The Sprit of Apollo-Soyuz Is Alive… With the Russia/China Space Alliance

The Sprit of Apollo-Soyuz Is Alive… With the Russia/China Space ...

Matthew Ehret August 1, 2020

Forty five years ago, Cold Warriors in the Pentagon and CIA shook their fists angrily at the stars- and for good reason.

On July 17, 1975 the first international handshake was occurring in space between Russian Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov and American astronaut Thomas Stafford as the first official act kicking off the historic Apollo-Soyuz cooperative mission. Taking place during age of nuclear terror on Earth, the Apollo-Soyuz represented a great hope for humankind and was the first ever international space mission leading the way to the MIR-USA cooperation and later International Space Station. Starting on July 15 as both Russian and American capsules launched simultaneously and continuing until July 24th, the Apollo-Soyuz cooperation saw astronauts and cosmonauts conducting joint experiments, exchanged gifts, and tree seeds later planted in each others’ nations.

As hope for a bright future of cooperation and co-discovery continued for the coming decades with mankind’s slow emergence as a space faring species, affairs on earth devolved in disturbing ways. A new era of regime change operations, Islamic terrorism and oil geopolitics took on new life in the 1980s and as globalization stripped formerly productive nations of their industrial/scientific potential, the Soviet Union collapsed by 1991. During this dark time, the consolidation of a corporatocracy under NAFTA and the European Maastricht Treaty occurred and transatlantic globalists gloated over the collapse of Russia and the rise of a utopian end-of-history, unipolar order.

In some ways, today’s world of 2020 is different from that of 1975 and in other ways it is disturbingly similar.

Today, a new generations of Cold Warriors has come to power in the Trans Atlantic Deep State who are willing to burn the earth under nuclear fire in defense of their utopian visions for world government which they see fast slipping away to the Multipolar alliance led by Russia and China. The clash of open vs closed system paradigms represented by the NATO/City of London cage on the one hand and the New Silk Road win-win paradigm of constant growth on the other has created a tension which is visceral and pregnant with potential for both good and evil.

This schism has also split American space policy between two opposing paradigms:

On the one hand a Deep State space vision for full spectrum dominance is defining Space Force (America’s newest branch of the military created in December 2019). Run out of the Pentagon and the most regressive neocon ideologues, this program calls for weaponizing space against the Russian Chinese alliance (and the rest of the world). Another, more sane vision for space is represented by leading NASA officials like Jim Bridenstine who have created NASA’s Artemis Accords calling for a framework for peaceful international cooperation in space. Bridenstine and other NASA officials have worked tirelessly to bring Russia and the USA into cooperative alliances on matters of space mining, asteroid defense and deep space exploration ever since President Trump’s 2017 directive to put mankind back on the moon for the first time since 1972 with plans to go to Mars following soon thereafter.

While U.S.-Russia space collaboration has moved at a snails pace even losing ground won in 1975, the Apollo-Soyuz spirit has expressed itself in another part of the world brilliantly, with the Russian-Chinese pact to jointly build a lunar base announced on July 23 by Roscosmos chief Dimitry Rogozin saying: “Recently, we have agreed that we will probably research the Moon and build a lunar research base together – Russia and China.”

This pact follows hot off the heals of the September 2019 agreement between both nations to jointly collaborate on Lunar activities over the coming decade which would begin with the Chang’e 7 lander and Luna 26 orbiter searching for lunar water in 2022. The Russia-China agreement also announced “creating and operating a joint Data Center for Lunar and Deep Space Research.”

On the same day that Rogozin announced the lunar research base, China’s Tianwen-1 (“Quest for Heavenly Truth”) launched on a Long March-5 carrier rocket from Hainan carrying an orbiter and rover scheduled to arrive in Mars’ orbit in February 2021. Once the rover lands on the surface of the red planet on May 2021, China will become the second nation to complete a successful soft landing after America (which has made 8 such landings since 1976, two of which are still operational). China’s orbiter will join the three American, two European and one Indian orbiters currently circling Mars.

Due to the fact that the Earth-Mars proximity is at it’s closest phase, several other important Mars launches have also occurred, with the United Arab Emirates launching the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission in history from Japan on Monday. This will be followed in short order by America’s Perseverance Mars Rover which will be launched from Cape Canaveral and will join the Curiosity rover that landed in 2012.

NASA has stated that Perseverance’s mission will involve seeking signs of microbial life, ancient life and subsurface water as well as “testing a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, identifying other resources (such as subsurface water), improving landing techniques, and characterizing weather, dust, and other potential environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars.”

What makes this Russia-China pact space pact additionally important is that it creates a potential flank in the anti-China space cooperation ban signed into law with the 2011 Wolf Act. By integrating into China’s advanced space program, Russia (which currently suffers from no similar bans to cooperation from western powers) may provide a lateral pathway for cooperation with China needed to bypass the ban. Russian-USA plans to cooperate on such programs as the Lunar Gateway station orbiting the moon still exists as well as other Soyuz-U.S. collaborative launches that have been planned through 2021 so hope on this level is not without foundation. Even though America has regained the capability to launch manned space craft with the Crew Dragon launch of this year, Bridenstine has said:

“We see a day when Russian cosmonauts can launch on American rockets, and American astronauts can launch on Russian rockets. Remember, half of the International Space Station is Russian, and if we’re going to make sure that we have continual access to it, and that they have continual access to it, then we’re going to need to be willing to launch on each other’s vehicles.”

Putin’s Strategic Open System Vision

We also know that since President Trump’s April 6, 2020 executive order making lunar and mars mining a priority of American space policy, he and President Putin have held four discussions in which space cooperation has arisen. While neocon war haws in the Pentagon and British military intelligence scream of Russian/Chinese aggression and accuse Russia of testing anti-satellite ballistic weapons, the first bilateral U.S.-Russia space security talks have restarted since 2013.

Four days after Trump’s executive order, Putin addressed American and Russian astronauts on board the ISS and said:

“We are pleased that our specialists are successfully working under the ISS program with their colleagues from the United States of America, one of the leading space powers. This is a clear example of an effective partnership between our countries in the interests of all mankind.”

Putin went on to say:

“I believe that even now, when the world is confronted with challenges, space activities will continue, including our cooperation with foreign partners, because mankind cannot stand still but will always try to move forward and join forces to advance the boundaries of knowledge… despite difficulties, people sought to make their dream of space travel come true, fearlessly entered the unknown and achieved success.”

The impending economic collapse has forced certain uncomfortable truths to the surface: 1) we will get a new global economic and security system soon, 2) that system will be of a closed system/unipolar nature or it will be an open system/multipolar character. If it is an open system then humanity will have learned that in order to successfully exist within a creative, evolving universe, we must tie our fates to becoming a self-consciously creative, evolving species locking our economic, cultural and political realities into this discoverable character of reality.

If the new system is of a closed/entropic order as certain advocates of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset are proclaiming, then a much unhappier fate awaits our children and grandchildren which would make World War II look like a cake walk.

Russia and the next Presidential election in the USA

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Intro: not a pretty picture

Let’s begin with a disclaimer: in this article, I will assume that there will be a US Presidential election in the Fall. Right now, it appears to be likely that this election will take place (there appear to be no legal way to cancel or delay it), but this is by no means certain (see here for a machine translated and very interesting article by one Russian analyst, who predicts a diarchy after the election). Right now, the state of the US society is both extremely worried (and for good reason) and potentially explosive. It is impossible to predict what a well-executed false flag attack could do to the US. There is also the possibility of either a natural disaster (hurricane, earthquake, etc.) or even an unnatural one (considering the condition of the US infrastructure, this is almost inevitable) which could precipitate some kind of state of emergency or martial law to “protect” the people. Finally, though at this point in time I don’t see this as very likely, there is always the possibility of a coup of some kind, maybe a “government of national unity” with the participation of both parties which, as Noam Chomsky correctly points out, are basically only two factions of what could be called the Business Party. There might come a point when they decide to drop this pretense too (just look at how many other pretenses the US ruling elites have dropped in the last decade or so).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn used to explain that all governments can be placed on a continuum ranging from, on one end, “states whose power is based on their authority” to, on the other end, “states whose authority is based on their power“. In the real world, most states are somewhere between these two extremes. But it is quite obvious that the US polity currently has gone very far down the “states whose authority is based on their power” path and to speak of any kind of “moral authority” of US politicians is really a joke. The (probable) upcoming “choice” between Donald “grab them by the pussy” Trump and Joe “creepy uncle” Biden will make this joke even more laughable.

Right now, the most powerful force in the US political system must be the financial sector. And, of course, there are many other powerful interest groups (MIC, Israel Lobby, the CIA and the ridiculously bloated Intel community, Big Pharma, the US Gulag, the corporate media, Oil, etc.) who all combine their efforts (just like a vector does in mathematics) to produce a “resulting vector” which we call “US policies”. That is in theory. In practice, you have several competing “policies” vying for power and influence, both on the domestic and on international front. Often these policies are mutually exclusive.

Last, but certainly not least, the level of corruption in the US is at least as bad as, say, in the Ukraine or in Liberia, but rather than being on the street and petty cash level, the corruption in the US is counted in billions of dollars.

All in all, not a pretty sight (see here for a good analysis of the decline of US power).

Yet the US remains a nuclear power and still has a lot of political influence worldwide and thus this is not a country anyone can ignore. Including Russia.

A quick look at Russia

Before looking into Russian options in relation to the US, we need to take a quick look at how Russia has been faring this year. The short of it would be: not too well. The Russian economy has shrunk by about 10% and the small businesses have been devastated by the combined effects of 1) the economic policies of the Russian government and Central Bank, and 2) the devastating economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic, and 3) the full-spectrum efforts of the West, mostly by the Anglosphere, to strangle Russia economically. Politically, the “Putin regime” is still popular, but there is a sense that it is getting stale and that most Russians would prefer to see more dynamic and proactive policies aimed, not only to help the Russian mega-corporations, but also to help the regular people. Many Russians definitely have a sense that the “little guy” is being completely ignored by fat cats in power and this resentment will probably grow until and unless Putin decides to finally get rid of all the Atlantic Integrationists aka the “Washington consensus” types which are still well represented in the Russian ruling circles, including the government. So far, Putin has remained faithful to his policy of compromises and small steps, but this might change in the future as the level of frustration in the general population is likely to only grow with time.

That is not to say that the Kremlin is not trying. Several of the recent constitutional amendments adopted in a national vote had a strongly expressed “social” and “patriotic” character and they absolutely horrified the “liberal” 5th columnists who tried their best two 1) call for a boycott, and 2) denounce thousands of (almost entirely) imaginary violations of the proper voting procedures, and to 3) de-legitimize the outcome by declaring the election a “fraud”. None of that worked: the participation was high, very few actual violations were established (and those that were, had no impact on the outcome anyway) and most Russians accepted that this outcome was the result of the will of the people. Furthermore, Putin has made public the Russian strategic goals for 2030,which are heavily focused on improving the living and life conditions of average Russians (for details, see here). It is impossible to predict what will happen next, but the most likely scenario is that Russia has several, shall we say, “bumpy” years ahead, both on the domestic and on the international front.

What can Russia reasonably hope for?

This is really the key question: in the best of situations, what can Russia really hope for in the next elections? I would argue that there is really very little which Russia can hope for, if only because the russophobic hysteria started by the Democrats to defeat Trump has now apparently been completely endorsed by the Trump administration and the all the members of Congress. As for the imperial propaganda machine, it now manages to simultaneously declare that Russia tried to “steal” COVID vaccine secrets from the West AND that Russian elites were given a secret COVID vaccine this Spring. As for the US Dems, they are already announcing that the Russians are spreading “disinformation” about Biden. Talk about PRE-traumatic stress disorder (to use the phrase coined by my friend Gilad Atzmon)…

Although I have no way of knowing what is really taking place in the delusional minds of US politicians, I am strongly suspecting that the latest hysteria about “Russia stealing COV19 vaccine secrets” is probably triggered by the conclusion of the US intel community that Russia will have a vaccine ready before the US does. This is, of course, something absolutely unthinkable for US politicians who, (sort of) logically conclude that “if these Russkies got a vaccine first, they *must* have stolen it from us” or something similar (see here for a good analysis of this). And if the Chinese get there first, same response. After all, who in the US legacy media would ever even mention that Russian or Chinese researchers might be ahead of their US colleagues? Nobody, of course.

I would argue that this mantric Russia-bashing is something which will not change in the foreseeable future. For one thing, since the imperial ruling elites have clearly lost control of the situation, they really have no other option left than to blame it all on some external agent. The “terrorist threat” has lost a lot of traction over the past years, the “Muslim threat” is too politically incorrect to openly blame it all on Islam, as for the other boogeymen which US Americans like to scare themselves at night with (immigrants, drug dealers, sex offenders, “domestic terrorists”, etc.) they simply cannot be blamed for stuff like a crashing economy. But Russia, and China, can.

In fact, ever since the (self-evidently ridiculous) “Skripal case” the collective West has proven that it simply does not have the spine to say “no”, or even “maybe”, to any thesis energetically pushed forward by the AngloZionist propaganda machine. Thus no matter how self-evidently silly the imperial propaganda is, the people in the West have been conditioned (literally) to accept any nonsense as “highly likely” as long as it is proclaimed with enough gravitas by politicians and their legacy ziomedia. As for the leaders of the EU, we already know that they will endorse any idiocy coming out of Washington or London in the name of “solidarity”.

Truth be told, most Russian politicians (with the notable exception of the official Kremlin court jester, Zhirinovskii) and analysts never saw Trump as a potential ally or friend. The Kremlin was especially cautious, which leads me to believe that the Russian intelligence analysts did a very good job evaluating Trump’s psyche and they quickly figured out that he was no better than any other US politician. Right now, I know of no Russian analyst who would predict that relations between the US and Russia will improve in the foreseeable future. If anything, most are clearly saying that “guys, we better get used to this” (accusations, sanctions, accusations, sanctions, etc. etc. etc.). Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to the Russians that while Crimea and MH17 were the pretexts for western sanctions against Russia, they were not the real cause. The real cause of the West’s hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed. They’ve been at it for close to 1,000 years and they still are at it. In fact, each time they fail to crush Russia, their russophobia increases to even higher levels (phobia both in the sense of “fear” and in the sense of “hatred”).

Simply put – there is nothing which Russia can expect from the upcoming election. Nothing at all. Still, that does not mean that things are not better than 4 or 8 years ago. Let’s look at what changed.

The big difference between now and then

What did Trump’s election give to the world?

I would say four years for Russia to fully prepare for what might be coming next.

I would argue that since at least Russia and the AngloZionist Empire have been at war since at least 2013, when Russia foiled the US plan to attack Syria under the pretext that it was “highly likely” that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians (in reality, a textbook case of a false flag organized by the Brits), This means that Russia and the Empire have been at war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore).

True, at least until now, this was has been 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic, but this is a real existential war of survival for both sides: only one side will walk away from this struggle. The other one will simply disappear (not as a nation or a people, but as a polity; a regime). The Kremlin fully understood that and it embarked on a huge reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces in three distinct ways:

  1. A “general” reform of the Russian armed forces which had to be modernized by about 80%. This part of the reform is now practically complete.
  2. A specific reform to prepare the western and southern military districts for a major conventional war against the united West (as always in Russian history) which would involve the First Guards Tank Army and the Russian Airborne Forces.
  3. The development of bleeding-edge weapons systems with no equivalent in the West and which cannot be countered or defeated; these weapons have had an especially dramatic impact upon First Strike Stability and upon naval operations.

While some US politicians understood what was going on (I think of Ron Paul, see here), most did not. They were so brainwashed by the US propaganda that they were sure that no matter what, “USA! USA! USA!”. Alas for them, the reality was quite different.

Russian officials, by the way, have confirmed that Russia was preparing for war. Heck, the reforms were so profound and far reaching, that it would have been impossible for the Russians to hide what they were doing (see here for details; also please see Andrei Martyanov’s excellent primer on the new Russian Navy here).

While no country is ever truly prepared for war, I would argue that by 2020 the Russians had reached their goals and that now Russia is fully prepared to handle any conflict the West might throw at her, ranging from a small border incident somewhere in Central Asia to a full-scaled war against the US/NATO in Europe.

Folks in the West are now slowly waking up to this new reality (I mentioned some of that here), but it is too late. In purely military terms, Russia has now created such a qualitative gap with the West that the still existing quantitative gap is not sufficient to guarantee a US/NATO victory. Now some western politicians are starting to seriously freak out (see this lady, for example), but most Europeans are coming to terms with two truly horrible realities:

  1. Russia is much stronger than Europe and, even much worse,
  2. Russia will never attack first (which is a major cause of frustration for western russophobes)

As for the obvious solution to this problem, having friendly relations with Russia is simply unthinkable for those who made their entire careers peddling the Soviet (and now Russian) threat to the world.

But Russia is changing, albeit maybe too slowly (at least for my taste). As I mentioned last week, a number of Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic politicians have declared that the Zapad2020 military maneuvers which are supposed to take place in southern Russia and the Caucasus could be used to prepare an attack on the West (see here for a rather typical example of this nonsense). In the past, the Kremlin would only have made a public statement ridiculing this nonsense, but this time around Putin did something different. Right after he saw the reaction of these politicians, Putin ordered a major and UNSCHEDULED military readiness exercise which involved no less than 150,000 troops, 400 aircraft & 100 ships! The message here was clear:

  1. Yes, we are much more powerful than you are and
  2. No, we are not apologizing for our strength anymore

And, just to make sure that the message is clear, the Russians also tested the readiness of the Russian Airborne Forces units near the city of Riazan, see for yourself:

This response is, I think, the correct one. Frankly, nobody in the West is listening to what the Kremlin has to say, so what is the point of making more statements which in the future will be ignored equally as they have been in the past.

If anything, the slow realization that Russia is more powerful than NATO would be most helpful in gently prodding EU politicians to change their tune and return back to reality. Check out this recent video of Sarah Wagenknecht, a leading politician of the German Left and see for yourself:

The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.

But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a “gay pride” one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled “Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror” shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).

Russian options for the Fall

In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one, have very little influence or even relevance.

Banderites marching in the US

Banderites marching in the US

However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: “the US is sinking – do you really want to go down with it?”.

There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call “European suicide politics”, but there are many, many more.

Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. “Forward deployment” is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.

With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for “popular diplomacy”, especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already.

The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.

But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a “gay pride” one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled “Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror” shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).

Russian options for the Fall

In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one, have very little influence or even relevance.

Banderites marching in the US

Banderites marching in the US

However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: “the US is sinking – do you really want to go down with it?”.

There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call “European suicide politics”, but there are many, many more.

Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. “Forward deployment” is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.

With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for “popular diplomacy”, especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already. Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.

What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.

Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.

What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.

ASSISTING ‘INVISIBLE HAND OF MARKET’: U.S. THREATENS GERMAN COMPANIES OVER NORD STREAM 2

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Assisting 'Invisible Hand Of Market': U.S. Threatens German Companies Over Nord Stream 2

In a last-ditch attempt to impede the Nord Stream 2, the Trump administration began to threaten German (and not only) companies who are involved in it with sanctions.

According to German media, this is a showing of a new, and incredible, “low point” in Transatlantic relations.

According to a report by German outlet Die Welt, the United States is increasing pressure on German and European companies involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline.

In the past few days, US representatives had held video conference calls with contractors of the project to “point out the far-reaching consequences of continuing to work on the project,” the outlet reported.

The company representatives sometimes faced up to twelve representatives of the US government.

They “made it very clear in a friendly tone that they want to prevent the pipeline from being completed,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed observer of the talks:

“I think the threat is very, very serious.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline to transport gas from Russia to Germany would now fall under a law that would allow punitive measures, among other things, against companies doing business with Russia or countries like Iran and North Korea.

In response, the German Federal Government declared that it rejected extraterritorial sanctions, since these were “contrary to international law”.

The German economy condemned the threats as an “incredibly low point in transatlantic relations”.

Nord Stream 2 is said to transport gas from Russia to Germany and is particularly controversial in Eastern Europe.

The main fear is a weakening of alternative pipelines and traditional transit countries, such as Ukraine. The US government argues that Europe is becoming energy-dependent on Russia.

The United States had previously tried to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2. Sanctions put into effect by President Donald Trump at the end of 2019 are aimed at the operators of laying ships involved in the construction. The construction of the pipeline therefore had to be interrupted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed optimism that the project would be completed by early 2021, with a delay of only a few months.

On July 16th, the US updated its sanctions regime against the Nord Stream 2.

Until July 15th, the scope of US sanctions legislation excluded direct investors, enhancing Russia’s ability to build export pipelines before August 2nd 2017. That cut-off date was removed, meaning contracts signed for Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream will be included.

“The US signals that sanctions could potentially be applied retroactively, including in respect of European companies that are Gazprom’s partners in Nord Stream 2. However, it is hard to see how this could be enforceable; this would be against the law and should it happen it would certainly be contested in international courts,” according to Katja Yafimava, researcher at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

“The question is whether the state department has the right to independently enforce the provisions of this law. The state department is formally subordinate to the president, but no separate documents have been issued stating that the president gave the state department the right to impose sanctions from the [sanctions act] package,” according to Igor Yushkov, an expert of the National Energy Security Fund and the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.

The proposed additional sanctions in the draft national defence act “are unacceptable and contrary to international law, and the EU firmly opposes them,” EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Josep Borrell said on June 25th.

The biggest issue is that the US is concerned that there are no buyers for its liquefied natural gas (LNG) that it wants to sell to Europe at prices, higher than those Russia offers Europe.

Sometimes, the invisible hand of the market requires a tangible attempt at a push for it to properly and “independently” settle the market on a desirable scenario.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

How Nazism Came to Dominate Both of America’s Political Parties

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The following 11-minute youtube video is a good introduction to this article:

Ukraine Crisis — What You’re Not Being Told

On July 20th, Moss Robeson headlined at TheGrayZone, “Influential DC-based Ukrainian think tank hosts neo-Nazi activist convicted for racist violence”, and he reported the inescapably visible tip of America’s iceberg of pro-nazi policies regarding Ukraine. Ukraine is a country which during World War II was torn between supporters of Hitler versus supporters of Stalin, and which became non-aligned after independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, but which U.S. President Barack Obama conquered in a brutal February 2014 coup (called by some “the most blatant coup in history”), which coup turned Ukraine’s Government into the world’s most-far-rightwing, and even sometimes overtly pro-Hitler, anti-Russian, nationalistic White-Power regime. It’s far more anti-Russian than anti-Jewish, but it is both. Obama did this so as to bring into NATO the country that has the longest European border (1,625 miles) with Russia, and which would thus be the best place from which to launch nuclear missiles against major Russian cities including Moscow. Ukraine as the main launching-pad for an invasion of Russia had been only a wet dream for NATO planners until Obama came into the White House, but even as early as June of 2013 Obama was already quietly advertising for bids on what then was a school in Crimea, in order to modify it to serve as part of his planned new U.S. naval base there replacing Russia’s biggest naval base, which Russian naval base has been there, in Crimea, ever since 1783. Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, enabled Crimea’s residents to block that part of Obama’s plan for Ukraine.

Adolf Hitler hated Slavs, including Russians, almost as much as he hated Jews; and, though Ukraine’s racist fascists — or ideological nazis — hate Russians even more than they hate Jews, America’s adoption of Ukraine’s nazis (racist fascists) and placing them into power, was a crucial turning-point in international affairs toward racist fascism. It is the authentic chief source of the hard-right turn, not only in the United States, but in many European countries. Until recently, nazism was far outside the mainstream, throughout the post-WW-II world. Clearly, now, that is no longer the case, and what Obama did to Ukraine is the main reason why (as will be explained here).

In post-coup Ukraine, children are being taught on the basis of the White-Power ideology, and, in the resisting regions — the regions that reject the coup — are mercilessly slaughtered (and the more graphic videos have been removed by youtube, and similarly for videos of adults being systematically murdered by Ukraine’s nazis). The post-coup Ukraine aims to get rid of its ethnic-Russian population.

Ukraine is the global beach-head for nazism, and even has two nazi Parties, one called “Right Sector,” and the other called “Freedom” (which got renamed that by the CIA from its original “Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine,” so as to be more acceptable to Americans and the EU). Both are even more anti-Russian than anti-Semitic.

The way America’s fake-‘progressive’, Democratic-Party billionaires-controlled, press, deals with the Democratic Party’s own “first Black President” Barack Obama (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his deceptive rhetoric) having done this — actually having stoked now racism throughout the world, targeted particularly against Russians — is to focus on the Democratic Party media’s distractionist theme of inter-ethnic, inter-religious, racist and other divisive American conflicts, as if this nazi problem’s overflowing now in Ukraine is not driven instead by geostrategic and imperialistic concerns in specifically U.S. policymaking, driven actually by America’s billionaires’ craving an all-encompassing global conquest, including conquest ultimately of Russia, which will be the last since it is the only other nuclear superpower. For example, the fake-‘progressive’ The Nation magazine, on 22 February 2019, headlined “Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are On the March in Ukraine”, and focused on this far-right outpouring in Ukraine as being due to anti-Semitism, and to “pogroms against the Roma and LGBT,” as if Obama had cared about those groups. The chief obsession of Ukraine’s far-right has instead been anti-Russian, for at least a century, and that’s the actual fuel on which Obama was firing-up his coup in Ukraine: he was targeting against Russians, and not against Jews nor those other groups. By contrast, this article buried the anti-Russia issue, such as by saying, “A 2017 law mandated that secondary education be conducted strictly in Ukrainian, which infuriated Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece. Several regions passed legislation banning the use of Russian in public life. Quotas enforce Ukrainian usage on TV and radio.” The one and only real target in Obama’s Ukraine is only Russia. The deception that’s practiced by America’s Democratic Party billionaires upon America’s left is probably even more insidious than is the deception that’s practiced by America’s Republican Party billionaires upon America’s right (“God, Mother, Country”). Deception of any person is mental coercion against that person, and such dishonesty is an especially highly skilled art for ‘leftist’ billionaires, because right-wing followers are unashamedly against the poor and minorities and anyone who is weak in the particular society. So, for example, in the present case: the people who were being herded into Odessa’s Trade Unions Building and burnt alive for printing and distributing anti-coup literature, on 2 May 2014, weren’t “Jews” or “Roma,” or “LGBT,” but instead just Ukrainians who were favorable toward Russia. Ukraine’s chief bigotry, under the Obama-imposed regime, is anti-Russian, not anti-Jewish, and any honest news-medium acknowledges this fact, instead of trying to deceive to hide it.

In Twentieth-Century U.S. history, the Republican Party was generally more right-wing than the Democratic Party; and, consequently, Obama’s moving the Democratic Party in the pro-nazi direction was an outright gift to Republicans, whose leading politicians were just as enthusiastic about the regime-change in Ukraine as the Democratic Party’s leadership was — and still is.

The irony here is that America’s biggest assaults against Russia have now come not during the Cold War, when there was an authentic ideological difference (communism versus capitalism), but instead after Russia, in 1991, ended the Cold War on its side (while the U.S. secretly has continued it on the U.S. side, in a craving for global conquest).

The classic article about the radicalism of Obama’s turn to nazism regarding Ukraine was written by an American who lived through these events in Ukraine while they were happening, George Eliason, who headlined, on 16 March 2014, just the first part of his four-part article, “The Nazi’s even Hitler was Afraid of”, and he subsequently posted the complete article here, where it can be read without those needless interruptions. He lives in Ukraine’s breakaway Donbass region, which Obama’s forces were bombing, and which Trump’s continue (though less) bombing, even today. Eliason reported honestly (not like The Nation, etc.). What Obama did to Ukraine was very geostrategic, and the changes in Ukraine were driven by U.S. billionaires, even more than by Ukrainian ones. Interpreting Ukraine’s current nazism as being directed mainly against Jews like Hitler’s German version was is profoundly misrepresenting.

Obama — with the help of both of America’s billionaire-controlled political Parties, and all of America’s billionaire-controlled or “mainstream” ‘news’-media — succeeded in transforming U.S. public opinion toward Russia, from neutral prior to his Ukrainian coup, to strongly negative immediately after it:

Gallup Poll. Feb. 3-16, 2020. N=1,028 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 4.
“Next, I’d like your overall opinion of some foreign countries. … What is your overall opinion of Russia? Is it very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable, or very unfavorable?”
FavorableUnfavorableNo opinion
%%%
2/3-16/2028721
2/1-10/1924733
2/1-10/1825722
2/1-5/1728702
2/3-7/1630655
2/8-11/1524706
2/6-9/1434606
2/7-10/1344507
2/2-5/1250446
2/2-5/1151427
2/1-3/1047457

Furthermore, during Obama’s first term, 2009-2012, he employed great cunning in order to portray himself as being supportive of a “reset in Russian-American relations,” and this lie (that he was intending to improve instead of to worsen U.S.-Russian relations) was one of the reasons he won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, but actually, when he entered office in 2009, he was already starting to plan regime-change not only in Ukraine but also in Syria (if not also in Libya) — two countries whose leaders were on cordial terms with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obama was able to string Vladimir Putin along until 2012 to hope that Obama’s ‘reset with Russia’ wasn’t merely a ploy. On 26 March 2012, Obama informed Dmitry Medvedev to tell Putin that “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him [the incoming President Putin] to give me space. This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.” However, it was all a lie. His intention was the opposite. The fact is that, already, Obama was actually planning, even as early as 2011, to overthrow the neutralist Government right next door to Russia, in Ukraine, and to replace it with a rabidly anti-Russian regime on Russia’s doorstep, which he was planning to bring into NATO even though only around 30% of Ukrainians wanted Ukraine to join NATO. But Putin had no way of knowing that Obama was planning this. And immediately after Obama’s February 2014 coup in Ukraine, around 60% of Ukrainians suddenly wanted Ukraine to join NATO. (That’s because the newly installed Obama regime propagandized hatred against Russia, which is NATO’s specialty.) People felt that if even such a ‘peacemaker’ as Obama wasn’t ‘able’ to establish constructive relations with Putin, then there had to be something very wrong with Putin.

Obama’s 2012 campaign against Mitt Romney featured prominently this trap for Romney, and he fell right into it. On 16 May 2016, I headlined “Who Is the More Vicious Liar: Trump, or Obama?” and I described there the exquisite deception that Obama had practiced against Romney and also against Putin — and against the American public — regarding U.S.-Russian relations, and Obama’s brilliant use and exploitation of the hopes by each one of those three entities in order to win the Presidency and defeat not only Romney but also Putin, and especially Obama’s own Democratic Party voters.

That deception has largely shaped today’s political world, throughout the world. Barack Obama was like the mythical snake in Genesis 3.

On June 30th, TheGrayZone bannered “US claim of ‘Russian Bounty’ plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous” and their Max Blumenthal put it well: “The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War.” It allows the Republican Party to move even farther toward the right. It moves the political center to the right. Obama was the key figure in this ominous development, which is politically poisoning the entire world. He was an international war-criminal in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and more, and should be executed for it (as should both Bush and Trump). (That’s executed, after appropriate legal process, not assassinated, which is horrible and produces martyrs instead of lawfully condemned villains.) But his toxic legacy on global politics is even more dangerous than those smaller catastrophes he participated in causing (and for which he deserves to be executed). He was exceedingly ambitious and achieved a lot, of disaster and far worse.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Russia Report: Short on Details, But Long on Recommendations for Sweeping New Intelligence Powers

By Alan McLeod

Source

Boris Johnson Putin c8fec

The much hyped Russia Report, detailing supposed foreign interference in British democracy has been released. The story is the number one topic in the United Kingdom right now, with new Labour leader Keir Starmer calling for Russian TV network RT to be kicked out of the country, and promising to make this new national security threat top priority.

Written by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, the 55-page document makes a number of confusing assertions and contains many well-worn stereotypes, but is particularly thin on evidence, given the media pandemonium over it. Russia, we learn, is a simultaneously “strong” and “weak” country, with a “fundamentally nihilistic” outlook. The committee also allege that Moscow is fuelled by “paranoia,” “believing that Western institutions such as NATO and the EU have a far more aggressive posture towards it than they do in reality.” In fact, the “reality” is that NATO has indeed been creeping steadily towards Russia for decades. Despite promising Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that the organization would never move even “one inch to the east” of Berlin, it now contains not only a number of ex-Eastern bloc nations, but even counts multiple nations of the former USSR as members. Thus, NATO is now directly on the Russian border.

The report offers no new evidence of Russian hacking, meddling or serious interfering, simply noting continually that “there has been widespread public allegations” about Russia’s role in the UK’s European Union referendum, Scotland’s independence vote, and the UK general election. It also points to “credible open source commentary” that Moscow undertook influence operations. This commentary cites Moscow-funded outlets like RT and Sputnik’s generally pro-Brexit stance as equating an attack on democracy.

The first part of the document is so vague that some might wonder why it was written at all. The recommendations section, however, gives a clue. “Given the difficulties inherent in seeking to counter Russian Hostile State Activity, it is essential that the Intelligence Community have the legislative powers and tools they need,” they write, also asking parliament to “consider whether there is a need for new counter-espionage powers to clamp down on the full spectrum of hostile activities of foreign agents in our country.” “A new Espionage Act,” they conclude, is vital.

The writers of the document did not have to wait long to get their wish. Today, the government announced that the secret services would indeed be granted new powers as a result. And therein, a cynic might think, lies the utility, and possibly the purpose of the report.

While the extent of Russian interference in British politics is much debated, the role of the country’s own security services in subverting democracy should not be forgotten. In 2017, former head of MI5 Stella Rimington (who Judi Dench’s character in the James Bond movies is based upon) claimed that her organization had constantly spied on the associates of then leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, claiming that they (and by association, Corbyn himself) were attempting to “destroy” democracy. Two years previously, an anonymous general in the British Army announced that if the British people did elect the pacifist socialist Corbyn into Number 10 Downing Street, then there would likely be a military coup.

The extent of Russian interference also pales in comparison to documented American meddling in British affairs. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was recorded telling British Jewish leaders that the US would “do our level best” to prevent Corbyn from ever becoming Prime Minister. “It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected,” he said, “You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

President Obama also involved himself heavily in domestic British affairs, sharing a stage with Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, expressing his disapproval at the thought of Scottish independence, backing a “strong and united UK.” Obama also told the UK that it would be “hard to be advantageous” for it to leave the European Union, claiming it would put Britain at the “back of the queue” for trade talks, a statement Boris Johnson described as a “perverse” intervention.

Whatever the role of Moscow in British internal affairs, it is clear that the Russia Report is far from the definitive document some commentators have made it out to be. Often, it bears remembering, threats to democracy come from much closer to home.

BRITISH ESTABLISHMENT NEW FEARS: RUSSIA WEAPONIZES ‘FUNDAMENTAL NIHILSM’

Source

22.07.2020 

British Establishment New Fears: Russia Weaponizes 'Fundamental Nihilsm'

On July 21st, the UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) released a report specifically on Russia and the challenges it presents, as well as recommendations on how to deal with it. [pdf]

The ISC makes a number of points, mostly focused on the presumed Russian intervention in the UK political and economic life. They are:

  1. Russian influence in the UK is the new normal. Successive Governments have welcomed the oligarchs and their money with open arms, providing them with a means of recycling illicit finance through the London ‘laundromat’, and connections at the highest levels with access to UK companies and political figures.
  2. This has led to a growth industry of ‘enablers’ including lawyers, accountants, and estate agents who are – wittingly or unwittingly – de facto agents of the Russian state.
  3. It demonstrates the inherent tension between the Government’s prosperity agenda and the need to protect national security. While we cannot now shut the stable door, greater powers and transparency are needed urgently.
  4. The UK is a target for Russian disinformation. While the mechanics of our paper-based voting system are largely sound, we cannot be complacent about a hostile state taking deliberate action with the aim of influencing our democratic processes.
  5. Yet the defense of those democratic processes has appeared something of a ‘hot potato’, with no one organization considering itself to be in the lead, or apparently willing to conduct an assessment of such interference. This must change.
  6. Social media companies must take action and remove covert hostile state material: Government must ‘name and shame’ those who fail to act.
  7. The UK needs other countries to step up with the UK and attach a cost to Putin’s actions. Salisbury must not be allowed to become the high water mark in international unity over the Russia threat.

The entire report is actually just a fraction, since there is a Classified Annex that contains most of the issues that are being discussed and are not available for open access.

Okay, so “What does Russia want?”, according to the ISC:

“The security threat posed by Russia is difficult for the West to manage as, in our view and that of many others, it appears fundamentally nihilistic. Russia seems to see foreign policy as a zero-sum game: any actions it can take which damage the West are fundamentally good for Russia. It is also seemingly fed by paranoia, believing that Western institutions such as NATO and the EU have a far more aggressive posture towards it than they do in reality. There is also a sense that Russia believes that an undemocratic ‘might is right’ world order plays to its strengths, which leads it to seek to undermine the Rules Based International Order – whilst nonetheless benefitting from its membership of international political and economic institutions.”

Russia, according to the report, also wishes to show that it is a “great power” no less than the former Soviet Union, and possibly even more so.

And the UK is a target since Russia “apparently” considers London as one of its top Western intelligence targets. That is primarily because of the good job that the UK has been doing in countering “Russian aggression.”

“This perception will have been reinforced by the UK’s firm stance recently in response to Russian aggression: following the UK-led international response to the Salisbury attack – which saw an unprecedented 153 Russian intelligence officers and diplomats expelled from 29 countries and NATO – it appears to the Committee that Putin considers the UK to be a key diplomatic adversary. The threat to the UK – and any changes to this following the actions taken in response to the Salisbury attack – is described in this Report, together with the action that the UK Intelligence Community is taking to counter those threats.”

The report provides several areas that need improvement in terms of the fight against Russia:

  1. The Government Communications Headquarter (GCHQ) assesses that Russia is a highly capable cyber actor with a proven capability to carry out operations which can deliver a range of impacts across any sector. It’s allegedly been doing so since 2014, including GRU agents carrying out alleged phishing operations against UK government departments.
  2. The spreading of disinformation (by which we mean the promotion of intentionally false, distorting or distracting narratives) and the running of ‘influence campaigns’ are separate but interlinked subjects. An influence campaign in relation to an election, for example, may use the spreading of disinformation, but may also encompass other tactics such as illicit funding, disruption of electoral mechanics or direct attacks on one of the campaigns (such as ‘hack and leak’). Equally, the spreading of disinformation is not necessarily aimed at influencing any individual outcome.
  3. Whilst the Russian elite have developed ties with a number of countries in recent years, it would appear that the UK has been viewed as a particularly favourable destination for Russian oligarchs and their money. “What is now clear is that it was in fact counte-productive, in that it offered ideal mechanisms by which illicit finance could be recycled through what has been referred to as the London ‘laundromat’.

The report emphasizes that Russia currently poses a significant threat to the UK on a number of fronts – from espionage to interference in democratic processes, and to serious crime. It continues  that the response needs to be combined from all UK security and intelligence agencies, government bodies, included with the ministers of government, as well as the ISC. This will require renewed doctrines, more and improved projects.

And this will not be an easy feat:

“As already noted, the Russian government is an accomplished adversary with well-resourced and world-class offensive and defensive intelligence capabilities. The well-publicised mistakes Russian operatives made in Salisbury, and later in trying to infiltrate the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), have led to public speculation about the competence of the Russian Intelligence Services (RIS), and the GRU in particular. Whilst these attacks demonstrate that the RIS are not infallible, it would be foolhardy to think that they are any less dangerous because of these mistakes. Indeed, the likelihood is that the RIS will learn from their errors, and become more difficult to detect and protect against as a result.”

Of course, none of this can be achieved without due support from international partners such as the US, NATO and others.

Russia, however, supposedly can’t rely on allies, at least not as much as the UK:

“By contrast to the West, Russia has traditionally been suspicious of building significant international partnerships. However, we note that in recent years it has been proactive in seeking ‘alliances of convenience’ across the world. This has included deepened defense and security co-operation with China, as a useful partner against the US (going so far as to conduct joint military exercises), increased influence in South America, and substantive engagement in several African countries, including widespread trade campaigns.”

It’s interesting to note that to motivate the need of the expanded campaign against Russia, the report is extensively using such terms as “open source studies”, including some mysterious “credible open source commentary”, and complains about the “fundamentally nihilistic” approach of Russia.

British Establishment New Fears: Russia Weaponizes 'Fundamental Nihilsm'
British Establishment New Fears: Russia Weaponizes 'Fundamental Nihilsm'

Indeed, if one translates the report wording from the mainstream propaganda language to the ordinary English, the British government and special services complain that they have not enough leverages of pressure and instruments to influence Russia and needs to expand clandestine, diplomatic and propaganda campaigns against Moscow. At the same time, London tries to demonize tactical successes of the Russian state to inform the English-speaking audience of its point of view through diplomatic channels and English-language state media like RT and Sputniknews.

Probably, the main point of the concern for London is that in the conditions of the crumbling neo-liberal narrative (due to the global economic crisis, the COVID-19 outbreak and a series of crises in base states for the Euro-Atlantic establishment), the Russian behavior on the international arena became attractive for the part of the European and American population, which is still not fully indocrinated by the mainstream propaganda.

The Russian side has already denied all the accusations provided by the report of the UK Intelligence and Security Committee. Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said that it has shown “nothing sensational” and is just “fake shaped Russophobia.”

In response to the report, the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov made a statement:

“Russia has never interfered in electoral processes in any country of the world: not in the United States, not in Great Britain, or in other countries. We do not do it ourselves and do not tolerate when other countries try to interfere in our political affairs,” Peskov told reporters.

The head of the international committee of the Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev, believes that by criticizing Russia, Britain is trying to regain its positions in European politics.

“I am convinced that the reason for the appearance of such an odious report is the attempts of the British authorities to regain the European palm at any cost … And why not lead in Russophobia? While in the European Union, London lost some of its brilliance against the background of the Young Europeans, competing with each other, which of them in exchange for European dividends could ruin relations with our country more abruptly,” he wrote on Facebook.

It’s unlikely that the Russian statements will convince anybody in the British establishment because the main goal of the report was not to find the truth but to set conditions for a further action against Moscow.

At the same time, the content of the entire report is quite funny as the side blaming Moscow for the supposed “fundamentally nihilistic” approach and simultaneously proposing employing various propaganda, intelligence and censorship methods against the alternative point of view. Such complains are only fueling this ‘Russia-styled fundamental nihilism’ among the audience, which still is able to have own critical point of view and like to check facts. This demonstrates a sad tendency of the falling level of competence among personnel (including agents, analysis and propagandists) of the Western special services. These agencies are now forced to be fully in the framework of the neo-liberal, minorities-ruled agenda employing the policy of ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusivity’ promoted by the globalists. Apparently, personal details of particular personnel have become more important that their skills.

Since the very start of SouthFront work, our team has been repeatedly accused of intervening in various processes in the ‘democratic countries’ and spreading top-notch ‘disinformation’ on the highest level (including  press briefings of the US Department of State and reports by the French Defense Ministry). And we are not going to stop on this. So, if you want to fuel some more ‘nihilism’ and coverage that disturb the Euro-Atlantic establishment and globalists, support our work.

Is Trump Using Nordstream 2 to Exit NATO?

By Tom Luongo
Source: Gold Goats n Guns

July 21, 2020

The one thing I never thought I’d say is that Donald Trump is consistent, and yet on the subject of the Nordstream 2 pipeline he has been.

No single project has caused more wailing and gnashing of teeth than Nordstream 2. And since Nordstream 2 is simply the substitute for South Stream, which was supposed to come across the Black Sea into Bulgaria and then feed eastern Europe, this U.S. opposition to another Russian pipeline spans multiple administrations.

So, this is policy that goes far beyond simple 2020 electoral politics, Trump trying to look tough on the Russians, or his misguided Energy Dominance policy.

With Trump rescinding the sanctions exemption for Nordstream 2 he now has declared open war against Europe, specifically Germany over this project.

But here’s the thing, I think Trump is doing this for updated reasons that fit a different agenda than why the U.S. opposed Nordstream 2 previously, because he knows he can’t stop the pipeline now. All he can do is further alienate Germany, who he has targeted as the main problem in Europe.

Before I go any further, though, I think a little history lesson is in order.

U.S. opposition to Nordstream 2 is deeply ingrained on all sides of the political aisle in D.C. From Republicans still fighting the cold war to Democrats having deep ties to Ukrainian gas transit there are a multitude of reasons why Nordstream 2 is verboten in D.C.

On the other hand, Europe’s relationship with Nordstream 2 is, in a word, complicated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin scuttled South Stream back in late 2014 because the EU changed its pipeline rules during its development after the contracts were in place.

Most of that was U.S. pressure, but some of that was Germany’s Angela Merkel working with then-President Barack Obama to create the worst possible scenario for Gazprom – a pipeline that wasn’t profitable.

Merkel backed Obama’s play in Ukraine in 2014 as a power move to control prices for Russian gas into Europe, putting Soviet-era pipelines under EU gas directive jurisdiction.

The EU was always going to use Ukrainian gas transit as leverage over Putin to drive gas prices below Gazprom’s cost thinking they had no other options.

Putin famously pivoted to China, singing the mega-deal for Power of Siberia in retaliation to that. Since Putin had already brought Crimea in from the cold war and tacitly backed the breakaway of the Donbass Merkel was now the one on her back foot.

At the same time, to salvage the work done on South Stream to that point, Putin cut a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to replace South Stream’s volumes to eastern Europe with Turkstream’s to Turkey.

The plans for Turkstream include multiple trains into eastern Europe with countries like Serbia, Hungary and the Czech Republic itching for that gas.

Russia’s options were manifest and Putin deftly outmaneuvered Merkel and Obama. These events forced Merkel’s hand after she stupidly caved to the Greens over ending Germany’s use of nuclear power and now she needed Nordstream 2.

And so Nordstream 2 became a big geopolitical football because Merkel saw, as well, the opportunity to bring the recalcitrant Poles and Baltics under her control as well, solidifying long-term EU plans to engulf all of Euope to Russia’s borders.

Nordstream 2 would nominally replace Ukrainian gas supplies and she could set Germany up to be the gas transit hub, supporting political power emanating from Brussels.

This would give her leverage over Poland, who are trapped between their hatred of the Russians and their unwillingness, rightfully, to submit to Germany.

But Merkel, ever the deft three-faced keeper of the status quo, worked with Putin to secure gas flows through Ukraine for another five years, allaying the worst of Poland’s fears while they have courted Trump to bring in over-priced U.S. LNG.

But from the beginning, Nordstream 2 becomes a different animal geopolitically the moment Trump comes to power. Because Trump is opposed to the EU’s consolidating power over Europe while also sucking the U.S. dry on trade and defense.

He’s made this abundantly clear.

Since the beginning of the year Trump has ratcheted up the pressure on both China and the EU. And the only way that makes any sense is if you are willing to see them as allies in undermining the U.S.’s global position.

This isn’t to say that the U.S.’s global position should remain as it is. Far be it for me, of all people, to argue that. But with the insanity of the COVID-19 fake pandemic, the World Economic Forum’s plans for The Great Reset, and the fomenting a cultural revolution in the U.S. the stakes are now as high as they’ve ever been.

The Davos Crowd is making their big move to consolidate power in Europe. Trump is working with Boris Johnson in the U.K. to oppose that. That’s the simplified version of the chess board.

And this is why I think Trump refuses to give up on stopping Nordstream 2. He’s seen the depths to which The Davos Crowd will go to implement this radical change and he’s forcing the moment to its crisis, as T.S. Eliot put it.

He’s making the choice very clear for Merkel and company. If you want Nordstream 2, suffer the consequences of having to do business without the U.S.

This isn’t about Russia anymore, at all. It’s about Germany and the future of the U.S. If Trump loses in November all of the work done to slow down this push for transnational technocratic oligarchy will end.

If he wins then the current policy sticks, the EU is forced to deal with the U.S. retrenching completely, pulling back on commitments to Europe while divorcing U.S. trade from China.

He may actually be courting lower U.S. dollar flow the world over and forcing Europe into real economic crisis by early next year.

This sanctions policy against Nordstream 2 is consistent with his ‘snap’ decision to pull troops out of Germany, his unilateral abrogation of both the INF treaty and the JCPOA while pressuring NATO to do more.

Merkel, meanwhile, is trying to run out the clock on both Trump and Brexit, as I talked about in my podcast from last week. She’s hoping that Trump will be defeated which will set things back to the way they were before him, force U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to knuckle under in trade deal talks and establish the primacy of the EU as the center of Western power.

Putin, for his part, doesn’t care who he deals with in the long run. He can’t afford to. He has to play the cards on the table in front of him with the people in power, since Russia is still a minor player but with big potential.

For Trump, I believe he sees Nordstream 2 as the perfect wedge issue to break open the stalemate over NATO and cut Germany loose or bring Merkel to heel.

This next round of sanctions will target the companies involved directly in the pipeline. Germany can’t afford not to finish Nordstream 2. So, we are headed for an epic clash here.

Trump and Merkel hate each other, with good reason. And while I have mixed feelings about the way Trump does business, I know Angela Merkel is the key to the EU’s future.

I mentioned in a recent article that I feel Trump is a guy with almost nothing left to lose. If he’s going out he’s going out with a bang. Arrest Ghislaine Maxwell, sanction China and threaten war over Hong Kong, ramp up dollar diplomacy on Europe.

He knows that hybrid war is the only war the U.S. can ‘win’ decisively given the relative dominance of the U.S. dollar today.

While the end of dollar hegemony is in sight, do not underestimate how much damage can be done to the status quo while Trump is in power. That status quo isn’t good for anyone except those who currently want that power back.


TURKEY’S POISONOUS HAND OF FRIENDSHIP

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Turkey's Poisonous Hand Of Friendship

While the situation in Libya continues to escalate and the parties are preparing for a decisive battle for Sirte, Turkey, which actively supports forces of the Government of National Accord (GNA), is negotiating with its strategic partners. On July 10, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar went on an official visit to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. During the visit, Akar checked the work of the diplomatic mission, had dinner with representatives of national minorities, namely Crimean Tatars and Meskhetian Turks, with Ukrainian businessmen and the head of the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Taking into account the high tension of the situation in Libya, the defense minister’s dinner in Kiev was of great importance for the Turkish side.

According to Ukrainian Minister of Defense Andrei Taran, during the talks with Akar, they discussed ways to deepen cooperation in the defense sphere.

“The cooperation of defense companies of Ukraine and Turkey is of particular. The reached agreements will strengthen the defense potential of Ukraine. The potential and maneuverability of the Ukrainian army will significantly increase, what will contribute to the protection of peace in the region,” Taran said.

It cannot be excluded that one of the goals of the visit was to demonstrate to Kiev that Turkey favors provocative actions against Russia. Instability in the East of Ukraine or new provocations in Crimea are in Turkey’s interest at the moment. They allow to weak Russia’s position in the negotiation process on Libya at the very moment when GNA fores, supported by Turkey, are actively preparing for military action on the territory of their country.

In recent days, Kiev has become noticeably more active and has been pursuing a policy of discrediting Russia in all possible directions.

In the East of Ukraine the most recent incident happened on July 14 when 2 Ukrainian fighters died and another one received injures in a failed attempt to enter the territory controlled by self-defense forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic near the village of Zaitsevo. The sabotage and reconnaissance unit tried to attack positions of DPR forces but blew up on landmines in the area.

The Ukrainian side announced that one of the dead soldiers was a military medic, Mikola Ilin, who turned out to be a citizen of Estonia. His death was captured on video.

Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Dmitry Kuleba, called the murder of a medic an act of barbarism.

“I want to make it very clear that from a legal point of view, this murder has signs of a war crime, and from a moral point of view, it is nothing else but an act of barbarism,” Kuleba said.

He stressed that the diplomats will try to make the incident public.

“I will personally raise this issue. The response will be as tough as possible. We will attract all our partners. This situation will be made public,” the foreign minister said.

The death of Ilin led to the desired result, which was required by the Ukrainian authorities. The case was widely publicized. The accusations were immediately joined by the US Embassy, which previously rarely commented on the deaths of Ukrainian soldiers in the Donbass.

The European Union called the murder of a military medic a violation of the Minsk agreements, the agreements of the Normandy summit and international law.

Member of European Parliament, Michael Galer, blamed the Kremlin for the incident in eastern Ukraine on Twitter.

Besides the growing tension in the East of the country, Ukraine is increasingly speculating about Russia’s supposed intentions to conduct offensive operations in the South, which could be a response to the blocking of water supply to Crimea from Ukraine through the North Crimean channel. Water in Crimea is really critically scarce, but to solve this problem, Russia is completing the construction of a water pipeline, and is not preparing to seize the southern territories of Ukraine.

Despite the improbability of rumors about upcoming Russian attacks, on July 13, the head of the Kherson region (southern Ukraine), Yuri Gusev, appealed to the National Security Council to increase the number of military personnel in the region. Gusev also assured that Ukrainian military exercises will be held in autumn together with the Estonian military. However, the exact date of the exercise is unknown and depends on the conduct of large-scale military exercises of the Russian Armed Forces – “Caucasus – 2020”.

It is obvious that at the moment there are no signals that Russia is preparing for an offensive operation on the territory of Ukraine. Russia is currently experiencing quite acute domestic political problems, which the Putin administration is coping with worse. These include mass demonstrations in the city of Khabarovsk in the Far East and the introduction of constitutional amendments. Russian military forces are already involved in Syria, Moscow is actively participating in the negotiation process on the conflict in Libya, and the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is escalating near its borders. For a number of internal and foreign policy reasons, Russia is currently unable to deploy a major military force in new theater of operations. Thus, there is no real threat to Ukraine, but there are more and more rumors and information noise created in order to discredit Russia.

Turkey's Poisonous Hand Of Friendship

The tactical Turkish support pushes Kiev to continue its provocations against Russia. In the current situation, Erdogan has a number of levers to promote its own interests through Kiev.

Turkey and Ukraine are far from being equal partners. This fact is confirmed by the indicators of bilateral trade. Ukraine is much more interested in the Turkish market than vice versa. Ukraine is on the 27th place in the ranking of import countries to Turkey, while Turkey is one of the main importers of Ukraine.

Since 2012, Ukraine and Turkey have been negotiating the free trade zone agreement, but the document has not yet been signed. Economists note that the parties cannot agree on the terms of access for both industrial goods and agricultural products to each other’s markets.

Vladimir Volya, an expert at the Ukrainian Institute of policy analysis and management, claimed that it was difficult for Ukraine to defend its interests in negotiations with Turkey, because “Turkey is the 17th largest economy in the world and the 6th largest in Europe”.

While the economic dimension is certainly important in Turkish-Ukrainian relations, the main tone of interaction between the two countries is set by the political dimension.

As part of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Kiev has special hopes for Ankara’s support. First of all, on the issue of Crimean peninsula. Turkey does not recognize Crimea as part of Russia, to a large extent it is connected with the Crimean Tatar population, which is presented by Kiev as allegedly oppressed by Russia. The policy of protectionism gave Turkey a broad influence on the peninsula until 2014. Before Crimea became part of Russia, the Turkish-backed Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people had notable political power in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Also, thanks to Turkey, various extremist religious organizations, such as Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami, felt blessed on the peninsula. Today Mejlis is banned in Russia and has been replaced by other representative organizations, and the cells of the terrorist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami are consistently eliminated on the territory of Crimea. However, various sources indicate that there is still an extensive network of agents of the Turkish special services among the Crimean Tatars. Ankar still cherishes hopes

The important sphere is cooperation in the defense sphere. Recently, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF), Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak, announced that the Ukrainian Armed Forces troops deployed in Eastern Ukraine will be equipped with Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 UAVs. State-controlled Ukrainian company UkrSpetsExport and private Turkish UAV specialist Baykar Makina signed a $69 million strategic cooperation agreement. Baykar Makina company is the most prominent of new Turkish drone makers penetrating the domestic and foreign markets.

“Turkish-Ukrainian defense cooperation will potentially go beyond drone systems,” the Ankara-based expert forecast. “Promising businesses could be armored vehicle modifications and, most notably, the Altay.”

While only a few European countries have agreed to supply weapons to Ukraine, Kiev is increasingly dependent on US and Turkish military assistance.

The Ukrainian State Company Ukrspetsexport in December 2019 exported to the Turkish company K.B.A.T. Ithalat Ihracat Mumessillik Ve Danismanlik Ticaret Ltd. the first batch of military goods under a contract for the supply of two S-125M1 Neva-M1 anti-aircraft missile systems totaling $30 million. They were  subsequently delivered to the Government of National Accord in Libya.

Turkey's Poisonous Hand Of Friendship

Apparently, in the conflict in Libya, Ukraine supports Turkey not only by supplying anti-aircraft missile systems. Shortly after Akar’s visit to Kiev, two ships left the Ukrainian ports of Nikolaev and Berdyansk in the direction of Libya. Perhaps Erdogan became more cautious after the French Ministry of Armed Forces accused the Turkish Navy of harassing an arm embargo on Libya.

Ukraine, in turn, is important for Turkey as a tool of maintaining influence in the Black Sea region and for balancing its own interests in relations with Russia. While relations between Turkey and its NATO partners have being deteriorating, and it cannot count on the military support of European countries in the Libyan conflict, Erdogan can rely on Ukraine, which has also been “betrayed” by NATO countries, because despite the protracted negotiation process and long-term promises, NATO is in no hurry to accept Ukraine into its structures.

Ukraine is not the only country of the former Soviet Union where Turkey is pursuing an active policy in order to promote its interests and weaken its ‘strategic partner’, Russia. Recently there has been an escalation of the conflict on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The moment of escalation is chosen perfectly. The current political leadership of Armenia has done everything possible to turn the Kremlin against itself. Yerevan has provided its territory and created a favorable political regime for the deployment of Western non-state companies whose goal is the destruction of Russia as a state. These organizations are backed by Western Democrats or the Brussels bureaucracy. As a partner of Russia, Armenia did not recognize the annexation of Crimea. And the President of Armenia, Pashinyan and his entourage have consistently given signals of following a Pro-Western policy. Today, the only state that can ensure the existence of Armenia as a state is Russia, but Pashinyan is doing everything possible to break their ties.

Turkey pursues a policy of incitement among partner countries. It is seen is not only by groundless provocations in Ukraine, but also in the unleashed conflict on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border. While Russia does not hurrying to openly support any of the sides, Erdogan accused Armenia of starting the conflict and expressed support for Azerbaijan.

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“Putin Hacked Our Coronavirus Vaccine” Is The Dumbest Story Yet

By Caitlin Johnstone

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Putin Hacked Our Coronavirus Vaccine 8de37

OMG you guys Putin hacked our coronavirus vaccine secrets!

Today mainstream media is reporting what is arguably the single dumbest Russiavape story of all time, against some very stiff competition.

“Russian hackers are targeting health care organizations in the West in an attempt to steal coronavirus vaccine research, the U.S. and Britain said,” reports The New York Times.

“Hackers backed by the Russian state are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the world, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said on Thursday,” Reuters reports.

“Russian news agency RIA cited spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying the Kremlin rejected London’s allegations, which he said were not backed by proper evidence,” adds Reuters.

I mean, there are just so many layers of stupid.

First of all, how many more completely unsubstantiated government agency allegations about Russian nefariousness are we the public going to accept from the corporate mass media? Since 2016 it’s been wall-to-wall narrative about evil things Russia is doing to the empire-like cluster of allies loosely centralized around the United States, and they all just happen to be things nobody can actually provide the public with hard verifiable evidence of.

Ever since the shady cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike admitted that it never actually saw hard proof of Russia hacking the DNC servers, the already shaky and always unsubstantiated narrative that Russian hackers interfered in the US presidential election in 2016 has been on thinner ice than ever. Yet because the mass media converged on this narrative and repeated it as fact over and over again they’ve been able to get the mainstream headline-skimming public to accept it as an established truth, priming them for an increasingly idiotic litany of completely unsubstantiated Russia scandals, culminating most recently in the entirely debunked claim that Russia paid Taliban-linked fighters to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Secondly, the news story doesn’t even claim that these supposed Russian hackers even succeeded in doing whatever they were supposed to have been doing in this supposed cyberattack.

“Officials have not commented on whether the attacks were successful but also have not ruled out that this is the case,” Wired reports.

Thirdly, this is a “vaccine” which does not even exist at this point in time, and the research which was supposedly hacked may never lead to one. Meanwhile, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University reports that it has “successfully completed tests on volunteers of the world’s first vaccine against coronavirus,” in Russia.

Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, how obnoxious and idiotic is it that coronavirus vaccine “secrets” are a even a thing??? This is a global pandemic which is hurting all of us; scientists should be free to collaborate with other scientists anywhere in the world to find a solution to this problem. Nobody has any business keeping “secrets” from the world about this virus or any possible vaccine or treatment. If they do, anyone in the world is well within their rights to pry those secrets away from them.

This intensely stupid story comes out at the same time British media are blaring stories about Russian interference in the 2019 election, which if you actually listen carefully to the claims being advanced amounts to literally nothing more than the assertion that Russians talked about already leaked documents pertaining to the UK’s healthcare system on the internet.

“Russian actors ‘sought to interfere’ in last winter’s general election by amplifying an illicitly acquired NHS dossier that was seized upon by Labour during the campaign, the foreign secretary has said,” reports The Guardian.

“Amplifying”. That’s literally all there is to this story. As we learned with the ridiculous US Russiagate narrative, Russia “amplifying” something in such allegations can mean anything from RT reporting on a major news story to a Twitter account from St Petersburg sharing an article from The Washington Post. Even the foreign secretary’s claim itself explicitly admits that “there is no evidence of a broad spectrum Russian campaign against the General Election”.

“The statement is so foggy and contradictory that it is almost impossible to understand it,” responded Russia’s foreign ministry to the allegations. “If it’s inappropriate to say something then don’t say it. If you say it, produce the facts.”

Instead of producing facts you’ve got the Murdoch press pestering Jeremy Corbyn on his doorstep over this ridiculous non-story, and popular right-wing outlets like Guido Fawkes running the blatantly false headline “Government Confirms Corbyn Used Russian-Hacked Documents in 2019 Election”. The completely bogus allegation that the NHS documents came to Jeremy Corbyn by way of Russian hackers is not made anywhere in the article itself, but for the headline-skimming majority this makes no difference. And headline skimmers get as many votes as people who read and think critically.

All this new cold war Russia hysteria is turning people’s brains into guacamole. We’ve got to find a way to snap out of the propaganda trance so we can start creating a world that is based on truth and a desire for peace.

US Presidential Election And Prospects Of Kiev Advance In Eastern Ukraine

South Front

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson

For the past several years, the war between Ukraine and the breakaway and still-unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic has settled into a tense routine of attritional trench warfare, punctuated by sniping, clashes between patrols, small-scale raids, offensive minelaying, and ambushes using anti-tank guided missiles. There have been few operations by units larger than company. The front line has remained almost entirely unchanged. At the same time, both sides have been preparing for the possible next round of high-intensity warfare. What would happen if the fighting were to break out again?

That particular prediction is made more difficult by the very fact of the long lull in high-intensity fighting during which both sides have undergone a certain degree of transformation which remains relatively unknown to the other party. Both sides have seen certain material improvements, though apparently nothing dramatic. Ukraine’s armored vehicle fleet still relies on the same, but now even more worn out vehicles it went to war with in 2014. The planned re-equipment with the Oplot MBT never took place, and even the upgraded T-64BU Bulat was found to be flawed. Therefore the elderly T-64BV remains the main tank of Ukraine’s forces. Light armored vehicle fleet has seen some improvement thanks to domestic production and deliveries from former Warsaw Pact member states. If there is one area where Ukraine’s military may have made a major step forward, it is the artillery, using the large store of inactive weapons for Soviet-era reserve forces. However, artillery munition production continues to be a problem. While the number of Ukraine’s brigades has grown, the military experiences major problems with recruitment and retention, meaning that many of these brigades have the strength of a reinforced combined arms battalion.

On Novorossia’s side the situation is hardly different. DPR and LPR units continue to use the same types of equipment they used during the campaigns of five years ago. The numeric strength does not appear to have changed much, either, and here too recruitment and retention remains a problem.

The other factor making predictions difficult is the level of morale of these two forces that have been bogged down in an apparently endless war that is beyond their power to finish. The combination of trench warfare boredom and terror means it is debilitating to the units’ morale and proficiency if they are forced to remain in the trenches for too long. While the most offensive-capable forces are kept out of the trenches as mobile reserves, they too can only maintain their state of alert for so long before losing their edge.

Paradoxically, this state of affairs give an advantage to the side that intends to go on the offensive, because the preparations for the attack and associated training would imbue the troops with the hope that, after the next big push, the war will finally be over. At the same time, both sides know such an offensive would be an exceedingly risky proposition, because if it fails, it will grind down the attacking side’s most effective units and render the army vulnerable to a counteroffensive to which it would not be able to respond.

Therefore the likelihood of renewed fighting also heavily depends on who actually makes the decision. While local leaders may be cautious enough, foreign ones in distant capitals may have different considerations in mind.

A big unknown hanging over the future of the Donbass is the position of Joe Biden, the Democratic Party nominee and the potential winner of the November elections. Biden has already played a highly destructive role in the politics of Ukraine and the US-Russia relations. It is Biden that blackmailed Poroshenko into firing the Chief Prosecutor Shokin due to his interest in the corrupt dealings of the Burisma energy company which infamously had Joe’s son Hunter on its board of directors. It is also Biden who held a lengthy, 30-45 minute telephone conversation with Poroshenko on the day MH17 was shot down and promptly came out blaming Russia for it, even as the wreckage was still smoking where it fell. Biden identified himself as a Russia foe much earlier, during the 2012 vice-presidential debates where he positioned himself as being “hard on Putin”, which in retrospect proved to be an early indicator of where the second-term Obama administration foreign policy would go. It also goes without saying Biden is an ardent promoter of the “RussiaGate” effort to paint Donald Trump as a Russian agent/stooge/fellow traveler/useful idiot.

At the same time, Biden’s line against China has hardened as well, which may have implications for US-Russia relations during the probable Biden presidency. As late as May 2019, Biden would describe People’s Republic of China as “they are not bad folks”, adding that “they are not competition to us”, comments that may yet come to haunt him on the campaign trail. However, once the COVID-19 broke out of control in the United States, Biden sought to out-do Trump in his accusations the high US death toll was due to China misleading the United States on the nature of the virus and not allowing US public health officials access to Wuhan and China’s epidemiology labs. Even before that, Hunter Biden resigned from boards of directors of China-based firms. While that might have been motivated by his, and his dad’s, desire to keep a low profile due to the scrutiny Hunter’s business dealings have attracted during Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings, it may also have been preparation for Joe Biden’s anti-China pivot.

The emergence of PRC as Biden’s perceived number one international adversary may mean a desire to improve relations with Russia in the way that Trump, compromised from the start by RussiaGate and without a history of own anti-Russia rhetoric to fall back on, could never deliver. Biden, however, is in the same position as Nixon was in the late 1960s. His earlier anti-Russian rhetoric and actions now make him nearly immune from the same sort of accusations which, even though false, nevertheless effectively stuck to Trump. Nixon’s own enthusiastic participation in McCarthyite witch hunts made it possible for him to do what his Democratic Party predecessor Lyndon Johnson could not: end Vietnam War, engage in arms control treaties with USSR and “go to China” in order to exploit the growing divide between the two main Communist powers. Biden has the political capital necessary to repeat the process: end the war in Afghanistan (something he had proposed already as vice president), enter into arms control treaties with China and…go to Moscow, which is currently seen in Washington in the same way that Beijing was in the 1970s, namely the secondary challenger which needs to be peeled away from the primary one. Moreover, just as in the early 1970s, United States of the 2020s is wracked by a massive internal crisis requiring international retrenchment in order to focus on internal reforms.

But that optimistic scenario remains less likely than the prospect of renewed escalation. Nixon-era United States was not suffering from the hubris of American Exceptionalism. On the contrary, it was a country full of self-doubt and under no illusion concerning the limits of its power. It entered into arms control treaties because it did not feel it could win them. Disasters abroad and at home notwithstanding, the US elite still has not been shaken out of its complacency, and it does appear to sincerely believe it can win a strategic and conventional arms race against both China and Russia. We have not seen any indications so far that Biden intends any moderation in the area of foreign policy or returning to a policy of cooperation with Russia. One should expect that, in the event of Biden victory, Ukraine will launch an offensive against the Donbass shortly after the inauguration, in other words, in February or March of 2020. This offensive would accomplish two objectives for Biden. One, it would establish his hawkish, “patriotic” bona fides, make him look “presidential” in the eyes of the mainstream media and the national security establishment. Secondly, it would allow the US to exert even more pressure on Germany and other EU member states concerning North Stream and other areas of cooperation with Russia.

In order to achieve these goals, particularly the second one, the offensive would not need to overrun the Donbass, in fact, that would not be the aim at all. Rather, the goal would be to force Russian forces to intervene directly in support of the Lugansk and Donetsk republics to justify depicting Russia as the aggressor in the matter. And even if the republics’ militaries can cope with the UAF assault on their own, the sheer level of violence will still make enough headlines to satisfy Biden’s requirements. Whether Zelensky wants that kind of escalation for his country is almost irrelevant. Both he and Biden know very well what the balance of power in that relationship is. Ukraine is a failing state seriously dependent on foreign financial assistance in the form of continual IMF loans, debt rescheduling, favorable trade deals, etc. Biden knew how to use these levers to achieve an important change in Ukraine’s politics that benefited him personally, he will not hesitate to use them again.

Moreover, even if Biden were driven by the Nixonian motives described above, it’s doubtful the foreign policy Deep State would allow him to do that. Biden’s own conversations with Poroshenko no doubt contain great many embarrassing moments whose release would instantly embroil him in a massive scandal. The fact that Donald Trump was impeached solely due to the desire of national security apparatchiks to continue their pet war in Ukraine is indicative of their power to make foreign policy quite independently of their supposed civilian bosses.

The situation is further complicated by the widening rift between the Western neo-liberal world and conservative societies of eastern European countries. This includes a large part of the Ukrainian population which is committed to traditional values. The rapidly deteriorating social and economic situation in Ukraine contributes to a further antagonism of this part of the society towards the forcefully imposed Western ideology and its local agents. Another point of tensions is the existing contradictions between the Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchy) and the artificially assembled pseudo-church organizations in Ukraine. The Moscow Patriarchy is returning to its former position among the Ukrainian faithful. In the event of a further dissatisfaction of the society by the declared pseudo-Western way of development, positions of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchy will strengthen even more.

While a Ukrainian offensive is relatively unlikely in 2020, its probability increases considerably in 2021, particularly in the event of a Biden victory. The conflict in Ukraine has lasted this long mainly because Ukraine’s current sponsors in the West are not interested in ending it, irrespective of what the will of the Ukrainian people might be. The situation will get even worse should the US presidency be taken over by someone with a well-established hostility toward Russia who believes his aims would be better served by another bloody campaign on the Donbass.

The next US administration will employ every option that it has in order to prevent the return of Russian influence in the country. Besides furthering the conflict in eastern Ukraine, it will expand efforts against it in the ideological sphere as well, likely including direct provocations.

تركيا تقدّم عرضاً لروسيا وإيران

ناصر قنديل

بعد اجتماعات القمّة الافتراضية التي ضمّت الرؤساء الروسي فلاديمير بوتين والإيراني الشيخ حسن روحاني والتركي رجب أردوغان، سادت أجواء إيجابية حول إمكانية تغيير في السلوك التركي في شمال غرب سورية ومحوره حسم مصير الجماعات المسلّحة هناك. وربط الكثيرون بين هذه التوقعات والاهتمام التركيّ بالمواجهة في ليبيا بعد الموقف المصري واحتمالات تطوره باتجاه تدخل عسكري، سيجعل من الصعب مواجهته من دون الخروج التركي من سورية، سواء للحاجة لدعم روسي إيراني أوسع سياسياً يستدعي خطوة بحجم الانسحاب من سورية، أو نظراً للحاجات الميدانية التي ستفرضها المواجهة وما تتطلّبه من نقل كل القوات الموجودة في سورية إلى ليبيا، لكن بعض التحليلات تحدثت عن شيء أكبر ومضمونه عرض تركيّ قدّمه الرئيس أردوغان لكل من روسيا وإيران.

يرتكز العرض التركي على قاعدتين، الأولى الإقرار التركيّ بصراع مفتوح على زعامة سنّة العالم الإسلامي مع السعودية وطلب الدعم الروسي الإيراني لتركيا على قاعدة كشف قدّمه أردوغان عن فشل رهانات موسكو وطهران على مساعي التقرّب من الرياض التي تناصبهما العداء وتنفذ سياسات أميركيّة صرفة، بخلاف تركيا التي تراعي المصالح الروسية والإيرانية ولو ترتّبت عليها مسافة واسعة عن السياسات الأميركية وتحمّل تبعات ذلك، الثاني الاستعداد لرسم مسافة تركية أوسع من العلاقة بالأميركيين تراعي حدود طلبات روسية وإيرانية مثل عدم ربط البقاء في سورية بالبقاء الأميركي، وبالتوازي الاستعداد لمسافة موازية من العلاقة مع كيان الاحتلال في ضوء صفقة القرن ونيات ضمّ الضفة الغربية، والتعاون مع إيران بمساعدة قطر لدعم حركة حماس وتعزيز صمود قطاع غزة أمام الضغوط “الإسرائيليّة”.

المقابل الذي يطلبه الأتراك وفقاً لعرض أردوغان، هو إضافة للتعاون التركيّ السوريّ الروسي الإيراني لإنهاء دويلة الجماعات الكرديّة المسلحة في شرق سورية، فتح الساحات التي تملك روسيا وإيران قدرة التأثير فيها أمام تنمية نفوذ تركيّ في البيئة السنيّة التي تسيطر عليها السعودية، خصوصاً أن تنظيم الأخوان المسلمين موجود بصيغ مختلفة في هذه البيئات، من لبنان إلى العراق وليبيا وسواها، ويتضمّن العرض استعداد أردوغان لضمان عدم تخطّي هذه الجماعات لسقوف يتفق عليها حسب خصوصيّة كل ساحة. وتقول التحليلات إن الرئيس الروسي الذي وعد بالسعي لترتيب لقاءات سوريّة تركيّة بدعم إيراني، أبدى حذراً مشتركاً مع الرئيس الإيرانيّ من اعتبار فتح الباب لدور الأخوان المسلمين في سورية ممكناً في ظل موقف حاسم لسورية من هذا الطرح، بالإضافة لحذر الرئيس بوتين من التورّط في صراع مصريّ تركيّ ترغب موسكو بلعب دور الوسيط وليس الطرف فيه.

المشكلة وفقاً للتحليلات المذكورة، أن السياسات السعوديّة وبنسبة معينة المواقف المصرية، خير نصير لعرض أردوغان. فالسعودية تنضبط بمواقف أميركية و”إسرائيلية” عدائية نسبياً لروسيا ولإيران أكثر، وتقدّم جغرافيتها ونفطها وإعلامها كأدوات لهذه السياسات، ومصر تورطت بخط لنقل الغاز بالتعاون مع كيان الاحتلال نحو أوروبا لمنافسة الغاز الروسي، بينما تشارك تركيا روسيا خطها الأوروبيّ، ونجم عن تدخلها في ليبيا عرقلة الخط المصري – “الإسرائيلي”. وتقول هذه التحليلات إن العقبات التي تعترض طريق الطرح التركي ربما تنخفض أهميتها إذا ارتفع منسوب التصعيد في المنطقة، وتورّطت السعودية في سياسات العداء والتجاهل أكثر وأكثر، خصوصاً أن العروض التركية تتضمن توظيف قدرات قطر المالية للمساهمة في حل بعض الأزمات المالية في لبنان والعراق وفلسطين وسورية.

PHILIP M. GIRALDI: “RUSSIA-BAITING IS THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN”

Washington again becomes hysterical

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PHILIP GIRALDI • JULY 7, 2020

There is particular danger at the moment that powerful political alignments in the United States are pushing strongly to exacerbate the developing crisis with Russia. The New York Times, which broke the story that the Kremlin had been paying the Afghan Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers, has been particularly assiduous in promoting the tale of perfidious Moscow. Initial Times coverage, which claimed that the activity had been confirmed by both intelligence sources and money tracking, was supplemented by delusional nonsense from former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who asks “Why does Trump put Russia first?” before calling for a “swift and significant U.S. response.” Rice, who is being mentioned as a possible Biden choice for Vice President, certainly knows about swift and significant as she was one of the architects of the destruction of Libya and the escalation of U.S. military and intelligence operations directed against a non-threatening Syria.

The Times is also titillating with the tale of a low level drug smuggling Pashto businessman who seemed to have a lot of cash in dollars lying around, ignoring the fact that Afghanistan is awash with dollars and has been for years. Many of the dollars come from drug deals, as Afghanistan is now the world’s number one producer of opium and its byproducts.

The cash must be Russian sourced, per the NYT, because a couple of low level Taliban types, who were likely tortured by the Afghan police, have said that it is so. The Times also cites anonymous sources which allege that there were money transfers from an account managed by the Kremlin’s GRU military intelligence to an account opened by the Taliban. Note the “alleged” and consider for a minute that it would be stupid for any intelligence agency to make bank-to-bank transfers, which could be identified and tracked by the clever lads at the U.S. Treasury and NSA. Also try to recall how not so long ago we heard fabricated tales about threatening WMDs to justify war. Perhaps the story would be more convincing if a chain of custody could be established that included checks drawn on the Moscow-Narodny Bank and there just might be a crafty neocon hidden somewhere in the U.S. intelligence community who is right now faking up that sort of evidence.

Other reliably Democratic Party leaning news outlets, to include CNN, MSNBC and The Washington Post all jumped on the bounty story, adding details from their presumably inexhaustible supply of anonymous sources. As Scott Horton observedthe media was reporting a “fact” that there was a rumor.

Inevitably the Democratic Party leadership abandoned its Ghanaian kente cloth scarves, got up off their knees, and hopped immediately on to their favorite horse, which is to claim loudly and in unison that when in doubt Russia did it. Joe Biden in particular is “disgusted” by a “betrayal” of American troops due to Trump’s insistence on maintaining “an embarrassing campaign of deferring and debasing himself before Putin.”

The Dems were joined in their outrage by some Republican lawmakers who were equally incensed but are advocating delaying punishing Russia until all the facts are known. Meanwhile, the “circumstantial details” are being invented to make the original tale more credible, including crediting the Afghan operation to a secret Russian GRU Army intelligence unit that allegedly was also behind the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury England in 2018.

Reportedly the Pentagon is looking into the circumstances around the deaths of three American soldiers by roadside bomb on April 8, 2019 to determine a possible connection to the NYT report. There are also concerns relating to several deaths in training where Afghan Army recruits turned on their instructors. As the Taliban would hardly need an incentive to kill Americans and as only seventeen U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan in 2019 as a result of hostile action, the year that the intelligence allegedly relates to, one might well describe any joint Taliban-Russian initiative as a bit of a failure since nearly all of those deaths have been attributed to kinetic activity initiated by U.S. forces.

The actual game that is in play is, of course, all about Donald Trump and the November election. It is being claimed that the president was briefed on the intelligence but did nothing. Trump denied being verbally briefed due to the fact that the information had not been verified. For once America’s Chief Executive spoke the truth, confirmed by the “intelligence community,” but that did not stop the media from implying that the disconnect had been caused by Trump himself. He reportedly does not read the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), where such a speculative piece might indeed appear on a back page, and is uninterested in intelligence assessments that contradict what he chooses to believe. The Democrats are suggesting that Trump is too stupid and even too disinterested to be president of the United States so they are seeking to replace him with a corrupt 78-year-old man who may be suffering from dementia.

The Democratic Party cannot let Russia go because they see it as their key to future success and also as an explanation for their dramatic failure in 2016 which in no way holds them responsible for their ineptness. One does not expect the House Intelligence Committee, currently headed by the wily Adam Schiff, to actually know anything about intelligence and how it is collected and analyzed, but the politicization of the product is certainly something that Schiff and his colleagues know full well how to manipulate. One only has to recall the Russiagate Mueller Commission investigation and Schiff’s later role in cooking the witnesses that were produced in the subsequent Trump impeachment hearings.

Schiff predictably opened up on Trump in the wake of the NYT report, saying “I find it inexplicable in light of these very public allegations that the president hasn’t come before the country and assured the American people that he will get to the bottom of whether Russia is putting bounties on American troops and that he will do everything in his power to make sure that we protect American troops.”

Schiff and company should know, but clearly do not, that at the ground floor level there is a lot of lying, cheating and stealing around intelligence collection. Most foreign agents do it for the money and quickly learn that embroidering the information that is being provided to their case officer might ultimately produce more cash. Every day the U.S. intelligence community produces thousands of intelligence reports from those presumed “sources with access,” which then have to be assessed by analysts. Much of the information reported is either completely false or cleverly fabricated to mix actual verified intelligence with speculation and out and out lies to make the package more attractive. The tale of the Russian payment of bribes to the Taliban for killing Americans is precisely the kind of information that stinks to high heaven because it doesn’t even make any political or tactical sense, except to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and the New York Times. For what it’s worth, a number of former genuine intelligence officers including Paul Pillar, John KiriakouScott Ritter, and Ray McGovern have looked at the evidence so far presented and have walked away unimpressed. The National Security Agency (NSA) has also declined to confirm the story, meaning that there is no electronic trail to validate it.

Finally, there is more than a bit of the old hypocrisy at work in the damnation of the Russians even if they have actually been involved in an improbable operation with the Taliban. One recalls that in the 1970s and 1980s the United States supported the mujahideen rebels fighting against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. The assistance consisted of weapons, training, political support and intelligence used to locate, target and kill Soviet soldiers. Stinger missiles were provided to bring down helicopters carrying the Russian troops. The support was pretty much provided openly and was even boasted about, unlike what is currently being alleged about the Russian assistance. The Soviets were fighting to maintain a secular regime that was closely allied to Moscow while the mujahideen later morphed into al-Qaeda and the Islamist militant Taliban subsequently took over the country, meaning that the U.S. effort was delusional from the start.

So, what is a leaked almost certainly faux story about the Russian bounties on American soldiers intended to accomplish? It is probably intended to keep a “defensive” U.S. presence in Afghanistan, much desired by the neocons, a majority in Congress and the Military Industrial Complex (MIC), and it will further be played and replayed to emphasize the demonstrated incompetence of Donald Trump. The end result could be to secure the election of a pliable Establishment flunky Joe Biden as president of the United States. How that will turn out is unpredictable, but America’s experience of its presidents since 9/11 has not been very encouraging.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

Foreign Election Interference: Who is to Blame?

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by MELVIN GOODMAN

Photograph Source: Bill Smith – CC BY 2.0

Ever since the Russian election interference in 2016, the New York Times  has been blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for the new Cold War with the United States.  On July 2, it ran a front-page article that headlined the United States “stands on the sidelines” while the Kremlin conducts a “wave of aggression.” On July 1, the Times ran an oped article by former national security adviser Susan Rice, reportedly on the short list as a possible Biden vice presidential candidate, describing a White House run by “liars and wimps catering to a tyrannical president who is actively advancing our arch adversary’s nefarious interests.”  In view of the blame being assigned to Putin, perhaps it’s time to remind readers of the Times of the U.S. record of intervention in foreign elections.

The New York Times has always taken the view that U.S. election interventions have “generally been aimed at helping non-authoritarian candidates” whereas Russia has “more often intervened to disrupt democracy or promote authoritarian rule.”  Too bad the Times could not interview Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh, Chile’s Salvador Allende, or the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, who were targeted by the Central Intelligence Agency and replaced by brutal regimes that ruled for decades.  Allende and Lumumba, moreover, didn’t survive the violence that the CIA orchestrated.  The revelations of assassination plots in Cuba, the Congo, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam finally led to a ban on CIA political assassinations in the mid-1970s.

The grand master of election interference and regime change is, of course, the CIA, which was created in 1947 and immediately began to interfere in elections in Europe.  France and Italy were the primary targets as “bags of money” were “delivered to selected politicians, to defray their expenses,” according to F. Mark Wyatt, a former CIA operative.  The road got much darker in the 1950s, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Iran in 1953 and the installation of a brutal military regime in Guatemala in 1954.

The CIA released a small batch of records on the 1954 military coup in Guatemala, but it has not declassified materials on the CIA-assisted Guatemalan security forces responsible for the deaths of an estimated 200,000 Guatemalans since the coup.  The CIA trained and supported notorious security forces throughout Central America, particularly in Honduras, where the Battalion 316 operated brutal detention centers throughout the country.  The United States and the CIA were responsible for installing abusive authoritarians in Nicaragua and El Salvador as well.

American national interests were rarely at stake in any of these interventions.  Henry A. Kissinger, President Richard M. Nixon’s national security adviser, put it best when he facetiously described Chile as a “dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica.”  Kissinger simply could not see “why the United States should stand by and let Chile go communist merely due to the stupidity of its own people.”  The CIA’s installation of the Shah of Iran in 1953 was the original sin that continues to plague U.S.-Iranian relations.

A Carnegie Mellon scholar, Dov H. Levin, examined the historical record and determined that there were more than 80 overt and covert election influence operations by the United States from 1947 to 2000 as opposed to 36 Soviet and Russian operations in the same period.  The United States relied on various clandestine means, including breaking into political offices to steal codes.  In 1996, the Clinton administration intervened overtly and covertly in the Russian election to make sure that Boris Yeltsin was not defeated by an old-fashioned communist bureaucrat.  The United States engineered a $10 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to Russia and assigned American political consultants to Yeltsin’s campaign.

The Russian intervention in the U.S. election in 2016 was merely a technological version of the kind of political influence operations that the KGB and the CIA conducted throughout the Cold War.  The digital interventions were far less costly and risky than the clandestine operations of the CIA and the National Security Agency over many decades.  We may lack a full understanding of the extent of U.S. intervention over the yearsm but we know a great deal about the Russian effort to use social media to attack Hillary Clinton, to boost Donald Trump, and to sow discord in the United States. We still lack information on the nature of the cooperation that existed between the Trump campaign and the Russian influence operation.  I’m sure that my former CIA colleagues would find nothing unusual in these Russian actions.

Too many opinion leaders in the United States still believe that several presidential administrations have failed to take advantage of the so-called U.S. victory in the Cold War.  Self-proclaimed liberals such as Susan Rice even share a point of view with neoconservatives such as John Bolton.  They appear to believe that the “shame of the West” is the failure to capitalize on the winning of the Cold War by not making sure that former Soviet republics such as Georgia and Ukraine be admitted to NATO and that recent events in Crimea and Hong Kong justify a new Cold War.  They have exaggerated the extent of Putin’s risk-taking and ignored Washington’s contribution to the sorry state of Russian-American relations.

Unfortunately, a presidential campaign in the United States doesn’t allow for the time or space to conduct a rational dialogue on the importance of restoring stable and predictable relations between the United States and Russia.

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More articles by:MELVIN GOODMAN

Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University.  A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. and A Whistleblower at the CIA. His most recent book is “American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump” (Opus Publishing), and he is the author of the forthcoming “The Dangerous National Security State” (2020).” Goodman is the national security columnist for counterpunch.org.

Schizophrenic Erdogan Condemns Himself in a Summit with Putin and Rouhani

Source

July 1, 2020 Arabi Souri

Russian Putin Iranian Rouhani Turkish Erdogan - Video conference on Syria

The joint statement issued after the video conference meeting between the Russian President Mr. Putin, the Iranian President Mr. Rouhani, and the head of the Turkish regime the madman Erodgan today 01 July 2020 stated:


The Presidents:
Rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives, and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries.”

Does Erdogan understand that ‘rejecting all attempts to create new realities on the ground’ includes the Turkification of the lands under the Turkish illegal occupation northwest and northeast of Syria?

Did Erdogan read the statement? Does he understand the meaning of ‘standing against separatist agendas aimed to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria’, that it includes illegal incursion into Syria’s territories by his military and his terrorists?

The joint statement adds:

“Expressed their opposition to the illegal seizure and transfer of oil revenues that should belong to the Syrian Arab Republic.”

That this also includes the oil seized and stolen by the Turkish-backed FSA (and all the terrorist organizations under its banner including ISIS and Nusra Front and others)?

“Reaffirmed the determination to continue cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate DAESH/ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or DAESH/ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council, while ensuring the protection of the civilians and civilian infrastructure in accordance with the international humanitarian law.”

All of these entities named in this paragraph are sponsored directly by the Turkish regime, they receive all their logistic support and all the protection they need from Turkey and the al-Qaeda terrorists were even embedded with the Turkish Army TSK in their attacks against the Syrian Arab Army on Syrian soil…!

Erdogan stealing Syrian Wheat - Burning Syrian Wheat Fields
Erdogan stealing Syrian Wheat – Burning Syrian Wheat Fields – Cartoon by @Natali_AlA

The statement adds that The Presidents:

“Reviewed in detail the situation in the Idlib de-escalation area and underscored the necessity to maintain calm on the ground by fully implementing all agreements on Idlib.

Expressed grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Syria and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rejected all unilateral sanctions which are in contravention of international law, international humanitarian law, and the UN Charter, particularly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emphasized, in this regard, the critical need to ensure rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access throughout Syria in order to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, and, called upon the international community, particularly the UN and its humanitarian agencies, to increase their assistance to all Syrians without discrimination, politicization, and preconditions.”

A safe and unhindered humanitarian access means not controlled or targeted by al-Qaeda, Nusra Front, Grey Wolves, Muslim Brotherhood fanatics, Turkestan Islamist Party, and all other FSA groups sponsored by Turkey. The UN and its humanitarian agencies do not include as well the Nusra Front’s ‘first responders’ aka the White Helmets.

“Reaffirmed their conviction that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that it could only be resolved through the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254. Emphasized in this regard the important role of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, created as a result of the decisive contribution of the Astana guarantors and the implementation of the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. Welcomed the agreement to hold the third meeting of the Constitutional Committee in August 2020 and reaffirmed the readiness to support its work through continuous interaction with its members and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen, as facilitator, in order to ensure its sustainable and effective work.”

The statement clearly says: ‘Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process,’ which means without Turkish interference to influence or insert members of the Turkish regime and on its payroll.

“Highlighted the need to facilitate safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their original places of residence in Syria, ensuring their right to return and right to be supported.”

This literally means not to use the refugees to threaten Europe with, or to push them into despair and have them join Erdogan’s military and terrorist adventures in Libya, Yemen, and Qatar, and elsewhere as well.

“Reaffirmed the necessity to respect universally recognized international legal decisions, including those provisions of the relevant UN resolutions rejecting the occupation of Syrian Golan, first and foremost UN Security Council Resolution 497 and thus condemned the decision of the US Administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which constitutes a grave violation of international law and threatens regional peace and security. They consider Israeli military attacks in Syria as destabilizing and violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country and intensifying the tension in the region.”

Condemning the US decision on the occupied Syrian Golan means bringing up the topic with both the Israelis and Donald Trump’s regime of war and terror, not to be part of the ‘Greater Israel Project‘ as tasked by George W. Bush and continue to do so many years later until this very day.

And considering Israeli military attacks in Syria as violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity also means not to allow the Israelis safe passage to bomb Syrian facilities in Aleppo from the north!

I’m speechless, the Turkish Madman Erdogan is known to be opportunistic, a backstabber, and a hypocrite, but his ability of acting and appearing like a decent human being is really astonishing, well, unless there are two different Erdogans with totally opposite manners?!

Video report:

Hearing is Not Like Seeing: NATO’s Terrorists Burning Syrian Wheat Crops – Video

روسيا بين القيصريّة والسوفياتيّة على متن قطار الشرق الأوسط!‏

 د. وفيق إبراهيم

الاقتراع الروسي لصالح التعديلات الدستورية الأخيرة في دولتهم تختزن إصراراً شعبياً كبيراً على عودة بلادهم إلى التعددية القطبية!

هذا هو المضمون الفعلي لتأييدها من 78% من المواطنين الروس مقابل اعتراض 21% على تعديلات دستورية تُحدث تطويراً في القيم والمؤسسات، وشارك فيها 65% من مجمل شعوب روسيا، هذا رقم كبير في عالم الديمقراطيات الغربية لا تجب مقارنته أبداً بالاستفتاءات العربية التي تعطي رئيس البلاد 99% فقط! وتصل المخابرات ليلها بالنهار بحثاً عن 0.1% تغيّب عن الانتخابات شديدة الشكلية.أما السؤال القابل للمعالجة، فيتعلق بكيفية الربط بين هذه التعديلات ومكانة روسيا العالمية، علماً أنها لا تتطرق إلى هذا الأمر بشكل علني.أولاً تجب الإشارة إلى أن هذه التعديلات لها جانب كبير يتعلق بتعميم القيم الوطنية والولاء للمؤسسات وحقوق المواطن وأدواره في الدفاع عن بلاده سياسياً واجتماعياً واقتصادياً وصولاً إلى الدفاع الوطني.لكن جانبها «الكوني» يرتدي لبوس تعديلات دستورية تسمح للرئيس الروسي البقاء في ولايتين رئاسيتين متتاليتين ابتداء من تاريخ إقرار هذه التعديلات.وهذا يؤدي إلى «تصفير» العداد الرئاسي السابق وإعادة فتحه بموجب هذه التعديلات الجديدة على ولايتين رئاسيتين مدتهما اثنتي عشرة سنة.

وبما أن ولاية الرئيس الروسي الحالي فلاديمير بوتين تنتهي في 2024 أي بعد عشرين سنة من تنقله بين مجلس رئاسة الوزراء في بلاده، ورئاسة الجمهورية، فيكون بوتين مرشحاً لحكم روسيا 32 سنة متواصلة تشبه حكم القياصرة شكلاً والسوفياتية لناحية المضمون الاستراتيجي الذي يريد انتزاع دور عالمي يماثل الشكل السوفياتي إنما بمضمون معاصر يقترب من العالم الغربي.

من الواضح إذاً أن هذه التعديلات تخدم مباشرة التمديد لبوتين بآليات انتخابيّة ميزتها أنها قابلة للتجديد والتمديد.

فلماذا يريد الشعب الروسي بتنوعاته القومية والعرقية فتح الطريق أمام مَن يعتقدون أنه «بطل روسيا»؟

يقول التحليل التاريخي إن انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي في 1989 عكس التراجع الروسي المخيف بدءاً من الثمانينيات لانخراط الاتحاد السوفياتي في حروب تسلح وفضاء ودعم لمدى جيوبوليتيكي واسع.. منفرداً.. مما أدى إلى سقوط هذه الظاهرة الجيوبولتيكية الهامة التي أدت دوراً محترماً في عرقلة الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم منذ الخمسينيات وحتى أواخر الثمانينيات من القرن العشرين إنما بشكل نسبيّ طبعاً.

لكن روسيا وريثة السوفيات، استسلمت بين 1990 تاريخ إعادة تأسيسها وحتى مطلع القرن العشرين للهيمنة الأميركية وصولاً إلى حدود التبعية الكاملة لها، وهي المرحلة التي تسلم الرئاسة فيها بوريس يلتسن الذي قضى عهوده الرئاسية معاقراً للفودكا إلى حدود السكر والاغتراب عن هموم بلاده، حتى أصبحت روسيا في عداد الدولة المعدومة التأثير ومتراجعة اقتصادياً على مستوى الداخل ولا يهمها تلك التغيرات الجيوسياسية التي اتخذها الأميركيون لتطويقها في أوروبا شرقية كانت متحالفة معها، وإبعادها نهائياً عن الشرق الأوسط وجنوب شرق آسيا ورفع مستوى تناقضاتها مع أوروبا.

هذا ما تسلّمه بوتين في 2004 في رئاسة الوزراء ورئاسة البلاد، إلا أنه لم يقبل بهذه الوضعية الروسية المتقهقرة، فبنى خطة بدأت بتمهيد وضعية سياسية موالية لفكرة استنهاض روسي بمدى جيوبولتيكي، وهذا دعاه للتوطيد السياسي وإعادة دعم الممكن من الاقتصاد المنهار خارجياً. اعتبر يلتسن أن تحصين الحدود الروسية مع أوكرانيا «المتأمركة» وأوسينيا وبعض المناطق الأخرى بانياً شبكة أمان في جواره الإقليمي، لكنه سرعان ما أعاد الحيوية إلى علاقات بلاده بالصين على أساس اقتصادي بين البلدين وجيوبولتيكي خارجي للتعامل مع الحذر مع الهيمنة الأميركية.

للمزيد من التأمين الاقتصادي اخترق بوتين الحظر الأميركي على دور روسي في أوروبا، فأسس لمرور أكبر ثلاثة خطوط لأنابيب الغاز الروسي: واحد إلى ألمانيا مباشرةً عبر بحر البلطيق وآخر إلى أوكرانيا فأوروبا وثالث عبر البحر الأسود إلى تركيا فأوروبا أيضاً، مؤكداً بذلك على الدور المركزي الجيوسياسي للغاز الروسي في العالم، وهذا اختراق كبير للجيوبولتيك الأميركي الذي كان يعمل على تطويق روسيا اقتصادياً واستراتيجياً لمنعها حتى من مجرد التفكير والحلم بالقطبية العالمية.

لم يكتف بوتين بهذه الإنجازات بعد تأكده من عجزها عن استرداد الدور العالمي لبلاده.

هنا نراه أعاد تجديد دور قاعدة حميميم الروسية المنصوبة على الساحل السوري منذ زمن السوفيات.

لذلك كان الغبار يعتريها وتكاد تجسد ذكريات سابقة عن جيوبولتيك سوفياتي منهار.هنا نجح بوتين باتفاقات تمهيديّة مع إيران وحزب الله من تحويل حميميم إلى دور روسي عسكري وسياسي كبير بالتعاون العميق مع الدولة السورية.لقد بدت الحركة العسكرية الروسية في سورية واسعة النطاق وحاربت إلى جانب الجيش السوري وحلفائه على كامل الأرض السورية حتى أنّها نفذت مئة وعشرين ألف غارة جوية في مختلف المناطق من دون احتساب القصف المدفعي والصاروخي والعمليات البرية.لقد ظهرت مرامي بوتين من خلال إمساكه بآليّة أستانة وسوتشي مع الأتراك والإيرانيين وبمهادنته السعودية لأسباب تتعلق بضرورات التنسيق في أسواق النفط. فاتحاً علاقات مع العراق والجزائر ومصر محاولاً البحث عن عناصر للعودة إلى اليمن من بوابة العثور على اتفاق بين أجنحته المتقاتلة، مقدماً للبنان عروضاً في الاقتصاد والتسلّح وحاملاً معه إلى ليبيا ذكريات سوفياتية كانت على علاقات جيدة مع القذافي.

يتضح بذلك أن بوتين الممهّد لأدواره المتواصلة في رئاسة روسيا حتى العالم 2036 يتمتع بتأييد شعبي قوي، يؤهله لأداء دور قيصر أو حاكم سوفياتي بصلاحيات إمبراطورية، يريد العودة إلى الشرق الأوسط لأهداف تتعلق بحرصه على العودة إلى النظام القطبي المتعدد، بما يؤهله لتنظيم علاقات اقتصادية مع العرب والمسلمين وتوريد أسلحة لبلدان الشرق الأوسط والمساهمة في التنافس على الغاز في البحر الأبيض المتوسط، بذلك يجد الأميركيون أنفسهم مضطرين لتسهيل ولادة نظام قطبي جديد، يجسد فيه بوتين الروسي دور النجومية لأهمية بلاده من جهة وإمكاناته الشخصية المنسقة مع أدائه في المرحلة السوفياتية دور ضابط مخابرات ناجح.

Putin’s Address to the Nation Ahead of the Vote on Amendments to Russia’s Constitution

Putin’s Address to the Nation Ahead of the Vote on Amendments to Russia’s Constitution

June 30, 2020

A quote from Andrey Martyanov:  “A really telling response projected at the facade of US Embassy in Moscow on the eve of July 1 voting for amendments to what amounts effectively new Russia’s Constitution. The text of the projection says, in addressing the US: 1993–it was yours (constitution), 2020–it is now our (constitution). I cannot emphasize enough the profundity of this seemingly simple projection and its message. ”  http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/06/projection.html

RUSSIA’S NEW DEAL AND WESTERN REACTION

Russia's New Deal And Western Reaction

Russia is holding a national voting on amendments to its Constitution. Last Thursday kicked off one week in which Russians are asked to cast their votes on changes to the document. The formal date is July 1, but the polling stations were opened as early as June 25 in order to avoid too high turnout due to the so-called pandemic.

Vladimir Putin announced a set of amendments to the Constitution in his annual address to the Federal Assembly on January 15. The same day he ordered to form a working group to draft these amendments. The group was composed of 75 politicians, legislators, scholars and public figures and it submitted the proposals that formed the basis of the new Constitution. On March 11, the State Duma adopted the draft amendments to the Constitution in the third reading. On the same day, they were approved by the Federation Council.

The referendum was originally scheduled for April 22. The date coincided with Vladimir Lenin’s 150th birthday. It was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The draft amendments to the Constitution were submitted to a referendum in accordance with article 2 of the Law on Amendments to the Constitution adopted on March 16, 2020. Voters are given a yes-or-no vote on the full text of the new Constitution.

After Putin proposed constitutional changes, the amendments sparked significant debate both inside the country and beyond its borders. The proposed amendments to the Constitution affect various spheres.

The amendments, which can be described as ideological, received the great public response. According to a sociological study, the most important among them for Russians was the amendment to “on the protection of historical truth”:

“The Russian Federation honors the memory of the Fatherland defenders and protects the historical truth. Belittling the significance of the feat of the people in the defense of the Fatherland is not allowed.”

This amendment is extremely relevant in Russian society. This is due to various external factors. First of all, Russia’s neighboring states such as Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland issue resolutions condemning Russia’s position in the Second World War. This is accompanied by the demolition of the monuments to Soviet heroes in large cities, what causes great indignation among Russians and arouses great controversy at the international level.

Moreover, this amendment is gaining popularity due to the ongoing unrest in the West. In the USA protesters demolish monuments to prominent historical figures who formed the American identity – Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jefferson, and so on. The Russian government tries to prevent this in its own country, believing that the Empire collapses when it loses its ideology. Today, the strengthening of Russia as independent conservative ideological center may contribute to the further strengthening of the Russian position on the international arena.

Russian servicewomen march during the Victory Day parade. They were among 14,000 troops from 13 countries who took part in the event. Soldiers taking part had been tested and placed in quarantine ahead of the parade.

If this amendment is primarily of concern to the countries of Eastern Europe and has received little coverage in the Western media, the following amendment to the Russian Constitution has aroused great interest in Western Europe and the United States.

The proposals to amend the Article 72 of the Constitution gained wide resonance in the West.  The article says (the changes are in bold):

“In the joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and subjects of the Russian Federation are:

… the protection of family, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood; the protection of the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman; the creation of conditions for worthy education of children in the family, as well as for adult children responsibilities to care for their parents…”

Despite the fact that today same-sex marriages are not recognized in Russia, if the amendment is approved by a vote, the marriage between members of the LGBT community will be excluded at the level of the Constitution. Currently, there are no special laws prohibiting same-sex relationships or gender reassignment surgeries in Russia. At the same time, since 2013, there is a Federal law prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality among minors, which criminalizes public manifestations of non-traditional sexual orientations.

Conservative views on homosexuality are widespread in Russia, and recent polls show that most Russians are opposed to accepting homosexuality in their society. In particular, intolerance of homosexuality is present in regions with persisting traditional way of life, such as Chechnya or Dagestan.

Covering the proposal to introduce this amendment to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, The New York Times wrote in March:

“President Vladimir V. Putin has proposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in what political analysts suggest is an effort to raise turnout for a constitutional referendum that could keep him in power but has so far stirred little enthusiasm among Russians.”

The Guardian in the article «Putin submits plans for constitutional ban on same-sex marriage» claimed that “[t]he move, announced by Putin in January, was initially seen as a way for him to hold on to power after 2024, when as things stand he will no longer be able to serve as president because of term limits.

Moreover, a flag of the LGBT community was displayed on the buildings of the US Embassy in Moscow to protest the proposed amendments on the first day of the national voting. The US move was followed by embassies of Canada and the UK. This is a concerted political action in direct contravention of Russian law on responsibility for propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors.

US Embassy Helps Russians To Vote YES On Constitutional Amendments

The amendment to the Constitution excluding the possibility of same-sex marriage does not correspond to the newly imposed neo-liberal values labeled as the Wester-rooted. At the same time, believing its own values to be the only correct and universal, the collective West imposes them in various regions of the world, including in Russia. The promotion of liberal values is certainly necessary for the West to strengthen its world domination, but this often leads to negative consequences.

The reaction of the West to the amendment to article 72 primarily emphasizes that the introduction of changes to the legislation regarding LGBT communities serves as a distraction for the population, which will allow Vladimir Putin to remain in power after the end of his presidential mandate in 2024. Also, the Western community itself is much more concerned about the amendments to reset Putin’s terms than about the well-being of homosexuals in Russia.

By its ideological changes, Russia confirms the unacceptability of Western ideology for its society, while also making important changes to the country’s administrative apparatus itself, which will allow it to be strengthened.

Given that the West in general has a negative attitude to the figure of Vladimir Putin, primarily because of his success in governing the country and in strengthening Russia, the amendment to reset the terms of his rule is particularly frowned upon. Paragraph 3 of Article 82 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation states:

“The same person may not hold the office of President of the Russian Federation for more than two consecutive terms.”

In this wording, it is proposed to remove the word “consecutive”, and to extend the effect of this amendment only to the current President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. This allows resetting the terms of Vladimir Putin’s presidency, and gives him the opportunity to run for the presidency in 2024.

Political analyst Nathaniel Reynolds wrote in a paper for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

“Putin’s use of more than 200 amendments was a “stunning trick” to mask the real purpose of the constitutional vote — allowing him to remain in office. It was a shocking exercise in political deception, even to the many regime insiders left in the dark.” Reynolds also noted: “A younger Putin recognized the dangers of such a precedent. He told a journalist in 2005 that if leaders change the constitution for their own purposes, there will be nothing left of the state.”

Moreover, Western media reproach that the attention of the population is not particularly focused on this key amendment. The Russian authorities are conducting a large advertising campaign of other amendments, primarily socially conservative ones such as protection of historical truth or a ban on dual citizenship for government employees. These principles, designed to unite Russians, are at the heart of the system of conservative Patriotic values of the head of the Russian state.

During his presidency, Vladimir Putin brought Russia to the international arena and significantly strengthened its position as a regional power center. Further strengthening of the country is unacceptable for the West that provokes strong criticism of this amendment. However, the abolition of the presidential term limit only increases the level of democracy in the country because people have a chance to vote for an actual president as many times as they want. The President can only be chosen through democratic elections, and allowing Putin to run in 2024 does not guarantee his victory. Moreover, most likely, the amendment to reset the time frame allows to stabilize the situation in the country for the next few years. If it is not accepted now, then a tough power struggle in Russia will begin today which will significantly destabilize the country.

On June 18, the Venice Commission criticized some amendments to the Russian Constitution initiated by Vladimir Putin.

The European Commission for Democracy through Law – better known as the Venice Commission as it meets in Venice – is the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters. It involves all countries that are members of the Council of Europe, including Russia, and some countries outside this organization. Its role is to analyze the laws and draft legal advices to its member states.

Russia's New Deal And Western Reaction

European experts expressed concern that the new Constitution proposes to include the possibility of dismissal by the Federation Council of judges of the constitutional court on the proposal of the President.

‘’The proposed innovations make the constitutional court more vulnerable to political pressure, since the powers of judges can be terminated on the proposal of the President,’’ experts say.

European experts also recommended the proposed amendment to Article 79 to be changed or completely deleted. It proposes to affirm the right not to execute “decisions of interstate bodies adopted on the basis of provisions of international treaties of the Russian Federation in their interpretation contradicting the Constitution of the Russian Federation”.

This amendment provides for the possibility of not complying with the decisions of international courts, including the European court of human rights. Experts of the Venice Commission in their conclusion point out that by joining the Council of Europe and ratifying the Convention on human rights, Russia is obliged to comply with the decisions of the European court of human rights, and with article 46 of the Convention, which indicates that the execution of court decisions is mandatory.

On June 25, the representative of the European Commission Peter Stano made a statement that the amendment on the priority of the Russian Constitution over international law violated the international obligations of the Russian Federation.

In response to criticism from Europe, the Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs of Russian State Duma, Leonid Slutskiy, emphasized that this practice is widely used by countries, including members of Europe, and the amendment does not cancel Russia’s international obligations.

We have consistently explained and continue to explain to our European partners: the amendments to Article 79 do not nullify the international obligations of the Russian Federation, Russia has fulfilled them and will continue to do so. It is an issue of establishing the primacy of the Constitution, which fully complies with foreign experience. For example, there is much stricter primacy of national legislation over international legislation in European states like the UK and Germany, not speaking about the United States,”

Russia in its foreign policy has always defended the rule of international law in the world system. This international law should be based on consensus, and first of all should be represented by international institutions such as the UN. Today, Russia recognizes that international law is not more presented by an international agreement but by American legislation that applies anywhere in the world. The adoption of the amendment on the supremacy of the Russian Constitution over international law strengthens the country’s position and underlines its frustration with the current destruction of the entire world system.

According to social research, the most important for Russians is the amendment on the protection of the country’s sovereignty at the constitutional level. This amendment suggested to Article 67 is one of the most criticized abroad:

 “The Russian Federation ensures the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Actions (with the exception of delimitation, demarcation, redemarkation of the state border of the Russian Federation with neighboring States) aimed at alienating part of the territory of the Russian Federation, as well as calls for such actions, are not allowed.”

This amendment to the Constitution regarding the territorial integrity of the country caused a large condemnation by the United States.

Krista Wiegand, American expert on territorial disputes of the Center for Global Security Studies in Tennessee, claimed that “Russia does not want to play by international rules” and this is dangerous for Japan and Ukraine.

This statement is completely unjustified.

According to the Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956, ending the state of war between the countries, the USSR agreed to transfer the Habomai and Shikotan Islands to Japan on the condition that the actual transfer would be made after the conclusion of a Peace Treaty. Moscow’s position is that the southern Kuril Islands became part of the USSR, which Russia became the legal successor to, are an integral part of the territory of the Russian Federation legally based on the results of World War II and enshrined in the UN Charter, and Russian sovereignty over them, which has the appropriate international legal confirmation, is not subject to doubt. Today, it is not Russia that threatens Japan, but the opposite, as Japan claims “its northern territories” to be under Russian occupation.

A similar situation has developed on the Eastern borders of Russia. Since the accession of the Crimea to Russia is a fait accompli, Ukraine has no choice but to declare annexation and try to claim de facto Russian territories.

The amendment suggested to article 67 does not threaten any other state. First of all this amendment prevents separatism inside Russia.

The Guard of Honor of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army take part in the military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, June 24, 2020.

The creation of the threatening image of Russia is beneficial for the Democratic American establishment. At the same time, countries with territorial disputes with the Russian Federation reacted with more restraint.

Japanese government Secretary General Yoshihide Suga noted that changes to the Constitution are an internal matter for Russia. Political expert Ikuro Nakamura noted that the Japanese government believes that the changes to the Constitution are aimed at increasing Patriotic consciousness in Russian society.

Former advisor to the Greek prime minister for co-operation with the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe, Dimitrios Velanis, said:

“Russia has many times throughout its history experienced an attack or an attempt by other powers to occupy its territory. It was in almost all wars. From all these wars Russia emerged victorious and lost none of its territories. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory.”

Furthermore, the French Foreign Ministry proclaimed through its representative that “the constitutional change is a sovereign decision of the Russian Federation, which must fully comply with international obligations”.

It would be difficult to imagine the opposite reaction of the West to the proposed amendments to the Russian Constitution. They strengthen the country both insight and in the international arena, which causes fear in Western countries.

In response to criticism of the package of amendments to the Constitution, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev said:

“The West’s reaction to public discussions of amendments to the Russian Constitution is taking the form of an aggressive campaign bordering on interference in the country’s domestic affairs. The reaction of what can be described as ‘Collective West’ is taking the form of a hostile and aggressive campaign against Russia, which is bordering on interference in our domestic affairs.”

At the same time, Russian experts say that they expected a larger company from the West, and today’s criticism was much weaker than it could have been. Indeed, the US has demonstrated that it could lead strong anti-Russian companies, for example, by accusing it of interfering in the election of President Trump. The UK also conducted a strong informational campaign, which was called the “Skripal Case”. Today, Russia is faced with a choice, and its society is really experiencing great differences regarding the future development of the country. This moment is most favorable for external intervention and, if the West had the opportunity, it would be able to significantly influence the development of Russia in a way that would be beneficial to it. However, today the influence from outside is insignificant, which is primarily due to the weakness in the Western countries themselves. The crisis after the coronavirus epidemic, followed by large-scale protests in all countries do not leave the power for weakened world leaders. In addition, on a more global scale, while still maintaining the role of world hegemon, the US has never been so weak in relation to developing new centers, and it seems that it can no longer control the situation in various world regions, including Russia.

Collective West hostile campaign against Russia

The amendments to the Russian Constitution demonstrate that the current Russian leadership has tried to pass the period of reconstruction after the crisis of the 1990s and the period of the rise of the 2000s. The Constitution adopted in Russia in 1993 was essentially an ideal document that would allow Russia to reconcile with the market system world. It was mostly designed to satisfy interests of Western puppeteers of the new post-Soviet Russian ‘democratic’ elites. Russia was as an independent state and an international actor was weak in 1991. 30 years later, a stronger Russia is embarking on its own path of development, different from the Western one. And the gap between the Western way and the Russian one seems to be widening. Therefore, a chance exists that in the bright multicolored future there will be place not only for the neo-liberal minorities-ruled West and the radically-conservative Islamic East, but also for a balanced center in Eurasia.

Russia constitution amendment and West’s reaction

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Krampus is alive and well: How the myth of Soros paralyses the anti-imperialist struggle

Krampus is alive and well: How the myth of Soros paralyses the anti-imperialist struggle

June 27, 2020

By Ken Leslie for The Saker Blog

1. The making of a demon

Remember the days of your childhood—especially if you are German. If you even dream of being naughty or disobeying your elders and betters, Krampus will put you in his basket and take you to some swampy Germanic hell. Nothing will be heard from you ever again.

Krampus is a leftover from ancient pre-Christian times when he (and he is a he) consorted with witches and indulged in unspeakable acts with them. The idea of a horned demigod taking away and destroying that which is most precious survived all attempts at Christianising and remains to this day a well-known and dreaded member of the pantheon of early childhood monsters. The pedagogic value of Krampus is that he is so horrible looking and mean that the very mention of his name (frightening in itself) is enough to pacify the most recalcitrant toddler. He is a demon born at the dawn of time in a dark and cold Alpine redoubt with a single purpose—to frighten and torture naughty children. Many of us non-Germans knew of Krampus as children and although we had our own non-Germanic demons to defend against, somewhere far at the back of our minds, the Supreme Fear in the form of Krampus was just a few steps away.

How does the story of a scary childhood character relate to the present day? Am I being flippant in comparing a mythical demonic creature to a highly successful trader and philanthropist? Well, no. George Soros’s history of dirty deeds spanning decades and continents has been so destructive that he has created his own demonic myth within his lifetime. A mysterious character who refuses to shuffle his mortal coil and is kept in a semi-mummified semi-stasis by some miracle of “medical science” or another, Gyorgyi Schwartz of Budapest and a billionaire has become Krampus of our time. He is a demon of extreme power, cunning and devilry (he was called something not very dissimilar by Mahathir Mohammed). He is the eternal wanderer ever ready to profit from others’ misery who has been funding his destructive vision ever since the fall of the Soviet Union. He has become the synonym for a disruptive, meddling anti-national, neoliberal, “cosmopolitan” conspiracy. The point of these, allegedly, has been to weaken any indigenous patriotic forces in order to a) protect a particular group of people from possible persecution by diluting any nationalist urges and b) allow those same people to set the tone of the political discourse and capture the levers of power.

At the time, people marvelled at how someone can emerge from such obscurity to become a global player overnight—but like always, such success was ascribed to Soros’s genius and hard work.[1] Our modern-day Krampus has been compared to Jakob Schiff, the famous/notorious Jewish-American financier and philanthropist (word that is rapidly losing its positive connotation), whose anti-Russian animus found a fruitful outlet in financing all enemies of imperial Russia—from Japan to various ethnic nationalists and finally—and most importantly—the Bolsheviks. Another Schiff, the senator Adam, is the current torch bearer of Russophobia in US Congress. The analogy is mostly apt. While the target of Schiff’s wrath was mainly the Russian Empire, Soros has targeted both the dying Soviet Union and its capitalist successor.[2] He named his nebulous pseudo-philosophy “Open Society” (probably plagiarising another Russophobe—Karl Popper) as a counter to the still weak attempts by Russia to escape the death sentence handed down to it by the triumphant West. This was a time when prominent Soixante-huitards such as Joschka Fischer, Bernard Henry-Levy, Andre Glucksmann, Bernard Kushner, Alain Finkelkraut and other future war criminals ruled the European roost. These third-rate activists and intellectuals excelled in one thing only—hatred of Russia and Orthodox Christianity.

Soros wormed his way into the newly “liberated” countries via a network of well-funded “foundations”, “institutes”, “universities” and “human rights organisations”. In other words, Soros used a strategy known to all predators that aim to overrun a country. By pretending to care about the plight of refugees, minorities, LGBT population and generally—human rights—Soros undermined the self-governance of newly independent countries leaving them vulnerable to depredations by the US and EU intelligence-organised disruption operations. That Soros’s demonic project had nothing to do with socialism and everything to do with harming Russian interests is confirmed by the fact that he has targeted both socialist Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and a capitalist Russia, funded anti-Russian forces all over the world (in Chechenia, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, EU, Africa, Middle East and USA) and fought a continuous ideological and cultural war against what he perceived as the menace of the rebirth of the Russian Empire.

He honed his destructive apparatus with the help of corrupt local politicians and quasi intellectuals. Offering grants, studentships and targeted subsidies to the members of national “elites” ready to betray their nations’ interests in exchange for participation in one of Soros’s fake “young leader seminars” or “human rights conferences”.

Here is a personal anecdote which demonstrates my long-term interest in Soros’s. In the mid-1990s, my wife wanted to do a PhD on the post-Soviet theatre in Eastern Europe and as part of a multi-country schedule, we visited an eastern European capital in 1996 and arranged an interview with the well-known “alternative” theatre practitioner and the then-director of the Soros-funded anti-government hub camouflaged as a cultural centre. The interview went well until my wife asked a question that I had inserted earlier—it was about Soros’s funding and support for the Centre’s anti-government activity. This is when things became interesting. The interviewee became irritated and suspicious and defended Soros’s meddling in Yugoslavia’s internal affairs by claiming unconvincingly he wasn’t involved in setting the editorial policy etc. Needless to say, the interview was terminated on the spot.

A detailed account of George Soros’s destructive crusade must await another time. What needs to be said is that Soros and his humanitarian hydra were behind a number of so-called colour revolutions—ritualised coups d’etat that resulted in bringing to power swaths of anti-Russian politicians and surrounding Russia with a ring of NATO satrapies (most of whom had been Nazi satrapies during WWII). One interesting detail is that Soros removed mainly moderate or left-leaning politicians and replaced them with anti-Russian nationalists. After many years of unconstrained criminality, rapine and harmful meddling, president Vladimir Putin decided to put a stop to Soros’s harmful activity at the moment when Russia was again existentially threatened by the West in 2015. “It was found that the activity of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation represents a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the security of the state,” a translated version of the press statement read. All Soros’s activities were banned in Russia and from that day on, Russia redoubled its efforts to become economically and politically independent of its enemies. The kicking out of Soros from Russia was seen in the West as another manifestation of Putin’s antisemitism when it was nothing of the sort.

President Putin correctly assessed the threat of Soros’s machinations and in one fell swoop rid his country of possibly the greatest threat to its security. After this epic defeat, Soros fought a rear-guard action by focussing on the emerging nationalist and populist governments such as that of Victor Orban in Hungary. Here also, Soros experienced a defeat—Orban proclaimed Soros a threat to national security and after an epic battle, closed down the so-called Central European University presided over by Michael Ignatieff, the notorious Russophobe. The two campuses in Budapest and Vienna were supposed to embody the discredited idea of Mittel Europa (Central Europe), that jewel in the Austro-Hungarian crown and motive power for any anti-Russian Drang. By closing down the Eastern lobe of the CEU, Orban has in a sense destroyed the Russophobic symbolism of Soros’s crowning achievement.[3]

As the power of the neocon/neolib forces in Europe weakened, Soros’s political projects lost more and more ground until they became largely irrelevant. Soros was so deeply compromised and so completely exposed as a predatory fraud and agent of dark powers that he ceased to be an important player in international affairs (despite his money and influence). Even the ever-vigilant “Nazi hunters” of ADL have found it difficult to defend him. His brand became toxic with the ascent of populist and alt-right politics in Europe and US. It could even be said that his own strategy (securing “cosmopolitan” interests by fighting nationalism) backfired—the alt-right rebellion was largely the reaction to the excesses of the Sorossian surge of the 1990s. So, what was the mummified billionaire to do now that the steppes of Russia were out of reach? He could have done “a Berezovsky” (I like where this is going) by writing a contrite letter to president Putin begging his forgiveness. Or he could have tried to repent for his evil deeds by pursuing real philanthropy. He chose neither but doubled down on political meddling under the guise of a (tainted) pseudo-humanist brand.

Thus, Soros’s name has (justifiably) become synonymous with evil liberal cosmopolitanism. This is definitively a positive development because it ensures that Soros (or his currently groomed descendants) can never cause as much damage as he did to Russia, Eastern Europe or Middle East. The other side of the medal is that any mention of a left-wing, progressive, social or racial justice cause, however valid, has been scarred by the mark of Sorro. And this I believe is Soros’s true legacy—providing the Empire with a permanent and unassailable excuse to discredit any genuine critique of and rebellion against the inhuman and inhumane neolib/neocon system.

2. Back in the USSA

After a brief phoney skirmish with the European alt-right, Soros shifted his attention to the United States where a new president was elected on a conservative, isolationist and anti-neocon agenda. Many people irrespective of persuasion, greeted Donald Trump’s election victory with relief if not elation. (it would be more correct to say that most right-thinking people hailed the defeat of the warmongering hag Hilary Clinton). The hope was that the United States would abandon its empire which has been destroying it and focus on recovering and rebuilding peacefully in co-operation with other great powers. Many well-meaning people from across the world sent their good wishes—after all, many of us carried a small piece of America in our heads and hearts.

Unfortunately, it transpired very soon that most of what Trump had promised his gullible voting base would never be carried out. Like ruthless Lucy van Pelt who fools Charlie Brown every time, the Deep State pulled the ball from a large basketful (or was it bucketful?) of deplorables and moved on with its plan to keep the dying Empire alive as long as possible (there is an analogy here with Soros, Rockefeller, Kissinger and Lord Rothschild who seem very reluctant to depart this world, haunting instead the corridors of power in the guise of liver-spotted spectral mummies and reminding the world that money can’t buy love but can certainly buy young bone marrow and stem cells). Instead of “draining the swamp”, Trump surrounded himself with right-wing neocons and Roman Catholic zealots and promptly set out to renege on all of his election promises.

Here, I shall only focus on Trump’s actions as they concern Russia and China. In an attempt to stem the accelerating exsanguination of the American empire, Trump declared a total war on Russia and China that has thus far involved: propaganda and psychological warfare, sanctions, threats, assassinations, mass arrests of Russian and Chinese citizens, sabotage, theft of diplomatic property, bombing Russia’s allies, commandeering of commercial assets and wealth, tariffs, support for coloured revolutions, McCarthyite witch hunts, an offensive against the Russian Orthodox Church and its allies, abrogation of all important international treaties regulating the deployment and monitoring of nuclear weapons, moving nuclear-capable missile bases close to Russian border, using India, Japan, Vietnam et al. as tools against China, weaponizing fascist fiefdoms in Eastern Europe and giving the Ukrainian zhidobandera (Judaeo-banderite) regime hundreds of millions of pounds of military aid, provoking China and Russia with large-scale military exercises and all kinds of military brinkmanship, trade war, weaponizing Hindu nationalism against China, approving extra funding for anti-Russian activities, expanding NATO, boosting Israel’s right-wing regime, strangling Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba and almost provoking a war with Iran. Oh, fresh off the press—moving 10000 soldiers and dozens of aircraft from Germany to Poland. Did I miss anything?

To summarise, Trump has done everything in his power to bring the world shockingly close to an all-out conflict. None of his moves so far have been peace oriented except as cheap political stunts or admissions of defeat. It is not even about Trump. America has entered its terminal decay stage and any president worth their salt would do anything to slow down this process. Once it becomes clear that this cannot be achieved by peaceful means (e.g. investment in vast infrastructure projects a la New Deal), all that is left is war. And yet a large portion of the deluded blogosphere looks up to Trump as some kind of a saint whose idealism is constantly being thwarted by evil Democrats. The latter bunch of misfits are labelled “communists”, Marxists” etc. confirming beyond any reasonable doubt that the crude and uneducated American right is as stupid and as pernicious as its post-Trotskyite, warmongering “left”. Note that the so-called Democrats do not oppose any of the above crimes/transgressions and are even more strident in their Russophobia—if that were at all possible.

An often-heard argument used in the defence of Trump is that at least he hasn’t started a hot war with Russia (something they say, Hilary would have done without a doubt). But this argument falls flat straight away. Please re-read the above: Do you really think that Hilary would have been able to do more harm than Trump? If so, what—given Russia’s exceptional nuclear and non-nuclear arsenal that could turn America into a giant glass ashtray without so much as breaking a sweat? Second, one of the most destructive presidents in the US history (both for his country and the world), was a gaudy entertainer and a populist who brought the world to the brink of nuclear war without ever starting one (Grenada excepted). For the most part, the opposition to Trump is manufactured for internal political consumption and does not reflect his actions. In a way, this fake opposition strengthens Trump’s hand because in front of Lavrov he can defend his aggressive moves as forced by his enemies and use these to silence the Russophobic opposition inside the country.

The quiet despair I felt for years started to dissipate as soon as racial protests erupted inside the US not because I hate America (on the contrary) but because I have been so disgusted with its international conduct since 1945, that I couldn’t supress my Schadenfreude. Knowing the benighted history of this country quite well (a huge amount of genocide, slavery and oppression has been packed into an extraordinarily short time period), I started to hope that the doddering behemoth would focus its Sauron-like gaze inward and give the world a chance to take a breather. Great, I thought. Perhaps, after years of false accusations, the Russians or the Chinese have acted—carefully organised a nationwide rebellion by leveraging one of the most emotional issues in the USA, namely, race. Finally, a well-calculated act of revenge for the dozens of destructive “revolutions” on Russian borders. Although it did achieve some popularity among Black Americans and especially their leaders, the mighty Soviet Union failed to capitalise on this despite America’s dismal record on race. Perhaps, in a fit of creativity, the Russians turned Soros’s tactics on his bosses putting into motion a masterful plot worthy of KGB’s top hits. Alas, I soon awakened from my reverie only to realise that Russia has neither the will, nor means to engineer such a vast conspiracy and save itself from a nuclear confrontation. The Chinese perhaps? No way.

In my view, the Russians are too conciliatory and lack the vast soft power apparatus necessary for the coordination and execution of such an ambitious project. Never mind, the most important point is that anybody who cares about world peace and Russia should cheer the protests as a severe setback for the global hegemon—a clear sign of its decline and an opportunity to profit from its weakness. One immediate benefit of the protests was a body blow (blubber blow) that felled warmongering troll Mike Pompeo. The moment protests started, any American foreign policy based on enforcing human rights and democracy became unsustainable—forever. The myth of a democratic paradise in which a common man/woman benefits from hard work and pioneer spirit fell apart in a couple of hours. The Chinese were laughing at Phat Po while hundreds of hitherto timid Twitterati gleefully pointed out the rank hypocrisy of America’s position and beheld with a mixture of fascination and horror the absence of the junior emperor’s clothes.

A more disturbing consequence of my awakening has been the realisation that most of the political commentators in the West who had previously maintained a pro-Russian front started defending Trump and his version of American supremacy. Many moons ago, I remember watching the remake of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers starring Donald Sutherland. At the very end of the movie, the heroine turns to the ever-dependable Donald, hoping for a salvation, when he turns on her and emits an unforgettable blood-curdling scream—the symbol of ultimate betrayal and final triumph of an alien evil. I felt like the woman in the film who realised in a second that she was completely alone in the universe facing a fate worse than death. OK, I’m exaggerating a bit but you know what I mean. Russia has receded into the background and saving Trump is all that matters.

All of a sudden, people forgot that as late as the end of 1960s, African Americans were barred from country clubs and other “respectable establishments” and started finding reasons to exonerate the murderous cop. But never mind that. Overnight, these tribunes of anti-imperial struggle morphed into the staunchest defenders of Emperor Trump and “traditional family values” espoused by a lecherous pervert linked to Jeffrey Epstein. When asked how they can maintain such an anatomically impossible yoga position, most of the time the answer is: because… Soros. I still haven’t come to terms with this and have tried to explain it to myself ever since. Here are some tentative explanations.

3. Answers and questions

a) People have been so traumatised by Soros’s malfeasance (or is it maleficence) that they see him everywhere now—as a universal symbol of evil—a Krampus. As a consequence of a careful ploy by the Deep State, no criticism or protest is now allowed outside very clearly drawn boundaries—especially from the left. As soon as someone tries to protest various injustices, they are automatically labelled as agents of Soros intent on harming the HOMELAND. It is immaterial to the accusers that under most recent presidents America has become a cesspit of electronic surveillance and a home to a gargantuan military-intelligence-industrial-media complex which is swallowing everything in its path. America’s crumbling infrastructure, lack of common values and ghettoised cities are a testimony to its forthcoming demise. Here, Soros has become Krampus of the right, a monster evoked every time someone points out that America is mortally ill. In this, Soros has joined another Krampus of the RC and neocon right—Joseph Stalin. Although exact opposites in terms of ideology, both have been used in the West to suppress socially-conscious voices.

b) Many of the so-called “alternative” websites were never pro-Russian to start with (Saker has discussed this many times). Rather, they are US Deep State sleeper agents who were allowed, in exchange for their loyalty, to monetise their writings and expose dissidents by posing as critics of the US regime. Now that their true master is in danger, they feel obliged (or are gently reminded) to repay their debt. Although I dismissed this option initially, it has gained in credibility the more I sampled their wares. A less paranoid version of this explanation is fear—fear of the ubiquitous and Kafkaesque machine which can crush an individual without their knowledge leading to auto-censorship. Or the fear of the “barbarians”—those lower-caste humans who threaten further to disrupt our vicarious participation in the sense of exceptionality and achievement of our “race”. I am guilty of both.

c) The commentators are correct and I am deluded. Soros is so rich and powerful that he can confront and defeat the all-powerful system that created him. This is probably the worst nonsense of them all. Soros might be rich but he is a mere gnat in comparison with his supposed enemy. Second (and even more pertinent), why would the old CIA-spawned Hellboy bite the arm that feeds him? Because Soros, a billionaire several times over and notorious Russophobe hawk, is some kind of a communist and social justice warrior? If this is true, the implication is that all 17 powerful intelligence agencies that could swat Soros like a fly at a single wink of Trump’s rheumy eye are betraying “the constitution” and siding with the unruly anarchists. Balderdash.

The world is again separating into two broad and irreconcilable camps—imperialist and anti-imperialist. While the boundary is not completely clear, many conservatives will join fascists and racists in the defence of civilisation (Europäische Kultur), (Western) Christianity (Gott mit Uns), homeland (Vaterland), white race (arische Rasse), family values (Kinder, Küche, Kirche), unchallenged Western supremacy (Das tausend jährige Reich) and law and order (Ordnung muss sein). I am not interested in how these “ideals” are implemented as long as they are not used as an excuse to attack and enslave other countries—as they always are. A minority of conservatives will understand the danger of a revived fascism and side with Russia and its allies. The fascists will be joined in their struggle by right-wing Zionists and neocons who hate Russia more than they love peace and democracy. While agitating for human rights, they will be happy to see the destruction of Russia and China. As in WWII, most Central European Ruritanias will gladly join the imperialist side. Some large countries such as India might just remain neutral but the nationalist zeal of its current government (Aryanism and swastikas anyone?) is likely to push it into the imperialist camp. This would not be the first time. The great Indian politician and tribune Subhas Chandra Bose openly collaborated with Japan during WWII.[4]

I shall be joining the other side—the side that sides with the oppressed, dirty, helpless and weak. The anti-imperialist camp espouses a multi-polar world free from imperial diktat from the West (or elsewhere). It advocates peaceful coexistence and abolition of huge multinational corporations that have replaced states as agents of international politics.[5] This block is progressive in the sense in which the Trotskyite dogma isn’t. There is a lot of room for cultural differences and idiosyncrasies. The idea is that these differences enrich the world and allow individual nations to find their own way towards prosperity, without the constant sabotage by the US Empire and its pawns. Absence of interference into other nations’ affairs ensures a peaceful and sustainable growth. Crucially, there is no such thing as an exceptional or chosen nation or race. We are all equal in terms of God’s mercy and the world must be purged from the exceptionalist evil forever. If anybody is still confused about what’s going on, I’ll end with a few questions (some of which I’m trying to answer myself):

– If Trump is so good for Russia (an idiotic claim by the Democrats), why did Russia urgently rachet up its nuclear doctrine a few weeks ago?

– Do you really think that for this many decades Soros has acted independently of the US Deep state? Are you so naïve as to believe that a semi-anonymous trader with a dodgy past would be allowed to destroy British Pound and meddle in international politics, or god forbid, unseat Trump, without the blessing of the grey cardinals of Langley? Do you think that one of the ugliest swamp creatures known to man would risk upsetting his masters by launching crippling riots possibly leading to a civil war for no good reason? No, defeating Trump is definitely not a good enough reason. If Soros is indeed behind the turmoil (and this hasn’t been proved), he is either doing the humanity a favour for once—by crippling the Empire or (highly likely) is acting on behalf of the repressive apparatus set on discrediting and banning any and all protest.

– What does one need to do in order to defeat the CIA, FBI, NSA and the myriad of spying and political police agencies that underpin the Empire? Do you really think that you can get past the most monstrous, intrusive and comprehensive system of surveillance and oppression in history by being transparent and honest? If your aim is to drain the swamp, do you really believe that you can achieve this by laying all your cards on the table and asking the (metaphorically) black Jesuitical cabal to vacate its throne at the top of the world? If you understand that this is impossible, why expect the BLM movement and all the others to be transparent?

– Do you really believe that BLM and other similar movements (e.g. Occupy) have not been penetrated BEFORE THE PROTESTS and co-opted for FBIs purposes? If yes, you are completely naïve (not to use something nastier).

Wake up, Trump is not your friend and he is no friend of Russia. Soros is evil but he is just one of the many flavours of evil. Do not let your mental inertia render you blind to what is really going on.

If you prefer the global dictatorship of hyper-corporate capital protected by US weapons under the guise of “law and order” to peace and justice, why are you on this pro-Russian site?

Russia, whatever its political system, has and will always stand with the oppressed and in opposition to global bullies and criminals. YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON BOTH. Choose wisely—I have.

  1. I had the displeasure of reading Soros’s scribblings a long time ago. I can assure the reader that he is no genius. 
  2. https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/12/09/soros-and-his-cia-friends-targeted-ussr-russia-1987/. We cannot know what Jakob Schiff would have done to the USSR—he died in 1920. 
  3. A friend tells me that Orban used to receive large sums of money from Soros. I did not check this but it wouldn’t surprise me that the two were partners in the 1990s. 
  4. I am not criticising Bose who was a great leader in many respects but just pointing out that India has its own perspective which might not always agree with the Eurocentric or Anglocentric view of history. 
  5. It is amusing to watch fake nationalists and patriots get in a tizz when asked how they can support Amazon, Google and other corporate behemoths and how this takeover of a country by corporatist fascism can be compatible with “freem” and democracy. 

US EMBASSY HELPS RUSSIANS TO VOTE YES ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

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US Embassy Helps Russians To Vote YES On Constitutional Amendments

On June 25, the vote on amendments to the Russian constitution started in all the 14 administrative regions of Russia’s Far Eastern federal district, according to state media citing regional election commissions and administrative bodies. The official vote is scheduled for July 1, but authorities opened polling stations a week early to stop overcrowding amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposed amendments will allow to strengthen the system of governance and limit a president’s rule to two six-year terms in total, rather than two consecutive terms, (allowing Vladimir Putin to potentially participate in the next presidential election). Besides this, they will introduce economic changes needed to provide Russian citizens with an additional social and economic security, an affirmation of Russia’s “faith in God”, and entrench the definition of the marriage as a unity of a man and a women. These conservative (both social and economic) moves go contrary to the neo-liberal agenda promoted by the so-called ‘united West’.

On the same day, the US embassy in Russia, central Moscow, raised a LGBT flag alongside with a US flag on its building. This move likely directly ordered by US Ambassador to Russia John J. Sullivan and was designed to demonstrate the US official position towards the current constitutional vote in Russia.

It is an open secret that the majority of the Russian population is against the official promotion of LGBT and neo-liberal values that became mainstream in the West. Even in the biggest cities like Moscow or Saint Petersburg, the number of people supporting so-called ‘neo-liberal’ values does not exceed about 5%. There is a Russian federal law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values” that bans LGBT propaganda among people under 18yo. In these conditions, the move of the US embassy could be described as an intentional provocation.

At the same time, the voting on amendments to the Russian constitution also caused mixed feelings among residents of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and some other large cities that just recently experienced often strange and contradictory actions of local authorities in the conditions of the COVID-19 crisis. This included the increased administrative pressure, including various fees, and the drastic electronic surveillance measures employed by Moscow authorities. A one more point of contradictions is that the proposed amendments will allow Vladimir Putin to participate in the next presidential election potentially allowing him to lead Russia until 2036. These factors are behind reports that a part of Moscow residents has opted to not participate in the voting. There is also a segment of uncommitted voters. Nonetheless, both these groups support traditional values and the definition of the marriage proposed in the amendments.

Over the past weeks, Russian citizens have been able to follow the situation in the United States, where LGBT activists were supporting left wing and black rioters. The June 25 action initiated by the US Ambassador will motivate a part of uncommitted voters to support the conservative changes to the constitution.

In this situation, the US embassy decision is a foolery or an agitation trick in support of the “YES” vote. Mr. Putin should thank US diplomats or even give a state decoration to Mr. Sullivan.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Russia marks 75th Victory Day parade anniversary at Red Square

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June 24, 2020

Russia marks 75th Victory Day parade anniversary at Red Square

Russia stages Victory Day military parade in Moscow’s Red Square to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the former Soviet Union’s victory in World War II, the , featuring 15,000 soldiers, more than 200 units of military equipment as well as 75 planes and helicopters.

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