Time the @UN did something to help the children of Gaza, with or without USA veto

Children of Gaza Call Upon International Community to Stop Israeli Crimes

A group of Gaza children organized a stand on Tuesday, in front of the mourning tent erected for the murdered child, Rahaf Hassan, age 2, who was killed along with her pregnant mother two days ago, after an Israeli airstrike directly bombed their home at Al-Zaitoon neighborhood in Gaza.

gazachildren3alray.jpg

The children delivered a speech in three languages: Arabic, English and French, calling on the international community to take a serious action against the Israeli crimes, especially targeting children in their homes.

The children have also called on the international community to instantly intervene to stop the Israeli aggression against Palestinian people in the West Bank, Gaza and pre-1948 occupied territories, assuring on their rights of live, play and education.

In this stand, which was organized by the Ministry of information in Gaza, according to Al Ray, the children called to open an urgent international investigation regarding the murder of Rahaf and her mother, and to bring the Israeli occupation to justice for the crimes committed against this family and others.

In the same context, the children pointed out the necessity of documenting crimes committed by the Israeli occupation in order to expose them to the world, especially the brutal acts against Palestinian children.

Search IMEMC: “DCI-Palestine” for related info.

The children noted that the murder of Rahaf Hassan was not the first or last crime; and it should put an end to the continued Israeli onslaughts against the children in Palestine, appealing the human rights organizations to bring cases in front of the International Criminal Court to judge the Israeli occupation.

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EU Taxpayers Charged €500 Million for Ukrainian Gas, we should have the USA pay , they caused the problem

EU Taxpayers Charged €500 Million for Ukrainian Gas

Not long after the report that anti-Russian sanctions had cost EU farmers €500 million, it seems the EU will have to pay the same amount to Russia’s Gazprom for the gas Ukraine reportedly cannot afford to buy for itself

The Kiev coup-regime can’t find $500 million to provide heat for its people, fund pensions, maintain roads, and the like, but it easily found $4.1 billion (90 billion Hryvnia) in 2015 to fund a contrived war against its own people, and wants to increase that amount in 2016. Nevertheless, Europe and particularly Germany, appear wary of continued conflict. 

This article originally appeared at German Economic News. Translated by Paul Dunne for Russia Insider


Russia and the EU have apparently come to an agreement on natural gas deliveries to Ukraine.  This involves the EU tax-payer guaranteeing a credit for Ukraine worth half a billion Euros.  The money will be transferred directly to a Gazprom holding account.

The EU tax-payer is being held responsible for Ukraine’s gas supply this winter. According to TASS, the Russian Minister for Energy, Alexander Novak, confirmed the result of the meeting between the EU and Russia in Vienna on Friday.

Accordingly, the EU will transfer 500 million Euros to the Russian company Gazprom. The Russians consider this as payment for the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. It is expected that Ukraine will agree to this – although Kiev had asked for an even higher discount.  The head of the Ukrainian gas company Naftogas, Andrej Kobolew, has indicated that Ukraine could agree to the deal.

To get through the Winter, Ukraine urgently needs to fill its gas storage tanks.  There has already been a two weeks delay. The current delivery covers approximately half of Ukraine’s requirements.  Then another 500 million Euros must be found.  Ukraine does not have the money – it is bankrupt.  It is likely that the second tranche will also have to be paid by the European tax-payer.

The bill could also increase, should this winter be colder than last winter. The head of Gazprom, Alexej Miller, said that Russia was expecting an “unusually cold” winter.

The agreement can be taken as a further sign of the EU and Russia drawing closer together.  It is remarkable that Russia, despite Kiev’s on-going hostility, has nevertheless provided a discount.  The German foreign minister said after a meeting on Saturday that the chances of a de-escalation in Ukraine were better now than ever.

MH-17 Case Slips into Propaganda Fog with the CIA withholding key evidence to blame Russia

MH-17 Case Slips into Propaganda Fog

Exclusive: Almost a year ago, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine killing 298 people. Yet, instead of a transparent investigation seeking justice, the case became a propaganda game of finger-pointing, with the CIA withholding key evidence all the better to blame Russia, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The Dutch investigation into the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine last July has failed to uncover conclusive proof of precisely who was responsible for the deaths of the 298 passengers and crew but is expected to point suspicions toward the ethnic Russian rebels, fitting with the West’s long-running anti-Russian propaganda campaign.

A source who has been briefed on the outlines of the investigation said some U.S. intelligence analysts have reached a contrary conclusion and place the blame on “rogue” elements of the Ukrainian government operating out of a circle of hard-liners around one of Ukraine’s oligarchs. Yet, according to this source, the U.S. analysts will demur on the Dutch findings, letting them stand without public challenge.

A Malaysia Airways' Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

Throughout the Ukraine crisis, propaganda and “information warfare” have overridden any honest presentation of reality – and the mystery around the MH-17 disaster has now slipped into that haze of charge and counter-charge. Many investigative journalists, including myself, have been rebuffed in repeated efforts to get verifiable proof about the case or even informational briefings.

In that sense, the MH-17 case stands as an outlier to the usual openness that surrounds inquiries into airline disasters. The Obama administration’s behavior has been particularly curious, with its rush to judgment five days after the July 17, 2014 shoot-down, citing sketchy social media posts to implicate the ethnic Russian rebels and indirectly the Russian government but then refusing requests for updates.

But why the later secrecy? If Director of National Intelligence James Clapper decided that unverified information about the shoot-down could be released five days after the event, why would his office then decide to keep the U.S. public in the dark as more definitive data became available?

Over the past 11 months, the DNI’s office has offered no updates on the initial assessment, with a DNI spokeswoman even making the absurd claim that U.S. intelligence had made no refinements of its understanding about the tragedy since July 22, 2014.

I’m told that the reason for the DNI’s reversal from openness to secrecy was that U.S. intelligence analysts found no evidence that the Russian government had given the rebels sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles capable of downing an aircraft at 33,000 feet, the altitude of MH-17, and that an examination of U.S. satellite and electronic intelligence instead implicated extremists linked to Ukraine’s U.S.-backed regime, although not to Kiev’s political leadership.

At that point, admitting to an erroneous rush to judgment would have embarrassed the administration and undermined the “public diplomacy” campaign around the MH-17 case. By blaming Russia and its President Vladimir Putin last summer, the Obama administration whipped Europe into an anti-Russian frenzy and helped win the European Union’s support for economic sanctions against Russia. Keeping Putin on the defensive is a top U.S. priority.

As one senior U.S. government official explained to me, information warfare was the only area in the Ukraine crisis where Washington felt it had an edge over Moscow, which benefited from a host of other advantages, such as geography, economic and cultural ties, and military pressure.

‘False Flags’

It also appears that right-wing Ukrainian political forces, which seized power in the Feb. 22, 2014 coup, have understood the value of propaganda, including “false flag” operations that pin the blame for atrocities on their opponents. One of the most successful may have been the mysterious sniper attacks on Feb. 20, 2014, that slaughtered both police and protesters in Kiev’s Maidan square, with the violence immediately blamed on President Viktor Yanukovych and used to justify his overthrow two days later.

Later independent investigations indicated that extreme right-wing elements seeking Yanukovych’s ouster were more likely responsible. Two European Union officials, Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, were revealed discussing in a phone call their suspicions that elements of the protesters were responsible for the shootings.

“So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition,” Paet told Ashton, as reported by the UK Guardian. [A worthwhile documentary on this mystery is “Maidan Massacre.”]

Even U.S. officials have faulted the new regime for failing to conduct a diligent investigation to determine who was to blame for the sniper attack. During a rousing anti-Russian speech in Kiev last month, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power inserted one criticism of the post-coup regime – that “investigations into serious crimes such as the violence in the Maidan and in Odessa [where scores of ethnic Russians were burned alive] have been sluggish, opaque, and marred by serious errors – suggesting not only a lack of competence, but also a lack of will to hold the perpetrators accountable.”

In other words, regarding the Maidan sniper massacre, the Kiev regime wasn’t willing to reveal evidence that might undermine the incident’s use as a valuable propaganda ploy. That attitude has been shared by the mainstream Western media which has sought to glue white hats on the post-coup regime and black hats on the ethnic Russian rebels who supported Yanukovych and have resisted the new power structure.

For instance, since Yanukovych’s ouster nearly 1½ years ago, The New York Times and other mainstream outlets have treated reports about the key role played in the coup regime by neo-Nazis and other far-right nationalists as “Russian propaganda.” However, this week, the Times finally acknowledged the importance of these extremists in Kiev’s military operations. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine Merges Nazis and Islamists.”]

A similar propaganda fog has enveloped the MH-17 investigation, with the lead investigators – the Dutch, British, Australians and Ukrainians – all firmly in the pro-Kiev and anti-Moscow camp. (Specialists from the United States, Russia and Malaysia have also been involved in the inquiry.)

Not surprisingly, leaders in Ukraine and Australia, as well, didn’t wait for the investigation to reach a conclusion before placing the blame on Putin. Last October, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott used an Australian football term in vowing to “shirtfront” Putin about his supposed guilt in the MH-17 case.

Media Fakery

Keeping the later U.S. intelligence analysis secret also allows for the Putin-did-it propaganda campaigns to go forward in mainstream media outlets and various propaganda fronts. A good example was the Australian “60 Minutes” report in May presenting bogus video evidence supposedly corroborating “Russia-did-it” claims made by British blogger Eliot Higgins.

While the segment appeared to be authoritative – supposedly proving that Putin was responsible for mass murder – a closer examination showed that the program had relied on video fakery to mislead its viewers. The key scene supposedly matching up a video of a getaway Buk anti-aircraft missile battery with landmarks in the rebel-controlled city of Luhansk didn’t match up at all. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “You Be the Judge.”]

After I revealed the fraud by showing how the two scenes were almost entirely different, the Australian show fell back on a claim that one utility pole in the getaway video looked like a utility pole that its reporting team has found in Luhansk. It is perhaps a sign of how crazy the anti-Russian propaganda has gotten that a major news program could feel that it can make such an absurd argument and get away with it.

In a rational world, matching up the two scenes would require all the landmarks to fit, when in this case none of them did. Further, to cite similarities between two utility poles as evidence ignored the fact that most utility poles look alike and there was the additional fact that none of the area around the two utility poles matched at all, including a house behind one that didn’t appear in the scene of the other. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Reckless Stand-upper on MH-17.”]

However, as long as the U.S. government’s comprehensive intelligence information on MH-17 is kept secret, such sleights of hand can continue to work. I’m told that the Dutch report is likely to contain similar circumstantial claims, citing such things as the possible angle of the fired missile, to suggest that the ethnic Russian rebels were at fault.

Last October, the Dutch Safety Board’s initial report answered very few questions, beyond confirming that MH-17 apparently was destroyed by “high-velocity objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.” Other key questions went begging, such as what to make of the Russian military radar purporting to show a Ukrainian SU-25 jetfighter in the area, a claim that the Kiev government denied.

Either the Russian radar showed the presence of a jetfighter “gaining height” as it closed to within three to five kilometers of the passenger plane – as the Russians claimed in a July 21 press conference – or it didn’t. The Kiev authorities insisted that they had no military aircraft in the area at the time.

But the 34-page Dutch report was silent on the jetfighter question, although noting that the investigators had received Air Traffic Control “surveillance data from the Russian Federation.” The report also was silent on the “dog-not-barking” issue of whether the U.S. government had satellite surveillance that revealed exactly where the supposed ground-to-air missile was launched and who may have fired it.

The Obama administration has asserted knowledge about those facts, but the U.S. government has withheld satellite photos and other intelligence information that could presumably corroborate the charge. Curiously, too, the Dutch report said the investigation received “satellite imagery taken in the days after the occurrence.” Obviously, the more relevant images in assessing blame would be aerial photography in the days and hours before the crash.

The Dutch report’s reference to only post-crash satellite photos was also odd because the Russian military released a number of satellite images purporting to show Ukrainian government Buk missile systems north of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk before the attack, including two batteries that purportedly were shifted 50 kilometers south of Donetsk on July 17, the day of the crash, and then removed by July 18.

Russian Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov called on the Ukrainian government to explain the movements of its Buk systems and why Kiev’s Kupol-M19S18 radars, which coordinate the flight of Buk missiles, showed increased activity leading up to the July 17 shoot-down.

The Ukrainian government countered these questions by asserting that it had “evidence that the missile which struck the plane was fired by terrorists, who received arms and specialists from the Russian Federation,” according to Andrey Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Council, using Kiev’s preferred term for the rebels.

Lysenko added: “To disown this tragedy, [Russian officials] are drawing a lot of pictures and maps. We will explore any photos and other plans produced by the Russian side.” But Ukrainian authorities have failed to address the Russian evidence except through broad denials.

Where’s the Intelligence?

On July 29, 2014, amid escalating rhetoric against Russia from U.S. government officials and the Western news media, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity called on President Obama to release what evidence the U.S. government had on the shoot-down, including satellite imagery.

“As intelligence professionals we are embarrassed by the unprofessional use of partial intelligence information,” the group wrote. “As Americans, we find ourselves hoping that, if you indeed have more conclusive evidence, you will find a way to make it public without further delay. In charging Russia with being directly or indirectly responsible, Secretary of State John Kerry has been particularly definitive. Not so the evidence. His statements seem premature and bear earmarks of an attempt to ‘poison the jury pool.’”

However, the Obama administration has failed to make public any intelligence information that would back up its earlier suppositions or any new evidence at all. One source told me that U.S. intelligence analysts are afraid to speak out about the information that contradicts the original rush to judgment because of Obama’s aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers.

If the Dutch final report emerges with carefully circumscribed circumstantial evidence implicating the pro-Russian rebels, the nuances will surely be carved away when the report is fed into the existing propaganda machinery. The conventional wisdom about “Russian guilt” will be firmed up.

A sense of how that will go can be seen in a recent New York Times article by David Herszenhorn on June 29: “Pro-Russian separatist leaders in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk have blocked access to Dutch law enforcement officials pursuing an investigation into the downing of a Malaysian jetliner nearly a year ago, the Netherlands Public Prosecution Office said. …

“The obstruction by separatist officials prompted the investigators, from the Dutch National Police and Ministry of Defense, to cut short their field work in Ukraine without conducting research into cellphone towers and cellular networks in the region, the public prosecution office said. …

“Based on preliminary analysis and intelligence, including from the United States government, the aircraft was widely believed to have been destroyed by a surface-to-air missile fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces.”

While the thrust of Herszenhorn’s article made the ethnic Russian rebels look bad – and foreshadows some of the points likely to be featured in the Dutch investigative report – perhaps the most significant word in the story is “preliminary.” While it’s true that the U.S. government’s “preliminary” report on July 22, 2014, implicated the rebels, the more pertinent question – not asked by the Times – is why there has been no refinement of that “preliminary” report.

The Dutch Safety Board issued a brief progress report on July 1 noting that it had submitted a draft of its final report to “accredited representatives of the participating States on … June 2,” giving them 60 days to submit comments before a “definitive final” report is published in October.

Meanwhile, Dutch prosecutors handling the criminal investigation say they have no specific suspects, but lead investigator Fred Westerbeke claims the probe has a number of “persons of interest.” Westerbeke said the criminal probe will likely run through the end of the year or later.

With racist extremists like this running israel is there any point to peace talks, let’s go straight to sanctions

Israel confirms its new ministers – where are the sanctions?

Israel’s new ministers took up their posts on Sunday, after the country’s 34th government was sworn-in late Thursday. This is a government of extremists, whose ministers back settlements and war crimes, as well as openly express racist incitement towards Palestinians. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs “We won’t divide Jerusalem, we won’t make concessions, we won’t withdraw from land.” Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education, Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs “There is not going to be a Palestinian state within the tiny land of Israel.” Moshe Ya’alon, Minister of Defense “The Palestinian threat harbours cancer-like attributes.” Yuval Steinitz, Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water “We will not agree to the division of Jerusalem and giving up the Jordan Valley.” Ayelet Shaked, Minister of Justice “When your husband the pilot, when he’s up in the air, do you hope he’ll be pounding the Arabs hard with bombs?” *Laughter* “Yes.” Silvan Shalom, Minister of Interior “We are all against a Palestinian state, there is no question about it.” Moshe Kahlon, Minister of Finance “We should annex all the territories that same day.” (When asked what he thinks Israel should do if the Palestinians unilaterally declare independence). Uri Ariel, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development “I think that in five years there will be 550,000 or 600,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], rather than 400,000 [now].” Ze’ev Elkin, Minister of Immigration and Absorption, Strategic Affairs “There is no place for a Palestinian state, not in temporary borders and not in any other configuration.” Ophir Akunis, Minister without Portfolio “I resolutely oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state in the place where our nation was born.” Danny Danon, Minister of Science, Technology and Space “We will strengthen the settlements in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank].” Yisrael Katz, Minister of Transportation and Road Safety, Minister of Intelligence “I am opposed to a Palestinian state. It is unacceptable, mainly because of our rights to this land.” Gila Gamliet, Minister for Gender Equality, Minorities and Young People “I disagree with the word ‘occupation.’…The Gaza Strip can annex itself to Egypt, some of the Palestinians can annex themselves to Jordan. They have many countries.” Benny Begin, Minister without Portfolio “If the two-state solution is the only solution, then there is no solution.” Haim Katz, Minister of Welfare and Social Services “The conclusion is clear – not to establish a Palestinian state, for this will become a terror state on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.” Yariv Levin, Minister of Tourism, Minister of Internal Security “A clear Israeli law will…show our insistence that we are a Jewish state.” Miri Regev, Minister of Culture and Sport, Minister of Intelligence “The Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish People, and not only to the Jews who live in that land.” Eli Ben-Dahan, Deputy Defense Minister “[Palestinians] are beasts, they are not human.” So will Israel’s allies – especially in Europe – continue with business as usual? When the far-right Freedom Party finished second in Austrian elections in 1999, European Union member states imposed diplomatic sanctions lifted in September 2000. The EU currently list more than 30 countries which are subject to various kinds of “restrictive measures” – or sanctions. Former European politicians and diplomats recently urged an urgent reassessment of EU policy, insisting Israel must be held to account for its colonisation of Palestinian land. In April, 16 EU foreign ministers called for an EU-wide introduction of guidelines for the correct labelling of settlement products, as well as additional “tougher measures.” In January, 63 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) expressed support for the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement. Palestinians, and many civil society groups in Europe, have been calling for these and similar steps for a while. With an Israeli government that unashamedly rejects international norms and Palestinian rights, will Brussels finally take meaningful action and end its complicity in apartheid?

Iran breaks oil export record

Iran breaks oil export record

Looks like the sanctions aren’t working. Indeed, like the Russian sanctions, they have causes far more damage to American businesses than to the Iranian ones!

Iran has for the first time in a decade been able to export seven million barrels of oil in one day from a southern terminal, said an official on Tuesday.

The historic event took place following the concurrent activation of eight docks at Kharg terminal on April 15.

Managing Director of Iranian Oil Terminals Company (IOTC) Pirouz Mousavi said the previous record was six million barrels in a day.

“This was achieved despite the skepticism expressed by many countries about Iran’s ability to handle major volumes of oil export,” Mousavi said, according to IRNA.

He further said the increased export capability has now materialized as a result of renovating the infrastructure at Kharg terminal.

Earlier in February, Mousavi said that a one-year project to overhaul Kharg facilities had increased the terminal’s export capacity. The project, he said, had cost millions of dollars.

Kharg terminal is located on the Persian Gulf island of Kharg. It is the main loading point for Iran’s crude oil exports.

The terminal had an offloading capacity of 14 million barrels per day (bpd) prior to the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran. It was the target of frequent attacks by the Iraqi forces during the war which drastically reduced its export capacity. Following a series of post-war reconstruction projects, the offloading capacity of Kharg reached around six million bpd in 2007.

Obama admits USA contravened UN Charter by being involved installing fascists in Kiev

Obama openly admits ‘brokering power transition’ in Ukraine

In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Barack Obama acknowledged that the United States had “brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine,” thus admitting to a high level of democratic impropriety.

Before we consider Obama’s revealing remarks, and how the Ukrainian people sold their country for a song, let’s rewind to November 2013, when then-President Viktor Yanukovich had shocked western capitals – and, more importantly, western markets – by suspending plans for an association agreement with the European Union.

As if on command, thousands of Ukrainians suddenly poured into the streets of Kiev to protest the decision. Such a rapid reaction should not have come as a surprise. After all, a multitude of US government agencies – most notably, USAID – had been operating in Ukraine since the collapse of the Soviet Union, investing billions on its latest “democratic” pet project.

This is no conspiracy theory. On December 13, 2013, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, following her third trip to Ukraine in five weeks, told the National Press Club: “Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991 the United States has…invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in needs and other goals.”

Exactly what those “other goals” may have been, and who helped underwrite them, seem rather obvious today.

Although many are tempted to believe otherwise, governments don’t normally spend such prodigious sums of money in a foreign land unless it expects to get something hefty – in this case, Kiev’s loyalty – in return. Governments are by nature political opportunists, not philanthropists, which is precisely why Russia gave USAID the boot in 2012. Ukraine did not, and was forced to pay the piper, so to speak.

We should note here that it was not just US taxpayer dollars that unwittingly provided the funds to support the coup d’ etat in Ukraine. In another softball interview with CNN’s Zakaria, billionaire George Soros last May coolly admitted: “I set up a foundation in Ukraine before Ukraine became independent of Russia. And the foundation has been functioning ever since and played an important part in events now.”

Certainly those billions of dollars weren’t spent just on humanitarian work, like distributing pastries to the Ukrainian rabble gathered on Independence Square. After all, the crucial question as to who would lend Ukraine a multi-billion dollar rescue package was the elephant parked on Maidan that few talked about. Once upon a time, western financial institutions had the market cornered on the lucrative task of bailing out cash-strapped countries. Today, however, other economic agencies – BRICS for example – are able to compete with the IMF. But after Kiev exploded in chaos and violence, the regular lender of last resort bagged itself another national trophy for above its fireplace.

Michael Hudson, of Counterpunch, summed up the IMF victory: “In April 2014, fresh from riots in Maidan Square and the February 22 coup, and less than a month before the May 2 massacre in Odessa, the IMF approved a $17 billion loan program to Ukraine’s junta. Normal IMF practice is to lend only up to twice a country’s quote in one year. This was eight times as high.”

Hudson said the loan, given at a time of civil war, proved that the Washington-based financial institution functions as “an arm of US Cold War politics.”

“Kiev used the loan for military expenses to attack the Eastern provinces, and the loan terms imposed the usual budget austerity, as if this would stabilize the country’s finances.”

US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013.(Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013.(Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

For anybody who still believes those billions of dollars were spent just to prop up democratic institutions need only consider the harsh historical lessons from places as diverse and distant as South America and the Middle East. Time and again, from Chile to Iran, Washington propped up puppet dictatorships to serve its purpose.

Proving this charge is as simple as eavesdropping on a telephone call conversation between Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.

Almost one year ago to the day, Nuland was heard outlining Washington’s vision of Kiev’s future “democratic” structure. Nothing terribly ironic about that, right? While much of the amused media focused its attention on Nuland’s “F*ck the EU” verbal bomb, that was mere child’s play compared to the meat of the conversation, which spelled out exactly who Washington wanted in power in Kiev.

Nuland: …I don’t think Klitsch [Vitaly Klitschko, one of the opposition leaders] should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea.

Pyatt: Yeah. I guess… in terms of him not going into the government, just let him stay out and do his political homework and stuff….

Nuland: I think Yats [Arseniy Yatseniuk, current prime minister of Ukraine] is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the… what he needs is Klitsch and Tyagnibok [Oleg Tyagnibok, the other opposition leader] on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in… he’s going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it’s just not going to work.

People take part in a rally at the Independence Square in Kiev November 21, 2014.(Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko)

People take part in a rally at the Independence Square in Kiev November 21, 2014.(Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko)

Pyatt: Yeah, no, I think that’s right. OK. Good. Do you want us to set up a call with him as the next step?

Or, instead of enduring the obscenities of a Nuland conversation, one could simply wait for Barack Obama to sum it all up in an interview with CNN all-star softball pitcher Fareed Zakaria.

Instead of challenging Obama on the question as to whether US-NATO policies in Eastern Europe – which, aside from moving inexorably eastward to Russia’s border, also excludes Russian participation in the US missile defense shield – have in some substantial way contributed to the deterioration of relations between Russia and the US, Zakaria merely dangles the “Russian aggressor” carrot before Obama, who of course blames the entire mess on Putin, while admitting to something incredible, yet entirely believable.

READ MORE: US envoy to Ukraine caught posting fake images on Twitter

Obama told CNN’s Zakaria that Washington “had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine” following on the heels of the deadly “protests on Maidan and Yanukovich then fleeing.”

While Nuland’s colorful conversation one year ago told us everything we needed to know about Ukraine’s so-called democratic transition, it’s a completely different thing when the “deal” is admitted to by none other than the American president.

Washington power brokers, desensitized to the concept of brokering political “deals” due to their so-called democratic work in faraway war zones like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, think it normal operating procedure to employ the strategy inside of sovereign states that are experiencing internal discord.

The real tragedy of such a scenario is not so much that it is happening, but that the United States, and the Ukrainian people, it seems, believe that a foreign invasion of political opportunists on their territory constitutes democracy or will somehow lead to democracy. I’d wager to bet that Ukraine will very soon resemble Greece, where the people had firsthand experience with foreign-enforced austerity measures and, employing real democratic procedure as opposed to backroom brokered deals, introduced real democracy to elect politicians of the people, for the people and by the people.

But then again, the United States expected no less from the $5 billion, and a few cakes, it paid for Kiev’s pledge of allegiance. Now the Ukrainian people must dutifully follow that foreign-built road wherever it may lead them.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Grandmaster Putin’s Trap: Russia is Selling Oil and Gas in Exchange for Physical Gold

Global Research, December 26, 2014

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Accusations of the West towards Putin are traditionally based on the fact that he worked in the KGB. And therefore he is a cruel and immoral person. Putin is blamed for everything. But nobody ever accused Putin of the lack of intelligence.

Any accusations against this man only emphasize his ability for quick analytical thinking and making clear and balanced political and economic decisions.

Often Western media compares this ability with the ability of a grandmaster, conducting a public chess simul. Recent developments in US economy and the West in general allow us to conclude that in this part of the assessment of Putin’s personality Western media are absolutely right.

Despite numerous success reports in the style of Fox News and CNN, today, Western economy, led by the United States is in Putin’s trap, the way out of which no one in the West can see or find.And the more the West is trying to escape from this trap, the more stuck it becomes.

What is the truly tragic predicament of the West and the United States, in which they find themselves? And why all the Western media and leading Western economists are silent about this, as a well guarded military secret? Let’s try to understand the essence of current economic events, in the context of the economy, setting aside the factors of morality, ethics and geopolitics.

Development of crude oil prices.

Development of crude oil prices.

After realizing its failure in Ukraine, the West, led by the US set out to destroy Russian economy by lowering oil prices, and accordingly gas prices as the main budget sources of export revenue in Russia and the main sources of replenishment of Russian gold reserves. It should be noted that the main failure of the West in Ukraine is not military or political. But in the actual refusal of Putin to fund the Western project of Ukraine at the expense of the budget of Russian Federation. What makes this Western project not viable in the near and inevitable future.

Last time under president Reagan, such actions of the West’s lowering of oil prices led to ‘success’ and the collapse of USSR. But history does not repeat itself all the time. This time things are different for the West. Putin’s response to the West resembles both chess and judo, when the strength used by the enemy is used against him, but with minimal costs to the strength and resources of the defender. Putin’s real policies are not public. Therefore, Putin’s policy largely has always focused not so much on effect, but on efficiency.

Very few people understand what Putin is doing at the momentAnd almost no one understands what he will do in the future.

No matter how strange it may seem, but right now, Putin is selling Russian oil and gas only for physical gold.

Putin is not shouting about it all over the world. And of course, he still accepts US dollars as an intermediate means of payment. But he immediately exchanges all these dollars obtained from the sale of oil and gas for physical gold!

To understand this, it is enough to look at the dynamics of growth of gold reserves of Russia and to compare this data with foreign exchange earnings of the Russia coming from the sale of oil and gas over the same period.

goldMoreover, in the third quarter the purchases by Russia of physical gold are at all-time high record levels. In the third quarter of this year, Russia had purchased an incredible amount of gold in the amount of 55 tons. It’s more than all the central banks of all countries of the world combined (according to official data)!

In total, the central banks of all countries of the world have purchased 93 tons of the precious metal in the third quarter of 2014. It was the 15th consecutive quarter of net purchases of gold by Central banks. Of the 93 tonnes of gold purchases by central banks around the world during this period, the staggering volume of purchases – of 55 tons – belongs to Russia.

Not so long ago, British scientists have successfully come to the same conclusion, as was published in the Conclusion of the U.S. Geological survey a few years ago. Namely: Europe will not be able to survive without energy supply from Russia. Translated from English to any other language in the world it means: “The world will not be able to survive if oil and gas from Russia is subtracted from the global balance of energy supply”.

Thus, the Western world, built on the hegemony of the petrodollar, is in a catastrophic situation. In which it cannot survive without oil and gas supplies from Russia. And Russia is now ready to sell its oil and gas to the West only in exchange for physical gold! The twist of Putin’s game is that the mechanism for the sale of Russian energy to the West only for gold now works regardless of whether the West agrees to pay for Russian oil and gas with its artificially cheap gold, or not.

Because Russia, having a regular flow of dollars from the sale of oil and gas, in any case, will be able to convert them to gold with current gold prices, depressed by all means by the West. That is,at the price of gold, which had been artificially and meticulously lowered by the Fed and ESF many times, against artificially inflated purchasing power of the dollar through market manipulation.

Interesting fact: the suppression of gold prices by the special department of US Government – ESF (Exchange Stabilization Fund) – with the aim of stabilizing the dollar has been made into a law in the United States.

In the financial world it is accepted as a given that gold is an antidollar.

  • In 1971, US President Richard Nixon closed the ‘gold window’, ending the free exchange of dollars for gold, guaranteed by the US in 1944 at Bretton Woods.
  • In 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin has reopened the ‘gold window’, without asking Washington’s permission.

Right now the West spends much of its efforts and resources to suppress the prices of gold and oil. Thereby, on the one hand to distort the existing economic reality in favor of the US dollar and on the other hand, to destroy the Russian economy, refusing to play the role of obedient vassal of the West.

Today assets such as gold and oil look proportionally weakened and excessively undervalued against the US dollar. It is a consequence of the enormous economic effort on the part of the West.

And now Putin sells Russian energy resources in exchange for these US dollars, artificially propped by the efforts of the West. With which he immediately buys gold, artificially devalued against the U.S. dollar by the efforts of the West itself!

sourcesThere is another interesting element in Putin’s game. It’s Russian uranium. Every sixth light bulb in the USA depends on its supply. Which Russia sells to the US too, for dollars.

Thus, in exchange for Russian oil, gas and uranium, the West pays Russia with dollars, purchasing power of which is artificially inflated against oil and gold by the efforts of the West. But Putin uses these dollars only to withdraw physical gold from the West in exchange, for the price denominated in US dollars, artificially lowered by the same West.

This truly brilliant economic combination by Putin puts the West led by the United States in a position of a snake, aggressively and diligently devouring its own tail.

The idea of this economic golden trap for the West, probably originated not from Putin himself. Most likely it was the idea of Putin’s Advisor for Economic Affairs – doctor Sergey Glazyev. Otherwise why seemingly not involved in business bureaucrat Glazyev, along with many Russian businessmen, was personally included by Washington on the sanction list?  The idea of an economist, doctor Glazyev was brilliantly executed by Putin, with full endorsement from his Chinese colleague – Xi Jinping.

Especially interesting in this context looks the November statement of the first Deputy Chairman of Central Bank of Russia Ksenia Yudaeva, which stressed that the Central Bank of Russia can use the gold from its reserves to pay for imports, if needed. It is obvious that in terms of sanctions by the Western world, this statement is addressed to the BRICS countries, and first of all China. For China, Russia’s willingness to pay for goods with Western gold is very convenient. And here’s why:

China recently announced that it will cease to increase its gold and currency reserves denominated in US dollars. Considering the growing trade deficit between the US and China (the current difference is five times in favor of China), then this statement translated from the financial language reads: “China stops selling their goods for dollars”. The world’s media chose not to notice this grandest in the recent monetary history event . The issue is not that China literally refuses to sell its goods for US dollars. China, of course, will continue to accept US dollars as an intermediate means of payment for its goods. But, having taken dollars, China will immediately get rid of them and replace with something else in the structure of its gold and currency reserves. Otherwise the statement made by the monetary authorities of China loses its meaning: “We are stopping the increase of our gold and currency reserves, denominated in US dollars.” That is, China will no longer buy United States Treasury bonds for dollars earned from trade with any countries, as they did this before.

Thus, China will replace all the dollars that it will receive for its goods not only from the US but from all over the world with something else not to increase their gold currency reserves, denominated in US dollars. And here is an interesting question: what will China replace all the trade dollars with? What currency or an asset? Analysis of the current monetary policy of China shows that most likely the dollars coming from trade, or a substantial chunk of them, China will quietly replace and de facto is already replacing with Gold.

Are we witnessing the end of dollar era?

Are we witnessing the end of dollar era?

In this aspect, the solitaire of Russian-Chinese relations is extremely successful for Moscow and Beijing.Russia buys goods from China directly for gold at its current price. While China buys Russian energy resources for gold at its current price. At this Russian-Chinese festival of life there is a place for everything: Chinese goods, Russian energy resources, and gold – as a means of mutual payment. Only US dollar has no place at this festival of life. And this is not surprising. Because the US dollar is not a Chinese product, nor a Russian energy resource. It is only an intermediate financial instrument of settlement – and an unnecessary intermediary. And it is customary to exclude unnecessary intermediaries from the interaction of two independent business partners.

It should be noted separately that the global market for physical gold is extremely small relative to the world market for physical oil supplies. And especially the world market for physical gold is microscopic compared to the entirety of world markets for physical delivery of oil, gas, uranium and goods.

Emphasis on the phrase “physical gold” is made because in exchange for its physical, not ‘paper’ energy resources, Russia is now withdrawing gold from the West, but only in its physical, not paper form. So does China, by acquiring from the West the artificially devalued physical gold as a payment for physical delivery of real products to the West.

The West’s hopes that Russia and China will accept as payment for their energy resources and goods “shitcoin” or so-called “paper gold” of various kinds also did not materialize. Russia and China are only interested in gold and only physical metal as a final means of payment.

For reference: the turnover of the market of paper gold, only of gold futures, is estimated at $360 billion per month. But physical delivery of gold is only for $280 million a month. Which makes the ratio of trade of paper gold versus physical gold: 1000 to 1.

Using the mechanism of active withdrawal from the market of one artificially lowered by the West financial asset (gold) in exchange for another artificially inflated by the West financial asset (USD),Putin has thereby started the countdown to the end of the world hegemony of petrodollar. Thus, Putin has put the West in a deadlock of the absence of any positive economic prospects. The West can spend as much of its efforts and resources to artificially increase the purchasing power of the dollar, lower oil prices and artificially lower the purchasing power of gold. The problem of the West is that the stocks of physical gold in possession of the West are not unlimited. Therefore, the more the West devalues oil and gold against the US dollar, the faster it loses devaluing Gold from its not infinite reserves. In this brilliantly played by Putin economic combination the physical gold is rapidly flowing to Russia, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan and India, the BRICS countries, from the reserves of the West. At the current rate of reduction of reserves of physical gold, the West simply does not have the time to do anything against Putin’s Russia until the collapse of the entire Western petrodollar world. In chess the situation in which Putin has put the West, led by the US, is called “time trouble”.

The Western world has never faced such economic events and phenomena that are happening right now. USSR rapidly sold gold during the fall of oil prices. Russia rapidly buys gold during the fall in oil prices. Thus, Russia poses a real threat to the American model of petrodollar world domination.

The main principle of world petrodollar model is allowing Western countries led by the United States to live at the expense of the labor and resources of other countries and peoples based on the role of the US currency, dominant in the global monetary system (GMS) . The role of the US dollar in the GMS is that it is the ultimate means of payment. This means that the national currency of the United States in the structure of the GMS is the ultimate asset accumulator, to exchange which to any other asset does not make sense. What the BRICS countries, led by Russia and China, are doing now is actually changing the role and status of the US dollar in the global monetary system. From the ultimate means of payment and asset accumulation, the national currency of the USA, by the joint actions of Moscow and Beijing is turned into only an intermediate means of payment. Intended only to exchange this interim payment for another and the ulimate financial asset – gold. Thus, the US dollar actually loses its role as the ultimate means of payment and asset accumulation, yielding both of those roles to another recognized, denationalized and depoliticized monetary asset – gold.

Traditionally, the West has used two methods to eliminate the threat to the hegemony of petrodollar model in the world and the consequent excessive privileges for the West.

Map of Coloured revolutions

One of these methods – colored revolutions. The second method, which is usually applied by the West, if the first fails – military aggression and bombing.

But in Russia’s case both of these methods are either impossible or unacceptable for the West.

Because, firstly, the population of Russia, unlike people in many other countries, does not wish to exchange their freedom and the future of their children for Western sausage. This is evident from the record ratings of Putin, regularly published by the leading Western rating agencies. Personal friendship of Washington protégé Navalny with Senator McCain played for him and Washington a very negative role. Having learned this fact from the media, 98% of the Russian population now perceive Navalny only as a vassal of Washington and a traitor of Russia’s national interests. Therefore Western professionals, who have not yet lost their mind, cannot dream about any colour revolution in Russia.

As for the second traditional Western way of direct military aggression, Russia is certainly not Yugoslavia, not Iraq or Libya. In any non-nuclear military operation against Russia, on the territory of Russia, the West led by the US is doomed to defeat. And the generals in the Pentagon exercising real leadership of NATO forces are aware of this. Similarly hopeless is a nuclear war against Russia, including the concept of so-called “preventive disarming nuclear strike”. NATO is simply not technically able to strike a blow that would completely disarm the nuclear potential of Russia in all its many manifestations. A massive nuclear retaliatory strike on the enemy or a pool of enemies would be inevitable. And its total capacity will be enough for survivors to envy the dead. That is, an exchange of nuclear strikes with a country like Russia is not a solution to the looming problem of the collapse of a petrodollar world. It is in the best case, a final chord and the last point in the history of its existence. In the worst case – a nuclear winter and the demise of all life on the planet, except for the bacteria mutated from radiation.

The Western economic establishment can see and understand the essence of the situation.Leading Western economists are certainly aware of the severity of the predicament and hopelessness of the situation the Western world finds itself in, in Putin’s economic gold trap. After all, since the Bretton Woods agreements, we all know the Golden rule: “Who has more gold sets the rules.” But everyone in the West is silent about it. Silent because no one knows now how to get out of this situation.

If you explain to the Western public all the details of the looming economic disaster, the public will ask the supporters of a petrodollar world the most terrible questions, which will sound like this:

How long will the West be able to buy oil and gas from Russia in exchange for physical gold?
And what will happen to the US petrodollar after the West runs out of physical gold to pay for Russian oil, gas and uranium, as well as to pay for Chinese goods?

No one in the West today can answer these seemingly simple questions.

And this is called “Checkmate”, ladies and gentlemen. The game is over.

Source in Russian: Investcafe

Translated by ORIENTAL REVIEW

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