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Russia is fighting a lethal enemy

By Petr Akopov* | Vzgliad | March 20, 2018

London’s boorish behaviour has resulted in a fiery reaction within Russia – from indignation to jokes about “Little Britain”. Sadly, such derision is not the best possible answer. For we are dealing with a threat that is far from comical, and the entire history of relations between Russia and Britain is proof of that.

Great Britain’s behaviour in the Skripal affair is openly provocative: accusations against Russia, a recommendation to “put a sock in it”, declarations about Putin’s personal involvement. All of this, of course, is causing indignation in Russia.

But if it is possible to understand our civil society’s indignation, deriding Britain and her elites is totally incorrect. Discourse about “Little Britain”, about how “Lil’ England” has lost its influence and is slandering Russia in an impotent rage look strange. All of this is not even suitable as banal retaliatory propaganda, seeing as it is a distortion of reality.

It is in our interest to be honest. For several years now, we have been in open conflict with the global elite, with those who have a defining influence on world affairs. It is precisely this force that is now speaking through the mouths of May and Johnson. That we are calling it “Lil’ England” is a tradition of ours from the 19th century, when we found its position. In reality, it is that same international class of money and power, an elite that has once again seriously began to work on Russia. Not because of Crimea and Skripal, but as a result of our seriously blocking their path.

This is the path of globalisation a la Anglo-Saxon, i.e. the creation of a single humanity, ruled from the Western centre. “Western” is in this case a synonym for Atlantic, Anglo-Saxon. This project has been practically openly realised for the past hundred years. Through the gradual consolidation of companies and capital, through the convergence of civilisations and cultures, through their mixing and cross-pollination. Through the creation of unified global institutions of the financial, managerial, supervisory etc. type, through the formation of a new system of morals and philosophy of transhumanism. Humanity is being led to its “golden age” in which there will be no states, no nations, no sexes. Those who are against are retrogrades and conservatives, the enemies of progress and humanity. The fact that this is not yet being declared in official declarations does not mean anything; it is just a matter of time. In the meantime, Russia is being accused of totalitarianism and terrorism “like in the olden days” – this is simpler and more familiar.

Who is making the accusations? That same “world community”, which when more closely examined turns out to be the West. And when we examine it yet more closely, we find an Anglo-Saxon, i.e. an Anglo-American elite. These are the people with the “right to decide”.

Formally, they are unified in closed clubs or open orders, public societies, or secret lodges. They can be bank owners or dukes, senators or ministers. Their duties and even the size of their capital have a secondary meaning: loyalty to the group itself is most important. And for this group, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are equally dangerous (the latter because he is a pretender, an upstart, a usurper with incorrect, non-globalist ideas). And Putin is practically openly sending a challenge by declaring that Russia will never agree with the enforced world order. What is more, Putin ridicules Western countries for not having full sovereignty.

But when Putin goes over the lack of autonomy of European countries, he hints at Germany and France or smaller states. He does not mention Great Britain. And despite the fact that America’s power is officially incomparable to Britain, in reality, it is really London that is the leader in the Atlantic tandem. Why?

Because a country’s power is not determined by aircraft carriers or the size of its economy, but by the managerial, intellectual, strategic and financial capabilities of its elite. And in this sense, the guiding and leading role of London as a “centre of power” is not doubted by anyone. It is the home of those very families that drowned the Spanish Empire, organised the Opium Wars against China, played Russia against Germany in the First World War, and bet on the collapse of Russia through the Chechen War.

These are the real players on the world chessboard. For them, the struggle against Russia is an old and traditional game.

And whose voices are used to make this clear is of little importance. That is to say, British ministers and prime ministers can be made to order for the true elite, but they can also be its direct representatives.

Winston Churchill (Duke of Marlboro) was part of the deepest core of the British elite and was prime minister at the same time. This is his main difference from Margaret Thatcher, and not in Great Britain’s influence as a country on world affairs. Yes, during Churchill’s second term the British Empire went under, but the Commonwealth of Nations remained, an organisation that unites tens of states, 15 of which still have the queen as head of state (including Canada and Australia). “Five Eyes” – a cooperation system between the intelligence agencies of the five Anglo-Saxon countries (the US, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) remained, the lashing of the US Federal Reserve system to banks from the London City remained.

Many things remained, so it is not crucially important who precisely leads the British government: Margaret Thatcher, the daughter of a greengrocer, Theresa May, daughter of a priest, Eton graduate David Cameron or aristocrat Boris Johnson (he too in time will take his seat in no. 10 Downing Street). The prime minister’s surname does not carry crucial importance. When we hear that boorish tone with which the leaders of Britain speak to us, we should understand that they are only voicing the hatred and anger that the lords of the Western world are fuelling. Those who in Soviet times were called “transnational capitalists”, are now for clearness’ sake named “Atlanticists”.

And underestimating their power is just dangerous. Several times in our history we have not just faced the guile of London, but a sudden strike as well that later turned out to be lethal for our rulers as well as our country. March 1801 and December 1916 are two very bad dates in our history. These are two murders that the Brits had a direct link to: the one of emperor Paul the First and Grigory Rasputin (which became a signal for the coup against the tsar two months later).

Now, “Lil’ England” has shown itself to be only capable of a provocation through the murder attempt on Skripal, like it had done before with Berezovsky. But this does not mean that it is incapable of more.

For four years, we have been fighting a united Western front that was organised after Crimea, and worry about unity among the ranks is now moving from Washington (where the alien Trump holds sway) to London. That is to say, it is moving closer to the real centre of power in the Western world. If we keep seeing it as Little Britain, we will not be capable of rebuilding Great Russia.

*Translated by Edvin Buday for The Saker

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 7 Comments

US Raises White Flag, Wants Talks With Russia Over Arms Race

By Gilbert Doctorow | Russia – Insider | March 21, 2018

One can say with certainty that Vladimir Putin’s presentation of Russia’s new weapons systems during his Address to the Federal Assembly on 1 March has finally elicited the desired response from its target audience in Washington, D.C. In that presentation, Putin spoke about strategic weapons systems employing cutting-edge technology that, he claimed, is more than a decade ahead of US and other competition.

He scored a direct hit in the Pentagon, where our senior generals were left dumbfounded. But, as is normally the case, when these gentlemen need time to collect their wits, we heard first only denial: that the Russians were bluffing, that they really have nothing ready, that these are only projects, and that the US already has all of the same, but is holding it back in reserve.

Of course, not everyone in US political elites bought into this stop-gap response.

On 8 March, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D- California), Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and two lesser known Senators from Massachusetts and Oregon wrote an open letter to then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging him to send a delegation to open arms control talks with the Russians “as soon as possible.” This was an improbable demarche that even their supporters in the Progressive camp, let alone mainstream Democrats found hard to believe. The two named Senators have been bitter foes of Russia and were actively promoting the Trump Collusion with Russia fairy tale in recent months. They were among those who had hissed at the pictures of Jeff Sessions, not yet Attorney General, shaking hands and smiling with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. Now they were calling for revival of arms control talks with… the Russians.

This was a story that died before publication everywhere except in Russia, where it had been a featured news item within hours of the Letter’s release. The American and world public knew nothing about it, although the letter was there for the reading on the home pages of the Senate websites of the respective co-authors. The American and world public know nothing about that letter today, nearly two weeks after its release, apart from readers of Consortium News and Russia Insider who were properly briefed at the time in this article by myself and Ray McGovern.

In the meantime, the US propaganda machine moved into high gear, producing diversionary issues to draw the attention of the US public away from what had been the subject of Putin’s speech of March 1. And so we have been getting saturation news coverage of the Skripal nerve gas attack, of the alleged cyber attack on the US energy grid and water systems. Both are pure “Russians did it” stories. And we read about the repositioning of US naval forces in the Mediterranean to within cruise-missile range of Damascus for a possible punitive blow in response to a chemical attack on civilians by Assad’s regime that still has not happened, all with intent to humiliate Assad’s backers, the Russians.

Now, at last, after the denial and the diversion, the truth begins to emerge. The President of the United States himself is the bearer of a message that, given American hubris, amounts to the raising of a white flag.

We find the following on page one of The New York Times describing Trump’s remarks about his phone call to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his electoral victory:

“We had a very good call,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “We will probably be meeting in the not-too distant future to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control.”

The Financial Times has this to say on page one:

Donald Trump said he wanted to meet Russian president Vladimir Putin to discuss an arms race that was ‘getting out of control’ and other issues over which the countries remain at loggersheads.

‘Being in an arms race is not a great thing,’ the US president said on Tuesday, adding that he would probably meet his Russian counterpart in the ‘not too distant future’.

The re-instatement of Russian strategic parity with the United States appears to be making itself felt, even if one has to be an expert in reading between the lines to parse from Trump’s statement the depth of concern about new Russian military potential.

It is a safe assumption that now arms talks with the Russians will begin soon. But the American public should be forewarned that the scope of  the discussions will surely be much greater than that of the so-called reset under Barack Obama, which played to an American, not a Russian wish list of cutting the numbers of warheads. This broader agenda will have to take into account Russian concerns about the US global anti-missile system. Should there be agreement, the change in approach to arms control will come not from US charity, but out of US fear.

Did Donald Trump raise the white flag and call for negotiations on a whim? Did he consult with his military advisers?

It is scarcely credible that this President came to the conclusion about the need to halt the arms race on his own or that he dared raise such an inflammatory subject without having the firm backing of Pentagon specialists who evaluated rationally and expertly where we now stand in strategic security with the Russians. No one will say this, but it is inescapable.

To put the present situation in an historical context: in the past year or two, the United States and Russia have reached a level of confrontation that approaches that of the Cuban Missile Crisis. That crisis was resolved by mutual back-downs on positioning of nuclear capable missiles near the borders of the other side. The mutuality of the solution was not announced to the American public until decades later, when the withdrawal of US missiles from Turkey was made public. This time, the mutuality of major concessions will necessarily be part of the presentation of any solution reached to the global community. Vladimir Putin will not go the way of Nikita Khrushchev, who paid for his “concession” to the Americans by a palace coup at home.

Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, Does the United States Have a Future? was published on 12 October 2017.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Face it: Cambridge Analytica story proves Facebook doesn’t give a toss about privacy or democracy

By Danielle Ryan | RT | March 20, 2018

Mainstream media have obsessed over Russia’s alleged use of Facebook to swing the 2016 US election. In reality, it was actually a shady British data-mining firm that was running pro-Trump Facebook propaganda campaigns

Irony doesn’t feel like strong enough a word.

Which is worse: Russia allegedly buying a few hundred Facebook ads, with the goal of ‘sowing unrest’ in the United States, by exploiting already emotional and divisive issues like gun control and race relations, or Facebook allowing a dodgy British company to mine the data of millions of its users, without the users’ explicit knowledge or consent, and then using that data for political purposes?

If you need a recap: British firm Cambridge Analytica (CA), working with the Trump campaign, harvested private information from 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge — and then used that information in an attempt to influence the election in Trump’s favor. CA was reportedly paid $5 million by the Trump campaign for their efforts. Oh, and former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon used to head the company.

So now we find out, after all the hand-wringing about how Russia elected Trump through its evil social media manipulations, that there were, in fact, other, perhaps for more influential, forces at play.

“We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on,” said CA whistleblower Christopher Wylie.

There are so many levels of irony to this story, it’s hard to know where to begin.

But let’s start with this: At the same time that Cambridge Analytica was mining Facebook data to help Trump, top executives at Facebook were actively working to help Trump opponent Hillary Clinton. Leaked emails between Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta revealed that Facebook provided research to Clinton in 2015. According to the emails, Sandberg “badly” wanted Clinton to win and she met privately with the candidate on multiple occasions.

Here’s where it gets really interesting, though. Cambridge Analytica doesn’t discriminate. After Trump’s election, the data firm’s parent company SCL Group won a contract from the US State Department to — wait for it — help combat propaganda on Facebook.

You know, it’s almost like Cambridge Analytica and Facebook each are companies primarily interested in money and which act with no moral qualms whatsoever. One can even imagine, if they try hard enough, that while Facebook executives personally seem to prefer Democrats, the company would help anyone, so long as a big fat check was involved.

Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, thanks to Wylie, Facebook has tried to play the victim — and quite successfully, too, given that most of the focus has been on CA and its dirty tricks and not the fact that it is a giant data company like Facebook that allows it to happen in the first place.

Facebook claims that it was misled by CA and acted to suspend the firm from its platform. But Facebook is no victim. The social media giant still insists CA’s use of the data from 50 million of its users’ accounts was not a data breach because, somewhere within the tangle of Facebook’s intentionally complicated privacy settings, users had technically consented to having their data mined.

Don’t let Facebook’s faux outrage at CA’s behavior fool you. In the midst of all this drama, a former high-level staffer on Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign has come out and admitted that Facebook allowed the Obama campaign to do much the same thing to help him, that Cambridge Analytica did to help Trump four years later.

Carol Davidsen wrote on Twitter that Facebook staff were very open and candid with the Obama campaign, writing that “they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side”.

Those activities included “suck[ing] out the entire social graph” — in other words an individual user’s entire network of Facebook friends — in an effort to target more potential voters through friends lists.

“The privacy policies at that time on Facebook were – if they opted in, they could tell us who all their friends were. So, they told us who all their friends were. We were actually able to ingest the entire social network of the US that’s on Facebook, which is most people,” Davidsen wrote.

So who is really more to blame here? A company like Cambridge Analytica, that uses political bribes and honey traps to discredit people — or a social media giant that sells the personal data of its users to the highest bidder? Or… Russia?

I’m inclined to agree with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who wrote on Twitter: “Facebook makes their money by exploiting and selling intimate details about the private lives of millions, far beyond the scant details you voluntarily post. They are not victims. They are accomplices.”

Speaking of whistleblowers, it’s been interesting to see how the media has treated the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower vs. how they treat whistleblowers like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning — and Snowden himself. When the whistleblower reveals information that suits the prevailing narrative, they are lauded as brave heroes and truth seekers. When they reveal something that doesn’t quite fit the story they are promoting, whistleblowers suddenly become abominable traitors deserving of no mercy.

Now comes the question of what should be done about all this sneaky business on Facebook. Luckily, I have a couple of suggestions.

First and foremost, Washington should immediately sanction the UK over the now-blatant attempts of a British company to meddle in and influence the American presidential election. I mean, it only seems fair. All sorts of accusations should be immediately levelled at the British government. Most importantly, absolutely no effort should be made to separate Cambridge Analytica from either Downing Street or the British public in general.

Second, the media should spend weeks, if not months, analyzing the motives of dodgy British political operatives and their efforts to secure a Trump victory. Journalists should get to work whipping up massive anti-British fervor and use any opportunity they can to get “the British” into their headlines about evil online influence campaigns.

In all honesty, there really is not much difference between Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. They both use our data for political and financial purposes — Facebook just seems to do it all on a far wider and more consistent basis.

It was only in January that Facebook admitted in a series of official blog posts, that it had a “moral duty” to understand how its technology was being used and to figure out “what can be done to make communities like Facebook as representative, civil and trustworthy as possible.” In response to allegations of Russian meddling and ‘fake news’ on the platform, Facebook said it was taking “steps in partnership with third-party fact checkers to rank these stories lower”.

That’s right: Employing unidentified “fact checkers” was supposed to help solve the fake news problem, while companies like Cambridge Analytica were out there hoovering up data from millions of users without their knowledge and using it for political propaganda purposes. But Facebook, we’re supposed to believe, knew nothing about that.

Facebook doesn’t really care a toss about your privacy or your democracy — and if this Cambridge Analytica scandal doesn’t make that clear, nothing will.

Danielle Ryan is an Irish freelance journalist. Having lived and worked in the US, Germany and Russia, she is currently based in Budapest, Hungary. Her work has been featured by Salon, The Nation, Rethinking Russia, Russia Direct, teleSUR, The BRICS Post and others. Follow her on Twitter @DanielleRyanJ, check out her Facebook page, or visit her website:

Read more:

Tories held talks with Cambridge Analytica in 2016 – report

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel’s chief rabbi calls black Americans ‘monkeys’

MEMO | March 21, 2018

Israel’s chief Rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, has stoked controversy by describing black Americans as “monkeys” during one of his weekly religious lessons.

The remark, which will prompt further discussion about entrenched racism within the country, was reported by Israeli newspaper Ynet News.

Yosef, whose status as chief rabbi is constitutionally recognised, is no stranger to inflammatory remarks having previously issued a “religious edict” encouraging the killing of any Palestinian armed with a knife.

While Yosef’s incitement of violence against Palestinians may have been overlooked his description of black Americans as “monkeys” has drawn wide attention.

Yosef made the remarks as he cited a hypothetical story about encountering a black person in the US. He referred to black people using the pejorative Hebrew word “kushi”, which refers to a dark-skinned person usually of African descent, and called a black person a “monkey”.

“We don’t say a blessing for every negro,” said Yosef while explaining that praise and blessing is only said for the “negro” whose father and mother are white. “If you know, they had a monkey for a son, they had a son like that,” blessing shouldn’t be offered to them, he explained.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | 3 Comments

Nariman and Ahed Tamimi: Icons of Palestinian Resilience

By Bassem Tamimi | MEMO | March 20, 2018

The incarceration of the two most important women in my life, my wife Nariman and daughter Ahed, is not an extraordinary or exceptional case. On the contrary, Palestinians have continued to endure such atrocious behaviour from Israel as an occupying power since the Nakba of 1948. Perhaps my family represents a model of Palestinians in general, and women specifically, who suffer from inhumane practices on a daily basis.

While families in the Middle East and elsewhere celebrate Mother’s Day, my heart aches for my late mother who passed away about three years ago. She died after suffering from a severe illness, while also still grieving the murder of my sister Bassema. About 25 years ago, my sister was brutally beaten to death by a group of Israeli settlers at the entrance of an Israeli court while waiting to see her detained son. During this painful period, I also went through one of the most difficult and life-threatening periods of my life. While incarcerated in an Israeli prison, I sustained a brain hemorrhage that led to a coma, which left me incapacitated for a long period. The day I was released from Israeli prison, my sister was buried; a devastating time for me and my family. While the Palestinian people continue to suffer from this indefinite occupation, it feels as if these devastating days are a never-ending part of our everyday lives.

Such is the case as my wife and daughter continue to be imprisoned by the Israelis. In the early morning hours of 19 December, 2017, over 30 Israeli soldiers invaded my home and imprisoned my 16-year-old daughter, Ahed. The soldiers declared my village a closed military zone and sealed off all entrances and exits. With more than 12 military jeeps, they fired teargas and detonated sound bombs – they came to terrorize my child and family. Ahed was strong, resilient and calm. While sitting chained in an Israeli military jeep, she called, “Don’t worry, I am strong”. Yes, my child will continue to be strong and resilient and perhaps that is why many people idolize her, while others fear her strength.

Prior to the arrest, some Israeli groups launched a vicious campaign against her because she stood tall against Israeli intimidation and brutality. When my wife Nariman attempted to visit her at the Israeli interrogation centre, she was also arrested. Today, these two strong women await justice and freedom.

I should not be surprised by Ahed’s perseverance, strength, and rejection of the occupation. When she was a small child she asked me what ‘occupation’ means. “Fear,” I said. Despite Ahed’s gentle and warm personality, she grew up knowing how to face that fear and to be strong in the face of it. She stood strong against an armed solider and all that he represented in this illegal occupation. All she did was to unwaveringly say no, in her words and actions, to the occupation.

Despite Ahed’s youth, she stood strong and proud against intimidation and threats during her interrogation by the Israeli military. They tried to break her will, but my child won. In a letter sent through her lawyer, Ahed said, “What happened was expected, and when I remember why I am in Israeli prison, my will becomes stronger. This cause deserves a great deal. We have endured difficulties and we will overcome, as I was taught by my parents. The encouragement and enthusiasm I have received has made me immensely happy, however, I hope that the rest of the Palestinian prisoners receive the same support as I have.”

No doubt, I am a proud father, a father of a girl that has become an icon of popular and peaceful resistance. However, my heart is full of sadness and anger as my child is robbed of her childhood.

Despite my family’s long history of peaceful resistance and demonstrations, and both myself and Nariman’s numerous arrests by the Israelis, I cannot hide the fact that I am in distress and fear for Ahed’s future—perhaps because this is her first experience in Israeli prisons and her first time away from home.

Since 2010, Nariman has participated in hundreds of peaceful demonstration organized in our village against the Israeli occupation. Our home was raided hundred times and Nariman was arrested three times—but this did not deter her from continuing her struggle against the occupation. During the course of demonstrations, she rescued countless Palestinian youth who sustained injuries and attacks by the Israeli military. Yet, she was not able to rescue her own brother who was brutally killed by the Israeli military in 2012. Nariman captured the Israeli attacks on video that day, but did not know that she was in fact filming the death of her own brother. Planting the seeds of resilience in Ahed and my children, Nariman continues to be a role model to women everywhere.

The Palestinian people continue to endure hardship and dispossession, from the time of the Nakba in 1948 until today, both at the hands of the Israeli occupying authorities, as well as the terror of illegal Israeli settlers. Palestinians worldwide, whether living under occupation, in the refugee camps, or elsewhere in exile—continue to live a daily Nakba. We in An Nabi Saleh village represent every Palestinian family who continues to endure Israeli policies of disenfranchisement, a policy that deprives Palestinians of the basic human right to live free. Despite these inhuman and illegal policies and practices against our families, and especially against women in particular, Palestinian women have persisted in their fight. In An Nabi Saleh, women and girls are leaders, and their role in peaceful demonstrations is vital, and are considered role models for many women here in Palestine and abroad.

While the Israelis chose Mother’s Day to prosecute Nariman and Ahed, my family, village, and Palestinians worldwide await the day when they, and all political prisoners, are released from Israeli prison. I would like to extend my family’s sincere gratitude to all those who have supported my wife and daughter, especially human rights organizations.

I am a proud husband and father. I am proud of all the women and mothers of Palestine who, with their strength and determination, have taught us to be fearless. I am proud that today, my child’s beautiful face has become a universal symbol of steadfastness, resistance and anti-injustice – like the iconic image of Che Guevara.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi to be sentenced to 8 months in Israeli prison

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – March 21, 2018

Ahed Tamimi, 17-year-old activist from Nabi Saleh whose case has received widespread global attention, will be sentenced to eight months in Israeli prison following a plea bargain on 21 March at Ofer military court, Palestinian media have reported. The plea bargain will involve a modified indictment with four items instead of the 12 that were originally included in the indictment, under which she was threatened with imprisonment for up to 10 years.

In the revised indictment, Ahed is accused of obstructing and assaulting an occupation soldier as part of the famous incident in which she slapped an occupation soldier on her family’s land, demanding he leave. Other charges of “incitement” and allegations related to political speech were excluded from the new indictment, as were five other incidents in which she was accused of assaulting occupation forces when they invaded her village, Nabi Saleh.

Ahed’s mother, Nariman, is also imprisoned and facing similar charges relating to the action on 15 December, in which Ahed confronted an Israeli occupation soldier invading her village alongside her cousin, Nour. Nariman Tamimi livestreamed the confrontation on Facebook in a video that soon went viral, expressing Palestinians’ commitment to resist occupation. Ahed and her family are leaders in the grassroots indigenous land defense movement in Nabi Saleh, confronting the illegal settlement of Halamish and occupation soldiers who have confiscated the village’s spring and lands.

The vast majority of all military court cases in occupied Palestine end in plea bargains. Palestinian prisoners are forced into plea bargains with threats of lengthy sentences that pose an all-too-real danger, especially with the inflated charges and lengthy indictments proffered against Palestinians. Over 99 percent of all military court cases end with a conviction, and lengthy sentences have become a norm, even for many children. Plea bargains are forced on Palestinians by a colonial “court” system that is only designed to suppress their resistance and isolate organizers and leaders from the Palestinian people.

The sentence comes only days after the Israeli military appeals court ruled on 19 March that Ahed’s trial must be held behind closed doors and away from public view. Ahed and her lawyer, Gabi Lasky, are rejecting the closed trial, especially as the case has helped to shine an international light on Israeli practices against Palestinian prisoners, especially Palestinian children targeted for arrest and persecution. Ahed’s case has helped to highlight the ongoing, systematic practice of the military imprisonment and trial of hundreds of Palestinian children each year.

While the Israeli court justified its order for a closed trial with language about the protection of minors, the Israeli army videotaped and widely distributed footage of Ahed’s arrest and leading Israeli politicians have publicly demanded she spend the rest of her life in prison. The village of Nabi Saleh has been subjected to repeated raids and attacks and the imprisonment of yet more children of the extended Tamimi family.

Over 1.5 million people have signed a global petition to demand Ahed’s freedom and thousands of people around the world have participated in hundreds of events and actions to demand her release and that of the over 6,100 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails, including over 350 Palestinian children. The struggle to free Palestinian prisoners and build solidarity for their struggle must be continued and intensified; the global action was critical in maintaining a high profile for Ahed’s case, and every Palestinian prisoner also deserves this attention, solidarity and struggle.

Free Ahed Tamimi! Free all Palestinian prisoners!

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

The Russian Military Warns: a Major War in Syria Is Imminent

By Arkady SAVITSKY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 21.03.2018

On March 17, the Russian General Staff warned about an imminent attack on Syria. The statement did not elaborate. Of course, some information is classified but an independent and impartial analysis of publicly available information leads one to the same conclusion. Let’s look at the facts.

There are warships deployed by US Navy in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Persian Gulf. They are ready to launch roughly 400 long-range Tomahawks against a target in the Middle East on any given day. Sea-launched cruise missiles were used to strike Syria in April. Anything that is at all related to the military operations on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean is hush-hush information, but it’s an open secret that the strategic bombers based there can launch at least a hundred cruise missiles and then use other high-precision munitions in a follow-up attack. On average, one bomber carries 20 AGM-86 ALCMs. Five bombers are believed to be normally stationed on this island that is off-limits to inquisitive outsiders. This means that at least 500 cruise missiles can be fired on short notice.

On March 17, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declared that Great Britain, France, and some additional countries besides the US had special forces operating in Syria that were engaging the Syrian Army directly. But it’s not just commandos.

It was reported on March 16 that the UK would be stationing a significant number of troops at the US-controlled Al-Tanf military base, adjacent to the Iraqi border. This facility is prominently featured in NATO’s war planning in Syria. It blocks the corridor linking Iran to Lebanon via Syria and Iraq. The size of the deployment — about 2,300 troops accompanied by tanks and helicopters — is too significant just to be intended to fight Islamic State militants who are already on the run.

Before that, the US had already sent 600 troops with armored vehicles to the base. And American reinforcements have also been sent to the Omar oil field.

On March 12, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley threatened military action against Syria. Experience has shown that the US will strike first and think about explanations later. It’ll no doubt “invent” some pretext to justify its actions.

Tensions have risen since last week. For instance, the mainstream media raised a ruckus over a mysterious “large underground” North Korean military base in Syria! This story about Pyongyang helping Syria to rebuild its chemical stockpiles and other urban legends are going viral.

The escalation coincided with the March 16 meeting between the Russian, Iranian, and Turkish foreign ministers in Astana to discuss further plans to bring peace to Syria, including expanding the concept of the de-escalation zones. That meeting laid the ground for a summit in Istanbul on April 4. There are about two weeks still to go. This top-level event could produce landmark decisions that might foil the West’s plans in Syria. Not much time is left. From the American perspective, this calls for urgent action to stymie that process.

Washington’s plan includes the goal of partitioning Syria in such a way that a large chunk of it would remain under the control of the US-led coalition. The Americans are already assembling municipal councils on the lands east of the Euphrates River. This area must be retained at any cost in order to ensure that Washington has a say in the future settlement of this war-torn country, otherwise all the hard work put in so far will go down the drain, undercutting America’s global standing and diminishing its clout in the Middle East. Losing Syria would be tantamount to suffering a major defeat in its confrontation with Iran, which it considers its arch-enemy. The plans include a rollback of Russian forces. Syria is the right place to do that. If the Russian military is openly warning the world of an imminent strike, that is a serious threat. And it does not look like a one-strike operation. This time we’re in for something much more serious — a large-scale operation to “contain” Russia, beat back Iran, win the support of the rich oil-exporting Arab nations and make them pay huge sums for American weapons, and show the world the US is omnipresent and adamant in its desire to dictate its will.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

Moscow: UK is Either Unable to Protect From Attack or Staged Skripal Attack

Sputnik – 21.03.2018

The Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian Defense Ministry jointly delivered a statement after a meeting with foreign envoys amid the scandal surrounding the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal.

According to the official, “either the British authorities are unable to protect from a terrorist attack on its territory or staged the attack themselves.”

“Russia owes nothing and can bear no responsibility for the actions or lack of actions on the British soil,” Ermakov added.

Moscow is surprised that UK authorities deny consular access to Skripal’s daughter in violation of international norms, Vladimir Ermakov stressed.

The attack on the Skripals is a “gross folly,” which is not beneficial to Russia, he stated.

“Moscow’s list of questions for London regarding the Skripal case is growing,” Vladimir Ermakov added.

Russia isn’t satisfied by the UK’s answers about the Skripal case, and the British have left the most important questions unanswered.

“If the subject of the investigation has not been determined reliably, and all facts are being intentionally hidden, and real evidence may have already disappeared, which has happened in the United Kingdom many times, then it is not clear what issue the UK side has,” Ermakov told a briefing.

“We took one more step forward. We suggested that the British conduct a joint investigation to identify the perpetrators of the Salisbury incident. For this, naturally, we requested access to all the case materials being investigated by Scotland Yard. Without this, it is simply impossible to get a clear picture of what is really happening,” Vladimir Ermakov said.

Earlier, OPCW confirmed that Russia had preliminarily destroyed all chemical weapons in its arsenal, the official said.

“The West is ready to use any means it can to discredit Russia, incidents in Khan Sheikhoun show that,” Vladimir Ermakov said.

The closest UK ally is the only state having the biggest chemical weapons’ arsenal in the world, he added.

Russia is interested that there are no questions between Moscow and the West regarding Skripal; from the British side there is no such approach, Ermakov said, adding that Russia is “shocked by statements made by UK politicians.”

According to a British Embassy’s representative, London wants explanations whether Russia produced a substance dubbed ‘Novichok.’

In his turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official has emphasized that Moscow had repeatedly asked for a joint probe into the Skripal case and access to its materials, including the poisonous substance.

“In conclusion I would like to stress that we are closely following the developments of the Skripal case… I am sure that in time the authors and the participants of this provocation will be punished… I would like to additionally stress that Russia does not accuse anyone of anything,” Ermakov told a briefing.

As Russia did not produce any unrepresented chemical substances under the OPCW convention, there are no such reserves in Russia.

Russia gave the Czech Republic evidence proving statements on the country’s possibility to develop poisoning substances.

When asked by deputy Slovak Ambassador to Moscow about the statement made by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, the ministry’s official stated that “Slovakia was mentioned as [former] part Czechoslovakia.”

Russian MoD Comments on Skripal Case

The Russian Defense Ministry has commented on allegations of Damascus’ use of chemical weapons.

According to a ministry’s official, the Syrian Foreign Ministry had informed Moscow that tons of poisonous substances had been found after liberation of territories from militants.

Busted chemical provocations in Syria ‘destroyed coalition’s plans to launch strike’ against Damascus, according to Russian Defense Ministry.

“It seems that Britain is afraid to conduct an unbiased investigation” into the Skripal case, Russian Defense Ministry representative added.

The UK presented no proof that gas allegedly used to poison Skripal was made in Russia, he added.

The United Kingdom first synthesized the VX nerve agent in 1962, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The formula of the substance dubbed ‘Novichok’ was published by the scientist Mirzayanov, who is working under the US government, according to Russian Defense Ministry.

The ministry has suggested that Mirzayanov under US influence could have written in his book the formula of the poisonous substance, allegedly used to poison Skripal.

“It is a gross violation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” Russian official said.

According to the ministry, Britain “was and is one of the states that have been implementing a program on the development of new chemical weapons since 1970s.”

He added that the Porton Down lab in Britain is used to conduct experiments, involving use of chemical weapons.

The patent for the British-developed toxic substance was later sold the US, the Russian Defense Ministry representative stressed.

Russia has questions about the UK sending about 50mln pounds to Porton Down laboratory, and whether they are trying to destroy Novichok there, Russian Defense Ministry representative added.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that all foreign ambassadors to Russia have been invited to attend a meeting on Wednesday. While EU ambassadors, except Britain, have agreed to attend the meeting, the US envoy hasn’t taken part in the talks.

Earlier, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that it was “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for the Salisbury incident.

Yesterday, Russian diplomats had to leave the UK as British Prime Minister Theresa May announced a batch of anti-Russia measures in the wake of the poisoning of the ex-Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, the incident which was blamed on Moscow.

The Russian Foreign Ministry denied all the allegations and requested the UK to allow a joint investigation into the case.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Why the UK, the EU and the US Gang-Up on Russia

By James Petras :: 03.20.2018

Introduction: For the greater part of a decade the US, the UK and the EU have been carrying out a campaign to undermine and overthrow the Russia government and in particular to oust President Putin. Fundamental issues are at stake including the real possibility of a nuclear war.
The most recent western propaganda campaign and one of the most virulent is the charge launched by the UK regime of Prime Minister Theresa May. The Brits have claimed that Russian secret agents conspired to poison a former Russian double-agent and his daughter in England, threatening the sovereignty and safety of the British people. No evidence has ever been presented. Instead the UK expelled Russian diplomats and demands harsher sanctions, to increase tensions. The UK and its US and EU patrons are moving toward a break in relations and a military build-up.

A number of fundamental questions arise regarding the origins and growing intensity of this anti-Russian animus.

Why do the Western regimes now feel Russia is a greater threat then in the past? Do they believe Russia is more vulnerable to Western threats or attacks? Why do the Western military leaders seek to undermine Russia’s defenses? Do the US economic elites believe it is possible to provoke an economic crisis and the demise of President Putin’s government? What is the strategic goal of Western policymakers? Why has the UK regime taken the lead in the anti-Russian crusade via the fake toxin accusations at this time?

This paper is directed at providing key elements to address these questions.

The Historical Context for Western Aggression

Several fundamental historical factors dating back to the 1990’s account for the current surge in Western hostility to Russia.

First and foremost, during the 1990’s the US degraded Russia, reducing it to a vassal state, and imposing itself as a unipolar state.

Secondly, Western elites pillaged the Russian economy, seizing and laundering hundreds of billions of dollars. Wall Street and City of London banks and overseas tax havens were the main beneficiaries

Thirdly, the US seized and took control of the Russian electoral process, and secured the fraudulent “election” of Yeltsin.

Fourthly, the West degraded Russia’s military and scientific institutions and advanced their armed forces to Russia’s borders.

Fifthly, the West insured that Russia was unable to support its allies and independent governments throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Russia was unable to aid its allies in the Ukraine, Cuba, North Korea, Libya etc.

With the collapse of the Yeltsin regime and the election of President Putin, Russia regained its sovereignty, its economy recovered, its armed forces and scientific institutes were rebuilt and strengthened. Poverty was sharply reduced and Western backed gangster capitalists were constrained, jailed or fled mostly to the UK and the US.

Russia’s historic recovery under President Putin and its gradual international influence shattered US pretense to rule over a unipolar world. Russia’s recovery and control of its economic resources lessened US dominance, especially of its oil and gas fields.

As Russia consolidated its sovereignty and advanced economically, socially, politically and militarily, the West increased its hostility in an effort to roll-back Russia to the Dark Ages of the 1990’s.

The US launched numerous coups and military intervention and fraudulent elections to surround and isolate Russia. The Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Russian allies in Central Asia were targeted. NATO military bases proliferated.

Russia’s economy was targeted: sanctions were directed at its imports and exports. President Putin was subject to a virulent Western media propaganda campaign. US NGO’s funded opposition parties and politicians.

The US-EU rollback campaign failed.

The encirclement campaign failed.

The Ukraine fragmented – Russia allies took control of the East; Crimean voted for unification with Russia. Syria joined with Russia to defeat armed US vassals. Russia turned to China’s multi-lateral trade, transport and financial networks.

As the entire US unipolar fantasy dissolved it provoked deep resentment, animosity and a systematic counter-attack. The US’s costly and failed war on terror became a dress rehearsal for the economic and ideological war against the Kremlin. Russia’s historical recovery and defeat of Western rollback intensified the ideological and economic war.

The UK poison plot was concocted to heighten economic tensions and prepare the western public for heightened military confrontations.

Russia is not a threat to the West: it is recovering its sovereignty in order to further a multi-polar world. President Putin is not an “aggressor” but he refuses to allow Russia to return to vassalage.

President Putin is immensely popular in Russia and hated by the US precisely because he is the opposition of Yeltsin – he has created a flourishing economy; he resists sanctions and defends Russia’s borders and allies.


In a summary response to the opening questions.

1) The Western regimes recognize that Russia is a threat to their global dominance; they know that Russia is no threat to invade the EU, North America or their vassals.

2) Western regimes believe they can topple Russia via economic warfare including sanctions. In fact Russia has become more self-reliant and has diversified its trading partners, especially China, and even includes Saudi Arabia and other Western allies.

The Western propaganda campaign has failed to turn Russian voters against Putin. In the March 19, 2018 Presidential election voter participation increased to 67%. Vladimir Putin secured a record 77% majority. President Putin is politically stronger than ever.

Russia’s display of advanced nuclear and other advanced weaponry has had a major deterrent effect especially among US military leaders, making it clear that Russia is not vulnerable to attack.

The UK has attempted to unify and gain importance with the EU and the US via the launch of its anti-Russia toxic conspiracy. Prime Minister May has failed. Brexit will force the UK to break with the EU.

President Trump will not replace the EU as a substitute trading partner. While the EU and Washington may back the UK crusade against Russia they will pursue their own trade agenda; which does not include the UK.

In a word, the UK, the EU and the US are ganging-up on Russia, for diverse historic and contemporary reasons. The UK exploitation of the anti-Russian conspiracy is a temporary ploy to join the gang but will not change its inevitable global decline and the break-up of the UK.

Russia will remain a global power. It will continue under the leadership of President Putin. The Western powers will divide and bugger their neighbors – and decide it is their better judgment to accept and work within a multi-polar world.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel admits to launching military attack on Syria in 2007, warns region of more

Press TV – March 21, 2018

Israel has formally admitted that it had attacked and destroyed a site in eastern Syria back in 2007, warning the region of more such assaults.

The announcement by the Israeli military through declassified documents came on Wednesday about “Operation Out of the Box” against what Israel claims to be a nuclear reactor in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

For over 10 years, the Israeli military had prohibited discussions about the already well-known and widely reported secret.

The new declassified materials included photographs and cockpit video said to show the moment that an airstrike targeted Syria’s Al-Kubar facility.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Mossad confirmed the existence of the Syrian site in March 2007. In the months that followed, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tried to pressure former US President George W. Bush to attack the site.

In July 2007, after Bush refused Israel’s demands, Olmert convened his security cabinet, which ultimately concluded that the alleged reactor had to be destroyed.

Before midnight on September 5, 2007, four F-15 jets and four F-16 warplanes entered the Syrian airspace via Turkey, dropping nearly 17 tons of bombs on the facility.

On Wednesday, the Israeli minister for military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, said the 2007 strike was a message to Israel’s enemies.

He claimed, “The motivation of our enemies has increased in recent years, but the strength of our army, our air force and our intelligence capabilities have increased compared with the capabilities we had in 2007.”

Syria, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has always dismissed reports that the site was a nuclear reactor. Damascus said that the destroyed complex was a military site under construction.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vehemently denied that his country had built a nuclear reactor in violation of its commitments under the NPT and to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In 2017, Syria’s Permanent Representative at the UN Bashar al-Ja’afari lashed out at the Security Council and the IAEA for their failure to denounce Israel’s blatant military attack in 2007, noting that Israel refused to cooperate with the IAEA in investigating the possible contamination caused by the Israeli rockets and the materials used to destroy the site.

Israel is believed to be the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East with more than 200 undeclared nuclear warheads. Tel Aviv has rejected global calls to join the NPT and does not allow international inspectors to observe its controversial nuclear program.

Syria has on numerous occasions slammed the Western countries for supplying Israel with nuclear materials in a blatant violation of the NPT and even helping it to keep its nuclear activities secret.

There has been a sharp hike in Israeli acts of aggression against Syria since 2011, when the Arab country plunged into a foreign-backed crisis targeting the government in Damascus.

Israel has, ever since, launched military attacks on targets in Syria in an apparent attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats on the battlefield with Syrian government forces, who are fighting to liberate the countries from the clutches of foreign-backed militant groups.

The latest such attacks took place on February 20, when Israeli warplanes bombed a Syrian army facility in central Syria. The Syrian military hit at least one Israeli F-16 returning from the bombing raid.

On several occasions, the Syrian army has confiscated Israeli-made arms and military equipment from militants fighting pro-Damascus forces. Israel has also been providing medical treatment to the extremist militants wounded in Syria.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Irishmen subjected to CIA-style ‘5 techniques’ by British not tortured – European court

RT | March 20, 2018

A European court has rejected a request to find that a group of 14 men detained during internment in Northern Ireland suffered torture. The prisoners were subjected to white noise, sleep and food deprivation as well as beatings.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejected the Irish government petition to revise a 1978 judgement against the UK and find that the prisoners, known as the ‘hooded men’ were subjected to torture.

The men were exposed to methods known as the “five techniques” – hooding, white noise, stress positions, sleep deprivation, and food deprivation. The practice was applied over an unknown period of four to seven days for an unspecified number of hours at a time. Similar interrogation techniques have since been deployed by the CIA and outlined in a 2014 Senate Torture report.

The men, who were all Catholic, were detained in 1971 at the height of The Troubles after Northern Ireland used the Special Powers Act to introduce internment without trial for those suspected of being involved in violence. They were hooded and flown by helicopter to a secret location, later revealed as a British Army camp outside Derry in Northern Ireland. Before landing they were dangled out of the helicopter and told they were high in the air, although they were close to the ground. None of the individuals were ever convicted of wrongdoing.

In 1978 the ECHR found that the British authorities’ actions amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment, but not torture. Following a TV documentary in 2014, which brought archived files to light, the Irish government requested a revision of the original judgment.

The Irish government submitted that a psychiatrist who gave evidence as an expert for the British government misled the Commission by saying that the effects of the ill-treatment were short-lived when he knew that the use of the five techniques had long-lasting and severe effects. The government cited archived documents that allegedly revealed the British authorities had tried to prevent the court from accessing the full truth about the five techniques.

Overall, the court found that the documents did not demonstrate facts which were unknown at the time. It added that it could also not be said that such knowledge might have had a decisive influence leading to a finding of torture, noting that the original judgment had made no reference to the issue of such long-term effects. The revision request was dismissed by a chamber of seven judges by six votes to one.

Amnesty International, who visited the detainees in 1971 and stated then there was evidence of torture at the camp, described today’s decision as “disappointing.” It noted that the ruling is not a statement that the ‘five techniques’ do not constitute torture as it is legally defined today.

“What has been revealed in the files withheld by the UK government cannot be denied. These men were tortured, and with approval at the highest levels of government. The record of what these men endured in those interrogation rooms 47 years ago, and the devastating impact on them afterwards, still stands,” Amnesty said.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Attack Against Nord Stream 2 Renewed with Vigor: Whose Interests Does It Meet?

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 20.03.2018

Economics dictate national interests. Foreign policy is the tool used to advance it. Moscow has to fight back on all fronts, but the truth is that Washington does not care much about chemical attacks in Eastern Ghouta, the Salisbury poisoning, election meddling, or so many other fairy tales used to justify its anti-Russia policy. These are just pretexts to promote US economic interests abroad.

Gas exports to Europe present exciting opportunities but supplies from Russia are cheaper and more reliable. So the US needs to get rid of the obstacle in its way — the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline, which will carry natural gas from Russia to Germany. Washington will do anything to achieve this cherished goal.

On March 15, a bipartisan group of 39 senators led by John Barrasso (R-WY) sent a letter to the Treasury Department. They oppose NS2 and are calling on the administration to bury it. Why? They don’t want Russia to be in a position to influence Europe, which would be “detrimental,” as they put it. Their preferred tool to implement this obstructionist policy is the use of sanctions. Thirty-nine out of 100 is a number no president can ignore. Powerful pressure is being put on the administration. Even before the senators wrote their letter, Kurt Volker, the US envoy to Ukraine, had claimed that NS2 was a purely political, not commercial, project. No doubt other steps to ratchet up the pressure will follow.

Their loyal friends in Europe chimed in almost simultaneously with the US lawmakers. Polish Foreign Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has proven himself to be a master at telling horror stories about the scariest things that might happen once the pipeline is up and running. On March 2, the speakers of parliament in Ukraine and Moldova signed a letter addressed to the chairs of the parliaments of the EU countries, warning about the repercussions. This is “a destabilizing factor” that will weaken Europe, they exclaim. Of course it is. Paying more for gas brought in on ships that can change course to head for a new destination if the price of gas elsewhere becomes more alluring will naturally make Europe stronger. Good reasoning!

On March 11, the leaders of the parliaments of Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania signed another open letter to the parliaments of the EU states to warn them against the construction of NS2. It’s not a commercial project, they say, it’ll make you dependent on Russia. “Gazprom … is not a gas company but a platform for Russian coercionaffirms Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former head of NATO who now works as a consultant for Ukraine. Estonia has also joined the choir as one of the strongest critics of Nord Stream. The European Commission opposes the project too, but lacks the legal grounds to prevent private investment from flowing in.

Europe needs this commodity and Russia sells it. What makes this “not a commercial deal”? Dependence? From this perspective, any customer who makes a choice then becomes “dependent” on the vendor. Who is keeping them from getting gas from other sources? The sea lanes are all open, if they need to use them. Poland and Lithuania have already built terminals for liquefied gas. But it’s more expensive and the prices in the Asia Pacific region make that market more attractive. To woo US shale-gas exporters Europeans will have to pay more. Don’t they have the right to choose what suits them best?

As practice shows, writing letters is not enough. There are “stubborn” leaders at the helms of some European states who dare to put their national interests first. Just think about it! If “America First” is fine as a slogan, then what’s wrong with an “Austria First” policy? One daring young man who is protecting the interests of his country is Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. He openly supports the Nord Stream 2 project. And he is not alone. Germany continues to back it despite the pressure. Chancellor Angela Merkel believes that the NS2 project “poses no danger to diversification.” The German-based think tank ewi Energy Research & Scenarios has estimated that the project “has a price decreasing and welfare enhancing effect in the EU-28 overall.”

But Washington could not care less about its allies, which is clear from its opposition to this project. Its interests are self-centered. The US is not only promoting its liquefied gas supplies in Europe but is also trying to make it easier to pay for its plan to keep Ukraine in its orbit to use as a springboard right on the Russian border. Nord Stream 2 will make the gas-transit route via Ukraine redundant, depriving that country of much of the €1.8 billion (nearly 2% of its GDP) it earns annually in transit fees. The blow to the Ukrainian economy would undercut the US and EU’s financial support for Kiev. In addition, the revenue from NS2 would mean profits for Russia, thus softening the impact of the West’s sanctions. The European countries that vehemently oppose NS2 also want the US military based on their soil. And even if that presence is already there, they want more of it.

Europe is split over a lot of issues, but in the EU, NATO, and the Council of Europe there is a pro-American camp ready to dance to the US tune. And Poland and the Baltic States are happy campers. Whatever happens, they’ll snap to attention, click their heels, salute, and do as they’re told by Washington. As a result, their taxpayers will pay for US weapons although less costly and more efficient systems could be acquired elsewhere. And it is the ordinary people who’ll have to shell out for US shale gas shipped by sea instead of the much cheaper supplies coming from Russia. It’s just as simple as that. European taxpayers will have to pay for this “America First” policy unless the governments of such European states as Germany and Austria stand tall and refuse to bow to pressure.

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment