Aletho News


UK Justification for Refusal to Grant Skripal’s Niece Visa “Doesn’t Hold Water”

Sputnik – April 6, 2018

LONDON – The Russian Embassy in UK criticized on Friday the statement by the UK Foreign Office about the violation of immigration rules by Viktoria Skripal who applied for a UK visa, saying that it “does not hold water” and suggested that the UK Embassy should have assisted Skripal in correcting her application.

Earlier on Friday, media reported that the UK Embassy in Russia denied a visa to Viktoria Skripal, a relative of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, who planned to visit her cousin Yulia in the United Kingdom.

“This decision is regrettable and worrying. According to a ‘government source’ quoted by the BBC, the visa was denied because ‘it appears the Russian state is trying to use Viktoria as a pawn.’ This clearly means that the decision has been taken out of purely political considerations,” the embassy said in a statement.

“The Home Office reference to a violation of immigration rules doesn’t hold water. The normal way to correct any violation would be for the British Embassy to advise Ms Skripal on the necessary formalities so as to help her comply with the rules rather than deny the visa altogether,” the statement read further.Earlier, after being denied visa, Viktoria Skripal alleged in an interview with the Sky News that “the British must have something to hide.”

The United Kingdom believes that former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were exposed to the A234 nerve agent in the UK city of Salisbury. The UK government was quick to accuse Russia of involvement in the accident and expel over 25 states expelled Russian diplomats. Russia has refuted all accusations, pointing at the lack of any evidence.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , | 1 Comment

Journalist shot in abdomen by Israel sniper on Gaza border

MEMO | April 6, 2018

A Palestinian video journalist and photographer who had just been contracted to work with MEMO has been hospitalised after being shot by Israeli sniper fire today while covering The Great March of Return near Gaza’s eastern border.

Though wearing a vest marked ‘PRESS’, Yaser Murtaja, co-founder of Ain Media production company, was shot in the abdomen by Israeli snipers perched on a hilltop on Gaza’s border.

Ain Media, which is made up of a dozen Palestinian media professionals, has been covering the events taking place near Gaza’s border with Israel since Friday. In the past, the team have produced work for Al Jazeera Documentaries, BBC Arabic, VICE, Alaraby TV, UNICEF, UNRWA and Oxfam amongst others.

In an interview with MEMO earlier this month, Yaser said that his passion for filming and photography was born out of his desire to document the events taking place in the besieged Gaza Strip and to do what he could to help shed light on the reality of life in Gaza and the plight of fellow countrymen under occupation and blockade.

At least 23 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza and more than 1,500 others wounded during the Great March of Return, a six-week demonstration and sit-in which started last Friday to mark Palestine Land Day and is calling for the implementation of the Right of Return.

Palestinians come together near Gaza’s eastern border for ‘The Great March of Return’

Demonstrators are demanding that Palestinian refugees be granted their right to return to their towns and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the state of Israel.

In the run-up to the mass demonstrations last week Israel deployed thousands of troops on the border, threatening to use live ammunition against anyone who threatened Israel’s “security infrastructure”.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Geraldo Rivera regrets not speaking out against Israel’s “constant occupation and oppression” of Palestinians

If Americans Knew | April 6, 2018

Geraldo Rivera was asked on the Fox show “The Five” on April 3, 2018 whether he ever regretted a story he had done.

In reply he said that he regretted not supporting Palestinians during the Second Intifada (uprising) against Israeli “occupation and oppression.” He said he regretted “chickening out” and not “adding my voice as a Jew.”

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is now calling for Fox to fire Rivera.

Below is a transcript of Rivera’s remarks:

That’s an excellent excellent question. Let me tell you what I regret. I regret in 2002 backing down from backing the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel, the Second Intifada. Because I saw with my own eyes how, and I know this is going to resonate very poorly with the people watching right now– but still, I have to tell you how I feel. I saw at firsthand how those people were– and now you just had 14, 15 people killed in Gaza. Palestinians killed by the IDF forces. I saw what an awful life they live under constant occupation and oppression, and people keep saying, “Oh, they are terrorists, or they are this or they are that.”

They are an occupied people and I regret chickening out after 2002 and not staying on that story and adding my voice as a Jew, adding my voice to those counseling a two-state solution. It’s so easy to put them out of sight, out of mind, and let them rot, and be killed, and keep this thing festering. And I think a lot of our current problems stem from – that’s almost our original sin, Palestine and Israel. I want a two-state solution. I want President Trump to re-energize the peace process.

The Second Intifada was a mass, largely unarmed Palestinian uprising that began in fall of 2000. To see those killed on both sides scroll down here. For information on the current situation in Gaza go here.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Netanyahu, Trump clash over early Syria withdrawal plan’

Press TV – April 6, 2018

A recent telephone conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump grew tense over Trump’s earlier expression of his tendency to withdraw US forces from Syria “very soon,” according to two US officials.

Netanyahu and Trump discussed regional developments over the phone on Wednesday, according to the official account from the United States.

But two unidentified US officials said later that Netanyahu had objected to Trump’s remark that he would like US forces out of Syria shortly, according to The Times of Israel.

There were no more details on the give-and-take between the Israeli prime minister and the US president.

On March 29, Trump said the US would “be coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now.”

The US has reportedly more than 2,000 troops stationed in eastern Syria, in addition to several thousand others in the Arab country’s north.

“We spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. And you know what we have for it? Nothing,” Trump said.

Other US officials have since been attempting to walk back Trump’s remarks, which had already been in contrast to the mainstream US position.

Just on Friday, the Pentagon sounded differently from Trump, saying the American military plans in Syria remained unchanged.

On April 3, Trump also signaled that countries that wanted the US to remain in Syria would have to pay for that presence, singling out Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision, and I said, ‘Well, you want us to stay, maybe you’re going to have to pay,’” he told reporters at the White House. “We do a lot of things in this country. We do [them] for a lot of reasons, but it’s very costly for our country and it helps other countries a hell of a lot more than it helps us. So we’re going to be making a decision.”

The Israeli prime minister’s objection to Trump’s stated Syria plan came despite reassurances by US officials that Trump has changed his mind.

Apart from the troops on the ground, the US and a number of its allies have been bombarding what they say are Daesh positions inside Syria since September 2014, without any authorization from the Damascus government or the United Nations.

After the Wednesday telephone conversation between Netanyahu and Trump, a White House statement said, “President Trump reiterated the commitment of the United States to Israel’s security,” and that “the two leaders agreed to continue their close coordination on countering Iran’s malign influence and destabilizing activities.”

Netanyahu later tweeted that he had “thanked President Trump for his commitment to Israel’s security and America’s support for Israel at the United Nations.”

Neither of the official accounts referred to the tense moments of the conversation.

Unlike the US and its allies, Iran and Russia have government-authorized advisory presence in Syria. Israel has attempted to portray Iranian advisory assistance to Damascus as an attempt at spreading its regional influence, which Iran has consistently denied.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Google Should Not Help the U.S. Military Build Unaccountable AI Systems

By Peter Eckersley and Cindy Cohn | EFF | April 5, 2018

Thousands of Google staff have been speaking out against the company’s work for “Project Maven,” according to a New York Times report this week. The program is a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) initiative to deploy machine learning for military purposes. There was a small amount of public reporting last month that Google had become a contractor for that project, but those stories had not captured how extensive Google’s involvement was, nor how controversial it has become within the company.

Outcry from Google’s own staff is reportedly ongoing, and the letter signed by employees asks Google to commit publicly to not assisting with warfare technology. We are sure this is a difficult decision for Google’s leadership; we hope they weigh it carefully.

This post outlines some of the questions that people inside and outside of the company should be mulling about whether it’s a good idea for companies with deep machine learning expertise to be assisting with military deployments of artificial intelligence (AI).

What we don’t know about Google’s work on Project Maven

According to Google’s statement last month, the company provided “open source TensorFlow APIs” to the DoD. But it appears that this controversy was not just about the company giving the DoD a regular Google cloud account on which to train TensorFlow models. A letter signed by Google employees implies that the company also provided access to its state-of-the-art machine learning expertise, as well as engineering staff to assist or work directly on the DoD’s efforts. The company has said that it is doing object recognition “for non-offensive uses only,” though reading some of the published documents and discussions about the project suggest that the situation is murkier. The New York Times says that “the Pentagon’s video analysis is routinely used in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations, and Defense Department publications make clear that the project supports those operations.”

If our reading of the public record is correct, systems that Google is supporting or building would flag people or objects seen by drones for human review, and in some cases this would lead to subsequent missile strikes on those people or objects. Those are hefty ethical stakes, even with humans in the loop further along the “kill chain”.

We’re glad that Google is now debating the project internally. While there aren’t enough published details for us to comment definitively, we share many of the concerns we’ve heard from colleagues within Google, and we have a few suggestions for any AI company that’s considering becoming a defense contractor.

What should AI companies ask themselves before accepting military contracts?

We’ll start with the obvious: it’s incredibly risky to be using AI systems in military situations where even seemingly small problems can result in fatalities, in the escalation of conflicts, or in wider instability. AI systems can often be difficult to control and may fail in surprising ways. In military situations, failure of AI could be grave, subtle, and hard to address. The boundaries of what is and isn’t dangerous can be difficult to see. More importantly, society has not yet agreed upon necessary rules and standards for transparency, risk, and accountability for non-military uses of AI, much less for military uses.

Companies, and the individuals who work inside them, should be extremely cautious about working with any military agency where the application involves potential harm to humans or could contribute to arms races or geopolitical instability. Those risks are substantial and difficult to predict, let alone mitigate.

If a company nevertheless is determined to use its AI expertise to aid some nation’s military, it must start by recognizing that there are no settled public standards for safety and ethics in this sector yet. It cannot just assume that the contracting military agency has fully assessed the risks or that it doesn’t have a responsibility to do so independently.

At a minimum, any company, or any worker, considering whether to work with the military on a project with potentially dangerous or risky AI applications should be asking:

  1. Is it possible to create strong and binding international institutions or agreements that define acceptable military uses and limitations in the use of AI? While this is not an easy task, the current lack of such structures is troubling. There are serious and potentially destabilizing impacts from deploying AI in any military setting not clearly governed by settled rules of war. The use of AI in potential target identification processes is one clear category of uses that must be governed by law.
  2. Is there a robust process for studying and mitigating the safety and geopolitical stability problems that could result from the deployment of military AI? Does this process apply before work commences, along the development pathway and after deployment? Could it incorporate the sufficient expertise to address subtle and complex technical problems? And would those leading the process have sufficient independence and authority to ensure that it can check companies’ and military agencies’ decisions?
  3. Are the contracting agencies willing to commit to not using AI for autonomous offensive weapons? Or to ensuring that any defensive autonomous systems are carefully engineered to avoid risks of accidental harm or conflict escalation? Are present testing and formal verification methods adequate for that task?
  4. Can there be transparent, accountable oversight from an independently constituted ethics board or similar entity with both the power to veto aspects of the program and the power to bring public transparency to issues where necessary or appropriate? For example, while Alphabet’s AI-focused subsidiary DeepMind has committed to independent ethics review, we are not aware of similar commitments from Google itself. Given this letter, we are concerned that the internal transparency, review, and discussion of Project Maven inside Google was inadequate. Any project review process must be transparent, informed, and independent. While it remains difficult to ensure that that is the case, without such independent oversight, a project runs real risk of harm.

These are just starting points. Other specific questions will surely need answering, both for future proposals and even this one, since many details of the Project Maven collaboration are not public. Nevertheless, even with the limited information available, EFF is deeply worried that Google’s collaboration with the Department of Defense does not have these kinds of safeguards. It certainly does not have them in a public, transparent, or accountable way.

The use of AI in weapons systems is a crucially important topic and one that deserves an international public discussion and likely some international agreements to ensure global safety. Companies like Google, as well as their counterparts around the world, must consider the consequences and demand real accountability and standards of behavior from the military agencies that seek their expertise—and from themselves.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Skripal relative denied visa to visit UK and return poisoned relatives to Russia

RT | April 6, 2018

Sergei Skripal’s niece has been denied a visa to enter the UK after claiming she would come and take her relatives back to Russia.

Viktoria Skripal had planned to travel to Britain after her uncle Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were exposed to a chemical agent in Salisbury on March 4.

The UK Home Office said on Friday that Viktoria is not being granted a visa to come to the UK. “We have refused a visitor visa application from Viktoria Skripal on the grounds that her application did not comply with the Immigration Rules,” a Home Office spokesman said.

Viktoria was behind the first public statements from either of the Skripals and the world’s media this week when she released a recording of a phone call with her cousin Yulia.

In the clip, the two discussed Viktoria getting a visa. Yulia flatly told her she would not be granted one.

“Vika, nobody will give you a visa,” Yulia said.

She said she and her father were fine and there were no life changing injuries. She gave little detail other than to say they would address one issue at a time.

Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakavenko said the embassy is currently getting its information from the mainstream media, after being locked out of Britain’s investigation. He says requests for access to the Skripals have been repeatedly denied.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | 3 Comments

Media Warn of ‘Russian Bots’—Despite Primary Source’s Disavowal

By Adam Johnson | FAIR | April 5, 2018

WaPo: Russian bots are tweeting their support of embattled Fox News host Laura Ingraham

Washington Post (4/2/18)

One could forgive the average reader for thinking reporters covering bots had been replaced by bots. The formula is something we’ve seen a million times now: After a controversial story breaks, media outlets insist that “Russian bots” used the controversy to “sow discord” or “exploit tensions”; a “Russian bot dashboard” is offered as proof. (These “dashboards” let one see what Russian bots—automated online persona controlled by the Kremlin—are allegedly  “pushing” on social media.)

The substance of the concern or discord is underreported or ignored altogether. Online conflict is neatly dismissed as a Kremlin psyop, the narrative of Russia interference in every aspect of our lives is reinforced, and one is reminded to be “aware” of Russian trolls online.

Note the latest iteration of this story:

  • Russian Bots Are Rallying Behind Embattled Fox News Host Laura Ingraham as Advertisers Dump Her Show (Business Insider, 4/1/16)
  • Russian Bots Defend Fox News Pundit Laura Ingraham as Advertisers Leave Following David Hogg Tweet (Newsweek, 4/2/18)
  • Russian Bots Are Tweeting Their Support of Embattled Fox News Host Laura Ingraham (Washington Post, 4/2/18)
  • Russian Bots Flock to Laura Ingraham Feud With Parkland Student: Report (The Hill, 4/2/18)
  • Russian Bots Rush to Laura Ingraham’s Defense in David Hogg Feud (Washington Times, 4/2/18)

Not to be confused with the Russian bots that were heard from after the Austin bombings from last month:

  • Russian Social Accounts Adding to Complaints That Austin Bombings Aren’t Being Covered (NPR, 3/19/18)
  • Fallout of Austin Bombings Exposes Racial Tensions, Russian Bots and Media Distrust (France 24, 4/1/18)
  • Russian Bots Were Sowing Discord During Hunt for Austin Bomber, Group Says (Houston Chronicle, 3/20/18)

Or the bots from Russia that were seen in the wake of the Parkland massacre:

  • After Florida School Shooting, Russian ‘Bot’ Army Pounced (New York Times, 2/19/18)
  • After the Parkland Shooting, Pro-Russian Bots Are Pushing False-Flag Allegations Again (Washington Post, 2/16/18)
  • How Russian Trolls Exploited Parkland Mass Shooting on Social Media (Politifact, 2/22/18)

One problem, though: The “Russian bot dashboard” reporters generally cite as their primary source, Hamilton 68, effectively told reporters to stop writing these pieces six weeks ago. According to a report from Buzzfeed (2/28/18)—hardly a fan of the Kremlin—Russian bot stories are “bullshit”:

NYT: After Florida School Shooting, Russian Bot Army Pounced

The New York Times (2/19/18)

By now you know the drill: massive news event happens, journalists scramble to figure out what’s going on, and within a couple hours the culprit is found — Russian bots.

Russian bots were blamed for driving attention to the Nunes memo, a Republican-authored document on the Trump-Russia probe. They were blamed for pushing for Roy Moore to win in Alabama’s special election. And here they are wading into the gun debate following the Parkland shooting. “[T]he messages from these automated accounts, or bots, were designed to widen the divide and make compromise even more difficult,” wrote the New York Times in a story following the shooting, citing little more than “Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia.”

This is, not to mince words, total bullshit.

The thing is, nearly every time you see a story blaming Russian bots for something, you can be pretty sure that the story can be traced back to a single source: the Hamilton 68 dashboard, founded by a group of respected researchers, including Clint Watts and JM Berger, and currently run under the auspices of the German Marshall Fund.

But even some of the people who popularized that metric now acknowledge it’s become totally overblown.

“I’m not convinced on this bot thing,” said Watts, the cofounder of a project that is widely cited as the main, if not only, source of information on Russian bots.

Watts, the media’s most cited expert on so-called “Russian bots” and co-founder of Hamilton 68, says the narrative is “overdone.” The three primary problems, as Buzzfeed, reported, are:

  1. The bots on the Hamilton 68 dashboard are not necessarily connected to Russia: “They are not all in Russia,” Watts told Buzzfeed. “We don’t even think they’re all commanded in Russia—at all. We think some of them are legitimately passionate people that are just really into promoting Russia.”  (Hamilton 68 doesn’t specify which accounts are viewed as Russian bots; that’s a trade secret.)
  2. Twitter is clogged with bots, so telling which are Russian and which aren’t is impossible. Bots naturally follow trending or popular stories, like all the stories cited above; how does one distinguish “Russian bot” activity versus normal online trend-chasing?
  3. Tons of bots are run out of the United States, in totally routine partisan marketing efforts; the singular obsession with Russia lets these shady players off the hook. And, again, it’s almost impossible to distinguish between simply partisan GOP bots and “Russian” ones.

BuzzFeed: Stop Blaming Russian Bots For Everything

BuzzFeed (2/28/18)

Put another way: These stories are of virtually no news value, other than smearing whichever side the “Russian bots” happened to support, and reinforcing in the public mind that one cannot trust unsanctioned social media accounts. Also that the Russians are hiding in every shadow, waiting to pounce.

Another benefit of the “Russian bots agitate the American public” stories is they prevent us from asking hard questions about our society. After a flurry of African-American Twitter users alleged a racist double standard in the coverage of the Austin bombings in March (which killed two people, both of them black), how did NPR address these concerns? Did it investigate their underlying merit? Did it do media analysis to see if there was, in fact, a dearth of coverage due to the victims’ race? No, it ran a story on how Russia bots were fueling these concerns: “Russian Social Accounts Adding to Complaints That Austin Bombings Aren’t Being Covered” (All Things Considered, 3/19/18):

NPR’s Philip Ewing: Well, there’s two things taking place right now. Some of this is black users on Twitter saying that because some of the victims in this story were not white, this isn’t getting as much attention as another story about bombings, or a series of bombings in the United States, would or should, in this view.

This seems like a pretty serious charge, and would have a lot of historical precedent! Does NPR interrogate this thread further? Does it interview any of these “black users”? No, they move on to the dastardly Russians:

Ewing: But there’s also additional activity taking place on Twitter which appears initially to be connected with the Russian social media agitation that we’ve sort of gotten used to since the 2016 presidential race. There are dashboards and online tools that let us know which accounts are focusing on which hashtags from the Russian influence-mongers who’ve been targeting the United States since 2016, and they, too, have been tweeting about Austin bombings today.

NPR host Ailsa Chang: The theory being that these Russian bots are being used to drive a wedge between groups of people here in the United States about this issue, about the coverage being potentially racist.

Ewing: That’s right.

Nothing to see here! There’s a problem in our society—systemic racism in American media—and rather than an examination of whether it’s affecting coverage here, what the listener gets is yet another boilerplate story about “Russian bots,” the degree, scope and impact of which is wholly unknown, and likely inconsequential. Hesitant to cite Hamilton 68 by name (perhaps because its co-founder mocked this very kind of story a few weeks prior), NPR reporter Ewing simply cites “dashboards and online tools” as his source.

NPR: Russian Social Accounts Adding To Complaints That Austin Bombings Aren't Being Covered

To All Things Considered (3/19/18)

Which ones? It doesn’t really matter, because “Russian bots support X” reports are a conditioning exercise more than a story. The fact that this paint-by-numbers formula is still being applied weeks after the primary source’s co-founder declared himself “not convinced on this bot thing” and called the story “overdone” demonstrates this. The goal is not to convey information or give the reader tools to better understand the world, it’s to give the impression all unrest is artificially contrived by a foreign entity, and that the status quo would otherwise be rainbows and sunshine. And to remind us that the Enemy lurks everywhere, and that no one online without a blue checkmark can be trusted.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Bolton and Johnson: the Malevolent Villain and the Vicious Buffoon on the Nuclear Stage

By Brian Cloughley | CounterPunch | April 6, 2018

There are currently several characters of clownish tendency on the stage of international affairs, with others waiting in the wings for an opportunity to prance forward and perform their antics. The most recent addition to the Western cast is the new National Security Adviser to President Trump, John Bolton, who isn’t so much a clown as a pantomime villain — a grimy scoundrel who skulks round the stage twirling his moustache, jeering at his censorious audience and plotting the downfall of whomever has displeased him.

On the other side of the Atlantic the sinister Bolton is complemented by a venomous buffoon, Boris Johnson, the foreign minister who enunciates British policy in the dignified fashion that we have come to expect from representatives of the United Kingdom.

In evidence to Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on March 21 Johnson “compared Russia’s hosting of the 2018 Football International tournament to Hitler’s notorious Berlin Olympics in 1936.” He then expanded his line of attack and declared “It is up to the Russians to guarantee the safety of England fans going to Russia. It is their duty under their FIFA contract to look after our fans. We are watching it very, very closely. At the moment we are not inclined actively to dissuade people from going because we want to hear from the Russians what steps they are going to take to look after our fans.”

The following day the British media reported that “Ninety England football fans have been arrested in Amsterdam for public order breaches as England prepared for tonight’s friendly match against the Netherlands . . . It came shortly after 25 fans were held overnight for drunken behavior as thousands descended on the Dutch capital . . . footage showed fans throwing pints of beer over tourists and jumping into the canal. In one clip supporters could be seen hurling beer over tourists in a boat and throwing a bike into the canal, while others chanted behind an England flag.”

Apparently these delicate, sensitive Englishmen need an assurance of safety, wherever they may go, and the British Foreign Secretary demanded that Russia inform the British government “what steps they are going to take to look after our fans.”

Mr Johnson’s fretful concern that elegant, sophisticated English football supporters will require protection is but one indicator of his distrust of Russia.  On March 6 he stated that “Russia is in many respects a malign and disruptive force,” which was an echo of Mr Bolton’s opinion of Russia — and many other countries.

On March 15 Bolton told Fox News that “Russia, China, Syria, Iran, North Korea . . . are regimes that make agreements and lie about them. A national security policy that is based on the faith that regimes like that will honor their commitments is doomed to failure.”

So now we know where Washington and London stand in regard to Russia. They are opposed to dialogue and indeed to any movement that might lead to rapprochement. They are ramping up confrontation daily, and although a war of words at the moment, it is obvious that both the US and the UK are preparing to escalate the conflict into something more dramatic. The pantomime villain and buffoon are uncompromising in their resolve to take their countries into a shooting war which would lead to planetary catastrophe.

Bolton announced that following the March 4 poisoning of the British spy, Sergei Skripal (a former Russian citizen who was a well-paid double agent and betrayed an unknown number of his countrymen to Britain’s intelligence service from 1995 to 2004), the response by Washington “needs to be such that we begin to create, in Vladimir Putin’s mind, deterrence theories that he will understand, if he undertakes this again the cost that Moscow will bear will be significantly greater. That’s how deterrence works.”

This is an intriguing change of stance for the elegant villain Bolton.  Consider, for example, the YouTube record of a 2013 interview in which he welcomed “a new era of Freedom for the Russian people” following President Putin’s election. He was proposing that Russia “grant a broader right to bear arms to its people, it would be creating a partnership with its citizens that would better allow for the protection of mothers, children, and families without in any way compromising the integrity of the Russian state. That is my wish and my advice to your great people.”

But then in July last year Bolton wrote in the UK Telegraph newspaper that “For Trump, it should be a highly salutary lesson about the character of Russia’s leadership to watch Putin lie to him. And it should be a fire-bell-in-the-night warning about the value Moscow places on honesty, whether regarding election interference, nuclear proliferation, arms control or the Middle East: negotiate with today’s Russia at your peril.”

His view of the world and especially of Russia has altered somewhat over the years, but his fellow performer Boris Johnson has the merit of being consistent, even if slightly jumbled.

One of Johnson’s tirades of anti-Russian innuendo and insult expanded into a vision of “global Britain” which is an intriguing concept. In a bizarre diatribe on March 28 he rejoiced that the country he represents on the world stage has “the most vibrant and dynamic cultural scene, with one venue – the British Museum – attracting more visitors than ten whole European countries that it would not be tactful to name tonight [presumably this was intended as humor]. And out of this great minestrone, this bouillabaisse, this ratatouille, this seething and syncretic cauldron of culture, we export not just goods – though we certainly do – but ideas and attitudes and even patterns of behavior.”

The cauldron of British culture is so effective that Mr Johnson was “delighted to say that in both the Czech Republic and in Iceland they mark Jan 7 with silly walks day in honor of Monty Python . . . and it is an astonishing fact that both of the two highest grossing movies in the world last year was either shot or produced in this country.”

This is national greatness? Silly walks, a couple of movies, and drunken football fans?

Johnson lives in a delirious world of fantasy, dalliance, and funny walks, but this does not make him any the less menacing, because his confrontational tirades are effective in swaying much of the population of a country that has lost direction and is stumbling on the world stage. He is both confrontational and callous — as illustrated by remarks last October about Libya, which was destroyed by a 9-month US-NATO bombing spree in 2011. His vision of its future was macabre to the point of obscenity, for “There’s a group of UK business people, wonderful guys who want to invest in Sirte, on the coast, near where Gaddafi was actually captured and executed as some of you may have seen, and they literally have a brilliant vision to turn Sirte into the next Dubai. The only thing they’ve got to do is clear the dead bodies away and then they’ll be there.”

He and Bolton are soul-mates in malevolence and belligerence. They hate President Putin and are preparing for ultimate confrontation with Russia, a scheme that is backed enthusiastically by many figures in their respective governments.

Acts on the world stage have become more dramatic, and these players, the villain and the buffoon, are helping make the globe a more dangerous place.

Brian Cloughley writes about foreign policy and military affairs. He lives in Voutenay sur Cure, France.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

War Deaths, and Taxes

By John Laforge | CounterPunch | April 6, 2018

Are the federal taxes coming out of your wages and due this week killing you? Sadly what’s rhetorical for US tax payers is gravely literal for people of eight countries currently on the shooting end of the US budget.

This year at least 47% of federal income taxes goes to the military (27%, or $857 billion, for today’s bombings and occupations, weapons, procurement, personnel, retiree pay & healthcare, Energy Dept. nuclear weapons, Homeland Security, etc.); and 20%, or $644 billion, for past military bills (veterans’ benefits — $197 billion; and 80% of the interest on the national debt — $447 billion).

A ceasefire, drawdown and retreat from the country’s unwinnable wars would reduce this tax burden, and didn’t the president promise to end the foreign “nation-building” that’s breaking the bank? Of course, that was a Trump promise, so:

Seven US airmen were killed on March 15 when a US Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq, with 5,200 soldiers and as many contract mercenaries fighting there.

When VP Mike Pence visited Afghanistan last December he said with perfect meaninglessness: “we are here to see this through.” About 11,000 US soldiers are currently seeing it, and the Pentagon will be sending thousands more this spring. US bombing runs have almost tripled since the Obama/Trump handover, and Pence claimed “we’ve put the Taliban on the defensive” — but during Pentagon chief Jim Mattis’s visit the Taliban shot dozens of rockets at the Kabul airport where the general’s plane was parked.

The 16-year-old war in Afghanistan is now broadly understood to be militarily unwinnable, so a ceasefire and withdrawal would be a quick way to save billions of tax dollars. But US B-52s bombers flying from Minot Air Base in North Dakota are still creating new terrorists every day; the 3,900 US bombs and missiles exploded on the country in 2017 caused countless of civilian casualties.

In Syria, dozens of Russian soldiers were killed Feb. 7 and 8 by US-led forces fighting near Al Tabiyeh. Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar was killed by an IED blast March 29 in Manbij. The US now has about 2,000 soldiers at war in Syria, and in January then Sec. of State Rex Tillerson promised they will be there long after the war with the Islamic State is over. Although Trump said March 29, “we’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon,” Pentagon officials leaked news April 2 that dozens of additional troops will be sent in the coming weeks, CNN reported. The United States’ World War could hardly be more confounding or self-defeating as US ally Turkey has begun bombing US-supported Kurdish fighters inside Syria.

In Pakistan January 25, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs charged that remote-controlled US bombing had targeted an Afghan refugee camp, worsening relations with that government even beyond Trump’s cutoff of “security aid.”

Saudi Arabian aircraft, refueled en route by US tanker aircraft, have killed 4,000 civilians in Yemen, according to UN estimates. Suspending arms sales to the Saudis would end its war and begin to alleviate the Saudi-made humanitarian disaster in Yemen, and a cease-fire and stand-down would allow for the urgent relief required to prevent famine.

An end to today’s US bombing and/or military occupation of eight countries — Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq (all ongoing), Somalia (bombed Apr. 1), Libya (8 airstrikes since Jan. 2017), Niger (Oct. 4 battle, four dead; 500 US soldiers in country, now with armed drones), and Yemen (127 bomber & drone strikes in 2017) — would save billions, save lives, slow the wartime creation of terrorists, and reduce anti-US sentiment everywhere. In January, an extensive Gallop survey found 70% of the people interviewed in 134 countries disapprove of US foreign policy — 80% in Canada, 82% in Mexico.

To paraphrase Dr. King, who was assassinated by the FBI 50 years ago this month (“Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King,” by William F. Pepper), “The great initiative in these wars is ours. The initiative to stop them must be ours.”

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and edits its newsletter.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

The Truth about Martin Luther King’s Assassination Peaks Through

By Edward Curtin | Behind the Curtain | April 6, 2018

“There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968

It’s been fifty years since Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968 and nineteen years since the only trial in the case. In that 1999 Memphis civil trial (see transcript) brought by the King family, the jury found that King was murdered by a conspiracy that included governmental agencies. The corporate media, when they reported it at all, dismissed the jury’s verdict and those who accepted it, including the entire King family led by Coretta Scott King, as delusional.  Time magazine – dutifully using the pejorative “conspiracy theory” label the CIA had in 1967 urged their mouthpieces to use – called the verdict a confirmation of the King family’s conspiracy theory and “lurid fantasies.” The Washington Post compared those who believed it with those who claimed that Hitler was unfairly accused of genocide. A smear campaign ensued that has continued to the present day and then the fact that a trial ever occurred disappeared down the memory hole so that today most people never heard of it and assume MLK was killed by a crazy white racist, James Earl Ray, if they know even that.

Here and there, however, mainly through the alternative media, and through the monumental work and persistence of the King family lawyer in that trial, William Pepper, the truth about the assassination has surfaced. Through decades of research that extends well into the twenty-first century, Pepper has documented the parts played in the assassination by F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover, the F.B.I., Army Intelligence, Memphis Police, and southern Mafia figures. On March 30, 2018, The Washington Post’s crime reporter, Tom Jackman, published a four column front-page article, “Who killed Martin Luther King Jr.? His family believes James Earl Ray was framed.” While not close to an endorsement of the trial’s conclusions, it is a far cry from past nasty dismissals of those who agreed with the jury’s verdict as conspiracy nuts or Hitler supporters. The Washington Post has a well-earned reputation for being the CIA’s paper of record, but my reading of Jackman’s article and its prominent placing suggests a split somewhere in the conscience(s) of journalists at the paper. Or perhaps it is a fortuitous accident. Whatever the case, after decades of clouding over the truth of MLK’s assassination, some rays of truth have come peeping through, and on the front page of the WP at that.

Jackman makes it very clear that all the surviving King family members – Bernice, Dexter, and Martin III – are in full agreement that James Earl Ray, the accused assassin, did not kill their father, and that there was and continues to be a conspiracy to cover up the truth. He adds to that the words of the highly respected civil rights icon and U.S. Congressman from Georgia, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who says, “I think there was a major conspiracy to remove Dr. King from the American scene,” and former U.N. ambassador and Atlanta mayor Andrew Young who was with King at the Lorraine Motel when he was shot, who concurs, “I would not accept the fact that James Earl Ray pulled the trigger, and that is all that matters.” Additionally, Jackman adds that Andrew Young emphasized that the assassination of King came after that of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, and a few months before that of Senator Robert Kennedy.

“We were living in a period of assassinations,” he quotes Young as saying, a statement clearly intimating their linkages and coming from a widely respected and honorable man. So if Ray didn’t kill MLK, then Oswald didn’t kill JFK, and Sirhan didn’t kill RFK is the implicit thought conveyed. Then who killed Malcom X? Could the same parties have killed them all? And who might they be?

But then, as if to pull back abruptly from this line of thought, Jackman quotes David Garrow, a Pulitzer Prize winning biographer of King, who has long held that James Earl Ray killed King. Yet the historian Garrow’s statement is so condescending and illogical that a thoughtful person would be taken aback and think: How could an historian say that?  Referring to the three remaining King family members as “children,” although all are 50-60 years old, he says that they “are part of a larger population of American people who need to believe [my emphasis] that the assassination of a King or a Kennedy must be the work of mightier forces,” not the victims “of small-fry, lifetime losers.” (Notice how Kennedy, and one presumes he means just one Kennedy, JFK, is thrown in with King to include Oswald in the small-fry, lifetime loser category of the “real” killers, not the childish “need to believe” conclusions of meticulous scholars, such as James W. Douglass, author of the acclaimed JFK and the Unspeakable.)  But then comes the kicker.  The acclaimed historian Garrow says that credulous “people need to see [my emphasis] a balance between effect and cause. That if something has a huge evil effect, it should be [my emphasis] the result of a huge evil cause.”  Now anyone who has not completely lost their ability to think knows that an historian’s raison d’etre is to explore facts in an effort to establish believable relationships between effects and causes, not by following a strict scientific method, but by arranging one’s research findings (documents, witness interviews and statements, etc.) within a narrative structure to reach logical conclusions.  Historians “need to believe” that effects have causes and when they are good historians the issue is not one of balancing but of truth. They follow the evidence to truthful conclusions, no matter where it leads. So for Garrow to dismiss the King family and other Americans because of a delusional “need to believe” is patently absurd and not intellectually honest, yet it is a trope that has echoed down the years whenever there is a need to brush off “conspiracy theorists” as ignorant children.

Then as one reads through Jackman’s article he notices three brief statements, one from Robert Blakey, the chief counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, another from John Campbell, who investigated the King murder for the Shelby County, Tennessee district attorney’s office, and a third from Barry Kowalski who reinvestigated the case under Attorney General Janet Reno in 1998. All three attest to Ray’s guilt. But Jackman gives them little space, approximately a half-page, in an article that extends to nine printed pages.

The remainder of the article – six printed pages – is primarily devoted to the work of William Pepper, the attorney for the King family in the 1999 civil trial in Memphis that found the U.S government liable for the killing of King and the author of three books on the murder, including his latest, The Plot to Kill King, a voluminous and heavily documented masterly work that makes an irrefutable case that the U.S. government and not James Earl Ray killed MLK, and to those who support those findings, including King’s daughter, Bernice, who is given the final word. Jackman quotes her as saying,

“I don’t believe James Earl Ray killed my father.  It’s hard to know exactly who.  I’m certainly clear that there has been a conspiracy, from the government down to the mafia… there had to be more than one person involved in all this.  I think it was all planned.”

This breakthrough article, the first such piece on the front page of a major newspaper to give such space to critics of the commonplace “lone nut” explanation for MLK’s murder, proves Leonard Cohen’s words prophetic: “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Even a crack in The Washington Post wherein may dwell persons of conscience, despite the paper’s history of doing the devil’s work.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

The Skripal case and the misuse of ‘intelligence’

By Alexander Mercouris | The Duran | April 5, 2018

The events of the last few days in the Skripal case provide an object lesson of why in criminal investigations the rules of due process should always be adhered to. The reason the British now find themselves in difficulties is because they have not adhered to them.

This despite the fact that – as they all too often like to remind us – it was the British themselves who largely created them.

The single biggest unexplained mystery about the Skripal case is why it attracted so much attention so quickly.

Within hours of Sergey and Yulia Skripal being found passed out on a bench the British media were feverishly speculating that they had been poisoned by Russia.

This despite the fact that no information at that point existed which warranted such speculation, and despite pleas for the investigation to be allowed to take its course from the police and from the government minister responsible for the police, Home Secretary Amber Rudd (who has ever since been conspicuously silent about the whole affair).

Within three days of Sergey and Yulia Skripal being found passed out on a bench – and before any information linking the incident to Russia had become publicly available – the British government’s COBRA committee was meeting – a fact which caused me incredulity – during which a highly revealing article in The Times of London has now revealed it was already agreed that Russia was “almost certainly” responsible.

A Whitehall source added: “We knew pretty much by the time of the first Cobra [the emergency co-ordination briefing that took place the same week] that it was overwhelmingly likely to come from Russia.” (bold italics added)

“It” of course refers to the chemical agent which poisoned Sergey and Yulia Skripal, with the clear implication that by the date of the first COBRA meeting on 7th March 2018 – three days after Sergey and Yulia Skripal were found in the bench – “it” had already been identified as a Novichok “of a type developed by Russia”.

If what this article says is true – and despite the fact that the article is full of tendentious reporting (of which more below) on this one point I am inclined to believe what it says – then that must mean either (1) that Porton Down is highly familiar with the properties of Novichok agents if it can identify the agent used so quickly; or (2) the British authorities already had “other” information before Porton Down completed its analysis which caused them to think that Sergey and Yulia Skripal were poisoned with a chemical agent “of a type developed by Russia”.

If it was the first then note that Porton Down took no more than three days to identify the poison as a Novichok despite the fact (1) that Novichok agents are not in general use and are supposed to be very rare and there is no known instance of their having been used before (it seems that contrary to previous reports the Kivelidi murder in 1995 in Russia did not involve use of a Novichok); and (2) that confirming Porton Down’s analysis that the poison is a Novichok is taking the OPCW’s experts two weeks.

If it was the second, and the COBRA committee came to its view on 7th March 2018 that Russia was ‘almost certainly responsible’ before Porton Down had identified the poison, then the last few weeks have been an exercise in smoke-and-mirrors, with the British authorities pretending that the reason for their belief in Russian responsibility was that the poison used was a Novichok, whereas in reality they came to that belief for some entirely different reason.

If so then that might partially [explain] why Porton Down and the French scientists were able to identify the chemical agent so quickly.

They were able to identify the poison as a Novichok by the weekend prior to Theresa May’s statement to the House of Commons on Monday 12th March 2018 because they were told in advance what to look for.

I do not know which of these alternatives is true. However, for what it’s worth, I believe it is the second because it is the one which makes most sense in light of the known facts.

That this is the likeliest explanation of what happened finds support from The Times of London article which I cited earlier. It contains this highly revealing claim:

Security services believe that they have pinpointed the location of the covert Russian laboratory that manufactured the weapons-grade nerve agent used in Salisbury, The Times has learnt.

Ministers and security officials were able to identify the source using scientific analysis and intelligence in the days after the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal a month ago, according to security sources.

Britain knew about the existence of the facility where the novichok poison was made before the attack on March 4, it is understood……

Security sources do not claim 100 per cent certainty but the source has insisted that they have a high degree of confidence in the location. They also believe that the Russians conducted tests to see whether novichok could be used for assassinations.

The disclosure is the latest part of Britain’s intelligence case against Russia, which has been undermined this week by a series of blunders. (bold italics added)

In other words the entire British case against Russia derives not from identification of the poison as a Novichok but from information about the supposed existence of a ‘secret laboratory’ making Novichok in Russia which British intelligence had obtained – or thinks it had obtained – before the attack took place.

That the British case against Russia is intelligence based and is not based on the fact that the poison used was (allegedly) a Novichok is further shown by one case of manipulation of language and one case of crude editing in some of the things which have been said.

The example of manipulation of language is the constant British harping on the fact that the Novichok allegedly used in the attack is “military grade”.

I am not a chemist or a chemical weapons expert but I cannot see how it is possibly to say such a thing given that no military – not even the Russian military – has apparently ever stockpiled Novichok agents for use as a military weapon. How can one say therefore that any particular sample of Novichok is “military grade” if no military has ever stockpiled or used it?

As for the example of editing, it is one which I admit I previously overlooked but which was noticed by the invaluable Craig Murray, whose commentary on the Skripal case has been nothing short of outstanding.

The editing is of what was said by Porton Down chief executive Gary Aitkenhead. Since it was Craig Murray who noticed it rather than discuss it myself I will link and quote to what Craig Murray has to say about it

It is in this final statement that, in a desperate last minute attempt to implicate Russia, Aitkenhead states that making this nerve agent required

“extremely sophisticated methods to create, something probably only within the capabilities of a state actor.”

Very strangely, Sky News only give the briefest clip of the interview on this article on their website reporting it. And the report is highly tendentious: for example it states

However, he confirmed the substance required “extremely sophisticated methods to create, something only in the capabilities of a state actor”.

Deleting the “probably” is a piece of utterly tendentious journalism by Sky’s Paul Kelso.

I did not notice that the key word “probably” had been deleted from what Aitkenhead had said, and as a result my previous article wrongly quoted his words, saying them not as he had said them but as they had been wrongly edited.

It turns out that even what Aitkenhead actually said – that the Novichok agent would have required “extremely sophisticated methods to create, something probably only within the capabilities of a state actor” is almost certainly wrong.

Here is what Craig Murray has to say about that

Motorola sales agent Gary Aitkenhead – inexplicably since January, Chief Executive of Porton Down chemical weapons establishment – said in his Sky interview that “probably” only a state actor could create the nerve agent. That is to admit the possibility that a non state actor could. David Collum, Professor of Organo-Chemistry at Cornell University, infinitely more qualified than a Motorola salesman, has stated that his senior students could do it. Professor Collum tweeted me this morning.

The key point in his tweet is, of course “if asked”. The state and corporate media has not asked Prof. Collum nor any of the Professors of Organic Chemistry in the UK. There simply is no basic investigative journalism happening around this case.

That the entire British case against Russia depends on intelligence is further shown by a further strange development in the case today.

This is that the British authorities are now apparently claiming that the fact that the poison which was used to poison Sergey and Yulia Skripal was supposedly found on Sergey Skripal’s door knob is the ‘smoking gun’ which points to Russia.

Whether that is so or not – and I share Craig Murray’s deep skepticism about this – the alleged presence of the poison on the door knob cannot be the reason why on 7th March 2018 the British government’s COBRA committee had already come to the conclusion that the attack on Sergey and Yulia Skripal “was almost certainly” the work of Russia.

That is because the theory that Sergey and Yulia Skripal were poisoned when they came into contact with the poison on the door knob only appeared several weeks after 7th March 2018.

All the evidence points to fact that the ‘intelligence’ the British government used to come to the conclusion – reached within hours of Sergey and Yulia Skripal being found passed out on a bench – that the attack on them had been carried out by Russia must have come from a human source.

If the British authorities really do possess what they believe to be a Russian assassin’s manual (see Craig Murray again) then that all but confirms it. How else would such a manual have come into their hands?

If that human source really was able to identify the particular poison used in the attack on Sergey and Yulia Skripal in advance, then that suggests a very well informed source indeed.

That might be because the source does have genuine access to secret information about a top secret Russian assassination programme, in which case the Russian authorities will by now almost certainly know who that source is.

However given the complete absence of any other evidence of a top secret Russian assassination programme I must say I doubt this (as I have discussed elsewhere, the Litvinenko case does not provide such evidence).

The alternative – which of course is what many people believe – is that this whole affair is a provocation, staged by someone who then tipped the British off that Novichok – a poison of “a type developed by Russia” but which can in fact easily be made elsewhere (see above) – had been used, whilst misleading the British by giving them a trail of false leads which appeared to point towards Russia.

The claim that the fact that traces of the poison were found on the door knob is the ‘smoking gun’ which points to Russia to my mind rather supports this second theory.

If this claim was made before the poison was found on the door knob it suggests that the source knew in advance that it was there, which would tend to implicate the source in the attack.

If the source provided the information about the alleged ‘assassin’s manual’ after reports appeared in the British media about the poison being found on the door knob – which by the way is what I suspect – then that strongly suggests that the source is adapting its information to the changing news, which suggests manipulation of the intelligence in order to implicate Russia.

Whatever the case the fact that Novichok was probably used to poison Sergey and Yulia Skripal (we will only know with any measure of certainty when the OPCW reports its tests) is not proof that Russia was involved.

The British have got themselves into a total mess by pretending that it is.

They would have avoided getting into this mess – and avoided being manipulated by whoever is giving them ‘secret’ information, if that is what is happening – if they had instead done what their law and traditions dictate they should have done, which is allowed the criminal investigation to take its course.

It bears repeating that at this stage no suspect has been identified in the case and even the theory that Sergey and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by touching Sergey Skripal’s door knob is pure conjecture.

Once again – as in the Litvinenko case and the Russiagate scandal – the course of a criminal investigation has been corrupted by the misuse of ‘intelligence’.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

US lowering threshold for using nukes causes deepest concern – Lavrov

RT | April 5, 2018

Russia is worried the US could respond with nuclear weapons to a wider range of circumstances and that its priorities lie in establishing “military supremacy and upsetting parity” when it comes to “strategic stability.”

“The US policy of lowering the threshold of using nuclear weapons causes the deepest concern,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Moscow Conference on International Security. Washington’s latest Nuclear Posture Review expands a number of scenarios in which a nuclear response would be considered.

The US is also planning to replace outdated ballistic missiles with new, less powerful nuclear warheads to have them available and ready to give a “flexible response.”

NATO’s growing military activity near the borders of Russia and further efforts to deploy missile defense systems there is another worrisome factor for Moscow. “In the sphere of strategic stability, Washington attaches priority to gaining military supremacy and upsetting parity,” he said.

The Russian foreign minister also expressed concern over “speculations about spreading within NATO’s framework Article 5 of the Washington Treaty to the problems emerging in cyberspace.” The article states that an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all allies. NATO is working on expanding its guidelines on what could trigger its collective response to cyberattacks. Russia often called for “starting a professional discussion on confidence building measures and resistance to threats in that field ” but there were no response either from Washington or from Brussels.

Lavrov said the West should finally realize that they will no longer be able to play the “one goal game.”

“There are no prospects for them to seek to achieve unilateral advantages at our expense and that security in the Euro-Atlantics, in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world as a whole should be equal and indivisible.”

Although US President Donald Trump criticized his predecessors for being too involved with other countries rather than focusing on the US, the current administration has been embracing more and more war hawks recently.

Trump, however, says he is open for dialogue with Russia and the leaders of both countries agreed there should not be another arms race.

“[We] are not interested either in confrontation or in setting off an arms race. But Russia will safeguard purposefully and effectively its interests, its sovereignty and independence, using the entire arsenal of tools available to us,” Lavrov said.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment