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The Duplicitous Agenda Endorsed by the UN and NATO

By Ramona Wadi | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 4, 2019

To the undiscerning, the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) perform different roles in the international arena. Yet both organisations have a common aim – the promotion of foreign intervention. While the UN promotes its humanitarian façade, NATO provides the militarisation of the UN’s purported human rights agenda.

NATO’s participation at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in September provided an overview of the current collaboration the organisation has with the UN. Jens Stoltelberg, NATO’s Secretary-General, mentioned the organisations’ collaboration in “working closely to support Afghanistan and Iraq”.

Since the 1990s, the UN and NATO cooperation was based on a framework which included decision-making and strategy on “crisis management and in the fight against terrorism.” In 2001, US President George W Bush launched his ‘War on Terror’ which eventually expanded to leave the Middle East and North Africa in perpetual turmoil, as the coined euphemism morphed into the so-called Arab Spring.

While the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 were led by the US, it is worth remembering that the absence of the organisation at that time is not tantamount to the exclusion of warfare from NATO member states. Notably, the US invasion of Afghanistan invoked Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which stipulates that an attack on a NATO member state constitutes an attack on all member states.

“For NATO-UN cooperation and dialogue to remain meaningful, it must continue to evolve.” The statement on NATO’s website is a bureaucratic approach which detaches itself from the human rights violations created and maintained by both parties, which form the premise of such collaboration.

UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001), upon which NATO based its collaboration with the UN, reaffirms, “the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence as recognised by the Charter of the United Nations.” The resolution provides impunity for member-states and other collaborators with the UN, including NATO, to define what constitutes terrorism while eliminating foreign intervention as a terror act, despite the ramifications which last long after the aggression has been terminated or minimised.

The UN-NATO duplicity is exposed in Stoltenberg’s speech when he states, “NATO has also contributed to developing UN disposal standards to counter improvised explosive devices, which remain one of the greatest threats to peacekeepers.” Why are the UN and NATO selecting rudimentary forms of warfare over precision bombing which has killed thousands of civilians in the name of fighting terror or bringing democracy?

In 2011, the UNSC’s arms embargo was supposed to prevent the proliferation of weapons to the rebels in Libya – a contradiction given the UNSC’s authorisation for NATO to bomb Libya. France, however, defied the resolution by publicly declaring its proliferation of weapons to rebels in Libya, on the pretext of their necessity to protect Libyan civilians. NATO denied its involvement as an organisation in providing arms to the rebels, despite the fact that action was taken by a NATO member. With the UN endorsing foreign intervention and NATO implementing the atrocities, the UN can fall back on its alleged peace-building and humanitarian roles, of which there is never a decline due to the irreparable damage both organisations have wreaked upon exploited, colonised and ravaged countries. The cooperation lauded by NATO does not rest on a division of roles but rather on blurring the differentiation between war and humanitarianism, in order to generate both as a duplicitous agenda.

NATO maintains that the UNSC holds “primary responsibility” for maintaining international peace and security. What the statement evades is the individual interest of each member, as well as their collective framework as NATO members. To satisfy the UNSC, individual interests and NATO membership, a common denominator is imperative. For the perpetrators of foreign intervention, war constitutes the binding legacy.

October 4, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peace vs. Climate

By Peter Koenig | The Saker Blog | September 23, 2019

Today, Monday 23 September, the UN in New York is hosting a special meeting on Climate Change. There were massive predominantly youth demonstrations of tens of thousands around the globe, many of them in New York, one of them led by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish 16-year-old climate activist, who is sponsored mostly by Soros and his clan to travel around the world and address world leaders to act on climate chance – preventing climate change, stop climate change. Others with the same objective, called “Friday’s for the Future”, originated in Germany, students striking every Friday – meaning literally not going to school, on behalf of stopping climate change.

The worldwide spill-over is apparently enormous. On Saturday some youth groups met with UN Secretary General, António Guterres, telling him that Climate Change is the world’s political issue number ONE. Mr. Guterres did not contradict, yes, it was a key problem and had to be addressed and world leaders needed to commit to take actions. The UN General assembly will further dedicate part of its program to Climate Change.

Wait a minute – Climate Change number ONE? – How about PEACE? – Nobody thought about that? Not even Guterres, whose mandate it is to lead the world body towards conflict solutions that bring PEACE – this is the very mandate that the UN has been founded on. Not climate, but PEACE.

Have these western kids, mostly from elite ranks, been brainwashed to the extent that they do not realize that the world has other priorities, namely stop the indiscriminate killing, by never ending US-launched and instigated wars around the globe?

Do they not realize that their brothers and sisters in Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, and in many more places of conflict and extreme poverty, are being killed left and right by the US-NATO killing machine, by famine, by war-related diseases, and by US vassal states, the very nations from where they, the rich kids, come to protest against climate change, but NOT against war? When do they wake up to reality? Maybe never, or when it’s too late – when even they are being bombed by the never-ending neoliberal greed-driven wars.

Do they know that these wars and conflicts, carried out directly or through proxies by US-NATO forces have killed between 20 and 25 million people since WWII alone, and between 12 and 15 million since 9/11? – Isn’t stopping this killing more important than vouching for a cause that arrogant human kind cannot stop – simply because climate change has been part of nature of the last 4 billion years of Mother Earth’s existence.

But it’s typical for mankind’s arrogance to believe and especially make believe to the masses that we, they, have the power to influence Mother Earth’s climate, and those who say Mother Earth, say Universe, because all is connected, and if we want to look very close we have to look at our sun which has enormous influence on our climate, much more than we want to admit; our sun, the source of life on earth together with water resources – that’s what we have to protect – and work for PEACE.

Screaming and hollering for something where mankind is important to do anything about is a waste of energy, but also a deviation from the real issue: How to stop war and achieve world PEACE. And even if we could influence climate, let’s just assume for a moment we could change the course of climate – do you, Greta and the Friday kids – and perhaps you too, Mr. Guterres – know that these wars that kill millions of people, are the largest Co2 / greenhouse gas producers by far – and this is pointing the finger straight to the US – NATO military complex – more than half! – And do you know, that up to now, none of the climate conferences – of these international glamour events, where politicians talk, promise but never follow their promises – that the military / war-caused Co2 pollution is never allowed to be addressed in these conferences? – So, what good do they do?

Do you also know, that the half a dozen or so huge climate conferences that cost a fortune for zilch, have brought absolutely no change to climate whatsoever? – First, because they can’t, since we are not the masters over Mother Earth – thank god! And second, because the politicians, especially in the western world, those that we call our leaders, are in bed with the corporate and finance key polluters? They are bought by them, the huge profit-making industries; profits they would not be able to make without the almost indiscriminate use of hydrocarbons. Our politicians, “leaders” (sic) would never even dare talking seriously about legislation that would prevent them from contaminating our atmosphere with greenhouse gases. No. Never. Not in the turbo-capitalist private sector dominated west.

At every one of these conferences Armageddon is being painted on the wall – in 5 years, 10 years, in 30 years in the best of cases – well, more than 20 years have passed since the first UN-sponsored Conference on Climate Change in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997 – and we are still ticking, still propagating the same slogans – still spreading he same fear mongering – temps will rise by 3 degrees, by 5 degrees, but they are allowed only to rise by 2.5 degrees C – says WE, the masters of the universe. WOW! – Doesn’t that sound a bit arrogant, when you think about it?

But, in case you didn’t know, dear Greta crowd and Friday kids, and you Mr. Guterres too, PEACE is more important, frankly, than climate change. PEACE is and ought to be number ONE of our political agenda, of the UN agenda. Climate will happen with or without us; yes, it changes, it changes all the time. But get this, we humans, can’t stop it from changing. What this climate hype does, is allow and prompti a plethora of new taxes, polluter taxes to be collected from the common people, from you and me.

Corporations will be exempt from them. This means shuffling again trillions of dollars up the ladder from the poor to the rich, as always happens when the corporate finance dominated west wants to milk some more accumulated social capital from the working class to the upper echelons. – and climate is an excellent tool for it. Mr. Soros, you got it once again right. But you, Mr. Guterres, have been elected to lead the world through the UN system to PEACE, not to stop the climate from changing.

Trillions are being collected; they will end up in the banks, will become yet another derivative to be blown into a balloon that is predestined to burst one day – and the system collapses again. We know about these bubbles – but keep creating new ones. Does anybody dare to ask, or want to know what will be done with these newly collected trillions? How are they going to be applied to stop the climate from changing?

Nobody really cares. Once we guilt-driven Judeo-Christians have paid our dues, our conscience goes to rest – and we sleep well again, while nothing changes. Not climate change, nothing.

There may be better ideas, Mr. Guterres, if you want to do something for PEACE and for the environment, why not a special conference on banning plastic, the production of useless plastic – plastic as in plastic bottles – billions being used per day and less than 5% are recycled, the rest ends up in the sea, in stomachs of fish and birds, – in our own bodies in the form of microplastic. Stop plastic for packaging food and all sorts of consumables – packaged in plastic – unnecessarily so. Why? Because you would have to convert a whole plastic packaging industry, bottling industry – and you would have to convince the Nestlés and Coca Colas of this world to change their concept – perhaps going as far as abandoning their chief business, selling water in bottles. In addition to the use of plastic bottles, this has become, as we know, in many countries, including in the USA a socioenvironmental calamity.

You, Mr. Guterres, could request the western world to stop wasting 30% or more of our food. Yes, wasting, as in throwing it away, even though it would be perfectly fine to be used, But throwing it away brings more profit. – You could also launch a motion to prohibit all speculation with food stuff, grains – which would make food more affordable and could prevent many famines. Saving food for redistribution to those that need it, might – would – also contribute to peace.

How about this kind of an approach – an approach towards Peace and a protected environment. This would be something extraordinary – youth for PEACE and youth for a better distribution of food, and youth for a serious protection of our environment. Mr. Soros and his allies may not like it, because demonstrating against Climate Change, making a publicity hype of Climate Change – is clearly a deviation from ongoing wars that kill – millions and millions – in the name of profit and dominance – and eventually hegemony over the world’s resources and people.

Kids, ask the UN for achievable goals – for PEACE. It’s not easy, but it’s a worthwhile goal which we, mankind with a conscience are able to achieve.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greanville Post; TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.  Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

September 23, 2019 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 8 Comments

Denmark announces increased military contributions and NATO support in Syria and beyond

By Sarah Abed | September 9, 2019

Denmark is recognized as one of the most socially and economically developed countries in the world, which enjoys a high standard of living as well as high metrics in national performance, protection of civil liberties, and the lowest perceived level of corruption in the world, has announced that it will be boosting military contributions to missions around the world, including joining the United States in its illegal and unauthorized deployment in northeastern Syria.

The sovereign and proud nation of Syria has neither invited nor does it accept any foreign invaders on its land and has repeatedly demanded that all foreign forces leave on their own before they are forced out. Syria is highly committed to liberating every inch of its land from terrorist control whether that be domestic or foreign, and protecting its territorial integrity.

On Friday, U.S. Department of Defense Chief Pentagon Spokesperson, Jonathan R. Hoffman provided the following statement on Denmark’s deployment to Syria:

“The United States welcomes the announcement by the Danish Government to make a military deployment to Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and to continue to share the burden and responsibilities of this important mission. As a founding member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, this deployment demonstrates Denmark’s continued commitment to working with our partners, to include the SDF, to ensure ISIS cannot re-emerge. Our Danish partners will work with the residual U.S. military force in northeast Syria to support stability and security. We look forward to working with our Danish ally to continue our shared mission of achieving ISIS’s enduring defeat-in Syria and wherever else the group may operate.”

The Nordic nation, along with its NATO allies; the United States, France, Britain, Turkey etc.  do not have authorization by the Syrian government nor the UN Security Council to even be in Syria, let alone carry out any military operations.

With the exception of Turkey, these foreign troops are seen as illegal invaders supporting a Kurdish-led separatist movement in northeastern Syria which is closely aligned with and supported by Israel and has even employed Daesh-like tactics during the war. The so called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is simply a rebranding by the US of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian offshoot of the Turkish based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States and other NATO members, and has been in conflict with the Turkish government since 1984.

The US-led coalition has killed at least 1,319 civilians during its unauthorized operations in Syria and Iraq since 2014, by its own admission, although the actual number is most likely higher.

On Friday, Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod stated that Denmark must lift its share of the burden as a member of NATO. Danish Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen said that she was proud that the country will be contributing to peace and stability in one of the world’s hotspots.

Ironically, Syria would not have become a “hotspot” if the US and their allies didn’t support terrorist factions and weren’t committed to “regime-change” for the past eight years.

In addition to sending support to the “Global Coalition against Islamic State” in northeast Syria, the Danish military will also be sending support to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali, France’s mission in the Sahel, and a U.S. aircraft carrier group in the north Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, as well as increasing its contributions to NATO and as if that wasn’t enough there’s also talks of a possible deployment to an international maritime effort in the Strait of Hormuz. In response to calls from the U.K. and France for a “European-led maritime mission” in the Persian Gulf region which would probably be in addition to an increased U.S. presence.

“When we make new military contributions in the Sahel region and in Syria to the fight against ISIL, it is about more than immediate firefighting,” Danish Foreign Minister Kofod said Friday. Kofod also said, “We are working across several fronts to create security, stability, and – in the long term – a positive development in the immediate neighborhoods of Europe.”

The aforementioned “military contributions” including sending a “helicopter contribution of up to 70 people and one-to-two staff officers” to France’s Operation Barkhane in sub-Saharan Africa’s Sahel region, for the first time. As well as, sending a medical team consisting of fourteen members including doctors, nurses, therapists, and support staff to provide trauma care at a coalition base in northeastern Syria.

Denmark will also be sending a C-130J transport aircraft along with approximately 65 personnel as well as a staff contribution of up to 10 to MINUSMA, the United Nations stabilization mission in Mali.

Also, to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense profile Denmark will be sending around 700 personnel to NATO missions, including a combat battalion, a “larger warship” and four fighter aircraft.

A frigate will be sent by Denmark to accompany a U.S. Navy carrier group for three months on an upcoming deployment in the Mediterranean and North America as well. It appears that building a closer and stronger cooperation with the U.S. is a priority for Denmark, maybe even more so than their supposed mission to strengthen maritime security.

Last December, U.S. President Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops from Syria, stating we had won against ISIS and called on other nations to step in. His plans were derailed and currently there exists a fair amount of British and French troops in addition to U.S. Special Operations Forces who have trained and advised the SDF in the northeastern region. France and the U.K have stated during the past few months, that they will increase their presence.

Some are questioning whether Denmark’s surprise announcement to deploy troops to Syria is an attempt to make amends with President Donald Trump. After refusing to sell him Greenland, Trump canceled his trip to Denmark.

Sarah Abed is an independent journalist and analyst.

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Australia Furthers Its Cooperation With NATO

By Ramona Wadi | Strategic Culture Foundation | August 29, 2019

In 2001, Australia became involved in the US “war on terror”, coined by former US President George W Bush as the pretext for invading Afghanistan. The rationale behind Australia’s decision was the ANZUS Treaty – a non-binding security between Australia, New Zealand and the US purportedly in line with the principles of the UN Charter.

Despite the treaty relating to possible attacks on either party in the Pacific, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard invoked Article VI to justify Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan, which states, “This treaty does not affect and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations of the Parties under the Charter of the United Nations or the responsibility of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security.”

Since 2001, Australia has maintained a presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. Adopting US rhetoric on security and terrorism, the Australian Defence Ministry described its presence in Afghanistan thus: “Our fundamental objective in Afghanistan is to combat a clear threat from international terrorism to both international security and our own national security. Australia cannot afford, and Australians cannot afford, to let Afghanistan once again become a safe haven and training ground for terrorist organisations.”

Needless to say, the war on terror accomplished a continuation of the terrorism fomented by the US in its plans to permanently destabilise the region. Following its involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, Australia has also cooperated with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) since 2005, thus prioritising security discourse at a national level.

In 2012, the Australia-NATO Joint Political Declaration established the foundations for cooperation and strategy – in other words, the prolongation of intervention abroad upon pretexts of security. The document recognises Australia as “one of the leading contributors to the NATO-led ISA mission in Afghanistan, which works under a UN Security Council mandate.”

Additionally, the declaration whitewashes foreign intervention through security concerns: “We understand the need to manage effectively risks and threats to our mutual interest, such as political instability from failed states, terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and cyber-attacks.” This statement has been reflected in the recent partnership agreement signed by NATO and Australia earlier this month.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described Australia’s role as “helping us to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for international terrorists.” Days later, US President Donald Trump spoke about US presence in Afghanistan as a purported deterrent to prevent the country from becoming “a laboratory for terror.”

Far from deterring terrorism, international involvement in Afghanistan has created networks of terror which cannot be dissociated from foreign intervention. Dismantling terrorism in a failed state created by foreign intervention is the pretext for prolonged international presence.

Australia’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as a non-NATO member has been one of the most prominent and reportedly in relation to training missions, although it was also involved in capturing and detaining alleged terror suspects.

As early as 2003 while working in close cooperation with the US, Australia not only was knowledgeable about the torture and abuse meted out at Abu Ghraib in Iraq – it was also a participant. Documents reveal that Australia’s representative at Abu Ghraib, officer and military lawyer George O’Kane, blocked the International Committee of the Red Cross access to detainees undergoing torture sessions. The Australian Government’s response to the revelations refuted responsibility, stating that the techniques applied against detainees were in concordance with the Geneva Conventions.

Australia was also one of the countries, among them NATO members and allies, participating in the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) extraordinary rendition program, which involved the transfer of individuals suspected of terrorism to secret US detention and torture centres.

Speaking about the recently agreed framework, Stoltenberg highlighted Australia’s cooperation with NATO as focusing on preventing terrorism. “Training local forces is the best thing we can do in fighting terrorism; helping countries to stabilise their own countries.”

False premises instigated the war on terror. Maintaining it requires the regurgitation of past, dangerous lies. The West’s appropriation of what constitutes “individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law” has fomented perpetual war and subjugation to imperialist powers.

In the words of Australian Defence Minister as to the level of involvement of Australia in the region, “what we’re doing at the moment is assessing the ask from the United States, assessing what other allies are doing and how they’re considering this.” A simple statement that shows the Australian government has no consideration for the countries invaded by NATO, the mutating violence, dispossession of people and permanent instability. Neither, for that matter, will Australia assess its own involvement in terms of the human rights violations it helped to propagate. Dropping bombs in Iraq? Australia seems to have no problem with furthering an oppressive legacy.

August 29, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

America’s Benevolent Bombing of Serbia

By James Bovard | FFF | August 16, 2019

Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton commenced bombing Serbia in the name of human rights, justice, and ethnic tolerance. Approximately 1,500 Serb civilians were killed by NATO bombing in one of the biggest sham morality plays of the modern era. As British professor Philip Hammond recently noted, the 78-day bombing campaign “was not a purely military operation: NATO also destroyed what it called ‘dual-use’ targets, such as factories, city bridges, and even the main television building in downtown Belgrade, in an attempt to terrorise the country into surrender.”

Clinton’s unprovoked attack on Serbia, intended to help ethnic Albanians seize control of Kosovo, set a precedent for “humanitarian” warring that was invoked by supporters of George W. Bush’s unprovoked attack on Iraq, Barack Obama’s bombing of Libya, and Donald Trump’s bombing of Syria.

Clinton remains a hero in Kosovo, and there is an 11-foot statue of him standing in the capitol, Pristina, on Bill Clinton Boulevard. A commentator in the United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper noted that the statue showed Clinton “with a left hand raised, a typical gesture of a leader greeting the masses. In his right hand he is holding documents engraved with the date when NATO started the bombardment of Serbia, 24 March 1999.” It would have been a more accurate representation if Clinton was shown standing on the corpses of the women, children, and others killed in the U.S. bombing campaign.

Bombing Serbia was a family affair in the Clinton White House. Hillary Clinton revealed to an interviewer in the summer of 1999, “I urged him to bomb. You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?” A biography of Hillary Clinton, written by Gail Sheehy and published in late 1999, stated that Mrs. Clinton had refused to talk to the president for eight months after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. She resumed talking to her husband only when she phoned him and urged him in the strongest terms to begin bombing Serbia; the president began bombing within 24 hours. Alexander Cockburn observed in the Los Angeles Times,

It’s scarcely surprising that Hillary would have urged President Clinton to drop cluster bombs on the Serbs to defend “our way of life.” The first lady is a social engineer. She believes in therapeutic policing and the duty of the state to impose such policing. War is more social engineering, “fixitry” via high explosive, social therapy via cruise missile…. As a tough therapeutic cop, she does not shy away from the most abrupt expression of the therapy: the death penalty.

I followed the war closely from the start, but selling articles to editors bashing the bombing was as easy as pitching paeans to Scientology. Instead of breaking into newsprint, my venting occurred instead in my journal:

April 7, 1999: Much of the media and most of the American public are evaluating Clinton’s Serbian policy based on the pictures of the bomb damage — rather than by asking whether there is any coherent purpose or justification for bombing. The ultimate triumph of photo opportunities…. What a travesty and national disgrace for this country.

April 17: My bottom line on the Kosovo conflict: I hate holy wars. And this is a holy war for American good deeds — or for America’s saintly self-image? Sen. John McCain said the war is necessary to “uphold American values.” Make me barf! Just another … Hitler-of-the-month attack.

May 13: This damn Serbian war … is a symbol of all that is wrong with the righteous approach to the world … and to problems within this nation.

The KLA

The Kosovo Liberation Army’s savage nature was well known before the Clinton administration formally christened them “freedom fighters” in 1999. The previous year, the State Department condemned “terrorist action by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army.” The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden. Arming the KLA helped Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial. Clinton was aided by many congressmen eager to portray U.S. bombing as an engine of righteousness. Sen. Joe Lieberman whooped that the United States and the KLA “stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values.”

In early June 1999, the Washington Post reported that “some presidential aides and friends are describing [bombing] Kosovo in Churchillian tones, as Clinton’s ‘finest hour.’” Clinton administration officials justified killing civilians because, it alleged the Serbs were committing genocide in Kosovo. After the bombing ended, no evidence of genocide was found, but Clinton and Britain’s Tony Blair continued boasting as if their war had stopped a new Hitler in his tracks.

In a speech to American troops in a Thanksgiving 1999 visit, Clinton declared that the Kosovar children “love the United States … because we gave them their freedom back.” Perhaps Clinton saw freedom as nothing more than being tyrannized by people of the same ethnicity. As the Serbs were driven out of Kosovo, Kosovar Albanians became increasingly oppressed by the KLA, which ignored its commitment to disarm. The Los Angeles Times reported on November 20, 1999,

As a postwar power struggle heats up in Kosovo Albanian politics, extremists are trying to silence moderate leaders with a terror campaign of kidnappings, beatings, bombings, and at least one killing. The intensified attacks against members of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo, or LDK, have raised concerns that radical ethnic Albanians are turning against their own out of fear of losing power in a democratic Kosovo.

American and NATO forces stood by as the KLA resumed its ethnic cleansing, slaughtering Serbian civilians, bombing Serbian churches, and oppressing non-Muslims. Almost a quarter million Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, and other minorities fled Kosovo after Clinton promised to protect them. In March 2000 renewed fighting broke out when the KLA launched attacks into Serbia, trying to seize territory that it claimed historically belonged to ethnic Albanians. UN Human Rights Envoy Jiri Dienstbier reported that “the [NATO] bombing hasn’t solved any problems. It only multiplied the existing problems and created new ones. The Yugoslav economy was destroyed. Kosovo is destroyed. There are hundreds of thousands of people unemployed now.”

U.S. complicity in atrocities

Prior to the NATO bombing, American citizens had no responsibility for atrocities committed by either Serbs or ethnic Albanians. However, after American planes bombed much of Serbia into rubble to drive the Serbian military out of Kosovo, Clinton effectively made the United States responsible for the safety of the remaining Serbs in Kosovo. That was equivalent to forcibly disarming a group of people, and then standing by, whistling and looking at the ground, while they are slaughtered. Since the United States promised to bring peace to Kosovo, Clinton bears some responsibility for every burnt church, every murdered Serbian grandmother, every new refugee column streaming north out of Kosovo. Despite those problems, Clinton bragged at a December 8, 1999, press conference that he was “very, very proud” of what the United States had done in Kosovo.

I had a chapter on the Serbian bombing campaign titled “Moralizing with Cluster Bombs” in Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton–Gore Years (St. Martin’s Press, 2000), which sufficed to spur at least one or two reviewers to attack the book. Norman Provizer, the director of the Golda Meir Center for Political Leadership, scoffed in the Denver Rocky Mountain News, “Bovard chastises Clinton for an illegal, undeclared war in Kosovo without ever bothering to mention that, during the entire run of American history, there have been but four official declarations of war by Congress.”

As the chaotic situation in post-war Kosovo became stark, it was easier to work in jibes against the debacle. In an October 2002 USA Today article (“Moral High Ground Not Won on Battlefield“) bashing the Bush administration’s push for war against Iraq, I pointed out, “A desire to spread freedom does not automatically confer a license to kill…. Operation Allied Force in 1999 bombed Belgrade, Yugoslavia, into submission purportedly to liberate Kosovo. Though Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic raised the white flag, ethnic cleansing continued — with the minority Serbs being slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground in the same way the Serbs previously oppressed the ethnic Albanians.”

In a 2011 review for The American Conservative, I scoffed, “After NATO planes killed hundreds if not thousands of Serb and ethnic Albanian civilians, Bill Clinton could pirouette as a savior. Once the bombing ended, many of the Serbs remaining in Kosovo were slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground. NATO’s ‘peace’ produced a quarter million Serbian, Jewish, and Gypsy refugees.”

In 2014, a European Union task force confirmed that the ruthless cabal that Clinton empowered by bombing Serbia committed atrocities that included murdering persons to extract and sell their kidneys, livers, and other body parts. Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared in 2014 that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in “unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites.”

The New York Times reported that the trials of Kosovo body snatchers may be stymied by cover-ups and stonewalling: “Past investigations of reports of organ trafficking in Kosovo have been undermined by witnesses’ fears of testifying in a small country where clan ties run deep and former members of the KLA are still feted as heroes. Former leaders of the KLA occupy high posts in the government.” American politicians almost entirely ignored the scandal. Vice President Joe Biden hailed former KLA leader and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in 2010 as “the George Washington of Kosovo.” A few months later, a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Thaci as an accomplice to the body-trafficking operation.

Clinton’s war on Serbia opened a Pandora’s box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and pundits portrayed that war as a moral triumph, it was easier for subsequent presidents to portray U.S. bombing as the self-evident triumph of good over evil. Honest assessments of wrongful killings remain few and far between in media coverage.

August 17, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Trudeau ignores threat of nuclear annihilation

By Yves Engler · August 6, 2019

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Justin Trudeau presents himself as “progressive” on foreign affairs. The Liberals claim to have brought Canada “back” after the disastrous Harper Conservatives. But their nuclear weapons policy demonstrates the emptiness of this rhetoric.

Reducing the chance nuclear weapons are used again should be a priority for any “progressive” government. But, powerful Canadian allies oppose nuclear arms controls so Trudeau’s government isn’t interested in the “international rules based order” needed to curb the existential threat nukes pose to humankind.

The Liberals have voted against UN nuclear disarmament efforts supported by most countries. At the behest of Washington, they voted against an important initiative designed to stigmatize and ultimately criminalize nuclear weapons. They refused to join 122 countries represented at the 2017 Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination.

Last month Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström hosted a high-level meeting to reinvigorate nuclear disarmament commitments made by states party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). While most of the 16 countries were represented in Stockholm by their foreign ministers, Chrystia Freeland did not attend. Instead, the government dispatched Parliamentary Secretary for Consular Affairs Pamela Goldsmith-Jones.

Reducing or eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons isn’t mentioned in the Liberals 2017 defence policy statement (North Korean nukes receive one mention). Instead, Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy makes two dozen references to Canada’s commitment (“unwavering”) to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Ghastly nuclear weapons are fundamental to NATO’s strategic planning. According to the official description, “nuclear weapons are a core component of the Alliance’s overall capabilities.”

Through NATO, Canada has effectively committed to fighting a nuclear war if any country breached its boundaries. Additionally, the alliance does not restrict its members from using nuclear weapons first. Canada participates in the NATO Nuclear Planning Group and contributes personnel and financial support to NATO’s Nuclear Policy Directorate.

While NATO maintains nuclear weapons in Turkey and various European countries, Canadian officials blame Russia for the arms control impasse and the recent demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which banned an entire class of nuclear weapons. In April Director General of International Security Policy at Global Affairs Canada, Cindy Termorshuizen said, “we call on Russia to return to compliance with the INF Treaty.” But, it’s not clear Russia violated one of the most significant nuclear accords ever signed. The Trump administration, on the other hand, began to develop new ground-launched intermediate-range missiles prohibited under the pact long before it formally withdrew from the INF. US military planners want to deploy intermediate-range missiles against China, which is not party to the INF.

In December Canada voted against a UN General Assembly resolution for “Strengthening Russian-United States Compliance with Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.”

At that vote Canada’s representative said Moscow’s position on the INF reflects its “aggressive actions in neighbouring countries and beyond.” But, it is Washington that broke its word in expanding NATO into Eastern Europe, withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty in 2001 and established missile ‘defence’ systems near Russia. As part of NATO Canadian troops are stationed on Russia’s border in Latvia and Ukraine, which isn’t conducive to nuclear retrenchment.

A look elsewhere demonstrates the Liberals’ ambivalence to nuclear disarmament. They strengthened the Stephen Harper government’s agreement to export nuclear reactors to India, even though New Delhi has refused to sign the NPT (India developed atomic weapons with Canadian technology). The Trudeau government wouldn’t dare mention Israel’s 100+ nuclear bombs or endorse a nuclear free Middle East. While they’ve publicly stated their support for the Iran nuclear accord, they have not supported European efforts to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. (Or restarted diplomatic relations with Iran as promised.)

Despite some progressives claiming otherwise, Canada has never been an antinuclear country. In fact, if one were to rank the world’s 200 countries in order of their contribution to the nuclear arms race Canada would fall just behind the nine nuclear armed states. Among many examples of nuclear complicity, Canada spent tens of millions of dollars to help develop the first atomic bombs, CF-104 Starfighters stationed in Europe carried a nuclear weapon and various US nukes were stationed in Canada.

Still, governments from the 1970s through the 1990s expended some political capital on nuclear non-proliferation. While the follow-through was disappointing, Trudeau Père at least spoke about ”suffocating” the nuclear arms race.

His son, on the other hand, responded to a call to participate in a widely endorsed nuclear disarmament initiative by stating “there can be all sorts of people talking about nuclear disarmament, but if they do not actually have nuclear arms, it is sort of useless to have them around, talking.” Justin Trudeau also refused to congratulate Canadian campaigner Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, who accepted the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Justin Trudeau’s government does not even talk the talk, let alone walk the walk when it comes to ending the threat of nuclear annihilation.

As part of its 50th anniversary commemoration Black Rose Books – initially Our Generation Against Nuclear War – will host a conference on nuclear disarmament in Montréal on September 21, 2019.

August 6, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

The Western Alliance is Falling Apart

By Peter Koenig | Dissident Voice | August 2, 2019

Ever since Imran Khan became the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan in August 2018, the winds have changed. While his predecessors, though generally leaning eastwards, have often wavered between the US and the China orbit, Khan is in the process of clearly defining his alliances with the east, in particular China. This is for the good of his country, for the good of the Middle East, and eventually for the good of the world.

A few days ago, RT reported that China, in addition to the expansion of the new port in Gwadar, Balochistan, has entered into agreements with Pakistan to build a military/air base in Pakistan, a new Chinese city for some half a million people, as well as several road and railway improvement projects, including a highway connecting the cities of Karachi and Lahore, reconstruction of the Karakoram Highway, linking Hasan Abdal to the Chinese border, as well as upgrading the Karachi-Peshwar main railway to be completed by the end of 2019, for trains to travel up to 160km/hour.

This rehabilitation of dilapidated Pakistani transportation infrastructure is not only expected to contribute between 2% and 3% of Pakistan’s future GDP, but it offers also another outlet for Iranian gas/hydrocarbons, other than through the Strait of Hurmuz, for example, by rail to the new port of Gwadar which, by the way, is also a new Chinese naval base. From Gwadar Iranian hydrocarbon cargoes can be shipped everywhere, including to China, Africa and India. With the new China-built transportation infrastructure Iranian gas can also be shipped overland to China.

In fact, these infrastructure developments, plus several electric power production projects, still mostly fed by fossil fuel, to resolve Pakistani’s chronic energy shortage, are part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also called the New Silk Road. They are a central part of the new so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which was first designed in 2015 during a visit by China’s President Xi Jinping, when some 51 Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) worth then some US$ 46 billion were signed. Pakistan is definitely out of the US orbit.

Today, in the CPEC implementation phase, the projects planned or under construction are estimated at over US$ 60 billion. An estimated 80% are direct investments with considerable Pakistani participation and 20% Chinese concessionary debt. Clearly, Pakistan has become a staunch ally of China and this to the detriment of the US role in the Middle East.

Washington’s wannabe hegemony over the Middle East is fading rapidly. See also Michel Chossudovsky’s detailed analysis “US Foreign Policy in Shambles: NATO and the Middle East. How Do You Wage War Without Allies?

A few days ago, Germany refused Washington’s request to take part in a US-led maritime mission in the Strait of Hormuz, under the pretext to secure hydrocarbon shipments through this Iran-controlled narrow water way. In reality it is more like a new weaponizing of waterways, by controlling what ships do what to whom and applying “sanctions” by blocking or outright pirating of tankers destined for western ‘enemy’ territories.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced last Wednesday in Warsaw, Poland, that there “cannot be a military solution” to the current crisis in the Persian Gulf and that Berlin will turn down Washington’s request to join the US, British and French operation “aimed at protecting sea traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, and combating so-called “Iranian aggression.”

This idea of the Washington war hawks was conceived after Iran’s totally legal seizure of the British-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker, after it rammed an Iranian fishing boat a couple of weeks ago. However, nothing is said about the totally illegal and US-ordered British piracy of the Iranian super tanker Grace I off the coast of Gibraltar in Spanish waters (another infraction of international law), weeks earlier. While Grace I’s crew in the meantime has been released, the tanker is still under British capture, but western media remain silent about it, but lambast Iran for seizing a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

Germany remains committed to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal), from which the United States unilaterally withdrew a year ago, and Germany will therefore not intervene on behalf of the US.

Add to this Turkey – a key NATO member both for her strategic location and NATO’s actual military might established in Turkey – moving ever closer to the east, and becoming a solid ally of Russia, after having ignored Washington’s warnings against Turkey’s purchasing of Russian S-400 cutting-edge air defense systems. For “sleeping with the enemy”; i.e., moving ever closer to Russia, the US has already punished Turkey’s economy by manipulating her currency to fall by about 40% since the beginning of 2018. Turkey is also a candidate to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and so is Iran.

Turkey has become a de facto lame duck as a NATO member and may soon officially exit NATO which would be a tremendous blow to the North Atlantic Alliance and may tempt other European NATO nations to do likewise. Probably not overnight, but the idea of an ever more defunct NATO is planted.

All indications are that the future, economically and security wise – is in the East.  Even Europe may eventually ‘dare’ making the jump towards better relations with primarily Russia and Central Asia and eventually with China.

And that especially if and when Brexit happens, which is by no means a sure thing.  However, just in case, the UK has already prepared bilateral trade relations with China, ready to be signed, if and when, the UK exits the EU.

Will the UK, another staunch US ally, jump ship?  Unlikely. But dancing on two weddings simultaneously is a customary Anglo-Saxon game plan. The Brits must have learned it from their masters in Washington, who in turn took the lessons from the Brits as colonial power for centuries, across the Atlantic.

Western, US-led war on Iran is therefore unlikely. There is too much at stake, and especially, there are no longer any reliable allies in the region. Remember, allies — shall we call them puppets or peons — are normally doing the dirty work for Washington.

So, threatening, warning and annoying provocations by the US with some of its lasting western allies may continue for a while. It makes for good propaganda. After all, packing up and going home is not exactly Uncle Sam’s forte. The western alliance is no longer what it used to be. In fact, it is in shambles. And Iran knows it.


Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for independent media. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

August 3, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

The Failure of Impeachment Regime Change

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | July 25, 2019

With what most everyone is calling a stunningly disjointed and extremely disappointing presentation before Congress by Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, it is becoming increasingly clear that the effort to achieve regime change through impeachment is going to fail. Democrats are going to have to rely on the traditional electoral means to remove President Trump from office in 2020.

This is the way it should be. Achieving regime change through impeachment would have converted the United States into a standard banana republic.

Ever since Trump became the GOP nominee for president, Democrats, the national-security establishment, and the liberal elements of the mainstream press did everything they could to ensure that his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, was elected president.

Once Trump became president, however, his opponents refused to accept the electoral outcome and began trying to remove him from office through impeachment. That’s where the anti-Russia brouhaha came into play.

During the campaign, it was increasingly clear that Trump and Clinton were on opposite sides of the Russia controversy. Trump desired to establish friendly relations with Russia, which was exactly what Russia wanted.

But that’s not what the national-security establishment wanted. Ever since the sudden and unexpected end of the Cold War, the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA — the three principal components of the national-security state — did everything they could to make Russia, once again, an official enemy of the United States. Clinton was squarely on the side of the national-security establishment.

That’s why the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA kept the Cold War dinosaur NATO in existence instead of dismantling it. It’s also why they had NATO begin absorbing former members of the Warsaw Pact, enabling U.S. forces and missiles to be stationed ever closer to the Russian border, violating assurances that U.S. officials had given Russia not to expand toward Russia. That’s what the effort to absorb Ukraine into NATO was all about, knowing full well that Russia would respond by protecting its longtime military base in Crimea.

Everything was oriented toward making certain that the United States and Russia would never be on friendly terms. Everything was instead oriented toward making Russia, once again, another Cold War official enemy of the United States.

Why is that the goal of the national-security establishment? Because it needs a justification for its own existence and its own ever-growing power and influence. That justification comes in the form of official enemies, ones that can keep Americans fearful. In that way, the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA can say, “Keep flooding us with U.S. taxpayer money because we are the ones who are keeping you safe from America’s official enemies. Keep giving us totalitarian-like powers over you so that we can keep you safe.”

Of course, Russia isn’t the only official enemy. There is also China, which increasingly is being presented as a Cold War-like “hegemon” that is supposedly threatening U.S. “national security.”

And then there are the smaller official enemies, like Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, the Taliban, the Muslims, the terrorists, ISIS, the drug dealers, and the illegal immigrants, all of which, we are told, are threats to “national security.”

As a candidate, Trump was threatening to upend this racket, at least with respect to Russia and perhaps also by threatening to bring an end to America’s forever wars and its policy of regime-change wars. That posed a grave threat to the national-security establishment, which had been grafted onto America’s federal governmental system after World War II to fight the Cold War against the Soviet Union, America’s World War II partner and ally whose principal member was Russia.

Trump’s friendly attitude toward Russia could not be permitted to stand, not as a presidential candidate and especially not as a U.S. president. That’s when the anti-Russia brouhaha was launched, which accused Trump of being an agent of the Russians, just as some people accused President Eisenhower of being a communist agent of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

It was a ridiculous accusation from the get-go but its primary purpose was to enable Trump’s opponents to remove him from office long before the next election in 2020. It was designed to be regime change through impeachment.

Once Mueller’s investigative team, despite years of intense investigation, was unable to come up with convincing evidence of a Trump-Russia conspiracy, however, Trump’s detractors fell back on a secondary plan for regime change though impeachment — “obstruction of justice,” a federal crime that is so nebulous and subjective that it is the federal version of “disorderly conduct,” a “crime” that local officials use to target people they don’t like. The sham nature of this alternative theory for regime change was exposed through its supporters refusal to seek Trump’s impeachment for real crimes, such as killing people overseas through illegal undeclared wars and illegal assassinations. With Mueller’s dismal performance before Congress, this alternative attempt at regime change appears to be dead in the water as well.

While Trump’s enemies have been unsuccessful in removing him from office through impeachment, they have, unfortunately, been successful in having him become an opponent of Russia, China, and all of the other official enemies of the U.S national-security state. Not only has Trump continued the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East, he has kept up hostile relations with Russia, initiated a destructive trade war with China, and ratcheted up the U.S. wars on Muslims, the terrorists, the illegal immigrants, the drug dealers, ISIS, and the Taliban. He has also ensured that ever-increasing taxpayer-funded largess continues flooding into the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, no matter how much more debt this adds onto the backs of American taxpayers.

In other words, Trump, like George W. Bush and Barack Obama, has been absorbed into the national-security state blob. They have won. Trump has become one of them. That’s the real success of the unsuccessful effort to remove Trump from office through impeachment regime change.

July 25, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

The US-NATO Military Alliance Continues Confrontation Along Russia’s Borders

By Brian Cloughley | Strategic Culture Foundation | July 23, 2019

The Pentagon and its sub-office in Brussels, HQ NATO, in its new billion dollar building, are intent on maintaining military pressure around the globe. The US itself is much more widely spread, having bases tentacled from continent to continent, with the Pentagon admitting to 514 but omitting mention of many countries, including Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia.

Independent researchers came up with the more realistic total of 883 bases, and examination of the current US defence budget shows that the Pentagon’s spending priorities are far from modest in regard to spreading its wings, hulls and boots-on-the-ground to maintain military domination by what Trump calls “the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth.” To this end its vast military spending programme includes:

  • increasing the strength of the Army, Navy, and Air Force by almost 26,000;
  • building another ten combat ships for $18.4 billion;
  • increasing production of the most expensive aircraft in world history, the F-35, costing over eleven billion; and
  • upgrading and expanding the triad of nuclear weapons deliverable from air, land and sea.

The US military budget for 2020 is officially $750 billion. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, total US-NATO military expenditure in 2018 was “$963 billion, which represents 53 per cent of world spending.” In striking (no humour intended) contrast, Russia’s entire defence budget was $61.4 billion, its annual outlay having “decreased by 3.5 per cent,” which even the most brainwashed western war-drummer would have to agree does not reflect the policy of a nation preparing to invade anybody.

Yet the US-NATO alliance is increasing the number and scope of military manoeuvres along Russia’s borders, and announced that “in 2019, a total of 102 NATO exercises are planned; 39 of them are open to partner participation.” The exercises include 25 land, 27 air and 12 maritime-centred groups of manoeuvres.

“Partner participation” is a disguised way of saying that non-NATO countries around Russia’s borders have been encouraged to join in all the expensive military jamborees aimed at convincing their citizens they should follow “the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth” in its never-ending conquests.

HQ NATO announced that from 8-22 June military forces of 18 nations took part in the BALTOPS naval manoeuvres which involved “maritime, air and ground forces with about 50 ships and submarines and 40 aircraft” in and around the Baltic. The NATO spokesperson said, presumably with a straight face and no hint of the wry amusement felt by independent observers, that “BALTOPS is now in its 47th year and is not directed against anyone.” Sure. And the Easter Bunny just landed on Mars.

In the most recent example of US-NATO confrontation, according to US European Command, “the US Air Force deployed F-35 Lightning and F-15E Strike Eagles to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, as part of Operation Rapid Forge under the Department of Defense’s Dynamic Force Employment Concept. Rapid Forge will involve forward deployments to bases in the territory of NATO allies in order to enhance readiness… and are conducted in coordination with US allies and partners in Europe. Rapid Forge aircraft are forward deploying to the territory of NATO allies… The goal of the operation is to increase the readiness and responsiveness of US forces in Europe…”

Then on July 16 Stars and Stripes (a remarkably objective commentator, incidentally) reported that the Rapid Forge strike aircraft had been sent to Poland, Lithuania and Estonia “in a test of the service’s ability to quickly deploy air power overseas” These aircraft were specifically deployed to operate as closely as possible to Russian airspace.

The manoeuvres are part of ongoing refinement of the Pentagon’s new Dynamic Force Employment strategy “which is focused on using more unpredictable deployments to demonstrate military agility to possible adversaries.” This concept involves “a shift away from traditional six-month naval deployments to a flexible system that can involve shorter but more frequent stints at sea. And in March, the Army dispatched 1,500 soldiers from Fort Bliss, Texas, to Germany and onward to Poland in one of the service’s largest snap mobilizations to Europe in years.”

It was intriguing that the surge in US-NATO military deployment confrontation occurred at the same time it was revealed that the US has been storing nuclear weapons all over Europe for years. Most analysts knew this, although nothing had been admitted, but, as noted in the brilliant BBC TV satire Yes, Minister by the lead character: “First rule in politics: never believe anything until it’s officially denied.”

As the Washington Post reported, “A recently released — and subsequently deleted — document published by a NATO-affiliated body has sparked headlines in Europe with an apparent confirmation of a long-held open secret: some 150 US nuclear weapons are being stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.” The moment a “NATO official” announced that “we do not comment on the details of NATO’s nuclear posture… this is not an official NATO document,” it was obvious that the deleted details given in the document must be accurate. And now many questions must be answered. For example : under whose guard are these weapons held? Are officials, politicians and military personnel of host countries permitted access to US nuclear storage facilities? What are the nuclear readiness states, and are the host nations informed of these? And it would be very interesting to know if US practice deployments involve nuclear bombs and missiles.

One of the most important aspects of the nuclear bases saga is the likely connection between these US weapons and this year’s US-NATO military manoeuvres. The ‘Rapid Forge’ deployments to Russia’s borders involve F-35A and F15E strike aircraft, and Lockheed Martin tells us that “once air dominance is established, the F-35 converts to beast mode, carrying up to 22,000 pounds of combined internal and external weapons.” Similarly, the F-15E is now capable of delivering B61-12 nuclear bombs.

As reported by the Belgian daily De Morgen (in English in the Brussels Times on 16 July), the document stated that “In the context of NATO, the United States [has deployed] around 150 nuclear weapons in Europe, in particular B61 free-bombs, which can be [delivered] by both US and Allied planes.” But we can be certain that the citizens of the countries concerned, or of any of the other NATO nations, will never be told on what terms the United States is storing nuclear weapons in their countries and what international developments might govern their use.

Presumably it is the President of the United States who will give approval for release of the nuclear bombs being stored in six of the US bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy (2), the Netherlands and Turkey — but is he going to seek agreement from the governments of these countries to use these weapons? It is far from certain that there would be concurrence on the part of Turkey, for example, whose relations with Trump Washington are extremely precarious.

What would happen if President Erdoğan objected to an obviously indicated US intention to convert the USAF’s F-35s to “beast mode”, loading B61 nuclear bombs at Incirlik airbase?

Nobody knows.

And nobody knows if all these US-NATO martial fandangos in the skies around Russia’s borders involve test deployment of strike aircraft in “beast mode”, as nuclear attack preparedness is so aptly described by Lockheed Martin, that prominent member of Washington’s Military-Industrial Complex.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland seem to be delighted that US-NATO is continuing to confront Russia by flying nuclear strike aircraft in their airspace. But have they really thought all this through?

July 23, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Russia calls on US to store nuclear weapons only on its own territory

Press TV – July 18, 2019

Russia has called on the United States to keep its nuclear weapons only on its own territory, a day after a NATO report unwittingly revealed that Washington has stored some of its nuclear weapons in several European countries, including Turkey.

“Russia deploys and stores its nuclear weapons exclusively on its own territory. We call on the US and NATO to do the same,” said Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Wednesday.

His comments came a day after The Washington Post said in a report that a recently released — and subsequently deleted — document published by a NATO committee had inadvertently revealed that the US stores 150 items of its tactical nuclear weapons in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.

The US-based daily said that it had seen “a copy of the document published Tuesday by Belgian newspaper De Morgen.”

The document, which is attributed to Canadian senator Joseph Day and written for the defense and security committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, was titled “A New Era For Nuclear Deterrence? Modernization, Arms Control and Allied Nuclear Forces.”

“These bombs are stored at six US and European bases — Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Buchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in The Netherlands, and Incirlik in Turkey,” the document said.

The US unilaterally suspended the implementation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia earlier this year.

Moscow reciprocated later.

Under the treaty, both sides had been banned from creating ground-launched nuclear missiles with ranges from 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The pact also banned the sides from deploying short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.

The US alleged that Russia’s new 9M729 missile was in violation of the INF and had to be dismantled.

Russia rebutted the claim in January by unveiling the missile and its key specifications, saying the missile’s maximum range was about 480 kilometers, well within what was allowed under the INF.

July 18, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | 2 Comments

Two Think Tanks Claim Sputnik Meddled in 2017 French Election, Present No Proof… Again

Sputnik – July 11, 2019

Russian media outlets last year faced accusations of interfering in France’s internal politics, but a recent probe by French intelligence has reportedly found no signs of such activities.

The French Institute of Strategic Research of the Military School (IRSEM) and American think-tank the Atlantic Council have in a recent collaborative project produced a report, the latest in a row of similar ones, claiming that Russia meddled in the internal affairs of a foreign government. This time, the researchers accused Moscow of trying to prevent the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the 2017 French presidential election.

The researchers try to prove that by using state-funded media outlets, namely Sputnik, as an “information weapon”, the Kremlin allegedly organised a coordinated “disinformation campaign” against then presidential hopeful Macron. However, like many similar papers on alleged “Russian meddling”, this research also fails to present solid facts that substantiate the claims and stumbles into certain problems when trying to prove that such a targeted “campaign” actually existed in the first place.

Notably, the report’s key author and head of the IRSEM, Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer, who also serves on the Academic Advisory Board of the NATO Defence College, took most of his points of evidence from the works of Ben Nimmo, a researcher at the Atlantic Council. The latter, like many other Western think tanks, regularly publishes research devoted to proving the existence of Russian attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of Western countries and proposing ways in which they can counter this alleged “threat”.

“Anti-Macron Campaign” or Factual Reporting?

The IRSEM study recalls that back in February 2017, Macron’s digital manager accused Sputnik of publishing “fake news” about his employer from the “very beginning of [the election] campaign”. The author of the paper, Vilmer, claims that this “disinformation campaign” began when the French edition of Sputnik published a report about statements by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, in which he revealed that he possessed “interesting information” about Macron, albeit without specifying whether it was compromising in any way.

Referring to the Sputnik article as “menacing”, the IRSEM report draws parallels to the 2016 US presidential election and WikiLeaks’ publication of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails. At the same time, the paper didn’t elaborate any further on how exactly reporting on an interview with a famous whistle-blower, in which no compromising information about Macron was published, was able to affect the outcome of the election. It also failed to mention that WikiLeaks’ threats, covered by Sputnik, were not limited to Macron, but also touched his main opponent in the second round, Marine Le Pen.

“Hand-Picked” Speakers vs Hand-Picked Examples

The IRSEM head admits in the report that Sputnik didn’t publish any “fake news” during the election campaign in France, but instead accused it of “information manipulation”. Vilmer claims that the Russian media outlet had expressed “a strong bias” by allegedly leaving out important information and by “hiding behind the quotations” of the “right people”.

While failing to present any proof that Sputnik had omitted any important facts in its articles, the researcher instead tried to substantiate his claim by indicating that Sputnik had interviewed only two persons, who happen to be members of the French Parliament – Thierry Mariani and Nicolas Dhuicq – in regards to the upcoming election. However, a simple search on the news outlet’s website reveals that in reality Sputnik had interviewed far more contributors on the topic, such as Jacques Lamblin, another member of the country’s parliament, as well as various European lawmakers and pundits.

Alleged “Focus” on “Macron Affair”

The paper proceeds to claim that Sputnik covered the election in France with “a distinct bias against Macron”. According to Vilmer, this was expressed in a strategy of giving a deaf ear to scandals involving other contenders for the presidency, such as “the Kremlin’s favoured candidate”, Marine Le Pen, and instead focusing on “rumours” about Macron’s alleged offshore accounts.

The IRSEM research insisted that most of Sputnik’s articles were devoted to the “invented Macron affair” involving offshore accounts while it “defended Le Pen and amplified her party”. However, the paper does not include any factual proof of a discrepancy in the coverage of Macron-related scandals and controversies involving his rivals. It also fully omits the actual fact that Sputnik covered the latter.

“Blame Russia” Trend

France was the second Western country to try to blame Russia for interfering in its domestic affairs. This was preceded by an attempt by the US Democratic Party, and specifically its candidate Hillary Clinton, to shift the blame for the defeat in the 2016 presidential election on to supposed meddling by Moscow.

This blame-game later became a trend among Western governments and political parties in countries such as the UK, Germany, and Spain, to name only a few. But just as in the case of the US, none of these states managed to provide any credible evidence to substantiate the claims, at best referring to obscure “intelligence reports”. Moscow has repeatedly pointed out this lack of underlying proof when rejecting these groundless accusations

Notably, following Macron’s victory in the elections his team abandoned the narrative for a while, only to return to it in February 2019, accusing Moscow of “orchestrating” the Yellow Vest rallies, which demanded Macron’s resignation, and pointing to Sputnik and RT for this purpose. However, earlier reports by local news outlets said that the French intelligence services’ investigation had failed to find any signs indicating that the Russian media was able to impact French domestic affairs.

July 11, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

By Patrick Armstrong | Strategic Culture Foundation | July 7, 2019

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Consumers of the print or electronic output of the League of Copy Typists and their Instructors are expected to believe many impossible things and believe them, not just before breakfast, but all day too.

Come to think it, believing any part of the official Skripal story, from the incredibly lethal nerve agent that didn’t kill them, to the spectacular coincidence of the British Army’s chief nurse being on the scene, to the re-wrapped perfume bottle would tax the White Queen’s ability. Here’s a list. But that’s not to say that we’re finished yet: there always seems to be another absurdity like the dead ducks.

Pseudo psychology explains geopolitics. And pretty idiotically too: a whole country on the couch. “Russia is more insecure and paranoid“, “a kind of neurotic disorder that renders Russia’s sense of insecurity” “The deep sense of humiliation, the dread of arrogant Westerners, the fear of NATO encirclement.” or maybe it’s not the whole country, just Putin: Putin’s insecure because of Russia’s “diminished role in the world“. “Well, Russian President Vladimir Putin is a textbook case of someone with a serious inferiority complex.” Anyway, some gasbag pseudo-psychology explains it: there’s no reality, Russia/Putin is just naturally paranoid. Probably nothing you can do about it.

NATO is just going along, minding its own business when, entirely without provocation, hostile nations try to destabilise the world, interfere with freedom of navigation, assault the Rules-Based International Order, and otherwise force NATO to react. From a current Pentagon study: “Russia is adopting coercive strategies that involve the orchestrated employment of military and nonmilitary means to deter and compel the US, its allies and partners prior to and after the outbreak of hostilities.” “Deter and compel” – poor little NATO, so weak, so bullied! Russia does this because of its “deep-seated sense of geopolitical insecurity” which it has just because it has. (More geopolitical pseudo-psychology.)

And, finally, Putin is interfering in the West’s interference in another country.

July 9, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment