Vladimir Safronkov: How to become a national hero, by Scott Humor

April 23, 2017

Vladimir Safronkov: How to become a national hero, by Scott Humor

As a story goes, back in the nineteenth-century, a Paris opera house decided to stage a play with insults towards Russia and its monarch, Alexander I. He sent his diplomat to talk to the theater administration and asked them not to stage this sort of Russophobic production; they refused, saying that the French were enjoying freedom of speech and could insult Russians all they wanted.

Alexander I contacted the French government and asked for assistance to buy all the tickets for a premier. “We are coming to watch this play,” he wrote to them.

“Myself, and two hundred thousands of my best men. I can assure you that they are all excellent critics of the French theater.”

The next day after the French government got his letter, the play was canceled.

Those were the good old days. Not that much has changed since then.

First it was the Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations with his speech on the situation in Syria.

He did not care to mention anything about the Syrian and Russian militaries fighting the most vicious terror army in history (Daesh). He said, instead, that they prepared an opposition to install as the government of Syria. He went from blaming a chemical attack on the Syrian government, to saying that they are ready to immediately install UK-approved government agents. He didn’t say a word about who would be fighting with the Daesh terrorists, if the elected Syrian government were to be toppled.

He failed to explain what would happen to the Syrian army and to millions of Syrians who elected Assad as their president, and to those who just escaped the horror of living under the Western approved “opposition.”

Next, the British representative proceeded with attack on Russia:

Russia’s initiative in 2013 to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons has been exposed as a shambles. Russian pride in the Astana process has been turned to humiliation. And Russia’s credibility and reputation across the world have been poisoned by its toxic association with Asad. They have chosen to side with a murderous, barbaric criminal, rather than with their international peers. They have chosen the wrong side of history.”

Thank God that Russia is not on the side of the globalists.

Then it was Safronkov’s turn to responded to Rycroft’s speech. He delivered his famous “Don’t you dare insult Russia,” speech

April 12th, ‘Don’t you dare insult Russia!’: Moscow envoy chides UK counterpart at UNSC meeting

The Russian mission to the UN website posted a transcript of his speech in Russian.

The full speech of Vladimir Safronkov starts at 1.10:09 with an English voice-over, by C-SPAN

As you can see, it’s a comprehensive and justifiable response to the attempts of the Western governments to smear the Syrian government and by association, Russia, with a war crime that by most accounts was an orchestrated false flag operation.

The hysterical outburst that followed Safronkov’s speech was carried out by the regular globalist media outlets like Interpreter magazine, formed by Khodorkovsky-Soros, and now, since Khodorkovsky got afflicted by some mysterious disease, run by the Voice of America editors. Forgotten Kasparov churned in, and an entire slew of liberal publications in Russian that would be a waste of your time to list.

They all ignored the entirety of the speech and concentrated on Vladimir Safronkov asking the UK representative to pay attention, since he was the author of the draft resolution. Liberals also found as unpalatable the simple demand of the senior Russian diplomat to stop insulting Russia. After all, they have built their careers and livelihoods on doing just that.

On April 14, Sergei Ryabkov, a Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, was asked to comment on Safronkov’s speech and he said as follows:

“It’s very strange to hear from our Western colleagues who month after month and  year after year take pleasure of exercising in insulting remarks against Russia and its policies. Eventually, time comes when we need to send a serious emotional signal to try to bring out from a state of political zombification all those who sit with us at one table in the Security Council and in the Executive Council of the OPCW, otherwise nothing else works. “

According to Ryabkov, representatives of the Western governments should start thinking about their behavior:

Speaking on the matters brought out in the Deputy permanent representative Safronkov’s speech, he said exactly what was required in this situation. I assure you, he can speak in several languages, and he measures the degree of diplomatic courtesy depending on the situation.”

The Kremlin spokesman Peskov, also supported Safronkov by saying:

“Nothing offensive was said. Manifestations of the spinelessness are fraught in the future with deplorable consequences. Therefore, it is better to defend the interests of our homeland today, and, if necessary, in a rather tough manner.”

To me, as an observer the situation went as follows:

The UK envoy to the UN prepared a draft of a mock resolution calling for a tribunal over Syria, before conducting any investigations over what we all know was an orchestrated false flag attack.

The UK’s draft resolution was phrased in a way that named Russia as “conspiring” with the Syrian government to conduct chemical attacks on Syrian citizens. It was written in such an insulting, derogatory manner towards Russia that it would be treason for the Russian delegation to agree to it.

Knowing full well that Russia would block this resolution draft, the Western Media was waiting to initiate the deafening smear campaign against Russia. Even before April 12, they started saying that Russia would veto the UK drafted resolution, “because Russia with [the] Syrian government [are] committing these crimes.”

What happened on April 12 is an illustration that our diplomats knew about those plans and anticipated them. One can only imagine how they felt the moment they received the UK draft resolution for a review. It was a trap. No matter what Russia would do about this resolution, it was a losing position and absolutely devastating PR for Russia.

For those who still don’t understand what has just happened: they (deep state, globalists, the CIA and their mercenary terror army) were staging multiple chemical attacks in Syria since 2011, and they dragged two US warships to the Syrian shore to demonstrate how serious they are about going into Syria. They concentrated troops in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia ready to go at once and to attack Damascus and to capture and execute Assad for alleged use of chemicals to mass murder people, just like they did to Saddam.

We know that Saddam never used the chemical weapons. We know that he never tossed babies out of incubators. The CIA and their special ops troops used chemical weapons that they brought first to Libya then to Syria and Turkey, on the same ship that they used for the team of the US Ambassador Stevens to set up a CIA headquarter in Benghazi.

They set up their movie production crew called the White Helmets, because they love to capture on film their crimes everywhere from France to Ukraine to the Middle East. The plan after murdering Assad is to go and erase Syria of the map, because Israel needs more territories and Western allies need a dry land corridor to go deep into the Eurasian continent and attack China, India and Russia.

They set up everything. The circumstances were beyond dangerous with NATO starting to bomb Syrian and Russian troops. At this moment a Russian diplomat’s speech stopped them in their tracks. It was like stopping and knocking aside a rouge train bearing at all of us.

What Safronkov has done was a military maneuver: he left the security of his diplomatic cover, wearing the Russian flag colors on his tie; he exposed himself to enemy fire with his own guns blazing, and, without giving them a moment to regroup, lead a successful assault on their positions.

Was he successful? Judge for yourself and search for ‘Russia vetoes the UN resolution of the use of chemical weapon in Syria.’ All you can find is that Safronkov said,

“Don’t you dare to insult Russia!” 

They couldn’t go any further with their diabolic plans and they still can’t. They are regrouping now and we all know that they will attack again. They will never stop voluntarily, unless they are defeated. I pray for all those innocent lives that were taken by this international cabal.

That’s how we should view Safronkov’s speech in the UN Security Council. It’s a Russian officer’s warning to globalists:

“Don’t you dare insult Russia!”

a statement with which the majority of the Earth’s population agrees. At this moment, people are fed up with unprecedented hysterical Russophobia orchestrated by Western globalists.

Think for a moment what would happen to the limited group of Russian troops in Syria, if the so called Arab-NATO-Israel alliance would attack them following their provocative resolution.

It’s not farfetched to assume that after destroying Syria, the Western coalition won’t be satisfied with just the Middle East drowning in blood. The Western governments would also bomb into dust and mud the Russian union and Eurasian union members. If they are not stopped, they will destroy every single nation on earth.

Instead, however, everyone now is talking about the Russian diplomat smashing into pieces a space lizard looking creature that goes by the name of Matthew Rycroft. Instead of hearing every minute the bellicose statements of a retired NATO generals about “Killing as many Russians as we can,” we watch videos of an enraged Safronkov repeating over and over again,

“Don’t you dare insult Russia!”

Brilliant. Simply brilliant! This was a pure diplomatic genius move. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

The following day the Kremlin issued its approval of Safronkov’s speech voiced by the government spokesman Peskov. It was followed by the approval issued by the deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I considered the matter being closed and done, and filed it as another decisive victory of Russian diplomacy.

As it turned out, prematurely, because our enemies couldn’t simply accept their defeat. Imagine them loosing this carefully orchestrated multi-step special operation against Russia and Syria, which started with a false flag attack, proceeded with two the US ships bombing Syria and attacking Syrian government directly, for the first time during their six year war against Syria.

Imagine the majority of their missiles not even being able to reach their targets. They pull their wits together, which isn’t much, and proceeded with a rising wave of diplomatic and political attacks against Russia, and all of this hell and fury suddenly came crushing against one determined Russian officer.

I love Vladimir Safronkov. He singlehandedly defeated all of them. He really needs our love and support now, because the Evil Empire turned around and attacked him. He became their personal enemy.  I truly hope that he will be defended by our people.

The Russia’s diplomats push against globalists’ attacks didn’t stop there:

On today’s Security Council meeting, deputy envoy Vladimir Safronkov criticized the obviously hastily and sloppy-written draft resolution on the chemical attack in Syria. Instead, we offered our own, short, business-like draft aimed at staging a real investigation, instead of appointing those guilty before the facts are even established,” the Russian UN envoy’s press secretary, Fedor Strzhyzhovsky, said.

Everything went well until about a week later; the following is a pure speculation of mine based on facts, and I am writing this for a sheer love of my country, and for my desire to preserve its peace and prosperity.

A week after Safronkov’s speech, “news” broke across the neo-con funded liberal media that Velentina Matviyenko, a Russian Parliament Chairwoman, reportedly talking to a Moscow University professor of Constitutional law, expressed her dissatisfaction with Safronkov’s actions and wanted his superiors to punish him.

Reportedly, she expressed her dissatisfaction with the Russian diplomat’s speech, while talking to Avakyan Suren, a Professor, Head of the Department of Constitutional and Municipal Law at Moscow State University and one of the founders of the “Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Center” foundation (CCIAC)

“The “Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Center” foundation is a non-commercial and non-membership organization created on voluntary contributions of assets of individuals and (or) legal persons to pursue scientific, educational and social goals.

The foundation conducts its activities based on the Civil Code of the Republic of Armenia, the RA Law “On Foundations,” and is governed by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, Legislation of the Republic of Armenia, International Treaties of the Republic of Armenia, international legal acts related to the activities of the Foundation and this Charter.”

I can see how a citizen of one country can be a constitutional scholar for another country, but what I don’t get is why some extracurricular activities of Avakyan Suren involve instructing students in the social engineering of how to organize the opposition locally and how to make it powerful enough (very similar to the movements that destroyed the Communist party and subsequently the country.)

“Maybe we should try to unite people at their place of residence?” He asks.

Why doesn’t the Lomonosov Moscow State University recognize the fact that if a professor of Constitutional law teaches his students how to violate this constitution, he, by definition, is not suitable for his job? Just like a doctor who euthanizes his patients instead of treating them for minor cuts and bruises wouldn’t be suitable for his job.

So, when he reportedly approached Russia’s parliament Chairperson during the conference and told her that he found Safronkov’s speech to be at the level of a lower rank military officer, she, reportedly, agreed with him and said that she contacted Safronkov’s superiors (Lavrov, allegedly) to take measures against the diplomat.

Vladimir Safronkov’s diplomatic rank is equal to an army general. He is a career diplomat, with experience working in the Middle East and North Africa. In the 90s, while working in Tunisia he was an advisor for the Liberation of Palestine organization. He worked with the Syria chemical weapon disarmament agreement.  He speaks Arabic, French, and English.

Remarkably, Valentina Matviyenko didn’t express any dissatisfaction with Safronkov immediately following his speech. On the contrary, she waited for eight days, an eternity in politics, to publicly denounce him and publicly say that she contacted his superiors about him. Meanwhile in these eight days, she made a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, leading a 15-member Russian delegation.

They arrived in Riyadh on Saturday. The delegation included eight members of Russian parliament, in addition to seven officials. She wrapped up her three-day visit on Monday April 17. The same day, the outlet for the undemocratic murderous Saudi regime propaganda, Asharq Al- Awsat, published an article with an eyebrow-raising title: “Russian Parliament Chairman: Saudi Arabia is Our Main Partner.”

 

As the third person in Russian politics, Ms. Matvienko should know that it was  Saudi Arabia, together with the Obama administration, who orchestrated an oil glut in 2014, to bring the Russian economy “to its knees.” According to their own wildly publicized admission, they had gone so far with a singular aim to orchestrate the “color revolution” in Russia against President Putin and his government, for the US and the EU to take power in Russia in order to neutralize the Russia’s military for NATO to attack the country and to “kill all the Russians.”

The Saudis oil war had cost Russian taxpayers a trillion of dollars in lost revenues. This was money that people would have had in their pensions, and lower food prices, and higher salaries, if it wasn’t taken from them by Saudi Arabia. I have not heard anything about the Saudis reimbursing the Russian taxpayers for all the money they lost due to Saudi Arabia’s hostile actions. Without this, I cannot imagine how the Russian Parliament Chairwoman can possibly call Saudi Arabia “Our Main Partner.”

Saudi Arabia has been instrumental in the terror war against Russia in Chechnya and in the war on Syria. The very same war that Russia is spilling its blood and treasure trying to bring to an end.

If you don’t believe me, listen to my old pal, the Kulak:

“The Saudis are definitely not Russia’s friends. No matter what deals have been negotiated in the oil realm, they haven’t been kept.”

The statement that Saudi Arabia is “our main partner” must tremendously alert Russia’s true ally in the region, Iran.

It is virtually impossible for Matviyenko not to know all this, unless, of course, by saying “our” she meant someone other than Russia.

Following her much publicized statement concerning Safronkov’s speech,  Matviyenko said that “The US treats Russia as a toxic country.” “They made our Ambassador to the US “toxic,” she announced this at the meeting of the Scientific expert Council on Thursday, April 20th.

We are very interested in contacts with Congress, we did a lot of attempts of different kinds and of different formats. Now Russia is «toxic» and our Ambassador is «toxic». He has been immersed in such vacuum that if someone talks to him on the phone and greats him somewhere at the reception, the person gets immediately blacklisted; that’s the atmosphere in the US today.”

She didn’t mention the Russian mission at the UN this time.

That the Russian parliament was “very interested in contacts with Congress,” and that they made “a lot of attempts” to contact the US congress is news to me, since President Putin himself repeatedly said that Russian government won’t negotiate lifting of sanctions.

It almost look like Matviyenko and other members of the Duma conduct their own  brand of foreign policy behind President Putin’s back.

The situation with Russian diplomatic missions across Asia and the Middle East is completely opposite to the one in Washington. Matviyenko herself visits Middle Eastern countries frequently and with reported success. One would think that getting the cold shoulder from the crumbling Anglophone empire, shouldn’t be at any concern for Russia.

To understand why Matviyenko got so irate with Safronkov and the staff of the Russian mission to the UN, let’s look at what she considers to be her successful visits:

Matviyenko visited Israel on February 3th, 2016 to discuss the cooperation between Israel and Russia with regards to Syria and signed, along with the Speaker of Israeli Parliament, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, a cooperation agreement between the Knesset and the Russian Federation Council.

After signing the agreement, Matvienko and Edelstein held a work meeting with the participation of MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud), the chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beitenu), who heads the Israel-Russia Parliamentary Friendship Group.

“Russia and Israel are united by the fact that they both do not accept the falsification of history, glorification of accomplices of fascism, and denial of the Holocaust,” Matviyenko said.

During her visit, Edelstein rejected the notion of Russian assistance in Palestinian peace process by stating:

As Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu has already stated, Israel has no restricting conditions for the launch of negotiations. Russia can assist and promote negotiations, but it seems odd to me that a country located so far away needs to help, while our close neighbors are not helping in the negotiations.”

Matviyenko spoke about the cooperation between Israel and Russia and said she was pleased with the “mechanism that was created during the meeting last summer between President [Vladimir] Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu with regards to Syria.”

“We are conducting dialogue with Syrian organizations, but we will not allow the transfer of weapons to an organization that wreaks destruction and death,” she stressed.

It’s not immediately clear what “organization” she was talking about.

As I am writing this, news just broke out that Israel attacked and bombed the portions of the Syrian army that is fighting shoulder to shoulder with Russian troops to defeat the international mercenary army known under the code name  the “Islamic State.” Considering that Israel one of the major sponsors of Daesh, it would be interesting to know what exactly organization Matviyenko meant when she was quoted by the Knesset website.

In September 15, 2016, Matviyenko met with Edelstein another time. They met on the sidelines of the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament in Strasbourg.

In 2016 Matviyenko was instrumental in the organizing for Russian taxpayers to pay the pensions of former Soviet citizens who had emigrated to Israel.

After arriving back to Moscow from her visit to with the Saudis, Matvieynko didn’t stop at attacking Safronkov and issued a public statement that, I am sure, blindsided many good people.

Russia is not trying to keep Syrian President Bashar Assad in power at any cost, but opposes a forced regime change, Russia’s upper house speaker Valentina Matviyenko said Sunday, following meetings with Saudi officials.”

This is not the first of her statement aimed seemingly to sooth the Saudis and Qataris worries. In December last year, while visiting the UAE, for the forum of women speakers of the parliaments in Abu-Dhabi, she said, “We don’t even talk about the participation of the Russian federation, of the Russian troops on the ground in Syria. We had declared this from the beginning.”

As the Kremlin spokesperson Peskov said this week, that all the questions about the deployment of Russian troops have to go to the Ministry of Defense.

She is known in the past to say something like “I am not a revolutionary type, I don’t support “forced” regime changes.”  However, here she is calling the Saudis “most important allies” and canoodling with a professor who calls his students to organized against the government.

 

I must admit that I never paid much attention to Matviyenko before and just assumed that she was an instrumental part of President Putin’s team. But her attacks on the Russian diplomat, who demanded from the Western powers to stop insulting Russia, told me that she is not what she seems, and that she is conducting her personal brand of foreign policy.

The Ukrainian-born is the third government official in the country after Putin and Medvedev being a Chairperson of Russia’s Federation Council.

Matviyenko, her married name, started her inexplicable career as a member of the Communist party “nomenclatura,” as the First secretary of the Communist party of Leningrad. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union she dipped her toe into the diplomatic services by becoming firstly an Ambassador to Malta (1991–1995), and then to Greece (1997–1998). In 1998 she was appointed by Yeltsin (who else) to be the Deputy Prime Minister for Welfare; later she was elected as a gubernator of Saint Petersburg.

One of the most interesting periods of Mrs. Matviyenko’s life was the five years she worked as an Ambassador to Malta, at the time when the Soviet Union was being pulled apart. She was appointed there by the globalists to supervise something. It’s important to find out what exactly she did there, especially in the light of the recent revelations involving a battle of the Pope of Rome with the Knights of Malta, the Templars, and the Freemasons. 

After the appointment of Matvieynko by Medvedev was announced, she was congratulated by Sally J. Novetzke, the former US Ambassador Extraordinaire to Malta at the time Mrs. Matviyenko worked there, and left a comment for this article back in 2011:  “I am so proud and thrilled for Valentina. We served together as Ambassadors to Malta in early nineties and we became friends. I have had no address for her so I am very thrilled for her and she deserves it and the bests. Ambassador Sally Novetzke.”

As a former democratic party apparatchik and the political appointee as an Ambassador to Malta, Mrs. Novetzke should know that congratulations to a public official are made to his or her office and usually no need to advertise them in some Chinese newspaper, unless this was a hidden threat or a coded order.

If you know what’s going on there, feel free to comment, and while you are at it, please, remember to contribute to The Saker. We are not funded by any government or non-government organizations. We exist with the support of our readers and our personal resources. For many ways to help us see here.

 

In 2014 the US and the EU commenced a full-fledged economic war on Russia, a war that included economic and political sanctions on some Russian businesspeople and politicians. Valentina Matviyenko was named among them.

The way it was phrased on the State Department website:”In response to the Russian government’s actions contributing to the crisis in Ukraine, this new E.O. lists seven Russian government officials who are being designated for sanctions.  These individuals are Vladislav Surkov, Sergey Glazyev, Leonid Slutsky, Andrei Klishas, Valentina Matviyenko, Dmitry Rogozin, and Yelena Mizulina.”

We don’t know how much money and properties the US government illegally stole from Matvieynko. It could be nothing, or it could be a lot. There were rumors that her son, who made a fortune of about $100 million in banking during his mother’s tenure as gubernator of St. Petersburg, has been losing lots of money ever since she left. He was pushed out or was forced to resign from the banking and from some mega building projects.  As early as 2007, he lost a multi-million dollar development project in Estonia after being blacklisted by the Estonian government. This year, however, Sergei Matviyenko staged his return to big business.

One can imagine that Matviyenko is extremely irate about the money and properties that she has reportedly lost in the U.S. due to the sanctions. She might even erroneously attribute her loss to the policies of President Putin, and not to the Western governments’ ongoing war on Russia as a country and as a nation.

She might not even care, who knows?

Her unexpected and unnecessary demarche against Safronkov for his selfless and courageous stance for Russia in the face of our mortal enemies has confused and saddened all of us. Considering that until very recently, Russia had on diplomatic service people who were the embodiment of failure. Take for example an Ambassador Viktor Chernomyrdin, who had served as envoy to Ukraine from 2001 to 2009 and supervised a dramatic collapse of relations with this alienated by the West Russian province.

The timetable of her actions makes this even more peculiar. The fact is that she lashed out against the Russian diplomat ten days after his speech and shortly after she returned from her meeting with the Saudi king, where she appeared wrapped into some truly bizarre green shimmering floor length parachute and matching green babushka. On a video she looks ether imperial, or submissive, I can’t decide.

We already know that the Saudis have some kind of mysterious supernatural power over  female politicians. Just recently, we all had the pleasure to observe another powerful woman, Hillary Clinton, behaving in the same exact manner, especially after she had received reportedly $500,000 worth of jewelry and about $10 million contribution to the Clintons’ foundation, which wasn’t a bribe at all. Matviyenko, for example, was seen wearing a $26,000 timepiece.

As for Safronkov, after his decades of work for the liberation of Palestine, and his work with Iran and Syria make his chances to be liked by our sworn enemies to be less than zero. I would even venture to say that Safronkov has no chances to be liked or given jewelry by the Saudi king.

To the politicians who live in glass houses, to those masters of universe wannabes who serve the globalists: don’t you dare to attack Russian officers! They serve our Otechestvo, not you. As God is my witness, if you attack a Russian military officer, a Russian security or intelligence officer, if you attack a Russian diplomat, we will go after your hollow political careers, we will use our analytical skills to dig out and unearth your political dirty underwear, and we will expose you to the entire globe.

Harm a Russian officer, and you will never wash the stench of your treason off.  They put their lives on the line for us, people. They serve Russia. They don’t serve you.

 

Scott Humor

Director of Research and Development

author of The enemy of the State

Follow me on twitter

Did Trump Shoot Himself in the Foot?

The sound of Tomahawk missiles slamming into a Syrian airbase shattered whatever optimism there was over the possibility of a rapprochement between Moscow and Washington, while causing a widespread spike in tensions on the global stage.

Caricature: Trump shooting himself in the foot

Just a few days earlier, the blast of another bombshell echoed through international newsrooms; the White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was removed from the US National Security Council [NSC].

Bannon’s removal was hardly surprising. As a matter of fact, it was inevitable in the context of the ongoing struggle between the Trump administration and the American political establishment.

It was equally predictable that Bannon’s departure would coincide with other dramatic events. But few could have forecast that it would be followed by a massive missile strike on Syria, in what marks the most heated episode of the new Cold War.

Meanwhile, Trump was eager to tell the world that last week’s strike was the product of his own decision-making process, which led him to ‘change his mind on Syria’ in 48 hours.

The US president’s change of heart during those 48 hours ran parallel with Bannon’s removal from the NSC.

Trump Betrays His Base

The depth of the Washington D.C. “swamp” that Trump promised to drain was on full display following an assault on a sovereign country and a blatant violation of international law.

The corporate media and western politicians, regardless of their party affiliations, were falling all over themselves to shower praise on Trump for his unilateral attack on Syria.

One of the more poetic examples was NBC’s Brian Williams, who called the launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles, which killed a number of Syrian children, “beautiful”.

“We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two US Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean,” Williams said. “I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: ‘I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.'”

“They are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments making what is for them a brief flight over to this airfield,” he added. Then he asked his guest, “What did they hit?”

Hillary Clinton, who told New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, just hours before the attack that the US “should take out [Assad’s] airfields”, was not the only Trump critic to change her tune.

The former frontrunner in the race for the White House declared that the strike was an appropriate response to a purported chemical weapons attack in Idlib.

Republican Senator John McCain, who doesn’t make much of an effort to hide his relationship with terrorist groups in Syria, applauded Trump, saying he deserved the support of the American people.

He then used the opportunity to accuse Russia of war crimes.

“The United States should first tell Russia that this kind of a war crime is unacceptable in the world today,” McCain told a press conference in Belgrade on April 10.

But the argument that this rhetoric somehow translates into Trump becoming more appealing to the public, the media and his political rivals in the long run is inaccurate.

Instead, Trump’s decision to sign off on the strikes can best be described as a pyrrhic victory.

Praise from the global neoliberal and neoconservative establishment will be short-lived. These circles of power will hate Trump for the entirety of his presidential tenure. However, his U-turn on Syria has cost him the backing of his diehard supporters, including those sympathetic to Steve Bannon.

According to Russian geopolitical expert Alexander Dugin, Trump has managed to betray those who elected him by capitulating to neoconservative foreign policy interests.

Muscle Flexing

From a military standpoint, the strikes on the Shayrat air base were almost completely pointless. Only six out-of-service aircraft were reportedly destroyed, and the base was operational again within 24 hours.

A Russian defense ministry statement, read on state television shortly after the strikes, said the US attack had been “ineffective”.

On the diplomatic front, a renewed effort to push the Kremlin into a corner was equally impotent.

A G7 meeting in the Italian city of Lucca, which was preceded by a flurry of anti-Russian and anti-Syrian propaganda, failed to reach an agreement on a proposal by Britain for additional sanctions against Moscow.

Staying true to traditional values and honoring one’s host, Beijing waited for the Chinese President Xi Jinping to leave the US and return home, before offering their explanation of the strike on Syria.

China’s state-run news agency Xinhua called it an act of a weakened politician, who needed to flex his muscles and overcome accusations that he was “pro-Russia”.

The PR nature of the attack is further highlighted by the fact that the Russians were notified about the strike in advance, giving them and the Syrians ample time to evacuate the base.

Russia’s Response

Those who detest American imperialism and support the emerging bloc of countries led by Vladimir Putin immediately asked why Moscow didn’t do more to prevent this attack, and why advanced Russian missile-defense systems in Syria remained unused.

Aside from condemnations and warnings that such provocations must not be repeated, little else came out of the Kremlin. This has been interpreted by many in the west as a sign of weakness. The thinking is that the Americans are once again marching to their own tune and Moscow does not know how to respond.

Here, it is important to point out that out of the 59 missiles fired only 23 ended up reaching their target.

Unless the American military industrial complex has truly hit rock bottom, it is unlikely that more than 30 Tomahawks simply malfunctioned.

The more believable explanation involves Russia’s Krasuha-4 mobile electronic warfare system, which was first cited as being in use in Syria in late 2015.

The Krasuha-4 can affect the function of spy satellites, ground-based radars and airborne systems.

But its main function is to jam radar frequencies and other radio-emitting sources – vital for Tomahawk missile launches.

It is also important to note that the Russians had an agreement with the Americans over operations in Syria, which Moscow decided to honor. The agreement as well as the prior warning of the attack could explain Russia’s relatively low-key response.

Theories suggesting that the Kremlin does not know how to react also run counter to Putin’s recent maneuvers on the international stage, including his response to the shooting down of a Russian jet by Turkey.

Managing to avoid a direct military confrontation, which would have played into the hands of the ‘globalists’, Putin successfully broke through NATO’s southern rim, as the anti-Kremlin agenda in Ankara collapsed.

Over the last couple of years, Putin’s actions have been highly unpredictable. From Moscow’s response to the crisis in Ukraine and the seizure of Crimea, to Russia’s intervention in Syria, Putin has managed to leave the top echelons of western intelligence agencies lost for words.

Trump’s future actions are equally unpredictable, but for different reasons.

Reason and pragmatism have abandoned Washington’s halls of power many years ago, requiring a psychiatric evaluation of the policy-making process rather than a political one.

One conclusion that can be drawn from the recent escalation is that Trump, much like Erdogan over a year ago, is shooting himself in the foot. Those who hated Trump since the beginning will continue to hate him and those who supported him will begin to abandon him.

Source: Al-Ahed News

15-04-2017 | 09:31

Establishment Struggles to Maintain Anti-Russian Narrative as the Ice Starts to Crack Under Them

Establishment Struggles to Maintain Anti-Russian Narrative as the Ice Starts to Crack Under Them

Establishment Struggles to Maintain Anti-Russian Narrative as the Ice Starts to Crack Under Them

As I have noted before in Strategic Culture Foundation, the infant Trump Administration is engaged in a life and death struggle with the Deep State, the mainstream media (MSM), all of the Democrats in Congress, and a lot of the Republicans too. One issue lies at the heart of the struggle: the determination of Trump’s enemies not to allow any sort of warming of ties between Washington and Moscow.

Day after day the MSM run story after story alleging, with no evidence whatsoever, that Trump is a puppet of Vladimir Putin, who stole our election to put Trump in the White House. Congressional hearings on «Russian interference» in elections in America – and France, Germany, and wherever else – have turned into a veritable Witches’ Sabbath of Russophobic hysteria and of the dangers of «populism» of the sort represented by Trump and Marine Le Pen.

Meanwhile, the other side of the crisis is starting to slip out of the anti-Trumpers’ control. In recent days it has become clear that Barack Obama’s former Assistant Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas admitted on TV to what amounts to knowledge of criminal leaking of classified information. Potentially even more damaging to the «soft coup» is the revelation that Obama’s former National Security Adviser Susan Rice – notorious for her lies about the 2012 Benghazi terror attack – was involved in the «unmasking» of Trump transition team names captured in intelligence surveillance. The MSM is panicking, insisting Rice did nothing wrong: don’t look behind that curtain, nothing to see here, just move along, folks…

That isn’t going to work. In coming weeks, we will start to get some answers. Who – which agencies, American or foreign like GCHQ – spied on Trump and his people? Whom were they surveilling, the Trump people directly or «only» the people the team were talking with, Russian or otherwise? Under what legal authority, if any, did the surveillance operate? What was done with the data, and to whom was it passed on – violating what laws?

Meanwhile, the more dignified elements of the Deep State pretend has nothing has changed. The ship of state sails majestically forward, no storm is on the horizon. The usual well-funded «experts» explain the world to us, and even honest and intelligent people are expected to nod deferentially and drink in great draughts of Establishment wisdom.

A case in point is the recent report of the über-Establishment Brookings Institution: «Putin’s no populist, but he can gain from populist movements worldwide». It can be summed up in two sentences: Putin is a scared little man fishing in troubled waters. Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing and needs to be careful not to give Putin an opening for mischief.

Frankly, it’s not the worst think tank analysis about Russia and America – almost anything from American Enterprise Institute or Heritage would be ten times worse. The Brookings report rests on a straw man, namely the issue of what constitutes «populism/populist» (used 38 times in the piece). The closest the authors come to giving us a definition is «uncontrollable political and economic forces for which no one was prepared». Whatever that means.

By that definition, «populism» never has existed and never can, except for very brief, unviable episodes. Its repeated use in the piece is a symptom of the progressive authors’ faith in the Bolshevik myth of spontaneous movements of «the people» (you know, like .05 percent of the population on the streets of Kiev, twice, counts as «the Ukrainian people have chosen to be part of Europe!»). That myth, closely linked to the myth of democracy (as wielded as a weapon by Western ideologues), is contrasted to the reality: the inevitability of oligarchy, in modern times usually plutocratic in nature. (Though not always. The USSR was an oligarchy but not based on wealth. Rather, membership in the ruling oligarchy temporarily gave one a semblance of wealth, unless and until your number finally came up.)

Brookings writes: «Last but not least, populists target the power of elite establishments. In Russia, Putin is the establishment». To be in power effectively is, ipso facto, to be the establishment. There are few ways an outsider can do that:

One, shoot the old establishment and create a new one (the Bolsheviks, again).

Two, give in and sell out to the establishment (what some on the left accuse Bill Clinton and Obama of doing, and what some hope, or fear, Trump may do).

Or, three, a hostile takeover: instill enough fear in the members of the establishment so they serve your purposes not theirs. That pretty much is what Putin did, in a pattern somewhat reminiscent of the centralizing monarchs of European absolutism of the 17thand 18th centuries, with the Russian oligarchs serving as poor stand-ins for the traditional nobility in the earlier era. The last seems the most prudent course, and probably what Trump is trying to do under somewhat different conditions.

Brookings disputes that Putin really wants to see populists elected in other countries:

«Contrary to popular belief, the Russian president is no fan of populism. His support for populist parties in Europe and the United States is simply opportunistic: he will seek to bolster their chances, if they can fracture support for mainstream parties that tend to view Russia as a threat and the transatlantic bond as vital for countering it. His support is a pure calculation in order to survive».

Well, that’s one way to put it. A less snarky way to say it would be that Putin prefers political forces in Europe and the US that are less hostile to Russia than those that are more hostile. How horrible!

He rightly identifies the latter with globalist, anti-traditionalist, anti-national, anti-Christian, pro-jihad, pro-migration multicultural elites who are destroying their own countries, while the former are not just «populists» but patriots, whether they be American, French, English, Serbian, etc. Isn’t that what different countries are for?

Irony of ironies: when the Soviets used their proxy General Jaruzelski to crush Solidarnoszcz in December 1981, the Reagan administration aptly demanded the Soviets «Let Poland be Poland». Great idea! And let France be France, Germany Germany, America America, Serbia Serbia – and let Russia be Russia.

But somehow that’s bad. Russia must be America, or at least be Holland.

This week we’ll see if Washington will give permission for China to be China.

Listen to the new message on the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs answering machine

(English language message begins at 0:29)

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview to the National Interest Magazine March 29, 2017

March 29, 2017
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview to the National Interest Magazine March 29, 2017

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the National Interest Magazine, published on March 29, 2017

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2710445

Question: I’d like to start by asking you about your forthcoming meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, we’ve read in the press that the two of you may be meeting soon.

Sergey Lavrov: So they say.

Question: Could you perhaps tell us about your expectations and goals in dealing with Secretary Tillerson?

Sergey Lavrov: Well, after the American election, soon after Election Day President Putin and President-elect Trump talked over the phone. It was a good but very general discussion touching upon the key issues in our relations, and of course the key international issues. And they agreed that they would continue being in touch and after the inauguration they talked again, and they reconfirmed the need to look for ways which would be effective in handling international problems. And of course to see what could be done to bring the bilateral relations to normalcy. They also agreed that Mr. Rex Tillerson and I would look into the agenda in some more details, and would also discuss the preparation for the presidential meeting which should take place when both countries, both leaders feel comfortable.

And we met with Rex in mid-February in Bonn on the margins of the G-20 ministerial meeting, and covered quite a lot of the bilateral agenda. I briefed him about the relationship on bilateral issues with the Obama administration, the problems which accumulated during that period. We did not go into the substance of this, I just briefed him so that his team, which is still being assembled, could take a look at these issues and determine what kind of attitude they would have on them. And we discussed Syria, Iran, the Korean Peninsula, the Middle East in general, relations between Russia and the West, it was a very general, but rather substantive discussion, obviously it was the first contact and Mr.Rex Tillerson is just getting into the shoes of his new capacity. We discussed the possibility of personal meeting and have been continuing these discussions. As soon as we finalize them it will be announced.

But my feeling is that from the point of view of personal relationship, we feel quite comfortable. I feel quite comfortable, I believe Rex had the same feeling, and our assistants should work closer but of course this could only be done when the team in the State Department is complete.

Question: Of course. If I could follow up on your answer there, you mentioned bringing normalcy to the U.S.-Russia relationship. What do you think “normal” is?

Sergey Lavrov: “Normal” is to treat your partners with respect, not to try to impose some of your ideas on others without taking into account their own views and their concerns, always to try to listen and to hear, and hopefully not to rely on a superiority complex, which was obviously the case with the Obama administration. They were obsessed with their exceptionality, with their leadership. Actually the founding fathers of the United States, they also spoke of their leadership, and they believed that the American nation was exceptional, but they wanted others just to take the American experience as an example and to follow suit. They never suggested that the United States should impose, including by force, its values on others.

And the Obama administration was clearly different. Actually, long before Ukraine, long before Crimea, in early December 2012, there was an OSCE ministerial meeting in Dublin. And Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and was the head of the delegation, we had a bilateral meeting with her, she was trying to persuade me on something which was a difficult issue on the agenda, but I recall this situation because in the margins of this ministerial meeting she attended a meeting in the University of Dublin, and she delivered a lecture in which she said something like: “We are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent the move to re-Sovietize the former Soviet space.” December 2012.

What kind of action she was considering as the move to re-Sovietize the space, I really couldn’t understand. Yes, there were discussions about Ukraine, about Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia, forming the Customs Union, and if this was the reason, then of course it showed very obviously the real attitude of the Obama administration to what was going on in the former Soviet space and the area of the Commonwealth of Independent States, its obvious desire to take over this geopolitical space around Russia without even caring what Moscow might think.

This was the reason for the crisis in Ukraine, when the U.S. and European Union bluntly told the Ukrainians: either you are with us, or you are with Russia against us. And the very fragile Ukrainian state couldn’t sustain this kind of pressure, and what happened- happened: the coup, and so on and so forth (if you want I can discuss this in some detail later). But my point is that they considered normal that the people in Obama’s team should call the shots anywhere, including around such a big country as the Russian Federation. And this is absolutely abnormal in my view.

At the same time, when we visited Venezuela with our naval ships, they were raising such hell, as if no one could even get closer to what they believe should be their backyard. This mentality is not adequate for the twenty-first century. And we of course notice that President Trump is emphasizing the need to concentrate on U.S. interests. And foreign policy for him is important as long as it serves the United States’ interests, not just some messiah projects doing something just for the sake of showing that you can do it anywhere. It’s irrational, and in this he certainly holds the same position as we do in Moscow, as President Putin does, that we don’t want to meddle in other people’s matters. When the Russian legitimate interests are not, you know involved.

Question: You just mentioned at the end of your statement that the United States shouldn’t meddle in others’ affairs, and obviously many Americans today feel that Russia has meddled in American affairs, in the 2016 election. Your government has denied that. But how do you explain what happened in the United States? Do you feel that Russia had any involvement or any responsibility at all for what transpired?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe that these absolutely groundless accusations – at least I haven’t seen a single fact that this was substantiated. I believe these accusations were used as an instrument in the electoral campaign, which for some reasons seemed to the Democratic Party to be an efficient way to raise support among the American people, playing on their feelings that no one shall meddle with American affairs. This is a Russophobic instrument. It was a very sad situation because we never wanted to be unfriendly with the American people, and apparently the Obama administration, the elite in the Democratic Party, who made every effort during the last couple of years to ruin the very foundation of our relationship, decided that the American people should be brainwashed without any facts, without any proof. We are still ready to discuss any concerns of the United States.

As a matter of fact, in November 2015, long before this hacker thing started, we drew the attention of the U.S. administration to the fact that they kept hunting Russian citizens suspected in cybercrime in third countries, and insisting on them being extradited to the United States, ignoring the treaty on mutual legal assistance which exists between Russia and the United States, and which should be invoked in cases when any party to this treaty has suspicions regarding the citizen of another one. And this was never done.

So what we suggested to them in November 2015, that we also don’t want to see our citizens violating law and using cyberspace for staging all kinds of crimes. So we would be the last one to try to look aside from them. We want them to be investigated and to be disciplined. But since the United States continued to avoid invoking this treaty on legal assistance, we suggested to have a meeting between the Justice Department and the Russian prosecutor-general, specifically at the expert level, on cybercrime. To establish confidential, expert, professional dialogue to exchange information.

They never replied; when we reminded them that there was a request, they orally told us that they were not interested, but in December 2016, more than one year after our request was tabled, they said, “Okay, why don’t we meet?” But this came from Obama administration experts, when they already were on their way out, some technical meeting took place, it was not of any substance but at least they responded to the need to do something about cyberspace.

And of course on cybercrimes the discussions in the United Nations are very telling. When we are leading the debate on negotiating an instrument which would be universal and which would be mandatory for everybody, the U.S. is not really very much eager, and is not very enthusiastic.

Speaking of meddling with others’ matters, there is no proof that Russia was in any way involved either in the United States, or in Germany, or in France, or in the United Kingdom – by the way, I read yesterday that the Swedish prime minister is becoming nervous that they also have elections very soon and that Russia would 100 percent be involved in them. Childish, frankly speaking. You either put some facts on the table or you try to avoid any statements which embarrass you, even if you don’t believe this is the case.

It’s embarrassing to see and to hear what we see and hear in the West, but if you speak of meddling with other countries’ matters, where facts are available—take a look at Iraq. It was a very blunt, illegal intervention, which is now recognized even by Tony Blair, and those who were pathetically saying that they cannot tolerate a dictator in Iraq. Take a look at Libya, which is ruined, and I hope still has a chance to become one piece. Take a look at Syria, take a look at Yemen: this is the result and the examples of what takes place when you intervene and interfere. Yes, I’m sure you can say about Ukraine, you can say about Crimea, but for this you have to really get into the substance of what transpired there.

When the European Union was insisting that President Yanukovych sign an association agreement, including a free-trade zone with zero tariffs on most of the goods and services crossing the border between Ukraine and the European Union, and at that point it was noted that Ukraine already had a free-trade area with Russia, with some different kind of structure, but also with zero tariffs. So if Russia has zero tariffs with Ukraine, Ukraine would have the same with European Union but we have some protection, under the WTO deal with the European Union, so the only thing we said: guys, if you want to do this, we would have to protect our market from the European goods which would certainly go through Ukraine to Russia, trying to use the zero-tariff arrangement. And the only thing suggested, and Yanukovych supported, is to sit down the three—Ukraine, EU and Russia—and to see how this could be handled. Absolutely pragmatic and practical thing. You know what the European Union said? “None of your business.”

Then-President of the European Commission Mr. Jose Manuel Barrosso (my favorite) stated publicly that we don’t meddle with Russia’s trade with China, so don’t meddle with our deal with Ukraine. While the situation is really very different and the free-trade area argument was absolutely ignored. And then Mr. Yanukovych asked for the signature of this deal to be postponed, for him to understand better what will be the consequences—for his industry, for his finances, for his agriculture—if we would have to protect ourselves from potential flow of cheap goods from Europe. That’s so, and then the coup was staged, in spite of the fact that there was a deal between Yanukovych and the opposition, witnessed by Germany, France and Poland.

Next morning, this deal was torn apart under the pretext that Yanukovych disappeared, and therefore all commitments were off. The problem is that he did not leave the country, he was in another city of the country. But my main point is that the deal which they signed with him was not about him; it was about his agreement to go to early elections – and he would have lost these elections – but the deal started by saying, “We agree to create a government of national unity.”

And next morning, when they just tore apart this deal, Mr. Arseniy Yatsenyuk then a leader in Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna party and others who signed the deal with the President, they went to this Maidan, to the protestors, and said, “Congratulations, we just created the government of the winners.” Feel the difference: “government of national unity” and “government of the winners”. Two days later, this parliament, which immediately changed their position, announced that the Russian language is no longer welcome.

A few days later, the so called the Right Sector, the group which was an instrument in the violence in Maidan—they said that Russians have nothing to do in Crimea, because Russians would never honor the heroes of Ukraine, like Bandera and Shukhevych, who were collaborating with Nazis. These kinds of statements led to the people in the east of Ukraine just to say: “guys, you did something unconstitutional, and we don’t believe this is good for us”, so leave us alone, let us understand what is going on in Kiev, but we don’t want any of your new ideas to be imposed on us. We want to use our language, we want to celebrate our holidays, to honor our heroes: these eastern republics never attacked anyone. The government announced the antiterrorist campaign in the east, and they moved the regular army and the so-called voluntary battalions in the east of Ukraine. This is not mentioned by anyone. They are called terrorists—well, they never attacked a person.

And investigations of what actually happened on that day of the coup is going nowhere, the investigation of the murder in Odessa on the second of May, 2014, when dozens of people were burned alive in a trade-union office building, is moving nowhere. Investigation of political murders of journalists and opposition politicians is not moving anywhere. And they basically passed amnesty for all those who were on the part of the opposition during the coup. And they prosecute all those who were on the part of the government.

But even now they want to prosecute Yanukovych in absentia, but one interesting thing maybe for your readers to compare: there was a deal on the twenty-first of February, next morning they said, Yanukovych is not in Kiev, so our conscience is clean and we do what we please, in spite of the commitment to national unity. About the same time there was a coup in Yemen. President Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia. Not to some other city in Yemen, but he fled abroad.

More than two years passed, and the entire progressive international community, led by our Western friends, insists that he must be brought back to Yemen and that the deal which he signed with the opposition must be honored by the opposition. My question is why Ukraine’s situation is treated differently from the situation in Yemen. Is Yemen a more important country? Is the deals which you sign and the need to respect your word and your deals, is more sacred in Yemen than in Ukraine? No answer.

Sorry for getting into all these details, but people tend to forget, because they’re being brainwashed every day with very simple phrases like “Russia is aggressor in Ukraine,” “annexation of Crimea” and so on and so forth, instead of laboring your tongues, people should go there. Those who go to Crimea, see for themselves how the people live there, and they understand that all these hysterical voices about violation of human rights, about discrimination vis-à-vis Crimean Tatars, is a lie.

Question: Maybe coming back, just for a moment, to the U.S. election, and setting aside the question of evidence, because your government has its perspective, the U.S. intelligence community has its perspective—I don’t think those differences are likely to be reconciled. Setting that question aside, many Americans believe that Russia did interfere in the election; it’s contributed to a particular political climate in the United States. Do you view that as an obstacle to the U.S.-Russia relationship, and do you believe there is anything that Russia can or should do to try to address these widespread concerns?

Sergey Lavrov: You said a very interesting thing. You used the word “perspective.” You said, “Russia has its own perspective; the American intelligence community has its own perspective.” Perspective is something which many people have. We speak about facts, about proofs. And with all these perspectives, these hearings which sometimes are shown on CNN, on Russian TV, I haven’t heard any, any proof. Except the confirmation that the FBI and the NSA started watching what the Trump team is doing sometime in July. I heard this recently.

And I take this as acceptance by those who were doing this, for whatever reason, and they clearly said that this was not because of the suspicion that he had something to do with Russia but this was a routine process during which they find a trace leading to the Trump headquarters. Fine, this is a fact: they admitted that they started this. So what? If by admitting this they make their perspective regarding Russia a fact, I cannot buy this.

And then you said, they have their own perspective, and that the American people believe Russia had something to do with the American elections. Categories like perspective and belief are not very specific. And we speak about some very serious accusations. I understand that in the West, people who indeed profess Russophobic feelings, and unfortunately they are—they used to be very powerful, they are still very powerful even when they lost the elections: and Russophobic trends are obviously seen even in the Republican camp. You know, it’s very easy to find some external threat and then to put all the blame on this particular external threat.

When in 2014 the Malaysian plane was shot down over Ukraine, two days later I think, in the UN Security Council, when we insisted on adopting a resolution demanding further investigation, the American officials said yes, we believe investigation must be held, but we already know the result.

What about the presumption of innocence? The same happened on Litvinenko, the poor guy who was poisoned in London, when from the very beginning they said, we will have an investigation but we know who did it, and they never made this trial public. And they never accepted the offer of assistance which we were ready to provide. And so on and so forth.

Now, yesterday, this terrible murder of the Russian and Ukrainian citizen, who used to be an MP in Russia, and did not stay in the current parliament, and President Poroshenko two hours after the guy was murdered says that this was a terrorist attack from Russia—who also blew up the munition depot near Kharkov. It was said a few hours later by the president of a democratic country, whom our American and european friends call a beacon of democracy. I thought democracy was about establishing facts when you have suspicions.

And democracy is about division of power, and if the the chief executive takes upon himself the functions of the legal system, of the judicial system, that does not fit with my understanding of how Western democracy works. We’re ready to discuss anything, any facts, I mean. We’re ready to assist in investigations of whatever issues our partners anywhere might have. Whether this is going to be an obstacle to normal relations, I don’t think so. I believe the Russian people, at least if we are asked, I would say no, if it depends on us. I understand that there are some people in the United States who want this to become an obstacle, and who want to tie up the team of President Trump on the Russian issue, and I believe this is very mean policy, but we see that this is taking place.

What Russia can do to help? Unfortunately, not much. We cannot accept the situation, but some absolutely artificial hysterical situation was created by those who severed all of the relationship—who dropped the deal on the Bilateral Presidential Commission between Moscow and Washington with some twenty-plus working groups, a very elaborate mechanism of cooperation—and then after they have done this, after they prevent the new administration from doing away with this absolute stupid situation, to ask us to do something? I don’t think it’s fair.

We said what we did, that we are ready to work with any administration, any president who would be elected by the American people. This was our line throughout the electoral campaign, unlike the acting leaders of most European countries who were saying absolutely biased things, supporting one candidate, unlike those who even bluntly warned against the choice in favor of the Republican candidat, and this somehow is considered normal. But I leave this on the conscience of those who said this and then immediately chickened out and then started praising the wisdom of the U.S. electorate.

We said that we would be ready to come back to the relationship and to develop the relationship with the United States to the extent, and to the depths, to which the administration is ready to go. Whatever is comfortable for our partners, we will support and provide it. We talk on the basis of mutual respect and equality, trying to understand the legitimate interest of each other and to see whether we can find the balance between those interests. We will be ready to cover our part of the way, as President Putin said, but we will not be making any unilateral steps. We offered cooperation on very fair terms, and we will judge by the deeds of course.

Question: Perhaps we can pivot to international affairs. In the United States there’s been discussion of a new Cold War; you, for your part, recently talked about a post-West international order, which as you may imagine is not something that many in the United States and other Western countries would readily embrace. In fact, some may even be strongly inclined to resist the emergence of a post-West order. What do you think a post-West order is, and do you think that it makes confrontation between Russia and the United States, or Russia and the West, inevitable?

Sergey Lavrov: Well first, I don’t believe that we are having another Cold War. Ideologically, we’re not different, we’re not apart. Yes, there are nuances in how the countries in the West and Russia and its neighbors are run. But all in all the basis is democracy, which is elections, basically, and organizing the system, the way you respect the opposition  and it’s also market economy. Again with «give and take» you know in some countries the state is much more involved in economy than in others but this happened in France some time ago, in the UK some time ago, so this is all secondary details, I would say. There’s no ideological differences as far as democratic principles and market economy are concerned. Second, these days, unlike the days of the Cold War, we have much clearer common threats, like terrorism, like chaos in the Middle East, like the threat of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This was never the case during the Cold War days, which was a very negative balance with sporadic conflicts in periphery. This time we have global universal threats, not sparing anyone and this is what we witness almost daily, with these terrorist attacks in the Middle East and Europe, there was one in the United States, and so on and so forth.

So this absolutely makes it necessary to reassess where we are and what kind of cooperative structure we need. Post-West system, post-West order: I mentioned this term in Munich at the Munich Security Conference, and I was really surprised that people immediately made me the author, the coiner of this term, because the title of the conference contained “post-West order”—with a question mark, yes. I put the question mark aside for one very simple reason: if we all agree that we cannot defeat terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, climate change without a universal coalition, if we all agree that this is the case, and I believe we do, then it would certainly be necessary to recognize that the world is different, compared to the many centuries than when the West was leading with culture, philosophy, military might, economic systems, and so on and so forth.

We all have, China, the whole Asia-Pacific region, which President Obama, by the way, said is the place where the U.S. would be shifting, which in itself means that he was not thinking of the West order but post-West order. And, of course, Latin Athe merica, Africa, which is hugely underdeveloped but has the potential with resources and labor, young and vigorous, still untapped. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just a few days ago in Washington convened a coalition to fight terrorism—sixty-eight countries if I am not wrong, double the number of the countries in the West. This meeting was post-West order, or a manifestation of post-West order. So I don’t believe the Western countries should be really offended or should feel that their contribution to the world civilization has been underestimated—not at all. It’s just the time when no one can do it alone, and that’s how we feel. It’s a polycentric world. Call it multipolar, call it polycentric, call it more democratic—but this is happening. And economic might, financial might and the political influence associated with all this, they’re much more evenly spread.

Question: Let’s zero in on Syria. You mentioned the terrorism issue and certainly the struggle with ISIS is an important focus for the U.S., for Russia. There has been, as I’m sure you’re aware, some skepticism in the United States about Russia’s role in Syria. President Donald Trump, when he was a presidential candidate, certainly referred many times to a desire to work with Russia in Syria. How do you envision the opportunities and constraints on the U.S. and Russia in working together in Syria, and do you have any specific new ideas about how to do that?

Sergey Lavrov: First, when this coalition was created by the Barack Obama administration (the coalition which was convened in Washington just a few days ago) it was understood that out of sixty-some countries only a few would be actually flying air force and hitting the ground. Others were mostly political and moral support, if you wish, solidarity show—which is fine, it’s important these days as well to mobilize the public opinion in as many countries as you can. We were not invited. The Iranians were not invited. Some others were not invited, who I believe should be important partners in this endeavor. But this was motivated by some ideological considerations on the part of the Barack Obama administration. I just don’t want to go into the reason for why they assembled this particular bunch of people.

But what I can attest to is that one year into the creation of this coalition, it was very sporadically using the air force to hit some ISIL positions. They never touched the caravans who were smuggling oil from Syria to Turkey and, in general, they were not really very active. This changed after we responded to the request of President Assad, who represents, by the way, a legitimate government –member of the United Nations. After we joined, President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama spoke in New York in September 2015, and President Putin clearly told him that we would be doing this and we were ready to coordinate, and they agreed to have these deconfliction discussions, which did not start soon actually, not through our fault. But when we started working there the U.S.-led coalition became much more active. I don’t want to analyze the reason for this. I’m just saying before we moved there with our air force, the U.S. coalition was very rarely hitting ISIL positions and almost never hitting the positions of Jabhat al-Nusra, which many people believe has been spared just in case at some point they might be needed to topple the regime. And this feeling, this suspicion, is still very much alive these days, when Jabhat al-Nusra already twice changed its name, but it never changed its sponsors who continue to pump money and whatever is necessary for fighting into this structure. And people know this. So when we moved there, at the request of the government, we suggested to the U.S. to coordinate our efforts. They said, “No, we can only go for deconfliction,” and deconfliction procedures were developed and are being applied quite well, but we believed it was a shame that we couldn’t go further, and coordinate targets and what have you. And then my friend, John Kerry, who was very sincere in his desire to overcome the ideological—not ideological, but to overcome some artificial barriers, and to indeed start military coordination—we spent almost from February 2016 to September 2016 when, eventually, we had a deal to separate the armed groups, with whom the U.S. and the allies cooperate, from ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra, and then to coordinate the targets and basically to strike only those targets which would be acceptable to both Russians and the Americans. Quite a few people really understood the quality of this deal.

I put myself in the shoes of those who were criticizing us for hitting wrong targets. You remember, there was so much criticism. So the deal we reached with Kerry, when none of us could strike unless the other supports, was solving this problem. And the fact that the Pentagon just disavowed what Kerry did, and Obama could not overrule the Pentagon, meant for me only one thing: that he, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, was motivated by the desire to have some revenge on Russia, for whatever reason and for whatever situation, rather than to capitalize over the deal reached between John Kerry and us, to make the war against terror much more efficient in Syria. But let God judge him.

Now, whether we have an opportunity to resume the cooperation: yes we do. Yes, President Donald Trump said that fighting terrorism is his number one international goal, and I believe this is absolutely natural. We will be sharing this approach, I am sure, and it’s also, in this sense, coming back to our first question which we discussed, about intervention in other parts of the world, terrorism is a universal threat. So when you interfere to fight terrorist manifestations, it’s in the interest of your country. It’s another matter that you have to be faithful to international law. And the coalition, of course, led by the United States, was never invited to Syria. We were, Iran was, Hezbollah was. Still, the Syrian government, while complaining that the coalition were there uninvited, they said, “If and since you’re going to coordinate with Russians, with those who fight ISIL and Nusra, we take it as this is what you want, to defeat terrorism, not to do anything else in Syria.” So deconfliction procedures continue to be applied.

You might have heard that the chief of general staff of the Russian Army, General Gerasimov, met with General Dunford.

Question: Twice, I understand.

Sergey Lavrov: Twice, at least, and they talked over the phone. And this is something the military discussed. I assume that if their discussions go beyond deconfliction, I don’t want to speculate, this would be a welcome sign that we can really do what is necessary to bring about the situation when everyone who confronts ISIL and Nusra on the ground acts in coordination. If not under the united command—this, I think is unachievable—but in a coordinated manner.

The Turks have troops on the ground. Iran, Hezbollah are invited by the government. Russian air force with some ground special military police helping keep law and order in the Sunni quarters of Aleppo and Damascus, the military police from Russia is largely composed of Russian Sunnis from the northern Caucasus—Chechens, Ingush and others.

The U.S. Air Force and the coalition air force; U.S. special forces on the ground. Apparently there are French and U.K. special forces on the ground. The military groups who are part of the so-called Free Syrian Army, the military armed groups who are part of the Kurdish detachments—there are so many players: I listed all those who declare that ISIL and Nusra are their enemies. So some harmonization is certainly in order, and we are very much open to it.

When the United States dropped from the deal, which we negotiated with John Kerry, we shifted to look for some other opportunities and we had the deal with Turkey later—which was later supported by Iran—which brought about some kind of cessation of hostilities between the government and a group of armed opposition. And we created, in Astana, a parallel track supportive of the Geneva negotiations concentrating on mechanisms to monitor the cessation of hostilities, to respond to violations, also to build up confidence by exchanging prisoners, and so on and so forth.

It is not welcome by quite a number of external players who try to provoke and encourage the radicals, radical armed groups in Syria, to make trouble and to stage some terrorist attacks. They launched a huge offensive now in the northern part of the Hama province, and they basically coordinate with Jabhat al-Nusra, under its new name. So it’s also a game for influence in Syria, unfortunately, which prevails in the minds of the people who promote such an approach, rather than the need to get united to fight terrorism, and then to have a political deal. It’s the fight for influence on the battleground, and this is unfortunate. We don’t need this now. What we need is to strengthen the cessation of hostilities and to support strongly the political process in Geneva, concentrated on the new constitution, which would be accompanied by a division of power between the government, the opposition, all ethnic groups, then elections and so on and so forth. But all this would be absolutely meaningless if people sacrifice the fight against terror for the sake of their goal, their obsession, with regime change.

Question: In Iran, the Trump administration seems to have signaled an intent to try to enforce the Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA, more strictly, perhaps to be more assertive in challenging Iran’s regional role. And I’d be curious about your reaction to that and the degree to which Russia could work with, or not work with, the United States on either of those things. Then there is Ukraine. Clearly a very complex problem, the Minsk Process I think to many outside observers really seems to have stalled. Is that process dead? Is there any way to move forward?

Sergey Lavrov: On Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was a product of collective work—it’s a compromise. But the key things were never compromised. It’s a compromise which allows for all of us, with the help of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to be sure that Iran’s nuclear program is going to be peaceful, that all the elements which cause suspicion would be removed, and handled in a way which gives us all certainty and gives us control over the implementation of those arrangements.

I don’t think that the Trump administration is thinking in the same terms as the slogans during the campaign, that Iran is the number one terrorist state; we don’t have a single fact to substantiate this claim. At least when we were facing a huge terrorist threat, when we were under terrorist attack in the 1990s in the northern Caucasus, we detected and discovered dozens and hundreds of foreign terrorist fighters from very close neighborship to Iran, but not from Iran at all. And we know that the political circles in quite a number of countries were really encouraging these terrorist groups to go into the northern Caucasus. Iran had never challenged the sovereignty of the Russian Federation, never used its own links with muslim groups  to provoke radicalism and to create trouble. What we do now with Iran and those that cooperate with us and the Syrian army is fighting terrorists in Syria. Iran is a powerful player on the ground, legitimately invited by the government. Iran has influence over Lebanese Hezbollah, which is also legitimately on the ground. And if we all want, you know, to topple, to defeat terrorists in Syria, there should be some coordination. I have already touched upon this.

The IAEA regularly reports on this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action implementation. The latest report once again confirmed that there are no violations of the part of Iran, and that the deal is being implemented in line with the commitments of Tehran and all others. It’s another matter that the steps which were promised in return to the implementation, namely sanctions relief, are not being undertaken by all Western participants as fast and as fully as was promised. But that’s another matter.

On the Minsk agreements, I believe that the Ukrainian government and President Poroshenko personally want them dead. They want them dead in a way which would allow them to blame Russia and the people in the east of Ukraine. They certainly encountered huge opposition from the radicals, and the radicals believe that this government is weak enough just to wait it out and to have either early elections or to have another Maidan. The biggest mistake of President Poroshenko, I am convinced, was that after he signed this agreement in February 2015 in Minsk, and he came back with the success, with the support of Germany, France, then the Security Council in New York endorsed this deal, and he should have used this moment to impress upon his parliament, upon the opposition, that this was a good deal supported by the European Union, where he wanted to join.

Instead, he started apologizing in front of his opposition when he got back to Kiev saying, you should not think this is serious, I did not commit myself to anything in the legal way—in the legally binding way—this is not what you read. And so on and so forth. He cornered himself in the situation of an absolutely irresponsible politician who signed one thing and who was saying that this is not what he signed one week later when he came back. The opposition felt that this was his weakness and they started carving out of his position anything which was still reasonable. The fact that every day he is in contact with President Vladimir Putin, they talk over the phone sometimes, they talk on the margins of the meetings of the Normandy Format when the leaders have their meetings; the last one was in October in Berlin last year. But my impression is that he tries to be constructive, to find ways to come back to the Minsk implementation. But the next day he comes back to Kiev or goes abroad, and goes public saying things which are absolutely aggressive and are absolutely unfair.

One very simple example: the Minsk agreement, they provide for preparation for elections on the special status of these territories, the status itself is listed in the deal, and the law on this special status is already adopted by the Rada, but it is not in force. Then amnesty, because you don’t want to have a «witch hunt», and the constitutional confirmation that this special status is permanent. That was all. And after this is done, the Ukrainian government restores full control over the entire Russian-Ukrainian border. They are saying now: no elections, no special status, no constitutional change, no amnesty, until we first take control of the border. But everyone can read the Minsk agreement—it’s only three pages. And it says absolutely clearly that the border transfer is the last step, and everyone understood why when this was negotiated. Because if you just under these circumstances, with all these animosities, with all these so-called voluntary battalions, Azov, Donbass and all the radicals, not reigned in by the government—when you just say, okay, take the border and we trust you that will do everything else, these people would just be victims. They will be suffocated and burned alive like the people in Odessa. So the political guarantees are crucial, and Germany, France and others understood this very well, just like the Americans understood this very well, because we did have parallel track—parallel to the Normandy Format—with the U.S. and we are ready to revive it again.

But one very simple example. October 2015, Paris: the Normandy leaders meet. And there is very specific discussion regarding the law on special status. The logic and sequence of the Minsk agreement is that you first have the special status, and then you have elections. Because people would normally want to know what kind of authority those for whom they are going to vote would have. Poroshenko said, no, we first have to have elections. Then I, Poroshenko, would see whether the people elected are to my liking. And if they are, then, we will give them the special status.

Which is rather weird. But still, we decided just to move forward, we would be ready to have some compromise on this thing, in spite of the fact that it was absolutely clearly spelled out in the Minsk agreement. And then the former foreign minister of Germany, who was participating in the meeting, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is now president of Germany, he said, why don’t we have a compromise formula which would mean that the law on the special status is adopted, but it enters into force on the day of elections temporarily, and it would enter into force, full fledged, on the day when the OSCE reports that elections were free and fair, and in line with democratic OSCE standards?

Everyone says okay. Poroshenko says okay. One year later, in October 2016 in Berlin, the same group of people, the leaders with the ministers. And President Putin is saying the formula of Steinmeier is still not embodied in any papers, in the Contact group process, because the Ukrainian government refuses to put in on paper. Poroshenko said, well, but it is not what we agreed, and so on and so forth. And then Putin said, well this is Mr. Steinmeier, ask him about his formula, and he reiterated this formula: temporary entry into force on the day of elections, full entry into force on the day the OSCE confirms they were free and fair. Merkel said the same, Hollande said the same, that this was absolutely what we agreed.

And then Poroshenko said, okay, let’s do it. October 2016 is almost half a year ago. And we are still not able, because of the Ukrainian government opposition in the contact group, to fix this deal on paper. So I can go for a long time on this one, but I am sure that those people who are interested can go and who follow the developments in Ukraine, they understand why we are not at the point of Minsk implementation.

The Ukrainian government wants to provoke the other side to blink first and to say, enough is enough, we drop from the Minsk deal. That’s why the economic blockade, that’s why the prohibition for the banks to serve the population in the east. By the way, in the Minsk agreements, two years ago we discussed the difficulties in banking services for this part of Ukraine and Germany and France committed themselves to organizing mobile banking, and they failed because they could never get cooperation from the Ukrainian authorities.

Well, I leave it to your readers to study what is going on, what is happening in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere.

Related

Jewish Neocons and the Deep State

Posted on March 24, 2017

[ Ed. note – AIPAC’s annual policy conference begins this Sunday in Washington. With that in mind I thought I would post the following commentary recently published by Philip Giraldi. In the article, Giraldi, a former CIA officer, makes two essential points: a) that “neocons are most definitely an integral part of the Deep State,” and, b) that “nearly all neocons are Jewish.” He also discusses efforts now to stigmatize even the very use of the words “neocon” and “deep state.” One writer for instance has recently claimed that the word neocon revives “a great many stupid and ugly myths about Jewish bankers orchestrating wars for profit.”

Of course, most if not all the wars we’ve gotten involved in over the past 20 years or so were waged in large part to advance the interests of Israel, and each one, without exception, was urged on by neocons. Nonetheless, a time when use of the word “neocon” will get you branded an anti-Semite may not be far off in the future.

Speakers at this year’s AIPAC summit will include two officials from the Trump administration, Vice President Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN; two US senators–Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Chuck Schumer of New York; and four members of the US House of Representatives: House Speaker Paul RyanNancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy, both of California, and Steny Hoyer of Maryland. I wonder if all these people would fancy themselves “patriotic Americans”? They are of course going to be speaking before an organization whose goal is to advance the interests of a foreign nation. Can you imagine the hue and cry if Congress members were turning up to speak before a group dedicated to promoting Russian interests?

Additional speakers will include Isaac Herzog, Israeli politician and Knesset member, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will speak live via satellite. But significantly not on the list (at least as far as I can tell) is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. Gabbard is the congresswoman who recently introduced the “Stop Arming Terrorists” bill. Perhaps people might give some thought to contacting Gabbard and encouraging her to introduce a bill to force AIPAC to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Such a bill almost assuredly would not pass, but it would be interesting observing how those in AIPAC’s hip pocket would stand up and argue against it. For those who might think it worthwhile to contact Gabbard, you can do so at: TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov  or  at (202) 225-4906. If you do contact her, please be sure and thank her for supporting the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, and ask her to please consider introducing a bill to require AIPAC to register as a foreign agent. ]

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Neocons as Figment of Imagination: Criticizing Their Thuggery is Anti-Semitism?

By Philip Giraldi

We have a president who is belligerent towards Iran, who is sending “boots on the ground” to fight ISIS, who loves Israel passionately and who is increasing already bloated defense budgets. If one were a neoconservative, what is there not to like, yet neocons in the media and ensconced comfortably in their multitude of think tanks hate Donald Trump. I suspect it comes down to three reasons. First, it is because Trump knows who was sticking the knife in his back during his campaign in 2016 and he has neither forgiven nor hired them. Nor does he pay any attention to their bleating, denying them the status that they think they deserve because of their self-promoted foreign policy brilliance.

And second, Trump persists in his desire to “do business” with Russia. The predominantly Jewish neocons always imagine the thunder of hooves of approaching Cossacks preparing to engage in pogroms whenever they hear the word Russia. And this is particularly true of Vladimir Putin’s regime, which is Holy Russia revived. When not musing over how it is always 1938 and one is in Munich, neocons are nearly as unsettled when they think it is 1905 in Odessa.

The third reason, linked to number two, is that having a plausible and dangerous enemy like Russia on tap keeps the cash flowing from defense industries to the foundations and think tanks that the neocons nest in when they are not running the Pentagon and National Security Council. Follow the money. So it is all about self-interest combined with tribal memory: money, status and a visceral hatred of Russia.

The hatred of Trump runs so deep that a leading neocon Bill Kristol actually tweeted that he would prefer a country run by bureaucrats and special interests rather than the current constitutional arrangement. The neocon vendetta was as well neatly summed up in two recent articles by Max Boot. The first is entitled“Trump knows the Feds are closing in on him” and the second is “WikiLeaks has joined the Trump Administration.”In the former piece Boot asserts that “Trump’s recent tweets aren’t just conspiratorial gibberish—they’re the erratic ravings of a guilty conscience” and in the latter, that “The anti-American WikiLeaks has become the preferred intelligence service for a conspiracy-addled White House.”

Now, who is Max Boot and why should anyone care what he writes? Russian-born, Max entered the United States with his family through a special visa exemption under the 1975 Jackson-Vanik Amendment even though they were not notably persecuted and only had to prove that they were Jewish. Jackson-Vanik was one of the first public assertions of neoconism, having reportedly been drafted in the office of Senator Henry Jackson by no less than Richard Perle and Ben Wattenberg as a form of affirmative action for Russian Jews. As refugees instead of immigrants, the new arrivals received welfare, health insurance, job placement, English language classes, and the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after only five years. Max went to college at Berkeley and received an M.A. from Yale.

Boot, a foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney in 2012, networked his way up the neocon ladder, including writing for The Weekly Standard, Commentary, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He was a member of the neocon incubator Project for a New American Century and now sits on the heavily neocon Council on Foreign Relations. Boot characteristically has never served in the U.S. military but likes war a lot. In 2012 he co-authored “5 Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now.” He is a reliable Russia and Putin basher.

Max Boot’s articles are smears of Donald Trump from top to bottom. The “closing in” piece calls for establishment of a special counsel to investigate every aspect of the Trump Team/Russian relationship. Along the way, it makes its case to come to that conclusion by accepting every single worst case scenario regarding Trump as true. Yes, per Boot “Putin was intervening in the presidential election to help Trump.” And President Barack Obama could not possibly have “interfered with the lawful workings of the FBI.” As is always the case, not one shred of evidence is produced to demonstrate that anyone associated with Donald Trump somehow became a Russian useful idiot, but Boot assumes that the White House is now being run out of the Kremlin.

Max is certainly fun to read but on a more serious note, the National Review is working hard to make us forget about employing the expression “neocon” because it is apparently rarely understood by the people who use the term. Plus its implied meaning is anti-Semitic in nature, something that David Brooks in an article pretty much denying that neocons really exist suggested thirteen years ago when he postulated that it was shorthand for “Jewish conservative.”

National Review actually searched hard to find a gentile who could write the piece, one Kevin D. Williamson, who is described as a “roving correspondent” for the magazine. His article is entitled “Word Games: The Right Discovers the Deep State.” Williamson begins by observing that using “neocon” disparagingly in the post-9/11 context acts either “as a kind of catalyst enabling a political reaction that revived a great many stupid and ugly myths about Jewish bankers orchestrating wars for profit…” or serves as a standby expression for a “Jew with politics I don’t like.”

Interestingly, I have never heard the “Jewish bankers” theory or disparagement of Jewish “politics” from the many responsible critics who have been dismayed by the aberrant U.S. foreign policy that has evolved since 2001. I don’t know how much money Goldman Sachs has made since the World Trade Center went down and that is not really the issue, nor is the fact that Jews overwhelmingly vote Democratic, which is a party that I don’t particularly like. Williamson dodges the increasingly held view that America slid into the abyss when Washington declared war on the entire world and invaded Iraq based on a tissue of lies, in large part to benefit Israel, which is what matters and why the enabling role of the neocons is important.

And one might reasonably argue that U.S. policy since that time has nearly always deferred to Israeli interests, most recently declaring its prime mission at the U.N. to be protecting Israel, then acting on that premise by forcing the resignation of a senior official who had prepared a report critical of Israel’s “apartheid” regime. I recognize that relatively few American Jews are neocons and that many American Jews are in the forefront in resistance to Israel’s inhumane policies, but the reality is that nearly all neocons are Jewish. And they are in your face every time you turn on the television or pick up a newspaper. Abrasive and abusive Professor Alan Dershowitz recently proclaimed that Jews should never apologize for Jewish power, saying that it is deserved and granted by God, but I for one think it is past time for a little pushback from the rest of us to make Washington protect American interests instead of those of Israel.

The neocon cult has been behind the promotion of Israel as well as the serial foreign policy misadventures since 2001. Do the names Perle, Feith, Wolfowitz, Abrams, Edelman, Ledeen, Senor, Libby and Nuland in and around the government as well as a host of others in think tanks and lobbies like AIPAC, AEI, WINEP, PNAC, FPI, FDD, JINSA and Hudson ring a bell? And do the loud voices in the media to include Judith Miller, Robert Kaplan, Charles Krauthammer, Jennifer Rubin, Fred Hiatt, Bret Stephens, Bill Kristol, the Kagans and the Podhoretzes, as well as the entire Washington Post and Wall Street Journal editorial pages, suggest any connivance?

They are all Jews and many are connected in terms of their careers, which were heavily networked from the inside to advance them up the ladder, often to include moving between government and lucrative think tank and academic positions. They mostly self-identify as neoconservatives and all share some significant traits, notably extreme dedication to Israel and embrace of the doctrine that the U.S. should not be shy about using military force, so it is interesting to learn from Williamson that they really do not constitute a cohesive group with shared values and interests as well as excellent access to the media and the levers of power. When did you last see an “expert” on the Middle East on television who was not Jewish?

Having made his pithy comments and dismissed neoconservatism-phobes as bigots, Williamson then wanders off subject into the Deep State, which, like neoconism apparently is some kind of urban legend being propagated by the poorly informed, whom these days he identifies as Trump supporters. He argues that the entities that are frequently cited as the Deep State, including the neocons, actually have quite divergent interests and it is unlikely that those interests should become “identical or aligned” to enable running of the country in an essentially clandestine fashion.

It is perhaps inevitable that Williamson is confused as he does not recognize how the American Deep State differs from that in most other countries – it is perhaps better described as the Establishment. Unlike in places like Turkey, it operates largely out in the open and ostensibly legally along a New York-Washington axis that constantly revitalizes itself through the revolving door allowing the entry of politicians and high government officials who create and enforce the legislation that benefits Deep State interests. Its components do indeed have different motives, but they come together in preserving the status quo, which benefits all parties, while little dissent comes from the Fourth Estate as the process plays out, since much of the media and many of the proliferating Washington think tanks that provide Deep State “intellectual” credibility are also part of the same malignancy. And yes, quite a bit of today’s Establishment is Jewish, most particularly financial and legal services, the think tanks, and academia. Many of them support or are part of the neocon persuasion and frequently also of the Israel Lobby.

Continued here

‘US military budget requires an enemy’: Sanctions imposed on 8 Russian defense & aviation firms

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