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HuffPost Blames Populists And Russia For European Renewable Policy Failures

By Eric Worrall | Watts Up With That? | June 26, 2018

The alleged Russian conspiracy which is supposed to be helping populists win elections worldwide has now been blamed for a fall in EU nation state support for European renewable energy policies.

How A Populist Europe In Thrall To Russia Threatens Climate Change Action

“We are in a really dangerous moment.”

By Arthur Neslen
26/06/2018 7:45 PM AEST

As a growing number of European countries tip toward the far right politically, attempts to curb climate change are coming under pressure. The region’s race to cut planet-warming greenhouse gases is generating friction, and some Members of European Parliament and experts point the finger of blame at Russian big energy interests and populist governments in thrall to them.

This month, a bid to raise the European Union’s supply of renewable energy to 35 percent of the electricity mix by 2030 was stymied by a bloc of EU states led by populist governments in the Visegrad countries ― Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia ― even though it had the support of the European Parliament and European Commission.

The same bloc of countries helped whittle down proposals for a binding 40 percent energy conservation target, despite signs of accelerating climate change from the Antarctic to the African savannah.

“We see a pattern of populist governments clearly opposing ambitious climate and energy regulations, which is in line with the primary Russian economic interest: exporting fossil fuels and nuclear technology,” Benedek Jávor, the vice-chair of the European parliament’s environment committee and a Hungarian Green MEP, told HuffPost.

Russia supplies more than a third of Europe’s gas but this could be reduced to nothing by an ambitious energy saving target, according to analyses by several think tanks and consultancies.

Hungary, for example, which is becoming an increasingly authoritarian government under far-right leader Viktor Orbán, is a valued advocate for Russian gas infrastructure and is also building a Russian-financed €10 billion ($11.5 billion) nuclear reactor outside Budapest.

Russia’s energy agenda plays to a wider audience than extreme nationalists. Gas and nuclear are both seen as relatively lower carbon options than coal, which could “bridge” the path to a mid-century world powered solely by renewables. However, some climate studies suggest that, where gas is concerned, the bridge could also burn the chances of limiting global warming to no more than a 2 C temperature rise above pre-Industrial levels ― the target the majority of scientists say cannot be exceeded if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Several academic papers have found that investment in gas could crowd out desperately needed funds for renewable energy while providing few emissions-cutting benefits.

Full article: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/europe-populism-russia-climate-action_us_5b30b86fe4b0321a01d33adf

In my opinion HuffPost are making it up as they go. If renewable energy was viable, gas wouldn’t have an opportunity to “crowd out” renewable investment, because renewable investment would make sense on its own terms.

As for Huffpost’s evidence free allegation that Russia is pushing populism to undermine the green agenda, in my opinion it would make far more sense for the Russian government to support the green agenda – to support anti-fracking, anti-nuclear and renewable energy advocacy movements.

More fracking in Europe would undermine Russian gas sales. A Nuclear power renaissance in Europe would undermine Russian gas sales. Useless green energy “investments” not so much.

Of course I’m not suggesting Russia is doing anything of the sort. Why risk scandal and exposure, when liberal green European politicians are doing everything in their power to wreck European energy independence without outside help?

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Nuclear Power, Russophobia, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Russia’s Nuclear Doctrine Is Being Distorted Once Again

By Vladimir KOZIN | Oriental Review | June 26, 2018

On June 13, 2018, the Washington Post published an original piece by Paul Sonne that describes America’s potential use of the low-yield nuclear warheads that are to be installed on the future US B-61-12 nuclear bombs, as well as on the ballistic missiles carried by the Trident II submarines in the form of W76-2 warheads, in accordance with Washington’s 2018 nuclear doctrine. The article claims that the introduction of low-yield warheads and the idea of their potential use is being justified by the Pentagon as necessary due to the fact that Russia is allegedly prepared to use similar warheads against NATO countries, based on that nation’s current nuclear doctrine and because a purported strategy of “escalate to de-escalate” has apparently been “approved” by Moscow.

It should be kept in mind that the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation, which has sections covering the potential use of nuclear weapons, says nothing about the power of the nuclear weapons that might be utilized, nor is there any mention of warheads with either high or “low” yields in TNT equivalents. Those sections of the official doctrine do not even categorize Russian nuclear weapons into strategic vs. tactical varieties.

Only one term is specified in Russia’s military and strategic posture: “nuclear weapons.” And only two circumstances are listed as a basis for their potential use: the first — only in response to the use of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction against the Russian Federation and/or its allies; and the second — in the event of aggression against Russia that employs conventional weapons to the point that “the very existence of the state is threatened.” In other words, only reciprocal actions are permitted in either case.

Nor does the Russian nuclear doctrine list the countries or alliances against which nuclear weapons can be used.

It seems odd that the US still does not understand the basic tenets of Russia’s nuclear posture. And it must be said that this is not the first time that Western analysts have taken such an unprofessional approach. This has become especially glaring in the run-up to the next NATO summit, which will take place July 11-12 in Brussels.

On the other hand, the newest US nuclear doctrine, which was approved last February, specifies 14 justifications for the use of nuclear weapons, including “low-yield” warheads, which is how US arms experts classify nuclear warheads of 5.0-6.5 kilotons and below. These are precisely the sea- and air-launched warheads the Pentagon intends to utilize in accordance with its new concept of “escalating to de-escalate.” Under that theory, low-yield nuclear warheads can be employed by US nuclear forces on an increasing scale in a variety of regional conflicts, with the aim of “de-escalating” them, which might be accomplished with the help of a nuclear first strike.

This practice could cause a chain reaction in the use of nuclear weapons, involving not only “low-yield” warheads, but also more powerful nuclear explosives.

The practice being described — the potential use of low-yield nuclear weapons, which is a real fixation for the current US administration and is being discussed with increasing frequency in the US — suggests that America’s military and political leaders are committed to dramatically lowering the minimum threshold for their use and expanding the list of acceptable reasons to utilize them under real-world conditions. The adage from the past that everyone could relate to — “A nuclear war cannot be unleashed, because there will be no winners” — is now absent from the political statements that are being heard. It is clear that forces have taken the upper hand on Capitol Hill that are still incapable of imagining the consequences of a nuclear Armageddon. Such a path, even if this scenario proves unlikely, will inevitably lead to a potential undermining of the already fragile non-proliferation regime and a breakdown in the negotiations on establishing control over nuclear facilities, which — and this is not news — very few countries are taking part in at the present time.

For all these reasons, a dangerous future practice like this needs to be reexamined by Washington, in the interests of preserving global stability. In order to achieve this goal, the strategic guidelines for inflicting a first “preemptive and preventive” nuclear strike, as well as the continuing premise of “unconditional offensive nuclear deterrence,” which have remained unchanged since 1945, must be completely eliminated from American nuclear strategies.

These are not ultimatums, as someone defending US nuclear policy has already tried to portray them. This is a completely natural, logical, and sensible step, which would no doubt be positively received all over the world.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , | Leave a comment

OPCW granted right to assign guilt for chemical attacks after divisive UK proposal

RT | June 27, 2018

The UK’s proposal to give the global chemical watchdog the right to assign blame has been passed despite deep divisions. Russia warns the move puts the future of the organization, and thus global security, at risk.

The British envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Peter Wilson, celebrated the outcome of the 82-24 vote on Twitter.

London called a special session of the UN chemical watchdog on Wednesday, arguing that the body should have the authority, not only to investigate whether any alleged chemical attack took place, but also to assign guilt. The British proposal was quickly supported by its Western allies.

Others, however, offered a sobering warning on the state of the international group in the wake of the vote. Moscow was quick to stress that several key OPCW contributors have been dead against the move.

“One can see a colossal split in the organization, both in the electoral groups and on the future of OPCW,” said the head of the Russian delegation, Georgy Kalamanov. “Russia and many of the countries that have spoken against the UK decision have been playing a serious role in the OPCW, starting from financing to the expert support.”

Earlier, Moscow warned that the changes in the OPCW mandate would turn it into a political tool as well as infringe upon the “exclusive prerogatives of the UN Security Council.” Today’s decision comes following a longstanding row between Russia and the West over the probes of the chemical incidents in Syria.

Moscow has repeatedly criticized the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) for mishandling its probes, cherry-picking evidence and using vague wording in its reports. It also argued that the OPCW experts abused their mandate on several occasions as they conducted their investigations “remotely” and in violation of the core principle of ‘chain of custody’ while relying on evidence provided by biased and unreliable sources.

The UK, as well as the US and their allies, accused Moscow of blocking the investigation of chemical incidents in Syria after the JIM’s mandate expired last November, following a number of failed attempts by the UNSC to extend it. London has been openly accusing the Syrian government of launching chemical attacks on civilians, despite no convincing evidence presented.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Russia will not let US ‘deal of the century’ go ahead

MEMO | June 27, 2018

Senior Hamas leader Mousa Abu-Marzouk said on Monday that Russia has promised not to let the US’ “deal of the century” go ahead, a statement published on Hamas’ website said.

In an interview with Al-Mayadeen TV Abu-Marzouk said: “We agreed with the Russians that the ‘deal of the century’ will not be allowed to go ahead.”

On Monday, a senior Hamas delegation headed by Abu-Marzouk wrapped up a visit to Moscow where they met the Russian president’s envoy to the Middle East and the deputy foreign minister.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported a Hamas official from Gaza saying that the visit was arranged to coincide with a US delegation’s trip to the Middle East.

The Hamas official said that Russia is a considerable player in the Middle East which has direct relations with all the players in the region, including Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas also said that its delegation discussed the humanitarian situation in Gaza and said that the Russians promised to work to end the Israeli siege and alleviate the suffering of Palestinians in the enclave.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel to ‘Prolong Bloodshed’ in Syria as Media Pushes ‘Sensational’ Iran Claims

Sputnik – June 27, 2018

With two Israeli missile having struck targets near a Syrian airport on Tuesday, Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, told Sputnik that the likelihood of Israel backing down from its attacks are pretty slim.

As Sputnik previously reported, the Israeli Air Force was attempting a late night attack on an Iranian cargo plane that was unloading at Damascus International Airport. Footage has since emerged allegedly showing the aftermath of the Israeli strike.

The incident follows multiple strikes by Israel in recent months in what it calls “retaliatory” measures against Iran’s presence in Syria, which it sees as a threat to its safety. Iran has had a foothold in Syria since the conflict first began in 2011.

​Sterling told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear on Tuesday that the missile launch proved that Israel has no intention of helping solve the Syrian conflict, but instead hopes to keep the fight going.

“I think Israel is continuing to provoke the situation,” Sterling told show host Walter Smolarek. “They don’t want to see the conflict end, they want to prolong the bloodshed there and prevent the Syrian government from finally defeating terrorism there in Syria.”

“They’ve acted for many years now as a protectorate of the terrorist groups… they’ve been actively involved in the conflict from the get-go… they’ve medically treated terrorists inside Israel and with [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu going along bedsides, with videos showing him greeting medically treated extremists,” Sterling pointed out.

Highlighting Israel’s love of proclaiming Iran as a threat, the journalist stressed that the 70-year-old country has repeatedly cried wolf on the matter.

“Israel uses Iran as a pretext… they always claim that they’re attacking armaments headed for Hezbollah or armaments from Iran or Iranian contingents,” he told Smolarek. “They’ve exaggerated the Iranian participation in the conflict from the start.”

“It is a dangerous situation right now. We don’t know what the calculations in Israel are and it’s pretty hard to predict what the US is going to do — there’s competing wishes within the US military, CIA and the national security establishment,” Sterling noted.

Predicting the media coverage to come on the matter, Sterling suggested outlets would ultimately create “sensational claims and fears about civilians being attacked and civilians being targets and very horrible events about to happen.”

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

US Sanctions May Force India Out of Iran’s Chabahar Port With China More Than Able to Fill This Gap

By Adam Garrie | EurasiaFuture | June 27, 2018

Iran’s Chabahar Port on the Gulf of Oman represents the crowning achievement of Indo-Iranian cooperation in recent decades. The port itself represents the centre of the wider North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) which will link India to Russia and the wider north-western Eurasian space via Iran and Azerbaijan. While under Premier Narendra Modi, India has sought to sell NSTC as an alternative to China’s One Belt–One Road and in particular as rival to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which links China to the wider Indian Ocean space via the Arabian Sea port at Gwadar, Iranian officials who themselves are eager participants in One Belt–One Road, have wisely distanced themselves from India’s zero-sum narrative on Chabahar and NSTC more widely.

Likewise, as Iranian relations with Pakistan continue to improve, it also remains clear that Iranian leaders are carefully avoiding being sucked into south Asia’s manifold rivalries by maintaining healthy ties with China, India and increasingly Pakistan simultaneously.

As it stands, Gwadar is a more substantial port vis-a-vis Chabahar in terms of its capacity and the fact that unlike the Indian built port in Iran, the Chinese built Gwadar is a Panamax deep water port. In this sense, both Gwadar and Chabahar could function together on the win-win model which would see some of the supplies shipped from China to Pakistan via Gwadar being routed on to Chabahar depending on their ultimate destination. Here one could see One Belt–One Road and the North South Transport Corridor functioning as integrated rather than as rival logistics networks – something that Pakistani officials recently spoke about with optimism.

Now though, India’s very presence in Chabahar may be impacted negatively as the US moves to sanction countries that conduct business with Iran. The US CAATSA sanctions aimed at Iran are back in the spotlight after the US withdrawal from the JPCOA (aka Iran nuclear deal) caused Washington to threaten many of its longstanding allies against conducting further business with Iran under the threat of so-called second party sanctions. These threats have most notably been aimed at the European Union, in spite of the fact that the bloc remains rhetorically adamant that it will continue to preserve the JCPOA without US involvement.

India has also come under threat of sanctions due to its healthy relationship with the Islamic Republic. The US has stated that it will sanction Indian companies who do business with Iran and this week, the US issued an even more specific threat to its Indian partner, stating that New Delhi will face sanctions if it continues to purchase Iranian oil.

Last month it was reported that international investors in Chabahar were beginning to show signs of nervousness in light of the new sanctions threats from Washington. As India is already facing tariffs on its exports to the United States while simultaneously cutting itself off from a would-be win-win Chinese partnership, India is scarcely in a position to economically leverage the United States which under Donald Trump has taken a merciless approach to conducting trade wars with allies as well as threatening partners with sanctions if they do business with countries including Russia, Iran and the DPRK (although this might soon change in the case of the DPRK).

This could mean that as the primary investor and operator of the Chabahar Port, India could find itself cut off from its own investment under the cloud of sanctions. If it comes to this and India is forced to either partially or even entirely withdraw from the Chabahar project, it would mean that Iran would seek a new international partner for the port.

The only realistic partner to take over Chabahar would be China, a nation with experience in port building and management, a country that has shown itself to be able to transact deals with Iran in spite of the attitude of Washington and a country that because of America’s own dependence on Chinese goods – is largely sanction proof for all practical purposes.

Not only could China help to revive the economic fortunes of Chabahar if India becomes frightened off due to threats from the United States, but China could actually help Chabahar to grow both infrastructurally and commercially by linking it into a uniformed trade route centred on the larger Gwadar port and existing One Belt–One Road lines of connectivity in the region. This would ultimately be a win-win for China, Iran and Pakistan.

If India were to abandon the underlying prejudices behind its zero-sum approach to antagonising both China and Pakistan, India could actually remain active in Chabahar as key player in a wider Sino-Iranian partnership which would necessarily also include Pakistan via CPEC. This could help to not only reduce tensions with India’s largest neighbours, but it could demonstrate that the only way for India to effectively leverage US threats of further tariffs and sanctions is by keeping at least one foot in China’s already open door.

However, given the attitude of the current Indian government, such a win-win model looks increasingly distant however theoretically attractive it might sound when analysed objectively. Because of this, the more likely scenario for Chabahar will be a short-term waiting game where India will see just how far the US is willing to punish its newfound south Asian partner due to its dealings with Iran.

If India’s involvement in Chabahar does come under a US financial attack, it is all but certain that India will minimise its involvement in the flagship project – thus paving the way for China to take over where India left off.

The choice for India therefore is three fold: New Delhi can simply hope for the best while possibly sweetening the deal by making concessions to the US over existing tariffs, India can bow out of Chabahar in order to possibly attain better trading relations with the US in the future or India can work with China to leverage the US over its anti-Iranian position.

At a time when the US is embracing unilateralism in its economic relations with the rest of the world – India must look realistically at its options, even if this means dropping its Sinophobic prejudices.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

US tries to stop S-400 deal with India

By Frank Sellers | The Duran | June 27, 2018

In much the same manner as the US attempted to kill the S-400 deal with Turkey, they are now setting out to end India’s defense relationship with Russia, especially if they can manage to undermine this SAM deal. The idea is to utilize sanctions to get the job done. If the US can manage to dissuade India from buying their SAM systems from India over fear that they might contravene some sanction issued by Washington, then that’s what they aim to do, while simultaneously offering America’s THAAD system to New Delhi as a replacement.

The Economic Times reports:

NEW DELHI: The United States may try to persuade India to consider its ballistic missile defence options in an attempt to keep it from pressing ahead with the S-400 deal with Russia.

ET has learnt that the US could make ballistic missile defence an agenda point in the upcoming Indo-US 2+2 dialogue on July 6 for which external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be in Washington.

The likely option on the table would be the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. It is a sophisticated missile defence system which is believed to be particularly effective against long-range missiles.

The S-400 missile defence system is, however, said to be effective against a larger array of aerial attacks, particularly fighter aircraft such as the F-18s and F-35s.

The latest version of the Russian made S-400 has a longer range but the jury is out on whether it’s more effective than the THAAD against intermediate range and intercontinental ballistic missile systems. ET has gathered that India’s proposed S-400 purchase from Russia has prompted a reassessment within Trump administration on whether India would have gone ahead with the nearly Rs 39,000-crore deal with Russia had the US moved faster with the THAAD offer.

Now, the S-400 deal has become a politically sensitive issue with the US. The US Congress is debating a Bill to allow for sanctions against Russian defence entities which could cover entities in recipient nations as well.

Given India’s strong defence partnership with Russia, the Trump administration, through secretary of defence James Mattis, has pitched for a waiver for countries such as India on the condition that it progressively reduce its military dependency on Russia.

The Congress has still not provided satisfactory relief despite hectic lobbying within Washington. The problem is compounded by the fact that the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) covers the S-400 system in the category of technologically sophisticated equipment which must be specifically targeted for this purpose.

India has argued that its S-400 deal with Russia was in the works before the US started debating the subject. In any event, it will predate the CAATSA if and when it’s written into law.

Besides, people close to the negotiations told ET, it is unreasonable for US to expect India to decouple its defence relationship with Russia, which has been a proven reliable partner through several conflicts.

The US, senior government officials said, must appreciate that unlike many of the other countries which purchase defence equipment from Russia, India does not target Russian armament against American interests and will not do so in future.

India is likely to elaborate on these lines at the inaugural 2+2 dialogue between the foreign and defence ministers of the two countries, while the US might urge India to first exhaust options the American industry can offer.

With the deal to purchase Russia’s S-400 SAM system predating America’s CAATSA sanctions act, the US is short on its options for blocking the deal. But sanctions are still playing a role in complicating its consummation as sanctions against Russia are rendering it somewhat difficult to relay compensation to the Russians for equipment and services rendered, therefore forcing both parties to find a way to deal outside of the dollar and outside of financial systems with exposure to Western markets. This particular moment in time for relations between India and the US is marked by trade tensions, as India finds itself in a position to dodge not just sanctions on its trade partners Russia and Iran, but also Trump’s trade wars, which affect goods sold in the American market, where India is imposing reciprocal tariff measures against the United States.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

ATR gives up delivering planes to Iran: Report

The first four of the 72-600 ATR turboprops landed in Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport in May 2017
Press TV – June 27, 2018

Regional aircraft manufacturer ATR says it must give up delivering the remaining aircraft ordered by Iran because of new US sanctions and that it will try to reclassify 12 aircraft if it does not obtain a waiver.

“In 2018, our delivery target could be impacted given the Iranian context,” ATR CEO Christian Scherer said in an interview published on LaTribune.fr.

IranAir, the national flag carrier, signed a contract to buy 20 planes from turboprop maker ATR in April 2017. The deal came after Iran signed contracts with Europe’s Airbus and US rival Boeing to purchase about 180 jets.

“Of the 80 planes we expected to deliver in 2018, there were 12 for Iran, that’s a lot,” said Scherer whose company is joint-owned by France-based Airbus and Leonardo of Italy.

Iran took delivery of the first four ATR aircraft last May, two more in September, beside another two in December, with the rest due to be handed over to the country by the end of 2018.

Scherer said the Iranians want to take delivery of the planes, “but ATR will not take any risk of falling out with US authorities and exposing our shareholders Leonardo and Airbus to US sanctions.”

He said two aircraft have already been completed, six are being assembled and the last four have been launched and “customized” for Iran, particularly with pressurization devices, to fly over mountainous areas.

As a result, “these devices will be harder to reclassify,” he continued. “We are working hard but we have no firm tracks yet.”

To still deliver to Iran, ATR is trying to get a waiver from the Americans, but Scherer said he was “not entirely confident” about it.

“The Americans have promised a three-month period (from May to August) to allow companies to deliver the materials that were in production” after US President Donald Trump’s announcement to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

“For the aviation industry, this three-month period is ridiculously short,” Scherer said.

ATR, Scherer said, intends to rely on the help offered by the French government to protect companies.

“We want to use the help of the French government to negotiate the best possible licenses during this period of three months to be able to deliver the aircraft manufactured or being manufactured to cushion this shock, which in any case will hurt us a lot.”

He also hoped to continue business in Iran with “a new license to support our customer, and we want to play our role as an after-sales service provider.”

“Here too, the Americans have made a declaration of intent explaining that they will not endanger the public,” Scherer said.

“The Iranians were in discussion with us to continue to develop their fleet; we were not going to stop at the first 20 aircraft” ordered in total by Iran, he said. “It was just the beginning of a story,” he lamented.

IranAir’s deal with ATR includes options for a further 20 aircraft and a training program for Iranian pilots and engineers.

The 70-seat planes are aimed at underserved local economies, used in flights over a maximum distance of 1,528 kilometers.

Iran has also received three Airbus jets – one Airbus A321 and two Airbus A330s – and will get another by year-end, but US sanctions have put further deliveries in doubt.

The first Boeing was due in Iran around May 2018, but the company said early this month that it will not deliver any aircraft to Iran in light of US sanctions.

Boeing in December 2016 announced an agreement to sell 80 aircraft valued at $16.6 billion to IranAir. It also announced a contract in April 2017 to sell Iran Aseman Airlines 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for $3 billion, with purchase rights for another 30 aircraft.

“We have not delivered any aircraft to Iran, and given we no longer have a license to sell to Iran at this time, we will not be delivering any aircraft,” a Boeing spokesman said.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

The Myth of Barack Obama as the Great and Noble Nobel Global Statesman

By Martin SIEFF | Strategic Culture Foundation | 27.06.2018

It is no coincidence that the Sword, Sorcery and Dragons Fantasy Games of Thrones – filmed in large part on location in my native Northern Ireland – has entranced the American viewing public over the past decade: For the early 21st century has seen US policymakers and opinion-shapers plunging ever deeper into one fantasy after another. But even Game of Thrones pales in incredibility and absurdity next to the fantasy still believed by most Americans — That Barack Obama was a wise and responsible, peace-loving statesman.

In truth, Obama, casually and with evident self-satisfaction, unleashed series of catastrophic foreign national security policies that sent the world careening to the brink of nuclear war and inflicted needless suffering on scores of millions of people. No Game of Thrones villain ever did anything like that damage.

I have no doubt that the ludicrous award of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to Obama will go down in history as the most ridiculous such award in the entire history of the institution.

What in reality was Obama’s record as President of the United States?

He authorized a totally unnecessary and strategically meaningless $1 trillion nuclear build up over the coming generation that will play a major role in bankrupting the United States. It was also a move guaranteed to set off a ruinous global thermonuclear arms race with Russia, China and other powers who understandably fear being made defenseless before a succession of ever more unilateral and unpredictable US leaders.

Obama claimed to be deeply concerned about nuclear nonproliferation and hosted a Nuclear Safety Summit in Washington whose only real achievement was to feed his already enormous and delusional appreciation of his own self-worth.

However, as analyst Rebecca Heinrichs of the conservative Hudson Institute in Washington concluded, “If one actually looks at the risks of nuclear war as well as the likelihood of proliferation at the start of the President’s term compared to now, the Obama’s nonproliferation record earns a failing grade.”

In 2011, Obama a fecklessly allowed his warmongering, hyper-aggressive secretary of state Hillary Clinton to arrange with Britain and France the use of NATO air power to destroy the state of Libya by giving tactical support and protection to rebels against veteran leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi’s previous decade of consistent cooperation with the US and its allies in the struggle against extreme Islamist terror and his monitored compliance with demands to scrap Libya’s nascent nuclear [program] were all for naught. Obama and Clinton’s reckless and even clownish policies ensured the complete disintegration of Libya, creating an infernal anarchy in which Islamist terror groups could thrive and metastasize throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Far from encouraging nations to scrap their nuclear programs as Gaddafi in fact had done, Obama’s childish approval of the destruction of Libya sent precisely the opposite message to nations around the world: “Scrap your nuclear deterrents and there will be nothing to stop the United States from destroying you whenever its leaders feel like it.”

It was the same story in Syria where Obama and Clinton eagerly approved the flow of half a billion dollars a year to such groups including, incredibly the Nusrah Front, the Syrian franchise of al-Qaeda, heirs to the conspirators who [are said to have] killed nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001.

Obama’s utter ignorance and his clueless ignorance of diplomacy and the conduct of international relations was memorably exposed in his casual approval of the absurd and clownish Michael McFaul as US ambassador to Moscow.

The idea that an accredited ambassador could pass his days in sending out public abusive Twitter messages insulting the head of the state to which he was accredited was ludicrous even if that state was Mauritius, Lichtenstein or Tahiti let alone one of the world’s two thermonuclear superpowers.

McFaul openly worked overtime to give aid and encouragement to domestic opposition to the undermine the legitimate government of Russia: His activities would have provoked calls for full-scale war from the US Congress had any Russian envoy to Washington, DC presumed to act in such a way. None of this bothered Obama for a second.

Even worse was to follow: In 2014, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the wife of leading neocon ideologue Robert Kagan and also the favored subordinate of Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state openly paraded in the streets of Kiev, handing out cookies to violent protestors as they overthrew with mob riots and terror the constitutionally democratically elected government of a European nation of 45 million people. Obama fully – albeit, as usual, passively approved.

East-West relations were reduced to a state of chaos and distrust unseen in 52 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Obama does not appear to have noticed or even been concerned.

Obama was not totally ignorant and uninterested in international relations. During his casual and ill-attended, poorly documented student years at Columbia University in New York City, he attended only one course in international relations. It was given by none other than Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter.

Brzezinski was a descendant of the displaced minor Polish aristocracy who through his long career consistently fought to lock the United States into a set policies designed to weaken, disintegrate and encircle Russia with hostile powers and alliances. He was a major foreign policy influence on US Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Brzezinski was Obama’s personal guide and guru to what little the 44th US president dimly grasped of strategic orientation and world affairs. Obama’s near-total ignorance of non-American history and diplomacy gave Brzezinski full scope to manipulate him into accepting all his own most virulent anti-Russian prejudices.

Thanks to Obama, superpower diplomatic relations collapsed to their most parlous state in the entire Nuclear Age. When Obama took office in January 2009, the Doomsday Clock of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists journal was set at two minutes to midnight and the journal soberly warned: “The world stands at the brink of a second nuclear age.”

Yet after eight years in power, when Obama left the White House in January 2017, as ignorant, complacent and filled with unearned self-regard as when he came to Washington, the Doomsday Clock stood at three minutes to midnight – two minutes closer than when he had taken office.

We do not need to wait to know the Verdict of History on Barack Obama’s eight years as a global statesman. That verdict is in and it is damning: The Nobel committee should rescind his 2009 Peace Prize. Perhaps it can be given instead to a harmless fantasy TV show like Game of Thrones.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

‘UK & US want OPCW powers expanded to justify future attacks against Syria’

RT | June 27, 2018

London’s effort to empower the UN chemical watchdog with the right to assign guilt serves Western interests in finding loopholes and justifications for new attacks against Damascus, investigative journalist Rick Sterling told RT.

“The UK in alliance with the US is hoping to have the OPCW able to assign blame and provide a rationale for future attacks by the US and the UK,” Sterling believes.

Under Donald Trump’s administration, the US used chemical incidents in Syria as a pretext to stage two nearly instant ‘retaliatory’ strikes against Damascus without due investigation. The UK, as well as France, joined the US-led military endeavor this spring when they bombarded government bases and infrastructure in response to an alleged chemical attack in Douma on April 7. A year earlier, Washington unilaterally launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat Airbase, as a response to the Khan Shaykhun chemical incident on 4 April 2017.

Moscow has repeatedly criticized the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) for mishandling its probes, cherry-picking evidence and for vague wording in their reports. JIM’s mandate expired last November, following a number of failed attempts by the UNSC to extend its authority.

“One of the problems is that OPCW has not been willing to go to the sites in some cases and they don’t pursue evidence which contradicts the Western claims,” Sterling noted.

Despite repeated failures by OPCW experts to impartially investigate chemical attack claims in Syria –and at times even to visit the sites of an actual alleged incident– an ongoing special conference of the watchdog in the Hague is set to vote on the expansion of its mandate. The proposed new powers would involve the OPCW declaring any party to a conflict responsible for any chemical incident.

“OPCW has assigned blame to the Syrian government in various instances in the past, including chlorine, but if you look at their reports they rely really on witnesses who are provided to them by the opposition. So it is very logical to question the objectivity and the independence of the OPCW,” Sterling told RT. “Even the director of the OPCW is Turkish. And Turkey, of course, is a member of NATO.”

All of the latest OPCW reports were in large part based on open source data, witness testimonies and video and photo evidence provided by select ‘moderate’ rebel groups and controversial NGOs, such as the Syrian Civil Defence (SCD) –better known as the White Helmets– or the US-based Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). Those same sources by coincidence were instrumental in heating up international public outrage in the buildup for ‘retaliatory’ US-led strikes against Damascus.

“In the last several years we’ve seen a situation in Syria where the efforts of countries to overthrow, to topple the Damascus government have used claims, accusations of chemical weapons usage, and the OPCW have been a part of that,” Sterling believes.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 3 Comments

Ayatollah Khamenei slams West’s ‘shameless’ human rights posture

Press TV – June 27, 2018

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has strongly denounced the Western states for their pretense of advocating human rights while in reality supporting terrorist groups and acts of terror.

Addressing the staff of Iran’s Judiciary at a meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei made reference to human rights violations committed by the United States in various parts of the world as well as France and Britain’s crimes of the past decades which took place in Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

The Leader added that the West’s support over the past years for the Daesh terror group in Syria and the atrocities being committed in Myanmar and elsewhere “is indicative of the repeated lies of the shameless fake human rights advocates.”

Ayatollah Khamenei said when it comes to the issue of human rights, it is actually the Islamic Republic that stands in the position of the true advocate of human rights as opposed to “the criminal Western pretenders.”

The Leader expressed satisfaction with the Judiciary’s work in restoring the Iranian nations’ rights in the face of bullying powers.

Separately, Ayatollah Khamenei advised the judicial officials to work closely with the government towards resolving the country’s economic problems.

‘Systemic corruption a lie’

The Leader criticized certain people who seek to create the impression among the public that there is “systemic corruption” within Iranian state institutions.

Corruption does exist in a number of governmental and commercial enterprises, “but the existence of systemic corruption is not true,” the Leader said. “This wrong impression should not be allowed to affect the public opinion.”

Ayatollah Khamenei further stated that foreign enemies and certain oblivious elements at home have made the Judiciary the target of the most severe propaganda and media pressure.

In order to effectively confront this massive propaganda campaign, the Leader suggested, the judicial system needs to develop a strong and skillful media arm.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment