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Americans should be ‘scared’ about end of INF, Carter Page tells RT

RT | October 23, 2018

The ‘Russiagate’ hysteria that originated with the Democrat-funded Steele Dossier has damaged relations between Washington and Moscow to the point of ending the INF Treaty, former Trump adviser Carter Page has told RT.

Ending the Intermediate Nuclear Forces in Europe (INF) treaty is something Americans should be “scared about,” Page told RT America’s Scottie Nell Hughes in an exclusive interview on Monday. He said he’d worked on implementing that and other nuclear treaties when he was at the Pentagon in the early 1990s, and that there are “deep problems” between the US and Russia that “misunderstandings” over the Trump presidency are only making worse.

President Donald Trump announced on Monday he was preparing to pull the US out of the 1987 arms control treaty, citing the claim by the two previous administrations that Russia “has not adhered to the agreement.”

Page was drawn to the Trump campaign in 2016 because as a candidate, Trump had “said some very positive things, some very constructive ideas as to ways to improve” the relationship between Washington and Moscow.

“Unfortunately, there were various political actors that were within the government in Washington –and also on the fringes of Washington– which helped continue the downward cycle that we’ve seen for so many years.”

Page was specifically referring to what he calls the “dodgy dossier” – an opposition research file compiled by British spy Christopher Steele, alleging Trump’s ties to Russia. Steele wrote the dossier for Fusion GPS, and was paid for it by the Clinton campaign via the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and its law firm, Perkins Coie. Page is suing Perkins Coie and the DNC for defamation.

Congressional investigations have discovered that the dossier was used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrant to spy on Page, and through him on the Trump campaign, which the former US Navy intelligence officer and energy consultant briefly advised in 2016.

Democrats have actually accused Page of being a “foreign agent” recruited by Russia. He laughed off those charges, telling Hughes that he would speak to the CIA every time he went to Russia for a meeting or to give a speech.

Explaining the Trump administration’s hostility towards Russia that’s in stark contrast with his campaign rhetoric, Page said that “false stories placed by the Democrats” have created a “dark cloud hanging over the administration.”

The July summit in Helsinki between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a lot of potential to advance US-Russian relations, but the political and media fallout stopped any momentum in its tracks, Page argued.

Trump is “very much a straight shooter,” Page said, but there is a “a lot of political pressures” on him to be hostile to Russia. He remains hopeful that with Trump’s “strength and perseverance,” things might just work out.

“There’s a lot that needs to be fixed,” he said.

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , | 6 Comments

Ex-Pentagon Analyst: US Exit From INF Treaty Could Boost US Nuke Arms Industry

Sputnik – 23.10.2018

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s decision to scrap the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty will be welcomed by the US nuclear weapons industry and major defense contractors, veteran Pentagon analyst Chuck Spinney told Sputnik on Monday.

“The trashing of the INF treaty is simply another step down a slippery slope that is being greased by the nuclear arms contractors,” said Spinney, a senior Department of Defense analyst for more than 30 years.

Trump said on Saturday that his administration was preparing to withdraw from the INF.

Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn on Monday, the US president also claimed that Russia had not done enough to adhere to the treaty. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied on Monday that Moscow was in violation of the landmark agreement.

Spinney said Trump’s decision to scrap the INF was an anticipated and expected consequent of his predecessor, President Barack Obama’s approval of a colossal $1.5 trillion US nuclear modernization and expansion weapons program over the next 30 years.

“In my view, this evolution was almost inevitable. We unilaterally pulled out of the missile defense treaty and effectively launched a new arms race when Obama caved into the nuclear weapons industry and launched his across the board nuclear modernization plan,” he said.

Spinney recalled that Obama had been praised for negotiating the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize after only one year in office, but that his huge nuclear weapons program contradicted those claimed achievements.

“Trump’s strategy and nuclear posture review essentially sealed Obama’s actions,” he said.

Trump has also refused to acknowledge Russia’s legitimate concern about the potential offensive capabilities of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) systems that the United States has deployed in Poland and was also setting up in Romania, Spinney pointed out.

“Russians claim the BMD capabilities placed in Eastern Europe could be used to offensive purposes and their ‘new’ missile may well be a response to that,” he said.

Terminating the INF treaty would be a heavy blow for the entire international legal system of nonproliferation and arms control, the Russian Security Council said on Monday.

The INF was signed in 1987 and was pivotal in eliminating thousands of missiles from the American and Russian arsenals. Ex-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the treaty along with then-US leader Ronald Reagan called Trump’s planned withdrawal from it very irresponsible.

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Israel revokes work permits for family of killed Palestinian mother

Ma’an – October 22, 2018

BETHLEHEM – The Israel Security Service, the Shin Bet, cancelled Israeli work permits for the husband and brothers of a Palestinian mother who was killed after Israeli settlers hurled rocks at her vehicle, on Monday.

Aisha Muhammad Talal al-Rabi, 47, a mother of eight children, from the Bidya village near Salfit in the northern West Bank, was killed on October 12th after Israeli settlers hurled rocks at her vehicle as she was passing by near the Zaatara checkpoint in southern Nablus.

Hebrew-language news sites reported that al-Rabi’s husband and brothers were surprised to find out that they were the ones who were punished by having their work permits revoked, instead of holding the Israeli settlers responsible for the attack.

Sources added that the Shin Bet claimed the ban was temporary.

The Shin Bet also mentioned that no one has been detained as the investigation continues.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) condemned the killing of al-Rabi and called for international protection for the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.

Additionally, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, condemned the attack and called on the Israeli authorities “to ensure that those responsible are swiftly brought to justice.”

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Lieberman: ‘We exhausted all options with Hamas’

Palestine Information Center – October 22, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israel’s war Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) threatened to wage a bloody war against Gaza at the start of a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

“Wars are only conducted when there is no choice, and now there is no choice,” the minister claimed on Monday. “Anything less than the toughest response won’t help anymore. We have exhausted the other options.”

Lieberman alleged that Hamas was behind recent violence from the blockaded Gaza Strip and pays large sums to protesters.

“There is no popular uprising,” Lieberman said. “There is violence organized by Hamas. Fifteen thousand people don’t come by foot to the border at their own will. They come by bus and are paid.”

“I don’t believe in reaching an arrangement with Hamas,” he said. “It hasn’t worked, doesn’t work and won’t work in the future.”

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter (Likud) also accused Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas of inflaming tensions in the Gaza Strip by preventing supplies and funding from reaching the people there.

“It is intolerable, unacceptable and unreasonable that Abbas closes the faucet for Gaza and Israel has to pay the price,” Dichter said.

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Cut Emissions? Who, Me?

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | October 22, 2018

The IPCC says we have got to start cutting emissions radically immediately, but the rest of the world is not listening!

1) Australia rejects UN call to phase out coal

Australia has rejected a call by scientists to phase out coal use by 2050 to prevent the world overshooting targets in the Paris Climate Change agreement with potentially disastrous consequences.

The world’s biggest coal exporter on Tuesday said it would be “irresponsible” to comply with the recommendation by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to stop using coal to generate electricity.

Canberra also reiterated its priority is to cut domestic electricity prices rather than curb greenhouse gas emissions, which have risen for four consecutive years.

“To say that it [coal] has to be phased out by 2050 is drawing a very long bow,” said Melissa Price, Australia’s environment minister, who previously worked in the mining industry.

“I just don’t know how you could say by 2050 that you’re not going to have the technology that’s going to enable good, clean technology when it comes to coal. That would be irresponsible of us.” …

2)  Japan Will Defy Calls By The IPCC To Phase Out Coal By Mid Century

Japan’s ambassador to Australia has confirmed Tokyo will defy calls by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to phase out coal by mid-century as part of a scientific appeal to limit global temperature increases to 1.5C.

Sumio Kusaka told The Australian that Japan would consider “all practical ways to further advance decarbonisation” but would need to bolster coal supply in the ­immediate future. He said Japanese plans to ­reduce reliance on fossil fuels in line with its international commitments would see a greater focus on nuclear energy, a form of power prohibited in Australia since 1998.

In recent weeks, Tony Abbott and Ziggy ­Swit­kowski, former chair of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, have called for the prohibition on nuclear power to be lifted to provide for the arrival of small modular reactors that can power towns of 100,000 people.

“I am aware the recent IPCC report contains some firm recommendations in relation to coal,” Mr Kusaka told The Australian.

“However, Japan is a country with very limited resources of its own, and bearing in mind our energy ­security requirements, it would be difficult for us to eliminate coal- fired power altogether.

“With a view to 2050, we are also considering all practical ways to further advance decarbonisation. In relation to this, some of the technologies we are looking at include renewable energy, ­nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage.’’

Mr Kusaka said Tokyo would continue to buy coal from Australia to secure its energy needs into the future. Japan was the largest importer of Australian thermal coal last year. –

3) China To Speed Up End Of Green Energy Subsidies

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China will speed up efforts to ensure its wind and solar power sectors can compete without subsidies and achieve “grid price parity” with traditional energy sources like coal, according to new draft guidelines issued by the energy regulator.

As it tries to ease its dependence on polluting fossil fuels, China has encouraged renewable manufacturers and developers to drive down costs through technological innovations and economies of scale.

The country aims to phase out power generation subsidies, which have become an increasing burden on the state.

The guidelines said some regions with cost and market advantages had already “basically achieved price parity” with clean coal-fired power and no longer required subsidies, and others should learn from their experiences.

They also urged local transmission grid companies to provide more support for subsidy-free projects and ensure they have the capacity to distribute all the power generated by wind and solar plants…

China’s solar sector is still reeling from a decision to cut subsidies and cap new capacity at 30 gigawatts (GW) this year, down from a record 53 GW in 2017, with the government concerned about overcapacity and a growing subsidy backlog.

According to the NEA, the government owed around 120 billion yuan ($17.46 billion) in subsidies to solar plants by the middle of this year.

4) Germany’s Merkel Promises New Law To Ward Off Diesel Driving Bans (And To Save Her Floundering Government)

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel, campaigning for her Christian Democrats (CDU) to retain control of the crucial state of Hesse in next Sunday’s election, promised legislation to ward off the threat of air pollution leading to driving bans.

Speaking at a news conference on Sunday evening, Merkel said it would be disproportionate to ban dirty diesel cars from the road in places like Frankfurt, Hesse’s largest city, where nitrogen emissions limits were only marginally exceeded.

Following her allies’ disastrous showing in Bavaria’s regional elections last week, Merkel faces murmurs of dissent within her party. Defeat in the state to the resurgent Greens could prove fatal to her premiership.

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science | 4 Comments

US wants to be world’s sole power & doesn’t need treaties like INF – Russian senator

RT | October 22, 2018

Washington is ready to drop a landmark missile treaty with Moscow because it wants to become the dominant power on the globe, and that move will put its European allies in a tough spot, a senior Russian politician told RT.

The US doesn’t want to commit itself to the restrictions imposed by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) because it is “seeking unilateral military advantage,” Konstantin Kosachev stated.

According to the politician, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Lower House of parliament, “they want to be the only power in the world. And for that they don’t need these types of agreements.”

Speaking to RT on Monday, Kosachev recalled how in 2002 the US, under then-President George W. Bush, unilaterally pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty), signed 30 years prior. President Donald Trump is now acting in a similar fashion, he argued.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) was signed in 1987. It effectively banned Moscow and Washington from having and developing short and mid-range missiles and the means of their delivery. Trump has said that he will “terminate” the deal, citing Russia’s alleged violations of the agreement – something Moscow’s officials deny.

Mid-range missiles will pose a “substantial threat” to Russian security if the US deploys them in Europe, Kosachev said. The senior lawmaker warned that such a move will turn the whole of Europe into a “zone of highest possible risk” and will prompt a swift response from Moscow.

“European countries are hostages in this situation.”

The European Union, meanwhile, called on both sides to maintain “constructive dialogue” to “preserve” the existing nuclear arms deal. Brussels expects the US to consider the consequences of ditching the agreement “on its own security,” as well as “the security of its allies and of the whole world,” EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Maja Kocijancic, said in a statement.

“The world doesn’t need a new arms race that would benefit no one and on the contrary would bring even more instability,” the statement concluded.

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Finnish Deaf Demand State Apology, Compensation for Decades of Sterilization

Sputnik – October 22, 2018

For decades, the Finnish state has run a eugenics-like program that pressured an unknown number of deaf women to undergo sterilization before marriage and forced pregnant women to get abortions, a topic that largely remains taboo even today.

Members of the Finnish sign language society have argued that the state should take responsibility and acknowledge the abuses and encroachments on private life committed over the course of decades.

“(Forced) sterilization is a violent act and a serious human rights violation that has been tacitly accepted,” Maija Koivisto, a teacher at the Deaf Folk High School, told the daily newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet, in her call for a reconciliation process.

According to the Marriage Act of 1929, the deaf were not allowed to marry each other without special permission from the president. This law remained in force until 1969. According to Koivisto, many deaf women were slapped with an ultimatum: get sterilized or forget about marriage.

However, it’s now being acknowledged that some doctors continued to recommend sterilization to patients for several more decades. “Until now, I have assumed that the sterilizations continued until the 1950s and 1960s. But I have heard of a case in the 1990s when a doctor suggested sterilization for his deaf patient,” Koivisto told Hufvudstadsbladet.

According to Koivisto, the church may have had a role in forcible sterilizations, something that has not been talked about so much. In Deaf magazine, two women testified that church staff had exerted pressure on them to get sterilized.

At present, no exact data is available on exactly how many deaf women were sterilized in Finland, a mistake Koivisto intends to rectify. The Sterilization Act of 1935 led to devastating consequences for at least 7,530 Finnish women.

Koivisto suggested that many circumvented the marriage laws by becoming pregnant, thus forcing priests to wed them. Nevertheless, some had to agree to sterilization after that. Others chose to ‘live in sin’; cohabiting and giving birth to children out of wedlock was considered unacceptable at that time.

Koivisto ventured that the topic of sterilization has long been a taboo due to society’s attitude involving shame. Additionally, sterilized women were often seen as “whores” as they could have sex without having to worry about getting pregnant.

Koivisto noted a general tendency to disregard the needs of the deaf in the past. In Finland, sign language was forbidden in schools during the epoch of “oralism” between 1880 and 1970, when deaf children were encouraged to read lips and articulate. According to Koivisto, this matter may be gender-related, as most politicians and all priests at that time were men.

According to Koivisto, the Finnish state should give the deaf victims financial compensation for the abuse.

“I think the state should promise that we can participate in all decisions that concern us and will work to improve the status of the sign language. The state should also grant funds for investigations within the deaf community, for instance for therapeutic purposes,” she added.

Previously, Finland officially apologized for the mistreatment of children at orphanages and boarding schools. Last autumn, it was decided to form a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to gather information about the forced “Finnization” and discrimination that the Sami people have suffered. The Commission received over $1.7 million from the state budget.

Neighboring Sweden sterilized almost 63,000 people between 1935 and 1975, but later apologized and compensated the victims in 1997.

This year, the Japanese victims of a state-run sterilization program that targeted tens of thousands of people to prevent the birth of “inferior descendants,” demanded an apology from the state.


Sweden to Make Peace With Forced Sterilization Victims Through Indemnities

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 5 Comments

If France Made to Pay For Pacific Nuclear Tests, it Could Set Legal ‘Precedent’

Licorne nuclear test – French Polynesia, 1970 © Flickr / Historical Records
Sputnik – October 22, 2018

Last week France was sued at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity over nuclear tests conducted on atolls in the Pacific Ocean. Sputnik spoke to Alexandre Dayant, a research fellow at the Lowy Institute, about the consequences of the French nuclear tests.

Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls in the South Pacific saw 196 nuclear tests over three decades until President Jacques Chirac finally ended the programme in the 1990s.

The French also conducted nuclear tests in the Sahara Desert.

A French Polynesian opposition leader, Oscar Temaru, filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on October 10 claiming France had carried out crimes against humanity, in the form of local islanders.

Alexandre Dayant, a research fellow at the Lowy Institute in Australia, said the French carried out the tests between 1966 and 1996, first in the atmosphere and then in the sub-soil.

French Polynesians Have Paid Heavy Toll For Tests

Mr. Dayant said thousands of inhabitants have paid a heavy toll through birth deficits, congenital malformations and infirmities.

“The testing programme and its intentions were kept secret, and little information was provided about the possible effects of radiation to the people who worked there. For decades, France argued that the controlled explosions were clean,” Mr. Dayant told Sputnik.

“In the absence of an exhaustive epidemiological study, it was very difficult to estimate the number of potentially affected people at the time. Throughout the period of the Sahara and Polynesia trials, approximately 150,000 site workers (military contingent, contingent, civilian workers) and a local population of 80,000 were potentially exposed to doses of radioactivity,” Mr. Dayant told Sputnik.

French Polynesia, an overseas territory with a population of 290,000, is best known for the tourist resort island of Tahiti, 300 miles west of Mururoa and Fangataufa.

“This case aims to hold all the living French presidents accountable for the nuclear tests against our country,” Mr. Temaru said when he filed the complaint.

The Armaments Observatory published a study showing “the explosions have weakened the seabed and the soil is contaminated sustainably because of the fallout and the presence of toxic and radioactive debris (heavy metals and plutonium)” which threaten the population and the environment.

“Despite the mounting evidence, the French government denied all suggestion that the nuclear tests were harmful to health until 2010, when it introduced the Morin Law, a programme to give compensation to victims of radiation exposure. Nevertheless, the number of compensation cases accepted between 2010 and 2017 scandalized victims’ associations — only 13 out of more than a thousand filed. The main reason came from the fact that it was still difficult for victims to prove the link between their disease and the tests,” Mr. Dayant told Sputnik.

Call For French Polynesia to Become Independent

He said Mr. Temaru was a separatist who wanted the islands to eventually become independent like nearby Fiji and Kiribati.

Mr. Temaru claimed the Polynesians had sought a “responsible dialogue” with France since 2013 but their pleas had been “ignored and despised”.

“Fifty years after the first nuclear test on Mururoa, French Polynesians are still fighting for recognition of the effects of nuclear testing. This is why this claim, in front of the ICC, can help to put events back on the agenda,” Mr. Dayant told Sputnik.

“I don’t think Polynesians believe their claim will be heard. For the pro-independence party in French Polynesia, making this claim is more of a useful way to put events back on the political agenda, and on the international scene,” said Mr. Dayant who pointed out that when the ICC was set up it made it clear it would not prosecute crimes committed before July 2002.

Will other countries face similar claims at the ICC?

“It is a difficult question to answer to, due to the different geopolitical relationships that other Pacific Islands countries have with the US, UK and Russia. However, if successful, this particular legal procedure can be used as a precedent for future international claims,” Mr. Dayant told Sputnik.

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism | | 3 Comments