Dr Bashar al Jaafari: Syria’s renewed status in the world

1 June 2021

Source

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister is interviewed by al Mayadeen TV, subtitles by Arabi Souri,

Syria Regime Change Still on Western Agenda – Ex-Ambassador Peter Ford

Source

Finian Cunningham

April 30, 2021

Syria Regime Change Still on Western Agenda – Ex-Ambassador Peter Ford -  TheAltWorld

“The Western powers are like dogs with an old bone on the subject of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. There is no meat on it but they continue to gnaw away,” says former British ambassador to Syria in an interview with Finian Cunningham.

The United States, Britain, and other NATO powers failed in their covert military efforts for regime change in Syria, thanks in large part to the principled intervention by Russia to defend its historic Arab ally. However, Peter Ford, the former British ambassador to Syria, contends that regime change is still very much a top priority for Western powers and their criminal agenda of reshaping the Middle East according to their imperial objectives. In the following interview, Ford explains how the Western tactic has now shifted to intensifying economic warfare in order to buckle the Syrian government led by President Assad. Nevertheless, the former British envoy envisages that the presidential election on May 26 will see Assad being resoundingly re-elected by a nation defiant towards Western aggression.

peterford hashtag on Twitter

Peter Ford is a former British ambassador to Syria (2003-2006) who has publicly denounced Britain’s proxy-terror war for regime change in the Arab nation, along with other NATO accomplices. He is a seasoned diplomat having graduated in Arabic Studies from Oxford University and serving as an envoy in several Middle East countries. Ford has incurred the wrath of the British establishment for his outspoken truth-telling about their nefarious agenda in Syria. On the other hand, he has won the admiration of many people around the world for his courage and integrity. He is a recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromising Integrity in Journalism.

Interview

Question: What do you make of the ruling last week by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to strip Syria of its member rights based on allegations that the Syrian government military forces have repeatedly used chemical weapons during the 10-year war? It seems that the OPCW has become extremely politicized by the United States and its Western allies. Do you see a lot of arm-twisting of member states by Western powers to produce OPCW sanctions against Syria?

Peter Ford: The Western powers are like dogs with an old bone on the subject of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. There is no meat on it but they continue to gnaw away. Why? Because the trope that “Assad gasses his own people” has become a cornerstone of the whole Western propaganda narrative on Syria. Without it, justifying the cruel economic war on Syria, largely through sanctions, would be harder to justify. And with military efforts at regime change having failed, economic warfare is now the last hope for the Western powers of destabilizing Syria enough to topple the government. For this strategy to work the Western powers are more than ready to undermine the credibility of the OPCW by abusing their ability to manipulate it in the Syrian context.

Question: The OPCW’s executive has been exposed in distorting its own reports for the objective of incriminating the Syrian government over alleged chemical weapons attacks. Do you think the OPCW has been turned into a lever to enable Western powers to harass Syria because these powers have been blocked by Russia and China from using the United Nations Security Council as a mechanism for aggression against Syria?

Peter Ford: The United States and the United Kingdom have not hesitated to ventriloquize the OPCW executive to get their way on Syria, stifling whistleblowing even where the cases of misreporting have been flagrant. As a former United Nations official myself, I can say that international organizations are nearly all controlled and used by the U.S./UK, with the Security Council thankfully the one arena where they are unable always to get their own way. This irks them considerably, leading them to go even further in exploiting and debasing agencies like the OPCW.

Question: Three months into a new administration in the United States under President Joe Biden, is there any discernible change in Washington’s policy towards Syria? You have stated publicly before that the whole war in Syria was a regime-change operation orchestrated by the U.S., Britain, France, and others. Is regime change in Syria still on the Western powers’ agenda?

Peter Ford: Regime change is very much still on the agenda. It cannot be openly avowed, of course, but how else to describe a policy of seeking a  “transition” under conditions that would guarantee removal of the present government? Those conditions include rigged elections and “justice” against “war criminals”. The economic warfare is as severe as anything that was waged against Iraq to bring Saddam down. It is blatant deceit to pretend this policy is not aimed at President Bashar al-Assad’s removal. Biden brings no change. If anything he is doubling down on the policy of his predecessor, without even the pretense of wanting out of Syria, holding on to sanctions, and deliberately hampering reconstruction.

Question: The United States still has troops illegally occupying parts of eastern Syria near the country’s oil fields, denying the Syrian state important resources for national reconstruction. You have described the American forces there as functioning like a “tripwire”. Could you expand on that concept?

Peter Ford: U.S. forces in occupied parts of Syria number around a thousand. The Syrian Arab Army could overrun these forces and their Kurdish allies in a matter of days. What stops them? The certain knowledge that any advance towards the American forces would trigger massive retaliation from the U.S. Air Force operating from its bases in the region. So the function of these U.S. forces is not to help “eradicate ISIS terror remnants” as implausibly claimed, but to serve as a tripwire and thereby deter Syrian forces from recovering territories that hold most of Syria’s oil and grain resources. Denial of these resources is key to bringing Syria to its knees via economic warfare.

Question: Could Biden step up the military intervention in Syria? Or is it more likely that the U.S. and its Western allies will pursue economic warfare through sanctions against Syria?

Peter Ford: It must be considered unlikely that the U.S. would put many more boots on the ground but many in the Pentagon are straining at the leash to bomb Syria at the slightest pretext. For the moment, the policy planners are counting on economic sanctions and are content to wait for the Syrian government to buckle.

Question: What are the strategic reasons for Western regime change in Syria?

Peter Ford: It’s a way of getting at Russia and Iran, essentially. A little thought experiment proves it. Imagine Assad suddenly said he was ready to get rid of the Russians and Iranians and complete America’s set of Arab powers in return for being left in power. Egypt’s Sadat did something similar in the late 1970s so it’s not unthinkable, and Assad was having tea with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth not so very long ago. Would the U.S. not then cast aside without a moment’s hesitation all the blather about democracy and human rights?

Question: How significant was Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian war in October 2015?

Peter Ford: It was a life-saver. Most people do not realize how close ISIS and other terrorist proxies were to grabbing control of Damascus. Naturally, the Western powers never like to acknowledge this awkward truth.

Question: France’s former Foreign Minister Roland Dumas remarked in a media interview back in 2013 how he was privately approached by British officials with a scheme for regime change in Syria two years before the war erupted in 2011. As a former British ambassador to Syria (2003-2006) can you recall noticing any such plot being considered?

Peter Ford: Planning for regime change in Syria only really began when the aftermath of the Iraq war went really sour and rather than blame themselves, the U.S./UK sought to deflect blame on to Syria. It accelerated after Britain’s Conservatives with their anti-Russian and anti-Iranian obsessions, and their support for Israel, came to power in 2010.

Question: Your principled and outspoken criticism of the British government’s involvement in the Syrian war has won you much respect around the world. Do you feel personally aggrieved by the malign conduct of Britain in Syria?

Peter Ford: I feel ashamed for my country’s actions. It really is quite shameful that we have been instrumental in causing suffering for millions of Syrians while hypocritically claiming we are doing it for their own good.

Question: Finally, Syria is holding presidential elections on May 26 in which incumbent Bashar al-Assad is running for re-election. The Western powers disparage Syria as an “undemocratic regime”. How do you view Syria’s polity? Is Assad likely to win re-election?

Peter Ford: Of course Assad will win and of course the Western powers will try to disparage his victory. But I can state with certainty that if you could offer the Conservative party in Britain a guarantee of achieving in the next general election anything anywhere near Assad’s genuine level of support, albeit some of it reluctant from a war-weary people, the Tories would bite your hand off for such an electoral gain. Much of the current Western propaganda effort against Syria is geared at trying to spoil Assad’s victory and deny it legitimacy. But inside Syria itself, the people will see the election as setting the seal on 10 years of struggle, and Assad will emerge strengthened as he faces the next phase in the Western war on Syria.

Maria Zakharova : weekly briefing with a US history

April 01, 2021

NWO war against Russia is here

“At heart modern psychological warfare has been a tool for managing empire, not for settling conflicts in any fundamental sense.”

By Jonas E. Alexis -April 1, 2021

…introduction by Jonas E. Alexis, VT Editor

In his study Science of Coercion: Communication Research & Psychological Warfare, 1945–1960, Christopher Simpson writes:

“At heart modern psychological warfare has been a tool for managing empire, not for settling conflicts in any fundamental sense…In practice modern psychological warfare and propaganda have only rarely offered ‘alternatives’ to violence over the medium-to-long term. Instead, they have been an integral part of a strategy and culture whose premise is the rule of the strong at the expense of the weak, where coercion and manipulation pose as ‘communication’ and close off opportunity for other, more genuine, forms of understanding.”[1]

As we all know, psychological warfare is not only able to strike fear among the enemy and “deprive him of the support of his allies and neutrals,” but it also has the potential to “increase in our troops and allies the will to victory.” Moreover, in a psychological war, any weapon, including lies and fabrications, can be employed in order to influence the mass media. To put it in Christopher Simpson’s words, “In this light, overt (white), covert (black), and gray propaganda” is possible.[2]

In addition, “sabotage,” “special operations,” “guerilla warfare,” “espionage,” “political, cultural, economic, and racial pressure are all effective weapons. They are effective because they produce dissension, distrust, fear and hopelessness in the minds of the enemy.”9 White propaganda has a heavy emphasis on “repetition,” and “it is designed to be perceived by its audience as truthful, balanced, and factual.” Black propaganda, however, “stresses trouble, confusion…and terror. A variation of black propaganda tactics involves forging enemy documents and distributing them to target audiences as a means of discrediting rival powers.”[3]

If you don’t think that the New World Order hasn’t been waging a form of psychological and covert war against Russia, then think again. In his recent article, Max Blumenthal has shown why this can no longer be avoided.

Reuters, BBC, and Bellingcat participated in covert UK Foreign Office-funded programs to “weaken Russia,” leaked docs reveal

__by Max Blumenthal

he UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have sponsored Reuters and the BBC to conduct a series of covert programs aimed at promoting regime change inside Russia and undermining its government across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, according to a series of leaked documents.

The leaked materials show the Thomson Reuters Foundation and BBC Media Action participating in a covert information warfare campaign aimed at countering Russia. Working through a shadowy department within the UK FCO known as the Counter Disinformation & Media Development (CDMD), the media organizations operated alongside a collection of intelligence contractors in a secret entity known simply as “the Consortium.”

Through training programs of Russian journalists overseen by Reuters, the British Foreign Office sought to produce an “attitudinal change in the participants,” promoting a “positive impact” on their “perception of the UK.”

“These revelations show that when MPs were railing about Russia, British agents were using the BBC and Reuters to deploy precisely the same tactics that politicians and media commentators were accusing Russia of using,” Chris Williamson, a former UK Labour MP who attempted to apply public scrutiny to the CDMD’s covert activities and was stonewalled on national security grounds, told The Grayzone.

“The BBC and Reuters portray themselves as an unimpeachable, impartial, and authoritative source of world news,” Williamson continued, “but both are now hugely compromised by these disclosures. Double standards like this just bring establishment politicians and corporate media hacks into further disrepute.”

Thomson Reuters Foundation spokesperson Jenny Vereker implicitly confirmed the authenticity of the leaked documents in an emailed response to questions from The Grayzone. However, she contended, “The inference that the Thomson Reuters Foundation was engaged in ‘secret activities’ is inaccurate and misrepresents our work in the public interest. We have for decades openly supported a free press and have worked to help journalists globally to develop the skills needed to report with independence.”

The batch of leaked files closely resembles UK FCO-related documents released between 2018 and 2020 by a hacking collective calling itself Anonymous. The same source has claimed credit for obtaining the latest round of documents.

The Grayzone reported in October 2020 on leaked materials released by Anonymous which exposed a massive propaganda campaign funded by the UK FCO to cultivate support for regime change in Syria. Soon after, the Foreign Office claimed its computer systems had been penetrated by hackers, thus confirming their authenticity.

The new leaks illustrate in alarming detail how Reuters and the BBC – two of the largest and most distinguished news organizations in the world – attempted to answer the British foreign ministry’s call for help in improving its “ability to respond and to promote our message across Russia,” and to “counter the Russian government’s narrative.” Among the UK FCO’s stated goals, according to the director of the CDMD, was to “weaken the Russian State’s influence on its near neighbours.”

Reuters and the BBC solicited multimillion-dollar contracts to advance the British state’s interventionist aims, promising to cultivate Russian journalists through FCO-funded tours and training sessions, establish influence networks in and around Russia, and promote pro-NATO narratives in Russian-speaking regions.

In several proposals to the British Foreign Office, Reuters boasted of a global influence network of 15,000 journalists and staff, including 400 inside Russia.

The UK FCO projects were carried out covertly, and in partnership with purportedly independent, high-profile online media outfits including Bellingcat, Meduza, and the Pussy Riot-founded Mediazona. Bellingcat’s participation apparently included a UK FCO intervention in North Macedonia’s 2019 elections on behalf of the pro-NATO candidate.

The intelligence contractors that oversaw that operation, the Zinc Network, boasted of establishing “a network of YouTubers in Russia and Central Asia” while “supporting participants [to] make and receive international payments without being registered as external sources of funding.” The firm also touted its ability to “activate a range of content” to support anti-government protests inside Russia.

The new documents provide critical background on the role of NATO member states like the UK in influencing the color revolution-style protests waged in Belarus in 2020, and raise unsettling questions about the intrigue and unrest surrounding jailed Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Further, the materials cast serious doubt on the independence of two of the world’s largest and most prestigious media organizations, revealing Reuters and the BBC as apparent intelligence cut-outs feasting at the trough of a British national security state that their news operations are increasingly averse to scrutinizing.

Reuters solicits secret British Foreign Office contract to infiltrate Russian media

A series of official documents declassified in January 2020 revealed that Reuters was secretly funded by the British government throughout the 1960s and 1970s to assist an anti-Soviet propaganda organization run by the MI6 intelligence agency. The UK government used the BBC as a pass-through to conceal payments to the news group.

The revelation prompted a Reuters spokesman to declare that “the arrangement in 1969 [with the MI6] was not in keeping with our Trust Principles and we would not do this today.”

The Trust Principles outline a mission of “preserving [Reuters’] independence, integrity, and freedom from bias in the gathering and dissemination of information and news.”

In its own statement of values, the BBC proclaims, “Trust is the foundation of the BBC. We’re independent, impartial and honest.”

However, the newly leaked documents analyzed by The Grayzone appear to reveal that both Reuters and the BBC are engaged yet again in a non-transparent relationship with the UK’s foreign ministry to counter and undermine Russia.

In 2017, the non-profit arm of the Reuters media empire, the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), delivered a formal tender offering to “enter into a Contract with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, as represented by the British Embassy Moscow, for the provision of a project ‘Capacity Building in Russian Media.’” The letter was signed by Reuters CEO Monique Ville on July 31, 2017.

Reuters’ tender was a response to a call for bids by the FCO, which sought help in implementing “a programme of themed tours to the UK by Russian journalists and online influencers.”

Working through the British Embassy in Moscow, the FCO sought to produce an “attitudinal change in the participants,” promoting a “positive impact” on their “perception of the UK.”

In 2019, the FCO put forward a similar initiative, this time articulating a more aggressive plan to “counter the Russian government’s narrative and domination of the media and information space.” In effect, the British government was seeking to infiltrate Russian media and propagate its own narrative through an influence network of Russian journalists trained in the UK.

Reuters responded to both calls by the FCO with detailed tenders. In its first bid, the media giant boasted of establishing a global network of 15,000 journalists and bloggers through “capacity building interventions.” In Russia, it claimed at least 400 journalists had been cultivated through its training programs.

Reuters claimed to have performed 10 previous training tours for 80 Russian journalists on behalf of the British embassy in Moscow. It proposed eight more, promising to promote “UK cultural and political values” and “create a network of journalists across Russia” bonded together by a shared “interest in British affairs.”

Reuters’ tender highlighted the institutional prejudices and interventionist agenda that underlined its training programs. Detailing a series of UK FCO-funded programs dedicated to “countering Russian state-funded propaganda,” Reuters conflated Russian government narratives with extremism. Ironically, it referred to its own efforts at weakening them as “unbiased journalism.”

At the same time, Reuters appeared to recognize that its covert collaboration with the British Embassy in Moscow was highly provocative and potentially destructive to diplomatic relations. Recounting a UK FCO-funded tour it ran for Russian journalists in the midst of the Sergei Skripal affair, after the British government accused Moscow of poisoning a turncoat Russian intelligence officer who spied for Britain, the tender stated, “[Thomson Reuters Foundation] was in constant communication with the British Embassy in Moscow, to assess levels of risk, including reputational risk to the embassy.”

The mention by Reuters of the Belarusian TV Station Belsat, and its particular relevance “to the UK Government Strategy’s capacity to detect and counter the spread of Russian information” was notable. While describing itself as “the first independent television channel in Belarus,” Belsat is, as the Reuters tender makes clear, a vehicle of NATO influence.

Based in Poland and funded by the Polish Foreign Ministry and other EU governments, Belsat played an influential role in promoting the color revolution-style protests that erupted in May 2020 to demand the ouster of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Ultimately, Reuters’ bid appears to have been successful, as it received a July 2019 contract with the FCO’s Conflict, Stability & Security Fund (CSSF). But neither entity seemed to want the public to know about their collaboration on a project designed to counter Russia. The contract was marked “Strictly Confidential.”

“Weaken the Russian state’s influence”

The programs exposed through the latest leak of documents operate under the auspices of a shadowy division of the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office called Counter Disinformation & Media Development (CDMD). Led by an intelligence operative named Andy Pryce, the program has shrouded in secrecy.

Indeed, the British government has denied freedom of information requests about the division’s budget and stonewalled members of parliament like Chris Williamson who sought data about its budget and agenda, citing national security to block their demands for information.

“When I tried to probe further,” former MP Williamson told The Grayzone, “ministers refused to let me have access to any documents or correspondence relating to this organization’s activities.  I was told that releasing this information could ‘disrupt and undermine the program’s effectiveness.’”

During a meeting convened in London on June 26, 2018, Pryce outlined a new FCO program “to weaken the Russian State’s influence on its near neighbors.” He solicited a consortium of firms to assist the British state in establishing new and seemingly independent media outlets to counter Russian government-backed media in Moscow’s immediate sphere of influence, and to amplify the messaging of NATO-aligned governments.

Justified on the basis of Russia’s supposed intention to “sow disunity and course[sic] disruption to democratic processes,” the campaign Pryce laid out was more aggressive and far-reaching than anything Russia has been caught doing in the West.

Pryce emphasized that secrecy was of the essence, warning that “some grantees will not wish to be linked to the FCO.”

A year later, the FCO’s CDMD division outlined a program to run through 2022 at a cost of $8.3 million to the British taxpayer. It aimed to establish new outlets and support preexisting media operations “to counter Russia’s efforts to sow disunity” and “increase resilience to hostile Kremlin messaging in the Baltic states.”

Thus the British government set out with an array of intelligence contractors to dominate Baltic media with pro-NATO messaging – and perhaps sow some disunity of its own.

As seen below, the BBC placed an apparently successful bid to participate in the covert Baltic program through its non-profit arm, known as BBC Media Action.

The BBC also proposed to participate in a separate UK FCO media propaganda program in Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. It named Reuters and a now-defunct intelligence contractor called Aktis Strategy, which participated in previous FCO CDMD programs, as key allies in its consortium.

The BBC identified local partners like Hromadske, a Kiev-based broadcast network born in the midst of the so-called Maidan “Revolution of Dignity” in 2014 that relied on ultra-nationalist muscle to remove an elected president and install a pro-NATO regime. Hromadske materialized almost overnight with seed money and logistical support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and billionaire media mogul Pierre Omidyar’s Network Fund.

BBC Media Action proposed working through Aktis to cultivate and grow pro-NATO media in conflict areas like the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where a proxy war has raged since 2014 between the Western-backed Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists. It was textbook information warfare, weaponizing broadcast media to turn the tide of battle in a protracted, grinding conflict.

The UK FCO propaganda campaign warned that “Kremlin-affiliated structures” could undermine the project if it was exposed. For a media organization that claims to place trust at the heart of its charter of values, the BBC was certainly operating under a high degree of secrecy.

The UK FCO’s meddling in Eastern Europe and the Baltics created a feeding frenzy among contractors seeking to provide “capacity building” and media development assistance on Russia’s periphery. Among the bidders were Reuters and veteran FCO contractors that had participated in an array of information warfare campaigns from Syria to the British home front.

The Consortium

Among the intelligence contractors bidding to participate in the UK FCO-funded Consortium were the Zinc Network and Albany Communications. As journalist Kit Klarenberg noted in a February 18 report on the recent FCO leaks, these firms “boast staff possessed of [security] clearances, individuals who previously served at the highest levels of government, the military and security services. They furthermore have extensive experience in conducting information warfare operations on London’s behalf the world over.”

Previously known as Breakthrough, Zinc has contracted for the UK Home Office to covertly implement media projects propagandizing British Muslims under the auspices of the Prevent de-radicalization initiative. In Australia, Zinc was caught running a clandestine program to promote support for government policies among Muslims.

Ben Norton reported for The Grayzone on Albany’s record of “secur[ing] the participation of an extensive local network of over 55 stringers, reporters and videographers” to influence media narratives and advance Western regime-change goals in Syria, while conducting public relations services on behalf of extremist Syrian militias funded by NATO member states and Gulf monarchies to destabilize the country.

In its bid for the UK FCO media program in the Baltic region, Albany proposed a series of satirical “interactive games” like “Putin Bingo” to encourage opposition to the Russian government and exploit “frustrations experienced by Russians in the EU.”

Albany pitched a Latvia-based outlet called Meduza as “a leading proponent of these games.” A top website among Russian opposition supporters, Meduza has received financial support from the Swedish government and several billionaire-backed pro-NATO foundations.

As a UK FCO contractor, the Zinc Network said it was “delivering audience segmentation and targeting support” not only to Meduza, but also to Mediazona, a supposedly independent media venture founded by two members of the anti-Kremlin performance art group Pussy Riot.

One of Mediazona’s founders, Nadya Tolokonnikova, shared a stage with former US President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Foundation’s 2015 conference. The following year, Tolokonnikova trashed now-imprisoned Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, claiming, “He’s connected with the Russian government, and I feel that he’s proud of it.”

Besides delivering “targeting support” for “independent” outlets pushing the right line against the Kremlin, Zinc proposed leveraging UK FCO funding into a program of direct payments and gaming Google search results in their favor. The intelligence cut-out was explicit about its desire to reduce the search visibility of the Russian government-backed broadcaster RT.com.

The UK covertly funded and managed a network of Russian YouTubers and “activated” anti-government protest content

In a document marked “private and confidential,” Zinc revealed the Consortium’s role in setting up a “YouTuber network” in Russia and Central Asia designed to propagate the message of the UK and its NATO allies.

According to Zinc, the Consortium was “supporting participants mak[ing] and receiv[ing] international payments without being registered as external sources of funding,” presumably to circumvent Russian registration requirements for foreign-funded media outfits.

Zinc also helped the YouTube influencers “develop editorial strategies to deliver key messages” while working “to keep their involvement confidential.” And it carried out its entire program of covert propaganda in the name of “promoting media integrity and democratic values.”

Perhaps the most prominent Russian YouTube influencer is Alexei Navalny, a previously marginal nationalist opposition figure who was nominated for a Nobel Prize after becoming the target of a high-profile poisoning incident that brought relations between Russia and the West to its post-Cold War nadir.

The Russian government’s sentencing of Navalny to a 2.5-year prison term for evading parole has inspired a new wave of anti-government protests. Back in 2018, Navalny personally co-sponsored national demonstrations against the banning of the encrypted messaging app Telegram.

In its bid for a UK FCO contract, Zinc revealed that it played a behind-the-scenes role “to activate a range of content within 12 hours of the recent telegram protests.” Whether those activities involved Navalny or his immediate network was unclear, but the private disclosure by Zinc appeared confirm that British intelligence played a role in amplifying the 2018 protests.

Russian intelligence services have released sting video footage showing Vladimir Ashurkov, the executive director of Navalny’s FBK anti-corruption organization, meeting in 2013 with a suspected British MI6 agent named James William Thomas Ford, who was operating out of the British embassy in Moscow. During the rendezvous, Ashurkov can be heard asking for 10 to 20 million dollars to generate “quite a different picture” of the political landscape.

In 2018, Ashurkov’s name appeared in leaked documents exposing a covert, UK FCO influence network called the Integrity Initiative. As The Grayzone reported, the Integrity Initiative operated behind the cover of a think tank called the Institute for Statecraft, which concealed its own location through a fake office in Scotland.

Run by a group of military intelligence officers, the secret propaganda group worked through clusters of media and political influencers to escalate tensions between the West and Russia. Listed among the London cluster of anti-Russian influencers was Ashurkov.

The Integrity Initiative’s military directors outlined their agenda in stark, unequivocal terms. As the leaked memo below illustrates, they aimed to exploit the media, think tanks and their influence network to stir up as much hysteria about Russia’s supposedly malign influence as possible. Since they embarked on their covert campaign, nearly all their wishes have come true.

Bellingcat joins the Zinc Network, allegedly meddles in North Macedonia’s elections

After Alexei Navalny’s poisoning, he collaborated with the UK-based “open source” journalism outfit Bellingcat to pin the crime on Russia’s FSB intelligence services. Though it is well established that Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, a US government entity that supports regime-change operations around the globe, the fact has never appeared in the reams of fawning profiles that corporate media outlets, including Reuters, have published about the organization.

Bellingcat’s role as a partner in the Zinc Network’s UK FCO-funded EXPOSE Consortium may add an additional layer of suspicion about the outlet’s claim to independence.

Indeed, Bellingcat was listed in leaked 2018 documents as a key member of Zinc’s “Network of NGOs.” Among the members in the network was the Institute for Statecraft, the front for the Integrity Initiative.

Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins has vehemently denied accepting funding from the UK FCO or collaborating with it. But after Zinc documents leaked in early 2019, Higgins disclosed that some version of the Zinc proposal had received the green light from the Foreign Office.

Christian Triebbert, a Bellingcat staff member who was named as a potential trainer by the Zinc documents, and who now heads the New York Times’ video investigations unit, claimed the program consisted of benign workshops on “digital research and verification skills.”

What he and Higgins did not mention, however, was that Bellingcat had apparently been dispatched by the Zinc Network to “respond” to the 2019 parliamentary elections in North Macedonia. Stakes were high as the elections were likely to determine whether the tiny country would enter NATO and join the EU. The pro-NATO candidate triumphed, and not without a little help from the British Foreign Office and its allies.

According to the Zinc proposal, Bellingcat provided training to the Most Network, a Macedonian media outlet. It was joined by DFR Lab, a project of the NATO- and US government-funded Atlantic Council in Washington, DC.

After apparently participating in the covert UK FCO-funded intervention in North Macedonia, Bellingcat published an article ahead of the country’s 2020 parliamentary elections entitled, “Russia’s interference in North Macedonia.”

Several Zinc Network documents list Reuters as a member of the UK FCO-funded Consortium media intervention in the Baltic states.

Asked by The Grayzone how Reuters’ participation in UK FCO-funded programs aimed at countering Russia conformed to the news organization’s Trust Principles, spokesperson Jenny Vereker stated, “This funding supports our independent work to assist journalists and journalism all over the world, as part of our mission to strengthen a free and vibrant global media ecosystem to support a plurality of voices and preserve the flow of accurate and independent information. This is because accurate and balanced news coverage is a crucial pillar of any free, fair and informed society.”

In recent years, the BBC and Reuters have played an increasingly aggressive part in demonizing the governments of countries where London and Washington are seeking regime change. Meanwhile, high-profile online investigative outlets like Bellingcat have sprouted up seemingly overnight to assist these efforts.

With the release of the UK FCO documents, questions must be raised about whether these esteemed news organizations are truly the independent and ethical journalistic entities they claim to be. While they hammer away at “authoritarian” states and malign Russian activities, they have little to say about the machinations of the powerful Western governments in their immediate midst. Perhaps they are reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them.

[1] Christopher Simpson, Science of Coercion: Communication Research & Psychological Warfare, 1945–1960 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 8.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

BIOGRAPHY

Jonas E. Alexis

Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, history of Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled, Kevin MacDonald’s Abject Failure: A Philosophical and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and White Identity. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.

Logoswars1@gmail.com

BBC, Times smear UK professor skeptical of Syria regime change drive as would-be traitor after his rival’s sting op

By VT Editors -March 28, 2021

VT: The war on real journalism continues.

RT: A UK professor investigating a Western-funded group gathering evidence against Syrian officials was contacted by his target’s staff posing as a Russian agent. The communications were framed as potentially traitorous by the media.

The BBC wrote a lengthy piece blasting Edinburgh University Professor Paul McKeigue, a member of a group of academics called the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (WGSPM). The group seeks to expose Western efforts to shield from public scrutiny a long-term campaign to destabilize and topple the Syrian government.

One part of this media spin operation, as suspected by McKeigue and other dissenting figures, is the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA, formerly SCJA – the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability).

The organization has an archive of Syrian government documents, some of which were purchased from armed groups fighting against Damascus, which it says it collected to help prosecute criminals who worked for the Syrian government. Skeptics believe its primary goal is not justice but generating bad publicity against Damascus.

For three months, McKeigue was in contact about CIJA with a person calling themselves ‘Ivan’ and hinting that they were working for a well-informed organization with headquarters in Moscow. The fake Russian intelligence officer was actually people working for CIJA and its founder, William Wiley, the BBC reported.

Wiley, who McKeigue suspected of being a CIA agent, says he ran the sting operation to learn what McKeigue knew about his organization. He says he was worried that a former employee would leak to the WGSPM.

“This wasn’t some kind of revenge operation. It was driven entirely by concerns for our security, and ultimately our findings justified those concerns,” he told the BBC.

“Aside from protecting our sources, witnesses and our personnel, we need to protect our reputation. Because if our reputation is dragged through the mud, our funding will stop. And if the funding stops that will have a highly negative impact on justice.”

ALSO ON RT.COMBBC secrets revealed: Leaked files indicate UK state media engaged in anti-Moscow information warfare operations in Eastern Europe

The ‘not-revenge’ expose goes to great lengths to paint McKeigue as a conspiracy theorist with a grudge against the ‘justice-seekers’ from the CIJA and no second thoughts about hurting people. If Ivan were indeed a Russian agent, who knows what harm would befall people who McKeigue identified as working on the West’s behalf, the BBC suggested, implying that Russian intelligence needed this type of direction from the professor.

Interestingly, one of the individuals discussed in the communications in this way was BBC journalist Chloe Hadjimatheou, the author of the expose. One can only compliment her for being held in such high regard by her employer that it doesn’t doubt her ability to cover in a balanced and fair manner a man who called her “a dim-witted person who has been flattered into taking on something beyond her competence,” according to her report.

The sting was described in fewer details but along the same lines by the Times. It cited a former UK military officer whose name popped up in the communications, as accusing McKeigue of “treacherous activity.” The newspaper previously called the WGSPM “apologists for [Syrian President Bashar] Assad.”

Despite its length, the BBC story does miss some details that would provide crucial context about the conflict between McKeigue and Wiley and their respective groups. For example, the BBC didn’t mention that the funding Wiley was worried about comes from Western governments, including the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and the EU.

The BBC only briefly mentions the alleged chemical weapons incident in Douma in 2018 to inform the readers that McKeigue said, “the Syrian regime might not have been responsible for” it, contrary to what “inspectors for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concluded.”

At least some OPCW inspectors who were at the scene of the incident actually suggested otherwise, but their opinions were allegedly silenced by the watchdog and didn’t make it into its final report. McKeigue’s WGSPM happens to be the publisher of a leaked engineering assessment by OPCW inspector Ian Henderson, which said evidence his team found in Douma pointed to a staging of the purported attack.

ALSO ON RT.COMOPCW chief must ‘find the courage to address’ Douma coverup allegations, says group including 5 senior ex-officials of watchdog

More whistleblower testimonies and documents have since emerged to back the allegation that the OPCW wrote its final report to justify the missile attacks which the US, UK, and France carried out in retaliation for the purported Syrian Army atrocity. The watchdog responded by describing the whistleblowers as rogue elements and refused to conduct an open review of the scientific evidence underlying its conclusions about the incident.

McKeigue himself acknowledged that Wiley ran “a clever deception operation” against him and suggested it was meant to distract him from looking into alleged financial irregularities in CIJA and Wiley’s businesses. The CIJA founder baited him by citing his alleged CIA affiliations, which may or may not be real, the professor said.

“The people on the other end of this sting managed to get me to reveal information provided by others that was not intended to be shared, along with other information that may have been embellished. This was a failure on my part for which I accept responsibility and have apologized to those concerned,” McKeigue wrote in a personal statement.

Commenting on his willingness to talk to a purported Russian spy, McKeigue said he had no access to British state secrets, so the possible affiliation wasn’t of much concern. “I cultivate contacts with all sorts of people who have relevant information, including anonymous sources and some identified sources whose activities I do not endorse,” he explained.

The WGSPM responded to the publications by saying they exemplified “smear campaigns and hatchet journalism” waged in the West to silence dissent on the Syrian war.

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Syria, Venezuela sanctions | The Communiqué with Richard Medhurst

Venezuela and Syria are both under siege warfare by the United States and its allies. Richard Medhurst speaks with Alena Douhan, United Nations Special Rapporteur on sanctions, about her preliminary report after recently returning from Venezuela.

عقد من الحرب على سوريا.. أي مسارات ستتخذها إدارة بايدن؟

المصدر: الميادين

15 آذار 23:50

يواصل الغرب حملات الضغط على دمشق عبر تحميلها المسؤولية عما آلت إليه البلاد حتى الآن، من دون مراجعة سلوك الجماعات المسلحة وداعميها الإقليميين والدوليين وممارساتهم في التدمير والتخريب.

دمشق قاتلت مع حلفائها وصمدت وخرجت من سنوات الحرب منتصرة متمسكة بقرارها وموقعها وموقفها
دمشق قاتلت مع حلفائها وصمدت وخرجت من سنوات الحرب منتصرة متمسكة بقرارها وموقعها وموقفها

عشر سنوات من الحرب على سوريا، واجهت خلالها دمشق أشكال الحرب والإرهاب والحصار. وكان الإعلام الغربي شريكاً أساسياً في هذه الحرب، من خلال الدعاية والتشويه أو إخفاء الحقائق. واليوم تتجدد هذه الحملة على سوريا، عنوانها التركيز على الأزمة الإنسانية وتحميل الحكومة السورية مسؤوليتها.

وفي جردة الحسابات بين معطيات الميدان والسياسة، حقائق كثيرة الاتجاهات الجديدة لإدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن، وحلفائها الغربيين، توحي بمسارات تشدد وضغوط.

بعد مجيء بايدن رئيساً، أصبحت سوريا في دائرة الاهتمام بتكثيف الضغوط، وهو ما انعكس على المقاربة الغربية في إعطاء نفس جديد للحرب على سوريا لا ينفصل عن سياق إقليمي تريد واشنطن الإمساك بأوراقه التفاوضية.

وفي هذا السياق، وانسجاماً مع موقف الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة، فرضت بريطانيا عقوباتها الأخيرة على دمشق بعد أن فشلت كل سبل تغيير الحكم بالإرهاب وفوضى المجموعات المسلحة لا عبر صندوق الانتخابات.

حيث فرضت لندن عقوبات جديدة على سوريا شملت 6 مسؤولين بينهم وزير الخارجية فيصل المقداد. وقال وزير الخارجية البريطاني دومينيك راب، إن بلاده “تعاقب” هؤلاء المسؤولين بسبب ما وصفه “باعتدائهم الشامل على المواطنين الذين ينبغي أن يتولوا حمايتهم”.

أما بالنسبة لواشنطن، فلا اعتراف بما يخرج من صندوق الانتخابات، وتلك وسيلة ضغط أخرى للطعن في شرعية الرئيس بشار الأسد إن جرى انتخابه مجدداً. بل إن التهجم على الأسد عاد بشكل لافت أخيراً على لسان المسؤولين الأميركيين.

وزير الخارجية الأميركي أنتوني بلينكن، قال “غير ممكن إفلات النظام السوري من العقاب”، كاشفاً إحدى أوراق الضغط بـ”إثارة تهمة استخدام الكيميائي”.

من جهته، المتحدث باسم الوزارة نيد برايس، قال “ثمة مجموعة متنوعة من أدوات الضغط على دمشق”، مضيفاً أن “ذلك يندرج على ما يبدو ضمن استراتيجية الإدارة الجديدة”. وتريد واشنطن بالإبقاء على قواتها في سوريا توجيه رسالة مفادها أن بيدها ورقة ضغط، لتسوية تتجاوز الجغرافيا السورية بتفاوض أوسع وأشمل.

وفي هذا السياق، أشار الكاتب والباحث السياسي وليد شرارة، إلى أن “إدارة بايدن ماضية في سياسة ترامب بشأن سوريا في الحصار”، لافتاً إلى أن “إدارة ترامب كانت تسعى إلى خنق سوريا اقتصادياً وحتى صوملتها لكسر محور المقاومة”.

وقال شرارة للميادين، إن “التيار الغالب داخل الإدارة الأميركية الحالية يتماهى مع سياسة ترامب في مواجهة محور المقاومة”، معتبراً أن “هدف واشنطن هو دفع الوضع السوري إلى الانهيار لاستهداف محور المقاومة في حلقته المركزية”.

وأضاف شرارة أن “لندن أقرب إلى واشنطن في سياستها، وقرارها في العقوبات على سوريا يأتي في إطار تكثيف الضغط”، معتبراً أن “محور المقاومة نجح في خلق ميزان قوى جديد في مواجهة واشنطن وحلفائها

بدوره، قال محرر شؤون الأمن القومي في صحيفة “واشنطن تايمز” غاي تايلور، إن “الولايات المتحدة تدخلت في سوريا لمواجهة تنظيم داعش وليس من أجل صوملتها”، مشدداً على أنه “لدى تركيا وروسيا مصالح في سوريا ولا يمكن إلقاء اللوم على واشنطن فقط”.

تايلور أكد للميادين، أن “سوريا لم تكن قضية سهلة على الولايات المتحدة لجهة كيفية التعامل مع ملفها”، مشيراً إلى أن “محور المقاومة قرر ان يضرب بيد من حديد لمواجهة واشنطن وحلفائها وسياسات الحصار”.

الدبلوماسي الإيراني السابق أمير موسوي، أكد أن “الولايات المتحدة جيشت العالم لاسقاط دمشق ومحور المقاومة لكنها فشلت”.

موسوي أوضح للميادين، أن “صمود دمشق ومحور المقاومة هو انتصار كبير لأنه كسر الإرادة الغربية بتغيير النظام في سوريا”، منوهاً إلى أن “محور المقاومة تمكن بصموده كسر المحاولات الغربية والأميركية في تفتيته”.

وقال موسوي إن “إدارة بايدن أضعف إدارة أميركية مرتبكة بسبب أزمات داخلية واقتصادية والعلاقات مع روسيا والصين”، مؤكداً أن “محور المقاومة قرر أن يضرب بيد من حديد لمواجهة واشنطن وحلفائها وسياسات الحصار”.

مواضيع متعلقة

Putin, crusaders and barbarians

February 27, 2021

Putin, crusaders and barbarians

By Pepe Escobar and first posted at Asia Times

Moscow is painfully aware that the US/NATO “strategy” of containment of Russia is already reaching fever pitch. Again.

This past Wednesday, at a very important meeting with the Federal Security Service board, President Putin laid it all out in stark terms:

We are up against the so-called policy of containing Russia. This is not about competition, which is a natural thing for international relations. This is about a consistent and quite aggressive policy aimed at disrupting our development, slowing it down, creating problems along the outer perimeter, triggering domestic instability, undermining the values that unite Russian society, and ultimately to weaken Russia and put it under external control, just the way we are witnessing it transpire in some countries in the post-Soviet space.

Not without a touch of wickedness, Putin added this was no exaggeration: “In fact, you don’t need to be convinced of this as you yourselves know it perfectly well, perhaps even better than anybody else.”

The Kremlin is very much aware “containment” of Russia focuses on its perimeter: Ukraine, Georgia and Central Asia. And the ultimate target remains regime change.

Putin’s remarks may also be interpreted as an indirect answer to a section of President Biden’s speech at the Munich Security Conference.

According to Biden’s scriptwriters,

Putin seeks to weaken the European project and the NATO alliance because it is much easier for the Kremlin to intimidate individual countries than to negotiate with the united transatlantic community … The Russian authorities want others to think that our system is just as corrupt or even more corrupt.

A clumsy, direct personal attack against the head of state of a major nuclear power does not exactly qualify as sophisticated diplomacy. At least it glaringly shows how trust between Washington and Moscow is now reduced to less than zero. As much as Biden’s Deep State handlers refuse to see Putin as a worthy negotiating partner, the Kremlin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have already dismissed Washington as “non-agreement capable.”

Once again, this is all about sovereignty. The “unfriendly attitude towards Russia,” as Putin defined it, extends to “other independent, sovereign centers of global development.” Read it as mainly China and Iran. All these three sovereign states happen to be categorized as top “threats” by the US National Security Strategy.

Yet Russia is the real nightmare for the Exceptionalists: Orthodox Christian, thus appealing to swaths of the West; consolidated as major Eurasian power; a military, hypersonic superpower; and boasting unrivaled diplomatic skills, appreciated all across the Global South.

In contrast, there’s not much left for the deep state except endlessly demonizing both Russia and China to justify a Western military build-up, the “logic” inbuilt in a new strategic concept named  NATO 2030: United for a New Era.

The experts behind the concept hailed it as an “implicit” response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s declaring NATO “brain dead.”

Well, at least the concept proves Macron was right.

Those barbarians from the East

Crucial questions about sovereignty and Russian identity have been a recurrent theme in Moscow these past few weeks. And that brings us to February 17, when Putin met with Duma political leaders, from the Liberal Democratic Party’s Vladimir Zhirinovsky – enjoying a new popularity surge – to United Russia’s Sergei Mironov, as well as State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

Putin stressed the “multi-ethnic and multi-religious” character of Russia, now in “a different environment that is free of ideology”:

It is important for all ethnic groups, even the smallest ones, to know that this is their Motherland with no other for them, that they are protected here and are prepared to lay down their lives in order to protect this country. This is in the interests of us all, regardless of ethnicity, including the Russian people.

Yet Putin’s most extraordinary remark had to do with ancient Russian history:

Barbarians came from the East and destroyed the Christian Orthodox empire. But before the barbarians from the East, as you well know, the crusaders came from the West and weakened this Orthodox Christian empire, and only then were the last blows dealt, and it was conquered. This is what happened … We must remember these historical events and never forget them.

Well, this could be enough material to generate a 1,000-page treatise. Instead, let’s try, at least, to – concisely – unpack it.

The Great Eurasian Steppe – one of the largest geographical formations on the planet – stretches from the lower Danube all the way to the Yellow River. The running joke across Eurasia is that “Keep Walking” can be performed back to back. For most of recorded history this has been Nomad Central: tribe upon tribe raiding at the margins, or sometimes at the hubs of the heartland: China, Iran, the  Mediterranean.

The Scythians (see, for instance, the magisterial The Scythians: Nomad Warriors of the Steppe, by Barry Cunliffe) arrived at the Pontic steppe from beyond the Volga. After the Scythians, it was the turn of the Sarmatians to show up in South Russia.

From the 4th century onward, nomad Eurasia was a vortex of marauding tribes, featuring, among others, the Huns in the 4th and 5th centuries, the Khazars in the 7th century, the Kumans in the 11th century, all the way to the Mongol avalanche in the 13th century.

The plot line always pitted nomads against peasants. Nomads ruled – and exacted tribute. G Vernadsky, in his invaluable Ancient Russia, shows how “the Scythian Empire may be described sociologically as a domination of the nomadic horde over neighboring tribes of agriculturists.”

As part of my multi-pronged research on nomad empires for a future volume, I call them Badass Barbarians on Horseback. The stars of the show include, in Europe, in chronological order, Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Huns, Khazars, Hungarians, Peshenegs, Seljuks, Mongols and their Tatar descendants; and, in Asia, Hu, Xiongnu, Hephtalites, Turks, Uighurs, Tibetans, Kirghiz, Khitan, Mongols, Turks (again), Uzbeks and Manchu.

Arguably, since the hegemonic Scythian era (the first protagonists of the Silk Road), most of the peasants in southern and central Russia were Slav. But there were major differences. The Slavs west of Kiev were under the influence of Germania and Rome. East of Kiev, they were influenced by Persian civilization.

It’s always important to remember that the Vikings were still nomads when they became rulers in Slav lands. Their civilization in fact prevailed over sedentary peasants – even as they absorbed many of their customs.

Interestingly enough, the gap between steppe nomads and agriculture in proto-Russia was not as steep as between intensive agriculture in China and the interlocked steppe economy in Mongolia.

(For an engaging Marxist interpretation of nomadism, see A N Khazanov’s Nomads and the Outside World).

The sheltering sky

What about power? For Turk and Mongol nomads, who came centuries after the Scythians, power emanated from the sky. The Khan ruled by authority of the “Eternal Sky” – as we all see when we delve into the adventures of Genghis and Kublai. By implication, as there is only one sky, the Khan would have to exert universal power. Welcome to the idea of universal empire.

Kublai Khan as the first Yuan emperor, Shizu. Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). Album leaf, ink and color on silk. National Palace Museum, Taipei. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/National Palace Museum, Taipei

In Persia, things were slightly more complex. The Persian Empire   was all about Sun worship: that became the conceptual basis for the divine right of the King of Kings. The implications were immense, as the King now became sacred. This model influenced Byzantium – which, after all, was always interacting with Persia.

Christianity made the Kingdom of Heaven more important than ruling over the temporal domain. Still, the idea of Universal Empire persisted, incarnated in the concept of Pantocrator: it was the Christ who ultimately ruled, and his deputy on earth was the Emperor. But Byzantium remained a very special case: the Emperor could never be an equal to God. After all, he was human.

Putin is certainly very much aware that the Russian case is extremely complex. Russia essentially is on the margins of three civilizations. It’s part of Europe – reasons including everything from the ethnic origin of Slavs to achievements in history, music and literature.

Russia is also part of Byzantium from a religious and artistic angle (but not part of the subsequent Ottoman empire, with which it was in military competition). And Russia was influenced by Islam coming from Persia.

Then there’s the crucial influence of nomads. A serious case can be made that they have been neglected by scholars. The Mongol rule for a century and a half, of course, is part of the official historiography – but perhaps not given its due importance. And the nomads in southern and central Russia two millennia ago were never properly acknowledged.

So Putin may have hit a nerve. What he said points to the idealization of a later period of Russian history from the late 9th to early 13th century: Kievan Rus. In Russia, 19th century Romanticism and 20th century nationalism actively built an idealized national identity.

The interpretation of Kievan Rus poses tremendous problems – that’s something I eagerly discussed in St. Petersburg a few years ago. There are rare literary sources – and they concentrate mostly on the 12th century afterwards. The earlier sources are foreigners, mostly Persians and Arabs.

Russian conversion to Christianity and its concomitant superb architecture have been interpreted as evidence of a high cultural standard. In a nutshell, scholars ended up using Western Europe as the model for the reconstruction of Kievan Rus civilization.

It was never so simple. A good example is the discrepancy between Novgorod and Kiev. Novgorod was closer to the Baltic than the Black Sea, and had closer interaction with Scandinavia and the Hanseatic towns. Compare it with Kiev, which was closer to steppe nomads and  Byzantium – not to mention Islam.

Kievan Rus was a fascinating crossover. Nomadic tribal traditions – on administration, taxes, the justice system – were prevalent. But on religion, they imitated Byzantium. It’s also relevant that until the end of the 12th century, assorted steppe nomads were a constant “threat” to southeast Kievan Rus.

So as much as Byzantium – and, later on, even the Ottoman Empire – supplied models for Russian institutions, the fact is the nomads, starting with the Scythians, influenced the economy, the social system and most of all, the military approach.

Watch the Khan

Sima Qian, the master Chinese historian, has shown how the Khan had two “kings,” who each had two generals, and thus in succession, all the way to commanders of a hundred, a thousand and ten thousand men. This is essentially the same system used for a millennia and a half by nomads, from the Scythians to the Mongols, all the way to Tamerlane’s army at the end of the 14th century.

The Mongol invasions – 1221 and then 1239-1243 – were indeed the major game-changer. As master analyst Sergei Karaganov told me in his office in late 2018, they influenced Russian society for centuries afterwards.

For over 200 years Russian princes had to visit the Mongol headquarters in the Volga to pay tribute. One scholarly strand has qualified it as “barbarization”; that seems to be Putin’s view. According to that strand, the incorporation of Mongol values may have “reversed” Russian society to what it was before the first drive to adopt Christianity.

The inescapable conclusion is that when Muscovy emerged in the late 15th century as the dominant power in Russia, it was essentially the successor of the Mongols.

And because of that the peasantry – the sedentary population – were not touched by “civilization” (time to re-read Tolstoy?). Nomad Power and values, as strong as they were, survived Mongol rule for centuries.

Well, if a moral can be derived from our short parable, it’s not exactly a good idea for “civilized” NATO to pick a fight with the – lateral – heirs of the Great Khan.

Deir Ezzor is a Sign of Things to Come

Deir Ezzor is a Sign of Things to Come

Source

January 23, 2021

The billowing wheat fields of Syria once were a staple that kept the people sated through times of struggle. Until the beginning of the war, Syria was a net food exporter, providing grain to neighboring countries and enjoying a healthy supply more than sufficient to feed its population. When the attempted overthrow of Bashar al-Assad began in 2011, the nation collapsed into chaos and food production plummeted. Syria’s borders shrank to a third of their pre-war size as ISIS took over huge swathes of desert, and US-backed Kurdish forces invaded the country’s northeast under the cover of fighting terrorism.

Russia’s intervention in 2015 secured the highly populated coastal regions, finally bringing an end to the jihadist occupation of Aleppo and removing ISIS from the country’s center. The coastal cities were hardened with the creation of permanent Russian bases in Khmeimim and Tartus, and Bashar al-Assad’s secular government was kept in power. The strategically significant northeast however, was lost.

The governorate of Deir Ezzor in northeastern Syria splits evenly across the Euphrates River, and is the site of an emerging fault line between the Empire and Resistance Axis. On the West bank of the Euphrates, Bashar al-Assad’s government rules, while the East is occupied by Kurdish and American forces. Unable to achieve complete regime change, the Empire has shifted gears and now is waging a war primarily based on starvation. Limiting the flow of food and energy in the country may not even succeed in directly impeding military operations, but it can effectively turn Syria into a third world country by grinding civilian life to a halt and starving the population.

Syria’s occupied northeast produces 60% of the country’s wheat and 95% of the country’s oil: 400,000 barrels per day of oil production has been lost due to the Kurdish invasion. The formerly oil-rich nation now pumps a mere 20,000 bpd and relies on Iranian tankers to import energy. These tankers are increasingly intercepted by Western powers as part of this war of starvation. Additionally, in the last two years five separate sanctions bills have been passed in Washington, targeting the country’s oil and grain trade.

Energy is not just needed for the tanks and planes of Assad’s military, it is required to power the factories, agricultural operations, businesses, and homes of the Syrian people. Strangling the flow of energy and food into Syria has created spillover effects that have crippled the nation’s economy. With no power for tractors to cultivate wheat or trucks to ship food, the remaining agricultural resources have become severely underutilized and the nation is at risk of famine.

This is nothing new. Just recall what US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said when confronted with the fact that over half a million Iraqi children had died of starvation due to sanctions:

We think the price is worth it

Any price is “worth it” because Iraq, Syria, and Iran have been targeted for destruction for decades, part of the Empire’s longstanding plan to conquer all of Central Asia. We see the antecedents of such a foreign policy in the Wolfowitz Doctrine, the “Clean Break” white paper, and General Wesley Clark’s confession that these nations were slated for regime change well before whichever casus belli that prompted American intervention was manufactured. In addition to the territorial agenda, control of the planet’s oil resources upholds the phenomenon of petrodollar recycling, defending the dollar’s status as world reserve currency.

Accordingly, the Empire has no plans to leave northeast Syria. While the media spun up a narrative about Trump “abandoning the Kurds,” nothing could be further from the truth. The Trump administration gave drilling approval in the region to a little known oil company called Delta Crescent Energy LLC. One of the partners at this firm named James Reese is an ex Delta Force agent who served as a commander and operations officer in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Other partners include international oil executives and diplomats. These players will collaborate with the Kurds to pump oil through Syria and Iraq while fulfilling Washington’s agenda of denying the Syrian civilization the resources needed for survival.

So while imperial and resistance forces patrol either side of the Euphrates, we can see the new front in the northeast as a microcosm of what will come as a hawkish administration takes the helm in Washington.

On Aug 23 2020, Russian major general Vyacheslav Gladkikh was assassinated by IED while in Deir Ezzor governorate, the highest ranking soldier to be killed in the war. Immediately prior to his death, the general was coordinating with local Arab militiamen, giving us a window into the strategy of the Resistance Axis in the region. It has been the goal of Assad and the Russians to reintegrate this crucial territory by allying with the Arab majority in the governorate, who are being oppressed by the ruling Kurdish minority. Arab protests and discontent with the corrupt SDF leadership have accelerated, so while Western media blames General Gladkikh’s assassination on ISIS we can see other clear beneficiaries.

Speaking of ISIS, the way northeast Syria has evolved begs the question: what was the purpose of ISIS? Let us first review the multiple channels of American support:

1. Manpower: Immediately after the invasion of Iraq, America unilaterally disbanded the Iraqi army without pay, despite warnings that this would create a pool of manpower for terrorism. Many of these soldiers later filled the ranks of ISIS

2. Supply abandonment: M1A1 Abrams tanks, LAVs, and 2,300 Hummers were left conveniently unguarded in lots for ISIS to acquire during its rise

3. Direct airdrop: In Oct 2014, the US was caught airdropping weapons and ammunition directly to ISIS fighters and passed it off as an accident

4. Osmosis: Cash, supplies, and weaponry delivered to “vetted” rebel groups through the CIA’s Timber Sycamore program often ended up directly in ISIS hands. In one case a UN audit determined that TOW missiles were controlled by ISIS less than two months after leaving an American production line

5. Side switching: When ISIS began to fall many of its fighters simply left and joined other US-aligned groups such as the FSA and SDF

6. US ally funding: Leaked Clinton emails explicitly stated that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were providing direct financing

What of the strategic importance of ISIS? At its territorial height, the Islamic State was essentially a band down the center of Syria that separated Assad’s coastal strongholds from the oil and farmland necessary to the nation’s functioning. It also fulfilled the important role of impeding Iranian access to the region, one of the reasons for which Qasem Soleimani led Shi’ite brigades against ISIS to open up corridors of support for Syria and Lebanon.

And of course we cannot forget that the US had pockets of soldiers in ISIS territory throughout the entire conflict, monitoring the situation. The outcome in the Syrian war was rigged from the beginning, as even in the event that Assad managed to defeat ISIS and avoid regime change, the Empire would never allow him to achieve full territorial reintegration.

As soon as Russia began to reverse the tide in the conflict, the US swooped in to “liberate” the oil fields. American anti-ISIS bombings were greatly exagerrated (at one point PBS even took Russian bombing footage and labeled it as American). Furthermore these operations were concentrated in the northeast, while Syrians, Iraqis, Russians, and Iranians were allowed to do the leg work on the ground against ISIS. Essentially, Assad reclaimed infertile desert terrain at an enormous human cost and just as his forces reached Deir Ezzor the Empire took the resource-rich northeast and bombed any Syrian crossing of the Euphrates.

Merely one day after the inauguration of the Biden administration in Washington, the US began transferring hundreds of soldiers from Iraq to northeastern Syria in order to harden the imperial presence. Even under the Trump administration a ninth US army base in Deir Ezzor was commissioned in October, directly facing Syrian military positions west of the Euphrates. The new cabinet is stacked with career advocates of regime change, so we can foresee that the border in northeast Syria will be a debut at which the forces of imperialism seek to demonstrate their fanatical commitment to “involvement in the region.”

While unheard of by most Americans, this northern governorate is a litmus test for what is to come in the next four years of foreign policy. Whether it transforms into a frozen conflict zone like Donbass or the site of disastrous great power confrontation, it is a clear sign of the Empire’s unwillingness to “go gentle into that good night.” Though the lines in Deir Ezzor may already be drawn, it appears that a clash in the Idlib region is on the horizon as Turkish forward observation posts are abandoned and rumors circulate of heavy artillery moving to the border.

All eyes remain on Syria as the people bear the cost of a war of starvation and the Empire seeks to avenge its greatest humiliation at the hands of Russia.


The Ister is a researcher of financial markets and geopolitics. Author of The Ister: Escape America

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Biden supports the overthrow of Vladimir Putin, and lean years between the two sides await بايدن يؤيّد الإطاحة بفلاديمير بوتين وسنوات عجاف بين الطرفين بانتظار العالم

**Please scroll down for the English Machine translation**

بايدن يؤيّد الإطاحة بفلاديمير بوتين وسنوات عجاف بين الطرفين بانتظار العالم

باريس – نضال حمادة

 مشروع أميركيّ لتغيير النظام في روسيا بدأ يظهر مع عودة الناشط السياسي أليكسي نافالني إلى موسكو، ويبدو أنّ خطة الغرب في صناعة نافالني من شخص غامض إلى نجم خلال الأشهر الماضية وصلت الى نهايتها وانتقلت الى مرحلة المواجهة والتنفيذ، وذلك مع توقيت وصول المعارض الروسي إلى موسكو على متن طائرة آتية من ألمانيا قبل أيام من وصول إدارة بايدن الى الحكم في واشنطن، وكانت موسكو قد حذرت من أنه سيتمّ احتجازه للاستجواب لكونه على قائمة المطلوبين.

من المقرّر إجراء الانتخابات الرئاسية في روسيا في آذار/ مارس 2024، وسيكون العامان المقبلان حاسمين لسياسة الكرملين. السؤال الكبير هو ما إذا كان الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين سوف يسعى إلى فترة ولاية أخرى مدّتها ست سنوات أم لا… يترك بوتين الأمر للوقت من دون إعطاء أيّ جواب او إبداء أية إشارة في هذا الأمر في وقت لا تتوقف فيه شعبيته عن الاستمرار في الارتفاع، وهو يمكنه البناء على سجل قويّ من الإنجازات في تعزيز القوة الوطنية الشاملة لروسيا، وقيادة عودة روسيا الى المسرح العالمي وتحسين مكانتها الدولية وضمان التوازن الاستراتيجي العالمي.

شكّل بوتين قارب النجاة لروسيا منذ وصوله إلى الحكم وقد أعادها خصماً قوياً للولايات المتحدة بعد غياب عشر سنوات، ويتوقع المحللون الروس أن يحاول بايدن تحويل المثلث الأميركي ـ الروسي ـ الصيني لصالح واشنطن من خلال إشراك الصين وعزل روسيا.

 في الأساس، من وجهة نظر بايدن العالمية، تعتبر الصين منافساً، لكنها واقعية ومنفتحة على عقد الصفقات، وستظلّ محايدة في المواجهة الأميركية مع روسيا.

وبشكل عام، فإنّ بايدن والمسؤولين الذين يشكلون فريق الأمن القومي الخاص به وغالبيتهم كانوا معه في عهد أوباما متأصّلون في اعتقادهم أنّ حساب السلطة في روسيا هشّ بطبيعته. من هذا المنظور، تصبح عودة نافالني إلى روسيا عملية اختبار لمدى إمكانية حصوله على شعبية أم لا.

من الناحية الدبلوماسية، فإنّ اعتقال نافالني في موسكو أصبح مادة خبريّة في الغرب في وقت تعمل فيه أوروبا على استقلالها الاستراتيجيّ تجاه الولايات المتحدة، وقد رفضت ألمانيا الضغط الأميركي لإفشال مشروع خط أنابيب الغاز ستريم 2. من هنا يبدو أنّ التقارب الألماني الروسي لا يسير وفق رغبة أميركا وبريطانيا، وقد تكون قضية نافالني الذريعة التي يتمّ من خلالها إيقاف التقارب الروسي الألماني.

الاتحاد الأوروبيّ سوف يناقش يوم 25 قضية توقيف نافالني في روسيا.

لطالما قادت وكالة المخابرات المركزية الأميركية السياسة الأميركية تجاه روسيا. وللمرة الأولى، سيترأس الدبلوماسي السابق ويليام بيرنز، وهو من المناهضين لروسيا من ذوي الخبرة، الوكالة داخل إدارة بايدن. وقد انتقد روسيا علناً وكتب «نحن في الأساس نواجه روسيا لاعباً كبيراً جداً في العديد من القضايا المهمة التي لا يمكن تجاهلها. إن اهتمامها بلعب دور القوة العظمى خارج حدودها قد يتسبّبان أحياناً في مشاكل كبيرة».

يتبنّى بيرنز موقفاً متشدّداً من روسيا مع قليل من العقلانية، وننقل هنا ما قاله حرفياً عن العلاقة مع روسيا: إنّ إدارة العلاقات مع روسيا ستكون لعبة طويلة، تلعب ضمن نطاق ضيّق نسبياً من الاحتمالات. إنّ الإبحار في مثل هذا التنافس العظيم يتطلب دبلوماسية دقيقة – المناورة في المنطقة الرمادية بين السلام والحرب؛ إظهار فهم حدود الممكن؛ زيادة النفوذ؛ استكشاف الأرضية المشتركة، حيث يمكننا العثور عليها؛ وندفع إلى الوراء بحزم وثبات حيث لا يمكننا… يجب أن نسير من خلاله من دون أوهام، وأن ندرك مصالح روسيا وحساسياتها، من دون عذر لقيمنا، وان نكون واثقين من قوتنا الدائمة. يجب ألا نستسلم لبوتين – ولا نتخلى عن روسيا خلفه.

باختصار، يرى بيرنز العلاقة المضطربة مع روسيا على أنها شيء تجب إدارته بدلاً من تعزيزه أو رعايته، وهو متشائم للغاية بشأن احتمالات التحسين طالما ظلّ بوتين في السلطة. يمكن للمرء أن يتخيّل أنّ بايدن يشارك أيضاً مثل هذا المنظور، وأحد الاعتبارات الرئيسية من بين أمور أخرى في قراره بتعيين بيرنز كرئيس لوكالة المخابرات المركزية هو أنّ الدبلوماسية الأميركية في الفترة المقبلة ستمرّ بمرحلة مضطربة في العلاقة مع روسيا، حيث تكمن المصالح الأميركية في تشجيع تغيير النظام في الكرملين، والذي سيعتمد بالطبع في المقام الأول على مدى نجاح العمليات السرية لوكالة التجسّس في زعزعة استقرار روسيا.

زعم مسؤولون كبار في الكرملين في سبتمبر/ أيلول الماضي أنّ موسكو لديها معلومات محدّدة تفيد بأنّ عملاء وكالة المخابرات المركزية كانوا يعملون مع نافالني في ألمانيا. إذا كان الأمر كذلك، فإنّ نافالني أداة استراتيجية لن تتنازل عنها وكالة المخابرات المركزية بسهولة. لكن كلّ شيء يشير إلى أنّ موسكو تعمل أيضاً على المدى الطويل. وأنّ وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف قد وبّخ شركاء روسيا الغربيين وحثهم على «التحلي بالأدب واستبعاد أساليب الفظاظة الدبلوماسية والوفاء بالتزاماتها الدولية في الوضع» المتعلق بنافالني.

من هنا يبدو أنّ وكالة الاستخبارات الأميركية مستعدة للقيام بخطوة افتتاحية شديدة العدوانية ضدّ روسيا على أمل أن تنجح في عملية استخدام نافالني للإطاحة بفلاديمير بوتين.

انتظروا عودة الانقلابات الأميركية حول العالم…

Biden supports the overthrow of Vladimir Putin, and lean years between the two sides await

Paris – Nidal Hamadeh

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A U.S. project to change the regime in Russia began to appear with the return of political activist Alexei Navalny to Moscow. The West’s plan in the making of Navalny  from a mysterious person to a star during the past months has come to an end and moved to the stage of confrontation and implementation, with the timing of the arrival of the Russian dissident to Moscow on a plane from Germany days before the biden administration came to power in Washington. Moscow had warned that he would be detained for questioning for being on the wanted list.

Russia’s presidential election is scheduled for March 2024, and the next two years will be crucial to Kremlin policy. The big question is whether President Vladimir Putin will seek another six-year term… Putin leaves it to time without giving any answer or any indication of this at a time when his popularity continues to rise, and he can build on a strong record of achievements in strengthening Russia’s overall national strength, leading Russia’s return to the world stage, improving its international standing and ensuring global strategic balance.

Putin has been Russia’s lifeboat since his accession to power, and he has brought it back as a strong opponent of the United States after a 10-year absence. Russian analysts expect that Biden will try to transform the US-Russian-Chinese triangle in favor of Washington by involving China and isolating Russia.

Basically, from Biden’s global point of view, China is a competitor, but it is realistic and open to deals, and will remain neutral in the U.S. confrontation with Russia.

In general, Biden and his national security team, the majority of whom were with him under Obama, are deeply rooted in  their belief that Russia’s power is fragile.

Diplomatically, Navalny’s arrest in Moscow has become a news item in the West at a time when Europe is working on its strategic independence toward the United States, and Germany has rejected U.S. pressure to thwart the Stream II gas pipeline project.

The EU will discuss on 25 th case of Navalny’s arrest in Russia.

The CIA has long led U.S. policy toward Russia, but for the first time, former diplomat William Burns, an experienced anti-Russian, will lead the agency within the Biden administration. Burns publicly criticised Russia, writing, “We are basically facing Russia with many important issues that cannot be ignored. Russia’s interest in playing the role as superpower outside its borders may sometimes cause major problems.

Burns takes a hard line on Russia with a bit of rationality, and we quote here literally what he said about the relationship with Russia: Managing relations with Russia will be a long game, playing within a relatively narrow range of possibilities. Navigating such great rivalry requires delicate diplomacy – manoeuvring in the gray zone between peace and war; Demonstrate an understanding of the limits of the possible; Influence increase; Explore the common ground, where we can find it; We are pushing back firmly and steadily where we cannot … We must walk through it without illusions, realise Russia’s interests and sensitivities, without an excuse for our values, and be confident of our permanent strength. We must not give in to Putin – and let us not abandon Russia behind him.

In short, Burns sees the troubled relationship with Russia as something to be managed rather than nurtured, and is very pessimistic about the prospects for improvement as long as Putin remains in power. One can imagine that Biden  also shares such a perspective, and one of the key considerations in his decision to appoint Burns as CIA chief is that U.S. diplomacy in the coming period will go through a turbulent period in the relationship with Russia, where U.S. interests lie in promoting regime change in the Kremlin, which will, of course, depend primarily on how successful the spy agency’s covert operations are in destabilising Russia.


Senior Kremlin officials claimed in September that Moscow had specific information that CIA agents were working with Navalny in Germany. If so, Navalny is a strategic tool that the CIA will not give up easily. But everything indicates that Moscow is also working in the long term. And that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rebuked Russia’s Western partners and urged them to “display politeness, exclude methods of diplomatic rudeness and fulfil its international obligations in the situation” related to Nafalni.

The CIA therefore seems ready to take a very aggressive opening step against Russia in the hope that it will succeed in using Navalny  to overthrow Vladimir Putin.

Wait for the return of U.S. coups around theworld…

The American riots: A vertical trench in process

By Abir Bassam

January 11, 2021 – 10:28

On Wednesday evening, it was not the first time that Americans poured into the streets in protest. However, a long time has not passed since the world has witnessed that rioters and demonstrators assaulted the symbol of American democracy: The Capitol. 

It is an irony! When the riots filled the Arab streets in several countries, they were identified as the “revolutionaries”. The rioters were assaulting governmental buildings and national symbols of the states, but it was portrayed under the name of democracy and freedom of speech by the Wild West. While the American riots were immediately branded by Europe and Western officials as chaotic anti-democratic behavior. 

During the last 10 years, the rioters have filled the Arab streets and attacked government buildings, stolen documents, and burned them, especially in Syria and Libya. The two countries were initially targeted by the Wild West to change regimes and the system in the name of “democracy” and the West was anticipating the moment to attack like a predator. 

The same irony brings back the role played by the media, in particular Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, and many others. The media has played a major role in advocating for the rioters and demonizing the opponents of radical behaviors. This role was also perfectly executed by the Western media in supporting the riots against the government institutions in the Arab countries. In reverse, the same American media is pushing towards demonizing their incumbent president and its supporters because they attacked the Capitol, the temple of the American democracy. And now they are pushing towards the impeachment of their president for instigating it.

The impeachment of Trump looks as humiliating as the impeachment of president Gaddafi in the same media, with the exception that in the U.S. the riots on the Capitol were a real version of what was going on, whereas the scenes that were transmitted by Al-Jazeera and many others were costume made. 

The American media is now promoting more than 200 bills waiting to be examined by Congress. All of them were set to criminate Trump and isolate him. Trump was always identified as silly, shallow, and arrogant, even though the American media role is best described as an attempt to bully the man and his partisans. Whether we like the man or not, Trump was supported by around 75 million Americans in the elections, who believed that it was about time to make America great again.

 After all, he is just another American president that led the American policy to the best interest of the American lobbies that enabled him to reach his position. Electing Trump in 2016 was the beginning of the end to the American system and democracy as we know it. Accordingly, the attack on the Capitol is a sign that the temple is about to fall down! 

American democracy is proved to be a masquerade beyond doubt.  Our region has been suffering from it, as well as different countries in the world, especially Latin America. The Americans worked excessively on toppling down elected governments that did not match their policies.  

In addition, it seems that the situation is going to be escalated in the coming days. Even though Trump is no longer able to tweet on social media, his partisans are tweeting for another rally during Biden’s inauguration ceremony as the U.S. president. Besides, the U.S. media are promoting the impeachment of the president. 

There is a miscomprehension of the danger of the impeachment on the American society, which is now vertically divided. After the impeachment, the vertical crack will become deeper and weaken America furthermore. For this reason, the Wall Street Journal has accused Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, of planning a coup against the president by demanding the chief of staff to refuse to execute Trump’s orders. The journal was wondering “what if the U.S. was under nuclear attack?”

In addition, the radical right-wing groups are calling for more escalation and plan to attend the demonstrations with their guns. What would this lead to? Actually, to one of two following results: the first one would be intimidating other national groups whether they were the middle or the left wings. Secondly, clashing with the authorities, if they try to stop them or arrest them for disturbing the peace.

In either way, this would mean that the U.S. is on the verge of civil war.

Over the last ten years, there have been several calls for separation from different American states. They have even gone to federal courts, but they have failed. Hence the intent to divide America is present in the Americans’ minds. This cry for division shows how much incohesive the American social tissue is, even before Trump. Add to that that racism is rising within American society but in reverse.

Nowadays, there is a rising sense of unfairness among the White Anglo Saxon Protestants [WASPs], who initially immigrated to America believing that it was the Promised Land, which was once again occupied by the inferior subjects that the WSPs had imported in the first place as their servants and slaves. It seems that the inferior subjects proved to be smart and hard-working and reached the highest positions leaving God’s chosen people behind.

Therefore, the slogans made during Trump’s campaigns that “Let us make America great again”, or in his declaration that he will go national instead of international, were most appealing to Trump’s partisans, amongst them the WASPs that constitute the majority. However, the slogans went against the deep state’s goals, especially the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and transnational corporations, and many others. The latter was highly affected by the economic sanctions applied by Trump. 

It is clear that Trump’s slogans and behavior were an embarrassment for his vice president Mike Pence and the Republican Party. However, they betrayed him. Many of Trump’s partisans, who elected them to the House of Representatives, feel that they were betrayed as well. Accordingly, the Republicans will need to work harder than ever to gain the trust of their voters again. Therefore, the announcement by Donald Trump junior that now they need to reconstruct the Republican Party again, is a serious message to be considered, since the impeachment of Trump will not go without consequences in the American streets. And his partisans are unlikely to slow down.
 

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Democracies Don’t Start Wars. But Democrats Do

By Philip Giraldi, Ph.D.
Source: Strategic Culture

It may have been President Bill Clinton who once justified his wrecking of the Balkans by observing that liberal interventionism to bring about regime change is a good thing because “Democracies don’t start wars with other democracies.” Or it might have been George W. Bush talking about Iraq or even Barack Obama justifying his destruction of Libya or his interventions relating to Syria and Ukraine. The principle is the same when the world’s only superpower decides to throw its weight around.

The idea that pluralistic democracies are somehow less inclined to go to war has in fact been around for a couple of hundred years and was first elaborated by Immanuel Kant in an essay entitled “Perpetual Peace” that was published in 1795. Kant may have been engaging in some tongue in cheek as the French relatively liberal republic, the “Directory,” was at that time preparing to invade Italy to spread the revolution. The presumption that “democracies” are somehow more pacific than other forms of government is based on the principle that it is in theory more difficult to convince an entire nation of the desirability of initiating armed conflict compared to what happens in a monarchy where only one man or woman has to be persuaded.

The American Revolution, which preceded Kant, was clearly not fought on the principle that kings are prone to start wars while republics are not, and, indeed, the “republican” United States has nearly always been engaged in what most observers would consider to be wars throughout its history. And a review of the history of the European wars of the past two hundred years suggests that it is also overly simple to suggest that democracies eschew fighting each other. There are, after all, many different kinds of governments, most with constitutions, many of which are quite politically liberal even if they are headed by a monarch or oligarchy. They have found themselves on different sides in the conflicts that have troubled Europe since the time of Napoleon.

And wars are often popular, witness the lines of enthusiastic young men lining up to enlist when the Triple Entente took on the Germans and Austrians to begin the First World War. So, war might be less likely among established democracies, but it should be conceded that the same national interests that drive a dictatorship can equally impact on a more pluralistic form of government, particularly if the media “the territory of lies” is in on the game. One recalls how the Hearst newspaper chain created the false narrative that resulted in the U.S.’s first great overseas imperial venture, the Spanish-American War. More recently, the mainstream media in the United States has supported the disastrous invasion of Iraq, the destabilization of Syria, and the regime change in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Libya.

So now we Americans have the ultimate liberal democratic regime about to resume power, possibly with a majority in both houses of Congress to back up the presidency. But something is missing in that the campaigning Democrats never talked about a peace dividend, and now that they are returning the airwaves are notable for Senators like Mark Warner asking if the alleged Russian hacking of U.S. computers is an “act of war?” Senator Dick Durbin has no doubts on the issue, having declared it “virtually a declaration of war.” And Joe Biden appears to be on board, considering punishment for Moscow. Are we about to experience Russiagate all over? In fact, belligerency is not unique to Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo.  War is in the air, and large majority of the Democratic Party recently voted for the pork-bloated National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), endorsing a policy of U.S. global military dominance for the foreseeable future. If you are an American who would like to see national health insurance, a large majority among Democrats, forget about it!

But more to the point, the Democrats have a worse track record than do the Republicans when it comes to starting unnecessary wars. Donald Trump made the point of denouncing “stupid wars” when he was running for office and has returned to that theme also in the past several weeks, though he did little enough to practice what he preached until it was too late and too little. Clinton notoriously intervened in the Balkans and bombed a pharmaceuticals factory in Sudan and a cluster of tents in Afghanistan to draw attention away from his affair with Monica Lewinsky. His secretary of State Madeleine Albright thought the death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. sanctions was “worth it.” Barack Obama tried to destroy Syria, interfered in Ukraine and succeeded in turning Libya into an ungovernable mess while compiling a “kill list” and assassinating U.S. citizens overseas using drones.

If you want to go back farther, Woodrow Wilson involved the U.S. in World War One while Franklin D. Roosevelt connived at America’s entry into the Second World War. FDR’s successor Harry Truman dropped two atomic bombs on civilian targets in Japan, killing as many as 200,000. Japan was preparing to surrender, which was known to the White House and Pentagon, making the first use of nuclear weapons completely unnecessary and one might call it a “war crime.” Truman also got involved in Korea and John F. Kennedy started the intervention in Vietnam, though there are indications that he was planning to withdraw from it when he was killed. The only Democratic president who failed to start one or more wars was the much-denigrated Jimmy Carter.

So, it is Joe Biden’s turn at the wheel. One has to question the philosophy of government that he brings with him as he has never found a war that he didn’t support and several of his cabinet choices are undeniably hardliners on what they refer to as national security. The lobbies are also putting pressure on Biden to do the “right thing,” which for them is to continue an interventionist foreign policy. The Israeli connected Foundation for the Defense Democracies (FDD) has not surprisingly issued a collection of essays that carries the title “Defending Forward: Securing America by Projecting Military Power Abroad.” If one had to bet at this point “defending forward” will be what the Biden Administration is all about. And oh, by the way, as democracies don’t go to war with democracies, it will only be the designated bad guys who will be on the receiving end of America’s military might.Or at least that is how the tale will be told.

THE STORMTROOPS OF REGIME CHANGE AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION

South Front

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson

The West is facing an unprecedented threat to its hegemony, as more agile, innovative, and cohesive non-Western powers are growing by leaps and bounds, to the point of making a transition to a global non-Western hegemony for the first time in history. During the last five centuries, the baton had passed from one European power to the next, and ultimately to the United States. Should the United States falter under the double weight of its global imperial overstretch and domestic oligarchy plundering even its own society, there will not be another Western state there to pick up where it left off. European Union, once touted as a likely successor or possible candidate for US-EU co-hegemony, is showing few signs of consolidating into a federation. Thus America’s decline would in all likelihood lead to the People’s Republic of China becoming the global hegemonic power.

Russia certainly has problems with oligarchy as well, but at least there the oligarchs are essentially treated as a “necessary evil” of capitalist economy and kept in check by the national security wing of the Russian state that is directly answerable to the President. Likewise China’s billionaires are kept at arms length from political power, lest they use In the West, on the other hand, the oligarchs run the show and the national security state is kept under close ideological surveillance to ensure that it will come to the defense of the oligarchy “against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. US service academies, which admit on the basis of recommendations by elected US officials, who themselves are creatures of special interests and Big Money, are an example of that ideological oversight. And ultimately the US political system’s apparent inability to reform itself, to make itself more fair and meritocratic, means that it’s bound to lose the great power competition to those who are simply marginally less corrupt.

But that simply won’t do, which means the more effective competitors have to be brought down by other means, up to and including open warfare for which the United States is actually preparing. The current US modernization programs appear to be intended to give the US the ability to wage offensive warfare even against nuclear weapons states by not later than 2030. In the meantime other tactics will be used, such as economic warfare, information warfare, and of course the use of various proxy forces.

Since in an oligarchy property of the elites becomes of paramount importance, right-wing militants have long been used as a means to suppress socialists and communists. Very often these right-wing paramilitaries operate jointly with the official law enforcement and security forces. Examples here include the SA stormtroopers operating as Hilfspolizei in support of German police forces combating left-wing parties in Weimar Germany, the autodefensas in Colombia, even the drug cartels whose own politics tend toward the reactionary end of the spectrum. We are seeing exactly the same process emerge in the United States, in the form of right-wing, white supremacist militias who are allowed to openly flaunt laws of the United States and are invariably, without exception, treated as allies by US police departments, though not at the federal level just yet. The situation is only marginally better in the EU, but even there right-wing militants are treated with kid gloves and, like their Islamist brethren, are allowed to travel to Ukraine and obtain combat training and experience in the Azov Regiment. Considering that, in the view of European leaders, “there is no alternative” to economic neoliberalism, there is little doubt Europe’s far right will be weaponized in support of the regime should pro-democracy protests in European countries rise above the level of the Yellow Vest ones we have seen so far.

But that is only the defensive aspect of weaponizing right-wing nationalists. It keeps the ruling classes secure against threats from below, but does not contribute anything to the struggle against China, Russia, other “emerging threats” to Western hegemony.

Thus whereas extremists are the stormtroopers of counter-revolution waiting in the wings in case there is an actual threat of revolution or even substantial reform in countries of the West, in non-Western countries they are used as the spearhead of regime change. These extremists come in two flavors. The first prong is Islamic extremism, and so far to the extent that Western governments cultivate such individuals (as seems to be the case in Europe), it’s done exclusively for foreign consumption, as it were. For the most part, Western intelligence services displayed remarkable equanimity as French, Belgian, even German islamists traveled back and forth between their home countries and various MENA war zones. Invariably in cases of “blowback” in the form of terror incidents, the perpetrators were described as “known to the security services”. CIA’s investment in Al Qaeda in the 1980s, in particular, did result in fair amount of “blowback” in the form of 9/11, but even that has not dissuaded Western powers from promoting this type of proxy fighter.

The second prong are the ethnic nationalists of Russia and other CIS states. Before Ukraine, not having a war on which to sharpen their claws, they adopted the guise of “soccer hooligans” and, courtesy of UEFA, quickly developed international links. There is little known on Western services’ efforts to utilize these contacts, but it is evident Western countries actually keep track of their “hooligans” in order to occasionally prevent them from international travel if there is danger of excessive violence. Kiev’s ‘hooligans” were in force on the Maidan and formed the lion’s share of Parubiy’s “Maidan security force”. There is also a lot of overlap between these “hooligans” and various right-wing organizations like Right Sector, Azov, C14, and others. But in order to be fully effective, these right-wing militants must be mobilized by someone with big money, usually an oligarch disaffected with the system who enjoys the secret blessing of the US and EU.

In Kiev that scenario worked to perfection. Yes, there were right-wing nationalists, and yes, there were disaffected oligarchs willing to bankroll their organizations and mobilize them to achieve their purposes, which was beforehand blessed by Western powers that be. In Hong-Kong this approach faltered, apparently largely because Beijing was able to reach a behind-the-scenes agreement with the island enclave’s oligarchy which then abandoned its militants to their own devices. Consequently that uprising has all but flared out. In Belarus neither of these conditions were satisfactorily met. The country does not really have oligarchs capable of raising a de-facto army of street-fighters, and the street-fighters themselves are none too numerous. While there is evidence Ukrainian entities participated in grooming Belarusian shock troops, including in the trenches of the Donbass, in the end their numbers and/or enthusiasm was not what the Western curators of Belarus’ coup anticipated. After a few nights of violence, that segment of the protest movement vanished out of sight due to effective Belarusian counter-intelligence efforts. Atlantic Council practically disclosed a state secret when it bemoaned the absence of “robust young men” capable of going toe-to-toe with the security forces. It is evident Lukashenko’s survival took them by surprise, and it is probable someone over-promised their ability to deliver said “robust young men” onto Minsk streets.

Could this work in Russia? Probably not, due to both Russia’s own preparations and the West characteristically shooting itself in the foot. Preparations include formations like Rosgvardia which are meant to combat the low-to-middle intensity scenarios like the Maidan. But the Western economic warfare against Russia, the freezing of assets of Russian firms and individuals, have encountered a consolidation of the Russian oligarchs around the country’s political center. The West overplayed its hand there: expecting a quick, Maidan-like resolution in Moscow, it sent a signal it does not respect Russian individuals’ property rights, and which oligarch wants to have their property rights disrespected?

The tragic irony of it all is that while the strategy of destabilization using the disaffected oligarch—young extremist combination has been progressively less effective with coming years, as governments worldwide have drawn appropriate lessons from colour revolutions and are determined not to be undone in a similar manner. Is United States experiencing a genuine, home-grown, grass-roots pro-democracy movement that is not bank-rolled by oligarchs or spearheaded by racial extremists? To be sure, elements in the Democratic Party think it can be used as a “get out the vote” device against Donald Trump, but on the other hand there is mounting evidence it is having an opposite effect. America’s middle bourgeois, being easily frightened and anxious to protect what little property it still has, just might decide Trump’s the guy to keep them safe going forward. But even, or perhaps especially, if Biden is elected one should expect more use of various paramilitaries to maintain order. Unfortunately America’s internal instability will mean even more erratic and reckless international behavior.

How the Western Press Lied About the 2014 Coup in Ukraine, Pretending That It Was Instead a Real Democratic Revolution

How the Western Press Lied About the 2014 Coup in Ukraine, Pretending That  It Was Instead a Real Democratic Revolution — Strategic Culture

Eric Zuesse November 25, 2020

U.S.-and-allied governments, and their billionaires’-controlled press, are unrelenting in their fraudulent portrayal of what was actually the U.S. regime’s conquest and destruction of Ukraine in 2014, by means of a brutal coup, which caused a civil war and the break-up of that country.

The hidden truths about Ukraine, after 2009, will be documented and proven here. These facts have been kept secret from Western publics. (Articles like this are censored-out by the regime’s operatives.)

The first documentation concerns the coup itself, which occurred in February 2014, though the narrator in that video mistakenly says (at 0:27) that the coup started “on February 20th of 2013,” instead of on February 20th of 2014, which is the only slip-up in this entire otherwise-superb presentation. The video is here, and it demonstrates — it even displays — that the U.S. Government, under President Barack Obama, lied through their teeth about that coup, as having been instead a “revolution,” instead of a coup. The key “leaked [phone] call” that’s excerpted in this video can be heard in full here; and its full transcript, including explanations of the persons who are being referred-to in it, is available here. The broader historical significance of that phone-call is reported and explained here. To sum it all up: There is no way that this phone-conversation (which is between two Obama-Administration officials who are discussing whom to appoint to lead Ukraine when the coup will have been completed) can reasonably be interpreted in any other way than that the Obama Administration had carefully planned and executed this coup d’etat, which replaced Ukraine’s democratically elected Government by one that would be controlled by the U.S. regime. This truth is the exact opposite of the U.S.-and-allied ‘news’-reporting about that coup, as its having been, instead, ‘the Maidan revolution’. This is how America (and each of its ‘allies’ or vassal nations) deceives its people, just as much (and just as viciously) as any other dictatorship does.

So: how did that ‘revolution’ come about? Here is how it happened — and also the Western lies hiding this reality:

On November 30th of 2013, UK’s Economist magazine bannered “Stealing their dream: Viktor Yanukovych is hijacking Ukrainians’ European future”, and wrote that:

Unwilling to launch economic reforms, cut spending or tame the appetites of his cronies, Mr Yanukovych [Ukraine’s democratically elected and — for the Ukrainian people — remarkably successful, President, as will subsequently be documented here] proceeded to trade the country’s most valuable asset: Ukraine’s geopolitical position. “The talks with the EU were an auction. It was a position of a pimp who is offering Ukraine up for sale,” says Mr Poroshenko [a political enemy of Yanukovych, who became Ukraine’s President after the coup]. Mr Yanukovych let it be known that, if Europe wanted a modern, democratic Ukraine, it needed to pay. His price was $160 billion by 2017.

European politicians were aghast at such blatant blackmail; Mr Putin seemed happy to haggle. It is not clear what he and Mr Yanukovych agreed during their secret meeting in early November — the deal is said to include cheaper gas, credits and lucrative business contracts — but not, it is rumoured in Kiev, a requirement that Ukraine join a proposed new customs union with Russia. Whatever the understanding, it has persuaded Mr Yanukovych to distance himself from the EU. Though nothing is ever final in Ukraine, Mr Yanukovych’s favoured option seems to be to preserve the status quo and refrain from joining either camp while continuing to milk both — hence his new proposal of three-way talks.

A face-saving memorandum may yet be signed with the EU, but the collapse of the association agreement could be a blessing in disguise for the Europeans. Teaming up with Mr Yanukovych, who would never have implemented it, would have only led to disappointment and recriminations, while helping Mr Yanukovych get re-elected. Instead, the collapse brought pressure on Mr Yanukovych from educated middle-class Ukrainians who feel that their future has been hijacked and their dream stolen. Haunted by the memories of 2004, Mr Yanukovych may try to crack down, but time is against him.

On November 24th tens of thousands of Ukrainians went to the streets in support of Ukraine’s European course.

The coup happened in February 2014, and the breakaway of Crimea from Ukraine happened in March 2014, and the civil war that erupted in Ukraine’s far-eastern Donbass region (which had voted 90%+ for Yanukovych) started on 9 May 2014. Then, on 24 November 2014, Germany’s Spiegel magazine headlined “How the EU Lost Russia over Ukraine”, and reported that, back on 19 November 2013, in the Presidential mansion in Kiev, Yanukovych informed the EU’s representatives of his predicament:

“But there are the costs that our experts have calculated,” Yanukovych replied. “What experts?” Füle demanded to know. The Ukrainian president described to his bewildered guest the size of the losses allegedly threatening Ukraine should it sign the agreement with the EU.

Later, the number $160 billion found its way into the press, more than 50 times greater than the $3 billion calculated by the German advisory group. The total came from a study conducted by the Institute for Economics and Forecasting at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and it was a number that Yanukovych would refer to from then on.

“Stefan, if we sign, will you help us?” Yanukovych asked. Füle was speechless. “Sorry, we aren’t the IMF. Where do these numbers come from?” he finally demanded. “I am hearing them for the first time.” They are secret numbers, Yanukovych replied. “Can you imagine what would happen if our people were to learn of these numbers, were they to find out what convergence with the EU would cost our country?”

Obviously, those are two very different accounts of Yanukovych, in Economist and in Spiegel — not the same person. However, both of them agree that his reason for rejecting the EU’s offer is that it amounted to a $160 billion loss to Ukraine, which was money that Ukraine didn’t have. So, regardless of which of those two reports about Yanukovych was true, and which was false, they both reported that Ukraine could not afford the $160 billion price which joining the EU would entail. This fact, alone, means that joining the EU would be a disastrously losing proposition for Ukraine.

Did it turn out to be that — a disastrously losing proposition for Ukraine? It wrecked Ukraine’s economy and destroyed that country, as will now be shown in, first, the subsequent figures on the Ukrainian economy: Ukraine’s GDP, which had risen steadily each and every year throughout Yanukovych’s four years in office, from 136.01 in 2010 up to 183.31 in 2013, plunged 27% in 2014 down to 133.5, and then plunged yet another 32% down to 91.03 in 2015. Then in 2016, it crept up 2.6% to 93.36 in 2017. From there, it rose steadily up to 156.78 in 2019, and then it is currently estimated to be around 132 this year, 2020, which is a 14% decline down from that post-coup peak of 156.78. In other words, even now (nearly 7 years after the coup), Ukraine’s economy hasn’t yet recovered from what U.S. President Barack Obama did to Ukraine by his conquest of (coup to grab) Ukraine. Instead of having been rising every year as it had done under Yanukovych — rising a total of 35% during his Presidency — it has declined 41% from then till now, and has averaged, for every year since 2013, 121, which is 34% (one third) lower GDP than it had been in Yanukovych’s last year (183.31), and 11% lower than it had been even in Yanukovych’s first year as President (136.01).

Regarding the second question (“destroyed the country”), this is what Obama’s Ukrainian coup did to Ukraine’s people: On 23 March 2017, Gallup headlined “South Sudan, Haiti and Ukraine Lead World in Suffering”. What more needs to be said about that?

Whether or not the economic losses did amount to $160 billion (as Ukraine’s own experts had estimated) — or more, or less, than that — those losses did turn out to be enormous; and, Obama, clearly, raped Ukrainians. He destroyed Ukraine (and Trump did nothing to reverse that). Here is how this happened:

On 23 June 2011, two emissaries of the Obama Administration — the head of Google, Eric Schmidt, and his aide, and former subordinate to Hillary Clinton in the U.S. State Department, Jared Cohen — visited Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, pretending to be on his side, while deceiving him to reveal to them ways to reach out online to members of Ukraine’s pro-nazi organizations in order to generate mobs for the demonstrations which were to be organized on Kiev’s Maidan Square to overthrow Ukraine’s President.

On 1 March 2013, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev held its first “Tech Camp” to teach Ukraine’s leading pro-nazis how to reach out to their followers so as to get as many people as possible trained and prepared to follow their instructions on what to do when those demonstrations would be held.

In June 2013, the Obama Administration quietly put out for bid to American contractors their planned project to renovate a school in Sevastopol, in Crimea, in Ukraine, in the location where Russia since 1783 had (and still has) its largest naval base:

Federal Contract Opportunity for Renovation of Sevastopol School #5, Ukraine N33191-13-R-1240. The NAICS Category is 236220 – Commercial and Institutional Building Construction. Posted Aug 20, 2013. Posted by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (DOD – Navy). The work will be performed at Sevastopol 99000.

This was before the coup, and there were 28 years still remaining on Russia’s lease there. That part of their plan — to terminate that contract and replace Russia’s largest naval base, by yet another U.S. naval base — got foiled by Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, protecting Crimeans when they (as soon as the coup occurred) demanded to have a referendum on becoming restored again to being a part of Russia, as they had been between 1783 and 1954 (when the Soviet dictator arbitrarily transferred Crimea, from the Russian part, to the Ukrainian part, of the Soviet Government).

During the coup, eight busloads of Crimeans, who had come to Kiev to demonstrate against the oust-Yanukovych Maidan demonstrations, hurriedly reboarded their buses in order to flee from nazis who were attacking them, and they finally got cornered en-route home, by those pursuing attackers, in the town of Korsun, and some of their buses were burnt, and many of these Crimeans got clubbed to death by the nazis.

Then, during the interim between the Korsun massacre and the 16 March 2014 Crimean referendum on rejoining the Russian Federation, a Ukrainian federal prosecutor from Crimea, who opposed the coup and managed safely to flee back home by her own private means, became interviewed on local Crimean television and recounted how terrified she had been by the nazis. She was asked whether Crimeans had the right to vote in a referendum to return to being Russians, and she said, “Citizens of Crimea, you have every right in the world” to do that.

The Obama regime (including the International Republican Institute, since foreign conquests are a bipartisan obsession of both Democratic and Republican Party billionaires) had, as part of its planning to take control over Ukraine, hired the Gallup polling firm to survey throughout Ukraine, and especially within Crimea (because of their intention to grab Russia’s naval base), regarding favorability-unfavorability toward NATO, EU, and Russia, both during 16-30 May 2013, prior to the coup (which polling was done ONLY in Crimea, since seizure of Russia’s naval base was the coup’s main goal) and during April 2014 shortly after Crimea broke away from Ukraine in March of 2014. Here are some of the pre-coup findings:

——

Public Opinion Survey Residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea May 16 – 30, 2013

International Republican Institute Baltic Surveys Ltd./The Gallup Organization … with funding from the United States Agency for International Development

p.8: “Regardless of your passport, what do you consider yourself?”

24% “Crimean,” 15% “Ukrainian,” 40% “Russian,” 15% “Tatar” (an anti-Russian group)

p.14: “If Ukraine was able to enter only one international economic union, which entity should it be with?”

53% “Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan”

17% “The European Union”

p.15: “How would you evaluate your attitude to the following entities?”

Russia: 68% “Warm,” 5% “Cold”

USA 6% “Warm,” 24% “Cold”

p.17: “In your opinion, what should the status of Crimea be?”

“Autonomy in Ukraine (as today [under Crimea’s 1992 Constitution and as subsequently celebrated by rfe/rl on 20 January 2011]) 53%.

“Common oblast of Ukraine [ruled under Ukraine’s 1991 Constitution]” 2%

“Crimea should be separated and given to Russia” 23%.

——

Regarding the second poll, which was taken throughout Ukraine plus Crimea and only a month after the Crimeans had voted to be Russians again, I headlined on 2 July 2014 “Gallup Poll Finds Ukraine Cannot Be One Country” and reported that, “Views of Foreign Parties’ Role in the Crisis – Ukrainian Residents Exclusive of Crimea” were mostly anti-Russia, whereas “Views of Foreign Parties’ Role in the Crisis – Crimea” were overwhelmingly pro-Russia, by 71.3% to 8.8%, which is 89% pro-Russia. Only 2.8% were pro-America, while 76.2% were anti-America, which is 96.5% anti-America.

As I reported, at that time:

An April poll of Ukrainians, published in June by Gallup’s Broadcasting Board of Governors [CORRECTION HERE: That was actually by Gallup, for the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, which group Wikipedia describes as “an independent agency of the United States government which operates various state-run media outlets,” and, so, that propaganda-agency had sponsored this poll, perhaps hoping to find that the Crimean referendum’s reported 96.77% favoring to rejoin Russia would be inconsistent with this Gallup poll — which didn’t turn out to have been the case], found two shockingly opposite countries: one, in the northwest, where the view of the U.S. is favorable among more than 50% of the population; and the other, in the southeast, where the view of the U.S. is unfavorable among more than 70% of the population. Additionally, in the Crimean region — Ukraine’s farthest southeast area, which our President, Barack Obama, says that Russia forcibly seized when the people there voted overwhelmingly on 16 March 2014 to become part of Russia again (as they had been until 1954) — only 2.8% of the public there view the U.S. favorably; more than 97% of Crimeans do not.

And the situation is even more extreme when the issue is the public’s views of Russia — which, overall, are far less favorable than the U.S. is viewed in Ukraine. Less than 2% of residents in Ukraine’s northwest have a favorable view of Russia, but 71.3% of Crimeans do. In Ukraine’s far east, 35.7% do. In Ukraine’s far south except for Crimea, 28.4% do.

Support for joining the European Union is 59.8% in the far north, and 84.2% in the far west. It is 19% in the far east, and 26.8% in the far south. Crimeans were not asked this question, because they had already voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia.

Support for joining NATO is 37.7% in the North, 53.2% in the west, 13.1% in the east, and 10.3% in the south. (Again, Crimea wasn’t polled on this.)

The 500 people that were sampled in Crimea were asked “Please tell me if you agree or disagree: The results of the referendum on Crimea’s status [whether to rejoin Russia] reflect the views of most people here.” 82.8% said “Agree.” 6.7% said “Disagree.”

That 82.8% who said “Agree” constituted 92.5% of the Crimeans who expressed an opinion on this.

On 10 October 2014, I headlined “What Obama’s Ukrainian Stooges Did” and reported on the effort by his stooges there to ethnically cleanse or eliminate the residents in the portion of Ukraine’s far eastern Donbass region so as to eliminate enough of the voters in that area, which had voted 90%+ for Yanukovych, so as to then enable Ukraine to reabsorb that region without thereby causing another President such as Yanukovych to become elected in Ukraine. His effort failed, largely because Russia has assisted the people there to defeat even such attacks as these by Ukraine.

Then, on 15 February 2015, I headlined “Brookings Wants More Villages Firebombed in Ukraine’s ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’”, but Obama’s people finally gave up their ambitious objective. So, it’s a stalemate there, somewhat like the stalemate in Israel’s ambitious objective to ethically cleanse away most of the Palestinians. But, of course, that is a different situation, with a different history, though with a not too different ethnically eliminative intent.

The Anti-Trump Regime Change Sequence Is Worthwhile Studying

By Andrew Korybko

Source

It’s worthwhile studying the sequence of regime change events leading to the recent overt attempt to anti-democratically topple the incumbent President of the United States through superficially “democratic” means since obtaining a better understanding of how this plot played out can help in preemptively identifying and subsequently thwarting similar such attempts elsewhere in the world before they reach that stage.

Does Anyone Even Fully Understand What’s Happening?

I wrote on Wednesday that “Every Democrat Is A Wannabe Dictator”, but many of these potential tyrants don’t even fully understand the dynamics of the regime change process that they’re supporting. Nor, for that matter, do many of those who patriots and principled observers abroad who oppose it understand it all that much either. They just hold their respective positions because it’s either in their political interests to do so like the supporters do, or it’s against their own and/or conflicts with their principles. In any case, it’s worthwhile enlightening everyone by sharing a simplified sequence of events explaining how this unprecedented regime change process unfolded over the past four years. The resultant insight will hopefully enable others to preemptively identify similar regime change schemes when they’re only in their incipient phases, thus allowing the responsible authorities to potentially take action to thwart them before they reach their final stage.

The Seeds Of The Scheme

The seeds of this scheme were planted several months prior to the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton authorized a smear campaign against Trump alleging that he’s secretly a “Russian agent”. It was hoped that this would discredit the race’s frontrunner and thus result in handing her the presidency that November. This eventually morph into the discredited “Steele dossier” and the subsequent Russiagate conspiracy theory. The purpose of these information warfare provocations was to delegitimize Trump’s election, insincerely present the Democrats as the guardians of America’s electoral integrity, and therefore powerfully shape public perceptions ahead of the 2020 election. During the interim, a related narrative was weaponized claiming that Trump is a corrupt lawbreaker and wannabe dictator who’ll cling to power at all costs.

The Democrats’ Preemptive Deflection Of Suspicion

The intention behind that claim was to precondition the public into expecting that Trump would resort to an illegal power grab if he lost the election fair and square, the latter scenario of which people were made to believe since the Democrats spent four years insincerely portraying themselves as the guardians of America’s electoral integrity via their now-debunked Russiagate and Ukrainegate crusades. All of this was meant to preemptively deflect any suspicions that they were preparing to carry out what’s arguably the largest electoral fraud in American history, though the means through which they planned to do so unexpectedly changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which presented an entirely new opportunity for them. That was the prospect of a massive influx of mail-in ballots into an electoral system that obviously wasn’t prepared for it.

The Political Exploitation Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

Like I wrote in my recent analysis about how “The Connection Between World War C & Psychological Processes Is Seriously Concerning”, COVID-19 is indeed real and definitely dangerous for at-risk members of the population, but it’s also been unquestionably exploited for political ends as evidenced by the double standards that Democrat governors applied towards the lockdown. If they really thought that COVID-19 was as deadly for the vast majority of the population as some experts have said that it is, then they wouldn’t have risked the massive culling of their electorate by encouraging them to wantonly burn, loot, riot, and even murder in rare instances all across their states’ major cities under the banner of Antifa and “Black Lives Matter” (BLM). This kinetic phase of the decades-long Hybrid War of Terror on America was meant to intimidate average Americans.

Red Wave” vs. “Blue Wave”

Just as importantly, however, their selective enforcement of draconian lockdown decrees against people of a different political persuasion (i.e. Trump supporters) was an ill-convincing effort to keep up the charade that mail-in voting was necessary in order to “save lives from COVID”. Few truly believe that this is the case since the Democrats’ visible double standards prove that the pandemic has been completely politicized for the purpose of justifying a massive influx of mail-in ballots into an electoral system totally unprepared to handle it. This set the stage for the Democrats to craftily predict over the summer that the winner might not be known on election day and to disregard any initial signs of a “red wave” pointing to Trump’s re-election since people were misled to believe that a “blue wave” will inevitably follow to crush it.

Connecting The Dots

This was extremely sneaky from the perception management perspective because it preemptively served to cover their tracks among average voters who might otherwise immediately suspect fraud in that scenario. Coupled with the prior narrative that Trump is a corrupt lawbreaker and wannabe dictator who’ll cling to power at all costs, the impression was shaped in many minds that any condemnation of this course of events by Trump would supposedly be indicative of him — not the Democrats — endeavoring to commit fraud. Had it not been for COVID-19 and the Democrats’ subsequent politicization thereof for the purpose of justifying ~100 million mail-in ballots, then their preplanned effort to defraud the vote might not have been as successful or convincing. Even so, their visible double standards in response to the lockdown made many people question their motives.

Big Tech Censorship

So many are suspicious of what happened, in fact, that the Democrats’ Big Tech allies went on a censorship spree the day after the election to block accounts and pages that encouraged concerned Americans to peacefully express their first amendment right to the freedom of assembly by staging law-abiding rallies in Trump’s support. As a case in point, OneWorld was deplatformed within hours of me sharing my article about how “It’s Time To Employ ‘Democratic Security’ Strategies To #StopTheSteal” for suggesting exactly that, which speaks to the powerful role that social media companies played in the lead-up to and subsequent aftermath of the election. Not only did they suppress practically all reporting of the Hunter Biden corruption scandal (which also seems to implicate Joe Biden), but they’re now actively suppressing Americans’ freedom of assembly.

The Unholy Trinity”

This wasn’t coincidental either but the result of Big Tech’s alliance with the Democrats and their anti-Trump patrons in the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”). All three of them literally conspired with one another to manipulate Americans’ perceptions of both the incumbent candidate and the electoral process. In addition, this “unholy trinity” also fully supports the half-year-long spree of urban terrorism unleashed by their de-facto street militias of Antifa and BLM in response to their political exploitation of the George Floyd incident. It’s unclear, just like with mail-in ballots, whether this stage of the Hybrid War would have gone active had it not been for that event which was as unexpected as COVID-19 was, but in any case, both were politicized to the extreme for the earlier mentioned regime change purposes.

Everything Went According To Plan

On election night, everything went off without a hitch from their perspective. Trump’s “red wave” crashed into most battleground states but was then pushed back by the “blue wave” supposedly resulting from the millions of mail-in ballots that the mainstream media wants everyone to believe were almost entirely for Biden. Not only is so statistically unlikely as to practically be impossible, but it also followed a suspicious suspension of the ballot count for at least several hours in the election-deciding states that had yet to declare a winner. As expected, Trump condemned this blatant fraud, thus conforming to the role of a corrupt lawbreaker and wannabe dictator who will stop at nothing to cling to power like many were preconditioned to wrongly believe. Even if Trump somehow pulls off a legal victory and ends up winning the race, his legitimacy is now in dispute.

The Democrats’ “Worst-Case” Scenario

In the Democrats’ “worst-case” scenario, they’d simply intensify their now-kinetic Hybrid War of Terror on America by encouraging their de-facto street militias of Antifa and BLM to wage a more sophisticated campaign of urban terrorism on the pretext of it supposedly being “legitimate antifascist resistance to a racist dictator who illegally stole the election”. It shouldn’t be forgotten that similar terrorist campaigns were launched against Syrian President Assad and former Libyan leader Gaddafi under almost identical “pro-democracy” pretexts, which testifies to the fact that what’s already happening in America nowadays as well as what’s poised to follow in the Democrats’ “worst-case” scenario of having their voter fraud attempt overturned (perhaps at the Supreme Court level) has the “deep state’s” fingerprints all over it.

Concluding Thoughts

The sequence of events which culminated in the ongoing superficially “democratic” coup attempt is very complex and also involves much more than what was simplified in this analysis, though the present piece highlights the most important trends that everyone should pay attention to. The outcome of this unprecedented struggle for leadership of the fading unipolar superpower is still uncertain since this is completely uncharted territory for the country. Nevertheless, understanding how everything got to this point might help others identify similar patterns ahead of time so that they can be snuffed out in their infancy before maturing into the anti-democratic disaster that’s facing America today. Seeing as how the US is the global trendsetter, it can thus be expected that this regime change method might eventually be employed elsewhere across the world with time.

Why Taking US NED Money is Wrong

The National Endowment for Democracy has as much to do with promoting “democracy” as the illegal US invasion of Iraq – code name “Operation Iraqi Freedom” had to do with bringing “freedom” to the Iraqi people. And as it turns out the same circle of regime change promoters are/were involved in both. 

November 5, 2020 (Brian Berletic – LD) – I cover the US National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) board of directors – pointing out how many of them have been involved in some of the worst crimes against humanity of the 21st century including promoting and even participating in the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. 

I also explain why taking US NED money poses a danger to national security – and specifically why Thai agitators taking the money pose a danger to Thailand’s peace, stability, and future.

References: 

NED funding – THAILAND 2019: https://www.ned.org/region/asia/thailand-2019/

NED Board of Directors: https://www.ned.org/about/board-of-directors/

CBS News – Elliott Abrams, convicted of lying about Iran-Contra, named special representative for Iran: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/elliott-abrams-iran-contra-named-special-representative-iran/

London Guardian – US diplomat convicted over Iran-Contra appointed special envoy for Venezuela: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/26/elliott-abrams-venezuela-us-special-envoy

NED BoD – Ambassador Victoria Nuland: https://www.ned.org/experts/victoria-nuland/

CNAS Supporters: https://www.cnas.org/support-cnas/cnas-supporters

Reuters – Leaked audio reveals embarrassing U.S. exchange on Ukraine, EU: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-ukraine-tape/leaked-audio-reveals-embarrassing-u-s-exchange-on-ukraine-eu-idUSBREA1601G20140207

NED BoD  – George Weigel: https://www.ned.org/experts/george-weigel/

American Magazine – The Just War Case for War: https://www.americamagazine.org/issue/428/article/just-war-case-war

NED BoD – Scott Carpenter: https://www.ned.org/experts/scott-carpenter/

NED BoD – Senator Tim Kaine: https://www.ned.org/experts/senator-tim-kaine/Tim Kaine – Kaine Statement On Withdrawal Of U.S. Troops From Northern Syria: https://www.kaine.senate.gov/press-releases/kaine-statement-on-withdrawal-of-us-troops-from-northern-syria

ما هي تغييرات السياسة الأميركيّة في حال خسارة دونالد ترامب

باريس – نضال حمادة

تظهر النتائج شبه النهائية للانتخابات الرئاسية في أميركا تقدّم المرشح الديمقراطي جو بايدن على الرئيس المنتهية ولايته دونالد ترامب، وإنْ كان بفارق ضئيل يجعل ترامب يحاول عرقلة هذه النتيجة عبر الاعتراض وتقديم الشكاوى، دون أن يكون لذلك تأثير مباشر على عملية الانتقال في الحكم التي سوف تحصل بعد شهرين من الآن في حال ثبتت النتائج الحالية بفوز بايدن.

الآن ومع اقتراب موعد ذهاب ترامب كما تشير صناديق الاقتراع، ما الذي سوف يتغيّر في السياسة الأميركية في العالم وفي الشرق الأوسط بخاصة؟

لا شك في أنّ أوّل المتغيّرات سوف يكون في السعودية على صعيد صراع أطراف آل سعود على السلطة ودعم ترامب المباشر لمحمد بن سلمان الذي مكّنه من السيطرة على مقاليد الحكم في السعودية وزجّ كلّ أطراف آل سعود الأقوياء من أبناء عمومته في السجون، ودعمه لإبن سلمان في حرب اليمن التي ربما لن تغيّر إدارة بايدن الموقف منها بقدر ما سوف تسحب الدعم الكبير داخلياً لإبن سلمان في وجه أبناء عمومته الذين يتحيّنون الفرص للثأر منه.

تركيا سوف تتأثر بسبب كره جو بايدن الشخصي لأردوغان، وهو لم يتورّع (أيّ بايدن) عن التصريح مرتين أنّ أميركا يجب أن تعمل على إسقاط أردوغان من حكم تركيا، وهذا ما سوف يزيد اعتماد أردوغان على روسيا وقد يخلق أجواء إيجابية أكثر في سورية.

روسيا سوف تفتقد ترامب الذي حفلت ولايته بتعاون بينه وبين بوتين في أكثر من مكان، منها سورية التي قرّر ترامب مغادرتها لكن ضغوط الجمهوريّين عليه وأموال العرب التي دفعت له جعلته يتراجع عن قراره هذا ثلاث مرات.

إيران التي وعد بايدن بإعادة العمل بالاتفاق النووي معها، وقد تكون غلطة ترامب القاتلة إلغاء هذا الاتفاق من دون إعطاء أيّ بديل عنه للعالم ولإيران، التي ترى أنّ بايدن بعكس ترامب لن ينسحب من سورية ولا من أفغانستان ولا من العراق، وبالتالي فإنّ أجواء التوتر مع أميركا في ظلّ حكمه سوف تستمرّ، كما أنّ كلام بايدن عن ضرورة إسقاط أردوغان لا يصبّ في مصلحة إيران التي ترى أنّ أميركا سوف تعود من باب إسقاط أردوغان إلى سياسة إسقاط الأنظمة في المنطقة.

في سياسات الحصار التي عمل عليها ترامب لا شيء يوحي أنّ بايدن سوف يوقف العمل بها أو بجزء منها من دون مقابل، هو طوال حملته الانتخابية لم ينتقد قوانين الحصار التي فرضها ترامب على إيران وسورية وغيرها من البلدان، وبالتالي لن يكون التخلي عن هذه السياسات من دون مقابل.

على صعيد دول الغرب تترقب كلّ من ألمانيا وفرنسا بفارغ الصبر ذهاب ترامب الذي عمل على تفكيك أوروبا ودعم بوريس جونسون في خروج بريطانيا من الاتحاد الأوروبي، وكانت علاقات ترامب مع ماكرون وميركل سيئة على الصعيد الشخصي بعكس علاقته الشخصيّة مع بوتين مثلاً.

الصين تنظر بارتياح لخروج ترامب من البيت الأبيض وهو الذي دخل معها في حرب تجارية من دون هوادة، واتهمها بتصنيع ونشر فيروس كورونا، وكانت علاقته بها عبارة عن حفلات من الكره وتوجيه الشتائم.

أخيراً الخاسر الأكبر على الصعيد الشخصي سوف يكون بنيامين نتنياهو صنو محمد بن سلمان الذي سوف يفقد ترامب الداعم الكبير لكلّ اليمين المتطرف الأميركي و»الإسرائيلي» رغم أنّ بايدن أعلن مرة أنه صهيوني لكن علاقته بنتنياهو كانت سيئة إبان وجوده في الحكم مع باراك أوباما ولا شيء يوحي بتحسّنها لحدّ الآن…

No Letup in US War on Iran by Other Means Ahead

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, November 02, 2020

On all things Iran under both right wings of the US war party, transforming the country into a subservient vassal state is a high priority.

Regardless of whether Republicans or Dems control the White House and/or Congress, things won’t change ahead.

That’s been firm policy in Washington since Iranians ended a generation of US-installed fascist tyranny in 1979.

Since that time, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been target No. One in the oil-rich Middle East for regime change by Washington’s ruling class.

Bipartisan US policy aims to regain control over the country’s vast hydrocarbon resources — along with wanting Israel’s main regional rival neutralized.

So far, US strategy focused on war by other means since its orchestrated 1980s Iran/Iraq war.

Under Trump since 2017, maximum pressure has been and continues to be prioritized.

It’s all about wanting to inflict maximum human pain and suffering on the Iranian people that includes medical terrorism to prevent imports of medicines, medical equipment and related supplies.

It’s also all about piling on sanctions and more of the same to try isolating Iran.

The latest ones came in late October.

On October 23, the Trump regime unilaterally in breach of the UN Charter sanctioned five Iranian entities and IRGC officials on phony charges of “interfering in our elections.”

Ignored was that throughout US history, no evidence ever showed foreign meddling in the process by any foreign government — not Iran, Russia, or any others.

In stark contrast, clear evidence revealed unlawful US interference in scores of foreign elections throughout the post-WW II period.

On October 26, the Trump regime unlawfully sanctioned entities, individuals and vessels connected to Iran’s energy industry.

They included Iran’s Oil Ministry, its minister, the National Iranian Oil Company, National Iranian Tanker Company, and various other Iranian officials.

On Friday, October 30, more illegal US sanctions were imposed — in a futile attempt to “constrain (Iran’s) oil and petrochemical sales.”

Iran’s Arya Sasol Polymer Company, Binrin Ltd, Bakhtar Commercial Co., Kavian Petrochemical Co., and Strait Shipbrokers PTE. Ltd were targeted.

Officials connected to these firms were also sanctioned.

Everything the Trump regime and its predecessors threw at Iran since its 1979 revolution failed to achieve regime change — including their war of words.

Islamic Republic resilience preserved and protected the nation’s sovereign independence from diabolical USA aims.

US establishment media serve as imperial state press agents, managed news misinformation and disinformation their specialty.

US Policy Toward Iran Is All About Regime Change

One of the latest examples came from NBC News  on Thursday, saying:

“Top US officials were briefed on an active threat against Pentagon leaders (sic)” — citing customary unnamed sources, adding:

“US military, intelligence and law enforcement officials were briefed late last month on a threat against the Pentagon’s most senior leaders while they are on American soil…”

The “threat…remains active.” A Hollywood-style cloak and dagger scenario followed, saying:

Last month, when a “Defense Department leader left the Pentagon…in a government-owned black SUV driven by a member of his security detail…an unknown vehicle immediately began to follow them…”

“The driver, identified as an Iranian national, was in a vehicle with Virginia license plates and trailed closely behind the official SUV for five to seven miles…”

“The Pentagon and the FBI disagree about whether it was a serious attempt to target a senior Defense Department leader…”

According to an FBI probe, the above “was not part of any larger threat to senior military leaders or connected directly back to Iran…”

In other words, the above scenario smacks of fake news that surfaces repeatedly against nations on the US target list for regime change — notably Russia, China and Iran.

In its report, NBC cited no sources by name. Nor was any evidence presented to suggest an Iranian threat against any US officials domestically or abroad.

Throughout Islamic Republic history since 1979, Iran never attacked another country or its officials preemptively.

It justifiably acted in self-defense when attacked as the UN Charter and other international law permit.

In stark contrast, the US, NATO, Israel, and their imperial partners committed acts of aggression against targeted nations time and again.

Since creation of the Jewish state, it’s been perpetually at war on Palestinians by hot and other means — with full US-led Western support.

Iran supports peace, stability, cooperative relations with other countries and the rule of law.

The nation, its government, and military pose no threat to any other countries and their officials — except in self-defense if attacked, the legal right of all nation states.

A Final Comment

NBC News said key congressional members were not  briefed on the alleged incident.

“The White House declined to comment, including on whether President Donald Trump was briefed…”

The above anti-Iran accusation lacks credibility.

Why brief the White House and congressional leaders on what no evidence exists to prove the above scenario.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Before the Bidens ‘Did’ Ukraine, There Was Iraq – and Serbia

Before The Bidens “Did” Ukraine, There Was Iraq… And Serbia – Finanz.dk
Analyst, former U.S. diplomat and foreign policy adviser to the Senate GOP leadership

James George Jatras

October 16, 2020

The United States approaches the November 2020 election with growing apprehension, even dread.

Among the possibilities:

For those who have followed events outside the United States during the past few decades, much of this sounds familiar. We’ve seen it before – inflicted on other countries.

Now It’s Coming Home to the U.S.

As explained by Revolver News, what happens in America next to a great extent may be a form of blowback from a specific event: the U.S.-supported 2014 regime change operation in Ukraine:

‘A “Color Revolution” in this context refers to a specific type of coordinated attack that the United States government has been known to deploy against foreign regimes, particularly in Eastern Europe deemed to be “authoritarian” and hostile to American interests. Rather than using a direct military intervention to effect regime change as in Iraq, Color Revolutions attack a foreign regime by contesting its electoral legitimacy, organizing mass protests and acts of civil disobedience, and leveraging media contacts to ensure favorable coverage to their agenda in the Western press.

‘It would be disturbing enough to note a coordinated effort to use these exact same strategies and tactics domestically to undermine or overthrow President Trump. The ominous nature of what we see unfolding before us only truly hits home when one realizes that the people who specialize in these Color Revolution regime change operations overseas are, literally, the very same people attempting to overthrow Trump by using the very same playbook. Given that the most famous Color Revolution was the [2004] “Orange Revolution” in the Ukraine, and that Black Lives Matter is being used as a key component of the domestic Color Revolution against Trump, we can encapsulate our thesis at Revolver with the simple remark that “Black is the New Orange.”

This hardly should come as a surprise. The same government agencies and their corporate, NGO, and think tank cronies that are now weaponizing Black Lives Matter, Antifa, other Wokesters, and military putsch plotters here at home to remove Trump have turned regime change abroad into an art form. Ukraine was one of their signal successes, featuring a cast of characters later key to the failed “Ukrainegate” impeachment.

Another consequence of regime change: corruption. As the old saying goes, any idiot can turn an aquarium into fish soup, but no one has yet figured out how to reverse the process. Once a country gets broken it tends to stay broken, whether the “breaking” is accomplished by military means (Serbia 1999, Iraq 2003, Libya 2011) or by a color revolution from the streets (Serbia 2000, Georgia 2003, Ukraine 2004-2005 and again in 2014, Kyrgyzstan 2005, Lebanon 2005, Armenia 2018, plus many others of varying degrees of success, and failures in Iran, Russia, Venezuela, China (Hong Kong), and Belarus). With the target nation’s institutions in shambles, the dregs take over – in Libya, for example, even to the point of reintroducing trade in sub-Saharan African slaves, whose black lives evidently don’t matter to anyone at all.

Iraq: Crush, Corrupt, Cash In

Finally, once regime change occurs and corruption is rampant, another shoe drops: foreign vultures descend on the carcass, profiteers who in many cases are the very same people that helped to create the chaos on which they are cashing in. Invariably, these carpetbaggers are well-connected individuals in the aggressor states and organizations positioned on the inside track both for the carve-up of the target country’s resources and (the word “hypocrisy” doesn’t begin to describe it) for funds to implement “reform” and “reconstruction” of the devastated target.

The showcase of this scam, pursuant to Colin Powell’s reported “Pottery Barn Rule” (You break it, you own it) was the money ostensibly spent on rebuilding Iraq, despite assurances from the war’s advocates that it would pay for itself. With the formal costs conservatively set at over $60 billion to $138 billion out of a tab for the war of over two trillion dollars, the lion’s share of it went to U.S. and other vendors, including the notorious $1.4 billion no-bid contract to Halliburton subsidiary KBR, of which then-Vice President Dick Cheney, a major proponent of the war, had been a top executive. (“Rand Paul Says Dick Cheney Pushed for the Iraq War So Halliburton Would Profit.”)

In Ukraine, Biden’s Son Also Rises

The predatory cronyism vignette most pertinent to the Black/Orange regime change op now unfolding before us with the intent of installing Joe Biden in the Oval Office is that of his son, Hunter, and a Ukrainian energy company with a sketchy reputation, Burisma Holdings. (Right at the outset, even some of Hunter’s associates though the gig with Burisma was too “toxic” and broke off ties with him.) Though ignored or dismissed as fake news and a conspiracy theory by Democrats and legacy media (or do I repeat myself?), the facts are well enough known and fit the Iraq pattern to a T: then-Vice President Joe Biden pushed for regime change in Ukraine, which succeeded in February 2014 with the ouster of the constitutionally elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. In April 2014, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was brought onto Burisma’s board (along with a fellow named Devon Archer, later convicted of unrelated fraud) at an exorbitant level of compensation that made little sense in light of Hunter’s nonexistent expertise in the energy business – but which made plenty of sense given that his dad was not only Veep but the Obama administration’s point man on policy toward Ukraine, including foreign assistance money. [NOTE: It now has come out that in 2015 Hunter put his dad, the U.S. Vice President, in direct contact with Burisma, news the giant tech firms sought to suppress on social media.]

When a troublesome Ukrainian prosecutor named Viktor Shokin seemed to be taking too much interest in Burisma, Papa Joe came to the rescue, openly threatening the western-dependent politicians installed after Ukraine’s 2014 color revolution with withholding of a billion dollars in U.S. aid until Shokin, whom Joe unironically alleged to be “corrupt,” got the heave-ho. As Tucker Carlson nails it, Shokin’s ouster followed a direct request from Burisma’s Clinton-connected PR firm, Blue Star Strategies, to Hunter to lobby his dad to get Shokin off their back. Joe did just what was asked. He later bragged: “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here [i.e., Kiev] in, I think it was about six hours.’ I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But First There Was Serbia

Today many people remember Iraq, some have a clue about Ukraine. But Serbia, which preceded them, is off the radar screen of most Americans. To recap:

As a Senator in the 1990s, Joe Biden was one of the most militant advocates of U.S. military action against Serbs during the breakup of the Yugoslav federation, first in Croatia (1991-95), then in Bosnia (1992-95), and then in Serbia’s province of Kosovo (1998- 1999). (As has been said about others like Hillary Clinton and the late John McCain, Biden evidently has never met a war he didn’t like. Along with Hillary, in 2003 Biden helped to whip Senate Democrat votes for the Bush-Cheney Iraq war.) Channeling his inner John McCain, Biden continually called for the U.S. to bomb, bomb, bomb bomb the Serbs while (in a foreshadowing of the Obama-Biden administration’s support for jihad terrorists in Libya and Syria, which ultimately resulted in the appearance of ISIS) pushed successfully for sending weapons to the Islamist regime in Bosnia and then for the U.S. to arm the Islamo-narco-terrorist group known as the “Kosovo Liberation Army” (KLA).

Joe Biden was the primary sponsor of the March 1999 Kosovo war authorization for military action against Serbia and Montenegro, S. Con. Res. 21. (As a little remembered historical note, Biden’s resolution might be seen as the last nail in the coffin of Congress’s constitutional war power. While S. Con. Res 21 passed the Senate, it failed in the House on a 213-213 tie vote, with Republicans overwhelmingly voting Nay. It didn’t matter. Bill Clinton, reeling from the Lewinsky scandal, went ahead with the bombing campaign anyway.) The ensuing 78-day NATO air operation had little impact on Serbia’s military but devastated the country’s infrastructure and took hundreds of civilian lives. (Even now, more than 20 years later, Serbia suffers from elevated cancer levels attributed to depleted uranium munitions.) But for Jihad Joe even that wasn’t punishment enough for people he collectively demonized as “illiterate degenerates, baby killers, butchers, and rapists.” In May 1999, at the height of the NATO air assault, he called for the introduction of U.S. ground troops (“we should announce there’s going to be American casualties”) followed by “a Japanese-German style occupation.”

Eventually the bombing stopped in June 1999 when then-Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević acceded to temporary international occupation of Kosovo on the condition that the province would remain part of Serbia, as codified in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. It was a promise the U.S. and NATO, not to mention their European Union (EU) concubine, had no intention of keeping. Under the nose of the NATO occupation, ostensibly demobilized KLA thugs were given virtually free rein to terrorize the Serbian population, two-thirds of whom were driven out along with Jews and Roma, the rest sheltering in enclaves where they remain to this day. Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries, many of them centuries old, were particular targets for destruction and desecration. KLA commanders – who were also kingpins in the Kosovo Albanian mafia dealing in sex slaves, drugs, weapons, and even human organs – were handed local administration.

In 2007 Senator Biden praised the new order as a “victory for Muslim democracy” and “a much-needed example of a successful U.S.-Muslim partnership.” A year later, the Bush administration sought to complete the job by ramming through Kosovo’s independence in barefaced violation of UNSCR 1244 and despite strong Russian objections. But instead of resolving anything the result was a frozen conflict that persists today, with about half of the United Nations’ member states recognizing Kosovo and half not. Touting itself as the most pro-American “country” [sic] in the world, the Kosovo pseudo-state became a prime recruiting ground for ISIS.

But hey, business was good! Just as in Iraq, the politically well-connected, including former officials instrumental in the attack on Serbia and occupying Kosovo, flocked to the province fueled by lavish aid subsidies from the U.S. and the EU, which for a while made Kosovo one of the biggest per capita foreign assistance recipient “countries” in the world. One such vulture – sorry, entrepreneur – was former Secretary of State Madeleine we-think-a-half-million-dead-Iraqi-children-is-worth-it Albright, a prominent driver of the Clinton administration’s hostile policy on top of her personal Serb-hatred. Albright sought to cash in to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars on sale of the mobile telephone company PTK, originally a Yugoslav state-owned firm that was “privatized” (i.e., stolen) in 2005 as a joint stock company, but who later dropped her bid when it attracted unwanted publicity. Also in the hunt for Kosovo riches was former NATO Supreme Commander and operational chief of the Kosovo war General Wesley Clark, who reportedly cornered a major share of the occupied province’s coal resources under a sweetheart deal that seems to have vanished from public scrutiny since first reported in 2016.

At the moment there seems to be no smoking gun of a direct Biden family payout, à la Ukraine, but there is a possible trail via Hunter’s Burisma-buddy Devon Archer and Archer’s fellow-defendant John “Yanni” Galanis, who in turn is connected to top Kosovo Albanian politicians. In any case, the Biden clan seems to have paid a lot of attention to Kosovo for not having skin in the game. Joe’s late son and Delaware Attorney General, Beau, worked in Kosovo following the war to train local prosecutors as part of an OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) “rule of law” mission (admittedly a big task in a mafia-run pseudo-state), for which a road was named after him near the massive U.S. base Camp Bondsteel. With Hunter on hand for the naming ceremony, Joe Biden took the opportunity to express his “condolences” to Serbian families who lost loved ones in the NATO air assault – of which he was a primary advocate.

A ‘Shokin’ Demand  

Perhaps the best parallel between Biden’s handiwork in Ukraine and his interest in Kosovo also relates to getting rid of an inconvenient individual. But in this case, the person in question wasn’t a state official like Burisma prosecutor Viktor Shokin but a hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In May 2009 Vice President Biden insisted on visiting one of Kosovo’s most venerable Serbian Orthodox Christian sites, the Visoki Dečani monastery. Ruling Bishop Artemije of the Eparchy of Raška and Prizren, which includes Kosovo and Metohija, refused to give his blessing for the visit, in effect telling Biden he was not welcome. Bishop Artemije long had been a bane of Biden and others advocating detachment of Kosovo from Serbia, starting with his first mission to Washington in 1997 as war clouds gathered. In 2004 Bishop Artemije sued the NATO powers in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg following their inaction to protect his flock during an anti-Serbian rampage by Muslim Albanian militants in March of that year. Then, in March 2006, as preparations were underway for a “final solution” to the Kosovo issue, Bishop Artemije launched an intensive multinational lobbying and public relations effort (in which Yours Truly was the lead professional) to try to derail the U.S. policy to which Biden had devoted so much attention. While the Bishop’s campaign was unsuccessful in reversing U.S. policy it was instrumental in delaying it for over a year – to howls of outrage from Biden’s associates in Washington. Thus, for Biden, the monastery visit snub by Bishop Artemije was adding insult to injury.

The end for Bishop Artemije came a few months later, at the beginning of 2010 at the time of two visits to Kosovo by U.S. Admiral Mark P. Fitzgerald, then Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander, Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples, (who retired later that year, becoming, unsurprisingly, a consultant “with numerous defense and commercial maritime and aviation contractors”). At that time, an unconfirmed report indicated that a high NATO officer (whether Admiral Fitzgerald or someone else is not specified) stated in the course of one of his local meetings (this is verbatim or a close paraphrase): “What we need here is a more cooperative bishop.” (More details are available here. Since that posting last year the NATO command in Naples seems to have scrubbed the items about Fitzgerald’s 2010 visits from their site.)

Shortly afterwards, Biden’s troublesome priest was forcibly removed by police and exiled from his see, without ecclesiastical trial, by Church authorities in Belgrade under pressure from compliant Serbian politicians installed after the October 2000 color revolution, in turn pressured by NATO. The pretext? Transparently baseless charges of financial wrongdoing. In other words, bogus accusations of “corruption” – like against Ukraine’s Shokin.

One could almost hear Joe Biden chortle: “Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But Look at the Bright Side…

Back to the incipient coup facing the United States, there should be no illusion that what’s at stake in the unfolding scenario for the removal of Donald Trump is not just his presidency but the survival of the historic American ethnos of which he is seen as an avatar by both his supporters and detractors. Remember, we’re dealing with predators and scavengers who are happy to burn the old, evil America down as long as they can achieve total power and continue to feather their cushy nests. Short of a blowout Trump victory by a margin too big to hijack, we’re headed for a dystopian state of affairs.

If they do manage to remove Trump, “by any means necessary,” and Joe Biden takes the helm, we can anticipate a bevy of globalist warmonger appointees that make Trump’s team look like disciples of Mahatma Gandhi. Among the names floated like Nicholas BurnsAntony BlinkenMichele FlournoyEvelyn Farkas, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, all were on board with Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria … [NOTE: The Atlantic Council, known as NATO’s semi-official think tank in Washington and which will be instrumental in staffing a future Joe Biden administration, also has been the beneficiary of generous donations from Hunter Biden’s paymaster, Burisma.]

It’s a recipe for wars, regime changes, and color revolutions galore.

But to finish on a positive note, the potential future business opportunities will be endless!

AIPAC and U.S. elections

Source

By Richard Anderson Falk

AIPAC is a strong lobbying group that is perceived by the political parties to exert great influence on large Jewish donors and Jewish voters generally. The leadership of both parties competes for AIPAC approval, although as an organization it refrains from political endorsements at national levels. It does have a record of opposing Congressional candidates deemed critical of Israel, making inflammatory accusations that candidates critical of Israel are by that fact alone anti-Semitic. Such a campaign has been launched with at least implicit AIPAC support to defeat the candidacy of Ilhan Omer who is running for reelection in urban Minneapolis.

Part of the effectiveness of AIPAC is due to money and tight organizational discipline, and part of its influence is due to the absence of countervailing Jewish organizations that speak for liberal Zionism and progressive Jews. J-Street has attempted to provide a voice for liberal Zionism in Washington, and has limited success at legislative levels, but not in relation to party platforms or the selection of national candidates. Jewish Voice for Peace is an admirably balanced NGO, but its influence is mainly felt in civil society, where it has created growing support for a just outcome of this struggle that has gone on for a century, which includes supported the realization of the Palestinian right of self-determination whether in the form of a viable separate sovereign state or a single state whose foundational principle is ethnic equality.

Throughout its existence, AIPAC has been and remains subservient to the priorities of the Israeli leadership and consistently supportive of maximal Zionist goals, and hence an adherent of antagonistic attitudes on international law, the UN, and international morality. In my judgment, AIPAC has harmed the role of the U.S. in West Asia and at the UN by pushing American foreign policy in belligerent and regime-changing directions, focusing on heightening the confrontation with Iran, and secondarily, with Turkey, which has intensified regional tensions and dangers of war. The recent sanctions debate in the UN Security Council manifested both U.S. belligerence and its defiance of the views of even its normally close European allies.

Richard Anderson Falk is an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967”.

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