Why Russia won’t invade the Ukraine, the Baltic statelets or anybody else

The Saker

December 06, 2018

Why Russia won’t invade the Ukraine, the Baltic statelets or anybody else

[this article was written for the Unz Review]

The AngloZionist propaganda machine is constantly warning us that Russia is about to invade some country.  The list of candidates for invasion is long and ranges from Norway to the Ukraine and includes the Baltic statelets, Poland and even countries further West.  Of course, we are also told that NATO and the US are here to prevent that.  Well, thank God for them, right?

But what is conspicuously missing from this narrative is a discussion of the possible Russian motives for such a military move. Typically, we are merely told that Russia has broken the European post-Cold War order and borders by “annexing” Crimea and by sending military forces into the Donbass. Anybody with an IQ at room temperature or above by now realizes that both of these claims are total bunk. The ones who indeed broke the post-Cold War international order and borders were the NATO member states when they used military force, in complete illegality, to break-up Yugoslavia. As for the people of Crimea, they had the opportunity to vote about their future in a referendum, very much unlike the inhabitants of Kosovo which had no such opportunity. As for the 08.08.08 war, even the Europeans who eventually, and very reluctantly, agreed that it was, in fact, Saakashvili who started this conflict, not Russia.

But let’s set all this aside and assume that the Russian leaders would not hesitate to use military force again if it was to their advantage.  Let’s assume that, yes, the Russians are up to no good and that they might well try to bite-off some other piece of land somewhere in Europe.

Such an assumption would immediately raise a crucial question: why would the Russians want to do that?

For some reason, this question is rarely, if ever, asked.

Oh sure, we are told that “Putin wants to rebuild the Soviet Union” or some other type of empire but, again, nobody seems to wonder why he would want that!

So let’s look at possible rationales for such an attack:

Reason number one: to gain more land

That is probably the least credible reason of all.  Russia is a vast country (17,098,246 km2) with a relatively small population (144,526,636) resulting in a very low population density. Not only is Russia huge, but her territory has immense natural resources. The very last thing Russia needs is more land.

Reason number two: to increase the Russian population

Well, yes, Russia has a population deficit for sure.  But that does not mean that just any population increase would be a bonanza for Russia.  For example, Russia will only be in a  worse shape if the number of people depending on unemployment, social services or pensions increases.  Likewise, Russia would not benefit from a politically hostile population.  So while Russia could benefit from having a larger population, what she needs is more young and well-educated *Russians*, not unemployed and destitute Ukrainians or Lithuanians! The massive influx of Ukrainian refugees, by the way, has already contributed to an increase in qualified specialists, including medical doctors and highly qualified engineers from the Ukrainian military-industrial specialists who, when they saw their bureaus and industries collapse in the Ukraine, moved to Russia to continue to work. There is no need for the Russia to invade anybody to get those highly qualified specliasts. As for Ukrainians without special qualifications, they have already shown up in Russia, and the last thing Russia needs is more of them (they can go scrub toilets in Poland or the UK). Furthermore, there are already a lot of immigrants from other parts of the world in Russia and getting more of them is hardly a good idea. So while Russia would benefit from more qualified young Russians, invading other countries is not the way to get them.

Reason number three: geostrategic reasons

What about the Baltic ports? What about the Ukrainian gas pipelines? The truth is that in the Soviet times the Baltic ports or the Ukrainian pipelines were crucial strategic assets. But since their independence, these countries have not only ruined themselves and destroyed the infrastructure they inherited from the “Soviet occupiers,” but Russia has also successfully replaced the infrastructure and industries she lost after 1991. Thus, for example, Russia has actively developed her own commercial ports on the Baltic Sea, and they have now outgrown the ones found in the Baltic states (see here for a good comparative chart). As for the Ukrainian pipelines, not only are they in terrible shape, Russia has successfully built “North” and “South” streams which allow her to completely bypass the Ukraine and the need to deal with the crazy Banderite junta in Kiev. The simple truth is that while the Baltic statelets or the Ukronazis can fancy themselves as a very precious prize, Russia has absolutely no need for them whatsoever.

In fact, the opposite is true: right now, Russia can barely finance all the reconstruction programs which are so urgently needed after decades of nationalist rule in Crimea. In the future, Russia will also have to help the Donbass rebuild. Does anybody seriously believe that the Russians can afford to rescue even more countries or territories?!

Reason number four: revanchist motives

That is the Hillary Clinton/Zbigniew Brzezinski argument: the Russians are inherently expansionists, imperialists, militarists, and revanchists and they don’t need a motive to invade somebody: that’s simply what they do – invade, terrorize, oppress. Well, a quick objective look at history would prove that it is the West which has always displayed such behavior, not Russia, but we can even ignore that fact. The truth is that while there are a lot of people in Russia who have good memories of their lives in the Soviet Union, there is just no constituency pushing for the re-birth of the Soviet Union or for any kind of imperialism. If anything, most Russians are much more isolationist, and they don’t want to get involved in wars or the invasion of foreign countries. This is not only a result of memories of wars in Afghanistan or interventions in Germany, Hungary or Czechoslovakia, but also the bitter realization that even the so-called “Orthodox brothers” (some of whom even owe the existence of their country on a world map to Russia!) have now fully turned against Russia and have become willing NATO-colonies (think Bulgaria or Romania here). Yes, Putin did say that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a tragedy (objectively, it was, and it brought immense suffering to millions of people), but that does not at all mean that Putin, or anybody else, actually wants to “resurrect” the Soviet Union, even if it was feasible (which it is not). If anything, it was the US, NATO, and the EU which, for purely ideological reasons chose to expand their influence to the East and which are now constantly engaged in a nonstop campaign of russophobia (phobia in both meanings of “fear” and “hatred”). Yes, Russians are disgusted with the West, but that hardly means that they want to invade it.

Reason number five: megalomania

Well, maybe the Russians are mad that they lost the Cold War and now want to become a superpower again? In fact, no. Not at all. Not only do Russians not feel that they “lost” the Cold War, they even feel that they are already a superpower: one which successfully defies the Empire and which continues to struggle for full sovereignization at a time when all European countries are competing with each other for the title of most subservient lackey of the Empire. Just like the USSR after WWII, Russia, after the nightmare of the 1990s, has very successfully rebuilt, in spite of the constant subversion and sabotage of the “united West” which tried every dirty trick in the book to prevent Russia from recovering from the horrors which the western-backed (and, really, run) “liberal democracy” imposed upon her during the Eltsin years. Sure, Russians want their country to be prosperous and powerful, but that does not mean that they want to become a USA-like world hegemon which gets involved in every conflict on the planet. Truth be told, even the bad old USSR was not anti-USA and never had the kind of global ambition the USA has (well, except for Trotsky, but Stalin gave the boot to those crazies, many of whom later emigrated to the USA and re-branded themselves as Neocons). Of course, there is the eternal Russian “court jester,” aka “Zhirik” aka Vladimir Zhironovskii. He has made all sorts of threats (including nuclear ones) against various countries neighboring Russia, but everybody knows that he is just that, a court jester and that what he says is basically utter nonsense.

Reason number six: to save Putin’s “regime.”

It is true that unpopular regimes use war to distract from their failures and to make the population switch off their brains for the sake of “circling the wagons” and being “patriotic.” That is most definitely what Poroshenko is doing right now. But Putin has no such need! Even if the pension reform did cost him quite a bit in terms of popularity, he is still far more popular at home (and even internationally!) than any political leader in the West and the Russian economy is doing just fine, in spite of the famous sanctions. True, the mostly Atlantic Integrationist Medvedev government is not very popular, but those officials (like Shoigu or Lavrov) who are typically associated with Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists remain very popular. The simple truth is that Putin has no need for any “distracting crises” because he remains remarkably popular in spite of all the difficulties Russia is currently facing. If anything, it is the Trumps, Macrons, Mays, and Co. who need a distracting war, not Putin!

I could go on listing more nonsensical pseudo-reasons for why Russia would want to occupy some piece of land somewhere, each more far-fetched and baseless than the previous one, but you get the point: Russia has no interest whatsoever in military interventions. In fact, what Russia needs more than anything else is peace for as long as possible.

Now, let’s come back to reality,

Putin is a continuator of another great Russian reformer: Petr Arkadievich Stolypin

Petr Stolypin (1862—1911)

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Prime Minister of Russia from 1906 to 1911, Petr Arkadievich Stolypin, once famously said

Next comes our main task: to strengthen our lower classes.  In them lies the strength of our country.  There are more than 100 millions of them and the roots of our state will be healthy and strong and, believe me, the voice of the Russian government before Europe and the rest of the world will sound very differently.  Our motto, of all of us Russians, should be a united, common labor based on mutual trust.  Give Russia 20 years of peace, internal and external, and you will not recognize today’s Russia” (this is my own, free, translation.  This is the original text: На очереди главная наша задача — укрепить низы. В них вся сила страны. Их более 100 миллионов и будут здоровы и крепки корни у государства, поверьте — и слова Русского Правительства совсем иначе зазвучат перед Европой и перед целым миром… Дружная, общая, основанная на взаимном доверии работа — вот девиз для нас всех, Русских. Дайте Государству 20 лет покоя, внутреннего и внешнего, и вы не узнаете нынешней Poccии).

Of course, Stolypin was eventually murdered by a Jewish revolutionary, Mordechai Gershkovich Bogrov, and Russia was forced to enter WWI. Eventually, the Russian monarchy was overthrown by a Masonic conspiracy lead by Alexander Kerensky. These “liberals” (i.e., plutocrats) did exactly what their successors did under Eltsin and plunged Russia into utter chaos. Eight months later, the Bolsheviks seized power, and the civil war began. Instead of 20 years of peace, Russia got 30 years of wars. After immense sacrifices and many horrors, Russia only succeeded in recovering after the end of WWII.

Nobody in Russia wants to repeat this terrible experience even if, in the end, Russia would prevail. The costs are just too high.

Today, just like in 1911, Russia needs internal and external peace more than anything else, and that is not what she would get if she got involved in some foreign military adventure! In fact, attacking an alliance which includes three nuclear power would be suicidal, and the Russians are anything but suicidal.

If Russia needs peace so badly, why the constant rumors of war?

That is really simple! First, Poroshenko is in deep trouble and short of a major crisis his only option is to completely steal the election. That latter option might be tricky, because if the “collective West” as always, turns a blind eye to the actions of the Ukronazi regime, the internal opposition to Poroshenko might not. Then some serious civil unrest, or even a counter-coup, are real possibilities. Hence Poroshenko’s desperate need for a crisis.

They say that an image is worth a thousand words.  Well, in that spirit, check this one:

Left: martial law regions Right: regions which voted against Poroshenko in 2014 (by the way, this does suggest some kind of future border, don’t it? 🙂

QED, right?

There is also another reason, a particularly shameful one: while it is true that Hitler and the AngloZionists did, eventually, fight each other, it is also true that in many ways Hitler truly embodied the dream of a “united Europe” and a “reborn western civilization” (albeit a pagan one!). In the history of European imperialism, Hitler represents something of an apogee, at least until the USA superseded the Nazis as a global hegemon after WWII. There is not much difference between Hitler’s (oh so modestly promised) “thousand year Reich” and Fukuyama’s “end of history” (or, for that matter, the Marxist idea of realized Communism which also would end history by solving the dialectical contradictions which are the engine of history). On a psychological level, Hitler was the continuator of the Popes and Napoleon – a self-described “Kulturträger” bringing “western civilization” to the barbaric subhuman “Untermensch”mongoloid hordes of the East. So while Hitler was most definitely an “SOB,” he sure was “our SOB” (hence the impotent rage my use of the term “Ukronazi” elicits in various type of defenders of “Western civilization” or, even better, a supposed “White civilization”!). Well, we all know how these Nazi “culture-carrying” White supremacists ended, don’t we:

sic transit gloria mundi indeed…

 

These carriers of the values of a “united Europe” and “western civilization” were totally defeated by these men:

These are the men who destroyed 80% of the Nazi military and who *really* won WWII (not Patton or MacArthur!)

These memories are what truly terrifies the western elites: the existence of a different civilizational realm which not only dares to defy the AngloZionist Empire openly, but which has already defeated every western hegemonic power which dared to attacked it in the past.

The Russian people, by the way, see the current confrontation in the very similar “mental coordinates” as the western Russophobes, just with an inverted value sign meaning that they perfectly understand that the kind of war the Empire is waging against Russia right now has its roots in the outcome of WWII. This is one of the reasons they all cherish the memories of the millions who died fighting “western civilization” and a “united Europe.” This is best shown by the “Immortal Regiments” in all the Russian cities:

The “Immortal Regiment” as an expression of the acute historical awareness of the Russian people

This historical awareness is also shown in the parade of Ukronazi POW in Donetsk:

Again, the reference to WWII is unmistakable.

As I have said many times in the past, one of the most significant differences between Russia and the “collective West” is that Russians fear war but are nevertheless prepared to fight it, whereas the westerners do not fear war, even though they are not prepared for it at all. Truly, “fools rush in where angels fear to tread” (think Pompeo, Mattis and the rest of them here). And yet, despite this apparent insouciance, the leaders of the AngloZionists have an almost genetic fear and hatred of Russia, because they remember how all their predecessors were eventually defeated by the Russian nation.

And, finally, let’s remember the crucial question which Bertolt Brecht asked: “How can anyone tell the truth about Fascism unless he is willing to speak out against capitalism, which brings it forth?“.  Yes, in words, and in words only, the collective West has condemned Fascism and National-Socialism.  But in deeds?  No, not at all.  This is why Fascist scum à la Poroshenko *always* get the support of the western elites under the pious heading of “he is an SOB, but he is our SOB“?

[Sidebar: think of it,during the Crimean War the putatively “Christian West” united with the (Muslim) Ottoman Empire Against Russia. During the revolutionary years, US Jewish bankers fully financed the Bolsheviks. Just before WWII, the Brits likewise financed Hitler. During WWI and WWII the West backed Ukieseparatists, including bona fide Nazis. During the Cold War, the West fully backed the Wahabi nutcases in Saudi Arabia (no, MBS is not the first bloodthirsty Saudi maniac!) and in Afghanistan. The West also supported Apartheid South Africa for as long as politically possible. In Latin America the USA gladly supported what Roger Waters called Latin American “meatpacking glitterati”, that is the many military regimes who all were garden variety Fascists. In Kosovo the USAF became the KLA‘s Air Force even though the USA had previously considered the KLA as a dangerous terrorist organization (that was against the Serbs but, according to Strobe Talbott, the main goal here was to show Russia what could happen to her if she resisted). During the Chechen wars, the West fully backed the Takfiri crazies. Then, after 9/11, the USA finally got fully in bed with al-Qaeda (especially in Syria) even though the official fairy tale wants us to believe that al-Qaeda and Bin Laden were responsible for the death of 3000 people (nevermind that NIST admitted by direct implication the destruction of WTC7 with explosives1). Does anybody doubt that if Satan himself took on a body and appeared before us the USA would fully and totally back him as long as he promised to be anti-Russian or, even better, anti-Orthodox? By allying itself for decades with what can fairly be described as the worst evil scum of mankind, as the not already been allied with Satan for many, many, year?]

Honestly, we should have no illusions about the nature of the western plutocracy, and we should always heed the Marxist truism which states that “the state is an apparatus of violence which fulfills the will of the ruling class.” We all know who the ruling class of the AngloZionist Empire is composed of, don’t we?

Western liberal democracies are, in reality, plutocracies which were created by a class of capitalist thugs with the purpose of controlling our entire planet.  This was true before WWII. This was also true during and after WWII and this has not changed, notwithstanding all the sanguine denunciations of Fascism and Nazism.

What this means is that it is the western ruling elites which need war to survive and preserve the New World Order they have attempted to impose on all of us.  Russia does not need war – she only needs peace.

Conclusion: relax, folks, the Russians ain’t coming, I promise!

AngloZionist paranoid collective hallucinations notwithstanding, the Russians are not coming. Yes, they will annihilate you if you are crazy enough to attack them but, no, they are not coming, at least not of their own volition. Not even to liberate the Russian minorities in Apartheid Latvia or the Nazi-occupied Ukrainian Banderastan. The Russian policy towards these regimes is very simple: let them collapse on their own. After all, they will all eventually come knocking sooner or later, as ideological delusions are powerless against geographical realities.

I will let a much better person than myself conclude this article.

This is what Professor Stephen Cohen recently had to say about the risks of war:

He indeed is the “voice of one crying in the wilderness.”

Will enough people listen to him to avoid an apocalypse?

I don’t know.

The Saker

Footnote 1: the US government – through NIST – officially recognized the fact that the WTC7 building fell at a free-fall speed for 2,25 seconds (for a detailed discussion of this please check out the video which I posted here). Do those 2,25 seconds really matter? Hell yes!! What this means is that the US government admits that for 2,25 seconds WTC7 fell without any kind of resistance to slow it down and this, therefore, means that there was nothing under the collapsing section. So this begs an obvious question: since we now know that there was nothing under the collapsing section and since we also know that there was a steel frame building there seconds before the collapse – what happened in between those two events? There is only one possible answer to this question: the steel-framed section of the building which would have normally slowed down the collapsing section of the building was removed a) extremely rapidly b) symmetrically. There is only one technology which can do that: explosives.  The above is simply not a matter of opinion. This is a fact.  Likewise, it is a fact that fires could not have removed a section of WTC7 the way it was observed.  Amazing but true: NIST itself admitted that explosives were used.

 

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Lavrov’s interview and answers to questions for the programme “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin”

Source

December 03, 2018Lavrov’s interview and answers to questions for the programme “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin”

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview and answers to questions for the programme “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, December 2, 2018

Question: It was a highly unusual G20 summit, with very many factors.  I don’t remember Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel having to overcome so many obstacles just to get to a meeting. The death of President George H.W. Bush cast a pall over the event. And then there is this strange situation with presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump and the US president’s reaction to the incident in the Black Sea.

What are your feelings over this? Have these events spoiled the G20 meeting or prevented the participants from implementing the agenda?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe that all these circumstances have had their effect on the events that are taking place in Buenos Aires. However, they have hardly had any serious effect on the agenda.

Just as it happened in 2008, when the G20 convened at the top level to discuss the root causes of a crisis that had spread to nearly all the countries, we are now amid a period of transformation in the global economy. There is, first of all, the digital transformation, an unprecedented rise in protectionist policies, up to trade wars, the sovereign debts of many countries and a shadow over the future of free multilateral trade, as well as many other factors. There is also the problem with the reliability of reserve currencies and the obligations of the countries that have them. It is these factors that influenced the preparations for the summit and discussions at it.

I have not mentioned the sanctions, the restrictive, prohibitive or punishing duties and tariffs, all of which created a serious and contradictory background for and influenced the essence of the discussions. It is good that a final declaration has been adopted. This is better than nothing. However, all the sharp angles which I mentioned have been smoothed over. But I don’t think this is connected to the circumstances we were talking about.

Anyway, the G20 has made rather useful decisions. We have outlined our position on the digital economy and the need to start adjusting the labour and education markets to it. We have also put forth our views on the situation when it comes to food security. Russia as a major grain producer is playing an increasing role in these matters.

There was also a thorough discussion on migration, refugees and approaches to this new problem. I would like to say in this connection that we have rejected the attempts to force the “concept of equal responsibility” on the G20 and the international community as a whole for the refugees who fled their homes, for various reasons, in the hope of finding a better future in foreign countries. We clearly pointed out to our colleagues that the root cause of this unprecedented wave of migration in Europe and other countries is the irresponsible policy of flagrant military interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa. The most serious factor is, of course, the aggression against Libya, which has destroyed the country and has turned it into a black hole for the transfer of illegal weapons, drugs and organised crime to southern Africa. The northbound transit, above all via Libya, has brought migrants to Europe where they have become a major problem, including for the EU.

Another subject on which Russian delegates spoke actively here is the fight against terrorism. We drew the international attention to a new phenomenon of the so-called foreign terrorist fighters who return back to their home or other countries after completing criminal jobs in Libya, Syria, Iraq or some other places. It is vitally important to trace the movement of these dangerous people. Several years ago, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) created a database of foreign terrorist fighters. This database involves 42 security services from 35 countries, including G20 members, such as the BRICS countries, Turkey and South Korea. The UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), Interpol, the CIS Anti-Terrorism Centre, the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) and other international organisations have joined this database. We actively promoted this experience at the G20 summit where it aroused keen interest.

Question: Have you managed to bring across to our European partners the truth on what really happened in the Black Sea (and not in the Sea of Azov, as they usually write)? Have they finally heard our position?

Sergey Lavrov: I think they could not but hear it because President Vladimir Putin, while meeting with President of France Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, personally explained “in lay terms” how all this happened, how the provocation had been planned and how its execution was attempted, as well as how responsibly the Russian border guards performed their functions trying to prevent any undesirable incidents. Regrettably, the [Ukrainian] agents provocateurs (and the provocation, carried out by two craft and a tug, was controlled by two Ukrainian Security Service officers) did their best to fulfill the order, which was found after the Russian border guards stepped on board these fire-support craft. It said in no uncertain terms that they should secretly penetrate the neutral waters, perform a breakthrough under the Crimean Bridge without giving any previous notice or hiring a pilot, and sail through the Kerch Strait to the Sea of Azov. President Putin personally told his interlocutors about this. I did not hear from them a response that would be based on different facts.

Question: It is important to note a totally different level of cooperation between Russia, India and China. One gets the impression that this time a unique mutual understanding took shape within the G20 between the three countries that together account for one-third of the world population. They have a totally different point of view than, for example, America and its partners, whom it is easier to call “satellites.”

Sergey Lavrov: It was the first Russia-India-China summit (RIC Group, as we call it) since 2006. The leaders of our three countries have agreed that this format should be maintained, including by holding regular summits in addition to ministerial and expert contacts that, basically, have not been discontinued during these years. What unites our countries was emphasised at the RIC meeting. This is primarily the striving not to allow the disintegration of multilateral universal organisations that are based on the UN Charter and the principles enshrined in it, such as equality, respect for sovereignty, and non-interference in internal affairs. Generally, an intention was voiced to defend the foundations of the multilateral, open economic and trade system. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi clearly spoke out against the sanctions that were increasingly often used in this sphere by the United States in the hope of enhancing its competitiveness and getting unfair competitive advantages.

As I said, the [three] leaders have agreed to continue holding summits, while instructing their foreign ministers to prepare for the RIC leaders proposals on how to make this cooperation more effective and promote it in new spheres.

Question: Is there any hope that these three countries – Russia, India and China – will have a common understanding and will vote unanimously in the UN Security Council?

Sergey Lavrov: India is not yet a full member of the UN Security Council, but it was elected several times as a non-permanent member for two years. We have identical views on the overwhelming majority of subjects. It is notable that our countries’ positions often overlap not only in the UN Security Council but also during voting on matters of fundamental importance at the UN.

Another example has to do with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and concerns a scandalous process which the West has launched in gross violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). When the Western countries proposed giving the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat the prerogatives that actually belong to the UN Security Council, India, Russia and other like-minded countries unanimously voted against this. The BRICS countries co-authored a statement in which they sharply criticised such inappropriate actions and demanded that all states respect the CWC and their obligations under it. I have mentioned BRICS for a reason, because President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of China Xi Jinping and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi have said that these three countries are the driving force behind such organisations as BRICS and the SCO, which India has recently joined. We are connected geographically and politically, share common views on the key aspects of the world order, want all disputes to be settled peacefully and would like to have a free, open and fair trade and economic system, which, taken together, makes us allies in these matters.

Question: Presidents Putin and Trump have held a short meeting after all. As for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was he evading you, or did he have to meet with you?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, I did not pursue him, and he did not try to meet with me. To be quite frank, I do not even know if he is here, because I have not seen the full US delegation. US National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a conversation with Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, who deals with political matters, that they [the US administration] would like to resume and normalise our dialogue. We are ready to do this as soon as our colleagues are.

Question: As far as I know, there have been very interesting discussions on Syria. Has Russia managed to move the Western countries towards the realistic Russian view on the Syrian problem?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t know how close we have managed to move them towards our position, but it is becoming increasingly clear that they don’t have any alternative strategy or tactic on this matter. Likewise, it is becoming clear that unacceptable things are taking place on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. The United States is trying to create quasi-public structures there, investing hundreds of millions of dollars so that the people could resume a normal peaceful way of life in these regions. At the same time, they refuse to rebuild the infrastructure in the regions that are controlled by the Syrian government. It is becoming obvious to everyone that the developments on the eastern bank of the Euphrates run contrary to the general commitment to Syria’s territorial integrity as sealed in a relevant UN Security Council resolution, although the United States has been trying to present its activities there as a temporary solution.

The US activities on the eastern bank of the Euphrates and in other Syrian regions where it has special forces and advisers include playing the Kurdish card. It is a very dangerous game, considering that the Kurdish question is very acute in several countries apart from Syria, such as Iraq, Iran and, obviously, Turkey. President Putin discussed this matter at a meeting with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the last day of the G20 session. They have confirmed their commitments regarding the Idlib de-escalation zone. We pointed out that not all extremists have heeded the demand to leave the 20-mile demilitarised zone, despite the active and consistent operations of our Turkish colleagues. We have coordinated further moves to ensure compliance with the agreement on the demilitarised zone and also to prevent the extremists from sabotaging this crucial agreement, which all sides welcomed.

The third aspect of the Syrian subject is the political process. The overwhelming majority of countries agree that the Constitution Committee, which is being created at the initiative of the three guarantor countries of the Astana process as per the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Sochi, is the only viable method to start implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2254, under which all Syrian sides must hold negotiations to coordinate common and mutually acceptable views on life in their country and on its future development. This is exactly what is stipulated in the above-mentioned UN Security Council resolution. After they reach this understanding, they should adopt a new constitution and hold elections based on its provisions. However, as I have said before, no reasonable alternatives have been proposed over the past years to the initiatives advanced by the three Astana countries on combating terrorism, creating conditions for the return of the refugees and internally displaced persons back home, providing humanitarian aid and launching a political process.

Question: When the death of President George H.W. Bush was announced, President Putin expressed his condolences in a very emotional message. George Bush Sr. believed that one of the worst mistakes of his presidency was failure to prevent the Soviet Union’s dissolution. Did you meet with him? What are your impressions of him?

Sergey Lavrov: I did not meet with him often, but we did meet. I believe that George Bush Sr greatly contributed to the development of the United States and ensured that his country responsibly played its role in the world, considering its weight in international affairs.

I remember very well how President George H.W. Bush visited Moscow, I believe it was in 1991, and then he went to Ukraine where he encouraged the Soviet republics’ political forces to act responsibly and do their duty by preserving the country rather than create huge, tragic problems for millions of people who became citizens of different states the next morning after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Mr Bush was a great politician. I believe that every word that will be said about his achievements reflect the people’s true attitude to this man. However, one comment among the great number of condolence messages can be connected to your question about the link between President Bush and the demise of the Soviet Union. I watched CNN and Fox News on the day he died, and I heard a commentator say that George Bush Sr made history by helping Mikhail Gorbachev soft-land the Soviet Union. In fact, George Bush Sr never did that; he simply wanted to protect the millions of people who had lived in one country for decades or even centuries from political games. This is what we can say confidently about him.

***

Question: Do you think there is a connection between the provocation in the Kerch Strait and the US cancellation of the planned meeting between our presidents?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t believe in the conspiracy theories. However, there have been too many coincidences, when a provocation that takes place ahead of a major event is used for fanning hysteria over sanctions. British Prime Minister Theresa May has demanded that Brussels further worsen its Russia policy, even though Britain has almost exited the EU.

We know our partners very well, and we have masses of questions about the adequacy of their approach to serious problems. There are very serious and very real threats. The fight against these challenges cannot be improved by making sacrifices to immediate geopolitical considerations.

Question: When will President Putin and President Trump hold a full-scale meeting after all?

Sergey Lavrov: I won’t even try to guess.

Ukraine Provocation in the Black Sea Directed against Russia. Was it a Staged Event?

Ukraine Provocation in the Black Sea Directed against Russia. Was it a Staged Event?

By Stephen Lendman,

Ukraine is a virtual US colony – the way it’s been since the Obama regime’s February 2014 coup, replacing democratic governance with fascist tyranny in Europe’s heartland.

Ukraine shares a near-1,500 mile land and sea border with the Russian Federation, the longest Western frontier with the country.

The regime running things is a hotbed of militarized extremism, waging war on its own people, committing appalling human rights abuses – with full support and encouragement from Washington and key NATO countries.

Stop NATO’s Rick Rozoff earlier explained that Ukraine is “the decisive linchpin in plans by the US and its NATO allies to effect a military cordon sanitaire, severing Russia from Europe” – part of a sinister plot, risking East/West confrontation.

Vladimir Putin earlier said

“(t)he appearance on our borders of a powerful military bloc…will be considered by Russia as a direct threat to our country’s security,” adding:

Russian missiles will target Ukraine if it joins NATO or allows Washington’s (solely for offense) missile defense shield to be installed in the country.

Two important developments are worrisome. US orchestrated and directed Kiev war on Donbass in the country’s southwest since March 2014 intensified.

Ukrainian forces began heavily shelling residential areas of the People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) in Donbass, the heaviest aggression in over a year.

It came after Kiev installed S-300 air defense systems along the Donbass border, at the same time as a likely US orchestrated CW false flag occurred in Aleppo, Syria, and a provocation by Ukrainian naval vessels in Russian Black Sea waters.

According to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), three Ukrainian vessels violated Russia’s state border (on Sunday)…another attempt of committing illegal activities in Russia’s territorial sea at 19:00 Moscow time on November 25,” adding:

“They did not respond to legitimate demands by the ships and boats of Russia’s FSB Border Guard Service escorting them to stop immediately and performed dangerous maneuvers.”

“(W)eapons were used to force the Ukrainian warships to stop.” The ships and their crew members were seized and detained. “Three wounded military servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces received medical assistance.”

The Kremlin initiated a criminal investigation into the incident. Kiev understands proper navigation procedures for passing through Russian territorial waters, including the Kerch-Yenikale Canal.

The US installed Poroshenko regime followed innocent passage procedure before, not on Sunday, committing an unacceptable provocation.

Two more Ukrainian warships headed toward the same area, turning back before improperly and illegally entering Russian waters.

According to the FSB, “before making such dangerous and irresponsible decisions, the Kiev leadership should have thought about possible consequences of its actions.”

Russia has what it calls “irrefutable evidence” of the staged provocation – to be revealed soon.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin slammed Kiev, calling the incident “premeditated.” Its aim was likely all about imposing martial law for 60 days ahead of March 2019 presidential elections, along with a pretext for imposing more illegal US sanctions on Russia.

“Obviously, it is easier for Poroshenko to carry out his election campaign amid this background,” Karasin explained, adding:

“Unfortunately, our worst fears have proved true. Kiev and the West have chosen the Sea of Azov as a region where Ukrainian provocative actions can promptly give results that are required in order to trigger an international scandal.”

Moscow called for an emergency Security Council meeting on Monday to discuss what it called “maintenance of international peace and security” – despite US/UK/French veto power preventing condemnation of what happened.

Russia no doubt will be blamed for the provocation committed against the country, a familiar pattern repeated many times before.

Kiev’s action violated Articles 19 and 21 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea by entering Russian territorial waters without permission, along with failure to respond as required to legal Russian demands and conducting dangerous maneuvers.

Under a 2003 treaty, Russia and Ukraine have freedom of navigation rights in the Kerch Strait – providing defined rules are followed through the narrow waterway.

Requesting and receiving permission to sail through the Strait is required. Kiev acted extrajudicially, according to Moscow.

The Kerch Strait separates the Crimean Republic from the Russian mainland. Russian Federal Security Service forces are responsible for maintaining order along the country’s land and maritime borders.

Its officers repeatedly asked the Ukrainian vessels to leave Russian territorial waters, ignored by their commanders. The maritime area in question was temporarily closed to navigation for security reasons.

Video released by Moscow showed Ukrainian vessels maneuvering provocatively close to Russian ones.

An FSB statement said Russian warships opened fire after Ukrainian vessels repeatedly ignored “legal demands to stop” and leave the area.

They continued “performing dangerous maneuvers” – an illegal breach of required protocol. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed what happened saying:

Kiev “first stages a provocation, then plays power games, and  accuses” Russia for its own unacceptable provocation.

The incident begs the question. Did Trump regime hardliners, together with Pentagon commanders, orchestrate what happened? Was the incident staged as prelude for more tough US actions on Russia?

US forces are in Ukraine, training and directing its military, including its war of aggression on Donbass.

US media reacted to the Sunday incident as expected. The NYT said Ukraine’s navy “left little ambiguity in asserting that its ships had been attacked.”

The self-styled newspaper of record repeated the Big Lie about Russia annexing “the Crimean Peninsula in 2014,” its waterways where the Sunday incident occurred.

The neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post accused Russia of “opening fire on…Ukrainian…vessels…prevent(ing) (them) from entering the (Kerch) strait…injuring six sailors, before seizing two of the ships…”

The Wall Street Journal headlined “Russia Fires on Ukrainian Military Vessel Near Crimea…detain(ing) three Ukrainian naval ships…injuring three crew members.”

The White House has yet to react to the incident. Putin and Trump are expected to meet on the sidelines of this week’s Nov. 30-Dec.1 G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina – the incident surely to be discussed.

*

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

The Life of the Party Has Left

by Norman Ball for The Saker Blog

“First, after days and days of intensive negotiations, Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov finally reached a deal on a cease-fire in Syria which had the potential to at least “freeze” the situation on the ground…Then the USAF, along with a few others, bombed a Syrian Army unit…Needless to say, following such a brazen provocation the cease-fire was dead.

The Russians expressed their total disgust and outrage at this attack and openly began saying that the Americans were “недоговороспособны”.  What that word means is literally “not-agreement-capable” or unable to make and then abide by an agreement. While polite, this expression is also extremely strong as it implies not so much a deliberate deception as the lack of the very ability to make a deal and abide by it.”  –from ‘Why the Recent Developments in Syria Show That the Obama Administration Is in a State of Confused Agony’, The Saker, September 23, 2016

At first blush, one is tempted to attribute “not-agreement-capability” to profound dysfunction or organizational disarray within the sprawling US Government. A confluence of human error. Perhaps the State Department doesn’t know what the Pentagon is doing. Compartmentalization run amok? Autonomous fiefdoms gone rogue?

After all Lavrov and Kerry sat for hours, man to man, their capable staffs buzzing about, and banged out a mutually acceptable agreement. Suspecting the Obama administration of intentional deception credits the about-face too much. No, the disconnect is too gaping. The strategic advantage, nonexistent.

Unless American agreement capability has been lifted from the purview of human agency altogether? Our titular leaders are glorified water carriers. The rulers behind the rulers want to pore over every detail first. Perhaps when Kerry returns home, the meeting outcome was fed into some disembodied, superseding algorithm and the returned answer was an emphatic ‘no’.

Fast forward to the current thorn in the system’s side, Donald Trump. Sitting alone with Putin, the American President seems to be trying to get away with or from something. Of course this ‘clandestine summit’ opens him up to the usual ‘Putin’s stooge’ accusations. Just a high-placed spy reporting back to his foreign handler. We are reminded repeatedly of Putin’s prior KGB affiliation.

Trump returns to the US with announced plans for a second summit in Washington. Suddenly it’s as though someone pressed the red button on a giant computer console. Smoke billows from all corners at once. Cannot compute. Another hard-stop. From all government and media organs the answer, with eerie simultaneity, is the same. Impossible. The idea is dropped. Nothing more is heard.

America’s leaders have relinquished their instinctual prerogatives. Instead they are reporting back like stenographers. But to whom or what?

Absorbing the Reality

 

It’s not just foreign policy and diplomacy. A discernible human imprimatur has been vacated from America’s political parties in recent years too. Human passions no longer gurgle up and congeal into codified party platforms. America is being run more and more like an autistic top-down machine.

As we shall see, the two-party system is a stalking horse for corporatism which is a stalking horse for inverted totalitarianism. In a million subtle ways, people are being asked to stay out of the way, to be seen and not heard.

In an ideal world, a society’s political system should be a responsive and dynamic reflection of the aspirations of its people. Political scientists attempt to plot the tumult across a bloodless spectrum. If its two major political parties are any judge, America’s political landscape today is a dead letter. Someone or something has its thumb on the scale. The people rattle on about things. But to small effect.

Corporatism has seized America’s two parties with no indication that it will ever let go. As though covering for the void, corporate media fills the air with frenetic sound and fury. A new crisis hatches every day beneath the overarching anti-Trump theme.

Trump’s unsuitability is Saddam Hussein’s Weapon’s of Mass Destruction (WMDs) come home. The Straussian myth-makers have settled, for this iteration, on a domestic foe. Centralized control has never been more consummate. Yet everything, we are told, is spinning out of control.

Trump is drawing huge crowds at rallies around the country. Thousands wait hours to see him. The political stillness (that thrives paradoxically on manufactured soup-du-jour crisis) is being invaded by an up-swell of unmistakable human complexion. Just when the System had banished human input forever. Now they’re back in an ugly populist form. This poses a grave threat to the frictionless hum of unimpeded commerce.

spec thumb1.png

Until Americans truly absorb and understand the implications of the chart (above), their political discourse will remain conceptually mired in Managed Democracy’s kabuki of red-blue mirage-making. There is no organized Left in America. There is no organized Center. This can’t be repeated enough.

The political spectrum has been invaded and ‘de-politicized’ (certainly dehumanized) by corporate interests lacking any real interest in a populist portfolio. The polis has been swapped for an expanded corporate boardroom.

The balance of this essay will explore:

    • how America ‘got to’ this chart
    • what holds this ideologically lop-sided distribution firmly in place
    • how Trumpism might represent a disruption of this corporatist configuration
    • what ‘tautologies’ can be gleaned in terms of expected party behaviors

When Salvatore Babones of Truthout observes that in recent years, “America – or at least American politics – has swung violently to the right” he is injecting a subtle but crucial distinction into the debate. First of all, ‘American politics’ has had little choice but to move where the two major America parties have taken it.

A more compelling question, which we’ll get to, is what moved the parties themselves? Finally, there’s nothing to suggest the American people are pleased with what amounts to an intentionally engineered and anti-democratic misalignment so clearly at odds with their aspirations.

Without question, a significant number of Americans (certainly those not ‘turned’ from their own interests by false consciousness and antithetical manufactured consent) would support a centrist or even leftist party if there was such a thing. After all, why should Americans be any less ideologically diffuse than other populations? Yet American politics steadfastly refuses to serve them.

A common refrain is that the American people are naturally conservative center-right. This might be true. All we know for sure is that the US Chamber of Commerce-dominated Mainstream Media keeps telling the American people what the American people are perhaps in the hopes they accept that imposed definition as their own.

If only the levers of manufactured consent would grind to a halt, there’s no telling what uncued epiphanies might usher forth from the people themselves. As it is, in the age of immersive media the popular will (if there is such a pre-mediated wellspring anymore) courses along like an untapped underground stream.

Suffice to say Babones’ right-shift observation is hardly an obscure opinion (see chart below):

what american left

False Frameology

 

The nature of top-down (authoritarian) impositions is that the appropriate social energies must be manufactured since there are no organic eruptions initiating a desire for them. Walter Lippmann had a polite term for this: guided democracy.

Even if a third party could negotiate the formidable barriers to entry, it would barely register a sound in a media landscape charged with validating and mirroring, via Fox and MSNBC, the party duopoly.

The tele-spittle-war does its best to keep up the appearance of a fully engaged two-pronged ideological struggle. All that remains is the residue of prior content and facile rhetorical flourishes aimed at evoking a bygone era when material political differences truly hung in the balance. Frankly, political responsiveness in America, such as it is, would benefit from an embargo of the terms Right and Left until more ‘people-centric’ content was allowed to re-authenticate the debate.

Another by-product of the current confusion comes from Blue Donkey-Red Elephant being so profoundly installed that no criticism can be lodged against one party without reflexive accusations being hurled at other side. In a strange way, this dead-on-arrival reflexivity insulates the entire frame from valid critique. All criticism becomes prima faciepartisan, ridden with self-interest and thus not deserving of serious examination.

Instead the red/blue, Donkey-to-the-Left-Elephant-to-the-Right configuration (below) enforces the debate parameters, complete with chastely rendered equidistance from some copacetic and completely fabricated Center. A google search turns up hundreds of similar representations. Countless media hours have been expended to manufacture mass consent around this false premise. Media propagates and amplifies the divide, making frenetic hay out of a dime’s worth of dodgy difference.

wrong spectrum

The oligarchy realized long ago that a toothless dialectical configuration dissipates populist energies. Toothless how? To the extent mass energy can exhaust itself horizontally in a fairy-tale struggle based on ideological virtue-signalling, an assault by the Bottom on the Top is forever forestalled. Shifting the entire ill-suited parade to the Right offers core corporatist values a double layer of misdirection. How neat. How tidy. How pointless. How dystopian.

The people are endlessly conscripted into what amount to internecine corporate struggles, a proverbial Groundhog Day of the Eternally Wrong Battle. Those who never ‘find themselves improperly arrayed’ are precisely those who’ve ingested near-fatal amounts of false consciousness.

America’s choked with sentimental left-leaning denialists who still cling to the Democratic Party the way a lion cub circles its dead mother before coming to terms with her demise. These folks need a stomach-pumping, a brain transplant or perhaps an exorcism. Before these expensive remedies though, a brick through Rachel Maddow’s televised mug should be attempted first.

Take Obamacare for example. Despite all the obligatory language aimed at winning voter compliance, it was developed with private insurance companies uppermost in mind. That many of them subsequently abandoned the program as a result of undue complexity doesn’t erase the fact that business was the intended customer. In all these corporate battles, the people become more akin to Heidegger’s standing reserve: something to be extracted from and deceived in order to ‘line up the votes’ as opposed to being forthrightly served. This is more than a subtle distinction.

For the moment, a spellbound stadium population is held fast by the comfort of two. Predictable enemies are like old friends. Me good, you bad. An entity with one foe can be relied upon not to let its gaze wander. Opposing mugs and tee-shirts sell like hotcakes. The NFL team-frame is a powerfully reinforcing binary template.

Whereas coalition politics smacks of European enfeeblement and excessive nuance. No one wants complexity seeping into the water like fluoride where it can jeopardize the impulsive risk-taking so typical of American forward-ho-ness.

Then there’s the credulity of the American viewing audience, as seemingly bottomless as divide-and-conquer crowd management is insidiously effective. Media content has body-snatched autonomous cognition. People think they’re thinking but they’re only listening and repeating. Stockholm Syndrome and habitually confined-space dynamics play key roles too. People, like slow-boiling frogs, seem capable of acclimating to a two-inch ledge while convincing themselves they’re still fighting for boundless prairie.

When the White Southern aristocracy bestowed the front of the bus to the poor white redneck, the latter guarded his Brahmin-like allotment with all the fervor of Davy Crockett at the Alamo. Focused like a laser beam on the red line spray-painted between rows 8 and 9, Bubba failed to notice a sniggering Beauregard T. Pufard III speeding by in his window-tinted Lincoln-Continental.

 

Better to Kick Your Elephant Than Cure My Donkey

 

For those not glued to TV, little can obscure the fact that the Democratic Party suffers from an illness far graver than anything that ails its elephant twin. Already cognitively-neutered ‘liberal’ Democrats are coming out of their seats at this ‘partisan insinuation’.

However that’s sort of the point.

A corollary to the spectrum chart’s ‘myth of equidistance’ is that no party can possibly be more dysfunctional, more hypocritical or more inauthentic than the other. Furthermore, only a point-scoring enemy combatant would have the audacity to allege such a sacrilege.

Unfortunately, this diagnosis is apt when we consider the comparatively vaster distance the Donkey had to travel from its traditional New Deal/Great Society perch in order to sidle up beside the Republican Party and essentially divide the corporate market (see chart below). Such migratory paths are not traversable without boatloads of soul-selling happening first. Profound cognitive dissonance induces nausea and confusion. Prodded too much, it strikes with an outsized anger. Trump Derangement Syndrome is famous for eliciting this response.

sprectrum distribution.png

In the Valley of Death: A Tactical/Evolutionary Roadmap

 

So how did the party of FDR become a sycophantic shadow of the GOP? There is both a tactical/evolutionary and a conceptual explanation.

For the first, this 25-minute Ralph Nader interview is well worth the reader’s time. There’s no one better qualified to chronicle the fifty-year capitulation of the Democratic Party than one of the era’s chief protagonists. Nader after all invented the consumer, environmental and workers’ safety movements, essentially progressive American politics in the modern age.

nader days of revolt

Honest people can differ as to the wisdom of the progressive era. The point of this essay is to catalog definitively its demise. A summary timeline follows:

1965 – Nader writes ‘Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile’. The ensuing Senate hearings lead to the formation of the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Seat belts become mandatory in 49 of the 50 states.

1969-74 – Calling Republican President Nixon both, “our last liberal President” and the “last President afraid of liberals”, Nader duly credits him with the lion’s share of progressive legislation such as the Air Quality Act (1967) and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (1970). How ironic.

1971 – Alarmed by a series of largely uncontested progressive legislative victories, Lewis Powell (soon to be a Nixon Supreme Court appointee) drafts his eponymous 34-page Memorandum to the US Chamber of Commerce. In it, he urges American business to form a lobbying and think-tank complex aimed at pushing back on the Left. This is the equivalent of waking a sleeping giant:

“The American economic system is under broad attack…Business must learn the lesson…that political power is necessary, that such power must be assiduously cultivated and that when necessary it must be used aggressively and with determination–without embarrassment and reluctance.” 

1973 – Conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation is formed. Ultimately, the Reagan Administration will adopt two-thirds of the Foundation’s 1981 policy recommendations.

1974 – The Powell Memorandum galvanizes the business community in short order; so quickly in fact that Nader concedes: “There hasn’t been a single major piece of legislation advancing the health, safety and economic rights of the American people since 1974.” 

1978 – The Consumer Protection Act is defeated due to an unprecedented assault by corporate lobbing interests. Nader calls this the ‘high-water mark of the consumer movement’.

1978 – California freshman congressman Democrat Tony Coelho outspends his Republican opponent 2:1. Democratic Party big-wigs take keen notice.

1980 – Coehlo becomes chairman and chief fundraiser for The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee or ‘D-triple-C’, the youngest since LBJ. Notes the Washington Times:

“Republicans erred in thinking businesses would support their free-market ideology. Mr. Coelho understood that what businesses really want from government is protection, tax breaks, loopholes and contracts.” 

Enter two-fisted corporatism and the retail politics money chase.

1980s – Generally, the Reagan Era. A number of key liberal Senators are buried in the Reagan Landslide. One facet of Reaganomics involves appointing pro-business agency heads who oppose the spirit of the underlying regulations. This proves to be an effective strategy.

1993-present – Clintonism, often called Third Way politics, consolidated the corporatist gains achieved by Powell, Coehlo and Reagan. Indeed the Democratic Party is still a captive of Clintonism. How do we know this? Hillary Clinton was the party’s 2016 Presidential nominee and her name was floated just this week for the 2020 ticket.

Clintonism deserves expanded attention for it stone-cold cynicism and evil genius. Indeed Bill Clinton may be the Mephistopheles of this play. While Justice Powell may have hatched Satan’s spawn, the devastating duration of Clinton’s namesake movement –25 years and counting– certainly puts the former President in contention for chief body-snatcher.

Clinton realized that if he succeeded in shifting the Democratic Party to the right, he could compete on an equal footing for corporate dollars while continuing to enjoy the political support of the Left and Center. How so? Because the Democratic Party could be assured of winning the lesser-of-two-evils calculus every time, provided they peppered their rhetoric with feel-good leftist bromides. Laborite Tony Blair pursued the same Third Way politics in the UK. Where, after all, was the Left going to go?

The term ‘third way’ (Dick Morris called it triangulation) was meant to imply an authentic dialectical ‘best-of-the-best’ synthesis of traditional liberalism with self-aware business-friendliness. Critics however saw through it as little more than a cynical, “coddling of big money (except guns and tobacco), winning at any cost, flip-flopping and prevaricating”.

The plight of American liberalism over the last fifty years can be summarized thus: the progressive-liberal movement was remarkably short-lived (1964-74), the bulk of it was accomplished by a widely demonized Republican President (Nixon in 1969-74), Reaganomics dismantled much of it through deregulation while Clintonism finished the job by shutting the door to organized center-left resistance and promoting a full-on corporatist agenda. NAFTA anyone?

We close this circle with an astounding punchline from Ralph Nader: There hasn’t been a major piece of legislation advancing the American people’s interests for 44 years!

spectrum thumb

 

In the Valley of Death: A Conceptual Framework

 

Interestingly, a year after Unsafe at Any Speed, Bill Clinton mentor and Georgetown University Professor Carrol Quigley pointed the way to our future in his 1966 book, Tragedy and Hope:

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies… is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.”

Over the ensuing half-century the American Democratic and Republican parties have achieved an even tighter conformance propelled by a monism that hides behind a putative party duopoly. Because yes, America is moving along an eschatological conveyor to a monist unity where, in time, even the Potemkin twin-villages will fall away.

In his book Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, Sheldon Wolin refers to this monistic drive as totalism. Forget elaborate geopolitical analysis for a minute, and yes even Genie Oil and Gas. The reason Syria, Iran and North Korea are under assault is that they violate the totalizing ethos of the central banking regime. All the rest is secondary and tertiary newspaper fodder.

Dissent is an abomination to the monistic worldview. In Nineteen-Eighty-Four, it is imperative to the self-image of the regime that Goldstein wring ‘willing consent’ from Winston Smith. Big Brother must be legitimate even in his own eyes. It’s the same reason despots run uncontested on ballots and then bask in their lop-sided ‘victories’.

The ‘inversion’ in Wolin’s brand of totalitarianism derives from the fact that preeminent economic interests have harnessed the power of the State. Whereas in the classical form, Mussolini enlisted and subordinated economic interests to further the totalizing power of the State.

In Wolin’s configuration, “inverted totalitarianism perpetuates politics all the time but a politics that is not political…a politics without politics.” Political language –Left, Right, Conservative, Liberal– becomes a provisional exercise in crowd-pleasing. Moreover political discussion and analysis are deployed mainly to disguise the underlying corporatist motives lurking behind all public actions.

In the inverted (some might say perfected) form, there is no precise locus of political power, no charismatic leader, to be toppled, thus ‘ending the nightmare’. Rather the power is diffused and distributed within and throughout a featureless administrative state complicit with thousands of interlocking corporate interests. Wolin expands the complex here to include: “…governmental contracts, corporate and foundation funds, joint projects involving university and corporate researchers, and wealthy individual donors, universities (especially so-called research universities), intellectuals, scholars, and researchers hav[ing] been seamlessly integrated into the system.” The serpent has no head. It has morphed into an ubiquitous atmosphere.

We find too in inverted totalitarianism the totalizing Spirit of Antichrist, hell-bent on a mission of complete earthly hegemony against which no human force can prevail. Not only is the Beast “not-agreement-capable”, it is agreement-impervious and wholly committed to an inhuman and eschatologically-ordained terminus where people are held in complete contempt.

A Pending Case Study

 

America is about to be conceptually ‘head-turned’ again with Trump’s negotiated trade deal, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), poised for debate in the Senate. Already, the counter-intuitive ramparts are being prepared.

Organized Labor is lining up with its age-old partner-in-corruption, the Democratic Party. Because the Donkey is loath to give Trump a victory on something as ‘close to its heart’ as American workers (that would be mighty embarrassing, wouldn’t it?), Organized Labor must do the same. This promises to be a cognitively dissonant whopper of a skirmish.

WND’s Curtis Ellis describes this alliance’s deep roots:

“There’s always been an unholy alliance between corporatism and the left. Since the birth of the progressive movement, big corporations have used the instrument of big government regulation to cement their market position and strangle small businesses, upstarts and insurgents who threatened their dominance.”

He probably meant the unholy alliance existing between corporatism and the Democratic Party. Indeed the evidence of Trump’s economic populism is on full display in the USMCA. The Democrats must be beside themselves.

Regional Vehicle Content (RVC) for all types of vehicles sold in North American is increasing from NAFTA’s 60% to 75% for most vehicle types, 40% of an automobile and 45% of a light truck must be produced using an average labor wage of $16/hour.

While admittedly not in the same league, this baseline wage-setting recalls Henry Ford’s transformative $5/day program. Overnight, Ford’s employees received in some case 150-200% wage bumps. The company’s dominant market share made his competitors match it or die.

Ford’s enlightened capitalist invented American discretionary income which went on to invent the middle class. Should this wage floor manage to stick and reverberate through Mexican society, the implications for that nation will be immense. North American wage parity will do much to ‘arbitrage away’  illegal immigration.

Predictably, this baseline wage is being picked at by Organized Labor because it isn’t indexed to inflation, Mexican compliance will hard to enforce, etc. Hear the grumbling already –and this from a party that managed to live with NAFTA for 25 years (for which Wall Street. a Democratic patron, is eternally grateful):

“House Democrats are particularly concerned about a provision that would require at least 30 percent of the labor used to build each car in Mexico to be completed by workers earning at least $16 an hour. That amount will rise to 40 percent by 2023 but the $16 wage is not indexed to inflation, meaning the increase will be diluted over time as prices rise.”

The Agreement’s Article 32.10 restricts the ability of all three countries to unilaterally negotiate free trade agreements with “non-market economies” (ahem, China). This transforms North America into a job-protecting trade bloc further increasing the continent’s market power.

The point is USMCA is an agreement the Democrats are politically (i.e. nominally) obliged to support, if only political obligations still mattered. Alas, Wall Street is the preeminent champion of borderless ‘free trade’ (read: globalism). Wall Street makes a fortune moving Main Street jobs offshore.

It will be fascinating to watch the Managed Democracy media apparatus grind against the evil Trump’s heroic efforts to reindustrialize America at a livable wage. Decades of anti-NAFTA crocodile tears will no longer be enough.

Off-the-Chart Populism

Which brings us to the elephant in the room. No, not that elephant. The other one. A true enemy of the Totalitarian Machine is measured by the outrage he evokes in all the proper suspects. On this point, President Trump passes with flying colors.

Multinational corporations are the foot soldiers of inverted totalitarianism set loose on the world. Their field commander is the US Chamber of Commerce, the single most powerful and feared lobbying group in Washington. Much can be said about Trump’s garrulous coarseness, his ego-driven bloviations. This is low-hanging fruit for the propaganda onslaught. Much can be said too of his slim prospects for success. Few can argue he’s an infuriating, yet all-too-human, force.

uscoc

The Donkey’s stultified spokespeople have taken to calling him a fascist and a Nazi. When all else fails, Nazify the opposition. Trump’s ability to engage and excite the middle of America is frightening to all the right people, which is to say all the wrong people.

Trump spearheads a populist insurgency and the most exogenous proposition since at least JFK. This places him off the rote chart of American Political Spec-thumb.

Please, there are no panaceas and the hour for America in its current permutation is late. Nonetheless the sense among at least half the nation is that they have in Trump a President who is discernibly grappling against forces anathema to their interests. This alone is a sea-level change after decades of hermetic elitism. Agreement capability, if it is to be resumed, is an outward emanation that must begin at home.

Brazilian Ambassador to Moscow Completes Mission, Predicts Future of Relations with RussiaBrazil and Iran Develop New Agribusiness Strategy and Boost Cooperation

Source

 

What will the dynamics of Russian-Brazilian relations in the context of succession of governments look like? The long history of friendship between the two peoples, which just celebrated 190 years, shows that it has always been solid, regardless of the politicians who were in power and the ideology that guided the states.

Today, at the headquarters of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, in the heart of Moscow, a solemn ceremony was held for the opening of the exhibition dedicated to the recent anniversary of the bilateral relationship between the two countries. The event provided a recapitulation presented in photos and documents of the Russian-Brazilian ties from its beginning, dated October 3, 1828, to the present Temer government.

In addition to numerous diplomats, including from other Latin American countries, professors, academics and journalists, the ceremony was attended by distinguished guests – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Brazilian ambassador to Moscow, Antonio Luis Espinola Salgado, who is about to complete his diplomatic mission in the Russian capital.

“It is symbolic that Brazil was the first country in Latin America with which the Russian government established diplomatic ties. In fact, Brazil served as a ‘gateway’ to this unique region for Russia. We have accumulated considerable experience of constructive cooperation,” said the Russian official, speaking at the opening of the event.

Ekaterina_Nenakhova_SputnikBR@ESputnikbr
Sergei Lavrov stressed the importance of Russian-Brazilian interaction in issues such as peace, which is nourished by the ideological proximity of the doctrines of the two countries, reiterating the importance of close coordination in such platforms as the UN, G20 and BRICS. The minister also took the opportunity to underline the successes of cultural projects, such as the Bolshoi Theater School in Joinville, the only affiliate of this kind abroad.

“According to the Brazilian proverb, my friend is not the one who says he is going, but rather the one that says I am going with you. Nowadays there is a clear bilateral interest in moving forward and in deepening the Russian-Brazilian strategic partnership,” said the minister.

Ekaterina_Nenakhova_SputnikBR@ESputnikbr
Brazilian ambassador Antonio Luis Espinola Salgado evaluated the results of his two-year diplomatic mission, which began several months after the arrival of the Temer government.

“In the two years that I was here in front of the embassy in Moscow, relations between Russia and Brazil deepened, we had the visit of President Temer in June 2017, during which several documents were signed, political dialogue has been developing at many levels and on a range of topics, from disarmament, non-proliferation of arms and human rights to multilateral issues,” said the diplomat.

Sins without Recourse, Beast without Remorse

October 26, 2018

by Norman Ball for The Saker Blog

“[W]e, as serious people, cannot examine the concrete problems that are thrown when the Russian Federation is accused of all mortal sins without recourse to the processes (norms) created for similar cases,” –from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s October 18th interview with RT France.

Russia labors under a West-imposed Original Sin that can obtain dispensation only with the former’s existential cessation. The root of this Sin is the root itself. Russia is Russia, after all. That cannot be rectified.

In light of this dead-stop, what can only be called an apriori –and fatal– naivete pervades much of the prescriptive analysis we read every day. If Putin would only hop or jump or swagger or dance (it differs from one sage to the next) then, we are assured, the properly calibrated gesture would elicit a jackpot of redemptive good will. Godot would pop over the horizon. The crisis would defuse.

Alas, this is an all-too-human read which, while perhaps befitting of a bygone era, falls short of the present moment’s activated spiritual Principalities.

Speaking of Godot, from the same interview that prefaces this essay, Lavrov resigns himself to a “serious, professional and non-propagandistic” discussion at some later time when the current “outbreak of political rage” abates. Whether or not he believes a terrestrial conclusion will arrive in time, we cannot know. He’s a poet. Is he a Christian? Lavrov, ever the consummate diplomat, is nonetheless obliged to sound the proper notes.

It remained for his boss, on the same day, to access otherworldly coordinates with the most astonishing rhetoric (Radio Free Europe called it, “more biblical than technical”) at a Sochi forum:

Putin is making the remarkable admission that if no honorable approach for Russia remains for recovering a constructive relationship with the West (and since crawling along a contritious path is out of the question), Heaven (or Hell) beckons in the wings for all parties.

For such a circumspect statesman to openly confess to The City of Man’s limitations in world affairs, and allow that God may have to sort it out on the other side, well, that’s a foreboding milestone. One shudders at what information he’s privy to as to warrant such a fatalistic statement of principle. Has the geopolitical tether truly run out?

Archetypes are the prefatory hoops through which all actions spring. With understandable forbearance (some armchair warriors would say belatedness), Putin has finally seized his end of the archetype of the apocalypse. (The gauntlet’s been lying on the ground for some time now; see the late Edward Edinger’s 2002 book of the same name). Nor can an utterances of this sort be retracted by secular communique. There it sits, in the global square, a white-hot psychic ember that must now be contended with.

My fellow prognosticators, this is not our parents’ geopolitics.

Know thy enemy. The snake never alters its stripes, though the prevailing terrain can at times abet its pattern. Like a boa constrictor, the implacable machine (Sartre) always awaits relaxation in its prey as a prelude to further tightening. Demonic eschatology continually splits the distance until it capitulates spasmodically within the claustrophobic space of the capstone. The pyramid is a progressively constricting geometry. There is no placating it. The Beast is an insistent geometric construct.

So it’s a form of madness to continually bemoan the rude particulars of the Beast’s blueprint. Would you kick a car for not being an airplane? The implacability is born of usury, an arithmetic pyramid that must have everything for itself.  Debt-money, eternally ravenous, is cursed to roam the earth paying its keep every minute of every day.

Don’t blame the debt-masters. Pity them. They’re the Machine’s most abject slaves. Witness their propensity for throwing themselves off buildings as a measure of unquenchable Babelian despair:

Master, come to my assistance!
Wrong I was in calling
Spirits, I avow,
For I find them galling,
Cannot rule them now.

–from The Sorceror’s Apprentice, Johann Goethe (tr. Paul Dyrsen)

What Russians must do, and admittedly it’s a problem, is to get out the way of their own country or else prostate themselves atop it. Andrei Fursov outlines the elite’s long-term interest in ‘Northern Eurasia’ (what amounts to Russia), as a post-apocalyptic, resource-rich life raft; what MacKinder might have called, the Heartland of the Heartland.

Mephistopheles comes by way of Sergie ‘the Snake’ Kudrin and his borrowed, if not outright mutinous, prescription.  (Scott Humor translates here):

“Therefore, today Russia’s foreign policy should be subordinated to the reduction of tension in our relations with other countries, and, at least, to the preservation or reduction of the sanctions regime, not to the build-up. Today I would measure the effectiveness of our foreign policy on this indicator.”

Of course selective subordination (of the foreign policy portfolio only) is tantamount to total capitulation further along. Ruslan Ostashko asks the obvious question rhetorically of Kudrin: “What will prevent the West from reinstating these sanctions back, after we make all those changes?” Well yes, what precedent –and please venture beyond Gorbachev’s unilateral dumping of the Brezhnev Doctrine for examples if you must– would compel anyone to think reciprocal accommodations ever arrive?

Anthropomorphic daydreams can never take the measure of the Beast. Left to themselves, human beings rest, commiserate, empathize and trade amicably among themselves with an innate sense of proportionality and fairness. The trouble is Paul’s Principalities, good and evil, never leave us to ourselves. Moreover these forces are vaulting increasingly to the fore as even Putin’s off-world meanderings reveal.

Faustian bargains are the West’s own jealous poison, thank you very much Mr. Kudrin. As such, they’re forever withheld from authentic Russian ingestion. Find your own poison in your own time, we might say, one civilization to another. To jump the tracks for ours would be a form of neo-Petrinism (manifested, in the present era, by doting Atlanticists like, well, Kudrin. Oswald Spengler would recognize him as Petrinism’s “artificial product made of stubborn material”.)

Spengler, more poet than historian, offers the penetrating eye of the stranger. His prescience for the Russian destiny is paraphrased by Kerry Bolton here:

The Russian soul is not the same as the Western Faustian, as Spengler called it, the ‘Magian’ of the Arabian civilization, or the Classical of the Hellenes and Romans. The Western Culture that was imposed on Russia by Peter the Great, what Spengler called Petrinism, is a veneer…The Russian soul expresses its own type of infinity, albeit not that of the Westerner’s Faustian soul, which becomes enslaved by its own technics at the end of its life-cycle.”

Many of those ‘technics’ fall under what Spengler called “money-thinking”. At the twilight of its life-cycle the West threatens to withhold its toxicity from all those who don’t ‘play fair’, plying its financial sanctions like an overused tool-set: fractional reserve banking, impudent debt-money that arrives ex nihilo seeking its keep from God-knows-where, leverage that belabors ever-narrowing denominators of intrinsic value.

When the Beast cannot steal, its existing purloined cache is re-leveraged, pacing frenetically until it can steal again. Somewhere in the bowels of the NY Fed behind iron-clad doors, guarded by an ogre, sits a Leverage Machine, Chartered Accountant to the Beast. The lights are flashing red. How do we know this? Because the 24/7 Russian Demonization Campaign tells us so. The manically repetitive narrative is an audio loop cued to the red-lit console.

The West’s sanctions subtract from its own beleaguered base. The ‘cure’, ever more green-fields, serves only to postpone the patient’s demise. The demands are satanic and mutually self-negating:  If you don’t bleed like me, I promise I will kill you.

The various sanctions regimes harbor no rapprochements and coax no favored outcomes. They are nihilistic in spirit and anti-Christian by design. Spengler spoke of Russia’s peculiar historic mission. Could that mission be Armageddon itself?

The stakes, as we like to say, are incalculably high. The potential recoil, fatal. But then, People of the Book already know this.

Might the intelligence complex incite WW3 as a diversionary alternative to exposure and dismantlement? That’s a reasonable bet. After all, where on this planet today are rumors of wars not breaking out in earnest?

There’s a well-ensconced clique on the planet that views WW3 as the crucial next step. Putin seems to have joined them. In lieu of elaborate WMD contexts perpetrated on a sanguine populace, war planners might prefer a war that’s over almost before it starts. Inhuman velocity curtails the need for consensus-building.

NATO’s provocations are endless. However conventional force border-posturing is simply the aperitif. Nuclear escalation will occur with lightning speed.

In his grim but essential work, Eric Zuesse speaks to the current provocations in Ukraine and its Donbass region and the toss-up potential of a nuclear first strike being strategically ‘rationalized’ and perpetrated by either the Americans or the Russians. How perilous and frightening is that? Both sides are strategically obliged go nuclear first, although Putin seemed to remove a Russian first-strike from the table last week, a very noble and statesman-like assertion, to be sure. Who fully understands the dynamic between he and his Defense Minister? Sergei Shoigu might, on strictly military grounds, beg to differ.

Here’s Zuesse:

“Either way would likely produce from Russia a nuclear blitz-attack to eliminate as many of America’s retaliatory weapons as possible, so as to beat the US to the punch. In military terms, the side that suffers the less damage ‘wins’, even if it’s a nuclear war that destroys the planet. The side that would strike first in a nuclear war would almost certainly suffer the less damage, because most of the opponent’s retaliatory weaponry would be destroyed in that attack. Trump is playing nuclear “chicken” against Putin.”

Nuclear Primacy had been America’s post-MAD doctrine since 2006. (Here are the same two idiot-savants, Drs. Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, on paper, proving once and for all that intelligence is a circle.) The Russian nuclear detection system is horribly antiquated and, in an effort to tamp down the reigning madness, US officials are talking naval blockades and preemptive first strikes. Language is always the first bullet fired. America’s nuclear arsenal is to be upgraded over the next thirty years at an estimated cost of $1.2 trillion (October 2017 CBO report).

Paranoid much? You’d have to be a fool not to be. In fact you’d have to be an irreligious fool not to think thermonuclear exchange isn’t poised to occur in some demented parody of well-considered premeditation and forethought.

It’s the midnight after midnight and Doomsday’s tired of walking around the block. The Beast wants Russia either polishing boots in Basel or moving its Orthodox frontage to Mars. There is no middle ground. There is no dialectical accommodation. People are a temporary impediment to the wealth beneath their feet. Bankers eat birthrights for breakfast.

The inestimable trove of raw goodies under Eurasia must be secured or else the leverage-cubed that’s holding up the leverage-squared is going to collapse in a calamitous heap of non-real numbers and exhausted exponentiality.

Before he exited Stratfor, some say for a surfeit of candor, George Friedman laid out the last hundred-years of the game-plan. Mind you (and our German friends too), it’s nothing personal. It’s primordial, which is to say, quite equally of the future, an ‘interest’ that will not abate.

As Shiekh Iman Hosein insists, the repatriation of Crimea represents a huge and rare setback for the Beast’s cordon sanitaire strategy of containment (constriction?) Sixteenth-century Rabbi Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman (popularly known as the Vilna Gaon) acknowledged much the same:

“When you hear that the Russians have captured the city of Crimea, the ‘Times of the Messiah’ have started, that his steps are being heard”

There are not enough dimension frankly to deploy the appropriate chess game. But then we’re not in a chess game. We’re in an end-game. Finesse is an Enlightenment affectation. In a kingdom of hammers the adroit tactician is just another nail.

So enough please of rehabilitative measures, improved behaviors and well-considered countermeasures. No behavior under the sun will do until nuclear winter blots the sun from the sky. We’ve been staring down the barrel of Oppenheimer’s Shiva ever since some vanguard of Molochian butt-worshippers decided there’s life for them on the back-end of nihilistic cessation.

There is a war on against what Spengler termed, “the world-historical fact of Russia itself”. Putin seems finally to have risen to the existential occasion.

EXPERT: THIS IS THE NUCLEAR WAY TO DESTROY THE U.S.A

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EXPERT: THIS IS THE NUCLEAR WAY TO DESTROY THE U.S.A

 

Published on: Oct 24, 2018 @ 19:08  – Nuclear attacks with hyperpotent weapons (over 100 megatons) against dangerous geophysical regions in US territories would cause unprecedented destruction in the country, military expert Konstantin Sivkov wrote in his VPK News article.

According to Sivkov, the strategy to avoid aggression by the West is not to follow in the footsteps of the Soviet Union and compete with the United States in the nuclear race in quantitative terms. Thus, he proposes an “asymmetric response” based on a technological perspective.

Sivkov noted that Moscow has technologies to develop nuclear munitions with a potency greater than 100 megatons of TNT equivalent.

“The creation of 40-50 of these heavy ICBM warheads, or very long-range torpedoes, ensures transportation to critical areas of the United States because of their geophysical conditions of at least some of them, for example, up to the Caldera of Yellowstone and the fissures of the Pacific coast,” he said.

“These attacks would surely destroy the United States as a country and the entire transnational elite. This makes a large-scale nuclear war again irrational and reduces the chances of its occurrence to zero, “he continued.

For the analyst, these weapons will force Western countries to sit down at the negotiating table and give up pressure and restrictive measures against Russia.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump said his country does not intend to comply with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and will withdraw from the agreement. He also stressed that Washington will develop its weaponry.

Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would like to get a more detailed explanation from Washington and added that ending the INF treaty provisions would force Russia to take steps to ensure its security. Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, stressed that any action in this area will have a reaction by Russia. However, despite these warnings, it appears Trump will go ahead with his antagonistic actions.

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