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Does US Withdrawal from another Nuclear Treaty Really Benefit Russia?

By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 30.10.2018

No. Obviously Russia does not benefit from the scrapping of yet another treaty designed to prevent a nuclear exchange amid a war with the United States.

Yet, as an attempt to frame blatant US provocations as somehow “Russia’s fault,” a narrative has begun circulating – claiming that not only does the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty somehow benefit Russia – it was via Russia’s “puppet” – US President Donald Trump – that saw the treaty scrapped.

Spreading this scurrilous narrative are political provocateurs like former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul who has re-branded himself recently as a prominent anti-Trump voice – feeding into and feeding off of America’s false left-right political paradigm.

In one post on social media, McFaul would claim:

Why can’t Trump leverage his close personal relationship with Putin to get Russia to abide by the INF Treaty?

In other posts, he would recommend followers to read commentary published by US corporate-financier funded think tank – the Brookings Institution – on how the US withdrawal “helps Russia and hurts US.”

The commentary – penned by former US ambassador to Ukraine, Steven Pifer – admitted that no evidence has been made public of supposed “Russian violations.” It also admits that America’s European allies – those who would be in range of Russian intermediate range missiles if deployed – have not raised a “stink” with the Kremlin, publicly or privately.

But Pifer claims that the US has no missiles to match those supposedly being developed by Russia, and even if it did, the US would have no where to place them – claiming that NATO, Japan, and South Korea would not allow the US to place such systems on their shores. This, he and McFaul suggest, is why the US’ withdrawal from the treaty “benefits” Russia by granting it a monopoly over intermediate range missiles.

Washington’s Other Withdrawals Prove Otherwise 

Yet the US has already withdrawn from treaties and twisted the arms of allies to allow newly developed missile systems to be deployed on their shores.

In the aftermath of Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from another Cold War-era agreement – the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty scrapped by US President George Bush Jr. in 2002 – the US developed and deployed the Lockheed Martin ashore Aegis ballistic missile defense system in Europe along with the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile defense systems to South Korea – also manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

It is clear the unilateral treaty withdrawals under Bush and Trump, as well as the deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems to Europe and East Asia under the Obama administration, represent a continuity of agenda regardless of who occupies the White House.

Coupled with these treaty withdrawals and the subsequent deployment of US missile systems to ring Russia and China – there has been a constant build-up of US troops directly on the borders of both nations.

While those claiming Russia has violated the INF Treaty – and has been doing so for “8 years” as claimed in a 2017 op-ed by US Senator Tom Cotton published in the Washington Post, it should be noted that 8 years previously, it would be revealed that in addition to the US placing Patriot missile systems along Russia’s borders, plans for wider military deployments in the Baltic states were also in the works.

The Guardian’s 2010 article titled, “WikiLeaks cables reveal secret Nato plans to defend Baltics from Russia,” would admit:

According to a secret cable from the US mission to Nato in Brussels, US admiral James Stavridis, the alliance’s top commander in Europe, proposed drawing up defence plans for the former Soviet Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

Of course, those “defense plans” manifested themselves in the deployment of US forces to the Baltics, meaning US troops were now stationed on Russia’s borders.

It is clear that a pattern is emerging of the US withdrawing from treaties, deploying missiles, then citing Russia’s rational reaction to hostile forces building up on its borders, in order to withdraw from additional treaties and deploy further military forces along Russia’s peripheries and on Russia’s borders.

Who Really Benefits? Follow the Money  

After McFaul’s various claims of the INF Treaty scrapping by the US benefiting Russia, he himself would obliquely admit to who the real beneficiaries were.

In a more recent social media post, McFaul would claim:

If Putin deploys large numbers of new intermediate missiles in Europe, what missile and launcher would the US seek to deploy in Europe in response? & where would we base them? I worry that we wont/cant respond.

Whatever this “missile and launcher” is, whoever builds it will reap hundreds of billions of dollars to develop and deploy it. Each Lockheed Martin ashore Aegis system cost over a billion dollars. Lockheed Martin’s annual revenue rivals Russia’s entire annual military budget. It is clear who benefits most from the US scrapping the INF Treaty – at least in terms of dollars and cents.

As for McFaul’s doubts over Washington’s ability to station weapons in Europe – as proven by the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty – the US is more than capable of developing and successfully deploying controversial and unwanted missile systems to both Europe and East Asia.

The US Department of Defense was already developing plans for an intermediate missile system to do just that – before the US even withdrew from the INF Treaty.
As early as February 2018. Defense One would report in its article titled, “Pentagon Confirms It’s Developing Nuclear Cruise Missile to Counter a Similar Russian One,” that:

The U.S. military is developing a ground-launched, intermediate-range cruise missile to counter a similar Russian weapon whose deployment violates an arms-control treaty between Moscow and Washington, U.S. officials said Friday.

The officials acknowledged that the still-under-development American missile would, if deployed, also violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The article also cited Greg Weaver, the Joint Staff’s deputy director of strategic capabilities, who would claim that the development of such a missile would not violate the INF Treaty unless it was deployed.

With the US’ withdrawal from the INF Treaty, the missile can be openly developed and deployed – meaning even more demand for whichever US arms manufacturer(s) clinches the contract.
Thus McFaul answers for all those in doubt as to who the real beneficiaries are of the INF Treaty’s scrapping – the arms manufacturers that will reap hundreds of billions of dollars in the development and deployment of these new missile systems, operating alongside other multi-billion dollar missile systems already developed and deployed in the wake of the US’ walking away from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Also benefiting are those who seek to encircle and contain Russia, but lack any rational pretext to justify doing so.

McFaul and others like him craft narratives predicated on the assumption that their audiences are profoundly ignorant and will remain prohibitively ill-informed. Hand-in-hand with the Western media – the public is kept in a state of ignorance and adversity – where overt provocations aimed at Moscow and the US taxpayers’ pockets can be easily passed off as “Putin and his puppet” tricking the US into encircling and containing Russia – just as McFaul himself called for in a lengthy 2018 editorial he wrote for Foreign Affairs.

By framing Russia as the mastermind behind the US’ own provocations, McFaul and the special interests he represents get to move their openly stated agenda of encircling and containing Russia several more steps forward – proving just who the real threat to global peace and stability is.

October 30, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Lost legacy: How Barack Obama deliberately destroyed the US-Russia relationship

By Robert Bridge | RT | January 17, 2017

Since becoming the US Commander-in-Chief in 2008, Barack Obama charted a thinly veiled anti-Russia course that many failed to anticipate or appreciate due to the media-generated hype of “hope and change” that accompanied his rise to power.

Few modern leaders have entered the world stage with more fanfare than Barack Hussein Obama. After George W. Bush’s eight-year War on Terror tour, many were ready to believe America’s first black president would throw the US juggernaut into reverse. Indeed, so mesmerized was the global village with Obama, who never brokered so much as a used car deal, it nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize after less than two weeks in office.

To understand the source of our enchantment, we have to rewind to January 2007, shortly before Obama’s meteoric rise: The relationship between the US and Russia had just entered severe turbulence as the Bush administration, top heavy with vicious neocons, announced it would drop a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, with missile silos in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic. The system, Washington explained, was to guard Europe from a rogue missile strike, ostensibly from Iran, despite the fact that such a reckless move on the part of Tehran would have meant quick US-assisted suicide.

Moscow was not fooled. This was made clear on February 12, 2007 when Vladimir Putin delivered his now famous speech at the Munich Security Conference. The Russian leader warned the stony-faced delegates assembled there: “Plans to expand certain elements of the anti-missile defense system to Europe cannot help but disturb us. Who needs the next step of what would be, in this case, an inevitable arms race? I deeply doubt that Europeans themselves do.”

Putin went on to slam the American “hyperpower” and its well-trained NATO attack dog for pursuing a “world of one master, one sovereign” that will spark an “inevitable arms race.”

Putin’s reality check came about three decades too late to break Europe’s heavy American chains, thereby proving the ‘Stockholm syndrome’ – the curious psychological condition when hostages develop a helpless attachment to their captors – can affect entire nations and even continents as well.

Suffice it to recall, later in Obama’s presidency, Europe’s muted reaction when an idealistic young American, Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor turned whistleblower, handed over thousands of classified documents detailing a US surveillance program that spanned the entire planet. Even Angela Merkel’s private cell phone was considered fair game. Yet the astonishing revelations did little to dampen Europe’s commitment to the Obama administration’s policies.

But all that was in the future. In the meantime, the world held its breath at the abyss, placing its faith in the “hope and change” snake oil an Illinois Senator named Barack Obama was peddling via teleprompter to a war-weary world that was increasingly willing to believe just about anything.

Obama’s ‘Reset’ snow job

When Barack Obama emerged victorious in America’s 2008 game of thrones, there was a promising break in the storm clouds. Experts consulted their battered almanacs and predicted brighter days ahead in the US-Russia relationship. Unfortunately, the geopolitical weathermen got it wrong. Tragically wrong. And it all began with an innocuous sounding plan – the US-Russia “reset” – rolled out by the seemingly well-intentioned Obama administration.

In March 2009, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in Geneva, where Clinton presented her counterpart with a cute “reset” button to signal in the much-anticipated dawn in bilateral relations. Although the largely symbolic gesture made for a great photo-op, the reset moment was beset with glitches from the very start.

Much to the apparent embarrassment of the attendees, the US State Department had misspelled the word ‘reset’ on the thingamajig in the Russian version; instead of “reset” it spelled – ominously and even prophetically – “overload.”

Lavrov and Clinton laughed off the technicality, cracked a few jokes, and pressed the plunger, thereby committing both sides to a tragic farce. Lavrov could not have predicted such a backfire, however, since it was difficult to expect nothing less than miracles from the affable black guy from Hawaii who spoke so eloquently about ridding the planet of nuclear weapons, heralding in an age of world peace, and all that.

In any case, Moscow had no other choice but to believe him.

A few months later, when Obama announced he was going to “shelve” the missile defense plans of his hawkish predecessor, it appeared the US leader was truly the real deal. The belligerent Bush years, it now appeared, was nothing but an historic anomaly, a forlorn figure in the rear-view mirror; America had conquered its aggressive neocon alter-ego after all.

Those happy sentiments lasted for about as long as it took to read that line. Yes, Obama would “shelve” Bush’s ambitious missile defense plans, but, with a sleight of hand and a lot of flip-flop, the deceptive Democrat unveiled his own jazzy surround system – the sea-based Aegis SM-3 interceptors and forward-based radar, which turned out to be – surprise, surprise – every bit as lethal as the Bush variant.

The Obama administration, however, apparently forgot that while the rest of the world played checkers, the Russians preferred chess. Robert Gates, then defense minister, acknowledged as much when he noted, “the Russians quickly concluded that the Obama plan was even worse from their perspective, as it eventually might have capabilities that could be used against Russian intercontinental missiles,” the Washington Post reported.

This admission blew the cover off of Obama’s greatest deception, the US-Russia reset hoax. So now the question was no longer: Would the United States shelve the missile defense system? But rather: Would it cooperate with Russia on the system, thus sparing Eastern Europe another arms race?

The answer to that question should have been obvious. After months of wild goose chases around negotiating tables, Moscow understood that the Obama administration was simply bluffing in order to buy time.

In November 2011, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced the formal end of missile defense talks (and the implicit beginning of an arms race). In fact, the Obama administration – the very same nice people who introduced the reset idea – refused to even provide written assurances that the system would not pose a threat to Russia’s ballistic missile force, thereby upsetting the regional strategic apple cart.

Medvedev said Russia would, among other immediate errands, deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, equip Russia’s strategic ballistic missiles with advanced warheads that are impervious to the missile defense system, and deploy offensive weapon systems able to “take out any part of the US missile defense system in Europe.”

If any of these moves on the part of Russia could be considered “aggressive,” Washington had nobody but itself to blame.

Yet, the US has talked up the mythical threat of “Russian aggression” among its NATO client states to such a feverish pitch that these governments could not refute the groundless charges without appearing to be disloyal to Washington. In other words, NATO members are not allies of the United States by mutual consent, but rather allies by arm-twisting compulsion.

This brings us to the most dangerous part of the Obama administration’s double-dealing: Moscow itself is beginning to feel threatened by what it views – and rightly, I believe – to be American aggression on anabolic steroids.

Here is what Putin had to say about the US missile defense system, which has just gone live in Romania: “They say [the missile systems] are part of their defense capability, and are not offensive, that these systems are aimed at protecting them from aggression. It’s not true,” the Russian leader said. The “great danger” is that the launchers can be used to fire US Tomahawk missiles “in a matter of hours,” Putin said.

Meanwhile, technological advances will only make the system increasingly more versatile and powerful. And exactly where the magic tipping point is, when the ‘defense’ system shifts the global strategic balance, nobody can say with certainty. Putin acknowledged this, saying “technologies are developing, and we know around what year the Americans will get a new missile, which will have a range not of 500 kilometers, but 1,000, and then even more – and from that moment they will start threatening our nuclear capability.”

This deadly threat to Russia’s national security – a threat the United States would never accept if the situation were reversed – naturally places those nations hosting the US missile defense system square in Russia’s cross-hairs. It also makes it highly unlikely that Moscow will concede to further nuclear missile cuts. Only a fool would take a dagger over a sword while his opponent reaches for a bigger shield.

Indeed, not only did the double-dealing on the missile defense system trigger another arms race, it has threatened the New START Treaty – a nuclear arms reduction agreement signed into force by Medvedev and Obama on April 8, 2010 in Prague.

Here is where the deceitful nature of Obama’s ‘reset’ is clearly revealed: At the very same time the United States was building for itself a mighty shield in Eastern Europe, capable of neutralizing Russian ballistic missiles, it was also working to have Russia dramatically reduce its nuclear ‘sword’ through New START. Obviously, the United States can’t have it both ways, but that doesn’t mean it won’t stop trying.

It is interesting to note that US President-elect Donald Trump has just suggested that he would consider the possibility of ending the sanctions regime against Russia in return for “dramatically reducing” nuclear weapons.

“They have sanctions on Russia — let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia. For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially,” Trump told The Independent.

Trump may be many things, but a fool he is not. So he must certainly understand that those weapons are Russia’s only viable protection against the US missile defense, which, as we’ve said, could turn offensive in a matter of minutes. Moscow, it would appear, is hardly in a position to negotiate on these weapons.

What price reset?

The full implications of Barack Obama’s pure deception over the missile defense system proved that the so-called “reset” – or “overload” – had been nothing but a ploy, a smoke and mirrors diversionary tactic, in the hope of lulling Russia into believing that Washington was sincere about turning a new page in US-Russia relations. It was not.

A heavy footnote that needs mentioning is that the key architect of the US-Russia reset was Michael McFaul, whose research, according to his own webpage, focused on “Russian electoral trends, post-communist regime change, and American foreign policy.”

Little surprise, then, that Moscow expressed serious reservations when Obama broke with diplomatic protocol and named the non-career academic – the esteemed doctor of regime change, thank you very much – as US Ambassador to Russia in January 2012.

Would it surprise anyone that US diplomats have engaged in espionage in Russia and actively participated in the rallies staged by Russian opposition forces, as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed this week.

“In addition to spying, US Embassy diplomats have repeatedly been seen taking part in the rallies of opposition, anti-government forces, unauthorized rallies, including times when they wore disguise. Do the math yourselves,” Lavrov stated.

Clearly, the reset was doomed to failure from the start, not because of any lack of will, but rather because the Obama administration was committed to it never succeeding in the first place.

Overloading Europe 

Fast forward to 2016, and it is no coincidence that we see more than just the US missile defense system on Russia’s border. The New Year is barely underway and already we have dozens of US tanks, equipment and thousands of US soldiers fanning out across Poland and the Baltic States for what promises to be a continuous rotation of American military force – exactly the sort of provocation US planners need to keep the entire region believing in the myth of “Russian aggression” and NATO members cracking open their wallets to buy up more US-made military hardware.

So where is that promise of cooperation Barack Obama made to Russia when he first entered office? It’s in that same state of limbo where other famous Obama promises – like shuttering Guantanamo Bay detention facility and working to bring about global peace – are located: neither here nor there. A big part of the explanation is that the neocons are still calling the shots in Washington.

Meanwhile, the US mainstream media continues to serve up heavy helpings of fake news with regards to Russia, like this opening line from The Spectator, which says it all: “Is the Russian president really crazy enough to launch a new wave of invasions, or is it all a clever bluff?”

The intelligent, well-informed reader would immediately ask: “What Russian invasions?” After all, the only time Russia initiated a military operation against a sovereign state was in August 2008 after Georgian forces invaded Tskhinval, the capital of South Ossetia, killing 12 Russian peacekeepers that had been stationed there.

Although the Western media absolved then Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili of any wrongdoing at the time, an independent European investigation quietly concluded a year later that Georgia was indeed responsible for the instigating the five-day conflict.

Who could have predicted eight years ago that Barack Obama, the ‘peace president,’ would turn out to be many times more belligerent than the ‘war president’ George W. Bush?

The warring peace president

As Obama’s final year winds down, some incredible statistics are beginning to emerge that show how militaristic the United States has become under Obama.

“From Albania to Uruguay, Algeria to Uzbekistan, America’s most elite forces – Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets among them – were deployed to 138 countries in 2016,” according to figures supplied to TomDispatch by US Special Operations Command. That figure is a surge of 130 percent since the gung-ho days of the Bush administration.

In the very same year, the Obama administration dropped an estimated 26,171 bombs, with most of them falling on the people of Syria and Iraq. US bombs also hit targets in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. That’s seven Muslim countries by the way.

Reset or not, there is no way Russia would have just sat back and watched as the Obama administration storm-trooped its way through the Middle East and beyond.

Considering these truly disturbing figures, it is clear that the US military – and its commander-in-chief – was out of control, drunk on absolute power, and wreaking mayhem around a punch-drunk planet for the past eight years. The data also goes far at explaining Washington’s marked hostility to Russian efforts to lend its military assistance in Syria against the terrorists of Islamic State. Although it was largely due to Russia’s air campaign that places like Aleppo and Palmyra were eventually liberated, today the Obama administration pretends Russia did nothing of significance in Syria.

On the weekend, Ash soon-to-be-relieved-of-his-imperial-command Carter, US Defense Secretary, actually had the gall to say that Russia forces have achieved “virtually nothing” in Syria. Nothing that could have been considered treacherous, he could have added.

The irony of the comment is so heavy it practically drips off the page: When Russia remained on the sidelines of the Ukrainian civil war, refusing to get involved in the affairs of its neighbor, it was falsely accused in Western media of actually invading that country. On the other hand, when Russia was invited to enter the territory of Syria by its president to fight against Islamic State, which it did with stunning results, it was said by Washington to have “contributed nothing” to the Syrian efforts.

All things considered, the reasons are obvious why the US-Russia reset never worked from the beginning. It was predetermined to fail from the outset because America – due to its supreme arrogance and exceptionalism – believes it has no need of allies or partnerships.

That conceit is the fatal flaw of every dying empire.


Robert Bridge, an American writer and journalist based in Moscow, Russia, is the author of the book on corporate power, “Midnight in the American Empire”, released in 2013.

@Robert_Bridge

January 17, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Trump & Kremlin united by common cause to ‘trash’ Americans – ex-US envoy to Russia

RT | December 24, 2016

Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has accused US President-elect Donald Trump of teaming up with the Kremlin in an effort to “trash” Americans. McFaul has called on Republicans to “speak up.”

“Why is Trump so militantly against an investigation into Putin’s meddling in our elections?” McFaul wrote on Twitter on Friday. “What does he have to hide? This love fest is odd.”

Earlier this month, the former US ambassador to Russia even suggested registering RT and Sputnik news agency as “foreign agents,” claiming that they supported Donald Trump during the presidential elections.

“We know that Russian-government-controlled ‘media’ outlets such as RT and Sputnik campaigned openly for one candidate, Donald Trump,” McFaul wrote in his article for the Washington Post. While he accused the Russian news outlets of meddling in the US election, he offered no proof to support his claims.

Last month, McFaul was prohibited by the Russian Foreign Ministry from entering Russia for what it described as purposeful damage to relations between Moscow and Washington. In a Facebook post, he said that he was told he is “on the Kremlin’s sanctions list because of close affiliation with Obama” and “will take that as a compliment.”

Trump set off an avalanche of criticism after agreeing with the Russian leader’s assessment of the Democrats’ attempts to blame the 2016 election on external factors, instead of accepting it with dignity.

Brushing aside evidence-free claims that Russia interfered with the US election process, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists during his annual news conference in Moscow on Friday that the Democrats are exclusively responsible for their political failures.

“There are attempts by the Democrats and the current administration to blame their failures on external factors. The Democrats didn’t just lose the presidential election, but the House and the Senate as well. Did I do that as well? They need to learn to lose with dignity,” Putin said.

Reacting to Putin’s statement, Trump tweeted “So true!” triggering a cascade of criticism on Twitter in response, with social media users calling the next US president a traitor, embarrassment, Kremlin puppet, and in Vladimir Putin’s “back pocket.”

December 24, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

It’s Wrong to Take Clinton’s Claim of Possible US-Russia ‘Reset’ Seriously

Sputnik – January 18, 2016

MOSCOW  – A possibility of “a reset” in the Russian-US ties voiced by US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton cannot be taken seriously, experts told Sputnik Monday, stressing that the statement was a tactical ploy by an “opportunistic” politician.

Earlier in the day, former US Secretary of State and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said a hypothetical “reset” of Russia-US relations is possible, but would depend on what Washington obtained from it.

“It would be a mistake to place any hope in Hilary Clinton,” John Laughland, the director of studies at the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris, said, adding that she is “a very opportunistic woman who will say anything without thinking about it very much.”

Under Clinton, the idea of “a reset” was inconsistent, Laughland highlighted, citing as an example the appointment of Michael McFaul as US Ambassador to Russia, who in fact was “one of the most catastrophic ambassadors that America has ever sent anywhere I would say.”

“Clinton’s comment clearly is an electoral gimmick meant to present her as a realist ready to constructively re-engage with Russia. But after the failure of Obama’s earlier reset, and given Clinton’s record as a hardliner, Moscow is not going to be in the least impressed,” Vlad Sobell, a professor of politics at New York University in Prague, told Sputnik.

He also reminded of the failure of a previous “reset,” in which Clinton even pressed “a reset button” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and which resulted in Washington’s “multifaceted aggressive campaign against the Russian Federation.” A new “reset” would require almost impossible conditions and circumstances, and the essential thing for Washington to revise and renew contacts with Moscow is dropping its exceptional idea, a political analyst on Russia outlined.

“A fundamental reset would be possible only when the US elite gives up on its quest to establish absolute world hegemony,” Jon Hellevig noted.

Meanwhile, Laughland called the process “a reality check,” which envisaged the need for Washington to understand that the world was composed of other states with different and sometimes conflicting interests, and those interests could not be overruled by US exceptionalism.

The United States needs to stop thinking that its power and leadership are the necessary ingredients for the world peace, he noted, adding, nevertheless, that those passages have been an integral element of all the US strategic documents.

Looking at the future of Russian-US ties, the experts appear to be quite pessimistic regardless of who is elected the US president.”It is now beyond doubt that US policy is not driven by the White House but by the military-industrial complex, or the so called deep state. And this uncontrollable monster is demonstrably hell-bent on deepening the US-Russia confrontation,” Sobell suggested.

Hellevig pointed at Donald Trump as “the one that offers a hope for a real change in America and its relations to the rest of the world.”

If Trump stands for what he has said during his campaign, he could pose a threat to the present US elite, the political analyst said.

“But it is difficult to see how a mere president of the United States could in reality stand against those interest groups,” Hellevig admitted.

Russia-US ties have been strained since 2014, when Washington, as well as the European Union and their allies, introduced several rounds of sanctions against Moscow over its alleged involvement into an armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, and what the Western officials and media described as “annexation” of Crimea.

The Black Sea peninsula reunified with Russia in March 2014 following a political referendum in the region, in which 96 percent of the population voted in favor of joining Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly insisted that the vote was held in full compliance with democratic procedure and international rule of law.

January 18, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Leave a comment

USAID looks for ways around Russian ban

By Veronika Krasheninnikova | RT | September 24, 2012

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave USAID until October 1 to shut its doors in Moscow. This is an excellent decision by the Russian Government. And Washington’s immediate and virulent reaction only confirms that Russia is right on target.

The New York Times next morning on the front page cited American officials who “quickly pledged to maneuver around the Kremlin.” Even before the public announcement, on Tuesday 18 September, US Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul and USAID leadership met with their Russian partners.

Grigory Melkonyants, deputy head of the Golos Association – one of the top recipients of USAID funding – confirmed after the meeting that the agency is “not going to leave Russia completely” and they are “brainstorming” about how to reorganize. In the meantime, Ambassador McFaul announced that “it will take at least a year” for USAID to exit Russia, according to Bloomberg News.

Brainstorming on how circumvent the Russian government’s decision – instead of how to pack up faster – is only one more demonstration of Washington’s utter disrespect for another country’s sovereignty. Indeed, there are a number of ways in which USAID can maneuver around its predicament.

Funding can be channeled directly from USAID headquarters in Washington to its Russian beneficiaries – no need to go through a Moscow office.

USAID funding can be redirected through a great number of other US institutions, beginning with the National Endowment for Democracy and its four mandated institutes; private funds such as MacArthur, Soros’s Open Society Institute, or Freedom House; universities’ Russia programs, etc.

To hide the American connection, USAID can channel funding through their partners in Ukraine, Poland or Georgia – for their very active operations in the Caucuses; in this case the money entering Russia will be Ukrainian, Polish or, God forbid, Saakashvili’s.

In October last year, USAID signed an agreement with Cisco Systems on joint 50/50 funding of Cisco Networking Academies for Public Service Program. Cisco and other major US corporations may continue running USAID programs.

A year ago Michael McFaul announced an initiative to create a new US$50 million fund, essentially an endowment for a private foundation established under Russian law for Russian civil society groups.

Washington may use any combination of these and other possibilities. One way to put an end to USAID activities in Russia is not only to close their Moscow office, but to insist on shutting down all USAID programs and funding for Russia. This is American taxpayers’ money – give it back to the American people, use it to help them pay mortgages instead of throwing families out of their homes.

Obviously, USAID cannot be allowed to stay in Moscow beyond the set date. This delay will only serve to build up additional infrastructure – people and organizations – to run operations remotely.

The main lament of the Western press has been about how hard USAID closure will hit the sick, disabled, mothers, newborns and other children that the agency helps. Well, let’s take a look at USAID leadership to see how well they are suited for healthcare services.

Director of USAID/Russia Charles North, according to its official biography is “a 2004 graduate of the National War College, with an MS Degree in National Security Strategy.”

Earlier North served as Senior Deputy Director of USAID’s Afghanistan and Pakistan Task Force, and helped launch a presidential initiative to support Mexico and Central America in battling organized crime and drug trafficking.

In Washington, Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia until last year was Douglas Menarchik: a 26-year career US Air Force officer, Vietnam veteran with 211 combat missions, assistant for terrorism policy at the Pentagon, where he developed the Defense Department’s Strategic Plan for Combating Terrorism, military advisor to the vice-president of the United States with a portfolio including terrorism and low intensity conflict. Earlier Menarchik was instructor at the Air Force Special Operations School, teaching combating terrorism and counter insurgency.

But that’s not all. If you check Charles North’s bio on USAID site, you will see a new “updated” version that excludes his National War College stint. However, a cached copy of his true biography is still available – and this snapshot shows the page as it appeared on September 14, 2012. Someone was cleaning house a few days before the public announcement.

Enough tales about healthcare dispensed by US military and national security cadre. USAID – out. Russia must take care of its own civil society, ill and disabled by itself instead of outsourcing it to Washington. Russia’s shutting USAID operations is also an excellent example for any other country where USAID operatives still work on “winning hearts and minds” of the local population.

September 24, 2012 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , | 1 Comment

Washington’s new tricks on the road to global dominance

RT | July 9, 2012

The latest round of the war against an independent Syria unfolded in Paris last week at the gathering of the “Friends of Syria”.

­Russia and China very rightly did not attend this “amoral” – in the diplomatic language of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – meeting. At the meeting western champions of the war insisted on their interpretation of the one-week old Geneva agreements: “transition government based on mutual consent” means “Bashar al-Assad must go”, affirmed French President Hollande.

This recent round of pressure highlights two new tactics employed by Washington: word games and an end-run around the United Nations itself.

First, the new formula “transition government”. The authoritative Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “regime” as “government” and “change” as “transition.” Thus, for those who reject “regime change,” a euphemism was created that has much better chances to go through.

Interestingly enough, this term was promoted by an expert of Russian origin, Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. On June 28, 2012 Trenin published a suggestion in his piece “Syria: A Russian Perspective”: “Russia might be willing to cooperate with the U.S. and other countries if the goal moves towards “transition” rather than “regime change” – what has been dubbed the “Yemen model.”

So who is Mr. Trenin? This retired Soviet colonel was a Senior Research Fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome just before he was recruited in 1993 to join the Carnegie Moscow Center, created the same year by none other than Michael McFaul, the current US Ambassador in Moscow. After nearly 20 years in the pay of the Americans Trenin was rewarded with his current post as director by his former boss, Rose Gottemoeller, who left Moscow in 2008 to join the State Department where she is now Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security. Big shoes to fill for Mr.Trenin, but in Washington they know how to pick their cadre.

The board of the Carnegie Endowment in Washington features – this world is truly small – Kofi Annan himself. Among the Endowments “Funders and Supporters” are George Soros’s Open Society Institute, the US National Intelligence Council, the US Defense Intelligence Agency, the US Defense Department, and a collection of other private and public enthusiasts.

Of course the “transition government” and “Yemen model” are nothing other than “regime change.” Honestly: we, Russians, brought up on Tolstoy and Chekhov, should be able to miss Washington’s elementary-school semantic traps.

Secondly, unable to push anti-Syrian resolutions through the UN Security Council due to Russia and China’s staunch resistance, Washington is building up a group of more than a hundred nations more pliable to US pressure. Such “coalitions of the willing” have been put together before, but this time the number of countries makes it look like a parallel anti-UN construct acting as if it is replacing the UN General Assembly itself.

Such a gathering, despite total absence of legitimacy, is not just a talking platform. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Le Parisien that the Paris meeting would push for a Chapter VII United Nations resolution to enforce the transition plan. A Chapter VII resolution can authorize the use of military force “to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

In the short term, the United States may attempt to institutionalize this ad hoc grouping into a mechanism to implement a “final solution” to President Al-Assad. In the long term, Washington may try to solidify such structure into an anti-U.N. body of sycophants, ready and willing to approve any U.S. initiative.

Now, from tactics to strategy. Looking at the type of leaders that are seizing power in the Arab world with American assistance, a normal person is perplexed: why does the United States, with assistance of their local satellites, keep on removing moderate secular governments and bringing to power, in one country after another, increasingly radical extremists – that same type of people who committed 9/11, the greatest tragedy in U.S. post-WWII history?

Indeed, this question is not solvable by listening to Washington’s official line of arguments. But take a look at the policies of the US and its European partners during the 1930s. Then, America and its ever so reasonable and civilized European allies provided the financial, industrial and political support encouraging the highly energized, violent extremist Nazi and fascist movements in Europe. With a purpose: to direct its violence against Russia. According to the plan, Germany and Russia were to exhaust themselves so that the US would emerge dominant.

Similarly, the earlier use of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and again today the encouragement of various Muslim extremists including elements of the Muslim Brotherhood are part of the plan to create a regional movement which could be thrown against Iran, Russia and China. Such a furnace of war and chaos in the Middle East, the Caucuses and Central Asia will permanently disable all three of America’s strategic rivals and allow Washington to rise to uncontested world domination.

We should be able to decipher not only US language, but also US strategy. In the 1930s, the Soviet Union was at the front line of the fight against Fascism in Europe. Today, Russia owes it to its history and to the fallen in the anti-fascist struggle to recognize, and before it is too late, avert American designs.

We must prevent Russian and other people from being drawn into a bloodbath of mutual extermination in the voracious interest of Washington’s drive for global hegemony.

July 9, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

US to continue funding Russian NGOs despite Moscow warning

Press TV – April 5, 2012

The US State Department says Washington will continue to support non-governmental groups in Russia, ignoring a warning by Moscow that the move could lead to a strain in the two countries’ ties.

“This is designed to support a vibrant civil society in Russia and to allow us to work with those Russian NGOs who want to work with us,” AFP quoted the US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland as saying.

The US official added that Washington has proposed to set up a USD 50-million fund in order to help the Russian non-governmental groups “to develop their skills and their voice and their ability to represent the aspirations of Russians to increasingly deepen and strengthen their democracy.”

This is while Russian Prime Minister and president-elect Vladimir Putin has repeatedly accused the US of using its so-called pro-democracy program to fuel the protests that erupted after December’s parliamentary elections in Russia.

On Tuesday, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also noted that Moscow continues to raise the issue with US officials but has not received a clear explanation about the ultimate aims of the funding.

“This activity is reaching a scale that is turning into a problem in our relations,” Ryabkov stated.

“We really are concerned that Washington is funding certain groups and movements in Russia,” he added.

Russian media has also criticized US Ambassador Michael McFaul’s meetings with the members of the anti-Putin movement since his arrival in Moscow two months ago.

April 5, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Comments Off on US to continue funding Russian NGOs despite Moscow warning