Netanyahu Admits Israel has broken International Law, confident he will be protected by an U.S. veto at the UN

Netanyahu Admits to ‘Dozens’ of Syria Strikes, Attacks EU

Netanyahu Admits to ‘Dozens’ of Syria Strikes, Attacks EU in ‘Hot Mic’ Moment

Comments Were Made in Closed Door Meeting, But Microphone Was Still On

Some see it as an embarrassing blunder, while others view it as a carefully orchestrated political effort. Either way, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a series of undiplomatic comments during a closed-door meeting, the entirely of which was heard by reporters outside because Netanyahu left his microphone on.

In the course of his comments, Netanyahu confirmed “dozens” of Israeli military attacks against “Iranian-backed groups” inside Syria, a major shift from Israel’s long-standing stance of refusing to comment on virtually all reports they attacked Syria.

He also angrily attacked the European Union, calling the organization “insane”and accusing them of actively working to undermine Israel, and warning “Europe is undermining its own security by undermining Israel.” He also called former US President Obama “a big problem.”

While this risks further discrediting Israeli claims of “neutrality” on Syria, and harming Israel-EU ties in the near term, some are suggesting that Netanyahu deliberately made the comments to a live mic, believing the statements would further ingratiate him to President Trump.

The assumption is that Trump is so ideologically opposed to Europe and to the Obama Administration, that any “closed door” attack on them would please him, and further reinforce the notion that Netanyahu is on “his side” both publicly and behind the scenes

What a surprise! Poll: U.K. Is Starting to Regret Brexit

Source

A majority of British voters believe Brexit was the wrong decision.

A shock Survation survey, which interviewed 1,017 British adults by telephone between June 28 and 30, indicated that a clear majority of Brits (54 per cent) would U-turn and vote to stay in the European Union if another referendum was held.

According to the poll, 36 per cent of Brits also said it is best to stop exit talks altogether and work to stay in the crumbling European bloc, while around a third backed paying a fee for access to the tariff-free customs union.

Less than a quarter of people (24 per cent) backed the Government’s current position of leaving the customs union in order to strike free trade deals with other countries.

Most of those asked (55 per cent) also want a cross-party coalition of parties to negotiate the UK’s exit from the EU.

Yet despite a disastrous showing in the General Election, Theresa May (51 per cent) is still trusted more than Jeremy Corbyn (35 per cent) as to who Britons believe will secure the best deal for Britain.

What I Hear in Every European Country I Visit: The Politicians Are All in Bed with the Israeli Government

What I Hear in Every European Country I Visit: The Politicians Are All in Bed with the Israeli Government

By Miko Peled | American Herald Tribune | July 3, 2017

I recently returned from a ten – day speaking tour in Europe, to launch the German language translation of “The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.” I had lectures to German speaking audiences and even and interviews with main stream media outlets. The tour also included two lectures in Italy, one in Milan and one in the small town of Biella, which of course were not related to the German edition. All the lectures were well attended and people did not mind sitting through the extreme hot weather plaguing Europe this summer or the lengthy process of translation – indeed the audiences sat for hours and listened and then remained for lengthy discussions and Q&A sessions.

This was the latest of many speaking tours I have had in Europe and there is a line that I hear and that is repeated in every European country I visit: “Here in (fill in the blank) the Zionist lobby is very strong, the politicians are all in bed with the Israeli government and media will not report on Palestine.” This stands in contrast to the prevailing opinion which is, that in Europe there is a strong Palestine solidarity movement. That people in general are sympathetic to the cause of justice for Palestine and the BDS movement has recorded serious accomplishments in Europe. And yet, it is true that European governments and mainstream media and the EU as a body are fully supportive of Israel and collaborate with Israel on every level which means that there is an enormous gap between the politicians and their constituents on this issue.

One example of the official and perhaps true attitude of the European Union to Israel and the issue of “illegal settlements” is the following: In the spring of 2016 a conference was held in Jerusalem under the title of “How to Fight the BDS.” I was in Jerusalem at the time and decided to attend. After all, Israeli television news channel 10 described me as a leader of the BDS movement and “the nightmare of the Israeli Hasbara,” two claims in which there is very little truth. The event was very well attended and among the many panels there was one that included the European Union ambassador to Tel Aviv, his Excellency, Lars Faaborg-Andersen. The ambassador was asked about the EU law demanding that products made in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank be labeled indicating that they are not made in Israel but in the West Bank. “We welcome the products from the Settlements” the ambassador responded, “the labeling is merely for accuracy.”

There have been several attempts by the European states and the EU to pacify the pro-Palestinian sentiment and surprisingly, they seem to have worked. One such attempt is the recognition by several European governments and parliaments of a Palestinian state. This recognition is received by many supporters of the Palestinian cause as a reason to rejoice, a reason to feel that justice is being served. But the recognition of a state that does not exist does nothing to promote justice for Palestinians or change the reality in Palestine. The recognition of a fictional Palestinian state does not change the fact that for seven decades Palestine is occupied, Palestinians are subjected to genocide, ethnic cleansing and are forced to live in an apartheid regime. In fact, even the name Palestine has all but been erased off the map and the area recognized as what may one day be a Palestinian state, i.e., the West Bank, is now Judea and Samaria and has – much like all other parts of Palestine – been settled by Jews and, with the exception of some three million Palestinians living there, has been fully integrated into the state of Israel.

So what has this recognition done? Nothing but placate, sedate and allow the Zionist regime to go on with its policies of extermination and dispossession. Instead of recognizing and declaring that Palestine is occupied and should be freed from the regime that has been on a mission to destroy it and its people, the Europeans have recognized a state that has no defined boundaries, no capital, no citizenry and certainly no sovereignty. But as former colonizers themselves, the European states are quite accustomed to the practice of imposing puppet regimes that have no authority or real legitimacy, recognizing a so called state and then doing with it as they will. This is what they are now allowing Israel – a settler colonial project – to do.

The other placating measure was the law that prohibits the labeling of products made in Jewish settlements in the West Bank as made in Israel. This law, as it happens exists in the US as well since the Clinton Administration. It was reiterated by the Obama administration in 2016, and as JPost reported, “The move signals the Obama administration’s continued resistance to folding recognition of settlement products into goods made within Israel’s pre-1967 borders.” but US government officials claimed this was only for providing guidance and is in no way a boycott “or anything like that.”

This ridiculous demand for labeling forces all involved to put forward enormous efforts to define what is “Israeli proper,” or “Legal Israel” as opposed to the expanded or “greater” Israel which includes the West Bank and the Gaza strip. Where do the occupied territories begin and which of the illegal settlements are to be labeled? Are the settlements that are attached to East Jerusalem legal or illegal? What about products that are grown in other areas but get their water from the West Bank which has an enormous water reservoir from which Israel gets much of its water? But in reality there is no West Bank and there is no “Israel proper.” Whichever way we choose to look at it, all of Israel is occupied Palestine, and all of Palestine is occupied. There is no more a line that defines any single area within Palestine that is not part of the State of Israel. So, its either all legal and acceptable or all illegal and unacceptable.

If we take a moment to discuss the US, in what is a bizarre chain of events, we should thank Donald Trump’s ignorance and his close advisors’ hawkish stance on Israel for changing the conversation on Israel and bringing its apartheid nature of the state into the forefront. In his ignorance Trump suggested that any solution is fine with him, one state, two state – whatever. His advisors, the son-in-law Jared Kushner and his ambassador to Israel David Friedman who have funded and supported settlements and even the notorious IDF, have allowed the conversation to move far away from a two-state solution. This can only mean one thing: Is it going to be a democracy which will require equal rights for Palestinians or an apartheid state with a US stamp of approval? Arguably Kushner and Friedman have no problem with the latter, but now the truth is out and clearly there is no third option.

But the European approach is a more subtle one. Labeling the products of Jewish settlements and pretending that there is such a place as the West Bank, and that Israel must not settle Jews in that West Bank while pretending there is a Palestinian state and at the same time arming and funding Israel as it continues to execute its policies of genocide, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. It is what you might call win-win except that Israel is always winning and the Palestinians keep losing. The US – for comparison sake – wouldn’t dream of recognizing a Palestinian state and blatantly and unapologetically arms and supports Israel even though this violates US law.

The spineless attitude towards Israel and the lack of regard for human rights and human lives that are expressed both by the US and the EU create a reality in which anyone who does not stand clearly in opposition to Israel is in fact complicit with Israeli crimes. And while the European approach is somewhat different than that of the US, the result is the same – in both cases the governments work closely with Israel and ignore the plight of the Palestinian people. This places greater demands on people of conscience who need to act, to organize until the political climate is such that supporting Israel is political suicide.

Why is the EU funding israeli torturers?

Why is the EU funding Israeli torturers?

 

EU research chief Carlos Moedas meets the Israeli prime minister during a May visit to celebrate Israel’s role in Horizon 2020, an EU research program that funds torturers. (via European Union in Israel)

The European Union is illegally funding Israeli torturers and must stop, a group of prominent international legal experts has concluded.

They say that the LAW-TRAIN program violates EU regulations and international law because one of the participants, Israel’s public security ministry, “is responsible for or complicit in torture, other crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

LAW-TRAIN began in May 2015 with the ostensible aim of “harmonizing and sharing interrogation techniques between the countries involved in order to face the new challenges in transnational criminality.”

It is funded through an EU research program called Horizon 2020, which has also channeled millions of dollars to Israel’s arms industry.

Extensive use of torture

LAW-TRAIN involves Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, the Israeli public security ministry, Belgium’s Catholic University of Leuven, the Belgian justice ministry, Spain’s Civil Guard paramilitary police and the Romanian police. Its advisory board includes Cornelia Geldermans, a prosecutor in the Netherlands.

Portugal was originally involved, but pulled out last year in the face of mounting public opposition to Israel’s role in the EU program.

LAW-TRAIN is scheduled to run until April 2018 and half of its nearly $6 million budget will go to the Israeli participants.

“The use of torture by Israeli interrogators has been extensively documented in the international and Israeli press and confirmed by international investigators and by Israeli interrogators themselves,” Michel Waelbroeck, the author of the legal opinion and a member of the Institute of International Law, stated. “In June 2016, the UN Committee against Torture denounced Israel’s use of torture and its illegal, abusive techniques during interrogations by its police and prison staff.”

The opinion is endorsed by 25 international legal experts and jurists, including former UN human rights investigators Richard Falk and John Dugard, and Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, a former Dutch deputy prime minister and former director general at the European Commission.

Israel has a well-documented record of torture, including against children, and has systematically failed to investigate complaints of abuse.

Illegal funding

In February, hundreds of Belgian academics and artists urged their government to end its support for LAW-TRAIN, and questions have been raised about the project in the European Parliament.

Human rights organizations from Palestine, Belgium and Spain have also written to EU officials expressing concern about the support for Israeli entities engaged in torture.

As opposition to LAW-TRAIN grew, the European Commission, the EU’s executive bureaucracy, conducted an evaluation by an “independent expert panel” that concluded the program had “Good to excellent compliance” with EU laws, including the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

But the legal experts say that the review ignored key EU regulations that ban funding to individuals or organizations that engage in “grave professional misconduct” such as torture.

The legal experts conclude that because Israel’s public security ministry is “guilty of grave and continuing breaches” of European and international prohibitions on torture, the EU funding is illegal.

But far from taking action to hold Israel accountable for torture, Carlos Moedas, the EU’s head of research, recently visited Israel to celebrate its involvement in Horizon 2020.

Protest in France

While top EU officials tighten their embrace of Israel’s regime of occupation, apartheid and settler-colonialism over Palestinians, European citizens are continuing to urge an end to such complicity.

Activists from BDS France held this protest outside the pavilion of the Israeli arms maker Elbit Systems at the Paris Air Show on Saturday.

The protesters can be seen in the video staging a “die-in” and holding a banner denouncing Israel for testing its weapons on Palestinians.

The protesters called for an arms embargo, an end to military cooperation with Israel and support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.

Elbit is a major manufacturer of drones that Israel has used to kill Palestinian civilians. It was contracted by the Obama administration to provide surveillance technology along the US-Mexico border.

Elbit has also been a big recipient of European Union funds.

Understanding Russia: The Continuum of History

June 20, 2017

by Yameen KhanUnderstanding Russia: The Continuum of History

The United States is actively committed to bring Russia into submission via encirclement and a two pronged attack.

NATO’s expansion of bases in vassal states right up to Russia’s borders, coupled with an attempt at encroachment in Syria, should allow The Hegemon to undermine Russia’s underbelly from the Caucasus to Central Asia.

To understand how Russians usually respond to Western power a little time travel, starting 1219 AD, is more than useful.

This was a time when a cataclysmic event left deep scars on the Russian character; an abiding fear of encirclement, whether by nomadic hordes then or by nuclear missile bases today.

Russia then was not a single state but consisted of a dozen principalities frequently at war with each other. Between 1219 and 1240 all these fell to the Genghis Khan hurricane, whose lightning-speed cavalry with his horse-borne archers, employing brilliant tactics unfamiliar to Europeans, caught army after army off guard and forced them into submission.

For more than 200 years Russians suffered under the Golden Horde of the Mongol – named after their great tent with golden poles. They left the Russian economy in ruins, brought commerce and industry to a halt, and reduced Russians to serfdom. Asiatic ways of administration and customs were superimposed on the existing Byzantine system.

Taking full advantage of its military weakness and of its reduced circumstances, Russia’s European neighbors started to help themselves to its territory, starting with German principalities, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden. The Mongols couldn’t care less so long as they received their tribute. They were more concerned with their Asiatic dominions.

Still, European cities did not match the riches of Samarkand and Bukhara, Herat and Baghdad, whose incomparable wealth and splendor outshone wooden-built Russian cities.

Russia’s greatest fear begins here – crushed between their European foes to the West and the Mongols to the East. Russians were to develop a paranoid dread of invasion and encirclement which has tormented their foreign relations ever since. Hardly ever has an experience left such deep and ever-lasting scars on a nation’s psyche as this cataclysm did on Russians. This explains, among other things, their stoical acceptance of harsh rule at home.

And then came Ivan III – the man who freed the Russians from the Golden Horde.

Muscovy then was a small provincial town overshadowed by and subservient to its powerful neighbors. In return for allegiance and subservience locals were gradually entrusted with more power and freedom by the unsuspecting Mongols. Over time the Principality of Muscovy grew in strength and size, eventually to dominate all its neighbors.

In 1476 Ivan refused to pay the customary tribute to the grand Khan Ahmed. In a fit of rage Ivan trampled the portrait of Ahmed and put several of his envoys to death.

The showdown came in autumn 1480 when the Khan marched with his army to teach a vassal a lesson, but was astonished to find a large well-equipped force awaiting him on the far bank of the River Ugra, 150 miles from Moscow. For weeks the two armies glowered at one another, neither side wanting to make the first move.

The stakes were clear. Ivan did not need to cross the river. He would change the course of history if he did not lose. A stalemate could become a turning point in history.

For Ahmed Khan there is no choice. He must cross the river and engage. Win or die like Tariq ibin Ziyad in 711 AD, another age and time, when a brilliant Arab general landed on the ‘rock of Hercules’ subsequently called by Arab Historians ‘Jabal Tariq’, meaning the ‘mountain of Tariq’ and later anglicized as Gibraltar.

Tariq, by one master stratagem, with a much smaller force (12,000 against 90,000 Spaniards) at the Battle of Guadalete defeated Roderic and thus opened the road for the subsequent Arab commanders to march all the way to Tours in France.

With the arrival of winter, the river began to freeze. A ferocious battle appeared inevitable. And then something extraordinary happened. Perhaps a miracle. Without warning both sides turned and fled in panic. Despite their inglorious act, the Russians knew that their long subservience was over.

The Khan had lost his stomach for a fight. The once invincible Mongol might had evaporated. Their centralized authority in the West had now collapsed, leaving three widely separated khanates (Kazan, Astrakhan and Crimea) as their last remnants of the once mighty and the largest contiguous land empire in history.

It was in 1553 when Ivan the Terrible, a successor of Ivan III, thirsting for revenge, stormed the fortress of Kazan on the upper Volga, slaughtered its defenders and thus ended the Mongol rule. Two years later the Khanate of Astrakhan, where the Volga flows into the Caspian met with similar fate.

Starving Napoleon’s army

Fast forward to June 1812, and the fateful day, the 24th , when Napoleon’s Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army.

Napoleon’s aim was to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to stop trading with British merchants through proxies and bring about pressure on the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The overt political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia (as the US claims of Eastern Europe today). Thus the campaign was named the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretense for his actions.

The real aim was domination of Russia.

The Grande Armée was massive; 680,000 soldiers. Through a series of marches Napoleon rushed the army rapidly through Western Russia in an attempt to bring the Russian army to battle, and in August of that year winning a number of minor engagements and a major battle at Smolensk.

Any invading army must consider war in Russia as a war at sea. It is futile to occupy land or city or cities. The aim of an invading force must be to destroy the military machine of Russia. The aim of Russian commanders has always been to survive and use its vast land mass to exhaust its enemy, learn from him and defeat and annihilate him with his own tactics and stratagems, only better executed.

Napoleon engaged the Russian army for a decisive battle at Maloyaroslavets. The Russians would not commit themselves to a pitched battle. His troops exhausted, with few rations, no winter clothing, and his remaining horses in poor condition, Napoleon was forced to retreat.

He hoped to reach supplies at Smolensk and later at Vilnius. In the weeks that followed the Grande Armée starved and suffered from the onset of “General Winter”. Lack of food and fodder for the horses, hypothermia from the bitter cold and persistent attacks upon isolated troops from Russian peasants and Cossacks led to great losses in men, and a general loss of discipline and cohesion in the army.

When Napoleon’s army crossed the Berezina River in November, only 27,000 fit soldiers remained. The Grand Armée had lost some 380,000 men dead and 100,000 captured. A riveting defeat.

All those Afghan overt – and covert – wars

Four centuries after the cataclysm of the Mongol invasion, the Russian Empire had been steadily expanding at the rate of 55 square miles a day – or 20,000 square miles a year. At the dawn of the 19thcentury only 2,000 miles separated the British and the Russian empires in Asia.

Both the Russians and the East India Company (as in the British Indian Empire) sent their officers, businessmen in disguise, as Buddhist priests or Muslim holy men, to survey uncharted Central Asia.

One such chap was Captain Arthur Connolly of the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry in the service of the British East India Company. The East India Company was the British version of America’s Halliburton.

Connolly ended up beheaded as a spy by the orders of Alim Khan, the Emir of Bukhara. It was Connolly who coined the expression “The Great Game”, which Kipling immortalized in his novel “Kim”.

By the end of the 19th century the Tsars’ armies had swallowed one Khanate after another and only a few hundred miles separated the two empires. In some places the distance was only twenty miles.

The British feared that they would lose their Indian possessions – the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ – to the Tsar; and two theories emerged to defend the frontiers of British India.

The ‘forward policy’ and its proponents (hawks, today’s US neocons) argued to stop the Russians beyond India’s frontiers by getting there first, either by invasion, or by creating compliant ‘buffer’ states, or satellites, astride the likely invasion route.

But there were those who did not buy this proposition and did not believe that the Russians would invade India. The opponents of the ‘forward policy’ argued that India’s best defense lay in its unique geographical setting – bordered by impassable mountain ranges, mighty rivers, waterless deserts, and above all warlike tribes.

A Russian force which reached India surmounting all these obstacles would be so weakened by then that it would be no match for the waiting British Army. Therefore, it was more sensible to force an invader to overextend his lines of communications than for the British to risk theirs. And above all this policy was cheaper.

NATO today has a forward policy of deploying troops all over Eastern Europe and creating bases around Russia in an effort to encircle it. The final straw for the Russian Federation has been the occupation of Ukraine, by proxy, by Washington.

Guess who won the policy debate in 19th century Britain? The hawks (the US neocons of today), of course.

In 1838 Lord Auckland decides to replace the current Emir of Afghanistan, Dost Muhammad Khan with Shuja-ul-Mulk.

One could easily replace Dost Muhammad of Afghanistan in 1838 with today’s Gaddafi of Libya or Saddam Hussein of Iraq or Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Or Putin of Russia. Or anyone who becomes an obstacle to the West’s geopolitical, geoeconomic domination.

And yet the British suffered a massive defeat after a year’s occupation of Afghanistan. The only soldier who eventually reached Jalalabad was William Brydon. The Afghans may have spared him so he would be able to tell the tale of this horrific defeat.

You would think the British would have learned from history. Not at all. They did it again.

Tension between Russia and Britain in Europe ended in June 1878 with the Congress of Berlin. Russia then turned its attention to Central Asia, promptly sending an uninvited diplomatic mission to Kabul.

Sher Ali Khan, the Emir of Afghanistan (the son of Emir Dost Muhammad Khan) tried unsuccessfully to keep them out. Russian envoys arrived in Kabul on July 22, 1878, and on August 14, the British demanded that Sher Ali accept a British mission too.

The Emir not only refused to receive a British mission under Neville Bowles Chamberlain, but threatened to stop it if it were dispatched. Lord Lytton, the viceroy, ordered a diplomatic mission to set out for Kabul in September 1878 but the mission was turned back as it approached the eastern entrance of the Khyber Pass, triggering the Second Anglo–Afghan War.

After several defeats in various battles except one, and thus abandoning the provocative policy of maintaining a British resident in Kabul, the British were forced to withdraw.

One would think the British would have enough sense to cease with the stupid policy of occupying Afghanistan. Not at all. They tried it for the third time.

The Third Afghan War began on May 6, 1919 and ended with an armistice on August 8, 1919. An Afghan victory, again.

The British finally abandoned their forward policy. It had failed – just as the American neocons “policy” is failing.

And yet, roughly 60 years later the Russians would don the madman’s (British) hat and on December 25th, 1979, launched a vertical envelopment and occupied Kabul.

Their main aim was the airbase at Shindand, about 200 miles as the crow flies from the Straits of Hormuz, the choke point of the Persian Gulf, through which at the time 90% of the world’s oil was flowing.

They placed 200 Bear Bombers – the equivalent of the US B-52’s – as if sending a message to President Carter: “Checkmate”. A certain game was over – and a covert war was about to begin.

As our historical trip takes us from The Great Game to the Cold War, by now it’s more than established that the United States took on the mantle of the British Empire and filled in the power vacuum left by the British. If Connolly were to come back during the Cold War he would be right at home – as the Cold War was a continuation of the Great Game.

In between, of course, there was a guy named Hitler.

After Napoleon, it was Hitler who considered the Russians as barbarians and despite a nonaggression pact invaded Russia.

The Second Great European War (GEW II) was in fact fought between Germany and the USSR. Germany deployed 80% of its economic and military resources on its Eastern Front compared to 20% against the rest of the allies on the Western Front, where it was merely a ‘fire brigade operation’ (Hitler’s words).

Paul Carell describes the moment when, at 0315 on June 22nd 1941, the massive ‘Operation Barbarossa’ over a 900-mile front went under way.

“As though a switch had been thrown a gigantic flash of lightening rent the night. Guns of all calibres simultaneously belched fire. The tracks of tracer shells streaked across the sky. As far as the eye could see the front on the Bug was a sea of flames and flashes. A moment later the deep thunder of the guns swept over the tower of Volka Dobrynska like a steamroller. The whine of the mortar batteries mingled eerily with the rumble of the guns. Beyond the Bug a sea of fire and smoke was raging. The narrow sickle of the moon was hidden by a veil of cloud. Peace was dead.”

Bagration revisited

Russians are masters of Sun Tzu: “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

These principles were recently applied in Ukraine and Crimea. For background, one just needs to study the battle of Kursk as well as Operation Bagration.

The Soviet military doctrine of maskirovka was developed in the 1920s, and used by Zhukov in the 1939 Battles of Khalkhin Gol against Japan.

The Field Regulations of the Red Army (1929) stated that:

“Surprise has a stunning effect on the enemy. For this reason all troop operations must be accomplished with the greatest concealment and speed.”

Concealment was to be attained by confusing the enemy with movements, camouflage and use of terrain, speed, use of night and fog, and secrecy.

Operation Bagration – the Soviet destruction of the German Army Group Centre – was, arguably, the single most successful military action of the entire war. This vital Soviet offensive is symptomatic of the lack of public knowledge in the West about the war in the East. Whilst almost everyone has heard of D-Day, few people other than specialist historians know much about Operation Bagration.

Yet the sheer size of Bagration dwarfs that of D-Day.

“Army Group Centre was really the anchor of that whole German front,’ writes Professor Geoffrey Wawro, ‘blocking the shortest path to Berlin; and the Russians annihilated it at the same time as we were landing on D-Day and marching on, liberating Paris and then heading towards Germany. But the scope of the fighting was much bigger in the East.

You had ten times as many Russians fighting in Bagration as you had Anglo/American/Canadian troops landing on the Normandy beaches.

And you had three times as many Germans in action fighting trying to hold up the Russian advance as you had defending the Atlantic Wall.

So, it’s a perfect encapsulation of the problem (of lack of appreciation of the scale of fighting on the Eastern Front). I mean, think about it, when D-Day and Bagration jumped off, the allied armies in Normandy and the Russian armies on the Eastern Front were equidistant from Berlin, and in the German view they were sort of equal threats.

After Operation Bagration, Russia is seen as being the principal threat because they just kicked down the door altogether and reoccupied all the ground that was lost in 1941. They take most of Poland and they move into East Prussia and they’re at the very gates of Berlin while we’re still slogging our way through Normandy and towards Paris.”

Operation Bagration was a colossal victory for the Red Army. By the 3rd of July Soviet forces had recaptured Minsk, capital of Belorussia, a city which had been in German hands for three years. And by the end of July the Red Army had pushed into what had been, before the war, Polish territory, and had taken Lwow, the major cultural center of eastern Poland.

Before Operation Barbarossa, the German High Command masked the creation of the massive force arrayed to invade the USSR and heightened their diplomatic efforts to convince Joseph Stalin that they were about to launch a major attack on Britain.

Maskirovka (deception) was put into practice on a large scale in the Battle of Kursk, especially on the Steppe Front commanded by Ivan Konev.

The result was that the Germans attacked Russian forces four times stronger than they were expecting.

The German general Friedrich von Mellenthin wrote, “The horrible counter-attacks, in which huge masses of manpower and equipment took part, were an unpleasant surprise for us… The most clever camouflage of the Russians should be emphasized again. We did not .. detect even one minefield or anti-tank area until .. the first tank was blown up by a mine or the first Russian anti-tank guns opened fire”.

Broadly, military deception may take both strategic and tactical forms. Deception across a strategic battlefield was uncommon until the modern age (particularly in the world wars of the 20th century), but tactical deception (on individual battlefields) dates back to early history.

In a practical sense military deception employs visual misdirection, misinformation (for example, via double agents) and psychology to make the enemy believe something that is untrue. The use of military camouflage, especially on a large scale, is a form of deception.

The Russian loanword maskirovka (literally: masking) is used to describe the Soviet Union and Russia’s military doctrine of surprise through deception, in which camouflage plays a significant role.

There are numerous examples of deception activities employed throughout the history of warfare, such as: feigned retreat leading the enemy, through a false sense of security, into a pre-positioned ambush; fictional units creating entirely fictional forces or exaggerating the size of an army; smoke screen – a tactical deception involving smoke, fog, or other forms of cover to hide battlefield movements; Trojan Horse – gaining admittance to a fortified area under false pretenses, to later admit a larger attacking force; strategic envelopment – where a small force distracts the enemy while a much larger force moves to attack from the rear (that was a favored tactic of Napoleon’s).

And that brings us to Syria, and its importance to Russia.

The deep state in Washington wants to keep the entire spectrum from the Levant to the Indian sub-continent destabilized – shaping it as the platform to send sparks of terrorism North to Russia and East to China. At the same time the US military will keep a physical presence (if China, India and Russia will allow it) in Afghanistan, from where it can survey the Eurasian land mass. As a master geopolitical chess player, Putin is very much aware of all this.

Syria is right at the underbelly of Russia and would be strategically important if it were in the hands of remote-controlled thugs like Ukraine is today. It has the potential to destabilize Russia from the Caucasus to Central Asia – generating as many Salafi-jihadi terrorists as possible. The region from the Caucasus to Central Asia holds about 80 million Muslims. Russia has enough reasons to stop US advances in Syria and Ukraine. Not to mention that in Iraqi Kurdistan the Pentagon is aiming to build a mega base, a springboard to create mischief in Central Asia for both Russia and China, in the form, for instance, of an Uyghur uprising in Western China, like it has done in Ukraine for Russia.

Once again; it may be helpful to look back to the continuum of history. It tells us these current efforts to encircle and destabilize Russia are destined to fail. (edited by Pepe Escobar)

Selected bibliography:

Carell, Paul: Hitler’s War on Russia (George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., London, 1964).
Fraser-Tytler, W.K.: Afghanistan: A Study of Political Developments in Central Asia (Oxford University Press, London, 1950).
Hopkirk, Peter: Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for Lost Cities and Treasures of Chinese Central Asia (First Published by John Murry (Publisher), 1980; First issued as an Oxford University Press, paperback 1980, Oxford).
Tzu, Sun: The Art of War (Edited with an introduction by Dallas Galvin; Translated from Chinese by Lionel Giles, First Published in 1910, Produced by Fine Creative Media, Inc. New Yor
Gibbon, Edward: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume III (Random House Inc. Manufactured in the United States by H. Wolf).
Weatherford, Jack: Genghis Khan and the making of the Modern World (Three Rivers Press, New York).
Wawro, Geoffrey: WW2.com (Professor of Military History at the University of North Texas).

The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans

The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans

The Reason Behind the US Government’s Secret Hatred of Europeans

The reason for the US government’s hostility — at least since 4 February 2014 —toward Europeans, has been a mystery, until now.

This hostility wasn’t even publicly recognized at all, until it leaked out, on that date, from a tapped phone-line of arguably the most powerful person at the US State Department, the person whom American President Barack Obama had personally entrusted with running his Administration’s most geostrategically sensitive secret foreign operations (and she did it actually throughout almost the entirety of Obama’s eight years in office, regardless of whom the official US Secretary of State happened to be at the time): Victoria Nuland.

Her official title was «Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs» and she was appointed to that post by the President himself, but nominally she reported to him through the Deputy Secretary of State William Joseph Burns, who reported to the Secretary of State, who, in turn, reported to the President.

She ran policies specifically on Ukraine (and, more broadly, against Russia). In the famous leaked phone call that she made on 4 February 2014 to the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, she instructed him to place in charge of Ukraine’s government, once America’s coup in Ukraine would be completed (which then occurred 18 days later and overthrew the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, entirely in violation of Ukraine’s own Constitution), «Yats» or Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He did, immediately after the coup was completed, receive this crucial appointment — basically, the power to control all other top appointments in the new Ukrainian government. With this appointment, the coup, which had started by no later than 2011 to be planned inside the US State Department, was effectively completed.

In this phone call, Nuland said «F—k the EU!» and no one, at the time, paid much attention to what this outburst was all about, but only that it sounded shockingly undiplomatic. Finally, however, clear evidence has now emerged, concerning what it was actually about. 

This crucial evidence consists of a refusal (at long last) by both Germany and Austria, to ratchet-up further, as the US regime now demands, economic sanctions against Russia, sanctions that are a key part of America’s plan ultimately to conquer Russia — a plan that’s been carried out consistently by all US federal governments since the moment, on the night of 24 February 1990, when US President George Herbert Walker Bush himself secretly announced it to West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and afterward to other US vassal-heads-of-state — that, though the Soviet Union was already irrevocably in the process of ending the Cold War against the US and its allies, the US and its allies would secretly continue that war, henceforth, against Russia, until Russia itself would be conquered. He was implicitly informing them, there, that the Cold War, on the US side, wasn’t really about ideology (capitalist versus communist), but instead, was actually a long war for conquest, of the entire world (now it would be to strip Russia of its allies, and then to go in for the kill), by the US aristocracy and its vassal aristocracies (whom those European leaders represented).

On 15 June 2017, the Associated Press headlined «Germany, Austria slam US sanctions against Russia», and reported that both of those US vassal-nations, while paying obeisance to the imperial master, were not going to proceed further all the way to destruction of their own major oil and gas companies, in order to please that master:

In a joint statement, Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was important for Europe and the United States to form a united front on the issue of Ukraine, where Russian-based separatists have been fighting government forces since 2014.

«However, we can’t accept the threat of illegal and extraterritorial sanctions against European companies», the two officials said, citing a section of the bill that calls for the United States to continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would pump Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea. Half of the cost of the new pipeline is being paid for by Russian gas giant Gazprom, while the other half is being shouldered by a group including Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell, French provider Engie, OMV of Austria and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. Some Eastern European countries, including Poland and Ukraine, fear the loss of transit revenue if Russian gas supplies don’t pass through their territory anymore once the new pipeline is built.

Gabriel and Kern accuse the US of trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. They said the possibility of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project «introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations».

Currently, and for a very long time, the leading energy-supplier to the EU has been Russia, in the forms of oil and, especially, natural gas, both of which are transported into the EU via an extensive network of pipelines, most of which travel through Ukraine, which is a major reason why the US rulers wanted to take over Ukraine — in order to stop that, or at least to cause a necessity for Russia to build alternative pipelines (which the US regime would likewise do everything to block from happening) — but now both Germany and Austria are saying no to this US effort.

The US regime wants fracked US natural gas to fill an increasing portion of Europe’s needs, and for natural gas from US-allied fundamentalist Sunni royal regimes to fill as much of the rest as possible, so as to squeeze-out the existing top supplier, Russia. (Until recently, the plan was for US ally Qatar, owned by the Thani royal family, to become Europe’s main supplier, via pipelines which would traverse through Syria, for which reason Syria needs to be conquered (so that those pipelines through Syria can be built, perhaps even by American firms). However, the Sauds, who usually run US foreign relations — often with assistance from the Israeli regime, which is far more popular in the United States and also in Europe (and thus serves as the Sauds’ agents in the US and Europe) — have now blockaded Qatar because of Qatar’s insufficient compliance with the Sauds’ demand for total international isolation of Iran and of any other nation where Shia are or might become dominant. (For example, the Sauds bomb Yemen to impose fundamentalist Sunni leadership there and kill the Shia population.) And, so, now, after the break between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, even more than before, the main beneficiaries of cutting off Russian gas-supplies to the EU would be US fracking companies.

However, the big European oil and gas corporations would then play a smaller role in the European market, because those firms have mutual commitments with Gazprom and other Russian giants. The only big winners, now, of increased sanctions against Russia, would thus be US firms.

«Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, and not for the United States of America», Kern and Gabriel said.

Europe already has suffered considerable economic harm from complying with the US on taking over Ukraine, and from absorbing millions of destitute and alien refugees from Syria, Libya, and other countries where the US CIA, and other agencies, fomented the «Arab Spring» to unlock, in those countries, the oil and gas pipeline potential, which, if controlled by the US, would go to US oilfield-services firms such as Halliburton, and not to European ones such as Schlumberger.

Kern and Gabriel — and the local national aristocracies (respectively Austrian, and German) whom they represent — are now speaking publicly about the limits beyond which they will not go in order to obey their US masters.

Consequently, back in February 2014, when the European aristocracies complied with the US aristocracy’s coup in Ukraine even though knowing full well that it was a barbaric and very bloody coup and nothing ‘democratic’ such as the US-manufactured story-line alleged it to have been, those aristocracies accepted the heist because they thought and expected to be cut in on enough of the looting of Ukraine so as to come out ahead on it. But that’s no longer the case. Because of the Sauds’ campaign against the Thanis (the owners of Qatar), the gang are starting to break up. The US gangsters are no longer clearly in control, but are being forced to choose between the Sauds and the Thanis, and have apparently chosen the Sauds. The Sauds financed the 9/11 attacks in the United States, but are the largest foreign purchasers of US-made weapons.

The US aristocracy hate Europeans because the US aristocracy are determined to conquer Russia, and because Europeans aren’t fully cooperating with that overriding US government goal — many EU billionaires want deals with Russia, but America’s billionaires are determined instead to take over Russia, and so the US (and the Sauds) might be losing its traditional support from the EU.

International affairs — US, Russia, Sauds, Thanis, Iran, Germany, UK, etc. — are in unpredictable flux. But Europe seems gradually to be drifting away from the US

And resistant European aristocrats seem to be digging in their heels on this. Here is a translation of a report dated June 17th from the most reliable source of news regarding international relations, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or «German Economic News»:

Eastern Committee: US sanctions against Russia are a threat to Europe

German Economic News | Released:17.06.17 00:36 Clock

The Eastern Committee of the German economy is indignant at the new US sanctions against Russia.

The German companies have sharply criticized the US sanctions against Russia. «The sanctions plans of the US Senate are deeply alarming and, in principle, a threat to the European and German economy», said Klaus Schäfer, Deputy Chairman of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy, on Friday evening in Berlin. «America first is a new dimension to open up international markets to US providers at the expense of European jobs. Furthermore, we consider an extraterritorial application of economic initiatives generally wrong, «he said. In the Eastern Committee, the German companies active in Eastern Europe are organized. The federal government had also clearly criticized the sanction decision.

«Every further turn at the sanctioning screw increases the danger of new trade wars and the uncertainty of the world economy», warned Schäfer. The solution of the Ukraine conflict is not a step closer. A de-escalation on all sides was necessary. He pointed out that the US-Russia trade represented only one-tenth of the EU-Russia trade. «We pay the price of sanctions to Europeans», he criticized. «Implementation of the planned sanctions would make Europe more difficult to provide with favorable energy and inevitably lead to higher prices».

The most remarkable thing about this intensification of economic aggression by the US aristocracy against some of the European aristocracies, is that instead of the aggression being spearheaded this time by the US President, it’s being spearheaded by an almost unanimous US Senate: 97 out of the 100 US Senators voted for this bill. One cannot, this time around, reasonably blame «Donald Trump» for this ‘nationalism’ — it is instead clearly a Cold War, this time, by the US aristocracy (who are represented by the US government), against some European aristocracies, which are paying insufficient obeisance to the demands by the imperial aristocracy: the US gang.

Whereas, at the time of the US coup in Ukraine, the EU swallowed in silence their shock at how brutal and bloody it had been, and stayed with the Americans because the Americans claimed that the takeover would benefit European aristocracies too (‘expand the EU’), the lie about that is now clear to all (and Ukraine has been too wrecked by America, to be of much use to anyone but the Americans as a staging base for their missiles against Moscow), and therefore «the Western Alliance» might finally be breaking up.

The vassal-governments have put up with a lot from the US aristocracy, such as when German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was revealed to be tapped by America’s NSA, and the case was quietly dropped because, «Prosecutors say they can find no actionable evidence to support claims German chancellor’s mobile phone was tapped by US National Security Agency» even though everyone knew that the refusal by Germany’s prosecutors was based upon a lie, and that Germany «remains heavily reliant on the US», and that the US government’s knowing everything that German politicians do, provides against those politicians a blackmail-potential against themselves, that cannot be taken lightly. On the other hand, perhaps there now exists a countervailing force that can outweigh even considerations such as that. Maybe Germany’s billionaires have, somehow, finally become able to turn the tide on this.

EU offers UK a lifeline to stay a member

EU tells UK its door still ‘open’ – EUobserver

France and Germany have said the UK could still stay in the EU, as Britain confirmed that Brexit talks would start on Monday (19 June).

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, made the comment after meeting British prime minister Theresa May in Paris on Tuesday.

“Of course, the [EU] door remains open, always open, until the Brexit negotiations come to an end”, he said.

The German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, told the Bloomberg news agency in Berlin the same day that “if they [the British government] wanted to change their decision, of course, they would find open doors”.

Macron and Schaeuble said they “respect” Britain’s decision to leave.

The French leader said: “I would like the negotiation and then the discussions on the future relationship with the United Kingdom to be launched as soon as possible.”

But he added: “Let us be clear … once negotiations have started we should be well aware that it will be more and more difficult to move backwards.”

Schaeuble added that Germany did not want to punish the UK for leaving. “We will minimise the potential damage and maximise the mutual benefit [of Brexit]”, he said

The EU’s Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, also said on Tuesday that “any further delay [on Brexit negotiations] is a source of instability”.

France and Germany’s “open door” comes after British elections in which May and her hard Brexit manifesto did badly.

She plans to form a coalition with Northern Irish unionists, the DUP, to stay in power, but the political turmoil had put in doubt plans to start Brexit talks next week.

The British prime minister sought to dispel that doubt on Tuesday.

“I confirmed to president Macron that the timetable remains on course and will begin next week”, she said in Paris.

She added that “the productive talks that we’re holding” with the DUP were designed to “give the stability to the UK government that I think is necessary at this time”.

May’s Brexit manifesto said Britain would quit the single market and impose curbs on EU freedom of movement.

But she said on Tuesday “we want to maintain a close relationship and a close partnership with the EU and individual member states into the future”.

Macron and May also discussed counter-terrorism cooperation, the economy, migration, defence, and climate change, Macron said.

Danish trolling

The British election result and the recent election of Macron, a pro-EU leader, have given Europe a new sense of self-confidence on Brexit.

The Danish finance minister, Kristian Jensen, showed that spirit at an event in Copenhagen on Tuesday.

“There are two kinds of European nations. There are small nations and there are countries [the UK] that have not yet realised they are small nations”, he said at a seminar entitled Road to Brexit, according to Politiken, a Danish newspaper.

Jensen mocked May’s slogan “Brexit is Brexit”, saying it “doesn’t mean anything. It’s like: ‘Breakfast means breakfast’.”

“I believe Brexit is, sorry to say, a disaster. Not for Europe but for the UK”, he said.

His comment on “small nations” drew a rebuke from the British ambassador to Denmark, Dominic Schroeder, who said he saw no sign “of a diminished or diminishing power” in the UK

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