NATO: The Founding Lie

May 1, 2022

German commentator, lecturer and writer. He is considered to be a leading “intervening philosopher”.

By Werner Rugemer

Source

After the 2nd World War in 1945 the USA knew: There is no danger from the weakened Soviet Union. But with the pincer grip of the Marshall Plan and NATO, the USA integrated the Western, Northern and Southern European countries into its economic and military expansion. Ex-Nazis and ex-Nazi collaborators were promoted, on the other hand anti-fascist parties, movements, persons were eliminated, infiltrated, bought. At the same time, the U.S. also helped the governments to fight against liberation movements in the colonies – also because of raw materials for US corporations. After 1990, the founding lie and thus the military-capitalist pincer grip was continued with the “eastward expansion”: Always first NATO membership, then EU membership. This includes the dismantling of prosperity and freedom for the majority populations: The EU and more and more US corporations, investors and consultants are organizing Americanization with working poor, working sick as well as legalized and illegal labor migration – at the same time militarization and hostility against Russia is being expanded: Domination of Eurasia from Lisbon to Vladivostok was the plan from the beginning.

We bring a chapter from the book by Werner Rügemer: Imperium EU – Labor Injustice, Crisis, New Resistances, tredition 2021. Of course, the war in Ukraine does not play a role in it yet, but it becomes explainable in some respects. Sources have been omitted.

Russia after World War 2: No danger

In the run-up to the founding of NATO, those responsible in the USA knew: The Soviet Union posed no military danger. The weakened power could not sustain an attack on Western Europe even if it wanted to: The Soviet Union’s economy is largely destroyed and technologically obsolete; its transportation system is too primitive; its oil industry is easy to attack. Nor does the Soviet Union have the atomic bomb. “The men in the Kremlin are clever tyrants who will not risk their internal power by military adventures abroad. They want to win the battle for Germany and Europe, but not by military action,” was the judgment of George Kennan, the chief planner in the State Department, for State Department chief Marshall, for President Truman, and for U.S. ambassadors in various memoranda in 1948.

But why did the U.S. and its then still few allies nonetheless establish NATO, a military alliance expressly directed against the Soviet Union?

The Legend of the Cold War

The legend states that NATO was a “product of the Cold War” after the end of World War 2. In reality, NATO is a product of U.S. expansion, which was already underway before U.S. military intervention in WWII.

The “cold war” is one of the most resourceful ideological constructs used by the U.S. opinion machine to disguise U.S. practices from WW2 to the present. The term was popularized by the most important US ideologue of the 20th century: Walter Lippmann, father of “neoliberalism.”

“Cold War” is supposed to mean: After WW2, the military war is over, and the phase of non-military confrontation between the “free West” and the “communist Eastern Bloc” begins. But during the “cold war” the USA and the first NATO countries waged hot, very hot wars, e.g. in Greece, Korea, the Philippines, in Africa and Indochina – this will have to be returned to.

In reality, the “cold” war began shortly after the war started, around 1941. Roosevelt and Churchill intervened militarily as late as possible in the war – despite repeated requests from their ally Stalin: The Red Army and the German Wehrmacht were to destroy each other as much as possible. The U.S. and British governments also rejected in principle to assist any internal resistance to Hitler. Wall Street lawyer Allen Dulles, as head of the intelligence agency Office of Stragic Services (OSS) based in Switzerland, did not want the assassins of July 20, 1944 to succeed – the U.S. military wanted to prevent an early armistice with the Soviet Union at all costs. The Red Army was to suffer as high losses as possible in the further fight against Hitler’s Wehrmacht.

Advancing the U.S. “defense” line to Europe

Walter Lippmann, a Harvard graduate who initially saw himself as a leftist and socialist, had helped organize the propaganda for the U.S. entry into the war for the U.S. War Department during World War I (Committee on Public Information, CPI): In 1917, the pacifist neutrality pledge of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was to be reversed, and the U.S. entry into the war was now to be justified.

After that, Lippmann had theoretically justified and journalistically accompanied the global expansion of the USA in a prominent position – especially concerning Europe and Japan. In 1938, as an opponent of Roosevelt’s reform course (New Deal), he had brought together the later gurus of “neoliberal” economic theory such as Friedrich Hayek, Alexander Rüstow and Raymond Aron: It was here that the euphemistic term “neoliberalism” was coined for the global, anti-union, anti-communist sharpened doctrine of capitalism.

In March 1943, Lippmann wrote: After conquering North America, Central America, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and several islands in the Pacific (Wake, Guam, Hawai, Japanese Mandate Islands), the U.S. had been forced to “defend two-thirds of the earth’s surface from our continental base in North America.” Now, however, with the foreseeable defeat of the Axis powers of Germany, Japan, Italy, and their allies and collaborators, much broader access is opening up.

The U.S. will now no longer be able to “defend” its previously conquered territories, the geostrategist said, solely from its North American territory and scattered islands in the Pacific. Rather, America can and must now decisively expand its “defense” line “by basing our foreign policy on reliable alliances in the old world.” New U.S. bases could now be established in Europe and Japan. This would allow the U.S. to move from the previous passive to active “defense” of its national interests.

USA 1947: War Department becomes Defense Department

This strategy included ideological artifices: The anti-liberal and anti-democratic intensified capitalism doctrine was called “neoliberalism.”

And the intensified military expansion was passed off as “defense.” From 1789, since its founding, the U.S. factually had a War Department: through wars, the North American continent was integrated into the national territory, then Central America, the Caribbean, Cuba, then the Philippines, Puerto Rico, China, etc. were militarily penetrated, temporarily occupied, vassal governments were installed, islands – or parts of islands like Guantanamo in Cuba – were occupied and developed as permanent military bases.

But just at the highest stage of its also military expansion up to then, the War Department was euphemistically and factlessly renamed to Defense Department in 1947. That is why the aggressive NATO was called the “defense” alliance.

The Twin: Marshall Plan and NATO

NATO, founded in 1949, was the twin of the Marshall Plan. The dual military-civilian character was embodied by George Marshall himself: During World War 2, as Chief of Staff, he coordinated the U.S. military in all theaters of war between North Africa, Europe and Asia. After the war, as Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949, he organized the Marshall Plan. And in 1950, the agile man slipped into the role of U.S. secretary of defense, organizing brutal interventions, including napalm bombings, against liberation movements around the globe, in Korea as well as in Greece.

From 1947 on, all later founding members of NATO received aid from the Marshall Plan: Great Britain, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway. This continued after NATO’s founding until the end of the Marshall Plan in 1952. In addition, in 1949, the U.S. Congress approved $1 billion in aid for the rearmament of NATO’s founding nations. In some cases, Marshall Plan aid was reallocated for military purposes.

All of these states – except Luxembourg, Italy and Norway – were also active colonial powers. Most of them were also monarchies and no paragon of democracy. The U.S. itself maintained numerous dependent territories around the globe in a neocolonial manner and dominated states in Central America and the Caribbean with the help of dictators – most famously in Cuba.

Preliminary Brussels Pact: Germans and “Communist Danger

Prior to NATO’s founding, the most reliable European countries slated to be founding members were allowed to make their prelude. In March 1948, the governments of Great Britain, France and the three small Benelux monarchies, highly subsidized by the Marshall Plan, adopted the “Brussels Pact.” It saw itself as a military alliance against renewed German aggression and against a threat of Soviet aggression.

These U.S.-led conspiracy practitioners simulated dangers that did not exist: Germany was fully disarmed and under military control of the Allies, including the Brussels Pact members themselves – France, Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands were occupying powers in West Germany; and they could have a say in whether or not West Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany was rearmed. The Soviet Union was neither capable of nor willing to attack Western Europe, and even less willing to permanently occupy it – this assessment of the U.S. government was also familiar to the Brussels Pact states.

The Brussels Pact brought together, along with Great Britain, the states whose governments and economic elites had not resisted the occupation of the Wehrmacht, but had collaborated with Nazi Germany and also saw “communism” as the main danger. They all feared punishment, disentanglement or even expropriation after the war, the military and secret services feared loss of influence. But the U.S. held a protective hand over them.

On April 4, 1949 – a few months before the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany – the military alliance North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, was founded in Washington. It was billed as a “defense” alliance, following U.S. language. All other members were dependent on the U.S., not only through the Marshall Plan, but also through additional loans, military aid and investments. NATO’s headquarters were in Washington until 1952.

Also there: Dictator Franco with special status

The ruling circles of the USA had admired Mussolini’s fascism: He had shown how to defeat the “communist danger” in the West. Mussolini was showered with loans by Wall Street, and U.S. investors bought shares in Italian companies, such as Fiat. With Mussolini and Hitler, U.S. corporations supplied the fascist Franco, who destroyed the Republic in a brutal civil war.

Franco had declared victory on April 1, 1939 – just two weeks later, the Roosevelt administration had appointed its ambassador in Madrid. Only Mussolini, Hitler, Pope Pius XII and the British fascist promoters King George VI with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had been quicker to diplomatically recognize the dictatorship.

For cosmetic reasons, Spain initially did not become a NATO member while Franco ruled. But the United States included Spain in its European expansion even without formal membership. They operated military bases here and promoted economic development, such as tourism. Fascism was compatible with “freedom and democracy” and NATO.

War against liberation movements in European colonies

With NATO, with additional U.S. military bases in NATO member states and additional partnerships such as with Spain, the U.S. not only pushed its “defense” line into Western Europe in Lippmann’s sense. It also supported the wars waged by the European colonial powers against the liberation movements in the colonies that had gained strength after the war. And in the process, the U.S. also gained access to raw materials in those colonies.

Great Britain

Britain had been supplied by the U.S. with armaments, ships and food during the war and was now heavily indebted to the U.S. The U.S. saw to it that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which it had founded and controlled in 1944, made its first major loan to Britain in 1947: this was used to conciliate and blackmail the Labour government.

Britain was also weakened in other respects: its most important colonies, such as India, were lost. Already during the war, Great Britain had ceded several military bases in the Commonwealth to the USA (land lease program). At the time of NATO’s founding, the Labour-led government fought the liberation movement in Ghana, calling the leader of the Convention People’s Party, Kwane Nkrumah, a “little local Hitler” and putting him in prison in 1950. Only in 1957 was Ghana able to become independent with Nkrumah.

The U.S., which had already been present in Greece and Turkey from 1943 with its secret service OSS, replaced Britain’s military and secret service there in 1948 and took over the war against the anti-fascist liberation movement in Greece.

Canada

Canada, as a member of the Commonwealth, was doubly dependent: Since the late 19th century, the country had been an economic colony of the United States. Canadian troops and their intelligence service had been under British command, and British troops and the entire British war economy had been subordinate to the United States.

France

The second most important NATO member after Britain was France. The U.S. Army, along with the British and Canadians, had liberated the country from the Nazis and the Vichy collaborationist government under Marshal Pétain in 1944. The leftist Resistance, which had been infiltrated by the U.S. intelligence agency OSS, was gradually eliminated.

The unpopular General Charles de Gaulle, who had fought against Hitler and represented an independent France, had to be allowed to walk in the victory parade on the Champs Elysées in Paris, and then a provisional government was formed by him; it included the Communist Party, which had led the Resistance. But this government was never recognized by the United States. The World Bank, under President John McCloy, granted a loan to France even before the Marshall Plan, on the condition: De Gaulle and the Communists must be out of the government! U.S. Secretary of State Byrnes, Marshall’s predecessor, promised a 650 million loan and the additional delivery of 500,000 tons of coal.

Christian lacquered politicians like George Bidault, close friend of CDU chairman and future West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer and like the latter in contact with CIA chief Allen Dulles, were maneuvered into the government. De Gaulle was thrown out. The loan was granted. In 1948, the U.S. also rearmed three French divisions so that France could even act as a serious occupying power in its occupied territory in West Germany.

Algeria was not only a French colony, but was considered part of France, albeit with a racist apartheid system. This did not bother NATO at all: Algeria was immediately included in the NATO treaty area. The French government’s brutal colonial war intensified. By independence, the French military had killed hundreds of thousands of independence fighters and civilians.

At the same time, the French government demanded military aid against “communism” in the colony of Indochina: the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, proclaimed in September 1945 by the Viet Minh independence movement under Ho Chi Minh, was to be destroyed – the U.S. helped France with military advisors, food and armaments. McCloy, as president of the World Bank, also approved a loan for this purpose in 1949, the year NATO was founded.

Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg

The three Benelux countries had made no military contribution against Hitler’s Germany. Their governments and corporations had collaborated with the Nazis in the war. But Belgium and the Netherlands became NATO members and were allowed to enter West Germany as occupying forces by U.S. grace.

McCloy also conceded a World Bank loan to the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1949, NATO’s founding year, so that the independence movement in the colony of Indonesia could be fought. Against the Republic of Indonesia, established in 1945 after the Japanese occupation, the 145,000 Dutch military forces proceeded to bomb cities, murder tens of thousands of resistance fighters and other locals, and capture the government.

Belgium

The Kingdom of Belgium continued to hold its resource-rich colony of Congo under the gun after 1945 with U.S. approval. The U.S. had obtained uranium, crucial for its atomic bombs, from the Belgian colony. The mining company Union Minière du Haut Katanga – in which the Rockefellers had a stake – had already moved its headquarters from Brussels to New York in 1939.

After 1945, anti-colonial resistance in the Congo was fought mercilessly: trade unions were banned, strikers were shot or publicly flogged. Later, in 1961, in Belgian-U.S. complicity (King Baudouin, U.S. President Eisenhower, CIA, native collaborators), the first prime minister of the newly independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba, was bestially murdered after a short time.

Portugal

Fascist Portugal had remained neutral in the war and therefore had been all the more important economically to Nazi Germany: As the most important state, Portugal supplied tungsten, a precious metal crucial to the war, for steel hardening, necessary, for example, for rifle barrels and cannon barrels. In Portugal, pirated shares and pirated gold were laundered to finance the German war effort.

After 1945, the USA returned the Asian colonies of Timor and Macau, which had been occupied by Japan, to Portugal. In the African colonies of Mozambique and Angola, colonialist forced and plantation economies (coffee, cotton) prevailed. The Communist Party, the main liberation organization, was banned and persecuted.

And the U.S. and NATO could now use Portugal’s Atlantic islands, the Azores, as military bases.

Small states and later NATO members

Iceland, a Danish colony, had been occupied by Britain and the United States in 1940. The country had declared independence to Denmark in 1944. Therefore, Iceland received Marshall Plan funds and agreed to its NATO membership. The small country maintained no military of its own, but served as a U.S. and NATO base.

Denmark: An anti-fascist government was formed here after the Nazi era. It included the Communist Party, which had resisted the Nazis. Here, too, the U.S., with the help of social democracy and the Marshall Plan, drove out the non-alignment originally intended.

In the Danish colony of Greenland, the USA had already established military bases in 1941. The Danish government, which had reserved foreign and security policy rule over Greenland, agreed: Greenland was declared a NATO defense area in 1951. The U.S. military base at Thule in Greenland was developed into one of the largest foreign U.S. bases as a forward espionage site against the Soviet Union and then against Russia, determining Danish foreign policy.

Norway: Here, the Social Democratic government wanted to remain non-aligned after the German occupation. But with the help of the Marshall Plan and additional rearmament aid, the U.S. maneuvered Norway into NATO.

Greece: In NATO’s founding year, U.S. dive-bombers napalmed the positions of the already victorious anti-fascist liberation movement in Greece and equipped the military loyal to the monarchy, which had collaborated with the Nazis. This was the only way to defeat the liberation movement. When the U.S. had ensured a U.S.-dependent government here as in neighboring Turkey, it brought the two countries into NATO in 1952.

Federal Republic of Germany: Largest U.S. Fortress in Europe

The U.S. wanted above all to bring the western occupied zones of Germany into NATO. But first, this West Germany was not yet a state; and second, the governments of France and Great Britain initially opposed rearming the Germans because of critical public opinion in both states.

But shortly after the founding of the new state of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), its Christian-painted chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1950 agreed (secretly) to rearm. He had the peace and neutrality movements fought and incited as “communist”. The USA promoted arms production in the FRG for the needs of the war against the People’s Liberation Movement in Korea as early as 1950. The West German arms industrialists lobbied for NATO. And as early as September 1950, NATO included the FRG in the NATO defense area – five years before formally joining NATO.

Today in the 21st century, no other state on the planet hosts as many additional U.S. military bases – about 30 – as NATO member West Germany.

The USA invades the European colonies

NATO was thus an alliance against post-fascist and anti-fascist democratization in Europe and against national self-determination in the colonies. And the neo-colonial NATO leading state U.S. invaded the old colonies of the Europeans.

In the French colonies of Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) and Africa (a good dozen colonies, mainly of France, then also of Belgium and Portugal) important raw materials were stored. U.S. companies wanted to get their hands on them as cheaply as possible. Under Evan Just, the Marshall Plan authority in Paris maintained the “Strategic Raw Materials” department. It explored and inventoried in the colonies of the European colonial powers, for example, manganese and graphite in Madagascar; lead, cobalt and manganese in Morocco; cobalt, uranium and cadmium in the Congo; tin in Cameroon; chrome and nickel in New Caledonia; rubber in Indochina; oil in Indonesia; besides industrial diamonds, asbestos, beryllium, tantalite and colombit.

The Marshall Plan Authority and the State Department organized commodity purchase contracts beginning in 1948, for example, in favor of the U.S. corporations United Steel, Bethlehem Steel, and Newmont Mining. Investment banks such as Morgan Stanley and Lazard Frères formed joint holding companies to modernize mines in the colonies. For the atomic bombs, the U.S. needed even more uranium after the war than during the war anyway.

Finally, finally conquer Russia? Resistance!

For NATO, the founding was not about defeating “communism”, that was only a preliminary stage. It was and is about the U.S.-led conquest and exploitation of Europe, especially Russia, that is, all of Eurasia from Lisbon to Vladivostok (according to U.S. presidential adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1996) and regardless of whether it is communist or capitalist.

NATO has been and continues to be an alliance that has principally and permanently violated the UN Charter, Article 1 “Self-Determination of Nations,” from its inception. NATO members – and also associate members such as Switzerland and Austria – joined in various ways in the numerous U.S.-led wars of the wrongly so-called “Cold War,” beginning with the Korean War and most recently, for example, for two decades in Afghanistan, leaving behind impoverished, devastated countries, with high profits for the arms, energy, supply and private military services industries.

And even under the otherwise somewhat criticized President Donald Trump, NATO’s European partners followed NATO’s leading power in anti-Russian agitation and rearmament to conquer the Eurasian theater, finally, finally succeeding, if need be again with war, and this time with nuclear bombs.

With the eastward enlargement of NATO the founding lie was continued. The EU membership of the ex-socialist states always followed a few years after the NATO membership. The EU continues to be an appendage of NATO. The relative economic support provided by the Marshall Plan brought only relative prosperity – and it was only a temporary concession. That ended in 1990. The EU, together with U.S. corporations, investors and consultants, has been dismantling relative prosperity ever since, step by step, first in Eastern Europe but, at the latest since the 2008 “financial crisis,” ever more rapidly in the “rich” states of Western Europe as well.

The stakes are high. The NATO edifice of lies, nurtured for decades, is more fragile than ever. Resistance to it must and can take on a new strength, on all continents. The legal-political basis are the original UN international law and UN human rights, which include labor and social rights. And that the military harms the environment more than others, even environmentalists can still learn.

Clash of Christianities: Why Europe cannot understand Russia


April 29 2022

Source

By Pepe Escobar

Under an ubiquitous, toxic atmosphere of cognitive dissonance drenched in Russophobia, it’s absolutely impossible to have a meaningful discussion on finer points of Russian history and culture across the NATO space – a phenomenon I’m experiencing back in Paris right now, fresh from a long stint in Istanbul.

At best, in a semblance of civilized dialogue, Russia is pigeonholed in the reductionist view of a threatening, irrational, ever-expanding empire – a way more wicked version of Ancient Rome, Achaemenid Persia, Ottoman Turkey or Mughal India.

The fall of the USSR a little over three decades ago did hurl Russia back three centuries – to its borders in the 17th century. Russia, historically, had been interpreted as a secular empire – immense, multiple and multinational. This is all informed by history, very much alive even today in the Russian collective unconscious.

When Operation Z started I was in Istanbul – the Second Rome. I spent a considerable time of my late night walks around Hagia Sophia reflecting on the historical correlations of the Second Rome with the Third Rome – which happens to be Moscow, since the concept was first enounced at the start of the 16th century.

Later, back in Paris, banishment to soliloquy territory seemed inevitable until an academic pointed me to some substance, although heavily distorted by political correctness, available in the French magazine Historia.

There’s at least an attempt to discuss the Third Rome. The significance of the concept was initially religious before becoming political – encapsulating the Russian drive to become the leader of the Orthodox world in contrast with Catholicism. This has to be understood also in the context of pan-Slavic theories springing up under the first Romanov and then reaching their apogee in the 19th century.

Eurasianism – and its several declinations – treats the complex Russian identity as double-faced, between east and west. Western liberal democracies simply can’t understand that these ideas – infusing varied brands of Russian nationalism – do not imply hostility to “enlightened” Europe, but an affirmation of Difference (they could learn a bit from reading more Gilles Deleuze for that matter). Eurasianism also weighs on closer relations with Central Asia and necessary alliances, in various degrees, with China and Turkey.

A perplexed liberal west remains hostage to a vortex of Russian images which it can’t properly decode – from the two-headed eagle, which is the symbol of the Russian state since Peter the Great, to the Kremlin cathedrals, the St. Petersburg citadel, the Red Army entering Berlin in 1945, the May 9 parades (the next one will be particularly meaningful), and historical figures from Ivan the Terrible to Peter the Great. At best – and we’re talking academic level ‘experts’ – they identify all of the above as “flamboyant and confused” imagery.

The Christian/Orthodox divide

The apparently monolithic liberal west itself also cannot be understood if we forget how, historically, Europe is also a two-headed beast: one head may be tracked from Charlemagne all the way to the awful Brussels Eurocrat machine; and the other one comes from Athens and Rome, and via Byzantium/Constantinople (the Second Rome) reaches all the way to Moscow (the Third Rome).

Latin Europe, for the Orthodox, is seen as a hybrid usurper, preaching a distorted Christianity which only refers to St. Augustine, practicing absurd rites and neglecting the very important Holy Ghost. The Europe of Christian Popes invented what is considered a historical hydra – Byzantium – where Byzantines were actually Greeks living under the Roman Empire.

Western Europeans for their part see the Orthodox and the Christians from the East (see how they were abandoned by the west in Syria under ISIS and Al Qaeda) as satraps and a bunch of smugglers – while the Orthodox regard the Crusaders, the Teutonic chevaliers and the Jesuits – correctly, we must say – as barbarian usurpers bent on world conquest.

In the Orthodox canon, a major trauma is the fourth Crusade in 1204 which utterly destroyed Constantinople. The Frankish chevaliers happened to eviscerate the most dazzling metropolis in the world, which congregated at the time all the riches from Asia.

That was the definition of cultural genocide. The Frankish also happened to be aligned with some notorious serial plunderers: the Venetians. No wonder, from that historical juncture onwards, a slogan was born: “Better the Sultan’s turban than the Pope’s tiara.”

So since the 8th century, Carolingian and Byzantine Europe were de facto at war across an Iron Curtain from the Baltics to the Mediterranean (compare it with the emerging New Iron Curtain of Cold War 2.0). After the barbarian invasions, they neither spoke the same language nor practiced the same writing, rites or theology.

This fracture, significantly, also trespassed Kiev. The west was Catholic – 15% of Greek catholics and 3% of Latins – and in the center and the east, 70% Orthodox, who became hegemonic in the 20th century after the elimination of Jewish minorities by mainly the Waffen-SS of the Galicia division, the precursors of Ukraine’s Azov batallion.

Constantinople, even in decline, managed to pull off a sophisticated geo-strategic game to seduce the Slavs, betting on Muscovy against the Catholic Polish-Lithuanian combo. The fall of Constantinople in 1453 allowed Muscovy to denounce the treason of Greeks and Byzantine Armenians who rallied around the Roman Pope, who badly wanted a reunified Christianity.

Afterward, Russia ends up constituting itself as the only Orthodox nation that did not fall under Ottoman domination. Moscow regards itself – as Byzantium – as a unique symphony between spiritual and temporal powers.

Third Rome becomes a political concept only in the 19th century – after Peter the Great and Catherine the Great had vastly expanded Russian power. The key concepts of Russia, Empire and Orthodoxy are fused. That always implies Russia needs a ‘near abroad’ – and that bears similarities with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vision (which, significantly, is not imperial, but cultural).

As the vast Russian space has been in constant flow for centuries, that also implies the central role of the concept of encirclement. Every Russian is very much aware of territorial vulnerability (remember, for starters, Napoleon and Hitler). Once the western borderland is trespassed, it’s an easy ride all the way to Moscow. Thus, this very unstable line must be protected; the current correlation is the real threat of Ukraine made to host NATO bases.

Onward to Odessa

With the fall of the USSR, Russia found itself in a geopolitical situation last encountered in the 17th century. The slow and painful reconstruction was spearheaded from two fronts: the KGB – later FSB – and the Orthodox church. The highest-level interaction between the Orthodox clergy and the Kremlin was conducted by Patriarch Kirill – who later became Putin’s minister of religious affairs.

Ukraine for its part had become a de facto Moscow protectorate way back in 1654 under the Treaty of Pereyaslav: much more than a strategic alliance, it was a natural fusion, in progress for ages by two Orthodox Slav nations.

Ukraine then falls under the Russian orbit. Russian domination expands until 1764, when the last Ukrainian hetman (commander-in-chief) is officially deposed by Catherine the Great: that’s when Ukraine becomes a province of the Russian empire.

As Putin made it quite clear this week: “Russia cannot allow the creation of anti-Russian territories around the country.” Operation Z will inevitably encompass Odessa, founded in 1794 by Catherine the Great.

The Russians at the time had just expelled the Ottomans from the northwest of the Black Sea, which had been successively run by Goths, Bulgars, Hungarians and then Turkish peoples – all the way to the Tatars. Odessa at the start was peopled, believe it or not, by Romanians who were encouraged to settle there after the 16th century by the Ottoman sultans.

Catherine chose a Greek name for the city – which at the start was not Slav at all. And very much like St. Petersburg, founded a century earlier by Peter the Great, Odessa never stopped flirting with the west.

Tsar Alexander I, in the early 19th century, decides to turn Odessa into a great trading port – developed by a Frenchman, the Duke of Richelieu. It was from the port of Odessa that Ukrainian wheat started to reach Europe. By the turn of the 20th century, Odessa is truly multinational – after having attracted, among others, the genius of Pushkin.

Odessa is not Ukrainian: it’s an intrinsic part of the Russian soul. And soon the trials and tribulations of history will make it so again: as an independent republic; as part of a Novorossiya confederation; or attached to the Russian Federation. The people of Odessa will decide.

بضع دقائق في رأس الرئيس بوتين


الخميس 21 نيسان 2022

ناصر قنديل

يقول أحد الجنرالات المخضرمين العارفين بقوانين الحرب والذين شاركوا في صناعة بعض من معاركها، إن ثلاثة قرارات اتخذها الجنرال فلاديمير بوتين تحتاج شجاعة استثنائيّة يصعب أن يمتلكها قائد عسكريّ أو سياسيّ، الأول هو قرار بدء الحرب في ظروف جيوسياسية شديدة التعقيد. فالرئيس بوتين كان يعلم أنه يدخل غمار حقل شوك مليء بالمفاجآت والاحتمالات ليس ما جرى إلا بعضاً منها. وقرار الحرب على أوكرانيا يعادل عام 1961 قراراً أميركياً بغزو كوبا، بينما الظروف ليست معكوسة، فلا روسيا هي أميركا الستينيات القوة التي يمكن لأحد مواجهتها، ولا أوكرانيا هي كوبا المحاصرة والضعيفة. والثاني هو قرار تفعيل الأسلحة النووية ورفع جاهزيتها الى مستوى التأهب، وهو قرار يعادل الاستعداد لدخول حرب نووية، لم يسبق أن فعله أحد آخر، حتى أميركا والاتحاد السوفياتي في مرحلة النزاع حول الصواريخ السوفياتية في كوبا وما عرف بأزمة الخنازير بقيا على مسافة من مثل هذا القرار. والقرار الثالث هو إعلان الانسحاب من المحور الرئيسي للهجوم الروسي الذي استهدف العاصمة كييف، وكان على مقربة من قلبها، واتخاذ القرار من طرف واحد بما فيه من مخاطرة بالاضطرار للعودة لاسترداد المناطق التي تم الانسحاب منها بكلفة أعلى، وما فيه من فرص للخصوم لتصويره هزيمة للجيش الروسي واعترافاً بالفشل، هو قرار يصعب على قادة عسكريين وسياسيين كثيرين اتخاذه.

التجول الافتراضي لبضع دقائق في عقل الرئيس بوتين يبدو رحلة مغرية، لمحاولة استكشاف ما يدور في عقل هذا الرجل الذي تدور على طاولته وبين يديه، خرائط العالم الجديد، وتتوقف على تواقيعه مصائر الكثير من السياسات والحسابات والحروب. وهذا التجول الافتراضي هو حصيلة حوار ممتع للتداول في الفرضيات التي وضعها الرئيس بوتين لدى رسم سياق حربه واتخاذ قراراته، جرى مع صديق خبير بطريقة تفكير الرئيس الروسي من جهة، ومتابع لتفاصيل السياسات الدولية والحروب المعاصرة، وصراعات الطاقة والجغرافيا السياسية المندلعة منذ مطلع القرن الحادي والعشرين، من جهة مقابلة، وتبدأ الرحلة من السؤال الأهم، ماذا يريد الرئيس بوتين، وماذا يخشى؟

تبدأ الخلاصة الأولى بالاكتشاف الخطير، وهو أن الرئيس بوتين لا يخشى الحرب النووية وهو واثق من كسبها إذا اندلعت، وهو يعتقد أن الخوف منها سيتسبب بالذعر السياسي ودفع أثمان بلا طائل تحت شعار تفاديها. وأن الحرب النووية اذا كانت ضمن خطة الطرف الغربي المقابل فسيكون دفع العبودية الكاملة ثمناً لتفاديها هو الطريقة الوحيدة لاستبعادها، واذا لم تكن ضمن مشروع الغرب، فإن الاستعداد لها وعدم خشيتها لن يدفعا بالغرب نحوها، بل سيجعلانه مستعداً للتفكير بجدية وعقلانية، باستحالة الجمع بين تفاديها وممارسة الهيمنة والعبودية على العالم دولاً وشعوباً، ورفض الأخذ بمعايير موحدة لمقاربة القضايا الدولية الشائكة والمتراكمة، والتي تشكل علاقة الشرق بالغرب أهمها، ومحورها الرئيسي، ولذلك فإن الرئيس بوتين حسم أمر عدم الخشية من الحرب النووية مبكراً واتخذ الاستعدادات العسكرية وغير العسكرية التي تتيح له الخروج منها منتصراً، معتبراً أن هذا هو أقصر الطرق لمنع وقوعها، وأنه التعبير الأسمى عن الحس الإنساني بالسعي لتفادي الخراب الذي ستحمله للعالم. وهذه القناعة هي التي كانت وراء إنفاق مئات مليارات الدولارات على تطوير الأسلحة الاستراتيجية التي لم يكشف الا عن القليل منها، لكن الغرب يعرف ويعترف بأن روسيا للمرة الأولى تسبقه على هذا الصعيد بعشر سنوات.

إذا كان الأمر الأول هو ما لا يخشاه الرئيس بوتين فما الذي يخشاه؟ الذي كان يخشاه الرئيس بوتين، هو أن ينجح الغرب بصياغة مواجهة ذكية تفكك العلاقة بين مستويات الحرب الثلاثة، المستوى الأوكراني – الأوكراني ومحوره التعامل المنصف قانونياً وإنسانياً وثقافياً ولغوياً مع الأصول الروسية، لأن هذا هو محور قضية دونباس، العنصرية المبنية على هوية غربية شوفينية تجاه كل ما يمت لروسيا بصلة بالدم او الدين او اللغة. والمستوى الثاني هو المستوى الإقليمي، ومحوره التوازن الأمني في أوروبا بين روسيا ودول الناتو، وكانت رسالة موسكو لطلب الضمانات الأمنية من واشنطن، تتضمن عرضاً وافياً لمضمون عناوينه، وقضية أوكرانيا وانضمامها للناتو كانت رأس جبل الجليد في هذا الملف. والمحور الثالث هو مستوى العلاقات الدولية وسعي روسيا لنظام عالمي جديد متعدد الأقطاب صرح المسؤولون الروس مراراً عن فهمهم له وسعيهم إليه. وهذا المحور هو الإطار الحاضن عملياً وسياسياً واستراتيجياً لكل تفاصيل وسياقات الحرب الأوكرانية من الزاوية الروسية. ويعتقد الرئيس بوتين أنه لو نجح الغرب بفك التشابك بين هذه المحاور، فبادر عبر الحكومة الأوكرانية بإعلان الانفتاح العملي على مقتضيات إنهاء الحقبة العنصرية بحق ذوي الأصول والمتعلقات الروسية، وشجع على التفاوض حول حياد أوكرانيا، كترجمة طبيعية للتسليم باستحالة ضمها إلى الناتو، لنجح بحرمان روسيا من المنصة التي وفرتها الحرب للهم الاستراتيجي الأول لروسيا وهو إعادة صياغة العلاقات الدولية، ولنجح الغرب بمحاصرتها كقوة إقليمية وحرمانها من فرصة لعب دور القوة الدولية العظمى، التي تستحيل هزيمتها، كما تقول وقائع ما بعد حزمات العقوبات الأشد قسوة، وأزمات الطاقة والغذاء التي تدق أبواب العالم من أوروبا أولاً.

الحصيلة الأولى للجولة أن الرئيس بوتين يعتبر أنه نجح بفرض تفادي الحرب النووية بوضعها خياراً حاضراً على الطاولة، وأن الغرب تصرّف بحماقة وغباوة سهلت عليه مهمة جعل النظام العالمي الجديد محور الصراع، بعدما زاد الربط بين محاور الصراع الثلاثة، فبدلاً من تفكيك السياسات العنصرية بحق ذوي الأصول والمتعلقات الروسية في أوكرانيا قام بعولمة العنصرية ضد الروس عبر ما حملته كل العقوبات الغربية، بصورة استنهضت الوطنية الروسية إلى درجة غير مسبوقة تحت الشعور بخطر التهديد، وجعلت حربهم الوجودية هي الحرب التي يخوضها بوتين، ولو كانت الأثمان اعلى كلفة عما هي الآن بالأرواح وظروف المعيشة، والروس دفعوا ملايين الأرواح وعمران مدنهم كلها تقريباً لاجتثاث عنصرية مشابهة مثلتها النازية التي ستحتفل روسيا بذكرى النصر عليها قريبا، وبدلاً من التشجيع على حياد أوكرانيا يتحدث الغرب عن ضم دولتي فنلندا والسويد المحايدتين إلى الناتو، وبدلاً من تحييد قطاعي الطاقة والعملات كنقاط ضعف غربية كان يجب عدم كشفها، ذهب الغرب الى الملعب الذي يرغب به الرئيس بوتين لمنازلة الغرب وهو ليس إلا في نقطة البداية بعد.

قرار بدء الحرب وقرار تفعيل السلاح النووي كانا ترجمة لهذا الفهم، وقد تحققت هذه الأهداف، وقرار الانسحاب من محيط كييف ترجمة للاطمئنان بأن المحور الثالث للحرب، أي مستقبل العلاقات الدولية، صار هو العامل الحاسم، فمن الخطأ المساهمة بمنح البعد الأوكراني من الحرب أبعد مما يستحق، والحرب لم تعد الا منصة مفتوحة لأسابيع أو شهور او سنوات، حتى يتحقق الهدف، وهو ولادة نظام عالمي جديد. ومدة الحرب يقررها مدى مواصلة اوروبا محاولة الجمع المستحيل بين مصالحها الجوهرية والتبعية لأميركا، وما تظنه واشنطن لعبة عض على الأصابع تنتظر من يصرخ أولاً، هي في الحقيقة لعبة لحس مبرد، فيها طرف يلاعب لسانه بالمبرد ويتلذذ بطعم دمه، كحال أوروبا، ومن يعض على الإصبع الأوروبي هو الأميركي وليس روسيا. وروسيا تعض على الإصبع الأميركي من بوابة قدرة أوروبا على التحمل، وقدرة أميركا على تخيل مستقبلها دون أوروبا، وموعد الصراخ الأوروبي قريب، ومثله موعد الصراخ الأميركي. في عقل الرئيس بوتين معادلة، مرتاح لمسار الأمور وفقاً للخطة والتوقيت المقررين، ومستعد لكل الاحتمالات، لكن يصعب على الكثيرين فهم معنى ذلك بسهولة، إلا عندما يراهم يجلسون الى طاولة التفاوض لمناقشة ما هو أبعد من أوكرانيا والأمن الأوروبي وأمن الطاقة، لرسم قواعد جديدة للعلاقات الدولية تثق موسكو ويثق الرئيس بوتين أن مكانة موسكو فيها ستكون حاسمة ومقررة.

«مصدّق» باكستان وتأميم القنبلة «الإسلاميّة»!

الإثنين 11 نيسان 2022

محمد صادق الحسيني

مثلما انبثقت معادلة الحكم في كلّ من تركيا وإيران بشكلها الحداثي من خاصرة الحرب العالمية الأولى، على قاعدة حكم العسكر باعتباره عمود الدولة كما جسّدها كمال أتاتورك في الأولى، ورضا خان في الثانية، فإنّ باكستان الدولة الجديدة الولادة كما نعرفها الآن هي الأخرى انبثقت معادلة الحكم فيها، من خاصرة الحرب العالمية الثانية على قاعدة انّ العسكر هم عمود الخيمة في الدولة، وانْ كان سياق الولادة في باكستان قد نشأ في سياق مختلف، إلا انّ القاسم المشترك بين أنظمة الحكم الحداثوية الشرقية الآنفة الذكر، هو ظهور العسكر بمثابة عمود الخيمة في النظام السياسي، لا يستقيم أمر استقراره إلا به، ولن يتغيّر الا بتغيّره.

وبعيداً عن الدخول في إشكالية استقلال باكستان «الإسلامية» بقيادة مؤسسها محمد علي جناح وهو أمر مقدّر ومحترم في وجدان الرأي العام الباكستاني والإسلامي، إلا انّ ما يهمّنا التوقف عنده هنا هو أمر آخر تماماً…

ألا وهو نشوء نخبة باكستانية «مدنية» متعلمة، واكبت حقبة الاستقلال وحكم العسكر محمّلة بنسبة عالية من مفاهيم التعايش السلمي مع ثقافة الغرب ونوع من الودّ والعطف تجاه نياته المعلنة بخصوص حقّ تقرير المصير للشعوب وما شابه من مقولات سُمّيت باختصار بالديمقراطية…!

عمران خان هو واحد من هذا الجنس الإصلاحي الهادئ واللطيف الذي نشأ في حضن هذه التركيبة.

قبله كان محمد مصدق إيران، الذي صدّق هو الآخر ثقافة الغرب الديمقراطية ووثق بها، وأراد بدافع حب الوطن، التخلص بمحبة ووداد، من هيمنة بريطانيا العظمى ومن سلطة شركة النفط البريطانية وتأميم النفط الإيراني متجرّئاً على حكم الشاه ومعادلة العسكر، مستعيناً بصدق نيات واشنطن «الإصلاحية»، التي سرعان ما كذبت عفويّته السياسية هذه وعاجلته بانقلاب عسكري أعاد تلميذها النجيب الى الحكم أيّ الشاه محمد رضا بهلوي وهيمنة الاستعمار الغربي على كلّ مقدرات إيران بقوة أكبر وقسوة أشدّ.

هذا هو ما حصل بالضبط لعمران خان المثقف الإصلاحي في اليومين الماضيين، عندما ظنّ أنّ بإمكانه التخلص «بمحبة» وبديمقراطية «عذرية» من عصابة المتشدّدين الوهابيين المرتبطين بسفارات البترودولار وأميركا الشيطان الأكبر، مستعيناً بأميركا «الديمقراطية» و«الودودة»، التي سرعان ما كذبته وتركته طريداً شريداً يئنّ من خذلان من سمّاهم بمؤسسات الدولة له، الذين هم ليسوا سوى المعادلة نفسها التي أتت به إلى السلطة.

نعم فقد ظن عمران خان في لحظة وعي ويقظة استثنائية وظروف إقليمية ودولية تحوّلية متسارعة انّ بإمكانه تغيير شكل وبنية النظام السياسي الحاكم في الباكستان منذ نشوء الدولة ـ بكلّ هدوء ولطف و«مودة» المثقف الإصلاحي لتحقيق حلمه الورديّ!

 هو لم ينتبه في الواقع أنّ عمله هذا يعني في ما يعني تأميم القنبلة «الإسلامية»، كما قام مصدق بتأميم النفط في خمسينيات القرن الماضي..!

 وهذا أمر مستحيل دون الصدام مع عمود خيمة النظام أيّ الجيش، ودون ممارسة أيّ عنف ثوري ودون إراقة دماء..!

ايّ إجراء عملية ولادة قيصرية لباكستان، لا هو يملك أدواتها الليزرية ولا يريد استخدام أدوات جراحية فيها..!

مستنداً الى مواكبة اللحظة الإقليمية والدولية المتحوّلة غير المكتملة وغير الناضجة داخل مجتمعه أصلاً…!

 وكما أحبط مصدق إيران من قبله، أحبط عمران خان أيضاً لفقدانهما أدوات التغيير وكذلك منهجيته…!

فالعالم المتحكم بموقع ودور باكستان اليوم الخارجي، ورغم كلّ التحوّلات العالمية الإيجابية المحيطة، لا يزال عالم الذئاب وفي باكستان نفسها أيضاً يبدو انّ معدل موازين القوى الداخلية لا تسمح بعد بأحلام أمثال عمران خان من دون ثورة حقيقية وجذرية!

فالذين وقفوا ويقفون بوجه حلم عمران خان هم الجيش وصنيعته «طالبان باكستان» والأوليغارشية السياسية المرتبطة بالسفارات الوهابية والغربية وفي مقدّمها السفارة الأميركية والمخابرات الأميركية «سي أي آي»، والتي لا تزال هي من تمتلك مفتاح او «كود» أو «زر» القنبلة الباكستانية «الإسلامية» التي سمح لها أصلاً لتكون صنواً للقنبلة الهندية وليس أكثر!

ألا يتذكّر عمران خان كيف تمّ وأد طموحات ذو الفقار علي بوتو في سبعينيات القرن الماضي أيضاً، وكيف تمّت محاكمته وإعدامه..!؟

نعم ما حصل في اليومين الماضيين يمكن اعتباره محطة نوعيّة مهمة في سياق مسار التحوّل والتغيير في باكستان، ونحن نشاهد لأول مرة غضب الشارع الباكستاني المسلم، ونزعته الاستقلالية والتحررية، بل وحتى الثورية المطالبة بطرد النفوذ الغربي، وقد انتقلت من الشارع الى صالونات الطبقة الحاكمة متمثلة بتململ عمران خان وغضبه…!

لكن منسوب التحوّل والتغيير المجتمعيّ العام لم يصبح بعد كافياً على ما يبدو بعد لتأميم القنبلة «الإسلامية»…!

القضية بحاجة ربما الى «شمرة عصا» إضافيّة، كما يقول المثل، بل خطوة احتجاجية جذرية «خمينيّة» من جنس الباكستان تطيح بالعفن والتأكسد المتراكم فوق صدور شعب محمد علي جناح منذ الحرب العالمية الثانية…!

خصوم عمران خان في المقابل لن يتمكنوا بعد اليوم من إقفال الباب على التغيير المقبل بقوة على باكستان…!

لعله لا بدّ لعمران خان الانتظار قليلاً ليرى ونرى سوياً مخاض أوكرانيا، وحرب بوتين المفتوحة على إمبراطورية الكذب..!

أخيراً وليس آخراً فإنّ طريق الحرير الجديد الذي يريد الباكستانيون ان ينعموا به من بوابة الصين، صار حديدياً، وبالتالي صار لا بدّ لكلّ من يريد أن يساهم فيه، ان يكون صاحب قبضة فولاذيّة..!

«لسنا عبيداً عندكم»

خطوة في الاتجاه الصحيح.

لكنها ليست كافية.

حتى تمسك زر التغيير وتصبح *قائداً أعظم* جديداً لا بدّ ان تغزوهم قبل أن يغزوك، لأنهم يعدّون لك الأسوأ.

خذ العبرة ممن سبقوك، لا مكان للموقف الرمادي في القضايا الكبرى.

اللحظة «خمينيّة « يا عمران خان بكلّ امتياز! وإلا ذهبت تحت أقدام الفيلة.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

The Silent Majority

April 11 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Bouthaina Shaaban 

All just causes in the world from Vietnam to Iraq to Palestine, Syria, and Yemen suffered from the entails of the stands of the silent majority.

The Silent Majority

There is a proverb in Arabic that says, “Those who are dumb-founded regarding a just cause are evil devils.” The more we live and gain experience, the more we discover that the tragedy in the world is not caused only by the one or two percent of people who are intent on creating trouble. Rather, it is truly caused and perpetuated by the majority of cowardly people who keep their mouths shut, either in consideration for petty personal interests, or in fear of invoking the anger of their masters, or in fear of even losing any of the favors bestowed on them. 

What applies to a small community also applies to a much larger scale and in many different political and non-political domains. You see countries collapsing mainly because those who are supposed to protect them are withdrawing from their moral duties and putting on a show with no real opinion or vision or stand. The voting that ended up suspending Russia from the Human Rights Council at the General Assembly in the UN falls within this category. The 93 countries that voted in favor of this suspension and the 58 countries that abstained are, in their majority, countries that may get the same treatment as Russia in one field or another. Most of them were pressured or blackmailed or threatened to vote against Russia. Little did they know that any or either of them may be in Russia’s shoes tomorrow or after tomorrow. 

In brief, this is a very short-sighted vision that may keep them on the safe side temporarily, but the safety valve for all is to make a real and resounding stand in favor of what is right and just, which may truly be the founding measure to create a safety net for a shared future for humanity and to rid themselves, once and for all, of Western hegemony that persists on using military power and political and diplomatic blackmail to prevent the establishment of a multi-polar system on totally different and much better foundations for the human family at large.

All just causes in the world from Vietnam to Iraq to Palestine, Syria, and Yemen suffered from the entails of the stands of the silent majority. There is no doubt that the major suffering was inflicted on them by military aggression and invasion, but had there been an international outcry against such crimes, the aggressor would have been forced to stop. That had actually taken place only in the war on Vietnam as it was the international and American outcry that played a major role in putting an end to that war. 

After that, the West changed tactics and started to use insidious threats, blackmail, bribery, and corruption to win some voices and silence others so that the west can stay in the lead regardless of the horrifying crimes it is perpetrating all over the world and in so many different countries. In the face of these new evil tactics, only courage and coordination among different parties are useful in understanding the bases of Western hegemony. No one is safe until all are safe, and no one is secure until all are secure. Western efforts to fragment stands by non-Western countries while keeping one common stand by Western countries is their permanent recipe to keep Western hegemony in the world. Unless Eastern and developing countries realize that they are all in one boat and that they have to make one stand, they will be marginalized and subjected to the liberal world rules. Spending more time thinking, strategizing, and planning is a must and is an essential necessity for founding a more equal world and a truly shared future for humanity. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

الحرب الأهلية الرأس المالية في العالم: قراءة اقتصادية سياسية للمواجهة في أوكرانيا

الثلاثاء 5 نيسان 2022

زياد حافظ

يعتبر بعض المراقبين الدوليين المخضرمين كسفير الهند السابق م. ك. بهادرا كومار والذي يؤكّدها مراقب آخر مرموق الستير كروك الضابط السابق في المخابرات البريطانية وصاحب موقع «كونفليكت فوروم» (منتدى الصراعات) أنّ المواجهة في أوكرانيا هي مواجهة بين روسيا والولايات المتحدة. هذه مقاربة صحيحة إلاّ أنها لا تفسّر لماذا؟ فالمواجهة التي نشهدها على الصعيدين الدولي والإقليمي هي بين محور صاعد ومحور متراجع على وشك الانفراط وهي فعلياً حرب أهلية بين رأس ماليتين: رأس مالية صناعية إنتاجية ورأس مالية ريعية مالية. المحور الصاعد هو محور الرأس المالية الصناعية الإنتاجية التي تقوده الكتلة الأوراسية ومعها دول الجنوب الإجمالي بينما المحور الثاني هو الرأس المالية الريعية الإنتاجية المالية التي تقوده الولايات المتحدة ومعها دول الغرب وخاصة دول التحالف الانكلوساكسوني. فالمحور الانكلوساكسوني انتهج سياسة اقتصادية منذ خمسة عقود فرضها على حلفائه في أوروبا أدّت إلى التخلّي عن الإنتاج الصناعي للدخول في عصر ما بعد التصنيع عبر التركيز على الخدمات بشكل عام والخدمات المالية بشكل خاص. والتحوّلات في البنية الاقتصادية والسياسية التي حصلت من جرّاء سياسات مالية ونقدية أدّت إلى تغلّب الريع على المصادر الأخرى لإنتاج الثروة.

ولتجنّب فقدان القوّامة والهيمنة في المشهد الاقتصادي الدولي اعتبرت النخب الحاكمة في الغرب من الطيف النيوليبرالي أن السيطرة على المال والنقد تكفي للسيطرة على الاقتصاد وبالتالي على الدول. هذه هي نظرية كيسنجر الذي اعتبر ان السياسة النقدية هي مفتاح السيطرة على العالم والتي روّج قوّامتها في ما بعد الاقتصادي ميلتون فريدمان وعلى الصعيد السياسي مارغاريت تاتشر ورونالد ريغان. لكن هذه النظرية كانت خاطئة منذ اللحظة الأولى لأنّ السيطرة على العالم تأتي من بوّابة السيطرة على الغذاء والطاقة والموارد الطبيعية وليس على المال كما أكدته التطوّرات خلال العقود الخمسة الماضية. هذا هو جوهر الصراع بين الرؤية النيوليبرالية الضيّقة الأفق والواقعية السياسية في الصراع الجيوسياسي للسيطرة على الجزيرة الأوراسية حيث تكمن موارد العالم في الغذاء والطاقة والمعادن. الانسان لم يعد قيمة اساسية في النظام النيوليبرالي الغربي الذي تمّت دحرجته إلى مستهلك ممنوع عنه التفكير وتقرير المصير.

السيطرة على الإعلام الشركاتي

 لذلك كانت الموجة للسيطرة على الاعلام عبر التمركز الشركاتي في العالم الغربي وسلب حرّياته الدستورية في التعبير.

والهيمنة الاقتصادية في النظام النيوليبرالي كانت عبر البوّابة المالية عندما تحوّل الدولار إلى عملة الاحتياط الأولي وحتى الوحيدة في العالم. لم يكن ليحصل ذلك لولا قرارين أساسيين اتخذتهما إدارة ريشار نيكسون في 1971 و1973. فالقرار الأول هو قطع صلة الرحم بين الدولار والذهب والقرار الثاني بعد حرب تشرين عندما اقنعت الإدارة الأميركية بلاد الحرمين ومن خلال الأخيرة جميع الدول النفطية في منظمة أوبك تسعير برميل النفط بالدولار. هذا القرار مع القرار السابق بقطع العلاقة مع الذهب مكّن الإدارات الأميركية المتتالية في طباعة الدولار دون أي مساءلة أو محاسبة ما سمح لها بتمويل العجر المتفاقم في الموازنة الأميركية. وهذا العجز ساهم في تمويل الحروب الخارجية الأميركية ومشاريع زعزعة الاستقرار العالمي أينما شاءت في المكان والزمان.

العجز في الموازنة الأميركية ساهم في تكوين الدين العام الذي تجاوز 30 تريليون دولار ناهيك عن الدين الخاص الذي يعود للشركات والأفراد الذي يقدّر ب 38 تريليون دولار. أما الناتج الداخلي فلا يتجاوز 23 تريليون دولار أي بمعنى آخر فإن الدين العام يشكل 130 بالمائة من الناتج الداخلي بينما الدين الخاص تجاوز 165 بالمائة من الناتج الداخلي. ومجموع الدين العام والدين الخاص يقدّر في 2022 إلى 68 تريليون دولار أي 296 بالمائة من الناتج الداخلي. هذا يعني أن الولايات المتحدة مفلسة وإن كانت لديها موارد تستطيع أن تنقذها. لكن السياسات التي اتبعتها خلال العقود الخمسة الماضية أدّت إلى حالة افلاس. لكن هذا الإفلاس تمّ تمويله عبر جعل الدولار العملة الاحتياطية الأساسية في العالم مما سمح للولايات المتحدة طباعة الدولار لتمويل رفاهية في الحكومة وفي القطاع الخاص على حساب مصالح الدول الأخرى. هذه السياسة لم تعد ممكنة وقد يكون لها عواقب مهمة.

فهذا الإفلاس الذي هو أكثر من افتراضي ويهدّد وجود الكيان الأميركي. لذلك أصبحت السيطرة على المقدّرات الاقتصادية في العالم ضرورة للبقاء للولايات المتحدة. وهذه السيطرة تستدعي حروبا مستدامة إما للقضاء على الخصوم المحتملين في الحدّ الأقصى أو لاستنزافهم في الحدّ الأدنى. فالإفلاس هو المحرّك لسياسات عدوانية لا نهاية لها إلا بنهاية النموذج الأميركي القائم حاليا في الاقتصاد وفي السياسة. لذلك نفهم الاستشراس في السياسات الأميركية عبر مقولة ما لنا هو لنا فقط وما هو لكم هو لنا أيضاً فأنتم وكلاء لنا فقط لا غير. والمقصود بـ «لنا» هو النخب الحاكمة وليس المواطن الأميركي! هذا ما صرّح به بشكل واضح الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب الذي عبّر عن يقين السياسات الأميركية تجاه الدول النفطية حيث اعتبر النفط العربي ملكا للولايات المتحدة.

السياسات النقدية والمالية التي اتبعتها الولايات المتحدة خلال العقود الأربعة الماضية أدّت إلى سيطرة الدولار على العالم وبالتالي ساهمت في تكوين ريع افتراضي للولايات المتحدة ساهم في الإمعان في تلك السياسات. فعندما أصبح الدولار عملة الاحتياط للدول فهذا أدّى إلى تمويل العجز في الموازنة الأميركية بدون كلفة. فالدول التي تملك احتياطاً بالدولار مضطرة إلى شراء سندات الخزينة التي هي الوسيلة لتمويل العجز. تمّ التعامل بذلك حتى أقدمت الولايات المتحدة على حجز أموال المصرف المركزي الإيراني ثم الليبي ثم الفنزويلي ثم الافغاني ثم الروسي. هذا يعني أنّ الدول التي تملك احتياطاً نقديا بالدولار مهدّدة في أي وقت بخسارة أموالها إذا كانت سياساتها متناقضة مع سياسات الولايات المتحدة. هيمنة الدولار كعملة احتياط انتهت عندما احتجزت أموال دولة عظمى. هل تستطيع الولايات المتحدة التعامل مع الواقع الجديد؟ في رأينا كلا ولكن هذا حديث آخر!

لكن هذا جزء بسيط من نتائج تلك السياسات. فالبنية الاقتصادية أصبحت عاجزة عن التنافس في الإنتاجية وبالتالي في النمو الفعلي. بمعنى آخر إنّ الناتج الداخلي الذي ارتفع من 1،7 تريليون دولار سنة 1975 إلى 23 تريليون دولار سنة 2020 أيّ 14 ضعفا لم يجار الارتفاع بقيمة البورصة لنفس الفترة حيث ارتفع الداو جونز بنسبة 54 أضعاف. فكيف يمكن أن ترتفع قيمة الشركات بتلك النسبة التي تفوق ارتفاع الناتج الداخلي كمّاً ونسبياً؟ وهنا لم نتكلّم عن الخسارات المحتملة في البورصات الأميركية خاصة في المشتقات الورقية التي تعود إلى اقتراض مفرط مبني على تقديرات للمستقبل دون أيّ سند. فالخسارات المحتملة قد تكون بالكوادريليونات من الدولار أي أرقام فلكية. وإذا اعتمدنا الإحصاءات التي تقدّر القيمة السوقية للشركات الأميركية المتداولة في الأسواق أي ما يوازي 68 تريليون دولار فهذا يعنى أن هناك ثروة معظمها افتراضية لا تتماهى مع الإنتاج الفعلي. فمن أين اتى ذلك الفارق؟

الفارق مصدره السياسات النقدية المعتمدة وخاصة خلال العقود الثلاثة الماضية حيث التسهيل الكمي النقدي التي اعتمدها الاحتياط المركزي أدّى إلى إمداد الشركات بأموال (وبالتالي إلى تفاقم دينها) ليس لزيادة الطاقة الإنتاجية بل لرفع قيمة أسهمها! فالمسؤولون في الشركات الأميركية يتقاضون أتعابهم عبر الأسهم التي يأخذونها وبالتالي أصبحت اولويتهم رفع قيمة تلك الأسهم وإن كان على حساب الشركة التي يديرونها! والأمور لم تتوقف عند هذا الحد. فالاقتراض المسهّل بفوائد منخفضة جدّا أدّى إلى تدمير البنية الإنتاجية عبر وأد التنافس. فالعقود الثلاثة الماضية شهدت تمركزاً شديداً لمعظم القطاعات الاقتصادية في المال والنقل الجوي وإنتاج السيارات وشركات التواصل والمؤسسات المالية وذلك على سبيل المثال وليس الحصر. فالاقتصاد الأميركي أصبح اقتصاداً تحكمه الحالة الاحتكارية وليست التنافسية ما أدّى إلى تراجع الحوافز للتجديد والابداع وبالتالي التقدّم التكنولوجي.

أرقام صينية مرعبة

الصورة مختلفة كلّياً إذا نظرنا إلى النموذج الصيني حيث حقّقت الصين معدلات نمو قياسية خلال العقود الأربعة الماضية وصلت إلى ثلاث أضعاف معدّلات النمو في الولايات المتحدة. السياسات المالية والنقدية أدّت إلى ارتفاع الاستثمارات في البنى التحتية والتعليم وفي الطاقات الإنتاجية وليس لدعم أسهم الشركات! الاستثمار كان في البشر كما كان في الحجر! لذلك استطاعت رفع أكثر من 250 مليون صيني من مستوى الفقر إلى مستوى الطبقة الوسطى بينما نشهد انقراض الطبقة الوسطى في الولايات المتحدة والغرب الذي يتبع النموذج الأميركي عموما (بما فيه لبنان!). والصين استفادت من التكنولوجيا الغربية لتمكين وتطوير قاعدتها الإنتاجية حيث أصبحت أكبر دولة صناعية في العالم. والنموذج الصيني استند إلى دعم الدولة للقطاعات الإنتاجية سواء كانت مملوكة من القطاع العام أو من القطاع الخاص كما حافظت على التنافس وكبحت من الاحتكار. فالاحتكار هو مصدر ريعي بامتياز للثروة بينما الإنتاج مصدر عيني لها.

النموذج الصيني مزج بين قيادة سياسية مركزية متسلّطة حصرت في الدولة مركزية التخطيط بينما النموذج الغربي اعتمد على قوّامة المؤسسة المالية في فرض الخيارات الاقتصادية على السوق. فالمؤسسات المالية المهيمنة، وهي خمس مؤسسات فقط تملكها أربع شركات استثمار وتوظيف فقط، هي التي تحدّد الخيارات مع الاحتياط الاتحادي الذي هو أيضاً مملوك من مصارف خاصة. أي بمعنى آخر الدولة خارج إطار التوجيه للاقتصاد العام وتتكل على «حكمة» السوق الذي تسيطر عليه الشركات المالية. فلا عجب التراجع في الإنتاجية والقدرات التنافسية، ولا عجب في الانكشاف تجاه الخارج بشكل عام والصين بشكل خاص لتلبية حاجاتها. النخب الحاكمة أدركت تلك المفارقة ولكن بعد أن فات الأوان. وهي تجهد منذ عقد من الزمن كبح النمو الصيني عبر وسائل عدة ولكنها لم تنجح بينما كان من المفترض مراجعة سياساتها ونموذجها الاقتصادي والعودة إلى عهد التصنيع بدلاً من الخدمات الريعية.

محاصرة الصين للانقضاض عليها تتطلب التخلّص من تحالفها مع روسيا. لذلك المواجهة مع روسيا التي بدأت فعلا بعد مؤتمر ميونيخ للأمن سنة 2007 حيث حذّر الرئيس الروسي بوتين من القطبية الواحدة وضرورة إعادة صوغ الامن الدولي على قاعدة احترام مصالح الدول بينما الولايات المتحدة المتفرّدة بالقرار الدولي لا تقبل بأيّ مشاركة. حاولت الولايات المتحدة كبح الصعود الروسي بقيادة بوتين الذي قضى على النخب المتحكمة بروسيا التي أوجدتها الولايات المتحدة بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفيتي. فكان عصر صعود الاوليغارشيات الروسية ومعها الغربية لنهب ثروات روسيا. مع وصول بوتين إلى السلطة توقّفت هذه العملية إلى حد كبير وهذا ما أزعج الولايات المتحدة التي حاولت محاصرة روسيا. فكانت موجة الثورات الملوّنة في أوكرانيا وجورجيا وحتى مؤخرا في كازخستان. والمواجهة المباشرة مع روسيا بدأت في عهد الرئيس الأميركي أوباما وفي أوكرانيا بالذات سنة 2014 مع الانقلاب الأميركي ضد النظام القائم في أوكرانيا والمنتخب ديمقراطيا. أدركت روسيا أنّ المواجهة مع الأطلسي لا مفرّ منها وبدأت التخطيط لها. لحظة المواجهة حددتها روسيا بعد أن أيقنت أن الأطلسي يهدف إلى قلب النظام في روسيا وعبر استنزافها في «مستنقع» أوكرانيا. غير أن الرياح الروسية لم تكن كما اشتهت السفن الأطلسية بشكل عام والأميركية بشكل خاص فكانت المواجهة التي نشهدها الآن والتي تنذر بزوال أوكرانيا وهزيمة الأطلسي والولايات المتحدة.

المهم في هذه المقاربة هو التركيز على التنافس بين رأس ماليتين. فالرأس المالية الريعية الأميركية الغربية لم تعد قادرة على التحكّم بالاقتصاد العيني بل فقط بالاقتصاد الافتراضي المالي وذلك عبر سيطرتها على شرايين المال. المواجهة مع روسيا عجّلت في العمل على إقامة نظام مالي خارج سيطرة الولايات المتحدة. والقرار الروسي بعدم التعامل في مبيعات الغاز الروسي للاتحاد الأوروبي يشكّل ضربة قاسمة لهيمنة الدولار وأو اليورو ويكرّس جدوى التعامل بالعملات الوطنية كالروبل واليووان الصيني والروبية الهندية وسائر العملات الوطنية للدول الرافضة للهيمنة الأميركية، وذلك وفقاً للاقتصاديين الأميركيين المرموقين ريتشارد ولف ومايكل هدسون. وفقدان النظام الرأس المالي الريعي المالي القدرة على السيطرة على شرايين المال يضرب في الصميم النموذج الذي اعتمدته الولايات المتحدة منذ أن قرّرت توطين قاعدتها الإنتاجية خارج الولايات المتحدة. وجاءت جائحة كورونا لتكشف هشاشة ما تبقّى من القاعدة الإنتاجية الأميركية حيث معظم قطع الغيار للمصانع الأميركية تأتي من الخارج وخاصة من الصين. فالولايات المتحدة أصبحت بحاجة إلى العالم أكثر مما العالم بحاجة إلى الولايات المتحدة.

هذا هو الدافع المركزي لدى النخب الحاكمة في الولايات المتحدة لمواجهة روسيا. فهي معركة بقاء لنموذج اقتصادي سياسي يعتمد تمركز الثروة في يد القلّة ويؤثّر على المجتمع الأميركي الذي تحوّل إلى سوق استهلاكي فقط لا غير دون أن يكون له أي رأي. وكذلك الأمر في الاعلام الغربي عموما حيث الرأي الواحد هو السائد. فتمركز الاعلام الأميركي بيد ست شركات فقط يساهم في السيطرة على السردية السياسية المطلوبة ويضبط تدفق المعلومات. كذلك الأمر بالنسبة لشركات التواصل الاجتماعي التي لا يتجاوز عددها أصابع اليد الواحدة. وقد اتبعت هذه الشركات سياسة «إلغاء» الرأي الآخر ضاربة عرض الحائط الحق الدستوري في حرّية التعبير. كما يقوم الاعلام الشركاتي المهيمن وشركات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي بتحويل انتباه المواطن الأميركي عن القضايا الأساسية عبر التركيز على قضايا أخلاقية وثقافية لا تمسّ بمصالح الراس المالية الريعية المالية. فخلال جائحة كورونا تمّ تغييب الحديث عن البطالة التي حصلت من جرّاء الجائحة وإقفال المشاريع. كما أنه تمّ استبدال الخطاب الثقافي بالخطاب المسائل لتوجهات الحكومة على الصعيد الاقتصادي والسياسي. كما تمّ أيضا تحميل مسؤولية تردّي الأوضاع الاقتصادية للرئيس الروسي بوتين كما جاء على لسان الرئيس الأميركي بايدن عندما صرّح بأن ارتفاع الأسعار في الولايات المتحدة هو من صنع بوتين!

ما يسيطر في الاعلام الأميركي ووسائل التواصل الاجتماعي هو انقلاب على المفاهيم والقيم المجتمعية عبر ترويج ثقافة الوعي التي تريد إعادة هندسة القيم المجتمعية كالجنوسية التي تريد الغاء التمايز بين الذكور والإناث حتى عند الأطفال أي التسيّب في تحديد الجنس أو ، وثقافة مكافحة العنصرية التي امتدت إلى كل شيء لا يتماهى مع مصالح النخب الحاكمة. فكل ذلك يتيح الفرصة للتكتلات الاقتصادية الاحتكارية الحفاظ على مصالحها دون أي مساءلة أو محاسبة. فالوضع الاقتصادي اليوم في الولايات المتحدة على وشك الانفجار السياسي والاجتماعي وما زالت النخب الحاكمة تعتقد انه باستطاعتها السيطرة على الأمور عبر السيطرة في الاعلام ووسائل التواصل الاجتماعي. الاستثمارات التي تحصل في الولايات المتحدة لا تعود إلى تنمية وتطوير الطاقة الإنتاجية لأن هدف النمو لم يعد لتحسين الأوضاع الاقتصادية للمجتمع بل لزيادة أرباح المستثمرين وإن كانت تلك الأرباح وهمية وافتراضية.

هذا التمركز الإعلامي الضاغط على حرية التعبير موجود أيضا في كل من الصين وروسيا. لكن الفارق هو أن الحكومتين استطاعتا أن تقدما للمواطن ما يريده. لذلك نرى تماسكا اجتماعيا في كل من روسيا والصين يمكن الحكومات من الاستمرار في بناء مجتمع أفضل على قاعدة التزاوج بين اقتصاد السوق وحكومة مركزية قوية تضبط إيقاع السوق عبر التخطيط المركزي. فالتخطيط المركزي ضرورة لضبط إيقاع اقتصاد معقد ومركّب مع تزايد السكان. الحل في الغرب هو عبر السيطرة على الشعوب عبر نزع حرّياتها في الحد الأدنى وتخفيض أعدادها في الحد الأقصى كما دعا كل من كيسنجر وبيل غيتس وكلوس شواب رئيس منتدى دافوس.

الجدل حول جدوى اللقاحات…

هذا ما غذّى الجدل حول جدوى اللقاحات في جائحة كورونا. في القرن التاسع عشر كان البريطانيون يروّجون لتجارة الافيون للسيطرة على القارة الآسيوية. في القرن الحادي والعشرين الافيون الجديد هو ما ابتكرته وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي لتخدير الناس وخاصة الشباب عن متابعة القضايا الجوهرية عبر التركيز على الملذّات. الهدف هو إفقار الناس ولكن برضاهم وجعلهم سعداء في ذلك الفقر!

الصراع بين الرأس الماليتين هو صراع بين سيطرة الأسواق المالية على المقدرات الاقتصادية (الرأس المالية الريعية المالية) وبين التمازج بين التخطيط المركزي وقوّامة الدولة من جهة مع مقتضيات اقتصاد السوق (الرأس المالية الإنتاجية). النموذج الأول لا يكترث بمصلحة الشعوب بل يكترث لمصلحة المساهمين فقط لا غير بينما النموذج الثاني يعتبر سعادة الانسان الهدف الرئيسي. لذلك وجدنا أن النموذج الريعي المالي لا يستثمر في البنية التحتية التي يستفيد منها الجميع بينما النموذج الثاني استثمر بكثافة في البنية التحتية وخاصة في التربية والتعليم.

هذا لا يعني أن الرأس المالية الإنتاجية هي معصومة من الخطأ الأخلاقي إلاّ أنها تحاول تخفيف من سطوة رأس المال على العمل. هذا هو دور الحزب الشيوعي الحاكم في الصين وهذا هو دور الدولة القوية في روسيا. إعادة توزيع الثروة بشكل عادل يساهم في الحفاظ على النموذج الاقتصادي. هذا ما قامت به الرأس المالية الغربية عندما كانت إنتاجية وليست ريعية. فمنذ ثلاثينات القرن الماضي أدركت ضرورة توزيع الثروة وإن بالحد الأدنى عبر مشاريع اقتصادية اجتماعية لمنع انتشار الشيوعية. لكن بعد سقوط الاتحاد السوفيتي لم تجد النخب الحاكمة في الغرب أي مبرر لتوزيع الثروة بل أقدمت على إجراءات أدّت إلى تمركز الثروة بيد القلة. وهدف النخب الحاكمة النيوليبرالية في الراس المالية الريعية الإطاحة بما تبقّى من الدولة الريعية كالضمان الاجتماعي. ففي معتقد هذه النخب وذلك النموذج تحوّلت إلى الحقوق الاجتماعية إلى امتيازات يجب دفع ثمنها. المواطن لا حق له بالعمل او التعليم أو الاستشفاء أو الإسكان فهذه امتيازات عليه أن يدفع ثمنها. هذا هو الحال في لبنان! أما في النموذج الرأس المالي الإنتاجي وخاصة مع وجود الحزب الشيوعي في الحكم فإن العمل والتعليم والاستشفاء والإسكان حقوق وليست امتيازات. كذلك الأمر في روسيا وفي كلّ الدول التي تعتبر رفاهية المواطن واجب.

*باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربية وعضو المنتدى الاقتصادي والاجتماعي في لبنان

ما هي النتائج الاستراتيجيّة لحرب أوكرانيا؟

الاربعاء 23 03 2022

 ناصر قنديل

يعتقد الكثير من المتابعين العسكريين والاستراتيجيين خطأ أن تقييم النتائج الاستراتيجية للحروب، غير ممكنة إلا بعد أن تضع الحرب أوزارها، والصحيح أن النتائج التي يمكن استخلاصها على الصعيد الاستراتيجيّ للحروب هي تلك التي تظهر قبل أن تنتهي الحرب، فما تظهره سياقات الحروب من تأثيرات في الجغرافيا السياسية، ومن تبدّلات في مواقع الدول، وحدود الحركة السياسية والعسكرية والاقتصادية لردّات فعلها تجاه تداعيات الحروب، تكون أحياناً أهم من تلك التي يمكن تسجيلها مع نهاية الحروب، وفي الحرب الأوكرانيّة تدور الحرب على ساحة الأفكار والمواقف والعقول بصورة أشدّ شراسة من تلك الدائرة في الميدان. ومن موقع التفوّق الاستثنائي للآلة الغربيّة الإعلاميّة، ولقدرة التحكم بضخ المعلومات والتحليلات والأخبار، نجح الغرب بتوظيف عناصر تفوّقه لتحديد مواضيع النقاش بما يناسب خطته للتعامل مع الحرب، ولذلك يبدو النقاش الذي نجريه خرقاً لهذا السياق السائد. فالغرب عموماً والأميركي خصوصاً يريدان عبر توجيه النقاش نحو تحويل البحث حول سرعة موسكو وبطئها في تحقيق الإنجازات العسكرية من كونه بحثاً تكتيكياً الى عنوان استراتيجي، بل إلى العنوان الاستراتيجي الوحيد الذي يستقطب النقاش.

أولى النتائج الاستراتيجية للحرب هو إظهار معادلة دولية جديدة قوامها، أن دول حلف الناتو المكونة أصلا من أميركا وكندا و29 دولة أوروبية بما فيها تركيا من أصل 48 دولة أوروبية منها روسيا وروسيا البيضاء وعدد من الجزر الصغيرة والفاتيكان وسويسرا والنمسا خارج الحلف، لن تخوض حرباً مع دولة عظمى كروسيا والصين على الأقل إذا تعرضت أية دولة أخرى خارج الحلف لأي عمل عسكري شبيه بالذي تعرّضت له أوكرانيا، التي تمثل بمعيار الأهميّة والقرب الجغرافي من مركز ثقل الحلف في أوروبا، أعلى درجات المخاطر لعدم التدخل، وبالقياس فإن أية دولة خارج الحلف تقع على جوار روسيا والصين، تتعرض لخطر حرب لن تكون تحت مظلة تدخل الحلف الافتراضية. وهذا يعني في الجوار الروسيّ دولاً مثل أوكرانيا هي السويد وفنلندا ومولدوفا وفي جوار الصين دولاً مثل تايوان ولاوس وبورما وتايلاند وفيتنام، والحاصل الاستراتيجيّ لهذه الخلاصة، سيكون حكماً فتح الطريق لإخضاع هذه الدول لمعادلة الاسترضاء للجار القويّ بقوة الردع الذي ينجم عن معادلة الغزو المحتم دون رادع، ولو امتدّت فترة ترقب هذه الدول لما بعد نهاية الحرب، فهي بدأت تقيم حساباتها وتبني استخلاصاتها قبل أن تنتهي الحرب.

ثانية النتائج الاستراتيجية للحرب ثبات حجم التماسك في الحلف الروسي الصيني. والحرب هي أول تجربة جدية ومفصلية يجري خلالها إخضاع هذه العلاقة لامتحان بهذا الوضوح، بوضع الصين بين خياري التعرض للعقوبات أو المشاركة بالعقوبات المفروضة من الغرب على روسيا. وقد صار ثابتاً أن الدولتين تتصرّفان في مواجهة سطوة الغرب الدولية سياسياً واقتصادياً وعسكرياً كحليفين استراتيجيين، يدركان أن أحدهما ركيزة لا غنى عنها لقوة الآخر، وإن استفراد أحدهما ليس إلا مقدمة لاستفراد الآخر، وبالتالي سقوط المعادلة التي صاغها هنري كيسنجر منذ أيام الحرب الباردة تحت عنوان الاستثمار على التنافس الروسي الصيني وتحويله إلى تناقض تأسيسي في المشهد الاستراتيجي، ولهذا الثبات نتائج هائلة على أية قراءة لموازين القوى الدولية السياسية والاقتصادية والعسكرية، فجمع ما تمثله روسيا والصين على هذه الأصعدة، ومن تستطيعان استقطابه للتحالف بينهما، يجعل الحديث عن هيمنة غربيّة على المشهد الدولي حماقة كبرى. وهذا سيجعل الاستقطاب الموضوعي داخل المشهد الدولي محكوماً بظهور متانة هذا الثنائي للمرة الأولى.

ثالثة النتائج الاستراتيجية للحرب أن المكانة المحورية لسوق الطاقة تتغلب على الحسابات السياسية للعداء ومقتضيات الحروب والنزاعات. فموقف أوروبا المتمسّك بالحفاظ على إمدادات النفط والغاز من روسيا، رغم إدراك أن أولى نتائجه تعطيل كل الرهان على فعاليّة العقوبات على روسيا، وأميركا تفتح قنوات تسريع الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، ومثلها رفع الحصار عن فنزويلا أملاً بتسريع انضمامهما إلى سوق النفط والغاز سعياً لتفادي النتائج السلبيّة للعقوبات على روسيا في أسواق الطاقة. وهي تعلم أنها تستجير من الرمضاء بالنار، وتطلق يد قوى تعلم حجم العداء الاستراتيجي الذي يحكم علاقتها بها، وهذا سيفتح عيون الدول المؤثرة في أسواق الطاقة على مكانتها، وخطورة قدرتها على التأثير بعدما تمّ إخضاعها بأكاذيب استغناء العالم عن النفط والغاز، وبدائل موارد الطاقة الجديدة، ويظهر للعرب ودول الخليج خصوصاً، بعد عقود من الكلام عن عدم جواز استخدام النفط كسلاح سياسيّ، أن أصحاب هذا الخطاب يجاهرون بهذا الاستخدام.

رابعة نتائج الحرب على الصعيد الاستراتيجي، ظهور التفكك والارتباك على حلفاء واشنطن في الشرق الأوسط، الذي بدا بوضوح أنه خارج نطاق السيطرة الأميركية، بعد عقود من ظهوره كولاية أميركية منضبطة. فالضغوط التي مورست لضمان التصويت مع مشروع القرار الأميركي لم تحجب حقيقة مشهد التمرّد على المشاركة بالعقوبات على روسيا. والأمر ليس هنا بالحديث عن إيران وسورية ودول كالعراق والجزائر، بل نتحدّث عن تركيا والسعودية والإمارات ومصر و»إسرائيل»، والمعنيون يمثلون وفقاً للقراءة الأميركية وجهات بديلة في السياحة والمصارف لروسيا عن أوروبا، وتحوّل الشرق الأوسط الى خاصرة أميركية رخوة هو بداية مرحلة ستتبلور أكثر مع العودة الأميركية والأوروبية للاتفاق النووي مع إيران، وبدء صعود الحضور الإيراني كقطب جاذب لمعادلات المنطقة، قادر على تشكيل شريك ثالث إقليمي للثنائي الروسي الصيني، ومن أولى النتائج العربية تصدُّر سورية للمشهد كما بدا من زيارة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد إلى دولة الإمارات قبل أيام قليلة.

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: Leaders of Russia management competition, Moscow, March 19, 2022

March 22, 2022

Ed Note:  This is an important document and answers most of the confused questions that I see come up in the comments still.  A careful read and even study is recommended – Amarynth


Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during his meeting with finalists of the International Track as part of the Leaders of Russia management competition, Moscow, March 19, 2022

Dear friends,

I would like to greet you and express my gratitude for your continuing to invite me even though I chair the Supervisory Board. It is important for me to see you, listen to your questions and understand what worries you in this uneasy period.

This meeting takes place against the backdrop of events now occurring in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly spoken at length about the origins of this crisis. I would like to briefly reiterate: this is not about Ukraine. This is the end-result of a policy that the West has carried out since the early 1990s. It was clear back then that Russia was not going to be docile and that it was going to have a say in international matters. This is not because Russia wants to be a bully. Russia has its history, its tradition, its own understanding of the history of its peoples and a vision on how it can ensure its security and interests in this world.

This became clear in the late 1990s-early 2000s. The West has repeatedly attempted to stall the independent and autonomous development of Russia. This is rather unfortunate. From the start of President Vladimir Putin’s “rule” in the early 2000s, we were open to the idea of working with the West in various ways, even in a form similar to that of an alliance, as the President has said.  Sadly, we were unable to do this. We repeatedly suggested that we should conclude treaties and base our security on equal rights, rejecting the idea of strengthening one’s security at the expense of another.

Neither were we able to promote economic cooperation. The European Union, which back then showed some signs of independent decision-making, has now devolved toward being completely dependent on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the US. The story of Nord Stream 2 was the highlight of this change. Even Germany, which defended its interests in the project to the very end, was persuaded that the “project was not in its interests.” Germany and its people were told what their interests were by people on the other side of the Atlantic. Many other international areas were blocked despite our commitment to close cooperation on an equal basis.

The West did not want equal cooperation and, as we can now see, has kept true to the “will and testament” of Zbigniew Brzezinski who said that Ukraine should not be allowed to side with Russia. With Ukraine, Russia is a great power, while without Ukraine, it is a regional player. We understand that this is a mere exaggeration. But it fits nevertheless the philosophy and the mentality of western leaders. No effort was spared to turn Ukraine into an instrument to contain Russia. Into an “anti-Russia,” as President Putin said. This is neither a metaphor nor an exaggeration.

What has been happening all these years is the significant accumulation of physical, military, ideological, and philosophical threats to the security of the Russian Federation. The militarisation of Ukraine, which was injected with weapons (including assault weapons) worth many billions of dollars over these years, was accompanied by the Nazification of all spheres of society and the eradication of the Russian language. You know the laws that were passed there concerning education, the state language, and the indigenous peoples of Ukraine that made no mention of Russians. It was not only the language that was being edited out, but simply everything Russian. They banned the mass media, which broadcast from Russia and transmitted in Ukraine. Three Ukrainian television channels that were considered disloyal to the current government were shut down. Neo-Nazi battalions with insignia of Hitler’s SS divisions held marches; torchlight processions took place with a presidential regiment assigned as an official escort; fighters were trained in camps by instructor programmes from the US and other Western countries. All this was done with the connivance of civilised Europe and with the support of the Ukrainian government.

To my great regret and shame, President Zelensky has been asking how he could be a Nazi if he has Jewish roots. He said this on the exact day when Ukraine demonstratively withdrew from the Agreement on Perpetuating the Memory of the Courage and Heroism of the Peoples of the CIS Countries During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. When he personally patronises the tendencies I have mentioned, it is difficult to take the policy of the Ukrainian leadership seriously. Just as in the early stages of his presidency, and even earlier, when he was a stage and soap opera star, he assured me in every possible way that it was unthinkable for him that the Russian language could be infringed upon. So here we are: life demonstrates what a person’s word is worth.

These accumulated tendencies took on a new form following the coup d’etat in February 2014. Despite the guarantees of the EU countries — France, Germany and Poland — that were part of the agreement between the opposition and the then-President of Ukraine, they tore up that agreement the morning after, disregarded the guarantees, humiliated the nations above, and the EU as a whole, before announcing their new regime. In our conversations with our western partners, including the Germans and the French, we have been asking them how they could allow this to happen.  We kept reiterating, you provided guarantees to this agreement. They say this happened because Yanukovich left Kiev. Yes he did, but he left for Kharkov to take part in his party’s congress. Yes, he faced a number of issues and did not enjoy broad support, but he never fled. Still, this is not about Yanukovich.

The first point of the Agreement read that the Government of National Accord was to be established as an interim stage for early presidential elections. Most likely, the then president would not have won, and everyone knew this. All the opposition had to do was to wait and fulfil what it agreed to.  Instead, they immediately ran back to “Maidan.” They seized the government building and said, “congratulate us, we have created a government of winners.” And this is how their instincts were immediately manifested. Winners. First of all, they demanded that the Verkhovna Rada abolish any privileges granted to the Russian language. This, despite the fact that the Russian language was and is still enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine, which declares that the state must guarantee the rights of Russians and other ethnic minorities. They demanded that Russians get out of Crimea because they would never think like Ukrainians, speak Ukrainian or honour Ukraine’s heroes Bandera and Shukhevich. They sent combat battalions and “friendship trains” to that peninsula to storm the Supreme Council building. At this point, Crimea rebelled, and Donbass refused to accept the coup d’état and instead asked to be left alone. But they were not left alone. Donbass didn’t attack anyone. But they were declared terrorists and an anti-terrorist operation was launched, with troops being sent in, with nearly all of the West applauding the move. That’s when it became evident exactly what plans were in store for the future role of Ukraine.

The massacre was stopped with enormous effort and through Russia’s active participation. The Minsk agreements were signed. You know what happened to them next. For seven long years, we tried to appeal to the conscience of those who signed the agreements, above all, to France and Germany. The end was tragic.

We held several summits and meetings at other levels, and Ukraine, either under Poroshenko or under Zelensky, just did not want to comply with the agreements. First of all, they refused to open a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk. We asked the Germans and the French why they would not make their proteges at least sit down at the negotiation table. The answer was that they did not think that the republics were independent, and that it was all Russia’s fault. End of conversation. Contrary to its commitments under the Minsk agreements, late last year and early this year, Kiev began to build up its forces along the line of contact up to 120,000 troops. Contrary to the ceasefire agreements that had been signed and violated many times prior, they dramatically increased their heavy shelling, always targeting residential areas. The same has been happening for all these eight years, with varying degrees of intensity, amid complete silence from all the international “human rights” organisatons and Western “civilised democracies.”

Shelling intensified at the start of this year. We received information that Ukraine wanted to implement their Plan B, which they had long threatened, to take the regions by force. This was made worse by the West’s stonewalling of Russia’s initiative to reach an agreement on an equal and indivisible security architecture in Europe. President Vladimir Putin put forward this initiative in November 2021, we drafted the necessary documents and relayed them to the US and NATO in December 2021. They responded that they were willing to negotiate certain issues, including where missiles could not be deployed, but that Ukraine and NATO was none of our business. Ukraine was said to have reserved its right to appeal to join NATO, which would then deliberate whether to admit it, and all this without asking anyone else (likely ending up granting Ukraine’s membership). This was the essence of what they told us.

This is why when Ukraine commenced its shelling, signifying a clear sign of preparations to launch a military offensive in Donbass, we had no other choice but to protect Russian people in Ukraine. We recognised the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. President Vladimir Putin responded to their request by ordering the launch of a special military operation. I am certain that you are following the events and know that the operation has brought to light our worst fears about Ukraine’s military plans and has helped us derail them.

You know that facts have been uncovered of a dangerous bioweapons programme that the Pentagon has been carrying out in many cities of Ukraine. Now that Russia’s armed forces have acquired access to these documents, the US has been trying to cover its tracks. We will be fighting for the truth to come out. This bioweapons research is not limited to Ukraine and is being conducted in over 300 laboratories in various countries, most of them located in former Soviet Union nations along the borders of Russia and the People’s Republic of China.

This was not our choice. We saw how the West’s attitude was communicating one simple truth – if you were a Russophobe; if you were set on eradicating Katsaps and Moskals (a quote from statements made by Ukrainian politicians); if you were to say that anyone who considers themselves Russian and is a citizen of Ukraine should get out for the sake of their future and their children, (as President Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2021); if you obediently fulfill Western bidding so as to constantly irritate, unnerve and unbalance Russia, then you have the universal green light to do anything.

The unprecedentedly hysterical reaction in the West to our military operation, the way they are encouraging and indulging everything anti-Russia and anti-Russian is sad news indeed. I regularly read about the ill treatment that Russian people face in other countries, including citizens of those countries who are of Russian origin. It appears anyone can demand that these people be persecuted in the West now, even on social media. I cannot wrap my mind around this.

But this all proves one thing: the anti-Russia project has failed. President Vladimir Putin has listed the goals of the operation, and the first on the list is to ensure the safety of people in Donbass, and the second one, to eliminate the growing threats to the Russian Federation from the militarisation and Nazification of Ukraine. When they realised that our policy line had helped to thwart their plans, they literally went ballistic.

And yet, we have always supported diplomatic solutions to any problems. Over the course of hostilities, President Vladimir Zelensky proposed negotiations. President Vladimir Putin agreed. The talks are underway, although the Ukrainian delegation did start by, as we say, simply going through the motions. Then dialogue actually began. Even so, there is always the feeling that the Ukrainian delegation is manipulated by the West (most likely, the Americans), and is not allowed to agree to our demands, which are bare minimum, in my opinion. The process is underway.

We continue to be open to cooperation with any countries, including Western ones. However, given how the West has behaved, we are not going to propose any initiatives. Let’s see how they will get themselves out of this self-imposed impasse. They have got themselves into this impasse along with their “values,” “free market principles,” rights to private property and the presumption of innocence. They have trampled on all of this.

Many countries are already beginning to rack their brains in search of ways to slowly “creep away” from the dollar in international settlements. Look what has happened. What if they do not like something else tomorrow? The United States is sending its diplomats around the world, its ambassadors in every country have orders to demand that these countries end cooperation with Russia under the threat of sanctions. We would understand if they did this with small countries. But when such ultimatums and demands are given to China, India, Egypt, or Turkey, it looks like our American colleagues have totally lost touch with reality, or their superhuman complex has overwhelmed their sense of normalcy. We have seen such complexes in human history, and we do know about this.

I do not want to be the only speaker, though. I would like to hear from you. What questions do you have, what are you interested in?

Question: For those who do not know, Riga was part of the Russian Empire longer than Sevastopol was. How long will Russian people need a visa to travel to Russia? Is it possible to issue maybe a card or something for compatriots from the Baltics and European countries, so that they could travel or work in Russia? There is a residence permit, but if you leave for more than six months you lose your residency. In the current situation, when Russophobia is on the rise, this would be especially relevant.

The mistakes made by the public, the “soft power,” then have to be corrected by the army (as we see in Ukraine). Perhaps in countries where Russia faces direct opposition it would make sense to work not through Russian Community Councils (which quickly find themselves under the control of local authorities), but rather to decentralise work. For example, Americans have 20 different funds. You can be anything – green, blue, light blue, whatever, but if you are anti-Russia, this opens all the necessary doors.

Sergey Lavrov: I agree with you about visas. This is an old problem. We have a complicated bureaucracy. This discussion between liberals and conservatives has been going on since the late 1990s and early 2000s. The liberals believed we needed to remove as many barriers as possible so that people with Russian roots, who speak Russian and are involved in cultural and humanitarian events, enjoyed a preferential entry regime. The debate was quite lively when the law on compatriots was adopted, and they discussed the “compatriot card” option. This was one of the most important matters discussed. However, no agreement was reached, including for legal reasons – because it is not a passport or a half-passport. For example, Poland issues Pole’s Cards. These can essentially be used as passports. There are other instruments to liaise with their diasporas in Western countries (with ethnic Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians), and in the Middle East, too. Even in Syria, there is an entire ministry (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates). We are currently working on additional steps that we can take in this direction.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin has appointed me to head the Commission for International Cooperation and Support for Compatriots Abroad. The commission will meet at the end of March. This question will be one of the main ones on the agenda. We will discuss it in the context of a broader approach called repatriation. I believe that repatriation must be legally formalised with all the necessary formalities and the with all legal norms observed. This must be done in order to dramatically facilitate the procedure for those who identify as Russians to relocate or come to stay in Russia. We will try to consider your question as well as part of this approach.

As for the soft power, the Russian Community Councils and the American method – there must be some school of thought that prompts such action. As we promoted the movement of compatriots, we sought to make their actions transparent, so that they did not arouse any suspicion of being involved in underground activities. Unfortunately, that was all in vain. All this transparency backfired. What they are doing with the management of the Russian Community Council in the United States is pure McCarthyism. Its leaders had to return to Russia, otherwise the FBI threatened to imprison them for a long time because they promoted projects between compatriots who maintained cultural and humanitarian ties with Russia. Recall how the Americans treated Maria Butina. She worked openly and completely freely in the United States, promoting joint projects. In the US, all NGOs for the most part explicitly declare they are supported and funded by the Agency for International Development. Other Western countries have many projects that prefer to keep this information to themselves. I wouldn’t want us to act like this. First, it would be dangerous for the people concerned. Secondly, these are the methods of the intelligence services, not soft power methods. On the other hand, American soft power relies heavily on the CIA and other special services.

We will think of ways to support our compatriots in situations where a true witch hunt has been unleashed against them. I think more flexible forms of support could be implemented, including the Foundation for Supporting and Protecting the Rights of Compatriots Living Abroad. The essence of this is the provision of legal assistance to those who find themselves in a difficult situation. There is also the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund. We will think about some additional formats, naturally, fully legitimate ones.

Russia needs to toughen its policy with regard to shadow agencies engaged in things that do not coincide with their charter and other documents. Thank you for showing such an interest. We will certainly try to take this into account.

Question: What contribution do you think representatives of other states can make to the development of international relations with the Russian Federation?

Sergey Lavrov: We will support any public initiatives aimed at developing cooperation in the post-Soviet space. There are many forms for interaction in the CIS, in the CSTO, and in the EAEU, which are of interest to public movements and organisations and that can be used to organise events.

I sincerely would not want to give you any specific ideas here. You know better. You have a feel for what life is like in your country, and how it is affected by relations with Russia on the official, investment, and trade tracks.

As for the Russian Community Councils, in some countries our compatriots are beginning to create alternative councils. It is possible that people are just being competitive, which is only natural, but if you have an interest in doing something on the ground, we will only welcome this. If you need some advice, I am available to listen to your ideas and see how we can support them together with our Kazakhstani colleagues.

Question: I have a proposal, not a question. We have set up a pressure group on this track, and we have already drafted our own proposals. We are ready to help promote Russian culture and the Russian language in Germany, the Baltics and other countries. We would like to become independent analysts and experts and to develop culture, the Russian language and to support compatriots and foreigners who love the Russian language, and who aspire to culture. We would be happy to take part in this process.

Sergey Lavrov: That’s wonderful. Could you please leave your proposals and contacts with the organisers? The Foreign Ministry exercises various functions within the framework of the Government Commission for Compatriots Abroad, and I head this Commission. Our Ministry is also the main body responsible for the implementation of a new federal targeted programme to promote international cooperation. This is what soft power is all about. We also have a programme for supporting the Russian language abroad. In effect, opportunities still exist for the kind of projects you mentioned. I look forward to reading your letter.

Question: As of late, many Western activists, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, have addressed the people of Russia. If you were able to address all the peoples of the world in the West, the East and in Latin America, what would you tell them to make sure they hear you?

Sergey Lavrov: I would tell them that all peoples should be true to themselves, and that they should not abandon their traditions, history, aspirations and world outlook.

Getting back to Ukraine, the Americans are gloating over this situation and rubbing their hands with glee. In all, 140 countries voted against Russia at the UN General Assembly. We know how these countries reached this decision: US ambassadors have been shuttling from capital to capital and demanding that even the great powers comply with their demands, and they don’t shy away from speaking about it in public. They either want to offend others, or they have completely lost all sense of proportion, while comprehending their own superiority. However, out these 140 countries voting on US orders, not one imposed any sanctions except the West. An overwhelming majority of countries did not impose any sanctions on Russia. It appears that, by voting, some of them wanted to minimise damage, but they don’t want to shoot themselves in the foot, and they will continue to develop their economy. Many independent leaders are saying openly that they don’t want to fulfil US instructions to their own detriment.

So, people of the world, be true to yourselves.

Question: What should the West do now that events have dramatically escalated to move things back towards a realm of peace, tranquility, kindness and cooperation?

Sergey Lavrov: The West should start minding its own business and stop lecturing others. Because right now, all we hear is “Russia must..” Why must we do anything, and how have we so upset the West? I really do not understand. They’ve dragged out our security guarantees initiatives. They told us not to worry about NATO expansion because it does not threaten our security. Why do they get to decide what we need for our security? This is our business. They do not allow us anywhere near discussions of their own security. We are constantly reminded that NATO is a defensive organisation. First, this defensive alliance bombed Yugoslavia. We only recently recalled how in 1998 Joe Biden was so proud that he personally contributed to the decision to bomb Belgrade, and bridges over the Drina River. It was fascinating to hear this from someone who claims Russia is led by war criminals.

NATO also acted in Iraq without a UN Security Council resolution. In Libya, it did have a resolution, but it only covered establishing a no-fly zone, so that Muammar Gadaffi’s aircraft could not take off from their airfields. They didn’t. On the other hand, NATO bombed all the army positions from the air, which the UN Security Council did not warrant, and brutally killed Muammar Gadaffi without trial or investigation. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went live on air to celebrate the event.

Strategically speaking, there was indeed a collective defence alliance when the Berlin Wall and the Warsaw Pact existed.  It was clear where the line of defence was then. When the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist, NATO foreswore not to expand to the East, but began to do just that. We have seen five waves of expansion by now, contrary to its assurances. And each time, the imaginary Berlin Wall was moved further east. The alliance assumed the right to determine the boundary of its line of defence. Now Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has declared that NATO must bear global responsibility and is obliged to ensure security in the Indo-Pacific region. It is their name for the Asia-Pacific region. So, NATO is ready to “defend itself” in the South China Sea now. They are building defence lines against China now, so China, too, needs to be on the alert for that. A really unusual type of defence.

As for the Indo-Pacific region, which we have always called the Asia-Pacific region, there is the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) there, as well as mechanisms created around the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ASEAN has a dozen partners. We participate in holding the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Security Forum, and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, a platform for ASEAN and its twelve partners which include China, Russia, the West (including Australia) and India – all the key players. Those formats work on the basis of consensus. This does not suit the Americans though, because to pursue their policy to contain China, they need an anti-China mechanism. But no platform where China is a member can produce such a result. They proclaimed the Indo-Pacific strategies and created Quad – a group of four nations including the United States, Australia, Japan, and they also lured India into this group. Our Indian friends are well aware of what we are talking about. They said they would participate in this only in the context of economic and infrastructure projects, but not military ones. So, because they needed to build up the military component, they created a parallel format, AUKUS, which included Australia, the UK and the United States. Now they want to expand it by adding Japan and South Korea, and even some ASEAN countries. This will lead to the collapse of the ASEAN ten.

When the Indo-Pacific concept was announced, we asked what was wrong with the Asia-Pacific label. We were told it mixed two different things because Asia did not refer to an ocean, but the Pacific did. Hence the Indian Ocean and Asia. We asked, if this includes the Indian Ocean, does this mean the whole of East Africa will be involved in this cooperation? They said no. That region had too many problems they did not want to deal with as they had enough on their plate. Is the Persian Gulf also part of the Indian Ocean? They said no to that too, disowning it. This makes it clear that the Indo part has been included with the sole purpose of cozying up to India and trying even harder to turn it into an anti-China player.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India in early February 2022. I spoke frankly with them. Our Indian friends understand everything perfectly and will never be open to such “cooperation” or play someone else’s games. India is a great country. Making such provocations against great powers is simply disrespectful.

Back to our discussion – we tried to negotiate with the West up to the last minute. But relations with the EU were destroyed back in 2014. All mechanisms, and there were plenty of them: biannual summits, annual meetings of the Russian Government and the European Commission, four common spaces being developed under four roadmaps, 20 industry-based dialogues – all that was derailed simply because the people in Crimea, faced with a radical neo-Nazi threat, voted for reunification with Russia.

Our Western colleagues do have this curious approach towards politics – when considering any problem in international politics, they cut off periods of time that are not favourable to them. When we discussed Ukraine with them, they said that we “annexed” Crimea. Wait, but what happened before that? They failed to make the opposition do what they themselves had signed on to. The opposition violated all guarantees and, contrary to the agreements, carried out a coup d’état and proclaimed an openly anti-Russia policy line. They began trying to suppress everything Russian. But Westerners called it “the price one has to pay for democratic processes.” They could not even say the word coup.

Last autumn, I asked the Germans and the French, how is this so? It is the Minsk Agreements we are talking about. Why are you so stubborn about this annexation part? It all started then. “This is the price one has to pay for democratic processes.” You see, this is their approach – they ignore what is unfavourable to them. They just single out one of the symptoms and begin to build their entire policy on it.

Question: Politics is about forestalling. I would like to take a look into the future. How do you, as an absolute professional in this area, see the future of the Slavic peoples’ coexistence in this space? I am sure that everything will be well. However, the forms of such coexistence may differ. What is your opinion of its stability and preferred forms?

Sergey Lavrov: We should follow the lines dictated by life itself. We have reached an extremely important milestone. I am referring to the 28 union programmes. They are described as roadmaps. These programmes are being actively and efficiently transformed into normative acts. We need to have many of them. The majority have already been drafted, and the rest are at the advanced stage of preparation. They will ensure not just our rapprochement but the creation of a common economic foundation, which is necessary to level out rights in absolutely all spheres, including trade, investment, the implementation of economic projects, access to state orders and more.

As for the political superstructure, we have the union parliament, the union cabinet of ministers, and the Supreme State Council chaired by our presidents. These bodies will deal with economic business development to see if our political bodies should be additionally adjusted to our superstructure. I am sure that we will rely on the opinion of our peoples, who regard each other as fraternal and truly close peoples.

Question: I have a question about soft power. School education concerns not only the external but also the internal contours. For the past seven years, I have been closely monitoring developments in children’s culture, which can be described as extremely pro-liberal. Today we need to overhaul the cultural space here and to quickly launch the introduction of our cultural codes abroad. Here is a simple example: the animated television series Masha and the Bear has done more in the external contour to improve Russia’s image abroad than many official programmes. Are there any programmes, or plans to launch programmes to change the cultural code both in the internal and the external contours? I have a proposal, which I would like to formulate and to submit through this event’s organisers tomorrow, if I may.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, of course. I would like to urge everyone, including those who don’t have formulated proposals, to share their ideas with us. We will discuss all of them.

You have touched upon a very important issue. I am not directly involved in these efforts, but we have always been speaking about the need to start promoting our culture from the cradle, primarily in Russia. There is too much external influence now, and internal influence is not always effective in shaping the right worldview in our children. I am not talking about brainwashing people. But we need to prevent the brainwashing of our children by other forces. This is the issue. Children’s access to information must not be limited to one source. Do please submit your ideas. We will look at them together with the Culture Ministry.

Question: A colleague has mentioned the issue of visas. The lady from Kazakhstan has said what we should do abroad and how we should do it. Can you say what Russia’s priority is: to collect as many compatriots as possible in Russia, or to form a cordon or a barrier of compatriots outside the country?

Sergey Lavrov: I know that some political analysts are pondering this idea. I believe that people have a free choice. We must create the right conditions for those who want to return. I have already mentioned repatriation today. We will certainly deal with this matter at the United Russia’s Commission [on International Cooperation and Support for Compatriots Living Abroad]. I will do my best to help draft a law on this matter.

As for the interests of those who want to live where they are living, we must work with the authorities of their countries of residence to prevent discrimination against Russians, Russian education, [Russian] media outlets, etc. It will be more difficult to do this now, because our Western colleagues are encouraging Russophobia in all areas. Regrettably, they are trying to set the Georgian people on this track. When they recklessly adopted these horrible, inhuman sanctions, leaving 200,000 people outside the national territory, preventing them from using national airlinesand prohibiting Western air carriers from bringing these people home, the Prime Minister of Georgia announced that they were ready, in view of that humanitarian situation, to allow Georgian airlines to bring Russians from Europe and the EU closer to their home country. You remember how fiercely he was attacked for this. It was an elementary human desire to help people in difficult circumstances. If you have any complaints about your authorities, please write to us.

Question: There are no complaints. We will submit the proposals regarding possible support for our compatriots in foreign countries.

Sergey Lavrov: We have a channel for communication. We are interested in normal relations with our Georgian colleagues.

Question: All states are playing the same game: the author has trump cards and a support team in case there are dissenters. I am referring to the UK and the United States. This will go on until one of the parties ceases to exist. Is it not high time Russia started its own game within the framework of the Eurasian continent and friendly countries to promote peace, justice and security? Given its nuclear arsenal, Russia could guarantee the security of states (where it has been confirmed – Syria, Ukraine) for countries that currently depend to some or other extent on big, major players so that they can feel they are also involved.

Sergey Lavrov: I wouldn’t call it a game in the sense implied by Zbigniew Brzezinski’s terms “great Game” and “grand chessboard”. We proceed from the premise that our friends are people, states, and political parties which are our equals. Unlike the Western organisations, where there is little democracy. They invented consensus, but in NATO and the EU this consensus is a sham.

They adopted sanctions in instalments even before the current stage in the development of our geopolitical space (there has been a series of sanctions for no reason at all since 2014).   Everything seems to have happened – Crimea, Donbass, the Minsk agreements… But every six months, they imposed new sanctions. Many of my European counterparts tell me confidentially: we understand that this is stupidity and a dead end, but we have consensus. I told one of them: a consensus means that a decision is not taken if there is even one “nay” vote.     If you object, say so! This is a case of collective responsibility. Everyone says: I am against it, but all of them want a consensus.  This consensus is shaped by an aggressive, Russophobic minority, primarily by the Baltic states (to my great regret), Poland, and recently Denmark.

Today, it is a sign of good manners for them to demonstrate that you are more of a Russophobe than your neighbours. In NATO, it is the United States that rules the roost. The EU is being dominated by the alliance. The neutral countries, which are not NATO members – Sweden, Finland, and Austria – are being drawn into cooperation under the cloak of “collective mobility.” This means that the neutral countries will allow NATO to use their roads and territories when it needs to move its military infrastructure east. This is being palmed off as NATO-EU partnership. I have mentioned Nord Stream 2 as an example. There is no longer any independence in Europe. They were just told: Stop taking care of your energy security on the terms that are beneficial to you; we will guarantee your security at a much higher price, but we will be in chips. President of France Emmanuel Macron is the only politician who continues to focus on strategic autonomy. Germany has resigned itself to the fact that they will have no such autonomy. There is no diktat of this sort in our country.

The difficulties arising in the work of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are contingent on and explained by the democratic nature of these organisations rather than their weakness. They decide all matters by consensus and nothing can be imposed on them from outside. We have allied relations with Syria and good relations with Iran. I don’t think it will be a good idea to “knock together” a bloc. This will tie everyone’s hands, if we look at the situation pragmatically. It is better to have allied relations or an unprecedentedly close relationship of the kind we have with China. Our leaders said in one of the [bilateral] documents: relations have reached an unprecedentedly high level that in some respects even exceeds the traditional allied relations. That is absolutely true and hence we have multivariance.

The Russian Empire was created as follows. There was no melting-pot like in the United States. They have melted everyone into Americans. Generally, all Americans favour human rights. Practically all the states have an equal balance of rights. In the Russian Empire, as ethnic groups joined, Moscow and St Petersburg always sought to have regard for their unique identities and made efforts to preserve their cultures and religions. Multivariance in relations with foreign partners seems more effective and enables greater freedom of action in cases where such actions will be necessary.

Question: I am a citizen of the People’s Republic of China. I was born and grew up there. For many years, I have been involved in humanitarian cooperation (education) between China and Russia. I believe that Russia and China are two great powers that enjoy historical and cultural affinity. What areas of cooperation between China and Russia have best prospects?

Sergey Lavrov: It would be impossible to list the promising areas of cooperation between Russia and China. It would need an entire session of its own. Through Moscow and Beijing, we disseminate detailed information on what our two countries are working on together. Currently, this cooperation will be growing stronger. At a time when the West is most flagrantly eroding the entire bedrock that the international system stands on, we as two great powers have to think about our future in this world.

For the first time in many years, China has been declared the main target, previously it was Russia. Now we are targets on rotation. At this stage, their proclaimed goal is to deal with Russia and then go after China. When we communicated with the Western countries during less turbulent times, we asked them why they were allowing the American course against China to be built up and why was everyone being dragged into it? What did China do? “China is a threat.” What makes China a threat? “They are starting to defeat everybody economically.”

If you look at the beginning of China’s economic elevation, China started by simply accepting the rules of the game, which had been essentially created by the West, led by Americans. These rules included the international monetary system, the international trade system, the Bretton Woods System and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). China started playing by their rules and is now outplaying them on their home field by their rules. Is it a reason for changing the rules? It appears so. Who is proposing to reform the WTO? The West. Because the World Trade Organisation in its current form is providing rules that are fair. Therefore, if we just forget about the situation in Ukraine and the sanctions for a minute, the actions of the West confirm it is not reliable, either as a part of the world that generated the major reserve currencies, or as economic partners or as countries to store gold and currency reserves. We have things to work on. Our leaders and other members of the Government, foreign affairs agencies are working on this extensively as part of our traditionally regular dialogue.

Question: Russia is conducting an operation in Ukraine. It is not a secret that Russia is building a Greater Eurasia. Can you clue us in a little: is Sergey Shoigu going to stop at the border with Poland? Or are we going into Transnistria and Moldova? What is the plan? Are we going to unite further?

Sergey Lavrov: We declared our goals. They are fully legitimate and clear: to protect the people of Donbass (with which we are now allies) that are subject to blatant aggression. For these purposes and based on our treaties, we applied Article 51 of the UN Charter on collective self-defence. Another goal is to eliminate any threats to Russian security posed by the militarisation of Ukraine that is carried out by the West. There must be no strike weapons in the country or threats in the form of Ukraine’s nazification, for obvious reasons. The aggressive spirit of the Ukrainian elite has been consciously created to be like this by Western instructors throughout these decades. They trained neo-Nazi battalions, showing them how to conduct aggressive combat operations, etc. We have no other goals beyond these.

Alternatively, the other side may come up with some curious goals. For example, Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki has proposed an idea that will be discussed soon, which is to send NATO peacekeeping forces to Ukraine. It is possible that, should this decision be made all of a sudden, it will entail that Polish personnel will make up the core of these peacekeeping forces and they will take control over Western Ukraine, including the major city of Lvov, to remain there for a prolonged period of time. It appears to me that this is the plan.

I believe this initiative is doublespeak. NATO will realise they should be reasonable and realistic.

Question: It is now clear to everyone that the world will never be the same again. There is much talk these days about the new global architecture and the fact that its foundations are now being laid. I do agree with the notion that we have no need of a world without Russia. But what kind of a world do we want to build? What place will Russia and the Union State have in the new international order?

Sergey Lavrov: What we want is an equitable world, free from war, aggressive projects or attempts to pitch one country against another. Equitable is also the way we see Russia’s place in the world. Similarly, the Union State must enjoy all the benefits of this ideal world as you have described it.

What we want is to discuss how to live on this planet in the future. Too many problems have been piling up, and the existing institutions have been unable to resolve them. This is the gist of the initiative President of Russia Vladimir Putin put forward two years ago to convene a summit of UN Security Council permanent members. Almost everyone supported it but the West will now drag its feet. There is a preliminary agenda. We have coordinated it with our Chinese friends, while the others are reviewing it. But now everything will be put on hold. This is not about the P5 reimagining a “new Yalta,” as some claim. Under the UN Charter, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have primary responsibility for maintaining international peace.

When we express the need for more democracy in international relations, this does not mean cancelling the UN Charter. It means stopping violations of the UN Charter. The sovereign equality of states and the requirement to respect territorial integrity and the right of nations to self-determination – it is all in the Charter. Had all its provisions been respected, this would have ensured peace and cooperation in good faith among all countries. However, the West manipulates them for its own benefit.

For example, we stand accused of violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity, starting with Crimea and Donbass. Crimea held a referendum. Everyone knew that this was an open, honest process when people expressed their will. The Americans know this too. Let me share a secret with you (I hope that no one will get cross at me). In April 2014, after the Crimea referendum then US Secretary of State John Kerry told me that they understood that this was an honest vote. However, he noted that we fast-tracked it by announcing the referendum and holding the vote in a matter of just one week. I explained to him that the Ukrainian radicals posed a direct threat at the time. All the formalities had to be completed in order to protect this territory. He suggested that we hold another referendum in the summer or autumn, announce it about two months in advance and invite foreign observers. The result would be all the same but they would be there to “bless” and verify it. This was not a matter of substance, since everyone understood where it was all heading, but about creating a favourable image for the outside world in order to be able to report that the people of Crimea cast their ballots in a referendum, while the Western “comrades” verified the results.

As for sovereignty and territorial integrity, ever since the founding of the UN in 1945, it has been debating whether sovereignty takes priority over the right to self-determination or vice-versa. A negotiating process was put into motion, paving the way for the adoption by consensus in 1970 of a Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States under the UN Charter. This is a lengthy document with an entire section on the relationship between sovereignty, territorial integrity and the right to self-determination. It says that everyone must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states whose governments ensure the right to self-determination and represent the people living in their territory. Has the Ukrainian leadership ensured Crimea’s right to self-determination? All they did was curtail Crimea’s rights within Ukraine. Did the Petr Poroshenko regime or the current leadership represent all the people of Ukraine, including Crimea, as they pretend? No. They did not represent Donbass either. They have been ignoring all these principles.

According to the principle of indivisible security, everyone is free to choose alliances but no one can reinforce their security at the expense of others. They say that only alliances matter and nothing else. However, when it suits their interests, the principle of self-determination comes to the fore, relegating Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity into the background, as happened with Kosovo. Its self-determination took place without a referendum. They engineered the creation of a parliamentary structure of sorts, and it voted on the matter. Serbia took the case to the International Court, which issued a curious ruling, saying that consent from the central government was not required for a declaration of independence. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has quoted this landmark ruling by the International Court on multiple occasions.

Question: The West is planning to replace Russian oil and gas in the coming years. What is Russia’s interest in participating in the Iran-US nuclear deal? Iran will have an opportunity to increase oil production and replace the Russian market in Europe. How ready are our Venezuelan partners for a deal with the Americans to replace Russian oil?

Sergey Lavrov: We never betray our friends in politics. Venezuela is our friend. Iran is a close state. Unlike the Americans, we do not act only out of selfish interests. If they need to “teach the Russians a lesson,” then it’s okay to agree with the regime in Caracas (as they called it). The United States would rather restore the programme with Iran, just to punish Russia. This reflects problems not so much with international institutions as with “liberal democracy.” As it turns out, it is not “liberal” at all, and it is not “democracy” at all.

When the leading country of the world (which the United States is) solves the problem of global, planetary importance, primarily on the basis of its own domestic interests, which are determined by two-year electoral cycles, then the biggest problems are sacrificed to these electoral cycles. What we can see now in US actions is a desire to prove that a Democratic president and administration are doing well and feel strong enough ahead of the November congressional elections. China does not understand this. What is two years? Nothing. Although the Chinese say that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” they see the horizon of that great journey. Here, in addition to the US desire to command everything, there are no more horizons. They will act the way they need to today.

It has been noted that the Americans are running around with the issue of oil and gas, turning to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar. All these countries, like Venezuela and Iran, have made it clear that when they consider new entrants to the oil market, they are committed to the OPEC+ format, where quotas for each participant are discussed and agreed upon by consensus. So far, I see no reason to believe that this mechanism will be broken in any way. No one is interested in that.

Question: What formats do you see for post-crisis settlement and intra-Ukrainian dialogue? What role might the DPR and LPR play? Ukraine’s governance and education system are permeated with Ukrainian nationalism. Several generations have grown up with this discourse. War criminals will be held accountable under criminal law. What about cultural aspects?

Sergey Lavrov: We have announced the goals we are working to achieve. As for the intra-Ukrainian dialogue, this will be up to the Ukrainians after the special operation ends – I hope, with the signing of comprehensive documents on security issues, Ukraine’s neutral status with guarantees of its security.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, commenting on our initiatives on the non-expansion of NATO, said: we understand that every country needs security guarantees. We are ready to negotiate and work them out for ourselves, for Ukrainians and Europeans outside the framework of NATO expansion. Therefore, a neutral status, security guarantees and bringing the legal framework to a civilised level with regard to the Russian language, education, the media, and laws that encourage the country’s nazification, as well as the adoption of a law prohibiting this. Most European countries have such laws, including Germany.

As for the DPR and LPR’s involvement in the all-Ukrainian dialogue, it should be a sovereign decision of the people’s republics.

Question: Why was the military operation launched now and not eight years ago? At that time, a pro-Russian “anti-Maidan” movement emerged in Odessa and Kharkov, which installed the Russian flag on top of the Kharkov regional administration without firing a shot. The city supported Russia. Now these people are hiding from shelling.

Sergey Lavrov: A lot of factors influence developments at each specific historical moment. Back then, it was a shock, primarily because the West turned out to be an absolutely unreliable guarantor of the things that we supported. US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the French leaders called Russian President Vladimir Putin and asked him not to interfere with the agreement between Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition. Vladimir Putin said that if the incumbent president was signing something, it was his right, and he had the authority to negotiate with the opposition. But the West dumped us and immediately began to support the new government because they announced an anti-Russian policy line.

People got burned alive in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa; combat aircraft fired at the centre of Lugansk. You must remember the Novorossiya movement better than anyone else. We also had a public movement for support.

We certainly relied too much on what remained of our Western colleagues’ conscience. France initiated the Normandy format; we were asked not to state categorically that we refused to recognise Petr Poroshenko’s election at the end of May 2014. The West assured us they would do everything to normalise the situation, so that Russians could live normally.

We must have trusted them because of some naivety and kindness of heart, which is something Russians are known for.

I have no doubt that lessons will be learned.

The hidden casualties of War… Or Why Russia is Doomed.

March 17, 2022

ٍSource

by F(unny) MAN

Everybody is behaving like crazy ants seeking Information on the Web(1), junkies that are looking for Battle Maps, Strategical and Tactical Analysis, Political speeches and statements, Videos of combat footage between the contenders, rocket and aerial Bombings, a little bit of gore here and there…

But… I would like to write some words about the Hidden Losses of this War.  Losses so heavy to bear that if this were to happen in any of the countries in the zone A, they would need years (alas Decades!) of hard work, psychological help, post-traumatic-stress-disorder medication, and a lot of caresses on the back to recover from.

Because no matter what, for Russia, these losses would affect the future generations of Russians in a much more profound way that all the destruction and casualties of WWII… All this, of course, according to the actual politically correct, woke-friendly, gender fluid, non-racist, liberal way of thinking that is actually predicated and practiced in the countries of Zone A.

What am I writing about?

Russian Influencers CRY(2) about the closing of their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

After President VVP signed and implemented his “Article 207.3” of the Criminal Code of Russia against the dissemination of false information, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have left (or have been blocked and forbidden) the Russian Federation. After the Tit for Tat measures following the closure of RT, Sputnik News, and other Russian Media outlets in some Western Countries. CNN, BBC, DW, and other MSM(3) News Broadcasters have to leave the country or face the consequences.

Some of the most known Russian Influencers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter(4) are complaining that they have lost their well-earned income sources. They are complaining that they wouldn’t be able to help millions of adolescents and young people that are absolutely dependent on their opinion, about which nail lacquer, makeup, or fashion trends to follow just to mention a couple of vitally important aspects of their lives. Some others were complaining that they wouldn’t be able to buy Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabana, Salvatore Ferragano, Gucci, or Lipton Candies anymore. Whatever these candies are, they are so incredibly exclusive that you have to be one of the members of “la crème de la crème” to get one, because it is the first time I hear these candies Exist. Some of them (Influencers) also pointed out that this closure will cause a lot of people to lose their jobs and the devastating impact that this will have on the Russian economy(5).

Recent estimates, after an analysis of this problem based on open sources by Bellingcat, the CIA, the US State Department, The Pentagon, the NSA, and some of the most renowned Think Tanks in Washington (6) are saying that these Job losses might be equivalent to the number of Moderate Rebels trained by the US and their Proxies to fight in Syria against the Assad Tyrannical Regime(7).

If you add to the loss of such Mainstream Media Outlets the fact that some of the most famous brands and products of Restauration and Fast Food companies are ceasing their activity and leaving the Russian Federation. Such as McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Starbucks, Heinz Ketchup, Doritos, Lipton, Candies(8), and many others… we can say without a doubt that the Russian Federation Citizens will be, after a couple of months, the most healthy, centered, self-reliable and well informed human beings of the entire World. As I said, it will affect the future generations of Russians for the years to come.

Ha! A hit from which they will never recover, that is why Russia is doomed.

Thank God(9), the People in Zone A, do not have to suffer such nuisances, difficulties, and inconveniences.

God Bless our beloved leaders.

F(unny) MAN

References

  1. If you are reading this, I have to inform you that you are one of those Junkies.
  2. This is absolutely unacceptable for the Zone A, this grade of cruelty is infuriating. The degree of unfairness, political incorrectness, misogynism and racism that this Influencers have to suffer can be perfectly considered a CASUS BELLI for an intervention of NATOstani countries in Ukraine
  3. One of the acceptations of MSM is: Mainstream Media. In this case Manure, Shite and Muck is a better definition if applied to such Outlets.
  4. I don’t want to name them, there is quite a couple dozen, just make some research in google. But you should know that Viewer discretion is advised, due to the crudeness of the Instagram images, Facebook videos, and Twitter statements that you might find.
  5. Please refer to Reference (7)
  6. BCR Institute (Bottom Cellar Rats Institute), SMB (Scratch My Back, I will scratch yours later), CMICPC (Crap Military Industrial Complex Porn Center), BNL Institute (go Brandon, Neocons and Libertards Institute)
  7. 5… yes, that is, 5… only 5. After Billions of Dollars of taxpayer’s money invested. They could send only 5 Moderate rebels to the Fight in Syria.
  8. I still don’t know, what the Hell Lipton Candies are, I tried to find them on the internet, somewhere, to no avail… but I have to say in my defense that I haven’t found my mind yet, after the Paragraph 3 of the last Essay.
  9. GOD the major deity in the Pantheon of Zone A, A.K.A “Gold, Oil & Diamonds“

There Is No Cheap Oil

12 April 2021

By: Hamid Reza Naghashian

Media attack and hype regarding Iran and China’s economic cooperation agreement by the domestic and foreign currents, and especially by those who western blood is boiling in their veins and have engaged a country with their imported delusion in their minds despite all rational reasons, assigns one to stand against these mischievous distortions which are seen among the news reports by disclosing the truth in order to make aware the dear and resistant people of this revolutionary country against these mischievous inductions.

TEHRAN (Iran News) – There Is No Cheap Oil. Media attack and hype regarding Iran and China’s economic cooperation agreement by the domestic and foreign currents, and especially by those who western blood is boiling in their veins and have engaged a country with their imported delusion in their minds despite all rational reasons, assigns one to stand against these mischievous distortions which are seen among the news reports by disclosing the truth in order to make aware the dear and resistant people of this revolutionary country against these mischievous inductions. The first induction of doubt regarding this cooperation agreement of the Chinese investment and cooperation with Iranian companies, while it has only been signed in size of an 18-page outline MoU, is being tied to the oil sale which is totally wrong and skeptical. The issues of investment and oil sale are two totally different issues and they are apart.

China today needs to buy oil around 800,000 barrels per day and it does it based on the short term contracts and its payment is through different means. But when it comes to the investment, the issue becomes totally different. The truth is that today in the world there is tough competition over attracting more foreign investment and those countries are more successful that they prepare the domestic grounds for attracting more foreign investment.

Nearly one of the main factors in all countries, that they have improved their economies and industries to reach the industrialist countries in recent decades, has been the success in attracting foreign investment; from China and South Korea to Malaysia and Turkey and even in the Persian Gulf states. The U.S. and European governments have a large number of laws and regulations for easing the attraction of foreign investment. The interesting part is that all efforts of President Hassan Rouhani’s government, which created void and chimerical noise on the JCPOA document, were to pave the grounds for foreign investment from Western countries through anti-security and anti-Islamic threats; more interesting is that the most important goal of the U.S. for imposing economic sanctions against Iran was to hinder foreign investment in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In this condition it is very strange that some people in the country in tune with enemies of the Islamic establishment interpret foreign investment as selling the country. In the issue of China’s investment there is essentially no issue under the title of oil trade wherein the issue of cheap oil has been raised.

China’s eager for investment abroad is not confined only to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The People’s Republic of China, according to the data published by the American Enterprise Institute, has invested over 2.1 trillions of dollars in different countries worldwide only in the past 15 years; from rich countries like Switzerland and the U.S. to the African countries like Congo. According to the data released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in only 6 years (2013 to 2019, China has invested $62b in the railways sector in 34 countries.

The active economic presence of China has not meant expanding its political influence in those countries but the nature of these investments will be a haven for economic security. China’s investments in Africa has led to huge number of analysis  in the media that even experts believe with these investments, the fourth industrial revolution would happen in Africa, and this is said while there are no enough infrastructures for materializing this development. For preparing infrastructure developmental plans for Africa, China and India have turned into macro policies in changing the structures of the agro, industrial and educational services.

The American business magazine Forbes in its different analysis says China is the biggest partner of Africa and its annual trade volume with Africa stands at $200b. Accordingly, over 100,000 Chinese companies are active in Africa. The most exports from Africa to China in 2019 were from Angola, South Africa and Republic of Congo. Africa accounts for 20 percent of China’s need of cotton. Africa possesses half of the world magnesium reserves which is used in the steel industry and Democratic Republic of the Congo by itself possesses half of this amount of magnesium reserves. China needs all of these resources.

The details of Iran-China 25-year document has not been yet revealed. American newspaper The New York Times in an article had claimed that China’s president had offered the proposal for the agreement some five years ago (2016). The draft of this agreement was signed on June 24, 2020 in Beijing. It is said the Chinese are to take $600b of their overseas forex reserves into Iran in the span of 25 years and they are to have the same amount of investment in Iran in cooperation with companies and organizations both in private or public sectors.

The required guarantee for taking capital gains could have been the sale of oil. Now if they want they can take their capital gains in cash otherwise they can buy oil instead of their cash or else, they will be free to invest their profits in expanding their investment in those sectors.

That Iran enjoys having ready infrastructure, independent land, skilful and educated workforce as a valuable guarantee as its oil, has sweetened investment for the Chinese. So inducing the idea of oil for investment of the type of selling cheap oil is a big lie which is used to ruin the agreement and to put the pressure on the public opinion.

Iran on Ukraine: opposes war, but backs Russia’s red line against NATO expansionism  

Iran’s call for restraint in the Ukraine conflict also comes amid stronger ties with Russia and mutual security concerns.

March 04 2022

By Zafar Mehdi

As the Ukraine crisis escalates, it would be naive to claim that the Russian military operation in a former Soviet Republic unfolded without any provocation. Even prominent US foreign policy analysts concede events were driven in great part by Kiev’s dangerous drift toward the western military bloc.

But this provocation came less from Kiev than from the US and its NATO allies, which, since 2014, have egged on Ukraine’s confrontational stances toward its Russian neighbor. Today, the world has been split in two: those who support Russia’s military intervention and those who oppose it on a myriad of grounds.

Iran’s position on what looks like a precursor to a new Cold War — wherein western powers use Ukraine as a pawn to challenge Russia’s regional dominance — is defined by political pragmatism and strategic interests.

The developments over the past few months on the Ukrainian border show how the US-led military alliance set the stage for Russia’s military action in its neighborhood, barely six months after NATO’s botched exit from Afghanistan, where millions are now teetering on the brink of death and starvation.

Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in a 24 February statement, made it abundantly clear when he blamed the simmering crisis in Ukraine on “NATO’s provocative acts” while asserting that war was “not a solution.”

“We do not see resorting to war as a solution,” Iran’s top diplomat asserted. “Establishing a ceasefire and focusing on a political and democratic solution is a necessity.”

NATO expansionism

The remarks outlined Tehran’s stance on the recent turn of events in Ukraine — NATO must stop fanning the flames of war, and Russia and Ukraine must show restraint and not fall into the vicious trap of descending into further violence and potentially widening the conflict.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, in a separate statement, also referred to the US-led NATO’s “provocations,” while noting that the Eurasia region was on the verge of “entering a pervasive crisis.”

He said Iran calls on the warring parties to “end hostilities” through dialogue, and reiterated the “need to observe international and humanitarian law in military conflicts.”

Iranian government spokesperson, Ali Bahadori Jahromi, also issued a statement in late February, reacting to the developments in Ukraine, and echoed the same concerns of a “growing and provocative trend of NATO’s eastward expansion.”

Notably, Iran’s relations with the western military alliance — which has been overtly complicit in the US “economic terrorism” against the Islamic Republic — have been marked by hostility and bitterness for years.

On Tuesday, in agreement with Moscow’s position, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei blamed the conflict on US policies, while also calling for an end to the war. “The root cause of the Ukraine crisis is the US and the west’s policies,” he said during a televised speech.

“In my opinion, today Ukraine is also the victim of such policy. Today, the Ukraine situation is related to this US policy. The US has dragged Ukraine to this point,” he added.

Iran and Russia’s strategic alignment

At the same time, Tehran’s ties with Moscow have scaled new heights in recent years, partly due to the west’s hard-nosed policies toward the two countries, and partly due to rapidly changing geopolitical and geoeconomic dynamics.

The political transition in Tehran last year – from reformists to conservatives – did not affect these changing equations. In fact, the new Iranian administration, led by former judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi, has made regional eastern powers like Russia and China the focus of his foreign policy.

Raisi was one of the first world leaders on Thursday to contact Russian President Vladimir Putin, several hours after the military operation was announced. In their brief conversation, Iran’s president termed NATO’s eastward expansion “a serious threat to the security of independent countries.”

He also expressed hope that the unfolding events would “benefit countries in the region,” suggesting that Iran was not in principle opposed to Russia’s bid to put an end to foreign meddling in Ukraine — where western footprints have alarmingly increased since the February 2014 western-backed unconstitutional takeover — but it was also not in favor of war and bloodshed.

For his part, Putin told his Iranian counterpart that the current situation was “a legitimate response to decades of violations of security treaties and Western efforts to undermine Russia’s security.”

What has brought Iran and Russia closer in recent years are growing hostilities between the two countries and the west. Moscow has presented itself as an all-weather-ally for Iran, passionately advocating Iran’s causes in international forums, in particular the 2015 nuclear deal. The two countries have also found themselves on the same side, as in Syria, resisting forces backed by hostile states.

This friendship was on full display during Raisi’s maiden visit to Moscow last month. In a power-packed speech to Russia’s State Duma, he read the obituary of America’s global hegemony, and indicted NATO for “threatening the interests of independent countries.” The standing ovation from Russian lawmakers demonstrated that the two nations were on the same page.

During the visit, the Iranians and Russians agreed to finalize their long-term strategic agreement, increase their bilateral trade to $10 billion, and work together on developing new nuclear power plants in Iran. They also vowed to cooperate in regional matters, including Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria.

Iran’s independent foreign policy

That, however, doesn’t imply Iran is ready to outsource its foreign policy to Moscow. Iran’s cooperation with Russia is inherently and primarily tied to its strategic interests. In his speech to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) summit in Doha recently, President Raisi declared his country’s readiness to supply natural gas to the world, including Europe, as Iran has one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world.

He hastened to add that sanctions imposed by “hegemonic powers” on “free nations” have been rendered ineffective, while calling for closer cooperation among gas exporting countries to nullify the impact of sanctions.

Raisi’s remarks arguably displayed an example of statesmanship and a fiercely independent foreign policy — trying to calm tensions in the global energy market while sending a clear and powerful message to arch-foes.

His oil minister, Javad Ojhi, later repeated the call, saying Iran has the “necessary capacity” to offer gas to regional countries, even Europe.

An opportunity in Vienna?

With Iran offering to be a possible substitute for Russia — at least in the short-term — to prevent the disruption in global energy markets, this gives it some hefty leverage in nuclear talks in Vienna, as they enter the final stretch.

There is already speculation about the possibility of the Ukraine crisis impacting Vienna talks. The complicit role of US-led NATO in pitting Ukraine and Russia against each other, and its failure to rein in Moscow, shows the power center moving from west to east.

Western sanctions against Moscow, also make Russia more reluctant to cooperate with the Europeans and the US over reviving the nuclear deal. This in turn also gives Iran an added advantage in Vienna.

The crisis in Ukraine will only further embolden Tehran in its nuclear ambitions and reinforce decades of distrust and skepticism of pledges by the US. “Western powers’ support of puppet regimes and governments is a mirage, it is not real,” Khamenei insisted during this week’s address.

As Amir-Abdollahian said last Saturday, Iran has made its red lines clear to western parties, and is ready to conclude a “good deal,” provided the other parties show “real (political) will.”

Sources in Vienna told The Cradle on Thursday that in the past few days, the US has been forced to deliver those goods, with only minor — but important — details left to be ironed out.

So the ball is in the west’s court: to make a deal in Vienna and peace in Kiev.

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

Andrei Martyanov’s March 3rd report

MARCH 03, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: 

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: 

https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Address by the President of the Russian Federation – February 24, 2022

February 24, 2022

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Citizens of Russia, friends,

I consider it necessary today to speak again about the tragic events in Donbass and the key aspects of ensuring the security of Russia.

I will begin with what I said in my address on February 21, 2022. I spoke about our biggest concerns and worries, and about the fundamental threats which irresponsible Western politicians created for Russia consistently, rudely and unceremoniously from year to year. I am referring to the eastward expansion of NATO, which is moving its military infrastructure ever closer to the Russian border.

It is a fact that over the past 30 years we have been patiently trying to come to an agreement with the leading NATO countries regarding the principles of equal and indivisible security in Europe. In response to our proposals, we invariably faced either cynical deception and lies or attempts at pressure and blackmail, while the North Atlantic alliance continued to expand despite our protests and concerns. Its military machine is moving and, as I said, is approaching our very border.

Why is this happening? Where did this insolent manner of talking down from the height of their exceptionalism, infallibility and all-permissiveness come from? What is the explanation for this contemptuous and disdainful attitude to our interests and absolutely legitimate demands?

The answer is simple. Everything is clear and obvious. In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union grew weaker and subsequently broke apart. That experience should serve as a good lesson for us, because it has shown us that the paralysis of power and will is the first step towards complete degradation and oblivion. We lost confidence for only one moment, but it was enough to disrupt the balance of forces in the world.

As a result, the old treaties and agreements are no longer effective. Entreaties and requests do not help. Anything that does not suit the dominant state, the powers that be, is denounced as archaic, obsolete and useless. At the same time, everything it regards as useful is presented as the ultimate truth and forced on others regardless of the cost, abusively and by any means available. Those who refuse to comply are subjected to strong-arm tactics.

What I am saying now does not concerns only Russia, and Russia is not the only country that is worried about this. This has to do with the entire system of international relations, and sometimes even US allies. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to a redivision of the world, and the norms of international law that developed by that time – and the most important of them, the fundamental norms that were adopted following WWII and largely formalised its outcome – came in the way of those who declared themselves the winners of the Cold War.

Of course, practice, international relations and the rules regulating them had to take into account the changes that took place in the world and in the balance of forces. However, this should have been done professionally, smoothly, patiently, and with due regard and respect for the interests of all states and one’s own responsibility. Instead, we saw a state of euphoria created by the feeling of absolute superiority, a kind of modern absolutism, coupled with the low cultural standards and arrogance of those who formulated and pushed through decisions that suited only themselves. The situation took a different turn.

There are many examples of this. First a bloody military operation was waged against Belgrade, without the UN Security Council’s sanction but with combat aircraft and missiles used in the heart of Europe. The bombing of peaceful cities and vital infrastructure went on for several weeks. I have to recall these facts, because some Western colleagues prefer to forget them, and when we mentioned the event, they prefer to avoid speaking about international law, instead emphasising the circumstances which they interpret as they think necessary.

Then came the turn of Iraq, Libya and Syria. The illegal use of military power against Libya and the distortion of all the UN Security Council decisions on Libya ruined the state, created a huge seat of international terrorism, and pushed the country towards a humanitarian catastrophe, into the vortex of a civil war, which has continued there for years. The tragedy, which was created for hundreds of thousands and even millions of people not only in Libya but in the whole region, has led to a large-scale exodus from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe.

A similar fate was also prepared for Syria. The combat operations conducted by the Western coalition in that country without the Syrian government’s approval or UN Security Council’s sanction can only be defined as aggression and intervention.

But the example that stands apart from the above events is, of course, the invasion of Iraq without any legal grounds. They used the pretext of allegedly reliable information available in the United States about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. To prove that allegation, the US Secretary of State held up a vial with white power, publicly, for the whole world to see, assuring the international community that it was a chemical warfare agent created in Iraq. It later turned out that all of that was a fake and a sham, and that Iraq did not have any chemical weapons. Incredible and shocking but true. We witnessed lies made at the highest state level and voiced from the high UN rostrum. As a result we see a tremendous loss in human life, damage, destruction, and a colossal upsurge of terrorism.

Overall, it appears that nearly everywhere, in many regions of the world where the United States brought its law and order, this created bloody, non-healing wounds and the curse of international terrorism and extremism. I have only mentioned the most glaring but far from only examples of disregard for international law.

This array includes promises not to expand NATO eastwards even by an inch. To reiterate: they have deceived us, or, to put it simply, they have played us. Sure, one often hears that politics is a dirty business. It could be, but it shouldn’t be as dirty as it is now, not to such an extent. This type of con-artist behaviour is contrary not only to the principles of international relations but also and above all to the generally accepted norms of morality and ethics. Where is justice and truth here? Just lies and hypocrisy all around.

Incidentally, US politicians, political scientists and journalists write and say that a veritable “empire of lies” has been created inside the United States in recent years. It is hard to disagree with this – it is really so. But one should not be modest about it: the United States is still a great country and a system-forming power. All its satellites not only humbly and obediently say yes to and parrot it at the slightest pretext but also imitate its behaviour and enthusiastically accept the rules it is offering them. Therefore, one can say with good reason and confidence that the whole so-called Western bloc formed by the United States in its own image and likeness is, in its entirety, the very same “empire of lies.”

As for our country, after the disintegration of the USSR, given the entire unprecedented openness of the new, modern Russia, its readiness to work honestly with the United States and other Western partners, and its practically unilateral disarmament, they immediately tried to put the final squeeze on us, finish us off, and utterly destroy us. This is how it was in the 1990s and the early 2000s, when the so-called collective West was actively supporting separatism and gangs of mercenaries in southern Russia. What victims, what losses we had to sustain and what trials we had to go through at that time before we broke the back of international terrorism in the Caucasus! We remember this and will never forget.

Properly speaking, the attempts to use us in their own interests never ceased until quite recently: they sought to destroy our traditional values and force on us their false values that would erode us, our people from within, the attitudes they have been aggressively imposing on their countries, attitudes that are directly leading to degradation and degeneration, because they are contrary to human nature. This is not going to happen. No one has ever succeeded in doing this, nor will they succeed now.

Despite all that, in December 2021, we made yet another attempt to reach agreement with the United States and its allies on the principles of European security and NATO’s non-expansion. Our efforts were in vain. The United States has not changed its position. It does not believe it necessary to agree with Russia on a matter that is critical for us. The United States is pursuing its own objectives, while neglecting our interests.

Of course, this situation begs a question: what next, what are we to expect? If history is any guide, we know that in 1940 and early 1941 the Soviet Union went to great lengths to prevent war or at least delay its outbreak. To this end, the USSR sought not to provoke the potential aggressor until the very end by refraining or postponing the most urgent and obvious preparations it had to make to defend itself from an imminent attack. When it finally acted, it was too late.

As a result, the country was not prepared to counter the invasion by Nazi Germany, which attacked our Motherland on June 22, 1941, without declaring war. The country stopped the enemy and went on to defeat it, but this came at a tremendous cost. The attempt to appease the aggressor ahead of the Great Patriotic War proved to be a mistake which came at a high cost for our people. In the first months after the hostilities broke out, we lost vast territories of strategic importance, as well as millions of lives. We will not make this mistake the second time. We have no right to do so.

Those who aspire to global dominance have publicly designated Russia as their enemy. They did so with impunity. Make no mistake, they had no reason to act this way. It is true that they have considerable financial, scientific, technological, and military capabilities. We are aware of this and have an objective view of the economic threats we have been hearing, just as our ability to counter this brash and never-ending blackmail. Let me reiterate that we have no illusions in this regard and are extremely realistic in our assessments.

As for military affairs, even after the dissolution of the USSR and losing a considerable part of its capabilities, today’s Russia remains one of the most powerful nuclear states. Moreover, it has a certain advantage in several cutting-edge weapons. In this context, there should be no doubt for anyone that any potential aggressor will face defeat and ominous consequences should it directly attack our country.

At the same time, technology, including in the defence sector, is changing rapidly. One day there is one leader, and tomorrow another, but a military presence in territories bordering on Russia, if we permit it to go ahead, will stay for decades to come or maybe forever, creating an ever mounting and totally unacceptable threat for Russia.

Even now, with NATO’s eastward expansion the situation for Russia has been becoming worse and more dangerous by the year. Moreover, these past days NATO leadership has been blunt in its statements that they need to accelerate and step up efforts to bring the alliance’s infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders. In other words, they have been toughening their position. We cannot stay idle and passively observe these developments. This would be an absolutely irresponsible thing to do for us.

Any further expansion of the North Atlantic alliance’s infrastructure or the ongoing efforts to gain a military foothold of the Ukrainian territory are unacceptable for us. Of course, the question is not about NATO itself. It merely serves as a tool of US foreign policy. The problem is that in territories adjacent to Russia, which I have to note is our historical land, a hostile “anti-Russia” is taking shape. Fully controlled from the outside, it is doing everything to attract NATO armed forces and obtain cutting-edge weapons.

For the United States and its allies, it is a policy of containing Russia, with obvious geopolitical dividends. For our country, it is a matter of life and death, a matter of our historical future as a nation. This is not an exaggeration; this is a fact. It is not only a very real threat to our interests but to the very existence of our state and to its sovereignty. It is the red line which we have spoken about on numerous occasions. They have crossed it.

This brings me to the situation in Donbass. We can see that the forces that staged the coup in Ukraine in 2014 have seized power, are keeping it with the help of ornamental election procedures and have abandoned the path of a peaceful conflict settlement. For eight years, for eight endless years we have been doing everything possible to settle the situation by peaceful political means. Everything was in vain.

As I said in my previous address, you cannot look without compassion at what is happening there. It became impossible to tolerate it. We had to stop that atrocity, that genocide of the millions of people who live there and who pinned their hopes on Russia, on all of us. It is their aspirations, the feelings and pain of these people that were the main motivating force behind our decision to recognise the independence of the Donbass people’s republics.

I would like to additionally emphasise the following. Focused on their own goals, the leading NATO countries are supporting the far-right nationalists and neo-Nazis in Ukraine, those who will never forgive the people of Crimea and Sevastopol for freely making a choice to reunite with Russia.

They will undoubtedly try to bring war to Crimea just as they have done in Donbass, to kill innocent people just as members of the punitive units of Ukrainian nationalists and Hitler’s accomplices did during the Great Patriotic War. They have also openly laid claim to several other Russian regions.

If we look at the sequence of events and the incoming reports, the showdown between Russia and these forces cannot be avoided. It is only a matter of time. They are getting ready and waiting for the right moment. Moreover, they went as far as aspire to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not let this happen.

I have already said that Russia accepted the new geopolitical reality after the dissolution of the USSR. We have been treating all new post-Soviet states with respect and will continue to act this way. We respect and will respect their sovereignty, as proven by the assistance we provided to Kazakhstan when it faced tragic events and a challenge in terms of its statehood and integrity. However, Russia cannot feel safe, develop, and exist while facing a permanent threat from the territory of today’s Ukraine.

Let me remind you that in 2000–2005 we used our military to push back against terrorists in the Caucasus and stood up for the integrity of our state. We preserved Russia. In 2014, we supported the people of Crimea and Sevastopol. In 2015, we used our Armed Forces to create a reliable shield that prevented terrorists from Syria from penetrating Russia. This was a matter of defending ourselves. We had no other choice.

The same is happening today. They did not leave us any other option for defending Russia and our people, other than the one we are forced to use today. In these circumstances, we have to take bold and immediate action. The people’s republics of Donbass have asked Russia for help.

In this context, in accordance with Article 51 (Chapter VII) of the UN Charter, with permission of Russia’s Federation Council, and in execution of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on February 22, I made a decision to carry out a special military operation.

The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation.

It is not our plan to occupy the Ukrainian territory. We do not intend to impose anything on anyone by force. At the same time, we have been hearing an increasing number of statements coming from the West that there is no need any more to abide by the documents setting forth the outcomes of World War II, as signed by the totalitarian Soviet regime. How can we respond to that?

The outcomes of World War II and the sacrifices our people had to make to defeat Nazism are sacred. This does not contradict the high values of human rights and freedoms in the reality that emerged over the post-war decades. This does not mean that nations cannot enjoy the right to self-determination, which is enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter.

Let me remind you that the people living in territories which are part of today’s Ukraine were not asked how they want to build their lives when the USSR was created or after World War II. Freedom guides our policy, the freedom to choose independently our future and the future of our children. We believe that all the peoples living in today’s Ukraine, anyone who want to do this, must be able to enjoy this right to make a free choice.

In this context I would like to address the citizens of Ukraine. In 2014, Russia was obliged to protect the people of Crimea and Sevastopol from those who you yourself call “nats.” The people of Crimea and Sevastopol made their choice in favour of being with their historical homeland, Russia, and we supported their choice. As I said, we could not act otherwise.

The current events have nothing to do with a desire to infringe on the interests of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. They are connected with the defending Russia from those who have taken Ukraine hostage and are trying to use it against our country and our people.

I reiterate: we are acting to defend ourselves from the threats created for us and from a worse peril than what is happening now. I am asking you, however hard this may be, to understand this and to work together with us so as to turn this tragic page as soon as possible and to move forward together, without allowing anyone to interfere in our affairs and our relations but developing them independently, so as to create favourable conditions for overcoming all these problems and to strengthen us from within as a single whole, despite the existence of state borders. I believe in this, in our common future.

I would also like to address the military personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Comrade officers,

Your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers did not fight the Nazi occupiers and did not defend our common Motherland to allow today’s neo-Nazis to seize power in Ukraine. You swore the oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people and not to the junta, the people’s adversary which is plundering Ukraine and humiliating the Ukrainian people.

I urge you to refuse to carry out their criminal orders. I urge you to immediately lay down arms and go home. I will explain what this means: the military personnel of the Ukrainian army who do this will be able to freely leave the zone of hostilities and return to their families.

I want to emphasise again that all responsibility for the possible bloodshed will lie fully and wholly with the ruling Ukrainian regime.

I would now like to say something very important for those who may be tempted to interfere in these developments from the outside. No matter who tries to stand in our way or all the more so create threats for our country and our people, they must know that Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history. No matter how the events unfold, we are ready. All the necessary decisions in this regard have been taken. I hope that my words will be heard.

Citizens of Russia,

The culture and values, experience and traditions of our ancestors invariably provided a powerful underpinning for the wellbeing and the very existence of entire states and nations, their success and viability. Of course, this directly depends on the ability to quickly adapt to constant change, maintain social cohesion, and readiness to consolidate and summon all the available forces in order to move forward.

We always need to be strong, but this strength can take on different forms. The “empire of lies,” which I mentioned in the beginning of my speech, proceeds in its policy primarily from rough, direct force. This is when our saying on being “all brawn and no brains” applies.

We all know that having justice and truth on our side is what makes us truly strong. If this is the case, it would be hard to disagree with the fact that it is our strength and our readiness to fight that are the bedrock of independence and sovereignty and provide the necessary foundation for building a reliable future for your home, your family, and your Motherland.

Dear compatriots,

I am certain that devoted soldiers and officers of Russia’s Armed Forces will perform their duty with professionalism and courage. I have no doubt that the government institutions at all levels and specialists will work effectively to guarantee the stability of our economy, financial system and social wellbeing, and the same applies to corporate executives and the entire business community. I hope that all parliamentary parties and civil society take a consolidated, patriotic position.

At the end of the day, the future of Russia is in the hands of its multi-ethnic people, as has always been the case in our history. This means that the decisions that I made will be executed, that we will achieve the goals we have set, and reliably guarantee the security of our Motherland.

I believe in your support and the invincible force rooted in the love for our Fatherland.

February 24, 2022

06:00

The Kremlin, Moscow

‘OPERATION CYCLONE – UKRAINE EDITION’ THE REAL PLAN?

15.02.2022 

South Front

By Gavin O’Reilly 

For almost three months, the Western mainstream media, in a move not dissimilar to its previous assertions that Saddam Hussein had the capability to launch WMDs within 45 minutes, or that Iran was building a nuclear bomb, has repeatedly claimed that Russia is planning an ‘imminent’ invasion of its Western neighbour Ukraine – under the rule of the successive US-EU friendly governments of Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky since the 2014 Euromaidan, a CIA and MI6-orchestrated regime change operation launched in response to then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s November 2013 decision to suspend an EU trade deal in favour of pursuing closer ties with the Russian Federation.

With the ongoing collapse of the global COVID-19 media narrative following the highly coincidental timing of last month’s World Economic Forum Davos Agenda virtual event, a hypothetical Russian invasion of Ukraine has now taken centre stage amongst corporate media outlets with a track record of promoting war and regime change in countries refusing to kowtow to the demands of the US-NATO hegemony, a media narrative which has seen thousands of US and British troops being deployed to Eastern Europe as a result – a highly provocative action and one, that should even a minor miscalculation occur amidst the current tensions, could easily escalate into a full-blown military conflict between East and West.

Recent comments by current Ukrainian President Zelensky however, in which he poured cold water over the idea of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the recent supply of over 90 tonnes of weaponry to Kiev by the United States amidst the current tensions, and US President Joe Biden stating himself that Washington would not engage militarily with Russia, would suggest that although the possibility of the current crisis inadvertently spiralling into a global conflict between Russia and NATO remains, that that is not the current intention of the West – rather a plan seemingly exists to provoke Russia into intervening in the eastern Donbass region of Ukraine to protect the predominantly ethnic Russian inhabitants of the breakaway Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, before drawing Moscow into a wider guerrilla conflict in the rest of Ukraine, the second largest country in Europe, with the intentions of tying Russia down for the foreseeable future in an Iraq-style military quagmire, a tactic with previous historical usage against the Kremlin.

In 1978, at the height of the Cold War, both East and West were locked in a battle to prevent their opposing ideologies of Socialism and Free Market Capitalism taking hold in their respective spheres of influence – with previously Western-friendly Afghanistan having come under control of the pro-Soviet PDPA (People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan) following that year’s Saur Revolution, a plan was quickly hatched by the White House and Downing Street to destabilise the newly-established Left-wing state.

From 1979 until 1989, the CIA’s Operation Cyclone would see the arming, funding and training of Islamist militants known as the Mujahideen, including none other than Osama Bin Laden and others adhering to the ultraconservative Saudi Arabia-backed Wahhabi ideology, in neighbouring Pakistan, before sending them on to wage war on the ‘atheist Communists’ of Afghanistan and their Soviet allies – with Moscow having intervened at the outset of the conflict following an official request for assistance from Kabul.

This decade long intervention by Moscow however, would ultimately fail to shore up their client state, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, with Kabul’s Socialist government lasting a mere three years following the Soviet withdrawal before a civil war would see it replaced by the religious fundamentalist Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1992 – a government which would itself be overthrown by the Taliban four years later.

The ten-year long Soviet effort is also widely seen as a contributing factor to the Bloc’s subsequent breakup in 1991 – indeed, Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser to then-US President Jimmy Carter when Operation Cyclone was launched in 1979 and instrumental in its implementation, would later recount in a 1998 interview about how drawing the USSR into a Vietnam-style quagmire in order to drain its resources was a motivating factor – and with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu recently outlining a plot to stage a Syria-style false flag chemical attack in eastern Ukraine, as well as media reports of the CIA training Ukrainian guerrilla fighters, drawing Russia into a costly military conflict is seemingly a motivating factor of the regime change lobby yet again.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

The Russians Are Coming: Are Beijing and Moscow at the Cusp of a Formal Alliance?

February 11, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) with Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Photo: Russia’s Presidential Press and Information Office, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Ramzy Baroud & Romana Rubeo

It should matter little to the Chinese that American diplomats and a handful of their western allies will not be attending the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. What truly matters is that the Russians are coming.

The above is not an arbitrary statement. It is supported with facts. According to a survey conducted by China’s Global Times newspaper, the majority of the Chinese people value their country’s relations with Russia more than that of the EU and certainly more than that of the United States. The newspaper reported that such a finding makes it “the first time in 15 years that China-US ties did not top the list of the important bilateral relations in the Global Times annual survey.”

In fact, some kind of an alliance is already forming between China and Russia. The fact that the Chinese people are taking note of this and are supporting their government’s drive towards greater integration – political, economic and geostrategic – between Beijing and Moscow, indicates that the informal and potentially formal alliance is a long-term strategy for both nations.

American hostilities towards China, as seen by the Chinese, have become unbearable, and the Chinese people and government seem to have lost, not only any trust, however modest, of Washington, but of its own political system as well. 66 percent of all Chinese either disapproved of the US democratic system – or whatever remains of it – or believe that US democracy has sharply declined. Ironically, the vast majority of Americans share such a bleak view of their own country, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2019 and again by the Michigan Public Policy Survey in 2021.

This leads us to two possible conclusions: First, the Chinese people will not be pushing for an American-style democracy any time soon and, second, the Chinese trust in the US does not hinge on what political party controls the White House or Congress.

While the Chinese negative view of the US is unmistakably clear, Beijing remains hopeful that existing divisions with the European Union would allow it to expand economically in a region that is rife with financial and political opportunities, thus strategic growth. This fact offers China and Russia yet another area of potential cooperation, as Russia is also keen to expand into the European markets using its recently completed Nord Stream 2 gas project. Though Europe is already struggling with gas shortages, Europeans are divided on whether Russia should be allowed to claim a massive geostrategic influence by having such sway over the EU energy needs.

Germany, which already receives nearly a third of its gas supplies from Russia – through Nord Stream 1 – is worried that allowing Nord Stream 2 to operate would make it too dependent on Russian gas supplies. Under intense pressure from Washington, Germany is caught between a rock and a hard place:  it needs Russian gas to keep its economy afloat, but is worried about American retaliation. To appease Washington, the German government threatened, on December 16, to block the new pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine. But is Germany in a position that allows it to make such demands?

Meanwhile, Washington is keeping a close watch on Russia’s and China’s strategic expansion westward, and it views the ‘threat’ posed by both countries with great alarm. In his recent visit to Scotland to take part in the COP26, US President Joe Biden accused China and Russia of “walking away” on “a gigantic issue”, referring to climate change. China has “lost the ability to influence people around the world and here in COP. The same way I would argue with Russia,” Biden said on November 3.

But will such rhetoric make any difference, or sway traditional US allies to boycott the lucrative deals and massive economic opportunities presented by the two emerging Asian giants?

According to Eurostat, in 2020, China overtook the US as Europe’s largest import and third-largest export partner. Moreover, according to Nature magazine, most European countries largely depend on Russian energy sources, with the European Union estimated to import nearly 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia.

In the face of these vastly changing realities, the US seems to be running out of options. The Summit for Democracy, orchestrated by Washington last December, seemed like a desperate cry for attention as opposed to celebrating the supposed democratic countries. 111 countries participated in the conference. The participants were handpicked by Washington and included such countries as Israel, Albania and Ukraine. China and Russia were, of course, excluded, not because of their lack of democratic credentials – such notions are often of no relevance to the politicized US definition of ‘democracy’ – but because they, along with others, were meant to be left isolated in the latest US hegemonic move.

The conference, expectedly, turned out to be an exercise in futility. Needless to say, the US is in no position to give democracy lessons to anyone. The attempted coup in Washington by tens of thousands of angry US militants on January 6, 2021 – coupled with various opinion polls attesting to Americans’ lack of faith in their elected institutions – places the US democracy brand at an all-time low.

As the US grows desperate in its tactics – aside from increasingly ineffectual sanctions, aggressive language and the relentless waving of the democracy card – China and Russia continue to draw closer to one another, on all fronts. In an essay entitled ‘Respecting People’s Democratic Rights’, written jointly by the ambassadors of Beijing and Moscow in Washington, Qin Gang and Anatoly Antonov wrote in the National Interest magazine that the democracy summit was “an evident product of (US’s) Cold-War mentality,” which “will stoke up ideological confrontation and a rift in the world, creating new ‘dividing lines’.”

But there is more than their mutual rejection of American hostilities that is bringing China and Russia closer. The two countries are not motivated by their fear of the American military or some NATO invasion. Russia’s and China’s militaries are moving from strength to strength and neither country is experiencing the anxiety often felt by smaller, weaker and relatively isolated countries that have faced direct or indirect US military threats.

To push back against possible NATO expansion, the Russian military is actively mobilizing in various regions at its western borders. For its part, the Chinese military has made it clear that any US-led attempt aimed at altering the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait would provoke an immediate military retaliation. In a virtual meeting with the US President, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Biden on November 16 that the US was “playing with fire”. “Whoever plays with fire will get burnt,” he threatened.

The Chinese-Russian alliance aims largely at defending the two countries’ regional and international interests, which are in constant expansion. In the case of China, the country is now a member of what is considered the world’s largest economic pact. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which was officiated on January 1, covers a global market that caters to around 30 percent of the world’s population.

Russia, too, operates based on multiple regional and international alliances. One of these military alliances is the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which is currently involved in ‘peacekeeping’ operations in Kazakhstan. From Syria in the Middle East, to Venezuela in South America to Mali in West Africa and beyond, Russia’s military influence has increased to the extent that, in September 2021, Moscow signed military cooperation agreements with Africa’s two most populous nations, Nigeria and Ethiopia, challenging the traditional dominance of the US and France on the African continent.

Informally, China and Russia are already operating according to a regional and global model that can be compared to that of the now-defunct Warsaw Treaty Organization (1955-91), a political and military alliance between the Soviet Union and several Eastern European countries that aimed at counter-balancing the US-led NATO alliance. The Warsaw Pact pushed back against US-led western hegemony and labored to protect the interests of the pact’s members throughout the world. History seems to be repeating itself, though under different designations.

Historically, the two countries have had a difficult and, at times, antagonistic relationship, dating back to the 19th century. During the Nikita Khrushchev era, Beijing and Moscow even broke their ties altogether. The Sino-Soviet split of 1960 was earth-shattering to the extent that it transformed the bipolarity of the Cold War, where China operated as an entirely independent party.

Though diplomatic relations between Beijing and Moscow were restored in 1989, it was not until the collapse of the Soviet Union that cooperation between both nations intensified. For example, the decision, in 1997, to coordinate their diplomatic positions in the United Nations gave birth to the Joint Declaration on a Multipolar World and the Establishment of a New International Order. That agreement between Russia and China laid the foundations for the actively evolving multi-polar world that is currently transpiring before our eyes.

Present reality – namely US, NATO, EU pressures – has compelled Russia and China to slowly, but surely, cement their relationship, especially on the economic, diplomatic and military fronts. Writing in Carnegie Moscow Center, Alexander Gabuev explained that, according to data provided by the Russian Federal Customs Service, “China’s share in Russian foreign trade grew from 10.5 percent in 2013 (before the Ukraine crisis and sanctions) to 16.7 percent in 2019 and 18.3 percent in the pandemic-struck 2020.”

Moreover, the two countries are holding regular large-scale joint military exercises, aimed at strengthening their growing security and military cooperation.

This already close relation is likely to develop even further in the near future, especially as China finds itself compelled to diversify its energy sources. This became a pressing need following recent tensions between Australia, a NATO member, and China. Currently, Australia is the main natural gas supplier to Beijing.

On its own, Russia cannot conclusively defeat Western designs. China, too, despite its massive economic power, cannot play a geopolitical game of this caliber without solid alliances. Both countries greatly benefit from building an alternative to US-led political, economic and military alliances, starting with NATO. The need for a Russian-Chinese alliance becomes even more beneficial when seen through the various opportunities presenting themselves: growing weakness in the US’s own political system, cracks within US-EU relations and the faltering power of NATO itself. Turkey, for example, though a NATO member, has for years been exploring its own geopolitical alliances outside the NATO paradigm. Turkey is already cementing its ties with both Russia and China, and on various fronts. Other countries, for example Iran and various South American countries, that have been targeted by the US for refusing to toe Washington’s political line, are desperately seeking non-western alliances to protect their interests, their sovereignty and their heavily sanctioned economies.

While it is still too early to claim that China and Russia are anywhere near a full-blown alliance of the Warsaw nature, there is no reason to believe that the cooperation between both countries will be halted, or even slow down anytime soon. The question is how far are Beijing and Moscow willing to go to protect their interests.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His forthcoming book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

– Romana Rubeo is an Italian writer and the managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle. Her articles appeared in many online newspapers and academic journals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and specializes in audio-visual and journalism translation.

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USAID, NATO Threaten Intervention as Ethiopia, Eritrea Unite & Form Economic Cooperation with China

January 28th, 2022

By Mnar Adley

Source

Ethiopia is not a country that is on many Americans’ radar. Yet, since 2020, a brutal civil war has raged, displacing an estimated 4 million people. As the conflict continues, hawks in Washington are beginning to circle, demanding the U.S. intervene militarily.

“Ethiopia’s civil war is a problem U.S. troops can help solve,” Admiral James Stavridis, former supreme allied commander of NATO, wrote in Bloomberg and The Washington Post. “Sending peacekeepers to the pivotal nation of East Africa wouldn’t be popular domestically, but may be the only way to stop the conflict,” he added. Meanwhile, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer argued that the West should establish a “no-fly zone” across the country – a nation of 115 million people and twice the size of France.

When it comes to Ethiopia – said head of USAID Samantha Power, one of the architects of the U.S. intervention in Libya – “every option is on the table,” using a phrase that has long been understood to be a threat of war. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also refused, when directly asked, to rule out sending troops into Ethiopia.

Joining MintCast host Mnar Adley today to discuss what is going on in Ethiopia is Eugene Puryear. Eugene is a founder of and host at BreakThrough News, for which he recently traveled to Ethiopia to report from the ground. In the 2008 and 2016 U.S. elections, he was the vice-presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation. He is also author of the book “Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America.”

Ethiopia’s war is a conflict between the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a group that held power across the country between 1991 and 2018, and the government of Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa. Yet corporate media have refrained from presenting the conflict as a struggle between rivaling factions, but rather have characterized it as the government “waging a reign of terror… [that] bears the hallmarks of genocide” (CNN) against a “a scrappy force of local Tigrayan recruits” (The New York Times). Ignoring credible accusations against the TPLF of using child soldiers and other war crimes, both the press and the United States appear to have chosen to back their longtime allies in this campaign.

Many Ethiopians are dead against any further American involvement, expressing alarm that the U.S. has already sent warships and thousands of troops to the region in anticipation of future events. Some have even likened the situation to the one in Libya in 2011, where the West hyped up fake news stories about atrocities and an impending genocide to unseat Colonel Muammar Gaddafi from power and bring about a decade of Jihadist rule.

Between 1991 and 2018, the United States had a loyal partner in Ethiopia. However, in recent years, the country has begun to try to develop deeper ties to its neighbor Eritrea and forge a more independent path. To this end, China has helped, and has quickly become Ethiopia’s major economic partner, much to the chagrin of Washington, where war drums are beginning to be beaten.

Ethiopians have taken to social media, popularizing the anti-intervention hashtag “#NoMore” to signal their opposition to Western involvement. Yet their voices, they claim, are being systematically silenced by big-tech giants, leaving critical voices harder to find. Could Ethiopia soon turn into another Libya? Join us to find out.

Lavrov gives press conference after OSCE Ministerial Council in Stockholm

December 02, 2021

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov holds a press conference after the 28th OSCE Ministerial Council in Stockholm on Thursday, December 2. The annual OSCE Ministerial Council, chaired by Sweden, takes place on December 2-3. The ministers are expected to discuss security issues in the OSCE area and review the organisation’s activities.

Please forward the video.

Possible motives for a provocation against Russia

NOVEMBER 25, 2021

A lot of commentators have pointed out that the West really does not want a full scale war with Russia because this would, at best, be a suicidal proposition.  True.

But there are some specific interests in the West which very much want to raise tensions as high as possible.  Today I will list just a few: (partial list)

The US energy sector

The energy sector is deeply concerned about Biden’s “green” rhetoric, combined with the fact that OPEC+ countries are not obeying US demands about prices.  Also, US shale gas is expensive.  Should a war happen between Russia and the Ukraine, it would also certainly completely derail Russian energy exports to the EU which, in turn, would create a very high demand for US energy in Europe (and worldwide).  This is an old US goal in Europe, to force the EU to purchase US energy even though Russian can provide it for a much better price

NATO

That one is simple: NATO has no raison d’être, but now NATO leaders can claim to be the only thing standing between the good, freedom loving EU countries and Putin’s hordes.

“Biden” option one

Biden’s ratings are almost as bad as Zelenskii’s.  If an anti-Russian provocation is executed and Russia has to openly intervene in the Ukraine, Biden can become a “wartime President” and he can wave the flag which will hopefully distract from his immense internal problems and make him look more “presidential” (which in US parlance means “more willing to use force”).

“Biden” option two

Say no provocation takes place and with time, all this hysteria eventually fizzles out.  Then Biden can claim that “he showed the Russkies who is boss” and “America’s” resolve “deterred and contained the Putin”, etc.  That would be like a mouse claiming that it deterred a sleeping bear from attacking it.  The proof?  Well, the evil bear did not attack, did it?  So what more proof do you need?

“Biden” option three

As I have mentioned in the past, there are signs that the US has farmed out the Ukraine to the Europeans, which in turn means that should a shooting war happen, and its outcome is not in doubt, “Biden” can say “we tried to help the Ukraine as much as we could, more than anybody else, but they cannot expect us to go to war with Russia to support them”.  In other words, letting “Ze” lose a war against Russia is a very elegant way to get rid of “Ze” and to blame the current full-spectrum chaos in the Ukraine on him, while deflecting any criticisms of the USA.

UK+EU politicians

UK and EU politicians have been faithfully parroting all the anti-Russian propaganda and now they are stuck in their own ideological corner: they hate Russia, but they need Russian energy.  This dilemma could be “solved” by a short but nasty war which would powerfully re-polarize the EU against Russia and, therefore, fully and totally place the EU in the iron grip of the USA.

US MIC

That one is obvious: the bigger and scarier the Russian boogeyman is, the more the peace-loving USA can be spend on “defense”.  And remember that the goal of US “Congresspersons” (love that newspeak!) is not to contribute to a sane US foreign policy, but to get re-elected.  That, in turns, means that keeping the US MIC up and running, a real financial bonanza for a country otherwise is terrible economic shape, is one of the best way to get reelected while projecting the image of a “patriotic” elected official.  Ted Cruz anybody?

The US deep state

The US deep state has always hated Russia and has always fanned the flames of hysterical russophobia.  The Neocons play a major role here, but they are far from being the only ones, it is quite clear that, besides the White House, the deep state also runs the Department of State, the CIA and the Pentagon.

The 3B+PU

It is now clear that the 3B+PU attempted to overthrow Lukashenko, and that they failed.  How to better conceal the magnitude of this failure from the general public than to have a short and ugly war against Russia, especially since the 3B+PU fully understand that Russia will never attack them first.  Here I have to make a special mention of Poland which currently feels like a giant, standing as they do, on the shoulders of the USA.  For them, it is a win-win situation: if Russia is defeated, they get to proclaim themselves the best soldiers in the history of the universe, if Russia wins, then they can declare themselves the most victimized nation on earth.  Either way, both option are a salvific manna from the heavens for Polish nationalists (who otherwise are in trouble with the EU).

‘Ze’

Zelenskii’s ratings are even worse than Biden’s.  Most of his former allies have turned against him and unless something very dramatic happens, his political future is pretty much zero, he will be lucky if he manages to escape the Ukraine on time, that is before somebody decides to take direct action against him (lots of different interests in the Ukraine are now openly and deeply hostile to ‘Ze’).

The British military/security establishment

The Brits have imperial phantom pains and they feel relatively safe, being far away from the Russian-Ukrainian line of contact.  They also feel that it is quite unthinkable to imagine that Russia would dare to actually strike at a British ship/aircraft or, even less so, at a location in the UK.  That latter belief is quite mistaken, by the way, because the Russians also realize that should they, say, sink a UK ship, or even hit a military facility in the UK, the latter would have two basic options:  1) do nothing by themselves and ask Uncle Shmuel for protection 2) counter-strike against Russia themselves, which would only expose themselves to more Russian counter-strikes.  If this sounds like a losing strategy to you, it is because it is.  But for the country of Litvenenko, Skripal, Bellingcat, and “highly likely” reality is never an impediment to action.  Besides, it really appears that the UK is run by a mentally deranged Prime Minister surrounded by petty bureaucrats and a senile Queen.

The folks nostalgic for the good old days of the white, western, empire

That’s folks like Josep Borrell and all those who wanted a unipolar world, run by the West, of course, where no country could dare defy the rule of the Single World Hegemon (don’t matter which country, as long as it is a western one).  These folks are the ones who need to get whacked, hard, by the Russian military every century or so.

In truth, there are many more groups in the West who want some kind of war, some want it quick and small, others want it bigger, while others want to stop the escalation just short of actual war.

As always, what happens next will be the result of of the sums of the many vectors influencing that outcome: each party will pull towards its interests as much as possible, and the sum vector of all of these unofficial foreign policies will result in what many of us will call “US foreign policy”, in spite of the fact that as such, no such policy exists (other than a sum of these different vectors).

Lastly, is the Putin-Biden being canceled?

Yesterday Psaki said that she was not aware of any preparations made for a summit between Biden and Putin.  Also, a quick look at the calendar makes me wonder: between the upcoming Summit for Democracy, Dec 9th-10th, and the period between the western holiday season (Dec 24th – 1 Jan) the time available to organize such a summit is shrinking quickly.  Following the initial announcement, the rhetoric in both Russia and the USA about such a summit has become much more vague as if both sides now appear to have second thoughts about this.

And if that summit is planned for sometime in January, then this just leaves more time for the Ukronazis to come up with any provocation they like.  If that happens, then any summit would the scrapped sine die anyway.

We can still hope that this summit will take place, and that would be an effective way for “Biden” to show to “himself” and his enemies (the other factions of the US power structure) that he, “Biden”, is still in control.  A bad peace is always preferable to a good war.  But with so many western interests vested into such a war, I am not very optimistic.

Andrei

Very telling admission from EU High Representative Josep Borrell

November 24, 2021

The EU High Representative Josep Borrell has just made a very telling admission, check out this video

The EU High Representative Josep Borrell and the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright took part in the ‘UNited for’ conference “An opportunity for global change”, held on 17 November 2021.

Here is the interesting quote (at about timestamp 29:00, stress added): “And we western people, US and EU, we have been ruling the world because we were the standard setterswe were fixing the standardswe are the masters of how technology was working. And from steel-mills to trains, railways to everything warfare, we were the standard settingIf we are no longer the standard setting, we will not rule the 21st century.

Ahhh, finally!!!  You heard it from a top level and very official representative of the West: the current tensions are about maintaining the western hegemony over the world.   Back to the (1930s) future… QED.

A commented reading of Putin’s speech at Valdai

October 24, 2021

Note: Below is the full speech made by made by Vladimir Putin, to which I have added red colors to add emphasis and a few comments of my own written in the blue color.  And while I do not have the energy or time to repeat this exercise for the Q&A section which followed his speech, I highly encourage you all to also read it!
Andrei

——-

A commented reading of Putin’s speech at Valdai

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,

To begin with, I would like to thank you for coming to Russia and taking part in the Valdai Club events.

As always, during these meetings you raise pressing issues and hold comprehensive discussions of these issues that, without exaggeration, matter for people around the world. Once again, the key theme of the forum was put in a straightforward, I would even say, point-blank manner: Global Shake-up in the 21st Century: The Individual, Values and the State.

Here Putin clearly indicated that he is not talking about local or even regional political issues, but that what we are witnessing is a planetary crisis and a planetary shakeup of the international world order.

Indeed, we are living in an era of great change. If I may, by tradition, I will offer my views with regard to the agenda that you have come up with.

In general, this phrase, “to live in an era of great change,” may seem trite since we use it so often. Also, this era of change began quite a long time ago, and changes have become part of everyday life. Hence, the question: are they worth focusing on? I agree with those who made the agenda for these meetings; of course they are.

In recent decades, many people have cited a Chinese proverb. The Chinese people are wise, and they have many thinkers and valuable thoughts that we can still use today. One of them, as you may know, says, “God forbid living in a time of change.” But we are already living in it, whether we like it or not, and these changes are becoming deeper and more fundamental. But let us consider another Chinese wisdom: the word “crisis” consists of two hieroglyphs – there are probably representatives of the People’s Republic of China in the audience, and they will correct me if I have it wrong – but, two hieroglyphs, “danger” and “opportunity.” And as we say here in Russia, “fight difficulties with your mind, and fight dangers with your experience.”

This sentence contains two very important components: first, Putin contrasts difficulties with dangers, hinting at the fact that what Russia considered as primarily as “difficulties” in the past is transitioning into a real danger.  Second, he also indicates how Russia fought dangers in the past.  The single most important collective experience in Russia’s recent history are, of course, the two revolutions in 1917 (February and October) and WWII.  The first two were internal, the other one external.  So this could be summed up as “no revolution inside Russia and no outside aggression against Russia“.

Of course, we must be aware of the danger and be ready to counter it, and not just one threat but many diverse threats that can arise in this era of change. However, it is no less important to recall a second component of the crisis – opportunities that must not be missed, all the more so since the crisis we are facing is conceptual and even civilisation-related. This is basically a crisis of approaches and principles that determine the very existence of humans on Earth, but we will have to seriously revise them in any event. The question is where to move, what to give up, what to revise or adjust. In saying this, I am convinced that it is necessary to fight for real values, upholding them in every way.

As I have been repeating it on this blog for more than a decade, the current crisis is not (just) about resources, it is a civilizational crisis and, here is the crucial factor, while in 2010 Putin still talked about Russia being European, the tone has now changed, he is clearly opposing two civilizational models: the Western one and the Russian one.  That, by the way, clearly implies that Russia is not part of the West, at least not civilizationally.

Humanity entered into a new era about three decades ago when the main conditions were created for ending military-political and ideological confrontation. I am sure you have talked a lot about this in this discussion club. Our Foreign Minister also talked about it, but nevertheless I would like to repeat several things.

A search for a new balance, sustainable relations in the social, political, economic, cultural and military areas and support for the world system was launched at that time. We were looking for this support but must say that we did not find it, at least so far. Meanwhile, those who felt like the winners after the end of the Cold War (we have also spoken about this many times) and thought they climbed Mount Olympus soon discovered that the ground was falling away underneath even there, and this time it was their turn, and nobody could “stop this fleeting moment” no matter how fair it seemed.

This is a direct dig at those narcissistic people in the West who thought that they had “defeated Communism” while, in reality, the CPSU defeated itself, and who thought that from now on, the West would rule the world forever and unchallenged.  Some even got medals for “winning the Cold War” while, in reality, the USSR and the CPSU just committed suicide.

In general, it must have seemed that we adjusted to this continuous inconstancy, unpredictability and permanent state of transition, but this did not happen either.

I would like to add that the transformation that we are seeing and are part of is of a different calibre than the changes that repeatedly occurred in human history, at least those we know about. This is not simply a shift in the balance of forces or scientific and technological breakthroughs, though both are also taking place. Today, we are facing systemic changes in all directions – from the increasingly complicated geophysical condition of our planet to a more paradoxical interpretation of what a human is and what the reasons for his existence are.

Here, again, Putin is trying to wake up his audience, especially the delusional folks in the West, about the nature and magnitude of the changes taking place before our eyes: a series systemic changes in all directions.

Let us look around. And I will say this again: I will allow myself to express a few thoughts that I sign on to.

Firstly, climate change and environmental degradation are so obvious that even the most careless people can no longer dismiss them. One can continue to engage in scientific debates about the mechanisms behind the ongoing processes, but it is impossible to deny that these processes are getting worse, and something needs to be done. Natural disasters such as droughts, floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis have almost become the new normal, and we are getting used to them. Suffice it to recall the devastating, tragic floods in Europe last summer, the fires in Siberia – there are a lot of examples. Not only in Siberia – our neighbours in Turkey have also had wildfires, and the United States, and other places on the American continent. It sometimes seems that any geopolitical, scientific and technical, or ideological rivalry becomes pointless in this context, if the winners will have not enough air to breathe or nothing to drink.

The coronavirus pandemic has become another reminder of how fragile our community is, how vulnerable it is, and our most important task is to ensure humanity a safe existence and resilience. To increase our chance of survival in the face of cataclysms, we absolutely need to rethink how we go about our lives, how we run our households, how cities develop or how they should develop; we need to reconsider economic development priorities of entire states. I repeat, safety is one of our main imperatives, in any case it has become obvious now, and anyone who tries to deny this will have to later explain why they were wrong and why they were unprepared for the crises and shocks whole nations are facing.

This is very important.  Whatever one thinks of the virus and the pandemic, the total chaos in which each country did its own thing has shown that even a major crisis does NOT unite humanity, due to many objective reasons.  Furthermore, the capitalist societies, far from being solid, are all barely surviving, by a very thin thread, mostly by printing money, lying to the people and by creating bubbles.  The western unsinkable Titanic is sinking, but the orchestra is still playing, very loudly.

Second. The socioeconomic problems facing humankind have worsened to the point where, in the past, they would trigger worldwide shocks, such as world wars or bloody social cataclysms. Everyone is saying that the current model of capitalism which underlies the social structure in the overwhelming majority of countries, has run its course and no longer offers a solution to a host of increasingly tangled differences.

Marx saw the internal contradictions of capitalism, as did many many others, but nobody reads him anymore and the others are forgotten.  Personally, I will never forget the speech of a Pakistani delegate to the UN in Geneva saying “the internal contradictions of Communism have caught up with the Soviet Union before the internal contradictions of capitalism will catch up with the West“.  How right he was, and now this is hard to deny!  Capitalism, being parasitical in nature, could only live off the plundering of the planet (hence Lenin’s remark about “imperialism being the latest stage of capitalism”).  The West “survived” the USSR by 3 decades only because these decades were decades of plunder of defenseless countries: now that there is nobody else to plunder and rob (what is left is either too poor or too strong), the crisis of capitalism explodes for all to see.

Everywhere, even in the richest countries and regions, the uneven distribution of material wealth has exacerbated inequality, primarily, inequality of opportunities both within individual societies and at the international level. I mentioned this formidable challenge in my remarks at the Davos Forum earlier this year. No doubt, these problems threaten us with major and deep social divisions.

This especially for those who hate Putin for going to Davos: not only does his presence there not prove at all that he is “in cahoots with the western capitalists”, it proves that when Putin meets them (as he should, they are the real powers ruling the Empire), he warns them about their own future and indicates to them how Russia will act when the crisis comes.  This is something that the people in the West seem to have a mental block over: the Russians always talk to everybody, even their worst enemies.  One thousand years of existential warfare as taught them the wisdom of this approach: there is a time for everything, including a time to talk and a time to kill, and Russians are very expert at both!  This is why Russia talks to Israel, Iran and the KSA, and this is why Russia talks to the Taliban (which under Russian law are still terrorists, though Putin hinted that this might change in the future, depending on what the Taliban do).  Russians will never refuse to talk to any entity, no matter how evil or dangerous it is, as long as it/he has real agency!  Do the folks in Davos have real agency?  Hell yes!  So OF COURSE the Russians will talk to them.  Finally, talking to a dangerous enemy is simply not seen as bad thing, Russian princes did that with the Tatars for several centuries.  Then the Russians won, militarily.

Furthermore, a number of countries and even entire regions are regularly hit by food crises. We will probably discuss this later, but there is every reason to believe that this crisis will become worse in the near future and may reach extreme forms. There are also shortages of water and electricity (we will probably cover this today as well), not to mention poverty, high unemployment rates or lack of adequate healthcare.

Here Putin is being very specific: he warns about a future food crisis which will reach an extreme form.  You can be pretty sure that this warning is based on SVR analyses about the very real risk of violent riots, including food riots, happening in the West.  As for Russia, she has the largest freshwater reserves on the planet, is amongst the top agricultural powers on the planet, and has enough energy to keep her going for centuries.  Last but not least, Russia now has the most powerful military on the planet and she will not allow the West, even a hungry West, to come a simply rob her of her own riches.

Lagging countries are fully aware of that and are losing faith in the prospects of ever catching up with the leaders. Disappointment spurs aggression and pushes people to join the ranks of extremists. People in these countries have a growing sense of unfulfilled and failed expectations and the lack of any opportunities not only for themselves, but for their children, as well. This is what makes them look for better lives and results in uncontrolled migration, which, in turn, creates fertile ground for social discontent in more prosperous countries. I do not need to explain anything to you, since you can see everything with your own eyes and are, probably, versed on these matters even better than I.

As I noted earlier, prosperous leading powers have other pressing social problems, challenges and risks in ample supply, and many among them are no longer interested in fighting for influence since, as they say, they already have enough on their plates. The fact that society and young people in many countries have overreacted in a harsh and even aggressive manner to measures to combat the coronavirus showed – and I want to emphasise this, I hope someone has already mentioned this before me at other venues – so, I think that this reaction showed that the pandemic was just a pretext: the causes for social irritation and frustration run much deeper.

The issue of the need to never conflate or confuse cause and pretext is something Putin often mentions.  In this case, what he is saying is that the lockdowns were not the cause of the protests, but rather the spark that set off the social explosion whose true causes are in the unsustainable and, frankly, inhuman nature of the hypocritical, immoral, and unsustainable western capitalist order and worldview (capitalism is both).

I have another important point to make. The pandemic, which, in theory, was supposed to rally the people in the fight against this massive common threat, has instead become a divisive rather than a unifying factor. There are many reasons for that, but one of the main ones is that they started looking for solutions to problems among the usual approaches – a variety of them, but still the old ones, but they just do not work. Or, to be more precise, they do work, but often and oddly enough, they worsen the existing state of affairs.

Western capitalism is all about individualism.  It is based on the notion that the sum of our greeds will result in the best human society possible.  Of course, this is a lie, and while it does force people to work hard motivated either by greed (the rich) or survival (the poor), it cannot generate a society, a civilization, which can act together against a common threat: everybody pulls the blanket to himself, that is all there is to the so-called “western civilizational values”: the rest is just ideological prolefeed for the deceived masses.

By the way, Russia has repeatedly called for, and I will repeat this, stopping these inappropriate ambitions and for working together. We will probably talk about this later but it is clear what I have in mind. We are talking about the need to counter the coronavirus infection together. But nothing changes; everything remains the same despite the humanitarian considerations. I am not referring to Russia now, let’s leave the sanctions against Russia for now; I mean the sanctions that remain in place against those states that badly need international assistance. Where are the humanitarian fundamentals of Western political thought? It appears there is nothing there, just idle talk. Do you understand? This is what seems to be on the surface.

Here Putin even spells out the self-evident truth which is not impossible to conceal: Where are the humanitarian fundamentals of Western political thought? It appears there is nothing there, just idle talk.  The fact that he said it twice, so publicly, is one of the most important statements in his entire career and one of the key reasons why the western ruling classes are now going into deep hysterics: they feel like the proverbial naked king.

Furthermore, the technological revolution, impressive achievements in artificial intelligence, electronics, communications, genetics, bioengineering, and medicine open up enormous opportunities, but at the same time, in practical terms, they raise philosophical, moral and spiritual questions that were until recently the exclusive domain of science fiction writers. What will happen if machines surpass humans in the ability to think? Where is the limit of interference in the human body beyond which a person ceases being himself and turns into some other entity? What are the general ethical limits in the world where the potential of science and machines are becoming almost boundless? What will this mean for each of us, for our descendants, our nearest descendants – our children and grandchildren?

These changes are gaining momentum, and they certainly cannot be stopped because they are objective as a rule. All of us will have to deal with the consequences regardless of our political systems, economic condition or prevailing ideology.

Verbally, all states talk about their commitment to the ideals of cooperation and a willingness to work together for resolving common problems but, unfortunately, these are just words. In reality, the opposite is happening, and the pandemic has served to fuel the negative trends that emerged long ago and are now only getting worse. The approach based on the proverb, “your own shirt is closer to the body,” has finally become common and is now no longer even concealed. Moreover, this is often even a matter of boasting and brandishing. Egotistic interests prevail over the notion of the common good.

There are too many examples to list them here, so I will pick one: the “molecules of freedom” which Uncle Shmuel promised to its European vassals are now in Asia.  QED.

Of course, the problem is not just the ill will of certain states and notorious elites. It is more complicated than that, in my opinion. In general, life is seldom divided into black and white. Every government, every leader is primarily responsible to his own compatriots, obviously. The main goal is to ensure their security, peace and prosperity. So, international, transnational issues will never be as important for a national leadership as domestic stability. In general, this is normal and correct.

We need to face the fact the global governance institutions are not always effective and their capabilities are not always up to the challenge posed by the dynamics of global processes. In this sense, the pandemic could help – it clearly showed which institutions have what it takes and which need fine-tuning.

The re-alignment of the balance of power presupposes a redistribution of shares in favour of rising and developing countries that until now felt left out. To put it bluntly, the Western domination of international affairs, which began several centuries ago and, for a short period, was almost absolute in the late 20th century, is giving way to a much more diverse system.

Okay, but here allow me to point out that I said the same thing, much more directly and in detail, before Putin did :-).  See this article, where I even gave dates: “the Empire died on January 8th 2020, and the US died almost an exact year later, on January 6th 2021“.  To see the non-moderated and, therefore, quite spontaneous reaction these words elicited, please check out the comments section under the Unz version of the same article.  I fully expect the reaction to these words by Putin to mimic the hysterics in the Unz comments section: impotent rage, personal hatred, hysterical flagwaving, and a barrage of unoriginal insults.  None of that noise will affect the outcome, not in the least.  Uncle Shmuel and his Empire are dead, they only appear alive due to momentum (and superb brainwashing in Zone A) and another world order, one in which the West will play a secondary role, at best, is being formed before our eyes.

This transformation is not a mechanical process and, in its own way, one might even say, is unparalleled. Arguably, political history has no examples of a stable world order being established without a big war and its outcomes as the basis, as was the case after World War II. So, we have a chance to create an extremely favourable precedent. The attempt to create it after the end of the Cold War on the basis of Western domination failed, as we see. The current state of international affairs is a product of that very failure, and we must learn from this.

This is a topic which a lot of Russian historians and analysts talk about: in the past, all the vast reorganizations of the international order resulted in wars which then defined the final shape of that order, until the next crisis, that is.  Plainly, this is the issue the Russians are raising: can the West collapse and merge into the new international order without triggering a major war, especially since such a major war will probably be nuclear and threaten the survival of the human race?  Russia did all she can do to deter the West: she built a military capable of matching and even surpassing the united armies of the imperial West on all levels, from the tactical to the operational to the strategic, and if the West decided to go down in its own Götterdämmerung, Russia will make sure that nobody survives her (as Putin said “what need do we have of a world without Russia?” and “at least we will die like martyrs, they will just croak“).  But at the end of the day, whether the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire will trigger the final holocaust of mankind or not is in their hands.  There is nothing more Russia can do to avert that outcome.

Some may wonder, what have we arrived at? We have arrived somewhere paradoxical. Just an example: for two decades, the most powerful nation in the world has been conducting military campaigns in two countries that it cannot be compared to by any standard. But in the end, it had to wind down operations without achieving a single goal that it had set for itself going in 20 years ago, and to withdraw from these countries causing considerable damage to others and itself. In fact, the situation has worsened dramatically.

But that is not the point. Previously, a war lost by one side meant victory for the other side, which took responsibility for what was happening. For example, the defeat of the United States in the Vietnam War, for example, did not make Vietnam a “black hole.” On the contrary, a successfully developing state arose there, which, admittedly, relied on the support of a strong ally. Things are different now: no matter who takes the upper hand, the war does not stop, but just changes form. As a rule, the hypothetical winner is reluctant or unable to ensure peaceful post-war recovery, and only worsens the chaos and the vacuum posing a danger to the world.

Colleagues,

What do you think are the starting points of this complex realignment process? Let me try to summarise the talking points.

First, the coronavirus pandemic has clearly shown that the international order is structured around nation states. By the way, recent developments have shown that global digital platforms – with all their might, which we could see from the internal political processes in the United States – have failed to usurp political or state functions. These attempts proved ephemeral. The US authorities, as I said, have immediately put the owners of these platforms in their place, which is exactly what is being done in Europe, if you just look at the size of the fines imposed on them and the demonopolisation measures being taken. You are aware of that.

There was no coordinated international response to the pandemic, each country did what it thought it should do.  The same will happen with future threats, such is the nature of our current planetary (dis)organization and international institutions made no difference.

In recent decades, many have tossed around fancy concepts claiming that the role of the state was outdated and outgoing. Globalisation supposedly made national borders an anachronism, and sovereignty an obstacle to prosperity. You know, I said it before and I will say it again. This is also what was said by those who attempted to open up other countries’ borders for the benefit of their own competitive advantages. This is what actually happened. And as soon as it transpired that someone somewhere is achieving great results, they immediately returned to closing borders in general and, first of all, their own customs borders and what have you, and started building walls. Well, were we supposed to not notice, or what? Everyone sees everything and everyone understands everything perfectly well. Of course, they do.

That is a dig at the western libertarians: Putin is most definitely a “statist”, and he believes, like most Russians, that the state is not only useful, it is vital.

There is no point in disputing it anymore. It is obvious. But events, when we spoke about the need to open up borders, events, as I said, went in the opposite direction. Only sovereign states can effectively respond to the challenges of the times and the demands of the citizens. Accordingly, any effective international order should take into account the interests and capabilities of the state and proceed on that basis, and not try to prove that they should not exist. Furthermore, it is impossible to impose anything on anyone, be it the principles underlying the sociopolitical structure or values that someone, for their own reasons, has called universal. After all, it is clear that when a real crisis strikes, there is only one universal value left and that is human life, which each state decides for itself how best to protect based on its abilities, culture and traditions.

Here, again, Putin is not being ideological at all, he brings it all down to a basic issue of survival.  And the key to survival is the existence of a truly sovereign and strong state, with real, actual, agency.

In this regard, I will again note how severe and dangerous the coronavirus pandemic has become. As we know, more than 4.9 million have died of it. These terrifying figures are comparable and even exceed the military losses of the main participants in World War I.

That’s for those who still bought into the entire “there is no pandemic” nonsense and implies a question: what would it take for you to wake up to reality? 5 million? 10 million? 20?

The second point I would like to draw your attention to is the scale of change that forces us to act extremely cautiously, if only for reasons of self-preservation. The state and society must not respond radically to qualitative shifts in technology, dramatic environmental changes or the destruction of traditional systems. It is easier to destroy than to create, as we all know. We in Russia know this very well, regrettably, from our own experience, which we have had several times.

Putin here refers to all the terrible revolutions Russia went through during the 20th century: twice in 1917, then 1991 and 1993.  Putin is strongly opposed to ideologically motivated and violent revolutions.  That does not mean that he believes that whatever preceded these revolutions was good or should have been kept, only that changes must be made very gradually and carefully, and never under the hysterical screams and slogans of crazies drunk on ideological certainties.

Just over a century ago, Russia objectively faced serious problems, including because of the ongoing World War I, but its problems were not bigger and possibly even smaller or not as acute as the problems the other countries faced, and Russia could have dealt with its problems gradually and in a civilised manner. But revolutionary shocks led to the collapse and disintegration of a great power. The second time this happened 30 years ago, when a potentially very powerful nation failed to enter the path of urgently needed, flexible but thoroughly substantiated reforms at the right time, and as a result it fell victim to all kinds of dogmatists, both reactionary ones and the so-called progressives – all of them did their bit, all sides did.

These examples from our history allow us to say that revolutions are not a way to settle a crisis but a way to aggravate it. No revolution was worth the damage it did to the human potential.

Quick reminder: even revolutions which are announced as “bloodless” end up spilling more blood than anybody could imagine.  Here I would like to quote Gandhi “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent“.  Okay, maybe not really permanent, but certainly it lasts much MUCH longer that whatever “good” violence was supposed to achieve.

Third. The importance of a solid support in the sphere of morals, ethics and values is increasing dramatically in the modern fragile world. In point of fact, values are a product, a unique product of cultural and historical development of any nation. The mutual interlacing of nations definitely enriches them, openness expands their horizons and allows them to take a fresh look at their own traditions. But the process must be organic, and it can never be rapid. Any alien elements will be rejected anyway, possibly bluntly. Any attempts to force one’s values on others with an uncertain and unpredictable outcome can only further complicate a dramatic situation and usually produce the opposite reaction and an opposite from the intended result.

That is a direct dig at the Woke-inspired pseudo-Wakanda the crazies in the West are now advocating for, there will be much more about this below.

We look in amazement at the processes underway in the countries which have been traditionally looked at as the standard-bearers of progress. Of course, the social and cultural shocks that are taking place in the United States and Western Europe are none of our business; we are keeping out of this. Some people in the West believe that an aggressive elimination of entire pages from their own history, “reverse discrimination” against the majority in the interests of a minority, and the demand to give up the traditional notions of mother, father, family and even gender, they believe that all of these are the mileposts on the path towards social renewal.

This is about the USA and how it committed suicide.  What Putin is saying is this: you want to commit suicide, by all means, do it, but do not try to get us to follow you, because we never ever will.

Listen, I would like to point out once again that they have a right to do this, we are keeping out of this. But we would like to ask them to keep out of our business as well. We have a different viewpoint, at least the overwhelming majority of Russian society – it would be more correct to put it this way – has a different opinion on this matter. We believe that we must rely on our own spiritual values, our historical tradition and the culture of our multiethnic nation.

It’s all true.  Most Russians, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion or political ideas like gender differentiated couples, with a father and a mother, each in his/her role.  If the USA wants to transform itself into a “Trannystan” run by gender fluid creatures of an undetermined nature and function, no problem.  But Russia openly and categorically rejects such a model no matter how loud the protest of “human rights” (or tranny rights) organization in the West will protest.

The advocates of so-called ‘social progress’ believe they are introducing humanity to some kind of a new and better consciousness. Godspeed, hoist the flags as we say, go right ahead. The only thing that I want to say now is that their prescriptions are not new at all. It may come as a surprise to some people, but Russia has been there already. After the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks, relying on the dogmas of Marx and Engels, also said that they would change existing ways and customs and not just political and economic ones, but the very notion of human morality and the foundations of a healthy society. The destruction of age-old values, religion and relations between people, up to and including the total rejection of family (we had that, too), encouragement to inform on loved ones – all this was proclaimed progress and, by the way, was widely supported around the world back then and was quite fashionable, same as today. By the way, the Bolsheviks were absolutely intolerant of opinions other than theirs.

That is also something I have said many times: many of the so-called “minorities” in the West are every bit as intolerant and even violent as the Trotskysts in Soviet Russia.  While they wrap themselves in the mantles of “acceptance”, “positivity” or “diversity” the truth is you better agree with them, or else.  I can personally attest that this blog has lost a few readers (not nearly as many as they wish to believe!) and even authors over my refusal to consider homosexuality as a “normal and natural variation of human sexuality”.  Some of these folks even wrote me long letters of insults in the apparent belief this that would impress me.  There are many minorities in the West and the world and the rulers of the Empire use them to great effectiveness to first, distract from the real issues and, second, to destroy the western civilization (I reposted one recently here).  In my experience, the single most intolerant and ideologically-wired group are homosexuals, leaving militant feminists far behind.  But the BLM or Antifa types are also display a typically Trotskyst mindset.  As for the Alt-Right, Q-anon and the rest of the “don’t tread on me” folks (who have been trodded upon since birth and never had be brains or reality awareness realize this!), they dream about “Evropa”, drive around on Harleys, stock on ammo and guns and sometimes even seem to believe that Putin or Russia is on their side.  And yes, while they are rather pathetic, they are much LESS ideological intolerant and, therefore, less potentially violent, than their “progressive” counterparts.  The US ruling classes use them ALL for the sole purpose of staying in power.

This, I believe, should call to mind some of what we are witnessing now. Looking at what is happening in a number of Western countries, we are amazed to see the domestic practices, which we, fortunately, have left, I hope, in the distant past. The fight for equality and against discrimination has turned into aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity, when the works of the great authors of the past – such as Shakespeare – are no longer taught at schools or universities, because their ideas are believed to be backward. The classics are declared backward and ignorant of the importance of gender or race. In Hollywood memos are distributed about proper storytelling and how many characters of what colour or gender should be in a movie. This is even worse than the agitprop department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

He said is plainly here: “aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity”.  And, believe me, after 70 years of Bolshevik rule, Russians know all they need to know about “aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity”.  Then want NO part of it.

Countering acts of racism is a necessary and noble cause, but the new ‘cancel culture’ has turned it into ‘reverse discrimination’ that is, reverse racism. The obsessive emphasis on race is further dividing people, when the real fighters for civil rights dreamed precisely about erasing differences and refusing to divide people by skin colour. I specifically asked my colleagues to find the following quote from Martin Luther King: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by their character.” This is the true value. However, things are turning out differently there. By the way, the absolute majority of Russian people do not think that the colour of a person’s skin or their gender is an important matter. Each of us is a human being. This is what matters.

That’s one for those ignorant idiots who believe that Russia cares about the “White race”, including, alas, a few folks who consider themselves Russian, or say so, but whose worldview is categorically opposed to the traditional Russian one: Russians don’t think or use categories such as skin color or ethnicity (the last Czar was more German than Russian for example, and his wife was German).  Unlike the West, which was born in the 12th century and who has been imperialist ever since the First Crusade, Russia, like the East Roman Empire (aka Byzantium) or, before that, the Roman and Alexandrian empires, was always multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious and western notions such as “the White race” have no meaning whatsoever in the traditional Russian worldview (even the Bolsheviks officially were internationalists, albeit mostly russophobic ones, but that is another topic).

In a number of Western countries, the debate over men’s and women’s rights has turned into a perfect phantasmagoria. Look, beware of going where the Bolsheviks once planned to go – not only communalising chickens, but also communalising women. One more step and you will be there.

Yup, he dared to say it:  “the debate over men’s and women’s rights has turned into a perfect phantasmagoria”.  I can just imagine the rage these words will trigger.

Also, about “communilizing” chicken or women.  He is referring to the various ideologies, from Plato to Marx, who wanted to subvert the traditional family and make women “communal”.  For those who have no idea what I am referring to, I can only recommend the following book by Igor Shafarevich “The Socialist Phenomenon“.

Zealots of these new approaches even go so far as to want to abolish these concepts altogether. Anyone who dares mention that men and women actually exist, which is a biological fact, risk being ostracised. “Parent number one” and “parent number two,” “’birthing parent” instead of “mother,” and “human milk” replacing “breastmilk” because it might upset the people who are unsure about their own gender. I repeat, this is nothing new; in the 1920s, the so-called Soviet Kulturtraegers also invented some newspeak believing they were creating a new consciousness and changing values that way. And, as I have already said, they made such a mess it still makes one shudder at times.

Here again, Putin OPENLY denounces the entire “Woke” ideology, which he compares to the Nazi ideology (hence his use of the term Kulturtraeger), its ideologues and its CRIMES, see next

Not to mention some truly monstrous things when children are taught from an early age that a boy can easily become a girl and vice versa. That is, the teachers actually impose on them a choice we all supposedly have. They do so while shutting the parents out of the process and forcing the child to make decisions that can upend their entire life. They do not even bother to consult with child psychologists – is a child at this age even capable of making a decision of this kind? Calling a spade a spade, this verges on a crime against humanity, and it is being done in the name and under the banner of progress.

What the US ideologues are doing to children is a crime against humanity.  It is child abuse of the worst kind.  Putin has the courage to say so openly.  Well, at least the gender-crazies in the West cannot get him fired or otherwise “cancelled”.  Good.

Well, if someone likes this, let them do it. I have already mentioned that, in shaping our approaches, we will be guided by a healthy conservatism. That was a few years ago, when passions on the international arena were not yet running as high as they are now, although, of course, we can say that clouds were gathering even then. Now, when the world is going through a structural disruption, the importance of reasonable conservatism as the foundation for a political course has skyrocketed – precisely because of the multiplying risks and dangers, and the fragility of the reality around us.

Same message: enjoy your wannabe Wakanda but stay away from us, our families, our traditions and our children above all!

This conservative approach is not about an ignorant traditionalism, a fear of change or a restraining game, much less about withdrawing into our own shell. It is primarily about reliance on a time-tested tradition, the preservation and growth of the population, a realistic assessment of oneself and others, a precise alignment of priorities, a correlation of necessity and possibility, a prudent formulation of goals, and a fundamental rejection of extremism as a method. And frankly, in the impending period of global reconstruction, which may take quite long, with its final design being uncertain, moderate conservatism is the most reasonable line of conduct, as far as I see it. It will inevitably change at some point, but so far, do no harm – the guiding principle in medicine – seems to be the most rational one. Noli nocere, as they say.

First, “do no harm” should not be a controversial notion.  But the West and all its ideologies and incarnations has dealt with that basic rule in a very simple way: “when WE do it, it is not harm, axiomatically, by definition”.  This sums of 1000 years of western imperialism, violence and intolerance: “when WE do it, it is good, because we are good” – and that is dogma.

Again, for us in Russia, these are not some speculative postulates, but lessons from our difficult and sometimes tragic history. The cost of ill-conceived social experiments is sometimes beyond estimation. Such actions can destroy not only the material, but also the spiritual foundations of human existence, leaving behind moral wreckage where nothing can be built to replace it for a long time.

That is a last warning: keep going on and you will leave nothing such a moral wreckage where nothing can be built to replace it for a long time.  Who are these words addressed to?  Not the leaders of the Empire.  Not the Woke folks, and not the braindead “Don’t tread on me” either. Not the Greta Tunberg types for sure.  I think that this  is a warning to those who still have something to preserve: Mediterranean countries, the Middle-East, Latin America and much of the entire Asian continent.

Finally, there is one more point I want to make. We understand all too well that resolving many urgent problems the world has been facing would be impossible without close international cooperation. However, we need to be realistic: most of the pretty slogans about coming up with global solutions to global problems that we have been hearing since the late 20th century will never become reality. In order to achieve a global solution, states and people have to transfer their sovereign rights to supra-national structures to an extent that few, if any, would accept. This is primarily attributable to the fact that you have to answer for the outcomes of such policies not to some global public, but to your citizens and voters.

However, this does not mean that exercising some restraint for the sake of bringing about solutions to global challenges is impossible. After all, a global challenge is a challenge for all of us together, and to each of us in particular. If everyone saw a way to benefit from cooperation in overcoming these challenges, this would definitely leave us better equipped to work together.

One of the ways to promote these efforts could be, for example, to draw up, at the UN level, a list of challenges and threats that specific countries face, with details of how they could affect other countries. This effort could involve experts from various countries and academic fields, including you, my colleagues. We believe that developing a roadmap of this kind could inspire many countries to see global issues in a new light and understand how cooperation could be beneficial for them.

I have already mentioned the challenges international institutions are facing. Unfortunately, this is an obvious fact: it is now a question of reforming or closing some of them. However, the United Nations as the central international institution retains its enduring value, at least for now. I believe that in our turbulent world it is the UN that brings a touch of reasonable conservatism into international relations, something that is so important for normalising the situation.

The leaders of the West have tried to subvert and discredit the UN for many decades already.  Why?  Simple: they don’t have a superior status there, and the P5 can veto anything.  Hence all the tall by various US Presidents about a new “rules-based international order” or a “alliance of democracies”.  That is just nonsense whose sole purpose to subvert the UN because of Russia and China.  The leaders of the West want a total monopoly on power, and when they can’t get it, they simply ignore the rules they themselves agreed to after WWII.

Many criticise the UN for failing to adapt to a rapidly changing world. In part, this is true, but it is not the UN, but primarily its members who are to blame for this. In addition, this international body promotes not only international norms, but also the rule-making spirit, which is based on the principles of equality and maximum consideration for everyone’s opinions. Our mission is to preserve this heritage while reforming the organisation. However, in doing so we need to make sure that we do not throw the baby out with the bathwater, as the saying goes.

There is much more to this: for example, the West has taken total control of organizations such as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the ICC or even the IOC.  The list of such totally controlled international organizations is very very long.  They also run Amnesty, WWF, the ICRC etc.  As somebody who worked both at the UN and (very shortly) at the ICRC, I can personally confirm this.  Putin is too diplomatic to say this but, believe me, the Russians are absolutely aware of this, and for good reason.

This is not the first time I am using a high rostrum to make this call for collective action in order to face up to the problems that continue to pile up and become more acute. It is thanks to you, friends and colleagues, that the Valdai Club is emerging or has already established itself as a high-profile forum. It is for this reason that I am turning to this platform to reaffirm our readiness to work together on addressing the most urgent problems that the world is facing today.

Friends,

The changes mentioned here prior to me, as well as by yours truly, are relevant to all countries and peoples. Russia, of course, is not an exception. Just like everyone else, we are searching for answers to the most urgent challenges of our time.

Of course, no one has any ready-made recipes. However, I would venture to say that our country has an advantage. Let me explain what this advantage is. It is to do with our historical experience. You may have noticed that I have referred to it several times in the course of my remarks. Unfortunately, we had to bring back many sad memories, but at least our society has developed what they now refer to as herd immunity to extremism that paves the way to upheavals and socioeconomic cataclysms. People really value stability and being able to live normal lives and to prosper while confident that the irresponsible aspirations of yet another group of revolutionaries will not upend their plans and aspirations. Many have vivid memories of what happened 30 years ago and all the pain it took to climb out of the ditch where our country and our society found themselves after the USSR fell apart.

Our society has developed what they now refer to as herd immunity to extremism that paves the way to upheavals and socioeconomic cataclysms“.  That is absolutely true, thanks to 3 terrible revolutions,  several bloodbaths (including the one in 1993 and Chechnia), the total self-destruction of the post-Maidan Ukraine and now the collective suicide of the West, soemthing which is reported about every day in the Russian media, state, corporate and social.  This is why the talk about a coup against Putin is so silly: not only does he have full and total control of all the “power ministries” and the support of a majority of Russians, but as soon as any wannabe “Maidan” (like what the West tried in Belarus recently) is attempted in Russia, an infinitely larger anti-Maidan will spontaneously happen.

The conservative views we hold are an optimistic conservatism, which is what matters the most. We believe stable, positive development to be possible. It all depends primarily on our own efforts. Of course, we are ready to work with our partners on common noble causes.

I would like to thank all participants once more, for your attention. As the tradition goes, I will gladly answer or at least try to answer your questions.

Thank you for your patience.

Conclusion: this was, by far, the most important speech ever made by Putin and it is a direct, open, challenge to the West.  We all, humans, are now truly entering a most dangerous period.  When Putin came to power, he perfectly understood how weak Russia was.  So he engaged in what appeared to be 2 decades of constant Russian concessions, a retreat on all fronts, and that got a lot of people very frustrated and angry at him.  But now, in 2021, we see that what he did was trade time (and space!) to fundamentally transform Russia from a plundered, humiliated and basically dying country into a power which can finally throw a direct challenge at the consolidated West: the dead AngloZionist Empire, the dying Anglosphere and a Europe gone completely insane.  And there is really nothing much his enemies in the West can do, short of starting a suicidal war they cannot win.   After 2 decades of very careful preparations Russia is now looking directly at the West, with no fear whatsoever and with a firm resolution to not allow the West to pull Russia into its own suicidal direction.

Andrei

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