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US Nuclear Missiles Deployed in Italy, … against Russia

By Manlio Dinucci | Global Research | October 18, 2018

The B61-12, the new US nuclear bomb which replaces the B-61 deployed in Italy and other European countries, will begin production in less than a year. The announcement was made officially by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). It reveals that the revision of the final project has now been completed with success, and the qualification stage will begin this month at the Pantex Plant in Texas. Production will be authorised to begin in September 2019.

In March 2020, the first unit of production will begin fabricating a series of 500 bombs. As from that time, in other words in about a year and a half, the United States will begin the anti-Russian deployment in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland and probably certain other European countries, of the first nuclear bomb in their arsenal with a precision guidance system. The B61-12 is designed with penetrating capacity, built to explode underground in order to destroy bunkers housing command centres.

Since Italy and the other countries, in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, are offering the USA the bases, the pilots and the aircraft for the deployment of the B61-12, Europe will soon be exposed to a greater risk as the front line of the developing nuclear confrontation with Russia.

An even more dangerous situation appears at the same moment – the return of the Euromissiles, meaning the nuclear missiles which are similar to those deployed in Europe in the 1980’s by the USA, with the official aim of defending against Soviet missiles.

Source: PandoraTV [English subtitles]

This category of ground-based nuclear missiles of intermediate range (between 500 and 5,500 km) were eliminated with the INF Treaty of 1987. But in 2014, the Obama administration accused Russia of having experimented with a cruise missile (# 9M729) whose category was forbidden by the Treaty. Moscow denied that the missile violated the INF Treaty and, in turn, accused Washington of having installed in Poland and Romania launch ramps for interceptor missiles (elements of the “shield”), which could be used to launch cruise missiles bearing nuclear warheads.

The accusation aimed by Washington at Moscow, which is not supported by any evidence, enabled the USA to launch a plan aimed at once again deploying in Europe ground-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles. The Obama administration had already announced in 2015 that “faced with the violation of the INF Treaty by Russia, the United States are considering the deployment of ground-based missiles in Europe”. This plan was confirmed by the Trump administration – in fiscal year 2018, Congress authorised the financing of a “programme of research and development for a cruise missile which could be launched from a mobile road base”.

The plan is supported by the European allies of NATO. The recent North-Atlantic Council, at the level of Europe’s Defence Ministers, which was attended for Italy by Elisabetta Trenta (M5S), declared that the “INF Treaty is in danger because of the actions of Russia”, which it accused of deploying “a disturbing missile system which constitutes a serious risk for our security”. Hence the necessity that “NATO must maintain nuclear forces which are stable, trust-worthy and efficient” (which explains why the members of the Alliance rejected en bloc the United Nations Treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons).

So the grounds are being laid for a European deployment, on the borders of Russian territory, of ground-based intermediate-range US nuclear missiles. It’s as if Russia were deploying in Mexico nuclear missiles pointed at the United States.

This article was originally published in Italian on Il Manifesto.

Read more:

A Recurring Nightmare: Deployment of U.S. Ground-based Intermediate Range Nuclear Missiles in Europe against Russia

October 20, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

Trump Vows to Quit Nuclear Arms Treaty With Russia

Sputnik – 20.10.2018

US President Donald Trump said that he will pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, media reported.

Donald Trump claimed that Russia violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the United States, and that he will pull out of it.

The treaty signed in 1987 by the USSR and the US, stipulated the elimination of nuclear and conventional missiles and their launchers with ranges of 500–1,000 km (310–620 mi) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi).

Commenting on his decision, Donald Trump said that the United States needs to develop this type of military equipment.

“We’ll have to develop those weapons,” the US president said commenting on his announcement.

On Friday, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration was preparing to exit the three-decade-old Cold War-era treaty next week.

Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the treaty. The previous administration of Former US President Barack Obama however, decided not to leave the treaty.

The previous year, a senior Russian senator warned that Russia may prepare an adequate response to ensure the country’s protection If the United States decides to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Meanwhile, Europe stands for the extension of the Russia-US 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel stated in the previous year that European security could encounter a significant threat should it not be resumed by 2021.

October 20, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , | 3 Comments

Iran rejects US ‘unknown delusion’ of foreign interference in elections

Press TV – October 20, 2018

Iran has dismissed the “false and baseless” claim made by the United States about Tehran’s efforts to undermine US elections, including next month’s midterms, saying such allegations are rooted in an “unknown delusion.”

“The principled policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday.

US intelligence and law enforcement agencies on Friday claimed that foreign governments continued to try to influence US elections, including the upcoming midterm congressional vote in November.

“We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by Russia, China and other foreign actors, including Iran, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Justice Department, FBI and Department of Homeland Security said in a joint statement.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said bids by American officials to accuse Iran of seeking to meddle in and influence the US congressional elections are basically false, stressing such allegations are politically-motivated.

Qassemi added that the White House tries to level accusations against other countries with “specific domestic political purposes and everyday adds the name of a country to its delusional list in this regard.”

The allegation comes as US government agencies have said they have no evidence of a compromise or disruption of election equipment yet.

October 20, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 3 Comments

As Bolton heads to Moscow, US charges another Russian with ‘election meddling’

RT | October 20, 2018

The Department of Justice has charged a Russian national with conspiring to interfere in the 2016 and upcoming 2018 elections, in an indictment released just one day before crucial meetings between US and Russian officials.

Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova of St. Petersburg, allegedly served as the chief accountant for ‘Project Lakhta’, a strategic effort to “sow discord in the US political system and to undermine faith in our democratic institutions,” according to US Attorney Zachary Terwilliger.

The Department named Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and two of his companies, Concord Catering and Concord Management and Consulting LLC, as the source of the project’s funding.

Khusyaynova, 44, was allegedly responsible for distributing the project’s $35 million budget, which the Department says went towards buying domain names, paying trolls to post as American activists, and posting inflammatory content on a whole spectrum of issues, including “immigration, gun control and the Second Amendment, the Confederate flag, race relations, LGBT issues, the Women’s March, and the NFL national anthem debate.”

Concord will be a familiar name to anyone watching Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing ‘Russiagate’ probe. The company was one of three indicted by Mueller in February, for allegedly interfering with the 2016 election. Concord responded with a court filing saying that the charges amounted to a “make-believe crime” and that Mueller was trying to “justify his own existence” and “indict a Russian ‒ any Russian” for political reasons.

Friday’s indictment comes one day before US national security adviser John Bolton flies to Moscow for a series of meetings with Russian officials, aimed at continuing the dialog started by President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki this summer. A meeting between Putin and Bolton is reportedly on the table.

Curiously, Mueller’s last indictment against ‘Russian hackers’ was issued a few days before Trump’s head-to-head summit with Putin. A host of top Democrats, and some Republicans – such the late Russia-hawk John McCain – called on Trump to cancel the summit in the wake of the indictment. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the timing was intended to “spoil the atmosphere prior to the Russian-American summit.”

“The influential political forces in the US, that are opposed to the normalization of relations between our countries and have spread open slander for the past two years, are desperately trying to make the best use of yet another fake,” the Foreign Ministry added.

The DOJ’s latest indictment, as well as Mueller’s previous two, all have two things in common: First, the accused parties will likely never be extradited to the US to answer the charges. Secondly, all the indictments caution that they don’t allege the ‘interference’ actually “had any effect on the outcome of an election,” or involved “collusion” by any Americans.

Notably, in Friday’s indictment the Justice Department praised the “exceptional cooperation” of Facebook and Twitter in turning over evidence of troll and bot activity. On Wednesday, Twitter released a database of tweets and media it claims “resulted from potentially state-backed information operations” in Russia and Iran.

It would not, however, say how it came to believe the offending tweets came from Russia, and the company has been accused before of roping in genuine accounts in its wide-net bot hunts, which consider an account “Russian-linked” if the user has Cyrillic characters anywhere on their profile, and if they ever logged in from a Russian IP address, even once, to list only two criteria.

In a familiar twist, Twitter’s bot-hunting partner organization – the NATO-sponsored Digital Forensics Lab – concluded that there was “no evidence to suggest” that the tweets “triggered large-scale changes in political behavior.”

October 20, 2018 Posted by | Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Khashoggi: A danse macabre & the New RealityTM

By Catte Black | OffGuardian | October 20, 2018

The Khashoggi incident continues to roll out in screaming headlines. The “confession” that the journalist died in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is the latest twist, an indicator of the struggle to control narrative.

The manufactured crisis is being used not solely to demonise NATO’s erstwhile best buds, the house of Saud, but also to further isolate and discredit Trump in nice time for the November elections. Trump is currently being bashed by the Dems for doing what they and everyone else was doing a few weeks ago – viz cozying up to the mass-murderers and selling them weapons.

With shameless opportunism the same people who ignored the slaughter in Yemen as recently as a week ago are now appalled by it. Aware that the speed of the change might make them look like the sold-out moral blanks they actually are, Jonathan Freedland and Max Fisher (amongst others) are inventing vomit-inducing excuses for why they just hadn’t got round to noticing the dead children until the deep state told them to care.

They asked me to write on why Khashoggi’s death provoked a backlash to Saudi Arabia, when so many past transgressions did not

Here’s my answer, citing psychology, social science, the oddities of alliance politics, the history of Saudi and, yes, Bill Cosby https://t.co/vWpIWAAmD0

— Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) October 17, 2018

They would be better off not trying. Some bits of soul-selling are beyond even the most sophistic attempts at rehabilitation.

The hypocrisy and short term memory loss currently on display is astounding, even by normal establishment/MSM standards. It’s a danse macabre. A horror show of painted corpses feigning life and love, reeking with sickly decay, nicely timed for Halloween.

The Saudis, and Trump, want this whole Khashoggi thing buried asap, and possibly think a quick fess up is the best way to do it. Whether or not it succeeds depends on the motives for creating the crisis in the first place, and how much leg work the Saudis and MBS have done behind the scenes to rehabilitate themselves in the empire’s eyes.

But let’s remember, the “confession” is no more reality-driven than anything else. It may be true. Sure. It may be completely 100% true. Or it may be entirely made up of convenience and back-pedalling. Or it may be any combination of these two opposites. We will likely never know for sure.

The fact it’s being reported, confessed, debated, analysed is not connected in any way to the question of its veridical reality.

That’s the real point, and not just about this.

The New RealityTM is an unending advertising campaign, a permanent promo reel, a PR push that never stops. No one involved is even concerned with verification or even remembers what that is. The lights are too bright. The money too good. The story self-perpetuating. The show really MUST go on. The corpses need to keep dancing. Forever.

Hard lesson. Hard to live by. Some people get annoyed and upset by it. But it’s still true.

Catte Black, co-founding editor at OffGuardian. Writer. Occasional polemicist. Lives in UK. Email at blackcatte@off-guardian.org

October 20, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 1 Comment

There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen

By Rannie Amiri | CounterPunch | October 19, 2018

Those in the Western media too busy to be bothered trying to understand the complexities, intricacies and nuances of the Middle East often resort to concluding nearly all conflicts there are some kind of “proxy war” between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

This is usually out of ignorance, reducing disputes to the lowest common dominator of Sunnis versus Shiites or to that between their two most prominent patron states. Often though there is deliberate obfuscation; there must be justification for a US ally to cause regional mayhem on the pretext of containing an enemy. The easiest and most convenient scapegoat has been Iran and efforts to contain its alleged expansionism by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and of course, Israel, go unchecked.

One of the most devastating and tragic episodes occurring in the Middle East today is in Yemen. But this is not a de facto proxy war its bankrollers hope we have all grown too weary of hearing to investigate further.

Despite the constant disclaimers by a lazy media, there is no proxy war in Yemen.

The war which has ravaged the Arab world’s poorest country since March 2015 is a Saudi-led, unilateral onslaught which has so devasted the nation, its economy, infrastructure and social services that malnutrition has become widespread and cholera epidemic.

Ostensibly, the Saudi-UAE military campaign was to oust Houthi-led rebels who unseated the deeply unpopular Saudi-backed puppet-president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in January 2015 (elected on a ballot in which he was the only candidate and who remained in power even after the expiration of a one-year mandate that had extended his term). The Houthis, a politico-religious group officially known as Ansarullah and named after their founder, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, initially formed in opposition to late Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Houthis generally belong to the Zaidi school in Islam, a branch of the larger Shiite sect. Branding the Houthis as “Iranian-backed Shiite rebels” as is now routine, makes for easy and convenient categorization of who the “bad guys” are in Western and Gulf media. But this is disingenuous. The inconvenient fact is Zaidis are generally closer to Sunni Islam than Shiite (and the longtime military, Saudi-backed dictator Saleh was Zaidi). More significantly, other than voicing solidarity with the Houthis, there has been no substantive evidence of Iranian military intervention or that of affiliated parties in Yemen. On the contrary, and starkly so, it has been the Saudi and Emirati governments’ inhumane bombing campaign which has been the most glaring example of foreign interference in the internal affairs of another country.

When a school-bus was struck during an air raid that killed 40 children, it was initially justified as a “legitimate military target” by the Saudi coalition before international outrage finally led to the conclusion it was otherwise. On the other hand, intermittent Houthi missiles launched at Saudi military installations and considered evidence of foreign military supply belie the Houthis as a legitimate, capable, battle-hardened fighting force. Apparently, the regime cannot fathom that despite daily attack, they have had the muster to retaliate and demonstrate offensive, rather than strictly defensive, capabilities.

Yemen is not a sectarian conflict or one of proxies, but a war stemming from the fallout of removing yet another Saudi-backed ruler from power.

Since 2015, at least 10,000 Yemenis have been killed, 22 million are now in need some form of relief (out of a total population of approximately 29 million) and eight million are malnourished. These numbers can only be expected to climb after evidence has shown Saudi Arabia is targeting food supplies.

The war waged in Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its allies and their wanton use of US and UK-supplied arms is everything short of a formal invasion. It is a one-sided, vicious military adventure which has rendered millions destitute and to date, has proven completely unsuccessful in fulfilling its stated objectives. The only proxies in this struggle are the victims of its war crimes; innocent men, women and children starved or killed, stand-ins for an apparition of a foreign power waiting to be found.

October 20, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment