Aletho News



By Larry Johnson | A Son Of The New American Revplution | September 19, 2022

Nope, I did not know that. But thank God we have retired General Dave Petraeus to clue us in. He wrote the following 10 days ago:

  • A successful encirclement of Russian forces fleeing Izyum would result in the destruction or capture of significant Russian forces and exacerbate Russian manpower and morale issues.
  • The Russian MoD’s inability to admit Russian failures in Kharkiv Oblast and effectively set information conditions is collapsing the Russian information space. Kremlin-sponsored TV propagandists offered a wide range of confused explanations for Ukrainian successes ranging from justifications that Russian forces are fighting against the entire Western Bloc, to downplaying the importance of Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCS) in Kupyansk.
  • The withdrawal announcement further alienated the Russian milblogger and Russian nationalist communities that support the Kremlin’s grandiose vision for capturing the entirety of Ukraine. Russian milbloggers condemned the Russian MoD for remaining quiet, choosing self-isolation, and distorting situational awareness in Russia.

Turns out that General Dave experienced premature military orgasm. It is true that the Russians retreated from Izyum, but they were not surrounded. Putin has never claimed the “grandiose vision for capturing the entirety of Ukraine.” He has been quite clear–as recently as the press conference this week at the SCO–Russia is going to secure the Donbas. What about growing dissent in Russia about the SMO? Putin, based on his recent news conference at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, could give two shits about the feelings of “the Russian milblogger and Russian nationalist communities.”

I am citing Petraeus not because I respect his alleged military “genius.” I do not not. General Dave had the reputation at West Point as the consummate sychophant. The other cadets said he would marry the Commandant’s homely daughter just to get ahead. Guess what? He did. I cite Petraeus because his views are emblematic of the Washington national security establishment who are totally committed to lying about the reality in Ukraine. No matter what the actual situation is on the ground, Ukraine is winning, Russia is losing and it is just a matter of time before Russia implodes. This theme has been trotted out and paraded around the internet almost every month since March by Ukraine’s western enablers.

The Hill just published another installment of this delusional analysis by Mark Toth and Jonathan Sweet. Let’s meet the boys:

Mark Toth is a retired economist, historian and entrepreneur who has worked in banking, insurance, publishing and global commerce. He is a former board member of the World Trade Center, St. Louis, and has lived in U.S. diplomatic and military communities around the world, including London, Tel Aviv, Augsburg and Nagoya.

Jonathan Sweet, a retired Army colonel, served 30 years as a military intelligence officer. His background includes tours of duty with the 101st Airborne Division and the Intelligence and Security Command. He led the U.S. European Command Intelligence Engagement Division from 2012-14, working with NATO partners in the Black Sea and Baltics.

I do not know if their article is the result of ignorance, willful blindness or if they were paid to push propaganda. Regardless of the motive, Toth and Sweet join the Petraeus club and push the objective lie that the tenacious Ukrainians are defeating the Russian army:

it is Ukrainian soldiers, equipped and trained by English-speaking countries, alongside their allies who have opened fresh cans of whoop-ass and are inflicting a beatdown of Putin’s military forces in the Donbas. . . .

There has been one constant since Putin’s illegal invasion began in February: Russia’s military forces have been forced to retreat and regroup, time and time again. . . .

Putin has been exposed as an “emperor with no clothes,” forced to rely upon haggling with Iranian and North Korean surrogates to purchase drones and, according to the New York Times, “millions of artillery shells and rockets.” Saturating social media with disinformation and excuses about why Russian ground forces are failing cannot mask the images of abandoned equipment and reports of Russian soldiers surrendering.

Do you remember that incredible defeat of the Russian army in Mariupol when the Ukrainians surrounded the Russian troops and forced the surrender of 2500 combatants? Neither do I. That is what Russia did to the Ukrainian AZOV battalion.

How about the Russians fleeing in terror ahead of the Ukrainian blitzkrieg around Kherson? Nope. Another dry hole. The Russians pushed that attack back and inflicted catastrophic casualties on the Ukrainians.

What about the Luhansk People’s Republic? Ukraine held on to that and crushed the Russian backed militia. Right? Wrong!! Luhansk was secured and the same process is underway now in the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Why do western political, military and media leaders embrace demonstrable lies? I think it reflects a deeper sickness that afflicts the west. This self-delusion is not an isolated phenomena. Biden, his military commanders and the mainstream media also insist that men can be women and become pregnant, that inflation is zero, that Biden is popular, and that pedophiles are not bad people. Oh yeah, one more–the southern border of the United States is secure.

The time is coming when reality will intrude and destroy the fantasies. It happened to Baghdad Bob, who insisted there were no U.S. tanks in Baghdad in March 2003, and will happen to General Dave, Mark Toth and Jonathan Sweet. Seven months into the Russian “Special Military Operation,” Putin and his Generals have committed only a small fraction of their military forces to the conflict. They seem content to destroy Ukrainian units and equipment with artillery, missiles and mortars and force NATO to keep supplying Ukraine so that it can send its troops, armed with new equipment, to the front to be destroyed.

Yet NATO’s European members do not have the industrial capacity to replace the donated military equipment and are facing a bleak winter with scant energy resources needed to power manufacturing plants. The United States also is depleting its stockpile of weapons. Raheem Kassam has provided a very useful summary of what the United States has sent to Ukraine (read here). For example, the United States has provided Ukraine in six months more Javelins than it can produce in one year. So far the number stands at more than 8500, which is more than one-third of the U.S. total arsenal.

And how many Russian tanks have the Ukrainians destroyed with these Javelins? We do not know. The U.S. intelligence community does not know. U.S. intelligence is relying on Ukraine to report the good news and the Ukrainians simply say, “lots.” In theory, U.S. intelligence analysts have the ability to use satellite imagery to count disabled and destroyed tanks. But I am told that has not happened.

What we do have is a lot of social media video showing the Russians capturing hundreds, if not thousands, of javelin ATGMs. And we have videos of Russian tanks being hit with a javelin but continuing to operate. The javelin is not turning out to be the wonder weapon it was promised to be.

Let me reiterate one very important point–the so-called intelligence on Russian casualties in terms of personnel and equipment, is being provided solely by the Ukrainians. The United States has not taken any steps to independently verify the Ukrainian “intelligence.” That is a recipe for disappointment once the truth comes out that Ukraine is guilty of exaggerating.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Videos Surface of Australian Commandos Shooting at Afghan Civilians, Joking About ‘Kill Quota’

Samizdat – 20.09.2022

In 2020, a high-level Brereton inquiry report found the unlawful killing of civilians by elite Australian commandos in Afghanistan during their operation between 2006 and 2015. The report revealed that senior officials instructed young commandos to execute detainees, which they described as “blooding” of young troops.

The 2nd Commando Regiment, a special forces unit of the Australian Army, has been captured in several videos showing them discussing killing unarmed civilians in cold blood in Afghanistan during their nine years of operations.

The elite forces can be heard discussing a “quota of 10” for each one to kill during the “War on Terror,” which was announced by the US following the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.

The video obtained by ABC shows an entire unit happily discussing their “kill quota” ahead of an operation.

“We’ve got a quota of 10. The quota is 10,” one soldier tells the cameraman, while the second soldier replies, saying he will meet the “quota.”

They use the word “quota” at least a dozen times in the 90-second film captured by an Australian soldier in 2012.

Another video shows a soldier opening fire from his assault rifle from combat helicopter at what appear to be unarmed civilians.

The third video, also telecasted on ABC news, shows two Australian commandos detaining a “farmer,” Later, they watched while an Afghan soldier beat the civilian.

The ABC news said that some of these elite commandos are now under investigation by Australia’s war crimes agency.

Australian Defence Force has clarified, saying it does not use “enemy casualty numbers as a measure of performance, success or effectiveness, including during operations in Afghanistan.”

‘The publicly released version of the Afghanistan Inquiry report briefly mentions ‘catch and release, and the kill count’ as one of the factors the presence of which may have contributed to an environment in which deviant behavior [in the SAS] could take place and not be recognised,’ a spokesperson said.

US-led NATO forces pulled out from Afghanistan in August 2021 after 20 years of “War on Terror.”

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , | 3 Comments

Time to drop illusions, the West is waging a war to destroy Russia

By Vladimir Kornilov – RIA Novosti – September 20, 2022

And here comes Bucha 2.0: Another provocation where Ukraine has allegedly discovered “mass graves of victims” shortly after Russian troops have withdrawn.

This time in Izium. What it amounts to is clear evidence that along with the development of the military conflict in Ukraine, the informational “special” operation against Russia is intensifying.

It’s not even about Kiev’s reaction – officials there concoct primitive fakes against our state and the army non-stop, around the clock.

The indicator here is the way in which this provocation was immediately picked up by Western politicians, who are already urgently calling for an “international tribunal” to punish Russia. Meanwhile, the West’s media, in a united push, is putting unfounded statements about “mass executions and torture in Izium” on its front pages.

This fakery is crass and easily refuted. But it is clear from this unanimous reaction of the West that no one there cares at all how and when the people buried in the cemetery died. The culprit has been appointed in advance – and it has to be Russia. Because only this verdict fits into the overall strategy of the current campaign in Ukraine.

Which, as we can see, has nothing to do with Ukraine. The West is completely indifferent to whatever happened to the Ukrainians, whoever killed them (even if it was Kiev’s own army or foreign mercenaries) and no matter how many of them died. Because it is not fighting a war on this territory for the Ukrainians, and especially not for Ukraine.

We must speak frankly and openly: the West is waging a fierce war against the Russian state, using local forces as proxies. And this is covered by the fig leaf of “defending democracy.” However, what they really want is for Russia to be destroyed. Forever! Irrevocably!

Janusz Bugajski, a leading expert, recently published his book “Failed State: A Guide to Russia’s Rupture.” It is worth highlighting that the work is not a reaction to the Ukrainian conflict, instead it is a logical continuation of all that this ‘Kremlinologist’ has been publicly talking and writing about for years.

Back in early 2019, three years before the current crisis started, he published a feature article in the influential Washington newspaper The Hill, entitled ‘Managing Russia’s Dissolution.’

This was not just a forecast or theoretical speculation by some dreamer, it was a direct call to action by an outspoken Russophobe. Suffice it to recall that Bugajski then openly urged the White House to promote regional and ethnic self-determination within the Russian Federation. At the same time, he was speculating which regions of the state destroyed by the West should receive independence and which should be given to Ukraine, Finland, Japan and even China.

It cannot be said that Bugajski’s article was the only theoretical work on the disintegration of our state. But other reports (at least in the public domain) still sought to veil direct calls for the forced break-up of Russia with arguments about the need to weaken our state. This was the case, for example, with a sensational study by the US intelligence corporation RAND commissioned by the US Department of Defense in 2019.

Now the masks are being thrown off and the cadre of Russophobes can openly articulate their long-held dreams. The Daily Telegraph recently featured the former NATO commander in Europe, General Ben Hodges, in a high-profile article about preparing for Russia’s disintegration. Hodges, who is employed by CEPA – a lobby group bankrolled by US arms contractors and NATO – is arguably one of the most active ‘talking heads’ about the Ukrainian crisis on Western television right now.

The general hopes the collapse of our state will be fueled by our ethnic diversity and he hopes that Western economic sanctions will create a situation in which it will be impossible to feed 144 million people. The American has clearly not thought how these arguments could also be applied to his home country, which has been torn apart by racial divisions in recent years.

Below Hodges, the idea has been cheerfully picked up by less well-known figures operating on the ideological field of Russophobia. The Polish magazine New Eastern Europe published an article about deconstructing Russia and reconstructing the “post-Russian space,” calling it a risky but inevitable scenario. The authors called on the West to lead the process of our state’s disintegration right away.

This is echoed by the Canadian-British professor Taras Kuzio on the pages of the Atlantic Council, a NATO-aligned pressure group and the main mouthpiece of Western Russophobes. He, too, cheerfully declares that the process of “the collapse of Putin’s Russian empire” has begun.

Hodges’ theses are repeated almost word for word by Estonia’s top Kremlinologist Vladimir Yushkin on the pages of the website of the International Centre for Defence and Security. However, he adds nonsense about the allegedly developing “colonization of Siberia by the Chinese” – which tells us he doesn’t know how to use statistics.

All these “prophecies” have been brought into the political realm by Estonian President Alar Karis. Opening the NATO Military Committee conference in Tallinn last Friday, he openly admonished the Chiefs of Staff of the US-led bloc to give up their “fear of destabilizing the situation in Russia.”

This is not some retired general, nor a private person with a professorial rank – it’s the official head of a NATO member country. And he is not shying away from calling on the high command of the alliance to pursue a deliberate policy of creating a situation of instability in Russia.

So, what more proof does anyone need of what the collective West is hoping to achieve?

The ideological touchstone of European liberals, The Economist magazine, has devoted its latest issue to how the West should ensure Ukraine’s victory over Russia. Apart from the traditional advice on further arming the Kiev regime, the magazine explicitly demands that the West must try to drive a wedge between the Russian government and the Russian people. To do this, leaders are urged to bet on Russian liberals who have moved abroad, who in these circumstances can be safely called traitors back home.

They are now in a situation where Russia’s enemies are openly talking about using them to carry out an unrealistic plan to dismember our common motherland!

Thus, we can safely say that the collective West has already moved from talk to action and is openly challenging the very existence of the Russian Federation.

It’s ideologues and a number of top politicians make no secret of the fact that by exploiting the conflict in Ukraine, they are deliberately helping to create an existential threat to our state. The sooner we ourselves officially acknowledge this, the more effectively we will be able to move to a different stage in both relations with our neighbors and the military operation in Ukraine itself.

We still adhere to certain gentlemen’s rules of the game, which were adopted after the end of the Cold War. But now the stakes have been raised too high.

To be clear, I am not calling for us to copy the criminal actions of Ukraine. We, unlike them, do not deliberately kill children, torture prisoners of war, or exterminate civilians.

But in the face of increasing threats to Russian citizens, we are left with no choice but to act much more forcefully against military infrastructure, even if it’s also used by civilians, in the direction of decision-making centres, and towards those individuals directly responsible for terror and murders wherever they are located, as well as tackling states that pursue hostile policies.

After all, we should not forget that when an existential threat to Russia arises, we need to present a tough response.

Those who threaten our homeland should be constantly reminded of this.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia | , , | 2 Comments

Putin: Sanctions Take Toll on Western States and Poorest Countries

Samizdat – 20.09.2022

Western countries slapped Russia with several new rounds of sanctions this year in response to the start of the special military operation in Ukraine. Since, these countries have faced surging inflation, electricity and fuel prices, partly prompted by their own sanctions.

The world is undergoing a transformation, transitioning toward a multipolar order, which becomes the dominating vector of development, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated as he greeted new foreign ambassadors who had arrived in Russia.

The president noted that the only states which oppose this transition are the ones that want to preserve their hegemony and control the world.

“As for Russia, we will not deviate from our sovereign course. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, we intend to further promote a unifying international agenda, contribute to the resolution of numerous challenges and threats of our time, and help with the settlement of acute regional conflicts. This will be Russia’s key talking point at the opening of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly,” Putin said.

Putin added that the poorest countries were hit the hardest by their hegemonic policies, as well as sanctions that the western countries impose. He noted that the obstacles for energy, grain and fertilizer shipments created by the West’s sanctions negatively affected “innocent” developing and poor countries.

“In this light, it’s highly cynical of the West to ignore our offer […] to transfer free of charge 300,000 [tons] of Russian fertilizers blocked in European ports due to sanctions to countries in need,” Putin said.

The West too was hit hard by its sanctions politics, the president noted.

The western countries experienced a surge in inflation, especially in fuel and energy prices, after they imposed sanctions against Russia over its special military operation in Ukraine. This surge added to the woes of western consumers, who had seen shop prices rise since the end of 2021.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

President Raeisi: West’s culture of domination hinders growth, progress across globe

Press TV – September 20, 2022

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says Western powers have impeded the growth and progress of other countries through their culture of domination and by exploiting international entities to their own benefit.

President Raeisi made the remarks on Monday on the closing day of the three-day Transforming Education Summit at UN Headquarters in New York.

“Unfortunately, the culture of hegemony has defined [West’s] interests in holding back other countries,” he said. “They have impeded other countries’ growth and progress by creating an unfair world order, abusing international organizations, and drawing up schemes to impose their own cultural and intellectual views.”

“Cultural domination and confinement of knowledge are the worst kinds of oppression and injustice,” he added.

Raeisi also urged international entities to respect countries’ cultural and educational sovereignty, noting that it is impossible to transform the education system without taking into account values such as family, equality, and spirituality.

“International organizations are expected to respect countries’ educational and cultural sovereignty and protect them against cultural invasion,” he said.

“The history of Iran’s civilization began with science and knowledge; the Islamic culture elevated it and established its pillars on heavenly reflections,” he said.

Raeisi added that Islam invites humanity to acquire knowledge with the aim of achieving equality, spreading spirituality, and bringing prosperity and development.

“Making progress is a matter of significance for almost all countries, and while governments have implemented international recommendations in this regard, serious challenges have been imposed on national and indigenous cultures simultaneously,” he said.

A development that lacks spirituality and morality won’t last long and will result in societal collapse, the president argued.

Moral values such as respecting the family, protecting the environment, establishing equality, denouncing violence and extremism, promoting internet safety, and encouraging healthy online habits must be among the priorities for transforming education, he said.

The president also took a swipe at the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, criticizing its approaches as “one-dimensional” and “secular,” and saying that the Islamic Republic has drawn up its own educational agenda based on Iranian-Islamic principles.

Iran’s newly set-up educational system is now shifting from rote learning to a system relying on research, creativity, skill-training, and commitments to cultural and religious values, he concluded.

Raeisi left Tehran for New York on Monday morning to take part in the UN General Assembly.

The Transforming Education Summit was convened in response to a global crisis in education. The crisis, which is often slow and unseen, is said to have a devastating impact on the future of children and youth worldwide.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , , | Leave a comment

Soaring Energy Prices Force Pakistani Industrialists to Close Businesses

By Aneela Rashid – Samizdat – 20.09.2022

Pakistan has a young and growing entrepreneurial population, with English as the main language for business, but inflation, as well as the recent political turmoil and devastating floods, are making it difficult for industries to flourish.

Tension among Pakistan’s business community is on the rise following unprecedented inflation caused by multiple factors, including COVID-19, monsoon floods and political instability.

Despite recent improvements in the business environment, many problems remain an issue for companies operating in Pakistan. Pakistan had previously climbed 28 places to 108 out of 190 countries ranked on the ease of doing business by the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business report.

Considering that the country has a young population, with English as the main language for business, there are plenty of opportunities due to the expanding middle class which has a keen eye for imported goods and services.

Foreign retail and franchise outlets are also spreading rapidly in urbanized cities and the country has a natural endowment in agriculture and minerals.

The country’s most developed industries – cotton textile production and apparel manufacturing – account for about 66% of exports and almost 40% of the employed labor force, as stated in the report Pakistan Market Insights 2021.

Other major industries include cement, fertilizer, edible oil, sugar, steel, tobacco, chemicals, machinery, and food processing.

As such, the economic outlook of Pakistan presents many opportunities, but also many challenges, particularly in the long-term, which are harming the country’s industries and business opportunities.

Annual inflation in the country increased to 27.3% in August, the highest since May 1975, according to a report by Trading Economics. Inflation is causing panic amongst both urban and rural dwellers.

Transport prices recorded the biggest increase of nearly 65%, due to high fuel prices that have seen a 94.4% increase in urban areas and almost 100% in rural areas. Meanwhile, housing and utilities have seen a 27.6% rise, with electricity charges rising a whopping 123.4%. Food and non-alcoholic beverages also jumped in price by a record level of 29.5%.

The Pakistan rupee is expected to trade at 242.06 to the US$ by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations. As Pakistan experiences economic disorder with fast-depleting foreign reserves, historic depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar and soaring inflation, the country’s industries and business community are taking a big hit.

Some 40,000 industries in the port city of Karachi alone are unable to continue production, according to a report by Bloomberg. Karachi’s power utility, K-Electric Ltd., warned that it may start widespread power cuts in the city of 20 million, which could include prolonged rationing to industrial zones for the first time in 11 years.

“These current conditions are severely hindering KE’s ability to procure fuel, causing a permanent curtailment of power generation that translates to as much as 10 hours of planned blackouts for some parts of the city,” Sadia Dada, a spokesperson for K-Electric was reported as saying by Bloomberg.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Mian Nauman Kabir said that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is doing great harm to the economy of Pakistan. “I am receiving messages from the industrialists every day, who say they are shutting their industrial units due to high electricity bills,” he said.

However, many of the country’s leading industrialists refrain from expressing their frustrations to the media, anxious not to land on the wrong side of current or future political leaders. However, there are some who are not afraid to voice their concerns.

An unnamed businessman told the Dawn newspaper, “If politicians fail to resist the temptation to take their conflict out of parliament it can make the country drift towards anarchy. Yes, we are worried for our businesses, but we are more concerned about the safety and security of our family and the future of this country.”

Similarly, businessman Musadaq Zulqarnain said that Pakistan needs a sustained growth of 7-8 per cent for several years. According to him, this continued growth needs to be powered by an increase in exports, if the country is to come out of its economic troubles.

A few other business leaders also expressed their frustration with the lack of clarity in politics and were critical of “mismatched priorities of successive governments.”

Meanwhile, a prominent member of Pakistan’s business community, Mian Muhammad Mansha, believes that the country needs to tell the untold story of its rich, untapped business opportunities, and change the world’s perception about itself. In an interview with Dawn, the billionaire industrialist said that it is vital to convince foreign investors to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to shore up foreign currency reserves and boost economic growth.

“Our problems will be solved only when foreign investors start to invest here. You can’t build foreign reserves with exports alone. India has accumulated reserves of $650 billion mainly by attracting FDI,” stated Mansha.

His advice to the government was to borrow the needed money to stabilize the economy and then move towards rapid growth. “Once the economy starts growing, it will yield a lot bigger tax revenue than you can hope to collect by boosting the tax rates. The deficit will not matter any longer. We mustn’t just look at the budgets; these are just a small part of the economy. The bigger economy exists outside the budget and the public sector; we should grow that and tap the hitherto untapped potential of the country and opportunities it offers,” he further said.

On August 29, the IMF’s executive board approved almost $1.2 billion for Pakistan. Antoinette Sayeh, IMF deputy managing director and acting chair, criticized Pakistan’s government policies that caused “uneven and unbalanced growth,” saying that the country must implement “corrective policies and reforms” to regain economic stability, and sustainable growth.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail noted that the country was awaiting $4 billion for budgetary and other financial support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the World Bank. He said that around $1.5 billion was expected to be disbursed to Islamabad next month from the ADB as a “countercyclical support facility”.

However, some reports suggest that this funding may not be enough to pull Pakistan out of its deep economic crisis. The floods alone are estimated to have caused more than $10 billion in damages, and these are just preliminary estimates. With Pakistan’s agricultural output brought to a standstill and 80% of the country’s crops destroyed, the food shortages will only exacerbate.

The concerns voiced by the business community echo the pleas of common Pakistanis, who are desperately waiting for the debilitating economic stress to ease off in the nearest future.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Economics | | Leave a comment

India’s gaffe at Samarkand


Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Samarkand on September 16 after the SCO Summit turned into a media scandal. The Western media zeroed in on six words culled out of context in the PM’s opening remarks — “today’s era is not of war”— to triumphantly proclaim that India is finally distancing itself from Russia on Ukraine issue, as the US and European leaders have been incessantly demanding.

Of course, this motivated interpretation lacks empirical evidence and is, therefore, malicious. Besides, Modi also spoke with a rare interplay of emotions by underscoring the quintessence of the Indian-Russian relationship, and his two decade-long association with Putin. 

The steamy part cooked up by the US media shows the desperation on the part of the “Collective West” to isolate Russia at a time when even western leaders have candidly admitted that the bulk of the non-western world does not identify with the western narrative on Ukraine and refuses to roll back their relationship with Russia. 

Many countries are, in fact, stepping up their cooperation with Russia —Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, for example. Curiously, even western companies are loathe to leave the highly attractive Russian market where business returns are high. A report in the Atlantic Council magazine on September 18 highlights that although something like 1,000 multinational corporations had announced that they would be leaving Russia in the wake of the western sanctions, “the unfortunate reality is that… three-quarters of the most profitable foreign multinationals remain in Russia.” Thus, statistically, while 106 western companies exited the Russian market, over 1,149 internationals still remain and simply keep silent about it. 

The giant Sakhalin-2 oil-and-natural-gas project in the Russian Far East is a celebrated case where two big energy Japanese investors Mitsui and Mitsublishi, with government support, simply refused to quit, as the Russian project supplies 9 percent of Japan’s energy needs. The G7 has no option but to exempt Japan from the purview of sanctions when it comes to Sakhalin-2! 

Again, the West continues to import fertiliser from Russia and to that end, lifts the restrictions on shipping, insurance, etc. But the restrictions continue against Russia’s exports of food grain and fertiliser to the non-Western world. Russia has now offered to distribute the fertiliser held up in European ports free of charge to the poorest countries in Africa if only the restrictions for exports are waived, but Europe would rather use it for their own needs. 

It has recently been exposed that the brouhaha about a “global food crisis” (which India too mouthed) was basically a cheap hoax perpetrated by the Biden Administration to get Russia to allow the sale of wheat held up in Ukrainian silos to the European market by American companies, who have apparently bought up Ukraine’s farm lands and control that country’s grain trade! Only a fraction of the grain shipments from Ukraine went to poor countries threatened by famine. Suffice to say, the US and the European Union pressure on India’s purchase of Russian oil was nothing but bullying.

That said, India should know that in a situation where Russia faces an existential threat to its security, it will not be deterred in firmly, decisively responding, no matter what anybody says. Will India be deterred if any foreign country gets agitated over state repression in Kashmir? Violence and bloodshed are abhorrent features of the contemporary world situation and is a painful reality all over the world. 

That is why, PM Modi’s awkward reference to war and peace in his initial remarks to Putin at Samarkand was way out of place in what turned out to be a “wonderful” meeting otherwise. There was simply no need to have characterised, at PM’s level, the Ukraine conflict as a “war”. It betrayed ignorance, since the whole world knows that what is going on is a proxy war between the US and Russia that had been simmering through the past quarter century ever since NATO began its eastward enlargement with an agenda to encircle Russia. Moscow seriously erred by tolerating the US interference in Ukraine so long until NATO finally appeared on its doorstep. It is doubtful if India would have shown such strategic patience. 

Against such a complex backdrop, the litmus test of India’s “neutrality” will, perhaps, lie in EAM Jaishankar at least speaking up on the NATO’s eastward expansion, the US stoking the fire of conflict by pumping tens of billions of dollars worth weaponry into Ukraine, and the Biden Administration’s diabolical role in undermining nascent peace moves between Moscow and Kiev. 

If Turkey’s Recep Erdogan and Hungary’s Viktor Orban can speak up, although NATO leaders, why can’t India’s EAM? But, never mind, there is no question of Jaishankar even remotely embarrassing Biden. 

From the Kremlin readout, Putin actually acknowledged right at the outset of the conversation with Modi that Russia and India are not on the same page on Ukraine. To be sure, Putin must be knowing that India’s behaviour is guided by its narrowly defined self-interests and conditioned by an itch to do cherrypicking. But Moscow has never been and will never be a demanding partner. Mutual interest and mutual respect are the hall marks of Russian diplomacy toward India. Despite own reservations over what India was doing by splitting Pakistan into two halves, when the crunch time came in 1971, Moscow not only stood by India but even despatched its warships and submarines to guard Indian waters from a potential US military intervention against India. It is, therefore, all the more reason for us to be discreet. 

Ironically, India must be one of the few countries that benefits out of the Ukraine conflict. Aside oil, coal and what not at low prices, paradoxically, even the rupee has taken baby steps to commence its indeterminate journey to become a “world currency.” No patriotic Indian will criticise the Modi government for such sophistry. However, confusion arises when morality is injected into all this with a contrived attitude of indignation, when there is really no need for it. 

The meeting in Samarkand took place in the context of the SCO’s annual summit. The summit was not about Ukraine but about the profound issues that have surfaced in its wake that will shape the contours of the world order. This SCO summit was special, as it took place amid large-scale geopolitical changes, triggering a rapid and irrevocable transformation of the entire complex of international ties, relations, policies, economy, when a new model based on the real multi-polarity and dialogue is being built. 

Everyone understands that the SCO, which represents half the world’s population, will help forge the new world order. Unlike the case with NATO, where all decisions are made in Washington and imposed on America’s “allies”, there is no Pied Piper in the SCO tent. Modi could easily have played a meaningful role at the summit instead of meandering his way aimlessly through the pandemic, supply chains, et al, at a juncture when such profound issues were being discussed by his peer group in Samarkand. 

The word “multipolarity,” which was on everyone’s mind in Samarkand, didn’t even figure in Modi’s speech at Samarkand. Whoever drafted the speech must have done it with an eye on Washington. Therefore, don’t blame the US media. They happened to notice all these aberrations and decided to cull out those six sharply-etched words to put India on the mat, mocking it for doublespeak and rank opportunism, and all that hand-wringing by the apologists of our government cannot wash away that stain. 

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

US reveals plan for seized Russian funds

Samizdat | September 20, 2022

The US Department of Justice would like Congress to amend laws governing asset forfeiture, so money confiscated from Russian “kleptocrats” can be given to Ukraine, the head of the interagency sanctions task force Andrew Adams told the Senate on Tuesday while testifying at a hearing called “Tightening the Screws on Russia.”

Adams, formerly a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), is the head of the interagency Task Force KleptoCapture, a sanctions enforcement outfit created in February. The “scope, intended impact, and international alignment” of the anti-Russia sanctions are “without precedent,” he told senators.

Among the proposals he listed at the hearing was a pitch for Congress to amend the existing US asset forfeiture laws, in order to allow the government to “remediate harms caused to Ukraine by Russia’s war of aggression,” as Adams put it.

The departments of justice, treasury and state would like the ability to give the funds seized from Russia and Russians to the government in Kiev, but doing so “requires amendments to multiple statutes governing the use of forfeited funds,” he said.

Earlier in his testimony, Adams mentioned that the measures implemented by the US and its allies “have included immobilizing the Russian Central Bank’s assets, held in coffers around the world.” It was not clear, however, whether these funds would fall under the scheme to transfer money to Ukraine – something the government in Kiev has demanded for months, both of the US and of the EU.

Asset forfeiture is a controversial practice in US law, which proponents have defended as a “key tool” for weakening organized crime and funding law enforcement. Critics, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have called it “policing for profit” and described it as “egregiously at odds with our due process rights.”

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Russophobia | | 3 Comments

UK Culture Minister Claims More Arms to Ukraine Will Cut Energy Bills

Samizdat – 20.09.2022

The UK’s embargo on energy imports has helped send the price of oil and natural gas soaring, with a knock-on effect on the broader inflation rate, now at 10 percent. Businesses face a harsh winter, with almost three-quarters of British pubs saying they will have to shut their doors.

A British cabinet minister has claimed the government’s pledge of £2.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine next year will cut soaring energy bills at home.

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Secretary Michelle Donelan told Sky News’ Kay Burley on Tuesday morning that arming President Volodymyr Zelensky’s regime was key to reducing “dependence” on Russian energy exports.

“We believe it is fundamentally important that we’re standing up for democracy, that we’re continuing to protect Ukraine in their fight, that we’re standing up for the rest of the world who needs to end their global dependence on Russia, which is one of the factors behind the increasing price in fuel,” Donelan said.

“So this is actually going to help the cost of living of people, not just in the UK, but across the globe as well,” the cabinet minister claimed. “And we hope that other countries will see what we’re doing and follow our example.”

Western sanctions on Russia, including the UK’s embargo on energy imports, have backfired, helping send the price of oil and natural gas soaring to levels five or six times those at the start of 2021. That has had a knock-on effect on the prices of other goods, with general inflation hitting 10 percent.

Household bills have more than doubled as regulator Ofgem has raised its price cap. Businesses, which are not protected by that limit, face a harsh winter, with almost three-quarters of British pubs surveyed saying they expect to have to shut their doors.

Donelan could not clarify how new Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng would fund the latest splurge on arms, saying only: “We will outline exactly where that money is coming from.”

New Prime Minister Liz Truss has promised to reverse tax increases made by former chancellor Rishi Sunak — her rival in this summer’s Conservative Party leadership election — to pay for the COVID-19 lockdown furlough scheme and to clear the resulting backlog of cases in the National Health Service (NHS).

The culture secretary rejected the notion that the inflationary crisis would undermine the government’s backing for Kiev’s war on the Donbass republics.

“We are not re-evaluating our support in Ukraine, we are doubling down on our support in Ukraine,” Donelan insisted.

Authorities in the Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples’ Republics, which Russia launched its special military operation to defend, have repeatedly stressed that the West has knowingly been giving Ukrainian troops and neo-Nazi militias heavy artillery and other weapons used to kill civilians.

Ukrainian forces again shelled the centre of Donetsk city on Monday, killing 13 people at a bus stop and shop — including two children, according to Mayor Alexei Kulemzin.
Images from the scene showed human bodies torn to pieces. The DPR mission to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) said nine shells, of the 155mm calibre fired specifically by NATO-standard howitzers such as the US M777, hit the site of the massacre.

Five more people were killed and six injured in the front-line city on Tuesday when shells hit a theatre where a memorial service was being held for a female officer in the Donetsk People’s Militia.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Militarism, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Kiev vows to use force against breakaway regions

Samizdat | September 20, 2022

Senior officials in Kiev have dismissed as irrelevant plans for a number of current and former Ukrainian regions to hold referendums on whether to join Russia.

Andrey Yermak, President Vladimir Zelensky’s chief of staff, described the proposed votes as “blackmail” by Moscow.

“This is what fear of defeat looks like. The enemy is afraid and uses primitive manipulations,” he said in a post on social media on Tuesday.

Yermak added that “Ukraine will solve the Russian question,” insisting this could be done “only by force.”

Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba also downplayed news of the upcoming referendums, dismissing the move as a “sham.”

“Ukraine has every right to liberate its territories and will keep liberating them whatever Russia has to say,” he tweeted.

The condemnations and threats came in response to bids by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Ukraine’s Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, to hold referendums on the question of joining the Russian Federation. The votes could take place as early as this week.

Kiev previously threatened any person who takes part in such a plebiscite with criminal prosecution. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said participants could be sent to prison for up to 12 years.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism | , | Leave a comment

EU Threatens To Suspend €7.5BN In Hungary Funding Amid Charges Of ‘Cozying Up’ To Putin

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – September 19, 2022

The EU’s patience with Viktor Orban’s Hungary is running extremely thin after years of wrangling and threats from Brussels of triggering the “rule of law” mechanism, despite recently announced efforts of Budapest to establish an anti-graft agency.

It seems Russia’s war in Ukraine is hastening a confrontational and fractured ending to the standoff, with the EU on Sunday threatening to freeze 7.5 billion euros which had been earmarked for Hungary, citing persisting corruption and fraud.

It’s been no secret that Orban has been a thorn in the side of European efforts to punish and isolate Putin’s Russia. While Hungary has demanded exemptions from EU energy sanctions on Russia, and has meanwhile enjoyed cheap gasoline and other energy at a moment prices in the rest of Europe have gone steadily up over the course of the war – and into what’s sure to be a tough winter – the belief among leading EU states is that joint bloc anti-Russia actions have been largely blunted. The timing of the fresh EU threats is not going unnoticed.

Bloomberg in a fresh report has put the dilemma as follows: “But while most member states have been engaged in a desperate scramble to secure alternative gas supplies ahead of the winter, Orban has deepened his country’s ties to the Kremlin, exploiting the exemptions he demanded from EU sanctions to secure increased imports of gas from Russia.”

Poland has remained a powerful impediment thus far to Brussels triggering any significant rule of law penalties, despite Warsaw remaining at the forefront of denunciations of Russia’s invasion.

“During years of frustration at the Hungarian government, Orban has been shielded from the EU’s main disciplinary machinery, known as the article 7 procedure, by the support of the nationalist government in Warsaw — because that mechanism too requires the endorsement of all the other members,” Bloomberg recounts. “The war in Ukraine has soured Orban’s relationship with the Polish government, which has been among the most ardent supporters of firm action against Putin, but for now the Poles are standing by Orban.”

Orban has cast efforts to “punish” his country in terms of a war on traditional values. For now, Poland seems to agree… the vast divergence in rhetoric on the Russia-Ukraine conflict notwithstanding.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Sunday, “Poland will strongly oppose any action of European institutions that intend to unduly deprive any member states of funds, in this case Hungary.”

Interestingly (given the timing of the EU’s threat to freeze funds), just days ago PM Orban reportedly told a closed-door meeting of officials from his ruling Fidesz party that he would fight efforts to extend EU sanctions on Russia:

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban expects European Union leaders to start talks on extending sanctions on Russia in the autumn but Budapest would try to block the move, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported, citing unidentified sources.

Orban, a harsh critic of EU sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, made the remarks at a closed meeting to party members in the western village of Kotcse last week, RFE/RL said on its Hungarian website on Friday.

He also appeared to once again blame the West for the Ukraine conflict spiraling out of control, and continued his theme of anti-Russia sanctions ultimately blowing back on populations at home, or shooting the European economy in the foot.

Russian media too has been featuring recent quotes of Orban’s lambasting collective Western policy: “The Hungarian leader allegedly told his supporters that he believed Ukraine may end up losing between one third and one half of its territory due to the conflict with Russia, RFE/RL reported on Friday, citing participants of the meeting in the village of Kotcse.”

Budapest has meanwhile lashed out at the European Parliament’s (EP) recent move to approve a resolution stating that Hungary is no longer a “full democracy.” That nonbinding EP vote from last week cited Hungary’s failures to uphold “respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities” – as the text reads, in repetition of prior EP statements.

A Fidesz statement said in response: “It is unforgivable that, while people are suffering from the severe economic effects of wartime inflation and misguided sanctions, the European Parliament is attacking Hungary again.”

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Iran to buy, swap 15 mcm per day of Russia’s gas via Azerbaijan

Press TV – September 19, 2022

Iran will import Russian gas through pipelines from Azerbaijan under arrangements agreed in a major deal between Tehran and Moscow two months ago, according to a report published in the local media.

The semi-official Fars news agency said in a Monday report that Iran will buy some 9 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of gas from Russia and will take delivery of another 6 mcm per day under a swap deal for the purpose of delivery to Russian gas customers to the south of Iran.

The report cited data from an internal report of the Iranian Oil Ministry and said the purchase and swap arrangements are related to a $40 billion deal signed in July between Iran’s state oil company the NIOC and Russia’s Gazprom.

Earlier reports had indicated that Iran could take delivery of Russian gas from Turkmenistan for the purpose of swap delivery to Turkey and Iraq.

However, the new data suggest Iran will use the 15 mcm per day of gas supply from Russia to strengthen its domestic supply network in the densely populated regions in the northwest while being able to export increased amounts of natural gas to Turkey and Iraq through pipelines in the west of the country.

Iran is already in a gas swap arrangement with Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan under which it consumes gas received from Turkmenistan in its northeastern regions and delivers the same amount of gas to Azerbaijan.

The Fars report said Iran will deliver the equivalent of 6 mcm per day of gas to Russian customers in the south in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It added that Gazprom will be a partner in the liquefaction process.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment