أسئلة شديدة الملوحة حول تفجير مرفأ بيروت؟؟؟

 الأربعاء 4 آب 2021

 ناصر قنديل

يدور النقاش اللبناني الداخلي وما يواكبه من نقاش خارجي حول من يجب ان يُلاحق بموجب التحقيق الجاري حول تفجير مرفأ بيروت، ولا يخفي نقاش الحصانات، سواء بدعوة رفعها عن الجميع، أو بالتحصّن خلفها من الجميع، أو بتمييز البعض عن البعض، وسواء ما يصدر عن القوى السياسية او عن المحقق العدلي او عن الهيئات الحقوقية الخارجية والداخلية، أن الأصل في النقاش هو السياسة، وفي هذا توظيف لدماء الشهداء ولشعاري الحقيقة والعدالة، لأن الأصل في تحرك من ينشد الحقيقة والعدالة ليس البحث عمّن يمكن تحميله المسؤولية وتقديمه على مذبح الحقيقة والعدالة، فالأصل هو البحث عن الحقيقة ثم إقامة العدالة، لأنّ البحث عن العدالة يعني البحث عن قصاص يعادل سقوط أرواح غالية ودمار وخراب لحقا بأملاك الناس وتشويه أصاب وجه المدينة الجميلة، والبحث عن قصاص يعادل الجريمة قد لا ينسجم مع السعي للحقيقة التي تبدأ من طرح الأسئلة الحقيقية، قبل الحديث عن المسؤولية، وتبحث عن توصيف الجرم قبل الحديث الجريمة والمجرمين.

الأسئلة التي توصل الى الحقيقة لا يجب ان تعرف المجاملة، ولا السعي لتجنب الإحراج، ولا التوجيه السياسي، والأجوبة على هذه الأسئلة يجب ان توضع في تصرف الرأي العام ليُبنى عليها الإتهام، وفق التوصيف الجرمي الذي توفره الحقيقة وحدها، وما دامت الحقيقة غائبة أو مغيبة، يبقى كل اتهام وكل توصيف جرمي سياسة، ولو رافقته سياقات مدبجة قانونا، وتبقى كل حصانة سياسة أيضاً ولو رافقتها سياقات مدبّجة قانوناً، والصراع بينهما صراع سياسي بغلاف قانوني، لأنّ الفريقين الإتهامي والمتحصن، لا يقدمان أولوية البحث عن الحقيقة، بل يدخلان فوراً في النقاش الجرمي والإتهامي، مع إيهام الزعم ان في ذلك سعياً للعدالة.

نحو الحقيقة يجب ان نعرف بداية، هل ان النقاش يدور على قاعدة التسليم بأن لا عمل جرمياً وراء جلب النترات، وأن لا عمل جرمياً وراء استبقائها، وأن لا عمل جرمياً وراء تفجيرها، وانّ كلّ المعنيين أبرياء من هذه الزاوية، والنقاش محصور بتوصيف جرم الإهمال وحدود المعرفة بالخطر الناتج عنه، وهذا هو معنى القتل بالقصد الاحتمالي قانوناً، فلماذا لا يقول لنا التحقيق أولاً إنّ الفرضيات الجرمية القائمة وراء جلب النترات واستبقائها وتفجيرها، ساقطة، وإنّ لديه سردية تقول إنّ كلّ شيء تمّ عفواً وبالصدفة، وسقط الشهداء وتخرّبت المدينة لأنّ المسؤولين لم يقوموا بما كان يمكنهم القيام به لتجنب الكارثة، تماماً كما هو التوصيف الرائج لسردية الانهيار المالي، القائمة على نفي وجود جريمة الاستدانة المفرطة، والفوائد المفرطة، والأرباح المصرفية المفرطة، والتحويلات المفرطة، والإنفاق العام المفرط، وانّ كلّ القضية انّ المسؤولين نسوا أن ينتبهوا لما يجب فعله لمنع الإنهيار!

الأسئلة نحو الحقيقة تبدأ من تقديم جواب مقنع ورسمي من اليونيفيل حول كيفية تعاملها مع ملف النترات، وهي الجهة الأمنية المزوّدة بأحدث التقنيات، والموجودة للتشدّد في مراقبة كلّ ما يقع تحت تصنيف عسكري او شبه عسكري في البحر ويحاول دخول المياه اللبنانية، من دون مزحة المانيفست، لأن الألمان والطليان والفرنسيين ليسوا موجودين لمنع تزوّد حزب الله بالسلاح من خلال مراقبة ما اذا كان يجلب السلاح مصرحاً عنه وفقاً للمانيفست، بل لتجاوز المانيفست ومعرفة المخفي والمخبّأ ووضع اليد عليه، فما هي معلومات البحرية الدولية عن النترات، وكيف تفسّر تسامحها مع دخولها ومع بقائها، وكيف تفسّر ما هو أخطر الحديث عن استعمالها، خصوصاً انّ الإتهامات الرائجة توجه نحو حزب الله الذي وُجدت هذه البحرية الدولية لمراقبة ما هو أقلّ ومنع وصوله، فهل يعقل ان اليونيفيل البحرية كانت علم خلال ست سنوات وتصمت على تخزين حزب الله للنترات واستجرارها نحو سورية او غيرها، وربما في وجهات أوروبية كما يقول خصوم حزب الله، فماذا تقول اليونيفيل عن كلّ ذلك، ولماذا لم يسألها مجلس الأمن الذي انتدبها لمهمة واضحة وحاسمة، عن تبريرها لهذا الانتهاك الخطير لمهمتها، وهل قام المحقق العدلي بمراسلة من تعاقبوا على قيادة هذه القوة البحرية واستدعاهم للتحقيق، لأنّ جوهر مهمتهم وفق القرار الأممي هو مساعدة البحرية اللبنانية على ضبط السواحل اللبنانية ومنع دخول أيّ مواد عسكرية وشبه عسكرية، لغير الجهات العسكرية الشرعية للدولة اللبنانية؟ وان لم يفعل فلماذا؟

الحلقة الثانية من الأسئلة تطال زيارات متعددة تمّت لبوارج حربية أميركية وبريطانية وفرنسية، الى مرفأ بيروت، آخرها كانت زيارات البارجة الأميركية يو اس اس راماج في شهر أيلول 2019، وبعدها حاملة الطائرات الفرنسية تولون في آب 2020، وقبلهما حاملة الطائرات البريطانية أوشن في شهر آذار 2017، وقبل هذه الزيارات زيارات أخرى، تمت لمرفأ بيروت، من سفن حربية غربية، ومعلوم عند أبسط الخبراء الأمنيين أنّ مسحاً أمنياً تفصيلياً يتمّ لمدى جغرافي لعدة كيلومترات، بواسطة معدات تقنية عالية الدقة، تهتمّ اصلاً بوجود المواد المتفجرة، في دائرة قريبة، وكلّ هذه الزيارات وما سبقها من مسح أمني جرت في فترة إقامة النترات في المرفأ، فماذا قال الخبراء وكيف صنفوا وجودها ودرجة خطورتها، ولماذا تغاضوا عنها، وكلّ الخبراء يقولون انه يستحيل الا تكون قد ظهرت على شاشات أجهزتهم، أو ان يكون قد فاتهم حجم خطورتها، وانّ التفسير الوحيد للتغاضي هنا هو وظيفة متفق عليها ومعلومة من المعنيين في الغرب وبعض نظرائهم في لبنان لمهمة النترات واقامتها، لأنّ القول بالعكس بالنسبة لعمليات التفتيش العسكرية كما بالنسبة لليونيفيل يعني ضمنا تبرئة المسؤولين اللبنانيين العسكريين والأمنيين، الذين لا يمكن اتهامهم حتى بالتقصير ان كان كبار خبراء الغرب العسكريين لم يعتبروا ان وجود النترات مصدر خطر، فكيف من هم أقلّ مسؤولية وخبرة من وزراء ومدراء لهم صفات ادارية!

الحلقة الثالثة من الأسئلة التي تقودنا للحقيقة، هي لبّ القضية، فهل تمّ استقدام هذه النترات لاستعمالها، والوجهة المنشودة كانت الحرب السورية، ولحساب من في سورية، وإذا ثبت سواء لجهة الاستقدام المتعمّد لهذه الغاية، او استثمار بقاء النترات وإطالة أمد بقائها عمداً، سيكون سهلاً معرفة الجهة اللبنانية الإدارية والسياسية والأمنية التي ارتكبت جرم التواطؤ من خلال معرفة جهة الإستخدام السورية، خصوصاً انّ التقرير المسرّب عن الـ «أف بي أي» يقول إنّ الكمية التي تفجرت هي أقلّ من ربع الكمية الموجودة نظريا وعلى الورق، وتبعه محامي القائد السابق للجيش اللبناني، المتهم بالتقصير في الملف، العماد جان قهوجي، يقول انّ حزب الله كان يهرّب هذه النترات الى سورية، ولأنّ الحقيقة هي الحقيقة، وجب على المحقق العدلي ان يسير بفرضية واحدة يمكن الحديث معها عن جرم عمد، هي جلب أو استبقاء النترات بهدف ارسالها الى سورية، وتتبّع هذه الفرضية لنفيها او تأكيدها، وإن تأكدت تحديد وجهة الإستخدام، ليسهل تتبّع جهة التسهيل اللبنانية، وبالمناسبة قد يفيد التذكير بأنّ سورية من الدول الأولى في العالم بإنتاج نترات الأمونيوم، وأنّ مصنعاً واحداً تملكه الدولة السورية قرب بحيرة قطينة بجوار حمص ينتج 250 ألف طن من النترات سنوياً وموجود منذ السبعينيات من القرن الماضي وكان يصدّر الفائض من إنتاجه للخارج، وبقي تحت سلطة الدولة السورية، وتمّ تخفيض إنتاجه خلال سنوات الحرب لتراجع الطلب داخلياً وصعوبة التصدير للخارج بسبب ظروف الحرب ومصاعب العلاقات الدولية الناتجة عنها ما ينفي حاجة الدولة السورية للنترات، لكن بكلّ حال على المحقق ان يتتبّع خيوطه ويطرح أسئلته ويبحث عن الأجوبة، حتى يجد ما يقنعه ويخرج به على اللبنانيين طالبا اقتناعهم؟

اذا كانت الخلاصة التي تختصر حقيقة التحقيق هي ما بُنيت عليه الاتهامات، فهي تقول ان لا جرم ولا جريمة، وان القضية هي انّ هناك من عرف بوجود النترات وخطرها ولم يفعل ما كان ينبغي فعله، وهؤلاء قصّروا ويجب ان يحاسبوا على تقصيرهم، وهذا معنى القتل بالقصد الاحتمالي، وان ثبت هذا فالاستنتاج صحيح، لكن قناعة المحقق بهذه الحقيقة يجب ان تقال بصراحة ووضوح، وله أن يمضي في توزيع المسؤوليات بعد ذلك، وفقاً لمعادلة درجة المسؤولية عن واجب المعرفة، ودرجة المسؤولية وفقاً لموجب القدرة على التحرك، ومن يجب ان يعرف ولم يعرف لا ينال البراءة، ومن ضمن صلاحياته التحرك ولم يتحرك لا يمنح صكّ البراءة لأنّ أحداً لم يراجعه، فوفقاً للصلاحيات ثمة من اطلع عرضاً وليس من مهمته المعرفة ولا من صلاحياته التحرك، وثمة من عليه ان يعلم وعليه ان يتحرك، وهؤلاء في مقدمة من يجب ان يتحمّل المسؤولية، ووفقاً للقوانين اللبنانية ثمة ثلاث جهات لبنانة يجب ان تعلم ويجب ان تتحرك، هي الجمارك، والنيابة العامة وقيادة الجيش، وقبلها جميعاً قيادة اليونيفيل البحرية!

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Requiem for an Empire: a prequel

July 29, 2021

Requiem for an Empire: a prequel

by Pepe Escobar with permission and widely cross-posted

Assaulted by cognitive dissonance across the spectrum, the Empire of Chaos now behaves as a manic depressive inmate, rotten to the core – a fate more filled with dread than having to face a revolt of the satrapies.

Only brain dead zombies now believe in its self-billed universal mission as the new Rome and the new Jerusalem. There’s no unifying culture, economy or geography knitting the core together across an “arid, desiccated, political landscape sweltering under the brassy sun of Apollonian ratiocination, devoid of passion, very masculine, and empty of human empathy.”

Clueless Cold Warriors still dream of the days when the Germany-Japan axis was threatening to rule Eurasia and the Commonwealth was biting the dust – thus offering Washington, fearful of being forced into islandization, the once in a lifetime opportunity to profit from WWII to erect itself as Supreme World Paradigm cum savior of the “free world”.

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Red Square

Today, it’s not Germany-Japan but the specter of a Russia-China-Germany entente that terrorizes the Hegemon as the Eurasian trio capable of sending American global domination to the dustbin of History.

Enter the American “strategy”. And predictably, it’s a prodigy of narrow mindedness, not even aspiring to the status of – fruitless – exercise in irony or desperation, yielding as it is from the pedestrian Carnegie Endowment, with its HQ in Think Tank Row between Dupont and Thomas Circle along Massachussets Avenue in D.C.

Making U.S. Foreign Policy Work Better for the Middle Class is a sort of bipartisan report guiding the current, bewildered Crash Test Dummy administration. One of the 11 writers involved is none other than National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. The notion that a global imperial strategy and – in this case – a deeply impoverished and enraged middle class share the same interests does not even qualify as a lousy joke.

With “thinkers” like these, the Hegemon does not even need Eurasian “threats”.

Wanna talk to Mr. Khinzal?

Meanwhile, in a script worthy of Dylan’s Desolation Row rewritten by The Three Stooges, proverbial Atlanticist chihuahuas are raving that the Pentagon ordered the partition of NATO: Western Europe will contain China, and Eastern Europe will contain Russia.

Yet what’s actually happening in those corridors of European power that really matter – no, baby, that ain’t Warsaw – is that not only Berlin and Paris refuse to antagonize Beijing, but mull how to get closer to Moscow without enraging the Hegemon.

So much for microwaved, Kissingerian Divide and Rule. One of the few things the notorious war criminal really got it was when he noted, after the implosion of the USSR, that without Europe “the US would become a distant island in the coastline of Eurasia”: it would dwell “in solitude, a minor status”.

Life is a drag when the (global) free lunch is over and on top of it you need to face not only the emergence of a “peer competitor” in Eurasia (copyright Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski) but a comprehensive strategic partnership. You fear that China is eating your lunch – and dinner, and nightcap – but still you need Moscow as the designated enemy of choice, because that’s what legitimizes NATO.

Call The Three Stooges! Let’s send the Europeans to patrol the South China Sea! Let’s get those Baltic nullities plus pathetic Poles to enforce the New Iron Curtain! And let’s deploy Russophobic Britannia Rules the Waves on both fronts!

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Chongqing Night

So far, Russia-China had been exhibiting infinite Daoist patience in dealing with those clowns. Not anymore.

The key players in the Heartland have clearly seen through the imperial propaganda fog; it will be a long and winding road, but the horizon will eventually unveil a Germany-Russia-China-Iran alliance rebalancing the global chessboard.

This is the ultimate Imperial Night of the Living Dead nightmare – hence these lowly American emissaries frantically scurrying around multiple latitudes trying to keep the satrapies in line.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, China-Russia build submarines like there’s no tomorrow equipped with state-of-the-art missiles – and Su-57s invite wise guys to a close conversation with a hypersonic Mr. Khinzal.

Sergey Lavrov, like an aristocratic Grand Seigneur, took the trouble of enlightening the clowns with a stark, erudite distinction between rule of law and their self-defined “rules-based international order”.

That’s too much for their collective IQ. Perhaps what they will register is that the Russian-Chinese Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation, initially signed on July 16, 2001, has just been extended for five years by Presidents Putin and Xi.

As the Empire of Chaos is incrementally and inexorably expelled from the Heartland, Russia-China is jointly managing Central Asian affairs.

In the Central and South Asia connectivity conference in Tashkent,

Lavrov detailed how Russia is driving “the Greater Eurasian Partnership, a unifying and integrational outline between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans that is as free for the movement of goods, capital, labor and services as possible and which is open to every country of the common continent of Eurasia and the integration unions created here.”

Then there’s the updated Russian National Security Strategy, which clearly outlines that building a partnership with the US and hitting win-win cooperation with the EU is an uphill struggle: “The contradictions between Russia and the West are serious and are hard to solve.” By contrast, strategic cooperation with China and India will be expanded.

A geopolitical earthquake

Yet the defining geopolitical breakthrough in the second year of the Raging Twenties may well be China telling the Empire, “That’s enough”.

It started over two months ago in Anchorage, when the formidable Yang Jiechi made shark fin soup out of the helpless American delegation. The piece de resistance came this week in Tianjin, where Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng and his boss Wang Yi reduced mediocre imperial bureaucrat Wendy Sherman to stale dumpling status.

This searing analysis by a Chinese think tank reviewed all the key issues. Here are the highlights.

– The Americans wanted to ensure that “guardrails and boundaries” are established to avoid a deterioration of U.S.-China relations in order to “manage” the relationship responsibly. That did not work, because their approach was “terrible”.

– “Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng hit the nail on the head when he said that the U.S. “competition, cooperation and confrontation” triad is a “blindfold” to contain and suppress China. Confrontation and containment are essential, cooperation is expedient, and competition is a discourse trap. The U.S. demands cooperation when it is in need of China, but in areas where it thinks it has an advantage, it decouples and cuts off supplies, blocks and sanctions, and is willing to clash and confront China in order to contain it.”

– Xie Feng “also presented two lists to the U.S. side, a list of 16 items requesting the U.S. side to correct its wrong policies and words and deeds toward China, and a list of 10 priority cases of China’s concern (…) if these anti-China issues caused by the U.S. side’s bent are not resolved, what is there to talk about between China and the U.S.?”

– And then, the sorbet to go with the cheesecake: Wang Yi’s three bottom lines to Washington. In a nutshell:

1. “The United States must not challenge, denigrate or even attempt to subvert the socialist road and system with Chinese characteristics. China’s road and system are the choice of history and the choice of the people, and they concern the long-term welfare of 1.4 billion Chinese people and the future destiny of the Chinese nation, which is the core interest that China must adhere to.”

2. “The United States must not try to obstruct or even interrupt China’s development process. The Chinese people certainly have the right to a better life, and China also has the right to modernization, which is not the monopoly of the United States and involves the basic conscience of mankind and international justice. China urges the U.S. side to expeditiously lift all unilateral sanctions, high tariffs, long-arm jurisdiction and the science and technology blockade imposed on China.”

3. “The United States must not infringe on China’s national sovereignty, let alone undermine China’s territorial integrity. The issues related to Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong are never about human rights or democracy, but rather about the major rights and wrongs of fighting against “Xinjiang independence”, “Tibet independence” and “Hong Kong independence”. No country will allow its sovereign security to be compromised. As for the Taiwan issue, it is a top priority (…) If “Taiwan independence” dares to provoke, China has the right to take any means needed to stop it.”

Will the Empire of Chaos register all of the above? Of course not. So the inexorable imperial rot will go on, a tawdry affair carrying no dramatic, aesthetic pathos worthy of a Gotterdammerung, barely eliciting even a glance from the Gods, “where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands / Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery sands, / Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying hands”, as Tennyson immortalized it.

Yet what really matters, in our realpolitik realm, is that Beijing doesn’t even care. The point has been made: “The Chinese have long had enough of American arrogance, and the time when the U.S. tried to bully the Chinese is long gone.”

Now that’s the start of a brave new geopolitical world – and a prequel to an imperial requiem. Many a sequel will follow.

Buy a brick! The USA is selling Ukraine

July 28, 2021

Buy a brick! The USA is selling Ukraine

by Rostislav Ishchenko

Source

https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20210723/1031902943.html

Translated by Eugenia

As we all know, to sell soothing useless one first has to buy something useless. At some point, Washington bought Ukraine – for a high price. The process of buying took a long time, as Ukraine was bought part by part.

When finally in 2014 all of Ukraine became the property of the US, White House quickly realized, to its horror, that several US administrations had been investing significant amounts of money in a completely useless product.

The Americans did not feel it necessary to hide their emotions. That is why as far as in 2015 some of the “Maidan heroes” guided by some emotional reactions of their American owners, overheard but not understood a proposed theory that Putin organized Maidan himself with the aim to take Crimea and burden the Americans with the rest of Ukraine. While the residents of the controlled territory entertained themselves with the conspiracy theories, the Americans were thinking about who they could unload Ukraine on.

At first, they though that Russia absolutely had to show interest in Ukraine. The reasons were obvious:

Long common history;

Personal and family connections;

Importance of cooperation in the industry and of the Ukrainian gas transit for the Russian economy;

Solution of the Crimea problem (with the disappearance of Ukraine, the claimant for the peninsula would disappear as well).

The US intended to trick Russia into buying Ukraine at the exchange for a free hand in Syria and the Middle East. They thought that the sanctions introduced for “the occupations of Crimea” would be left in place, this time under the guise of the sanctions for “the occupations of Ukraine”. In short, Washington planned to exchange something useless for something quite useful, preserving at the same time all the means of pressuring Russia. The Americans would not be the Americans if they did not manage to make money, even when faced with a potential loss.

However, this time the US was doomed to disappointment. Moscow did not show any interest in that useless product. It was not even clear whether Moscow would take Ukraine if it were paid to do so. As to paying something to get Ukraine – that was out of question. The next series of sanctions, aimed at creating a situation for Kremlin when annexing Ukraine would be less ruinous than keeping the status quo, also did not solve the problem. It turned out that Russia, although suffering short-term financial losses from the sanctions, learned how to use them to win strategic victories in the long-term game.

In 2016, Ukraine stopped playing a significant role in the American initiatives with regard to Russia. Ukraine was kept ready for sale, but it was understood that it was necessary to look for a new buyer. Furthermore, since by that time even pigmies in Africa realized just how useless Ukraine really was, it was critical to find a buyer that would not be able to refuse the offer. The sale of the Kiev colony of the US empire entered the mode “buy a brick” (1), which allowed to present an ordinary robbery as a voluntary purchase.

Obama during his term failed to find an appropriate “buyer”. Trump was not much interested in the Ukrainian problem, preferring to intrigue against China and fight against Nordstream-2 for the benefit of the US gas industry. However, in the end it were the Trump policies that helped the Biden administration to bind a “buyer” that would not be able to refuse the offer of a brick.

Fighting against Nordstream-2 and trying to minimize the cost of the American global hegemony, Trump seriously damaged the relationships with Germany. The Germans, finding themselves in an unexpected situation when the US turned from an ally to an economic competitor and stopped guaranteeing the military and political protection, had not dared to sharply change gears and go under the Russian wing. Besides, that could have easily caused an irreversible split in the EU. Berlin started to look for ways to restore the good relations with the US.

As a result, the Biden administration was able to execute a turnaround. Not being bound by the interest of the US oil and gas industry (Biden favors “green” energy instead of the traditional one) and with full understanding that the Germans were determined to complete Nordstream-2 at all costs, Washington pretended that it was super-concerned about the fate of Ukraine. A talk with Germany on the subject was presented as essentially a prerequisite for the normalization of relations. At the same time, the US made an unusual move refusing to impose sanctions against the German politicians and companies involved in the Nordstream-2 project.

Normally Washington never yields anything first during negotiations demanding concessions from its partners instead. In this case, however, the Americans were remarkably constructive. The real reason for that attitude was soon revealed: the Americans made Germany sign onto a deal purportedly serving the interests of Ukraine.

The celebrations in Kiev turned out to be short. When the details of the deal were revealed, it became quite clear that nobody guarantees anything to Ukraine or intends to compensate it for anything. Germany made a vague promise to fight for the interests of Ukraine and to push Gasprom to negotiate with Ukraine the extension of the transit contract. This, by the way, the Russian government never refused to do, provided Ukraine could offer competitive transit conditions. But this is precisely what Kiev does not want to do dreaming about continuing to profit from the “exclusiveness” of its transit capabilities. That is why Ukraine is fighting so fiercely against Nordstream-2. But nobody promised to force Moscow into an unprofitable deal. This was finally understood in Ukraine, and loud whine about betrayal immediately followed.

Ukraine is mistaken: it has not been betrayed; it has been sold. Furthermore, in spite what Biden’s opponents say, Biden did not sell it to Putin. Putin is using the Ukraine situation to serve Russian interests quite effectively, but he has not paid a dime or made a single political concession. On the contrary, Gasprom and Russia are planning to make a profit from all this, compensating for forced losses of the previous period. Biden sold the Ukrainian “brick” to Merkel.

In order to go away in style and leave her party a chance to remain in power, Bundeskanzlerin needed to restore mutual understanding with the US. However, the Nordstream-2 was such an important project that in this case Merkel was not prepared to make a single concession. The Americans are tough negotiators, though, so they did manage to make her an offer she could not refuse.

They have removed Nordstream-2 from the equation. The existing sanctions were left in place, for they did no harm, whereas no new sanctions, particularly against the Germans, will be imposed. All Germany’s obligations towards Ukraine would be expressed as vaguely as possible. It would be up to Berlin to decide what exactly these obligations are.

The only specific promise was that the US would collect money in the West in the amount of 1 billion dollars, which would be given to Ukraine to develop “green” energy in order to be able to compensate any potential problems with natural gas supplies. Germany would serve as a manager of the “green” energy development in Ukraine contributing 150-200 million dollars to that 1 billion (a tiny sum for Germany).

Biden killed two birds with one stone. First, he demonstrated to his supporters in the US how effectively he fights for ecology introducing “green” energy even in such a distant and God forsaken place as Ukraine.

Second, the Germans that have been fighting nuclear and coal power stations at home for years, could apply their experience in Ukraine at the same time making use of a billion dollars. They would, of course, have to share some with the aboriginies, but not that much. Besides, the Germans would be in a position to solve the problem of a dozen of nuclear blocks in Ukrainian nuclear plants all potential Chernobyls – that are still in the playful Ukrainian paws.

Thirdly, since after this “support” and “reforms”, Ukraine would inevitably face a deficit of electric power, the EU would be able to sell it not only natural gas “via reverse”, but also electricity.

Fourthly, the US finally got rid of the Ukrainian “suitcase without the handle” successfully forcing it onto Germany. Now it is time for the Merkel’s successors to think how to sell Ukraine back to Russia even if with added financial compensation.

Merkel herself has no cause to complain. She bought a “brick”, of course, but a brick nicely packaged in golden foil. While the purchase is being unwrapped, the elections will be over and the Chancellor will retire. If CDU/CSU fail to remain in power, that would definitely not be her fault. Merkel is passing on a solid well cared for country without debt or problems. The promises, which Kiev troublemakers would cling to, will surface later when the fate of the elections and the coalition will have been decided.

We have to give the honor where the honor is due: the Americans never discard anything and manage to get their pennies for the most useless and unattractive product.

As far as Ukraine is concerned… Well, nobody concerns himself with Ukraine anymore. The Ukrainian citizens are left with the only hope that at some time in the future, after a series of re-sales, this invalid, which is Ukraine, in spite of its obnoxious personality, a habit to gnaw at the owner’s furniture, damage wallpaper, and crap all over the place, would end up an good hands.

But this is very unlikely.

(1) “Buy a brick” – a common Russian joke. A big guy holding a brick approaches a passerby: “Ah, dude, buy this brick”. The person responds: “No, thank you, I don’t need it”. When the big guy waives the brick menacingly over the head of the other: “You’d better buy this brick and not tempt your fate”.

How to Undermine a Diplomatic Triumph

About me

26 July 2021

by Lawrence Davidson

Part I—The Backstory

The true status of current negotiations to reinstate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran is unknown to the American public—most of whom are tragically indifferent to the outcome. This is so even though the successful negotiation of this deal with Iran back in 2015 represents one of the greatest triumphs of diplomacy in the last hundred years. What we do know is this triumph was followed by tragedy—a premeditated tragedy—the sort of tragedy only fools can produce. But very few Americans care. That is the way it is with foreign policy. On the one hand, you can start wars to great public acclaim, and on the other, you can destroy hard-won diplomatic achievements almost without public notice. 

At the end of President Obama’s term of office (January 2017) the JCPOA was complete and in force. In exchange for a lifting of “nuclear-related sanctions,” Iran undertook not to pursue research that might allow her to develop nuclear weapons. Up until May of 2018 “Iran’s compliance has been repeatedly verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which oversees the most intrusive inspections regime ever negotiated.” It was in May of 2018 that Donald Trump, perhaps the most despicable human being to hold the presidency since Andrew Jackson, withdrew from the JCPOA, apparently for two reasons: (1) was the treaty was completed by Obama and Trump wanted to destroy the achievements of his non-white predecessor, and (2) Trump thought he could bully the Iranians into a “better deal.” It is important to note that the other signatories to the treaty did not initially follow Trump’s lead. “The leaders of France, the United Kingdom, and Germany issued a joint statement on behalf of their countries that reemphasized their support for the deal and its importance to the nonproliferation regime.” The United Nations expressed “deep concern” over Trump’s decision and released a statement in support of the JCPOA. Russia’s Foreign Ministry also reiterated its support for the JCPOA, and further stated that “U.S. actions compromise international trust in the IAEA.”

How did the Iranians react to Trump’s withdrawal from the treaty and reimposition of harsh sanctions? At first, Tehran suggested that if the other signatories to the agreement would remain loyal to their obligations, Iran too would keep to the treaty. Unfortunately, most of the European nations involved would soon succumb to U.S. economic pressure and cease to hold to their obligations. Nonetheless, it was not until a year following Trump’s irresponsible act that Iran announced that “The Islamic Republic of Iran in reaction to the exit of America from the nuclear deal and the bad promises of European countries in carrying out their obligations will restart a part of the nuclear activities which were stopped under the framework of the nuclear deal.” Even while the Iranian government took this position, it insisted that if at any time the United States returned to the treaty and removed all nuclear-related sanctions, Iran too would return to its obligations. Tehran even suggested a process whereby the U.S. and Iran would take simultaneous steps to that end. 

Everyone but Trump devotees, Israel and its supporters, and those Iranian exiles who would like to see the return of the country’s monarchy recognized that the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA had been a mistake. Accordingly, in the campaign run-up to the 2020 presidential election in the U.S., the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, promised that upon election he would rejoin the treaty if Iran returned to compliance as well. 

Biden did win, but he has not yet fulfilled his promise. Instead, he entered an extended period of negotiations that is still ongoing. At first it was said that these were about “who goes first” when it comes to returning to requirements of the treaty. Was Iran to give up the small steps in nuclear enrichment since the Trump withdrawal, or was the U.S. going to go first in removing the draconian sanctions placed on Iran by the Trump administration? It was Iran who realized the childish nature of this question and offered a simultaneous return to the compliance mentioned above. While the Biden administration rejected this offer, it has been reported that now both sides are working toward “simultaneous, sequential steps” back to requirements of the treaty. 


Part II—Misleading the American Public


In the meantime, the Biden administration has been releasing misinformation to the public. For instance, Biden has insisted that sanctions relief depends on Iran “returning to compliance.” But, of course, for anyone familiar with the relevant events, it was Washington that broke the treaty and needed to return to compliance. Any subsequent Iranian actions following Trump’s folly were, and still are, perfectly legal under the terms of the JCPOA. Joe Biden can continue to justify draconian economic sanctions in this way—sanctions that are ruining the lives of millions—only because he is addressing an ignorant American audience. 

When Iran failed to be bullied, Biden’s diplomats adopted a “shift the blame” tactic. In May 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “Iran, I think, knows what it needs to do to come back into compliance on the nuclear side, and what we haven’t yet seen is whether Iran is ready and willing to make a decision to do what it has to do. That’s the test and we don’t yet have an answer.” Translation: the American people should know that we, the Biden administration, are trying, but those Iranians seem to be too thick-headed to do what is necessary. So if the whole thing fails, it is their fault and not ours. 

Blinken went on, “If both sides can return to the original deal, then we can use that as a foundation both to look at how to make the deal itself potentially longer and stronger—and also [to] engage on these other issues, whether it’s Iran’s support for terrorism [or] its destabilizing support for different proxies throughout the Middle East.”

That scenario will not encourage the Iranians. They have repeatedly stated that the JCPOA, and the present negotiations, are about two things: sanctions and the scope of nuclear development. It is not about Iranian foreign policy, which has been so blandly assumed to be “terrorism” by both Trump and Biden. If Mr. Blinken keeps tagging on these extras, we will still be running in circles come Christmas.   

What is the diplomatic aim of the Biden administration? Is it to pursue the Democrats’ traditional, and bankrupt, aim of sounding as tough on foreign policy as the Republicans? That irrelevant goal (remember most Americans don’t care about foreign policy) would not be surprising coming from a professional Democratic politician of Joe Biden’s generation. However, after all the work that has gone into the JCPOA and all the suffering endured by the Iranian population due to brutal U.S. sanctions, such a petty motive reflects the mentality of a street gang competing with rivals, rather than the peaceful ends of an alleged civilized society. 

With statements like this, Secretary of State Blinken transforms himself into someone we might mistake for a

Fox News TV anchor. It would seem that many who pride themselves on eschewing Fox’s lies are ready to swallow whole Mr. Blinken’s bunk. 

Part III—An Israeli Connection?

We know that ex-Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and ex-President Trump were in agreement on Iran policy. In this regard, all the yelling and screaming about Iran’s nuclear program carried on by both men hid their real goal. Particularly for Netanyahu, the hyperbole was aimed at creating a “credible reason” to force regime change in Iran, even if it meant a U.S. invasion. Essentially, the model here was Iraq. Netanyahu was ready to pursue this end till the last dying American soldier. Obviously, the JCPOA was a major obstacle in that path. So was Barack Obama, who thought he was helping Israel and the world in general by negotiating the treaty. 

Now Netanyahu and Trump are gone from office. However, why should we believe that the new Israeli government has changed the ultimate goal? And why should we believe that Joe Biden—who is, as he never fails to remind us, an “ironclad” Zionist—will really follow in Obama’s footsteps?

In June, Israel sent some of its highest-ranking leaders to see Biden. These included Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Both meetings were basically about Iran. “Iran will never get a nuclear weapon on my watch,” Biden told Rivlin. This was billed as a “stark warning” to Iran—a country which has, for religious as well as other reasons, disavowed the desire for such a weapon. How many Americans know this? Does President Biden know this?

Many scholars and other experts in Middle East policy believe that “Mr. Biden’s calculations are rooted in a different era of American-Israeli relations—when Israel’s security concerns commanded far more attention than Palestinian grievances.” This is true. But there is a more personal connection. Biden personally identifies with Israel like no other U.S. president since Lyndon Johnson. He collects yarmulkes and is reported to have knelt down in an impromptu “show of respect” after learning that Rivka Ravitz, President Rivlin’s Orthodox chief of staff, was the mother of 12 children. The Israeli Orthodox Jews often have such large families out of fear of a “demographic holocaust”—that is, the consequences of the Palestinians’ much higher birth rate than that of most Israeli Jews. Finally, Biden has completely accepted the highly debatable notion that world Jewry, many of whom are not Zionists, cannot be safe apart from the existence of Israel. 

Those same experts also believe that, when it comes to Israel, President Biden’s approach has much to do with domestic politics. Thus, getting back to the JCPOA is less important than catering to the desires of the Israel Lobby. This only makes sense for a politician born and bred to the power of that lobby.

Part IV—Conclusion


The U.S. and Israeli leaders are suffering from a group-think environment and tunnel vision, all shaped in good part by political pressure generated by dominant special interests.  At least in this instance, one cannot say the same for the Iranians who, though led by a rigid religious elite, broke through their tunnel vision and joined the JCPOA treaty. The present stalemate is the work of American ideologues tied hand and foot to a major U.S. lobby. 

Outside the tunnel one can see the obvious answer to the present stalemate. Having been polite and empathetic toward Rivlin and Gantz, Joe Biden should ask over to the Oval Office an outsider, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. At the end of June Guterres said, “I appeal to the United States to lift or waive its sanctions outlined in the plan.” He also appealed to Iran to return to full implementation of the deal. Right from the beginning of Biden’s election, the Iranians have been willing to follow Guterres’s lead. It is Biden who has temporized while being encouraged by his confidants from Jerusalem. 

Russian Foreign Ministry on Nord Stream 2, Britain, and US Support for ISIS

By Stephen Lendman

Source

From beneath the Baltic Sea, Russia’s 745-mile pipeline will supply 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Germany and Europe.

Nearly completed, it’ll soon be operational despite US efforts to undermine the project.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) stressed that the project “is in full accord with norms of international law, EU regulatory requirements and laws of littoral states” Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

It’ll greatly enhance European energy security, not undermine it as US dark forces claim.

According to Gazprom Export head Elena Burmistrova, European consumers will save at least 7.9 billion euros in annual energy costs over 30% more expensive US LNG.

MZ stressed that Russia never uses “energy supplies or the transit issue as a weapon and has no intention to do this in the future.” 

Moscow is “committed to politics-free energy cooperation and its development with all countries based on the principles of respect for partners’ interests and mutual benefit.”

Despite Russia’s good faith in dealings with Germany on the project important to its energy security, an unacceptable joint US/German agreement didn’t reciprocate, Moscow’s US envoy Anatoly Antonov explained, saying:

Its “hostile tonality directed at our country fundamentally contradicts the spirit of” what bilateral and multilateral relations should be all about, adding:

“The attempts to present us as an aggressor and a country involved in ‘malign’ activities have long become the calling card of Russophobes.” 

“The threats against us are groundless and futile.”

“We’ve never inflicted our deliveries on anyone, never used our energy resources as a weapon of political pressure, nor tried to resolve by these means any opportunistic goals ascribed to us.” 

“We reject any accusations on that score.” 

“We view these attempts as nothing else but unscrupulous competition.”

“Russia is ready to deliver as much” energy to recipient countries as they wish to recieve.

According to what the Biden and Angela Merkel regimes agreed on, US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 will be rescinded in return for US/German investments in Ukraine’s energy security.

Berlin also pledged to demand that Russia extend the gas pipeline to Ukraine so its US-controlled ruling regime will get $3 billion in annual transit fees.

Germany will support renewed sanctions on Russia if accused of “aggression” the Kremlin abhors by any nations against others.

According to an unnamed State Department Russophobe:

“Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine (sic), Germany will take action at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions to limit Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector.”

Nord Stream 2 is a commercial project. Yet Biden/Merkel regime dark forces continue to unacceptably politicize it.

MZ stressed that the pipeline “will function reliably (by) providing affordable energy to European consumers. 

It will “strengthen energy security of (recipient) European countries.”

Totalitarian Britain partners with Washington’s diabolical war on Russia by other means.

MZ slammed Big Lies by MI5 head Ken McCallum.

He falsely accused Russia of threatening UK security by cyber attacks — a US, UK, EU, Israeli specialty, not how Russia operates against any nations.

No evidence suggests otherwise, none by McCallum.

Like other Johnson regime hardliners, he’s hostile to all things Russia, inventing things to accuse the Kremlin of. No legitimate ones exist.

MZ: If Britain has concrete facts, not “empty talk,” reveal it. 

Otherwise its remarks are baseless like many times before.

“Moscow is guided by the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries” — polar opposite how the US-dominated West operates. 

The Kremlin “repeatedly warned London that the anti-Russia hysteria that has been launched in the UK will eventually have a backlash against its masterminds.”

Russian Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov has indisputable evidence of the US/ISIS connection.

MZ explained that Russia repeatedly raised this issue with other world community member states.

It “provided evidence multiple times…based on (credible) data,” adding:

“We have many questions about unmarked helicopter flights, recorded since 2017, over the areas of activity of ISIS militants” where they’re deployed as proxy US foot soldiers.

Afghan sources explained that US helicopters are “used to deliver reinforcements, weapons and munitions, and remove killed and wounded terrorists from battlefields.” 

“We made this information public and said that (it) should attract serious attention from specialized bodies and all involved parties.” 

“We spoke about this before, and, I should stress once again, this kind of activity was not possible without the knowledge of the US and NATO that control Afghan air space.”

The same thing has gone on in Syria throughout at least most of the past decade.

The US and its imperial partners use ISIS and likeminded jihadists as proxies in Washington’s war theaters.

Russia supplied this information to the UN — ignored by pro-Western secretary general Guterres and his predecessor. 

Nord Stream 2 ‘Deal’ Is Not an American Concession, It’s Admission of Defeat

See the source image

July 23, 2021

Source

All in all, Washington’s virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!

After much arm-twisting, bullying and foghorn diplomacy towards its European allies, the United States appears to have finally given up on trying to block the giant Nord Stream 2 project with Russia. What an epic saga it has been, revealing much about American relations with Europe and Washington’s geopolitical objectives, as well as, ultimately, the historic decline in U.S. global power.

In the end, sanity and natural justice seem to have prevailed. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea will double the existing flow of Russia’s prodigious natural gas to Germany and the rest of Europe. The fuel is economical and environmentally clean compared with coal, oil and the shale gas that the Americans were vying with Russia to export.

Russia’s vast energy resources will ensure Europe’s economies and households are reliably and efficiently fueled for the future. Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, has a particular vital interest in securing the Nord Stream 2 project which augments an existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Both follow the same Baltic Sea route of approximately 1,222 kilometers – the longest pipeline in the world – taking Russian natural gas from its arctic region to the northern shores of Germany. For Germany’s export-led economy, Russian fuel is essential for future growth, and hence benefiting the rest of Europe.

It was always a natural fit between Russia and the European Union. Geographically and economically, the two parties are compatible traders and Nord Stream 2 is merely the culmination of decades of efficient energy relations.

Enter the Americans. Washington has been seething over the strategic energy trade between Russia and Europe. The opposition escalated under the Trump administration (so much for Trump being an alleged Russian stooge!) when his ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, fired off threatening letters to German and other European companies arrogantly warning that they would be hit with sanctions if they dared proceed with Nord Stream 2. Pipe-laying work was indeed interrupted last year by U.S. sanctions. (So much for European sovereignty and alleged meddling in internal affairs by Russia!)

The ostensible American rationale was always absurd. Washington claimed that Russia would exploit its strategic role as gas supplier by extracting malicious concessions from Europe. It was also claimed that Russia would “weaponize” energy trade to enable alleged aggression towards Ukraine and other Eastern European states. The rationale reflects the twisted Machiavellian mentality of the Americans and their supporters in Europe – Poland and the Baltic states, as well as the Kiev regime in Ukraine. Such mentality is shot-through with irrational Russophobia.

The ridiculous paranoid claims against Russia are of course an inversion of reality. It is the Americans and their European surrogates who are weaponizing a mundane matter of commercial trade that in reality offers a win-win relationship. Part of the real objective is to distort market economics by demonizing Russia in order for the United States to export their own vastly more expensive and environmentally dirty liquefied natural gas to Europe. (So much for American free-market capitalism!)

Another vital objective for Washington is to thwart any normal relations developing between Russia and the rest of Europe. American hegemony and its hyper-militaristic economy depend on dividing and ruling other nations as so-called “allies” and “adversaries”. This has been a long-time necessity ever since the Second World War and during the subsequent Cold War decades, the latter constantly revived by Washington against Russia. (So much for American claims that Russia is a “revisionist power”!)

However, there is a fundamental objective problem for the Americans. The empirical decline of U.S. global power means that Washington can no longer bully other nations in the way it has been accustomed to doing for decades. The old Cold War caricatures of demonizing others have lost their allure and potency because the objective world we live in today simply does not make them plausible or credible. The Russian gas trade with the European Union is a consummate case in point. In short, Germany and the EU are not going to shoot themselves in the foot, economically speaking, simply on the orders of Uncle Sam.

President Joe Biden had enough common sense – unlike the egotistical Trump – to realize that American opposition to Nord Stream 2 was futile. Biden is more in tune with the Washington establishment than his maverick predecessor. Hence Biden began waiving sanctions imposed under Trump. Finally this week, the White House announced that it had come to an agreement with Germany to permit Nord Stream 2 to go ahead. The Financial Times called it a “truce” while the Wall Street Journal referred to a “deal” between Washington and Berlin. (Ironically, American non-interference is presented as a “deal”!)

The implication is that the United States was magnanimously giving a “concession” to Europe. The reality is the Americans were tacitly admitting they can’t stop the strategic convergence between Russia and the rest of Europe on a vital matter of energy supply.

In spinning the eventuality, Washington has continued to accuse Russia of “weaponizing” trade. It warns that if Russia is perceived to be abusing relations with Ukraine and Europe then the United States will slap more sanctions on Moscow. This amounts to the defeated bully hyperventilating.

Another geopolitical factor is China. The Biden administration has prioritized confrontation with China as the main long-term concern for repairing U.S. decline. Again, Biden is more in tune with the imperial planners in Washington than Trump was. They know that in order for the United States to have a chance of undermining China as a geopolitical rival the Europeans must be aligned with U.S. policy. Trump’s boorish browbeating of Europeans and Germany in particular over NATO budgets and other petty issues resulted in an unprecedented rift in the “transatlantic alliance” – the euphemism for American dominance over Europe. By appearing to concede to Germany over Nord Stream 2, Washington is really aiming to shore up its anti-China policy. This too is an admission of defeat whereby American power is unable to confront China alone. The bully needs European lackeys to align, and so is obliged to offer a “deal” over Russia’s energy trade.

All in all, Washington’s virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!

The People and the Unpeople: At home and abroad

The People and the Unpeople: At home and abroad

JULY 17, 2021

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

“The weak and ill-constituted shall perish: first principle of our philanthropy. And one should help them to do so … What is more harmful than any vice? Active sympathy for the ill-constituted and weak.’’ (1)

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Friedrich Nietzsche 1872

The Beast awakens – Second Time Around

Such were the sentiments – customarily referred to by Charles Darwin as the ‘’survival of the fittest’’ and of Friedrich Nietzsche’s worldview (see above); and moreover these are to all intents and purposes the unstated and philosophical stance of the incumbent ruling elites in the west. This is a dialogue delineating an unapologetic and ruthless amoral agenda presently emerging from the salons, studios and lecture halls and presently doing the rounds in the usual media and academic outlets. This project entails what is essentially a cultural revolution, a revolution sui generis; a massive project involving the construction of a fundamentally new order imposed from above and to be realised through a ‘Great Reset’. But this reset is nothing new, it has been in a long incubation period and even tolerated a qualified democracy; although this democracy never sat easily alongside the oligarchic elites; moreover, even this minimal democracy was to become an increasing irritant which finally has to be done away with. This has been a long struggle for elite hegemony, and these are early days to make any provisional assessment of these developments which are yet to play out.

Philosophical and Political déjà vu

What we can say, however, is that the origins of these theoretical roots (basically fascism) go back well-beyond the 20th century and into the late 19th. At that time (and to a lesser extent in ours) there has always been a general philosophical drift which was always an unquestionably right-wing, romantic-reactionary movement. It should be borne in mind, however, that it often contained a justifiable disappointment with bourgeois democracy, a disillusioned and sometimes relatively forward-looking experience of its social limitations. Let us recall Anatole France’s mockery of democratic equality before the law, magisterially prohibiting rich and poor alike from sleeping under the Parisian arches. On a more serious note there were the novels of Honoré De Balzac and his unforgettable quote in his novel Per Goriot: ‘’Corruption is powerful in the World: talent is scarce. So corruption is the instrument of swarming mediocrity, and you will feel its point everywhere.’’ Other French writers Zola, Stendhal, Flaubert et al. All also drew attention to the squalid reactionary swamp of French and by extension the rest of Europe’s bourgeois society and its ‘culture’.

Imperial Echoes

During the 19th and well into the 20th centuries there was a characteristic mixture of accurate criticism and muddled reactionary tendencies which were also to be observed in the writings and drama of George Bernard Shaw, together with his view of imperial rule – i.e., the white man’s burden – in Britain’s far-flung empire: He shamelessly opined that ‘’Good government is better than self-government.’’ Moreover, his literary side-kick, H.G.Wells’ eugenic disposition went even further, noting that ‘’ … those swarms of black and brown, and dirty white, and yellow who do not come into the new needs of ‘efficiency’ were self-evidently otiose. The world is a world and not a charitable institution, and I take it that they will have to go. The whole tenor and meaning of the world as I see it, is that they will have to go.’’ Yes, indeed British imperialism was leading the field culling the colonial unpeople and being closely followed by the French, Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese and Americans. (2)

Additionally, the leading Fabians of that time the Webbs (Beatrice and Sidney), writing in the New Statesman exhibited an unspoken assumption of white racial superiority vis-à-vis the ‘non-adult’ races … what caused them particular concern were the differential birth rates between the races which logically implied that the white races were (from their point of view) in danger of being swamped by the non-white multitudes whose capacity and aptitude for the sort of civilization which Mr and Mrs Webb had in mind; this seemed to be wanting when comparison was made with the ‘higher races’. Even more worrying was the possibility of large-scale interbreeding which the Webbs regarded as a grave threat to western civilization.’’ (3) Such was the late 19th century imperial weltgeist. But of course the inhabitants of the colonial south were indeed the ‘unpeople’ to be viewed in the same way as domestic animals.

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(Rhodes statue – Oriel College Oxford)

Cecil Rhodes 1853-1902 was another important figure in the British imperial juggernaut and led expeditions which led to war in what became known as Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe); these were the Zulu wars, and later after his death in 1902 in South Africa, the Boer Wars. Rhodes was the leading figure in the British South Africa Chartered Company, (BSACC) and made no secret of his ambitions to plant the Union Jack in every African territory from Cape Town to Cairo. This was quite naked imperialism with strong overtones of a militant racialism.

One V.I.Lenin was to write in this connexion:

‘’In the most flourishing period of free competition in Great Britain between 1840 and 1860, the leading bourgeois politicians were opposed to a colonial policy and were of an opinion that the liberation of the colonies, their complete separation from Britain, was both inevitable and desirable. Benjamin Disraeli, a statesman (who twice served as UK Prime Minister) was generally inclined toward imperialism, declared: ‘’The colonies are millstones around our necks’’. But at the end of the 19th century the British heroes of the hour were Cecil Rhodes and Secretary of State for the Colonies, Joseph Chamberlain, who openly advocated imperialism and applied the imperialist policy in the most cynical manner.’’ (4)

Assuredly, British imperial policy was not without its critics of course. J.A.Hobson’s seminal work Imperialism: A Study, was first published in 1902 and was taken to be a definitive work on (British) imperialism. This along with Leonard Woolf (husband of the novelist, Virginia) wrote the classic study of imperialism: Empire and Commerce in Africa 1920. Lesser-known contributors included Leonard Barnes author of The New Boer War (1932) and Empire or Democracy (1939) who noted ironically, that ‘’no nation has ever colonised, annexed, or established a sphere of influence from motives of disinterested philanthropy toward a native people.’’ (5) It should be added that this imperial war machine policy was also applied in the United States during the Spanish-American wars which were by no means restricted to the US but stretched out to also encompass the Philippines. Moreover it should also be remembered that racism in the United States was probably even more toxic than that in Europe.

Democracy: Decline and Fall

However, in the non-English-speaking, world – primarily Europe and even more so in Germany – venomous political and philosophical irrationalist currents were to emerge from the depths of human consciousness and depravity and which were to give rise to the emergence of a new type of politics and culture -namely the rise of fascist/nazi regimes in Italy, followed by Germany. The murderous policies of these movements and the ferocious hostility was to be particularly directed in Germany toward social, political and ethnic groups: socialists, communists, trade unionists, religious groups like Seventh Day Adventists, homosexuals, gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet POWs and of course Jews and others who had become Europe’s new unpeople. In earlier times such philosophical ramblings were products of those professors ensconced in their ivory towers of learning. Their ruminations were initially restricted to the academic elites. But in the fullness of time the culmination of these depraved doctrines became visible in the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Buchenwald and Belsen. This was not supposed to happen in a civilized society or even Europe, and all the overblown claims to, and obsession with, ‘scientific status’ of much 19th century thought – From Bentham to Marx – rested ultimately upon one article of faith: the belief in the innate rationality of man. Predictably this particular weltgiest with its attendant political cockpit produced an irrationalist backlash in the later 19th and earlier 20th century and moral ambience of the fin de siècle and those theorists who were in large part responsible for bringing it about – Sorel, Nietzsche, Freud and Pareto, for example – as well as the experience of the 20th century which was to cast doubt on what was always a piece of question-begging.

‘’In this connexion, German philosophy in the imperialist age proceeded, as we shall see, from Friedrich Nietzsche to Oswald Spengler and later in the Weimar period from Spengler to Fascism. If we stress this spadework by German philosophy from Schopenhauer to Nietzsche onwards, it might be objected that we are dealing with esoteric doctrines which circulated within quite small groups. We believe on the contrary, that one must not underestimate the indirect, subterranean effect on the masses of the fashionable reactionary ideologies analysed so far. These effects were not limited to the direct influence of these philosophers’ actual books, although it should be remembered that editions of the works of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche certainly never reached many tens of thousands. But by universities, public lectures and the press, et cetera these ideologies also spread to the broadest masses – needless to say in a coarsened form, but this strengthened rather than weakened their reactionary content, their ultimate irrationalism and pessimism, since the central ideas now received greater attention at the expense of qualifying statements. Through such ideologies the masses can be intensively corrupted without ever glimpsing the immediate source of the corruption. Nietzsche’s barbarising of the instincts his vitalism* his ‘heroic pessimism’ and so forth which were the necessary products of the imperialist age, and his speeding up of the process operated on the minds of tens of thousands of people who had never even heard of Nietzsche.(6)

Democracy or Empire?

But the external wars against those ‘lesser breeds without the law’ – Rudyard Kipling – came home to roost in the imperial heartlands, albeit with many centuries in the making. The methods used by the Athenians came back to be used against their own populace – now the unpeople – which eventuated in the decline of the Athenian state itself. As Pericles noted: ‘’It is right and proper for you to support the imperial dignity of Athens … But do not imagine that what we are fighting for is simply a question of freedom and slavery: there is also involved the loss of our empire and the dangers arising from the hatred which we have incurred in administering it. Nor is it any longer possible for you to give up this empire, though there may be some people in the mood of sudden panic and in a spirit of political apathy who think that this would be a fine and noble thing to do. Your empire is now like a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go.’’ (7) The Athenian city state seems to have had its own cadre of neo-cons, but the outcome would be the same today as it was then: decline and fall.

Conclusions:

At the present time it is something of a cliché to say that the world is experiencing a crisis of huge dimensions, as the economic political and geopolitical tectonic plates simultaneously collide. Both domestic and economic policies are now subsumed under the all-encompassing global disaster, particularly in the West and Global South. When the everything bubble blew up in 2020, it arrived like an economic volcano, and the decline of the American century became manifest and spread to Europe which is presently threshing about like a landed salmon. Euro/American weaknesses are both internal and external and are becoming increasingly difficult if not impossible to turn around. Moreover, its chief allies in Europe are at a loss and appear to be being dragged into the political/economic maelstrom. This is bad enough but given the wretched performance of the Atlanticist elites who seem to be living in a bygone age, the future of the Atlanticist bloc becomes increasingly problematic.

Additionally, the emergence of the Sino-Russian alliance casts an ominous shadow – both geopolitically and economic – over a corrupt and declining west. This not just a matter of concern to the imperialist bloc but also and of crucial importance as a beacon of light to the Global South with the Chinese sponsored Belt and Road Initiative. Nemesis not only seems to have arrived but is actually knocking at the door.


NOTES

Vitalism: Vitalism is the belief that “living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things”

(1) Friedrich Nietzsche – The Anti-Christ – p115 – paragraph 2.

(2) H.G.Wells – Anticipations – London 1918 – p.317.

(3) New Statesman -The Guardianship of the Non-Adult Races and the Great Alternative – August 2, 20 1913. – Quoted in Fabianism and Colonialism – Francis Lee – p.189.

(4) V.I.Lenin – Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism – Moscow 1920 – pp. 15, 75, 88, 96, 100.

(5) Critics of Empire: 1902-1919

(6) Georg Lukacs – The Destruction of Reason – p.84

(7) Speech by Pericles – 430 BC – The History of the Peloponnesian War – Thucydides.

Zakharova: OPCW Disproves Navalny’s Poisoning Story, West Fabricated It (Rossiya-24)

Zakharova: OPCW Disproves Navalny’s Poisoning Story, West Fabricated It (Rossiya-24)

July 13, 2021

Translated and subtitled by Leo.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) itself unwittingly denied the version of Navalny’s poisoning. It’s hard to make a different conclusion to the OPCW report presented this week. In the document, it is said that the organization, with the request of Germany, formed a technical commission to check the information about the poisoning of the Russian citizen even from August 20th. Basically from the moment that the blogger started ‘feeling sick’ on board the plane, flying from Omsk to Moscow.

The reason for this malaise was not and couldn’t be understood by anyone. As the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova commented, in order to appeal to the OPCW, Germany had to have on-hand some primary data about the poisoning.

Maria Zakharova: “It means that the whole story was being prepared ahead of time. If by August 20, in that moment when the doctors didn’t get a chance to start the primary analysis, and make at least some conclusions, the OPCW already answered to Germany’s request. And they sent their experts on chemical weapons poisoning. It’s a falsification.”

Emergency help for Navalny after the unexpected plane landing in Omsk was done by ambulance paramedics from a local hospital. They were the first to do research on the status of his organs with all possible poison substances, including synthetic ones. And they received a negative result.

Already two days later, the blogger landed in Berlin from a special flight for his further treatment. Germany and other Western countries accused Russia of poisoning. However, the data from the analysis on the basis of which this conclusion was made, overlooking the numerous official inquiries made by Moscow, neither Berlin nor the OPCW provided them with it. And now without any analysis, it has emerged that the version of using a battle-poison substance against Navalny, was knitted by white threads.

Will the Russians sink a British ship the next time around?

June 28, 2021

To begin, let’s recap what just happened in the Crimean waters. First, the HMS Defender deliberately entered the Russian waters under the pretext that the Brits don’t recognize what they call the “annexation” of Crimea. The Brits deny it, but after seeing 4 bombs explode ahead of the HMS Defender, they altered their course as the Russians demanded.

Next, before looking into this deeper, let’s also keep in mind the following fact: the entire Black Sea is a de facto “Russian lake” meaning that Russia has the full military control of the Black Sea. For those alternatively gifted, let me explain what this means:

  • The Bal and Bastion coastal defense missiles can sink any ship in the Black Sea in minutes.
  • The Black Sea Fleet has seven advanced diesel-electric attack submarines, arguably the most advanced on the planet.
  • The HMS Defender was operating without any air cover but detected over 20 Russian military aircraft overflying it.

For a more detailed discussion of this reality, please see these four (hereherehere and here) articles by Andrei Martyanov. For a more detailed discussion of the laws of the sea, please see this discussion by Nat South.

In other words, the HMS Defender was a sitting duck with no chance of survival had the Russians decided to fire in anger. General Konashenkov, who is in charge of contacts with the media, had this to say about the outcome of the British provocation: (emphasis added)

“The epic fiasco of the provocation of the British destroyer Defender in the Black Sea, which abruptly changed course from Russian territorial waters after the warning shots of the patrol ship, will remain a fragrant stain on the reputation of the Royal Navy for a long time”

(-: Thereby suggesting that the Brits soiled their pants and ran for their lives 

Speaking of anger: I have been parsing the Russian media over the past couple of days and I will only say that there are A LOT of commentators who are mad at the Kremlin for NOT opening fire in earnest and sinking the Defender.

Furthermore, several Russian officials have now indicated that the next time around, the intruders would be destroyed.

Did I mention that the British Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice declared in an interview that the Brits plan to repeat such operations in the future?

This now begs the question: would the Kremlin really risk WWIII by sinking a British Navy Ship trying to, to use a British expression, “poke the Russian bear”?

Interestingly, the Brits deny that the Russians fired any munitions ahead of the Defender. Why would they do that? My personal explanation is that the British government does not want to freak out the British and European public opinion. But if they are hiding the truth, it means that this is a truth which makes them uncomfortable. What do you think they might be hiding?

Still, the two UK reporters who were on the Defender (by total coincidence, I am sure), both reported hearing explosions and seeing Russian combat aircraft. The Russian FSB also released video footage taken from the Russian border patrol ships which were shadowing the HMS Defender. You can clearly see the Russian firing their guns ahead of the HMS Defender:

The Russians also have radar footage from many sources and it has been really easy for them to prove that the Defender changed course and left after four bombs exploded ahead on its course.

The reason for all this? “We don’t recognize the annexation of Crimea”. Which makes no sense because EVEN if the UK does not recognize the Russian “annexation” of Crimea (and, along with that, the democratic will of the people of Crimea), they should still recognize the indisputable fact that Russia is the “occupying power” which, therefore, has the legal right to deny any ship “innocent passage” if it believes that this ship is a threat, collecting intelligence or used for propaganda purposes (again, read Nat South’s superb discussion on the applicability of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to this situation). As usual, the Brits are lying about everything, including what the UNCLOS really says…

Now let’s look at this from the Russian point of view.

First, the Russians remember how the Brits declared a 200 miles zone around the Malvinas Islands (“Falklands” in UK parlance) and immediately sunk the cruiser General Belgrano as soon as it entered this zone. The Russians also remember how the Turks shot down a Russian SU-24 over Syria because it had penetrated in Turkish air space for exactly 6 seconds. The HMS Defender spent about 30 minutes in Russian waters.

Can you really blame them for feeling that “some are more equal than others”?

The Brits, being the superior race which only they think they are, declared that they only changed course because a slower Russian vessel was ahead of them and they decided to pass it from the open waters side. In fact, the Brits are so superior to the mongoloid Russian hordes and their dictator that they refused to even reply to the Russian coast guard vessel when it threatened to open fire if the Brits did not change course.

NOT talking to Russia, ever, seems to be the latest fad with NATOThe same goes for the EU which is now hostage to the 3B+PU nutcases.

(I wonder, does anybody still believe this crap? Does anybody still believe that Great Britain is, well, great? In Russia the expression “мелкобритания” is increasingly used. Translated into English this would be something like “Tiny Britain”)

Anyways, all of the above clearly shows one of two things:

  • The Brits do not believe that Russia could sink a UK warship
  • The Brits are willing to risk a major military incident possibly leading to war in order to maintain tensions between Russia and the collective West (aka the AngloZionist Empire).

This begs the question: are the Brits correct, or are they delusional?

First, we need to understand the purpose of this provocation: to disrupt the planned summit between the EU and Russia which France and Germany seemed to support, and which the 3B+PU and the Netherlands and the Czech Republic (iirc) categorically opposed (the Ukraine is not member of the EU, but they sure acted as if they had some kind of moral veto power over EU decisions). Sure, the UK has Brexited and should therefore not have any say in EU decisions, but the Anglosphere has enough power over the EU to make this completely irrelevant. We also know that Boris Johnson personally gave the order to the HMS Defender to enter Russian waters. Obviously, that kind of high level decision could not have been taken without Uncle Shmuel’s approval, thus we are dealing with a very deliberately calculated action. If this was the goal, it has been a total success and the Brits just screwed over Macron and Merkel.

Second, this is really largely irrelevant for Russia. If the EU cannot muster enough political courage to talk to Russia, then Russia will directly talk with those countries which want to talk to Russia. To put it bluntly, Russia does not give a damn about the 3B+PU. As for the Netherlands, they are a big investor in the Russian economy and Russians don’t care about what the Dutch might or might not say, as long as they keep investing (in Euros, by the way!), which, so far, they still are. Besides, considering the economic size of Holland, even if they stopped investing this would only be a minor nuisance for Russia. In fact, Merkel has even declared that if the EU cannot agree to have a dialog with Russia, Germany would seek other venues for this purpose.

Third, what just happened is yet another clear sign that the EU is profoundly dysfunctional. After the end of the USSR in 1991, russophobic Neocons in the West decided to make the Russians “pay” by incorporating ex WTO and ex Soviet Republics into NATO. At first, it looked great, but now it has become clear that the blowback from this truly idiotic policy has many unexpected benefits for Russia and major problems for the Empire. They include:

  • Russia got rid of all the Soviet periphery which was bleeding the Soviet Union dry.
  • None of the newly created states has become a viable, successful state.
  • The Empire spent many billions trying to prop up these newly independent states (ex USSR and eastern Europe) and tried to turn them into some anti-Russia showcase. They totally and comprehensively failed.
  • Now the UK and, even more so, the 3B+PU have taken the EU hostage and are preventing the countries which matter from, well, mattering anymore.
  • Countries bordering Russia are now all demanding NATO troops, which puts the latter in the worst possible position, right across the Russian border and, therefore, within range of too many Russian weapons to list here.
  • Last, but not least, the stupid and, frankly, totally irresponsible actions of countries like the UK and the Ukraine risk involving all of Europe in a most dangerous and devastating war.

Bottom line is this: the leaders of the AngloZionist thought they had scored big with the expansion of the EU and NATO. Now they are screwed in a major way and with no solution in sight.

This all is hardly big news, but yet another confirmation of the advanced state of collapse of both NATO and the EU. Conversely, the more EU countries decide to hold bilateral talks with Russia, the better for the future of the European continent.

As for the Brits, they are clearly suffering from phantom pains for their lost empire. Think of it, in less than one century the British Empire went from being the empire upon which the sun never sets, (Britannia rules the waves, etc.) to being the USA’s poodle which nobody respects or takes seriously. Bojo is desperate to prove that he is a “new Churchill” which will teach the damn Russians (and Chinese!) to kowtow to the UK or, failing that, at least kowtow to the Anglosphere. And, as a typical western politician, Bojo is both too ignorant and too narcissistic to understand the risks he is taking.

The Brits seemed to be combining imperialist arrogance (and delusion!) with a truly shocking lack of PR skills. Not only did they deny that the Russians opened warning fire ahead of them, only to have the FSB prove this denial false by publishing the video of the Russian coast guard vessel firing ahead of the Defender, but now they came up with a truly clumsy piece of nonsense about how a “super dooper secret” dossier on the British plans was somehow apparently found by a passer-by in a heap of trash behind a bus stop in Kent (you think I am joking, then see here). Needless to say, the Russians openly made fun of the Brits saying that “007 agents agents aren’t what they used to be”. Furthermore, it now appears that some top UK officials were very much opposed to this move which was demanded by Johnson personally (see here and here).

What about the British military?

We know that their actual capabilities are laughable. But what about their understanding of the situation?

I am not a mind reader and I don’t know what the British sailors (and their bosses) were thinking, but there is one thing which I am sure of: the next time around (and, there will be a next time according to UK ministers), the Russians will use force. If possible, they will try to ram the intruding vessel; if not, they might strike at the intruding vessel’s engines/props to disable it and, possibly, tow it. Should the intruding vessel try to fire back, the Russians would probably fire a torpedo and disable it. That is my best guess. I also decided to ask Andrei Martyanov (a former Soviet Navy officer) what he thinks will happen the next time around. Here is his reply:

“Most likely, they will open fire, but first only with small-caliber naval artillery (30-mm from the Russian border patrol ship or even 76-mm), and that fire will be aimed at the propeller-steering group (i.e. at the stern) to begin with. At the same time, the coastal defense batteries will actively track the intruder with their targeting radar, plus the Russian will “hang” 15-20 Su-24 and SU-30SM in immediate readiness to use more serious means – for example, the supersonic (M = 3.5) anti-radiation X-31 and take out the mast with its radar. That is just for starters. Next, the Russians will gage the reaction of the intruder: if they try to shoot at any Russian target, they will be sunk. But this would only happen inside Russian territorial waters. Outside Russian waters the Russians will only monitor their moves. Lastly, do not forget – there are anywhere between 4 and 7 Project 636 submarines at any one time patrolling the Black Sea, each capable of firing 6 3M54 anti-ship missiles in one salvo.”

The British paratroopers also recently engaged in a major airdrop in Jordan. The Brits see that as, quote “as show of force to ISIS and Russia”. Russia’s reaction? The Russian Aerospace Forces dispatched two MiG-31K carrying the Kinzhal hypersonic missiles to the Russian Aerospace base in Khmeimim, thus showing the Brits that their ships in the Mediterranean and Black Sea sail at the pleasure of Russia. Again, this won’t be reported by the western legacy ziomedia in order to keep the public opinion totally unaware of the risks Bojo and his gang are taking in the name of their phantom pains about empire. Russian Aerospace Forces Tu-22M3M were also recently deployed to Khmeimim.

Here is a short video of the Russian MoD Zvezda channel to give you an idea of how this all looks (in Russian, but no translation needed) and which quite openly shows whom the Russians consider their likely target.

Here is a Zerohedge article discussing some of this.

Does anybody still remember what happened when the “invincible” British Navy tried to participate in Trump’s (totally failed) cruise missile attack on Syria? The British subs in the Mediterranean were shadowed by not one, but apparently two Russian submarines. That convinced the British sub commander that firing its missiles would be suicidal. The Brits gave up and left the area.

There is a pattern here: western politicians make a lot of very loud statements; the Russians simply take whatever actions they deem necessary, which frees them from the need to make threats of roaring statements in the first place.

This approach has a problem: only highly specialized people in the West are fully aware of what the Russians are doing and even less people fully understand the implications of the Russian actions. Add to this a western media which lies for a living, and this results in a population in Europe which is almost totally unaware of the very real risks the reckless actions of their (supposed) representative governments engage in. How many Brits will realize that a grinning and apparently happy Boris Johnson has almost stumbled into a war with Russia? Very few I bet. If anything, the common folk in the West are told that (a) their military is the best and (b) that the Russian military is much weaker and the Russians understand that. Ergo: there is no risk.

Then there is the fact that while the general population is kept in total ignorance, western political elites are mostly composed of folks with very strong narcissistic tendencies combined with a total inability to learn from mistakes (both theirs and those of others). Needless to say, history does not inform these people either. Finally, since these folks can never admit a mistake, however minor or serious, they cannot change course; doubling down over and over is pretty much all they are capable of.

Conclusion:

There is no doubt that the Biden Administration has taken a very different course towards Russia (and Iran, by the way!) than the one favored by the Trump administration. I attribute this change of policy to the likely realization by top Pentagon officials that the US desperately needs to “catch its breath” and that the US military is in no condition to take on any other halfway competent military. Even if this is a ploy to win time for reorganizing, I welcome this as, by definition, anything is preferable to war, especially a full-scale war. However, there are clearly interests in both the US and Europe which are desperately opposed to any form of detente with Russia and who want to maintain an atmosphere of crisis and tensions just short of war. Of course, I don’t believe in any meaningful differences between the various factions competing for power on a strategic level: they all want to destroy, submit, break up and otherwise devastate Russia. This 1000 year old dream of the western ruling elites (pretty much all of them) still remains the strategic target of the West. But on a tactical level there appear to be two factions, one which understands that the Empire desperately needs a break to regroup and refine its strategy and another one which still seems to believe that the Empire is invincible and appears to be hell-bent on triggering as many conflicts/wars as it deems necessary to restore Uncle Shmuel’s worldwide hegemony.

That second group, clearly strong, has ties with the UK and the 3B+PU gang who are desperate to remain relevant and who understands that should there ever be any type detente (or even a tense modus vivendi) agreed upon between Russia and the West, that group would become comprehensively irrelevant to the future of our planet. While we can disagree with this logic, we have to remain aware that for countries like the UK or the 3B+PU this is truly an existential issue and that they see a continuation of tensions as the only path to political survival. On this specific point, I happen to agree with them.

I mentioned that ever since Dubya, all the US Presidents who came to the White House were extremely weak, which resulted in the breakup of any single US foreign policy into many different, and often contradictory, “mini foreign policies” by various branches of the government (Congress vs White House, plus a Pentagon foreign policy, a CIA foreign policy, a Foggy Bottom policy, a DoE policy, etc. etc. etc.). Hence, for example, the recent seizure by Uncle Shmuel of the PressTV domain name. (BTW – the domain name https://www.presstv.ir/ still works!).

This all makes for a very dangerous brew. Especially since the Russians clearly and sincerely believe that they cannot back down any further.

I therefore conclude that a future military incident, with the use of fire in anger, and possibly resulting in a real war, remains not only possible, but even likely, unless the factions in the West which want a time-out to regroup manage to get the russophobic nutcases under control.

Will that happen? I doubt it very much. Biden is not only weak and senile, his Administration has been organized with wokeness and (pseudo) “diversity” as opposed to competence or expertise. Thus, the collective Biden (which I designate as “Biden” as opposed to the real Biden) is probably too weak to get the crazies under control, even for a short time.

And here is the really scary thing: from the Russian point of view (and Russians all understand all of the above), sinking a British ship might well be the best solution. Why? Because once this happens, it will be impossible to conceal from the western public opinion that its so-called “leaders” are reckless, incompetant, delusional and simply dangerous narcissists who are now willing to risk a continental war (possibly nuclear!) just in order to keep denying the reality of their irrelevance. If Russia wanted to invade the UK, I believe that most Brits would be willing to risk it all to defend their motherland. But I very much doubt that a majority/plurality of Brits would support the notion of dying for Crimea even if they believe that Russia “annexed” the peninsula and is now “oppressing the Ukrainian people of Crimea”. Nor would they want to die over MH17, Skripal, Syria, Navalnyi or the oppressed homos in Chechnia.

There is one more thing I think Putin could do: make a solemn speech and directly address the people of the West telling them the truth about what the western political leaders are doing. He could honestly tell the people in the West that Russia has retreated as far as she could. He can tell the people of the West that Russia did what she so often did in history, she traded space for time and that the four years break of the Trump Administration has allowed Russia to fully rearm, retrain and reorganize her armed forces which are now quite capable of taking on both the US and NATO and prevail.

Yes, I know, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi tried to appeal to the people of the West and, in both cases, the democratic and free western media completely obfuscated these admittedly naive and clumsy attempts. But if Putin speaks directly to the people of the West, and explains to them what a war (even a conventional one) would mean for Europe, they would have to listen. Putin could clearly indicate to the people of the West which actions of the Empire Russia could never and would never tolerate. Finally, he could clearly spell out why the Russian people would prefer war to any surrender to the Empire. And, just to make sure that the message gets through, the Russian Navy might want to have one of its Yasen-M class SSGN surface somewhere in the Channel or the Tu-160 practice a cruise missile release on London (only electronically, of course). Hussein and Gaddafi did not have such capabilities. Russia does, and she should make use of them.

Fear, especially existential fear, might well be the only thing which could break through the wall of silence and disinformation which the western media has been feeding the people for decades.

How much hope do I place in the Biden Administration taking control of the nutcases or for Putin to directly address the people of the West? Not much at all. And the next best outcome is for Russia to sink a US/UK warship (or shoot down an aircraft) without triggering a continental war. Is that even possible? Yes, I think so. Very dangerous, but possible.

Does Russia have any other choice? If so, I don’t see it. Do you?

Post scriptum: this just in – the USS Ross (DDG-71), an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer in the United States Navy, has just entered to Black Sea on her way to Odessa where the Ukies are preparing monoevers if their “mosquito fleet” in the latest “Sea Breeze” NATO maneuvers (the biggest ones to date – 30 countries participate!). The Ukies have also declared that the Ross plans to follow the exact same course as the Defender did. The Russians? They announced that the USS Ross is now a “fat target” on their coastal defense missiles Bal and Bastion. As for Foreign Minister Lavrov, he just authored a seminal article entitled “The Law, the Rights and the Rules” which, still using diplomatic language, shows the utter disgust even Russian diplomats feel for the incompetence and hypocrisy of the West.

“More of the same” seems to be the trend of the day…

Article by Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, “The Law, the Rights and the Rules”, Moscow, June 28, 2021

Article by Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, “The Law, the Rights and the Rules”, Moscow, June 28, 2021

June 27, 2021

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4801890

The frank and generally constructive conversation that took place at the June 16, 2021 summit meeting between presidents Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden in Geneva resulted in an agreement to launch a substantive dialogue on strategic stability, reaffirming the crucial premise that nuclear war is unacceptable. The two sides also reached an understanding on the advisability of engaging in consultations on cybersecurity, the operation of diplomatic missions, the fate of imprisoned Russian and US citizens and a number of regional conflicts.

The Russian leader made it clear, including in his public statements, that finding a mutually acceptable balance of interests strictly on a parity basis is the only way to deliver …The Russian leader made it clear, including in his public statements, that finding a mutually acceptable balance of interests strictly on a parity basis is the only way to deliver on any of these tracks. There were no objections during the talks. However, in their immediate aftermath, US officials, including those who participated in the Geneva meeting, started asserting what seemed to be foregone tenets, perorating that they had “made it clear” to Moscow, “warned it, and stated their demands.” Moreover, all these “warnings” went hand in hand with threats: if Moscow does not accept the “rules of the road” set forth in Geneva in a matter of several months, it would come under renewed pressure.

Of course, it has yet to be seen how the consultations to define specific ways for fulfilling the Geneva understandings as mentioned above will proceed. As Vladimir Putin said during his news conference following the talks, “we have a lot to work on.” That said, it is telling that Washington’s ineradicable position was voiced immediately following the talks, especially since European capitals immediately took heed of the Big Brother’s sentiment and picked up the tune with much gusto and relish. The gist of their statements is that they are ready to normalise their relations with Moscow, but only after it changes the way it behaves.

It is as if a choir has been pre-arranged to sing along with the lead vocalist. It seems that this was what the series of high-level Western events in the build-up to the Russia-US talks was all about: the Group of Seven Summit in Cornwall, UK, the NATO Summit in Brussels, as well as Joseph Biden’s meeting with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

These meetings were carefully prepared in a way that leaves no doubt that the West wanted to send a clear message: it stands united like never before and will do what it believes to be right in international affairs, while forcing others, primarily Russia and China, to follow its lead. The documents adopted at the Cornwall and Brussels summits cemented the rules-based world order concept as a counterweight to the universal principles of international law with the UN Charter as its primary source.

In doing so, the West deliberately shies away from spelling out the rules it purports to follow, just as it refrains from explaining why they are needed. After all, there are already thousands of universal international legal instruments setting out clear national commitments and transparent verification mechanisms. The beauty of these Western “rules” lies precisely in the fact that they lack any specific content.When someone acts against the will of the West, it immediately responds with a groundless claim that “the rules have been broken” (without bothering to present any evidence) and declares its “right to hold the perpetrators accountable.” The less specific they get, the freer their hand to carry on with the arbitrary practice of employing dirty tactics as a way to pressure competitors. During the so-called “wild 1990s” in Russia, we used to refer to such practices as laying down the law.

To the participants in the G7, NATO and US-EU summits, this series of high-level events signalled the return by the United States into European affairs and the restored consolidation of the Old World under the wing of the new administration in Washington. Most NATO and EU members met this U-turn with enthusiastic comments rather than just a sigh of relief. The adherence to liberal values as the humanity’s guiding star provides an ideological underpinning for the reunification of the “Western family.” Without any false modesty, Washington and Brussels called themselves “an anchor for democracy, peace and security,” as opposed to “authoritarianism in all its forms.” In particular, they proclaimed their intent to use sanctions to “support democracy across the globe.” To this effect, they took on board the American idea of convening a Summit for Democracy. Make no mistake, the West will cherry pick the participants in this summit. It will also set an agenda that is unlikely to meet any opposition from the participants of its choosing. There has been talk of democracy-exporting countries undertaking “enhanced commitments” to ensure universal adherence to “democratic standards” and devising mechanisms for controlling these processes.

The revitalised Anglo-American Atlantic Charter approved by Joseph Biden and Boris Johnson on June 10, 2021 on the sidelines of the G7 Summit is also worth noting. It was cast as an updated version of the 1941 document signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill under the same title. At the time, it played an important role in shaping the contours of the post-war world order.

However, neither Washington, nor London mentioned an essential historical fact: eighty years ago, the USSR and a number of European governments in exile joined the 1941 charter, paving the way to making it one of the conceptual pillars of the Anti-Hitler Coalition and one of the legal blueprints of the UN Charter.

By the same token, the New Atlantic Charter has been designed as a starting point for building a new world order, but guided solely by Western “rules.” Its provisions are ideologically tainted. They seek to widen the gap between the so-called liberal democracies and all other nations, as well as legitimise the rules-based order. The new charter fails to mention the UN or the OSCE, while stating without any reservations the adherence by the Western nations to their commitments as NATO members, viewed de facto as the only legitimate decision-making centre (at least this is how former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen described NATO’s role). It is clear that the same philosophy will guide the preparations for the Summit for Democracy.

Labelled as “authoritarian powers,” Russia and China have been designated as the main obstacles to delivering on the agenda set out at the June summits. From a general perspective, they face two groups of grievances, loosely defined as external and internal. In terms of international affairs, Beijing is accused of being too assertive … Russia stands accused of adopting an “aggressive posture”in a number of regions. This is the way they treat Moscow’s policy aimed at countering ultra-radical and neo-Nazi aspirations in its immediate neighbourhood, where the rights of Russians, as well as other ethnic minorities, are being suppressed, and the Russian language, education and culture rooted out. They also dislike the fact than Moscow stands up for countries that became victims to Western gambles, were attacked by international terrorists and risked losing their statehood, as was the case with Syria.

Still, the West reserved its biggest words to the inner workings of the “non-democratic” countries and its commitment to reshape them to fit into the Western mould. This entails bringing society in compliance with the vision of democracy as preached by Washington and Brussels. This lies at the root of the demands that Moscow and Beijing, as well as all others, follow the Western prescriptions on human rights, civil society, opposition treatment, the media, governance and the interaction between the branches of power. While proclaiming the “right” to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries for the sake of promoting democracy as it understands it, the West instantly loses all interest when we raise the prospect of making international relations more democratic, including renouncing arrogant behaviour and committing to abide by the universally recognised tenets of international law instead of “rules.” By expanding sanctions and other illegitimate coercive measures against sovereign states, the West promotes totalitarian rule in global affairs, assuming an imperial, neo-colonial stance in its relations with third countries. They are asked to adopt the democratic rule under the model of the Western choosing, and forget about democracy in international affairs, since someone will be deciding everything for them. All that is asked of these third countries is to keep quiet, or face reprisals.

Clearheaded politicians in Europe and America realise that this uncompromising policy leads nowhere, and are beginning to think pragmatically, albeit out of public view, recognising that the world has more than just one civilisation. They are beginning to recognise that Russia, China and other major powers have a history that dates back a thousand years, and have their own traditions, values and way of life. Attempts to decide whose values are better, and whose are worse, seem pointless. Instead, the West must simply recognise that there are other ways to govern that may be different from the Western approaches, and accept and respect this as a given. No country is immune to human rights issues, so why all this high-browed hubris? Why do the Western countries assume that they can deal with these issues on their own, since they are democracies, while others have yet to reach this level, and are in need of assistance that the West will generously provide.

International relations are going through fundamental shifts that affect everyone without exception. Trying to predict where it will take us is impossible. Still, there is a question: messianic aspirations apart, what is the most effective form of government for coping with and removing threats that transcend borders and affect all people, no matter where they live? Political scientists are beginning to compare the available toolboxes used by the so-called liberal democracies and by “autocratic regimes.” In this context, it is telling that the term “autocratic democracy” has been suggested, even if timidly.

These are useful considerations, and serious-minded politicians who are currently in power, among others, must take heed. Thinking and scrutinising what is going on around us has never hurt anyone. The multipolar world is becoming reality.Attempts to ignore this reality by asserting oneself as the only legitimate decision-making centre will hardly bring about solutions to real, rather than farfetched challenges. Instead, what is needed is mutually respectful dialogue involving the leading powers and with due regard for the interests of all other members of the international community. This implies an unconditional commitment to abide by the universally accepted norms and principles of international law, including respecting the sovereign equality of states, non-interference in their domestic affairs, peaceful resolution of conflict, and the right to self-determination.

Taken as a whole, the historical West dominated the world for five hundred years. However, there is no doubt that it now sees that this era is coming to a close, while clinging to the status it used to enjoy, and putting artificial brakes on the objective process consisting in the emergence of a polycentric world. This brought about an attempt to provide a conceptual underpinning to the new vision of multilateralism. For example, France and Germany tried to promote “effective multilateralism,” rooted in the EU ideals and actions, and serving as a model to everyone else, rather than promoting UN’s inclusive multilateralism.

By imposing the concept of a rules-based order, the West seeks to shift the conversation on key issues to the platforms of its liking, where no dissident voices can be herd. This is how like-minded groups and various “appeals” emerge. This is about coordinating prescriptions and then making everyone else follow them. Examples include an “appeal for trust and security in cyberspace”, “the humanitarian appeal for action”, and a “global partnership to protect media freedom.” Each of these platforms brings together only several dozen countries, which is far from a majority, as far as the international community is concerned. The UN system offers inclusive negotiations platforms on all of the abovementioned subjects. Understandably, this gives rise to alternative points of view that have to be taken into consideration in search of a compromise, but all the West wants is to impose its own rules.

At the same time, the EU develops dedicated horizontal sanctions regimes for each of its “like-minded groups,” of course, without looking back at the UN Charter. This is how it works: those who join these “appeals” or “partnerships” decide among themselves who violates their requirements in a given sphere, and the European Union imposes sanctions on those at fault. What a convenient method. They can indict and punish all by themselves without ever needing to turn to the UN Security Council. They even came up with a rationale to this effect: since we have an alliance of the most effective multilateralists, we can teach others to master these best practices. To those who believe this to be undemocratic or at odds with a vision of genuine multilateralism, President of France Emmanuel Macron offered an explanation in his remarks on May 11, 2021: multilateralism does not mean necessity to strike unanimity, and the position of those “who do not wish to continue moving forward must not be able to stop … an ambitious avant-garde” of the world community.

Make no mistake: there is nothing wrong with the rules per se. On the contrary, the UN Charter is a set of rules, but these rules were approved by all countries of the world, rather than by a closed group at a cosy get-together.

An interesting detail: in Russian, the words “law” and “rule” share a single root. To us, a rule that is genuine and just is inseparable from the law. This is not the case for Western languages. For instance, in English, the words “law” and “rule” do not share any resemblance. See the difference? “Rule” is not so much about the law, in the sense of generally accepted laws, as it is about the decisions taken by the one who rules or governs. It is also worth noting that “rule” shares a single root with “ruler,” with the latter’s meanings including the commonplace device for measuring and drawing straight lines. It can be inferred that through its concept of “rules” the West seeks to align everyone around its vision or apply the same yardstick to everybody, so that everyone falls into a single file.

While reflecting on linguistics, worldview, sentiment, and the way they vary from one nation or culture to another, it is worth recollecting how the West has been justifying NATO’s unreserved eastward expansion towards the Russian border. When we point to the assurances provided to the Soviet Union that this would not happen, we hear that these were merely spoken promises, and there were no documents signed to this effect.There is a centuries-old tradition in Russia of making handshake deals without signing anything and holding one’s word as sacrosanct, but it seems unlikely to ever take hold in the West.

Efforts to replace international law by Western “rules” include an immanently dangerous policy of revising the history and outcomes of the Second World War and the Nuremberg trials verdicts as the foundation of today’s world order. The West refuses to support a Russia-sponsored UN resolution proclaiming that glorifying Nazism is unacceptable, and rejects our proposals to discuss the demolition of monuments to those who liberated Europe. They also want to condemn to oblivion momentous post-war developments, such as the 1960 UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, initiated by our country. The former colonial powers seek to efface this memory by replacing it with hastily concocted rituals like taking a knee ahead of sports competitions, in order to divert attention from their historical responsibility for colonial-era crimes.

The rules-based order is the embodiment of double standards. The right to self-determination is recognised as an absolute “rule” whenever it can be used to an advantage. This applies to the Malvinas Islands, or the Falklands, some 12,000 kilometres from Great Britain, to the remote former colonial territories Paris and London retain despite multiple UN resolutions and rulings by the International Court of Justice, as well as Kosovo, which obtained its “independence” in violation of a UN Security Council resolution. However, if self-determination runs counter to the Western geopolitical interests, as it happened when the people of Crimea voted for reunification with Russia, this principle is cast aside, while condemning the free choice made by the people and punishing them with sanctions.

Apart from encroaching on international law, the “rules” concept also manifests itself in attempts to encroach on the very human nature. In a number of Western countries, students learn at school that Jesus Christ was bisexual. Attempts by reasonable politicians to shield the younger generation from aggressive LGBT propaganda are met with bellicose protests from the “enlightened Europe.” All world religions, the genetic code of the planet’s key civilisations, are under attack. The United States is at the forefront of state interference in church affairs, openly seeking to drive a wedge into the Orthodox world, whose values are viewed as a powerful spiritual obstacle for the liberal concept of boundless permissiveness.

The insistence and even stubbornness demonstrated by the West in imposing its “rules” are striking. Of course, domestic politics is a factor, with the need to show voters how tough your foreign policy can get when dealing with “autocratic foes” during every electoral cycle, which happen every two years in the United States.

Still, it was also the West that coined the “liberty, equality, fraternity” motto. I do not know whether the term “fraternity” is politically correct in today’s Europe from a “gender perspective,” but there were no attempts to encroach on equality so far. As mentioned above, while preaching equality and democracy in their countries and demanding that other follow its lead, the West refuses to discuss ways to ensure equality and democracy in international affairs.

This approach is clearly at odds with the ideals of freedom. The veil of its superiority conceals weakness and the fear of engaging in a frank conversation not only with yes-men and those eager to fall in line, but also with opponents with different beliefs and values, not neo-liberal or neo-conservative ones, but those learned at mother’s knee, inherited from many past generations, traditions and beliefs.

It is much harder to accept the diversity and competition of ideas in the development of the world than to invent prescriptions for all of humanity within a narrow circle of the like-minded, free from any disputes on matters of principle, which makes the emergence of truth all but impossible. However, universal platforms can produce agreements that are much more solid, sustainable, and can be subject to objective verification.

This immutable truth struggles to make it through to the Western elites, consumed as they are with the exceptionalism complex. As I mentioned earlier in this article, right after the talks between Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden, EU and NATO officials rushed to announce that nothing has changed in the way they treat Russia. Moreover, they are ready to see their relations with Moscow deteriorate further, they claimed.

Moreover, it is an aggressive Russophobic minority that increasingly sets the EU’s policy, as confirmed by the EU Summit in Brussels on June 24 and 25, 2021, where the future of relations with Russia was on the agenda. The idea voiced by Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to hold a meeting with Vladimir Putin was killed before it saw the light of day. Observers noted that the Russia-US Summit in Geneva was tantamount to a go-ahead by the United States to have this meeting, but the Baltic states, siding with Poland, cut short this “uncoordinated” attempt by Berlin and Paris, while the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry summoned the German and French ambassadors to explain their governments’ actions. What came out of the debates at the Brussels summit was an instruction to the European Commission and the European Union External Action Service to devise new sanctions against Moscow without referring to any specific “sins,” just in case. No doubt they will come up with something, should the need arise.

Neither NATO, nor the EU intend to divert from their policy of subjugating other regions of the world, proclaiming a self-designated global messianic mission.The North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation is seeking to proactively contribute to America’s strategy for the Indo-Pacific Region, clearly targeted at containing China, and undermining ASEAN’s role in its decades-long efforts to build an inclusive cooperation architecture for Asia-Pacific. In turn, the European Union drafts programmes to “embrace” geopolitical spaces in its neighbourhood and beyond, without coordinating these initiatives even with the invited countries. This is what the Eastern Partnership, as well as a recent programme approved by Brussels for Central Asia, are all about. There is a fundamental difference between these approaches and the ones guiding integration processes with Russia’s involvement: the CIS, the CSTO, EurAsEC and the SCO, which seek to develop relations with external partners exclusively on the basis of parity and mutual agreement.

With its contemptuous attitude towards other members of the international community, the West finds itself on the wrong side of history.

Serious, self-respecting countries will never tolerate attempts to talk to them through ultimatums and will discuss any issues only on an equal footing.

As for Russia, it is high time that everyone understands that we have drawn a definitive line under any attempts to play a one-way game with us. All the mantras we hear from the Western capitals on their readiness to put their relations with Moscow back on track, as long as it repents and changes its tack, are meaningless. Still, many persist, as if by inertia, in presenting us with unilateral demands, which does little, if any, credit to how realistic they are.

The policy of having the Russian Federation develop on its own, independently and protecting national interests, while remaining open to reaching agreements with foreign partners on an equal basis, has long been at the core of all its position papers on foreign policy, national security and defence. However, judging by the practical steps taken over the recent years by the West, they probably thought that Russia did not really mean what it preached, as if it did not intend to follow through on these principles. This includes the hysterical response to Moscow’s efforts to stand up for the rights of Russians in the aftermath of the bloody 2014 government coup in Ukraine, supported by the United States, NATO and the EU. They thought that if they applied some more pressure on the elites and targeted their interests, while expanding personal, financial and other sectoral sanctions, Moscow would come to its senses and realise that it would face mounting challenges on its development path, as long as it did not “change its behaviour,” which implies obeying the West. Even when Russia made it clear that we view this policy by the United States and Europe as a new reality and will proceed on economic and other matters from the premise that we cannot depend on unreliable partners, the West persisted in believing that, at the end of the day, Moscow “will come to its senses” and will make the required concessions for the sake of financial reward. Let me emphasise what President Vladimir Putin has said on multiple occasions: there have been no unilateral concessions since the late 1990s and there never will be. If you want to work with us, recover lost profits and business reputations, let us sit down and agree on ways we can meet each other half way in order to find fair solutions and compromises.

It is essential that the West understands that this is a firmly ingrained worldview among the people of Russia, reflecting the attitude of the overwhelming majority here. The “irreconcilable” opponents of the Russian government who have placed their stakes on the West and believe that all Russia’s woes come from its anti-Western stance advocate unilateral concessions for the sake of seeing the sanctions lifted and receiving hypothetical financial gains. But they are totally marginal in Russian society. During his June 16, 2021 news conference in Geneva, Vladimir Putin made it abundantly clear what the West is after when it supports these marginal forces.

These are disruptive efforts as far as history is concerned, while Russians have always demonstrated maturity, a sense of self-respect, dignity and national pride, and the ability to think independently, especially during hard times, while remaining open to the rest of the world, but only on an equal, mutually beneficial footing. Once we put the confusion and mayhem of the 1990s behind us, these values became the bedrock of Russia’s foreign policy concept in the 21st century. The people of Russia can decide on how they view the actions by their government without getting any prompts from abroad.

As to the question on how to proceed on the international stage, there is no doubt that leaders will always play an important role, but they have to reaffirm their authority, offer new ideas and lead by conviction, not ultimatums. The Group of Twenty, among others, is a natural platform for working out mutually acceptable agreements. It brings together the leading economies, young and old, including the G7, as well as the BRICS and its like-minded countries. Russia’s initiative to form a Greater Eurasian Partnership by coordinating the efforts of countries and organisations across the continent holds a powerful consolidating potential. Seeking toEfforts to bring more democracy to international relations and affirm a polycentric world order include reforming the UN Security Council by strengthening it with Asian, African and Latin American countries, and ending the anomaly with the excessive representation of the West in the UN’s main body.

facilitate an honest conversation on the key global stability matters, President Vladimir Putin suggested convening a summit of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council that have special responsibility for maintaining international peace and stability on the planet.

Regardless of any ambitions and threats, our country remains committed to a sovereign and independent foreign policy, while also ready to offer a unifying agenda in international affairs with due account for the cultural and civilisational diversity in today’s world. Confrontation is not our choice, no matter the rationale. On June 22, 2021, Vladimir Putin published an article “Being Open, Despite the Past,” in which he emphasised: “We simply cannot afford to carry the burden of past misunderstandings, hard feelings, conflicts, and mistakes.” He also discussed the need to ensure security without dividing lines, a common space for equitable cooperation and inclusive development. This approach hinges on Russia’s thousand-year history and is fully consistent with the current stage in its development. We will persist in promoting the emergence of an international relations culture based on the supreme values of justice and enabling all countries, large and small, to develop in peace and freedom. We will always remain open to honest dialogue with anyone who demonstrates a reciprocal readiness to find a balance of interests firmly rooted in international law. These are the rules we adhere to.

GRAPHIC: Al Qaeda in Idlib Plots New False Flag Chemical Attack

MIRI WOOD 

New chemical attack plotted in Idlib

Al Qaeda in Idlib and Hama are plotting a new false flag chemical attack. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates announced yesterday confirmation that the White Helmets terrorists, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS aka Nusra Front aka Al Qaeda Levant), and other related terrorists have brought “tankers loaded with raw chlorine through the Bab al Hawa crossing from Turkey.”

A lab in Atimah has been prepared for the terrorists to fill shells, fire the chemicals into civilian areas and again blame the Syrian government for the degenerate atrocities.

Terrorist organizations including the White Helmets and those who support them in the field and in some international platforms have not stopped preparing for terrorist acts by preparing for plays using chemical weapons in some areas of Idlib and Hama governorates. to accuse the Syrian Arab Army of it.

The Ministry “pointed out that Syria calls on the countries that support these terrorists to stop these games, whose victims were only innocent Syrian civilians, and not to carry out this new bloody crime. The Syrian Arab Republic will hold the countries supporting these terrorists, especially the United States, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey, responsible for using these games, toxic substances and the killing of civilians.”

The Ministry “called on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) not to ignore this information and the need to take it very seriously and deal with it within the framework of its mandate set out in the Chemical Weapons Convention instead of turning it into a vehicle for false accusations against Syria by the United States of America and its allies.”

The Syrian Arab Republic has repeatedly confirmed its categorical refusal to use chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances, and that it has not used these weapons before and cannot use them now because it does not possess them, and at the same time stresses the Such open and repeated crimes will not discourage it from continuing its war against terrorism until it restores security and safety to its people on the entire soil of Syria.

Thus ends the pristinely diplomatic portion of this report, announced by the Ministry on 22 June; now we take off the gloves to provide another in-depth look at the spawns of Satan, from the low-level criminally and violently insane, to the pristinely coiffed rabid NATO dogs of war, the hideously corrupt and Syrian blood-saturated liars running the NATO Degeneracy and Immorality League of the UN and of the OPCW.

The OPCW recently stripped Syria of its voting rights. According to its own reports, this is the same NATO klan that never entered Khan Sheikhoun, nor Ltamenah, nor Saraqib. OPCW reported no investigators could enter these areas because the terrorists caused safety problems.

Nonetheless, the ignoble club had no problem accepting the lies and the sexed-up forensics from the terrorists.

The gaggle of affluent scum is all here, neatly awaiting the criminal al Qaeda cover story to demonstrate its altruism by bombing Syria — humanitarianly, of course — because of the failure of the NATO Spring. The assemblage of blood-lusting, ravenous vultures masquerading as human beings are in a near-sexual frenzy over the possibility that China and/or Russia will vote against the extension of the UNSCR 2533 (2020) to keep open the Bab al Hawa lifeline from Turkey to al Qaeda in Idlib, and continue in rage state — a barb coma might be useful — over the re-election of President Bashar al Assad, and the subsequent interview with Dr. Bashar al Jaafari who defined Dr. Assad’s victory as the victory of the Syrian people against the unprecedented war of terror waged against them by NATO.

As another false flag chemical attack is being plotted, to be blamed on Syria’s obviously beloved president, let the unindicted war criminal miscreants of the UN and the unindicated mass murderers of the countries they represent, the last time any NATO head of state was surrounded by fellow citizens, and not by locked and loaded security forces; let the rabid dogs of war watch hundreds of Syrians storm the stage to hug and pet and kiss their president, after his speech at the Damascus Opera House, and let the vultures eat out their own hearts and each other’s livers, in dirty envy, instead of circling to devour Syrian flesh and blood.

Another chemical attack is plotted, to be blamed on the beloved president of Syria
War criminals pushing new chemical attack to blame on beloved president
Rabid dogs of war ready to unleash chemical attack to blame on beloved President Assad.

The false flag chemical attack atrocities have been the foundation of war crimes against Syria, beginning in late 2012, when intelligence operatives skilled in the handling of chemical weapons and poisons, demonstrated the deadly skills on rabbits, in an alleged makeshift lab in Gaziantep, Turkey; the 5 December video appeared to show the terminal use of VX:

On 21 December, the skilled human garbage provided a second threat of a chemical attack. Claiming the perverse name of Screaming Wind Chemical Battalion, that degenerate reported on the newly developed, quick-acting poison that would be used to pollute Alsinn Spring, the main water source for Lattakia; he also explained other efficient uses, to slaughter Syrians who dared to be patriots:

https://videopress.com/embed/0fSZ7JM1?preloadContent=metadata&hd=1

Diplomatic requests by the Syrian Mission for a UN-OPCW investigations of the threats were ignored; the efficient poison was later used in heinous snuff porn, showing agonizing deaths of kidnapped Syrian children, on 4 April 2017, in Khan Sheikhoun. The children had recently been kidnapped, and were also stripped half-naked for the sadistic enjoyment of all of the degenerates — from the lowly perverts, to the classy dogs of war.

In May 2013 — months before the criminally degenerate FSA launched the chemical attack in al Ghouta, with weapons provided by ”Prince Bandar” who neglected to teach his vermin in proper use — American illegal embedded with takfiri in Aleppo, Matthew Vandyke told unemployed ladies underwear salesboy cum Brit intelligence operative that the “rebels” had chemical weapons, were prepared to use them and blame on the government, and that President Assad was ‘winning’ and had no need to use them (Vandyke has been rewarded with a 501(c) fake charity, and an award for a 15-minute ‘fraudumentary‘, and Higgins with lots of money, war pimp media stenographers beating a path to his door, and a personal trainer).

NATO illegal in Syria told NATO operative in UK that 'rebels' ready for a chemical attack.
Matthew Vandyke, American illegal embedded with terrorists wrote Brit operatives that the savages were prepared to launch a chemical attack to blame on the government.

Post the heinous chemical attack in al Ghouta, August 2013, President Obama and other NATO accomplices prepared to ‘punish’ Syria with massive bombings for the attack by the takfiri vermin supported by NATO, but this plot was sabotaged when Syria joined the CWC and turned over its chemical weapons, in record time (the US, by the way, still holds approximately 3,000 tons of CWs, despite having joined CWC-OPCW in early 1997. Oddly, the filthy NATO junta ruling the UN does not hold monthly meetings against the US, as it does to Syria.). As with every yield to the demands of NATO tyrants (e.g., Iraq, Libya), said tyrants always create the loophole, used for destruction. In September 2014, Obama and accomplices used the convenient executions of British, US, and Japanese special operatives illegally in the SAR as slimy cover story to ignore Syrian sovereignty, and bomb it by fake targeting the US-created ISIS, though, in fact, the plot was to obliterate Syria while helping ISIS and other al Qaeda beasts with two legs.

Article by Vladimir Putin ”Being Open, Despite the Past“

June 22, 2021

Article by Vladimir Putin ”Being Open, Despite the Past“

An article by the President of Russia has been published in the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit and is timed to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic war.June 22, 2021

Being Open, Despite the Past

On June 22, 1941, exactly 80 years ago, the Nazis, having conquered practically the whole of Europe, attacked the USSR. For the Soviet people the Great Patriotic War – the bloodiest one in the history of our country – began. Tens of millions of people lost their lives, the economic potential of the country and its cultural property were severely damaged.

We are proud of the courage and steadfastness of the heroes of the Red Army and home front workers who not only defended the independence and dignity of our homeland, but also saved Europe and the world from enslavement. Despite attempts to rewrite the pages of the past that are being made today, the truth is that Soviet soldiers came to Germany not to take revenge on the Germans, but with a noble and great mission of liberation. We hold sacred the memory of the heroes who fought against Nazism. We remember with gratitude our allies in the anti-Hitler coalition, participants in the Resistance movement, and German anti-fascists who brought our common victory closer.

Having lived through the horrors of the world war, the peoples of Europe were nevertheless able to overcome alienation and restore mutual trust and respect. They set a course for integration in order to draw a final line under the European tragedies of the first half of the last century. And I would like to emphasize that the historical reconciliation of our people with the Germans living both in the east and the west of modern united Germany played a huge role in the formation of such Europe.

I would also like to remind that it was German entrepreneurs who became ”pioneers“ of cooperation with our country in the post-war years. In 1970, the USSR and the Federal Republic of Germany concluded a ”deal of the century“ on long-term natural gas supplies to Europe that laid the foundation for constructive interdependence and initiated many future grand projects, including the construction of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

We hoped that the end of the Cold War would be a common victory for Europe. It seemed that just a little more effort was needed to make Charles de Gaulle’s dream of a single continent – not even geographically ”from the Atlantic to the Urals“, but culturally and civilizationally ”from Lisbon to Vladivostok“ – become a reality.

It is exactly with this logic in mind – the logic of building a Greater Europe united by common values and interests – that Russia has sought to develop its relations with the Europeans. Both Russia and the EU have done a lot on this path.

But a different approach has prevailed. It was based on the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance which was itself a relic of the Cold War. After all, it was specifically created for the confrontation of that era.

It was the bloc’s movement eastwards – which, by the way, began when the Soviet leadership was actually persuaded to accept the united Germany’s accession to NATO – that turned into the main reason for the rapid increase in mutual mistrust in Europe. Verbal promises made in that time such as ”this is not directed against you“ or ”the bloc’s borders will not get closer to you“ were quickly forgotten. But a precedent was set.

And since 1999, five more “waves” of NATO expansion have followed. Fourteen new countries, including the former Soviet Union republics, joined the organization, effectively dashing hopes for a continent without dividing lines. Interestingly, this was warned about in the mid-1980s by Egon Bahr, one of the SPD leaders, who proposed a radical restructuring of the entire European security system after German unification, involving both the USSR and the United States. But no one in the USSR, the USA or Europe was willing to listen to him at the time.

Moreover, many countries were put before the artificial choice of being either with the collective West or with Russia. In fact, it was an ultimatum. The Ukrainian tragedy of 2014 is an example of the consequences that this aggressive policy has led to. Europe actively supported the unconstitutional armed coup in Ukraine. This was where it all started. Why was it necessary to do this? Then incumbent president Yanukovych had already accepted all the demands of the opposition. Why did the USA organize the coup and the European countries weak-heartedly support it, provoking a split within Ukraine and the withdrawal of Crimea?

The whole system of European security has now degraded significantly. Tensions are rising and the risks of a new arms race are becoming real. We are missing out on the tremendous opportunities that cooperation offers – all the more important now that we are all facing common challenges, such as the pandemic and its dire social and economic consequences.

Why does this happen? And most importantly, what conclusions should we draw together? What lessons of history should we recall? I think, first and foremost, that the entire post-war history of Greater Europe confirms that prosperity and security of our common continent is only possible through the joint efforts of all countries, including Russia. Because Russia is one of the largest countries in Europe. And we are aware of our inseparable cultural and historical connection to Europe.

We are open to honest and constructive interaction. This is confirmed by our idea of creating a common space of cooperation and security from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean which would comprise various integration formats, including the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union.

I reiterate that Russia is in favour of restoring a comprehensive partnership with Europe. We have many topics of mutual interest. These include security and strategic stability, healthcare and education, digitalization, energy, culture, science and technology, resolution of climate and environmental issues.

The world is a dynamic place, facing new challenges and threats. We simply cannot afford to carry the burden of past misunderstandings, hard feelings, conflicts, and mistakes. It is a burden that will prevent us from concentrating on the challenges at hand. We are convinced that we all should recognize these mistakes and correct them. Our common and indisputable goal is to ensure security on the continent without dividing lines, a common space for equitable cooperation and inclusive development for the prosperity of Europe and the world as a whole.

G7: Desperately Seeking Relevancy

G7: Desperately Seeking Relevancy

June 09, 2021

A G7 rebooted as a Sinophobic crusade will have few if any takers due to members’ rising dependence on Chinese goods and markets

by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

The upcoming G7 in Cornwall at first might be seen as the quirky encounter of “America is Back” with “Global Britain”.

The Big Picture though is way more sensitive. Three Summits in a Row – G7, NATO and US-EU – will be paving the way for a much expected cliffhanger: the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva – which certainly won’t be a reset.

The controlling interests behind the hologram that goes by the name of “Joe Biden” have a clear overarching agenda: to regiment industrialized democracies – especially those in Europe – and keep them in lockstep to combat those “authoritarian” threats to US national security, “malignant” Russia and China.

It’s like a throwback to those oh so stable 1970s Cold War days, complete with James Bond fighting foreign devils and Deep Purple subverting communism. Well, the times they are-a-changin’. China is very much aware that now the Global South “accounts for almost two-thirds of the global economy compared to one-third by the West: in the 1970s, it was exactly the opposite.”

For the Global South – that is, the overwhelming majority of the planet – the G7 is largely irrelevant. What matters is the G20.

China, the rising economic superpower, hails from the Global South, and is a leader in the G20. For all their internal troubles, EU players in the G7 – Germany, France and Italy – cannot afford to antagonize Beijing in economic, trade and investment terms.

A G7 rebooted as a Sinophobic crusade will have no takers. Including Japan and special guests at Cornwall: tech powerhouse South Korea, and India and South Africa (both BRICS members), offered the dangling carrot of a possible extended membership.

Washington’s wishful thinking cum P.R. offensive boils down to selling itself as the primus inter pares of the West as a revitalized global leader. Why the Global South is not buying it can be observed, graphically, by what happened for the past eight years. The G7 – and especially the Americans – simply could not respond to China’s wide-ranging, pan-Eurasian trade/development strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The American “strategy” so far – 24/7 demonization of BRI as a “debt trap” and “forced labor” machine – did not cut it. Now, too little too late, comes a G7 scheme, involving “partners” such as India, to “support”, at least in theory, vague “high-quality projects” across the Global South: that’s the Clean Green Initiative , focused on sustainable development and green transition, to be discussed both at the G7 and the US-EU summits.

Compared to BRI, Clean Green Initiative hardly qualifies as a coherent geopolitical and geoeconomic strategy. BRI has been endorsed and partnered by over 150 nation-states and international bodies – and that includes more than half of the EU’s 27 members.

Facts on the ground tell the story. China and ASEAN are about to strike a “comprehensive strategic partnership” deal. Trade between China and the Central and Eastern European Countries (CCEC), also known as the 17+1 group, including 12 EU nations, continues to increase. The Digital Silk Road, the Health Silk Road and the Polar Silk Road keep advancing.

So what’s left is loud Western rumbling about vague investments in digital technology – perhaps financed by the European Investment Bank, based in Luxembourg – to cut off China’s “authoritarian reach” across the Global South.

The EU-US summit may be launching a “Trade and Technology Council” to coordinate policies on 5G, semiconductors, supply chains, export controls and technology rules and standards. A gentle reminder: the EU-US simply do not control this complex environment. They badly need South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

Wait a minute, Mr. Taxman

To be fair, the G7 may have rendered a public service to the whole world when their Finance Ministers struck an alleged “historic” deal last Saturday in London on a global, minimal 15% tax on multinational companies (MNCs).

Triumphalism was in order – with endless praise lavished on “justice” and “fiscal solidarity” coupled with really bad news for assorted fiscal paradises.

Well, that’s slightly more complicated.

This tax has been discussed at the highest levels of the OECD in Paris for over a decade now – especially because nation-states are losing at least $427 billion a year in tax-dodging by MNCs and assorted multi-billionaires. In terms of the European scenario that does not even account for the loss of V.A.T. by fraud – something gleefully practiced by Amazon, among others.

So it’s no wonder G7 Finance Ministers had $1.6 trillion-worth Amazon pretty much on their sights. Amazon’s cloud computing division should be treated as a separate entity. In this case the mega-tech group will have to pay more corporate tax in some of its largest European markets – Germany, France, Italy, UK – if the global 15% tax is ratified.

So yes, this is mostly about Big Tech – master experts on fiscal fraud and profiting from tax paradises located even inside Europe, such as Ireland and Luxembourg. The way the EU was built, it allowed fiscal competition between nation-states to fester. To discuss this openly in Brussels remains a virtual taboo. In the official EU list of fiscal paradises, one won’t find Luxembourg, the Netherlands or Malta.

So could this all be just a P.R. coup? It’s possible. The major problem is that at the European Council – where governments of EU member-states discuss their issues – they have been dragging their feet for a long time, and sort of delegated the whole thing to the OECD.

As it stands, details on the 15% tax are still vague – even as the US government stands to become the largest winner, because its MNCs have shifted massive profits all across the planet to avoid US corporate taxes.

Not to mention that nobody knows if, when and how the deal will be globally accepted and implemented: that will be a Sisyphean task. At least it will be discussed, again, at the G20 in Venice in July.

What Germany wants

Without Germany there would not have been real advance on the EU-China Investment Agreement late last year. With a new US administration, the deal is stalled again. Outgoing chancellor Merkel is against China-EU economic decoupling – and so are German industrialists. It will be quite a treat to watch this subplot at the G7.

In a nutshell: Germany wants to keep expanding as a global trading power by using its large industrial base, while the Anglo-Saxons have completely ditched their industrial base to embrace non-productive financialization. And China for its part wants to trade with the whole planet. Guess who’s the odd player out.

Considering the G7 as a de facto gathering of the Hegemon with its hyenas, jackals and chihuahuas, it will also be quite a treat to watch the semantics. What degree of “existential threat” will be ascribed to Beijing – especially because for the interests behind the hologram “Biden” the real priority is the Indo-Pacific?

These interests could not give a damn about a EU yearning for more strategic autonomy. Washington always announces its diktats without even bothering to previously consult Brussels.

So this is what this Triple X of summits – G7, NATO and EU-US – will be all about: the Hegemon pulling all stops to contain/harass the emergence of a rising power by enlisting its satrapies to “fight” and thus preserve the “rules-based international order” it designed over seven decades ago.

History tells uss it won’t work. Just two examples: the British and French empires could not stop the rise of the US in the 19th century; and even better, the Anglo-American axis only stopped the simultaneous rise of Germany and Japan by paying the price of two world wars, with the British empire destroyed and Germany back again as the leading power in Europe.

That should give the meeting of “America is Back” and “Global Britain” in Cornwall the status of a mere, quirky historical footnote.

Vladimir Putin at the plenary session of the 24th St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

June 04, 2021

Vladimir Putin at the plenary session of the 24th St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/65746

http://en.kremlin.ru/misc/65746/videos/4789

This year’s forum, with the theme A Collective Reckoning of the New Global Economic Reality, is one of the biggest events since the start of the pandemic. Heads of state and government, heads of major Russian and international associations, companies and banks, leading experts and politicians are taking part in discussions at the SPIEF in person or via videoconference.

* * *

Stanislav Natanzon, plenary session moderator: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

I am happy to welcome you all at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

This is the first global event of this level that people are attending in person, or at least it is a ‘hybrid’ event, to use the new buzzword. In any case, it is good to see you again. I think we have quite a backlog of topics for discussion, and I really hope the conversation today will be vibrant, frank and intense.

By tradition, we will first give the floor to the leaders and then we will have a discussion.

Mr President, please, you are the first to have the floor.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Highness Emir Tamim, Mr Federal Chancellor Kurz, ladies and gentlemen, friends,

I welcome all the participants and guests of the 24th St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

As you know, since the beginning of last year, most meetings at many traditional venues have been cancelled or were attended remotely because of the pandemic. We are happy that after this long break, Russia is hosting the first major international business event and providing a platform for representatives of the global business community to communicate with each other, not only using modern telecommunications, but directly. At the same time, we have certainly done our best to ensure the participants’ safety and adopted the most stringent sanitary protocols.

I repeat, the very fact that this massive forum is being held is certainly a positive sign. This once again shows that partner-like ties and contacts between entrepreneurs, investors and experts are gradually becoming customary and normal once again.

We are also witnessing the same positive global economic trends. Despite the all-out 2020 slump that, according to experts, was the greatest since World War II, one can already safely say that the global economy is returning to normal. The global GDP is expected to post unusually high growth rates this year, the biggest rise since the 1970s. As you know, experts are talking about six percent growth.

This, of course, was an effect of the large-scale and extraordinary decisions made by economic authorities worldwide. By the way, practice showed that traditional monetary policy measures would not be enough to overcome the current crisis. The budgetary policy that was actively supported by central banks in developing countries for the first time has played a key role in the rapid economic recovery.

We should understand that leading economies have many resources and tools for stimulating business activity. The statistics speak for themselves: In 2020, industrial countries’ budget deficits increased by an average of ten percent of their GDPs, while in developing countries, the growth was about five percent. And we know that these budget deficits largely finance anti-crisis measures. Of course, it is good that such solutions are available, and this is, certainly, a positive aspect. Unfortunately, there are also some negative sides to this.

As a result, we can see that global economic recovery is proceeding unevenly, given the different capabilities of different countries. This is fraught with greater disproportions and wider gaps in living standards both within certain countries and between them. And this breeds serious political, economic and social risks for the development of the modern interdependent world and for our common security. I have already spoken about this at the World Economic Forum in Davos this past January.

A case in point is our efforts to fight the pandemic. Unless we ensure broad, universal access to coronavirus vaccines on all continents, the threat of the pandemic, its new outbreaks will remain with us. Pockets of infection will survive, posing a threat to the entire planet.

What do we see now? According to the IMF, countries with a high level of income and 16 percent of the world’s population have access to 50 percent of the vaccines produced. As the result, only 10 percent of the world’s population have been fully vaccinated or received the first jab, whereas hundreds of millions of people have no access to vaccines simply because their countries do not have the required technology, production facilities or money to buy the vaccines. And the assistance being provided to these countries by those who can afford to do it has been negligibly small so far.

Regrettably, as the saying goes, it is every man for himself in the fight against the coronavirus on the global scale. The necessary volume of assistance is not being provided where it is badly needed now, or, which is absolutely absurd, politically motivated bans are imposed on the purchase of tested and effective vaccines that have been proved to be completely reliable. In the current situation this looks like unwillingness to protect one’s own citizens from this threat. This is indeed taking place; we have seen this happen.

As you know, Russia is contributing to the efforts against the coronavirus. We have created four vaccines, and these achievements of our scientists have been recognised throughout the world. For example, Sputnik V has been registered in 66 countries with a combined population of over 3.2 billion.

I would like to point out specifically that we have not only created unique technologies and promptly launched vaccine production in Russia, but we are also helping our foreign partners localise their manufacturing as well. So far, Russia is the only country doing this.

As I have already mentioned, today every adult in Russia can receive a vaccine in maximally comfortable conditions, voluntarily and free of charge. I would like to use this occasion to once again urge our citizens to make use of this opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones. As I have said, the Russian vaccine has been declared the safest and most effective vaccine in the world, with an efficacy of over 96 percent. According to our regulatory bodies, not a single death has been reported among those who received the vaccine. I have already said this, and I can judge from my own experience: you can get a small fever, and this is the only side effect, while the protection is very strong.

In addition, I would like to ask the Government, regions and business to work jointly on the vaccination of people who come to Russia as migrant labourers. Many of them work in our construction industry, in trade and services, as well as in housing and utilities.

The domestic pharmaceutical industry is ready to continue increasing the production of vaccines. We fully meet our own requirements and can give foreigners an opportunity to come to Russia for vaccination. Given the efficiency of our vaccines, I know that the demand for them is high. Moreover, it is now common practice for people from various countries, including entrepreneurs, heads of large European and other companies, to make special trips to Russia to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

In this context, I would like to ask the Government to analyse all aspects of this issue before the end of this month so as to organise paid vaccination for foreigners in this country, taking into account, of course, security requirements and sanitary control.

Colleagues,

Obviously now, at the stage of post-crisis recovery it is important not only to ensure sustainable growth but also to benefit from the emerging opportunities and effectively develop competitive advantages as well as the scientific and technological potential. In the process, it is very important to preserve and strengthen business and investment ties between countries.

Multilateral projects are primarily capable of reviving and developing the global economy and we are grateful to our partners for the cooperation that is continuing during the epidemic and despite the difficult situation in international relations.

Incidentally, I would like to tell you in this connection that the laying of the first line of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was completed today, two and a half hours ago. The work on its second line continues.

In fact, the line pipe, including the offshore section, has been laid. The pipe in Germany is in place. Now parts of the pipe must be lifted and welded on the Russian side. That is all. Anyway, pipe laying is over.

The readiness of the Russian line of the gas route to the Slavyanskaya compressor station was also ensured this week. Why am I talking about this? Because this station is one of the most powerful compressor facilities in the world and is a point of departure for the new gas pipeline. Slavyanskaya has been supplied with gas.

To sum up, Gazprom is ready to fill Nord Stream 2 with gas. This route will create direct links between the Russian and German systems and will ensure energy security and reliable gas supplies for the Europeans, like Nord Stream 1. I must add that this project is profitable economically and fully conforms to the most stringent environmental and technical requirements.

We are ready to implement similar high-tech projects with our European and other partners in the future, and we hope that the logic of mutual benefit and mutual profit will inevitably prevail over all sorts of artificial barriers in the current political environment.

Now allow me to say a few words about some of the priorities on our domestic business agenda.

Thanks to the prompt and timely measures taken, the Russian economy and labour market are already approaching their pre-crisis levels. We have managed to save millions of jobs and avoid a sharp drop in people’s incomes. True, we have encountered problems. Unemployment increased and real incomes declined; we all know this. But none of that was anywhere near the disaster that could have happened, given the circumstances. That, at least, we have managed to avoid.

We have prevented a sharp drop in incomes, as I said. Our decisions to support businesses, workers, and regions have worked. The targeted assistance provided to Russian families and people who lost their jobs also came highly useful.

Indeed, difficulties with employment remain. We will probably talk about this later. We also know that the pandemic is not the only reason for the challenges we are facing such as a relatively high unemployment rate among young people or strained regional labour markets. We know we cannot blame everything on the pandemic, and we understand that some of these problems have a systemic nature stemming from unresolved structural problems in our economy.

The Government should enhance its programmes to promote employment in those constituent regions where unemployment is still high. At the same time, I emphasise, we need to continue taking targeted action, and propose solutions that take into account the economic specifics in each region. Furthermore, I am instructing the government to launch a permanent nationwide programme to support employment of young people, including measures to promote youth entrepreneurship.

It is obvious that the main, systemic response to the employment problem, and the key condition for raising people’s incomes is economic growth. This is obvious, and everyone understands it. New, high-quality jobs are needed in all sectors and regions of Russia.

World history shows that the relaunch of the economy following serious shocks has always been connected to boosting investment in infrastructure, territorial development, new technologies and personnel training.

I would like to thank the Russian regions that did not take a break or find excuses amid the most difficult pandemic environment that required great concentration of resources and attention, but continued to work on improving their business climate, maintaining dialogue with businesses and attracting investors. These regions have been rightfully distinguished by the National Investment Climate Ranking. Thus, Bashkortostan, Nizhny Novgorod Region and the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area are listed among the ten best regions to invest in; Samara, Sakhalin and Chelyabinsk regions have shown good dynamics.

We will provide systemic assistance to the regions in improving the business environment. I would like to ask the Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoys to boost efforts in this area and the Government to focus on supporting the regions that have difficulties with raising investment. It is necessary to help them introduce the best management practices and improve the level and quality of work with investors.

This task is quite concrete: a transparent, predictable and comfortable environment must be provided for businesses, private investments and new projects in all Russian regions by 2024.

In particular, each region will need to outline priority development areas; this information will be open to businesses, as well as the region’s urban development and infrastructure plans for building utility lines, roads and communication systems, so that it would be easier for businesses to pick the best place for their new production site or other facility.

It is necessary to eliminate excessive links in the chain, various superfluous formalities and approvals, first of all, for the most sensitive areas such as connection to the grid, construction permits, and others.

We are consistently removing dated requirements at the federal level. Thus, starting September 1, almost 4,000 more building codes and regulations will no longer be mandatory. That will leave only 3,000 mandatory requirements in construction of the more than 10,000 we had previously. But there is still room for simplification.

I would like to note that this huge and painstaking work to streamline regulation took two years. Again, we will keep at this, while at the same time maintaining high requirements for the quality and reliability of construction.

I am asking the regional heads as well as the customers of major facilities at the federal and regional levels, and heads of our state-owned companies and private businesses to keep in mind that all construction permits will need to be prepared in line with the updated regulations and should take into account the rapid changes in construction technologies, and use advanced, highly sustainable building materials. All this will need to be considered.

In general, each region must offer an understandable, comprehensive algorithm for the investor to go all the way from project concept to the opening of a new industrial facility or a property as efficiently and quickly as possible, without wasting time or sustaining unnecessary costs.

I will once again stress the importance of cooperation between the Government and the regions. I would like to note that the performance of the federal ministers responsible for economic matters will also be evaluated by how quickly the situation improves in those regions where, as I said, there are still problems with the business and investment climate. Please do not pretend that this does not concern the federal government. This applies to everyone. We need a common result, and we need to work with the regions that need support.

Again, we should not have any so-called backward regions thrown on the sidelines of economic growth. Each constituent entity of the Russian Federation has investment and economic potential. We need to unlock and effectively use it in the interests of all Russians, for the good of all Russian families.

A programme of infrastructure loans that will give the regions an opportunity to attract long-term loans at a low interest rate will become a new instrument for their development. We have already spoken about this, discussed these matters and made public statements to the effect. In all, the actual investment in infrastructure under this programme must be no less than $500 billion in the next two and a half years.

I would like to ask regional governors to be very attentive to drafting projects for this type of funding. It is necessary to spend funds primarily on creating a comfortable environment for people and upgrading cities and other residential areas. This is a major factor of economic growth and investment appeal in the modern world, in the economy that surrounds people.

Based on the best international standards and the experience of rating the investment climate, the Agency for Strategic Initiatives drafted, in cooperation with experts and commissions of the State Council, a national rating of living standards in the regions of Russia. It is an important indicator and I would like to tell you about our first results in this respect.

Moscow, Tyumen Region, Tatarstan, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area and St Petersburg are in the lead for obvious reasons. They are our traditional business centres. They have long invested serious funds in infrastructure for people. Importantly, more and more Russian regions are guided by high standards and are demonstrating good dynamics in many areas. Thus, the Republic of Mordovia has one of the best education systems; Udmurtia has very comfortable conditions for launching and running businesses, while Novgorod Region leads in social protection.

I would also like to mention such an interesting integral rating indicator as the commitment of people to their region, a desire to live and work there and link the future of their children with it. Sevastopol and Kaliningrad Region are at the top in this respect.

I would like to emphasise that the rating of the quality of life in the regions makes it possible to assess the situation objectively, to see which regions have the most experience and the best practices. Moreover, this rating is primarily based on the opinion of residents themselves. This feedback allows regional managerial teams to plan work better and to focus efforts on the most sensitive problems, such as, of course, more affordable housing.

I am aware that here, at the forum panels, and in the country in general, the issue is being discussed about what will happen next with reduced-APR mortgage lending, which, as you may recall, is now available at an APR of 6.5 percent. Indeed, this programme has become one of the key anti-crisis measures to support individuals and the economy. To date, over half a million households have applied for and received this loan. An additional 2 trillion rubles, approximately, have been attracted to housing construction.

As you may know, the programme will expire very soon, on July 1. To reiterate, this was an anti-crisis programme, meaning that it was temporary.

At the same time, abruptly terminating it is, of course, not an option. We must keep in mind the important role that easy-term mortgage lending is playing in the current circumstances for resolving our people’s housing problems and developing the construction industry, which, as we are aware, is the driving force behind related industries. Therefore, I propose extending this programme in all regions for another year, that is, until July 1, 2022. We will raise the rate slightly in doing so. Some changes will be made, including setting the easy-term mortgage rate at 7 percent APR. The maximum loan amount will be set at 3 million rubles and it will be applied throughout the country.

At the same time, I would like to let you know about a new decision designed to make mortgage loans more affordable for families with children. Here is what it is about. As you may be aware, a systemic special mortgage programme for families that had a second and subsequent child after January 1, 2018, is already in place. I propose expanding this to all families with children born after January 1, 2018, even if there is only one child in the family so far. That is, to reiterate, with the birth of their first child, a family will be able to take out a mortgage loan at a rate of 6 percent and buy housing on the primary market or refinance an existing mortgage loan. The maximum amount of such a loan for Moscow and St Petersburg, as well as the Moscow and Leningrad regions, where real estate prices are objectively higher, will be 12 million rubles, with 6 million rubles available in the other constituent entities of the Federation.

Colleagues,

We hope that a better quality of life and improved infrastructure in Russian regions will make them more attractive for promising projects, for more private investment, and will open up additional opportunities for large companies as well as small and medium-sized businesses, serving as an important support for the economy, and in many ways contributing to a modern, competitive business environment. Competition is the main driver of growth and, importantly, a market mechanism that keeps prices down.

Last year, we made a fundamental, systemic decision to support small and medium-sized businesses. We halved insurance premiums for small businesses from 30 to 15 percent. We will certainly not go back on this. Moreover, we are ready to take further steps to support entrepreneurship. I will mention some of them now.

Firstly, I propose launching a new mechanism to support SME lending as soon as this year – something we call umbrella guarantees.

Here is how it works. Our development institution, the SME Corporation, will issue guarantees for loans from partner banks. In fact, it will take on some of the risks and make loans more affordable for SMEs. According to estimates, this will allow entrepreneurs to attract additional resources for development, at least 600 billion rubles by 2024.

Secondly, I know that businesses, especially small ones, sometimes complain about the high bank charges on their trade and other operations.

We have already extended the faster payment system, which enables transactions with lower charges, for non-cash payments between individuals and entrepreneurs. However, so far, this system has not been as widely used by businesses as it could be.

As a reminder, by September 1, all the so-called systemically important, backbone banks in Russia must connect to the fast payments system. I also think it would be right if the largest of them do this in the very near future, by July 1.

In addition, I have one more proposal that I think will be a pleasant surprise for those who are involved in this type of business, small and medium companies. I am suggesting that they be fully reimbursed until the end of the year for the commission they pay for using the Fast Payments System (FPS) when they sell their services or goods to individuals, to people. I repeat: the cost of FPS will be zero for these companies.

I discussed this issue with my colleagues and the Governor of the Central Bank. It will be necessary to support financial institutions through the budget and avoid discouraging them.

My third point: companies that are now using the simplified taxation plan must transfer to the general tax schedule if they go beyond the employee limit or the revenue limit. Of course, in this case a business will have to shoulder an additional fiscal burden, and this can impede growth and compel entrepreneurs to use tricks, like the artificial division of a big company into small ones.

The restaurant business is a case in point in this respect. I suggest these companies participate in the pilot programme at the start of next year to work out the process for a more comfortable transition from the one tax schedule to the other.

With respect to some details, the companies in this programme will pay no VAT if their revenue is below 2 billion rubles a year. Importantly, they will retain the right to pay a reduced insurance premium rate of 15 percent even if their personnel count grows to 1,500 people. Currently the threshold is 250 people.

Colleagues, let us see what effect this has on keeping businesses legal and encouraging companies to grow. As for making businesses legal, I think all interested people understand what I am talking about: all cheques must go through the cash register; employment must be official and purchases must be legal as well, that is, recorded in the cash register. (Applause).

Thank you. I suppose we speak the same language. For my part, I will do all I can to see that the state meets its commitments.

I will add that we have already agreed to relieve of filing a tax declaration those entrepreneurs that are working under the simplified tax scheme and using cash registers. I would like to draw the attention of my colleagues in the Government and Parliament to the relevant draft law that was adopted in the first reading last year: it has stalled since then. Please finalise this as soon as possible.

Fourthly, small and medium-sized businesses must be relieved of antimonopoly oversight that is clearly excessive. Many existing threshold numbers have not been revised for a long time now and do not match today’s economic realities, since the economy and the companies keep growing.

For example, antitrust oversight covers all companies with annual revenue of over 400 million rubles. I propose doubling this amount to 800 million rubles, thus sparing a large number of growing companies burdensome and unnecessary reporting and paperwork. I propose setting a similarly higher threshold for oversight of mergers and acquisitions. That is, if a deal does not exceed 800 million rubles, it will not require the approval of antimonopoly authorities.

And, finally, my fifth point: measures to drive demand for the output of entrepreneurs across all sectors of the economy are especially relevant now. In this regard, I propose increasing the share of goods and services that our large companies, as well as state and municipal customers, must purchase from small and medium-sized enterprises, including non-profit organisations. It should be at least 25 percent.

We have held numerous discussions on this matter. I want to draw your attention right away to the fact that we are talking about companies that operate under Federal Law 223 and the companies that work with state and municipal authorities under Law 44. I am aware there are many subtleties here. And I know well that Russian industry does not even make certain products. However, the bar must be set where I said, and the Government will finalise the finer points.

In addition, it is imperative to cut the time it takes to pay for delivered goods and services from 30 to 15 business days, which is also important. Small businesses and socially oriented NGOs must see this time go from 15 to seven days.

Of course, real companies, not all sorts of sham or affiliated operations, should benefit from these preferences. I want the oversight authorities to keep this in mind. At the same time, I am instructing the Government to make sure that procurement for state needs involves mainly Russian manufacturers, of course, in compliance with internal competition rules, in this case.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As I have said earlier, international cooperation must be instrumental in overcoming the socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic. It is all the more important for us to pool our efforts in the face of common, systemic, long-term challenges that do not depend on the situation in the market or political disputes and setups, but determine the future of entire societies in a decisive way.

What am I talking about now? What am I referring to? Primarily, the climate agenda. Scientists estimate that over 2 trillion tonnes of greenhouse gases have accumulated in the Earth’s atmosphere because of human economic activity. Every year, the volume goes up by 50 billion tonnes, gradually warming up the planet.

I often hear that Russia is not that interested in resolving global environmental problems. I can say that this is nonsense, a myth, and sometimes outright distortion. Like other countries, we feel the risks and threats in this area, including desertification, soil erosion and melting permafrost. Many of those here work in the Arctic and know that we have entire cities built on permafrost in the Arctic. If it all starts to thaw, what consequences will Russia face? Of course, we are concerned.

We are consistent supporters of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement. I must emphasise that there is no separate Russian, European, Asian, or American climate. All our countries bear a common responsibility for today’s world and for the lives of future generations. We must set aside political and other differences and avoid turning the transition to “hydrocarbon neutrality” into an instrument of dishonest competition where attempts are made to change investment and trade flows in someone’s specific interests under the pretext of the hydrocarbon footprint, and where limited access to advanced ‘green’ technology becomes a factor in deterring individual countries and manufacturers.

How do we see Russia’s contribution to countering climate change? I am sure environmental and climate projects in our country will play a leading role in global efforts in climate conservation by virtue of Russia’s size, place and role in the world. We have set a goal: in the next 30 years the accumulated amount of pure greenhouse emissions must be lower in Russia than in Europe. This is an ambitious goal, but I am confident that it is feasible. I would like to ask the Government to draft a detailed plan of action on this before October 1 of this year. We will discuss this issue at a separate meeting.

What are our areas of focus?

The first one includes projects designed to reduce emissions throughout the economy. I have already mentioned that the Russian energy sector is increasing its share of low-carbon sources primarily through building nuclear and hydroelectric power plants and using renewable sources of energy. We have the world’s largest gas reserves, and while gas – we will probably discuss this later – is, of course, carbon, it is the purest kind of carbon, and we will be unable to do without it during the transition period.

Incidentally, using its nuclear industry as the foundation, Russia is already creating infrastructure for the production of hydrogen to be used as a raw material, fuel and energy source in metallurgy, the production of cement, and transport, among other areas.

We will also keep reducing emissions from hydrocarbon production and utilising associated gas. By the way, we probably utilise more gas this way than any other oil-producing country. We will thoroughly modernise the thermal power industry and electrify gas transport infrastructure. We also plan to further improve energy efficiency in the residential sector and heat supply systems, to switch public transport to natural gas, electric and hybrid engines, and to reduce material consumption in construction. In a word, we are talking about end-to-end technological retrofitting of our entire economy and infrastructure.

Clearly, such projects need market incentives in order to be launched successfully. To this end, we are starting to issue state-subsidised ‘green bonds.’ Also, we have developed performance criteria for environmental projects or a ‘green taxonomy’ in the parlance of experts.

Of course, reducing emissions is not enough to overcome the challenge of global warming. Greenhouse gas sequestration is essential if we want to achieve carbon neutrality. It is important to reduce existing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and our main goal is to learn to capture, store, and make productive use of carbon dioxide coming from all sources.

Now, regarding a second area in this context: an entire industry, a fundamentally new market for so-called ‘carbon units’ is being created almost before our eyes. Many people, especially those in power production, are aware of this, but I will explain. This is the amount of harmful airborne emissions that can be absorbed by a section of land or forest. So, if you have done some additional work on your land to increase its ability to absorb the emissions in the air, you have created a number of carbon units. Many countries and associations are already planning to accept these units from exporters to offset the emissions from the production of imported goods.

Russia has enormous potential for emission absorption with its forests, tundra, agricultural lands and marshlands. Our country has a fifth of the world’s forests; they occupy almost 10 million square kilometres. Specialists and scientists believe that they are already absorbing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents every year.

I repeat, the importance of Russia’s potential in natural compensation is enormous, simply huge in terms of the planet’s climate sustainability. Clearly, by virtue of its natural advantages, Russia can maintain a special place in the global market for carbon units. To achieve this, we need to use the forests and lands more effectively and enhance their absorption capacity. We must increase reforestation areas, fight wildfires, and expand pristine nature reserves, sanctuaries and national parks. In effect, we are now doing all this and intend to continue to do this in the future while introducing new soil-recovery agro-technology.

Importantly, we can work towards three objectives at the same time. Firstly, by investing in technology, the protection of forestry and land improvement, we will enhance the environmental wellbeing of our people, and the cities and territories they live in. Secondly, we will create jobs in the new high-tech industry of greenhouse emissions mitigation, and third,ly we will provide our exporters with an additional dimension for competitiveness in foreign markets.

This concerns many of you here in this hall. I would like you to see this as a direct message to Russian companies that are buying or starting to buy carbon units abroad or are planning to do this in the future. Instead, it is better to invest funds in climate projects in our country. Eventually, those who engage in this will receive many benefits, economic benefits. This effort will be more effective and oriented towards the future.

I would like to note that, based on our estimates, revenue from this new climate industry in the Russian market could soon surpass $50 billion a year, which is another important figure. In a word, this is a good, beneficial destination for investment by both domestic and foreign companies. We invite our interested partners to take part in this work. We will create the necessary conditions for this.

I would like to discuss several issues that are of critical importance for climate projects in Russia. It is necessary to work through in detail the criteria underlying these projects, to determine the sites and areas that are best suited for launching them, and the kind of technologies to use.

It is also imperative to create a transparent and objective system for assessing the outcome of climate projects. This is a critical part of what I am saying now – that is, to identify the current absorbing capacity of the sites and what it will be after the project is implemented. Actually, it is about calculating the delta in the form of the “carbon units” that I just mentioned.

All the while, it is important to monitor the emission and absorption of greenhouse gases based, among other things, on observations from outer space, digital technologies, and AI methods.

The construction of such a national system that makes use of the potential of Russian science is already underway in Russia. We are creating a network of “carbon testing grounds” to monitor carbon dioxide emission and absorption in real time, as well as the state of environmental systems, the quality of water resources and other variables.

We are also creating a pilot carbon market in Sakhalin Region. This experiment will come as a step towards achieving carbon neutrality and creating a nationwide carbon unit market.

I am aware that a system of this kind is about to be launched in other countries as well. Here is another important matter, which concerns mutual recognition of greenhouse gas emission and sequestration. This requires a transparent climate statistics system, mutual understanding between states and, of course, joint scientific research. We are open to this cooperation.

I am instructing the Government, by July 2022, to fully form the regulatory framework for implementing climate projects in Russia at the level of federal laws and departmental bylaws and guidelines, so that businesses, domestic and international alike, can draw up and implement their plans in this area relying on clear and easy-to-follow rules and criteria.

Colleagues, let me close by saying again that, despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic, life is gradually returning to normal. To reiterate, our meeting in St Petersburg is a case in point. Next week, St Petersburg will be hosting matches of the 2021 UEFA European championship which is getting underway.

On this note, I would like to convey my greetings to our great friend, the Emir of Qatar. It was his birthday yesterday. Our best wishes to you, Your Highness. I am confident that Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup 2022 with great success.

Such major events and forums truly unite and bring people from different countries closer. Businesspeople, of which there are many here, are well aware that in-person contacts based on mutual trust move forward, in many respects, business projects and initiatives, and, therefore, the global economy.

Russia will do its best to create every opportunity for these contacts to take place, for sharing experience and demonstrating the latest achievements in science and technology.

Thank you for your patience and your time, and I wish the forum every success.

Thank you very much.

Europe’s Failure Over Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Due to Germany’s Nazi Guilt and EU’s Subservience to United States

June 1, 2021

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Former editor and writer for major news media organizations. He has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages

Finian Cunningham

The international community has to end its support for the apartheid state of Israel and must stop the genocide of the Palestinian people, says MEP Mick Wallace in an interview with Finian Cunningham.

Mick Wallace, an independent Irish Member of the European Parliament, speaks his mind to Strategic Culture Foundation about the recent violence in Gaza where 248 people were killed by the Israeli military. Among the dead were 66 children during 11 days of bombardment of the Palestinian territory. Nearly 2,000 were injured in airstrikes on the densely populated coastal strip where two million people live in appalling deprivation. Hundreds of homes and civilian infrastructure were destroyed by the Israeli forces armed with U.S. warplanes and munitions. Rockets fired by Palestinian militant group Hamas killed 12 Israelis, including two children. Yet the United States and the European Union stridently declared support for Israel’s “right to self-defense” while not categorically denouncing the slaughter of Palestinians. Mick Wallace condemns what he calls the complicity of America and the European Union in Israeli war crimes. He says the oppression of Palestinians will continue tragically because, effectively, the U.S. and EU are sponsoring genocide. However, he notes, Western governments are increasingly out of step with public opinion horrified by Israel’s wanton occupation of Palestinian territory.

Wallace was elected to the EU parliament in 2019. He is an independent MEP who is affiliated with the European Party of the Left. He is an outspoken critic of American imperialism and European complicity in NATO aggression towards Russia. His weekly podcast frequently explores and condemns Russophobia in EU foreign policy which he says is due to the bloc’s subservience to Washington. Wallace’s outspoken internationalism and anti-imperialism have gained him much popular support in Ireland and abroad.

Interview

Question: American and European politicians commonly declare their support for Israel’s “right to self-defense”. However, you have stated that Israel does not have such a right. Many people would condemn your statement given the barrage of rockets fired at Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Can you explain why you think Israel does not have a right to self-defense?

Mick Wallace: Gaza is the largest concentration camp in the world. Do concentration camp guards have the right to self-defense? The indigenous people, the Palestinians, have the right to self-defense, not the colonizer. Does Israel have the right to self-defense? Does Israel have the right to commit crimes against humanity?

Question: During the recent eruption of hostilities between the Israelis and Palestinians, the European Union showed little leadership in calling for a ceasefire. Why is the EU so ineffective in resolving a conflict which is on Europe’s periphery?

Mick Wallace: It would probably be fair to say that when it comes to foreign policy, the European Union has never been so weak.

Question: European leaders aspire for the EU to be a global political force. But the EU is all too often seen as subordinate to the United States. With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Europe seems too deferential to Washington. Is that a fair criticism?

Mick Wallace: Yes, the EU does not have the courage to challenge the United States on these matters.

Question: You have been especially critical of Germany and the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was formerly the German minister of defense, for their appeasement of Israel by not criticizing its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. You have made the point that Germany’s historical guilt from Nazism and the Holocaust is a factor. Can you elaborate on that point?

Mick Wallace: Von der Leyen is a weak European Commission president but her statement on the conflict emphasizing Israel’s supposed right to self-defense was a new low. Sixty-six Palestinian children were killed by the illegal occupier, Israel, while Hamas killed two Israeli children. And yet Von der Leyen could only condemn Hamas. Germany backs Israel because of its guilt over Nazi horror. Yet in appeasing Israel, German politicians are complicit today in crimes against humanity akin to those of Nazi Germany.

Question: Other European countries were also complicit in Nazi crimes against Jews, such as France and the Baltic states, Austria, Romania, and Hungary. During the latest violence, Austrian public buildings were draped with the flag of Israel. Does the specter of the past Nazi horrors and European guilt account for the EU’s failings with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Mick Wallace: There’s no doubt that German guilt for the terrible atrocities committed against European Jews is a factor. The failure of so many German Members of the European Parliament to criticize Israeli war crimes is shocking, but other forces are also at play. Israel is a vital part of the United States Empire, and that’s reflected in EU subservience to the Americans.

Question: Out of 705 European parliamentarians, a sizable majority seems to be supportive of Israel whereas among European citizens there is strong sympathy for the Palestinians suffering from illegal occupation and oppression. How do you explain such a discrepancy between elected representatives and the general public with regard to views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Mick Wallace: Politicians rarely represent their citizens.

Question: Is European guilt over Nazism and fascism a factor in the European Parliament’s attempts at World War Two revisionism whereby the Soviet Union is equated with the Nazi Third Reich?

Mick Wallace: I believe it’s more a case of the European Union, at America’s beckoning, trying to undermine and isolate Russia.

Question: Russia has offered to act as a mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians, claiming to have credible relations with both sides. The American mediation efforts have been a failure as has been shown by the chronic impasse and erosion of Palestinian rights over several decades. Do you think Russia could help find a resolution?

Mick Wallace: I wouldn’t be confident of Russia playing a neutral and fair role – the Kremlin also tolerates much of the lawless behavior of Israel.

Question: What, in your view, is a viable solution to the decades-old conflict?

Mick Wallace: That’s a big question. The two-state solution is long dead. The international community has to end its support for the apartheid state of Israel and must stop the genocide of the Palestinian people. All Palestinians are entitled to live a dignified life in their homeland. But this is unlikely to happen until the international community stops supporting U.S. imperialism, and the sovereignty of all nations is respected.

Talking Syria’s Presidential Elections, With Laith Marouf & Myself (in Damascus)

 

Eva Bartlett

Brief conversation I had last night with geopolitical analyst Laith Marouf about yesterday’s Syrian presidential elections. I visited eastern Ghouta towns yesterday and saw jubilation among Syrians on the streets, including in Douma, singing and dancing.

No matter what the lame corporate media is saying about the elections, Syrians wanted them and are still celebrating today. Hell, in 2014, a week after the elections, I saw a party raging in Homs, what the pro-“revolution” crowd used to call the “capitol of the revolution”.

Laith:

“Syrians in the US went to the embassy at the UN and voted. That was a direct challenged to American hegemony, since the Americans closed the Syrian embassy in DC. But there is still a Syrian embassy at the UN, and that they can’t touch, the Americans. So many people showed up at the UN headquarters, waiving flags, and so on. The other two countries that host the majority of Syrian refugees or immigrant populations, Germany and Turkey, again the blocked the Syrian votes from happening.

At the same time, countries that were responsible for the war in Syria, like the UAE, opened the embassy, allowed Syrians to vote.

Last week in Lebanon, tens of thousands of Syrian residents of Lebanon went to Syrian embassy in Beirut. The fact on the ground is that Syrian people are out in the millions voting in these elections.”

Good News and Bad News: Biden Punts on Russia and Takes Some Heat on Afghanistan

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Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

Philip Giraldi

May 27, 2021

The Establishment Foreign Policy has long advocated a policy of staying in Afghanistan until a political reliable government is established there.

Possibly the best news to come out of the past week has been the announcement of a possibly Egyptian mediated cease fire between Israel and Gaza late last Thursday. The fighting killed 243 Palestinians, including 66 children, versus twelve Israelis including two children and also did major damage to schools, medical facilities and other infrastructure in Gaza. It is being widely presumed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled the plug on the “Guardians of the Walls” offensive because of concerns that Israeli Army brutality was inflicting serious damage on the hitherto favorable perception of the Jewish state in the United States. As U.S. support of Israeli initiatives for both the money and political cover that Washington provides is essential to the Netanyahu long term plan to annex nearly all of the West Bank, it would have seemed prudent to take one’s foot off the pedal until the expected next round of fighting.

Though it has not been confirmed, it seems reasonable to assume that President Joe Biden might have offered a considerable sweetener to Netanyahu to nudge the Israeli leader towards the cease fire. It appears to have come in the form of an offer to help pay for and assist the reconstruction of Gaza with one apparent condition, that Hamas effectively completely disarm by getting rid of all its missiles. Presumably U.S. or United Nations inspectors would make sure the job were done right, would share what they learn about Gaza’s tunnel system with Israeli intelligence, and the IDF in turn would find it much easier going the next time it chooses to attack. As usual, the American taxpayer would be victimized to undo the damage in paying for a significant part of the multi-billion dollar reconstruction tab.

But in terms of benefiting actual American interests, there has also been the Biden Administration decision to lift the sanctions imposed by Donald Trump on the contractors who have been working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which will deliver Russian gas to Germany. The Trump Administration, driven by its gaggle of neocon advisers, had declared that the pipeline was a “national security threat” and initiated sanctions on all parties involved, including Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, while also appointing a special envoy to put pressure on the German government to renege on the deal. The pipeline was and is good business for Moscow and also for Berlin since the Russian gas is cheaper than other available supplies. It will cost $11 billion to complete, is over 95% finished and will reportedly create at least 10,000 jobs.

It initially looked as if Biden would continue the Trump policy. As recently as mid-March Secretary of State Tony Blinken stated that it was a bad deal because “this pipeline is a Russian geopolitical project intended to divide Europe and weaken European energy security.” He said he would do “whatever he can to stop [its] completion” and also warned that companies working on the pipeline must cease work immediately or face more “harsh” U.S. sanctions. Most of the companies were and are Western European and nominally NATO allies of the U.S. and Nord Stream 2 and while it appeared likely that the project would be completed for good economic reasons, the German government was reportedly undecided, afraid to confront Biden.

Washington was angered, at least in part, because it wanted to sell more expensive American gas to the Germans. Biden surprisingly has decided to abandon the bad Trump policy, which, inter alia also has given fuel to European anti-U.S. sentiment while serving unnecessarily to increase tension with Russia. The move was welcomed both in Germany and in Russia. The German Foreign Minister noted that it was a sign that Washington is now willing to work with its “partners.” It is an all too rare “win” for American foreign policy.

Now for the bad news. President Joe Biden has recently received an unexpected gift in the form of a letter signed by 126 retired admirals and generals stating that he is not qualified to hold office because of his health and because the 2020 election process was flawed. It also raises a number of specific foreign and national security policy issues, including the threat from China, the border crisis and increased censorship. One might expect that the letter originated in a circle of disgruntled Trump supporters and could therefore be ignored, but many of signatories are not known to be Republican Party supporters. Given that, the agenda just might be more complicated and its timing suggests that it might be linked to the United States proceeding with its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

What might be referred to as the Establishment Foreign Policy as opposed to what sometimes goes on in the State Department and White House has long advocated a policy of staying in Afghanistan until the establishment of a stable and political reliable government in Kabul is completed. And to be sure there are many dissidents in Congress who see leaving Kabul as yet another avoidable defeat for the United States. Given all of that, several previous attempts by Donald Trump to withdraw the U.S. troops were successfully undermined by critics and eventually abandoned. Biden, however, appears to be sticking to his pledge to depart fully by September 11th and many tons of military equipment are currently being removed from the country.

This has produced multiple attacks on the intention to leave Afghanistan effectively in the hands of the Taliban. A humanitarian pitch has included stories on how women will suffer, being deprived of schooling and opportunity if and when the Taliban return to power. That claim is unfortunately true but the continued presence of a couple of thousand American soldiers at bases in a country as large and infrastructure deficient as Afghanistan will not reverse attitudes that are as much cultural and religious as political.

And the pressure on Biden to reverse the decision is growing. On May 25th, for example, the Center on National Security at Fordham Law in New York hosted a discussion panel looking into “Departure from Afghanistan: Envisioning a Responsible Withdrawal.” The panel’s conclusions were to say the least mixed and have already been used by critics of the Biden decision.

Pressure is also coming from Congress, even from lawmakers who would normally support the White House. “This has some eerie resemblances” [to Vietnam], Representative Gerald E. Connolly, a Virginia Democrat, said pointedly at a “heated” hearing last week at the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He recalled the unexpectedly rapid collapse of security in Saigon in 1975 as U.S. forces evacuated the last of the personnel from the American embassy, lifting employees from the roof of the building with helicopters. He added that “It seems the American game is to cut its losses and leave and hope for the best — not our problem. The problem is because of this engagement, just like Vietnam, we’re leaving behind hundreds of thousands of Afghans who relied on us, trusted us, for security.”

And if more resistance to the plan were needed, it came last week from George W. Bush, best noted for his disastrous invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush had no end game to extricate the U.S. from either intervention and the results of the improvised policies that have continued now for nearly twenty years are clearly evident. Bush said in a Fox News interview “I’ve always warned that no U.S. presence in Afghanistan will create a vacuum, and into that vacuum is likely to come people who treat women as second class citizens… One of the great successes of the liberation of Afghanistan and the removal of al-Qaeda’s safe haven was that women and girls began to flourish in the country… We all benefit when women and girls are empowered to realize their full potential and become contributing members of society. And Laura and I will always stand behind them… I’m also deeply concerned about the sacrifices of our soldiers, and our intelligence community, will be forgotten…”

Bush also said that Iran is very dangerous for “world peace” because it is targeting Israel, revealing yet again that he, like the Bourbon kings of France, has not learned anything since leaving office. In any event, the comments by Bush, the pushback in Congress, the holding of academic conferences on leaving Afghanistan as well as the letter from retired senior military officers just might be part of the same plan to force Biden into extending the timetable or even revoking the orders for U.S. departure from Kabul. And it just might succeed. That would be very bad news indeed.

Also by this author

Western nations want ‘democracy’ in Syria so badly they close embassies and prevent Syrians from voting in presidential elections

 

Eva Bartlett

Syrian women in secular Syria. ©AFP photo

May 19, 2021, RT.com

*Blog version slightly longer

-by Eva K Bartlett

This week, Syrians around the world will vote in the 2021 Presidential elections (those in Syria will vote on May 26). That is, if Western nations re-open the embassies they so democratically shut years ago.

Western leaders hypocritically claimed concern for Syrians and wanted to ensure they live democratically – by funding and arming terrorists from around the world to slaughter them and destroy their homes, governmental buildings, and historic and cultural places–but continue to do everything in their power to make it difficult-to-impossible for Syrians to exercise their rights to vote for their president. 

Around 2012, most embassies in Western (and Gulf) countries closed, claiming they no longer recognized the Syrian government, claiming also the Syrian government was brutally attacking peaceful, democratically-minded, protesters. Those lies convinced many that this narrative was the truthful one (unbelievably, after the lies of WMDs in Iraq and the myriad other lies that sold wars, which I wrote about on the anniversary of the war on Syria).

But it is 2021, and by now we know that this was a premeditated and cruel war on the people of Syria, spurred forth by the media who truly do not care about the lives of Syrians.

Canada was one such country to self-righteously cut ties with the Syrian government (while covertly supporting terrorism in Syria, and later supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine) and shutter Syrian embassies. 

Canada closed Syrian embassies in 2012, cutting diplomatic ties with Syria and expelling Syrian diplomats. but allowed consuls to remain, as their positions were administrative, not diplomatic.

In 2016, Canada terminated the Montreal honorary consul position which had served not only Syrians in eastern Canada but also eastern US.

A Toronto friend and Syrian Canadian, Lulwa Kassawat, told me that this year she again won’t be able to vote, thanks to Canada’s embassy closures. 

In April, she wrote on Facebook: 

“With elections coming up in Syria, no diplomatic representation in Canada for Syrian Canadians to vote, with more sanctions on Syria killing civilians, with illegal accusations of chemical attacks that were staged, what better way to reinforce our commitment than to stand by Syria and its people and President.

You may stop us from an election, but you cannot stop us from endorsing our President.”

Kevork Almassian, a Syrian living in Germany, has for years been relentlessly hounded by German media for his stance in support of his army and president, even lobbying for his deportation back to Syria. 

“If they succeed in deporting me before even deporting those who pose a security threat to Germany, including Islamist radicals who committed crimes in Germany, it’s a dangerous precedent. It’s essentially telling Syrians: shut up, don’t speak positively about your government. My case is very well known in Germany. Most pro-govt Syrians in Germany know me, because of the media campaign against me. Because of what has happened to me, many Syrians are afraid to go to demonstrations or to vote.” 

In the past two years, Almassian was chased, smeared, harassed and even physically attacked multiple times by the sympathizers of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other terrorist groups. These attacks came after a smear campaign by the German media and Turkish-Qatari funded outlets. 

“The media is against patriotic Syrians, as is the government and most political parties. They portray the people who are with Assad as fascists.”  

For Syrian refugees in Germany, there are more factors than potential smears or assaults that could deter them from voting. Not having official refugee status (they have subsidiary protection), according to German law, if the war stops (or the German government changes its mind), they risk being deported back to Syria–even if they have a work permit or are studying at university. 

In 2014, although the Syrian embassy was open, the German government banned Syrians in Germany from voting. Police at embassies blocked people from entering to vote. Syrians did come to the embassy to vote, but police wouldn’t allow them in. 

This year, the German government also banned the Syrian community from voting. 

Syrian American Johnny Achi, told me:

“Just as in 2014, the closure of Syrian embassies makes it very hard for many millions of Syrians around the world to express their voices in what most countries around the world consider not just a right, but a duty. This year, as in 2014, many Syrians who can afford to must endure travel costs and travel to Syria if they wish to exercise their voting rights.”

The US closed diplomatic ties and pulled their ambassadors sooner than 2014, but still had a nominal Charge d’affaires. But then, according to Achi, just prior to the 2014 election, embassies were shuttered fully.

We had made a Facebook page announcing a rendezvous in DC, to show the world how wrong they were about Syria.

To save themselves the embarrassments of having thousands of Syrian patriots show up from all across the US with Syrian flags, signs and posters in support of the Syrian government and army, the Obama administration ordered the Syrian Embassy closed, just days before the election, and so did The UAE and many other capitals around the world.”

2014 Elections

Indeed, in 2014, Syrians flew from around the world to Damascus simply to vote, as the countries they reside in had closed their embassies. 

In Lebanon, where I was at the time, the voter turnout was astonishing, with the embassy opening an unscheduled second day, to accommodate all the Syrians who came to vote. 

As I wrote then, “Syrians crammed in one of an endless stream of buses, exited and continued on foot. The masses opted to walk the remaining few kilometres rather than sit in a traffic jam generated by the tens of thousands flocking to vote.” 

I walked with them and spent the better part of the afternoon speaking with Syrians about why they’d come to vote. 

An older woman from Aleppo sitting on the pavement off to the side of the road said her family had told her to stay home. “I’m ill, they were worried about me. But I will vote even if I die trying to do so.”

Her son, like most in the crowd, was emphatic in his support for President Assad. “The terrorist rebels are in my city. God bless Dr. Bashar al-Assad and the army. We don’t want anyone else.”

“Syria will get back its dignity,” said an engineering student from Tartous. “The ‘revolution’ is a lie, it’s a farce engineered by the West and Saudi Arabia, Qatar,” he said.

“We don’t want anyone else, we love him,” said another man nearby.

Others vied for their chance to praise how Syria was before the manufactured crisis began. “We had free health care, safety, our bread was subsidised. We were happy. We want Syria to be like it was,” was a widely shared sentiment.

The chorus of cheers and chanting was punctuated by the thud of the helicopter circling above, tight security to ensure that the elections were not derailed.

“We love him. I’m Sunni, not Alawi,” Walid, from Raqqa, noted. “They’re afraid our voices will be heard,” he said, regarding the many countries which will not allow Syrians to vote.

“I’m from Deir Ezzor,” said a voter. “ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is in our area. We want Bashar al-Assad. The guy walks straight,” he said, with a gesture of his hand.

Another man, from Aleppo, reiterated what many already said. “There’s no revolution, absolutely not. People from around the world have pounced on Syria. People who cut off heads … what kind of revolution is that?”

Emphatically pro-Assad, he did say that the two other candidates were respected. “Maher al-Hajjar and Hassan al-Nouri, they are good. But not like Bashar, our hero.”

Formerly a teacher in Aleppo, he now works construction in Lebanon. “In another month or two, I’m returning to Syria, to stay.”

In Beirut’s Hamra, Syrians spoke of their failed attempts to reach the embassy.

“I tried to go earlier, but I couldn’t reach the embassy, the streets were packed from far away,” said Mona, a young hotel employee. “I’ll try again tomorrow. I’m not Alawi, by the way,” she said, laughing.

In a Hamra mini-mart, Abu Mohammed, from Sweida, commented on Ahmad Jarba, reportedly charged with drug trafficking, the candidate backed by Western countries.

“We don’t know him nor where he came from. We want one of us, a Syrian in Syria. People in Syria aren’t blind, we know this has been planned for years. They want to do to Syria what they did to Libya. Today, thousands went to the embassy. Why? Because we know Bashar is the right person. Be sure, if we didn’t want him, he wouldn’t have lasted three years.”

In spite of the second day of voting, there were still many Syrians in Lebanon who, because they hadn’t been able to vote, headed for the border crossing to try to vote in Syria. 

Days later in Damascus, voting stations were also kept open later than planned, to accommodate the high turnout. 

What many may not be aware of is that at the time of the 2014 presidential elections, Syrians in Syria braved terrorist bombings while going to the voting stations. 

Press TV reported:

“Syria’s official news agency SANA reported on Saturday that at least 39 people had lost their lives in the mortar attack on the election campaign rally in Syria’s southern city of Dara’a late on Thursday.

“According to the report, some 205 people were also wounded in the attack, while 14 of the injured are in critical condition.”

Even before voting day, terrorists heavily shelled cities around the country in areas not under their control, in an attempt to intimidate Syrians from casting votes the following week. 

On May 31, Press TV reported:

“Twenty people have been killed in mortar attacks carried out by foreign-backed militants on Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo.

“Takfiri groups have stepped up their attacks against Syrians in several cities and towns as the country prepares for the presidential election on June 3.”

And, as I wrote a month later, in increased shelling, largely seen as vindictive attacks on Inauguration Day, July 16, terrorists fired 23 shells on Damascus. Syrian State media reported that four were killed and 30 injured by the mortars which targeted Shaalan district, Umayyad Square, and a park near the Sheraton Hotel.

2021 Elections 

After 14 visits to Syria over the years, some for months at a time, I can say in all honesty that Syrians overwhelmingly stand with their president and army.  Western and Gulf corporate and state-owned media would have people believe differently, but that is because they want to overthrow the president and install a puppet government favourable to their, and Israel’s, interests. 

But the polls show it as well. In the 2014 election, President Assad, “won with 88.7 percent, garnering 10,319,723 votes. According to Syria’s supreme constitutional court, 73.42 percent of some 15.8 million eligible voters took part in the elections.”

Journalist Sharmine Narwani at the time noted the cynicism of Western nations and media regarding this outcome, writing:

“Syria’s foes will go to the wall with claims of fraudulent votes, but they can hardly contest the visuals of millions of Syrians casting them.

“Which is why Western ‘democracies’ and many Arab allies have sought to inhibit the democratic process by obstructing Syrians from voting at their embassies. It is embarrassing for them then that thousands of Syrian refugees have crossed the Lebanese border to vote (Lebanon initially threatened they would not be able to return), and that Syrians from the United States, Kuwait, UAE, France, the Netherlands and elsewhere have chartered flights to Damascus so their votes can be counted.”

Likewise, I foresee more of such Western cynicism if, as expected, Assad wins this year’s elections.

But, that is just a case of sour grapes. The West lost their regime-change project. 

It gives me consolation that, unlike in 2014, this year terrorists won’t be able to bomb most Syrian cities as they have been forced out in the intervening years, and peace has returned to areas they once occupied. 

While Syrians struggle unbearably under the cruel and sadistic Western sanctions that strangle them, there is at least hope that in the future, more nations will normalize relations with the country. Perhaps then, America and Co will toss in the hat and retreat to lick their wounds, letting Syrians finally live in peace. 

After his recent visit to Syria, Johnny Achi told me, “When I was in Syria I met with some high ranking officials that assured me that by next year, around this time, dozens of embassies will re-open in Syria and full diplomatic ties will be restored between Syria and many of the boycotting nations including many Europeans.” 

Syrians voting in the upcoming elections will be, as in 2014, voting in defiance of the attempts of America and her allies to overthrow their government. And it will be a momentous occasion marking Syria’s victory in the brutal and completely unnecessary 10-year war.

Celebrations in Homs, Syria (dubbed “capitol of the revolution” by the delusional crowd) 6 days after the 2014 elections in Syria.

2010: Canada’s Secret Trial, ‘Who is Ernst Zundel?’

By VT Editors -May 1, 2021

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

March 19, 2010

VIOLATING HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE NAME OF HUMAN RIGHTS

First they came for the holocaust denialists and I did not speak out as I was not a holocaust denialist….

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

In Europe and Canada, saying that any commonly held belief taught in Israel about the holocaust may be incorrect can land you in prison for up to 20 years.  If you say only 5,999,999 Jews died, you go to prison.  If you say they were shot, not gassed, you go to prison.  In a world where the only part of the nightly news that can be believed is the sports scores, Americans are infamous for lying about the weather as are Italians, Ernst Zundel was sent from Canada to serve 5 years in prison in Germany for doubting the official version of the holocaust.

WHY IS THIS AN ISSUE?

Many Germans would like to find a version of history where they don’t seem barbarous.  Should that be a crime?  Palestinian who suffered hundreds of thousands dead at the hands of Israel say it is done because Jews use the holocaust as an excuse for murder.  Iran just loves starting trouble.  They are like that.  Is asking questions about history a crime?  Are there really well financed attempts to prove that the holocaust didn’t happen for the reasons Israel says, “So it can happen again?”  Is sending people to jail in violation of common sense and honor worth defending any idea?  Didn’t we end up doing things like this in the Middle Ages when the Catholic Church went on a several century murder rampage?

WHAT DOES ANYONE KNOW?When in Germany, I look across the street.  A synagogue was there.  Now the leader of the church choir lives there.  He took me thru the 500 year old building.  There is a small plaque on the sidewalk.  No Jews remain.  Now they visit on vacation, buy wine, eat cake at the outdoor cafes and never see the sign for the missing synagogue.  At the end of the street there used to be a Nazi Party headquarters.  In 1944, an American plane, maybe a B-26, came down the river.  No more building.  Nothing else was hit.  This guy was some pilot!

IS IT WORTH IT?

Saying large numbers of Jews and many other people weren’t enslaved and murdered by the Nazis is offense and wrong.  It is also stupid.  Stupid and criminal are not the same thing.  Saying it is OK to do something wrong to someone else, let’s say, the Palestinian, because the Germans were bad is wrong too.  We all learn this as kids.

We can’t fix what happened.  I expect everyone to learn, to prepare and if wise, arm themselves to the teeth until mankind proves themselves less toxic.  This is common sense.

HYPOCRITICAL CANADA

If Canada loves the Jews so much, Hitler would have sent them all to Canada, a country nearly empty, long before the killing started.  Hitler asked, Canada and so many other countries refused.  Ask any Jew, they know the list.  Jailing Ernst Zundel is so much easier than living with the truth.

Too little, too late.

The issue here is secret trials with secret witnesses and secret charges.  Canadians love bashing the United States for our Bush era fling with fascist tyranny but easily forget their own.  When remembering offenses, perhaps one could remember the offense against Ernst Zundel, done in the name of liberalism and political correctness.  Anyone who would send Ernst Zundel away would, if pushed, start transporting Jews “east.”

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.

What was said about Ernst Zundel, Canadians used to say about the Jews until it became “illegal.”

The Jewish Takeover of Canada: The Case of Arthur Topham

By Lasha Darkmoon –

October 10, 2014

Has Canada been taken over by Jews? It would seem so, if the relentless persecution
of Canadian patriot and freedom fighter Arthur Topham 
is anything to go on.

. . . by Lasha DarkmoonIT’S TOO LATE TO CRY — IT’S ALREADY HAPPENED

Canadian patriot and freedom fighter Arthur Topham is to be hauled before the Canadian courts next year on trumped-up charges. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Arthur is an innocent man. His trial date has now been set. He will appear in court on 26 October, 2015, and his trial will last for two weeks until 6 November.

If found guilty, this man who has said and done nothing that you and I have not said or done a thousand times, will be torn from the embrace of his wife, his family and his friends and be thrown into prison. It will be a major miscarriage of justice if this should occur.

The forthcoming trial of Arthur Topham (pictured) is therefore much more than the trial of one man. Canadian justice will itself be on trial.

arthur topham

What is Arthur’s alleged crime? Arthur’s only crime is that he is a political dissident who has chosen to exercise his democratic right to free speech. He has spoken out eloquently about the war crimes of the state of Israel and published books on his website which are regarded as offensive to many Jews. To criticize this privileged ethnic group in Canada or to question its cherished assumptions, is, it seems, strictly taboo. This is classified as “hate speech”.

At no time has Arthur advocated breaking the law. He has never incited anyone to violence. He has merely utilized his pen to express his political views in a rational and civilized way as any political dissident anywhere in the world would do.

If Arthur had been an American or British citizen, he would not be facing a possible prison sentence right now, and this is because whatever Arthur has said or done is not regarded as a crime in the United States or Britain.If Arthur is to be condemned in a Canadian court for “hate speech”, it will only be because Canada has now fallen under the dominant influence of a powerful ethnic group who have somehow managed to turn Canada into an Israelified police state.

Yesterday I received an email from an old friend of mine. His name is Felix Dean. He is a retired Canadian professional who dearly loves his country, just as Arthur Topham does. Unlike Arthur however, Felix can no longer bear to live in Canada. He feels that Canada has rapidly morphed into a police state under the malign influence of organized Jewry. So Felix now resides in self-imposed exile within “the civilized confines of Europe,” to quote his own words.

This is what Felix has to say about his Canadian compatriot Arthur Topham:

“To the best of my understanding, Arthur Topham’s cardinal sin is not what he said, but the fact that he PUBLISHED it. There is an individual by name of Richard Warman, the rabid Zionist attack dog whose only reason for living is to destroy truth tellers like Arthur. Warman is actually of German ancestry, not a Jew as far as I know, but he is a classical cult zombie, someone so thoroughly brainwashed and programmed for bloodshed that I cannot but regard him as little better than a Manchurian candidate of the worst sort.”

richard warman

Strong words, friend Felix. It distresses me to know that Canadian justice is now apparently relying on the evidence of Manchurian candidates. Has it really come to this?

It would appear that this man Richard Warman (pictured), an ardent Zionist with a reputation for being a “serial complainant”, has a personal grudge against Arthur Topham and would like to see him go to prison.

Though non-Jewish himself and with no official position, Warman is constantly to be seen filing complaints against critics of Big Jewry. It was he who tried to get David Icke into trouble recently, accusing Icke of unspecified “hate crimes”. Apparently mentioning “Jews” in the same breath as “lizards” is deeply disturbing to Mr Warman and could indirectly lead to a second Holocaust.

Needless to say, Warman is relatively small fry: a pest and a nuisance rather than a serious threat to champions of free speech. Arthur’s main adversary is a powerful Canadian Jew, Harry Abrams, British Columbia representative of B’nai B’rith Canada. It was he who in 2007 registered a section 13 complaint against Arthur as follows:

“This concerns a complaint filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission seeking relief for discriminatory publication under prohibited grounds caught by Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. The premise of this complaint is a contention that Arthur Topham of Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada, and his internet publication known as Radicalpress.com contrive to promote ongoing hatred affecting persons identifiable as Jews and/or as citizens of Israel.”

Cut out the legal jargon and it boils down to this: Arthur is a criminal because he has given offense to the Jews.

In 2012, Harry Abrams filed a second complaint against Arthur with the British Columbia “Hate Crimes” unit, alleging that:

“Roy Arthur TOPHAM, between the 28th day of April, 2011 and the 4th day of May, 2012, inclusive, at or near Quesnel, in the Province of British Columbia, did by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promote hatred against an identifiable group, people of the Jewish religion or ethnic origin, contrary to Section 319(2) of the Criminal Code.”

Impressive legal jargon reducible to the age-old whine: “This man is saying bad things about Jews and must be stopped!”

This is the charge Arthur is now fighting, and this is the question the Canadian courts must decide: is it permissible to contradict a Jew in any way, thereby hurting his feelings, and will you be sent to prison if he complains about you?

An instrument of oppression and a serious threat to free speech in Canada
An instrument of oppression
and a serious threat to free speech in Canada

A few more quotes from the email of my Canadian friend Felix will help to fill in the picture:

“Arthur had a brave and noble defender in his lawyer, Douglas Christie, who originally defended Ernst Zundel and other political dissidents. Christie unfortunately succumbed to liver cancer a few years ago, a true hero in every sense of the word.

Consider that all these guys are real Canadians, whose ancestors were the original pioneers and frontiersmen of our beloved country. These great Canadians earned combat medals, they fought and died in wars on behalf of Canada, and then what happens? These troublesome Jews show up and proceed to grind all our Canadian patriots to dust and ashes, as if they owned the world and all the surrounding planets.

No part of Canadian history holds any value for these alien interlopers. They respect none of our traditions. It is thoroughly disgusting.

You and I have said things that are hundreds of times more offensive to “the Jews” than Arthur Topham has, and yet no one is threatening to throw us in prison! So why do they pick on Arthur? It’s because Arthur has made a name for himself (through Christie) in the mainstream press. Ordinary Canadians know all about him and therefore he must be made a very public example of — his head must be paraded through the streets on a spike!

Arthur most certainly needs defending. In fact, I believe his wife is Jewish. Not that this will help him in any way.”

I was deeply moved by this eloquent email from my friend Felix, himself a Canadian citizen, as I say, who has chosen to leave Canada and live abroad because of the takeover of his country by an increasingly obnoxious, in-your-face Jewish minority. This natural aversion to being bossed around by pesky Jews naturally means that Felix is now regarded as an “anti-Semite” — a term which, according to B’nai B’rith Canada, can now be applied to four million Canadians.

It is amazing to think that even a man with a Jewish wife such as Arthur Topham should be regarded as a dangerous anti-Semite by B’nai B’rith Canada. Consider this sobering fact: not a SINGLE Canadian citizen has been named as a victim of Arthur Topham’s political activities. Who has complained to the police about Arthur Topham? Only TWO individuals out of 36 million Canadians: one a non-Jewish serial complainant, Richard Warman, already mentioned above, and the other a powerful Jew representing B’nai B’rith Canada, Harry Abrams. It is Harry Abrams who is currently leading the witch hunt against Arthur Topham.

The glib assumption that B’nai B’rith Canada, spear-headed in the British Columbia region by Jewish commissar Harry Abrams, represents Jewish interests in Canada and speaks for all Canadian Jews, is an assumption that cannot be granted. There is one Jew who certainly does not feel that B’nai B’rith Canada speaks for all Jews, and that is Arthur Topham’s Jewish wife.

I venture to say that Arthur’s Jewish wife is only one among thousands of Jews in Canada who are utterly appalled by the flagrant war crimes committed by the Jewish state in Gaza only quite recently. These Jews do not feel that B’nai B’rith Canada, with its undeviating loyalty to Israel, represents their interests in any way.


For the record, Arthur Topham’s Jewish wife is totally aware of Arthur’s political activities and is behind her husband 100 percent of the way in whatever he has said or done. Raised in a secular household of Russian Jews, Topham’s wife has no time for Zionism. She is a practicing spiritual healer, with clairvoyant abilities, who uses traditional medicines in her healing ministry. Ever since she was a child, I am told, “she has followed the Red path of the Native American Indians and never could relate to her Jewish background.”

Naturally, Arthur’s Jewish wife does not, unlike B’nai B’rith Canada, regard it as a crime that Arthur should have published The Protocols of the Elders of Zion on his site.

That B’nai B’rith Canada should actually go to the absurd length of suggesting that Arthur Topham should be sent to prison for, among other things, publishing the Protocols on his website—a book that anyone can buy anywhere—is a sure sign of desperation as well as malevolent overkill.

Apart from the Protocols, there are other books Arthur has published on his website which, according to B’nai B’rith Canada, he should not have published and which mark him out as a dangerous criminal who is a threat to Canada’s 375,000 Jews. These are books widely available not only on the internet but in major libraries and specialist bookshops, e.g., Eustace Mullins’ The Biological Jew and Elizabeth Dilling’s The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today.

Elizabeth Dilling’s book, incidentally, happens to be a meticulously researched exposé of the Babylonian Talmud, revealing in quotation after shocking quotation the bizarre mindset of Talmudic Jewry. Here are a few examples of what will be found in the Jews’ holiest book:

(1) “When a Jew murders a gentile, there will be no death penalty. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep.

(2) “A Gentile girl who is three years old may be [sexually] violated.”

(3) “If a Jew is tempted to do evil, he should go to a city where he is not known and do the evil there.”

(4) “Jesus is in hell, being boiled in hot excrement.”

B’nai B’rith Canada is naturally incensed that the official Jewish hatred of non-Jews should be so openly revealed. They would prefer to see their hatred of the non-Jewish majority kept carefully under wraps. It follows that this highly repressive Jewish organization would not only like to see Dilling’s book banned, but they would also like to see Arthur Topham given a stiff prison sentence for daring to draw attention to the book on his website.

The unbelievable chutzpah of B’nai B’rith Canada was perhaps even more flagrantly on display when they raised objections to Arthur Topham’s republication on his site of Theodore N. Kaufman’s hate-filled 1941 book Germany Must Perish! Written by a mentally deranged American Jew, this disreputable book called for the TOTAL EXTERMINATION OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE BY FORCIBLE STERILIZATION OF EVERY SINGLE GERMAN MALE!

In order to highlight the enormity of what this psychotic Jew was actually suggesting, Arthur employed the ingenious device of republishing the book on his website with a few significant alterations. First, he changed the title to Israel Must Perish! Then he substituted the word “Israel” for “Germany”, “Jew for “German”, and “Netanyahu” for “Hitler”. This at once transformed Kaufman’s hateful book into a Swiftian satire.

The point Arthur Topham was making was unmistakable. If it is permissible to call for the mass extermination of the GERMAN people by enforced sterilization of every single GERMAN MALE, then it was equally permissible to call for the extermination of the JEWISH people by the enforced sterilization of every single JEWISH male. The logic was impeccable.

Such perfect logic, however, was displeasing to B’nai B’rith Canada, Driven to desperation, this Jewish organization then resorted to dirty tricks. First it alleged, falsely, that Arthur had actually published a real, hard copy book called Israel Must Perish! He had done no such thing.

Secondly and even more egregiously, it made out that Arthur was himself advocating the genocide of the “whole Jewish population.” He was doing no such thing. It was Detective Constable Terry Wilson of British Columbia Hate Crimes Unit who told Arthur in person that B’nai B’rith Canada was attempting to make this defamatory and unprovable allegation.

Kaufman’s “hate-filled screed titled German Must Perish! [Arthur reveals on his website] “was promoted by the most prestigious mass media publications in the USA when it appeared in 1941 prior to America’s entry into the conflict. Magazines like Time and newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post lauded the idea of absolutely destroying the German nation and the German race as a whole, referring to this grotesquely contemptible concept as a “SENSATIONAL IDEA!”

5

The implacable Jewish hatred for the German people, oozing from every line of this nauseating book and easily demonstrated by its hysterical call for the mass “castration” of every single German male in the world by sterilization, was, you will regret to learn, not confined to one or two crazy Jews in Brooklyn. It was official government policy in an America already to a large extent dominated by its Jews.

In September 1944, the savagely vindictive Morgenthau Plan for Germany was unveiled. The evil brainchild of two Jews in the American administration, Harry Dexter White and Henry Morgenthau, this malevolent plan for postwar Germany amounted to little more than the mass castration of the German people—humiliation and punishment ad infinitum.

As the German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels put it, “Hate and revenge of truly old-testament character are clear in these plans dreamed up by the American Jew Morgenthau. Industrialized Germany should be literally turned into a huge potato field.” This comment has naturally been dismissed as contemptible nonsense by the court historians and their Jewish mentors, given that Goebbels said it. Therefore to quote it as an indictment of Morgenthau is—you guessed it—”anti-Semitic”.

However, US Secretary of War Harry Stimson is not so easy to dismiss. Stimson’s final assessment of the Morgenthau Plan was that “it is Semitism gone wild for vengeance.” Morgenthau, he added, “was so biased by his Semitic grievances that he really is a very dangerous advisor to the President.” In his diary he wrote tersely: “Objective of punishment is prevention but not vengeance. Reason why Jew is disqualified.” (See here)

Needless to say, Stimson has himself been dismissed as an anti-Semite for saying this. De Judaiis nil nisi bonum.

Both Roosevelt and Churchill were to put their initials to the revengeful Morgenthau Plan. Helpless puppets of the powerful Jews who jerked their strings, it seems that neither world leader had much choice in the matter. Both lived to to regret their actions. Roosevelt later said “he had no idea how he could have initialled this.” Churchill was to parrot his words, “I had not time to examine the Morgenthau Plan in detail. I am sorry I put my initials to it.” (See here)

In his 1956 book The Controversy of Zion, Douglas Reed was to refer to the Morgenthau Plan as “The Talmudic Vengeance.” (Title of Chapter 42). An apt description, which perhaps helps to explain why Douglas Reed is another writer whose works organized Jewry would like to see banned, along with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Elizabeth Dilling’s exposé of the Talmud, The Jewish Religion.

Conclusion

To summarize: Arthur Topham has said nothing that you or I have not said repeatedly, day in and day out. If Arthur is guilty of “hate speech”, then we are all guilty of hate speech. If Arthur is to be consigned to a Canadian prison for his views, then we all deserve to join him there and be allocated adjoining cells.

If Arthur is guilty of speaking out against the state of Israel, especially after its recent war crimes in Gaza, then we are ALL guilty—for there is not one of us who has not cried out in revulsion against the wanton mass murder and maiming of Palestinians, most of them women and children, whose only crime is that they happen to own the land the Jews covet.

Let this be noted: Canada, now almost completely under the Jewish yoke, would like to criminalize EVERY SINGLE CRITICISM OF THE JEWISH STATE. Merely to give offense to a Jew, to hurt his feelings by disagreeing with him, will soon earn you a stiff fine or a prison sentence. Here is what B’nai B’rith Canada would like to see incorporated into Canadian law:

“We must repeat again and again these basic facts — TO BE ‘anti-Israel’ IS TO BE ANTI-SEMITIC. TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL, ISRAELI PROFESSORS and ISRAELI business, these are not political acts, these are acts of hate, acts of anti-Semitism! Anti-Israel hysteria is anti-Semitic hysteria. They are one and the same.”

The above statement was made in 2009 by Yuli Edelstein, Israeli Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, The capital letters are his. (See “Criminalizing Criticism of Israel in Canada”)

Dare to express pity for this little girl and demand the punishment of the Israeli soldier guilty of doing this to her
and you will soon face criminal proceedings in Canada

Here is the picture of an Israeli woman, an atrocity tourist who claims that the sight of Palestinian children being killed gives her exquisite pleasure, almost bringing her an orgasm:

Dare to criticize this sexually perverted Jewess
and you will soon be accused of “anti-Semitism” by B’nai Brith Canada and sent to prison

Can Canadian justice sink any lower? Do Canadian citizens really want to live in a totalitarian police state run by Jews? I don’t think so. Canadian justice must not be used as an instrument of oppression by a rabid and out-of-control Jewish minority.

B’nai B’rith Canada clearly does not represent the interests of most Canadian Jews, as it mendaciously claims. I know many Jews in Canada who totally reject being represented by this hate-filled organization. One such Jew is Arthur Topham’s beloved wife. If B’nai B’rith Canada has its way, her husband will be thrown into prison on trumped-up charges.

The witch hunt against Arthur Topham by B’nai B’rith Canada must stop.

If you are concerned for Arthur Topham
and would like to see him treated fairly
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION

ABOUT VT EDITORS

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VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff. All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff

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So Who Wants a Hot War?

So Who Wants a Hot War?

April 17, 2021 

by Pepe Escobar and cross-posted with Strategic Culture Foundation

It’s not by accident that the Hegemon is going no holds barred to harass and try to smash Eurasian integration by all means available.

It’s a scorpion battle inside a vortex of distorted mirrors inside a circus. So let’s start with the mirrors in the circus.

The non-entity that passes for Ukrainian Foreign Minister traveled to Brussels to be courted by US Secretary of State Blinken and NATO secretary-general Stoltenberg.

At best, that’s circus shadowplay. Much more than NATO advisers in a frantic revolving door in Kiev, the real shadowplay is MI6 actually working very close with President Zelensky.

Zelensky’s warmongering script comes directly from MI6’s Richard Moore. Russian intel is very much aware of all the fine print. Glimpses were even carefully leaked to a TV special on the Rossiya 1 channel.

I confirmed it with diplomatic sources in Brussels. British media also got wind of it – but obviously was told to further distort the mirrors, blaming everything on, what else, “Russian aggression”.

German intel is practically non-existent in Kiev. Those NATO advisers remain legion. Yet no one talks about the explosive MI6 connection.

Careless whispers in Brussels corridors swear that MI6 actually believes that in the case of a volcanic but as it stands still preventable hot war with Russia, continental Europe would burn and Brexitland would be spared.

Dream on. Now back to the circus.

Oh, you’re so provocative

Both Little Blinken and NATO straw man Stoltenberg parroted the same script in Brussels after talking to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister.

That was part of a NATO “special meeting” on Ukraine – where some Eurocrat must have told a bunch of extra clueless Eurocrats how they would be carbonized on the spot by Russian TOS-1 Buratino’s terrifying explosive warheads if NATO tried anything funny.

Listen to the sound of Blinken yappin’: Russian actions are “provocative”.

Well, his staff certainly did not hand him a copy of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu examining step by step the deployment of the annual US Army DEFENDER-Europe 21: “The main forces are concentrated in the Black Sea and Baltic region.”

Now listen to the sound of Stoltenberg yappin’: We pledge “unwavering support” to Ukraine.

Woof woof. Now go back to play in your sandboxes.

No, not yet. Little Blinken threatened Moscow with “consequences” whatever happens in Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov’s infinite patience is nearly Daoist. Sun Tzu’s Art of War, by the way, is a Daoist masterpiece. Peskov’s answer to Blinken: “It is simply not necessary for us to go around forever proclaiming: ‘I am the greatest!’ The more one does this sort of thing, in fact, the more people doubt it…”

When in doubt, call the irreplaceable Andrei Martyanov – who always tells it like it is. The Crash Test Dummy gang in D.C. still does not get it – although some Deep State pros do.

Here’s Martyanov:

As I am on record constantly – the United States never fought a war with its Command and Control system under the relentless sustained fire impact and its rear attacked and disorganized. Conventionally, the United States cannot win against Russia in Europe, at least Eastern part of it and Biden Admin better wake up to the reality that it may, indeed, not survive any kind of escalation and, in fact, modern Kalibrs, 3M14Ms, as a matter of fact, have a range of a 4,500 kilometers, as well as 5,000+ kilometer range of X-101 cruise missiles, which will have no issues with penetrating North American airspace when launched by Russia’s strategic bombers without even leaving the safety of Russia’s airspace.

The Patrushev effect

The circus went on with the phone call from “Biden” – that is, Crash Test Dummy with an earpiece and a teleprompter in front of the phone – to President Putin.

Call it the Patrushev effect.

In his stunning interview to Kommersant, Triple Yoda Patrushev mentioned a very civilized late March phone call he had with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. Of course there’s no smokin’ gun, but if anyone would come up with the face-saving idea of a Biden-Putin phone call that would have been Sullivan.

The spin from Washington and Moscow is only slightly divergent. The Americans highlight that “Biden” – actually the deciding combo behind him – wants to build “a stable and predictable relationship with Russia, consistent with US interests.”

The Kremlin said that Biden “expressed interest in normalizing bilateral relations.”

Away from all this fog, what really matters is Patrushev-Sullivan. That has to do with Washington telling Turkey that US warships would be transiting the Bosphorus towards the Black Sea. Sullivan must have told Patrushev that no, they won’t be “active” in Donbass. And Patrushev told Sullivan, OK, we won’t incinerate them.

There are absolutely no illusions in Moscow that this putative Biden-Putin summit in a distant future will ever take place. Especially after Daoist Peskov had made it very clear that “no one will allow America to speak with Russia from a position of strength.” If that sounds like a line straight out of Yang Jiechi – who made shark fin’s soup out of Blinken-Sullivan in Alaska – that’s because it does.

Kiev, predictably, remains stuck in circus mode. After getting sharp messages from Mr. Iskander, Mr. Khinzal and Mr. Buratino, they changed their mind, or at least pretend to, and are now saying they don’t want war.

And here comes the intersection between circus and the serious stuff. The “Biden” combo never said, explicitly, on the record, that they don’t want war. On the contrary: they are sending those warships to the Black Sea and – circus again! – designating an envoy, Ministry of Silly Walks-style, whose only job is to derail the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

So the cliffhanger – like a teaser for Snowpiercer – is what happens when Nord Stream 2 is completed.

But before that, there’s something even more momentous: next Wednesday, on his speech to the Russian Security Council, President Putin will lay down the law.

It’s Minsk 2, stupid

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, has struck a much less Daoist note than Peskov: “The United States is our enemy, doing everything to undermine Russia’s position in the international arena, we do not see other elements in their approach to us. These are our conclusions”.

That’s stone to the bone realpolitik. Ryabkov knows the Hegemon’s “non agreement-capable” mindset inside out. So an added dimension to his observation is its direct connection to the only solution for Ukraine: the Minsk 2 agreements.

Putin reiterated Minsk 2 on his live teleconference with Merkel and Macron – and certainly to “Biden” in their phone call. The Beltway, the EU and NATO are all aware of it. Minsk 2 was signed by Ukraine, France and Germany and certified by the UN Security Council. If Kiev violates it, Russia – as a member of the UNSC – must enforce it.

Kiev has been violating Minsk 2 for months now; it refuses to implement it. As a faithful Hegemon satrapy, they are also not “agreement-capable”. Yet now they are seeing the – firepower – writing on the wall if they as much as think of starting a blitzkrieg against Donbass.

The open secret in the whole Ukraine/Donbass wilderness of mirrors under the circus tent is of course China. Yet Ukraine, in a sane world, would not only be part of a Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) corridor, but also part of the Russian Greater Eurasia project. China specialist Nikolai Vavilov recognizes the importance of BRI, but is also certain Russia is above all defending its own interests.

Ideally, Ukraine/Donbass would be inserted in the overall revival of the Silk Roads – as in internal Central Eurasian trade based and developed taking into consideration Eurasia-wide demand. Eurasia integration – in both the Chinese and Russian vision – are all about interconnected economies via inter-regional trade.

So it’s not by accident that the Hegemon – on the verge of becoming an irrelevant player across Eurasia – is going no holds barred to harass and try to smash the continental integration by all means available.

In this context, manipulating a failed state to meet its own doom is just (circus) business.

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