Iran-Russia hit maximum strategy

January 21 2022

Two of the three main Eurasian powers, Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi and Russia’s Vladimir Putin meet in Russia to advance their strategic relations.Photo Credit: The Cradle

Three ain’t a crowd: The Iran-Russia summit this week, concurrent with RIC military drills in the Sea of Oman, in advance of a Xi-Putin meeting in two weeks, suggests a rapidly-advancing strategic vision for the three Eurasian powers.

By Pepe Escobar

The official visit to Russia by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, at the invitation of Vladimir Putin, generated one of the most stunning geopolitical pics of the 21st century: Raisi performing his afternoon prayers at the Kremlin.

Arguably, more than the hours of solid discussions on geopolitical, geoeconomic, energy, trade, agriculture, transportation and aerospace dossiers, this visual will be imprinted all across the Global South as a fitting symbol of the ongoing, inexorable process of Eurasian integration.

Raisi went to Sochi and Moscow ready to offer Putin essential synergy in confronting a decaying, unipolar Empire increasingly prone to irrationalism. He made it clear at the start of his three hours of discussions with Putin: our renewed relationship should not be “short-term or positional – it will be permanent and strategic.”

Putin must have relished the torrents of meaning inbuilt in one of Raisi’s statements of fact: “We have been resisting the Americans for more than 40 years.”

Yet, much more productive, was “a document on strategic cooperation” between Iran and Russia that Raisi and his team presented to Russian officials.

Raisi emphasized this road map “can determine the prospect for at least 20 years ahead,” or at least clarify “the long-term strategic interaction between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation.”

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian confirmed that both presidents tasked their top diplomats to work on the roadmap. This is, in fact, an update of a previous 20-year cooperation treaty signed in 2001, originally meant to last for 10 years, and then twice extended for five years.

A key item of the new 20-year strategic partnership between the two neighbors is bound to be a Eurasian-based clearing network designed to compete with SWIFT, the global messaging system between banks.

Starting with Russia, Iran and China (RIC), this mechanism has the potential to unite member-nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), ASEAN, BRICS and other regional trading/security organizations. The combined geoeconomic weight of all these actors will inevitably attract many others across the Global South and even Europe.

The basis already exists. China launched its Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) in 2015, using the yuan. Russia developed its System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS). To build an independent Russian-Chinese financial system by linking the two should not be a problem. The main question is to choose the standard currency – possibly the yuan.

Once the system is up and running, that’s perfect for Iran, which badly wants to increase trade with Russia but remains handicapped by US sanctions. Iran has already signed trade agreements and is involved in long-term strategic development with both Russia and China.

The new roadmap

When Amir-Abdollahian described Raisi’s visit to Russia as a “turning point in the policy of good neighborliness and looking to the East,” he was giving the short version of the roadmap followed by the new Iranian administration: “a neighbor-centered policy, an Asia-centered policy with a focus on looking to the East, and an economy-centered diplomacy.”

In contrast, the only ‘policy’ de facto deployed by the collective West against both Russia and Iran is sanctions. Nullifying these is therefore on top of the agenda for Moscow and Tehran. Iran and the EAEU already have a temporary agreement. What they need, sooner rather than later, is to become full partners in a free trade area.

While Amir-Abdollahian praised the resolution of disputes with neighbors, such as Iraq and Turkmenistan, and a reconfiguration of the diplomatic chessboard with Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, and even Saudi Arabia, President Raisi – in addressing the Duma – chose to detail complex foreign plots to dispatch networks of Takfiri terrorists to “new missions from the Caucasus to Central Asia.”

As Raisi said, “experience has shown that only pure Islamic thought can prevent the formation of extremism and Takfiri terrorism.”

Raisi was unforgiving on the Empire: “The strategy of domination has now failed, the United States is in its weakest position, and the power of independent nations is experiencing historic growth.” And he certainly seduced the Duma with his analysis of NATO:

“NATO is engaged in penetration into the geographical spaces of various countries under the pretext of cover. Again, they threaten independent states. The spread of the Western model, opposition to independent democracies, opposition to the self-identification of peoples – this is precisely on the agenda of NATO. It is only a deception, we see the deception in their behavior, which will eventually lead to their disintegration.”

Raisi’s main theme is ‘resistance,’ and that was imprinted in all of his meetings. He duly emphasized the Afghan and Iraqi resistances: “In modern times, the concept of resistance plays a central role in deterrence equations.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran is all about that resistance: “In different historical periods of Iran’s development, whenever our nation has raised the banner of nationalism, independence, or scientific development, it has faced sanctions and pressures of the Iranian nation’s enemies,” Raisi emphasized.

On the JCPOA, with the new round of negotiations in Vienna for all practical purposes still bogged down, Raisi said, “the Islamic Republic of Iran is serious about reaching an agreement if the other parties are serious about lifting the sanctions effectively and operationally.”

University of Tehran Professor Mohammad Marandi, now in Vienna as a high-level advisor to the Iranian delegation, compares his experience with the original JCPOA negotiations in 2015, when he was an observer. Marandi notes that as far as the Americans are concerned, “it’s the same mentality. We’re the boss, we have special privileges.”

He stresses that “a deal is not imminent.” The Americans refuse to provide guarantees: “The main problem is the scope of the sanctions, they want to keep many of them in place. In fact, they don’t want the JCPOA. Basically, it’s the same attitude as during Trump.”

Marandi offers practical solutions. Remove all maximum pressure sanctions. Accept “a reasonable verification process if you have no intention of cheating Iranian people again.” Provide assurances so “Iranians know you won’t violate the deal again. Iran won’t accept threats or deadlines during negotiations.” It’s unlikely the Americans will ever accept any of the above.

The contrast between the Raisi and Rouhani administrations is stark: “In the hope of getting something from the West, the previous administration wasted serious opportunities with both China and Russia. Now it’s a completely different story,” says Marandi.

The Chinese angle is quite intriguing. Marandi notes how Amir-Abdolliahan has just returned from China; and how the only nation in West Asia that the Chinese can reliably depend on is Iran. That is inbuilt in their 20-year strategic deal, many positive facets of which should be adopted by the Russia-Iran mechanism.

The lineaments of a new world

The gist of Raisi’s exposé to the Duma is that Iran has been winning battles on two different fronts: against Salafi-jihadi terrorism and against the American campaign of maximum economic pressure.

And that places Iran in a very good position as a Russian partner, with its “extensive economic potential, especially in the fields of energy, trade, agriculture, industry and technology.”

On its geoeconomical position, Raisi noted how “the privileged geographical location of Iran, especially in the north-south corridor, can make trade from India to Russia and Europe less expensive and more prosperous.”

Way back in 2002, Russia, Iran and India signed an agreement to establish the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200 km multi-modal ship/rail/road cargo network linking India, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Russia and Central Asia all the way to Europe as an alternative transportation corridor to the Suez Canal. Now Putin and Raisi want maximum impetus for the INSTC.

Raisi’s visit happened just before a crucial joint drill, codenamed  ‘2022 Marine Security Belt,’ started in the Sea of Oman, actually the north of the Indian Ocean, with marine and airborne units of the Iranian, Chinese and Russian navies.

The Sea of Oman connects to the ultra-strategic Strait of Hormuz, which connects to the Persian Gulf. Pentagon denizens of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ strategy will be hardly amused.

All of the above spells out deeper interconnection. The Putin-Raisi meeting precedes by two weeks the Putin-Xi meeting at the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing – when they are expected to take the Russia-China strategic partnership to the next level.

A new Eurasia-led order encompassing the vast majority of the world’s population is a work in fast progress. China using Eurasia as the larger stage to upgrade its global role, in parallel to the fast-evolving Sino-Russian-Iranian interaction, carries larger than life implications for the Western gatekeepers of the imperial ‘rules-based order.’

The de-Westernization of globalization, from a Chinese point of view, does involve a completely new terminology (‘community of shared destiny’). And there are hardly more glaring examples of ‘shared destiny’ than its deeper interconnection with both Russia and Iran.

One of the crucial geopolitical questions of our time is how an emergent, supposedly Chinese hegemony will articulate itself. If actions speak louder than words, then Sino-hegemony looks loose, malleable and inclusive, starkly different to the US variety. For one, it concerns the absolute majority of the Global South, which will be involved and vocal.

Iran is one of the leaders of the Global South. Russia, deeply implicated in de-Westernizing global governance, holds a unique position – diplomatically, militarily, as an energy provider – as the special conduit between East and West: the irreplaceable Eurasian bridge, and the guarantor of Global South stability.

All of that is at play now. It is no wonder that the leaders of the three main Eurasian powers are meeting and holding discussions in person, within just a matter of days.

As the Atlanticist axis drowns in hubris, arrogance, and incompetence, welcome to the lineaments of the Eurasian, post-Western world.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Related Videos

Economic nuclear bomb..Iranian-Chinese strategic alliance and Western annoyance
A turning point between Russia and Iran and a strategic partnership in international files
Vienna talks.. Reality of progress and guarantees of commitment

The (apparent) disagreement between Ze and “Biden”

January 20, 2022

As I mentioned it yesterday, Biden said something rather weird yesterday.  He said:

Quote: “Russia will be held accountable if it invades and it depends on what it does – it’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having to fight about what to do and what not to do, but if they actually do what they’re capable of doing with the force amassed on the border it is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further invade Ukraine,” Biden said, adding that Russia has overwhelming superiority over Ukraine

What in the world is a “minor incursion” anyway???

This was Ze’s reply:

Of course, hearing Ze refer to country 404 as a “great power” is cute and hilarious as it gets.

But the real question is this: did Biden just not understand the possible implication of what he said, is this just a case of dementia, or did he inadvertently reveal something which is being worked on behind the scenes?

By the way, in the fraternal model, which is horizontal, all countries ARE equal in rights and obligations, being equal in their nature and essence, while the Kindergarten model is highly hierarchical and absolutely implies that “some are more equal than others”.  For the true believers in this Kindergarten model any discussion of equality is a dangerous road to chaos and anarchy.  So yes, while they speak a lot about freedom, in reality they both hate and fear it like a very dangerous thing (God forbid the slaves would revolt and decide to kill the plantation owner!).

Another interesting aspect of the current crisis is this: both the US and the UK have publicly admitted that they have sent “advisors” to the Ukraine and both the US and UK have admitted sending weapons to the Ukraine.  Problem: the Minsk Agreements‘ point #10 specifically states mandates “to withdraw illegal armed groups and military equipment as well as fighters and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine” while the additional memorandum states that “all foreign mercenaries” must be withdrawn from the conflict zone.  Now, OF COURSE, the noble defenders of democracy, freedom and peace worldwide (aka US/NATO “Axis of Kindness” forces) are not “mercenaries” (even though they are paid killers who do not defend their own country), only Russian volunteers in the LDNR are, at least that is the West’s position on this issue.  But for any mentally sane person it is pretty clear that the West is in clear violation of both the letter and spirit of the Minsk Agreements.  So what does that mean for Russia?

It means that both the Nazi-run Ukraine and the collective West don’t have (and never had) any real desire to abide by the Minsk Agreements, in spite of the fact that the latter are backed by a UNSC Resolution (making them legally binding and mandatory).  Again, under the Kindergarten worldview, even the UN is just one more “small, rowdy kid” which can be totally ignored or told to shut up and behave.

Anyway,

Tomorrow Bliken and Lavrov are supposed to meet.

Bliken would have made a terrific tailor or small shop owner.  But as a diplomat he truly sub-zero.  And that is true for ALL US diplomats and officials.  Yesterday a former Russian negotiator was describing his impression of Viki Nuland as a “dumb broad” who was completely ignorant of the world affairs she was in charge of dealing with on behalf of the USA.  Here is what Andrei Martyanov wrote about “US experts” from the USA: “bar some few exceptions, US academe, including those who specialize in Russia are not experts. They are narrative-mongers, majority of who have no serious skills, background nor experience in anything they try to “analyze” about Russia–this problem is systemic and is due to a complete corruption of the America’s education, especially history and military history and over-saturation of the American body-politic by people without any serious education or lawyers. It is literally the situation of auto-mechanic with vocational school performing an open heart surgery and thinking that he knows what he is doing. You can easily predict the result, for a patient“.  I can only fully agree with this opinion.

I think that the intense stupidity, arrogance and crass ignorance (not to mention a major delusional narcissistic and messianic sense of invulnerability) will play a key role in what happens next.  The AngloZionist propaganda machine has been spewing such a hate-filled and totally paranoid propaganda against Russia and Putin that this propaganda has become a foundational principle of the West’s foreign policy.  Even if Biden gives Putin a tiny little mini-concession (say using transponders of NATO aircraft) the Neocons and Neolibs of the War Party in Congress will absolutely crucify Biden for being “weak” and “caving in to Putin”.  Considering that Biden has been an absolutely awful president which has only failures to show for (not even a single semi-success) and that there will be a Congressional election the USA later this year, any mentally sane agreement, however unlikely, between Russia and the USA will be declared a “capitulation” which will bring all the flag-waving idiots to vote for the GOP which, right now, looks even more insane then the Dems.

Yes, a miracle can happen.  But what I am observing in the past two weeks or so, and today, are not at all signs of something reasonable being worked on but, rather, a hysterical attempt by the rulers of the Empire (and their minions in the EU) to defeat reality by pretending not to notice it.

That never works and it won’t work this time.

I hope tomorrow will prove me wrong, I REALLY do.

But in my strictly personal opinion, I don’t even see the point of Lavrov flying to Geneva.  I think Russia needs to stop talking to the West the same way she stopped talking to Ze and his bloody clowns, and only act unilaterally (towards the West, of course, not towards Zone B!).  There is nothing military or economic or political which the US/NATO/EU can do to Russia, so why not simply ignore them.

I would nicely and politely close the Russian diplomatic representations in the West, ditch idiotic or toxic organizations (like the COE or the WTO), and focus on collaborating with the sovereign nations in Zone B.

As for the West, Russia can let it self-destruct, which it is already doing at a maniacal pace anyway.

Sooner or later (probably the latter), the collapse of the West will generate new leaders who will have to rebuild the West on a new basis.  Then will be the time to talk to the West again.  But until non-entities like Blinken, Borrell, Stoltenberg or Baerbock remain in power, I see no point in talking to them.

Finally, the Communist Party in Russia has filed a law to be voted on by the Duma which asks the President to recognize the LDNR.  I think that the chances of this proposal are very high.  Interesting stuff.

Andrei

After sounding about as negative as possible yesterday, today Bliken has just suggested that his scheduled meeting with Lavrov tomorrow in Geneva will show how things really stand.

Wait!  I thought that there was nothing to discuss, but it turns out there might be??

Could Lavrov and Biden try to find a common definition of “minor” (as in “minor intrusion”)?

I don’t think so.  Here is why:

  • Russia has no need or desire for ANY type of incursion
  • Russia can totally defang the Ukronazis without moving a single solider across the border (according to specialists, this would take less than a week)
  • The Empire has waged a total but “short of kinetic” war against Russia since at least 2013 and that all happened while Russia did not move into the Ukraine.  If no incursion results in such a sustained campaign by the West against Russia, how would a “minor incursion” make things better and placate the crazies?
  • And if Russia decides that the united West is already maxed out on its anti-Russian policies, why limit yourself to a minor incursion?  If, say, Russia liberated the LDNR, the rest of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and all the Ukrainian coastline on the Black Sea, something the West would surely describe as a “major invasion”, would the consequences for Russia by the same as those following a “minor invasion”?  The point is that the US has expanded all of its sanction options, any further escalation would threaten the entire international economic system and strongly increase the risks of a fullscale war.

What most observers are missing is this: the current tensions are not at all about the Ukraine, or even about NATO.  They are about a new, different, new world order.  The US wants to hear nothing about it.  Neither does the EU.  The West is absolutely and categorically opposed to any new international order.  What they want is a “rules based order” in which, of course, they alone get to make all the rules.

But for countries like Russia (or China) the current world (dis)order is categorically unacceptable.

So what is really at stake are two world views:

  • Western world view: the West is the the crown of creation, the shining city on the hill, created by the Master Race before which all the “inferior” human societies need to bow and accept their dominion.  Furthermore, what is allowed for that Master Civilization is not allowed to anybody else and if/when any country begins to act in way which shows that it thinks that what is allowed to the West is also allowed to everybody else – then this country/nation needs to be taught a lesson and crushed.  You could call this model a “Kindergarten model” in which one adult teacher (the West) is tasked with supervising and educating a classroom of ignorant, immature and rowdy kids (the rest of the planet).
  • Zone B worldview: the same rules apply to everybody, there is not “exceptional country” with special rights out there.  Furthermore, all security must be collective, that is to say that if you point a gun at me and I am disarmed, not only am I threatened by you, but you also expose yourself to my desperate actions to survive, which just might include killing you before you can pull the trigger.  Finally, a legal/moral rule only deserves respect if it is equally applied to all parties (if it is not, it is, by definition, hypocritical).  You could call this model a “fraternal model” in which children from the same Father (God) act in a brotherly way towards each other because they recognize their common humanity (fraternity).

Those two models are, of course, totally and categorically mutually exclusive, hence the Zone A and Zone B we see today.

ASPI – The Gov’t-Funded Conspiracist Think Tank Now Controlling Your Social Media Feed

January 20th, 2022

By Alan Macleod

Source

That ASPI is now partially in charge of Twitter’s moderation, influencing what hundreds of millions of people see daily, is a grave threat to the free flow of information, as well as to the chances for a peaceful 21st century. 

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – Social media giant Twitter raised many eyebrows recently when it announced that it had partnered with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) in its fight against disinformation and fake news. ASPI, Twitter revealed in a blog post, had helped identify thousands of accounts that “amplified Chinese Communist Party narratives” around China’s treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. These accounts have now been permanently deleted.

This is of concern because the ultra-hawkish Australian think tank is actually the source for many of the most incendiary claims about China and its foreign policy, and, as Australian journalist and filmmaker John Pilger told MintPress, has been a driving force in the ramping up of tensions between China and the West, something he explored in his 2016 documentary, “The Coming War on China.” Pilger stated that,

ASPI has played a leading role – some would say, the leading role – in driving Australia’s mendacious and self-destructive and often absurd China-bashing campaign. The current Coalition government, perhaps the most right-wing and incompetent in Australia’s recent history, has relied upon the ASPI to disseminate Washington’s desperate strategic policies, into which much of the Australian political class, along with its intelligence and military structures, has been integrated.”

Importantly, neither ASPI nor Twitter claimed that the deleted accounts were fake or operated by the Chinese state, strongly implying that merely agreeing with Beijing or questioning bellicose Western narratives was reason enough to be banned.

This is not the first time that Twitter has joined forces with ASPI. In 2020, it announced that, on the think tank’s recommendations, it had shut down more than 170,000 accounts that praised China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, generally “antagoniz[ed]” the U.S., or amplified “deceptive narratives” about the Hong Kong protests (i.e., ones that did not agree with the State Department or the 44% of Hong Kongers who supported the movement). In the same cull, Twitter also deleted thousands of Russian and Turkish accounts.

That a global social media platform is now in open partnership with ASPI should trouble anyone who is concerned with free speech or peace, as the think tank is funded by the U.S. government and the world’s largest weapons manufacturers, and has consistently agitated for global conflict.

Faux independence

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute describes itself as an “independent, non-partisan think tank” whose mission is to “nourish public debate and understanding” and “better inform” the public, as well as to “produce expert and timely advice for Australian and global leaders.” It insists that it is not identified with any particular ideology and that it is committed to “publishing a range of views on contentious topics.”

Despite claiming to be independent, it also notes that it was established in 2001 by the Australian government, the sole owner of the organization. This represents a PR problem for the think tank, which warns that “the perception as well as the reality of that independence…need to be carefully maintained.” Its annual financial reports reveal that most of its funding comes straight from Canberra, although it also receives hefty donations from other governments including the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands.

While the lion’s share of its funding comes from various sources within the Australian government, the vast majority of its overseas funding comes from Washington and, more specifically, the Department of Defense (over $700,000 in fiscal year 2020-21) and the State Department (around $430,000 over the same period). In addition, ASPI takes money from American tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Facebook.

For many, including veteran Australian diplomat Bruce Haigh, this foreign cash has fundamentally sullied the organization. Haigh told MintPress:

ASPI is the propaganda arm of the CIA and the U.S. government. It is a mouthpiece for the Americans. It is funded by the American government and American arms manufacturers. Why it is allowed to sit at the center of the Australian government when it has so much foreign funding, I don’t know. If it were funded by anybody else, it would not be where it is at.”

As Haigh noted, ASPI is also funded by a cavalcade of the world’s largest weapons companies, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, QinetiQ and Thales. Perhaps even more worryingly, many of ASPI’s key personnel moonlight as defense contractor executives. Indeed, almost half of its senior council are on the boards of weapons or cybersecurity firms.

Robert Hill is a case in point. As Minister of Defense between 2001 and 2006, he was one of the key figures driving Australia towards war in Iraq. Hill consistently lied to the public, claiming that it was “not in dispute” that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that the occupation, in fact, saved many Iraqi lives. One former senior defense advisor, Jane Errey, claims she was even forced out of her job after she refused to lie to the media on Hill’s behalf about Iraqi WMDs. Today, he is on the board of Rheinmetall Defense Australia, a company that supplies fighting vehicles and ammunition to the Australian military.

Hill’s successor as defense minister, Brendan Nelson, is also on ASPI’s senior council. Nelson continued Australia’s collaboration in the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, although his loose tongue got him in trouble in 2007, when he casually stated that the reason Australia was in Iraq was not WMDs, as Hill had insisted, but in order to secure a slice of the country’s oil reserves for itself. “Energy security is extremely important to all nations throughout the world and, of course, in protecting and securing Australia’s interests,” he said, in response to a direct question about whether this was a war for oil.

While director of the Australian War Memorial – a monument to those who died in Australia’s wars, Nelson controversially allowed weapons companies Boeing, Thales, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems to sponsor the institution, a decision critics allege turned it from a sober memorial into a glorification of war. Just weeks after stepping down from that position, he accepted a job as president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, a title he still holds.

Michelle Fahy, an investigative journalist specializing in the Australian arms industry, was particularly concerned by Nelson’s position at ASPI, telling MintPress:

Along with the funding, it is hard to see how this board appointment fits with a claim to being an ‘independent’ organization when Boeing is a multi-billion-dollar, top-five contractor to the Australian Defense Department, the third largest arms manufacturer in the world, and Nelson was formerly Defense Minister in an earlier government of the same political party now in power.”

Thus, a group headed by the individuals who championed the biggest political deception of the 21st century – one that led to the deaths of 2.4 million people – is now in charge of deciding what is real and what is fake news online for the entire planet. This raises a question: if ASPI had similar control over the means of communication in the early 2000s, would voices questioning the legitimacy of the Iraq invasion have been silenced for promoting false narratives?

Lt. Gen. Ken Gillespie was Vice Chief of the Defense Force from 2005-2008 and then Chief of the Army – the highest military position in Australia – between 2008 and 2011. As such, Gillespie was central to Australia’s efforts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As his own LinkedIn biography boasts, “I led the initial Australian Defense Force contribution into the Middle-East and Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 strikes on the U.S.A. I was a key planner for Australia’s contribution to the Iraq war, and I commanded all Australian Defense Force operations for a lengthy period.” Both Gillespie and fellow ASPI council member Jane Halton are on the board of Naval Group Australia, producer of warships and other combat systems. They both also work for cybersecurity companies; Gillespie is director of the Senetas Corporation, a cybersecurity firm that regularly partners with weapons manufacturers, such as Thales, that have heartily endorsed Senetas’ work. Meanwhile, Halton is chair of the board of directors at Vault Cloud, a defense-minded cybersecurity firm.

Another ASPI council member is former politician Gai Brodtmann. Brodtmann serves on the advisory board of cybersecurity firm Sapien Cyber, a firm that has secured a number of large military contracts and is chaired by former Minister of Defense Stephen Smith. In addition to this, she holds a senior position at Defense Housing Australia, a company that provides a range of services aimed at military personnel.

One of the newest members of ASPI’s council is James Brown, an ex-army officer and son-in-law of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Brown is chief executive officer of the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA), an organization that represents the interests of a number of prominent weapons corporations, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Australia and Saab Australia.

As Fahy noted in an article in Declassified Australia, many former ASPI council members had similarly questionable connections to the arms industry. Jim McDowell was chief executive of BAE Systems Australia. Fellow politicians Stephen Loosley and Allan Hawke were on the boards of Thales Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia respectively, at the same time as serving on ASPI’s council. Meanwhile, retired Vice-Marshal Margaret Staib was on British aerospace giant QinetiQ’s board.

ASPI’s pro-war teenage growth spurt

ASPI began life 20 years ago as a relatively small think tank with a mandate to produce timely and independent research. However, in recent years, the organization has ballooned in size and now employs dozens of full-time staffers (contrary to its original vision). Its aggressive targeting of funding from a wide range of sources has undermined its credibility in Fahy’s eyes. As she told MintPress:

ASPI’s charter requires it to work to maintain the perception as well as the actuality of its independence. Given the widespread criticism directed at ASPI in recent years due to the perceived excessive influence of the U.S. government and U.S. arms and cybersecurity multinationals on its output, there is little doubt that the perception of its independence has been lost.”

Nevertheless, its ascendancy has led to it carrying inordinate influence within Australian politics and beyond, the organization’s reports being frequently cited in major outlets like The New York TimesThe Washington Post and Fox News. Diplomat Haigh said:

ASPI has supplanted the Department of Foreign Affairs in advice to the government. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, [Marise] Payne, is really very weak, and has been bypassed. So ASPI is feeding straight into the prime minister’s office on matters of foreign policy, particularly as it relates to China…This is part of the militarization of Australia and the Australian public service.”

Unsurprisingly for an organization taking money from weapons contractors, ASPI publishes some of the most crude and relentlessly pro-war propaganda anywhere, and has been a leader in the rush to declare a new Cold War on China and Russia.

This militaristic attitude is exemplified by ASPI’s executive director, Peter Jennings. Last year, Jennings bitterly denounced President Joe Biden and his decision to pull out of Afghanistan, describing it as his “first big blunder” in office. Jennings confidently predicted that Biden’s assessment that the U.S. “could not create or sustain a durable Afghan government” would be proven wrong. “In fact, that is precisely what American, Australian and other forces delivered to Afghanistan: a flawed but functioning democracy, keeping the Taliban at bay and preventing groups such as al-Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a training base from which to attack the West,” he wrote. Later that year, the Afghan government would fall to the Taliban, only days after American troops finally withdrew.

In the same article, Jennings went on to state that Biden’s decision was “an abandonment as complete as the U.S. failure to back South Vietnam…in the face of North Vietnam’s advancing conventional forces in 1974 and 1975,” thereby signaling that he supported the Vietnam conflict as well.

Indeed, it is hard to find a war Jennings has not advocated for. He vociferously backed the Iraq War, even demanding in 2015 that Australia increase its troop numbers. A committed cold-warrior who has argued that “the West is setting the bar for military response too high” and that the world must stop the “Leninist autocracies” of ​​Russia, Iran and Syria, last week he came close to calling for war against nuclear-armed Russia. “America’s credibility is on the line” in Ukraine, he thundered, demanding that Biden back up his talk with “believable military options.”

An arms producers’ Yellow Pages

For a think tank that was supposed to produce nonpartisan, expert advice, it is remarkable how far ASPI strays from this goal, going so far as to run advertisements for weapons manufacturers masquerading as serious analysis. One example of this is a 2020 study, titled “Australia needs to ensure it has the advanced missiles it needs.” Comparing death machines to crucial lifesaving equipment, it states:

Missiles are like a combination of a medical ventilator and the masks health workers need during a pandemic…You need many thousands of them and they can’t be reused. Ordering or holding a few hundred just doesn’t cut any mustard outside peacetime training routines. So, production is key.

“Without such weapons,” the author continues, “Islamic State might still control major chunks of territory in Iraq and Syria.” This claim, of course, ignores the fact that it was largely Iranian forces under Qassem Soleimani that were responsible for destroying ISIS, and that the United States assassinated him in 2020. ASPI chief Peter Jennings appeared to support Trump’s decision, writing that “it’s surely a positive that, after Soleimani’s death, bad actors in the region might pause to wonder if a Hellfire missile on a circling drone has their name and address programmed in.”

Hammering the point home, ASPI claims that “Australia is fortunate in having close relationships with…companies like Raytheon, Rafael, Lockheed Martin and Kongsberg” that can close the country’s supposed “missile supply gap.” “Getting agreement to and support for high-end U.S. missiles, like the long-range anti-ship missile made by Lockheed Martin, to be manufactured in Australia as well as the continental U.S. through co-production, will only happen if the senior leadership of our nations drive it,” it concludes.

If it were not clear that this was a “buy more missiles, says group funded by missile manufacturers” advertisement, ASPI included both Thales’ and Lockheed Martin’s logos on the page. Indeed, every page on ASPI’s website includes a sidebar advertisement for those two companies, complete with links to their websites.

These sorts of practices would be problematic enough if ASPI were a think tank trying to promote orange juice drinking in Australia while being filled with executives from Tropicana and Minute Maid. But it is not fruit ASPI is selling: it is war. It is literally a life-and-death affair.

Red flags, Yellow Peril

Saber-rattling at Russia or running unofficial advertorials for weapons companies are sidelines to ASPI’s main business of hyping up the threat that China poses to Australia and the world. Earlier this month, Jennings took to the pages of The Australian to demand a more formal military alliance with Japan in order to take China head-on. The Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper failed to disclose the fact that Jennings’ organization – and therefore his hefty salary (around $332,000 last year) – is being directly paid in part by the Japanese government. He has also recently called for a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.

ASPI was the source behind the infamous 2019 documentary “Red Flags,” which aired on state broadcaster ABC. In McCarthyist fashion, “Red Flags” claimed that Australian universities were “infiltrated” with thousands of agents of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), learning Australian secrets and bringing them back to their homeland. ASPI’s report, “Picking Flowers, Making Honey,” insisted that universities were in active “collaboration” with the CCP.

The Canberra-based think tank was also behind the scaremongering that led to the Australian government canceling Huawei’s contract to upgrade the country’s notoriously poor telecommunications infrastructure. Adding to the hype, one ASPI employee even took to the pages of a national newspaper to claim that if the small city of Bendigo went forward with its plans to attach Huawei sensors to their garbage trucks, it would constitute a national security threat.

Jennings hailed the government’s subsequent decision to cancel the nation’s 5G plans as “absolutely the right call,” categorizing those opposing it as simply “the inevitable whining from China’s red brigade of useful idiots.” At no point did he acknowledge that telecom giants who fund ASPI, and on whose boards many of its key members sit, would likely benefit from the decision.

Last summer, ASPI also published a report with the title “China threatens Australia with missile attack.” The basis of the “threat,” was not China, however, but a two-paragraph statement from Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of a Chinese newspaper, The Global Times. Hu wrote that if Australia declared war on China, sent troops to Taiwan, and started killing Chinese soldiers, then China should have the capability to fire back on Australia. The author of the piece, Paul Dibb, the former head of Australia’s equivalent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, surely knew the difference but did not let that get in the way of a good story.

Dibb himself has openly ramped up tensions between the two nations. In 2020, he wrote an article for ASPI entitled “How Australia can deter China.” The article was illustrated simply with a picture of a Lockheed Martin missile. Pilger told MintPress:

ASPI is one of the world’s most blatant propaganda ciphers. If we were back in the old Cold War, it would be the equivalent of Pravda – though my memory of Pravda is that it was honest in its role as a voice of the state whereas ASPI pretends to be independent.”

For a think tank that claims to be a guardian against fake news and disinformation online, ASPI has been at the forefront of mainstreaming conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and China, particularly that of the Wuhan lab leak. In a report called “The Great Covid Cover-up,” ASPI insisted that there has been massive, worldwide collusion on the part of the scientific, academic and medical communities, and even from parts of the U.S. government, all to hide Covid’s true origins and to run interference for China.

Perhaps most importantly, however, ASPI is a worldwide driving force behind bringing the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang to global attention. Their many reports, particularly the ongoing Xinjiang Data Project, have been the basis of hundreds of articles and news segments across the planet. Unfortunately, much of their research is as sloppy as it has been with other projects. As soon as it released an interactive map of the locations of what it claimed were hundreds of Uyghur detention centers, local Chinese people and even just individuals using tools like Google were able to show conclusively that many of these “prisons” were actually schools, government offices, or other more mundane edifices.

Of course, this is not to say that no detention facilities exist, or that a great number of Uyghurs have not been oppressed or imprisoned. Even the Chinese government accepts that it has put large numbers of people through what it describes as deradicalization programs. What it does highlight, though, is the sloppy nature of the scholarship that is being used to justify a worldwide boycott of Xinjiang-linked companies on the grounds of forced labor, something ASPI has helped lead. Thus, ASPI is far from a neutral arbiter in Twitter’s decision to close thousands of accounts on the grounds of stopping misinformation about Xinjiang spreading; in fact, it is serving as the prosecutor, the judge and the executioner all at once.

Ironically, at least 11 of the think tank’s largest financial backers are themselves heavily implicated in using forced labor to produce their weapons, or in human trafficking. Boeing, Raytheon, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin all make use of forced American prison labor to make their products, while certain national sponsors, including the United States and the UAE, engage in forced labor.

The organization that constantly attacks China was also among the driving forces behind the yearslong RussiaGate conspiracy in the United States. ASPI agents were flown across the world to provide supposedly expert testimony to the U.S. Senate hearings about alleged Russian interference online and in the 2016 election. Remarkably, ASPI’s report, “Hacking Democracies,” claims that only Russia and China interfere in other nations’ elections, blithely ignoring the long history of the American government doing just that.

Facing mounting criticism at home, ASPI has inexpertly attempted to launder its own image online. The organization was caught scrubbing negative information off its Wikipedia page while using an ASPI-registered I.P. address. A number of users editing the page to add positive content and remove negative information were identified as sock puppets (fake accounts controlled by another user to give the impression of a group consensus) and banned by Wikipedia. Journalist Marcus Reubenstein also discovered that another pro-ASPI Wikipedia editor named “Wyvern2604” was originally called “ASPI ORG” before changing their name. This sort of crude online propaganda is exactly what ASPI accuses its enemies of engaging in. Yet, far from being discredited and having its accounts removed, ASPI is now a leader, supposedly, in the fight against disinformation – whether the public likes it or not.

Signing on to Bellum Americanum

Australia’s stance on China has taken a dramatic turn in recent years. Once, it had enjoyed a cordial relationship with Beijing and developed deep economic ties to it. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, in and out of office between 2007 and 2013, even impressed his Chinese counterparts with his fluent Mandarin.

Yet as the United States has turned its eye upon Beijing, Australia has followed suit, joining the U.S.-dominated military organizations like The Quad (U.S., Australia, Japan, India) and AUKUS (Australia, U.K., U.S.), both of which are squarely aimed at preventing China’s further economic rise. To that end, there is a concerted U.S. effort to develop what senior generals have called an “Asian NATO,” sooner rather than later.

Media have worked with ASPI to hype the China threat, while politicians not going along with this dangerous jingoism are labeled “panda huggers.” To that extent, it has had a profound impact on public opinion. As recently as 2018, 82% of Australians saw China as an “economic partner” rather than a “security threat” (12%). However, by 2021, those numbers had radically shifted; 63% considering China a threat, and only 34% describing it as an economic partner. Even Rudd himself has become something of a China hawk, describing the country as “a 1,000-pound gorilla in the front living room.”

Historically, Australia has consistently followed the United States into whatever military endeavor it begins. There were nearly 8,000 Australian soldiers in Vietnam at the war’s peak, the country suffering some 3,500 casualties. It also accompanied the U.S. during the First Gulf War and the two largest post-9/11 campaigns.

This continues to the present day. Late last year, Australia committed to purchasing eight enormous nuclear submarines at a cost of around $64 billion. The announcement was understood on all sides to be a gesture to Washington, showing that Australia will stand by it, come what may. Yet as China is by far and away Australia’s largest economic partner (almost one-third of all Australian exports go to the P.R.C.), any conflict would be devastating. Thus, the enthusiasm with which the government in Canberra has chosen the U.S. over China speaks wonders about what it sees its true role as being. As Pilger put it:

In the words of a senior CIA officer once based in Australia, Australian prime ministers are ‘forever obsequious to us.’ Up until 2015, the relationship with China was pragmatic and businesslike. China is Australia’s biggest, most important trader. The relationship is now a spectacle akin to aiming a pistol at one’s own feet.”

“Australia now has become very much a part of the American confrontation with China,” Haigh said. “The Americans are dead set keen to take on China. It is not a matter of ‘if,’ it is a matter of ‘when,’ because that is what they want to do. They have made their minds up… It’s gunboat diplomacy with aircraft carriers,” he added.

The think tank-social media axis

Twitter’s collaboration with ASPI is part of a growing trend for the biggest social media platforms partnering with hawkish, state-sponsored think tanks. In 2018, Facebook announced it was collaborating with NATO think tank the Atlantic Council, whereby it gave an undisclosed amount of control over users’ news feeds to the group, allowing it to help Facebook decide what posts users saw and which ones were suppressed.

If anything, the Atlantic Council’s connections to state power are even deeper than ASPI’s. The council’s board of directors is a who’s who of powerful state figures – including senior statespersons like Condoleezza Rice and Henry Kissinger; a host of top U.S. generals, including Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, Wesley Clark, and David Petraeus; as well as no fewer than seven former directors or acting directors of the CIA. Like ASPI, the Atlantic Council receives its funding from Western governments, weapons manufacturers, and big tech companies. As such, it represents the collective consciousness of the American state.

The Atlantic Council, like ASPI, has also been central to the rush towards potential war with Russia or China, the organization constantly putting out highly questionable reports of Russian or Chinese interference in domestic politics. Last February, the Atlantic Council published an anonymous, 26,000-word report outlining its vision for a future China. “The United States and its major allies continue to dominate the regional and global balance of power across all the major indices of power;” it wrote, hoping as well that head of state Xi Jinping will be “replaced by a more moderate party leadership; and that the Chinese people themselves have come to question and challenge the Communist Party’s century-long proposition that China’s ancient civilization is forever destined to an authoritarian future.” In other words, that China has been broken and that some sort of regime change has occurred.

A week later, Facebook hired former NATO press officer and current senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, Ben Nimmo, to “lead global threat intelligence strategy against influence operations” and “emerging threats.” Nimmo specifically named Iran and Russia as potential dangers to the platform.

Another former Atlantic Council hawk turned social media boss is Reddit’s Jessica Ashooh. Ashooh left her job as deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Force to become Reddit’s director of policy – a position for which she was completely unqualified on paper.

A second, highly significant example of Twitter collaboration with state intelligence is the case of Gordon MacMillan. MacMillan is an active-duty officer in the British Army’s 77th Brigade, a unit dedicated to online operations and psychological warfare, yet was somehow appointed to become Twitter’s Head of Editorial. Despite his outing being covered extensively in alternative media (including in MintPress News), only one mainstream U.S. publication – Newsweek – even mentioned the revelations at all. The Newsweek journalist who wrote the story was forced out of the industry only a few weeks later. Yet to this day, MacMillan remains in his important post at Twitter, strongly suggesting the social media company knew of his role before he was hired.

Ultimately, what these incidents hint at is a fusion between social media and the national security state, something that the Twitter/ASPI union underlines. This has long been foreseen, even championed by both entities. At NATO’s 70th anniversary gala in 2019, Admiral James Stavridis, former NATO supreme commander for Europe, declared that his organization would very soon be “far more engaged” with tech and cybersecurity issues. But long before then, executives at Google were pitching their company as a new weapon for the U.S. empire. “What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century, technology and cyber-security companies [like Google] will be to the twenty-first,” wrote Eric Schmidt and Larry Cohen in their book, The New Digital Age, a book that came replete with a ringing endorsement from Henry Kissinger on the back cover.

Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are far more widely used and influential than any newspaper or TV network. Whoever controls their algorithms and has the power to promote or delete accounts at will has significant influence over global public opinion; hence the desire to control them. When an organization like ASPI or the Atlantic Council has even some amount of editorial control over social media, that is tantamount to state censorship, but on a worldwide scale.

This power is already being used in a flagrantly anti-democratic manner. Just days before the Nicaraguan presidential election in November, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram worked, seemingly in unison, to essentially wipe the left-wing FSLN Party (a longtime bête noire of the U.S.) from the internet, purging thousands of accounts, channels and pages at the most politically sensitive time. Activists who had been suspended by Facebook for “inauthentic behavior” (i.e., being bots) poured on to Twitter, recording messages stating they were real people who supported President Daniel Ortega. Incredibly, Twitter took the decision to delete virtually all these accounts, too.

That Twitter intends more of these types of operations in the future is made clear by the fact that they announced partnerships with two other organizations at the same time as with ASPI. One is Venezuelan outlet, Cazadores de Fake News, a group that presents itself as a fact-checking organization but appears to be inordinately dedicated to attacking the left-wing government of Nicolas Maduro (another American target). Cazadores de Fake News tacitly endorsed the self-declared president, Juan Guaidó, a favorite of Washington. It was also supportive of the U.S.-backed military coup that briefly brought Bolivia’s Jeanine Añez to power in 2019. The other organization partnering with Twitter is the Stanford Internet Observatory, a group that boasts about training a new generation of (anti-Russian) leaders in Ukraine and whose director, Alex Stamos, is also on the advisory board of NATO’s Collective Cybersecurity Center of Excellence.

While the Australian Strategic Policy Institute might have started out and even operated for years with the best of intentions, it is increasingly clear that its primary role is to create crises – fake or otherwise – to serve their backers’ agendas. Once weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are often manufactured to sell weapons.

The interests of the U.S. government and of arms companies are not those of either the Australian public or of social media users. Where once the online space was a place where critical information could circulate freely, we increasingly live in an upside down world where a giant government influence operation is being carried out under the guise of protecting us from a similarly large (foreign) government operation.

ASPI has become not only a prime vehicle driving the West to war, but it now also holds considerable power to suppress dissenting opinions, meaning it can simply invent reality. That this organization is now partially in charge of Twitter’s moderation, influencing what hundreds of millions of people see daily, is a grave threat to the free flow of information, as well as to the chances for a peaceful 21st century.

A Short-Term Geopolitical Forecast

January 20, 2022

By Dmitry Orlov and posted with the author’s permission

Ever since Putin announced his demands for security guarantees from the US and NATO (in brief, stop NATO’s eastward expansion, have NATO retreat to its positions of 1997 and remove offensive weapons from Russia’s immediate vicinity) we have been subjected to a barrage of irrelevancies from Western press:

• Are these security guarantees an ultimatum or a negotiating tool?

• Will the US and NATO agree to them or reject them?

• Will Putin invade the Ukraine or will he be stopped in his tracks through the judicious and timely use of frowning, head-shaking, finger-wagging and tisk-tisking by sundry and assorted Western luminaries?

• If Putin does invade the Ukraine, does this mean that World War III is finally upon us and we shall all surely die?

I hope that I am not alone in being sick and tired of this pathetic, tiresome attempt to throw up a smokescreen and hide the inevitable reality of what is about to unfold. In case it isn’t completely clear to you yet, I would like to spell it all out. I am normally more cautious when making specific predictions, but in this case our immediate future has been carefully plotted out for us by Russia and China, with the US and its assorted puppets reduced to the status of non-playable characters in a video game who can only do one thing: hide behind a dense smokescreen of risible lies.

First, Russian security guarantee demands are not ultimatums. An ultimatum is an “or else” sort of thing, offering a choice between compliance and consequences, whereas in this case both the noncompliance and the consequences will follow automatically. The West and NATO are, for well understood internal political reasons, unable to sign these guarantees; therefore, the consequences will unfold in due course.

Russia has demanded that both the US and NATO put their refusal to agree to the security guarantees in writing; these pieces of paper will be important moving forward. To understand why, we need to take on board the fact that everything within these security guarantees has already been agreed to by the West; namely, the “not an inch to the east” guarantee given to the Russians by the US 30 years ago and the collective security principle agreed to by all members of the OSCE. By signing a document in which they declare their refusal to abide by what they previously agreed to, the US and NATO would essentially declare themselves to be apostates from international law and order. This, in turn, would imply that their own security needs can be disregarded and that instead they deserve to be humiliated and punished.

Further, by putting their refusal in writing, the US and NATO would declare the collective security principle itself—specifically with respect to the US and NATO—to be null and void, meaning that if, for instance, the Bahamas, a sovereign nation since July 10, 1973, decides to reinforce its sovereignty by hosting a Russian missile battery pointed across the Gulf Stream at Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the US would have no say in the matter, and if the US did try to speak up, they’d get beat up with this very piece of paper they signed. “Do you feel threatened now?” the Russians would ask; “Well, maybe you should have thought of that when you threatened us by putting your missiles in Poland and Romania.”

The initial stated purpose of the two installations of Aegis Ashore in Poland and Romania was to shoot down Iranian missiles, which didn’t exist then, don’t exist now, and never would have taken a giant detour and fly over Poland or Romania in any case. Although the stated purpose of these systems was for missile defense, their launch platforms can also be used to launch offensive strategic weapons: Tomahawk cruise missiles with nuclear payloads. These Tomahawks are obsolete and the Russians know how to shoot them down extremely well (as they demonstrated in Syria) but this is still very annoying, plus seeding the Russian countryside with pulverized American plutonium would not be good for anyone’s health.

Thus, we should expect bad things to happen to these installations, but we should expect to remain rather ill-informed about the details. While the non-negotiations over the Russian security guarantee demands will be as public as possible (in spite of Western plaintive cries asking that they be held in private) the “technical-military means” which Russia will use to deal with Western noncompliance will not be widely publicized. The Romanian installation might become inoperative due to a newly discovered small volcano nearby; the Polish one might succumb of a freak swamp gas explosion.

A further series of unfortunate accidents may cause the US and NATO to become shy and reticent about encroaching on Russia’s borders. NATO troops stationed in the Baltics, a stone’s throw from St. Petersburg, which is Russia’s second-largest city, might complain of repeatedly hearing the word “Thud!” clearly and loudly annunciated, causing them all to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and evacuated. A US spy plane might experience a slight GPS malfunction causing it to blunder into Russian airspace, get shot down, and have its catapulted pilot sentenced to many years of teaching English to kindergarteners in Syktyvkar or Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. US Navy and NATO vessels, already prone to collisions with each other, underwater mountains and barges, might suffer an unusually large number of such mishaps in proximity to the Russian coastline, causing them to shy away from it. A large number of such events, most out of them transpiring out of sight of the public, news of them suppressed in Western press and social media, would force the mighty US military to confront an uncomfortable existential question: “Are the Russians still afraid of us, or are we just jerking each other off here?” Their response will be to go into denial and to jerk each other off harder and faster than ever before.

But if they are indeed just jerking each other off, then what about their policy of containment? What’s to contain Russia and keep it from recreating USSR 2.0?—other than the fact that the Russians aren’t stupid, learned their lesson the first time around, and Mother Russia will no longer allow a bunch of useless non-Russian ingrates to suckle at her ample bosom. “But when is Russia going to invade the Ukraine?” inquiring minds demand to know, especially those who have been paying attention to Western news sources claiming that Russia has amassed 100090 troops on the Ukrainian border (it hasn’t).

The latest theory is that what is preventing Russia from invading is the warm weather. Apparently, it has been unusually warm since 2014, which is why Russian troops haven’t rolled across the Ukrainian border yet. What have they been waiting for? The next ice age that’s due any millennium now? Instead, Russia just got the bits of the Ukraine it wanted—Crimea, the Donbass and a couple of millions of highly trained Russian-speaking professionals—all without staging an invasion, and is now waiting for the rest of the Ukraine to degenerate into its end state as an ethnic theme park and nature preserve. The only thing that’s not going well with this plan is that the Ukraine needs to be demilitarized, as required by Russia’s recent security guarantee demands.

But what if Russia’s security guarantees aren’t met and US/NATO continue stuffing the Ukraine full of weapons, sending in trainers and establishing bases? Well, then, those will need to be destroyed. This can be done by launching some rockets from small ships sailing around in the Caspian Sea, as was done to destroy ISIS bases in Syria; no ground force invasion needed. It won’t take much to prompt US/NATO to evacuate the Ukraine in a panic, seeing as they have already worked out plans for doing so and have announced that they won’t fight to defend it.

If that’s what unfolds, what do you think will happen next? Will the US start a nuclear war over the Ukraine? Umm… how about “NO!!!” Will the US impose “sanctions from hell”? Perhaps, but you have to understand that at this point in time the US and other Western economies can be accurately caricatured as a crystal vase full of excrement parked on the very edge of a high shelf over a hard marble floor. The hope is that nobody is going to sneeze because the sound pressure might cause it to go over the edge. Sanctions from hell do sound like they could cause a bit of a sneeze. Needless to say, the US will continue to talk about sanctions from hell and maybe even pass some legislation so titled, and claim to have sent “a strong message,” but to no effect.

Will Russia act immediately upon acceptance in writing the West’s refusal to provide it with the requested security guarantees? No, there is bound to be a delay. You see, February 4th is barely two weeks away, and that’s just not enough time to start and finish a military action. What’s on February 4th? Why, the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics, of course, at which Putin will be the guest of honor while US dignitaries weren’t even invited.

At the Olympics Putin and Xi will be signing a raft of major agreements, one of which may transform the already very strong relationship between China and Russia into an actual military alliance. The tripartite world order announced by Gen. Milley, in which the US, Russia and China figure as equals, will have lasted all of three months. With Russia and China acting as a unit, the SCO, which by now includes almost all of Eurasia, becomes more than just a geopolitical pole. In comparison, the US and the 29 dwarves of NATO do not quite add up to a geopolitical pole and the world once again becomes unipolar but with the polarity flipped.

And so we should not expect any military action to take place between February 4th and February 20th. Should any military mischief occur during the Olympics, which is traditionally a time of peace in the world, it is sure to be a Western provocation, since the Olympics are a traditional time of Western provocations (Georgia during the Beijing Olympics in 2008; the Ukraine during the Russian Olympics in Sochi in 2014). We can be sure that everyone is very much prepared for this provocation and that it will be dealt with very harshly.

The worst kind of provocation would be if NATO advisers actually succeed in goading the hapless and demoralized Ukrainian troops into invading the Donbass. If that happens, there will be two steps to that operation. The first will involve confusing the Ukrainians into walking into a trap. The second will be to threaten to destroy them using Russian long-range artillery from across the Russian border. When that happened previously, the Ukrainian government in Kiev was forced to sign the Minsk agreements that required the Ukrainian military to pull back and the Kiev government to grant autonomy to the Donbass by amending the Ukraine’s constitution.

But since the government in Kiev has shown no intention of fulfilling the terms of these agreements during the intervening years and instead has done its utmost to sabotage them, there is no reason to expect a new round of Minsk agreements to be signed. Instead, it will be the end of the road for Ukrainian statehood. Putin has promised exactly that. NATO advisers are likely to be frustrated in their efforts to cause the Ukrainians to attack: it is preferable for them to sit there being poked and prodded by their NATO handlers and nagged by US/EU officials and spies than to have their best and brightest obliterated by Russian artillery or to face a final round of national humiliation.

After February 20th, however, we should expect some new and interesting domestic distraction. It could have to do with Western financial house of cards/pyramid scheme finally pancaking, or it could be a fun new virus, or natural gas running out and causing a huge humanitarian emergency. Or it could be a combination of these: the virus can be blamed on China, the gas emergency on Russia, and the financial collapse on both. While everyone is distracted, an aircraft carrier or two might go missing, the Aegis Ashore installation in Poland might get totaled by freak swamp gas explosion and so on and so forth. But then nobody would take notice.

There will still be the major existential question nagging the US military/industrial complex: “Are Russia and China still afraid of us or are we just jerking each other off?” I think I know what answer Russia and China would offer: “Don’t worry about us. Just go on jerking each other off.”

Please support my writing at https://subscribestar.com/orlov or https://patreon.com/orlov.

Kremlin reveals how it will respond to NATO deployments to Ukraine

16 Jan, 2022 

It’s “disturbing” that Moscow and the US-led bloc are on “different tracks” after negotiations, but there’s no talk of military action, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said

FILE PHOTO: Tanks are seen during Russian-Belarusian drills in central Russia in April 2021. ©  Sputnik / Konstantin Morozov

Russia believes it would be “madness” to start a war over Ukraine, but doesn’t rule out taking “counter-actions” to NATO deployments if security negotiations fail and its concerns are left unaddressed, the Kremlin has told CNN.

Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s long-time spokesman, added that Russia is deeply concerned by a recent spiraling-up of tensions in Europe, in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

“We have too much tension on the border [with Ukraine]. We have too much tension in this part of Europe. It drags [in] more problems automatically. It is extremely dangerous for our continent,” he told the host of the ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS’ show.

According to Peskov, the only way forward for the US and NATO is to finally address Russia’s concerns in earnest, instead of brushing them off. “This is the reason we are insisting on receiving a direct response,” he explained, adding that Moscow expected an “extremely specific” response to its “extremely specific proposals.”

Moscow is not issuing any ultimatums, he maintained, adding that the Kremlin was not “speaking about military action,” and considers a military scenario “madness to do that.” However, he suggested Moscow would respond to the continued NATO expansions in other ways.

We will be ready to take counter-actions. If you continue to say, ‘listen, Russians, we’re not going to take into account your concerns. NATO will continue to expand. Now we’re not going to have Ukraine [joining] NATO, but with time, legally, it will be possible. We’re not going to say that we will not deploy any offensive weapons on Ukraine’s territory, and NATO’s military infrastructure will stay next to your border and will, with time, get even closer.’ If you tell us that, we will have to do something.

Since late 2021, Ukraine and the US have insisted that Russia has been amassing military personnel near the Ukrainian border, and have claimed that this is evidence it is preparing for an invasion. Moscow has repeatedly denied such plans.

In December, Russia issued a set of proposals for improving collective security, which included guarantees that NATO would not expand further east and a particular agreement that no post-Soviet state, including Ukraine, should be permitted to join it.

These demands were rejected by the US and its allies during a week of high-level talks between officials from Russia, the US, NATO, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen even threatened that the bloc could absorb Finland and Sweden “overnight,” should they be “provoked” into considering such a possibility by Moscow.

Following the talks, which Peskov described as “unsuccessful,” the US continued to allege that Russia was preparing false flag operations in Ukraine to spark a full-blown conflict. The spokesman denied that anything of the sort was taking place. “You can see that this is not happening,” he said. He brushed off all such accusations, dismissing US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s allegations as “fake news.”

“He [Sullivan] promised to publish the proof of these accusations within 24 hours [yesterday] … we are still waiting for that proof,” Peskov said, adding that “until it is proven somehow … we will continue to presume that it’s fake news.”

Russia is still seeking de-escalation, and is concerned by the fact that Moscow and Washington are on what Peskov called “totally different tracks” – a situation he described as “disturbing.”

You can share this story on social media:

Related

The True Islam: A Religion of Peace and Tolerance despite the West’s Distortion Attempts

Jan 15 2021

By Mohammad Youssef

Islam has been and continues to be the target of a systematic and continuous programmed campaign of distortion. This is due to many reasons; political economic, social and most importantly ideological.

No other religion has suffered this surge of flooding different materials to demoralize, demonize, and destroy it.

Ever since the demise of the Soviet Union or Warsaw Pact in the nineties of last century as an equivalent of the NATO pact, the West attempted to create a threat of any kind to pour and orient its propaganda against it. Islam was the West’s choice, calling it the green menace.

They wanted to propagate this fear of Islam all over to unify what they call the free world behind their flag.

As such Islam and the Islamic world have been depicted as terrorists, perpetrators and conspirators.

Since then, thousands of tons of books, films, newspapers, magazines, documentaries, TV series, cinema productions, lectures, and many other different media outlets have been extensively used to brainwash the audience in the West and all over the world, and twist their understanding of this religion.

A misleading propaganda is always on the run. This campaign is designed by study and research centers and government circles in many different Western capitals, with one single aim: ruin Islam and portray it as a religion of bloodshed, slaughter, warfare and savagery.

Many reasons have prompted me to choose this topic:

First, Islam is a divine religion, a religion that was revealed by Allah to people, it is a religion of peace, tolerance, mercy and brotherhood. The kind of propaganda that is spread against it goes beyond any logic or reason. It reflects mere hatred and it serves one definite agenda which is not only to keep people away from it, but also to justify the wars against it. It has been estimated by many in the West that Islam adherents and followers are on the rise, and many called for swift action to stop the Islamization of Europe because of many factors.

Of course, this is unfair and unjust and should be addressed properly.

Second, the fierce war against Islam has conclusively included all of its essentials, beliefs, practices and many other aspects and manifestations.

Atop of who were attacked, was Prophet Muhamad [PBUH]. Our prophet, who embodies the pure soul and sublime source of Islam, the messenger of Allah who came with the book of Allah, the Holy Quran, to reveal Allah’s will to people. He has been under relentless war to degrade him and his mission and to make mockery of his preaching and teachings. Volumes of books were authored, and cartoons and caricatures were circulated to destroy the prophet’s image and displace it from its sacredness and sanctity. The ferocity of the war against our prophet reflects how genuine and authentic his success was in moving Arabia from one place into a completely different place. The ethical content of his call has been widely spread, no single man has been able to make such a giant leap in a community like the one he did to the Arabs in a relatively short time.

Third is the Holy Quran. No other book has been fought like the eternal, immortal, and revealed book of Islam. Though it is Allah’s words, preaching and teachings, many attempted to undermine its sacredness and to depict it as a literary work, or that in the best cases it was written by the Prophet himself. The main effort was to instill in people the idea that this is not a heavenly revelation, so people would not be attached to it.

Another equally sinister effort was also made, which is to present the Quran as a book that calls for wars and ruins peace. Some tried to interpret some verses out of their space in time and place, they even decontextualized some verses to distort them from their proper contexts that are not meant by Allah the Almighty.

Fourth, commitment to Islam.

Islam is a religion of piety and devotions, it involves beliefs and practices, Muslims, men or women have to be committed to Islamic teachings and preaching to be true Muslims. Muslim women have to wear hijab, and men have to observe many duties of halal [allowed] and haram [forbidden] issues as well.

A series of measures are being executed by many governments especially in the West which put hindrances and obstacles for Muslims there. Decisions and legislations have been adopted to make Muslims life very difficult, so they would detach themselves from their religion.

Hijab is banned in France, for example, and women are not allowed to work while wearing it because as the authorities suggest, it reflects a religious identity in a secular society! Calling for the prayers [adhan] is sanctioned in other places, as it causes noise and might be a source of annoyance. Any sign showing attachment to Islam is against the law in a third place.

As such, the regulations go in order to put more restrictions and constraints on the followers of Islam.

Fifth: The Jihad concept in Islam.

Orientalists, researchers, and many writers backed by colonial governments worked hard to spread lies about Islam and Muslims. They depicted it as a religion of warfare and converting people to Islam by the sword’s threat.

Reading through historical texts reveals a lot and clearly shows that this is part of the tools to tarnish the image and fool the people about the true spirit of Islam.

Most of the wars Islam waged were defensive ones and Islam was outspread with its ethical and moral content more than anything else. Muslim merchants, with their loyalty, honesty, and faithfulness made tens of thousands and a whole population convert to Islam in many parts of Asia.

The issue with all of the above is not only the mere campaign against Islam, as much as it is a violation of human rights and basic freedoms.

When the authorities purposefully do that in a systematic way then the whole trust and respect is shattered away.

The issue here is about the truth, telling the truth, respecting the truth, and preserving the truth. In this equation, truth is the first victim; more dangerously, it is being victimized by the governments and authorities that are supposedly there to protect them. Here we can easily and clearly see how integrity is being compromised.

Why do they do this against Islam?

They know for sure that Islam and the Islamic world is outstretched all over the planet and this holds a huge potential on many levels: economic, political, social, and military. It occupies strategic space and is very rich with all the natural resources that render it to be a leading superpower.

This is not something that the West would accept or welcome in anyway. Rather, it would consider it a strategic threat to confront, and this explains this stern and tough stance in approaching our world with strategies of occupation and subjugation.

Away from all this, Islam could offer full-fledged solutions to host of world problems.

The kind of legislations and solutions it could offer is unique and thus can solve a lot of issues, however, the kind of ideological animosity and misleading propaganda has built thick and tall walls.

Islam’s message is very unique in its approach to mankind as it considers humans, regardless of their color, race, nationality, or religion as one creation by Allah, the only and one creator.

Islam advocates justice and equality among all and for all. This message of brotherhood, justice and equality gave Islam the capacity to spread and be acceptable by the largest segments of societies and communities.

Islam, in fact, holds a room for diversity and pluralistic society more than any other religion. No other ideology or religion has this inherent tolerance and flexibility from within. The first community state during the prophet’s time was diverse and pluralistic as it included non-Muslims that lived peacefully and in a safe prosperous way under the supervision of the first state in Islam.

The West and the Westerners, especially the decision-makers have to come back little to their senses and be convinced that this is making us all lose golden opportunities to lead a better life and build a shining future for the next generations. This ideological schism that feeds on islamophobia cannot continue forever, and it will definitely not.

بوتين يهدّد بنقل الحرب الى فنزويلا وكوبا وفتح جبهة تحرير «فيتنامية» من سورية!

السبت 15 كانون ثاني 2022

محمد صادق الحسيني

طبول الحرب في أوكرانيا باتت تستحضر حروب متنقلة في أكثر من قارة، والتصريحات والتصريحات المضادة أخذت تتدافع بين الروس والأميركان وحلفائهم في حلف الناتو، بشكل غير مسبوق… حتى باتت حدود أوكرانيا لا سيما الجنوبية الغربية منها أشبه بالفتيل الذي يمكن ان يشعل حرباً عالمية.

في هذه الأثناء صعّد الروس من تهديداتهم للغرب لتصل حدود الحديقة الخلفية للولايات المتحدة الأميركية.

فقد نشر موقع ميليتاري ووتش الأميركي أول أمس تصريحاً لنائب وزير الخارجية الروسي، سيرغي ريابكوڤ، قال فيه انه «لا يستبعد ان تقوم روسيا بإنشاء قواعد عسكرية في كوبا وڤنزويلا» على الرغم من انه لا يريد تأكيد الأمر حالياً ولكنه لا يستبعد ايّ شيء في الوقت نفسه.

فيما تعتقد مصادر روسية قريبة من الكرملين على انّ الروس قد قاموا بنشر أسلحة استراتيجية هناك، وأنهم سيعلنون عن ذلك في الوقت المناسب.

في هذه الأثناء نقل الموقع نفسه عن الأمين العام لحلف شمال الأطلسي، إيان شتولتينبيرغ قوله، في الإطار نفسه، انّ من المحتمل ان تنضمّ أوكرانيا وجورجيا للحلف وهو ما سيسهل نشر أسلحة نووية أميركية بالقرب من الأراضي الروسية.

وهذا في تقديرنا تصريح قريب من إعلان حرب، مؤجلة حالياً، ضدّ روسيا. وهو ما لن تسمح به موسكو تحت ايّ ظرف كان برأي المصادر آنفة الذكر.

فالرئيس بوتين برأي هذه المصادر ليس بوريس يلتسين، وما لم يقبل به الأخير، لن يقبل به رئيس الكي جي بي السابق في ألمانيا الشرقية، وزعيم معسكر تحالف الشرق الجديد، الذي ركب يوماً طائرة السوخوي بنفسه منطلقاً من موسكو وذهب لمقاتلة ميليشيا الغرب القاعدية المموّلة يومها سعودياً في الشيشان وجورجيا يوم كان رئيساً للوزراء في عهد يلتسين في العام ٢٠٠٠.

المصادر نفسها تؤكد بأنّ لدى فلاديمير بوتين خطة هجومية مضادة متكاملة لمواجهة احتمالية قيام الغرب بضم أوكرانيا لحلف الناتو.

والخطة حسب تلك المصادر تقوم على التالي:

أولا ـ الإعلان عن نشر قوات وأسلحة استراتيجية في كوبا وفنزويلا.

ثانيا ـ دعم سورية وحلفائها في حلف المقاومة على الطريقة الفيتنامية في الصراع العربي «الإسرائيلي»أو.

ثالثا ـ دعم كلّ ما من شأنه إثارة القلاقل في تركيا للإطاحة بالركن الجنوبي من حلف الأطلسي وتفكيك دولة أردوغانُ.

رابعا ـ وانْ تطلب الأمر اجتياح بولندا وصولاً الى حدود ألمانيا الشرقية سابقاً اي عند جدار برلين!

ويملك بوتين في هذا السياق حججاً قانونية وسياسية وأمنية قوية جداً ومقنعة للرأي العام الروسي والعالمي.

فثمة اتفاق سوفياتي مع الغرب يقضي بانسحاب الروس (السوفيات) من أوروبا الشرقية مقابل عدم توسع الناتو شرقاً…

في حين انّ الناتو ليس فقط اجتاح أوروبا الشرقية بل وأصبح اليوم في البلطيق والآن يريد ضمّ جمهوريات سوفياتية سابقة مثل جورجيا وأوكرانيا، فاتحاً شهيته باتجاه تفكيك الاتحاد الروسي نفسه!

ثم انّ شخصية بوتين القومية الروسية وتاريخه السياسي الشخصي وهو ابن لينينغراد والكي جي بي، لا تسمح له بان يقبل ان تقارعه سلطة نازية جديدة ركّبها الغرب في جمهورية اعتبرها الروس حتى الأمس القريب جزءاً من لا يتجزأ من روسيا ـ أوكرانيا.

 فضلاً ان تتمرّد عليه جمهورية مثل جورجيا عمل فيها الغرب ثورة ملونة وركّب فيها رئيسة عميلة للغرب كانت سفيرة فرنسا في جورجيا تمّ فرضها على الشعب الجورجي، فقط لاعتبارها من أصول جورجية في لحظة غفلة روسية!

 ثم ان ما حصل في كازاخستان قبل أيام من عملية ردعية استراتيجية، قادها بوتين شخصياً استهدفت ضرب النيوليبرالية في كلّ آسيا الوسطى والقوقاز فضلاً عن قمع رديفتها في نفس روسيا، كان كفيلاً برأي أهل الاختصاص بتغيير قواعد الاشتباك الدولية ما سيمنع الغرب، من ارتكاب حماقة الانقضاض على أوكرانيا والتي يملك بوتين فيها نفوذاً غير مرئيّ أكثر مما يملك مجموع الغرب بكلّ قواعده المتعددة التي باتت مزروعة على امتداد حدود الخاصرة الأمنية القومية الروسية الأهمّ!

العالم يتغيّر بسرعة كبيرة، ومركز ثقله انتقل عملياً من الغرب الى الشرق.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

This Is How the U.S. Does ‘Dialogue’

January 13, 2022

Washington will not consider Russian proposals on no expansion of NATO, and has no intention of even discussing the idea. So much for “dialogue”.

by Pepe Escobar,

It was the first high-level Russia-NATO meeting since 2019 – coming immediately after the non sequitur of the U.S.-Russia “security guarantee” non-dialogue dialogue earlier in the week in Geneva.

So what happened in Brussels? Essentially yet another non-dialogue dialogue – complete with a Kafkaesque NATO preface: we’re prepared for dialogue, but the Kremlin’s proposals are unacceptable.

This was a double down on the American envoy to NATO, Julianne Smith, preemptively blaming Russia for the actions that “accelerated this disaster”.

By now every sentient being across Eurasia and its European peninsula should be familiar with Russia’s top two, rational demands: no further NATO expansion, and no missile systems stationed near its borders.

Now let’s switch to the spin machine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s platitudes were predictably faithful to his spectacular mediocrity. On the already pre-empted dialogue, he said it was “important to start a dialogue”.

Russia, he said, “urged NATO to refuse to admit Ukraine; the alliance responded by refusing to compromise on enlargement”. Yet NATO “welcomed bilateral consultations” on security guarantees.

NATO also proposed a series of broad security consultations, and “Russia has not yet agreed, but has not ruled out them either.”

No wonder: the Russians had already noted, even before it happened, that this is noting but stalling tactics.

The Global South will be relieved to know that Stoltenberg defended NATO’s military blitzkriegs in both Kosovo and Libya: after all “they fell under UN mandates”. So they were benign. Not a word on NATO’s stellar performance in Afghanistan.

And then, the much-awaited clincher: NATO worries about Russian troops “on the border with Ukraine” – actually from 130 km to 180 km away, inside European Russian territory. And the alliance considers “untrue” that expansion is “an aggressive act”. Why? Because “it spreads democracy”.

Bomb me to democracy, baby

So here’s the NATO gospel in a flash. Now compare it with the sobering words of Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko.

Grushko carefully enounced how “NATO is determined to contain Russia. The United States and its allies are trying to achieve superiority in all areas and in all possible theaters of military operations.” That was a veiled reference to Full Spectrum Dominance, which since 2002 remains the American gospel.

Grushko also referred to “Cold War-era containment tactics”, and that “all cooperation [with Russia] has been halted” – by NATO. Still, “Russia honestly and directly pointed out to NATO that a further slide of the situation could lead to dire consequences for European security.”

The conclusion was stark: “The Russian Federation and NATO do not have a unifying positive agenda at all.”

Virtually all Russophobic factions of the bipartisan War Inc. machine in Washington cannot possibly accept that there should be no forces stationed on European states that were not members of NATO in 1997; and that current NATO members should attempt no military intervention in Ukraine as well as in other Eastern European, Transcaucasian, and Central Asian states.

On Monday in Geneva, Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov had already stressed, once again, that Russia’s red line is unmovable: “For us, it’s absolutely mandatory to make sure that Ukraine never, never, ever becomes a member of NATO.”

Diplomatic sources confirmed that in Geneva, Ryabkov and his team had for all practical purposes to act like teachers in kindergarten, making sure there would be “no misunderstandings”.

Now compare it with the U.S. State Department’s Ned Price, speaking after those grueling eight hours shared between Ryabkov and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman: Washington will not consider Russian proposals on no expansion of NATO, and has no intention of even discussing the idea.

So much for “dialogue”.

Ryabkov confirmed there was no progress. Referring to his didacticism, he had to stress, “We are calling on the U.S. to demonstrate a maximum of responsibility at this moment. Risks related to a possible increase of confrontation shouldn’t be underestimated.”

To say, in Ryabkov’s words, that “significant” Russian effort has been made to persuade the Americans that “playing with fire” is not in their interests is the euphemism of the young century.

Let me sanction you to oblivion

A quick recap is crucial to understand how things could have derailed so fast.

NATO’s not exactly secret strategy, from the beginning, has been to pressure Moscow to directly negotiate with Kiev on Donbass, even though Russia is not mentioned in the Minsk Agreements.

While Moscow was being forced to become part of the Ukraine/Donbass confrontation, it barely broke a sweat smashing a coup cum color revolution in Belarus. Afterwards, the Russians assembled in no time an impressive strike force – with corresponding military infrastructure – in European Russia territory to respond in lightning quick fashion in case there was a Ukrainian blitzkrieg in Donbass.

No wonder an alarmed NATOstan had to do something about the notion of fighting Russia to the last impoverished Ukrainian. They may at least have understood that Ukraine would be completely destroyed.

The beauty is how Moscow turned things around with a new geopolitical jiu-jitsu move. Ukro-dementia encouraged by NATO – complete with empty promises of becoming a member – opened the way for Russia to demand no further NATO expansion, with the withdrawal of all military infrastructure from Eastern Europe to boot.

It was obvious that Ryabkov, in his talks with Sherman, would refuse any suggestion that Russia should dismantle the logistical infrastructure set up in its own European Russia territory. For all practical purposes, Ryabkov smashed Sherman to bits. What was left was meek threats of more sanctions.

Still, it will be a Sisyphean task to convince the Empire and its NATO satrapies not to stage some sort of military adventure in Ukraine. That’s the gist of what Ryabkov and Grushko said over and over again in Geneva and Brussels. They also had to stress the obvious: if further sanctions are imposed on Russia, there would be severe blowback especially in Europe.

But how is it humanly possible for seasoned pros like Ryabkov and Grushko to argue, rationally, with a bunch of amateur blind bats such as Blinken, Sullivan, Nuland and Sherman?

There has been some serious speculation on the timeframe ahead for Russia to in fact not even bother to listen to the American “baby babble” (copyright Maria Zakharova) anymore. Could be around 2027, or even 2025.

What’s happening next is that the five-year extension of the new START treaty expires in February 2026. Then there will be no ceiling for nuclear strategic weapons. The Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline to China will make Gazprom even less dependent on the European market. The combined Russia-China financial system will become nearly impervious to U.S. sanctions. The Russia-China strategic partnership will be sharing even more substantial military tech.

All of that is way more consequential than the dirty secret that is not a secret in the current “security guarantees” kabuki: the exceptionalist, “indispensable” nation is congenitally incapable of giving up on the forever expansion of NATO to, well, outer space.

At the same time, the Russians are very much aware of a quite prosaic truth; the U.S. will not fight for Ukraine.

So welcome to Instagrammed Irrationalism. What happens next? Most possibly a provocation, with the possibility, for instance, of a chemical black ops to be blamed on Russia, followed by – what else – more sanctions.

The package is ready. It comes in the form of a bill by Dem senators supported by the White House to bring “severe costs” to the Russian economy in case Moscow finally answers their prayers and “invades” Ukraine.

Sanctions would directly hit President Putin, Prime Minister Mishustin, Foreign Minister Lavrov, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Gen Gerasimov, and “commanders of various branches of the Armed Forces, including the Air Force and Navy.”

Targeted banks and financial institutions include Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Moscow Credit Bank, Alfa-Bank, Otkritie Bank, PSB, Sovcombank, Transcapitalbank, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. They would all be cut off from SWIFT.

If this bill sounds like a declaration of war, that’s because it is. Call it the American version of “dialogue”.

Russian envoy talks to media after OSCE meeting English

January 13, 2022

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Alexander Lukashevich gives a press conference following the OSCE regular meeting in Vienna on Thursday, January 13. The meeting marks the third stage in a series of talks between Russia and the West on Russia’s proposals for European security. The first stage was the talks between Russia and the US that took place in Geneva on January 10, followed by the Russia-NATO Council meeting in Brussels on January 12.

This is still live so kindly forward the video to start time.

Update:  The live stream is now complete.  Please forward video to 19:45  (It is English).

What, if anything, happened in Geneva?

January 12, 2022

There are no official results from the meeting in Geneva yet.  The US has promised to give the Russians an official answer in writing within a week.  The Russians have declared that they have explained the Russian position to their US counterparts in minute details leaving no ambiguity.  According to Russian sources, the US position was a “diehard/stubborn” one.

Clearly, the War Party in the USA is, at least so far, prevailing.  When I listen to the delusional statements of the likes of Blinken, Psaki, Kirby & Co I get the strong feeling that for these people everything is a zero-sum game and that to them an agreement with Russia, any agreement, is simply unthinkable.

If so, then this is all good news.  Frankly, it is pretty clear that the War Party has won the day, at least so far, which leaves Russia no other option that to take further unilateral actions which is, I believe, the only way left for Russia to bring the leaders of the West back into the real world.

There are still further talks planned, with the Russia-NATO council and the OSCE.  Never say never and maybe a last minute breakthrough is possible, but I personally don’t see how that could happen, not when one of the two parties is absolutely, maniacally, determined to treat the other as some kind of semi-savage inferior race with whom no civilized western leaders will ever negotiate.  The western diplomatic toolkit is has shrunk to basically the following:

  • Exceptionalism, messianism, racism and self-worship.
  • Threats and imposition of sanctions for “bad behavior” like a teacher would punish a grade-school kid for being rowdy and not listening to the teacher.
  • A total belief in both the West invincibility and invulnerability no matter what the “real reality” actually is.
  • A total categorical refusal to admit, even by implication, that the world has profoundly changed and that the Anglosphere does not “rule the waves” anymore.

There is only one thing Russia can do to bring the leaders of the West back to reality: to turn up what I call the “pain dial”.

Russian peacekeeper in Kazakhstan

In the meantime, the Russian military has declared that it hopes to leave Kazakhstan within a week, but only if/when the situation in this country is fully stabilized.

President Tokaev has said that the CSTO forces withdrawal will being in 48 hours and will last no more than 10 days.  I hope that he is right.

However, it will take months for Kazakhstan and Russia to deal with the insurgents, especially in the West and South of Kazakhstan.  But that would already be a mopping-up operation which Russia and Kazakhstan can coordinate on a bilateral basis without any need to involve the CSTO.

For the time, we have to wait and see what actually happens in the next few days, things should become much clearer.

Andrei

LIVE: Russian Deputy FM Grushko speaks following NATO-Russia meeting

January 12, 2022

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko gives a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, January 12 after a meeting between NATO and Russia. Both sides have expressed readiness for dialogue following escalating tensions in the east of Ukraine.

This is still a live broadcast.  Should there be a transcript available, it will be added.

Russia Will Not Bow to US Pressure or Make Any Concessions, Deputy FM Says Ahead of Geneva Meeting

January 9 2022

Russia and the United States are set to hold talks on strategic stability in Geneva, Switzerland on 10 January, followed by a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels on 12 January and consultations within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna on 13 January.

Russia will not give in to US pressure or make any concessions ahead of the Geneva talks set for 10 January, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov has told Sputnik. “We will, of course, make no concessions under the constant pressure and threats coming from the Western side of the upcoming negotiations,” Ryabkov said, adding concessions under duress were “entirely impossible.” “This would mean going against our own interests, our security interests.

“The diplomat stressed that Moscow is “very disappointed” by signals from Washington and Brussels ahead of the meeting on the security guarantees proposed by Russia last month.

“In a nutshell, they reflect a lack of understanding of what we need. And we need legal guarantees, legal guarantees that NATO will not expand further; elimination of everything that the alliance has created driven by anti-Russian phobias and all sorts of misconceptions about the essence of Russian policy since 1997,” Ryabkov explained.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an expanded meeting of the Russian Foreign Ministry Board, in Moscow, Russia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.12.2021

Putin Says Russia Has Different Options in Response to NATO Eastward Expansion

26 December 2021, 09:10 GMT

The deputy foreign minister lamented the fact that the United States is continuing to insist that Moscow make unilateral concessions, and said that Russia is not optimistic about the forthcoming talks.The unilateral approach promoted by the US and NATO cannot serve as a basis for the discussion on security guarantees, Ryabkov added.He stressed that Moscow’s main goal in Geneva is to discuss the non-expansion of NATO and the non-deployment of offensive weapons near Russia’s borders.

“Unfortunately, we have been hearing all kinds of speculations about what Russia must do and what steps it must take. We have repeatedly reacted to such statements – at all levels – and there can be no basis for any agreement, let alone a productive discussion.”

The US-Russia strategic stability dialogue may not go into another day if Washington ignores Moscow’s interests, Ryabkov said.”If we start beating about the bush and see no sign that the other side is ready to recognise our priorities and respond to them constructively there will be no point in talking,” the Russian deputy foreign minister added.

Security Proposals

The security guarantee talks will be held in three formats: between Russia and the US in Geneva on 10 January, followed by a Russia-NATO Council meeting on 12 January, and Russia-OSCE consultations on 13 January. Ryabkov will face off with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Geneva to discuss Russia’s security proposals for the US and NATO. Moscow wants legally-binding guarantees from the military alliance that it will not expand eastward.In the lead-up to the security talks in Geneva, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US and Germany believe Russia’s actions in Eastern Europe pose “an immediate challenge” to stability in the region.At the same time, Blinken claimed that the US remained ready to resolve the issues via diplomacy, stressing that if Russia is serious about de-escalating tensions, the United States could take steps to build greater confidence and address the issues, even though some of them will take time.

A view shows Mont-Blanc bridge decorated with flags of the USA and Russia ahead of the June 16 summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Geneva, Switzerland - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.12.2021

Russia Will Seek Firm Security Guarantees From US During Geneva Talks on 10 January

30 December 2021, 08:33 GMT

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also asserted that the alliance will not compromise during the talks with Russia on its basic principle that any country may choose its own defence alliances.In mid-December, the Russian Foreign Ministry laid out two comprehensive drafts of agreements on security guarantees between Russia, the United States, and NATO.In these proposals, Russia suggests that the US commit to not setting up military bases in former Soviet republics that are not NATO members and refrain from expanding the alliance further to the east.

“The Parties shall refrain from deploying their armed forces and armaments, including in the framework of international organisations, military alliances or coalitions, in areas where such deployment could be perceived by the other Party as a threat to national security, with the exception of such deployment within the national territories of the Parties”, the document says.

The proposals also stipulate the creation of “hotlines” for emergency contacts between the parties, among others.The proposals were made against the background of Western accusations that Russia has been ramping up its military presence near the Ukrainian border, and that it was preparing to “invade” the country. Moscow has strongly denied the accusations, arguing that it has the right to relocate troops within its territory at its own discretion. Russia also emphasised that NATO’s military activity near its borders pose a threat to the country’s security.

بوتين ينتقل الى الهجوم الاستراتيجي الوقائي

الاثنين 10 يناير 2022

 ناصر قنديل

في مطلع القرن الواحد والعشرين تقدّم الأميركيون في الجوار الروسي بما هو أبعد من مجرد ضمّ دول أوروبا الشرقية إلى الاتحاد الأوروبي، فكان التزامن بين وصول فلاديمير بوتين الى الرئاسة الروسية وبدء الهجوم الأميركي الأوروبي بالثورات الملوّنة وبالقضم الأمني والعسكري لدول الجوار الروسي، من أوكرانيا الى جورجيا ولتوانيا وصولاً الى دول البلطيق، والتلويح بضمّ دول هذا الجوار الى حلف الناتو الذي تقوم عقيدته العسكرية على اعتبار روسيا العدو الأول، وفي كلّ هذه المرحلة الممتدة حتى عام 2015 سنة التموضع الروسي في سورية، كان موقف موسكو السعي لاحتواء الهجوم الأميركي والغربي، والتركيز على بناء القدرات الاقتصادية والعسكرية لروسيا.

شكل العام 2015 محطة فاصلة في كيفية تعامل روسيا مع الهجوم الأميركي والغربي المستمرّ منذ سقوط جدار برلين وتفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي، فكان قرار الرئيس بوتين بالدخول طرفاً مباشراً في مواجهة الحرب المفتوحة على سورية بقيادة أميركية معلنة، تعبيراً عن قرارة متعددة الأبعاد، أولها القناعة بخطورة المدى الذي بلغه التغوّل الأميركي وخطورة الإنكفاء أمامه، وقد كشف تحالفه المعلن مع الإرهاب من جهة، وحجم تحدّيه للأمن القومي الروسي من جهة موازية، وفي المقابل بعدما ظهر في سورية أنّ مفهوم الدولة الوطنية كمشروع مناهض للمشروع الأميركي هو استثمار قادر على الإنجاز، وأنّ منطقة غرب آسيا التي اختارها الأميركي لإحكام الطوق على روسيا وإيران عبر اللعب على وتر الإسلام السياسي الذي مثلته تركيا بمشروع العثمانية الجديدة، تستطيع ان تكون مقبرة هذا المشروع بتشعّباته التركية والمتطرفة ومن خلفهما الأميركي خصوصاً والغربي عموماً.

عندما تمّ تحريك أوكرانيا بوجه روسيا في قلب الحرب السورية كانت رؤية موسكو واضحة، وقرارها حازماً، بأن لا تراجع مهما كان الثمن، والروس قد قرأوا جيداً ما كتبه زبينغيو بريجنسكي مستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي السابق في ثمانينات من القرن الماضي، وما قاله عن أوكرانيا نقطة الضعف الروسية في التاريخ والجغرافيا، ولذلك تشبّث الرئيس بوتين بقراره في المضيّ قدماً نحو التموضع في سورية وصولاً للحسم الذي بدأته معركة حلب الفاصلة، وذهب نحو قرار ضمّ شبه جزيرة القرم، وهو القرار الذي تحوّل الى أمر واقع رغم كلّ ما قيل يومها عن أنه لن يمرّ، ورغم كلّ التهديدات الغربية بالعواقب الوخيمة، وقد ثبت لموسكو انّ الكلام الغربي عن التهديدات يبقى حبراً على ورق وبعض العقوبات، ولم يحل كلّ ذلك دون السير قدماً ولو بتقطع بمشروع أنابيب السيل الشمالي لنقل الغاز الروسي الى ألمانيا.

هذه المرة عندما أثير ملف أوكرانيا بلغة التهديد لروسيا مجدداً، لم ترتبك موسكو في فهم الرسالة، فالمطروح هو تهديد موسكو بالخروج عن اتفاقات مينسك ودعم حكومة أوكرانيا لضمّ مناطق دونباس في شرق أوكرانيا بالقوة، ولم تتردّد موسكو، فلم تنف استعدادها لإجتياح أوكرانيا إذا تمّت إطاحة اتفاقات مينسك، ووضعت معادلة جديدة على الطاولة، لا ضمانات بعدم اجتياح أوكرانيا، بل مطالبة بضمانات لعدم ضمّ الغرب لأوكرانيا وسواها من دول الجوار الروسي الى حلف الناتو، وشيئاً فشيئاً لم تعد القضية أوكرانيا، بل صارت الضمانات الروسية الموثقة المطلوبة من الغرب، ودار الحوار بين الرئيسين الأميركي جو بايدن والروسي فلاديمير بوتين حول هذا الأمر، تمهيداً لحوارات قيد الانطلاق تحت هذا العنوان، تقول موسكو سلفاً إنها غير مستعدة لتقديم ايّ تنازل خلالها عن ثوابت تمثل أمنها القومي.

جاءت أحداث كازاخستان لتكشف بالمقارنة الزمنية بين الزمن الذي احتاجته القيادة الروسية لاتخاذ قرار التحرك الميداني نحو سورية، والزمن الموازي الذي احتاجته للتحرك الميداني نحو كازاخستان، من سنوات وشهور الى أيام وساعات، تحوّلاً كبيراً في توجهات القيادة الروسية لجهة الإنتقال من الدفاع الاستراتيجي الى الهجوم الاستراتيجي الوقائي، وهو غير الهجوم الاستراتيجي في المطلق، لكنه أحد أشكاله وبداياته.

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

Who “lost” Kazakhstan and to whom?

Jauary 09, 2022

Dear friends, Christ is born!  Glorify Him!

The magnitude of the crisis in Kazakhstan has surprised many, including myself.  Some compared what happened to the Euromaidan in Kiev, but that is a very bad comparison, if only because the Euromaidan happened on one square of one city whereas the violent insurrection (because that it was it was!) in Kazakhstan began in the western regions but quickly spread to the entire country (which is huge).  Just by the sheer magnitude of the insurrection (about 20’000 well organized and trained combatants all over the country) and its extreme violence (cops had their heads cut off!), it was pretty obvious that this was not something spontaneous, but something carefully prepared, organized and then executed.  The way the insurgents immediately attacked all TV stations and airports, while bigger mobs were trashing the streets and looting stores, shows a degree of sophistication Ed Luttwak would have approved of!

To me, this is much more similar to what happened in Syria in the cities of Daraa, Homs, Hama, Aleppo, Damascus, and many more.

I will admit that my initial reaction also was “wow, how could the Kazakh and Russian intelligence services miss all the indicators and warnings that such a huge insurrection was carefully prepared and about to explode?”.  Then came the news that President Tokaev appealed to The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which up until now was a rather flaccid organization and that very same evening Russia began an air bridge to move forces to Kazakhstan, including the subunits of the 45th Guards Separate Special Forces Brigade, 98th Guards Airborne Division and 31st Guards Airborne Assault Brigade.  Russian military transporters also airlifted small contingents of Armenian, Kyrgyz, Tadjik special forces.  Most interestingly, the Belarusians also sent one reinforced company from their elite 103rd Separate Guards Airborne Brigade (that is the famous Vitebsk Airborne Division, one of the best Soviet Airborne Divisions).  Considering the current tensions with the West over the Ukraine, the speed with which these forces were sent to Kazakhstan indicated to me that this was clearly a prepared move.

In other words, at least the Russians had advanced warning and were fully prepared.  If so, I doubt they said anything to their colleagues from the CSTO, with the possible (likely?) exception of the Belarusians.

Okay, so let’s explore the implications of the above.

If the Russians knew, why did they do nothing at all to prevent what just happened?

Here we first need to revisit what recently happened in Belarus.

President Lukashenko had pretty much the same foreign policy as President Tokaev: something they call a “multi-vector” foreign policy which I would summarize as follows: pump all the aid and money from Russia, while suppressing pro-Russian forces inside your own country and try to show the AngloZionist Empire that we can be bought, just for the right price of course (this is also what Vucic is doing in Serbia right now).  Now let’s recall what happened in Belarus.

The Empire and its vassal states in the EU tried to overthrow Lukashenko who had no other choice than to turn to Russia for help and survival.  Russia, of course, did oblige, but only in exchange for Lukashenko’s “good behavior” and comprehensive abandonment of his “multi-vector” foreign policy.  Lukashenko prevailed, the opposition was crushed, and Russia and Belarus have already taken major further steps towards their integration.

Now I know that there are those out there who love to accuse Putin (personally) that he “showed weakness”, “let the US and NATO blow up countries on the Russian periphery”, etc. etc. etc.  To those inclined to this, I ask a simple question: compare the Belarus before the insurrection and after.  Specifically, from the Russian point of view, was the multi-vectoring Belarus preferable to the fully aligned Belarus of today or not?  The answer, I submit, is absolutely obvious.

Now let’s look at Kazakhstan.  Potentially, this is a much more dangerous country for Russia than Belarus: it has a huge border (7’600km, open and undefended as Kazakhstan is a member of the Eurasian Economic Community!), a strong pan-Turkic underground (supported by Turkey), an equally strong Takfiri underground (supported by various non-state and even state actors in the region), ethnic tensions between the Kazakhs and the Russian minority and very important security ties to Russia.  To have the Empire take over Belarus would have been very bad indeed, but the Empire taking over Kazakhstan would have been even much worse.

Yet, as a direct (and, I submit, predictable) consequence of the insurrection, Tokaev now knows that his fate depends on Russia, just like Lukashenko’s.  Is that a bad or a good outcome for the Kremlin?

I will toss in another name here: Armenia’s Pashinian, who was a notorious russophobe until the Azeris attacked at which point he had no other choice but to turn to Russia for help and, frankly, survival.  That is also true of Erdogan, but he is an ungrateful SOB who can’t ever be trusted, not even for minor matters.

Now remember all those dummies who were screaming urbi et orbi that the CSTO is useless, that the Russians just let the Azeris beat the crap of Armenia and could do nothing about it?  As soon as Russia got involved, the war stopped and the “invincible” Bayraktars stopped flying.  Is that a good or bad outcome for Russia?

And now, oh sweet irony, the self-same Pashinian happens to be the formal head of the CSTO (more like Stoltenberg really, a official mouthpiece with no real authority) and he had to “order” (announce, really) the CSTO operation into Kazakhstan.

So we have Lukashenko, Pashinian and now Tokaev all ex-multi-vector politicians begging Russia for help and getting that help, but at the obvious political price of ditching their former multi-vector policies.

I don’t know about you, but for me this is a triumph for Russia: without any military intervention or “invasion” (what the TV watching infantiles in the West scare themselves with at night), Putin “cracked” three notorious multi-vectorist and got them to be nice, loyal and very grateful (!) partners for Russia.  By the way, Russia also has a very deep “penetration” into all the other “stans” whose leaders are not stupid and who, unlike the western journos and “experts” all read the writing on the wall.  The impact of what just took place in Kazakhstan will reverberate all over Central Asia.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is The_Caucasus_and_Central_Asia_-_Political_Map.jpg

About the CSTO operation itself.  First, the Russian and Belarusian forces (about 3’000 Russians and 500 Belarusians): they are truly elite, top of the line, battle hardened, professional, highly trained and  superbly equipped forces (the other smaller contingents are more for “PR decoration” than for anything else).  Officially, their mission is only to protect key official (Kazakh and Russian) facilities but these forces would be more than enough to make minced meat of out any western or Turkish trained Takfiris or nationalists, even if their numbers are much higher than the 20’000 estimate.  And, in the worst case, these forces happen to be in control of key airports were Russians (and Belarusians) could send in even more forces, including at least two Russian airborne divisions.  That would be a force nothing in Central Asia can even dream of taking on.  I should also mention that Russia has a large and strategically crucial military base in Tadjikistan which has trained to fight against Takfiri terrorists and insurgents for decades now and which could also support any Russian military operation in Central Asia.

So the objective of these forces are:

  • To free up Kazakh security and military forces to put down the uprising (which they are doing)
  • To send a political message to the Kazakh security forces: we got your back, no worries, do your job.
  • To send a political message to the insurgents: you will either lay down arms, flee abroad or die (which is what Putin ordered in both Chechnia and Syria, so these are not empty threats at all).
  • To send a political message to the US and Turkey: Tokaev is our guy now, you lost him and this country!
  • To send a political message to the entire Central Asia and Caucasus: if Russia has your back, you will stay in power even if the idiots at CIA/NED/etc. try to color-revolutionize you.
  • To send yet another message to folks like Erdogan or Vucic – all that multi-vectorness will end up very badly for you, use your head before it is too late (for you, not for us – we are fine either way!).

Some have suggested that the timing of the insurrection Kazakhstan was some kind of attempt by US/NATO to “hurt” Russia in her “weak underbelly” and to show Russia that she has to back down from her ultimatum to the West (negotiations are supposed to start tomorrow, in an atmosphere of general pessimism).  Well, I don’t have any info out of Langley or Mons, but if that was the US plan, then this entire project not only collapsed, but has backfired very very badly indeed.

Remember, the PSYOP narrative was that Putin is either stupid, or weak or sold out to the West, yet when we look at the “before and after” thingie, we see that while the West “almost” (or so they think) “got” Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and, now, Kazakhstan, the reality is that in each case it appears that the narcissistic megalomaniacs running the West have confidently waltzed into a carefully laid Russian trap which, far from giving the Empire the control of the countries it “almost” acquired, made them lose them for the foreseeable future.

Can you imagine the level of impotent rage and frustration in Langley and Mons when the watch that kind of footage: oy veh!!

Of sure, the AngloZionist propaganda machine and the clueless trolls (paid or not) who parrot that nonsense won’t say a word about all this, but just use your own common sense, use the “before and after” thing, and reach your own conclusions.

Joint briefing by the commander of the collective peacekeeping forces of the CSTO in the Republic of Kazakhstan, Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov, Commander of the Russian Airborne Forces, and Deputy Minister of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Lieutenant General Sultan Gamaletdinov.

Speaking of conclusions: how about all those who bitched about the CSTO being a toothless wannabe copy of NATO which can get nothing done?  You still find it so toothless now?

How does it compare to NATO, no, not on paper, but in terms of combat operations capability?

The West wanted to turn Kazakhstan into a “Russian Afghanistan” (same plan for the Ukraine, by the way).  Turkey wanted to turn Kazakhstan into a Turkish-run vassal state.  The Takfiris wanted to turn Kazakhstan into some kind of Emirate.

In your opinion, how do you evaluate the effectiveness of a collective security treaty which could foil all of these plans with only a brigade-sized force and in just a few days?

One more thing: there is something else which Kazakhstan and Syria have in common: there were A LOT of CIA/MI6/Mossad/etc agents around Assad, this became quite clear by the number of high-level Syrian officials who either backed the insurrection, or even led it.  Most later fled to the West, some were killed.  But the point is that the “apple” of the powers structure in Syria was quite rotten.  The same can be said for Kazakhstan where a huge purge is taking place, with the highly influential head of the security services (and former Prime Minister!) not only demoted, but arrested for treason!

So in plain English, the SVR/FSB/GRU will now have a free hand to “clean house” the same way the Russians “cleaned house” around Lukashenko and Assad (in this case with Iranian help): quietly and very effectively,

Again, I can hear the hysterical and desperate wailing out of Langley and Mons.  That’s what you get for believing your own stupid propaganda!

As for those who bought that silly “Putin losing countries all over the former Soviet Union space” PSYOP narrative, they probably feel quite stupid right now, but won’t ever admit it.  Speaking of stupid,

No, Putin is NOT, repeat, NOT trying to “re-create” the Soviet Union.

And while that mediocre non-entity Blinken warns about how the Russians are “hard to get out once they come in” (coming from a US Secretary of State this is both quite hilarious and a new, even higher, level of absolute hypocrisy!), the truth is that most CSTO forces will leave pretty soon, if only because there will be no need to keep them in Kazakhstan.  Why?  Simple: the hardcore trained terrorists and insurgents will soon be dead, the looting rioters will get off the streets and hope that they don’t get a visit from the Kazakh NSC (National Security Committee) or cops, the traitors in power will either leave the country for the EU or be jailed and the Kazakh security and military forces will regain control of the country and maintain law and order.

Why would the Russian paratroopers and special forces need to stay?

Furthermore, Russia has no need, or desire, to invade or, even less so, administer poor, mostly dysfunctional countries, with major social problems and very little actual benefits to offer Russia.  And now that Lukashenko, Pashinian, and Tokaev know that they serve at the pleasure of the Kremlin, you can rest assured that they will generally “behave”.  Oh sure, they will remain mostly corrupt states, with nepotism, tribal affiliation, and religious extremism all brewing at some level, but as long as they represent no threat to a) the Russian minority in these states and 2) to Russian national security interests, the Kremlin will not micro-manage them.  But at the first sign of a resurgence of “multi-vectoriality” (possibly inspired by the many western corporations working in Kazakhstan) the chairs upon which these leaders currently sit will immediately begin shaking pretty badly and they will know whom to call to stop this.

Speaking of weak “idiots” who “lost” countries to the Empire, does anybody care to make a list of countries the Empire has ACTUALLY snatched away from Russia (or any other adversary) and succeeded in keeping?  Syria?  Libya?  Afghanistan?  Iraq maybe?  Yemen?  And that is after the “Mission Accomplished” declaration by a “triumphant” US President 🙂

Okay, the three Baltic statelets.  Bravo!  Captain America won another Grenada!

Ah, I can hear the voices chanting “the Ukraine!  What about the Ukraine!?”.  Well, what about the Ukraine?

There is a Russian saying (цыплят по осени считают) which can be roughly translated as “do not count your chickens before they are hatched“.  Right now, NOBODY can confidently predict what will happen with the Ukraine further down the road.  Not only has the Ukraine become a country 404 deindustrialized shithole, it now is run by an entire class (in the Marxist sense) of Nazis whom, apparently, nobody has the will or the ability to de-Nazify (Russia could, but has exactly zero motive to do so, as for the US/NATO, LOL!!).  Even if Russia and the US agree to some kind of neutral status for the Ukraine, this will not remove a single Nazi from power and, if anything will create the conditions for an even bigger breakup of the country (which is what I think will eventually happen anyway, but very slowly and very very painfully).

The one thing which the Ukraine does have in common with Kazakhstan is that these are both invented countries created by the rabidly Russophobic Bolsheviks: not only are their current borders meaningless (and I mean totally completely meaningless), but these borders bring under one totally artificial political “roof” completely different regions and ethnic groups.  The big difference is, of course, that the Ukie leaders, all of them, were, and still are, infinitely worse than either Nazarbaev or Tokaev ever were.  Also, Ukie nationalism is the most hate-filled and demented on the planet, they can only be compared with the Hutu Interahamwe in Rwanda.  Yes, there is definitely a nationalist streak in the Kazakh society (lovingly nourished and fed by the West for decades), but in comparison with the Ukronazis, these are soft-spoken and mostly mentally sane humanitarians.  In my personal, and therefore admittedly subjective, experience, Kazakhs and Russians get along much better than Ukrainians and Russians.

Belarusian-style “housecleaning” in Kazakhstan has already begun!

Belarusian-style “housecleaning” in Kazakhstan has already begun!

Last, but not least, it will take decades to de-Nazify the Ukraine, and God only knows who will be willing and capable of doing that (certainly NOT Russia!) whereas Kazakhstan’s insurgents are already being killed, in large numbers (several thousand by some accounts), by Kazakh security forces.  As for the Kazakh oligarchs and officials who assisted them, they are either dead or in jail or already abroad.

Did I mention China?  It is a very important actor in Kazakhstan.  On one level, China and Russia are economic and even political competitors in Kazakhstan, however China absolutely and categorically cannot allow Kazakhstan to be taken over by either the US/NATO, or the Takfiris or the pan-Turkists.  The Chinese have not flexed their military muscle (yet), but they could, and you can be rest assured that they will flex with (immense) economic muscle to prevent such an outcome.  So while the poor Ukraine has Poland as a neighbor, Kazakhstan has both Russia and China which are absolutely determined not to allow any hostile force (anti-Chinese or anti-Russian, these are the same forces) to color-revolutionize Kazakhstan and turn it into the kind of nightmarish shithole the Empire turned so many countries into, from the US-occupied EU to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine (before eventually losing them anyway!).

The bottom line about the Ukraine is this: let’s wait and see what kind of chickens the Ukie eggs will hatch in time and whether the eventual outcome will be worse or better for Russia.  And, by “outcome” I do not refer to the roaring statements coming from western politicians and the talking heads on the idiot box, I mean actual outcomes, which in such matters can take months or even years before becoming fully apparent.  (I know, those dead set on the “Putin is weak” thing will ignore my advice or any facts or logic, I am mostly addressing these suggestions to those who hear that narrative and want to figure out for themselves whether it is true or false).

Conclusion:

What just happened in Kazakhstan was both a US-triggered full-scale insurrection AND an attempted coup.  There is overwhelming evidence that the Russians were aware of what was coming and allowed the chaos to get just bad enough to give only one possible option to Tokaev: to appeal for a CSTO intervention.  The extreme swiftness of the Russian military operation took everybody by surprise and none of the parties involved in that insurrection+coup (the US, the Takfiris and the Turks) had any time to react to prevent the quick deployment of (extremely) combat-capable forces which then made it possible for the Kazakh military and security forces to regroup and go on the offensive.  Having Pashinian “order” this CSTO operation was beautiful, karmic, cherry on the cake 🙂

All in all, this is just the latest in a series of cataclysmic failures of the leaders of the (already dead) AngloZionist Empire and the (equally dead) USA to actually get something, anything, done.  In the confrontation between western hot air and Russian military action, the latter has prevailed, yet again.

Tomorrow the US will try to scare Russia with talks about “sanctions from hell”.  Good luck with that!

🙂

Andrei

كيف أحبط بوتين خطة أميركا في كازاخستان وجعل أوكرانيا وبولندا ساقطتين عسكرياً…؟

السبت 8 يناير 2022

 محمد صادق الحسيني

كل ما أعدّه له الغرب والرجعية العربية خلال سنوات وصرفوا عليه المليارات تبخر بين ليلة وضحى على يد فلاديمير بوتين!

فخلال أقل من 24 ساعة تمكن بوتين من إحباط أخطر عملية أميركية كانت تقضي بإحراق آسيا الوسطى والقوقاز انطلاقاً من كازاخستان!

 فقد استطاعت موسكو نقل أكثر من 20 ألف جندي الى هذا البلد المترامي الأطراف، ونجاحها بضرب الثورة الملوّنة المدعومة أميركياً والمموّلة سعودياً والسيطرة على مفاصل البلاد السياسية والإدارية والجغرافية، ما جعل بوتين ينجح بإخراج بايدن من اللعبة بخفي حنين ويخرج من كازاخستان خالي الوفاض، لا يملك في القمة الافتراضية المنتظرة بينه وبين نظيره الروسي في ١٠ الشهر الحالي سوى خيبة الأمل والذلّ والانكسار بعدما كان بايدن يريدها ورقته الرابحة المضمونة…

جو بايدن الذي كان قد أخفق تماماً في جرّ غريمه على المسرح الدولي فلاديمير بوتين إلى فخ اجتياح جيب أوكرانيا رغم كثرة الضجيج الإعلامي والتحشيد الاستخباري والعسكري على حدود الأمن القومي الروسي.

فكان قرار الدولة العميقة في واشنطن ان ذهبت للعمل بالخطة «ب» في إطار إشغال روسيا بمسرح عمليات أوسع وإبعادها عن تجميع قوى الشرق الصاعدة.

وهكذا تكون روسيا من الآن حتى ذلك اليوم قد نجحت في تفكيك كلّ الوحدات الإرهابية المدرّبة في القواعد التركية والمموّلة خليجياً، والقضاء عليها وتدميرها على امتداد البلاد الكازاخية.

ما يعني موسكو قد أحبطت عملياً أخطر مؤامرة كانت قد أعدّت لها واشنطن وأدواتها منذ سنوات لكازاخستان كما تقول مصادر مطلعة اقتضت نزول من تمّ تدريبهم وإعدادهم جيداً الى الشارع في أكبر بلاد آسيا المركزية الحاضنة للأمن القومي الروسي.

انّ نجاح هذا الإنزال الروسي المجوقل يحمل في طياته دلالات واسعة واستراتيجية في غاية الأهمية لواشنطن والناتو.

فالعملية جرت بسرعة فائقة تمّت السيطرة فيها على مساحة تفوق مساحة كلّ أوروبا، وفي بلاد أكثر تعقيداً من أوكرانيا وبولندا اللتين باتتا عملياً لقمة سهلة على الابتلاع والهضم بالنسبة لموسكو لو قرّرت ذلك في الجولات المقبلة من النزال مع الغرب، ما يجعل واشنطن تحت الصدمة الكبرى الآن وهي تشاهد خططها تتهاوى أمام عيونها من جديد كما حصل في سورية ولكن هذه المرة كلمح البصر!

فالمعروف انّ كلّ الأدوات المنفذة للخطة الأميركية كانت جاهزة عبر توظيف أحزاب ومنظمات مجتمع مدني ومجموعات مستعارة من دول الجوار (مقرّها اوكرانيا) مع غرفة العمليات المشتركة في الما ـ اتا في قبضة الروس!

وبهذا يكون قد سقط سيناريو إشعال «ربيع عربي» معادٍ لموسكو كان يهدف الضغط عليها لتقديم تنازلات للغرب او الانزلاق الى العنف والتورّط بالدم الكازاخي، للذهاب بالبلد الى مسار الثورات الملوّنة.

 وكازاخستان الدولة الأهمّ للحلف الروسي الآسيوي للأمن والدفاع المشترك وإحدى مقرات تأمين حشد الأسلحة الاستراتيجية الروسية، كانت البداية التي افترضها الغرب للتسلل الى الصين والى الجمهوريات المسلمة بما فيها المنضوية تحت الاتحاد الروسي.

وهي الدولة الكبرى بمساحة تزيد على 3 ملايين كم2 التي تحاذي كلّ الجنوب الروسي تقريباً بطول حدود مشتركة مع روسيا يبلغ 7664 كلم، وتحاذي الصين شرقاً وشمالاً ايضاً…

وكازاخستان الدولة الغنية بالنفط والغاز وبالمعادن الكثيرة ومنها اليورانيوم كذلك.

 تمكنت موسكو عملياً من إنقاذها من أخطر عملية هجوم غربي مسلح في أقل من ٢٤ ساعة من خلال تسيير جسر جوي فائق السرعة والتسليح جعل الناتو مبهوتاً وفاقداً لزمام المبادرة تماماً!

وهكذا تكون موسكو عملياً قد أحبطت مؤامرة نقل كازاخستان من ضفة الى ضفة أخرى من خلال استخدامها ديناميكية دفاعية عالية جداً ذكرت العالم بعملية كوسوفو وصربيا عندما سيطر الروس على مطار بريشتينا في العام 1999 ما دفع يومها قوات الناتو للتقهقر عن البوسنة وصربيا حتى يومنا هذا…

ويعزو المتابعون نجاح الخطة الروسية للإنزال الجوي في كازاخستان الى علم القيادة الروسية العليا جيداً بما كانت قد خططت له القيادة المركزية الأميركية، المتمركزة في قطر، يوم نقلت آلاف من عناصر داعش، من كلّ من سورية والعراق منذ العام 2017، بعد هزيمتهم على بوابات الشام وبلاد الرافدين على يد جيوش محور المقاومة وانعدام إمكانية معاودتهم القتال بشكل جبهوي (أيّ على شكل جبهه قادرة على شنّ عمليات عسكرية واسعة).

وكيف انّ عمليات النقل لهذه المجموعات، كانت قد جرت بتمويل سعودي قطري، وأنها قد بلغت ذروتها بعد هزيمة داعش في العراق أواخر العام المذكور.

حيث تمّ نقل ما لا يقلّ عن 12 الف عنصر الى شمال أفغانستان وبدأ تسريبهم من يومها الى داخل الجمهوريات الآسيويه السوفياتية السابقة وبينها كازاخستان .

وقد وجد هؤلاء قواعد حاضنة لهم في تلك البلدان، وذلك من خلال 18 ألف منظمة غير حكومية، تموّلها السعودية، في تلك الدول .

ويبلغ تعداد أفراد هذه المنظمات، القادرين على حمل السلاح والمدرّبين والمجهّزين جيداً حسب مصادر محور المقاومة، ما يزيد على 280 ألف فرد .

وما حصل خلال الأيام الماضية، من فوضى ونهب وسلب وتدمير الممتلكات الخاصة والعامة، إنما كان بإشراف غرفة عمليات أميركية «إسرائيلية»، مقرّها مدينة المآ ـ اتا، العاصمة الاقتصادية لكازاخستان.

ـ وقد تشكلت هذه الغرفة من 22 ضابط عمليات أميركي وستة ضباط استخبارات عسكرية «إسرائيلية» و16 ضابط استخبارات تركي، كما استخدمت في تنفيذ العمليات مجموعات مدرّبة على تنفيذ عمليات تخريبية «خلف خطوط العدو/ قوات خاصه أو صاعقة»، كانت حكومة أنقرة قد درّبتهم وأعدّتهم في قواعدها التركية وأرسلتهم بشكل ممنهج ومنظم الى داخل البلاد في تنسيق تامّ مع حلف الناتو.

ولكن مرة أخرى كانت موسكو لهم بالمرصاد وقد بدأت بإفشال العملية عندما تمكّن الجيش الكازاخي بدعم روسي واضح من استعادة السيطرة على مطار المآ ـ تا، الذي كان يُفترض ـ حسب الخطة ـ ان يتحوّل الى مركز لاستقبال الامدادات العسكرية الآتية من الدول التي تدير الجميع .

هذه المعرفة السابقة للخطة الغربية الرجعية هي التي دفعت الرئيس الكازاخي الى اتخاذ إجراءات ميدانيه فورية وحاسمة، ودعوته الى تفعيل دور منظمة الأمن والتعاون، التي تضمً كلاً من روسيا وكازاخستان وروسيا البيضاء وأرمينيا وطاجيكستان الى نشر قوات مشتركة، ما وضع الارضية والإمكانية العملية لحسم الهجوم المعادي وتدمير البنى التحتية لذلك التنظيم .

ـ وكان وصول طلائع القوات المساندة، من الدول المذكورة أعلاه، وعلى رأسها روسيا، هو الذي وضع حداً لعمليات التهريب والفوضى وقطع دابر المؤامرة وقضى عليها في مهدها .

ـ خاصة أنّ هذه القوات كلفت على الفور بحماية المؤسسات والمباني الحكومية والمنشآت الاستراتيجية الكبرى.

ـ وهذا يعني حماية الدولة الكازاخية ومنع سقوطها وتقسيمها وتحويلها الى قاعدة ارتكاز لتنفيذ عمليات أميركية «إسرائيلية» ضدّ كلّ من روسيا والصين وإيران .

ذلك لأنّ المعلومات المؤكدة التي توافرت لدى القيادة الروسية كانت تفيد بأنّ واشنطن وعواصم الناتو كانت تعدّ عملياً لنقل هذا السيناريو قريباً الى موسكو وطهران تحت عنوان الخطة «ج» فور الانتهاء من السيطرة على كازاخستان!

لكن الجميع في دول منظمة شانغهاي كان مستعداً ويقظاً هذه المرة لإسقاط المؤامرة تماماً، ومنع حلم المخطط الأميركي ومنفذيه، الذين باتوا مصابين بالعمى الاستراتيجي والتكتيكي، من التحقق وجعل أدواته تغرق في عملية استنزاف لا تعرف كيف تخرج منها !

الدلالة الأهمّ في ما حصل خلال الساعات الماضية يمكن تلخيصه بأنّ موازين القوى الاستراتيجي بين واشنطن وموسكو قد تغيّر لمصلحة الأخيرة وقواعد الاشتباك بين الشرق والغرب تغيّرت، وانّ أوكرانيا وبولندا باتتا ساقطتين نارياً.

وبهت الذي كفر.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

Blinken Threatens Russia with ‘Massive Consequences’ over Ukraine

January 8, 2022

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks speaks during a visit by U.S. President Joe Biden to the State Department in Washington, U.S., February 4, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has threatened Russia with “massive consequences” if it launches any military action in neighboring Ukraine, despite the fact that Moscow has rejected Washington’s allegations of preparing to invade the neighboring country.

Before crucial talks between American and Russian diplomats in Europe next week, Blinken said on Friday, “We’re prepared to respond forcefully to further Russian aggression.”

But he added that “a diplomatic solution is still possible and preferable if Russia chooses it.”

American and Russian officials are scheduled to meet on Monday amid US accusations that Russia is planning to invade Ukraine and annex it.

A meeting of the NATO-Russia Council will also take place on Wednesday, and a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) permanent council, of which Russia is a member, will be held on Thursday.

The Russian government last month made demands on NATO and Ukraine about the future of their relationship. Moscow demanded the Western military alliance deny Ukraine membership to NATO and to roll back its military deployments.

Moscow also proposed that the US not establish any military bases in former Soviet states that are not part of NATO, nor develop a bilateral military alliance with them.

Biden has also threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin with “severe sanctions” if Russia launches any military action in neighboring Ukraine.

Biden told reporters last week that he issued the threat to the Russian leader during their last phone call.

“I made it clear to President Putin that if he makes any more moves if he goes into Ukraine, we will have severe sanctions. We will increase our presence in Europe with our NATO allies. There will be a heavy price to pay for it,” Biden told reporters a day after the December 30 call.

On Friday, Blinken echoed that message, saying that America and its allies are prepared to take harsh economic measures against Russia.

“Our goal is to have a relationship with Russia that is predictable and stable, so that we can cooperate when it’s in our mutual interest, and address our differences with an open and frank dialogue,” he said.

“It’ll be very difficult to make actual progress if Russia continues to escalate its military buildup and its inflammatory rhetoric. And we’ve been clear with Russia about what it will face if it continues on this path, including economic measures that we haven’t used before – massive consequences,” he said.

Meanwhile, Russia has previously warned the US that extensive sanctions against it would be “a colossal mistake.”

Source: Agencies

Steppe on Fire: Kazakhstan’s Color Revolution

January 6, 2022

A view shows a burning police car during a protest against LPG cost rise following the Kazakh authorities’ decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 5, 2022. REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev – RC2KSR9GWQCN
Independent geopolitical analyst, writer and journalist

Pepe Escobar

Maidan in Almaty? Oh yeah. But it’s complicated.

So is that much fear and loathing all about gas? Not really.

Kazakhstan was rocked into chaos virtually overnight, in principle, because of the doubling of prices for liquefied gas, which reached the (Russian) equivalent of 20 rubles per liter (compare it to an average of 30 rubles in Russia itself).

That was the spark for nationwide protests spanning every latitude from top business hub Almaty to the Caspian Sea ports of Aktau and Atyrau and even the capital Nur-Sultan, formerly Astana.

The central government was forced to roll back the gas price to the equivalent of 8 rubles a liter. Yet that only prompted the next stage of the protests, demanding lower food prices, an end of the vaccination campaign, a lower retirement age for mothers with many children and – last but not least – regime change, complete with its own slogan: Shal, ket! (“Down with the old man.”)

The “old man” is none other than national leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, 81, who even as he stepped down from the presidency after 29 years in power, in 2019, for all practical purposes remains the Kazakh gray eminence as head of the Security Council and the arbiter of domestic and foreign policy.

The prospect of yet another color revolution inevitably comes to mind: perhaps Turquoise-Yellow – reflecting the colors of the Kazakh national flag. Especially because right on cue, sharp observers found out that the usual suspects – the American embassy – was already “warning” about mass protests as early as in December 16, 2021.

Maidan in Almaty? Oh yeah. But it’s complicated.

Almaty in chaos

For the outside world, it’s hard to understand why a major energy exporting power such as Kazakhstan needs to increase gas prices for its own population.

The reason is – what else – unbridled neoliberalism and the proverbial free market shenanigans. Since 2019 liquefied gas is electronically traded in Kazakhstan. So keeping price caps – a decades-long custom – soon became impossible, as producers were constantly faced with selling their product below cost as consumption skyrocketed.

Everybody in Kazakhstan was expecting a price hike, as much as everybody in Kazakhstan uses liquefied gas, especially in their converted cars. And everybody in Kazakhstan has a car, as I was told, ruefully, during my last visit to Almaty, in late 2019, when I was trying in vain to find a taxi to head downtown.

It’s quite telling that the protests started in the city of Zhanaozen, smack into the oil/gas hub of Mangystau. And it’s also telling that Unrest Central immediately turned to car-addicted Almaty, the nation’s real business hub, and not the isolated, government infrastructure-heavy capital in the middle of the steppes.

At first President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev seemed to have been caught in a deer facing the headlights situation. He promised the return of price caps, installed a state of emergency/curfew both in Almaty and Mangystau (then nationwide) while accepting the current government’s resignation en masse and appointing a faceless Deputy Prime Minister, Alikhan Smailov, as interim PM until the formation of a new cabinet.

Yet that could not possibly contain the unrest. In lightning fast succession, we had the storming of the Almaty Akimat (mayor’s office); protesters shooting at the Army; a Nazarbayev monument demolished in Taldykorgan; his former residence in Almaty taken over; Kazakhtelecom disconnecting the whole country from the internet; several members of the National Guard – armored vehicles included – joining the protesters in Aktau; ATMs gone dead.

And then Almaty, plunged into complete chaos, was virtually seized by the protesters, including its international airport, which on Wednesday morning was under extra security, and in the evening had become occupied territory.

Kazakh airspace, meanwhile, had to contend with an extended traffic jam of private jets leaving to Moscow and Western Europe. Even though the Kremlin noted that Nur-Sultan had not asked for any Russian help, a “special delegation” was soon flying out of Moscow. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov cautiously stressed, “we are convinced that our Kazakh friends can independently solve their internal problems”, adding, “it is important that no one interferes from the outside.”

Geostrategy talks

How could it all derail so fast?

Up to now, the succession game in Kazakhstan had been seen mostly as a hit across Northern Eurasia. Local honchos, oligarchs and the comprador elites all kept their fiefdoms and sources of income. And yet, off the record, I was told in Nur-Sultan in late 2019 there would be serious problems ahead when some regional clans would come to collect – as in confronting “the old man” Nazarbayev and the system he put in place.

Tokayev did issue the proverbial call “not to succumb to internal and external provocations” – which makes sense – yet also assured that the government “will not fall”. Well, it was already falling, even after an emergency meeting trying to address the tangled web of socioeconomic problems with a promise that all “legitimate demands” by the protesters will be met.

This did not play out as a classic regime change scenario – at least initially. The configuration was of a fluid, amorphous state of chaos, as the – fragile – Kazakh institutions of power were simply incapable of comprehending the wider social malaise. A competent political opposition is non-existent: there’s no political exchange. Civil society has no channels to express itself.

So yes: there’s a riot goin’ on – to quote American rhythm’n blues. And everyone is a loser. What is still not exactly clear is which conflicting clans are flaming the protests – and what is their agenda in case they’d have a shot at power. After all, no “spontaneous” protests can pop up simultaneously all over this vast nation virtually overnight.

Kazakhstan was the last republic to leave the collapsing USSR over three decades ago, in December 1991. Under Nazarbayev, it immediately engaged in a self-described “multi-vector” foreign policy. Up to now, Nur-Sultan was skillfully positioning itself as a prime diplomatic mediator – from discussions on the Iranian nuclear program as early as 2013 to the war in/on Syria from 2016. The target: to solidify itself as the quintessential bridge between Europe and Asia.

The Chinese-driven New Silk Roads, or BRI, were officially launched by Xi Jinping at Nazarbayev University in September 2013. That happened to swiftly dovetail with the Kazakh concept of Eurasian economic integration, crafted after Nazarbayev’s own government spending project, Nurly Zhol (“Bright Path”), designed to turbo-charge the economy after the 2008-9 financial crisis.

In September 2015, in Beijing, Nazarbayev aligned Nurly Zhol with BRI, de facto propelling Kazakhstan to the heart of the new Eurasian integration order. Geostrategically, the largest landlocked nation on the planet became the prime interplay territory of the Chinese and Russian visions, BRI and the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).

A diversionary tactic

For Russia, Kazakhstan is even more strategic than for China. Nur-Sultan signed the CSTO treaty in 2003. It’s a key member of the EAEU. Both nations have massive military-technical ties and conduct strategic space cooperation in Baikonur. Russian has the status of an official language, spoken by 51% of the republic’s citizens.

At least 3.5 million Russians live in Kazakhstan. It’s still early to speculate about a possible “revolution” tinged with national liberation colors were the old system to eventually collapse. And even if that happened, Moscow will never lose all of its considerable political influence.

So the immediate problem is to assure Kazakhstan’s stability. The protests must be dispersed. There will be plenty of economic concessions. Permanent destabilizing chaos simply cannot be tolerated – and Moscow knows it by heart. Another – rolling – Maidan is out of the question.

The Belarus equation has shown how a strong hand can operate miracles. Still, the CSTO agreements do not cover assistance in case of internal political crises – and Tokayev did not seem to be inclined to make such a request.

Until he did. He called for the CSTO to intervene to restore order. There will be a military enforced curfew. And Nur-Sultan may even confiscate the assets of US and UK companies which are allegedly sponsoring the protests.

This is how Nikol Pashinyan, chairman of the CSTO Collective Security Council and Prime Minister of Armenia, framed it: Tokayev invoked a “threat to national security” and the “sovereignty” of Kazakhstan, “caused, inter alia, by outside interference.” So the CSTO “decided to send peacekeeping forces” to normalize the situation, “for a limited period of time”.

The usual destabilizing suspects are well known. They may not have the reach, the political influence, and the necessary amount of Trojan horses to keep Kazakhstan on fire indefinitely.

At least the Trojan horses themselves are being very explicit. They want an immediate release of all political prisoners; regime change; a provisional government of “reputable” citizens; and – what else – “withdrawal of all alliances with Russia.”

And then it all gets down to the level of ridiculous farce, as the EU starts calling on Kazakh authorities to “respect the right to peaceful protests.” As in allowing total anarchy, robbery, looting, hundreds of vehicles destroyed, attacks with assault rifles, ATMs and even the Duty Free at Almaty airport completely plundered.

This analysis (in Russian) covers some key points, mentioning, “the internet is full of pre-arranged propaganda posters and memos to the rebels” and the fact that “the authorities are not cleaning up the mess, as Lukashenko did in Belarus.”

Slogans so far seem to originate from plenty of sources – extolling everything from a “western path” to Kazakhstan to polygamy and Sharia law: “There is no single goal yet, it has not been identified. The result will come later. It is usually the same. The elimination of sovereignty, external management and, finally, as a rule, the formation of an anti-Russian political party.”

Putin, Lukashenko and Tokayev spent a long time over the phone, at the initiative of Lukashenko. The leaders of all CSTO members are in close contact. A master game plan – as in a massive “anti-terrorist operation” – has already been hatched. Gen. Gerasimov will personally supervise it.

Now compare it to what I learned from two different, high-ranking intel sources.

The first source was explicit: the whole Kazakh adventure is being sponsored by MI6 to create a new Maidan right before the Russia/US-NATO talks in Geneva and Brussels next week, to prevent any kind of agreement. Significantly, the “rebels” maintained their national coordination even after the internet was disconnected.

The second source is more nuanced: the usual suspects are trying to force Russia to back down against the collective West by creating a major distraction in their Eastern front, as part of a rolling strategy of chaos all along Russia’s borders. That may be a clever diversionary tactic, but Russian military intel is watching. Closely. And for the sake of the usual suspects, this better may not be interpreted – ominously – was a war provocation.

Kazakhstan and Russia (Andrei Martyanov)

January 05, 2022

Source

The Hypersonic Fall of US Prestige

January 3, 2022

Even against the backdrop of recent events, the US stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that “American credibility” in the world is falling apart. It is not just a question of political credibility or the collapse of 20 years of American military intervention in Afghanistan. This fall did not begin with Biden or Trump, but with the faulty perception by the current political and military establishment of the United States of its alleged exceptionality and dominance in the world and its total corruption.

Despite the policy pursued by the current US authorities to exert pressure and push their weapons into foreign markets, they have long been unable to compete in many areas, particularly with Russian weapons. The American military who went through armed conflicts in Vietnam and other countries have repeatedly emphasized in The Atlantic and other specialized military magazines the indisputable advantages of the legendary Soviet AK-47 assault rifle over the M-16 rifle, which is most popular in the US military. Today, many of even American media outlets already point out that American weapons cannot protect American soldiers “from the machinations of the enemy.” And here, it would be worth recalling the problems with the US Navy, the collapse of the submarine fleet. Or more new shortcomings revealed with each passing day of the fifth-generation fighter F-35, heftily advertised by the Pentagon, which, despite the billions of US taxpayers’ dollars already invested in it, still cannot guarantee the declared level of capabilities, having turned into an “American scam.”

Throughout all the time since Russia declared it had the hypersonic Zircon missile, even though its tests were announced by Moscow in advance and conducted regularly, the US and NATO missile defense/anti-missile defense systems have never been able to detect its launch and further flight. According to the conclusions of military experts, the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) is only able to provide information on a “fire in the hole!” basis. Modern technologies are unable to intercept such a target.

In this regard, NATO and US military commanders have serious concerns that their air defense/anti-missile defenses would be useless in the event of a possible military conflict. However, it should be emphasized that the Russian nuclear deterrence and nuclear weapons policy does not stipulate a first strike on enemy territory. The conditions for Russia’s use of nuclear weapons are clear, and they call only for a retaliatory counter-strike.

As for the shorter-range hypersonic weapons, for example, the Kinzhal has a range of about 2,000 kilometers. This is not a strategic range but an operational-tactical range. But SBIRS can’t pick it up either.

Therefore, Russian hypersonic weapons are causing great anxiety among US strategists. In this sense, the words of Glen VanHerck, a general in the United States Air Force, that hypersonic weapons of Russia challenge the early warning systems of the US Department of Defense are quite logical. After all, if the target maneuvers at hypersonic speeds, there is an insoluble problem for intercept. At such speeds, the interceptor missile must have more energy than the hypersonic target, and the overloading, in this case, will be such that no material and no missile can withstand it.

As for the US hypersonic weapons, another test of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile under the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) program failed, specialized portal The War Zone reported recently citing a US Air Force official. In late July, it came to light that the US Air Force had already twice failed to test the prototype hypersonic missile AGM-183A, which, according to Washington, was allegedly able to reach Moscow and reach speeds over 15,000 miles per hour, (five times the speed of sound, although the Russian Zircon hypersonic cruise missile already flies at a speed eight times faster than sound!). Nevertheless, attempts to inflate the long sagging US missile cheeks and threats that Washington will, if necessary, send to Europe hypersonic medium- and short-range missiles (which, it should be said, the US does not have) to “deter” Russia continue unabated from Washington.

At the same time, President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly proposed to Washington additional steps to de-escalate the situation in Europe. The Russian Foreign Ministry has published the draft treaties of Russia with NATO and the United States on security guarantees, which are not yet accepted for consideration in Washington and Brussels, unfortunately.

Instead, the Pentagon is trying to intimidate the world with its new effective weapons by actively promoting, through controlled media, the US Navy’s test of a Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) combat laser that destroyed a floating boat target in the Gulf of Aden in the Indian Ocean on December 14. The LWSD laser is designed to counter UAVs and remotely piloted explosive-laden boats commonly used by Houthi insurgents in the Red Sea. US authorities believe the technology could be a “game-changer” in future conflicts, including in the event of a major war with China, reports The Daily Telegraph.

At the same time, the Pentagon deliberately omits the fact that the guidance systems of the US-tested combat laser can be suppressed using electronic warfare without much problem. Its effectiveness falls in fog and haze. That is why even today, the conclusions of some experts can be seen all over the place that the primary purpose of “new Pentagon weapons” is just another siphon off and appropriation of taxpayers’ money, which has already ruined the development of research work of American armament specialists on hypersonic weapons.

Under these circumstances, all Washington has to do today is to rely on the United States’ own use of China’s “miracle weapon” that it used to scare the common American man during the Cold War era: a giant slingshot, which supposedly could be pulled by millions of Chinese soldiers. And the Pentagon is already making some progress in this regard with the adoption, in particular, of the Strategic Long-Range Cannon (SLRC) by the US Army, which, supposedly, instead of the non-existent hyper-weapons, will be able to “bombard Moscow” like in that old scare story about a slingshot.


By Vladimir Platov
Source: New Eastern Outlook

Syrian and Russian Air forces Destroy 12 Quarters of the Uighur Terrorists

Syrian and Russian air force bombing of Uighur Turkestan Islamist Party terrorists in Idlib

ARABI SOURI 

The Syrian and Russian air forces continued the war on terror, the real war on terror against the NATO-sponsored terrorists, not freedom fighters, in the northwestern province of Idlib, destroying 12 quarters of the terrorists in their last targeting campaign.

Terrorists from the Chinese Uighur, so-called Turkestan Islamist Party, operating from the village of Kansafra in the southern Idlib countryside and the town of Al Jidaydeh (Jdayde) in the western countryside, and terrorists in the outskirts of Idlib received the new year’s bombing today, this follows yesterday’s bombing of a terrorists’ quarter in the outskirts of the village of Kafr Dariyan in the northern Idlib countryside yesterday.

Syrian intelligence spotted the movement of the terrorists on new year’s eve with attempts to transfer terrorists, weapons, and munition toward the Syrian army posts, the command was notified and the coordinates of the terrorists’ gatherings provided were targeted and included in addition to the afore-mentioned, a gathering in the outskirts of the Jisr Shoghour city, a main hub for the terrorists, 3 of their posts were destroyed. The Uzbek so-called Bukhara Battalion in the Kansafra, Sufuhin, and Benin in Al Zawya Mountain were targeted while the terrorists were preparing an attack against the Syrian army’s posts on these axes.

A bombing eliminated 35 terrorists of foreign nationalities, killed and wounded beyond repair, and 12 of their quarters in the western outskirts of the city of Aleppo, mainly targeting the so-called Hurras Al-Din terrorist group.

The above details are collected from multiple sources including officers of the SAA, Sputnik News, activists from within Idlib, the sources of the terrorists themselves when calling for help from their commanders inside Turkey, and other sources we cannot provide.

Idlib province is described by NATO commanders and the US officials as the ‘last stronghold of Al Qaeda’ in Syria, yet, the Turkish army has no issues deploying their troops alongside those Al Qaeda terrorists even though Turkey is the 2nd main member of NATO itself.

The Turkish regime of the madman Erdogan and the terrorist sources have not stated the total number of their casualties from all the bombings among their members in these latest targetings, propaganda outlets supporting the terrorists claimed that only civilians were killed and injured including children, and the bombing only targeted hospitals, as usual, and the new trend is that it targeted shelters of displaced civilians.

Most of the Western followers of the news would believe such claims, each time, unfortunately, despite that they’ve been told that over 2000 hospitals were destroyed completely, and about 3000 other hospitals and medical centers in Idlib were destroyed partially by the Syrian and Russian bombing.

Some useful facts for our western readers: As a comparison, the total number of hospitals in the entire United States of America is 6090 hospitals as of 2021, and the entire area of Syria is 185,400 square kilometers (71,583 square miles), all of Syria is about the size of North Dakota, the area of Idlib including the liberated regions is 6097 sq. kilometers (2354 square miles), that much lies the western mainstream media is capable of and that much the western citizens are accepting to believe. The total population of Syria was around 23 million in 2011, if we to believe the western figures, 6 million are refugees in other countries, 2 million living under the occupation of Al Qaeda and their Turkish army protectors, 1 million in areas where the Kurdish SDF terrorists and their US army protectors, leaving around 16 million living in areas controlled by the Syrian government (including newborns, displaced Palestinians, Iraqis, and Lebanese).

No Terrorists in Idlib Only Hospitals – Syria – News – White Helmets – Nusra Front – ISIS – Al Qaeda – لا يوجد شيء في ادلب إلا المستشفيات

Our western readers can use the above information when they’re bombarded with the mainstream propaganda from the same outlets that sold the Iraqi WMDs lie, the Libyan invasion justification lie, the war on terror lie, the cover-up of the lost 2.3 trillion US dollars (2300 billion US dollars or 2300 thousand x million US dollars), and the same mainstream media that spent 4 years attacking their president based on allegations of collusion with Russia then were never held accountable!

The escalation in the bombing of the terrorists in Idlib comes after recent systematic attacks by the Turkey-backed Al Qaeda terrorists against the liberated villages in the southern Idlib countryside and the northern Hama countryside, and to remind the Turkish madman Erdogan that the Idlib agreements he failed to implement are going to be implemented by force. All the agreements in which Turkey signed and all the statements issued by Turkey, especially at the United Nations, oblige it to combat terrorism and to respect Syria’s sovereignty, which it continues to do the opposite.

Denote

%d bloggers like this: