony through war against all comers led by its CIA and military establishments, Russia became viewed as a dispensable burden, leading to the Cold War and the dissolution of the Eurasian Soviet conglomeration of nations during the 1990s.

In Europe, Zionist America moved swiftly to take over the British-inspired NATO, which metastasized by the early 21st century to include most of Eastern Europe. Also eager to join were politicians on the Zionist payroll from the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, with Russia seemingly down for the count, the Zionists had utilized their 9/11 false flag attacks to launch a massive series of wars against nations of the Middle East to cement control over the Asia-European bridge and to seize the Asian heartland in Afghanistan. Russia’s Slavic kinsmen in Yugoslavia had already been trounced through the NATO attacks in the Balkans in the 1990s.

Earlier, the ground for the Middle Eastern assaults had been prepared by the U.S. through the first Iraq war of the late 1980s. Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya were then smashed to bits, while Zionist wars against Syria and Yemen are ongoing.

Of course, Iran has proven a harder nut to crack. Part of the problem with the Zionist plans for Syria and Iran came from support to those nations given in various forms by a resurgent Russia led by Vladimir Putin.

This brings us to today.

Russia under Putin was the last remaining obstacle to final Zionist victory, particularly with China having been pacified through incorporation into the West’s consumer economy and the threat of military confrontation through the U.S.’s “pivot to Asia.” So, obviously, Russia and Putin had to go.

After Russia stomped on the pretensions of Georgia and effectively began to integrate itself into the European economy through the export of petrochemicals, wheat, and strategic minerals, a provocation through the Western takeover of Ukraine presented itself as the chosen means to draw Russia into a catastrophic war.

This was accomplished expertly under the second Obama administration by the 2014 coup engineered by Vice President Joe Biden and the Obama State Department, whereby the legitimate democratically-elected government of Ukraine was overthrown and replaced by a cabal of U.S. puppets under Poroshenko.

Soon afterward, the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine declared independence from the Kiev regime, followed by the Russian annexation of the vital region of the Crimean peninsula.

The Kiev regime then began the assault on Donbass which has gone on now for eight years, and Americans began a relentless propaganda attack against Russia for its actions in Crimea. This attack was led then, as now, by the ubiquitous U.S. Zionist media led by such entities as CNN, NBC, FOX, the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, etc.

Meanwhile, the now-president of the Kiev Regime, Zelensky, continued to lobby openly for NATO membership and announced his intention to acquire nuclear weapons, even as the U.S. Defense Department set up bioweapons laboratories throughout the country. Russia and Putin, quite naturally, saw the actions of the Kiev regime as an existential threat. On February 24, 2022, the Russian military invaded.

Now the Zionist West has seen its big chance. The time for war with Russia has come, whatever the cost may be. As Zionist politicians everywhere salivate, the door is about to slam, where the last vestiges of independent national sovereignty on planet earth may be closed. Nuclear war looms as the U.S. takes action through sanctions, weapons shipments, and threats of armed retaliation through NATO allies, such as Poland.

Russia has accused the West, rightly so, of acts of economic warfare, and has put its strategic weaponry on alert. The U.S. claims it does not want war against Russia, but this is a sham. The U.S. has already mobilized its direct and asymmetric weaponry.

The main threat is to cut off all imports from Russia, with Germany and other European nations expected to follow suit. This is already crashing Western stock markets and will inevitably cause an economic depression.

Even as this takes place, the Zionist media is trying to get us to blame only Putin. Biden and the other Zionists will, of course, continue to blame Putin for everything, and the megaphone of MSM media will continue to amplify the call to war a thousand-fold.

World war is roaring down the tracks.

Unless, someone, somewhere, breaks the Zionist shackles. As it is absolutely impossible for this to come from the enslaved English-speaking nations, the initiative can only come from continental Europe.

If Zelensky should begin acting like a sane human being and accepts the Russian conditions for peace, and if Putin refrains from taking the Zionist bait and desists from launching a preemptive nuclear attack, then maybe something can change even at this hour. We can only hope.


Richard C. Cook is a former U.S. government analyst who writes on geopolitical subjects.  

Did Russia Have to Attack Ukraine?

March 5, 2022

By Darko Lazar

While announcing the start of military operations inside Ukraine on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that he “had no other way of proceeding”.

“What was happening left us with no choice,” Putin said, noting that a “high-risk” situation in Ukraine posed an existential threat to Russia. However, he never specified what that risk was.

Naturally, everyone concluded that Putin was talking about NATO’s eastward expansion over the last three decades. But what if there is more to it than that?

Pathogens and biological weapons

In October 2017, Putin was hosting a meeting at the Kremlin of the Russian Presidential Commission on Human Rights.

At one point, the discussion took an unexpected turn when Putin suddenly suggested that the West was working on a new bioweapon.

“Do you know that biological material is collected all over the country, from different ethnic groups and people living in different geographical locations of Russia?” Putin said. “But what for? They do it purposefully and professionally.”

The Russian president was referring to research being conducted by the US Air Force’s largest medical department (the 59th Medical Wing). Those allegations prompted a quick response from the Pentagon.

The spokesman for the Air Education and Training Command, Capt. Beau Downey, told Sputnik that the samples are being collected “to conduct musculoskeletal research aimed at identifying the different biomarkers associated with injury.”

Fast forward to October 2021, when the war of words between Beijing and Washington over the origins of the coronavirus was intensifying. Both sides were alleging that the pandemic was linked to each other’s research.

That same month, Beijing joined Moscow in calling on the United Nations to review the biological warfare strength of the US and its allies. China and Russia jointly demanded that Washington abides by a UN convention on biological weapons, accusing the Americans of operating more than 200 military biolabs outside the US. The Chinese and the Russians allege that these US military facilities pose a direct threat to their national security.

Nothing about this declaration suggests that it was meant for propaganda purposes. It wasn’t widely covered by the media or circulated by the Chinese and Russian governments.

Instead, it was quickly followed by Moscow’s demands for security guarantees from the West, including that Ukraine should never become a member of NATO. China offered its support to Russia, warning that Moscow had “reasonable security concerns,” which the Americans and their allies should take “seriously”.

Just a few days later, Russia’s neighbor to the south and one of its most important allies, Kazakhstan, suddenly descended into chaos. Hundreds were killed as shadowy armed cells began seizing critical state infrastructure.

While a large Russian force deployed to help restore order in that country, Russia’s official news agency TASS highlighted reports that a secret bio-laboratory there had been compromised. The lab, which sits just outside Kazakhstan’s Almaty, is funded by the Pentagon and used to store dangerous pathogens. According to unconfirmed reports, the lab was briefly seized by “unidentified people”.

Then came the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, which was overshadowed by the most recent meeting between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. A few weeks later, Russian troops were given the order to move on Ukraine.

A chain of laboratories 

On February 25, an article published in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists cites the director of the Pentagon’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, Robert Pope, who claims that Russia’s military operation in Ukraine endangers a network of US-linked labs, which handle dangerous pathogens.

The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program is part of the so-called Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), which traces its roots back to the Manhattan Project – the American-led development of the world’s first functional atomic weapon.

And while Pope claims that the US military labs in Ukraine are not bioweapons facilities but public and animal health laboratories, he makes a number of startling revelations.

For starters, he confirms the existence of pathogens that can easily become infectious.

“If you lose the electrical power, the pathogens in the freezers warm up,” Pope explains.

“If the ventilation system is damaged, or the building itself is damaged, and these now ambient-temperature pathogens are able to escape the facility, then they can be potentially infectious.”

From there, Pope appears to try and build an alibi by suggesting the Russians “could potentially go to one of these facilities and fabricate something that they call evidence of nefarious activity.”

But the real kicker is Pope’s admission that these supposedly harmless facilities may hold pathogen strains left over from the Soviet bioweapons program.

“Scientists being scientists, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of these strain collections in some of these laboratories still have pathogen strains that go all the way back to the origins of that program,” the good doctor warns.

Perhaps equally alarming is the disclosure that 62% of this program’s USD 360 million budget is allocated for biological research.

The website of the US embassy in Kiev confirms the existence of this program. However, the fact sheets and PDF files detailing the operations of these facilities have been removed from the server. Whoever the Pentagon tasked with that mission wasn’t very thorough, as the original documents can still be found on the web archive.

If these were mere animal health laboratories, one would expect their financing to have come from the US Department of Health. But the documents show that the sole “donor” for each of these labs is the US Department of Defense. Moreover, all the facilities either had or were in the process of obtaining licenses to work with dangerous pathogens.

Two of the labs, in Kiev and Odessa, were undergoing some sort of additional construction. The sam.gov website, a central database that includes information about all US government contractors, reveals that the construction commenced in late July and was supposed to be completed within seven months – in late February.

Are these facilities really developing genetic tools that threaten the Russian population and pose the sort of “high risk” that Putin was referring to? No one can say for sure. But the involvement of shadowy characters like Pope and warnings from both Beijing and Moscow about opaque American military biolabs must be treated as more than just conspiracy theories.

What will it be like after the war?

The establishment of US military labs in former Soviet republics surrounding Russia is just another consequence of NATO’s 30-year-long eastward expansion. The same can be said for the wars in the Balkans, Georgia and of course, Ukraine.

NATO’s insistence on integrating these countries into the Western military alliance gave rise to very legitimate concerns in Moscow. While watching this powerful and hostile force inch closer toward its borders, the Russians spent the better part of the last three decades warning of the potential consequences.

At the start of 2022, NATO simply rebuffed Moscow’s core demands for formal security guarantees, sending a clear message that negotiations over such matters are impossible. It’s also the clearest indication yet that only Russia can guarantee its own security and that Moscow will likely have to remove threats along the country’s vast border by force.

As such, Moscow is no longer relaying its concerns via diplomatic channels. The Russian military is doing the talking now, and if the West is even remotely interested in averting a nuclear holocaust, they will need to listen carefully.

One of the more explicit attestations of the severity of this situation came from an unlikely source. At the end of February, Russian state television host Dmitry Kiselyov opened his primetime show by saying: “Why do we need a world if Russia is not in it?” 

Some people are still walking around thinking the world they knew just a few months ago still exists. But the old political structures and alliances are dead. So is the unipolar world. The old-world order is no longer.

These are tectonic shifts in the global balance of power that are historically accompanied by the outbreak of disease, uncompromising social divisions, economic hardship, and wars. Those who survive will live to tell the tale.

A matter of self-defence

MARCH 03, 2022

Source

by Ghassan Kadi

I am not here to write about historic, strategic and military details pertaining to the issues surrounding the Ukraine crisis. Apart from those fabricating Hollywood material, there are many excellent analysts covering these areas competently.

But as a Syrian/Lebanese, within my limited capacity, I have a duty to show support and reciprocate Russia’s support to Syria where it is due and, in this case, it is as it is one that is based on truths and moral issues that cannot be overlooked, even if Russia did not support Syria at all.

What I want to discuss is the justification and morality of self-defence.

War is a heavily-loaded word, a word that implies man killing man, humanity fighting humanity, armies pillaging nations, creating orphans and widows, refugees, sex slaves, destroying civilizations, economies, beautiful ancient architectural icons and a whole hoard of other atrocities that often are never repaired or resolved.

But there are wars and there are wars.

One cannot place the actions of the USA’s invasion of Iraq in the same basket as that of resistance against Nazi occupation.

People, and nations, have the right of self-defence. Self-defence is not an act of aggression. It is an act to prevent further aggression.

Not surprisingly, when the rules of the jungle prevail, just like in La Fontaine’s fables, aggressors on one hand conjure up for themselves the justification to kill, and on the other hand, they vilify the victims of their aggression when they try to exercise their right of self-defence.

The USA has been engaged in wars ever since WWII ended. Beginning with the Korean War, the West moved the theatre to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq I and Iraq II, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria; not to mention other smaller wars. In reality, there was never ever any justification for any of them and the national security of the United States of America was never under threat by any of those much pooper and much less equipped nations.

What is ironic is the fact that even though the odds were always in favour of America, and this is an understatement, America never won any of those wars. Some cynics argue that America’s objectives were not about winning wars but about leaving mess and destruction behind. Whilst I partially agree with this sentiment, I cannot accept that America has intentionally invaded Iraq to hand it on a silver platter to Iran any more that it invaded Taliban’s Afghanistan to hand it back to the Taliban. Those who believe that America has always been successful in achieving its target of havoc seem to give it more kudos than it deserves. I genuinely believe that America has been a total failure and that its performance as the world’s self-appointed custodian of the post WWII era had been abysmal to put it mildly.

Perhaps America could be excused for it actions during the hot Cold-War era. It was a period of uncertainty, fear, and what was behind the ‘dreaded’ ‘Iron Curtain’ left little surprises to be desired.

But, using American administration rhetoric, with the dismantling of the USSR this hot-cold War era was also supposed to cease.

Contrary to the commonly-held belief in the West, America did not win the Cold War. The Cold War ended when Gorbachev negotiated with Raegan the terms of disengagement. https://sputniknews.com/20190402/gorbachev-nato-expansion-reasons-1073764558.html

The rest is history. The manner in which America broke all of its promises to never encroach into Eastern Europe, how it coaxed former Warsaw Pact nations to join NATO, how it positioned missiles close to Russian borders, how it pillaged Serbia, how it tried to create a puppet regime in Georgia in 2008, how it sponsored a coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014 putting Neo-Nazis in charge, how it bombarded the Eastern provinces for eight long years, how it reneged on the Minsk Agreements, how it refused to reach a deal on Ukraine in Jan 2022, a deal that took into consideration Russia’s legitimate security concerns, are all acts of provocation that can only lead to war; a Russian war of self-defence.

Western arrogance remains high despite the fact that Russia has clearly demonstrated red lines in Georgia and Syria. But Kiev is not Damascus. Kiev was the capital of the Russian Empire long before Texas was a state of the Union.

Furthermore, Russia is not Afghanistan or Somalia. Russia is not only a nuclear superpower, but also one with weaponry that is far more advanced than the West’s.

The Western bully has been picking on the wrong would-be adversary, and for a very long time.

What is most unbelievable about the current situation is the Western European compliance with America’s stance. Americans may well be distanced from the history and internal politics of Europe, but Germany, France, Italy and Spain must surely know better, but they are behaving in a manner as if they are either totally ignorant or extremely callous.

Puppet states of Eastern Europe should look over their shoulders and see what real support Ukraine is receiving from America after America promised Ukraine the world and then hung it out to dry.

This brings us back to the issue of drawing the line between instigating war for no reason other than imperial gain and fighting legitimately for self-defence.

The West and its media are taking the line of presenting Russia as the aggressor, portraying Putin as a crazed Tzar who wants to rebuild the USSR; not only ignoring the events of 2014 onwards, but also ignoring past and present atrocities of the West that had no justification at all.

Have we forgotten Iraq’s WMD blunder?

Russia did all it could to avert a military confrontation in Ukraine.

For eight long years, Russia refused to acknowledge the independence of the eastern provinces.

Russia continued to keep all bridges of communication with the West open in the hope of reaching an agreement to end the impasse.

Russia made it clear to America time after time, that it has red lines that cannot be crossed, including not accepting Ukraine to join NATO.

But all that America did was to ignore and continue to intimidate. When the talk about the impending Russian invasion of Ukraine was flagged on Western media, it was because America had the full intention to make sure that the January 2022 Switzerland talks with Russia must fail leaving the military option alone on the table.

The actions of Russia to neutralize and de-Nazify Ukraine are acts of self-defence. Any fair and proper court of justice would attest to this, but not in the West, where media is the echo chamber of the Western globalists and the only key to the hearts and minds of people in the West who unquestionably believe what their media dishes out.

But why are some of Russians so surprised and dismayed now by the new wave of anti-Russian propaganda? Lucky enough to visit Russia a few years ago, I found myself in an alternative paradigm; not a ‘Truman Show’ little bubble, but a huge world that did what it believed was right and didn’t give a pig’s butt (excuse the French) about what the West and Western media thought and decreed.

I was able to see the so-called ‘iron curtain’, way after the USSR was no longer, but not from a Western xenophobic vantagepoint, but from a Russian one that did not seem to care much at all about the views and the attitude of the West.

It was disappointing to see Western franchises like Starbucks and McDonald’s, but Russia looked like a proud stand-alone nation that is big enough, strong enough and rich enough to dictate its own directive and destiny.

If anything, a few years later, Russia is now in a much stronger position to dictate what it wants to the old ailing West and the stronger sanctions today are not going to be any more effective than previous milder ones.

President Biden now represents the West in many more ways than one. Not only he is meant to be the leader of the so-called ‘Free World’, but at his old age, a mental state that borders dementia, he represents the global hemisphere that has lost its technical edge and rationality; not to mention economic clout.

It is very sad that the once developed West that paved the rest of the world in technology and innovation has put its leadership under the hands of short-sighted impotent leaders like Biden, Merkel (formerly), Johnson and Macron. Those weak and shortsighted leaders are pushing the West into the corner of cultural suicide.

They represent the political legacy that led to the exodus of Western manufacturing base.

They are the legacy that destroyed family values, cultural values as well as moral values.

They are the ones forcing Russia to create an alternative global power with China; the West’s main and primary competitor.

But the problem with Western political leaders is that they are not serving their own people; they are serving their sponsors and their own profit and loss statements.

Nations are not corporations, and the corporate aspect of Western political leadership is bursting its own bubble. It is not ready to confront the challenges of either Russia or China, let alone both of them combined. The West continues to live in the euphoria of a bygone era in which it had the upper hand by way of being a leader in technological advances and manufacturing which are the basic foundations for strong economies. It has lost its technical edge, placing itself in a conflict it can neither win, let alone be able to fight.

The West needs to learn to accept humility as a desired value. For the sake of humanity as a whole, it needs to learn this lesson before its obstinance and arrogance leads the world into further and deeper wars and disasters.

Hezbollah chief blames Washington for ‘inciting’ the crisis between Russia and Ukraine

The resistance leader also criticized western media’s racist approach to West Asian and African refugees of US-led wars

March 01 2022

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (Photo credit: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

ByNews Desk 

During a speech on 1 March, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the US is to blame for pushing the conflict between Russia and Ukraine into a “full-scale war.”

“Washington has done everything to push for the current scenario… The US is responsible for what is happening in Ukraine and it incited in this direction,” the Lebanese resistance leader said in a televised address commemorating slain Hezbollah leader Abbas al-Moussawi.

“The consequences of what is happening in Russia and Ukraine are dangerous to the world, and the situation is open to all possibilities,” he warned before condemning western nations for showing “double standards compared to their attitudes toward US wars.”

He also said that western countries are doing “everything against Russia except for direct combat.”

Nasrallah went on to condemn the inaction by western countries after Washington stole billions of dollars from Afghanistan earlier this month.

“A strong and arrogant America, the world is silent about its injustice, the latest of which is Biden’s theft of the Afghan people’s money. The Afghan Central Bank has $7 billion in the US, which Biden made a decision to divide and donate half of it to the victims of 9/11,” Nasrallah said.

The Hezbollah secretary general went on to say that what is happening in Ukraine should serve as a “lesson” to those who trust and rely on Washington’s promises.

In a previous address after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Nasrallah drew the same conclusion about the US betraying its allies in the region.

Nasrallah also heavily criticized the response of western media to the crisis in Ukraine, highlighting how a majority of these outlets have spread racist rhetoric in regards to West Asian and African refugees of US-led wars.

The resistance leader asked: “How did the world behave when the US invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, [and others] and how is it behaving now, as Russia started its military operation in Ukraine?”

Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Kiev Fails to Learn the Lesson of Vietnam, Afghanistan

February 26, 2022

By Mohammad Youssef

The Russian military operation against Ukraine has come as a culmination for a long-time feud between Russia and the West.

USA and its western allies have always planned and worked hard to include Ukraine in their political and military orbit.

After the demise of the former Soviet Union, the whole world started to watch the dramatic disintegration of its republics and their transformation into new nation states. Washington who led the strategy of expanding the NATO towards the nascent states, wanted to annex Ukraine into the chain. This was very alarming to Moscow and represents a real strategic threat to its national security.

Russia was not on any position to accept this challenge.

Washington systematically mounted its pressure and intensified its diversified efforts to put its sinister plans into effect.

Washington knows for a fact that without Ukraine, Moscow would not be able in any way to regain its previous status as one of the two mightiest powers in the world.

The West knows very well the strategic geopolitical sensitivity on both the security and economic levels that Ukraine represents to Russia. The optimal position for Ukraine was to stay in a neutral position and not align itself with the Western sphere; however Kiev has chosen to poke the Russian bear.

In 2014 the West has already then started to orchestrate what used to be known as the colorful revolutions in many places in the world, they all followed the same scenario, where groups of Western-oriented and western-supported people would start rallying and marching in the streets demanding so-called independence which was nothing in reality but pressuring to change their governments and political systems and replacing them with Western backed ones.

Ukraine was no exception, and that is what happened exactly. A new Western-oriented elite came to power, and ever since, they were tempted to become an integral part of the Western countries, and more importantly and dangerously part of the NATO.

As mentioned above, this was not possibly tolerated by Russia as it threatens the Russian territories and Moscow’s national security itself. The Ukrainian authorities had no shred of wisdom in doing this and going this far in provoking Russia.

The West is intensively using its heavy propaganda machine to accuse Russia of expansionism and of attacking and occupying a sovereign state in an attempt to install a puppet regime there. This is exactly what Washington did in Kiev eight years ago but not with tanks and military force.

Washington gives itself the right to attack, occupy and destroy countries thousands of kilometers away from its borders under the security threat justification, and denies this right to other states when the threat is next-door as in Russia’s case.

According to a new statistic released by the Chinese authorities, Washington was responsible for initiating 201 armed conflicts out of 248 across the world, which accounts to 81 percent of the total sum from 1945 till the year 2001.

Now the situation in Ukraine is dim grim, especially to the western elite. They were tempted to join the NATO but they were betrayed and left alone to face their fate in the first challenge they faced. Another country is paying a heavy price for pinning hopes on the Americans and their Western allies.

The historical lesson of Vietnam and recently Afghanistan fell on deaf ears and the Ukrainians were blind to see the clear facts.

As such, the whole world is going to accept the de facto situation and the US administration’s utmost effort will not be more than imposing more sanctions against Russia and its leaders, something that they have already prepared themselves for and got used to it.

Address by the President of the Russian Federation – February 24, 2022

February 24, 2022

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Citizens of Russia, friends,

I consider it necessary today to speak again about the tragic events in Donbass and the key aspects of ensuring the security of Russia.

I will begin with what I said in my address on February 21, 2022. I spoke about our biggest concerns and worries, and about the fundamental threats which irresponsible Western politicians created for Russia consistently, rudely and unceremoniously from year to year. I am referring to the eastward expansion of NATO, which is moving its military infrastructure ever closer to the Russian border.

It is a fact that over the past 30 years we have been patiently trying to come to an agreement with the leading NATO countries regarding the principles of equal and indivisible security in Europe. In response to our proposals, we invariably faced either cynical deception and lies or attempts at pressure and blackmail, while the North Atlantic alliance continued to expand despite our protests and concerns. Its military machine is moving and, as I said, is approaching our very border.

Why is this happening? Where did this insolent manner of talking down from the height of their exceptionalism, infallibility and all-permissiveness come from? What is the explanation for this contemptuous and disdainful attitude to our interests and absolutely legitimate demands?

The answer is simple. Everything is clear and obvious. In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union grew weaker and subsequently broke apart. That experience should serve as a good lesson for us, because it has shown us that the paralysis of power and will is the first step towards complete degradation and oblivion. We lost confidence for only one moment, but it was enough to disrupt the balance of forces in the world.

As a result, the old treaties and agreements are no longer effective. Entreaties and requests do not help. Anything that does not suit the dominant state, the powers that be, is denounced as archaic, obsolete and useless. At the same time, everything it regards as useful is presented as the ultimate truth and forced on others regardless of the cost, abusively and by any means available. Those who refuse to comply are subjected to strong-arm tactics.

What I am saying now does not concerns only Russia, and Russia is not the only country that is worried about this. This has to do with the entire system of international relations, and sometimes even US allies. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to a redivision of the world, and the norms of international law that developed by that time – and the most important of them, the fundamental norms that were adopted following WWII and largely formalised its outcome – came in the way of those who declared themselves the winners of the Cold War.

Of course, practice, international relations and the rules regulating them had to take into account the changes that took place in the world and in the balance of forces. However, this should have been done professionally, smoothly, patiently, and with due regard and respect for the interests of all states and one’s own responsibility. Instead, we saw a state of euphoria created by the feeling of absolute superiority, a kind of modern absolutism, coupled with the low cultural standards and arrogance of those who formulated and pushed through decisions that suited only themselves. The situation took a different turn.

There are many examples of this. First a bloody military operation was waged against Belgrade, without the UN Security Council’s sanction but with combat aircraft and missiles used in the heart of Europe. The bombing of peaceful cities and vital infrastructure went on for several weeks. I have to recall these facts, because some Western colleagues prefer to forget them, and when we mentioned the event, they prefer to avoid speaking about international law, instead emphasising the circumstances which they interpret as they think necessary.

Then came the turn of Iraq, Libya and Syria. The illegal use of military power against Libya and the distortion of all the UN Security Council decisions on Libya ruined the state, created a huge seat of international terrorism, and pushed the country towards a humanitarian catastrophe, into the vortex of a civil war, which has continued there for years. The tragedy, which was created for hundreds of thousands and even millions of people not only in Libya but in the whole region, has led to a large-scale exodus from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe.

A similar fate was also prepared for Syria. The combat operations conducted by the Western coalition in that country without the Syrian government’s approval or UN Security Council’s sanction can only be defined as aggression and intervention.

But the example that stands apart from the above events is, of course, the invasion of Iraq without any legal grounds. They used the pretext of allegedly reliable information available in the United States about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. To prove that allegation, the US Secretary of State held up a vial with white power, publicly, for the whole world to see, assuring the international community that it was a chemical warfare agent created in Iraq. It later turned out that all of that was a fake and a sham, and that Iraq did not have any chemical weapons. Incredible and shocking but true. We witnessed lies made at the highest state level and voiced from the high UN rostrum. As a result we see a tremendous loss in human life, damage, destruction, and a colossal upsurge of terrorism.

Overall, it appears that nearly everywhere, in many regions of the world where the United States brought its law and order, this created bloody, non-healing wounds and the curse of international terrorism and extremism. I have only mentioned the most glaring but far from only examples of disregard for international law.

This array includes promises not to expand NATO eastwards even by an inch. To reiterate: they have deceived us, or, to put it simply, they have played us. Sure, one often hears that politics is a dirty business. It could be, but it shouldn’t be as dirty as it is now, not to such an extent. This type of con-artist behaviour is contrary not only to the principles of international relations but also and above all to the generally accepted norms of morality and ethics. Where is justice and truth here? Just lies and hypocrisy all around.

Incidentally, US politicians, political scientists and journalists write and say that a veritable “empire of lies” has been created inside the United States in recent years. It is hard to disagree with this – it is really so. But one should not be modest about it: the United States is still a great country and a system-forming power. All its satellites not only humbly and obediently say yes to and parrot it at the slightest pretext but also imitate its behaviour and enthusiastically accept the rules it is offering them. Therefore, one can say with good reason and confidence that the whole so-called Western bloc formed by the United States in its own image and likeness is, in its entirety, the very same “empire of lies.”

As for our country, after the disintegration of the USSR, given the entire unprecedented openness of the new, modern Russia, its readiness to work honestly with the United States and other Western partners, and its practically unilateral disarmament, they immediately tried to put the final squeeze on us, finish us off, and utterly destroy us. This is how it was in the 1990s and the early 2000s, when the so-called collective West was actively supporting separatism and gangs of mercenaries in southern Russia. What victims, what losses we had to sustain and what trials we had to go through at that time before we broke the back of international terrorism in the Caucasus! We remember this and will never forget.

Properly speaking, the attempts to use us in their own interests never ceased until quite recently: they sought to destroy our traditional values and force on us their false values that would erode us, our people from within, the attitudes they have been aggressively imposing on their countries, attitudes that are directly leading to degradation and degeneration, because they are contrary to human nature. This is not going to happen. No one has ever succeeded in doing this, nor will they succeed now.

Despite all that, in December 2021, we made yet another attempt to reach agreement with the United States and its allies on the principles of European security and NATO’s non-expansion. Our efforts were in vain. The United States has not changed its position. It does not believe it necessary to agree with Russia on a matter that is critical for us. The United States is pursuing its own objectives, while neglecting our interests.

Of course, this situation begs a question: what next, what are we to expect? If history is any guide, we know that in 1940 and early 1941 the Soviet Union went to great lengths to prevent war or at least delay its outbreak. To this end, the USSR sought not to provoke the potential aggressor until the very end by refraining or postponing the most urgent and obvious preparations it had to make to defend itself from an imminent attack. When it finally acted, it was too late.

As a result, the country was not prepared to counter the invasion by Nazi Germany, which attacked our Motherland on June 22, 1941, without declaring war. The country stopped the enemy and went on to defeat it, but this came at a tremendous cost. The attempt to appease the aggressor ahead of the Great Patriotic War proved to be a mistake which came at a high cost for our people. In the first months after the hostilities broke out, we lost vast territories of strategic importance, as well as millions of lives. We will not make this mistake the second time. We have no right to do so.

Those who aspire to global dominance have publicly designated Russia as their enemy. They did so with impunity. Make no mistake, they had no reason to act this way. It is true that they have considerable financial, scientific, technological, and military capabilities. We are aware of this and have an objective view of the economic threats we have been hearing, just as our ability to counter this brash and never-ending blackmail. Let me reiterate that we have no illusions in this regard and are extremely realistic in our assessments.

As for military affairs, even after the dissolution of the USSR and losing a considerable part of its capabilities, today’s Russia remains one of the most powerful nuclear states. Moreover, it has a certain advantage in several cutting-edge weapons. In this context, there should be no doubt for anyone that any potential aggressor will face defeat and ominous consequences should it directly attack our country.

At the same time, technology, including in the defence sector, is changing rapidly. One day there is one leader, and tomorrow another, but a military presence in territories bordering on Russia, if we permit it to go ahead, will stay for decades to come or maybe forever, creating an ever mounting and totally unacceptable threat for Russia.

Even now, with NATO’s eastward expansion the situation for Russia has been becoming worse and more dangerous by the year. Moreover, these past days NATO leadership has been blunt in its statements that they need to accelerate and step up efforts to bring the alliance’s infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders. In other words, they have been toughening their position. We cannot stay idle and passively observe these developments. This would be an absolutely irresponsible thing to do for us.

Any further expansion of the North Atlantic alliance’s infrastructure or the ongoing efforts to gain a military foothold of the Ukrainian territory are unacceptable for us. Of course, the question is not about NATO itself. It merely serves as a tool of US foreign policy. The problem is that in territories adjacent to Russia, which I have to note is our historical land, a hostile “anti-Russia” is taking shape. Fully controlled from the outside, it is doing everything to attract NATO armed forces and obtain cutting-edge weapons.

For the United States and its allies, it is a policy of containing Russia, with obvious geopolitical dividends. For our country, it is a matter of life and death, a matter of our historical future as a nation. This is not an exaggeration; this is a fact. It is not only a very real threat to our interests but to the very existence of our state and to its sovereignty. It is the red line which we have spoken about on numerous occasions. They have crossed it.

This brings me to the situation in Donbass. We can see that the forces that staged the coup in Ukraine in 2014 have seized power, are keeping it with the help of ornamental election procedures and have abandoned the path of a peaceful conflict settlement. For eight years, for eight endless years we have been doing everything possible to settle the situation by peaceful political means. Everything was in vain.

As I said in my previous address, you cannot look without compassion at what is happening there. It became impossible to tolerate it. We had to stop that atrocity, that genocide of the millions of people who live there and who pinned their hopes on Russia, on all of us. It is their aspirations, the feelings and pain of these people that were the main motivating force behind our decision to recognise the independence of the Donbass people’s republics.

I would like to additionally emphasise the following. Focused on their own goals, the leading NATO countries are supporting the far-right nationalists and neo-Nazis in Ukraine, those who will never forgive the people of Crimea and Sevastopol for freely making a choice to reunite with Russia.

They will undoubtedly try to bring war to Crimea just as they have done in Donbass, to kill innocent people just as members of the punitive units of Ukrainian nationalists and Hitler’s accomplices did during the Great Patriotic War. They have also openly laid claim to several other Russian regions.

If we look at the sequence of events and the incoming reports, the showdown between Russia and these forces cannot be avoided. It is only a matter of time. They are getting ready and waiting for the right moment. Moreover, they went as far as aspire to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not let this happen.

I have already said that Russia accepted the new geopolitical reality after the dissolution of the USSR. We have been treating all new post-Soviet states with respect and will continue to act this way. We respect and will respect their sovereignty, as proven by the assistance we provided to Kazakhstan when it faced tragic events and a challenge in terms of its statehood and integrity. However, Russia cannot feel safe, develop, and exist while facing a permanent threat from the territory of today’s Ukraine.

Let me remind you that in 2000–2005 we used our military to push back against terrorists in the Caucasus and stood up for the integrity of our state. We preserved Russia. In 2014, we supported the people of Crimea and Sevastopol. In 2015, we used our Armed Forces to create a reliable shield that prevented terrorists from Syria from penetrating Russia. This was a matter of defending ourselves. We had no other choice.

The same is happening today. They did not leave us any other option for defending Russia and our people, other than the one we are forced to use today. In these circumstances, we have to take bold and immediate action. The people’s republics of Donbass have asked Russia for help.

In this context, in accordance with Article 51 (Chapter VII) of the UN Charter, with permission of Russia’s Federation Council, and in execution of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on February 22, I made a decision to carry out a special military operation.

The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation.

It is not our plan to occupy the Ukrainian territory. We do not intend to impose anything on anyone by force. At the same time, we have been hearing an increasing number of statements coming from the West that there is no need any more to abide by the documents setting forth the outcomes of World War II, as signed by the totalitarian Soviet regime. How can we respond to that?

The outcomes of World War II and the sacrifices our people had to make to defeat Nazism are sacred. This does not contradict the high values of human rights and freedoms in the reality that emerged over the post-war decades. This does not mean that nations cannot enjoy the right to self-determination, which is enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter.

Let me remind you that the people living in territories which are part of today’s Ukraine were not asked how they want to build their lives when the USSR was created or after World War II. Freedom guides our policy, the freedom to choose independently our future and the future of our children. We believe that all the peoples living in today’s Ukraine, anyone who want to do this, must be able to enjoy this right to make a free choice.

In this context I would like to address the citizens of Ukraine. In 2014, Russia was obliged to protect the people of Crimea and Sevastopol from those who you yourself call “nats.” The people of Crimea and Sevastopol made their choice in favour of being with their historical homeland, Russia, and we supported their choice. As I said, we could not act otherwise.

The current events have nothing to do with a desire to infringe on the interests of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. They are connected with the defending Russia from those who have taken Ukraine hostage and are trying to use it against our country and our people.

I reiterate: we are acting to defend ourselves from the threats created for us and from a worse peril than what is happening now. I am asking you, however hard this may be, to understand this and to work together with us so as to turn this tragic page as soon as possible and to move forward together, without allowing anyone to interfere in our affairs and our relations but developing them independently, so as to create favourable conditions for overcoming all these problems and to strengthen us from within as a single whole, despite the existence of state borders. I believe in this, in our common future.

I would also like to address the military personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Comrade officers,

Your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers did not fight the Nazi occupiers and did not defend our common Motherland to allow today’s neo-Nazis to seize power in Ukraine. You swore the oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people and not to the junta, the people’s adversary which is plundering Ukraine and humiliating the Ukrainian people.

I urge you to refuse to carry out their criminal orders. I urge you to immediately lay down arms and go home. I will explain what this means: the military personnel of the Ukrainian army who do this will be able to freely leave the zone of hostilities and return to their families.

I want to emphasise again that all responsibility for the possible bloodshed will lie fully and wholly with the ruling Ukrainian regime.

I would now like to say something very important for those who may be tempted to interfere in these developments from the outside. No matter who tries to stand in our way or all the more so create threats for our country and our people, they must know that Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history. No matter how the events unfold, we are ready. All the necessary decisions in this regard have been taken. I hope that my words will be heard.

Citizens of Russia,

The culture and values, experience and traditions of our ancestors invariably provided a powerful underpinning for the wellbeing and the very existence of entire states and nations, their success and viability. Of course, this directly depends on the ability to quickly adapt to constant change, maintain social cohesion, and readiness to consolidate and summon all the available forces in order to move forward.

We always need to be strong, but this strength can take on different forms. The “empire of lies,” which I mentioned in the beginning of my speech, proceeds in its policy primarily from rough, direct force. This is when our saying on being “all brawn and no brains” applies.

We all know that having justice and truth on our side is what makes us truly strong. If this is the case, it would be hard to disagree with the fact that it is our strength and our readiness to fight that are the bedrock of independence and sovereignty and provide the necessary foundation for building a reliable future for your home, your family, and your Motherland.

Dear compatriots,

I am certain that devoted soldiers and officers of Russia’s Armed Forces will perform their duty with professionalism and courage. I have no doubt that the government institutions at all levels and specialists will work effectively to guarantee the stability of our economy, financial system and social wellbeing, and the same applies to corporate executives and the entire business community. I hope that all parliamentary parties and civil society take a consolidated, patriotic position.

At the end of the day, the future of Russia is in the hands of its multi-ethnic people, as has always been the case in our history. This means that the decisions that I made will be executed, that we will achieve the goals we have set, and reliably guarantee the security of our Motherland.

I believe in your support and the invincible force rooted in the love for our Fatherland.

February 24, 2022

06:00

The Kremlin, Moscow

دلالات ترشيح الجنرال كوريلا للقيادة المركزية*

الجمعة 18 فبراير 2022

د. منذر سليمان وجعفر الجعفري

 بلورت الاستراتيجية الأميركية الكونية عداءها المتأصل للاتحاد السوفياتي، ثم لروسيا، منذ اعتمادها «مبدأ ترومان» وخطة مارشال لـ «إعادة إعمار أوروبا الغربية»، بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية، وما نجم عنها من تطور في هياكل المؤسسة العسكرية، في كل أذرعها، وتشكيلها لهيئة الأركان المشتركة، على ضوء التجارب المستفادة من سلسلة حروب منذ الحرب العالمية الأولى.

 المنحى الراهن لتلك الاستراتيجية، والمتمثّل بالمبالغة في العداء لروسيا، أولاً وتلقائياً للصين، في وجهيها السياسي والعسكري، أُجمع عليه منذ العام 2014، بحسب العسكريين الأميركيين، خلال ولاية الرئيس باراك اوباما، وحافظت إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن على منسوب العداء صعوداً مضطرداً. اعتمدت تلك الاستراتيجية نزعة توتير الأجواء الدولية، وشن حروب لا متناهية منذ ذاك التاريخ، وتجديد تشكيل تحالفات جوهرها إعادة الاعتبار إلى ريادة واشنطن عالمياً، باستحضار ما يعدّه استراتيجو السياسة الأميركية «ترسيخ عقيدة الردع النووي والقصف الاستراتيجي».

 تلك المهمّات والأهداف العليا استدعت إدخال تعديلات جوهرية في هيكل القيادة العسكرية الموحّدة، والتي تأتي نتاجاً طبيعياً لمبدأ أقرّه الكونغرس في عام 1986، عُرف بقانون «غولدووتر ـ نيكولز»، كناية عن جهد مشترك لعضوي مجلس الشيوخ آنذاك، باري غولدووتر وويليام نيكولز، مفاده إيكال مهمـّات القرار العملياتي إلى «قيادات قتالية موحّدة» مركزية، وإبعادها عن التقليد السابق من قيادات الأفرع الاستراتيجية (القوات البرية والبحرية والطيران).

 بحسب قانون «غولدووتر ـ نيكولز»، تمّ تعريف تراتبية هرم القرار العسكري، بدءاً برئيس البلاد (البيت الأبيض)، يليه وزير الدفاع، ثم القيادات القتالية الموحّدة، والذي استغرق نحو سنتين من الدراسة والمشاورات لتعديل هرمية «قانون الأمن القومي»، لعام 1947، والذي شكّل الإطار «القانوني» لإدارة عمليات الحرب الباردة والحروب الإقليمية الأخرى.

كانت المهمة الأولى منوطة بوزير الدفاع، ثم الأفرع المتعددة. بعبارة أخرى، تخضع تلك «الأفرع الاستراتيجية»، راهناً، للقيادة المركزية الأميركية، وفق نطاق عملياتها المحددة (تقرير أجرته هيئة «الخدمات البحثية للكونغرس»، تموز/ يوليو 2012، حول «خطة القيادة الموحّدة» وتحديثات لاحقة تجريها كل عامين، بحسب الظروف).

 تقدّم هذه الخلفية إطلالة واقعية على محورية «القيادة المركزية» الأميركية ونطاق عملها ومسؤولياتها في الشرق الأوسط، والتي تشمل «21 دولة تمتدّ من مصر إلى كازخستان شرقاً»، مسرحها العراق وسورية واليمن وأفغانستان، وإدارة أعمال الأسطول الخامس في منطقة الخليج وبحر العرب والبحر الأحمر، والتعاون مع الاسطول السادس في البحر الأبيض المتوسط.

 في استطاعة المرء القول إنّ اختيار الجنرال مايكل كوريلا لرئاسة «القيادة المركزية»، جاء ثمرة نقاشات عسكرية وسياسية معمّقة، «وكان متوقّعاً منذ بضعة أشهر»، بحسب جنرالات البنتاغون.

تمّ منح كوريلا وسام النجمة الرابعة في العُرف العسكري، وهو سيخلف الجنرال الحالي مارك ميللي، كما أنه ذو النجوم الثلاث. ما يميزه، تراتبياً وعسكرياً، هو خبرته الميدانية القتالية والقيادية الطويلة، وخوض عمليات «مكافحة الإرهاب»، بدءاً بالغزو الأميركي لبنما عام 1989، والقصف الجوي المكثف ليوغسلافيا 1999، وحروب الشرق الأوسط المتتالية: «عاصفة الصحراء» ضد العراق في عام 1991، والغزو الأميركي للعراق عام 2003، مروراً بالعدوان على أفغانستان عام 2001 والحرب الكونية على سورية منذ آذار/ مارس 2011. وتشير سيرته الذاتية الرسمية إلى تعرّضه لإصابات خطيرة في إبان معركة الموصل في عام 2005، كوفئ في أثرها بوسامين عسكريين. ثم تولّى منصب قائد الفرقة 82 المحمولة جواً، والدائمة الحضور في الغزوات الأميركية المتعددة عبر العالم، الأمر الذي أهّله لنيل وسام النجمة الرابعة «نظير شجاعته». وكان أحدث منصب له قائداً للفيلق 18 المحمول جواً.

 تعرّف العالم إلى عقلية المرشح الجديد للقيادة المركزية الأميركية، مايكل كوريلا، وتوجهاته، خلال مثوله في جلسة استجواب أمام لجنة القوات المسلحة في مجلس الشيوخ، في 8 شباط/ فبراير الحالي، مؤكداً فيها جملة من المواقف الاستراتيجية الأميركية، وخصوصاً في الشرق الأوسط.

 قالت صحيفة النخب الليبرالية الأميركية، «واشنطن بوست»، إن مايك كوريلا هو الأوسع خبرة في الشرق الأوسط، وإنه «سيُجري تقييماً للخيارات العسكرية التي يمكن أن تساعد وزارة الخارجية في مهماتها». ومن أهمّ ما جاء في شهادته وإجاباته، المواقف التالية:

 ضرورة استمرار انخراط الولايات المتحدة في شؤون الشرق الأوسط نظراً إلى أهميته في منافسة كلّ من الصين وروسيا؛ تمثّل طهران الرقم 1 في زعزعة الاستقرار في الشرق الأوسط؛ أيّ اتفاق قابل للتنفيذ يجب أن يضمن عدم حصول إيران على سلاح نووي؛ معارضة إجراءات إعفاء إيران من العقوبات في مقابل تعهّدها وقف مسارها لاقتناء سلاح نووي؛ إيلاء أهمية أعلى لتقنية الذكاء الاصطناعي وتسخيرها في مواجهة إيران؛ إيران تقدّم الدعم المالي إلى حركة «أنصار الله» وميليشيات أخرى في العراق وسورية؛ ضرورة مبادرة أميركا من أجل تطوير نظام دفاع جوي وصارخي متكامل في منطقة الخليج؛ الغزو الروسي لأوكرانيا سيعزّز دور روسيا، وخصوصاً بعد نجاحه في التمدّد والنفوذ في سورية، حيث القواعد والقوات الروسية هناك.

 كان لافتاً أيضاً، خلال شهادته، استدراره عطف مناوئي الانسحاب من أفغانستان، وما رافقه من جدل واسع لم يتراجع إلاّ بفعل تجدد الأولويات الاستراتيجية نحو مواجهة روسيا في أوكرانيا. وذكّر أعضاء اللجنة البالغة التأثير في القرار السياسي بأن «مسرح القيادة المركزية يضم 9 من مجموع 10 من أشد المنظمات الإرهابية خطورة في العالم».

 في هذا الشأن، ركّز كوريلا على عدم اعتبار نظام طالبان شرعياً واتهامه برفض ادانته لتنظيمي القاعدة و»داعش» – فرع خراسان، ومساعيهما الجارية لإعادة تنظيم صفوفهما، ولما يمثلانه من تهديد مباشر للأراضي الأميركية، مسترشداً بما سمّاه «إطلاق طالبان سراح معتقلي قاعدة باغرام» عقب سيطرته على العاصمة كابل.

وأوضح كوريلا أنّ عمليات «الاستطلاع الجوي فوق أفغانستان لم تعد بذات الفعالية المبتغاة ذاتها، نظراً إلى طول المسافة التي تستغرقها رحلات الطيران، وتستهلك نحو ثلثي الزمن المفترض، والتداعيات الميدانية المتمثلة بتغيير وجهة المستهدف الناجمة عنها «.

وبناء على توجُّهاته التي أفصح عنها، مداورة أحياناً، اعتبر كوريلا أنّ هناك ضرورة ماسّة لإنشاء نظام دفاعي جوي وراداري مشترك، يدمج القدرات المتوافرة لدى «دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي والأردن و»إسرائيل»، والتنسيق مع الجهة الموكّلة بمهام إطلاق صواريخ الدفاع الجوي» من ترسانتها.

تلك التصريحات والتوجهات الهادفة، معطوفة على الخبرة الميدانية للمرشّح كوريلا، تؤهله لمصادقة اللجنة المحورية، ثم جلسة مجلس الشيوخ بكامل أعضائها، لتوليه منصب قائد القيادة المركزية الأميركية، من دون عوائق أو عقبات مرئية.

*بالتعاون مع “الميادين”

As US Renews Support for Saudi War in Yemen, Civilian Death Toll Nearly Doubles

February 17th, 2022

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

“The civilian death toll in Yemen has almost doubled since the United Nations rights body dissolved its monitoring mechanism in the war-torn country.” – Norwegian Refugee Council Report

HAJJAH, YEMEN – Two parallel but very different meetings took place recently — one in search of peace, the other to plan more war. In Oman’s capital, Muscat, an official delegation headed by Ansar Allah, met with Omani and European officials to negotiate de-escalation and humanitarian assistance in Yemen. Meanwhile, the United States and the Saudi-led Coalition held meetings to plan a ground escalation in Sana’a and Hajjah province in Yemen’s southeast to coincide with airstrikes against residential neighborhoods in other cities throughout the north, which have killed and injured dozens of people and caused extensive damage to property and infrastructure.

Haradh among new, and old, Coalition targets

In the wake of President Joe Biden’s pledge of support to the Saudi king during a call and a corroborating statement by CENTCOM commander Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the Saudis wasted little time translating this support into ground action. The oil-rich country – supported by American and British military planners and experts and a large number of mercenaries, including Sudanese fighters – has imposed an oppressive siege on Haradh, a strategic Yemeni city in Hajjah province. Situated near the Yemen-Saudi border, Haradh lies emptied of people and largely destroyed by Saudi airstrikes and artillery bombardment.

The crippling siege is designed to pave the way for a ground invasion of the city, which oversees the Red Sea port of Midi in Yemen’s far northwestern reaches. The city was once relatively prosperous, benefiting from smuggling and cross-border trade. Since Tuesday, when the Saudis announced their military operation, dozens of people have been killed, and hundreds of families have fled their homes as Saudi bombs devastate the city and the roads leading into and out of it.

Haradh was not the only target of Saudi violence. U.S.-backed Coalition forces dropped hundreds of tons of bombs on densely populated cities, including Sana’a, al-Hodeida, Hajjah, Saada, Marib, and al-Jwaf. In Sana’a, where Saudi forces uncharacteristically gave a 72-hour evacuation notice to government facilities, warplanes razed the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology, destroying communications systems and triggering an internet blackout. U.S.-backed Coalition forces also bombed several areas of the capital around the ministry. The Yemeni Parliament said that the bombing of the telecommunications sector was intended to isolate Yemen from the rest of the world, adding that Saudi Arabia and UAE aim to carry out more massacres and war crimes in defiance of the international community.

Since May 2019 – when the Ansar Allah government unveiled “National Vision” to heal, rebuild, and modernize their war-torn nation – Yemeni government facilities and ministries have succeeded in establishing relative stability, managing a population of more than 15 million people, and keeping the exchange rate at 600 riyals per U.S. dollar. Now, Saudi Arabia claims that government facilities are being used for military purposes. Ansar Allah has denied the claims and invited foreign media to visit all government facilities, adding that the bombings will not break the people’s will.

UAE US Troops
US Air Force personnel operate a missile battery at a UAE Ari Force base in Abu Dhabi. Jao’Torey Johnson | US Air Force

Even during the 72-hour evacuation period, Saudi airstrikes pounded streets leading to the airport and the most important entrances to the capital.

Oil-rich Marib and al-Jawf also came under Saudi attack, while a citizen was killed and three wounded in the al-Muslab area in al-Tuhayta district in al-Hodeida. In the past week alone, Saudi Arabia has violated the al-Hodeida ceasefire agreement 1,426 times. Saudi airstrikes also targeted Saada province, where witnesses told MintPress News that many people, including African immigrants in the al-Raqw area in the Munabbih border district, were killed by Saudi shelling. In addition, the districts of Razeh, Shada, and Kitaf were subjected to all-out air raids, the most violent since a January 22 Saudi Coalition attack on a Yemeni civilian prison.

US weapons and diplomacy bring more death and destruction

Amid the escalation, President Biden held a call with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz last Wednesday, where he reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to back the Saudi-led Coalition. On February 8, CENTCOM Commander McKenzie told UAE’s state-owned WAM news agency that “the U.S. is working with the UAE and other regional and global partners to develop more effective solutions to stop [Yemeni] drone attacks, even before they are launched,” sparking concerns that the U.S.-backed Saudi Coalition could launch even more preemptive attacks against Yemen under the pretext of stopping Houthi drone attacks on Saudi and UAE targets. On Saturday, a shipment of F-22 fighter jets arrived in the UAE from the United States.

Save the Children has described January as the bloodiest month since 2018 for Yemen, stating that one Yemeni civilian was either killed or wounded every hour during the last month. “Between January 6 and February 2, more than 220 adults and 15 children were killed and over 354 adults and 30 children were injured as well,” Save the Children said in a recent report.

In the January 22 Saudi Coalition attack on the Saada City Remand Prison, UAE warplanes dropped precision-guided bombs made by U.S. weapons manufacturer Raytheon – the latest piece in the broader web of evidence of the use of U.S.-manufactured weapons in incidents that could amount to war crimes, according to Amnesty International. In its report published on January 26, the international body stated:

Amnesty International’s arms experts analyzed photos of the remnants of the weapon used in the attack on the detention center and identified the bomb as a GBU-12, a 500 lb laser-guided bomb manufactured by Raytheon… Since March 2015, Amnesty International’s researchers have investigated dozens of airstrikes and repeatedly found and identified remnants of U.S.-manufactured munitions.

Since November 2021, the Biden administration has approved multiple arms deals with Saudi Arabia, including a $650 million agreement to sell Raytheon missiles to the kingdom and a $28 million contract for U.S. maintenance of the kingdom’s aircraft. In December, the administration stated it “remains committed” to the proposed sale of $23 billion in F-35 aircraft, MQ-9B drones, and munitions to the UAE. These weapons bring death and destruction to civilians in Yemen but are less effective against Yemen’s army and Ansar Allah, which have gradually grown stronger, leaving Riyadh and Abu Dhabi bogged down in the country and looking for more support.

U.S.-made weapons are not the only cause of extensive destruction and the piling up of civilian victims in the war-torn country; the U.S.’s aggressive diplomatic stance has also taken a significant toll. Washington’s diplomatic efforts, paired with a seemingly endless supply of Gulf oil money, have brought about the dissolution of the UN’s monitoring mechanism in Yemen and have effectively given Saudi Arabia and the UAE carte blanche to commit rampant, horrific human rights violations in the country.

US troops work near a Patriot missile battery at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the the UAE, May 5, 2021. Photo | U.S. Air Force

In October, the UN Human Rights Council voted to disband its Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen Group. It was the first time that the United Nations’ top rights body had rejected a draft resolution since it was founded in 2006. The resolution, brought forward by European nations and Canada, was defeated by 21 votes to 18. “The removal of this crucial human rights investigative body took us back to unchecked, horrific violations,” the  Norwegian Refugee Council`s country director, Erin Hutchinson, lamented in a statement.

According to a recent report by the Norwegian Refugee Council:

The civilian death toll in Yemen has almost doubled since the United Nations rights body dissolved its monitoring mechanism in the war-torn country… In the four months before the end of the human rights monitoring, 823 civilians were injured or killed in the war. In the four months that followed, there were 1,535 civilians, according to data from the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project. During the same period, 39 times more of the civilian casualties were caused by airstrikes.

Advice to Biden

By supporting the Saudis and UAE, President Biden not only has abandoned promises he made after first taking office in January 2021, but is also fueling the war and aggravating Yemen`s retaliation against its aggressors. According to Yemeni officials who spoke to MintPress, Biden did not need to supply his allies with weapons, intelligence, and training if he cared about the Saudis and Emirates. “To end the brutal war and keep his allies safe, Biden should dictate to his friends to stop the war and lift the blockade; in return, the Yemeni attacks will stop immediately,” they said.

For its part, the Yemeni Army loyal to Ansar Allah has pledged that retaliatory ballistic missile and drone attacks against Saudi Arabia and the UAE will not stop or be deterred by renewed U.S. support. On Thursday, a Yemeni drone achieved a direct hit on a military site in Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia, as announced by Brigadier General Yahya Saree and confirmed by the Saudi-led Coalition.

To most Yemenis – who are highly frustrated by the renewal of the U.S. support for Saudi Arabia – ballistic missile and drone strikes have proven the most effective means of deterring their oil-rich neighbors from their unrelenting attacks.

Experts from Russia, Europe and US discussed the reasons for the geopolitical clash of the West with Russia

February 19, 2022

Source

From Batko Milacic

On February 15, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation hosted an international conference “Geopolitical war of the West against Russia: Ukrainian case”. During the event, political scientists, experts, journalists and public figures from Russia, United States, Italy, Germany, Finland, Belgium and other countries discussed possible developments around Ukraine.

Director of the Democracy Research Foundation Maxim Grigoriev reminded the audience about the Colin Powell’s accusations that Iraq has nuclear weapons, which launched the US attack on Iraq and about the massive disinformation campaign in the part of Western press against Syria. Grigoriev was a member of the commission that traveled to the Syrian city of Douma, where, according to some media reports from the West, government forces carried out a chemical attack against the civilian population, which served as a pretext for Washington to launch another missile strike.

“I personally was in the same house and entrance where video footage of dead people was allegedly filmed,” Maxim Grigoriev said. “We interviewed the people who lived there. None of them were hurt. We described in detail that information war against Syria and the activities of the White Helmets group in our book.”

The situation in Ukraine that has developed over the past eight years has much in common with the information provocations of the United States against Syria.

“As you know, the shelling of the civilian population of Donbass, whose victims include women and children, is qualified by international humanitarian law as war crimes,” Grigoriev stressed.

Director of the Center for Geopolitical Expertise Valery Korovin in his speech emphasized that the massive information campaign against Russia is an obvious evidence that the US is interested in new war and it is preparing for it. Experts from the US and Europe discussed the reasons for the geopolitical war of the West against Russia.

“The fact is that from a geopolitical point of view, Washington needs this war for several reasons,” Korovin explained. – Firstly, this war will very seriously throw Russia away from Europe and create a huge number of problems in building Russian-European relations, including building a geopolitical axis. Secondly, Washington certainly needs some kind of common enemy. There was a moment when the US lost this enemy. They were assigned international terrorism, then Islamism, which was equated even with fascism. Now such an enemy is again being made from Russia.

Another reason for the aggressive policy of some Western countries towards Russia, Korovin see in the need to consolidate the NATO bloc, which has lost all meaning without a clear geopolitical opponent, in the role of which the USSR used to act. The policy of sanctions and pressure is also one of the elements of the geopolitical game of the US with Russia.

“Ultimately, the imposed sanctions should greatly undermine the position of the Russian president, turn the elites against him and thereby accelerate what Western strategists want – the removal of the Russian president,” Korovin said.

Alexander Malkevich, the general director of the St. Petersburg TV channel, drew the attention of the conference participants to an negative propaganda against Russia that have swept the Western media and social networks.

“We have already been sentenced,” Malkevich stated. “We have already been accused of everything and in this new reality we must respond, including by legislative means. Our media were destroyed in Estonia, destroyed in Latvia, almost completely eliminated any Russian-speaking thought in general in the same Ukraine. We see what is happening with RT Deutsch, there is already an investigation into RT France and so on.”

With this information war against Russia, Washington primarily solves its economic problems, Malkevich is sure. In the United States, record inflation, 2021 was a complete failure for the Joseph Biden administration in both domestic and foreign policy.

“With every new piece of information about Russia’s imminent attack on Ukrainian territory, there is a wave of news about the need for new sanctions, stopping Nord Stream 2, and the correctness of sending American troops and weapons to Europe. We understand why this is being done, ”summed up Malkevich.

The Italian publicist Eliseo Bertolazi noted in his speech that when the United States wants war, they always achieve it, as evidenced by the experience of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Syria. However, the United States is afraid to fight directly with Russia, but will do it indirectly through Ukraine, “to the last Ukrainian soldier.” For the US military-industrial complex, this will be a very profitable business, as they see their role as an arms supplier. The West absolutely does not care how many human casualties will result among the civilian population of Ukraine.

According to the expert of the International Eurasian Movement Daria Platonova, the scenario of war currently being played out in the geopolitical space of Ukraine serves to break the bridges of interaction between Russia and Europe. The current situation is a struggle between two worldviews.

Continuing the theme of values, Finnish political scientist and journalist Johan Beckman drew the attention of the conference participants to the fact that russophobia is mainstream today at the West. And this is very visible in the media. Mass Russophobia began in the Baltic countries, when they decided to actually forbid Russians to speak Russian. They are not even given a passport. That is, Russians do not have the right to be citizens, despite the fact that they have worked all their lives, paid taxes and lived in these countries. Then they got to the point that the Russians were forbidden to have their own monuments, remember at least the “Bronze Soldier,” Beckman said.

Similar processes are now underway both in Ukraine and at the international level, when at the Olympics they are trying to ban the use of the flag and anthem of Russia. According to the West, Russia has no right to exist at all, a Finnish political scientist expressed his opinion.

The Italian philosopher, Russianist Mauro Beraldi recalled who is behind all Ukrainian domestic and foreign policy.

When there was a coup d’état in Kiev called Euromaidan, Barack Obama was the President of the United States and Joe Biden was the Vice President, Wendy Sherman was the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Victoria Nuland handed out cookies at the Maidan. Subsequently, Nuland proudly announced that the United States had invested $ 5 billion in the cause of “freedom to Ukraine.” With the arrival of Biden, the globalists have taken over, and his entire old Ukraine team is back on track. We again see both Wendy Sherman and Victoria Nuland, and Ukrainian troops are again gathering near the borders of Donbass, the expert notes.

The aggravation of the situation around Ukraine is beneficial to the American financial elites. Unfortunately, they are advancing. We must respond to the information war with a culture war. We have spirit, they have money. Let’s see who is stronger,” Mauro Beraldi concluded.

Political observer and former US policeman John Mark Dugan, who served for several years in the US Marine Corps, explained what, in his opinion, is the reason for the current aggravation in the geopolitical space around Russia.

“The Biden administration simply needs a new cold war to satisfy the appetites of the Pentagon. American politicians are investors and shareholders of the largest arms companies, so they have a financial interest in supporting conflicts around the world, regardless of the loss of life, ”Dugan said.

Among the largest contracts, Dugan mentioned the supply of hundreds of tons of weapons to the Ukraine, a contract for 250 Abrams tanks to Poland and 64 F-35 fighter jets to Finland.

The United States never comply with geopolitical agreements that are unfavorable to them, the expert noted. Washington only understands an open show of force, as was the case during the Cuban crisis. The aggravation of relations with Russia is a direct consequence of the deep crisis in which the United States found itself under Joe Biden, Mr. Dugan emphasized. Ukraine, on the other hand, is of interest to the United States only from the point of view of a constant threat to Russia and pumping out natural resources. Dugan concluded.

During the conference, Italian directors Luca Baraldi and Maya Nogradi showed their film about Donbas called Quiet! There is a performance”, stressing that now in Europe it`s almost impossible to find funding for filming objective documentaries about what is happening in the Donbas.

Among the speakers at the conference were journalists and experts, well-known public figures: chief editor of the Geopolitica.ru portal Leonid Savin, American journalist and TV presenter Tim Kerby, US political scientist Stephen Ebert, American political commentator George Pierce, Belgian political scientist Chris Roman, German human rights activist and journalist Thomas Reper.

Donetsk, Lugansk declare general military mobilization

February 19, 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen Net 

Following the repeated shelling of Donbas by Kiev, the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics have started evacuating their citizens, with their leaders subsequently announcing general mobilization.

The head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin

The self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) announced a general mobilization in the two republics.

In a phone call with Al Mayadeen’s correspondent in Crimea, Assistant to the President of the Donetsk Republic Victoria Talankina said that the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, has signed a decree on general mobilization in the republic, urging nationals who are in reserve to come to the military commissariats.

On his account, Pushilin said: “I urge fellow countrymen who are in reserve to come to the military commissariats. Today I signed a decree on general mobilization.”

Pushilin added that “large-scale shelling by Ukraine of the territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics is underway. Only in recent days, our army has prevented several attempts at terrorist attacks by the Ukrainian special services,” stressing that the DPR will be able to contain Kiev’s assault.

During the shelling, the Ukrainian Armed Forces deployed mortars, grenade launchers, and anti-tank missile systems, while DPR forces held back the enemy with return fire, Pushilin said.

Fearing military aggression by the Ukrainian government, both Donetsk and Lugansk began evacuating residents to Russia on Friday.

As of Saturday morning, over 25,000 citizens of Lugansk and 6,600 people, including nearly 2,500 children, from Donetsk had crossed the Russian border.

The situation on the contact line between Ukraine and the DPR and LPR has deteriorated in recent days as Kiev has increased its shelling of the republics’ lands.

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