NATO’s Aggression Reaches for Russian Waters

December 7, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – The recent Kerch Strait incident marks a new low amid the US-led expansion of NATO eastward.

The intentional provocation executed by Kiev saw three Ukrainian naval vessels seized by Russia. The vessels were intentionally violating protocol for passing through the Strait – protocol previously agreed upon by Kiev and previously observed by Ukrainian naval vessels.

The extent to which Ukraine was aware of these protocols and the 2003 agreement that put them in place includes entire events organized in Ukraine by NATO-sponsored “think tanks” discussing the necessity to “rip them up” and attempt to assert greater control over the current joint-use of the Sea of Azov.

In the wake of this incident – predictable calls are being made to use it as a pretext to expand NATO even further east, with senior American Foreign Policy Council fellow and former professor at the US Army War College Stephen Blank declaring the need for the US to “lease” Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, patrol the sea with US warships,  all while committing to the “full-fledged” arming of Ukrainian forces.

Blank’s commentary – published in The Hill in a piece titled, “Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an act of war,” predicates an anti-Russian narrative and NATO’s eastward expansion into Ukraine upon a number of blatant falsehoods.

He mentions Russia’s “seizure” of Crimea, its “claiming that Crimea, the Sea of Azov, and the Kerch Strait are exclusively Russian waters,” and the building of the Crimean Bridge which Blank claims is impeding Ukrainian commerce in the Sea of Azov – all as Russian provocations.

However, Blank conveniently omits the US-NATO backed putsch that seized power in Ukraine in 2013 – setting off Ukrainian-Russian tensions in the first place. Nowhere in Blank’s commentary does he mention the prominent role paramilitary Neo-Nazi organizations have played in both overthrowing the elected government in 2013 and militancy carried out against Russian businesses, institutions, and even Ukrainians of Russian decedent – particularly in Donbass, eastern Ukraine.


Blank would even feign ignorance over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motives in repatriating Crimea and taking measures against a now fully hostile Ukraine sitting on Russia’s borders.

Also conveniently omitted from Blank’s commentary was any mention of decades of NATO’s eastward expansion along with various episodes in NATO’s history where it waged wars well beyond its jurisdiction and mandate, including in Libya and Afghanistan.

Coupled together with Blank’s prescription for a “response” – it is abundantly clear who stood most to benefit from the Kerch Strait incident – especially considering the systematic expansion of NATO that has been ongoing long before President Putin ever came to power.

Blank suggests:

Beyond imposing more sanctions, waging a robust informational campaign and transferring more arms to Ukraine we can and must do something more innovative and decisive. We have the means and precedent for doing so.

He then suggests (emphasis added):

Ukraine could lease ports on the Black Sea and even in the Sea of Azov to the U.S. while we lend them military equipment they need for air, naval, and ground warfare. The U.S. or NATO naval vessels could then stay at those ports for as long as necessary without bringing Ukraine formally into NATO. It would greatly diminish the chance of Russian attack if those forces patrolled the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Blank concludes by claiming:

Not only do these forces deter future Russian attacks they show everyone, not least in Moscow, that Putin’s reckless adventurism has merely brought NATO into Ukraine to stay, the exact opposite of his goals.

Yet, claiming Russia’s actions prompted NATO’s entrance into Ukraine is preposterous – especially considering NATO’s decades-long and relentless expansion eastward. The US-NATO backed putsch in 2013 was aimed wholly at placing a proxy regime in power that would uproot all Russian influence and interests in Ukraine, fast-track Ukraine’s entry into both the European Union and NATO, and join the front-line of NATO expansion – literally right on Russia’s borders.

NATO Expansion was the Goal Long Before “Putin’s Reckless Adventurism”  

Despite assurances from senior US representatives to the Soviet Union toward the end of the Cold War that NATO would not be expanded “one inch to the east,” it has since been expanded directly to Russia’s borders.

NATO members bordering Russia now include Estonia, Latvia, and Norway – with Georgia and Ukraine both bordering Russia and being considered “aspirant” countries.

Norway was host of one of the largest NATO exercises in decades – Trident Juncture. Other exercises are regularly held in the Baltic states bordering Russia. And US troops have carried out training, have provided arms to, and have ensured compliant regimes remain in power in Ukraine and Georgia.

Then US Secretary of State James Baker – as revealed in now declassified documents maintained in archives by George Washington University – personally and repeatedly made assurances to then Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not be further expanded toward Russian borders.

In one document titled, “Memorandum of conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and James Baker in Moscow,” Baker would state in regards to the reunification of Germany (emphasis added):

We fought a war [World War 2] together to bring peace to Europe. We didn’t do so well handling the peace in the Cold War. And now we are faced with rapid and fundamental change. And we are in a better position to cooperate in preserving peace. I want you to know one thing for certain. The President and I have made clear that we seek no unilateral advantage in this process. 

In other words – the US recognized the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazi Germany and admitted both nations failed to broker peace in the war’s aftermath. The US also stated it sought to cooperate with Russia regarding the reunification of Germany and the post-Cold War political order in Eastern Europe. It would stand to reason that in exchange for any sort of cooperation from Moscow, certain assurances would have to be made that NATO would not be expanded further eastward.

Baker would continue, claiming (emphasis added):

All our allies and East Europeans we have spoken to have told us that they want us to maintain a presence in Europe. I am not sure whether you favor that or not. But let me say that if our allies want us to go, we will be gone in a minute. Indeed, if they want us to leave, we’ll go and I can assure you that the sentiment of the American people is such that they will want us to leave immediately. The mechanism by which we have a US military presence in Europe is NATO. If you abolish NATO, there will be no more US presence. 

Of course, if the sentiment of the American people was and is for the US to withdraw its military presence from Europe – as a defender of global democracy – the US finds itself making a very undemocratic decision by keeping its military in Europe regardless.

Baker then claims (emphasis added):

We understand the need for assurances to the countries in the East. If we maintain a presence in a Germany that is part of NATO, there would no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east.

Baker would reiterate this point by asking Gorbachev the question:

Would you prefer a united Germany outside of NATO that is independent and has no US forces or would you prefer a united Germany with ties to NATO and assurances that there would be no extension of NATO’s current jurisdiction eastward? 

Obviously then, just as now, Russia had nothing to gain by allowing NATO to continue expanding eastward. A meeting between then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Gorbachev following the Baker-Gorbachev meeting would again reiterate commitments not to expand NATO any further eastward.

The US has – in retrospect and to no one’s surprise – claimed that the meetings, language used, and agreements were non-binding, misinterpreted, and ultimately did not equate to any sort of constraint on NATO’s expansion, including up to and along Russia’s borders.Some have claimed that the assurances only applied to NATO’s presence in Germany – but clearly Baker’s assurances of not expanding NATO’s jurisdiction eastward inside of Germany was an acknowledgement that NATO’s move eastward – anywhere – was seen as a threat and provocation by Moscow.

If the US understood that eastward expansion of NATO’s jurisdiction inside of Germany would be perceived rightfully as a threat and provocation, why wouldn’t it be equally understood that eastward expansion outside of Germany and up to Russia’s borders would be perceived as an even greater threat and provocation?  Wouldn’t the US equally see similar expansion by Russia westward as a threat and provocation?

Putting the Shoe on the Other Foot – How Would Washington React to “Russian Expansion?”

To understand how bad NATO expansion actually looks outside the bubble of American exceptionalism and just what sort of situation Moscow is faced with – consider what Washington’s reaction would be to a Russian-backed coup in Canada, Mexico, or both.

Consider both nation’s hosting Russian troops and receiving Russian arms with high-level Russian politicians vowing to overthrow the political order of the United States next.

Consider as Russia did this, it also imposed sanctions on the United States – crippling its economy – then blamed Washington’s “incompetence” rather than Russia’s own sanctions for the predictable economic crisis. Consider if Russia also imposed secondary sanctions on American allies, preventing them from trading with the US, thus attempting to impose a modern-day blockade on the United States itself.

It takes little imagination to conclude Washington would not tolerate such activity – and considering what the US has already done in reaction to unfounded claims of “Russian meddling” in US elections, such extreme meddling, sanctions, and military and economic encirclement carried out along America’s borders would fall well within the realm as “acts of war.”

Washington has lied the American people into serial wars abroad, destroying entire regions of the planet and killing millions. One can only imagine what Washington would do if actually confronted with genuine acts of war carried out directly on its borders.

And yet Russia’s reaction to exactly these sort of very real provocations carried out by the US and NATO all along its borders and against its allies has been measured, patient – and for some – considered even woefully inadequate.

Despite this, US policymakers and the Western media still manage to twist the narrative a full 180 degrees and portray Russia – a nation with a military budget and GDP a fraction of those of the United States – as the “aggressor.”

NATO Will Not Stop Itself  

It is clear that NATO’s expansion is aimed at Moscow itself. It will continue until it is forcibly stopped. This means either by Russia warding off NATO expansion until NATO collapses under its own unsustainable weight, or Russia outmatches NATO at the very edge of the West’s extent in areas Moscow clearly holds the military, sociopolitical, and economic advantage.

The Kerch Strait incident and attempts to leverage it as a pretext to place NATO warships in the Sea of Azov is a dangerous provocation – the Sea of Azov is not “international waters” and is considered by both Ukraine and Russia as an inland sea they share control over.

If people like Stephen Blank have their way and warships enter the Sea of Azov – NATO will be one step past many of the proxy wars the West is already fighting Russia through – and one step closer to fighting Russian forces directly.

Blank’s claiming NATO must act to confront Russian “provocations” is an instance of inverse reality. In this case – NATO is encircling Russia, violently stripping it of buffer states where the West and East have and could have continued to share influence to avoid conflict, and is instead turning them into frontier fortresses in preparation for what is clearly further and more direct conflict planned with Russia in the future.

A nation leading an alliance that must cross the Atlantic Ocean and several seas to station its vessels in Russian waters is not reacting to provocations – it is the provocateur.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

US Military Contractor Is Hiring Personnel To Support Classified ‘Contingency Operations’ In Ukraine

 

Source

A US contractor accidentally revealed a US military specialist deployment in the combat zones in Ukraine via an Job Advertisement on LinkedIn.

Similarly to the Atlantic Council’s report on independence of Eastern European countries, as well as the meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, the posting comes days before the escalation in the Sea of Azov.

Mission Essential is a government contractor, which primarily serves intelligence and military clients. It began as the US government’s leading provider of translation and interpretation services.

Screenshot provided in case the advert times out or is “accidentally” taken down:

US Military Contractor Is Hiring Personnel To Support Classified 'Contingency Operations' In Ukraine

The preemptive job advert was posted on November 16th and seeks “linguist candidates who speak Ukrainian to provide foreign language interpretation and translation services to support classified Contingency Operations in support of the U.S. Military in Ukraine.”

The formal place of work is Mykolayiv, Ukraine. The port city is also significant, because that is where the US “logistical” naval facility is currently under construction.

The advert also requires candidates to be able to fit in the local culture and customs, in addition to “the ability to deal inconspicuously with local populace if necessary.” Which simply means that the interpreter needs to be able to hide the fact that he is not a Ukrainian citizen, at least partly.

Unsurprisingly, the individual needs to be able to serve in a combat zone “if necessary,” in addition to being able to “live, work, and travel in harsh environments, to include living and working in temporary facilities as mission dictates.”

Considering repeated claims by the US leadership that the US is not involved in the Ukraine conflict, the vacancy posting is an operational security failure by Mission Essential. Most other vacancies posted by the company are for analysts and various linguistical and project management positions, almost predominantly in different military facilities in the US.

It is quite possible that these specialists would assist US military personnel deployed in or near the “combat zones” in Ukraine – i.e. Eastern Ukraine, and as it was expected since as early as November 16th – the Sea of Azov.

https://southfront.org/wp-content/plugins/fwduvp/content/video.php?path=https%3A%2F%2Fsouthfront.org%2Frussia-ukraine-black-sea-military-crisis%2F&pid=1485

The trials and tribulations of Turkish foreign policy

December 01, 2018

The trials and tribulations of Turkish foreign policy

Professor Hasan Unal, a top political scientist based in Istanbul, explains the geopolitics of his region, the eastern Mediterranean and into the Black Sea

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with The Asia Times by special agreement with the author)

When Vladimir Putin visited President Erdogan’s lavish new $500-million presidential palace in Ankara, he had one thing to say: “I’m very impressed.” Professor Hasan Unal, savoring the dry humor, derives as much pleasure in retelling the story as Putin’s remark may have been lost on Erdogan, who is famous for his lack of humor.

Professor Hasan Unal is one of Turkey’s foremost political scientists and international relations experts. I had the pleasure of spending a long afternoon with Unal at Maltepe University in Istanbul, where he now enjoys plenty of time to “just teach” after an extremely busy academic career in Ankara. These are some of the highlights of our conversation:

Tell me your views about the Khashoggi affair?

Unal: “The Turkish government played the first stage very well. When you get to the second stage, what you get is very dangerous articles in Turkish media suggesting that the Turkish government now has a wonderful opportunity to strike at the Saudi Crown Prince [Mohammed Bin Salman]. Once you move to that stage, it’s not in Turkey’s interest. Who’s going to sign on the future of the Crown Prince? Not Turkey. Not Russia. But the United States. They have invested so much in this Crown Prince. Would it be in Turkey’s interest to push the United States into a corner?

What about the explosive new equation in the Eastern Mediterranean?

Unal: “What Turkey should have done is to use this incident in Istanbul to cultivate the [Saudi] King and say, “King Salman, look, your son is implicated.” But if you attack his son, how are you going to cultivate that relationship? Turkey should have said, ‘Let’s improve our relations first’. And also, ‘I need your support over Egypt’. That would be basically a win-win situation. And I would sell it to my gallery as a major victory. We need Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean. What this government has done is a dangerous thing. They have pushed both Israel and Egypt into the hands of the Greeks in the Eastern Mediterranean. They have basically formed an anti-Turkish alliance. And that is foolish from the part of the Turkish government. But to get to that stage, Ankara should have realized something first: ‘Get your mind out of Idlib [in Syria]’.

This brings us to ideology and foreign policy. What is your take on this?

Unal: “What the Crown Prince represents is a region-wide, anti-Muslim Brotherhood policy. That is like a Russian matryoshka. You never know who’s going to pop up next. Turkish foreign policy should be focused on the national interest. I would say that an ideologically driven foreign policy went off-track in 2011. And events proved it could not produce the desired effect. That policy was reconsidered a few times, but there’s still fall-out – ideological baggage that seems to be poisoning Turkish foreign policy.”

Professor Hasan Unal, Istanbul

Professor Hasan Unal. Photo: Asia Times

Can we switch now to NATO and the Black Sea from a Turkish standpoint?

Unal: “NATO is forcing itself into the Black Sea through Romania and Bulgaria, not through Turkey. And they are forcing Georgia to act like a NATO country. Georgia in NATO, that would be out of order, it would be like [starting] a Third World War, basically. The Americans want the Montreux agreement, which basically governs the Straits, to be sidelined [under the 1936 agreement Turkey controls the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles and rules on the transit of warships].

“Turkey would never accept that. Over Ukraine, Turkish policy officially is, we support the territorial integrity of Ukraine. You can’t say anything more than that or less than that. What you say in favor of Russia may backfire on you in another dispute. If you recognize Crimea as part of Russia, what you are you gonna say about the Karabagh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan?”

Tell us about Turkey, Russia, Cyprus, and Crimea.

Unal: “In the end, it might actually come to a point where the Russians recognize northern Cyprus and we recognize Crimea as part of Russia. I would basically set up a naval and air base in northern Cyprus jointly used by Russia and Turkey. Don’t forget, the whole geopolitics of the Eastern Mediterranean has changed since the Syrian conflict. There’s got to be concessions. When states want to do something, they formulate a policy with a little bit of international law, a bit about historical arguments, politics, population, geography, and then you make an argument. And if you don’t want to do anything, again you bring this all together to support the opposite. The other important concession is the Russians should get the Armenians out of Azerbaijan-occupied territories.”

What about a key silent player, Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev?

Unal: “Nazarbayev is a very wise leader. He wields all this influence over Putin and Russia, as much as they wield influence over him. Don’t forget that these guys worked together. Nazarbayev was their superior. Kazakhs, when you talk to them, they say, if the Soviet Union had continued, he was going to be the Soviet leader. When [former Turkish President Suleyman] Demirel visited the Soviet Union, he had heard a lot about imprisoned Turks in the Soviet empire. Then he visited Moscow and saw the Turks running the show – [plus] Uzbeks, Kazakhs …”

How do you see Turkey’s role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative?

Unal: “The only good thing I’m happy about is that at least we have not made an ideologically-driven policy about the initiative to oppose it. The Uighur problem always pops up when it comes to Turkey-China relations. We don’t know the scale of what’s been happening in there [Xinjiang). A certain section of Turkish public opinion would buy the notion of concentration camps for Uighurs. But for the general public, it’s not something they understand. When I was working in Gazi University in Ankara, a group of scholars at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, experts on Xinjiang, they came, challenged prejudices, they were very confident. There are Turkish-Chinese negotiations about joint production of missiles. Building of roads and high-speed railways is something our present government would love to see happening. Perhaps they think they are already supporting it [BRI] without letting it be known.”

Uber-loser Poroshenko goes “full Saakashvili”

November 30, 2018

[This article was written for the Unz Review]Uber-loser Poroshenko goes “full Saakashvili”

Petro Poroshenko is in deep trouble. His ratings have been in the single-digit range in spite of a vast propaganda effort, and his latest attempt to create a salvific crisis involving the usual “Russian aggression” has not only failed but appears to be backfiring.

The Ukronazi commander-in-chief hard at work 🙂

It is now becoming abundantly clear that the Ukronazi provocation was not only breathtakingly stupid and irresponsible, but also breathtakingly poorly planned and executed. The documents seized by the FSB on the Ukrainian ships show that the Ukrainian captains were given the order to “covertly” sneak under the Kerch bridge. I have no idea what the Ukronazi junta leaders were thinking, maybe they were drunk or terrified to tell Poroshenko that this was a suicidal mission (most likely he was too drunk to care anyway), but the fact that they could even imagine that three old boats could somehow sneak around the Crimean Peninsula and then covertly pass under the Kerch bridge is just amazing (as is the fact that the crews failed to destroy this damning evidence!). One of the most heavily monitored sections of our planet, right next to a war zone, which has been the object of innumerable threats, and yet they thought that they could somehow avoid being detected and intercepted. Wow, just wow!

As for the crews of these three tiny ships, they all owe their lives to the FSB Coastguard officers who could have merely blown all three ships away in seconds, but who clearly did their utmost to avoid killing any of the Ukrainians. Only after many hours of absolutely ridiculous slow speed maneuvering (if you speak Russian, you can listen to the entire radio exchange between the two sides right here), did the Russians eventually fire a few shots and ram the Ukrainian tug.  Frankly, these Coastguard officers deserve some kind of humanitarian award.

[Sidebar: (Soviet and now) Russian Border Guards should in no case be assumed to be some kind of Russian version of the sort of border guards you see in the West. The truth is that the Russian border guards are an elite force whose level of training can be compared with the famous Airborne Forces. Their role is not only to check visas and look for contraband, but also to be a real fighting force which, in case of war, would be tasked with resisting the enemy until the regular armed forces take over. They are subordinated to the FSB (in the past to the KGB) because they do conduct intelligence operations and because they are a key element in the Russian counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency capabilities. This is why such elite special forces as the KGB Vympel Spetsnaz unit so often recruited border guards. A good friend of mine who used to be a Vympel commander with the rank of Colonel told me how in Afghanistan they recruited as many border guards as paratroopers because in his opinion “they were at least as tough and disciplined” as the airborne soldiers. The Russian border guards are also equipped with modern and powerful weapons and can conduct sub-unit level combat operations. The Ukrainian officers must have known this, and thus must have realized that regardless of the number of weapons they had onboard (quite a lot, actually, see here), they had no chance whatsoever to prevail. Besides, the Ukrainian ships are tiny and old while the Russian border guards could count on Black Sea Fleet and Aerospace and Ground Forces support – hence the Ka-52s and Su-25’s scrambled to meet the Ukrainian reinforcements coming from Odessa. Frankly, I don’t think that even a full US Marine Expeditionary Unit could cross the Kerch Strait, let alone the Ukrainians 🙂 the geography just favors the defending side too much]

There is a broad consensus in both Russia and the Ukraine that the primary goal of Poroshenko was to create a pretext to introduce martial law and cancel the elections. Once introduced, such a martial law can easily be prolonged for as long as needed; see what the French did. He planned to introduce martial law over the entire Nazi-occupied Ukraine, and then prolong it for as long as needed; enough to cancel the elections and then harshly deal with any protests. The plan completely failed.

First, all the opposition parties immediately understood what this was all about, and they all vehemently protested.  When the text came to a vote in the Rada, it was massively watered-down and, as a result, the martial law will only be introduced for one month and only in the following regions of the Ukraine:

Martial law areas marked in red (Note: this is a *Ukie* map, *they* put Crimea in blue, not me!)

This is bad, very bad news for Petro.

First, these areas are where the regime suspects the locals of pro-Russian sympathies (they are right, by the way).  But the risk for Petro does not come at all from the pro-Russian folks; the real danger for him comes from the various nationalist legal opposition movements who have their power base in the blue areas which will not be covered by this law.

Second, since the law was introduced for only one month and since it includes an obligation not to cancel the upcoming elections, it will be hard for Petro to crack down on the propaganda capabilities of his opponents (lead by Iulia Timoshenko).

Third, Petro probably hoped that the Russians would simply use a few missiles or blow the Ukrainian three ship armada into smithereens. Alas, the evil Moskal’s did nothing of the sort, and they captured all three vessels and their crews. So as panic-generating incidents go, this one was a terrible flop. In fact, the Russians are now using these ships and crews for their own propaganda which ridicules Petro and (correctly) states that the regime in Kiev sent these sailors to certain death in total, abject indifference. None of that will increase Poroshenko’s ratings…

Fourth, it appears that Poroshenko is really going “full-Saakashvili” and might even become the Empire’s worst Uber-loser which, by the way, can get him into real trouble with his bosses in Washington and Langley (who ditched Saakashvili when he proved to be a worthless loser). Frankly, the Empire would be *much* better off with Timoshenko in charge rather than this Eltsin-like alcoholic imbecile.

So the big question #1 is: is there a viable alternative to Poroshenko for the Empire?

Latest EuroUkros rating according to a Ukrainian source

To answer that we first need to answer another basic question: is there a public, official, opposition in Nazi-controlled Ukraine or not?

The answer is: both yes and no.

First, no, not in the sense of some more or less decent, real, opposition.

But yes, in the sense that the junta which seized power is composed of many different factions including oligarch/mobsters à la Kolomoskii, neo-Nazis à la Farion, bona fide Nazis à laTiagnibok and assorted nutcases like Liashko.  There is also Iulia Timoshenko, a very sharp and therefore potentially dangerous foe who has powerful backers in the USA.

Take a look at these latest ratings, and you will see that in spite of a huge “administrative resource” (Russian euphemism for abuse of government power), Petro barely makes it to 9.9% which means that his real rating must be somewhere in the 3-5 percent range.

And, remember, time is running out. On December 27th the martial law will be lifted (barring yet another Ukro-provocation to prove to the world that Russia has attacked the Ukraine yet again).  Well, that is the official plan.  In reality, it will most likely be prolonged with some more excuses about the mythical “Russian aggression”.

Also, consider this: if Poroshenko gets the boot, so will his criminally psychopathic thugs like (certified clinically insane) Parubii, the “bloody pastor” and war criminal Turchinov and the rest of the gang. Klimkin, since he appears to be in the CIA’s payroll, might make it out in time, but for the rest of them the risk is real and ranges from long jail sentences to being shot. Don’t expect Iulia Timoshenko to show any mercy either; not after Petro stuck her in jail (<<== this is a “Saker brainfart” which I have now removed.  The Saker)

True, while these folks all hate each other, they all feed from the same two mangers: rabid russophobia and total dependence on the Empire. And while they are united in their hatred for everything Russian, they hate each other just only a tiny little bit less (some probably even more). Think of how the SS butchered the SA, how the Stalinists purged the Party from Trotskyists or how the Democrats are trying to overthrow Trump by hook or by crook, and you will see how the factions inside the same gang *always* struggle for power and gun for each other.

Finally, there are many signs that at least Trump himself does not care very much about the Ukraine, albeit there are enough rabid russophobes amongst his puppeteers to compensate for Trump’s lack of interest and alleged dislike for Poroshenko.  For Poroshenko’s point of view, the Americans either don’t care enough or simply lost control of the situation, a time-honored US tradition with their “sons of bitches” like Saddam, Noriega and many, many others.

By the way, various Ukrainian sources also report that both Merkel and Stoltenberg told Poroshenko that the election cannot be canceled. Considering that Poroshenko is almost sure to lose these elections, this might indicate that Germany and NATO are ditching Petro.

Add to this that Timoshenko would be a much better agent for the Empire and you can see why the regime is freaking out.

So the bottom line is this: no, by the standards of a normal civilized country, there is no real opposition in the Ukraine (except the powerless, destitute and terrified population of course). But, far more importantly, by the standards of Petro Poroshenko, there is a real and very dangerous opposition indeed; one which will most definitely oust him in any semi-credible elections.

The Nazi-occupied Ukraine is rapidly coming to a watershed moment. Unless the elections are stolen and the opposition crushed, the current gang in power will be ousted. If the Ukraine attacks the Donbass, this will end up with a military disaster, either at the hands of the Novorussians, or at the hands of the Russian military. If the Ukraine attacks Russia directly, or Russian forces in the Black Sea, then the Ukrainian military will simply vanish in 24-48 hours max.  But in spite of that, Poroshenko desperately needs a victory lest his status of “Saakashvili-like Uber-loser” is publicly confirmed for all to see and for the Ukrainian opposition to blame it all on his incompetence and corruption (which is his real specialty: this is also why, since he came to power the Ukraine became a failed-state while his personal net worth increased many times over).

60 days? Really?

Finally, the fact that Poroshenko is a sinking ship means that, far from taking any risks on his behalf, Ukrainian politicians and military commanders must ask themselves every time they take a decision who will protect them if things go south.  In fact, I bet you that there are a lot of discrete contacts between various high ranking Ukrainian officials and Iulia Timoshenko, something which the SBU probably reports to Poroshenko (or, worse, not!) and which further creates a sense of panic in him and his minions.  This sense of panic might explain why, in the official journal the text of the new law mistakenly wrote 60, and not 30, days.

Putin is quite correct when he says that “Kiev would get away even with eating babies“: the collective hypocrisy of the collective West is truly limitless.  That, however, does not mean that Poroshenko personally could get away with anything and everything.  While the Empire’s leaders have to pretend to back the Ukraine no matter what, even against basic common sense, they are probably getting mighty fed up to have to scream “white!!” every time Poroshenko does something black.  Still, until the Empire puts somebody else in power, Poroshenko will remain “their son of a bitch in Kiev”.  And Poroshenko knows that, which begs the next big question:

Big question #2: could Poroshenko really start large scale war?

“Eating  babies” is all fine and dandy, but a full-scale war with either Novorussia or Russia is a very different and far more dangerous proposition.  The Empire might not care about Ukrainian babies, but it will most definitely care about a big war in the Ukraine.  So, let’s not just look at what the Ukronazis are saying but also looking at what they are doing:

  • There is martial law in all the Ukronazi occupied areas of Novorussia.
  • All the Novorussian cities are now surrounded by military checkpoints.
  • 300 hospitals have been ordered to prepare for a massive influx of casualties by stocking up on blood, beds and meds.
  • The Ukrainian first-line reserves have now been mobilized, as have the Nazi death-squads (aka “volunteer battalions”).
  • Petro is now claiming that the Russians have tripled their forces along the Ukrainian border: “the number of tanks in the bases, which are located along our border, has tripled. The number of units relocated has increased dramatically covering the entire length of our border”; in plain English that means that the Ukronazis are probably doing exactly that – surging their numbers along the line of contact.
  • Petro also said that his intelligence agencies “have clear evidence that an attack on Ukrainian ships is just the beginning“; in plain English this means that the Ukronazis are probably doing exactly that – preparing further attacks.
  • The border with Crimea has been closed to all non-Ukrainians.
  • The Ukrainians are now asking Turkey to close the Bosporus strait (which won’t happen for two reasons: the 1936 Montreux Convention forbids this and, besides, that would be a suicidal act of war for Turkey).
  • The Ukrainian war propaganda induced hysteria has reached new levels:  they are now showing how kids from an orphanage (!) in Mariupol digging trenches to help the Ukrainian army for the upcoming “Russian invasion”.  See for yourself this Ukrainian the report:

The art of surprise attack is one of the most fascinating aspects of warfare (those interested in this topic should read Richard Bett’s superb study “Surprise Attack: Lessons for Defense Planning“).  One of it’s well established strategies is to pretend to go to war and then back down at the last moment over and over again: this wears down the opponent and lures him into complacency until one day you actually strike.  Think of it as a variation on the “crying wolf” strategy if you want: one in which the wolf does the crying.  The Ukrainians have been doing that for years now (how many times have we all heard that a Ukrainian attack was “imminent”?).  The problem here is that this time around the war preparations are larger (and far more costly).  However, you can be certain that the Russians have been on full alert also for years and that they now permanently have more than enough forces available to deal with any Ukie attack, ranging from cross-border small arms fire to a full scale war.

So we can all hope that, once again, the Ukronazis are playing their “crying wolf” strategy only to back down at the last second.  But hope should always remain separate from expectations and to make the assumption that this time around they won’t actually attack would be extremely foolish.

First the Popes tried, then Napoleon,

then Hitler and now these two geniuses…

There are those who say that Poroshenko is not dumb enough to start war against Russia.  My question to them would be: do you really think that Poroshenko is smarter than, say, the various Latin Popes, Napoleon or Hitler?  To me, he looks about as stupid and clueless (not to mention evil and absolutely immoral) as Saakashvili.  Now just remember what happened in 08.08.08.

You might wonder whether the USA would be interested in a major war in the Ukraine.  I have been saying for years now that the Neocon wet dream is to force Russia to openly intervene and that in order to achieve this result all the Ukronazis need to do is to seriously threaten the DNR and LNR.  Will the Novorussians be strong enough to beat back a Ukronazi attack without overt Russian intervention?  Maybe.  Probably.  But that is also not an assumption which we can make because the Novorussians have no strategic depth which places them in the very vulnerable position to have to stop the attackers without trading space for time.  In plain English that means that the Novorussians have to be more or less on constant alert and that their forces must be forward deployed, which is very hard to sustain over time and simply dangerous, especially against an enemy with numerically much larger forces.

Crucially, the Neocons have nothing to lose if their plan fails and the Novorussians succeed in, once again, stopping the Ukronazi forces without a Russian intervention (it’s not like the Neocons care about Ukrainian or Novorussian lives since they don’t even care about the lives of US citizens).

It might well be that Trump is personally not interested in such a war.  But, let’s face it, Trump is the worst overcooked noodle to sit in the White House (he makes Carter look like a roaring lion!).  Just hours after he declared that it was “a very good time to have the meeting” with Putin he then “was changed his mind” and now has canceled the meeting.  Trump is all about narcissistic hot air, but he never delivers anything and he has bowed down to his Neocon masters on everything since he made it into the White House.  The sad truth is that Trump has become simply irrelevant, at least to the Russians (and to those who might still believe that Trump is playing some 4D chess I would say that systematically caving in to all the demands of the Neocons (and thereby making them increasingly more influential) is hardly a chess strategy, not even a 2D one).

[Sidebar: Trumps latest zig-zags about meeting with Putin is yet another example of the glaring ignorance the current US leaders suffer from.  They simply have no idea what the function and purpose of diplomacy is.  Dmitri Trenin, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, was absolutely correct when he tweeted today that “Meeting a US President is not a reward for a RUS leader. Canceling a mtg is no punishment. It is all a matter of necessity. RUS-US relationship today is solely about preventing the confrontation from turning into a collision, and escalating to war. This is all“.  But the Americans are simply to illiterate to understand that.  Besides, the Russians have long given up on any notion of being able to get anything done with this Neocon-doormat President.  He wants to meet?  Sure.  He don’t.  Who cares?  This is the sorry state to which a nuclear superpower has slouched to.]

I am sure that Putin was terrified 🙂

Ditto for his moronic VP who tried to scare Putin by “staring him down” with his rendition of what he hopes was a “steel glare” in Singapore.  Putin just kept smiling, of course.

The frightening reality is that the Neocons are the most rabid russophobes on the planet and that the clowns in the White House will do whatever the US deep state tells them to do.  Don’t count on them for decency or even minimal common sense.

Furthermore, as I have already said many times, Trump is an “expendable President” for the Neocons: should anything he does end in disaster, they will blame it all on him, and put their own trusted person in power to replace it.

For all these reasons, the answer to our question is obvious: yes, Poroshenko most definitely is capable of ordering some kind of crazy attack, including a full scale war.

But “could” does not mean “will”, thank God!  Maybe, just like this past summer, the junta will get cold feet and back down (Putin’s threat that any attack will have most serious consequences for the Ukrainian statehood is still very much valid).  In theory the spineless Europeans (who will suffer the economic and social consequences of any major conflict) might also tell the crazies in Kiev to cool it.  But I am not holding my breath here.

So let’s hope for the best, but keep in mind that the worst is a very real possibility.

Conclusion: it is next to impossible to prevent a “suicide by cop” – but maybe God will!

Right now the situation is extremely dangerous and will remain so for the foreseeable future.  Philosophers say that love is the greatest force in the universe, and I very much agree with that.  But the next two most powerful forces are evil and stupidity, and there is plenty of both in Kiev and Washington DC.  The incident with the “covert operation” of the “Ukrainian armada” might look funny until you recall all the wars which were stared over other such equally minor incidents.  This time around the superb restraint of the Russian border guards prevented Kiev from getting the bloody clash it was obviously hoping for, but ask any policeman and he will tell you that it is almost impossible to prevent what is known as “suicide by cop”.  The Empire badly needs the Russian cop to (finally!) shoot, and so does the Ukronazi junta (all this propaganda, including from Russian pseudo-patriots, about Putin being weak or indecisive or even in cahoots with the Empire is a direct PSYOP product of that imperial agenda, whether those who parrot that nonsense realize it or not).

At this point in time, there is no way to predict whether the Ukronazi junta will attack for real or not.  So, as I have done several times in the past, I will conclude with this passage from the Quran: “and they (disbelievers) plotted [to kill ‘Iesa (Jesus)], and Allah planned too. And Allah is the Best of the planners” (verse 54 of Chapter 3 “Surah Al-‘Imran”); other translations say “And the unbelievers schemed [against Jesus]; but God brought their scheming to nought: for God is above all schemers” and “And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah“.  At a time when the Neocons are trying to convince the planet that Islam, not them, is the biggest danger to our planet, it is good to show them that not everybody is drinking their cool-aid; besides, in this case the Quran is simply right: God is the best of planners and the Ukronazi disbelievers (and their Neocon bosses) will eventually find this out, probably the hard way.

The Saker

صراعات المخابرات والرئاسة في واشنطن: نيكسون وترامب… والسعودية مجدداً

 

نوفمبر 27, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– لا يحتاج تفسير التسريب الرسمي لتقرير وكالة المخابرات الأميركية لوسائل الإعلام وقبلها توزيعه على زعماء الكونغرس إلى كثير تحليل، فذلك يحدث بوجود شرطين متلازمين، وجود قضية تتصل بإعادة رسم الاستراتيجيات على مستوى عالٍ من الخطورة، وتمنع الرئيس عن الأخذ برأي المخابرات، لتبدأ مواجهة بينهما تستعمل فيها كل الأسلحة، بما فيها تصنيع ملفات للرئيس وسوقه للمحكمة أو لمواجهة خطر العزل في الكونغرس. وهذا ما حصل مع الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق ريتشارد نيكسون، وما يتهدّد اليوم الرئيس دونالد ترامب.

– لم يصدق أحد في العالم أن استقالة نيكسون استباقاً لمواجهة خطر العزل تمت على خلفية فضيحة ووتر غيت التي تتصل بتستر الرئيس على التنصت على خصومه واتهامه بإعاقة العمل القضائي. فالفضيحة ذاتها لم تكن لتقع لولا التقارير المخابراتية الموثقة، لاستعمالها في لحظة كهذه، يومها كان سجلّ نيكسون ووزير خارجيته هنري كيسنجر مليئاً بالإنجازات التي نظر إليها الكثير من صقور المؤسسات الأميركية كهزائم، وفي مقدمتها الانسحاب من فييتنام والتفاهم على الحد من الأسلحة الاستراتيجية مع الاتحاد السوفياتي وتطبيع العلاقات مع الصين، والإمساك بمفاصل الصراع في الشرق الأوسط بعد حرب تشرين عام 1973 بمشاريع للتسويات كان أهمها فك الاشتباك على جبهة الجولان عام 1974، وبعد اختبار مخاطر استخدام سلاح النفط مجدداً، وما يوصف بإنجازات نيكسون وكيسنجر في أميركا اليوم جاء بعد اختباره لخيارات المواجهة وزجّه بعشرات الآلاف من الجنود الأميركيين في فييتنام، واكتشافه بمشورة كيسنجر محدودية قدرة القوة على رسم السياسات، ووضع يده مع معاونه كيسينجر على ما يمكن أن يترتب على العنجهية الإسرائيلية في ضوء حرب تشرين وما أظهرته القدرات التي أظهرتها الجيوش العربية فيها، والذهاب إلى البحث عن تسوية تاريخية برأي واشنطن تستدعي الضغط على «إسرائيل» لمفهوم مختلف عن السلام.

– كانت المخابرات قد أتمّت بالتعاون مع «إسرائيل» الإعداد لزيارة الرئيس المصري أنور السادات إلى القدس، وأتمّت السيطرة على القرار السعودي السياسي والنفطي مع صعود مرحلة ولي العهد الجديد فهد بن عبد العزيز، وصارت إطاحة نيكسون وكيسنجر طريقا لمواجهة جديدة، ترجمت في أفغانستان وكامب ديفيد وتخطيط حرب الأخوان المسلمين وتفجير الحرب في لبنان بوجه سورية، تمهيداً لغزو «إسرائيل» الذي تم تباعاً في العام 1978 ثم في العام 1982. وكان محور اللعبة التي تديرها المخابرات ما عرف لاحقاً بالحقبة السعودية التي آن الأوان لها أن تبدأ، وما يبدو اليوم من مؤشرات مرافقة للصراع بين المخابرات والرئاسة يبدو معكوساً لجهة اليقين بأن الحقبة السعودية آن لها أن تنتهي، وأن الخط التراجعي في الحروب التي خاضتها واشنطن، وما ينتج عنه من تقدم في مكانة روسيا دوليا وتعزيز مكانة إيران إقليمياً، بات فوق قدرة الحليفين اللذين تبقيا لواشنطن في المنطقة، إسرائيل العاجزة والمردوعة والسعودية المتآكلة والتي تغرق في الفشل، وقد عجزت عن تحقيق تعهدها بضمان الشريك الفلسطيني في صفقة القرن.

– في الزمن المتبقي من ولاية الرئيس ترامب يبدو الصراع مفتوحاً، تحت عنوان رسم الاستراتيجية الجديدة، بعد سقوط صفقة القرن، وتعافي سورية وتعاظم مكانة روسيا وصمود إيران، ويبدو ترامب الباحث عن تسويات منتصف الطريق كوقف الحرب في اليمن ساعياً للتخفف من الأعباء وهو يدرك أنه وهو يقول بأن التمسك بالحكم السعودي شرط لخوض المواجهة مع إيران أن إيران هي الرابح الأول من وقف حرب اليمن، كما يدرك وهو يقول إن السعودية ضمان لعدم ترحيل «إسرائيل»، أن وقف حرب اليمن يزيد قوة محور المقاومة صاحب مشروع الترحيل، بينما تدرك المخابرات أن تعديل المكانة السعودية وتقاسم ما تمثله سياسياً واقتصادياً مع شركاء جدد منهم روسيا وتركيا وإيران، يستدعي تخريب مساعي ترامب لتسويات منتصف الطريق، فيتم التصعيد في أوكرانيا وسورية بإشارات مخابراتية متزامنة وواضحة.

– الأكيد أن الاعتراف بالحقائق التي بشر بها تقرير بايكر هاملتون قبل اثنتي عشرة سنة، يجمع في نهاية الطريق ترامب والمخابرات، لكنهما يفترقان حول من يدفع ثمن التسويات، فترامب يسعى لحماية السعودية من التحول إلى غنيمة العصر، وحماية القيادة الحاكمة في كيان الاحتلال والسعي الإسرائيلي للتصعيد، ويسعى للبحث عن تسويات منتصف الطريق في سورية والعراق ومع إيران وروسيا، بينما يبدو للمخابرات أن نهاية الزمن السعودي سيكون كافياً لروسيا وإيران وتركيا لصفقة قرن أخرى.

– في هذه المرحلة تطغى الفوضى السياسية والأمنية، ويعمّ ضياع الوكلاء والعملاء في معرفة أي التحالفات يقيمون وأي الخطابات يتبنّون، ويصير عدم الانشغال بتفاصيل الصراعات الجانبية بين حلفاء واشنطن، هو الأصل، شرط التفرغ لفرض الوقائع في الجغرافيا والوقائع السياسية الثابتة. فالمركب الذي يضم جماعة أميركا في المنطقة بلا ربان تائه، وهذه مناسبة لتثبيت الوقائع الجديدة التي كلفت من الدماء الكثير، أهم من تضييع الوقت بانتظار معرفة لمن ستكون الغلبة بين صفوف صناع القرار في واشنطن.

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A Watchdog Media video SITREP about the Kerch incident

November 26, 2018

Repeating Churchill’s Bungles: Will US Drive Turkey into Joining the Shanghai Pact?

Repeating Churchill’s Bungles: Will US Drive Turkey into Joining the Shanghai Pact?

Repeating Churchill’s Bungles: Will US Drive Turkey into Joining the Shanghai Pact?

In 1917, the professional head of the British Army, Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson in 1917 explained why the Allies were losing World War I because they kept pouring out lives, weapons and resources on capturing tiny unimportant locations on the Western Front while Imperial Germany conquered Eastern and Southern Europe, invading and occupying one major country after another:

“We take Bullecourt, they take Rumania; We take Messines, they take Russia; We don’t take Passchendaele, they take Italy,” Wilson told Winston Churchill.

Today, Washington is moving heaven and earth to integrate such major world powers as Macedonia, Montenegro and Georgia into NATO to join those vital pillars of world security Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. And at the same time, it is obsessed with imposing ruinous sanctions on Turkey.

Yet Turkey has been a major member of NATO for 63 years. It continues to play a crucial role in US strategic deployments across the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Its cooperation is absolutely essential to ensure the supply and – if war were ever to break out Russia – the very survival of all US warships operating in the Black Sea.

Feckless, passive and ignorant President Barack Obama allowed US relations with Turkey to deteriorate to their worst ever state.

It is no secret that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is convinced that the US military were involved in the serious coup attempt that nearly cost him his life two years ago. Those suspicions are certainly widely believed among top Turkish policymakers.

Faced with such unprecedented suspicions and strains in the US –Turkish alliance, President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US Congress should be working overtime to build relations, cooperation and long-term trust with Turkey.

They are doing no such thing. With stunning insouciance and crass ignorance, both parties in Congress seek out every opportunity to insult Turkey, give aid and comfort to forces traditionally hostile to the country and now are happily supporting devastating new tariffs.

As internationally respected commentator M. K. Bhadrakumar warned on this platform, “The sense of indignation among Turks should not be underestimated, which makes this an exceptional rupture.”

It is not as if Washington could sanely assess that Turkey was internationally isolated. On the contrary, Ankara enjoys excellent relations with Russia, China, India and Iran. US and NATO policies once again are backfiring and isolating their perpetrators, not the countries they target.

It is eerily fitting that neoconservatives and neoliberals worship the deified Winston Churchill so much. For it was Churchill’s personal bungling that that brought the Turkish Ottoman Empire needlessly into World War I on the side of Imperial Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In August 1914, Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, the political head of the British Navy, ordered the seizure of the Sultan Osman I and the Reshadieh, two state-of-the-art new Dreadnought battleships being built for Turkey in British shipyards (The Turks had already paid four billion pounds sterling for them). Britain did not even need the two battleships. It had a wide margin of maritime superiority over the German High Seas Fleet. But the move was the political and psychological equivalent of telling Turkey today that the United States is not going to sell Ankara the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters it had promised.

Turkey had been a loyal and major British ally at least since the Ochakoff Incident of 1791.But after Churchill’s bungle popular outrage in Turkey was overwhelming. It decisively swung the delicate balance in Constantinople that led the ruling, secular Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) into Berlin’s orbit.

Turkey went to war, cutting off the vital Anglo-French maritime supply route through the Dardanelles Strait into the Black Sea and cutting off Imperial Russia. Toi open that waterway, Churchill pushed the catastrophic and utterly bungled Gallipoli campaign in 1915. It cost the British, Irish, Australians and New Zealanders who fought there more than 140,000 casualties including 44,000 dead. The Turks lost 86,000 dead.

Churchill was sacked from the British government for his bungling. He then devoted the heart of his enormous six-volume postwar memoir “The World Crisis” to trying to pass the blame for his failures off on everybody else.

Today, Washington’s reckless and abusive policies towards Turkey are repeating the catastrophic bungles that Churchill inflicted more than a century ago.

An increasing number of Turks no longer trust NATO: Instead, they fear it. The only other obvious international security body for Turkey to seek protection with is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which in June pulled off the extraordinary coup of expanding to include India and Pakistan at the same time.

As Arkady Savitsky has noted in this journal, Turkey is already a dialogue partner with the SCO. It is also considering a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). President Erdogan has also made clear he would like Turkey to join the BRICS bloc which, like the SCO includes Russia, China and India.

If President Erdogan decides to leave NATO to join the SCO, and drops Brussels to replace it with Shanghai, even Washington and London will have to sit up and take notice. Yet the logic of the policies and rhetoric being spewed out of the Western capitals can only drive Turkey to that outcome, seeking its own security and survival.

So what will The Sanctioned supergroup do?

 

August 20, 2018So what will The Sanctioned supergroup do?

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author)

Trump’s solo act can’t compete with the hard rock presidents from the electric east

Those were the days, during the Cold War 1960s and 1970s, when the earth was actually ruled by rock supergroups – from Cream and Led Zeppelin to Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends – and the post-truth geopolitical remix of the supergroup. Meet The Sanctioned;  a multinational band starring multi-instrumentalists Vladimir Putin (Russia), Xi Jinping (China), Hassan Rouhani (Iran) and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey).

As the whole rock universe knows, The Sanctioned run the relentless risk of being outshined – in the form of multi-layered sanctions – by undisputed glitter solo act Donald Trump (US).

The two real virtuosos in the band relish playing in perfect synch. Putin may indulge only the occasional Jimmy Page solo (as in Caspian-launched missiles against Daesh in Syria); he’s more like Keith Emerson invoking the Russian classical composer Mussorgsky. Xi is fond of orchestral Pink Floyd-esque concept albums, in the New Silk Roads mould. Rouhani could be Jack Bruce in Cream – supplying those subtle moments of faultless musicianship. It’s Erdogan who’s irresistibly attracted to summon the back door man’s antics of Robert Plant.

As for Trump, he’s no Dylan – and certainly not Roger Waters; more like Ted Nugent with some Black Sabbath overtones.

So what will The Sanctioned come up next? A doozy like Deep Purple without Gillan and Blackmore or an epic like ELP’s Fanfare for the Common Man?

The Fanfare for the Common Man geoeconomic scenario reads like this.

Putin-Xi – as in the Russia-China strategic partnership – offer Erdogan membership of both the BRICS (as in BRICS Plus) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organizations (SCO). Erdogan, on the record, has already manifested interest in both.

Turkey pulls out of NATO. The Turkish military will squeal, but Erdogan, after the failed 2016 coup – of which he was alerted by Russian intelligence – now controls the military.

Beijing and Moscow offer an array of trade deals; Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has already offered trade in their own currencies. Erdogan for his part said Turkey is ready to begin using local currencies in trade with Russia, China, Iran and the EU.

After Turkey restructures its US dollar debts, China buys up the Turkish lira off foreign exchange markets – an easy play for the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). Ankara is already planning to issue yuan-denominated bonds. China’s ICBC already announced a $3.6 billion loan for energy/transport.

In sharp contrast to the Washington Consensus, Erdogan very well knows that Turkey cannot “rewrite the crisis management playbook for emerging markets” by surrendering to IMF austerity. An answer would be to increasingly rely on the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Then most of the scenario – SCO, BRICS Plus, AIIB, trade bypassing the US dollar – is replayed with Iran, as in those days when Pink Floyd used to engage in full encores of Dark Side of the Moon.

A new sell-out album

The Sanctioned’s new album (in 180g vinyl plus all formats/platforms), titled Eurasian Integration, is destined for multi-platinum status and to fill multi-purpose arenas from Izmir and Hamadan to Chongqing and Vladivostok.

It features Iran as an even more crucial hub of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – in conjunction to the new connectivity drive between Russia and Iran signed at the landmark Caspian Sea Convention.

In a parallel track, the China-Kazakhstan-Iran connectivity corridor already features freight trains plying the route all the way to the Iranian Caspian port of Bandar-e Anzali.

Another key track in the new album revolves around the BRICS’s Contingent Reserve Agreement (CRA), decided at their latest summit; a mechanism to de-dollarize economies which will be expanded as the BRICS turn into BRICS Plus.

After signing an interim agreement three months ago, Iran is already on the way to engage, by the start of 2020, into a full free trade deal with the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). Turkey will follow.

As EU companies leave sanctioned Iran, Chinese and Russian companies go into overdrive. As the US Congress slaps a nyet on Turkey buying F-35 fighter jets because Ankara is buying the Russian S-400 air-defense system, Boeing and Airbus in Iran are bound to lose market share to Russian jets such as the MS-21 or the IL-96-400M.

And as Iran-Turkey trade gets a boost, Turkish Stream – the Russia-Turkey strategic energy partnership – is far from being derailed.

Erdogan knows very well how Turkey is the quintessential East-meets-West strategic connector across Eurasia. And he knows what’s he’s really “guilty” of: buying the S-400s, ditching the “Assad must go” obsession, advancing Turkish Stream and insisting Turkey will continue to buy Iranian oil.

So as he perfects his Robert Plant impersonation – “You need coolin’/ Baby I’m not foolin’/ I’m gonna send ya/ back to schoolin’” – Erdogan is doing the math on how a New Silk Roads partnership among equals, in tandem with a close relationship with the AIIB and the EAEU may be way more profitable than a toxic cocktail of oversized NATO, no EU and IMF neoliberal austerity.

That partly explains Ankara’s whirling dervish dance away from US T-bills, bonds and notes by over 50% since the end of 2017. While, in parallel, Moscow and Beijing (followed at a distance by New Delhi and even Ankara itself) keep piling up gold anticipating the extra bonanza of Eurasian Integration, the hit album.

A very handy thermometer of Erdogan’s popularity may be found in Fatih, a pious, working-class neighborhood on the European shore of Istanbul.

Fatih mirrors Erdogan’s immense popularity all across Anatolia. Whatever his notorious, incandescent illiberal traits, Erdogan’s development program is not only about more mosques and more malls. The AKP over the years did manage to set up a quite decent universal healthcare insurance system – including the upgrading of public hospitals – as well as a pension system.

Now it’s time to deliver again – nationally and globally.

Calling all Eurasian young dudes

Meanwhile, Russia will keep developing a very sophisticated strategy across the Black Sea.

In no time, Putin has already reshaped the Black Sea – geopolitically and geoeconomically. The graphic symbol is the sumptuous Kerch Strait bridge to Crimea – an engineering tour de force inaugurated only three months ago.

Putin’s multi-instrumental riffs are ubiquitous. Erdogan gets S-400s, nuclear power plants and Turkish Stream (which also benefits vast tracts of southern Europe). Rouhani and the Central Asians get a Caspian convention and the prospect of a succession of energy deals. Damascus and Tehran – with Ankara a little far behind – get to see the possible end of the tragic Syria war cycle.

As Erdogan progressively moves Turkey’s reserves to yuan – and gold – benefits can accrue from more interaction with the BRI/EAEU/SCO galaxy in everything from electronics and nuclear technology to advanced weapons. And further connectivity may entail, for instance, Chinese goods transiting through Russian ports in Krasnodar and Crimea to Turkish ports in the Black Sea.

The Black Sea, for all practical purposes, is being configured as a Russo-Turk Mediterranean Sea – much as the Caspian is now configured as a Central Asian, non-NATO, Mediterranean Sea.

In parallel, The Sanctioned is also enjoying a guest performing appearance by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim al-Thani, instrumental in the offer of a $15 billion loan to Ankara. And this after Qatar restored good relations with Iran, including energy collaboration on the shared South Pars/North Dome – the largest gas field on the planet.

It’s crucial to consider that in the event the Qatar-Turkey Combined Joint Force Command may “disappear”, for some reason, the path would be open for a nasty, joint Saudi/UAE invasion of Doha, with   major consequences; the double confiscation of the Qatari sovereign wealth fund and North Dome – to the benefit of salvaging the sinking “Vision 2030” House of Saud.

What’s certain for now is that The Sanctioned face a real threat of having Eurasian Integration – the hit album – dispatched to the bottom of the charts, with the corollary of having new BRI and EAEU connectivity routes to Europe via crossroads Turkey partially blocked or at least seriously disturbed.

As the (real) David Bowie wrote it, for supergroup Mott the Hopple: All the (Eurasian) young dudes, carry the news.

“Who Lost Turkey?” – The U.S.-Kurdish Project In Syria Endangers NATO

By Moon Of Alabama

January 25, 2018 “Information Clearing House” –  Back in the 1950s the U.S. political sphere was poisoned by a groundless smear campaign against country-experts in the State Department  who were identified as those who lost China. If the Trump administration proceeds on its current course we may soon see similar accusations. The accused, those “who lost Turkey”, will again be the ones who warned of the possibility and not the real culprits.

The Turkish attack on the Kurd held Syrian canton of Afrin (Efrin) is not progressing as fast the Turks had hoped. The infantry component of the operation are Turkish proxy forces in Syria. These Chechen, Uighur, Turkestanis and other Takfiris are cannon fodder in the operations, not a well integrated component of an army.


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The Kurds know their local mountainous territory, are well armed and willing to fight. They can holdout for a while. Politically they will still be the ones who will lose the most in the conflict. The above linked piece noted that the Kurdish YPG/PKK leaders had rejected the Syrian and Russiangovernment offer that would have prevented the Turkish attack. The offer still exists but the conditions will become less favorable as longer the Kurds hold out.

Elijah Magnier just published more details on that offer and analyses the strategic situation:

[T]he US is observing the performance of the Turkish army with interest and wishes to see Erdogan humiliated, broken on the rocks of the Kurds in Afrin. Indeed, the US has delivered anti-tank weapons, already effectively used by the Kurds against the Turkish army (many tanks damaged during the attack on Afrin).

The US can’t understand that Ankara is not ready to see a rich and well-armed Kurdish “state” on its borders, disregarding the US’s tempting and generous offer [of a “safe zone” (see below)]. Actually, the US is offering a territory that not only does not belong to the Americans but is actually occupied by the US forces in north east Syria.

The US is one of the losers in this battle, regardless of the results, because Turkey will continue its operations until the defeat of the Kurds, either by military means or if Afrin returns to [Syrian] central government’s control.

I am not convinced that the above prediction will hold. There is still a possibility that Turkey might again change sides and (again) join the U.S. “regime change” efforts in Syria.

This depends on the winner of a conflict within the U.S. military where opposing forces are pulling for the Turkish and respectively the Kurdish side. Should the pro-Turkish side win, Erdogan can be offered a new deal and might be induced to again change sides from his current pro-Russian (pro-Damascus?) position back towards a pro-NATO/U.S. stand. (There is also a tiny chance that Turkey already has a secret back deal with the U.S. administration but I see no indication for it.)

From the very beginning of the conflict in Syria Turkey worked with the U.S., NATO, the Saudis and Qataris, against the Syrian government. It supported the Saudi and U.S. position of “regime change”, let ten-thousands of terrorists pass through its borders and delivered ten-thousands of tons of weapons and supplies to the forces fighting the Syrian government. Finally Russia entered the picture, defeated the Takfiris, put harsh pressure on Turkey and offered new economic deals. At the same time the U.S. attempted “regime change” in Ankara and allied with the Kurdish YPG/PKK in Syria and Iraq.

Erdogan, though unwillingly, changed sides and now works with Russia (and Syria) to bring the war to a conclusion. “Regime change” in Damascus has become an unlikely scenario he no longer supports. At the same time he is still willing to invest money and forces to gain something for his failed investment in the war. Taking Afrin to later incorporate it into an enlarged Turkey is one of those plays. He is clearly still aiming for additional territory. The U.S. now offered him some in form of a safe zone in Syria:


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Ilhan tanir @WashingtonPoint – 7:50 PM – 24 Jan 2018
This map being discussed all day on Turkish TVs as Turkey’s planned security zone/safe zone on Syria border.
Reportedly OK’ed by Sec.Tillerson though nobody on the American side confirms it

If the U.S. indeed made the “safe zone” offer – Tillerson did not deny today to have made such – it found a rather cold response:

Washington’s proposal for the creation of a “security zone” along Turkey’s 911-kilometer border with Syria has received a cool reply from Ankara, with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu urging the U.S. to first take steps to “re-build trust” between the two allies before discussing such military matters.

“The U.S. needs to stop delivering weapons to the YPG. It needs to push the YPG to withdrawing from Manbij if it wants to re-build confidence with Turkey … We have to see all these commitments fulfilled,” Çavuşoğlu said.

It is the U.S. supported founding of a Kurdish state-let in north-east Syria which is Ankara’s most serious security concern. No “safe zone” will help if the U.S. military continues to build and supplies a Kurdish “border force” that can penetrate Turkey’s south-eastern underbelly – now, tomorrow or in ten years. Unless the U.S. stops that project and retreats from the area Turkey will continue to push against it – if necessary by force.

The Turkish people support the fight against U.S. supported Kurds and are willing to pay the price for it. The Kurdish YPK leaders are delusional in their demands and overestimate their own political position. The U.S. can not have both, Turkey as an ally and a Kurdish proxy state-let. It has to decide.

Yesterday President Trump and Erdogan had a phonecall to discuss the situation. It did not help. The White House readout for the call includes some noticeably harsh language:

President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. President Trump relayed concerns that escalating violence in Afrin, Syria, risks undercutting our shared goals in Syria. He urged Turkey to deescalate, limit its military actions, and avoid civilian casualties and increases to displaced persons and refugees.

President Trump also expressed concern about destructive and false rhetoric coming from Turkey, and about United States citizens and local employees detained under theprolonged State of Emergency in Turkey.

The Turkish side denied that such language and these issues were part of the talk:

The White House’s written statement differs from the truth discussed between the Turkish and U.S. Presidents’ phone conversation on Wednesday, according to Anadolu Agency sources.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, the sources said President Donald Trump did not discuss any concerns ‘of escalating violence in Afrin’ during the phone call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The sources also stressed that President Trump did not use the words “destructive and false rhetoric coming from Turkey.”

They also said that there was no discussion of the ongoing state of emergency in Turkey.

It is very unusual to dispute the content of such readouts. Is Turkey obfuscating here or did someone in the White House put harsher language into the readout than was actually used in the call?

Trump had in general good relations with Erdogan and the readout language does not sound like him. The Turkish side also added this:

“In an answer to President Erdogan’s highlighting request from Washington to stop providing arms to the PYD/YPG terrorists in Syria within the scope of fighting against terrorism, President Trump said the United States are no longer providing PYD/YPG with weapons,” the sources added.

Already in November the Turks had said that Trump promised to stop the delivery of weapons to the YPG forces in east-Syria. But the White House was evasive on the issue and the U.S. military Central Command has acted contrary to that promise. If the Magnier report is correct CentCom also delivered anti-tank missiles to the Kurds in Afrin.

I have for some time presumed that are different opinions in the White House and especially in the Pentagon with regards to Turkey and the Kurds. The realist-hawks and NATO proponents are on Turkey’s side while the neoconservative “liberal” forces are on the Kurdish side. Yesterday the NYT noted the split:

The White House sent out a message aimed at mollifying Turkey’s president on Tuesday, suggesting that the United States was easing off its support for the Syrian Kurds.

That message was quickly contradicted by the Pentagon, which said it would continue to stand by the Kurds, even as Turkey invaded their stronghold in northwestern Syria.

The former director of the Council of Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, takes the pro-Kurdish position. Linking to the NYT piece above he says:

Richard N. Haass‏ @RichardHaass – 12:00 PM – 24 Jan 2018
Pentagon right; US should be working w Kurds in Syria for moral and strategic reasons alike. A break with Erdogan’s Turkey is inevitable, if not over this than over other differences. Time for DoD to come up with plan to substitute for Incirlik access.

It is not only the Incirlik air-base which is irreplaceable for NATO’s southern command. Turkey also controls the access to the Black Sea and has thereby a say over potential NATO operations against southern Russia and Crimea.

In a Bloomberg oped former U.S. Supreme Commander of NATO Stavridis takes a pro-Turkish position:

At the moment, Washington is trying to sail a narrow passage between supporting its erstwhile Kurdish combat partners and not blowing up the relationship with Turkey. But the room for maneuver is closing and a choice is looming. What should the U.S. do?

[W]e simply cannot afford to “lose” Turkey.

The Turks have a strong and diversified economy, a young and growing population, and have stood alongside the U.S. for much of the post-World War II era. Their importance both regionally and globally will continue to grow in the 21st century. Yes, U.S. officials can and should criticize Turkish actions where they violate international law or human rights — but in private, at least at this stage of the situation.

[T]he overall U.S. strategic interest lies in keeping Turkey aligned with NATO and the trans-Atlantic community. It would be a geopolitical mistake of near-epic proportions to see Turkey drift out of that orbit and end up aligned with Russia and Iran in the Levant.

It is unclear where in the Trump administration the split between pro-Kurdish and pro-Turkish positions actually is. (Or is it all around chaos?) On which side, for example, is Secretary of Defense Mattis and on which side is the National Security Advisor McMaster? This clip from the NYT piece above lets one assume that they pull in opposite directions:

For its part, the White House disavowed a plan by the American military to create a Kurdish-led force in northeastern Syria, which Turkey has vehemently opposed.

That plan, a senior administration official said Tuesday, originated with midlevel military planners in the field, and was never seriously debated, or even formally introduced, at senior levels in the White House or the National Security Council.

But the Pentagon issued its own statement on Tuesday standing by its decision to create the Kurdish-led force.

Discussing NATO relations with Turkey, several western “experts” agree that the current situation damages NATO but not one of them expects that Turkey will leave the alliance:

NATO needs Turkey and cannot afford to push it further into Russia’s arms. Erdoğan also needs NATO. He has overplayed his hand in Syria and in his struggle with the Kurds, and is isolated in the EU. His relationship with Moscow is problematic and he does not want to face Putin without NATO membership. This is an alliance that remains based on real strategic interests and that will continue long after Erdoğan is gone.

Maybe. I am not so sure.

The last thing the EU now wants or needs is Turkish membership. The U.S. instigated a coup against Erdogan and its Kurdish project is threatening Turkey’s strategic interest. Trump’s continued push to take Jerusalem “off the table” in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is an insult to all Muslims. An increasingly Islamic Turkey will not accept that. Turkey’s natural gas supplies depend on Russia and Iran. Russia builds nuclear power stations in Turkey and will deliver air defense systems that can defend against U.S. attacks. Russia, Iran, Central Asia and beyond that China are markets for Turkish products.

Putting myself into Erdogan’s shoes I would be very tempted to leave NATO and join an alliance with Russia, China and Iran. Unless the U.S. changes course and stops fooling around with the Kurds Turkey will continue to disentangle itself from the old alliance. The Turkish army has so far prevented a break with NATO but even staunch anti-Erdogan officers are now on his side.

If the U.S. makes a real offer to Turkey and adopts a new position it might be able to turn Turkey around and to put it back into its NATO fold. Is the Trump White House capable of defying the pro-Israel/pro-Kurdish voices and move back to that realist view?

If it can not do that the real answer to the question “Who lost Turkey?” will be obvious.

This article was originally published by Moon Of Alabama 

– See Also –

NATO at war and other statistical marvels

NATO at war and other statistical marvels

by Scott Humor

NATO Parliamentary Assembly Spring Session, Tbilisi, 26-29 May 2017

“The capital of Georgia, Tbilisi is a historic and a strategic place in the Caucasus region, which gave the country an opportunity to be a connecting hub between the West and the East

Unfortunately, our progress is not a pleasant development in the region for some, like the Russian Federation. Moscow has militarily violated Georgia’s territorial sovereignty and has illegally occupied the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russian military aggression and its provocations in various forms towards its neighbours have become routine by the Kremlin. Economic sanctions by the European Union and its partners are imperative to slow down this aggression, but more needs to be done. Therefore, it is crucial that we have a visible progress on both the practical and political side of Georgia’s EU and NATO membership process.

Furthermore, we highly value the Allies’ commitment to ensure effective implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, as well as new initiatives of practical cooperation. We welcome the decision made at the Warsaw Summit to increase NATO’s presence in the Black Sea region and at the same time to further strengthen cooperation with Georgia.

Georgia’s relationship with the Alliance contains all the practical tools to prepare our country for eventual membership. As the Bucharest Summit Declaration states: Georgia will become a member of NATO.”

It’s truly haunting how NATO uses a blunt lie going on record, even so we can just take one look at the online records of the UN Security Council and read that it Georgia initiated the war on 08.08.08.

Security Council hears conflicting Russian, Georgian views of worsening crisis as members seek end to violence in day’s second meeting on South Ossetia

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said Georgia continued its treacherous attack on South Ossetia, despite the Russian leadership’s appeal for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the fratricidal conflict and the resumption of talks.  The Russian Federation abhorred the connivance of a number of Security Council members, who last night had blocked passage of the Russian assessment of the situation.  The aggression being perpetrated was in violation of the United Nations Charter on the non-use of force, the 1996 agreement signed by Georgia, the South Ossetia parties and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the 1992 basic agreement between the Russian Federation and Georgia on the principles for settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict.  That agreement obliged the belligerents to undertake measures to halt military confrontation, to cease fire and to withdraw armed units.  A demilitarized zone had been created under the accord and the 1996 memorandum of understanding, compelling parties to the conflict to renounce the use or threat of use of force, had been signed by the High Representative of Georgia and the OSCE representative.  More here

United Nations Security Council Resolution 896 of 1994

 

On April 1st this year, William Lahue, NATO liaison officer in South Caucasus stated that NATO will not fight with Russia over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, if Georgia joins the alliance.

This statement is bizarre and deceiving considering that right now NATO is in active state of war with Russia according to its website:

NATO – Topic: Collective defence – Article 5

www.nato.int/cps/cn/natohq/topics_110496.htm

Mar 22, 2017

  • NATO has taken collective defence measures on several occasions, for instance in response to the situation in Syria and in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
  • NATO has standing forces on active duty

So, NATO has already invoked the Article 5 Collective defense treaty and is in a state of active war on Russia.

This current land grab is similar to what the fascist Europe was doing right before they started a war on the Soviet Russia in 1941.

Needless to say that Georgia joining NATO is against NATO’s own rules pertinent to  countries with territorial disputes. Since NATO is ready to deploy its army to Georgian territory, it means that the NATO has suspended its rules, which is another indicator that the NATO members are currently in active state of war against Russia.

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For those our readers who collect psi-ops and false flag attacks, here is the strategy that is been used repeatedly to draw Russia into the armed conflict on its borders.

A government of one  of the republics starts terribly abusing a part of population living under its rule. This population rebels and demands autonomy, propelling the government’s brutally attacks by punitive forces. The population under the attack fighting back and holds a referendum for independence. The government uses the regular army to attack the population, which asks Russia for help.

Thus in November 2006, a popular referendum was held in South Ossetia to reaffirm its independence from Georgia.  Ninety-nine percent of voters supported the referendum. After two years of punitive actions, Saakashvili, the US appointed puppet, initiated the war by attacking civilian population and the Russian peacekeepers. Putin as a prime minister was away visiting China, so President Medevedev and its liberal parliament respond with the use of the military force.

In 2914, when NATO members played the same situation in Ukraine like a piano, an “international community” fully expected Russia to do as she did in 2008. But with Putin as a president it didn’t work out for them.

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A country with 77% of its population with missing teeth is looking for financial support.

Latvian MP and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jānis Jurkāns gave an interview to the newspaper Neatkarīgā on May 15 of this year. He said that a war on Russia is expected to start any minute, and that’s why Latvian government doesn’t invest anything into the country’s development. It’s all going to be destroyed any way.  “What’s not stolen, will be crashed by the Russian tanks.”

Reportedly he also said that soon Russia will be completely destroyed, and only then a real economic revival in Latvia will take place.

In conclusion he said, that when, in the future, Russia will be crushed into pieces, they as victims will receive huge amount of money to build the brand new Latvia. That is why they are removing what’s left of the country’s wealth and creating in Ireland a base for a government in exile.

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What actually are the Trump’s deals with the Saudi Arabia?

Looking at the list of deals that the US managed to achieve with the SA, most of them being just pledges and promises.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Lockheed Martin, Raytheon express a desire to establish Raytheon Arabia sometime in the future. General Dynamics will do some design, and support some of its vehicles locally. Let me guess, the locals will be allowed to design and manufacture some stickers in Arabic. General Electrics signed MoU, Honeywell International signed a MoU, McDermott International also signed an MoU. Boeing and SaudiGulf Airlines promised to start negotiations of jet purchases. Saudi Aramco updates MoU. Jacobs Engineering Group, Rowan, Saudi Aramco, Nabors, Weatherford International all signed MOUs.

Similar to a contract, a memorandum of understanding is an agreement between two or more parties. Unlike a contract, however, an MoU need not contain legally enforceable promises. While the parties to a contract must intend to create a legally binding agreement, the parties to an MOU may intend otherwise

Not one actually legally binding contract was signed.

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In April, industrial production in Ukraine decreased by 6.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

From January to April of 2017 industrial production fell by 2%.

Industrial production is falling for the third month in a row. The main factor of the collapse of metallurgical industry that in April 2017 has reduced steel production by 28.6% compared to April of 2016, to 1,572 million tons.

The export of steel is the main source of foreign income for the country.

With the disappearance of metallurgy, Ukraine will finally become an agricultural powerhouse producing only wheat and corn; since the value added in agriculture is not high and considering the dependency on foreign (Russian) fertilizers, the country won’t be able to sustain its population for much longer.

Despite this, GDP is growing. The gross domestic product of Ukraine for the first quarter increased by 3 percent according to the national Bank of Ukraine.

Industrial production fell, exports fell. The GDP is growing

The explanation is simple.

The price of steel has risen over the past year with $220 per ton of steel to $320, and even it has already dropped to $275; still the Ukraine is in the black, especially compared with the middle of 2016, when steel cost $115 per ton.

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Green Spring of 2017

Russia’s economy grew in April 2017 compared to the same period of 2016.

Most the basic economic and social indicators went up with GDP rising to 100.5% of last year’s value.

Total agricultural output grew 100.6%. Industrial Production Index grew 102.3%. The volume of transported cargo grew by 109.4%. Retail trade numbers have not changed at 100% of April 2016. Combined foreign trade grew by 129.8%, with the export growing by 135.2% and import growing by 121.8%. Capital investments grew by 102.3%. Absolute income and real-wage growth grew by 106.7%, however real income fell to 92.4%. Since the inflation went down, this could be a result of the drop in real estate and rental prices. Unemployment rate fell to 5.3%. Officially registered as unemployed are 0.9 million people. In total 4 million people are unemployed.

With unemployment going down, wages grew +3.2% by March of 2017 year to year.

Real wages in Russia

Real Income In Russia

With all major indexes in green, the only unexplained drop is in real income which is down for March by significant -7.6%. Considering that at the beginning of the year the same indicator grew almost 7%, this number will probably be revised. However, it still might remain negative.

On May 14, during the meeting with President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman, the following was said:

Vladimir Putin: In the economic sector, despite the previous years’ recession, trade turnover growth of over 44 percent was observed in the beginning of this year. This is a good sign and a good trend we have to preserve.

Milos Zeman: The number of tourists is growing – this is very positive.

Vladimir Putin: This is connected to the gradual restoration of personal incomes, which shrank during the crisis in our country. Today, actual earnings of our citizens have started to gradually increase, and tourist activity is increasing as well.

It’s also interesting how the government handled the crisis of 2008-2009 and crisis of 2014-2016. During the first crisis, the minimum wage went up, but unemployment and bankruptcies also grew. It took two years to recover to the pre-crisis level. In December 18, 2014, president Putin said that the crisis in Russia will last for two years in the worst case. Understanding that this might be the long-term situation, the government did everything to preserve the workplaces by letting wages to drop. Putin has managed to save work places, industries and manufacturers from repeating a terrible collapse of 2009 that Medvedev’s government allowed. Considering that everything stayed and worked, the recovery is ongoing, and it won’t need two years.

In February of this year, an aftershock contributor posted his overview of the economy using other indicators than unreliable GPD and came to the conclusion that Russia’s economy is number 4 in the world.

He started with asking a simple question: how can Russia afford the space exploration and nuclear energy, that are out of reach for the majority of developed and rich countries? In addition to the enormous infrastructure costs, these industries require a high level of development of education, basic science, applied science and multiple industries. When we witness another successful launch of missiles “YARS” and the start of commercial operation of the BN nuclear reactors, a sodium-cooled fast breeder reactor, most people don’t understand that these facts are only the visible tip of the iceberg of a great country.

—–

In November 2016 one of UK’s  fake news sources called The Telegraph reporting on the alcohol consumption in the world and lied about Russia being number four of the alcohol dependent countries, and the Britain being 25th overall. “On average we each consume 11.6 litres of pure alcohol a year.”

Now let’s look at real numbers presented by the Russia’s Health Ministry.

Alcohol consumption in Russia in liters of pure spirit in 2016 was 10.3 liters per person. However, this is actual numbers of official sales and doesn’t include homemade wines traditionally enjoyed in the South of the country. I couldn’t find a reliable statistic of alcohol consumption based on gender, race, and age, but as an anecdotal evidence of generational differences, my parents have some wine or cognac for dinner almost every day, although they don’t drink vodka or beer. On average, I consume one glass of wine per year. I just don’t understand an appeal of alcohol.

 

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Links to report of the Russia’s Health ministry statistic will take you to a downloadable PDF file with multiple fascinating charts:

In 2016 the death rate in Russia has been at its lowest since 1995 12.9 per 1000 of population.

Life expectancy has been also the highest since 1995 and reaches 77.1 for women, 66.5 for men, with an average 71.9 for both genders.

In 2016 Maternal Mortality Rate was 8.3 per 100,000 live births. It actually dropped 48.8% compared to 2011, and 17.8% compared to 2015.

In 2012 Russia adopted the international standards for Infant Mortality Rate statistic starting with 500g or 22 weeks. In 2012 there were 6 infant death per 1000 live birth.

Cardio related death rate dropped down to 42.2 per 100,000 population, which is 7.3% less than in 2011.

Stroke and high-blood pressure related death dropped down to 85.6 per 100,000 population, which is 34.2% lower than in 2011.

Stroke death could be avoided simply by cutting down the consumption of large amounts of salt and sugar typically found in a traditional Russian diet. For years I have been trying to make my parents to eat healthier and to stop cooking with these additives, which proved to me that some battles I just can’t win.

Motor vehicle related deaths also went down to 10.8 per 100,000 population, which is a drop of 11.5% compared with 2015.

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Demographic losses of Germany in World War II

Thought provoking material related to estimation of the losses of German population in WWII.

Before the war against the Soviet Union, Germany was actively absorbing new territories with their population. Therefore, many demographic curves that are being used to estimate the German losses are not correct.

 

The population of Germany itself in 1939 was about 69,4 million.

To this we have to add +

Saarland (0.8 million people),

Austria ( 6,76 million)

The Sudetenland ( 3,64 million)

Total 80,6 million

Also in June 1941 Germany added

Danzig and Memel (0,54 million)

Poznan and Upper Silesia (9,63 million)

Luxembourg, Lorraine and Alsace ( 2.2 million people)

Also severed from Yugoslavia southern Carinthia. (0.2 million people)

PLus the natural population growth over these 2 years per 80 million peoples

Total in June 1941 Germany began the war with  94 million people.

The author estimates that in May of 1945, Germany had less than 60 million people left.

On October 29, 1946, the Command of the Western Military group estimated the population of Germany, all three of its parts with the Western Berlin, was 65,931,000. It means that in 16 months 6 million in population increase was due to the migrants coming from the Sudetenland, Poland, and Kalingrad, and also POWs returned from captivity on the Western front. From the Easter front and the Soviet Union the last POWs had returned to Germany in 1949, which also contributed to the population growth. Let’s say that in the middle of 1046, Germany had 66 million people. At the beginning of 1941 Germany had 94 million people. This means that the demographic losses in Germany amounted to 28 million+ 2-3 million that would constitute the natural population growth during this time if the war didn’t take place.

A total loss of population was 30-31 million, or 30% of the population.

Demographic losses of the Soviet population was 40 million, or 20% of the entire population.

 

The biggest comparative losses of WWII were sustained by Poland

From 1939 to 1945, the population of Poland shrank from 35 million to 23.9 million plus 3 million of natural growth. If the WWII didn’t happen Poland would have in 1945 larger population than it has now.

However, most of those people who died weren’t ethnically Polish. In 1939, on the territory that Poland claimed as its own in 1945 lived 24.6 million people including Jews, Germans, Lithuanians, Byelorussians and Ukrainians. Under the guise of war, those territories were ethnically cleansed by the Poles to achieve 98% of ethnic purity. The Poles themselves lost three million people due to the war.

At the same time, Britain did not suffer any significant demographic losses. By facilitating and financing the WWII, Britain bled Germany (30 m), Poland (15), and the Soviet Union (40m) and together with other European countries (15m), reduced the population of continental Europe by 100 million people. Same time Britain bled India (2.1m) in Bengal famine of 1943 and China (80m).

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Finland has reached its demographic cross.

In 2016, a total of 53,923 persons died, which is the largest number since 1944. The previous record year after the 1940s was 2015, from which the number of deaths now grew by another 1,431. Altogether, 501 more women and 930 more men died than in 2015.

According to Statistics Finland’s data on population changes, 52,814 children were born in 2016. The number of births has now decreased for the sixth year in succession. The number of births was 2,658 children, i.e. 4.8 per cent fewer than in 2015. This yearly decrease is the highest since the beginning of the 1970s, when measured in relative terms.

With 5.5 million population, even

Even 329,219 emigrants are not able to change this. Finland will never have a natural growth of its population.

 

======================

In 2016 Ukraine had the least number of vaccinated children at 23%.

 

Scott Humor

Russian fighter jet again ‘buzzes’ US plane in Black Sea — media

(TASS) Russia’s Su-27 fighter has flown close to another US Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane in the Black Sea in a second similar incident this week, Fox News reported on Saturday night citing a US defense official.

The incident occurred on Friday morning in the northern section of the Black Sea, about 160 kilometers from Russia’s Crimean Peninsula.

The Pentagon has stepped up its reconnaissance flights in the Black Sea since Crimea voted to rejoin Russia in 2014.

In a previous similar incident that took place on Tuesday, an armed Russian Su-30 jet flew within the distance of seven meters of the US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane.

The US aircraft “was conducting routine operations in international airspace,” according to Captain Pamela Kunze, a spokeswoman for US Naval Forces Europe.

The interaction was considered safe and professional by the US aircraft’s commander, she said.

At noon on May 9, Russia’s airspace control means detected an air target over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, which was approaching the state border of Russia.

“The Su-30 fighter jet of the air defense forces on duty in the Southern military district was scrambled to intercept the target,” the ministry said.

“The Russian fighter jet performed a maneuver of ‘greeting’ for the US pilots and after that the US surveillance plane changed the flight route towards moving from the border with Russia. The Su-30 fighter jet safely returned to its base airfield,” the ministry said.

More:
http://tass.com/defense/945753

‘We did what we had to do’: Putin opens up on Crimea reunification plan

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

The European Union’s military: yet another sign of impotence

March 10, 2015

You probably have heard of the European attempt to reacquire some relevance: the proposal to create a “European Union Army”.  In part, this is, as an attempt by the Europeans to show that they matter, that they can do something by themselves, that they are not completely US lackeys.  This might also be a reaction to the crazy statements of General Philip Breedlove, the Commander of the U.S. European Command and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) whose inflammatory comments even got him a full-length rebuttal in Der Spiegel (There are even rumors that the Europeans want Breedlove sacked).  Whatever may be the case, the idea of some kind of European Army is hardly a new one – we already had the Franco-German Brigade and the Eurocorps.  That is all very well, but only on paper.  The reality is that nobody in Europe has any money to pay for the future EU army.  But even worse is that even inside NATO the European contribution is almost negligible.

First, take a look at this graph showing the financial contribution made by each NATO member state in 2013:

NATO financesClearly, the US pays the lion share and, if we add it’s European poodle (the UK), the “Anglo share” becomes even bigger.  But that is not the full story.  Let’s take the next two (and pretty much only other) relevant countries, Germany and France.  Not only is their financial contribution very small, their national armies are a total mess.  Russia Insider has just posted an excellent survey of the condition of the German military, to which I would only add this article entitled “L’armée française n’a plus un rond et le moral à zéro” (The French military ain’t got a penny and its morale is down to zero) which comes to similar conclusions about the French military.

What about the rest of NATO you might ask?

They are even a more pathetic joke than France and Germany.  The only real military left over is Turkey’s which will never agree to participate to such a force and which will probably not be invited anyway (there is a reason why the Europeans never let “then Muslims” inside the EU to begin with!).  Then we are left with a few semi-decent air forces and navies, but with no real combined-arms capabilities.  Finally, all of Europe has always depended on the USA for intelligence, in particular battlefield intelligence.  So even these air forces and navies are, in reality, totally dependent on Uncle Sam.

Which leaves us with the Central European clowns like Poland or Lithuania.  To see what they could realistically “contribute” you can just think of the Georgian military in 2008, which was fully trained and fully equipped by the very same folks who are now training and equipping the Central Europeans.

The reality is that nobody in Europe can afford anything besides hot air and that all the European militaries are good for is wholly unconvincing sabre-rattling as recently shown by Norway or NATO naval forces in the Black Sea (any vessel in the Black Sea is an easy target for the Russian military) And even though that will not frighten or “deter” a Russia which has no hostile intentions to begin with, it will contribute to the worsening of relations as shown by the recent Russian decision to dump all CFE activities.

This latest initiative, far from showing any kind of European awakening, is yet another proof of the utter lack of statesmanship on the part of the Eurocretins in power in Brussels and the EU capitals.  A far more convincing display of power and dignity would be to dare to simply say “no” to something demanded by Uncle Sam.

But that, alas, ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.

The Saker

Seven countries in five years

Via The Saker

by “Observer”
translated by “lmimkac” (thanks a lot!!)

Seven countries in five years and the US dollar is raising from the dead. Ukraine fulfilled its purpose, ISIL conquering Iraq and Syria, just conquering strategic Koban. Turkey does possum, Kurdistan rejoices. Asad has yet to fall, then comes the Iran and the “New Middle East” will be finished and dollar saved. Or – weaned Russia, China and dependent dollar still petrodollar. So simple!

But first about how the stones fit into a mosaic.

The December’s 2014 hit of all pro-Western news media was a celebration of the weak ruble. Low oil prices with the US sanctions enjoying a robust support of Europe took a penalty and Russia is getting where they want her to be – on her knees. I am just wondering about how the situation would have developed, if Yanukovych had signed the association agreement with the EU. Apparently the US would “only” have built up NATO bases on Ukrainian-Russian border and the next process of targeted weakening of Russian Federation would continue in a “moderate” way – by classical color revolutions to remove Putin (this effort is still ongoing and weakened ruble also fulfills this purpose). But Yanukovych did not sign it and action “Ukraine” was performed in a very bloody way. Today, no one in the US or EU cares about that Ukraine is not far from bankruptcy, they are even not interested in having Ukraine join NATO and that is because it was really never about Ukraine. Ukraine is to only fulfill one purpose: to separate Russia from Europe, to prevent Russia from trading with European countries, but above all – to get rid of Europe’s energy dependence on Russia. And as we will see later on, that was the most important purpose. And because this should have been achieved at any cost (and how else than through the oil and gas taps on the Ukrainian territory), Ukraine would have paid the price to its strategic location by hook or crook. I say “paid the price” because by joining the EU, no country helped itself and Ukraine especially would not (just remember the text of the Association Agreement not to mention the fact that it would become a territory where all European gypsies would be moved to).

But action Majdan eventually served more than if Yanukovych signed the agreement. Majdan has become a trump-card in the hands of the US and EU and the rest has been arranged by the corporate media. And the world has fancied that Russia is evil and Putin is Hitler and therefore it is necessary to defend him and hurriedly flee from him. There was a reason for the anti-Russian sanctions (secured even by the downed Boeing). One year from Majdan and we are where we are – Russia is almost separated from Europe, sells oil for little and its currency is falling. Thanks to this, the US dollar is just getting a few drops of living water and, seeing how the plans are being met, also optimism into the veins. However, it is not time to celebrate yet, more is coming down the road. We have to have a look at other news that would seem to be saying something completely different, but it is not – it still only and only about the dying US dollar.

Seven countries in five years

And it is all about US dollar for many years. Years ago a plan to maintain its hegemony was laid down and it is about to be finished. Ukraine is part of the finale, like ISIL, Kurdistan, Turkey, currently city of Kobani. Before it was a number of other countries and it is revealed only in hindsight what their place in the mosaic is. Even the September 11 could be seen through completely different optics and I am now convinced that this also was a flint stone but necessary – an event to get a public approval to start. And this plan from its very beginning has a clear goal, see this quotation from one speech:

“In 1991 I had a meeting with Paul Wolfowitz (former president of the World Bank and at that time the second deputy of US Department of Defense, which was a very high position) and I told him that he must surely be satisfied with Operation Desert Storm (Kuwait). And he answered: Well, yeah, but not quite, because the truth is that we wanted to get rid of Saddam Hussein and we failed. But there is one thing we have learned – we found out that we can use our military in the Middle East, and the Soviets will not stop us. We now have about five to ten years, to clean up the area from the old Soviet influence before an appearance of a new big superpower that we will be able to challenge us. Subvert the entire Middle East, destabilize it and repaint the map – that was the planned strategy! Ten days after September 11, I was walking in the Pentagon (where else was I supposed to be at that time?) when I was called by the commander of the US coastal waters asking me to come to his office. He told me there that he wanted to let me know that we were going to attack Iraq. Why? I asked him, does it have any connection with the terrorist attacks? Unfortunately, it’s even worse. I have just got this Memorandum from the Ministry of Defence. It says that we have to attack and destroy the governments of seven countries in five years. Let’s start with Iraq, then we move to Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and Iran . Is this an official battle plan? – I asked him. Yes, sir! ”

This is a quote from interviews in 1991 and the end of September 2001, as described by the US General Wesley Clark in his speech in October 2007. The full speech is known as a video under the unofficial title “Seven countries in five years’ [ here ]


Let me once again repeat the words of former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz: “But there is one thing we have learned – we found out that we can use our military in the Middle East, and the Soviets will not stop us. We now have about five to ten years, to clean up the area from the old Soviet influence before an appearance of a new big superpower that we will be able to challenge us.” . And I stress that these words are from 1991! It is not a subject of this article, but – do not you feel that the USA really needed September 11? Already in October, after the attack on the WTC Afghanistan was attacked (and the US is trying to take control of it until present days. It is called an underbelly of Russia i.e. a very sensitive place for Russia) and then everything continued the way we all know.

After Kuwait (An attempt to overthrow S. Hussein in 1991 and confirm that the US can rely on Gorbachev and the Soviets really left USA free hand in this this field) came Afghanistan (October 2001). Next: Iraq (2003 and the overthrow of Hussein), Syria (2011 and a civil war)) Lebanon (strategic territory for Israel and Syria, and the eternal struggle in 2006 Cedar Revolution). Further on, the US got engaged in Africa: Sudan (1996 attacks due to bin Laden’s stay in this area, in 2003 uprising). Under the title “Arab Spring” more African countries are hauled into the play: Libya (2011 overthrow of Gaddafi), Egypt (2011 overthrow of Mubarak). Also, do not miss Algiers (1991 overthrow of the President and still under military rule and martial law) and Morocco (since 1999 ruled by a king Mohamed IV., Who has good relations with the US, so we do not hear much about Morocco). Ethiopia is also a friend of the US (in 1991 turned away from the Soviets and became a security guard American interests through wars with neighboring Eritrea). Next Somalia is also in the US viewfinder (entry of the US Army in 2007) and on the opposite side is even Pakistan, a neighbor of Afghanistan and especially Russia (Al-Kájida assassination of Buth in 2007).

I for a long time did not understand the context of the US engagement in these countries. I had the classic explanation that comes to energy sources in oil-rich countries, but seeing Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and others my understanding was elusive. But it only needed to take a good look at a map:

The European Union and the Arab Spring have the same purpose – to expand the US influence to the East

Put aside oil and we can see another US strategic interest in the mentioned countries. And that is the borders that have come under control of the US to exactly according to their plan close the grip on Russia from all sides. So what is happening in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall through the EU, in Africa and the Middle East takes place as the Arab Spring. And when, after a few years since the launch of the plan we have a look at the map, from Northern Europe to Southern Africa, almost all countries including the important seas are under the US control.

The south of Europe could be seen in a completely different light and it is clear why Spain and Greece was never allowed to fall, but instead became the most dependent vassals. Also North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt) as well as the East (Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia – and I can not stop from remarking that it is no coincidence that Sudan was the second African country, where Ebola appeared and that a conference for the unification of Africa in the fight against Ebola took place in befriended Ethiopia. For primitive peoples it just a simple means of obedience and looking out to the Americans as the gods because they “accidentally” have a cure).

When we examine the Mediterranean coast then all around almost (!) all countries are under the US (EU) control and there is no trace of any Soviet or Russian interests. However. up to two (and now actually three) countries. And these are Lebanon, Syria and now even Turkey. Apart from an indication that there are significant oil and gas reserves in the waters around Greece and Cyprus, the Black Sea is considered a strategic transit and military area where the US plans are only being dented by Lebanon and Syria; but more on that later.

When we go further on to East Africa, we see that the US has control of the whole Red Sea, because the other side is controlled by Saudi Arabia and Israel. And by controlling the Red Sea they also control the Arabian Sea and the Suez Canal!

The “New Middle East” and “Seven countries in five years’ project goes according to the plan, and before there is a grand finale, which will be Iraq, Syria and then Iran, they are trying to to disable Russia by bringing NATO bases close to its borders (hence the involvement of Ukraine, Afghanistan and Pakistan) as well as working to make Russia not economically grow but by far the best option would be to get it economically collapse. And all that is to at any price prevent Russia from rising up to be a competing superpower. And that is the reason for low oil prices in collaboration with the Saudis…

The next map clearly shows why Ukraine is so important and why Putin has gone too far by letting Crimea join Russia. The plan was to have Ukraine and with it another sea, this time Black Sea full of NATO bases and to become part of the US-EU border with Russia. Ukraine should have been “completed” before Turkey becomes the next; Turkey is planned to have a role of alias Ukraine and the main role next to Syria and Iraq. When you walk through the map from the north to the south through the lens of the EU member states and the optics of the Arab Spring, you can see that the plan has progressed a lot since its launch. All of Europe including the countries of the former Soviet Union is united in the EU and now militarily and economically under the influence of the United States, from Norway down to Georgia and Azerbaijan – Ukraine and Crimea, and the whole Black Sea is still being worked on. The entire North and West Africa is under the US control, but the only obstacle in controlling the whole Mediterranean Sea and the whole Middle East, is now Syria and Iraq. And currently Turkey is a country of a paramount strategic importance! Turkey is a neighbor of Syria, Iraq and Iran and has good relations with Russia. And it is so close from there to Crimea, just across the Black Sea. Moreover to Russian Crimea not NATO Crimea. And that is what Putin has committed the most for what he cannot be forgiven (he betrayed the NWO). The Black Sea then has become far greater obstacle than it was expected to be in relation to the role of Turkey.

Turkey is namely a fundamental point through which Europe is planned to become energy independent of Russia or respectively to put aside Russian energy resources from the European reach. It is thus killing two birds with one stone, because both are desirable.

Putin canceled South Stream, petrodollar is on the rise

I started the article with the hit of the December 2014 news that the ruble was weakened. But the bigger hit should be a different December report such as a statement that Putin was to cancel the completion of the South Stream project. In other words – Russia would not deliver gas to Europe via the south route (via the Black Sea) (the northern route, Nord Stream through which the Russian gas is delivered to Germany, is up and running). South Stream was expected to cross the Black Sea to Bulgaria, via Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria in northeastern Italy with branches to Croatia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. Its construction was decided in 2010 and should have been completed the year after. After the Russia-Crimea reunification the US-EU decided to push Putin via South Stream. How much from the Crimea-Russia reunification did the EU scream that South Stream is legally wrong. How much did the EU threaten Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria that the construction must be suspended! Hungary was the most criticized for waiting with the work suspension to the last minute, while Bulgaria announced the end already in June – “The Bulgarian government at the request of Brussels suspended work on the South Stream” until the final cancellation of the project by Putin himself. And now on to the three-hour conference Putin says that the Russian crisis would last more than two years and that then the world would again need Russia’s energy resources. Putin realized that it was whatsoever not about the pipeline or gas transport through Ukrainian territory, but from the beginning it is just and just about shutdown of Russian oil and gas from European markets. Therefore, not only weakened ruble, but especially the withdrawal of Russia from additional gas supplies to Europe is the living water for the US dollar! What the US needs is Europe’s energy dependency on other than Russian resources and Russia deprived of energy markets and thus economically depressed.

The South Stream, and I can add is as a complete mockery of the current EU position headed by A.Merkel. It was her who mostly called for the end of the completion of South Stream, she ordered its termination and when Putin declared that the project would not continue (some servers describe this as the pride and pique, others as punishment for Europe, which has no other source, and by 2015 would have not), it was again Merkel, who mandated Bulgaria to require completion! Otherwise she threatened Russia with courts and penalties for failure to comply with agreements not only to Bulgaria but to the whole EU! So, after Russia is economically weakened by the economic sanctions and low oil prices, it is threatened with more penalties for failure to comply with contracts!

Dollar is getting living water and is rising from the dead. Who would think that the reason is the American shales (that Europe counts on), they are mistaken. The cancellation of the South Stream is moving closer to a plan which is currently being executed by ISIL and to the task actually Turkey is supposed to fulfill. The next map shows an area that is being controlled by ISIL. This area spreads through Iraq and Syria (again two birds with one stone?), But in addition, note city of Kobani on the border with Turkey.

Have a look at this Syrian city and Turkey from other key points:

Ukrainian Majdan and ISIL perform the same task – oil and gas

In 2013, Ukraine had to sign an association agreement with the EU, Yanukovych was pressured from all sides and it was believed that by the end of the year it would have been done. Now it is time to focus on the final point of the plan, which is Syria and Iraq. And Turkey. The Islamic State has existed since 1999, but in 2013 it was radicalized. And by some “accident” after May 2013 the US Senator McCain pays a visit to the future ISIL leaders and during friendly meetings he even got photographed with them. Once again see on the previous map the marked area where the ISIL is most radical: Syria and Iraq (in Iraq, especially those areas where oil is extracted) and the border with Turkey – city of Kobani. Throughout 2014, the main events covered by the mainstream media was ISIL – their expansion and conquest of oil terminals. And because Yanukovych did not sign, we also start hearing about Majdan in Ukraine throughout the year. But the situation is such that in the meantime, “Ukraine” task got complicated by not having the Association Agreement signed up (it is currently being finalized at any cost, even at the cost of bringing Nazis to power). The task “Syria, Iraq, Turkey,” that was too started in accordance with the plan is running independently of the “unfinished” Ukraine plan. And that is despite the fact that year 2014 brought a complication, which was not foreseen and that is the loss of Crimea. However, Ukraine and equally ISIL are about the borders, about the sphere of influence under the US control, about putting Russia on a side-track and taking control of all Eastern energy resources.

A project about how to get oil and gas to Europe while having Russia completely excluded is already in existence since 2002 and is the Nabucco pipeline.

Caspian carbon to Europe passes through Turkey, Middle East carbon carbon goes to Europe via Turkey. Turkey starring and a big Majdan on the horizon

I have long believed that the aim of Europe’s energy independence from Russia promoted by the US and its European slaves is Europe’s dependence on the US shales. This certainly will happen because there will be no other alternative to Europe other than to buy expensive American energy – especially when Putin resigned from the South Stream and Nabucco ended in a fiasco. But no American shale have to supply energy to Europe, Europe is to be dependent on Caspian and the Middle East oil in particular. And one fact is that the energy from both the US shale or from the Middle East will be paid for by the US dollar.

Therefore already in 2002 the project Nabucco was founded. It’s still an unbuilt pipeline, which should reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and oil and it was to bring Caspian gas from Azerbaijan to Europe. Russia sends 120 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Europe and that just across Ukraine, while the capacity of Nabucco was planned to be at 31 billion cubic meters at most. However, if there was also a branch to Iran added, the capacity would be fully covered by its resources only. Since Iranian resources are out of the sight of Europe and the Caspian supplies would be insufficient, Europe in its own interest kept delaying the construction of Nabucco against the US will. However, the biggest problem for Nabucco was Turkey that asked for up to 15 percent of the gas pumped away for their needs. After years of negotiations with the EU Turkey finally gave up this requirement. (Note: Do you also see that when it comes to joining the EU these similarities between Turkey and Ukraine cases are purely coincidental?)

In 2009, when the transport arrangements among Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria were agreed, the signing of an agreement on the construction of the Nabucco pipeline took place. Turkish Prime Minister called it a historic moment and the EU expected that the first gas independent of Russia, comes to Europe as early as 2014. And this despite the fact that – as was said then – “there are still a few issues, one of which the most pressing is the one from which sites the gas would be pumped for Nabucco . ” It was counted from the beginning on the Azerbaijani sources, then on the fact that there are another large oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea so the production volume would gradually increase. In the summer of 2013, however, came the shocking news: The fiasco for the EU and USA, the Nabucco project ends, Europe would remain dependent on Russian gas.

Instead of the Nabucco pipeline Azerbaijan chose to transport gas to Europe TANAP-TAP pipeline, which would lead to the Turkish border via Greece and Albania and to Italy. The main reason behind was lower capital cost and higher gas prices in the South. The EU and USA were especially shocked and Putin rejoiced. The construction of the South Stream pipeline, although already decided in 2007 and sealed in 2010 – regardless of Nabucco – was in my opinion approved only because the Caspian resources do not have enough capacity needed for Europe and only for so long until Nabucco is connected to other sources of oil (Iraq, Iran, Egypt). Only then the dependence on Russia would fully be achieved. Furthermore, the South Stream praised the fact that the Russian Gazprom would only have a 50% stake and the remaining 50% would be split among the German, Italian and Austrian corporations. And, of course, the South Stream was approved under the influence of high expectations from Nabucco project. And suddenly it was all over.

Under the US influence even after the Nabucco cancellation the EU has not given up on finding ways to expel Russian gas from Europe. Again, after long negotiations with Turkey in the end a month before Putin announced the cancellation of South Stream, Turkish President Erdogan signed final documents needed for construction of TANAP-TAP pipeline. It was agreed in late October 2014 that the construction of TANAP-TAP can begin. The first Caspian gas to be transported this way to Turkey would be in 2018 and from Turkey to Europe in 2019. TANAP-TAP pipeline has been projected to bypass Russia and is essentially similar to Nabucco.

When we summarize projects Nabucco, South Stream and TANAP-TAP the EU still has problems to meet the US wishes to get rid of Europe’s energy dependence on Russia. In addition, whether it is Nabucco or TANAP-TAP, Europe always needs Turkey. Turkey is aware of it and dictates the terms, while the EU plays chess with Turkey (this explains not only why Turkey is still not a member of the EU, but it also explains the recent attempts of a color revolution in Turkey). Oil and gas deliveries from Saudi Arabia to Europe, it needs to get in the first place through Syria. Syria is guarded by the Russian interests from one side and it also makes sure the energy flow was not over the Mediterranean sea and on the other side it makes sure it even does not go over Turkey. Syria alongside with Lebanon represents the only setback on the Mediterranean coast and the only country Russia has not left with the post-Soviet anti-Zionist influence. The same problem is Iraq, an ally of Syria (extra full of oil) and also Iran (the largest anti US dollar country full of oil that, however, wants to manage it on their own, not just to feed the petrodollar).

Now we know why suddenly there is such a radical leg of the IS. Why this radical leg is conquering Syria and Iraq, why it is conquering just oil terminals and why exactly rushing to town so insignificant as the Syrian city of Kobani on the border with Turkey. And why Turkey (the second largest army in NATO) suddenly becomes a dead beetle when it comes to fighting ISIL. And why it suddenly becomes an ally, not only of Russia but also ISIL. Turkey has finally understood what was known a long ago – it was to be thrown overboard. And that there is such Majdan ready for Turkey that the Ukrainian one was really just a slight “virus disease”. I want to add that country carrying oil and gas have the same luck as those that have oil and gas – from both the profit is benefited and taken by the USA.

All roads lead to city of Kobani and Ceyhan. NATO Alliance on side of Kurdistan

“Battle of Kobani may rewrite the history of the Middle East,” a headline of one blog says; in which the author among other things writes: Kobani – a city that a few weeks ago was practically not known apart from the Kurds or the inhabitants of Syria. Now that name inflicts media in all corners of our planet, starting with CNN and Chinese CCTV ending. But why are the allies spending so much effort that costs daily Washington and other countries millions of dollars, while the result is not sure at all?

The answers are few. Kobani, a rural town in which 45 thousand people lived before the outbreak of fighting, is defacto the last bastion of the Kurds, and if the Islamic state conquered it, that would have opened the way to the occupation of the territory along the 1200 km long Turkish-Syrian border . Fatal consequences would then be mainly for the Kurds that the Jihadists kill on sight and cut off their heads.

Victory would also strengthen the position of the Islamic State that sends more and more fighters to city of Kobani. The whole world would have shown that it can not stop raids that involve even the most advanced US fighters . Finally, the IS would gain control of the areas that would be used to send much greater amount of smuggled oil and collect millions more dollars.

Turkish hypocrisy – thousands of Kurdish refugees alongside with Turkish soldiers are every day watching the fight in Kobani. The guns of their tanks are pointing to IS positions, but they do not open fire on them. Ankara, in the past, one of the key NATO allies, is refusing to help the Kurds and attack the Jihadists.

Turkish tenacity in which they refuse to retreat raises further speculation. Why did the IS dismiss dozens of detainees Turks, while the Americans, British and Iraqi journalists are being beheaded and videos of their executions sent out to the whole world? Why did they even dismiss relatives of Caliph of the IS held in Turkish prisons or hospitals?And why did 180 Islamic radicals find themselves free, some of whom holding British, Swiss and Macedonian passports and everyone immediately engaged in combat in Iraq and Syria?

Ankara practically did not respond to calls from Syrian Kurds for help. Even the United States failed to persuade Ankara to at least give its air bases to strike against IS. To this day they have start from Bahrain, Qatar and other countries in the Arabian Peninsula.

The massacre of Kurds, who are connected to the Kurdistan Workers Party PKK, in Turkey banned and called a terrorist group, plays Turks into cards. Therefore, Turkey has criticized the US supply of arms and ammunition to the Kurds in Kobani. Conversely Ankara lets the leading members of the so-called Syrian opposition, whether they represent a Front al-Nusrat – al-Qaeda in Syria or even Islamic State, drink in coffee shops in Istanbul.

“Turkey as NATO and IS ally – is a shame of the alliance. The Turkish government has repeatedly indicated publicly that they would not cooperate with NATO in case of possible military action against ISIS until the Jihadists would not start conquering their own borders. And if someone else has the feeling that perhaps the IS would invade Turkey, they will surely be disappointed. Turkey, on the contrary subtly reinforces alliance with ISIS and did not allow NATO forces mobile base on its territory. And if it’s not far enough to the media and intelligence agencies to start examining whether Turkey was committing war crimes, it is at least to to wonder what Turkey can do against NATO itself.

Turkey has for weeks been releasing prisoners – orthodox Muslims or even directly IS members in exchange for Turkish men captured by IS. Among other things they freed a Muslim who murdered in Northern Europe and was caught in Turkey. Turkey that is trying to cover for a genocide from the beginning of the last century perhaps subtly expresses his gratitude.

ISIS with Turkey agreed upon building an embassy in Turkey. So by doing so Turkey has recognized IS as an official and full-fledged nation. With its own actions that are effectively going against NATO Turkey goes even further. Turkey and IS on its borders do not let the Kurds enter city of Kobani. Turks alongside the Islamists do not let the Kurds neither with water nor food across the border to city of Kobani. An adequate reaction would be to exclude Turkey from the alliance and suspend all negotiations on joining the club with the EU. There would come even greater influence of Islam in Europe with it.

It’s a mess, and who in fact could understand it? Nevertheless, it is quite simple – the US decided to sacrifice a good chunk of Turkey’s territory in favor of a new Kurdistan. Turkey borders as they are, would not be valid anymore and the Kurds living here in Syria, here in Iraq and Iran, and also in a great part of Turkey, should have their new great and officially recognized state at the expense of reduction of Syria and especially Turkey and division of Iraq. The emergence of Kurdistan is a goal. Kurdistan, which would be thankful for the expansion of their country so that it would not oppose to oil and gas transits in any direction as it has been done by Turkey, and would become subservient to the US. Turkey, as well as Ukraine pays for its strategic position and as well as Ukraine faces a choice to either sacrifice a piece of their land for the establishment of Kurdistan or prefer to ally with ISIL. Which evil is easier to cope with for Turkey to make a stand against after having the USA forcing it (like Ukraine) to the necessity to choose from?

It is, from early beginning, perhaps obvious to IS leaders that they are supposed to meet the US interests and once a complete breakdown in all the three mentioned countries is achieved, NATO would stop from pretending that it has no power to defeat them and that all the promises (including the Islamization of Europe) are just a grass field. Indeed, even now we can hear from all sides that “the greatest danger for the world is an Islamic state”. And maybe the IS is following this game to get something for themselves. And the IS might know that it is just a matter of time until NATO in alliance with Kurdistan attacks the same Islamists, with whom they are pretending an inability to militarily cope with (which is especially an obvious fact).

What was a friendly meeting with Senator McCain future leaders ISIL in May 2013, when today, all NATO alliance have not a bigger problem than ISIL defeat?

And is not there something strange in the fact that NATO, daring to engage Russia, is losing with some ISIL and to help against IS mobilizes and supports the Kurds? It reminds me very much of the support of the fascists in Ukraine. Turkey so far, as well as Ukraine had quite normal life – whether it was any pipeline in question, Turkey has always had links to the Russian source so to Iranian. The focal point of supply to Turkey is town Ceyhan, a city with finished transit routes from the Middle East. City of Ceyhan is located on the Mediterranean Sea, and it is a short walk to the Syrian Allepa. So having dominated Ceyhan it would be enough to remove Assad from power and oil from Qatar and Saudi-Arabia can freely travel to Europe. Ceyhan lies on the same border line as the Syrian city of Kobani. This begs a question: Is an attack on Syrian Kobani way to get to Turkish Ceyhan and thereby control the border with Syria and Turkey to break the two obstacles in the way of the Middle East energy to Europe? Because why to wait for TANAP-TAP pipeline when you can cancel Turkey and Syria in its present form and establish Kurdistan on the part of their territories and the Middle East carbon path to Europe would almost be complete. And why do not send Qatar, Saudi-Arabian and Israeli carbon to Europe just by getting rid off Assad, take advantage of Ceyhan city and the route to Europe would almost be finished. What it is really all about is Kobani and Ceyhan and the Syrian-Turkish border.

Here is also a video where you can again see the map of ISIL operations around Kobani and you can hear Pentagon stating that American air strikes can not save Kobani from its takeover of the government of ISIL, although there are unspeakable crimes against humanity waiting for the people in this country, until ISIL wins.

Syria, Iran and Turkey know about the plan since 2006

Now I have to return to the very beginning and recall a video, in which Wesley Clark, in 2007, delivered his speech “Seven countries within five years.” Here is a link [here ], and this time I suggest time at around 5:55, where W. Clark says, “And that’s why we collapsing in Iraq. Because Syria and Iran are aware of this plan ”

I do not know what motives led W. Clark, the former Pentagon’s slave, to his speech. There might really be a change in his heart and he really meant it. But his speech raises doubts about the fact that it was delivered a year after maps from 2006 to redraw the borders of the Middle East leaked to the public. These maps also reached Turkey leaving it in a deep shock.

Here are the maps plotting the borders of the Middle East Before and After:

See that Kurdistan that has taken a part of Turkey, Syria and Iraq? And who entire NATO is helping fight ISIS?

The US dollar is rejoicing prematurely

If Syria, Iran and Turkey know the plan from 2006, s Russia certainly knows about it. And quite possibly ISIL leaders also know about it. So we created a classic situation where two are fighting and the third can laugh. The US want to defeat Russia and want to remove her from the position of a global player. And how else then through the energy resources. To do this, the US needs to not only push Russia out of energy markets, but also own a maximum of world energy resources. Why, it’s simple; whoever wants to buy oil and gas, they must first buy the US dollar. Because there is no other way of self-preservation of the USA that it is being threaten by a total bankruptcy. For its plans to work the US need to dominate the whole of Europe economically, so that Europe could only trade with the US (it is almost done) and energetically so it wholly depends on the resources under the US control – whether it’s American-Canadian shale, or Caspian or Middle Eastern source. The ideal would be if China has also become dependent on energy for dollars.

Thus weakened ruble and Putin’s resignation from South Stream is flowing blood into the veins of the petrodollar, but it has not won yet. Majdan in Ukraine finished by connecting Crimea to Russia – a biggest upset of the plan. A Majdan in Turkey is currently evolving in such a direction that a country with the second largest army in NATO is not only helpful to ISIL, but wants to recognize the state that already controls most of the Middle Easte energy resources and get it on its side. At the same time Turkey is increasingly leading friendlier negotiations with Russia – and the media commented that Erdogan meeting with Putin is an event comparable only with Crimea-Russia reunification. Well why not? Turkey is in the same situation as Ukraine and the color of the Black Sea got a completely different shade after Putin was received with royal honors in Turkey.

Unfortunately what that means for the world is anything other than that the US will resort to harsher means than the nazification of Ukraine, Kurdistan or muslimification of Europe or the Middle East to achieve their goals. And Putin will resist. And it looks like Turkey will defend itself too. The war to save the petrodollar is already on the way and USA are playing vabanque with the world. And stupid Europe is helping the very third time in its history.

Let’s follow the developments surrounding Kobani and Ceyhan and watch not only Russian, but also Turkey’s attitude. If the country with the second strongest army in NATO decided instead to ally with artificially created enemy of the US and even link up with Russia, there is truly a global Majdan ahead. But what else could be expected from a desperado before bankruptcy the USA is. One American editor in his article, among others, writes: “If the US knew another way to keep global power than war, would long ago have used it. But because of having Russia weakened and China controlled so it develops just as much as it is allowed, no other option exists than the full control over the world’s energy resources and having the NATO bases closest to the Russian and Chinese border. As a result the world stands before the great world war to maintain the petrodollar’s hegemony. Do you need oil or gas, buy a dollar otherwise forget it. And this is true and especially for Europe, which is fully subdued into the USA services.

The whole situation is very reminiscent of the world after the crash on the NY Stock Exchange in 1929 and subsequent WW II. Even then, the US joined with anyone – Stalin and Hitler promoting genocide from both sides and would eventually join the winner. And today – Christians, Muslims, Jews fight again, the USA needs it!

And finally have a look at the last map [ here ], and notice the position of Israel. It is done in the USA, Europe and Africa and what remains is to control just a little bit of the world on that map. All the “conspiracy” talking about Greater Israel and the Anglo-American-Zionist connection might not seem to be a conspiracy whatsoever.

The purpose of the article is not the view of the Islamists, Kurds and others. The purpose is to illustrate how one country makes what they want of the whole world. And it uses the very same script all the time: “Make the problem and then solve the problem?” or “Use a kick out when used up” until in the finals we are all victims. The main purpose of this article is to show how all the world events are just pebbles in the mosaic of one global power. May God save the world.

Using resources [ here ] and [ here ]

December 29, 2014 – Addition of two very related information:

1) After the collapse of South Stream on December 8 Turkey and Russia agreed to build a pipeline between the two countries, Gazprom already setting up companies for its construction. Meanwhile nameless pipeline is already partially done. Freshly-based company Gazprom Russkaia just lay pipelines along the bottom of the Black Sea and stretch it to Turkey to Greek border. (Black Sea, it again takes on new importance because this probably would not be liked)

2) The title “The fighting in Iraq to help the independence of Kurdistan and the foreign oil companies” – Kurdistan in the last three years (!) has concluded a number of contracts with foreign oil companies, including Exxon Mobil, Total and Chevron oil, and despite the fact that Baghdad is fundamentally against. Kurdistan has managed to prepare large quantities of oil for export using trucks and tankers despite the statement of Baghdad that these are illegal activities. The pipeline for export is now complete and millions of barrels over it were sent to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan , still not for sale. Tankers, containing 2 million barrels of Kurdish oil, waiting for buyers who are afraid to buy because Baghdad wants to sue anyone who buys this oil. The Kurds have an estimated 45 billion oil and planning to export 400,000 barrels per day ” . A richest deposits are around the city of Kirkuk, which is to become part of Kurdistan

– Observer –

Form an original published by AE News:

http://aeronet.cz/news/sedm-zemi-do-peti-let-a-americky-dolar-vstava-z-mrtvych-ukrajina-splnila-ucel-isil-dobyva-irak-a-syrii-prave-dobyva-strategickou-kobani-turecko-dela-mrtveho-brouka-kurdistan-se-raduje-jeste-mu/

Another US Warship Moving Towards the Black Sea

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As a group of lawmakers in the Russian Duma call upon Russian oil and gas producers to ditch the “dirty, bloody dollar,” another US warship is now moving toward the Black Sea. The following is from Stars and Stripes:

A U.S. Navy warship is on its way to the Black Sea as part of the ongoing response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, State Department officials said.

In the immediate aftermath of Russia’s takeover of Crimea, the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun sailed into the Black Sea, where it conducted exercises with the Bulgarian and Romanian navies, practicing basic maneuvers and drills.

However, the Truxtun left the Black Sea March 21 to continue its scheduled deployment as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, currently in the Middle East. A new Navy warship in the Black Sea would be a replacement for the Truxtun, said officials.

The U.S. Navy would not confirm which ship it would be sending into the area. But two destroyers — the USS Donald Cook and the USS Ramage — are currently in the vicinity, taking part in an exercise in the eastern Mediterranean with the Greek and Israeli navies.

“We are making plans to meet the intent vocalized by (U.S. and NATO officials) to lay out a sustainable maritime presence in the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, but we do not have anything to announce at this time,” said Capt. Gregory Hicks of the U.S. European Command. He said the Navy routinely operates ships in the Black Sea to demonstrate U.S. commitment to working closely with allies in the region.

In addition to the US Naval presence in the Black Sea, NATO has recently begun stepping up military exercises in eastern Europe, increasing air patrols over Baltic states bordering Russia while at the same time drafting measures to send additional NATO troops and equipment to the area. The moves have prompted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to ask for an explanation.

“We have addressed questions to the North Atlantic military alliance. We are not only expecting answers, but answers that will be based fully on respect for the rules we agreed on,” Lavrov told reports at a joint briefing with Kazakhstan’s FM Yerlan Idrisov.

However, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he had not received any questions from Moscow. In response he called Russian accusations about NATO’s actions “propaganda and disinformation.”

Russia has responded to the moves by recalling its top military representative to NATO.

Lavrov also commented on the US Navy’s deployment of ships to the Black Sea, saying that it violates the Montreux Convention, an international agreement signed in 1936 that restricts passage through the Bosporus Straits of naval ships not belonging to Black Sea states.

“US warships have recently extended their presence in the Black Sea several times,” he said, “This extension didn’t always obey the rules of the Montreux Convention.”

Meanwhile, a Russian lawmaker is reportedly drafting a bill that would ban the US dollar in Russia and is urging Russian oil and gas producers to immediately stop trading in it.

“The dollar is evil,” said Mikhail Degtyaryov of the conservative nationalist party LDPR. “It is a dirty green paper stained with blood of hundreds of thousands of civilian citizens of Japan, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Korea and Vietnam.”

The dollar is certainly stained with blood, but you’ll notice that Degtyaryov in his statement made no mention of deaths of civilians in Occupied Palestine. It appears that some in Russia are not fully aware who is behind all this (and coincidentally Israel has been strangely silent on the issue of Ukraine). Perhaps they should read my article, World Jewry vs. Russia.

Do you get the feeling that powerful Jews are playing the US and Russia off against each other? Russia has been the single biggest obstacle to Israeli territorial expansion in the Middle East. If the NATO member states and Russia fight a deadly, destructive war with each other, who, besides the global bankers, would stand to be the main beneficiary?

Are there leaders in Russia who really believe the Jewish state is their friend?

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