The US is Executing a Global War Plan

By Finian Cunningham

February 18, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – Washington is moving inevitably on a global war plan. That’s the grim conclusion one has to draw from three unfolding war scenarios.

Ultimately, it’s about American imperialism trying to assert hegemony over the international order for the benefit of US capitalism. Russia and China are prime targets for this global assault.

The three unfolding war scenarios are seen in Syria, North Korea and Ukraine. These are not disparate, disassociated conflicts. They are inter-related expressions of the American war plans. War plans which involve the moving of strategic military power into position.

Last week’s massacre of over 100 Syrian government forces by American warplanes near Deir ez-Zor was an audacious overt assault by the US on the Syrian state. The US, along with other NATO allies, have been up to now waging a seven-year proxy war for regime change against Russia’s ally, President Assad. The massacre last week was certainly not the first time that US forces, illegally present in Syria, have attacked the Syrian army. But it seems clearer than ever now that American forces are operating on the overt agenda for regime change. US troops are transparently acting like an occupation army, challenging Russia and its legally mandated support for the Syrian state.

Heightening international concerns are multiple reports that Russian military contractors were among the casualties in the US-led air strike near Deir ez-Zor last week.

Regarding North Korea, Washington is brazenly sabotaging diplomatic efforts underway between the respective Korean leaderships in Pyongyang and Seoul. While this inter-Korean dialogue has been picking up positive momentum, the US has all the while been positioning nuclear-capable B-52 and B-2 bombers in the region, along with at least three aircraft carriers. The B-2s are also reportedly armed with 14-tonne bunker-buster bombs – the largest non-nuclear warhead in the American arsenal, designed to destroy North Korean underground missile silos and “decapitate” the Pyongyang leadership of Kim Jong-un.

American vice-president Mike Pence, while attending the Winter Olympics in South Korea, opening last week, delivered a blunt war message. He said that the recent detente between North Korea and US ally South Korea will come to an end as “soon as the Olympic flame is extinguished” – when the games close later this month. This US policy of belligerence completely upends Russia and China’s efforts to facilitate inter-Korean peace diplomacy.

Meanwhile, the situation in Eastern Ukraine looks decidedly grim for an imminent US-led invasion of the breakaway Donbas region. Pentagon military inspectors have in the past week reportedly arrived along the Contact Zone that separates the US-backed Kiev regime forces and the pro-Russian separatists of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Donetsk’s military commander Eduard Basurin warned that the arrival of Pentagon and other NATO military advisors from Britain and Canada indicate that US-armed Kiev forces are readying for a renewed assault on the Donbas ethnic Russian population.

Even the normally complacent observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), charged with monitoring a nominal ceasefire along the Contact Zone, have lately begun reporting serious advancement of heavy weapons by the Kiev forces – in violation of the 2015 Minsk Peace Accord.

If the US-led Kiev forces proceed with the anticipated offensive next month in Donbas there are real fears for extreme civilian casualties. Such “ethnic cleansing” of Russian people by Kiev regime forces that openly espouse Neo-Nazi ideology would mostly likely precipitate a large-scale intervention by Moscow as a matter of humanitarian defense. Perhaps that is what the US planners are wagering on, which can then be portrayed by the dutiful Western news media as “another Russian aggression”.

US-based political analyst Randy Martin says: “It is undeniable that Washington is on a war footing in three global scenarios. Preparation for war is in fact war.”

He added: “You have to also consider the latest Nuclear Posture Review published by the Pentagon earlier this month. The Pentagon is openly declaring that it views Russia and China as targets, and that it is willing to use nuclear force to contest conventional wars and what the Pentagon deems to be asymmetric aggression.”

Martin says that it is not clear at this stage what Washington wants exactly.

“It is of course all about seeking global domination which is long-consistent with American imperialism as expressed for example in the Wolfowitz Doctrine following the end of the Cold War,” says the analyst.

“But what does Washington want specifically from Russia and China is the question. It is evidently using the threat of war and aggression as a lever. But it is not clear what would placate Washington. Perhaps regime change in Russia where President Putin is ousted by a deferential pro-Western figure. Perhaps Russia and China giving up their plans of Eurasian economic integration and abandoning their plans to drop the American dollar in trade relations.”

One thing, however, seems abundantly clear. The US is embarking on a global war plan, as can be discerned from the grave developments unfolding in Syria, the Korean Peninsula and Ukraine. Each scenario can be understood as a pressure point on Moscow or China to in some way acquiesce to American ambitions for global dominance.

To be sure, Washington is being reckless and criminal in its conduct, violating the UN Charter and countless other international laws. It is brazenly acting like a rogue regime without the slightest hint of shame.

Still, Russia and China are hardly likely to capitulate. Simply because the US ambition of unipolar hegemony is impossible to achieve. The post-Second World Order, which Washington was able to dominate for nearly seven decades, is becoming obsolete as the international order naturally transforms into a multipolar configuration.

When Washington accuses Moscow and Beijing of “trying to alter the international order to their advantage” what the American rulers are tacitly admitting is their anxiety that the days of US hegemony are on the wane. Russia and China are not doing anything illegitimate. It is simply a fact of historical evolution.

So, ultimately, Washington’s war plans are futile in what they are trying to achieve by criminal coercion. Those plans cannot reverse history. But, demonically, those plans could obliterate the future of the planet.

The world is again on a precipice as it was before on the eve of the First and Second World Wars. Capitalism, imperialism and fascism are again center stage.

As analyst Randy Martin puts it: “The American rulers are coming out of the closet to show their true naked nature of wanting to wage war on the world. Their supremacist, militarist ideology is, incontrovertibly, fascism in action.”

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

This article was originally published by “Strategic Culture Foundation

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Professor Stephen F. Cohen: Rethinking Putin – a review

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

I have recently had the pleasure of watching a short presentation by Professor Stephen F. Cohen entitled “Rethinking Putin” which he delivered on the annual Nation cruise on December 2, 2017 (see here for the original Nation Articleand original YouTube video). In his short presentation, Professor Cohen does a superb job explaining what Putin is *not* and that includes: (but, please do watch the original video before proceeding).

  1. He is not the man who de-democratized Russia (Elstin and the White House did)
  2. He is not the leader who created corruption and kleptocracy in Russia (Elstin and the White House did)
  3. He is not a criminal leader who ordered the murder of opponents or journalists (no evidence)
  4. He did not order the hacking of the DNC servers (no evidence)
  5. He was not anti-US or anti-West from the get-go (Putin changed over time)
  6. He is not a neo-Soviet leader (he is very critical of Lenin and Stalin)
  7. He is not an aggressive foreign policy leader (he has been a reactive leader)
  8. He is not somehow defined by his years at the KGB.

Professor Cohen ended his talk by suggesting a few things which might form a part of a future honest biography:

  1. As a young and inexperienced leader placed at the helm of a collapsing state:
  2. He rebuilt, stabilized and modernized Russia in a way to prevent future collapses
  3. He had to restore the “vertical” of power: “managed democracy” (i.e. restored order)
  4. He needed a consensual history patching up Czarist, Soviet and post-Soviet eras without imposing one, single, version of history
  5. He needed Western support to modernize the Russian economy
  6. He wanted Russia to be a great power, but not a super-power
  7. He never favored iron-curtain isolationism; he is an internationalist (more European than 90% of Russians, at least in the beginning).

The key thesis is this: Putin began as a pro-Western, European leader and with time he realigned himself with a much more traditional, Russian worldview. He is more in line with Russian voters today.

Professor Cohen concluded by addressing two topics which, I presume, his audience cared deeply about: he said that, contrary to Western propaganda, the so-called ‘anti-gay’ laws in Russia are no different from the laws of 13 US states. Secondly, that “by any reckoning, be it flourishing inside Russia or relations with Israel, by general consent of all, nobody denies this, Jews under Putin in Russia are better off than they had ever been in Russian history. Ever. They have more freedom, less official anti-Semitism, more protection, more official admiration for Israel, more interaction, more freedom to go back and forth”.

This is all very interesting important stuff, especially when delivered to a Left-Liberal-Progressive US audience (with, probably, a high percentage of Jews). Frankly, Professor Cohen’s presentation makes me think about what Galileo might have felt when he made his own “presentations” before the tribunal of Inquisition (Cohen’s articles and books are now also on the modern equivalent of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum). In truth, Professor Cohen is simply true to himself: he opposed the crazies during the old Cold War and now he is opposing the same crazies during the new Cold War. His entire life Professor Cohen was a man of truth, courage, and integrity – a peacemaker in the sense of the Beatitudes (Matt 5:9). So while I am not surprised by his courage, I am still immensely impressed by it. Some might think that delivering a short presentation on a cruise-ship is hardly a sign of great courage, but I would vehemently disagree. Yes, nobody would shoot Cohen in the back of the neck like, say, the Soviet ChK-GPU-NKVD would have done, but I submit that these methods of “enforcing” a single official consensus were far less effective than their modern equivalents: the conformity imposition techniques (see: Asch Conformity Experiment) so prevalent in the modern Western society. Just look at the results: there was far more reading and thinking (of any kind) going on in the Soviet society than there is today in the modern AngloZionist Empire (anybody who remembers the bad old USSR will confirm that to you). As one joke puts it: in a dictatorship, you are told to “shut up”, while in a democracy you are encouraged to “keep talking”. QED.

Turning to Professor Cohen’s talking points, numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 are basic facts. Nothing to be debated here – Cohen is plainly setting the factual record straight. Number 5 is much more interesting and controversial. For one thing, we are talking views/intentions, which are hard to judge. Was Putin ever pro-Western? Who knows? Maybe his closest friends know? My own belief is that this question must be looked at in combination of issue #8: Putin’s service in the KGB.

There is still a huge amount of misinformation about the old Soviet KGB in the West. To the average American a “KGB agent” is a guy called Vladimir, with steel gray-blue eyes, who beats up dissidents, steals Western technological secrets, and spies on the wives of politicians (and even beds them). He is a hardcore Communist who dreams about nuking or invading the USA and he speaks with a thick Russian accent. Alternatively, there is Anna Kushchenko (a.k.a. Anna Chapman) – a devious sex doll who seduces Western men into treason. These prototypes are as accurate as James Bond is an accurate representation of MI6. The reality could not be more different.

The Soviet KGB was first and foremost a huge bureaucracy with completely different, and separate, directorates, departments, and sections. Yes, one such Directorate did deal with dissidents and anti-Soviet activists (mainly the 9thDepartment of the 5th Directorate) but even within this (infamous) 5th Directorate there were some Departments which, in coordination with other KGB Directorates and Departments, dealt with more legitimate tasks such as, for example, the early detection of terrorist organizations (7th Department). Other Directorates of the KGB dealt with economic security (6th Directorate), internal security and counter-intelligence (2nd Directorate) or even protection of officials (9th Directorate).

Putin was an officer (not an “agent” – agents are recruited from outside the KGB!) of the First Main Directorate (PGU) of the KGB: foreign intelligence. Putin himself has recently revealed that he was working inside the most sensitive Department of the PGU, the “Department S” which are “illegals”. This is very important. The PGU was so separate from all the other Directorates of the KGB that it had its own headquarters in the south of Moscow. But even inside the PGU, the Department S was the most secret and separated from all the other PGU Departments (no less than 10). As somebody who has spent many years as an anti-Soviet activist and who has had personal, face to face, dealings with KGB officers (of various Directorates) I can confirm that not only did the KGB as a whole get some of the best and brightest in Russia, but the PGU got the best ones of those and only the very best ones from that select group ever made it to the legendary Department S. Now let’s look at what kind of skill-set was required from PGU officers in general (besides the obvious two: being very bright and very trustworthy).

First and foremost, a PGU officer has to be a top-notch specialist of his area of expertise (in Putin’s case: Germany, of course, but also the rest of Europe and, since Western Europe was – and still is – a US colony, the USA). While Soviet people were told that the West was the enemy, the PGU officers had to understand why and how the West was that enemy.

In practical terms, this implies not only knowing and understanding the official cultural, political, social and economic realities of the enemy’s polity, but also the real power relations inside that polity. Such an understanding is not only useful to approach and evaluate the potential usefulness of each person you interact with, but also to be able to understand in what environment this person has to operate. The notion of PGU officers being bigoted commies is laughable as these men, and women, were very well read (they had unlimited access to all the Western information sources, including anti-Soviet ones, classified reports, and all the anti-Soviet literature imaginable) and they were ultimate realists/pragmatists. Of course, like in any organization, the top leaders were often political appointees and the bureaucrats and counter-intelligence officers were much less sophisticated. But for officers like Putin to reallyunderstand the reality of the Western society was a vital skill.

Second, a good PGU officer had to be likable; very, very likable. Being liked by others is also a crucial skill for a good intelligence officer. In practical terms, this means that he/she has to not only understand what makes the other guy tick but how to influence him/her in the right direction. When dealing with ‘illegals’ that also meant being their best friend, confessor, moral support, guide and protector. You can’t do that if people don’t like you. So these intelligence officers are masters of being good friends and companions; they are good listeners and they know a lot about how to make you like them. They also understand exactly what you like to hear, what you want to see and what words and actions place you in a relaxed and trusting mode.

Now combine these two: you have a man who is top notch specialist of the West and who is superbly trained to be liked by Western people. How likely is it that this man had many illusions about the West, to begin with? And what if a man like that did have misgivings – would he have shown them?

My own gut feeling is that this is not very likely at all.

What is far more likely is this: Putin played the “West best’s friend” role for as long as possible and he dumped it when it was clearly not productive any longer. And yes, in doing that he did realign himself to the mainstream Russian public opinion. But that was just a useful side-effect, not the cause or the goal of that realignment.

Look at the Professor Cohen’s points 9-13 above (I would summarize them as “fix Russia”). They all make sense to me, even that “he was a young and inexperienced leader”. There is a huge difference between being a skilled PGU officer and being the man who rules over Russia. And even if Putin did lose some of his illusions, it would have been primarily because the West itself changed a great deal between the 1980s and the 2010s. But Putin must have indeed always known that to implement Cohen’s points 10-13 he needed the West’s help, or, if that was not possible, at least the West’s minimal interference/resistance. But to believe that a man who had full access to the real information about the two Chechen wars would have any kind of illusions left about the West’s real feelings about Russia is profoundly misguided. In fact, anybody living in Russia in the 1990s would have eventually come to the realization that the West wanted all Russians to be slaves, or, more accurately, and in the words of Senator McCain – “gas station” attendants. Putin himself said so when he declared, speaking about the USA,

they don’t want to humiliate us, they want to subjugate us. They want to solve their problems at our expense, they want to subordinate us to their influence“. Putin then added, “nobody in history has ever succeeded in doing this and nobody will ever succeed“.

First, I submit that Putin is absolutely correct in his understanding of the West’s goals. Second, I also submit that he did not suddenly “discover” this in 2014. I think that he knew it all along, but began openly saying so after the US-backed coup in the Ukraine. Furthermore, by 2014, Putin had already accomplished points 9-13 and he did not need the West as much anymore.

Now let’s look at points 6 (Putin’s view of the Soviet period), 12 (consensual history) and 14 (Russia as a great power but not a super-power). And again, let’s consider the fact that officers of the PGU had total access to any history books, secret archives, memoirs, etc. and that they were very free to speak in pragmatic analytical terms on all historical subjects with their teachers and colleagues. Here I submit that Putin had no more illusions about the Soviet past then he had about the West. The fact that he referred to the breakup of the Soviet Union (which, let’s remember, happened in a totally undemocratic way!) as a “catastrophe” which was “completely unnecessary does in no way imply that he was not acutely aware of all the horrors, tragedies, waste, corruption, degradation and general evil of the Soviet regime. All this shows is that he is also aware of the immense victories, achievements, and successes which also are part of the historical record of the Soviet era. Finally, and most importantly, it shows that he realizes what absolute disaster, a cataclysm of truly cosmic proportions the break-up of the Soviet Union represented for all the people of the former USSR and what an absolute nightmare it was for Russia to live a full decade as a subservient colony of Uncle Sam.

I am certain that Putin studied enough Hegel to understand that the horrors of the 1990s were the result of the internal contradictions of the Soviet era just as the Soviet era was the result of the internal contradictions of Czarist Russia. In plain English, this means that he fully understood the inherent dangers of empire and that he decided, along with the vast majority of Russians, that Russia ought to never become an empire again. A strong, respected and sovereign country? Yes. But an empire? Never again. No way!

This fundamental conclusion is also the key to Putin’s foreign policy: it is “reactive” by nature simply because it only acts in response to when (and what) something affects Russia. You could say that all “normal” nations are “reactive” because they have no business doing otherwise. Getting involved everywhere, in every fight or conflict, is what empires based on messianic ideologies do, not normal countries regardless of how big or powerful they are. For all the sick and paranoid hallucinations of Western Russophobes about a “resurgent Russia” the reality is that Russian diplomats have often mentioned what the goals of Russian foreign policies truly are: to turn enemies into neutrals, neutrals into partners, partners into friends and friends into allies. And this is why Professor Cohen is absolutely correct, Putin is no isolationist at all – he wants a new, multi-polar, international order of sovereign countries; not because he is a naïve wide-eyed idealist, but because this is what is pragmatically good for Russia and her people. You could say that Putin is a patriotic internationalist.

And now to the homosexuals and Jews. First, both assertions made by Professor Cohen are correct: homosexuals and Jews are doing great in modern Russia. I would even agree that they are doing better than ever before. Of course, both Professor Cohen and I are being factual and very superficial when we say that. And since I discussed both of these topics in some detail in the past (see here and here) I won’t discuss them here. Rather, I would simply state that in both cases we are talking about a rather small minority of whose treatment is, for some reason or other, considered as THE measure of humanity, kindness, civilization, and modernity in the West. Well, okay, to each his own. If in the West, the treatment of these two minorities is The One And Only Most Important Topic In The Universe – fine. I personally don’t care much (especially since I don’t feel that I owe any special consideration to either one of them). This being said, I would also claim that Putin’s number one concern is also not for any specific minority. However, and that is where this is indeed very interesting, his concern for the majority does not at all imply any kind of disregard or disrespect for the fundamental freedoms and rights of the minorities but includes his concern for all minorities (and, in this case, not just two minorities which are treated as “more equal than others”).

This is where various right-wingers and assorted Alt-Righters completely “lose” Putin. The very same Putin who told an assembly of Orthodox Jews in Moscow that 80-85% of Bolshevik leaders were Jews (see subtitled video here), the same Putin who crushed the (overwhelmingly Jewish) oligarchs of the Eltsin era as soon as he came to power, and the same Putin who completely ignored all the hysterics of Bibi Netanyahu about the Russian role in Syria is also the same Putin who went out of his way to protect Russian Jews inside Russia and who considers that Jews and Russians are forever joined in their common memory of the horrors of WWII.

[Sidebar: I personally wish that Russia would denounce Israel for what it is, an illegitimate racist rogue state hell-bent on genocide and expansion, but I don’t have relatives there. Neither am I the President of a country with very strong ties to the Russian-speaking Jewish communities worldwide. In my opinion, I am accountable to nobody else but my conscience and God, whereas Putin is accountable to those who elected him and still support him].

Guilt by association, the punishment of all for the actions of some, scapegoating, the vicious persecution of minorities in the name of some ideal – this has all been tried in the past, both in Russia and in the West. The Nazis did that and so did the Soviets. And both the Nazis and the Soviets inflicted untold horrors upon the many peoples of the Soviet Union and beyond. Putin is acutely aware of the dangers of nationalism, just as much as he is aware of the dangers of imperialism, and he said so many times: Russia cannot afford any more nationalistic conflicts as they almost completely destroyed Russia in the 1990s. Just look at modern Ukraine and you will see what a Russia torn apart by nationalist ideologies could have looked like had Putin not cracked down, hard, on various nationalists (including and mostly Russian ones).

Far from catering to (an admittedly powerful) Jewish lobby in Russia, Putin is, in fact, trying to assemble as many different peoples and minorities as possible to his project of a New Russia; and that project includes Russian Jews, not only for the sake of these Jews, but mainly for the sake of Russia. The same goes for another crucial minority in Russia – Muslims. They also very much form a key part of the project Putin has for Russia. Of course, racists, nationalists and other less than bright folks in Russia will still dream about expelling all Jews (or Muslims) from Russia. Simply put – that ain’t happening (for one thing this would be physically impossible) and Putin and those who support him will fight such projects with every legal tool at their disposal. Here again, you could say that Putin is a patriotic internationalist.

In the meanwhile, the West is still stuck in its old, ideological ways: imperialism, nationalism and messianic exclusivism on one hand, and a complete surrender to post-modernism, cultural self-hatred, petty minority politics and moral relativism on the other. It is, therefore, no surprise whatsoever that both mainstream camps in the West completely misread Putin and can’t figure out what he is up to.

Professor Cohen is right: the real Putin has absolutely nothing, nothing at all, in common with the pseudo-Putin the Western media presents to its infinitely gullible and zombified audience. Alas, nobody will listen to Cohen, at least not until the regime in Washington DC and the power structure which supports it, and whose interests it represents, come crashing down. But I do believe that Professor Cohen will eventually go down in history as the most intellectually honest and courageous Russia expert in the USA.

There are no Nazis in the Ukraine! None! Never been any!! No such thing as a Ukie Nazi!!!

January 29, 2018

What you see in the footage below is the creation in Kiev of a new totally democratic militia.  Here is how this event was presented on the YouTube channel I grabbed it from: (my own – wholly unofficial –  translation from Ukrainian)

About 600 members of the organization “National militia”, dressed in camouflage uniforms held January 28, marched down Khreshchatyk in Kiev held for a swearing in ceremony before the  MP and leader of the “national body” Andrey Biletsky. Members of the party committed to the principles of social-nationalism.  Andrey Beletsky is considered close to the Minister of internal Affairs Arsen Avakov. In addition to Kiev, the “National militia” are already present in Chernivtsi, Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Poltava, Dnepr, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia. The swaring in video on the official page on Facebook is accompanied by the comment “We are numerous and we are not afraid to use Force to set on the streets of the Ukrainian Order!”.

Take a look for yourself:

It is important to repeat here that these militias as 100% democratic that *THERE* *ARE* *NO* *NAZIS* *IN* *THE* *UKRAINE*!! Any suggestion to the contrary comes from paid Putin trolls (there are entire buildings in Russia filled with hired trolls to parrot the Putin propaganda).  Russian revanchist are smearing the freedom loving Ukrainian people and looking for a pretext to send their tanks not only to Kiev, but also to Poland, Berlin and even London!  Putin and his Asiatic hordes want to crush the White Christian Civilization in the West and our Ukrainian brothers form the thin brown line standing between our invincible NATO forces the these mongoloid brutes! Social Nationalism has absolute nothing in common with National Socialism, nothing *at all*.  Don’t let these evil, cunning and bloodthirsty Russians smear our Ukrainian brothers – let’s give them our full support and hail them as the frontline defenders of freedom, democracy, human rights, and Western Civilization!

Glory to the Ukraine!  To the heroes, glory!

The Saker

The chaos the USA has caused in Ukraine

Hundreds of far-right vigilantes sworn in to ‘enforce Ukrainian order’ on Kiev’s streets (VIDEO)  

Hundreds of far-right vigilantes sworn in to 'enforce Ukrainian order' on Kiev's streets (VIDEO)

US forcing Europe to abandon Russian gas & buy more expensive American LNG – Lavrov

US forcing Europe to abandon Russian gas & buy more expensive American LNG – Lavrov

SEE ALSO

Fracking hell: McCain: US will supply gas to Ukraine, Europe in 2 yrs although being at least 25% more expensive

The blocking of Russian gas supplies via Ukraine is an USA objective with their regime change

EU should have thought about this before they supported the USA induced coup in Ukraine- Gas shortages

The cost to Europe for supporting USA subversion of Ukraine, a 40% Gas Price Hike!

Another reason for the U.S. induced fascist takeover in Ukraine becomes apparent. They want Europe to buy far more expensive gas from them rather than Russia

EU energy bills set to rise drastically and it can be traced back to the USA’s coup in Ukraine

RT | January 15, 2018

The United States is afraid of fair competition in the energy sector, and is hampering the implementation of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“There is reprisal in the energy sector against North Stream 2. It is the US which is calling it politicized, leading to a split in Europe, and the strangling of Ukraine,” he said at a press conference on Monday.

“Washington clearly forces Europeans to abandon Nord Stream 2, despite the fact that gas deliveries to Germany via the pipeline could be 2,000km shorter than through Ukraine, and the cost of transit could be halved,” said the Russian diplomat.

Europeans “are being forced to buy much more expensive liquefied gas from the United States instead of Russian gas,” Lavrov added.

He also said that the US could not withstand fair competition from Russia in the gas-export sector.

Russia plans to build the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany, and to double the existing pipeline’s capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year.

The project has faced fierce resistance from some EU members, especially from the Baltic states and Poland. They say the pipeline will cut gas transit through Ukraine and will result in a Russian monopoly in the EU gas market.

Other countries like Austria, Hungary and Germany are in favor of buying Russian gas.

It’s Nato that’s Empire-building, not Putin

Source

By Peter Hitchins and True Publica,

Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented. In Britain, the spreading of false information via the mainstream press and national broadcast media is universally accepted on topics such as bringing down the NHS for privatisation purposes, trashing foreign so-called enemy nation states such as Iraq, Libya et al and of course the really big foe of our time – Russia.

Unlike many so-called experts and commentators on Russia, Peter Hitchins was a former foreign correspondent in Moscow and Washington and understands the tension strings of the geo-political power plays being made against it.

Peppered with obligatory obeisances to western official narratives about Nato empire-building since 1990, Peter Hitchins – the self confessed reformed Thatcherite, deconstructs official state propaganda and gives clear personal insight into the realities and truth of these power plays.

The article below was originally published in March 2015 and as you will read, nothing for the better has changed but at least you get a sense that what you are being told officially – is a deception.


It’s Nato that’s empire-building, not Putin

by Peter Hitchins

The Spectator

March 2015

Just for once, let us try this argument with an open mind, employing arithmetic and geography and going easy on the adjectives. Two great land powers face each other. One of these powers, Russia, has given up control over 700,000 square miles of valuable territory. The other, the European Union, has gained control over 400,000 of those square miles. Which of these powers is expanding?

There remain 300,000 neutral square miles between the two, mostly in Ukraine. From Moscow’s point of view, this is already a grievous, irretrievable loss. As Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the canniest of the old Cold Warriors, wrote back in 1997,

‘Ukraine… is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.’

This diminished Russia feels the spread of the EU and its armed wing, NATO, like a blow on an unhealed bruise. In February 2007, for instance, Vladimir Putin asked sulkily,

“Against whom is this expansion intended?”

I have never heard a clear answer to that question. The USSR, which NATO was founded to fight, expired in August 1991. So what is Nato’s purpose now? Why does it even still exist?

There is no obvious need for an adversarial system in post-Soviet Europe. Even if Russia wanted to reconquer its lost empire, as some believe (a belief for which there is no serious evidence), it is too weak and too poor to do this. So why not invite Russia to join the great western alliances? Alas, it is obvious to everyone, but never stated, that Russia cannot ever join either NATO or the EU, for if it did so it would unbalance them both by its sheer size. There are many possible ways of dealing with this. One would be an adult recognition of the limits of human power, combined with an understanding of Russia’s repeated experience of invasions and its lack of defensible borders.

But we do not do this. Instead we have a noisy pseudo-moral crusade, which would not withstand five minutes of serious consideration. Mr Putin’s state is, beyond doubt, a sinister tyranny. But so is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey, which locks up far more journalists than does Russia. Turkey is an officially respectable Nato member, 40 years after seizing northern Cyprus, which it still occupies, in an almost exact precedent for Russia’s seizure of Crimea. If Putin disgusts us so much, then why are we and the USA happy to do business with Erdogan, and also to fawn upon Saudi Arabia and China?

Contrary to myth, the expansion of the EU into the former communist world has not magically brought universal peace, love and prosperity. Croatia’s economy has actually gone backwards since it joined. Corruption still exists in large parts of the EU’s new south-eastern territories, and I am not sure that the rule of law could be said to have been properly established there. So the idea that the recruitment of Ukraine to the ‘West’ will magically turn that troubled nation into a sunny paradise of freedom, probity and wealth is perhaps a little idealistic, not to say mistaken.

It is all so much clearer if we realise that this quarrel is about power and land, not virtue. In truth, much of the eastward expansion of Nato was caused by the EU’s initial unwillingness to take in backward, bankrupt and corrupt refugee states from the old Warsaw Pact. The policy could be summed up as ‘We won’t buy your tomatoes, but if it makes you happy you can shelter under our nuclear umbrella’. The promise was an empty assurance against a nonexistent threat. But an accidental arrangement hardened into a real confrontation. The less supine Russia was, the more its actions were interpreted as aggression in the West. Boris Yeltsin permitted western interests to rape his country, and did little to assert Russian power. So though he bombarded his own parliament, conducted a grisly war in Chechnya, raised corruption to Olympic levels and shamelessly rigged his own re-election, he yet remained a popular guest in western capitals and summits. Vladimir Putin’s similar sins, by contrast, provide a pretext for ostracism and historically illiterate comparisons between him and Hitler.

This is because of his increasing avowal of Russian sovereignty, and of an independent foreign policy. There have been many East-West squabbles and scrimmages, not all of them Russia’s fault. But the New Cold War really began in 2011, after Mr Putin dared to frustrate western — and Saudi — policy in Syria. George Friedman, the noted US intelligence and security expert, thinks Russia badly underestimated the level of American fury this would provoke. As Mr Friedman recently told the Moscow newspaper Kommersant, ‘It was in this situation that the United States took a look at Russia and thought about what it [Russia] wants to see happen least of all: instability in Ukraine.’

Mr Friedman (no Putin stooge) also rather engagingly agrees with Moscow that overthrow last February (2014) of Viktor Yanukovych was ‘the most blatant coup in history’. He is of course correct, as anyone unclouded by passion can see. The test of any action by your own side is to ask what you would think of it if the other side did it.

If Russia didn’t grasp how angry Washington would get over Syria, did the West realise how furiously Russia would respond to the EU Association Agreement and to the fall of Yanukovych? Perhaps not. Fearing above all the irrecoverable loss to NATO of its treasured naval station in Sevastopol, Russia reacted. After 23 years of sullenly appeasing the West, Moscow finally said ‘enough’. Since we’re all supposed to be against appeasement, shouldn’t we find this action understandable in a sovereign nation, even if we cannot actually praise it? And can anyone explain to me precisely why Britain, of all countries, should be siding with the expansion of the European Union and NATO into this dangerous and unstable part of the world?

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Featured image is from TruePublica.

Why did Georgia’s ex-leader Saakashvili threaten to jump off roof in Kiev? More to the point, why did anyone try and stop him?

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Why did Georgia’s ex-leader Saakashvili threaten to jump off roof in Kiev?
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