The NATOstan Clown Show

November 29, 2021

Flags wave ahead of a NATO Defence Ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol – RC28EQ9178EG

The charade has come to a point that – diplomatically – is quite unprecedented: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lost his Taoist patience.

Source

Independent geopolitical analyst, writer and journalist

By Pepe Escobar,

American hysteria over the “imminent” Russian invasion of Ukraine has exploded every geopolitical Stupid-o-Meter in sight – and that’s quite an accomplishment.

What a mess. Sections of the U.S. Deep State are in open revolt against the combo that remote controls Crash Test Dummy, who impersonates POTUS. The neocon-neoliberal axis is itching for a war – but has no idea how to sell it to an immensely fractured public opinion.

UKUS, which de facto controls the Five Eyes spy scam, excels only in propaganda. So in the end it’s up to the CIA/MI6 intel axis and their vast network of media chihuahuas to accelerate Fear and Loathing ad infinitum.

Russophobic U.S. Think Tankland would very much cherish a Russian “invasion”, out of the blue, and could not give a damn about the inevitable trouncing of Ukraine. The problem is the White House – and the Pentagon – must “intervene”, forcefully; otherwise that will represent a catastrophic loss of “credibility” for the Empire.

So what do these people want? They want to provoke Moscow by all means available to exercise “Russian aggression”, resulting in a lightning fast war that will be a highway to hell for Ukraine, but with zero casualties for NATO and the Pentagon.

Then the Empire of Chaos will blame Russia; unleash a tsunami of fresh sanctions, especially financial; and try to shut off all economic links between Russia and NATOstan.

Reality dictates that none of the above is going to happen.

All exponents of Russian leadership, starting with President Putin, have already made it clear, over and over again, what happens if the Ukro-dementials start a blitzkrieg over Donbass: Ukraine will be mercilessly smashed – and that applies not only to the ethno-fascist gang in Kiev. Ukraine will cease to exist as a state.

Defense Minister Shoigu, for his part, has staged all manner of not exactly soft persuasion, featuring Tu-22M3 bombers or Tu-160 White Swan bombers.

The inestimable Andrei Martyanov has conclusively explained, over and over again, that “NATO doesn’t have forces not only to ‘counter-act’ anything Russia does but even if it wanted to it still has no means to fight a war with Russia.”

Martyanov notes, “there is nothing in the U.S. arsenal now and in the foreseeable future which can intercept Mach=9-10+, let alone M=20-27, targets. That’s the issue. Same analytical method applies to a situation in 404. The only thing U.S. (NATO) can hope for is to somehow provoke Russia into the invasion of this shithole of a country and then get all SIGINT it can once Russia’s C4ISR gets into full combat mode.”

Translation: anything the Empire of Chaos and its NATO subsidiary try in Donbass, directly or indirectly, the humiliation will make the Afghanistan “withdrawal” look like a House of Gucci dinner party.

No one should expect clueless NATO puppets – starting with secretary-general Stoltenberg – to understand the military stakes. After all, these are the same puppets who have been building up a situation which might ultimately leave Moscow with a single, stark choice: be ready to fight a full scale hot war in Europe – which could become nuclear in a flash. And ready they are.

It’s all about Minsk

In a parallel reality, “meddling in 404” – a delightful Martyanov reference to a hellhole that is little more than a computer error – is a totally different story. That perfectly fits American juvenilia ethos.

At least some of the adults in selected rooms are talking. The CIA’s Burns went to Moscow to try to extract some assurance that in the event NATO Special Forces were caught in the cauldrons – Debaltsevo 2015-style – that the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, with Russian help, will concoct, they would be allowed to escape.

His interlocutor, Patrushev, told Burns – diplomatically – to get lost.

Chief of the General Staff, Gen Valery Gerasimov, had a phone call with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen Mark Milley, ostensibly to ensure, in Pentagonese, “risk-reduction and operational de-confliction”. No substantial details were leaked.

It remains to be seen how this “de-confliction” will happen in practice when Defense Minister Shoigu revealed U.S. nuclear-capable bombers have been practicing, in their sorties across Eastern Europe, “their ability to use nuclear weapons against Russia”. Shoigu discussed that in detail with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe: after all the Americans will certainly pull the same stunt against China.

The root cause of all this drama is stark: Kiev simply refuses to respect the February 2015 Minsk Agreement.

In a nutshell, the deal stipulated that Kiev should grant autonomy to Donbass via a constitutional amendment, referred to as “special status”; issue a general amnesty; and start a dialogue with the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Over the years, Kiev fulfilled exactly zero commitments – while the proverbial NATOstan media machine incessantly pounded global opinion with fake news, spinning that Russia was violating Minsk. Russia is not even mentioned in the agreement.

Moscow in fact always respected the Minsk Agreement – which translates as regarding Donbass as an integral, autonomous part of Ukraine. Moscow has zero interest in promoting regime change in Kiev.

This charade has come to a point that – diplomatically – is quite unprecedented: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lost his Taoist patience.

Lavrov was forced, under the circumstances, to publish 28 pages of correspondence between Moscow on one hand, and Berlin and Paris on the other, evolving around the preparation of a high-level meeting on Ukraine.

Moscow was in fact calling for one of the central points of the agreement to be implemented: a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbass. Berlin and Paris said this was unacceptable. So yes: both, for all practical purposes, destroyed the Minsk Agreement. Public opinion across NATOstan has no idea whatsoever this actually happened.

Lavrov did not mince his words: “I am sure that you understand the necessity of this unconventional step, because it is a matter of conveying to the world community the truth about who is fulfilling, and how, the obligations under international law that have been agreed at the highest level.”

So it’s no wonder that the leadership in Moscow concluded it’s an absolute waste of time to talk to Berlin and Paris about Ukraine: they lied, cheated – and then blamed Russia. This “decision” at the EU level faithfully mirrors NATO’s campaign of stoking the flames of imminent “Russian aggression” against Ukraine.

Armchair warriors, unite!

Across NATOstan, the trademark stupidity of U.S. Think Tankland rules unabated, congregating countless acolytes spewing out the talking points of choice: “relentless Russian subversion”, “thug” Putin “intimidation” of Ukraine, Russians as “predators”, and everything now coupled with “power-hungry China’s war on Western values.”

Some Brit hack, in a twisted way, actually managed to sum up the overall impotence – and insignificance – by painting Europe as a victim, “a beleaguered democratic island in an anarchic world, which a rising tide of authoritarianism, impunity and international rule-breaking threatens to inundate”.

The answer by NATOstan Defense Ministers is to come up with a Strategic Compass – essentially an anti-Russia-China scam – complete with “rapid deployment forces”. Led by who, General Macron?

As it stands, poor NATOstan is uncontrollably sobbing, accusing those Russian hooligans – scary monsters, to quote David Bowie – of staging an anti-satellite missile test and thus “scorning European safety concerns”.

Something must have got lost in translation. So here’s what happened: Russia conclusively demonstrated it’s capable of obliterating each and every one of NATO’s satellites and blind “all their missiles, planes and ships, not to mention ground forces” in case they decide to materialize their warmongering ideas.

Obviously those deaf, dumb and blind NATOstan armchair warrior clowns – fresh from their Afghan “performance” – won’t get the message. But NATOstan anyway was never accused of being partial to reality.

Possible motives for a provocation against Russia

NOVEMBER 25, 2021

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

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

The US energy sector

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

NATO

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

“Biden” option one

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

“Biden” option two

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

“Biden” option three

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

UK+EU politicians

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

US MIC

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

The US deep state

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

The 3B+PU

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

‘Ze’

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

The British military/security establishment

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

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

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

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

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

Lastly, is the Putin-Biden being canceled?

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

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

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

Andrei

Mankind Must Put An End To War Before War Puts An End To Mankind

23 NOVEMBER 2021

Sonja van den Ende

Source

These are the historic words from John F. Kennedy which he spoke at the United Nations (UN) in 1961, two years before he was murdered on 22 November 1963. The murder was, as we know by now, most likely an inside job done by the CIA. Some high ranking generals and presumably his predecessor Lynden B. Johnson were also involved, but that’s another story.

We are now as a civilization on the crossroads of extinction like back in 1961, or we can make a better future for our children. It all depends which road we are going to walk. Unfortunatly, the so-called leaders of the richest countries choose the path of implementing the agenda of the deep-state, the real government, the one-world government, of President George Bush Sr., mentioned so many times  in his  speeches, his son President George Bush Jr,. was too dumb to speak about it or for that matter spoke noting about anything, he was a real warmonger and puppet. The deep-state is consisting of the large corporations, big Tech, Gun lobby, Pharma lobby, secret services around the world and most important the large institutions, like the WHO, IAEA, UN and the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is by far the most important one these days, it seems all the developed countries (rich) are under the umbrella of the WEF, from the EU to Russia  and China.

I don’t think I have to explain what the goals and agenda from the deep-state is, by now everybody is nearly awake, from north to south and east to west. Without the consent of the majority of the people on planet earth they go ahead with their treacherous plans, by locking up people, bullying them on demonstrations, even shooting them these days and conducting experiments with non-safe or poorly tested medicine like the C-19 jabs. They are not only conducting a medical experiment, but also a social experiment, by implementing a social credit system,  such a bad system, that the majority of the people are treated like cattle (as seen in the EU and Australia) , without having freedom of expression, without having anything to say and without having any freedom at all. First they used the fake pandemic and then they will use the climate to make life hell for most people (not the privileged of course, it’s their experiment), with all restrictions, they feel they are the masters of the universe, but after all they are still human, not transhuman, but maybe it’s better they will become transhuman, so that we the real inhabitants of mother earth can start a new civilization.

President John F. Kennedy was in my opinion, the last president of the “free” Western world, after that the Western world deteriorated and got involved in all sorts of “dirty” wars, from Vietnam to Syria. The numerous coup d’etats and murder of millions of people around the globe is horrendous, if you think about it. They still continue to do so even though they deny it, the robbery is  continuing also,  for their new project the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI),  which involves electrical cars . Lithium is needed for these cars and stolen from Congo and these days it’s clear the European Union (EU) will steal lithium from Serbia, or at least they try to, but don’t mess with the Serbian people, they have bad experiences with NATO and the EU, because of the bombing of former Yugoslavia in 1999. President Kennedy warned the US and then the “free” Western world about the escalation and the use of nuclear weapons against the then dispute with Cuba and indirectly Russia. We have two problems: the extinction with nuclear weapons and from AI.

President Kennedy delivered his famous speech at the United Nations in 1961

The problem is not the death of one man; the problem is the life of this organization (UN). It will either grow to meet the challenges of our age, or it will be gone with the wind, without influence, without force, without respect. Were we to let it die, to enfeeble its vigor, to cripple its powers, we would condemn our future.

For in the development of this organization rests the only true alternative to war — and war appeals no longer as a rational alternative. Unconditional war can no longer lead to unconditional victory. It can no longer serve to settle disputes. It can no longer concern the Great Powers alone. For a nuclear disaster, spread by winds and water and fear, could well engulf the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the committed and the uncommitted alike. Mankind must put an end to war — or war will put an end to mankind, his speech .”

Such wise words, not listened to by the elites and politicians, who continued their wars and the UN, like the EU and the IAEA, is nothing more than a playground for the privileged, politicians, diplomats and some mad scientists , they play their dirty games and intrigues without worrying, as I experienced, about people like you and me!

Thank God , he JFK, saved the world from a nuclear disaster in 1961, but who is now going to save us from bad politicians, crazy diplomats, mad scientists and the deep state? Who is going to stop  this insanity? AI will leave one billion people unemployed and on the brink of starvation. AI will be used for new “space” wars, wars with robots, drones and God knows what else. When AI will live it’s own life, of which the mad scientist of big Tech companies, already warned,  it can take over and that will be the extinction of mankind. Why  do people, politicians and most of all scientists let this happen? They know this can be the end of human life. Like back then in 1961, it was the threat of a nuclear war, throughout the Cold war it was a threat. Now we have two threats a nuclear and a war conducted through AI, the institutions like the UN or IAEA did and will do nothing to prevent it and to repeat the words of JFK “For in the development of this organization rests the only true alternative to war — and war appeals no longer as a rational alternative”. But these days, war appeals to politicians, to scientists who develop dangerous stuff for mankind. War appeals  and foremost power, power to make and break the entire world population. The next weeks and months are crucial for mankind, a world revolution has already started. The nephew of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., has taken over the task of his uncle to expose the deep-state and try to save the world from extinction even, like he said “I have  to die for it, I will die with my boots on the ground”. He is the icon of the new world revolution, the Kennedy’s always are at the forefront for peace.

9/11: A U.S. Deep State Insider Speaks …

September 11, 2021

9/11: A U.S. Deep State Insider Speaks …

An 8 part tweet stream by Pepe Escobar and posted with his permission

Pepe has two requests as follows:

  • Please retweet as much as possible
  • Please alert the Saker community – because at least parts of this thread may be “disappeared”, post-Allende-style, in no time. These are the parts that totally destroy the official narrative.

9/11: A U.S. DEEP STATE INSIDER SPEAKS Old school. Top clearance. Extremely discreet. Attended secret Deep State meetings on 9-11. Tired of all the lies. The following is what’s fit to print without being redacted.

Part 1 THE PHONE CALL. Up next.

“An emergency phone conference was held in the early afternoon of 9/11 based on the fact that WTC Building Number Seven was still standing. Demolitions were engineered to cause the building, as well as the others, to fall into its own footprint. I attended this call.”

Part 2 On WTC7: “No plane hit Building Number Seven.” “The CIA was brought to cover it up. The CIA set up failed asset bin Laden to blame as misdirection, then pulled the plug on Building Number Seven.” “The CIA doctored boarding tapes to show Arabs entering the planes.”

Part 3 On Mullah Omar: “Our CIA Arabists knew that if we blamed Osama, who was innocent of 9-11, Mullah Omar would not give him up in violation of the laws of Islamic hospitality. Mullah Omar requested evidence: then he would turn Osama over. Of course, we did not want that.”

Part 4 On heroin: “The Afghanistan heroin war was justified by 9-11. No one in Afghanistan was involved in 9/11. No member of Islam was involved. We invaded Afghanistan for only one purpose, which was to restart heroin production shut down by a righteous act of Mullah Omar.”

Part 5 On CIA and heroin: “CIA heroin plantations in Afghanistan funded external, clandestine operations and lined some important people’s pockets. That was common practice when the CIA ran the heroin operation in the Golden Triangle.”

Part 6 On MOTIVE: “It was never in the U.S. strategic interest to lay a curse on Islam in the West.” “9-11 was a kind of Gulf of Tonkin false flag operation justifying a war on Islam and the invasion of Iraq, followed by other invasions of Islamic nations.”

Part 7 Afghanistan-Iraq: “The Taliban loved us as they did not know that we lured Russia into Afghanistan. It was idiotic to think that they wanted to hurt their ally on 9-11.” “With Iraq invaded over a new falsity, the neocons created a war of hatred against Islam.”

Part 8 Who’s in charge: “The apex of the U.S. command structure is not the presidency. It’s the Deep State. I use that term even though we did not as it is commonly used.”

What to expect from Taliban 2.0

September 08, 2021

What to expect from Taliban 2.0

A wiser, better-traveled and social media-savvy Taliban will strive to avoid the many dire mistakes of its 1996-2001 rule

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

The announcement by Taliban spokesman Zahibullah Mujahid in Kabul of the acting cabinet ministers in the new caretaker government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan already produced a big bang: it managed to enrage both woke NATOstan and the US Deep State.

This is an all-male, overwhelmingly Pashtun (there’s one Uzbek and one Tajik) cabinet essentially rewarding the Taliban old guard. All 33 appointees are Taliban members.

Mohammad Hasan Akhund – the head of the Taliban Rehbari Shura, or leadership council, for 20 years – will be the Acting Prime Minister. For all practical purposes, Akhund is branded a terrorist by the UN and the EU, and under sanctions by the UN Security Council. It’s no secret Washington brands some Taliban factions as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and sanctions the whole of the Taliban as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” organization.

It’s crucial to stress Himatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban Supreme Leader since 2016, is Amir al-Momineen (“Commander of the Faithful”). He can’t be a Prime Minister; his role is that of a supreme spiritual leader, setting the guidelines for the Islamic Emirate and mediating disputes – politics included.

Akhunzada has released a statement, noting that the new government “will work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and sharia law in the country” and will ensure “lasting peace, prosperity and development”. He added, “people should not try to leave the country”.

Spokesman Mujahid took pains to stress this new cabinet is just an “acting” government. This implies one of the next big steps will be to set up a new constitution. The Taliban will “try to take people from other parts of the country” – implying positions for women and Shi’ites may still be open, but not at top level.

Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar, who so far had been very busy diplomatically as the head of the political office in Doha, will be deputy Prime Minister. He was a Taliban co-founder in 1994 and close friend of Mullah Omar, who called him “Baradar” (“brother”) in the first place.

A predictable torrent of hysteria greeted the appointment of Sirajuddin Haqqani as Acting Minister of Interior. After all the son of Haqqani founder Jalaluddin, one of three deputy emirs and the Taliban military commander, with a fierce reputation, has a $5 million FBI bounty on his head. His FBI “wanted” page is not exactly a prodigy of intel: they don’t know when he was born, and where, and that he speaks Pashto and Arabic.

This may be the new government’s top challenge: to prevent Sirajuddin and his wild boys from acting medieval in non-Pashtun areas of Afghanistan, and most of all to make sure the Haqqanis cut off any connections with jihadi outfits. That’s a sine qua non condition established by the China-Russia strategic partnership for political, diplomatic and economic development support.

Foreign policy will be much more accommodating. Amir Khan Muttaqi, also a member of the political office in Doha, will be the Acting Foreign Minister, and his deputy will be Abas Stanikzai, who’s in favor of cordial relations with Washington and the rights of Afghan religious minorities.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of Mullah Omar, will be the Acting Defense Minister.

So far, the only non-Pashtuns are Abdul Salam Hanafi, an Uzbek, appointed as second deputy to the Prime Minister, and Qari Muhammad Hanif, a Tajik, the acting Minister of Economic Affairs, a very important post.

The Tao of staying patient

The Taliban Revolution has already hit the Walls of Kabul – who are fast being painted white with Kufic letter inscriptions. One of these reads, “For an Islamic system and independence, you have to go through tests and stay patient.”

That’s quite a Taoist statement: striving for balance towards a real “Islamic system”. It offers a crucial glimpse of what the Taliban leadership may be after: as Islamic theory allows for evolution, the new Afghanistan system will be necessarily unique, quite different from Qatar’s or Iran’s, for instance.

In the Islamic legal tradition, followed directly or indirectly by rulers of Turko-Persian states for centuries, to rebel against a Muslim ruler is illegitimate because it creates fitna (sedition, conflict). That was already the rationale behind the crushing of the fake “resistance” in the Panjshir – led by former Vice-President and CIA asset Amrullah Saleh. The Taliban even tried serious negotiations, sending a delegation of 40 Islamic scholars to the Panjshir.

But then Taliban intel established that Ahmad Masoud – son of the legendary Lion of the Panjshir, assassinated two days before 9/11 – was operating under orders of French and Israeli intel. And that sealed his fate: not only he was creating fitna, he was a foreign agent. His partner Saleh, the “resistance” de facto leader, fled by helicopter to Tajikistan.

It’s fascinating to note a parallel between Islamic legal tradition and Hobbes’s Leviathan, which justifies absolute rulers. The Hobbesian Taliban: here’s a hefty research topic for US Think Tankland.

The Taliban also follow the rule that a war victory – and nothing more spectacular than defeating combined NATO power – allows for undisputed political power, although that does not discard strategic alliances. We’ve already seen it in terms of how the moderate, Doha-based political Taliban are accommodating the Haqqanis – an extremely sensitive business.

Abdul Haqqani will be the Acting Minister for Higher Education; Najibullah Haqqani will be Minister of Communications; and Khalil Haqqani, so far ultra-active as interim head of security in Kabul, will be Minister for Refugees.

The next step will be much harder: to convince the urban, educated populations in the big cities – Kabul, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif – not only of their legitimacy, acquired in the frontlines, but that they will crush the corrupt urban elite that plundered the nation for the past 20 years. All that while engaging in a credible, national interest process of improving the lives of average Afghans under a new Islamic system. It will be crucial to watch what kind of practical and financial help the emir of Qatar will offer.

The new cabinet has elements of a Pashtun jirga (tribal assembly). I’ve been to a few, and it’s fascinating to see how it works. Everyone sits on a circle to avoid a hierarchy – even if symbolic. Everyone is entitled to express their opinion. This leads to alliances necessarily being forged.

The negotiations to form a government were being conducted in Kabul by former President Hamid Karzai – crucially, a Pashtun from a minor Durrani clan, the Popalzai – and Abdullah Abdullah, a Tajik, and former head of the Council for National Reconciliation. The Taliban did listen to them, but in the end they de facto chose what their own jirga had decided.

Pashtuns are extremely fierce when it comes to defending their Islamic credentials. They believe their legendary founding ancestor, Qais Abdul Rasheed, converted to Islam in the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad, and then Pashtuns became the strongest defender of the faith anywhere.

Yet that’s not exactly how it played out in history. From the 7th century onwards, Islam was predominant only from Herat in the west to legendary Balkh in the north all the way to Central Asia, and south between Sistan and Kandahar. The mountains of the Hindu Kush and the corridor from Kabul to Peshawar resisted Islam for centuries. Kabul in fact was a Hindu kingdom as late as the 11th century. It took as many as five centuries for the core Pashtun lands to convert to Islam.

Islam with Afghan characteristics

To cut an immensely complex story short, the Taliban was born in 1994 across the – artificial – border of Afghanistan and Pakistani Balochistan as a movement by Pashtuns who studied in Deobandi madrassas in Pakistan.

All the Afghan Taliban leaders had very close connections with Pakistani religious parties. During the 1980s anti-USSR jihad, many of these Taliban (“students”) in several madrassas worked side by side with the mujahideen to defend Islam in Afghanistan against the infidel. The whole process was channeled through the Peshawar political establishment: -overseen by the Pakistani ISI, with enormous CIA input, and a tsunami of cash and would-be jihadis flowing from Saudi Arabia and the wider Arab world.

When they finally seized power in 1994 in Kandahar and 1996 in Kabul, the Taliban emerged as a motley crew of minor clerics and refugees invested in a sort of wacky Afghan reformation – religious and cultural – as they set up what they saw as a pure Salafist Islamic Emirate.

I saw how it worked on the spot, and as demented as it was, it amounted to a new political force in Afghanistan. The Taliban were very popular in the south because they promised security after the bloody 1992-1995 civil war. The totally radical Islamist ideology came later – with disastrous results, especially in the big cities. But not in the subsistence agriculture countryside, because the Taliban social outlook merely reflected rural Afghan practice.

The Taliban installed a 7th century-style Salafi Islam crisscrossed with the Pashtunwali code. A huge mistake was their aversion to Sufism and the veneration of shrines – something extremely popular in Islamic Afghanistan for centuries.

It’s too early to tell how Taliban 2.0 will play out in the dizzyingly complex, emerging Eurasian integration chessboard. But internally, a wiser, more traveled, social media-savvy Taliban seem aware they cannot allow themselves to repeat the dire 1996-2001 mistakes.

Deng Xiaoping set the framework for socialism with Chinese characteristics . One of the greatest geopolitical challenges ahead will be whether Taliban 2.0 are able to shape a sustainable development Islam with Afghan characteristics.

Empire warns Brazil: it’s our NATO way or Huawei

August 12, 2021

Empire warns Brazil: it’s our NATO way or Huawei

By Pepe Escobar and Quantum Bird – Special for The Saker Blog

The Empire of Chaos could never be accused of deploying Sun Tzu subtlety. Especially when it comes to dealing with the satrapies.

In the case of Brazil, former BRICS stalwart reduced to the status of a proto-neo-colony under an aspiring Soprano-style “captain”, the Men Who Run the Show applied standard procedure.

First they sent the Deep State, as in CIA’s William Burns. Then they sent National Security, as in advisor Jake Sullivan. Both visits delivered the same message: toe the line – or else.

Nuances do apply. The Deep State wants the current proto-neo-colony status of Brazil unchanged, and hopefully deepened – as it strikes the “B” in BRICS out of deeper cooperation with the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Sullivan for his part is just a cog in the Dem dementia wheel that previously conspired alongside the NSA to destroy Dilma Rousseff’s presidency, throw Lula in jail and place Bolsonaro in charge.

Lula is not the Dem’s horse for the 2022 Brazilian presidential election. But despite some woke-ish characters coming out of the closet, there’s no viable third way in the horizon acceptable for the Empire – at least not yet.

Still, the proverbial “offer you can’t refuse” had to be delivered to the people that matter: the men in uniform. Do what you gotta do, strike a deal with Lula, whatever. In the end, what we say, goes.

That poisoned carrot

The cover story for Sullivan’s trip was what amounts for all practical purposes to the Ukrainization of Central America/the Caribbean. Notorious vampire Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland, number 3 in the State Dept., had already been dispatched to assorted chihuahuas in the region to lay down the law.

Sullivan followed the script, banging on notorious anti-imperial recalcitrants such as Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua and extolling the platitude du jour: “The need to preserve and protect democracy in the hemisphere.” He met face to face with two of the military brass who are part of the deciding circle, Gen Augusto Heleno, who heads the all-powerful Institutional Security Cabinet, and Defense Minister Braga Netto, both under fire for corruption.

Unlike Burns, who stuck to “security” CIA interests, stressing that Brazil escaping from the Empire’s sphere of influence simply won’t be tolerated, Sullivan actually offered a carrot: drop Huawei out of the 5G auction later this year, and you may be accepted as a NATO partner.

This carrot bears similarities with the Empire offering BRICS member India to become a – lesser – member of the Quad, alongside US, Japan and Australia, to “contain” China.

So it’s always about the imperial sphere of influence: smashing BRICS from the inside, turning members into “partners”.

NATO’s “partnerships” are euphemisms for “we own you, bitch”. All “partners” have to strictly follow the parameters of the NATO 2030 agenda, which has been designed to promote a planetary Robocop patrolling/containing vast swathes of the Global South.

Even if Brazil seems to be, in fact, already a lowly NATO “partner”, as its Navy was invited to be part of the recent Sea Breeze exercise in the Black Sea, which was a major pro-Kiev, “containment of Russia” operation, it is not granted the carrot will be taken.

Indeed, an upgrade would only mean a little extra terminological glamour, as in “major non-NATO ally” or “global partner”.

The real question is who among the Brazilian men in uniform will approve this lethal blow to sovereignty. Significant dissent does exist. The Brazilian Navy, for example, will be against it – as it would be reduced to the role of patrolling the South Atlantic on behalf of the Empire, and even becoming a hostage were the Empire to turbo-charge the militarization of the South Atlantic.

If this “partnership” ever happened, the Navy’s concept of the “Blue Amazon” would be buried deep in the ocean. Not to mention that NATO does not even recognize the concept of a South Atlantic. Brazil’s own sphere of influence actually extends from the Andes to the western coast of Africa via the South Atlantic.

The “price” to be paid to accept such a Mafioso “offer you can’t refuse” is to bluntly antagonize China. Talk about the Brazilian military falling on their own tropical sword.

Brazil and China commercial affairs are intense – and multifaceted. Since the mid-1990s, the presence of Chinese commercial interests has been significant in the Brazilian economy, ranging from mining companies to huge infrastructure projects such as the bridge over the Baia de Todos os Santos.

China is also the top buyer of the huge native soy production, which is managed by the quite politically active agrobusiness Brazilian community, which is not going to stay idle while its interests are being eroded.

Brazil also boasts the largest telecommunication market in Latin America. Rebuilding and updating the Brazilian telephony and internet network, jeopardized by 1990s privatizations and 2000s business mistakes, is an opportunity Huawei simply can’t ignore.

That also configures a huge win for Brazil, able to profit from some hardware the NSA can’t easily spy on.

So basically to close the doors to Huawei would push Beijing to fiercely retaliate in myriad ways. The most painful consequence would be the end of Brazilian soy imports; that will drive agrobusiness honchos absolutely nuts, with unforeseen consequences.

In the end, Sullivan’s “offer you can’t refuse” actually smacks of desperation. As the Empire of Chaos is being slowly but surely expelled from Eurasia by the Russia-China strategic partnership, the imperial ace in the hole amounts to renewing control over the Monroe doctrine satrapies.

All bets are off on whether the tropical men in uniform really understand the high stakes in play.

The American Cyber Stasi Will Suppress All Digital Dissent In Biden’s Dystopia

By Andrew Korybko

Source

The American Cyber Stasi Will Suppress All Digital Dissent In Biden

CNN’s recent report that the US’ security services are considering contracting the services of so-called “researchers” as a legal workaround for spying on average Americans confirms that Biden’s dystopian hellhole is rapidly moving in the direction of establishing a “Cyber Stasi” for suppressing all digital dissent against the Democrats as they continuing consolidating their de facto one-party rule of the country.

The dystopian hellhole that I predicted would become a fait accompli following Biden’s confirmation as President by the Electoral College is quickly becoming a reality after CNN’s recent report that the US’ security services are considering contracting the services of so-called “researchers” as a legal workaround for spying on average Americans. According to the outlet, these ostensibly independent contractors would be charged with infiltrating the social media circles of white supremacists and other supposedly terrorist-inclined domestic forces within the country. The report claims that the intent is to “help provide a broad picture of who was perpetuating the ‘narratives’ of concern”, after which “the FBI could theoretically use that pool of information to focus on specific individuals if there is enough evidence of a potential crime to legally do so”.

In other words, the US’ security services essentially want to establish a “Cyber Stasi” of “fellow” citizens who spy on one another and produce purported “evidence” of “potential crimes” for “justifying” the FBI’s “legal” investigations. CNN quoted an unnamed senior intelligence official who asked, “What do you do about ideology that’s leading to violence? Do you have to wait until it leads to violence?”, thereby hinting that this initiative might likely be exploited to stop so-called “pre-crime”, or crimes before they occur. Put another way, even those average Americans who practice their constitutionally enshrined right to the freedom of speech to peacefully dissent against the Democrats’ consolidation of their de facto one-party rule of the country might find themselves targeted by the security services depending on how the contracted “researchers” spin their words.

It should be remembered that even Americans’ constitutionally enshrined right to the freedom of assembly is nowadays under scrutiny depending on the stated reason behind their planned peaceful protests if they dare to propose gathering in opposition to last year’s alleged voter fraud for example. The events of 6 January were exploited as a game-changer by the security services in order to restrict Americans’ freedoms. It’s neither here nor there whether one sincerely believes that the election was stolen since the purpose in pointing these double standards out is to prove that average Americans are being politically discriminated against with the implied threat of legal intimidation when it comes to exercising their constitutional rights about “politically incorrect” issues of concern to them.

Although the reported purpose of the “Cyber Stasi” is to preemptively thwart emerging domestic terrorist plots, it can’t be discounted that the combination of political Russophobia and “mission creep” will combine to create additional objectives such as stopping the spread of so-called “Russian disinformation” throughout society. That phrase is actually just a euphemism for “politically incorrect” facts and interpretations thereof that contradict the Democrats’ official narrative of events, being intentionally vague enough to function as an umbrella under which to cover practically every alternative understanding possible. With this in mind, those average Americans who dare to share something “politically incorrect” – even in private chats amidst the presence of “deep state” infiltrators (“researchers” employed as “Cyber Stasi”) – might be targeted by the FBI.

The end effect is that the US’ security services might succeed in suppressing most expressions of digital dissent in the coming future. They’re inspired to do so by the ruling administration which wants to impose a syncretic system of economic leftism and social fascism onto the country. It’s not “communist” in the sense that the economic vision is more akin to state capitalism than traditional Marxism, but the social impact will certainly mirror that of East Germany during its darkest days of Stasi rule, though that’s precisely why many critics casually describe it as “communist” despite that not being economically correct (at least not yet). The US’ “researcher”-contracted “Cyber Stasi” will have a chilling effect how Americans interact with one another from here on out, all in order for Biden’s dystopian hellhole to avoid the fate of its predecessor, East Germany.

Ukraine redux: war, Russophobia and Pipelineistan

Ukraine redux: war, Russophobia and Pipelineistan

April 07, 2021

By Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of war – with dire consequences for the whole of Eurasia. Let’s cut to the chase, and plunge head-on into the fog of war.

On March 24, Ukrainian President Zelensky, for all practical purposes, signed a declaration of war against Russia, via decree No. 117/2021.

The decree establishes that retaking Crimea from Russia is now Kiev’s official policy. That’s exactly what prompted an array of Ukrainian battle tanks to be shipped east on flatbed rail cars, following the saturation of the Ukrainian army by the US with military equipment including unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare systems, anti-tank systems and man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).

More crucially, the Zelensky decree is the proof any subsequent war will have been prompted by Kiev, debunking the proverbial claims of “Russian aggression.” Crimea, since the referendum of March 2014, is part of the Russian Federation.

It was this (italics mine) de facto declaration of war, which Moscow took very seriously, that prompted the deployment of extra Russian forces to Crimea and closer to the Russian border with Donbass. Significantly, these include the crack 76th  Guards Air Assault Brigade, known as the Pskov paratroopers and, according to an intel report quoted to me, capable of taking Ukraine in only six hours.

It certainly does not help that in early April US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, fresh from his former position as a board member of missile manufacturer Raytheon, called Zelensky to promise “unwavering US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.” That ties in with Moscow’s interpretation that Zelensky would never have signed his decree without a green light from Washington.

Controlling the narrative

Sevastopol, already when I visited in December 2018, is one of the most heavily defended places on the planet, impervious even to a NATO attack. In his decree, Zelensky specifically identifies Sevastopol as a prime target.

Once again, we’re back to 2014 post-Maidan unfinished business.

To contain Russia, the US deep state/NATO combo needs to control the Black Sea – which, for all practical purposes, is now a Russian lake. And to control the Black Sea, they need to “neutralize” Crimea.

If any extra proof was necessary, it was provided by Zelensky himself on Tuesday this week in a phone call with NATO secretary-general and docile puppet Jens Stoltenberg.

Zelensky uttered the key phrase: “NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass” – which means, in practice, NATO expanding its “presence” in the Black Sea. “Such a permanent presence should be a powerful deterrent to Russia, which continues the large-scale militarization of the region and hinders merchant shipping.”

All of these crucial developments are and will continue to be invisible to global public opinion when it comes to the predominant, hegemon-controlled narrative.

The deep state/NATO combo is imprinting 24/7 that whatever happens next is due to “Russian aggression.” Even if the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) launch a blitzkrieg against the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics. (To do so against Sevastopol in Crimea would be certified mass suicide).

In the United States, Ron Paul has been one of the very few voices to state the obvious:  “According to the media branch of the US military-industrial-congressional-media complex, Russian troop movements are not a response to clear threats from a neighbor, but instead are just more ‘Russian aggression.’”

What’s implied is that Washington/Brussels don’t have a clear tactical, much less strategic game plan: only total narrative control.

And that is fueled by rabid Russophobia – masterfully deconstructed by the indispensable Andrei Martyanov, one of the world’s top military analysts.

A possibly hopeful sign is that on March 31, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, talked on the phone about the proverbial “issues of mutual interest.”

Days later, a Franco-German statement came out, calling on “all parties” to de-escalate. Merkel and Macron seem to have gotten the message in their videoconference with Putin – who must have subtly alluded to the effect generated by Kalibrs, Kinzhals and assorted hypersonic weapons if the going gets tough and the Europeans sanction a Kiev blitzkrieg.

The problem is Merkel and Macron don’t control NATO. Yet Merkel and Macron at least are fully aware that if the US/NATO combo attacks Russian forces or Russian passport holders who live in Donbass, the devastating response will target the command centers that coordinated the attacks.

What does the hegemon want?

As part of his current Energizer bunny act, Zelensky made an extra eyebrow-raising move. This past Monday, he visited Qatar with a lofty delegation and clinched a raft of deals, not circumscribed to LNG but also including direct Kiev-Doha flights; Doha leasing or buying a Black Sea port; and strong “defense/military ties” – which could be a lovely euphemism for a possible transfer of jihadis from Libya and Syria to fight Russian infidels in Donbass.

Right on cue, Zelensly meets Turkey’s Erdogan next Monday. Erdogan’s intel services run the jihadi proxies in Idlib, and dodgy Qatari funds are still part of the picture. Arguably, the Turks are already transferring those “moderate rebels” to Ukraine. Russian intel is meticulously monitoring all this activity.

A series of informed discussions – see, for instance, here and here – is converging on what may be the top three targets for the hegemon amid all this mess, short of war: to provoke an irreparable fissure between Russia and the EU, under NATO auspices; to crash the Nord Steam 2 pipeline; and to boost profits in the weapons business for the military-industrial complex.

So the key question then is whether Moscow would be able to apply a Sun Tzu move short of being lured into a hot war in the Donbass.

On the ground, the outlook is grim. Denis Pushilin, one of the top leaders of the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics, has stated that the chances of avoiding war are “extremely small.” Serbian sniper Dejan Beric – whom I met in Donetsk in 2015 and who is a certified expert on the ground – expects a Kiev attack in early May.

The extremely controversial Igor Strelkov, who may be termed an exponent of “orthodox socialism,” a sharp critic of the Kremlin’s policies who is one of the very few warlords who survived after 2014, has unequivocally stated that the only chance for peace is for the Russian army to control Ukrainian territory at least up to the Dnieper river. He stresses that a war in April is “very likely”; for Russia war “now” is better than war later; and there’s a 99% possibility that Washington will not fight for Ukraine.

On this last item at least Strelkov has a point; Washington and NATO want a war fought to the last Ukrainian.

Rostislav Ischenko, the top Russian analyst of Ukraine whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Moscow in late 2018, persuasively argues that, “the overall diplomatic, military, political, financial and economic situation powerfully requires the Kiev authorities to intensify combat operations in Donbass.

“By the way,” Ischenko added, “the Americans do not give a damn whether Ukraine will hold out for any time or whether it will be blown to pieces in an instant. They believe they stand to gain from either outcome.”

Gotta defend Europe

Let’s assume the worst in Donbass. Kiev launches its blitzkrieg. Russian intel documents everything. Moscow instantly announces it is using the full authority conferred by the UNSC to enforce the Minsk 2 ceasefire.

In what would be a matter of 8 hours or a maximum 48 hours, Russian forces smash the whole blitzkrieg apparatus to smithereens and send the Ukrainians back to their sandbox, which is approximately 75km north of the established contact zone.

In the Black Sea, incidentally, there’s no contact zone. This means Russia may send out all its advanced subs plus the surface fleet anywhere around the “Russian lake”: They are already deployed anyway.

Once again Martyanov lays down the law when he predicts, referring to a group of Russian missiles developed by the Novator Design Bureau: “Crushing Ukies’ command and control system is a matter of few hours, be that near border or in the operational and strategic Uki depth. Basically speaking, the whole of the Ukrainian ‘navy’ is worth less than the salvo of 3M54 or 3M14 which will be required to sink it. I think couple of Tarantuls will be enough to finish it off in or near Odessa and then give Kiev, especially its government district, a taste of modern stand-off weapons.”

The absolutely key issue, which cannot be emphasized enough, is that Russia will not (italics mine) “invade” Ukraine. It doesn’t need to, and it doesn’t want to. What Moscow will do for sure is to support the Novorossiya people’s republics with equipment, intel, electronic warfare, control of airspace and special forces. Even a no-fly zone will not be necessary; the “message” will be clear that were a NATO fighter jet to show up near the frontline, it would be summarily shot down.

And that brings us to the open “secret” whispered only in informal dinners in Brussels, and chancelleries across Eurasia: NATO puppets do not have the balls to get into an open conflict with Russia.

One thing is to have yapping dogs like Poland, Romania, the Baltic gang and Ukraine amplified by corporate media on their “Russian aggression” script. Factually, NATO had its collective behind unceremoniously kicked in Afghanistan. It shivered when it had to fight the Serbs in the late 1990s. And in the 2010s, it did not dare fight the Damascus and Axis of Resistance forces.

When all fails, myth prevails. Enter the US Army occupying parts of Europe to “defend” it against – who else? – those pesky Russians.

That’s the rationale behind the annual US Army DEFENDER-Europe 21, now on till the end of June, mobilizing 28,000 soldiers from the US and 25 NATO allies and “partners.”

This month, men and heavy equipment pre-positioned in three US Army depots in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands will be transferred to multiple “training areas” in 12 countries. Oh, the joys of travel, no lockdown in an open air exercise since everyone has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Pipelineistan uber alles

Nord Stream 2 is not a big deal for Moscow; it’s a Pipelineistan inconvenience at best. After all the Russian economy did not make a single ruble out of the not yet existent pipeline during the 2010s – and still it did fine. If NS2 is canceled, there are plans on the table to redirect the bulk of Russian gas shipments towards Eurasia, especially China.

In parallel, Berlin knows very well that canceling NS2 will be an extremely serious breach of contract – involving hundreds of billions of euros; it was Germany that requested the pipeline to be built in the first place.

Germany’s energiewende (“energy transition” policy) has been a disaster. German industrialists know very well that natural gas is the only alternative to nuclear energy. They are not exactly fond of Berlin becoming a mere hostage, condemned to buy ridiculously expensive shale gas from the hegemon – even assuming the hegemon will be able to deliver, as its fracking industry is in shambles. Merkel explaining to German public opinion why they must revert to using coal or buy shale from the US will be a sight to see.

As it stands, NATO provocations against NS2 proceed unabated – via warships and helicopters. NS2 needed a permit to work in Danish waters, and it was granted only a month ago. Even as Russian ships are not as fast in laying pipes as the previous ships from Swiss-based Allseas, which backed down, intimidated by US sanctions, the Russian Fortuna is making steady progress, as noted by analyst Petri Krohn: one kilometer a day on its best days, at least 800 meters a day. With 35 km left, that should not take more than 50 days.

Conversations with German analysts reveal a fascinating shadowplay on the energy front between Berlin and Moscow – not to mention Beijing. Compare it with Washington: EU diplomats complain there’s absolutely no one to negotiate with regarding NS2. And even assuming there would be some sort of deal, Berlin is inclined to admit Putin’s judgment is correct: the Americans are “not agreement-capable.” One just needs to look at the record.

Behind the fog of war, though, a clear scenario emerges: the deep state/NATO combo using Kiev to start a war as a Hail Mary pass to ultimately bury NS2, and thus German-Russian relations.

At the same time, the situation is evolving towards a possible new alignment in the heart of the “West”: US/UK pitted against Germany/France. Some Anglosphere exceptionals are certainly more Russophobic than others.

The toxic encounter between Russophobia and Pipelineistan will not be over even if NS2 is completed. There will be more sanctions. There will be an attempt to exclude Russia from SWIFT. The proxy war in Syria will intensify. The hegemon will go no holds barred to keep creating all sorts of geopolitical harassment against Russia.

What a nice wag-the-dog op to distract domestic public opinion from massive money printing masking a looming economic collapse. As the empire crumbles, the narrative is set in stone: it’s all the fault of “Russian aggression.”

Bombshell book in Germany revives 9/11 as a business model

Bombshell book in Germany revives 9/11 as a business model

April 06, 2021

By Pepe Escobar – Book Review for The Saker Blog

Nearly 20 years after 9/11, Germany and the German-speaking world are being hit by a formidable one-two.

A ground-breaking study by gifted independent financial journalist Lars Schall, Denken wie der Feind – 20 Jahre Ausnahmezustand 9/11 und die Geopolitik des Terrors 

(“Thinking Like the Enemy – 20 Years State of Emergency, 9/11 and the Geopolitics of Terror”) is being published in Germany in two books.

The first one – Das Erdöl, der Dollar und die Drogen (“The Oil, The Dollar and The Drugs”) – is out this week. Volume II will be out next week.

Nomi Prins, formerly from Goldman Sachs, has described Schall’s “investigation of 9/11 insider trading” as “stunning”. Marshall Auerback, researcher at the Levy Institute in the U.S., noted how “most of the MSM still refuse to tackle the broader, more controversial aspects of the 9/11 tragedy”. Schall, he adds, “provides a healthy corrective”.

A sample of Schall’s work, already published by The Saker blog, is this interview on 9/11 terror trading.

I’ve had the pleasure to write the introduction for the German one-two. Here it is – hoping that such an extraordinary achievement may find its way in many other languages, especially across the Global South

9/11, or “The Owls Are Not What They Seem”

Until COVID-19 showed up on the scene in the Spring of 2020, nearly two decades after the fact, the world remained hostage to 9/11. This was the ultimate geopolitical game-changer that set the tone for the young 21st century. The book you have in your hands asks the ultimate question: why 9/11 matters.

Follow the money. It’s quite fitting that this meticulous investigation is conducted by a gifted, extremely serious financial journalist – and, in an unprecedented way, presents a mass of information previously unavailable in German.

I’ve known Lars Schall, virtually, for years – exchanging correspondence on politics and economics. When we met in person in Berlin in 2015, we finally had time, live, to also indulge in our number one pop culture mutual passion: David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Lars may be a German incarnation of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Or, better yet, the compassionate version of Albert Rosenfield, the sarcastic pathologist in Twin Peaks.

Take for instance this dialogue from Twin Peaks:

Albert Rosenfield: We sent a portrait of your long-haired man to every agency from NASA to DEA and came up empty. This cat is in nobody’s database. 

 Special Agent Dale Cooper: A man that four of us have seen here in Twin Peaks. 

 Albert Rosenfield: [smiling] Sure. Oh, by the way, you were shot with a Walther PPK. It’s James Bond’s gun, did you know that?

So what you have in your hands is 9/11 dissected by a thoroughly working pathologist, who had “a lot of cutting and pasting to do”. He was aware of myriad red lines from the start, as well as myriad vanishing acts and false non sequiturs. 9/11 may be the ultimate illustration of one of Twin Peaks’ legendary one-liners: “The owls are not what they seem”.

Our pathologist had in fact to disassemble a humongous matryoshka to break it down into smaller dolls. This process had some surprises in store: by following-the-money approach regarding 9/11, for instance, our pathologist was in the end confronted with the case of an anal prolapse at Guantanamo Bay. You don’t believe it? Just wait and read the research.

This journey will take you through hundreds of pages of text and myriads of endnotes, over 2,400 of them, quite a few dealing with many different sources, as well as selected sensitive documents treated by professional translators.

The double volume details the interconnected implications of extremely complex dossiers: the US national energy policy group chaired by former Vice-President Dick Cheney, in secrecy, only four days after the start of the Bush administration; the ramifications of Peak Oil; the interest by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on Middle East oil, especially Iraq; the CIA’s major role in the drug trade business; the Saudi-U.S. alliance related to the protection of al-Qaeda; what happened with the U.S. air defense on 9/11; and last but not least, insider trading on 9/11, especially anomalies in the option and bond markets.

The nearly mythical computer software program PROMIS, created in the 1970s by former NSA analyst Bill Hamilton, plays a sort of Rosebud role in this narrative – complete with a trail of unexplained deaths and disappearing files that renders some of its avatars, especially those containing backdoor eavesdropping capabilities enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) almost impervious to investigation.

As a matter of fact, Lars had been contacted by Bill Hamilton, who asked him if he could help in relation to the PROMIS affair. It was this request – which took place in the Spring of 2012 after Lars had just published a 9/11-Insider Trading article at Asia Times – that has been the spark which started the investigation you are about to read.

For the German reader, one of the firsts of this sprawling analysis is to take what is considered in the U.S. as a “conspiracy theory” – Mike Ruppert’s seminal 2004 book “Crossing the Rubicon” – and, in Lars’s words, “figure out how far it can be proven correct, more than 15 years after it was published.”

Lars shows in detail how 9/11 enabled a state of emergency, a permanent Continuity of Government (COG) in the U.S. and mass surveillance of U.S. citizens – connecting the dots all the way from missing trillions of dollars in the Pentagon to NSA data mining and leading U.S. neocons. The latter had been praying for a “Pearl Harbor” to reorient US foreign policy since 1997. Their prayers were answered beyond their wildest dreams.

The investigation eventually displays a startling road map: the war on terror as a business model. However, as Lars also shows, in the end, much to the despair of U.S. neocons, all the combined sound and fury of 9/11 and the Global War on Terror, in nearly two decades, ended up bringing about a Russia-China strategic partnership in Eurasia.

It’s fair to ask the author what did he learn as he juggled for years with this immense mass of information. Lars points to the familiarity he acquired with the work of Peter Dale Scott – author, among others of “The Road to 9/11”, and a specialist in the origins of the U.S. Deep State – which is diametrically opposed to the sanitized narrative privileged by the Beltway and U.S. corporate media. Lars presents information by Peter Dale Scott that had never been translated into German before.

Special Agent Lars Cooper / Lars Rosenfield had in effect to kiss goodbye to a career as a journalist, because “I’ll be forever scorned as a ‘conspiracy theorist’,” as he told me. So a stark choice was in play; fearlessness, or a comfortable career as a corporate hack. In the end, Lars chose fearlessness.

In Twin Peaks, Special Agent Dale Cooper has ultimately to confront himself. He knows he’s lost if he tries to run away from his dark self – who is “the dweller on the threshold.” Our Special Agent Lars Cooper definitely did not run away from the dweller on the threshold this time around. He dared to cross to the other side to stare at the abyss. And now he’s back to tell us in a book what it looks like.

Denken wie der Feind – 20 Jahre Ausnahmezustand 9/11 und die Geopolitik des Terrors 

(“Thinking Like the Enemy – 20 Years State of Emergency, 9/11 and the Geopolitics of Terror”), by Lars Schall

Book 1: Das Erdöl, der Dollar und die Drogen

(The Oil, The Dollar and The Drugs)

Via Books on Demand (BOD):

ISBN for the book: 9783753442938. For the e-Book: 9783753414737

Book 2:  Das “Pearl Harbor” des 21. Jahrhunderts (The “Pearl Harbor “ of the 21st Century)

Via Books on Demand (BOD):

ISBN for the book: 9783753460796. For the e-book:  9783753433882

The Puppet Masters: Is There Really a Deep State?

The danger posed by the Deep State is that it wields immense power but is unelected and unaccountable, Phil Giraldi writes.

Conspiracy Theory

By Philip Giraldi

Global Research, March 19, 2021

Strategic Culture Foundation 18 March 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

***

As a former intelligence officer, I find it amusing to read articles in the mainstream media that blithely report how the latest international outrages are undoubtedly the work of CIA and the rest of the U.S. government’s national security alphabet soup. The recurring claim that the CIA is somehow running the world by virtue of a vast conspiracy that includes the secret intelligence agencies of a number of countries, using blackmail and other inducements to corrupt vulnerable politicians and opinion makers, has entered into the DNA of journalists worldwide, frequently without any evidence that the current crop of spies is capable to doing anything more complicated than getting out of bed in the morning.

One problem with the theory about total global dominance through espionage is the sheer logistics of it all. Directing political and economic developments in two hundred nations simultaneously must require a lot of space and a large staff. Is there a huge office hidden in Langley? Or the Pentagon? Or in the White House West Wing itself? Or is it in one of the secure facilities that have been popping up like mushrooms just off of the Dulles Toll Road in Herndon Virginia?

To provide evidence that intelligence agencies extend their tentacles just about everywhere, the other claim that is nearly always made is that all former spooks are part of the conspiracy, as once you learn the secret handshake to join CIA, NSA or the FBI you never stop being “one of them.” Well, that might be true in some cases but the majority of former spooks are quite happy to be “former,” and one might also observe that many voices in the anti-war movement, such as it is, come from intelligence, law enforcement or military backgrounds. Of course, the conspiracy theorists will explain that away by claiming that it is a conspiracy within a conspiracy, making the dissidents little better than double agents or gatekeepers who are put in place to make sure that the opposition doesn’t become too effective.

Given the fact that how the so-called American “Deep State” actually gets together and plots is unknown, one would have to concede that it is an organization without much structure, unlike the original Turkish Deep State (Derin Devlet), which coined the phrase, that actually met and had centralized planning. I would suggest that the problem is one of definitions and it also helps to know how the national security state is structured and what its legitimate mission is. The CIA, for example, employs about 20,000 people, nearly all of whom work in various divisions that collect information (spying), analysis, technology and also are divided into staffs that work transnationally on issues like terrorism, narcotics, and nuclear proliferation. The overwhelming majority of those employees have political views and vote but there is a consensus that what their work entails is apolitical. The actual politics of how policy comes out the other end is confined to a very small group at the top, some of whom are themselves political appointees.

To be sure, one can and probably should oppose the policies of regime change that the Agency is engaged in worldwide but there is one important consideration that has to be understood. Those policies are set by the country’s civilian leadership (president, secretary of state and national security council) and they are imposed on CIA by its own political leadership. The Agency does not hold referenda among its employees to determine which foreign policy option is preferable any more than soldiers in the 101st Airborne are consulted when they receive orders to deploy.Rethinking National Security: CIA and FBI Are Corrupt, but What About Congress?

Nearly all current and former intelligence officers that I know are, in fact, opposed to the politics of U.S. global dominance that have been pretty much in place since 9/11, most particularly as evidenced by the continued conflict with Russia, the ramping up of aggression with China, and the regime change policies relating to Syria, Iran and Venezuela. Those officers often consider the invasions and exercise of “maximum pressure” to have been failures. Those policies were supported by truculent language, sanctions and displays of military readiness by the Trump Administration but it now appears clear that they will all be continued in one form or another under President Joe Biden, likely to include even more aggression against Russia through proxies in Ukraine and Georgia.

The officers engaged in such operations also observe that regime change has basically come out of the closet since 2001. George W. Bush announced that there was a “new sheriff in town” and the gloves would be coming off. Things that the intelligence agencies used to do are now done right out in the open, using military resources against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria while the biggest change of all, in Ukraine in 2014, was largely engineered by Victoria Nuland at the State Department. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was also active in Russia supporting opposition parties until the Kremlin forced them to leave the country.

So, it is fair to say that the Deep State is not a function of either the CIA or the FBI, but at the same time the involvement of John Brennan, James Clapper and James Comey in the plot to destroy Donald Trump is disturbing, as the three men headed the Agency, the Office of National Intelligence and Bureau. They appear to have played critical leadership roles in carrying out this conspiracy and they may not have operated on their own. Almost certainly what they may have done would have been either explicitly or implicitly authorized by the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and others in his national security team.

It is now known that President Barack Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan created a secret interagency Trump Task Force in early 2016. Rather than working against genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of President Vladimir Putin, a claim that still surfaces regularly to this day. Working with Clapper, Brennan fabricated the narrative that “Russia had interfered in the 2016 election.” Brennan and Clapper promoted that tale even though they knew very well that Russia and the United States have carried out a broad array of covert actions against each other, including information operations, for the past seventy years, but they pretended that what happened in 2016 was qualitatively and substantively different even though the “evidence” produced to support that claim is weak to nonexistent.

I would, nevertheless, argue that their behavior, though it exploited intelligence resources, was not intrinsic to the organizations that they led, that the three of them were part and parcel of the real Deep State, which consists of a consensus view on running the country that is held by nearly all of the elements that together make up the American Establishment, with its political power focused in Washington and its financial center in New York City. It should come as no surprise that those government officials who are complicit in the process are often personally rewarded with highly paid sinecure jobs in financial services, which they know nothing about, when they “retire.”

The danger posed by the Deep State, or, if you choose, the Establishment, is that it wields immense power but is unelected and unaccountable. Even though it does not actually meet in secret, it does operate through relationships that are not transparent and as the media is part of it, there is little chance that its activity will be exposed. One notes that while the Deep State is mentioned frequently in the national media there has been little effort to identify its components and how it operates.

Viewed in that fashion, the argument that there exists a cohesive group of power brokers who really run the country and are even able to coopt those who are ostensibly dedicated to keeping the country safe becomes much more plausible without denigrating the many honest people who are employed by the national security agencies. The Deep State conspirators don’t have to meet to plot as they all understand very well what has to be done to maintain their supremacy. That is the real danger. The Biden Administration will surely demonstrate over the next several months that the Deep State is still with us and more powerful than ever as it operates both inside and outside the government itself. And the real danger comes from the Democrats now in charge, who are if anything more given to playing with consensus politics that involve phony threats than were the Republicans.

*

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

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.orgaddress is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT PUTIN

March 18, 2021

Dear friends: this column shows how matters stand. Support this website or darkness will arrive.

Has Biden’s Description of Putin as a Killer Finally Dispelled Kremlin Hopes for Good Relations?

Paul Craig Roberts - Official Homepage

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT PUTIN

Paul Craig Roberts

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to Biden’s unacceptable characterization of Russia’s president as a killer by stating that Biden had made it clear that “he doesn’t want to normalize relations.”  In the Kremlin does hope burn eternal?  It has been obvious to me for many years that Washington does not want normal relations with Russia or any country. Washington wants a hegemonic relationship with Washington as the hegemon and Russia as the obedient puppet as Russia was during the Yeltsin decade.

Just consider the past four years of Trump’s presidency.  Trump declared his intention of normalizing relations with Russia and for this reason his presidency was destroyed by the American Establishment.

There is no prospect of Russia having normal relations with the US and its Empire.  The destruction of Trump’s presidency and the theft of his reelection is proof that the American Establishment will not tolerate a president who intends a normal diplomatic relationship with a sovereign Russia. This one intention was all it took to destroy Trump’s presidency.  Trump was immediately confronted with three years of orchestrated “Russiagate,” followed by two attempted impeachments of Trump on false grounds, and his reelection was stolen. The American judiciary refused to even look at the overwhelming evidence of the stolen election.  Did the Kremlim really believe that Biden was going to repeat Trump’s self-destruction and make friends with Russia?

Despite all the clarity in Biden’s accusation, backed up by White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki that “the Russians will be held accountable,”  Russian Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reaffirmed Russia’s interest in “preventing the irreversible degradation” of Russian bilateral ties with the US.

Amazing.  It seems the Kremlin is incapable of acknowledging reality.  In 2016 Hillary Clinton, who was expected to be the next US president, called Putin the “new Hitler.”  How does this differ from Biden calling Putin a killer? It is official Western policy to demonize Putin and Russia. The demonization of Putin and Russia  has been underway for years.

Putin’s forbearance is remarkable. He treats these calculated insults as if they are water off a duck’s back.  But Putin’s response does not serve peace or Russian interests.  

Dear President Putin, please permit me to offer an explanation of the threat that you and the entire world face.  Washington and the American foreign policy establishment hates your guts.  They hate you because you restored Russia’s sovereignty and, thereby, put a powerful country in the way of American hegemony.  Remember the Wolfowitz Doctrine (1992):

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

You, President Putin and you alone, are responsible for the “re-emergence of a new rival . . . sufficient to generate global power.”  Therefore, you are an unpardonable constraint on American hegemony, and “our first objective” is to remove the constraint you place on American hegemony. 

This neoconservative policy remains in place. No alternative has come forward. Recently, two Russian analysts at the hegemonic Atlantic Council suggested that Washington pursue a less hostile approach to Russia.  They were immediately denounced by the other 22 members of the council’s foreign policy experts.

See: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/03/17/washington-has-resurrected-the-specter-of-nuclear-armageddon/  

It could not be stated any clearer that Russia is in Washington’s way.  Does the Kremlin lack people familiar with the English language?

Whoever is advising the Kremlin is an idiot.  Every time the Kremlin replies to insults and false accusations from Washington, the Kremlin hands to the entire Western media—a propaganda ministry, the likes of which has never before existed on earth and can be found only in science fiction such as George Orwell’s 1984—the opportunity to repeat the charge:  “Today the Kremlin spokesman denied that Putin is a killer.”

If I may offer my advice, President Putin, explain to Peskov and to Zakharov not to respond to accusations and insults.  Ignore them.  Say nothing. Stop trying to appeal to Washington and its NATO puppets.  The fact that Russia believes facts are relevant is seen by the West as a sign of great weakness.  Facts don’t matter in the West.  Russiagate proved that for you.  

Go about your business where you are welcomed and regarded as a potential protector against Washington, such as Iran.  Form an explicit mutual defense pact with China.  Not even criminally insane Washington will take on Russia and China.  Add Iran and the Taliban.  The best way to keep Islamic terrorism out of the Russian Federation is to befriend them and turn them against Washington.  Beat Washington at its own game.  And by all means, stop Israel and Washington from attacking Syrian territory.  Until you show Russia’s power, you will not be taken seriously. The longer you are not taken seriously, the greater the likelihood that threats against Russia will mount until nuclear war arrives.  Obviously, Russia is not taken seriously with American Democrat leaders describing the President of Russia as the “new Hitler” and “a killer.”  No American president dared to speak of a Soviet leader, where there actually was justification for the charge, in such terms.  

I offer this advice not because I am pro-Russia and anti-America, but because I worked with President Reagan to achieve the goal of ending the Cold War and its threat of nuclear Armageddon.  People can go on all they want about climate change and Covid, but nuclear war is an end times occurance.  

The American neoconservative intent to acquire world hegemony will bring nuclear war unless you turn Russia’s back to the decadent, corrupt, and dying West and protect with decisive force the interests of Russia and her friends.  Washington denies you friends in Europe.  Find them elsewhere.  The peace of the world is at stake.

For Leviathan, it’s so cold in Alaska

For Leviathan, it’s so cold in Alaska

March 18, 2021

Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi will seek to make shark’s fin soup out of Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan at the Anchorage summit

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

Leviathan seems to be positioning itself for a geopolitical Kill Bill rampage – yet brandishing a rusty samurai high-carbon-steel sword.

Predictably, US deep state masters have not factored in that they could eventually be neutralized by a geopolitical Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.

In a searing, concise essay, Alastair Crooke pointed to the heart of the matter. These are the two key insights – including a nifty Orwellian allusion:

1. “Once control over the justifying myth of America was lost, the mask was off.”

2. “The US thinks to lead the maritime and rimland powers in imposing a searing psychological, technological and economic defeat on the Russia-China-Iran alliance. In the past, the outcome might have been predictable. This time Eurasia may very well stand solid against a weakened Oceania (and a faint-hearted Europe).”

And that brings us to two interconnected summits: the Quad and the China-US 2+2 in Alaska.

The virtual Quad last Friday came and went like a drifting cloud. When you had India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the Quad is “a force for global good,” no wonder rows of eyebrows across the Global South were raised.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi remarked last year that the Quad was part of a drive to create an “Asian NATO.”

It is. But the hegemon, lording over India, Japan and Australia, mustn’t spell it out. Thus the vague rhetoric about “free and open Indo-Pacific,” “democratic values,” “territorial integrity” – all code to characterize containment of China, especially in the South China Sea.

The exceptionalist wet dream – routinely expressed in US Thinktankland – is to position an array of missiles in the first island chain, pointing towards China like a weaponized porcupine. Beijing is very much aware of it.

Apart from a meek joint statement, the Quad promised to deliver 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines throughout the “Indo-Pacific” by the end of… 2022.

The vaccine would be produced by India and financed by the US and Japan, with the logistics of distribution coming from Australia.

That was predictably billed as “countering China’s influence in the region.” Too little, too late. The bottom line is: The hegemon is furious because China’s vaccine diplomacy is a huge success – not only across Asia but all across the Global South.

This ain’t no ‘strategic dialogue’

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken is a mere apparatchik who was an enthusiastic cheerleader for shock and awe against Iraq 18 years ago, in 2003. At the time he was staff director for the Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, then chaired by Senator Joe Biden.

Now Blinken is running US foreign policy for a senile cardboard entity who mutters, live, on camera, “I’ll do whatever you want me to do, Nance” – as in Nancy Pelosi; and who characterizes the Russian president as “a killer,” “without a soul,” who will “pay a price.”

Paraphrasing Pulp Fiction: “Diplomacy’s dead, baby. Diplomacy’s dead.”

With that in mind, there’s little doubt that the formidable Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, side by side with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, will make shark’s fin soup out of their interlocutors Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at the 2+2 summit in Anchorage, Alaska.

Only two days before the start of the Two Sessions in Beijing, Blinken proclaimed that China is the “biggest geopolitical challenge of the 21st century.”

According to Blinken, China is the “only country with the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system – all the rules, values and relationships that make the world work the way we want it to, because it ultimately serves the interests and reflects the values of the American people.”

So Blinken tacitly admits what really matters is how the world works “the way we want it to” – “we” being the hegemon, which made those rules in the first place. And those rules serve the interests and reflect the values of the American people. As in: It’s our way or the highway.

Blinken could be excused because he’s just a wide-eyed novice on the big stage. But it gets way more embarrassing.

Here’s his foreign policy in a nutshell (“his” because the hologram at the White House needs 24/7 instructions in his earpiece to even know what time it is):

Sanctions, sanctions everywhere; Cold War 2.0 against Russia and “killer” Putin; China guilty of “genocide” in Xinjiang; a notorious apartheid state getting a free pass to do anything; Iran must blink first or there’s no return to the JCPOA; Random Guaido recognized as President of Venezuela, with regime change still the priority.

There’s a curious kabuki in play here. Following the proverbial revolving door logic in DC, before literally crossing the street to have full access to the White House, Blinken was a founding partner of WestExec Advisorswhose main line of business is to offer “geopolitical and policy expertise” to American multinationals, the overwhelming majority of which are interested in – where else – China.

So Alaska might point to some measure of trade-off on trade. The problem, though, seems insurmountable. Beijing does not want to eschew the profitable American market, while for Washington expansion of Chinese technology across the West is anathema.

Blinken himself pre-empted Alaska, saying this is no “strategic dialogue.” So we’re back to bolstering the Indo-Pacific racket; recriminations about the “loss of freedom” in Hong Kong – whose role of US/UK Fifth Column is now definitely over; Tibet; and the “invasion” of Taiwan, now on spin overdrive, with the Pentagon stating it is “probable” before 2027.

“Strategic dialogue” it ain’t.

A junkie on a bum trip

Wang Yi, at a press conference linked to the 13th National People’s Congress and the announcement of the next Five-Year Plan, said: “We will set an example of strategic mutual trust, by firmly supporting each other in upholding core and major interests, jointly opposing ‘color revolution’ and countering disinformation, and safeguarding national sovereignty and political security.”

That’s a sharp contrast with the post-truth “highly likely” school of spin privileged by (failed) Russiagate peddlers and assorted Sinophobes.

Top Chinese scholar Wang Jisi, who used to be close to the late Ezra Vogel, author of arguably the best Deng Xiaoping biography in English, has introduced an extra measure of sanity, recalling Vogel’s emphasis on the necessity of US and East Asia understanding each other’s culture.

According to Wang Jisi, “In my own experiences, I find one difference between the two countries most illuminating. We in China like the idea of “seeking common ground while reserving our differences.” We state that the common interests between our two countries far exceed our differences. We define common ground by a set of principles like mutual respect and cooperation. Americans, in contrast, tend to focus on hard issues like tensions over Taiwan and the South China Sea. It looks that the Chinese want to set up principles before trying to solve specific problems, but the Americans are eager to deal with problems before they are ready to improve the relationship.”

The real problem is that the hegemon seems congenitally incapable of trying to understand the Other. It always harks back to that notorious formulation by Zbigniew Brzezinski, with trademark imperial arrogance, in his 1997 magnum opus The Grand Chessboard:

“To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected and to keep the barbarians from coming together.”

Dr Zbig was referring, of course, to Eurasia. “Security dependence among vassals” applied mostly to Germany and Japan, key hubs in the Rimland.  “Tributaries pliant and protected” applied mostly to the Middle East.

And crucially, “keep the barbarians from coming together” applied to Russia, China and Iran. That was Pax Americana in a nutshell. And that’s what’s totally unraveling now.

Hence the Kill Bill logic. It goes back a long way. Less than two months after the collapse of the USSR, the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance preached total global dominance and, following Dr Zbig, the absolute imperative of preventing the emergence of any future peer competitor.

Especially Russia, defined as “the only power in the world with the capacity of destroying the United States.”

Then, in 2002, at the start of the “axis of evil” era, came the full spectrum dominance doctrine as the bedrock of the US National Security Strategy. Domination, domination everywhere: terrestrial, aerial, maritime, subterranean, cosmic, psychological, biological, cyber-technological.

And, not by accident, the Indo-Pacific strategy – which guides the Quad – is all about “how to maintain US strategic primacy.”

This mindset is what enables US Think Tankland to formulate risible “analyses” in which the only “win” for the US imperatively requires a failed Chinese “regime.”

After all, Leviathan is congenitally incapable of accepting a “win-win”; it only runs on “zero-sum,” based on divide and rule.

And that’s what’s leading the Russia-China strategic partnership to progressively establish a wide-ranging, comprehensive security environment, spanning everything from high-tech weaponry to banking and finance, energy supplies and the flow of information.

To evoke yet another pop culture gem, a discombobulated Leviathan now is like Caroline, the junkie depicted in Lou Reed’s Berlin:

But she’s not afraid to die / All of her friends call her Alaska / When she takes speed / They laugh and ask her / What is in her mind / What is in her mind / She put her fist through the window pane / It was such a / funny feeling / It’s so cold / in Alaska.

Brazil’s Lula in a wilderness of mirrors

Brazil’s Lula in a wilderness of mirrors

March 17, 2021

Still in the legal woods and not daring to project as a revolutionary leader, Lula should nonetheless never be underestimated

By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

A surprising Supreme Court decision that, while not definitive, restores Lula’s political rights has hit Brazil like a semiotic bomb and plunged the nation into a reality show being played in a wilderness of shattered mirrors.

At first, it looked like three key variables would remain immutable.

  • The Brazilian military run the show – and that would not change. They maintain total veto power over whether Lula may run for president for a third term in 2022 – or be neutralized, again, via whatever juridical maneuver might be deemed necessary, at the time of their choosing.
  • President Bolsonaro – whose popularity was hovering around 44% – would now have free rein to mobilize all strands of the right against Lula, fully supported by the Brazilian ruling class.
  • Pinochetist Economics Minister Paulo Guedes would continue to have free rein to completely destroy the Brazilian state, industry and society on behalf of the 0.001%.

But then, 48 hours later, came the Lula tour de force: a speech and press conference combo lasting a Proustian three hours – starting with a long thank you list on which, significantly, the first two names were Argentina President Alberto Fernandez and Pope Francis, implying a future Brazil-Argentina strategic axis.

During those three hours, Lula operated a masterful pre-emptive strike. Fully aware he’s still not out of the legal woods, far from it, he could not possibly project himself as a revolutionary leader. In the complex Brazilian matrix, only the evolution of social movements will in the distant future create the political conditions for some possibility of radical revolution.

So Lula opted for the next-best play: he completely changed the narrative by drawing a sharp contrast to the dreadful wasteland presided over by Bolsonaro He emphasized the welfare of Brazilian society; the necessary role of the state, as social provider and development organizer; and the imperative of creating jobs and raising people’s incomes.

“I want the Armed Forces taking care of the nation’s sovereignty,” he stressed. The political message to the Brazilian military – who hold all the cards in the current political charade – was unmistakable.

On the autonomy of the Brazilian Central Bank, he remarked that the only ones who profited from it comprised “the financial system.” And he made it quite clear the main circumstance in which “they should be afraid of me” will be if choice chunks of productive Brazil – as in national energy giant Petrobras – are sold for nothing. So he firmly positioned himself against the ongoing neoliberal privatization drive.

Obama-Biden

Even knowing that Obama-Biden were the (silent) overseers of the slow motion lawfare coup against President Dilma Rousseff from 2013 to 2016, Lula could not afford to be confrontational with Washington.

Refraining from throwing a fragmentation bomb he didn’t mention that then-Vice President Biden spent three days in Brazil in May 2013 and met Dilma – discussing, among other key issues, the fabulous pre-salt oil reserves. One week later, the first installment of a rolling Brazilian color revolution hit the streets.

Lula skirted another potential fragmentation bomb when he said, “I had the intention to build a strong currency with China and Russia so not to be dependent on the U.S. dollar. Obama knew about it.”

That’s correct: but Lula could have stressed that this was arguably the fundamental motivation for the coup – and for the destruction of an emergent Brazil, then 6th largest economy in the world and accumulating vast political capital across the Global South.

Lula is far from secure enough to take the risk of indicting the whole, elaborate Obama-Biden/FBI/Justice Department operation that created the conditions for the Car Wash investigation racket – now totally unmasked. The US deep sate is watching. Watching everything. In real time. And they won’t let their tropical neo-colony slip away without a fight.

Still, the Lula Show was an incantatory, hypnotic invitation to tens of millions of people glued to their smartphones, a society terminally exhausted, appalled and infuriated by a multi-pronged tragedy presided over by Bolsonaro.

Hence the inevitable, subsequent vortex.

What is to be done?

If confirmed as the ultimate comeback kid, Lula faces a Sisyphean task. The unemployment rate is 21.6% nationally, over 30% in the poorer northeastern regions.

It reaches nearly 50% among 18-24-year-olds. The emergency government help in times of pandemic was initially set at a little over $100 – to loud opposition protests. Now that it’s been scaled down to a paltry $64, the opposition is clinging to the previous $100 it rejected.

For 60% of the Brazilian working class monthly wages are less than what was the minimum wage in 2018, at the time valued around $300.

In contrast to relentless impoverishment, a hefty chunk of Brazilian industrialists would like to see the Guedes hardcore neoliberal orchestra keep playing unencumbered. That implies serial super-exploitation of the work force and indiscriminate sell-off of state assets. A large proportion of the pre-salt deposits – in terms of reserves already discovered – is not Brazilian-owned anymore.

The military de facto handed over the nation’s economy to transnational finance. Brazil virtually depends on mercenary agro-business to pay its bills. As soon as China reaches food security, with Russia as a major supplier, this arrangement will vanish – and foreign reserves will dwindle.

To talk about “de-industrialization” in Brazil – as the liberal left does – makes no sense whatsoever, as rapacious industrialists themselves support neoliberalism and rentism.

Add to it a narco-trafficking boom as a direct consequence of the nation’s industrial collapse, coupled with what could be defined as the incremental US-style evangelicalization of social life expressing the predominant anomie, and we have the most graphic case of disaster capitalism ravaging a major Global South economy in the 21st century.

So what is to be done?

No smoking gun

Of course there’s no smoking gun. But all the shadowplay points toward a deal. Now seemingly rallying around him are, with the exception of the military, the same actors who tried to destroy Lula – what is dubbed the “juristocracy,” powerful media interests, the goddess of the market.

After all, Bolsonaro – the incarnation of a military project rolled out since at least 2014 – is not only bad for business: his psychotic inconsequence is downright dangerous.

For instance, if Brasilia cuts off Huawei from 5G in Brazil, sooner rather than later agro-business mercenaries will be eating their own soya beans, as Chinese retaliation will be devastating. China is Brazil’s top trade partner.

Key plot twists remain unanswered. For instance, whether the Supreme Court decision – which may be reverted – was taken only to protect the Car Wash investigation, actually racket, and its crypto Elliott Ness-style superstar, now discredited provincial judge Sergio Moro.

Or whether a new judicial via crucis for Lula may be unleashed if their handlers so decide. After all, the Supreme Court is a cartel. Virtually every one of the 11 justices is compromised to one degree or another.

The paramount variable is what the imperial masters really want. No one inside the Beltway has a conclusive answer. The Pentagon wants a neo-colony – with minimum Russia-China influence, that is, a fractured BRICS. Wall Street wants maximum plunder. As it stands, both the Pentagon and Wall Street never had it so good.

Obama-Biden 3.0 want some continuity: the sophisticated early-to-mid 2010s project of shattering Brazil via Hybrid War developed under their patronage. But now that must proceed under “acceptable” management; for the Dem leadership Bolsonaro, on every level, is irredeemably linked to Trump.

So this is the crucial deal to watch in the long run: Lula/Obama-Biden 3.0.

Brasilia insiders close to the military are spinning that if the deep state/Wall Street consortium gets its new basket of goodies – China out of 5G, increased weapons sales, the privatization of Eletrobras, new Petrobras price policies – the military may discard Lula again anytime.

Always in negotiation mode, Lula had been in action even before the Supreme Court decision. In late 2020, Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Development Investment Fund which financed the Sputnik V vaccine, took a meeting with Lula, after he identified the former president as one of the signatories of a petition by Nobel Economics prize Muhammad Yunus calling for Covid-19 vaccines to be a common good. The meeting was firmly encouraged by Russian President Putin.

This eventually led to tens of millions of doses of Sputnik V being available for a group of Brazilian northeastern states. Lula played a key part in the negotiation. The federal government, initially bowing to heavy American pressure to demonize Sputnik V, but then confronted with a vaccine disaster, was forced to jump on the bandwagon and now is even trying to take the credit for it.

As it stands, this enthralling telenovela political frenzy may be exhibiting all the hallmarks of a psyops crossover between MMA and WWE – starring a few good guys and an abundance of heels.

The (military) house would like to give the impression it is controlling all the bets. But Lula – as the consummate political practitioner of “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” – should never be underestimated.

As soon as the taming of Covid-19 allows it – to a great extent thanks to Sputnik V – Lula’s best bet will be to hit the road. Unleash the battered working masses in the streets, energize them, talk to them, listen to them. Internationalize the Brazilian drama while trying to bridge the gap between Washington and the BRICS.

And act like the true leader of the Global South he never ceased to be.

The Khashoggi Bomb: What Does Biden Want from Riyadh & What Are MBS’s Options?

The Khashoggi Bomb: What Does Biden Want from Riyadh & What Are MBS’s Options?

By Ali Abadi

The release of the US intelligence community’s declassified report on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is more than two years overdue. Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

The sanctions announced by the administration of US President Joe Biden did not include specific measures against Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. This despite the fact that the report pins the murder on the royal. The report states that the hit team could have only gotten its marching orders from the Crown Prince, given the latter’s tight grip on the security apparatus.

The CIA report did not introduce any new information. But the intelligence assessment about what transpired and who is responsible are important. The substance of the report was toned down following several weeks of consultations between Biden and his team. The aim was to avoid pushing their Saudi ally into a corner and keeping an outlet for him to modify his behavior in line with the policies of the new US government.

The report asks correlative questions

Do the steps taken by the US administration regarding the assassination of Khashoggi indicate a turning point in the relations between the two states? Are they merely scoring political points in restoring American soft power by pretending to protect human rights? Or are these steps the end of the tolerance phase practiced by former US President Donald Trump and do they mark the start of a new relationship based on new-old foundations?

American review

First, let’s review the steps that have been taken to date by the Biden administration vis-à-vis the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

– Halting the supply of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE and pushing for an exit from the US-sponsored Saudi predicament in Yemen

– Calling for the release of human rights activists in the Kingdom.

– Stopping US communication with the Saudi Crown Prince and limiting presidential communication with King Salman

– Announcing gradual steps, even if currently conditional, to return to the nuclear agreement with Iran

– Perhaps most importantly, the declaration of a break from the Trump era in several areas, including those related to dealing with Saudi Arabia leading up to the release of the Khashoggi report

It is clear that the new administration in Washington doesn’t enjoy a harmonious relationship with the current ruling team in Saudi Arabia, specifically with Mohammed bin Salman, who seized power by force, imprisoned his opponents [some of whom are in cahoots with officials in the deep state in America] or placed them under house arrest. Bin Salman is attempting to buy the support of the US government for all his reckless actions, while harming American soft power, especially with the open wound in Yemen.

There is a very important point that may be the main motive behind the new way America is dealing with Riyadh. Circles of the American elite, among the Democrats in general and even some Republicans, feel indignant and suspicious regarding the very special relationship between the Saudi Crown Prince and former US President Donald Trump and his entourage. The Democrats, in particular, want to break this relationship and expose it retroactively. There is a current within the Democratic Party that wants to go further than Biden in dealing with Riyadh. However, the US President preferred a traditional approach that separates the relationship with the Saudi Crown Prince from the one with the entire Saudi government, despite the fact that the two are indistinguishable. Even the Saudi King cannot break away from the authority of his favorite son, and this is another story.

How will Saudi Arabia respond?

Saudi Arabia’s official version about the trial of Khashoggi’s killers is irrelevant. The outcome of the trial was always a foregone conclusion, and it ended in limiting the charges to a number of people and removing the accusation not only from the Crown Prince but from his two closest associates, Saud Al-Qahtani and Ahmed Al-Asiri.

The death penalty against the killers was also abolished, while the family of the victim was compelled to waive their right to retribution in exchange for financial compensation [a typical Saudi procedure in such cases]. Of course, we are not interested now in recovering the contradictions of the official Saudi narrative, which involved disjointed narratives since the assassination saga began to unfold.

However, each of the above steps is sufficient to annoy the Saudis, who are very disappointed with the end of the Trump era, in which the Saudi Crown Prince invested hundreds of billions of dollars in order to cover his impulsive policies. Trump left, and the Saudi money went to the US treasury and American companies. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is once again in the dark about the American agenda that represents an extension of the Obama era. Faced with the American moment of truth, the Saudi government will have to deprecate this incomplete revelation through:

– Downplaying the importance of the US measures and the talk that the Saudi judiciary has spoken in the case

– Stirring up patriotism among the Saudis to give renewed legitimacy to the Crown Prince, whose image was tarnished by this crime

– Betting on time to overcome this saga

– Accelerating the relationship with “Israel” in order to use its influence in Washington to moderate the dealings with the Saudi Crown Prince. In this sense, normalization becomes a price [currently hidden] for legitimizing Bin Salman’s status in Washington

– Hinting to the Americans that Riyadh is looking for alternatives to American weapons with China and Russia, for example, in order to push Washington to reduce its criticism of the Saudi Crown Prince

Most of what the Biden administration wants is for Riyadh to return to the ranks of the passenger rather than Saudi Arabia leading the United States to where it wants in the region, especially after the Saudi Crown Prince proved unprecedented recklessness in managing internal affairs and a lack of efficiency in managing regional challenges.

The Biden administration also wants to preempt any Saudi or non-Saudi objection to returning to the nuclear agreement with Iran and to dispel any attempt by Riyadh and others to enlarge their role in a way that disturbs the new government managing this file from the perspective of various US priorities. We should pause here at an interesting point, which is that the Biden administration is adopting a triple containment strategy for objections to the nuclear deal that was reached in the era of the Democrats in 2015.

This strategy includes, in addition to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and “Israel”. In addition to stopping the US presidential communication with Bin Salman and halting offensive weapons supplies to Riyadh, Washington has also stopped arms deals with the UAE and has allowed, in a carefully studied time frame, to publish satellite images of construction operations at the “Israeli” Dimona reactor, at a time when Netanyahu waited weeks to receive a call from Biden.

In conclusion, the new US administration aims to get rid of Trump’s legacy on several levels and reset US-Saudi relations to a purely American rhythm, but the desired justice stopped with Mohammed Bin Salman.

Let’s remember:

– Jamal Khashoggi’s body was never found, and the Saudi side refuses to reveal its fate.

– We are facing a declassified US report, which means that the US administration preferred to keep secret facts under wraps in order to preserve relations with Saudi Arabia and maintain the loyalty of Riyadh.

– We are facing scanty measures against those involved in the crime. Not granting them entry visas to the United States is the weakest measure in the huge US sanctions arsenal, and Washington was satisfied with the weaker punishment.

– The bitter cup was removed from the Crown Prince, although the moral message was received.

– It is important to note the impact of this position on the way European countries and the international community view the Saudi Crown Prince, who will remain in his father’s shadow as long as the latter is alive.

The question remains: What is Mohammed Bin Salman’s fate after the current king? Will his past be overlooked and his position on the altar of American strategic interests be normalized, or is Washington thinking about reopening the path of the caliphate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is currently unavailable after Bin Salman smashed all possible alternatives?

Related Videos

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.

Why Russia is driving the West crazy

Why Russia is driving the West crazy

February 10, 2021

by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted on Asia Times

Future historians may register it as the day when usually unflappable Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov decided he had had enough:

We are getting used to the fact that the European Union are trying to impose unilateral restrictions, illegitimate restrictions and we proceed from the assumption at this stage that the European Union is an unreliable partner.

Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, on an official visit to Moscow, had to take it on the chin.

Lavrov, always the perfect gentleman, added, “I hope that the strategic review that will take place soon will focus on the key interests of the European Union and that these talks will help to make our contacts more constructive.”

He was referring to the EU heads of state and government’s summit at the European Council next month, where they will discuss Russia. Lavrov harbors no illusions the “unreliable partners” will behave like adults.

Yet something immensely intriguing can be found in Lavrov’s opening remarks in his meeting with Borrell: “The main problem we all face is the lack of normalcy in relations between Russia and the European Union – the two largest players in the Eurasian space. It is an unhealthy situation, which does not benefit anyone.”

The two largest players in the Eurasian space (italics mine). Let that sink in. We’ll be back to it in a moment.

As it stands, the EU seems irretrievably addicted to worsening the “unhealthy situation”. European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen memorably botched the Brussels vaccine game. Essentially, she sent Borrell to Moscow to ask for licensing rights for European firms to produce the Sputnik V vaccine – which will soon be approved by the EU.

And yet Eurocrats prefer to dabble in hysteria, promoting the antics of NATO asset and convicted fraudster Navalny – the Russian Guaido.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, under the cover of “strategic deterrence”, the head of the US STRATCOM, Admiral Charles Richard, casually let it slip that “there is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons, if they perceived a conventional loss would threaten the regime or state.”

So the blame for the next – and final – war is already apportioned to the “destabilizing” behavior of Russia and China. It’s assumed they will be “losing” – and then, in a fit of rage, will go nuclear. The Pentagon will be no more than a victim; after all, claims Mr. STRATCOM, we are not “stuck in the Cold War”.

STRATCOM planners could do worse than read crack military analyst Andrei Martyanov, who for years has been on the forefront detailing how the new hypersonic paradigm – and not nuclear weapons – has changed the nature of warfare.

After a detailed technical discussion, Martyanov shows how “the United States simply has no good options currently. None. The less bad option, however, is to talk to Russians and not in terms of geopolitical BS and wet dreams that the United States, somehow, can convince Russia “to abandon” China – US has nothing, zero, to offer Russia to do so. But at least Russians and Americans may finally settle peacefully this “hegemony” BS between themselves and then convince China to finally sit as a Big Three at the table and finally decide how to run the world. This is the only chance for the US to stay relevant in the new world.”

The Golden Horde imprint

As much as the chances are negligible of the EU getting a grip on the “unhealthy situation” with Russia, there’s no evidence what Martyanov outlined will be contemplated by the US Deep State.

The path ahead seems ineluctable: perpetual sanctions; perpetual NATO expansion alongside Russia’s borders; the build up of a ring of hostile states around Russia; perpetual US interference on Russian internal affairs – complete with an army of fifth columnists; perpetual, full spectrum information war.

Lavrov is increasingly making it crystal clear that Moscow expects nothing else. Facts on the ground, though, will keep accumulating.

Nordstream 2 will be finished – sanctions or no sanctions – and will supply much needed natural gas to Germany and the EU. Convicted fraudster Navalny – 1% of real “popularity” in Russia – will remain in jail. Citizens across the EU will get Sputnik V. The Russia-China strategic partnership will continue to solidify.

To understand how we have come to this unholy Russophobic mess, an essential road map is provided by Russian Conservatism , an exciting, new political philosophy study by Glenn Diesen, associate professor at University of Southeastern Norway, lecturer at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, and one of my distinguished interlocutors in Moscow.

Diesen starts focusing on the essentials: geography, topography and history. Russia is a vast land power without enough access to the seas. Geography, he argues, conditions the foundations of “conservative policies defined by autocracy, an ambiguous and complex concept of nationalism, and the enduring role of the Orthodox Church” – something that implies resistance to “radical secularism”.

It’s always crucial to remember that Russia has no natural defensible borders; it has been invaded or occupied by Swedes, Poles, Lithuanians, the Mongol Golden Horde, Crimean Tatars and Napoleon. Not to mention the immensely bloody Nazi invasion.

What’s in a word? Everything: “security”, in Russian, is byezopasnost. That happens to be a negative, as byez means “without” and opasnost means “danger”.

Russia’s complex, unique historical make-up always presented serious problems. Yes, there was close affinity with the Byzantine empire. But if Russia “claimed transfer of imperial authority from Constantinople it would be forced to conquer it.” And to claim the successor, role and heritage of the Golden Horde would relegate Russia to the status of an Asiatic power only.

On the Russian path to modernization, the Mongol invasion provoked not only a geographical schism, but left its imprint on politics: “Autocracy became a necessity following the Mongol legacy and the establishment of Russia as an Eurasian empire with a vast and poorly connected geographical expanse”.

“A colossal East West”

Russia is all about East meets West. Diesen reminds us how Nikolai Berdyaev, one of the leading 20th century conservatives, already nailed it in 1947: “The inconsistency and complexity of the Russian soul may be due to the fact that in Russia two streams of world history – East and West – jostle and influence one another (…) Russia is a complete section of the world – a colossal East West.”

The Trans-Siberian railroad, built to solidify the internal cohesion of the Russian empire and to project power in Asia, was a major game-changer: “With Russian agricultural settlements expanding to the east, Russia was increasingly replacing the ancient roads who had previously controlled and connected Eurasia.”

It’s fascinating to watch how the development of Russian economics ended up on Mackinder’s Heartland theory – according to which control of the world required control of the Eurasian supercontinent. What terrified Mackinder is that Russian railways connecting Eurasia would undermine the whole power structure of Britain as a maritime empire.

Diesen also shows how Eurasianism – emerging in the 1920s among émigrés in response to 1917 – was in fact an evolution of Russian conservatism.

Eurasianism, for a number of reasons, never became a unified political movement. The core of Eurasianism is the notion that Russia was not a mere Eastern European state. After the 13th century Mongol invasion and the 16th century conquest of Tatar kingdoms, Russia’s history and geography could not be only European. The future would require a more balanced approach – and engagement with Asia.

Dostoyevsky had brilliantly framed it ahead of anyone, in 1881:

Russians are as much Asiatics as European. The mistake of our policy for the past two centuries has been to make the people of Europe believe that we are true Europeans. We have served Europe too well, we have taken too great a part in her domestic quarrels (…) We have bowed ourselves like slaves before the Europeans and have only gained their hatred and contempt. It is time to turn away from ungrateful Europe. Our future is in Asia.

Lev Gumilev was arguably the superstar among a new generation of Eurasianists. He argued that Russia had been founded on a natural coalition between Slavs, Mongols and Turks. The Ancient Rus and the Great Steppe, published in 1989, had an immense impact in Russia after the fall of the USSR – as I learned first hand from my Russian hosts when I arrived in Moscow via the Trans-Siberian in the winter of 1992.

As Diesen frames it, Gumilev was offering a sort of third way, beyond European nationalism and utopian internationalism. A Lev Gumilev University has been established in Kazakhstan. Putin has referred to Gumilev as “the great Eurasian of our time”.

Diesen reminds us that even George Kennan, in 1994, recognized the conservative struggle for “this tragically injured and spiritually diminished country”. Putin, in 2005, was way sharper. He stressed,

the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. And for the Russian people, it was a real drama (…) The old ideals were destroyed. Many institutions were disbanded or simply hastily reformed…With unrestricted control over information flows, groups of oligarchs served exclusively their own corporate interests. Mass poverty started to be accepted as the norm. All this evolved against a background of the most severe economic recession, unstable finances and paralysis in the social sphere.

Applying “sovereign democracy”

And so we reach the crucial European question.

In the 1990s, led by Atlanticists, Russian foreign policy was focused on Greater Europe, a concept based on Gorbachev’s Common European Home.

And yet post-Cold War Europe, in practice, ended up configured as the non-stop expansion of NATO and the birth – and expansion – of the EU. All sorts of liberal contortionisms were deployed to include all of Europe while excluding Russia.

Diesen has the merit of summarizing the whole process in a single sentence: “The new liberal Europe represented a British-American continuity in terms of the rule of maritime powers, and Mackinder’s objective to organize the German-Russian relationship in a zero-sum format to prevent the alignment of interests”.

No wonder Putin, subsequently, had to be erected as the Supreme Scarecrow, or “the new Hitler”. Putin rejected outright the role for Russia of mere apprentice to Western civilization – and its corollary, (neo) liberal hegemony.

Still, he remained quite accommodating. In 2005, Putin stressed, “above all else Russia was, is and will, of course, be a major European power”. What he wanted was to decouple liberalism from power politics – by rejecting the fundamentals of liberal hegemony.

Putin was saying there’s no single democratic model. That was eventually conceptualized as “sovereign democracy”. Democracy cannot exist without sovereignty; so that discards Western “supervision” to make it work.

Diesen sharply observes that if the USSR was a “radical, left-wing Eurasianism, some of its Eurasian characteristics could be transferred to conservative Eurasianism.” Diesen notes how Sergey Karaganov, sometimes referred to as the “Russian Kissinger”, has shown “that the Soviet Union was central to decolonization and it mid-wifed the rise of Asia by depriving the West of the ability to impose its will on the world through military force, which the West had done from the 16th century until the 1940s”.

This is largely acknowledged across vast stretches of the Global South – from Latin America and Africa to Southeast Asia.

Eurasia’s western peninsula

So after the end of the Cold War and the failure of Greater Europe, Moscow’s pivot to Asia to build Greater Eurasia could not but have an air of historical inevitability.

The logic is impeccable. The two geoeconomic hubs of Eurasia are Europe and East Asia. Moscow wants to connect them economically into a supercontinent: that’s where Greater Eurasia joins China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). But then there’s the extra Russian dimension, as Diesen notes: the “transition away from the usual periphery of these centers of power and towards the center of a new regional construct”.

From a conservative perspective, emphasizes Diesen, “the political economy of Greater Eurasia enables Russia to overcome its historical obsession with the West and establish an organic Russian path to modernization”.

That implies the development of strategic industries; connectivity corridors; financial instruments; infrastructure projects to connect European Russia with Siberia and Pacific Russia. All that under a new concept: an industrialized, conservative political economy.

The Russia-China strategic partnership happens to be active in all these three geoeconomic sectors: strategic industries/techno platforms, connectivity corridors and financial instruments.

That propels the discussion, once again, to the supreme categorical imperative: the confrontation between the Heartland and a maritime power.

The three great Eurasian powers, historically, were the Scythians, the Huns and the Mongols. The key reason for their fragmentation and decadence is that they were not able to reach – and control – Eurasia’s maritime borders.

The fourth great Eurasian power was the Russian empire – and its successor, the USSR. A key reason the USSR collapsed is because, once gain, it was not able to reach – and control – Eurasia’s maritime borders.

The US prevented it by applying a composite of Mackinder, Mahan and Spykman. The US strategy even became known as the Spykman-Kennan containment mechanism – all these “forward deployments” in the maritime periphery of Eurasia, in Western Europe, East Asia and the Middle East.

We all know by now how the overall US offshore strategy – as well as the primary reason for the US to enter both WWI and WWII – was to prevent the emergence of a Eurasian hegemon by all means necessary.

As for the US as hegemon, that would be crudely conceptualized – with requisite imperial arrogance – by Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski in 1997: “To prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and keep the barbarians from coming together”. Good old Divide and Rule, applied via “system-dominance”.

It’s this system that is now tumbling down – much to the despair of the usual suspects. Diesen notes how, “in the past, pushing Russia into Asia would relegate Russia to economic obscurity and eliminate its status as a European power.” But now, with the center of geoeconomic gravity shifting to China and East Asia, it’s a whole new ball game.

The 24/7 US demonization of Russia-China, coupled with the “unhealthy situation” mentality of the EU minions, only helps to drive Russia closer and closer to China exactly at the juncture where the West’s two centuries-only world dominance, as Andre Gunder Frank conclusively proved , is coming to an end.

Diesen, perhaps too diplomatically, expects that “relations between Russia and the West will also ultimately change with the rise of Eurasia. The West’s hostile strategy to Russia is conditioned on the idea that Russia has nowhere else to go, and must accept whatever the West offers in terms of “partnership”. The rise of the East fundamentally alters Moscow’s relationship with the West by enabling Russia to diversify its partnerships”.

We may be fast approaching the point where Great Eurasia’s Russia will present Germany with a take it or leave it offer. Either we build the Heartland together, or we will build it with China – and you will be just a historical bystander. Of course there’s always the inter-galaxy distant possibility of a Berlin-Moscow-Beijing axis. Stranger things have happened.

Meanwhile, Diesen is confident that “the Eurasian land powers will eventually incorporate Europe and other states on the inner periphery of Eurasia. Political loyalties will incrementally shift as economic interests turn to the East, and Europe is gradually becoming the western peninsula of Greater Eurasia”.

Talk about food for thought for the peninsular peddlers of the “unhealthy situation”.

How the Left is being Manipulated into Colluding in its own Character Assassination

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.  He is a frequent contributor to Global Research

By Jonathan Cook

Global Research, January 09, 2021

There was a fascinating online panel discussion on Wednesday night on the Julian Assange case that I recommend everyone watch. The video is at the bottom of the page.  

But from all the outstanding contributions, I want to highlight a very important point made by Yanis Varoufakis that has significance for understanding current events well beyond the Assange case. 

Varoufakis is an academic who was savaged by the western political and media establishments when he served as Greece’s finance minister. Back in 2015 a popular leftwing Greek government was trying to oppose the imposition of severe loan conditions on Greece by European and international financial institutions that risked tipping the Greek economy into deeper bankruptcy and seemed chiefly intended to upend its socialist programme. The government Varoufakis served was effectively crushed into obedience through a campaign of economic intimidation by these institutions.

 Varoufakis describes here the way that leftwing dissidents who challenge or disrupt western establishment narratives – whether it be himself, Assange or Jeremy Corbyn – end up not only being subjected to character assassination, as was always the case, but nowadays find themselves being manipulated into colluding in their own character assassination.

 Here is a short transcript of Varoufakis’ much fuller comments – about 48 minutes in – highlighting his point about co-option:

 “The establishment, the Deep State, call it whatever you want, the oligarchy, they’ve become much, much better at it [character assassination] than they used to be. Because back in the 1960s and 1970s, you know, they would accuse you of being a Communist. They would accuse me of being a Marxist. Well, I am a Marxist. I’m really not going to suffer that much if you accuse me of being a left-winger. I am a left-winger!

 “Now what they do is something far worse. They accuse you of something that really hurts you. Calling somebody like us a racist, a bigot, an antisemite, a rapist. This is what really hurts because if anybody calls me a rapist today, right, even if it’s complete baloney, I feel as a feminist I have the need to give the woman, implied or involved somehow in this accusation, the opportunity to speak against me. Because that is what we left-wingers do.”

Varoufakis’ point is that when Assange was accused of being a rapist, as he was before the US made clear the real case against him – by trying to extradite him from the UK for exposing its war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan – he could not defend himself without alienating a significant constituency of his natural supporters, those on the left who identify as feminists. Which is exactly what happened.

 Similarly, as Varoufakis notes from earlier conversations he had with Assange, the Wikileaks founder was in no position to properly defend himself against accusations that he colluded with Russia and Donald Trump to help Trump win the 2016 US presidential election against Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

 At the time, Assange’s supporters were able to point out that the leaked emails were true and that they were in the public interest because they showed deep corruption in the Democratic party establishment. But those arguments were drowned out by a narrative confected by the US media and security establishments that Wikileaks’ publication of the emails was political interference because the emails had supposedly been hacked by Russia to sway the election result.

 Because Assange was absolutely committed to the principle of non-disclosure of sources, he refused to defend himself in public by confirming that the emails had been leaked to him by a Democratic party insider, not the “Russians”. His silence allowed his vilification to go largely unchallenged. Having already been stripped of support from much of the feminist left, particularly in Europe, Assange now lost the support of a sizeable chunk of the left in the US too.

In these cases, the one who stands accused has to defend themselves with one hand tied behind their back. They cannot hit back without further antagonising a substantial section of their supporters, deepening divisions within the left’s ranks. The victim of this kind of character assassination is caught in the equivalent of reputational quicksand. The more they fight, the deeper they sink.

Which is, of course, exactly what happened to the UK’s former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn when he was accused of being a racist. If he or his supporters tried to challenge the claim that the party had become antisemitic overnight under his leadership – even if only by citing statistics that showed the party hadn’t – they were immediately denounced for supposed “antisemitism denial”, posited as the modern equivalent of Holocaust denial.

Notice Ken Loach, who was also on the panel, nodding in agreement as Varoufakis speaks. Because Loach, the noted leftwing, anti-racist film-maker who came to Corbyn’s defence against the confected media campaign smearing him as an antisemite, soon found himself similarly accused.

Jonathan Freedland, a senior columnist at the liberal Guardian, was among those using precisely the tactic described by Varoufakis. He tried to discredit Loach by accusing him of denying Jews the right to define their own experience of antisemitism.   

Freedland sought to manipulate Loach’s anti-racist credentials against him. Either agree with us that Corbyn is an antisemite, and that most of his supporters are too, or you are a hypocrite, disowning your own anti-racist principles – and solely in the case of antisemitism. And that, QED, would prove you too are motivated by antisemitism.

Loach found himself with a terrible binary choice: either he must collude with Freedland and the corporate media in smearing Corbyn, a long-standing political ally, or else he would be forced to collude in his own smearing as an antisemite.

It’s a deeply ugly, deeply illiberal, deeply manipulative, deeply dishonest tactic. But it is also brilliantly effective. Which is why nowadays rightists and centrists use it at every opportunity. The left, given its principles, rarely resorts to this kind of deceit. Which means it can only bring a peashooter to a gun fight.

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_K_Cook/status/131348440736224870

This is the left’s dilemma. It’s why we struggle to win the argument in a corporate media environment that not only denies us a hearing but also promotes the voices of those like Freedland trying to destroy us from the centre and those supposedly on the left like George Monbiot and Owen Jones who are too often destroying us from within.

As Varoufakis also says, the left needs urgently to go on the offensive.

We need to find ways to turn the tables on the war criminals who have been gaslighting us in demanding that Assange, who exposed their crimes, is the one who needs to be locked up.

We need to make clear that it is those who are so ready to smear anti-racists as antisemites – as Corbyn’s successor, Sir Keir Starmer, has done to swaths of Labour party members – who are the real racists.

And we need to unmask as war hawks those who accuse the anti-war left of serving as apologists for dictators when we try to stop western states conducting more illegal, resource-grab wars with such devastating results for local populations.

We must get much more sophisticated in our thinking and our strategies. There is no time to lose.

This essay first appeared on Jonathan Cook’s blog: https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/ 

For Years, Journalists Cheered Assange’s Abuse. Now They’ve Paved His Path to a US Gulag

Is America’s Future a Civil War?

Will it become a world war?

Paul Craig Roberts - Official Homepage

Paul Craig Roberts

As a person who grew up in the glorious aftermath of World War II, it never occurred to me that in my later years I would be pondering whether the United States would end in civil war or a police state.  In the aftermath of the stolen presidential election, it seems a 50-50 toss up.

There is abundant evidence of a police state.  One feature of a police state is controlled explanations and the suppression of dissent.  We certainly have that in abundance. 

Experts are not permitted forums in which to challenge the official position on Covid.  

Teachers are suspended for giving offense by using gender pronouns.

Recording stars are dropped by their recording studios for attending the Trump rally.  Parents ratted on by their own children are fired from their jobs for attending the Trump rally. https://www.rt.com/usa/512048-capitol-riot-employees-fired/  Antifa is free to riot, loot, intimidate and hassle, but Trump supporters are insurrectionists. 

White people are racists who use hateful words and concepts, but those who demonize whites are righting wrongs.

Suppression of dissent and controlling behavior are police state characteristics.  It might be less clear to some why dictating permissible use of language is police state control. Think about it this way.  If your use of pronouns can be controlled, so can your use of all other words.  As concepts involve words, they also can be controlled.  In this way inconvenient thoughts and expressions along with accurate descriptions find their way into the Memory Hole.

With the First Amendment gone, or restricted to the demonization of targeted persons, such as “the Trump Deplorables,” “white supremacists,” “Southern racists,” the Second Amendment can’t have much life left.  As guns are associated with red states, that is, with Trump supporters, outlawing guns is a way to criminalize the red half of the American population that the Establishment considers “deplorable.”  Those who stand on their Constitutional right will be imprisoned and become cheap prison labor for America’s global corporations.

Could all this lead to a civil war or are Americans too beat down to effectively resist?  That we won’t know until it is put to the test.

Are there clear frontlines?  Identity Politics has divided the people across the entire country.  The red states are only majority red.  It is tempting to see the frontiers as the red center against the blue Northeast and West coasts, but that is misleading. Georgia is a red state with a red governor and legislature, but there were enough Democrats in power locally to steal the presidential and US senate elections.  

Another problem for reds is that large cities—the distribution centers—such as Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles—are in blue hands as are ports and international airports.  Effectively, this cuts reds off from outside resources.

What would the US military do?  Clearly, the Joint Chiefs and the military/security complex are establishment and not anti-establishment Trumpers.  With the soldiers themselves now a racial and gender mix, the soldiers would be as divided as the country.  Those not with the Establishment would lack upper level support.

Where are the youth and younger adults?  They are in both camps depending on their education. Many of the whites who went to university have been brainwashed against themselves, and regard white Americans as “systemic racists” or “white supremacists” and feel guilt. Those who did not go to university for the most part have experienced to their disadvantage the favoritism given to people of color and have resentment.

What about weapons?  How can the reds lose when guns are a household item and blues would never dirty themselves by owning one?  The answer is that unlike the War of Northern Aggression in the 1860s, today the weapons in the hands of the military are devastating compared to those in the hands of the public. Unlike in the past, it is impossible for a citizens’ militia to stand against the weapons and body armor that the military has.  So, unless the military splits, the reds are outgunned.  Never believe that the Establishment would not release chemical and biological agents against red forces.  Or for that matter nuclear weapons.

What about communications?  We know for an absolute fact that the tech monopolies are aligned with the Establishment against the people.  So much so that President Trump, in the process of being set-up for prosecution, has been cut off from communicating with his supporters both in social media and email.  

The American Establishment is doing to President Trump exactly what it did to Ukrainian President Yanukovych in Washington’s orchestrated “Maidan Revolution,” called “the Revolution of Dignity” by the liars at Wikipedia, and precisely what it did to Chavez, Maduro, and would like to do to Putin.

Suppose an American civil war occurs.  How is it likely to play out? Before investigating this, first consider how the Establishment could prevent it by bringing the red states to its defense.  The Trump supporters are the only patriots in the American population. They tend to wear the flag on their sleeve. In contrast, blue state denizens define partiotism as acknowledging America’s evils and taking retribution on those white racists/imperialists who committed the evils. In blue states, riots against the “racist system” result in defunding the police.  If the Antifa and Black Lives Matter militias were sicced on the Biden regine, red state patriots might see “their country” under attack. It is possible that the “Proud Boys” would come to Biden’s defense, not because they believe in Biden but because America is under attack and he is “our president.” Alternatively, an Antifa attack on the Biden regime could be portrayed as an unpatriotic attack on America and be used to discourage red state opposition to the police state, just as “Insurrection” has resulted in many Trump supporters declaring their opposition to violence.  In other words, it is entirely possible that the patriotism of the “Trump Deplorables” would split the red state opposition and lead to defeat.

Assuming that the Establishment is too arrogant and sure of itself or too stupid to think of this ploy, how would a civil war play out?  The Establishment would do everything possible to discredit the case of the “rebels.”  The true rebels, of couse, would be the Establishment which has overthrown the Constitutional order, but no media would make that point.  Controlling the media, the Establishment, knowing of the patriotism of its opponents, would portray the “rebels” as foreign agents seeking to overthrow American Democracy. 

The “foreign threat” always captures the patriot’s attention.  We see it right now with Trump supporters falling for the disinformation that Switzerland and Italy are behind the stolen election. Previously, it was Dominion servers in Germany and Serbia that did the deed.

On whose head will the Establishment place the blame for “the War Against America”? There are three candidates: Iran, China, and Russia.  Which will the Establishment choose?  

To give Iran credit conveys too much power to a relatively small country over America.  To blame Iran for our civil war would be belittling. 

To blame China won’t work, because Trump blamed China for economically undermining America and Trump supporters are generally anti-China. So accusing the red opposition with being China agents would not work. 

The blame will be placed on Russia.  

This is the easy one.  Russia has been the black hat ever since Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech in 1946.  Americans are accustomed to this enemy.  The Cold War reigned from the end of World War II until the Soviet Collapse in 1991.  Many, including retired American generals, maintain that the Soviet collapse was faked to put us off guard for conquest.

When the Establishment decided to frame President Trump, the Establishment chose Russia as Trump’s co-conspirator against American Democracy.  Russiagate, orchestrated by the CIA and FBI, ensured for three years that Trump was accused in the Western media of being in cahoots with Russia. Despite the lack of any evidence, a large percentage of the American and world population was convinced that Trump was put into office by Putin somehow manipulating the vote.

The brainwashing was so successful that three years of Trump sanctions against Russia could not shake the Western peoples back into factual reality.

With Russia as the historic and orchestrated enemy, whatever happens in the United States that can be blamed elsewhere will be blamed on Russia.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, and former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes have already associated “Trump’s insurrection” with Russia. https://www.rt.com/russia/512071-capitol-violence-consequences-fear/ 

Suppose that an American civil war becomes intense.  Suppose that the Establishment’s propaganda against Russia becomes the reigning belief as propaganda almost always becomes, how can the Establishment not finish the insurrection threat by attacking the country responsible?  The Establishment would be trapped in its own propaganda. Emotions would run away.  Russia would hear threats that would have to be taken seriously.

You can bet that Biden’s neocon government will be egging this on.  American exceptionalism. American hegemony.  Russia’s fifth column, the Atlanticist Integrationists, who wish absorption into the degenerate and failing Western World, will echo the charges against Russia. This would make the situation a serious international incident with Russia as the threatened villian.  

What would the Kremlin do?  Would Russia’s leaders accept yet another humiliation and false accusation? Or will the anger of the Russian people forever accused and never stood up for by their own government force the Kremlin into awareness that Russia could be attacked at any moment.

Even if the Kremlin is reluctant to acknowledge the threat of war, what if another of the numerous false warnings of incoming ICBMs is received.  Unlike the past, is it believed this time?

The stolen election in America, the emerging American Police State, more vicious and better armed than any in the past, could result in American chaos that could be a dire threat to the Russian Federation.

What Trump and his supporters, and perhaps the Kremlin, do not understand is that real evidence no longer counts. The Establishment makes up the evidence that it needs for its agendas.  Consider how easy it was for the Capitol Police to remove barriers and allow some Antifa mixed in with Trump supporters into the Capitol.  This was all that was required to create a “Trump led insurrection” that terminated the presentation of evidence of electoral fraud and turned the massive rally of support for Trump into a liability. Trump now leaves the presidency as an “insurrectionist” and is set up for continued harassment and prosecution.  

As I prevousy wrote, the stolen election and its acceptance abroad signifies the failure of Western democracy. The collapse of the Western world and its values will affect the entire world. 

Trump Was Swallowed By The Swamp Because He Lacked The Strength To Drain It

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Trump Was Swallowed By The Swamp Because He Lacked The Strength To Drain It

Trump sincerely thought that he could irreversibly effect significant long-term change to the way that America is run by “draining the swamp” that all of his supporters so deeply despise, but he ultimately lacked the strength time and again to take the decisive steps that were necessary in order to execute this grand strategic vision due to several important reasons that deserve to be discussed at length.

The Commander-In-Chief Capitulates

The Trump Era is over after the incumbent announced in the day after Wednesday’s storming of the US Capitol that “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power”, which was widely interpreted by friends and foes alike as the tacit concession that he previously promised never to provide a little more than 24 hours prior during his speech at the Save America Rally. At that event, he literally said that “We will never give up. We will never concede, it doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved”, yet completely changed his tune following the day’s tumultuous events and after mysteriously “going dark” for over 24 hours, during which time some speculate that he was forced by his enemies in the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) to give up the fight.

Betraying His Base

This totally devastated his supporters who elected him primarily for the purpose of executing his chief promise to “drain the swamp” that all of them so deeply despise. They truly believed that he could irreversibly effect significant long-term change to the way that America is run, something which Trump himself also sincerely thought he could do as well, but he ultimately lacked the strength time and again to take the decisive steps that were necessary in order to do so. Thus, he ended up getting swallowed by the same “swamp” that he attempted to drain, which is licking its lips after feasting on the political carcass that he’s since become as a result of his capitulation. For as much hope as he inspired in his supporters and the respect that many of them still have for him, most of them are profoundly disappointed that he gave up and didn’t go down fighting.

That’s not to say that the vast majority of them expected him to forcefully resist Biden’s impending inauguration, but just that they never thought they’d see the day where he publicly capitulated after carefully cultivating such a convincing reputation among them as a fighter who literally said a little more than 24 hours prior that “We will never give up. We will never concede, it just doesn’t happen.” This prompted an ongoing soul-searching process among the most sober-minded of them who aren’t indoctrinated with the cultish Q-Anon claims that Trump still has a so-called “master plan” that he’s preparing to implement after this latest “5D chess” move. It’s over, the Trump Era has ended, and the “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) movement that he inspired is now at risk of being declared a “domestic terrorist” organization in the coming future.

Trump’s Most Fatal Political Miscalculation

Biden’s America Would Be A Dystopian Hellhole”, like the author predicted a few months ago, and all of Trump’s supporters know that. Some had already resigned themselves to its seeming inevitability after his efforts to legally reverse the contested results of the latest elections failed for a variety of reasons that most of them attribute to the “swamp’s” corruption, but they nevertheless remained as positive as possible after having believed that their hero would go down with them to the end. None ever thought twice about his promise to “never give up, never concede”, and they even expected him to have to be escorted from the White House on 20 January, yet his tacit concession is forcing many of them to re-evaluate their views about him in hindsight. Not only is he going out with a whimper on the “deep state’s” terms, but he never fully “drained the swamp”.

Trump’s most fatal political miscalculation is that he thought that he could change the system from the “inside-out” after symbolically — yet importantly, not substantively — taking control of it as America’s first modern-day “outsider” President. He immediately switched from an “outsider” to an “insider” shortly after his inauguration by capitulating to the “deep state’s” demands that he fire former National Security Advisor Flynn, which was his “original sin” that paved the way for all that would later follow. Trump the self-professed “deal-maker” thought that he could strike a “compromise” with his enemies through these means, but all that he did was embolden them to intensify their fake news-driven efforts to oust him and continue sabotaging him from within through many of the same “swamp” creatures that he naively continued to surround himself with.

RINOs + MSM = Trump’s Defeat

The most reviled among them in the eyes of his base is “Javanka”, the popular portmanteau of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka. He continued listening to these “Republicans In Name Only”, or RINOs as many MAGA members describe them, as well as many others such as those who still sit in Congress but pretended to be his friend just to win re-election. Furthermore, the influence that his former reality TV career had on him resulted in Trump remaining obsessed with how his enemies might malign him in the Mainstream Media (MSM) for any decisive moves that he took to smash the “deep state”. This weakness of character proved to be his greatest personal flaw since he should have followed his instincts instead of submitting to the egoistic desire to be “liked” by his foes.

So influenced was he by the MSM that his enemies were able to employ the most basic “reverse-psychology” tricks to manipulate him into “playing it safe” in his struggle against the “deep state”. They fearmongered since even before he entered office that he’d turn into a so-called “dictator”, yet he never seriously contemplated any such authoritarian moves in that direction despite always having the possibility of utilizing the immense powers vested in him by the Constitution to do so if he sincerely wanted. His MAGA supporters passionately pleaded that he should have turned into his enemies’ worst nightmare by declaring at least limited martial law in response to the decades-long Hybrid War of Terror on America finally going kinetic last summer after Antifa and “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) orchestrated nationwide riots to oust him.

Trump’s Three Greatest Failures

Bewildering his base, Trump also failed to revoke Article 230 despite now-proven fears that it would empower Big Tech to censor him and his supporters, nor did he thwart the Democrats’ mail-in ballot and Dominion voting system schemes which they argue ultimately led to them stealing the election. Just as concerning was his decision to not stop the Democrat Governors from locking down their populations for political reasons under the convenient pretext of COVID-19. The author addressed all of these issues in his analysis published shortly after the election about why “The Anti-Trump Regime Change Sequence Is Worthwhile Studying”. Trump could have legally exercised near-”dictatorial” powers to avert all of this and thus save America as his supporters see it, yet time and again he failed to gather the strength needed to do so due to his deep personal flaws.

The Hybrid War On America Is Over

While Trump was unquestionably victimized by the “deep state” during his entire time in office, he’s no longer as much of a martyr as he used to be after suddenly giving up the fight following Wednesday’s storming of the US Capitol. He surrendered to the shock of his base, was subsequently swallowed by the “swamp”, and is now being mercilessly destroyed in an ominous sign of what awaits the rest of the MAGA movement in the Biden-Kamala era. Had he gone down fighting to the end and “never gave up” like he promised, then it would be an altogether different story, but instead his over-hyped “deal-making” instincts got the best of him at the very last minute and he foolishly thought that he could save himself by capitulating to their demands. The “deep state” is now showing their “thanks” by censoring him from social media and pushing for his impeachment.

The MAGA movement always believed that the country has already been at “war” for years even though most couldn’t articulate the hybrid nature of it like the author did in his piece last summer about how “The Hybrid War Of Terror On America Was Decades In The Making”. They truly felt that Trump shared their threat assessment after he was viciously attacked by the “deep state” from the second that he stepped onto the campaign trail, but it turned out that he underestimated the threat even though his enemies never did. To the “deep state” and their public Democrat proxies, this was always a “war” in its own way, which they never shied away from expressing. The supreme irony is that while Trump lambasted the “weak Republicans” in his Save America Rally speech, he himself ultimately epitomized that very same weakness by later surrendering.

The “Deep State” Won

His opponents know no limits and believe in classic Machiavellian fashion that “the ends justify the means”, whereas he thought that he could play by the rules — and not even all of them as was early explained by pointing out his refusal to employ the near-”dictatorial” powers vested in him by the Constitution — and still come out on top. His naïveté will go down in history since it’s what’s most directly responsible for him failing to fully recognize the seriousness of the “deep state’s” no-holds-barred war on him and the rest of America. As a born-and-raised New Yorker, Trump perfected the art of slick talking, so much so that he even managed to dupe his base into believing that he shared their threat assessment about the decades-long Hybrid War of Terror on America. They fell for this charade since they desperately wanted to believe that there was still some hope left.

There isn’t, though, since the war is over and the “deep state” won once and for all. The “Great Reset”/”Fourth Industrial Revolution” brought about by World War C is barreling forward at full speed ahead, and practically every domestic accomplishment that Trump has to his name will likely be reversed by Biden-Kamala during their first year in office, especially since the “deep state’s” Democrat proxies control all branches of government now (remembering that the Supreme Court’s supposed “conservative supermajority” really just consists of RINOs as was proven by their refusal to hear his team’s convincing election fraud cases). After “Analyzing The MAGA Movement’s Democratic Security Failure” on Wednesday, it’s clear that whatever “master plan” he and/or the MAGA movement might have had backfired and was actually exploited by their opponents.

The Real “Master Plan”

In fact, the only real “master plan” was that of the “deep state”, which effectively thwarted every one of Trump’s moves and ultimately turned his supporters’ “last hurrah” of a mostly peaceful rally into the nail that’ll now be hammered into the MAGA movement’s coffin. It’s extremely suspicious that the US Capitol was so poorly defended despite there being an ongoing session of Congress on such an historic day and after weeks of preparation to ensure the site’s safety ahead of Trump’s long-planned Save America March. It’s even more baffling that some of the police officers removed the barricades and even opened the doors to some of the protesters, which in hindsight suggests that the “deep state” wanted to tempt the most “overly passionate” among them (to say nothing of suspected provocateurs) into storming the site as the pretext for what followed.

The whole point in passively facilitating this scenario through the masterful exploitation of crowd psychology was to lay the basis for a comprehensive nationwide crackdown against the MAGA movement on the grounds that it’s now “proven” to be a “domestic terrorist” group. That explains the push behind impeaching Trump less than two weeks before he himself acknowledged just the other day that he’ll be leaving office after ensuring the “transition of power”. Had he not surrendered, then he probably would still be a martyr to most of the MAGA movement, but now he’s just a palace hostage awaiting his highly publicized political execution as the opening salvo of the “deep state’s” Democrat-driven reprisals against his supporters in the name of “defending against domestic terrorism”. That, not whatever Q-Anon imagines, is the real “master plan”, and it succeeded.

Concluding Thoughts

Trump was swallowed by the “swamp” because he lacked the strength to drain it. Every MAGA member needs to accept this harsh truth no matter how painful it might be. Time and again, he failed to muster up the strength needed to meaningfully fulfill what many sincerely believed to be his destiny. This was due to his fatal political miscalculation of transforming from an “outsider” into an “insider” in a doomed-to-fail attempt to change the system from within. He continued relying on RINOs despite their proven unreliability. Trump’s obsession with how his foes portrayed him in the MSM also led to him never seriously countenancing the use of the near-”dictatorial” powers vested in him by the Constitution to save America. He pathetically surrendered after the “deep state’s” “master plan” succeeded, and now he can’t even go down in history as a martyr.

واشنطن تحت وطأة الانقلاب الفاشل وأميركا تتآكل من الداخل..!

محمد صادق الحسيني

لم يعُد هناك أي مجال للشك والترديد أو الارتياب بأنّ ما كان يدّعيه الأميركيون بأنّ ديمقراطيتهم هي نهاية التاريخ كما ادّعى وزعم منظّرهم فوكوياما، باتت اليوم على شفير الهاوية وذاهبة لتأخذ أميركا الى الخراب الشامل..!

وما جرى في واشنطن قبل أيام من أحداث عنف دامية دليل وبرهان قاطع لا يقبل الدحض أو النقض..!

والذي أكد في ما أكد اشتراك شخص الرئيس الأميركي المنتهية ولايته في كلّ ما جرى من خراب…!

وفي هذا السياق فقد أكدت مصادر واسعة الاطلاع من مراكز صنع القرار الأميركي بأنّ الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب قاد كلّ عمليات التظاهر والتمرّد الأخيرة في واشنطن من خلال غرفة عمليات مخصصة لهذا الغرض كانت تضمّه مع بعض من افراد عائلته وعدد من رهطه (الأمن الخاص لديه تقارير مصوّرة عن ذلك) والذي يثبت أنّ ترامب هو شخصياً كان متورّطاً بعملية قيادة الجموع المقتحمة لمجمع الكاپيتول هيل في إطار عملية انقلابية كانت تهدف الى ما يلي:

1

ـ منع الكونغرس من التصديق على انتخاب بايدن.

2

ـ حرق الكونغرس بعد العبث بكلّ محتوياته.

3

ـ أخذ رهائن من مجلسي النواب والشيوخ وتعطيل الكونغرس لفترة طويلة بهدف ضمان بقائه في البيت الأبيض. إن جهاز الشرطة التابع للكونغرس متورط بإدخال المقتحمين.

هذا وقد ثبت من خلال التحقيقات الاولية بأنّ كلاً من ابن سلمان وابن زايد متورّطين بضخ أموال لترامب وأنصاره لعمل هذه الفوضى في الكونغرس وفي الشارع الأميركي لجرّ الشعب الأميركي إلى مربع الصراع ومربع العنف.

ويبدو أنّ هذه المعلومات كانت متوفرة لدى قيادة الحزب الديمقراطي والسيدة نانسي بيلوسي بشكل خاص والتي تعتبر من الرموز المخابراتية من الوزن الثقيل.

وهذا الأمر بالذات هو الذي دفع رئيسة المجلس الى اتخاذ إجراءات سريعة كانت مأخوذة بعين الاعتبار سلفاً، حيث تمّ أخذ كافة الأعضاء في المجلسين الى قاعات آمنة ومن ثم قامت بالاتصال العاجل بالخدمة السريّة للبيت الأبيض وهي قوة تعتبر تابعة للقوة الخفيّة التي تحمي أميركا الدولة القوية وكذلك بالـ وسائر القوى المعنية فقامت بتطويق كل المربع الخاص بالكونغرس والبالغة مساحته نحو 13 هكتاراً واقتحامه وإخلاء القاعات من الرعاع والمتمردين من جماعة ترامب بمهنيّة عالية جداً وإعادة الأوضاع الى ما قبل الاقتحام في مدة لم تتجاوز 4 ساعات..!

تصاعد التوتر داخل مباني الكاپيتول وخوف الدولة العميقة من انفلات الوضع وانتقاله الى سائر الولايات، وهو ما كان يتمناه ترامب هو الذي دفع بالدولة العميقة بالعمل سريعاً لإنقاذ العاصمة واشنطن من خلال الدفع بقوات دعم أمنية وصلت إليها من فرجينيا ونيوجيرسي وميريلاند.. ولما اشتدّ الوطيس وصار الخطر اكبر دخلت قوات «الخدمة السرية» الخاصة على الخط فوراً وهي القوة التي تشكلت في العام 1865 بعد انتهاء الحرب الأهلية الأميركية والتابعة لوزارة الامن الداخلي، والمكلفة بحماية كبار الشخصيات والرؤساء، وذات المهمات الخاصة في الملمات لتطلب من ترامب التوقف فوراً عن مغامرته والقيام بتسجيل صوتي – وليس الظهور الحر على التلفزيون – لسحب جماعاته فوراً تحت طائلة التهديد بالعقاب الصارم، مجبرة إياه على القيام بالمهمة فور انتهاء خطاب الرئيس المنتخب جو بايدن من دون تأخير (والذي طلب منه ايضاً للخروج بخطابه الى الرأي العام للغرض نفسه)…!

وهكذا رضخ ترامب للأمر وقرّر التراجع مكرهاً، ففشل الانقلاب..!

هذا السيناريو الترامبي والسيناريو المضاد الذي قضى على التمرّد وأحبط الانقلاب في واشنطن العاصمة لن يمرّ بشكل عادي على الحياة السياسية الأميركية، بل انّ تداعياته خطيرة جداً وهي التي ربما ستجعل أميركا توضع على جادة إما الحرب الأهلية وإما التآكل من الداخل والانهيار رويداً رويداً…!

ما حصل ليلة الانقلاب الفاشل لم يكن ابن ليلته، بل هو تراكم فعل وفعل مضاد لفساد النظام السياسي الحاكم في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية …!

أميركا بانت على حقيقتها ديمقراطية فاشلة وهشة وكاذبة!

انها إعجاز نخل خاوية وهشيم تذروه الرياح.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

%d bloggers like this: