More tectonic developments taking place

September 30, 2021

The Vineyard of the Saker

First, there is the crazy behavior of Germany.

Rather than repeat it all here, I will simply point you to Andrei Martyanov’s article about this here: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/09/drifting-apart.html

===>>>BTW I recommend to all my readers to check Martyano’v blog every day!<<<===

Then here is this: the DPRK is testing a hypersonic missile

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/N-Korea-at-crossroads/North-Korea-claims-test-of-defense-busting-hypersonic-missile

and

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/09/29/asia-pacific/north-korea-hypersonic-missile/

Some western “experts” have declared that the test “might” have been a failure.  Make of that what you wish.

Personally, I do not have access to top secret DPRK documents (which I could not read anyway!) or some special insights into hypersonic missile technology (I am not a missile engineer).  I did ask Andrei Martyanov, whose expertise I do trust, and he expressed his doubts about the veracity/reliability of these reports.

So let’s make a very middle of the way assumption here: the DPRK is working on a hypersonic missile, and what was launched was was part of a test missile.  Fair enough?

That would put the DPRK pretty close (if not on par with) the USA’s own (long suffering) hypersonic missile program.

So far, only Russia and China have fielded real, fully functional, hypersonic missiles (not quite true, there were some intermediate range missiles which flew at high speeds in the past, but they were not what we would call a modern, maneuvering, hypersonic missile).

The DPRK has made some very real strides on all sorts of technologies which this “officially” backward and primitive “Commie Monarchy” should never have been able to develop, not even with Ukrainian, Russian and Chinese help (official, covert or even individual).  But they did, didn’t they?  They even have some nukes (though probably not a good delivery systems (yet?).

Of course, the DPRK is still very far from developing the kinds of weapons systems the US undeniably has (for example submarines, both SSNs and SSBNs in which the USA is still at the top level and decades ahead of any DPRK subs).  But considering the level of corruption of the US MIC combined with a new “inclusive” ideology (which basically denies the need for STEM education) things are clearly changing and only God knows what things will look like in, say, 5 years or so?

Next,

The US Congress is going even more insane than usual and put our entire planet at risk!

By now the “notorious” telephone calls of the CJCS to his Chinese and, apparently, Russian counterparts are now considered high treason.  Now let’s remember the context, the US was going through a mass hysteria following the “elections” and it was totally reasonable to assume that both China and Russia would be very concerned about what might happen next.  To call them and say that “our nukes are under control and no matter what political troubles we currently have will not affect that” is not high treason, but only very WISE common sense.  The fact that, apparently, they did that without consulting or even getting an order from the President is absolutely very problematic and those questioning this have a very good point.  But there is a saying in Russian which I like very much “rules are for the end goal (дело) and not the other way around”.  As military officers the men responsible for this action had to chose between the proper chain of command and the risk of the Russians and Chinese increasing their level of readiness which, in turn, could have been interpreted by the (incompetent and mainly idiotic) US “experts” as a sign that the evil Russkies or Chink Commies were about to use the opportunity created by the internal chaos in the USA to try a first strike (does that stupid theory not sound like exactly the kind of crap civilian US ‘experts’ love to scare people with?) and would then, in turn, force the USA to got a step up in readiness, thereby confirming any possible Russian and/or Chinese suspicions.

Frankly, I wish that the top officers of all three countries spoke to each other on a daily basis, regardless of what political tensions might be occurring in the USA, Russia or China.

So what the CJCS did, at the risk of his career, is to prevent that kind of mutual escalation of distrust and fear from happening in a very dangerous times.  So, imnsho, he deserves both a official blame for AND a secret medal for what he did.

But, of course, the two equally insane parties in Congress don’t understand that, because they simply don’t understand nuclear war and nuclear deterrence, a topic which civilians ought to not discuss unless they first study it in some depth (which I did at length in graduate school).

But the terminally moronic US members of Congress are now making it sound like even talking to Russia or China about, say, counter-terrorism cooperation is some unspeakable act of treason and a pact with the devil.

To put it bluntly, these imbeciles are putting our entire planet at risk with such nonsense!

The Anglo media sinks even further into lunacy

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16275278/vladimir-putin-attractive-translator-g20-trump-book/

I wish I had the time to translate and post the Russian reactions to this latest paranoid hysteria: the Russian are laughing their heads off and typically say “she just looked like every other 2nd Russian young woman”, which might sound incredible to gender fluid freaks and other “spokespersons” of the US administrations, but which is self-evident nonsense for anybody who has ever visited Russia.

And to imagine that Putin would select an interpreter or deliberately cough to scare Trump also triggers only another burst of laughter.

Just for the record, that interpreter finished a real interpretation school and is fluent in German and English.

Also, in Russia woman are allowed to be smart AND good looking.  In fact, most are 🙂

What will they do next?

Only God knows 🙂

Andrei

China in Action – Carbon Neutral by 2050

September 24, 2021

China in Action – Carbon Neutral by 2050

By Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

The Glasgow Conference will focus at implementation of the Paris Agreement in a comprehensive, balanced and effective manner, building a fair global climate governance system, equitable and centered on win-win cooperation – with focus on renewable energy, the phase-out of fossil fuels, zero-emissions vehicles, resilience-building, carbon-pricing, green finance, nature-based climate solutions such as afforestation and reforestation, biodiversity conservation, and waste management.

Transcript of a presentation at a Webinar sponsored by the Chongyang Institute of Renmin University, Beijing
23 September 2021

An early priority for China – at least two to three decades back – was to reduce Carbon Dioxide (CO2) output, as well as that of other greenhouse gases, such as methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and some artificial chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), to eventually reach carbon neutrality, meaning, eliminating as much CO2 as is produced, by 2050.

With industrialization and excessive consumption, the output of CO2 and other greenhouse gases has increased rapidly and especially in later years. And this despite repeated pledges during numerous UN-sponsored Environmental Conferences, to reduce the world’s carbon footprint.

Global Carbon dioxide levels reached 419 parts per million (ppm) in May 2021, the highest since CO2 output has been measured 63 years ago. Compare this to China’s CO2 output of 409 ppm by 2018.

China is often blamed as being the world’s largest polluter which may be the case in absolute terms, as China also has the world’s largest population. However, putting China’s CO2 output in perspective, on a per capita basis, China ranks only 5rd, after Australia, the US, Russia and Germany:
– Australia: 17.27 tons per capita
– USA: 15.52 tons p/c
– Russia: 11.33 tons p/c
– Germany: 8.52 tons p/c
– China: 7.38 tons p/c (less than half the US level)
– India: 1.91 tons p/c
These are 2019 figures.

—-

China’s 14th Five Year Plan (14th FYP), published in March 2021, included 2025 energy and carbon intensity reduction targets, as well as a mid-point non-fossil share target to achieve her nationally determined contributions, or NDC.

At China’s Leaders Climate Summit in April 2021, President Xi Jinping announced that China will strictly control coal generation until 2025 when she will start to gradually phase out of coal.

President Xi just announced at the UN General Assembly in NYC of 2021, that China seizes using coal powered plants as of now.
——-
To understand the concept and the lingo of the different terms and terminologies, lets back track a bit.

It all began decades ago – with the First United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the ‘Earth Summit’, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 3-14 June 1992. It set the stage for the reduction of greenhouse gases, the most important of which is Carbon Dioxide.

CO2 emissions are toxic and harmful for the environment and life, when produced in excess.

However, lets also keep in mind – CO2 is one of the most important gases on earth, because the plants use it to produce carbohydrates in a process called photosynthesis. Since humans and animals depend on plants for food, thus, CO2 is necessary for the survival of life on earth.

—–
In the meantime, there have been numerous climate change conferences around the world, most of them UN-sponsored, the latest one – if I’m not wrong, was the Santiago Climate Change Conference, the 25th so-called Conference of the Parties (COP25) of December 2019, meaning the 25th conference to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The names of these conferences and their results are often confusing, at times also controversial, especially between the industrialized countries and the so-called developing countries, or the Global South.

A chief reason for potential conflicts is rapid industrialization – excessive consumption, particularly in the West, or the Global North. The output of CO2 and other greenhouse gases has increased rapidly and unequally between the Global North and the Global South. Yet, developing countries are often asked to take similar measure to reduce greenhouse gases, in particular, CO2.

A safe level of CO2 in the air, according to one of the first 21st Century UN Conferences – it may have been the 2009 Copenhagen Conference, was suggested to be 350 ppm. This figure was already exceeded in 1987, reaching, as mentioned before, 419 ppm in May 2021.

Despite covid, the concentration has not been significantly changed for the better. In some cases, to the contrary.

Despite pledges to the contrary, the main source of energy has changed little in the last 20 years. Hydrocarbons are still king. Today’s world economy still depends on some 84% of hydrocarbons (petrol, gas, coal) of all energy used, as compared to 86% at the turn of the century.
—–
What does Carbon Neutral mean?

Carbon neutral – the amount of CO₂ emissions put into the atmosphere is the same as the amount of CO2 removed from the atmosphere. The impact is neutral. This is not making it actively worse, but it doesn’t make it better either, especially when the average output is above 400 ppm, meaning above the considered “safe” target of 350 ppm.

Carbon negative, or carbon net zero might be a step in the right direction. It means the amount of CO₂ removed from the atmosphere, is bigger than the CO₂ output. The impact is positive; something is actively done to reduce the harm to the atmosphere – and to improve the air for every breathing life.

We have the historical responsibility to urgently cleaning up the atmosphere to eventually get back to the civilized level of 275 ppm.

Since the beginning of human civilization, our atmosphere contained about 275 ppm of carbon dioxide. According to renowned climatologist Dr. James Hansen, these are the conditions under which civilization developed and to which life on earth adapted. Going beyond this indicator, risks disrupting our global climate system’s 1,000,000+ years of relative stability. Beginning in the 18th century, with the age of industrialization, humans began to burn coal, gas, and oil to produce energy and goods. The carbon in the atmosphere began to rise, at first slowly and, then ever more rapidly.

Many of the activities we do every day, rely on energy sources that emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. We’re redistributing millions and millions of years’ worth of carbon, once stored beneath the earth as fossil fuels, and releasing it into the atmosphere.

Just a thought.

Apologies for this long background. The environmental agenda is very complex.

—-
As to China – China’s Ministry of Environment and Ecology publishes regularly CO2 concentration levels. China’s greenhouse gas emission in 2018 reached 409.4 ppm with an estimated annual growth of 1.3%.

While in full action towards Carbon neutrality, China was hosting the 5th Ministerial meeting on Climate Action in April 2021. A virtual event attended by the European Union and Canada, plus ministers and representatives from 35 governments and international organizations, from all the world’s regions.

The meeting aimed at drastically reducing the carbon level in the air, through significant shifts from fossil fuel energy to alternative sources for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), hosted by the UK, from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow.

China is already pushing ahead with this agenda.

The Ministers asked for an equitable transition throughout the implementation process. This may include financial, technological and capacity building support to developing countries, especially the poorest and most vulnerable ones. Implementation of the Paris Agreement should also reflect the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

China’s ambitious agenda to reach carbon neutrality or better, by 2050, includes …

  • Investing in projects of liquid hydrogen which can be used, for instance, in hydrogen fuel cell automobiles, and Hydrogen metallurgy, a technology that applies hydrogen instead of carbon.
  • Third generation photovoltaic energy with efficiency above 40%, is another sector where China’s world-class development and vast demands may attract global investors.
  • In addition, China has ambitious research projects into generating energy from photosynthesis, the process plants use to transform carbon dioxide and sunlight into energy. It’s an ecosystem’s way of producing fuel at a high level of efficiency (>90%) without polluting residues.
  • Green parks in urban areas and reforestation as well as improved water management, so as to reduce areas of frequent droughts and convert them into green agricultural crop lands.
  • At the same time, China is seeking new alternative energy investments abroad, such as an automotive lithium-ion battery production in Germany – a planned investment of 1.8 billion euros.

And much more….

China is not only on the right track to seek environment-friendly renewable sources of energy, thus, reducing her carbon footprint – but to exceed the 2050 net zero emissions target into a carbon negative project.

China, as in other matters of importance to the world’s societies, just to mention one – poverty alleviation – may be again an example on environmental progress. Towards a human society with shared benefits for all.

************

Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked for over 30 years on water and environment around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He is also is a non-resident Sr. Fellow of the Chongyang Institute of Renmin University, Beijing.

عالم ينهار عالم ينهض ومركز ثقل العالم ينتقل إلى الشرق

 محمد صادق الحسيني

«‏العالم ليس سوى غابة… هذه مقولة كنا قد نسيناها

‏لكن الخنجر الذي طعنتنا به أميركا في الظهر

‏يعيد تذكيرنا بها اليوم مجدداً».

‏هذا الكلام لسفير فرنسا السابق في واشنطن ‏(في إشارة إلى إلغاء صفقة الغواصات الأسترالية لفرنسا بضغط من الولايات المتحدة الأميركية).‏

لا يزال العالم يعيش تحت صدمة فسخ صفقة الغواصات التي تعمل بالوقود التقليدي بين أستراليا وفرنسا واستبدالها بأخرى مع أميركا تعمل بالوقود النووي.

وهو ما اعتبره القادة الفرنسيون خيانة أميركية للشراكة الأطلسية وتواطؤاً بريطانياً ذميماً وانقياداً أسترالياً بغيضاً، سيرمي بظلاله على كل العمل المشترك في حلف الناتو.

وهو ما أثار بالفعل تساؤلات عميقة لدى المتابعين والخبراء والمراقبين على حدّ سواء.

ويعتقد مطلعون أنّ العاصفة الهوجاء من النقد اللاذع التي انطلقت مع هذه الواقعة لدى الفرنسيين لها ما يبرّرها بسبب سوابق أميركية تعود لأيام حكم ترامب.

فقد سبق للأميركيين أن وجهوا انتقادات لاذعة للفرنسيين كما للألمان، متهمين إياهم بأنهم لم يقوموا بواجباتهم كما ينبغي تجاه حلف الأطلسي فيما يدفع الأميركيون من خزانتهم لحماية أوروبا والدفاع عنها، وهو خلاصة الكلام الذي أسمعه ترامب للأوروبيين في اجتماعه الشهير بقادتهم في الأشهر الأخيرة من عهده على هامش اجتماع عالي المستوى في فرنسا.

ومن يومها تحسّس قادة أوروبا رؤوسهم وبدأوا يتحدثون عن ضرورة تشكيل قوة دفاعية خاصة بهم.

واليوم مع القرار المفاجئ لأستراليا بإلغاء ما عُرف بصفقة القرن (ما قيمته 56 مليار دولار) مع فرنسا واستبدالها بأخرى أميركية مع إعلان مفاجئ لجو بايدن عن تحالف ثلاثي يضمّ بلاده وبريطانيا وأستراليا، تكون الرواية الفرنسية عن الخيانة الأميركية تجاه باريس والطعن في الظهر قد اكتملت.

لعلّ من المفيد هنا الإشارة إلى أنّ حلف شمال الأطلسي وهو الحلف القائم بين أميركا وأوروبا إنما تشكل بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية من أجل حماية أوروبا من الاتحاد السوفياتي سابقاً.

الأوروبيون يشعرون بقوة منذ زمن ليس بالقليل بأن واشنطن تعيش موسم الهجرة إلى الصين، وأنها لم تعد ترى في موسكو عدوها الأساس بقدر ما ترى ذلك في الصين، خصوصاً بعد أن انتقل الصراع برأيهم من الميدان والحروب العسكرية إلى الاقتصاد، وهو المجال الذي سبقتهم فيه الصين مسافات طويلة.

بالتالي فإنّ ما بات مطلوباً بالنسبة لواشنطن إنما هو تحالفات جديدة تقوم على ضرورة الانتقال من ضفتي الأطلسي إلى ضفتي الهادئ وبحر الصين.

في هذه الأثناء فإنّ تحوّلاً مهماً آخر أيضاً قد طرأ في موازين القوى العسكرية أيضاً في النطاق الأوروبي.

حيث يجمع المتخصصون والعالمون بتقنيات القوة العسكرية الروسية الراهنة، وهو ما يعرفه جنرالات الناتو وكذلك جنرالات البنتاغون جيداً بأنّ قدرات العسكر الروسي المتطورة جداً باتت قادرة على سحق القوة العسكرية الغربية والسيطرة على الميدان فيها من لينينغراد إلى النورماندي (أقصى غرب فرنسا) خلال 24 ساعة.

وهذا التحول المهم في الموازين هو الذي دفع ألمانيا مبكراً للتوجه شرقاً باتجاه موسكو والتفاهم معها لإنجاز مشروع السيل الشمالي 2 للغاز، لتأمين ألمانيا من الطاقة، والتزام الحذر الشديد تجاه أيّ مخطط مقترح من واشنطن قبل أن يتطابق مع المصلحة القومية الألمانية العليا.‏

واليوم يأتي الدور على فرنسا للتفكير ملياً في ما إذا كان المطلوب منها التفكير جدياً بالتوجه شرقاً في إطار حماية أمنها القومي واستجرار الطاقة مثلاً من الروس أيضاً عبر ألمانيا.

تجدر الإشارة بالطبع هنا إلى أنّ باريس هي الأخرى قامت مع ذلك بترتيب أمورها مبكراً مع الجزائر (المحسوبة حليفاً قوياً لروسيا) لاستجرار خط الغاز من نيجيريا عبر ربط خطوطه بخطوط نقل الغاز الجزائري وهو المشروع الذي تعمل عليه الجزائر منذ مدة والذي يكلف نحو 13 مليار دولار.

في هذه الأثناء جاءت واقعة فرار الأميركيين من أفغانستان وهروبهم المذلّ والمستعجل منها، وكذلك واقعة استكمال تشكل تجمع الشرق الجديد الرباعي في إطار منظمة شانغهاي للتعاون الدولي في العاصمة الطاجيكية قبل أيام (روسيا والصين وإيران وشبه القارة الهندية) بعد الإعلان عن انضمام إيران إليه كعضو كامل الصلاحية، بمثابة القشة التي قد تقصم ظهر البعير الأوروبي الآيل إلى الترهّل والتراجع في الوزن الدولي.

وهو يعني في ما قد يعني تلخيصاً وفي المجمل أنّ العالم بعد التضحية الأميركية بأفغانستان وإلغاء صفقة الغواصات الفرنسية مع أستراليا لصالح واشنطن وتغيير أميركا لعقيدتها العسكرية، يتحوّل عملياً في الموازين العامة نحو آسيا.

‏ وبهذا تكون أميركا قد جمّدت عملياً دور أوروبا في استراتيجيتها العامة ‏مستبدلة الدور الأوروبي الناتوي ضدّ روسيا لصالح ناتو جديد في مواجهة الصين.

‏في هذه الأثناء فإنّ ما سيتعزز في المقابل هو تحالف شانغهاي الآسيوي الجديد وإن لم يكتمل بعد كحلف عسكري رسمياً.

إنها موازين القوى الدولية الجديدة التي تشي بأنّ مركز ثقل العالم ينتقل من الغرب إلى الشرق.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

Analysis of Euro-Paralysis: Uncle Sam’s Last Afghan Stand

 August 30, 2021

By Mohammad Al-Jaber

The United States dragged Europe into the Graveyard of Empires and used it as a shield in the face of its own burial.

Europe, under the guise of providing the conditions for ‘long-term’ security and stability in Afghanistan, entered the country, and the rest is history. Havoc, destruction, death, and misery infested the Southern Asian country, placing it among the world’s poorest.

A New Age Crusade

Following the September 11 attacks, the United States developed an interest in “combatting terrorism,” prompting the country known for “exporting democracy” to the rest of the world to launch what was called the “War on Terror”—an international military campaign whose goal was to eradicate terrorism abroad,

not for the safety of the populace, but rather for that of US soil.

The US, a NATO ally and core member state, did what any benevolent ally would do and dragged NATO into a multi-generational war in Afghanistan—the organization’s first commitment outside European territories.

The whole debacle started a week after 9/11, when President George W. Bush signed a resolution authorizing the use of force against those behind the attacks, followed by an October 7 announcement that the US and the UK started launching airstrikes in Afghanistan against Al-Qaeda and Taliban sites when demands for the extradition of Osama bin Laden went unanswered.

After the US ‘retaliation’ act, the Taliban announced they are ready for “Jihad”; alas, it was a short-lived dream.

The “Jihad” lasted barely over two months, as the group was defeated and its rule in the country was declared over after heavy air bombardment from the US and UK, with ground support from its allies, which included the Northern Alliance and other anti-Taliban militias and groups.

Now, the US did not get the man they came after; bin Laden fled the country. However, they did accomplish what they are always after—influence and power. Afghanistan became ruled by the US-backed Hamid Karzai, whom the western power saw as best-fitting to rebuild the war-torn country.

So, the United States had everything laid out the way it wanted it to be:

  • The European hand was forced into Afghanistan
  • The burden was basically split in half with Europe reaping fewer benefits
  • The US was in control of a geopolitically significant country
  • The US intimidating its regional foes, namely Russia, China, and Iran

A Mandated European Venture

Now back to Europe; how and why did the old continent join the war in Afghanistan?

In 2001, the UNSC-mandated International Security Assistance Force, which had the mission of re-instating a central authority in the country that was ruled by militias and the Taliban at the time, in addition to working on enhancing the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces, was deployed in Afghanistan. 

The mission was not led by a certain country, as its leadership was rotational between its nations—the most prominent of which were the US, the UK, Germany, Canada, and France.

On August 11, 2003, NATO assumed the ISAF’s leadership. The mission’s goals were still the same; however, when seeing the current state of Afghanistan, it’s safe to say the mission failed miserably.

The ISAF’s European nations accounted for more than half the soldiers in Afghanistan. The countries that had little to nothing to do with the conflict led the invasion of a country that never did any harm to them; the US convinced them to partake in the conflict by raising national security concerns. If anything, failure in Afghanistan would have had way more political and financial repercussions for Europe than the United States, for refugees and terrorists could reach Europe a lot easier than they could North America.

Europe: The United States’ Hadrian’s Wall

Europe has been the main bearer of consequences whenever there had been a US-related flop anywhere in the Eastern hemisphere. Take the Syrian refugee crisis, for example. A US-sparked war on a Middle Eastern country resulted in hundreds of thousands of refugees flocking toward Europe. And, of course, extremists were among those who got into the continent, leading to an increase in terror attacks and national security threats.

This, alongside many other crises, is a fine testament to the US strategy that uses Europe as a shield. In the ongoing crisis and anticipation of the incoming influx of Afghan refugees, Greece took to reinforcing the European borders by building a wall. What this means is that the Syrian scenario will be replayed, as hundreds of dead children will wash up on shore in a failed attempt to flee their country.

The Europeans had little to say regarding invading Afghanistan, for the continent’s nations lacked coordination and had many domestic political issues. Had they been united in the European Union, Europe would have been able to properly alter the coalition and advocate for a much better international approach to the situation in Afghanistan—that would’ve been the best-case scenario for Europe. Obviously, on the ground, it was completely different.

Even the majority of Europeans disagree with using military force to defend a NATO ally from a hypothetical attack by Russia, according to a Pew Research Center report

All that Europe gained from Afghanistan was more refugees, more dead soldiers, and wasted taxpayer money. Altogether, Europe lost nearly a thousand soldiers, gained hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees and asylum seekers, and spent tens of billions of dollars. The UK and Germany, the second-largest troop-contributors, spent an estimated $30 billion and $19 billion respectively, over the course of the two-decade-long war—a portion of what Europe in its entirety paid to keep the war’s flame ablaze.

At the peak of the invasion of Afghanistan in 2011, the year the US had finally achieved its dream of killing bin Laden, there were 90,000 US troops in the country and 41,300 troops from NATO and its allies. The US and its allies did not equally bear the responsibility, for, as we must not forget, this wasn’t a European issue per se. It only became one after the US forced its hand to invade Afghanistan, yet Europe was bearing nearly half the burden.

The situation was incredibly frustrating for Europe, it was stuck in a self (mostly US)-made pit. The choice was between pulling out from Afghanistan and putting the US-European relations at risk, as well as its security and economy following the influx of Afghan refugees from Afghanistan to Europe, (which was not an option altogether), or staying in Afghanistan and putting up with the financial losses and human casualties.

How Europe was the Stalin to the Munich Agreement

To add insult to injury, the United States decided to withdraw from Afghanistan in February of 2020. This was the then-President Donald Trump signed the 2020 Doha Agreement to “end the war in Afghanistan” without consulting European allies—it came as a shock to them. Europeans objected to the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in such a short period of time but to no avail; there was no reversing the decision.

Furthermore, when the Biden Administration took the decision to completely withdraw from Afghanistan ahead of the agreed-upon date—which had been previously postponed from May 1st as set by the Trump administration—his decision received criticism from all US allies. NATO officials, from Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, slammed Biden over this decision that was taken without any consultation.

Leaders all across Europe were in disbelief following the decision, even those who long-supported Biden saw it as a mistake and a miscalculation. There wasn’t any direct criticism, for it is known that would harm diplomatic relations; instead, leaders voiced their criticism behind the scenes. However, the storm is yet to come, as no NATO summits have taken place following the failure, which will most definitely redefine the future of US-EU relations.

How will European leaders react to this whole ordeal? Will they be silent in the face of the US abuse? There could be a change in the way Europe manages its external affairs, moving away from the United States and aiming for autonomy; but nothing is certain. One thing that is though, is the fact that even the Israelis do not trust the Americans due to their abandonment of Afghanistan and their allies there, meaning the US is prone to abandoning Europe and other allies in such ‘dire’ circumstances, rendering it unreliable. After all, the US got its troops out of Kabul right around its fall while leaving Europe and the rest of its allies stuck in the mud.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, went as far as calling for an independent army for the European Union in light of the growing panic amongst the Europeans out of fear of not being able to complete their evacuations before the United States does.

Even prior to this whole fiasco, Europe was considering forming an autonomous army. In 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron had warned that Europeans could not be protected without a “true, European army,” (before declaring that NATO was experiencing “brain death“) – an idea backed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the person who could be Germany’s next Chancellor, Armin Laschet. The idea of a European army did not seem too appealing for the UK, for it could be something that equates to NATO. Instead, they prefer a joint force to defend Europe in a case relying on the US was out of the window.

During the Trump administration, the rift between the US and Europe was at its vastest since the establishment of diplomatic ties and alliances between the two powers, but it seems that the Biden administration will be the straw that broke the camel’s back in the US-EU relations.

Afghanistan reminds us why it’s called the Graveyard of Empires, as the future of diplomacy between the two behemoths could crumble over its invasion.

Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were the First US Allies to be Abandoned by Biden

August 26, 2021

By Andrew Korybko
Source: OneWorld

The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

The world is talking about the next US allies to be abandoned by President Biden after he shamefully hung his Afghan ones out to dry during America’s panicked retreat from the country. Some commentators believe that Ukraine might be next, but in reality, it and Poland were actually the first US allies whose interests were betrayed in pursuit of the so-called “greater good” despite Biden’s promises that he wouldn’t conduct his country’s foreign policy in the Machiavellian way that Trump did. I’ve been chronicling this for some time, but for those who haven’t closely followed my work over the past few months, here are my most relevant analyses accompanied by a concise summary of each:

* 8 April: “Why Does Ukraine Want War?

Ukraine provoked hostilities in Donbass in a desperate attempt to remain relevant to the new US administration at the behest of some of the anti-Russian members of its permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) who wanted to sabotage Biden’s behind-the-scenes outreaches to Russia.

* 14 April: “Poland Must Wake Up To The Threat Of German Hybrid War

Germany has been actively working as America’s “Lead From Behind” proxy for overthrowing the conservative-nationalist Polish government through Hybrid War means connected to Berlin’s backing of its neighbor’s Color Revolution movement.

* 24 April: “What Explains The Latest De-Escalation In Donbass?

Russia didn’t fall for the trap laid out for it by hostile elements in the American “deep state”, though considerable credit for this somewhat surprising de-escalation also goes to Biden since he didn’t make matters worse like many predicted that he would at the time.

* 2 June: “Poland’s Counterproductive Foreign Policy Is Responsible For Its Present Predicament

Poland was shocked by Biden’s decision to waive most of the US’ Nord Stream II sanctions, but it should have seen this coming since the moment he stepped into office and actively begun diversifying its foreign policy instead of remaining entirely dependent on America’s “good graces”.

* 11 June: “Towards Increasingly Complex Multipolarity: Scenarios For The Future

I predicted that the US would “compromise” on the interests of some of its allies like Poland and Ukraine in pursuit of the “greater good” of pragmatically repairing relations with Russia so as to focus more of its efforts on actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

* 15 June: “How Serious Are Poland’s Grand Strategic Disagreements With The US?

It then became increasingly obvious that Poland and the US have some irreconcilable grand strategic differences that far surpass their common military interests vis-a-vis Russia, but the aspiring Central European hegemon had yet to make any decisive moves to recalibrate its foreign policy in response.

* 24 June: “Polish-US Missile Defense Co-Op Is A Strategic Smokescreen

To preemptively thwart Poland from doing anything dramatic that could bolster its strategic independence, the US went ahead with their prior “missile defense” plans, which served the purpose of keeping Poland in its clutches and also misleading that country’s leadership into thinking that the US was still their “trusted” ally.

* 12 July: “Former Polish PM Tusk Ridiculously Alleged A Kaczysnski-Putin Conspiracy

Germany proxy Donald Tusk escalated the Hybrid War on Poland by claiming that the country’s viciously Russophobic grey cardinal was secretly Russian President Putin’s puppet, which preemptively thwarted his target’s plans to claim the same about him following his return to the country to lead the Color Revolution.

* 15 July: “It’s Time For A Polish-Russian ‘Non-Aggression’ Pact In Belarus & Ukraine

In the face of such increased Hybrid War pressure against it, the most pragmatic thing that Poland could do is clinch a so-called “non-aggression” pact with Russia in their overlapping “spheres of influence” in order to focus more of its security services’ efforts on defending itself from the joint US-German regime change campaign.

* 19 July: “Poland Should Follow Ukraine’s Lead By Using China To Balance The US

As unexpected as it was for most observers to acknowledge, Ukraine’s US-controlled puppet government actually began making serious moves to use China as a “balancing” force against America, which should have inspired Poland to follow suit as a means of showing the US how dissatisfied it is with the ongoing Hybrid War.

* 26 July: “The US-German Hybrid War Against Poland Is Intensifying

Poland’s lack of resolve in defending itself from the joint US-German Hybrid War only served to embolden its nominal “allies” to intensify their regime change campaign, which threatened to make matters much worse for its beleaguered conservative-nationalist government.

* 29 July: “The West Is Pressuring Poland & Russia Due To Their Conservative-Nationalist Values

Poland and Russia are interestingly in the same boat vis-a-vis the West since the latter is pressuring both of them due to their conservative-nationalist values, which Warsaw has yet to realize and thus explains why it’s still in a state of shock after its so-called “allies” so decisively turned against it.

* 13 August: “Ukrainian Ethno-Fascism vs. Russian Multiculturalism

Ukraine’s response to America’s strategic betrayal of its interests hasn’t been to pragmatically explore a possible rapprochement with Russia like it should have done if its leadership had any wisdom but to counterproductively double down on its Russophobic policies.

* 12 August: “Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

The combination of US-German Hybrid War pressure and the unexpected migrant crisis coming from Belarus might finally cause Poland to rethink its self-defeating regional policy of functioning as America’s anti-Russian puppet after receiving literally no rewards for this role nor relief from the regime change pressure upon it.

———-

Having indisputably established that Poland and Ukraine were the first US allies to be abandoned under Biden, it’s now time to talk a little bit more about the latter’s predicament. President Zelensky plans to finally meet his American counterpart at the end of the month, but many observers are wondering why it’s even taken so long. One possible reason other than the US leader’s deliberate mistreatment of his country’s ally is that he’s simply embarrassed because of the slew of scandals connecting him to that country such as the Burisma one with his son Hunter and Biden’s bargain with Poroshenko to fire former General Prosecutor Shokin who was investigating the first-mentioned scandal.

Biden also wanted Zelensky to bend over and accept that America was “compromising” on Ukraine’s interests as part of the “greater good” related to repairing relations with Russia in order to more actively refocus the US’ efforts on “containing” China. The Ukrainian leader understandably felt betrayed by Biden and began to lose faith in America’s reliability as an ally, which explains why his country started reaching out more to China lately. Even so, nothing that Kiev might do can fully protect its interests if Washington cuts a deal with Moscow over Eastern Ukraine like some commentators now speculate might be in the cards as part of their gradual rapprochement.

As for Poland, it too has been caught with its pants down by Biden’s pragmatic deal-making with Russia and also doesn’t have any realistic means to defend its interests in response to them being “traded away” by the American leader. Unlike Ukraine whose conservative-nationalist values are supported by the US because they take the extreme form of ethno-fascism that can be weaponized to keep Russian influence there at bay, the Polish government’s comparatively more mild values are seen as a threat to the entire Western project because of the possibility that they can influence other EU members and thus undermine the US’ plans to have Germany’s liberal-globalist ideology dominate the continent in order to control its countries by proxy.

Poland and Ukraine are therefore at America’s mercy. Their interests were betrayed by their “ally” even before Biden abandoned his country’s Afghan “allies”. Observers should become more aware of this fact since it shows that nobody should have been surprised by what just happened in that South Asian country. The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific. It remains to be seen how much more “collateral damage” the US’ “allies” will suffer as a result of this policy, but there’s no longer any denying that such a Machiavellian policy exists.

News conference following Russian-German talks

August 20, 2021

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/66418

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With Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel at a news conference following Russian-German talks. Photo: TASS

With Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel at a news conference following Russian-German talks. Photo: TASS

(The formal transcript is not fully released yet, but this page will be updated as it gets released.)

Update: The formal transcript is now complete on this page.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Today’s talks with Madam Federal Chancellor were traditionally constructive and business-like.

We had an in-depth discussion, including with the participation of the delegations, on the current state of Russian-German relations and their prospects and exchanged views on a wide range of issues.

As you are aware, this visit by Ms Merkel is special since she is about to step down as Federal Chancellor after the parliamentary elections in the Federal Republic in September. But I want to say right away that we will always be delighted to see Ms Merkel in Russia as a welcome guest.

The fact that Angela Merkel has been heading the government of the Federal Republic for as long as 16 years inspires respect. She has been leading one of the largest, leading European countries with confidence, and she is rightfully among the most authoritative European and world leaders.

Over many years of working side by side, we have developed a good business relationship. We maintained regular contacts and close communication, discussed pressing bilateral matters and strived to coordinate our positions on challenges of global politics.

Occasionally, of course, we saw thing differently, but our dialogue has always been candid and meaningful and was aimed at reaching compromises and solving the most complicated challenges.

Importantly, Germany is indeed one of Russia’s priority partners in politics and the economy.

Speaking about Russian-German trade and economic ties, I would like to note that despite the coronavirus pandemic, which remains a major hindrance to restoring our business contacts in full, mutual trade has begun to expand. In January-May, this figure reached almost 33 percent to exceed $21 billion. Counter capital investment has come close to the $30 billion mark.

Russian-German Economy and Sustainable Development years are being held in 2020–2022. Businesspeople and entrepreneurs of the two countries are communicating at numerous events held as part of this campaign, and a number of promising joint projects in trade, the manufacturing industry and agriculture are being discussed in the process.

We have major projects that everyone is aware of. They are being implemented, and we very much hope that we will have more of them.

Of course, many pressing issues of international politics were touched upon during today’s talks.

Due to the rapidly unfolding events in Afghanistan, we prioritised this issue. The Taliban now controls almost the entire territory of that country, including its capital. This is the reality, and we must proceed from this reality as we strive to avoid the collapse of the Afghan state.

It is imperative to put an end to the irresponsible policy of imposing outside values ​​on others, to the desire to build democracies in other countries according to other nations’ “patterns” without regard to historical, national or religious specifics and totally ignoring the traditions of other nations.

We know Afghanistan, and we know it well enough to understand how this country functions and have had the opportunity to learn first-hand the extent to which trying to impose unusual forms of government or social life on it is counterproductive.

There has not been a single time when socio-political experiments of this kind succeeded. All they do is destroy states and degrade their political and social fabric.

At the same time, we see that the Taliban has already put an end to hostilities and is now seeking to ensure order, promising to guarantee safety for both local residents and foreign missions. I hope that this is how things will go.

The international community should keep a close eye on these developments with the UN Security Council playing a coordinating role.

There is one more point I wanted to make in this regard. We believe that it is essential at this point to prevent terrorists of all kinds from spilling over into Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours, including under the guise of refugees.

Among other international topics, we had a detailed discussion on promoting a settlement in southeastern Ukraine. As you know, Ms Merkel has done a lot to bring about a resolution to Ukraine’s internal crisis. She was at the origins of the Normandy Format, and we all worked together on ways of restoring peace in Donbass.

Unfortunately, so far we have not been able to accomplish this. Today, the Russian and German side expressed serious concern about the growing tension along the line of contact. We talked this over, and I hope that we follow up on this conversation in the nearest future. More than a thousand ceasefire violations have been reported since the beginning of August, and Donbass towns and villages face artillery fire every day.

Another matter of concern is that Ukraine has adopted a number of laws and regulations that essentially contradict the Minsk agreements. It is as if the leadership of that country has decided to give up on achieving a peaceful settlement altogether. In this connection, we ask Ms Federal Chancellor once again to exercise her influence over Ukraine, including during her upcoming visit to Kiev, to see that Ukraine honours its obligations.

Of course, we covered the situation in Belarus. Madam Chancellor touched on this issue as well. We believe that the differences in Belarusian society can only be resolved within the constitutional and legal framework and solely by the Belarusians themselves without any external interference.

When discussing the situation with the Iranian nuclear programme, Madam Chancellor and I expressed hope that once the new government in Iran has been formed, vigorous efforts to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will resume. I informed Madam Federal Chancellor of my recent telephone conversation with the newly elected President of Iran.

As you are aware, Ms Merkel is committed to promoting an intra-Libyan settlement. Last January, I also took part in the Berlin Conference on Libya, which was convened on the initiative of Madam Chancellor, and the decisions it adopted helped improve the situation on the ground.

We believe that the international community should maintain a dialogue with all influential political forces in Libya in order to retain and build on the positive achievements that have yet to come.

We shared our vision of the state of affairs in Syria with our German partners. The ceasefire is in force throughout most of the country; the ruined economy and infrastructure are being rebuilt, but the terrorist threat still persists. Due to the illegal sanctions imposed on Damascus and the coronavirus pandemic, the socioeconomic situation there remains challenging.

We attach great importance to UN Security Council Resolution 2585, which was approved in July, on providing comprehensive humanitarian assistance to Syria. This is largely the outcome of the agreements reached during the Russia-US summit held in Geneva in June. We hope that the European countries, including the Federal Republic, will join in the efforts to help the Syrian people.

I would like to close by once again thanking Madam Federal Chancellor for our productive joint work – not only during today’s talks, but also during the previous years. I said it before, and I will say it again: we will always be delighted to see Ms Merkel in Russia.

Thank you.

Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel (retranslated)Thank you.

President Putin, dear Vladimir, ladies and gentlemen,

Earlier today, at the beginning of my visit, I laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to honour the memory of the fallen and as a reminder that 80 years ago Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union.

Today, we are very pleased to know that there is a dialogue going on between our governments, and our dialogue is constructive. Of course, we talked about different views and approaches to our joint decisions.

With regard to the nature of our bilateral relations, it is important to highlight a number of positive developments. I would like to mention economic relations, namely, the Year of Germany in Russia, which Mr President mentioned, during which a large number of meetings have taken place. In addition, there is an economic initiative involving the 1,000 Trainees project, which makes it possible for thousands of young Russians to take internships at German enterprises. These are the relationships that are very gratifying to have.

But, of course, we discussed the very depressing situation with Alexei Navalny. From our perspective, his sentence and imprisonment in a correctional facility were based on a court ruling that the ECHR found unobvious and disproportionate. This is unacceptable to us. I once again demanded that the President of Russia release Alexei Navalny and stressed that we would continue to monitor this case.

I also said that we are disappointed to see three German NGOs that have done a lot of work as part of the Petersburg Dialogue for cooperation between civil societies included on the list of objectionable organisations. I would like to know if it is possible to take these organisations off the list and to have the Petersburg Dialogue continue as before. From my perspective, this would send a very important message.

We also talked about bilateral economic relations, which are moving forward. In this regard, of course, we talked about Nord Stream 2. I would like to emphasise that this is not a bilateral German-Russian project, but a project of European dimension, because companies from other countries are also part of it.

In this context, we talked about the document concluded between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany, and Mr President and I emphasised that Georg Graf Waldersee would act as a highly experienced negotiator with regard to gas transit through Ukraine beyond 2024. This is his assignment. We bear certain responsibility in this regard despite the economic developments that need to be taken into account.

In this context, we also discussed relations between Russia and the EU. It became clear that Russia is interested in entering an exchange with the EU on the “Fit for 55” climate package with account taken of cross-border carbon regulation and other problems. And I also noted that I am in favour of this approach.

Afghanistan was also among the current issues that we discussed today. This is a very important issue. We exchanged views, and I emphasised that it is very unfortunate that the Taliban are back in power in the country. However, this is how things stand. I also said that Germany believes helping people who had worked with Germany over the 20 years of NATO operations and missions in Afghanistan is currently a priority. We need to provide them refuge and ensure their safety in Germany and to take as many people as possible to Germany over the next few days.

I asked the Russian side to raise during the talks with the Taliban the question of UN humanitarian aid in Afghanistan, to make sure that it can be provided. The people who helped us, including those who assisted the Bundeswehr and the federal police, should be able to leave Afghanistan.

We also discussed developments in Ukraine. The Normandy Format is the only political framework we have for discussing these contentious issues. Currently the situation is in a deadlock. Unfortunately, Ukrainian service personnel are dying on the line of contact. I have always advocated reviving this format and giving it more weight. The last meeting was in December 2019, in Paris, and the goals we set back then were achieved both by the separatists in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and by Ukraine.

I pointed out that I am ready to make further progress on this matter in the interest of the people of Ukraine, so that everyone can live in peace in Ukraine. This is what we stand for.

For us, the annexation of Crimea constitutes a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, we will insist on this point, and I will continue supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Speaking of Belarus, I stated that I firmly condemn the use of people, refugees from other countries who find themselves in a dire situation, as a hybrid weapon of sorts. I am referring to the situation on the border between Belarus and Lithuania.

Of course, we discussed developments in Libya and Syria. On Libya, we need to implement the outcomes of the Libyan conference, which called for a proportionate and reciprocal withdrawal of foreign mercenaries, while empowering Libyan forces to shape a future for the country they want. On this issue, Germany and Russia have a number of points in common.

We also talked about the challenges posed by climate change. Both Germany and Russia have suffered from natural disasters. In Russia, Siberia, even north of the Arctic circle, was especially hard hit. For this reason alone, we are convinced that we need to fight climate change, which calls for close cooperation. The same applies to a number of other international matters.

I wanted to say that over the past 16 years I have been to Russia 16 times, which is to say that I was open to contact. Talks between us have not always been easy. There has been a lot of debate and controversy around them, including on the international stage, but I always sought compromise. I think that there is no alternative, at least no reasonable one, to dialogue and the exchange of opinion. This invariably requires a lot of work. Everything could have been a lot easier, but our dialogue should continue. I have no doubts about this.

Thank you.

Question (retranslated): Madam Chancellor, you said you spoke in support of Alexei Navalny and in favour of his release today. Here is a question for you, President Putin: what is needed to set Alexei Navalny free and what is needed to put an end to the persecution of Alexei Navalny’s supporters?

And a question for both of you. Today is the anniversary of the attempted poisoning of Alexei Navalny. He published an article in which he demands fighting corruption, since it is the root of all evil. What do you think about this proposal, Mr Putin? For example, he demands imposing sanctions on the oligarchs that are close to you.

Vladimir Putin: With regard to the person you just mentioned, he was not convicted for his political activities, but a criminal offense against foreign partners.

As far as political activity goes, no one should be using political activity as a front to carry out business projects, which, on top of that, violate the law. This is the first part of what I have to say to your question.

Second, with regard to non-systemic opposition in general. I don’t remember seeing in Western countries, Europe or the United States – Occupy Wall Street in the United States or the Yellow Vests in France – these people enjoying much support on their way to representative bodies, including parliament. We do not see anything like that. Moreover, when, following the US elections, people entered Congress with political demands, more than 100 criminal cases were brought against them. And judging by the charges brought against them, they are facing long prison terms anywhere from 15 to 20–25 years, maybe even more. To be completely objective, please pay attention to this side of the problem as well.

As for us, our political system is evolving, and all citizens of the Russian Federation have the right to express their opinions on political issues, form political organisations, and participate in elections of all levels. However, this must be done within the limits of applicable law and the Constitution. We will do our best to keep the situation in Russia stable and predictable. Russia exhausted its limit on revolutions back in the 20th century. We do not want revolutions. What we want is evolutionary development of our society and state. I hope that this will be so. As for the decision of the judicial authorities of the Russian Federation, please treat these decisions with respect.

Fighting corruption is critically important, but it should not be used as a tool in a political struggle. We, as well as you, are well aware that this toolkit is used to achieve political goals and is recommended for achieving political goals by the organisations that are in charge of activities by people of this kind. Indeed, fighting corruption is critically important in and of itself, and it is our top priority, and we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to eradicate corruption in the broadest sense of the word.

Angela Merkel: I would like to emphasise that we have talked at length about the way we understand political systems and freedoms. I believe that the questions of good governance and fighting corruption are actually entwined.

Regarding Alexei Navalny’s call for more sanctions, I would like to say that today the European Union imposes sanctions in the face of the relevant facts but linking economic corruption to sanctions is never easy. Still, within the European Union we believe in the need to discuss these matters, since there is a genuine link between corruption and political activity, no matter where it takes place. This includes Germany, I believe. Fighting corruption requires independent courts, a free press, as well as non-profit organisations that refuse to play along.

Vladimir Putin: Overall, who should be fighting corruption? People who fully abide by the law themselves. This is an essential prerequisite for ensuring that these efforts are effective.

Question: Taking into consideration the ongoing developments in Afghanistan, what is your assessment of the 20-year operation by the US and its allies and its outcome? Can this be called a total failure and will it result in the US-led West to rethink its approach to imposing democracy on third countries?

I also have a question or rather a request for Madam Chancellor. You probably know that RT is preparing to launch a German-language channel, but unfortunately, the German authorities are doing everything they can to obstruct this project. First, the German banks were advised to close all RT accounts and not to open new ones. Now the German government is pressuring Luxembourg not to issue RT a broadcasting licence, and everyone knows this since the German media have been reporting on this issue.

Madam Federal Chancellor, please, help us enjoy freedom of expression.

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Regarding the operation in Afghanistan, it can hardly be described as a success. Quite the contrary, but concentrating on it for too long, emphasising this failure does not serve our interests.

We were interested in having stability in this country. But the situation is what it is. I think that many politicians in the West are beginning to realise what I just said in my opening remarks: you cannot impose political standards or behaviour on other countries and peoples, while ignoring their special nature, which includes the ethnic and religious structure and historical traditions. I think that eventually they will understand this, and this understanding will become the guiding principle in their realpolitik.

We saw what happened during the Arab Spring, now Afghanistan. However, it is important for our partners to make this rule universal and treat their partners with respect and be patient, whether they like something or not, they should still give these peoples the right to determine their future, no matter how long it may take them to bring democracy to their countries and regardless if they like what is happening in these countries or not. They must build neighbourly relations and respect each other’s interests in the international arena.

I think that this is the lesson we should learn from Afghanistan, and we should team up with our other partners – the United States and the European countries – we, that is Russia, must do whatever it takes to join our efforts today in order to support the Afghan people with the aim of normalising the situation in that country and establishing neighbourly relations with it.

Angela Merkel: With regard to Afghanistan, I would like to remind everyone about the starting point – the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago, in 2001. Back then, terrorist attacks on the United States were masterminded from Afghanistan. This started the fight against terrorism followed by NATO operations and missions.

The situation with terrorism in Afghanistan has improved since then, but the international community must fight the resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan. With regard to the other project, that is, the Afghan people’s overall stance regarding their own future, we failed to achieve our goals; I am openly admitting this.

In December 2001, [German] Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer convened a conference with all Afghan representatives at the Petersberg hotel and urged Afghans to find a common shared solution. While trying to cooperate for development, we did not want to impose our position on the Afghan people, but we saw millions of happy girls who were allowed to go to school and empowered women. Many people find the current situation upsetting. However, it should be noted that the Taliban received more support than we would like. We will now need to talk with them and try to save the lives of the people who are now in harm’s way so they can leave the country, and we can continue to work for the benefit of Afghanistan.

It would be disappointing to see progress in these areas taper off. I hope we will find entities that can help Afghanistan find a path of its own, and that we will not be exposed to the threat of international terrorism.

As for RT, Germany did not put any pressure on Brussels or the decisions it made. In Germany, neither the federal government nor the state governments engage in matters like that.

Question (retranslated): Madam Federal Chancellor, the Minsk agreements are 6 years old now, but Ukraine remains divided, and you yourself said that people along the demarcation line in Donbass are dying. Following your talks today, are there any concrete plans to hold new talks at the heads of state or government level, or should we conclude that the Normandy format has failed?

And a question for you, Mr President. Once the Nord Stream 2 is completed, can you guarantee that gas transit across Ukraine will remain in place, and if so, will this arrangement remain in force after Ms Merkel leaves the post of chancellor?

Angela Merkel: With regard to the Minsk agreements: we have failed to achieve the goals that we wanted to achieve. But this is the format we have, including the trilateral contact group, and talks with the separatists in Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

So, this format needs to be handled with care, but progress is not as good as I would like it to be. However, if we identify an agenda, we can make arrangements for high-level meetings and talks. But we need to know what to discuss. During my visit to Ukraine, I will be pushing for identifying this agenda, because any minor progress can be decisive. However, this represents a very ambitious goal and a very challenging task. There are many inputs here. I still recommend this format, even though it is taking more time than we wanted, but we still need to avoid a dead end.

Vladimir Putin: I agree with the Federal Chancellor regarding the Minsk agreements and the Normandy format. We have no other tool to achieve peace, and I believe that it should be treated very carefully and with respect, despite the fact that we have so far failed to achieve the ultimate goals of the settlement.

The Minsk agreements are enshrined in a corresponding UN Security Council resolution, and in this sense, the Minsk agreements have become international law.

We are concerned that during the official talks and in their contacts with the media, the Ukrainian side says one thing, but inside the country it says something very different. In fact, and I want to emphasise this, it is enough to look at what the top public officials are saying, and they are saying that they are not going to comply with the Minsk agreements.

Today, I informed the Federal Chancellor that another draft law has been submitted by the Ukrainian government. If this law is adopted – please read it, it is not a classified document, it is probably available online – it means that Ukraine will, in fact, withdraw from the Minsk process unilaterally. Because it is not just that only certain things contradict the Minsk agreements, everything there contradicts the Minsk agreements. This will mean Ukraine’s de facto withdrawal from these agreements. I hope that during her visit, the Federal Chancellor will use some of her influence and exert some pressure on the Ukrainian authorities, and that this law will not be adopted.

Now, with regard to gas transit. Indeed, the Federal Chancellor has always advocated this approach. Always, mind you, even during construction, which is about to be completed. There are 44 or 45 kilometres left to go. (Addressing Alexei Miller.) How many, Mr Miller? 15? There are 15 more kilometres across the sea to go. We can safely assume that this project is nearing completion. But the Federal Chancellor has always raised the issue of continuing transit across Ukrainian territory even after the expiry of the transit contract.

The first thing I want to say in this regard. First, today this issue was raised again by the Federal Chancellor during the talks. I assured the Federal Chancellor that we will fully comply with our obligations under the transit contract even after she leaves the office of Federal Chancellor. Russia will fulfil all its obligations. We are doing so now and we will continue to do so going forward.

Next, Nord Stream 2. Some people claim the project is politically motivated. This is a fallacy or an attempt to mislead people. It is 2,000 kilometres shorter than the Ukrainian transit route. And it is a modern environmentally friendly system, and I mean it. It uses innovative equipment which, I believe, cuts carbon emissions into the atmosphere during the transit of our hydrocarbons to Europe by five times. We just need to be aware of it and know it. And it is much cheaper than transit across Ukraine.

However, we stand ready, and I’ll say it again, I have already said it publicly before and I want to make a point of it now, that we stand ready to transit gas across Ukraine beyond 2024. But we must understand the timeframe and volumes. And for this, we must know, and our European partners must tell us, how much they are willing to buy from us. This is obvious.

We cannot sign a transit contract if we have not signed supply contracts with our consumers in Europe. With the green agenda, which is already underway in Europe, we are wondering whether anyone will be buying gas from us altogether and, if so, how much. This needs to be discussed.

In any case, this is a purely business matter. I mean there is yet another component that is the technical condition of the pipeline system. To reiterate, we are not only willing to discuss this, we are really willing to get there. This is especially true of our supplies to Southern Europe. Consumption is on the rise, and I hope it will keep rising in the years ahead. Today, there is no other, more reliable source than Russian gas for German and other European consumers.

Question: Mr President, Ms Merkel,

You have been in close contact during the past 16 years: you have met and have spoken by phone. There have been ups and downs in relations between Russia and Germany during those 16 years. In general, what is your appraisal of the results achieved over 16 years and what is your vision of the future of Russian-German relations?

Vladimir Putin: The question is not quite pertinent. I would rather not appraise the performance of the Federal Chancellor, as only the German people can do this, including at the upcoming elections to the Bundestag.

Indeed, our relations have lived through different times. We just noted that we have taken different approaches to assessing various situations. Nevertheless, cooperation between us over these years, despite the difficulties we faced throughout this fairly lengthy period, has expanded and become more diverse.

Today, we talked about the economic aspect [of our relations]. The Federal Republic is our second largest trade and economic partner next to China – over $7 billion… We invested about $7.5 billion – it is even $9.5 billion – in Germany, while our German partners invested $18 billion [in our economy]. Importantly, German companies largely operate in the industrial sector. We appreciate this.

Today, Madam Chancellor put forth some concrete questions in connection with – I understand this, as I do the same on our behalf – the need to safeguard the interests of German businesses in the Russian market. This has to do with the level of domestic content and the like. All these are current issues. Generally, the quality of our relations has changed fundamentally, getting, of course, better. Hopefully, after the elections and the change of government, this trend will remain in place.

Angela Merkel: I believe that, despite different political systems, we need to keep communications channels open and exchange opinions. This is evidenced by the global situation and the history of relations between Germany and Russia. Our countries have lived through different periods, some of them terrible and some very pleasant.

Of course, during my term as chancellor, the political systems in our two countries have developed in different directions, so there are some vital matters that need to be discussed. All these differences notwithstanding, we have always managed to keep the negotiating channel open. I hope I have managed to contribute to this. I will always say that a failure to maintain dialogue is a poor choice.

NEW HORRIFYING FOOTAGE EMERGES AS EVACUATION FROM KABUL RESUMES (VIDEOS, 18+)

 17.08.2021

New Horrifying Footage Emerges As Evacuation From Kabul Resumes (Videos, 18+)
This photo taken on May 8, 2018, shows people arriving at the domestic terminal of the Hamid Karzai International Airport of Kabul. (Photo by Dominique FAGET / AFP) (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

The evacuation of foreign and local civilians continues in Afghanistan that came under the Taliban’s control on August 15th. Flights from the Kabul Airport were resumed day after they were suspended due to the crowd of people invading the airport.

According to a White House representative, Kabul airport has resumed receiving and sending flights, including civilian ones.

At least 3 aircraft of U.S. Air Force returned from Kabul on August 17:

  • USAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III MOOSE52/04-4134 
  • USAF Lockheed Martin AC-130J Ghostrider RCH1028/04-4134
  • USMC Lockheed Martin KC-130J Hercules CREEP57/168072
New Horrifying Footage Emerges As Evacuation From Kabul Resumes (Videos, 18+)

Last night, specialists of the Special Air Service of the French Armed Forces arrived to Kabul on board of Airbus A400M.

New Horrifying Footage Emerges As Evacuation From Kabul Resumes (Videos, 18+)

New Horrifying Footage Emerges As Evacuation From Kabul Resumes (Videos, 18+)

Germany also sent its military to Kabul. However, the first German military aircraft that landed in Kabul last night has evacuated only seven people due to chaos at the airport.

Germany has the second-largest military contingent in Afghanistan. According to the recent claims by Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany must urgently evacuate up to 10,000 people, including thousands of German-Afghan dual nationals as well as rights activists, lawyers and locals who worked with foreign bodies.

The A400M transport aircraft landed in Kabul on August 16th, bringing German soldiers to secure the evacuation. When leaving, it took only seven people who were lucky to be on-site.

“We have a very chaotic, dangerous and complex situation at the airport,” Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told. “We had very little time, so we only took on board people who were on-site.”

German citizens could not get into the airport without protection from German soldiers, a foreign ministry spokesperson claimed.

Germany is currently waiting for US permission to fly its second aircraft to Kabul. It is expected to take off from Uzbekistan soon.

At the same time, footage allegedly showing the evacuation of Chinese citizens was shared online. Beijing reportedly evacuated its citizens in July.

The evacuation was recently resumed despite the ongoing chaos at the airport. According to the available footage, the Taliban control the passage into the airport, as people continue to arrive, some of them climbing the wall, trying to enter the territory of the airport.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said that Azerbaijani peacekeepers stationed in Afghanistan continued to serve at the Kabul International Airport, together with Turkish forces. They are performing tasks to ensure security in the sector assigned to them.

“The peacekeeping unit of the Azerbaijani army consisting of 120 people, together with the Turkish forces, continues to fulfill its duties to ensure the security of the airport,” the message reads.

However, even once people enter the territory, they are not secured. They are wounded in crowds. The U.S. forces are making warning shots on a regular basis.

Locals have fun riding military aircraft during the take off:

Unfortunately, this led to bad consequences.At least two people fell from the aircraft on August 16. The following video shows a man who tied himself to the fuselage of an aircraft. Highly likely he did not reach the destination.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

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.

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