Sitrep: China. Is. Dead. Serious.

October 04, 2021

Escalation?  Continuation of “Sitrep : China. Is. Dead. Serious.”

By Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

China will not be conquered again, even if every last Chinese has to join the fight.

In the past four days, China has sent first 28, then 29 fighters and bombers near Taiwan. (Taiwan itself reports different numbers). Then, the US announced on Sunday that this is provocative. So, China called the statement irresponsible and sent a massive number of 59 fighters and bombers near Taiwan in a ‘take that!’ move.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1235639.shtml

But first, why would China militarily get involved in Taiwan, as it is their own territory under the 1992 Consensus for “one-China”? Taiwan is clearly China’s internal affair.  What are their red lines?

  • Taiwan declaring a flash independence (they cannot really because they are umbilically connected to the mainland)
  • Internal turmoil inside Taiwan as we saw in Hong Kong
  • Taiwan may make a non-legal military alliance with another country
  • And any violation of the 1992 consensus.

None of these conditions are currently present, but we will need expert advice on the 1992 consensus. I do not know de jure how close Taiwan is to that red line. De facto the Taiwan announcement that they are preparing for war is completely provocative.

Currently China is not threatening, she is using her air force to deliver very strong warnings that the conditions are approaching red lines.

Lets look at Global Times. Bear in mind that the Global Times is not a bullhorn for Chinese people. It is for the dissemination of information to western people. That is its function. 

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1235638.shtml

The Take Aways are:

– Time to warn Taiwan secessionists and their fomenters: war is real:

“The secessionist forces on the island will never be allowed to secede Taiwan from China under whatever names or by whatever means, and, the island will not be allowed to act as an outpost of the US’ strategic containment against China. “

– “The strategic collusion between the US and Japan and the DPP authorities is becoming more audacious, and the situation across the Taiwan Straits has almost lost any room for maneuver teetering on the edge of a face-off, creating a sense of urgency that the war maybe triggered at any time.”

Sunday, further Global times writing appeared, by a GT voice, warning the EU (GT voice should indicate to us that this is unified among the Chinese people).

EU warned not to play with fire on Taiwan question. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202109/1235387.shtml

The Take Aways are:

– China will reconsider the European trade agreement.

“If the EU simply wants to develop normal economic and trade relations with the Taiwan island, its unusual emphasis on the latter’s role in its Indo-Pacific strategy should be viewed with suspicion. Some European politicians may think that playing the “Taiwan card” will draw more attention and could help pressure the mainland to make more concessions. But confusing the right and the wrong on China’s bottom line is a dead end.

The Chinese mainland’s position on the Taiwan question remains clear and resolute. All exchanges with the island must be handled in strict accordance with the one-China principle. They cannot exceed the scope of normal nonofficial cooperation and exchange.”

So, this is where we stand in this face-off and more analysis will follow.

October 05, 2021

Escalation? Continuation of “Sitrep : China. Is. Dead. Serious.”

by Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

Continuation of “Sitrep : China. Is. Dead. Serious.”

Let’s take a look at what China overcame in our near history.

  • The NED and similar organizations’ sponsored “Color Revolutions” in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang all collapsed. We can also be sure that this escalation that we see now is not really about Taiwan. Taiwan is playing its role, like the dissidents in Hong Kong did.
  • The Trump Trade War collapsed and his focus on tariffs is now taking a tremendous toll on the US West Coast Ports.
  • The western propaganda war on China is collapsing because of the efforts of blogs like The Saker Blog and many others that took up writing about this.
  • The economic war is collapsing. For this, we have to follow Michael Hudson who details the butt-hurt Soros types who cannot make China dance to their tune. China has done massive work so that they do not have monopolies and internal destabilization by ‘too big to fail types’.
  • The return of Meng Wanzhou as a figure of national pride, which was a very delicate operation if one follows all of the plane routes during the sensitive exchange. Meng was exchanged for two worthless Canadian spies. There is another theory and this is that Canada tumbled to pay back the US for not including them in AUKUS.
  • The idea that the Chinese are not soldiers. They are that now because they have to be. * More about this following.

Let’s see what China gained in our near history

  • The pride, persistence, and trust of the citizens.
  • Major developments in space, like their own space station (slated to be a launching platform for? For what really? I do not know but the west has declared space a warfighting domain.) Most nations are welcome to come and hook up their own module, but the western world is not. This is a little payback for not allowing Chinese astronauts on the international space station.
  • A top US general, Milley, is so fearful of China that he called his counterpart in the late days of the Trump administration and told them that the US will not attack. (General Miley called to deliver a madman message–we have a madman at the helm and he may send nukes your way, so don’t do anything to give him an excuse. The poor general also had to deliver a contradicting message–at the same time, America is not falling apart; everything is hunky-dory and the well-oiled machine is running smoothly. ) (I know this has been taken out of perspective by almost everyone, but I am thankful, no matter that he may be a sniveling idiot. He did the rest of the world a favor).
  • China is in the process of destroying the dollar hegemony slowly but surely with Russia already having done its part and divesting from the dollar in their sovereign wealth fund. This deserves an analysis all by itself. Needless to say, China is launching its digital Renminbi, or Digital Currency Electronic Payment, commonly referred to as E-CNY, a central bank digital currency issued by China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China. It is the first digital currency to be issued by a major economy. The digital RMB is legal tender and has equivalent value with other forms of CNY, such as bills and coins.
  • The fight against a virus called Covid.
  • China is now exceeding the US in almost all economic metrics, although they still refer to themselves as the 2nd major economy.

And at this stage, China makes major military flights near Taiwan.

A few statements:

  • China has no interest in military action against Taiwan
  • Taiwan has no real desire for military action against China (it would be somewhat like swatting a fly for China and will be over in an hour whichever method China chooses).
  • Here is Taiwanese Foreign Minister warning that his country is preparing for war with China.  He asks Australia for help and Australia’s 60 minutes distributes the war propaganda.
  • https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-04/taiwan-preparing-for-war-with-china/100511294.
  • Is the US interested in a war against China over Taiwan? We simply do not know.

What do we know?

Taiwan is a smaller copy of the economic miracle of China and there is no question of its economic success and high tech ability. But China mainland purchases over 40% of Taiwan’s production in both high-tech and agricultural products.

By studying Taiwan’s financial reports, MintPress has ascertained that the semi-autonomous island of 23 million people has, in recent years, given out millions of dollars to many of the largest and most influential think tanks in the United States.

It is then easy to conclude that with this revolving door, the US decided that Taiwan is an easy ingress to their hope for regime change in China itself (stated publicly by Mike Pompeo) and the AUKUS deal started the new range of increased provocations: It looks like any of the old color revolution tactics or initiatives, just now with an added threat.

This one, could end up in a hot war with both Russia and China.

Taiwan will not have a referendum for independence, because independence is not a done deal for the Taiwanese people. The ruling class fears that such a referendum will not be successful. We all know the ‘call to democracy’ and we all know that this is invoked over and over by hegemonic powers to justify their own excesses. Well today, Taiwan’s Tsai is invoking ‘a call to democracy’ via an article in Foreign Affairs Magazine. China is not impressed as she knows as well as you and I, what that really means. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1235658.shtml

China’s interest is peace and security in the region, which is now being called Indo-Pacific. Martyanov says this terminology is hegemon speak, and I’m inclined to agree with him. It used to be Asia Pacific. I so hope someone can draw me the borders (even a dash line) where the Indo pacific and the Asia Pacific exists. Wikipedia, instead of being obscurantist as usual, this time gives the plot away.

The term first appeared in academic use in oceanography and geopolitics. Scholarship has shown that the “Indo-Pacific” concept circulated in Weimar Germany, and spread to interwar Japan. German political oceanographers envisioned an “Indo-Pacific” comprising anticolonial India and republican China, as German allies, against “Euro-America”.[2] Since 2010s, the term “Indo-Pacific” has been increasingly used in geopolitical discourse. It also has “symbiotic link” with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad”, an informal grouping of in the region, comprising Australia, Japan, India, and the United StatesIt has been argued that the concept may lead to a change in popular “mental maps” of how the world is understood in strategic terms. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Pacific

Martyanov says that the US has clear dominance in submarine capability and he also says that escalation is something that is very hard to predict. Here we see escalation toward war, with the US using probably the only card that they have to play, trying to kick off an ocean-wide domination conflict on the shipping lanes of communications, with probably the only weapon that they have left, submarines to try and consolidate at least something of US economy and influence across the world. Right here the issue of escalation becomes complex. Russia will not stand out of this and what happens when the Zircons start flying? How soon until Japan, Australia and Taiwan are demolished? We will leave this here for professional analysts to opine.

With that as a backdrop, let’s return to China, specifically the general belief that the Chinese are not born soldiers. That is true, yet the difference is that they prefer to solve problems non-kinetically. (Which is 100% fine with me!) But, they have other abilities, one of which is that they do not give up. The Saker has often said that morale is the greatest weapon of a military force. In this case, I would add to that: preparedness. Again Martyanov said that this thinking on the dominance of sea-lanes is not new. Well, China knows that as well, and they have prepared.

Every school child and university student in China now goes through military training. For the school kids, it is part of the initiative by the Chinese leaders to relieve the school kids from absurd requirements for STEM learning and to get them outside to take part in healthy play and strengthen them physically.

Every city has a local militia and they are armed to the teeth and drill and practice continually. This alone is estimated at 1 million feet on the ground (from Chinese sources).

If kinetic action breaks out in their own backyard, they have the numbers and home team advantage.

Following are some comments from our China correspondents. I don’t have the necessary 2 sources plus another for these, but I put them here to give you an idea of the chat.

China is known to be able to set together production lines very quickly. In these comments, this one is comical and says that China is mass producing nuclear warheads like they crank out paper lanterns. The only thing on earth that is faster is the US money machine.

It may be a comical comment, but the underlying issue here is that the average Chinese person has no doubt that China will, and is able to build whatever is necessary, any war materiel of any kind, to withstand kinetic action.

Is this meaningful in discussing this escalation? I would say yes.

More comments:

If you think a war against China (and Russia – we have to call in Russia at this stage) will be a perpetual war, kindly think again. This is not a win or a lose – it is total destruction of the one that fires the first shot or shoots the first missile or positions the first submarine to destabilize sea-lanes.

This represents the average Chinese and their chat and it is not the type of barroom soldier chat. These are ordinary people.

China is a merit nation and very serious. One can expect precision and ruthlessness. You may want to believe that the Chinese are not born warriors or you may want to believe that they cannot innovate. You can believe what you want, but take a look at these comments:

They do not believe in surgical strikes should anyone attack them. They believe in pounding the source of the attack and whatever is around it, into oblivion. They have their own history as a template.

Btw, does this remind you of the Russians, who said that any strike on Russia will not only take out the strike, but also the platform where the strike comes from? The interaction between Russia and China militarily has grown tremendously as well, but again, this is another analysis.

I expect full-on military readiness as the Chinese military has been on a readiness footing for about a year now.

An outstanding question is how unified Asia is around China. Again we come up against Martyanov’s principle of escalation and this is really difficult to predict.

There is the old saying that goes like this: Do not march on Moscow!. We need to add one. Do not militarily threaten Baba Beijing!. It does not matter how for how long, they do not count their own possible dead, but they will stay the course.

Can we hope for level heads in Washington DC? Realism tells us that we have to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. China is doing that.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s news conference to sum up the high-level meetings week at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 25, 2021

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s news conference to sum up the high-level meetings week at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 25, 2021

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4867149

Question: Which opportunities and risk factors does the new Taliban’s Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan present? Does Russia fear that the presence of Taliban could somehow feed Islamic extremism in the region? If so, what can be done?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, Afghanistan is now on everyone’s mind. We believe, and we did believe from the outset, that what has happened there is a reality. Unfortunately, the hasty pull-out, let’s call it this way, by the United States and other NATO countries of their troops was carried out without any consideration of the consequences. As you are aware, many weapons were left behind in Afghanistan. We all need to see to it that these weapons do not serve any unconstructive purposes.

The reality on the ground is based on statements made by the Taliban who proclaimed their commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism, including ISIS and Al-Qaeda, not to project instability on their neighbours. They committed themselves to respecting women’s rights and to creating an inclusive government. You know all this. What matters the most at the moment is that they fulfil their promises.

The first step to form a transitory government structure fails to reflect the whole gamut of the Afghan society in its ethnic, religious and political diversity. We remain engaged with the Taliban, and these contacts have been continuing for several years now. We are doing this, inter alia, within the expanded troika of Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan. Only recently, Russian, Chinese and Pakistani representatives travelled to Doha, and after that they visited Kabul where they engaged with the Taliban, as well as with representatives of the secular authorities. I am referring to former President Hamid Karzai and former Head of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah. These contacts primarily focused on the need to form a genuinely representative government structure. The Taliban claim to be moving in this direction, and the current architecture is only temporary. What matters the most is to make sure that they keep the promises that they made in public. For us, the top priority is precisely what you just mentioned: it is unacceptable that extremism spills over into neighbouring countries, and the terrorist threat must not persist on Afghan soil. We will do everything we can to support the Taliban in their determination, as you have said, to fight ISIS and other terrorist groups, and to try to make sure that this determination paves the way to some practical progress.

Question: Does Russia consider easing or lifting its national sanctions against the Taliban members who become part of the new Afghan government in order to facilitate contacts with them? What position will Russia take during UN talks on easing or lifting sanctions against the Taliban?

Sergey Lavrov: As things stand at the moment, nothing is restraining or hindering our contacts with the Taliban. Moreover, the UN Security Council sanctions, as set forth in the corresponding resolutions, are not preventing us from engaging in such contacts. On the contrary, UN Security Council resolutions stipulate the need to advance a political process, and without working together with the Taliban this is impossible.

We have been engaged in contacts with this movement for some years now, and these contacts have been primarily geared towards ensuring the safety ofr Russian nationals, facilitating intra-Afghan reconciliation and political process. I have not heard any suggestions within the UN Security Council about the need to ease or lift international sanctions at one of the forthcoming meetings. There is no need for this for us to be able to engage with the Taliban movement at this stage.

We all expect the Taliban to honour all the good-minded promises they made. For this reason, we will see whether the terrorist and drug trafficking threats are actually eliminated.

Question: The UN Secretary-General has warned of disastrous consequences of a putative economic collapse in Afghanistan. What do you think about the idea to unfreeze Afghan assets held by international organisations?

It appears from your remarks that your policy is to judge the Taliban by their deeds. In what way does the Taliban ideology differ from that of other Islamic groups in other parts of the world, such as the groups in Syria, which you are opposing and showering with bombs?

Sergey Lavrov: Syria, as you may know, is where the seat of terrorism is located. Practically the entire Syrian territory has been liberated, but the so-called de-escalation zone in Idlib province is under the sway of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an offspring of Jabhat al-Nusra. All the UN Security Council resolutions point out the nature of these terrorist organisations. I see no problem here from the point of view of destroying the terrorists in Syria.

We are holding talks with our Turkish partners, who signed with us, a couple of years ago now, a special agreement whereby they undertook to fight terrorists in the Idlib de-escalation zone and to separate them from armed groups that are not terrorist ones and to cooperate with the Turkish military. In just a few days from now, President of Russia Vladimir Putin will have yet another meeting with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The presidents will thoroughly analyse how this commitment is being implemented. It is being implemented at a rather slow pace. This is obvious.

As for the Taliban and comparisons between them and other groups, we cannot divide the terrorists into good guys and bad guys. There is a sufficient number of exemptions from sanctions imposed on the Taliban. This has been made on purpose to enable [the international community] to have a dialogue with them. It means that the UN Security Council recognises the Taliban as an inalienable part of Afghan society, which, for Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham are not. This is what makes the difference.

We will induce those who have seized power in Kabul following the flight of the foreign contingents to behave in a civilised way.

We have mentioned the unfreezing of the assets. We think that this matter should be given a practical consideration from the positions you have mentioned in quoting the UN Secretary-General.

Question: The Taliban Government have decided on the candidacies for their ambassador to Russia. Will Russia be prepared to issue an agreement to people proposed by the Taliban?

Sergey Lavrov: We have no information of anyone applying to us for an agrement. Serving in Moscow today is the ambassador appointed by the previous government. No one is urging an international recognition of the Taliban. We will proceed precisely from this principle if and when we receive a request regarding the appointment of a new ambassador.

Question: We have heard US President Joe Biden’s statement. He said that the period of relentless war has ended, and that the era of relentless diplomacy has been ushered in. Do you believe this?

What about Russia’s diplomatic property? Has there been any progress?

Even some of the members of the delegation had problems with their visas, let alone the fact that there was a danger that the Russian delegation would not be allowed into the UN General Assembly because of the vaccination requirements, with vaccines that were approved in the United States. Are they just trying to annoy us whenever they can?

Sergey Lavrov: I do not think that this is an attempt to annoy us in any way. Most likely they are just a bit at a loss over the resumption of in-person UN General Assembly meetings. I cannot blame the New York authorities for being overly cautious. This is a serious event, and a lot of people come here from all around the world. There are quite a few different variants of the virus already, so safety measures do not hurt.

It is another question, as you have so rightly put it, that we do not accept any attempts to discriminate against vaccines that are not registered in the United States but have proven time and again to be effective. Sputnik V is a case in point. Several EU countries, for example, Hungary and Slovakia, have approved our vaccines, and this should serve as an example for other EU and NATO members.

As for visas for our delegation, apart from the epidemiological situation, the delay in the granting of visas was obviously caused by political considerations. We have seen through this. A number of our employees have yet to obtain their visas, including State Duma members who are part of the delegation. We will see to it that the UN Secretariat leadership fulfils its duties as to ensuring compliance with all the provisions of the agreement between the UN and the United States, the headquarters host country. Instances of flagrant violation of this agreement and repeated failures to comply with the UN headquarters host country commitments have been piling up, including the confiscation of diplomatic property, as you have just mentioned. The UN Committee on Relations with the Host Country has said that this is unacceptable and wrong. The Secretary-General should have launched arbitration proceedings against the actions by the United States several years ago. We had a meeting yesterday, and I reminded him of this fact. I was glad that his Legal Counsel, Miguel de Serpa Soares, was present at this meeting, since it is his duty to initiate these steps. They have been long overdue.

United States President Joe Biden said that the United States will no longer use force to change regimes abroad. “Never say never,” as the saying goes. We have seen how the Donald Trump administration pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal that was concluded by the Barack Obama administration. Now that talks on fully restoring the JCPOA to settle the situation around the Iranian nuclear programme are underway, one of the questions the Iranians are asking the Americans is whether the agreement to restore this plan can include a clause binding future administrations to respect it? The Americans say that they cannot do this, since this is how their system works. International law is one thing, but their law is a nose of wax, and can be twisted about any way they so desire.

United States President Joe Biden said that an era of “relentless diplomacy” has been ushered in. This means that the Americans will seek to impose on other countries what they deem right for them by other means. This could include colour revolutions. They do not require any use of force, but are equally destructive. Just look at Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine, our neighbour.

We want the United States to make the next step and move beyond the commitment not to use force for reshaping other countries by actually refraining from doing this altogether. They must recognise that we are all different. We have different cultural, civilisational roots, but we share the same planet and must respect each other.

Question: According to our information, preparations for Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria’s Nuland’s visit to Moscow are underway. Where do these talks stand at this point? Can you give us a timeline for the visit? What does Moscow expect to receive in response to the temporary lifting of restrictions from someone who is on Russia’s black list?

Sergey Lavrov: If you have sources of information that let you know about this, I encourage you to ask them this question. The Foreign Ministry and the US State Department are working on a number of contacts. This is not the only matter under discussion.

When both parties decide on a date for contact to take place in order to discuss a specific issue, we will make a corresponding announcement.

Question: I have a question about the JCPOA. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that swift action is needed, because we are running out of time. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said yesterday that they were ready for that. They appear to be receiving mixed signals from the United States, but they should come up with an agreement soon. You were involved in making this deal happen. As a negotiator, have you any idea what will happen if the United States does not return to the agreement and Iran continues its nuclear programme? What is the worst-case scenario?

Sergey Lavrov: Iran is not doing anything illegal, because it is complying with the Non-Proliferation Treaty and an additional protocol to a comprehensive safeguards agreement. Iran is not complying with most of its obligations included in the JCPOA which are now not binding, because the Americans have destroyed the agreement.

The issue is about restoring it in full so that Iran has no reason to make exceptions to its commitments. The IAEA, including in the person of its Director General, is in contact with the Iranians. They have a complete picture of what is happening there. They are not being denied access to the work that Iran is doing as part of its nuclear programme. The IAEA has no reason to believe that the 2015 findings to the effect that there were no signs of the nuclear programme being re-oriented towards military needs have become outdated. They have no reason to revise these findings. They speak about this explicitly.

Of course, we want the talks on the full restoration of the JCPOA to resume as soon as possible. But, first, the government in Iran has just been formed. They say they will need a week or two (hopefully not more) to put together their negotiating team. There have been personnel changes. Second, when the United States withdrew from the JCPOA, Iran, for over a year, had been conscientiously complying  with its commitments under this document in hope that the United States would come to its senses and return to the deal. Of all people, our counterparts in Washington are not in a position to say that time is up. Indeed, it was carried out by the administration which is now gone, but this is the legacy of the current administration, especially since the JCPOA is its brainchild. It is only fair that it deliver bold action in addressing all related issues.

There are also sanctions that the US has illegally imposed on Iran, allegedly for violating the JCPOA. But the sanctions concern not just Iran. They have also imposed sanctions on everyone who carry out legal trade with Iran, including the supply of military products, which are no longer subject to a ban. These sanctions must be lifted as part of the reinstatement of the JCPOA. And Iran’s trading partners across all areas of commercial exchange must not be affected by America’s unilateral move.

Question: Will Iran’s economy collapse if the JCPOA is not restored?

Sergey Lavrov: We are not even considering scenarios like that. There is serious hope and cautious optimism that we will be able to achieve a result. At least everyone wants it, including the United States and Iran.

Question: The calm in the northwest of Syria has changed with Russia’s intense airstrikes in recent weeks, particularly ahead of the summit between President Erdogan and President Putin. Why is Russia stepping up its attacks just ahead of this summit?

And another question on Syria as well. Is there an agreement or consensus between Russia and the US following the meeting between the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and US National Security Council Coordinator Brett McGurk, which took place in Geneva? Thank you.

Sergey Lavrov: We are using force in northwestern Syria in conformity with the requirements contained in UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which provides for an uncompromising struggle against terrorism in Syria.

I have mentioned that there was a special agreement on Idlib between President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Our Turkish colleagues have committed themselves to separating the normal and sensible opposition forces from the terrorists. This should have been done long ago. So far, this has not happened. There is slow progress, but the threats of terrorism from the militants in the Idlib de-escalation zone are constantly renewed. These people are attacking the positions of the Syrian army and have repeatedly tried to launch strike drones to attack the Russian Khmeimim Air Base.

Our Turkish friends are well aware that we will not put up with this behaviour and with these militants’ attitude to the role performed by the Turkish military in the Idlib de-escalation zone. We will have detailed discussions as part of preparations for the presidential meeting. The September 29 summit will focus on ways to achieve what we have agreed upon and prevent the terrorists from ruling the roost.

As for contacts with the US regarding the right bank of the Euphrates, they are held periodically. We draw their attention to the fact that the US presence in Syria is illegitimate, to the outrageous situation in the 55-kilometre zone called Al-Tanf, which they have occupied, and to the situation at the Rukban camp located in the US-controlled territory. This is a long story.

The contacts taking place between the foreign ministries and the security councils are mostly about the fact that the Americans are present [in Syria] illegally, illegitimately, but they are there.  This is the reality. Given their tendency to fire all their guns with or without reason, we are negotiating the so-called deconflicting mechanism with them.   It is working. Let me draw your attention to the fact that it is functioning despite the legal bans on contacts between the militaries imposed by the US Congress. Not so long ago, the heads of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff officially announced that this was unreasonable and that the bans on military contacts should be lifted. I think this will do good both to the deconflicting process in Syria and our further arms dialogue as a whole.

Question: Turkey has expressed concerns about the voting in Crimea in the recent State Duma elections. This is despite the fact that Russia has provided humanitarian assistance for COVID-19 to Turkey, as well as military cooperation. My question is: could you address the imbalance, what is your analysis of the imbalance in relations?

Sergey Lavrov: Turkey was not the only one to voice “concerns” or “denounce” the vote in Crimea. I can give you two explanations for this “commotion.” First, five years ago, when the previous State Duma elections were held, no one made any statements of this kind, at least not that strong. Had this been the case, I would have remembered it, but no such thing occurred.

However, now they are pouncing on this issue, including the hectic efforts to convene the so-called Crimea Platform in Kiev, and all the commotion around the election. I think that this is an attempt to divert attention from the fact that Kiev, under President Vladimir Zelensky’s leadership, has shamefully failed to honour its commitments under the Minsk Agreements on overcoming the intra-Ukrainian conflict in the east of the country. It is obvious. The adopted laws have been a de-facto obstacle to granting southeastern Ukraine the status required under the Minsk Agreements.

We drew the attention of our German and French colleagues, as well as the European Union to the fact that their “clients” are negating UN Security Council resolutions, because it was the Security Council that approved the Minsk Agreements. Unfortunately, they are all bashfully looking the other way, while President Vladimir Zelensky understood that all he needed to do was divert attention from his own failures and the fact that the Minsk Agreements were sabotaged. Therefore, they are now playing the Crimean card.

A lack of professionalism in foreign policy is the second reason why they are doing this. Professionals know all too well that the Crimea question is closed once and for all.

Question: My second question is regarding Mali. France has expressed concern about the presence of military contractors from Russia in Mali. They are now being joined by their European allies speaking about this concern. My question is: what is Russia’s position on this?

Sergey Lavrov: I have heard these questions. Foreign Minister of France Jean-Yves Le Drian, and EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, have raised them with me.

Mali currently has a transitional government. Those authorities are undertaking efforts to restore the constitutional order, prepare elections and return to civilian rule. The elections are scheduled to take place in February under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union.

Mali’s transitional government has emphasised its commitment to international obligations and is combatting terrorism. It has called upon a private Russian military company because, to my understanding, France intends to substantially reduce its military presence there, and these troops were tasked with fighting terrorists entrenched in the north, in an area called Kidal. But they did not succeed, and terrorist are still in control there.

The Malian authorities considered their own capabilities insufficient without support from abroad, but those who had promised to eliminate terrorism in this country decided to draw down their presence. So they went to a Russian private military company. We have nothing to do with this. This activity is legal and consists of a relationship between the host country, which is a legitimate government recognised by everyone as a legitimate transitional structure, on the one hand, and those offering their services as foreign experts.

Let me emphasise that apart from private military companies, the Russian state has been making its own contribution to ensuring Mali’s defence capability and combat readiness for eliminating the terrorist threat and other threats. We do this by supplying military equipment as part of our assistance. We also work within the UN Security Council to devise the best approaches to further peacebuilding efforts.

I do not see any reason to question this. Yesterday I had a meeting with Mali’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Abdoulaye Diop, who talked to the press on this matter. There are no questions here. In fact, the problem lies elsewhere. Our colleagues from the European Union, as Josep Borrell told me, are asking us to stop working in Africa altogether, because this is “their place.” It would be better for the EU and the Russian Federation to align their actions in fighting terrorism not only in Mali, but in the Sahara-Sahelian region in general. Claiming that “they were there first, so we must leave” is, first, an insult to the Bamako government that has invited its foreign partners, and second, it is not the way to treat anyone.

Question: Shortly before the Russian parliamentary elections, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the European Commission to refuse to recognise the results of the vote. Did you discuss this with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell? Will the EU recognise the results of the Russian State Duma elections?

Sergey Lavrov: We have not heard any assessments from the European Union proper because the European Parliament is not a body that determines EU policy. I spoke about this with Josep Borrell; I quoted some of the assessments made during his remarks in the European Parliament, including the absolutely unacceptable statements that the European Union distinguishes between “the regime” in Moscow and the Russian people.

He made some rather awkward and vague excuses. It was quite obvious that he realised the phrasing was lame at the very least. I hope that was just a phrase, not the idea. This happens. Sometimes we let something slip only to regret it later.

We have no information about anyone officially rejecting the results of our elections, which have just been announced.

Question: France calls for a review of the recent nuclear submarine deal between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom to verify its compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). What is your opinion on this matter? What do you generally think of this new triple alliance, which has created such a stir and runs counter to the partnership agreements in NATO and beyond?

Sergey Lavrov: This deal, signed immediately after the flight from Afghanistan, inevitably raises questions from the parties to these alliances. Probably, in addition to a commercial grievance, France is also thinking how reliable these alliances are and how this has increased the relevance of Europe’s strategic autonomy? These are big questions for the Western camp, and they have to address them.

We are not going to interfere in these matters. Yet, we might feel the consequences of what is happening there. This may affect our relations with the European Union, may spur the EU’s interest in cooperating with us, in using the obvious geopolitical and geostrategic advantages of being on one huge continent, especially since the global growth centre is shifting towards Asia.

I have discussed this with many participants here who represent the European Union and who do not like what is happening. Especially when the EU says they should “push back against, constrain, and engage” with Russia. I asked Josep Borrell how they were going to “engage with us,” exactly. Do you know what he answered? “Get out of Mali.” That is all there is to this policy, to this triad. That’s what it is worth. I am being honest. I do not think there is a violation of any ethical norms here because they are also talking about this publicly. I am just giving examples to illustrate their way of thinking.

As regards the Non-Proliferation Treaty, this matter is being discussed a lot on the sidelines in Vienna. The IAEA is responsible for the non-proliferation regime and for ensuring that nuclear research is not diverted to military needs. For a submarine, uranium must be enriched to 90 percent. This is weapons-grade uranium. We will probably have to ask for an IAEA expert review.

A similar attempt to develop such submarines by a non-nuclear country was made a few decades ago. The project was eventually scrapped then, and that settled the whole matter. But now, this deal has been signed. If the IAEA confirms it is in line with nuclear safety and non-diversion to military needs, there will be a queue for such submarines.

Question: In the lead up to the high-level week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a warning that the world might be drawn into a new vastly more dangerous cold war if the US and China fail to mend their completely collapsed relations. He called for the avoidance of a new confrontation at any cost, and also warned that it would be more dangerous than the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States and dealing with its aftereffects would be much more difficult. What does Russia have to say to these statements?

Sergey Lavrov: Make no mistake, we had this issue on our radar screen even before UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres mentioned it. We see that tensions in China-US relations are escalating. We are aware of who is “playing the first violin” in this not too pleasant turn of events. This worries us. Confrontational schemes do not help the people of our planet to live a normal life: be it the recently announced Indo-Pacific Strategy, which explicitly proclaimed containing China, including in the South China Sea, one of its main goals, or QUAD that was formed as part of these strategies, or, by the same token, the purported AUKUS “triple alliance,” the purpose of which is to help Australia contain the “Chinese threat.”

Yesterday and today, I met with a number of ministers representing ASEAN member countries and asked them how things were going. Talks are underway between China and ASEAN to draft a legally binding code of conduct in the South China Sea. Things are not moving fast, but this is the most reliable way to ensure freedom of navigation and everything else that worries our Western partners to the extent that they keep holding provocative and non-provocative naval manoeuvres and creating anti-Chinese geopolitical schemes. We stand for mutually respectful relations between the great powers that never escalate into a nuclear war. The presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden, confirmed the unacceptability of this at the Geneva summit. Any kind of war between nuclear powers is unacceptable, because the risks of it escalating into a nuclear conflict are enormous. Humanity has not come up with anything new in this regard. We must talk and strive to find a compromise and get along. As President Trump put it, we must “make a deal.” This is the right expression to use not only in business, but in politics as well. Politics is needed to create a proper environment for normal life, rather than for someone to promote their ambitions, so that everyone agrees that they are “the coolest guy on Earth.” This is obvious to normal people. Great powers must act responsibly with regard to their people and the rest of humanity.

President Putin proposed holding a UN Security Council permanent members’ summit. The pandemic has delayed this work. We have resumed it now. We aim to come to an agreement with our partners from China and the three Western permanent members of the UN Security Council on specific issues which will then be included in the agenda, and on the format of discussions (we may start out online). Talks are the only way to resolve the issues at hand. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council must set an example to other countries.

Question: In connection with the withdrawal of foreign contingents – official and informal mercenaries – from Libya, disputes arose about over whether it would be better to withdraw them only after the elections, upon receipt of an official request from a new government. Some say this should take place before December 24 to ensure fair and legitimate elections. The spokesman for the Presidential Council said today that you highlighted two points at a meeting with Mohammed al-Menfi: the need for a settlement between the Libyan parties and the withdrawal of foreign troops. Does Russia think it should be done before or after the elections?

Sergey Lavrov: Before or after the elections is not a critical matter. Most importantly, the final document of the second International Conference on Libya held in Berlin in June reads as follows: all foreign armed people must leave Libya. Our Turkish colleagues made a reservation saying they had been invited there by the legitimate leadership in the person of the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj. However, the other part of Libyan society – the Tobruk Parliament – is no less legitimate. Both of these bodies were created under the Skhirat Agreement. The legitimate parliament along with the legitimate Libyan national army invited armed personnel, whom they have on their payroll, to come and join them from abroad. Concurrently, there were people who can be referred to as mercenaries. People are being transferred from Syria (to both sides), Chad and other African countries.

From the outset, the moment it came up in our discussions, we said that we were in favour of doing this. Considering that foreign military forces are on both sides of the Libyan confrontation, we must make sure that they move out in small groups and simultaneously, so as not to create a military advantage on one side at any point in time. A ceasefire has been observed in Libya for over a year now. No one should be tempted to think that they can return to military methods and try to use force to resolve that country’s problems.

Question: Is Russia facilitating the withdrawal of troops from Libya?

Sergey Lavrov: They should deal with this in their 5+5 commission. We are ready to help, but if they continue to address non-priority matters, there will be no elections on December 24, 2021. They have just adopted the legislative framework for the elections. Then the Parliament voted on the legitimacy of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh’s Government of National Unity. They need to be pushed towards an earnest discussion about how to live on. There are already speculations about whether the current leaders can run for office (reportedly, there was an agreement that they would not participate, but they want to). Our colleagues in the Secretariat are trying to create artificial difficulties when it comes to the format of the UN presence in Libya. They had better concentrate on fulfilling what we agreed on a year ago now. Nobody expected this. They should not be trying to change this to promote someone’s interests or advance hidden agendas.

Question: At what stage are the US-Russia strategic stability talks at the moment? As for nuclear weapons, what is Russia’s reaction to the recent missile launches in North and South Korea? What could work as an incentive for Kim Jong-un to return back to the negotiating table?

Sergey Lavrov: I heard that Pyongyang is sending signals about North Korea’s interest in normalising relations with South Korea. We have always stood for a direct dialogue between the North and the South. However, it was not always supported by the previous US administration, which wanted to control the process. I hope that in the new situation, the Biden administration will be ready to make more constructive steps to encourage the resumption of normal contacts between North and South Korea.

Missile launches don’t help. We noticed that this time, Seoul tried not to over-dramatise. I think this is the right thing to do. Once we begin to resort to public condemnation and strong rhetoric, this significantly reduces our incentives for diplomatic, professional, and calm dialogue. The final agreement can only be reached through confidential and quiet negotiations, rather than mutual recriminations through loudspeakers.

As regards the strategic stability talks with the United States, the first round took place in July. The second is due next week.

Question: As the UN General Assembly is meeting in New York, the Southern District Court in New York has again denied Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko’s appeal. He continues to be held in American dungeons, as does Viktor Bout. There have been occasional reports in the media about their possible exchange for Americans. Whose court is the ball in? How realistic is the exchange scenario?

Sergey Lavrov: It is difficult to make any predictions or promises on behalf of the United States. We have tried many times to change our citizens’ situation by invoking the Council of Europe Convention on Transfer of Sentenced Persons. The United States is a party to this Convention, just as we are. They categorically refuse to hear anything, including our arguments that both Yaroshenko and Bout (as well as a number of others) have been actually lured into a trap by provocations. They have been literally kidnapped, which is against the law. In Bout’s case, the Thai laws were violated – not all procedures were followed; with Yaroshenko, it was Liberia’s. There was also a case where they took Roman Seleznev in the Maldives in a gangster manner – they just put him on an aircraft and he was flown away. Nobody knew anything. Such methods of provoked attacks on our people are being used to achieve something. Either to persuade them to cooperate, or for some other reason. This is unacceptable.

About prisoner exchanges – Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden touched upon this matter in Geneva, among other things. They agreed that the respective Russian and US security services in charge of this matter will try to negotiate some mutually acceptable options. So far, we haven’t come to any agreement. The United States is only interested in getting its citizens back and does not seem to take our interests very seriously. They are interested in Paul Whelan, who is convicted of espionage. He was caught red-handed. This crime cannot be even compared with the reasons Yaroshenko and Bout got their sentences in excess of 20 years in prison. We are ready to talk. There are other American citizens as well. For some reason, they are not of interest to the administration in Washington. But talking is always better than not talking.

Question: On the JCPOA, the United States wants to discuss [inaudible] the Middle East. Will this be included into the JCPOA?  And on Syria, why doesn’t Damascus allow the UN to have humanitarian trips there? I know that there is a compromise made in the UN Security Council, but it does not seem to make sense. Does Syria or Damascus think that UN workers are Trojan horses?

Sergey Lavrov: Regarding the JCPOA, all we want is for it to resume without any preconditions. Attempts to add them as a requirement to expand the talks to include the Iranian missile programme or to discuss Iran’s “behaviour” in the region, as our Western colleagues say, have no future. This is like comparing apples and oranges. The agreement on the nuclear programme is a separate subject. If there are any concerns as to someone’s behaviour, Iran’s regional partners are not the only ones to have such concerns. Teheran has its own misgivings regarding them, which is totally normal for any region of the world.

The Persian Gulf countries engage in far-reaching foreign policy activities far beyond their regions. This must be taken into consideration. In this connection, we noted that many years ago Russia drafted a Collective Security Concept for the Persian Gulf region suggesting a dialogue inspired to some degree by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This included discussing confidence-building measures, military transparency and attending each other’s exercises, as well as engaging in positive joint projects. Political scientists from the region and other countries have already discussed this topic. In August 2021, we updated our collective security approach for the Persian Gulf region and released it as an official UN General Assembly and Security Council document. We believe that it is at a forum of this kind, and we hope that we will succeed in convening it, that we need to discuss concerns over the presence of missiles in this region, since Iran is not alone in this regard, and what kind of policies various parties follow. The conflict in Yemen is a case in point in terms of exposing the interests of Arab countries and Iran. There is a need to reach agreements. We believe that this forum should reach beyond the Gulf region. You cannot separate Iraq, Egypt and Jordan in terms of their engagement in shaping a new common platform for constructive dialogue. The Arab League, and the five permanent members of the UN Security must all be involved. Probably, the European Union will also be interested. We believe this approach to be concrete and realistic, at least I had the impression that our colleagues were interested in it. Yesterday, I met with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and they are interested in this topic. We agreed to make it a priority as we resume our ministerial contacts.

As for humanitarian aid to Syria, yesterday I had a lengthy conversation on this topic with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. We cannot be satisfied with a situation where double standards are being used in the most flagrant and blatant manner. There are six million refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, or maybe even more. In November 2020, Russia and 20 other countries helped Damascus hold a conference on refugees. It focused on creating conditions that would enable refugees to return home, which is what most of them want. The fact that the United States did everything to intimidate those who were expected to attend this conference in Damascus, and the fact that the UN did not take part in the conference was a real shock for us. In fact, the UN representative in Damascus was the only person representing the UN as an observer. At the time, I wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres saying that this amounted to a failure to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 that provides a framework for the UN’s activity on the Syrian track. It clearly stipulates efforts to facilitate humanitarian deliveries and creating conditions that would enable refugees to return to Syria.

Early in 2021, the European Union held an annual conference on Syrian refugees in Brussels, without the Syrian Arab Republic, but co-chaired by the EU and the UN Secretary-General. How perplexing. Not only was Syria not present, which is already a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, but the funds collected at the conference went towards paying for the accommodation of refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, instead of being used to restore infrastructure in Syria. For this reason, I ask those of our friends from the media who worry about ordinary people in conflict zones, to note that initiatives of this kind make a mockery of international humanitarian law.

We adopted the compromise resolution in July. It is true that it extends the so-called cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism for another six months, with deliveries primarily coming from Turkey to the Idlib de-escalation zone. However, considering that the West clings to this mechanism that has not been agreed with Damascus and runs counter to the international humanitarian law, we have every reason to believe that there is some kind of hidden agenda there. We do not get any information on what is in the lorries heading to the Idlib de-escalation zone. The UN swears that they inspect every lorry, but there is no way this can be verified. Even more so, no one knows how this aid or whatever these boxes contain is distributed in the Idlib de-escalation zone, or whether terrorists from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other unacceptable structures benefit from this aid.

Unless specific measures are taken to unblock humanitarian aid deliveries through Damascus, as required under international humanitarian law, we will put an end to this untransparent cross-border activity. Moreover, since the adoption of the resolution requiring that aid be sent into Syria through Damascus as well, there was only one convoy, and even it was far from complete. About half of the supplies that had been waiting to be delivered for almost a year could not reach their destination. The convoy organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross together with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent back in April 2020 remained where it was. Those who care about the starving population must, first, appeal to the Western countries that can influence this situation, and second, reach out to the UN leadership so that it complies with the relevant resolution. Apart from purely the humanitarian aspects, on assisting Syria and humanitarian deliveries, this resolution calls for the so-called early recovery projects, including water supply, electricity, housing, schools and healthcare. This must be done, and the UN Secretariat knows this. Syrians currently face so much hardship. Throughout the Syrian crisis the UN Secretariat did little to create conditions facilitating the return of refugees. However, the UN Security Council Resolution is there. It has been adopted unanimously, and has to be carried out.

Question: Yesterday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared that the Palestinians would withdraw their recognition of the State of Israel, if Israel did not cease its occupation within one year.  This will lead to chaos in the Middle East. What can the Russian Federation as a friend of the Palestinians and a country maintaining good relations with Israel do to avoid this scenario? After the Palestinians lost faith in the efficacy of the peace process, do they have the right to defend themselves and resist the occupation?

Sergey Lavrov: All right, let’s talk about the Palestinian-Israeli problems. These problems are certainly grave ones. They were not helped by the “casting about” we observed during the previous US administration. I am referring to both their recognition of the Golan Heights and the attempts to promote what was actually an annexation inscribed in the context of the efforts to create a quasi Palestinian state. What is important here is that the Biden administration has confirmed its commitment to the two-state approach. But the Israeli prime minister is not confirming this commitment, although there are politicians in Israel and in the Israeli parliament, who have different views on how to ensure security of the Jewish State without living under constant strain and hitting targets threatening Israel. [According to them], the alternative is to come to an agreement and build a stable and peaceful life through a two-state safe and prosperous coexistence in keeping with the principles of a settlement endorsed by the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. The current Israeli leaders are maintaining contacts that mostly boil down to keeping security in the Palestinian territories.

We believe that it would be a major mistake if the processes in the region – Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc. – make us forget about the Palestinian question. After all, it is the outgrowth of this planet’s longest-lasting modern conflict, a conflict that other powers sought to settle through the creation of two states. One state was established in no time, but the other state is still to be created.

I believe that the decision approved by the Arab League at the initiative of the King of Saudi Arabia almost 20 years ago now was a wise decision. I am referring to the Arab Peace Initiative, which said that the Arab countries would normalise their relations with Israel immediately after the creation of a viable Palestinian state conforming to all the UN-defined criteria. That was quite a specimen of statecraft. But the Trump administration attempted to turn everything upside down. The Abraham Accords promoted by a number of Arab countries were based on the logic that the first thing to do was to normalise relations between the Arabs and Israel, with the Palestinian problem to be considered afterwards. We welcome any kind of normalisation between any states. Not at the expense of Palestine in this case. It is gratifying that all the signatories of the Abraham Accords, including Bahrain, the UAE, the Sudan, and Morocco stressed that they were fully committed to the UN decisions on the Palestinian problem. This is where we should stand.

You asked whether they have the right to fight. They will not ask [for anyone’s permission]. The unregulated state of the Palestinian problem is the gravest factor feeding radical sentiments on the Arab “street.”  The extremist preachers are saying that their people have been wronged, that they were promised a state of their own 80 years ago but it was a deception. Young people, particularly uneducated ones, are highly sensitive to this sort of propaganda. But my Israeli colleagues get offended when I explain to them this aspect of the Middle East situation and the impact of the lack of a settlement of the Palestinian problem is exerting on stability in the whole of the region. They say I am wrong and that the problem is not very serious. But this is a shortsighted approach.

This is the reason why we are supporting Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas’ proposal to convene an international conference. But we are confident that it must be thoroughly prepared, for which purpose we would like to resume the activities of the Quartet of international intermediaries consisting of Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations and to recruit for joint work, for example, the foursome of Arab countries – Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, and Bahrain – that have relations with Israel.   Probably Saudi Arabia, the author of the Arab Peace Initiative, should be invited as well. This makes 4+4+1+2 (Israel and Palestine). If some parties believe that it is still too early to meet in this format, we are ready to offer our territory as a venue and support any other invitation for Israel and Palestine to meet for direct talks. The important thing is to avoid procrastination. We will seek to support this approach in every way we can.

Most importantly, while what we have just discussed depends on many factors (some depend on Israel, some on other members of regional organisations), there is one matter that depends on no one but the Palestinians themselves. I am referring to Palestinian unity. Attempts were being made to restore it a couple of years ago now. Certain agreements seemed to be reached and a circle of elections was announced. But eventually nothing came of it.  The lack of rapport between Ramallah and Gaza carries a negative charge. If the Palestinians restored their unity, it would be easier and more effective for them to talk to Israel at future negotiations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once said that he did not know who to hold talks with, when it was unclear whom Mr Abbas was representing.  It looked like he had Ramallah alone, while Gaza was controlled by other people. These matters have a strong influence on any attempts to achieve major political results. The Palestinians are unwilling to restore unity. But we are actively working with all the Palestinian factions. I repeatedly invited them to Moscow. During the discussions they agree they should reunite, but later it all somehow goes amiss.

Question (retranslated from English): This week, the European Commission accused Russia of engaging in hacker attacks against European politicians and media representatives, in particular, German politicians and officials, in the run-up to tomorrow’s election in which they are participating. What is your response to these accusations? Do you have any expectations regarding the outcome of elections in Germany?

Trevor Reed’s family believes he was unjustly indicted and sentenced to an unreasonably long term. Could you comment on these statements as well?

Sergey Lavrov: I have already covered Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan, for that matter. Paul Whelan was arrested on espionage charges. He was caught red-handed. Trevor Reed was arrested for attacking and hitting a police officer several times. I am not sure how many years in prison people in the United States would get for violent attacks against a police officer. I think, many. Konstantin Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout were simply lured by deception into a deal where they used an aircraft for some purpose, which got them implicated into a case of arms and drug smuggling. They were sentenced to over 20 years in prison without having hurt anyone or having any intention to violate international rules for trading in particular types of goods. So, our US colleagues need to be consistent, if they are offended over someone being arrested here. The same standards should be applied to all situations. In the case of an attack on police officers, see what is happening at the trial on the “Capitol attack.”

With regard to the accusations advanced by the European Commission, we are willing to review the facts, but they simply will not give us any. We are being unfoundedly charged with the alleged poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko with polonium in London in 2007. They have not yet provided a single piece of evidence, but closed the process to the public and made it “official,” meaning that the judges can now consider secret materials behind closed doors. Now, they want to do the same with the process regarding the woman who died in Salisbury in the context of the Skripal case. They also want closed hearings on the causes of her death in order to avoid disclosing some secret documents. Nobody is making them available to us, but they blame us for everything. As with the Skripal case, they are also blaming us for the Malaysian Boeing case. The court in The Hague ruled that they had reason to believe the United States, which stated it had satellite images to prove that Russia had done it. But they did not show these images to anyone. The Dutch court considers this normal. They believe whatever the Americans say. Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said “trust me” in one of his films, and Ronald Reagan added “but verify.” So, we want to conduct verification. In the case of the MH17 flight, we provided the data from the radars and much more. The Ukrainians refused to share the data from their radars. Allegedly, they “went dead” during the crash. They refuse to provide the exchange between the air traffic controller and the pilots. This speaks volumes. And much more.

We’re being accused of interfering  in the US elections. I discussed this matter with my colleagues on many occasions, in particular, with former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He once said they had irrefutable evidence of Russia’s interference in the 2016 US elections, and I asked him to show it to me. He said they would not let us see it and that we should contact our special services for they would know what it was all about. That was all that was said. Is that okay?

The same goes for cyber attacks. The US authorities accused us (President Biden brought this issue up at a meeting with President Putin) or, rather our ransomware hackers, of attacking a meat processor and a fuel pipeline in the United States demanding them to pay ransom. Nobody showed us any evidence. President Biden, however, said their data show it is not the Russian Government that is doing this, but some people who are based in  Russia.

We let them know that most (about half) of the hacker attacks on our resources over the past year were carried out from the United States. Some originated in Germany and other countries. We have sent 45 official inquiries to our US colleagues indicating concrete facts that needed investigation. We received nine replies. We have received about 10 official inquiries and answered every one of them. I am heartened to know that the Americans agreed to move away from sporadic accusations and complaints and to begin systematic work on this matter after President Putin discussed this issue with President Biden in Geneva. The services that deal with cyber security have established dedicated communication channels. We hope that things will get going now.

With regard to the election in Germany, we wish every success to all its participants.

Question: Last week, the preliminary results of an investigation conducted by Justice Department special counsel John Durham into “Russiagate” were made public in the United States. The indictment mentioned one of the probe’s initiators. It is not the first paradoxical situation reported in the United States. American officials are overturning the US accusations against Russia.

The paradox is that the sanctions adopted against Russia have not been lifted despite the refutation. What is Moscow’s position on this score and what are its American partners saying?

Sergey Lavrov: You have answered your own question. It was unreasonable to do this before pondering the matter or investigating the situation. And it is a pity that after the situation was clarified they have not retraced their steps so as not to harm our bilateral relations. This is what American manners are all about. We have become accustomed to this. We will never ask for the sanctions to be lifted. The “limit” has been exhausted by neighbouring Ukraine, which continues making requests, unable to get its bearings of what is happening.  We are not going to act in this manner.

We do not have any other partners [in the US]. However, dialogue is gradually taking shape in some spheres, such as strategic stability and cybersecurity, which gives hope that we will bit by bit develop dialogue based on mutual respect at least in some spheres of international relations.

Question (retranslated from English): My question concerns Palestine. Many people say that Palestinian settlements are occupying too much land, that there are already half a million settlers. Do you think it’s time for the international community to settle the problem by creating one state for two peoples? Could you comment on this please?

As you are aware, WFP Executive Director David Beasley said just two days ago now that at least 50,000 Yemenis are starving and millions need humanitarian aid and food. Do you think that the international community, which includes Russia, has let the Yemeni people down by failing to put sufficient pressure on all the conflicting parties, including Saudi Arabia?

Sergey Lavrov: I would not say that the international community is not doing enough to convince the conflicting parties to sit down at the negotiating table not only to exchange accusations but also to come to some agreements.  There are a number of factors involved here, which are, regrettably, absolutely subjective and have to do with the desire of certain individuals to remain in power as long as possible, which is having a negative effect on the negotiating process and the possibility of compromise. I will not go into any details right now, but Yemen is indeed a country with the world’s largest humanitarian disaster, which was pointed out long ago, when the conflict had only just started and was in the hot phase.

We are involved through our Embassy. Our ambassador to Yemen is currently working from Riyadh, where a group of ambassadors are acting together to support the process and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen. I hope that everyone will gradually come to see the futility of trying to put off the necessary agreements.

As for the [Palestinian] settlements, we have always condemned the settlement policy, saying, just as you have so rightly pointed out, that this would create facts on the ground that will prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. I have heard about the one state solution where all people would have equal rights. I believe that this is unrealistic. Many academics say that this, if this should happen, will undermine the Jewish nature of the State of Israel. But if equal rights are not granted to everyone in Israel, it might become an apartheid state.

I am quite sure that the two-state solution is the only option. I would just like to point out that many people in the Israeli political elite share this same view and believe that this option must be promoted more actively.

Afghan Protests: Foreign-Financed Color Revolution Or Genuine Grievances?

9 SEPTEMBER 2021

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Afghan Protests: Foreign-Financed Color Revolution Or Genuine Grievances?

Regardless of whether one sympathizes with those protesters’ causes or not, it should be acknowledged that these disturbances could greatly destabilize Afghanistan at one of its most sensitive moments in modern history amid its historic political transition back to de facto Taliban rule following the West’s withdrawal last month after nearly twenty years of occupation.

Taliban vs. Protesters

The Taliban claimed that the latest protests against its de facto rule are financed from abroad, but the case can also be made that they’re at the very least partially driven by genuine grievances, even if some of the latter are being externally manipulated through information warfare means. Those participating in the recent unrest are concerned about women’s rights and Pakistan’s alleged role in their country. The Taliban, which is still recognized as a terrorist group by many countries including Russia even though the Kremlin also pragmatically engages with it in the interests of peace and security, dispersed their demonstrations and then decreed that anyone protesting must first have prior authorization. Even so, the protests continue in some cities.

A “Culture Shock” For Liberal Women

Addressing these two protest motivations in the order that they were introduced, the first arises from the precedent established the last time that the Taliban was in power from 1996-2001. Unlike then, however, the group nowadays allows women to study (albeit in gender-segregated classrooms though they intend to eventually introduce separate classrooms and even facilities), work in certain professions, and leave the house without being accompanied by a male family member. It only wants them to wear the hijab the whole time they’re outside their homes and no longer participate in sports due to the group’s interpretation of Sharia. Nevertheless, this is a “culture shock” for some women who were used to living under more liberal standards.

The Two Dimensions To Anti-Pakistani Protests

Regarding the second one about Pakistan, this narrative is the result of two factors. Firstly, Islamabad has close ties with the Taliban, though the Pakistani Ambassador to Russia recently clarified that this doesn’t mean that his country controls them. There are consultations on various issues such as the ones that Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence Faiz Hameed held during his latest visit to Kabul, but the Ambassador said that they didn’t concern the acting government’s composition. This, however, didn’t stop some from speculating that Pakistan pulls the Taliban’s strings, which provoked anti-Pakistani hostility among some Afghans.

The second factor has no factual basis whatsoever unlike Mr. Hameed’s public visit to Kabul that was exploited for provoking anti-Pakistani protests through information warfare means, and that’s the claims that Pakistan militarily participated in the Taliban’s Panjshir operation. Indian media shared fake news footage and images purporting to be proof of this claim, which regrettably succeeded in misleading the Iranian Foreign Ministry into later giving credence to these false accusations. The impact on Afghan society was to push those who already disliked Pakistan for whatever reason into taking to the streets to protest against it and the Taliban.

No Foreign Actor Wants To Stop The Taliban

These dual demonstrations are especially dangerous at this sensitive moment in the country’s political transition. The Taliban has zero-tolerance for what it deems to be illegal protests so those who are participating in them know very well the harsh response that they’re destined to receive irrespective of however much some outside observers might feel that these consequences are morally unjustified. The fact of the matter is that no foreign actor has the capabilities or political will to stop the Taliban from suppressing these demonstrations, though the media’s coverage of this can still be taken advantage of to promote ulterior agendas.

Ulterior Agendas

Firstly, the external encouragement (whether through foreign financing or simply political support) of these protests is intended to provoke a self-sustaining cycle of unrest whereby the Taliban’s suppression leads to more demonstrations and so on and so forth until the situation becomes more destabilized. This could especially be the case if some of those who are on the receiving end of the Taliban’s harsh anti-protest responses are representative of ethnic, regional, and/or religious minorities whose fellows might then intensify their anti-Taliban activities in response up to the point of once again taking up arms against them.

The second agenda is to delegitimize the presently unrecognized though de facto acknowledged Taliban-appointed interim authorities. This serves the purpose of justifying unilateral sanctions against it such as the formal ones that the US has as well as the informal ones recently imposed by the IMF and World Bank. It could also discourage the US’ Western allies in Europe from more pragmatically engaging with the group if their decision makers are flooded with images (however possibly decontextualized) of it violently dispersing female-led protests and/or those organized by ethnic/regional/religious minorities against Pakistan.

Clarifying The Uncomfortable Optics

These observations lead to a deeper analysis of the complex dynamics that are being discussed, specifically the reason why Western countries might react that way in response to such optics (whether accurately reported or misleadingly so) as well as the role that foreign fake news has in generating socio-political unrest. About the first, for as painful as it is for Westerners to see women being beaten by the Taliban for protesting against the group, it must be acknowledged (though not necessarily approved of) that Afghanistan has different cultural and legal traditions. Still, it’s inaccurate at this moment in time at least to believe that women are being beaten for not wearing hijabs or because of their gender.

They’re on the receiving end of the de facto authorities’ force because they’re participating in illegal protests that they didn’t voluntarily disperse after first being warned to do so by the Taliban. Men who participate in other illegal protests are also beaten for the same reasons too. At the risk of being accused of so-called “whatabouttism”, this actually isn’t much different from what happens in practically every country across the world, including Western ones. Regardless of how strongly one might feel about their personal interpretation of whatever they believe to be fundamental human rights, there objectively exist different such standards whether one supports them or not and they aren’t always compatible with others’ no matter what liberals say.

Exploiting “Proselytizing” Tendencies

Westerners tend to be more “proselytizing” of their worldview than others, though that’s not to deny that some Islamists for example also feel the same way about their own interpretation of everything. The point being made is that the repeated expose to footage and images of someone on the receiving end of the (in this case de facto) authorities’ use of force for what the civilizationally dissimilar foreign audience is made to believe is their expression of fundamental human rights (e.g. to protest and/or not wear a hijab in Western eyes, or to agitate for more mosques in a secular country and/or wear the hijab where it’s banned in Islamist eyes) is going to provoke a negative reaction from them that can be manipulated for strategic purposes.

The aforesaid could include imposing/prolonging sanctions like in the Western case or boycotting a certain countries’ companies in the Islamist one. It’s up to each individual on a personal level to decide whether these responses are justified, but it’s nevertheless important to acknowledge the cause-effect relationship and how that could be taken advantage of by others for certain strategic ends that the sincerely passionate participants might not even consciously aware of. In the Afghan case, these relate to isolating the Taliban-appointed acting authorities by refusing to recognize them and/or imposing/prolonging sanctions, the latter of which can actually worsen socio-economic tensions if this leads to a cutoff of much-needed humanitarian aid for instance.

Fake News Can Provoke Real Violence

Regarding the role that foreign fake news has in generating socio-political unrest, this exploits the targeted audience’s preexisting political triggers in order to provoke a more intensified round of identity conflict per the basics of Hybrid War theory that could easily lead to kinetic conflict as was earlier explained. Anyone anywhere can believe whatever they want about Mr. Hameed’s public visit to Kabul, but holding the Pakistani intelligence chief to a different standard than the American one who traveled there late last month to also meet with the Taliban by only speculating that the former played an allegedly pernicious role with regard to the acting government’s composition very strongly suggests an ulterior motive behind pushing such a narrative.

There’s also no denying that Indian media propagated fake news purporting to prove that Pakistan militarily supported the Taliban’s Panjshir operation, which whether intended or not served to reaffirm the weaponized narrative that Islamabad allegedly backs the Pashtun-majority Taliban at the expense of Afghanistan’s other groups such as the influential Tajik minority that the “Panjshir Resistance” claimed to represent. Targeted infowar audiences in long-running conflict zones such as Afghanistan’s usually already have very deeply held convictions about the wars that they’ve suffered from so sometimes it only takes a minor spark, including from fake news, to provoke them into taking tangible action against their opponents, both real and perceived.

From A Color Revolution To An Unconventional War

This could take the form of protesting and/or picking up arms against them. While only the first of these two has thus far taken place vis-a-vis Pakistan inside Afghanistan in the post-withdrawal context, it might very well turn out to be the case that the self-sustaining cycle of destabilization provoked by weaponized protests such as these triggering forceful reactions from the Taliban could lead to those on the receiving end undergoing the transition from Color Revolution protesters to Unconventional Warfare fighters exactly like Hybrid War theory predicts. The result could be that they’d then once again fight against the Taliban or possibly even consider carrying out acts of terrorism against neighboring Pakistan, both of which would further destabilize the region.

Conceptual Review

Reflecting on the insight that was shared in this analysis, which might realistically necessitate the reader reviewing the article one or more times in order to more effectively absorb it all if they weren’t earlier familiar with some of these complex socio-political dynamics, the Afghan protests as a whole are a blend of genuine grievances and Color Revolution plots. The first motivation is relevant to most of those women who are participating in protests under that banner while the second relates to those who are participating in anti-Pakistani protests triggered by foreign fake news reports. This combination severely complicates everything and deserves some further elaboration before concluding in order to remind readers of the analysis’ main points.

Female and anti-Pakistani activists can be genuine and have no direct or conscious connection to foreign forces, but their respective protests are being given positive coverage from abroad by those who have an interest in propagating certain narratives. These are that the Taliban are uncivilized thugs who brutally beat women that don’t want to wear the hijab and that Afghans are supposedly rising up against their allegedly Pakistani-controlled de facto authorities. Both protest movements run the risk of catalyzing self-sustaining cycles of destabilization by continuing to be carried out illegally in contravention of the Taliban’s recent decree. The first can also be exploited to impose/prolong sanctions while the second could lead to intensified identity conflict.

Concluding Thoughts

To wrap it all up, everything isn’t as it seems to most of the protests’ participants and foreign observers alike. Regardless of whether one sympathizes with those protesters’ causes or not, it should be acknowledged that these disturbances could greatly destabilize Afghanistan at one of its most sensitive moments in modern history amid its historic political transition back to de facto Taliban rule following the West’s withdrawal last month after nearly twenty years of occupation. There’s also undeniable evidence of positive media coverage being given by some countries to these disturbances, which could be intended to advance their respective strategic interests as earlier explained. Ultimately, it’s one’s individual choice who to support, why, and to what extent.

Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were the First US Allies to be Abandoned by Biden

August 26, 2021

By Andrew Korybko
Source: OneWorld

The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

The world is talking about the next US allies to be abandoned by President Biden after he shamefully hung his Afghan ones out to dry during America’s panicked retreat from the country. Some commentators believe that Ukraine might be next, but in reality, it and Poland were actually the first US allies whose interests were betrayed in pursuit of the so-called “greater good” despite Biden’s promises that he wouldn’t conduct his country’s foreign policy in the Machiavellian way that Trump did. I’ve been chronicling this for some time, but for those who haven’t closely followed my work over the past few months, here are my most relevant analyses accompanied by a concise summary of each:

* 8 April: “Why Does Ukraine Want War?

Ukraine provoked hostilities in Donbass in a desperate attempt to remain relevant to the new US administration at the behest of some of the anti-Russian members of its permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) who wanted to sabotage Biden’s behind-the-scenes outreaches to Russia.

* 14 April: “Poland Must Wake Up To The Threat Of German Hybrid War

Germany has been actively working as America’s “Lead From Behind” proxy for overthrowing the conservative-nationalist Polish government through Hybrid War means connected to Berlin’s backing of its neighbor’s Color Revolution movement.

* 24 April: “What Explains The Latest De-Escalation In Donbass?

Russia didn’t fall for the trap laid out for it by hostile elements in the American “deep state”, though considerable credit for this somewhat surprising de-escalation also goes to Biden since he didn’t make matters worse like many predicted that he would at the time.

* 2 June: “Poland’s Counterproductive Foreign Policy Is Responsible For Its Present Predicament

Poland was shocked by Biden’s decision to waive most of the US’ Nord Stream II sanctions, but it should have seen this coming since the moment he stepped into office and actively begun diversifying its foreign policy instead of remaining entirely dependent on America’s “good graces”.

* 11 June: “Towards Increasingly Complex Multipolarity: Scenarios For The Future

I predicted that the US would “compromise” on the interests of some of its allies like Poland and Ukraine in pursuit of the “greater good” of pragmatically repairing relations with Russia so as to focus more of its efforts on actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

* 15 June: “How Serious Are Poland’s Grand Strategic Disagreements With The US?

It then became increasingly obvious that Poland and the US have some irreconcilable grand strategic differences that far surpass their common military interests vis-a-vis Russia, but the aspiring Central European hegemon had yet to make any decisive moves to recalibrate its foreign policy in response.

* 24 June: “Polish-US Missile Defense Co-Op Is A Strategic Smokescreen

To preemptively thwart Poland from doing anything dramatic that could bolster its strategic independence, the US went ahead with their prior “missile defense” plans, which served the purpose of keeping Poland in its clutches and also misleading that country’s leadership into thinking that the US was still their “trusted” ally.

* 12 July: “Former Polish PM Tusk Ridiculously Alleged A Kaczysnski-Putin Conspiracy

Germany proxy Donald Tusk escalated the Hybrid War on Poland by claiming that the country’s viciously Russophobic grey cardinal was secretly Russian President Putin’s puppet, which preemptively thwarted his target’s plans to claim the same about him following his return to the country to lead the Color Revolution.

* 15 July: “It’s Time For A Polish-Russian ‘Non-Aggression’ Pact In Belarus & Ukraine

In the face of such increased Hybrid War pressure against it, the most pragmatic thing that Poland could do is clinch a so-called “non-aggression” pact with Russia in their overlapping “spheres of influence” in order to focus more of its security services’ efforts on defending itself from the joint US-German regime change campaign.

* 19 July: “Poland Should Follow Ukraine’s Lead By Using China To Balance The US

As unexpected as it was for most observers to acknowledge, Ukraine’s US-controlled puppet government actually began making serious moves to use China as a “balancing” force against America, which should have inspired Poland to follow suit as a means of showing the US how dissatisfied it is with the ongoing Hybrid War.

* 26 July: “The US-German Hybrid War Against Poland Is Intensifying

Poland’s lack of resolve in defending itself from the joint US-German Hybrid War only served to embolden its nominal “allies” to intensify their regime change campaign, which threatened to make matters much worse for its beleaguered conservative-nationalist government.

* 29 July: “The West Is Pressuring Poland & Russia Due To Their Conservative-Nationalist Values

Poland and Russia are interestingly in the same boat vis-a-vis the West since the latter is pressuring both of them due to their conservative-nationalist values, which Warsaw has yet to realize and thus explains why it’s still in a state of shock after its so-called “allies” so decisively turned against it.

* 13 August: “Ukrainian Ethno-Fascism vs. Russian Multiculturalism

Ukraine’s response to America’s strategic betrayal of its interests hasn’t been to pragmatically explore a possible rapprochement with Russia like it should have done if its leadership had any wisdom but to counterproductively double down on its Russophobic policies.

* 12 August: “Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

The combination of US-German Hybrid War pressure and the unexpected migrant crisis coming from Belarus might finally cause Poland to rethink its self-defeating regional policy of functioning as America’s anti-Russian puppet after receiving literally no rewards for this role nor relief from the regime change pressure upon it.

———-

Having indisputably established that Poland and Ukraine were the first US allies to be abandoned under Biden, it’s now time to talk a little bit more about the latter’s predicament. President Zelensky plans to finally meet his American counterpart at the end of the month, but many observers are wondering why it’s even taken so long. One possible reason other than the US leader’s deliberate mistreatment of his country’s ally is that he’s simply embarrassed because of the slew of scandals connecting him to that country such as the Burisma one with his son Hunter and Biden’s bargain with Poroshenko to fire former General Prosecutor Shokin who was investigating the first-mentioned scandal.

Biden also wanted Zelensky to bend over and accept that America was “compromising” on Ukraine’s interests as part of the “greater good” related to repairing relations with Russia in order to more actively refocus the US’ efforts on “containing” China. The Ukrainian leader understandably felt betrayed by Biden and began to lose faith in America’s reliability as an ally, which explains why his country started reaching out more to China lately. Even so, nothing that Kiev might do can fully protect its interests if Washington cuts a deal with Moscow over Eastern Ukraine like some commentators now speculate might be in the cards as part of their gradual rapprochement.

As for Poland, it too has been caught with its pants down by Biden’s pragmatic deal-making with Russia and also doesn’t have any realistic means to defend its interests in response to them being “traded away” by the American leader. Unlike Ukraine whose conservative-nationalist values are supported by the US because they take the extreme form of ethno-fascism that can be weaponized to keep Russian influence there at bay, the Polish government’s comparatively more mild values are seen as a threat to the entire Western project because of the possibility that they can influence other EU members and thus undermine the US’ plans to have Germany’s liberal-globalist ideology dominate the continent in order to control its countries by proxy.

Poland and Ukraine are therefore at America’s mercy. Their interests were betrayed by their “ally” even before Biden abandoned his country’s Afghan “allies”. Observers should become more aware of this fact since it shows that nobody should have been surprised by what just happened in that South Asian country. The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific. It remains to be seen how much more “collateral damage” the US’ “allies” will suffer as a result of this policy, but there’s no longer any denying that such a Machiavellian policy exists.

الانتخاب التاريخيّ المنعطف الشهداء يعودون والعودّ أحمد…

 محمد صادق الحسيني

إنه الرجل الذي سيحمل راية الجمهورية الثوريّة الثانية بكل ثقة وثبات.

لم يسمع بالفقر في المواعظ المنبريّة، بل عاشه ولمسه منذ الصغر.

عاش يتيماً بعد أن فقد أباه وهو في سن الخامسة. لم تكن عائلته تتمكّن من شراء كيلو رز دفعة واحدة ولا كيلو كامل من اللحم، بل كانوا يشترون من ذلك بمقدار ما يصلهم من رزق.

أمه أرسلته مبكراً الى البازار ليعمل فيه عاملاً بسيطاً يبيع سجادات الصلاة ليساعدها وأهله في تحصيل معاشهم اليومي.

أمه لا تزال تعيش في بيت تحت المتوسط في إحدى نواحي مشهد الفقيرة وترفض الانتقال لطهران العاصمة.

هذا هو الرئيس الإيراني الجديد، المنبعث من بين جمهور الناس، وليس من طبقة الأشراف التي تستمتع بالسلطة منذ النطفة…

لذلك عندما يقول رئيسي إنه سيشكل حكومة ثورية مناهضة للفساد كما ورد في أول تصريحاته بعد فوزه بالرئاسة، فهو صادق وجادّ وسيفعل ذلك بالتأكيد.

رئيسي ليس «محافظاً» كما يوصف في وسائل الاعلام، بل هو أصلاً لا ينتمي لأيّ من الأجنحة السياسية في البلاد.

انه من جنس الشهيد رجائي والشهيد بهشتي والشهيد قاسم سليماني…

إنه من جنس الفقراء، من الناس الذين يمشون في الأسواق ويأكلون الطعام…

دعوني أحاول أن ألخص لكم ماذا يعني تسلم السيد إبراهيم «رئيس الساداتي» الحكومة في إيران، بلغة متفاوتة، كما أراها ـ من وجهة نظري ـ المنتمية إلى عالم ما فوق الميول والاتجاهات السياسية الإيرانية:

فأن يتسلّم السيد رئيسي السلطة التنفيذية في البلاد يعني ذلك ما يلي بلغة الناس:

أولاً ـ إنه سيحبط مشروع إسقاط النظام بالجمهور. وهو الأمر الذي فعله في يوم الانتخاب والذي سيسقطه يومياً في أدائه العملي، كما سيطيح بمقولة الفصل بين الدولة والدين او بين السياسة والدين أو بين رجل الحكم ورجل الدين التي لطالما حاولوا فرضها على إيران، مرة والى الأبد…

لقد حاول الأجانب جهدهم منذ أول الثورة ان يقولوا للشعب الإيراني أنّ رجال الدين يجب ان يذهبوا الى المساجد ويتركوا الحكم للأفندية، ومن ثم تصاعدت المؤامرة وتشعّبت لتقول للأمة الإيرانية بأنّ هؤلاء (أيّ رجال الدين) لا يفقهون بعلوم العصر، ولا بالتعامل مع الدنيا، وأخيراً باتهامهم بأنهم يريدون مصادرة كلّ أشكال الديمقراطية الحديثة وعلوم الحداثة لصالح «الحكومة الإسلامية» المعادية للحريات وحقوق الإنسان والمرأة، فإذا برئيسي وعلى نهج رئيسه وقائده وقائد الثورة والأمة الإسلامية يفاجئهم بحرص مضاعف لا نظير له على كلّ هذه الأمور واعتبارها جزءاً أساسياً من مشروعية النظام، لا مفهوم للجمهورية الإسلامية ولا معنى لها ولا تستقيم من دون الجمهور وصناديق الاقتراع التي حرصوا على احترامها لمدة أربعة عقود متتالية حتى وسط حروب مدمرة للمدن والبلدات، وأن يظهر لهم رئيسي وزوجته جميلة علم الهدى متعلمين ومتبحّربن بالعلوم الحديثة أكثر من سائر المرشحين، بل وأعمق من مرشحين في ديمقراطيات عريقة بينها لندن وباريس وواشنطن.

ثانياً ـ إنه سيحبط مشروع فرض النظام السياسي والاقتصادي النيوليبرالي على إيران. أيّ انه سيعمل ليل نهار على مكافحة الفساد والرشوة ونظام البنوك الروتشيلدية، ويقارع مقولة «أنّ الغرب وحده بيده مفتاح الازدهار والتنمية السياسية والاقتصادية» للبلدان النامية والصاعدة ويطيح بها في الداخل الإيراني بنظرية ومشروع الاقتصاد المقاوم الذي يعتمد الدورة الاقتصادية الإنتاجية الداخلية أولاً، ومن ثم التوجه شرقاً والخروج على هيمنة الدولار الأميركي من خلال إقامة تعاون استراتيجي عميق مع الصين وروسيا وكلّ بلدان العالم المناهضة للاحادية الأميركية.

ثالثاً ـ سيحبط بحزم مشروع فرض «أوسلو» نوويّ على إيران الذي كانوا يعدّونه ويعملون عليه بقوة منذ أيام أوباما ولا يزالون.

وما فرضوه على إيران من شروط حتى الآن لم يكن سوى مقدّمة وتمهيد (من وجهة النظر الغربية) لفرض شروط إضافية تتعلق بفرض محدوديات على المنظومة الصاروخية الإيرانية، وإخراج إيران من المعادلة الإقليميّة من خلال فرض شروط ضرورة تخليها عن حركات التحرّر العربية والاسلامية لا سيما في فلسطين ولبنان وسورية واليمن والعراق.

سيكون رئيسي حازماً كما يريد الإمام الخامنئي، في تعامله مع ما يُسمّى بـ المجتمع الدولي الانتهازي والمنافق، ولن يسمح له لا باستنزاف الديبلوماسية الإيرانية في مفاوضات لا طائل من ورائها، ولا بعزله وحشره في زاوية إما القبول بشروط «أوسلويّة» أو الصدام، بل انتهاج نظرية حليفه الثوري سعيد جليلي الذي ربما تسلّم الخارجية الإيرانية والتي تقضي بإنهاك المفاوض الغربي وجعله هو مَن يلهث وراء المفاوض الإيراني كما فعل به جليلي يوم كان رئيساً لمجلس الأمن القومي في حكومة نجاد.

تذكروا انّ الإمام السيد علي الخامنئي لطالما كرّر بعض الثوابت في هذا السياق ستكون بمثابة قناديل مضيئة لرئيسي في هذا المضمار وهي:

1 ـ إذا أراد الغرب تمزيق الاتفاق فنحن سنحرقه.

2 ـ إذا تطلّبت حاجاتنا ومصالحنا التخصيب بنسبة 90 بالمئة فسنخصّب ولن نفاوض أحداً.

3 ـ نستطيع ان نطوّر صواريخنا إلى مديات 5 آلاف لكننا فعلاً لا نقوم بذلك الآن، وعندما نريد سنفعل ولن نفاوض أحداً.

4 ـ إحباط مفعول العقوبات أهم من إنجاز رفعها.

وبالتالي في زمن رئيسي أظننا لم نعد بحاجة لأمنية عودة واشنطن الى الاتفاق ولا لرفع العقوبات عنا…

تذكروا أنّ السيد رئيسي في مناظراته الانتخابية أعلن بوضوح:

أنه مع المفاوضات حول النووي ولكن بشروط القائد التسعة (الخطوط الحمر المشهورة)، وانّ هذا لن تتمكّن منه إلا حكومة قوية وحازمة.

لقد تخطّت إيران المنعطف التاريخي الداخلي على طريق دخول الجمهورية الثورية الثانية، بقي تحدّي المنعطف التاريخي الدولي وهو الذي ستتخطاه مع مجموع قوى محور المقاومة، باذن الله.

وعليه نستطيع أن نلخص ربما بلغة أكثر قرباً للغة الناس أقول:

السيد ابراهيم رئيسي «الحزب اللهي»، سيتخذ سياسة ثورية حازمة متحركة واضحة شفافة تريد التعامل مع الدنيا بعقل منفتح نعم، وغير منعزلة عن العالم نعم، ولكن ايضاً ليست هجينة ومتردّدة و»رجل بالبور ورجل بالفلاحة» على طريقة:

«هذا قبر سيدنا حجر بن عدي رضوان الله عليه قتله سيدنا معاوية رضوان الله عليه»!

لا أبداً، هذه السياسة ستنتهي وإلى الأبد، وستتمّ تسمية الأشياء بأسمائها، ما يثلج صدر الثوريين الداخليين ومن محور المقاومة.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

فيديوات متعلقة

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America’s Soup-Brained President Says the U.S. Never Interferes In Other Countries’ Elections

America’s Soup-Brained President Says the U.S. Never Interferes In Other Countries’ Elections

June 17, 2021

By Caitlin JOHNSTONE

During an astonishingly sycophantic press conference after the Geneva summit with Vladimir Putin, President Biden posited an entirely hypothetical scenario about what the world would think of the United States if it were interfering in foreign elections and everybody knew it.

When AP’s Jonathan Lemire asked the president of the most powerful government in the world what “consequences” he’d threatened the Russian leader with should the Kremlin interfere in US elections going forward, Biden meandered his way through one of his signature not-quite-lucid word salads, and then said the following:

“Let’s get this straight: How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries, and everybody knew it? What would it be like if we engaged in activities that he is engaged in? It diminishes the standing of a country that is desperately trying to make sure it maintains its standing as a major world power.”

The fact that the entire press corps did not erupt in side-splitting laughter at this ridiculous utterance is in itself proof that western news media is pure propaganda. The United States has directly interfered in scores of foreign elections since it began its ascent to global domination at the end of the second World War, to say nothing of all the coups, color revolutions, proxy conflicts and regime change military invasions it has also participated in during that time. The US openly interfered in Russia’s elections in the nineties, and literally just tried to stage a coup in Bolivia by interfering in its democratic process. The US is far and away the single most egregious offender in the world on this front, which is largely why it is perceived around the world as a greater threat to democracy than any other government.

This is not a secret, internationally or in the United States. Anyone who has done any learning about the US government’s actual behavior on the world stage knows this. Hell, a former CIA director openly joked about it on Fox News a few years ago.

Fox’s Laura Ingraham unsurprisingly introduced former CIA Director James Woolsey as “an old friend” in a 2018 interview about Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 alleged members of a Russian troll farm, in which Woolsey unsurprisingly talked about how dangerous Russian “disinformation” is and Ingraham unsurprisingly said that everyone should actually be afraid of China. What was a bit surprising, though, was what happened at the end of the interview.

“Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?” Ingraham asked in response to Woolsey’s Russia remarks.

“Oh, probably,” Woolsey said with a grin. “But it was for the good of the system in order to avoid the communists from taking over. For example, in Europe, in ’47, ’48, ’49, the Greeks and the Italians we CIA-”

“We don’t do that anymore though?” Ingraham interrupted. “We don’t mess around in other people’s elections, Jim?”

Woolsey smiled and said said “Well…”, followed by a joking incoherent mumble, adding, “Only for a very good cause.”

And then they both laughed.

The fact that not one person in the press pool questioned or criticized Biden’s outrageous remarks tells you everything you need to know about the western media and what its real function is. This is further illustrated by the rest of the behavior of these odious propagandists during the summit, which was illustrated quite well by the glowing praise of Democratic Party insider Andrea Chalupa on Twitter:

“The winners of #GenevaSummit2021 are the White House press corp,” Chalupa said. “Excellent questions confronting Putin and challenging Biden on holding a summit with a ruthless dictator. And they literally held their ground when shoved by Putin’s security and propagandists.”

That actually says it all. Western reporters are forbidden by their oligarchic owners from ever confronting power in any meaningful way; the closest they’re ever allowed to get to punching up is challenging the leaders of CIA-targeted governments, and demanding to know why their own officials aren’t being more hawkish and aggressive toward those leaders.

As RT’s Murad Gazdiev pointed out, “ABC, NBC, BBC, CNN, and many other Western outlets were invited for Putin’s press conference. No Russian media was invited to Biden’s press conference.” The whole thing was a navel-gazing, masturbatory cold war propaganda orgy where western “journalists” made up fantasies about their soup-brained leader staring down Putin, where they yelled nonsense about Alexei Navalny at the Russian president and then fangirled at Biden’s response.

Can anyone imagine a US corporate journalist screaming at Biden: “Why do you fear Assange so much?”

Always easy to condemn the acts of the governments your country tells you to see as Enemy. Much harder – and way more meaningful – to challenge your own government’s repression. https://t.co/CtzeU37pn3

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 16, 2021

Real journalists go to Belmarsh Prison for exposing US war crimes. Western propagandists ask Putin why he’s such a doodoo dumb dumb poopy head and then dream about Pulitzers all night.

Western news media exists to funnel propaganda into the minds of the public. It is controlled by plutocrats who work in alliance with opaque government agencies to weave narratives about why the US government needs to do the things it had already planned on doing anyway. This gets more obvious by the day.

caityjohnstone.medium.com

Kurdish SDF Terrorists Block Syrians from Voting in Presidential Election

 ARABI SOURI 

Syrian Presidential Election 26 May 2021

The Kurdish SDF terrorists occupying regions in northern Syria with the help of the US forces have blocked all the crossings from the regions they occupy into government-controlled areas to prevent the Syrians from voting in the presidential election.

A statement issued by the so-called Syrian ‘Democratic’ Administration stated that all crossing with the government-controlled areas commencing immediately and until further notice, effectively, this action prevents the Syrians in the cities and towns occupied by the US-controlled Kurdish separatist terrorists from contributing to the Syrian presidential election which takes place tomorrow Wednesday 26 May 2021.

The Kurdish terrorists have said earlier that ‘they will not be a party facilitating the Syrian presidential election in the regions they occupy’ to comply with instruction by the White House’s most inclusive and diverse junta of Joseph Biden.

It is understandable that Biden, who barely won the presidential election in his country by a tiny margin and with the alleged help of wide-spread fraud as accused by his opponent the former US President Trump, will see in any democratic process in other countries as a threat for his own legitimacy, taking into consideration that all the countries, states, and entities the US sponsors around the world have reached power either by US-sponsored colored revolutions, US direct military interventions, CIA assassinations, or in countries that have never witnessed any sort of election throughout their history like Saudi Arabia, for instance.

The Biden’s junta also provides a protective shield over its unofficial 52nd state Israel, in which its prime minister, a Benjamin Netanyahu, have repeated the elections four times already and is heading toward the 5th in 2 years because he’s failing to achieve a majority that would shield him from going to prison for corruption charges he’s indicted with.

Large parts of the Syrian northern provinces of Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, and Idlib are under NATO direct occupation either by the US Army, NATO’s largest armed forces, which are illegally deployed in the country, or the Turkish army, NATO’s second-largest armed forces, and through their proxies the likes of ISIS, Nusra Front (aka Al Qaeda Levant – aka HTS), the Uighur terrorist group (aka Turkestan Islamist Party), Hamzat Mercenary Forces, the National Army, Faylaq Sham, the Kurdish separatist terrorist groups the SDF, PKK, PYD, YPG, and Asayish.

Syrian minister of foreign affairs Faisal Mekdad had said in an interview a day earlier addressing the Kurdish ‘Democratic’ Forces: ‘If they consider themselves as democratic and Syrian they should facilitate the presidential election and they should vote in it themselves.’ The response from the Kurds as a prominent political analyst who wishes to remain anonymous out of fear for the safety of his family in northeastern Syria said: ‘The Kurdish forces in northern Syria have proved, yet once again, they’re not Syrian, they’re not democratic, and they do not represent the Kurdish people living among the other ethnicities in northern Syria.’

To have a background about the Kurdish presence in northern Syria in recent history we highly advise you to read this article by Professor Tim Anderson: Syria, Washington and the Kurds; in case you’re living in a country that claims it supports free speech and has blocked the article you can read the archives version Click Here.

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Sitrep: Here Comes China: Space, Trade, Encirclement and Tibet

May 22, 2021

Selections from Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter: Here Comes China. You can get it here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Further selections and editorial commentary by Amarynth.


Space News

The Zhurong rover touched down May 15 on Mars and signaled ground control 320 million kilometers away. After diagnostic tests, it will spend 90 days exploring and analyzing the area, climate, magnetic field and subsurface. The Tianwen-1 orbiter is changing its trajectory so Zhurong can transmit high-resolution photos.

 Read full article $→

“The mission is very ambitious. They plan to do, in one go, three steps NASA took several decades to achieve: getting into orbit, landing on the surface and then driving a rover around,” said Roberto Orosei, from the Institute for Radioastronomy in Bologna, Italy. Other space milestones this past year include the final BeiDou GPS satellite and the first of 11 launches to build a Space StationRead full article →

Update from RT this morning:  “China’s Mars rover rolls off landing platform, joining US robots patrolling Red Planet”

https://www.rt.com/news/524522-chinese-rover-rolls-platform/

The Tianhe core module cabin of China’s space station project has completed in-orbit performance checks, including rendezvous and docking, life support systems for astronauts and robotic arms, as well as a series of space application equipment examinations. 

Read full article →


At $23 billion, China is the world’s largest ice cream market. Competitors include Mengniu Dairy, Yili, Guanming, and Sanyuan, along with foreign giants like Nestlé and Unilever. US ice cream sales average $7 billion annually. Read full article →

A record 9.09 million university students will graduate this year and Vice Premier Sun Chunlan says,  “Go to central and western regions where the country needs you” (and where there are 1.4 available jobs per graduate). Read full article →

The EU’s goods trade surged in Q1 and China remained its top trade partner, with imports and exports both increasing 20% YoY. The US followed, with both imports and exports shrinking. Read full article $→

US importers paid 90% of tariff costs on Chinese goods, or 18.5% more for Chinese products subject to the 20% tariff. Chinese exporters receive 1.5% less for the same product. Read full article $→

US exports to China of wine, cotton, log timber and wood have increased over the past year after Beijing blocked those products from Australia. The US is prioritising its own economic interests over its ally’s, despite Antony Blinken’s promise that Washington would not leave Australia to face ‘economic coercion’ from Beijing. Read full article $→

Supplies of Russian agricultural products to China increased by 17.6% in Q1. Trade turnover reached $40.207 billion, 20% higher YoY. The two aim to double 2021 trade to $200 billion. Read full article $→


Presidents Xi and Putin launched construction on four nuclear reactors made with Russian technology: two reactors each in Jiangsu and Liaoning Provinces, set to begin 2026 – 2028. They will be powered by Rosatom’s 3G pressurized water reactor technology at a  cost of $1.7 billion per site. Read full article $→


US Encirclement of China: A Progress Report

We will post this long-read article by Brian Berletic in full as the New Eastern Outlook site has been down for a number of days.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing are not merely the recent results of former US President Donald Trump’s time in office – but rather just the latest chapter in US efforts to contain China that stretch back decades.

Indeed, US foreign policy has for decades admittedly aimed at encircling and containing China’s rise and maintaining primacy over the Indo-Pacific region.

The “Pentagon Papers” leaked in 1969 would admit in regards to the ongoing US war against Vietnam that:

…the February decision to bomb North Vietnam and the July approval of Phase I deployments make sense only if they are in support of a long-run United States policy to contain China.

The papers also admitted that China, “looms as a major power threatening to undercut [American] importance and effectiveness in the world and, more remotely but more menacingly, to organize all of Asia against [America].

The papers also made it clear that there were (and still are), “three fronts to a long-run effort to contain China: (a) the Japan-Korea front; (b) the India-Pakistan front; and (c) the Southeast Asia front.”

Since then, it is clear that from the continued US military presence in both Japan and South Korea, the now two decades-long US occupation of Afghanistan on both Pakistan’s and China’s borders, and the emergence of the so-called “Milk Tea Alliance” aimed at overthrowing Southeast Asian governments friendly with China and replacing them with US-backed client regimes – this policy to contain China endures up to today.

Assessing US activity along these three fronts reveals the progress and setbacks Washington faces – and various dangers to global peace and stability Washington’s continued belligerence pose.

The Japan-Korea Front 

Military.com in their article, “Here’s What It Costs to Keep US Troops in Japan and South Korea,” reports:

In all, more than 80,000 US troops are deployed to Japan and South Korea. In Japan alone, the US maintains more than 55,000 deployed troops — the largest forward-deployed US force anywhere in the world.

The article notes that according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), the US spent “$34 billion to maintain military presences in Japan and South Korea between 2016 and 2019.”

The article cites the GAO providing an explanation as to why this massive US military presence is maintained in East Asia:

“…US forces help strengthen alliances, promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region, provide quick response to emergencies and are essential for US national security.”

“Alliances” that are “strengthened” by the physical presence of what are essentially occupying US forces suggests the “alliance” is hardly voluntary and claims of promoting a “free and open Indo-Pacific region” is highly subjective – begging the question of to whom the Indo-Pacific is “free and open” to.

And as US power wanes both regionally in the Indo-Pacific as well as globally, Washington has placed increasing pressure on both Japan and South Korea to not only help shoulder this financial burden, but to also become more proactive within Washington’s containment strategy toward China.

Japan is one of three other nations (the US itself, Australia, and India) drafted into the US-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – also know as the “Quad.”

Rather than the US solely depending on its own military forces based within Japanese territory or supported by its Japan-based forces, Japan’s military along with India’s and Australia’s are also being recruited to take part in military exercises and operations in and around the South China Sea.

India’s inclusion in the Quad also fits well into the US 3-front strategy that made up Washington’s containment policy toward China as early as the 1960s.

The India-Pakistan Front 

In addition to recruiting India into the Quad alliance, the US helps encourage escalation through political support and media campaigning of India’s various territorial disputes with China.

The US also targets Pakistan’s close and ongoing relationship with China – including the support of armed insurgents in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Recently, a bombing at a hotel in Quetta, Baluchistan appears to have targeted China’s ambassador to Pakistan, Ambassador Nong Rong.

The BBC in its article, “Pakistan hotel bomb: Deadly blast hits luxury venue in Quetta,” would claim:

Initial reports had suggested the target was China’s ambassador.

Ambassador Nong Rong is understood to be in Quetta but was not present at the hotel at the time of the attack on Wednesday.

The article also noted:

Balochistan province, near the Afghan border, is home to several armed groups, including separatists.

Separatists in the region want independence from the rest of Pakistan and accuse the government and China of exploiting Balochistan, one of Pakistan’s poorest provinces, for its gas and mineral wealth.

Absent from the BBC’s reporting is the extensive and open support the US government has provided these separatists over the years and how – clearly – this is more than just a local uprising against perceived injustice, but yet another example of armed conflict-by-proxy waged by Washington against China.

As far back as 2011 publications like The National Interest in articles like, “Free Baluchistan” would openly advocate expanding US support for separatism in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

The article was written by the late Selig  Harrison – who was a senior fellow at the US-based corporate-financier funded Center for International Policy – and would claim:

Pakistan has given China a base at Gwadar in the heart of Baluch territory. So an independent Baluchistan would serve US strategic interests in addition to the immediate goal of countering Islamist forces.

Of course, “Islamist forces” is a euphemism for US-Persian Gulf state sponsored militants used to both fight Western proxy wars as well as serve as a pretext for Western intervention. Citing “Islamist forces” in Baluchistan, Pakistan clearly serves as an example of the latter.

In addition to op-eds published by influential policy think tanks, US legislators like US Representative Dana Rohrabacher had proposed resolutions such as (emphasis added),

“US House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution 104 (112th): Expressing the sense of Congress that the people of Baluchistan, currently divided between Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country.”

There is also funding provided to adjacent, political groups supporting separatism in Baluchistan, Pakistan as listed by the US government’s own National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website under “Pakistan.” Organizations like the “Association for Integrated Development Balochistan” are funded by the US government and used to mobilize people politically, constituting clear interference by the US in Pakistan’s internal political affairs.

The Gwadar Port project is a key juncture within China’s growing global network of infrastructure projects as part of its One Belt, One Road initiative. The US clearly opposes China’s rise and has articulated robust strategies to counter it; everything up to and including open war as seen in the Pentagon Papers regarding the Vietnam War.

The recent bombing in Baluchistan, Pakistan demonstrates that this strategy continues in regards to utilizing local militants to target Chinese-Pakistani cooperation and is one part of the much wider, region-wide strategy of encircling and containing China.

The Southeast Asia Front

Of course the US war against Vietnam was part of a wider effort to reassert Western primacy over Southeast Asia and deny the region from fueling China’s inevitable rise.

The US having lost the war and almost completely retreating from the Southeast Asia region saw Southeast Asia itself repair relations amongst themselves and with China.

Today, the nations of Southeast Asia count China as their largest trade partner, investor, a key partner in infrastructure development, a key supplier for the region’s armed forces, as well as providing the majority of tourism arrivals throughout the region. For countries like Thailand, more tourists arrive from China than from all Western nations combined.

Because existing governments in Southeast Asia have nothing to benefit from by participating in American belligerence toward China, the US has found it necessary to cultivate and attempt to install into power various client regimes. This has been an ongoing process since the Vietnam War.

The US has targeted each nation individually for years. In 2009 and 2010, US-backed opposition leader-in-exile Thaksin Shinawatra deployed his “red shirt” protesters in back-to-back riots – the latter of which included some 300 armed militants and culminated in city-wide arson across Bangkok and the death of over 90 police, soldiers, protesters, and bystanders.

In 2018, US-backed opposition groups took power in Malaysia after the US poured millions of dollars for over a decade in building up the opposition.

Daniel Twining of the US National Endowment for Democracy subsidiary – the International Republican Institute – admitted during a talk (starting at 56 minutes) by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that same year that:

…for 15 years working with NED resources, we worked to strengthen Malaysian opposition parties and guess what happened two months ago after 61 years? They won.

He would elaborate on how the NED’s network played a direct role in placing US-backed opposition figures into power within the Malaysian government, stating:

I visited and I was sitting there with many of the leaders the new leaders of this government, many of whom were just our partners we had been working with for 15 years and one of the most senior of them who’s now one of the people running the government said to me, ‘gosh IRI you never gave up on us even when we were ready to give up on ourselves.’

Far from “promoting freedom” in Malaysia – Twining would make clear the ultimate objective of interfering in Malaysia’s internal political affairs was to serve US interests not only in regards to Malaysia, but in regards to the entire region and specifically toward encircling and containing China.

Twining would boast:

…guess what one of the first steps the new government took? It froze Chinese infrastructure investments.

And that:

[Malaysia] is not a hugely pro-American country. It’s probably never going to be an actual US ally, but this is going to redound to our benefit, and and that’s an example of the long game.

It is a pattern that has repeated itself in Myanmar over the decades with NED money building a parallel political system within the nation and eventually leading to Aung San Suu Kyi and her US-backed National League for Democracy (NLD) party taking power in 2016.

For Myanmar, so deep and extensive is US backing for opposition groups there that elections virtually guarantee US-backed candidates win every single time. The US National Endowment for Democracy’s own website alone lists over 80 programs and organizations receiving US government money for everything from election polling and building up political parties, to funding media networks and “environmental” groups used to block Chinese-initiated infrastructure projects.

The move by Myanmar’s military in February this year, ousting Aung Sang Suu Kyi and the NLD was meant to correct this.

However, in addition to backing political groups protesting in the streets, the US has – for many decades – backed and armed ethnic rebels across the country. These rebels have now linked up with the US-backed NLD and are repeating US-backed regime change tactics used against the Arab World in 2011 in nations like Libya, Yemen, and Syria – including explicit calls for “international intervention.”

A US-Engineered “Asia Spring”  

Just as the US did during the 2011 “Arab Spring” – the US State Department, in a bid to create synergies across various regime change campaigns in Asia, has introduced the “Milk Tea Alliance” to transform individual US-backed regime change efforts in Asia into a region-wide crisis.

The BBC itself admits in articles like, “Milk Tea Alliance: Twitter creates emoji for pro-democracy activists,” that:

The alliance has brought together anti-Beijing protesters in Hong Kong and Taiwan with pro-democracy campaigners in Thailand and Myanmar.

Omitted from the BBC’s coverage of the “Milk Tea Alliance” (intentionally) is the actual common denominators that unite it – US funding through fronts like the National Endowment for Democracy and a unifying hatred of China based exclusively on talking points pushed by the US State Department itself.

Circling back to the Pentagon Papers and recalling the coordinated, regional campaign the US sought to encircle China with – we can then look at more recent US government policy papers like the “Indo-Pacific Framework” published in the White House archives from the Trump administration.

The policy paper’s first bullet point asks:

How to maintain US strategic primacy in the Indo-Pacific region and promote a liberal economic order while preventing China from establishing new, illiberal spheres of influence, and cultivating areas of cooperation to promote regional peace and prosperity?

The paper also discusses information campaigns designed to “educate” the world about “China’s coercive behaviour and influence operations around the globe.” These campaigns have materialized in a propaganda war fabricating accusations of “Chinese genocide” in Xinjiang, China, claims that Chinese telecom company Huawei is a global security threat, and that China – not the US – is the single largest threat to global peace and stability today.

In reality US policy aimed at encircling China is predicated upon Washington’s desire to continue its own decades-long impunity upon the global stage and the continuation of all the wars, humanitarian crises, and abuses that have stemmed from it.

Understanding the full scope of Washington’s “competition” with China helps unlock the confusion surrounding unfolding individual crises like the trade war, the ongoing violence and turmoil in Myanmar, bombings in southwest Pakistan, students mobs in Thailand, riots in Hong Kong, and attempts by the US to transform the South China Sea into an international conflict.

Understanding that these events are all connected – then assessing the success or failure of US efforts gives us a clearer picture of the overall success Washington in encircling China.  It also gives governments and regional blocs a clearer picture of how to manage policy in protecting against US subversion that threatens national, regional, and global peace and stability.

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.


BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhua) — China’s State Council Information Office on Friday issued a white paper on the peaceful liberation of Tibet and its development over the past seven decades.

The white paper, titled “Tibet Since 1951: Liberation, Development and Prosperity,” reviewed Tibet’s history and achievements, and presented a true and panoramic picture of the new socialist Tibet.

You may Download the Full Text or read this very interesting document here: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-05/21/c_139959978.htm

It consists of the following:

Foreword

I. Tibet Before the Peaceful Liberation

II. Peaceful Liberation

III. Historic Changes in Society

IV. Rapid Development of Various Undertakings

V. A Complete Victory over Poverty

VI. Protection and Development of Traditional Culture

VII. Remarkable Results in Ethnic and Religious Work

VIII. Solid Environmental Safety Barriers

IX. Resolutely Safeguarding National Unity and Social Stability

X. Embarking on a New Journey in the New Era

Conclusion


This is but a fraction of what I gleaned from the Here Comes China newsletter.  If you want to learn about the Chinese world, get Godfree’s newsletter here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Putin’s Ukrainian Judo

Putin’s Ukrainian Judo

Source

April 14, 2021

By Dmitry Orlov and posted with special permission

A terrible war is about to erupt on Russia’s border with the Ukraine—or not—but there is some likelihood of a significant number of people getting killed before project Ukraine is finally over. Given that around 13 thousand people have been killed over the past seven years—the civil war in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine has gone on for that long!—this is no laughing matter. But people get desensitized to the mostly low-level warfare. Just over the past couple of weeks a grandfather was shot by a Ukrainian sniper while feeding his chickens and a young boy was killed by a bomb precision-dropped on him from a Ukrainian drone.

But what’s about to happen now is forecasted to be on a different scale: the Ukrainians are moving heavy armor and troops up to the line of separation while the Russians are moving theirs up to their side of the Ukrainian border, a position from which they can blast any and all Ukrainian troops straight out of the gene pool without so much as setting foot on Ukrainian territory—should they wish to do so. The Russians can justify their military involvement by the need to defend their own citizens: over the past seven years half a million residents in eastern Ukraine have applied for and been granted Russian citizenship. But how exactly can Russia defend its citizens while they are stuck in the crossfire between Russian and Ukrainian forces?

The rationale of defending its citizens led to conflict in the briefly Georgian region of South Ossetia, which started on August 8, 2008 and lasted barely a week, leaving Georgia effectively demilitarized. Russia rolled in, Georgia’s troops ran off, Russia confiscated some of the more dangerous war toys and rolled out. Georgia’s paper warriors and their NATO consultants and Israeli trainers were left wiping each others’ tears. Any suggestion of arming and equipping the Georgians since then has been met with groaning and eye-rolling. Is the upcoming event in eastern Ukraine going to be similar to the swift and relatively painless defanging of Georgia in 2008? Given that the two situations are quite different, it seems foolish to think that the approach to resolving them would be the same.

Is it different this time and is World War III is about to erupt with eastern Ukraine being used as a trigger for this conflagration? Do the various statements made at various times by Vladimir Putin provide a solid enough basis for us to guess at what will happen next? Is there a third, typically, infuriatingly Russian approach to resolving this situation, where Russia wins, nobody dies and everyone in the West is left scratching their heads?

The Ukrainian military is much like everything else currently found in the Ukraine—the railway system, the power plants, the pipeline systems, the ports, the factories (the few that are left)—a patched-up hold-over from Soviet times. The troops are mostly unhappy, demoralized conscripts and reservists. Virtually all of the more capable young men have either left the country to work abroad or have bribed their way out of being drafted. The conscripts sit around getting drunk, doing drugs and periodically taking pot shots into and across the line of separation between Ukrainian-held and separatist-held territories. Most of the casualties they suffer are from drug and alcohol overdoses, weapons accidents, traffic accidents caused by driving drunk and self-harm from faulty weapons. The Ukrainian military is also working on winning a Darwin award for the most casualties caused by stepping on their own land mines. As for the other side, many of the casualties are civilians wounded and killed by constant shelling from the Ukrainian side of the front, which runs quite close to population centers.

The Ukrainian military has received some new weapons from the US and some NATO training, but as the experience in Georgia has shown, that won’t help them. Most of these weapons are obsolete, non-updated versions of Soviet armaments from former East Bloc but currently NATO nations such as Bulgaria. These really aren’t of much use against an almost fully rearmed Russian military. A lot of the Ukrainian artillery is worn out and, given that Ukrainian industry (what’s left of it) is no longer able to manufacture gun barrels, artillery shells or even mortar rounds, this makes the Ukrainian military quite literally the gang that can’t shoot straight. It’s a great day for them if they manage to hit a kindergarten or a maternity clinic and most of the time they are just cratering up the empty countryside and littering it up with charred, twisted metal.

In addition to the hapless conscripts and reservists there are also some volunteer battalions that consist of hardcore Ukrainian nationalists. Their minds have been carefully poisoned by nationalist propaganda crafted thanks to large infusions of foreign (mostly American) money. Some of them have been conditioned to think that it was the ancient Ukrs who built the Egyptian pyramids and dug the Black Sea (and piled the left-over dirt to build the Caucasus mountain range). These may or may not be more combat-capable than the rest (opinions vary) but, much more importantly, they are a political force that the government cannot ignore because they can quite literally hold it hostage. They have been known for stunts such as shelling the offices of a television channel whose editorial policies they found disagreeable and physically assaulting a busload of opposition activists.

It is these Ukro-Nazi zealots that stand directly in the way of any peaceful settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine and an inevitable eventual rapprochement between the Ukrainians and Russia. There is a deep and abiding irony in that these über-antisemitic Ukro-Nazis are about to be ordered into battle against Russia by a Jewish comedian (Vladimir Zelensky, president) who got elected thanks to a Jewish oligarch (Igor “Benny” Kolomoisky). Are they going to be annihilated? Quite possibly, yes. Will their annihilation make Ukraine and the world a better place? You be the judge. To the Russians these Nazi battalions are just a bunch of terrorists and, as Putin famously put it, it is up to him to send terrorists to God and then it is up to God to decide what to do with them. But there is a more efficient strategy: let them remain somebody else’s problem. After all, these Nazi battalions have almost zero ability to threaten Russia. Eventually the Europeans will realize that the Ukraine must be denazified, at their own expense, of course, with Russia offering advice and moral support.

To understand where this Ukrainian nationalist menace came from without venturing too far down the memory hole, it is enough to appreciate the fact that at the end of World War II some number of Ukrainian war criminals who fought on the side of the Nazis and took part in acts of genocide against Ukrainian Jews and Poles found a welcoming home in the US and in Canada, where they were able to feather their nests and bring up the next several generations of Ukrainian Nazis. After the collapse of the USSR, they were reintroduced into the Ukraine and given political support in the hopes of thoroughly alienating the Ukraine from Russia. In the course of serial color revolutions and unending political upheaval and strife they were able to become prominent, then dominant, in Ukrainian political life, to a point that they can now hold the Ukrainian government hostage whenever it fails to be sufficiently belligerent toward Russia, to maintain strict anti-Russian censorship in the media and to physically threaten anyone who voices disagreement with them.

Russophobia and belligerence toward Russia are, in turn, all that is currently required of the Ukraine by its US and EU masters, who wish to portray the Ukraine as a bulwark against a supposedly aggressive Russia but in reality wish to use it as an anti-Russian irritant and to use it to contain (meaning to restrict and frustrate) Russia economically and geopolitically. To this end the Ukrainian school curriculum has been carefully redesigned to inculcate hatred of all things Russian. The Ukraine’s Western mentors think that they are constructing a pseudo-ethnic totalitarian cult that can be used as a battering ram against Russia, along the lines of Nazi Germany but with much tighter external political control, or, to use a more recent, updated CIA playbook, along the lines of Al Qaeda and its various offshoots in the Middle East.

The rationale that’s used to serve up all this is “countering Russian aggression.” But it is inaccurate to describe Russia as aggressive. It is much closer to the truth to describe it as, by turns, assimilative, protective and insouciant. It is assimilative in that you too can apply for a Russian citizenship based on a number of criteria, the most important of which is cultural: you need to speak Russian, and to do so convincingly you have to assimilate culturally. If an entire Russian-speaking region starts waving the Russian tricolor at rallies, singing the Russian anthem and then holds a referendum where a convincing majority votes to rejoin Russia (97% in Crimea in 2014), then Russia will annex that territory and defend it. And if lots of people in a Russian-speaking region individually apply for Russian citizenship, swear allegiance to Russia and are issued Russian passports, then Russia will try to defend them individually against attack.

All would be sweetness and light with this scheme of voluntary accession if certain Russian regions didn’t periodically start demanding independence or if the Russians themselves didn’t periodically shed their self-important and ungrateful dependents. As this has happened, Russia has granted them sovereignty, which, more often than not, they didn’t know what to do with. At various times, Russia has freely bestowed national sovereignty on a whole slew of countries: Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, the Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Rumania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan… For some of them, it granted them sovereignty several times over (Poland seems to be the prize-winner in that category). The political elites of these countries, having become used to suckling at Mother Russia’s ample bosom, naturally look for someone new to invade and/or liberate them and then to feed them.

After the collapse of the USSR, their new masters naturally became the US and the EU. But as these newly sovereign nations soon found out, not as much milk has flowed in their direction from their new masters, and some of them have started casting furtive glances toward Russia again. The twentieth century was a confusing time for many of these countries, and many of them are puzzled to this day as to whether at any given time they were being occupied or liberated by Russia. Let us consider, as a mini case study, the three Baltic mini-nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. With the exception of the Lithuanians, who had their 15 minutes of fame during their brief late-medieval dalliance with Poland, these three ethnic groups never made good candidates for sovereign nations. They were first dominated by the Germans, then by the Swedes.

Then Peter the Great purchased their lands from the Swedes with silver coin, but after that they continued to toil as serfs for their German landlords. But then in mid-19th century the Russian Empire abolished serfdom, starting with Estonian and Latvian serfs as an experiment. It then introduced compulsory schooling, wrote down the local languages, and invited the more promising native sons to come and study at St. Petersburg. This started them on the way toward developing a national consciousness, and what a headache that turned out to be!

While the Russian Empire held together they remained under control, but after the Russian Revolution they gained independence and swiftly turned fascist. As World War II neared, the Soviet leadership became justifiably concerned over having little pro-Nazi fascist states right on their border and occupied/liberated them. But then as the Germans advanced and the Red Army retreated, they were re-occupied by the fascists/liberated from the communists. But then as the Germans retreated and the Red Army advanced, they were re-occupied/re-liberated again and became, for a time, exemplary Soviet Communists.

And so they remained, occupied/liberated, being stuffed full of Soviet-built schools, hospitals, factories, roads, bridges, ports, railways and other infrastructure—until the USSR collapsed. They were the first to demand independence, singing songs and holding hands across all three republics. Since then they have squandered all of their Soviet inheritance and have progressively shed population while serving as playgrounds for NATO troops who get a special thrill, I suppose, by training right on Russia’s border. Their political elites made a tidy little business of Russophobia, which pleased their new Western masters but gradually wrecked their economies. Having reached their peak during the late Soviet era, they are now hollow shells of their former selves.

And now, lo and behold, an embarrassingly large chunk of their populations is pining after the good old Soviet days and wants better relations with Russia (which, in the meantime, seems to have largely forgotten that these Baltic statelets even exist). Their political elites would want nothing more than for Russia to occupy/liberate them again, because then they could be rid of their noisome constituents and move to London or Geneva, there to head up a government in exile and work on plans for the next round of occupation/liberation.

To their horror, they are now realizing that Russia has no further use for them, while their new masters at the EU are sinking into a quagmire of their own problems, leaving them abandoned with no kind master to care for them and to feed them. They thought they had signed up to administer a vibrant new democracy using free money from the EU, but instead they are now stuck administering a depopulating, economically stagnant backwater peopled by ethnic relicts. In eras past, they would have only had to wait until the next wave of barbarian invasion from the east. The barbarians would slaughter all the men, rape and/or kidnap all the prettier women, and the naturally recurring process of ethnogenesis would start again. But now there are a dozen time zones of Russia to their east and no hope at all of any more barbarian invasions, so all they can do is drink a lot and, by turns, curse the Russians and the Europeans.

The situation is much the same throughout Eastern Europe, in a great arc of semi-sovereign, pseudo-sovereign and (in the case of the Ukraine) faux-sovereign nations from the Baltic to the Black Sea and on to the Caspian Sea and beyond. The many serial occupations/liberations have given their political elites a wonderful weathercock-like quality: one moment they are wearing Nazi insignia and heiling Hitler and the next moment they are good Soviet Communists reciting the 10 Commandments of the Builders of Communism. The Ukraine (getting back to it, finally) is no different in this respect but different in another: by no stretch of the imagination is it even a nation, or a combination, assemblage or grouping of nations; it is, strictly speaking, an accidental territorial agglomeration. As a failed attempt to create a monoethnic nation-state it is a chimera.

The following map, labeled “Dynamics of agglomeration of Ukrainian territories,” shows the process in detail. The toponym “Ukraine” (“Ukraina”) is most likely of Polish origin, meaning “border zone,” and it seems to have first become a thing in 1653 when the red-colored region below decided that it had had enough of Polish Catholic dominance and discrimination (its inhabitants being Orthodox Christians) and chose to rejoin Russia. The region became known as Malorossia, or Little Russia, and the yellow-colored districts were added to it over time. And then, after the Russian Revolution, came the big gift: Malorossia and neighboring districts were formed into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and to make it something more than just a rural backwater Lenin saw it fit to lump in with it a number of Russian regions shaded in blue. It was this mistake that paved the way to the current impasse in what is but by all rights should never have been eastern Ukraine.

Then, right before, and again right after World War II Stalin lumped in the green-shaded western districts, which were previously part of he Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its inhabitants were Austrian, Polish, Hungarian, Rumanian and most of the rest, though initially Russian, had spent five centuries under foreign rule and spoke a distinctive, archaic dialect that served as the basis for creating the synthetic language now known as Ukrainian, while the rest of what is now Ukraine spoke Russian, Yiddish and a wide assortment of village dialects. It was this alienated group that was used as leavening to fashion a synthetic Ukrainian nationalism. In turn, Ukrainian Bolshevik leaders used this faux-nationalism to fashion the Ukraine into a regional power center within the USSR.

And then came the final mistake when Nikita Khrushchev, very much a product of the Ukrainian regional power center, paid it back for helping to promote him to the top job by giving it Russian Crimea—a move that was illegal under the Soviet constitution which was in effect at that time and a prime example of late Bolshevik political corruption that was undone in 2014 with great jubilation.

There are those who think that the solution to the Ukrainian problem is to take the Ukraine apart the same way it was put together. Behold the following map. Moving east to west, we have the Russian tricolor over Crimea (the only factual bit so far), then the flag of Novorussia covering all those territories that were arbitrarily lumped into the newly created Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by Lenin in 1922. Further west we have the flag of the state of Ukraine. And to the west is the flag of the Right Sector, a nationalist party with distinct Nazi tendencies that is currently active in Ukrainian politics.

I believe that, with the exception of Crimea, this map may very well turn out to be complete and utter nonsense. It seems outlandish to think that the Ukrainian Humpty-Dumpty, which is in the process of being knocked off the wall most unceremoniously by just about everyone, including Russia, the EU and the US, is going to break apart into such tidy, historically justifiable pieces. For one thing, national borders don’t matter so much any more once you are east of the Russian border, all of Europe now being one big unhappy mess. With millions of Ukrainians trying to eke out a living by working in Russia, or Poland, or further West, the distinctions between the various bits of the Ukrainian territory they are from are just not that meaningful to anyone.

For another, all of the Ukraine is now owned by the same bunch of oligarchs whose fortunes are tightly integrated with those of transnational corporations and of Western financial institutions. None of them care at all about the people that once inhabited this region and their varied histories and linguistic preferences. They care about translating economic and financial control directly into political control with a minimum of diplomatic politesse. The Ukraine has been in the process of being stripped bare of anything valuable for 30 years now, up to and including its fertile soil, and once there is nothing left to loot it will be abandoned as a wild field, largely uninhabited.

But we are not quite there yet, and for now the only map that really matters is the following one, which shows the two separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, collectively known as Donbass, short for Donetsk Basin, a prolific coal province that was mainly responsible for fueling the Ukraine’s former industrial might, which to this day continues to produce anthracite, a valuable, energy-rich coal that is now scarce in the world. It is that relatively tiny but densely populated sliver of land along the Russian border, less than 100km across in many places, that is the powder keg that some believe may set off World War III.

The Ukrainian military has been massing troops and armor along the line of separation while the Russian military has pulled up its forces to their side of the border. Shelling, sniper fire and other provocations from the Ukrainian side are intensifying, with the hope of provoking the Russians into moving forces onto Ukrainian territory, thus allowing the collective West to shout “Aha! Russian aggression!” Then they could put a stop to Nord Stream II pipeline, scoring a major geopolitical victory for Washington and follow that up with plenty of other belligerent moves designed to hurt Russia politically and economically.

For the Russians, there are no good choices that are obvious. Not responding to Ukrainian provocations and doing nothing while they shell and invade the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk, killing Russian citizens who live there, would make Russia look weak, undermine the Russian government’s position domestically and cost it a great deal of geopolitical capital internationally. Responding to Ukrainian provocations with overwhelming military force and crushing the Ukrainian military as was done in Georgia in 2008 would be popular domestically but could potentially lead to a major escalation and possibly an all-out war with NATO. Even if militarily the conflict is contained and NATO forces sit it out, as they did in Georgia, the political ramifications would cause much damage to the Russian economy through tightened sanctions and disruptions to international trade.

Those being the obvious bad choices, what are the obvious good ones, if any? Here, we have to pay careful attention to the official pronouncements Putin has made over the years, and to take them as face value. First, he said that Russia does not need any more territory; it has all the land it could ever want. Second, he said that Russia will follow the path of maximum liberalization in granting citizenship to compatriots and that, in turn, the well-being of Russia’s citizens is a top priority. Third, he said that resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine through military means is unacceptable. Given these constraints, what courses of action remain open?

The answer, I believe, is obvious: evacuation. There are around 3.2 million residents in Donetsk People’s Republic and 1.4 million in Lugansk People’s Republic, for a total of some 4.6 million residents. This may seem like a huge number, but it’s moderate by the scale of World War II evacuations. Keep in mind that Russia has already absorbed over a million Ukrainian migrants and refugees without much of a problem. Also, Russia is currently experiencing a major labor shortage, and an infusion of able-bodied Russians would be most welcome.

Domestically, the evacuation would likely be quite popular: Russia is doing right by its own people by pulling them out of harm’s way. The patriotic base would be energized and the already very active Russian volunteer movement would swing into action to assist the Emergencies Ministry in helping move and resettle the evacuees. The elections that are to take place later this year would turn into a nationwide welcoming party for several million new voters. The Donbass evacuation could pave the way for other waves of repatriation that are likely to follow. There are some 20 million Russians scattered throughout the world, and as the world outside Russia plunges deeper and deeper into resource scarcity they too will want to come home. While they may presently be reluctant to do so, seeing the positive example of how the Donbass evacuees are treated could help change their minds.

The negative optics of surrendering territory can be countered by not surrendering any territory. As a guarantor of the Minsk Agreements, Russia must refuse to surrender the Donbass to the Ukrainian government until it fulfills the terms of these agreements, which it has shown no intention of doing for seven years now and which it has recently repudiated altogether. It is important to note that the Russian military can shoot straight across all of Donbass without setting foot on Ukrainian soil. Should the Ukrainian forces attempt to enter Donbass, they will be dealt with as shown in the following instructional video. Note that the maximum range of the Tornado-G system shown in the video is 120km.

And should the Ukrainians care to respond by attacking Russian territory, another one of Putin’s pronouncements helps us understand what would happen next: if attacked, Russia will respond not just against the attackers but also against the centers of decision-making responsible for the attack. The Ukrainian command in Kiev, as well as its NATO advisers, would probably keep this statement in mind when considering their steps.

The Donbass evacuation should resonate rather well internationally. It would be a typical Putin judo move knocking NATO and the US State Department off-balance. Since this would be a large humanitarian mission, it would be ridiculous to attempt to portray it as “Russian aggression.” On the other hand, Russia would be quite within its rights to issue stern warnings that any attempt to interfere with the evacuation or to launch provocations during the evacuation process would be dealt with very harshly, freeing Russia’s hands in dispatching to God the berserkers from the Ukraine’s Nazi battalions, some of whom don’t particularly like to follow orders.

The West would be left with the following status quo. The Donbass is empty of residents but off-limits to them or to the Ukrainians. The evacuation would in no sense change the standing or the negotiating position of the evacuees and their representatives vis-à-vis the Minsk agreements, locking this situation in place until Kiev undertakes constitutional reform, becomes a federation and grants full autonomy to Donbass, or until the Ukrainian state ceases to exist and is partitioned. The Ukraine would be unable to join NATO (a pipe dream which it has stupidly voted into its constitution) since this would violate the NATO charter, given that it does not control its own territory.

Further sanctions against Russia would become even more difficult to justify, since it would be untenable to accuse it of aggression for undertaking a humanitarian mission to protect its own citizens or for carrying out its responsibilities as a guarantor of the Minsk agreements. The Donbass would remain as a stalker zone roamed by Russian battlefield robots sniping Ukrainian marauders, with the odd busload of schoolchildren there on a field trip to lay flowers on the graves of their ancestors. Its ruined Soviet-era buildings, not made any newer by three decades of Ukrainian abuse and neglect, will bear silent witness to the perpetual ignominy of the failed Ukrainian state.

History is as often driven by accident as by logic, but since we cannot predict accidents, logic is the only tool we have in trying to guess the shape of the future. Rephrasing Voltaire, this, then, is the best that we can expect to happen in this the best of all possible worlds.


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How Eurasia will be interconnected

How Eurasia will be interconnected

April 04, 2021

by Pepe Escobar posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

The extraordinary confluence between the signing of the Iran-China strategic partnership deal and the Ever Given saga in the Suez Canal is bound to spawn a renewed drive to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and all interconnected corridors of Eurasia integration.

This is the most important geo-economic development in Southwest Asia in ages – even more crucial than the geopolitical and military support to Damascus by Russia since 2015.

Multiple overland railway corridors across Eurasia featuring cargo trains crammed with freight – the most iconic of which is arguably Chongqin-Duisburg – are a key plank of BRI. In a few years, this will all be conducted on high-speed rail.

The key overland corridor is Xinjiang-Kazakhstan – and then onwards to Russia and beyond; the other one traverses Central Asia and Iran, all the way to Turkey, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe. It may take time – in terms of volume – to compete with maritime routes, but the substantial reduction in shipping time is already propelling a massive cargo surge.

The Iran-China strategic connection is bound to accelerate all interconnected corridors leading to and crisscrossing Southwest Asia.

Crucially, multiple BRI trade connectivity corridors are directly linked to establishing alternative routes to oil and gas transit, controlled or “supervised” by the Hegemon since 1945: Suez, Malacca, Hormuz, Bab al Mandeb.

Informal conversations with Persian Gulf traders have revealed huge skepticism about the foremost reason for the Ever Given saga. Merchant marine pilots agree that winds in a desert storm were not enough to harass a state of the art mega-container ship equipped with very complex navigation systems. The pilot error scenario – induced or not – is being seriously considered.

Then there’s the predominant shoptalk: stalled Ever Given was Japanese owned, leased from Taiwan, UK-insured, with an all-Indian crew, transporting Chinese merchandise to Europe. No wonder cynics, addressing the whole episode, are asking, Cui Bono?

Persian Gulf traders, in hush hush mode, also drop hints about the project for Haifa to eventually become the main port in the region, in close cooperation with the Emirates via a railway to be built between Jabal Ali in Dubai to Haifa, bypassing Suez.

Back to facts on the ground, the most interesting short-term development is how Iran’s oil and gas may be shipped to Xinjiang via the Caspian Sea and Kazakhstan – using a to-be-built Trans-Caspian pipeline.

That falls right into classic BRI territory. Actually more than that, because Kazakhstan is a partner not only of BRI but also the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).

From Beijing’s point of view, Iran is also absolutely essential for the development of a land corridor from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea and further to Europe via the Danube.

It’s obviously no accident that the Hegemon is on high alert in all points of this trade corridor. “Maximum pressure” sanctions and hybrid war against Iran; an attempt to manipulate the Armenia-Azerbaijan war; the post-color revolution environment in both Georgia and Ukraine – which border the Black Sea; NATO’s overarching shadow over the Balkans; it’s all part of the plot.

Now get me some Lapis Lazuli

Another fascinating chapter of Iran-China concerns Afghanistan. According to Tehran sources, part of the strategic agreement deals with Iran’s area of influence in Afghanistan and the evolution of still another connectivity corridor all the way to Xinjiang.

And here we go back to the always intriguing

Lapis Lazuli corridor – which was conceptualized in 2012, initially for increased connectivity between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

Lapis Lazuli, wonderfully evocative, harks back to the export of an array of semiprecious stones via the Ancient Silk Roads to the Caucasus, Russia, the Balkans and North Africa.

Now the Afghan government sees the ambitious 21st century remix as departing from Herat (a key area of Persian influence), continuing to the Caspian Sea port of Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan, via a Trans-Caspian pipeline to Baku, onwards to Tblisi and the Georgian ports of Poti and Batumi in the Black Sea, and finally connected to Kars and Istanbul.

This is really serious business; a drive that may potentially link the

Eastern Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean.

Since Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea in 2018, in the Kazakh port of Aktau, what’s interesting is that their major issues are now discussed at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), where Russia and Kazakhstan are full members; Iran will soon be; Azerbaijan is a dialogue partner; and Turkmenistan is a permanent guest.

One of the key connectivity problems to be addressed is the viability of building a canal from the Caspian Sea to Iran’s shores in the Persian Gulf. That would cost at least US$7 billion. Another issue is the imperative transition towards container cargo transport in the Caspian. In SCO terms, that will increase Russian trade with India via Iran as well as offering an extra corridor for China trade with Europe.

With Azerbaijan prevailing over Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh flare up, while finally sealing a deal with Turkmenistan over their respective status in the Caspian Sea, impetus for the western part of Lapis Lazuli is now in the cards.

The eastern part is a much more complicated affair, involving an absolutely crucial issue now on the table not only for Beijing but for the SCO: the integration of Afghanistan to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

In late 2020, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan agreed to build what analyst Andrew Korybko delightfully described as the PAKAFUZ railwayPAKAFUZ will be a key step to expand CPEC to Central Asia, via Afghanistan. Russia is more than interested.

This can become a classic case of the evolving BRI-EAEU melting pot. Crunch time – serious decisions included – will happen this summer, when Uzbekistan plans to host a conference called “Central and South Asia: Regional Interconnectedness. Challenges and Opportunities”.

So everything will be proceeding interconnected: a Trans-Caspian link; the expansion of CPEC; Af-Pak connected to Central Asia; an extra Pakistan-Iran corridor (via Balochistan, including the finally possible conclusion of the IP gas pipeline) all the way to Azerbaijan and Turkey; China deeply involved in all these projects.

Beijing will be building roads and pipelines in Iran, including one to ship Iranian natural gas to Turkey. Iran-China, in terms of projected investment, is nearly ten times more ambitious than CPEC. Call it CIEC (China-Iran Economic Corridor).

In a nutshell: the Chinese and Persian civilization-states are on the road to emulate the very close relationship they enjoyed during the Silk Road-era Yuan dynasty in the 13th century.

INSTC or bust

An extra piece of the puzzle concerns how the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) will mix with BRI and the EAEU. Crucially, INSTC also happens to be an alternative to Suez.

Iran, Russia and India have been discussing the intricacies of this 7,200 km-long ship/rail/road trade corridor since 2002. INSTC technically starts in Mumbai and goes all the way via the Indian Ocean to Iran, the Caspian Sea, and then to Moscow. As a measure of its appeal, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Oman, and Syria are all INSTC members.

Much to the delight of Indian analysts, INSTC reduces transit time from West India to Western Russia from 40 to 20 days, while cutting costs by as much as 60%. It’s already operational – but not as a continuous, free flow sea and rail link.

New Delhi already spent $500 million on a crucial project: the expansion of Chabahar port in Iran, which was supposed to become its entry point for a made in India Silk Road to Afghanistan and onward to Central Asia. But then it all got derailed by New Delhi’s flirting with the losing Quad proposition.

India also invested $1.6 billion in a railway between Zahedan, the key city in southeast Iran, and the Hajigak iron/steel mining in central Afghanistan. This all falls into a possible Iran-India free trade agreement which is being negotiated since 2019 (for the moment, on stand-by). Iran and Russia already clinched a similar agreement. And India wants the same with the EAEU as a whole.

Following the Iran-China strategic partnership, chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Mojtaba Zonnour, has already hinted that the next step should be an

Iran-Russia strategic cooperation deal, privileging “rail services, roads, refineries, petrochemicals, automobiles, oil, gas, environment and knowledge-based companies”.

What Moscow is already seriously considering is to build a canal between the Caspian and the Sea of Azov, north of the Black Sea. Meanwhile, the already built Caspian port of Lagan is a certified game-changer.

Lagan directly connects with multiple BRI nodes. There’s rail connectivity to the Trans-Siberian all the way to China. Across the Caspian, connectivity includes Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan and Baku in Azerbaijan, which is the starting point of the BTK railway through to the Black Sea and then all the way from Turkey to Europe.

On the Iranian stretch of the Caspian, Amirabad port links to the INSTC, Chabahar port and further on to India. It’s not an accident that several Iranian companies, as well China’s Poly Group and China Energy Engineering Group International want to invest in Lagan.

What we see in play here is Iran at the center of a maze progressively interconnected with Russia, China and Central Asia. When the Caspian Sea is finally linked to international waters, we will see a de facto alternative trade/transport corridor to Suez.

Post-Iran-China, it’s not far-fetched anymore to even consider the possible emergence in a not too distant future of a Himalaya Silk Road uniting BRICS members China and India (think, for instance, of the power of Himalayan ice converging into a shared Hydropower Tunnel).

As it stands, Russia is very much focused on limitless possibilities in Southwest Asia, as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made it clear in the 10th Middle East conference at the Valdai club. The Hegemon’s treats on multiple fronts – Ukraine, Belarus, Syria, Nord Stream 2 – pale in comparison.

The new architecture of 21st century geopolitics is already taking shape, with China providing multiple trade corridors for non-stop economic development while Russia is the reliable provider of energy and security goods, as well as the conceptualizer of a Greater Eurasia home, with “strategic partnership” Sino/Russian diplomacy playing the very long game.

Southwest Asia and Greater Eurasia have already seen which way the (desert) winds are blowing. And soon will the masters of international capital. Russia, China, Iran, India, Central Asia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Korean Peninsula, everyone will experience a capital surge – financial vultures included. Following the Greed is Good gospel, Eurasia is about to become the ultimate Greed frontier.

Navalny Is A NATO Agent, But Not All Unauthorized Protesters Are Foreign Proxies

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Navalny Is A NATO Agent, But Not All Unauthorized Protesters Are Foreign Proxies

Recent statements from President Putin, spy chief Naryshkin, and Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova confirm that anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny is a NATO agent, but that doesn’t mean that all unauthorized protesters who previously gathered in his support are foreign proxies since many of them are simply being misled as part of a newly invigorated push by hostile forces to provoke a Color Revolution against the democratically elected and legitimate Russian government.

Anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny is deceitfully misportrayed by Western governments as a viable contender for the Russian Presidency despite the Levada Center — a polling company registered as a foreign agent over receiving Western funding in the past — recently finding that only 5% of Russians trust him. He was sentenced earlier this month to two and a half years in prison for violating his parole from a previous case where he was found guilty of embezzling 30 million rubles from two companies. Navalny surprisingly returned to Russia in late January following several months of treatment in Germany after being poisoned in a botched assassination attempt that he publicly blamed on the Russian authorities. His latest sentencing served as a trigger event for some people to participate in unauthorized and violent protests throughout Russia.

The sequence of events removes all doubt that Russia is being targeted by hostile forces in a newly invigorated push to provoke a Color Revolution against its democratically elected and legitimate government ahead of parliamentary elections in September. I explained how this process works in detail in a chapter from my 2015 book on Hybrid Warfare about “The Color Revolution Model: An Exposé of the Core Mechanics” which should be read by those who are unfamiliar with this concept. According to my model, Navalny is a core operative surrounded by a close circle of cohorts who help him carry out the attempted destabilization of his homeland. Their efforts, including the debunked video about President Putin’s alleged “palace”, are aimed at attracting sympathizers misled into supporting their campaign.

While those who participate in unauthorized and especially violent protests are unquestionably breaking the law, it’s unfair to describe them all as foreign proxies even though those who’ve misled them definitely are. They’re responsible for their actions and should face justice accordingly, but their crimes are of a completely different caliber than their leaders’. Recent statements from President Putin, spy chief Naryshkin, and Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova confirm that Navalny is actually a NATO agent. The Russian President first hinted at this in mid-December during his year-end review when telling the nation in response to a question asked of him on this topic that “this patient of a Berlin clinic has the support of the special services, those of the United States in this particular case.”

The FSB’s release earlier this month of surveillance footage recorded in the early 2010s showing one of Navalny’s close associates asking a suspected British spy in Moscow for cash and intelligence might just be the tip of the iceberg showing how far back his collusion with foreign governments goes. This was followed by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova saying on 9 February that Navalny and his ilk shouldn’t be described as members of the so-called “opposition” but as “agents of influence” after openly coordinating online with several foreign governments in an event organized under the NATO umbrella. Spy chief Naryshkin then chimed in to say that “The Russian Foreign Ministry is not wrong or exaggerating in its comments” that some anti-government individuals conspire with the special services of hostile foreign governments.

President Putin added on Sunday that “This figure is used right now, exactly at the point when in all countries in the world – ours included – people are growing tired and accumulate irritation and discontent about their living conditions and the level of their incomes.” The Russian leader also clarified, however, that “irritation is accumulating [in the society]: there are lots of problems and scarce funds. People can be understood.” This latter remark can be interpreted as expressing sympathy with people’s frustrations over the past year since the onset of World War C, my term for referring to the full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes catalyzed by the world’s uncoordinated efforts to contain COVID-19. Like I also wrote in March 2018 following President Putin’s address to the federal assembly, “It’s Okay To Constructively Criticize Russia, Even President Putin Does It!

Those of his compatriots who are increasingly dissatisfied with the difficult conditions of the modern day aren’t doing anything wrong by making their feelings known, but they mustn’t break the law by participating in unauthorized and especially violent protests after being misled by foreign-backed Color Revolution demagogues such as Navalny. This is a pragmatic stance by the Russian President since it acknowledges the objectively existing reality that the situation is far from perfect in Russia today (just like everywhere across the world), that there’s nothing wrong with talking about it or feeling frustrated, but that these sentiments mustn’t be exploited by anti-state forces for illegal regime change ends. With the upcoming parliamentary elections in a little over half a year’s time, Russians can peacefully and responsibly make their voices heard at the polls instead.

Those that accuse others of being “foreign proxies” just because they don’t express complete satisfaction with the current state of affairs are committing a serious disservice that might even inadvertently further radicalize some at-risk members of the population. This also includes folks misled into joining unauthorized and especially violent protests. Contrary to Western claims, Russia is indeed a democracy even though it implements its own national variant of this governing model. Everyone has the right to peacefully and responsibly share their views about anything so long as they follow the law while doing so, and if President Putin of all people can constructively criticize the state of affairs in the country that he himself leads, then so too can everyone else living there as well. Legal dissent is allowed, but illegal participation in unauthorized and violent protests isn’t.

What makes Navalny so dangerous isn’t that he’s a “pro-Western liberal, anti-migrant nationalist, or political opportunist” like RT described him, but that he’s attempting to mislead dissatisfied people — and increasingly even children — into breaking the law by exploiting their frustrations with the state of affairs. The content of his political platform isn’t as bad as the means through which he’s seeking to implement it. This NATO agent is manipulating people for the purpose of provoking a Color Revolution, hoping that the authorities’ legally justified but sometimes forceful response to his illegal protests can be decontextualized, misreported, and then weaponized to incite a self-sustaining cycle of unrest. That’s why President Putin’s latest words are so wise since he showed that he sympathizes with the dissatisfied but informed them of how they’re being misled.

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on January 9, 2021, three days after the Capitol riots.


Date: 15 February 2021

Author: lecridespeuples

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on January 9, 2021, three days after the Capitol riots.

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2186

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

[…] My first comment (concerns the Capitol Hill riot), because it would be unwise to ignore an event of such magnitude, namely the major incident that occurred in recent days in the United States, in Washington. Trump called for a protest in Washington, interrupting his New Year’s Holiday to come to Washington and call for a (big) protest, addressing protesters behind a bulletproof glass the same day, and urging them to march on the Congress, and on the Representatives and Senators assembled nearby to (officially) establish the result of the presidential elections.

Image result for trump capitol speech

Then, during the meeting of Representatives and Senators, the two Houses of Representatives and Senators, the demonstrators invaded the Congress building (the Capitol), in a scene [of a coup or “color revolution”] that the United States have the habit of fomenting in other countries of the world to bring down regimes. But now Trump has implemented it in his own country! This is the very thing they have perpetrated in many countries of the world, and which they have been trying to do for a year and a half in Lebanon! Either way, the protesters walked towards the building, passed through the security gates, and entered (the Capitol). There were a number of deaths, dozens of injured, dozens of arrests, bloody clashes… The Representatives and Senators fled, ending their meeting, hiding (where they could)… Then various measures were taken, and clamors (of condemnation) arose from all sides.

Image result for capitol assault

Of course, this is a very important and very dangerous event, which cannot be minimized or considered minor, despite the efforts of some. And its consequences are also (major and) dangerous. In Lebanon and in the Arab world, the darlings (vassals) of the United States have endeavored to downplay the significance of this event, to belittle and underestimate it. But (to know its real scope), it suffices to ask the inhabitants of Mecca, who are the most aware of what is happening at home (Arabic proverb inviting to question those first concerned). Let’s rely on what the people of the United States have said, what Biden said, what his vice-president (Harris) said, what top Democratic Party officials said, within the Republican Party, etc. How did all these people describe this event? What has been the reaction within the Trump administration itself, the resignations etc.? If it were only a minor and marginal incident, under control, it would not have had all of these consequences, which still continue, and can lead to impeachment proceedings against Trump by Congress.

Image result for us capitol jamiroquai

It was not the (intended) topic of my speech, but since this event has occurred, I will say two words about it.

First, this is obviously a (major) event that we must ponder and analyze carefully, and from which we should draw lessons. This event reveals to us the reality of the current (domestic) situation in the United States, and reveals the true face of this (so-called) democracy and its (vain) pretenses. But among the things to stress in this event is that the people of the United States themselves have tasted first-hand the consequences of Trump’s policies, and his willingness to kill even Americans –who he was already killing during the past year during demonstrations [against police brutality and institutional racism]– to stay in power. We have long warned of the dangers of the policies of this assassin, and what Americans and the world have seen is only a small glimpse of what Trump perpetrated over four years in many countries around the world, such as Yemen, Iraq, Syria, the siege imposed on Iran, Venezuela, etc., and his support for Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people. The whole world has remained silent, as have many Americans, in the face of its atrocious crimes against other peoples, in particular its manifest, official and scandalous crime against the two Commanders (who defeated ISIS), Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al- Muhandis. And today, Trump’s criminal truth has been revealed to the eyes of his own people. Trump exemplifies the American political and military arrogance which has long imposed its hegemony on peoples, monopolized their choices and chained their sovereignty.

What has happened in recent days is an example of the sterile and catastrophic nature of this (bogus) American democracy which has no real guarantees, and allows individuals like Trump to come to power. How could an election allow the rise to power of a figure so puffed up with arrogance, so criminal, so mad and so stupid, to rule not only the United States, but the whole world, holding the future of humanity in his hands?! (This experience at least) revealed the true face of this American (pseudo-)democracy that they wanted to impose on the world. And with his allies and accomplices in the Middle East, Trump exemplifies power-hungry tyrants, (ready for anything to cling to power), even at the cost of the blood of their own people. Of course, we must also mention Pompeo, who always urged us to preserve the popular vote, while he and his President did everything possible to impose themselves and alter the outcome of the elections, by force and threats. He was talking to us about the respect due to protesters, and we saw the (unarmed protesters) killed and wounded in the heart of Washington.

I will conclude on this point with two words.

(First, I want to say) that God the Most High and the Exalted has protected the peoples of the world and the whole Earth during these four years (of Trump’s presidency), and we must all pray to Him, invoke Him and intercede with Him so that He continues to preserve us during the days that remain before January 20, because the nuclear codes are still in the hands of this mad, stupid, racist and arrogant character that is Trump, a real tyrant who when he gets angry, he no longer knows what he is doing. May God continue to preserve the world for the few days remaining until January 20.

See Nasrallah: Trump heads for Armageddon

And my last point is this: when I saw Trump’s recorded speech yesterday (it was not broadcast live), and in which he condemned the protesters, those who had engaged in violence, vowing to abide by the law and calling everyone to respect the law, he reminded me of this Quranic verse which says: “They are like Satan when he lures someone to disbelieve. Then after they have done so, he will say ˹on Judgment Day˺, ‘I have absolutely nothing to do with you. I truly fear Allah—the Lord of all worlds.’ ” (Quran, 59, 16).

Up to 4.55 minutes, excerpts from Trump’s speech before the assault on Capitol Hill. From 5.10 minutes, Trump’s repudiation the next day.

It was Trump who organized this demonstration, he is the one who incited them to march on Congress, it is he who sent them there, and when they took the Capitol, he disassociated himself from them, saying he had nothing to do with any of this and was abiding by the law. This is the real face of Trump, the way he behaves with those who support him, let alone his allies.

See Free Speech or incitement to violence? Norman Finkelstein on Trump’s speech before the Capitol Riots

In conclusion, this is a major event, and the developments underway in the United States are very important and will have consequences domestically but also on the whole world. We must follow all of this closely. […]

***

Khamenei: the post-American era has begun

Speech by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Sayed Ali Khamenei, February 7, 2021, commemorating the Iranian Air Force’s allegiance to Imam Khomeini.

Source: https://english.khamenei.ir/news/8337/Iran-s-condition-for-returning-to-JCPOA-commitments-Removing

Imam Khamenei invited those who have unrealistic estimations of US power and that of some other countries to look at recent events in the US. He explained, “The scandalous events that have taken place in the US recently are not minor events, and they should not be considered to be the mere downfall of an incompetent President. Rather, they are a manifestation of the decline of the US reputation, power and social system.”

Referring to statements made by some eminent political personalities in the US, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said, “They themselves state that the social system of the US has deteriorated from within, and some have even spoken of a post-US era.”

His Eminence added, “If something similar to what occurred in the US had occurred in any other part of the world – particularly in countries with which the US is at odds – they would not have stopped covering it in their news, but the mass media empire is in their control. So they try to show that the conflict has finished, but it is far from over.”

The Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces stated that the reason why some regimes that are dependent on the US – in particular, the Zionist regime – are distressed and stunned and the reason for their recent ranting and raving is their fear and anxiety about the reality of the US decline in international and domestic areas.

Stating that one of the ways for increasing a country’s power is to strengthen the Armed Forces in proportion with regional and international events, Imam Khamenei praised recent military maneuvers and said, “Carrying out such great, impressive maneuvers, despite the existence of sanctions, gives us confidence that national security has been ensured by the children of the country who are in the Armed Forces. This is truly a source of pride.”

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The Headless Chicken and the Bear

THE SAKER • FEBRUARY 9, 2021 

Introducing the headless chicken

The EU has a major problem: it is run by a comprador class which is entirely dependent on the United States. Okay, that by itself is not the problem I am referring to. The problem I am referring to is one we could call the problem of the decapitated chicken: a decapitated chicken can run without a head, but it sure does not know where it is running or why. This happens to all comprador classes when their beloved masters suddenly vanish. This is exactly what happened to the European ruling classes when Trump came to the White House: they “lost their head” and they began running all over the place, obviously achieving nothing. Now that the Neocons gave Trump the boot, the EU rulers are desperate to show the new US leaders that they only hated Trump, not the US, and what better way to show your complete submission than by barking at the Asiatic Mordor of the East known as “Russia”?

This latest PSYOP was apparently organized in the US last fall, while Trump was still in power, at least nominally. This makes sense, just like the huge “Patriot Act” was carefully prepared months, if not years before 9/11 happened. This time around, some US intelligence agency (probably the CIA) then passed the baby to the German BND which was supposed to act as an intermediary to give the US “plausible deniability”. The big problem is that the Germans apparently screwed things up, and the plan was a flop: the latest sacral victim failed to die (again!). As for Putin, he used his executive power to allow Navalnyi (who was on parole) to immediately fly to Germany for treatment as soon as the Russian medics stabilized him. From there on, everything went south and Navalnyi’s curators scrambled to save whatever could be saved.

They produced a movie about Putin’s palace in Crimea, only to have Russian reporters film the location and prove that this movie was a total fake. Then they sent Navalnyi back to Russia figuring that if the Russian authorities arrested him huge protests would follow or, alternatively, if the Russians did nothing, Navalnyi would be able to create chaos during an important election year in Russia. This resulted in another flop, not only were the crowds in Russia small, their behavior was deeply offensive and even frightening to most Russians who have seen enough Maidans and color revolutions to know how this stuff ends. As for Navalnyi, he was arrested immediately upon landing, and his parole was revoked.

Of course, all this was reported very differently in what I call Zone A, but while this made it possible for the authors of this PSYOP to conceal the magnitude of their failure, in the rest of the world and, especially, in Russia, it was pretty clear that this ridiculous buffoonery had failed. That outcome presented the EU headless chicken with a major problem: on one hand, we protest about “Putin murdering his own people with combat gasses” while on the other we are about to complete North Stream 2 (NS2), which we need to remain competitive; if we continue, we will lose NS2 and we will alienate Russia even further, but if we stop acting like an idiot on suicide watch, our overseas masters will make us pay. EU leaders obviously failed agree on a plan so, just like a headless chicken, they ran in all directions at the same time: they publicly protested, but also sent as top official, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Josep Borrell, to try to appease the Russians. Borrell actually did a decent job trying to placate the Russians, but this time something went very wrong. Not only was Foreign Minister Lavrov very blunt in his public comments, the Russians also expelled 3 EU diplomats for participating in the demonstrations even while Borrell and Lavrov were talking. This is when the proverbial bovine excreta hit the fan, at least in EU whose “watchdog media” (here I use the term “watchdog” as meaning “immediately barking at anybody daring to stray from the official propaganda line”) went crazy and accused Borrell of caving in to the Russians. Some even demanded Borrell’s resignation. As for Borrell himself, he did what all western officials do after a visit to Moscow: he changed his tune as soon as he came back home. Finally, Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, added that “The task [of Borrell] was to carry out a public flogging, which, I think, they planned very carefully, it was a cascade of topics: talks about rallies, talks about journalists, and making [Alexey] Navalny the main theme of the discussion”. According to Zakharova, this plan failed because Russia insisted on discussing the “real issues“.

Interestingly, the Russians did not expel any US diplomats (at least not yet) in spite of the fact that these officials all agreed that the origin of the PSYOP was from overseas and in spite of the quasi-certainty that US officials must have been present, at least in the Moscow and Saint Petersburg protests. To its credit, the US embassy in Moscow did recommend to all US citizens that they stay away from illegal demonstrations. This is an ongoing crisis and by the time this analysis is posted, things might have changed dramatically. My purpose today is not to look at the US or the EU, but at what I believe is a major shift in Russian policy.

At this point, we should not see the expulsions of the 3 EU diplomats as anything more than just a “shot across the bow”, a way to indicate that the winds have changed. But these expulsions are not big enough to qualify as a real, painful, retaliation. Why?

Because the real slap in the collective face of the EU was the press conference of Lavrov and Borrell in which Lavrov was truly uniquely direct and candid. For example, Lavrov bluntly said ” We are proceeding from the assumption that the EU is not a reliable partner, at least at the current stage. I hope that in future strategic attention will be given to the EU’s fundamental interest in its closest neighbours and that the talks we have held today will promote movement to a more constructive trajectory. We are ready for this“.

Translated from diplospeak into plain English, this means 1) we are fed up with you and 2) we don’t need you.

This blunt statement is what triggered all the subsequent hysterics in Brussels about Borrell being ill treated by the Russians and Borrell’s subsequent declaration that “Russia does not want a constructive dialog” and that the EU must now decide if it still wants to get closer to Russia or if it wants to distance itself from a country slipping into authoritarianism.

In western parlance the degree of “democratism” or “authoritarianism” is solely defined by the willingness of a country to be a satrapy of the Empire. Under this definition, all sovereign countries are “dictatorships” and all AngloZionist satrapies are paragons of democracy.

Has the Russian bear had enough?

Just two weeks ago I wrote that With “Biden” in the White House, the Kremlin Now Needs to Change Gear and I believe that this is exactly what we are seeing today. Here is my evidence:

  • The tone of the Russian has changed and is much more direct and blunt
  • The fact that the three EU diplomats were expelled while Borrell was in Moscow was a very deliberate slap in the EU’s collective face
  • The tone of the Russian media has also changed, journalists and experts are all expressing their utter disgust with the EU and are calling for less words and more actions
  • The NS2 lobby in Russia (who advocated a policy of total non-confrontation at least until NS2 was completed) is rather absent from the public discourse. This might mean that this lobby has thrown in the towel or, alternatively, that the block I call “Eurasian sovereignists” does not consider NS2 as vital for Russia (they are correct, by the way) and that putting the squeeze on the EU is much more important (again, I agree with them here too).
  • The EU’s other anti-Russian vendetta, I am referring to the recent attempt at overthrowing Lukashenko, has also failed. However, this PSYOP was so rude and crude, and the EU acted with such arrogance that it really gave Russia no other option than to take action, not only by flying Tu-160s along the Belarussian border or by selling S-400s, but also by using highly symbolic diplomatic countermeasures.
  • The Russian Aerospace Forces (2 Su-24M, 2 Su-27s and 2 Su-30SM) have conducted mock missile strikes against USN ships as soon as they entered the southern waters of the Black Sea. Note: the same day Chinese aircraft conducted a mock attack on a US carrier in the Pacific.
  • Russia has now deployed both the Bal and even the formidable Bastion coastal missile defense systems. This, combined with the formidable capabilities of the Southern Military District and the Black Sea Fleet which turns the entire Black Sea into a shooting range and any hostile ship into an easy target for the Russians. Clearly, the Russians are fed up with the arrogance of the USN.
  • Defense Minister Shoigu has just announced a major increase in the production of high-precision and hypersonic weapons.

These are just a few examples of a much longer list of changes which are taking place before our eyes.

So far, the EU did not get the message at all. At least officially. But witnessing the infighting taking place not only over Borrell’s trip, but also about what to do about vaccines (The Lancet has just posted a major article entitled “Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine candidate appears safe and effective” which basically said that all the western nonsense about Sputnik-V being BOTH 1) unsafe AND 2) ineffective were lies) I can clearly see that the EU rulers are seriously worried. Right now it sure looks like the EU is losing the “COVID propaganda war” and that all these russophobic states (except the hardcore nutcases of 3B+PU) will have to now ask Russia for her vaccines. So far the only official EU reaction was to expel 3 Russian diplomats and somewhat protest. But these are clearly the opening shots of a much longer confrontation between Russia and the EU.

The crucial factor to consider here is this: while the aggregate power of the US+NATO+EU+5EYES is bigger than Russia’s, the mental paralysis of the EU leaders makes the EU alone already much weaker than Russia. Of course, since Biden’s administration is a who’s who of the most hysterical russophobes imaginable, chances are that the US will interfere and attempt to back the anti-Russian factions in the EU. Considering the tone used by Russian officials over the latest USN provocations in the Black Sea and the Sea of Japan, I don’t doubt the Kremlin’s determination to act both in words and with actions.

And then there are the subtle threats which the general public is rarely exposed to. The latest example is a highly specialized article entitled “Rationale for the combat use of aviation to disrupt an integrated massive air strike during a multi-domain operation of the enemy” which explains how Russia could disrupt and defeat a NATO attack. I won’t go into all the (very interesting) details here, but I will just say that the authors declare that Russia can go from a policy of deterrence by nuclear forces to a policy of (conventional) deterrence by having the means to “inflict comprehensive defeat (upon NATO countries) using all types of weapons within the deterrence of inflicting an unacceptable complex defeat on it with all types of weapons within the framework of preventive actions under the conditions of the danger of local war threatening the Russian Federation“. In truth, this is not the only Russian specialized article discussing the future of warfare, and what makes this one truly unique is that RT, of all places, decided to post an article about it entitled “Russian Air Force experts publish plan to neutralize NATO forces in all-out war with bombing strikes“. This really looks like the Kremlin wanted to make absolutely sure that western politicians (as opposed to western military analysts who read that stuff on a daily basis anyway) would think long and hard about what US military plans for NATO really would mean for the EU.

Then there is the outcome of the Polish military command staff exercise Winter-20 which resulted in, I kid you not, Russia completely defeating the Polish military in 5 days only! (For details, see herehere or here). Again, there is nothing really new here, the US and/or NATO have conducted plenty of exercises which had the “Russian hordes” defeating the “forces of democracy and progress”. And, again, the real difference was in the Russian coverage of this news: for the first time the Russians openly made fun of NATO and of the (always paranoid and insanely russophobic) Poles. In truth, the Russians always knew that the Polish military is as good on pompous ceremonies and parades as it is inept on the battlefield, but that kind of open contempt is something new, at least from the state supported media.

So far, the EU clearly is not coming to terms with this new reality. The latest (breathtakingly stupid) EU plan to try to scare “Putin” (here “Putin” is the collective Kremlin boogeyman, not necessarily VVP): Svetlana Tikhanovskaia has appealed to the wife of Navalnyi, Iulia, to become the “she president of Russia”. Yes, seriously. Iulia Navalnaia as President of Russia!

As for Navalnyi’s supporters in the EU, they have decided to create a Russian government in exile. Again, this is not a joke. By the way, the “Minister of Foreign Affairs” of this “Russian Government in Exile”, Leonid Volkov, initially declared that the illegal riots should be halted, only to be told otherwise by his handlers. He immediately made a required 180 and declared that protests will resume. This is how Maria Zakharova bluntly, and very officially, reacted on Facebook to his “change of mind”: (minimally fixed machine translation)

NATO doubles down

On February 4, 2021, Volkov declared that the protests in Russia were canceled and will resume in the spring and summer. “We will not hold a rally next weekend…The wave of protest must end at a high point. Because if we continue to decline, it will be terribly demotivating and frustrating for everyone… We will prepare well and hold something big both in the spring and in the summer. We will never give up our demands.” Then, on February 9, 2021, Volkov changed his mind and announced that the campaign will continue in February. “We’ll make it much trickier” he added. What happened between February 4 and 9 and forced the “opposition” to radically change tactics? Everything is quite simple – on February 8, 2021, an online meeting with Volkov and Ashurkov took place at the Permanent Mission of Poland to the EU in Brussels, in which EU countries, the United States, and Britain took part. And in fact-this was a meeting of the NATO countries. The NATO members instructed the “opposition”, and in fact their agents of influence, how to continue “more cunning” to conduct subversive work. Too much money and resources have already been invested by the West in this story to wait until spring. They clearly understand: in the spring, the information campaign pumped up by Westerners will be blown away. They can no longer juggle the topic of “chemical weapons” without presenting the facts – they are pinned to the wall. So they double down.

As for Navalnyi and his supporters, Zakarova was even more direct, saying “stop calling them opposition, they are NATO agents!”.

As I have explained many times, western politicians double down not when they feel strong, they double down when they feel weak and when they place their hopes in the willingness of the other side not to seriously further escalate.

And, just to make sure that the Empire can win the battle for the “hearts and minds” of the Russian people, the Brits are now counting (again) on Pussy Riot to release a song in support of protests. Again, while this does sound like a joke, it is not.

Now comes the best part: there are a lot of signs that the EU will, again under the pious pretext of “solidarity” follow the 3B+PU politicians and, if not recognize such a government in exile, at least treat its members as real officials. That is also supposed to also terrify the Kremlin, I guess. But if that is the best the EU can come up with, VVP and the people of Russia, can sleep in peace.

So where do we go from here?

Making predictions is a tricky thing when dealing with both 1) countries with limited agency/sovereignty and 2) countries led by incompetent/delusional politicians. The many theories of deterrence out there all assume what is called a “rational actor” and a truly sovereign state. What is certain is that the Empire and its EU protectorates will only increase what I call “petty harassment measures” to try to offend and humiliate Russia (stuff like this crap). In response to such “ankle biting” Russia will do two things: drop any pretense of diplomacy and denounce these “ankle bites” for what they are (provocations) and further turn to Zone B (aka “reliable partners”) for partnerships. Russia will also bluntly spell out to the Europeans the risks they are taking with their ill-conceived sabre rattling along the Russian border. Sadly, this probably means that, just as the Chinese Navy recently, the Russian Aerospace Forces and Navies will have order to engage any aircraft or vessel threatening Russia (so far these are only rumors, but they are persistent and seem to have strong backing in the Duma). This is a very dangerous development as western politicians, being primarily ideological (and, therefore, delusional) creatures will always prefer to play a game of (headless) chicken hoping that the other guy will back down. The fact that the “other guy” (both Russian and Chinese) in the past did, indeed, back down and show restraint only further encourages western politicians to double down forever no matter what. For these reasons I would call the probability of an actual military clash between US/NATO and/or Russia/China as “likely in 2021”. As for the future of NS2, I always assumed that EU politicians can count their Euros and realize that the EU needs that project way more than Russia. Frankly, I am not so sure now: counting on the mental abilities of a headless chicken is probably not a good idea! Neither is counting on the courage of the type of politicians whom Boris Johnson once called “supine invertebrate protoplasmic jellies“.

It appears that Russia and the EU are on a direct collision course. Frankly, I welcome it, in spite of the obvious dangers. Why? Because nothing except a real confrontation can bring EU politicians down to the real world back from the La-La land they currently live in. The Russian bear needs to smack down the headless chicken. Hard.

The People Vs Navalny: Russia Draws Red Lines To Foreign Meddling In Its Sovereign Affairs

South Front

The flag-bearer of Western influence and globalists in Russia, Alexey Navalny, has been sentenced to 2 years and 8 months in prison for grossly disregarding the terms of his suspended sentence.

The initial sentence was for 3.5 years, but he has already served a part of that term under house arrest. The absurdity of the situation is that his initial sentence was related to corruption – something he allegedly fights against.

Despite claims by MSM and Western diplomats that Navalny is subject to political persecution, his proven and known ties to Western Intelligence were not part of the case.

Just recently, on February 1st, videos were released online showing the joyful cooperation between Navalny’s team and foreign intelligence services. To put it plainly – Navalny’s team requested information from British Intelligence. It planned to employ that “dirt” to hinder Russia’s interests, both internal and external. His Anti-Corruption Foundation, furthermore, promised to work against Russian business, and to promote British companies. For that, these would be paid hefty sums when he, ultimately, somehow managed to come to power. To achieve that, Navalny’s people vowed to stage mass protests, spread propaganda and strike behind the scenes deals with the elites. It can’t be corruption, if it’s for a “good cause”, right?

As further evidence of this foreign support and pressure, at least 20 diplomats from various countries, including the US, made an appearance when Navalny’s case came up in the Moscow Court hoping to pressure the court in his favour thereby meddling in Russian internal affairs. The massive media propaganda campaign was also plain to see.

For proven in court criminal offenses involving embezzlement of funds on a massive scale, dozens of violations of the terms of his suspended sentence, contempt of court, his active and public work in the interests of foreign states against the Russian nation Navalny faced slightly more than 2.5 years in jail. For any neutral observer, this was an expected outcome and the only concern would be the soft punishment that he received. This can be partly explained by Russia once again showing itself to be a stronghold of tolerance and democracy and also by the fact that the decision of the court is related to the violations of the suspended sentence only and it did not review other ‘achievements’ of the anti-Russian clique operating under the Navalny brand.

Following the court decision, Western leaders and diplomats further publicly meddled in internal Russian affairs by calling for violence to demand the release of the self-proclaimed anti-corruption activist. This will also likely be used as a pretext for increasing pressure on Russia, including new sanctions. The remaining Western-funded network inside the country already tried to stage violent protests in Moscow and other big cities. Nonetheless, their attempts failed largely due to a low turnout and to the successful actions of the authorities. There are no doubts that foreign efforts in this field will continue as opponents of Russia need violence on the streets and casualties to push forward their destabilization campaign. At the same time, recent events demonstrated that the hardcore pro-Western opposition has close to no real support among the general Russian population. Therefore, help from Western special services will likely focus on creating pinpoint provocations to escalate the violence and to create some sacred sacrifice. If the government acts successfully to contain these provocations and avoid the escalation of violence, anti-Russian forces will likely focus on keeping up the pressure and some level of instability in the larger cities for the next months. A new round of major provocations can be expected in the runup to the Russian general election in September 2021.

Actions of the global establishment show that hopes for a ‘reconciliation with the West’ demonstrated by the ‘liberal part’ of the Russian elites are largely baseless. Therefore, Russia should be ready for the further confrontation with the so-called ‘Democratic world’, which has for a long time forgotten what the words ‘democracy’ and the ‘rule of law’ really mean.

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The Destructive Plan Behind the Biden Russia Agenda

January 31, 2021

[Note by the Saker: as most of you know, I don’t do reposts (see here why).  This time, however, I decided to make a small exception to this rule and I emailed William and asked him for the permission to repost his excellent article on the hardcore russophobic elements inside Biden’s team.  William has very kindly allowed me to do so, so here it is below]

The Destructive Plan Behind the Biden Russia Agenda

by William Engdahl, reposted by special permission

source: http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO29Jan2021.php

The new Biden Administration has from day one made it clear it will adopt a hostile and aggressive policy against the Russian Federation of Vladimir Putin. The policy behind this stance has nothing to do with any foul deeds Putin’s Russia may or may not have committed against the West. It has nothing to do with absurd allegations that Putin had pro-US dissident Alexei Navalny poisoned with the ultra-deadly Novichok nerve agent. In has to do with a far deeper agenda of the globalist Powers That Be. That agenda is what is being advanced now.

The Cabinet choices of Joe Biden reveal much. His key foreign policy picks–Tony Blinken as Secretary of State and Victoria Nuland as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; Bill Burns as CIA head; Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor ; Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence—all are from the Obama-Biden Administration and all have worked closely together. As well, all see Russia, not China, as the prime security threat to the United States’ global hegemony.

As candidate, Joe Biden stated this often. His key foreign policy choices underscore that the focus with the Biden Administration, regardless how fit Biden himself is, will shift from the China threats to that of Putin’s Russia. Biden’s CIA head, Bill Burns, is a former Ambassador to Moscow and was Deputy Secretary of State during the Obama CIA coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014. Notably, when Burns left State in November 2014 he was succeeded by Tony Blinken, now Secretary of State. Blinken reportedly formulated the US State Department response to Russia’s Crimea annexation.

Nuland is key

All Biden choices are uniformly clear in blaming Putin’s Russia for everything from US election interference in 2016 to the recent SolarWinds US government computer hack, to every other claim aired against Russia in recent years, whether proven or not.

In trying to determine what the new Biden Administration and the US intelligence agencies have in store towards Putin and Russia, however, the best indication is the prominent role being given to Victoria Nuland, the person, together with then-Vice President Joe Biden, who ran the political side of the US coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2013-14. She infamously was wire-tapped in a phone call to the US Ambassador in Kiev during the Maidan Square 2013-14 protests, telling the Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, regarding EU choices for a new Ukraine regime, “F**k the EU.” Her husband, Robert Kagan is a notorious Washington neocon.

On leaving government on Trump’s election in 2016, Nuland became a Senior Counselor at the Albright Stonebridge Group, headed by former Clinton Secretary of State Madeline Albright who is also chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) affiliate, National Democratic Institute. Nuland also joined the Board of the NED, after 2016, keeping in close contact with NED regime change operations. She is a Russia expert, fluent in Russian and a specialist in toppling regimes.

As Obama Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian and European Affairs in 2013, Nuland worked closely with Vice President Joe Biden to put into power Arseniy Yatsenyuk in a US-friendly and Russia-hostile Ukraine coup. She fostered months of protest against the regime of the elected President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych, to force his ouster after his decision to join the Russian Eurasian Economic Union. Founder of the private intelligence group Stratfor, George Friedman, in an interview just after the February 2014 coup in Kiev, called it “the most blatant coup in (US) history.”

New Initiatives

In a major article in the August, 2020 Foreign Affairs, journal of the New York Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Nuland outlines what most likely will be US strategy for undermining Russia in the coming months. She complains that, “resignation has set in about the state of US-Russian relations, and Americans have lost confidence in their own ability to change the game.” In other words, she is about “changing the game” with Putin. She charges that in the past 12 years, “Russia has violated arms control treaties; fielded new, destabilizing weapons; threatened Georgia’s sovereignty; seized Crimea and much of the Donbass; and propped up despots in Libya, Syria, and Venezuela. It has used cyber-weapons against foreign banks, electrical grids, and government systems; interfered in foreign democratic elections; and assassinated its enemies on European soil.”

She goes on to say the repeated US economic sanctions on select Russian banks and companies as well as Putin backers have done little to change Russian policy, claiming that, ”US and allied sanctions, although initially painful, have grown leaky or impotent with overuse and no longer impress the Kremlin.”

But Nuland suggests that Putin’s Russia today is vulnerable as never in the past 20 years: “the one thing that should worry the Russian president: the mood inside Russia. Despite Putin’s power moves abroad, 20 years of failing to invest in Russia’s modernization may be catching up with him. In 2019, Russia’s GDP growth was an anemic 1.3 percent. This year, the coronavirus pandemic and the free fall in oil prices could result in a significant economic contraction…Russia’s roads, rails, schools, and hospitals are crumbling. Its citizens have grown restive as promised infrastructure spending never appears, and their taxes and the retirement age are going up. Corruption remains rampant, and Russians’ purchasing power continues to shrink.”

In her CFR article Nuland advocates using, “Facebook, YouTube, and other digital platforms… there is no reason why Washington and its allies shouldn’t be more willing to give Putin a dose of his own medicine inside Russia, while maintaining the same deniability.” She adds that because Russians widely use the Internet and it is largely open, “Despite Putin’s best efforts, today’s Russia is more permeable. Young Russians are far more likely to consume information and news via the Internet than through state-sponsored TV or print media. Washington should try to reach more of them where they are: on the social networks  Odnoklassniki and VKontakte; on Facebook, Telegram, and YouTube; and on the many new Russian-language digital platforms springing up.”

Navalny

Around the time Nuland submitted her July-August Foreign Affairs article, perennial Putin opponent, Alexey Navalny was in Berlin, ostensibly recovering from what he claims was an attempt by Putin’s intelligence to kill him with highly toxic nerve agent, Novichok. Navalny, a US-educated opposition figure who was a Yale University Fellow in 2010 has been trying to gain a strong following for well over a decade, has been documented receiving money from Nuland’s National Endowment for Democracy, whose founder in the 1990s described it as doing, “what the CIA used to do, but privately.” In 2018 according to NPR in the US, Navalny had more than six million YouTube subscribers and more than two million Twitter followers. How many are bots paid by US intelligence is not known. Now, five months after exile in Berlin, Navalny makes a bold return where he knew he faced likely jail for past charges. It was obviously a clear calculation by his Western sponsors.

The US government’s NGO for Color Revolution regime change, the NED, in a piece published on January 25 echoes Nuland’s call for a social media-led destabilization of Putin. Writing about the Moscow arrest of Navalny just three days before the Biden inauguration, the NED states that, “By creating a model of guerrilla political warfare for the digital age, Navalny has exposed the regime’s utter lack of imagination and inability….” They add, “Putin is in a Catch-22: If Putin kills Navalny, it could draw more attention to the problem and exacerbate unrest. If Putin lets Navalny live, then Navalny remains a focus for resistance, whether he is in prison or not… Navalny has very much outmaneuvered Putin at each turn since the poisoning. It’s becoming a bit humiliating for him.”

Since his alleged botched poisoning in August in Russian Far East, Navalny was allowed by the Russian government to fly to Berlin for treatment, a strange act if indeed Putin and Russian intelligence had really wanted him dead. What clearly took place in the intervening five months in exile suggests that Navalny’s return was professionally prepared by unnamed Western intelligence regime change specialists. The Kremlin has claimed intelligence that shows Navalny was directly being tutored while in exile by CIA specialists.

On Navalny’s Moscow arrest January 17, his anti-corruption NGO released a sophisticated YouTube documentary on Navalny’s channel, purporting to show a vast palace alleged to belong to Putin on the Black Sea, filmed with use of a drone, no small feat. In the video Navalny calls on Russians to march against the alleged billion dollar “Putin Palace” to protest corruption.

Navalny, who clearly is being backed by sophisticated US information warfare specialists and groups such as the NED, is likely being told to build a movement to challenge United Russia party candidates in the September Duma elections where Putin isn’t a candidate. He has even been given a new tactic, which he calls a “smart voting” strategy, a hallmark NED tactic.

Stephen Sestanovich, New York Council on Foreign Relations Russia expert and former board member of the NED, suggested the likely game plan of the new Biden team. On January 25 Sestanovich wrote in the CFR blog, “The Putin regime remains strong, but nationwide protests in support of Alexei Navalny are the most serious challenge to it in years. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is showing a political creativity and tactical skill that Putin has not previously faced. If the protests continue, they could reveal vulnerabilities in his decades-long hold on power.” This was two days after Russia-wide protests demanding Navalny’s release from jail. “With his bold decision to return to Moscow and the release of a widely viewed video purporting to expose regime corruption, Navalny has shown himself to be a capable and imaginative political figure—even from jail, perhaps the most formidable adversary Putin has faced,” he wrote. “The strategic sophistication of Navalny’s team is underscored both by its video release and, before that, by its exposé of the Federal Security Services (FSB) personnel who poisoned him last summer.”

The clear decision of the Biden team to name a former Moscow ambassador to head the CIA and Victoria Nuland to No. 3 position at the State Department, along with his other intelligence choices indicate that destabilizing Russia will be a prime focus of Washington going forward. As the NED gleefully put it, “Navalny’s arrest, three days before Biden’s inauguration former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul says, has all the makings of “Biden’s first foreign policy crisis. Whatever was in their transition documents, this is now front and center for them.”

The reason however is not because of domestic corruption by Putin’s inner circle, true or not. Biden could care less. Rather it is the very existence of Russia under Putin as an independent sovereign nation that tries to defend that national identity, whether in military defense or in defense of a traditionally conservative Russian culture. Ever since the US-backed NED destabilization of the Soviet Union in 1990 during the Bush Administration, it has been NATO policy and that of the influential financial interests behind NATO to break Russia into many parts, dismantle the state and loot what is left of its huge raw materials resources. The globalist Great Reset has no room for independent nation states like Russia is the message that the new Biden team will clearly convey now.
——-
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

Dress Rehearsal Of Color Revolution In Russia

South Front

Anti-government protests under the pretext of the detention of the notorious Russian opposition leader Navalny took place in various cities across the country.

They were characterized by underwhelming attendance, claims of grandeur and awkward attempts at spreading violence. Protests were immediately endorsed by the Washington establishment. Notably, the United States Embassy in Moscow published detailed times and locations of unsanctioned rallies. Some Western leaders have made direct calls for an escalation of violence.

The entire situation resembled a staged performance that took place just days after the US President Joe Biden was inaugurated. The Russian scare narrative has already been pushed by the US Democrats and the US MSM for a long time. It is expected that the new Administration policy regarding Moscow will become even more hawkish. The detention of Alexey Navalny will be simply used as a justification for further aggressive actions against Russia. It fits perfectly with the Washington concept of cultivating an image of an unpredictable and irreconcilable foreign enemy to American values and democracy in general.

It is quite evident that Alexey Navalny, his sponsors, teammates and supporters were fully aware that he would get arrested when he returned to Russia. This could have been entirely avoided if he simply returned a bit earlier. He would thus meet the terms of his suspended sentence over the corruption and bribery in Russia. But then there would be no reason to protest.

Navalny even published a dramatic address saying that he had no desire to kill himself, to avoid any potential scenarios and being used as a sacrifice for the greater neo-liberal good.

As the hubs of the neo-liberal agenda in Russia, Moscow and Saint Petersburg hosted the largest protests. Protests in other regions were much smaller. However, there were even those protesting in extreme temperatures, showing that there is a motivated and unrelenting core.

The protest attendance, against the entire population of the cities, however, pales and shows an unimpressive turnout.

Reports of attendance vary, with some claiming at least 40,000 gathered in Moscow, with the authorities putting the number at merely 4,000. Others claimed that the numbers somewhere in the middle.

In Saint Petersburg, Kommersant reported that there was an attendance of about 5,000.

Other cities with a significant protest presence include Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok and Nizhny Novgorod.

The Russian branch of the BBC said that protests took place in 122 towns and cities across the country.

It appears that there was little friction among the general population. A notable part of protesters were likely paid. The core consisted of various unemployed idlers, young city hipsters, liberals and different minorities. A significant presence was seen from youths and minors, who were subjected to a large-scale social media campaign.

Many videos were released claiming police violence. Every video showed the same situation – an individual rushing towards police and attempting to assault the officers, and then getting detained in return.

There were no casualties, however, not from the side of the authorities, nor from the protesters. Evident attempts at causing casualties, by involving minors and youths, were obviously made, but they failed.

Fake news also became the integral part of this anti-government campaign. They were mostly dedicated to alleged killings and incredible numbers of arrests by the authorities. These messages were actively endorsed by mainstream social media, including the Chinese-operated TikTok. While Washington, which prefers to see the Russian statehood destroyed, Beijing is also not averse to use the situation for getting additional leverage on the Kremlin to strengthen its own position in joint projects. As a result, the narrative is being constructed as a “political persecution”.

The side shouting “witch hunt” the most, is the United States, whose administration referred to half of its population of Trump supporters as “domestic terrorists”, and “fascists” for not supporting the establishment of the neo-liberal agenda.

Despite the lack of success in the protests, this was simply a dress rehearsal. It is used to pave the way for a large-scale campaign to undermine Russia’s stability and compromise its statehood.

It seems that the ramping up of the destabilization attempts is scheduled for September 2021, – the period of the Russian general election that will include the next legislative election and the election of 11 governors. The liberal opposition has already proven that it is ready to even sacrifice children in order to achieve the ambitions of its sponsors. If the Russian government does not employ preventive measures, these people will easily find large support from Russia’s geopolitical opponents. Next time staged anti-government protests can ‘accidentally coincide’ with industrial disasters, cyberattacks, and even terrorist attacks.

Trump’s Opponents Succeeded With Their Government Coup (Ruslan Ostashko)

January 20, 2021

Translated and subtitled by Leo.

A successful coup was staged by opponents of Donald Trump in Washington on January 6. Of course, Joe Biden’s inauguration has not yet taken place, but at the moment the incumbent head of the United States looks broken and surrendered, and the Democratic Party is triumphant.

I greet you, our respectable subscribers of PolitRussia and once again congratulate you on the New Year 2021 and the Nativity of Christ. While we were calmly and peacefully celebrating these remarkable holidays, in the USA, there was a dramatic event for Donald Trump supporters. I was asked to speak out and and post daily by many subscribers on the geopolitical results of last year’s events. And so in December, I voiced an assumption that the head of the White House might try to keep the Democratic Party from taking power, by using extraordinary methods.

Right now, with the first 10 days of January passing, I have to admit that this option is not allowed to become reality, and the chance of it happening is close to 0%. The reason for this deplorable position for Trump is because of betrayal from the vice president’s side, Mike Pence and the further failed attempt to protest inside the Congress about the electoral votes going in favor of Biden. The move of protesting could have changed the outcome, but the misfortune with Trump is that this move was easy to foretell. And the Democrats cut short the session in Congress to arrange the so-called “capture of Capitol Hill by Trump supporters on January 6th.” The logical version of what happened in the capital of the USA was outlined by publicist Alexander Rogers.

Alexander Rogers: “While Trump supporters were peacefully rallying in front of the Capitol Hill, a group of unknown people, among which some of them were identified as BLM and Antifa activists, broke several windows in the back portion of the building, and got inside. Notice how they did it without firearms. Under the pretext that the building was under threat of seizure, the session in Congress gets interrupted exactly in the moment where Republicans protested the acceptance of the electoral votes from one of the disputed states – Arizona. It was very convenient for Democrats if they were worried that they would not be able to push the much needed decision.”

The so-called “seizure of Capitol Hill” was a staged provocation comparable to the Nazis igniting the Reichstag on fire, is evidenced by many facts, which came out after the events. For example, people who portrayed themselves as leaders of the Trump supporters, everyone turned out to be mummers or crisis actors and activists hired by Democrats operating under what’s called a ‘false flag’.

Aleksandr Aksenov (Telegram social media): “The [horned] shaman turned out to be actor Jake Angel, and was the so-called decoy ‘gatekeeper’ who was called upon to provoke the supporters of Trump. Here he is with Nancy Pelosi’s son-in-law, Michael Voss. It really does look like the Reichstag fire setup.”

Vatnik (Telegram): *Picture of two ‘Trump supporters’ who resemble two members of phillyantifa.org* “Listen, but were there any actual Trump supporters there? It turns out that the whole vanguard were made up of BLM-Antifa-Demo Leftists, from decoy ducks to goat provocateurs. And if there were any Republicans there, then they stupidly ran towards them.”

Real backers of Trump of course were there too, and they were shot at. Even to death, like [14 year] veteran of the US Air Force, 35 year old, Ashli Babbitt. Killed inside of the Capitol Hill building. But first of all, they were allowed inside the regime’s building without any resistance by the police.

*Video plays* – 3:35

Alexander Rogers: “The video where it’s seen that police are themselves allowing the protesters to get inside the Capitol. The tactic is simple: Dress Antifa members up as Trump supporters and disrupt the presentation of evidence [of election fraud] in Congress. Now Trump is the enemy, and they are working on various options of how to get him out of the way, deprive him of power and attempts to get a second term. Too easy and too suspicious. The leftovers of democracy in the USA are over.”

*Video ends* – 3:59

All of this was arranged for the sake of creating a media image meant to intimidate Republican congressmen. And the maneuver succeeded.

Alexander Rogers: “’Terrorists’ and ‘insurrectionists’ (such a friendly manner in which the democratic medias have called them) are given 30 minutes to fool around and make funny photos with Nancy Pelosi’s stand from the congressional hall. Seriously, tens of unarmed idiots, which didn’t do anything, besides taking pictures in the seat of the congressional speaker, were labelled as a universal evil, terrorists and ‘threats to democracy.’ And all of the media, all the journalists and a bunch of officials and congressmen with the most pompous looking faces are calling them a ‘scary threat to our way of life and our values.’ After which, calmly without a fight or gunshots or even an intervention by Bruce Willis and Gerard Butler, these horrible terrorists are removed from the building. On the sly, Pence bypassed the president and made a decision to deploy the National Guard to the capital. What is it called? Right, a governmental overthrow. Or in English, a coup. Oh yeah, Trump’s Twitter was blocked for 12 hours, and his address to the protesters to peacefully disperse was deleted by Facebook. This is exactly how a coup happens.”

The head of the USA trivially had his mouth shut, and couldn’t do anything at all since he was in the information space that is fully controlled by Democratic Party. And his opponents frolicked through all of it. Here we have someone’s ears stick out for half a meter. The main Maidanite [supporter of color revolutions] on the planet, Henri Lévy, quickly dumped the method he typically uses.

Bernard-Henri Lévy - Agent of Israel | The photo dossier - Radio Islam

Bernard-Henri Lévy: “Terrible image of vandals in hunting hats assaulting the seats of Jefferson and Roosevelt at the Capitol. Thousands of women and men gave their lives for this Republic. Millions dreamt of it. And billions watch it besieged by grotesque fascists.”

Vatnik (Telegram): “The great argument of calling you Hitler: ‘What point is there to talk to you if you’re like Hitler.’ Oh God, oh God. And a lying discourse to go with it: ‘Either you’re fully for democracy in our way, or you’re a fascist!’ Arguments at full length.”

For that reason they needed the hired clowns and the depicted caricature rednecks. But a serious man and woman during that time were sharpening their political steel, not walking away from the high tribune.

Alexander Rogers: “Here, Pence and Pelosi show up and declare that the meeting will be continued. A portion of the Republicans are demoralized, they declare that they no longer support the demand of a serious investigation in falsification of the election. Which the conspirators had wanted to hear. Looking at the objections of the rest of the states is removed from the agenda. Very convenient, what else is needed? The congressional meeting continues, and the duty clowns read text from already prepared papers about condemning the ‘horrible terrorists’, they intensely imitate a hearing (even though everybody says the same thing.) After which, the Capitol Hill Police outside is given an order to disperse the crowd by using tear gas and special equipment. The extras are no longer needed, the picture of ‘terrorists’ has already been drawn.”

Trump clearly was not prepared for such a vile provocation, it became a blow under his hook. But the opponents didn’t let them come to their senses and quickly unloaded their flywheel of repression. Trump was banned from everywhere [with social platforms] he possibly could. (Image shows he got banned from Facebook, Twitter, Google, Spotify, Snapchat, Instagram, Shopify, Reddit, Twitch, YouTube, Tik Tok and Pinterest.) His supporters that participated in the rally started to get pressed. Including those who just attended, but didn’t follow the provocateurs to Capitol Hill. The hidden hand of the market presses them. For those who did follow them, the democratic American media went after those people.

Maria Butina (Previous victim of US foreign agent claims and smear campaign. Her Telegram account): “Washington DC police published a list on January 7 of 736 people being indicted in connection to the protests and the infiltration of the Capitol. Citizens are accused of organizing a riot and a call for disorder, violence towards police officers, non-observance of curfew, violation of police fencing lines, penetration into private territory, possession of unregistered firearms, threats of violence, damage to property, robbery or attempted robbery, obscene acts, urination or bowel movements in a public place, threats of kidnapping, infliction of harm to the person and many other things.”

Sanctions under these articles are up to 10 years of imprisonment. And you don’t need to be a genius to understand that the detained Trump supporters will be condemned to their maximum sentences to scare the rest.

Chinese Threat (Telegram): “If the United States saw what the United States is doing inside the United States, the United States would have invaded the United States to liberate the United States from the tyranny of the United States.”

I congratulate all the storytellers who for decades sang to us about how fertile the state system of the USA is. It’s only a shame that these storytellers mostly live not in the creepy progressive United States, but rather in our lovable Russia. Where the provocateurs like Navalny for years are advocating for a violent change in state structures, yet walk free. Maybe it’s time for our so-called horrible totalitarian regime to take an example from the Democratic Party and tighten the screws? What do you think? Well at least for now, the information agents of foreign influence have not tried to attempt a coup here.

Trump’s not-so-secret art of containing China

Trump’s not-so-secret art of containing China

January 16, 2021

by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times.

It was hardly a secret throughout the Trump administration. Now, dying embers within sight, and with minimum fanfare, comes the declassification – virtually the whole document, minus a few redactions – of the US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific.

Why now, no less than 30 years before the usual, standard US declassification/public record protocols apply? Don’t expect an answer from Trump or from his National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.

O’Brien’s premise, presenting the declassification, is that, “Beijing is increasingly pressuring Indo-Pacific nations to subordinate their freedom and sovereignty to a ‘common destiny’ envisioned by the Chinese Communist Party.”

This is nonsense in multiple levels. The best Mandarin-English translation for China’s overarching strategy is “community with a shared future for humanity” – a Confucius/Marx crossover based on trade/connectivity and sustainable development.

No nation is pressured to surrender their “freedom and sovereignty” to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It’s a voluntary decision – otherwise over 130 nations would not go for it, including many in Europe. The strategy is not ideological; it’s based on trade. Moreover, China is already the top trade partner for the overwhelming majority of these nations.

Is Beijing trembling?

Since 2018 we were all familiar with the basic contours of the Trump administration’s “overarching strategic guidance” for the Indo-Pacific.

These are the Top 5 items – with no euphemistic softening:

– to maintain that sacrosanct US “primacy”, code for uncontested military power;

– promote the Quad (US, Japan, India, Australia);

– fully support the (failed) Hong Kong color revolution;

– demonize everything connected to BRI;

– and invest in “the rise of India”.

On the military front, things get way trickier: the imperative is to prevent Beijing, by all means necessary, from “dominating the first island chain” – that is, the island ring from the Japanese archipelago to Taiwan all the way to the northern Philippines and Borneo. Moreover, “primacy” should also be maintained in the “area beyond”.

So once again this is all about naval containment.

Chinese strategists obviously studied their Mahan and Spykman thoroughly – and understood that the US Navy would ultimately play their trump card as a naval embargo.

Thus the Chinese Heartland strategy to contain the US’s Rimland strategy: pipelines from Russia and Central Asia (energy supply chain) and BRI (trade). A neat combination of “escape from Malacca” (in terms of oil and gas supplies) and overland connectivity.

A graphic example is the importance of the southern sector of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In the long run, that offers Beijing, via Gwadar port, prime access to the Indian Ocean, bypassing Malacca. That can even be enhanced by upcoming Chinese investment in neighboring Chabahar port in Iran, in the Gulf Of Oman.

In contrast, US strategists advising the Trump administration, apart from not improving on Mahan and Spykman, completely ignored China’s economic pull all across Eurasia. They ignored the fact that scores of nations from Central to South and Southeast Asia (the ASEAN 10) would not sacrifice their trade/investment relations to the benefit of a Made in the Beltway “vision”.

The recent signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal all but buried the Indo-Pacific strategy.

As much as they are not reality-based, the core lineaments of the Indo-Pacific strategy are not bound to change much under Biden-Harris. They will be tweaked – in a “back to the future” manner. The Biden-Harris point man for China is bound to be none other than Kurt Campbell, the man who invented the “pivot to Asia” concept that was then embraced by Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State and Obama as President. Campbell now argues that emphasis on the sacrosanct “primacy” may be somewhat alleviated.

Is Beijing trembling? Hardly.

The 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party falls next July 23. Exactly one day before the declassification of Indo-Pacific, President Xi Jinping outlined his – and the CCP’s – vision for no less than the next three decades, culminating in the 100th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China in 2049.

So here’s Xi Top Three – in a nutshell.

– Keep calm and carry on, despite the ravaging effects of Covid-19, unrelenting Western – especially American – hostility, and the trials and tribulations of the crumbling US Empire.

– Focus on domestic development, in all areas.

– Focus on China’s priorities; then whatever happens the world outside will not be able to interfere. China’s priorities include solidifying its own “primacy” in the South China Sea while diversifying trade/development strategic options all along BRI.

It will certainly help that China’s GDP is bound to grow by almost 8% in 2021 – as estimated by IMF/World Bank. Astonishingly, if that’s the case GDP by the end of this year will reach the same level that pre-Covid Western forecasters were predicting by the end of 2019: 5% growth each year for the next two years. China may have grown roughly 2% in 2020, booming foreign trade included.

Goldman Sachs is branding the current economic environment “the Chinese phenomenon”. China remains the high-speed rail locomotive of global capitalism. It’s easy to notice which way scores of nations see the wind blowing when they compare it with what’s just been declassified.

America’s Color Revolution

America’s Color Revolution

January 07, 2021

by Paul Craig Roberts reposted on the Saker by permission
source:

The Establishment has imposed a color revolution on the American people.  Ekaterina Blinova is a journalist who reognized that a color revolution has occurred in America under the guise of a presidential election. https://sputniknews.com/us/202011221081242712-politburo-are-dems-striving-to-win-it-all–turn-us-political-landscape-into-one-party-system/

The Establishment used the Democrats for their purpose, because Trump was in office under the Republican banner.  Trump, of course, is a populist, but there is no party that represents the people, so Trump ran as a Republican.

The leftwing, or the fraud that passes for one, thinks it is now in the money.  This is a naive expectation.  The Establishment is in charge, and there will be no leftist agendas unless they serve the Establishment.  If Antifa and BLM cut up, their funding will be cut off, and the presstitutes will be sicced on them.

Biden and Kamala are mere figureheads put in office by a stolen election.  Any agenda they think that they have is irrelevant.  Here is the Establishment’s agenda:

First: Prevent any political organization of the “Trump Deplorables.”  Any who attempt to form a real opposition party will be made an example of.  In America it is child’s play to frame up anyone.  We saw the show in Russiagate, and Trump will now be exhausted with endless frameups as the Establishment pursues him into oblivion.  If the President of the United States can be so easily framed up, an unknown political organizer in the red states can be disposed of at will.

Second: Increase the demonization of white people and the destruction of their confidence.  White Americans are still a majority and, therefore, a potential political force.  Their demonization is already institutionalized in the educational system, in the New York Times’  propagandistic “1619 Project,” and in the “racial sensitivity” training that all white employes of US corporations, governments, and US military have to take.  Trump ordered a halt to the anti-white indoctrination sessions in the Federal government and US military, but the new regime will quickly reinstate the required indoctrinated as a sop to deluded blacks, feminists, and leftwingers.

Third: The Second Amendment will be overturned or bypassed.  Trump supporters will be disarmed in order to more easily terrorize them and prevent them from protecting  their property and persons if the Establishment believes it is efficacious to unleash armed anti-white militias on them in order to bring them into line. White self-defense will be more or less criminalized.

Fourth: The Establishment will increase its fomenting of racial and gender conflict in order to keep Americans too divided to resist its increasingly odious control measures, whether they be the use of Covid to suppress freedom of movement and association, charges of being a  foreign agent in order to suppress free speech as in the Assange case, or round up and  internment of Trump Americans trying to organize a political party that represents the people instead of the Establishment.

Fifth: Citizenship for the millions of illegal aliens and open borders in order to reduce the white  population to an isolated minority.

These measures will suffice for the Establishment to complete the transformation of the United States from a democracy accountable to the people to an oligarchy of entrenched vested interests.

By the time insouciant white people wake up to their fate, violent revolution will be impossible. Modern weapons in the hands of the state are devastating.  Mass spying and control techniques that exist today go beyond those in dystopian novels such as Orwell’s 1984. Free speech is a thing of the past.  Free speech no longer even exists in universities.  As I write Twitter, Facebook and the presstitutes are suppressing the free speech of the President of the United States, and the President of the United States is powerless to do anything about it.  https://thehill.com/policy/technology/533027-twitter-locks-trumps-account-for-at-least-12-hours?rnd=1609978506

The Establishment’s control over the media means that no charge against President Trump is too extreme to cause a protest.  The enormous support shown for Trump in Washington on January 6 with estimates of participants ranging from 200,000 to 2,000,000 was easy for the Establishment to turn into a liability by infiltrating the rally.

It was naive for President Trump and his supporters not to realize that infiltration was guaranteed as it was necessary for the Establishment to turn massive support into a massive liability.  This would achieve two purposes.  One purpose was to terminate the challenge to the electors in the Senate, and it succeeded.  Here, for example, is Republican Senator Mike Braun from Indiana dropping his intent to object to the electors from the swing states where the election was stolen: “I think … that today change things drastically. Yeah, whatever point you made before that should suffice. Get this ugly day behind us,” he said. Even Rand Paul was intimidated:  “I just don’t think there’s going to be another objection. I think it’s over at that point.”  https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/533033-gop-senators-hopeful-theyve-quashed-additional-election-challenges?rnd=1609980353  Here is Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler whose reelection to the Senate was stolen from her acquiescing in Trump’s and her own stolen elections:  “When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes. However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider and I cannot now, in good conscience, object,” Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.).  https://thehill.com/homenews/house/533052-congress-affirms-biden-win-after-rioters-terrorize-capitol

The other purpose served was to insure that Trump would not go out as a president whose reelection was stolen but as an insurrectionist.  And it has succeeded.

Internationally Trump was denounced by NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg for not respecting democracy. “The outcome of this democratic election must be respected,” declared Stoltenberg. Stolen or not it is democracy to be rid of Trump.  https://www.rt.com/usa/511743-uk-france-nato-condemn-capitol/

British prime minister Boris Johnson declared that the US is the world symbol of Democracy and that it is vital there is a peaceful and ordered transfer of power, as if there was an actual insurrection taking place and an election not stolen.

The French President Macron declared: “What happened today in Washington, DC today is not American, definitely.”  In other words, it is unamerican to protest a stolen election that the Establishment refuses to address. [I watched presentations by independent experts to the Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan legislatures that proved beyond all doubt the presidential election was stolen. Half of the professional presenters were people of color.]

The German Chancellor Merkel blamed Trump for creating an atmosphere that led to a challenge to democracy in the US Capitol.  https://www.rt.com/news/511778-germany-merkel-america-trump-capitol/

Republican senators themselves, former members of Trump’s cabinet,  and a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff jumped on Trump with both feet. The no longer Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Trump’s “unhinged thugs” “tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed. This failed insurrection underscores how crucial the task before us is” to restore Establishment control.  https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/533039-mcconnell-after-rioters-storm-capitol-they-tried-to-disrupt-our-democracy

Republican Senator Richard Burr from North Carolina said: “The President bears responsibility for today’s events by promoting the unfounded conspiracy theories that have led to this point.”

Republican Senator Mitt Romney from Utah said: the violence was “an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States.” https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/533034-richard-burr-says-trump-bears-responsibility-for-riot

“There is no question that the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the third-ranking House Republican. “He lit the flame.” https://thehill.com/homenews/house/533052-congress-affirms-biden-win-after-rioters-terrorize-capitol

Trump’s Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the presstitutes that “Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump.  His use of the presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice.”

General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Trump administration said Republicans “who have continued to undermine a peaceful transition in accordance with our Constitution have set the conditions for today’s violence.”

The presstitutes had a field day with misleading and lying headlines. One of the worst offenders was The Hill, formerly a source of real news on what was going on in Congress, but today a highly partisan Trump-hating source of Establishment propaganda.

With the American Establishment’s foreign puppets, Republicans, Trump’s own cabinet members, military leaders, and the presstitutes speaking with one voice setting up President Trump as an insurrectionist threat to democracy, the Democrats’ wild charges seemed credible.

Democrat Senator Schumer from New York, the new Senate Majority Leader, Democrat House Speaker Pelosi, and a large number of Democrat members of Congress, together with the New York Times, have called for Trump’s impeachment or his removal from office by invoking the 25th Amendment.  Here is the new Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) making the case:

“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer,” Schumer said in a statement.

“The quickest and most effective way — it can be done today — to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,” he added. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/533124-schumer-calls-for-25th-amendment-to-be-invoked-after-capitol-riots

Here is Pelosi:  https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/07/lawmakers-trump-25th-amendment-455832

Here is Adam Smith, Democrat from Washington state and chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, calling for Trump’s removal from office:  “President Trump incited & encouraged this riot. He & his enablers are responsible for the despicable attack at the Capitol. VP Pence and the Cabinet should invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump, otherwise Senate Republicans must work with the House to impeach & remove him.  https://thehill.com/policy/defense/533136-house-armed-services-chair-calls-for-removing-trump-from-office

For the New York Times, it doesn’t not suffice to remove Trump from office. He must be prosecuted as well.

To understand the extraordinary hatred of President Trump by the Establishment, listen to his inaugural address.  He described the Establishment accurately as a force arraigned against the American people, a force that he intended to dismantle and restore America to the American people.  This was a revolutionary challenge, a reckless one as Trump is a populist, not a revolutionary leading a determined movement.  Moreover, Trump was so uninformed about Washington that he never succeeded in appointing anyone to his government, other than General Flynn (an immediate casualty of the Estatlishment) who agreed with his agenda of normalizing relations with Russia, bringing the troops home from the Middle East, ending NATO, and bringing the jobs home that American corporations had exported to China.  Here was Trump unarmed taking on the American Establishment.  This was an act of suicide as it has turned out to be.

People who think in terms of party politics have no likelihood of understanding the situation. The struggle is not Democrats vs. Republicans. or red states vs. blue states.  It is the Establishment against the people.  If you have any doubt about this, note that the US National Association of Manufacturers, always a throughly Republican organization, agrees with Schumer and Pelosi that Trump must be removed from office.  Here is the organization’s statement: “Vice President Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.” https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/532988-democratic-lawmakers-call-for-pence-to-invoke-25th-amendment-remove The National Association of Manufacturers want Trump out because they are the ones responsible for China’s rise, the US trade deficit and the destruction of half of the US middle class. All the goods and services imported from offshored production count as imports.  It is the offshored production that is responsible for America’s trade deficit, not China.

The presstitutes throughout the Western world have intentionally misrepresented the January 6 rally in Washington in support of Trump.  The rally had to be misrepresented, because no one in politics today anywhere in the Western World can demonstrate such massive support other than Donald Trump.  No one turned out for Biden or Kamala during the presidential campaign.  Their events, soon cancelled, had no attendees.  Yet, they won the election?  What saps people are. Who turns out for Merkel, Macron, Boris Johnson.  No one even knows who the leaders are in the rest of the Western World.

Trump could not be permitted to leave office with such a massive showing of support—a terrible embarrassment to the corrupt scum who “speak for the people.”  So the support had to be discredited by turning it into an insurrection ordered by Trump against Democracy, a holy word that is observed nowhere in the Western World.

The people who entered the Capitol were a tiny minority of those who attended the rally which was entirely peaceful and well behaved. It was so peaceful and well behaved that Facebook will ban and delete all photos and videos of Wednesday protests: https://thefederalist.com/2021/01/06/facebook-will-ban-and-delete-all-photos-and-videos-of-any-aspect-of-wednesday-protests/  The facts are not consistent with the presstitute narrative and must be suppressed.

Here is a description of agitators who suddenly appeared and provoked the entrance into the Capitol by a few Trump supporters who, unlike the rioters in Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta and elsewhere, did not behave as rioters and did no damage.  The report is from a person present not as a Trump supporter but as a person to film the event. The report was sent to NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller.  I have left the person’s name off so that he doesn’t get investigated by the FBI:

“I was in Washington, D.C. today filming the Trump rally and related events.  I also ran across your post concerning the Capitol demonstration tonight.  Perhaps this short account will help you assess what others are saying in a small way.

“I was also at the Capitol before the crowd appeared setting-up my camera on a stone wall around the perimeter of the back of the capitol (the rear facing Constitution Avenue).  Then I waited for President Trump’s speech to end and for supporters to walk-up Constitution Avenue to the Capitol.  I was located at the precise location where supporters first rushed up the slope towards the back of the Capitol after casting aside a section of the first Capitol perimeter barrier.  Supporters gathered roughly at the center of the back of the capitol, but a circle began to grow around the perimeter as the crowd grew larger.  I had no sense that the growing crowd intended to rush the Capitol.

“After a large crowd emerged at the perimeter a man in perhaps his late 30’s or early 40’s showed-up, pacing quickly to his left then to his right before the crowd, and essentially began hurling insults at the crowd challenging their political wisdom.  He excoriated the crowd for thinking that their attendance would be taken seriously by members of congress.  (Hard to say that he was wrong about that, whoever he was).  I cannot recall his precise words, but for a very short period he engaged in a shouting exchange with supporters, and suddenly supporters pushed aside the first barrier and rushed towards the back of the Capitol.  Others on the northern edge of the perimeter followed suit.  But the first rush was right at the center of the back of the Capitol.  I followed the rush to the bottom of the Capitol back steps, and began filming again from atop an inner perimeter stone wall.

“The police, so it appeared, were a little surprised by the rush, and this gave supporters an opportunity to race up the steps.  One or two men even made it as far as the steps leading up to the scaffolds on the south side of the Capitol before police arrested them.  By this time, five or ten men had climbed to the top of the tall steel tower structure facing the Capitol.  Then the police erected and lined-up behind a new barrier perimeter at the foot of the Capitol steps.  Police at the top of the Capitol steps aimed rifles down on the crowd (perhaps rubber bullet rifles, I could not tell).  The crowd began arguing with police and pressing hard against the new barrier.  The police sprayed men pressing directly against the barrier with tear gas from time to time causing them to retreat.  “Meanwhile, the men at the top of the tower began rallying the crowd to challenge the new barrier (over bull horns) by filling any gaps between the barrier and the stone wall that I was using as a filming vantage point.  Another man worked the crowd with a bull horn immediately in front of me and also encouraged supporters to climb over the inner perimeter stone wall (my filming vantage point) and create a wall of pressure on the new barrier at the bottom of the Capitol back steps.

“After about 30 minutes to an hour I dropped to the bottom of the stone wall to reload my camera when suddenly the barrier gave way and police attempted to fortify it by blasting tear gas into the area between the stone wall and the barrier.   I was hit by the gas myself and struggled back over the stone wall in order to breathe.  The gas threw many crowd members into a panic. And I was nearly trampled as I struggled to lift my camera and heavy gear bag over the wall after two women began pulling desperately on the back of my coat to pull themselves up and over the moderately high wall in retreat.

“After the second perimeter barrier gave way, the men with the bull horns began working the crowd very hard to fill-up with Trump supporters the steps of the Capitol and the scaffolding on both sides of it.  At this point one of the calls, which the men with bull horns repeated from time to time in order to encourage people to climb the Capitol steps was “this is not a rally; it’s the real thing.”  Another frequent call was “its now or never.” After about a two hour effort peppered with bull horn calls of this nature the entire back of the Capitol was filled with Trump supporters and the entire face of the Capitol was covered with brilliant small and very large Trump banners, American flags, and various other types of flags and banners.

“Sometime after the rush on the back of the Capitol, people were apparently able to enter the Capitol itself through the front. But I was not witness to anything at the front or inside the Capitol.

“One clearly bona fide Trump supporter who had apparently entered the Capitol himself was telling others emotionally and angrily (including press representatives of some sort, even a foreign newsman) that he witnessed someone inside the Capitol encouraging violence whom he strongly suspected was not a legitimate Trump supporter (apparently on the basis that the man showed no signs at all of Trump support on his apparel).  I did not pay that close attention to his claims (for example the precise claim of the violence encouraged) because, naturally, I had not yet read your post and it had not occurred to me that professional outsiders might play a role in instigating particular violent acts in order to discredit the event.

“I overheard one Trump supporter (who followed the rush on the Capitol himself) say aloud, “I brought many others to this rally, but we did not sign on for this” as he watched matters escalate.

“Still, from my seat, I would say that large numbers of very legitimate Trump supporters felt that it was their patriotic duty to occupy the Capitol in light of their unshakable beliefs that (1) the 2020 election was a fraud, (2) that the vast majority of the members of congress are corrupt and compromised, and (3) that the country is in the throes of what they consider a “communist” takeover (although many use the expression “communism” as a synonym for “totalitarianism”).   They are also convinced that the virus narrative is a fraud and an essential part of an effort to undermine the Constitution –in particular the Bill of Rights.  They have a very real fear that the country and the very conception of any culture of liberty is on the verge of an irreparable collapse.  For most (if not a very large majority) rushing the Capitol was a desperate eleventh hour act of partiotism –even of the order of the revolution that created our nation.  Some Trump supporters sang the Star Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs as others climbed the Capitol steps.  They also demonstrated a measure of respect for the Capitol itself.  I saw no attempt by anyone to deface the Capitol simply for the sake of defacing it.

“The incontrovertibly compromised press has called this event a riot.  But from what I saw and heard this would indeed be a gross and intentionally misleading oversimplification at best.  At least from the standpoint of supporters, if their Capitol event was a riot, then so was the Boston Tea Party.  It also seems to me that some professional help (very aware of deep sentiments) might have come from somewhere to make sure that the party happened.”

See also: https://www.unz.com/isteve/alternative-timeline-nyt-mostly-peaceful-protesters-call-for-electoral-accountability-inside-capitol/

When I was on the Stanford University faculty, I remember rich and pampered Stanford students occupying the university president’s office in a protest either against the Vietnam war or the name of the Stanford Football Team (Stanford Indians) and destroying the papers in the president’s files of his life’s work.  Despite the liberalism of the university president, the presstitutes regarded the protest justified and well intentioned.

The rioters and looters who rampaged through many of America’s major cities suffered no media condemnation, only support and encouragement.  This is because, unlike Trump, Antifa and Black Lives Matter are financed by and controlled by the Establishment and thus represent no threat.There is no FBI investigation or intended prosecution of any of the rioters who destroyed billions of dollars of property in America’s cities.

But the Trump supporters provoked into entering the Capitol are in for it says the Establishment figure Trump, in yet another of his mistakes, put in charge of the FBI.

It is difficult to defend Trump when he consistently puts in charge of his security agencies and Department of Justice members of the Establishment who hate his guts.

The FBI did nothing about the real rioters that did billions of dollars of damage to private businesses, but FBI Director Christopher Wray vowed Thursday to “hold accountable those who participated in yesterday’s siege of the Capitol after a pro-Trump mob overtook the building, forcing evacuations.” As these may have been FBI instigators, Wray might be talking about his own employees.  https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/533165-fbi-director-we-will-hold-accountable-those-who-participated-in

Here is Trump’s FBI appointee describing the people who elected the man who appointed him:

“The violence and destruction of property at the U.S. Capitol building yesterday showed a blatant and appalling disregard for our institutions of government and the orderly administration of the democratic process,” Wray said in a statement.

“As we’ve said consistently, we do not tolerate violent agitators and extremists who use the guise of First Amendment-protected activity to incite violence and wreak havoc,” he continued. “Such behavior betrays the values of our democracy. Make no mistake: With our partners, we will hold accountable those who participated in yesterday’s siege of the Capitol.”

Wray announced that the bureau “has deployed our full investigative resources” and is working with law enforcement partners “to aggressively pursue those involved in criminal activity” on Wednesday.

“Our agents and analysts have been hard at work through the night gathering evidence, sharing intelligence, and working with federal prosecutors to bring charges,” he said.

He requested the public send in any information about Wednesday’s events to the FBI, noting “We are determined to find those responsible and ensure justice is served.”

https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/533165-fbi-director-we-will-hold-accountable-those-who-participated-in

Notice that Wray, the Establishment’s servant, not the servant of the rule of law, aligns the First Amendment with “violent agitators and extremists” and thus discredits the First Amendment as a tool of insurrection.

Everyone who was not at the US Capitol building on January 6, which is the entire world except the Trump supporters, has been brainwashed, by a corrupt, despicable collection of media whores serving an Establishment of Oligarchs, that Donald Trump intended an insurrection, but it was defeated.  By Whom?

It was Trump who called out the National Guard and who told his supporters to leave the Capitol and to go home.

What kind of people can present this as an insurrection that requires Trump’s removal from office and prosecution?  The answer is totally evil people who have not only the United States but the entire Western World in their clutches.

The Western World is dead.  It is now Mordor.

Trump appointees realize that, unless they add to his orchestrated embarrassment and setup for demonization and prosecution by themselves resigning, they are targeted for reprisals. Seeing permanent unemployment facing him, US Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger has resigned in response to Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis on Capitol Hill. “Other people named as likely to abandon the sinking Trump ship are National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Liddell.” https://www.rt.com/usa/511769-white-house-officials-resign/

Everyone everywhere is participating in Trump’s destruction.  The English language Russian press loves embarrassing America.  The fun and games leaves the world in ignorance of the extraordinary consequences of what the stolen election and demonization of Trump and his supporters means.  The end of the Western World is a big event, and it will affect everyone.

Who Gains From Misportraying Russia As A Rogue Regime?

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Who Gains From Misportraying Russia As A Rogue Regime?

The push by Western forces and those sympathetic to them to misportray Russia as a “rogue regime” after this summer’s Navalny incident is meant to pave the way for a more comprehensive sanctions policy against the Eurasian Great Power and intensify multilateral efforts to “contain” it.

The Western press has recently revived the debunked trope that Russia is a so-called “rogue regime” after the latest developments surrounding this summer’s Navalny incident. The self-described “investigative reporting” outlet Bellingcat and CNN recently published a joint report claiming that the FSB tried to poison the anti-corruption blogger, which is an unrealistic scenario to speculate upon and one which was condemned by President Putin during his year-end press conference as a provocation by foreign intelligence services. Nevertheless, this information warfare narrative persists and was given fresh coverage by former chess champion Gary Kasparov in the op-ed that he published at CNN on Friday about how “It’s time to treat Putin’s Russia like the rogue regime it is”. His piece deserves to be debunked in order to set the record straight and extrapolate his agenda for propagating it.

Kasparov shares a smorgasbord of accusations straight off the bat alleging that Russia is guilty of crimes ranging from assassinating political foes with chemical weapons to invading Ukraine and hacking the US. What he doesn’t mention, however, is that no evidence has been presented to conclusively prove Russia’s responsibility for those aforesaid assassination attempts. Regarding Ukraine, Kasparov leaves out the fact that Crimea reunified with Russia after a democratic referendum and that a real military invasion of that country by Moscow wouldn’t have manifested itself in limited skirmishes contained to Eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region. Moreover, the chess champion omits the fact that Trump contradicted Pompeo’s claims of Russian complicity in the latest hack attack and actually blamed China instead. Evidently, these facts are too “politically inconvenient” for Kasparov to mention and thus had to be ignored in order to advance his weaponized narrative.

That narrative, it should be said, is one of paranoia and speculation. Parts of it read as a fever dream of a brilliant mind gone mad imagining that Russia’s security agencies are falling apart by the second despite he himself previously alleging that they’ve carried out such egregious crimes as the ones that he talked about earlier. This schizophrenic stance is explained away by his theory that President Putin simply doesn’t care anymore about how sloppy his international provocations have become because no meaningful consequences have ever followed. That’s yet another fallacy on Kasparov’s part since Russia has been victimized by an ever-intensifying sanctions regime since 2014. Still, he’s somehow convinced himself that the West is actually “appeasing” Russia by continuing to retain some limited relations with it of a pragmatic nature. These, he believes, must be immediately stopped and followed up by removing Russia from international institutions.

What he’s clamoring for is clear for any objective observer to see, and it’s a redoubling of the Western sanctions regime against Russia and an intensification of the multilateral efforts to “contain” it. Earlier attempts by some American officials to designate Russia as a so-called “state sponsor of terrorism” might receive a second life if Kasparov’s op-ed is coordinated with US intelligence officials to precondition the international public into accepting such a dramatic move. The incoming Biden Administration is chock-full of anti-Russian hawks so it’s quite possible that they might make swift progress in further worsening bilateral relations with Russia on that or some similar pretext. It should be remembered, however, that the entire basis for this scenario is the unquestionable assumption that Russia is responsible for everything that Kasparov and his allies claim, which is highly dubious to say the least.

Even so, it’s nowadays taboo for anyone to publicly challenge those accusations lest they be tarred and feathered as a “Russian agent”. The media-military nexus is operating perfectly insofar as coordinating their messaging to justify forthcoming provocations against Russia. The American people have been brainwashed into believing that Russia is one of their main enemies, with Kasparov’s comments on the latest Navalny development being used to reinforce that narrative. CNN published his op-ed in order to grant it maximum exposure at home and abroad, all for the earlier explained reasons. While his ravings are limited to the internet for now, they might soon have a real-life impact if the US runs with his claims to push through a new sanctions regime and other related “containment” efforts against Russia. This could even happen if Trump pulls off an upset and remains in office after 20 January considering his recent anti-Russian track record.

In conclusion, the only ones who gain by misportraying Russia as a “rogue regime” are the anti-Russian members of the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) and their international allies like Kasparov who has a personal axe to grind against President Putin. Objectively speaking, Russia’s alleged “rogue” activity pales in comparison to the US’ actual rogue actions since the end of the Old Cold War, which include drone assassinations, Color Revolution coups, Hybrid Wars, and several large-scale wars. That’s not to deflect with “whatabouttism”, but just to remind the reader of the global strategic context for the purpose of pointing out America’s blatant hypocrisy in this respect. Looking forward, the US’ anti-Russian information warfare campaign will only intensify and won’t ever stop until Moscow submits to Washington’s unipolar hegemonic demands, which won’t ever happen so the infowar is here to stay.

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