A footnote

13 Sep 2022 16:32

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Bouthaina Shaaban 

Because they cannot stop igniting wars in one part of the globe or another, that is the most pending danger NATO countries constitute to the welfare of human beings everywhere. 

Professor John Mearsheimer said the war in Ukraine will be a footnote in the history books written about the world changes this war has triggered. This remark may provide the best explanation of the huge noise the NATO countries have made about providing Ukraine with more sophisticated armaments and with billions of dollars in order to prevent a Russian victory. It also explains the big media campaign led by the West about the so-called advance made by the Ukrainian army against the Russians in Kharkov area. The press conference by NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, and the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, has to be seen and understood in light of the dire economic crisis which is biting into Europe. 

Despite the iron fist laid on Western media, it is an open secret today that the sanctions imposed by the West against Russia have backfired on the West itself, and it has become clear that Western people are the ones suffering because of these sanctions, and not the Russian people as the western governments planned. In addition, the Eastern rapprochement between China and Russia is treading fast steps toward an alliance, and the Shanghai organization is attracting more member states, which in a short while, will become one of the most important world alliances that NATO countries do not want to see at all. Both China and Russia have announced that their future dealings and trade are going to be in Yuans and Rubles, which will start to weaken the dollar and shake its world status. 

During the week and contrary to the expectations of Western media, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, announced that he is going to Kazakhstan for a Shanghai meeting with the aim of meeting with President Putin. Every time these two leaders meet, they add another brick to the fortified base of their alliance whose grand announced aim is to change the world system into a multipolar system after getting rid of Western hegemony once and for all.

Of course, western experts and planners know all this and dread it, but instead of mentioning it or trying to address it in the real world, these jumped to the domain that they know best; i.e. the military claiming to their audiences that “Ukrainian forces have been able to stall Moscow offensive in the Donbass strike back behind Russian lines and retake territory.” On this narrative, they built the argument that NATO countries should send more support to Ukraine, with more billions of dollars and with the most sophisticated arms. Their imagination was set free to imagine that this is a very important moment for the Ukrainian people and army, and we should support them in order to prevent a Russian victory in Ukraine, as per their illusions.

First, there is no doubt that the press conference and all the media fever that came in its aftermath hailing progress made by Ukrainian forces against Russian forces was meant to change the focus of the Western people’s attention from the horrible consequences of the war on Ukraine on their daily lives and to stop the masses from taking to the streets to forcefully object to these policies, which proved to be disastrous to most of them.

Second, NATO countries have a history of supporting wars that have nothing to do with their geography or history. They now claim that they have to send hundreds of thousands of soldiers to protect the Eastern borders of NATO. What about Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria; are those also bordering NATO, or threatening its power? And what about Taiwan now; is it on the borders of NATO too?

The history of these countries proves without a shadow of a doubt that the military industry is at the core of its survival and continuity, and that is why they cannot survive and keep their hegemony over the world without this industry being well and prosperous, knowing that for this industry to be well and prosperous, it can only feed on wars. That is why they cannot stop igniting wars in one part of the globe or another, and that is the most pending danger NATO countries constitute to the welfare of human beings everywhere. 

What we have to remember is that we are dealing with two different worlds, two different systems of thinking, two different histories, and two very different objectives. The West, which has subjugated and colonized many countries across the world over centuries, has perfected the usage of media and psychological wars to keep people as its subject. Throughout history, Western colonial powers gave no thought to civilian casualties. A reminder of the answer of Madeleine Albright about millions of Iraqi children being killed; she said, “But it was worth it,” whereas Eastern powers represented by Russia in this war pay so much attention to avoiding unnecessary loss of civilian lives. They change their plans and their tactics if they can save lives in their military or on the adversary’s civilian lives. In fact, the Eastern attitude always believes in taking time. They are not in a hurry, and they do not rush to launch a media or psychological campaign because their objectives are far-reaching and by far nobler than those of the party whose main concern is to sell arms and accumulate more capital. 

For those reasons and many others unlisted here, we have to take the Hollywood postures made by the NATO Secretary-General and the US Secretary of State with a huge pinch of salt. Their major aim was to divert attention from the huge disaster they have created to their people through this uncalculated and misconceived adventure. It would have been much wiser and historically correct to review their decisions and decide whether they should continue in this futile endeavor or acknowledge the new realities on the ground born from the rise of the East and its determination, supported by the majority of people on Earth, to put an end to Western hegemony and remap the world on the basis of equal integrity and mutual respect. This may take a bit more time than what most people desire, but the train has left the station and it will undoubtedly reach its abode. The rest are insignificant details that no one will mention in the future.

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

Andrei Martyanov: SAS and BRICS

July 14, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Are Western Spooks Backing a New ‘Ukrainian White Helmets? Al Mayadeen investigates

4 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Samir Mustafa 

A new attempt is made by Western mercenaries to fuel the fight in Ukraine further under the guise of “humanitarian assistance,” former Western soldiers and mercenaries are at the forefront of such operations.

Are Western Spooks Backing a New ‘Ukrainian White Helmets? Al Mayadeen investigates

A British mercenary with alleged ties to the US intelligence services is working to establish a version of the pseudo-humanitarian White Helmets in Ukraine. 

Macer Gifford, who has previously fought with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syriac Military Council is crowdfunding for supplies which he says are bound for the frontline.  

“On the 27th of February, President Zelensky formally called for International Volunteers from around the world to assist his country. The people of Ukraine need our support and they need it NOW!,” his appeal page declares. 

British volunteer fighter Macer Gifford in Raqqa, Syria on August 19, 2017. Getty Images

Gifford aims to raise at least £15,000 that he says will enable him “to create a fast response medical team, staffed by international volunteers, that will deploy to the frontline within the next month.”

He plans to emulate his experiences in northern Syria where as well as fighting ISIS, he established a medical team and provided training to mercenary forces and locals there. But he is clear that this will not merely be a humanitarian mission.

“The terrain, the particular needs of the Ukrainian military, and the enemy that we’ll be fighting mean that we’ll have to bring the very best equipment with us,” he writes, indicating that he is recruiting people to take part in combat against Russia. 

His own Twitter page appears to support this, sharing posts on how to sign-up for the Ukrainian armed forces following Zelensky’s plea for international support. He made similar appeals during a BBC radio debate with one of the leaders of Britain’s Stop the War Coalition John Rees who described the call for volunteers to fight as “ludicrous” and dangerous.  

Gifford’s organization aims to join the fight against Russia under the guise of humanitarian intervention, a model that has been used before.“I want to be absolutely clear here, the ambition is to create a Ukrainian version of the White Helmets,” Gifford states, a reference to the notorious group operating in Syria.

Also known as the Syrian Civil Defence force, the White Helmets poses as a humanitarian organization, however, is linked to both jihadist groups and western military and intelligence services. Set up by former British Army officer James Le Mesurier it has received millions in funding from the US, British, and other western governments, acting as a front for regime change operations.

Predictably, criticism of the White Helmets is dismissed as propaganda and smears led by the Syrian and Russian governments. But the White Helmets operate in jihadist-held areas and have its buildings situated next to the Islamists headquarters in many Syrian cities. 

The group has been involved in a series of controversies and some of its members have been shown to be supporters of Al Qaeda and other Salafist organizations. It has been accused of staging chemical attacks, most notably in Douma, to pave the way for western military intervention in Syria. 

Fears that a White Helmets-style operation could be deployed in Ukraine for similar purposes have long been praised by critics. Gifford – whose real name is Harry –  hails from a wealthy part of rural Cambridgeshire. Prior to his military adventurism, he served as a Tory councilor and city currency trader.

He has openly boasted of meetings with the US and British intelligence services and has briefed government officials on the situation in Syria, pleading for increased military support. Using his connections he tried to drum up support for the YPG and attended meetings with financiers in Switzerland, the FBI in New York, and inside the British parliament.

“I’ve been to the Carlton Club [a private Conservative club in central London], you would not believe, so many times,” he said. 

“But it’s important to get the message across. It’s so intensely frustrating to be out there, to be on the frontline and see the success and then see politics hold back people’s hand,” he told The Guardian newspaper in a 2016 interview. 

Gifford now openly encourages British military volunteers to follow him and join “the defense of Ukraine.”

His Twitter feed sees him glorify what he describes as “a British sniper” posing with a weapon and fatigues bearing the logo of what appears to be the ultranationalist Right Sector. 

Photographs appear to show members of his organization delivering training to Ukrainian soldiers in an unknown location. In video footage, he claims that he and his partner are off to train the Ukrainian police force. 

His operation works under the name Nightingale Squadron, its flashy logo emblazoned on the side of an expensive Landrover Freelander vehicle seen loaded with aid packages. 

While to westerners the name may seem innocent enough, it has chilling connotations for those in Lviv, evoking the name of the unit that collaborated with the Nazis, sending tens of thousands of Jews to their deaths during the Holocaust. 

The Nachtigall Battalion/Nightingale Battalion was founded in 1941 and came under the control of Stepan Bandera’s Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists. 

Most of its members formed the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, while 14 of them joined the SS Galicia Division in 1943.

The Simon Wiesensthal Centre says the Nightingale Battalion was in Lviv and collaborated with the Nazis between June 30 and July 3 of 1941 when 4,000 Jews were massacred. Its descendants can be found in the far-right forces now operating in Ukraine that have been involved in the massacre of Russian speakers and pogroms against Jews. 

Gifford shot to prominence in Britain having served in northern Syria in the fight against ISIS. 

A notorious self-publicist who seeks to further his career in politics, Gifford published an “Andy McNab-style” book, Fighting Evil in 2019 describing his experiences in the region. 

His treatment is a stark contrast to the working-class volunteers, many of whom served alongside him in Raqqa and other key battles on the frontline. 

The large majority have faced arrest, surveillance, and the threat of prison on their return to Britain while Gifford has escaped similar scrutiny.

By contrast, Gifford roams freely between parliament, TV studios, and radio stations that fall over themselves to amplify his voice. 

Many of his YPG peers have privately voiced suspicions that Gifford is a state agent.

He certainly fits the mould and has the contacts. Politically right-wing with conservative values, he can be relied on to trash the antiwar movement and opponents of the Tory government along with the political establishment.

And there are obvious similarities between Gifford and the man he seeks to emulate, White Helmets founder Le Mesurier who died in suspicious circumstances in Istanbul in 2019. 

In many ways, he is the perfect candidate to establish a “Ukrainian White Helmets” which those on the ground have long-suspected of being an international operation. 

Other former YPG fighters are also getting in on the act. Gifford’s comrade in arms, former British paratrooper and veteran of the Afghanistan war Daniel Burke, has set up a similar operation which he announced last week.

He has established what he described as an NGO named “Dark Angels of Ukraine,” although the background to this is unclear. 

Burke, who was discharged from the army for fighting, said he had set up the NGO “because other NGOs or international military units tend to go to war against each other to show who is best.”

Dark Angels of Ukraine exists to provide humanitarian relief and training to the military and is already known to be operating inside Ukraine. The activities of the unit, which appears to be made up of military veterans include “moving logistical requirements such as food, water, and medicine to refugee centers and military units.” Their vehicle rescued a couple stranded somewhere in Ukraine and enabled them to return to France.

“It was on this trip that we had christened our truck the “Dark Angel” since our backgrounds as veterans lends our expertise to the Territorial Defence Forces,” the fundraising page says.

The group is there to “protect the freedoms that we all hold so dearly from our homelands here in Ukraine,” it declares. 

Burke is in many ways the opposite of Gifford. 

A trained soldier he was motivated to join the fight against ISIS in Syria after the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing in which 22 people died following an attack on an Ariana Grande concert. 

During his time in Syria, Burke photographed and retrieved documents and hard drives that he passed onto the British counter-terror experts, and maps, which he handed to US special forces.

This led to accusations by the YPG that he was a British spy and he was interrogated for days before he eventually convinced them otherwise. 

Unlike Gifford, Burke came to the attention of security services, spending eight months in prison after he was charged with terror offenses, although his case was later dropped.  

According to social media networks, many former YPG volunteers have joined the ranks of the international mercenary fighters in Ukraine. 

It is not clear exactly how many have traveled to the country, however, Nottinghamshire care worker Aiden Aslin – also known as Cossack Gundi – surrendered to Russian forces in Mariupol last month.

He insists that he is not a foreign mercenary and, like fellow Brit Shaun Pinner, was a member of the regular Ukrainian armed forces having signed up in 2018. 

Russia claims that thousands of foreign mercenaries have entered Ukraine and accuses NATO and the west of shipping weapons and equipment via civilian rail and transport networks. 

As the war drags on, the profits of the arms companies continue to rise and western efforts to weaken Russia continue while peace looks to be further away than ever.

“It is quite conceivable for a Ukrainian White Helmets to play the same role as its Syrian counterparts; a major anti-Russian propaganda offensive, staged events, and the triggering of incidents to pave the way for NATO intervention.”

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

Testing the waters: Could Turkey’s Russian relations sink over Ukraine?

Neither friend nor foe, Turkey and Russia have backed opposing sides in several regional conflicts, yet managed to avoid direct confrontation. Now the Ukraine crisis poses a serious challenge.

March 22 2022

Caught between NATO and Russia over Ukraine, Turkey is forced to walk a thin line to avoid confrontation with either side.Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Yeghia Tashjian

The war in Ukraine has become the latest test for Turkey’s regional ambitions in confronting those of Russia, in what has clearly become a “cooperative rivalry.” This is where both sides, despite their opposite views on various regional conflicts ranging from Libya to Syria to the South Caucasus, have worked to manage these conflicts without directly challenging one another.

The current crisis has raised Turkey’s concerns of being in the firing line of Russia’s hegemonic ambitions. It is important to note that Turkey and Russia are not allies, but bitter ‘frenemies.’ Despite having robust commercial, energy, diplomatic and military ties, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned back in 2016 that NATO has to act and increase its presence in the Black Sea.

Over the past two decades, Russia has consolidated its presence in the Black Sea region by directly controlling Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008, and annexing Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014. The Black Sea Fleet is responsible for bringing supplies to Russian forces in Syria, mostly based in the port of Tartus and Khmeimim airbase, as well as for patrolling the eastern Mediterranean. Russia’s 2015 Maritime Doctrine clearly prioritizes the Black Sea as a pillar of its power projection.

Turkey’s waning power in the Black Sea

Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea tipped the balance of military power in the Black Sea in favor of Moscow. Not only has Russia significantly increased its Exclusive Economic Zone and its Black Sea coastline, it has also cancelled existing agreements with Ukraine, which limited the latter’s Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol.

Additionally, Russia has stationed new military ships and submarines and installed a dense network of advanced weapons systems across the Crimean peninsula. From Ankara’s perspective, Turkey feels surrounded by Russian military presence from the north (Crimea), east (Armenia), and south (Syria).

In response, Erdogan initiated the construction of the Istanbul Canal to put additional pressure on Russia using the 1936 Montreux Convention whereby Turkey can close the Black Sea Straits to all warships in times of war.

Indeed, following NATO’s intensified pressure, Ankara has started exercising its right under Article 19 of the Convention, and has warned all coastal and non-coastal states that it will not allow warships through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. The convention also limits the period of stay for warships belonging to non-Black Sea states in the Black Sea.

However, this action also exposed Turkey’s limitations by raising the questions: How will Turkey react if Russian naval warships seek passage through the Straits? Will Turkey prevent them? The answer is clear.

As a Black Sea state, Russia has the privileged right to transit the Turkish Straits to return its warships to their bases. The treaty states that during armed conflict, belligerent warships “shall not” pass through the Straits unless the ships belong to a state that borders the Black Sea and are returning to their home ports.

Once Turkey determined that Russia was “at war,” it had no choice under the treaty but to stop Russian warships from passing through the Straits. The only exception for passage is for Russian warships from other areas returning to their bases in the Black Sea.

For example, a Russian fleet registered in the Black Sea but currently located in the Mediterranean Sea is allowed to pass through the Turkish Straits and return to its base. The condition also applies to Russian fleets currently in the Black Sea that belong to a base in the Mediterranean or Baltic Sea. Russia is free to take them out of the Black Sea. This option provides Russia with enough space to maneuver its naval power and downplay Article 19 of the Montreux Convention.

Turkey is aware that blocking access of Russian warships through its Straits will be viewed in Moscow as a “declaration of war.” This is the last thing Erdogan wants, knowing full well that the economic and political consequences will be harsher than those Turkey tasted after it downed the Russian jet over Syria in 2015.

Turkey’s balancing act between Russia and Ukraine

While Turkey will not directly provoke Russia, it has increased its military cooperation with Ukraine. This includes the supply of Bayraktar TB2 drones to the Kiev government. The Russians, for their part, have shown their preparedness for Turkish drones. Despite the fact that the Bayraktar TB2 drones are still operating and useful to the Ukrainian side, the Russian Ministry of Defense almost daily announces that its forces are downing many drones, including TB2.

This military relationship has also involved Ukraine supplying Turkey with military engines intended to boost Turkey’s growing arms industry; in particular, the Bayraktar’s successor drone and T292 heavy attack helicopters that are currently under production.

For Russia, this poses a threat, as in the future it may shift the military balance of power towards Turkey and Ukraine in the Black Sea. It is for this reason that Russian forces destroyed most of the Ukrainian heavy military infrastructure (including its naval and air force) and arms industry.

As such, Erdogan will aim to continue cooperation with Russia in the region; but he is equally likely to step up engagement with NATO to improve his global standing and reduce international criticism of his domestic conduct. Erdogan knows that standing against Russia and directly confronting Moscow is very risky as – excluding the ongoing war in Ukraine – he would start a war on three fronts in the region: in Libya, Syria, and Nagorno-Karabakh.

In order to extract itself from the ongoing difficulty of placating both sides, in recent days Turkey has engaged in proactive diplomacy and mediation between Kiev and Moscow. Ankara announced that the two adversaries have made progress on their negotiations to halt the war and are “close to an agreement.” However, Ukraine’s president responded by saying that any consequential agreement with Russia would be put to a referendum. This signaled that there is no agreement in sight and Ankara’s mediating efforts are fruitless.

Turkey will not gamble with Ukraine against Russia

Dr Maxim Suchkov, a Moscow-based expert in the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) expresses concern that Turkey may view the crisis as an opportunity to re-establish itself in the Black Sea and strengthen its relations with the west. Ankara enjoys good ties with both Moscow and Kiev and seeks to balance itself, supplying arms to Ukraine, on the one hand, but also refraining from sanctioning Russia.

Suchkov argues that Turkey may indeed be useful to the Russian endgame here, but “Moscow should also be careful since President Erdogan is known for his penchant to fish in muddy waters.” Hence, even if the outcome of the conflict does not favor Erdogan’s interests, Turkey may try to wrest something out of this crisis.

For this reason, President Erdogan cannot antagonize Russia and risk full-scale war as, domestically, the implications of this battle will be heavy on the Turkish government. Already, on 22 February, six Turkish opposition parties, not including the Kurdish HDP, called on a unified platform for the revival of the parliamentary system in the country with the aim of establishing an alliance to topple Erdogan in the coming parliamentary and presidential elections in June 2023.

According to recent public surveys, the opposition coalition is polling ahead, and indeed may oust Erdogan, given the financial chaos Turkey is experiencing. The current crisis will worsen the economic and political situation of Turkey.

One sector that is especially vulnerable is tourism, as between four to seven million Russian tourists and around two million Ukrainian tourists visit Turkey each year. Moreover, western sanctions on Russia will make money transactions difficult between both countries.

Crucially, Turkey imports almost 50 percent of its gas from Russia, and with the increase in global gas prices, Turks find themselves in a difficult quandary. For these reasons, Ankara is unlikely to undertake any risky gambles and will continue to strike a balanced posture in the crisis.

Turkey still has an important role to play

Turkey has general elections scheduled for June 2023, hence any change in the leadership in Turkey would affect the current track of Russian-Turkish relations. In a post-Erdogan Turkey, Ankara is likely to move closer to the western camp due to the pro-western (pro-US) leanings of the Turkish military, entrepreneurs, technocrats, diplomats, and civil servants – regardless of their liberal or nationalistic personal views.

This could form a long-term challenge for Russia-Turkey relations, given the successful “cooperative rivalry” both sides managed to arrange in Libya, Syria, and Nagorno-Karabakh. It is worth mentioning that on 2 March, Meral Akşener, leader of the Turkish opposition İYİ Party, raised the alarm on whether there were any guarantees that Turkey’s eastern provinces would be safe from a similar kind of Russian aggression. She also called Russia a “security threat” for Turkey. This is another indication that the Turkish opposition is not on the same wavelength as Erdogan’s multi-vector foreign policy.

Moscow has never viewed Ankara as an equal partner, but as a junior partner that could help configure a regional order which benefits Russian interests and decreases western influence. However, if Russia becomes stuck in a Ukrainian quagmire, it may need Ankara to arrange a temporary settlement.

Will the Syrian and Nagorno-Karabakh scenario be repeated – in which both sides sidelined western influence and Russia accepted a Turkish role in the region? If Ukraine is divided into two zones, would Russia accept a Turkish ‘peacekeeping force’ in the western part of Ukraine? Would the Americans give Turkey the green light to enter such a game? What would Ankara gain in return? Is such a military adventure within Turkey’s capabilities?

According to Dr Mitat Çelikpala, Professor of International Relations and the Dean of Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences at Kadir Has University, such a scenario is beyond Turkey’s financial and military capacities – and Turkey cannot act unilaterally. Hence, for now, Turkey must continue its role of mediation between both sides to avoid any spillover effect near its borders.

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

Russian Military Operation in Ukraine is Not Slow, It’s Planned to End on 9 May, Victory Day

ARABI SOURI

Victory Day for Russia and the rest of Europe commemorating the victory over Nazism 77 years later will come this year with a new victory over Nazism, the neo-Nazism regime amplified by NATO countries and directed at Russia in particular, and the rest of the world in general, this was the date set for the ‘Russian Special Military in Ukraine’ was planned to end at.

Ten weeks starting February the 24th and ending by 09 May is the time the Kremlin and its Ministry of Defense strategists planned for the Military Operation in Ukraine to take until achieving the stated goals: the de-arming of Ukraine, neutralizing the country to create a buffer zone with the NATO aggressive alliance that has expanded eastward all the way to already swallow countries bordering Russia, and the ‘de-Nazifying of Ukraine’, the date of 9 May marks the anniversary the Russians and the world, in general, celebrates the end of the first Nazism in Germany during World War 2.

Lebanese top political analyst and former MP Nasser Kandil said he has heard from sources within the top officials in Moscow that the Russian Special Military Operation in Ukraine is going as planned, the time for the operation to fulfill its goals was set for 10 weeks within which the first 2 weeks will be focused on destroying the backbone of the Ukrainian military offensive capabilities including air defense, air force, seizing the Pentagon-sponsored biological warfare labs, securing the nuclear plants, and circling the main cities. Starting the 3rd week, the Russian troops will take one major city every week and will try to avoid the Ukrainian capital Kiev (Kyiv) to the end, if possible, giving the Ukrainian regime chance to declare defeat within this period and accepting the terms it refused with the backing of NATO for the past 8 years.

More on This Topic

Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry (Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles flying)

March 20, 2022

https://t.me/mod_russia_en/288

The grouping of troops of the Donetsk People’s Republic, developing an offensive, took full control of Stepnoye and is pursuing the retreating units of the 53rd separate mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Up to 25 personnel, 2 tanks, 2 infantry fighting vehicles and 5 all-terrain vehicles were destroyed.

In Novoselovka Vtoraya direction, the units of the Donetsk Republic have advanced to a depth of 3 kilometers, crossed the Kamenka – Verkhnetoretskoye road, and are fighting with the 1st airborne battalion of the 25th separate airborne brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

During the night, most of Verkhnetoretskoye settlement was taken under control, where battles are being fought with the 2nd battalion of the same brigade. In total, up to 40 personnel, 5 armored personnel carriers and 4 all-terrain vehicles were destroyed there. Offensive actions continue.

In the evening of March 19 and in the morning of March 20, high-precision long-range weapons attacked Ukraine’s military infrastructure.

From the waters of the Black Sea, Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles destroyed workshops for repairing Ukrainian armored vehicles damaged in combat at the Nezhinsky repair plant.

A large fuel storage base of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near Konstantinovka in Nikolaev region was destroyed by Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles from the waters of the Caspian Sea, as well as by Kinzhal aviation missile systems with hypersonic aeroballistic missiles from the airspace over Crimea territory. This is the main base for supply Ukrainian armored vehicles with fuel in combat areas in the south of Ukraine.

High-precision air-launched missiles struck the training centre of the Ukrainian special operations forces near Ovruch settlement of Zhytomir region, where foreign mercenaries who arrived in Ukraine were based. More than 100 special operations forces servicemen and mercenaries were killed.

During the night, operational-tactical and army aviation hit 62 military assets of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Among them: 3 command posts, 1 multiple launch rocket system, 2 missile and artillery weapons depots and 1 fuel depot, as well as 52 areas of military equipment concentration.

Russian air defence means shot down in the air: 1 Mi-8 helicopter of the Ukrainian Air Force near Kohannoye, 6 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles, including 1 Bayraktar TB-2 near Shibennoye, as well as 1 Ukrainian Tochka-U tactical ballistic missile near Chistovodovka north of Izyum.

Russian artillery destroyed 6 Ukrainian Bukovel mobile electronic warfare systems.

In total, 207 unmanned aerial vehicles, 1,467 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 148 multiple launch rocket systems, 573 field artillery and mortar guns, as well as 1,262 units of special military vehicles have been destroyed since the beginning of the special military operation.

Movie about the Ukraine

March 18, 2022

A friend send me 4 links to a movie about the Ukraine.  Here are these links:

I have decided to collate the four videos into one, then upload it to BitChute.  I hope that I did not mess something up (I don’t have the physical time to check). I assumed that YouTube would block the video sooner or later (they already placed a disclaimer on top of it), so making an extra copy made sense to me:

So here it is:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/YfKpVvzyBLmA

Non-Stop Crimes against Muslims

14 March 2022

By: Hamid Reza Naghashian

For years Zionist regime has been busy with committing crimes against Muslims, mainly Palestinians, and its crime has gone unnoticed by the international bodies and recently Saudi-led coalition has joined the Zionist wagon to commit crimes against Yemenis with no concern about getting due punishments from the international bodies or countries.

TEHRAN (Iran News) –  For years Zionist regime has been busy with committing crimes against Muslims, mainly Palestinians, and its crime has gone unnoticed by the international bodies and recently Saudi-led coalition has joined the Zionist wagon to commit crimes against Yemenis with no concern about getting due punishments from the international bodies or countries.

In recent days while the world and especially the United Nations have been mobilized against Russia to punish this country regarding Ukraine war, Zionists and Saudi-led coalition forces  continue their crimes comfortably without getting any even small condemnation from the UN.

It seems crimes against Muslims will continue non-stop mostly by Zionists and by some so-called Muslim states while the world is indifferent towards Muslims’ condition in Palestine and Yemen.

On Tuesday, the secretary general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement sharply criticized the United States for exercising double standards on human rights, saying Washington has remained silent on decades of Israeli atrocities against Palestine as well as the horrendous criminal acts that the Saudi-led coalition is perpetrating in war-torn Yemen.

“While U.S. officials accuse Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine, they tend to turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed against civilians in all their wars. The United States has carried out crimes worldwide, spanning from Japan to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Somalia. U.S. warplanes have bombed Afghan weddings, turning them into funerals,” Sayed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech broadcast live from Beirut.

He added, “What can Americans say about the massacres being perpetrated by Zionists in Palestine and Israel’s war crimes? What can they say about the siege of the Gaza Strip? What can they say about the massacres of the Saudi-American aggression in Yemen? What can they say about the blockade of Yemen?”

The Hezbollah chief noted that thousands of trials should be held to bring American and European military officials to justice for crimes committed in Algeria, Libya and elsewhere in the world.

He also lambasted the international community’s apathy towards Friday’s attack on a Shia mosque in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar, which killed at least 61 people and injured another 196, stating that the bombers who carried out the attack were US creations and instructed to play out the scenario.

Hezbollah’s leader warns that the Russia-Ukraine conflict can lead to repercussions that would be very dangerous to the whole world.

What Nasrallah said is just a small portion of many crimes which are committed in the world which go unpunished and even unnoticed.

“Trusting Americans translates into stupidity, foolishness and ignorance,” Nasrallah said, adding, “Ukrainians have been let down by those who they counted on, and they have started to announce their readiness for discussions with Moscow,” Nasrallah said.

“The treatment of the recent wave of refugees from Ukraine exposes discrimination based on religion, race, and color. Is this the Western civilization?” he said.

The double standard approach towards different issues by the West and the international bodies hurts the nations in the world especially when it comes to the Muslim states or anti-West countries, this approach widens so that ever body can see and feel the double standard regarding the mentioned states.

The strange thing is that Muslim states help the Zionists and the West to get bolder action against Muslim states because they know that Muslim states are divided and they will not take a united action against the committed crimes.

As Nasrallah said, the U.S. and mainly the West cannot be trusted and even Ukrainian people saw it in practice that the U.S. and Europeans are not ready to fight for them when they need it. Ukraine war has taught us many lessons and especially to the Muslim countries.

One of the main lessons is that Muslim countries should not rely on assistance of other countries and they themselves should fight for success and prosperity. The second lesson is that they should fight for their cause as Ukrainians do for it because they have realized that Western countries prefer to talk rather than to act.

So it is up to Muslim nations whether to accept suppression by their enemies or to stand against it because as long as they wait for the international bodies’ reaction to crimes against Palestine and Yemen or even other Muslim country like Sudan, it will be waste of time because the non-stop crimes against them will continue without getting due reaction and punishment.

Muslim nations need leaders like Seyed Ali Khamenei and Sayed Nasrallah to stand against arrogant states otherwise they have to seat and watch crimes against them going on. Lack of the brave leadership is the missing link in Muslim states which hurts them and makes happy the hostile nations.

Three important missile strikes (UPDATED!)

March 14, 2022

First, as the entire western press is clamoring in impotent range, Russia has fire 8 Kalibr missiles at a major NATO base in western Ukraine.  The base is utterly destroyed and there are many (well over 180+) dead mercenaries and even more wounded ones.  The base was near the Polish border which, of course, triggered even more hysterics.

What is important about this strike is this: Russia has just proven to the world that she can “reach” as far as she wants and that her conventional strikes can be truly crippling.  That, of course, also means that as soon as any western mercenary crosses the Ukrainian border he will have a crosshairs painted on him.

Ever since the first Ukie civil war, the Nazis have been organizing what they called “safaris” where wealthy western Nazis could pay a lump sum to then travel to the Donbass and shoot some Snow Niggers.  Of course, the problem with this concept that sometimes you could mistakenly hit a soldier rather than a civilian and that this Snow Nigger would shoot back.

So now, instead of asking Nazis to pay to kill Snow Niggers, now the Ukies (and their US masters, of course) are willing to pay Nazis to come a fight the Snow Niggers.  And Iavorov in western Ukraine, hundreds of miles away from the LOC must have felt extremely safe and cozy.  This is now this facility is described in an interview of the Mayor of Lvov by the Israeli website Ynet:

Those who were there a week ago said that some 100,000 men, some of them are new recruits, were at the base, undergoing a fast-track army training before going into battle. It appears the Russian intelligence received a tip on the actions in the base, before deciding to bomb it.

True, in the same interview, the said mayor claimed “at least 35”!

This is what this major NATO facility looks like today, judge for yourself:

It should be noted that this base was also a huge weapons depot for weapons brought in by land, from Poland, and that all this western kit is now reduced to a gigantic Lego pieces dump.

By the way, there are many more such facilities in the Ukraine!

The base on the far left indicated as “International Center for Peacekeeping and Security”,Iaworow, Lvov oblast” (международный центр миротворчества и безопасности, Яворов, Львовская обл.) is the one the Russian destroyed!  yes, it was labeled “Peacekeeping and Security”, I kid you not!

I don’t know who taught whom to lie like that – NATO and Nazis are both specialists in that field, really – but to call a military base which was supposed to bring a full brigade (several thousand!!) of Nazi volunteers a “peacekeeping security center” is truly precious, even by the rather lax standards of the Empire of Lies.

Then there was this strike, also in the Ukraine:

What you see here is the result of a Ukie strike on the Donetsk city center today.

The Ukies fired a Tochka-U missile precisely at downtown Donetsk.

Military value from this strike?  Zero.

Feelgood value from this strike?  Immense!

And no, this is NOT a war crime!  This is how the glorious glorious armed forces of the Nazi Ukraine take just revenge against Russia and the “separs” who dare to support her.

Russia exposed to the world’s contempt

You cannot compare the innocent mercenaries to those criminal civilians, because the former act in the name of humanity civilization and progress whereas the latter are russki brutes, Mongols really, who represent a threat for the wonderful White and Christian European civilization.

In fact, when the western doubleplusgoodthinkers proclaim with indignation that the Ukrainian civil war (well, the two Ukie civil wars really) killed 14’000 people, they “forget” to mention that the vast majority of those killed where civilians from the LDNR and that for YEARS the LDNR forces did not reply to Ukie attacks, not just sniper or mortar fire, but also heavy artillery strikes and major terrorist attacks, including the President of the DNR.

But that matters nothing to the Empire of Lies.

But now that a sad and ugly group of bona fide Nazi volunteers got hit on a military base (a legitimate target under international law and the laws of war specifically!) we hear a massive “oy veh!!!” rising to the heavens and demanding that Russia be severely punished for daring to shoot at those wannabe Kulturträgers!

I think that it would be fair to summarize The Rule as follows: we get to kill as many Snow Niggers as we want, but Snow Niggers dare not kill any of our White and Christian Kulturträgers.

Speaking of niggers, here is another important missile strike.

The Iranian Sand Niggers used their (very accurate) missiles to obliterate a Mossad base in Iraqi Kurdistan.  Now that, what shall we call it? maybe a “Jewish Cultural Center” or maybe a “Iraqi Law Center against Antisemitism” has been turned into this:

Interestingly, the IRGC indicated that the operation was in response to an Israeli airstrike on the Syrian capital of Damascus last Monday, in which two IRGC officers were killed.  Apparently, the Iranian Snow Niggers do not believe that the Jewish Kulturträgers  get to kill them without retaliation.

Most interestingly, following this strike the Israelis have copied the US “counter-attack philosophy” and… …done exactly nothing about this!  The story is mostly buried deep in the Israeli media, which doesn’t deny or cover it up, it just mentions them en passant and then goes on to other topics (including lots of anti-Russian pro-Ukie coverage of the Russian’s special operation in the Ukraine).

Here is the simple truth: the Empire of Lies cannot afford a full-scale with against Russia and China:  that we already knew, but it can’t even take on Iran, in spite of that country being much smaller and comparatively weaker.  But what the Iranians do have truly formidable weapons, and I am not referring to their (actually quite formidable) missiles, but by their political will and courage to use their missiles against *any* enemy.

An often-repeated story is that the Iranian hero and martyr General Soleimani personally visited Moscow and convinced the Russians to launch their military intervention in Syria.  This inspires two hopes in me:

  • I hope to see Moscow at least once more before my time down here is up and that day I hope to be able to bring flowers to a large statue of General Soleimani somewhere in Moscow, maybe in the place were the Pushkin Square McDonalds (due to close today, not a day too soon, thank you sanctions!!!) stood all these years?  Or maybe right in front of the US Embassy in Moscow which, by then, I hope to see vacated by the servants of the Empire of Lies and, maybe, replaced by a US Music Center (Jazz, Blues, Country, Gospel, Appalachian and many other kinds of beautiful US music.) or, maybe, an exhibit like the one the Iranians did with the CIA station in Tehran? Something beautiful and inspiring for sure.

By the time I see Russia, maybe for a last time, I hope that the spirit and ethos of General Soleimani will “infect” all the Russian ruling elites and give them the morality and courage they currently so clearly lack.

God willing, God willing!

It is too early for any maps right now (dragon-first-1 was told by persons in high positions to stop making and posting his while Radovka is slow), but if I see something interesting, I will post it here.

Andrei

PS: Radovka just posted this map, so I share it with you

The “relatively civilized” people should ally themselves with the “uncivilized” ones

March 04, 2022

Source

By Aram Mirzaei

The Western psyops is truly at its full capacity right now. As the Saker has reported himself for many days now, they’ve targeted Russia everywhere and in every way possible. They’ve completely taken control of the narrative and are basically on a witch hunt for those deemed “deviant”. The Western media is rampant with “reporting” and “analyses” where all these “experts” are competing in the ‘trash-talking Russia” challenge. Some say Putin has gone mad and has “lost touch with reality”, while others claim that he has a master plan to conquer all of the former Eastern Bloc countries. But in the end they all agree that he is evil, that he should be killed and/or overthrown. The other day, I saw two journalists interviewing a man who had volunteered to travel to Ukraine to fight Russians, as they were wishing him “all the best.” You’d think this is a joke if you didn’t live through it yourself.

A friend of mine from a European country told me the other day: “I feel like a criminal these days, carrying a deep dark secret, because I’ve committed something worse than murder… I support Russia! In this extremely Russophobic country, the pharmacies have run out of iodine pills, because people have stocked up on them, expecting a nuclear strike by “big bad Putin” any day now. People are hurrying to the ATMs for cash and preparing shelters for WWIII.” This is how the West and its powerful media have created fear among the Western people.

We’re being bombarded day and night by lies, lies and more lies about the ongoing conflict. The Saker is correct in his argument that Russia has been defeated in the information war. There are probably differing opinions on why this happened and one could argue that Moscow was probably a bit surprised to see the extent of the psyop. Foreign Minister Lavrov himself said that “Russia was ready for Western sanctions but that it did not expect the West to target its athletes, journalists and representatives of the cultural sector.”

He isn’t exactly lying here. Never in my life have I seen such hatred spewed on a mass level, as if the entire world has gone crazy. Such a coordinated campaign cannot have been executed without thorough planning, which I believe they’ve been doing for months, if not years.
In any case, the Western media have been quick to proclaim that the “international community” has condemned Russia for its “invasion” of Ukraine. We all know by now that the “international community” includes only the “civilized” and perhaps some “relatively civilized” countries. I’ll come back to the term “relatively civilized” later.

So what about the average person in the West then? I can mostly speak about the country I currently reside in, but so far, judging from what I’ve seen, the “civilized” Westerners have unequivocally condemned and showed their hatred for president Putin and Russia, because, of course, they take a moral stance against “unacceptable Russian imperialism.” Such things belong to the “20th century” and “countries these days don’t just invade other countries”. The other day, I heard co-workers say that they don’t fear soaring gas and oil prices due to the sanctions, because they’d “rather go back to horse and chariot, than miss out on the chance to put those damn Russians in their place.”

This is the hatred that they have against Russia, a people they consider to be “relatively civilized”, just like they consider Ukrainians to be the same. This is why Moscow’s policy of appeasement is useless. It is Moscow that should take lessons from history and look at Munich 1938, not the Westerners, as some silly pundits claim. They should also take lesson from the Islamic Republic’s tough stance against the West, despite being a much smaller country than Russia, and vastly behind in terms of economic, military, industrial and technological advancements and achievements.

The Islamic Republic has never even had the chance to be part of SWIFT system, a tool that the Westerners have used against Russia recently, supposedly a “disaster for Russian economy” now that they have “kicked Russia out.” Iran has been forced to do trades through the black market and the use of cash in suitcases and bags for decades! This is what “maximum pressure” forced Tehran into. Why shouldn’t Russia survive this? It is after all “relatively civilized” compared to the “uncivilized” Muslim Iranians.

The phrase “relatively civilized” was, as most people know, recently used in an interview by a correspondent of one of the American media channels. Note the words “the Ukrainians are relatively civilized”, which simply means that in the eyes of the Americans, Ukrainians are still “relatively civilized” and not fully “civilized”.
This means that Iraqis are Afghans dying is not strange, because they’re not civilized anyway. The “stupid Muslims” in Iraq, Syria and Yemen whose blood don’t matter and killing them en masse is permissible because they are subhuman.

The Western people (save for a very small minority) do not give a damn about the fact that the US occupies Syria and Iraq, that it has waged illegal wars across West Asia and Afghanistan, and slaughtered millions in their path. Washington is partaking in a starvation campaign against millions of Yemenis, does anyone care about that?

Did anyone sanction the US when it invaded Iraq illegally? Even with facts about the total fabrication of evidence for Iraq’s WMD possession, facts that are acknowledged by Western governments and pundits today, and yet nobody says a thing. Did anyone cancel, let alone even condemn the US when it downed an Iranian passenger flight, killing some 300 people and then gave medals to those troops who fired the missile?

For God’s sakes, at least the Iranians had the decency to apologize when they accidentally downed the Ukrainian-bound passenger flight in 2020. They didn’t humiliate the victims by giving the troops medals, instead, they actually charged them with criminal neglect and incompetence. But Iranians are the “uncivilized” people here, of course.

In my opinion, Moscow has tried too hard the diplomatic way, over the Donbass conflict. I’m sure the people in Moscow already know this, but negotiations with the West is useless. If anything the failure of the JCPOA and Washington’s shameless withdrawal should be a lesson for Moscow, that Washington and its band of dogs are liars, they are unreliable and won’t stand by their words and promises. The West has proven time and time again that it only understands the language of force.

I believe as several other analysts have already stated, that Washington’s goals have been to draw Russia into a war, which it succeeded in doing, and the second goal has been to kick Russia out of Europe-Washington has been pretty successful with this endeavour too, for now.

So Moscow must now look to those who will not view Russia and Russians as “relatively civilized.” The “uncivilized” world, save for those affected by the brain disease that exposure to Western media results in, mostly support Moscow’s operation in Ukraine. They recognize Moscow’s legitimate security concerns over NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders. Moscow’s challenge and resistance to the US empire is important for the countries or the “uncivilized” world too, because it offers them a way out of the West’s stranglehold over them. Moscow has used its military might for fighting terrorists, first in Chechnya, then Syria and now in Ukraine, helping the people achieve freedom from Western backed terrorists. This has not just passed by the “uncivil” peoples of the world.

Many countries in the so called Global South have refused to condemn and sanction Russia. Not even NATO member Turkey, or Brazil’s anglophile president went through with the sanctions. Tehran and Beijing (both super uncivilized) have blamed the West for the crisis and  Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has personally mentioned Washington’s cancerous role in the conflict, describing Washington as “both creating crises and feeding off of them.”

So what can we learn from this conflict? Moscow, and hopefully Tehran as well as Beijing should learn that just like in Ukraine, where there are those who believe that its a privilege to be called “Westerner” and “European”, there are such people in all three of these countries as well. The governments of Russia, Iran and China must now figure out ways to block these psyops from affecting their own peoples, or elschine they’ll be facing the same threats. One such way is to counter the “Western unity” by showing “Eastern unity” in this time of crisis. They must show the world that Western sanctions don’t affect them, and that the “international community” is nothing but the US empire of lies and its vassals.

Let’s hope that this truly was Russia’s final review of relations with the West and that Moscow now fully turns to the “uncivilized” East.

America Defeats Germany for the Third Time in a Century: The MIC, OGAM and FIRE Sectors Conquer NATO

February 28, 2022

Source

By Michael Hudson

My old boss Herman Kahn, with whom I worked at the Hudson Institute in the 1970s, had a set speech that he would give at public meetings. He said that back in high school in Los Angeles, his teachers would say what most liberals were saying in the 1940s and 50s: “Wars never solved anything.” It was as if they never changed anything – and therefore shouldn’t be fought.

Herman disagreed, and made lists of all sorts of things that wars had solved in world history, or at least changed. He was right, and of course that is the aim of both sides in today’s New Cold War confrontation in Ukraine.

The question to ask is what today’s New Cold War is trying to change or “solve.” To answer this question, it helps to ask who initiates the war. There always are two sides – the attacker and the attacked. The attacker intends certain consequences, and the attacked looks for unintended consequences of which they can take advantage. In this case, both sides have their dueling sets of intended consequences and special interests.

The active military force and aggression since 1991 has been the United States. Rejecting mutual disarmament of the Warsaw Pact countries and NATO, there was no “peace dividend.” Instead, the U.S. policy executed by the Clinton and subsequent administrations to wage a new military expansion via NATO has paid a 30-year dividend in the form of shifting the foreign policy of Western Europe and other American allies out of their domestic political sphere into their own U.S.-oriented “national security” blob (the word for special interests that must not be named). NATO has become Europe’s foreign-policy-making body, even to the point of dominating domestic economic interests.

The recent prodding of Russia by expanding Ukrainian anti-Russian ethnic violence by Ukraine’s neo-Nazi post-2014 Maiden regime was aimed at (and has succeeded in forcing a showdown in response the fear by U.S. interests that they are losing their economic and political hold on their NATO allies and other Dollar Area satellites as these countries have seen their major opportunities for gain to lie in increasing trade and investment with China and Russia.

To understand just what U.S. aims and interests are threatened, it is necessary to understand U.S. politics and “the blob,” that is, the government central planning that cannot be explained by looking at ostensibly democratic politics. This is not the politics of U.S. senators and representatives representing their congressional voting districts or states.

America’s three oligarchies in control of U.S. foreign policy

It is more realistic to view U.S. economic and foreign policy in terms of the military-industrial complex, the oil and gas (and mining) complex, and the banking and real estate complex than in terms of the political policy of Republicans and Democrats. The key senators and congressional representatives do not represent their states and districts as much as the economic and financial interests of their major political campaign contributors. A Venn diagram would show that in today’s post-Citizens United world, U.S. politicians represent their campaign contributors, not voters. And these contributors fall basically into three main blocs.

Three main oligarchic groups that have bought control of the Senate and Congress to put their own policy makers in the State Department and Defense Department. First is the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) – arms manufacturers such as Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, have broadly diversified their factories and employment in nearly every state, and especially in the Congressional districts where key Congressional committee heads are elected. Their economic base is monopoly rent, obtained above all from their arms sales to NATO, to Near Eastern oil exporters and to other countries with a balance-of-payments surplus. Stocks for these companies soared immediately upon news of the Russian attack, leading a two-day stock-market surge as investors recognized that war in a world of cost-plus “Pentagon capitalism” (as Seymour Melman described it) will provide a guaranteed national-security umbrella for monopoly profits for war industries. Senators and Congressional representatives from California and Washington traditionally have represented the MIC, along with the solid pro-military South. The past week’s military escalation promises soaring arms sales to NATO and other U.S. allies, enriching the actual constituents of these politicians. Germany quickly agreed to raise is arms spending to over 2% of GDP.

The second major oligarchic bloc is the rent-extracting oil and gas sector, joined by mining (OGAM), riding America’s special tax favoritism granted to companies emptying natural resources out of the ground and putting them mostly into the atmosphere, oceans and water supply. Like the banking and real estate sector seeking to maximize economic rent and maximizing capital gains for housing and other assets,, the aim of this OGAM sector is to maximize the price of its energy and raw materials so as to maximize its natural-resource rent. Monopolizing the Dollar Area’s oil market and isolating it from Russian oil and gas has been a major U.S. priority for over a year now, as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline threatened to link the Western European and Russian economies more tightly together.

If oil, gas and mining operations are not situated in every U.S. voting district, at least their investors are. Senators from Texas and other Western oil-producing and mining states are the leading OGAM lobbyists, and the State Department has a heavy oil-sector influence providing a national-security umbrella for the sector’s special tax breaks. The ancillary political aim is to ignore and reject environmental drives to replace oil, gas and coal with alternative sources of energy. The Biden administration accordingly has backed the expansion of offshore drilling, supported the Canadian pipeline to the world’s dirtiest petroleum source in the Athabasca tar sands, and celebrated the revival of U.S. fracking.

The foreign-policy extension is to prevent foreign countries not leaving control of their oil, gas and mining to U.S. OGAM companies from competing in world markets with U.S. suppliers. Isolating Russia (and Iran) from Western markets will reduce the supply of oil and gas, pushing up prices and corporate profits accordingly.

The third major oligarchic group is the symbiotic Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector, which is the modern finance-capitalist successor to Europe’s old post-feudal landed aristocracy living by land rents. With most housing in today’s world having become owner-occupied (although with sharply rising rates of absentee landlordship since the post-2008 wave of Obama Evictions), land rent is paid largely to the banking sector in the form of mortgage interest and debt amortization (on rising debt/equity ratios as bank lending inflates housing prices). About 80 percent of U.S. and British bank loans are to the real estate sector, inflating land prices to create capital gains – which are effectively tax-exempt for absentee owners.

This Wall Street-centered banking and real estate bloc is even more broadly based on a district-by-district basis than the MIC. Its New York senator from Wall Street, Chuck Schumer, heads the Senate, long supported by Delaware’s former Senator from the credit-card industry Joe Biden, and Connecticut’s senators from the insurance sector centered in that state. Domestically, the aim of this sector is to maximize land rent and the “capital’ gains resulting from rising land rent. Internationally, the FIRE sector’s aim is to privatize foreign economies (above all to secure the privilege of credit creation in U.S. hands), so as to turn government infrastructure and public utilities into rent-seeking monopolies to provide basic services (such as health care, education, transportation, communications and information technology) at maximum prices instead of at subsidized prices to reduce the cost of living and doing business. And Wall Street always has been closely merged with the oil and gas industry (viz. the Rockefeller-dominated Citigroup and Chase Manhattan banking conglomerates).

The FIRE, MIC and OGAM sectors are the three rentier sectors that dominate today’s post-industrial finance capitalism. Their mutual fortunes have soared as MIC and OGAM stocks have increased. And moves to exclude Russia from the Western financial system (and partially now from SWIFT), coupled with the adverse effects of isolating European economies from Russian energy, promise to spur an inflow into dollarized financial securities

As mentioned at the outset, it is more helpful to view U.S. economic and foreign policy in terms of the complexes based on these three rentier sectors than in terms of the political policy of Republicans and Democrats. The key senators and congressional representatives are not representing their states and districts as much as the economic and financial interests of their major donors. That is why neither manufacturing nor agriculture play the dominant role in U.S. foreign policy today. The convergence of the policy aims of America’s three dominant rentier groups overwhelms the interests of labor and even of industrial capital beyond the MIC. That convergence is the defining characteristic of today’s post-industrial finance capitalism. It is basically a reversion to economic rent-seeking, which is independent of the politics of labor and industrial capital.

The dynamic that needs to be traced today is why this oligarchic blob has found its interest in prodding Russia into what Russia evidently viewed as a do-or-die stance to resist the increasingly violent attacks on Ukraine’s eastern Russian-speaking provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, along with the broader Western threats against Russia.

The rentier “blob’s” expected consequences of the New Cold War

As President Biden explained, the current U.S.-orchestrated military escalation (“Prodding the Bear”) is not really about Ukraine. Biden promised at the outset that no U.S. troops would be involved. But he has been demanding for over a year that Germany prevent the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from supplying its industry and housing with low-priced gas and turn to the much higher-priced U.S. suppliers.

U.S. officials first tried to stop construction of the pipeline from being completed. Firms aiding in its construction were sanctioned, but finally Russia itself completed the pipeline. U.S. pressure then turned on the traditionally pliant German politicians, claiming that Germany and the rest of Europe faced a National Security threat from Russia turning off the gas, presumably to extract some political or economic concessions. No specific Russian demands could be thought up, and so their nature was left obscure and blob-like. Germany refused to authorize Nord Stream 2 from officially going into operation.

A major aim of today’s New Cold War is to monopolize the market for U.S. shipments of liquified natural gas (LNG). Already under Donald Trump’s administration, Angela Merkel was bullied into promising to spend $1 billion building new port facilities for U.S. tanker ships to unload natural gas for German use. The Democratic election victory in November 2020, followed by Ms. Merkel’s retirement from Germany’s political scene, led to cancellation of this port investment, leaving Germany really without much alternative to importing Russian gas to heat its homes, power its electric utilities, and to provide raw material for its fertilizer industry and hence the maintenance of its farm productivity.

So the most pressing U.S. strategic aim of NATO confrontation with Russia is soaring oil and gas prices, above all to the detriment of Germany. In addition to creating profits and stock-market gains for U.S. oil companies, higher energy prices will take much of the steam out of the German economy. That looms as the third time in a century that the United States has defeated Germany – each time increasing its control over a German economy increasingly dependent on the United States for imports and policy leadership, with NATO being the effective check against any domestic nationalist resistance.

Higher gasoline, heating and other energy prices also will hurt U.S. consumers and those of other nations (especially Global South energy-deficit economies) and leave less of the U.S. family budget for spending on domestic goods and services. This could squeeze marginalized homeowners and investors, leading to further concentration of absentee ownership of housing and commercial property in the United States, along with buyouts of distressed real estate owners in other countries faced with soaring heating and energy costs. But that is deemed collateral damage by the post-industrial blob.

Food prices also will rise, headed by wheat. (Russia and Ukraine account for 25 percent of world wheat exports.) This will squeeze many Near Eastern and Global South food-deficit countries, worsening their balance of payments and threatening foreign debt defaults.

Russian raw-materials exports may be blocked by Russia in response to the currency and SWIFT sanctions. This threatens to cause breaks in supply chains for key materials, including cobalt, palladium, nickel and aluminum (the production of which consumes much electricity as its major cost – which will make that metal more expensive). If China decides to see itself as the next nation being threatened and joins Russia in a common protest against the U.S. trade and financial warfare, the Western economies are in for a serious shock.

The long-term dream of U.S. New Cold Warriors is to break up Russia, or at least to restore its Yeltsin/Harvard Boys managerial kleptocracy, with oligarchs seeking to cash in their privatizations in Western stock markets. OGAM still dreams of buying majority control of Yukos and Gazprom. Wall Street would love to recreate a Russian stock market boom. And MIC investors are happily anticipating the prospect of selling more weapons to help bring all this about.

Russia’s intentions to benefit from America’s unintended consequences

What does Russia want? Most immediately, to remove the neo-Nazi anti-Russian core that the Maidan massacre and coup put in place in 2014. Ukraine is to be neutralized, which to Russia means basically pro-Russian, dominated by Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea. The aim is to prevent Ukraine from becoming a staging ground of U.S.-orchestrated anti-Russian moves a la Chechnya and Georgia.

Russia’s longer-term aim is to pry Europe away from NATO and U.S. dominance – and in the process, create with China a new multipolar world order centered on an economically integrated Eurasia. The aim is to dissolve NATO altogether, and then to promote the broad disarmament and denuclearization policies that Russia has been pushing for. Not only will this cut back foreign purchases of U.S. arms, but it may end up leading to sanctions against future U.S. military adventurism. That would leave America with less ability to fund its military operations as de-dollarization accelerates.

Now that it should be obvious to any informed observer that (1) NATO’s purpose is aggression, not defense, and (2) there is no further territory for it to conquer from the remains of the old Soviet Union, what does Europe get out of continued membership? It is obvious that Russia never again will invade Europe. It has nothing to gain – and had nothing to gain by fighting Ukraine, except to roll back NATO’s proxy expansion into that country and the NATO-backed attacks on Novorossiya.

Will European nationalist leaders (the left is largely pro-US) ask why their countries should pay for U.S. arms that only put them in danger, pay higher prices for U.S. LNG and energy, pay more for grain and Russian-produced raw materials, all while losing the option of making export sales and profits on peaceful investment in Russia – and perhaps losing China as well?

The U.S. confiscation of Russian monetary reserves, following the recent theft of Afghanistan’s reserves (and England’s seizure of Venezuela’s gold stocks held there) threatens every country’s adherence to the Dollar Standard, and hence the dollar’s role as the vehicle for foreign-exchange savings by the world’s central banks. This will accelerate the international de-dollarization process already started by Russia and China relying on mutual holdings of each other’s currencies.

Over the longer term, Russia is likely to join China in forming an alternative to the U.S.-dominated IMF and World Bank. Russia’s announcement that it wants to arrest the Ukrainian Nazis and hold a war crimes trial seems to imply an alternative to the Hague court will be established following Russia’s military victory in Ukraine. Only a new international court could try war criminals extending from Ukraine’s neo-Nazi leadership all the way up to U.S. officials responsible for crimes against humanity as defined by the Nuremberg laws.

Did the American blob actually think through the consequences of NATO’s war?

It is almost black humor to look at U.S. attempts to convince China that it should join the United States in denouncing Russia’s moves into Ukraine. The most enormous unintended consequence of U.S. foreign policy has been to drive Russia and China together, along with Iran, Central Asia and other countries along the Belt and Road initiative.

Russia dreamed of creating a new world order, but it was U.S. adventurism that has driven the world into an entirely new order – one that looks to be dominated by China as the default winner now that the European economy is essentially torn apart and America is left with what it has grabbed from Russia and Afghanistan, but without the ability to gain future support.

And everything that I have written above may already be obsolete as Russia and the U.S. have gone on atomic alert. My only hope is that Putin and Biden can agree that if Russia hydrogen bombs Britain and Brussels, that there will be a devil’s (not gentleman’s) agreement not to bomb each other.

With such talk I’m brought back to my discussions with Herman Kahn 50 years ago. He became quite unpopular for writing Thinking about the Unthinkable, meaning atomic war. As he was parodied in Dr. Strangelove, he did indeed say that there would indeed be survivors. But he added that for himself, he hoped to be right under the atom bomb, because it was not a world in which he wanted to survive.

Video: NATO Too Weak to Face Russia? Scott Ritter on Russian Offensive

February 28, 2022

By Scott Ritter and Richard Medhurst

Global Research,

Richard Medhurst 25 February 2022

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Today, the dangers of military escalation are beyond description.

What is now happening in Ukraine has serious geopolitical implications. It could lead us into a World War III scenario.

It is important that a peace process be initiated with a view to preventing escalation. 

Global Research condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A Bilateral Peace Agreement is required.


Scott Ritter, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer, discusses the military invasion of Russia in Ukraine with Richard Medhurst.

According to Ritter, this is a massive Russian operation that aims to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine which means two things. One, Ukrainian military will cease to exist. And two, Ukrainian government will be gone because President Putin says it is a Nazi government.

Watch the interview below.

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Video: Freedom Convoy Solidarity in Alberta. Agreement with RCMP

The original source of this article is Richard Medhurst

Copyright © Scott Ritter and Richard MedhurstRichard Medhurst, 2022

How the U.S. Started a Cold War with Russia and Left Ukraine to Fight It

February 28, 2022

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies

Global Research,

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Visit and follow us on Instagram at @globalresearch_crg.


Today, the dangers of military escalation are beyond description.

What is now happening in Ukraine has serious geopolitical implications. It could lead us into a World War III scenario.

It is important that a peace process be initiated with a view to preventing escalation. 

Global Research condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A Bilateral Peace Agreement is required.


The defenders of Ukraine are bravely resisting Russian aggression, shaming the rest of the world and the UN Security Council for its failure to protect them. It is an encouraging sign that the Russians and Ukrainians are holding talks in Belarus that may lead to a ceasefire. All efforts must be made to bring an end to this war before the Russian war machine kills thousands more of Ukraine’s defenders and civilians, and forces hundreds of thousands more to flee. 

But there is a more insidious reality at work beneath the surface of this classic morality play, and that is the role of the United States and NATO in setting the stage for this crisis.

President Biden has called the Russian invasion “unprovoked,” but that is far from the truth. In the four days leading up to the invasion, ceasefire monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) documented a dangerous increase in ceasefire violations in Eastern Ukraine, with 5,667 violations and 4,093 explosions.

Most were inside the de facto borders of the Donetsk (DPR) and Luhansk (LPR) People’s Republics, consistent with incoming shell-fire by Ukraine government forces. With nearly 700 OSCE ceasefire monitors on the ground, it is not credible that these were all “false flag” incidents staged by separatist forces, as U.S. and British officials claimed.

Whether the shell-fire was just another escalation in the long-running civil war or the opening salvos of a new government offensive, it was certainly a provocation. But the Russian invasion has far exceeded any proportionate action to defend the DPR and LPR from those attacks, making it disproportionate and illegal.

In the larger context though, Ukraine has become an unwitting victim and proxy in the resurgent U.S. Cold War against Russia and China, in which the United States has surrounded both countries with military forces and offensive weapons, withdrawn from a whole series of arms control treaties, and refused to negotiate resolutions to rational security concerns raised by Russia.

In December 2021, after a summit between Presidents Biden and Putin, Russia submitted a draft proposal for a new mutual security treaty between Russia and NATO, with 9 articles to be negotiated. They represented a reasonable basis for a serious exchange. The most pertinent to the crisis in Ukraine was simply to agree that NATO would not accept Ukraine as a new member, which is not on the table in the foreseeable future in any case. But the Biden administration brushed off Russia’s entire proposal as a nonstarter, not even a basis for negotiations.

So why was negotiating a mutual security treaty so unacceptable that Biden was ready to risk thousands of Ukrainian lives, although not a single American life, rather than attempt to find common ground? What does that say about the relative value that Biden and his colleagues place on American versus Ukrainian lives? And what is this strange position that the United States occupies in today’s world that permits an American president to risk so many Ukrainian lives without asking Americans to share their pain and sacrifice?

The breakdown in U.S. relations with Russia and the failure of Biden’s inflexible brinkmanship precipitated this war, and yet Biden’s policy “externalizes” all the pain and suffering so that Americans can, as another wartime president once said, “go about their business” and keep shopping. America’s European allies, who must now house hundreds of thousands of refugees and face spiraling energy prices, should be wary of falling in line behind this kind of “leadership” before they, too, end up on the front line.

America Trashes NATO Founding Act; Rushes Weapons to Russia’s Borders

At the end of the Cold War, the Warsaw Pact, NATO’s Eastern European counterpart, was dissolved, and NATO should have been as well, since it had achieved the purpose it was built to serve. Instead, NATO has lived on as a dangerous, out-of-control military alliance dedicated mainly to expanding its sphere of operations and justifying its own existence. It has expanded from 16 countries in 1991 to a total of 30 countries today, incorporating most of Eastern Europe, at the same time as it has committed aggression, bombings of civilians and other war crimes.

In 1999, NATO launched an illegal war to militarily carve out an independent Kosovo from the remnants of Yugoslavia. NATO airstrikes during the Kosovo War killed hundreds of civilians, and its leading ally in the war, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, is now on trial at The Hague for the appalling war crimes he committed under the cover of NATO bombing, including cold-blooded murders of hundreds of prisoners to sell their internal organs on the international transplant market.

Far from the North Atlantic, NATO joined the United States in its 20-year war in Afghanistan, and then attacked and destroyed Libya in 2011, leaving behind a failed state, a continuing refugee crisis and violence and chaos across the region.

In 1991, as part of a Soviet agreement to accept the reunification of East and West Germany, Western leaders assured their Soviet counterparts that they would not expand NATO any closer to Russia than the border of a united Germany. U.S. Secretary of State James Baker promised that NATO would not advance “one inch” beyond the German border. The West’s broken promises are spelled out for all to see in 30 declassified documents published on the National Security Archive website.

After expanding across Eastern Europe and waging wars in Afghanistan and Libya, NATO has predictably come full circle to once again view Russia as its principal enemy. U.S. nuclear weapons are now based in five NATO countries in Europe: Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey, while France and the U.K. already have their own nuclear arsenals. U.S. “missile defense” systems, which could be converted to fire offensive nuclear missiles, are based in Poland and Romania, including at a base in Poland only 100 miles from the Russian border.

Another Russian request in its December proposal was for the United States to simply rejoin the 1988 INF Treaty(Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty), under which both sides agreed not to deploy short- or intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe. Trump withdrew from the treaty in 2019 on the advice of his National Security Adviser, John Bolton, who also has the scalps of the 1972 ABM Treaty, the 2015 JCPOA with Iran and the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea dangling from his gun-belt.

None of this can justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the world should take Russia seriously when it says that its conditions for ending the war and returning to diplomacy are Ukrainian neutrality and disarmament. While no country can be expected to completely disarm in today’s armed-to-the-teeth world, neutrality could be a serious long-term option for Ukraine.

There are many successful precedents, like Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Finland and Costa Rica. Or take the case of Vietnam. It has a common border and serious maritime disputes with China, but Vietnam has resisted U.S. efforts to embroil it in its Cold War with China, and remains committed to its long-standing “Four Nos” policy: no military alliances; no affiliation with one country against another; no foreign military bases; and no threats or uses of force.

The world must do whatever it takes to obtain a ceasefire in Ukraine and make it stick. Maybe UN Secretary General Guterres or a UN special representative could act as a mediator, possibly with a peacekeeping role for the UN. This will not be easy – one of the still unlearned lessons of other wars is that it is easier to prevent war through serious diplomacy and a genuine commitment to peace than to end a war once it has started.

If and when there is a ceasefire, all parties must be prepared to start afresh to negotiate lasting diplomatic solutions that will allow all the people of Donbas, Ukraine, Russia, the United States and other NATO members to live in peace. Security is not a zero-sum game, and no country or group of countries can achieve lasting security by undermining the security of others.

The United States and Russia must also finally assume the responsibility that comes with stockpiling over 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons, and agree on a plan to start dismantling them, in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

Lastly, as Americans condemn Russia’s aggression, it would be the epitome of hypocrisy to forget or ignore the many recent wars in which the United States and its allies have been the aggressors: in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti,Somalia, Palestine, Pakistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

We sincerely hope that Russia will end its illegal, brutal invasion of Ukraine long before it commits a fraction of the massive killing and destruction that the United States and its allies have committed in our illegal wars.

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Note to readers: Please click the share buttons above or below. Follow us on Instagram, @globalresearch_crg. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace, and author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK and the author of Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq

They are regular contributors to Global Research.

Featured image is from CODEPINK

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies, Global Research, 2022

West Turned Blind Eye to War Crimes by the Kiev Regime, ’Genocide’ in Ukraine, Lavrov Says

February 25, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has condemned the West for their unwavering defense of the Ukrainian regime and turning a blind eye to its war crimes against civilians in the country’s east.

In a press conference on Friday, Lavrov voiced his country’s readiness to negotiate once Russian President Vladimir Putin’s conditions are applied, when Ukraine lays down its weapon and form a government that represents all of the Ukrainian society’s components.

He stressed that nations in the West covered Kiev’s back even as it decided to take the Donbass people’s republics by force, declared a resolve to join NATO, and threatened to build nuclear weapons.

“They have been turning a blind eye to war crimes against the civilian population, to the murders of women, children, the elderly, to the destruction of civilian infrastructure and silently encouraging the rapid emergence of neo-Nazism and Russophobia [in Ukraine], which ultimately plunged the country into its current tragic state,” Lavrov said.

The foreign minister went on to slam the West for “unanimously” denying the obvious fact that a “genocide” was taking place in Ukraine, where Kiev’s forces have been waging a war against and killing the residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics [DPR and LPR].

He also announced that Russia will be organizing a special photo gallery at the UN for the participants of a new session of the UN Human Rights Council. This gallery will be devoted to the situation in the Donbass region and the suffering of its residents, Lavrov said.

He further explained that Russia could not remain indifferent to the DPR and LPR’s appeal for defense against the aggressor. He noted that the Russian special operation in Donbass is being carried out to allow Ukrainians to choose their own future once they are freed from the oppression of the current regime, and stressed that the Russian military is not attacking civilian infrastructure as part of this operation.

Lavrov separately added that he does not believe Western politicians could seriously hope that Moscow would tolerate the oppression of Russians in Ukraine.

The Russian foreign minister further underscored that “nobody” plans to occupy Ukraine in the course of the special operation and added that Russia is interested in the Ukrainian people maintaining their independence.

The minister stressed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is lying when he claims that Kiev is ready to discuss Ukraine’s “neutral status.” He added that Zelensky also lied, when he said that Russia refused to engage in dialogue and that the Ukrainian president himself missed the opportunity to start negotiations on security guarantees.

“We have always stood for negotiations. The chance [to hold them] remained until the last moment,” Lavrov said.

Upon completion of Russia’s military operation, the situation in Ukraine will return to the stage of negotiations, the Russian foreign minister said.

Lavrov also addressed the NATO alliance accusing it of ruthlessly going into Ukraine in order to “subject” the country’s east. He also lambasted the bloc’s claims of allegedly caring for the desires of the Ukrainian people, noting that NATO should have done that in 2008, when it first said that Ukraine would eventually be allowed to join the alliance.

Putin on 24 February ordered the Russian armed forces to conduct a special operation in the Donbass region aimed at the defense of the DPR and LPR, and “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine. He stressed that Russia was left with no option other than to intervene in the situation in Donbass after its republics began reporting shelling by Ukrainian forces for over a week.

Western nations and their allies condemned Russia’s decision and labelled it an “invasion.” The EU, UK, Canada, Japan, and the US have all announced new sanctions on Moscow, which affect its access to financial markets, harms its banks, airlines, and limits imports of high-tech products into the country.

Moscow has repeatedly urged Western nations to pressure Kiev to stop the shelling of the Donbass republics, which they have been reporting for over a week now. The Kremlin has also condemned the West’s failure to convince Ukrainian leaders to fulfill the Minsk agreements.

Russia Does Not Only Defend Itself, But the World and Humanity – Assad

February 25, 2022

By Staff, SANA

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a phone call on Friday with his Russian ounterpart Vladimir Putin.

Talks dealt with the situation in Ukraine, and the special military operation carried out by the Russian Federation to protect civilians in Donbas region.

Assad stressed that what is taking place today is a correction to history and re-balance to the world that it has lost after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, adding that Western hysteria comes to keep history in the wrong place in favor of the chaos that is only sought by the outlawed.

The Syrian president considered that Russia today doesn’t only defend itself, but also defends the world and principles of justice and humanity.

Assad also said that Western countries bear responsibility for chaos and bloodshed as a result of their policies aimed at controlling peoples as these countries use their dirty methods to support terrorists in Syria and the Nazis in Ukraine and in various parts of the world.

The Syrian president further voiced his country’s support for the Russian Federation, based on its conviction of its right stance that repelling NATO expansion is Russia’s right, because it has become a global threat to the world and has turned into a tool to achieve the irresponsible policies of Western countries that seek to strike stability in the world.

President al-Assad makes a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Related

روسيا: نحاول منع حرب شاملة.. وبوتين: لا ننوي الإضرار بالنظام العالمي

2022 الجمعة 25 شباط
المصدر: وكالات+الميادين نت

المتحدّثة باسم الخارجية الروسية، ماريا زاخاروفا، تقول إن “العملية العسكرية الخاصة، والتي تنفذها روسيا في أوكرانيا، هي محاولة لمنع حرب شاملة”.

الكرملين: مستقبل أوكرانيا هو خيار الشعب الأوكراني

عقد الرئيس الروسي، فلاديمير بوتين، مؤتمراً صحافياً، بعد ظهر اليوم الخميس، في العاصمة موسكو، قال فيه “نحن لا ننوي الإضرار بالنظام العالمي، وعلى شركائنا فهم هذا الأمر”.

وأكَّد بوتين أنَّ “روسيا لا تزال جزءاً من الاقتصاد العالمي”، مضيفاً “نحن لا نعتزم إلحاق الضرر بالنظام الذي ننتمي إليه”. وأوضح الرئيس الروسي أنَّ “جميع المحاولات التي قمنا بها، من أجل تغيير الوضع، لم تكن مثمرةً”.

الخارجية الروسية: تلميح كييف إلى أنها تمتلك أسلحة نووية قلب الوضع برمته

من جهتها، أعلنت وزارة الخارجية الروسية، اليوم الخميس، أنه “قبل بدء العملية العسكرية، أخبرتنا واشنطن بأنها ترفض مطالبنا بشأن الضمانات الأمنية”.

وقالت المتحدثة باسم الخارجية الروسية، ماريا زاخاروفا، إن “العملية العسكرية الخاصة، والتي تنفّذها روسيا في أوكرانيا، هي محاولة لمنع حرب شاملة”.

وشدّدت زاخاروفا على أن “هذه ليست بداية حرب، بل محاولة لمنع وقوع حرب عالمية شاملة”.

وأضافت، في حديث تلفزيوني، أن “هذه ليست بداية حرب. هذا أولاً، وهذا مهم للغاية. رغبتنا هي منع التطورات التي يمكن أن تتطور إلى حرب عالمية. وثانياً، هذه نهاية الحرب”.

وأكدت المتحدثة باسم الخارجية الروسية أن “تلميح كييف إلى أنها تمتلك أسلحة نووية قلب الوضع برمته، رأساً على عقب”.

وقالت المتحدثة الرسمية باسم وزارة الخارجية الروسية إن “الولايات المتحدة بالذات، رفضت إجراء حوار مع روسيا بشأن أوكرانيا والأمن العالمي”.

وأوضحت أنه “في هذا اليوم بالذات، كان من المفترض أن يكون الوفد الروسي، الرسمي، برئاسة وزير الخارجية سيرغي لافروف، في المنصات الأوروبية نفسها، التي نسمع منها جميع أنواع الاتهامات الموجهة إلينا”.

وأضافت أنه “كان من المفترض أن يكون هناك إجراء لمفاوضات مع الوفد الأميركي، برئاسة وزير الخارجية الأميركي السيد (أنتوني) بلينكن، والجانب الأميركي بالذات هو الذي رفض إجراء مزيد من المفاوضات” .

وأشارت زاخاروفا إلى أن ذلك يشمل المفاوضات بشأن قضايا الأمن العالمي، والاستقرار الاستراتيجي والوضع الراهن.

وأضافت زاخاروفا “لكن، بالطبع، لم يكن ذلك ممكنا ًبمعزل عن أوكرانيا. أرسل الجانب الأميركي رداً رسمياً إلى الجانب الروسي في صورة رسالة من وزير الخارجية الأميركي، ذكر فيها بالتفصيل، وبطريقة فظة تماماً، عدم استعداده للتفاوض مع روسيا. كل ذلك تسلمته موسكو قبل بدء العملية الخاصة. والعالم كله يجب أن يعرف ذلك”.

روسيا ستردّ على العقوبات الغربية

وأعلنت المتحدثة الرسمية باسم وزارة الخارجية الروسية، ماريا زاخاروفا، اليوم الخميس، أن روسيا سترد على عقوبات الدول الغربية، والتي لا يمكنها أن تفعل شيئاً أكثر من التلويح بعقوبات.

وقالت زاخاروفا أنه “عندما تُخرج أوروبا مرة أخرى من الصندوق حزمةً أخرى من العقوبات وتلوّح بها، فمن الواضح أنها لا تستطيع فعل أي شيء آخر. لكن يجب أن يفكر (الأوروبيون) الآن فيما يمكن أن يؤدي إليه الوضع، إذا انفجرت دولة (أوكرانيا) من الداخل، بسبب مشاكل داخلية”، والتي يمكن أن “تتلعثم فجأة بشأن امتلاك أسلحة نووية”.

وأضافت “سوف نرد (على العقوبات) بالطريقة نفسها التي رددنا بها من قبل. سنرد بالمثل، بصورة متماثلة، أو غير متماثلة، وبحسب ما يتطلبه الموقف. سننطلق من مصالحنا الخاصة”.

لافروف: روسيا منفتحة دائماً على الحوار مع كل الدول

من جهته، رأى وزير الخارجية الروسي، سيرغي لافروف، أن “الإجراءات التي اتخذتها موسكو في أوكرانيا تهدف إلى ضمان أمن الشعب الروسي”، قائلاً إن “روسيا مستعدة للحوار مع كل الدول”.

وقال لافروف، خلال لقائه نظيرَه الباكستاني، شاه محمود قريشي، إن “الرئيس الروسي، فلاديمير بوتين، أدلى ببيان مفصَّل هذا الصباح يتعلق بإجراءات الناتو، وبأنها لم تعد مقتصرة على أراضي الدول الأعضاء، بل على نطاق واسع”، مضيفاً أن “الناتو” يدّعي أنه “مسؤول عن أمن العالم”.

وأضاف أن “الطريقة التي يروّجونها لما يسمى الاستراتيجيات في منطقتي المحيطين الهندي والهادئ هي بالتأكيد دليل على أن لديهم شهية لكوكب الأرض بأكمله”، موضحاً “أننا أجرينا مناقشات متوترة ومفصلة مع زملائنا الأميركيين وأعضاء آخرين في حلف شمال الأطلسي. ونأمل أن تظل هناك فرصة في العودة إلى القانون الدولي والالتزامات الدولية”.

وتابع لافروف “بما أننا نتخذ الإجراءات التي أعلنها الرئيس لضمان أمن البلاد والشعب الروسي، سنكون بالتأكيد مستعدين دائماً لحوار سيعيدنا إلى العدالة، ومبادئ ميثاق الأمم المتحدة”.

الكرملين: مستقبل أوكرانيا هو خيار الشعب الأوكراني

بالتزامن، أعلن الكرملين، في بيانه، أن “مستقبل أوكرانيا هو خيار الشعب الأوكراني”، لافتاً إلى أنه “لا مجال للحديث عن غزو أوكرانيا”.

وناشد مجلس الدوما الروسي أبناء أوكرانيا ألا يلبّوا نداء التعبئة “حقناً للدماء”.

يشار إلى أنّ الرئيس الروسي، فلاديمير بوتين، أعلن صباح اليوم الخميس، بدء عملية عسكرية في دونباس، قائلاً إن “المواجهة بين روسيا والقوى القومية المتطرّفة في أوكرانيا لا مفر منها”.

وقال الرئيس الروسي إنّ “مجمل تطورات الأحداث وتحليل المعلومات يُظهر أن المواجهة بين روسيا والقوى المتطرفة في أوكرانيا لا مفر منها.. إنها مسألة وقت”، مشيراً إلى أنّ “روسيا لن تسمح لأوكرانيا بامتلاك أسلحة نووية”.

وأمس الأربعاء، طلبت جمهوريتا لوغانسك ودونيتسك من الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين المساعدة على صدّ عدوان نفذته القوات المسلحة الأوكرانية، لتجنّب وقوع خسائر في صفوف المدنيين، ومنع وقوع كارثة إنسانية في دونباس.

وقال المتحدث الصحافي باسم الرئاسة الروسية، دميتري بيسكوف، إنّ بوتين “تلقى رسائل من قادة الجمهوريتين بالنيابة عن شعبيهما، يعبّرون فيها مرة أخرى عن الامتنان لرئيس روسيا على الاعتراف بدولتيهم”.

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Sergey Karaganov: Russia’s new foreign policy, the Putin Doctrine

23 Feb, 2022

Moscow’s confrontation with NATO is just the start

By Professor Sergey Karaganov, honorary chairman of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and academic supervisor at the School of International Economics and Foreign Affairs Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow

Sergey Karaganov: Russia’s new foreign policy, the Putin Doctrine
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his address to the nation at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 21, 2022. © AFP / Alexey NIKOLSKY

It seems like Russia has entered a new era of its foreign policy – a ‘constructive destruction’, let’s call it, of the previous model of relations with the West. Parts of this new way of thinking have been seen over the last 15 years – starting with Vladimir Putin’s famous Munich speech in 2007 – but much is only just becoming clear now. At the same time, lackluster efforts to integrate into the western system, while maintaining a doggedly defensive attitude, has remained the general trend in Russia’s politics and rhetoric.

Constructive destruction is not aggressive. Russia maintains it isn’t going to attack anyone or blow them up. It simply doesn’t need to. The outside world provides Russia with more and more geopolitical opportunities for medium-term development as it is. With one big exception. NATO’s expansion and formal or informal inclusion of Ukraine poses a risk to the country’s security that Moscow simply won’t accept.

For now, the West is on course to a slow but inevitable decay, both in terms of internal and external affairs and even the economy. And this is precisely why it has started this new Cold War after almost five hundred years of domination in world politics, the economy, and culture. Especially after its decisive victory in the 1990s to mid-2000s. I believe [1] it will most likely lose, stepping down as the global leader and becoming a more reasonable partner. And not a moment too soon: Russia will need to balance relations with a friendly, but increasingly more powerful China.

Presently, the West desperately tries to defend against this with aggressive rhetoric. It tries to consolidate, playing its last trump cards to reverse this trend. One of those is trying to use Ukraine to damage and neuter Russia. It’s important to prevent these convulsive attempts from transforming into a full-fledged standoff and to counter the current US and NATO policies. They are counterproductive and dangerous, though relatively undemanding for the initiators. We are yet to convince the West that it is only hurting itself.

Another trump card is the West’s dominating role in the existing Euro-Atlantic security system established at a time when Russia was seriously weakened following the Cold War. There’s merit in gradually erasing this system, primarily by refusing to take part in it and play by its obsolete rules, which are inherently disadvantageous to us. For Russia, the western track should become secondary to its Eurasian diplomacy. Maintaining constructive relations with the countries in the western part of the continent may ease the integration into Greater Eurasia for Russia. The old system is in the way, though, and so it should be dismantled.

The critical next step to creating a new system (aside from dismantling the old one) is ‘uniting the lands’. It’s a necessity for Moscow, not a whim. 

It would be nice if we had more time to do this. But history shows that, since the collapse of the USSR 30 years ago, few post-Soviet nations have managed to become truly independent. And some may never even get there, for various reasons. This is a subject for a future analysis. Right now, I can only point out the obvious: Most local elites don’t have the historical or cultural experience of state-building. They’ve never been able to become the core of the nation – they didn’t have enough time for this. When the shared intellectual and cultural space disappeared, it hurt small countries the most. The new opportunities to build ties with the West turned out to be no replacement. Those who have found themselves at the helm of such nations have been selling their country for their own benefit, because there’s been no national idea to fight for.

The majority of those countries will either follow the example of the Baltic states, accepting external control, or continue to spiral out of control, which in some cases may be extremely dangerous.

The question is: How to ‘unite’ the nations in the most efficient and beneficial way for Russia, taking into account the tsarist and Soviet experience, when the sphere of influence was extended beyond any reasonable limits and then kept together at the expense of core Russian peoples?

Let’s leave the discussion about the ‘unification’ that history is forcing on us for another day. This time, let’s focus on the objective need to make a tough decision and adopt the ‘constructive destruction’ policy.

The milestones we passed

Today, we see the inception of the fourth era of Russia’s foreign policy. The first one started in the late 1980s, and it was a time of weakness and delusions. The nation had lost the will to fight, people wanted to believe democracy and the West would come and save them [2]. It all ended in 1999 after the first waves of NATO expansion, seen by Russians as a backstabbing move, when the West tore apart what was left of Yugoslavia.

Then Russia started to get up off its knees and rebuild, stealthily and covertly, while appearing friendly and humbled. The US withdrawing from the ABM Treaty signaled its intention to regain its strategic dominance, so the still broke Russia made a fateful decision to develop weapon systems to challenge American aspirations. The Munich speech, the Georgian War, and the army reform, conducted amid a global economic crisis that spelled the end of the western liberal globalist imperialism (the term coined by a prominent expert on international affairs, Richard Sakwa) marked the new goal for Russian foreign policy – to once again become a leading global power that can defend its sovereignty and interests. This was followed by the events in Crimea, Syria, the military build-up, and blocking the West from interfering in Russia’s domestic affairs, rooting out from the public service those who partnered with the West to the disadvantage of their homeland, including by a masterful use of the West’s reaction to those developments. As the tensions keep growing, looking up to the West and keeping assets there becomes increasingly less lucrative.

China’s incredible rise and becoming de-facto allies with Beijing starting in the 2010s, the pivot to the East, and the multidimensional crisis that enveloped the West led to a great shift in political and geoeconomic balance in favor of Russia. This is especially pronounced in Europe. Only a decade ago, the EU saw Russia as a backward and weak outskirts of the continent trying to contend with major powers. Now, it is desperately trying to cling to the geopolitical and geoeconomic independence that is slipping through its fingers.

The ‘back to greatness’ period ended around 2017 to 2018. After that, Russia hit a plateau. The modernization continued, but the weak economy threatened to negate its achievements. People (myself included) were frustrated, fearing that Russia once again was going to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.” But that turned out to be another build-up period, primarily in terms of defense capabilities.

Russia has gotten ahead, making sure that for the next decade, it will be relatively invulnerable strategically and capable of “dominating in an escalation scenario” in case of conflicts in the regions within its sphere of interests.

The ultimatum that Russia issued to the US and NATO at the end of 2021, demanding they stop developing military infrastructure near the Russian borders and expansion to the east, marked the start of the ‘constructive destruction’. The goal is not simply to stop the flagging, albeit really dangerous inertia of the West’s geostrategic push, but also to start laying the foundation for a new kind of relations between Russia and the West, different from what we settled on in the 1990s.

Russia’s military capabilities, the returning sense of moral righteousness, lessons learned from past mistakes, and a close alliance with China could mean that the West, which chose the role of an adversary, will start being reasonable, even if not all the time. Then, in a decade or sooner, I hope, a new system of international security and cooperation will be built that will include the whole Greater Eurasia this time, and it will be based on UN principles and international law, not unilateral ‘rules’ that the West has been trying to impose on the world in recent decades.

Correcting mistakes

Before I go any further, let me say that I think very highly of Russian diplomacy – it’s been absolutely brilliant in the past 25 years. Moscow was dealt a weak hand but managed to play a great game nevertheless. First, it didn’t let the West ‘finish it off’. Russia maintained its formal status of a great country, retaining permanent membership in the UN Security Council and keeping nuclear arsenals. Then it gradually improved its global standing by leveraging the weaknesses of its rivals and the strengths of its partners. Building a strong friendship with China has been a major achievement. Russia has some geopolitical advantages that the Soviet Union didn’t have. Unless, of course, it goes back to the aspirations of becoming a global superpower, which eventually ruined the USSR.  

However, we shouldn’t forget the mistakes we’ve made so we don’t repeat them. It was our laziness, weakness, and bureaucratic inertia that helped create and keep afloat the unjust and unstable system of European security that we have today.

The beautifully-worded Charter of Paris for a New Europe that was signed in 1990 had a statement about freedom of association – countries could choose their allies, something that would’ve been impossible under the 1975 Helsinki Declaration. Since the Warsaw Pact was running on fumes at that point, this clause meant that NATO would be free to expand. This is the document everyone keeps referring to, even in Russia. Back in 1990, however, NATO could at least be considered a “defense” organization. The alliance and most of its members have launched a number of aggressive military campaigns since then – against the remnants of Yugoslavia, as well as in Iraq and Libya.  

After a heart-to-heart chat with Lech Walesa in 1993, Boris Yeltsin signed a document where it stated that Russia “understood Poland’s plan to join NATO.” When Andrey Kozyrev, Russia’s foreign minister at the time, learned about NATO’s expansion plans in 1994, he began a bargaining process on Russia’s behalf without consulting the president. The other side took it as a sign that Russia was OK with the general concept, since it was trying to negotiate acceptable terms. In 1995, Moscow stepped on the brakes, but it was too late – the dam burst and swept away any reservations about the West’s expansion efforts. 

In 1997, Russia, being economically weak and completely dependent on the West, signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security with NATO. Moscow was able to compel certain concessions from the West, like the pledge not to deploy large military units to the new member states. NATO has been consistently violating this obligation. Another agreement was to keep these territories free of nuclear weapons. The US would not have wanted it anyway, because it had been trying to distance itself from a potential nuclear conflict in Europe as much as possible (despite their allies’ wishes), since it would undoubtedly cause a nuclear strike against America. In reality, the document legitimized NATO’s expansion.  

There were other mistakes – not as major but extremely painful nevertheless. Russia participated in the Partnership for Peace program, the sole purpose of which was to make it look like NATO was prepared to listen to Moscow, but in reality, the alliance was using the project to justify its existence and further expansion. Another frustrating misstep was our involvement in the NATO-Russia Council after the Yugoslavia aggression. The topics discussed at that level desperately lacked substance. They should’ve focused on the truly significant issue – restraining the alliance’s expansion and the buildup of its military infrastructure near the Russian borders. Sadly, this never made it to the agenda. The Council continued to operate even after the majority of NATO members started a war in Iraq and then Libya in 2011.  

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It is very unfortunate that we never got the nerve to openly say it – NATO had become an aggressor that committed numerous war crimes. This would’ve been a sobering truth for various political circles in Europe, like in Finland and Sweden for example, where some are considering the advantages of joining the organization. And all the others for that matter, with their mantra about NATO being a defense and deterrence alliance that needs to be further consolidated so it can stand against imaginary enemies. 

I understand those in the West who are used to the existing system that allows the Americans to buy the obedience of their junior partners, and not just in terms of military support, while these allies can save on security expenses by selling part of their sovereignty. But what do we gain from this system? Especially now that it’s become obvious that it breeds and escalates confrontation at our western borders and in the whole world. 

NATO feeds off forced confrontation, and the longer the organization exists, the worse this confrontation will be. 

The bloc is a threat to its members as well. While provoking confrontation, it doesn’t actually guarantee protection. It is not true that Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty warrants collective defense if one ally is attacked. This article doesn’t say that this is automatically guaranteed. I am familiar with the history of the bloc and the discussions in America regarding its establishment. I know for a fact that the US will never deploy nuclear weapons to “protect” its allies if there is conflict with a nuclear state. 

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is also outdated. It is dominated by NATO and the EU that use the organization to drag out the confrontation and impose the West’s political values and standards on everyone else. Fortunately, this policy is becoming less and less effective. In the mid-2010s I had the chance to work with the OSCE Panel of Eminent Persons (what a name!), which was supposed to develop a new mandate for the organization. And if I had my doubts about the OSCE’s effectiveness before that, this experience convinced me that it is an extremely destructive institution. It’s an antiquated organization with a mission to preserve things that are obsolete. In the 1990s, it served as an instrument of burying any attempt made by Russia or others to create a common European security system; in the 2000s, the so-called Corfu Process bogged down Russia’s new security initiative.

Practically all UN institutions have been squeezed out of the continent, including the UN Economic Commission for Europe, its Human Rights Council and Security Council. Once upon a time, the OSCE was viewed as a useful organization that would promote the UN system and principles in a key subcontinent. That didn’t happen. 

As for NATO, it is very clear what we should do. We need to undermine the bloc’s moral and political legitimacy and refuse any institutional partnership, since its counterproductivity is obvious. Only the military should continue to communicate, but as an auxiliary channel that would supplement dialogue with the DOD and defense ministries of leading European nations. After all, it’s not Brussels that makes strategically important decisions. 

The same policy could be adopted when it comes to the OSCE. Yes, there is a difference, because even though this is a destructive organization, it never initiated any wars, destabilization, or killings. So we need to keep our involvement in this format to a minimum. Some say that this is the only context that provides the Russian foreign minister with a chance to see his counterparts. That is not true. The UN can offer an even better context. Bilateral talks are much more effective anyway, because it is easier for the bloc to hijack the agenda when there is a crowd. Sending observers and peacekeepers through the UN would also make a lot more sense.  

The limited article format does not allow me to dwell on specific policies for each European organization, like the Council of Europe for example. But I would define the general principle this way – we partner where we see benefits for ourselves and keep our distance otherwise. 

Thirty years under the current system of European institutions proved that continuing with it would be detrimental. Russia doesn’t benefit in any way from Europe’s disposition towards breeding and escalating confrontation or even posing military threat to the subcontinent and the whole world. Back in the day, we could dream that Europe would help us bolster security, as well as political and economic modernization. Instead, they are undermining security, so why would we copy the West’s dysfunctional and deteriorating political system? Do we really need these new values that they have adopted? 

We will have to limit the expansion by refusing to cooperate within an eroding system. Hopefully, by taking a firm stand and leaving our civilization neighbors from the West to their own devices, we will actually help them. The elites may return to a less suicidal policy that would be safer for everyone. Of course, we have to be smart about taking ourselves out of the equation and make sure to minimize the collateral damage that the failing system will inevitably cause. But maintaining it in its current form is simply dangerous. 

Policies for tomorrow’s Russia

As the existing global order continues to crumble, it seems that the most prudent course for Russia would be to sit it out for as long as possible – to take cover within the walls of its ‘neo-isolationist fortress’ and deal with domestic matters. But this time, history demands that we take action. Many of my suggestions with respect to the foreign policy approach I have tentatively called ‘constructive destruction’ naturally emerge from the analysis presented above.

There is no need to interfere or to try to influence the internal dynamics of the West, whose elites are desperate enough to start a new cold war against Russia. What we should do instead is use various foreign policy instruments – including military ones – to establish certain red lines. Meanwhile, as the Western system continues to steer towards moral, political, and economic degradation, non-Western powers (with Russia as a major player) will inevitably see their geo-political, geo-economic and geo-ideological positions strengthen. 

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Our Western partners predictably try to squelch Russia’s calls for security guarantees and take advantage of the ongoing diplomatic process in order to extend the lifespan of their own institutions. There is no need to give up dialogue or cooperation in matters of trade, politics, culture, education, and healthcare, whenever it’s useful. But we must also use the time we’ve got to ramp up military-political, psychological, and even military-technical pressure – not so much on Ukraine, whose people have been turned into cannon fodder for a new Cold War – but on the collective West, in order to force it to change its mind and step back from the policies it has pursued for the past several decades. There is nothing to fear about the confrontation escalating: We saw tensions grow even as Russia was trying to appease the Western world. What we should do is prepare for a stronger pushback from the West; also, Russia should be able to offer the world a long-term alternative – a new political framework based on peace and cooperation.

The West can try to intimidate us with devastating sanctions – but we are also capable of deterring the West with our own threat of an asymmetrical response, one that would cripple Western economies and disrupt whole societies.

Naturally, it is useful to remind our partners, from time to time, that there exists a mutually beneficial alternative to all that.

If Russia carries out reasonable but assertive policies (domestically, too), it will successfully (and relatively peacefully) overcome the latest surge of Western hostility. As I have written before, we stand a good chance of winning this Cold War.

What also inspires optimism is Russia’s own past record: We have more than once managed to tame the imperial ambitions of foreign powers – for our own good, and for the good of humanity, as a whole. Russia was able to transform would-be empires into tame and relatively harmless neighbors: Sweden after the Battle of Poltava, France after Borodino, Germany after Stalingrad and Berlin.

We can find a slogan for the new Russian policy toward the West in a verse from Alexander Blok’s ‘The Scythians’, a brilliant poem that seems especially relevant today: “Come join us, then! Leave war and war’s alarms, / And grasp the hand of peace and amity. / While still there’s time, Comrades, lay down your arms! / Let us unite in true fraternity!”

While attempting to heal our relations with the West (even if that requires some bitter medicine), we must remember that, while culturally close to us, the Western world is running out of time – in fact, it has been for two decades now. It is essentially in damage control mode, seeking cooperation whenever possible. The real prospects and challenges of our present and future lie with the East and the South. Taking a harder line with Western nations must not distract Russia from maintaining its pivot to the East. And we have seen this pivot slow down in the past two or three years, especially when it comes to developing territories beyond the Ural Mountains.

We must not allow Ukraine to become a security threat to Russia. That said, it would be counterproductive to spend too many administrative and political (not to mention economic) resources on it. Russia must learn to actively manage this volatile situation, keep it within limits. Most of Ukraine has been neutered by its own anti-national elite, corrupted by the West, and infected with the pathogen of militant nationalism.

It would be much more effective to invest in the East, in the development of Siberia. By creating favorable working and living conditions, we will attract not only Russian citizens, but also people from the other parts of the former Russian Empire, including the Ukrainians. The latter have, historically, contributed a great deal to the development of Siberia.

Let me reiterate a point from my other articles: It was the incorporation of Siberia under Ivan the Terrible that made Russia a great power, not the accession of Ukraine under Aleksey Mikhaylovich, known under the moniker ‘the most peaceful’. It is high time we stopped repeating Zbigniew Brzezinski’s disingenuous – and so strikingly Polish – assertion that Russia cannot be a great power without Ukraine. The opposite is much closer to the truth: Russia cannot be a great power when it is burdened by an increasingly unwieldy Ukraine – a political entity created by Lenin which later expanded westward under Stalin.

The most promising path for Russia lies with the development and strengthening of ties with China. A partnership with Beijing would multiply the potential of both countries many times over. If the West carries on with its bitterly hostile policies, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to consider a temporary five-year defense alliance with China. Naturally, one should also be careful not to get ‘dizzy with success’ on the China track, so as not to return to the medieval model of China’s Middle Kingdom, which grew by turning its neighbors into vassals. We should help Beijing wherever we can to keep it from suffering even a momentary defeat in the new Cold War unleashed by the West. That defeat would weaken us, too. Besides, we know all too well what the West transforms into when it thinks it is winning. It took some harsh remedies to treat America’s hangover after it got drunk with power in the 1990s.

Clearly, an East-oriented policy must not focus solely on China. Both the East and the South are on the rise in global politics, economics, and culture, which is partly due to our undermining of the West’s military superiority – the primary source of its 500-year hegemony.

When the time comes to establish a new system of European security to replace the dangerously outdated existing one, it must be done within the framework of a greater Eurasian project. Nothing worthwhile can be born out of the old Euro-Atlantic system.

It is self-evident that success requires the development and modernization of the country’s economic, technological, and scientific potential – all pillars of a country’s military power, which remains the backbone of any nation’s sovereignty and security. Russia cannot be successful without improving the quality of life for the majority of its people: This includes overall prosperity, healthcare, education, and the environment. 

The restriction of political freedoms, which is inevitable when confronting the collective West, must by no means extend to the intellectual sphere. This is difficult, but achievable. For the talented, creatively-minded part of the population who are ready to serve their country, we must preserve as much intellectual freedom as possible. Scientific development through Soviet-style ‘sharashkas’ (research and development laboratories operating within the Soviet labor camp system) is not something that would work in the modern world. Freedom enhances the talents of Russian people, and inventiveness runs in our blood. Even in foreign policy, the freedom from ideological constraints that we enjoy offers us massive advantages compared to our more close-minded neighbors. History teaches us that the brutal restriction of freedom of thought imposed by the Communist regime on its people led the Soviet Union to ruin. Preserving personal freedom is an essential condition for any nation’s development.

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If we want to grow as a society and be victorious, it is absolutely vital that we develop a spiritual backbone – a national idea, an ideology that unites and shines the way forward. It is a fundamental truth that great nations cannot be truly great without such an idea at their core. This is part of the tragedy that happened to us in the 1970s and 1980s. Hopefully, the resistance of the ruling elites to the advancement of a new ideology, rooted in the pains of the communist era, is beginning to fade. Vladimir Putin’s speech at the October 2021 annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club was a powerful reassuring signal in that respect.

Like the ever-growing number of Russian philosophers and authors, I have put forward my own vision of the ‘Russian idea’[3]. (I apologize for having to reference my own publications again – it is an inevitable side effect of having to stick to the format).

Questions for the future

And now let’s discuss a significant, yet mostly overlooked aspect of the new policy that needs to be addressed. We need to dismiss and reform the obsolete and often harmful ideological foundation of our social sciences and public life for this new policy to get implemented, let alone succeed.

This doesn’t mean we have to reject once again the advancements in political science, economy, and foreign affairs of our predecessors. The Bolsheviks tried to dump the social ideas of tsarist Russia – everybody knows how this played out. We rejected Marxism and were happy about it. Now, fed up with other tenets, we realize we were too impatient with it. Marx, Engels, and Lenin had sound ideas in their theory of imperialism we could use.

Social sciences that study the ways of public and private life have to take into account national context, however inclusive it wants to appear. It stems from the national history and ultimately is aimed to help the nations and/or their government and elites. The mindless application of solutions valid in one country to another are fruitless and only create abominations.

We need to start working towards intellectual independence after we achieve military security and political and economic sovereignty. In the new world, it’s compulsory to achieve development and exert influence. Mikhail Remizov, a prominent Russian political scientist, was the first, as far as I know, to call this ‘intellectual decolonization’.

Having spent decades in the shadow of imported Marxism, we’ve begun a transition to yet another foreign ideology of liberal democracy in economics and political science and, to certain extent, even in foreign policy and defense. This fascination has done us no good – we’ve lost land, technology, and people. In the mid-2000s, we started to exercise our sovereignty, but had to rely on our instincts rather than clear national (again – it cannot be anything else) scientific and ideological principles.

We still don’t have the courage to acknowledge that the scientific and ideological worldview we’ve had for the last forty to fifty years is obsolete and/or was intended to serve foreign elites.

To illustrate this point, here are a few randomly picked questions from my very long list.

I’ll start with existential issues, purely philosophical ones. What comes first in humans, the spirit or the matter? And in the more mundane political sense – what drives people and states in the modern world? To common Marxists and liberals, the answer is the economy. Just remember that until recently Bill Clinton’s famous “It’s the economy, stupid” was thought to be an axiom. But people seek something greater when the basic need for food is satisfied. Love for their family, their homeland, desire for national dignity, personal freedoms, power, and fame. The hierarchy of needs has been well known to us since Maslow introduced it in the 1940–50s in his famous pyramid. Modern capitalism, however, twisted it, forcing ever-expanding consumption via traditional media at first and all-encompassing digital networks later – for rich and poor, each according to their ability.

What can we do when the modern capitalism deprived of moral or religious foundations incites limitless consumption, breaking down moral and geographic boundaries and comes into conflict with nature, threatening the very existence of our species? We, Russians, understand better than anybody that attempts to get rid of entrepreneurs and capitalists who are driven by the desire to build wealth will have disastrous consequences for society and the environment (the socialist economy model wasn’t exactly environmentally friendly).

What do we do with the latest values of rejecting history, your homeland, gender, and beliefs, as well as aggressive LGBT and ultra-feminist movements? I respect the right to follow them, but I think they’re post-humanist. Should we treat this as just another stage of social evolution? I don’t think so. Should we try to ward it off, limit its spread, and wait till society lives through this moral epidemic? Or should we actively fight it, leading the majority of humanity that adheres to so-called “conservative” values or, to put it simply, normal human values? Should we get into the fight escalating an already dangerous confrontation with the Western elites?

The technological development and increased labor productivity have helped feed the majority of people, but the world itself has slipped into anarchy, and many guiding principles have been lost at the global level. Security concerns, perhaps, are prevailing over the economy once again. Military instruments and the political will might take the lead from now on.

What is military deterrence in the modern world? Is it a threat to cause damage to national and individual assets or foreign assets and information infrastructure to which today’s Western elites are tied so closely? What will become of the Western world if this infrastructure is brought down?

And a related question: What is strategic parity we still talk about today? Is it some foreign nonsense picked by Soviet leaders who sucked their people into an exhausting arms race because of their inferiority complex and June 22, 1941 syndrome? Looks like we are already answering this question, even though we still churn out speeches about equality and symmetrical measures.

And what is this arms control many believe to be instrumental? Is it an attempt to restrain the expensive arms race beneficial to the wealthier economy, to limit the risk of hostilities or something more – a tool to legitimize the race, the development of arms, and the process of unnecessary programs on your opponent? There’s no obvious answer to that.

But let’s go back to the more existential questions.

Is democracy really the pinnacle of political development? Or is it just another tool that helps the elites control society, if we are not talking about Aristotle’s pure democracy (which also has certain limitations)? There are many tools that come and go as society and conditions change. Sometimes we abandon them only to bring them back when the time is right and there’s external and internal demand for them. I’m not calling for boundless authoritarianism or monarchy. I think we have already overdone it with centralization, especially at the municipal government level. But if this is just a tool, shouldn’t we stop pretending that we strive for democracy and put it straight – we want personal freedoms, a prosperous society, security, and national dignity? But how do we justify power to the people then?

Is the state really destined to die off, as Marxists and liberal globalists used to believe, as they dreamed of alliances between transnational corporations, international NGOs (both have been going through nationalization and privatization), and supranational political bodies? We’ll see how long the EU can survive in its current form. Note that I don’t want to say there’s no reason to join national efforts for the greater good, like bringing down expensive custom barriers or introducing joint environmental policies. Or isn’t it better to focus on developing your own state and supporting neighbors while disregarding global problems created by others? Aren’t they going to mess with us if we act this way?

What is the role of land and territories? Is it a dwindling asset, a burden as was believed among political scientists only recently? Or the greatest national treasure, especially in the face of the environmental crisis, climate change, the growing deficit of water and food in some regions and the total lack of it in others?

What should we do then with hundreds of millions of Pakistanis, Indians, Arabs, and others whose lands might soon be uninhabitable? Should we invite them now as the US and Europe began to do in the 1960s, drawing migrants to bring down the cost of local labor and undermine the trade unions? Or should we prepare to defend our territories from the outsiders? In that case, we should abandon all hope to develop democracy, as Israel’s experience with its Arab population shows.

Would developing robotics, which is currently in a sorry state, help compensate for the lack of workforce and make those territories livable again? What is the role of indigenous Russian people in our country, considering their number will inevitably keep shrinking? Given that Russians have historically been an open people, the prospects might be optimistic. But so far it’s unclear.

I can go on and on, especially when it comes to the economy. These questions need to be asked and it’s vital to find answers as soon as possible in order to grow and come out on top. Russia needs a new political economy – free from Marxist and liberal dogmas, but something more than the current pragmatism our foreign policy is based on. It must include forward-oriented idealism, a new Russian ideology incorporating our history and philosophical traditions. This echoes the ideas put forward by the academic Pavel Tsygankov.

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I believe that this is the ultimate goal of all our research in foreign affairs, political science, economics and philosophy. This task is beyond difficult. We can continue contributing to our society and our country only by breaking our old thinking patterns. But to end on an optimistic note, here’s a humorous thought: Isn’t it time to recognize that the subject of our studies – foreign affairs, domestic policies, and the economy – is the result of a creative process involving masses and leaders alike? To recognize that it is, in a way, art? To a large degree, it defies explanation and stems from intuition and talent. And so we are like art experts: We talk about it, identify trends and teach the artists – the masses and the leaders – history, which is useful to them. We often get lost in the theoretical, though, coming up with ideas divorced from reality or distorting it by focusing on separate fragments.

Sometimes we do make history: think Evgeny Primakov or Henry Kissinger. But I’d argue they didn’t care what approaches to this art history they represented. They drew upon their knowledge, personal experience, moral principles, and intuition. I like the idea of us being a type of art expert, and I believe it can make the daunting task of revising the dogmas a little easier.

This article was first published online by the Russia in Global Affairs journal.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to questions from RT television channel Moscow, February 18, 2022

February 19, 2022

https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1799343/

Question: Western media and politicians continue to whip up tensions over the alleged Russian “invasion” of Ukraine, although it seems fewer and fewer people trust their statements as time goes by. This has become a bad joke even in the UK and the United States. Why do they go on with this? What do they want to achieve?

Sergey Lavrov: I am sure that even people who are halfway interested in international politics have become convinced that this is only propaganda, fake news and lies. The main thing is for those who invent these fakes to believe in them. They like it. If they do, they can continue. Why not, indeed?

This is ridiculous. Grown-up people make “forecasts” and repeat their incantations every day. The Politico magazine has postponed the “invasion” date several times. Their latest forecast is February 20. At the same time, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been saying that the invasion may begin at any moment over the course of many months. They are trying to set the scene for the future. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Russia will “invade” Ukraine in a matter of weeks, if not days. We know that the State Department has warned its NATO allies confidentially that the “invasion” can be expected to begin before the end of February. However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (no matter what you may think of his activities) has said they have no information indicating that an invasion is imminent. According to the Foreign Office, “it’s important that [they] prepare for any eventuality,” and “even if Russia pulls back from the Ukrainian border, the problem will not have gone away.” They are creating pretexts for the future. When the drills end, the troops will return to their barracks. It is already taking place, as they can see. But they are setting the tune for the future: even if Russia moves its troops back to their permanent bases, the threat will remain. … there is a saying that real men do what they say, at the very least, at the international level.

In the meantime, they are increasing their military and military-technical presence and building up their military infrastructure. The UK has said that it will double the number of troops in Estonia and will send equipment, including tanks and armoured fighting vehicles there. US Permanent Representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield has provided an example of “refined diplomacy” when she told the media that Russia is “prepared for an attack any day.” “We’ve seen them do it when they invaded other parts of Eastern Europe,” she said. Well, they are giving us no slack.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the leaders of other NATO countries say that NATO is a defensive alliance. President Vladimir Putin reminded Mr Scholz during a news conference following the talks that NATO bombed Yugoslavia in 1999. The Chancellor replied that this was done to prevent a genocide of Kosovo Albanians, and that everything went well, and the region is prospering now. But it is not prospering at all. Kosovo and several other parts of the Western Balkans have become a breeding ground for crime, with terrorists and drug traffickers. Mercenaries are recruited there to fight in the conflicts that are being covertly fomented, including by the United States. According to available information, mercenaries are being recruited in Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, including for deployment to Donbass in an attempt to knock Russia off balance. We are currently checking this information.

The situation Olaf Scholz described with regard to Yugoslavia had nothing to do with genocide. International courts have not passed this verdict. We know who created a pretext for the bombing of Yugoslavia: US national William Walker, who headed the OSCE’s Kosovo Verification Mission. There were armed clashes, and he convened journalists to tell them in a televised statement that they had discovered the bodies of 30 civilians in Racak who had been massacred by the Serbs. He described it as genocide and took a unilateral decision, which he had no right to do, to withdraw the mission from Kosovo. This is what triggered the bombing. They said that the atrocity in Racak was the last straw and that they would cut short the activities of the criminal regime.

Later a special group was assigned to investigate the incident. It established that the dead were not civilians but militants who were dressed in civilian clothes after they had been killed in battle. The holes in their clothes did not align with the wounds. Yes, the case was investigated very thoroughly. So, saying that NATO’s invasion of Yugoslavia had a noble purpose is wrong and unethical.

The statement made by William Walker played the same role as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s vial with tooth powder, which provided an excuse to invade Iraq and destroy it. So far, neither democracy nor economy is flourishing there. Everyone knows this.Our NATO colleagues will not be able to avoid a discussion about how we are going to implement the obligations we have signed up for. They cannot have a selective interpretation of the concept that has been approved at the top level and stipulates that all the components of indivisible security are interconnected.

We are in correspondence with our American colleagues. We have responded to their reply to our December initiatives. We have not made much progress on the issues of principle. We will continue to uphold a comprehensive approach. It is impossible to make lasting agreements on matters of secondary importance without coordinating the political concept of our interaction.

Question: It has been reported that you plan to meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Is this so? Do you expect to make progress?

Sergey Lavrov: Secretary Blinken and I have agreed that he would be ready to meet with me after Russia sent its document and they analysed our vision of the situation. Both of us are interested in this. It meets our interests and plans.

As I have said, we want to explain to our American colleagues and their NATO allies that we will not be satisfied with verbal promises, especially since the written obligations by the heads of state and government regarding NATO’s full respect for Russia’s interests (let alone the oral guarantees which President Vladimir Putin has mentioned on numerous occasions) turned out to be worthless. This won’t do.

We will press on for a fair solution. I don’t want to use slang, but there is a saying that real men do what they say, at the very least, at the international level.

“Do You Want a War Between Russia and NATO?”

February 09, 2022

Source

By Pepe Escobar,

ISTANBUL – Emmanuel Macron is no Talleyrand. Self-promoted as “Jupiterian”, he may have finally got down to earth for a proper realpolitik insight while ruminating one of the former French Minister of Foreign Affairs key bon mots: “A diplomat who says ‘yes’ means ‘maybe’, a diplomat who says ‘maybe’ means ‘no’, and a diplomat who says ‘no’ is no diplomat.”

Mr. Macron went to Moscow to see Mr. Putin with a simple 4-stage plan in mind. 1. Clinch a wide-ranging deal with Putin on Ukraine, thus stopping  “Russian aggression”. 2. Bask in the glow as the West’s Peacemaker. 3. Raise the EU’s tawdry profile, as he’s the current president of the EU Council. 4. Collect all the spoils then bag the April presidential election in France.

Considering he all but begged for an audience in a flurry of phone calls, Macron was received by Putin with no special honors. Comic relief was provided by French mainstream media hysterics, “military strategists” included, evoking the “French castle” sketch in Monty Python’s Holy Grail while reaffirming every stereotype available about  “cowardly frogs”. Their “analysis”: Putin is “isolated” and wants “the military option”. Their top intel source: Bezos-owned CIA rag The Washington Post.

Still, it was fascinating to watch – oh, that loooooong table in the Kremlin: the only EU leader who took the trouble to actually listen to Putin was the one who, months ago, pronounced NATO as “brain-dead”. So the ghosts of Charles de Gaulle and Talleyrand did seem to have engaged in a lively chat, framed by raw economics, finally imprinting on the “Jupiterian” that the imperial obsession on preventing Europe by all means from profiting from wider trade with Eurasia is a losing game.

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After a strenuous six hours of discussions Putin, predictably, monopolized the eminently quotable department, starting with one that will be reverberating all across the Global South for a long time: “Citizens of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia have seen how peaceful is NATO.”

There’s more. The already iconic  Do you want a war between Russia and NATO? – followed by the ominous  “there will be no winners”. Or take this one, on Maidan: “Since February 2014, Russia has considered a coup d’état to be the source of power in Ukraine. This is a bad sandbox, we don’t like this kind of game.”

On the Minsk agreements, the message was blunt: “The President of Ukraine has said that he does not like any of the clauses of the Minsk agreements. Like it, or not – be patient, my beauty. They must be fulfilled.”

The “real issue behind the present crisis”

Macron for his part stressed, “new mechanisms are needed to ensure stability in Europe, but not by revising existing agreements, perhaps new security solutions would be innovative.” So nothing that Moscow had not stressed before. He added, “France and Russia have agreed to work together on security guarantees.” The operative term is “France”. Not the non-agreement capable United States government.

Anglo-American spin insisted that Putin had agreed not to launch new “military initiatives” – while keeping mum on what Macron promised in return. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not confirm any agreement. He only said that the Kremlin will engage with Macron’s dialogue proposals, “provided that the United States also agrees with them.” And for that, as everyone knows, there’s no guarantee.

The Kremlin has been stressing for months that Russia has no interest whatsoever in invading de facto black hole Ukraine. And Russian troops will return to their bases after exercises are over. None of this has anything to do with “concessions” by Putin.

And then came the bombshell: French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire – the inspiration for one of the main characters in Michel Houellebecq’s cracking new book, Anéantir – said that the launch of Nord Stream 2 “is one of the main components of de-escalating tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border.” Gallic flair formulated out loud what no German had the balls to say.

In Kiev, after his stint in Moscow, it looks like Macron properly told Zelensky which way the wind blows now. Zelensky hastily confirmed Ukraine is ready to implement the Minsk agreements; it never was, for seven long years. He also said he expects to hold a summit in the Normandy format – Kiev, the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, Germany and France – “in the near future”. A meeting of Normandy format political advisers will happen in Berlin on Thursday.

Way back in August 2020, I was already pointing to which way we were heading in the master chessboard. A few sharp minds in the Beltway, emailing their networks, did notice in my column how “the goal of Russian and Chinese policy is to recruit Germany into a triple alliance locking together the Eurasian land mass a la Mackinder into the greatest geopolitical alliance in history, switching world power in favor of these three great powers against Anglo-Saxon sea power.”

Now, a very high-level Deep State intel source, retired, comes down to the nitty gritty, pointing out how “the secret negotiations between Russia and the US center around missiles going into Eastern Europe, as the US frantically drives for completing its development of hypersonic missiles.”

The main point is that if the US places such hypersonic missiles in Romania and Poland, as planned, the time for them to reach Moscow would be 1/10 the time of a Tomahawk. It’s even worse for Russia if they are placed in the Baltics. The source notes, “the US plan is to neutralize the more advanced defensive missile systems that seal Russia’s airspace. This is why the US has offered to allow Russia to inspect these missile sites in the future, to prove that there are no hypersonic nuclear missiles. Yet that’s not a solution, as the Raytheon missile launchers can handle both offensive and defensive missiles, so it’s possible to sneak in the offensive missiles at night. Thus everything requires continuous observation.”

The bottom line is stark: “This is the real issue behind the present crisis. The only solution is no missile sites allowed in Eastern Europe.” That happens to be an essential part of Russia’s demands for security guarantees.

Sailing to Byzantium

Alastair Crooke has demonstrated how “the West slowly is discovering that that it has no pressure point versus Russia (its economy being relatively sanctions-proof), and its military is no match for that of Russia’s.”

In parallel, Michael Hudson has conclusively shown how “the threat to US dominance is that China, Russia and Mackinder’s Eurasian World Island heartland are offering better trade and investment opportunities than are available from the United States with its increasingly desperate demand for sacrifices from its NATO and other allies.”

Quite a few of us, independent analysts from both the Global North and South, have been stressing non-stop for years that the pop Gotterdammerung in progress hinges on the end of American geopolitical control over Eurasia. Occupied Germany and Japan enforcing the strategic submission of Eurasia from the west down to the east; the ever-expanding NATO; the ever de-multiplied Empire of Bases, all the lineaments of the 75-year-plus free lunch are collapsing.

The new groove is set to the tune of the New Silk Roads, or BRI; Russia’s unmatched hypersonic power – and now the non-negotiable demands for security guarantees; the advent of RCEP – the largest free trade deal on the planet uniting East Asia; the Empire all but expelled from Central Asia after the Afghan humiliation; and sooner rather than later its expulsion from the first island chain in the Western Pacific, complete with a starring role for the Chinese DF-21D “carrier killer” missiles.

The Ray McGovern-coined MICIMATT (military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think tank complex) was not capable to muster the collective IQ to even begin to understand the terms of the Russia-China joint statement issued on an already historic February 4, 2022. Some in Europe actually did – arguably located in the Elysée Palace.

This enlightened unpacking focuses on the interconnection of some key formulations, such as “relations between Russia and China superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era” and “friendship which shows no limits”: the strategic partnership, for all its challenges ahead, is way more complex than a mere “treaty” or “agreement”. Without deeper understanding of Chinese and Russian civilizations, and their way of thinking, Westerners simply are not equipped to get it.

In the end, if we manage to escape so much Western doom and gloom, we might end up navigating a warped remix of Yeats’ Sailing to Byzantium. We may always dream of the best and the brightest in Europe finally sailing away from the iron grip of tawdry imperial Exceptionalistan:

“Once out of nature I shall never take / My bodily form from any natural thing, / But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make / Of hammered gold and gold enameling / To keep a drowsy Emperor awake; / Or set upon a golden bough to sing /To lords and ladies of Byzantium / Of what is past, or passing, or to come.”

Israel Bombs Latakia Port for the Second Time This Month – WAR CRIME

 ARABI SOURI 

Israel bombs Latakia sea port 2nd time in December 2021

Latakia commercial seaport was the target of an Israeli bombing for the 2nd time within this month of December, this time the Israeli aggression was much larger betting on the lack of direct retaliation the last time, and the previous times.

Latakia commercial seaport is one of the main and oldest ports on the Mediterranean, it’s the largest in Syria and it’s the country’s main breathing lung for the Syrian people since the United States of America joined directly on the side of Al Qaeda and ISIS back in 2014 where US forces were deployed on the main routes of trade between Syria and Iraq, where they are also tasked to steal Syrian oil, and in Lebanon by controlling all the security agencies there, and naturally, in Jordan in the south.

A Syrian military spokesperson stated:

At approximately 3:21 in the morning today, the Israeli enemy carried out air aggression with missile bursts from the depth of the Mediterranean, west of Latakia, targeting the container yard in the commercial port in Latakia.

‘The Israeli aggression led to the ignition of fires in the place and the occurrence of great material damage, and work is still going on to put out the fires and check the results of the aggression,’ the military spokesperson concluded.

Local sources confirmed that the scale of this aggression is much larger than the previous one, most of the buildings on the Latakia main Cornishe sustained damage including the Al Nada Hospital, residents in the province of Tartous to the south of Latakia were also shaken by the tremors of the explosions, so did the Russian base in Hmeimim and the Russian service military seaport in Tartous.

Russia, one of the 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council is losing its popularity ground in Syria favoring its relations with Israel

Friends in Latakia added that the fire in this aggression has engulfed more containers carrying essential foodstuffs like rice and sugar, and dozens of these containers were destroyed by this attack, a war crime by all definitions. Syria had to import essential food items also because the US forces with the help of their Kurdish separatist SDF terrorists occupy the main food basket region of the country.

This Israeli aggression and provocation come one day after the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the Israeli ‘cabinet’ blatant provocation in the Syrian Golan and vowed to liberate the occupied Syrian land by all means.

It’s beyond any doubt that the Israeli officials are getting more anxious to provoke a regional and they hope for a much larger war that would halt any plans to withdraw the US troops which serve as their first defense line, without the US direct support and the sacrifices of thousands of US soldiers killed and tens of thousands others maimed, and the 7 trillion dollars of US taxpayers hard-earned taxes in wars on behalf Israel, the latter would not stand a chance in any confrontation with any of its neighbors which it stole their lands to build settlements for its settlers it imports from Europe, Russia, and elsewhere.

All indications were that the United States of America is withdrawing from the region especially after its regional proxies proved their incapabilities to fight their wars by themselves despite the abundance of weapons, financial aid, and military and economic wars the US waged against the peoples of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, and everywhere the US spent those 7 trillion dollars on.

The Axis of Resistance, Syria, Hezb Allah in Lebanon, the PMU in Iraq, the Yemeni armed forces and Ansar Allah in Yemen, the IRGC in Iran, and some of the Palestinian factions in Gaza like Jihad and PLFP-GC, this axis is fighting the wars imposed on them strategically, unlike the evil camp spearheaded by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and other NATO member states who are fighting tactically and in pieces, hence, the overall map is being shaped in favor of the axis that chose strategical gains over tactical ones, and the party that chose tactical gains is imploding from within, each by its own and has lost its wars in the region.

The last attempts to involve the US forces in a new war is the last chance of the Axis of Evil to keep the US cannon fodders and human shields to defend their states, sheikhdoms, and kingdoms, will, or in better terms, can the USA fight a new war where it is poised to lose thousands of its soldiers in the first wave, proven by the Iranian retaliation on the Ain Asad US strategic and heavily fortified base in western Iraq where the US soldiers sat hapless betting their lives on the accuracy of the Iranian incoming missiles which warned them beforehand through the Iraqi government and which only targeted the empty buildings it promised to target? The answer is a big no, the United States has taken its decision, replacing its combat fighters into ‘diplomats’ and ‘advisers’ and reducing its heavy and criminal presence in West Asia and North Africa regions.

The attack in the early hours of this dawn on the Latakia port in Syria will not go without retaliation, it’s an added item on the retaliation list that Syria maintains, fighting and eliminating the tens of thousands of NATO-sponsored terrorist groups in the country was and is its main priority, these types of attacks will not deviate the Syrians from the strategical battleground and will not give the Israelis their lifeline by involving the US troops who should complete their withdrawal from Syria and Iraq within the coming 4 days; this heavily depends on whether there are still officials in the Pentagon and the White House who care for the thousands of US troops sitting ducks in both Syria and Iraq.

The new year, we remind is after 4 days, will bring a lot of changes to the region, Israel does have some interesting seaports to bomb their yards, some of which were recently developed by China, and destroying them in retaliation is very lucrative for the commanders of the Syrian army, the coming 4 days and the first week of 2022 will bare many developments.

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